Search Results for "geithner"

9th 2011
Tips for toads: no one votes for smartypants

Posted under American history & bad language & class & Gender & race & weirdness

Both the enemies of Republican presidential candidates and the enemies of Democratic presidential candidates are indulging in yet another predictable, pointless food fight about intelligence:  who haz it?  Who don’t?  And why do we care about college transcripts from 40 years ago?

First of all, let me be among the first to confess that I was a smug smartypants back in 1999-2000 who just couldn’t believe that anyone with a C-average had the chutzpah to run for President of the United States in the first place, let alone that anyone else would vote for him.  Was my face red–for the next eight years!  Much to my surprise, I discovered that in the end, the smug disapproval of college professors didn’t amount to a hill of beans when it comes to political opinion in this country.  My bad!

Well, liberals as well as some conservatives are getting in on the action this time around.  First, Tenured Radical alerted me to the leaked Texas A&M transcripts of Texas Governor Rick Perry.  I completely agree with her that college grades are a foolish thing to prattle on about, especially considering that most Americans haven’t gone to college at all.  (It’s almost as clueless and pointless as noting that a candidate used the wrong fork for the salad course, or that he doesn’t know how to tie his own bow ties.  Maybe so, but the complainer looks and sounds like an insufferable snob.)  Then I read an article by Bret Stephens that suggested that President Obama is perhaps kind of dim because he keeps insisting that his policies are working when plainly they haven’t.  I don’t agree with the author that Obama is “stupid,” but I think it’s fair to wonder what’s up with a presidency whose main policy objective seems to be full employment only for Tim Geithner and friends.  Continue Reading »


10th 2010
Shockholm Syndrome

Posted under American history & unhappy endings & wankers

Robert Kuttner writes at The American Prospect:

It was nothing short of astonishing to see Obama, at his surprise press conference Tuesday, with harsher words for members of his own party than for Republicans. It is the Republicans, after all, who have been blocking his efforts, wall-to-wall, while liberal Democrats have been his staunchest if often exasperated supporters.

Also rather surprising was Obama’s misreading of his own incrementalist beliefs into the history of Social Security and Medicare. It’s factually incorrect, contrary to the president’s assertions, that Social Security began as help for “widows and orphans.” The basic provisions of Social Security, as a retirement benefit for workers, was right in the original 1935 legislation. The first retiree began collecting benefits in 1939, a necessary delay while the program accumulated funds. And Medicare, despite Obama’s misunderstanding of its history, was legislated as a full-blown program of health insurance for the elderly in 1964.

Seriously?  Which sentient adults are really shocked, shocked” that Barack Obama has more contempt for the Left than the Right?  Surely not anyone who paid attention to his 2007-08 campaign or anyone who’s picked up a newspaper pretty much any day since his inauguration.  Praising Ronald Reagan as “transformative” during the 2008 primaries?  Check.  Winning all of the Red State caucuses while losing every closed primary in Rust Belt/Big Labor/Big Dem states, even after “the math” said Hillary Clinton couldn’t win the nomination?  Check.  Larry Summers and Timmy Geithner still have jobs in the Obama administration*, and tens of millions of worthy Americans don’t have jobs at all?  Checkaroonie!  Continuations of George W. Bush’s wars in Afghanistan, on “terror,” and on the Fourth Amendment?  Check, check, and check.  Continuations of Don’t Ask/Don’t Tell, the 2001 Bush tax cuts for bazillionaires, and the for-profit health “insurance” industry?  Checkcheckcheck.  Continue Reading »


3rd 2010
Money, money, money: it’s a rich man’s world.

Posted under American history & local news & unhappy endings & wankers

“Welcome to the Recovery!,” shouts Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner.  (Yeah–you’re welcome to it, pal.)  Running a ponderous description of everything you think you’ve been doing in the New York Times–yeah, that’ll do it.  That’ll make of those jobless folks in the Rust Belt feel better and put money in the pocketbooks of all of those people whose unemployment benefits have run out nationwide.  Former Clinton Administration Labor Secretary Robert B. Reich has a better handle on, yes, feeling your pain, and acknowledging the gap between Wall Street profits and Main Street realities.

Meanwhile–the Unelected Senator from St. Alban’s Locust Valley Wall Street Colorado Michael Bennet has loaned his struggling primary campaign $300,000!  Yes, friends:  all of that business acumen learned at the feet of right-wing union-busting billionaire Phil Anschutz has led him to run the most expensive U.S. Senate campaign in Colorado history–and all he has to show for it is a 20-point reversal in the polls in six weeks.  I’ve said it before, and you know I’ll say it again:  what a tool.

That Bennet had to give himself cash a week before ballots are counted means his campaign has burned through almost $5.8 million. That figure exceeds all previous spending records in Colorado Senate primaries.

