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Obama's Presidency Isn't Too Big to Fail by Robert Scheer

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Better Believe It Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 11:17 AM
Original message
Obama's Presidency Isn't Too Big to Fail by Robert Scheer


Obama's Presidency Isn't Too Big to Fail
by Robert Scheer
September 16, 2009

A president has only so much capital to expend, both in tax dollars and public tolerance, and Barack Obama is dangerously overdrawn. He has tried to have it all on three fronts, and his administration is in serious danger of going bankrupt. He has blundered into a deepening quagmire in Afghanistan, has continued the Bush policy of buying off Wall Street hustlers instead of confronting them and is now on the cusp of bargaining away the so-called public option, the reform component of his health care program.

Those are not happy sentences to write for one who is still on the e-mail list of campaign supporters urged to back the president in the face of attacks that are stupidly small-minded. But to remain silent about his errors, just because most of his critics are so vile, is hardly an example of constructive concern for him or the country.

But what is nerve-racking about Obama is that even though he campaigned against Bush's follies he has now embraced them. He hasn't yet managed to significantly reduce the U.S. obligation in Iraq and has committed to making a potentially costlier error by ratcheting up America's "nation-building" role in Afghanistan.

Just as he was burdened with the Afghanistan situation, Obama was saddled with a banking crisis he didn't cause, and the worst that can be said of his attempted solutions to the financial mess is that they were inherited from Bush Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson. But Obama, who raised questions before his election about the propriety of a plan that would rescue the banks but ignore the plight of ordinary folks, has adopted that very approach as president. He elevated Lawrence Summers and Timothy Geithner, the two Democrats most closely aligned with Paulson's policy, to top positions in his government.

And why has he accepted the Wall Street line that all this represents a "collective failure," as if the con men and the conned had equal responsibility? According to Obama, "It was a failure of responsibility that led homebuyers and derivative traders alike to take reckless risks that they couldn't afford to take. It was a collective failure of responsibility in Washington, on Wall Street, and across America that led to the near-collapse of our financial system one year ago."

That insistence on equating the swindled with the swindlers is also what is wrong with the evolving health care reform plan. The assumption from the beginning, when Obama reached out to insurance companies to come up with a deal, was that they had the interest of their customers at heart. They don't, and it is the purpose of government regulation in the area of health as well as banking to even the scales between the powerful corporations and the consumers from whom they profit. That is the purpose of a public option worth its name.



Please read the complete article at:

http://www.thenation.com/doc/20090928/scheer
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Robb Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 11:18 AM
Response to Original message
1. Thanks for this
It's been hours since my last "Better Believe It's Obama Sucks" post. I was starting to worry about you. :D
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Better Believe It Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 01:57 PM
Response to Reply #1
11. Didn't read the article, did ya?

If you disagree with the article how about offering us a paragraph by paragraph critique of it?

Sorry.

I was requesting the impossible from you.
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Robb Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 02:12 PM
Response to Reply #11
13. Still. Glad you're O.K. nt
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olegramps Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-18-09 11:03 AM
Response to Reply #1
48. Democrats would be stupid to desert President Obama, However:
I do see a growing opposition to his approach of reconciliation with the hope of cooperation as not being very productive in bringing the Republicans to their senses.
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liberal N proud Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 11:20 AM
Response to Original message
2. Dangerously overdrawn?
PLEASE!

:wtf:
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Cha Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 11:23 AM
Response to Original message
3. And, you're not too small to
FAIL.
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kid a Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 11:23 AM
Response to Original message
4. Who do you work for?
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DevonRex Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 11:24 AM
Response to Reply #4
5. Good question. nt
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Better Believe It Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 11:44 AM
Response to Reply #4
7. I would say that Robert Scheer works for us. What do you think?

About Robert Scheer

Robert Scheer, a contributing editor to The Nation, is editor of Truthdig.com and author of The Pornography of Power: How Defense Hawks Hijacked 9/11 and Weakened America (Twelve) and Playing President (Akashic Books). He is author, with Christopher Scheer and Lakshmi Chaudhry, of The Five Biggest Lies Bush Told Us About Iraq (Akashic Books and Seven Stories Press.) His weekly column, distributed by Creators Syndicate, appears in the San Francisco Chronicle.
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scheming daemons Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 02:33 PM
Response to Reply #7
15. Yeah...but... who do YOU work for?

