NYT: "Obama Seeks to Win Back Wall St. Cash" - When Did He Lose It?

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It's time for Plan B. The White House is about to be sold to the same people who bought it in 2008. The front page of today's New York Times says it all. President Obama is on the hunt for campaign cash and the Wall Street crowd represents his main target. After all, he and his "good friend Tim" (Geithner) delivered in the biggest way possible. Obama must be thinking that it's payback time! Pony up fellas.

This much is clear. There will be no federal prosecutions of Wall Street crooks for the 2008 financial collapse, no day of judgment for massive mortgage fraud before, during and after the housing bubble, and no representation for the people the in the White House, no matter who wins in 2012. Populist rhetoric will guarantee a place on the no-fly list for any who stray from the new party line.

The Times article resorts to irony right out of the gate:

"Mr. Obama, who enraged many financial industry executives a year and a half ago by labeling them “fat cats” and criticizing their bonuses, followed up the meeting with phone calls to those who could not attend." New York Times, June 13

How many hundreds of billions does Obama have to give these guys to make them happy?

They stole everything that wasn't nailed down, got away with it, and have to deal with some half assed regulations that may cause a little extra paperwork. That sounds like a great deal, doesn't it? Huge rake offs and not even a slap on the hand, unless calling them "fat cats" counts (it might damage their self-esteem, I suppose).

Here's how well the Wall Street crowd did. From 2002 through 2007, the top 1% of the income scale in the United States got two thirds of the new income. In 2008, when the crash hit, Wall Streeter #1 at the time, Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, executed a coup d'état for The Money Party by carefully crafting an air tight guarantee that Wall Street would survive, at least those firms that he and his pals picked to survive. The now tentative Obama donors got the right to back up a semi to the Treasury Department loading dock and make off with huge piles of cash.

From that point on, it was let the good times roll. While unemployment skyrocketed and asset values disappeared for almost everybody, the objects of the president's fundraising made out with huge bonuses every year. Some would call it an embarrassment of riches. But they weren't embarrassed. They just wanted more; and they got it, thanks to the president who can't stop embracing business.

If you're upside down in your home with an Alt-A or even a conventional mortgage that you struggle to pay, forget it. Time to pack your bags. There will be no relief.

If you are facing bankruptcy from medical debt, you'll hit the trifecta. There's no "safety net" for the care you need. There's no relief in bankruptcy court. And thanks to the bankruptcy reform law of 2006, you get to carry the medical debt with you forever.

If you're a recent college graduate with a student loan and face an array of opportunities that start with Target and end with Starbucks, forget about it. You'll never pay that back and the government will only postpone your repayment for so long. It's all about moral imperative. That's right - moral imperative for you and fully forgiven predatory lending for them.

If you'd like a job, please, hush. Nobody wants to talk about the fact that we've had a net loss of jobs since 2000. Sure they're, saying the word "jobs" but they don't have the courage to tell the truth. The economy is stalled, has been for a decade. There are no new jobs. Plenty of trained people, but no new jobs.

In reality, what we're hearing about is negotiating strategy. Obama knows Wall Street owes him big. They know it too. But by playing coy, the people who brought us our current troubles are positioning themselves for even greater paydays over the next four years.

And Wall Street doesn’t' need to worry if by some freak occurrence we get a President (fill in any Republican candidate's name). Whoever occupies the White House will be on The Money Party performance plan. Be assured, that president will make every effort to please his or her masters. It's all a part of the never ending process of the very few taking more and more out of a shrinking pie that they assume will last forever.

It won't.

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which is worser?

As bad as Obama is, from what I've seen the GOP is even worse. America is looking at a choice of death by fire or 1000 cuts in choice.

A crisis, now going on over 3 years and the response has primarily corporate lobbyist wish list driven.

Pretty astounding how corporations have both of these parties as their bitch to the point they want to see which one will bend over farthest in order to give the money to.

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They're heartless masters

They do domination like some people breathe, it's so natural to them.

They're kidding themselves, the parties. 2006, 2008, and 2010 were all the voting public punishing one party or the other. That's old hat Now what? We'll have Obama versus some really strange Republican (or a 'from no where' candidate like Huntsman). None of it will work. The two party system, really just one, is dead. What's next?

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3rd parties are locked out, note Nader, Buchanan said this

They lock out 3rd parties and there is no doubt a decent one would win hands down at this point. This site has people of all political flavors and you can see just how much people really agree and the corporations who control the country don't want the public to realize this.

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You've got my vote sir!

I remember Perot and his proposals. I also remember that he was decent on social issues as well. He had his flaws and a very mean streak but, on paper, he was probably much closer to reality than the others at that time. Sad, though, we can't get somebody who is both highly competent and of moderate temperament.

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Obama wants to do the right

Obama wants to do the right thing but he has to have Wall Street cash to get reelected so he can continue to serve the people. As I see it it is simple economics. You have to get the cash from somewhere to get reelected. I have no problem at all with Obama hoodwinking the "fat cats on Wall Street" as he called them. If they want to give up their money, Let them. It's not hyprocracy it's pragmatism in the first degree. Sometimes the ends do justify the means. Especially when theends including reforming Wall Street corruption.

