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Tuesday: Nuthin’ for Money

Wheres your lunch money, kid?

Where's your lunch money, kid?

Guys, I have an early morning meeting that I have to try to be on time for so this will be short.

I hope some of you have been following Planet Money.  For some bizarre reason, they don’t seem to indulge much in propaganda.  Maybe it’s because they view themselves as a podcast that seeks to explain.  They try to break down the jargon so that it’s easily disgestible and understandable.  Maybe it’s because they are affiliated with one of the best radio shows in America, This American Life.  They are chroniclers of sorts.  They’re definitely elite in terms of education but they don’t come off like the Whole Foods Nation.  Their position is that of the common man trying to make sense of it all.  Maybe that’s why some of their podcasts sound a little like, “Hey, buddy, try not to get excited but I just saw some guys with crowbars down on the street who are trying to break into your car.  Just thought you’d like to know.”

Yesterday’s podcast was a doozy. Even with Uri Berliner from the NPR business desk filling in for the regulars and patiently walking us through the jargon with Rolf Winkler of Option Armageddon, it was a little hard to follow.  But the bottom line came through clearly enough:  Obama and Geithner are conspiring with the banks for the US taxpayers to absorb the losses of the shareholders of Citibank.  In return, we will get diluted shares of common stock and the shareholders get a floor to their freefall.  The result of all of this is that the banks will stay in private hands.

Uri:  That means we’re [the taxpayers] are trading $45 billion dollars of investment in Citigroup into $4-5 billion in common shares?

Rolf: Yes.  Approximately.  That’s a decent way of thinking about it.

Dakinikat has also been having some WTF? moments. I encourage you to read up about this stuff.  Knowledge is power.  Right now, the media is so busy trying to tell us how totally awesome Obama is that the public may not realize that he doesn’t know what he’s doing but Tim Geithner does.  Geithner is doing everything in his power to prevent the bank shareholders from losing too much money and surrendering control of their insolvent banks to the government even if that means that taxpayers lose 90% of their investment in the bank. But when it comes to Social Security, the investment you made over the years will not be protected.  The post-partisan, non-Democrats in charge are looking for a way to not have to replace the billions of dollars the movement conservatives borrowed from the Trust Fund over the years and YOU will be expected to take a loss.

Sweeet!

There is a very disturbing psychological warfare being set up in the media right now to make us believe that there is no money left for us and we deserve to have no money, while the bankers are innocent bystanders who simply bought shares in banks and they need to be bought out.  When that happens, all that money transferred to banks like Citigroup will be in private hands and there will be no money left to pay back the Trust Fund. Oh, sure, they’ve tabled the idea of “reforming” Social Security for “fiscal responsibility”, or so they say.  But you can be sure that someone will be working on the awful conundrum that is the legacy of the Bush years: how to convince the taxpayer to voluntarily screw themselves so the wealthy and well connected don’t have to suffer?

Call me an old, working class, uneducated, sino-peruvian lesbian but I ain’t stupid.  We is being robbed.

216 Responses

  1. I told ya we shoulda oughta elected a Democrat

    • Alternative video: Here

    • Nah…democrats say absurd things such as “lock box” and HOLC. They all need to be replaced with ‘brands”

    • And the MSM will continue to attempt to distract us from what’s really going on by creating meaningless controversies — like the one currently brewing about the NY Post cartoon. So we’re “dialoguing” and demonstrating about the R word while the banker-pickpockets are circulating thorugh the crowd.

  2. RD, thanks for this dose of reality. It’s difficult for me to face.

  3. Thanks for “Planet Money”. Bookmarked and will visit daily.

  4. This time last year, we were gearing up for primaries in Ohio and Texas and the Obots were going on about “winning” 11 “contests” in a row and of course there was the WWTBQ mantra.

    I don’t know if Hillary would have handled it differently, though I do believe she would have.

    However, I do know that every move made by even the janitor in her administration would have been scrutinized, sniffed, and otherwise inspected on every news program on all of cablestan. A move like Geithner’s (and these other WTF moments) would not have been allowed to happen.

    • A move like geitners and many of these WTF moments would NOT be happening under her administration.

      Instead we would be awash in decades old business dealings that were never crooked and who slept with whom and despite the constant and relentless moves by the press to discredit her we the people would still be protected.

      • A move like geitners and many of these WTF moments would NOT be happening under her administration.

        True. But when it comes to the Clintons the msm will invent scandal where none exists. It is good for their careers to do so. See “Fools for Scandal: How the Media Invented Whitewater” by Gene Lyons.

        • Indeed. In the Media you don’t get that 2nd ski lodge
          if you treat the Clinton’s fairly…quite the contray.

  5. If you want to “change” the system, ya gotta own the banks. You only really need one when it’s all said and done. The Fed is a private bank with government oversight, too.

    “The Federal Reserve System is not “owned” by anyone and is not a private, profit-making institution. Instead, it is an independent entity within the government, having both public purposes and private aspects.

