08 Nov

Updated below, Sunday.

Change you can believe in: Obama stays in the White House, Democrats keep the Senate and Republicans keep the House.  Paul Ryan gets to stay in Congress and Boehner will probably extend Ryan’s tour of duty as chairman of budget committee (by papal dispensation):

Timmeh is stepping down, so the speculation is that, representing Obama’s new new mandate from the unreasonable liberals, Erskine Bowles is a likely candidate for Treasury Secretary.  Well, okay, liberals hate Bowles, but as Rahm Emanuel said, liberals are retards.  Wall Street, on the other hand, is notably not considered by the Obama administration to be fucking retards, and Wall St. wants Bowles.  This is real change right here; Bowles is not a Goldman, Sachs man, he is a Morgan Stanley and GE guy.  See?  Bipartisanship.

Nov. 8 (Bloomberg) — Wall Street executives who lost a bet that Republican Mitt Romney would defeat President Barack Obama are bracing for tougher regulation and hoping a deal can be struck with Congress to cut the deficit.

Obama’s choice to succeed Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner will be watched closely for signs about the administration’s approach to business and the deficit, industry executives said. Erskine Bowles, who served as chief of staff under former President Bill Clinton, would be a sign that Obama is willing to endorse a bipartisan debt-reduction plan supported by many business leaders, they said.

“With the appointment of the Treasury secretary, Obama will be sending an important message to the public and to the foreign governments who own a lot of Treasuries,” Curtis Arledge, chief executive officer of Bank of New York Mellon Corp.’s investment-management arm, which oversees $1.4 trillion, told journalists in New York yesterday. “If he goes with somebody like Erskine Bowles, then the message will be that he cares about the deficit and is serious about cutting it.” […]

Still, executives at the firms downplayed the significance of the election, focusing instead on the need to achieve political agreement on debt reduction and avert the so-called fiscal cliff of tax increases and spending cuts scheduled to take effect at the beginning of next year.

“The outcome of the election almost takes a backseat to the formulation of a plan to address the federal deficit,” James Mahoney, Bank of America’s head of corporate communications and public policy, said in a phone interview. “That is clearly the No. 1 focus at this point. It’s an essential ingredient for stability of the financial markets and for a strong economy.” […]

Wall Street leaders started throwing their support behind Bowles’s debt-reduction efforts even before the election. JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon, 56, said last month that the economy “would be booming” if Congress had passed the so-called Simpson-Bowles plan co-authored with former Republican Senator Alan Simpson last year. [Teri’s note:  Ha, ha, ha, ha.]

Obama named the two in February 2010 to lead an 18-member bipartisan commission. Its $3.8 trillion budget-cutting plan would have lowered individual and corporate income-tax rates, eliminated deductions such as the one for mortgage interest, raised the gasoline tax and reduced Social Security, Medicare and discretionary spending. […]

Bowles has served as a board member of Morgan Stanley since December 2005, when Mack was CEO and chairman. He is also a director of Facebook Inc. and Norfolk Southern Corp. His wife, Crandall Bowles, is on JPMorgan’s board. […]

Mack said he doesn’t think the administration worked closely enough with the business community, adding that he would be comforted by seeing Obama choose a CEO to run Treasury such as BlackRock Inc.’s Larry Fink, General Electric Co.’s Jeff Immelt, American Express Co.’s Kenneth I. Chenault or Honeywell International Inc.’s David Cote. […]

Writing in the Washington Post on 10 Aug, Ezra Klein predicted that should Obama win re-election, he would nominate Bowles for Treasury Secretary:

One of Washington’s favorite guessing games — behind Mitt Romney’s veepstakes, but way ahead of who will run the Commerce Department — is who will replace Timothy Franz Geithner as Treasury Secretary. And as of today, I’m ready to name a frontrunner, at least if Barack Obama is re-elected: Erskine Bowles.

This wouldn’t be the first time Bowles got a call from the White House. The Obama administration tapped Bowles to co-chair the National Commission of Fiscal Responsibility and Reform — better known as the Simpson-Bowles Commission. Word on the street is that this wouldn’t even be the second time Bowles got a call from the White House. They’ve felt him out about joining the administration in a more formal capacity before. But he wasn’t interested.

Bowles, a former chief of staff to President Bill Clinton, had built up a huge storehouse of bipartisan credibility as co-chair of the Simpson-Bowles Commission. He didn’t want to join the administration in 2011, when joining the administration meant trench warfare with the Republicans. And as Bowles assiduously worked to show off how bipartisan he was — lavishly complimenting Rep. Paul Ryan, for instance — the administration cooled on him in return.

But next year is different. Next year is the year the fiscal deal has to be made. And if Bowles is Treasury Secretary, he’ll be the guy making the deal. That’s way better than leading a commission. It’s even better than being well-liked by both sides. That’s legacy material.

For the Obama administration, Bowles has a number of qualifications. For one thing, Republicans adore him. Ryan has called him “my favorite Democrat.” Appointing Bowles to be Treasury Secretary would ensure a smooth confirmation, and it would be interpreted as a sign of goodwill and “seriousness” both by Republicans and by the media. Coming after a bitterly partisan election and at the outset of a hugely consequential series of negotiations, that could have real appeal to the White House.

