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Tuesday: Reboot

(Early morning meeting.  This will be quick)

Nicholas Lemann, who I know nothing about, has written Mad and Madder in The New Yorker that hints at why Obama may be reluctant to nationalize the banks.  Well, *another* reason that is independent from the fact that his banker backers have him by the junk:

Bank nationalization would drive the stock market down and increase the agita of people with 401(k) plans. Moderate Democrats in Congress would further soften in their support for the Administration’s legislation. The price of bank nationalization might be Obama’s super-ambitious plans in other realms, which, if history is a guide, are likely to pass only in this first year of his Presidency. If they do pass, he will have generated tax revenues from affluent people for social purposes far beyond those of the House’s tax on A.I.G. bonuses, and he will have significantly eased the distress of people who can’t get good health care or education. That is a lot to put at risk.

Ok, the first part of that sentence makes sense; the second part is utter bull$#@&.  It’s the plunging 401K values Obama’s worried about.  Well, not exactly worried about.  Obama doesn’t really worry about people who makes less than 7 figures a year.  But revolutions happen when the middle class gets fed up with being treated badly.  As Thomas Jefferson wrote once upon a time: “all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed.”  Yep, we can hold out a long time as long as its the usual suspects that get the shaft.  You know, the perpetually poor, the undereducated, the ne’erdowells.  But when the value of middle class property starts to fall, “when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.”

So, maybe Obama’s strategy, and we have to assume their is a point to all of this even though there is no policy that we can detect, is to make sure that the middle class doesn’t lose its temper.  Plunging 401k’s would definitely make some people peevish, including moi.  However, if we descend into the semi-darkness of a Japan style “lost decade” where the already devalued 401k’s do not regain any of their value, just so that the bankers don’t have to eat their losses, that would piss me off more.  Maybe Obama figures that his chances of being a president when that happens are very slim.  Fine.  But don’t expect your picture on any stamps or money.  Your name will be “Bush”.

No, what we need is a reboot if there’s any chance to salvage the 401K system.  Of course, I would willingly forgo it if someone would just give me a fricking pension I could live off.  The rally of the stock market recently, I suspect, was partially the result of 401K contributions from bonuses that got disbursed in March.  It’s not going to last.  The market is going to start sinking again and stay there.  And then, people who were about to retire are going to get angry anyway.

Then it won’t be long before the anger spreads upwards to the smelly bourgeoisie.

Hmmm, NYC or Philly?  NYC or Philly?

Hmmm, NYC or Philly? NYC or Philly?

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75 Responses

  1. I read somewhere that the Wall Street crisis is BO’s Katrina moment. It might be his Iraq quagmire as well.

    • And he has a real Iraq quagmire to boot!

      • I think Vietnamistan is going to be his Iraq quagmire.

        • Caught a discussion of Afghantistan just now on Radio Australia with Bruce Shapiro of the Nation. Host Phillip Adams, who mocked John McCain’s aige and with home I had some correspdence with (see IA archives) was a bit more somber tonight (Australia time)..

          Shapiro pointed out that there was a splint in the Administration and that Biden was talking quagmire in Afghanistan…and Shapiro added that sending those 4000 troops would be a “spark” for more recruiting of Taliban and other fighters…

        • Caught a discussion of Afghantistan just now on Radio Australia with Bruce Shapiro of the Nation. Host Phillip Adams, who mocked John McCain’s age and with home I had some correspdence with (see IA archives) was a bit more somber tonight (Australia time)..

          Shapiro pointed out that there was a splint in the Administration and that Biden was talking quagmire in Afghanistan…and Shapiro added that sending those 4000 troops would be a “spark” for more recruiting of Taliban and other fighters…

  2. I do think this is what Obama is worried about. That is why he wanted a meeting with Doctor Bob Basso re his “disturbing” YouTube video.

    The previous thread discussed our police and military not obeying orders to turn on the citizenry. If the treatment of peaceful protesters are any example, I’m not holding my breath.
    Fran posted this: On April 11th, 2009, the public will come out in cities across the country to express their frustration and disapproval with how our elected officials have handled the economic crisis. No one has been left unscathed; this protest is yours.”