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Obama's wanted to do the right thing for three years

He just hasn't done it. If he really wanted to reform Wall Street corruption, which you say is the end that justifies the means, then he would have a task force of at least 100 attorneys working on financial corruption cases in the Justice Department. It took at least this many lawyers to get 1,000 convictions in the S&L scandal, which was much smaller. Instead, Obama is letting the clock run out on indictments. By the time he is reelected, there will be no opportunity to indict anyone on Wall Street once the statute of limitations comes into play.

Wall Street CEOs are pissed off because Obama called them a few of the more decorous names one hears from the general public on a daily basis. So they are going to give a few hundred millions to Republican candidates, as a hedge. Meanwhile, they will give tens of millions to Obama. It will be less than last year, just to send him a message, but it will do the job. It will keep him in line in case he is reelected, and ensure he appoints Wall Street insiders to all the right cabinet posts.

We may not be able to predict the election, but we sure can predict that Wall Street will win no matter who is elected.

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They are in the White House

Having corporations notorious to offshore outsource jobs, labor arbitrage, in charge of "jobs", is obscene. How can it get any better than that for these MNCs, even with a corrupt Republican in office?

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And then you find out: Yes, it can!

A friend, having been in the food/beverage/hospitality business for many years, opened his own restaurant. It was continually hiring new people, firing the ones that he found wanting or to have made stupid mistakes.

After a while, the personnel became pretty much permanent, and so I said to my friend, "Well, you finally found some good people!"

My friend replied, "Not really. It's just that I used to think, it can't get worse than this! And then I found out: Yes, it can!"

But, IMO, don't we pay too much attention to the presidency? And in the case of the presidency, I don't believe that all the GOP candidates are the same -- most are the usual suspects and completely predictable, but not all. I think Buddy Roemer is different, with what is essentially an anti-corruption campaign. And I cannot equate Mitt Romney with his competition.

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"pragmatic" Obama

You see this meme a lot: Obama "wants to do the right thing" but can't due to external powers he can't control. Even if this was true (it's not), it's a horrible defense--as it implies Obama is overmatched and not up to the job.

The data on Obama are now there to see, based on his term so far in office. He is doing what he's doing not because he's being forced to. He's doing it because it is what he *wants* to do.

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I agree

That is a variation of the apology for Democrats to their base over the past decades There is all this projection of good will and motives onto the candidate. Aside from economic policy, which is encapsulated by Summers/Geithner, there is national security. Habeas corpus is still in the penalty box, we have a new Patriot Act, and there's electronic spying and the attempts to control the internet and "tag" users for easy observation. They don't disagree with this. They implement the policies and they vote for it because, as you say, they dig it. It's all part of their lust for control.

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I'd Say It's We Who Got Hoodwinked

In what way did Obama hoodwink his Wall Street supporters?

I think he sure hoodwinked the many small contributors he had who thought he'd clean up the mess created under Bush.

Mostly what we've seen is a lof of willful blindness and a determination not to follow where the facts lead when it comes to the jobless and the economy. He stopped fighting for average working (or unemployed Americans) before the end of 2009.

Since 2010, if you're not a senior or immigrant, you haven't heard any passionate, forceful and determined speaking about your plight. Actually I have to strike "passionate" and "forceful" with regard to seniors; that's only come out consistently in his remarks about immigrants.

He's triaged most Americans with serious problems into "sink or swim on their own" category. I believe he sees us as unfortunate people who he cannot help and will not allow himself to be distracted by.

He is oddly unwilling to be the agent of change that he volunteered to be.

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Good description

One point of elaboration. I think that the deal was done before the primaries, that the investment bankers picked him, pushed him, and knew that he would deliver. Even his 'sink or swim' stance is a fraud since he is the ultimate beneficiary of the system, having never held a real job for too long, if at all. He's now on our dole and will be the rest of his life. I believe that Wall Street knew they were headed for a serious fall and they knew that Obama's election would be a major distraction from the heist that they had to perform. President McCain and Vice President Palin would have offered limited distraction value, whereas Obama was given all these chances. He's just Clinton at the wrong time, imho.

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Obama / Clinton

I agree that, politically and economically, there are broad similarities between Obama and Clinton. New Democrats--gotta hate 'em. Including their hires on WH staff, cabinet, etc. The main difference being that Obama lacks Clinton's adeptness. So not only is Obama not FDR or LBJ, he's not even Bill Clinton.

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Agree about DLC demos. but

The DLC is now defunct, since they were 'outed' as the little RNC they aspired to be.

But I would disagree about Obama, if the idea is that Obama, as a politician, cannot compare with FDR, LBJ or Clinton. Of course, situations are not comparable, but I think that 'Obama the Politician' will prove to be second to none.

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How Are You Expecting Obama To Show This?

If Obama is the brilliant politician you think he is, what will he do in the future to show that -- besides get reeelected, that is?

Do you think he can change the minds of the people who feel he's let them down? I don't even know what he could do to reestablish himself with me, for example. During 2010 and this year there's been so many times he hasn't even taken a stand or tried to convince the public about big issues.

Where's the leadership?

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Great expectations

"If Obama is the brilliant politician you think he is, what will he do in the future to show that -- besides get reeelected, that is?"

What I mean by 'Obama the Politician' is exactly that he may very well be re-elected. From the point of view of a politician engaged in electoral politics, getting re-elected is pretty much the whole deal, you know! I am currently willing to take all the action I can find that will give me 3 to 2 odds, or better, against Obama for 2012.

