August 11, 2011

Times have changed

It's worth keeping in mind that when Obama announced his candidacy for President in February 2007, there was plenty of money. Lots and lots of money. All Obama had to do as President, he figured, was not be as big a screw-up as George W. Bush. How hard could that be?

43 comments:

Hillary Clinton said...

I don't think things have really changed for the topmost donor class - certainly not as much as it has for the masses.

Record bonuses for Wall Street recently and big profits for many big corporations until very recently.

On a broader front we have many more wars of choice going on (Iraq, Afganistan, Lybia with covert ops in Pakistan, Somalia, Iran, Yemen, etc), more debt than ever, more money to Wall St. backers, more unaffordable entitlement program expansion, etc.

As 2008 Biden would chant, "That's not change, that's more the same!".

If McCain would've been Bush3, Obama has turned out to be Bush3.1.

Unanimous said...

Actually, Ike was the last president to have any real money to spend. The last 50 years have just been an exercise in using credit to pull forward future demand. Obama just got stuck with the hot potato, the $66 trillion in unfunded liabilities.

Anonymous said...

This is absolutely true. It's easy to forget how unexpected the housing crash was. Obama's plan for his presidency was basically to plunder the economy and give free stuff to the people who elected him. Unfortunately, I think this is still his plan.

Polistra said...

You're missing the whole purpose of Obama. His purpose is to serve Goldman Sachs better than Bush did. This was fairly hard, but he's managed to do it.

Speculators need domestic and international chaos and uncertainty, and speculators love trillions in direct unmerited gifts from the Treasury.

Bush started both of these processes, and Obama has continued and expanded them in an outstanding way.

Chicago said...

I've been informed over and over that he's some sort of boy genius, the smartest of the smart. So I would guess that this is the best we can expect. A lesser person would really have screwed everything up so we should count ourselves as being very lucky to have this professor-community organizer-messiah working around the clock on our behalf.

Anonymous said...

now liberals are really in a hard place - if dems abandon obama it will be because of 'racism' and 'dissing' him.

one thing's for sure we are never going to see the most qualified candidates again - (not that the system has been perfect in the past but not it will only get worse) the dems will never run without a minority or woman, repubs too.

AMac said...

> All Obama had to do as President... was not be as big a screw-up as George W. Bush. How hard could that be?

Not very hard, and that's a standard Obama has surpassed. (Financial collapses: GWB 1; BHO 0. Foreign quagmires: GWB 1.5, BHO 1. Immigration fecklessness: GWB 1, BHO 1. Budget recklessness: GWB 1, BHO 1.)

The times turned out to call for more. Too bad for us.

Ossicle said...

Ha ha! I'm enjoying your spate of grouchy insinuations this morning. It's like one of those "blind items" columns gossip columnists occasionally file.

Canadian CIncinnatus said...

No, that is not all what Obama figured he had to do. He figured he had to "fundamentally transform America", to employ his own words.

Anonymous said...

A comparison of Bush II (actually he's third generation in Big League politics USA ) and BHO presents a bit of a parameters problem. Over time, the comparison is inescapable--Bush from the mid-brain on down comes off as preferable to BHO. BHO's narcissim appears to prevent his assimilating as easily as Bush could the inputs of super Mensa "g" advisors that are always near each elbow of any President. Too, there's no sound way any advisor can "talk" a rookie who's seldom had a wrench in his hand how to do a valve job, say. Brush II grew up around those having expert nuts and bolts knowledge of the details of legislative accomplishments/failures. He then functioned in Texas politics and as Governor, and thus had day by day, week by week hands-on apprenticeship in EXECUTIVE function. BHO, by contrast, is something of what WWII vets used to term "a 90-day wonder" BHO, for example, imposed somewhat of an Oedipal- derived Health Care plan upon the realities of contemporary politics. He had some more or less deathbed promise to his mother to implement a grand, historically ornamented, health care plan. There are too many barriers and disconnects from BHO's cerebrum to his political touch and , in fact, to his political perception. "Yes, we can" morphs into "No, we couldn't." He's history.

