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Recap

You could have had a V8.

Update: I don’t agree with Digby’s latest post that it’s all the Republicans fault that we’re stuck at 8.2% unemployment.  Yes, all of the things she lists the Republicans definitely did.  They’re bastards and they have a vested interest in seeing that Obama is a one term president.

The problem with her argument is that in the first two years of the crisis, it was Democrats who had the power to ram through any damn thing they wanted to.  They could have played hardball and stuck together and presented a united front.  I’m even betting that Ben Nelson and Joe Lieberman could have been leaned on to get their asses into line.  But there was no political push to do this.  It was an emergency and yet, the incoming Obama administration had no plans when it came into office.  It didn’t do its homework.  There has been plenty of evidence that Obama and Geithner totally blew it in the first two years and that’s why we’re stuck.

But the worst thing is that they seem to have just thrown up their hands and are are like, “Well, what do you want us to do about it now??  This shit is getting old.”  Let me just remind you that this is the same campaign tactic that Jon Corzine took and it didn’t work for him.

Let’s face it, the Democrats did this to the country when they decided to put a complete novice, bought by Wall Street, who had almost no legislative experience, in charge of the most important nation in the world in the midst of the worst economic downturn in 80 years.  There is no getting around it.  Obama’s lack of legislative progress reminds me of JFK’s and that was primarily self-inflicted because the Kennedy crew refused to use LBJ to muscle arm people into line.

Obama wasn’t dealing with a 100% hostile Congress in 2009.  He had almost a mandate and he could have used his political capital at that time to demand just about anything.  Instead, he spent an awful lot of time preening for the camera during the first two years and I know this because his face was on TV in the company cafeteria every fricking day during lunch.

I don’t know what is wrong with this batch of Democrats but I don’t trust them.  They’re too friendly to bankers, too dismissive of working people and they don’t do their homework.  Obama and his crew did not come to Washington with a plan to save homeowners and preserve jobs.  They just didn’t, Digby.  There is no evidence that they even made those items a priority and plenty of evidence that they bent over backwards to save the financiers from the consequences of their bad behavior.  You can blame the other side all you want but the lack of plans is very telling and you can’t blame that on Republicans.  No one should get blamed for the lack of planning but Obama and the Democrats.  They let us all down and this particular batch does not deserve four more years.

As long as the Democrats refuse to change their lineup, that leaves us with Mitt, who we also don’t want.  I’d like to think there was a difference between the parties but I’m looking at a party of almost criminal incompetence vs a party of insanity.  As far as choices go, this is as bad as it gets.  We can’t do anything to change the crazy Republicans and as long as Obama is on the ticket, we will have to expect more of the same lassitude for four more years.  It is only by changing out the top of the ticket do we push the election into a new energy state and have a hint of a possibility of recapturing a mandate.  At this point, working people on both sides need something to look forward to.  There’s only one person who could potentially pull this off.

Otherwise, we continue on in our lost decade, the rich get stronger, the voters continue to be disenfranchised and any hope that we will regain our footing will be lost for a long, long time.

*************************************

Let’s recap where we are leading up to this election, shall we:

The economy added a lousy 80,000 jobs last month.  The unemployment rate is stubbornly stuck at 8.2%.  Expect the assholes who are sitting on the money to stay sat until they get what they want, whatever that is.  In Ron Suskind’s book, Confidence Men, he describes a proposal by Christina Romer, chairwoman of Obama’s Council of Economic Advisors, that $100 billion would go a long way to putting many unemployed people back to work.  There were still Democratic majorities in Congress at the time. Obama passed on it.

Frankly, I’m finding this election to be really boring.  I don’t care how many frogs Mitt Romney blew up when he was a child or that Ann likes dressage.  I. Don’t. Care. Please don’t waste my time telling me how awful Republicans are, as if I didn’t already know.

Tell me why the Democrats aren’t just as awful from the standpoint of the unemployed.  You know what?  You can’t.

