Obama Takes Aim

April 27, 2010

An interesting video appeared on the DNC website, asking for help combating the forces of change.

The President says the health insurance companies, the banks and other “special interests” want to unseat the progressive Democrats that have done so much to help the average American.  These are the same health insurance companies that will offer the policies that Americans are now forced to buy, whether they want to or not.  These are the banks that took millions in bailout money, but still refuse to make critical job-saving loans to small businesses that aren’t “credit worthy.” (see CNN on this).

That leaves “special interests” who want the Democrats to stop throwing money at the problems.  Like the economists CNN surveyed who say the $787B stimulus bill did nothing to improve the economy, and that it’s responding on its own.

Maybe he means the Tea Parties, who are angry at both parties for running the debt up to a projected 90% of GDP. Maybe he means white guys with jobs and the military.

Most certainly he doesn’t mean the voters specifically mentioned in the video:  “young people, African-Americans, Latinos, and women who powered our victory in 2008”, the “surge” voters who had not been engaged in the process before, who aren’t involved now.

The people who gave us this mess.

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An Economic Wasteland

March 8, 2010

According to an article in todays UK Telegraph, Obama’s legacy is likely not to be change for the better, but long-term economic turmoil. The “audacity” of Obama’s hope is not met with any kind of ability to act on the ideas to create positive results.

Almost 10% of the workforce – 15Million Americans – are unemployed and looking for work.  Perhaps another 10% have given up trying and are not counted in the official numbers.  According to the article, about a quarter of the black people in Chicago are both unemployed and frustrated that their man is not able to solve the problem for “his own people.”

Whole areas of the country, especially the former industrial belt, have become instead ‘industrial wastelands.’  In Newark and Baltimore, drug-dealing is the principal commercial activity.

The much vaunted Stimulus bill has done little to stem the loss of jobs.  Looking closely, we see that most of the jobs went to large companies that had been inefficient spenders in the past.    Most of the cash disbursed went “to further the re-election prospects of many congressmen, not to do good for the country.” In other words, the cash was spent to keep the newly-minted Democrat majority in power.

Hefler says that “For a land without a welfare state, America starts to do an effective impersonation of a country with one.”

Americans are unhappy with their government and their President.  They are concerned – angry – that so much money was wasted so fast with so little effect.  It’s perhaps what’s wrong with the health care bill – people don’t trust it to do what Congress says it will do, but rather just another opportunity to waste more money by diverting tax revenues to favored contributors, while the multi-trillion dollar debt keeps pilling up.

Without a significant change right away, there is no good end in sight.


Our Arrogant President

February 20, 2010

“As usual, Barack Obama believes he’s the smartest guy in the room, and he can trick the American people because they only pay attention to his words, not his actions.”

So says JC Arenas of BigGovernment.com.  Recently, he reported how Mr Obama has begun using the power of Executive Orders to do what Congress won’t or can’t.  Unable to legislate a bipartisan congressional panel to find how to cut the deficit, he created the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform to do the same.

This panel’s job is to reign in spending, like the 2009 Obama Stimulus Plan and the TARP bank bailout and the automakers’ bailout.  In other words, once the President is done spending a record-breaking $3.52 trillion during his first year in office, he’s gonna spend the second one trying to figure out how to pay for it – and hammer the Republicans for not helping fix the problem they voted against in the first place.

If you’ve been reading this site for a while, you’ll see this as classic Alinsky.  Create a problem, and then propose yourself as the only person able to fix it.  He thinks he knows better, and can say one thing and do another, claiming credit for the good others do and ignoring his own failures.

And that’s why his approval ratings are at 45%, 52% say he shouldn’t be re-elected, and 3/4 think the economy is in the toilet, even while the Administration says we’re improving.


Part of the plan

November 19, 2009

In an interview with Fox news (released on Nov 18), President Obama told us what we alreayd knew – that the policies of the Democrats are bankrupting the country and threaten to bring about economic ruin.

“It is important though to recognize if we keep on adding to the debt, even in the midst of this recovery, that at some point, people could lose confidence in the U.S. economy in a way that could actually lead to a double-dip recession.”

How did we keep adding debt?  Bank bailouts (TARP), carmaker bailouts, cash for clunkers, stimulus payments without accountability on their use.  What’s universal health care gonna cost?

And while the mega-banks and mega-businesses are protected as “to big to fail”, this Administration has let lenders to small businesses choke.  While there is overwhelming evidence that the majority of long-lasting jobs are created by small businesses, the policies of the past year seem to have gone out of their way to thwart this massive source of employment.

So why am I not surprised?  Because I’ve read Saul Alinski’s Rules for Radicals.  Mr Obama taught this community organizing handbook as part of his job as a community organizer in Chicago.  He knows it backwards and forwards.  And as good as Hillary Clinton was as a student of Alinski, Obama was even more adept at understanding the mind of his mentor. 

What Rules suggests is that the organizer must create chaos so they can be publicly seen as solving that chaos.  Alinski would promise a benefit that was there for the asking, and instead of asking, would take an audience and demand they comply with his request.  Of course they do, and he looks like a hero, for doing with vitrol what anyone else could have done with kindness.

