This Fed Chief Brought to You by Enron

EnronJust wanted to throw two tidbits into the debate on Ben Bernanke’s reconfirmation. First, this quote, which needs no explanation.

In the event that Bernanke isn’t confirmed, several sources say, Federal Reserve Board Vice Chairman Donald Kohn likely would be elevated to acting chair of the U.S. central bank. Bernanke would be entitled to stay on the board until his term as a Fed governor expires in 2020, but the sources said Bernanke could instead return to a professorship at Princeton University.

Possible successors to Bernanke include three people currently advising Obama on the economy, former Fed chief Paul Volcker, Larry Summers and Christina Romer.

Kohn was traveling in Europe at the end of the week on Fed business, but strategy on the Bernanke confirmation was being led by former Enron lobbyist Linda Robertson, who is viewed as an effective advocate for the banking chief on Capitol Hill. [my emphasis]

And then there’s this:

The effort to secure Mr. Bernanke’s confirmation, which had intensified after two Democratic senators announced their opposition on Friday, continued through Saturday and included calls to senators by both Mr. Obama and Mr. Bernanke. By late afternoon, senators began issuing statements of support

White House and Congressional Democratic leaders say they now believe that they have the 60 votes needed to block a filibuster of Mr. Bernanke’s reappointment. They expect some Democrats will oppose him on the confirmation vote, but that requires only 50 votes.

This implies that Harry Reid is demanding party discipline on the procedural cloture vote on Bernanke, but allowing Senators to vote no on the confirmation itself. That’s the way it often works on such issues, of course. Unless it’s health care.

Nice to see that when the party wants to protect the guy who refuses to work for full employment, they can enforce party discipline, but not when the party could offer better health care options to voters.

  1. fatster says:

    Thanks so much, EW, for pointing out yet a few more threads of this obscene tapestry that engulfs us.

  2. qunamngdogs says:

    Thanks, indeed, EW.
    This is on HuffPo just now- apparently from Politico (at least videos are). Imo, there needs to be a massive public outcry to fire Bernancke, Geithner, Summers, Rahm- all of them NOW. My gut says that they have done something really, really bad and are crazy desperate to cover it up. Congressional hearings, “independent” “investigations” won’t do it. That will only lead to more cover ups- just like Sept 11th. They want to privatize things so much. Fine. This needs a PRIVATE investigation and audit.
    Quickie read

    Full article at Politico

  3. bmaz says:

    This implies that Harry Reid is demanding party discipline on the procedural cloture vote on Bernanke, but allowing Senators to vote no on the confirmation itself. That’s the way it often works on such issues, of course. Unless it’s health care.

    And unless it is Dawn Johnsen.

    • 4jkb4ia says:

      If he really has Specter, this is something Harry Reid can easily do while we are sitting around waiting for Scott Brown to get certified. The people of Massachusetts did not speak about whether Dawn Johnsen could be confirmed, although Scott Brown saying waterboarding was not torture evidently did not faze them. Yes, this was a dark day that in Massachusetts this could happen. You want to believe that more sustained investigation into torture would cause this to be disavowed by all decent people in Massachusetts, but maybe Brown would pivot against such an investigation when his real issues were the Democratic machine and the economy.

      • BayStateLibrul says:

        I’m reserving my judgment on Brown until he makes some decisions.

        I’d like to know what he thinks about the 5-4 Supremo decision, since if he is a real grass roots, little guy, JFK, truck-driving, “It’s the People’s Senate Seat” kinda guy, he’ll be against the power of the lobbyists…

        We will see….

          • oldnslow says:

            The one fellow said the Supreme Court decision sets us back a century

            Maybe because they overturned a century of decided law with their decision.

            Bobschacht @ 51 mentioned Gary Wills and his new book. Wills also talks about the origin of the Unitary Executive during the St. Ronnie reign and the OLC crew then now being SCOTUS.

          • DWBartoo says:

            Governments derive their just power(s) from the consent of the governed.

            Speaking to another subject, Allen Ginsburg once said, “(A) bad law begets disrespect for all law.”

            Here, while few of us “consent”, the primary disrespect of the law comes not from the people, but from those sworn to uphold the law.

            Since this same BODY of dis-respectors unconstitutionally (and crimminally) inserted itself into the people’s business, the 2000 Presidental election, denying that fundamental consent, bad law has been the norm.


