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Obama to bankster parasites: Hey, guys, careful you don't kill the host!

Just translating:

President Barack Obama told chief executive officers from some of the largest U.S. banks to “show some restraint,” [With what? Their 401(k)s? Their houses? Their health care?] even as he courted their support for his plans to stabilize the financial markets.

Way to leverage that "populist rage" (translation: "justified outrage"), there, big guy!

Then again, if you've invited the banksters to drive the bus, instead of throwing them under it, like the rest of us, it's hard to see what else could say....

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Submitted by jawbone on

Successful parasites do not kill their hosts too quickly; but many do indeed kill their hosts. Many cause pain, irritation, other illneses, weakness. -- which may lead to death.

Our banksters?? Probably want to keep us alive long enough to pay off their losses....

At Open Left, Paul Rosenberg writes about Jesse Jackson's 1988 Democratic Convention speech on Common Ground. Jackson spoke about the the greed of the '80's, calling it "economic violence." How much has changed? Democratic leadership, is that what's changed?

What's the fundamental challenge of our day? It is to end economic violence. Plant closings without notice-- economic violence. Even the greedy do not profit long from greed-- economic violence.

Paul's post is good, bit long but very good.

(Again, Damon, love that take on "We're all in this together." What did the parasite say to the host:

How could we possibly not be in this together? I mean, that's the very definition of a parasite.

To translate "We're All In This Together" from Bankinese, it means "We're not done feeding, yet. Get used to it."

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Submitted by koshembos on

Amazed as I am to see people surprised by Obama anti-folks as with the banketrs, I am really amazed at the lack of criticism on part of almost everyone.

Bill Clinton tried health care reform, Obama just talks about it. Bill tried to advance gay rights, Obama ignores them as much as possible.

Don't you get tired by a glib guy who runs around with a teleprompter?

Submitted by jawbone on

James Joycer of New Atlanticist reports on Economist's editorial and adds some comments of his own.

The Economist's editorial board... praises President Obama for having "already done some commendable things" in the foreign policy arena but charges that, domestically, "His performance has been weaker than those who endorsed his candidacy, including this newspaper, had hoped."

They note that, after a euphoric election, "Mr Obama’s once-celestial approval ratings are about where George Bush’s were at this stage in his awful presidency." They excoriate him, in particular, for "failure to grapple as fast and as single-mindedly with the economy as he should have done. His stimulus package, though huge, was subcontracted to Congress, which did a mediocre job: too much of the money will arrive too late to be of help in the current crisis."

They are especially critical of his "failure to staff the Treasury" which they characterize as "a shocking illustration of administrative drift." They admit that "Filling such jobs is always a tortuous business in America" but contend that "Mr Obama has made it harder by insisting on a level of scrutiny far beyond anything previously attempted. Getting the Treasury team in place ought to have been his first priority.

They acknowledge that he is "learning" but "Mr Obama has a long way to travel if he is to serve his country—and the world—as he should."

Joyner comments on how US politicians are chosen for high office:

One of the flaws of the American system is that we frequently elect amateurs to high office, thus imposing a steep learning curve. In parliamentary systems, leaders work their way up through the ranks, filling key ministerial posts, and learning the ropes. A new premier from the out party has typically been the leader of a Shadow Government and a new leader from the in party has typically been the number two man in the Government. A new president, by contrast, has typically never been part of an administration and may never have lived in Washington before taking office.

In recent years, Americans have preferred state governors for the presidency, which typically meant people came to the White House knowing how to create and manage a staff but with little grasp of How Washington Works or much knowledge of a whole range of issues that states don't deal with. Conversely, someone coming from Capitol Hill is much savvier on those scores but have no clue how to run an administration.

Obama, alas, is the worst of both worlds, having neither gubernatorial experience nor much Washington experience. He's been an incredibly talented dilettante, getting elected to one job and then the next without learning the ropes. He's a fast learner and will get the hang of it but, to come back to the Hillary Clinton quip that starts the Economist piece, "the Oval Office is no place for on-the-job-training." Except, as already noted, that it usually is.

Of course, Obama has taken over at a particularly unfortunate time, having inherited two wars and a global financial crisis, so his margin for error is even less than usual.

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Submitted by vastleft on

All politicians use them. I don't recommend undercutting your case by trying to squeeze blood from that stone.

Submitted by lambert on

I forget the origin of this one.

In any case, the town hall should have taken care of this one. Always assuming that he wasn't wearing an earbud, Obama did fine without a teleprompter.

Submitted by jawbone on

seems to me.

I was watching his Af-Pak policy announcement speech yesterday on C-Span, and Obama was back to the two teleprompters on the sides approach, which meant his head turned right (great proftile of left side of face), then swiveled past center without even the slightest pause, to the left (great profile of right side of face), then swiveled back to the right. What some have referred to as the "watching a tennis match" head movement.

There was simply no time to focus on his full face, no time to read his face, to get clues from his expression or eyes, etc. He simply just moved through the facing front position without pause. Usually,Obama's swiveling is somewhat metronomic with roughly equal time on each side -- and no pause in the middle.

No biggie? Except, as I mentioned, no chance to try to read him.

Most pols learn to use teleprompters in a way which has them focusing forward, on the audience in the middle and the camera, with occasional moves to look to the right and left sides of the audience. Those side moves are more of a nod to the sides, not an almost full side profile.

I realize Obama was used to speakig in very large, sometimes wraparound venues. But the WH room where he spoke about Af-Pak wasn't like that.

It began to seem to me that 1) he doesn't think he looks good from straight on, so avoids full face exposure, preferring his profiled aspect, and/OR 2) he doesn't want to look directly at his audience.

It's not that people mind a speaker using a teleprompter; it's that in Obama's case it's so obvious, and somehow excludes the viewer, especially the TV viewer. It's very hard to look into him eyes when he's making use of the tennis-match teleprompter set up.

This may not bother everyone. It has bothered me, without my realizing why. Thinking about it, it may go deeper than just using the teleprompter, as it affects my perception of how he's talkng to me -- while somehow avoiding making eye contact.

But, hey, not the biggest problem. Unless it affects trust level.

Submitted by hipparchia on

we're used to having speakers, on tv or irl, looking directly at us for most of the time that they're speaking to us.

i hadn't really noticed it. mostly i just listen to whatever he's saying while i'm working on the computer. i seldom watch.

Submitted by lambert on

and interesting, too. Not the "he uses a teleprompter" meme, but based on observation. [hums "getting to know you"]....

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Submitted by lizpolaris on

according to the Atlantic:

The crash has laid bare many unpleasant truths about the United States. One of the most alarming, says a former chief economist of the International Monetary Fund, is that the finance industry has effectively captured our government—a state of affairs that more typically describes emerging markets, and is at the center of many emerging-market crises. If the IMF’s staff could speak freely about the U.S., it would tell us what it tells all countries in this situation: recovery will fail unless we break the financial oligarchy that is blocking essential reform.

What's that called again - a banana republic?