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Palast writes: "Joseph Stiglitz couldn't believe his ears. Here they were in the White House, with President Bill Clinton asking the chiefs of the US Treasury for guidance on the life and death of America's economy, when the Deputy Secretary of the Treasury Larry Summers turns to his boss, Secretary Robert Rubin, and says, 'What would Goldman think of that?'"

Larry Summers, the president's presumptive choice for Federal Reserve chair, withdrew his name from consideration on Sunday. (photo: Reuters)
Larry Summers, the president's presumptive choice for Federal Reserve chair, withdrew his name from consideration on Sunday. (photo: Reuters)

Larry Summers: Goldman Sacked

By Greg Palast, Reader Supported News

18 September 13


oseph Stiglitz couldn't believe his ears. Here they were in the White House, with President Bill Clinton asking the chiefs of the US Treasury for guidance on the life and death of America's economy, when the Deputy Secretary of the Treasury Larry Summers turns to his boss, Secretary Robert Rubin, and says, "What would Goldman think of that?"


Then, at another meeting, Summers said it again: What would Goldman think?

A shocked Stiglitz, then Chairman of the President's Council of Economic Advisors, told me he'd turned to Summers, and asked if Summers thought it appropriate to decide US economic policy based on "what Goldman thought." As opposed to say, the facts, or say, the needs of the American public, you know, all that stuff that we heard in Cabinet meetings on The West Wing.

Summers looked at Stiglitz like Stiglitz was some kind of naive fool who'd read too many civics books.

R.I.P. Larry Summers

On Sunday afternoon, facing a revolt by his own party's senators, Obama dumped Larry as likely replacement for Ben Bernanke as Chairman of the Federal Reserve Board.

Until news came that Summers' torch had been snuffed, I was going to write another column about Larry, the Typhoid Mary of Economics. (My first, in The Guardian, 15 years ago, warned that "Summers is, in fact, a colony of aliens sent to Earth to turn humans into a cheap source of protein.")

But the fact that Obama even tried to shove Summers down the planet's throat tells us more about Obama than Summers-and whom Obama works for. Hint: You aren't one of them.

All these Cabinet discussions back in the 1990s requiring the blessing of Goldman Sachs revolved around the Rubin-Summers idea of ending regulation of the US banking system. To free the US economy, Summers argued, all you'd have to do is allow commercial banks to bet government-guaranteed savings on new "derivatives products," let banks sell high-risk sub-prime mortgage securities and cut their reserves against losses.

What could possibly go wrong?

Stiglitz, who would go on to win the Nobel Prize in Economics, tried to tell them exactly what would go wrong. But when he tried, he was replaced and exiled.

Summers did more than ask Rubin to channel the spirit of Goldman: Summers secretly called and met with Goldman's new CEO at the time, Jon Corzine, to plan out the planet's financial deregulation. I'm not guessing: I have the confidential memo to Summers reminding him to call Corzine.

[For the complete story of that memo and a copy of it, read "The Confidential Memo at the Heart of the Global Financial Crisis".]

Summers, as Treasury official, can call any banker he damn well pleases. But not secretly. And absolutely not to scheme over details of policies that could make a bank billions. And Goldman did make billions on those plans.

Example: Goldman and clients pocketed $4 billion on the collapse of "synthetic collateralized debt obligations"-flim-flam feathers sold to suckers and dimwits i.e. the bankers at RBS.

Goldman also cashed in big on the implosion of Greece's debt via secret derivatives trades permitted by Summers' decriminalization of such cross-border financial gaming.

The collapse of the euro-zone and the US mortgage market caused by Bankers Gone Wild was made possible only by Treasury Secretary Summers lobbying for the Commodities Futures Modernization Act which banned regulators from controlling the 100,000% increase in derivatives assets, especially super-risky "naked" credit-default swaps.

The CMFA was the financial equivalent of a fire department banning smoke alarms.

Summers took over the Treasury's reins from Rubin who'd left to become director of a strange new financial behemoth: The combine of Citibank with and an investment bank, Travelers. The new bank beast went bankrupt and required $50 billion in bail-out funds. (Goldman did not require any bail-out funds–but took $10 billion anyway.)