            • Leen says:

              Heard Ginsburg live in Boulder Colorado in the early 70’s what a wild guy. Waited on him at the New York Deli on Pearl Street. The guy was into egg creams. Insightful and brave

            • DWBartoo says:

              If the fundamental purpose of the law is NOT to protect the people, then it will certainly be used to oppress them.

  4. Leen says:

    “Nice to see that when the party wants to protect the guy who refuses to work for full employment, they can enforce party discipline, but not when the party could offer better health care options to voters.”

    Really difficult to rally around what 60% of Americans want. The public option.

    • Mary says:

      Esp when, if you rallied around it without so much other alleyway crap, the number of those who support it would only go up.

  5. earlofhuntingdon says:

    OT for another thread, Ed Whitacre at GM took a page out of the Dick Cheney hymnal. GM announces it has “stopped looking” for a new CEO and will appoint Whitacre permanently to replace former CEO Fritz Henderson (Whitacre was “acting” CEO), whom Whitacre all but fired last month. Kabuki. It was in the bag. Morality plays by bishops shagging till the candles sputter can get so tiresome.

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        Somehow it fit the topic of corrupt lobbyists selling suspect, opportunistic or corrupt corporate “leaders” on American businesses and, ultimately, the taxpaying public, which needs better cars and better spending priorities.

        It certainly means we’ll get more “financial deals” and fewer, better, more fuel-efficient cars. And it means a top global auto manufacturer has at least temporarily stopped grooming car guys. We may have too many of them, but not too many good ones. This is a blow to auto and to Detroit and another feather in Wall Street’s cap.

  6. Gitcheegumee says:

    Yesterday, at the FDL book salon, the guest was Joseph Stiglitz and Bill Black.

    I,and others,asked what were their opinions on another Bernanke “reign”.

    Black was very vocal AGAINST, and backed it up with reasons why.

    But I don’t recall Stiglitz’ answer,or if he answered at all.

    I may have missed it,though.

    Interesting ,that,about the Enron “connection”.

    Phill Gramm’s wife was on Enron Board.

    Phil Gramm was co author Of Gramm Leach Blieley that was the legislation that gutted Glass Steagall….

    Anybody remember when Gramm,during McCain’s campaign for Prez,called the US a nation of “whiners”?

  7. Gitcheegumee says:

    BTW, Linda Robertson was a Clinton administation Treasury official BEFORE she was hired by Enron-just for the record.

  8. joanneleon says:

    Off topic:
    Did you hear the news?!

    Scots Jump for Joy as US Plans to Lift Haggis Ban
    (Jan. 25) — American Scots will have an added reason to send their kilts flying Monday as they celebrate the birthday of poet Robert Burns. After a 21-year ban, the U.S. is planning to allow imports of haggis, a traditional Scottish dish.

    The ban was imposed in 1989, at the height of the mad cow disease outbreak in Britain, because haggis contains sheep heart, liver and lungs — organs that are considered at risk for carrying scrapie, a close variant of mad cow.

  9. JasonLeopold says:

    Linda Robertson’s pre Enron work notwithstanding, she’s tainted. I’ve reported on her pretty extensively and the lobbying she and others did to bailout Enron and her work on the Nat’l Energy policy. I have a pile of emails with her name on it, along with Ex-Enron gov affairs official Rick Shapiro, that do not look good.

    To: Ken Lay and Steve Kean
    From: Enron governmental affairs executives Rick Shapiro and Linda Robertson
    Date: June 1, 2001
    Subject: The President’s Dinner, A Congressional Salute Honoring President Bush and Vice President Cheney, June 7, 2001

    With the assistance of Tom DeLay, we were able to apply our previously contributed soft money toward this dinner. Consequently, we will be credited as giving $250,000 to this event, even though we are being asked to give only $50,000 in new soft money Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison has requested that Enron give her some credit for raising the money.

    In addition, Tom DeLay has asked Enron to contribute $100,000 to his leadership committee, ARMPAC, through a combination of corporate and personal money from Enron’s executives. ARMPAC funds will be used to assist other House Members as well as the redistricting effort in Texas. We will be meeting this request over the course of this calendar year

    • Leen says:

      And the Supreme Court decided to keep Cheney’s energy task force records off limits too. Why do any of these supposed people of the law ever wonder why folks have no respect for the Supreme Court or the alleged “rule of law” When they so obviously vote on cases based on party, big business etc.

      They will never live down the 2000 Presidential selection by the court.

      • DWBartoo says:

        The don’t have to “live down” the 2000 election … or anything else, Leen.

        SCOTUS has approved everything that has happened since …

        For all intents and purposes, human or fictitious, SCOTUS is in control.

