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Monday: The Bankers and Obama.

They paid for him.  They paid big money to get what they wanted.

Liberal Rapture has an account of an unknown insider that is uncanny in its summary of Obama.  The account could be completely fabricated but if it is true, it is told from the perspective of someone who was present at many of the fundraising meetings that Obama had with the financial sector.  The author justs says what I and many others concluded last year during the primaries:  Obama is a political opportunist whose only goal was to become president.  That’s it.  He’s completely over his head with the governing thing.  What is particularly notable is what the anonymous writer says about Obama’s perceived boredom.  That was the impression I got from him when I say him at YearlyKos 2007 in Chicago.  He just looked bored with the whole thing.  It came through in his “presentation” during the debates as well.  Here was a man who wasn’t completely comfortable with the material.  People in research start to develop a feel for this sort of thing.  We can tell when someone hasn’t really done the work or can’t interpret the results.

But it is only now that he has taken office in the midst of a major global financial crisis that we see why the banks invested so much money in him.  Paul Krugman outlines three reasons why the banks should be nationalized today in Banking on the Brink:

The case for nationalization rests on three observations.

First, some major banks are dangerously close to the edge — in fact, they would have failed already if investors didn’t expect the government to rescue them if necessary.

Second, banks must be rescued. The collapse of Lehman Brothers almost destroyed the world financial system, and we can’t risk letting much bigger institutions like Citigroup or Bank of America implode.

Third, while banks must be rescued, the U.S. government can’t afford, fiscally or politically, to bestow huge gifts on bank shareholders.

There it is. It’s that simple.  We can’t afford to keep lavishing money on bank shareholders just so they will be spared from having to suffer the consequences of their actions.  The money isn’t there even if the popular will was, which it isn’t.  These banks are in danger of imploding and taking down the world’s financial markets.  And yet, Obama just can’t seem to do what is the right thing:

The real question is why the Obama administration keeps coming up with proposals that sound like possible alternatives to nationalization, but turn out to involve huge handouts to bank stockholders.

For example, the administration initially floated the idea of offering banks guarantees against losses on troubled assets. This would have been a great deal for bank stockholders, not so much for the rest of us: heads they win, tails taxpayers lose.

Now the administration is talking about a “public-private partnership” to buy troubled assets from the banks, with the government lending money to private investors for that purpose. This would offer investors a one-way bet: if the assets rise in price, investors win; if they fall substantially, investors walk away and leave the government holding the bag. Again, heads they win, tails we lose.

Why not just go ahead and nationalize? Remember, the longer we live with zombie banks, the harder it will be to end the economic crisis.

I suspect the reason that Obama won’t nationalize, or won’t until the second before Armageddon, is because the bankers hold his junk in their hands.  And we already know that Obama doesn’t have a core Democratic principle that isn’t on a sliding scale.  That’s why shmoozers in business are detested by the people who have to work for them.  We know how they got to the top.  They hobnobbed and played golf with the guy two levels above them instead of actually working at their jobs until they reached a level of familiarity and expertise.  Their whole goal in life is to get to the very top of the ladder.  Getting to the top makes them successful- at getting to the top.  And then what?

While Obama pays the piper for shmoozing, we are still waiting for Commerce, Labor and HHS to get secretaries.  We teeter on the edge of insolvency.  We watch our retirement savings accounts dwindle day after day, waiting for a reboot.  We have nothing left but hope that he will snap out of it and grow a conscience

(Superdelegates, we haven’t forgotten your role in this.)

129 Responses

  1. I liked “Obamageddon” that you all used yesterday. That was awesome!

  2. Common Dreams has jumped on this as well and are quoting Krugman, they have a petition at Facebook:

    http://www.facebook.com/pages/CommonDreamsorg/32109457015

  3. I would like to hear an explanation of why public control of the banks is a good idea and would be better than private control.

    Wouldn’t a whole new bureaucracy have to be established and maintained?

