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Did you see this speech from the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives?

So why should any American citizen be kicked out of their homes in this cold weather? ... Don't leave your home. Because you know what? When those companies say they have your mortgage, unless you have a lawyer that can put his or her finger on that mortgage, you don't have that mortgage, and you are going to find they can't find the paper up there on Wall Street. So I say to the American people, you be squatters in your own homes. Don't you leave. In Ohio and Michigan and Indiana and Illinois and all these other places our people are being treated like chattel, and this Congress is stymied.

No, this wasn't Alan Grayson. It was Rep. Marcy Kaptur of Ohio, last January, and flames were coming out of her eyes. Bill Moyers' response when he showed this tonight: "Wow."

Do you think the economy is improving? Then, Bill Moyers Journal this evening is a must see. It may be the most important thing you do all week. You should stop reading this now and just watch the video. For a taste, there are excerpts and discussion below the fold, including the question: How is Obama like Louis XIV?

Moyers picks up where Michael Moore left off. He had two guests tonight discussing the economy.

Rep. Marcy Kaptur of Ohio was also featured in Moore's "Capitalism". She has served in the House longer than any other Democratic woman. She is progressive, smart, fearless and truly understands how Wall Street has completely bought the government of the United States. And she is not afraid to say so.

And economist Simon Johnson, formerly of the IMF, now with MIT:

To me, at least, the financial part of our capitalism is very seriously broken. They persuaded us to allow them to take incredible risks. And then they pushed all the downside, all those losses onto us, the taxpayer, at the same time as really hammering hard all the people who were duped, essentially, into taking out loans. People lost their houses. It's an absolute tragedy. This combination cannot go on. And yet, the opportunity for real reform has already passed. And there is not going to be not only is there not going to be change, but I'll go further. I'll say it's going to be worse, what comes out of this, in terms of the financial system, its power, and what it can get away with.

There is discussion about how the few remaining major banks have managed to shift all risk onto the American taxpayer, and come out way ahead. Johnson:

You know what else Jamie Dimon (the head of J.P. Morgan Chase) said to his shareholders? To his shareholders meeting this year, he said, with regard to 2008, the year of what we regard as the greatest financial crisis, an absolute human tragedy. He said, Jamie Dimon said to his shareholders, 'This was perhaps our best year ever.'

Moyers, as the superb journalist that he is, asks the questions that almost no other journalists are asking:

Why have we not had the reform that we all knew was being was needed and being demanded a year ago?


Rahm Emanuel, the President's Chief of Staff has a saying. He's widely known for saying, 'Never let a good crisis go to waste'. Well, the crisis is over, Bill. The crisis in the financial sector, not for people who own homes, but the crisis for the big banks is substantially over. And it was completely wasted. The Administration refused to break the power of the big banks, when they had the opportunity, earlier this year. And the regulatory reforms they are now pursuing will turn out to be, in my opinion, and I do follow this day to day, you know. These reforms will turn out to be essentially meaningless.

Moyers asks what we should do. Should Geithner and Summers be fired? Marcy Kaptur is fearless in her answer:

When Lincoln ran into trouble, during the Civil War, he got new generals. He brought in Grant. I hope that President Obama will bring in some new generals on the financial front. I don't think that any individuals who had their hands on creating this mess should be in charge of cleaning it up. I honestly don't think they're capable of it.

Moyers asks Johnson why he's scared; after all, the market is up, and the crisis seems to be improving.

SIMON JOHNSON: Another Great Depression. Right? If you don't fix the financial system, Bill. If you allow them to have the same attitude. If you- if you actually allow them to increase their economic power, their ability to take risk, and their belief that they can shove the losses onto the government. And that's why they didn't show up to President Obama's speech on Wall Street.

BILL MOYERS: Why don't they respect him?

SIMON JOHNSON: Because they think that the next time they won't even have to ask. They'll just be given the bailout that they want.

There is much discussion about the Savings and Loan debacle, Robert Rubin, and the repeal of Glass-Steagall, gutting the regulations that were put in place under FDR.

How to avert a major depression? There is more discussion about keeping the pressure on, educating the American public, good journalism, and the absolute need for getting the money out of Congress.

Perhaps the most trenchant question comes at the end:

BILL MOYERS: Does President Obama get it?

MARCY KAPTUR: I don't think President Obama has the right people around him. The poor man inherited a total mess, globally and domestically. I think some of the people that he trusted haven't delivered. I urge him to get new generals. It's time.

SIMON JOHNSON: Louis the Fourteenth of France, a very powerful monarch, was famous for having many bad things, you know, happen under his rule. And people would always say, 'If only Louis the Fourteenth knew. I'm sure he doesn't know. If we could just tell him, he'd sort it out.' You know. I'm skeptical.

This diary does not do the show justice. I've presented just a few highlights. The second segment is on health care reform, and the revolving door of influence and money. Very well done, but few surprises there for kossacks. And the last segment was a tribute to Charles Houston, a remarkable man. Definitely worth watching, too.

(Update: adios provides an excellent comment about the second segment: "I thought Moyers' essay on the health care lobby was one of the best of its kind I've seen, regardless of whether it contained any 'surprises' or not. The takedown of Baucus - and his staff - was brutal. Should be required viewing for all citizens. The reference to David Graham Phillips epitomizes why some of us consider Bill Moyers to be the anti-George Will: he uses historical analogies correctly". I agree. Thank you.)

But the first segment blew me away. Somehow, I don't think President Obama is getting the message. The comparison of Obama with the Sun King is interesting. Like Obama, he was intelligent and enlightened. He sought control over the nobility. He also presided over a number of wars, and greatly increased the power of France in the 17th and early 18th centuries. But he left France ripe for the Revolution, which occurred a scant 64 years following his death.

Michael Moore is right. We have to democratize our economy. The arrogance of Wall Street is simply stunning, and there is no evidence that anything substantial has changed. How can the United States possibly remain as the greatest country on Earth if our entire economy is based solely on shifting wealth and protecting the very wealthiest amongst us, at the expense of everyone else? No, forget the greatest country -- how can we sustain ourselves as a viable democracy at all, when we not only have re-established the Gilded Age, but have given Wall Street nearly complete dominance of the essential institutions of our government?

I am not speaking only of Congress here. The men surrounding Obama -- Geithner and Summers are straight out of the Wall Street firm that had a central role in destroying our economy, and that same firm is more powerful than ever and now has direct access to the Fed. (--Please see update below for a correction to the preceding sentence.)

And, we have a Supreme Court that seems to be dominated by corporatist justices who may seek to even further define corporations as persons. There is the very real prospect that the two most liberal justices on the Court will retire within the next several years, and could potentially be replaced -- under intense political pressure -- by more "centrist" justices.

Somehow, we must get the message to President Obama. The Nobel Peace Prize is a fabulous tribute, but what will it be worth if we permanently destroy our middle class? What will health care reform mean if our economy is in shambles?

As a start, please watch this segment of Bill Moyers Journal. (If you prefer not to watch video, or your computer doesn't handle video well, this same page also includes the full transcript.) I don't pretend to know the answers. But we are a vital and important community. Let's not underestimate our potential influence to bring about necessary changes.

And to Bill Moyers, as always: Thank you. We hope you know how much your work is appreciated, and how critically important it is to our country right now.

Good night.

- - - - -

Update: I appreciate the comment by Stanjz correcting my statement about Geithner having worked for Wall Street. But he was the President of the New York Fed, and there is concern that his connections on Wall Street, especially at Goldman Sachs, may reflect undue influence.

Thanks for the Rec List, because I think it's very important that Bill Moyers get the greatest possible exposure when he does an important story like the one discussed here. As mentioned in the comments, the intent is not to castigate Obama, but to bring out in open discussion the concerns that we feel need the greatest attention. Obama himself has said on many occasions that he wants us to push him. I think it's very unlikely that the Public Option would have been seriously considered without the tremendous and unrelenting efforts of the "left", especially given the overwhelming corporate influence over Congress and the mainstream media that somehow must be counterbalanced. This is probably even more true when it comes to overall issues of management of our very troubled economy.

- - - - -

Update 2: Thank you for the excellent discussion this diary has generated. Perhaps the tone is a little less, shall we say, sleep deprived, than it was in the wee hours. I awoke thinking that maybe it would have been better if I had simply stated questions, rather than injected my own concerns. After all, I am not an economist, and suggesting economic solutions is very much out of my league. But I do know that people like Representative Kaptur make sense. Her words ring true. Not just about Geithner and Summers, but about the need for Congress to truly engage, about the need to really beef up the fraud division of the FBI (so decimated under Bush "to fight the War on Terror"), and start to really clean up the unimaginable theft of the American treasury that has happened, and continues to happen, right under our eyes.

I will also mention that clearly, the Louis XIV "tease" in the intro accomplished its purpose, which was to get your attention. I could not imagine that this would be taken literally; after all, this is not an audience of tea baggers. But sure enough, I was accused of saying that Obama is Louis XIV! That I, and those of us who express our concerns "from the left", actually want Obama to fail! Wow. Well, no, I don't think Obama is Louis XIV. And I certainly do NOT want him to fail.

We are the chorus, a vast, messy, unruly cheering squad. We will never sing in perfect harmony. Which is how it should be. Reading the comments this morning, after people have had their morning coffee, gives me encouragement. We can prevail. We need to keep having our voices heard. So, more coffee!

Originally posted to flitedocnm on Fri Oct 09, 2009 at 10:53 PM PDT.

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    "But there is so much more to do." - Barack Obama, Nov. 4, 2008

    by flitedocnm on Fri Oct 09, 2009 at 10:53:39 PM PDT

  •  Comparing Obama to Louis XIV is beyond the pale. (21+ / 0-)

    Some on the left have completely gone off the deep end and lost their minds.  But I love what Rep. Kaptur is suggesting - that message needs to be spread far and wide.

    Truth is wordless shapes, and words only a medium.

    by Troubadour on Fri Oct 09, 2009 at 11:07:47 PM PDT

    •  Harper's said Hoover, I say Clay.. (20+ / 0-)

      Why not?

      He blew an opportunity to redress the crisis. And hired people who seem to have no interest in reforming the problem. Like Hoover.

      Like Clay, he seems to be a serial compromiser.

      Still, only 9 months in, so a lot is yet to be determined.

      Early returns aren't that good, however.

      •  Bullshit. (11+ / 0-)

        This President is doing a tremendously great job, and all I hear from the naysayers is "where's my pony?"  

        Truth is wordless shapes, and words only a medium.

        by Troubadour on Fri Oct 09, 2009 at 11:13:37 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Sorry, tremendiously great ain't great enough. (44+ / 0-)

          and I know where my pony is, some fucking wall street banker has it and Tim Geithner gave it to them.

          "be a loyal plastic robot boy in a world that doesn't care" - Frank Zappa

          by Unbozo on Fri Oct 09, 2009 at 11:21:23 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  pony snatching little weasel bastard. nt (16+ / 0-)

            "Clean Coal harnesses the awesome power of the word clean."

            by Dopeman on Fri Oct 09, 2009 at 11:22:32 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Hammering down on Wall Street during a severe dow (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            nturn could have been proven to be disastrous. Unless you're saying that President Obama should have taken total control of the markets?

            Start wiping out shareholder wealth during a severe downturn and watch the institutional investors pull money out of the market like water going down the toilet.

            The CBO estimated the bailout at 159 billion, but people keep making up their own numbers because they're trying to paint Obama as in with Wall Street.

            He wouldn't be attacked like this and he wouldn't be pushing for health care reform, EFCA and taxing the wealthy if he was buddying up to Wall Street. What a lie.

