Barack Hoover Obama

Kevin Phillips, with his masterful recounting of how the Spanish, Dutch, and British empires swiftly fell from their zenith because of imperial overreach, and more importantly the growth and ascendancy of a financial / rentier class, foretells what lies ahead for the United States.

This month’s cover story in Harper’s magazine is a must-read for those who recognize that the broad currents of human history repeat themselves. In, “Barack Hoover Obama: The best and the brightest blow it again” Kevin Baker writes:

Much like Herbert Hoover, Barack Obama is a man attempting to realize a stirring new vision of his society without cutting himself free from the dogmas of the past-without accepting the inevitable conflict. Like Hoover, he is bound to fail.

. . . . The most appalling aspect of the present crisis has been the utter fecklessness of the American elite in failing to confront it. From both the private and public sectors, across the entire political spectrum, the lack of both will and new ideas has been stunning. . . we have seen a parade of aged satraps from vast, windy places stepping forward to tell us what is off the table. Every week, there is another Max Baucus of Montana, another Kent Conrad of North Dakota, another Ben Nelson of Nebraska, huffing and puffing and harrumphing that we had better forget about single-payer health care, a carbon tax, nationalizing the banks, funding for mass transit, closing tax loopholes for the rich. These are men with tiny constituencies who sat for decades in the Senate without doing or saying anything of note, who acquiesced shamelessly to the worst abuses of the Bush Administration and who come forward now to chide the president for not concentrating enough on reducing the budget deficit, or for "trying to do too much," as if he were as old and as indolent as they are.


Obama will have to directly attack the fortified bastions of the newest "new class" -- the makers of the paper economy in which he came of age -- if he is to accomplish anything. These interests did not spend fifty years shipping the greatest industrial economy in the history of the world overseas only to be challenged by a newly empowered, green-economy working class. They did not spend much of the past two decades gobbling up previously public sectors such as health care, education, and transportation only to have to compete with a reinvigorated public sector. They mean, even now, to use the bailout to make the government their helpless junior partner, and if they can they will devour every federal dollar available to recoup their own losses, and thereby preclude the use of any monies for the rest of Barack Obama's splendid vision.

Franklin Roosevelt also took office imagining that he could bring all classes of Americans together in some big, mushy, cooperative scheme. Quickly disabused of this notion, he threw himself into the bumptious give-and-take of practical politics; lying, deceiving, manipulating, arraying one group after another on his side-a transit encapsulated by how, at the end of his first term, his outraged opponents were calling him a "traitor to his class" and he was gleefully inveighing against "economic royalists" and announcing, "They are unanimous in their hatred for me -- and I welcome their hatred."

Obama should not deceive himself into thinking that such interest-group politics can be banished any more than can the cycles of Wall Street. It is not too late for him to change direction and seize the radical moment at hand. But for the moment, just like another very good man [Hoover], Barack Obama is moving prudently, carefully, reasonably toward disaster.

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What FDR had that Obama does not is....Francis Perkins. First woman labor secretary but she was in the trenches, for years, on the ground with workers, dealing with Tammany Hall, knowing the incredible corruption and also firmly believing that many socialist ideas would actually work.

He also picked a host of people like this for his administration, Wallace is another.

Obama on the other hand....picked Larry Summers, a host of people who were in on the actual economic destruction.

To me, all of this is kind of a bummer that it's all coming out now. I tried, truly to write about all of this during the primaries and I really feel the entire blogosphere failed. They jumped on the mania, the concept of a campaign, as if it was all about simply ridding the country of George Bush, instead of focusing in on actual policy positions.

There was no real Progressive running though. Kucinich, even him has some truly screwed up positions.

If we could draft say Byron Dorgan, now there is a real Progressive/Populist. I think we should at least try to get him Senate Majority leader. Now imagine what kind of legislation would come up if he was in power in the Senate vs. what we have today?

I mean a "Democratic" Senate which blocks things that are managed to pass the house. It's Senate Inc.

Well at least Harper's wrote it. But instead of the bash can we ever get the public attention on policy details? That's the key to me.

Nice to see you Tony! I know you're "offline" for awhile but glad to see a post!

Hoover's policies

I've been contemplating writing about how Hoover's policies are similar to Obama's.
People forget that Hoover was rather progressive for a Republican of the 1920's. He started a number of policies that people would mistake for the New Deal.

However, Hoover never tried to take on the establishment. In that regard Obama and Hoover are very much alike.

A Failure of Leadership

The solutions have not reached the level of the problems.

It is time to shake-up economic team.

Specifically, fire Larry Summers. I am not sure if this is good cop/bad cop but whatever it is it is not good:

In a pair of separate interviews, President Obama defended his administration's response to the economic crisis in the wake of Vice President Joe Biden's remark Sunday that "we misread how bad the economy was."

"I would actually -- rather than say misread, we had incomplete information," President Obama told NBC News' Chuck Todd. "What we always knew was that a) this recession was gonna be deep, and b) it was gonna last for a while."

The problem is that they were not bold enough.

problem not a bold issue

it's a beholden issue. They could have easily, easily given power to even Volcker, but to other economists, experts, policies. People have been almost screaming about it...

so I would claim team Obama is beholden to some agenda. Larry Summers is just the tip of the iceberg.

I look at that "sticking your thumb in the air and guess" 1% of GDP = Stimulus, otherwise known as "throw money at it" and shake my head. It is just not a valid methodology and it's being proved again and again.

My disagreement with Baker

"The most appalling aspect of the present crisis has been the utter fecklessness of the American elite in failing to confront it."

I seriously don't think anyone should accept this popular meme today, whether it comes from Baker or Phillips (similarly, "unintended consequences" - "metrics" - "it just happened"). They didn't fail to confront it, they designed, nurtured and profited extravagantly from it.

When the future president of the USA (one Barrack Obama) has a sitdown with the Swiss banker, UBS, and receives UBS's seal of approval - one should obviously surmise the game to be rigged! (Not to mention he then brings on some of the original NAFTA team, Laura Tyson et al., plus Geithner, Summers, Altman, Farrell, and so forth.)

Similary, the present gamed ruses now occupying the US Congress: Ruse #1 - the public option on healthcare, Ruse #2 - cap-and-trade, and the just-passed Ruse #3 - that tobacco bill (I won't bother with #3, it's just too obvious).

Single payer - the only way to go as the public option gambit will be added to the 13,000 other existing private policies, then trivialized, marginalized and "privatized" out of existence.

Ruse #2, cap-and-trade: now boy-oh-boy is that ever pre-rigged. It is structured (that is the carbon derivatives and offset trading) to be coordinated through recently created ICE US Trust (owned by InterContinental Exchange, Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase, UBS AG, etc., with InterContinental Exchange [ICE] further owned by Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley and those oil cartel fellows), with ICE US Trust and the Markit Group (originally financed by Goldman Sachs, Citigroup, BofA and JPMorgan Chase) setting the prices of the carbon derivatives.

Most likely to be using the Chicago Climate Exchange and European Climate Exchange, both owned by the Climate Exchange Plc, a holding company (which is primarily owned by Goldman Sachs and ICE, with a minority ownership by Deutsche Bank AG).

Thanks to some other online posts - which I then researched and verified.

Senate, health care

It appears our corrupt as hell Senate is busy killing even the public option on health care. What's going on is hard to track and if you wanted to take it on, what is the latest, who are the real players, who is killing any hope of any sort of real health care reform, maintaining those insurers lock on profits, making money from the dead....

We could use a very specific, well cited, referenced blog post to update us all. It's a corporate lobbyist zoo, a jungle of misinformation.

Where is this "blessing" from UBS on Obama which you mention?