Does Obama even bother to listen to himself?

A brief history:  Obama promised that the health care debate was so important, it would be carried on C-SPAN.  That did not happen.  Obama promised that any proposed bill on health care would be placed on a website for public comment far in advance of the vote.  That did not happen.  Obama promised that he would wait at least 72 hours (is that right?) before signing any health care bill into law.  That did not happen.

What did happen was that Nancy Pelosi promised that the only way to learn about what was in the bill was to pass it, a reasonable promise given the number of congressmen who conceded that they personally had no idea what was in the 2000+ page monstrosity for which they voted.  In sum, our Democratic government took over 1/6 of the American economy without public input, without debate, and without even any idea of what it was doing.

Congress is now trying to take over Wall Street.  If Congress was merely trying to impose a “few rules but unbreakable” (a quote from one of my favorite books) in order to keep Wall Street honest, I’d be there.  But this is a Democratic initiative, so that’s not what’s going on.

What’s going on, instead, is political grandstanding along with some power grabs and market control.  You and I won’t be benefiting any time soon, but it could prove very costly and damaging to the vitality of the American marketplace.

The Republicans, having figured out that Obama legislation invariably means wasted money and increased government control (i.e. less individual freedom), is refusing to be pushed into a rushed decision on something so important.  Obama is irate.  And this is what an irate Obama says:

“The American people deserve an honest debate on this bill,” Obama told the crowd. “You should not have to have to wait one more day.”

Obama said Senate Republicans “unanimously blocked efforts to even being debating reform.”

“They won’t let it [the bill] get on the floor to be debated,” Obama said. “It’s one thing to oppose reform, but to oppose just even talking about reform in front of the American people and having a legitimate debate? That’s not right.”

From someone else, this might have been a reasonable question.  Coming from Obama, however, it amounts to an insulting slap in the face of the American people.  He has no interest in an open politic process.  This is just more of Obama’s governance by insult.  Really, what a dreadful little man he is.

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  • Ymarsakar

    You know very well he can’t listen to anything he himself says.
    He would hypnotize himself then!
    OH wait.

  • Marguerite

    ‘. . .Obama’s governance by insult.’ Who is going to tell the President that he cannot express himself without sounding like a sophomore?  Wait, a sophomore on a debating team sounds better.  As a man thinketh in his heart . . . with umbrage, arrogance, pique, vanity, and a colossal lack of respect for ‘the people’.   His rat-tat-tat delivery is that of the community agitator which he still is and not that of a statesman. Only unfortunately the community he appeals to is no longer just Chicago and ‘Obama’s governance by insult’ insults us all.   

  • JIM


  • suek

    More to agitate you:

  • SGT Dave

    No, he listens to the dulcet tones of his voice and the waves of adoration that reply.  He doesn’t care about accuracy or consistency – it didn’t matter in the campaign, since no one called him on it.  In his view, what he says – right now – is truth and light (ex cathedra, for you Catholics out there).  It doesn’t matter what he said yesterday, it won’t matter what he says tomorrow.  It only matters that his voice is carried to the ears of his adoring public and that their longing sighs and fervent worship remain centered on him. 
    He’s a cult leader, writ large. 
    Anyhow, back to the grindstone;

    SSG Dave
    “I seldom wax poetic; wax is such a transient medium and ink works much better.”

  • David Foster

    My post the politics of economic destruction deals with some of these issues:


    He wined and dined the MSM, they shed their clothes, their morals, their judgment and once ‘he had his way with them’ he discarded them like the whores they are.  I forgot exactly how the line goes…but it’s something like; we know what you are, we’re just setting the price.   Is it sour grapes for the non-reporters that sucked up the cheap wine and felt giddy naked. If their bare asses now feel the chill, it’s not global warming, it’s an Obama warning.
    One of the enduring story lines of Barack Obama’s presidency, dating back to the earliest days of his candidacy, is that the press loves him.
    “Most of you covered me. All of you voted for me,” Obama joked last year at the White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner.
    But even then, only four months into his presidency, the joke fell flat. Now, a year later, with another correspondents’ dinner Saturday night likely to generate the familiar criticism of the press’s cozy relationship with power, the reality is even more at odds with the public perception.

    Read more:


  • Deana

    Sadie – that was awesome.

  • suek

    >>“Most of you covered me.>>

    Heh.  In horse terminology, “covering”  is a polite term for the act of copulation…

  • Jose

    I just finished The Big Short by Michael Lewis.  In it he writes about the subprime mortgage mess, and some of the very few people who saw it coming.

    1.  Most of Wall Street had no idea what was coming and didn’t care as long as the money was rolling in.

    2. The ratings agencies had no idea they were handing out AAA ratings on junk. 

    3.  The SEC, when presented with the facts, didn’t understand and never followed up.

    4.  There was so much money being made that a small investor group, with only a $30 million portfolio, couldn’t get brokers to take them seriously or return their phone calls.

    The point is there were vast amounts of money being made, which was a tremendous motivation for the best and brightest to trade bonds and make fortunes.  But the best and brightest didn’t see the fall coming. 

    So how do those not so bright people in Congress, who would be making more on Wall Street if they had the talent, have any chance of regulating (much less understanding) this mess?  They caused it by allowing the the “banks” to become over leveraged, and encourageing

    The ONLY thing they could do is maybe fix accountability for those who screw up, instead of bailing them out and perpetuating the problem. 