            •  The markets should fear US (15+ / 0-)

              rather than us fearing the markets. As a matter of simple human survival, the nature and behavior of the financial markets has to be completely changed:

              Currency trading eliminated, by going back to fixed exchange rates;

              Interest rates limited again by usury laws;

              Short-term speculative trading driven out by a tax on financial market transactions;

              Regulatory arbitrage eliminated by prohibiting cross-border financial flows not directly linked to trade, travel, or investing.

              The sooner the confrontation comes, the less troublesome will be the transition. Else we will reach a point where the only way to deal with the arrogance of the people at the top of the financial system will be to declare them economic terrorists and treat them accordingly.

              It comes down to forcing finance to serve human purposes again, rather than the other way around.

              A conservative is a scab for the oligarchy.

              by NBBooks on Sat Oct 10, 2009 at 04:51:28 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  FDR did it. (14+ / 0-)

              He seized ill gotten wealth, which in our contemporary American plutocracy is practically all wealth.

              a hard rain's gonna fall

              by Paul Goodman on Sat Oct 10, 2009 at 04:57:44 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  It helped that FDR was of the aristocracy (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                mattman, hoplite9

                He had no fear or undue respect for them and knew all of the skeletons and buttons to push.

                HR 676 - Health care reform we can believe in - national single-payer NOW.

                by kck on Sat Oct 10, 2009 at 07:03:42 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  The aristocracy... (5+ / 0-)

                  ...fought FDR tooth and nail.  But he fought back, and scored a number of important victories as a result.

                  But FDR had the "advantage" (such as it is) that the crisis had been going on for several years when he took office -- that gave him the ability to push back in a way that Obama doesn't have.  

                  Aside from that, I do think that there are times that Obama has weakened his position unnecessarily with his penchant for bipartisan compromise with Republicans who have no interet in playing along.  But it is only fair to note that Obama doesn't have the same degree of power as FDR, because the situation in 2009, while bad, isn't as bad as what the country was facing by 1933.

                  Political Compass: -6.75, -3.08

                  by TexasTom on Sat Oct 10, 2009 at 08:08:59 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

              •  FDR did not have the corporate media that (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Calamity Jean

                politicians have to fight today.  No Fox news, no mind-numbing TV.  When he spoke to Americans, most of the country was listening.  The fog of propaganda that surrounds Americans today didn't exist back then.

                These comparisons to FDR are ridiculous.

                "I'm going to need ordinary Americans to stand up and say, now is the time." Barack Obama, July 1, 2009

                by keeplaughing on Sat Oct 10, 2009 at 09:08:33 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Well, not entirely. (6+ / 0-)

                  Your first statement is 100% correct. But the comparisons to FDR are not ridiculous. If FDR were President today, he'd be just as vilified as Obama, although without the tinge of racism, of course. But I don't believe that FDR would be submissive just because Fox and the corporate barons would fight him every step of the way. Don't forget that the opposition to FDR in his time was also massive, and well organized. There may not have been Fox, but he had to fight for every reform he put into place.

                  I'm not suggesting that Obama is submissive. But there are a great many parallels, and the lessons of history should never be ignored. The comparisons are appropriate, because there is always something we can learn from them.

                  "But there is so much more to do." - Barack Obama, Nov. 4, 2008

                  by flitedocnm on Sat Oct 10, 2009 at 09:21:13 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  FDR had almost all Americans behind him. But (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:

                    Democrats today have propaganda TV to fight, and that's no small thing.  In FDR's day, there were newspapers, and news back then was not what it is now either.  Back then most journalists had respect for the truth, but now, those journalists are the exception rather than the rule.

                    Reading the paper (or now, reading online) is a completely different cognitive activity than watching TV. Watching TV, in some ways, turns off important parts of one's brain, whereas reading stimulates thought.  And you don't need me to tell you that the quality of programming in this country, with a few exceptions, continues to  decline.  TV is for the most part all about emotions now, and that, unfortunately, includes the news.

                    To put is in few words, TV has dumbed us down and continues to dumb us down.  

                    We have absolutely no way of knowing how FDR would respond to the onslaught of corporate money and TV propaganda on the brains of the whole country.  It is something he could never have imagined in his day.  

                    I would not be surprised if FDR, like Dennis Kucinich and other truth-tellers, could not get himself elected president in our time.  

                    "I'm going to need ordinary Americans to stand up and say, now is the time." Barack Obama, July 1, 2009

                    by keeplaughing on Sat Oct 10, 2009 at 05:29:41 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

            •  he has (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Blueslide, dark daze

              Unless you're saying that President Obama should have taken total control of the markets?

              Nothing else explains the most rapid increase in the S&P500 which currently is running, as an index, with profit to earnings ratio's of 130.

              Hope for American workers isn't Wall Street's agenda.

              by FreeTradeIsYourEpitaph on Sat Oct 10, 2009 at 07:11:45 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  bullshit (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              mattman, Pescadero Bill, thethinveil

              they stopped short selling for a good while and nothing blew up, they should of kept going and made many of those tempt fixes permanent.

              (regarding the bank mess) They want to cure the patient but not deal with the disease.

              by dark daze on Sat Oct 10, 2009 at 08:53:36 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  Well, in part, his idea of health care reform (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              revolves very much around not upsetting the market. Otherwise, as he's stated as his preference under ideal conditions, he'd be pushing for single payer.

              As is, he's working very hard at sustaining the viability of the health insurance industry.

              To whom it may concern. Waterboarding is torture. Torture is illegal. Sincerely, A. No Brainer.

              by Pescadero Bill on Sat Oct 10, 2009 at 10:19:48 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

        •  He's doing a fine job (40+ / 0-)

          for corporations, the banks, and Wall Street.  Meanwhile, there's no regulations returned to law to prevent another meltdown, millions are losing their jobs, people are still losing their homes, mortgages are still being cut up and sold to dozens of companies so a homeowner can't re-negotiate a price, credit card companies are charging higher rates than ever, and banks are paying out near ZERO rates for savings and CDs.  No wonder the DOW has zoomed up - corporate pay and bonuses are still through the roof!  It's party time for them and we're being handed the bill.

          Yes, we have the smell of change, but really not much else.  We are still being surveilled and data mined, detention without warrants is still going on, the Black Sites still exist, and Gitmo is still open (minus that torture stuff, so we are told).

          Our 2 wars are still in progress with no end in sight, Blackwater (or is it Xe or some other name now?) is still a paid US Contractor as is KBR and all the other taxpayer money-sucking, no accountability contractors.  On top of that, we can't seem to get a Health Care bill that doesn't blow billions of taxpayers dollars up the asses of the insurance companies out of a Congress that we worked and donated our butts out of putting there.  

          I'm not asking for miracles in 8 months, but I demand to have something!

          Those who yell do so because their arguments are so weak they can only be supported by massive amounts of hot air. Sue, West Allis, Wisconsin

          by Puddytat on Fri Oct 09, 2009 at 11:32:53 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  He has done some very good things, too. But (7+ / 0-)

            yes, lots still to do the sooner the better.

          •  On the war criticism I can agree (6+ / 0-)

            because Obama is Commander in Chief, but it is Congress that is responsible for the fact that

            no regulations returned to law to prevent another meltdown.

            The President can't be, and isn't supposed to be, responsible for everything.  The day Obama vetoes a piece of serious economic reform legislation is the day I'll be joining you in your criticism and call him out for being a Wall street toady.

            It was Congress that set the stage for this  financial meltdown and economic rape of the middle class, by legislating away the very regulations that might have prevented the worst of the abuses, and it was William Jefferson Clinton who signed his name to that capitulation.

            "If you do not read the paper, you are uninformed. If you do read the paper, you are misinformed."--Mark Twain.

            by ovals49 on Sat Oct 10, 2009 at 01:48:03 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  His job is to lead (12+ / 0-)

              to convince
              to cajole
              to push
              to make the change happen.

              He is leader of the Democrats.  He should be reminding Congress (at the very least) of what is needed for this country.  

              Deregulation of the financial industry started under Ronald Reagan, continued under Pappy Bush, and was enabled by Bill Clinton agreeing to the repeal of Glass-Stegall (the first "Republican" I ever voted for in the presidential election), and blew full speed ahead under "W".

              He's been in agreement with continued surveillance, unlawful detention without charges, and supports the frakking renewal of the Patriot Act as a few examples of the No Change We Don't Believe In and Don't Support!  It's time for him to be the guy we voted in.

              Those who yell do so because their arguments are so weak they can only be supported by massive amounts of hot air. Sue, West Allis, Wisconsin

              by Puddytat on Sat Oct 10, 2009 at 02:42:39 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  yeah cuz he can do it all singlehandedly... (0+ / 0-)

                This is a quote regarding the bankruptcy reform from my Senator, Dick Durban (D-IL):

                "And the banks -- hard to believe in a time when we're facing a banking crisis that many of the banks created -- are still the most powerful lobby on Capitol Hill. And they frankly own the place," he said on WJJG 1530 AM's "Mornings with Ray Hanania."

                (emphasis added)


                While Durbin has been negotiating with individual banks over the last several weeks, bank lobbyists and Senate Minority Whip Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.) have been whipping up opposition to it. A growing number of Democrats have announced opposition to cramdown, including Ben Nelson (Neb.), Mary Landrieu (La.) and Jon Tester (Mont.).

                "There's been a tendency on the part of some who are advocates for the legislation to overestimate the number of votes in favor," said Sen. Evan Bayh (D-Ind.). "When I was actively involved at the moment it broke down it was my impression there were no Republicans who were willing to support it and at least a few Democrats have stated openly on the record that they were in opposition. How you get to 60 with those numbers is a mathematical problem."


                •  Yeah, because part of the banks having (4+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  mattman, 3goldens, bigchin, Puddytat

                  the confidence to continue to be the most powerful lobby on the Hill is because the White House bloated their deflated egos with billions of treasury dollars.

                  They all had little presidential seals sewn on to their lapels going in to the meetings.

                  To whom it may concern. Waterboarding is torture. Torture is illegal. Sincerely, A. No Brainer.

                  by Pescadero Bill on Sat Oct 10, 2009 at 10:27:38 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

            •  What Obama CAN do . . . (8+ / 0-)

              Simon Johnson mentioned on the show that Obama can immediately make BIG changes in the current situation re. the ongoing mortgage crises because "Fanny Mae" and "Freddy Mac" own something like one out of four mortgages now, and they are effectively run totally under the executive branch now.

              One presidential edict of a truly progressive nature to these institutions from Mr. Obama, and the entire financial world would shift more toward the benefit of the "little guy" who is getting screwed by the gangsters in this fiasco.

              But, get used to it, that is NOT going to come from Obama. He just does not have it in him. He sees his job as protecting the imperial status quo, which is why he was one of the men allowed to have a real chance to run for president in the first place.

            •  I agree on criticism of the war too (5+ / 0-)

              ...but in addition to commander in chief, he is the leader of the Democratic Party. When I hear excuses like "But Congress...", I stop listening.

              George W Bush had no trouble enacting his policies of funneling tax money to churches, wealth and power to the super rich and adopting torture as the new national past time. Please don't tell me that Barack Obama is unable to get us healthcare and at bare minimum - an absolute repeal of all things Bush.

              I still await serious positive results from the Obama Presidency with optimism. Just don't feed me the lines about what he knows and what he is capable of, unless you honestly believe W is a better leader for the ogre conservative than Obama is for liberals.

