Politico has this story about how photos of the president looking over people’s shoulders has gone viral, you know, he wasn’t getting enough intel on you from your phone records. And if you think you have lived without knowing how celebrities are dealing with the NSA story, well, you should check this out.
But he plays one on TV.
Yesterday, Chairman of the House Government Reform and Oversight Committee Darrell Issa called White House Press Secretary Jay Carney a “paid liar.” As former communications staff for different government officials and politicians, one thing I would never do is lie to the press. It’s just not worth it. Issa’s comments, while in keeping with the general tone we have come to expect in politics, are ridiculous. As a Democrat, I hope he does continues his clear overreach because he is and it’s obscuring any valid points he may have. Benghazi was a tragedy, not a scandal, but the press issue and the flap over at the Internal Revenue Service deserve investigating.
Oh, it is worth noting, that Issa may know a thing or two about “paid liars” as his then-spokesperson Kurt Bardella impersonated Issa in an interview with Howard Kurtz (writing then for the Daily Beast). You can read more about that here.
If you lie to Congress, it is a crime. It’s called perjury. You may remember that when Roger Clemens did it, he barely escaped two counts of it. And you should remember that the official reason President Bill Clinton was impeached was because of perjury (you know, it had nothing to do with the rabid hatred the GOP had of him, then Congressman Bob Barr, R-GA, asked aloud, If we can’t get rid of him with impeachment what else can we do? Uh, win an election.)
So if it is illegal for citizens to lie TO Congress, why is is legal for them to lie to us?
First case of lying: Congressman Darrell Issa (R-CA)
Issa has made some wild claims about Benghazi. One that he has repeated is that former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton personally signed a cable about Benghazi. This has been refuted by all of the whistleblowers and a Washington Post fact checker called that assertion “a whopper” (from Congressman Elijah Cummings’, D-MD testimony at the hearing on the subject on May 8, 2013 — you can watch it online). All State Department cables have the Secretary’s name.
Yet, Issa repeats this claim over and over and over. The goal, of course, is to weaken Secretary Clinton because she is the front runner for the Democratic Party and is popular among Republicans. The only thing they can find to hurt her is this. Truthfully, that we had people in such a dangerous place left so far away from military support seems really upsetting. I am torn from thinking this is Libya, this was September 11th, how could we leave our ambassador so unprotected? The Accountability Review Board (ARB) investigated and released this report. They found that mistakes were made and offered suggestions to prevent this from happening ever again. They were not wimpy as they have been called by some on the right. They were thorough and pretty scathing. There is no question that this should not have happened.
What we know is that when the idea of increasing funding for diplomatic security came up, many of these Republicans who are so unhappy with what happened now, said “no.”
(Disclaimer: I worked for the Clinton Administration on and off for most of it. I also worked for Secretary Clinton’s presidential campaign and support the idea of her running in 2016.)
Liar number 2: Senator Kelly Ayotte (R-NH)
Senator Ayotte has been questioned about her vote against the recent gun control bill. Her response has been — more than once — that she opposed it because she doesn’t want there to be a national registry of gun owners. I support gun control and I don’t want that either. I voted against former DC Mayor Adrian Fenty because, at least partially, he almost went through with a policy to send DC police door-to-door to request residents turn over any guns they didn’t want in their home. If said guns could be tied to a crime, the people who turned them over could be charged with that crime. That is ridiculous.
The bill Senator Ayotte voted against had no such provision. Senators Pat Toomey (R-PA) and Joe Manchin (D-WV) put a provision in the bill making it a felony to keep information on people who had bought a gun past a certain amount of time. No one wants to see such a registry.
I don’t know what her real reason was and would like to hear it because I feel like every other five minutes I hear someone on the right whining that “No one read the bill!” Read the damn bill. And if you have a real reason for going against this common sense bill, please share it. I might even agree with the real reason, if I knew what it was.
And the liars that love them.
Could the right be happier about anything than Benghazi? Were they this upset with President Bush for letting 9/11 happened? (Didn’t he get a report entitled Bin laden determined to attack the US within the US? Did he not have intelligence that al Qaeda was looking at using airplanes? Yes on both. You may remember how I was jumping up and down begging for hearings? Oh, you don’t? This isn’t just because I am not a major TV network but because I am not a truther nor do I see politics in every event on earth).