    • a.) as Krugman points out, it’s done all of the time. The FDIC takes receivershipp of insolvent banks at a rate of two per week recently. The FDIC sells their assets, restructures them and puts them back on the market. There’s nothing unusual or unAmerican about it. b.) nationalizing is only temporary and only for a limited of very large banks who are insolvent. I think the number is 4 banks that are to be targeted including Citibank, JP Morgan-Chase and Bank of America. The sooner it’s done, the better.
      Think of it as a hard reset on your CPU. Yep, it’s going to take down your memory but sometimes it’s the only way to get things running again.

      • Then it shouldn’t be talked about as “nationalization,” which implies a permanent, Bank of the United States kind of operation.

        • Um, I think that is the spin that 1970’s social studies class put on the word. It smacks of devil socialism and dreary gray crowded cities under overcast skies where customer service is pathetic and the small cheap cars rattle and break down all of the time. Or some clean, efficient, Logan’s Run kind of place where you report to an extermination pod euphemistically called something implying paradise the minute you turn 30.
          Surprise! It is none of those things. It is simply a word which here means “the government has the money to take the bank into receivership because the bank ain’t got no money.” The government’s only interest in this is to sell the assets for whatever they can get for them, restructure the bank (maybe it will dismember them a bit) and then put them back on the market. The government already owns the banks. They can’t function without a daily infusion of taxpayer dollars. The issue right now is who owns the assets and what is to be done with them. If the bankers had their way, the government would pay more than the assets were worth and take a dive on their behalf. Nationalization would prevent that from happening.
          If you went bankrupt and had assets that needed to be sold to pay your debtors, the sherriff would schedule an auction and sell off your stuff to pay your debts. It’s the same thing here. You wouldn’t expect the sherriff to come to you with a check and say, “Gee, you’ve really fallen on some hard times. Here’s a check to cover your bills. No, no, don’t thank me. It was from the county treasury. It was our pleasure. Take all the time you need to pay it back.” What’s to stop you from going to the casinos with that money? Nothing. And there’s no incentive for you to pay it back.
          See, right now, we already have what Krugman calls “lemon socialism”. We, the taxpayers, are already socializing the banks but *we’re* getting stuck with all of the toxic assets and none of the future rewards. I don’t know about you, but I am willing to overcome my trepidation of the word “nationalization” in order to get value from these bankrupt banks.
          One other thing: Government is just an organization that we put together to do for us what we cannot do as individuals. It’s a pooling of resources, an economy of scale. We couldn’t save the banks without a government. There’s a reason why words like nationalization have such bad reputations. Think about who benefits when government is sidelined.

          • Your explanation here deserves wider currency, RD. This is the first time I’ve actually understood the true nature and duration of ‘nationalization’. And so I think now, “What the hell is the problem? Do it yesterday.” Then I remind myself you’ve already answered the question, above. If more Americans had more behind-the-curtain insight, Obama would not hardly be more popular than Jesus.

  4. Scary stuff!
    OT:A bit of history on the NY Post cartoons and race
    http://edgeoforever.wordpress.com/2009/02/23/we-know-who-the-chimp-is/

  5. Oh. Temporary.

    This is what Krugs says:

    “It may be necessary to temporarily nationalize some banks in order to facilitate a swift and orderly restructuring.” I agree.

  6. My interpretation of Obama has always been that he coveted the title of President above all else. His aides have not described him as “restless” which I take as someone who is just unable to focus. We hear that attributed to young children who seem incapable of sitting at their desks for any period of time and concentrating on their work.

    The adulation, the title, the perks, the place in history, always seemed to me to be his one goal. Limited vision beyond the “hopey, changey” rhetoric was evident throughout the campaign. Pointing out the inexperience was an exercise in futility since the bed was already made and all that was left was to fluff up the pillows.

    Being ready on Day One is taking longer than anticipated. He is in over his head and without a grasp of the events the stewardship of the Ship of State is being placed in the hands of the few who stand to be the only beneficiaries.

    Another “speech” ought to do it. I need another shot of “cool” infusion to buoy my lagging spirits which allows the MSM to tell me once again how lucky we are to have him.