    As the nation’s central bank, the Federal Reserve derives its authority from the U.S. Congress. It is considered an independent central bank because its decisions do not have to be ratified by the President or anyone else in the executive or legislative branch of government, it does not receive funding appropriated by Congress, and the terms of the members of the Board of Governors span multiple presidential and congressional terms. However, the Federal Reserve is subject to oversight by Congress, which periodically reviews its activities and can alter its responsibilities by statute. Also, the Federal Reserve must work within the framework of the overall objectives of economic and financial policy established by the government. Therefore, the Federal Reserve can be more accurately described as “independent within the government.”

    http://www.federalreserve.gov/generalinfo/faq/faqfrs.htm

    Oh, and in addition to the banksters, the US government was one of Obama’s biggest donors.

    • Oh, and in addition to the banksters, the US government was one of Obama’s biggest donors.

      CInie, what do you mean?

      • I’m trying to figure that out too.

      • The United States government donated almost $500,000 to Barack Obama’s presidential campaign, according to Open Secrets.
        Golman Sachs, JP Morgan, Citigroup, and Morgan Stanley are on the list, too.
        University of California, Harvard, Stanford, Columbia, and University of Chicago, along with Google, Microsoft and National Amusements (Sumner Redstone, Viacom) make up the bulk of the list.
        http://www.opensecrets.org/pres08/contrib.php?cycle=2008&cid=N00009638

        • Oh, and most of the rest besides IBM and USB AG, the big Swiss bank that just had to cough up 780 mil in fines and give up its clients secret accounts, are big law firms doing very interesting work in very interesting places.

        • Cinie,

          Yes, I follow open secrets, but I hadn’t seen that thing about the U.S. gov’t, so thanks. Although Hillary got a lot of money from investment banks too, she is in a much better position than Obama to stand up to the banks because she has so many more powerful connections. I’m not saying she’s a saint, but she does have personal beliefs and a basically liberal ideology. I think she would also have done more to keep things from getting this bad in the first place. She would have been engaged in the process rather than just turning everything over to Geithner.

          • I’m not judging Hillary for taking donations from banks, BB. I thought it was noteworthy that the banks that went under, Bear and Lehman gave money to her and McCain. McCain got dough from the government, too, less than half of what Obama got, unless you count the Dept. of Defense and Army, then he got more.

          • Cinie,

            I know you weren’t judging Hillary. I was just trying to converse with you about it. You have a mind like a steel trap. I’m learning a lot from you.

          • If Obama were going to stand up to the banks, he would not have chosen Biden as his VP. Biden has sold his soul many times over to the bankers and credit card companies.

          • We ran out of room to chit chat below. but I wanted to say no offense taken or meant. Too much respect flows both ways for that.

        • I think Open Secrets “US government” part might be a bit misleading….

          When you loo
          “The figures profiled here include money from two sources: These contributors were either the sponsors of a PAC that gave to the politician, or they were listed as an individual donor’s employer. Donors who give more than $200 to any federal candidate, PAC or party committee must list their occupation and employer.”

          In the case of the “US governement” that likley means most of the money came from individual donors who worked or work for in federal agencies unless govt agencies have PACs.

  6. Sophie: The difference between Clinton and Obama is this: Obama is an enabler. He’s buddies with these people and he doesn’t want them to suffer. He’s all, “Lay off! Can’t you see he’s suffered enough. He just needs a little something to get him through the day.”
    While Hillary would have been rehab.
    The bankers are channeling Amy Winehouse right now.

    • I just can’t see Hillary trying to cut Social Security. I think she would have focused on health care and we wouldn’t even be having this conversation if she had won. And we can forget that she had plans for how to deal with the housing situation well before the election. She would have come into office know exactly how she wanted to handle it. I’m not saying she’d necessarily have succeeded in stopping the meltdown, but at least she had some idea of her own and wasn’t dependent on the thieves to tell her what to do.

      • You just out lined why Hillary was stopped. She would try to make it work. They don’t want it working.
        They want every penny. You don’t keep getting no string bailouts when it’s working

      • What BB said!!!!

  7. Bush stole as much as he could, Obama is there to finish up the job…

  8. FWIW…..

    http://www.tmz.com/2009/02/24/northern-trust-bank-bailout/

    (yeah, I know, it’s TMZ, but….)

    • Hmmm….it’s a “Chicago-based bank” too.

      • Judicial Watch says that the FEC recently confirmed now-President Obama had received a below market rate from Northern Trust on his home mortgage but dismissed Judicial Watch’s complaint “because no laws were broken.”

        No wonder Northern Trust is celebrating.

        djmm

    • Apparently, Barney Frank got wind of this and will be asking that they return the money ($1.6B).

      Good luck with that, Barney!