Jack Aubrey said...

But Obama was one of the best black non-tenure track civil rights law lecturers at the Univversity of Chicago Law School!

And he had done a passable job as a Chicago community organizer! And he managed to get his wife a 150% at the University of Chicago hospital just months after getting elected to the United States Senate! And he had mediocre results blowing a great big wad of Walter Annenberg's money!

What reason did he not have to think that as president he would totally get treated like a rock sta...er, do a totally awesome job?

Jack Aubrey said...

It was fairly obvious to anyone who was paying attention that Obama had no real feelings of loyalty to the country he wanted to lead. His parents were both fairly anti-American, and one of them wasn't even from here.

He may feel differently now, but prior to his election I don't think he cared all that much whether his policies would improve this country or destroy it.

To him America is some other kid's toy. If he breaks it, he'll toss it over his shoulder and move on.

But given all the favors he's done for various business interests, I am in no doubt that his post-presidential career will be extremely lucrative, to the tune of hundreds of millions in post facto bribes. Unlike George W. Bush, he'll have no residual guilt at his failure.

headache said...

Its like with Mandela. He inherited the full coffers of the white government and a stellar infrastructure by African standards. And in spite of all the finger pointing about Apartheid, most blacks knew the score, that they were infinitely beter off in South Africa than in the rest of black Africa.

Luckily for mandela South Africa is on the fringes of the world and what happens there is of little concern for others. So the press could provide 24/7 air cover and he got away with dismantling the ill-gotten gains without anybody noticing.

Obama's problem is that his incompetence affects many people who do care about the state of their countries and wallets.

Anonymous said...

Even if Obama had done everything right, there's no guarantee that rest of America would have done the right thing.

airtommy said...

Jack Aubrey said...

Unlike George W. Bush, he'll have no residual guilt at his failure.


Dubya wracked with guilt? I will laugh myself to sleep tonight thinking about that one.

Anonymous said...

"Dubya wracked with guilt? I will laugh myself to sleep tonight thinking about that one."

Sounds like you are the maniacal imp, who believes your enemies are evil.

Anonymous said...

Foreign quagmires: GWB 1.5, BHO 1

Huh?!?

GWB: Afghanistan, Part I
GWB: Iraq

OBA: Afghanistan, Part II ["It Lives!"]
OBA: Libya

And that's not including all the "Arab Spring" encouragement of the Muslim Brotherhood [in Egypt, Syria, etc].

Or the refusal to support the overthrow of the Iranian regime.


And he had mediocre results blowing a great big wad of Walter Annenberg's money!

Actually, he had NO results.

The test scores of the Annenberg kids were indistinguishable from the test scores of the kids in the "normal" CPS system.

The Annenberg scam simply funneled $125M into the coffers of radical anti-American/anti-Western front groups operated by the likes of William Ayers and Mike Klonsky.

It is very, very difficult to over-emphasize the all-consuming nihilism of both Barack Hussein Obama and the people who have surrounded him his entire life.

eh said...

You're forgetting 'Who, whom'.

And I think he'll still attract a lot of money.

I don't think Obama's job performance (so to say) -- and maybe the economy, or the perception, even individual experience, of how the economy is doing will be a proxy for Obama's job performance -- will be as decisive as that. After all, he can not unreasonably claim that this mess was dumped in his lap. And he's fairly personable (although I don't personally like him). Add in all the points he scores via 'Who, whom', and his reelection chances have to be seen as pretty good (even before taking probable relatively weak opposition into consideration).

Jack Aubrey said...

"Dubya wracked with guilt? I will laugh myself to sleep tonight thinking about that one."

Well I didn't say "wracked," but I do think Dubya understands that he effed up a bit, which is why he's tended to shy from the press.

Anonymous said...