    • You sum it up perfectly.

    • Pat,

      I always think back to the debate before the Iowa Primary when Obama said (very condescendingly) that he wouldn’t be a “hands on” CEO. He would be delegating everything to the experienced people he would have working for him. It sounded just like what Bush said before he was elected, and it gave me the creeps. Now he is also reminding me of Nixon–micromanaging small things and neglecting things he should pay attention.

      • I remember that too. At the time I thought that he was the democratic party bush. He is just like bush in so many ways… he cheated his way to the nomination like bush did the presidency and he stole from us the chance to have an actual experienced hard working president who was a grown up.

    • I don’t think it was his idea. My impression of his history is that powerful people would catch a glimpse or be told to watch him and they fed his incredible ego by telling him they could make “it” happen (whatever step they were leading him to). Heaven knows, if he had be expected to really, really work for it, he never would have thrown his hat in the ring. Those around him did the work, and they made things happen (Jack Ryan was humiliated across the country to eliminate any real competition in his US Senate run).

      Obama looked to see only what former Presidents got from the gig, and he really loved the idea of writing more fictitious accounts of what happens in his life but pretty much guaranteeing a $50M payout for it. His first books didn’t sell much at first printing…they were reprinted after his popularity spred during the primary.

      • It’s quite sickening to learn that Obama’s two works of fiction are still selling like hotcakes, thus further enriching The Fraudulent One. When, oh when, will this national (global) insanity burn itself out???

    • And remember that when we did try to point to his inexperience during the campaign, we got the R word hurled at us.

  7. “We have nothing left but hope that he will snap out of it and grow a conscience.”

    This slim thread of “hope” leaves me hopeless – in a top down hoping kind of way. My hope lies in your, RD, and other like voices being heard increasingly. My hope lies in looking elsewhere than Obama.

  8. We have nothing left but hope that he will snap out of it and grow a conscience

    Not likely unless he’s visited by three ghosts in the middle of the night. Or perhaps Xena, Warrior Princess.

    I really do think the financial CEOs who wreaked the system and made out like bandits should have their personal assests seized in compensation to the taxpayers.

    Failing that, I’d like to see a road tour where the bankers go from town to town, sitting in the stocks, where we can have a chance to throw rotten garbage at them. Wouldn’s solve the crisis, but it would make me feel good.

    • Excellent idea, sister of ye!

    • I like the idea of Xena paying a little call on him.

      Gods help us, we’ve got Joxer for president.

    • I had the same thought, that the banker’s assets should be seized. I believe that their actions constitute treason.

    • I would settle for a full scale investigation into the whole affair to find and root out criminality, whether it’s in Wall St or DC. I don’t think anyone is actually looking for it though.

  9. Meanwhile, the media keeps glossing over reality for this sucker!!!! The pundits are particularly nauseating. I happened to catch a few moments of The McLaughin Report over the weekend and Clarence Page should take over as White House Press Secretary. Unreal!

    Thankfully, Kenosha Marge has her computer fixed…she definitely doesn’t gloss over anything!

    Enjoy!

    Maudlin Mawkishness in the Age of the Gush

    http://insightanalytical.wordpress.com/2009/02/23/maudlin-mawkishness-in-the-age-of-the-gush/

  10. I would like to hear an explanation of why public control of the banks is a good idea and would be better than private control.

    Wouldn’t a whole new bureaucracy have to be established and maintained?

    Your question rests on the assumption that bureacrats are lazy and incompetent (“government is the problem”) – that’s a standard right-wing talking point.

    But assuming it’s correct, who would you rather have running the banks, lazy incompetent bureaucrats that are answerable to the people or greedy, incompetent private-sector capitalists who are answerable to no one?

    Remember, the greedy, private-sector capitalists have already had their chance and they blew it and now we have to bail them out.

    • We have a bureaucracy in place to take over banks that are failing. It is called the FDIC.