But, Jersey, that's the horse-race diversion. And, I understand, that you are saying that life is more than the diversions that serve to distract us from unpleasant reality.

Being neither a Democrat nor a Republican, I never had great expectations for President Obama, so I have never been bitterly disappointed and, in some respects, I have been moderately pleased. I don't believe that a McCain administration would have been in any respect better than the Obama administration has been -- probably significantly worse. (That's my judgment, although I would not want to engage in a detailed analysis of why I thought that in 2008 and still think that today.)

My view is that the country badly needs a real 'third party' that is viable and popular enough to affect congressional elections and to elect a substantial number of representatives outside the two party system. Otherwise, IMO, we are delusional to entertain high expectations for any president or even for any congress -- or, ultimately, for the country.

In 2009, I attempted to push for a more sane approach to medical insurance reform -- repeal of the anti-trust exemption, for example -- and I was disappointed. But my disappointment was focused more on Congress than on the White House. I am aware of the sell-out in the White House on insurance matters, but I still hold that legislation is the business of Congress. The idea that the ship of state can make progress by tacking to starboard and then port, never settling on any course, will prove to be disastrous for the country.

There was a time when there was a consensus of the people and so we could go back and forth, controlling things through a two-party balancing system, but that time is long gone.

Taking the medical insurance issue as an example, Obama said that he would sign a bill that included repeal of the anti-trust exemption and he said he would sign a bill that included a public option. But Congress never sent any of those provisions to him -- neither in separate nor in omnibus legislation. Seeking to punish Obama and the Democrats by going Republican in 2010 has resulted in a situation where we cannot now even discuss such matters as repeal of the ant-trust exemption.

We have, effectively, cut off our nose to spite our face. And what I am saying is that I think that Obama is possessed of such remarkable political talent that he will survive even this disaster. After that ... who knows?

I have acknowledged in my post at "The Lost Decade" that Obama has risked losing his base. That's obvious. And, no, I don't think there is any chance that, with a Republican House and a split Senate, Obama will have any opportunity to sign any legislation or make any appointments that could possibly make you happy. That's the squeeze play that we, the people, are caught in.

It's supposed to be the way it is. The current political situation isn't an accidental bit of chaos -- it's the result of deliberate planning, investment and action by mutually-aware self-interested political organizations (e.g., lobbyists). Like it or not, anti-Obama anger is part of 'the plan'.

You ask, "Where's the leadership?"

I ask, "Where's the third party movement?"

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We're In Trouble if Only a 3rd Party Can Save Us

We've been a two-party country for just about all of our history. For good or for bad, that seems to be what we like or at least what seems comfortable.

So I have to hope you are wrong about the necessity of a third party rising and permanently establishing itself -- because based on our history I don't give that much chance of happening.

Now if you are hoping for a third party movement that will rise, affect us for awhile and then be absorbed or co-opted by one of the two major parties, well that's happened before. If we get a needed push in the right direction by a short-lived third party, then I am all for it and hope it happens.

God knows we need that push.

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Agreed, yet on the other hand ...

Both Australia and the UK have systems something like ours ... and they have had third parties for a long time. But we have this strong presidency system -- probably not working the way the Founders expected.

Like you say, in unusual times -- when the two-party system becomes definitely dysfunctional -- a third party may rise to the occasion. Either that or one party becomes dominant (like FDR/Truman from 1932 until 1952 or so). I think the U.S. system requires a public consensus in order to function, and we probably don't have that today. If we had proportional representation, we'd have nothing but caretaker (coalition) governments. Would that be so terrible? The Ford administration was pretty good, and it was basically a caretaker government.

What would be interesting is if we had, today, maybe 40 members of the House (not even 10%) who formed a caucus outside either major party -- so that neither major party could form a majority without the third party.

We always think in terms of the every-four-years media circus, and maybe that's a mistake. There were quite a few Republicans in the Congress before Lincoln was elected.

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Realignment of R+Ds A Distinct Possibility

I'm a infrequent visitor to dailykos but luckily I found the following article there about two years ago.

Given the rapid increase in population and demographic changes we're experiencing, it would be naive to think our current parties won't undergo considerable change.

Of course it's doubtful that Mark27's specific predictions will come true -- but his reasoning and analysis seem strong to me. It's only natural, really, that the consequences of the mass immigration that's occurred since the 1980s will be far-reaching and in the end, probably revolutionary.

Certainly I expect future generations will wonder why on earth we sat back and let our nation be quietly overwhelmed by and subsequently transformed by outsiders. Part of the answer is that we allowed ourselves to be quietly overwhelmed and subsequently transformed by a number of relatively small but nevertheless surprisingly influential interests groups (eg, ethnic lobbies, cheap labor employers).

To a large extent, though, I believe our passivity in the face of this invasion of foreign job stealers (well, OK, I guess we let them take the hard agriculture jobs) and the success of a small minority in imposing their will over a majority -- much to the majority's detriment -- will remain a mystery. I know I sure can't explain it to myself.

++++++++++++

http://www.dailykos.com/storyonly/2009/6/6/122134/6056

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copyright, don't post complete articles

I had to edit this to remove the actual post. Honestly, I posted quite a bit at Dailykos and they have their agenda and no economic metric thou shalt be recognized.