  9. The world as we know it is changing: Tweety is criticizing Obama?
    http://edgeoforever.wordpress.com/2009/02/24/et-tu-tweety/

  10. The more I think about it, the angrier I get. All a 401k turns out to be is an interest free loan to the financial industry to play with our money with promises of future returns. And here’s the beauty of it: The industry never has to pay us back. It can just keep deferring the rewards like promises of 70 virgins in the afterlife. The only thing we have is social security. Each one of us has a Social Security number and an account. It’s ours. It’s not investable. It’s money under the mattress.
    And the money keeps coming out of my paycheck every two weeks to go into that giant money pit called Wall Street and it’s all for nothing. There are no safeguards. Nothing to prevent those selfish fucks from gambling it away, charging us humongous fees and pocketing the money for themselves. Most of us don’t have degrees in finance but we were supposed to become financial wizards to make sure we didn’t lose it all. But that didn’t stop the bastards from using it for their own purposes and pocketing the money in “instruments” known as bonuses.
    These are our fucking pensions. What makes this different from the pre-Depression days?
    I have a good mind to stop making contributions and put the money in my bank account.

    • RD,

      Dakinikat said something about changing her preferences on her 401K so that she was taking less risk. Is that an option for you? I don’t blame you for being angry. And anyone who isn’t angry at this point is delusional. We’re all being robbed in broad daylight and the people who are supposed to be protecting us are helping the thieves.

    • I think this all is a marketing plan to for the thieves to access the biggest pot of all which is the SS trust funds. The sequence of events is strange and very quick. Bailouts, stimulus plans which no one has read, a never ending need for cash to keep ruined banks from going belly up rather than dissolve them because they are bankrupt. Then a stated intention to halve the deficit in four years for the good of the country followed by a summit.

      This weekend George Will (dinner party host to the new prez and suspected mouthpiece) on TV states that the basic cause of this catastrophe is the greed and debt of the American consumer who spent us all into this mess. Krugman, Roubini and some other person sat there and nodded yes. So we caused it with our Dillards charge cards! Next we will be advised that since we caused it we must all suffer which President Obama has already informed us. Health care reform, Medicare, SS retirement and disability and unemployment will have to be cut to pay for the irresponsible American public. This is how they will bail out the failed financials.

      Sorry this is so long but I could not summarize without exploding.

    • If not for the terrible tax consequences, I might even pull my money from the 401K and put it in bank accounts. I’m losing my trust in the whole structure now.

    • My contribution has been stopped, and I am doing just that, RD!

    • The only advantage of the 401K is that you are saving the amount that would be taxed, and there aren’t many CDs that pay 28 percent or whatever.

      So even if it makes nothing for you, you are saving in taxes. Of course, when the loss is beyond the tax savings that is another story.

      The beauty of moving away from pensions is that the huge amount of money that is siphoned out of paychecks gets to make big fees for the financial industry, regardless of how much profit is made. Then the financial industry gets to buy our presidents.

  11. RD,

    I was just reading stuff at the “Option Armageddon” blog you mentioned and came across this.

    Here’s a news flash from Politico:

    Former Time Warner and future Citigroup Chair Richard Parsons was just moments ago at the NW Gate to the WH.

    “Parsons,” he said when asked by Secret Service to identify himself.

    Asked again, he repeated that the last name was “Parsons” and explained that he had a meeting with Valerie Jarrett.

    The White House didn’t immediately respond when asked why Parsons was visiting Jarrett.

    Dick Parsons is the lead independent director at Citigroup. No doubt he’s leading negotiations with the White House over Citi’s future…

  12. Obama said Geitner was “uniquely qualified” that’s why he had to be Treasury Secy despite being a tax cheat. Now we know what his “unique qualifications” are: deception, theft, connivance, chicanery, double-speak.

    I could have some grudging respect for the guy if he was any good at it. But he couldn’t even find a good tax loophole to squeeze through. I suspect he’ll be as bad at the deception, theft, connivance thing as he was at the tax cheating thing; poor us.

    • Joanie, I think half the fun for these guys is that
      it’s ham fisted and it still works. If it’s an obvious lie , but no one says anything … oh yeah, that’s the power trip fun. If it has to be a clever deception….where’s the fun( for them) in that?

    • Of course he is unique — he was “[r]aised by a father, Peter Geithner, who ran the Microcredit program for Indonesia at the time Obama’s mother Ann Dunham Soetero, was becoming one of the Western pioneers in Microcredit…”
      (Feb. 5 article on HuffingtonPost by Dr. Vivian Norris de Montaigu)

      Not that there is anything wrong with extending microcredit, but the connection explains a lot, does it not?

      djmm

  13. Have a feeling we are living in an upside down world?

    Incompetents are considered “brilliant”.
    Financial lawlessness is considered “investment”.
    Criticism is considered “r*cist”.
    Lawbreakers are considered “commentators”.
    Tax evaders are considered “experts”.
    Repubs are considered “patriots”.
    Dems are considered “leaders”.
    Obots are considered “progressives”.
    The public are considered “fools”.

    In this Brave New World I would be considered “beautiful”.

    Welcome to the Brave New World!

  14. Social Security is all I have and absolutely need it to survive. Everyone knows that women have suffered more from this economy. We’ll suffer more from GOP-sponsored SS cuts.

  15. Meet the new crooked pol, same as the old crooked pol. When you look at a law or regulation that looks like it’s been written by a deranged chimp on downers, remember it was done that way to put money in somebody’s pocket. Pay to play is a two way street.

