Clinton walks again Archives

August 5, 2008

Fairy dust

I've really come to depend on my lefty mailing lists. Here's a rather pleasing sequence from lbo-talk. The opening salvo:

Obama: I'd guarantee $4 billion to retool auto industry
A safety net for automakers picks up steam

[Obama] called for $4 billion in guaranteed loans and tax credits to help U.S. automakers retool for more fuel-efficient cars and to develop batteries for plug-in hybrids that get up to 150 m.p.g. The new breed of automobiles would fetch a $7,000 federal tax credit for buyers.

Doug Henwood, who has a good head for numbers, responds:
> Obama: I'd guarantee $4 billion to retool auto industry  

That's very nice of him, but GM has lost $47 billion over the last  
year; Ford, $12 billion. So $4 billion would cover about three and a  
half weeks of their losses.

Doug doesn't seem to have been as struck as I was at the notion that the taxpayers should pay people to buy new cars. But hey, you can't have everything. And the best is yet to come, from another contributor to the list:

This reminds me of something Louis Menand said in the NYRB in 1997 about Clinton (and Washington politics in general):

In a speech in San Francisco last month, President Clinton announced three new urban initiatives. First, the Department of Housing and Urban Development will offer a 50 percent discount to police officers who buy homes owned by the department in neighborhoods they patrol. The program is designed to reach one thousand police officers. It will last one year. The second is a reduction in the points on Federal Housing Administration mortgages, from 1.75 percent to 1.5 percent, for first-time home buyers in inner cities. This program is expected to save twenty thousand eligible buyers about $200 each in closing costs. The third initiative is a demonstration program that will allow up to two thousand families to use federal rent subsidy money to buy their own homes.

This is the style of governance that has been adopted by a country that has the strongest economy in the world, has enjoyed five years of sustained growth [1997, remember -- Ed.], confronts no immediate threat to its security, and has almost completely lost its faith in public works. This style is not neoliberalism or neoconservatism, whatever those terms mean. It is something different, a kind of Government Lite. We want to improve conditions in depressed urban areas, so we show our good intentions by sprinkling a handful of federal fairy dust over them.

The whole thing is well worth reading. Obama: Son Of Clinton!

January 17, 2009

Our New Decider

President-elect Barack Obama pledged yesterday to shape a new Social Security and Medicare "bargain" with the American people, saying that the nation's long-term economic recovery cannot be attained unless the government finally gets control over its most costly entitlement programs.

That discussion will begin next month, Obama said, when he convenes a "fiscal responsibility summit" before delivering his first budget to Congress. He said his administration will begin confronting the issues of entitlement reform and long-term budget deficits soon after it jump-starts job growth and the stock market.

"What we have done is kicked this can down the road. We are now at the end of the road and are not in a position to kick it any further," he said. "We have to signal seriousness in this by making sure some of the hard decisions are made under my watch, not someone else's."


"Signaling seriousness" is a dull, infantile euphemism for switching from the metaphorical kicking of cans to the much less metaphorical kicking of teeth. Old stuff, as is the grandiosity of preening over a firm resolve to do something vicious. But in one sense Barack Obama remains a transformative candidate. Even George Bush couldn't destroy Social Security. It takes a very special Decider, one who can follow through on the very worst and make it his own. One who really does believe, as IOZ put it so trenchantly, "that the act of deciding exists independently of the decision itself, that the outcome is an invalid rubric for judging the appropriateness and rightness of the initiatory act."

