Obama WAS The Special Interests President





The story headline “In Chicago, Obama tells young leaders that ‘special interests dominate the debates in Washington’” is is total crap. From day one Obama was all about pleasing special interests by funneling unrestricted bailout funds to Goldman Sachs and the investment/banking industries in general. Yes, TARP was a Bush initiative but Obama and his special interest lackeys, Larry Summers and Timothy Geithner, made it like they were proprietors overseeing kids in a candy store, even giving out handfuls of candy, aka taxpayer funds, to kids like every day was Halloween night. The banksters knowingly and intentionally committed global financial fraud and not one CEO paid the legal price. We all paid for the bailout and not ONE institution was required to change how they do business to prevent it from happening again. Dodd-Frank? Please…

They’re still selling the same derivatives (under new names) and other unsafe “investment products” that are again propelling the financial industry to another meltdown. The housing bubble is building again (checked out home prices lately?) and once again it WILL burst.

Remember Obama’s pushing through of all those trade pacts? We’re now just learning of some of the secret offshore accounts owned by American citizens and corporations housed in Panama banks. Remember how he also tried to push the TPP and the Keystone XL crude oil pipeline? How about his months-long silence and hands off policy with the Dakota Access pipeline?  Additional construction of nuclear plants? Pushing charter schools to the detriment of public schools? The Obama presidency was all about special interests, except for the middle and low income classes. I guess we didn’t hold much special interest for him.

Obama didn’t do a damn thing to unify anyone. If he had, we’d have a Democrat in the White House, a Democratically-controlled Congress, and Merrick Garland, as flawed as he was, would be the 9th Justice sitting on the SCOTUS bench.

The Obama administration will not go down in history for what it was but for its failure to become what it could have been. If his “aspiration” was to unify Blue and Red states, why did he do so much to polarize all of us?


The Bizarro World Of The Ultra-Farleftys

I’m a farlefty. My blog name validates this or it wouldn’t be called Farlefty. My world is ruled by logic, common sense, and deductive reasoning and opinions based on research. Then there’s the world of the ultra-farleftys in which President Obama is lying about ISIS/ISIL and the threat they pose to our American way of life. They claim he just wants to phony up a war in Iraq just like the Bush administration did. They also claim we are being lied to about the threat ISIS/ISIL poses to Syria along with the threat Assad poses to his own Syrian people. These people claim the puppet masters behind the marionette show which is Congress, SCOTUS, and the White House are hungry for more oil fields and the plentiful natural resources laying around all over the place in the Middle East and that’s what’s really going on. Well, I agree with that up to a point—especially about most of Congress and the five Koch Brothers employees on SCOTUS being puppets.

But here’s the problem as I see it with the overwhelming paranoia on the Far Left: If Obama is just as much of a liar as George W. Bush was, then this country is already lost to the likes of the Koch Brothers. It’s game over, folks; there’s no Blue and there’s no Red, just Purple. If this is to be believed, then there’s not a thing we can do about it because the game is rigged and no matter who you believe or who you vote for, you’re wrong. I believe Obama to be a basically good man of good intentions for this country, but it’s undeniable that for most of his presidency he’s been in the pockets of the likes of Goldman Sachs (look at how many people from GS he chose to fill White House and Federal Reserve Bank positions) and the banksters (Jaime Dimon being his good buddy). But given all this, Obama did sign into law bills that have helped—for the most part—consumers and homeowners.

These same ultra-farleftys also think Vladimir Putin is an innocent victim of worldwide disinformation intended to frame him as a despot intent on returning the Ukraine piece back to the jigsaw puzzle that was the Soviet Union. They claim that it’s Petro Poroshenko, president of Ukraine, who’s the real villain, trying to gain the world’s sympathy by falsely claiming Russian nationalists and operatives had invaded Ukraine and started shooting wars to capture and control the southeastern region of the country. Ultra-farleftys also point to interviews and articles on Russia Today (where else) that claim it was Ukraine that shot down Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 near Donetsk in the that the ensuing global outrage would result in a world war against Russia.

