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Hogwash, Mr. President

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Posted on Jan 26, 2011
White House / Chuck Kennedy

Q & A - Live Chat with Robert Scheer


A live Q & A session related to this column took place on January 27, 2011 at 11:00 am PT.

Click here to view the transcript.


By Robert Scheer

What is the state of the union? You certainly couldn’t tell from that platitudinous hogwash that the president dished out Tuesday evening. I had expected Barack Obama to be his eloquent self, appealing to our better nature, but instead he was mealy-mouthed in avoiding the tough choices that a leader should delineate in a time of trouble. He embraced clean air and a faster Internet while ignoring the depth of our economic pain and the Wall Street scoundrels who were responsible—understandably so, since they so prominently populate the highest reaches of his administration. He had the effrontery to condemn “a parade of lobbyists” for rigging government after he appointed the top Washington representative of JPMorgan Chase to be his new chief of staff.

The speech was a distraction from what seriously ails us: an unabated mortgage crisis, stubbornly high unemployment and a debt that spiraled out of control while the government wasted trillions making the bankers whole. Instead the president conveyed the insular optimism of his fat-cat associates: “We are poised for progress. Two years after the worst recession most of us have ever known, the stock market has come roaring back. Corporate profits are up. The economy is growing again.” How convenient to ignore the fact that this bubble of prosperity, which has failed the tens of millions losing their homes and jobs, was floated by enormous government indebtedness now forcing deep cuts in social services including state financial aid for those better-educated students the president claims to be so concerned about.

His references to education provided a convenient scapegoat for the failure of the economy, rather than to blame the actions of the Wall Street hustlers to whom Obama is now sucking up. Yes, it is an obvious good to have better-educated students to compete with other economies, but that is hardly the issue of the moment when all of the world’s economies are suffering grievous harm resulting from the irresponsible behavior of the best and the brightest here at home. It wasn’t the students struggling at community colleges who came up with the financial gimmicks that produced the Great Recession, but rather the super-whiz-kid graduates of the top business and law schools.

What nonsense to insist that low public school test scores hobbled our economy when it was the highest-achieving graduates of our elite colleges who designed and sold the financial gimmicks that created this crisis. Indeed, some of the folks who once designed the phony mathematical formulas underwriting subprime mortgage-based derivatives won Nobel prizes for their effort. A pioneer in the securitization of mortgage debt, as well as exporting jobs abroad, was one Jeffrey Immelt, the CEO of GE, whom Obama recently appointed to head his new job creation panel. 

That the financial meltdown at the heart of our economic crisis was “avoidable” and not the result of long-run economic problems related to education and foreign competition is detailed in a sweeping report by the Democratic majority on the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission to be released as a 576-page book on Thursday. In a preview reported in The New York Times, the commission concluded: “The greatest tragedy would be to accept the refrain that no one could have seen this coming and thus nothing could have been done. If we accept this notion, it will happen again.”

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Just the warning that Obama has ignored by continually appointing the very people who engineered this crisis, mostly Clinton alums, to reverse its ongoing dire consequences. As the Times reports: “The decision in 2000 to shield the exotic financial instruments known as over-the-counter derivatives from regulation, made during the last year of President Bill Clinton’s term, is called ‘a key turning point in the march toward the financial crisis.’ ”

Obama appointed as his top economic adviser Lawrence Summers, who as Clinton’s treasury secretary was the key architect of that “turning point,” and Summers protégé Timothy Geithner as his own treasury secretary. The unanimous finding of the 10 Democrats on the commission is that Geithner, who had been president of the New York Fed before Obama appointed him, “could have clamped down” on excesses by Citigroup, the subprime mortgage leader that Geithner and the Fed bailed out along with other unworthy banking supplicants.

Profligate behavior that has hobbled the economy while running up an enormous debt that Obama now uses as an excuse for a five-year freeze on discretionary domestic spending, that small part of the budget that might actually help ordinary people. Speaking of our legacy of deficit spending, Obama stated, “ … In the wake of the financial crisis, some of that was necessary to keep credit flowing, save jobs, and put money in people’s pockets. But now that the worst of the recession is over, we have to confront the fact that our government spends more than it takes in.”

Why now? It is an absurd demarcation to freeze spending when so many remain unemployed just because corporate profits, and therefore stock market valuations, seem firm. Ours is a union divided between those who agree with Obama that “the worst of the recession is over” and the far larger number in deep pain that this president is bent on ignoring.

Click here to check out Robert Scheer’s new book,
“The Great American Stickup: How Reagan Republicans and Clinton Democrats Enriched Wall Street While Mugging Main Street.”


Keep up with Robert Scheer’s latest columns, interviews, tour dates and more at www.truthdig.com/robert_scheer.

Click here to check out Robert Scheer’s book,
“The Great American Stickup: How Reagan Republicans and Clinton Democrats Enriched Wall Street While Mugging Main Street.”


Keep up with Robert Scheer’s latest columns, interviews, tour dates and more at www.truthdig.com/robert_scheer.



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Peter Knopfler's avatar

By Peter Knopfler, January 26, 2011 at 3:09 pm Link to this comment

More Lies from a liar, a corporate butt hole,
Big business runs the show and those who complain
like officer Manning torture Time.No mention
Foreclosure, !00,000 homeless, 9000 vets homeless,
Climate Change, Bp,oil spill, and 1 million Jobs to
Communist China, Supporting dictators Hillory backing
up in the name of OBAMA,telling Egyptian
demonstrators to listen to there torturer, dictator,
this whole administration needs to be Buried some
where like toxic waste. F_CK you Obama kick your butt
on the basketball floor even though I´m 20 years
senior my anger will take you to the hoop hang you
there. Robert Sheer total truth, they all need to be
spanked. Gave weapons to Omar of Libya so he can use
them on his own people, All the Muslim dictators out
of fear are using AMERICAN WEAPONS ON THEIR PEOPLE.
Again America supports killing at home abroad, all in
secret. SHAME is what I feel, sick of this SH_iT!

Report this
Peter Knopfler's avatar

By Peter Knopfler, January 26, 2011 at 3:09 pm Link to this comment

More Lies from a liar, a corporate butt hole,
Big business runs the show and those who complain
like officer Manning torture Time.No mention
Foreclosure, !00,000 homeless, 9000 vets homeless,
Climate Change, Bp,oil spill, and 1 million Jobs to
Communist China, Supporting dictators Hillory backing
up in the name of OBAMA,telling Egyptian
demonstrators to listen to there torturer, dictator,
this whole administration needs to be Buried some
where like toxic waste. F_CK you Obama kick your butt
on the basketball floor even though I´m 20 years
senior my anger will take you to the hoop hang you
there. Robert Sheer total truth, they all need to be
spanked. Gave weapons to Omar of Lybia so he can use
them on his own people, All the Muslim dictators out
of fear are using AMERICAN WEAPONS ON THEIR PEOPLE.
Again America supports killing at home abroad, all in
secret. SHAME is what I feel, sick of this SH_iT!

