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View Diary: It Should Never Have Come to This (76 comments)

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  •  Good work until the concluding paragraph (17+ / 0-)

    where you basically call the Obama administration a failure.  I think you've got some amnesia about exactly how deep the hole Bush dug for us was.  It's like if a plane were on fire, the pilot brings it to a safe landing in Kansas, and you're complaining that he failed to complete the planned trip to New York and saying he wasn't up to the challenge.  We have three branches of government, and corrupt Republican domination of Congress and the Supreme Court has been the overwhelming author of our economic misfortunes post-2010.

    •  It has been a failure. The administration (9+ / 0-)

      appointed Wall Street crooks and proponents of neo-liberalism to important positions right after the economic crashed that brought about the current great depression.

      Matt Taibbi has written many articles about it; naming names, talking about who did what and when, where these people fit within the Wall Street criminal racketeering cartel... And yet Obama appointed this people to his government.  A failure.

      And now we "find out" that 95% of the gains have gone to the top one percent.  Anybody could have seen that... Appoint the same Wall Street crooks and their lawyers to these important policy positions, and what are you going to get?

      That's just one little piece of the puzzle.  Then there is rampant influence-peddling corruption, revolving-door bribery arrangements, etc., and the rest is history, as they say.

      •  Redistributing the gains of the recovery would (8+ / 0-)

        have required moves (which I totally support, by the way) to raise the minimum wage, raise the top income brackets and capital gains taxes and similar moves. Please spell out with some specific details how Obama or the Democrats could have done that with the current crop of Republicans.

        Is it true? Is it kind? Is it necessary? . . . and respect the dignity of every human being.

        by Wee Mama on Tue Sep 17, 2013 at 10:05:03 AM PDT

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        •  Propose massive Jobs Program repeatedly (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          mkor7, Free Jazz at High Noon, kurt

          starting January 2009 and into November 2010

          Point to Republican stifling of same

          kill the lazy-man's filibuster

          have 60-80%* of the people seeing what they demand being what Democrats will give
          *(depends on the poll, but always even a majority of Republicans; bigger majorities with Dems and Independents)

          Win House and Senate, end up with 'not current crop of Republicans'

          Not sure why the refusal of Democratic leadership to 'stand at the head of the parade' -- i.e, what the voters clearly want, is on the Republicans or the voters.

          Kicking Bankster ass wouldn't have hurt either.

          Actual Democrats: the surest, quickest, route to More Democrats. And actually addressing our various emergencies.

          by Jim P on Tue Sep 17, 2013 at 07:41:35 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  More believable than some proposals I've seen (3+ / 0-)

            but in 2009 they were still in massive emergency recovery mode. I don't know if it would have worked but we'll never know now.

            Is it true? Is it kind? Is it necessary? . . . and respect the dignity of every human being.

            by Wee Mama on Tue Sep 17, 2013 at 08:45:32 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  If you win by getting the most votes, (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Free Jazz at High Noon, kurt

              and most of the voters want something

              and not only do they want it, it's actually good for them, and for the nation as a whole...

              Instead we got an immediate sign that hope and change were just slogans as the widely-known advocates of precisely the thing which destroyed jobs were his picks as advisers.

              How many of the eligible voters said, 'screw this,' right away; and then to see it repeated over and over. A Jobs Commission with the guy who has exported more jobs to China than anyone else, which doesn't meet for a year before it just dies. After having made no major recommendations the four times they met. Protecting the bankers, pushing another murderous Trade Agreement...

              Don't see how the plan is to get people to vote for our Party when the Party doesn't seem eager to vote for the voters.

              Actual Democrats: the surest, quickest, route to More Democrats. And actually addressing our various emergencies.

              by Jim P on Tue Sep 17, 2013 at 09:15:49 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Here, I think, is where we probably disagree and (0+ / 0-)

                may not be able to find common ground. I don't believe that "hope and change were just slogans" as far as Obama was concerned. His whole life up to that point was consistent with genuinely wanting what was good for other people and with a willingness to put his own efforts into forwarding that. His choice of advisors may have been wrong; there may have been advisors (perhaps Robert Reich?) who could have given different advice that was also practical in the context of that annus horribilis. But to me errors on Obama's part in chosing advisors is more likely explained by his relative inexperience, his previous successes at getting real work done with Republicans (weapons control with Lugar, transparency with Coburn), and his general tendency to try to find and work with the best in others.