              -7.5 -7.28, Sheesh, you call me a socialist like that's a bad thing.

              by Blueslide on Sat Oct 10, 2009 at 08:11:02 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  Good post. The only thing I demand 8 (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            elwior, Puddytat

            months into this admin. is a clear trend towards protecting the needs of

            unemployed people
            underpaid and in-debt people
            people imprisoned without trial

            All I want is a fucking TREND towards helping those people and not a trend towards helping out the parasites who rob people blind and continuing violations of human liberty and dignity.

            A fucking trend.

            And I'm not seeing it.

            •  Thank you (0+ / 0-)

              That trend would help to satisfy most of us, as well.  I'm not seeing it.

              But now I'm changing my sig line to reflect what I think the real stinking problem is in our "republic".  The only way we will have change.

              Those who yell do so because their arguments are so weak they can only be supported by massive amounts of hot air. Sue, West Allis, Wisconsin

              by Puddytat on Sun Oct 11, 2009 at 12:16:15 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

        •  You again. (25+ / 0-)
          Everybody wants a pony?  How dare you insult the millions of Americans that are unemployed and in foreclosure and bankruptcy because President Obama bailed out the banks instead of them.   Are you really so arrogant and ignorant that you can't even see, let alone empathize, with the pain millions of people in this country are going through?   They don't want your pony, they want food, a house and a job with medical care.  You really belong in the diaries with the billboard sized pictures of Obama's smile from 1,000 different views, or the diary where Obama loves the world, not just Americans, which is why he won the peace prize but it should have been sainthood.  You belong anywhere but here insulting people who don't agree with your pov.

          You can bury your head in the sand and denegrate others to elevate yourself, but it doesn't change the facts.  Obama is either naive or willful in his failure to achieve the -reforms- changes he promised.   Kissing conservative asses and putting Goldman Sachs in charge of the treasury was and is stupid.  The credit card bill sucked, and the health care bill will be a weak compromise that won't raise taxes on the middle class, if we are fucking lucky.  If two wars can go on the taxpayers credit card no questions asked, why the BS about health care paying for itself?  

          All of this is happening on Obama's watch and the road to hell is paved with good intentions.   Obama owns it all, and he is responsible for it even if it pisses you off.  

          They're asking for another four years -- in a just world, they'd get 10 to 20. ~~ Dennis Kucinich

          by dkmich on Sat Oct 10, 2009 at 03:37:54 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Many of the naysayers (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Matt Z, dark daze

          have fallen into the "messiah" syndrome meme. Growing up in the 70's I still believe in "give peace a chance". Expecting miracles to happen overnight opens the door for disappointment. I voted for our President not only for "change" but also hope. Hope for a better future and a better world. IMHO I'm not disappointed.

          Homey don't play that!

          by desnyder on Sat Oct 10, 2009 at 04:10:34 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  I disagree. (9+ / 0-)

          I don't think he is doing a great job on military matters or finance.

          Diplomacy? Yes. Science? Yes.

          But it's an overall mixed bag.

          a hard rain's gonna fall

          by Paul Goodman on Sat Oct 10, 2009 at 04:56:31 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  At this point, mixed. (7+ / 0-)

            Check back in a year. I'm still willing to give Obama a chance to change the dynamic of really, really entrenched power.

            I'm not whistling past a graveyard, I just believe that it took years to get this bad and it may take more than 9 months to fix it. I also believe that when you are dealing with carrion like our overlords you can't telegraph your moves.

            I guess what I'm saying is I still hope and I also doubt. My personal jury hasn't even got the case yet, let alone begun serious deliberations.

            "Take it back, take it back. Oh no you can't say that. All of my friends are not dead or in jail." John Prine

            by high uintas on Sat Oct 10, 2009 at 05:21:37 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  could have been worse, could have been (8+ / 0-)

      Louis XVI.

      "be a loyal plastic robot boy in a world that doesn't care" - Frank Zappa

      by Unbozo on Fri Oct 09, 2009 at 11:14:44 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Well, it was a whimsical and rhetorical (13+ / 0-)

      comparison, not a serious one. I know that was the case for me, and I suspect it was as well for Simon Johnson. Just cause the Repugs like to say completely absurd and stupid things like Obama is Hitler doesn't mean that we have to abandon rhetorical points, does it? The point here was not that Obama is LIKE Louis XIV, but that Obama is surrounding himself with some people who in the end, may serve him very poorly.

      "But there is so much more to do." - Barack Obama, Nov. 4, 2008

      by flitedocnm on Fri Oct 09, 2009 at 11:16:40 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Some people on the left expected more (11+ / 0-)

      I don't really blame them. When your message is something as abstract as "Change" people will interpret that in different ways. I think President Obama is doing a fair job and has saved the system from absolute disaster, but unfortunately it does seem like a temporary fix that's left average people to fend for themselves. The banks have been let off the hook to do this over again in 5, 9, 12 years.

      TARP was a travesty. I agree Summers and Geitner have got to go. And somebody needs to keep Bill Clinton away from the President as well, I'm sure he's the one who's been bringing all these bullshit people into the White House.

      •  Yes and no (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        JanL, MichiganGirl

        People expected more because despite vague wording and all, change is change.

        At my old place of work there was a rule that you had 6 months to blame the guy who came before as an excuse, after that it's on you. Even if we use 6 yrs. it's time to quit blaming everything is on Clinton, don't ya think?

        "Take it back, take it back. Oh no you can't say that. All of my friends are not dead or in jail." John Prine

        by high uintas on Sat Oct 10, 2009 at 05:29:34 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Does the current President hold no responsibility (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        bigchin, Blueslide, dark daze

        for his policies, or his appointments, does he not even have any input into either?

        Is he a weak man to be bullied, and controlled by former President Clinton?

        And if this is the case, is such a weak, spineless President worthy of your defense?

        I, unlike you do not think our sitting President to be weak, spineless, or naive enough to be nothing more than former President Clinton's puppet; nor do I envision the former President to be a villainous puppet master.

        President Obama appointed people to positions, because he CHOOSE to appoint those people.

        He's the current President, and as long as he holds the title of sitting President, he is infinitely more powerful than any former President will ever be... He makes the decisions, he holds that power.

        Don't belittle him, or insult him by suggesting otherwise.  

        "It is through disobedience that progress has been made, through disobedience and through rebellion." Oscar Wilde, 1891

        by MichiganGirl on Sat Oct 10, 2009 at 07:41:04 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  You're correct, he holds total responsibility. (7+ / 0-)

          However you're really misinterpreting what I wrote in the most extreme way. I'm not calling Bill Clinton a puppet master, I'm calling him a bad influence particularly when it comes to economic issues. NAFTA, the Financial Services Modernization Act, the repeal of Glass-Steagall, and welfare reform - nuff said.

          Taking friendly advice from a former President is not being weak, and giving it does not make Bill Clinton devious. It just means that in my opinion he's taking advice (and advisors) from the wrong person. This is precisely what the argument was against Hillary during the primaries.

          •  My mind actually goes to the discussion (0+ / 0-)

            Obama and Hillary had at the Washington house of some gal I don't remember.

            I frankly didn't care what influence Bill might have on Obama, Hillary has been as bad if not worse. She is a friend - not member- of the Family. Or was. She voted to allow pharmacists to refuse to fill a prescription if they were morally opposed to the drug. Like birth control, the morning after pills.

            For all the economic issues you list, I suspect Clinton's legacy is not going to be all that good. The rare successful example of what Grayson alluded to when he said "You don't have to act like a Republican to beat a Republican."

            Meanwhile, as Moore, WOE, flitedocnm and others are urging, we need to keep speaking up, finding ways to get the message through.

            I am really in awe of Keith Olberman. 10K for every free clinic that group can set up. I would like to know more about Kaptor's idea on the Fed. Having the other Feds involved, not just Wall St.

            So I am wondering, if enough people transfered their checking and savings accounts out of those 4 banks to local and regional banks, would it get the attention of the CEOs, Geithner, Bernanke and Obama?

            Too much sanity may be madness. The maddest of all is to see the world as it is and not as it should be. Don Quixote "Man of La Mancha"

            by Ginny in CO on Sat Oct 10, 2009 at 06:22:01 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  Someone said Kaptur to be 1st female President... (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    gmb, Gorette, ebiker, StateofEuphoria

    But I can't remember where I heard it.

    How about Brown/Kaptur '12. Keep it in Ohio.

    •  The midwest deserves a president. Visiting (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      flitedocnm, StateofEuphoria

      Ohio, my birthplace, last fall after not having been there since the '70's, I was amazed it was surviving as well as it was. Cleveland was holding on it seemed, the old neighborhoods stood proud even with all the job losses and economic problems they've had for decades. So I think they must have some good sense they could impart to the country. Kaptur and Brown are great representatives of that spirit and ability to get to the heart of problems and fight corruption.

      I really don't understand how bipartisanship is ever going to work when one of the parties is insane. - John Cole

      by Gorette on Sat Oct 10, 2009 at 08:27:47 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  This is realistic because she can pull the . . (0+ / 0-)

      Paulite indys away and plant them back with Democratic progressives where they belong- thereby creating a real majority populist political party.

      "Democratize the Federal Reserve" - Ohio Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur

      by ebiker on Sat Oct 10, 2009 at 11:42:19 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I was intrigued by Kaptur's comment on (0+ / 0-)

        the FED being democratized. It would probably have a chance while getting rid of it doesn't stand a snowball's chance in a volcano (atheist version). I will try to check it out at her site. I've also wondered, instead of reenacting Glass-Steagal (updated) and the other laws, if we could craft a Constitutional Amendment so it wouldn't be so easy to dismantle the protections.

        Also need to beat the drums LOUD for public campaign financing. I wonder if we could get a law in that says, for every hour a congress critter spends with lobbyists, they have to spend X times that on constituent contacts (tc, in person, email, fax, snail mail.) Of course it would mean more record keeping.

        I had also been thinking Marcy could be a great POTUS or VPOTUS candidate. That's a woman I probably could support. Eyes wide open, focused and brain not over screening input. If Joe didn't want to go on in 12...

        Uneasy about trying to get Feingold instead of Obama in '12 (mentioned below). Very dicey right now, would have to set aside for reconsideration in '11 -'12.

        I didn't read Gorette's comment to mean she was suggesting the ticket, just that Ohio has 2 really good dems in DC.

        Too much sanity may be madness. The maddest of all is to see the world as it is and not as it should be. Don Quixote "Man of La Mancha"

        by Ginny in CO on Sat Oct 10, 2009 at 06:41:53 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Technically, that ticket is unconstitutional, (0+ / 0-)

      unless of course it's the Republican one.

    •  I hate to inject reality in a fantasy, but (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Both people on a ticket can't be from the same state.

      Now back to fantasy for 2012:

      How about Feingold/Kaptur?

    •  Can't do that. (0+ / 0-)

      There's a Constitutional requirement that the President and Vice President must be from different states.

      Renewable energy brings national security.

      by Calamity Jean on Sat Oct 10, 2009 at 08:41:00 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Thanks for the heads up - will watch at (5+ / 0-)

    another time, as it is past bedtime now!

    Your quotes and commentary reminded me of a diary I read many months ago which highlighted a congressperson who predicted what the repeal of Glass-steagall would do to a tee.  I cannot recall who it was - do you know?

    "Don't Bet Against Us" - President Barack Obama

    by MRA NY on Fri Oct 09, 2009 at 11:13:35 PM PDT

  •  Good diary - interesting info (14+ / 0-)

    We need financial system regulatory reform.

    And if you thought the healthcare industry was tough...