Report this

By Arouete, January 26, 2011 at 2:50 pm Link to this comment

Mr. Scherr:

You forgot to add balderdash, claptrap, propaganda, PR spin, pablum and just plain bullshit. Just cram it down the throats of the gullible so desperate to believe they are not being led right off a cliff. The message from the plutocracy is the same: “*uck you. We don’t care. We don’t have to. We own America! We own Congress. We own the White House. We own the freaking world. We own the government and we bought it CHEAP! So *uck you!”

Report this

By Arouete, January 26, 2011 at 2:40 pm Link to this comment

As a retired person on a fixed income, unlike most sheep who, in this new chapter in the Annuls of Gullibility, swallowed the propagandist clap trap the of Obama and the DNC the only part of Obama I ever expected to was his back. And he has continued to show his back to all decent hard working Americans how don’t want a hand out but only a leg up and who feel disgraced that they can not WORK for a living.  Too bad that back is spineless. You might be able to separate the sheep from the goats but in the end America is a herd that the corporate powers that be can herd in any direction they please. Right now they are being herded off a cliff. All it takes is a vapid bumper-sticker slogan.

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By glider, January 26, 2011 at 2:33 pm Link to this comment

Obama is so clearly the “good cop” scheming to plunder and rape the confronted “citizen” by cooperating with the corporate “bad cop”.  Hope and change my ass.  He is a fraud plain and simple.  His voice grates on me so badly now I simple can not listen to his obvious excrement.

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By pelham, January 26, 2011 at 2:27 pm Link to this comment

Excellent points about our recession problems being
not a matter of unavoidable or structural
circumstances but rather a matter of bad choices by
the boffins.

For further confirmation of that, consider this:

In 2008, the average US manufacturing wage was $32 an
hour, and the country was running an enormous trade
deficit, especially in manufactured goods.

By contrast, the average manufacturing wage in
Germany that year was $48 an hour—which is
actually an understatement because those German
workers got 6 weeks of vacation and a national
equivalent of Social Security twice as generous as
ours that kicked in closer to 60 than 65, not to
mention superior health care that can never be taken
away. But even with all that, Germany was running a
trade surplus in 2008, as it does year after year
after year, especially in manufactured products.

So you’ve gotta ask yourself: If Germany can compete
and win in the world with all those costs that
greatly exceed ours, why can’t we? 

The answer is that we can. The reason we aren’t has
nothing to do with education (Germans are, on
average, less educated than Americans) but rather is
a matter of rotten American leadership.  And I use
the word “rotten” advisedly. It implies both willful
malfeasance as well as bumbling. How much of each, I
don’t know, but I suspect the emphasis should be on
willful malfeasance.

Certainly that’s the conclusion one would reach
looking at the long roster of rotters in the Obama
administration.

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By Inherit The Wind, January 26, 2011 at 2:25 pm Link to this comment

David J. Cyr, January 26 at 6:16 pm Link to this comment

QUOTE (David Byron):

“You [Inherit a Fart] didn’t elect him [Obama].  The elites did and they have got from him exactly what they wanted.”
***************

You’re a class act—all of it low-class.  Tell me, do you tell your kids “Pull my finger” and then break wind?

Report this

By felicity, January 26, 2011 at 2:22 pm Link to this comment

SoTexGuy - Your MLK “put the people to work” reminded
of a conversation I overheard between a homeless
woman who had stopped in for lunch at the soup
kitchen I was running and a well-coiffed, Brooks
Brother suited man who had ‘volunteered’ his precious
time to council the women on how to get their lives
together.

From the moment he said, “I have come not to give you
a fish but to teach you how to fish” it was all down
hill.  The woman, one of the feistier, told the man
that she already fuckin’ knew how to fish, had been
‘fishing’ since the age of 16 and what she needed now
from him was a job offer “so she could have fish for
dinner that night instead of fuckin’ nothing.” 

His (sotto voce)  comment to me on his way out of the
soup kitchen?  “Ungrateful bunch, aren’t they.”

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By marriea, January 26, 2011 at 2:08 pm Link to this comment

Most of these speeches are platitude. But unless one expects Obama to personally create jobs for the umemployed,expects him to personally give everyone who lost money and homes to the bubble bust in the last recession, unless we expect him to personally give back all the money that was lost to investors, then really all he can offer is platitude, words of encouragement and hope.
Who is the person that quipped that there is a sucker born everyday. When a rich man or a man of means offers you something from him that will ‘benefit you’, one of the first questions a person should ask is WHY. I have known or heard of few person in ‘position’ who do something for other ‘just because’. In a perfect world, they might, but we don’t.
Back in the 90s,  Clinton,in words to the wise, said get an education, and proceeded to limit welfare. I think he knew of countless people who lived their lives on getting government assistant. I’ve had to take it myself, but after three years, decided it wasn’t for me. One of these days those programs are going to end. Period. There are many who follow those programs like migrant workers. Some claim that’s what the big shots do to get over, and to an extent they are correct.  But big shots have it set up to cover their backs. Banks lend money and charge interest on the loan. My big beef is the finance charges. But, if one need the money, we sign on the dotted line to get it. Many folks had the desire of a dream house, but didn’t have the capital necessary to pay for it outright. But do your dream home have to be a six bedroom/4 bathroom/3 car garage if your income is on a little better than $75,000.00 or less. And if the appraised value of is $350,000 or more. Why didn’t the buyer ask questions. Because you throught that banker would be forthright. The cynic would say, it’s nothing personal, just business.
It would be nice if our business and politians could be balantly honest with us, but many of us can’t ‘Handle The Truth’ because like kids we all want to taste or eat that big cake in the window. That’s American as apple pie and also human. I long to win the lottery even though I know my chance are next to nil. But like many, I too roll my $2-3 and although more times than not, I come up snakeyes, I still hope.
I suspect that’s mostly what Pres Obama was getting at. Hope. But he was also talking about having a back-up plan, education/training of some sort, just in case one has to work for it. The jobs that most of us use to have are gone,(Check out the movie Primary Colors) they might come back, but not at least for another generation.  That was a trend started in the early 90s if not sooner.
In our constitution there is something about the life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.  We have life, we have liberty under most conditions, but that pursuit of happiness; one is always at liberty to pursue it, but you have to be in better shape and smarter than the next guy to catch it.
And hope for a bit of luck on the way.

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By David, January 26, 2011 at 2:00 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Nothing will change until all of the children and grandchildren of those writing, commenting and reporting on these events are subject to the draft.

The 2 wars are the reason we are in this mess.

