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It’s All Over But The Shouting, Barry

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I don’t know how any rational person could make the claim that Obama’s jobs speech was anything but short on substance and long on empty and rehashed political rhetoric. The PR was also mismanaged badly from the get-go, and the verisimilitudinous statements the Democrats delivered about the various scheduling slots didn’t help their self-delusional image of competence any. Every proposal contained in the speech has been pitched before, both in the 2008 campaign and during the recent jobs bus tour, often using the very phrases previously issued. There is no reason to think any of it will now pass through the Republican-controlled House, still conducting a scorched-earth defense against any possible Obama success.

The only good thing you could say about the speech was the technical aspects of the delivery were sound. Obama made that smoke he vigorously pumped up our dorsal ports sound good enough so that a lot of people didn’t bother to think about the things Obama said. It was the same actor’s method that convinced a lot of people that Reagan was such a great orator. Read Ronnie’s words without hearing his delivery, and it’s clear the man babbled. It is thus with Obama, who had no specifics to offer on how any of his proposals would get passed or funded, other than to again offer “entitlements” for slaughter. He will again -as he always has- leave the real leadership to the Congress.

But the Democrats are desperate. I saw several major polls released recently all showing lowered approval ratings for Obama’s performance as president:

The only good approval news for Obama is that he’s still polling more favorably than the Congress as a whole.  An NBC/Wall Street Journal poll finds approval of Congress at only 13 percent.

About the only other good news on the poltico-economic front comes from Peter Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute. He says that “voters still blame former president George W. Bush — rather than Obama — for the economy by 53 percent-32 percent.” That has to help the sting coming from a poll finding that the voters feel that Obama did significantly worse with the economy than did Jimmy Carter.


The Democrats have to see they could lose the 2012 election, but don’t seem to understand that their MO, lofty rhetoric intended to distract the voters while destroying the New Deal, rather than visible and positive political action to repair the economy, is exposed beyond redemption. The same campaign strategy which inspired record numbers of voters to go to the polls last time won’t work this time. They didn’t deliver, not on jobs, not on credit card reform, not on mortgages and foreclosures, not on civil and labor rights, not on ending the oil wars, and especially not on health care. Nothing!

The voters aren’t going to fall for another slate of lies modeled after the Advertising Age and Cannes Film Festival award-wining 2008 strategy again. The Democratic Party’s public approval numbers are much worse than they were in 2008, now barely above those of the Republicans. Pollster Peter Hart sums it up for NBC News, declaring that “Obama is no longer the favorite to win re-election.” An Alternet commenter, tailcap1984, created the Democratic Party Apology Handbook © as an expression of the growing disdain from Obama’s former base over his poor performance. And the hits just keep on coming!

The Wall Street investor money that put Obama into power in the first place is drifting over to Mitt Romney, because they don’t want to lose the controlling power they took away from the energy sector by backing Obama in 2008. Bush had almost pushed Wall Street into economic and geopolitical corners in which they didn’t want to be trapped, and Wall Street wasn’t going to get the energy-captive Republicans to change direction. Sucking the nation dry to fight oil profit wars (which neither of the wealthy cabals will abandon for their respective profit pictures) doesn’t leave much to suck out of homeowners crushed under gouging mortgages and usurious credit card accounts while losing wages, benefits, and jobs! That’s why Wall Street supported a Democrat in the first place, despite their very Republican fiscal philosophy. they had hope that the audacity of change would work for their interests (which Obama clearly did try to do), a strategy which completely ignored the adage that you can only rape the public a certain number of times before that one-eyed snake turns about and bites you too.

The Obama administration’s many failures blew up in their billion-dollar-bonus faces. Despite having had lots of their handlers interspersed among Obama’s staff (Rahm Emanuel, Bill Daley, Tim Geithner, Ben Bernanke, etc.), he wasn’t listening to them any closer than he was to the voters of Main Street, the ones who had elected him with a lot of hope for an improvement in their future. Obama ignored the real economy so long that JP Morgan Chase (who in late 2007 sponsored a series of “seminars” for the brokerages featuring most of the major 2008 candidates to present their platforms) has again downgraded the prospects for economic growth. Conservative pundit John Podhoretz declared after the first Morgan downgrade forecast in April that the economy is to be the “potential death knell for Barack Obama’s presidency“. It’s looking like he might be right. It looks like the last straw as far as Wall Street support for Obama. No more nice Mr. Campaign Contributor! No $2 billion campaign soup fund for you!

It’s a major break with traditionally accepted investor communication protocols for such a report to be so explicit and public about pressuring Washington to do something which is clearly in the investor’s benefit. In the past, a few private phone calls from greed is good gulch to the Oval Office, and to the leaders of the Congress, would take care of such issues. Not anymore. The tea baggers have broken up all of the usual understandings among many of the big money groups and their bought public servants, but have stoppered their own ears, unlike Odysseus, against the stipend sirens’ softly singing. Thus, even Wall Street is now left outside the chambers, plaintively pleading, “Can you hear me now?” while the tea baggers continue to bring down the shining temple of treasure on the hill.

