btw, David Brooks, who wrote: More of the same (GOP), is a CONSERVATIVE. And he thinks the Republicans have become BONKERS.
What is Barack Obama doing? He's trying to paint himself as the one sane person who was willing to negotiate. And, either way the debt ceiling contest goes, Republicans will come out looking like the bad guys. The debt ceiling issue is, after all, THEIR political canard - so that would be ironic, seeing them being sunk by it. The non-TeaBagger Republicans know this, and so they may merely being playing to their base - and they'll reach an agreement with Obama at the 11th hour. But, Michelle Bachmann, Eric Cantor, Rand Paul, et al, are saying, "Look how big we are now, GOP - so DON'T ACCEPT ANY DEAL RAISING THE CEILING!" And the TeaBagger UNDERWRITERS, the Kochs, the USCOC, BP, et al, are saying, and PAYING, to ALL the GOP politicians: "No deal that includes ANY taxes on the rich!"
Well, the rich have the lowest tax rate in history, which is why the economy sucks, whereas the threatened SOCIAL SECURITY doesn't even have a damn thing to do with the budget. So, what is Obama doing? He is trying to look like the fair dealer, trying to find a compromise between those who refuse to raise the debt ceiling at all, and those will only raise the debt ceiling if it avoids taxes but makes massive cuts in social programmes.
Meanwhile, most of the American people, and the actual democrats, the progressives, labor, independents, seniors, students, etc., are all behind the estranged NANCY PELOSI, (Who, imo, JUST MAY BECOME A 2012 primary PRES. CANDIDATE!), when she says, "We will accept no cuts in Medicare or Social Security!" Indeed, in recent NY elections, (26th Congressional District), it was those who CAME STRAIGHT OUT AND SAID, "NO CUTS TO MEDICARE OR SOCIAL SECURITY!", who actually WON!
So, what is the winning political strategy? LISTEN TO THE PEOPLE, and support social/infrastructure/green programmes, and DEMAND TAXES ON THE RICH! So - of course the GOP isn't listening to this - but neither is OBAMA, in his self-declared infinite political wisdom which he has adopted from Bill Clinton, welfare-cutting free-trade supply-sider who was dealing with the political world of the 1990's - NOT 2012!
So far, in this picture, the GOP feels it ultimately doesn't have to worry, because they have been arranging so much election fraud, and campaign money from (Citizen's United), that they feel they win - and their strategy is widely coordinated by GOP across the nation AND the states - anti-pensions, privitisation, pro-corporate-rich. BUT EVEN IF THEY LOSE, THEY'VE GOT POSH JOBS LINED UP, IF they tow the party line.
But if Obama wants to win in 2012, which he is trying to do, acting like the fair player, Clintonesque, blue-dog politician, then why would he NOT listen to the voice of the people, or of Pelosi?
Well, you could say he is deluding himself - still running for the faux middle, by always moving to the right. He talks of, "firing up the base,' (the progressives and labor and greens - and social-justice Catholics or "Social-Democrats"), but only through WORDS - in reality, he is clearly alienating them severely. Either he is counting on them to be "fucking retards" and vote for him nevertheless, or he is simply confident that he only needs SOME of them, because he's got a tonne of campaign money lined up from BIG PHARM, BP, USCOC, Chase/IMF, and all the other bastard-parasite mega-corps.
Maybe the one heartfelt move he's made so far was in passing (pathetic) INSURANCE-care Reform, because he knew ahead of time that Medicare and Social Security were on their way to being slaughtered in 2011 and beyond!! Think about that for a second.
And think about why he campaigned in 2008, saying, "If any union members feel their right to COLLECTIVE BARGAINING is under threat, I will put on my walking shoes and be right out there marching with them!" Well, you can rationalise why he, chess-player-like, never DID put on those highly advertised shoes and get out there and march in Madison - but you have to ask yourself, "WHY was he even mentioning collective bargaining in 2008, before there was any indication it was under threat?
Look, I think it's all planned out, and Obama is in on it. His mother was a Banking VP, and look whom he's surrounded himself with: Sommers, Bernanke, Volker, Paulson - all Fed/BANKSTERS who were the ones who crashed our economy in the first place - and who got bail-outs and CEO bonuses, instead of BEING SENT TO JAIL.
So, WHEN are progressives going to stop being, "stunned" and "perplexed" as to why Obama's insanely daft bargaining style always ends up in favour of the corrupt and the rich, and hurt the poor and middle class - and in fact it even STARTS OFF in that direction!! He isn't a failure at bargaining, he is doing exactly the job that he has been put there to do. Why ELSE would GEITNER come and say that the Administration would not employ THE GREATEST BARGAINING CHIP IT HAD IN THIS DEBATE: "We will NOT be challenging the debt ceiling's Constitutionality." The debt ceiling IS unconstitutional - (I was going to post about WHY, but don't have time).