"Dubya wracked with guilt? I will laugh myself to sleep tonight thinking about that one."

About what happened in Iraq, zilch.
But his policies on blacks(and Africa and aid)while he was president was predicated on 'white guilt'. Homes for black underclass, no chile left behind, disparate impact, etc.
He didn't feel any guilt about the mess in Iraq.. but ... but he said what hurt him most.. oh boo hoo... was Kanye West saying.. oh boo hoo.. 'Bush don't care about black people' during Katrina.

Simon in London said...

Obama killed bin Laden. GW Bush tusted Musharraf.

Sure, Obama hates America, and Bush thinks he loves America. Obama may be in the bottom quartile of all US Presidents, but Bush was probably the worst in American history.

Antioco Dascalon said...

Perhaps the most frightening thing concerning the present situation is the trend to compare America to South Africa and the fact that no one is objecting to that comparison.
Since the end of apartheid, the average life expectancy in South Africa has declined from 61.5 years to 51.6.

airtommy said...

Obama killed bin Laden. GW Bush trusted Musharraf.

Curiously, we're told Bin Laden moved into his Abbottabad compound at the same time that Bush closed the CIA's Bin Laden Unit. Perhaps there is a connection between those two simultaneous events.

Anonymous said...

"Well I didn't say "wracked," but I do think Dubya understands that he effed up a bit, which is why he's tended to shy from the press."

Yup, he's been very shy. And he understood he effed up enough to write a book about how awesome his decision making was. Captain Jack, have you been hitting the Whiskey hard lately?

http://www.randomhouse.com/crown/features/decision-points-by-george-w-bush/

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...

"A comparison of Bush II (actually he's third generation in Big League politics USA ) and BHO presents a bit of a parameters problem. Over time, the comparison is inescapable--Bush from the mid-brain on down comes off as preferable to BHO. BHO's narcissim appears to prevent his assimilating as easily as Bush could the inputs of super Mensa "g" advisors that are always near each elbow of any President. Too, there's no sound way any advisor can "talk" a rookie who's seldom had a wrench in his hand how to do a valve job, say. Brush II grew up around those having expert nuts and bolts knowledge of the details of legislative accomplishments/failures. He then functioned in Texas politics and as Governor, and thus had day by day, week by week hands-on apprenticeship in EXECUTIVE function. BHO, by contrast, is something of what WWII vets used to term "a 90-day wonder" BHO, for example, imposed somewhat of an Oedipal- derived Health Care plan upon the realities of contemporary politics. He had some more or less deathbed promise to his mother to implement a grand, historically ornamented, health care plan. There are too many barriers and disconnects from BHO's cerebrum to his political touch and , in fact, to his political perception. "Yes, we can" morphs into "No, we couldn't." He's history."

What kind of pseudo-psychobabble is this?

Eric said...

Obama killed bin Laden. GW Bush tusted Musharraf.

Oh please. Obama didn't have anything to do with killing bin Laden. The military and CIA were using the same intelligence apparatus that was in place during the Bush years. The most you can say is Obama didn't screw it up by telling the Pakis beforehand.

And people don't give Bush enough credit for handling Musharraf. After 9/11 Bush's "with us or against us" speech was aimed explicitly at Musharraf, who would rather have played both sides. But the general was forced off the fence to publicly declare for the US, which is why he spent the rest of his tenure trying to stay alive.

The idea that Bush actually trusted Musharraf is laughable. Seriously, do you people believe what politicians say in their speeches? For logistical reasons we had to work with the Pakistanis, at least the ones who could be induced to work with us, and nothing has changed.

Whiskey said...

Things HAVE changed for the top-most donor class, many of whom have lots and lots and lots of money tied up in either stocks, or real estate, or both. Lots of big-time corporate execs are well compensated, but much of the compensation coming in options. Which requires a rising stock market. A sustained decline (quite likely, historically corporate profits take a nose-dive after an extended run and who will endlessly buy Ipods or gasoline?) means a real big decline in paper wealth at least. This has already hurt luxury stocks, the top 5% of income earners spend about 48% of consumer spending.

