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Beautiful Theories Destroyed by Ugly Facts

The 2008 Primary Map. Take THAT, David Plouffe!

Edward Luce at The Financial Times wrote a piece called America: The Fearsome Foursome and it’s all about how everything in the WH is run by a small evil group to which no one we know belongs.  Yep, everything bad that has ever happened in the past year is the fault of Rahm Emanuel, Valerie Jarrett, Robert Gibbs and David Axelrod. It’s all because this Gang of Four are in campaign mode, a *brilliant*, scintillatingly genius, never-before-seen-by-the-likes-of-man campaign mode where they came from behind and fought the party establishment and conventional wisdom and the vicious media to overcome all odds and triumph to make their way to the highest office of the land.  It brings a tear to my eye, I tells ya’.  It’s like Mike Eruzione leading the US Hockey team to victory against the Russkis at the Lake Placid Olympics in 1980.  A Miracle! A Miracle!

Can we just cut the crap, please?

If the White House is in campaign mode, then Barack Obama is the campaign manager.  That’s how his campaign worked, according to David Plouffe in his book from just a few months ago, The Audacity to Win.  Barack Obama was a “hands-on” candidate and was the pilot of his campaign, according to Plouffe.  I would interpret this to mean that he approved of pulling his name off of the Michigan ballot, thereby screwing voters in MI and every Hillary voter in the country by extension.  And he must have been cool with the misogyny of the media too, right?  Some nice guy you got there for a president, eh?  By the way, Amazon’s review of the book is full of delightful details like:

Plouffe’s prose, alas, doesn’t much sweeten the deal. It’s filled with business-speak (“takeaway” used repeatedly as a noun, as in, “It certainly was not the chief takeaway from the debate”; gratuitous, macho-posturing profanity (“they picked Sarah goddamn Palin,” “let’s go win this [expletive] thing”); and a surfeit of baseball metaphors (“brushback pitch,” “unforced errors,” “[expletive] home run”).

If you’re looking for clues as to why this White House is screwed up, look no further than business jargon, that collection of “power words” that function as secret code words that identify the club members to each other but upon further investigation mean absolutely nothing.  Corporate culture is full of them.  When we hear our new CEOs say them during “Town Hall” meetings  and hear his sycophants dutifully repeating them in endless slide presentations, we start getting our affairs in order because the mergers and pink slips aren’t far behind.

Oh, yes, Obama is in charge all right.  His White House is painfully similar to a typical corporate executive department, which gives me a pretty good clue about who actually got him into office in the first place.

But let’s talk about the message that the FT piece sends.  In a nutshell, it sounds like Rahm Emannuel is ruining everything and that he’s not so good with 11th Dimensional Chess after all.

Well, there’s your problem right there.  According to most cosmic physicists, the human mind is incapable of understanding more than, oh, three dimensions on a good day.  Four is really pushing it for even the smartest among us.  Even Rahm.  11 is just beyond human comprehension.  It’s like, the geeks turn out these beautiful equations with some weird constant to the 11th power and they say, “Wow! That’s totally mind blowing.  WTF does it mean?  Hey, let’s go to Chuck’s for some wings for lunch.”  Those are the guys who can think to the 6th dimension.  (Or chemistry students who see that little “^” thingy in quantum chemistry and just apply it without really truly understanding what the f^*& that thing is and then burn the book after the final.)  That’s because, when you get into the REAL world, theories only get you so far after you graduate.  That’s when you have to apply your powers of observation and experience and refer to theory.

It’s cool to know some really great theoreticians and understand their work but when it comes right down to doing the day-to-day work, you read a lot of papers based on actual practice.  If the theory can’t be reduced to practice and the results replicated, it isn’t any damn good.