  •  Thanks for the tip... watching now. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    gmb, Quicksilver2723, polar bear


    "Clean Coal harnesses the awesome power of the word clean."

    by Dopeman on Fri Oct 09, 2009 at 11:17:11 PM PDT

  •  This is the side of the Obama Administration... (23+ / 0-)

    that can make a person realize where the priorities are.  He chose these these people to bail us out, and as Johnson said, it may be too late to regulate and reign in the banks' powers.

    Many here have finally seen that what Obama largely represents is an illusion of change, wearing the clothes of the status quo.  The world has not caught up in seeing the reality.  Hence, the Nobel for the illusion.  But after awhile it will become apparent to many of them also that America will plod much the same course as before, while speaking of a new way.  

    The Obama marketing tool is complete, but sooner or later the consumers come to know whether a product actually performs as represented.  In terms of the people and change, it seems not much will be realized, in economic terms or in health.  In terms of the world, we may not see much improvement on the ground either.

    •  Kindly fuck off (2+ / 2-)
      Recommended by:
      pwr2thepeople, Captain Antelope
      Hidden by:
      keikekaze, dark daze

      Jesus Christ

      Evolution is more grounded in my experience than angels-BHO

      by nokona on Fri Oct 09, 2009 at 11:32:50 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Kindly? (11+ / 0-)

        Is this more of the new kind of politics that so many Obama supporters so often told us about?

        Keep swallowing.

        •  They are ALL about civility LOL nt (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          gmb, 3goldens, willibro, bigchin

          "Jesus died for somebody's sins, but not mine" --Patti Smith

          by andrewj54 on Sat Oct 10, 2009 at 01:04:55 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Hmm, 23 recommends @ 11:24 pm 10/9 (0+ / 0-)

          While I never expected Obama to acheive as much as we need or want, I was totally with him on how much WE have to put into it and how long it will take.

          In a discussion about how slow the decisions on Federal Judge nominations are going, someone (Norman filling in for Big Eddie Fri?) pointed out that the AG dept is trying to drink water from a fire hose. No surprise there.

          Then there is the entrenched financial power that this post is highlighting, the Family embeds and power whisperers, MIC, the rest of corporate America, the RNC, DNC and Congress as wholly owned subsidiaries of all of the above.

          Personally, I'm not sure how your comment was any more constructive than KFO. It does have paragraphs. One of the biggest problems any of us have is how the hell to get enough people in this country to even try to grasp the enormity of the issues. All the more reason to get anyone you can to see Capitalism.

          I keep thinking of the African proverb Al Gore quoted in An Inconvenient Truth:

          If you have to go quickly, go alone.
          If you have to go far, go together.

          We have to do both. Small groups? How small?

          Too much sanity may be madness. The maddest of all is to see the world as it is and not as it should be. Don Quixote "Man of La Mancha"

          by Ginny in CO on Sat Oct 10, 2009 at 07:07:49 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Well...if you can't discern the difference... (0+ / 0-)

            that tells me plenty.  I dealt with a substantive issue that many do not see, purposefully or otherwise.  Nothing wrong drawing attention to that, as Moyers and his panel did as well.  You may not care for what I said, but it is a legitimate object of dicsussion and criticism.

            Yet you equate that with the reply, which I find rather ridiculous.

    •  Ah the Nobel-the envy, the resentment (7+ / 0-)

      I can smell something burning

      "Gives us a sense of momentum when the United States has accolades tossed its way rather than shoes."-09-Oct-09

      by soms on Fri Oct 09, 2009 at 11:36:31 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I don't resent anything (11+ / 0-)

        I am just stating what I believe.  

        Replies like this and the one above that go to non-issues.  The only way to disagree is to treat this by saying I am envious and resentful?  Is that truly a serious comment?

        If I am wrong in the end, fine.  However, I think your comment is rather stupid in its content.

        •  Why do you resent the fact that this guy said (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          askew, pwr2thepeople, mollyk

          this today and his cmte awarded Obama the NPP?

          "Gives us a sense of momentum when the United States has accolades tossed its way rather than shoes."-09-Oct-09

          by soms on Fri Oct 09, 2009 at 11:46:34 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Look, you have already lowered the level... (18+ / 0-)

            of discourse.  I have no real interest in having a discussion with one who starts off with a remark that shows you just don't get it.

            I can show you quotes from others, even in Oslo, who were not overwhelmed by the choice.

            All I said in my comment was that, just like many domestically have come to see that the promise of change was a campaign tactic, and many have, so may the international community come to see that the realities of global politics and power will show that America and Obama are not what they now expect.  As America acts in places like the Human Rights Council, the glow will fade and it will be business as usual for countries from the South.

            The way the banks have been treated as compared to the people is an example of what I was saying domestically.  I believe the Nobel choice of Obama was based on the illusion, and am not alone in this belief.  I will not be surprised if the illusion wears away, and America is seen again as the imperialistic force.  That is the norm.  It won't be like Bush, of course, but the metamorphosis will be similar to what has transpired with many here who now see Obama in a more realistic, less pleasing light.

            Yet you respond by sinking straight to the gutter.  Typical.

            I was in a heated debate last night with an Egyptian diplomat about I-P, yet we were respectful and remain good friends, even in disagreement.  Maybe you should learn how to engage another.

          •  thank you... very thoughtful discussion... (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            does not fit well into sound bites...

            the importance of the overall principles of the Nobel

            the message in a deeper sense ...he follows very strongly the ideals of the Nobel committee of 108 years

            "The Constitution does not just protect those whose views we share; it also protects those with whose views we disagree." -- Ted Kennedy

            by mollyk on Sat Oct 10, 2009 at 12:06:01 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  There is not unanimity... (9+ / 0-)

              in Oslo.  Only time will tell if this was a good selection or not.  That's the rub, in my view, as indicated below.  Perhaps more time should have passed.  Gorbachev had brought a sea change in his country.  Obama has not done that in America, and internationally he has created some ripples at best.  


              Nils Butenschon, director of the Norwegian Center for Human Rights at the University of Oslo and a well-known human rights champion in Norway, went so far as to say the committee has risked the authority of the peace prize by awarding it to Mr. Obama before he has accomplished much of substance.

              "It seems premature to me," Mr. Butenschon said. "I think the committee should be very careful with the integrity of the prize, and in this case I don’t think we are in a position to really evaluate the full impact of what this candidate has achieved. Sometimes of course the prize is awarded to people who are in the process of making history, so to speak, but in this case I think it is too early to know that."

          •  I am Very Happy.... (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            3goldens, willibro, soms, flitedocnm

            that our President won the Nobel Peace Prize.  Now I hope he starts working on winning the Nobel Prize for Economics!

            "Some men see things as they are and ask, 'Why?' I dream of things that never were and ask, 'Why not?"

            by Doctor Who on Sat Oct 10, 2009 at 07:40:59 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  I respectfully disagree. (28+ / 0-)

      In many respects, I share the sense of disappointment and even alarm when it comes to the economy.

      But I won't go so far as to say that Obama represents the illusion of change. He has already done many very valuable things, both tangible and intangible. He was handed an impossible job.

      But recognizing this doesn't mean that we should all sit back quietly and not push for the things that we believe to be important, and criticize when we think it's warranted. Obama himself has said on many occasions: Keep me honest.

      Does anyone here think that there would have been one iota of a chance that the Public Option would even be on the table now if the "left" hadn't pushed, and pushed and pushed some more? In the end, we may even get a reasonably good bill as a result.

      Obama is indeed smart. He's walking a tightrope. I wrote this diary not to be critical, but in the same spirit that has lead us to push for the public option --  because it's the right thing to do, and because Obama NEEDS us to do that.

      "But there is so much more to do." - Barack Obama, Nov. 4, 2008

      by flitedocnm on Fri Oct 09, 2009 at 11:48:28 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Precisely exactly (12+ / 0-)

        It's far too easy for some to find a scapegoat in all of this in President Obama rather than understanding the new expanded responsibility we all have in making the changes we want happen. The new election cycle is never over and we have to all adjust to this and step up to the plate.

        Look at the powerful forces lining up against Obama from all sides: oil companies, insurance companies, banks, and military contractors. You don't get that list of enemies by being a marketing tool. We all need to work with the president (and move him in our direction) to fight for progressive solutions to America's problems. The days of sitting around, watching this unfold on the Tee Vee, and complaining from the sidelines is over. If you don't make yourself part of the solution you really don't have any right to bitch if things don't go the way you want them to.

        •  I met a women recently (9+ / 0-)

          who was a teenager during the Great Depression. She told me the main difference between then and now is that the people were out in the streets protesting. They forced FDR to a progressive position. They wouldn't take anything less and often wanted him to do even more. During his first months FDR started out cutting spending...She is an amazing woman - in her 90s and still out on the street protesting, calling congress, et al.  

          Obama to his opponents: If you even dream of beating me you'd better wake up and apologize - Muhammad Ali

          by MB32 on Sat Oct 10, 2009 at 05:26:45 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Back then unemployment was at something (0+ / 0-)

            like 25%. It was a far worse situation for many.

            Today there's still a lot of people comfortable in their positions. That's a good thing, but not if you're looking for the numbers it would take to encourage people to get off their sofas and out of their back yards and hit the streets.

            For the most part we're still a very comfortable society.

            To whom it may concern. Waterboarding is torture. Torture is illegal. Sincerely, A. No Brainer.

            by Pescadero Bill on Sat Oct 10, 2009 at 10:47:41 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  Fair enough, though I disagree... (18+ / 0-)

        and have the growing sense that the illusion I mentioned will become even more apparent as we edge closer to the next election.

        When I see health "reform" unfold, it seems to me that it is just a football now, to say that we got something done.  But what will be done?  who will really benefit?  This is an example, and there are so many others.  Always a rationalization to explain away why the right thing, or the best thing, was not done, or even fought for.

        What better opportunity is there to get change than with the huge majorities that the Democrats and Obama have to work with?

        As Johnson said, because there has not been substantive changes in the economic structure, nor any intended, a Great Depression may be around the corner.  The bankers did not even show for Obama's speech to Wall Street.  Kaptur gets ignored.  Yet these wrongdoers are the ones who were given the reins of power, and they were with Obama from the start.  The country, in my view, was once again sold a bill of goods with slick marketing that masks the reality of who is running the government.

        Yes, it is Democrats, and much better than the other side.  But I wanted people to see just who these Democrats were, earlier, and to make more demands, which they did not.  And now they are hardly accountable and even tell us off and treat us on the Left as irrelevant nuisances or, as the replies I received above, as enemies.

        •  Well, perhaps we don't disagree after all. (20+ / 0-)

          I think the difference is a matter of how best to characterize our concerns and our disappointment, rather than arguing over the substance of the issues that need to be dealt with. From my perspective, I'm still hoping that it's not too late, that things can be turned around. But the pitfalls are many, and the obstacles are immense.

          I think what Moyers is doing is essential. He does what journalism is supposed to do, and what it so seldom does any more because journalism too has succumbed to Wall Street. And which is why when he presents a program like the one tonight, it needs as much publicity and dissemination as possible. Hence, this diary.

          Voices of conscience and reason need to be heard. We can be critical and forceful without being shrill; in fact, we are much too easily marginalized and dismissed as the "radical left" when we can be characterized as such, and our effectiveness is diminished.

          Conversely, blind support of Obama serves neither Obama nor the country.

          Moyers sets the example for us all, in my opinion.