One reservation you often hear when playing the “who will be the next Treasury Secretary” guessing game is, “but they have no market experience.” For better or worse, it’s considered crucial that the Treasury Secretary understand, and be capable of working with, markets. Bowles was an investment banker before he entered politics, and he currently serves on the board of directors for both Morgan Stanley and GE. He’s also personally beloved by Wall Street, where “Simpson-Bowles” has deep and fervent supporters, including many who have no real idea what’s in it. Appointing Bowles would be a signal to them that Washington is getting serious.

The question for the White House is whether Bowles can be trusted to be a team player when it counts. After all, he’s Ryan’s favorite Democrat for a reason. And you can’t have your Treasury Secretary undercutting your negotiating strategy.[…]

There are downsides to Bowles, too. He’ll want the White House to go further than they’ve been willing to go on long-term health costs. But they’re prepared to do that once taxes are on the table.He’s also quite disliked by the left, which frequently refers to the Simpson-Bowles Commission as “the Catfood Commission.” That’s a drawback, but the Obama administration has always prized holding the center over placating the left. Indeed, Obama, who ran in 2008 as a post-partisan uniter and is unexpectedly and unhappily having to run a much more traditional and partisan campaign in 2012, might see that as a benefit. If he can press the reset button after this election, he’s going to do it.

So my answer to the guessing game is simple: If Barack Obama wins reelection this year, I’d bet that Erskine Bowles will be our next Treasury Secretary.

And that’s all I have time for today.  Good morning, America.


Even more promising “change” [this is sarcasm, you get that, right?] is that the possibility now exists to put John Brennan into the CIA spot, since Petraeus has “resigned” over his “affair”.  See:
Petraeus must just be relieved as hell that they didn’t make him admit to an affair with one of the enlisted men.  Now that would have been truly harsh.  Apparently having an affair makes a man lose his mind, because now Petraeus won’t have to testify in front of Congress about the Benghazi attack in which Amb. Stevens was killed, although being the head of the CIA, Petraeus is the guy who knows the most useful information about the little CIA operation “Ambassador” Stevens was running in Libya and Syria.

So, John Brennan.  Formerly the torture guy, now the “disposition matrix” guy.  Nothing like the unbridled murdering of possible innocents and the brazen acts of war on countries with whom we are not legally at war to get a man ahead.  His support of “enhanced interrogation” under Bush?  Forgetaboutit.  How soon before we bring the drone wars home?  Oh, wait, we are already in the process.  Why, I do believe I see the matrix closing in on some Americans.  (Which we will accept without protest.  Such Americans must be bad people, why else would they have been targeted?)  How long until we realize that the CIA and Pentagon run this country?  They are this country.  Just like a couple of big banks and corporations are pretending to be the economy, playing with their algorithms on Wall St. while the rest of us wonder where the jobs are.

A little refresher on John Brennan from his wikipedia entry (bolding mine):

John O. Brennan (born September 22, 1955) is chief counterterrorism advisor to U.S. President Barack Obama; officially his title is Deputy National Security Advisor for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism, and Assistant to the President. His responsibilities include overseeing plans to protect the country from terrorism and respond to natural disasters, and he meets with the President daily. Previously, he advised Obama on foreign policy and intelligence issues during the 2008 presidential campaign and transition. Brennan withdrew his name from consideration for Director of the CIA in the new Obama administration over concerns about his support for the use of “enhanced interrogation” techniques by the CIA under President George W. Bush. Instead, Brennan was appointed Deputy National Security Advisor, a position which did not require Senate confirmation.

[…]He was director of the newly created Terrorist Threat Integration Center from 2003 to 2004, an office which sifted through and compiled information for President Bush’s daily top secret intelligence briefings and employed the services of analysts from a dozen U.S. agencies and entities. His final post with the CIA was as director of the National Counterterrorism Center in 2004 and 2005, which incorporated information on terrorist activities across U.S. agencies. Brennan then left government service for a few years, becoming Chairman of the Intelligence and National Security Alliance (INSA) and the CEO of The Analysis Corporation, now renamed Sotera Defense, before returning to government service with the Obama administration. On May 2, 2011, Brennan represented a team which under the direction of President Obama killed Osama Bin Laden. He described the moments watching the SEAL Teams move into Osama’s compound as “one of the most anxiety filled times in the lives of the people assembled” and that “minutes passed like days”.

[…] In April 2012 Brennan was the first Obama administration official to publicly acknowledge the existence of the secret US drone program (part of the GWOT in which UAVs are used in targeted killing of people in Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia, Libya, Afghanistan, and elsewhere). In his speech he argued for the legality, morality, and effectiveness of the program. The ACLU and other organizations disagreed. In 2011/2012 he also helped re-organize the process, under the aegis of the Disposition Matrix database, by which people outside of war zones were put on the list of drone targets. According to an Associated Press story, the reorganization helped “concentrate power” over the process inside the White House administration.

You can read about Sotera Defense, of which he was CEO, here:  One of the gazillion intelligence companies serving the gov’t since 9/11.  The only business to be in since then.  Well, that, financial fraud, and making bombs.

1 Comment

Posted by on November 8, 2012 in Congress, economy, elections


One response to “Change?

  1. Morning's Minion

    November 11, 2012 at 7:05 pm

    Teri, fantastic posts!Loved the sarcasm as that is the only appropriate response to this sad debacle. We’re truly in the decline and fall.

    The only comfort, and it is thin, indeed, is that we’re spared the war on women that Romney would have unleashed, and hopefully the backlash will push Obama to a more robust defense of reproductive rights.

    I’m focusing on politics closer to home, and trying to forget the chasm between where we were four years ago and now.

    Hard to hold on to any hope that this is going to get better.



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