So, here we have a White House run by a corporate biz-speak accolyte, whose entire reduction to practice experience in applying the 11th dimensional chess game theory totals 142 days in the Senate. He has virtually no legislative experience to speak of.  I imagine his real skills are that he has mastered a certain attitude that is suave and debonnair (pronounced swave and de-boner for the uninitiated).  He looks like he swings a big dick.  He can use baseball metaphors with aplomb.  To get ahead, he’s charming to his colleagues (at first) and gets them to help him understand what they’re doing.  He gets them to share their secrets with him.  Then, as soon as he gets what he needs, he goes running to the guy two levels above him and has a chat.  Makes it looks like he figured all this stuff out by himself.  Says, “Her?  She’s good but she doesn’t really understand blah like you and I do.”  Pretty soon, the old chap is eating out of his hands.  (We corporate rats could write scads of papers on this technique, having seen it in action about a bazillion times.  And by the way, we’re getting really tired of it.  It’s costing us our jobs.)

And now his Fearsome Foursome is standing guard.  Ready to take a bullet for the guy, the one who is now in charge and is running everything, having gotten the confidence of the old guys.  They’re a slick bunch, that foursome.  They’ve got people actually believing that it’s not Obama’s fault that the country is the way it is and he can’t do anything about it.  He inherited this mess.  He didn’t make it messy.  It was BUUUUUSHH!

Yeah, like we didn’t see that coming.  It’s the reason why we didn’t want Obama in the first place.  We preferred the lady engineer who at least knew which mechanisms of government to push to get things done and looked like she read the papers and did her homework.

And it’s not Obama’s fault?  Please.  This is the job he wanted.  We all knew before he ran that the country was going to be a train wreck.  The Des Moines Register endorsed Hillary Clinton back in December of 2007 because they knew it was going to be a train wreck.  He inherited a train wreck and he knew it going in.  If he didn’t think he could do the job, he shouldn’t have run.  And Democrats who had been accurately predicting disaster for years during the Bush administration should have known better and not voted for him or promoted him and CERTAINLY shouldn’t be making excuses for him now.  Take responsibility for putting Obama in office and stop ignoring the ugly facts! It is a recipe for failure.

This is the real world in 4 dimensions with real people’s lives at stake.  It is not a game.


cx4800 found this video of the Des Moines Register endorsement from Dec. 2007.  The tone of the endorsement was absolutely clear: given the state of the country, this was no time to be day dreaming with Obama.  Obama knew full well that he was going to inherit a catastrophe and the Des Moines Register knew he wasn’t ready for it.

We *all* knew.

98 Responses

  1. I’m bookmarking this one. It ties up everything from the primaries in 2008 to the present day. And sadly, I suspect, the rest of this one-termer’s days as POTUS.

    Hey – he probably started campaigning for his next job in October, 2008. Why let a little hard work get in the way? He never has before.

  2. Among blog words I hope to never see again are:
    11th dimensional chess (adolescent hype);
    threw up in my mouth a little bit (adolescent vulgarity)
    Guess it’s time to get off the blogs.

    Obama didn’t want the job; he wanted the accouterments of the job. He was selected because he provides good copy for the media and is much more controllable than Hillary. As far as the fearsome four go, they’re the equivalent of a junior high school posse. This admininstration has more thugs than Nixon’s and, unfortunately, they’re much less intelligent. This is a disaster for this country at this time.

  3. RD, this is one of your best ever. Nothing much to add – it’s just dead-on.

  4. Great post. Just one note. I think the DM Register properly endorsed HRC in Dec. 2007. OT: There is an interesting and long article at The Atlantic, “How a New Jobless Era Will Transform America.”


    • fixed it.
      Yeah, don’t tell me about jobless america. I’m surrounded by it- literally. My job may not survive the end of the year. And forget about American dominance in Science and technology.
      That is so over as of 2010.

      • I think American dominance in science was probably over when bush took office. Obama’s failure to create jobs in this country is just another rock on the witch.

        • He’s over his head. What president in his right mind (or Congress for that matter) wants his legacy to be that he presided in office during the term when corporate America deep sixxed American hegemony in Science and Technology in order to save money and reward the stockholders?
          THAT would be something I wouldn’t want on my epitaph for all the chemists in China.

