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Obama’s Faux Populism Sounds Like Bill Clinton

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Posted on Jan 26, 2012
AP / Saul Loeb

President Obama delivers his State of the Union address Tuesday on Capitol Hill.

By Robert Scheer

I’ll admit it: Listening to Barack Obama, I am ready to enlist in his campaign against the feed-the-rich Republicans ... until I recall that I once responded in the same way to Bill Clinton’s faux populism. And then I get angry because betrayal by the “good guys” for whom I have ended up voting has become the norm.

Yes, betrayal, because if Obama meant what he said in Tuesday’s State of the Union address about holding the financial industry responsible for its scams, why did he appoint the old Clinton crowd that had legalized those scams to the top economic posts in his administration? Why did he hire Timothy Geithner, who has turned the Treasury Department into a concierge service for Wall Street tycoons? 

Why hasn’t he pushed for a restoration of the Glass-Steagall Act, which Clinton’s deregulation reversed? Does the president really believe that the Dodd-Frank slap-on-the-wrist sellout represents “new rules to hold Wall Street accountable, so a crisis like this never happens again”? Can he name one single too-big-to-fail banking monstrosity that has been reduced in size on his watch instead of encouraged to grow ever larger by Treasury and Fed bailouts and interest-free money?

When Obama declared Tuesday evening “no American company should be able to avoid paying its fair share of taxes by moving jobs and profits overseas,” wasn’t he aware that Jeffrey Immelt, the man he appointed to head his jobs council, is the most egregious offender? Immelt, the CEO of GE, heads a company with most of its workers employed in foreign countries, a corporation that makes 82 percent of its profit abroad and has paid no U.S. taxes in the past three years.

It was also a bit bizarre for Obama to celebrate Steve Jobs as a model entrepreneur when the manufacturing jobs that the late Apple CEO created are in the same China that elsewhere in his speech the president sought to scapegoat for America’s problems. Apple, in its latest report on the subject, takes pride in attempting to limit the company’s overseas suppliers to a maximum workweek of 60 hours for their horribly exploited employees. Isn’t it weird to be chauvinistically China baiting when that country carries much of our debt?

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I’m also getting tired of the exhortations to improve the nation’s schools, certainly a worthy endeavor, but this economic crisis is the result not of high school dropouts as Obama suggested, but rather the corruption of the best and brightest graduates of our elite academies. As Obama well knows from his own trajectory in the meritocracy, which took him from one of the most privileged schools in otherwise educationally depressed Hawaii to Harvard Law, the folks who concocted the mathematical formulas and wrote the laws justifying fraudulent collateralized debt obligations and credit default swaps were his overachieving professors and classmates.

If he doesn’t know that, he should check out the record of Lawrence Summers, the man he picked to guide his economic program and who had been rewarded with the presidency of Harvard after having engineered Clinton’s deregulatory deal with Wall Street.

That is the real legacy of the Clinton years, and it is no surprise that GOP presidential contender Newt Gingrich has been campaigning on his rightful share of it. The international trade agreements that exported good U.S. jobs, the radical financial deregulation that unleashed Wall Street greed, and the free market zealotry of then-Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan, who was reappointed by Clinton, were all part of a deal Clinton made with Gingrich, House speaker at that time.

As Gingrich put it in the first Republican debate in South Carolina: “As speaker ... working with President Bill Clinton, we passed a very Reagan-like program, less regulation, lower taxes.” Even the 15 percent tax break that Mitt Romney exploited for his carryover private equity income was a result of the unholy Clinton-Gingrich alliance. Both principals of that alliance were pimps for the financial industry, and that includes Freddie Mac, the for-profit stock-traded housing agency that Clinton coddled while it stoked the Ponzi scheme in housing and that rewarded the former speaker with $1.6 million to $1.8 million in consulting fees.

There were, finally, some bold words in Obama’s speech about helping beleaguered homeowners, but they ring hollow given this administration’s efforts to broker a sweetheart deal between the leading banks and the state attorneys general that would see the banks fined only a pittance for their responsibility in the mortgage meltdown. Obama could have had success demanding mortgage relief if he had made that a condition for bailing out the banks. Now the banksters know he’s firing blanks, and they are placing their bets on their more reliable Republican allies to prevent any significant demand for helping homeowners with their underwater mortgages.