  3. OT– Happy Birthday myiq2xu!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  4. I think Obama’s strategy is to do what the bankers tell him to do. My question is did they tell him to cut GM and Chrysler loose? If he is worried about anger and potential riots, he’d better start paying a little more attention to the Michigan and surrounding states that already have high unemployment rates and are dependent on the auto industry.

    • I think that Obama stupidly believes that he can deflect some of the anger over bankers onto the auto industry, which deserves a different kind of anger. Also, it’s something he *can* do. He’s afraid of the banking industry but he has no fear of the union workers and auto barons. So, it’s sort of like Bush going after Saddam Hussein instead of Iran or Al Qaeda. It’s an easy target.
      But the optics are really, REALLY bad.

    • BTW, Brooke is refusing to go to school. She’s had enough. I can’t get her out of bed. Anyone got any suggestions for what to do with a kid with a brain the size of a small planet who is too depressed with the curriculum and constant teasing to go to school? I can’t homeschool and go to work at the same time.

      • Who is teasing her?

      • Can you come up with some snappy retorts to put these bullies in their place?

        • tried that
          It only gets her into trouble

          • I hated school as a kid – that’s why I got bad grades. My kids had problems too (one dropped out at 17 and went straight to college and the other two finished on home studies (not home school)

          • That sucks. I got teased for being tall when I was in school, and called “brain,” etc.

          • Count on one thing, RD. If your daughter has experienced teasing or bullying and has told you about it, it’s much worse than she’s told you. Kids try to protect their parents so they don’t tell us all of it.

            My daughter is one of those students who sits in the front of the class, always does her homework, and is the first one to raise her hand to answer a question. On top of that, she’s very small for her age, and therefore appears “different”. She once made the comment that she wished she could have one year without an incident of bullying. We’ve learned over the years that, by the time she comes home with a complaint, things are much worse than they appear.

            One year, I couldn’t understand why her math grade was getting progressively lower until I had a sit-down with the math teacher. Even walking out of that meeting, I had no idea what was going on. My daughter broke down in the car and said that, the hall passes to use the restroom were hung too high for her to easily reach, so she had to jump up to reach them. This became a class joke and the other students would imitate her jumping to reach the pass. This opened the door to a constant drumbeat of harrassment from a group of bullies in the class. Five of them. The teacher let it happen. This poor kid endured this for months, and I had no idea it was happening. I had to really probe to drag it out of her.

            I called the Dean of Students and the hall passes were lowered the next day, the bullies were dealt with, and the teacher was allowed to finish the semester (it was almost over) before he was fired. You should make a few phone calls to find out what’s really going on. Schools take bullying very seriously, and rightly so.

          • I agree with Janicen. You probably don’t know everything. When my daughter finally told me what was going on, it was about this time of year, too. This is what I did. First I made an appointment with her teacher and the school principal. I specifically asked them if there were any physical threats. When I saw the principal hedge around, I let him know that if my daughter was physically harmed in any way, I would be contacting the police no matter what measures the school took and that I would hold the principal accountable civilly. Then I told them that I would be instructing my daughter to leave the school building and to call me immediately any time her teacher failed to step in. Her teacher suggested that I might want to consider holding my honor student daughter back because the next year’s class was “nicer”. I replied that my daughter would be going to private school the next year. The only question was whether I would paying for it or if a lawsuit settlement from the town would cover it. When I returned home, I called the mother of the boy who was the biggest offender and politely told her that if he harmed my daughter, his “time out” would be at the police station not the principal’s office. I was polite, but firm. (She was dumbfounded.) Then I sat down with my daughter and promised her that if I had to sell pencils on the street corner to pay her tuition, she would not have to return to that school in the fall, but that I had put everything I could in place to protect her, and she did have to finish the school year. The last six weeks of school were hard for her. Mostly she was ignored or whispered about, but she got through it. In the fall she attended a small Catholic school, and although I didn’t have to sell pencils on the corner, I did have to work at BINGO one Friday night a month. She went to a regional public high school, made lots of friends, and graduated second in the class. When she and I were holding her babe just minutes after his birth, she whispered in his ear, “Your grandmother taught me how to be a kick-ass mom so everything’s going to be OK.” Kick some ass, RD.

