I want to thank everybody who avoided the malls and the chain stores to purchase holiday presents from independent merchants and craftspeople. My wife is one of those craftspeople She crochets and knits her little fingers to the bone to create the best quality hats, headbands, and other accessories for your enjoyment. A major part of our income is from selling her work on Telegraph Ave in Berkeley. As she is also a professional clown, (yes, I said clown, so stop snickering at me.) she was hired to work the Telegraph Ave Holiday Fair. I’ll give you three guesses as to who manned her stand while she twisted balloon animals for the kids.
It was a profitable fair for all the vendors despite the bad economy. We noticed that there were a lot of people who never shopped at street fairs before, which made things better for all of us. In gratitude for their patronage, I wrote up this quick etiquette guide for street fair shopping. There are going to be more street fairs leading up to Dec. 25th, and you can refer to this guide to make your shopping experience (and our selling experience) the happiest possible.
The Management is Always Overworked. Remember this if you have a problem or complaint. The city has little to do with street fairs, except collecting fees and taxes. The actual management is usually a few vendors who put their hearts and souls into putting the fair together every year. They organize it, they get the permits, they sell the spaces, and they run it. The couple who put on the Telegraph Ave. fair even put on reflective vests and paint the spaces on the street. So if you have trouble or need help, be patient. They will get to you. Better still, if you had a good time, thank them. They deserve all the appreciation they get.
We Are Not Employees. We vendors are neither paid employees nor city contractors. We are independent business people, licensed by the city. We have no influence with the guy beside us. If you have a problem with him, we cannot help you.
Nor are We Abercrombie and Fitch. Hell we’re not even Wal-Mart. We don’t have managers emptying and renewing our cash drawers every half hour. On an average day, I go to the Avenue with only twenty dollars in change with me. On a Holiday Fair, I might start the day with fifty. So please remember to bring small bills. Don’t purchase a five dollar item and ask us to change a hundred. That’s the sort of thing that inspires street vendors to take up voodoo.
On the Other Hand. There are special blessings to people who have exact change. There is a street vendor superstition that suggests angels follow people with exact change, and god makes flowers grow upon the ground they walk upon.
Remember That We are Adults. We understand that not everybody who sees our wares will like them. We also understand that not everybody who wants to purchase our crafts can afford it. It’s okay if you don’t buy from us. I promise you, we won’t take it personally. If you say, “thank you, we’ll be back,” we’re big enough to know you’re unlikely to do so. There is no need to slink past our stalls like the puppy who stole the roast. If we wave, it means we like you. So wave back, smile, or even say hi. That way we know we made a friend even if we haven’t made the sale.
We Love Dogs! I have only met two street vendors who don’t like dogs. One is allergic and the other is a very unhappy person. The rest of us love doggies to pieces. Some of us even bring our dogs with us to sleep under our tables. They are a wonderful thief deterrent. My wife and I bring our princess with us because she is old and likely to have an accident if we leave her home. As a rule, our doggies are friendly, but don’t assume. Please ask before you introduce your four legged family member to ours.
Please Don’t Toss our Tables. We work hard to set up our tables. It takes an hour’s to set up our display, and it’s relatively simple. Other vendors work a lot longer to get their tables just right. People who pass by, pick up a handful of goods and thoughtlessly toss them back, are very inconsiderate. It’s okay to look at everything and not buy. Please don’t jumble everything and walk away. I am always surprised that a just and merciful deity doesn’t send a bolt of lightning up the spleens of people who do that.
If You Buy Something For Yourself, Wear It. There are few things that make us happier than sitting at our booths watching happy customers wearing our work. It is a guaranteed smile.
Don’t Give Your Toddler Red Juice or Soda and Bring Them To Our Tables. I don’t need to elaborate on that one, do I? Also, make sure you wipe the ice cream off little fingers. Thank you for your consideration.
Remember To Tip The Clown. We can’t afford to pay the performers and musicians all that much. Like waiters, they depend on tips to make ends meet.
That about covers everything. If you follow these ten simple rules, we will all have a happy holiday shopping experience. Plus, you will have street vendors praying you into heaven rather than the opposite. My thanks to everybody who shopped at the Telegraph Ave. Street Fair. Even if you didn’t buy from us, chances are, you bought from one of our friends, and we are a very supportive community. You did a good thing by spending your holiday dollars with us rather than slave labor from China. You are all good people, for shopping at any street fair or from any American craftsperson. Thank you.