  16. There is a very disturbing psychological warfare being set up in the media right now to make us believe that there is no money left for us and we deserve to have no money, while the bankers are innocent bystanders who simply bought shares in banks and they need to be bought out. When that happens, all that money transferred to banks like Citigroup will be in private hands and there will be no money left to pay back the Trust Fund.

    This is what’s making me sick — I’m still reeling from the shock that with a Democratic President, House & Senate we are STILL fighting this. I was resigned (depressed) about losing our shot at truly Universal Health Care. But, I really didn’t expect that the Entire Democratic Establishment would abandon us in favor of Saving the Millionaires.

    I had no idea how bad things could be.

    • That’s the shock doctrine that Naomi Klein wrote about, dreamed up by U. of Chicago’s Milton Friedman. They want us to be confused and overwhelmed. We have to keep our head and keep calling attention to what they are doing. We’re not alone. As I have only recently become aware, there are economists all over the internet that are helping us. We can beat these evil bastards if we stick together.

    • If you listen to local radio here in south central PA there are still car ads for the kind of financing schemes that helped put us here. Same for mortgages.

  17. Canada is rubbing our noses in it…they have NO mortgage crisis although GM/Chryslter are begging for auto bailout $$..

    (Note: I’ve talked to the guys at EuroPacific (Peter Schiff’s company–about 30% of their base portfolio is Canada-based…now I know why…)

    AND why are all these foreign criminals hiding in Canada flocking to the the U.S.???

    The SCANNER–International Edition, 2/24/09 (Which Deficit is Obama “Halving”?; Canada Rubs U.S. Nose into Its Stable Banking System; GM/Chrysler Beg for Bailout Help in Canada, Too; Half of Foreign Criminals in Canada Are Fleeing to the U.S. (???)

    http://insightanalytical.wordpress.com/2009/02/24/the-scanner-international-edition-22409-which-deficit-is-obama-halving-canada-rubs-us-nose-into-its-stable-banking-system-gmchrysler-beg-for-bailout-help-in-canada-too-half-of-foreign/

    • People in Canada are suffering from the backlash of greedy US bankers. Industries up there are laying off as the demand for products and the value of the Dollar drops.

  18. katiebird: But somewhere in the back of our minds the possibility lurked. We resisted since we had no firm knowledge of where this man stood.

    Does anyone believe that the past does not enter into the present? We were taken back by his time in Chicago regarding the district he represented who did not benefit from the Rezko rehab. He left people to live without heat and to reside in condemned property without once ever challenging Rezko for accounting for the monies that he was awarded to ugrade this area.

    That alone told me all I needed to know about this man. Rezko was his friend. They vacationed, dined, and bought property together. The money was deposited into his campaigns. He is one step ahead of the law in all of this.
    Money is his dominating issue. It certainly is not the public.

    • Pat, Obama’s loyalties aren’t the shock. The shock is watching & listening to ALL the Democrats mouth the same cr@p.

      • When those supers began to come out in full force in favor of Obama over Hillary, nothing surprised me. They knew how shallow he was and they wanted to play.

        They may have offered divergent opinions of why they chose to support him, but the bottom line is that they preferred to choose an unknown with questionable ties, a thin resume, and an absence of principles for their own political gain.

        Promises were made, threats were offered, money talked. Why should we be even remotely surprised now? The table and the agenda were set. They are now feasting off the spoils. The “shock and awe” was left to us since we always felt as Dems that we were above that behavior.

        We discovered, much to our own amazement, that we were not.

  19. As for 401K (and possibly all IRAs, like Roths)—GG and I discussed this a few days ago…It might be wise to GET OUT of them into cash…otherwise, they may be stolen…

    The penalties for early withdrawal may well be meaningless in the long run…

    • I wonder if the Pension Funds could do that. At some point cash really might be the best investment.

      • Hubby and I are all cash. I had a little bit in a 401K and it’s lost 50%. I really don’t care because I think in 24 years it will be back, but the rest is in Roth IRA’s and savings.

  20. I’m glad that I stuck with the pension instead of opting to transfer into a 401k when given the opportunity. I retire in about 4 years if I’m not taking a dirt nap before then.

  21. Riverdaughter, I just have to say that I LOVE our new banner. Every time I see it my heart relaxes just a little.

  22. Our office manager also works for a tax preparation company during tax season. She just informed me that I will be getting a whopping increase of $6.32 a week from the stimulus package. Wooo hoooo!

    Then she told me that because we were single and worked a few extra hours a week on another job, we would probably have to have that money and some extra taken out to cover our behinds , so that we don’t owe taxes next year.

  23. Here is this morning’s latest installment of Bankrupt Me Now.
    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090224/ap_on_go_co/spending_bill

  24. And as for that second job I work, it is in retail in a discounted home and garden shop. In the past few weeks, we have seen our entire customer base change. Just a few short months ago, our customers were lower middle income, just looking for a bargain, now our parking lot is full of benz’s and Lexus SUV’s.

    People are afraid to spend any money and it is getting worse.