          "But there is so much more to do." - Barack Obama, Nov. 4, 2008

          by flitedocnm on Sat Oct 10, 2009 at 12:26:52 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  As to Moyers, we agree 100% (13+ / 0-)

            There are not enough voices out there trying to get people to look at the reality in contrast to the illusion best exemplified by "reality" TV and infomercials and the merger of entertainment and news.  Moyers does this.  Further, he warns that this campaign of disinformation and dysfunction has spread deep into politics, driven by money and, yes, even Obama is playing the game.

            The clear evidence, to me, is to see just how many bought it, uncritically, and now continue to offer unyielding support lest they make him look weak.  All the while the dysfunction continues.  Is that change?

            So it goes.

            Appreciate the discussion.  I wish others could follow suit.

          •  And yet, for some reason, my PBS station (8+ / 0-)

            didn't air Moyers tonight. I always watch Moyers on that station. When he wasn't on tonight (they carried a rerun of an outdoors show), I assumed there was no show for some reason. Apparently they just didn't want to air it -- there was no reason given. And they are not going to run it later. (Moyers usually is rerun a second time at 1:00 am, but not this morning.)

            FWIW, I'm talking about Arkansas PBS (as in Blanche Lincoln and Mark Pryor). I have no idea that it should matter, but...Moyer has been hitting health care pretty hard every week for a month or more.

            I'll catch it online, but I'm going to follow up next week to find out what happened.

            Those who are too smart to engage in politics are punished by being governed by those who are dumber. ---Plato

            by carolita on Sat Oct 10, 2009 at 12:47:24 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  Agreed. Overgeneralizing is easy to do. (0+ / 0-)

        And in many ways the report card can't be filled out until some issues are worked out.

        Have to admit, his financial moves have made the TBTF reality even worse, despite the NYSE recovering temporarily.

        Bullshit is the glue that binds us as a nation. George Carlin

        by gereiztkind on Sat Oct 10, 2009 at 07:16:41 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  An example... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Cynic in seattle, Calamity Jean

        ...of the difference that Obama has made is in the extended unemployment that is available today -- available for over a year for many of the unemployed.  Does anyone think that we'd have seen the same willingness to extend unemployment under a President McCain?

        Yeah, unemployment isn't a substitute for a job -- but it's certainly better than nothing.  And nothing is what Republicans generally want to give to the unemployed.

        Political Compass: -6.75, -3.08

        by TexasTom on Sat Oct 10, 2009 at 08:13:59 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  I was expecting a moderate & (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      incrementalist, and I think we got precisely that.  As I noted time and time again during the primaries, he was the nearest thing to the Clinton II presidency we'd get, and that was exactly why I was voting for him.

      We are building a team that is continuously being built. - Sarah Palin

      by burrow owl on Sat Oct 10, 2009 at 04:32:40 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I'm proud to have a friend that helps (9+ / 0-)

    produce the show.  he's/they're awesome :)

    It is not upon you to finish the Work, but neither shall you, O child of freedom, refrain from it.

    by DoGooderLawyer on Fri Oct 09, 2009 at 11:27:28 PM PDT

  •  Moyers is an excellent journalist (13+ / 0-)

    and he does ask thought provoking and hard questions, he doesn't kowtow to conventional thinking or party lines.

    But I'm still not sure how I feel about his.  Obama has very conservative financial advisors.  But he does have a tendency to 'get things', he understood the loan deregulation problems were huge fairly early compared to some who lived in denial and still do.   Whether he will go far enough, I don't know.  

    Just today he addressed one aspect, the easier aspect in my opinion, but one he may be more comfortable with as well, consumer protections by reorganizing the regulatory agencies. We'll see how this battle goes.  It won't be easy.

    And again, sometimes I marvel at how much people lose sight of time,  less than a year, and complicated financial regulations haven't been entirely overhauled and people are already saying the sky is falling.  These are not easy regulations to write and the risk of rushing is that they are full of holes or end up with an unintended consequence worse than the original ill.  Undoing decades worth of damage of the process of deregulation and permissive rule writing may take two terms,  not just nine months.  The first thing whenever you find yourself in a deep hole is to stop digging.  Then you can find a way out.  

    The world financial markets were in free fall, stopping going down in an avalanche was the work of the first months.  Fixing so itcan't happen again may be the work of years.

    •  There are some things that could and should have (16+ / 0-)

      been done immediately.

      Like: structure the bailout so that the money was given to the people losing their homes, not to the banks.

      And not give Goldman-Sachs the keys to the treasury. As Johnson discusses on the show, they now have DIRECT ACCESS TO THE FED. They can practically mint money. If anything was accomplished during this crisis, it was to wipe out Goldman's historical competitor (Lehmann), and absolutely consolidate their control of the banking and investment system.

      Yes, things moved quickly. But there were decisions that WERE made quickly, and the concern is that they were not the best decisions.

      "But there is so much more to do." - Barack Obama, Nov. 4, 2008

      by flitedocnm on Fri Oct 09, 2009 at 11:32:45 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I know this will not come (11+ / 0-)

        as a suprise to anyone, but sometimes the procedural rules in Congress and especially the Senate are a tad fucked.   What should be done with a simple majority can't be done with a simple majority.  So what should have be done is not what could have been done.  The votes weren't there.

        And yes, the too big to fail have gotten bigger.  And direct access to borrowing from the Fed, and TARP money without meaningful strings allowed a few favored institutions unfair advantage.

        Things are still being held together with baling twine and bubble gum.   Numerous banks (a plethora?) are still insolvent.   The Fed has printed money and that will come back to bite us in the ass.   Our debt will bite us in the ass.

        When this was happening, I firmly believed it was already past fixing.  I still believe it is.   Over eighteen months ago, before the primaries even cranked up and the candidates winnowed down, before Lehmann and the others failed, I was sure the system would fail in total.  Collapse, implode.  The question is whether a somewhat softer landing could be achieved.  I still think all we can really achieve is slowing the crash.  The time for comprehensive new regulation will come when we start picking up the pieces.   But I try not to think out loud that way too often, its too depressing.

      •  i applaud the consumer protection agency, but (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        burrow owl, flitedocnm, thethinveil

        i fear the consolidation of regulatory power in the Fed that the WH wants. i don't think Congress will give it to them.

        •  Well, the proposal would still permit the states (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          zett, MichiganGirl, polar bear

          to regulate provided their regulations are stricter.  So there's consolidation, but not total preemption.  

          I don't think the proposed agency will do any good.  Various agencies and authorities have had all the same powers, and we didn't see any consumer financial products banned or even regulated.

          We are building a team that is continuously being built. - Sarah Palin

          by burrow owl on Sat Oct 10, 2009 at 04:30:17 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  This is the 2nd peerless comment I have read (4+ / 0-)

      from you today. Goes to show you can really dig diamonds out of dirt. Thank you.

      "Gives us a sense of momentum when the United States has accolades tossed its way rather than shoes."-09-Oct-09

      by soms on Fri Oct 09, 2009 at 11:33:39 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I don't know that I would say "conservative" (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      zett, polar bear, CherryTheTart, Wom Bat

      in discussing the advisers that some here (including me) have some problems with.

      I would say that the problem is not their economic philosophy as such, it is more their possible bias and their possible alliance with the people and firms they are supposed to be regulating and monitoring. Bias may be inadvertent, understand. If they merely define success in terms of the success of the firms and not the success of the common people, then we have a problem.

  •  Kaptur's a great Member of Congress (16+ / 0-)

    I work full-time with the FDL team on health reform thanks to your donations.

    by slinkerwink on Fri Oct 09, 2009 at 11:32:07 PM PDT

  •  Fire the 'Generals' - including Rahm (7+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ovals49, gmb, zett, CWalter, elwior, jazzence, polar bear

    I am trying to believe that Obama is a victim of bad advice...

    Rahm and his 'win' at all costs philosophy - i.e. give away the farm so it appears as a win in name only - has to go.

    It is sad - Dr. Dean gets the win in 2008 ...and the damn DLC wonks get the power.

    "But such is the irresistable nature of truth, that all it asks, and all it wants is the liberty of appearing." -Thomas Paine

    by Tommymac on Sat Oct 10, 2009 at 12:12:41 AM PDT

  •  I love Rep. Marcy Kaptur of Ohio... (9+ / 0-)

    between Marcy and Alan we can anything done!

    dems with spines:
    some kinda eccentric
    some quite elegant

    it's a beautiful thing.
    ahhhh :-D

    122 Americans will die today because they don't have health insurance!

    by ridemybike on Sat Oct 10, 2009 at 12:21:12 AM PDT

  •  Moyers is a liar (0+ / 0-)

    Fox News and the rest of the corporate media wouldn't be criticizing every more he makes if he was on their side.

    The word public option wouldn't come out of his mouth. He would drop the capital gains tax to zero like Limbaugh suggested. He wouldn't tax the wealthy or go after tax haves like UBS provides.

  •  Obama is pushing for a consumer prot agency but (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    gmb, CWalter, dark daze, Loose Fur

    he's in with Wall Street. The crooked U.S. media is always on the attack and that more than anything tells me he's on the right course.

  •  What got me in the program - Obama read it! (23+ / 0-)

    Discussing Obama's speech on the financial situation, Sept. 14 2009.

    Moyers: A reality check. Not one CEO of a Wall Street bank was there to hear the president. What do you make of that?

    Johnson: Arrogance, because they have no fear of the government any more. They have no respect for the president, which I find absolutely extraordinary and shocking, right? And... and I think they have no, not an ounce of gratitude for the American people who saved them, their jobs, and... and the way they run the world.

    "If you don't use your majorities, you lose your majorities."

    by SteinL on Sat Oct 10, 2009 at 12:41:42 AM PDT

  •  So sad to see all the negative energy on the Left (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Matt Z, Loose Fur

    Wow. Support for the President="blind support" huh?.Obama=Louis XIV? How sad to be that intellectually bankrupt. Is this what Progressives do now? Do we turn policy disagreements, and disagreements about Cabinet and advisers into character flaws?

    I believe there is a segment on the Left that believed the election of an African-American signaled a revolution whereby corporate interests would be greatly curtailed and that entrenched power would dissipate because Obama would "fight" and 'lead" and all those bad elements would fall at his under a year!

    While the country is not a center-right country, it is also not as Left as Moore, Moyers, Krugman, and all the elite Obama critics on the Left and in the blogosphere. I wish it wasn't that way, but it is and the President is not an ideologue and many are thankful for that.

    You want this massive change, the kind you say you want to believe in? Then you need to foment a revolution, You need to change the hearts and minds of many of your fellow citizens because merely electing a President isn't enough. You must change the very structure of government. It is not the 1930's, or the 60's anymore, sorry.

    You'll get your chance to help the GOP win in 2012, but you will not be successful. There is no Dem to the Left of Obama (or the right) that can beat him, and as of right now, the country is not in the mood to make a change. The Republicans don't have anyone either.

    Sadly you're now reduced to waiting for, maybe even hoping for,any bad news to sustain your contempt for the President and anyone who supports him. How awful to find yourselves closer to the Conservatives than the President and majority of the electorate.

    "Most people would sooner die than think; in fact, they do so." ...Bertrand Russell

    by sebastianguy99 on Sat Oct 10, 2009 at 01:12:28 AM PDT

    •  Wow. Where to start. OK -- (16+ / 0-)

      My comment about "blind support" was not meant to equate to all support for Obama. It was simply to suggest that supporting Obama does not mean that we can never be critical of him. Because, there is a sense of that here, too. Anytime anyone writes anything at all critical about any of Obama's policies, or appointments, there are wails of protest that any such criticism equates to HATING Obama or thinking that he is not better than Bush. Sorry, but that is simply childish.