Other banks-turned-casinos followed Citi into insolvency. Most got bail-outs ... and got Larry Summers–or, at least, Larry's lips for "consulting" or for gold-plated speaking gigs.

Derivatives trader D.E. Shaw paid Summers $5 million for a couple of years of "part-time" work. This added to payments from Citigroup, Goldman and other finance houses, raising the net worth of this once penurious professor to more than $31 million.

Foreclosure fills the Golden Sacks

When Summers left Treasury in 2000, The New York Times reports that a grateful Rubin got Summers the post of President of Harvard University-from which Summers was fired. He gambled away over half a billion dollars of the university's endowment on those crazy derivatives he'd legalized. (Given Summers' almost pathological inability to understand finance, it was most odd that, while President of the university, he suggested that humans with vaginas aren't very good with numbers.)

In 2009, Summers, Daddy of the Deregulation Disaster, returned to the Cabinet in triumph. Barack Obama crowned him "Economics Tsar," allowing Summers to run the Treasury without having to be questioned by Congress in a formal confirmation hearing.

As Economics Tsar in Obama's first term, did Summers redeem himself?

Not a chance.

In 2008, both Democrat Hillary Clinton and Republican John McCain called for using the $300 billion remaining in the "bail-out' fund for a foreclosure-blocking program identical to the one Franklin Roosevelt had used to pull the US out of the Great Depression. But Tsar Larry would have none of it, although banks had been given $400 billion from the same fund.

Indeed, on the advice of Summers and his wee assistant, Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner, Obama spent only $7 billon of the $300 billion available to save US homeowners.

What would Goldman think?

As noted, Goldman and clients pocketed billions as a result of Obama's abandonment of 3.9 million families whose homes were repossessed during his first term. While American homeowners were drowning, Tsar Summers torpedoed their lifeboat: a plan to prevent foreclosures by forcing banks to write-off the overcharges in predatory sub-prime mortgages. Notably, Summers' action (and Obama's inaction) saved Citibank billions.

Loan Shark Larry

The deregulation disaster machinery is not done with mangling Americans. While not-for-profit credit unions, lenders of last resort for working people and the poor in the US, have been under legal and political attack, a new kind of banking operation has bubbled out of the minds of the grifters looking for a way to make loan-sharking legit.

One new outfit, for example, called "Lending Club," has figured out a way to collect fees for arranging loans charging as much as 29%. Lending Club claims it cannot and should not be regulated by the Federal Reserve or other banking police. The recent addition to its Board of Directors: Larry Summers.

If you want to know why Obama would choose such a grifter and gamer to head the Fed, you have to ask, Who picked Obama? Ten years ago, Barry Obama was a nothing, a State Senator from the South Side of Chicago.

But then, he got lucky. A local bank, Superior, was shut down by regulators for mortgage shenanigans ripping off Black folk. The bank's Chairwoman, Penny Pritzker was so angry at regulators, she decided to eliminate them: and that required a new President.

The billionaires connected Obama to Jamie Dimon of J.P. Morgan, but most importantly to Robert Rubin, former Treasury Secretary, but most important, former CEO of Goldman Sachs and mentor of Larry Summers. Without Rubin's blessing and overwhelming fundraising power, Obama would still be arguing over zoning on Halsted Street.

Rubin picked Obama and Obama picks whom Rubin picks for him.

Because, in the end, Obama knows he must choose a Fed chief based on the answer to one question: What would Goldman think?

Reader Supported News is the Publication of Origin for this work. Permission to republish is freely granted with credit and a link back to Reader Supported News. your social media marketing partner


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For months a stream of media reports have warned of coordinated propaganda efforts targeting political websites based in the U.S., particularly in the run-up to the 2016 presidential election.

We too were alarmed at the patterns we were, and still are, seeing. It is clear that the provocateurs are far more savvy, disciplined, and purposeful than anything we have ever experienced before.

It is also clear that we still have elements of the same activity in our article discussion forums at this time.

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Founder, Reader Supported News

+39 # tigerlille 2013-09-18 08:48
Yeah. Our president, the genius who plays multi-level chess games of incredible subtlety with every human interaction. Gag.
+41 # curmudgeon 2013-09-18 09:24

That's how it is !