In July alone, the campaign spent $1 million.

How does this compare with what his primary opponent, “career politician” Andrew Romanoff, has spent so far?  Continue Reading »


27th 2010
Why has The One fallen short?

Posted under American history & book reviews & unhappy endings

Frank Rich (of all people) has an interesting review of Jonathan Alter’s The Promise:  President Obama, Year One (of all books!) in the New York Review of Books called “Why Has He Fallen Short?”  Rich has penned some astonishingly stupid op-eds over the past few years and has been a cheerleader for Barack Obama from the start.  Although he’s still clearly rooting for Obama, Rich’s read of Alter’s book offers some interesting insights into why Obama’s approval ratings tanked as of last summer, and why they’re now below his disapproval ratings.

Short answer:  it’s Wall Street, babies!  (But you can’t say I didn’t warn you!)  Continue Reading »


24th 2009
Up from Jacksonianism?

Posted under American history & Gender & GLBTQ & race

Jackson 1857

Portrait of Andrew Jackson by Thomas Sully (1857)

Love him or hate him, you have to admit that Michael Lind is one of the most interesting political writers around.  Of course, this may be my opinion because he has a good command of the last 200 years of American history and he isn’t afraid to use it in making his political arguments.  I’ve been a fan of his work ever since Up From Conservativism (1996), in which he argued that the Republican party’s marriage of convenience between Wall Street bankers and right-wing cultural warriors would guarantee its marginalization and its ultimate defeat. 

This is why Dems would do well to listen to what Lind has to say in “Can Populism Be Liberal?” in which he wonders, “[i]s a Jackson revival under way? . . Jacksonian populism spells producerism. For generations, Jacksonian populists have believed that the hardworking majority of small producers is threatened from above and below by two classes of drones: unproductive capitalists and unproductive paupers.”  He notes further that “[r]eform movements have succeeded in the United States only when their programs resonated with populist and producerist values. Lincoln’s antislavery Republicans succeeded where the earlier Whigs had failed because the Republicans persuaded Jacksonian farmers that snobbish, parasitic Southern Democratic slave owners were a greater threat to white farmers and white workers in the Midwest than rich Republican bankers and industrialists in the Northeast.”  Are any Democrats paying attention, in these years of economic uncertainty, rising populist anger, and anti-incumbency in the electorate?

Here, one might think, would be an opening for the center-left. And yet the Obama Democrats, unlike the Roosevelt Democrats, cannot take advantage of the popular backlash against Wall Street. Why?

One reason is that the attempt of the “New Democrats” like Clinton, Al Gore and Obama to win Wall Street campaign donations has been all too successful. As Clinton’s Treasury secretary, Robert Rubin helped complete the conversion of the Democrats from a party of unions and populists into a party of financial elites and college-educated professionals. Subsequently Obama raised more money from Wall Street than his Democratic primary rivals and John McCain. On becoming president, he turned over economic policymaking to Rubin’s protégé Larry Summers and others like Timothy Geithner from the Wall Street Democratic network.

The financial industry is now to the Obama Democrats what the AFL-CIO was to the Roosevelt-to-Johnson Democrats. Continue Reading »


25th 2009
Letters to the Editor of Dartmouth Alumni Magazine

Posted under American history & fluff & wankers


Baker Library, Dartmouth College

Comedy gold, from the May/June 2009 issue of Dartmouth Alumni Magazine (what can I say?  I get a lot of magazines.)  Sorry–no linkie:

A Taxing Situation

I am disappointed by the lack of outrage at the nomination and subsequent confirmation of Timothy Geithner ’83 as the country’s new Secretary of the Treasury ["Big Picture," Mar/Apr].  Continue Reading »


4th 2009
Pay no attention to the $hitpile behind that curtain!

Posted under American history & class & jobs & wankers

wizardcurtainHere’s a great 30 minute seminar from Bill Moyers’ Journal last week with Savings and Loan crisis expert William Black on Big $hitpile and the Wall Street Banksters inside and outside the Obama administration who are hoping we all just clap louder so that tinkerbell our economy doesn’t die. There are three YouTube clips here–you will want to hear Black’s comments as to why General Motors (and its unionized workers) have to eat their previously negotiated contracts, but investment banks on welfare don’t:

Continue Reading »


21st 2009
Weekend Funnies

Posted under American history & fluff & technoskepticism

totusThis is hillarious:  Barack Obama’s Teleprompter has a blog, and you’d better believe that TOTUS has a lot to say (via Corrente.)  For example, TOTUS answers readers’ questions:

Teleprompter, have you ever thought about helping Secretary Geithner, or do you work for just one person?

