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Tag: Bush tax cuts

Matt Taibbi Admits that the President Sounds Good …

I want to believe the President. I want to trust him. I want him to be successful. But everytime I back him up, I feel like Charlie Brown trying to kick Lucy’s football. It’s a moving target and it’s not moving my way.

Matt Taibbi writing for Rolling Stone has some words on the same subject. It caught my attention immediately because he does the same thing I do when the President speaks. He avoids hearing the speech but reads about it later. The President always says wonderful, beautiful things but they are about as significant as pickup lines in a bar. Right now, he’s rallying his troops, the people that got him elected, the Progressives and the Liberals. But he only needs them for his re-election campaign and when it’s over, they are going to be disappointed again. Obama never calls. It was just what it was.

James Pilant

Obama hasn’t been a total disaster on labor. Most notably, he stepped up in
the Wisconsin mess and at least took sides in that debate, calling the push to
end collective bargaining rights an “assault” on unions.

But I remember
following Obama on the campaign trail and hearing all sorts of promises before
union-heavy crowds. He said he would raise the minimum wage every year; he said
he would fight free-trade agreements. He also talked about repealing the Bush
tax cuts and ending tax breaks for companies that move jobs

It’s not just that he hasn’t done those things. The more
important thing is that the people he’s surrounded himself with are not labor
people, but stooges from Wall Street. Barack Obama has as his chief of staff a
former top-ranking executive from one of the most grossly corrupt mega-companies
on earth, JP Morgan Chase. He sees Bill Daley in his own office every day, yet
when it comes time to talk abut labor issues, he has to go out and make selected
visits twice a year or whatever to the Richard Trumkas of the

Listening to Obama talk about jobs and shared prosperity yesterday
reminded me that we are back in campaign mode and Barack Obama has started doing
again what he does best – play the part of a progressive. He’s good at it. It
sounds like he has a natural affinity for union workers and ordinary people when
he makes these speeches. But his policies are crafted by representatives of
corporate/financial America, who happen to entirely make up his inner circle.

I just don’t believe this guy anymore, and it’s become almost painful to
listen to him.

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Bob Cesca – Are Progressives Losing Touch With Reality?

(I want you to know that I recognize that this essay is going to offend readers. I am sorry about that. I wanted very much over the last two years to write about how home owners were saved from foreclosure, how the banks were stopped from paying bonuses with public money, how thorough investigations were conducted into the banking practices which resulted in the financial meltdown, how the financial regulation of the 1930’s was reinstated to prevent future disasters, how white collar criminals were frog marched from their fancy offices and incarcerated, and how the President called on Americans particularly in the business world to act ethically, morally and responsibly. I didn’t get to write those essays.)

This is a response to Bob Cesca’s essay in the Huffington Post

Bob finds the President’s ability to sacrifice core beliefs that he asserted a few days before to be admirable displays of negotiating ability.

The President agrees to extend the Bush tax cuts after unequivocally saying he would not.

Losing touch with reality? Those funny people can read newspapers, observe blogs and understant ideology and facts.

The facts are clear. The President has no principle he is willing to stand for. None. Nada. Zero.

You expect a President to occasionally give up an ideogical point for negotiation. With Obama, whoops, excuse me, Mr. Cesca, I mean President Obama, everything is on the table.

Watching him eaten alive by Republican piranha is hardly the political vision held by Americans when he was elected.

Let me make it absolutely clear to you, Mr. Cesca. Lyndon Johnson said he knew the difference between chicken s**t and chicken salad. We’ve been fed a steady diet of chicken s**t by this White House.

It’s time for something different. It’s time for a primary challenge.

It would be better to have some exercise in actual belief than continual surrender.

It would be better to have a human being with some sincerity, some vestige of belief, some commitment to his own words, than this.

You want political reality, Bob? You want some straight talk, Cesca?

Try this. A good section of the Progressive movement are fed up and disgusted. They are not coming up with money, knocking on doors and doing all that other stuff that paid off with exactly, precisely zero. Progressives worked for this President. Oh, did I get that right, Bob, saying President? Does that make you feel more comfortable? Progressives are the cutting edge of the blade. They are the people that organize and fight for a candidate. No, they are not a majority of the Democratic party, just the part that gets out and fights. What are you hoping for? That Palin is the nominee, and all the Progressives will say they are sorry and come flocking back to fight?

What if it’s not Palin? What are you going to do then? Will you write how Progressives are out of touch while they sit at home?

This is rage, Bob. This is what you get when you get betrayed over and over again.

This is what you get when you watch banks bailed out to the last dime and watch the HAMP program (run by a twenty year veteran of Citibank) go down in flames having helped less than a million Americans of whom more than twenty percent are going back into foreclosure.

Oh, I guess that doesn’t bother you, Bob. See those are real, breathing, walking around Americans having the largest investments in their lives seized and turned into quick cash by those same bailed out banking institutions.

I teach business law and business ethics. Did you ever walk into a class and try to explain how a privileged class can crush the economy by gambling on derivatives and playing with home mortgages like monopoly money and walk away with their millions (billions) intact. No criminal investigations, no action taken to recover the money, the President constrained from even light criticism. All I have to do is explain that virtue is its own reward. Hard sell, Bob?

But morals, ethics, campaign promises, they can all be dispensed with for pragmatism. After all, cutting a deal, however bad, is what it is all about. Right?

Losing touch with reality? Lord God, I wish. This is a nightmare.

If anyone had told me two years ago, this would be the result of the election, I would have thought they were mental.

There was a lack of contact with reality. But it was then, not now. We know what we have now and it’s not much.

James Pilant

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