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      A lot of mistakes come from assuming rationality means “thinks the same way I do” rather than “reasons from premises I might not share.” Left than 1/1000 economists predicted the financial collapse, because they reasoned from assumptions like “the market is self-correcting” or “housing prices never go down.” (Sometimes both at the same time, which is rarely […]
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Open Thread: “Barack Obama is dumber than a bag of hammers.”

bagofhammers2 Now here’s a writer who tells it like it is. and he’s darkly funny too. David Michael Green writes:

Barack Obama is dumber than a bag of hammers.

I never thought I’d say that about the guy. I thought he would probably disappoint me with many of his policies. I thought he would probably fail to be bold enough for his times. I thought he might miss opportunities to do great things because of his seeming desire to be Mr. Rogers, complete with cardigan. But I never expected him to be really dumb.

But if you’re willing to risk the entirety of a potentially great presidency on making sure that a handful of already wealthy sociopaths who got rich destroying the global economy are not denied massive taxpayer-funded bonuses to keep them in jobs they’ve already completely mishandled, despite the fact that many of them took the money and left the job anyhow – if that’s you, and you’re the new president of the United States with a load of challenges and lots of public good will solidly behind you – well, then, you’re dumber than a bag of hammers.

On Obama’s economic team, Green has this to say:

The Obama campaign was a political and, especially, a financial juggernaut, the likes of which we’ve never seen, from either party. He was practically printing campaign dollars. They were pouring in from so many ordinary contributors, in such a high volume, that he literally walked away from tens of millions of free federal funding he could have had simply by opting for government financing of his campaign. But he actually pulled in way more by foregoing the matching funds and just opening up the floodgates for a public anxious to throw money at Change They Could Believe In.

So why does a guy in that happy situation staff his economic team with Wall Street mercenaries like Tim Geithner and Larry Summers? Does he really believe that these people hold some sort of leverage over him and over the United States government? It’s just astonishing to think so.

Green sounds like a recovering Obot, but his eyes are definitely open now. But he still doesn’t quite understand that veniality and greed are really what Obama is all about. Now that he’s in power, he’s just doing what comes naturally.

Political analysts have long spoken of ‘regulatory capture’, the process by which industries which are meant to be regulated instead capture control of the government agencies which are meant to be regulating them. A more contemporary version of this concept, and one more applicable perhaps to Obama than to his minions, is the arguably far more dangerous idea of ‘cognitive regulatory capture’. Under that scenario, you don’t even need to infiltrate the agency, because you’ve already captured its mind and narrowed the range of what is thinkable therein. Just as in Orwell’s “1984″, the most powerful effect you can have on people is not by physically limiting their behavior, per se, but instead by getting them to limit themselves in terms of the concepts they are even capable of entertaining.

Has Barack Obama been the object of cognitive regulatory capture? It’s hard to know. But it is astonishing that time after time he keeps deferring to the interests of not only the economic elites, but of the outrageously criminal economic elites. He puts Tim Geithner in his cabinet, not Bernie Sanders. And when somebody floats the idea of capping salaries at companies on the government dole, or of limiting bonuses, or of the government truly acting like the owner it actually has become of many of these bailed out firms, there’s Geithner and Summers telling him (and, presumably, Robert Rubin telling them), “No, no, you can’t do that”. And, in fact, no, no, Obama doesn’t.

Here’s just one more excerpt: Green comments on Obama’s relationship with and courting of the Republicans.

There is a growing public anger out there, anger that is long overdue. People are finally beginning to wake up, however foggily, to who is the real enemy of America’s interests and who is the real predator with its fingers rifling their pocketbooks. If this populist rage is properly directed, we could get some sort of healthy outcome, like a reprise of the New Deal social safety net and a badly needed robust regulatory apparatus. If it is not, it might instead be miraculously used to breathe political life back into the very corpses of those who brought this storm down on all of us.
Crawling into bed with Public Enemy Number One against the leading wedge of a populist revolt is about as stupid an idea as imaginable for the Obama administration. Why doesn’t he offer another monotone denunciation while he’s at it, this one of pedophiles? Perhaps adding a heartfelt expression of how disappointed he is that there just isn’t more that can be done, darn it. Danged legal contracts! Hey, maybe he could also staff up his Justice Department with paroled sexual predators, too, precisely as he has done in the equivalent manner at Treasury.

And while he’s at it, he can complete the job he began by putting so many Republicans in the cabinet. The GOP has been busy committing suicide for years now, but has dramatically sped up the pace of late, trotting out clown-like figures the likes of which neither Barnum nor Bailey could ever have conceived, even on a particularly pungent acid trip. Jindal, Steele, Limbaugh, Palin, Palin’s daughter. Wow. If there is a Hell, you can bet Barry Goldwater is down there right now furiously trying to change his party registration. Best of all, not only are these losers the face of the Republican Party, lately they’ve taken it a step yet further and have been bringing out the long knives to eviscerate each other. It’s hard to imagine a better situation to be in for a Democratic president.

Which makes Obama’s idiocy all the more astonishing. Probably no one on the planet could rescue the GOP right now, except for Barack Obama. So why on earth is he doing so? Why is he throwing a rope to a drowning disease? And then handing it a cudgel? Why is he breaking into the vault at the CDC in order to cut loose the smallpox virus once more? What could he be thinking? Or is the bag of hammers thinking at all?