          • Janicen & Samanthasmom, you are both Teh Awesome Mommy Pumas!
            *taking notes*

      • (((hugs)))

        I don’t know any immediate fixes, but can the school admin/teachers help?
        I don’t know if this is a possibility, and I know some lefties are opposed to charter schools, but I love the charter school my kids go to. Among the things I love about it is seem to have very effective ways of dealing with bullying. My kids feel safe, accepted, secure there. They managed by Edison Schools, with very strong local support & involvement and somehow they’ve managed to keep some really great teachers.

      • Check to see what alternative schooling the county offers. My son went to an alternative high school. It was set up like college classes, longer classes with alternating study days (ie math, english, science on M, W, F and PE and history on T, Th). He did much better there.

      • Why don’t you take her to a private school? Hillary and Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison were at The Women’s Museum where they talked about some girls having better experiences going to an all girls school. A change of surroundings might be what she needs or teach her to fight back and not let them intimidate her. That is the only way to fight bullies.

        PS. Just discovered that a company called Her Interactive makes Nancy Drew games. They are targeted towards teen girls. There are full of puzzles and mysteries. Is it something Brooke would be interested in?

        • Those Nancy Drew games are fantastic. I’m in my forties and loved, loved doing them. Absolutely excellent and I think that the rec. age is before (and thru and beyond!) the teen years. Sorry I don’t have one here with me or I would give more info.
          They have problems to solve, and each problem gives a clue towards solving the greater mystery involved.
          The kids learn about everything like navigation, history,
          science. I can’t say enough good about those Nancy Drew games. Oh- they are computer games.

        • I *tried* getting her into a private school. Two of the best in the Princeton area put her on a waiting list. No room. And no money. Ex is out of a job. And the only money I had was an orphaned 401k that I didn’t want to have to use but was desperate enough when I saw how her school system is handling gifted and talented kids. IOW, they have a bare bones g&t program focussed on social studies with some hard assed teachers not trained in gifted education.
          As for complaining and asking for help, I’ve tried. Repeatedly. Unfortunately she is the kind of kid who mouths off a lot and gets zero sympathy from her teachers. She told me that she’s been trying to secretly record the abuse she’s getting from the other students but the sound quality isn’t great because she can’t get the recorder close enough to them. If any one knows how to wire like the cops to to an informant, let me know. It seems to be the only way they will believe her.

      • RD, I remember those years as painful also. I you have a brain, public school is not always for you. I would suggest that you take it very seriously and investigate other schooling possibilities in your area. And I know this is something most Americans never consider, but a good boarding school (all girls) is sometimes exceptionnal. There is an excellent one in Ammish Country in PA. Such are very expensive but as always offer schloraship for exceptional students.

        The grand-daughter of my aunt just join one of the best boarding school in France all tuitions paid and LOVES it. she is 11/12. She comes back home on WE. She is a new person.

      • I can’t recall how old your daughter is, but at 10 my daughter really enjoyed reading An American Girl book that addressed bullying (a girlfriend’s guide to friendships or something like that).

        Anyway, in our case the bullying started after a regional move, and unfortunately, I think some teachers look the other way when obvious bullying is going on (just as some parents look the other way when bad behavior and bullying is going on either because they don’t know what to do, or because doing nothing is easier than taking a stand). As an aside, I’ve noticed a lot of bullying behavior here, and most of the kids who aren’t cheerleaders, football players or gymnasts or who don’t wear expensive brands of clothing get bullied.

        In our situation, we decided that she would try to handle it first, and that we would only speak to her teachers if she wasn’t successful. We concentrated on her developing strong friendships and focusing on the activities and sports she finds enjoyable. She also belongs to a youth group which allows her to talk about these issues with other girls her age.

        After talking about one of the girls who was bullying her, we realized the girl had her own issues and problems and was probably just trying to pick on someone she perceived as being lower in the pecking order (she was trying to pick on my daughter in an attempt to gain an in with the in group …. if that makes any sense). Anyway, my daughter ended up feeling kind of sorry for her, and we agreed that happy and well adjusted kids don’t bully (although even good kids can participate in bullying at times due to peer pressure).

