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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on August 24, 2009 11:15 PM. The previous post in this blog was Sleep tight. The next post in this blog is Sorry, not a winner. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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Monday, August 24, 2009

Change that didn't happen

That Obama fella sure knows how to take orders, doesn't he?

Comments (34)

So who is pulling his chain? Everyone thought Cheney was the puppet master for Bush. Who could it be for Obama?

And as long as we are asking questions..why rush thousand-page bills through Congress with nobody reading them? Who wrote them? Whats the hurry?

Just like how everyone 'read' and Patriot Act

So who is pulling his chain?

In the financial sector, it looks like it's Larry Summers, or some combination of Goldman people.

Let's see, the head of a government institution with barely any oversight, no auditing, and complete responsibility for the flow (or non-flow) of money in the world's largest economy is nearing the end of a term, and he gets nominated again.

Shocking, that. I think Obama just nominated his own boss.

"Change you can deceive with."

MachineShedFred,

Bernanke? The head of a government institution? No, we're talking about the Federal Reserve. It's a private institution owned by bankers here and abroad.
It just controls our government by controlling the money supply.

Thomas Jefferson: "If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of their currency, first by inflation, then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around them will deprive the people of all property until their children wake up homeless on the continent their Fathers conquered...I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies... The issuing power should be taken from the banks and restored to the people, to whom it properly belongs."

We've gone from a Jeffersonian Democracy to a Jeffersonian Nightmare.

In fact, the Federal Reserve has been in court vigorously defending its right not to tell us where our money went. Manhattan Chief U.S. District Judge Loretta Preska ruled against them yesterday so we're heading for a showdown.

It could explain why Bernanke's move happened now so that it's done and he's still in power if the ugly truth emerges. As we all know, there is never any accountability if you're in power in Washington. And, of course, afterwards it's time to look to the future rather than prosecute the wrongdoers.

Just like how everyone 'read' and Patriot Act

I wouldnt disagree with that. However, I think the some of the current bills being run through Congress will be just as bad for us as a country as the PATRIOT ACT was/is. Particularly since, apparently nobody knows what is in those bills, (even those voting for them), except the secret people/organizations who wrote them.
I mean seriously, how can you consciously give your vote to something without knowing what exactly it will do?

Its people like John Conyers who scares me...he said about the health care bill-
"What good is reading the bill if its 1000 pages, and you dont have 2 days and 2 lawyers to understand what it means?"

Then why the hell are you in Congress?

Whats the hurry?

The administration wanted to get health care reform through congress before the inevitable lying/propaganda machine used by the right wing was unleashed. No such luck.

As for the Bernanke reappointment--that hopeful feeling I had on the evening of Nov. 4th 2008, and the following months is going, going...

Did anyone have an alternative candidate for the position?

"The administration wanted to get health care reform through congress before the inevitable lying/propaganda machine used by the right wing was unleashed."

So now its "lying" and "propoganda" to merely put out there what is potentially in the bill? "Death Panels" may be a crudely worded term, but there is no mistake that they are in at least one of the proposed bills. And I'm not saying that is a bad thing. 'End of Life' issues are and should be discussed. But it is disingenuous to pretend nothing like that is in the bill and it is all just a 'right wing smear'.

Unfortunately an official has to either have a couple of affairs, kill kittens in public or troll in bathrooms in order to be turfed out. Much of what Bernanke does is too mysterious for most of the American public to fathom and while much of what he has done is destructive and highly questionable, many would (and do) call him "competent."

We're in deep shite.

Everyone should have an advance directive and health care power of attorney. If we did, there would be no need for "death panels".
What a ridiculous canard. Knowledge trumps fear, unfortunately ignorance seems to reign supreme. By the way, the State has a great form directive and power of attorney. While you're at it pick up a Stevens Ness general power as well. It's kinda like a "life panel". Sorry to rain on your koolaid fest.

The Patriot Act should serve as a lesson to those who think a government promise of "trust us" is as ephemeral as the words traversing a teleprompter.

When the Patriot Act was passed the administration promised that it would be used only to prosecute terrorists.

In a matter of months, go-getter prosecutor were using the Patriot Act for a wide variety of "crimes" that had nothing to do with terrorism. In a curious twist, Eliot Spitzer used the Patriot Act to bust prostitutes.

A ladder climbing bureautician implementing legislation will trump the most earnest promises of the politician writing the legislation.

But it is disingenuous to pretend nothing like that is in the bill and it is all just a 'right wing smear'.

