Friday, February 12, 2010

Which Side Are You On, President Obama?

(Rahm Emanuel aka Iago whispers into President Obama's ear. Will Obama play the role of the foolish Moor, Othello?)

There is a good article at buzzflash, discussing the way in which the Democratic leadership has systematically worked to destroy the grassroots progressive organization of 13 million people who came together to get Barack Obama elected President. One year after that election, most of those 13 million do not bother responding to e-mails from the Democratic Party because they always ask for one thing: send more money, but other than that, shut up and stay away.

When Rahm Emanuel called progressives F-ing Retards because they were putting pressure on Blue dog Democrats to try to get real healthcare reform, Emanuel's arrogance, love of corporations and disdain for the people lost Obama an awful lot of supporters.

Rahm Emanuel, the F-ing A-Hole, loves corporations and loves war. But he hates the people who got Obama elected. My theory is that Emanuel wants to run for President, and figures if he can line up all the corporate money, he can buy that office just like he bought himself a seat in Congress.

If Obama wants support from the grassroots, he needs to get rid of Emanuel and start doing things for the citizens, stop asking us for money. We're all broke, Mr. President. That's because there are no jobs programs, nothing to help citizens, no healthcare, no housing programs, all the money has gone to escalate the wars and give bigger bonuses to Wall Street. Thanks for nothing.

People in this country are fed up with being raped by Wall Street. Yet what do we see this week, but our President, Barack Obama, coming out publicly in support of the multi-million dollar bonuses being paid once again to the heads of these looting and pillaging financial institutions. Tens of millions of Americans have been financially ruined by these criminals on Wall Street, and Obama is out publicly defending their "right" to continue the looting.

Paul Krugman had a great article earlier this week, which he titled "Clueless." His best line: "Oh. My. God." Paul Krugman has a column at the New York Times, teaches at Princeton, and is a Nobel prize winner. He is an economist and an all-around pretty smart dude. Many people wonder why Krugman and other nationally-known and respected liberal economists have been shut out of the current administration, which instead has turned to Wall Street insiders like Tim Geithner, Bob Rubin and Larry Sumner, to be in charge of our economy, to the continued benefit of Wall Street, and to the continued suffering of the people of this country.

Excerpts from Paul Krugman's column, "Clueless":

"I’m with Simon Johnson here: how is it possible, at this late date, for Obama to be this clueless?" ...

"President Barack Obama said he doesn’t 'begrudge' the $17 million bonus awarded to JPMorgan Chase & Co. Chief Executive Officer Jamie Dimon or the $9 million issued to Goldman Sachs Group Inc. CEO Lloyd Blankfein, noting that some athletes take home more pay."

"The president, speaking in an interview, said in response to a question that while $17 million is 'an extraordinary amount of money' for Main Street, 'there are some baseball players who are making more than that and don’t get to the World Series either, so I’m shocked by that as well.'

“'I know both those guys; they are very savvy businessmen,' Obama said in the interview yesterday in the Oval Office with Bloomberg BusinessWeek, which will appear on newsstands Friday. 'I, like most of the American people, don’t begrudge people success or wealth. That is part of the free- market system.'”

"Obama sought to combat perceptions that his administration is anti-business and trumpeted the influence corporate leaders have had on his economic policies.".... [emphasis added].

"Oh. My. God."

"First of all, to my knowledge, irresponsible behavior by baseball players hasn’t brought the world economy to the brink of collapse and cost millions of innocent Americans their jobs and/or houses."

"And more specifically, not only has the financial industry been bailed out with taxpayer commitments; it continues to rely on a taxpayer backstop for its stability...."

"The point is that these bank executives are not free agents who are earning big bucks in fair competition; they run companies that are essentially wards of the state. There’s good reason to feel outraged at the growing appearance that we’re running a system of lemon socialism, in which losses are public but gains are private. And at the very least, you would think that Obama would understand the importance of acknowledging public anger over what’s happening." ...

"We’re doomed."

Assuming President Obama for some irrational reason is not a fan of Paul Krugman, then perhaps before he began cheerleading for more multi-million bonuses for the criminals on Wall Street who have destroyed the lives of millions, he could have read a recent article by the acclaimed economist Joseph Stiglitz, Professor at Columbia University, or simply reviewed Professor Stiglitz's recent testimony before Congress.

Unlike Rahm Emanuel, Tim Geithner, Larry Sumners, and the other Wall Street insiders and beneficiaries (Rahm Emanuel was the biggest recipient of money from Wall Street when he was in Congress, called "Wall Street's favorite politician") who have gotten rich off of bonuses, Joseph Stiglitz, like Paul Krugman, does not work for Wall Street. Professor Stiglitz, like Paul Krugman also a Nobel prize-winning economist, has warned that the existing financial system in this country is the cause of our current problems. The lack of regulation, the lack of enforcement of anti-trust and anti-monopoly laws which has created these "too big too fail" institutions, the failure to hold these companies and insiders responsible for the damage they cause to society, the focus on bonuses for short-term gains, are all responsible for what he calls the Great Depression that now envelops our economy.

Here are excerpts from and a link to the article from Buzzflash by Bill Berkowitz, discussing the way in which Rahm Emanuel and the other Democratic Party insiders have eradicated the entire 13-million-member grassroots citizens who worked to get Barack Obama elected President.