We will have ENDLESS WARS as long as the general population is NOT REQUIRED to sacrifice.

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ohiolibgal's avatar

By ohiolibgal, January 26, 2011 at 1:45 pm Link to this comment

What you said Mr. Scheer, 100% - though we are not only wasting trillions on bankers, we are dribbling away trillions on endless war.

Obma surely as a gift for words, I’ll give him that. However he continually has sold us down the river in favor of his corporate overlords.

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By MeHere, January 26, 2011 at 1:42 pm Link to this comment

Thurston:

You make some very good points.  I think (I hope) R. Scheer knows this but he was just responding to O’s speech.  It is true though that the focus needs to be on the real center of power. Discussing Obama and the two parties is a waste of time by now.

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By alturn, January 26, 2011 at 1:24 pm Link to this comment

When “The biggest applause of the evening comes in response to this line: “And we must always remember that the Americans who have borne the greatest burden in this struggle are the men and women who serve our country”,  then we got a problem.  The people who are bearing the greatest burden are those that do not know if they are ever going to see a paycheck again or ever receive any help from the government.

Obama demands nothing of us nor looks to inspire us as he believes that the Ivy School elite are all that are necessary to guide the country into its prosperity.  We have gone polar opposite of the democratic perspective of FDR.

“I shall sustain all who call for Peace, for Justice and brotherly Love. I shall call to My side all who love their brothers. From all parties and all nations they will come, gathering around Me. I shall fill their hearts with hope and Love, and in mounting numbers they shall conquer the world. This process has begun.
Already the voices of the people are being heard. Louder and louder they cry for Justice, for Peace for all time. A renewed hope seizes mankind, and this gladdens My heart.”
- Messages from Maitreya the Christ

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By Ingrid Shafer, January 26, 2011 at 1:23 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Has anyone on this blog ever heard of genuine DIALOGUE in which all sides do their best to understand and learn from the other(s)involved How about “rising to a compromise”? Obama MUST work with Democrats and Republicans, liberals and conservatives, corporations, and individuals,left-wing and right-wing fundies, the entire spectrum from the wealthy to the indigent!  How do you expect him to honor all of those conflicting demands?????

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By keepyourheaddown, January 26, 2011 at 1:20 pm Link to this comment

Nuclear war, the answer to the never ending greed and world wide insanity…

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David J. Cyr's avatar

By David J. Cyr, January 26, 2011 at 1:16 pm Link to this comment

QUOTE (David Byron):

“You [Inherit a Fart] didn’t elect him [Obama].  The elites did and they have got from him exactly what they wanted.”
____________

You are correct!

POTUS selections for installation are determined by corporate “contributions” to campaigns of the two “electables” that the corporate party’s corporate “contributions” determined primaries produce. The “election” results can usually be clearly seen in advance (see FEC filings directly… or summary compilations at OpenSecrets.org).

The firm solidarity of the corporate party’s conservatives and liberals has resulted in “elections” now only allowing natural persons the opportunity to free-will choose to demonstrate their loyalty and willingness to be (R) & (D) accomplices in all the crimes of the corporate persons’ government.

Any votes for good natural persons, or for any good and sensible policies are “wasted vote” ridiculed by the devious element in the massive majority that serves the corporate party.

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By WSmart, January 26, 2011 at 1:05 pm Link to this comment

Oh come now Robert, I’m sure this is something you could resolve over a few drinks…

Global warming and global warring have nothing on global denial;  be real, be sober.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rUQT4hykPd0

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By y21k, January 26, 2011 at 1:01 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The Financial Crises Inquiry Commission (FCIC) has 10 commissioners, 6 are Democrats.
The minority Republican commissioners have issued 2 reports, one report from 3 of the Republicans and another from the other Republican. These minority reports are part of the FCIC’s overall report and the NYT chose to ignore those findings.

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Thurston's avatar

By Thurston, January 26, 2011 at 12:53 pm Link to this comment

Sometimes Truthdig articles like this one do leave one incredulous.

This perennial lament about Obama’s mealymouthedness, for example. Are you pretending not to know, Mr Scheer, after having been inundated by evidence for two years, that Obama is but a figurehead?

That’s not a slight to the president, nor entirely a result of the embarrassment that hobbles those of us who supported him almost unconditionally, from the Iowa caucuses on.

Au contraire, the system is now structured, as you SURELY know, such that no one who sits in the White House can depart far from the pre-determined policies and priorities. Those calling the shots are in the wings off stage. They OK’d Obama’s candidacy and election because they knew he would not resist them, and that he’d serve as a lightning rod for misdirected disillusionment and discontent.

Like yours, apparently. Imagine the relief you might feel if you dropped the charade and openly recognized the actual limits to the power of elected officials in this country.

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By M L, January 26, 2011 at 12:50 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The financial oligarchy commendeered our government years ago for profit and greed. They catapulted us into two wars for the greed of the oil cartels, war profiteers and personal ambitions of the war criminals. They are using our FED to create trillions of dollars out of thin air by manipulating interest rates, chainging reserve ratios and open market operations.  They’ve turned our US. Treasury into their own personal ATM machines withdrawing trillions of dollars to cover their bad debts, toxic assets and zero interest loans. Their risky and unregulated business deals resulted in millions of Americans losing their jobs, savings and homes. Our 14 trillion dollar debt is the result of two unfunded wars, tax cuts for the wealthy and the Bush unfunded medicare D. Now the repubicans are asking the poor and working class to pay down this debt by taking money from social security and medicare. The banksters, war profiteers, oil cartels, and corporate cons enabled by corrupt public officials, lobbyist and politicians accured this 14 trillion dollar debt and need to pay for it. We need to tax people making over 1 million dollars and close the tax loop holes for corporations. We need to break up big pharma and the private insurance monopolies with a public option or medicare for all. We need to identify the politicians bought and paid for by special interest and replace a disfunctional and illegal legislative process. We need to put people back to work and shore up our neglected infrastructure and educational system. We need to write constitutional amendments for term limits, campaign finance reform and increased electoral competition because our elections are rigged and our government is corrupt. We the people have a right and responsibility to establish a new and better government

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By David Lucier, January 26, 2011 at 12:45 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The left and the right are united in their diatribes against President Obama. I think the President is developing a difficult strategy, but the only possible one—of guiding a wagon with two mules puling in contrary directions.
  One must consider the overwhelming right-wing militarist and authoritarian culture in this country. Following Robert Scheer’s solutions would have provoked the military-political-industrial-complex mule to buck, kick, and gallop over the brink (its subconscious death wish.)
  Obama is moving slowly, the economic plunge has been halted on the edge (although still sliding toward the abyss.) He has now re-focused on the “engines” of growth—a hybrid mule of education, health care, infrastructure, and business.
  Obama has entrained the right-wing into a dialectic of compliance, using their own rhetoric. If he succeeds and pulls the country away from this predicament, he will be the only one who could have cajoled the right-wing conservatives into a self saving maneuver.
  Getting the country to move in an economically sensible direction is like teaching a mule to sing. I take off my hat to Barak Obama, because he holds the reigns on a cart that needs repair—repair that will take more than our lifetimes.