      • they only take the banks over after they fail. I think those in favor of nationalization are doing so in hoping that we can PREVENT the total collapse of the banking industry(thus having them managed by the FDIC). I might feel differently about nationalization if I felt the banks were being candid about their books. At this point I think we need to nationalize them so we can get the full picture of how much damage is there. We need to know the full damage before we can even begin to deal with the situation adequately. Otherwise we risk throwing money at a problem and still having the banks fail.

      • Abolutely Jangles. But the scale is the problem. Sheila Bair at the FDIC now has 100 billion. Citi until recently had assets (many bad) that approached 2 trillion.

    • The private sector capitalists are bureaucrats also. Corporations are bureaucracies. In fact, the same people at the top move back and forth between the public and private sectors. They are the ones we don’t need in either area!

  11. Krugman’s article is a must read. He is so good at taking complex economic issues and getting it down to prose we can understand. Our dakinlat is his only known competitor. It is the uncertainty that is killing the recovery right now.

    Learned an interesting thing from my neighbor today (who is one of these international travelers/dwellers German, Swiss, Canadian). The Germans have implemented a new car buying program where the government will buy your old car for a fixed sum if you buy a new car. In 2 days more than 50000 cars were sold. What people are buying is—get this—GM cars made in Germany! But isn’t that an interesting way to focus stimulus? Gets older vehicles that are probably less fuel efficient/less clean air off the road and gives the car companies new customers. Wonder if something like that could work here instead of another big hand out to GM?

    • Whoa! GM cars made in Germany? GERMANY? Where the unions are second only to the ones in France? Where workers have rights and get paid a living wage?
      Have they been asked to give up their health care yet?

      • I suspect the actions of the German government has everything to do with GM’s announcement last week that they intended to cut thousands of jobs in GM’s German auto plants to satisfy their obligations to get the cash from the US government to save their @$$.

        I’m not sure without teh google, but mebbe GM manufactures the Opel brand in Germany?

      • Saturn’s latest models are all from GM’s German company. They build good cars in Europe and good cars in Oz where they are sold under the Holden brand.

  12. We hear that attributed to young children who seem incapable of sitting at their desks for any period of time and concentrating on their work.

    Oh great, the most powerful man in the world has attention deficit disorder.

    “You down with ADD? Yeah you know me!”

    • Wouldn’t surprise me. He reminds me of one of those gifted kids with ADD. Smart but can’t focus on the follow through and stay on task.

      • Am I the only one who finds his clipped, speed reading
        of teleprompters during presentations that don’t allow him
        to exhibit his rockstardom annoying?

        He seems so disinterested. This is the “elegant” man that
        Sean Penn thanked the Oscar audience for electing.
        One empty suit follows another.

  13. myiq, I said absolutely nothing of the kind.

  14. Then it shouldn’t be talked about as “nationalization,” which implies a permanent, Bank of the United States kind of operation.

    The correct term is “receivership”

    Courts do that all the time

    • Federal courts also oversaw the breakup of Ma Bell, and did a perfectly fine job (and a much better job than our current banker-class has done governing the markets). It is only mildly related, as that was antitrust, but I was thinking of the AT&T breakup when someone yesterday mentioned that they thought Citi would have to be broken down to its component parts. Courts do take companies into receivership all the time; the FTC oversees company demergers and breakups, it’s not as if this is completely new idea. We need to be reversing the trend of ‘too big to fail’, not encouraging it.

      I really don’t see how the government could do any worse a job than the perps of the Big Sh*tstorm have. Heck, a group of a 100 randomly-chosen 3rd graders could probably do better.

  15. Doesn’t anyone think it odd that we turn to a economics professor who has a twice weekly column in a newspaper to gain insight into our current situation rather than those elected to lead the nation?

    Since we cannot trust one word coming out of DC we are left to consider one lone voice in the wilderness to give us guidance.

    All we seem to be getting from this administration is a series of photo ops.

    • Yes it is weird. Krugman’s analysis is even supported by Greenspan.