        Every child and situation is probably different, and the transition into the teenage years just seems to be a little bit of an emotional roller coaster. Sometimes we have days that seem really difficult, and then I’ll realize she’s tired or stressed about balancing school work and activities (and this can especially be an issue in kids with perfectionist tendencies). I think it’s normal to feel like you don’t always know the right thing to do. I find myself talking to other moms for their input, and often I’m surprised that their daughters have had similar experiences. If needed, I also wouldn’t hesitate to get the advice of a professional.

        • As for the curriculum, I wonder if the school administration and individual teachers would help out in any way to make school more challenging for her (any extra projects or activities or programs she could be involved in that would be more stimulating). Some colleges and private schools offer programs, although many of those are only during school breaks.

  5. Happy bday to myiq (what the heck does that mean).
    I will support the Way Forward protest and the Tea Parties 4/15. Why 4/11—is that a play on 9/11? The concern I have with the WF is they seem to want Obama leadership—just to “wake him up”. I say let sleeping dogs lie.

    RD you are so right—-most people see their 401k s reduced to nickels and dimes. The stock market has caught on that the very announcements from C and BA about “doing well” in Jan, Feb were an illusion that was used to pump their plunging stock and to push back on any possibility of nationalizing banks. We need to see Obama and the US called to task by the G20. Publicly humiliated. I think after O made that careless remark about stock gyrations not really counting he tried to accommodate the financial markets cosmetically and now it is biting him because the essence of it was totally false. We really need the unions to wake up to him and to reality.

  6. RD,
    Are there any progressive alternative schools in your area? That might be an answer.

  7. RD, I’m sorry to hear that your daughter is in such pain. I hope the wise ones here can give some helpful suggestions.

  8. This is something to keep in mind:

    housing affordability is up through a combination of lower prices and mortgage rates. However, “real” mortgage rates are stratospheric in some markets due to the deflator. As home prices continue to depreciate, the real mortgage rate has in some cases skyrocketed to 20%, through the combination of borrowing money at 5% to purchase an asset declining at a 15% rate.

    Why the light at the end of the tunnel is much further away than we may think.

    • Excellent observation Jangles. And yes, the light at the end of the tunnel is not for tomorrow. In term of real dollars (inflation adjusted) we are going back to pre-2000 prices for several years before we see more capitalization going on.

      By the way, most people do not know you can have your 401K in real estate. The title is held by a trustee but you can put your money in income producing real estate that you owned entirely.(not a pool with other people)

      So for all of you out there who do not feel comfortable keeping their retirement funds in the stock market or who would like to take some out, it’s a possibility.

      Up to the end of the year real estate prices are going to be low (they will remain low afterwards but inflation will kick in) and a good little house or duplex is prime investment.

      • Bear with me. Are you saying I can withdraw my money from my 401K and put it towards a mortgage? Does it have to be an investment property or can it be your residence?

        • YES, that is exactly what I am saying.

          But it has to be an investment property. That said you can have your principal residense transferred to a trust or corporation and be the tenant there.

        • I skipped a phase for the principal residense, because it is tricky. The money from the 401k has to be used for the purchase of a property you do not already directly owned. So you have to transfer your property to a trust or a corporation and then buy it (from yourself in essence) with the 401K money and pay rent at market value for the occupancy. Some states might have some restrictions to that and you need a VERY good accountant to guide you. But it is possible and for people considering moving anyway that is a good way to go.

          Otherwise putting your 401K towards the purchase of an income property is absolutely possiible. Some paperworks, few real estate agents familar with the procedure, but if you have done your homework and are able to control the process, totally doable.

  9. RD: I was deeply involved in charter schools and there are some very good ones—also some that are not—but the great thing about charters is that they know they have to attract their students. They do not get students just because of where they live.

    It is really important for Brooke to get transferred to something or she will lose a full semester of grades and credits at this time of year. There are now online schools. Since she is home, have her get online and find a school to go to. If she has passing grades now she should be able to transfer them to a new school and pick up where she left off. An online school might be a good alternative right now to bridge the gap. There is only about 8-10 weeks left in the school year. Not much time to get into a new school.