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prisnersdilema's avatar

By prisnersdilema, January 26, 2011 at 12:40 pm Link to this comment

President Ojama continues to do what he does best, misdirect and dissemble. His real agenda is hidden behind rhetoric that is designed to hold on to his Democratic base, while continuing to pursue an agenda that is inimical to his base. 

The words he uses, and their phrasing, are ones that have been used by many presidents before, ones that are easy to believe in. Those words are the bait for the hopeful.

Essentially both political parties are fighting over what ever spoils this countries has left. Neither political party has anything to offer, except farming the people for their debts.

President Ojama was elected to end the conservative corporate hegemony that is destroying this country. Instead he saved it, from destruction by its own incompetence. Then he adopted its delusions, as his administrations policies.

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By abikecommuter, January 26, 2011 at 12:30 pm Link to this comment

The government will always be the guys who profit from polluters and appoint
regulators to sleep with resource extractors. We cant stumble around waiting for godot. 
A black man in the Klan’s mansion does not a deliverance make. He too has been
socialized in what the constitution should mean and who we are. So how will we lead
the sheep astray from the folds of oppression? When will the sheep look up?

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DavidByron's avatar

By DavidByron, January 26, 2011 at 12:26 pm Link to this comment

Wind: “He hasn’t done what we elected him to do, which was reverse the excesses of the Bush regime, in economics, justice and foreign policy.”

Well of course you are being euphemistic here.  Obama is worse than Bush on all those things and more.  Obama is a far right winger.  He has normalized what was seen as excess under Bush.  Now it is “bipartisan” to eg torture US citizens, assassinate people without any legal process, wiretap everyone in the US etc.

But you are wrong about electing him.  You didn’t elect him.  The elites did and they have got from him exactly what they wanted.  Obama has been hugely successful and the only place he could improve is on slashing social security.  He’s looking good for being able to do that too.

A lot of people say he can’t be re-elected because his base are against him, but his real base is for him and very happy, and therefore I expect he’ll be re-“elected”.

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BarbieQue's avatar

By BarbieQue, January 26, 2011 at 12:20 pm Link to this comment

Well it sure is nice to see the Usual Suspects® flummoxed by Robert Scheers irritating habit of speaking truth to power.

Har Dee Har Har

Truth
cuts like a knife

“All right, they’re on our left, they’re on our right, they’re in front of us, they’re behind us…they can’t get away this time”
- Lewis B. “Chesty” Puller, USMC

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By Inherit The Wind, January 26, 2011 at 12:17 pm Link to this comment

Max, I haven’t missed anything.  Well, maybe some details.

I’m pissed as shit at Obama, Reid and Pelosi, for having squandered the last two years, and not having crushed the GOP, instead allowing them to prevent, delay and poison needed policies.  But especially Obama.

“Bi-partisan” and “compromise” is nice and needed, but he (even more than Reid and Pelosi) doesn’t seem to realize that capitulation and appeasement isn’t bi-partisanship or compromise.

He hasn’t done what we elected him to do, which was reverse the excesses of the Bush regime, in economics, justice and foreign policy.

I was FURIOUS that they gave that 2 year tax cut to the richest Americans (at a cost of $700 billion) in order to get 1 year of unemployment.  Considering that tax cut for 1 year could pay for unemployment for 2.5 to 3 years, is just sickening. (the arithmetic is easy—5% get a mean of $85,000. Each person on unemployment averages $16,000 in benefits—10% unemployment—for each person on UI we are spending $42,500 in tax cuts for the wealthiest 5%)

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DavidByron's avatar

By DavidByron, January 26, 2011 at 12:15 pm Link to this comment

Let’s play spot the right-wing meme!  Yeah, it’s easy just buzz in when you hear the progressive repeating right wing drivel.  See how far this one gets…...

“The speech was a distraction from what seriously ails us: an unabated mortgage crisis, stubbornly high unemployment and a debt that spiraled out of control”

BZZZZZT!

Deficits are good during a recession sorry—saying otherwise is a right wing meme.

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By GoyToy, January 26, 2011 at 12:13 pm Link to this comment

I did not, nor was there any point in listening to the SOTU. Same ole, same ole.

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By amike, January 26, 2011 at 12:09 pm Link to this comment

I just unsubscribed from the Truthdig Newsletter.  I was directed to the website to tell why.  So I will.  I am simply fed up with the self-righteous, holier-than-though attitude which permeates Truthdig more and more.  I am far too heterodox in my political views to enjoy learning why Keith Olbermann generates a Meh moment for William Pitt Rivers, or why Robert Scheer thinks Obama’s speech is Hogwash.  I suspect that if our President es ever caught picking his nose on camera Mr. Scheer will fine his motions too right-wing to be tolerated.  Couple that with a begging plea in every newsletter I simply have lost faith and trust in this version of “progressive” fundamentalism.

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By MeHere, January 26, 2011 at 12:06 pm Link to this comment

Good commentary by R. Scheer.  Predictable speech by Obama with lots of flag
waving and no leadership value. He knows what the public likes to hear. “The
Competition Myth” is an article written by Paul Krugman before the speech:

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/24/opinion/24krugman.html?
_r=1&partner=rssnyt&emc=rss

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By StuartH, January 26, 2011 at 11:57 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I was watching the speech from a room in a hospice.  The realities of dealing
with bureaucratic systems and the ways that health care is financed are very
hard for anyone to wrap their heads around.  If you ask doctors about it, they
usually will avoid the subject because they are challenged enough as it is by
just trying to provide the best of their minds for their patients. 

The unfortunate truth of things is that there is really no one at the top.  We
have instead, large systems that no one fully understands with people
attempting to cope. 

It would be helpful of people who are in a position to provide journalism to an
audience out in the public would actually get up to speed on the complexity
that people who are not journalists have to deal with. 

It would be helpful if anyone in the media would undertake to really “get it”
about the real political science of how things work.

I get the impression from reading Scheer, that he is content to operate from
things he learned years ago and hasn’t bothered to challenge assumptions in a
long time.

This doesn’t serve the debate well.  But then, nobody who gets paid to provide
punditry seems to have a relationship with the real world.  They are all
operating from an idea of it. 

This is why, when people listen to a speech like the State of the Union address,
it seems to be written for a Readers’ Digest audience.  That is because in the
US, we operate in a bifurcated reality.  There is what you can say in public,
defined by what is in the common parliance because of the work of all those in
the media and public life, and then there is the more complicated reality of
how things really work that is only discussable with those people who have
some actual participation. 