Have a happy holiday and a prosperous New Year.
People who know me will be shocked that I have rejoined the Green Party. I had major personal problems with some of the early organizers. They are no longer with the Greens, and the party has grown beyond them. I have grown up a little bit too. For many years I have supported the DSA, but the DSA will not give up the idea that the Democrats can be radicalized. Since it hasn’t happened after 30 years of trying, we run into Einstein’s definition of insanity. We keep doing the same things the same way and expect different results. There are many other parties I can join or support, but none of them have the national network that the Greens built in under 30 years. The Green Party is America’s best chance to end Corporate control of our government. I would be a fool to hold onto a twenty five year old grudge.
During the last twenty five years, the Democrats silently supported everything the Republicans wanted. If you check the Project Vote Smart web site you can see that the Democrats voted for all the financial reforms that led to our economic collapse. It was Bill Clinton who allowed outsourcing when he had a Democratic majority in Congress. Under Bush the Democrats supported both illegal wars, Homeland Security, and illegal wiretapping. Under Obama, the Democrats have allowed the illegal existence of Guantanamo and continue to toss gay rights under a bus.
Obama could not have expanded the illegal Afghanistan war into Pakistan if he did not have the support of the Democrat majority. I am appalled at the Democratic voters who embraced both illegal wars after Obama took office. The wars are no more legal under Obama and it is still murder when a Democrat gives the orders. Despite all the cheering from Democratic pundits, our tax money is going to pay for the mercenaries holding Iraq.
To add insult onto injury, there is the passage of the so called “Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act”, which is more properly called the “Screw Over the Disabled and Elderly for Fun and Corporate Profits Act”. The Democratic pundits and true believers tout this as a leftist victory. In reality, this piece of crap legislation reduces the quality of Medicare. It allows economic discrimination, and it does not do anything to make care affordable. True, the insurance companies have to accept people with preexisting conditions, but there is no limit to premiums.
You cannot fool all of the people all of the time, and this is true for the people who voted Democrat last election. Poor people have caught wise to the health care reform. Environmentalists are appalled that he protected BP instead of prosecuting them. Anti-war activists call him “The Obamanation” for his drone tactics. The Democrats have lost their core supporters. Few are going to vote third party this coming election and most are staying home.
In 2008, the Democrats attracted liberal and progressive voters with vague promises of hope and change. We are not even getting that during the 2010 midterms. We are being threatened with the Tea Party instead. What will happen if the Tea Party wins? Will the Tea Party start killing innocent women and children with drones? Maybe they will go to court to reinstate DADT? Should we be afraid that they might put more people in Guantanamo? Wait, the Democrats have already done this. Unless you are afraid that Christine O’Donnell is going to cast a spell on you, I see no reason to be afraid of the Tea Party. They will vote according to Wall Street just like the Democrats.
When pushed into a corner, the Democrats will say that we only have two choices, them or the Republicans. If this is true, why was Green gubernatorial candidate Lauren Wells arrested at the California debate last week? It’s because both parties are afraid of the Green Party. The Greens have made tremendous progress on the local level. Richmond and Fairfax California are just two of the cities with a Green majority on their city councils. Greens can be found amongst aldermen, school board members, and there are even a few Green mayors. There are Greens in state legislatures. The Democrats are telling still another lie when they say there are only two choices. If the Greens can be elected in local and state governments, they can be elected to national offices as well.
The Commercial Bubble will burst any day now. With the banks and Wall St. teetering on the edge of collapse there will never be a better time to support a truly progressive party. Don’t let Democratic lies depress you into staying home this coming election day. Don’t let Tea Party Paranoia scare you into voting for the corporatist Democrats. Please join me in voting Green this election. It will shock the hell out of Wall Street, and it will be a first step in creating a better future.
Writing these blog posts has been difficult. It has forced me to look at 25 years in sales and ask myself If I have been doing the right thing. Working for Aames was not the right thing to do, and I wonder why I never realized that before. The biggest wrong I committed, while working for Aames, was convincing myself that I was helping people. Any help I may have given my customers was purely short term assistance. Many of my customers who were granted lower interest rates were given three years fixed mortgages. After three years, their interest rates went variable. Very few of those loans had ceilings. The logic behind this was it gave them a chance to fix their credit so they could refinance again before their mortgage rates went through the roof. In actual fact we were being too optimistic. Between outsourcing and salary stagnation, chances were that in three years those people’s credit were in worse shape than ever. Then after three years their mortgages went through the roof.