  25. Hi Kim!

  26. Hi Pat, not sure about this new format either.

  27. We saw all this during the 8 years of Bush.

    Dems bent over for the rich over and over and come to Bush’s aid in his quests to steal as much as he could. The Dem would have helped Bush get SS if the people didn’t push back HARD that time. The American people stopped that looting…..nothing has changed from then , but the speed of the Dem bend over. For years Dem party wanted to be the party of the rich and now got its wish….the rich hopped onto a new host .

    Increasingly the fact that Hill left the domestic side is a very bad sign for us. Great for the rest of the world, but bad for us. They were not going to allow her to call attention to this shit, much less try and fix anything , even from the Senate .

    • Why do you think she left?

      I say it’s because when she stated her interest in running Health Care reform, Uncle Ted said NO and installed himself as the head honcho.

      That was a pretty clear signal to me that they were not going to let her do jack sh*t on the domestic side. It was shortly after that info leaked out that we suddenly heard about her wanting SOS.

      It must be killing her to see Obama channeling the worst of Raygun and Bush, and screwing up the easiest thing ever (appointing people to his Cabinet) again and again, and projecting no leadership whatsoever, when she was ready on Day One.

      She must have an ulcer the size of Canada.

  28. The nesting makes me dizzy….well even more dizzy.
    When I read a thread with alot of nests, I feel like a cop has asked me to walk a straight line when drunk…..you just can help zig zagging around

    • I’m naturally given to vertigo, but completely baffled by the response to nesting. It’s totally logical and helps us stay on topic. We can have conversations instead of shooting random thoughts out there and wondering if anyone in the universe has read them. For months and months, I rarely received responses to my comments under the old, strictly chronological format. That has changed overnight with nesting.

      • I am with you, I love nesting. Sometimes I come to a thread late and this allows me to comment, before I used to just nod my head. 😉 I think that it is more friendly.

        • Definitely think it’s more friendly, more inviting to a wider group of commenters. Shouldn’t that be something we invite?

      • If I wanted to nest, I’d build a birdhouse.

  29. During the primaries, Michele made that statement, “Barack is going to make you thing and work hard”. Does anyone doubt that?

    • lol! Having worked in a hospital , one would think Michele is uniquely qualified to discuss health care….yet not a peep about that . Another bad sign
      ….of course the silence could be because her job was keeping people from getting the health care !

      • How can she criticize when her salary was over $300,000 yrly? What hospital exec is worth that much money? They are paid off the backs of the insured and the federal grants needed to stay afloat. I know as I worked for almost 30 years in a hospital that was awash in VPs, Sr. VPs, Chiefs, Directors, Managers, Supervisors, Team Leaders. All well compensated and not too far below the CEO who pulled down $1 million a year plus perks.

        One need not question why or how healthcare costs are so out of whack. The salaries paid to these people are often obscene.

  30. My husband informed me that the new meme is that Obama is in Command. I say in command of what? Our economic downfall? I have seen no leadership from him. Geithner has been an utter disaster. The new hope and change administration is still the puppet of wall street and banks. Obama’s true WORM is: let’s hope nobody notices that nothing has changed.

    Sorry for sounding so down, but I am disappointed by all of our elected representatives and by all those people that voted for this charleton. I am tired of filling rich people’s pockets with more of my hard earned and rapidly diminishing money.

  31. In part The market is saying ” Barry sucks” ….but it is also holding a gun to the American people’s head and saying” I’ll keep going down until you pony up SS.”

    The problem is we have entered the phase where they want it all and giving them ANYTHING is simply an encouragement. It’s Munich and they think we are Chamberlain….well are we?

    • All right paper doll, I say we are NOT!!!

      I am so posting this here, later on tonight.

      http://madamab.wordpress.com

      Vive la Tax Revolution!

    • How come my response to this didn’t go through?

      I’ll try again:

      We are NOT Chamberlain! Let’s march and do a tax protest!

      http://madamab.wordpress.com

      Vive la tax revolution!

      • Madamab, I’m all for protesting, in a variety of ways.
        The only problem I have with the protest I heard about a few days ago, was that it was organized by jerkhole rightwingers.

        I think it’s important, when we protest, that we send the right message, not one that’s the total opposite of what we want. Rightwingers are protesting giving anything to the people, under the guise of complaining about stimulus plans, or anything else that might take money away from them, the rich. It’s all part of the plan to confuse the American people even more, so they continue to steal from us to put money in their own pockets.

        We need our own protests against the above, and for, helping the people more, with UHC, secure and better Social Security, Medicare, help with h housing market that actually helps homeowners, instead of banks.

        The big meme on media lately is how “irresponsible homeowners are” taking money from the people. They never mention that affording a certain house has everything to do with the interest rate.

        Therefore, the monthly payment on a 200K mortgage probably started at 6%, which is $1200 monthly (which they probably could afford), but which went up to 10% in many cases, which would raise it to $1756 a month. If the banks modified that same loan to 4%, payment would go to $954 monthly. This shouldn’t cost taxpayers a penny (correct me if I’m wrong, dakini), would keep people in their houses, give them more money to spend and save, helping everyone. The only ones who wouldn’t like it are the banks, since they would be getting a measly 4% instead of the 10% they want. Since the prime rate went down to 0% they are still doing very well. Of course, they NEVER say any of this on media, since they aare all working together to help banks and insurance companies screw the people.