    • BTW, do you know I can’t find the original Des Moines Register endorsement in its entirety? I could swear that the orginal endorsement made it very clear that the times and the country needed an FDR style president, not a JFK type like Obama. But I can’t find the whole thing any more. It’s like the endorsement was expunged and an erzatz endorsement was substituted. You can’t find it on the Des Moines Register web site or in its archives. It’s super weird.

      • I don’t know if this is the entire endorsement, but this is a YouTube made by the editorial board:

        • thanks, for that cx

        • I am sure that most people in Iowa went to the caucuses to vote for Clinton. I am guessing they got cheated big time by out of state organizers and volunteers.
          It makes me sick that family and friends who couldn’t get over 2000, suddenly decided that cheating was fine as long as it was Obama doing it.

          ps.. Edwards “came in 2nd” with half a delegate and his campaign and the media reported it as a huge upset for Hillary. Edwards is and was always a scumbag.

  5. I’ve worked with 3 people who jumped over their supervisors to bond with their boss’s-boss. In each case it happened in the very first two days of their employment & it is ALWAYS trouble for someone.

    You are the first person I know to point out that Obama is that sort of guy — it’s a REALLY interesting point. (at least to me)

    • And, me. You’re lucky to only have worked with 3. I’ve been in entire departments where the bottom row skipped over 1 and 2 levels to make buddies higher up. The morale in those places was rock bottom because of the bullying that broken “chain of command” allowed.

  6. You are amazing.

    Theory and practice. Exactly. Human mind and actions are based on EXPERIENCE. My little theory is that the mind collects, stores, and analyzes data. All the little equations are foreign to native functioning of brain. They make passing knowledge in a book easier, and they are amazing. But the mind’s primary mode is experience. That is born out of evolution and is at the core of what it is.

    And another thing. You are exactly on point here:

    And it’s not Obama’s fault? Please. This is the job he wanted. We all knew before he ran that the country was going to be a train wreck.

    It makes me mad when the whiners keep saying he inherited a mess. So what? He ran for the job. He has no business running if he couldn’t handle it. Oh, right. He and his wife liked the idea of flying in AF1. And they called Hillary ambitious?

    • Hillary and Bill are ambitious to do something good for the country and make things work. Obama and wife are ambitious to get the perks of being president and the historic title of first AA president.

      • Such a good point Teresainpa. Bill and Hill take pride in their work – what they are able to turn out, invest in people and yes, their country. O and M take pride only in themselves and what they can accumulate for themselves.

        It’s simply a job for him to accumulate more for himself.

        • In addition to pride, they have a level of empathy that allows them to stay connected to how regular people think and respond to the elements that shape their lives.

          There are only a handful of people in the world who walk with an aura of peace and goodness around them.

  7. OT, but this is a pretty good piece on small businesses. Yes, it’s from a rightist stance. But the underlying facts are sound, despite the fact that I interpret them differently. Uncertainty and the overall economy are killing business, not lack of easy lending.

    I disagree with the author re: some of the solution, but the underlying message is still one of lack of leadership. Of substance versus endless trial balloons of the latest sound byte and buzzwords: Pass HCR or don’t, regulate more or don’t, raise taxes or don’t. But you need to get with one agenda or another, and stop indecisively flailing around all over the policy compass. Businesses can’t plan if they have no freaking idea what cockeyed thing this administration is apt to do next.


    • Heck, *I* can’t plan on anything. The R&D industry is so FUBAR right now, it isn’t funny. As a stockholder, I’m pretty PO’d. Yeah, I don’t own much stock but I see what’s going on with my friends at different companies and how they’re all losing their jobs and knowing they are just collateral damage while their corporate CEOs careen from one stupid “let’s throw the baby out with the bathwater!” idea after another. No wonder nothing gets done in the lab. They’re all just standing around, their projects on hold while the CEO’s rearrange the deck chairs. And then, the executive bastards have their droogs in the WSJ write about how R&D can’t do anything right these days. It’s a fucking outrage, an insult and deceptive to the shareholders.
      Ot maybe the shareholders are all in on it and are just looking for an excuse to outsource everything to Hyderabad.