Perhaps Geitner said that so as not to spook the markets, although if he had said THE OPPOSITE, by asserting that we WOULD NOT DEFAULT, he would have relieved the markets EVEN MORE. And PERHAPS Obama is SECRETLY holding this over the GOP's head: That he will simply raise the celing no matter WHAT they vote for, because he has the Presidential Authority to do so, even though the Supreme Court would then step in to create a Constitutional crisis, which do occasionally occur in history, and don't sink economies - (just as AUSTERITY ONLY MAKE DEPRESSIONS AND RECESSIONS WORSE)... And the GOP would be blamed for the crisis, although they do a great job at propagandising. Obama, either nice guy or puppet, doesn't seem to want to alienate the GOP, so. But to declare that card as OFF THE TABLE, de facto, is pure idiocy.
Obama is surrounded by banksters, etc. Of COURSE he is swayed to support the supply-side economics and politics of the rich. But when the heat is on, he comes out and says pretty things to calm the progressives down. So, it looks to me that, if he is not bargaining our future away, he is looking for a blame-the-crazy-Trump/Birthers-type campaign slogan which will reveal the GOP as refusing to accept a $4 TRILLION deficit-reduction offer which includes taxes on the rich, but instead backing a $2 TRILLION deficit reduction plan BECAUSE it refused to tax the rich.
Thus, to the discerning and intelligent, it will become apparent, with the help of Obama's WORDS, that the GOP has been holding our economy - our government - HOSTAGE, NOT because of the debt ceiling, but because they DON'T WANT THE RICH TO BE TAXED. Obama is taking this from the Clinton playbook, from Clinton's refusal to deal with the Gingrich GOP, which shut down the government, and got widely BLAMED for it.
MAYBE. But look at the watered-down and badly-skewed deals Obama has achieved in the past. I think he puts too much confidence in the attention, the intelligence, and the lack of FEAR, nd ANGER, of many of the American people. They are not so much interested in dithering out who or why, they are interested in keeping their jobs and their homes.
And, if ANYTHING, they are interest in big bold moves, and that is not what Obama is doing. His administration has SAID that Medicare and SS are ON THE TABLE. In fact, what the American people want to see is the heads of banksters - and politicians - on the chopping block.
I also think that President Obama is dealing with idiots. And he doesn't want to be unliked by the white power structure. So, what can he do? If he's on the level, he has evident amazing powers of tolerance and patience - and these virtues will be talked up by history.
But I think he is making one fundamental calculation. He has been convinced by his banksters that the economy is, and shall continue to be, improving. He doesn't see a second dip, or crash, coming. And, so long as the Fed prints money out of thin air and discounts inflation, they can tell him no crash is coming, (even though the rich would not lose should one occur). They can assure him that a DEFAULT won't happen.
Tell that to China, who says that it already has happened. Tell that to the price of gold & silver, which the Fed/gov't tries to short downwards, while China and India are buying it up. Tell that to the unemployed, who are dropping off the dole and off the statistical charts, unable to purchase products, to say the least.
We are in a chronic downward spiral, despite Wall Street, which profits from decline, (similar to the "GDP"), and which gets higher trading MERELY BECAUSE THE VALUE OF THE DOLLAR IS DROPPING, and some trade-oriented industry does increase. Once Wall Street sees the false Bear Market, caused by inflation, investments and loans will be pulled, and bingo, CRASH NUMBER 2.
There is no bubble to hold Wall Street up - the most it has are Bush's wars in the middle east, which are the MAIN CAUSE OF THE US DEFICIT - the main cause of the markets being spooked!! If those wars did not exist, Obama's budgets ARE BALANCE.
But Obama doesn't end the wars - preferring to steer the slow giant ship of state SLOWLY, so no investors or agencies get hurt, AND HE SIMPLY DOES NOT UNDERSTAND THE COMING CRISIS. Instead, he is supporting a geopolitical strategy designed to prop up the US PETRO-dollar, and it is slipping downhill, as public economic confidence crashes, and social unrest rises, along with food prices, WORLD-WIDE. (Thank goodness for that Noble Peace Prize, btw).
Just so some of you folks know, (imo): The debt-ceiling issue is baloney. What is more important is the issue of DEFAULT, which we get if we DON'T raise the ceiling, which is FINE to do - and no one is really talking about this MOST IMPORTANT issue, other than using it to scare people and politicians into slashing socal programmes so that the rich can get richer.