Don't dodge the question some more.

Have the guts to answer the question.
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grantcart Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 02:35 PM
Response to Reply #4
16. It's nice to have a hobby
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dionysus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 11:28 AM
Response to Original message
6. you're quite used to daily fail yourself.
if i didn't know better i'd say you have an agenda...
:rofl:
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SpartanDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 11:50 AM
Response to Original message
8. I don't even know where to begin
Edited on Wed Sep-16-09 12:02 PM by SpartanDem
First, the MSM has been saying the public option is a goner for months it hasn't happened it's stupid when they say it and it's stupid in the this case. As for Iraq I remember Obama outlining a pullout timetable it may not be as fast as he likes, but we're on our way out. As for Obama Wall St. plans Paul Krugman generally praised them, just last night on Maddow Elizabeth Warren also said she liked them. So I don't get all the unnecessary hand wringing from this guy.
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Better Believe It Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 11:56 AM
Response to Reply #8
10. You could begin by carefully reading his entire article and than critique it one paragraph at a time
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hileeopnyn8d Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 07:47 AM
Response to Reply #10
21. Why don't you
offer any commentary along with your cut and pastes? That person took the time to comment on the article, and you have the nerve to ask them to format their response according to your specifications when you haven't offered any of your own opinions into the mix.



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dionysus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 09:20 AM
Response to Reply #10
26. BBI, any some point in time, do you ever have any sense of shame or embarrassment for these daily
Edited on Thu Sep-17-09 09:21 AM by dionysus
self-humiliating fail-a-thons you do?
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DevonRex Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 02:19 PM
Response to Reply #8
14. First, just laugh. Second, just laugh. Third, just laugh.
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jonnyblitz Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 11:54 AM
Response to Original message
9. k & r.
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OwnedByFerrets Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 02:05 PM
Response to Original message
12. K and R
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Baltoman991 Donating Member (869 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 03:03 PM
Response to Original message
17. What a bullshit
article.

Has done nothing to lessen our role in Iraq? Bullshit. Continuing the fight in Afghanastan? Yeah, he said he would do that.

Please, there is only one failure here and thats your attempt to hide your true agenda.
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JimGinPA Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 04:48 PM
Response to Original message
18. Must Be Embarrassing That This Was The Only Negative Article You Could Dig Up Today
Unrecommended
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Better Believe It Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 10:11 PM
Response to Reply #18
19. If you have actually read the article do you have an opinion on it?
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earth mom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 03:06 AM
Response to Original message
20. Obama had to know that the Insurance companies could give a shit about the people.
Edited on Thu Sep-17-09 03:07 AM by earth mom
Shit, almost everyone in this country knows they are nothing but fucking sharks!

The fact is Obama has played politics with people very lives because all he cares about is serving his corporate masters and trying not to make too many waves so he can get re-elected.


Well, it looks like Obama pissed off too many people this time-on BOTH sides of the aisle.
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joeycola Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 09:07 AM
Response to Reply #20
24. plus 1
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dionysus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 09:22 AM
Response to Reply #20
27. how does it feel being one of the only 2 people in this thread that buys this guys horse shit?
:rofl:
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Lydia Leftcoast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-18-09 08:34 AM
Response to Reply #27
41. Make that 1 of 3, pardner
:rofl: yourself
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Baltoman991 Donating Member (869 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 09:45 AM
Response to Reply #20
28. You may
keep hoping he pisses off enough people but the reality is those who are pissed off now are the same people who were pissed off long before that day in January when he was sworn in.
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dionysus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 09:50 AM
Response to Reply #28
29. +10
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joeycola Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 02:35 PM
Response to Reply #28
31. I do not hope more people get upset, but it is true that there are
more upset folks now than in January.
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Baltoman991 Donating Member (869 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 03:26 PM
Response to Reply #31
33. You have
your opinion, I have mine. I've seen every place Obama has spoken in the last two months and the crowds are just as big and loud as before.