Let’s drink to the new villiage idot, even worse than the old village idiot. King Obabush the Great!

121 Responses

  1. My tinfoil hat theory:

    AIG helped launder the campaign money that was funneled from SUPER RiCH Obama donors – and broke it down via credit/debit cards through the big 4 retail bankers (who then in turn got bailout money.)

    The AIG Bonus was hush money for those employees (who no longer work at AIG) as STFU money so they don’t spill the beans for laundering the money.

    Quid Pro Quo, Chicago style.

    • Sounds like a good possibility…

      Here’s another article questioning whether the whole bailout was a scam.

      http://www.counterpunch.org/roberts03192009.html

      • It has to be a scam. Notice when all the hoopla started, in late September 2008.

        This was the proverbial and planned “October Surprise.”

        Yes, there was crisis in the real estate market, no doubt. Hillary was the first to sound that alarm.

        But was it big enough to bankrupt an entire country????? And to suddenly lay-off 500,000 people per month since October?

        No. Not with the money there is here. Not with the industry that there is here.

        It’s all a smokescreen, just like the Iraq War. There IS no crisis, just like there were no WMDs.

        • There is a crisis, but they created it.

          • They set it up. The people who believed the setup caused it. [pointing finger directly at congress]

            Rather than demand a full disclosure of books, congress simply went public with the panic and caused the situation to snowball out of control.

      • Wow – great post – thanks, BB

    • That’s a winner of an idea. You don’t really even need a tinfoil hat for it, it’s so possible.

  2. He is a good explanation for the AIG mess…The man who was the major player in lighting the fuse that is bringing down the banking system is Larry Summers…who is now the major person telling Obama how to fix it.
    (Short read)
    http://www.financialsense.com/editorials/engdahl/2009/0318.html

    • This goes along with the info about Brooksley Born and the CFTC on the previous thread.

      • Yup. Larry Summers was one of the loudest voices calling for deregulation of credit default swaps and other nonsense. He helped bring the economy to its knees and now he’s going to make sure it never gets back up again.

    • There is a great article by Matt Taibbi at Rlling stone ont the whole financial collapse. It’s long but the two last pages are astonishing.

      He mentionned shadow institutions accountable only to Bernake and Geithner, completely out of the reach from Congress. Trillons of money is transiting there from the Treasury to Banks and NOBODY knows what’s really going on.

      It’s a must read.

      The Big Takeover : Rolling Stone

  3. I notice that the Obots are no longer claiming that Teh Precious is playing some kind of “11th dimensional chess” and are reduced to pointing out he’s still learning.

  4. Quite a few people are now arguing that Elliot Spitzer was deliberately set up by Wall Street in order to stop his investigations of their fraudulent behavior. I wonder if Obama had something to do with that too? I wouldn’t put it past him.

    http://www.counterpunch.org/roberts03192009.html

    Eliot Spitzer, the former New York Governor who was set-up in a sex scandal to prevent him investigating Wall Street’s financial gangsterism, pointed out on March 17 that the real scandal is the billions of taxpayer dollars paid to the counter-parties of AIG’s financial deals. These payments, Spitzer writes, are “a way to hide an enormous second round of cash to the same group that had received TARP money already.”

    Goldman Sachs, for example, had already received a taxpayer cash infusion of $25 billion and was sitting on more than $100 billion in cash when the Wall Street firm received another $13 billion via the AIG bailout.

    Moreover, in my opinion, most of the billions of dollars in AIG counter-party payments were unnecessary. They represent gravy paid to firms that had made risk-free bets, the non-payment of which constituted no threat to financial solvency.

    Spitzer identifies a conflict of interest that could possibly be criminal self-dealing. According to reports, the AIG bailout decision involved Bush Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, formerly of Goldman Sachs, Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein, Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke, and Timothy Geithner, former New York Federal Reserve president and currently Secretary of the Treasury. No doubt the incestuous relationships are the reason the original bailout deal had no oversight or transparency.

    • And Cuomo is kicking azz and picking up where Spitzer left off.

      Note to Cuomo: Keep your nuts in your pants, no matter what!

    • (shiver) BB, that sent a chill from the tip of my head straight down my spine.

      • I’m just glad some people are coming out and saying this stuff. Meanwhile the Washington Post is cheering on the destruction of social security and medicare. I hope the NYT and the WP go out of business, like the Rocky Mtn News.

    • This is the same method used for attacking Iraq. Take an event that created enough panic to all the administration to take whatever actions they wanted to before anyone had the chance to investigate too deeply.

      How congress could possibly fall for the Bush panic button game a second time is anybody’s guess, but they did and BO isn’t on the side of the people. If he was, he’d make this gravy train sit at the station until he’s looked under every seat and counted the cars before he acted.