        There is no excess they will not permit and sanction, no outrage they will not embrace.

        But, to put it on the level of individuals: today, many cannot afford the price of justice, any more than they can afford the price of health, for both, justice and health, depend on the amount of money one has in one’s “pocketbook”.


        • Leen says:

          Damn straight.

          Just always find it confusing/amusing when Justices wonder why the peasants have no faith in this supposed justice system

        • earlofhuntingdon says:

          A tad reductionist, as more people than five conservative justices are involved in the corporatizing, immunizing and looting of American government.

          • DWBartoo says:

            Oh, aye, EOH, perhaps ‘twould be more accurate to say the Supremes are the chiefest of the enablers.

            As you’ll own that their wink and nod must be a true comfort in the um … extremus?


  10. JasonLeopold says:

    Feb 22, 2001: Enron chairman Ken Lay and Enron lobbyist Linda Robertson met with energy task force executive director Andrew Lundquist to discuss energy policy.

    April 17, 2001: Enron chairman Ken Lay and Enron lobbyist Linda Robertson met with Vice President Cheney for 30 minutes to discuss energy matters, including the California energy crisis.

    April 20, 2001: Enron lobbyist Linda Robertson sent an e-mail to White House economic advisor Robert McNally.

    May 23, 2001: White House economic advisor Robert McNally met with Enron lobbyists Linda Robertson and Richard Shapiro.

    • JasonLeopold says:

      Keep in mind all of these meetings were taking place during the height of the Calif energy crisis, which Enron started, and which the company–i.e. Robertson and Shapiro and others–was lobbying the Bush administration to move forward on deregulation and not to move forward on any plans to put price caps in place to stave off out of control electricity costs in Calif and the west. This was also taking place while Enron was on a downward spiral

      • klynn says:

        Which should make us ask all the more,”What the ___ is going on?”

        Her pattern is to provide a cover for theft.

      • kevinc says:

        funny, I wrote about this earlier today here, at LittleSis.
        Robertson was definitely deep in some muck during that year at Enron, based on what I see in her email.
        It’s really something else, the symbolism of her going to work for Ben Bernanke.

    • Gitcheegumee says:

      re:Robert Rubin

      Rubin was succeded in the Clinton White House by Larry Summers,and Rubin joined Citibank in October,1999.

      Rubin sparked controversy in 2001 (while serving on board of Citigroup)when he contacted an acquaintance at the Treasury Department and asked if the department could convince bond-rating agencies not to downgrade the corporate debt of Enron, a debtor of Citigroup.[23]
      Rubin wanted Enron creditors to lend money to the troubled company for a restructuring of its debt; a collapse of the energy giant might have serious consequences for financial markets and energy distribution The Treasury official refused.
      A subsequent congressional staff investigation cleared Rubin of any wrongdoing, but he was still harshly criticized by political opponents

      The 2008 financial crisis is largely blamed on the repeal of the Glass-Steagall Act.(Wiki)

      NOTE: It should be noted for the record ,that Lloyd Bentsen ,who was from Texas,preceded Rubin. Google up Bentsen and Enron sometime.

  11. Gitcheegumee says:

    From a 2009 Bloomberg piece:

    Robertson served under Treasury Secretaries Lawrence Summers, Robert Rubin and Lloyd Bentsen. She didn’t return calls seeking comment.

    Summers Tie

    Summers now heads the White House National Economic Council. Along with Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, he is leading Obama administration efforts to broaden the economic rescue and overhaul financial regulation. He has been mentioned as a possible successor to Fed Chairman Ben S. Bernanke should Bernanke not be renominated when his term ends in January,2010.

    Robertson is likely to start at the Fed in July and have the title of senior adviser to the Board of Governors, the people familiar with the situation said.

    She was considered for a senior post under Geithner at the Treasury but ran up against the Obama administration’s restrictions on hiring lobbyists, the people said.

    “People have been asking whether the Fed is capable of getting its job done right,” said Lynn Turner, a former chief accountant at the Securities and Exchange Commission. “Hiring a former lobbyist from Enron will surely make one wonder.”

  12. Waccamaw says:

    Please excuse my need to scream, COULD PROGRESSSIVES GET JUST *ONE* FREAKIN’ BREAK IN THE BAD NEWS DEPARTMENT? Last week was Dogawful and it’s looking like this is gonna be week 2.

    I really do apologize for doing that….those of you who’ve seen me around the Lake for several years are hopefully aware that I’ve never done that capital thing before.