                There may have been alternatives that could have worked in that horrible time - I don't believe that Obama willfully and intentionally chose to do something that he knew would have a worse outcome for people in general. Hanlon's corollary (never attribute to malice what can be explained by ignorance or incompetence) has proven true too many times in my own life for me not to use it in general.

                Is it true? Is it kind? Is it necessary? . . . and respect the dignity of every human being.

                by Wee Mama on Wed Sep 18, 2013 at 05:16:14 AM PDT

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                •  I agree that Obama was naive when he first took (0+ / 0-)

                  office. However, you would think that after extending his hand for the 99th time to Republicans to try and work together, and having his hand bitten 99 times, he MIGHT have learned his lesson. But he hasn't.

    •  After seeing what the Republicans were able to do (13+ / 0-)

      after they gained control in North Carolina - and how fast they did it - I categorically reject the argument that about how Obama can't buck the Republicans. Democrats held the Senate and the House the first two years of his Presidency, and moreover, the American people were royally pissed off at Wall Street. Real change - not Obama's slick sloganeering of change - was possible. As Yves Smith pointed out yesterday in What the Orgy of “Lehman Five Years On” Stories Missed:

      Big Finance Could Have Been Reformed and Obama is the Reason it Wasn’t. The resigned “the banks were too powerful” meme is convenient and completely untrue. We wrote in 2010:

          Recall how we got here. Early in 2009, the banking industry was on the ropes. Both the stock and the credit default swaps markets said that many of the big players were at serious risk of failure. Commentators debated whether to nationalize Citibank, Bank of America, and other large, floundering institutions.

          The case for bold action was sound. The history of financial crises showed that the least costly approach is to resolve mortally wounded organizations, install new management, set strict guidelines, and separate out the bad loans and investments in order to restructure and sell them…

          The widespread, vocal opposition to the TARP was evidence that a once complacent populace had been roused. Reform, if proposed with energy and confidence, wasn’t a risk; not only was it badly needed, it was just what voters wanted.

          But incoming president Obama failed to act. Whether he failed to see the opportunity, didn’t understand it, or was simply not interested is moot. Rather than bring vested banking interests to heel, the Obama administration instead chose to reconstitute, as much as possible, the very same industry whose reckless pursuit of profit had thrown the world economy off the cliff. There would be no Nixon goes to China moment from the architects of the policies that created the crisis, namely Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, and Director of the National Economic Council Larry Summers.

      Morover, contrary to the fairy tale of Republican obstructionism you so desperately want to believe, at the time (and I repeat, at the time, i.e in 2009), the Republicans were not just willing, but anxious to help put the screws to Wall Street.  Ron Suskind addresses exactly this point in his book, Confidence Men: Wall Street, Washington, and the Education of a President. On page 429, for example, he describes how Republican Senators Shelby, Ensign, and Coburn joined with Sherrod Brown and Bernie Sanders to support the Kaufman / Brown amendment to Dodd / Frank, to impose a ten percent cap on any bank holding campany's share of the country's total insured deposits. This amendment caused the banksters' lobbyists to refuse to leave Senators' offices until they had nailed down assurances the Senator in question would vote against the amendment. And where was the Obama administration in all this? Where they trying to line up votes for Kaufman / Brown? No, they were not. They quietly let the amendment go down defeat. Then they said and did nothing as Dodd himself gutted the key provisions of his own proposed legislation.

      Suskind also describes the infamous meeting of the 13 banksters with Obama in March 2009. As Suskind notes:

      “They were the CEOs of the thirteen largest banking institutions in the United States…. And they were nervous in ways that these men are never nervous. Many would have had to reach back to their college days, or even grade school, to remember a moment when they felt this sort of lump-in-the-throat tension.

      As some of the most successful men in the country, they weren’t used to being pariahs… [and] they were indeed pariahs. The populist backlash against the financial sector—building steadily since September—was finally beginning to cause grave discomfort on Wall Street. As unemployment ballooned and credit tightened, the country began to look inward, toward the origins of the panic and its disastrous consequences.