Welcome to our world, the one you greedy Wall Street bastards shoved us into for your personal gain! How’d that greed is good thing work out for ya?

So Wall Street is giving up on Obama like most of the rest of us already have. Unlike Obama, they know better than to continue shoveling assets down a rat hole when there are no meaningful returns. But their alternate choice, Mitt Romney, isn’t going anywhere fast, because the voters see he’s clearly just like Obama in too many ways. This has the energy sector drooling over their prospects for regaining the White House with one of their own purchased puppets: Rick Perry. The only problem is that the same Quinnipiac Poll shows him stuck in the herd with the others. What lead he might have had stuffing the tempestuous Michele Bachmann back into the teapot was lost when he touched the hot Bob Wahr surrounding Social Security.

That is in part why the assault on Perry in the Wall Street media this week. Why fight by his rules when you can kick the man when he’s down? Even former Republican Rep. Joe Scarborough jumped in. It isn’t being done to help Obama. It’s to help Mitt; and, of course, their power and profits.

So the real political battle, the one not getting any coverage to speak of from the media, is between Wall Street investors on one side and the oil and gas companies on the other. We, the people, are caught between lit matches on the one side and leaking gasoline on the other. Both sides want the money promised to Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, because their greed gutted the New Deal goose which laid the golden billion dollar bonus eggs. They don’t want to have to do without, as they expect the sick, old, and unemployed little people to do. Their obedient bipartisan servant Obama is struggling to give it all to them before one of the others takes away that job he once liked so much. It would be like taking candy from a baby.

This is why Jeb is being prodded by his brother and father, the former head of the Carlyle Group (many of whom are not American citizens, yet most of their fortunes came from controlling the stock of US military contractors and other profitable assets), to step in (maybe as late as at the convention?) to defend traditional Republicanism, both from the radicals of the religious groups and the not-so-looming populists (Gary Johnson, Jon Huntsman, Buddy Roemer) searching like Diogenes to find honest voters. So far, Jeb has not publicly indicated much interest, no matter how enthusiastic Dubya is about abusing the weak.

I don’t think that these posing populists really mount much of a challenge to the new corporate world order. Former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson hasn’t gotten any boost from his economics-only pitch to Republicans, but it “wouldn’t be prudent” to be certain he won’t eventually be considering the way things are going. Former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman has been very quiet since he posted his Captain Beefheart video link. Maybe he got lost revisiting the 60s, or else maybe the Trout Mask Replica decals won’t lick off. Until he’s back from his trip, he can be discounted for now.

The one the Bushes do want to stop short is Former Louisiana Gov. Buddy Roemer, who has been very busy this last week. He appeared on both the Rachel Maddow and Jon Stewart shows in an attempt to gain support from what should be Obama supporters to get his campaign off the ground. Roemer’s platform isn’t very detailed yet, but what he is saying has to sound good to voters already fed up with the Citizens United effect on our national politics. While Roemer himself may not get far on his quixotic quest, I can see where his main meme could.

No matter what, though, the establishment Episcopalians don’t want to see the stormin’ Mormon get the nod. Mitt’s doing what he can to help them slit his political throat much like Obama does. Romney handed the stealth Carlyle candidate a gift with his usurpation of the populist pitches of Johnson, Huntsman, and Roemer. By establishing a political platform intended to appear to be to Obama’s left while still remaining well to the right of the center, he hopes to differentiate himself from his opponents. His Magick undies must have told him that this illusion would work to fill a huge political vacuum and attract lots of voters. The establishment Calvinist followers of John Knox (which include most of the Bush Family as consecrants) would certainly have no faith in that belief. I’m sure they now see Romney as easy to crush as they do Obama on their way to a third episode of the establishment of the dynasty.

And so go the politico-religious wars for the economic dominance of America and the world. But to bring the current state of affairs back to the real world most of us live in, Obama pledged on national television to pay in advance for all those menial, minimum wage, no benefit jobs (which he won’t get from the Boehner House) with very real cuts in Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid. If it isn’t clear to the electorate by now that “entitlements” are the big target of both parties for the next few years, there isn’t anything more I can add to convince anyone that major reductions in benefits are coming. It will probably take at least until it’s way too late to do anything about it, as the checks arrive with smaller numbers embossed on them, before enough people will believe. In the meantime, we keep hearing, from Obama, and just about everyone else running next year, about how losing Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid is the sacrifice to Mammon we all get to provide so that either Big Energy or Big Investment can be the top dog in their petty little Malthusian world (the one Obama could have massively changed with a little audacity) and make everyone so prosperous they won’t have time enough in a lifetime to spend everything.