The absurdity of thinking immigrants would sway the balance on a two party system, well, I guess the test will be 2012 for Obama. Of course he will have "worser" running against him.

But such agendas when they do not make national interest sense or economic sense and it's so bad over there they post volumes of economic fiction trying to claim the opposite, just is not my cup of tea.

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Sorry, I Almost Never Paste in Whole Thing

But in this case, it never occurred to me dailykos would care if I put in a whole diary by an anonymous, uncompensated contributor from two years ago.

If anything, I would have thought they'd be please to have the ideas disseminated and discussed.

You really think they'd get mad and make a stink over it with you? Wow!

I actually copied the material from text I emailed to myself. After I made the post above, I did hit the link and brought up the live article (which I wasn't sure would still be there). I noticed "Mark27" who wrote the diary hasn't posted anything since 2010. Too bad. Maybe he got too much grief over looking at the world, seeing what was there and speaking truthfully about it.

Funny, isn't it, how the partisans are always accusing each other of living in fantasy worlds -- and how true it is! Just different fantasies, same dodging of truth and foreseeable consequences.

Your point about immigrants swaying elections: they didn't give Obama the win in 2008 and won't in 2012, because so many of them can't vote. But in time, the descendants of the Hispanic immigrants we've absorbed in recent years will be a sizeable minority in this country. Their voting habits remain to be seen, of course. The assumption by Democrats that they'll vote for them out of gratitude is ludicrous. But for the foreseeable future they will be a conspicuous and conspicuously needy group which we allowed to develop and grow almost unimpeded and will pass along to future unsuspecting generations.

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well, never can be too careful

Officially DK claims all posts are his property by the site ID.

Well, this site's thing is economics and looking at the statistics, things are definitely a drag on the economy.

Part of this is also education. Even to do a skilled manufacturing job, one needs to be able to do basic math, read.

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How true it is

"... partisans are always accusing each other of living in fantasy worlds -- and how true it is! Just different fantasies ... '

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Obama and the last ism

Jersey, citing to a blog at DailyKos, writes:

 

"Realignment of R+Ds a Distinct Possibility"

Given the rapid increase in population and demographic changes we're experiencing, it would be naive to think our current parties won't undergo considerable change.

... I believe our passivity in the face of this invasion of foreign job stealers ... and the success of a small minority in imposing their will over a majority -- much to the majority's detriment -- will remain a mystery.
 

 

There's really no mystery to it, anymore there is a mystery to any aristocracy/plutocracy.

Just as there is an economic elite (the super-rich), so there is a political elite. They are both members of the same club. Obama crashed the party, and he has managed to get a few of his friends in with him ... but he can't get us all in! So we are outside looking in. Obama too is something of an outsider, but he is inside. The political elite is less well defined than was the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, but it's a closed group all the same. Our 'party', like the old CPUSSR, requires that you are born into it and/or you start early in our less well-defined version of the old Soviet Komsomol. The People's Republic of China works the same way.

You can hope for a Gorbachev, but you always knew that no one from outside the Party could ever make it into the Kremlin -- not since the fall of the Old Regime. Even Yeltsin was a Party apparatchik. In "post-Communist" Russia, Putin rose to power from a background as an officer in the NKVD (People's Commissariat of Internal Affairs), the equivalent of our 'secret government' including our DHS.

Why do people accept this state of affairs? It's just the usual state of affairs, that's all. Anything else would be an exception.

Every enduring aristocracy/plutocracy has a degree of openness. That's the key to understanding Obama and what is happening today. When a social order gets shaky, the elite often look to admit outsiders as a means of stabilizing the social order. They think of it as "meritocracy".

The question raised by Robert Oak is whether this expansion of the political elite of the U.S. will function as a meritocracy or is simply decadent profiteering, disastrously tied to a severe contraction of the economic middle class and related working classes of the U.S.A.? If so, is that situation sustainable for the U.S.A.? Commentators who claim to be 'inside the beltway' say that the buzzword these days in Washington is "sustainability" ... and that's the big question. Is demise of the U.S. middle classes compatible with stability and sustainability of the global world-system? Obviously, Bill Gates assumes such stability and sustainability, but his vision of the world is limited and distorted. (Gates is taken here as an example of his class.)

The small-scale phenomenon is Obama, while the large-scale version is called 'realignment' along demographic lines. That's the theory alright, based on the ideas of Walter Lippman (1889-1974) back in the 1950s commenting that the defeat of Al Smith (a Roman Catholic) in 1928 was of greater consequence politically than the election of FDR in 1932.

 We can also think of all this as the practical-politics side of an ideology, the ideology known as 'multiculturalism'.  What is promoted in academia and elsewhere in the corporate world as 'multiculturalism' is mirrored in the world of ordinary working people by 'realignment along demographic lines'.

Realignment along demographic lines is neither more nor less than an inevitable result of demographic change. It's the result of immigration policy over a long period of time, and the immigration policy is a result of 'globalism', which in turn arose out of 'anti-Communism', which arose out of the two great world wars, and that's as far as I take it.

I don't so much object to multiculturalism, as such. I question whether the elites have not 'lost it' in their attempt to apply multiculturalism to economic policy, as that has been exposed by Robert Oak. That's the question: are the elites losing it? In particular, is the political elite of the U.S. losing it? Do they really know what they are doing? Or are they just sitting around on the decks of the Titanic as did many another deluded elite in, for example, Russia under the Tsar?

