Sunday, December 13, 2009


My memory is not so good, but I think I remember Bill Clinton getting a pass on selling out the proles. There was some complaining from a few old Naderite cranks, but they were quickly censored and the majority of the Clintonites got about the business of defending Bill's privates from a Republican assault.

I don’t think Obama is going to get the same kid glove treatment. It’s going to be interesting watching the revolt. Personally, I think Obama has always known the revolt is coming and he has either 1) planned on it and has a strategy -such as a realignment of the political structure, or 2) has been set up by the political elites to be the scapegoat for the chickens coming home to roost from 30 years of neoliberalism.

Some pretty amazing things are already happening

This is Markos Moulitsas, owner of Daily Kos abruptly getting to the point on health-care. I would have figured Markos as one who would say that we have to give him a pass for two years or even that we have to give him a pass for the first term

This is Matt Taibi getting to the point on finance. This piece has gotten wide coverage and is starting to cause some anxiety.

This is Tapped trying to take Taibbi down - very poorly

This is Taibbi taking Tapped down - rather decisively

This is a battle between fact checking and gonzo. I rule in favor of gonzo. Taibbi writes with a kind of hacked-off truth-teller populist-progressive perspective.

This bailout is a massive burden of debt to the middle-class taxpayer; with benevolent bonus to mega financial corporations; and an expose of the Democratic Party as not a party of the people but rather the elite. It was done wrong, and it needs to be spelled out and there is no reason to be polite about it. It is not something that just happened on Obama's watch, he engineered it.

At some point in the piece Taibbi says, "We could have paid off every subprime mortgage in America for about $1.4 trillion and instead shelled out at least 14 trillion to Wall Street and probably 23 trillion, primarily to pay off derivative bets made by bankers on those assets".

Put this in perspective. The annual GDP of the world is 60 trillion. This is the biggest heist in the history of the world and Obama and the Democrats did it. In a normal world these people would already be hanging from the lamp posts.

I think Taibbi may turn out to be a major writer in the Obama era from the muckraking side of the telling the story. There are not many journalists like him, there are probably none. Taibbi has a mild "gonzo Hunter Thompson" style. I first read Taibbi sometime around 2000 in the very edgy Moscow based alternative paper, The eXile. He has toned it down since then. The eXile has since been run out of Russia by Putin. Taibbi captures the insane quality of American politics perfectly. He wrote this piece on Thomas Friedman in '05, and he went "underground" in Pastor John Hagee's San Antonio mega-church to produce this expose. If these two guys annoy you then you will love Taibbi. I dont think he is done with Obama and I think he is going to just get better.

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