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Who knew Populism, could be so "Popular"?


TAIBBI: "The administration is clearly listening to the Occupy movement."
Taibblog, democraticunderground.com --  Jan 27, 2012

One thing we do know: Obama’s decision to tap Schneiderman publicly, and dump Geithner, and whisper about a millionaire’s tax, signals a shift in its public attitude toward the Wall Street corruption issue. The administration is clearly listening to the Occupy movement.


Huh!?  Timmy G. is taking his leave?   Surely you jest ...

Well let's let Tim speak for himself:


Geithner Says Obama Won’t Ask Him to Remain Past First Term
by Ian Katz and Trish Regan, January 27, 2012

Jan. 26 (Bloomberg) -- Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner, the last member of the Obama administration’s original economic team, said he doesn’t expect to remain in office if the president is re-elected.

“He’s not going to ask me to stay on, I’m pretty confident,” Geithner said in an interview with Bloomberg Television yesterday in Charlotte, North Carolina. “I’m confident he’ll be president. But I’m also confident he’s going to have the privilege of having another secretary of the Treasury.”

Well it's about damn time.


What's this, Eric Holder is actually staffing up the Task Force to go after "fraud in residential mortgage-backed securities"?

Simply incredible.


Holder Announces Working Unit on Mortgage-Backed Bonds Fraud
Bloomberg -- Jan. 27, 2012

[...]
In providing details about the new group, Holder said that the Justice Department in the past few days has subpoenaed 11 financial institutions in related investigations.

The mortgage fraud unit will “streamline” and “strengthen” current efforts to investigate fraud in residential mortgage-backed securities, he said today at a news conference in Washington.

[...]
The unit will include officials from the Justice Department and the Securities and Exchange Commission as well as U.S. attorneys and state attorneys general.

[...]
About 55 Justice Department attorneys, analysts and investigators and 10 Federal Bureau of Investigation agents and analysts will be assigned to the unit. An additional 30 investigators and other staff will join the staff in the coming weeks, according to the Justice Department.


But there must be some catch?

According to AG Schneiderman, he will still be able to go after the Big Fish, even if bankers sign the pending settlement agreement ...


Hope Is Rising for Mortgage Accord
by Alan Zibel, wsj.com -- January 28, 2012

[...]
Mr. Schneiderman, in an interview, also said the settlement is being structured so as to not interfere with a separate probe into the packaging of shaky loans into mortgage-backed securities, a practice that preceded the financial crisis. Mr. Schneiderman's remarks came as officials formally announced the launch of a special unit led by state and federal prosecutors. [...]


Apparently, according to Matt Taibbi again, banks may skate on the robo-signing "cover-up" charges.  BUT the loan origination of the mortgage-backed securities pyramid schemes will still remain fair game, for prosecutors.


Is Obama's 'Economic Populism' for Real?
by Matt Taibbi, rollingstone.com -- January 26, 2012

[...]
Some people have been confused about Schneiderman’s new role. The new Unit on Mortgage Origination and Securitization Abuses will not be investigating the same abuses covered in the foreclosure settlement. When the public thinks about corruption in the housing markets on the part of the big banks, what it mostly thinks of is robosigning and the other mass-perjury issues, which is the stuff targeted in the foreclosure settlement.

But in fact those problems were a tawdry little sideshow to the more serious crimes of the housing crisis. Schneiderman himself outlined the different after the announcement of the new unit’s creation:

   Schneiderman said Wednesday his dual roles -- raising concerns about a multi-state settlement with the major banks and investigating the mortgage problem -- wouldn’t be at odds.

    “These are abuses in the foreclosure process. Our working group is focusing on the conduct related to the pooling and the creation of mortgage-backed securities and issues relating to the conduct that created the crash, not the abuses that happened after the crash.”

My first thought, when I heard about this deal, was that Schneiderman was deciding to compromise on robosigning and other post-securitization abuses, in exchange for a mandate to go after the much bigger crimes, which took place in the origination/securitization stages.


I just saw Matt Taibbi on Countdown tonite talking about this. Mr. Taibbi said he was very surprised by the strong stand the administration was now taking on this Wall Street Mortgage scandal. And that he would not be surprised to see Wall Street insiders, facing actually jail time -- assuming Enron-style trials are actually conducted, as these MBS investigations unfold.

I'll post in that clip when it becomes available. ... Here it is, finally:

(Drats, the clip won't embed ...)     Link to Taibbi on Countdown Video


PS. Schneiderman was just on Maddow's show too.  Cool, very cool.



Link to Video


Who knew Populism, could become so "Popular"?

We knew.


As always, many thanks for reading.




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  •  Tip Jar (275+ / 0-)
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    Horace Boothroyd III, litho, LynChi, Markoff Chaney, grrr, 1Watt Hermit, TomP, DRo, Marie, absdoggy, hester, LaEscapee, Escamillo, Mentatmark, shesaid, OLinda, wayoutinthestix, deha, prgsvmama26, txdemfem, rubyr, Clive all hat no horse Rodeo, dsb, frankzappatista, PaDemTerry, sreeizzle2012, Catesby, dharmafarmer, tofumagoo, implicate order, BarackStarObama, ferment, Burned, uciguy30, Kim from Pgh PA, Otteray Scribe, MRA NY, unclejohn, Michael James, Tenn Wisc Dem, vacantlook, mollyd, Setsuna Mudo, liberte, politik, Lawrence, shari, Zwoof, snapples, bnasley, camlbacker, Thinking Fella, Meteor Blades, dotsright, revsue, CTLiberal, Creosote, Terri, WisePiper, Anthony Page aka SecondComing, where4art, Jane Lew, Its a New Day, Tool, CS in AZ, GeorgeXVIII, begone, Sapere aude, metal prophet, ladypockt, Bluehawk, sailmaker, Railfan, greengemini, AoT, trumpeter, nicolemm, randallt, Ice Blue, randomfacts, Sybil Liberty, Ckntfld, CanyonWren, ZappoDave, mrsgoo, Empower Ink, bablhous, hardart, Carlo, Ray Pensador, rasbobbo, Amor Y Risa, Sean X, My Spin, Lefty Coaster, On The Bus, high uintas, DianeNYS, eru, whenwego, VT ConQuest, Old Gardener, susan in sc, NoMoreLies, Involuntary Exile, lastlegslaststand, humphrey, BigAlinWashSt, Bensdad, McGahee220, Odysseus, Evolutionary, fiddlingnero, Glen The Plumber, valadon, Agathena, gater2112, TDreamer, Brinnon, slinkerwink, SoCalHobbit, Simplify, mic check oakland, NovatoBon, Youffraita, WheninRome, seamus mcdooby, GayHillbilly, zaka1, blueoasis, Actbriniel, CDH in Brooklyn, davboyce, GreyHawk, elwior, jazzizbest, fishwars, paradox, Yosef 52, Bernie68, riverlover, Habitat Vic, Noor B, sharonsz, gulfgal98, defluxion10, Shelley99, pioneer111, pfiore8, vadasz, on board 47, Matt Z, Lh1695, AnnCetera, nannyboz, pickandshovel, Ed in Montana, isabelle hayes, hopeful, little lion, emal, CanYouBeAngryAndStillDream, aufklaerer, glattonfolly, karmsy, ATFILLINOIS, Mr Green Jeans, LarisaW, rapala, parsonsbeach, BasharH, marleycat, filkertom, CitizenOfEarth, Crashing Vor, alicia, Detlef, frisco, Supavash, sallystrutt, Paul Ferguson, middleagedhousewife, muddy boots, slatsg, blue aardvark, Raggedy Ann, Captain Chaos, eeff, IndieGuy, democracy inaction, miracle11, Geenius at Wrok, Azazello, palantir, Bear, SpecialKinFlag, oneshot, MrJersey, cotterperson, kktlaw, dilutedviking, luckylizard, Hear Our Voices, clarknyc, Ann Marie Brenda, trinityfly, icebergslim, Dallasdoc, semiot, Caddis Fly, Jazzenterprises, Loudoun County Dem, UtahLibrul, be the change you seek, flavor411, Renee, BlueDragon, jfromga, ItsSimpleSimon, melo, sawgrass727, frsbdg, SanFernandoValleyMom, opinionated, reddbierd, krllos, Karen Hedwig Backman, LeoQ, Joieau, mahakali overdrive, alnep, Egalitare, timethief, penguins4peace, exNYinTX, anodnhajo, Gowrie Gal, kitebro, peregrine kate, tegrat, cacamp, zerelda, johanus, Steveningen, leftykook, Ozzie, shaharazade, maryabein, Alice Olson, kjoftherock, BMarshall, asterkitty, boatjones, LamontCranston, Statusquomustgo, pgm 01, oyka1, barkingcat, cslewis, Angie in WA State, ceebee7, o possum, deepeco, steelman, Regina in a Sears Kit House, KenBee, SeaTurtle, bunsk, Dvalkure, denise b, WiddieDawg, TexDem, jeannew, offgrid, vigilant meerkat


    What is necessary to change a person is to change his awareness of himself.
    -- Maslow ...... my list.

    by jamess on Fri Jan 27, 2012 at 06:52:37 PM PST

      •  That's more than apparent (38+ / 0-)

        His understanding of who is unemployed and why bears no relationship to reality and stinks of elitist classism.  Most of the people I know who suffered long stretches of unemployment - including myself - have no shortage of education. Almost all of them had BA's and a lot of them had MA's, MS's and Ph.D.'s.  

        So what good is more education for them? All of them had extensive professional resumes, all of them well-trained for necessary work. What is missing are the bloody jobs that pay living wages.  

        But that reality never penetrated the elitist mind of Obama and his band of trust fund babies and corporate pimps. From their classist posture, all the unemployed need are some cheap-ass training programs, maybe a few courses at a community college and magically, jobs will appear.

        That's putting the cart before the horse. What we need are living wage jobs. But they will never come back so long as the 'solution' is more free trade agreements, tax credits or other neoliberal nonsense.

        His mortgage relief program also stinks of that sanctimonious overprivileged notion of 'responsibility' that puts the entire burden for systemic and structural mortgage fraud on the backs of homeowners destroyed by this economy.  Only those who have never had their mortgages restructured are eligible for his miserly mortgage reform proposal. How many homeowners have been sliding in and out of foreclosure because they don't have stable, living wage work? I'll wager, most of them.

        Once again, he puts the cart ahead of the horse. Once again he shows he doesn't get it. He's just aping the rhetoric of the streets, while peddling the least he can do, in order to slide past the Republicans in November.

        Sorry, not buying it. Not until he owns up to the fact that free trade/free market/privatized state/american empire policies have destroyed this country and our futures.  Not until he puts a WPA program on the table, along with a foreclosure moratorium and massive student debt relief.  And he should shit-can anyone who dares rattle a saber at any other country, including Iran. Fuck these wars and the bastards who made them.

        And he should stick those shared sacrifice/'personal responsibility' lectures in the hazardous waste dispenser before any more people get hurt by his sanctimonious non-understanding.

        •  While you make several good points (16+ / 0-)

          the unemployment rate for those with at least a college degree is much lower than the rate for those without. The fact that most of the people you know who've been unemployed for a long time are well-educated probably has more to do with the kind of circles you hang in than anything else.

          It's true that simply educating the less educated will not magically create all the jobs we need. But I've never had the impression that that is all BO wants to do. What did hundreds of billions in stimulus funds have to do with that?

          Criticizing the President's policies and visions and putting pressure on him can be a Very Good Thing™, but your bit about his 'elitist mind' and 'trust fund babies and corporate pimps' just sounds like you're blowing off angry steam. Let's look ahead and push for the right changes instead of huffing and puffing about contrived problems.

          •  On the surface (14+ / 0-)

            your points have merit. Its true, I am one of those people with a Ph.D. and its a fair observation that the circles I travel in mean I meet a lot more people with Ph.D,'s than the average joe.

            But I don't come from the same background as most people with Ph.D.'s. Indeed, I was one of only two people in my incoming grad class who didn't have a trust fund . Only two of us came from a public school system.  

            But the fact that many of those from privileged backgrounds and benefitting from advanced education find themselves without work should be a major warning sign that the problem is not simply education, but the lack of living wage work.

            Virtually all of the people I know in journalism have lost their jobs. Nobody from my graduate program has gotten a full time teaching job since 2006.  And the average adjunct wage in America's colleges is 2000 dollars a class, so even if they teach 3 times what tenure track faculty make, they are nothing but working poor.

            Those who do get those tenure track jobs, mostly come from a handful of elite schools and programs, meaning that even in that rarified world, only a handful of privileged people will make a living wage, while the rest are condemned forever for not attending the 'right' school.

            But - as I mentioned - I do not come from a privileged background. I grew up and lived half my life in the same ghetto as Wu Tang Clan.  I'm a former homeless person, a successful squatter and someone who was forced to fight his way up from the bottom.

            Many of the people I mentioned above - particularly those with BA's, MA's and MS's (plus a few MSW's) - have backgrounds more in common with mine and they were unemployed for long periods as well.  Why? because their backgrounds deny them privileged access to opportunity or because they chose productive professions (journalists, social workers, teachers).  Professions that have been destroyed by 30+ years of neoliberal/neoconservative destruction of our job markets.

            Opportunity has collapsed, because jobs have collapsed. Amid this 'Great Retrenchment', even the privileged cannot count on their privilege to ensure their future. And those without privilege are permanently fucked.

            The point of this long-winded tale is to say that the destruction of living wage work has advanced so far that its not just a problem for the poor and uneducated, it has become a manifest threat even for the privileged and the exceptionally educated.  

            Obama's 'worker training/community college' initiative is classist bullshit. Worse than that, it ignores the destruction of living wage jobs and the economic policies that produced that situation.

            In short, its a fucking smokescreen for doing nothing, produced by people who haven't got a clue and don't give a shit. It exacerbates the corporate takeover of higher education which is exactly why education costs have blown through the roof.

            Education is not the whole answer, because the jobs aren't there to begin with. In the era of the 'great retrenchment', we need immediate triage of the job market - with a WPA - program and then we need a long term plan to decouple our economy from the globalization nightmare and restore work and living wages to this economy.

            Obama's proposals are embarrassingly obvious bandaids on a gapping wound, while behind the scenes, he is moving with all due speed to complete the project of globalization and corporate domination of the world.

            •  Typo correction (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              trinityfly, BlueDragon

              The last sentence of the 4th paragraph should have read:

              "And the average adjunct wage in America's colleges is 2000 dollars a class, so even if they teach 3 times the number of courses that tenure track faculty do, they are nothing but working poor."