        And it’s working.

  32. Obama now saying he will reduce the deficit by half before his first term is over but that we will all have to sacrifice.

    Guess we know who will “sacrifice”, don’t we?

    Perhaps we should start a movement to require every member of congress to post on a web-site how many lobbyists he/she has met with each day and who they are?

    • That’s such a silly promise to begin with! Since the deficit is annual amount by which expenditures exceeds revenues, this year’s federal deficit is going to positively unseemly, given all the bailouts and stimulus spending in the works (it’s projected at something like $500 billion thus far). To say that he will reduce the deficit by half within four years is not exactly promising fiscal responsibility, not that I believe we can hope to balance the budget at this time.

      Or am I missing something?

    • I also think all elected officials should be required to publicly show what sacrifices they have made for every bill they pass requiring sacrifices of the public. Starting with Soertoro/Obama giving up the presidential perks he is taking advantage of. And is he keeping that $400,000 salary he is being paid? We weren’t even in a bad economy the last time a president refused to take his salary and guess who that one was – JFK.

  33. If the BO Team thinks that too many people are hiding cash, they may just change the currency, so you have to convert it to Obamaneros or something.

  34. If you want to see some PDS-fueled rewriting of history check out Steve Benen’s column and the comments that follow:

    http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/archives/individual/2009_02/017021.php

    • At this point PDS is in service to the Jeb / Mitch wing of the GOP as well as Obotnation .

    • I am trying to keep my opinions close to the vest but having Palin being sold to me as one who “speaks for me” is about as welcome as Obama being sold as “The One”. Admittedly her personal life was trampled but she should be as vulnerable to any discussion when it comes to her position on the issues.

      The fault is in not separating the two.

  35. Don’t worry SOD we hear you.

    No matter how deep in the forest you are
    we’ll get the signal from the tinfoil!

  36. Dorothy and Toto will find you. Or Hansel and Gretl. Or maybe me as I go about collecting wood to keep warm next winter. Help is on the way!

  37. Don’t forget Tinker Belle!….clap if you believe!

  38. Where Pat, I am looking for help and I ain’t seeing any.

  39. “We can get rid of nesting by NOT nesting….”

    Hahahahahaha!

  40. Funny thing about Citybank — that bank o’ the student loan circa 1985-something — (that all got paid back, btw.) — and B of A — the bank that was literally making it easier to ship money overseas (target marked posters plastered on the walls) during the 90’s.

    No thought there about any crumbling infrastructure….

    There must be somebody in charge in Washington who can do something about all this…

    Let’s see — the whole country tanking, people laid off, no jobs “here” and now whatever funds they did accrue raided?

    Hmmm.

    It’s not what you call leadership, exactly is it?

    I didn’t read those pieces RD — but I know Dakini is on it — here.
    Who thought in our lifetimes?

    They should all be ashamed of themselves.
    It’s time to revisit Chrissie Hynde doing “Boots of Chinese Plastic”

    Oh, and the Terminator? He’s out soon too. Watch CA turn REPUB before your very eyes — bound to happen. I think they have new leadership “for people” instead of the old tainted kind?

    Good ol’ Sarah and her pals.

    Imagine a Gov that cares about her state….

    Wow.

  41. Nesting works for me. I hate having to keep going back hunting for the original comment or link. ♥

    • Nest it or lose it – the train of thought, that is.

      • that’s fine, purple
        you are “one of them now”

        tehee

        • Hey, catarina. Thanks for clarifying. 🙂

        • The hard part is finding new comments that have been added to the “nests.” If there were a [new] indicator on them or if they were in bold face or something, that would help a lot.

          • This doesn’t solve it, but it helps:

            Three Wickets, on February 24th, 2009 at 12:00 pm Said:

            Just say yes to refreshing and linking from Recent Comments and using the Back button.

    • Use the ctrl+F function-(F is for find) hold down ctrl and press F, then type any word you like in the box.

  42. O/T: But I am washing down the tiles in my bathroom with a product I saw on tv. It works but there is a drawback. You are almost unable to breathe. So I have to ask myself, which is more important. A fabulously clean bathroom or the ability to stay alive just to see if “nesting” becomes the norm.

    Right now I have the bathroom window open, the door shut, and I am going downstairs for some air.

  43. Take a look at this video:
    http://finkelblog.com/index.php/2009/02/23/the-stuart-smalley-president/

    Obama is the embodiment of every crappy professor/ seminar/workshop leader you ever had to suffer through in your life.

    Gawd. I. can’t. believe. this. guy. is. the. President.

    • The NYT published a while back, copies of the exam papers Obama set while he was teaching part time at Chicago.

      One thing of note arose from this- somehow one year he forgot to let his students know their exam results. It took two months for them to get them-he apologised saying that his secretary had mixed (screwed?) up.

    • From that video-Amazing….