Belief is a very strong factor in any sale. If the salesperson does not believe in the product, neither will the customer. There were just too many reps who did not believe in what they were selling. That should have warned me that something was wrong. I knew one salesperson who sold through intimidation. He specialized in single female home owners, and subtly threatened them into signing. Then he grabbed the commission check and ran to another company before the hammer came down. I knew another salesperson who specialized in single male homeowners. Her usual working clothes was a leather mini split up to the waist at the side, and a very low cut top.
Despite these signs that things were totally wrong, I continued to believe in what I was doing. Conviction is more than half of sales. An effective salesman believes in what he is selling or is a good enough actor to truly make the customer believe in what he is doing. It occurs to me that there are many more actors in sales than I originally thought.
Conviction was the difference between getting the application and credit report or not getting the application and earning the wrath of Aames. Aames had a lot of really idiotic rules, but one of the worst was their insistence on running credit reports for all customers. I had more than one customer offer to fax or email me their most recent credit report. Later, I would work for companies that were fine with customers faxing their credit reports. However to complete an application for Aames you had to run the credit report, and in order to do that you had to get the customer’s social security number.
To this day I am amazed at the amount of people who gave me their social security numbers over the phone. I always left the social security number for last. I would get the customer on the phone and we would talk a little bit and I would talk him into giving a phone application. I specialized in calling people with high interest variable loans, and they were desperate to get out from under. It was easy for me to get them to apply. The biggest objection I had to overcome were the people who had tried over and over again and kept getting turned down. I usually gave them a pep-talk. I encouraged them to take one more chance while mentioning all the people with shaky credit that Aames managed to help.
I always started with the basics. I would ask their names and addresses and get them talking about their homes and their mortgage woes. I would make appropriately sympathetic sounds as they volunteered the information I needed to put on the form. Once in a while I had to give them a little help. Older people had no idea of the market value of their homes. Generally they made me put a too low value on it. By the time I reached the end of the application, I was an old friend. That’s when I asked for the social security number.
About one in three just gave it to me. Not only did they give it to me, but called their spouses at work to get his or her social security number since I needed to pull a joint credit report About two out of three customers gave me a hard time. This is where belief comes in. I promised them that they were in no danger, their credit scores would not go down and their identities were safe. When I realized that too many credit hits would bring down a customer’s credit scores, I stopped promising that. I would estimate a safe time to pull their credit scores and schedule them for a call back at that time. You would not believe the amount of crap I had to live through when I was caught doing it. The Regional or district manager who caught me backing out on an application would lecture me mercilessly. My job was to get the application and not to worry about the state of the customer’s credit. So when I got the occasional person who was just not going to give me his social security number, I made it a point to argue with them when the brass was listening. It made me look good.
I was very careful with personal information. I would shred my notes and make sure that my copies of the applications were put safely away where nobody could get them. I was the only one. Everybody else just put their notes in the trash and old applications and notes were available for anybody to rifle through and pull out and use. These notes not only included the social security number but birthdays and addresses. Everything you needed for full scale identity theft was in that office. It only recently occurred to me that there was an entire room full of filing cabinets which was never locked and anybody could go through and pull out whatever information they wanted.
That was what I did for Aames Home Loan for a forty hour six day week. Most of my applications were rejected for various reasons. The most common was bad credit. Unlike other companies, Aames was very careful of the credit scores of the loans they accepted. That meant that most of Aames’s customers could have gotten a better deal elsewhere So the beginning of my month would see about two dozen loans in my pipeline but on a really good month, only two or three would fund. Somehow that was my fault for finding the wrong customers. In Aames Home Loan, failure was always an underling’s fault.
Now that I have all the silliness out of my system, let’s take a serious look at the new trend in dorm rooms. The designer creations featured in the Time pictorial that I featured yesterday was by an outfit called American Campus Communities. From their website:
American Campus Communities is one of the nation’s largest developers, owners and managers of high-quality student housing communities. We led the industry to a new plateau in 2004 when we became the first publicly traded student housing REIT (NYSE: ACC). Since 1996, we’ve developed more than $1.5 billion in properties for our own account and our university clients, and we have acquired in excess of $2 billion in student housing assets. Also, we’ve become a national leader in third-party development and management of on-campus student housing, having been awarded the development of 46 on-campus projects (in addition to our 11 projects developed off campus). We have forged strong relationships through our on-campus developments: 11 of our college, university and system partners have called ACC back for 24 additional projects or phases after we completed their initial communities.