            •  Jobs in journalism are being destroyed because of (3+ / 0-)

              technological change.  The old style journalistic model is changing quickly across the nation and places like Fox News demonstrate that fully a third of the nation doesn't really need news at all.  

              And it feels like I'm livin'in the wasteland of the free ~ Iris DeMent, 1996

              by MrJersey on Sat Jan 28, 2012 at 08:39:32 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  This is a good rant. The entire economic structure (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              vzfk3s, denise b, Tom Taaffe

              of this country came under attack when the government became to be seen "as the problem, not the solution." That approach failed to take into account that a sizable segment of economy was founded on government programs and government employment. Killing the government was killing off a large part of the economy, and replacing it with nothing. Other parts of the government were privatized, but that is no guarantee that those jobs will continue. Just considering the jobs you mentioned - teachers and social workers - those were and still are for the most part, government jobs. Privatizing education, privatizing the postal service, privatizing the prison systems, getting rid of "welfare" altogether - all of these policy choices, in the name of reducing the size of government have helped crash the economy, just as surely as the economic policies and deregulation helped crash the economy.

              It is the same short-sightedness we witness about privatizing the Social Security program. The amount of Social Security money that goes into the economic engine of every community in the country helps to maintain those communities. Social Security pays for food, clothing, shelter, transportation, insurance payments, entertainment, every aspect of life. For most Social Security reciepients, those benefits do not sit in a bank account somewhere. The money comes in and it goes right back out again as payments for cost of living. If that engine is disrupted, you will see even more economic failures. But you never see policy discussons about the long term impact that getting rid of Social Security will have. If you doubt the economic impact of Social Security, just check out this chart of benefits paid, by state, in 2009. http://www.ssa.gov/...  If you kill that program, what are you going to replace it with? And if you don't replace it, what will happen to the economy then, with that one policy decision?

              And all for the almighty bottom line.  That is the underlying policy that needs to be changed. This country needs to stop making government policy decisions based on private sector factors like short term gains and profit margins, and start looking at the long term again. Government should not be run like a business.

            •  you must have (0+ / 0-)

              one a them fancy Ph.D.s ;) I did everything in public school, from elementary through Ph.D. and beyond. (Yes, I did a 3-year credentialing program after the doctorate in order to get my current job. But I was never meant to be an academic so that's on me.) I couldn't see the value in piling up a bunch of student debt to do public service work.

              I agree that education is not the answer. I also don't believe what we're told about there not being enough Americans with the "right skills" to keep us from outsourcing what used to be solid middle class jobs.

          •  go (4+ / 0-)

            ahead and tell that to the 70-80 engineering grads with good or excellent GPA's and/or job experience that I interviewed in 1 year and we couldn't hire (hired maybe 30-40).  You probably would end up in the hospital with little sympathy from me.

            "Let me issue and control a nation's money and I care not who writes the laws." Mayer Amschel Rothschild, 1790

            by FreeTradeIsYourEpitaph on Sat Jan 28, 2012 at 07:39:58 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Um (7+ / 0-)

              What? I'm well aware that it's a very bad time to look for work if you are a college educated person and or even if you have a PhD. It's bad for everyone. But it's also a fact that the unemployment rate is much lower for college grads than it is for high school grads.

              I agree that education isn't a magic bullet. What I don't agree with is the premise that Obama isn't pushing policies that do more than educate, or that he believes higher education will magically create jobs. I'm not saying Obama and Congress have done enough on the jobs front (that would be laughable) - but I just don't see the evidence for this line of criticism.

              •  I agree (6+ / 0-)

                the problems for people with lower education levels are more broadspread and deeper, and point to a major problem with the policies being pursued.   Tens of millions are in that category and are unemployed, underemployed or a hair's breadth away from unemployment almost every day of their working lives.

                But new issues are coming up, college educated people, professionals, etc., are also becoming increasingly at risk.  Tom Taafe's points about the field of journalism are well taken.    

                My point to many of my friends and acquaintances, who tend to have education and professional careers, is the greed of the super rich will not be satisfied with the wealth it has wrung out of the poor and middle class, the professional classes, successful smaller businesses, they are next on the food chain.   No one much below the level of Mitt Romney should be feeling secure about their economic future.

                •  Journalism is a weird example to give (0+ / 0-)

                  because it's been impacted by the Internet. Other majors would be better discussed, IMHO. Anything in the Hard Sciences might be a much better example of grads who cannot get jobs due to the economy, primarily. There aren't really any "protected" fields right now, actually, other than some semi-vocational ones like Nursing.

                  There are very severe problems for people both with and without college degrees. Also, because of economic problems at the State level, the structure of many University systems is underfunding colleges, thus advanced degrees like Ph.D.'s aren't turning into teaching positions nearly as much as even six or seven years ago. The academic job market is famously bad right now. However, that's a complex issue in that it's funded at a State level for public institutions (backing up supply in the private Universities as well).

                  But to find any job at all with a Ph.D., or in turn an MA or a BA, is easier than to find any job with a high school diploma (though a lot costlier). And neither have been any good, IMHO. I'm sure there are charts and things on these numbers and statistics out there.

            •  The politicians all say that they want more tech (6+ / 0-)

              and science grads, but experience shows that companies treat them like the hired help and discard them like so much industrial waste when the contract is over.  That's why so many engineering types that I know have abandoned the low paying tech jobs and gone back to get their MBA's to get a shot at where the real money can be made.

              And it feels like I'm livin'in the wasteland of the free ~ Iris DeMent, 1996

              by MrJersey on Sat Jan 28, 2012 at 08:47:53 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  Lol (0+ / 0-)

              So half of the engineering grads that interviewed with you got hired? That's phenomenally good, it's evidence that engineering is a great place to be right now (and it is a great place to be, at least relatively speaking).

              (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
              Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

              by Sparhawk on Sat Jan 28, 2012 at 09:16:52 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  they were (0+ / 0-)

                hired before 2008 rolled around.  Many that we did hire have subsequently been laid off.   Engineering is okay if you're in the business of making war machines.  I happen to design the best, if that could be called a measure of merit. Only roughly 30% were hired.

                "Let me issue and control a nation's money and I care not who writes the laws." Mayer Amschel Rothschild, 1790

                by FreeTradeIsYourEpitaph on Sat Jan 28, 2012 at 12:58:37 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

            •  Hiring 30-40 is pretty good. Those other 70-80 (0+ / 0-)

              may well have gotten jobs elsewhere.  Your company wasn't the only one hiring.

          •  Another detail on the educated and unemployed (13+ / 0-)

            It's true that those with college education may be employed at a higher rate. Indeed, if that were not the case, we should close down all the colleges and stop wasting our time and money on them.

            But if you drill down into the situation, you'll find that the college educated are also underemployed, underpaid and increasingly being exploited in the marketplace. Yes, they are more attractive candidates to work in a shop, pour coffee or work as temps, but that doesn't pay for college nor is it using their education and potential to their fullest.

            For example, most of the college professors in this country are adjunct professors. All of them have advanced degrees. Adjunct faculty wages average 2000 dollars a class, no benefits. In some states, they don't even pay into social security.  

            So the average adjunct faculty member has to teach 10 courses a year, 5 times the amount a tenure-track faculty member teaches at many universities. Most schools prohibit adjunct faculty from teaching more than 2 or 3 courses, so that means they are driving all over the state to get to the next class.  None of those people are listed as 'unemployed'. And at that rate of teaching, they aren't even listed as 'underemployed'.  But they are working themselves to death for poverty wages.

            And that's the fucking problem.  All the education in the world will leave you only with debt and chained into sweatshop working conditions.

            Which makes the american dream a fucking fraud.

        •  You make some points I agree with, but (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          citisven, Dvalkure

          I find it a bit over the top to call Obama elitist.

          But that reality never penetrated the elitist mind of Obama and his band of trust fund babies and corporate pimps.

          I don't think Obama is elitist, his family (and Michelle's as well) and the way they were brought up, was not of the "elitist" kind.

          What I assume though is that they fully believed and experienced both that their educational path has made them realize their own best dreams of making a difference in the political and social arena as Afro-Americans. The fact that they believed in that so strongly is only natural and imo a very humane aspect of them. After all, it's rarely that I hear ANY American NOT believing in the dream of advancing in life through education (ironically they at the same time don't make education accessible and free of cost to its citizen, but they support rather the opposite politically, making education more exclusive, which again makes their exceptionalism in education more convincing to themselves).

          Because education is so highly valued and so highly priced (out of access to the poor), the general belief is even more strong. I am sure you have seen people believing that something must be good, because it's expensive. People fall for it all the time, because they want to show they are able to afford something that is expensive. So having fought for achieving and getting something that is very expensive and competitive and difficult to get (like a degree from an Ivy League  university) makes their pride and belief in that sort of educational system even stronger. Hence Obama's belief that "some community college programs" will make all the difference. Having a son going through this right now, I understand your scepticism. It's hard to believe in it. But then you don't have many other choices.

          I wouldn't call Obama an elitist, he can be a tad bit arrogant  if he wants to in his lax kind of way, but then, who wouldn't resort to that at times, when you get bashed as muslim-socialist-African specialty species  by the oh-so-subtle racists in this country.

          "When Injustice Becomes Law, Rebellion Becomes Duty"

          by mimi on Sat Jan 28, 2012 at 09:41:52 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I called his policies elitist and classist (5+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            emal, peregrine kate, shaharazade, mimi, BradyB

            I never mentioned Michelle.  

            Here's why:

            First - as I mentioned previously - the logic of his argument for training programs and community college education is based on the notion that people are unemployed because they don't have skills.

            That may be true for some, but its classist to presume that's the case for most of them. Some of the hardest hit people in the jobless crisis have been people 20-30 years of work experience and people with college and advanced degrees. Their condition was produced by the destruction of living wage jobs and the outsourcing of their jobs to other countries or reckless automation of work, to save money (not improve products).

            Second, many of them are hidden from the numbers because they are underemployed, working for a fraction of their previous wages and/or trapped in temporary work that doesn't pay the bills and leaves huge gaps in their income, when one job ends and another hasn't been found.

            Constant consolidation of companies into megacorporations has gutted the country of work, adding to the problem.

            Beyond the problem of outsourcing, downsizing and the shift to contingent labor practices, the second problem has been the privatization of public sector work, making these positions highly vulnerable to the same outsourcing, downsizing and shift to temporary, low-paying work.  This affects Ph.D.'s as badly as it affects HS dropouts.

            So the argument that you can solve the joblessness crisis with some cheap-ass training programs and a few college courses is insulting and ignores the fact that the problem is the destruction of living wage work, not an undereducated unprepared workforce.

            The second elitist perspective I mean to puncture is the emphasis on community college for the 'lower social orders'. If Obama held egalitarian beliefs, he would contend that there are the same percentage of smart people in - say - Hartford as Greenwich CT.  

            If that were the case, the goal should be to make sure that the poor are as well represented in 4 year colleges and universities as more privileged members of society. Indeed, you could argue they need to be there in greater numbers, because only by the strength of their education can they escape their economic fate.

            But that's not the case. As successive chancellors made clear at my public university, those who can't afford the school don't belong there. This was reinforced with condescending liberal classism, that sought to normalize their exclusion with platitudes and justifications - backed up by passive aggressive bullshit - rather than pressing the case for their inclusion.

            So proposing to send the poor to community colleges, while the middle class go to public universities is class-based segregation of educational opportunity.  

            That is classist, elitist social planning and it's all too familiar to someone like me who has been fighting for educational access my whole adult life.

            He's palming off the problem of joblessness to to institutions most savagely hammered by 20 years of pro-corporate education reform that is single-handily responsible for the explosion of education costs and the expulsion of the poor and working classes from schools that produce decision-makers.

            It was bullshit when Clinton proposed it - and he is the real devil in 'education reform' -  and its bullshit when Obama proposed it under extremely dangerous economic circumstances.

            And its exactly the kind of classist idea I've heard all too often from educational decision-makers who don't want the lower social orders in their schools.

            The opposite of elitism is egalitarianism and I see no evidence of the later in Obama's policies. Indeed, the stench of elitist social planning and overprivileged ignorance is written all over his policies.

            •  I have a hard time NOT to agree with you (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              mahakali overdrive, Actbriniel

              but I wouldn't blame this on Obama alone. The educational system has been non-egalitarian for decades and is most probably an attribute of the inheritance from the British  system. You say it was Clinton who introduced pro-corporate education. What was it before him?

              I just lost a longer comment and now am too frustrated to rewrite the whole thing and say it a bit shorter.

              There are two things that don't happen in the US.

              First Americans don't like to do cheap, dirt, hard manual labor, so they are happy to let poor immigrants into the US, exploit them and on top of them threaten them with deportation, knowing quite well they can never afford it, it would never work and all it does is incite racism.

              Second Americans don't like to invest into education for everybody. The rich want their privileges and that means that only the rich should get into the best schools. They want their exceptionalism and exclusive status maintained. The result is that far too few scientists and engineers are produced among the US student population.

              Therefore they have to "seduce" (on the cheap) the many educated foreigners, who can't generate enough of an income in their home countries to come to the US. As every good US politician will tell you over and over, they are just very happy to receive these skilled, smart immigrants with open arms into the US. (well, so it sounds at least).

              So they try to attract them on the cheap, in the right numbers, to get the most profit out of them for themselves. In order to attract them, they have to maintain the myth of having the best universities in the world. And of course, if they are the best, they also come at a price. People believe in that, come and are willing to pay. If it is expensive, it must be good, is the common fallacy people buy into.

              The circle comes to full term, the US functions "well" without giving the poorer and middle-class American an easy, fair, equal and free access to a good education. A very strange way of dealing with their own population, I must say.

              BTW I mentioned Michelle Obama only, because she is Obama's wife, they are a tight, fine couple and for sure have influenced each other in their thinking and experiences. You should not read anything else than that into my previous comment.

              Though I am critical, I can't just dump it on the Obamas personally. They are part and product of a larger system that is beyond themselves. He tries what he thinks he can accomplish. That it isn't what many here think he could accomplish, if he just would fight harder, is another issue.

              "When Injustice Becomes Law, Rebellion Becomes Duty"

              by mimi on Sat Jan 28, 2012 at 03:05:53 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

        •  He's not from a wealthy background (9+ / 0-)

          so why would you claim he wouldn't have a good understanding of lower class vs. upper classes?

