“If Wall Streeters are spoiled brats, they are spoiled brats with immense power and wealth at their disposal. And what they’re trying to do with that power and wealth right now is buy themselves not just policies that serve their interests, but immunity from criticism.” — Paul Krugman on the huge egos of Wall Street:
… let me take a moment to debunk a fairy tale that we’ve been hearing a lot from Wall Street and its reliable defenders — a tale in which the incredible damage runaway finance inflicted on the U.S. economy gets flushed down the memory hole, and financiers instead become the heroes who saved America.
Once upon a time, this fairy tale tells us, America was a land of lazy managers and slacker workers. Productivity languished, and American industry was fading away in the face of foreign competition.
Then square-jawed, tough-minded buyout kings like Mitt Romney and the fictional Gordon Gekko came to the rescue, imposing financial and work discipline. Sure, some people didn’t like it, and, sure, they made a lot of money for themselves along the way. But the result was a great economic revival, whose benefits trickled down to everyone.
You can see why Wall Street likes this story. But none of it — except the bit about the Gekkos and the Romneys making lots of money — is true.
They took our money and want to fabricate the back-story so we’ll worship them for taking it. Which is exactly why the banksters can’t stand Obama — not because his administration has been more difficult to work with than a Republican administration — it hasn’t, and not because they don’t deserve the country’s disapproval — they deserve that and so much more. However Wall Street ‘disdains’ Obama because he’s been ‘publicaly disrespectful’ to them. It’s all about their egos, again, and how they’re represented to the public at large:
“You have to understand, it is very personal. He raised money from us,” one executive at a top bank said. “Then he started calling us bad people. So forgive us for not wanting to buy him a drink after getting punched in the eye.”
Geisst and other observers see the animus differently. They see it as a product of Wall Street’s profound and persistent narcissistic disorder. Bankers with the disorder have an innate inability to handle even mild criticism coupled with an unshakable belief that whatever they do is the smartest and best possible thing.
But Geisst also suggested the shock and disdain is something of a pose, a feint to fight off greater re-regulation.
“Their best defense here has been incredulity,” he said. “Wall Street just pretends they don’t understand what all the fuss is about and can’t believe how they are being talked about and hope that their incredulity will translate into softer treatment, which is exactly what happened here.”
Christopher Whalen, investment banker, author and cofounder of Institutional Risk Analytics, said the distaste isn’t policy-related, it’s personal.
“Wall Street disdains Obama,” Whalen said. “Hate is too strong a term. Obama is publicly disrespectful, thus Wall Street complains.”
It would be almost funny, if it weren’t for the fact that these narcissistic non-self-aware children actually control the entire world. They’re just mad they can’t control what we think and especially that Obama isn’t as willing to read us the same bedtime stories as the GOP always is.
The ol’ back’s killing me! It don’t get better than this, though — amirite? Another day, another dollar…
WHAT THE REPUBLICAN PARTY STANDS FOR TODAY—————————–—
“I do not understand the cost-benefit here. The costs are clear. The benefits – what voter is going to vote for him because he’s seen with Donald Trump? The cost of appearing with this bloviating ignoramus is obvious, it seems to me. Donald Trump is redundant evidence that if your net worth is high enough, your IQ can be very low, and you can still intrude into American politics. But, again, I don’t understand the benefit. What is Romney seeking?” — George Will on Romney campaigning with “bloviating ignoramus” Donald Trump
ALAN SIMPSON SLAMS FELLOW REPUBLICANS for unwillingness to compromise — In his characteristically colorful style, Simpson told CNN’s Fareed Zakaria that Republicans’ rigid opposition to new tax revenues has hampered productivity and diminished the chances of reaching an agreement with Democrats on debt reduction. “You can’t cut spending your way out of this hole,” Simpson, who was appointed as co-chair of President Obama’s Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform in 2010, said. “You can’t grow your way out of this hole, and you can’t tax your way out of this hole. So put that in your pipe and smoke it, we tell these people. This is madness.” Simpson continued: “If you want to be a purist, go somewhere on a mountaintop and praise the east or something. But if you want to be in politics, you learn to compromise. And you learn to compromise on the issue without compromising yourself. Show me a guy who won’t compromise and I’ll show you a guy with rock for brains.” — HuffPo