  13. freepatriot says:

    some people say Power Corrupts

    apparently it makes ya totally fucking stupid too

    the good news is that Harry Reid now comes with an expiration date

    bye bye Harry

    don’t let the door hit you in the ass on the way out, in your case it could cause more brain damage than you already have

  14. fatster says:

    And now they’ve got Medicare and Social Security in their gunsights (wonder if their gunsights have biblical references imprinted on them?). If the Senate approves tomorrow, the US Debt Commission will be established. These people are really gung-ho about suppressing us. Just wait until more of that corporate money gets splashed all over D.C.

    • DWBartoo says:

      The anger over Social Security has been boiling for days, anticpating precisely such madness.

      The epiphitics are playing their end gaming of America.

      They are getting close to the bottom of the barrel of “tricks”.

      Indeed, they have little left but impoverishing the people and/or mounting actual physical assaults on the populace itself.

      Restive natives will not be well received, the epiphitics regard them to be equivalent to dirty and dangerous “stray animals”.

      Interesting times, these.


  15. DWBartoo says:

    Summers on the “replace Bernanke” short list?

    Now, who can dare say that our multi-dimensional-chess-playing president, a man astute beyond measure (though modestly awarding himself a pedestrian B+) does not fully appreciate the perfect storm of disgust and anger over unfettered greed and arrogance that is about to break?

    As to GM, I am not surprised, for those who run the company (the money people, colloquially known as “bean counters”) care not a whit about cars, nor about people nor, even, about the country, one might suppose they don’t even care about the world …

    Such people are not worth placing our hopes, however meager, upon.


  16. Gitcheegumee says:


    Ever read or hear Carlin’s rant about corporate ownership of the people?

    Here’s a link to much of his work -scroll to the bottom and you’ll find his soliloquoy on the Big Club-and what he predicts about Social Security.

    George Carlin, American Radical | | AlterNet47 posts – 6 authors – Last post: Jun 29, 2008
    Recalling George Bush’s ranting about how the endless “war on terror” is a battle …. George Carlin on the corporatism, consumption & the Ownership Class: ….. Inc. and the spineless corporate whores at Democrats, Inc. … – Cached

    • Leen says:

      George Carlin one of my guru’s.
      “you have no choice you have owners, they own you”

      George at this best×376352

      “it’s a big club and you ain’t in it” “the game is rigged”

      “good honest hard working people white collar blue collar workers continue to elect these rich cock suckers who don’t give a fuck about them, they do not care about you at all at all at all”

      “they own you”

        • fatster says:

          And look at what it buys, too. On our dime.

          Coke, Booze, Assault: Blackwater Contractors’ Past Revealed In Murder Case


      • MaryCh says:

        Wish I’d heard his edgier (beyond the 7 words) stuff earlier — nothing quite like a pissed off politically conscious Irish working class kid with a mike.

        The more genteel take – William Hamilton cartoon in the New Yorker, during the early 1980s (1990s?) recession – two guys with cigars in wingback chairs at the club, one says to the other “I can live with 6 percent unemployment”

  17. Gitcheegumee says:

    “You and I are Not in the Big Club”….excerpt:

    They spend billions of dollars every year lobbying to get what they want. Well, we know what they want; they want more for themselves and less for everybody else. But I’ll tell you what they don’t want—they don’t want a population of citizens capable of critical thinking. They don’t want well informed, well educated people capable of critical thinking. They’re not interested in that. That doesn’t help them. That’s against their interest. You know something, they don’t want people that are smart enough to sit around their kitchen table and figure out how badly they’re getting fucked by a system that threw them overboard 30 fucking years ago.

    They don’t want that, you know what they want?

    They want obedient workers, obedient workers. People who are just smart enough to run the machines and do the paperwork and just dumb enough to passively accept all these increasingly shittier jobs with the lower pay, the longer hours, the reduced benefits, the end of overtime and the vanishing pension that disappears the minute you go to collect it.

    And now they’re coming for your social security money.

    They want your fucking retirement money; they want it back so they can give it to their criminal friends on Wall Street. And you know something? They’ll get it. They’ll get it all from you sooner or later because they own this fucking place. It’s a big club and you ain’t in it! You and I are not in the Big Club.

  18. dakine01 says:

    Nice to see that when the party wants to protect the guy who refuses to work for full employment, they can enforce party discipline, but not when the party could offer better health care options to voters.