          He was quite poor when he lived in Indonesia, you know.

          And his mother's family was just working class. I believe his wife's family is also not from a wealthy family either.

          Unclear why you use this "Obama is an elitist" meme when, frankly, he grew up pretty poor and hasn't been in the 1% MUCH in his adult life.

          •  Lot's of elitist/classist's (0+ / 0-)

            are from the so called lower classes. The class he grew up in is irrelevant to this administration's implementation of an economic agenda that is for and about the 1% and a global corporate agenda. Look at Clinton's roots. They both managed to end up in the halls of power and wealth. Easy to get arrogant about people who don't have the talent, desire, ambition, drive and luck to raise to the top. Especially if your a true believer in unregulated 'free market' global capitalism.  I also think his mother parents were at least middle class as his grandmother was vice president? manager? of a bank.

            •  Lower class elitists? (4+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              oyka1, citisven, shaharazade, mimi

              Not following you well here in that the poster began with this statement:

              His understanding of who is unemployed and why bears no relationship to reality and stinks of elitist classism.

              His "understanding" is going to be based on, in no small part, personal experience WITH different classes. And he has a variety of these to draw upon. So that is my point here... that he can "understand" a variety of class backgrounds since he's been part of a variety of them, including quite poor at one point.

              Economically, we see a lot of factors at play that have zero to do with the President's "class understanding." Or even sympathies, per se. Geithner has been pretty toxic here. Neoliberalism throughout the Democratic Party has also been toxic. Capitalism as a dominant American economic and global mode are equally issues. As is the hamstrung Congress by small Government Republicans. So my objection is to basing our current economic situation, or even the President's actions toward our economy, on an "understanding" of class values and differences rather than the current political climate and cast of characters involved.

        •  So the President makes positive efforts... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Dvalkure

          ...and you apparently see it as an opportunity to launch an "Obama-Sux" rant.

          Maybe there's truth to what you have to say, but it's overshadowed by general lack of sense!

          One of the core causes of much mayhem was when rating agencies gave high ratings to mortgage-backed securities that had garbage mortgages intermingled with the good ones, thus undermining the value of all of them--this seems like a pretty clear-cut case of fraud, and cause for the Justice Dept to go after them, and That Damned Corporate Elitist Obama just won't send Holder after them....

          Well not so fast....apparently the bondraters can get away with this shit because their ratings are OPINIONS and aren't open to question legally.

          This sort of thing seems to be a reason for a certain amount of reserve in the govts' pursuit of these people, and not because Elitist Obama is protecting them.

          Perhaps they haven't been creative enough in finding ways to go after the bankers, but just as soon as they start to do something, people like you start up with "hey it's all crap, Obama's sold out, blah blah blah"

          What the fuck is the difference between "Obama's a Socialist Kenyan Mau-Mau named Sotero" and "Obama's an Elitist Classist and his friends are Trust-fund Babies"?

          None that I can see.  Maybe go peddle that bullshit somewhere else.

          "Ronald Reagan is DEAD! His policies live on but we're doing something about THAT!"

          by leftykook on Sat Jan 28, 2012 at 12:01:06 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  These appointments (31+ / 0-)

        Obama makes New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman the co-chair along with co-chair Robert Khuzami (from Covington and Burling firm, which helped give the banks the electronic-vs paper-mortgage registry system, MERS, which greased the way into out-of-control securitization of mortgages) and co-chair Lanny Breuer...

        Before joining the SEC, Khuzami was senior counsel of the fixed-income desk at Deutsche Bank, which was creating exactly the sort of dicey CDOs that this investigation ought to be targeting.
        (Taibbi)

        So...

        having those two guys attached to Schneiderman’s hip makes me wonder what is going on here. Khuzami’s presence is especially odd. The theoretical reason we need a committee like this in the first place is because the federal agency that is supposed to be doing this work – the SEC – has stubbornly refused to do so.

        If as SEC enforcement chief Bob Khuzami has not investigated the vast corruption involved with the creation of mortgage backed securities (it’s called “securitization” – it should be policed by the SECURITIES and exchange commission), then why would he start now? Even leaving out his potential culpability from his Deutsche days, Khuzami has been part of the problem, if anything.

        I would feel better about a committee that not only didn’t have a White House flack and a failed/compromised SEC enforcement chief sitting on it, but had nobody with any ties to Wall Street at all. The argument for them would be that we need someone with expertise on the committee, but I’m not buying it.

        ...the crimes we’re dealing with are not terribly complicated, and any veteran investigator would grasp the basic concept – taking worthless crap and selling it as high-end merchandise – within ten minutes. The most important element contributing to the success of a committee like this is a locked room full of clean hands. And Breuer and Khuzami are not a good start.

        (Taibbi)

        Also,

        ...as Yves Smith points out, Schneiderman really isn’t getting much extra authority by taking this post. As New York AG he could already have taken this investigation anywhere he wanted:

        "It’s clear what the Administration is getting from getting Schneiderman aligned with them. It is much less clear why Schneiderman is signing up. He can investigate and prosecute NOW. He has subpoena powers, staff, and the Martin Act. He doesn’t need to join a Federal committee to get permission to do his job. And this is true for ALL the others agencies represented on this committee. They have investigative and enforcement powers they have chosen not to use. So we are supposed to believe that a group, ex Schneiderman, that has been remarkably complacent, will suddenly get religion on the mortgage front because they are all in a room and Schneiderman is a co-chair?"

        I think Taibbi is being quite fair to say,

        Whether [the administration is] now acting on their complaints, or just trying to look like it’s doing something, is another question. It’s way too early to tell.

        "...just ordinary people, you know, people who are not famous, if they get together, if they persist, if they defy the authorities, they can defeat the largest corporation in the world. - Howard Zinn

        by Sean X on Fri Jan 27, 2012 at 09:33:12 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  gag reflex... (8+ / 0-)

        if there was ever a time calling for NOT middle of the road, this would be it.

      •  He said a lot of thingsto get elected last (7+ / 0-)

        time.

      •  There's nothing in the middle (4+ / 0-)

        of the road but Yellow Stripes and Dead Armadillos.

        Jim Hightower

        Honesty pays, but it doesn't seem to pay enough to suit some people. Kin Hubbard

        by Mr Robert on Sat Jan 28, 2012 at 11:42:04 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Yeh, after the horse has left and the barn burned (36+ / 0-)

      down, and the whole effing farm blown away in a dust storm.

      If I may - here's me, Fri Feb 06, 2009

      If I were President . . . [Ending Wall Street's rule]

      ....let me note that I have directed the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and all financial regulators, to consider any individuals or institutions that oppose these measures as economic terrorists, and to investigate and pursue them according to U.S. laws designed to combat terrorism. I have also directed the National Director of Intelligence and the National Security Agency to immediately begin locating and tracking whatever foreign holdings these economic terrorists have.

      These measures are tough, but they are not unprecedented. They will no doubt create panic in certain financial markets. But we have reached the point where we must decide to either save the financial markets, or save the nation. In large part, the financial markets have caused the problems we now confront. So I urge you, over these next few days, to ignore the wild fluctuations of the financial markets. There will be great weeping and gnashing of teeth as financial assets lose billions, even trillions of dollars in price. But to continue to attempt to prop up these prices would be a fatal mistake for our country, and for our future. We cannot allow the financial markets to dictate the terms of survival for our nation. Once we have restructured our economy, and begun the physical task of building the economic capacities that our children, and their children, and many future generations will use, then the financial markets will return to sanity and normalcy, and will once again be a reliable indicator of the underlying economic health and vitality of the country.

      Oh, and if you go back and look, what the President is finally doing does not come close to what should have been done in 2009.

      A conservative is a scab for the oligarchy.

      by NBBooks on Fri Jan 27, 2012 at 08:31:47 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  now make me do it (24+ / 0-)

      that's how bottom up change happens

      we should have had an occupy type movement 3 years ago

      i think my cat is possessed by dick cheney

      by Anton Bursch on Fri Jan 27, 2012 at 09:27:04 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Well, yeah, although... (12+ / 0-)

      ... the other feature of glaciers is that, while they generally move very slowly, they are inexorable. They cannot be stopped, and everything else yields to them.

      I do agree that I wish they would move along with this at a faster pace though.

      •  Except apparently the route this one is taking (6+ / 0-)

        is to go back uphill.

        Education is a progressive discovery of our own ignorance.

        by Horace Boothroyd III on Sat Jan 28, 2012 at 12:18:50 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Taking on the Wall Street establishment is (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        grrr

        not something that can be done "at a faster pace".  These guys have the proverbial friends in high places.  It may seem politically popular to us, but it could just as easily be suicidal.

        “when Democrats don’t vote, Democrats don’t win.” Alan Grayson

        by ahumbleopinion on Sat Jan 28, 2012 at 08:25:29 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Doing nothing is certainly politically suicidal. (0+ / 0-)

          There was a recent segment on Bill Moyers with David Stockman, in which Stockman righteously criticized Obama for keeping on those who were architects of the crash - Geithner, Summers, Bernanke and Paulson - and missed an opportunity to do something early on. http://billmoyers.com/...

          Stockman: We elect a new government because the public said, you know, "We're scared. We want a change." And who did we get? We got Larry Summers. We got the same guy who had been one of the original architects of the policy in the 1990s, the financialization policy, the too big to fail policy.

          Who else did we get? We got Geithner as Secretary of the Treasury. He had been at the Fed in New York in October 2008 bailing out everybody in sight. General Electric got bailed out. Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs, all of the banks got bailed out, and the architect of that bailout then becomes the Secretary of the Treasury. So it's another signal to the financial markets that nothing ever changes. The cronies of capitalism are in charge of policy.


          And there is what Stockman said about Jeffrey Immelt. That's at minute marker 23.
          It's not good when a Republican like Stockman has legitimate criticism of the sitting president just before an election in a forum like Bill Moyers.  Maybe Obama is beginning to recognize that as much as he needed to try to work with Conservatives and Republicans, there comes a time when you have to say enough is enough. I have worried that he has been in an ivory tower, with the information he was basing his decisions on filtered by the likes of Geithner and Summers. I hope this signals that Obama was aware and not being managed/manipulated.
  •  Well, okay. (23+ / 0-)

    I'm glad about the existence of Occupy since its beginning, but I've observed for some time that Taibbi has had pretty much a contempt for most (if not everything) Obama has done. He can't believe for one minute that Obama came up with anything like this except from criticism and pressure from the left.

    I don't buy it. Yes, Obama paid attention and I think he may be basically sympathetic to Occupy, and went for a chance to take sides in the class war that Occupy writ large out there in the public consciousness. but to give him himself no credit for this and be "surprised" and chalk this up to having been pushed into it to pander: that's going too far.

    I think a chance to differentiate himself from the right
    (which is obvious now comparatively) is a large part of this.  

    "...be still, and cry not aloud; for it is an unholy thing to boast over slain men." Odysseus, in Homer's Odyssey

    by Wildthumb on Fri Jan 27, 2012 at 07:07:39 PM PST

  •  Oh Crap. "Banking Off" Occupy At Best. (35+ / 0-)

    Remember, conservatives sound like liberals right before elections.

    What's important is how they sound RIGHT AFTER elections. How did he sound right after his first election?

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Fri Jan 27, 2012 at 07:10:14 PM PST

    •  indeed (16+ / 0-)

      The People need to make clear

      what the People want.


      Most of the Amendments started out this way.


      What is necessary to change a person is to change his awareness of himself.
      -- Maslow ...... my list.

      by jamess on Fri Jan 27, 2012 at 07:15:21 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Indeed. But the President has to be predisposed (28+ / 0-)

      to respond to any given movement before he/she will be "lead" by it.  I don't think OWS could lead Romney to do anything, since Romney is diametrically opposed to everything OWS is about.

      •  I agree (11+ / 0-)

        I think Obama wants to be liberal, but he has had to make way too many concessions to the corporations that run the Democrats (and completely control the Republicans). Ultimately, he's more ambitious than he is idealistic, which is why he's President and not a community organizer anymore. I don't say this to criticize, just to point out the reality of how our politics are structured. I think, given an opening, he'll do a lot to reform the system. But he's not going to stick his neck out for it, we've got to do the hard work first.

        •  I don't know what community he did his organizing (9+ / 0-)

          in, but judging by his policies, I'd say Scarsdale NY or Greenwich CT.

          I believe his mythological 'community organizing' experience was running a voter registration campaign and he was clearly in the backroom directing traffic and analyzing spreadsheets.

          Six weeks in a front line community organizer position would have yielded more lasting understanding of poverty than he has ever shown in his policies.

          •  Wasn't his family on food stamps at one point (5+ / 0-)

            in his childhood?  What's with this claim that he has no understanding of poverty?  Remeber, there are far right wingers that disagree with you on nearly every issue that are poor too.  Lots of folks in the south that are extremely poor are right wingers.  That doesn't mean they don't understand poverty; in fact, I'd say those poor right wingers have a greater understanding of poverty than this site's membership does, generally speaking (according to Quantcast, this site's readership is generally upper-middle class or even rich).

            I'd bet a modest amount of money that President Obama has a greater understanding of poverty than Taibbi has ever or will ever know.

            •  Which just shows that understanding something... (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Matt Z, little lion

              isn't the same as understanding how to fix it.  

              By the same token, you probably have a better understanding of a health condition than the doctor who treats it.  However, that's pretty irrelevant as you lack the knowledge of how to treat the condition yourself.  

            •  Not necessarily (9+ / 0-)

              There's an enormous difference between being a kid, while your mom is in grad school, and you have food stamps for a while and being poor as an adult, in a community full of people who are poor as well, and you are on food stamps.

              The first condition is situational poverty, the second is a chronic and epidemic condition. There's a world of difference between the two situations.  That's like saying going all day without food is the same as starving to death.

              Second, being poor and understanding why you are poor are not the same.  Wages are always lowest in the regions of a country where racism is most virulent.  That's because elites in that region have been highly successful in shifting the blame for poverty to the 'other' group, who are also poor (if not poorer). How many right wingers blame 'immigrants' for their poverty? How many blame 'welfare' for the deficit and then blame the deficit for the lack of jobs?

              Third, more people are poor in this country than we - or they - realize. The current poverty threshold for a single person in the US is about 11,000 dollars. But what is the cost of living in the US? In most places in this country, the cost of living is 30,000 or more (up to 50-60,000 in some places).  