As for real estate, Black flash mobs can kill a lot of REITs dead, and in general even low interest rates don't help when corporations move off shore and city centers become dead zones.

Whiskey said...

Polistra, nice theory but undermined by fact. Hedge funds have seen money pulled out not put in, and companies are sitting on cash not investing in speculation. The volatility and uncertainty has not led to greedy speculation but "risk off" flights to the US Treasury, and gold, and the Swiss Franc. Heck BONY Mellon is now CHARGING big depositors (who earn negative interest rates) for holding their cash. For a while, short term T-Bills have earned NEGATIVE returns (investors pay more than the coupons warrant). Big money is willing to LOSE MONEY just to avoid possibility of big losses.

Whiskey said...

Financial Collapses: Bush 1, Obama likely 2 now. Foreign Quagmires: Bush 2, Obama (Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Yemen, Tribal Pakistan, Somalia, Sudan) SEVEN. [You are aware that Obama is 'leading from behind' in Libya and playing drone-a-jihadi in Pakistan, Somalia, Sudan, and Yemen right?]

Obama has done WORSE, because there is no more money to blow out in Quantitative Easing, all the money got no jump start on the economy, all that is left is austerity measures and painful economic nationalism.

Whiskey said...

Bush was a failure, no doubt, but a run of the mill failure. Obama by comparison is the worst President ever. If Bush decided to get rid of Khadaffi, and announced it, he'd at least do it. Obama "leads from behind" and shows the US as weak and ineffective, the worst of all worlds -- Khadaffi is still there and bound to make trouble for the US unafraid.

Iraq was a mess, over-sold and the US public not prepared (for massive guerilla action by every jihadi on the planet) but at least pulling Saddam from his spider-hole and hanging him bought some time -- making US enemies fear us (because we took out a big anti-American strongmen everyone thought invincible). If you go into Iraq, at least hang Saddam (Bush learned that lesson at least).

Obama has by contrast doubled-down on Bush's mistake, offering up a cringing retreat in Afghanistan and Iraq with no plan to intimidate the way out. Cutting/gutting the Navy and Air Force so that when not if those places are used as plotting/launching pads for another mass terror attack, we won't even have impotent Clinton era cruise missiles blowing up sand-dunes. For Pakistan's nukes and slide into Jihad-takover he's got nothing. He could not even learn from Bush's failure (the US does not want either long wars or jihadi attacks that cannot be deterred).

Jack Aubrey said...

"Yup, he's been very shy. And he understood he effed up enough to write a book about how awesome his decision making was. Captain Jack, have you been hitting the Whiskey hard lately?"

OMHG, he published a book!

Compared to Bill Clinton's non-stop media presence Bush has gone Greta Garbo on us, but whatever...

Brian H. said...

Yup, he's been very shy. And he understood he effed up enough to write a book about how awesome his decision making was. Captain Jack, have you been hitting the Whiskey hard lately?

He wrote a memoir, every president does, it's actually the minimum a president does after he leaves office. Bush has been mostly quiet since he left office. A very good thing, in my opinion.

Anonymous said...

The 2008 collapse was triggered by counterfeit credit.

It is now very obvious that RMBS were freighted down with fraud in every dimension.

Tied in at the base is ACORN. And 0bomba was a member of their shakedown crew in Chicago -- going after Citicorp.

ACORN, according to the settlement, was to be paid for every mortgage that they could place -- coming out of the ghetto, primarily.

So the looting of Citicorp is DIRECTLY tied to 0bomba.

And what happened at Citicorp became the norm right across all our big banks.

While entirely engineered to be Black specific, their pet program exploded to include everyone -- and their pets.

The gallery of sinners in the bubble is as thick as a phone book. But right at the top would be Bubba, Gorelick and Rubin.