  5. This is a re-post of item I stuck at the end of the prior thread.

    From a recent Vanity Fair article on Iceland:

    Back in 2001, as the Internet boom turned into a bust, M.I.T.’s Quarterly Journal of Economics published an intriguing paper called “Boys Will Be Boys: Gender, Overconfidence, and Common Stock Investment.” The authors, Brad Barber and Terrance Odean, gained access to the trading activity in over 35,000 households, and used it to compare the habits of men and women. What they found, in a nutshell, is that men not only trade more often than women but do so from a false faith in their own financial judgment. Single men traded less sensibly than married men, and married men traded less sensibly than single women: the less the female presence, the less rational the approach to trading in the markets.
    One of the distinctive traits about Iceland’s disaster, and Wall Street’s, is how little women had to do with it. Women worked in the banks, but not in the risktaking jobs. As far as I can tell, during Iceland’s boom, there was just one woman in a senior position inside an Icelandic bank. Her name is Kristin Petursdottir, and by 2005 she had risen to become deputy C.E.O. for Kaupthing in London. “The financial culture is very male-dominated,” she says. “The culture is quite extreme. It is a pool of sharks. Women just despise the culture.” Petursdottir still enjoyed finance. She just didn’t like the way Icelandic men did it, and so, in 2006, she quit her job. “People said I was crazy,” she says, but she wanted to create a financial-services business run entirely by women. To bring, as she puts it, “more feminine values to the world of finance.”
    Today her firm is, among other things, one of the very few profitable financial businesses left in Iceland. After the stock exchange collapsed, the money flooded in. A few days before we met, for instance, she heard banging on the front door early one morning and opened it to discover a little old man. “I’m so fed up with this whole system,” he said. “I just want some women to take care of my money.”

    • I JUST read that article tonight! And read that whole sad story about the little old man out loud to my husband. My favorite part was the beginning: “Iceland, where the men are men and the women have largely given up on them.”

      (And then, because he’s a Frenchy, read most of that ridiculous article about the French cruise-ship hijacking out loud to him, too.)

    • Great find-someone should do a post on it 😉

    • to discover a little old man. “I’m so fed up with this whole system,” he said. “I just want some women to take care of my money.”

      Ohhh that’s great! He had an epiphamy

      LOL

    • I guess I shouldn’t be surprised to learn that Teh Partriarchy ™ is partly responsible for this disaster.

  6. If anyone would really follow the money – NOT AIG itself, but its counterparties, and who got paid off, I think a lot would come to light.

    And it is highly suspicious to me that during this crisis, Obama has not made staffing up the Treasury Dept a number one priority. Why? WHY is Geithner flying solo? Does Obama (or his shadow backers) not want too many eyes and ears and mouths at Treasury, perchance spilling the beans before they can cover their tracks?

    This whole thing stinks to high heaven, and I for one will not support giving them another dime until I get some fucking answers. I don’t care if they tell me the entire system will collapse and we’ll be a third world country overnight. NOT ONE DIME until someone unravels this mess and gives me a rational explanation for WHERE this money is ending up, and what measures are in place (not vaguely hinted at that they might do someday) to prevent it happening again.

    I’d rather have the system crash than live my life, and have my children live their lives, under this sort of secretive financial tyranny. It’s “give me liberty or give me death” time. We should have said no to the FIRST bailout, and called Wall Street’s fucking bluff. Even if they WEREN’T bluffing, it would have been worth it, to end this game once and for all.

    • It sure does look like Obama and Geithner don’t want any witnesses to the highway robbery. The system is rotten to the core and it deserves to crash. I totally agree with you WMCB. I’d rather die tomorrow than live in a dictatorship backed by corrupt bankers.

    • Right on!. Count me in please.

    • Love your stuff.

      The money went to fund the $740+ million campaign (plus whatever else went into Dem coffers). These are debts owed from the Democratic Party.

      When you see Bush standing side by side with Dems as we did last fall to pass the first major bailout, we were witnessing the passing of the torch from one corrupt ‘raid the treasury’ party to another. Only problem is, the treasury is already empty, the shelves are bare and the people are just beginning to realize their homeless future. Make that some of the people. Most are not awake from the feel good daze of electing an AA president. Not that there is anything wrong with that.

      • I would like to hear Ted and Caroline Kennedy defend this.

        • They aren’t being impacted. They will surely defend him the way Tim Shriver did for that pathetic insult Obama delivered on Leno.

    • Yes, it certainly does smell like the stench of total corruption. Something is up and I fear Wall Street has Obama in a death grip and he doesn’t even realize it. He’s way too arrogant to believe he can be kneecapped by Wall Street but he will. After bailing out AIG and its counter parties, especially Goldman Sachs, he’s not really needed anymore. He’s served his purpose.

  7. This one is for myiq2xu:……….

    “Arkansas man accused of sex with girl’s dog and horse”

    http://news.bostonherald.com/news/national/south/view/2009_03_20_Arkansas_man_accused_of_sex_with_girl_s_dog_and_horse/srvc=home&position=recent

    • It sucks that he doesn’t have to register as a sex offender, because that’s what he is.

  8. I read that AIG’s Liddy testified today that the face value of the transactions made by its Financial Products division that still haven’t been unwound — or paid off — is $1.6 trillion with a T.

  9. Sounds like Obama isn’ tt he only idiot. what part of post partisan and holding hands with the GOP didn’t he understand during the primaries?

    Furthermore insulting people and calling people stupid because you disagree with their political affillliation is passe’. Palin’s daughter is beautiful and bright. She is dealing with the consequences of making a mistake. Guess what? We all make them(the putz who wrote this included.) Sarah Palin,also bright, beautiful and accomplished, anyone who doesn’t see that is dumber than their very own bag of hammers.

