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Ear to the Ground

Obama Stands by His Treasurer

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Posted on Mar 18, 2009
White House / Pete Souza

Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner has developed a bad reputation in his short time on the job. He appears to have the fortitude of porridge and a love of banks and the bankers who bankrupt them. Despite calls for Geithner’s ouster over the AIG bonus blunder, the president says he has “complete confidence” in his top economist.

Reuters:

President Barack Obama voiced confidence in U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner for the second day in a row on Wednesday amid criticism over the government’s handling of American International Group’s bonuses and lingering delays in filling key Treasury jobs.

“I have complete confidence in Tim Geithner and my entire economic team,” Obama said with Geithner at his side on the White House South Lawn.

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By felicity, March 19, 2009 at 12:18 pm Link to this comment

The practice of putting private sector types (Geithner) into public positions of power has by now devolved into a system based on incestuous nepotism, a brotherhood of thieves if you will.  It’s a good bet that the guy Geithner might today screw out of his bonus will one day be in Geithner’s position and just may return the screw. (I think that’s like it’s not a good idea to shit in one’s own nest?) Is it any wonder that Geithner didn’t axe bonuses?

Why career politicians - think presidents - have engaged in the practice of loading the executive branch with these types, probably since G. Washington, is an explainable mystery.  They know their stuff.

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By samosamo, March 19, 2009 at 11:46 am Link to this comment

By freeyourmind, March 19 at 11:08 am

I am very concerned over what this new president is doing and I am very well aware of the ‘status quo’ that all politics in this country runs on. What I don’t dwell on is ‘just what would mccain/palin be doing right now’? And if you are fishing for this statement which is all too familiar, “Well, at least mccain did not win” you now have it, even though I did not vote for either one of these corporate whores and I did not expect obama to come in like the next messiah as most anti-republicans have long thought of him. What he inherited from w & dick, well, shoot let’s don’t stay that current, let us go back to those days of reagan or even nixon or even LBJ, is so obfuscated and confused that it will take a mighty effort to remedy. So what I consider a problem is the grip that corporate america has on our government. It is not just wrong it is illegal and yet no one, not one damn soul on this planet will find a way around that obstacle without ‘insulting’ some big boys that have made it their job to steal all that tax money that the people provide. For an example, if a newly elected president and, lord above you really have to include all those members of congress that are paid by the corporations to act like they are going to fix the problem but will not, get into office and try to stop this or that or fix something as volatile as the economy, then you are talking regulating corporations and the lobbyists. Basically to do that, there would have to be a physical barrier put up to prevent corporations from allowing lobbyists from contacting an elected representative and there would have to be very close monitoring just to assure that there is no contact. Now, just how real is that scenario? Not much at all. So, what it is is milton friedman’s ‘unfettered market’ ideology is still a factor as corporate america keeps our legislative branch creating laws that benefit them and pushes the people aside. So, as vital as obama or the presidency is portrayed, what is more important are those people elected to the house of representatives and the senate because that is where, after all, that all those earmarks, pork and special priviledges come from for the corporate world.

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Eric L. Prentis's avatar

By Eric L. Prentis, March 19, 2009 at 11:18 am Link to this comment

President Obama, dump Geithner, Summers and Bernanke before they sink your presidency, the time to act is now!

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By squeaky jones, March 19, 2009 at 10:59 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Lets look, drone planes killing innocent people in the Middle East, torture, holding people with out charges, paying off your Wall Street pals. Bush, no Obama. Meet your new boss, same as your old boss. Squeaky.

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By David in Houston, March 19, 2009 at 10:36 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Remember “Heck of a job Brownie”? Wall street is like an incestuous village. It is time to appoint some people that don’t owe their existence to Wall Street to lead the recovery. Robert Reich and Paul Krugeman come to mind.

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By freeyourmind, March 19, 2009 at 8:08 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Here we go again, whats wrong with Obama, why is there no change. Sheeple please have you not learned anything. OK, let me make this as simple as I can. All most a billion dollars was collected by our new president during his campaign. Over 300 million before he was even nominated. OK, now where did he get all of this money, the financial sector that’s where. So lets see who getting paybacks now. Hum, wall street, the central banks, the same people that put the man in office.Those who do not study their history are doomed to repeat it. Peace

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Ed Harges's avatar

By Ed Harges, March 19, 2009 at 7:40 am Link to this comment

We are going to have to make our government more afraid of us than it is of the bankers.