- Simpson tells GOP: ‘For heaven’s sake, Norquist can’t murder you’ — “For heaven’s sake, you have Grover Norquist wandering the earth in his white robes saying that if you raise taxes one penny, he’ll defeat you. He can’t murder you. He can’t burn your house. The only thing he can do to you, as an elected official, is defeat you for reelection. And if that means more to you than your country when we need patriots to come out in a situation when we’re in extremity, you shouldn’t even be in Congress.” — Raw Story
HOW HARD WILL GINGRICH FLIP-FLOP for help to pay off his campaign debt? Newt Gingrich on Sunday defended Mitt Romney from attacks made on his record at Bain Capital. “Bain as an issue doesn’t work because people look at it in balance,” he said on ‘Meet The Press’. “And they say, wait a second, yeah, you can pick a couple companies that lost. You can pick a lot of companies that succeeded. And as even as the governor of Massachusetts said last week, it is a good company.” The former presidential candidate’s defense of Romney’s business record may surprise those who followed his campaign. At one point, Gingrich made Romney’s Bain record a central issue and referred to private equity as “rich people figuring out clever legal ways to loot a company.” — HuffPo
- “I was very careful,” Gingrich said. “I didn’t go after private equity. … [Obama's] going after all private equity.” The Obama campaign insists it is not “going after all private equity” but merely arguing that private equity experience does not qualify Romney to be president. — Boston.com
WHO ELSE IS FILLED WITH FLIP-FLOP? Sen. John McCain — Former Republican presidential nominee John McCain on Sunday walked back on his 2008 attacks on current GOP hopeful Mitt Romney for his record of killing jobs as the head of Bain Capital. During a 2008 campaign stop in Florida, McCain had blasted Romney for taking over companies and laying off “thousands of workers.” “I think he managed companies and he bought and he sold and sometimes people lost their jobs,” the Arizona senator explained at a January 2008 debate. [...] “This is the free enterprise system,” McCain insisted. “The only place in the world that I can recall where companies never failed was the old Soviet Union. This is what investors do in the free enterprise and capitalism system.” “And, yes, the free enterprise system can be cruel,” he added. — Raw Story
IT’S INTERESTING that the Gospels don’t go into any real detail about Jesus’ butler. — Guardian
WHAT THE PRESIDENT / DEMOCRATS STAND FOR ————————————
WHY THE PRESIDENT IS RIGHT to talk about Bain — It seems to me that Obama’s immediate point is wrong: Romney wasn’t primarily about job destruction and corporate plundering. His larger point–that Romney was not so much about job-creation as he was about profit-creation–is correct, though. But the largest point of all is this: private equity capitalism was all about short-term profits–maximizing shareholder value–rather than long-term growth. It ushered in an era of massive executive compensation and bonuses. It prospered because of tax rules that made debt more profitable than equity, and a “carried interest” tax dodge that enabled Mitt Romney to pay a lower percentage in taxes than your average construction worker. It can be a useful tool in restructuring companies and steering them toward profitability, but it is not the sort of model you’d want to apply to the entire American economy. A President has to be about long-term growth, not short-term profits–and to the extent that Barack Obama is using the Bain ads to make this larger argument, he is not “stumbling” or attacking “free enterprise,” but he is steering the conversation toward the most important topic this year: what sort of economy do we want to have and how do we get there? — Joe Klein
DEMOCRATIC LEADERS BACK Obama’s Bain strategy vs. Romney — After nearly two weeks of heated debate over whether President Obama should attack Republican Mitt Romney’s tenure at a private-equity firm, Democratic leaders across the country say they are largely united behind the strategy, even as some concede an uncertain outcome and new polls show Obama has lost ground nationally. [...] “He wanted to have this conversation,” Jim Burn, chairman of the Pennsylvania Democratic Party, said of Romney, the likely GOP nominee. “We’re going to have it. There should be no hesitation or equivocation.” — Washington Post
OBAMA HAS A PRETTY AMBITIOUS stimulus plan. Now the plan won’t pass because Republicans would never vote for it, and everybody including Obama knows this, so we’ve all treated it as a message device because that’s the only function it serves. But I’m confident Obama really would like to sign his stimulus plan if he could. Meanwhile, Romney has no stimulus plan. But he may well propose one if he wins, and it would pass, because plenty of Republicans would flip back to being Keynesians like they were under President Bush. What’s more, Democrats wouldn’t stop it, because Democrats don’t have any history of opportunistically abandoning Keynesian economics when the other party’s neck is on the economic line. So, yes, a President Romney would be more likely to sign strong stimulative legislation than Obama — not because he believes in it more strongly, but because, as David Frum says, we’re all Keynesians during Republican administrations. — Jonathan Chait