All you poor and not-so-middle-c lass-anymore should be sharpening your pitchforks
+49 # curmudgeon 2013-09-18 09:25

One should also remember that these are the same folks who put Bush, Jr. in office to continue the dereg of Clinton
+80 # Margolicious 2013-09-18 10:20
Summers is a criminal and should be prosecuted and his body should be drawn and quartered and dragged through the streets of Washington. Dimon, Rubin, Geithner, Paulson, the head of Goldman Sachs, Corzine, and the whole gang of Wall Street thugs should be arrested and their personal assets and those of their organizations should be liquidated to make restitution to the investors, people that lost their homes, and others. They make outrageous sums of money, don't pay income taxes, and screw the nation. These swindlers are committing treason and crimes against humanity and should be prosecuted. They have wrecked the world economy made fortunes and destroyed the lives of millions of people. These greedy bastards are above the law because we have a corrupt government that is owned by the rich and takes care of the interests of the wealthy and destroys the poor and middle class.

We need a 21st century Glass Steigal (spell?) Law that protects us from these criminals. However, Obama, Congress, the Federal Reserve Board is owned by these scoundrels. Eliot Spitzer should be head of the Federal Reserve because he knows how dishonest Wall Street is and he would work for the best interests of the country.
+28 # modernjacobin 2013-09-18 11:38
You beat me to it! I'd like to include Dumbya and Obama: or O-SHAM, O-bysmal as I like to call him. Let's face it; they all KNEW.

Just look at their kid-glove treatment of Jon "where'd the money go" Corzine and his recent mishandling of his hedge fund in 2011. If that isn't a clear-cut case of misconduct, I don't know what is. And yet, they continue to maintain that the allegation is questionable?

When these people have breached so many contracts, why does our Gov't attempt to keep honor with thieves? cos they are thieves too!

All their ill-gotten goods should be confiscated, beginning with their real estate: all the multiple, 10,000 sq.ft houses, bought AT THE EXPENSE OF OTHER AMERICANS. These properties should be split into housing for those most unfairly hit by their practices.

All the goods of their lunch-and-shopp ing, charity-hopping wifeys: LEGALIZED PROSTITUTES of their already prostituted husbands who SOLD OUT America. Sell all their clothes, jewelry on ebay and redistribute to the poorest. Since these women easily spend 2,000,000 a year on clothes, shoes, etc., there could be lots of dough raised here.

Pull the WHELPS of these families out of their prep schools and unis where they are studying AT THE EXPENSE OF ALL AMERICAN CHILDREN. Take toys, books, everything from them and redistribute to struggling public schools and children of victims. Incidentally, let's see how well the WHELPS of the BEST AND BRIGHTEST do when stripped off EVERY advantage.
+4 # Jiovanna 2013-09-18 20:14
good ideas...
+30 # modernjacobin 2013-09-18 11:55

Harsh? Yes. But unless there is any meaningful punishment, these crimes will be committed again: that's why FDR made no bones about enacting Glass-Steagall and shutting down a far greater proportion of banks.

Just look how derivative trading returned as recently as last year (if not earlier) w/ J P(ee) Morgan's London whale. Wall St. incomes are rising again--along with CEO salaries. They obviously haven't learned, because there was little to no incentive to change--that favorite word of Obama.

As for Obama himself, what a disappointment. Notice how in his recent MLK speech, he didn't even bother to pretend he was egalitarian: "The test was not and never has been whether the doors of opportunity are cracked a bit wider for a few. It was whether our economic system provides a fair shot for the many."

Sorry, Mr. Pres, opportunity has been cracked MUCH wider for a few--and this is precisely WHY our system still fails to provide a fair shot for the many. (Of course, 99% of alums from overrated unis don't get this!) When the few get every chance in life, from beginning to end-- no pain, no repercussions for their crimes on humanity, whether it be banking fraud or ill-warranted wars-- America will continue to flounder!
+7 # RLF 2013-09-19 06:07
You don't get it...they won't be punished by the government because they ARE the government. Bend over because they need another bailout Mr. Taxpayer!
+6 # Terrapin 2013-09-18 12:09
... perhaps the the punishment metted out on the last page of SHOGUN.
+1 # noitall 2013-09-23 15:20
Quoting Terrapin:
... perhaps the the punishment metted out on the last page of SHOGUN.

