Archive for January, 2009

The king is dead! Long live the king.

Posted in Uncategorized on 20 January, 2009 by salutiferous

An era has ended with Obama’s inauguration but as much as his campaign played on the theme of change, most of the change will be cosmetic. Obama will certainly put an end to the Bush Doctrine, colloquially known as “fuck you” diplomacy. He will restore America’s image abroad to that of its pre-Bush years which means that he will restore the vail over the most flagrant abuses of power like Guantanamo and domestic wiretapping. Because Bush didn’t invent these abuses, Obama will not end them. Where Bush put them on display, Obama will put them back in the closet. Obama will restore the gravitas and professionalism Americans typically associate with the Office of the President of the United States of America. These changes will have the greatest impact on like minded western nations like the G8 and Australia.

There are many areas where Obama and his cabinet will affect little change however. These issues were not even in contention during his election. Some of these include:

  • the United States’ unconditional support for Israel
  • the military industrial congressional complex
  • the war on drugs
  • universal healthcare
  • China’s most favored nation trading status
  • participation in the WTO, IMF and World Bank

The future is never certain and there is always hope that circumstances could provide catalists where none currently exist today. Obama, unlike Bush and even those before back to and including Reagan, has the potential much like FDR did to enact significant, progressive and lasting change for the benefit of most Americans.

Let us celebrate the ability to hope again.

In memory…

Posted in Uncategorized on 19 January, 2009 by salutiferous

kingjr

Citicorp and Travelers Merger

Posted in Uncategorized on 14 January, 2009 by salutiferous

George Bush likes to say that long term history will be the judge of his actions. In fact, he just said it again at his final press conference. If we take that to heart, as his arrogant ultra-rich turd of a brain thinks we do, then the Citigroup merger with Travellers is looking less like the visionary idea of new economy executives and more like a pile of stinking dogma intended to distract you from the looting fest about to follow. Well, it only looked like the former in press releases by Travellers and Citi.

Did I mention that Travellers and Citigroup merged back in 1998 in direct violation of the Glass-Steagall Act? Back in the Great Depression, people thought it was a shame that they couldn’t withdraw money from their bank account to spend at their favorite Hooverville just because some investment muckety muck lost their money on the stock market. So the Glass-Steagall Act was born depriving many a trust fund juvenile from gaining greater riches with the working man’s money.

Rather than enforce the law on Citi and Travellers, Mr. Business himself, Bill Clinton repealed it. Think how juicy the repeal of the Glass-Steagall was. It was so juicy in fact that these spoiled brats at Citi and Travellers couldn’t even wait for it. They went ahead, rummaged through their parents closet and opened their Christmas present the day after Thanksgiving.

As if we needed another data point on whether the Glass-Steagall Act was a good idea, there is a side story to this. Remember that whole Savings and Loan Scandal? Funny thing. It turns out that this followed a bout of financial “deregulation” shortly after The Gipper entered the Whitehouse. Ha ha ha… I bet you’ll laugh all the way to the unemployment office.