Look at Europe. The elites there are in retreat as the people reject the EU agenda in nation after nation. Russia and Turkey no longer want to join the EU. No political leader anywhere in Europe (or Asia) today espouses multiculturalism.



That's my message, but it's a long story too. So, if anyone is interested, I will explain it all in excruciating detail in a remark below this post.

If you are video-oriented, you can get the picture by watching this video that is available courtesy of BarackObamaVideos.net --

Al Smith dinner October 2008

You weren't invited?

If you were invited, try to laugh at the right places! Actually, Obama is pretty funny in places, which is the whole idea of the celebrity gathering. If he had never made it in politics, Obama might have made a living as a comedian. (Chris Rock maybe wrote the first ten minutes of his script!)

I never cease to marvel at Obama's talents as a speaker. And, I think it is a great strategic error for Republicans to underestimate him, if that's what they are doing. (Maybe the Republicans are actually planning on losing.)

BTW: Is celebrity culture a part of the problem?

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Last ism in economic policy

BACKGROUND: the death of ideology and all the isms



Does anybody remember the World Social Forum (WSF) in Porto Alegre, Brazil, way back n early 2001? The WSF was deliberately timed to coincide with the World Economic Forum of that year, promoted as an alternative to whatever the banksters were cooking up in Davos.

Luminaries such as Mikhail Gorbachev, Immanuel Wallerstein (sociologist-historian who originated "world-systems analysis), Samir Amin,  (Franco-Egyptian economist), and, Takis Fotopoulos, (Anglo-Greek political scientist-philospher and economist) gathered and, among other ideas, examined the collapse of all modern 'systemic social movements' and 'anti-systemic social movements' as well. (Of course, it is understood that we are now in a 'post-modern' era.)



Nationalism as it had appeared at the end of World War I -- a kind of anti-imperialism -- had collapsed by the end of the 20th Century. Traditional imperialism had collapsed shortly after World War II, although Soviet and U.S. empires continued until the end of the century and what amounts to a new Chinese empire continues strong up to the present day.

Subsequent to World War II, all the new nationalisms such as Yugoslavism, Stalinist pan-Slavism, Peronism, pan-Arabism, pan-Africanism and Black Nationalism eventually collapsed, not to mention fascism and Nazism. By the end of the century, Marxism, Leninism, Maoism, socialism, anarchism, feminism, nativism, environmentalism, constructivism, de-constructivism, modernism, post-modernism and even the Gaia movement and shamanism had all come and gone -- at least in the minds of the primarily academic group of social theorists (prone to using words such as 'utopics') gathered at Porto Alegre. Even progressivism and perhaps statism could be proclaimed, objectively speaking, as dead.



Finally, 'globalism' alone remained as the last 'ism' standing.



GLOBALISM



'Globalism' appears to be a problematic term, because there is a planet and it is approximately global in shape. So what are we saying if we claim to be globalists? That we are in favor of the Earth being roughly global in shape? The question isn't whether we are globalists or not, it's what kind of globalists are we? The WSF intellectuals were opposed to the 'globalism' being patented at Davos, and some kind of 'ism' appeared to many at the WSF to be needed. But there was little agreement about the particulars of what was needed.



In many ways, the 'ism' of the WSF was like the old 'ism' of the Washington consensus, which was 'anti-Communism'. In other words, the WSF could find no consensus other than an 'anti-ism', namely, 'anti' the global project being planned in the WEF at Davos. The WSFers called the Davos project 'neo-liberalism' or 'corporate globalism'. It's awkward to put an 'anti' in front of something like 'neo-liberalism'.



(Probably some of the people involved in the WSF have written articles and books on the concept of the 'anti-ism'. Those of us old enough to remember know how compelling an anti-ism such as anit-Communism can be. Today, of course, we have anti-terrorism where formerly we had anti-Communism. If we cannot agree on being pro anything, then we can at least come together on some anti-agenda or anti-ism. Thus today we don't really have any pro-fiscal-responsibility agenda -- including such basic items as Rep. Abernathy's War Profiteering Prevention Act -- but many can manage enthusiasm for an anti-tax agenda.)



IF NOT GLOBALISM, THEN WHAT?



Takis Fotopoulos -- one of the big dogs in this anti-neo-liberalism thing -- has promoted something called 'Inclusive Democracy' as the "new" antisystemic movement that is needed. Fotopoulos has written a revealing sentence in his work The End of Traditional Antisytemic Movements and the Need for A New Type of Antisystemic Movement Today (November, 2001). Here's the sentence:



"In fact, the only significant anti-systemic forces today, which directly challenge the ‘system’ (i.e. the  market economy and representative democracy) are some currents within the anti-globalisation movement." (Takis Fotopoulos, 2001)

Personally, I am part of that anti-globalization movement. Except that i object to it being called 'anti-globalization'. I am not opposed to globalization, whatever that means, anymore than I am opposed to trade just because I am pro-tariff (across-the-board tariff or VAT). I just don't agree with Fotopoulos' premise that the system today can be described as "the market economy and representative democracy"! I would say that the world-system of today is marked by a lack of any real market economy and also of representative democracy. 