    • Good point about just being a couple months left in the school year.
      You might even consider a parochial school as a bridge. Many of them need students; I guess the downside would be needing to buy uniforms …

      • RE: a Bridge…

        Has she gone to a guidance counsellor or better yet, does she have one teacher that she really likes who she could latch onto as a support system for the last couple of months?

        As a school media specialist (fancy name for librarian) I was in a great position to get to know kids one to one and wound up mentoring a few who had some problems…

        There may be a nice person like that on the faculty that she could “buddy” with…

        Is she at Plainsboro High? I taught adult ed there…hated those open classrooms!!

  10. He should have explained nationalization as a necessary evil to fix a system that was broken enough to damage the overall economy and just do it. Yes, the 401ks would fall at first but it would then provide stability instead of the uncertainty we seem to be seeing now. The Dow was at 13,000 as a 52 week high, its at 7500. Worrying about the Dow now is like worrying about the darned horse after you let it out of the barn.

  11. RD

    Am so sorry about the kiddo.I have no solution to the meanness that accompanies adolescenct peers(which sometimes appears to carry into adulthood). Is the bullying just teasing or is it getting physical in nature?

  12. Happy Birthday, myiq! Who entertains at a clown’s birthday party?

  13. In moderation

  14. RD, if it’s not too late for sign up I’d suggest she first tried credit by exam in the classes she’s currently taking to finish the year. Then, I’d either suggest an alternative school (there are some really good ones, actually) or online classes for a while. Do you have a magnet program in NJ? We have them in TX (for “Gifted&Talented” students) and I’ve never had any problems with bullying. They’re normally very well regarded, highly-ranked, and small so there’s a greater sense of community instead of it being a big place with a bunch of kids without anything in common. Also, the students are well-sought after when they graduate.

    Like I said, credit by exam first, then a new school.

  15. Woody Allen on Bernie Madoff and and his reincarnated investors. Pretty funny.

  16. RD, it’s very difficult to take care of things like this when you’re also working (and maybe risking a layoff), and our hearts are with you.

    I would suggest her going to her grandmother’s for a week -or alternatively her grandmother/aunt staying with you, while your daughter works out what she wants to do, gets taken out ice-skating or whatever, and you hassle round seeing her teachers/new schools etc. Then she decides.

    • She has to know that you are unquestioningly on her side. Maybe you can even work out a pact together, that she finishes the year then leaves. Take her around to visit new schools in your area.

      My son loved his school as soon as he saw it, and never wanted to so much as go see another one. But we were lucky.
      I have seen the daughter of friends, slack off and fail, because she was unhappy in class. Her parents just weren’t interested in what was happening in school, and just thought she should toughen up, because the world outside was even tougher.

  17. This is COMPLETELY off topic…but ….we have an excellent wind-down to Women’s History Month today….about the WONDERFUL Dr. Mary Schweitzer (no, no relation to THAT Schweitzer)…. a mom who got her PhD and then found the first preserved tissue/ blood in a T. Rex!! And how she got the creationist crazy–she’s an evangelical Christian who actually does science without co-mingling it with religion!

    Fascinating woman!

    Closing Out Women’s History Month With Dr. Mary Schweitzer, Ground-Breaking Molecular Paleontologist, and a Special T. Rex


  18. RD – It breaks my heart to hear about a child’s life being made unnecessarily difficult by anything. Teasing is awful but it doesn’t last. We persevere, we overcome. My personal cross was being the only kid in third grade with a glass eye. I had an accident the rest is (personal) history. I was the butt of many jokes, and today it affects me approximately “zero.” Tell your daughter, it feels important. It isn’t. Tell her that millions of us out here in the Pumasphere have got her back.

  19. Here’s a lament for the automakers, by John Rich of Big & Rich:

    This is an acoustic version. (Song starts at about 3:05.)

  20. From the lyrics:

    My daddy taught me in this country everyone’s the same.
    You work hard for your dollar and you never pass the blame,
    When it don’t go your way.
    Now I see all these big shots whining on my evening news,
    About how their losing billions and it’s up to me and you
    To come running to the rescue.

    Well pardon me if I don’t shed a tear.
    They’re selling make believe and we don’t buy that here.

