It’s Raining Soup!
Twenty eight years of steady neocon rule have placed this country right into the sewer. It wasn’t just Bush. It was Bush’s dad, the Reagan Administration and Bill Clinton. Now we have Barack Obama promising change and giving us the Son of the Clinton Administration. The same people who caused this economic disaster are back and making the same mistakes. We have no infrastructure left. Our manufacturing is overseas. Our GNP, which supports our currency, is entirely through oil production and refining.
While America has its collective attention riveted on Ponzi scams and other symptoms of a capitalist economy, the Obama administration is getting away with an even bigger scam. I am talking about the bailout. The most aggravating thing about it is that the criminals from the Clinton Administration who caused this mess are back with Barack Obama. We are only now coming into the full extent of the damage that Clinton and his Whitewater cohorts did to the economy. We have not even begun to feel the damage that Bush caused to the economy. Not to worry, Bush’s disasters are just around the corner.
The Clinton Years
Make no mistake about it, Bill Clinton was a neocon. His rise to superstardom was very much like Barack Obama’s. After eight years of Reagan and four of Papa Doc Bush, America needed a change. Twelve years of tax breaks and deregulation had already sucked the nation dry. In comes Clinton as the Democrat’s “great white broom” that was going to sweep away the evils of the
Republicans. Instead, Clinton followed the neocon agenda. He pushed NAFTA through Congress,and joined with Newt Gingrich to destroy the social safety net. Like Reagan and Bush, Clinton cut taxes for the rich and continued with the rash of deregulation which began in the Reagan years. This created an interesting challenge for Bill Clinton. He had to create the illusion that his policies were working without threatening corporate profits.
Along came Mrs. Geithner’s darling baby boy, Timothy, with the perfect plan. Take all of the money that should have been spent on health care, rent subsidy and education and pour it into the Internet. Pour enough money into the private sector and it would look as if the economy is healthy. While American jobs were being sent overseas and American citizens were forced into poverty and homelessness, Clinton was pouring billions of dollars into the computer industry. Like everything else that has happened in the financial industry these last twenty years, the money was poured without any regard to where it was splashing. For every piece of genuine research that was financed, there were four Internet start-ups which were not producing anything of value.
Eventually money accumulated to the point where it was spilling out of the computer industry and into other industries. All the shiny new Internet millionaires needed credit cards, right? Otherwise they would not be able to buy skateboards and groceries. Landlords had to raise the rents to account for the new prosperity and high interest mortgages had to be sold. New businesses had to be opened to support the new tech industries. Office equipment had to be sold to the new start up companies. This caused a temporary rise in the employment rate. Geithner’s house of cards was supported by the stock market, which was buying and selling junk Internet stocks as if they were actually worth something.
In the meantime, e-commerce companies like Amazon were selling their goods at a loss and making up the loss through the stock market. This forced traditional “bricks and mortar” businesses into bankruptcy. Bill Clinton signed the Financial Reform Act into law. In other words, Clinton legalized theft. Enron happened and the biggest corporate criminal of them all later became President. I think the most amazing thing that happened during the Internet bubble was AOL taking over Time Warner. AOL was an Internet company like any other, and they managed to buy one of the largest media giants with Internet money. That’s like buying a kingdom with faerie gold. Speaking of faerie gold, that was the Clinton surplus. All the extra money that was supposed to be in the treasury was actually Internet stock. It was faerie gold that vanished after the crash of 2000.
The crash happened when people woke up and realized that most of the Internet start-ups were not producing anything of value. The stock market crashed. The tech industry went belly up. The major corporations bought up everything worth buying and outsourced the work. Blend this in with the sub-prime mortgage boondoggle, financial deregulation and the death of the social safety net and you have the mess we are in today.
The Jig Was Up!
Fast forward to the summer of 2008. The mortgage industry finally melted down. The stock market crashed like it was 1929. European banks were ready to take over American institutions which had been badly run for decades. American financiers were looking at the end of their gravy train. The European banks are strict and conservative. There would be no more buying and selling of inflated stocks, no more selling of bad mortgages, and no more Ponzi scams. American financiers were panicking. The Europeans would impose law and order. What was Wall St. going to do?
Once again it was Timothy Geithner into the breach. He got in front of Baby Doc Bush and proposed a 75 billion dollar bail-out. The idea behind the bailout is exactly the same idea as the Internet bubble. If you pour enough money into the private sector it will look as if the economy is healthy. Baby Doc Bush and his tame Congress poured 75 billion dollars down the rat hole and the stock market is still in the toilet.
The Son of the Clinton Administration
Along comes President Barack Obama who promised us change and commences to give us a rerun of Clinton. Obama not only supported the first bailout but is now championing another bailout. Guess what? The second bailout is not going to work any better than the first one did. Still, Obama inherited Baby Doc Bush’s trained Congress, so this bailout is going through anyway.
Despite all the libertarian delusions that are bandied about the Web, America does not exist in its own private little capitalist bubble and never did. The United States has been a part of the world economy since Thomas Jefferson made paying the Revolutionary War debt a priority. Most of the mortgage banks that U.S banks borrowed from were European conglomerates. The Europeans pulled out their money when they discovered how many US mortgages were defaulting. That left a monster hole in American finances. That hole got bigger after Europe called in their debts and the U.S mortgage companies had to pay off all the mortgages sold. Thus billions of bailout dollars went to satisfy the European debt, which is still not paid off. Very little of this money is going to stay in the U.S
It’s not as if we really have that much money. Between Clinton and his junk stocks and Bush’s uncontrolled spending, there is not that much money left. Baby Doc cut so many taxes for the rich that more money is flying out of the Treasury than is coming in. The Bush Administration sold off federal investments and government-owned property to pay its debts. Baby Doc Bush invaded Iraq and Afghanistan with money borrowed from the Chinese and the Saudi Arabians. That’s right, folks, we owe the people who control our manufacturing and oil production big time and who’s idea was outsourcing all our factory production to China? I’ll give you a hint. He’s Barack Obama’s Secretary of the Treasury.