That is the essence of our problem.  The solution would really be to rip the
cover off of what the difference is.  Nobody, however, seems to be willing to
do that.  Most likely that is because it really takes more time and effort than
anybody has.

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By mrfreeze, January 26, 2011 at 11:45 am Link to this comment

I never thought I’d see the day that (as a Slate commentator wrote) “the SOTU” turned into a “Tony Robbins” corporate-motivational speech.

Ultimately, I reject being corralled into a room where the “top dawgs” go on about how “we’re going to beat the competition” and then, after the meeting the executives all get into their limos for a round on the golf course….whilst Human Resources implements the next lay-off.

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By BR549, January 26, 2011 at 11:37 am Link to this comment

So many great comments here.

Obama does have one gift; at least he can speak. The problem is that nothing becomes of it and its all bullshit; he just seems to say it better and then we are let down all that much harder. While all his free advertising references of citizens waiting for their 5 seconds of national exposure were to somehow show that all Americans can be a part of the family, one person stood out for me. That was the Center Rock president, Brandon Fisher, who stole the stage for me. That was the American dream, the American attitude, and the American know-how. The rest of the SOTU address was just bullshit.

Obama spoke about decreasing unnecessary paperwork, but forgot to mention that the fake Food Safety Bill just buried our only hope to revive our piss poor agriculture, in yes, more unnecessary paperwork. Then with the camera focused on bovine Janet Napolitano while telling us about safety and security; ........ please, I’m ready to hurl.

Look, if the people are going to want to become a part of something again, they have to believe in something of substance. Instead of feeling a part of something, this lame ass speech just leaves everyone apart from it. So far, Barry doesn’t have a good track record. He says one thing and does or allows the exact opposite. You want some confidence from the people? Start a 9/11 investigation and a war crimes trial; then we’ll start taking the legislature seriously. Meanwhile. for starters, start honoring state sovereignty. Try doing that and watch how fast people start believing in something.

Once burnt, twice shy!

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By David J. Cyr, January 26, 2011 at 11:10 am Link to this comment

Re: Bankster Bailout Apologists here:

If lax security allowed you and your crew to enter Fort Knox to rob all its gold, but you then found you couldn’t carry the weighty loot off, would the whole government quickly come to your rescue?

Would the massive mountain of wealth you stole, and all the financial chaos you caused for billions of people all over the planet be all forgiven and forgotten when you paid back the billions the government loaned you to help you getaway with your loot?

The conservative/liberal (R) & (D) corporate party government was an accomplice before, during and after the biggest transfer of wealth from too many houses to too few pockets… the grandest theft (so far) among the many systemically cyclical rigged market thefts of wealth from many to few.

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By David J. Cyr, January 26, 2011 at 11:08 am Link to this comment

QUOTE (Obama):

“Starting this year, no American will be forbidden from serving the country they love because of who they love.”
____________

TRANSLATION:

Starting this year, gays are U.S. military encouraged to be openly gay, if they volunteer to commit war crimes.

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By David J. Cyr, January 26, 2011 at 11:07 am Link to this comment

Re: Obama’s “CLean” Energy initiative:

Clean coal doesn’t exist, and “natural” gas, which is now un-natural shale gas is not clean either.

The Un-Clean and Un-Natural Side of Natural Gas:

http://www.un-naturalgas.org/Un-Natural_Natural_Gas-090129.pdf

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By David J. Cyr, January 26, 2011 at 11:06 am Link to this comment

Re: ObamaCare’s accounting burden for small business:

If we actually had healthcare, it would be Single-Payer, and then no employer would be Obama “burdened with unnecessary bookkeeping” because no employees would be sickness nurturing claim denying medical insurance “benefit” shackled to their employers.

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By MaxShields, January 26, 2011 at 11:06 am Link to this comment

Inherit The Wind, January 26 at 3:19 pm

You have a point from a pure accuracy perspective,  regarding what seems to have been “paid back” and perhaps Scheers unrelenting focus on Clinton advisors and the banks and Obama’s desire to embrace these codgers is a bit narrow in digesting Obama’s recent SOTU. I think Scheer’s point is correct regarding Obama’s Clintonesque/Bush/Reagan philosphical underpinnings; but would suggest there is more we should be deeply concerned about regarding Obama.

So, ITW I think you are correct while missing the larger point. That point is the deeper analysis of the Obama policies as it continues with the recent legacies and even surpasses them in “legitamizing” them through law. It is this larger issue that is at hand here.

If you think business as usual with a different Dem face is all that is called for than Obama is your man.

I’m impressed with Rocky Anderson. You may want to check him out on DN on today’s show.

I have grave misgivings about this system as it has evolved and the fact that it is a corporatist owned empire. We can dance around those central issues as if they don’t exist along with our nearly 1,000 global bases and 2 wars; and simply debate the limp point that some billions came back from the banks.

My issue with Scheer’s regular columns is that he seems to lack a deep understanding of our economics of endless unsustainable growth. Instead he excludes this to the full attention of deregulation and the cabal of the banks and WallStreeters. We do not solve our systemic and stuctural problems by attending only to the investment sector; though that is critical, but act II is what really matters. And for that we need deep transformation that will not come from Wallstreet regulation or probably the WH.

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By question, January 26, 2011 at 11:04 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Brilliant, & rather understated analysis at least according to my own frame of mind which vacillates between fear & rage.  It occurred to me the other day that the greatest failings of Communist/Socialist regimes in recent decades wasn’t the goals, but rather the mandates.  They mandated a certain crop tonnage or productivity percentage without regard to the “comrades” well-being.  Those who didn’t perform were tortured & disappeared.

What occurred to me is that this ultimate obscenity of US Capitalism is exactly the same, except Obama & his bankers demand tax money & other revenues while ignoring the real state of the real people.  They’ll get it any way they can by stealing education from our children (eliminate grades, cursive classes, school meals, etc.). eliminate police, fire depts., pensions, - it’s endless.

All the war spending must continue, all the profiteering must continue, all the overseas investment & jobs must continue & Obama is the most hypocritical, pathetic shill of them all.

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By Lilburne, January 26, 2011 at 11:03 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Two groups of people currently love Obama.

One is the bunch of die-hard Kool-Aid drinkers who would never see anything wrong with Obama even if he killed someone on the Capitol steps at high noon.

The second group is led by Dick Cheney, Newt Gingrich and Ben Stein, who now believe Obama is “seeing the light” and has become as Republican as they are. They pat Obama on the back for continuing Bush’s policies in Iraq and Afghanistan and, in general, helping the Wall St. goons who are sucking the blood out of the American middle class.

Ben Stein even suggests Obama should run for re-election on the Republican ticket, leaving the Democratic nomination to someone who actually is a Democrat and pushes Democratic policies.