Meanwhile, Hillary Clinton is on a marathon trip around the world putting out multiple fires, likely without much help from the National Security advisors who seem to like putting her in tight spots and then hanging her our to dry all by herself on the world stage.  Nice way to support the State department.  Way to go, Obama administration. Oh, and we haven’t gone to war with Iran yet, which all of the anti-Hillary Democrats were *convinced* she was going to do.

So, you know, there’s that.

Plus more people are losing their homes, yada-yada-yada…

There’s still time.  If the impending catastrophe in November is starting to look like the end of the world as we know it, and more voter suppression and internet censorship will surely follow, NOW would be the time to register your concern with your local Democratic party apparatus.

It ain’t over until the balloons drop in Charlotte.

Trust me, Democrats, you do not want to bore your voters.  And right now, there are a lot of us out here who are less likely to vote for your candidate with each new revelation about his administration.  The peer pressure tactics may not work nearly as well this year.  What makes me furious with the Democratic party is their insistence on ignoring voters and acting all parental about what candidates we are allowed to choose from.  Then comes the pressure tactics where you’re made to feel guilty if you don’t choose one of these horrible people.  You know, f^*( that sh^&.  It’s not up to me to make this right for the Democrats.  It’s up to the Democrats to make this right for me.  I’m sick of voting for the lesser evil, especially because I can’t tell anymore who that person is.  Don’t roll your eyes at me.  It’s not obvious to those of us who are losing our standards of living, watching Obama stand by while Rome burns.  He doesn’t take any pains to disguise his ennui for people losing their houses and everything else they worked so hard for.  And his crowd suppression tactics of the Occupy movement tells me all I need to know about whether he intends to do anything about our grievances.

So, shove it, D’s.  Get him the f&(* out of there or YOU will be responsible for what happens next.  The authoritarian strain is strong in this one and I refuse to participate in the destruction of the Democratic party any longer.

***************************

Here is the current Obama attitude as interpreted by Lilly Von Shtupp:

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40 Responses

  1. Amen.

  2. I wish I could skip to the end of this book. I don’t think it’s going to end well.

    • To be honest, that one post on how the foreclosure crisis was boring Obama said more to me than any 20 posts on how insensitive and callous Romney is.

      He’s BORED that people are losing their houses. Jeez, if only the people losing their houses had the luxury of being bored. I consider myself lucky that I wasn’t heavily in debt when I lost my job and that I had enough in savings to keep me going for awhile. But I live in a moderately affluent suburb and there are a lot of people who are living on credit. Boredom is the least of their problems now.

      I can’t get over the cluelessness of the Democrats right now. They continue to act like the only people who are truly hurting are high school dropouts. Or maybe they are totally aware and they just don’t care. In either case, I’m supposed to vote for that??

      • They’re only capable of seeing one step ahead in this sick-chess-game.

        The weird thing about voting for the lesser evil thing is that in most states our votes don’t count at all – either the Red or the Blue team is that far ahead in those states. But, in the others it’s a pretty cheap trick to tweak the vote counts by messing with the electronic voting machines.

        So as far as I’m concerned there’s almost no incentive to voting for either of the two top con-men. At this point, It’s a scam from top to bottom.

        Sad really, the Dems might be surprised at the energy that would come if they dumped Obama at the convention.

  3. Sitting around and thinking about what this HORRIFIC health insurance law is going to do to employment is making me ill.

    • Once enacted, I don’t think the Democrats will recover in my lifetime.

    • Yeah, so far, I haven’t seen too many people who share my view that the ACA has the potential to accelerate layoffs and depress wages. Why? Because once the mandate is in place, employers will have incentive to get rid of in house employees and hire them back as contractors, either independent contractors or through a staffing agency. Will the staffing agency have to provide health care for independent contractors they set up with corporations? I’m guessing they’ll find a way around it. They’ll say they’re just a matching service or clearinghouse or something. And everyone will walk away from the other employee benefits. In fact, the ACA may make it worse for workers in untold ways because with more independent contractors, there are fewer labor laws to enforce. Independent contractors aren’t protected like regular full time employees. And they have to pay for their own unemployment insurance as well because otherwise they’re not eligible for it.
      It wouldn’t be so bad if we had a better social welfare infrastructure in government the way they do in Europe because then everyone would be covered and protected by labor standards and health care and stuff. But here in the US, we have managed to graft the worst aspects of the third world onto our developed economy. It’s a robber baron’s wet dream and it’s about to come true for them.
      How our great country got tricked into adopting Peruvian living standards is going to be one for the history books and will be poured over by social scientists in other countries for generations to come.

