Wednesday, October 20, 2010

America Out of Business - Are You Going to Vote? Woodward Soon to be Outed (Not By His Employers Though) - Epitaph for An Administration - Krugman

America Out of Business (Stateside!) Are You Out of Business Yet? If some situation covered in the above very short video doesn't hit home with you, stop reading this blog. You are in the wrong place and are probably siding with or don't care about the triumph of the Vandals who are descending to put the finishing touches on their war against the citizens of the USA. Just like it occurs again and again at the end of every civilization.

ARE YOU GOING TO VOTE? Ben Stein is another smug Rethug who views the unemployed as despicable people who have "unpleasant personalities" and are "the least productive or the most negative." Of course, he's on the team that wants to completely revoke the Social Security/Medicare/Medicaid/Disability tattered safety net (unless you might be willing to sign it over his bankster friends for investment purposes!). And what is he? Unpleasant, lazy and unemployed (unless he's doing those fraudulent infomercials where he rakes in the big bucks!). So he should know. The facts about Bob Woodward are getting clearer and clearer to even lovers of his novels about political power and influence, and how very attractive it all is (and don't you wish you were a wealthy insider?). Have you read about his background and education yet? Russ Baker, our man on the job has done the research for us. (Emphasis marks added - Ed.)

WOODWARD UPDATE: The Post and the Generals

October 18, 2010 Bob Woodward’s affect is that of a human tape recorder. He claims that he is no more than a passive chronicler of events. Yet he has played a significant role in the unfolding history he reports, from Watergate on down to the leak of General McChrystal’s memo pushing for increased troop strength in Afghanistan. (See my earlier post, Obama’s Wars: the Real Story Bob Woodward Won’t Tell. Well, here he goes again. Woodward’s new book has caused yet another event: the forced resignation of his inside source and patron, General James Jones, who had been Obama’s National Security Adviser. Jones had taken Woodward with him to Afghanistan on the trip to meet with General Stanley McChrystal, the commander in that theatre. Later on, McChrystal’s secret memo, essentially warning that the president, like LBJ in another era, had no choice but to massively escalate, appeared in a Woodward article.

McChrystal ended up being forced out of his position for critical remarks about Obama and his vice president, Joe Biden. Now, Jones, whose perspective is amply represented in Woodward’s book, has himself been ousted.

Why doesn’t Woodward report on how this power struggle between Obama and the military is being influenced by his own reporting-and explain why these generals are willing to keep dealing with him if the result is that they themselves are jettisoned? Why would they do so unless their criticisms of Obama are themselves sanctioned as part of an organized effort to push Obama — something deemed so important that powerful military figures have to fall on their swords?

(If you think McChrystal’s remarks to Rolling Stone that “got him in trouble” were accidental - read these comments from the editor of that piece to Charlie Rose on how McChrystal and his team knew they were speaking on therecord.)

ERIC BATES: This is not the interview where somebody forgot the reporter laid down his notebook and it was an off-the-cuff comment. These were comments over a period of days and weeks, oftentimes repeated, in a culture there that was clearly like this. They began within five hours of our reporter arriving. Within five hours of arriving in Paris, they were referring to Joe Biden as Joe “Bite me,” saying those kinds of things openly in front – 

CHARLIE ROSE: And never saying to your reporter “This is off the record. You cannot print this, I’m being open with you to give you a sense of the tone.”

ERIC BATES: Absolutely not.

CHARLIE ROSE: “But do not under any circumstances print this.”

ERIC BATES: Absolutely not. They were very specific in interviews when they wanted something not attributed to them or when something was only for background and couldn’t be repeated at all. It was very clear they knew the ground rules as well as journalists do, and we abided and respected their wishes.

It is not like McChrystal suffered inordinately. As noted in the blog post General McChrystal’s New Job: Dig a Bit, Please, a wealthy individual immediately created a nice place for the general at Yale. It’s a sure bet that Jones, too, will land on his feet, with a nice military pension, a platform for his views  —  and perhaps some lucrative earning opportunities in the vast private military contracting sector with such a financial stake in America’s perpetual role in foreign hostilities.

Woodward continues on his book’s victory lap, but you rarely if ever see major media figures pressing him as to his central role in this shadow play.

Meanwhile, Woodward’s paper, the Washington Post, which has benefited tremendously from Woodward’s celebrity ever since Watergate, downplays Woodward’s precise role in all of this.

“Jones made clear that he intended to serve no more than two years. But several administration officials said Friday that his departure was accelerated by the publication of Bob Woodward’s book titled “Obama’s Wars,” which portrayed Jones as a deeply unhappy figure often on the edge of important policy decisions.”

So, according to this, Jones was unhappy at being marginalized, and therefore left of his own volition. What the Post does not do is address the close relationship between Jones and Woodward, and how that itself would have angered Obama (again, see the blog post below for more on that.)

The New York Times, with no stake in Woodward though a dedicated reticence to openly explore the nature of his work, notes that "Hastening General Jones’s departure," two administration officials said, were the quotes attributed to the general in Mr. Woodward’s book, in which he complained about being shut out of White House political debates by Mr. Obama’s political advisers.