Also, via Ed Schultz today: REPUBLICAN DEMI-GOD, RONALD REAGAN, (and the Dems):
Raised the debt ceiling ELEVEN TIMES.
Raised taxes ELEVEN TIMES.
Approved THE BIGGEST TAX INCREASE in prior history.
SUPPORTED SOCIAL SECURITY!
From Thom Hartmann today:
The GOP did the same thing to Jimmy Carter in 1979, sent our government in DEFAULT, to prevent Carter from spending on social programmes, and consequently sent us in DEFAULT for a day, and so CRaSHED the economy and made it more expensive to sell US bonds.
Then, Ronald Reagan put his hand on the Bible, and immediately the Iran Hostages were released. (Cuz the "GOP", who arranged the whole hostage thing, is the BIBLE Party). And then Reagan, urged on by DAVID STOCKMAN, increased the deficit by TRILLIONS, borrowing to make everyone happy and fun... i.e., the 1980's, (with all it's recessions, nevertheless). But who listened to Stockman when he came out and announced that that whole GOP supply-side strategy WAS INHERENTLY WRONG?
(Well, I was thinking about the fact that the Iranian Hostages were released when the cue was given, and RR put his hand on the Bible: Could THAT be why Obama fudged his Oath of Office, or could THAT be why he signed the Patriot Bill long-distance, via an auto-pen? To avoid giving some cue to some terrorist scheme? Probably not, and we will never know, but it's an interesting thought).
Also, some of this REAGANOMICS stuff actually began with Blue-Dog CARTER, who's arm was being twisted, just like Clinton's and Obama's arms, who had accepted it as a part of life. But it just shows you how it's people BEHIND THE SCENES who are running policies, and steering politicians.
Meely-mouthed, Obama is even USING THE LANGUAGE of the right: "entitlements", "uncertainty!", "debt ceiling!", etc. Even though his "bottom line" of refusing to do any short-term, stop-gap agreements, (which would only postpone the issue), was very smart, where are the bottom lines of ACTUAL SUBSTANCE: Like refusing to cut SS/Medicare? Like refusing NOT to tax the rich? Like refusing to NOT raise the debt ceiling? Like saying he would raise the ceiling HIMSELF and risk a "Constitutional crisis"? Like REFUSING TO COMPROMISE?
I know he's put out signals, especially in today's press conference, (while Boner was trashing him on the radio), but it's the same as the health care debate, when they refused to even consider SINGLE PAYER, and Obama was secretly cutting deals with Big Pharm - there simply is no boldness on behalf of the interests of Americans, and so of America...
"If the left doesn't find boldness in a President, they'll steer to the right." - John Nichols, The Nation Magazine, giving the example of TED KENNEDY entering as a challenger to Carter in 1979 - spoiling the election?
Likely scenario: Eric Cantor and 2/3rds of House Republicans (pro-TeaBaggers) vote against final deal. Since deal includes cuts in social programs, Nancy Pelosi and 1/2 of Dems, (Progressives and some Southern/Blue), vote against it. Deal fails. IF Obama goes ahead and raises ceiling, Const. crisis plunges Wall Street. If NOT, DEFAULT, crash.
CFS Report (ignore): I have a lot to do today. Started some progress yesterday, after week-long relapse, still w/symptoms. Less of those symptoms today, but deeper symptoms, and reaction to yesterday's exertion, are pressing. Seeking to gain energy - may only have today as a window between 2 relapses. Phone/internet was knocked out by 7:am storms. Signal, yes, but constant disconnect. Can't proceed with plans until the home grunt work is almost complete. Hope to be able to go out to store, etc., tomorrow. Probably not. Sign is back in front of house, propped up by tree. Never heard back from abode lady. Have other ideas in mind but not able to think until after today at least. Tomorrow is garbage day and I should have large batch going out - cardboard, old newspapers, etc. Attic is complete. Other than 3 heavy items upstairs, needing to be lifted down, second floor is basically complete. Other than heavy shelves, weight set, bike, basement is mostly complete - must do more laundry. Main floor presently junky, as things are being sorted. Kitchen will be last big project. Gradually moving self and short-term stuff into master bedroom. Lots of shelves, books, boxes, ALMOST ready to go away into LT storage somewhere. Not sure what I will do w/ old car, so I haven't packed medium-term stuff into it. - Interesting stuff about corrupt railroads/corps. in 1800's, Thom Hartmann. Still having hard time getting sufficient bp into tired brain.