Of course, Romney, Obama’s most likely opponent in the general election, will never challenge the Wall Street hold on Washington, since he is the personification of the vulture capitalism that is the true cause of America’s decline. Obama should shine in comparison with his Republican challenger, but there is little in his State of the Union speech to suggest he will chart a much-needed new course in his second term.

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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By Linda Amick, January 26, 2012 at 12:27 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Barack Obama ALWAYS does EXACTLY the opposite of what he says.  He must think Americans are stupid.  Maybe they are.

Report this

By Melvin, January 26, 2012 at 12:02 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Those who think that third party votes are a waste should
read what the late Joe Bagaent had to say about our
electoral sytem:
http://www.joebageant.com/joe/2010/01/bass-boats-and-
queer-marriage.html

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Lafayette's avatar

By Lafayette, January 26, 2012 at 11:58 am Link to this comment

it’s too bad, mr. scheer, that you didn’t also highlight the enormous betrayal perpetrated by obama in the foreign policy and civil liberties arenas

Right, helping to liberate the Libyans from Khadaffi was a gross foreign policy error.

He got our troops finally out Iraq - yet another blunder.

He has tightened sanctions on Iran towards getting them to refrain from developing an atomic-bomb. How goofy can he get?

Shilling for the Replicant Party, are we?

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By Michael Cavlan RN, January 26, 2012 at 11:40 am Link to this comment

Obama’s likely opponent will not oppose Wall Street.

Rocky Anderson will. Jill Stein will.. God willing a Rocky Anderson/Jill Stein combined ticket will.

So why does TruthDig refuse, apparently flat out REFUSE to “allow” articles about Rocky and/or Jill?

This message of corporate resistance was brought to you, free from corporate influence within the 501c3 Industrial Complex. Could be this is where the answer to my question lies.

Michael Cavlan
Candidate US Senate 2012
Minnesota Open Progressives

I wonder when the bannings will start? Whee voices will not be allowed on the comments section, just like they are not allowed on the articles?

Oh come on. It will happen. This is a selection cycle. Where the Dems and Repubs pretend to oppose each other. Where “progressives” will quiver and quake at the evil Republicans. Where the Republicans will set up the agenda and the Dems will implement it.

What, you think that Free Speech is really allowed here? You think we have an actual representative democracy?

To quote the Irish cop in the movie Bridesmaids

Oh Come On- Really?

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By eco4you, January 26, 2012 at 11:37 am Link to this comment

It is becoming more difficult for the hand to stay invisible. The real economy is a serf to financial capitalism. That is not genuine capitalism that serves people. Money Toward Happiness and many other non mainstream economics books promote a return to a more genuine capitalism.

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mackTN's avatar

By mackTN, January 26, 2012 at 11:36 am Link to this comment

The Obama people must know that his 08 voters are highly suspicious of rhetoric
and examine closely how things are being said. Nothing in this speech excited me.
The immigration problem does not top my list of concerns. Yes, things are grossly
lopsided and unfair in this country—how exactly do you address this? How are we
going to handle the way the American worker has been deceived, wronged,
diminished.

Social Security & Medicare did not cause this economic problem. Banks & business
did due to their rip off of employees in their quest for profits.

The only thing Obama has going for him is the fact that his opponents are truly
terrifying.  He’s banking on that.

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By Gregory L Kruse, January 26, 2012 at 11:28 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Obama is this; Obama is that.  Who the hell knows what Obama is? The most that can be said about him is that he is a politician doing his job just like an obstetrician or mortician does his or her job. He’s been practicing the art since childhood, and he’s pretty good at it. So he says one thing and does the opposite!  So he sucks up to the rich assholes and insults the powerless!  So he threatens war while the empire falls apart!  That’s his job.  Put anybody in that position and that’s what they will do.  If they don’t, then they are not good politicans. If you want to be real, just imagine John McCain giving the SOTU.

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By oddsox, January 26, 2012 at 11:26 am Link to this comment

Nobody “talks the talk” like Obama.

But if he wants to “walk the walk,” he’ll encourage Congress to restore Glass-Steagall, then ask the DOJ to initiate anti-trust action to break up the big banks.

http://open.salon.com/blog/oddsox/2011/10/10/too_big_to_fail_too_big_to_begin_with

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By norman harman, January 26, 2012 at 10:51 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

“Vulture Capitalism” is a misnomer and an insult to real vultures who feed on
carrion and perform a beneficial service in the ecosystem.

“Vampire Capitalism” is a more apt term as vampires, unlike vultures, suck the
lifeblood from the living and leave only lifeless, empty, non-nutritional husks
behind.

