Though I make no claims of being a financial wizard, or a political maven, even I can see that all is not right on Wall Street, D.C. where the heart and soul of our country is on life support, currently being administered to by second graders who want to be doctors when they grow up. And, I’m sophisticated enough to recognize that a lot of what I read about our dire national situation is presented in the media by people representing the political party so far out of favor they have to look to bloviating blowhards for advice, or worse, can be made to appear to need to do so. I get that. However, in spite of all that, the forces pretending to represent the white-hatted good guys in this classic Adventures in Administration movie, armed with their heralded sky-high approval ratings for their poor man’s Dark Gable leading man, simply can’t mount enough of a stampede to disguise the fact that the dustcloud that follows them like Charlie Brown’s pal Pigpen’s is not the result of riding hard and strong over the dusty trail, but merely the wispy smoke trails from their “throw ‘em off the path,” hastily built, diversionary cookfire. In other words, they got nothing.
Stalwart bastion of the Obamedia protection service, Salon Magazine, has an article by former Clinton labor secretary and Obacolyte, Robert Reich, in which he pitifully attempts to pooh-pooh rightwing claims that the Obamessiah himself is responsible for our economic woes by trying to lay them at the feet of the finger-pointers:
When it turns out that people like Lloyd Blankfein, the CEO of Goldman Sachs, who took home $68 million in 1997, was the only Wall Streeter in a meeting last September at the New York Federal Reserve to discuss the initial AIG bailout with Tim Geithner, then New York Fed chair, among others, at the very time Goldman was AIG’s largest trading partner, a distinct scent of self-dealing begins to emanate. When it turns out that Citigroup got a bailout deal last October far more generous than that given to any other distressed bank, when a top Citi executive was advising the Treasury and Fed, the scent increases. Goldman’s past CEO was treasury secretary at that time, by the way, and another former Goldman CEO was a top Citi official and also a former treasury secretary. I am not suggesting anything so crude as corruption. But could it be, given these tangled webs, that — innocently, unintentionally, perhaps even subconsciously — the entire bailout effort was premised on saving these companies rather than protecting the public? Or that the distinction between the two was lost, and still is?
Yet, Reich gleefully and disingenuously, ignores the fact that the people he’s defending his ObaMaster against are the people who funded his campaign. Not only that, the central figure in Reich’s little morality play, Turbo Tax Timmy Geithner, tax cheat, (TTTG,tc) has a family history of sorts with Barry Sutoro, and is currently employed as the Blameless One’s lapdog and whipping boy. To point out that he may have colluded with the banksters against the public in ripping off the country on the other team’s watch is…well…stupid.
Why would anyone purporting to defend the Obama administration draw attention to the man quickly becoming the public face of its incompetence? Especially when the author can’t even make it through to the end of his own piece without acknowledging at least some of the complicity of the Obama Drama Troupe?
The Wall Street and Republican media attack machine doesn’t know exactly what to make of this. The Wall Street Journal’s editorial page, along with CNBC, alternates between attacking Obama for bailing out Wall Street and excusing Wall Street’s excesses. But then again, Obama doesn’t seem to know exactly what to make of it either. He seems to vacillate as well — one moment scorning Wall Street, the next moment justifying further bailouts. I do hope he takes a firmer hand, drawing a clearer distinction and making a clearer connection between clearing up these financial balance sheets and helping average people. Otherwise, the next populist uprising will be born in this moneyed quagmire. It is here — within the muck that was created by AIG, Citigroup, Fannie and Freddie, other giant financial institutions, now in combination with the U.S. Treasury and Fed — that the public is most confused, bears its most serious scars, and is potentially most burdened in future years, by decisions still made in secret.
Of course AIG is, and has been, raping the nation with a bayonet-tipped, Black and Decker, turbo-powered dildo; so, too is Citigroup, Fannie, Freddie, Timmy, Barney, Benny, Obie, Larry, Curly and Moe. And while gross negligence, inexperience, and incompetence are slightly less odious than thuggery, thievery, and trickery, when considered on as grand a scale as the one under discussion, “oops, did I do that?” becomes as insulting as it is improbable.
CBS News reports that TTTG,tc is, for some reason, single-handedly ripping off the country, given that he has not been bothered with putting together a staff. Thus, the man in charge of fixing the potentially “catastrophic” economic problems we face is not only winging it, he’s “flying solo:”
For five weeks, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner has battled the worst economic crisis in generations with no key deputies in place. That’s made for a rocky debut for the man President Barack Obama put in charge of addressing the financial crisis.
With an awkward first television appearance, a bank rescue plan that lacked promised specifics and two restructured bailouts that raised taxpayer risk, Geithner has failed to calm financial markets desperate for answers.
Critics say part of the problem is that Geithner is flying solo: Not one of his top 17 deputies has been named, let alone confirmed. And without senior leadership, lower-level Treasury employees can’t make decisions or represent the government in crucial conversations with banks and others.
His boss is on no firmer terra, either, what with pissing off visiting world leaders on his own turf while preparing to embark on an offensive into friendly enemy territory regardless of how diplomatically ill-equipped he has shown himself to be. Yet, his uncanny ability to garner approval from the sheeple should see him through abroad as well as it does here, like when he shows his commitment to the people by gathering disparate forces resistant to hot-button issues like healthcare reform, into one location, and breaks them up into study groups so they can explain to each other why they won’t be implementing any substantial changes to the current system any time soon.
Such is the charm, or strong arm, of the Spokesmodel-in-Chief, that even his staunchest critics couch even their legitimate gripes in hopeful appeals for a more palatibly flavored KoolAid, rather than risk the ire of his West Wing Astroturfing media storm troopers. Even his stanchest defenders, rapidly becoming disillusioned, are more comfortable ascribing his shortcomings to everything but incompetence, let alone, deliberate deciet. Such is the ferocity, skill and effectiveness of said blitzkriegers that their outrageous tactics hardly register a blip on the radar screen of public consciousness.
So, with stories of the Lightbringer‘s administration’s dedication to truth being trumpeted far and wide, while questions of high level staff impropriety are whispered into the wind, and big, fat, hard to blow over, straw men are built as decoys to divert attention from the fact that pre-appointees are jumping ship like telepathic Titanic passengers, we are only afforded glimpses into the reality of our Dear Leader’s frustrations with the difficulties of presidentin’. Only when overwhelmed to the point that he and the Missus have to break out and bust a move, or hop a jet or helicopter to someplace exotic like, the homeland of Roland Burris, remember him? do we get a sense of how difficult it is to read speeches from a TelePrompTer every day. The fact that his visits often coincide with other significant events, like the release of affidavits, is of no consequence.
Sure, presidentin’ is hard, George Bush told us that. But, as his successor is proving beyond a doubt, presidentin’ is a lot easier when people are so busy watching the show, they’re not really paying attention to the 800 pound gorilla taking a dump in the middle of the room.
Cross posted at Cinie’s World
Filed under: Barack Obama, Politics Tagged: | AIG, Barney Frank, Ben Bernanke, Citigroup, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, George Bush, Goldman Sachs, Gordon Brown, Greg Craig, healthcare reform, PUMA, Robert Reich, Roland Burris, Rush Limbaugh, Timothy Geithner