    What is this “employment” of which you speak? Can you explain the concept to me? (and maybe Helicopter Ben could learn what it is as well)

    • DWBartoo says:

      So then, dakine01, you believe that those who suffer from acute ergasiophobia should not be lecturing others on the virtues of work and employment, full or otherwise?

      I’m with you.


      • dakine01 says:

        Well, I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt that Maynard G Krebs was not one of his heros (Unlike myself who does look upon Maynard and Zonker Harris as somewhat valuable role models).

        But even though I do appreciate Maynard’s perspective, I happen to live in the real world and not the fantasy land known as inside the beltway village.

        • DWBartoo says:

          But, but, but they’re working their little fingers right to the bone, just for you and me.

          One does wonder what they do with the other fingers.

          Maynard is a poetic soul with impeccable social discernment.


    • Gitcheegumee says:

      Ben needs to bend his learning curve by becoming UNemployed.

      This will significantly assist in his comprehension skills.

    • fatster says:

      David Dayen over at the Newsdesk doesn’t think that commission wanting to “investigate” Medicare and Social Security” will pass the Senate tomorrow. See the last paragraph in his “Wise Men” article over at Newsdesk.

      • Gitcheegumee says:

        Thanks fatster,I have been in and out of pocket all day.

        Interesting that this is coming up on the eve of the(sorry)State of the Union “narrative” Wednesday evening.


  19. Mary says:

    OT – Golly Gee Whiz Boy, John Bellinger, gets some PR Ink from Isikioff, “Gitmo Forever

    “I’m beginning to think that Guantánamo is not ever going to be closed,” says John Bellinger, the top State Department lawyer under former secretary of state Condoleezza Rice and a persistent advocate of shutting down the facility. Given the current political obstacles, “I would bet some money that it’s not going to get closed in the Obama presidency.”

    emph added

    Yeah – Mr. Persistance – I remember all the ink he put out during the Bush years and how he was even willing to offer up his resignation and … ok, well maybe not. But I remember how he filed affidavits with the courts during the initial GITMO cases, confirming the fact that he and the WH had receieved evidence in Aug 2002 that a lot of the people they were holding in depravity were completely innocent and … ok, well maybe not. But I remember him saying that waterboarding was torture and that if US soldiers were waterboarded we would pursue it as torture and … ok, well maybe not. But I remember how when Rumsfeld went around saying that everyone at GITMO was the worst of the worst he made sure the WH corrected that statement and said that it really didn’t think the 11 yo it had bought was all that skilled in thermonuclear warfare and … ok, well maybe not.

    Seeing who Isikoff uses as his go to quotes so much these days pretty much opens the door to who his anonymous sources were those days.

    It’s just creepy that someone who so smarmily rode the torture wave to personal career success get shoved out there by Isikoff as being a persistant advocate of shutting down the facility. He was a much an advocate of shutting down the facility as Obama has been an advocate of the public option.

    • DWBartoo says:

      Isn’t Bellinger up for a medal of honor?/s

      I’m certain a bi-partisan commission would recomend it, if he is not.

      He also comports with Sunstein’s “Official History” protection mandate.

      (I don’t wish to start any actionable “rumors”, here, so I’m trying to be careful.)


  20. Mary says:

    Still sideways to topic, but more related – wth is with those AIG emails and the maneuvering to use state secrets rationales to deep six the credit default swaps info.

    Geithner, Summers and Bernanke all need a boot. And I love TPM pointing out that Podesta’s Center for American Progress hasn’t been quite the same “think tank” for healthcare as AEI and Heritage were for bombing babies in Iraq.

    • DWBartoo says:

      If credit default swaps are not about National Security, and their ultimate need of being kept secret is not vital to the Homeland, then I just can’t imagine what is./s

      (For some that is NOT snark)

  21. Gitcheegumee says:

    Well, I’m in drive by mode,but …I did a pit stop over at DU.

    There’s a post there with some links to a NYT article.

    The gist of the thread is that there was a 10 year plan to dismantle campaign finance law-and the next step is the right to privacy for corporations about donors.


  22. bobschacht says:

    Lost in the News–
    Often debated and derided here is Obama’s supposed 11-dimensional chess. That debate presupposes a long view, as opposed to the impatient view demanding to know why Obama isn’t doing everything we want RIGHT NOW! This morning while waiting for a hospital lab test, I found myself reading an old Ann Quindlan feature article, Hope Springs Eternal. Interesting food for thought, for those interested in taking the long view.