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By Raphael Cruz, January 26, 2012 at 10:45 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

it’s too bad, mr. scheer, that you didn’t also highlight the enormous betrayal perpetrated by obama in the foreign policy and civil liberties arenas… the further enshrinement of the national security state pushed so ardently by the bush administration… from extrajudicial assassinations to drone warfare to the single-minded prosecution of whistleblowers, obama has been a disgrace to his oath of office and the u.s. constitution…

http://takeitpersonally.blogspot.com/

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By bpawk, January 26, 2012 at 10:44 am Link to this comment

There’s too many Americans that will follow the lesser of two evils argument when voting for Dems:  but I want to ask - don’t you deserve better than that? To paraphrase Einstein who said: the definition of insanity is to do the same thing over and over again and expect different results - I would say voting for the same people over and over again and expecting different results - it’s insane.  The only way is to create a more social democratic third party with Ralph Nader or someone like him as the leader. The third party would be the beginning of a new era for America so America could join other social democracies like Canada, Australia and the Scandinavian countries who are capitalistic but treat their citizens more humanely.

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By Gorgeous, January 26, 2012 at 10:41 am Link to this comment

Exactly right. That’s why I haven’t worked for a Democrat since Clinton’s first run - that’s why I voted for Kucinich in the primaries. These Centrists suck… The President only talks a good game. Unfortunately he’s head and shoulders better than anyone the Repugs have to offer which does not bode well for the country.

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By E Henry Schoenberger, January 26, 2012 at 10:40 am Link to this comment

Scheer is spot on about the culprits and issues. Obama’s financial and economic appointments: cheerleaders for greed with severe conflicts. And Obama has not separated the banks from investment banks by returning to Glass-Steagall. Keep in mind there is a critical need to resurrect the 1956 Bank Holding Company Act - also a significant factor in controlling size as well as banking behavior.

Summers, Greenspan, Geithner, Mary Schapiro and past culprits like Rubin and Paulson ex Goldman CEOs were all behind the return to Social Darwinism,which started with the “great RR” and has metastasized into Financial Darwinism—- which my new book properly identifies as the ROOT CAUSE BEHIND all the schemes to promote financial investment at the expense of financial investment and capital formation—and at the expense of our economy and the American Dream.

It is a generally accepted that Americans need to be better informed. And so Obama (and Clinton before him - not to mentions the Bushes and Reagan) can get away with sound bites, homilies to hit hot buttons in lieu of telling the truth and doing the truth.

The choices available today are clear - if we do not get rid of the T Party and all members of Congress who salivate when lobbyists ring bells, and who do not support the public good and do not care enough about fairness and equality - then our Republic is going to continue going deeper into a toilet of despair and more financial inequality and tragedy for so many.

Obama’s pronouncement about Banks is worse than superficial. Didn’t banks make as many mortgage loans as they could get their hands on to stuff in trenches (tranches) of misrepresented worse than junk bond debt to contrive as many “complex” structured financial instruments as possible? And then flip to Freddie and Fannie to get rid of the fallaciously mathematically risk measured and mathematically risk reduced egregious leverage - which the Street created a frenzy of demand from its counter parties to buy - so it too could flip the risk?  AND ALL THE CULPRITS MADE BILLIONS ALONG THE WAY - at the same time creating 600 Trillion derivatives looming over us like a mushroom shaped cloud waiting to lower the boom.

The new media concept is FINANCIAL CAPITALISM. Lester Thurow, MIT Dean of Econ, and Robert Heilbroner, in “Economics Explained,” discussed financial investment. This should be a primer for all members of the 4th Estate, and all Americans who spout off about supply side, free markets or whateverrrr, like Newt - to learn the distinction between financial vs REAL investment.  My 1st book in 1990 contained a chapter about this distinction - so does my new book.

“How We Got Swindled by Wall Street Godfathers, Greed & Financial Darwinism ~ The 30-Year War Against the American Dream, with a foreword by David Satterfield former business editor of the Miami Herald and 2 times Pulitzer Prize-winner - will help Americans be better informed - adding fuel to the right conversation America needs.

Satterfield’s endorsement: “With keen intellect and searing wit, Henry Schoenberger’s How We Got Swindled exposes the myriad financial hijinks and colossal leadership failures that have turned the first decade of this new century into an economic disaster. Schoenberger not only identifies the causes, rationales and human failings that led to this mess; he provides some ready answers for how we must go about fixing it. This should be must-reading for every policy maker in Washington and every student of economics and finance.”