Second problem I have with the right’s response is their comparison to Watergate. They say “when Obama lied, people died.” I have two problems with that statement. The first issue I have is substantive. President Obama has not lied. This is not a cover-up. This is a tragedy and shows some real holes in the way we do business that need to be fixed. Secondly, it implies that these lies caused deaths. Even if this was true, they happened after the event in question so any attempts at finding a causality are just ridiculous.
On the gun control thing, the National Rifle Association and American Future Fund have some to Senator Ayotte’s defense. The latter has sponsored ads that compound her lie with one of their own. They claim she has voted for increased background checks when she did the opposite. Read that here (and see the ad).
One thing that gets under my skin more than many things is when people put up with politicians who lie because that’s just how it’s done. We get the government we settle for, we need to expect better.
The Affordable Care Act (ACA), otherwise known as Obamacare turns three today. Many of the provisions will go into effect in January 2014 and you may be unsure about how this may impact your coverage. Some states have seen insurance companies increase their premiums and you may be concerned that will happen to you. A new web site has been set up to explain the bill and what your options will be. If you are interested, check this out.
PS. I recently had a heated conversation with someone who was convinced the ACA could have been written by Hitler (really, it was surreal, I am such a freak magnet). Nothing I have read about makes me think that, if you have evidence to prove me wrong, please let me know.
He may not be Mr. Smith but Senator Rand Paul did exactly what I like to see Senators do, he executed
“The question you have posed is therefore entirely hypothetical, unlikely to occur, and onewe hope no President will ever have to confront. It is possible, I suppose, to imagine anextraordinary circumstance in which it would be necessary and appropriate under the Constitution and applicable laws of the United States for the President to authorize the military to use lethal force within the territory of the United States. For example, the President could conceivably have no choice but to authorize the military to use such force if necessary to protect the homeland in the circumstances of a catastrophic attack like the ones suffered on December 7, 1941, and September 11, 2001.”
The emphasis inserted is mine but while I think the administration is not planning any attacks on Americans who are in America, the answer he was looking for was “No.” What he got was a longer letter explaining that, if I am reading this right, looks like it was “We don’t want to do that but we don’t want to take anything off the table.” As a liberal Democrat, I am not often in the position of supporting senators like Paul but I 1. love that he did a full on real filibuster and 2. I agree with his position on this — there is no circumstance that would justify using a drone against a US citizen within the US, we have too many other resources.
“Paul has since been joined in his symbolic effort by Republican Sens. Mike Lee (Utah), Ted Cruz (Tex.), Jerry Moran (Kan.), Marco Rubio (Fla.), Saxby Chambliss (Ga.) and Pat Toomey (Pa.). He has also gotten some bipartisan support from Democratic Sen. Ron Wyden (Ore.). Sen. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) brought Paul an apple and a thermos of tea — a possible reference to the film Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, in which Jimmy Stewart brings out similar provisions.”
Now there were some who said Senator Paul was doing this to play to his base and to people who support his father, Congressman Ron Paul. That he is laying the groundwork for his 2016 presidential campaign, and there is some truth to that. To think otherwise would be naive but that doesn’t make his effort meaningless. Yes, John Brennan will be confirmed to be the head of the CIA. Yes, this was a losing battle. (Didn’t Mr. Smith say “The only battles worth fighting are the losing ones?” — paraphrase, I am not sure what the exact wording is.) He won’t win this but he did bring attention to this and that is a good thing.
My proudest moment of my career was when I was the communications director for Congressman Joe Sestak (D-PA). The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) was up for reauthorization. The legislative director (LD) and I disagreed on how he should vote, the LD thought he had to vote for it to look patriotic. I thought it was (and is) bad for the country and that Joe’s 32 years in the Navy was proof enough of his patriotism. We weren’t sure how he would vote and I wrote press releases for both. He was on the floor and I texted him “Those who would give up liberty for security deserve neither,” Benkamin Franklin. He said that during his “one minute” (they give representatives these “one minute” speech times on the floor) and I have never felt more part of our government. He voted “no.” We lost the fight, FISA was reauthorized but when I went home that night, I felt like I fought the good fight and did everything I could.
Thank you Senator Paul, I don’t say that often but I really mean it.