Let the excuse games begin!

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About pessimist

  • John Lake

    Obama outlines plan, step by step, more to come, and Republicans complain that Obama has no plan. If the conservatives hadn’t been so opposed to every idea the President and his advisers, and the Democrats had, we wouldn’t have this crisis. Obama has said repeatedly, that we don’t have to give people poorer care, we simply have to monitor tests, referrals, and procedures. The Republicans are in the pockets of the Health Care business conglomerate, and nothing else matters.
    Now I’ve said that, I can go back and take a more thorough look at the article.

  • John Lake

    The Realist fails to understand that there is only so much that can be done to save a tumbling economy. We’ve run the gamut on cell phone applications, 3D televisions, electric cars, natural gas powered cars; unless something new comes along, we will be stuck at, hmmm, 11500 on the dow. That’s it. The NASDAQ may have lean times ahead.
    Voters SHOULD blame the Bush administration. George Bush found it difficult to think at all, and his favoring of oil and construction companies was legendary. He initiated the idea of sending surplus dollars to tax-payers, on the thought that, “they will spend it!”
    The only candidate the Republicans can produce is Jon Huntsman. He is experienced, wise, and quietly authoritarian. Unfortunately, he looks a little like a Democrat, and that’s a shame. With no proof I still maintain the power groups are against him, simply because he won’t favor them in an unfair way. Huntsman would evaluate regulations each on its own merit, as Obama is doing, and decide each individually. He has stated that some regulations hamper the mining and manufacturing industries. But voters favor Bachmann, who dashes into Florida, takes a look around, and declares (to a Florida audience) that oil drilling in the Everglades is a good idea.
    The break in the economy during the “new deal’ came with the onset of WWll; the same Republicans who vow to save taxpayer money would bomb Iran, or any other hostile nation (and now comes Pakistan) at the drop of a hat.
    Obama hasn’t been pro-bank; far from it. But you can’t dismantle a running system and hope the need for competition will keep the world rolling. Its more obvious in the auto industry. Without the bailout, we would be tearing apart corporate assets for parts.
    On down to Perry; old school, Rove, Koch Brothers… who needs it??
    I often make the argument that if the power goes to the states, we open the doors to more and wider corruption. I believe that. The Evangelical States will be the ones to suffer most if the states control education and moral issues. The mess is awful to consider.
    Social Security doesn’t need to be scrapped, merely re-figured. Those who want to throw away everything we have and start again are caught up in an emotional hysteria. Cooler heads should prevail.
    As to entitlements, to hear the pundits, the money is doled out helter-skelter. In fact recipients are screened and re-screened, making job searches and submitting papers. They are being re-schooled. Remember, most people want to work. As I wrote recently, during the New Deal, workers worked for a minimum but livable wage for 30 hours weekly.

  • Clavos

    Where did you buy those rose-colored glasses, John?

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Looks like John Lake is the realist, and Realist…isn’t.

    And Clavos – it’s tragic how America (and particularly the Republicans) expect Obama to put back together in three or four years an economy that Dubya spent eight years tearing down…especially since Dubya didn’t have to face the most obstructionist Congress in American history, as Obama does.

    It’s almost a Sisyphean task, and it does little good to stand on the sidelines cynically complaining that Sisyphus just isn’t doing it the right way.

  • Couldn’t have said it any better.

  • @5 references Clavos

  • John Lake

    You are absolutely correct. Make that 11300 on the Dow.

  • Clavos

    …an economy that Dubya spent eight years tearing down.

    Oh puleeze. The only thing worse than a strawman is beating a dead one…

    Obie has done far more damage to the economy in 2 1/2 years than even the impressive amount GWB did in eight.

  • zingzing

    nonsense, clavos. bush took a shit on it. obama has had a hard time cleaning the shit up.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Clavos –

    I’ve already shown how the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy, the Iraq war, and Medicare Part D each cost more than the stimulus package Obama passed.

    I don’t know exactly how it is that you and the rest of the conservatives can honestly think that after Bush took a surplus and turned it into the worst recession since the Depression, that Obama should have been somehow able to snap his fingers and make it all better in a less than a third of the time that Bush took to ruin it…

    …especially with the most obstructive Congress since the Civil War.

    You KNOW all this – but you’re unwilling to give Obama any credit whatsoever, and you’re equally unwilling to admit the sheer magnitude of Bush’s folly, all because you are at heart putting partisan politics ahead of reality. You’ll never admit it publicly, but you’re too smart not to know it. Your spite for Democrats and liberals takes priority over your desire to honestly observe the political and physical realities of the world.