      Obama has said on many occasions -- Keep me honest. Push me. Correct me. And I have never doubted his sincerity in his saying this.

      It is not only completely disingenuous, but absolutely counterproductive, to make comments like "You'll get your chance to help the GOP win". I have a hard time being diplomatic in answering this, because that is complete and utter bullshit, and I suspect you know it.

      My "contempt for the President"?? Hardly. I, along with the vast majority of people here who criticize specific policies or decisions, are anything but contemptuous. In fact, I have been a fervent supporter from long before he was elected, and I continue to be a fervent supporter. But that does not equate to sitting down and shutting up and never saying anything critical.

      As I said above, if we had all been sitting down and shutting up and not working to counter the overwhelming corporate influence in Congress and in the MSM, there would be not a trace of a public option in the health care bill. Is that what you would prefer?

      "But there is so much more to do." - Barack Obama, Nov. 4, 2008

      by flitedocnm on Sat Oct 10, 2009 at 01:28:28 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I think President Obama sees us... (6+ / 0-) partners, not serfs, in this challenge.

        He welcomes vigorous debate without reference to his personal career.

        These problems are OUR problems, not his problems alone.  I don't see President Obama as having a savior complex but as a catalyst to getting people together to get things done.

        He has indicated more than once that criticism comes with the territory.  He facilitates solutions, he isn't THE solution.

        Perhaps some people are still getting that mixed up after the insane cult of personality that characterized the last administration.

      •  So challenging of criticism=blind support (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Matt Z, Loose Fur

        First, I think you read my response as directed to you and you only, I think that clearly is not the case.

        . Anytime anyone writes anything at all critical about any of Obama's policies, or appointments, there are wails of protest that any such criticism equates to HATING Obama or thinking that he is not better than Bush. Sorry, but that is simply childish.

        Well gee, I have seen people equate him with Bush, call him a "one-timer", a sellout, challenge is manhood, his courage, challenge his intellect, in other words, turning policy differences into character flaws.

        That is why people pushback on the criticism. There is also a tendency for critics to believe that but for Obama's lack of leadership, the Senate would do as he dictates.

        Then there are the constant threats, "If he doesn't do......then I will not support him and he cannot win without me and people like me"

        I'm sorry but just because Obama said what  he did does not mean that people are entitled to not have their criticism challenge. His statement did not immunize anyone from being called out when their comments are not constructive and their criticism in some cases, unsupported.

        For example, you use his quote a a license, taking his words to be literal and also sincere. Yet despite speeches, town hall meetings, etc... voicing is support for a Public Option, people continue to insist that those words mean nothing and they "don't know where he stands".

        Again, there was much more to my response than what you decided to deal with. That is unfortunate because it really does get to the heart of how real change take heart, one mind at a time. Electing a President doesn't destroy corporate power. Electing a President does not mean that the electorate is as leftward as the left blogosphere (same for the Right).

        Also, the only one that are disappointed with the President are Conservatives and a certain segment of the Left, which is odd only 9 months into his tenure. I do not think it is "blind loyalty" to suggest that it is way too soon to be discussing a primary challenge especially when the public seems satisfied with his performance.

        Lastly, the idea that challenging criticism is "childish" because there are no legitimate grounds for doing so is out of place in a reality-based community.It is that kind of attitude that raises questions of "purity" and such.

        Like I said, 2012 will be here sooner than you think and folks (whether that is you or not) have the right to mount whatever challenge turns them on. I'd hate to see him primaried, but  beating back a challenge from his Left would be an excellent contrast and take away the effectiveness of the "most liberal" meme the Right always deploys during the General Election.

        Best of luck.

        "Most people would sooner die than think; in fact, they do so." ...Bertrand Russell

        by sebastianguy99 on Sat Oct 10, 2009 at 02:59:18 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Mostly I disagree, but I do agree with this: (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      We must not turn disagreements on policy and personnel choices into character assassination of people supposedly on our side.  

      Through our disappointment in Obama and Democrats, we have to imagine how things would be if McCain were president.  

      "I'm going to need ordinary Americans to stand up and say, now is the time." Barack Obama, July 1, 2009

      by keeplaughing on Sat Oct 10, 2009 at 09:13:45 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  How about this: Every criticism of PBO should be (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      sebastianguy99, flitedocnm

      framed with criticism of Republicans and ConservaDems. There's a big difference between, "Obama has sold us out!" and "Obama isn't doing enough to stop Boehner and McConnell from selling us out in Congress!".

      I believe that the bulk of "indy" voters can't figure out the substance of the issues, so they vote for candidate who just appear honest or decisive. And they will swing between Dems and 'Pubs based on that perception.

      BushCheney Inc. - They lied to me, they lied to you, they lied to our troops.

      by jjohnjj on Sat Oct 10, 2009 at 11:17:10 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Great diary, rhanks nt (6+ / 0-)

    "Jesus died for somebody's sins, but not mine" --Patti Smith

    by andrewj54 on Sat Oct 10, 2009 at 01:17:00 AM PDT

  •  Here's to... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    burrow owl, gmb, flitedocnm

    ...Louis the XIV.

  •  I haven't watched Kaptur in "Capitalism" yet... (8+ / 0-)

    But having just watched her on Moyer's show and seeing her a number of times on C-Span, (in which she kicked ass) I would work my tail off to elect her POTUS, should she ever decide to pursue higher office.

    I think she'd make an excellent first woman POTUS.

    "Banking establishments are more dangerous than standing armies." - Thomas Jefferson 1816

    by markthshark on Sat Oct 10, 2009 at 01:34:37 AM PDT

  •  Just got home from the theater. Capitalism should (7+ / 0-)

    be required viewing for every US citizen.

    "It strikes me as gruesome and comical that in our culture we have an expectation that a man can always solve his problems" - Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.

    by jazzence on Sat Oct 10, 2009 at 01:51:07 AM PDT

  •  sometimes it feels... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JanL, MichiganGirl, polar bear if this is the oracle being consulted by those who manage our economy and our nation.

    It does seem to me that the previous administration allowed no time for our legislature to deliberate before committing to this perilous course of bailouts.  Someone compared it to yelling fire in a crowded theater.  Sorta like the WMD lies they told about know, mushroom clouds and such.

    So if there's a certain momentum in one direction, how would one go about correcting course rapidly without crashing everything?  

    I think this problem is going to require corrections over a longer period of time.  The question in my mind is if the people in our nation's congress are able to rise to the occasion like statesmen/women or if they're just hopeless idiot legacies running around with their hair on fire.

    Time will tell.

    Great diary.  I sent the video out to everyone I know.  Thanks!

  •  'they said that about Louis XIV'--love it* (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    gmb, flitedocnm
  •  Moyers never, ever, disappoints. (7+ / 0-)

    He may focus on things that are disappointing, but he always gets to the heart of the matter.  What does/should cause us dismay is that so many people can ignore the irrefutable truths Moyers' show brings to light, week after week.  

    The fact that both the citizenry and those in power can go blissfully forward with debacle after disaster in the face of those truths speaks volumes about where we find ourselves.  Despite the high hopes of the candidacy and election of President Obama, we are seeing just how nearly impossible it is to ever change things for the better.  Heaven help us all.

    -7.62, -7.28 "Hold fast to dreams, for if dreams die, life is a broken winged bird that cannot fly." -Langston Hughes

    by luckylizard on Sat Oct 10, 2009 at 03:43:51 AM PDT

  •  The Perfect System, in Ten Easy Steps (6+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    gmb, JanL, bigchin, Matt Z, flitedocnm, polar bear

    (1) Elect Obama as excellent but imperfect president, and far less perfect Democratic Congress
    (2) Watch as Obama picks an important issue to attack, and thrill to the prospect of change
    (3) Watch as things don't change immediately
    (4) Wait six months, and feel your blood pressure rise
    (5) Get pissed off
    (6) Watch in disbelief as mainstream media creates fog obfuscating what it really going on
    (6) Marvel as Bill Moyers' simple, clean, substantive, reality-based perspective cuts through the fog, and reminds you what's really at stake, who's to blame, who's telling the truth, and how it can be fixed, one issue at a time.
    (7) Get REALLY pissed off, even more motivated, and push even harder than you were pushing before to get excellent but imperfect president, and far less perfect Congress, to do the right thing.
    (8) Watch as it begins to become less comfortable for excellent but imperfect president, and far less perfect Congress, not to do the right thing, and they begin to do the right thing they said they were going to do in the first place.
    (9) [Hopefully] a robust public option.
    (10) Rinse, and repeat steps 2-10.

    "Many of life's failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up."
                                                                                                -Thomas Edison

  •  Wow! (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    gmb, Matt Z, flitedocnm, polar bear

    Thought provoking, a little depressing, and not entirely surprising.

    Unfortunately, most of my friends probably aren't interested in hearing the vid, but I'm planning to share it with those who are curious about where things currently stand.

  •  This speech was in Moore's movie Capitalism (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    gmb, polar bear

    a hard rain's gonna fall

    by Paul Goodman on Sat Oct 10, 2009 at 04:53:01 AM PDT

  •  abolish the fed (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    gmb, Ann T Bush

    it's time

    The fights that matter have never been waged based on probability of success.
    Single payer now!

    by Cedwyn on Sat Oct 10, 2009 at 05:09:26 AM PDT

  •  For the life of me I can't understand why (7+ / 0-)

    the Democrats don't take advantage of
    the populist sentiment in the Rust Belt states.
    Penn, Ohio, Michigan, Indiana etc. are waiting for a leader/s to reanimate the old labor union sentiment in their souls. Focusing on  global economic stability is not something those people can relate to. We're not out of the woods! Bottom up is bottom up and there's no place better than to rile up the natural progressives and populists than in the heart of old industrial America. Go Marcy and Alan!!

    •  The reason Dems aren't using this is sad... (4+ / 0-)

      ... and simple. The Marcy Kapturs of the world are few and far between in Congress. The money flowing from these corporate giants into political coffers perverts individuals and the parties, themselves.

      It's all about the getting re-elected and the next election. And the bulk of the money for all of these races comes from corporations who pour funds into the parties and get what they want in return.

  •  Why (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    gmb, bigchin, MichiganGirl, littlebird33

    doesn't Marcy and Sherrod or SOMEBODY start putting bills on the floor for reform? Then we could really root out the snakes in congress.

    "If fighting for a more equal and equitable distribution of the wealth of this country is socialistic, I stand guilty of being a socialist." Walter Reuther

    by fugwb on Sat Oct 10, 2009 at 06:37:01 AM PDT

    •  I know there has been a few bills (6+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      fugwb, slatsg, gmb, bigchin, flitedocnm, polar bear

      introduced, including one by Representative Grayson; but they've all been ignored, and left sitting in committee.

      And I personally believe you'd have an easier time getting HR676 - Medicare for All, through the 111th congress than you would passing any sorts of meaningful regulation on the finance industries.

      You think the insurance industries have bought congress?

      Well the financial industry gives members of congress a hell of a lot more money than the insurance industry ever has, and they have a hell of a lot more money to spend on lobbying than the insurance industry does if the subject of financial regulation were to ever be taken seriously in the houses of the United State Congress...

      Trying to pass new meaningful financial regulations would make the health care fight seem like child's play.  

      "It is through disobedience that progress has been made, through disobedience and through rebellion." Oscar Wilde, 1891

      by MichiganGirl on Sat Oct 10, 2009 at 07:12:13 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  There is a whiff of 'Ancien Regime' in the air (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    gmb, hoolia, bigchin, flitedocnm, polar bear

    for sure, as of late...

