brendan: Wow.

me: yup. “the Fed had committed $7.77 trillion as of March 2009 to rescuing the financial system, more than half the value of everything produced in the U.S. that year.” also, as noted, unlike TARP, no strings attached to that money

brendan: Why would there be? Who works at the Fed? A bunch of people who used to run these bailed-out banks and companies.  These are friends doing favors for friends. Friends don’t attach strings and conditions to favors. God, how cynical are you, Craig

brendan: I also like how Barney Frank and Judd Gregg knew there was something going on, but no specifics. And apparently didn’t feel it was important to ask

me: these follks are sensitive, yknow? don’t wanna ruffle any feathers or make them feel bad since the financial stability of the entire world apparently depends on their wealthy ballsacks being consistently warmed by robo-whores made of gold who can give blowjobs with (somehow soft) diamond lips

brendan: That was beautiful. Somehow soft diamond lips.

me: it’s a technology only Fuck-YOU Money can buy



— UC-Davis Chancellor Linda Katehi, explaining why she shouldn’t be held accountable for the UC Davis pepper spray incident (numerous videos available at the above link, if by some strange chance you haven’t seen one yet).

“Moving forward” has become a handy euphemism for ignoring abuses of power and shielding the people responsible from consequences. (Though the call for starting the healing process and moving forward is strangely absent when the accusations are against, say, young people of color or non-citizens.)

Katehi’s call to move forward is hardly the first time the language has been code for free pass. As Glenn Greenwald wryly notes, that same day, Vice President Dick Cheney publicly lauded President Obama for not prosecuting people responsible for the Bush administration’s “enhanced-interrogation” policies, itself code for torture. (Just like “Iraq has WMDs” was code for “No it doesn’t.”)

Obama himself has used these words like a mantra, and even gained some devotees:

Oh wait. The last one was Obama referring to ex-Indonesian President Suharto. Apparently we only look backwards when we’re talking about some one else’s skeletons.

 CLICK HERE and read more by Jeannie Rose Field on the topic. 

Let’s weave this into my political platform…. Truth and Reconciliation? Fuck, who needs that, we are people of the Future. Look at that great big Future out there. Keep looking! Nevermind the past. Forget about the present. Look on to Forever, where the Future is, keep reaching for it as it keeps receding into the distance. Don’t look at the Present, that’d be like when the cartoon runs of the cliff and then it looks down to notice that there’s nothing there. CERTAINLY don’t look to the past. 

As long as we’re at it, anything I’ve ever done wrong, let’s just forget about it. Let’s look forward. Again. Forever. why’d you even ever stop? As a friend suggested “I may have messed up all those times I suggested we just move forward, but let’s look ahead and not back to here.” and that time, just now (see there you go again with the Present), that I again said let’s look forward? Well NOW that’s the past, so let’s move forward. Again. Forever.

oh uh, but I just wanted to point out one thing before moving forward. That thing that you did terribly and horribly wrong that you need to be held accountable for. I’m sorry, but we simply can’t look forward without looking back. I know what I said, but that’s for you, YOU look forward, but I must look forward and back because I am like Janus, I am god-like, you’re a fucking mortal. So fuck you. And keep your eyes on the fucking future prize.

Power can be wielded creatively and effectively on behalf of whatever it is the wielder wants. Now of course there are constraints, plenty of them. Smart politicians spend their time working to maximize the constraints they want to impose and weakening the ones they want to overcome. But the basic Reaganite liberal argument defending supplication towards Obama these days is that Obama is “disappointing”. In this line of thought, powerful corporate interests and Republicans are preventing him from enacting what his real agenda would be were he unfettered by this mean machine. Eric Schneiderman, who is in a far less powerful position as New York Attorney General, shows that this is utter hogwash. Obama is who he is, and anyone who thinks otherwise is selling something.

Matt Stoller: Power Politics – What Eric Schneiderman Reveals About Obama

Like his predecessor Obama is a war president (perhaps even more so). Like his predecessor Obama believes in the banks (regardless of the evidence that they’re fleecing us). Like his predecessor Obama has little care for the law when it gets in the way of the interests of power (but Obama’s even worse when it comes to whistleblowers). It baffles me that Republicans don’t want to re-elect this guy.

In America today it could be this, Guy attempts to rob bank with the sole purpose of being put in jail so that he can finally get healthcare for his painful medical problems:

The only thing Verone qualified for was food stamps. The extra money helped, but he felt desperate. He needed to get medical attention, and he refused to be a burden on his sister and brothers.

The teller had some raised blood-pressure and had to go to the hospital.

Verone said he was sorry for causing the woman any pain.

But it’s long been clear that this is Obama’s understanding of “a nation of laws”: the most powerful political and financial elites who commit the most egregious crimes are to be shielded from the consequences of their lawbreaking — see his vote in favor of retroactive telecom immunity, his protection of Bush war criminals, and the way in which Wall Street executives were permitted to plunder with impunity — while the most powerless figures (such as a 23-year-old Army Private and a slew of other low-level whistleblowers) who expose the corruption and criminality of those elites are to be mercilessly punished. And, of course, our nation’s lowest persona non grata group — accused Muslim Terrorists — are simply to be encaged for life without any charges. Merciless, due-process-free punishment is for the powerless; full-scale immunity is for the powerful. “Nation of laws” indeed.

Glenn Greenwald (via azspot)

The funniest (in that, “I think i’m going to be sick” sort of way) aspects of Obama’s quotes in the video:

  • these weren’t prepared remarks, this really seems to be him speaking from the gut
  • He said “we are a nation of laws” essentially within the same breath of declaring Manning guilty although Manning has not gotten anything even remotely ressembling a trial (this is Law 101 comfortably ignored by President Self-Described Constitutional Scholar)
  • Obama keeps having more and more of these “L’Etat c’est moi” moments.

Another provocative bit of data circulating on the net is a 2007 Democracy Now! interview of US Gen. Wesley Clark (Ret.). In it he says that about ten days after September 11, 2001, he was told by a general that the decision had been made to go to war with Iraq. Clark was surprised and asked why. “I don’t know!” was the response. “I guess they don’t know what else to do!” Later, the same general said they planned to take out seven countries in five years: Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Iran.

What do these seven countries have in common? In the context of banking, one that sticks out is that none of them is listed among the 56 member banks of the Bank for International Settlements (BIS). That evidently puts them outside the long regulatory arm of the central bankers’ central bank in Switzerland.