The Scanner-Politics 4/8/2009 (Double Talk; Overstaying a Welcome; Moyers Talks to William K. Black, the 1980’s Regulator Who Cracked Down on Banks–He Levels Accusations of Law-Breaking Against Obama & Company

~~By InsightAnalytical-GRL

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:

Obama’s Double-Talk

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…

A Tiny Light in the Darkness…(Prof. Andrew J. Bacevich on Moyers, 8/15))

~~Posted by kenoshaMarge

One of the few news programs on television that I try to watch regularly is Bill Moyers Journal. I may not always agree but I am usually informed. Some no longer watch him because they believe he has been in the tank for Obama. I understand that and somewhat agree. Still I find many of his programs worthwhile and continue to watch them.

I’m somewhat picky so I decide which of his programs I will or will not watch. On the August the 8th one of his guests was columnist Bob Herbert. I find Clinton/bashing, Obama/loving columnists like Herbert loathsome and so I didn’t watch Moyers that night. Like I say, I’m picky. I’m willing to learn but not from someone with so little credibility as Herbert.

What I like most about the program is that it is not done in sound bites and talking points. That alone would make it worth a watch.

What the heck can you learn about anything in15-30 seconds? Obama good, Clinton evil, McCain old, very old, maverick and oh by the way; storm come, houses blow down. What the hell is this, media for 3 year olds? No, it can’t be because Sesame Street informed and taught the kiddies much better.

Moyers mostly aims for fair and honest. His aim is something off a little but whose aim is perfect? That he even tries is an accomplishment in itself.

Just because I don’t always agree with him doesn’t make him wrong, a liar, a fool or any other insult we seem to sling around with great frequency towards those that have the audacity to disagree with us. As adults it behooves us to allow that not everyone is going to agree with us on every subject all the time, even if we would prefer things that way. Echo chambers teach us nothing that we didn’t all ready know. If you prefer the sound of your own voice above all other things, echo away.

Friday, August 15 was a particularly interesting program for me. Moyers had only one guest, Andrew J. Bacevich. At the risk of making my ignorance abundantly clear, I had never heard of the man before. My loss.

The program went by too fast. If you didn’t see it this link will take you to and the interview. It is well worth the watch.

Continue reading