There we go folks; it’s a real estate scam. Universities get to increase their real estate values without having to manage the properties. Then they pass on the added expenses with their tuitions. University regents live in a make-believe world where they can raise tuition without limit. Rather than create an atmosphere where all students are equal, colleges are now enforcing the capitalist class system where wealthy students will be isolated from their less wealthy fellow students. This will certainly help to assure that what happened in the Sixties will never happen again. Different classes of people will never mix. The upper class kids will never be exposed to poverty, and never see that there is anything wrong in our society. So there is one class of students living in dorms with their own 7-11s and private gyms . Then there is another class of students who have to go to the food pantry to survive.
As above, so below, folks. This is a reflection of America today. As more and more Americans lose their homes and jobs, more and more Americans are eating from food pantries. At the same time, more and more Americans are living in luxury. So which America does the media focus on? Time Magazine does a a puff piece on American Campus Communities and present this as if all college students are living that lifestyle.
What amazes me is that people are actually going to believe this. They have their heads so far up their butts that they are going to start kvetching about how easy college kids have it these days. Of course they are going to ignore the kids who are eating out of food pantries. People have a tendency to see what they want to see. So while the world looks through its rose colored glasses, corporate America is busily stealing everything that’s not nailed down and returning with crowbars.
I think the next paragraph from their website brings a greater understanding of this idiocy:
Today’s sophisticated student consumers demand more and expect the modern conveniences they grew up with. Private bedrooms, private baths, Internet connectivity, fully equipped kitchens, spacious living areas and resort-style amenities are seen as necessities – and universities are catching on. They now know that to recruit and retain students, they must offer modern housing options that support their academic mission. With college enrollment at an all-time high, universities are turning to private developers to meet this rising demand for amenity-rich student housing both on and off campus.
Show of hands here. How many of us have grown up in this sort of atmosphere? Internet connectivity is no big deal. There are homeless shelters with WiFi for the residents who managed to hang on to their laptops. I grew up with a fully equipped kitchen and I used it, too. Nobody in their right minds would have let my mother anywhere near a frying pan. Really folks, how many of us grew up with resort style amenities? Show of hands. Whatever happened to the good old fashioned cafeteria? I got my first two years of college mad money washing dishes.
Education has become class-driven. We are no longer training our young people to become the best they can be. We gave up the space race. We surrendered the war on poverty. Colleges are no longer places of learning. They have devolved into places where kids go to make contact with people of their own class. Is it any wonder the very people who screwed the pooch and caused a world wide stock market crash simply don’t see that they have done the slightest thing wrong?
Your Most Gracious Majesty,
It has surely come to your attention that once again, your North American Colonies caused another worldwide stock market crash. We realize this is the second time in eighty years that we have done this, and we are very embarrassed about it. We sincerely hope that it has not caused you any inconvenience. Our thanks to the Bank of England for lending us over 80 billion dollars to pull our economy out of a hole of our own digging. Please extend our kindest regards to your loyal subjects in the Bank of England. We would have been in a considerable amount of trouble without them.
As we are on the subject of embarrassing mistakes, we would like to make amends for a blunder we made about 230 years ago when we rebelled against His Majesty George III. In hindsight we understand this to have been a very bad idea. We were not capable of self rule in 1776, and we have failed to become competent in the last two and a third centuries. Perhaps we in the Colonies suffer from a form of cultural Attention Deficit Disorder. Maybe we suffer from massive brain damage due to our low air pollution standards. Whatever the reasons, we keep ruining things for the rest of the world.
It is not as if we deliberately keep destroying the world economy. We have the very best intentions. You see, our present leaders promised us prosperity. They told us an unregulated market would create a stronger economy. They promised us better paying jobs, the sun, the stars, and the pretty moon. They even told us an unregulated market would be best for the whole world. It seemed they were telling us the truth, until the Tech Bubble burst in 2000. Next came the mortgage meltdown, and now the stock market crash. We just can’t seem to do anything right.
Of course, one of the problems is the leaders we keep choosing. I am sure Your Majesty can tell us a few stories about Lyndon Johnson’s gallbladder and Richard Nixon’s drinking. I can just imagine how difficult it was for you to make small talk with poor Mr. Reagan. People with Alzheimer’s do ramble on so. Let us take this opportunity to apologize for young Mr. Bush. We do hope your roses have recovered from him landing his helicopter on them.