"If you’re anything like me, it’s likely that sometime over the past fifteen-+ months since the election of Barack Obama, you’ve asked yourself, Whatever happened to the millions of activists/hopetivists that enthusiastically participated in, and/or contributed to, Obama’s presidential campaign?"

"By the time the 2008 presidential campaign was over, Obama for America had 13 million e-mail supporters, 4 million donors, and 2.5 million activists connected through the My.BarackObama social network and some $18 millions left in the bank, Rolling Stone magazine recently pointed out. Long-time Republicans were amazed by OFA’s success: 'This would be the greatest political organization ever put together, if it works, Ed Rollins, Ronald Reagan’s campaign manager, told Rolling Stone’s Tim Dickinson. 'No one’s ever had these kinds of resources.'”

"Why did the Obama administration give up such a massive political advantage? Was it saving its troops for the proverbial political rainy day? Was Team Obama so taken with the notion of bi-partisanship that it didn’t understand the realty of the conservative movement’s commitment to the 'permanent campaign'”?

"In the February 18, 2010 edition of Rolling Stone, Tim Dickinson provides some much-needed insight into what happened to the missing millions in an article titled 'No We Can’t: Obama had millions of followers eager to fight for his agenda. But the president muzzled them – and he’s paying the price.' In the end, the dissolution of the grass roots movement was a result of a number of things, including the resignation of David Plouff, Obama’s campaign manager, the prevailing notion that insider politics trumps grassroots activism, and a series of massive miscalculations on the part of Obama’s key advisors -- most notably Rahm Emanuel, the president’s chief of staff – and the Democratic Party’s leadership."

"Take the health care reform debate for example: Last summer, while the Tea Partiers were grabbing headlines and cable news television time by rocking town hall meetings across the country in opposition to healthcare reform, Obama’s multitudes remained silent. While poll after poll appeared to indicate majority support for a “public option,” Team Obama refused to embrace that position or any position close to it. Confused and angered by what appeared to be a lack of both direction and political will on the part of the administration, grassroots activists stayed away from the fray – and they were encouraged to do so by the Obama administration. Thus, there were no major demonstrations or rallies in support of healthcare reform legislation." ...

"[A]lmost immediately after Election Day, 'Obama’s grass-roots network effectively went dark for … failing to engage activists eager for their new marching orders,' Dickinson notes."....

Rather than using OFA to engage millions of voters to turn up the heat on Congress, the president yoked his political fortunes ro the unabashedly transactional style of politics advocated by his chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel. Health care reform … was no longer about mobilizing supporters to convince their friends, families and neighbors in all 50 states. It was about convincing 60 senators in Washington. It became about deals.”

"When the Common Purpose Project -- made up of groups like Change to Win, Rock the Vote and MoveOn – was formed to run ads putting pressure on conservaDems to support healthcare reform, Rahm Emanuel 'put a stop to the campaign.' Dickinson reports that at one of the meetings of the Common Purpose Coalition, Emanuel showed up and 'yelled at the assembled activists, calling them ‘fucking retards’' and telling them he wasn’t going to let them derail his legislative winning streak.”

"According to Dickinson, Emanuel effectively “locked down the OFA” preventing them from going after any conservative Democrats. Instead of using a mobilized, enthusiastic, and active base, Emanuel pursued politics the old-fashioned way; “horse-trading, backroom talks, one-to-one lobbying.” One White House ex-staffer told Dickinson that administration officials felt that “unleashing a massive grass-roots army is only going to backfire on us.” ...

"Ultimately, it will be the actions of the Obama administration that will either motivate the grass roots to get back into the fray or convince them that not much has really changed in Washington after all."

Here's a link to another good article at Common Dreams. It describes the complete failure of the Obama administration to do anything to help working people, and in particular its failure to support the unions, the same unions that helped Obama get elected. So far, despite repeated promises to pass the Card Check provision to make union elections easier, the Democrats have completely failed to do that. All pro-labor nominees have been rejected or ignored by the Democrats in Congress, and they keep threatening to tax union health benefits rather than cap the amount that the health insurance companies, doctors, hospitals, and drug companies can charge.

Also see this article by Richard Trumka, President of the AFL-CIO, about the Republicans' refusal to confirm Obama's nominations to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). The nominees are highly qualified. Nonetheless, the Democrats are letting this one slide, like so many other things. The NLRB is charged with the responsibility of enforcing certain labor laws, including the right of workers to organize. The Republicans pack the NLRB with pro-corporate pawns. Isn't time we got somebody on that board who is pro-working people? Is there anybody in our entire government who cares about the working people in this country?

The Obama administration came out this week and claimed that there would be approximately 100,000 new jobs created per month this year. Assuming that happened (and so far, we keep losing jobs), that would mean 1.0 million new jobs by the end of the year. The problem is that we've lost 8 million jobs over the past 2 years. What about that? How long are people supposed to wait? How much do the people have to lose because of the looting of this country by Wall Street, our corporations sending our jobs to other countries? When will somebody stand up for working people in this country?

Which side are you on, President Obama?

No comments:

Post a Comment