    Did you all read the latest? Evidently they are going to use the FDIC (in addition to the FED)to buy troubled assets as well since the chances of getting money from Congress is small. Evidently it will be much easier to levymoneyfrom functional banks to continue to prop up the zombie banks.

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090321/ap_on_go_ca_st_pe/bank_rescue

    Now, that is idiocy you can believe in.

    • Sheila Bair said today that without more funds, the resources of the FDIC are zero. Also she says banks should pay for their own dismantling. Are they going to try to get rid of Bair?

      http://www.bizjournals.com/wichita/stories/2009/03/16/daily50.html

      The nation’s largest banks could take on more assessments levied by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. and face penalties for becoming too large, FDIC Chairwoman Sheila Bair hinted Friday morning in Phoenix.

      Bair also told community bankers that failed financial institutions should pay for their dismantling, which will cost taxpayers more than $65 billion over the next five years.

      “They should pay for it,” Bair said, to a chorus of applause from the hundreds who attended the Independent Community Bankers of America National Convention and Techworld at the Phoenix Convention Center. “It shouldn’t be paid for by tax payer money.”

    • I think his point is that Obama is destroying his own Presidency, and that is pretty dumb.

      • Like Bush quipped, “he deserves my silence”. He garbled the sentiment, of course. What he meant was, “He’s doin’ a heck of a job…of hanging himself”.

    • Thanks, the crap about the Palin’s bothered me too.

  10. Oh and cue the whining from Bof A and Citigroup because of the tax passed. Evidently $250,000 isn’t enough money to guarantee a good job will be done.

    • Then they can go get a job somewhere else for what they think they are worth.

      • Exactly.

        • Don’t wish anybody misfortune but here is a CEO who has become a pizza delivery man.

          Video on ABC:
          http://tinyurl.com/cdummn

          • I saw that. $750,000 and the guy didn’t pay outright for a house? Crazy. I am torn between feeling sorry for the guy(I give him points for taking any job to feed his family) and wanting to shake him(Why in the world didn’t he quit his venture before sapping his 401k and savings or at the least use some of it to secure the necessities such as housing for his family?

          • It’s a bit confusing. They don’t explain his story well enough. He stopped making mortgage payments 2 YEARS ago. Seems likely his decision to leave that great job he had to start his own hedge fund was the mistake and that he didn’t act on selling that palace when he actually could have found a buyer.

      • Yep. They should try having to do a good job for $7.50 an hour. I have to wonder what makes them think they are so special that they are irreplaceable(particularly when alot of them are responsible for the mess to begin with. For $250,000 any number of folks could screw up a company. 😉

  11. Now Obama says he wants to invite some special olympics competitors to the WH for bowling or basketball. They should tell him to stuff it.

    • it was the S.O.’s suggestion that he do that….as a penance of sorts. actually, they asked that he hire one of their competitors as a show of faith that he’s not the asshole he appears to be.

    • I have a close friend, absolutely ENAMORED of the Big 0, whose father died Christmas before last, and the day after the death, her stepmother dropped off her mentally disabled brother at her house. She’s been caring for the brother (who operates around the level of a 7-year-old, if I understand correctly), ever since, all on her own. And I am really wondering if her opinion of B0 has changed from what it was say, a week ago, or if I am mad on their behalf (and on the behalf of everybody who is, you know, civilized) for nothing.

    • We all know that if they take him up on it, he’ll poke his head in for a quick photo op and then get out as fast as he can.

      Obama exposed his attitude in that comment. He was expecting a huge burst of laughter from Leno and the audience. Had he gotten the laugh, there would have been no apology.

  12. Obot response, with apologies (maybe) to Jill Sobule:

    “Dumber than a box of hammers, but he’s such a handsome guy…”

    • yeah, like Tina Fey’s b.f. on 30 Rock. good looking doctor that can’t perform a heimlich maneuver.

    • D’oh! It’s “Dumb AS a box of hammers, but he’s such a handsome guy…”

    • How can you call slitty little eyes, big ears, huge teeth, purple lips, and a face as long as the Mississippi river handsome? Not to mention he is clumsy and there is no appeal in that.. LOL

  13. Sorry to get you guys in trouble, but I just love, love, love Sarah palin. And no, concern tr olls, I don’t love her obot style cuz she looks good on the poster, I love her because she won’t stay quiet even knowing what it’ll cost her from thug central. I was hoping she would nail joe asshat, and she did not let me down.

    • i really like her too. i shouldn’t, but i do.

      • Why shouldn’t you? She’s a common sense pol. She went back to her state and turned down a raise, increased funding for programs like Head Start and low income health care. She appointed a pro choice(despite being anti choice herself) judge to the bench. She is part ofa group that fought to get the Child Enforcement Act, Domestic ViolenceAct andis fighting to get funding so college students who end up pregnant get help to complete their education. She went against her own party on corruption, vetoed legislation that would have insured parity for homosexual couples never happened due to constitutionality(what a concept, someone who cares about the legality of treating a minority group like second class citizens). There is ALOT to love. I have absolutely no shame in admitting my girl crush. I felt the same about Hill mid cycle when I looked at all her accomplishments overtime and I weighed them with what she was saying. Smart and powerful women are meant to be admired and emulated

        • the very reasons you outline, among others, are why i like her. when i say “i shouldn’t”, it’s because i’m a liberal. i’m pro-choice, an uber-animal lover, etc.