I think I am part of a "current within the anti-globalization movement" and i think I am challenging the corporate ("neo-liberal") system, but I am not challenging either the concepts or the reality of market economies or of representative democracy.

To be fair to the man, Fotopoulos' paper is dated November 2001. But that is my point. I think that Obama is still a true believer in the anti-anti-globalization movement. I think many of our economic-political elite are. That anti-anti-globalization movement has been styled 'inclusive democracy' by its advocates, but, more commonly, it is known as 'multiculturalism'. 


MULTICULTURALISM



I am not saying that the phenomena of multiple cultures in the U.S.A. or in the world are evil. I am not ranting against a mosque in Manhattan. I am not opposed to schools teaching about multiple cultures with the objective of reducing conflict and inter-group tension and violence. I am in favor of a multicultural world at peace. Why not?



I am just making one point here:



MULTICULTURALISM IS WHAT PRESIDENT OBAMA, with the best of intentions, BELIEVES IN ... AND MULTICULTURALISM TODAY IS JUST ONE MORE DEAD ISM. MULTICULTURALISM IS THE LAST OF ALL THE DEAD OR DYING ANTI-SYSTEMIC SOCIAL MOVEMENTS STILL HOLDING OVER FROM THE 20TH CENTURY.

President Obama simply has bought into an ism. It seems to work well for him, but that doesn't mean that it works well for his natural popular politcal base.

I think every president in my lifetime bought into some ism or another or into some anti-ism or another. Myself, I am not without my isms. If pressed, I will own to being a kind of humanist, even though that may be a dirty word to some good people. I also like to call myself a monetarist. And a protectionist. And a constitutionalist. (Whatever else I may believe lies outside the scope of EP.)



I am all for every positive aspect of every culture. I am all for culture. I admire the Sons of Italy, the Sons of Norway, Sokol, the NAACP, the Peace Corps and the DAR. I am all for global peace and friendship among all peoples.



It's just that, as I look realistically around the world, it looks like the "anti-social movement" of multiculturalism, that is, the politico-economic dogma of multiculturalism ... is a dead letter.



And that is how I understand President Obama. He is a multiculturalist -- which would be okay, except for the macro-economics part. The President should stop and think twice before trying to apply his social ideology to the decisions he makes that ultimately affect the  U.S. economy respecting such matters as unemployment. Something less idealistic and more pragmatic is needed. After all, unemployment, homelessness and malnutrition span all of America's multiple cultures, no?



MACRO-ECONOMICS AND VOODOO ECONOMICS



I suspect that President Obama is ignorant of the underlying concepts of macro-economics, simple though these are. Macro-economics is based on one principle which can take two forms:



1. A rising tide lifts all boats; and,



2. A falling tide ultimately strands all boats.



After you grasp this fundamental principle, there's nothing left but statistics and pragmatics.

What works? If it doesn't work, discard it. Try something else. If it doesn't make sense from the gitgo, then you identify it as "voodoo economics" and you discard without even trying it.



Economies always go sour when political leaders attach themselves to an ideology and try to apply it to economic affairs. It doesn't matter if the ideology is Marxism or marketism, socialism or libertarianism ... the end result is always a disaster for the economy. That's because the economy is a living thing, and the major components are human. You can't fit people into any ism. That won't work. You have to fit the ism to the people.



PRAGMATISM



How about pragmatism? ... okay, pragmatism and common sense in political economics ... that might work!

Unfortunately, pragmatism in democratic politics and pragmatism in economics do not often coincide.

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SLASHISM

Corporate globalism-multiculturalism is the last great ism that pretends to be an anti-systemic social movement -- a movement to transform a world-system according to a political agenda.

The only opposition to globalism-multiculturalism in U.S. political economics today is an anti-ism ... anti-tax, anti-tariff, anti-regulation, anti-government, anti-liberalism, anti-socialism, anti-Obamaism ... anti everything except more fast-track 'free' trade agreements.

I think I have a name for this great all-encompassing anti-ism:

SLASHISM

It's all about jobs.

1. Globalism-multiculturalism says that jobs will be created for Americans by outsourcing and by H1B visa 'insourcing'.

2. Slashism says that jobs will be created by slashing jobs!

In more detail, Slashists advocate slashing government, slashing financial regulation, slashing transparency in campaign financing, slashing Social Security, slashing access of small businesses to capital ... slashing everything except the profits of MNCs.

After all, slashing has been known to work in the corporate world. So, by extension ...

SLASHISM

(no relation to Slashism as a school of Rock 'n' Roll guitar)

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Obama shifts toward pragmatism on immigration

It looks like President Obama is accommodating political realities to move away from a hard ideological policy position on immigration. (The ideology involved is multiculturalism.) NumbersUSA appears to be convinced that if the E-Verify bill (with no elements of DREAM) gets to the President's desk, he will sign it.

NumbersUSA on E-Verify legislation

H-1B visa fees

Along with E-Verify, it's noteworthy that the administration raised H-1B visa fees by an order of magnitude about a year ago (2010). This action brought cries of outrage from the professional pro-immigration lobby, and thus indicates that there was some appreciation in the White House that H-1B visas were a potential weakness for the Democrats looking ahead to November (2010). Currently, the E-Verify (only) bill looks like the only immigration-related legislation with a chance of passing this year. This bill, like raising the H-1B visa fees, has substantial opposition only from the professional pro-immigration lobby, and they are outraged by the very thought of it! The question is whether that lobby is strong enough to block legislation, particularly in the Senate where it doesn't take much.