From 4 decades of securities experience as the former owner of an NASD Member Firm specializing in real estate private placements, 5 decades as an activist—as well as 2 1/2 years researching Swindled I understand Scheer’s vehemence and the truth of his voice!

Now is the time for all voices for truth to unit to spread enlightenment to rectify all the lies to fix the inequalities.

To learn more: http://www.howwegotwsindled.com

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By Jose Alvarez, January 26, 2012 at 10:19 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Robert, you say Obama suggested that the economic
crisis was caused by high school dropouts.  You
apparently didn’t listen to the speech, or you are
just a lunatic.  Probably both are true based on the
average commenter’s insane remarks here in your blog. 
Another great example of the failure of Reagan
letting the loons out of the hospital.
For Example “By Dr Bones, January 26 at 4:25 am Link
to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

If President Obama believed even just a little bit,
in what he said, the past three years would have been
a lot different.  The Emperor has no clothes.  He is
the one who extended Bush tax ct for billionaires and
millionaires. And the Democrats reduced inheritance
taxation to it’s lowest rate ever.”

You people seriously need medication if you can’t
recall why all of these things happened.  Hate has
blinded you completely.  Blind hate leads to
atrocities.  Of course, I’ve come to expect this from
the freakishly insane unprofessional left.

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By Sharon Brown, January 26, 2012 at 10:10 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Honest Evil or Dishonest Evil? I’m not voting for either. I won’t stay home on election day either though. Wanna give them SOME indication of disenchantment even if I have to pencil in Bozo the Clown… though hopefully Rocky or Jill (or Bozo) will be on my ballot.

SOTU Rings Hollow. Best description yet.

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By c.d.embrey, January 26, 2012 at 10:01 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

What would happen if EVERY DEMOCRAT wasted their vote on the Green Party candidate ??? Would it really be wasted ???

Vote Green, they suck less.

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By Albert J DAgostino, January 26, 2012 at 9:47 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The mass amnesia of Obama’s supporters is pandemic. For three years this spineless phony politician has thrown his supporters under the bus. Now, as elections are nearing, he is remembering his base after years of neglect. But, hope springs eternal especially from those whom are fooled easily. There is absolutely no reason to give this man our support, save one, and that is we could never stomach a man such as Gingrich. I never pinned much hope on Obama and I knew he would be a letdown. Obama is undeserving of another four years, it would be just more lip service and an extension of Republican and Wall Street policies. I believe the voters should throw every president out of office after their first term as a lesson to show them that the people have some power. My politics have always been radical bordering on cynicism, so I am never happy with the losers we always seem to elect. I would be perfectly happy to vote for Romney only to teach Obama and the Dems that they shouldn’t act like ReThugs and take us for granted. Romney would not be much different from Obama. Obama is a liar (I’m sounding like a Tea Bagger) as are most politicians. They continually fool many people with false promises concerning problems they can NEVER solve. There are inherent flaws in the capitalist system which they never will address, hence the re-occuring problems.
The fact that every empire from ancient to modern history has been ruled by the wealthy is a fact that seems to be lost on most people and political writers. Why, in this world if increasing competition and violence, would we think a white (or black) knight will reverse the course of history. So, dream on people and speculate about all the fantasies we hold about making this world a better place and more just. Pinning any hope on the likes of Obama or any of the fools battling for the ReThug nomination only shows our desperation. I always think of the line in an old Who song - ”we won’t get fooled again,” I just wish it was true. Is revolution the answer? Was Mao correct?

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By thehillieradventure, January 26, 2012 at 9:43 am Link to this comment

Hey, American Lion - here is the answer to your
inquiry…

http://www.the-99-declaration.org/

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By American Lion, January 26, 2012 at 9:14 am Link to this comment

Robert, you are as usual spot on but I have one
question that reasonably follows. When are we all going
to get fed up with the ‘business as usual’,
‘Democrat/Republican it doesn’t matter’, ‘Monopoly
Game’, political theater these corporations are making
us watch and bicker over? Obama is Bush is Clinton is
Bush is Reagan is Nixon is FOREVER under the existing
form of corporate Plutocracy/Oligarchy. Shouldn’t we be
talking about fixing this?