    The well-known phenomena of pshychological projection and confirmation bias account for 198% of conservative so-called 'ideas'

    by power2truth on Sat Oct 10, 2009 at 06:51:00 AM PDT

  •  I watched the show last night (6+ / 0-)

    ... and it was very disturbing. I don't listen/watch Olberman or Moore. But I am a Moyers regular. I am disturbed by the arrogance of the execs on Wall Street. And no one bothered to attend the president's speech? Speaks volumes. Time to change the game Mr. Obama and hold these folks accountable.

    No fear No envy No meanness

    by raomdc on Sat Oct 10, 2009 at 07:17:13 AM PDT

  •  there was fraud, where's the prosecution ? (8+ / 0-)

    That's the real tragedy here and what irritates me even more than Geithner and Summers.  As Kaptur said, hire 1000 more fraud investigators into the Justice department and put them to work.

    We got into this mess because financial instruments were represented as viable when they were not. That's FRAUD.

    Instead of going to jail Goldman-Sachs executives got a fucking checking account at the shed.

    Kaptur is right on, people being foreclosed on should stay in their homes.

    big badda boom : GRB 080913

    by squarewheel on Sat Oct 10, 2009 at 07:29:33 AM PDT


    The compelling discussion with Kaptur and Johnson, the brilliant commentary about the state of health care reform, and the thoughtful tribute to a fascinating adventurer and friend— all added up to a great hour of television.

    It makes me so sad  - and angry - that the ratings for his show probably were dwarfed by whatever forgettable junk was playing on the networks.

    That's why I'm forwarding the link to this program to friends and family.  I hope others here will consider doing the same.  :-)


    •  Week after week (5+ / 0-)

      Bill Moyers produces QUALITY television. I always come out more informed and in awe of some of the brilliant people he interviews on the show. I try to spread the word (on facebook and elsewhere) but I don't know if people are interested in quality television like this as much as the shouting match and pithy sound bites and ireports that go on elsewhere. If I had switched to other networks last night, I'll bet it would have been all about whether Obama deserved the Nobel and nothing to do with actual crap that is going on in this world. So much for serious journalism. Makes me sad.

      ps: I have dvds of Moyers interviewing Joe Campbell in the 80s. Great stuff!

      No fear No envy No meanness

      by raomdc on Sat Oct 10, 2009 at 08:24:07 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Two Thoughts Come to Mind (9+ / 0-)

    First, I have to disagree with Mr. Johnson on one point.  That we have already missed the opportunity of the 2008 financial crisis to achieve real regulatory reform of the broken financial system.  In the words of that Icon of the Animal House era, "It ain't over until we say it is!"  Right now the administration, congress and we the people are all focused on health insurance reform, and rightly so because of its devastating effect on all of us.  Now I don't mean that financial reform is less important, but if you have to pick which one to do first, I have to agree that health comes first.  And to those saying, why not work on both at the same time, I can only say that each of these problems is so large and so complex that they both deserve the administrations, congresses and our undivided attention.  So once we have succeeded in getting meaningful health reform legislation passed, I still think we can get meaningful financial reform through, if we take it on with the same level of focus, fervor and fury that we have mustered during this health reform fight.

    Second, I've always thought that the first thing we need to do in fighting these big complex financial firms, is to unmask the people behind them.  That is what Micheal Moore begins to do in his film.  How often have we heard on the news: "Today, Goldman Sachs foreclosed on 10,000 mortgages" or " J.P. Morgan Chase fired thousands of low level employees", etc.  Folks, there are real people behind each and every decision these big corporations make.  People who enjoy profiting from these decisions and being able to hide behind the generic banner of the corporation.  The political muckrakers among us must also be corporate muckrakers, and unmask the individuals behind these decisions that benefit the few and hurt the many.  Once unmasked, we can proceed with legislation that give corporations not only the benefits of "personhood", but also make them subject to the responsibilities of "personhood", by making each and every corporate decision maker personally responsible for his or her decisions in both a criminal and civil sense.  That is the only way these CEOs who are morally baron will ever even give a thought to the ramifications there decisions have on you and me.

    "Some men see things as they are and ask, 'Why?' I dream of things that never were and ask, 'Why not?"

    by Doctor Who on Sat Oct 10, 2009 at 07:34:22 AM PDT

  •  Something is seriously wrong (5+ / 0-)

    I mean SERIOUSLY wrong. I don't think it has to do with Obama, with Democrats, maybe even with Republicans. It has to do with corpratists politicians in both parties and teh fact that banks can line their coffers like whores. Something needs to change. THAT particular change will lead to a domino affect.

    "I don't want a line in the Sand lines can be moved. They can be blown away. I want a six foot trench carved into granite."

    by theone718 on Sat Oct 10, 2009 at 07:37:06 AM PDT

    •  Yes. And that change is greatly threatened not (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      3goldens, polar bear

      only by the fact that the corporations are already so deeply entrenched in Congress (as Moyers points out very effectively in the second segment on health care reform), but perhaps even more ominously by the prospect of an upcoming SCOTUS decision which has the potential to further strengthen the "personhood" of corporations -- which could not only make more substantial reform of campaign contributions impossible, but might invalidate what little is already in place. And I have no idea what to do to influence that. I can only imagine the reaction to any attempt to amend the Constitution to state that corporations do not enjoy the rights of personhood.

      "But there is so much more to do." - Barack Obama, Nov. 4, 2008

      by flitedocnm on Sat Oct 10, 2009 at 07:58:30 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  we are in a great restructure (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    3goldens, polar bear

    downwards with the american middle class in free fall.

    if obama doesn't wake up soon, we are toast.

    We must practice `pessimism of the intellect, optimism of the will.' Antonio Gramsci

    by fernan47 on Sat Oct 10, 2009 at 07:44:29 AM PDT

    •  I would amend your last statement to say, (5+ / 0-)

      "If AMERICA doesn't wake up soon, we are toast. Obama can't change that without broad public support. The powers that be are simply to powerful.

      Which is why Moyers, and Moore, and the very few others like them that have the ability and the courage to get the word out, are so vitally important.

      "But there is so much more to do." - Barack Obama, Nov. 4, 2008

      by flitedocnm on Sat Oct 10, 2009 at 08:00:24 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Let them eat cake! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    polar bear

    And if they don't have cake, tooooooooooo bad!

  •  Baucus's Left Hand Woman (4+ / 0-)

    The Wellpoint Queen sitting behind the "good" Senator when he explained how he couldn't possibly be the 57th vote for Rockerfeller's hc proposal.

    What a betrayal.

  •  WARNING to would-be squatters! (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SarahLee, cotterperson, littlebird33

    unless you have a lawyer that can put his or her finger on that mortgage, you don't have that mortgage, and you are going to find they can't find the paper up there on Wall Street. So I say to the American people, you be squatters in your own homes. Don't you leave.

    This does not work in condos or townhomes where assessments are paid.  I have friends that tried to squat in their condo w/o paying their mortgage.  (They knew the actual mortgage papers were likely in China or something...)  They were evicted by the management company for failure to pay their assessments (which had been paid out of an escrow account tied to the mortgage).

  •  Thoroughly depressing, but not surprising. (6+ / 0-)

    A good accompanying piece to read along with this Moyers' interview is Good Billions After Bad by investigative reporters Donald L. Barlett and James B. Steele in this month's Vanity Fair.

    Until there is real campaign finance reform that takes the power out of the hands of large business groups -- whether its financial services, health care or defense contractors -- the system will continue to reward the rich and powerful over the average citizen.

    And the money flowing from these lobbying groups to Congress almost guarantees that real campaign finance reform will not happen, particularly with John Roberts and his corporatist cronies, now in full command of the Supreme Court, ready to bestow "full personhood" on corporations.

    In short, we're fucked.

  •  Reform or Collapse.. (5+ / 0-)

    America cannot survive another series of bubble collapses. The people simply do not have the reserves of capital.

    Unless Obama becomes FDR very very soon, we are facing the worst political, social, economic and moral collapse we have ever seen, including the Civil War, Depression, and WW2. Combined. There is not much time. We cannot be frigging around in Afghanistan chasing a few terrorists. We cannot be frigging around debating the merits of Dont Ask Dont Tell, or the price of oil, or the price of anything. We are facing the worst disaster since the Civil War, armed to the teeth with nuclear weapons.

    And there are actors waiting on the sidelines, waiting to pick up the pieces. We do NOT want this century to be the Century of China. The time to accomplish economic and financial reform, reform seriously and deeply, is now. Actually it was yesterday, but now will have to do.

    Figures don't lie, but liars do figure-Mark Twain

    by OregonOak on Sat Oct 10, 2009 at 08:47:55 AM PDT

  •  Healthcare needs to be passed FIRST! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    After that, President Obama can pretty much do anything including firing Sumner and Geithner.  Unfortunately, they know to untangle the mess.  I hope that Obama does a clean sweep of the financial institution and take back the Federal Reserve.  Rep Alan Grayson is on the verge of uncovering some pretty nasty stuff about what the Federal Reserve has been doing.

  •  We need a revolution. Obama could do worse than (0+ / 0-)

    to leave the country ripe for Revolution.  

    "I'm going to need ordinary Americans to stand up and say, now is the time." Barack Obama, July 1, 2009

    by keeplaughing on Sat Oct 10, 2009 at 09:04:57 AM PDT

    •  You mean like this guy is proposing? -- (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Revolutions always -- ALWAYS -- consume and destroy the people who start them. If you are talking about a true revolution, with guns and open revolt, then you need to read some more history. The fellow in this video would be only too willing to accommodate your wish.

      "But there is so much more to do." - Barack Obama, Nov. 4, 2008

      by flitedocnm on Sat Oct 10, 2009 at 09:12:48 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Like the one that our country is founded on? (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        keeplaughing, keikekaze

        Stupid George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, etc.

        "Only now with the advent of potato day has tyranny come to our shores." - Jon Stewart

        by methinshaw on Sat Oct 10, 2009 at 09:58:19 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  That was against a foreign power. Despite the (0+ / 0-)

          name, the American Revolution wasn't a revolution as much as a war by a united group of colonial states to throw out a colonial occupier.

          A real armed revolution here, now would destroy this country. By the way -- the wingnuts have a huge arsenal, and are ready to use it. Perhaps you've noticed?

          "But there is so much more to do." - Barack Obama, Nov. 4, 2008

          by flitedocnm on Sat Oct 10, 2009 at 11:00:22 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Britain was not a foreign power! This land (0+ / 0-)

            was settled by the British, and America was part of Britain.  The Revolutionaries were disgruntled British subjects.

            Now if you want to tell me that Native American peoples are the ones who fought and won the American Revolution against the British, then I'll consider your point.

            "I'm going to need ordinary Americans to stand up and say, now is the time." Barack Obama, July 1, 2009

            by keeplaughing on Sat Oct 10, 2009 at 05:33:19 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Well, yes, they were British subjects. Point (0+ / 0-)

              taken. BUT, there is still a major difference between colonies throwing out a geographically distant colonial power to become a new nation, and a mature nation undergoing a violent revolution to overturn a longstanding system of government. An imperfect historical analogy that perhaps is more apt would be the French Revolution, which DID consume those who started the revolution. Yes, in the end, France emerged a better nation -- many years, and many thousands of deaths, later. I repeat -- the only faction in this nation that is armed to the teeth is the wingnut faction. Exactly who is going to rise up in armed revolt -- the kossacks? I don't think so. I'm simply trying to inject some reality into the throwaway concept that we need a revolution. I'd buy the concept of an intellectual revolution. But armed revolt? I don't think so.