No doubt...I know many people who are genuinely concerned about whats going to happen with their health care...whether or not they pass reform. Mainly because nobody knows what is in the bill--not even those voting on it. Its not all just "scripted astroturf" or whatever they are calling it now. Sure, there are right wing organizations frothing about it. But there were left wing groups doing the same thing to anything the last administration did.

What happened to all those bumper stickers that said "dissent is Patriotic"?

What happened to all those bumper stickers that said "dissent is Patriotic"?

well, well, well--the winger comments tell us that they don't even understand this blog posting was a sharp jab at Obama. Imagine that?

Huh. I thought we all agreed with Krugman.

Krugman Says Bernanke Should Be Reappointed to Fed
Aug. 10 (Bloomberg) -- Ben S. Bernanke deserves another term as Federal Reserve Chairman based on his success in battling the financial crisis, said Princeton University Economist Paul Krugman, a winner of the Nobel Prize.
“He’s earned the right to a second term,” Krugman, 56, said yesterday in an interview in Kuala Lumpur. “He turned the Fed into the financial intermediary of last resort. When the banking system failed to deliver capital where it was needed, he put the Fed into the markets.”
Debate over the fate of Bernanke, 55, is intensifying as he nears the end of his four-year term as chairman on Jan. 31. While Krugman and economist Nouriel Roubini have voiced support for the former Princeton economist, others including Anna Schwartz have said a lack of transparency exacerbated the financial crisis.
“I think Bernanke has done a really good job,” Krugman said. “He failed to see this coming and he was behind the curve in early phases. But he’s been really very good in the sense that it’s really very hard to see how anyone could have done more to stem this crisis.”

Although Jack and I disagree on much, I really respect how he holds everyone responsible for perceived injustices, no matter which side of the isle they're on. I do the same on the conservative side, and I wish more people would do it more often on both.

Why should we expect change when both political parties are bankrolled by the same individuals and organizations? We used to call this bribery.

well, well, well--the winger comments tell us that they don't even understand this blog posting was a sharp jab at Obama. Imagine that?

Well, duh. I do get that. My dissent comment was made at the current state of debate in this country in general right now, not this particular blog.

The real question is whether or not there should be a Federal Reserve? The Constitution doesn't turn the job of issuing money to the private sector - so for starters it's unconstitutional.
It's also a bad idea. Yes, you could argue that it's prevented a depression, but it looks to me more like it's bought a little time before the big one hits - a bigger one owing to these last frenzied trillions going out the door.
It's also allowed these weasels in charge of the financial system to ransack the country with the extra time - or so it appears.
The Fed loves these little appearances of being under government control - with the President choosing the head, etc...but I read the President has to pick from a list of potential candidates selected by the Fed, so what does that tell you?
Not to mention that Congress is only considering a bill next month that would allow us oversight into the Fed's operations. It's crazy.
Finally, where were these outraged conservatives during the Bush years? Why weren't they screaming about freedom and tyranny back then? Simple, because they had the football so they didn't care.
Meanwhile, anybody who criticized President Bush was attacked for being blinded by Bush hatred.
Well, now that we're taking this President to task for things - I still wish there was more protest on Afghanistan - there's a few compliments but basically conservatives just go on running their mouths about how superior their point of view is. Meanwhile when they had the football, they fumbled the football so badly, that we may never get it back.

Finally, Dick Cheney is screaming about Obama's inability to keep us safe. Mark my words: If there is another strike anytime soon, the first thought from the American People should be, "False flag operation."
Anything's possible with that psychopath.

Bill, I think I may have found something I agree with you on! I also believe there should be no Federal Reserve.

Um, err, concerning the Jefferson remarks; the conquerors stole the land from the indigenous peoples and appropriated it to themselves. Is it any wonder it is still going on?

"Brenny, you're doing a great job."

I guess the quote should have been "a heck of a job". I can't even get punch lines right.

where were these outraged conservatives during the Bush years? Why weren't they screaming about freedom and tyranny back then? Simple, because they had the football so they didn't care.

Well, for the record, I was...particularly during Bush's second term. I even went Independent.

But this is exactly what is happening now with the current administration. Say, on Iraq...we're still there, our soliders are still dying..where are the protests every other weekend? Outrage in the streets?

Must be "all cool now."


As far as I am concerned, the Fed has two major policy functions -- one is to intercede to support the banking system when crisis strikes -- that is to say prevent the not so proverbial (as we saw a year ago) runs on the banks. That's legit and necessary. And when the Fed is conducting this function, there is need for secrecy and massive intervention. Bernanke was masterful on this.