      In the end, however, the frightened captains of high finance left the meeting pleased to learn that Obama was firmly in their camp. For instead of standing up for those who had been harmed most by the crisis—workers, minorities, and the poor—Obama sided unequivocally with those who had caused the meltdown. “My administration is the only thing between you and the pitchforks,” Obama said. “You guys have an acute public relations problem that’s turning into a political problem. And I want to help…I’m not here to go after you. I’m protecting you…. I’m going to shield you from congressional and public anger.”

      If you believe Obama actually told the biggest financial terrorists on the planet "I’m going to shield you from congressional and public anger,” then how can you possibly stand by the argument you make? Either you believe Obama deliberatly assisted the banksters in avoiding the consequences of their actions, or you believe the fairy tale that Obama's heart was in the right place but was stymied by his own political temerity and /or ineptitude.

      A conservative is a scab for the oligarchy.

      by NBBooks on Tue Sep 17, 2013 at 10:42:49 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  ouch. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Free Jazz at High Noon

        i just took one to the chops.. i'm going to think on this for awhile.. do some lite reading.. cannot much specific comment further for sure..

        well, what would rd2 look like? instead of gloves now the pitchforks? so he just delayed the title fight a bit longer?

        still, like any fight, there are things in the background we do not see.. while we try to scrap it out..

      •  Absolutely, not true. (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        The Nose, JBL55, worldlotus
        Democrats held the Senate and the House the first two years of his Presidency,
        All totaled, it was about six months.

        In the time it took Adam Lanza to reload, eleven children escaped. What if...

        by Sixty Something on Tue Sep 17, 2013 at 12:13:37 PM PDT

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      •  You still act as though Presidents are dictators. (0+ / 0-)

        The Congress is supposed to be the leading power where legislation is concerned.  Show me one - JUST ONE - piece of liberal legislation that this President has vetoed.

        •  You still insist on putting up the strawman (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Free Jazz at High Noon

          that people are expecting a President to be a dictator.

          Show me one - JUST ONE - piece of liberal legislation which a President has not vigorously pushed Congress to pass, and the public to pressure Congress as well.

          Actual Democrats: the surest, quickest, route to More Democrats. And actually addressing our various emergencies.

          by Jim P on Tue Sep 17, 2013 at 07:50:48 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Where the fuck were you when this President (0+ / 0-)

            was pushing his jobs bill in 2011 and the Congress was totally ignoring it?  

            •  Where the fuck were you when this President (0+ / 0-)

              did shit to push a Jobs Bill in 2008, 2009, 2010 WHEN IT WOULD HAVE FUCKING CHANGED THE ELECTORAL OUTCOMES IF ANYTHING COULD IN NOV 2010?

              Will you now bring up the JOBS COMMISSION WHICH DIES AFTER TWO YEARS? Chairman: the guy who's company exported more jobs than any other in America. First year, 4 meetings, some recommendation to aid corporations help create jobs. Second year NOT ONE FUCKING MEETING and then it was allowed to die.

              It's not my fault you can't tell the difference between a President twisting arms to get Social Security, Medicare, Voting Rights, the EPA, the FDA, etc and a President 'pushing' something by first, never bringing it up, and later, by talking about it enough times so's someone can say he talked about it, and then letting it die.

              "Sniff, sniff, bad wepubwicans won't let him push it.'

              If you think JOB CREATION has been a major and front-and-center priority of this President, you're fucking delusional or have a philosophy that this President's failing should never be noted. But that's the same fucking thing, actually.

              Geez, who ya foolin'?

              Actual Democrats: the surest, quickest, route to More Democrats. And actually addressing our various emergencies.

              by Jim P on Tue Sep 17, 2013 at 09:38:55 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  He PASSED a jobs bill in 2009, Amnesia Man. (0+ / 0-)

                With the Congress we gave him.  Then we gave a much less workable Congress that wouldn't even consider further action.  Who are you gonna blame if we fail to make progress in 2014?  Let me take a wild guess.

