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The Summers of our discontent

Larry Summers is out. And it couldn't happen to a nicer bankster-enabling sexist weasel. Say, why'd Obama pick him, anyway?

Oh, yeah, right.

NOTE The axe certainly fell faster than I expected. I never said (at least, to the best of my recollection...) that The Big O wasn't decisive; it's just a question of what he's decisive about, and on whose behalf.

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Submitted by weldon on

From Bloomberg:

"Administration officials are weighing whether to put a prominent corporate executive in the NEC director’s job to counter criticism that the administration is anti-business, one person familiar with White House discussions said. White House aides are also eager to name a woman to serve in a high-level position, two people said. They also are concerned about finding someone with Summers’ experience and stature, one person said."

Letters of Marque

Submitted by Hugh on

LOL. I was just commenting I thought Summers might stay. I also had to laugh because Brian Williams at NBC was saying with a straight face that Obama would probably replace Summers with someone from the "corporate" world because this had been a criticism that he didn't really have anyone from it among his economic advisers.

So Summers, Obama's number one economic adviser, the one with the most access to him is leaving to go back and teach at Harvard. Anyone seriously believe this? I can see Romer and Orszag as rats leaving the ship before it sinks, but Summers? No. It's too big a step down for him.

Because I don't see Obama giving up on any of his corporatist agenda, I can only think that Summers pissed Obama or Rahm off. He is after all an epic asshole. And if they were going to use him as a sacrificial lamb, I think they would have waited until after the elections.

Valley Girl's picture
Submitted by Valley Girl on

Of course I agree that Summers is an epic asshole. Nice turn of phrase there. Being a female scientist, I of course followed the Summers' "women aren't genetically able to do math and hard science" episode with, shall we say, a great deal of interest. I have a whole CD full of all of the articles I could find... It was totally demoralizing to me. So, from that point of view, if no other, Yes, he is an epic asshole. I mean, I'm only relating my particular issue, because I don't have the econ chops you do- at that way back when time, I really didn't know much about Summers re: econ.

But, could you explain your comment "And if they were going to use him as a sacrificial lamb, I think they would have waited until after the elections." I'm not following your logic here, re: after elections. I mean, if this is damage control (or meant to be seen as damage control) why wait? Hope you understand my query- if not, just ask.

Submitted by Hugh on

Well, first they are not using Summers as a sacrificial lamb. Last I heard he's leaving at the end of the year and the talk is that they are doubling down with someone who is even more corporatist than he is.

But if he were to be a sacrificial lamb, normally you would dump him after the election with the pronouncement that you were responding to voters, you were listening, you heard them, etc., and you would accompany this with some kind of a new (if cosmetic) policy rollout.

As a gesture to voters, getting rid of somebody right before an election doesn't work. It just makes the Administration look weak and in disarray. Also while we may know Summers most voters don't. So I don't think this is being done for our benefit.

It is difficult for me to put myself in the minds of Obama and Rahm because they have such a screwy view of the universe, but in Obamaland I think Rahm and Obama saw corporate donations going to Republicans and their conclusion was they needed to do more to curry the favor of their corporate masters. Summers may have worn out his welcome with his abraziveness. Certainly Geithner is as big a corporate sockpuppet as the MOTU could wish for. So if you are trying to send an even more corporate friendly message, that pretty much leaves Summers.

And too maybe Larry's ego grew too big for the job title. He was passed over for the Fed and Treasury. Maybe his access to Obama wasn't enough. OTOH from everything I've heard policy-wise he was in as good a place as he could want and he was winning all the fights.

So I think I can see bits and pieces of this story, but why Summers and why now I am a lot less clear on than I would like.

Joe's picture
Submitted by Joe on

Glad this P.O.S. is finally leaving the administration.

But what I really wanted to say is that I came up with a new nickname for Talking Points Memo. Not sure if this is original. But I'm now going to call them Tea Party Memo. It's the site you go to find out every last thing you could possibly want to know or not want to know, about our fellow citizens the Tea Partiers -- you know, those people who don't actually even run anything in our government at the moment.

I hereby grant everyone permission to use "Tea Party Memo" as a way to insult WKJJ.

gqmartinez's picture
Submitted by gqmartinez on

Oh yeah, that's right.

I thought Bush was transparently driven by election considerations, but Obama takes it to a whole other level.

Submitted by jawbone on

*CLO--Chief Layoff Officer

She might be a good fit, as she cut Xerox employees by 30% and there is this New Jobs Progam of a hugely "vast army of the unemployed."

However, latest news elsewhere is mentioning Jeffry Immelt, GE CEO 2001 to present. That should woo the left and labor!

And others, of course.

Among them, Richard Parsons, currently chairman of Citigroup as of 2009 and chairman of Time Warner from 2001-1008. Well, that would be rich, as well, eh?

It's a guessing game right now, but the leaks did inidicate Obama wants to mollify business because he hasn't won their love and apparently would like to get a woman on his econ team (like that would mollify women?).

Gonna be interesting and might indicate any possible direction changes -- or not.

Robert Scheer was on Democracy Now! this morning and said Obama has acted almost entirely opposite to what he enunciated in a major econ speech in April, 2008. Uh, Mr. Scheer, Obama was campaigning, or, for him, bamboozling, at the time. (Video up, transcript not yet.)