No, I am a one-man machine. And while I’m beginning to have some self-doubt about the way the Big O and I are working, do you really think I could make a lick of difference with Timmah? What Tim Terrific (the Big Guy’s nickname for him) needs is a time machine with “way back” capabilities, which would allow the rest of us to direct him on career paths that we now realize he has the talents for, like, teaching macramé at a small Midwestern women’s college or perhaps working as a salesman at a lemonade stand managed by a seven-year-old.

In other words, no piece of equipment in existence today could help this man.

And, TOTUS says that ” Vice President Biden is the smartest person in the Administration. Seriously.”

What of the unfortunate off-the-cuff remark about the Special Olympics on The Tonight Show the other night? Continue Reading »


20th 2009
Book recommendations for President Obama

Posted under American history & book reviews

johnsonandhimSusurro at Like a Whisper has tagged me with a meme to compile a list of books to give to President Obama.  He’s a bright guy who always has a book in his hand, and I imagine that he reads much more broadly than most people.  Herewith is my annotated bibliography of five titles, which I humbly submit to a candid world:

  1. Robert A. Caro’s The Years of Lyndon Johnson:  Master of the Senate (2002).  This is the third volume in Caro’s planned 4-volume definitive biography, and it covers his years in the U.S. Senate from 1953 through his fight for the 1960 Democratic nomination.  I think Obama should figure out what LBJ sprinkled on his Wheaties every morning–this Dem thinks we need a little more Lyndon Johnson and a little less Jimmy Carter right about now (except, reinstall the solar panels on the  White House, and keep the meetings while on the john to a minimum.)  Maybe the President can invite Caro over for a little seminar-style preview of volume 4.  (Are beagles hypoallergenic?  Just a thought…)
  2. Robert McNamara, In Retrospect:  The Tragedy and Lessons of Vietnam (1995).  Of course, there is such a thing as too much LBJ, and this book explains why Johnson is not remembered as the greatest liberal Democratic president in U.S. history despite his championing of the Civil Rights and Voting Rights Acts of 1964 and 1965 (respectively) and the War on Poverty.  McNamara’s book is extremely insightful and not too self-serving–too bad he was thirty years too late.  (Paging Tim Geithner!  Mr. Geithner!  History on line 1 for Mr. Geithner!  “Best and the brightest” my ass!)
  3. Michael Pollan, In Defense of Food:  An Eater’s Manifesto (2008).  Pollan has been tireless in his self-promotion and attempts to reach the ear of the President lately (some of which have been successful), but that doesn’t mean he isn’t right.  This manifesto argues against the fake science of “nutritionism,” which dominates our views of food and the processed food industry today (itself built on cheap oil and the mass production of low-cost, low-nutrition commodities), and in favor of a simple mantra:  “Eat food.  Not too much.  Mostly plants.”
  4. Mary P. Ryan, Mysteries of sex : tracing women and men through American history (2006) is a lively, intelligent, and provocative survey of the persistence of the gender line in America, from before European contact to the present day.  She grapples convincingly with the disturbing lack of change over time we see when it comes to the history of gender and sexuality. 
  5. Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women (1868).  His little girls won’t be young enough to read to for very much longer, and this is a good book to read out loud.  At once impossibly quaint (pickled limes?) and shockingly recognizable, the March girls’ travails while their father served during the Civil War still resonate today, especially with eager and imaginative readers who identify with Jo.  Besides, it’s a great little seminar in the material culture of middle-class mid-nineteenth century domesticity.  (Has anyone ever figured out why those pickled limes were so desirable to Amy and her school chums?)

So, having completed my task, I now tag Larry Cebula at Northwest History, Clio Blustocking, and Ann Bartow at Feminist Law Profs.  What books would you pile up on Barack Obama’s bedside table?  And commenters:  which books you would suggest?


10th 2009
Change you can smell! Or, same old $h!t, different day

Posted under American history & unhappy endings & wankers



Via Corrente, the verdict on tax cheat Tim Geithner’s new plan to save the his universe:

I was going to dub the new financial plan TANF 2 — temporary assistance to needy financial institutions, without, you know, any of the means-testing or work requirements involved when poor people get help.

But Jamie Galbraith (private communication) has trumped me; he says it’s the Bad Assets Relief Fund.

Yes, we’ve gone from bad, to worse, to BARF.  Enjoy, darlings!  Sometimes I feel like I’ll never be done mucking out this darned stall–but I can’t expect the poor, dear animals who $h!t the place up to clean it up now, can I?

I guess the only worse investment than the BARF plan is, well, paying $36 billion dollars for each Republican vote for the “Stimulus Bill” right?  As Lambert at Corrente would say:  “And we get…?”

UPDATED, later this afternoon:  Wall Street no likee, either:  “Stocks Plunge as New Bailout Disappoints.”  Some days there’s just no pleasing people.  Better luck tomorrow, Timmy!

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