Report this

By Devon J. Noll, MPA, January 26, 2012 at 9:13 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I voted for President Obama.  I did not vote for Hillary Clinton because I did not want her sell-out husband calling the shots again in DC.  What I got was just that and I am with Mr. Scheer - Clinton and Obama are the worst excuses for presidents from the Democratic Party in generations.  Clinton sold us down the river and now President Obama is protecting his legacy by letting him run his White House.  What I would really have loved to see was this president step up and say “I, like most Americans, have had it with a do-nothing Congress filled with millionaires and billionaires.  I have had it with following the failed policies that started with Bill Clinton and were exacerbated by Bush.  I have had it, and if I am going to have only one more term as president (and we are all fairly sure that is going to happen), then you had better start putting the American people first and in return, I will stop my administration from pandering to Wall Street, the 1%, and corporate America.  It is time we worked to benefit everyone in this society, and I guess I should have remembered that when my own party turned on my agenda in 2009.”  Of course, such honesty would be unheard of in DC, and especially from someone who owes so much to one of the most corrupt presidents in the last 30 years - William Jefferson Clinton!

Please check out my videos on YouTube about possible policy options, and my website at http://www.weeeevoteamerica2012.org for a complete platform of policies and why you should run for Congress this year.  We need to take back our Congress, and if President Obama is re-elected, then we must force him to do what he has said he wants to do.  We cannot do that with Democrats and Republicans holding a strangle hold on Congress for their owners.  Please consider running, or finding someone to run from your district.  No more excuses, we do not have the time or luxury any longer of voting for the lesser of two evils at any level of government.

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By ElkoJohn, January 26, 2012 at 9:08 am Link to this comment

Same old dog & pony show.
Now the Republican­s get to accuse Obama of being a socialist (to rally their base),
and the President gets to say he wanted to do the right thing,
if only the Republican­s would have allowed him (to rally his base),
and the voters take another sip of the kool-aid, and get to think
we have real democracy, real choice,
yawn . . . wake me when it’s over.

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By balkas, January 26, 2012 at 9:03 am Link to this comment

if we could, we [or OWS] would waterboard scheer, pfaff, sirota, conason, robinson, boyarsky about five times
and if their stories wood remain the same after such treatment, we’d tentatively [only, tho] conclude that they
are educating people instead of deceiving them.
alas, OWS is in no position to waterboard or torture them in some other ways. but, still, there is some good
news here: i suggest OWS is in THAT KIND OF MOOD, tho!
these people [are they really cia/fib agents?; thus also tripple dipping?] will continue to dwell on only
symptomatic level of the DISEASE and not ever on the causes of that disease unless we could render them
homeless, mansionless; w.o. health care, big pensions, doubledips, huge salaries.
now that is the punishment: putting them on streets and on food stamps that i expect would bring about
miraculous healing of THEIR DISEASE.
what if not? well, at least we’d have the pleasure of doing it to them instead of them doing it to us only.

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By The Middle Speaks, January 26, 2012 at 8:44 am Link to this comment

Sadly, I have to admit kinship here with Mr Scheer.
This president has been the biggest disappointment of
my voting lifetime, now closing in on three decades.
I remember listening to him speak on healthcare
reform as I crossed over the Potomac in my car
driving on a business trip from New York to Richmond
back in March of 2009. I was moved by his words and
his call to arms, raising the question of a true
national plan he asked the opposition “if not now,
then when?” What I failed to realize was that even as
healthcare costs were choking the life out of already
hard pressed Americans and the Dow had recently broke
below 7000 erasing the illusion of retirement
security for many hard working people that this
presidents intent would be a direct contradiction to
his well chosen and masterfully delivered words of
counterfeit inspiration. In the three years since
that speech we have watched Wall Street take a
treasure bath rewarding itself with the highest level
of compensation in history back in 2010 and a
lobbyist authored, spindly legged healthcare bill
that serves as an insult to the American people that
backed tangible and substantive change. Where was the
president during this fight? Nobody knows. He yelled
“Charge!” and as we ran over the hill, he retreated
in the opposite direction. My only consolation that
still allows me to look in the mirror and not
recognize myself as a total fool for supporting this
president in 2008 is the fact that I never ever
believed for a single moment that he would ever
attempt to enact a single meaningful reform to curb
the abuses and corruption in the financial system
that has created the suffering that has put not only
Americans but people around the globe under the heavy
weight of it’s aftermath for some four years now.
This is the true terrorism that we as a world face.
It’s masterminds do not “hide out in caves” but
instead sit in positions of power in the world of
finance. They sit as gatekeepers between their
industry and the halls of government and allow their
minions to move freely between the two. Even going
back a scant 20 or so years ago you would find we
were a far more just nation. The Milken’s, Boesky’s
and Keating’s were all brought to justice and all
were locked up for the public safety. Can we say the
same for the Mozillo’s, Corzines and Blankfeins in
this new age of corruption? No we cannot and a very
big reason for that is a chief executive that still
refuses to work for the people but instead embraces
his own vanity and marvels at his his ability to
speak in whatever tongue serves him best.