              How many people who make more than 11,000, but less than the cost of living in their town, recognize they are poor?  They may experience the stress of poverty - the crises, the endless game of robbing peter to pay paul, etc - but because they earn an income, because being poor in the US carries a terrible stigma and because we mask our poverty with phony numbers and endless propaganda, people who are working poor may not even realize the truth of their situation.

              •  Are you actually trying to excuse (4+ / 0-)

                the fact as being poor as a kid is nothing? There are a lot of children in Africa that will disagree with you. The man grew up poor and was never rich until he published that book. Him and his wife only finished paying off their loans a few years b4 he took office.

                •  Not at all (5+ / 0-)

                  But the poor kid in Africa is living in a community full of poor people, all of them suffering from chronic poverty.

                  As a grad student, I knew many trust-funders making crap grad student wages who imagined their reality was the same as the poor in a ghetto. Far from it. They had cars purchased by their parents, they went on fabulous vacations paid for by others and their apartments were furnished on their parent's dime.  And if economic crisis hit them, there were ample resources to bail them out.

                  But this privilege was invisible to them, because graduate student family backgrounds are outrageously overshifted to the elite side of America. Yes, they had to deal with a few issues poor people have to deal with.

                  But it is akin to comparing a day of hunger to the reality of starving to death.

                  What's worse, is often these overprivileged people think their moment of cash-shortage and momentary want makes them experts on poverty.  They ignore the privilege that got them to where they are to begin with and then - when in decision-making roles - enact policies and advocate strategies that only the privileged can take advantage of.

                  Worse than that, they grandstand on the backs of the poor, while condemning them to another generation of poverty.

                  I'm sorry, you can't compare a few moments of want while a child to the chronic, multigenerational poverty that condemns most of this planet for the rest of their lives.

                  •  Yeah, but Obama was not a trust funder (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    ahumbleopinion, Escamillo

                    I don't even know why you're comparing these people to this man. He was not as destitute as kids in Africa but he was not trust fund baby. He did not have lavish cars or fabulous vacations. You're trying to portray the man as if he grew up like Mitt Romney. He did not. He came from poor conditions and worked his way up.

                    •  No, he's not a trust-funder (5+ / 0-)

                      But his boyhood chum is the governor of Hawaii.

                      What are your childhood chums doing these days?  That's not an accident, that's evidence of insular privilege.

                      My reference to 'trust-funders' was aimed at his cabinet and advisors.  What holds them in common with Obama is they all went to the same 2 or 3 elite schools, as is the case for far too many of our so-called 'leaders'.

                      If you have to go to harvard or yale to get into the decision-making room, then our democracy is dead and we're being ruled by an oligarchy.

                      •  I think that's just the consequence (3+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        ahumbleopinion, Tom Taaffe, Escamillo

                        of having decent parents. Once again, Obama was not privileged. Please show me anywhere in his history he had a privileged upbringing. I have told you before, Obama went to elite schools because he worked his fucking ass off, not because he was privileged.

                        I'm not gonna lie, he had absolutely great grandparents who were responsible for that but he was by no means privileged. It seems like you are demonizing the fact that he went to great schools.

                        •  I had decent parents too (7+ / 0-)

                          So did most of my friends. What has that got to do with anything?

                          My problem isn't that people went to harvard or that their parents were economically fortunate. My problem is that opportunity - particularly the ability to participate in the decisions that affect people's lives - falls off a cliff, if you didn't go to an Ivy League school.  

                          And when your family connections, wealth or college pedigree  are the only ways to get ahead in this country, then the myth of the American dream is dead, dead, dead.

                          And as someone with a Ph.D. who was told - as were his sisters - that we were not college material, because college bound courses were only for the kids on the hill (and the children of teachers), then the notion that educational attainment is based on merit is complete bullshit too.

                          I finished HS because I flipped the guidance counselors the bird, sat down in the honors classes and told the teachers they'd better get a cop, if they wanted me to leave.

                          My sisters dropped out of HS. That's what most poor people do when they get cut out of education, to preserve privilege for the privilege.

                          And despite the fact that my GPA was 3.87 and my GRE's were around 2300 (out of 2400),  I published more frequently than the faculty did and my teaching evaluations were recognized as the best in the department, I was constantly told by faculty that I didn't belong in grad school.  

                          Why? Because people from my social class are supposed to be asking them if they want that with fries, not competing as equals in the land of advanced intellectual thought.  Privileged people cannot accept my social class as equals, so they concoct a million rationalizations and strategies to exclude us and justify that exclusion.

                          Apologies for having to use my personal experience to make a structural point (no need for pity, please, I'm one tough cookie). But these myths need to be blown out of the water if we are going to deal seriously with the crisis of our times.

                          •  I was just making the point (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Tom Taaffe

                            that because he had decent parents, he knew people like the future governor but that does mean he was privileged as a kid, which was not.

                            Anyway though, you make a valid point and it is well taken.

                          •  Thank you (3+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            peregrine kate, BradyB, mimi

                            I respect your honest engagement.

                            Privilege has many levels. Wealth is one form, social connections is another, elite college pedigree is a third.

                            Even my 'poor boy' story has its own hidden privileged underpinnings. While my family was working poor, beset by devastating health costs and parent illness, I was the least educated male in my family for 200 years, until I finished my masters. My father never completed his masters degree (TB and the deaths of several family members interupted his education), my grandfather had a Ph.D. and the two male ancestors before them were doctors in the west of Ireland when most people were starving to death.  

                            I'm a fallen fragment of medieval Irish aristocracy. My family has been educated for over 500 years. For 200 hundred years after we lost our titles and all our land, my male ancestors were raised in the family castle and sent abroad for education, until we were driven out of Ireland by the British for tending to wounded rebels.

                            That's why - on paper at least - my educational readiness made me so attractive to graduate schools.  Even though I was driven out of school after HS by the bullshit my family went thru, I remained what Gramsci called an 'organic scholar' and blasted through college and graduate school once I felt the need to do so. Because I never stopped reading and my home-schooled, Jesuit-style education compensated for the malevolent failures of public education.

                            That's why I can come from a community where men are more likely to go to jail rather than college, and still ended up with a Ph.D.

                            Its not that I'm smarter than my former neighbors, its just that the educational legacy of my family made me seem 'smart' to the privileged. At least until i opened my mouth and challenged their classism and racist beliefs.

                          •  Pretty interesting background. (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Tom Taaffe

                            In a sense, then, as you acknowledge, you did have some reserves of privilege (however attenuated) to draw upon--at least the belief that you were indeed plenty smart enough. That must have helped a lot.
                            I am sorry about the circumstances of your sisters, though. What are they doing now? And what of the girls of the generation below them?

                          •  Thank you for asking (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            mimi

                            My family are more private than I am when it comes to discussing personal stuff. So, I don't feel comfortable getting into details.  But all of them were cut off from a lot of opportunities, none of them achieved their potential and one family home is in foreclosure.  (Obama can go fuck himself if she loses that home. My mom live there).

                            And since they were all as smart as I am (if not smarter), their fate stands in contradiction to the benign platitudes and self-congradulatory bullshit I hear too often from all those born on third base and thinking they hit a triple.

                            And since the difference in our fates is most obviously gendered and my willingness to tear apart any system that seeks to exclude me, I have no respect for the status quo or anyone who defends it.

                            We all paid a price for the exclusion and so has society.

                            You can burn it all to the ground.

                            (harsh words not intended for you, just a statement about how I feel about my government and the path both parties are taking us on).

                          •  wow ... if you are a teacher or professor today (0+ / 0-)

                            I would love to listen in.

                            "When Injustice Becomes Law, Rebellion Becomes Duty"

                            by mimi on Sat Jan 28, 2012 at 04:04:53 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                        •  he went to good schools, because his (0+ / 0-)

                          grandmother made sure she invested her hard-earned dimes in a stable, good highschool on Hawaii. It's the grandmother, who gave that stability in his youth. In college, he could gather grants and he accumulated huge college tuition loans, which he later realized might have very easily crashed him, had he not managed to write a book that sold and managed to make his imprint as a politician.

                          "When Injustice Becomes Law, Rebellion Becomes Duty"

                          by mimi on Sat Jan 28, 2012 at 03:59:29 PM PST

                          [ Parent ]

              •  or mask it behind some Godly predetermination (0+ / 0-)
                we mask our poverty with phony numbers and endless propaganda, people who are working poor may not even realize the truth of their situation.

                I think you have a point with this.

                "When Injustice Becomes Law, Rebellion Becomes Duty"

                by mimi on Sat Jan 28, 2012 at 03:52:13 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

          •  fyi it was in chicago, in a rough 'hood, eom (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Supavash
            •  As an adult or a child? (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              trinityfly

              The difference can be huge.  

              The republican party is thick with people who were poor as children and then spent the rest of their lives making themselves rich, at the expense of the poor.

              Indeed, that 'I can make it, why don't you' mentality becomes a battering ram to justify enormous structural violence toward the poor.

              I'm not saying Obama goes that far, but he shows no understanding at all of the violent, permanent crisis of poverty or the necessity of immediate and dramatic triage.  

          •  Now this is absolute bullshit (5+ / 0-)

            All of a sudden Obama was no longer was a "real" community organizer and doesn't understand poverty, even though he was raised by a single mom who was on food stamps? . This is serious ODS...I can't believe this is coming from people on the left. The next thing you're going to tell me he didn't really get into "real" Columbia or Harvard Law.

            •  If he understood poverty and economic crisis (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              trinityfly, BradyB

              He would have started with a jobs program and massive urban reinvestment.  Instead, he started by saving the banks and stopped when he worked his way down to investor reform, leaving everyone in economic danger to drown in the worst economic climate since the Great Depression.

              So no, he doesn't understand poverty, nor has he done anything but make the problem worse.

              And his bandaid solutions and classist presumptions prove that point in spades.

              •  Listen, we can argue here all day (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                mahakali overdrive, Fogiv

                about his policies but all I'm talking about is the man's past. People on the left used to praise the fact that he was a community organizer but now it was purely "mythological."This is really dishonest.

                Do me a favor, and look up the work he did as a mythological community organizer in the Southside of Chicago. It's not exactly Scarsdale or Bronxville, and he was the director, so he was not in the backrooms. Criticize his policies but don't discredit the man's past.

                •  I'm not one of those people (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  trinityfly, BradyB

                  There are no shortage of people on the right who flash their 'humble origins' as a way of selling themselves to the street.

                  And the best way out of poverty is to turn your back on your community and join forces with those who are producing poverty.

                  The point of my snarky remark was that his vaunted community organizer background is in stark opposition to his policies, that have been magnifying and exacerbating the most profound economic crisis in 80 years.

                  That's enough to make me furious if he were a Republican. But it makes me brick-throwing mad when he's a Democrat who peddled 'change you can believe in' and used his community organizing background to con us into believing he understood the crisis.

                  If we wanted a continuation of Clinton's creepy, corporate economic/social policies , we would have chosen Hillary as our standard bearer. How many of us supported Obama to stop the Clintons from returning to the White House?

                  What did we get in return? An even more right-wing Democratic President, without the phony sympathy and bad personal behavior.

                  And without even the baseline cynical commonsense that should mark a politician as a professional.

                  •  Fair enough (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    mahakali overdrive

                    I disagree but I was merely pointing out the fact that he was indeed a true community organizer who worked in poor neighborhoods. I believe I've made my point. I think some people like yourself definitely exaggerate his policies and never highlight the good he has done but I will acknowledge the fact that some of his policies have disappointed me and are counter to his past.

                    I think the reason for that is the Washington life corrupts good people. They come in with big dreams and end up having to settle for way less. It's the system that is the problem.

              •  tom the HCR (0+ / 0-)

                will significantly reduce poverty and help people in poverty.

                15 million uninsured people in poverty will be insured through medicaid.

                Native americans will be all insured and will have modernized health care.

                Community health centers will help treat the poor properly :)

          •  Facts are your friends. From Wikipedia: (4+ / 0-)

            Two years after graduating, Obama was hired in Chicago as director of the Developing Communities Project (DCP), a church-based community organization originally comprising eight Catholic parishes in Greater Roseland (Roseland, West Pullman and Riverdale) on Chicago's far South Side. He worked there as a community organizer from June 1985 to May 1988. During his three years as the DCP's director, its staff grew from one to thirteen. He helped set up a job training program, a college preparatory tutoring program, and a tenants' rights organization in Altgeld Gardens. Obama also worked as a consultant and instructor for the Gamaliel Foundation, a community organizing institute.

            “when Democrats don’t vote, Democrats don’t win.” Alan Grayson

            by ahumbleopinion on Sat Jan 28, 2012 at 08:31:02 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  He was a community organizer in (3+ / 0-)

            Chicago.  The information is out there and easily found.  It wasnt a voter registration drive and it wasn't in CT.  To call it mythological is a very misinformed statement.

      •  Nixon signed some of the most important (5+ / 0-)

        environmental legislation in the US, and it wasn't because he was a staunch environmentalist.  Certainly, it should be easier to get Obama to get moving on this, but better late than never.

        There revolution will not be televised. But it will be blogged, a lot. Probably more so than is necessary.

        by AoT on Fri Jan 27, 2012 at 09:10:46 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  So is Obama, if you consider facts. (0+ / 0-)

        If you just look at rhetoric and headlines I can see where you might be confused and believe something that isn't true.

    •  It's the only way. From the bottom up. n/t (10+ / 0-)

      Rethug policies to address: 1) Overturn Citizens United via a Constitutional Amendment, 2) Reinstate Glass-Steagall and uh...let's see...the third rethug policy to eliminate is...umm...thought it was written on my hand...I can't..sorry...oops

      by Kim from Pgh PA on Fri Jan 27, 2012 at 08:01:21 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Well stated (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jamess, OLinda, Matt Z, doroma

      or in the words of a certain politician: "Change does not come from Washington. Change comes to Washington."

      Male, 21, -4.75/-6.92, born and raised TN-05, now WI-02, unapologetic Obama supporter. Tammy Baldwin for Senate and Recall Walker!

      by fearlessfred14 on Fri Jan 27, 2012 at 09:01:27 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Why do we have Presidents then? /nt (0+ / 0-)

      "When Injustice Becomes Law, Rebellion Becomes Duty"

      by mimi on Sat Jan 28, 2012 at 09:13:29 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Movements try to lead (Democratic) Presidents. (0+ / 0-)

      (Democratic) Presidents try their best to trim Movements.

      Theodore Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson. and Franklin Roosevelt are great examples.

      Republican Presidents generally are much move effective and quashing Movements.