  • suek

    >>2. The ratings agencies had no idea they were handing out AAA ratings on junk. >>
    How can this be true?  (I mean…rating is supposed to be their job – were they not qualified to be doing that job, or were they given false information…??? )
    >>So how do those not so bright people in Congress, who would be making more on Wall Street if they had the talent, have any chance of regulating (much less understanding) this mess? >>
    I think this is a real issue.  Couple that with the fact that it _is_ complex, and it seems that no one is qualified to determine if laws are broken, and no one is qualified to prosecute anyone if they _are_ broken.
    By the way…in the “48 Myths…”, apparently much the same situation occurred with the railroads during the late 1800s.  Including graft, corruption and  bailouts.    Very enlightening even if not especially edifying.  We obviously haven’t read our own history, and are repeating it.


    Deana, thanks for the awesome comment.

    suek, does that include donkeys : )

    Jose,  the best and the brightest were working with a miner’s hat. Some of us (not so bright folks)  read a little economic history and remembered that buying stocks on margin (10%)? was  another Wall Street front page story.  65-70 years later, the upped the ante and offered no-doc, no job, no money, no down payment home loans with the ‘best and brightest’ idea  – Community Reinvestment Act, because everyone should own a home they can’t afford.
    I don’t hold out much, make that any hope, for a fix from the very sources that encouraged catastrophe.  Fixing accountability is a wonderful idea – let them take the cell next to Bernie Madoff. That’s cause and effect I can live with.

  • Mike

    Really, what a dreadful little man he is. That’s the quote of the decade.Politely spoken. None I know of would be printable.

  • suek

    Yup…all equines as far as I know.  Including jackasses.

  • David Foster

    “the ratings agencies had no idea they were handing out AAA ratings on junk.”

    suek…”How can this be true?”
    As far as collateralized mortgage obligations (bundles of mortgages) go, they were viewed in a way similar to insurance underwriting: ie, some mortgages would default, but the bundle as a whole would be profitable. This view was backed up by impressive-looking but actually simplistic mathematical models. Unfortunately, the models were apparently validated based only on fairly recent data, and hence didn’t factor in the serious possibility of a simultaneous sharp decline in housing prices *everywhere at once*.
    Basically…loans that wouldn’t have been made on an *individual* basis by old-line bankers with IQs of 115 were made on a *collective* basis by MBAs with IQs of 125 and PhDs with IQs of 140.

  • Al

    I would like to say that the American people deserve to be released from the efluent that Obama and Co. are pumping their way. But those of us who comment here saw the pumping stations being built during the campaign. Those that voted for Obama are getting what they deserve because they intentionally did not think with clarity. What is happenning now brings even more meaning to the phrase “Beware a fool in his folly.” Hopefully, the fools are now being scared enough to think.

  • Danny Lemieux

    “He wined and dined the MSM, they shed their clothes, their morals, their judgment and once ‘he had his way with them’ he discarded them like the whores they are.” — Wow!
    I can’t decide whether that should be the epitaph for the MSM or the introduction to an autobiography of our SIC’s  (Sociopath in Chief) presidency. We could just as easily replace of “MSM” with”Democrats”,  “Wall Street”, quite a few Liberals that I know, or any of the other special interest groups that elected him.

  • suek

    >>Basically…loans that wouldn’t have been made on an *individual* basis by old-line bankers with IQs of 115 were made on a *collective* basis by MBAs with IQs of 125 and PhDs with IQs of 140.>>
    And somehow they programmed the computer to base defaults on physical locations rather than ability to pay off the mortgage?
    >>hence didn’t factor in the serious possibility of a simultaneous sharp decline in housing prices *everywhere at once*.>>
    Or the fact that the price of the house doesn’t really matter once it’s bought – it’s the ability of the homeowner to pay the mortgage that counts.  If you buy a house that’s overpriced but you can afford the mortgage, it’s too bad for you when you sell – but as long as you’re living in it, it doesn’t matter.  If, on the other hand, you buy a house that is sold to you for exactly what it’s worth on the market but can’t pay the mortgage – you’re in a world of hurt.
    I had a business deal with a woman who bought and sold horses.  We talked frequently, and eventually I became aware that she was – imo – dishonest.  She sold weanlings to people who couldn’t afford them – and she _knew_ they couldn’t affort them.  The deal was that the baby was very cheap, but the terms required the buyer to register them as well as the usual care.  She kept in close contact with the people, encouraged them on care and training, allowed them leeway on payments, allowed them to skip payments when it was time to get the baby registered, and when the youngster reached age 2+ and was ready to go under saddle, she pulled the plug.  After all…she had been _most generous _ in her terms…right?  Sure she had.  And when she repossessed the horse, she got back a well started, well fed, registered ready to go under saddle young horse.  The person who fed, registered and worked with the horse got…bumpkus.  If this had happened just once, I’d have said – yeah…she gave them every chance.  In fact, it happened often enough that I saw it as a neat(dishonest) plan – how to raise a horse to under saddle age (when they were worth 4-5 times as much as they were worth as weanlings) with no cost.
    These bankers had the same sort of thing going on.  They saw houses as rising in value, so that if they sold them to someone who couldn’t pay, that was ok.  They’d just collect what they could, and then resell at a profit.  It made the holding period painless.  They made a bet that the houses would go up, and lost the bet.  They knew they’d lose some – they just didn’t expect to lose so many – because they were too greedy – and because the government encouraged them in their greed.
    The question is…where is the dishonesty, who takes the loss, and how do you put protections in place that would prevent it?  Personally, I think the answer is for the bank to take the loss – and that way, they’d take steps to ensure the loss doesn’t occur.  The government needs to stop pressuring banks to give loans to people that can’t afford them.
    Repeal the CRA.  _Maybe_ reinstate Glass-Steagal. (I recently read that this is a bad idea – but so far, I don’t know why.  I’ll hold judgment for now).  Glass-Steagal prevented this sort of thing from happening from its onset in the early 30s till ’98 when it was gutted – seems like a good thing to put back in place.