    I didn’t like Dems and liberals either, but the BS from the conservatives and Republicans became too great for me to ignore. It’s all a matter of degree, Clavos – and the BS of the cons and the Republicans far, far outweighs that of the Dems. That’s why I left the Republican party – I chose to accept the political and physical reality of the world over conservative dogma.

    You have yet to make that choice.

    I believe I can illustrate to you with one question your error: if someone were to come to you and offer you a lot of money – millions, even – for you to support a claim that which you know is false, which you know would get a lot of people killed, would you take the money and spread the lie?

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Clavos –

    P.S. – that last question is straightforward, no sarcasm, no condescension. You’ve unquestionably proven your honor and intelligence to me in the past, and that’s how I believe you’ll answer it.

  • John Lake is the realist in believing the US economy can still recover and the Realist is not? Give me a break!

    What possible basis can there be for economic recovery in the US?

  • And 11300 Dow is an illusion — reflective mostly of deflated US Dollar, deflated bond market due to next-to-zero interest rates, and the profiteering of the financials.

    There’s nothing here to base one’s sense of confidence upon.

  • Fool’s gold, that’s just about what it is.

  • @13 — add to this litany a condition which sanctions moral hazard, because the firms which are “too big to fail” will certainly be bailed out again and again, as many times as need be.

    And they all know it!

  • And if I sound bitter and pissed, it’s because Roger Federer, one of the tennis greats ever, lost his semifinal match in the US Open to a jerk like Djokovic.

    What a bummer!

  • troll

    Glenn #10 – the dot com bubble burst in ’99…GDP growth was crashing when Bush took office — Clinton’s surplus was a chimera

  • Glenn Contrarian

    troll –

    Why don’t you look up the level of government spending before Bush’s tax cuts for the wealthy, the Iraq war, and Medicare Part D (which was the most expensive of the three)? EACH of these cost more taxpayer dollars than Obama’s stimulus package.

    The dot-com bubble was a bubble, true – but after its correction, our economy would have been doing quite well, thank you very much…except for the Three Big Bush Boondoggles I listed above…

    …and we’re still paying $200B in interest alone just on the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy.

  • @17 & 18

    Whatever the history, we shan’t be able to spend our way out of the present crisis, for which reason all comparisons with crises past miss by a country mile. Any sound economy is based on production, and consumption is only an index. In the absence of productive capacity, or given the conditions of a rapidly dwindling productive capacity — a rather fair characterization of the US economy at the present — consumption is but a shadow; and so is borrowing, which is certain to land one in a debtor’s prison. In this one respect, good ole Ruv was right.

    And given the inherent propensity of the capitalist system towards concentrated wealth (through appropriation rather than sharing), even so-called “efficiency of production,” through employment of technology at the expense of the workforce, won’t get us off the hook. Which is why it becomes less and less relevant to be talking of taxpayers anymore or the taxpayers base (because it, too, is rapidly dwindling). Which is why a major shift in the redistribution of income, through ever-progressive taxation, is no longer a viable kind of solution.

    The capitalist system in the good ole US of A has reached its final stage of development, and it’s the end of the road. It’s time to start giving serious thought to rebuilding from scratch.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Roger –

    If we can’t “spend our way” out of a recession, then explain why WWII didn’t send us deeper into the Depression. You know very well that it was government spending that ramped up our economy and our manufacturing base and especially our employment for WWII.

    Government stimulus DOES work – America’s journey from the Depression through WWII proved it beyond a reasonable doubt. What’s more, we had nearly recovered from the Depression by 1936…and what was it that sent us spiraling back down into the Depression?

    Austerity measures forced on FDR by the Conservative Coalition (look it up).

    And once the government stimulus that was our preparations for WWII took effect, we were once more on our way out of the Depression.

    It’s all there, Roger – don’t buy into the claptrap that austerity supporters are selling, because austerity has never – not ever! – brought a nation out of a recession or depression. If austerity measures were so effective, then North Korea would have a powerhouse of an economy!

    Don’t get me wrong – it’s crucial to keep control of spending that does not contribute to infrastructure and manufacturing salable goods…but history shows that a proper government stimulus is quite effective in bringing nations out of recession.

  • I believe I stated in an unequivocal manner that all comparisons with the past are null and void. Moreover, I provided the reasons.

    You don’t have to buy into my line of reasoning, it’s your choice, but if you don’t, don’t blame me for refusing to discuss the problem on yourterms.

    We’re operating with two different paradigms in mind, and there is no middle ground.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Roger –

    So one paradigm is obviously wrong – I’ll agree with that…and here’s why my paradigm is closer to reality. Times change, technologies change, but the laws of economics don’t change. As the man said, those who forget the lessons of history are doomed to repeat them.