The Republicans love Obama for thinking, as they do, that Ronald Reagan was The Greatest.

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By JJW, January 26, 2011 at 10:45 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

A rather Reaganomic like speech in which he blames the poor and unemployed for their conditions, while planning to give even more money to criminals on Wall Street and championing failed policies hatched in right-wing think tanks and brokered on K Street that outsources living wages to third world nations, for Global Corporations profits that are hidden in off shore bank accounts.

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By Inherit The Wind, January 26, 2011 at 10:19 am Link to this comment

As usual, if one doesn’t follow the dogmatic, blinder-bound left-wing orthodoxy, one gets attacked.

Thanks to my defenders.  For those who claim they are going to ignore me, please, go right ahead.

There is much to question as to the substance of the President’s speech.  But Scheer’s layering-on of bullshit reduces HIS credibility.

Oh, and a little study of the following will show the misunderstanding of a certain Nobel prize by left-wing dogmatics here:

http://nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/economics/laureates/1997/press.html

(PS: If Rush Limbaugh says “good morning” I assume he’s lying….)

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By PRGP, January 26, 2011 at 10:14 am Link to this comment

Superb analysis.  Wish all in DC were forced to read it and respond publicly.

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By MaxShields, January 26, 2011 at 10:14 am Link to this comment

By Shenonymous, January 26 at 2:34 pm

Your response is what so many conclude is the voice of the “liberal class”. We all kind of know what that means but only through posts like yours can we actually seize on its presence in the political mix.

This liberal class is more concerned about the Republicans (and now Tea Party) than it is in the real problems (yes, reality) and whether Obama, and or the political status quo 1) recognizes them 2) has even the semblence of an idea about what we can do.

I, and most others, all know about the political “realism” that has led us to this point in time (8 years of Clinton is a clinic in such maneuvers - gets him re-elected and us with a deregulated banking system, and they kiss of NAFTA). Mr. Obama has taken the reigns of a declining empire. His response is to double down and give it one more “empire” go. Harking back to what other Presidents during the rise and gradual decline of the empire have done before him. And of course there’s those pesky little wars we got going on in the background.

I don’t know if the position of president doesn’t allow for the change we truly need, or if the person occupying that position needs to have the capacity to transcend it. (By transcend I don’t mean singing Kumbaya with the lyrics of “compromise” (you take this half of the baby, I’ll take that, and we all can say we got something. The stakes are just to high for that.)

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By raymondtovo@gmail.com, January 26, 2011 at 10:11 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

politicians speak from both sides of their mouths. this one puts great emphasis on the words that come out of his mouth very duplicitous and weak..Being a hi tech baby ,he know how to use the pulpit to lie and persuade anybody but his backers. Pleas do not listen to this man or others like him to do so, is pain and suffering, beyond belief.. Think for your selves and get on with life.
He is another mortician birdying the American economy. Vote NADER NEXT TIME.
thank YOU FOR A GOOD ARTICLE.

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By Arabian Sinbad, January 26, 2011 at 10:05 am Link to this comment

I agree with every word Robert Scheer said.

Particularly, I agree with what he said about the “highest-achieving graduates of our elite colleges who designed and sold the financial gimmicks that created this crisis.”

Obama, no doubt, is increasingly showing his elitist colors and I don’t like what I see to say the least!

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By surfnow, January 26, 2011 at 10:02 am Link to this comment

ITW and Shenamonous:
It depends on howyou define “paid back.”  What Obama and the Fed did was take over the toxic MBS ( mortgage based securities) which by the way caused m the meltdown in the first place, then further deregulated financial istitutions which allowed banks to raise interest on credit cards and mortagage holders, thereby pssing their 700 billion debt to the consumer. What should have been done was the banks should have been forced to pass that bailout money back to the economy in low inteerst lons which would have stimulated the economy. Saying that the banks “paid back” their bailout is only telling half the truth at best- it is what talking heads like Limbaugh and Hannity are xperts at.

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By Shenonymous, January 26, 2011 at 9:34 am Link to this comment

ITW is correct.  East West Bankcorp fully paid back, JP Morgan paid
their 25 billion, Stanley Morgan and Goldman Sachs repaid their 10
billion and nine other banks paid back the TARP with interest.  And
Obama is smart. He realizes what you far lefts do not, that the
Republicans have power and money and that to get anything done
he will have to work with them on some things.  Am I happy about
it?  NO!  But reality therapy is what is needed.  I realize that to
criticize and wail about his motion towards the right will pull him
more left and I think that is good, but I am a centrist liberal and that
means watching the money.  I think Republicans are way over the
formulaic right edge into the bottomless deep abyss of irrational
conservatism, they all have the same nutsy script, but to counteract
them, Democrats in Congress have to pull harder to the left but also
to realize there is a lot of waste particularly in the military, particularly
in the military, particularly in the military.  Can we say that enough
times?  Yes to be conscious is to realize the debt has to be reduced but
where the reductions come from is the debate.  I think it would be
worthwhile to criticize particular Republicans and their insanity
proposals.  For instance the blustering and gibberish babble of Michelle
Bachmann’s.

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By Rixar13, January 26, 2011 at 9:27 am Link to this comment

“The speech was a distraction from what seriously ails us:”
Prosecution of War Criminals and opposing the party of No… smile grin

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By GM, January 26, 2011 at 9:26 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Best Republican President in a decade, but just barely.

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By Rixar13, January 26, 2011 at 9:23 am Link to this comment

“The speech was a distraction from what seriously ails us: “

Prosecution of War Criminals and opposing the party of No… Smile grin

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By Mr. Muhammad Zamiluddin Khan, January 26, 2011 at 9:21 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I must admit my first hand read of Obama’s State of Union Address is the remarks and excerpts that I read in Robert Scheer’ this article. Before making comment as to substance , let me be very frank that the President has two unique responsibilities that none of us bear: one is the responsibility is to serve as the Point of Hope and Inspiration and second to come up with ideas that a nation needs in times of crisis to forge national consensus.As to the Financial Crisis I as someone with no responsibility to motivate the Nation would say that we should be very careful to assume that the worst is over ,may be the known territory is getting reappeared int he World of Finance that two years ago were just unthinkable with one caveat that the next time around if the Reforms fail , more importantly if the National consensus is not there then the worst is yet to come.And that Worst situation would give only two options War and or Collapse.In both case the financial outcomes of wars are always unknown as we know from the Iraq War and secondly we really do not speculate who is our friend and who is not in the era of WTO and Global Trade and knowing that the US has 25% of the World’s Economy no one is likely to challenge the USA unless there is no option this much is known.Second,if the US Economy rebounds others will also prosper and that is also known- those who would not survive the present years are capable of sensing it now and they could start working with coming up ideological wars such as Islamophobia which is “Bad Economics f” for me.So cautious but optimistic as to the Future that is the message Obama gave and I think that is right.Thanks.Mr. Muhammad Zamiluddin Khan aka Zamil Khan[Muhammad Khan’92,HSPH]

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By RayLan, January 26, 2011 at 9:15 am Link to this comment

In ITW’s defense

TARP repayments exceed outstanding bailout debt, Treasury says
Banks have returned $194 billion, topping the $190 billion in TARP funds still outstanding. The news is hailed as a milestone for the controversial program.
June 12, 2010|By Jim Puzzanghera, Los Angeles Times
Reporting from Washington —


The Treasury Department on Friday hailed what it called a milestone in the history of the controversial $700-billion bailout fund: For the first time, the amount repaid by banks and other recipients has surpassed the outstanding balance.

