Wall Street and Obama’s Stress Test

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"The Blackberry informed Obama" is a good phrase to describe Obama.  The complaints are beginning to increase how fake the Office of the President of the United States has become.  One may say sooner or later Obama will be fighting impeachment on his being incompetent.  Reagan almost got impeached for the same reason.  Clinton was too competent and meddled with everything bringing him down the same road and made deals with anyone opposing him so is left alone.  Did Clinton sell out? I wouldn't know!!! Is Obama selling out or has already? That I do know.

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from America Blog by Chris in Paris
An excellent read by Frank Rich on the continuing failure of the Obama administration to effectively read the American public on the economic crisis. This piece came out on the same day VP Biden admitted that the administration "misread how bad the economy was" as if somehow the news never made it out to the Blackberry informed Obama or his business-as-usual economic team. To have misjudged – undervalued it's depth and significance, really – this crisis is a striking revelation. The always timid Obama has sided with Wall Street and then asked them to promote a plan to move us forward as if they had the best interest of the American public in mind and not rejuvenating their bonus culture that was on the ropes only a few short months ago.

Seven months after voting for change, it's difficult to grasp how little has changed in this area. As much as everyone can appreciate how difficult it is to move such an entrenched system, shouldn't we at least see signs of a serious attempt to modernize a corrupt system that ran away with billions of taxpayer money? Is it asking for too much to have Obama recognize the anger of a disillusioned public and show that he listens? The presidential bubble is as big and annoying as ever.

Another look at this much-chronicled past, “Dillinger’s Wild Ride,” by Elliott J. Gorn, a professor of history at Brown University, is the first to be published during our own hard times. In it you learn that ordinary law-abiding Americans even wrote letters to newspapers and politicians defending Dillinger’s assault on banks. “Dillinger did not rob poor people,” wrote one correspondent to The Indianapolis Star. “He robbed those who became rich by robbing the poor.”

Gorn writes that the current economic crisis helped him understand better why Americans could root for a homicidal bank robber: “As our own day’s story of stupid policies and lax regulations, of greedy moneymen, free-market hucksters, white-collar thieves, and self-serving politicians unfolds, and as banks foreclose on millions of families’ homes, workers lose their jobs, and life savings disappear, it becomes clear why Dillinger’s wild ride so fascinated America during the 1930s.” An outlaw could channel a people’s “sense of rage at the system that had failed them.”

As Gorn reminds us, Americans who felt betrayed didn’t just take to cheering Dillinger; some turned to the populism of Huey Long, or to right-wing and anti-Semitic demagogues like Father Coughlin, or to the Communist Party. The passions unleashed by economic inequities are explosive because those inequities violate the fundamental capitalist faith. It’s the bedrock American dream that virtues like hard work and playing by the rules are rewarded with prosperity.

Being rewarded for hard work and playing by the rules is as distant as ever. Maybe the GOP was onto something with their mocking of Obama's "hope" and "change." Until he shows an ability to deliver on his big talk, it remains a big joke, unfortunately.

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