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Arabian Sinbad's avatar

By Arabian Sinbad, January 26, 2012 at 8:23 am Link to this comment

Thank you Robert Scheer for being on the mark in exposing Obama’s failures and hypocrisy on the economy and domestic issues.

I was particularly impressed by your statement that “It was also a bit bizarre for Obama to celebrate Steve Jobs as a model entrepreneur when the manufacturing jobs that the late Apple CEO created are in the same China that elsewhere in his speech the president sought to scapegoat for America’s problems.” 

And I was likewise impressed by your assessment: “Isn’t it weird to be chauvinistically China baiting when that country carries much of our debt?”

And I was likewise impressed by your other statement that, “Both principals of that alliance were pimps for the financial industry, and that includes Freddie Mac, the for-profit stock-traded housing agency that Clinton coddled while it stoked the Ponzi scheme in housing and that rewarded the former speaker with $1.6 million to $1.8 million in consulting fees.”

However, your sin of omission, Mr. Scheer, is your ignoring to criticize Obama on what he said on foreign policy. In regard to Iran he was the same warmonger as the other Republican nuts.

And in regard to Israel, the only foreign entity he openly committed to support in its occupation, oppression, apartheid and its state-sponsored terrorism in his speech, Obama proved to be the ultimate sucker, hypocrite, coward as well as the ultimate pimp for Zionist fascism!

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Lafayette's avatar

By Lafayette, January 26, 2012 at 8:20 am Link to this comment

WORKING MIRACLES

RS: And then I get angry because betrayal by the “good guys” for whom I have ended up voting has become the norm.

You are getting angry at the wrong-guy, RS. If you think it’s easy for a Dem PotUS to become a miracle-maker in a tripartite system of governance, why not try it?

Especially without control of the HofR.

Rather, let’s concentrate on these two key objectives for November:
* The T-Party (T for Troglodyte) must be thrown out of Congress (along with the BlueDog Dem) in order to install solid Dem majorities.
* A sufficiently large number of progressives get elected to bolster the 83 who are already in the HofR. (Only one in the Senate, so getting rid of a few Replicant millionaires there would be a good idea.)

With a Congress on the same side as the PotUS, miracles may still not happen, but America can take a giant stride forward towards addressing Income Disparity by means of raising marginal and capital gains taxes on upper-class incomes. (And a complete revision of our tax-code can increase revenues even further.)

Those tax receipts will not only reduce the National Debt but can be employed for Stimulus Spending - and not just to fill road pot-holes. But build new schools and other infrastructural improvements - all of which put people back to work.

ECONOMICALLY SPEAKING

For every dollar spent, economist figure it prompts, by means of the multiplier effect, about 40 cents more of spending. Which boosts consumption of goods and services and thus the employment necessary to produce them.

This is the Virtuous Circle that we broke in the fall of 2008 and which must be rebuilt.

Much can happen towards that end with the right combination of a Dem PutUS and a Dem Congress. Where there’s a national will, there’s a way to do miracles ...

POST SCRIPTUM

In any economy, the most important element is the consumer, meaning ourselves. Let’s not forget that by our labor goods/services are produced. And by our propensity to spend, they are consumed.

So it’s time this nation placed the accent upon those who are most important. Not the One PerCenters or even the Twenty PerCenters - but the Eighty PerCenters who contribute both their work and their consumption to the economic dynamic.

Without us, there are no millionaires.

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By pundaint, January 26, 2012 at 8:10 am Link to this comment

Obama is the most excused president in history.  Bush didn’t have any choice either right?

It’s time for the Dempublican Party to go.  Only two parties are too cheap to buy.

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By Rik Crevits, January 26, 2012 at 7:33 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The economic theory we follow serves the needs of finance. We need an economy that serves the needs of people, people should not have to serve the needs of the economy. Money Toward Happiness

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Eric L. Prentis's avatar

By Eric L. Prentis, January 26, 2012 at 7:26 am Link to this comment

President Obama, the trust is gone. I am skeptical of your bait-and-switch tactics. Your State of the Union speech falls on deaf ears.