      Grover Cleveland, Calvin Coolidge, Richard Nixon, and the George Bushes are great examples.

      H'mm. I'm not terribly into this, anymore.

      by Knarfc on Sat Jan 28, 2012 at 11:02:05 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Let's hope is smart enough (16+ / 0-)

    to reign in Homeland Security. Sending the jack boots after the occupiers ain't gonna do down too well.

  •  Good thing Taibbi didn't say, "Obama is clearly (8+ / 0-)

    responding to ME".  hehe

  •  what you say (22+ / 0-)

    is probably so, but I suspect he's been listening all along.

    Despite the complaints about appointments and not moving as fast as everyone would like (and we are a country that wants immediate results yesterday, the MTV mentality), I try to remember that turning around something as huge and such a deadweight as the US economy is like trying to turn a supertanker. You can't do it in a swimming pool. Those things take miles and miles of open water before they can even slow down enough to start turning.

    So it is with an economy so huge -- think about the laws of physics and inertia.

    Buh-bye Timmeh is good; let's see what else happens.

    Listen, are you breathing just a little and calling it a life? -- Mary Oliver

    by Mnemosyne on Fri Jan 27, 2012 at 07:26:18 PM PST

    •  Here's the problem with that logic (18+ / 0-)

      When your economy has collapsed - job gone, savings gone, retirement money stolen, house in foreclosure -  waiting is not an option. That's not MTV, that's an immediate crisis that demands an immediate response.

      But rather than helping the victims of this massive white collar criminal scandal, he started by saving the banks and worked his way down until he got to investor reform.

      Then he stopped, leaving everyone in economic danger to drown.

       Heck, he even put the guilty in charge of the economy.

      Those who are trapped at the violent end of this economic crisis have every right to be impatient. Indeed, I think they are way too patient.  

      Power not only concedes nothing without a demand, it won't give up shit until you threaten its ability to rule.  

      Those who are patient are fools.

      •  where were all (7+ / 0-)

        the people demanding immediate action whilst Bush the Lesser was blowing through trillions of the national treasury?

        No, we didn't know quite how bad it would be, but yes you could see it coming if you were paying attention to the financial news. Not many people do that, however.

        It would have been nice if Obama had acted or been able to act faster, more decisively, and yes putting Larry Summers in charge of anything larger than a 7-11 store is a huge mistake. I'm pretty sure the President realizes that now.

        Americans always seem to demand instant fixes and gratification and very simple answers to exceedingly complex questions. I'm pretty sure there were constraints in play that we won't find out about for years yet, if then.

        Listen, are you breathing just a little and calling it a life? -- Mary Oliver

        by Mnemosyne on Fri Jan 27, 2012 at 10:36:07 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Don't be so sure about that (5+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Tom Taaffe, emal, AoT, ratzo, Hear Our Voices

          Obama may put Summers in charge of the World Bank

          President Barack Obama may nominate Summers to lead the World Bank when Robert Zoellick’s term expires later this year, two people familiar with the matter said this month. Asked about the World Bank job, Summers said today he was “very happy doing just what I’m doing now, having a chance in independence to participate in the public debates.”Source

          “oh, yeah, yeah" buk

          by cosmic debris on Sat Jan 28, 2012 at 04:01:28 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Talk about not learning your lessons! (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Aspe4, AoT, grrr, pgm 01

            Jeez, putting that bastard in the captain's seat of the World Bank is simply about making damn sure that the economic stupidities of the Clinton administration - the very decisions that allowed Bush the lesser to burn the economy to the ground - can be repeated with impunity.

            There's absolutely no chance I'll vote for Obama again if he does that.

  •  Tim (27+ / 0-)

    Just to mention Geithner didn't get dumped. He has been wanting to leave for some time. I believe he tried to resign once and Obama wouldn't accept it. There was a photo of Obama talking to Mrs. Geithner with a caption that he was trying to smooth away for Tim to stay. Tim has a son who went back to NY in June for High School. That among many reasons, I'm sure is why Tim is ready to leave. He has visited 8 countries in Europe and also Japan and China working on the Hermuz strait issue, all since Sept. He's been campaigning for Obama as well, going to a manufacturing shop in SC this week. And, now he's in Switzerland meeting with his counterparts in other countries. It's a difficult job.

    Okay, please don't hr me!! I had to say it James!! :)

    America is so not like her hype.

    by OLinda on Fri Jan 27, 2012 at 07:35:40 PM PST

    •  I did not know that (6+ / 0-)

      thanks OLinda for the "rest of the story".


      even if it is very curious.


      What is necessary to change a person is to change his awareness of himself.
      -- Maslow ...... my list.

      by jamess on Fri Jan 27, 2012 at 07:38:49 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  You have a sympathetic picture of TG (6+ / 0-)

      Running hard here and there, tirelessly working on laying down the Administration message. I gather it didn't fly in Peking: the Chinese are not going to stop buying Iranian oil and gas and they are not going to embargo and ice out the iranian banks to please Washington.  They haven't done it with North Korea which HAS bombs, why would they do it with the Iranians who are nearly as close as a trading partners.  They pointedly disagreed with the fundamental tactic.  They said it is Iran's right to pursue nuclear technology, which it said it is doing for energy uses and their first reactor is about ready to go on line.

      Do you have some things Geithner  has accomplished besides working on the bailout?  He was against Warren and the existence of the CFB, he was not very warm to a rescue for homeowners as evidenced by the HARP and HAMP programs being very feeble and disliked intensely and unsupported by the banks.  Not too many success stories in those two and the banks have been an obstacle and refused to deal in most cases.

      If you think that you and a bunch of other people can just show up on Wall St, camp out and have any effect whatsoever.... well, you will be run off in 20 minutes., you will leave town having wasted your effort 6/18/11.

      by BeeDeeS on Fri Jan 27, 2012 at 08:01:34 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I think that speaks volumes (7+ / 0-)

      about how out of touch Obama is with the damage his economic policies are causing to the very people he needs to get reelected. You know, the 100 million people who have been hammered by this creepy corporatist economy and the warmongering that sustains it.

      It also says pretty clearly that Obama supports Geithner's banker-boy economic policies and the slavish devotion to free trade/free market economics that produced this disaster to begin with.

      Hardly an incentive to vote for this shit again.

      •  so don't vote (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        mahakali overdrive, Escamillo

        such is your right.


        What is necessary to change a person is to change his awareness of himself.
        -- Maslow ...... my list.

        by jamess on Sat Jan 28, 2012 at 11:51:08 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  And responsibility, given that (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          CrissieP, Escamillo

          depending very much on ones' district, not voting can wind up giving a vote away to Santorum, Gingrich, Romney or whomever winds up flailing and screaming their way into the GOP frontrunner position... possibly even into the Presidency itself.

          I will never forget my failure to vote in 2000. I didn't vote for Nader or any of that. I simply didn't vote. It wasn't even ideological. I just didn't think about it, as a young mother who wasn't well apprised then of the political situation at the Federal level, surrounded by people who didn't take it further than local politics, if that.

          My bad.

    •  minor correction (0+ / 0-)

      Well, it doesn't matter, because who cares, :), but it's bothering me that it says SC in my post above. He was at a Siemens plant in North Carolina, not South Carolina.

      America is so not like her hype.

      by OLinda on Fri Jan 27, 2012 at 10:30:19 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Ah, I see (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      OLinda

      Thank you. That changes what I think about Taibbi's reporting on this, OLinda.

  •  It don't take a weatherman to know which way..... (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jamess, Freedomfreak, Aspe4, little lion
  •  Good diary, jamess. Thank you. nt (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jamess, OLinda, blueoasis, Matt Z

    "Southern nights have you ever felt a southern night?" Allen Toussaint ~~Remember the Gulf of Mexico~~

    by rubyr on Fri Jan 27, 2012 at 07:44:57 PM PST

  •  There have been comments around here that (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jamess, Marie, mightymouse, blueoasis, emal

    The NYS AG appointment plus the two from SEC and Justice into a unit was a way to simply "coopt" and that no resources or manpower to do actual work was troubling.

           If no manpower was assigned, no significant amount of resources for investigative/prosecutorial work it means it was a "study" commission at best.  The existence of an interagency group announced in 2009 that has had very little to show has been the  existing evidence for those fears.

       When this was announced at the SOTU speech, many details were held back and speculated on here the other day.

         I believe there has been a tendency to rely on the word of the biggest bankers and their friends up to now and cut them lots of slack.  In this Administration.

          But three years in and thousands of cases showing they basically have no interest in either cleaning up their old mess or preventing a new mess means their promises and declarations  are not enough anymore.

          The President and the people affected adversely (some profited handily from the scams, the financial castle pyramid scheme building)  are at a point of not believing much of anything about the big banks that did a terrible job in mortgages and are doing a terrible job in aiding and encouraging investing in communities and jobs right now.

         They basically are pushing their predatory business model in front of policy makers and people concerned  creating the question of the day "Why should we exist in the present form when we are doing very little to fix or improve things?" Some people are even saying it is the actions of the banks and their present leadership and policies which is exactly the problem.

    The criminal investigations of the most serious efforts to create and profit from this crisis would be an eyeopener and send a shock wave  through the entire economy.

    Waking up a lot of unaware people and clearing away some obstructions in the economy  would assist the healthy parts  grow again.

    If you think that you and a bunch of other people can just show up on Wall St, camp out and have any effect whatsoever.... well, you will be run off in 20 minutes., you will leave town having wasted your effort 6/18/11.

    by BeeDeeS on Fri Jan 27, 2012 at 07:50:28 PM PST

  •  I doubt it... (6+ / 0-)

    ...if he gave a shit about the occupy movement then he should speak out about the constant succesful attempts to remove them from the public spaces to shut them up.  He should at least have some power over the parks department for gods sake.

    Just lip service.

    We Glory in war, in the shedding of human blood. What fools we are.

    by delver rootnose on Fri Jan 27, 2012 at 07:54:50 PM PST

  •  No......As A Member of OccupyOlympia (16+ / 0-)

    We don't need the tents anymore.  We have other avenues, other venues that don't depend on a patch of ground....public or otherwise.

    I couldn't agree w/ Taibbi more.  This new Obama is ALL about the 99%.  It's golden, & he knows it.  It's the golden boot to kick Romney's butt.

    Whatever else you may think about Obama, he's one brilliant politician.  

  •  All apologies (7+ / 0-)

    and I hope it is so, but I wonder if there is a difference between listening to (in the sense of doing something about) and simply mimicking.

    It presents a problem to a movement that is mostly concerned with messaging that a person clever in messaging will accept and mirror the message and make no mission of it.

    Greed's self-regulation is collapse. So is delusion's.

    by Publius2008 on Fri Jan 27, 2012 at 08:26:08 PM PST

  •  To be fair (20+ / 0-)

    Taibbi expressed a lot of skepticism in that article.  And one of the sentences you highlight:

    Obama’s decision to tap Schneiderman publicly, and dump Geithner, and whisper about a millionaire’s tax, signals a shift in its public attitude toward the Wall Street corruption issue.

    You have to put a big emphasis on the word "public".

    •  I hope you get a chance (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      joanneleon, Odysseus, gramofsam1, Supavash

      to watch the Countdown clip.

      (and the Maddow clip too)


      The authentic surprise, in both cases of actually seeing Justice done, is palpable.


      What is necessary to change a person is to change his awareness of himself.
      -- Maslow ...... my list.

      by jamess on Fri Jan 27, 2012 at 08:49:08 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Yeah, I read the article (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      joanneleon, jamess

      and that, at least, expresses pretty moderate skepticism of Obama's motives and intentions.

      Greed's self-regulation is collapse. So is delusion's.

      by Publius2008 on Fri Jan 27, 2012 at 09:01:16 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  So what? Taibbi is to the FAR left of Obama, so (5+ / 0-)

      he'll be "skeptical" no matter what.  The fact is that this country is NEVER going to elect a president that would satisfy Taibbi.  I really don't give a shit what Taibbi has to say about anything.  I find him to be a demagogue and frankly, a liar and smearer of people's character for the sin of disagreeing with his shallow and ingorant analyses.

      •  Lol (6+ / 0-)

        Gotta love election season. It brings us all together. Oh, that's right. It's always election season. Taibbi question president Obama. Does that make him a Mondale lefty? Or Lieberman lefty?

        Directing the people powered movie starring Howard Dean and YOU!

        by deantv on Sat Jan 28, 2012 at 02:08:32 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  The irony as you just... (10+ / 0-)

        "smeared his character" for the sin of disagreeing with obama.

        "You have to understand Neo, most of these people are not ready to be unplugged, and many of them are so inert, so hopelessly dependent on the system, that they will fight to protect it." - The Matrix

        by pot on Sat Jan 28, 2012 at 05:31:27 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  You'd think Escamillo would be happy... (6+ / 0-)

          the administration is gonna bring justice to the bankers who created these mbs and tanked the economy.
          Sadly, no.

          Escamillo's only reaction is to vent at Matt Taibbi because he hates the idea of any liberal being happy.
          Really twisted.

          Let The Wild Rumpus Begin!

          by dclawyer06 on Sat Jan 28, 2012 at 06:59:14 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  the problem here (0+ / 0-)

            is many of us are delighted it's being promised. Until it's done, it may be meaningless promises.

            $ to DFA, none to DSCC/DCCC/DNC

            by grrr on Sat Jan 28, 2012 at 08:44:04 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  If this turns out to be a meaningless promise... (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Supavash, grrr

              then I'll stand right beside you in protest.
              But, until then, and in the interim, why not accept what appears to be great news?

              I'm all for holding politicians accountable, and think they should all be scrutinized and held to account. Those are the responsibilities of being a citizen. But the flip side is we've gotta be willing to accept good news. Otherwise, we become part of the problem.

              What's the incentive for the democrats to do what we want if, even when they do, we fold our arms in angry protest?

              Let The Wild Rumpus Begin!

              by dclawyer06 on Sat Jan 28, 2012 at 08:57:04 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  asdf (4+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Supavash, dclawyer06, AoT, emal

                I can only speak for me - I'm actually not folding my arms. I am saying it is difficult given past behavior to celebrate the way I would have in the past.

                There are some good signs. Cordrays recess appt was real. I'm saying that this may be good, or may be rhetoric. Hard to read tea leaves.

                I will send Schneiderman money, I will vote for Pres Obama who is much much better than any republican. My money/time will go to progressives, esp in swing states that will also help Pres Obama's reelection. I can't stomach supporing corporatists.

