The horizon is not so far as we can see, but as far as we can imagine

The Next President of the US

Not that my track record on Presidential predictions is all that good, but I’m laying odds it’s Rick Perry.


Unbelievable disrespect to a black man in Britain


RIP, Jack Layton, Federal New Democratic Party Leader


  1. Jeff S.

    God, I hope your wrong, but I fear you might be right. We’ll see.

  2. Edward Sung

    I still think it’ll be Romney. Rick Perry’s presidential bid is going to be pecked to death by stories about his longtime gay lover, Geoff Connor. I just don’t see Mormonism outdoing homosexuality as a campaign torpedo.

  3. Ian Welsh

    Y0u may be right. I think, however, that the big Pub money won’t go in hardcore for Romney. He’s barely to the right of Obama. Perry is enough to the right of Obama that he’s worth paying for.

  4. tBoy

    He does come across as stupid enough.

  5. BDBlue

    I dunno. He seems kind of like this year’s Guiliani to me.

  6. LorenzoStDuBois

    I just… have the powerful monied interests ever had it better than they do with Obama? It seems everybody wins under him. They get everything they want, narcissistic liberals have their man in the WH, and crazy right wingers get to keep being crazy.

    Why mess with that?

  7. Charles D

    I think you could be right. The strategy is to have a candidate who will at least come very close to winning and Perry can do that. He’s scary enough to make a lot of disaffected Democrats go to the polls and vote for Obama, and he has the “strong leader” vibe that lots of idiots seem to think is a good quality for a President. Perry also has strong connections to the malefactors of great wealth, especially in the oil/intelligence nexus in Texas, and that means that they can actually let him win, knowing he is not so crazy that he’ll sell them out.

  8. Oh come on, President Obama’s trade deal with Panama and 2% payroll tax cut are going to lead our country to historic prosperity and he’ll be re-elected easily.

  9. Edward Sung

    Upon further reflection, I think the Perry gay rumors may not be as harmful as they would appear. These kinds of things hurt Dem candidates far more than they do Repubs, since the stories only take root if they’re hammered away at by the right-wing-controlled media. If Perry were a Democrat he’d be finished before he started. As it is, I doubt the stories will get that much overt play.

    Besides, the faith-based right-wingers dismiss any reality that conflicts with their fantasies. If an East Coast aristocrat cokehead can somehow be transformed in their minds into a good ol’ Texas cowboy, I guess turning Rick Perry into a heterosexual isn’t that great of a leap.

  10. I never really believed the Republicans would actually nominate a woman, and they’re certainly not eager to nominate a mormon. Perry has neither weakness. Also, I think he is mostly fake religious for the rubes. I saw a quote somewhere from him back in 2001 where he admitted his faith doesn’t really inform his politics very much. I’d tag him as a high social dominator cross authoritarian in Altemeyer’s parlance, whereas Bachmann appears to be a genuine true believer.

    I can well see his path to the nomination.

  11. El Gringo Colombiano

    whatif Romney wins the Republicon primary?

    Would Romney as Pres Jan 2013-Jan 2017, actually be less evil for economic Progressive/New Deal policies, than Obama?

    The Team D types, like Nancy Pelosi, Daily Kos Moulitsas, MSNBC hacks/Obama watercarriers like Lawrence O’Donnell & Al Sharpton, etc, will actually fight Romney, if Romney tries to slash or privatize Soc Security &/or Medicare, just like they did when Bush 43 tried this in ~2005.

    OTOH, when Team D’s player Obama tries the same thing, the Team Ders stay silent.

    The downside is Romney might nominate right wing extremists to the supreme court, instead of Obama’s centrist justices Sotomayor & Kagan.

    At this point, I’d rather have less bad econ policy coming out of DC, then not horrible SC justices.

    What say yall?

  12. El Gringo Colombiano

    1 thing that the Bush 43 & Obama eras have sadly shown me, that’s only a minority of voters, vote based on actual policy.

    Most seem to be either
    -Team D or R, Dear Leader water carriers, or
    -clueless “low informed voters” that think the Dear Leader is cool (or less nerdy) personally. Eg “I’d like to have a beer with cowboy Bush 43”, or “yo Obama has Jay-Z on his iPod, sonn!, or “Bill Clinton played the sax on Arsenio show!”


    Is it this bad in other OECD nations? We USians be the OECD’s worst in non-policy based voting.

  13. guest

    I’m with Lorenzo, and all along I’ve been saying Obama will win Liberman-style (with Republican votes. Republicans voting for him in Dem primaries in the unlikely event there is a challengers, and Republicans voting for the lesser of two evils, even if liberals sit this one out). Perry would be just like Bush, but the question then becomes who is really running things for him, because Perry has even less on the ball than Bush. We’ll have to see which film of scum latches on to Perry or the others to really predict who the big money will support.
    Notice how Ron Paul had a close second place in Iowa and gets no mention AT ALL in the media. I’m going to vote for RP in the primaries just to fuck with them.

    I also think the gay rumors will go nowhere. It doesn’t matter – if you’re a Republican. In fact, it helps since there are no messy mistress scandals, and beard-wives don’t seek bitter revenge. There were plenty of gay/bi rumors about W, too. They all came to nothing because the R voters and the media intentionally look the other way when it comes to one of their own (whether it is sex, or drugs, or addiction, or blatant lies).

  14. guest

    DanieldeGroot, it doesn’t really matter if Perry is a true believer or not. He will act exactly the way a true believer would, just as W did. Reagan (or at least Nancy) could be very dismissive about the kooks in his party in private, but he sure as hell didn’t backstab them or take them for granted.

  15. He’s said to be less intelligent than Bush, so he’s a shoe-in.

  16. He’s said to be less intelligent than Bush, so he’s a shoe-in.

    Yes. “All hat, no cattle” will be the campaign slogan that will shoo him in.