      Today from Wall St.
      Dow member Citigroup (C $2) is modestly higher, but has pared early gains that stemmed from reports that the US government could take a larger stake in the financial firm. The Wall Street Journal said the government could convert a large portion of the $45 billion in preferred shares that it bought and may end up holding as much as 40% of Citi’s common stock. Citi did not comment.

      Why don’t they just seize it? Krugman’s analysis is dead accurate. Citi owns a big chunk of the Obama brand.

  16. Don’t put words in my mouth or assume I said something I clearly didn’t.

  17. Don’t put words in my mouth or assume I said something I clearly didn’t.

    My apologies, but you used trigger words..(Rushbo is always going on about government bureaucrats, and conservatives want to shrink govwernment until it’s small enough to drown in a bathtub.)

    Okay, then what was your concern about “a whole new bureaucracy” that would “have to be established and maintained?”

  18. He is speaking again today at the Governor’s Conference. My ears are already bleeding. A prepared speech, a teleprompter, and a fawning press. Who could ask for anything more.

    I can feel his “elegance” oozing as we speak.

    • When and where is the Governor’s conference? He is supposed to speak at the “Fiscal Responsibility Summit” at 1PM today. Sounds like taxpayers will be spending a bit on Air Force One today.

      • Notice a similarity to Bush here? Instead of speaking from Washington and taking questions from the DC press corp (who don’t have to be chosen to travel on the Presidential press plane), President Obama travels about giving speeches, some closed to press, all carefully orchestrated. Honestly, I am having a new wave of distress about how this President achieved the nomination and how he seems to think these tactics translate into governing.

  19. Jack Ryan was humiliated across the country

    So was Jeri Ryan, and now their 14 year old son Alex can read juicy gossip about his parents’ sex lives on the internet.

    • Whoever wanted Obama to ascend from the Illinois machine
      revealed the sealed divorce records of both his Dem. and Republican
      opposition, so he could run unopposed (having an out-of-stater Alan
      Keys arrive for the last weeks wasn’t real opposition, although during
      part of a debate I saw on You-Tube between The One and Keyes,
      Keyes was definitely the sharper one!

    • That was my first thought too. Those divorce papers should have remained sealed to protect JR and son. That they were opened to ensure an Obama win makes the man even more despicable in my eyes. And I didn’t think that was possible! People are meaningless to him, they’re simply fodder. But then what should we expect from a man who didn’t visit his mother’s deathbed.

  20. Wow, RD. The Liberal Rapture emails track exactly how I felt during the primaries, and why I instinctively knew Hillary was the right choice.
    I’ll be thinking about those emails all day.

    Thanks for posting them.

    • I had the same reaction when I read it. How come a lot of people who didn’t met Obama in person had the same insight in his personality like this guy who met him. Only if they listen to us!

  21. He is now being touted as more popular than Jesus! Holy cripes, is there no end to this? And I bet Jesus is none to pleased at the moment either. Nothing like a good old fashioned “smite” to get even.

    • No wonder I am depressed. Adulation and groupthink are not good for democracy. I don’t even want adulation and groupthink for politicians I prefer – that way authoritarianism lies.

  22. OT: My hubby is a fan of Mad Money Cramer. You should have heard Cramer this weekend, going on about Geithner MIA.
    My comment: Ya know, Cramer voted for Hillary.

  23. He is now being touted as more popular than Jesus!

    Remember when John Lennon said that about the Beatles and caught hell. Maybe that’s why Obama wants to bury the 1960s so badly.

    Of course, the Beatles had talent and actually made a contribution to society.

    • We have entered the “age of Obama” where any comparison is heralded. Where I see him as less than mediocre, others see him as a stellar performer.

      My comparison is canceled out because it is closer to the truth. If he is more more popular than Jesus as they say he is, then that seals it.

      But just because “they” say it does not necessarily make it so.

      • Yesterday in my post for The New Agenda, I listed Obama’s misogynist actions as POTUS to date. Then, I used a listing of some of his more odious misogynist associates to demonstrate my point.

        A commenter came back at me with a (much shorter) list of women politicians he surrounds himself with, then started down the road of “if he’s a misogynist then these women are wrong about him, which means he’s not a misogynist.”