In the latest monthly report to Congress on the Troubled Asset Relief Program, or TARP, Treasury officials said repayments had reached $194 billion. That figure tops the $190 billion in bailout money still outstanding.
http://articles.latimes.com/2010/jun/12/business/la-fi-tarp-repayment-20100612

The deficit hawks are disappointed they can’t serve up the red herring distraction from Wall Street criminality.

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By Hubert Hoag, January 26, 2011 at 9:11 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Interestingly enough, today, the NYT came out with the results of an inquiry into the “financial crisis” which shows that, surprise, surprise! it was avoidable.  I wonder if our illustrious president is going to prosecute those guilty of theft, embezzlement, fraud, lies.

“Financial Crisis Was Avoidable, Inquiry Finds”

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/26/business/economy/26inquiry.html?_r=1

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By Magginkat, January 26, 2011 at 9:10 am Link to this comment

What a farce!  Yet a lot of people listening to that BS will be exclaiming how great it was and what a great orator he is.  Bullschitt! We don’t need a great orator.  We need someone with the guts to stand up to the greedy corporations and the corrupt Congress.


To add insult to injury apparently all the networks allowed that idiot Michelle Bachman to give a speech for the Tea Baggers.  Actually that might have been the perfect ending to this lousy speech.

I knew it had to be as bad as I thought when I turned on the TV this morning and found Fox praising this speech! 

I have yet to hear about a cut to that wasteful military budget.  Just what will we do to out-compete the world?  Force more people into poverty than China or India?

Where are the jobs Mr. Obama?

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By marta, January 26, 2011 at 9:10 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Doesn’t matter what Obama says or does because the Tea Party intends to accoumplish what the Fascist American Liberty League failed do in 1930’s. To overthrow the government, oust FDR, STOP the new Deal to help the needy,—and Implement the Hiterian Policies, with the help of the wealthy,- such as Prescott Bush, Fred KOCH, duPonts, Ford, and now the KOCH sons, Murdoch and such, to STOP the help for the needy. The past is now in the future.

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By SoTexGuy, January 26, 2011 at 9:09 am Link to this comment

It’s safe to say Mr. Scheer has joined the gang of naughty liberals and progressives that the White house spokespeople find so offensive?

About the big issue of education in America.. and the looming crisis of Social Security.. What do these things have in common? They represent huge, mind boggling sums of money.. Taxpayer money.

That is why they will be identified as ‘in crisis’ and failures and more.. The President and Congress will ‘be forced’ to intervene to save us. The big investment banks and the richest of the rich will cash in billions.. Ultimately the end product will be worse than what we have now.. and more expensive.. look what happened when public utilities were sold off to these vultures.. Prices soared and service evaporated. Heck, you can’t even stomach the tap water in many places.

And just look in the news at so many voices crying for utility infrastructure upgrades.. why? to sell that also at some cut-rate price to some Enron clone? It was the looting of our myriad public assets that funded the economic ‘boom’ of the ‘70s and ‘80s.. Look what we got in return. Butkis!

But the ‘crisis’ seed has been planted. It may take a little longer than Bush had planned for it to bear big fruit but the corporations will get our school funding. The promise we made to our elderly that their Social Security payments would be saved for their retirement will be broken.. all because of crisis and to bring about ‘change’.

And about education to build employment.. I’d remind our President Obama of a letter sent to Lyndon Johnson by M.L.King at a time of social unrest due to unemployment and income inequality.. He wrote ‘Put the people to work’ and that it was a false choice to say we had to create workers for jobs. It was imperative to create jobs for our many idle workers. Training and education could come afterward..

And finally, this piece by Mr. Scheer is so timely and well focused that I’ll forego any skepticism that a return to a climate of wildly inflated real estate would solve anything. smile

Adios!

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By fred 11, January 26, 2011 at 9:08 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The US is like a bus that’s gone over a cliff. Some people know the difference
between flying and falling. Others don’t. The guy in the driver’s seat still thinks
he’s in control. Others around him confidently are giving him directions on where
to steer. What these people don’t grasp is that history has shown us the bus takes
everyone on the same ride to the same place.

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By MK Ultra, January 26, 2011 at 9:05 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

What else could be expected from Amerika, Inc.‘s top salesman?

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By Go Right Young Man, January 26, 2011 at 9:04 am Link to this comment

surfnow, - Actually ITW, - “talking points of Limbaugh to Hannity and O’Reilly. I suggest you turn off FoxNews and spend some more time reading.”

ITW, a FOX News booster.  Likely also a paid operative of the GOP.

ROFLMAO

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By Ray Duray, January 26, 2011 at 9:02 am Link to this comment

Inherit the Wind,

Did you just take your Ignorarmus pills? Sheesh, man, can’t you read a balance sheet? The FRB’s balance sheet has ballooned since Q3 2008 with over $3 Trillion in bad assets posing as something having value. This is unprecedented in history, as is the $1.4 Trillion deficit in the Federal Budget for FY 2010 with more $ Trillion+ deficits lined up from here to eternity. You seem particularly ignorant about financial matters.

Which is proven by your stupid assertion #2. Are you so ill-informed that you are unaware that Robert Merton and Myron Scholes won the Nobel Economics Prize in 1997 for their work on pricing derivatives?

Thank you for pointing out conclusively that from now on I can without any risk ignore the ravings of Inherit the Gasbag.

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By thebeerdoctor, January 26, 2011 at 8:55 am Link to this comment

surfnow makes a salient point. To understand how much money was stolen by Wall Street banking, you need to read Nomi Prins.

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By Go Right Young Man, January 26, 2011 at 8:50 am Link to this comment

President Obama uttered 6,082 words in his State of the Union and only 207 on health-care.  Must be a popular subject amongst the majority of Americans.

wink

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By surfnow, January 26, 2011 at 8:48 am Link to this comment

Actually ITW, yours is the biggest falsehood. The banks have not repaid any of their debt.That is the lie that has passed from the talking points of Limbaugh to Hannity and O’Reilly. I suggest you turn off FoxNews and spend some more time reading.