“WE ARE IN A DEPRESSION. We are actually in a classic depression. A depression is when nobody wants to spend. Everybody wants to pay down their debt at the same time. Everybody is trying to pull back, either because they got too far into debt, or because if they’re a corporation, they can’t sell because consumers are pulling back. The thing about an economy is that it fits together. My spending is your income. Your spending is my income, so if we all pull back at the same time, we’re in a depression. The way to get out of it is for somebody to spend so that people can pay down their debt, so that we don’t have a depression, so that we have a chance to work out of whatever excesses we had in the past — and that somebody has to be the government….” — Paul Krugman | Video via: Politicususa
VETERANS ARE STILL STRUGGLING to find employment — While the unemployment rate for veterans has dropped dramatically in the last year… finding jobs for veterans remains a major issue. Paul Rieckhoff, founder and executive director of Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, said there has been “huge progress” on helping unemployed veterans because President Obama has instituted policies to reduce veteran unemployment and Fortune 500 companies are also helping returning servicemembers. [...] Obama’s initiatives are helping to improve the jobs outlook for veterans. That’s more than can be said for Mitt Romney, who has no specific plans to address veterans issues, including unemployment. — Think Progress
ALLEN WEST WANTS TO KEEP the good parts of Obamacare — In an interview with ThinkProgress, West pointed to three popular provisions of the health care law that he would like to see preserved: [...] WEST: Well you’ve got to replace it. You’ve got to replace it with something. If people want to keep their kid on their insurance at 26, fine. We’ve got to make sure no American gets turned back for pre-existing conditions, that’s fine. Keep the donut hole closed, that’s fine. But what I just talked to you about, maybe 20, 25 pages of legislation. The problem with West’s reasoning is that the pre-existing condition ban can’t function without an individual mandate or some other mechanism for bringing healthy people into the health care system. Without the individual responsibility provision, a death spiral begins whereby only sick people buy insurance and it soon becomes unaffordable for everybody. — Think Progress
In honor of all of our fallen service members, the Congress, by a joint resolution approved May 11, 1950, as amended (36 U.S.C. 116), has requested the President issue a proclamation calling on the people of the United States to observe each Memorial Day as a day of prayer for permanent peace and designating a period on that day when the people of the United States might unite in prayer. The Congress, by Public Law 106-579, has also designated 3:00 p.m. local time on that day as a time for all Americans to observe, in their own way, the National Moment of Remembrance.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim Memorial Day, May 28, 2012, as a day of prayer for permanent peace, and I designate the hour beginning in each locality at 11:00 a.m. of that day as a time to unite in prayer. I also ask all Americans to observe the National Moment of Remembrance beginning at 3:00 p.m. local time on Memorial Day.
I request the Governors of the United States and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, and the appropriate officials of all units of government, to direct that the flag be flown at half-staff until noon on this Memorial Day on all buildings, grounds, and naval vessels throughout the United States and in all areas under its jurisdiction and control. I also request the people of the United States to display the flag at half-staff from their homes for the customary forenoon period.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this
twenty-fifth day of May, in the year of our Lord two thousand twelve, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-sixth.
Over 200 volunteers spent Wednesday planting flags for Memorial Day on the grounds of Boston Common in downtown Boston in honor of those who served and died for our country. The 33,000 flags represent all of the fallen soldiers from Massachusetts who have died since the civil war. — MSNBC
World War II veteran Jesse R. Turner salutes while being comforted by Helen Marie Misel at a display of more than 1700 United States flags in Shawnee, Kan., Saturday, May 26, 2012. Turner served in the Army Air Corps. Photo: Orlin Wagner / AP — seattlepi.com
A Marine salutes as motorcycles drive past during the annual Rolling Thunder parade ahead of Memorial Day in Washington, D.C., May 27.
From the President’s weekly address, May 26:
Even as we honor those who made the ultimate sacrifice, we reaffirm our commitment to care for those who served alongside them—the veterans who came home. This includes our newest generation of veterans, from Iraq and Afghanistan.
We have to serve them and their families as well as they have served us: By making sure that they get the healthcare and benefits they need; by caring for our wounded warriors and supporting our military families; and by giving veterans the chance to go to college, find a good job, and enjoy the freedom that they risked everything to protect.