Or maybe more like Shaka Zulu!
+17 # WestWinds 2013-09-18 12:16
Glass Steagall... keep going, you're doing just fine!
+27 # WestWinds 2013-09-18 12:19
Boy, do I ever agree with you. These domestic terrorists should be in the clinker for life with no chance of parole and Spitzer would be the perfect Alpha Rat Terrier to git 'er done! Excellent ideas (I especially like the drawn and quartered... how about on the White House lawn?)
+7 # Jiovanna 2013-09-18 20:11
Agree including the integrity of Spitzer who the thugs tried to destroy.
+11 # Scot 2013-09-19 10:33
Funny you should mention a 21st Century Glass-Steagall Act. Because Elizabeth Warren's is proposing just that, sign up here to support:
+1 # Scot 2013-09-19 10:33
Funny you should mention a 21st Century Glass-Steagall Act. Because Elizabeth Warren's is proposing just that, sign up here to support:
+37 # tclose 2013-09-18 10:25
Breathtaking account, not reported by the mainstream media that's for sure.

I have wondered for some time why President Obama wants this guy so badly.
+1 # dquandle 2013-09-19 23:37
Because Obama, like Bush and Clinton before him, is a corporatist, or to use Mussolini's synonym, a fascist.
+2 # tomo 2013-09-20 17:56
I agree with the intent of your remark, dquandle. I think though you may inadvertently give too much credit to Obama, Bush, and Clinton in suggesting they are fascists. Fascism was a form of nationalism run amok, but the populist flavor it thrived on was not altogether bogus. There was some genuine concern for a common good (though it arbitrarily excluded "outsiders" evilly identified as such). With Obama, Bush, and Clinton, the populism is quite bogus. It is as empty as the emptiest public relations campaign you can think of.
+35 # Terrapin 2013-09-18 10:34
Goldman SACKS Employee of the Month: Barack Obama
+16 # modernjacobin 2013-09-18 12:01
He probably wants something big out of them after his presidency. Maybe a big publicity or consulting gig on the side which would mean more sacks of gold! (There is never enough $$$ for the 1%.) Or maybe his daughters will work there--just like Chelsea worked for McKinsey or whatever not long after Big Daddy Clinton deregulated Wall Street.
+36 # walt 2013-09-18 11:52
As stated here, the real shocker is that Obama,knowing Summers's reputation and also knowing the sentiments of millions of Americans, was prepared to nominate him anyway. It does tell for whom Obama is working, and as Greg Palast states, "Hint: You aren't one of them."

Sounds just like the latest debacle on Syria. Millions of Americans were saying the USA should not launch another act of war, yet Obama seemed more driven by another lobby than to listen to the voices of the people.

So sad the average American has no lobbies, eh?
+21 # Wyntergreen 2013-09-18 12:01
Off with their heads!
+23 # video4315 2013-09-18 12:14
I was relieved to see Larry Summers withdraw his name, but at the heart of all of this, we are still left with a mess, waiting to rise up and bite us in the butt again. We know what the Republicans stand for and the Tea Party is clueless on matters that really count. I don't expect that we will see a real change from Hillary, if she wins. From my vantage point, Elizabeth Warren is the only person who would stand up to all of this,...but...c ould she win?
+15 # Carbonman1950 2013-09-18 13:14
Quoting video4315:
From my vantage point, Elizabeth Warren is the only person who would stand up to all of this,...but...could she win?

With Joseph Stiglitz, Robert Reich, Bernie Sanders, Al Franken, and Paul Krugman on her cabinet.
+8 # Jiovanna 2013-09-18 20:23
None of this is possible under our system. Fear Ms. Warren would be fatally killed somehow. Only solution is having them run under a strong third party with willing donors. Still--fear hit men--sorry it's that bad.
0 # RLF 2013-09-19 06:09
Their style is the sex scandal...she would be caught with a could huge wonged wankers.
0 # Activista 2013-09-20 11:52
and Jimmy Carter to handle Middle East Policy .... not a chance ... Goldman Sachs will NOT approve ..
+13 # Harbinger 2013-09-18 14:31
With the millions Goldman Sachs and all the other anything-for-a- dirty-dollar megabuck scum will pour in against her -- not a chance.

