Today’s Scanner articles courtesy Kenosha Marge
Here’s a piece that sums up the path of Barack Obama’s first few months in office nicely–it’s the pattern, stupid:
While the president talks sobriety, his policies take America on an economic bender
Matt Welch | May 2009
High-flying presidencies tend to reveal their base character in trivial moments. In March 2002, when the nation was still massively behind George W. Bush in the wake of the September 11 attacks, he gave the first obvious signal that his administration would play cheap politics even in a time of grave global uncertainty by slapping a temporary new tariff on imported steel. If the world’s fragile economy and the putatively bedrock principles of free trade could be sold out for a couple of percentage points in contested Rust Belt states, we shouldn’t have been surprised to learn that the very “war on terror” would be subject to political manipulation, or that Bush’s skin-deep economic philosophy could not be counted on in a crisis. The costs of what this move revealed became clear soon enough, and eventually Americans withdrew their benefit of the doubt.
Barack Obama’s revelatory moment may have come in his first week as president. On his first day of work, he signed an executive order prohibiting lobbyists from holding highranking administration jobs, thereby fulfilling a campaign promise to “close the revolving door” between K Street and government via “the most sweeping ethics reform in history.” Two days later, the president granted a “waiver” from the new rules to install Raytheon lobbyist William Lynn as the No. 2 man in the Pentagon.
As offenses go, the move was trivial. But as a signal of a governing pathology, it established a pattern that Obama has repeated serially since being sworn into office: reiterate a high-sounding promise from the campaign, undermine said promise with a concrete act of governance to the contrary, then claim with a straight face that the campaign promise has been and will continue to be fulfilled.
As Obama returns to Washington to the praises of the U.S. media, apparently all aren’t as enamored “over there.” Here’s a little snippet from the UK. It’s from the Telegraph, a Murdoch paper…but it still is quite delicious:
–From Iain Martin’s blog:
Isn’t it time for him to go home yet? It is good, in theory, that the new President of the United States is taking so much time to tour Europe. He arrived in London last Tuesday, has been to Strasbourg, Prague yesterday and now he’s off to Turkey. It shows, I suppose, that he cares about the outside world and that is ‘A Good Thing’. But his long stay means that we are hearing rather a lot from him, way too much in fact.
According to Martin, Obama is “long-winded.” I think that’s being kind.
Bill Moyers has interviewed William K. Black, “the former senior regulator who cracked down on banks during the savings and loan crisis of the 1980s.” Moyers introduces Black with this:
Now Black is focused on an even greater scandal, and he spares no one — not even the President he worked hard to elect, Barack Obama. But his main targets are the Wall Street barons, heirs of an earlier generation whose scandalous rip-offs of wealth back in the 1930s earned them comparison to Al Capone and the mob, and the nickname “banksters.”
During the interview Black accuses the banks of deliberately making bad loans, calling them “liars loans.”
Black supported Obama, but is disgusted now:
MOYERS:… To hear you say this is unusual because you supported Barack Obama, during the campaign. But you’re seeming disillusioned now.
WILLIAM K. BLACK: Well, certainly in the financial sphere, I am. I think, first, the policies are substantively bad. Second, I think they completely lack integrity. Third, they violate the rule of law. This is being done just like Secretary Paulson did it. In violation of the law. We adopted a law after the Savings and Loan crisis, called the Prompt Corrective Action Law. And it requires them to close these institutions. And they’re refusing to obey the law.
Well, there you go, on Moyers Journal, no less.
But, unfortunately, it’s not on the network news. But, at this point, I guess we should be thankful for ANYBODY who goes after this mob…
Filed under: Current Politics | Tagged: "liars loans", "war on terror", 1980s savings and loan crisis, Al Capone, Barack Obama, Bill Moyers, George W. Bush, Iain Martin, K Street, political manipulation, Prompt Corrective Action Law, Raytheon lobbyist William Lynn, Rupert Murdoch, The Pentagon, The Telegraph, Wall Street barons, William K. Black |