Looking at Europe, it seems like you have grown since the last great war. You have socialized medicine and and a minimum standard of living. Meanwhile the United States keeps falling back to 1929. Your World Court has guaranteed civil rights for gays, lesbians, and trans people, but American gays still fear for their lives in many parts of the country. Your subjects enjoy all these benefits, and yet you have the prosperity to save the failing American economy.
There is no doubt about it. We Americans are not capable of self rule. We should not even let ourselves out of our homes without a keeper. Your Most Gracious Majesty, we most humbly beg you to save us from ourselves and take us back as a crown colony. We are most terribly sorry about the misunderstanding in 1776. We will officially change its name from the Revolutionary War to the Failed Rebellion. We will posthumously try Ben Franklin, George Washington, James Madison, and Thomas Jefferson for treason and symbolically hang them in the Washington Mall, which will be renamed the Cornwallis Memorial Park. We will rename Washington, DC “Arnold” after Benedict Arnold, and place a statue of him on the White House Lawn. The White House will be renamed the Lord Governor’s Residence. We will even pay for the tea we so rudely dropped into Boston Harbor.
Please take us back. We’re sorry. We’ll be good. We’ll never do it again.
The American Colonists
The Libertarian appeal is that it is based on fairy stories. It is a direct appeal to the propaganda we were exposed to as children. We were raised on stories about the American Revolution and the brave heroes that established American freedoms. Libertarians deliberately confuse human freedom with corporate freedom. They exist to prevent laws that will sacrifice corporate profits in favor of human rights. Eliminating clean air laws is good for the corporations, but most of the kids in Richmond, California suffer from asthma due to air pollution from the oil refineries. Are these kids free? Eliminating school taxes may increase corporate profits, but it raises a generation who never heard of the Holocaust. Is ignorance freedom? Outsourcing may increase corporate dividends, but it leaves the black market as the sole means of survival for many poor people. Are these people free?
Libertarians exist as a fifth column in American society. Fascist movements can come out of the left as easily as out of the right. Mussolini’s Corporationism was a left wing movement back in the day, while Hitler’s Nazis were a right wing movement away from socialism. Libertarians have spread across the political spectrum, and act as a divisive force in American politics. Libertarians on both sides of the spectrum constantly confuse individual liberty with corporate rights. Laws that limit corporate crime do not threaten your freedom. Yet Libertarians will tell you that they do. Laws that watch online transactions only prevent corporations from laundering dirty money. Yet Libertarians would have those laws appealed so that corporations can steal more easily.
Libertarians constantly identify with the employers rather than with the employees. They resist unions, work place safety regulations, and the minimum wage with the same fervor as a Christianoid keeping Harry Potter out of the school library. Libertarians jump up and down and hold their breaths over laws that limit hate speech, but they resist any attempt to make Fox News and CNN accountable for their lies. Back in the 1920s, William Randolph Hearst instituted a huge lie campaign to outlaw hemp. Thanks to deregulation as advocated by the Libertarians, corporations can once again lie and get away with it.
Another part of the Libertarian appeal is that they promise to bring us back to a simpler time. Karl Hess painted a picture of a simpler America that never existed. It was an America that never needed foreign trade. It was a magical land where there were no class distinctions because the Free Market treated everybody the same. According to Hess, all America needed to do was get rid of those pesky federal regulations, and the economy would take care of itself. The Blue Meanies would run away and all would be right in Pepperland.
Welcome to reality. Some of you may be reading this from a library, because you can no longer afford an Internet connection. More of you may be reading this in the library because you no longer have a home in which to install an Internet connection. Some of you may be waiting for the foreclosure notice to come in the mail or the sheriff to come to the door. You have watched your retirement accounts disappear and waved goodbye to your jobs as they flew away to the mysterious east. We can all thank the Free Market and Federal deregulation for the loss of our homes and our jobs.
Stop and think. Banks from Socialist Europe are coming in to save our economy. The Euro is now holding up the dollar. Europe enforces its anti-monopoly laws and has stricter financial regulations than the United States. Libertarians claim that such regulations should have restrained trade and choked the European economy. Europe has strong unions. Libertarians claim that unions choke commerce through red tape and inefficiency. Europe has national health. Libertarians claim that should have killed investment through over-taxation. Yet Europe bailed us out to the tune of half a trillion dollars. Banks in Socialist Europe had the capital to save us from our free market economy.