The world of the ultra-farleftys is like the Bizarro world in the Superman comics. The good guys are the bad guys and the bad guys good. Everything you know is wrong, which is true up to a point. I think that intelligent people who are also congenitally insightful are intuitive enough to discern truth from fiction, lies, and propaganda. When you read a book by Paul Krugman, you just know he is truthfully and accurately relating what went wrong with the financial system in this country and how to fix it. When you read books by Bill O’Reilly or Ann Coulter, you know they’re lying pieces of shit.

Ultra-farleftys may be intelligent folk—many of them seem to be—and some may well be well-meaning but unknowing purveyors of disinformation while others are in on the scam. I don’t know. But what I do know is that people on the far left can go so far to the left, and people on the far right can go so far to the right that both groups meet in the middle. It’s one thing to be faced on both sides with lunacy, but to be surrounded by it creates a vacuum empty of knowledge and truth. Nature abhors a vacuum but tyranny loves it.

Obama’s Two Mistakes

I have had my issues with President Obama.  To me, he has caved in so many times he has miners trapped inside him.  (A tip of the hat to John Fugelsang for that line.).  Well, I’m currently reading a book—which I highly recommend—by Noam Scheiber titled “ The Escape Arti$ts: How Obama’s Team Fumbled the [sic] Recovery”.  It’s been eye-opening.

Although it is true that Obama is a better chess player than poker player (although he strategizes long term, he tends to show his hand early) I now believe Obama has always been sincere in wanting to work with both sides of the Congressional aisle because that was his modus operandi in the US Senate.  It’s also very clear where Obama made his mistakes in this administration because he made two huge ones.

First, for some reason he idolized Bill Clinton and thought his economic team walked on international water, the way the averted global financial collapse and all back in the 90’s.  The fact that what Clinton’s team did led directly to the stock market and banking collapse of 2008 either got by him or by that time since he had his team in place all Obama could say was “Oops.”  What bothers me is the fact that Obama, acknowledging he knew next to nothing about economic policy, looked around and he thought he saw the best financial minds in Goldman Sachs, Citigroup, JP Morgan Chase (to Obama, Jamie Dimon is THE guy), and career US Treasury guys.  The fact that these guys all placed the welfare of global economies, Wall Street and the banks over people (so what if a few million people lose their jobs,  as long as investors are happy and their dollars are safe) EVERY time, didn’t give him pause.  Well, he did pause long enough to appoint Christine Romer as his chief economist; she being the only one who didn’t consider John Maynard Keynes the economic  Anti-Christ.  But as it was, Romer advised a minimum $1.8 trillion stimulus but the Obama team decided $775 billion was all they could go and we all know how that turned out.  Like much with the Obama administration, it could have been better.

The 2nd mistake was in figuring that since he was being noble and sincere in his outreach to the Republicans to work with him in a bi-partisan manner, they would be, too.  It’s hard to believe that a politician as astute as Obama could have totally misread the Tea Party, but misread them he did.  Or maybe he thought that when Republican Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell publicly stated that Job One would be holding Obama to a single term as president he had his fingers crossed behind his back.  No, he didn’t have his fingers crossed behind his back, he had both hands in front of his body and was sticking the middle fingers on both hands up at Obama.

For me, “The Escape Artists” has rounded out the picture of the man.  I’ve made the mistake of assuming the image presented of Obama was the same as the man.  I believe Obama knows what he doesn’t know (but doesn’t take it to absurd lengths ala Donald Rumsfeld) but he needs to be less trusting that there’s basically only one small group of guys who do know what he doesn’t know and they know it the right way.  Obama chose the wrong Robert among the ex-Clintonites when he went for Rubin instead of Reich.  If Obama can be heard above the right wing noise machine, he should be able to fix his mistakes during his second term.

The Obama Economic Braintrust?

To all my liberal friends who support Obama unconditionally and consider him the smartest guy in the class and always in control, the following is a primary reason why I believe you’ve bought into the image and not the man.