It appears that, while continuing a likely faith in cultural globalism (multiculturalism), the President is coming around to a more pragmatic understanding of hard economic, especially employment-related, issues.

In the long run, unrealistic policy declarations along with pragmatic compromise by Obama perhaps can leave the Democrats gaining from identity-politics realignment of voting power along changing demographic lines, while in the short run accomplishing two objectives: (a) containing erosion of the Democrats' natural political base of working class, especially Black American, voters, and (b) providing cover for whatever is wanted (in the way of continuing the corporate globalist agenda) by big contributors to campaign funds and allied interests in corporate media.

DREAM

Since 2009, the administration has been pushing the DREAM Act. The group targeted to benefit from the DREAM Act is young people who (a) were brought into (or sometimes left in) the U.S. by their foreign-born parents, (b) have lived here for five years or more without getting into trouble and have completed high school here, and, (c) successfully completed two years in higher education or two years in the military, to stay and work legally in the U.S. on a fast track to citizenship. There is, in all this, an element of justice or of mercy, depending on your point of view. A politician could be persuaded of the virtue of this legislation after talking to some of the individuals who stand to benefit by it.

Identity politics and DREAM

It appears that the great majority of those who may benefit from DREAM are Latino or Mexican in background. Most of them probably speak Spanish as well as English, although many may speak only English. In any event, these young people are probably often well-integrated into U.S. Latino culture and communities. That's where the practicalities of identity politics merges with the lofty ideals of multiculturalism and with the mundane objectives of MNCs and global finance profiteering. Of course, this is all theorizing about generalities, and U.S. Latino communities cannot be considered a monolithic voting block.

Obama's compromise

I think the DREAM Act is what Obama really wants -- or what he has more-or-less promised to a part of his constituency. However, since he probably isn't going to get DREAM, he has decided to take what he can get, an expansion of H1Bs that can perhaps, in extremis, be used by the targeted DREAM group -- although hardly what that group wants!

Of course, all kinds of stuff that could never pass in an election year (and we seem to be in an election year already in 2011) may be enacted in a lameduck seesion in late 2012. That's when money really talks, even more than usual.

Compromises across party lines

Democratic progressives (anti-neo-imperialists) may be inclined to support DREAM, but are opposed to H-1Bs. Republicans who like to appear as popularists ('Tea Party') are opposed to H-1Bs but the Party (GOP and RNC and the greater 'Money Party') keeps a tight rein on any tendency that would be opposed by mega-contributors to campaign funds and related propaganda funding. Thus various compromises have been attempted, for example, the STAPLES Act (a kind of mini-DREAM) proposed by an Arizona Republican (Jeff Flake) and endorsed by Obama.

NumbersUSA on legislative proposals (111th Congress)

You never know, but what appears to be shaping up as reality in the 112th Congress is E-Verify, which has bipartisan and grass-roots support. I know of no good reason for any member of Congress to oppose the clean E-Verify bill, but it may never come to a vote. This bill bears watching for all interested in politico-economics. It even has practical consequences, good for some employers and bad for others.

NumbersUSA on E-Verify legislation

 

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bullshit, please do not post fiction

I've written numerous posts on how Obama is pushing for turning our education system into an instant ATM, giving outsourcers more H-1B, L-1 Visas and literally lying, pushing corporate lobbyists' agenda fictional lies to the public.

this topic is near and dear to our hearts because many of us have a STEM background and know very well, Obama is out to destroy even more professional careers.

Please do not post fiction on these topics, it's rule #1, no economic fiction and esp. no lobbyist spin.

There is no better place for spin than this agenda because the BPO industry is a good 7% of India's GDP alone, huge money all to labor arbitrage STEM professionals.

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I didn't say that!

I thought it was a hot day even before I looked at your post!

On the other hand, taking a positive view,  I have gotten far more out of your brief reply than you possibly can have gotten from my lengthier one.

In any case, I have not said, nor has Roy Beck said, that Obama is NOT out to destroy professional careers of citizens of the USA!

I need to pay more attention to how I title my posts. Probably I should have put a question mark at the end of the title of my reply, since we don't know for sure that Obama will not veto a clean E-Verify bill, only that he is no longer threatening to do so.

Your statement that Obama is out to destroy professional careers seems passionate but not unreasonable to me, even though I have presented an analysis of the ideology that Obama asserts in defense of policies that work toward such economic destruction. My personal spin, clearly stated in posts above, is that Obama remains true to his 'multiculturalism' and that such an 'ism' is pernicious when applied to economic policy.

(Generally, multiculturalism makes no sense as a policy guide. If applied as an anti-systemic ideology, multiculturalism would mean that there should be no national character or culture to any country, which would make the world less ... well ... multicultural.)

I am not sure if you are saying that Roy Beck is inaccurate in stating that "We’re talking a real dent in the unemployment numbers"? Is that the lobbyist spin and economic fiction that you refer to? Is Mr. Beck's analysis inaccurate?

Beck also says that Obama is "going to try like crazy to attach an amnesty bill, but if it gets to his desk clean, he’s going to sign it." I am thinking that the bill will get to his desk clean of any amendments, if it gets enacted at all.