    Also heard on the radio this morning: An interesting interview with Gary Wills about his new book, Bomb Power: The Modern Presidency and the National Security State, which is described by Publisher’s Weekly as a “jeremiad.” Wills argues that

    the project of deploying and defending against nuclear weapons transformed America into a national security state mired in permanent semi-emergency, with swollen military forces, unaccountable spy agencies, a Byzantine apparatus of state secrecy, and an empire of overseas bases.

    (Quoted by from Publisher’s Weekly.)

    On air, Wills argued that Obama is very much constrained in what he can do, and that much of what we progressives gnash our teeth at are things where the fix is in. I’d like to hear him talk that through in one of our Book Salons.

    Bob in AZ

    • fatster says:

      Gary Wills has been a long-term contributor to the NY Review of Books. He’s scholarly and sage. Perhaps his most famous work was Nixon Agonistes. Happy to see your summary of his interview and I do hope to get the new book.

      • bobschacht says:

        Thanks for the link. I don’t “like” it, but this seems exactly like what Wills was talking about in the interview that I heard. Wills shows what Obama is up against.

        I compare this to JFK’s first year, up to the Bay of Pigs at least. The Bay of Pigs was what taught JFK that those tough guys with all the secrets really aren’t all that smart or omniscient, and that secrecy has its limits. I’m hoping that maybe Obama’s Afghanistan policy will have a Bay of Pigs moment.

        I think Progressives ought to read Wills’ book, if only to understand better what Obama is up against.

        Bob in AZ

  23. 1boringoldman says:

    Off topic: Is anyone following the UK Chilcot Inquiry []? It’s a blockbuster [in the subdued British way]. Jack Straw, Blair’s Foreign Secretary testified last Thursday:

    Let me be clear about this: that and this I was clear about whatever the policy of the United States, which, as it happens was for regime change, as a purpose of foreign policy, that was off the agenda so far as the United Kingdom was concerned. I certainly, and always had done, in the abstract and in reality, accepted that you could have a diplomatic strategy for a different purpose, which had to be backed by the threat or, if necessary, the use of force, but a foreign policy objective of regime change, I regarded as improper and also self evidently unlawful.

    This Friday, Tony Blair testifies. They had so many requests for tickets, they held a lottery…

    • Mary says:

      I was looking at something that had this week’s witness and *fireworks* rankings and it looks like the lead up to Blair will be two Whitehall lawyers who originally advised the Blair admin that the war was illegal with one resigning in protest of it later, followed by Goldsmith[theirs, not ours] (for whom some docs exist that he apparently leaned that way – going to war would be illegal – too, until a later closed door meeting with Blair that reeks of a bit of backdoor armwringing) and then Blair on Fri. Sounds very interesting.

    • Gitcheegumee says:

      WHO says you’re boring? *G*

      BTW, if you go to the thread here at EW entitled “The Brits Buried Evidence about David Kelly”,from yesterday, there’s quite a bit of info relating to the Chilcot Inquiry.

    • fatster says:

      That was a good article, Leen, and thank you for highlighting it. He stated, “The only proper response to this distortion of our political system by ideologically driven justices is a popular revolt.” Got my blood a-stirrin’, and made me want to go dig out my old red head-band which I’d pull down over my nose as the tear- and pepper-gas canisters were loosed.

      But, he didn’t move forward with that theme. Instead, he wrote about what the preznit and Congresscritters are doing to try and alter the crap the Supreme Fives have laid on us. And that’s fine. But, heck, I thought he was going to tell us how to Rumble in these times.

  24. prostratedragon says:

    OT: That disturbance in the force you just felt was a lot of screaming, outraged economists.

    Also just heard on NPR newsbreak: 3yr. spending freeze, except for DoD, DHS, DVA, and “foreign policy committments,” i.e. other wars I guess. And yet somehow the middle class gets more assistance.

      • prostratedragon says:

        While I guess I’ll have to wait and hear the whole thing, right now I’m thinking all those things in the list are not even possible together. And then we get to the matter of intentions.

  25. Gitcheegumee says:


    As long as I just keep thinking about them…and not DOING anything about it ,I have better odds-probably better odds than Obama.

    Come to think about it, that seems to actually HAVE been a lot of his strategy….

  26. Gitcheegumee says:

    Obama joins White House effort to boost Bernanke

    By JIM KUHNHENN and JEANNINE AVERSA, Associated Press Writers Jim Kuhnhenn And Jeannine Aversa, Associated Press Writers – 43 mins ago

    WASHINGTON – Bolstered by a White House lobbying effort that included the president, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke’s chances at a second four-year term improved Monday, calming a stock market that had grown anxious over the uncertainty of his support.