      • The idea that the insurance law will encourage employers to kick people off insurance is far-fetched, IMHO. As long as employers need to stay competitive in the marketplace, they will offer insurance. If they were going to kick people off insurance, the incentive was greater prior to the “A”CA than it is now. And laws in many states (Washington included) dictate that benefits like insurance have to be uniformly applied. If you cover one employee on insurance, you have to cover every employee.

        But yeah, the economy (not the “A”CA) is leading employers to go to a “flexible” model using contract employees. In the past, when I was in the contracting world, the pay was amazing, the insurance offered thru the agencies was awesome and the agencies covered half of the premiums. I loved contracting. I quit it because laws were making it hard to stay employed (as a contractor I could only work a year at a time without a 100-day break in service). Now? Who knows. I do know I was offered an interview on a job recently where the rate I was receiving in the year 2000 was double the rate they were offering now. I turned down the interview. The economy is dictating this change, not the “A”CA.

        The “A”CA will at least decelerate hiring because the cost of insurance will go thru the roof. I know my individual insurance has gone up about 30-40% since the “A”CA started being implemented…to cover all of the “free stuff” the insurance now is forced to provide. The costs have to come from somewhere. When employers have to continue eating the premium costs, the prices of good will increase as much as the market will bear, and then hiring will decrease. In addition, laws such as requiring small businesses with 50+ employees to carry insurance on those employees will certainly encourage small businesses to avoid any growth that increases their number of employees above 50. And employees who are on the cusp of losing their subsidies with a raise or promotion? What will happen there.

        The insurance law has created a huge mess. Only small parts of it help anyone but the insurance companies.

        • That’s where you’re wrong. Who is the competition these days when jobs are outsourced and even most STEM professionals can’t find jobs? The idea that an employer will compete for employees and offer signing bonuses is a fantasy now. Sure, there will be a few self-promoting geniuses in select areas if the country who will get that treatment but for everyone else, there is a lifetime of precariat existence stretching before us.
          This is what is happening to everyone around me. Steep cuts in wages, forced relocations to be followed by layoffs, contracting positions and CROs.
          I get the impression that working people are not taking this seriously because its been 80+ years since we faced this level of callousness. But we’d better wake up fast because what is happening to us reminds me very much of what happened to the Irish during the potato famine. Landlords threw starving families out if their houses and then pulled the roofs down. They didn’t care and they WON’T care until we all agree that we deserve to be treated better, that our lives have value, that WE value them and we will not let anyone take away our dignity.
          Pretending that employers won’t use the ACA to become weightless entities is not dealing with reality.

          • And outsourced from within, too. Who’da thunk that a developing country that cannot provide drinkable water or basic sanitation would focus on training hundreds of thousands of higher-caste students for jobs in Silicon Valley and other high-tech centers. It’s a great opportunity for the H1B visa workers, albeit six years of servitude, and keeps the wages down for the corporations. No shortage of worker bees to drive up wages. Discourages locals from applying or even going into the trade so more can be ordered. Politicians get donations (pennies on the thousands earned from the labor importation).

  4. I wonder if Charlotte could turn into Chicago, circa ’68.

    • LOL! Were you in Denver in 2008?? It was as bad as NYC during the height of the Occupy protests. There were police in riot gear EVERYWHERE. Lots of streets blocked off and all you had to do was step off the curb to get your ass hauled off to a holding facility 30 miles away. The Denver police force was fricking brutal. That was the Democratic party convention.
      Ya know, if I were them, I’d try to present a kinder, gentler, more attentive and responsive face to the protestors who are bound to show up. That would send the message, “I care” and might even contribute to domestic tranquility if they offered to meet with Occupy working groups.
      But I don’t expect it because they are heartless bastards who we did not hold accountable in 2008. Instead, expect there to be plenty of ominous signs of a police state and menacing threats of brutality.

