Saturday, January 08, 2011

Selling Daley Like A Sack Of Old, Stinking Fish To The Public


I felt nearly as sick earlier this week, when I started hearing the Daley as chief of staff rumors, as I did when Obama sealed his fate just before taking over the White House by announcing that Rahm Emanuel would be his first chief of staff. Emanuel has been an unmitigated disaster for Obama and, worse yet, for the Democratic Party, and I really hope Daley will improve things but, I don't expect any miracles-- unless one interprets "improve things" to mean that Obama will get more credit for the yeoman's work he's been doing for Wall Street, Corporate America and the permanent, albeit shrinking, ruling class at the expense of society. People, including apparently President Obama's administration, mix up corporate profits with a strong, healthy economy for America. They're not the same. The growing disparity between rich and poor is very serious and dangerous and the fact that "earnings per share for all Standard & Poor’s 500 Index companies are expected to have risen about 20 percent to $22.05 for the three months ended Dec. 31," doesn't mean nearly as much. It's nice that consumers have been duped into wanting iPads-- which aren't nearly as functional as Apple's own Air-- but they're made in China, the country that has really gained the most from U.S. economic policies under Reagan, the Bushes, Clinton and Obama.

But... but... but... the unemployment rate fell all the way to 9.4%, right? Smoke and mirrors, mostly, I'm afraid.
The Labor Department reported that the unemployment rate fell to 9.4 percent in December, however much of the reason for the decline was a drop of 260,000 in the size of the labor force. The employment-to-population (EPOP) ratio inched up by 0.1 percentage points to 58.3 percent, but it is still 0.2 percentage points below the September level and just 0.1 percent above the low point for the downturn. The establishment survey showed the economy creating just 103,000 jobs in December.

On the whole, this report does not suggest a very positive picture of the labor market going into 2011. The decline in the unemployment rate is certainly positive, but with EPOPs hovering near their low point for the downturn, the main story appears to be people giving up looking for work. Furthermore, there is no sector that appears to be experiencing robust job growth at the moment, nor any likely candidates for the near future.

But Wall Street... happy days are here are again... and again... and again... and again. Everybody's happy about William Daley (the man whose #1 agenda item is reelecting Obama)-- the Conservative Consensus is having a mass orgasm-- as Karl Rove, the Bush Family and William Donahue of the poisonous Chamber of Commerce all belt out hosannas. They're as happy as Howard Dean and Robert Reich say they are. And the White House is determined to get peoples' minds off trifles like this. Ahh... the good old days:
The Bell company has lousy relationships with many state regulators and little Democratic support in Congress. Hiring former Commerce Secretary William Daley as its new president is expected to solve both problems. ... A political heavyweight, Daley is expected to wield his considerable influence on both state and national levels to garner the long-distance and broadband relief SBC has been seeking. ...

According to Scott Cleland, president of The Precursor Group, SBC has scored a coup by hiring Daley. ... “SBC has a regulatory minefield to traverse, and they need the best around to do it,” Cleland said. “They got him.” ...

Daley is well respected on both sides of Capitol Hill, said Simon Reeves, analyst for Pacific Crest Securities. “Because of his stature, SBC will be able to get access to people they might not otherwise,” Reeves said. “He will hold more sway than SBC’s existing lobbyists. Daley is another arrow in their quiver.” Being a Democrat doesn’t hurt, either. SBC is considered a Republican company led by a CEO who is close to President Bush, according to [former Illinois Commerce Commission chairman Terry] Barnich. “They need to shore up Democratic support in Congress, and Daley will help them do that.”

In Daley, SBC got the political clout it were looking for. Daley’s first assignment was to lobby Capitol Hill to pass the Tauzin-Dingell bill, which would have strengthened local phone companies’ monopolies. His biggest victory, not surprisingly, came in Illinois, where, according to Crain’s Chicago Business, Daley was SBC’s “chief lobbyist” on a bill that would let the company “start charging its rivals nearly twice as much” for using its network. (Daley has long maintained that he’s never been a lobbyist.) The measure was opposed by Democratic politicians locally (including the Democratic lieutenant governor and attorney general) and nationally: John Conyers labeled the bill “a national embarrassment. The Democratic Party is supposed to stand for consumers.” Yet SBC’s Daley-led lobbying, which included $200,000 in contributions to then-governor Rod Blagojevich’s campaign and inauguration committees, led to Blagojevich signing the bill into law just four days after it was first introduced in the state legislature. Crain’s called the speed “unheard of for non-emergency legislation. … Illinois consumers and small businesses will again be at the mercy of a local phone service monopoly.”

In fact, the bill was so anti-consumer that a federal judge blocked the rate-hike less than a month later. Many Democrats in the state legislature had gone along with Blagojevich, thoroughly cowed by Daley’s power. One of the few Dems to oppose Daley’s lobbying publicly was a young state senator, who explained his opposition by saying, “Ramrodding bills through because you’ve got the clout to do so-- rather than because you’ve got arguments on your side-- is not a good way to do the people’s business.” The state senator’s name? Barack Obama.

So how are they selling this crap on the open market of public opinion? The White House Talking Points:
* Bill Daley brings with him tremendous experience, strong values and a forward-looking vision to this White House. He will be critical to the President's mission of growing our economy and moving America forward.

* From his time as President Clinton's Commerce Secretary, Bill Daley has developed a profound awareness of how our systems of government and politics work. And his service in the private sector leading major corporations has given him a deep understanding of how to create jobs and grow our economy.

*The President is convinced that Bill Daley's leadership will benefit this White House as we work to confront the challenges facing the American people; he looks forward to working with him for years to come.

Oh, yeah, forget all my criticism; I'm jumping right on board this shitfest.

This is how Democrats used to campaign, long before so many party leaders sold out to Wall Street and Big Business. Rick Perlstein sent me this election-eve radio commercial starring Humphrey Bogart, Judy Garland and Groucho Marx for FDR's reelection. It's not slick by our Madison Avenue/Hollywood standards... but, wow!, did Democrats have balls back then! No wonder they consigned the GOP to the peanut gallery for decades! I wish Democratic politicians today could make the case for an activist government the way they did in those days. Do yourself a favor and listen all the way through:

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At 8:47 AM, Blogger TroubleCominEveryday said...

Its not "like", it IS "a sack of old, stinking fish". It makes me want to "hurl big chunks". President Obama just keeps proving he is "right-wing"(really insane).

At 10:04 AM, Anonymous Bil said...

A $3-5 million dollar CHASE exec who was present the last 6 years when CHASE screwed 1 million of their best customers by raising their minimum payments 150% because they COULD- is not the model. Chase is still fighting and losing 7-10 class action suits for the non opt out on low balance transfer LEGAL agreements that Chase called "toxic assets". Chase/Daimon are the worst kind of predators, successful.

NOTHING good can come out of this running to the center triangulation, and I predict it IS going to backfire. SURE, it is hard to imagine that even as pissed off as Progressives are that we would vote for a Republican, BUT now that you see where Obama is going WHY NOT a repackaged Mitt Romney, former Gov of one of our more liberal states AND with an ahead of its time health care package??? The GOP is dead, so why not reinvent and run to the center and let people CHOOSE if they want Mitt or Obama??? Yes we COULD!



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