Maybe I am placing too much confidence in NumbersUSA.

I have not thought of NumbersUSA as lobbying for Obama or for anything but effective immigration reform, in particular, for E-Verify (with no amendments added).

Here's NumbersUSA's  spin, if that's what it is:

 

[WHAT WAS]
During his time in the White House, Pres. Obama has maintained that we would veto any immigration enforcement legislation that did not provide an amnesty to illegal aliens.

[WHAT IS NOTED AS A CHANGE by NumbersUSA]
During a press conference on Wednesday, Pres. Obama declined to comment on a question asking if we would veto a clean E-Verify bill.

[SPIN by NumbersUSA, including Roy Beck]
In declining to comment, Pres. Obama recognizes the unique situation a mandatory E-Verify bill presents to him. On the one hand, it's an enforcement-only bill, but on the other hand, it's a bill that would help put millions of unemployed Americans back to work.
"Seven million jobs could be opened up by this bill," NumbersUSA President Roy Beck said. "We’re talking a real dent in the unemployment numbers. … I think the president knows that when this bill comes to his desk, that’s the way it’s going to be phrased. 'Are you going to veto this bill and refuse to give these jobs to unemployed Americans?' He’s going to try like crazy to attach an amnesty bill, but if it gets to his desk clean, he’s going to sign it."

Roy Beck and NumbersUSA were severely criticized once before in the past for making statements intended to recognize movement by Obama toward controlling immigration, but Mr. Beck has responded that they are not selling out their anti-immigration position, only seeking to support change in a positive direction.

See, Article by Roy Beck (September, 2009)

I try to post from a neutral point of view, although sometimes opinionated while acknowledging my bias. My opinion now is that E-Verify would be a positive step toward reduction in unemployment, and my bias probably influences my view that E-Verify has a chance in the current congress, and, that the chance for enactment of E-Verify is increased by the statement of NumbersUSA and of President Roy Beck.

I gather from your comment that you find the lobby for the H-1B 'industry' (especially in India) to be more powerful than I estimated before reading your first paragraph. That's useful information, although I hope that the strength of that lobby is or will become less important than public pressure on Congress.
_____
 

It seems that you are taking my post as pro-Obama or as pro-DREAM. That would be a misrepresentation of my intent and of my statements. I am saying that on H-1Bs, Obama appeared to move toward pragmatic compromise back in 2010 when fees were increased substantially. On DREAM, I have said that "a politician could be persuaded of the virtue of this legislation after talking to some of the individuals who stand to benefit by it." And I have opined that Obama's dream is the DREAM Act, but he must know that the chances that it will not be enacted by the current congress are slim to none. Generally, all I have said is that Obama is a politician and he appears to be adjusting pragmatically to political realities. I did not think that was pro-Obama or even particularly controversial.

I have been thinking that the Obama presidency is likely to survive 2012, but reading your post, I am now tending to doubt that.

In electoral politics, (not that it matters), I support third party and  less emphasis on the presidential circus, more on congressional seats. I have used NumbersUSA to check on the votes and expressed views, on E-Verify and other bills supported by NumbersUSA, of the representative from the congressional district where I live and vote.

To me, that's a useful service provided by NumbersUSA at their 'Congress' tab

NumbersUSA Congress tab (report cards, votes, etc.)

 

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reads funky so let's be clear Obama no friend of U.S. techies

NumbersUSA for the most part is a lobbying organization, but I'm fairly certain they have used credible numbers on anything that impacts professionals, tech workers.

Please do look at your titles because it reads like you're saying Obama and this never ending inane special interest, U.S. Chamber of Commerce, India NASSCOM, BPO indrusty agenda is aok.

Not that GOP leadership won't pull the same thing because they are both owned by their corporate puppet masters.

Ever since HuffPo sold out to AOL, I see these "plants" of corporate lobbyists agenda items, this being one, presented as "articles" on their site.

So, I think this site leans left but on this issue, well, that's not left to labor arbitrage, displace U.S. professionals.

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Didn't see the HuffPo

Okay. Bad choice of title.

BTW: I did not see this story on HuffPo -- it's just my thinking based on my reading of EP and NumbersUSA but nothing from HuffPo on this issue. I did not reference HuffPo and have never read the HuffPo story on Obama's declining to comment on earlier threat to veto E-Verify (if it does not include some amnesty provision), although I don't doubt you that there was such a story.

Sometimes I see something worthwhile at HuffPo. What I pay attention to is the author, whether at HuffPo or TruthOut or wherever.

I have hopes that we may see a true populist rise out of the money-muck of the GOP.

I like NumbersUSA and appreciate that you are generally satisfied with the accuracy of their numbers. NumbersUSA is also good for following the twisted course of legislation in the congress and how members of congress are voting or tending on immigration issues. If every lobbying organization was as good as NumbersUSA, we could have a better country.

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typo (minor thing)

In my "I didn't say that" post, I said something opposite to what I meant. Here's what I said:

"[Obama] must know that the chances that it [DREAM Act] will not be enacted by the current congress are slim to none."

What I meant was to cross out the 'not' so the chances of DREAM being enacted are slim to none:

"[Obama] must know that the chances that it [DREAM Act] will not be enacted by the current congress are slim to none."

 

Because of later replies, I can no longer edit the error in the post itself.

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