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Ted Rall who always saw through Obama  Cartoon by Ted Rall, Officer Obama is pulling the curtain with a revealing title

Ted Rall: Obama doesn’t talk like Bush; he just acts like him

He was one of those who

During the 2008 campaign Obama’s critics accused him of saying nothing, albeit beautifully.

(I missed the beauty, sorry). But now

Now that we’ve gotten to know him a bit, it’s time to refine that assessment: He’s just a weasel. An eloquent weasel. But a weasel who says the right things while doing the opposite.

And sadly, he has to join Glenn Greenwald in quoting National Review’s Rich Lowry – who, gives the universal code to understanding Obama:

“Barack Obama has perfected a three-step maneuver that could never even be attempted by a politician lacking his rhetorical skill or cool cynicism. First: Denounce your presidential predecessor for a given policy, energizing your party’s base and capitalizing on his abiding unpopularity. Second: Pretend to have reversed that policy upon taking office with a symbolic act or high-profile statement. Third: Adopt a version of that same policy, knowing that it’s the only way to govern responsibly or believing that doing otherwise is too difficult.”

That last part about the reasons for adopting the same policy is a misread determined by Lowery’s political limitations.

The Bush positions are wrong. Obama doesn’t believe they are right – in fact, not unlike Bush, he believes nothing. Occasionally “doing otherwise might be too difficult” may be the case, but mostly, he needs to dance with those who brung him.

The following day, at a White House meeting, business executives implored Mr. Obama to get credit flowing again. “All right,” the president said, according to a transcript of the meeting. He’d have his people “talk to Jamie.”

And Rall applies the 3 step to this last Jr.jr action

This week’s example is Obama’s grandstanding over $165 million in bonuses paid to executives of AIG, which received billions in federal bailout money. He feigned outrage: “How do they justify this outrage to the taxpayers who are keeping the company afloat?” But his Treasury Department knew about the bonuses — which amount to roughly 55 cents per American — ages ago. He also knows there isn’t much the government can do legally to claw the money back.

See his Obanomics cartoon here

Trickle-Down Obamanomics

Indeed we know by now about “not acting from anger” and walking back from taxing the bonuses.

And in the end Rall even touches what I also felt makes Obama more dangerous than Bush:

Obama’s perfidy knows no limits. He’s already become more dangerous to democracy and basic human rights than George W. Bush. Unlike Bush, he has no political opposition. Cheney may nitpick, but most Republicans are happy to see Bush’s policies remain in place. Meanwhile, liberals remain loyal, silent and tacitly pro-torture.

Rall’s cartoon of their expectations

Or, as Riverdaughter put it

… the left seems paralyzed.  Those of us who would rally the troops are trying to keep our jobs.  Those on the left who sold out to Obamamania last year seem like bewildered children who discovered something nasty about their parents.  They just can’t believe it.  But it’s worse than that.  Obama has effectively neutralized the left with the left’s help.  His campaign attacked it from within and made it helpless.

I predict that it will come a point when the 3 step will became useless. By the time he’ll both talk and act like W, no one will be able to do anything anyway.

Suddenly, they are all focusing on it.

The Daily News is back to the cheerleader position, trying to make the most of the good Wall Street day yesterday

.pointing out that it was “Bam’s plan” that did it (someone at Daily News needs to read WSJ)

Newsday is as usual closer to reality, sticking with the AIG bonuses

and surprisingly New York Post joins in

At the other end of the spectrum than the Daily News, AM NY cancels the optimist by pointing out some bizarre signs of the times



Great commentary on the “hooray, Wall street approves”

“.Our press corps has discovered an important scoop: Rich people approve of using taxpayer money to help rich people.

In case you haven’t noticed, there’s a common thread throughout all of this coverage, which is that Geithner’s plan cannot be successful unless it wins the enthusiastic endorsement of the very rich people who drove the broader economy into the ground in the first place..

This too

rom the front page of this morning’s conservative Daily Mail newspaper comes a measure of where Geithner’s misguided economic might lead:

“Millions face ‘worst of both worlds’ as cost of living rises but rate for fixing pay and pensions falls to zero.”

Credit for the cartoon

Only yesterday (see update) I was mentioning Rasmussen’s +4 indicator (down from +30). Today, Zogby comes with the new numbers which tell us

Americans split on the president’s performance. He said the score factors out to “about 50-50.”

According to Boston Herald, Zogby attributes this to

“It’s not because of the gaffes, but a combination of high expectations and that things aren’t moving fast enough with the economy.”

To which they add the disastruous media appearances, where the teleprompter was left behind and the “gallows humor” brought along.

Here’s my theory.

Zogby is of course  right – the lack of economic change is a good part of the reason.

Some of the 50% who now disapprove may also know the definition of insanity – doing the same thing and expecting different results. A few of us noticed Obama is repeating the Bush mistakes that led to this crisis (crony capitalism – WSJ congratulates Obama for it today)

As for what Boston Herald calls

” president’s love of the limelight”

there’s nothing new here. let’s face it, Obama was never more modest, less overexposed during the campaign.

As I noted before, the media is just stopping the propping of the same “rock star” they created, so we get to see the punch drunk, Special Olympics snark that before was carefully hidden under “historical” and “you’re racist if you say it”

The gaffes were flowing before as well (57 states, bitter clingers etc). Now they are allowed on TV. Because the election doesn’t need manipulating at this point. As B0bot Taibbi finally writes

“They cemented and formalized a political trend that has been snowballing for decades: the gradual takeover of the government by a small class of connected insiders, who used money to control elections, buy influence and systematically weaken financial regulations.”