January 19, 2010

The Big Dog spews

The all-seeing mind of Bill Clinton is facile, rubbery, and stuffed with the leavings of endless Sunday supplement meme-kriegs. Now that he's about to jointly save Haiti, I thought we could use an update on where his great grey thing is at these days; so here's a recent -- and very gaga -- fan-mag sampler, published in Global Meddlers Review. I think it nicely captures the bells, the smells, and the treacly tart flavors of our great ex-potus, and his nonstop mama's-boy 24/7 360-degree unsolicited opining. Behold, citizens: still in fightin' shape, ever at ease, the wunder-yokel yakatron:

  • On the sovereign state of mini-me:

    "Which... places in the world could still surprise us by doing something really smart and good? I still think there is some chance the Israelis and the Hamas government and the Palestinian government could make a deal. Because I think that the long-term trend lines are bad for both sides that have the capacity to make a deal. Right now, Hamas is kind of discredited after the Gaza operation, and yet [the Palestinian Authority] is clearly increasing [its] capacity. They are in good shape right now, but if they are not able to deliver sustained economic and political advances, that's not good for them. The long-term trends for the Israelis are even more stark, because they will soon enough not be a majority. Then they will have to decide at that point whether they will continue to be a democracy and no longer be a Jewish state, or continue to be a Jewish state and no longer be a democracy. That's the great spur... I spent a lot of time when I was president trying to make a distinction between the headlines and the trend lines. If there was ever a place where studying the trend lines would lead you to conclude that sooner is better than later for deal-making, it would be there."

  • Meme titans I digest with nutritious effect:

    "Paul Krugman -- I don't always agree with him, but he is unfailingly good. David Brooks has been very good. Tom Friedman is our most gifted journalist at actually looking at what is happening in the world and figuring out its relevance to tomorrow and figuring out a clever way to say it that sticks in your mind-like "real men raise the gas tax." You know what I mean?... They are thinking about how the world works and how it might be at the same time. At this moment in history, we need people who have a unique understanding of both how the world works and how it might be better, might be more harmonious."

  • On the GWOT's shelf-life:

    "How long it lasts depends on whether the places out of which really big, effective terrorist groups are operating remain essentially stateless... we are de facto, no matter what the laws say, becoming nations of mega-city-states full of really poor, angry, uneducated, and highly vulnerable people, all over the world,... terror -- meaning killing and robbery and coercion by people who do not have state authority and go beyond national borders -- could be around for a very long time... on the other hand terrorism needs both anxiety and opportunity to flourish. So one of the things that the United States and others ought to be doing is trying to help the nation-state adjust to the realities of the 21st century and then succeed."

  • Is there a third world leader with a good gig goin'?

    "Paul Kagame... in Rwanda. It is the only country in the world that has more women than men in Parliament (obviously part of the demographic is from the genocide). It may not be perfect, but Rwanda has the greatest capacity of any developing country I have seen to accept outside help and make use of it. It's hard to accept help. They've done that. And how in God's name does he get every adult in the country to spend one Saturday every month cleaning the streets? And what has the psychological impact of that been? The identity impact? The president says it's not embarrassing, it's not menial work, it's a way of expressing your loyalty to and your pride in your country. How do you change your attitudes about something that you think you know what it means? How did he pull that off?"

  • Bill in fugue state:

    "... it's worth looking at Colombia. How has Medellín been given back to the people of Colombia? We all know President Uribe has faced criticism in the U.S., but how did Medellín go from being the drug capital of the world, one of the most dangerous places on Earth, to the host city of the 50th anniversary of the Inter-American Development Bank? I would look at that.

    "I would look at another guy, José Ramos-Horta, the president of the first country in the 21st century, East Timor. Is it too small to be a nation? Can you get too small? Can your courageous fight for independence and freedom lead you to an economic unit that is not going to have a population or a geographic base big enough to take care of your folks? How are the Kosovars going to avoid that?"

  • Wishing on a star:

    "I want to go to Mongolia and ride a horse across the steppes and pretend I am in Genghis Khan's horde -- but I'm not hurting anybody! I want to go to Antarctica.... "

Had enough? Much more on the end of the link, but best for last:
"I would like to take Hillary to climb Kilimanjaro, while there is still snow up there. "
Dream headline:

Hillary Splattered!

Slips from Bill's Embrace

Tumbles, Slides, Rolls Down
3,000-Foot Cliff

Of course it would turn out that she was only slightly bruised and shaken up, and plans to visit Israel soon.

December 18, 2010

Bobbsey twins

Uncanny, innit? America's first and second black presidents -- wearing the same suit and the same inoffensive tie. Obie's is a little better knotted. That's the difference between Chicago and Arkansas.