        First of all, the women are not all feminists. Far from it. Second of all, they are Democratic politicians, not friends or chosen associates. What are they supposed to do, start denouncing their President in public for misogyny and get a faceful of the Chicago Way? Is Jennifer Granholm supposed to stop being a governor because Obama is a misogynist?!

        Some people are simply incapable of connecting the dots.

    • and John Lennon wouldn’t have thought it a good idea to talk about peace and than ramp up a war

  24. Obama reminds me of the “Smiley Face” stickers that were plastered all over the place some years back. They were affixed to just about everything.

    • Thanks, poplicola.

      This woman bought a 2 story home in 2001 for $87,000, and then re-financed it for $270,000 for the cash, and stopped paying the mortgage after that. Part of getting that 2nd mortgage was falsifying her income to qualify.

      She’s had 2 years to comply with banker requests for payment and information, and ignored all written communications from them.

      The home had already been sold to another family, so when Acorn led her in, to “reclaim her house,” she was actually breaking and entering on someone else’s private property.

      Refinanced $87,000 to $270,000 , with falsified income, stopped paying, and took the extra money and ran.

      And yet, on Huffington Post, she’s being described as a “martyr.”

      Facts are facts. All that glitters is not gold.

  25. “We can’t afford to keep lavishing money on bank shareholders just so they will be spared from having to suffer the consequences of their actions.”

    That doesn’t make sense. The “consequence of their actions”? What, buying stock? Also ,we are not lavishing money on bak stockholders. We are lavishing money on the banks themselves. For example, Citi’s stock is down to 2 bucks and they have cut their dividend to a penny per share. Shareholders have been pretty much wiped out already.

    • Many of those shareholders work for those banks. They knew what was going on and were rewarded for engaging in it. If you’ve worked in the corporate world in the past couple of decades, you know what it is expected. It is social darwinism in a pure form.
      Over the weekend, the shareholders in asia dumped their shares. Surprise.

      • RD, O/T, but I believe Liberal Rapture has some mighty fine writing by John South of Melrose. He often quotes you favorably. Would you be so inclined to add him to your blogroll? Thanks.

      • They dumped their shares because talk of nationalization had increased (Dodd and Schumer came out in support), and they knew they’d be wiped out if it happened.

        Lots of pension funds and college endowment funds did the same thing .

        Might as well get $2.00 a share instead of nothing at all.

      • They dumped their shares because talk of nationalization had increased (Dodd and Schumer came out in support), and they knew they’d be wiped out if it happened.

        Lots of pension funds and college endowment funds did the same thing .

        Might as well get $2.00 a share instead of nothing at all.

      • That’s begging the issue. Some did and do work for the company and a lot do not. The point is that any shareholder has been pretty much wiped out by now and the government infusions are not lavishing money on them. They are propping up the banks themselves.

  26. All is well. obama just reminded the governors that the White House is the people’s house and they are only using it for awhile. Convinced?

  27. RD, I so agree with you. Obama came off to me as the kid who NEVER did his homework, but charmed his fellow students and teachers into thinking he did by riffing off those who did do their homework. I really wish we’d see his transcripts. i bet they are just mediocre at best. he did that in the early debates, waited for every one else to offer up their expertise then riffed on that … I see the that type ALL the time although they pervade ivy leagues more than public universities, it’s that sense of entitlement you get with kids that went to prep schools, they reek of it …

    • I think that is why wall street banked (puns intended) on him. They know his personality will allow him to get people behind him, and his lack of morals and ethics will serve them the most. Who else out there in 2008 would they have wanted.

      • Memory flash, here, of the poor people in Obama’s district without heat in public housing, while the “community developers” like Penny Pritzker ran off with the cash, and Obama said he didn’t know how bad the poor people had it. But Pritzker and the other “developers” kept donating to all of his campaigns.

        Same leopard. Same spots.