The other major policy function of managing the economy (inflation vs. employment) is much more controversial. History tells us that Fed intervention in this dimension distorts markets and hurts the economy as least as much as it helps. Too cheap credit for too long was part of what gassed up the credit bubble.

I go back to Milton Friedman's recommendation of targeting, under normal circumstances, steady growth in the money supply so as to accomodate, but not drive economic growth. Granted, with all the various instruments, securities and accounts of various stripes out there these days defining the money supply isn't as easy as it once was, but there are enough indicators that this can be done to an approximation.

Bernanke had once talked about target inflation rates as a way of getting at the steady state growth issue. Let's see if he goes back there. I have my doubts as to whether he will, but don't doubt that he will be more likely to head off the big inflation than Summers or any of the other candidate Dems would have been.

Recall that Obama was pretty darn sarcastic about Volcker having firm opinions, yet Paul Volcker is the one person that we know for sure understands how to run the Fed to control inflation with an iron fist.

And why announce Bernanke today? So criminal investigation of CIA employees hits page 3 of the WSJ and page 5 of the WP. I don't subscribe to the NYT, but I would bet the CIA story is buried inside there as well.

The CIA story takes up most of the top half of the front page of today's NYT. So if Obama was trying to distract attention from Bush/Cheney's ugly legacy by announcing the Bernanke appointment today, it didn't work.

Hey Richard, whose ugly legacy are those 184 benches I passed by this morning next to the Pentagon? And stupid me, I thought it was governement employees interrogating, not Bush, not Cheney. Those guys really got around.

Bush and Cheney were responsible for the torture, as they hatched the plan for it, sought formal legal sanction for it, signed off on it and, in the case of Cheney at least, continue to promote it.

I don't know exactly what you mean by invoking the September 11 killings. Are you trying to defend torture? Are you trying to say that torture is a justified or patriotic response to 9/11?

If that's the case, your views are shameful, to say the least. It continues to shock and sicken me to see how many people share them.

What I am suggesting Richard is that if you have differences on how to best fend off terrorism (no matter how you do it, it is ugly business, just as it was ugly business to put bullets in the back of the heads of those teenagers off the coast of Somalia a few months back) that those are political differences. Handle it through the political process. I am suggesting that you should not be criminally persecuting or prosecuting government employees who except for the fact that they have jobs of greater consequence and difficulty than most are more like you and I than you might imagine.

Handle it through the political process. I am suggesting that you should not be criminally persecuting or prosecuting government employees

Grady, shouldn't government employees be prosecuted if they break the law? I don't think anyone is suggesting prosecution simply because a new president has come in with some new rules that are different than the old rules. The fact is, there were rules and laws in place while Bush was president as well, and if those were broken -- and it seems pretty clear they were -- someone needs to be held accountable. Otherwise, what happens to "rule of law" anyway?

Miles, just think if you were criminally prosecuted whenever you exceeded or violated some norm, rule, law or regulation in your day-to-day life?

The folks who do our dirty work under extremely difficult circusmstances are subjected to greater pressure and expectations than most of us can imagine. The nature of their jobs is that when they screw up or push too hard, their foibles are going to look a lot worse than yours. If you don't like how these folks are performing there are dozens of ways of dealing with them short of criminal prosecution.

The instant these employees realize they are being criminally investigated, rightly or wrongly, they have to go out and hand over a retainer to some high-priced Conneticutt Ave criminal lawyer. Bye-bye tuition fund. Bye-bye retirement savings. Forget about your family's financial future.

And though I suspect you disagree with what most of these folks do, they were trying to help their country.

I'm less interested in prosecuting the government official who screws up unintentionally than I am prosecuting those who purposefully went outside the legal boundaries. And you're right, I'm assuming that happened in these cases, either at the CIA operative level or higher up in the Administration. The inquiry is a good thing, because it should establish some of the context for the law breaking.

I think the "trying to help the country" excuse can be taken too far. The soldier who goes on a murderous rampage, killing innocent women and children, will tell you that he was under stress and trying to help the country. But obviously he should be prosecuted, don't you agree? Once we give carte blanche to soldiers and operatives with difficult jobs, civilians will lose control of the military and intelligence branches, which is what our founding fathers feared.

I also think the detailed nature of the guidelines indicates that a lot of thought went into the torture techniques, and I have to assume that the operatives knew those guidelines inside and out. So a violation either came from a rogue operative, or from a direct command up the chain. I think we HAVE to hold the person accountable in order to preserve who we are as a country.


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