The last time the American public took such a fall, we had the labor movement there to make sure we got a new deal. Who do we have looking after our interests today? If we are going to have the changes we need to restore our economy, we need to organize. We cannot sit back and expect a corporately-chosen President to do it for us. We need to rebuild our infrastructure, reimpose reasonable limits on our financial institutions and bring our jobs back home where they belong. If Obama won’t do it, we’ll just have to do it despite him.
Every time Obama announces a new team member, I feel like I am reading the Onion. My hand flies to my forehead, creating a hollow thumping noise and a big purple spot on my forehead. I face-palm so much that I’m scaring my wife. I knew we were in trouble when Obama selected Rahm Emmanuel to be his chief of staff. Most of the other names proposed for cabinet posts are as bad as, or worse than, Emmanuel. Some of the contenders should not be washing White House toilets. Let’s take a look at some of Obama’s first draft picks.
Chief of Staff
A long time political consultant and lobbyist, Emanuel was known as Clinton’s hatchet man. Emanuel worked tirelessly to force Congress to accept NAFTA. Emanuel was also the power behind the Welfare Reform Act, which sent thousands of displaced workers into homelessness. Emanuel spent so much time in Newt Gingrich’s office during the Welfare Reform hearings that people were wondering who he worked for, Clinton or Gingrich.
National Security Advisor
Another veteran of Bill Clinton’s disastrous eight years in the White House, Rice is a name that I cannot hear without feeling my skin crawl. Unlike Condi, who was a full time professor, Susan is a former political consultant and lobbyist,a position she holds in common with most of Bill Clinton’s staff. Rice is African American, yet she is a stout opponent of affirmative action. I cannot see her sympathizing with oppressed Arabs. In fact, as Clinton’s Assistant Secretary of State, Rice was behind many of Clinton’s blunders that led to the death and misery in Somalia.
Head of Homeland Security
In keeping with the neocon scapegoating of undocumented workers, Arizona’s Governor Janet Napolitano is up for Homeland Security Czar. Napolitano has a long history of cooperating with Bush by blaming everything on the Mexicans. My question is: if Obama represents change, why the hell hasn’t he eliminated Homeland Security-Bush’s Brownshirts?
Head of CIA
John Brennan is responsible for the torture of political prisoners in both Gitmo and Iraq. Why doesn’t Obama just bring Hermann Goering back to life and make him the head of the CIA? John Brennan is a war criminal who belongs in jail. Obama’s choice of Brennan is proof that Obama is only going to change the political rhetoric while maintaining the same neoconservative policies supported by Bill Clinton and George W. Bush.
Secretary of State
No matter how you slice it, this is a blatant conflict of interest. Senator Clinton was the original counsel for Wal-Mart and a long term member of of Wal-Mart’s board of directors. Wal-Mart made a name for itself by selling under priced Chinese imports to drive the competition out of business. I cannot believe that Obama would put the Senator from Wal-Mart in a position where she could do even more favors for Wal-Mart and China. Putting Clinton in charge of Health Education and Welfare is like putting a fox in charge of a hen house. Her husband turned Medicaid into welfare for the HMOs. Bill Clinton did more damage to public education than both Bushes and Reagan put together, and Bill Clinton joined with Newt Gingrich to destroy the social safety net. I can only imagine the damage his wife could do as head of HEW.
Alternate Choice for Secretary of State
Lugar is living proof that good people can be found amongst the Republicans as well as the Democrats, and are equally as rare. Despite supporting corporate welfare, Lugar has worked hard to end nuclear proliferation. This is an interest he shares with Obama. Making Lugar Secretary of State will put a peacemaker in the cabinet while sparing the American population from still another “fiscal conservative”. It is unlikely that Lugar will get the post. Lockheed would not tolerate him, and Lugar doesn’t want the job.
For those of you who actually expected change in the national financial picture, your hopes have been dashed to the rocks with the selection of Timothy Geithner to the secretary of the Treasury. Geithner prevented the Europeans from taking over American financial institutions by masterminding the bail-out. Geithner also convinced Congress to bail-out AIG, despite AIG’s blatantly criminal actions.
In selecting this war criminal for Secretary of Defense, Obama killed what little credibility he had with me. Robert Gates should be wearing international orange and scrubbing out prison toilets. He should not remain in the position he so badly mishandled for Bush.
Those of you who were hoping that the Obama Administration would see a change in the federal marijuana policy are in for a big disappointment. Not only is Chief of Staff Rahm Emmanuel a big proponent of the drug war, but attorney general-to-be Eric Holder is also a big hawk when it comes to the war on drugs. So that’s another Obama myth up in smoke. Holder is such a loyal Clinton insider that his wife is Mrs. Emmanuel’s obstetrician. Eric Holder was also assistant to Janet Reno. We can depend on a continuation of the neocon Justice department. By the way, Holder was one of the Clinton team who helped Enron get away with murder
Well that’s it, folks, Obama’s Legion of Doom. This is the team that will be leading us further down the road to hell as more people become homeless and more billionaires enjoy even more corporate profits. Meanwhile the nation will continue to fall apart around our ears. I have not named all the cabinet posts for lack of time. I will look at the rest of them in later posts. We can only hope that the Senate will turn down some of these neocon criminals. Alas, hope has become a bad word around me. Every time somebody says hope, I face-palm.