In early 2008, Obama was considered virtually ignorant on economic policy by those in the know. His only econ advisor was Austan Goolsbee, a University of Chicago econ professor who stands maybe just to the Left of Milton Friedman and far to the right of Paul Krugman.  Obama linked up with Goolsbee in 2004 when Harvard econ dept. wouldn’t give him the time of day.

Since Obama knew what he didn’t know about econ, he did what he usually does in those situations: he went conservative. He went with the tried and true and raided the Clinton economic braintrust because they had whipped inflation and several economic crises, or so they would have you believe.  Obama brought in Larry Summers, the man who gave you the Wall St. meltdown when he lobbied Congress to not regulate derivatives, and he also gave you the repeal of Glass-Stegall, another leg which was kicked out from under Wall St. that led to its collapse.  He brought in Robert Rubin,  who was with Goldman Sachs for 26 years before going to work for Clinton.  Both Summers and Rubin never met a Wall St. brokerage firm or bank they didn’t like—a lot. The only Clinton econ alum Obama didn’t  enlist was Robert Reich, the only liberal of the entire bunch. Imagine that.

A 1991 quote by Summers, who was then Chief Economist of the World Bank: “There are no… limits to the carrying capacity of the earth that are likely to bind any time in the foreseeable future. There isn’t a risk of an apocalypse due to global warming or anything else. The idea that we should put limits on growth because of some natural limit, is a profound error and one that, were it ever to prove influential, would have staggering social costs.”  This is the guy who advised Obama on economics.

So, with Clinton’s braintrust firmly in place within the Obama campaign, what four names out of all available economists did they throw into the hat for Secretary of Treasury?  Not Robert Reich. Not Pulitzer Prize-winning and liberal economist Paul Krugman.  Nope, they went with:  1) the aforementioned Larry Summers, who had been forced out of the presidency of Harvard University under a cloud of scandal and a no-confidence vote by the faculty.  2) Timothy Geithner, who worked for Henry Kissinger,  Ronald Reagan, and Clinton, and headed the Fed Reserve Bank of NY.  He took over guidance of Bush’s proposed TARP for Obama. The program allowed Wall St. and banks to recoup all the money they lost or stole without being required to pay back one penny or make any operational or ethical changes to their business practices. 3) Jon Corzine, another Chicago School econ and ex-Goldman Sachs who later ran MF Global into bankruptcy.  Hundreds of millions of customer-invested money are unaccounted for to this day—and Corzine maintains he doesn’t know where the heck it went.  4) Jamie Dimon, CEO of JP Morgan Chase, who just lost $3 billion of customer-invested funds by gambling on derivates (thanks to Larry Summers) and just had the Senate jostling and elbowing each other out of the way to kiss his ring.

After Obama was elected President,  he chose to retain George W. Bush’s man, Ben Bernanke, as the chairman of the Fed Reserve, opting to not be concerned with the fact that it was on Bernanke’s watch that Wall St. and the banks melted down.

So, my point is this. Even if Obama hadn’t had Repugs and Blue Dogs obstructing his economic recovery plans, they were doomed to modest success anyway. The guys he goes to for advice are on the side of Goldman Sachs, Wall St., and the banks because that’s where they spent most of their entire careers.  The only exception is Geithner, who spent his governmental career catering to the will and whims of Wall St. and the banks.  Obama is great at speechifying, but he clearly doesn’t have the best interests of the middle and poverty classes at heart.  If he did, Robert Reich would be Treasury Secretary and Paul Krugman would be running the Fed Reserve.

The ultimate irony is that despite all the Milton Friedman disciples who populate the Obama Economic Braintrust, the Jobs Bill they developed with its emphasis on national infrastructure repair is pure John Maynard Keynes.  And high speed rail is just a modern day update of Dwight D. Eisenhower implementing  Keynesian economic principles to build the U.S. interstate highway system.

Obama is not as smart as you give him credit to be.  Or maybe he’s not really who you think he is at all.  Being right on a few social issues doesn’t make him a good guy.  He can propose all the reforms of mortgage loan modification and student loan programs he wants all the while knowing the Repugs will block every one.  The one best thing about Obama, the primary reason to vote for him in November is that he is not Mitt Romney.