Addition: If you think my opinion on things like the filibuster is new, please read this.
Update: Bob Cesca posted this. (Thank you.) Basically, Eric Holder wrote Senator Paul another letter in which he said:
“It has come to my attention that you have now asked an additional question: “Does the President have the authority to use a weaponized drone to kill an American not engaged in combat on American soil? The answer to that question is no.”
That response satisfies me. (Apparently, Paul is also satisfied with that answer but I suspect he may change his mind.) I still appreciate the old school filibuster. Especially when too often Senators use less visible tactics, like the one being used to block judicial nominees such as the “silent filibuster” where one senator can block a nomination anonymously.
Elections have consequences, Chuck Hagel deserves an up or down vote on his nomination.
Republicans in the Senate have never been thrilled by President Obama’s decision to nominate former Senator Chuck Hagel as his new Secretary of Defense. Their reasons have varied from his finances, to wanting information on the September 11th attack in Benghazi – when he had no role in the government, to just not liking him. At least Senator John McCain (R-AZ), a former good friend to Hagel, had the integrity (or should it be called audacity) to admit that he won’t vote for Hagel because he was “disagreeable.” Since when is being friendly a prerequisite for anything in Washington, DC? All accounts I have heard make “disagreeable” sound like a compliment compared to what people really think of McCain himself (word around the Hill is that is just pissy and angry but that hasn’t made him step down from him Senate seat).
Senator Lindsay Graham’s (R-SC) insistence that the Administration produce more information on something completely unrelated to the Hagel nomination is curious, especially given statements he has made in the past when it came to other nominations. During Elena Kagen’s confirmation hearings, he seemed to believe that presidents have the right to have their picks for high offices go through — and I can think of few positions higher than that of Supreme Court Justice, a position held for life and whose influence goes much further than that of a cabinet official.
Here are some excerpts from Senator Graham’s opening statement at this confirmation hearing:
“And as all of our colleagues remember, just a few years ago, we had a real — real conflict in the Senate about filibustering judicial nominees. And it was Senator Byrd and a few other senators who came up with the “extraordinary circumstances” test that would say that filibusters should only be used in extraordinary circumstances because elections have consequences. And Senator Byrd was one of the chief authors of the language defining what an “extraordinary circumstance” was…
“Ken Starr and Ted Olson have suggested to the committee that you are a qualified nominee. There’s no to doubt in my mind that you are a liberal person. That applies to most of the people on the other side, and I respect them and I respect you. I’m a conservative person. And you would expect a conservative president to nominate a conservative person who did not work in the Clinton administration.
“So the fact that you’ve embraced liberal causes and you have grown up in a liberal household is something we need to talk about, but that’s just America. It’s OK to be liberal. It’s OK to be conservative. But when it comes time to be a judge, you’ve got to make sure you understand the limits that that position places on any agenda, liberal or conservative…
“At the end of the day, I think the qualification test will met. Whether or nor activism can be parked is up to you. And I look at this confirmation process as a way to recognize that elections have consequences and the Senate has an independent obligation on behalf of the people of this country to put you under scrutiny, firm and fair, respectful and sometimes contentious.
“Good luck. Be as candid as possible. And it’s OK to disagree with us up here. Thank you.”(bold emphasis was mine)
Now, Senator Graham did vote for her conformation but did not vote either way on Kagen’s nomination to be the US Solicitor General. His explanation for that was:
“I am not convinced that Solicitor General Kagan will be able to shed her deeply held personal ideological beliefs, political views and experiences, and check those biases at the door of the Supreme Court. Therefore, I must vote against her nomination.” Source here. Keep in mind, he felt this way about Kagen when she was up for Solicitor General and still voted to confirm her to the Supreme Court.
Mr. Graham’s position is clearly different now. Of the Hagel nomination — and other national security posts such as John Brennan’s nomination to be the new CIA Director, he has said, “”I’m gonna hit you and keep hittin’ you. Absolutely,” Graham said when asked by a reporter why he planned to continue his efforts against Hagel and Brennan. “You better believe that I’m not going to let this go.””
Senator Graham is well within his rights to oppose a nomination and vote against it — his allegations that somehow Hagel is friendly with Iran, whose government supposedly endorsed this nomination, are just absurd and holding up a Defense Secretary nomination while we are at war seems amazingly short sighted and just plan stupid.
