Saturday, November 28, 2009

Disgruntled in Obamaland




All is not well in Obamaland. Nevermind the tea-baggers, FOX News and the continuing sad comedy that is the GOP, there is dissatisfaction growing in the base. Just over a year ago, it seemed that Obama and the forces he had marshalled were on top of the world. There was energy. There was hope. There was relief that the last 8 years had finally come to and end. But today, for many who worked hardest towards that goal, there's a growing apathy. As the base watches a watered-down health care bill wind its way slowly through Congress; as they watch many of the architects of the current financial crisis give away billions to bankers; as they watch a rise in unemployment; as they watch a President seemingly intent on continuing an unpopular war in Afghanistan, there is a feeling of discontent. There is still hope. Those who voted for this president are still happy with the ballot they cast. Many of these same people however, just aren't inspired. Of course, it's only been a year in--and most are waiting to see what comes next.

For many, Robert Scheer's question hits home: "Who Are You and What Have You Done With the Community Organizer We Elected President?"

Read more after the jump.



Who Are You and What Have You Done With the Community Organizer We Elected President?

Posted on Nov 18, 2009

By Robert Scheer

What’s up with Barack Obama? The candidate for change once promised to take on the powerful banking interests but is now doing their bidding. Finally, a leading Democrat, in this case Senate Banking Committee Chairman Chris Dodd, has a good idea for monitoring the Wall Street fat cats who all but destroyed the American economy, and the Obama administration condemns it.

Dodd wants to take supervisory power from the Federal Reserve, which is controlled by the banks it pretends to monitor, and put it in the hands of a new independent agency. That makes sense given the Fed’s abject failure to properly monitor the financial sector over the past decade as that industry got drunk on greed. As Dodd’s spokeswoman Kirstin Brost put it: “The Federal Reserve flat out failed at supervising the largest, most complex firms.” But White House economic adviser Austan Goolsbee frets that taking power from the Fed would cause financial industry “nervousness.” Isn’t that the whole point of government regulation—to make the bandits look over their shoulders before they launch their next destructive scam?

Not so in the view of Deputy Treasury Secretary Neal Wolin, who blithely insists that the Fed “is the best agency equipped for the task of supervising the largest, most complex firms,” despite the mountain of evidence to the contrary. There is some irony in the fact that the largest of those complex firms got to be “too big to fail” because of the radical deregulatory legislation that Wolin drafted during his previous incarnation as the Treasury Department’s general counsel in the Clinton administration. Wolin is now deputy to Timothy Geithner, who as head of the New York Fed in the five years preceding the banking meltdown looked the other way as the disaster began to unfold.

Why is Barack Obama allowing these retreads from the Clinton era who went on to great riches on Wall Street to set economic policy for his administration?

Read more here.

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