Once installed, the emperor is left naked

Bear Naked

Psst! Don’t look now, but some in the media discovered Obama is not a great speaker after all! Imagine my surprise to see the same paper that linked Obama to Reagan, calling him tongue- tied! Not to sure about the Carter comparison, but it’s good to see that the bestest teleprompter reader ever gets finally called on his lack of skills.

Some of the insight:

Obama seems incapable of balancing the need to be a national leader and his childish desire to retain his image as the uber cool dude he so clearly believes that he is.

Well, some of us noticed that since the shoulder brushing times. Apparently, many of the press knew it too, but only now can it be told

Obama has never run anything other than his presidential campaign. He doesn’t know the difference between governing and campaigning and he’s sticking with what he knows.

A little reality check here: Obama thinks he ran his campaign – gave it as “executive experience” to counteract Palin’s as governor and you bought it. It was Axelrod who ran his campaign, Obama merely …campaigned.

And here’s Michael Wolf

He’s cold; he’s prickly; he’s uncomfortable; he’s not funny; and he’s getting awfully tedious.

He thinks it’s all about him. That we want him for himself-that he doesn’t have to seduce, charm, surprise, show some skin.

And a touch of that sociopathic Jr we missed so

“The guy just doesn’t know what to say. He can’t connect. Emotions are here, he’s over there. He can’t get the words to match the situation.”

More on this disconnect in Bostonboomer’s post at the Confluence

Here’s my proposed explanation for Obama’s inappropriate laughter in the 60 Minutes interview. It comes from a powerful conflict. I think deep inside, Obama is very unsure of himself and very needy. More than anything in the world he wants to be loved and admired and looked up to. But no matter how much love and admiration he gets, it’s never enough to fill the hole inside him.

Which, is not really news for anyone who actually watched the campaign closely, the fawning press included

Obama is flat footed. His detachment means he seems unable to feel the anger of mainstream Americans. Obama and his people seemed utterly bemused as well when he condemned Pennsylvanians as bitter about the plunging economy and reliant on God and guns. Again, it took ages for him to acknowledge that his patronising analysis was insulting to voters.

And Tim Shipman gives away a few ot those things the press kept for themselves during the bestest campaign ever:

To some degree we have always known that Obama, while a great platform speaker, is not a great talker. He was a dreadful debater and more prone to be “on it” in one stump speech and utterly uninterested in another just hours later than any front line politician I have seen.

Also, from Wolf

Wolff stresses that it is the president’s sanctimonious self-regard that has shaped his inept message management.

And the most damning of all, from Politico who crowned Obama as Reagan, casting McCain as Carter in the election

“Of all the pitfalls Barack Obama might face in the presidency, here is one not many people predicted: He is struggling as a public communicator.”

Who would have thunk it that reading from the teleprompter didn’t constitute communication? And who knows, some day, they’ll even figure out that reading words other people wrote is not even eloquence: it’s just acting. Nah, they won’t get that far. It would mean unsettling the pedestal of that other great communicator that thy built and that will never happen.

But for now, the illusion that has been so carefully put together by the entire media, at home and abroad is starting to be taken apart….Too late of course for the stupid voter to be able to do anything about it. I have to wonder, which is the bigger fraud: Obama himself or the one the media perpetrated on the public?


Rassmusen’s polling of the extremes (strongly approve/disaprove)

The Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll for Sunday shows that 35% of the nation’s voters now Strongly Approve of the way that Barack Obama is performing his role as President. Thirty-one percent (31%) Strongly Disapprove giving Obama a Presidential Approval Index rating of +4(used to be +30 Innauguration Day)

There’s one man who cannot get unemployed in this economy  no matter how much he tries it , and that’s Bush’s first bailout architect and Obama’s tax cheating Secretary of Treasury. In spite of shoveling taxpayers money directly into the wallets of AIG executives, his job is secure. Or, rather, because of it.

According to Politico, Obama stated so in his 60 Minutes interview

And, yet again defending his Treasury Secretary, Obama said he wouldn’t accept Timothy Geithner’s resignation if it were offered.

Obama said jokingly that he’d respond: “Sorry Buddy, you’ve still got the job.”

And this is a joke the White House won’t try to cancel with a WORM. This joke is here to stay!


I am reminded of W joking to his Army secretary, embattled Enron executive Thomas White: “I need you – you’re my lightning rod”

(same type of humor Jr and Jr.jr). But Geithner is more the reason Obama was installed than White ever was, so his job has to be the most secure of all.

Meanwhile, Paul Krugman is explaining once again why Geithner 9and Obama) are dead wrong in their plans

buying up a bunch of troubled assets. Actually, that’s not quite it: the Obama administration has apparently made the judgment that there would be a public outcry if it announced a straightforward plan along these lines, so it has produced what Yves Smith calls “a lot of bells and whistles to finesse the fact that the government will wind up paying well above market for [I don’t think I can finish this on a Times blog]”

And now that Geithner’s boss is si firmly behind him, maybe we can hold him responsible too

Because I’m afraid that this will be the administration’s only shot — that if the first bank plan is an abject failure, it won’t have the political capital for a second. So it’s just horrifying that Obama — and yes, the buck stops there — has decided to base his financial plan on the fantasy that a bit of financial hocus-pocus will turn the clock back to 2006.

Not Your Sweetie

March 2009
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