        • Oh thankyou!
          This I will copy and keep for the next time one of my very intolerant far left pals start dissing her again.

        • AND she’s exposed that HALF of the stimulus money being offered to her state isn’t going to do anything to help create jobs or stimulate the economy. Therefore, she is turning down that money!

    • I too like her. The kids and hubby find my girl crush on her both cute and annoying.

      • My family, too. My 82-year-old mom, a total Hillary fan-like me-always says “I know you like Palin, but…..” and goes on with some criticism and a look at me as if I’ve gone crazy.

        But when I see what her record is, see her actual achievements (and need I say PSB0 has so few), and see the way she speaks out and does what she thinks is right and not just what is expedient; well, there’s a lot to like there.

        And then look at how well Alaska is doing overall, and she really looks like a great leader. I’m keeping my eye on her, just like I’ve been doing with Hillary for about 18 years.

  14. Obama isn’t dumb as a bag of hammers. I think an audit of his great populist campaign contributions would reveal the truth in the matter.

    • That would merely show how his “handlers” were able to funnel the money to his campaign to get him elected.

      That was being run by others. His job was to show up , read the teleprompter and exit.

      Since his elevation, he’s not been doing so good going solo.

    • True–that formulation is insulting to hammers.

  15. Great one, BB! Thanks for bringing it here. It’s fun watching the Obots as they run out of koolaid.

  16. Yeah, I liked Palin even before she was selected. Made it much easier to punch that ticket on behalf of Hillary. She defies labels, the ultimate outsider, and like her instincts. But would still take Hillary over her in a New York minute. Hill can make the patriarchy look stupid by just entering a room.

    Speaking of that, in Bush senior’s time, the smartest college boys who were bestest at lying joined the right secret societies, then went to work at the CIA or became politicians. In Bush junior’s gen, the same type of boys opted for investment banking or big multinationals. So this elite class of liars are sitting on top of the patriarchy, the older political stewards sheltering the money men. Now with the meltdown, the curtain is going up on everybody. Like the old fashioned CIA guys though, they will keep lying. Will the msm go after them. If one of the media companies, say Murdoch, breaks cover, the rest will follow. The smartest thing the major loons on Wall St and DC could do right now is hand over the steering to some capable women. But they’re hanging on like a bunch of scared fools.

  17. About the Chirac letter-even the Italian press is all over it. Obama not only wrote the letter to Chirac, but also refused Sarkozy’s invitation to visit France in April.

    He seems to be snubbing all European leaders who are FOR greater financial regulation. All of this prior to the G20 summit.

    But I suppose his supporters will spin it as some kind of tit for tat for something that happened in Kenya a century ago. (meme that all European leaders are r@cist).

  18. Apparently Geithner will announce his plan for dealing with the toxic assets next week. Is the NYTimes getting a bit cynical. Taxpayers will pay 97% of the price for this junk, which banks won’t sell for less than 60 cents on the dollar when they may only be worth 30 cents. No private investors really. Big surprise. We pick up the tab, paying twice what the assets are worth. Novel way to transfer another trillion (maybe) to the banks balance sheets. Help dakinikat..

    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/03/21/business/21bank.html?_r=1&hp

  19. Dumb as a box of Hammers… not as long as he has his teleprompter…

    http://baracksteleprompter.blogspot.com/

    I don’t know about he rest of you, but I’m looking forward to this for the next 3 years and 10 months!

  20. The clip that follows this – “On Obama’s economic team, Green has this to say:” indicates that Green still believes that all of Obama’s money came from small contributors who “believed.”

    So many lies so few fire extinguishers.

    • Yup.

    • Yup. I followed the link to CP and read Green’s whole article. He only half gets it because he still believes the official Oborg myth of the Web-based network of small donors, rather than acknowledging that Plastic Jesus received much, maybe a preponderance, of his campaign funding from Wall Street.

      Also, Wall Street might have something on Plastic Jesus besides the ability to reveal the true sources of his campaign funds. Maybe one or more of the “tinfoil hat” stories are real after all, and they can prove it? 😉

  21. I agree with a lot of it, but not that the Republicans are committing suicide. I think they are having a field day with the circus that is congress and the ringmaster that is Obama. America looks more ridiculous than ever. The Republicans always looked scary not clownish, whatever people want to say about Rush Limbaugh. The face of the Republicans was Dick Cheney, not Sarah Palin. What should have been a Democratic triumph has made my former party look buffoonish. I am glad I am out. I just wonder how to organize someone to run against Dodd so that creepy Republican Rob Simmons doesn’t become Connecticut’s next senator. Eeewww.

    • Republicans are far from committing suicide. In fact, I’m agreeing more and more with the idea that they let the O win, putting up just enough of a campaign to make the Dems throw money away. Which they did.

      Although, having said that, it wasn’t like O needed much egging on to spend money.

      And now, just a couple of months after O took office, it looks like the Republicans are getting renewed, and people seem to be going to them even after people complained about them and Bush for years!

      I don’t think the Republicans knew this was the going to be the outcome, but it’s a good bet they considered all the possibilities, and the risks of losing office was probably outweighed by all that could be gained.

      And Sarah Palin. Whether you like her or not, she was and is a phenomenon. Hillbuzz termed her A Force of Nature, and that is so apt considering. She’s definitely energised and renewed the Republican brand.