PS. To be fair to Senator Graham, and I do try to be fair, I emailed his press secretary for clarification on the change in his position on using the filibuster in cases like this. Should I receive a response, I will post it — unedited — here.
Bring Back the Draft
Congressman Charles Rangel (D-NY) was on Morning Joe this week advocating for a return of the draft. The official reason we don’t have one has been that a volunteer military works best — we want people who want to be there. And we do. If we weren’t sending our troops all over the globe to police the world, as we seem to be doing right now, I would agree but we are. We expect more from our military and their families than we have ever asked before. That is not to say the “greatest generation” didn’t sacrifice for the country; they did. The main difference is the sacrifice was spread out over the entire country. Currently, despite being in the hopefully end stages of our longest war (Afghanistan) only one percent of the population actively feels the impact of the war. Multiple deployments combined with extended tours are taking a toll.
To put this in perspective, in 2012, more soldiers died at their own hands than in combat. Read more here. Yes, more soldiers killed themselves. Having witnessed the impact suicide has on the person’s family and friends up close, I can tell you it is one of the most horrible things to go through (not that I really need to say that, I just feel the need to).
First we ask our military to go above and beyond the call of duty — and their families and loved ones go through the same thing. As an aside, Bank of America was fined for illegally foreclosing on the homes of soldiers fighting in wars (one service member told me, the foreclosure process was more stressful than his time in war — not kidding).
When talking about things like Medicare, Republicans (I am looking at you Paul Ryan) will say “we need people to feel they have skin in the game.” If that is true for Medicare, why is not true of war? I agree with Rangel. If more of us knew that starting new wars would mean people we love would be sent to fight for us, maybe we would think a little bit more about doing it.
“They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.” Benjamin Franklin
I support most of President Barack Obama’s actions and policies. That does not mean when they violate the fundamental ideas that make me believe in our republic I will blindly follow him. The recent reports about his use of drones to target Americans trouble me. If these same policies were announced under George W. Bush’s tenure in the White House I would be furious. Case in point: I opposed the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA). This expands law enforcement’s abilities to spy on its own citizens. The proudest moment of my career was when I texted my then boss to repeat the above quote on the floor of the House of Representatives before he voted no to its reauthorization and he did. I was even more appalled when a Bush spokesperson explained away the deaths of some Americans overseas — they were on a bus that had been targeted because there was a terror suspect on board — by saying that; their proximity to the terrorist meant they were equally as guilty, as if they had any idea.
So the revelation that we are using drones, and my feelings on their use in general ranges from just bad policy to being downright evil, disturbs me greatly.
Every US passport reads, “The Secretary of State of the United States of America herby requests all whom it may concern to permit this citizen/national of the United States named herein to pass without delay or hindrance and in case of need to give all lawful aid and protection.” So, even when outside of the country, the rights bestowed on Americans while inside the US, extend to us when we are outside of it. It’s why embassies are considered to be part of the country they represent. (If you are wondering how I feel about the policy to hold US citizens indefinitely when suspected of being traitors, I feel exactly the same way).
Our Constitution, the guiding document of our government provides us with certain protections against being signaled out for prosecution and certainly death at the hands of our government. I am willing to give up some conveniences to be safer. I take my shoes off and walk through often confusing and less than coordinated policies the TSA has set up when I fly. I accept that on any given day, I am photographed or videotaped countless times as I go about my day to day life. I am not willing to give up those protections, however and believe both the provisions that allow our federal government to detain or kill anyone because it thinks it has “intelligence” that proves they are terrorists. Our “intelligence” told us Saddam Hussein was developing weapons of mass destruction. It has also more recently lead to us using our drones against such dangerous threats as weddings.
Specifically, these provisions violates:
The Fifth Amendment:
“No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.”
The Sixth Amendment:
“In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defense.”
The gist of how this policy works is a senior US government official — apparently the president himself, reviews intelligence and decides who lives and who dies. Notwithstanding the inherent flaws in any intelligence of this sort — even when followed to the letter, our criminal justice system has deep flaws (Look at the number of people removed from death row or the states that have imposed moratoriums on it due to DNA evidence) — we elected a president, not a god or king.