The bubble was launched by Bubba -- amazingly at the same time he was being impeached. What a coincidence.

Anonymous said...

Your analysis in this post is dumber than either a college research paper by Michelle Obama or a Rev. Jeremiah Wright sermon.

Hopefully Anonymous
http://www.hopeanon.typepad.com

Anonymous said...

Presidenting is hard.

Anonymous said...

If (based on economic and not political factors) there is no money to spend then why are we able to borrow at record low interest rates, repeated despite warnings from the right about hyperinflation any day now? We didn't seem to have any problem finding money in 2008 when Goldman Sachs and Citigroup needed bailouts.

In a deeply depressed economy is when the government is supposed to be spending a lot of money, since it's not inflationary to print it with massive idle resources. Econ 101 folks. We know that WWII spending was what got us out of the Great Depression.

Obama made the political choice to embrace the austerity rhetoric and agenda to please Wall Street, because that's who calls the shots in America today. They hate government money going to middle class people through Social Security and Medicare, and instead want it go to them.

It's also his natural tendency to parrot GOP talking points because that's how he's always moved up the career ladder; can you think of any novel policy thinking from Obama? He talks out of both sides of his mouth and people come away impressed since he's black and speaks in complete sentences.

Unfortunately ideas matter, and the idea that the near or medium term deficit (the long term deficit is completely driven by our broken health care system) is a major concern while we have an unemployment crisis is a terrible idea.

AmericanGoy said...

There is one question which closes all discussion, leads to distressed looks all around, dismisses the austerity measures...

Well, two questions.

1) Where does (American) money come from?

2) Since this is a service economy, based on people buying s**t, why did trillions go to the top 0.01% and none to the people buying s**t?

Daybreaker said...

Anonymous: "He didn't feel any guilt about the mess in Iraq.. but ... but he said what hurt him most.. oh boo hoo... was Kanye West saying.. oh boo hoo.. 'Bush don't care about black people' during Katrina."

Exactly. And Barack Hussein Obama knows he is on the side of Black vs. White as much as any man could be. And he is Black, and is accepted as Black. So, without Bush's fatal flaw (White skin) BHO is bound to leave the Oval Office with no regrets, unlike Bush II.

Mr. Anon said...

"Jack Aubrey said...

What reason did he not have to think that as president he would totally get treated like a rock sta...er, do a totally awesome job?"

And let's not forget his Nobel Peace Prize, which was handed out to him for no discernible reason at all.

"Jack Aubrey said...

Unlike George W. Bush, he'll have no residual guilt at his failure."

I have to agree with most everyone else here, Captain Jack. I don't believe G.W. feels the slightest pang of guilt for his term in office. Guilt requires a sense of shame, and none of these people who govern us have any of that. They are utterly, totally shameless.

The only good thing I can say about Bush is..........

........uh, let me get back to you on that.

Kylie said...

"And let's not forget his Nobel Peace Prize, which was handed out to him[Obama] for no discernible reason at all."

Mr. Anon, you surprise me.

Don't you consider Obama's skin color a "discernible reason"?

Indeed, it's the reason he has been the willing, if ungrateful, recipient of an outpouring of goodies his whole life.

Anonymous said...

"What kind of pseudo-psychobabble is this?" Well,granted that the politicl reality of our times is a lot like "a tale told by an idiot"... The focus of "Times have changed" is how hard was it for BHO to seem better than Bush II for the role of President. The quoted commentary gets at how BHO's disconnects with reality (e.g., imposing an personally-emotionally drived Health Care Plan upon realities not very congruent with the Plan ) make him look smaller in practice than he did at mere stage presentation . Bush never got into this role.
Babble?

Anonymous said...

My President is a Nobel Prize Winner. Certainly a proud moment.

Anonymous said...

Is it so hard to look at a pie chart of the deficit and see how big the chunks are for "tax cuts for the rich" and "wars"? Granted, it's harder than just saying Obama gave it all to blacks.