                $ to DFA, none to DSCC/DCCC/DNC

                by grrr on Sat Jan 28, 2012 at 09:10:32 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

              •  Excellent comment (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                dclawyer06

                I agree wholeheartedly.

              •  The point is that they *haven't* done what (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                grrr, emal

                we want.  They've merely formed a commission that may or may not do some good.  I'm not folding my arms in protest but I'm certainly not celebrating what is so far just an announcement that may end up being nothing.  I hope it's reason to celebrate, but I see no reason to at this point.

                There revolution will not be televised. But it will be blogged, a lot. Probably more so than is necessary.

                by AoT on Sat Jan 28, 2012 at 09:45:22 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

          •  Yeah, that's why I tipped and rec'ed this diary (0+ / 0-)

            and was one of the early ones to do so.  And I posted other comments before the one that you claim is my ONLY reaction.

            I only lashed out at Tabbi because above, one of the prominent Obana bashing voices on this site said, "Taibbi is skeptical ...", as if that is supposed to prove something and be the end of the discussion.  Taibbi's opinoin is never the end of anything nor does it prove anything.

        •  I realized that when wrote my comment. :) (0+ / 0-)

          I don't claim any infallibility nor do I claim to be without irony.

          I stated my opininon of Taibbi based on my previous readings of his "work".  His work that contains lots of personal insults, foul language, misinformation, half-truths (at best).  From my reading, Taibbi is one of those folks who has it in their heads that  "Anyone that disagrees with me is not doing it because they've reached a different conclusion based on their own analysis, but disagree because they are evil/corrupt people."

      •  why, is it because he calls it like he sees it? (9+ / 0-)

        Is it because of his zero bullshit  type of journalism that is not aimed to please liberal establishment figures?. Unlike other "liberal" journalists that are afraid  to offend our democratic politicians by pointing out their obvious hypocrisy and/or deceitful behavior when it comes to choosing priorities or implementing policies they pay lip service to, Matt lays things out in a simple, clear way that most people can understand,  all backed up by thorough research and a rich diversity of sources. I wish TIME, NEWSWEEK, the NYT and WP had  political reporters that were a THIRD as audacious as Taibbi in their coverage of major news stories, instead of pliant stenographers that value access over truth.

      •  That's just wrong (7+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        slatsg, grrr, BradyB, Knarfc, pgm 01, cslewis, joanneleon

        Taibbi's stated positions, which have pretty much only been on financial matters, are not especially far left, they are simply common sense in that he supports actual investigation and prosecution of the fraud that banks have been committing.  It's simple and should be fairly easy, but instead we get folks like you claiming that wanting to investigate fraud makes you far to the left of Obama.

        There revolution will not be televised. But it will be blogged, a lot. Probably more so than is necessary.

        by AoT on Sat Jan 28, 2012 at 07:40:49 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  So then you have just admitted that (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        SpecialKinFlag, BradyB, Knarfc, pgm 01

        the President is a center-right moderate.

        Since any rational analysis of Taibbi's politics would place him in moderate left category (if that), and since you state Taibbi is "to the FAR left of Obama", it stands to reason (at least if we follow your logic) that the President is over on the right side of the political spectrum.

        A proud member of the Professional Left since 1967.

        by slatsg on Sat Jan 28, 2012 at 08:09:34 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  If Obama pleased Taibbi, he'd be a former prez (0+ / 0-)

        in 2013.
        Check me on this, but former presidents don't get a chance to enact very much progressive legislation, or make any appointments, do they?

        Unfortunately, President Obama doesn't have time to read DK, so contact him here: The White House, 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20500 (Postcards, not letters! Please give your email address) -- 202-456-1111 -- FAX: 202-456-2461

        by My Left Behind on Sat Jan 28, 2012 at 08:41:22 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Go read Taibbi, read what he actually says (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          BradyB, cslewis, joanneleon

          and what he's actually asking for.  It's hardly leftist at all, unless you consider calling for a full investigation and prosecution of fraudulent bankers leftist, that sounds more like supporting the rule of law to me.

          There revolution will not be televised. But it will be blogged, a lot. Probably more so than is necessary.

          by AoT on Sat Jan 28, 2012 at 09:47:28 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  You go read past Taibbi, AoT (0+ / 0-)

            Taibbi has been bitching about Obama in Rolling Stone and on HuffPo for a long time now.

            Unfortunately, President Obama doesn't have time to read DK, so contact him here: The White House, 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20500 (Postcards, not letters! Please give your email address) -- 202-456-1111 -- FAX: 202-456-2461

            by My Left Behind on Sat Jan 28, 2012 at 04:54:48 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  Glad *someone* is FAR left of (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        pot

        Obama. Is Taibbi alone, there?

        H'mm. I'm not terribly into this, anymore.

        by Knarfc on Sat Jan 28, 2012 at 11:06:28 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Say what you will about Obama's... (10+ / 0-)

    ....intentions, the man is not stupid. He knows how pissed off people are on the economy and he damn well isn't going to let the Republicans take the lead on the issue.

  •  Task force gets off to WEAK start (15+ / 0-)

    Lanny Breuer, Task Force Leader, Doesn’t Bother Showing Up For Mortgage Fraud Press Conference

    By Matt Stoller

    Eric Holder has come out with details on the task force.  But first, let’s look at a smoke signal.  At this press conference announcing the task force, Holder had to apologize for Lanny Breuer, Assistant Attorney General for the Criminal Division, one of the key leaders of the investigative unit. Breuer, you see, couldn’t make it to the press conference because he was traveling.  That’s how important this task force is to Breuer, so important that his travel schedule couldn’t brook interference.  Such a bureaucratic snub has been no doubt noticed by the various underlings at the DOJ and the US Attorney offices.

    [snip]

    So that’s a total of 55 people, 10 of whom are FBI agents.  Let’s do a few comparisons.  During the Savings and Loan crisis, Bill Black reminds us that there were about a thousand FBI agents working on the various cases.  That’s one hundred times the number of people working on a scandal that is about forty times larger and far more complex.

    Yeah. This time they're really serious.

  •  Obama told us to make him. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jamess, Matt Z, Supavash
    “What matters most is not who is sitting in the White House, but "who is sitting in" -- and who is marching outside the White House, pushing for change.”
    ― Howard Zinn

    Under Ike we had 91% marginal tax rates and nobody called him as Socialist. - Robert Reich

    by lastman on Fri Jan 27, 2012 at 09:29:22 PM PST

  •  how long til geithner lands a position with (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jamess, blueoasis, Aspe4, grrr

    one of the vampire squidlets?

    Who cares what banks may fail in Yonkers. Long as you've got a kiss that conquers.

    by rasbobbo on Fri Jan 27, 2012 at 09:33:41 PM PST

  •  Who is he likely to replace Geithner with? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jamess

    Summers, ACK!?!

    Well, duh, I think not.

    Seriously, though, who? If he's serious about moving to the left, it would have to be someone like Krueger, Romer or even Bair. And if this is just for show, it would probably be someone like Immelt, Gensler or--ACK!!!--Daley.

    "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

    by kovie on Fri Jan 27, 2012 at 09:46:16 PM PST

    •  I don't think the President will move "left" (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      johnny wurster, fou, Supavash

      regarding the treasury department.  I don't think he's interested in nationalizing banks, for example.  Personally, I don't think the treasury department is a good place to be "ideological", so moving left or right wrt to that department is foolhardy, IMO.  You should instead do whatever you think will best "work", damn the ideology.  For example, I thought the call to nationalize banks was more based on ideology than necessity, and it was therefore wise to be rejected.

      Other positions, like budget director or even AG, are a different matter.

      Krugman has already publicly rejected any public office, declaring himself unfit to serve in government (citing his abrasiveness or something, but I think he just doesn't want to carry the burden of the actual responsibility of putting his theories in to practice).

      •  To clarify: (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        johnny wurster, fou

        Above, when I say the treasury dept should not be ideological, I refer to banking policy and monetary policy.  Tax policy is a different matter.

        •  I'd like to see a Treasury secretary (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          jimreyn

          who'd more focused on fiscal policy than monetary policy. There's still way too much unproductive financial activity and way too little investment activity. I'd like to see a lot more effort towards public-private partnerships and capital investments, especially in infrastructure, transportation, education and R&D.

          Less derivatives trading and more real growth. A good Teasury secretary could help make that happen, along with Commerce, Labor, Energy, Transportation, Education and the Fed. I.e. the depts that idiot Perry wanted to can.

          "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

          by kovie on Sat Jan 28, 2012 at 01:39:42 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Treasury is more fiscal policy. (0+ / 0-)

            The vast majority of monetary policy is the Fed.  Treasury's ability to impact it doesn't even move the needle.

            •  Treasury decides how much of federal debt (0+ / 0-)

              Will be financed with short term vs long term debt, how much with inflation protected bonds and the timing of when to issue debt.  So Treasury does have an impact on the yield curve.

              The most important way to protect the environment is not to have more than one child.

              by nextstep on Sat Jan 28, 2012 at 08:46:22 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

      •  Nonsense (10+ / 0-)

        Ideology permeates and influences everything, as it well should (along with more pragmatic factors of course). And the idea that ideology is divorced from real-world conditions is equally silly. No serious ideology exists on a purely theoretical and idealistic plane. Ones that do eventually die, like communism, or should die, like Randianism. The ones that have stood the test of time rest upon moral and practical principles but adapt themselves to changing realities, like liberalism and progressivism. You can't govern well without some guiding (but not binding) ideological framework (or frameworks). "Pragmatism" is not a governing framework, but rather style, that by itself doesn't tell you what to do. Time-tested ideology, adapted to contemporary realities and informed by pragmatic considerations is what does, be it conservative or liberal.

        Keynesianism is an ideology. Supply-side is an ideology. Neoliberalism is an ideology. Neoconservatism is an ideology. And so on. None have the answers to all problems (and some have few if any), and all are continually evolving. But you have to pick one or two (or some mixture of them) to know what to do. You can't govern in an ideological vaccum. You might think you are, but you're basically basing your policies on one or more ideologies but choosing to not acknowledge it. When Bush invaded Iraq he was acting on neoconservative ideology. When Obama took it easy on the banks he was acting on neoliberal ideology. Sure, there were other considerations, but ideology was inseparable from their decision process. This goes back to the founding.

        Btw, almost no one here was advocating true nationalization, which would have been permanent, but rather the temporary takeover of failed banks under the government's resolution authority, as was done in the S&L crisis--quite successfully, btw--in order to fix what could be fixed, liquidate what could not, and get them back under their own authority as soon as possible. That would have been financially and politically painful for some, but in the end better medicine for our ailing economy than what was done. Or so believe most of the country's leading economists, from what I can tell.

        But what do they know--they're ideologues!

        "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

        by kovie on Sat Jan 28, 2012 at 01:32:59 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  replace (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mahakali overdrive

      All kinds of names are being thrown out there. Every article I see that mentions any, each have different names. I've seen Erskine Bowles, the CEO of Caterpillar, Michael Bloomberg, and Paul Krugman. Paul would be hard to be confirmed even if he would accept the job. I bet he'd accept if asked. That's a dream that won't come true.

      America is so not like her hype.

      by OLinda on Sat Jan 28, 2012 at 12:39:39 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I seriously doubt it would be Krugman (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        jimreyn, BradyB, little lion, MrJersey

        He's too much the academician to be a good administrator. It would likely be someone with lots of government or Fed experience.

        And if it's Bloomberg, I'm moving to North Korea.

        "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

        by kovie on Sat Jan 28, 2012 at 01:35:03 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Obama would never pick Krugman (4+ / 0-)

        Not sure why his name is even coming up.  I'm not even sure if Obama would confirm Krugman if he were voting on it as a Senator.  The reality is that Obama is barely left of center, if at all.  You can make a strong argument that he's actually right of center, and in a rational world would be a Republican (a world where Republicans hadn't gone off the right deep end).  

      •  Bloomberg would be a mistake (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        BradyB, OLinda

        He's like the most hated figure in the Occupy movement... so if this is about responding to the 99%, Bloomberg would be a very poor choice.

        •  Not to mention that he hasn't worked in finance (0+ / 0-)

          for nearly 30 years. But the fact that he got his start in one of the Wall St. firms that invented derivatives and mortgage securities only makes him less appealing.

          Never put a billionaire in charge of the country's finances.

          "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

          by kovie on Sat Jan 28, 2012 at 05:58:15 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  no (0+ / 0-)

      he is considering making Summers the world bank president

      http://www.huffingtonpost.com/...

      the status quo continues unabated.

      "Let me issue and control a nation's money and I care not who writes the laws." Mayer Amschel Rothschild, 1790

      by FreeTradeIsYourEpitaph on Sat Jan 28, 2012 at 07:52:50 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  An anti-Krugman no doubt. (0+ / 0-)

      The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt. Bertrand Russell

      by accumbens on Sat Jan 28, 2012 at 09:08:40 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  kruger is a prime (0+ / 0-)

      spokesman for the administration now. likely him.

  •  There is a lesson to be learned here, (7+ / 0-)

    if we have the courage to embrace it.

    Populist movements are fueled by rage, by hyperbole, by unwillingness to compromise, by the strident demand of "I want my fucking pony and I want it NOW!"

    A populist movement does not concern itself (nor should it) with sober, fair and balanced analysis. The populist who is serious about effecting change does NOT respectfully petition the political PTB with requests for action. The serious populist does not postscript every sternly worded missive with, "But, on the whole, you're doing good, and you've got my vote."

    The serious populist SHOUTS, unfairly, incessantly, with no apology for exaggeration, "On this issue, you are no better than your political opponent. Why the hell should I vote for you and your party?"

    THIS is the essence of "make me do it."

    It is the fear that this unfair, exaggerated view will gain traction among the broader electorate, and thereby depress their enthusiasm for continuing to entrust you with their support, that motivates change.

    Time will tell if this announced Task Force is more than just pre-election window dressing, but if it actually does pursue and secure real accountability from the bankstas who looted the economy, the credit, in my view, will be largely due the loudest, shrillest, most obnoxious among us who declared, "Don't tell me about Lilly Ledbetter. Talk to me about indictments."

    •  Completely disagree... (12+ / 0-)

      if this is your assessment of OWS. Many thoughtful folks in the movement who are frightened and saddened by the deterioration in this country as a result of Wall Street actions. Rage is not the only driving force by a long shot. I can speak personally that anger and grief are intertwined.

