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    • Week-end Wrap – Political Economy – January 29, 2023
      Week-end Wrap – Political Economy – January 29, 2023 by Tony Wikrent   Altercation: Goodbye and Thanks Eric Alterman, January 27, 2023 [The American Prospect] The key question I want to leave people with is this: Given the lack of guardrails, how far are these people willing to go? Trump is as popular as he was before January 6th and has been invited back on […]
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When the President does it . . .


Greg Craig and his boss


This way to the Egress:


In the first major shakeup among President Barack Obama’s senior staff, White House Counsel Greg Craig is being pushed out in favor of veteran Democratic lawyer Bob Bauer because of a dispute over plans to close the U.S. military prison in Cuba, CNN has learned.

The move will be announced by the White House in the coming days, a senior administration official and a senior Democratic source confirmed. The sources said it could be announced as early as Friday while the president will be in Japan starting a four-nation tour of Asia, which would make it likely the staff change will be overshadowed by other events.


Democratic officials said Craig was ousted because of frustration among senior White House aides over his handling of the plans to close the prison at Guantanamo Bay. As the White House’s top lawyer, Craig was pivotal in advising Obama to sign an executive order during his first week in office promising to shut the prison by the end of January 2010.

In a politically embarrassing move that has frustrated some of the president’s liberal supporters, White House aides have since backed off that deadline, citing complex legal issues surrounding what to do with the approximately 200 terror suspects still detained at Guantanamo.

Some administration officials privately believe Craig should have better anticipated the pitfalls. However, his supporters believe he is being used as a scapegoat and note he was not the only top official who supported the ironclad executive order.

Closing Gitmo isn’t the problem. The problem is what to do with all the people that have been detained by our government for up to eight years without trials. Habeas corpus and due process aren’t “just words.”

The answer is simple – bring them here, give them trials and let the chips fall where they may.  But that won’t happen, it might upset Obama’s fellow Republicans.

It sounds like Craig believes in the rule of law. Too bad for him, cuz his boss doesn’t. The Friday White House News Dump doesn’t usually include bodies, so maybe they’re gonna wait until Saturday night to massacre him.


The more things change, the more they remain the same:

The Obama administration is increasingly exasperated by leaks of national-security-related information and is planning a major effort to root out and punish those responsible, top officials said Thursday.

Every administration since George Washington has complained about leaks. But there’s an old saying – “The ship of state leaks from the top.”

Maybe the White House should call a plumber to find and fix the leaks. This guy has some experience at doing that:





Are you catching the theme of this post? If not, here’s a hint:


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Presidentin’ Is Hard

20obama1480Though I make no claims of being a financial wizard, or a political maven, even I can see that all is not right on Wall Street, D.C. where the heart and soul of our country is on life support, currently being administered to by second graders who want to be doctors when they grow up.  And, I’m sophisticated enough to recognize that a lot of what I read about our dire national situation is presented in the media by people representing the political party so far out of favor they have to look to bloviating blowhards for advice, or worse, can be made to appear to need to do so.  I get that.  However, in spite of all that, the forces pretending to represent the white-hatted good guys in this classic Adventures in Administration movie, armed with their heralded sky-high approval ratings for their poor man’s Dark Gable leading man, simply can’t mount enough of a stampede to disguise the fact that the dustcloud that follows them like Charlie Brown’s pal Pigpen’s is not the result of riding hard and strong over the dusty trail, but merely the wispy smoke trails from their “throw ’em off the path,” hastily built, diversionary cookfire.  In other words, they got nothing.

Stalwart bastion of the Obamedia protection service, Salon Magazine, has an article by former Clinton labor secretary and Obacolyte, Robert Reich, in which he pitifully attempts to pooh-pooh rightwing claims that the Obamessiah himself is responsible for our economic woes by trying to lay them at the feet of the finger-pointers:

When it turns out that people like Lloyd Blankfein, the CEO of Goldman Sachs, who took home $68 million in 1997, was the only Wall Streeter in a meeting last September at the New York Federal Reserve to discuss the initial AIG bailout with Tim Geithner, then New York Fed chair, among others, at the very time Goldman was AIG’s largest trading partner, a distinct scent of self-dealing begins to emanate. When it turns out that Citigroup got a bailout deal last October far more generous than that given to any other distressed bank, when a top Citi executive was advising the Treasury and Fed, the scent increases. Goldman’s past CEO was treasury secretary at that time, by the way, and another former Goldman CEO was a top Citi official and also a former treasury secretary. I am not suggesting anything so crude as corruption. But could it be, given these tangled webs, that — innocently, unintentionally, perhaps even subconsciously — the entire bailout effort was premised on saving these companies rather than protecting the public? Or that the distinction between the two was lost, and still is?

Yet, Reich gleefully and disingenuously, ignores the fact that the people he’s defending his ObaMaster against are the people who funded his campaign.  Not only that, the central figure in Reich’s little morality play, Turbo Tax Timmy Geithner, tax cheat, (TTTG,tc)  has a family history of sorts with Barry Sutoro, and is currently employed as the Blameless One’s lapdog and whipping boy.  To point out that he may have colluded with the banksters against the public in ripping off the country on the other team’s watch is…well…stupid.