Citizens United saw to that.
+9 # modernjacobin 2013-09-18 15:10
The only Repug w/ anything remotely resembling a brain is Chuck Grassley.

He's the one who got flack for saying that the AIG execs demanding a bonus after the meltdown of 2008 should commit Japanese-style suicide.

Shock! Horror! How DARE he say that? Poor lil bankers! Methinks the critics were more outraged by the slam on financiers than the suicide suggestion itself. Talk about faux political correctness!

Incidentally, Grassley proposed a PIMP TAX back in 2006 to curb sex trafficking and to require prostitutes to file a W2 form. I think he should have introduced a PIMP TAX for Wall Street's money trafficking and hedge fund activities (taxed at a meager 15%).
+26 # Buddha 2013-09-18 12:31
On top of this, Obama silenced the rising public outrage of Wall St's actions, and our government's complicity in it, by his coordinated crushing of the Occupy movement. Centrist Dems are completely selling out who SHOULD be their main constituency, the average struggling labor-class American, all for Wall St and Corporate Profit. And we're likely going to get Hillary, another Centrist.

Wasn't it Gore Vidal who said we have two political parties, and both are Center Right? I'd say now we have one Center Right party (Dems) and a Far Right party (GOP).
+12 # Jiovanna 2013-09-18 20:25
Vidal said both parties are 'owned' by the same people. He was correct; thus, same outcomes!
0 # karenvista 2013-09-21 21:49
[quote name="Buddha"]O n top of this, Obama silenced the rising public outrage of Wall St's actions, and our government's complicity in it, by his coordinated crushing of the Occupy movement.

You may recall that all the Occupy demonstration sites were all attacked during a short period of time. This was done through "Homeland Security's" Fusion Centers which are spread all over the country to direct Federal authorities and local Police Departments to carry out the alphabet agencies wishes.

We had a small couple of small groups here in Houston that were broken up.

In the case against the people protesting at the Port of Houston the Court found that the entire protest plan and all equipment came from an FBI informant who had come in from Austin to talk about a half-dozen people into joining him, so the case was thrown out.

The other demonstration downtown was real. They were broken up by police and several people were arrested. It came out later that there were snipers on rooftops who were to take out the leaders of the group (if deemed necessary.)

We just had an article in the paper showing the FBI documents resulting from a FOIA request. It said that the FBI was aware of snipers with silencers on the roofs of buildings contracted by (deleted-person (s)or groups) but that no information would be provided about the employers of the snipers due to PRIVACY issues. The Houston Police Dept. said it had not been informed about the snipers by the FBI.
+23 # fredboy 2013-09-18 12:56
During the very month derivatives reamed the US and world economy in the fall of 2008, the Vanderbilt MBA program hosted a world celebration--of derivatives. I kid you not. A world celebration of mathematical alchemy.
+22 # happycamper690 2013-09-18 13:01
It's time to reactivate Occupy Wall Street. It's time to motivate the Common Cause effort to return our government to the people. It's time to take big money out of politics and silence the narrow interests of the super-wealthy.
+23 # Skeptical1247 2013-09-18 14:10
Right now I think Elizabeth Warren is exactly where she needs to be... an outspoken, hard-working ass-kicking Progressive Senator. If she could even get to the White House, it would be heart-breaking to have to work with a thoroughly corrupt Congress to move any issue forward.

Let us see if we as a nation are smart enough to do a major House-cleaning in 2014 as well as oust a few incumbent jackasses from the Senate. I don't subscribe to the idea that a President can make that big a difference, but there is no question she would get my vote over Hillary, and over any Repub that crawls out from under a rock to once again insult the intelligence of at least 53% of the population.
+21 # JohnBoanerges 2013-09-18 15:51
Now, RSN, THIS is the kind of truth-telling that puts you butt at risk and results in change - away from protecting the corporatists. Every response to this article, so far, has been to prep-walk the bastards Eliot-style. Thumbs up to the article, thumbs up to the responses.
+19 # griffey1 2013-09-18 15:57
Unless there is an armed insurrection against the government, nothing will change. 90% of the people in Congress are corrupt & represent the corporations & the elites from which they get their " campaign contributions." ( read bribes) We have an electorate who continue to vote for the same people who are contributing to the downfall of the poor & middle class.
+11 # Walter J Smith 2013-09-18 16:08
Re: "All these Cabinet discussions back in the 1990s requiring the blessing of Goldman Sachs revolved around the Rubin-Summers idea of ending regulation of the US banking system."