Yes, al Qaeda wants to attack us and yes, the definition of war has changed dramatically how we fight non-nation states. In the post “24″ and “Zero Dark Thirty” world, maybe we think we need to resort to extreme tactics to keep our citizenry safe. I do not subscribe to the view that torture produces good intelligence (to quote ‘Reservoir Dogs” – “If you torture someone long enough they will admit to setting the Chicago Fire but that don’t make it so.”) but that’s a point for another day.
I still don’t think tossing due process under the bus is ever a good idea. I mean, if we destroy the very things that make our nation so special, I guess the terrorists can all go to Disney World because they clearly have won.
Here is that memo as obtained by NBC News.
By now you probably have heard that President Obama signed 23 executive orders on gun safety. You might also have heard Senator Rand Paul’s (R-KY) comments that by signing them, President Obama morphed himself into King Obama and that he plans to introduce legislation to nullify any that “smack of legislation,” because he believes some do. I reached out to the Senator’s office to see if I could get more information on his proposal or which orders he finds problematic but have yet to receive a response. I want to be fair to the Senator, I don’t disagree with him on everything so I hope I someone from there will get back to me.
Executive orders are not legislation nor are they directed at the general public. They are directives for the federal government. You can read the Congressional Research Service report on executive orders here. After reading through the orders themselves, I saw none that A, look like legislation or B, would impact any current or future/prospective gun owners. I am not alone in that assessment. Rich Ungar from Forbes wrote the very same thing here. He published all 23 of them and concluded:
“It does not appear that any of the executive orders would have any impact on the guns people currently own-or would like to purchase- and that all proposals regarding limiting the availability of assault weapons or large ammunition magazines will be proposed for Congressional action. As such, any potential effort to create a constitutional crisis—or the leveling of charges that the White House has overstepped its executive authority—would hold no validity.”
Now, despite what gun advocates have been saying, no one thinks any one new law will prevent all gun violence any more than current laws prevent all crime but that does not mean enacting provisions such as universal background checks or reinstating the assault weapons ban will do nothing. When one person can walk into a school or movie theatre or place of worship and kill or injure more than 50 people (Aurora), that’s a problem.
But this conversation needs to be bigger — and one reason I am so upset with the National Rifle Association (NRA) is that I agree with some of what they said but their statements advocating addressing violence in movies/video games and dealing with mental health issues were lost in the outrage over how stupid a “press conference” Wayne LaPierre gave. Yes, we need to deal with mental health parity (one of the much maligned executive orders calls for this) and we should talk about violence in movies and video games — as much as I love the First Amendment, it is no more absolute than the Second but making sure dangerous people do not have access to weapons is a good idea. We need to start somewhere and closing loopholes that let people with mental health issues or criminal/terrorist background seems like as good a place as any to start.
Note to Senator Rand Paul: If you want to respond to my questions about your objections to the gun safety executive orders, I will be more than happy to put it up unedited. Just let me know.
Barack Obama has been busy cozying up to big business in the wake of his electoral victory in November, trying to mend fractured relations that saw Wall St and big industry put most of their money into Mitt Romney’s campaign. “I am passionately rooting for your success,” Obama said to a group of business leaders last week at a question-and-answer session at the Business Roundtable in Washington.
It’s slightly nauseating to watch Obama begging the business community for acceptance, but given the extraordinary hatred he has been subjected to by America’s wealthiest citizens, it’s not surprising. “You know, the largest and greatest country in the free world put a forty-seven-year-old guy that never worked a day in his life and made him in charge of the free world,” said Forbes 400 rich list member Leon Cooperman earlier this year. “Not totally different from taking Adolf Hitler in Germany and making him in charge of Germany because people were economically dissatisfied.” Cooperman, part of a Billionaire ‘Hate Club‘ saw Obama’s desire to see millionaires pay what they did under Bill Clinton as an affront to ‘wealth creators’ like himself and a turn towards socialism.