What Pres Obama has done is to throw gasoline on the economic trashfire.  He has made a troubling situation worse, and now – a year before the election, he is beginning to advocate the Republican message, coopting their agenda by hinting at solutions to his own failed policies.  In the end, he hopes to reshape society to match his view of life, which is looking more and more like a radical departure from what used to be the greatest nation in the world.

ref:  http://www.reuters.com/article/marketsNews/idUSN188108620091118


Bailout set to reward the crooks – again

September 27, 2008

According to Nicholas D Kristof at the NY Times, C.E.O.’s of large public companies average 344 times the average pay of workers, and tax code encourages overpaying executives; these cost taxpayers more than $20 billion a year. What do we get for all this cash? According to studies, they do well – two thirds are “better than average.”  (Only when you fuzzify the numbers can more than 51% be above average.)  They make profits by firing workers and shipping work overseas, not by contributing to the economy.

And so you see the problem.  We paid for their huge salaries out of our tax money, and now we’re going to have to pay again to rescue their mismanagement of these puffed-up charlatans.

This was most acute in the financial sector.  Multiple millions in annual bonuses, plus the salary, perks, and privilege.

The bailout is a bad deal unless the US gets ownership stake and those who got us here share the cost.

source:  NYT Blogs


Dad McCain: “Don’t make me come down there!”

September 25, 2008

John McCain got frustrated with the “Christmas tree” effect already starting in Congress in their efforts to address the fiscal crisis.  He threatened to do what we had told him to do – suspend his campaign long enough to return to Washington and fix the problem. 

But he delayed, until Congress started adding pork and special interests into the bill, so that the costs became really fuzzy.  He announced Wednesday he was going to quit the campaigning long enough to go fix the problem, create a bipartisan solution, and if it meant missing the debate, so be it. 

It’s like dad announcing “don’t make me come down there, cause you won’t like what I’m gonna do if I have to come.”

Congress heard. 

They went from deadlock yesterday to agreement today.  It wasn’t Bush’s lackluster speech, because there wasn’t a report this morning of a solution.  Agreement didn’t come until after McCain spoke at Clinton Forum, outlining 5 common sense demands for the solution:  accountability and transparency, ownership instead of bailout (repayment to taxpayers instead of treasury general fund), and no extra trinkets.

Here’s what he said:

First, there must be greater accountability included in the bill. I have suggested a bipartisan board to provide oversight for the rescue. We will not solve a problem caused by poor oversight with a plan that has no oversight. Never before in the history of our nation has so much power and money been concentrated in the hands of one person, and there must be protections and oversight in place.

Second, as a part of that oversight, there must be a path for taxpayers to recover the money that is put into this fund. When we’re talking about 700 billion taxpayer dollars, that money cannot simply go into a black hole of bad debt with no means of recovering any of the funds.

Third, there must be complete transparency in the review of this legislation and in the implementation of any legislation. This cannot be thrown together behind closed doors. The American people have the right to know which businesses will be helped, what that selection will be based on and how much that help will cost. All the details should all be made available online and elsewhere for open public scrutiny.

Fourth, it is completely unacceptable for any kind of earmarks to be included in this bill. It would be outrageous for legislators and lobbyists to pack this rescue plan with even more taxpayer money for favored companies. And frankly, members of Congress who would attempt such a thing are scarcely better than the most reckless operators on Wall Street.

Fifth and finally, no Wall Street executives should profit from taxpayer dollars. Let me put it this way: I would rather build a bridge to nowhere — and put it square in the middle of Sedona, Arizona — than take money from teachers and farmers and small business owners to line the pockets of the Wall Street crowd that got us here in the first place. And I can assure you: if I have anything to say about the matter, it’s not going to happen.

It’s not a done deal yet.  I’d say they’d better get to work.  If Mom would say wait until dad gets home, I’d want to get my stuff done before he showed up.  Congress is still quibbling.  I say they’d better get to work.

(Thanks to grist.org for capturing and posting the text of the speech!)


Palin is right, Obama is naive, says Murdoch

September 20, 2008

Rupert Murdoch is worried.  Although he’s a fan of Barak Obama, he’s concerned that the Democratic candidate’s policy choices are going to “ruin our relationships” with the rest of the world, create worldwide inflation and make American business “frightened to add to employment.”

In short, “his policy is really very, very naive, old-fashioned, 1960s.”

Murdoch, the chairman of the News Corp, is taking the long view of the current economic crisis.  “this started 15 years ago, with Barney Frank and people pushing Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to make a lot of bad loans, until they finally had $11 billion … it became a racket.”

He said Secretary of Treasury Henry Paulson”has done a fantastically good job” keeping the crisis under control.

As for Republican VP candidate Sarah Palin’s call for more regulation, he agrees.  “I think what she says is right. Clearly, there has to be some more regulation,”

Here’s the full interview from Fox News:

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If you want to see this from a different perspective, see harddriller’s page.