      •  Or disgust, exasperation, desperation, etc. (6+ / 0-)

        Lots of reasons to want to fight back in a movement.  It still boils down to Rage Against the Machine in a way.  Some of it is thotful rage, some is frightened rage or sad rage, but those in the movement and fervently supporting the movement or the idea of a movement are for various reasons, fed up and willing to fight back and try to change things.  All of those emotions have to be combined toward a singular goal or ideal.

        •  Many try to depict the movement as (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          BigAlinWashSt

          full of rage, as though that were the dominant or defining emotion. If it were, there would have been violent clashes with the police, with violence emanating from protesters as well, instead of the one sided nature of the violence on the part of police. In addition, I disagree that these "emotions have to be combined toward a singular goal or idea". OWS has been incredibly effective on a variety of issues; we need diversification and involvement, not a focus on a single issue. I personally would like to see more focus on fracking and drilling and other environomental issues. You won't accomplish singularity anyway, and you will ultimately discourage folks from joining in.

          •  Well, I wouldn't play up the rage part but why (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            scorpiorising

            people are fed up and getting involved does vary.  At any rate, therein still lies the problem with OWS, how to get more people to join in.  I didn't mean a single goal like fracking or antiwar actually.  I meant the 99%/1% inequality theme that's been running from the start.  That is what I meant by singularity, not individual issues.  However, I'd like to see some movement toward specific actions toward that, particularly this election year.  The public is being fed an incredible amount of bullshit with the election process being painted like it matters.  OWS could use that somehow I think.  

    •  Unwillingness to Compromise (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      WisePiper

      THAT is the key to success.  When you go to the table be unwilling to give away any portion of the issue.

      If at first you give away 50%, the next time you go to the table you are only dealing with the last 50%...If you give away half of that, 25% is all you have...then 12, then 6...No need to go back to the table...you gave it all away.

      It takes uncompromising determination!!

      The grief, anger, disgust, fear, sadness or rage can all be channeled into a resolute uncompromising stance.

  •  Is Wall St "listening" to Occupy? (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Odysseus, blueoasis, Asak, grrr, shaharazade
    [Citi] has proceeded with slashing banker pay by 30% for overall comp and some bonuses by as much as 70%. This follows earlier announcements by Bank of America and Morgan Stanley which earlier said they would limit cash bonuses to $150K for senior positions.

    But note ripple effect:

    ...each banker job indirectly supports up to 3 downstream jobs. In other words between layoffs and comp cutting, the immediate impact will likely be to leave New York City, which is the farthest point on the economic procyclical receiving end, with hundreds of thousands of layoffs.

    source

    A comment there:

    They still get a fucking bonus? Why? For ruining the US financial industry?? Not only should they not be giving out bonuses, they should have their base pay cut. It is sick that we are shocked at a 70% reduction in BONUS. I'd be shocked by a 70% reduction in base pay. I'm actually still in shock that they are giving out tax-payer funded bonuses.

    "...just ordinary people, you know, people who are not famous, if they get together, if they persist, if they defy the authorities, they can defeat the largest corporation in the world. - Howard Zinn

    by Sean X on Fri Jan 27, 2012 at 10:07:28 PM PST

  •  Matt Stoller: Obama's Top Priority! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jamess

    Matt Stoller gets the switch.  "Mortgage fraud is a top priority for this administration!".  Seriously!

  •  Wow......AG Schneiderman Seemed Really Upbeat (6+ / 0-)

    on Rachel Maddow tonight.  I guess the naysayers here know more than he does.  You're not even giving the guy a chance before you put the unit down he is heading.

    Sounds like Beau Biden is spinning his wheels, as well.  This site appears to be saying......don't even try, give up, it will never work.  I didn't get the public option.  I'm still mad.  

  •  If he is or has been listening then he will know (5+ / 0-)

    that these planned token measures and changes won't in any way remedy the primary grievances of the movement.  So if he is trying to placate the movement, then he knows he'll need a helluva lot more.  That would be good.  More than likely these are relatively harmless (to the base .01 percenters) and symbolic actions taken during an election season.  People keep up the hope and still fall for the hype when we're over 3 years in and political bullshit season is in full swing.    

  •  To Sean X and others, I think you and every other (8+ / 0-)

    critical thinking Kossack that reads about this new turn of events have every right to be skeptical that Obama is serious enough to allow a full-scale, criminal investigation into Wall Street malfeasance that would potentially end with some high-profile financiers in jail or  that it will strengthen the watered down Frank-Dodd Law into something that will actually STOP Wall Street companies from engaging in casino-like schemes that endanger the American economy and crush the middle class like it is doing today. We know what Obama has and has not been willing to do to hold their collective feet to the fire during his first 4 years and that in itself is not very encouraging.

    Like I said in an earlier post, let us not forget where much of the money for his campaign came from and even now is still coming from. Let us be clear about whose interests have been a priority so far in his Administration. Let us not forget who  his inner circle of advisers were and who are the people he continues to surround himself with; Summers, Geithner, Lew, Daily, etc.

    The pressure must continue. We must be relentless. Otherwise, I fear this will in time become yet another show of smoke and mirrors designed for public consumption in a time of popular unrest and collective uncertainty about  the people's economic future.

  •  I think the real deal is "It is the election (7+ / 0-)

    season, stupid".  Occupy movement did push the Overton window but not enough to instill fear in our politicos I guess.

    Meanwhile, I am with the Yves Smith theory reg the mortgage scam - Obama is just pretending to do something and dilute/co-opt any opposition.

    "The word bipartisan means some larger-than-usual deception is being carried out”. - George Carlin

    by Funkygal on Fri Jan 27, 2012 at 11:13:37 PM PST

  •  Impunity. (7+ / 0-)

    It's still there.  It's not going away.  The 1% still isn't listening to us, though its PR team has been asked to mimic our rhetoric a bit.

    “For eight hundred years have I trained Jedi -- my own council will I keep on who is to be trained.” -- Yoda

    by Cassiodorus on Fri Jan 27, 2012 at 11:25:59 PM PST

    •  The 1% is never going to listen (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Cassiodorus

      They don't listen to anyone.  The success of Ows is that the 99% are listening.  The natural advantage of majority is diminished by the fox news propaganda and the extreme right wing agenda of the GOP.  The true success of OWS will be its ability to wake up the 99% percent.

       Even in Georgia I see signs that people are paying a little attention.  I know people who are just now recognizing that the people with wealth are changing the tax code to their own benefit, at the cost of everyone else.  Believe it or not, this isn't something they understood last election, when they were voting straight GOP.  

      Once the 99% is awake and understands what has been happening for the last 30 years, the 1% will wish they had been listening.  But, they won't until it no longer matters.

  •  A triangle has three points (0+ / 0-)

    When you move it around with the same players forming the the points, it's still a triangle! But is can confuse the opposition when moving the points around. Who is the opposition though?

    Directing the people powered movie starring Howard Dean and YOU!

    by deantv on Sat Jan 28, 2012 at 01:49:19 AM PST

  •  I'll Believe it (6+ / 0-)

    When I see Wall St. insiders; the big wigs, not their minions facing trial and REAL prison time. Until then it's just election year politics.

    When the power of love overcomes the love of power the world will know peace. -Jimi Hendrix -6.0 -5.33

    by Cali Techie on Sat Jan 28, 2012 at 02:19:19 AM PST

  •  The Mortgage Fraud Unit has three co-chairs, (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    emal, Jazzenterprises

    two of whom are up to their necks in the shit on the wrong side of the fraud (i.e. on the side of the banks).

    Until and unless something positive actually comes of it, it's just more kabuki and regardless of what else it is, it is election year pandering. President Obama is firmly right-of-center; that's the way he has indicated he prefers to govern and token efforts such as this, with little vigor and no force, don't counter his recent past performance, or really even begin to.

  •  Timmy was looking for an out in August (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    emal
    Pressured by White House, Treasury Secretary Is Expected to Stay at Post

    WASHINGTON — Timothy F. Geithner, the Treasury secretary and dean of President Obama’s economic team, is expected to stay through the president’s term after intense White House pressure, according to officials familiar with the discussions.

    Mr. Obama and his chief of staff, William M. Daley, have been urging Mr. Geithner to stay, administration officials say, not only for continuity when the economy has weakened and to avoid an all-but-certain confirmation fight in the Senate over a successor, but also because Mr. Obama has developed a close rapport with Mr. Geithner.

  •  Show me some prosecutions then I'll start to cheer (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    emal, Detlef, grrr, Jazzenterprises

    They simply are NOT serious about this. It is still all smoke and mirrors.

    http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/...

    Ok, let’s go to the substance.

    I am pleased to report that this Working Group has considerable Department resources behind it as it builds on activities that have been underway through the broader Task Force.  Currently, 15 attorneys, investigators, and analysts – here at Main Justice and throughout our U.S. Attorneys’ Offices – are supporting the investigative efforts that this Working Group will be focusing on going forward.  And the FBI has assigned 10 agents and analysts to work with the group immediately.  In the coming weeks, another 30 attorneys, investigators, and support staff from U.S. Attorneys’ Offices will join the Group’s work.

    So that’s a total of 55 people, 10 of whom are FBI agents.  Let’s do a few comparisons.  During the Savings and Loan crisis, Bill Black reminds us that there were about a thousand FBI agents working on the various cases.  That’s one hundred times the number of people working on a scandal that is about forty times larger and far more complex.

    To put it another way, let’s say that this scandal cost the American public $5-7 trillion in lost home equity.  That’s about $100 billion of lost home equity per person assigned to this task force.  If someone stole $100 billion a corporation, like say, if somehow Apple’s entire cash hoard which is roughly that amount, suddenly disappeared, I’m guessing that the FBI would assign more than one person to the case.

    Another comparison might be Enron, which had 100 FBI agents assigned to the case.  Or the stress tests.  Remember this?

    For the last eight weeks, nearly 200 federal examiners have labored inside some of the nation’s biggest banks to determine how those institutions would hold up if the recession deepened.

    Yup, roughly four times as many people were assigned to conduct sham stress tests as are assigned to investigate the causes of the financial crisis and prosecute the people responsible. So we see that this is a not a serious deployment of government resources to unmask a complex economy-shaking financial scheme.  It just isn’t.

    Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable. - JFK

    by taonow on Sat Jan 28, 2012 at 04:21:23 AM PST

    •  There were 485 arrests for mortage fraud (0+ / 0-)

      in 2010 (at least; those arrests were announced by Holder in June, 2010, I believe), there have also been state AG prosecutions, and there've been civil suits as well, netting over a billions of dollars in fines.

      Anyway, you're in a tough spot.  You demand heads on platters, and the only way you'll get that is to re-elect the PResident, because a Pres. Romney would kill this task force as one of his first actions.  The upcoming election will partly serve as a referendum on whether the new task force should be killed or not.  I don't care whether you "cheer" or not; that's irrelevant.  What's relevant is tight spot you are in now.

  •  The Occupy Movement Is Really Good (0+ / 0-)

    Politics if Mitt Romney is your opposition. I'm really glad that the Obama 2012 campaign sees this. The script basically writes itself.

    "I'll believe that corporations are people when I see Rick Perry execute one."

    by bink on Sat Jan 28, 2012 at 04:40:22 AM PST

  •  SMH (0+ / 0-)

    Such delusions of grandeur

  •  It doesn't matter (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    zaka1, Aspe4, emal, pgm 01

    If Obama's sudden interest in populism is real, it's too late to do him any good.  At this point, his rhetoric sounds like more empty campaign promises.  And, the public expects (and deserves) more than a few election season trinkets in the form of last-minute changes to appease them.

    The attitude of both parties toward the public at large is hugely cynical and will only generate more anger among the grassroots.

  •  Banksters need to go to jail. Period. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    NamelessGenXer, Crazy like a fox

    There must be justice for the mayhem they have inflicted on the workers who bailed them out.

    If a blue collar worker steals a loaf of bread, he is mercilessly prosecuted and sent to jail. If a bankster fraudulently peddles a $400 million pile of toxic 'mortgage backed securities' he knew to be worthless and got rich while destroying the retirement funds and home equity of thousands....he gets a $10 million bonus.

    It still astonishes me that the pitchforks & torches have not descended upon the headquarters of Goldman, Sachs.

  •  Is Obama really "listening to Occupy" (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Jazzenterprises

    Or has Obama realized that he has a Election Campaign Problem. That People are actually awake and know that nothing has been done investigate financial fraud since 2008.

    There's enough on this planet for everyone's needs but not for everyone's greed. ~ Gandhi

    by CitizenOfEarth on Sat Jan 28, 2012 at 06:31:27 AM PST

  •  More Kabuki (4+ / 0-)

    I suggest you read the excellent post on Naked Capitalism.

    http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/...

    So that’s a total of 55 people, 10 of whom are FBI agents.  Let’s do a few comparisons.  During the Savings and Loan crisis, Bill Black reminds us that there were about a thousand FBI agents working on the various cases.  That’s one hundred times the number of people working on a scandal that is about forty times larger and far more complex.

    To put it another way, let’s say that this scandal cost the American public $5-7 trillion in lost home equity.  That’s about $100 billion of lost home equity per person assigned to this task force.  If someone stole $100 billion a corporation, like say, if somehow Apple’s entire cash hoard which is roughly that amount, suddenly disappeared, I’m guessing that the FBI would assign more than one person to the case.

  •  The robosigning is a big deal. (4+ / 0-)

    People don't understand -- robosigning creates unclear title.  Unclear title means we aren't a First World country any more.  It's really that simple.

    The two things Teabaggers hate most are: being called racists; and black people.

    "It takes balls to execute an innocent man." -- anonymous GOP focus group member on Rick Perry

    by Punditus Maximus on Sat Jan 28, 2012 at 07:16:53 AM PST

  •  What about the respa, tila violations ??? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jamess

    That forced people in to foreclosure...what about the foreclosure help schemes run by the banks...will the banks be able to be prosecuted for what they did...for the millions of americans who lost their homes to fraud???

    That's what this "deal" leaves out. We will prevent them in the future, but the word will never really make it to surface that these banks lied on the what people owed, that they forced bogus fees, that their were numerous accounting errors, escrow manipulations, and forced insurance schemes.

    It seems that this deal will leave the "people" out of the equation. 25 billion...doesn't come close to the damages incurred.

  •  Had Obama done this in 2009 (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jamess

    things would be very different.

    He'd probably have been impeached by now on trumped up charges, because the country wasn't ready before Occupy.