  22. I hate to look like I’m being “negative” for agreeing with this guy but he’s absolutely right. Can we sign him on as writer?

  23. Fantastic article!
    And the author didn’t even know when he wrote it that Obama now feels the pain of Wall Street – and dislikes the tax on bonuses

  24. Got this from Hillaryis44
    Michael Wolfe, another Obama supporter who just woke up from his trance. This is the guy who said Hillary was a “special-interest candidate of older women—the post-sexual set.”

    Barack Obama Is a Terrible Bore
    Sheesh, the guy is Jimmy Carter.

    That homespun bowling crap on Jay Leno, followed by the turgid, teachy fiscal policy lecture, together with the hurt defensiveness (and bad script for it) that everybody in Washington “is Simon Cowell… Everybody’s got an opinion,” is pure I’m-in-over-my-head stuff. Even the idea of having to go on Jay Leno to rescue yourself from the AIG mess is lame. Be a man, man.

    The guy just doesn’t know what to say. He can’t connect. Emotions are here, he’s over there. He can’t get the words to match the situation.

    This began, I’d argue, from the first moment. He punted on the inaugural. Everybody ran around like crazy trying to praise it because if Barack Obama couldn’t give a speech then what?

    But now, at week 11, we’re face-to-face with the reality, the man can’t talk worth a damn.

    http://www.vanityfair.com/online/politics/2009/03/barack-obama-is-a-terrible-bore.html

    • Unbelieveable! He couldn’t see what bore Obama was until now? And he’s a hell of a lot worse than Jimmy Carter. He’s worse than Nixon, Reagan, and Bush put together.

      • BB–maybe he was just scared of being smeared as a r@ci$t, like nearly everyone else who works in the public eye.

  25. am in moderation

  26. Suddenly 1000 writers appeared in newspapers and 1000 commentators appeared on TV saying, “Don’t tax the bonuses! It’s unconstitutional. Yes, we all want retribution, but think, America. We’ll pay more later,” and suddenly everyone believes that’s true. So now the Precious can veto a bill and say he’s just being the Wiser? Personally I don’t give a rats @ss; the constitution was torn up in 2000. Is it even enforceable by the Supreme Court anymore? Get the pitchforks and let’s go already.

    • Pitchforks are so Autumn. How about ice picks, and I’ve got some extra long window scrapers.

  27. Integrity –

    Ga. House Republicans Block Obama Honor

    ATLANTA — The Georgia House voted against approving a resolution that would have honored President Barack Obama and praised him for being a politician with an “unimpeachable reputation for integrity, vision and passion.”

    The 70-68 vote Thursday infuriated members of the Georgia Legislative Black Caucus, who designed the proposal to make him an honorary member of the group. State Rep. Keith Heard, D-Athens, said “it makes you wonder what exactly is going on in Georgia.”

    The measure was blocked by a group of House Republicans, including state Rep. Austin Scott of Tifton. Scott objected to wording in the resolution that he said suggested the entire House approved of the president’s actions.

    http://www.wsbtv.com/news/18968902/detail.html

    • Good to0 know that they are hanging tough in the land of my birtth. They are beyond being called names at this point.

    • “unimpeachable reputation for integrity, vision and passion.”

      Csswrd! I’m seeing Reagan National Airport flash before my eyes. I will begin cultivating my own garden today. h/t Voltaire

      Voltaire also said: “Anyone who has the power to make you believe absurdities has the power to make you commit injustices.”

      • Yes, I’ve been thinking about Voltaire lately, and I just applied for a piece of land for growing veggies.

  28. When I saw the picture of the hammers, I thought Riverdaughter ad gone overboard in her basement remodel. I still want to know more about all that money that flowed to the Obama campaign and his political supporters. Whats funny is hearing that Claire McCaskill has joined a group of Democrats that are to hold his and Congress feet to the fire regarding spending. This woman is shameless. I have to say I’m more impressed by Palin every day. Not in comparison to Hillary of course, but its definitely time to hand the reins over to the women. I’ve thought this for years now. There is something about the boy’s club (watching Obama play the basketball brackets was infuriating). He sure is going outta his way to prove he’s hetro. But look at the picture of him riding a bike they posted over at hillbuzz. Too funny.

    • lol yes glenn I agree on all counts. and especially about the big efforts to look het and the bike photo.

    • I think Claire is in that group as a spy to leak every word said in those meetings to the Oval office. I hope they check her for recording devices before they start talking.

  29. If we keep throwing up and purging all this bad news, will the economy recover faster. Dunno. But in that spirit, here’s a negative thought. What portion of our economy was (is) just devoted to producing and sustaining the bubble – in real estate, finance, marketing, other support services. If we discount for the excess paper shuffling and helium blowing, can we still achieve that 3.2% positive economic growth by 2010 as Barry has projected. Xcuse me, I gotta go puke again..

  30. Why am I in moderation?

  31. I may be the only Conflucian masochistic enough to still be watching
    MSNBC and CNN and Bill Maher – but someone’s got to do it. I look at it as bearing witness.

    What I noticed yesterday is that all of them were so obviously the AIG mess. AIG is the biggest story in – maybe forever. It’s the tip of the iceberg. The real story is the one Taibbi writes about in Rolling Stone. I know – he became an obot – but he redeemed himself with this story. It’s about the complete of the country and world economy by these Wall St. – criminals.

