Monday, September 16, 2013

The Fall of Summers

I think President Obama might have been all set to announce his nomination of the new Fed chief today, to coincide with his glowing report about how great the economy is doing in the throes of the Long Depression, and how he and Larry saved us from utter destruction back in those dark days of Aught-Nine.

Then, in the midst of crafting their trumpeting celebration of The Recovery as orchestrated by Larry Himself, somebody in the White House noticed the cover of National Journal, the subtlety of which perfectly matches that of Summers Himself, and belatedly decided to pick up the phone and do a whip count. Even the Blue Dog Dems were starting to balk. Oops. 

So Larry Summers bowed out (probably not graciously, given his track record of surliness), and that is that. Or is it? Could Obama prevail, and get his first choice,  Timmy "The Foamer" Geithner, to change his mind about taking the job after all? Will Obama turn out to be a complete bitch and pass over Janet Yellen just out of pure spite? Will he nastily rub our noses in it and appoint somebody even worse than Summers? The terrible possibilities are endless. Just look at the roster of unprosecuted banksters and pro-austerians who still walk this earth on the 5th Anniversary of that other Great Fall (Lehman Brothers.)

That report on the "recovering" economy released by the White House last night certainly seems to have been written with Summers in mind. With him at the helm in those early, hairy days, we were bold! We made the tough choices! Half the population may be in poverty, but as Obama says for the umpteenth time,the grit and resilience of the American people will make everything hunky-dory (with the usual weasely caveat that there is still work to do, such as raising the minimum wage a whole dollar.) I'll have more on the gory details (and vague platitudes) later, after I have been thoroughly caffeinated. Actually, I should probably just tranquilize myself. Or, as Michelle says, Drink Up!™

Before his crash and burn (but no worries, Citigroup will always be there), Summers was also doing some revisionist history in an attempt to recast himself as a Man of the People. According to this report planted in Reuters as part of his populist resume-padding campaign for the Fed, he claims that he personally met with the banksters right after the Crash of Aught-Eight to inform them that they were not liked by the people for whom he the Man. Oh, and by the way, Larry thinks that thanks to him, Wall Street has totally changed. They now care what we think about them. (which is not much). They care about their "image."

The silver lining on this dreary end-of-summer Monday (raining here) is that there are a few principled Democratic senators left willing to thwart The One's wishes. What with Syria (which the corporate media is inexplicably pegging an Obamian blunder of epidemic proportions) he is losing political capital very early in his final term.  I suspect the NSA spying revelations, and the fact that most of the 99% are still suffering, is what's really putting the dent on his credibility.

As the world turns, so goes the worm.


Pearl said...

Things are getting foggier. If the corporate media is inexplicably turning against Obama's adventures regarding Syria, why and how does this relate to the NYTimes readers supporting him stronger than ever as we have been discussing and explaining. What is the corporate agenda in all this and are
they wanting a stronger statement as to military action in Syria, are they
worried about the Russian influence or do they simply want Obama to hit bottom in the ratings. And if according to the article you
mentioned in Politico why would the corporate world be concerned about NSA
revelations and other failures that troubled the liberals and those commenting in the NYTimes suffer from amnesia about these recent revelations?

annenigma said...

Time Magazine has a separate cover for the USA this week advocating for better pay for athletes, but the rest of the world is getting a cover featuring the achievements of Vladimir Putin. 'Time Magazine Hides Putin's Success From U.S. Voters' is an article in the Daily Caller which also reveals that Time's foreign caption reads “America’s weak and waffling, Russia’s rich and resurgent.”

Rick Stengel, who is the managing editor of Time, just happens to be leaving his job at Time to serve under the Obama administration under John Kerry running the State Department's Public Diplomacy mission.

As far as the New York Times commenters go, I suspect many we see lately of a pro-Obama nature are comments submitted by members of Obama's personal propaganda army, the OFA. It was created to advance his agenda by swaying public opinion.

Guardians (commenters at The Guardian) have the advantage of clicking on a commenter's name to see when that person originally registered. When various people are identified as newly registered and leave pro-government comments, Guardians will take notice and add a comment to theirs noting their registation date as well as their suspicions. You can also read all the comments previously made by that same person as well as their number of recommends, comment removals, responses, etc. Too bad NYT doesn't have that same feature.

It's all propaganda, all the time, here in the USA.

Cirze said...

Such a brilliant analysis, K!

I'm going to run some of it at my blog as you've done as good a job as anyone could do (with the info we possess).

Love ya,


Or is it? Could Obama prevail, and get his first choice, Timmy "The Foamer" Geithner, to change his mind about taking the job after all? Will Obama turn out to be a complete bitch and pass over Janet Yellen just out of pure spite? Will he nastily rub our noses in it and appoint somebody even worse than Summers? The terrible possibilities are endless.

Jay - Ottawa said...

On "Time Magazine" writing one edition for the Homeland and something utterly different for foreign readers –– something similar goes on with individual journalists.

David Brooks is, well..., the David Brooks we know from the NYT. But he sells radically different stuff to the foreign press.

An independent left-leaning daily in Mexico regularly carries surprising essays by Brooks wherein he comes off as a flaming liberal. For example,

No problem if you're not fluent in Spanish. With a few clicks Google-Translate can make it 90% transparent in English in about five seconds.

David Brooks: Just another pen for hire?

Zee said...


Wow! Not the usual David Brooks of the NYT!