I stand by what I said earlier. Now, the media might have you believing that more are upset with him, but then again, when has the media ever been honest with people?
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HamdenRice Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 08:48 AM
Response to Original message
22. Fact check: How has Obama "adopted that very approach as president" on finance?
TARP 2 was never enacted. Obama has not, as far as I know, adopted any new programs that use the same approach as Bush.

Or is this just a rant?
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Better Believe It Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 03:00 PM
Response to Reply #22
32. More and bigger handouts to Wall Street? Yes. That has been President Obama's approach.
Trillions to Wall Street in loans, purchases, governement guarantees and outright gifts.

And this has been fully explained and documented on Democratic Underground.

Haven't been paying attention?
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HamdenRice Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-18-09 06:50 AM
Response to Reply #32
40. Why don't you list them
TARP was passed under the Bush administration. Paulson called the big banks in and forced them to sell the Treasury preferred stock.

The list of TARP fund distributions I'm familiar with shows billions of dollars going to small and regional banks in amounts in the millions, not trillions, since the Obama administration came in.

Do you have any evidence of what you are alleging?
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Better Believe It Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-18-09 08:49 AM
Response to Reply #40
43. No problem. I'll do the research for you. :) You need help on anything else?
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HamdenRice Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-18-09 09:25 AM
Response to Reply #43
44. You made the allegation. Support it.
I suspect you won't because there is no evidence for your typical anti-Democratic Party rant.
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NoUsername Donating Member (265 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-18-09 11:13 AM
Response to Reply #32
49. Not only that but where's the regulation to go along with the handouts
to make sure it doesn't happen again? They should have done this right from the start. Now they're hemming and hawing and saying that regulation is complicated and it will take some time to craft a bill. I call BS. They could have reinstated Glass-Steagall and repealed the Commodity Futures Modernization Act of 2000 for starters. Any additional regulation needed to respond to the particulars of the financial meltdown and further tighten things up could be written up in a separate bill to be passed later but Glass-Steagall and the CMFA could have been taken care of right out of the blocks. Instead, we have moved on health care reform. Wall Street regulation is so yesterday.
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HamdenRice Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Sep-19-09 06:35 AM
Response to Reply #49
51. Are you kidding? Ever read the "Securities Law Reporter"???
I used to have to work with it. It's a legal publication that contains all the laws and regulations for just one slice of the financial industry -- the securities companies. Iirc it was about 15 volumes of looseleaf pages with tiny print, containing the securities act, securities exchange act, investment company act and related acts, plus the hundreds of thousands of regulations issued under those acts, and we received about 30 pages per month to replace old pages as laws and regs changed.

It will take years to figure out what went wrong, what regs were responsible and what needs to be done.

Anyone bitching about the laws and regs not having already been fixed just doesn't know anything about the issue.
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Better Believe It Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Sep-19-09 10:40 PM
Response to Reply #51
53. So that means you are totally unfamiliar with the deregulation of Wall Street

Do I also need to research this for you?
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HamdenRice Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-20-09 05:43 AM
Response to Reply #53
54. What on earth are you talking about
Edited on Sun Sep-20-09 05:44 AM by HamdenRice
Deregulation did not mean all those regulations went away. It meant that certain rules were changed, but the volume of regs is very similar.

If you think that deregulation simply meant abolition of the voluminous content of the Securities Law Reporter then you are demonstrating truly terrifying levels of ignorance.

http://onlinestore.cch.com/productdetail.asp?productid=...

Volume 1

* Topical Index
* General Guide
* Securities Act: Law Text; Compilations of law and related regs, CCH explanations, annotations: Definitions, Exemption, Registration


* Volume 2 Securities Act: Prospectuses, Liabilities, Schedule A, Regulations, Forms, How to Answer Form S-1 Exchange ACT: Law Text, Compilations of law and related regs, CCH explanations, annotations: Definitions; Exchanges, Margin-Borrowing Restrictions


* Volume 3 Exchange Act: Manipulations; National Market System, Registration; Reports, Proxies


* Volume 4 Exchange Act: Broker-Dealer Regulation, Securities Associations; Municipal Training; Government Securities; Insiders, Recordkeeping; Clearance and Transfer Reports; Records,Liabilities, Forms
* Securities Investor Protection Act of 1970