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By RdV, March 19, 2009 at 7:28 am Link to this comment

Then he’ll go down with him.

Obama, increasingly a disappointment, now fast becoming timidly useless and irrelevant.

  note the photo of Geithner skulking in the background. Both he and Summers have that shifty, sneaky-guilty look.

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By wanked, March 19, 2009 at 6:32 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Obama stands behind his inept Treasury Dept heads the was bush stood behind Rumsfeld and The Hammer. Its starting to stink…

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By Marshall K, March 19, 2009 at 5:41 am Link to this comment

“I have complete confidence in…” are frequently used just before someone gets the axe.  He was a poor choice, so time to move on.

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By Jason!!, March 19, 2009 at 5:13 am Link to this comment

Get ready.

Here comes another Trillion dollar spending spree and the UN is going to try and tax us.

Obama and Congress have no idea. They are clueless, foolish people running the country in the ground.

Obama failed!

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Outraged's avatar

By Outraged, March 18, 2009 at 11:15 pm Link to this comment

Obama would be foolish to continue to back the bailout of these institutions via hacks like Geithner, Summers and others he’s considering.  If he loses his base, and he will lose his base AND THEN SOME if he continues with this charade.  After that, the right wingers and other radical elements will tear him to pieces.

It has come down to simple politics now, if he shirks…. he’s done, and most likely much of congress with him.

Obama has the opportunity to do some good, but it means nothing if he doesn’t DO IT.

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By J.C. Tripp, March 18, 2009 at 10:21 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Geithner has to go as do the other IMF neo-liberals that are advising President Obama. I am not sure if Obama is just being too nice or too loyal to his primary campaign contributors but the bottoms line is that his presidency is about to collapse along with the economy unless he takes a stand. We are going to suffer irregardless but I hope that in the end the financial oligarchy will be destroyed. It’s them or us.

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By doug, March 18, 2009 at 10:07 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Geithner and Summers are poster boys for business as usual, not the change we can believe in that Obama promised us.

Geithner and Summers are first and foremost about protecting the bankers and ceos of Wall Street from paying any price for their own bad decisions.  They wish to shift the burden of Wall Street’s bad decisions onto the average American taxpayer.

It’s a shame to see such a promising figure in Obama throw his lot in with the very people who created this mess.  And it may well come to define his presidency, and force him out after one term.

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By P. T., March 18, 2009 at 9:30 pm Link to this comment

Obama’s loyalty to powerful backers is thus far solid.

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By wildflower, March 18, 2009 at 8:04 pm Link to this comment

Needless to say, Representative Issi [R-CA}, of course, had an opportunity to take control of this situation in 2008 when he received Congressman Elijah Cummings [D-M] request for a hearing “to examine American International Group, Inc.’s (AIG) use of taxpayer dollars, specifically with regards to compensation policies and expenditures and corporate events.” 

http://www.house.gov/list/press/md07_cummings/20081216aighearing.shtml

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By geronimo, March 18, 2009 at 6:13 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

In order to bring about CHANGE looks like we’re going to have to put pressure on President Obama & Congress, such that, they’ll have to pay attention to us.  Fortunately there is a way, which is for a call to go out ONLINE for a nationwide protest vigil, through which everyone who’s for CHANGE can join in.  How?  Simply by standing outside his/her residence for 30 minutes, holding a homemade sign “YES WE CAN”, beginning, say, April 1, and repeating this daily until President Obama and Congress capitulate to our demands.  What demands?  That’ll be up to us but for starters how about peace on earth and goodwill to all living beings, nationalization of banking & finance and single payer health care system.  How would President Obama know that a nationwide vigil is in progress?  By way of the Internet with MSM eventually taking note, &,  when things really get going, aerial and satellite imaging.  We can do this!

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By samosamo, March 18, 2009 at 4:51 pm Link to this comment

Damn, what is wrong with obama? Here is a wild card doing for his ‘friends’ just as we the people hoped that the person to replace herr paulson would NOT do. And after being ‘caught with his hands in the cookie jar’ to pass on more free money to his neocon breathern, obama comes out in support of him while deriding AIG for using the money for bonus pay or whatever.

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