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Lafayette's avatar

By Lafayette, January 26, 2012 at 7:24 am Link to this comment

RS: And then I get angry because betrayal by the “good guys” for whom I have ended up voting has become the norm.

You are getting angry at the wrong-guy, RS. If you think it’s easy for a Dem PotUS to become a miracle-maker in a tripartite system of governance, why not try it?

Especially without control of the HofR ...

Let’s concentrate on these two key objectives for November:
* The T-Party (T for Troglodyte) must be thrown out of Congress (along with the BlueDog Dem) in order to install solid Dem majorities.
* A sufficiently large number of progressives get elected to bolster the 83 who are already in the HofR. (Only one in the Senate, so getting rid of a few millionaires there would be a good idea.)

With a Congress on the side of the PotUS, perhaps not miracles will happen, but America can take a giant stride forward towards addressing Income Disparity (by means of raising marginal and capital gains taxes on the rich).

POST SCRIPTUM

Obama has already suggested a minimum 30% tax on incomes above a certain level, The Economist figures it will bring in “only” an additional 0.3% of tax reciepts. But given that the US GDP is $13T per annum, that means a cool $400M in additional receipts to help pay off the National Debt.

And what if we got the rates back up to pre-Reckless Ronnie days (around 70%) ... with inheritance treated as unearned income and taxed at that same level?

Much can happen with the right combination of a Dem PutUS and a Dem Congress. Where there’s a will, there’s a way ...

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David J. Cyr's avatar

By David J. Cyr, January 26, 2012 at 7:21 am Link to this comment

QUOTE, Robert Scheer:

“I get angry because betrayal by the ‘good guys’ for whom I have ended up voting has become the norm.”
_____________________

Scheer did not get betrayed by Democrats.

In his normatively liberal state of constant cognitive dissonance, Scheer stalwartly supported the corporate party’s Democrats, incongruously believing that common good would be done by corporate money manufactured evil doers.

The corporate party’s Democrats didn’t get the good they could have done when they could have, because they never had any intention to get good done when they could.

Jill Stein for President:

http://www.jillstein.org

Voter Consent Wastes Dissent:

http://chenangogreens.org/home/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=498&Itemid=1

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By John Randolph, January 26, 2012 at 7:16 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Mr. Scheer I have read your “Great American Stick-up” and I have learned much from it.  I also find Truthdig to be one of my regular “go to” sites to learn even more.

I request that you and your staff start having a conversation about what we can do to undue the mess we have let them make. 

For instance, how about having the conversation of a Ralph Nader and/or Elizabeth Warren as Occupy Movement candidates for the White House?

We are informed.  We need direction and leadership.

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By madwool, January 26, 2012 at 7:07 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The argument that the two parties should represent opposed ideals and
policies, one, perhaps, of the Right and the other of the Left, is a foolish
idea acceptable only to the doctrinaire and academic thinkers. Instead, the
two parties should be almost identical, so that the American people can
“throw the rascals out” at any election without leading to any profound or
extreme shifts in policy.

-Carrol Quigley,

Tragedy and Hope

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By keepyourheaddown, January 26, 2012 at 6:58 am Link to this comment

this system will never be fixed, it’s rotten to the core.
Obama is mostly all talk, The whole thing must be torn down and rebuilt, with people of a higher consciousness. These greedy, self serving bastards will oversee the complete destruction of everything. I’m afraid all hope is gone.

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IMax's avatar

By IMax, January 26, 2012 at 6:40 am Link to this comment

Obama’s Faux Populism Sounds (an awful lot) Like Ardee-Full-Of-Putrid-hatred.

How does this wretched and ignorant misogynist believe he has something to contribute to these pages?  As if “Think Small, Be Small” is an attribute to be emulated.

I’ve seen this type of individual time and time again.  This ardee-full-of-hate character would kick his spouse like a dog and tell her it’s for her own good.

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Paul_GA's avatar

By Paul_GA, January 26, 2012 at 6:27 am Link to this comment

Camnai, I’ve voted third-party from 2000 onward, and each time, I recall John Quincy Adams’s words—“Always vote for a principle, though you vote alone, and you may cherish the sweet reflection that your vote is never lost.” Holding one’s nose and voting for the lesser of two evils is a “dawg that ain’t gonna hunt”, as we say down here ...