                •  You mean the Economic Stimulus which (0+ / 0-)

                  was about 1/3 of what his advisors who were non-Wall Street embeds was saying would work? The one which several economists who had predicted the economic crisis said was 1/3 of what was needed?

                  The one where 1/3 of what did pass was corporate tax relief IF they hired (which they didn't?

                  The one which ran out of steam in six months? Yeah, I remember that, and that was the last we heard about that Create Jobs thing 70% of voters (including a majority of Republicans) said they wanted every year over the next few years. Sure as hell didn't hear it in 2010. Next appearance was late in the 2012 campaign. Then we heard about jobs from him again.

                  He's put a fraction of the effort into Job Creation as he did into pushing the Catfood Commission. As noted, the Jobs Commission was a sick joke.

                  An occasional speech, a thing offered once or twice, is just not the same fucking thing as pushing the number one thing voters want.  

                  Lips. Feet. They do different things, and only one of them tells you priorities.

                  Actual Democrats: the surest, quickest, route to More Democrats. And actually addressing our various emergencies.

                  by Jim P on Tue Sep 17, 2013 at 09:57:51 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

            •  Me? I was wasting time - obviously - blogging here (0+ / 0-)

              and elsewhere.

              Dec 2, 2007 - Not Good – We’ve Been Here Before  

              Dec 23, 2007 - Why Bonddad’s solution leads to disaster  

              Jan 7, 2008 - Who will tell Wall Street to shove it?

              Mar 23, 2008 - The Lost Tradition of Biblical Debt Cancellations

              April 22, 2008 - Euthanize Wall Street to save the economy

              Sep 17, 2008 - Let Wall Street Burn

              Oct 18, 2008 - What Might Real Financial Reform Look Like?

              The next one was a direct attack on the stimulus being woefully inadequate
              Oct 30, 2008 - Pissing away $700 billion  

              Nov 13, 2008 - We have ONE SHOT left to avoid economic disaster

              Dec 9, 2008 - The Problem with Obama's Economics Team

              Jan 28, 2009 -  Political Power of Just 6 Banks is the Problem

              March 19, 2009 -  The Economy: "No Return to Normal" - Galbraith UPDATED  

              The next one forced a bunch of DNC and corporatist types into conniptions:
              April 3, 2009 - Moyers drops bailout bomb on Obama

              Jan 8, 2010 - Roosevelt created 4 million jobs in one month (updated)

              Like the Verizon wireless guy: CAN YOU HEAR ME NOW?

              Jeesh, I'm more fit to run the Federal Reserve by a long shot than Larry Fucking Summers. Problem is, I'm not on my knees sucking cock on Wall Street like a good DLC deep throat. So I'm "not qualified."

              A conservative is a scab for the oligarchy.

              by NBBooks on Wed Sep 18, 2013 at 11:36:43 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

      •  OT: Somehow I can always tell from the (0+ / 0-)

        quality of the 1st paragraph or two that I'm looking at a comment by you.

        As usual, fact-based, reasonable, and sober.

        Actual Democrats: the surest, quickest, route to More Democrats. And actually addressing our various emergencies.

        by Jim P on Tue Sep 17, 2013 at 07:45:11 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  I agree that it is not Obama's fault (0+ / 0-)

      (at least not entirely). If I was him in my first term, and like him, had very little inside knowledge of Wall Street, I might have looked for people who shared my basic philosophy, but had inside connections with the hope that they could actually get some things done without completely disrupting global commerce. That is exactly what he did.

      Not only was Obama facing the worst economic disaster since the Great Depression, he was facing the wrath of 1/3 of the country for being black. I think he, like Lincoln, has shown extreme resilience in the face of unthinkable obstacles. Has he done everything perfectly?, we will never know. Have things gotten better?, I think the giant ship of state is in the midst of a very slow turn to the left (the correct path).

      Not only that, but our president actually reads stuff and responds. When we at DKos said loudly that we did not want war in Syria, along with a lot of others, he actually listened and did something that NO Republican EVER would have done. He re-considered.

      Republicans want smaller gov't for the same reason crooks want fewer cops. - James Carville Support Small Business: Shop Kos Katalogue

      by wyckoff on Wed Sep 18, 2013 at 09:29:18 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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