              "But there is so much more to do." - Barack Obama, Nov. 4, 2008

              by flitedocnm on Sun Oct 11, 2009 at 11:16:43 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

  •  tipped, rec'd & tweeted... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    financial reform, employment, climate change, Afghanistan...after HCR, what's next?

    Too many books, too little time. . . .

    by papicek on Sat Oct 10, 2009 at 09:41:20 AM PDT

  •  Put Kaptur in charge of the DNC (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jlynne, bigchin, flitedocnm
  •  Simon Johnson (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bigchin, Amber6541, flitedocnm

    now at MIT's Sloan school of management, former chief economist for the IMF now seems to be on our side. Here is a link to his website I plan on camping out there, and improving my economic I.Q.

    Abolish the Homeland Scrutiny Department.

    by hoplite9 on Sat Oct 10, 2009 at 10:34:34 AM PDT

  •  What would have happened if no bail out? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jlynne, keikekaze, CMYK

    It US had simply let the highly leveraged banks and insurance companies fail what would have happened?

    FDIC would have taken over the regular banks as they failed, protecting most depositors money.  AIG, Lehman, et al would be gone. The banking system would be run by FDIC, protecting people's money, lending to business as usual.  Mortgages could be renegotiated based on the 80% decline in value.

    Would the economic collapse have been any worse than we are in now?  We would have saved $800B.

    •  It would've been far worse. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      All of the large banks would've failed, bringing down world finance with it.  It would've been cataclysm.  

      We are building a team that is continuously being built. - Sarah Palin

      by burrow owl on Sat Oct 10, 2009 at 11:57:56 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  It would have been worse (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      bigchin, CMYK

      much worse, but probably for a shorter length of time and the future would ultimately look better.  Collapse would have forced the reforms that have been left undone for far too long.  It would have forced us to reinvent ourselves.  

      Some argue we were ill-prepared to do that in any positive or meaningful way . . . that's probably also true, and reinventing ourselves could well have meant the loss of even the flimsy smokescreen we hold up to prove that we are still a representative democracy.

      Someday, we'll fix it - we'll have to.  Apparently, that won't be today.

      "Rules must be binding. Violations must be punished. Words must mean something." President Obama in Prague on April 5

      by jlynne on Sat Oct 10, 2009 at 12:12:00 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Doubtful the bailout did anything. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        Hard to point to anything the bailout prevented.  

        Take AIG. It fails, those who had insurance claims with AIG for its bond insurance lose money but so what?

        The basic US banking system of FDIC banks would be fine, with FDIC insuring deposits, taking over banks that failed.

        •  The bailout protected (0+ / 0-)

          everyone's 401Ks.  

          "Rules must be binding. Violations must be punished. Words must mean something." President Obama in Prague on April 5

          by jlynne on Sat Oct 10, 2009 at 07:00:46 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Getting rid of pensions and shifting the burden (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            of retirement savings and losses to individuals has paid off handsomely for Wall Street in more ways than one. Being able to hold 401Ks as hostage is a feature of that design. And though banks were bailed out to previous executive-bonus levels, many 401Ks have decidedly not recovered. Not such good protection, as it turns out. Except for the banks, of course.

  •  Wow...... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jlynne, flitedocnm

    Thank you for writing this diary and providing the video. This is beyond disturbing. We may very well be looking at another Depression if things don't change.

  •  Good diary ... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    ... except for this:

    The second segment is on health care reform, and the revolving door of influence and money. Very well done, but few surprises there for kossacks.

    I thought Moyers' essay on the health care lobby was one of the best of its kind I've seen, regardless of whether it contained any 'surprises' or not. The takedown of Baucus - and his staff - was brutal. Should be required viewing for all citizens. The reference to David Graham Phillips epitomizes why some of us consider Bill Moyers to be the anti-George Will: he uses historical analogies correctly.

    Slap it. Shoot it. Kaboot it.

    by adios on Sat Oct 10, 2009 at 12:24:17 PM PDT

  •  Not much these days can make my jaw drop (6+ / 0-)

    But, when I read this, a sandwich literally fell from my mouth.

    You know what else Jamie Dimon (the head of J.P. Morgan Chase) said to his shareholders? To his shareholders meeting this year, he said, with regard to 2008, the year of what we regard as the greatest financial crisis, an absolute human tragedy. He said, Jamie Dimon said to his shareholders, 'This was perhaps our best year ever.'

    Mind you, I was already aware that Chase Bank was a cesspool of greed and dishonesty.  But, this makes Marie Antoinette's advice to the starving masses sound like a prayer from Mother Theresa.

  •  I think the president definitely (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    gets it.  The problem can be found in Congress.  We have individuals who are there for the perks and the prestige of calling themselves senator or congressman.  Very few of them are there to serve in the interest of the people.  One of the problems is the corruption endemic among members of Congress who accept contributions from corporations and lobbyists.  These same members of Congress who could stop this madness are not inclined to do so.  It is their duty to do it, but they are in bed with them, so it is easy for them to overlook/downplay evidence of the corruption.  It is a conundrum within a conundrum.  The fox is guarding the henhouse.  The chickens are diseased.  The farmer refuses to kill them because it would decrease the amount of money that goes into his pocket, so he continues selling the diseased poultry.  The American political system is diseased.  IMO, this is the true source of all of the problems that we see in almost every sector of American society.

  •  Most important diary in the last 5 years! (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    suswa, bigchin, flitedocnm, CMYK, jobobo

    We need people to wake up before their eviction notice or pink slips

    because we're sliding down fast -- just ahead of our dollar on the global market

    But there are some BIG winners and they are now running the government!

    We CAN reverse this is people can grasp it.

    Separation of Church and State AND Corporation

    by Einsteinia on Sat Oct 10, 2009 at 12:41:49 PM PDT

  •  Is Ms. Kaptur taking resumes for the fraud (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    investigator positions    she wants added?  I have bank audit experience.

    My Karma just ran over your Dogma

    by FoundingFatherDAR on Sat Oct 10, 2009 at 01:23:30 PM PDT

  •  Michael Moore interview with Charlie Rose last (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bigchin, flitedocnm, CMYK

    My Karma just ran over your Dogma

    by FoundingFatherDAR on Sat Oct 10, 2009 at 01:27:00 PM PDT

  •  i find this diary to be all too one sided (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    "Geithner and Summers are straight out of the Wall Street firm that had a central role in destroying our economy, and that same firm is more powerful than ever and now has direct access to the Fed"

    These men also did a lot of other things besides work on Wall Street. They are extremely well educated for one thing, and powerful intellects in their own right - not sycophants.  That's not to say that they are perfect, or ideal, but it's dishonest to paint them as corporate drones. There very well might be better people for the job that they are doing, but then again, there might not be - guilt by association is no way to argue the case. Give us sound rational reasons why their ideas and theories might be wrong, and good reasons why others might be right, not overheated populism, please.

    "I don't think that any individuals who had their hands on creating this mess should be in charge of cleaning it up. I honestly don't think they're capable of it."

    Honestly really truly? I've heard this populist meme and I've heard the opposite: "the men who created this mess are the only ones who can clean it up". There are two questions here: "do they deserve the right to clean it up", and "are they capable of cleaning it up". If you think that Larry Summers and Tim Geithner are responsible for the economic crisis, or the problems of capitalism, or at least the unstable, boom and bust flavor of it that we've been running for a few decades now, well, that's like saying bugs bunny is responsible for the decline of western civilization: looney tunes! Sure, you can claim Glass/Steagal was responsible, and Rubin was behind that, and Summers was a protege of Rubin and Geithner of Summers - but this is the kind of guillotine politics that I hope we all want to avoid in this country. Anyone could make an equally sensible argument that Summers learned from Rubins mistakes (there is actually considerable evidence that he did) and that he and Geithner and others who know the faults and strengths of the system they created, are best qualified, and most trusted to rebuild the system around a new set of economic values - say those outlined by a progressive and brilliant young President. As ultimate insiders, they are also more likely to have the strength in the existing Financial system to twist arms and make changes. The argument that this diarist makes leaves out a practical set of qualified economists who also have real leverage in the Private Sector - who would you appoint? Alan Grayson and Ron Paul? Do you want an effective attempt at regulation or do you want a clown circus?

    Again, I am partly playing devils advocate, but that is because I don't like the irrational, superficial populism of this diary.

    Lastly, the comparison to Louis the 14th is completely outrageous.

    "Like Obama, he was intelligent and enlightened. He sought control over the nobility. He also presided over a number of wars, and greatly increased the power of France in the 17th and early 18th centuries. But he left France ripe for the Revolution, which occurred a scant 64 years following his death."

    Have you been consulting with the Tea-Baggers? These armchair comparisons could apply just as well to almost any popular leader from history. But the reason Louis the 14th was chosen for this comparison was that he presided over the most decadent, luxurious court, maybe in history. The comparison is totally unfair, and is more worthy of a tea-dangling moran than a progressive blogger. The plot to me doesn't look to me like Obama, in the company of noblemen, through the gardens of Versaille, with a croquet hammer.

    Obama gets the message. He got the message a long time ago. He will do everything we can - and we need to keep the pressure on so he has all the power he needs. We need to be well informed. We don't need to divide ourselves with the same kind of self righteous, overblown corn-feed and sugar-syrup that the Right swallows. We need to stay motivated, and focused, but this kind of generalized stand against everything and for nothing we can do without.

    Please, take it down.

  •  Moyers Commentary on Max Bacus and the senate (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    suswa, flitedocnm

  •  Bill Moyers (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    is brilliant. And he chooses his guests well. I can't think of anyone who does such in-depth interviews...maybe Charlie Rose. But Moyers has the political background and journalistic expertise to tie it all together.

    This interview is truly worthy of major praise.

    "I have very strong feelings about how you lead your life. You always look ahead, you never look back." ~ Ann Richards (Governor of Texas, 1990-94)

    by suswa on Sat Oct 10, 2009 at 02:34:47 PM PDT

  •  I caught the last few minutes of that (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    suswa, sockpuppet, Dave925, flitedocnm

    last night and just watched the whole thing online.

    It has two effects on me:

    1] I have this urge to grab people by the lapels and force them to watch Bill Moyers.

    2] I'm glad I'm an old man who will likely not live long enough to have to deal with the consequences.

    Of these two conflicting emotions, I think #2 (apathy and hopelessness) is winning out.

  •  Great men and women (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sockpuppet, flitedocnm

    actually do emerge when needed. Marcy Kaptur seems to be in the moment and so completely "prepared" for this unique time in history. Maybe she's lasted this long simply because she's been doing her job and she's not that interested in self promotion. She must be some kind of saint.

    "I have very strong feelings about how you lead your life. You always look ahead, you never look back." ~ Ann Richards (Governor of Texas, 1990-94)

    by suswa on Sat Oct 10, 2009 at 03:36:20 PM PDT

  •  I'LL SAY IT AGAIN AND AGAIN (0+ / 0-)

    Over and over again I've said –- "A PRESIDENT IS ONLY AS GOOD AS THE PEOPLE HE LISTENS TO!"  Summers, Geitner, Gates, Bernanke, Emmanuel etc. Not good folks.  Wall Street and Bankers direct to them sure as shit they are no beholden to the american people.  That is why they have no guilt when it comes to robbing the till for their real bosses.  

    "... - because it's about reclaiming America's soul." Paul Krugman

    by libbie on Sat Oct 10, 2009 at 03:59:57 PM PDT

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