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By bpawk, January 26, 2012 at 6:20 am Link to this comment

The only choice is to try to create a third party to challenge the elites. Nothing else will do. Why didn’t people go for Ralph when they had the chance?

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By camnai, January 26, 2012 at 6:16 am Link to this comment

Yeah, OK, but when a lot of people stayed home because they weren’t thrilled with
Al Gore, you got Bush. If you don’t hold your nose and vote for Obama this time,
you could end up with Newt.

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Ronald Thomas West's avatar

By Ronald Thomas West, January 26, 2012 at 6:11 am Link to this comment

In the scientific literature, something like 25% of White men in their 20s have had
a psychotic episode. Robert Scheer has had repeat episodes throughout his life,
such as his fervent support for Ron Paul, and when in remission, Robert Scheer
can do no better than depression, no radical or constructive thinking at all, such
as exhorting his reader to work to overthrow the two party system, merely whining
to the choir. If truth is a profound thing, Scheer is one of its grave diggers

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thecrow's avatar

By thecrow, January 26, 2012 at 5:54 am Link to this comment

Socrates:

And if they were in the habit of conferring honors among themselves on those who were quickest to observe the passing shadows and to remark which of them went before, and which followed after, and which were together; and who were therefore best able to draw conclusions as to the future, do you think that he would care for such honors and glories, or envy the possessors of them? Would he not say with Homer, Better to be the poor servant of a poor master, and to endure anything, rather than think as they do and live after their manner?

Glaucon:

Yes, he said, I think that he would rather suffer anything than entertain these false notions and live in this miserable manner.

http://michaelfury.wordpress.com/2008/11/11/turn-around/

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By Big B, January 26, 2012 at 5:41 am Link to this comment

I have said it before and it bears repeating, 3 and a half years ago we needed to elect another FDR. What we got was another Calvin Coolidge.

OBomber is what he was, and always has been, a right leaning corporate democrat. A blue dog if you will. He still believes that the only job creating entity in the world is private enterprise, and that we as a group should just de-regulate it and get out of its way. Oh, he talks about taxing the rich, about corporate responsibility, but what have his ACTIONS been? He has had every opportunity from the bully pulpit of the oval office to re-regulate big business and to let the Bush tax cuts to simply expire. He chose not to.

And now, nearly 4 years later, he is telling me again about the “liberal” things he wants to do (its amazing how he keeps going back to the well on the left). Don’t believe him. Ronny Ray-Guns said “trust but verify”. That’s how liberals should be treating the latest incarnation of the same old Barry. The left, in this election year, needs to shout one thing at prez Barry, “Prove it”.

We on the left have all the power. We can either re-elect him, or cause his downfall. Barry needs his feet held to the flame. He needs to hear that if he doesn’t change his ways, we will stay home in november (like we did in 2010). Wothout forcing Barry and the DNC to change, to become the party of the working people again, we are headed in the same sad direction that a repug preident would take us. We are just in a slower car.

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By SoTexGuy, January 26, 2012 at 5:34 am Link to this comment

On Democracy Now Ralph Nader does the best job I’ve seen dissecting the lies and deceptions of Obama in his recent address.. as well as Obama’s shameless chest-thumping endorsement of the doctrine of Battleship diplomacy..

A ‘political coward’ was one excellent observation..

Check it out.

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By Dr Bones, January 26, 2012 at 5:25 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

If President Obama believed even just a little bit, in what he said, the past three years would have been a lot different.  The Emperor has no clothes.  He is the one who extended Bush tax ct for billionaires and millionaires. And the Democrats reduced inheritance taxation to it’s lowest rate ever.

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By ardee, January 26, 2012 at 3:55 am Link to this comment

Thank you Mr. Scheer for this apparent return from the dark side of support for a party and its candidates, especially our President, who have repeatedly betrayed their party’s heritage and their own promises.

Perhaps articles will follow reasoning that the strategy of voting for the “lesser of two evils” is an abysmal failure and still gives we the people only evil. Unless and until the electorate understands that the two party system has given us only corporate rule and freed those same corporations from any responsibility to this nation and its citizens we will continue to be mired in a dis-functional system.

I await the critique of our resident ex-patriot and supposed resident of France who is almost fanatical in his support for the Democratic Party. It is ironic that, while living in a nation that has the best working conditions of any industrialized country, the best benefits as well, all brought about by a system with multiple parties in government, he continues to espouse single minded and close minded support for a party that has betrayed the people of this nation for a decade or more.

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