Why would anyone purporting to defend the Obama administration draw attention to the man quickly becoming the public face of its incompetence?  Especially when the author can’t even make it through to the end of his own piece without acknowledging at least some of the complicity of the Obama Drama Troupe?

The Wall Street and Republican media attack machine doesn’t know exactly what to make of this. The Wall Street Journal’s editorial page, along with CNBC, alternates between attacking Obama for bailing out Wall Street and excusing Wall Street’s excesses. But then again, Obama doesn’t seem to know exactly what to make of it either. He seems to vacillate as well — one moment scorning Wall Street, the next moment justifying further bailouts. I do hope he takes a firmer hand, drawing a clearer distinction and making a clearer connection between clearing up these financial balance sheets and helping average people. Otherwise, the next populist uprising will be born in this moneyed quagmire. It is here — within the muck that was created by AIG, Citigroup, Fannie and Freddie, other giant financial institutions, now in combination with the U.S. Treasury and Fed — that the public is most confused, bears its most serious scars, and is potentially most burdened in future years, by decisions still made in secret.

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Wednesday- PSAs

Good morning, everybody! Are you ready to do battle again today? Hokay, gird your loins ‘cos here we go.

  • First, I would like to draw your attention to something that needs your attention. Did you know that March is Colorectal Cancer Awareness month? Betcha ya didn’t even have time to shop or anything. It seems to come earlier and earlier each year, doesn’t it? But seriously, folks, colorectal cancer is no laughing matter but it is treatable if detected early. The problem is that frequently the signs of colorectal cancer are no signs at all. Fortunately, there is something you can do about it. You can eat your veggies AND you can get screened. To find out more about how to fight this disease, check out The ColoRectal Cancer Coalition or the Screen For Life page at the CDC. And remember, you won’t always be young and beautiful. Even Clintonistas age gracefully.
  • For those of you who want to see the *whole* segment of Chelsea Clinton gracefully but firmly telling the Obamaphile in the audience to “Mind your own business”, complete with applause, you can find it at Breitbart.TV.
  • Boston Boomer pointed me to this post on Noquarter about Greg Craig, a former lawyer for the Clintons. I don’t know if we could legitimately accuse him of violating attorney-client privilege but who knows if he’s been playing 20 Questions with the Obama strategists? I know that careers in Washington can veer into the incestuous and all that but really, perception is reality in this game and unless he can prove there is a firewall between his work for the Clintons and his current work for Obama, he probably should just stick to mailing envelopes and assembling yard signs.
  • Peeps, I received an email from the DFA last night asking me to take action over James Carville’s provocative remarks about Rill Richardson. It seems to me that Bill Richardson is a big boy and can take care of himself and Carville hasn’t retracted his remarks. In fact, he seems rather insistent about sticking to them and going one step further. I applaud him for that. I don’t want him to break down. It’s time for Carville and other friends of Clinton to stop capitulating to the aggressive intimidation of groups like DFA, Move-on and the Obama campaign itself. But what really frosted my crockies about this email is that it was sent from the DFA itself which is run by Jim Dean, Howard’s brother. And the email was specifically directed against Carville, but not the anonymous DNC official who described Hillary as a Tonya Harding kneecapper. That $#@!’s gotta stop. Yesterday, March 25, 2008, was a turning point for me. If the DNC doesn’t rein these people in and stop tilting the scales for Obama, I don’t know how I will muster up the initiative to vote for him in the fall. I know that Hillary will want me to support the party nominee but this is not about my advocacy for Clinton or my respect for her or her husband. This is about the destructiveness of the Obama campaign and the way the DNC has treated its loyal base of support. We’ve been called everything from stupid old bitches to “typical white people”, which is a code term for racists. Our votes have been deliberately disenfranchised, not only in Florida and Michigan, but by extension, everywhere a state has gone decisively for Clinton. And Senator Obama has allowed this, perhaps even encouraged this, on his behalf. Guys, as bad as John McCain may be, I am seriously concerned that an Obama presidency may be worse. Due to the overt negativity of his campaign and the brutality of his campaign’s tactics in crushing dissent, I have no expectation that he will be a more ethical or Democratic president than George Bush was. I plan to write a letter to the superdelegates expressing my concerns. Had Obama conducted his campaign in a less destructive manner, I might feel differently about him. In fact, as recently as Super Tuesday, I was willing to vote for him had he become my nominee. But I simply can’t at this point and this is as much a reflection on the Democratic party as Obama himself. I feel alienated from the party that I have considered my own since I was old enough to vote. At this point, I do not feel that Obama is a viable candidate in the general election. He is going to have to spend just as much time wooing the Democrats back as the Republicans and Independents. I won’t forget the way I was treated this year. You guys can take your own steps. But as Anglachel describes quite forcefully, this has been an assault on my self-respect and dignity and this is where I have to draw the line. (Note to Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi: Expect this to have severe downticket consequences)

Ok, that’s all I have to say for awhile. I need to work for awhile. Later…