    Because in the real world they’re shuttin’ Detroit down,
    While the boss man takes his bonus paid jets on out of town.
    DC’s bailing out them bankers as the farmers auction ground.
    Yeah while they’re living up on Wall Street in that New York City town,
    Here in the real world they’re shuttin’ Detroit down.
    Here in the real world they’re shuttin’ Detroit down.

  21. RD -Sorry to hear about your daughter being bullied. My heart goes out to both of you.

    I think others here have made some good suggestions. The only thing I would add is to use whatever leverage you have to insist that the school she now attends institute a mandatory school-wide education program to address bullying issues, with a parental involvement component. Good luck.

    Also, about Obama having his picture on stamps or money…Unfortunately, I think we are going to be looking at his face in perpetuity no matter how he performs because of “the historic nature” of his presidency. Ugh!

  22. Is W2 missing an opportunity here? Why is he driving the automakers toward bankruptcy? “The Precious” wants healthcare sooner rather than later, right? Why not work out a three way deal with Detroit, the Unions and The Government to offload autoworker healthcare benefits onto the government? However you want to do it, “pilot program to underightcurrent plans”, Medicare, whatever. Doesn’t that get Detroit a good way down the road to viability without invalidating the rest of their contracts/obligations to workers? I haven’t thought it through as far as the long term best interests for taxpayers, but as along as we are taking drastic unprecedented measures to save the industries, this seems reasonable. Am I crazy?

    Or does W2 want GM and Chrysler in bankruptcy?

    • Ron4hills, I think you are missing the point, or rather you are not seing it yet. Obama is all about legacy, and his legacy will be institutionalize a new way of governing: I call it “Globalisism’.

      He does not look at the world in terms of Nations but in terms of Planet.

      And in that vein, regarding to Detroit, he wants them to move NOW towards the production of new cars according to “Global” standarts. Smaller, greener, standarized and of course price fixed to regulate consumption (no more changing your car every 2 years or so).

      he wanted to take control of GM because GM produce as many cars and trucks as the rest of the 17 automakers present in the US combined. It is the Keystone of that industry. In ceizing it, he ceized the control of the demand, by controling the supply.

      • And you know this, how? Links please.

        You wrote:

        Obama is all about legacy, and his legacy will be institutionalize a new way of governing: I call it “Globalisism’.

        He does not look at the world in terms of Nations but in terms of Planet.

        • BB, such is my opinion. I have no links of “published” journalist to support it. But I can tell you that I am right on this, as I have always been right on politics. I have said things about this man and his way of thinking months before he becomes mainstrean. I am on the record on French Public Radio about the change on Middle-east and Israel policies when that was considered total lunacy in November. And so on. I would love to write a post on that notion of Globalisism

      • Frenchnail – I do think that resurrecting the EV1 (smaller and greener) would also go a long way toward resurrecting GM, but I don’t give W2 as much credit as you do.

        I don’t think he has any grand strategy. I think he has (mis)read the polls and he thinks that crippling GM and the UAW will show that he is tough and in charge, and that a bankrupt and reorganized GM is a small price to pay to make himself look good.

        If and when the economy improves he will say that it is because he dragged labor into the 21st century, blah, blah, blah.

        • Sounds about right to me. Also I’ve been doing some research, and the UAW is not a top contributor to Obama as far as I can tell. The financial giants are, however.

          • BB, the real question is why UAW did not top contribute to O?

            Would it be they knew or felt that this guy was interested in forcing a production mandated by ideology and not by demand? Which therefore would be controlled from the White House, hence not financially responding to free market rules

            BB, I think you’re too close to the issue. You do not see the long term picture. With O, you have to think long term. Remember “Change”? Ideological realigment within a global frame is the change he was taliking about. That’s how he defines him-self in term of Legacy.

        • Respectfully, I disagree. The point that Americans are missing is that O is not interested in America recovering to the extend of keeping its position of leadership in the world or even its current standard of living.

          Saving GM is not a priority for him. Forcing GM to produce cars ideologically acceptable is the goal, even if that means fixing the prices on the back of the American taxpayers and making them financially not viable for GM.

          He does not consider UAW workers a priority. If their wellfare has to be sacrified to the good of all of the citizen of the planet, so be it. His interest is in the wellfare of the “global” citizenry.