    • Yes! this administration is like a floarting crap-game, we never know where they will be or what they will be looking to do next — hmmm, maybe that’s their plan.

    • Easy lending might help some, provided the loans were verrrrryyy low or zero interest, but only in that some higher interest loans could be paid off and some capital is never a luxury for small business.

      What they need most is customer demand for their products. I almost hate to say it but a payroll tax holiday was a good idea to generate some extra customers.

      • It might help some, but in the NASB poll conducted, only 5% of small business owners said access to capital was their problem. It’s that there are no customers, because people are hurting financially.

        We have to get disposable money into the hands of consumers, period. We’ve managed to do that in the past by easy credit, not better jobs. We financed it all by people running up credit cards and using their homes as ATM’s. We papered over the job and wage loss problems with easy money.

        That little “trick” won’t work this time around, because Americans have hit a debt wall, and CANNOT take on more debt. Not gonna happen. They are drowning in it as it is. The day of reckoning is here, and paying jobs are the only solution. Flogging the system to entice more lending and borrowing is a recipe for failure.

        • And that “trickle down” theory is just that, a theory. The folks at the top with all the $ aren’t letting it trickle

          • We papered over the job and wage loss problems with easy money, so people FELT well off even while they were losing ground.

        • Flogging the system to entice more lending and borrowing is a recipe for failure.

          That sure sounds like what Bernanke is yammering about here. Too much money on the supply side, not enough on the demand side.

        • We can’t buy anything if we’re losing our jobs or afraid of losing our jobs and there’s nothing to replace them with. And don’t tell me about capital. My ex was laid off from his job at a small biotech last year because the venture capital dried up.

          • There is a balance between ridiculous hard-line protectionism and a “who cares if the jobs flee wherever the global market dictates?” policy.

            We need to err a little more on the protectionist and deliberate advantage side, especially where things like science and research and key manufacturing are concerned.

            But that takes a knowledgeable person with a plan, who can thread that needle without going over either cliff. Unfortunately we did not elect her.

          • Here’s Eric Schmidt on this topic. Meh. He reminds me of BO. Good public relations guy. Difficult to trust.

  8. Haven’t commented in some time because I seem to have too much rage to be coherent. But from someone who has trouble even with two dimensional chess, I have an additional take on your excellent post.

    Obama is a serial blamer. He blames Clinton, he blames Bush, he blames the Republicans, he blames Tea Baggers, he blames old, racist, gun-totin’ women . His head swivels so much looking for someone to blame that he can’t see straight. So now it’s getting too far into his own term to blame GWB, so let’s see who else is in the neighborhood.

    By allowing his closest advisors to start taking some blame, he puts himself in a position to make some key personnel changes, look like he “gets it”, and gives him more cover to continue down his ego path. Looking ahead to 2012 anyone?

    Just a few more people under the bus. Not that they don’t deserve to be there. Unfortunately, there will soon be more people under the bus, than on it.

    • soon we are going to run out of buses.

    • According to the author of “The Sociopath Next Door,” two of the characteristics that help to identify sociopaths are manipulation of others, power-seeking and playing the victim. They also tend to be pretty charming.

      • That’s a perfect description of my sister. So incredibly difficult to have to deal with her.

  9. This is so right-on! It drives me up the wall when people say “but he inherited this mess” – my come back usually is – uh,un – he knew it was there and obviously wanted it because he spent a ton of money to get it. 😕

  10. Thanks RD…this is why I keep coming back…

  11. (This is TOTALLY off topic)

    I’ve been off working on an updated look to Eat4Today to go along with moving it away from WordPress.com and onto my own server-space. Not only is that now done but, I’ve got a renewed commitment to it and my own soon-to-be healthy lifestyle….

    Read all about it at Eat4Today.com

    • Ooo! Why don’t you cross post?