    The way he describes it, it seems that crimes were committed. Yes, lots of it was legal because of deregulation, but there was fraud, which is not legal. Dereg allowed them to get away with it, because no one was watching, but it sure sounded criminal to me. Geithner was part of it.

    Maher totally changed the subject after about one minute discussion, talking about – guess who – Palin’s kids. Other NBC obots didn’t spend time on the story. Then Maddow did a rant on how she, and Obama, weren’t avoiding the story, and, etc. I was half asleep then, didn’t catch it all, but the gist was that it wasn’t an important story. And now the “liberal” (maybe really Wall St. shills?) are against taxing those poor AIG execs.

    The whole Obama story was surreal from the beginning, but now it’s crazier. Because now we’re getting closer to the coverup, what they were covering up, and why Obama was getting support from big business. As more truth comes out, they have to do more lying and dancing to go against that overwhelming Congress vote. Unfortunately, they’ll probably manage to fool people yet again.

  32. Green misses the link between the $ BO’s team had pouring in, and where they were pouring in from–he seems to suggest from this clip that it was all those eager “small donors.” Uh…no…it was the very same people he is now rewarding handsomely for their largesse:

    AIG’s $43.5 billion in payments to Wall Street banks that gave to the president’s election is lost in the ruckus being made over the executive bonuses.

    While $58 billion of your tax dollars — or more accurately, your children’s tax dollars — are being used to pay foreign banks, a substantial portion of that money ($43.5 billion) is being used to pay American banks, including Goldman Sachs, Merill Lynch, Bank of America, Citigroup, Wachovia, Morgan Stanley, AIG International, and JP Morgan.

    The following recipients of President Obama’s trickle-down-to-my-donors bailout plan rank among his top 20 contributors to his 2008 presidential election campaign, according to Open Secrets:

    Goldman Sachs: $955,473

    Citigroup: $653,468

    JP Morgan Chase & Co.: $646,058

    Morgan Stanley: $485,823

    Three other banks that were significant contributors to Obama received money through AIG:

    Bank of America: $274,493

    Wachovia: $214,151

    AIG: $112,170

    Lehman Brothers, which did not survive long enough to join the list of banks leaching off the work of the American taxpayer, also gave the Obama campaign $276,088.

    Individuals identifying themselves as working for the banks above gave Barack Obama’s presidential campaign $3,617,724. In other words, more than 3.6 million reasons for the president to help focus the media’s glare on the relatively minuscule $165 million in AIG executive bonuses, and away from their $43.5 billion portion of $100 billion of taxpayer dollars the administration, by design or incompetence, filtered to other banks through AIG.

    In receiving $43.5 billion for their investment of just over $3.3 million, it looks like the banks that gambled on Wall Street certainly got their money’s worth out of their investment in Barack Obama.

    • That’s the problem, which is that the banks own the government.

      I do think it’s important to remember that it’s not only Obama that they own, but any politician who gets into power. Because they can’t seem to win without them. The four highest recipients of Wall St. money were Obama, Dodd (banking committee head), McCain, and Hillary. Wall St. has to cover its ass. So it’s not Obama here, it’s the system. Hill accepted their money. Of course, Obama refused to accept public financing at a time when the Repub candidate did, so he set us back in reforming that system.

      Taibbi describes how this system got so out of control, in late nineties Dems realized they couldn’t keep up with money Repubs had with contributions from labor unions (after Reagan began destroying them),so they began taking money from banks, insurance companies, etc. Which they had to do their bidding instead of work for the people. Which meant there was no real Democratic Party any more. As we’ve been noticing here.

      The idea that people think the answer to this will come from the Republicans is crazy, though. Repubs are just more of working against the people, have always been that. And though I like some things about Palin, too, she works for the Repubs. And why be a Repub if you don’t work for big business?

      • If Taibbi is such a great investigative reporter, why couldn’t he figure out that Obama was a wholly owned subsidiary of Wall Street? All he had to do was look at the list of contributors at Open Secrets and follow the money.

        • Funny thing is, my O supporter friend read this article and came away still thinking O was above it all.

          Actually, I don’t know why I’m surprised by that.

    • I’m in moderation. Please release me.

  33. The gist of the AIG debacle can be summed up by the Obama boosters in two ways: he did not know about the bonuses or it was the fault of Geitner and Dodd. No big deal.

    Either way, whether they realize it or not, they are excusing him on the grounds that all this happened under his nose and he was just too naive and trusting to be held accountable. So carry on, be on your way,nothing to see hear. And hey, wasn’t he great on Leno the other night?

    Forgetting the fact that this man is “in charge” as president, this tells me once again that his eye is not on the ball, unless you are including his bowling scores and his picks for March Madness. The country is beginning to really see the effects of these massive and unaccountable bailouts and the seething beneath the surface is rising to the top. Yet he is again afforded a pass on his cluelessness while prancing across the nation playing to sell out crowds.

    Speaking for myself, I prefer at least a measure of engagement, at least let it appear that way for those of us who live in a state of apprehension. Had this been another president performing in this manner the pundits and editorials would be having a field day.