Libertarian philosophy brought us into this mess. We have ignored our own best interests and listened to free market fairy tales. We have gained nothing but pain from deregulating the economy. We have gained nothing from the lowering corporate taxes. We have been so hoodwinked into thinking that deregulation is our friend, that we have been cheering on the corporations as they ripped us off. It is time to ignore Libertarian madness. If we don’t wise up, our children and grandchildren are going to face the exact same disasters we are facing today. What’s worse is that these are the same disasters our grandparents faced in 1929. How many times are we going to fall for the same lies before we wake up?
Alright, I was wrong. Hillary Clinton will not be the next POTUS. I guess the memory of her husband’s misAdministration is too vivid in the national memory for a Clinton rerun. Maybe the American people are regaining the brains they lost during the Reagan campaign. They are not voting for the wife of the crook who signed NAFTA into existence. Maybe the people who just lost their homes remember how Bill Clinton destroyed the social safety net . I most certainly remember that Bill Clinton signed the Financial Reform Act of 1998, which was a major factor in the stock market crash of 2000 and the mortgage meltdown of last year. Whatever the reason, the wife of the crook who pulled the great National Health boondoggle will not be president.
So now we are going to have Barack Obama as our next POTUS. I know that he is going to be the POTUS because McCain’s divorce has been all over FOX McNews and CNN. If McCain was supposed to be POTUS, his divorce would be sat on like they sat on Poppa-Doc Bush’s connection with the Moonies or Baby-Doc Bush’s coke habit. The morally hypocritical American voter would never vote for a divorced president. Look at how the Democrats have been whoring themselves to the religious right. So we are going to have a Black candidate for POTUS and his slogan is “Dare to Hope”. Okay, what is it that we can dare to hope for?
Presidential Administrations follow a certain pattern. The Republicans come into office and rape and ruin the economy and then the Democrats come in and are forced to make some very unpopular decisions in order to repair the economy. Sometimes these are long term decisions. For instance, Jimmy Carter ascended to the Oval Office after 6 years of Nixon and two of Ford. The economy was being strangled from the results of the Vietnam War and the job market was being choked by returning vets. Carter had to raise the interest rates to slow inflation, raise taxes to restore the treasury, and give tax breaks and special low interest business loans to encourage new industry and new jobs. Four years later, the Reagan team took over and took credit for all of Jimmy Carter’s unpopular work.
Barack Obama is going to take over the Oval Office at the end of the Bush misAdministration. Need I say more? Bush has led the crookedest administration since U.S. Grant. Obama will take charge of a treasury that has been utterly raped through corporate welfare, faith based initiatives, irrational taxation, and the Iraq war. The treasury has been so badly depleted that the U.S government has been forced to sell our interstate highways and bridges to multinationals just to make payroll. Oil consumption has passed critical mass years ago. Obama’s energy policy made perfect sense 20 years ago, but today it’s too little too late. Since our GNP is held together entirely by oil production, Obama is looking forward to massive inflation as the dollar devalues. Only an idiot would want to be president after Bush.
Jesus Christ and all Twelve Apostles could not repair the mess that Bush will leave behind. It may appear that Obama can walk on water, but the truth is that he is only another politician. I do not expect him to do what needs to be done to clean up the mess. I do not expect Obama to stand up to the multinationals that have sucked the wealth out of this nation. I do not expect Obama to stop corporate welfare or to even force corporations to pay their fair share of taxes. The president does not possess a magic wand to make there be more oil. Oil prices will continue to rise as extraction and refinement become more and more difficult. As oil production drops, so will the value of the dollar. Since we cannot expect big business to return industry to American soil, the economy will go totally to hell.
So while Obama tries to repair the damage, he is going to have a Greek Chorus of Republicans telling us how things were better under Bush. Obama gets to take the blame for eight years of corporate welfare and subsidizing Christianoid megachurches. He will take the blame for the coming oil shortage, even though there is enough blame for that to go all the way back to the FDR Administration. The U.S. will undoubtedly attack Iran in order to maintain the dollar, and Obama will get the blame for that as well.
Then come 2012, and the Republicans will strut around like peacocks, telling us what a hero G.W Bush was. They will tell us that we should never have elected a Democrat. Bush will have done all the damage, but Obama will get all the blame.