Bill looks happier, though, doesn't he? And well he might. He, after all, got a second term; and there are still a good many fools out there who look back on his reign as a kind of Golden Age... okay, no, that's unfair. A Gold-Plated Age. But still. Who's going to have any nostalgia for the short-lived Age of Obama?

As usual, those wonderful photo editors at the New York Times -- the only people worth a hill of beans in that temple of Moloch -- found the right image:

June 29, 2011

Dateline Hell, Circle 13

"Next week in Chicago, the Clinton Global Initiative will focus on America for the first time, inviting business and political leaders to make specific commitments in support of the former president’s jobs blueprint"
Fuck, I'd move residence to Florida and vote ten times for O'Barry next year, if I thought it would break the heart of the nation's biggest and bestest, most bodacious cream-filled political doughnut, Bill Clintox.

But of course nothing will or can even dispirit this ceaseless curse on America, let alone break his pea-pickin' heart. The monumental fucker's 1000% impervious to rebuke or the call of conscience. Not righteous threats, not boos, catcalls, thrown tomatoes, you name it -- not even the Almighty, in a pillar of cloud over Harlem, thundering "Cease, you son of a bitch, cease!" could stop him runnin' his motormouth. He is completely without shame. OJ Simpson looks like a meek Sardinian monk next to this rampant barefoot jackass.

Remember way back, when he had that Hawthorne tale -- a vitality-sucking fatty sheath over his repaired ticker? There is figures in all things, as Fluellen reminds us. Weren't we all praying? "No, no, heavens no... don't get that sheath off, doc... please... please let the bastard waste away, heart-smothered by his own bubba-blubber... nice and slow and steady."

Petition denied. No dice. And now, having somehow dodged what was clearly an emblematic divine judgement, he's probably good for another ten trillion robust beats, what with that bionic revalve job. He'll bury us all, and in the meantime the Dogpatch Gladstone will inundate us ceaselessly with presidential bull, like this latest on "the economy", linked above, yet another round of ballyhoo for his "Clinton Global Initiative" -- his very own personal Sanhedrin of the living saints of neoliberalism.

Read every bit of it. I did, and why should I be the only one suffering around here? A few teasers:

" I tried for a year to get both Congress and the administration to deal with the fact that the banks weren’t lending because they were still jittery about the economy, and worried about the regulators coming down on them... Look at the tar roofs covering millions of American buildings. They absorb huge amounts of heat when it’s hot... Every black roof in New York should be white; every roof in Chicago should be white; every roof in Little Rock should be white... I’m sympathetic with the objectives of the Bowles-Simpson commission; we do need to do something about long-term debt...I’d be perfectly fine with lowering the corporate tax rates..."
Best for last, the apex of abomination:
"...We lost manufacturing jobs in every one of the eight years after I left office. One of the reasons is that enforcement of our trade laws dropped sharply. Contrary to popular belief, the World Trade Organization and our trade agreements do not require unilateral disarmament. They’re designed to increase the volume of two-way trade on terms that are mutually beneficial. My administration negotiated 300 trade agreements, but we enforced them, too. Enforcement dropped so much in the last decade because we borrowed more and more money from the countries that had big trade surpluses with us, especially China and Japan, to pay for government spending. Since they are now our bankers, it’s hard to be tough on their unfair trading practices. This happened because we abandoned the path of balanced budgets 10 years ago"
"Let’s be realistic here. This is a massive economy. No matter how many impressive commitments we get, we won’t move the numbers. They’ll move the numbers only if enough people say, “Wow, I wish I’d thought of that.” "
Hydra was about endless new heads; Billy is about ceaseless new tongues.

About Clinton walks again

This page contains an archive of all entries posted to Stop Me Before I Vote Again in the Clinton walks again category. They are listed from oldest to newest.

Change, belief, etc. is the previous category.

Court plaster is the next category.

Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

Creative Commons License
This weblog is licensed under a Creative Commons License.
Powered by
Movable Type 3.31