Had you not prepared me to expect something unusual, I would have thought that Brooks was setting up Chomsky, Vidal, Hedges, Carter, Smiley and Cole for a blistering rebuttal, first declaring what they had to say to be utter nonsense, and then going on to “prove” that democracy was alive and well in the U.S.A., thank you very much.

Instead, Brooks appears to implicitly agree with virtually everything they say when he concludes with the loaded question (at least as I interpret the slightly imperfect translation):

“The political leadership does not tire of repeating that everything [they do] both in the field of national security and in economic and social policies is in the name of defending democracy and freedom and the American dream here and in the world. But can [they] defend democracy in secret and [act] like the people and civil liberties advocates and dissidents were the enemy?”

As you say, Brooks sounds like a “flaming liberal” when he writes for this foreign-language publication. Interesting.

But as I reflect upon it further, prior to joining Sardonicky and RealityChex, the only “contact” that I had with Brooks was during his weekly “analysis” piece with Mark Shields on PBS's The News Hour. There, he always seemed much more a “centrist” than he comes across in his columns.

Perhaps Brooks tailors his image for more than just two audiences.

Zee said...


Is it really “inexplicable” that the corporate media have “turned” on Obama in the wake of Syria?

Part I.

After prostituting itself shamelessly for Obama since he declared his first candidacy for President in early 2008, is it not at least remotely possible that the worms ( i.e., the corporate media) are finally turning on The One? That his Syrian “near-misadventure” was finally just too, too much even for the reporters, editors and publishers who have been bending over and grabbing their ankles for Obama, non-stop, for more than five years now?

We won't go into the long list of smaller promises that Obama made to get in to office and which he has uniformly broken since his election. Chris Hedges has already done that:

Let's just look at some of the biggest disasters.

(1) As October 1 approaches, the wheels are coming off of ObamaCare, The One's “signature” accomplishment—indeed, his only one—during his first term. The one that corporate media relentlessly praised and pushed for, in part, because it was an unalloyed gift to the healthcare insurance industry but which—surely—must have had some good things in it for the public, too?

Well, maybe not so much.

Unions that previously plumped for ObamaCare are now expressing concerns that it is killing the 40-hour work week. They also are starting to complain that ObamaCare taxes on their “Cadillac” health care plans will hurt too much, even with the bill's built-in delay on implementation of the tax. A number of unions have already received “waivers” from the annual benefits caps built into ObummerCare, and some unions now even want to see it repealed or, at least, completely reformed.

And, even if you like your doctor and your current health care plan, they just might not like you after ObummerCare is implemented:

Insurance premiums are set to rise, on average, for those who have to pay for their own healthcare insurance—and not just for the wealthy:

See also my remarks about that article at:

No one knows how—or if—the state exchanges will work. And some of the ObummerCare health care exchange “Navigators” have already started losing—actually, giving away —private information:

(And if we object to the data—excuse me, metadata that the NSA is collecting about us, why should we not object to what the Department of Health and Human Services is collecting about us, too?

Zee said...

Is it really “inexplicable” that the corporate media have “turned” on Obama in the wake of Syria?

Part II

(2) The economy still stinks. Even corporate media reporters—staunch foot-soldiers for Obama that they are—nevertheless are being laid off:

(3) Obummer continued Bush's policies in Iraq and Afghanistan, and though we are “out” of the former and soon to be “out” of the latter, both adventures will have been expensive failures.

(4) Obummer's remote-controlled drones have killed far more innocents than Dubya ever did, (5) he's expanded the government effort to spy on all of us—reporters, especially, (6) he has reduced Libya to chaos and called it a victory for democracy, and then, (7) along comes Syria. (Well, at least he didn't start a war in Egypt. Yet.)

With a slip of the non-teleprompted tongue the nitwit threatens to launch (at least) a serious regional conflict, and, maybe, World War III. Only an equally stupid, offhand remark by John Kerry pulls us back from the brink because Uncle Vlad saw on opportunity to make Obama look like the complete and utter dunce that he is. Thank God for Mother Russia!

Rather than it being “inexplicable” that the corporate media worms have turned on Obama over Syria, is it not possible that they, too, have finally had enough, taken it just one too many times up the keister in defense of a Presidential imposter, and decided that it's time to treat him like the piñata that he (figuratively) deserves to be?

As Shakespeare said: “ The smallest worm will turn being trodden on, And doves will peck in safeguard of their brood.”

Oh, well, one can dream.

Zee said...

Oh, yes, and one other thing:

Congress has "opted out" of Obummercare after foisting it on the REST of us!

"Good enough for 'the bewildered herd', but NOT for US."

Pearl said...

For Annenigma and others in case you missed it:

Guardian Story on Israel and N.S.A. Is Not 'Surprising' Enough to Cover

Will said...

Here's some good news for people who like bad news: The Dutch king guy just told his subjects they're S.O.L. 'cause the days of the welfare gravy train are over. Hope this works out as well for them as it has for us!

Jay - Ottawa said...

Another article "explaining" why the non-story of the NSA gift that it keeps on giving to Israel is not in the NYT. The article itself is thin gruel, but the comments (readers' picks) are consoling.

tara said...

we, the people, are pretty sick and tired of the same ol, same ol. And we know it's the dems and the gop. Is there a strong third party out there who can deliver? Or is it all just so rigged that no matter who gets in there will just be a corporate puppet?