      PRESIDENT OBAMA: Now, I want to make sure that the conversation doesn’t end when we go home today. We’ve got a lot of hard choices to make, we need to build off this afternoon’s conversation and work together to forge a consensus. So, one of the things that I’m hoping to do, is that my team–each of whom were taking copious notes during the course of these respective break-out sessions–will issue a report, or a summary of the conversation. It will be distributed to each of the participants in those respective discussions. We will then ask for concrete ideas either about substance or process, and we will ask that you get those back so that we can then issue a final report coming out of this conversation in 30 days. And I think somebody just dubbed it “the fiscal sustainability project.” So, that’s as good of a name as any.

      • Absolutely f*cking ridiculous. He acts like we have all the time in the world and none of it affects him or anyone else.

        He has the fundamental lack of empathy of a narcissist. He does not give a sh*t what happens to us at all. He just wants to appear “bi-partisan” so the Village will continue to lurv him.

        We are sooooo screwed.

        AAAAAAAAAACK!

    • “Obama is the embodiment of every crappy professor/ seminar/workshop leader you ever had to suffer through in your life. ”

      That is exactly how I see him. Pompous, self-important and full of sh!t. I meant no disrespect to good teachers when I compared him to this type in the past. I think we have all seen some arrogant a–holes in our lifetime, though.

  44. Go away. American Express doesn’t want you anymore.

    “American Express Co. (AXP) is offering a $300 incentive for customers to cancel their accounts as the card issuer and payments processor grapples with surging loan delinquencies and reduced card-member spending….

    American Express is offering a $300 prepaid card, which can be used anywhere American Express is accepted, to certain customers who pay off their entire balance between March 1 and the end of April. Enrolling in the deal automatically cancels the customer’s account, regardless of whether the borrower successfully pays off the balance.”

    http://money.cnn.com/news/newsfeeds/articles/djf500/200902231530DOWJONESDJONLINE000511_FORTUNE5.htm

  45. Did you hear that BO’s surrogates were fanned out on TV this a.m. selling his speech tonight as “Reaganesque?” I’m not joking. Not Clintonesque–Reagan. Again.

  46. Okay, I don’t get it. My comments are disappearing. Are no links allowed at all now? or does RD hate me?

    (sob)

  47. OMG OMG OMG.

  48. I am back, my son was on and I have been talking to him. I am really starting to miss him.

  49. KJMontana, on February 24th, 2009 at 12:23 pm Said:
    “American Express Co. (AXP) is offering a $300 incentive for customers to cancel their accounts
    ————————-
    Too bad I don’t have American Express to cancel. I could get back some of our money or hasn’t AE taken a bailout yet? Next week, perhaps.

  50. I want this *(*)^&*%^%$%^#^*^&&**&_*&! war to be over.

  51. They want their customers to leave?

  52. Constance, on February 24th, 2009 at 12:32 pm Said:
    OMG OMG OMG.
    ————————-

    OMG about what? Nesting could help here, maybe?

  53. Where did y’all go? Am I being shunned?

  54. Jesus H. Christ:

    President Barack Obama won’t speak until prime-time, but his aides fanned out to the morning shows Tuesday morning to talk up his first speech before a joint session of Congress. And the word they used to preview it: “Reaganesque.”

    If he has to pretend to be someone he isn’t, does it have to be a Republican?

    http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0209/19232.html

  55. Happy Mardi Gras btw — I can’t believe I’m living were people have to work on Mardi Gras.

    • Angie: I want my cake with the baby in it.

    • Happy Mawdi Graw, angie!!! I’d throw you and d’kat and fredster something, but my husband forgot to make the annual king(s) cake last week. The silence out there is killing – no drums, no brass, no crowd roar, no tractor engines. What planet are we on now, anyway?

  56. What the hell is “Reaganesque”? I remember his handlers coming out after every speech trying to explain what he really meant. The poor man, as we discovered later on, was already experiencing some of the effects of early Altzheimer’s. What is there to emulate?

    Such idiots!

    • Pat:

      “There you go again.”

      Come on, that was rhetorical genius!

      😉

      • Reagan could carry off that “funny old grandpa” act because he was OLD. Obama is 47. If he comes out looking like Capt Kanagroo to create the effect I will lock myself in the bathroom and embrace those fumes from my tile clean up.

        Readily.

  57. I never liked “trickle down” economics, but I think I hate “dry up” economics more.

  58. As far as I can tell, nesting, once you get used to it, seems to be about multi-tasking. I’ve always been more of a linear than parallel thinker. Better on concentration than awareness. Also, though it’s a vast generalization, women usually seem to be better at multi-tasking than men.

    I don’t want people like the Wall Street bankers, Geithner, even Markos evading me with their parallel processing tactics. It’s sometimes how the truth gets hidden or nuanced away. I want to track them down and skewer them to the wall with my prepared questionaire.

    For me, nesting is just a bit of stretching and exercise for the brain. There is a kind of tyranny as well that can come with too much linearity. We all need to find a comfy place that works for us between OCD and ADD.