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By FiftyGigs, January 26, 2011 at 8:47 am Link to this comment

TruthDig—conservative apologists.

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By winsome1, January 26, 2011 at 8:46 am Link to this comment

Well said, Mr. Scheer.

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By madisolation, January 26, 2011 at 8:44 am Link to this comment

Hear! Hear! “Platitudinous hogwash!” I’m going to recommend this column to others.
I did not watch the SOTU, because I can’t stand to look at Obama or listen to his voice. However, I’ll bet I can tell you how it went: With his nose in the air and his chin jutted out, he looked like some tinpot dictator, as he shilled for the corporate takeover of this once-great country.
Sad for us that we can’t run him out of office…NOW. Take heed, Mr. President. We are beginning to identify with those brave souls in Tunisia and Egypt.

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By surfnow, January 26, 2011 at 8:42 am Link to this comment

Obama always reminds me of couple of lines from Sinclair Lewis’ novel Elmer Gantry.  ” He was born to be a senator. He never says anything important, but he always says it so well.”

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By ProfBob, January 26, 2011 at 8:35 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Criticism is easy. What do all you commentators have done if you are handed the economy that Obama was? And he was right on regarding education. When we are tied with Thailand, at around 30th internationally in math, it is no wonder that our high school graduates and dropouts have such a high unemployment rate. Our college graduates are under 6% in unemployment. And yet our average college graduate cannot read at the lower division level according to Office of Education statistics.
I wonder too if is not attacking the Republicans was an attempt to bring us all together—as he said.  in politics one needs to be concerned about the future, not dwell in the past—if that dwelling will be counterproductive for the future.

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By Dahlia, January 26, 2011 at 8:19 am Link to this comment

Obama is simply a puppet for the masters of Wall Street.  They are all intent on eliminating the middle class.

If we elect a new president in 2012, he/she will also be a puppet for the masters of Wall Street.  The U.S. government is no longer run “for the people or by the people”.  It is run by big corporations for the benefit of big corporations.  After all, corporations are people, too!

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By thebeerdoctor, January 26, 2011 at 7:59 am Link to this comment

Last night the President told the American people that times have changed and that we must compete with China and India. That of course is the message for the bewildered working stiffs who have seen their entire lives placed precariously out of balance in order to pay for the greed and mismanagement of the ownership elite, which President Obama holds so dear.
Yes the workers (how many are actually needed is for anybody to guess) must be refitted with lowered expectations, in order to maintain the corporate feudal state where executives are free to reward themselves with bonuses, which our Commander-in-Chief does not begrudge.
The President’s call for advanced technology was a silly wish list where wind, sun, nuclear, coal and natural gas, all come together and say yes we can! Comparing Edison and the Wright Brothers with Google and Facebook reveals Barack Obama’s superficial grasp of all this. He completely ignores all the low wage, labor intensives hands-on production required by the workers in Asian countries, to produce those actual gadgets and goods that have made the ownership elite rich beyond the dreams of avarice. Now, with organized labor reduced to a preposterous joke, the President wants Americans to compete for those same jobs and be grateful for this largess from the titans of new industry. Thank you very much.
Still worse was the President’s defense of the unending wars. Democrats who use to complain about George Bush’s militarism are now mum, believing it is an accomplishment that homosexuals can openly be available for the slaughter. The President’s call last night to open the doors of college campuses to military recruiters and ROTC reveal he has much in common with every belligerent jingoistic fop that ever sat in the White Hose.

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By RayLan, January 26, 2011 at 7:43 am Link to this comment

Listening to this over the top masturbatory blather about how America is best at everything was really painful.
Obama is so full of sh*t. Unfortunately the narcissistic culture of the US lends him a ready ear.
It becomes excruciatingly obvious why Americans have dug this deep hole for themselves. They are blind to themselves. Socrates’ dictum ‘Know thyself’ is once again irrefutably confirmed. He mentioned nothing about how the problem of dangerous financial practices was to be solved by strong regulations. Another bubble is being blown which when it pops next time - no amount of stimulus will rescue.
I am also tired of hearing about the debt. That’s the symptom, not the disease, namely corporate gluttony.

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By dsmith, January 26, 2011 at 7:35 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Obama SOTU speech…Blah Blah Blah..and oh yes..Blah

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By Inherit The Wind, January 26, 2011 at 7:30 am Link to this comment

Lemmee “a debt that spiraled out of control while the government wasted trillions making the bankers whole.”

Whoops! All but $40 billion was re-paid.  False statement #1.

“Indeed, some of the folks who once designed the phony mathematical formulas underwriting subprime mortgage-based derivatives won Nobel prizes for their effort.”

Yeah? Who won a Nobel for inventing a way to destroy an economy with derivatives? False statement #2.

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By ardee, January 26, 2011 at 7:21 am Link to this comment

For the first time in my memory as an adult I refused to listen to the State of the Union speech. I did so for a couple of reasons:

1. I pretty much knew that the man who declined to respect the law and prosecute those responsible for the economic collapse, the same man who continues the Bush policies of war, rendition and torture would have nothing to say that I might wish to hear.

2. Obama cannot, in my opinion and experience, come to grips with the realities of our problems, nor is he capable of the visionary thinking we now require, much less actually leading us in a new direction.

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By Stupid, January 26, 2011 at 6:59 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

http://dealbook.nytimes.com/2011/01/19/goldmans-eileen-rominger-to-join-s-e-c/

SEC employing Goldman staff ... no-one learns do they?

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By Michael Cavlan RN, January 26, 2011 at 5:42 am Link to this comment

OK

So when I ran for US Senate in Minnesota, I was the second candidate in the
country to call for the Impeachment of George Bush. The first was
Congressman John Conyers who called for Impeachment the day before I did.
Which means that I can safely say that I was the first candidate to call for
Impeachment of Bush and really mean it.

I just had an e-mail discussion with David Swanson.

He had no problem with a call for Impeachment of Obama. He said that it was
not going to happen. No kidding. Neither did Impeachment of Bush.

That is of not the point. Speaking truth to power is the point.

Let us start the discussion on Impeaching president Obama. For continuing the
crimes and abuses of power of the Bush Administration.

In Minneapolis the FBI have taken peace activists and forced them into Grand
Jury Investigations. The FBI infiltrated the peace movement here, with Agent
Karen Sullivan. All of which are done under the direct orders of Attorney General
Eric Holder. With the DIRECT and personal authority of president Obama. A
return of Cointel-Pro. Then we have the WikiLeaks, Julian Assange and Bradley
Manning issue.

IMPEACH OBAMA and then

CHRIS HEDGES FOR PRESIDENT

I could care less how many progressive angels dance on a libertarian pin.

These issues are far too important to not take action.

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