    President Barack Obama championed Bernanke in an interview on Monday as his aides worked the phones to ensure the Fed chairman is confirmed by the Senate.

    “He has my strongest support. I think he’s done a good job,” Obama told ABC News.

    “What we need is somebody at the Federal Reserve who can make sure that the progress that we’ve made in stabilizing the economy continues. I think Bernanke is the best person for that job,” the president said.

    • fatster says:

      ““He [Bernanke] has my strongest support. I think he’s done a good job,” Obama told ABC News.”

      Anything to try and calm Wall Street. Main Street? Pffffft.

      On the other hand, maybe he really does think Helicopter Ben is doing a good job.

  27. Gitcheegumee says:

    Obama joins White House effort to boost Bernanke – Yahoo! NewsJan 26, 2010 … Bolstered by a White House lobbying effort that included the president, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke’s chances at a second ……/us_bernanke_senate_10 – 1 hour ago

  28. orionATL says:

    Gitcheegumee @17

    Beat me to it.

    The article says the fed hired linda r. In mid-2009 to “help it with it’s image”.

    The full article is worth reading:

    “fed intends to hire lobbyist in campaign to buttress it’s image”.

    By Robert Schmidt

    June 5, 2009.

    So note this:

    Robertson was not only a Lobbyist for enron

    She was a lobbyist/pr person for the federal reserve.

    A refresher course in lobbying:

    Lobbyist are paid money to be able to successfully bring to bear

    – information about how to bribe a congressman, legally.

    – information about how to threaten or intimidate a congressman, legally.

    End of sort course on lobbying.

  29. orionATL says:


    Who is Robertson working for now?

    – federal reserve

    – bernanke personally

    – the white house

    – Goldman-sachs

  30. bobschacht says:

    Oldnslow @ 81,

    It should also be noted that, much as Wills details, at length, what Obama is up against, in his new book, and in the preview of the book provided in the link by fatster @ 75, he comes to this conclusion (in the preview):

    “Nonetheless, some of us entertain a fondness for the quaint old Constitution. It may be too late to return to its ideals, but the effort should be made. As Cyrano said, “One doesn’t fight in the hope of winning” (Mais on ne se bat pas dans l’espoir du succès).”

    It might be a good idea to get Wills in for a Book Salon to elaborate on this “effort.”

    Bob in AZ

  31. plunger says:

    They want every last penny – and they’ll get it. Nothing can stop them.

    They literally purchased the Supreme Court and Congress to ensure total control. The quid pro quo for control of the message in the media is clear.

    And reality is nowhere to be found on the TeeVee (controlled propaganda networks) or in Congress.

    45% of the $4.5 trillion in sovereign debt to be issued in 2010, or $2.025 trillion, will be American. Multiple voices have expressed grave doubts about the true identity of the buyers of US debt. There are serious suspicions that most of it has anonymously been bought by the Federal Reserve, simply for lack of other buyers. And that would mean the country buys its own debt, presumably in an effort to keep Treasuries attractive internationally.

    In 2010, sovereign debt issued globally by mature economies will be three times what it on average was over the past 5 years. And the Federal Reserve has pledged to stop buying in a few months. It may skirt on that one a bit, but it can’t’ buy forever. Someone’s going to find out.

    Bailing out banks so the economy won’t crash may seem to make sense at first sight, but if the economy crashes regardless, weren’t those bail-outs futile? Or could you maybe even have saved the economy with the money spent on bank bail-outs? The losses that led to all this are still there, and it’s high time, or way past it, really, to see what they add up to.

    And while you’re at it, let’s bring down the prices of those ridiculously overvalued American homes. All you need to do is take off your hands, and it’ll happen like magic. Just see who offers what in a free market. But I wouldn’t want to make that choice either, because we all know who would offer what. By now it’s heads you lose, tails you die, all over again. A whole year wasted with spending other people’s money. Wait till they figure that one out.

    The State of the Union? Honestly?

    * Some 5 million more people claim unemployment benefits than a year ago. How many more have fallen off the steep end, we simply don’t know. Job creation programs so far have been utter failures, no matter what Gibbs says. Or Obama. It’s just never been a priority. The banking system has.
    * 3 million homeowners lost their houses (and then there’s their families). And millions more are sure to follow.
    * Bankers will receive record bonuses. And the government does nothing to stop that, even though it owns large portions of the banks.
    * The federal debt has increased by trillions of dollars, which we unfortunately can’t count because the government conspires to keep the data secret. Is it $12 trillion, or $23.7 trillion?