    In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice; but in practice, there always is a difference. - Yogi Berra En théorie, il n'ya aucune différence entre théorie et pratique, mais en pratique, il ya toujours une différence. - Yogi Berra

    by blue aardvark on Sat Jan 28, 2012 at 07:37:11 AM PST

    •  I totally disagree (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      BradyB, pgm 01

      There has been huge support for prosecution of bankers since day one of the bail outs.  If he had done this in 2009 then 2010 wouldn't have been such a disaster.  Occupy happened because no one was doing anything about the crimes that were committed and people were pissed, but felt helpless to do anything.  If the president had gone on the offensive against the criminal bankers then he could have ridden that all the way through the 2012 election.

      There revolution will not be televised. But it will be blogged, a lot. Probably more so than is necessary.

      by AoT on Sat Jan 28, 2012 at 09:53:29 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  And I think the banks still owned (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Supavash

        Washington in 2009.

        They still do, but they have to be less brazen.

        In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice; but in practice, there always is a difference. - Yogi Berra En théorie, il n'ya aucune différence entre théorie et pratique, mais en pratique, il ya toujours une différence. - Yogi Berra

        by blue aardvark on Sat Jan 28, 2012 at 09:55:48 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I definitely agree with that (0+ / 0-)

          The banks still own washington, but that doesn't mean that the justice department is powerless, nor does it mean that a majority democratic house, and a big majority at that, would move to impeach Obama for prosecuting banks.  They're craven, but they aren't dumb.

          There revolution will not be televised. But it will be blogged, a lot. Probably more so than is necessary.

          by AoT on Sat Jan 28, 2012 at 10:22:54 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  Obama is shaking the money tree (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Crazy like a fox, splashoil

    By holding up a stick, he's giving Wall Street a reason to dump more money in his coffers, instead of just giving it all to the right...

    2010: An Unforced Error Odyssey

    by Minerva on Sat Jan 28, 2012 at 08:05:04 AM PST

  •  they only (0+ / 0-)

    built 300,000 extra homes in Ireland with a population of around 6 million that nobody can buy.

    http://www.youtube.com/...

    Is this a bad thing?  I wonder when Bono will leave Davos meetings to sing about that 'little' thing ....

    "Let me issue and control a nation's money and I care not who writes the laws." Mayer Amschel Rothschild, 1790

    by FreeTradeIsYourEpitaph on Sat Jan 28, 2012 at 08:06:16 AM PST

  •  I'm (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    shaharazade

    not buying any of it until the criminal bankers Jamie, Llyod, Vikrum are in prison instead of in their penthouses.

    Kabuki for the serfs.

  •  Good to have Matt back on this side (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jamess

    I know how bitterly disappointed he's been in Obama, but with the choice facing us - of a President who could be empowered by a second term to finally complete a progressive agenda vs. a rabid Randian dystopia that would surely result from a right wing takeover at this point in time - we're going to need his strong voice and talent to help get through this next step.

  •  If Obama pleased Taibbi, he'd be an ex-president (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jamess

    And last I checked, ex-presidents don't get to sign legislation or make appointments, do they?
    Progressive Purists like Taibbi and many Kossacks here need to realize that the progressive base is just not big enough to carry a presidential election.  A good chunk of the populace still believes that Obama is a socialist dictator.  If he loses the moderates and independents, he'll lose in November, because Romney will be swimming corporate cash, thanks to Citizens United.
    Look at all the heat he took for rejecting Keystone--the media had a picnic with, "Obama killed 20,000 jobs!"  Same when he announced he wanted to cut the defense budget.
    If Obama makes the progressive purists happy (if that's even possible), he'll lose.
    Don't do what the Greens did in 2000, when they gave us George Bush.  I'm betting that President Romney won't be very progressive.
    Grab a mop.
    I welcome your responses.

    Unfortunately, President Obama doesn't have time to read DK, so contact him here: The White House, 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20500 (Postcards, not letters! Please give your email address) -- 202-456-1111 -- FAX: 202-456-2461

    by My Left Behind on Sat Jan 28, 2012 at 08:50:19 AM PST

    •  I agree with much (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Supavash

      of your assessment.

      But can you find a different label that "purist"


      Trust me, most progressives,

      are not that "pure"

      -- we just want "Progress".


      Politics is a game of compromise,

      so if we could stop conceding progressive principles,

      without getting something in return,

      would be nice.  The Tea Party gets this much respect.


      What is necessary to change a person is to change his awareness of himself.
      -- Maslow ...... my list.

      by jamess on Sat Jan 28, 2012 at 09:39:07 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Anyone who calls Taibbi a progressive purist (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      BradyB, pgm 01

      clearly doesn't know what they are talking about.  Please go spout your tired talking points elsewhere.

      There revolution will not be televised. But it will be blogged, a lot. Probably more so than is necessary.

      by AoT on Sat Jan 28, 2012 at 09:55:00 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  You don't know what you're talking about, AoT (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Escamillo

        Google "Taibbi Obama" and you'll see plenty of trash pieces in Rolling Stone and on HuffPo (big surprise) sooooo impatient that Obama has not turned America into a socialist paradise by now.

        Unfortunately, President Obama doesn't have time to read DK, so contact him here: The White House, 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20500 (Postcards, not letters! Please give your email address) -- 202-456-1111 -- FAX: 202-456-2461

        by My Left Behind on Sat Jan 28, 2012 at 04:57:32 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Don't fool yourself ... (5+ / 0-)

    Obama is using the OWS movement to help consolidate the reinvigorate his base and previously most enthusiastic supporters.  I'll wait until after re-e-lec-tion time to see how serious he is.  Remember, Obama is a politician and they do whatever is necessary to get re-e-lec-ted.

    The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt. Bertrand Russell

    by accumbens on Sat Jan 28, 2012 at 08:53:25 AM PST

  •  Tim Geithner is one reason why many in this (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jamess, trinityfly

    country are OUTRAGED at the continuous bailouts of these fucking banks!!  Yes, continued on Obama's watch under the guidance of Bernanke, another who needs to go.

    Obama better have a populist theme, folks are angry out here and they have every right to be.  Many of the things Obama PROMISED, was minimized or ignored when he took office, i.e., the watered down housing market.

    That is a real issue out here especially if you live in Florida, Nevada or California.  This is one complaint I hear from my father who is lives in Florida and how his house is worth far less than what he paid for it.  This issue should have been addressed up front because it was the straw that broke the camel's back in how it ruined this economy.

    It is nice Obama is finally speaking populist themes in an election year, but many are just whatever.  Why?  These politicians tow the same line over and over again, for the rich and privileged and not much for us, which is the 99%.

    •  It IS "nice" that Obama is (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Knarfc

      "finally speaking populist themes"...I think we can all agree that he is "nice"...

      "Nice" doesn't cut it...Obama was "very nice" in 2008...(un)believably "nice"...

      His 'good manners' cover an ineffectual (at the very least) and toxic (at the very worst) presidency.

  •  Obama the populist (4+ / 0-)

    with all his crony-bankster administration.

    Defying reality & facts has now become a bipatisan problem.

    Hilarious, but also extremely sad...

    I didn't abandon the fight, I abandoned the Party that abandoned the fight...

    by Jazzenterprises on Sat Jan 28, 2012 at 09:18:05 AM PST

  •  I have heard people say that it's pretty difficult (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jamess

    to prosecute the wrong doers because what they did wasn't illegal. They worked the system in a way that they couldn't be prosecuted for. I haven't delved deeply enough to know for myself if that is true or if it isn't.

    But I would love to see us all say "fuck prosecuting them, we are going to legislate the hell out of them instead."

    I am passionate about the rule of law applying equally. But dammit I don't want to get lost in some arcane mire while Wall Street goes about it's business of fleecing the world. There is popular support for this.

    Closing the damned barn door to keep that last horse in isn't sexy, but it's useful.

    Poverty = politics.

    by Renee on Sat Jan 28, 2012 at 09:26:53 AM PST

  •  meh (0+ / 0-)

    prove it

    prosecute one of these major fucking dirt bags and i'll believe.
    until then its all bullshit.

    I am pleased to report that this Working Group has considerable Department resources behind it as it builds on activities that have been underway through the broader Task Force.  Currently, 15 attorneys, investigators, and analysts – here at Main Justice and throughout our U.S. Attorneys’ Offices – are supporting the investigative efforts that this Working Group will be focusing on going forward.  And the FBI has assigned 10 agents and analysts to work with the group immediately.  In the coming weeks, another 30 attorneys, investigators, and support staff from U.S. Attorneys’ Offices will join the Group’s work.

    So that’s a total of 55 people, 10 of whom are FBI agents.  Let’s do a few comparisons.  During the Savings and Loan crisis, Bill Black reminds us that there were about a thousand FBI agents working on the various cases.  That’s one hundred times the number of people working on a scandal that is about forty times larger and far more complex.

    To put it another way, let’s say that this scandal cost the American public $5-7 trillion in lost home equity.  That’s about $100 billion of lost home equity per person assigned to this task force.  If someone stole $100 billion a corporation, like say, if somehow Apple’s entire cash hoard which is roughly that amount, suddenly disappeared, I’m guessing that the FBI would assign more than one person to the case.

    Another comparison might be Enron, which had 100 FBI agents assigned to the case.  Or the stress tests.  Remember this?

    For the last eight weeks, nearly 200 federal examiners have labored inside some of the nation’s biggest banks to determine how those institutions would hold up if the recession deepened.

    Yup, roughly four times as many people were assigned to conduct sham stress tests as are assigned to investigate the causes of the financial crisis and prosecute the people responsible.

    http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/...

    The era of procrastination, half-measures, soothing & baffling expedients, & delays, is coming to a close. We are entering a period of consequences - Churchill

    by PrometheusUnbound on Sat Jan 28, 2012 at 10:25:16 AM PST

  •  Thanks for this diary and honestly (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Supavash, jamess

    I'm not surprised. Not a bit. It's why I've continued supporting OWS and President Obama. His background was too thick in protest issues -- particularly with his mother's interest there, but also his own work in Chicago to whatever degree -- to not believe that he's listening to, and reflecting on, such widespread and high profile protest movements.

    And I don't think that President Obama has a particular, preferred economic style; I think he's flexible at times here. I'm really glad to hear that perhaps he'll be dumping some of the pro-Wall Street dudes whom he's surrounded himself with for too long now. He's a better President than he has yet been, at least in my estimation, on economic issues.

    Good reporting here, jamess. Thank you.

    •  Mortgage Fraud is a top priority (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mahakali overdrive

      of this Administration!

      I would be happy to be wrong, of course.  I’d love to see real prosecutions of the people that caused the mortgage crisis and rigged the markets to collapse.  But it’s important to recognize that it is the policy of the Bush and Obama administrations to protect the banks at all costs.  That is, not prosecuting isn’t a failure, it’s a feature.  Don’t believe me, believe Barack Obama, who said so in his very first State of the Union.

          We will act with the full force of the federal government to ensure that the major banks that Americans depend on have enough confidence and enough money to lend even in more difficult times.  And when we learn that a major bank has serious problems, we will hold accountable those responsible, force the necessary adjustments, provide the support to clean up their balance sheets, and assure the continuity of a strong, viable institution that can serve our people and our economy.

      That’s the policy.  Oh, and that bit about holding those responsible accountable – didn’t you hear that mortgage fraud is a top priority of the administration?

  •  If Geithner is leaving, he should (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jamess, splashoil

    leave now. And then we can watch the Senate hearings on who getes to replace him, during the election season.

    Ditto for Holder (although there have been on announcements of leaving on his part).

    Of course the administration is listening to the Occupy Movement. They are smart enough to do so.

    Even Newt Gingrich is listening to, and playing, the Occupy Movement. Anti-bank populism is clearly in play this election.

    H'mm. I'm not terribly into this, anymore.

    by Knarfc on Sat Jan 28, 2012 at 10:51:39 AM PST

  •  where's the connection to your headline? (0+ / 0-)

    nothing in here about Occupy, just for a little integrity to the 'journalism'.

    "I'm sculpting now. Landscapes mostly." ~ Yogi Bear

    by eXtina on Sat Jan 28, 2012 at 01:01:06 PM PST

    •  the title (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      BradyB

      is straight out of Taibbi's report.


      My post explores some of the issues,

      covered in Taibbi's report.  Supplements them with other reports.


      eXtina, once again, if you don't like my style of writing,

      please, don't read it.

      But I'll compare my dkos post stats with yours,
      any day of the week.


      What is necessary to change a person is to change his awareness of himself.
      -- Maslow ...... my list.

      by jamess on Sat Jan 28, 2012 at 01:25:58 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Who will replace Geithner? (0+ / 0-)

    He replaced Daley CEO of Chase with the Citibank CEO. We have Immelt of GE as jobs czar for god's sakes. Populist? He just past off some more nasty trade deals as job creators. This committee seems designed to be toothless.

    Populist? Only rhetorically and even that's just stylistic if you listen closely to what he's really proposing. Sounds like double speak to me. This time around I'm listening carefully to the content as I am often told here that I didn't listen properly the first time.

    OWS has shaken out the populist talk from every pol, out there running for office. I see no change in this administrations agenda just a lot of populist posturing and cosmetic moves that in no way threaten the status quo of the bankster's and fraudster's who run this administration. No regulation, nobody in his administration with power that isn't feeding the vampire squid on humanities face.

    Of course he's listening to OWS. Hard to ignore the populist movement sweeping the world. What he is doing and proposing doesn't give me hope. Occupy needs to on occupying where ever the can and are needed. . I'll be joining them they have a mic.  

             

    •  Economic theorist is a different skill set than (0+ / 0-)

      Treasury Secretary, so when it comes to a new Treasury Secretary, one should not necessarily assume that an economic theorist that happens to jive with a particular ideology would be best suited to the job.  Personally, I would prefer a non-ideologial Treasury Secretary.

      We were put in a deep recession and are slowly coming out of it due to the current pragmatic policies.  Ideological measures like nationalizing banks was rightly rejected.  Meanwhile, Europe chose an ideological policy of "austeriry" and is heading into doublie-dip recession as a result.  I'd rather keep the recovery going, even if it's slow, rather than bring in some ideologue that does things according to ideology rather than pragmatism, and therefore puts us into double-dip recession as an unintended consequence.

      I say that as a general response to your openning query.  I ignore the rest of your post as baloney.

  •  I think the reason... (0+ / 0-)

    is if Obama is reelected, he will have no further need to raise money from Wall Street.

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