    The laws of economics are as immutable as any law of human behavior. Individual behaviors vary wildly. – indeed, they run the gamut of all possible behaviors – but behaviors of the masses, of entire populations, are quite predictable. Any sociologist or psychologist will tell you the same…

    …and it’s for this reason that the laws of economics do not change. They will make adjustments as necessary due to times and technologies, but they will NOT change as radically as you propose, that austerity would pull us out of a recession now when it never – NEVER! – has done so before.

    Yes, in a tale of two opposing paradigms we see a zero-sum game – just be aware that you, too, are human and are quite capable of being wrong, and the zero just might be yours.

  • Clavos

    Well, well, well.

    This, the week of the 10th anniversary of 9/11, sees the birth of our inept, paranoid president’s newest bad idea (which follows in the wake of such illustrious faux pas as the “stimulus” and Obamacare).

    yes folks, here’s a Big Brother concept for all the liberals to sign up for, presenting:

    Barack Hussein Obama’s Attack Watch website!!

    Have at it all you loyalists! Start snitching!!

    For those of you who don’t think this is such a good idea, check out the #attackwatch hashtag on Twitter, it’s great fun!

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Clavos –

    I invite you again to answer the question I asked you in the last paragraph of comment #10.

  • @22 makes no sense to me at all, just a bunch of half-baked generalities, Glenn, which appear to be saying something but say nothing at all. As I said, we’ve nothing to discuss.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Roger –

    In #25, it looks like you’re giving Clavos some serious competition in how to avoid addressing issues that run counter to your own beliefs.

    You’ve made up your mind and even figured out an excuse to ignore all the historical evidence to the contrary. You are truly becoming a conservative.

  • Don’t worry about it, Glenn. And don’t try to straighten me out. Your efforts won’t be appreciated.

  • Arch Conservative

    “…an economy that Dubya spent eight years tearing down”

    ummmmm, weren’t the Democrats in control of Congress from 2006 through the end of the Bush administration…

    Oh that’s right pointing out that the party controlling Congress can actually affect the economy is only acceptable whens Dems control congress and the economy is good or when the GOP controls congress and the economy is bad…

    Democrats controlled Congress from January 2007 through January 2011 and the white house from January 2009 through today yet they have no responsibility, if even only partial responsibility for our present economic circumstances?

    In the words of the illustrious Biff Howard Tannen, “Hello? Hello? Anybody home? Huh? Think, McFly. Think!”

    The simple fact is that anyone who is not a brain dead party hack cannot ignore the Himalayan sized pile of evidence that both parties have done grave damage to this nation, economically speaking and otherwise.

    Moonbat Obama/Democrat apolpgists like Glenn like to point out that Bush got us into two wasteful wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Yet Glenn and his ilk never discuss the fact that Obama and the Dems, since assuming power,have pretty much carried out the the Bush administration policy in Iraq and Afghanistan to a tee. We’re still in both countries wasting billions.

    Then there’s America’s good buddy Ben “hey don’t blame me I’m just the face of the international banksters financially sodomizing the USA” Bernanke. He was Bush’s guy and apparently Obama liked what he saw because he renominated him and the Democrats in Congress approved him. Not much difference between the Dems and GOP there either.

    Back and forth back and forth. Year in year out we have the same problems regardless of who’s in office.

    So, according to the script, unemployment will be high still in the late summer of 2012. Thus a GOP knight in shining white armor making all kinds of lofty promises, which, to anyone with an ounce of sense, are wholly unbelievable at best, will swoop in and save the day. Only he won’t be a night in armor but rather a globalist New World Order mad hatter with his dirty foot rooted firmly on this nation, pushing yet further down the rabbit hole.

    When it’s that f-ing obvious what else but pity am I supposed to feel for those of you claiming to see such grand, significant, tangible, meaningful distinctions between our two major political parties? To me the only distinction is that the flavor of lies they tell differs and occasionally so does the actual method used to further demean and destroy this nation.

  • troll

    Glenn – The dot-com bubble was a bubble, true – but after its correction, our economy would have been doing quite well, thank you very much…except for the Three Big Bush Boondoggles I listed above…

    I’d be interested in learning what you believe an adequate proof of this proposition would look like…

    I think it’s more likely that the derivatives bubble and subsequent crash would have occurred regardless

  • troll

    btw – re #22: everything always changes

    the laws of economics do not change. They will make adjustments

    rule of thumb: when your argument leads to reifications such as this you can figure something is amiss

  • troll

    btwbtw – …behaviors of the masses, of entire populations, are quite predictable. Any sociologist or psychologist will tell you the same…

    right up until they aren’t — you might want to take a lot of what these guys tell you with a grain of salt

  • Clavos

    you might want to take a lot of what these guys tell you with a grain of salt


    Quoted for Truth!

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Arch –

    If you’ll read up, there were many economists already sounding alarms in 2007…and you already know that the Dems didn’t control Congress until 2007. Hand over a plane that’s just lost its engines to a different pilot, and that plane WILL lose a lot of altitude before that different pilot’s able to bring it under control.