    • Very cool KB. I was staring at a genetically modified strawberry this morning about the size of a tangerine. My wife said, don’t be scared, eat it. We have different food shopping patterns.

      • Thanks, Three — I agree with you. Mister and I were just thinking about Chicken Breasts the other day. He said, “Didn’t a chicken breast used to be about 1 serving size?” — (a serving of meat is like the palm of your hand or a pack of cards) — the thing we were looking at was almost as big as a pot roast (OK, that’s an exaggeration but, not by much!)

        I don’t know what they think they’re doing….

        • I had the same experience last week when I bought some chicken breasts and got them home to find that one of them was more than enough for both of us. Some buxom chickens 😯

        • I think the same thing when I look at the chicken breasts these days. I fillet them into medallions and get 4-5 serving from two breast halves. Where are these Uber chickens and who created them? Judging by their breast size, I’d hate to run into a gaggle of them outside El Pollo Loco.

  12. 0 was in the WH about two weeks and he said he felt “cooped up.”


  13. Fabulous post RD!

    Yeah, like we didn’t see that coming. It’s the reason why we didn’t want Obama in the first place. We preferred the lady engineer who at least knew which mechanisms of government to push to get things done and looked like she read the papers and did her homework.

    And it’s not Obama’s fault? Please. This is the job he wanted. We all knew before he ran that the country was going to be a train wreck.

    How long do they think these lame excuses are going to hold up, anyway?

    Not long, obviously. Polls showing republicans gaining ground:


    • I’d like to get some bumperstickers made up that say something like: “Obama knew what he was inheriting when he ran”

      • or maybe, “Obama knew what he was buying when he ran”

      • Actually, I remember well that I said outloud after every debate, “this guy doesn’t have a clue what is going on, so he sure as hell won’t be able to find a way to fix anything.”

        The voters who couldn’t support his candidacy, on the other hand, knew what he was inheriting and did a darn good job of predicting what an Obama presidency was going to look like.

      • Who suggested in an earlier thread, “Hope against Hope?” That would be an awesome bumper sticker.

  14. GW said it best when he explained that he was “The Decider”. People cannot act without the direction and approval of the boss, not even Cheney.

    • Oh gawd, that’s right. Even GWB gets it more. I actually lived to see that day. I’m going to start banging my head on my desk now.

  15. Says Krugman:


    I’m with Simon Johnson here: how is it possible, at this late date, for Obama to be this clueless?

    The lead story on Bloomberg right now contains excerpts from an interview with Business Week which tells us:

    President Barack Obama said he doesn’t “begrudge” the $17 million bonus awarded to JPMorgan Chase & Co. Chief Executive Officer Jamie Dimon or the $9 million issued to Goldman Sachs Group Inc. CEO Lloyd Blankfein, noting that some athletes take home more pay.

    The president, speaking in an interview, said in response to a question that while $17 million is “an extraordinary amount of money” for Main Street, “there are some baseball players who are making more than that and don’t get to the World Series either, so I’m shocked by that as well.”

    • I guess he wasn’t using TOTUS.

    • The difference is that professional athletes can offer only one thing- their bodies. That’s all they’ve got. When you sell your knees, shoulders, achilles tendons, concussed white matter for money, you’re at the mercy of some powerful wealthy guys who can do whatever they like with it. You’re like a gladiator and you’re locked into a contract until the rich people sell your body to another team, get rid of you or you earn your freedom to do what you want with your own parts. That’s the deal that professional athletes make for their “talent”.
      Considering that some of them can’t walk in their middle age or can’t hold a spoon without shaking violently, I don’t think there’s a price too high.

      • The professional athletes are earning money from the profits they create by bringing in the crowds…they actually are the product being sold. They aren’t stealing anything from the people for the sole purpose of awarding themselves giant bonuses.