It sure does tell us more about Obama than it does about Summers. And the Clintons, too.

And, to think the Obamas & Clintons actually believe they are Democrats.

Well, technically, they are. They are the party's top hat feathers. And the soul of the party. Because if the party didn't want that kind of crap, Bill Clinton would never have been able to shove the repeal of Glass-Steagall down our national throat.

And because if the party didn't want that kind of crap, Barack Obama would have been able to get the Senate Democratic Majority and the House Democratic Majority to refuse to repeal to that Glass-Steagall destruction.

And except for these things, we very well might have an economic recovery for more than the wealthiest 5% of the nation.

So, the question is, why are so many democratic party voters so liberally tolerant of such crap as Larry Summers and Rubin and Obama and the Clintons and Rahm Emmanuel and the host of Obama's current advisors who obviously have not a whit of democratic character in their total midst?

And liberally tolerant of the DINO Senators and House members who keep supporting them except when the majority of us get ourselves into a lather of an uproar to stop a tiny piece of their crap, like Summers getting annointed for the FED chair?
+16 # modernjacobin 2013-09-18 18:09
I call it the rise of neoliberalism.

Neolibs are actually neocons in disguise. They know it's not cool to be racist, sexist, homophobic, etc. So in that respect, they are one or two steps above the Baggers.

But just because they give lip service to equality doesn't mean they actually believe in it: because they are just as rapacious and status-consciou s as the neocons they pretend to hate. Indeed, their lip service allows them to get away with their a$$kissing of bankers, CEOs, and the 1%.

As such, they bear more resemblance to Ronald Reagan--than, say, Jimmy Carter.
Note how the Carters were not as HO-wood and media obsessed as the Reagans, Bushes, Clintons, & Obamas: all of whom behaved as if life at the WH should be one giant photoshoot and article for Vanity Fair and Vogue. Note how Rosalynn Carter was not obsessed with fashion: she was elegant and tasteful, but not fulsomely glam. And note that they sent Amy to a PUBLIC school. (Btw, Amy's wedding couldn't be any different from Chelsea the Stanford/Oxford /Columbia- educated hedgefunder's.)

This is why the Clintons, Obamas, Corzines, etc. treat "liberal" like a dirty word: they are aspiring 1%ers who secretly HATE equal opportunity. Yay, hedge funds and Romney is great! (Said Bill Clinton) Just like Obama claimed that Carter's advice to turn thermostats down to 68 was "unrealistic." And why he pretended to "talk tough" to the bankers in 2008 before turning around to defend banker and CEO salaries.
+4 # modernjacobin 2013-09-18 21:06
Oops, found an error: it should be private equity and Romney, not hedge funds--DUH! But Clinton did defend Romney, saying Bain was "good work."

Incidentally, Cory Booker himself was fed up with criticism of Bain--even from Obama! Here are his exact words:

"Enough is enough. Stop attacking private equity...To me, it’s just we’re getting to a ridiculous point in America. Especially that I know I live in a state where pension funds, unions and other people invest in companies like Bain Capital. If you look at the totality of Bain Capital’s record, they’ve done a lot to support businesses [and] to grow businesses."
+9 # jskushner 2013-09-18 16:24
This could be the most straightforward and revealing explanation as to how Obama got where he is - but could you please provide your sources? it is only fair for people to be able to evaluate the credibility.
+6 # Jiovanna 2013-09-18 20:29 clearly shows how the bankers backed Obama. Yet his campaign acted as if it was the 'little people' who supported his victory--nonsen se. The Web site is helpful.
+6 # cgberling 2013-09-18 23:10
I know this argument won't get any traction from the above group, but at least some of the time they do see the problem -GETTING ELECTED!!
Whatever you think of Obama (obvious above) he did get elected which is 100% of the battle. That means one has to make compromises to get anything done. He
is not a dictator of what he wants, but has to go where he can, often going for lesser goals in order to get anywhere. It still remains up to the electorate to
back the top with the foundation below.
Try sitting in his position for a year
without a Congress on his side. Look at how many voters can't even understand that they are voting against their own best interests in so many issues. Thank you Tea Party for nothing.
+1 # modernjacobin 2013-09-19 08:56
Yes, the Baggers are execrable--and they're the first I'd guillotine since their heads are more or less good for notinh!