  5. Vastleft makes the that point, too: “How you feel about my third party vote “helping” horrible conservative Mitt Romney is how I feel about your vote helping horrible conservative Barack Obama … except you’re the one actually voting for a conservative.”

  6. “Bored” is the right word. And wanting to skip to the end and get it over with. It’s sick-making, watching the con work, watching lies during the campaign, then for three and a half years, watching people realize they’re being lied to, and then watching them fall all over themselves to vote for the lying sac because the other side isn’t as good at lying so they sound worse.

    • I hate to be responsible for what happens after election day but I feel that we have already lost many opportunities to make a difference. And what’s really weird is that I’m not even all that crunchy granola left. I’m just an old style FDR Democratic liberal. A Clintonista. That’s another thing that bothers me about the new Democratic party. They seem to be deathly afraid of the Clintons for reasons that completely escape me. Bill Clinton for all his faults was waaaay more liberal than Obama. No question about it. But they keep lying and saying exactly the opposite. You know, maybe you could persuade Republicans to forget their history but Democrats? We’re not generally authoritarian followers. We kinda actually do remember what happened. It’s just bizarre.

      • I’ve never understood the allergy to Clinton, either. He had to deal with a Republican-controlled Congress, and he still managed to accomplish some good things. And some not-so-good things. Nafta. But it makes no sense to go screaming yellow bonkers because Clinton wasn’t progressive enough, so the only alternative is to support a conservative.

        Nor do I understand the allergy among the professional pols. I realize their agenda is raising campaign cash and cushy post-politics jobs, but I can’t see where Clinton, either him or her, damaged them a whole lot there, either.

        • Here, in my mind, is the most biggest most goodest thing Clinton did.
          Clinton destroyed Gingrich’s “prime ministerial” ambitions. He time-delay destroyed Gingrich’s further career in elective office. Can you imagine a President Gingrich? That’s where we were heading and we can thank Clinton for derailing that train.

          In the not-so-good things collumn I would add WTO membership/ratification and MFN for China, as well as certain pro-upper-class deregulatory laws. Here is a little cutpaste from a very negative doomygloomy blog called Economic Undertow on the effects of mass offshoring of our industry to China.

          Figure 2: US and China consumption is virtually identical, the Chinese burn much more coal. Waste-begets-waste: China export trade is cheap coal in the guise of near-worthless consumables, an energy subsidy to US ‘consumers’.

          According to the International Monetary Fund the US nominal GDP for last year was: US$15.094 trillion.
          According to the IMF the China nominal GDP in US dollars for last year was: US$7.298 trillion.

          What this means is China is structurally half as productive as the US: to obtain the same unit of output as super-guzzler USA China must burn twice as much fuel. For China to have the same level of goods- output as the US it must double its already staggering fossil fuel waste or reconfigure its energy use infrastructure to be twice as efficient. It is hard to see how the Chinese can do this on top of the massive (mal)investments already made in the capital-intensive sectors.

          That blog is called Economic Undertow and I won’t even bother even trying to bring a link in the teeth of Microsoft Explorer opposition.

          • I read somewhere that the bonus class is starting to realize that the Chinese miracle is over. I had Chinese colleagues who told me that china did not yet have the business infrastructure for R&D. So on top of ripping pharmas apart in the last 20 years from repeated M&As, it has exacerbated its pipeline problems by try trying to make drug discovery into a factory model, like making cars. I think all of the exoduses to china was the last gasp of a dying industry and if they had just thought it through a little instead of hitting the panic button, pharma wouldn’t be such a disaster right now. As it is, the bonus class has doomed the pharma industry.
            I just hope my two pensions survive the coming bankruptcies.

          • To Riverdaughter, actually . . .

            If you find a place to move to with a very affordable little mini-house to move into, would it make sense to cash out one of the pensions and pay the tax and penalty to buy the house with it? Or not?

            Does one trust that The Establishment will permit the two pensions to even stay in existence for when you are actually ready to collect?
            Or is it a matter of pre-grabbing some of one’s own money before The Establishment grabs all of it and leaves one an empty pension shell?