    • Executives, or people who can sling bizspeak, are a dime a dozen. Not only that but the money they are not taking for their bonuses this year, they have decided to give to charity.
      THAT’S the real outrage. A company like Goldman Sachs is going to take the “profit” they made from the money they accepted from us the taxpayers and instead of giving it back to us so we can improve our schools and pave our roads and pay our librarians, they are giving it to the charities of *their* choice and probably getting a tax break. Is this a great country or what?

      • That’s how a proper aristocratic state is meant to be run. 😉

      • I guess the money will go to organizations, such as the Chamber of Commerce, a non-profit organization, or the Hoover Institute or some other think tank that advances GS interests.

  16. Damn RD, I love it when you post in the morning. You are so spot on.

    He knew what he was getting himself into. And we knew he wasn’t up to the job.

  17. As I read your post this morning RD I was reminded of a few years back when Rosabeth Moss Kantor, a brilliant Harvard Professor and author on management was offered the reins of the Harvard Business Review.

    Here was a woman who had written several books on managing, leadership and getting people to do what needed to be done. Had won all kinds of awards for her work, but almost ran the Harvard Business review into the ground.

    As you point out above theory is one thing practical application is totally another. The magical four just don’t know what the heck they are doing and they are running our country into the ground. They need to be stopped much as Kantor was offered her professorship back – she’s a great teacher not so good implementor.

    • No, Joanelle, I think you’re giving them too much credit. The Fearsome Foursome are Obama’s whipping boys. OBAMA is calling the shots. If the WH isn’t working properly on policy or doesn’t know what the policy is, it’s because Obama is over his head and he isn’t providing proper direction.
      The point of the post is to stop blaming Rahm Emannuel. If Rahm is fucking up, it’s the responsibility of the president to rein him in or replace him. If Rahm stays in office, it’s because Obama finds him to be a useful firewall and Emannuel is OK with that.
      Obama is running this show and it is a bomb.

      • I agree he looks to them as whipping boys – but was hoping he’d listen to SOMEone because we knew he didn’t have the stuff to do the job.

  18. OT – I read in our regional paper this AM a story about the psychological affects of the Iraq war on a female soldier.

    I then went online only to see the story about Shoshana Johnson’s time as a POW and the affect it had on her.

    My hubby said, I’m not surprised, women are used to nurturing, they bear life and then we send them off to kill. Doesn’t make much sense. I can see how they would be conflicted.

    Calling Dr. BB for her take on this.

    • Damn, I have to disagree with you again. Women soldiers have to overcome conditioning in order to do what needs to be done. War is traumatic for everyone, female and male. Go watch The Hurt Locker if you want to see how bad it can get. But don’t cut women off from war. We need to toughen up. Violence comes to women in war whether they are fighting or not.

      • Yes, I pointed out to hubby that he should look to other countries where women are aggressive and very strong, protecting their own and lashing out at the enemy. But put that comment there because I really wanted BB’s insight as to if there women in war situations are anymore conflicted than men.

      • Overcome what conditioning?

        It’s actually an insult to any woman that ever served to portray our half of the species as conditioned to believe that only men should fight for principles they believe in or to protect things for the families they love. Most women I served with were pretty strong. We had to be. We had men telling us we didn’t belong there on an almost daily basis.

        • No, the conditioning I am talking about is that women don’t go to war. It’s destructive to our fairer sex. Women need to be protected, shielded from the ugliness of combat, etc.
          What happens in war is that civilian women aren’t spared anything but depending on their culture, aren’t allowed to defend themselves either. But that makes it hard to fight for your principles as well and, as a consequence, society sees you as a lesser being. One that can’t be counted on to pick up a gun to defend your country.
          Yes, men will tell you that you don’t belong there. Who wants to share power?
          I’m totally on your side on this one, cwaltz. Women are not fragile flowers and their trauma is not worse than a man’s.

          • Oh, I thought we had previously been shut out because we were considered weak and fragile. Much the way policemEn and firemEn didn’t want to find themselves with a partner who wasn’t good enough to cover their backs….they might scream or cry in the face of danger.

