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September 04, 2009


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"Obama is no FDR."

How true. More like an inverse FDR. He has promised more middle class wealth to prop up the oligarchy than all other presidents combined.

One can make the argument that to save the financial system, and ultimately all wealth, he had to do this. There may be some truth in that.

But what one can't explain or make even a meek argument for is the labeling of Obama as a "socialist." That label shows just how hopelessly fucked America has become. It is akin to offering a man dying of thirst a single sip of water and having him sneer: "Communist."

The marriage of hatred and ignorance that has led Mr. Southerner and Mrs. Old Fart to scratch off their noses and throw that taunt at Obama's face mark the very doom of America.

Normally agree with you Jon, but not this column. I think we will get a health reform bill and it will include a public option. It won't be single payer, but it will plant a seed for longer term reform.

I think once the job losses hit zero, you'll see a major push to regulate Wall St. Even Ben Bernanke is calling for it, and surprisingly forcefully - in a very political manner, which is unprecedented for a Fed chairman.

Once healthcare is behind us, I think you'll see an energy bill passed that will re-capture liberals that have become somewhat disenchanted. Cap and Trade will almost surely be part of it, as the revenues have been included in the administration's budget projections.

Our political system is bought and paid for by the oligarchs. This turkey is cooked.

As disappointed as I am in Obama, could he have done anything differently? There are few left-wing megaphones rallying the troops. There is, instead, the usual right-wing noise machine lying, distorting, and whipping the gullible and stupid into a frenzied state. In this atmosphere, Obama has to hope for a tailwind from middle-of-the-road voters who are too uninformed to realize the nature of our national crisis.

Obama's cool, technocratic persona was necessary to assuage the media and Washington tastemakers that he was no wild-eyed radical ala FDR. Whether Obama consciously calculated this strategy is almost beside the point. He swept into office with a mandate not for systematic change but atmospheric modulation. He would be bipartisan and civil. He would elevate the discourse. He would perform jujitsu on the body politic and rescue this failing experiment in self governance.

Of course he's failing but what would the financopaths, media thumb-twiddlers, and right-wing crazies permit? A successful liberal president who's also black? How naive we were to even think that possible.

Obama's failure at its root is really this nation's aversion to honesty and sobriety. Our infotainment culture requires fixes of celebrity deaths and heinous crimes. It's what remains of our civic culture and it's killing this nation. It's why we're gnashing our teeth at what should have been obvious last November. Obama can't save us because we're simply too far gone.

Obama could not have saved us!! Soleri, you are too much. Finally, the scales are falling off the American citizen's eyes. Obama is and has always been a self serving Marxist; I said it last year and I repeat it again.

It's official: America loves cake!

Find out why this delectable desert is the star of the show:


An enduring mystery: why not pie or pudding, fudge or cookies?

But perhaps imponderable questions like this only serve to distract us (don't let them!) from the star of the show -- cake!

I think that Obama can blame, in part, his own slide to the right and, consequently, the broken campaign promises which are perceived (with some justification) as perfidy by a disallusioned electorate.

Obama campaigned on transparency, but his administration has fought it with respect to the bankers' bailout, CIA and DOD crimes, and other important matters.

He campaigned on peace, but is ramping up the war in Afghanistan even while troops remain in Iraq.

He campaigned for universal health care, but since elected has retreated to a weak reformist position that covertly strengthens the status quo. The main issues: the uninsured, a private insurance system run amok, lack of affordable healthcare, spiraling costs, a severe shortage of general practitioners, all due to be exacerbated by the imminent retirement of the baby boom generation.

The perfect storm in the U.S. financial sector offered the best chance for decades to push through important regulations and oversight, but instead his administration remains largely in the pockets of big finance.

His economic stimulus bill is slow and its methods of operation (except for cash for clunkers and similar programs) are frequently obscure, indirect, and dubious: what remains indisputable is the large price tag. Not the recipe for a propaganda coup.

He continuously allows his positions to be undercut by the holy grail of bipartisanship, while getting nothing from it: Republicans have opposed his major legislative initiatives en masse.

He has failed to use the Democratic majority to push through legislation, and has failed to impose party discipline among Democatic ranks.

And finally, many of his proposals, in bill form, are unendurably complicated, obscure, and underfunded. People wonder, rightly, if anyone actually knows what these laws will do in practice, and with what unintended consequences.

Or, "disillusioned".

In an earlier comment, I detailed why Obama needed a stimulus package consisting of direct redistribution of income from the highest earners to the lowest third of households by earnings. If he had done so, many of the problems the economy now faces, as well as his falling poll numbers, would not exist.

Consumer spending powers 70 percent of the American economy. Particularly important for most businesses is consumer discretionary spending, or what they have to spend after taking care of fundamentals.

Here is a list of factors tending to decrease consumer discretionary spending:

(1) An aging (retiring) baby-boom generation leaving their peak-spending years behind.

(2) Rising healthcare costs.

(3) Rising energy costs (over time)

(4) Globalization of the workforce, leading to...

(5) ...Stagnant or declining real incomes for most households; consequently...

(6) ...the largest inequity in income distribution since before the Great Depression

(7) High-levels of household debt (something like 125 percent of GDP even after recent foreclosures and bankruptcies, thus requiring consumers to use more income to pay down debt

(8) Lower spending to rebuilt nest-eggs lost/damaged in the recent market crash

(9) Housing bubble crash means mortgage borrowing no longer available to finance credit card debt, and new construction no longer the engine for growth it once was

(10) The commercial real-estate market slump/crash

(11) Higher-unemployment

(12) Increased taxes to pay for Social Security costs as the baby-boomers retire; or else increased personal costs to working families to support their elders' basic needs, if Social Security benefits are cut

(13) Tight credit

Also, I feel I should have added a parenthetical question mark to item (3).

Obama -- a Marxist? Really? What proof? He's a Democrat -- the other side of the coin of our corrupt realm.

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