            A lot of strange tradeoffs to think about I suppose, when one realizes The Elite can not even be trusted to leave planned-on pensions unmolested.

          • Um, how is it they could prevent me from taking the pensions I have earned? I didn’t retire from either company. Altogether, both pensions add up to a very modest income with social security factored in. I’m not going to starve, unless we have runaway inflation, but it’s not like I’m going to be taking cruises every year. I fail to see how having more than one pension is relevant. I worked for both of them. They aren’t freebies. In fact, no one who gets a pension from their employer is getting a freebie. That’s deferred compensation, agreed to when you sign the employee contract. It’s not a gift and they aren’t doing you a favor giving you what you have rightfully earned.

          • I should think they can retro-destroy the value in the pensions one way or another. They went to bussiness school to learn how to do that. Either by endless churning and fee-charging and slowly depleting the value held in the pensions or some other method. Or people further upstream could be working on ways to asset-strip and value-strip some of the major companies that many pensions, including yours, are invested in, leaving pensions with shares in suddenly bankrupted companies, or shares worth a half or a tenth of what they were before the companies get asset-stripped or value-stripped. I’m not thinking of ways they could try and tell you that you suddenly have “no right” to your pension. I’m thinking of ways they could stealthily drain and destroy the value from out of the pension . . turning it into the equivalent of a wasp nest without any wasps. If one is afraid of the OverClass succeeding in getting away with The Last Ripoff . . . one might want to turn some of one’s pension into dollars while the dollars can still be exchanged for a parcel of survivalism-ready land to build one’s little survivalist doomstead on.

            But maybe they won’t do that. Maybe a pension will still have value by retirement age.

        • I found another little paragraph group in that same Economic Undertow blogpost to be so delicious and so proxy-vengeance-inspiring as to be worth cutpasting.

          Anyone looking for evidence that money is brain poison has to look no further than China: Craig Tinsdale notes The Looting of China by the Kleptokapitalist Bourgeoisie Roaders, long-time China expert Patrick Chovanek describes how Chinese non-response to US complaints about China company bookkeeping threatens to have all Chinese companies deregistered from US exchanges. While this last step is unlikely, it is reasonable that most if not all US-listed Chinese companies are accounting control frauds created specifically to take advantage of the ‘Super-China economic growth miracle narrative’ and the associated suckers. Here is John Hempton’s take:

          China is a kleptocracy. Get used to it.

          I start this analysis with China being a kleptocracy – a country ruled by thieves. That is a bold assertion – but I am going to have to assert it. People I know deep in the weeds (that is people who have to deal with the PRC and the children of the PRC elite) accept it. My personal experience is more limited but includes the following:

          (a). The children and relatives of CPC Central Committee members are amongst the beneficiaries of the wave of stock fraud in the US,

          (b). The response to the wave of stock fraud in the US and Hong Kong has not been to crack down on the perpetrators of the stock fraud (so to make markets work better). It has been to make Chinese statutory accounts less available to make it harder to detect stock fraud. ”

          Considering the economic treason involved in shipping our industries to China so as to pay a China cost and charge a “low American price” (working the differential cost arbitrage rackets) . . . I hope that every dollar invested in China ends up being vaporised and lost there. Even if some of those dollars are my retirement dollars sent there in service to The International Free Trade Conspiracy. I’d be willing to live in a trailer if I could be guaranteed that every single Free Trade Profiteer (and every member of their families) had to live in boxes and dumpsters.

    • I have listened to some of Obama’s campaign speechafyin and I start thinking he sounds good. I think maybe he has learned his lesson about trying to compromise with republicans….. and then I remember, “oh, he doesn’t mean any of it”.

  7. Since the SecState carries out the President’s foreign policy, I’ll give Obama his due share of credit for no war with Iran as of yet. And he gets credit for orchestrating the Administration’s part in the Chrysler-GM forced reorganization-cramdown-bankruptcy.