    • In addition to the ennui, “the complete disinterest in the policy aspect,” is scary. We just finished with a disinterested First Resident and it looks like our consistency is not too virtuous.

      Governing, just like sailing, is about setting the tiller and tacking in a direction. We haven’t seen a whimper of that other than playing Santa Claus with a porcine stimulus bill and there’s no one save for maybe Orszag who seems interested in policy and Orszag looks like Opie’s kid brother.

    • Dakinikat,

      We know he was mediocre at Columbia because he graduated without honors. At Harvard, he graduated Magna, meaning he got some Bs. Harvard is notorious for grade inflation, and in grad school it’s pretty easy to get As. We also know he couldn’t make the Law Review on merit. They wanted diversity in the ’90s. The presidency of the Law Review was between him and another black guy. They had to have an AA prez, because of all the turmoil on campus then. Obama isn’t stupid, but he has no original ideas, that’s for sure.

  28. ot — I just looked at the poll results and “no threaded comments” won, so when does the format revert?

    • pop — I don’t think no-threaded won, because it only has 45% of the vote. The rest of the vote is for threaded, just broken up among the “newest on top” “oldest on top” and “I don’t care” options. At least, that is how I read the way the poll was set up.

      • how does “i don’t care” count as a vote for nesting?

      • This is correct. I almost didn’t include “no nested comments” but I had a hunch that it wouldn’t win anyway so I threw it in to go above and beyond.
        Looks like slightly more people prefer the reply option. Some readers will resent me for awhile. Some may go away. The others will adjust, I suspect.

    • You are incorrect. No nested comments was edged out slightly by those who prefered nested comments. There was simply a difference as to whether they should be older or newer first. Older first won.
      We will try it this way for a week. If people haven’t adjusted by then, we will revert to no nested comments.
      There really isn’t much difference between the two formats except that you now have the *option* of responding to someone directly. You don’t need to use the reply button if you don’t want to or if you just want to be ornary.
      It’s really your choice.

      • Do you have any idea whether Word Press is working on developing the feature whereby new comments contain a “New” tag for readers who want to check up on a thread they’ve opened before (as TL, for instance, presently has)? I think that would make the nested comments format more palatable to those who prefer the old format. I personally like having nested comments and being able to respond directly to an earlier comment, but it does make it easier to miss some interesting new comments.

      • love them choices..thanks R.D.

  29. http://www.cnn.com/2009/POLITICS/02/22/obama.so.far/index.html

    Clinton’s mockery of Obama proves true

    WASHINGTON (CNN) — During the most contentious stretch of the Democratic presidential primary campaign last winter, then-candidate Hillary Clinton mocked Barack Obama for his pledge to transcend Washington’s entrenched partisanship.

    President Obama, who won the presidency on a bipartisan platform, now faces a very divided Washington.

    “The sky will open. The lights will come down. Celestial choirs will be singing and everyone will know we should do the right thing and the world will be perfect!” Clinton bellowed.

    Obama dismissed Clinton’s sarcasm as overly cynical and further evidence she was a creature of Washington. But as President Obama prepares to make his first major address to Congress, Clinton’s comments are borne out.

    For a candidate who won the White House on a mantle of bringing the country’s two political parties together, Washington could not be more divided on Obama’s initial weeks in the Oval Office and the policies he has put in place. [more at link]

    • I wish I could send a hundred thousand “I told you so’s” to CNN.

      P.S. “bellowed”? ugh.

    • HAHAHAHAHAHAHA

      (gasp)

      HAHAHAHAHAHAHA

      One of the best moments of the campaign. Of course, she was lambasted by the Village for it.

      Of course, CNN will never acknowledge that it’s not bi-partisanship we need. It’s good government, which is based on NON-partisanship.

      • I was in the audience in RI when Hillary said that. The crowd response was wild. And votermom, you’re right, she did not bellow. Stupid CNN.