    So it goes with the economy – and do not forget that the Democratic Congress could pass NO bill unless Dubya signed it.

    Your guys spent trillions – with a T – on the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy, the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, and Medicare Part D…and now you’re trying to say that since the full damage to the economy didn’t show until a few years later, well, the Republicans don’t bear any responsibility at all!

    Stop trying to make a false equivalency between Republicans and Democrats, Arch – the mismanagement and the scandals under the Republicans have been significantly worse under the GOP ever since Iran-Contra.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    And Arch –

    Yet Glenn and his ilk never discuss the fact that Obama and the Dems, since assuming power,have pretty much carried out the the Bush administration policy in Iraq and Afghanistan to a tee. We’re still in both countries wasting billions.

    Read your history, willya? You canNOT conduct a war somewhere and then suddenly pick up and leave – for when that happens, you leave a massive power vacuum that the armed-and-organized enemy is best prepared to fill.

    If we had just up and deserted those wars (that YOUR guys started, one being the biggest war crime since Vietnam), instead of having a marginally-effective government in Iraq, you’d have an honest-to-goodness puppet state of almost-nuclear-armed Iran. But NOOOOOOO – since Obama didn’t just tell the troops to drop everything and go, to YOUR mind that somehow justifies everything Dubya did. And the same thing goes for Afghanistan.

    You really should study history, Arch – it would force you to take off your elephant-dung-colored glasses.

  • I can’t bother with complete jackasses. More power to those who can, but I don’t commend you for it. The best strategy, just let ’em be.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    troll –

    1 – look up the costs for the Big Three Boondoggles. Do the research – I did, and I’ve presented it here before.

    2 – Economics are (among humanity) a matter of psychology…and as long as basic human psychology doesn’t change, neither will the laws of economics. You’re smart – I’m sure you understand this. You might argue against it (you do present yourself as a troll), but you do understand it.

    3 – And when it comes to individual psychology as opposed to mass psychology, tell me – when was the last time you heard of a psychologist who treated the masses? You don’t. They treat individuals, but not the masses. Why? The job market for mass psychologists is very, very tight, and is the most cutthroat profession this side of combat…and its practitioners are called “politicians”. “Politicians” specialize in manipulating the masses in their attempts to make the masses think as they (the politicians) think the masses should think…

    …which, if you’ll think about it, is pretty much what psychologists do on the individual level. But psychologists – being usually better-educated and less-corrupt – know better than to get into politics.

  • Arch (@ #28), you don’t do yourself or your credibility any favours with your continual quoting of a character who’s a complete asshole.

  • Served as a comic relief in this particular instance, methinks, especially given the atypical length of the comment.

    Which leaves us with a question for the day, ladies and gents — which would you rather be, an asshole or a jackass?

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Either one is better than being a bitter bystander who is no longer thinks himself capable of engaging in courteous discourse with those with whom he disagrees. I’ve got more respect for the ignorant who are all sound and fury et cetera than I do for those who are eminently knowledgeable but who allow their bitterness to force them to bite at those who would give them a hand up.

  • Moi?

    I profusely apologize. It must have been my pet monkey who got hold of my computer keyboard while I was fixing myself another cup of Java.

    But then again, almost everything that appears in the comments space under name of Glenn Contrarian comes across as having been written by an orangutan.

    Which leads to an inescapable conclusion that you, too, harbor a fugitive from a zoo.

    How is he or she doing, by the way? Have you fed him nutritious breakfast?

  • zingzing

    enough with the monkeying around… shoot me.

    you two need to fuck this out.

  • Clavos


    Thanks for the laugh, Rog!

  • But then again, almost everything that appears in the comments space under name of Glenn Contrarian comes across as having been written by an orangutan.

    Roger, you are clearly unfamiliar with the literary output of orangutans.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Gee – now I’m an orangutan that is simultaneously the greatest threat to democracy! Next thing you know, I’ll be a game show host too! Just call me Monty Haul!

    “Choose door number one, number two, or number three!”

    p.s. “Monty Haul” is a throwback to my AD&D days long, long ago in a university far, far away, for all you non-nerds out there.

  • troll

    Glenn – trolls ask questions and mine was going to be how different costs for those federal ‘programs’ would have righted the derivatives market — but I see that you’re busy

    btw – your #40 strikes me as a new height in your arrogance…congratulations and well done

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Arrogance, no. Sanctimony, perhaps, but not arrogance.

    And props to Jordan who pointed out said sanctimony, and that’s something I do need to work on.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    But I’m intrigued – I didn’t mention financial regulation at all (though I hold Clinton largely responsible for his failure to veto the repeal of Glass-Steagal). Where did financial regulation of derivatives come in when I was speaking of Dubya’s Really Big Boondoggles (war, tax cuts, Medicare Part D)?