  59. BWAHAHA! The Financial Times.com is reporting that Larry Summers feel asleep at the financial responsibility summit yesterday:

    Although Lawrence Summers, head of the National Economic Council, fell asleep on the podium, most attendees, including Republicans, appear to have appreciated the exercise.

    Pretty much sums ups this whole administration — asleep at the wheel.

  60. Didn’t we vote about the comments and no nesting won, right?

    I checked back at the vote tally and it is 135 to 117 against nesting.

    Did we just have our own version of the 2008 Dem primary where we all vote, but it doesn’t really count?

    • I read a post from yesterday where RD suggested we go a whole week and then revote. Mine won’t change and I think there are some others who agree with “no nesting” but this is her blog, But you are correct: I see a “repeat” of the Dem primary at work here. Blast!

  61. Pat J — what I find hilarious is now with Obama they aren’t even waiting until after the speech to do the WORMing — they are doing PRE-WORMing. Heck, why bother even giving the speech — we can just take everybody’s word that it is the bestest speech evah and watch Nip/Tuck instead.

  62. Mawm — I’m with SOD — I’m not nesting any more — its an act of civil disobedience.

  63. see?

  64. Cat — LMAO!

  65. Nonesting!

  66. I don’t like this nessting either. I rarely ever am on weekends, so when I logged on Monday, I thought WTF is this sh!t?

    • Kim, I logged on at some point on Sunday, and not only was nesting underway, but the newer comments were on top! I thought a deranged Obot had sabotaged The Confluence.

  67. 1-2-3-4!

    We’re not nesting ANY MORE!

  68. pre-worming… LOL

  69. its an act of civil disobedience.
    *********
    Where is the tear gas????

    • I simply don’t get all the discontent with nesting. If someone like me, given to frequent fits of abstraction and barely able to balance a checkbook, can take to nesting like a fish to water, how come so many of you more logical, organized souls are having fits? Sumpin’ ain’t adding up here.

      • Kat5

        I think a lot of readers are at work-sneaking on and off to keep up with the blog.
        (yes? no?)
        It’s hard to know where the newest comments are
        if you can’t keep constant watch.

        I feel like I’m missing stuff. Damn, I hate that 😉

        • I ‘m (supposed to be) at work while I’m commenting during the day, cat. I’m a fast reader so it’s pretty easy to periodically scan the whole thread for new comments (or refer to the ‘recent comments’ string). I’d assume that with all the quick thinkers on TC, there would be a lot of other fast readers here.

  70. Where is Geraldo Rivera when you need him?

  71. Ran out of nesting levels

  72. 5-6-7-8
    Nesting’s really NOT SO GREAT!

  73. 😈

  74. Kat5 — I’ll tell you what my problem is with nesting — I’m like my cat — I don’t like change. I don’t care how good the change *might* be — I don’t like it. Makes me skittish.

  75. in response to fif talking about him being “reaganesque”…saw this in NY magquoting the Times, grab your barf bags!:

    Obama’s Stimulus Has That Magic Ingredient: American Optimism

    Today’s headlines are full of somewhat inexplicable good news: People are optimistic about Obama and the stimulus plan, despite unprecedented deficits and Republicans working overtime on television telling us we’re all going to die a lonely, socialist death…

    The results show that Obama has been effective in selling his plan to the people, and is in a position to continue to communicate his agenda in a way that people will understand (tonight’s pseudo–State of the Union address will be another opportunity). “The aura of good will surrounding Mr. Obama at this stage of his presidency is similar to the one that benefited Ronald Reagan as he led the nation out of economic gloom,” trumpets the Times.

    Pat, quick, they need some of that cleanser your using!

    • Americans are optimistic? That must be why consumer confidence is at an all time low. You got to appreciate the media’s ability to blow smoke up people’s backside.

      Today I read that Bernanke said a) that the recession may end this year and b) that the recession may extend past this year into 2010. That’s just peachy ,he’s covered all the options. He’s starting to sound like the meteorologists who predict feet of snowfall and we end up with a quarter of an inch. Evidently though the market is happy. Meanwhile hidden in an earnings report Home Depot will be laying off 7,000 as it closes 4 of its brand stores.

  76. repost for the lost (me)

    Kat5

    I think a lot of readers are at work-sneaking on and off to keep up with the blog.
    (yes? no?)
    It’s hard to know where the newest comments are
    if you can’t keep constant watch.

    I feel like I’m missing stuff. Damn, I hate that

    • Catarina – just check the Recent Comments list on the left side, you’ll be all set.

      I’m always doing that anyway, so I’m pretty much taken care of.

      🙂

      • Madamab
        In the hour or two between sneaking on there can be more than 10 comments.
        Especially on your posts 😉

        • LOL!

          I agree. In that case, just do what I do and click the most recent comment, then read up and down the thread till you’re caught up.

          I can’t believe so many people are freaked out about this. I think it’s awesome and so much friendlier!

  77. It would be nice if there were some way new comments could be highlighted.

  78. I’ve given up on reading all the comments with this new nesting system-it’s just too difficult to keep up.

    I just do what madamab does click on a recent comment and read up and down a bit where it is 😦

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