    • I suppose it would be pointless for us to demand an apology.
      Schadenfreude is only satisfying if the misfortune you are witnessing doesn’t affect you in some way.
      Why is it we haven’t won the battle against the bad guys yet? And what is going to happen to Obama now that he is flaming so early in his term with a massive, ominous financial asteroid bearing down on us? Can we really afford on-the-job training or will someone *please* cook up a scandal for him that will force him to resign before we all get hurt?

      • Somebody shoot me, I now find myself agreeing with Huckabee:

        “So now if he’s out there every day telling us it’s the worst it has ever been, there are going to be a significant number of Americans who are going to say: ‘Well, I guess the same guy who told me ‘Yes we can’ is now telling me ‘No we can’t.’”

        Huckabee adds: “It’s the worst possible direction he could take. I think about how polar opposite it is from sort of the classic FDR message, ‘We have nothing to fear but fear itself.’

        “With Obama, it’s ‘We have nothing but fear.’”

        http://www.newsmax.com/headlines/huckabee_obama/2009/02/22/184357.html

    • CNN has to do this shit because Hill is covering herself in glory in Asia. But they can’t say that.

      Remember how Bush was praised if he found the right door?

  30. I missed voting, but the threading is freaking me out.

  31. When I glanced at Barky on the TV this AM, there was a banner saying
    Biden will be overseeing the stimulus package. No headlines yet.
    I hope his ties to the credit card companies don’t mean they’ve got
    any control of it.

    Thanks to the Confluence, I understand that temporary nationalization
    is the way to go for Citi and BOA.

    • But of course Biden will be overseeing the stimulus package. After all, he’s been in bed with the credit card companies for years — who better?

      Talk about putting the fox in charge of the chicken coop….

  32. Well the DOW has officially crossed into the 7200s. I wonder how long it can sustain 100 point drops on a daily basis?

  33. Dow broke thru another floor … not good, it’s hovering around the 7200 level now

  34. Am I misunderstanding you? The bank shareholders are mostly me and you. Our job 401ks and pension funds. These are heavily invested in bank stock. We’re not just talking about rich folks here.

    Nationalizing the banks costs me and you big time.

    • I hate to break this to you but the uncertainty over the stability of these institutions is hurting you anyway. Have you checked the DOW lately? It’s lost hundreds if not thousands based on the sentiment out there that there is alot more loss that will need to be written down.

    • I’m with cwaltz on this one. We’re going to get screwed too but the sooner we reboot, the sooner we can start clawing our way back. Dragging this out is not going to restore the money lost. It’s only going to slow the recovery.
      I think we have to bite the bullet.

  35. I don’t see where nationalizing is the issue. Is the problem that the banks don’t have enough capital, or that the capital they have is worthless? I’m no economist, but it seems to me there’s a difference.

    • I think the problem may be more about their assets and liabilities. It’s hard to tell exactly how badly they invested in people who now have an inability to repay. I think that instead of loaning the capital out that they were infused with they are keeping it close to cover losses.

    • I’m no economist

      Tell the truth – you’re a closeted bean-counter wannabe

    • yes, and yes, their earnings are being shredded by loan losses and their stock prices are less than $2 a share for the most part …

      that’s basically no capital, no equity, no solvency: ie zombie banks

  36. This pinche nesting thing is crashing my browser

  37. btw……..We luuuuuv Jackson Browne.

    p.s. I use firefox 3 also, with no problems. Had some w/ie.

  38. Pssstttt…you forgot to put lipstick on that pig.

  39. But RD, didn’t you hear?

    Sean Penn thinks he’s “elegant.”

    I guess he didn’t read the actual facts about Obama’s homophobia, and that the reason Prop 8 passed was because of Obama voters. Don’t go confusing people with evidence!

  40. Maxine Waters:
    “The word ‘nationalization’ scares the hell out of people,” Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., said on “This Week.” To combat that, some clever advocates of nationalization have come up with alternative names, including “government receivership” and “pre-privatization.” (Source.)
    http://abcnews.go.com/WN/Economy/story?id=6885587

  41. […] Monday: The Bankers and Obama. They paid for him.  They paid big money to get what they wanted. Liberal Rapture has an account of an unknown insider […] […]

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