Thursday, September 22, 2011

Tim Geithner, a Tool of the Big Banks?

So Ron Suskind, former Wall Street Journal reporter, Pulitzer prize winner, New York Times best selling author is out with a new book, Confidence Men: Wall Street, Washington and the Education of a President, among other things claiming that Treasury Tim Geithner has been a quisling (my word) in the Obama Administration, shilling for the big banks and slow walking presidential financial reforms?

Well, since I am not part of the Obama Administration and the Prez doesn’t check in with me to discuss his personal feelings, I only can assume that Suskind doesn’t read my blog, where I’ve been saying the same thing for many months, only in a much kinder way.

The Treasury Secretary came from the industry he is supposed to monitor and, occasionally lean on, but what he's done is more like cuddling and providing succor to the big banks and their investment banking subs.

I’m sure, when Geithner’s time in DC is over, he’ll find a comfy well paying niche in the financial services industry.

Suskind’s also book seems to expose former Obama economic advisor Larry Summers for the loose lips, sour grapes guy most think he is when he doesn’t (or didn’t) get his way..

It seems clear that Summers--who was dumped by the White House not long after he was named--appears to be the disgruntled source for a lot of the negative descriptions of the President and his advisors in Suskind’s book.

No political jobs for Larry.

Sign on the Times?

I was walking my dog this morning past one of the many banks on upper Connecticut Avenue in the District of Columbia, when I came across a large sandwich board sign saying “M&T Bank Is Lending!”

I guess that sign’s statement could be interpreted many ways, but the most likely is that the bank management’s doesn’t believe that most consumers think that banks in general are lending their money to individuals and businesses and M&T needs to get the word out that it is (or may be, since the devil is in the details).

What next sky-writing small planes, “Citicorp is…..!”

Could it Happen in the United States?

Which GOP presidential candidate—if he doesn’t change his tune--is most likely to generate civilian strife, bordering on civil war, if elected President?

IMO. Rick Perry hands down.

The most dangerous characteristic of GOP front runner Rick Perry isn’t his opposition to abortion; gun totting; rejection of evolution; wanting to charge the Fed Chairman with treason; disliking Gays; calling Social Security a “Ponzi scheme” and unconstitutional: believing that all non-Christians are headed for purgatory; wanting to blur church/state divisions; leading prayer services for rain in parched Texas (and failing); and thinking the federal government is useless and woeful except when it wages war?

While I have problems with most of those politically conservative manifestations, it is Perry’s constant flaunting of his Christian faith which worries me the most because I think it could lead to a real old fashioned blood letting conflict in the United States, pitting economic, racial, and religious mobs against one another.

By design it sets up another, but more visceral, “us and them” schism.

Think about it, a Perry primary win could set up more of his spiritual pandering and agitation which has thrust him to the top of the GOP political food chain.

Scary Rick Perry

What kind of future can most low income and minority families, let alone Jews, Muslims, and other non-Christian minorities, believe they’ll have under President Rick Perry—likely buttressed by fresh and larger GOP majorities in both houses of Congress—if he proposes to undo the federal support networks for education, jobs, healthcare, and nutrition, occupational and financial safety, while keeping in place the federal programs enjoyed by the wealthy and big business?

Could mobs of citizens who feel totally jilted by Perry take to the streets with mayhem in mind and battle the authorities and their fellow citizens?

My answer is “yes,” if continually goaded and excluded. There are many elements in our nation who might turn their neighborhoods into battlegrounds as they take out their anger, and political and economic isolation on perceived detractors.

This possibility grows when the “have nots,” already reeling from repeated economic blows, including high unemployment rates, lower incomes, and poor neighborhood schools, perceive themselves religiously ostracized.

I worry that if candidate Rick Perry continues to tub thump his personal relationship with God and wins—giving his God credit for prevailing over someone else’s God--Perry will have crossed a religious Rubicon from which he may not be able to swim back.

Can Perry, who has used this brickbat of faith to batter the heads of his opponents and build support among Evangelicals and other Christian zealots, stop when the opposition is a Democrat?

Take Your Right Foot Off the Gas, Rick!

Do you think Perry understands, “Run right in the Primary but run Center in the general?”

Rather than low-keying religious preference Perry wears it on his sleeves and keeps company with some of the most reactionary Christian pastors in the nation, racial bigots and anti-Semites.

This brings me to my core question. Do Rick Perry and his supporters truly appreciate how much misery throughout history has been produced by religious extremists, arguing over who God likes better or who is closer to his/her God?

Christians and Muslims, Jews and Arabs, Sunnis and Shiites, Protestants and Catholics, Hindus and Muslims, Hutu and Tutsi, Serbs and Croats—all occupying the same geography--have produced continuous clashes over the years leaving millions dead, devastation and destruction in the wake and almost no lasting peaceful resolutions to what started as religious disagreements.

Why do some Americans assume that kind of warfare can’t or won’t break out in the United States following an ugly and hate filled election?

There are too many short tempers and easy to reach guns in this nation for those seeking public office not to consider how incendiary their religious pandering can be. Turning it on and then off—depending on your audience--doesn’t work in today’s 24 hour total access to every uttered word.

I prefer the days when John F. Kennedy, seeking the Democratic presidential nomination in 1960, brushed aside a question about his deep Catholic faith and said “the United States had too many other dire problems” than to worry about his personal religion.

Maybe if Rick Perry quickly takes a lesson from John Kennedy, we won’t have to fear a US Armageddon following next year’s elections.

Preferably, it won’t come to that and Perry gets rebuffed by the Republican Party and sent back to Texas. But, right now, it doesn’t look that way.

(Anyone interested in this Perry blog segment will find valuable Christopher Hitchen’s Slate article.)

Maloni, 9-22-11

1 comment:

Bill Maloni said...

That embarrassing Florida straw poll will teach Rick Perry to mess with me!!!