* Volume 5 Exchange Act: Regulations; Forms
* Holding Companies: Law Text, Definitions; Exemptions, Registration; Acquisitions, Simplification of Systems, Prohibitions; Reports; Records, Liabilities, Forms
* Trust Indenture Act: Compilations: Law and related regulations, CCH explanations, annotations; Forms
* Investment Company Act: Law Text; Compilations; Definitions


* Volume 6 Investment Company Act: Exemptions; Registration; Affiliates; Functions; Directors; Capital; Proxies, Securities; Reports; Records; Liabilities; Forms
* Investment Advisers Act: Compilations: Law and related regulations; CCH explanations; Annotations; Forms
* Staff Legal Bulletins
* Related Securities Law and Regulations; Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act; Sarbanes-Oxley Act
* Rules of Practice and Conduct; Regulation S-T; Accounting Rules; Regulation S-X


* Volume 7 Regulation S-B
* Regulation S-K
* Financial Reporting Releases; Codification
* Accounting and Auditing Enforcement Releases
* Staff Accounting Bulletins
* Finding Lists*
* Release Lists*
* Main Case Table*


* Volume 8 Cumulative Index*
* New Developments: Case Table*; Topical Index*; No-Action and Interpretive Letters; SEC Releases; Other Materials, New Court Decisions

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Better Believe It Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-20-09 11:10 PM
Response to Reply #54
57. Since you're swimming about wildly without a lifevest let me save you from drowning.
Edited on Sun Sep-20-09 11:10 PM by Better Believe It
It's not about the volume of regulation, it's all about the content and meaning of regulations. Can you understand that?


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JTFrog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 09:05 AM
Response to Original message
23. The only thing you get from constant negativity is a bad reputation.
You've definitely earned yours.
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Forkboy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 09:16 AM
Response to Original message
25. You've cried wolf so many times no one takes you seriously.
So when you post something from someone like Scheer, who is a decent bloke, no one cares. You've so undercut your own reputation around here that you've made yourself the focus of every post, and maybe three people will actually take the message seriously and not just laugh at the messenger. This thread is a great example, and you really have no one to blame but yourself. Perhaps if you had shown even a inkling of balance to your critiques people would pay attention.

Either you're clueless about internet dynamics, or you think 100% negativity actually has the effect you desire. So let me ask, is this thread and it's responses what you're looking for? Is this really the best way to make a difference that you can think of?
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AspenRose Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 05:24 PM
Response to Reply #25
37. That little Godzilla at the bottom of your post isn't the only thing I love about you.
:applause: :yourock:
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Forkboy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 07:50 PM
Response to Reply #37
39. I could accept it if it was.
;)
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branders seine Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 10:22 AM
Response to Original message
30. Problem: No mission and no measurable results in Afghanistan?
Solution: Send more troops.

Problem: Wall Street speculators and corrupt bankers drive the economy into ruin?
Solution: Give the Treasury to Goldman Sachs and give trillions to the Wall Street speculators and corrupt bankers, without a shred of "intrusive" regulation.

Problem: Health care ruined by crooked insurance corporations?
Solution: Craft a plan that rewards them with tens of millions of new customers, forces hundreds of millions to buy their products, and implements the least possible regulation on their corrupt practices.


Not an encouraging pattern, except for sycophants.
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Baltoman991 Donating Member (869 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 03:28 PM
Response to Reply #30
34. Yeah, ok!!
Another who has already decided they know what the health bill Obama signs is going to look like.

Nothing is being forced on anyone. You choose to believe the shit the media is feeding you then thats your problem. Myself, I'll listen to what the man himself says everytime he speaks.
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branders seine Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 06:07 PM
Response to Reply #34
38. I have no idea what will come out of Congress.
All I know is what been proposed, just like everyone else.
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brentspeak Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 03:42 PM
Response to Original message
35. Recommended - the Obama sychophants/K-street spammers don't like the awful truth being posted
Edited on Thu Sep-17-09 03:45 PM by brentspeak
1000 more articles like this couldn't do justice to the obvious fact that Obama is clearly using his office to benefit Wall St. rather than the average American. TR, FDR, Truman, Ike, JFK must be spinning in their graves, and asking themselves, "What the hell is this? First Reagan. Then Bush Sr. Then Clinton. Then Bush Jr. And now the guy who touted himself as 'change'. President after president hell-bent on suffocating the average American on behalf of Corporate America."
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Baltoman991 Donating Member (869 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 03:49 PM
Response to Reply #35
36. One things
for certain, if you're rec'ing the OP then it is, without a doubt, utter bullshit.