But I'm willing to best most of us complaining about Obama were probably also the most enthusiastic about Obama in 2008: the fact is, betrayal hurts.

I know there are many, like me, who've tried to give him the benefit of the doubt. Many of us ignored the fact that he did appeal to Reagan and that his wife was on the board of directors for a Walmart affiliate.

Nonetheless, his rhetoric of change and progress allured us. Finally, someone who GOT IT! Someone who knows that excessive CEO compensation, low taxes on the wealthy, and yes a PUBLIC OPTION for health was needed. Not only that, INVESTIGATE AND PROSECUTE BUSH! YES WE CAN! Hallelujah! I still recall election night with happy memories: this really was the road to change.

Not so fast. Yes, there was some disappointment at his appt of Geithner, Summers, and Clinton herself. (Although judging from this article, she did support a bailout for the people.)There was disappointm. that he brushed aside the idea of a Bush impeachment. But maybe, Obama had something better up his sleeve later in the year. We waited patiently.

The rest is history. As Reid said, he cold have pushed the public option but didn't bother. Obama did not fight to repeal the Bush tax cut--especially when compared with Sanders (8 hr filibuster!) and Grayson.
+6 # modernjacobin 2013-09-19 09:14

In 2011, after the debt ceiling fight, Obama contemplated cuts to SS and medicare after his supercommittee, comprised of clueless 1%ers, recommended austerity. He even began making cuts to food and energy assistance for the poor in the Northeast--some thing that was fought successfully by Sanders & others.

For me, the last straw was his defense of Ann Romney against a journalist defending him--of all things. How dare she criticize her by saying that 99% moms had it much tougher than stay-at-home mom Ann! Michelle cooed along, "it's difficult for ALL mothers." YES, TELL THAT TO SINGLE MOTHERS, MOMS WHO WORK more than 2 JOBS, FEW CHILD CARE OPTIONS, HAVE 0 HEALTH CARE, AND don't have the money and leisure to buy overpriced, overrated designer clothes!

That's when I decided to vote for Jill Stein.

Even now, notice how Obama has been trying his damnedest to get Larry Summers and start a war in Syria--despite overwhelming opposition. He never fought that hard for the public option, repeal of Bush tax cuts, closing Gitmo. This is why our govt is still in a tailspin, and why we still have low domestic growth, abnormally low interest rates (meanmwhile, people w/ stocks are profiting BIG)And why our wealth inequality is HIGHEST since the 1920s.

Even Herbert Hoover, widely viewed as a bad president, knew better. At least, he ramped up highest tax rates from 24% to 64%.

In a nutshell, that's why folks like me are angry. Betrayal stings & STINKS!
+2 # Kwamined 2013-09-19 02:29
We was punked by Obama. He's a Repugnican in drag, as well as a bought-n-sold House Negro for the Wall Street banksters.
Thanks, Greg, for raising my blood pressure once again.
+10 # Malcolm 2013-09-19 13:02
Lots of angry comments here-and justifiably so!

I'm going to suggest (and watch the thumbs up and thumbs down, in order to estimate the actual sincerity of these violent posters) that we do not, in fact, start another French Revolution, a la guillotines, Sepuku, draw and quartering, and all the other macabre suggestions for dealing with these money loving thugs.

I understand the call for armed revolution, since there seems to be little chance to VOTE the bums out, what with voting fraud at almost every level in our "democracy". However, would it be ok with y'all to simply lock the bums up (after capturing them) and put them in maximum security prisons, with bologna and wonder bread to eat, and no such thing as TV, magazines, chocolate, or any other treats, UNLESS THEY WORK THEIR RICH BUTTS OFF FOR 8 HOURS PER DAY, performing "public service". Suggestions include building houses for the homeless, particularly those made homeless by these assholes' unconcionable actions that put people out of their homes. Another suggestion would be cutting brush in the fire-prone forests that are fire prone in large part due to greedy pigs such as them clearcutting OUR forests for the last few decades.