    The State of the Union? Let’s say, hypothetically, that the stock markets give back the gains they’ve made since March 2009 over the next few months. About $6 trillion dollars worth of them, I’m told, in the US alone. What effect do you think that would have? What if the losses kept growing after that? How many companies would that bankrupt? How many investors? What state would that leave the union in?

    And yes, you do have to budget for that possibility, it really is that simple. A union that has no plan B will always be driven to lie about its true state, no matter what state it’s in.

  32. klynn says:

    The Brits bury evidence about David Kelly and a few days later THIS comes out?
    The invasion of Iraq was illegal, a senior government lawyer told the Chilcot inquiry into the war today.

    Sir Michael Wood, legal adviser to the Foreign Office in the run-up to the invasion, said he “considered that the use of force against Iraq in 2003 was contrary to international law”.

    “In my opinion, that use of force had not been authorized by the [United Nations] security council, and had no other legal basis in international law,” he said in a witness statement to the inquiry.

    Wood told the inquiry panel that Jack Straw, the foreign secretary before and during the war, remarked that international law was “pretty vague” and offered a certain amount of leeway. When Wood disagreed, Straw said he was being “dogmatic”.

    Wood’s opinion of the illegality of the war was echoed by Elizabeth Wilmshurst, the government lawyer who was the only British civil servant to resign over the Iraq war.

    So, what reason is David Kelly’s file being buried? I think the cat’s out and David is a detail. Perhaps those files should be opened now.

    All of this makes for an interesting layer to Plame.

    • plunger says:

      Any illusion that the oligarchs and their sub-agents (Cheney, Rummy, etc.) are subject to actual laws has now been destroyed. Clearly there is evidence of murder, and they even know who did it, and why. Nothing was going to stand in the way of Halliburton & Blackwater’s War. The British Government has joined in the conspiracy to kill David Kelly, and confirmed it in technicolor, by their coverup of it. It’s easy to see how much money was at stake. Just look how much has been spent – and follow the money.

      All of the dots connect.

    • Gitcheegumee says:

      The Times has some interesting particulars about today’s testimony,too:

      Lawyer’s memo contradicts Jack Straw’s evidence to Chilcot inquiry …Jan 26, 2010 … Jack Straw’s chief legal adviser at the time of the Iraq invasion directly challenged his former boss’s version of events today when he told … – 4 hours ago

      Latest UK News Headlines | Times Online NewsMemo contradicts Straw evidence to inquiry. Note from Foreign Office lawyer shows Jack Straw was ‘entirely comfortable’ making case for war long before … – 6 minutes ago – Similar

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  33. wavpeac says:

    Here’s what I would hope for after I state my “fear”. I would hope someone argues me out of this belief.

    I am beginning to think that Saudi/China, interests are “running” our financial sector. I am beginning to believe that they are buying up homes and property. (Friend sitting next to an investor from China pretty much told her this was the plan…and could be total b.s…). I believe that it is foreign interests running our government. I believe these foreign interests are using the wealthiest in our nation, using greed to get access to our nation.

    And I think that when Obama made his statement about being held hostage by wall street, he was not lying. I think he said it as if it were hyperbole, but there was a look on his face, that made me think, he wasn’t exaggerating…that is was bigger than he had stated.

    Now…I know this is emotion mind, I know that I am thinking with my primitive brain here…but the therapist, intuite in me says something is way different than we thought it was. It may simply be that corporates have a hold on the U.S but I think the global markets have something to do with this that is bigger than that. And something inside of me, thinks it’s too late…(boy…that’s the words of the emotion mind…if I ever saw ’em.) I come here for Reason.

    • Gitcheegumee says:

      I always thought-and said- that one of the ultimate goals of the reverse redlining involved in the subprime mortgage market was to ultimately obtain the actual real estate-the land-not the houses.

      (You know, they’re not makin’ any more land these days.)

      • wavpeac says:

        Boy…everybody kept telling me, “they don’t want your property…” but honestly…it sure as hell felt like it.

        • Gitcheegumee says:

          Well, would explain WHY they prefer to let the foreclosed homes remain vacant -left to rot and become vandalized.

          Saves the bank the expense of tearing them down.

  34. Gitcheegumee says:

    wavpeac, you need to go to ew’s teabugger thread and read what I posted @ #53 and #61-its all about a scam involving house-flipping in New Orleans..

    You gotta read it!