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Lydia Leftcoast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-18-09 08:38 AM
Response to Reply #35
42. Yeah, what brenspeak said,
especially for those of us who are old enough to remember Ike and JFK.

Some of us can still remember when presidents told the corporations what to do (c.f.JFK and the auto industry), not the other way around.
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Forkboy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-18-09 09:56 AM
Response to Reply #35
45. My post #25 applies to you as well.
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Lydia Leftcoast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-18-09 10:21 AM
Response to Reply #45
46. I'm sure brentspeak is totally intimidated now
:sarcasm:

Sorry, Forkboy, but the truth is that we needed an FDR with the guts and political will to start undoing all the damage of previous Republicanite administrations, and we got a Tony Blair, whose attitude is, "I might change a few things if it's all right with you Republicans, but it it's not, that's fine, too, and will you annoying progressives who actually voted for me sit down and shut up?"
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Forkboy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-18-09 10:28 AM
Response to Reply #46
47. And I'm sure you missed the point of my post.
If you think it was about intimidation then I don't know what to tell you.
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Maat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-18-09 12:01 PM
Response to Original message
50. Remember this?
******quote******
Bush's Third Term? You're Living It

It sounds like the plot for the latest summer horror movie. Imagine, for a moment, that George W. Bush had been allowed a third term as president, had run and had won or stolen it, and that we were all now living (and dying) through it. With the Democrats in control of Congress but Bush still in the Oval Office, the media would certainly be talking endlessly about a mandate for bipartisanship and the importance of taking into account the concerns of Republicans. Can't you just picture it?


There's Dubya now, still rewriting laws via signing statements. Still creating and destroying laws with executive orders. And still violating laws at his whim. Imagine Bush continuing his policy of extraordinary rendition, sending prisoners off to other countries with grim interrogation reputations to be held and tortured. I can even picture him formalizing his policy of preventive detention, sprucing it up with some "due process" even as he permanently removes habeas corpus from our culture.

I picture this demonic president still swearing he doesn't torture, still insisting that he wants to close Guantanamo, but assuring his subordinates that the commander-in-chief has the power to torture "if needed," and maintaining a prison at Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan that makes Guantanamo look like summer camp. I can imagine him continuing to keep secret his warrantless spying programs while protecting the corporations and government officials involved.


Read more at: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/david-swanson/bushs-third...

Read more at: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/david-swanson/bushs-third...
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Monk06 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Sep-19-09 06:55 AM
Response to Original message
52. Nine months into the first of two presidential terms of the smartest president since
Edited on Sat Sep-19-09 06:56 AM by Monk06

FDR. That's what really goads the RW and why
they are so obsessed with writing Obama's
obituary.

They are looking at a president who is thinking
ten years ahead of them and it is driving them
crazy because they have no vision nor ambition for
the future of the US. They are only concerned with
their own personal political ambitions within the
narrow confines of a two year political cycle.

What a tawdry ambition to have, so pointless and mundane.
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MuseRider Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-20-09 10:19 AM
Response to Original message
55. Too late for an R
but I can give you a K.
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inna Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-20-09 10:36 AM
Response to Original message
56. good article, and some good comments in this thread, too.

too late to rec, so at least a :kick:
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Feron Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-20-09 11:32 PM
Response to Original message
58. Geez Louise he's only been in office a few months.
Isn't it a bit too early to be making predictions of failure??

I think that Obama has made some missteps and I'm critical of him on some things, however there is still plenty of time for improvement. Cleaning up Bush's mess isn't happening overnight.

Obama's biggest problem is that he wants to negotiate with people that don't want to negotiate in good faith. Republicans are people that would rather destroy America than compromise. He needs to learn to shake the GOP off like shit on his shoe.
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