          • that’s not at all what my hubby meant – he’s lived with me for over 45 years – he has no illusions that women are fragile flowers.

            I believe what he was saying that it’s simply incongruous to give life and take it away – of course I looked at him and said “men are also part of the process” And lord knows he’s a pretty evolved guy – he did agree that war is war no matter who is fighting it and just a difficult

    • Men don’t nurture and aren’t partly responsible for the creation of life? Yikes, does he really think this about his own half of te species?

      As for bearing life, if anything my motherhood gave me a ferocity when it came to caring and fighting for my family and what I believe is in their best interests. The idea that I went through nine months of swelling, puking, and ultimately pain should not be any reason to pain me or women like me as delicate flowers. The fact that we can and do manage to work our way through the pain and go on after childbirth ought to be reason enough to not doubt the resilence of a woman.

      Speaking as someone who served in a uniform proudly

      • Not at all cwaltz – he’s a great father and certainly shared fully in raising our sons. But recognizes the fact that he did not carry them or go through the physical aspects makes us different and so he wondered about the psychological aspects of how men and women deal with war.

        I didnt mean to take us off track – I’m sorry 😕

  19. I have a slightly different take:

    He’s not failing because he’s overly corporate, he’s failing in large part because he’s trying to be corporate, and he’s terrible at it too.

    I agree with your subtext that you can’t use business management theory for a successful presidency; politics is much more than managing a product line or a P&L. But I do think you can use sound business principles to assist the post-mortem of this failed operation.

    There’s also a big ‘tell’ about this guy you pick up from industry: reality is usually the opposite of what a corporate leader talks about: a division that is “doing great,” is targeted for layoffs; “transparancy,” means opacity; and “long term planning,” means a dash for quick profits.

    All of this sort of communication screamed when BHO ran his entirely corporate Harry and Louise ads. That one message was the key to everything.

    • That sounds right. Corporate marketing is also different from corporate operations. BO is only about the former..generating demand for his brand at a high price. Arrogance is an essential element of the package.

    • PJ, you might be one of those old school biz people. What I am witnessing from within an endangered industry is a whole nuther animal. Corporate people these days are terrible at being corporate. They’re terrible businessmen. They’re MBAs who believe in their own holiness. And no one has the guts in those town hall meetings to ask them exactly what they mean because they know they’ll be escorted to the door, The average employee sees how stupid these plans are, know they aren’t working in real life, has to struggle with reduced capacity and resources and is starting to resent always getting the blame and the shaft when the Wunderkind get it so spectacularly wrong. Obama is a successful student of the modern corporate governance medium. This is exactly how it works. It’s a fricking disaster.
      Now, I know that you and some other biz owners at Alegre’s corner are a different breed. You are trying really hard to treat your employees with dignity and provide them with benefits. So, I don’t have to tell you how much easier it would be to take the easy way out, screw your employees and take the money and run. That’s what the biggies do every single day and they get paid millions of dollars in compensation to do it. They don’t have to understand or try to improve the businesses they run because they can get away with murder if they just incrementally improve next quarter’s earnings.
      Obama was bought by these people because he speaks their language.

      • It’s clear you have the low down. One day over beer, I’ll tell you what my real secret is, and it will make you even madder at the new breed of suits.

  20. Here is my problem with Des Moines Register. They basically ruined it for Hillary and for the country.
    You say – come again?

    Yes, the endorsement was great, but where was the paper on Iowa caucus night?
    When we all knew that cheating was going on, the paper stayed mum – on the biggest event in their state.
    They could have sent reporters and photographers and documented on the cheating, voting
    by non-residents, people bused in from Chicago and other places.
    They could have stopped Obama in the tracks right then and probably won a pultizer too, if only if they had taken on their own state’s caucus system, how corrupt it was, how wholesale cheating went on, etc.

    Why the paper chose to ignore all that cheating is still a mystery to me, especially when you consider that the editorial board endorsed Hillary.

    Yes, beautiful endorsement destroyed by the paper’s lack of courage.