          And in that respect he looks at the American workers as overpriviledged compared to the rest of the world.

          • Though I have never entertained what you suggest FrenchNail – what you say clicks with my understanding in several ways. That he will have an ideology to which reality must be made to conform. That there will be a grandiose vision he wants to impose, and fundamentally, it is about a grandiose vision of himself that reality must support. And of course, control and forcing everything into line with his grandiose vision. Dysfunction on a very grand scale in service of a giant sized vision of – himself. I suppose himself as global benefactor will be the role.
            What a glum prospect.

          • French nail-respectfully I agree.

            However from that viewpoint (American workers as overpriviledged compared to the rest of the world) I am not clear overwhat he’s doing in the financial markets.

          • About the financial markets, I think they are hands-off for the moment because Wall Street made him and he knows he does not have enough power right now to do without them. But the day will come. Never forget History. Many totalitarian regimes got there by, at the beginning, partenering with the ruling class.

            But as evidenced by Geithner faux pas about the predominance of the dollar, (he did not have the expected knee-jerk reaction in support of the dollar), Wall Street’s control of the financial markets is over. Dick Morris said the other days, O Wants the banks to fail because he wants an excuse to nationalize them. I do not completely agree with that, O wants the banks to fail within a certain measure ala GM, to be able, in time, to move in and control.

            The ultimate goal, one more time, is not the restauration of the health of the American financial system, but its transformation into a “part” and not that of leadership, of the Global finance.



    Of course, it’s ABC/WAPO, but then again, they’ll believe anything. I was at a dinner last night, and a CA lawyer was speaking with a soft fondness of Obama’s efforts to heal the economic crisis–in her mind, HE is the one really going after the bankers and making them accountable. When I pointed out that they are actually his biggest backers and his plans benefit them, she wouldn’t look at me, shook her head sadly at my lack of “hope,” and changed the subject.

    • But there is hope… Yesterday, a very good friend who was O all the way (following her obot son’s lead) called me to tell me that she just realized she was entirely wrong about him and that now she found him scary and in her words “dark” (as in opposite of light in the biblical sense of the word).

      And I know that that opinion is coming from her son. So that’s two obots converted.

      Also did I mentionned just a month ago, she was omplaining that people was not giving O a fair chance and that the “POOR MAN” had an impossible job to do.

  24. One small comment I will add about the school bullying. Children want to handle it themselves, but they really cannot. There has to be adult intervention – hopefully handled in a way that does not embarrass the target child.

    There are actually numerous books and websites on this topic. (I was searching for help with adult bullies at one point.)

    When my son was little, the school told me that his winter coat was not warm enough – he would not go out to recess. Of course, it was not his coat; it was a bully twice his weight, waiting for him. One thing I told him was that, when he grew up, things would be very different for him.

    It is hard when you are a single working Mom. You will get through. Brooke will find her way.

  25. btw, I will plan to go to the Phila. rally on 4/11 if I could meet a couple of you there.

    HB to myiq! One Aires to another. (mine was last week.)

  26. RD:

    I can sympathize with you and your daughter. My oldest son experienced a similar situation when he was a sophomore in high school. Unfortuanately, no speaking to the administration or police can stop some kids from trying to harm you. And no one believed either of us until he played a cell phone message about people on their way to our house with baseball bats.

    What I did for the rest of the semester was to get him out of school, and the school paid for tutors to tutor him at home. When he learned to drive, I put him in a public school in NJ. ( we live in PA) and paid the tuition.

    He went there for two years and loved it. But I was actually ready to sell my house and move until I found the Jersey school.

    When things are going wrong with your kids, there is nothing worse. So try getting the school to tutor, or there are also online classes available.

  27. Hey Rd, I’m posting this twice, cause you might have a better chance of seeing it down here than up there.
    A poster mentioned the Nancy Drew computer games.
    They are absolutely fantastic. Math and science, increased visual skills, interesting characters, and a mystery to be solved! I loved them!! It might not help to solve the problems for your kid at school, but it will give her a chance to use her mind and flex her abilities and enjoy herself.
    Nancy Drew might continue to be the greatest heroine for our kids!

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