“They were very quotable lines,” a senior White House official said Friday. The Times was even firmer on this point in another, earlier, iteration by David Sanger, the co-author of the piece containing the above passage. In the earlier piece, he styled it thusly:

"General Jones’s departure had been long rumored, and he had previously indicated to his staff that he intended to leave by the end of the year. But the schedule was accelerated, and in recent weeks White House staff members had been increasingly critical of General Jones for statements that he apparently made to Bob Woodward, the author of “Obama’s Wars,” an account of the internal decision making on policy on Afghanistan and Pakistan.

None of this (was) in the Post. Meanwhile, Woodward’s own past service in the military before becoming a reporter, certainly never appears in Post articles —  though we definitely deserve more study of his role in top secret capacities and as briefing officer for some of the most powerful figures in the Navy and Nixon White House prior to his apparently obtaining an unusual early release from service.

We also need to know more about the fact that his reporting, even while portraying military leaders as disgruntled toward civilian leaders, almost always has the effect of strengthening the hand of the military. We can hardly expect the Post to issue a disclaimer on the work of its own star. But this points to a broader and chronic problem at the Post — the failure to acknowledge its own role on the Washington scene, and how many events there are orchestrated with the media audience in mind. So who’s using whom? It’s a situation that benefits multiple parties —  the newspaper, Woodward, and the generals. Whether it benefits the public is something else entirely.

And how did they get to be Obama's Wars?

Anyone ask Woodward about his choice of title?

You think it's because Woodward was instructed by his Pentagon cronies to fix it that way? (As we have no idea what really is happening behind the curtain.)

Just askin'.

By the way did you know that former Countrywide Financial Corp. chief Angelo Mozilo's fine for ruining people's lives was "16 cents out of his own pocket for every dollar federal authorities claimed he had taken out of the company in ill-gotten personal gains?"

So there! And don't do it again?

Who said crime paid?

Well, actually, Jamie Di(a)mon(d), current CEO and chairman of JPMorgan Chase & Co as well as a Class A director of the Board of Directors of the New York Federal Reserve, who has recently let it be known that Boo Hoo!!!

"Obama and I never meant that much to each other." That’s right, rewrite the past because the truth hurts too much.

Fortune: A lot of ink has been spilled on your supposed love affair and subsequent falling-out with Obama. What’s the reality?

Jamie Dimon: We were neither in love nor have we fallen out. I still talk to the folks in the administration. I don’t agree with everything they have done. I don’t disagree with everything they’ve done. He may have close relations, but I am not one of them.

So, I guess this is why they're collecting all that anti-OBama money from Wall Streeters/banksters now?

And speaking of the last hope of any type of liberal, progressive or just mildly sensible person left in the USA:

Epitaph For An Administration

In today’s report on the foreclosure mess, a revealing sentence:

As the foreclosure abuses have come to light, the Obama administration has resisted calls for a more forceful response, worried that added pressure might spook the banks and hobble the broader economy.

Surely this can serve as a generic statement:

As NAME ISSUE HERE has come to light, the Obama administration has resisted calls for a more forceful response, worried that added pressure might spook the banks and hobble the broader economy.

Stimulus, bank rescue, China, foreclosure; it applies all along. At each point there were arguments for not acting; but the cumulative effect has been drift, and a looming catastrophe in the midterms.

Or to put it another way, the administration has never missed an opportunity to miss an opportunity. And soon there won’t be any more opportunities to miss.

Just a missed country.

Oh horrors!

I just read on Paul Krugman's blog that Rahm Emanuel read David Brooks "religiously and corresponded with" him.

Guess that's why he got out of Dodge so quickly (before the election), not some fantasy run for Mayor of broke Chicago.

Profiles in cowardice (as one wag said)?

And you have to wonder (following the news everyday, etc.) is there an advantage to the corporate interests in keeping the economy suppressed? Because they have worked hard and paid the freight for it and, of course, our friends the banksters have already announced an end to free checking and a quantum leap in fees.

There are ways out of this.

But they all take courage.

And clowns abound.

And we come down to this (over and over and over and over . . . .).

This is how the U.S. government and American media jointly disseminate propaganda: in the immediate wake of some newsworthy War on Terror event, U.S. Government officials (usually anonymous) make wild and reckless - though unverifiable - claims. The U.S. media mindlessly trumpets them around the world without question or challenge. Those claims become consecrated as widely accepted fact. And then weeks, months or years later, those claims get quietly exposed as being utter falsehoods, by which point it does not matter, because the goal is already well-achieved: the falsehoods are ingrained as accepted truth.

I've documented how this process works in the context of American air attacks (it's immediately celebrated that we Killed the Evil Targeted Terrorist Leader [who invariably turns out to be alive and then allegedly killed again in the next air strike], while the dead are always, by definition, "militants"); with covered-up American war crimes, with the Jessica Lynch and Pat Tillman frauds - the same process was also evident with the Israeli attack on the flotilla - and now we find a quite vivid illustration of this deceitful process in the context of WikiLeaks' release of Afghanistan war documents:

Read all about it compliments of Glennzilla. Lost your luggage recently? Welcome to the end of America brought to you this time by the Rethug takeover of the DLC - the first stealth bomber.

Suzan ________________

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