The poor relations between Obama and the mega wealthy is perplexing to say the least, given Obama has gone out of his way to ensure their needs have been well catered to. As Chrystia Freeland noted in a brilliant piece in the New Yorker in October of this year:
The growing antagonism of the super-wealthy toward Obama can seem mystifying, since Obama has served the rich quite well. His Administration supported the seven-hundred-billion-dollar TARP rescue package for Wall Street, and resisted calls from the Nobel Prize winners Joseph Stiglitz and Paul Krugman, and others on the left, to nationalize the big banks in exchange for that largesse. At the end of September, the S. & P. 500, the benchmark U.S. stock index, had rebounded to just 6.9 per cent below its all-time pre-crisis high, on October 9, 2007. The economists Emmanuel Saez and Thomas Piketty have found that ninety-three per cent of the gains during the 2009-10 recovery went to the top one per cent of earners. Those seated around the table at dinner with Al Gore had done even better: the top 0.01 per cent captured thirty-seven per cent of the total recovery pie, with a rebound in their incomes of more than twenty per cent, which amounted to an additional $4.2 million each.
The hatred felt from elites towards Obama is the symptom of a very serious cultural problem that has infected America in recent times and made economic progress incredibly difficult. That cultural problem is one of ideology – the ardent faith in markets that promotes self interest and greed as the main driving force behind economic growth. This makes reality increasingly difficult for people to understand as everything is always seen through the lenses of a predefined set of beliefs.
It is almost difficult to understand economic realities through the prism of ideology. From Marxism to Capitalism, ideologies set out the world as it should be – a socialistic paradise where mutualism and group solidarity increases productivity, or a individualistic utopia where self interest creates enormous material wealth for everyone. The problem is, human societies are far too complicated and erratic to responded docilely to imposed ideological structures, and understanding economic activity within them is as much an art as it is a science.
The Ayn Rand self interest model has been adopted by the economic elite for a simple reason; it justifies their position in society. Not only do they get to be wealthy beyond comprehension, they also get to be the saviors of society. It does not matter that much of their wealth has been built off the back of government investment and protection, and it does not matter that their continued existence is the result of a gigantic public bailout that propped up a crumbling system that was about to take down the entire global economy down.
To hedge fund billionaires like Cooperman, the wealthy are wealthy because they work harder than everyone else, and any attempt to get them to pay their fair share of taxes is akin to theft.
The problem with this model of self interest is that it completely discounts externalities that have disastrous effects on society. While Cooperman is raking in billions of dollars through his hedge fund, he pays no attention to the social havoc his investments can cause. Take for example, the debt crisis in Greece. Hedge funds have long been buying up Greek bonds at discount rates hoping to see a huge return for their buy-low-sell-high strategy. The problem is, as part of the EU bailout package, investors are being asked to take a hit along with the Greek public, and they won’t accept it, betting they will be able to suck up a big portion of the bailout money if they hold out. While poverty spirals out of control in Greece, the general population has little control over the bailout deal their government negotiates. But hedge fund managers do, and they are continuing to squeeze Greece in order to make their billions. Traditionally, if you make an investment and it doesn’t work out, you lose your money. But if you’re on Wall St, the government is there to ensure you make your money regardless of how bad an investment it was, and how badly it affects the people involved.
This is one small example, but every industry on the planet has some adverse effect on society in some way, and given the nature of many businesses, if left unchecked their behavior would be catastrophic for society (and in the case of Wall St, it already is). That’s why we have regulation, safety standards, and workers rights, because maximizing self interest doesn’t always create the best results for society in general. That’s not to say that a degree of self interest isn’t a good thing, it clearly is as there are many benefits to an incentivized market system, but it should not be the only principle guiding the way we organize our society.
President Obama has tried to argue for a shift away from the culture of pure self interest without ruffling too many feathers. He proposals to bring taxation in line with the Clinton era is hardly dramatic, yet Wall St and big business have reacted with exceptional viciousness. Obama is again going back to them and offering more concession – stroking their egos and begging for acceptance. As Zeke Miller writes in Buzzfeed:
Robert Wolf, a friend, bundler, and adviser to Obama and the former Chairman of UBS Americas, said the relationship between the business community and the White House is more robust now than at any point in the Obama presidency…..
Wolf said he is optimistic [on the new relationship between the Administration and big business].
“They’re not just talking fiscal cliff, they are talking about ways to make the us more competitive going into 2013 — things like immigration, education, corporate tax reform, and tax policy that the president is making a priority,” said Wolf. “They actually align very well with what the private sector wants to participate it.”
This type of deal making may be a political necessity for Obama going forward, but there’s one thing we can be sure of; it won’t be good for the American public.