Tuesday, January 4, 2011

In 2011 We Must Face Reality Or Suffer The Consequences--Part One



Like I've been saying for well over a year now, it's way past time for all of us to get our heads out of the clouds and shut down any more silly and useless adolescent dreaming about who or what Obama "could be/should be." More than ever it's time for all of us to be fully committed adult citizens and take some serious responsibility for honestly dealing with the blatant REALITY of who and what this man and his wayward administration actually is and isn't. Our watchword for 2011 must be: No More Excuses! We must incessantly hold both this President and ourselves fully and equally ACCOUNTABLE for what by any objective standard is a simply awful and obviously failing national economic policy. What this means is that if we truly want real reform--and not just some halfass token version of same-- we are going to have to organize on a national level to put immense political pressure on the White House and Congress. Needless to say the Republicans will absolutely refuse to do anything but destroy this Presidency and all the rest of us in the bargain so the real WEIGHT is gonna be on the President and the Democratic Party to actually deliver on their promises or at the very least FIGHT LIKE MANIACS against the inevitable rollbacks that are sure to come if the President and the Democrats in the House and Senate don't fiercely stand up to the additional 69 Republican rightwingers who were elected to the House and Senate during the November, 2010 midterms. While we obviously must continue to generally support the President vis-a-vis and in opposition to the Republican right and their corporate sponsors this fundamentally provisional political and ideological support MUST BE PRINCIPLED AND CRITICAL at all times to be of any real use or practical value to either him or us. If we don't do what is necessary to change the direction of this economy now during 2011 you can rest assured that Obama will be a one term President and go down to ignominious defeat in 2012--and most importantly of all WE will be wiped out and decimated by an intense and unrelenting national rightwing backlash that will absolutely destroy everything and everyone in its path in the aftermath of that defeat. Mark my words...


Jonathan Alter's 'The Promise' Epilogue: Obama Team's Dysfunction Prompted Lack Of Focus On Jobs; Bill Clinton Annoyed At White House
by Marcus Baram
December 30, 2010
The Huffington Post \

Some revelations about the Obama administration detailed in the new epilogue to the upcoming paperback release of Jonathan Alter's bestseller, "The Promise," probably won't please too many folks at the White House. Alter claims that a dysfunctional relationship between top White House aides hurt the administration's policy on job creation, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau was almost dropped from financial reform legislation and was only reinstated after complaints by Elizabeth Warren, and Bill Clinton continually grumbles about being disrespected by the administration.

The Obama administration's perceived failure to take laser-like aim at the unemployment crisis was partly due to the dysfunctional relationship between White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel, top economic adviser Larry Summers and senior adviser David Axelrod, specifically the intransigence of Summers, according to Alter:

"The inability to pivot in 2010 to a single-minded focus on jobs was a by-product of what one senior aide called "dysfunction" between Emanuel, Summers, and Axelrod. Rahm had always admired Larry, but he was becoming exasperated with his failure to give him a jobs plan he could sell. 'Week after week, Rahm would say, 'Let's explore this' or 'How about that?' and Larry would slow-walk everything,' recalled one senior advisor. 'He basically doesn't believe in the government helping small business'."

Alter writes that the CFPB survived certain death only because of Warren's commitment:

"The most popular provision of Dodd-Frank almost didn't happen. In late 2009 Elizabeth Warren learned that a proposed bureau of consumer financial protection had been dropped from the bill. She went to the White House to object, and the bureau, to the dismay of predatory lenders, was reinstated."

Obama's relationship with the Clintons remains strained and Bill Clinton constantly complains in private about how he's been disrespected by the administration, writes Alter.

Though they talk frequently, the former president was annoyed that Obama didn't give him credit for helping to negotiate a spy swap that led to the release from Russian jails of four Russians who had been working for the CIA (in the wake of the bust of Russian spies living in American suburbs six months ago), Clinton's aides tell Alter. In addition, Clinton was miffed that Samantha Power, who insulted Hillary during the 2008 campaign, was chosen as an emissary to Bosnia in July. ("Bill Clinton might not have accepted the job, but he wanted to be asked," Alter writes.)

"An old friend compared him [Clinton] to a big puppy dog who just needed some attention to be happy and helpful."

Clinton felt dissed because, after negotiating the release by North Korea of two imprisoned American journalists, he was told to travel on a separate plane so as not to overshadow the arrival of the women. "Some of these guys in the White House act small," one aide told Alter.

And Clinton's team was angry that former protégés like Rahm Emanuel didn't show the former president proper respect. After Clinton "worked like a nerd" to prepare a detailed 30-page memo on how to incentivize banks with loan guarantees to spur job creation, the White House ignored the memo for a few months, and then treated Clinton like a "prop" during Obama's meeting with CEOs. When a Clinton aide complained to Emanuel, "Are you serious?", the chief of staff replied that Clinton should be grateful he was on the president's schedule at all, writes Alter.

"Clinton felt better disposed toward his 1992 opponent, George H.W. Bush... one senior aide described Bush as a 'father figure' to Clinton, who never knew his natural father..."