  • troll

    so – perhaps now you see that I haven’t been asking about the boondoggles but about more critical influences on the economy in response to your claim that it would have been just fine thank you very much if only Bush hadn’t engaged in them

  • zingzing

    egads, troll…

  • troll

    (here – I’ll do some of the work…there’s at least one interaction between the policies and the market — some of the $ transfered through the tax code became $ seeking a profitable home in derivatives)

  • troll

    zing you get a rare 😉

  • Arch Conservative

    Ok so who’s the asshole and who’s the jackass again?

  • The asshole is Biff the bully from the Back to the Future movies.

    The title of resident jackass has been claimed by BC’s own Roger N.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    troll –

    You believe the derivatives had more to do with the Great Recession than the Big Three that I spoke of? Notice I’m not immediately dismissing what you’re saying, but I’d like for you to point me where you get your information.

  • troll

    …start w/ Greenspan’s now infamous testimony before Congress

    move on to Krugman’s pieces in the NYT arguing that it was a failure of regulation ‘keeping up’

    move on to Reinhart & Rogoff’s This Time Is Different

    top this off with Stiglitz’ Freefall

    while all agree that profligate spending added to the problem they point to the contagious mismanagement of risk as fundamental

  • Clavos

    …the contagious mismanagement of risk as fundamental


  • @53

    Or perhaps by you, Dreadful, in spite of your best efforts to keep on presenting yourself as Mr. Clean.

    Glenn acts like a jackass because he never deals with what he’s presented with, never answers the points, always goes on with his tirades trying to justify a belief system that is beyond justification.

    In any case, since we’re a democratic society, perhaps we should put it up for a vote — you, Glenn, or me? Otherwise, it’s just your word against mine, and it won’t be admissible in the court of law. (Archie’s is out of the running.)

  • @55

    The contagious mismanagement of risk, while a major factor which has contributed to the financial crisis, was but a symptom of a far deeper and wider-reaching economic crisis experienced by the West (see Wolff’s lectures, “Capitalism Hits the Fan”). It’s precisely because the economies of the West (except for Germany, perhaps) are quickly becoming bankrupt for their dwindling industrial base, that the financial aspect and underpinning of the economic system assumed the importance it did as one of the most “productive” sector of the economy. This alone is a telltale of capitalism’s decline in the countries of it’s origin. It’s colonialism in reverse. We no longer import raw materials for production at home. We now export our productive capacities and know-how, along with the labor market, for production abroad — because we’ve squeezed all the blood there’s to be squeezed from a turnip.

    That’s the leveling that capitalism, when allowed to run its full gamut, is on its way to accomplishing: the same wage and living standard worldwide.

    When will there be jobs in America? Not until we’ll become like Third World countries and, for lack of options, get to love it!

  • troll

    …personally I’m in touch with the chicletes folks looking to tie up the concessions in several major cities

  • troll


    while I might be able to convince Glenn that there are forces at work that trump the dem/repub divide I don’t think he’ll accept the whole kit and caboodle (despite his intent to vote w/ his feet in response to what he sees to be a breakdown in our society)

  • And the reason he won’t, he’s a true believer. According to the liberal dogma, all obstacles will eventually be overcome and progress is the order of the day, all stubborn facts notwithstanding.

    If he were to put greater credence in Christianity, you might be successful, but he wants to have the best of both worlds, paradise in Heaven and on Earth too. So either his faith is shaky, or he’s just plain greedy.

    My question is — what is the basis for thinking the West will recover (under the present system)? It must be the built-in mechanism for tolerating failure (as per your link to the paper on ideologies). I can’t think of any rational grounds.

  • troll

    induction – linear and misguided as it may be

  • true, “n + 1” sequence, in total disregard of fundamental analysis.

    It might work for the markets, for day-to-day trading, hardly a basis for taking a long term position.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Roger –

    Glenn acts like a jackass because he never deals with what he’s presented with, never answers the points, always goes on with his tirades trying to justify a belief system that is beyond justification.

    You really need to look in a mirror, Roger. There’s one located in comment #25.

    I strongly remember a comment you made earlier this year how everything I wrote seemed to be fixated on race, how unimaginative I was, and how I never agreed with viewpoints other than my own.

    I repeatedly gave you links showing MANY articles I’d written showing what Reagan (and Dubya!), several articles that had nothing to do with politics or racism, and even a link where I’d admitted that what Cindy (and you!) was saying about anarchism was right and that I was wrong!

    SEVERAL times I posted it and I KNOW you saw them – you were posting too regularly to not see them – but did you own up to your patently false accusation? Of course not. You were too busy tossing off your insults and innuendo…and you had not the moral courage to even consider that maybe, just maybe you were off base.