    The rest of it is what has turned me against Obama. The Simpson-Obama Catfood Conspiracy to destroy my Social Security and Medicare and privatise the money. The Baucus-Obama Romneycare
    insurance giveaway bill with the Forced Mandate. The deliberate support for fraudlending and fraudclosure and gang-banker privilege.

    If Romney were President, the so-called “Democratic” Senators would face a moment-of-truth pick-your-identity opportunity. They can either pretend to defend SS against Romney privatisation or they can support Romney’s aggression against SS just the same as they will support Obama’s aggression against SS if Obama is re-elected. If Romney is elected, SS “may” be destroyed. If Obama is re-elected, SS
    WILL be destroyed. Obama is the greater threat to my survival in my current pre-unemployed state. I will vote however I have to to defeat Obama. A third party vote may not be enough to defeat Obama if the election is close. It may require voting for Romney and then so-called “Democrats” downticket in hopes they will lock Romney’s grid.

  8. There should also be an element of revenge in this election. Digby and Atkins are laughing as they read this post and these comments.
    I can almost hear the pair of matched bookend scum laughing at me all the way out here. I want revenge on them and their beloved Obama and all their fellow Shitobamacrats.

    • Maybe Atkins laughs but I’m betting Digby isn’t enthusiastic.

      • I hope you are right. And yet . . . and yet . . . Atkins is Digby’s little mini me on that blog. SHE! brought him in there. Why did she do that? I remember several years ago stumbling onto a Digby article on some other blog called Left Open or Open Left of some such thing maybe. And way back then she was writing about the overwhelming importance of keeping “democratic” voters voting “democratic” no matter what, and about how “displays of independence and show-off declarations of identity and stuff” had to be firmly suppressed. If I had any idea how to find a link, I would find it and offer it. (If Microsoft would let me . . . which sometimes it will).

        • I wonder if the Oborg elite have threatened Digby’s hubby’s job (doesn’t he work in the movie industry, which is Oborg-assimilated up to the gills?) if Digby doesn’t toe the party line? :evil:

          *******************************************

          Thanx to the unaccountable, easily hacked, computerized voting machines and other factors, We The Serfs won’t be choosing the next Caesar anyway. Even if I’m wrong about that and the Malefactors Of Great Wealth decide to allow an honest election, I live in the Arkanshire, which is deeply crimson by now, where it was purple a few years ago, so Roof Doggy Dogg will carry the Arkanshire anyway. Hence, I might as well vote my conscience.

          I don’t know which will be more entertaining: watching the Hullabalosers throw hissy fits if the MOGW choose Roof Doggy Dogg, or watching the Agnew Holers throw hissy fits if the MOGW choose Obummer again. :twisted:

        • Atkins is Digby’s mini me!? Please. Atkins is nowhere near Digby’s league as a writer. She thinks circles around him.

          • That’s exactly correct in terms of her skill and her thinking. But why then did she bring him onto her blog? He is her little creature, her “blame-taker” for the secret stealth-bannings, the pre-censorship of all comments. He works for her. That is what I meant by “mini-me”.

            If someone has a better word for the concept I am grasping at, I will defer to that better word. Henchcreep, little gopherling, whatever word will do the job . . .

          • And someone else Digby at least writes circles around is her occasional guest co-blogger Tristero. What a bombastic blowhard.
            “Diametrically opposed” this and “mathematically impossible” that and bow wow wow. Though he does sometimes address an interesting subject in his own interest-reducing way . . . and he never did stealth-ban me.

  9. I just thought of a parodic name for the actual government of the USA and most of the world: The Dictatorship Of The Monetariat.

    • A meme worth launching here and there, to see if it takes off.
      And who makes up The Monetariat? The plutons and the kleptons, and their upper middleclass helpers, and their legions of morally supportive whipkissers.

  10. Preznit Obumma has got a FEVAH! And the only prescription is… :mrgreen:

    http://s175.photobucket.com/albums/w131/drkarma/?action=view&current=Obamamorecowbell.jpg

  11. The backsplash is done. Hallelujah. It took longer than I expected because I didn’t have a wet saw. The tile store offered to cut it for me. I think it looks pretty good given that a couple of amateurs did it.
    Tomorrow, ve grout.

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