    • One article in the Des Moines Register with photos of the hundreds and hundreds of Illinois license plates in those caucus parking lots would have changed the game.

    • Yes, something very strange happened with the Des Moines Register. Like I said, i can’t find the entire endorsement anymore. It’s like it disappeared and all references to the complete thing are missing too. You can find that youtube video but the money quotes about Obama being like JFK and not what we need right now are missing.
      It reminds me of Donna B’s “old coalition”/”new coalition” remarks on CNN. You can’t find it anymore on YouTube. You can find the transcripts and Paul Begala’s rebuttal but the actual remark is breathtaking in its stupidity, arrogance and offense and it’s nowhere to be found.
      Or the Bloomberg article that one of us found in the spring of 2008 where Obama’s campaign was reported to have been hiring trained web trolls to plant propaganda. One day it was there, the next , it had disappeared without a trace.
      I don’t like whoever is playing with the facts. They are deliberately warping history. In the future, when we see shit like that, we should copy the text and save it to a flash drive.

      • I often do a “Print Screen” and save the image to a document to prove it once existed on the net (that also documents the site) if I think it is something that will dissolve.

      • I saw this article in one of the Philadelphia papers, part of a twin articles on BO and Hillary. The titles were, “I worked for Obama” and “I worked for Clinton”, from reporters going undercover to report on campaign operations. Typically, it was a hit job on HRC operation, and the other a glowing crush on Obama.

        What struck me very odd in the Obama piece was a comment on the level of activity in the campaign office, with volunteers furiously typing at the laptops. Now, Obama’s operation was not known for sending personal emails. Campaign offices are usually filled with people making phone calls, or walking, or getting pieces ready for mail. What were all these volunteers doing? Making comments at newspapers and blogs? Trying to create buzz?

        Later, I search for that article, and I could never find it. It had disappeared. Who knows, maybe just archived.

  21. Some wag has redone Pelosi’s letter to Bush about jobs from 2003. Pretty sad – you can click down at the right to enlarge it:


  22. I wonder when 0 will push his plan for the government to make direct student loans rather than the federally subsidized loans made by private banks with exorbitant interest rates. These banks get to operate almost risk-free with the federal guarantees.

    • I keep telling Brook she needs to get a scholarship but she just sings “la-la-la!”
      That shit’s gotta stop. I might not be employed next year.

      • Are you writing a business plan to handle a transition if that’s what actually happens? I’ve been caught more than once in massive layoffs because we didn’t pick up on the signs it was coming. Now, I have a plan for self-employment and work it part-time.

        • I’m thinking bubble tea franchise in Maui.
          Or start a real third party and kick it off by writing a phenomenally successful bestseller.
          Er, that’s all I got.
          I hope I don’t lose my house but I know it’s coming. I can smell it and I’ve dodged the reaper longer than most.

          • All excellent ideas 🙂

            Get that book started now….

            Your house comment made my stomach jump!!

          • Hey, RD – someone has to tell the unvarnished truth about what happened in the primaries – that would give you some good income, for sure.

    • I feel about student loan reform the way I feel about health care reform. That is to say, reform the banking/insurance industry practices fine — but we need a more fundamental change with respect to education that challenges the underlying assumption that it is appropriate to charge a $200,000 admission fee (which is what it costs RIGHT NOW to go to a private college for 4 years) to kids who for the most part just want to get a start in life.

      In other words, I don’t want student loans (or insurance premiums) to be necessary, for anybody, anymore.

  23. Obama has done everything half-assed so far.
    I do not expect him to change course at this point.
    Right now, it seems that the House will go to the GOP and the Democrats will maintain nominal control of the Senate via the VP. A once in a multi-generational opportunity is gone.
    Obama is looking more like the manchurian candidate everyday.

  24. Can someone tell me one thing that Barack Obama has done that is similar to any of Hillary’s policies? Anyone? Bueller? Because the meme that they are exactly the same on the policies was tired back in the primaries and it’s tired now.

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