    If attacking Bush, and rightfully so, for his disengagement during Katrina was the norm, then Obama should also face some criticism for his lack of interest so far displayed and for his supposed “shock and dismay” that the insert for allowing those bonuses to be put back into the document.

    I hate double standards. Allowing him to get away with this only manifests his naivety or highlights his incompetence. Either way it does not bode well as we forge ahead over the next 4 years. How many times are we to be hear “I did not know” before we can agree that this is not an acceptable answer from the person in charge?

  34. This has been up at Slashdot for a while. “Taxpayers fund AIG lawsuit against US”.

    “The company is… asking for … tax refunds. The suit also suggests that AIG. is spending taxpayer money to pursue its case, something it is legally entitled to do. Its initial claim was denied by the Internal Revenue Service last year.”

    Cool, huh?

  35. We have been told that ONLY the guys who created AIG’s financial meltdown can get us out of it. Well, if by that, one means the guys who drove huge and successful AIG from a Triple AAA rating down to a Triple BBB rating — and into bankruptcy — in five short years, then yes, these are the guys who did it.

    And they demanded top salaries and obscene bonuses (in amounts of multi-millions of dollars) for destroying their company. Here’s a thought: I could destroy a company in five years and do it for far less money. Okay?

    The very LAST people we want digging AIG (or any other entity receiving a federal bailout) out of trouble are the very ones who dug the hole in the first place.

    And, in fact, quite a few who were awarded “retention” bonuses had ALREADY left AIG by the time the bonuses were paid to them. How in anyone’s name can those be called “retention” bonuses when the guys had already split? Did I just fall down the hole in Alice In Wonderland and land upside down on my head? This is INSANITY.

    Furthermore, the AIG bonus-getters are NOT the only people in America with the smarts to dig their companies out of trouble. They are NOT smart. They have displayed NO wisdom. They are NOT honest. They ARE greedy S.O.B.s who deserve to rot in hell if not in jail.

  36. I can’t spell worth a darn.

  37. Brian, we accepted reality along time ago. That’s why we’re here. And this is not just “another” PUMA sight. We are the original. Maybe you should “move on” and get over it.

  38. The FDIC closes all banks that are going down on Fridays. They enter the towns where the banks under assumed names. They do this so there isn’t a run on the banks. On Monday mornings the banks reopen under new names. 60 minutes did an expose on The Closing of Failed Banks….I wrote a post it about on msplaceddemocrat. Interesting process.
    Sheila Blair is going to Congress hat in hand asking for an up to $500 million dollar loan because they did not collect insurance premiums from banks from 1998-2008 (because Congress…said the FDIc already had too much money.). The loan will come The Federal Reserve but she must get “permission” from Congress first. Now we wait to see if she gets permission.

  39. gawd, brian-you are a human hemhorroid!
    use someone else’s pic, man.
    no one will be the wiser.

  40. What fif, on March 21st, 2009 at 8:30 am Said (above).

    I don’t even think it’s a question of 3 million dollars. After all, he raised about 700 million dollars. But he had bundlers of this crowd, possibly gone to him through the channels of Kerry, Kennedy, Daschle. The whole “small donor” thing was a myth and a campaign press release that the press just ate up and regurgitated.

    There was no FEC to oversee his massive campaign money. As we know, Newweek and washingtonpost had articles about money pouring from phoney names. Note that there was no hue and cry about that. Meanwhile press spent weeks on Troopergate and Palin’s clothes bought by RNC (to the tune of 150,000 for 7 people!!) Note that by contrast, there is no hue and cry about Michelle wearing FREE clothes from fashion houses. Nothing to see, move over!!

    I still think that there is something far more to the extent that the airheads at MSNBC savaged Hillary and promoted BO. I love to find that out.

    Or perhaps, it’s like money. You create the seed by the feeding frenzy through couple of people like Andrea Mitchell and Chris Matthews, and then the rest of clique follows.

    • I think the NBC cadre, be it CNBCor MSNBC, were in the bag for 0bama because of the vulnerable position GE Capital is in. Is a bailout for GE in the cards or did GE Capital make themselves a bank to get FDIC coverage? Somehow the NBC crowd got 0bama to do their bidding to salvage the over extended GE. It isn’t too farfetched to see the scenario…and it ain’t pretty.

      • Right. Could be. Though NBC was deep in the tank for Obama over a year before GE Capital started seriously hemmoraging. I think it was always about Jeff Zucker fighting for ratings and his own job at NBC rather than helping Immelt at GE. Jeff was born to run large political campaigns. He loves winning. Would suit him better than running a media network. He’s not really business minded.

  41. Note this:

    Is this a case of ideological osmosis? Of a complete failure of imagination? Have we simply reached the point where anyone who could plausibly be president in this country cannot fathom government existing for any other purpose than to enrich the already fabulously wealthy, any more than our friend the tuna could possibly dream of playing soccer?

    Really??? No, it is and was a failure of your imagination. There was a choice there, her name was HILLARY, you idiot!!

  42. When I read all this garbage that is happening I get angry all over again. To think about the way Hillary was trashed by the fraud..when she was clearly the best candidate. Now we see what bimbo is made of…and it’s not much.

  43. […] Open Thread: “Barack Obama is dumber than a bag of hammers.” Now here’s a writer who tells it like it is. and he’s darkly funny too. David Michael Green writes: Barack […] […]

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