Cleaning outhouses in campgrounds might teach them some humility.

Any other suggestions, folks?

I just don't think all this blood lust is going to get us where we want to be, down the road. Seriously; do you?
+1 # Activista 2013-09-20 15:29
"we do not, in fact, start another French Revolution, a la guillotines" agree .. revolutions bring the worst mud to the power ...
-3 # Caliban 2013-09-19 22:20
There is much worthwhile criticism of the financial manipulators connected to Larry Summers in this article, though little if any of it is new to people who follow the field.

However, the account of the President's political success is a miserable pack of lies--notably unsupported by history or documentation and utterly unaware of the complexities of running for and winning political office. The Obama hatred in RSN is so pervasive and biased that it undermines the credibility of the whole journal--to say nothing of many of its writers and commentators.

I am a monthly contributor because I appreciate much that Marc Ash is trying to do. But the "journalistic" treatment of the President is often so far beneath contempt that it makes me wonder if any editing for content actually goes on here at all.
+1 # Activista 2013-09-20 12:02
"makes me wonder if any editing for content actually goes on here at all.."
editing for content = censorship - path to totality - if you want edited content subscribe to NYT ..
Even YAHOO forum has more open editorial policy than RSN ... quite of few of my comments were edited here ... i.e. censored .. i.e. NOT printed.
+1 # Activista 2013-09-20 12:12
"The billionaires connected Obama to Jamie Dimon of J.P. Morgan, but most importantly to Robert Rubin, former Treasury Secretary, but most important, former CEO of Goldman Sachs and mentor of Larry Summers. Without Rubin's blessing and overwhelming fundraising power, Obama would still be arguing over zoning on Halsted Street"
great article ... who controls and selects government in the USA .. please repost on social media .. Facebook etc.
+3 # tomo 2013-09-20 18:09
It's a delight to see this article appear. For years now, Republicans have been attacking Obama for all the wrong reasons: "He's a socialist;" "He's anti-business;" He is addicted to public spending on behalf of the poor;" "He's pro-Muslim." Democrats have been utterly distracted by these charges, and seem to think that by disputing them they have ended with an exonerated Obama. Obama, while innocent of what the Republicans have charged, is guilty of far worse actions than the Republicans have charged. The inter-party crossfire has been an effective camouflage of what is really moving forward. Takes a great journalist, now living outside of the the U.S., to expose what's really going on.
+1 # AndJustice4All 2013-09-21 15:41
Like it or not governments are businesses and America is BIG BUSINESS. You know the old saying, "Money makes the world go round". So let's stop pretending that there will be justice in Babylon. The corporations and the wealthy are doing everything they can to 'make the big profits'. If you believed that one man from Hawaii becoming US president was going to change the course of the empire you are a bunch of naive buffoons. Obama has accomplished a great deal in the face of relentless opposition. And yes he is a 'Centralist' and so are most Americans. Still compared to the other choice the Democrats win by default. Politics is about compromise which is why it's mostly disappointing to us progressives. It's vital that the working class organizes and become powerful activists or we will lose the 'class wars'. We must keep the poli-tricksters accountable!
+1 # Kmorgan 2013-09-22 12:35
Yeah.. all this stuff about Obama? He's deported MORE illegals than any other president. And this nonsense about Goldman?? He and Eric Holder investigated and charged all those banking jews in the Leumi scandal. This article is MISLEADING. Sometimes I wonder if RSN is on the lying guys side, and not telling the readers the truth: that Obama IS prosecuting these scammers, he is doing much much more than any president ever in uncovering and prosecuting, investigating these banking people and you know what?? I think the crooks who don't like what he IS doing are the ones responsible for all of the anti-Obama rhetoric. Look up the 2003 Mossad mall kiosk workers deportation- looks like our president made the WRONG PEOPLE angry- maybe he is biting the hand that fed him.

I did not vote for the guy, I believed all the media lies about him- who runs the media? Think about it.

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