    Roger, it is said that a man is most likely to accuse others of what he himself would do in their situations. Think about that as you continue your parade of false accusations. You really need to regain your intestinal fortitude and stand up – not against the world, but against your own ego.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    errata in comment #64:

    The fourth paragraph should read:

    I repeatedly gave you links showing MANY articles I’d written, including at least two showing what Reagan (and Dubya!) had done that was RIGHT and beneficial to the world, several articles that had nothing to do with politics or racism, and even a link where I’d admitted that what Cindy (and you!) was saying about anarchism was right and that I was wrong!

  • Don’t give a shit about Reagan, Bush and Obama, Glenn. Was talking only about the discussion at hand. Stop wasting my time, and stop wasting yours. [Personal attack deleted by Comments Editor]


  • @ #57:

    So is Glenn a jackass or an orangutan, Roger? I require a convincing explanation, since he seems to be changing species at a faster rate than one might reasonably expect given the genetic material at his disposal.

    As for my alleged claim, stuff it. I was merely remarking to Archie that you yourself had already claimed the title of jackass – with apparent pride, I might add.

  • When Roger claims that something/someone is not worth talking about/to, it’s a fair indication that he will resume the worthless discussion within a few minutes.

  • What’s that to you, Dreadful? It’d seem to be you’re only bent on antagonizing the situation further.

    And you’re completely off in your pronouncements. I’ve never had any inclination on discussing anything whatever — be in with Glenn, yourself, or anybody else for that matter — unless it’d be partly at least on my terms. Is this so hard to for your all so tidy mind to understand?

    But carry on regardless, Dreadful, as I’m certain you will.

    As to my “stuffing it,” I can only say the feeling is mutual. And by the way, in case you didn’t know, “the jackass of the year” award is still up for grabs.

    Right off the bat, I can easily think of at least two if not three, who would gladly vote for you hands down.

  • Just give me advance notice of when the award is being presented so that I can prepare my acceptance speech.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Troll –

    1 – IIRC, the thing with the derivatives was that they were largely unregulated, and I *think* this was due to the repeal of Glass-Steagal, passed by a veto-proof Republican majority but owned by Clinton since he signed it. But you indicate there’s more to it than that, and I’ll look it up when I get the chance…and until I do, I won’t use the “Dubya’s Big Three” line until I’ve verified one way or another. Of course in Roger’s world I have no such integrity, and all I post about is racism and partisan politics and I’m a combined jackass and orangutan who is simultaneously the greatest threat to democracy (did I miss anything, Roger?).

    2 – On voting with my feet – look up my article titled “Why would I want to live in a third world country?”…and you’ll find my decision has nothing to do with politics and everything to do with family. I’d post a link but it’s not easy on an iPhone. Please read that article and then let me know what you think.

  • troll

    as something of a Stiglitz fan let me point you to his

  • t

    The Roaring Nineties in which he discusses the bipartisan drive to deregulation under Clinton with Rubin at Treasury

    …the vote to repeal Glass-Steagall was 90 to 8 in the Senate

  • troll

    btw – no need to stop knocking Bush’s tax rip-off or his wars or his pay-off to big pharm on this account — they sucked even if the economy was crashing regardless…kinda like Obama’s pay-off to the insurance industry and wars etc

  • @70

    That’s the spirit, Dreadful. As for my acceptance speech in case I get elected, I’ll just borrow from the handbook by that Hall-of-Famer, Mr. Blowhard himself, the unforgettable Irvin Cohen.

  • No, you’re way off, Glenn. It’s not integrity that you’re short on. Quite the contrary, you’re a true believer. I think I said that, haven’t I?

  • @74

    I think what we’re seeing here is the big boys going for the spoils while they still can.

    What I find amazing is that while Big Business won’t invest in America because there’s no future in it, the exemplary American citizen is expected to remain optimistic. That’s insanity.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Roger –

    In #66, you said for me to stop wasting my time and yours…and I did – except for a parenthetical aside in my reply to troll, I gave you your desire from #66, and yet you still continued in #76.

    You have real issues, Roger – and you’re allowing those issues to force you to react spitefully towards those who only mean you well. Know yourself, Roger – not in the Biblical way, but in the way meant by Sun Tzu. It is folly for you to think you’ve nothing left to learn about yourself. The spite that you’re posting is only allowing the rest of us to clearly see how far you’ve fallen. You’ve become spiteful, but I don’t think you’ve yet become malicious…and that is the yardstick by which I decide whether a person is good or bad. I don’t see you as being malicious – at least not yet – and because of that, I still try to encourage you to return to the level of self-respect you once had.

  • I should think my comment was in response to your parenthetical in #71, paragraph 1.

    Stop making allusions and I’ll abstain likewise.