  17. Celsius 233

    Dog Ian; that’s got to be your blackest prediction ever for the future; erm, which is to say no future at all…
    …or does it really even matter?

  18. I think more likely Obama. Perry’s going to put his foot in it, I think. He is likely to say The Wrong Thing when the cameras are rolling–he is just too crazy. 2016, though…that one scares me. And of course the health care mandates will kick in in 2014, just in time to send another shock through the economy.

    The Combined Corvids of North America thank the government of the United States for this rich gift of food.

    …I wonder when it becomes The Greater Depression?

  19. Celsius 233

    The Raven PERMALINK
    August 16, 2011
    I think more likely Obama.
    I truly wish for none of the above; but look what the right is doing (not doing) for Hispanics, Blacks, and any other minority I can think of…so…Obama may just squeeze through with the lowest vote count in history.
    You may be a Corvid with a correct opinion; dog knows Corvids are plenty smart.

  20. beowulf

    You may be right. I think, however, that the big Pub money won’t go in hardcore for Romney. He’s barely to the right of Obama.

    That alone is a reason worth voting for Romney. If a Democratic President who won with strong majorities in both Houses Congress (by comparison the Republicans haven’t had 59 Senate seats since 1923) is barely to the right of a Republican candidate who’s taking his second crack at navigating an unbelievably right-wing pool of voters in the GOP primaries, then seriously, why not vote for Romney? I can’t imagine he could do any worse.

  21. beowulf

    Or rather, the President is barely to the left of Romney… (though I guess that’s subject to debate).

  22. ceo

    I think, when considering candidates, the rulers behind the curtain are looking for obedience and predictability. Much like when someone goes to a dog pound to get a dog. It seems Romney would win this nomination.

  23. StewartM

    I think that Big Money money may be thrown to a candidate like Bachmann, someone unelectable, to insure that President Bipartisan wins a 2nd term. They still would want to nominate someone really, really, rightwing, however, to drive the Overton Window as far right as possible (something that most liberals never seem to get, that way even when you lose you accomplish something).

    I mean, why should Big Money NOT want President Bipartisan relelected? He’s already delivering all the goods to them as-is, and far more effectively than any Republican could.


  24. I think, when considering candidates, the rulers behind the curtain are looking for obedience and predictability… It seems Romney would win this nomination.

    I think that Big Money money may be thrown to a candidate like Bachmann, someone unelectable, to insure that President Bipartisan wins a 2nd term.

    (I think Perry fulfills StewartM’s “unelectable” criteria as well.)

    These two speculations seem to lay out the question well. It’s probably unnecessary to note the (appropriate) cynicism that lies behind these most rational opinions.

  25. nihil obstet

    Wall Street financial CEOs won’t like the idea that Texas oilmen will get all the public money that they think they’re entitled to. I think Perry is too regional for a corrupt politician. But it sure is a wacko field of Republican candidates, and public disenchantment with Obama is proceeding apace.

  26. Bruce Wilder

    2012 will be the first election, which is completely after the politics of the New Deal. In the political division of the New Deal, the mass of people voted their economic interests (in an increasingly simple-minded way as time went on, but still), so broad indicators of economic conditions in February of the Presidential election year were a pretty good predictor. The Federal Reserve, at least since Arthur Burns, would dutifully help out the Republican, if that was feasible. And, the Party nominations were a fairly orderly process of selecting among the senior, powerful politicians, who could marshal some configuration of the Party’s traditional coalition.

    Now, we’re are living the politics of plutocratic oligarchy, in which economic conditions are dictated by the runaway predation of the oligarchy, and so pretty awful. It isn’t even feasible to vote for your economic interests, unless, of course, you are so unfathomably wealthy, that the political parties will notice your contributions to the Billion Dollar Campaign, in which case, voting is superfluous.

    The Political Parties are tribalist herds, assembled around simple slogans and themes of fear and resentment. Politicians — especially on the Right, which is much further along in this rapid evolution — are celebrity spokes-models, personally uninterested in power or policy. Their principle ambitions are celebrity, attention to their own narcissism and easy money; their principle qualifications center on their photogenic willingness to say anything and do anything, to stir the passions of an electorate, which, at base, is deeply angry, frustrated, ignorant and depressed.

    Perry is well-fitted to this new model of Republican politics. He looks good on television. He’s a vicious, ignorant narcissist, completely uninterested in actual power or policy. He’s a very good fit to motivate the confederate party of racist reactionaries, who constitute the core tribe of the Fox News Republican electorate.

    Not being a billionaire myself, I’m not sure how worried the billionaire class might be, about the whole competence-of-the-President issue. I presume that there is a split in the oligarchy, a factional division among the Whigs and the Tories, as it were. One gets a definite impression that GWB was the oil guy, backed by a Big Oil/military-industrial complex Presidential Party, but at least some elements of that oligarchic faith lost confidence in Shrub, toward the end. I’ve read that Perry has been receiving attention and support from Rumsfeld and some of the ol’ neocon and Texas oil gang, but that may just be the dead-enders, who never saw any dangerous (to the oligarchy) shortcomings in Bush.

    Obama is clearly a Finance guy, who did cultivate a slice of the Republican elite, who were frightened by Bush, on the competence issue. Gates at Defense, Bernanke re-appointed Fed Chair — really the whole Bush’s Third Term theme — has been about selling the Oligarchy on the concept of Obama as a more competent Bush.

    Obama’s biggest selling point, though, was his capacity to channel the potential of the financial crisis to turn into a liberal moment, and transform it into less than nothingness. The great fear of the oligarchs — particularly the Financial oligarchs, who would understand this better than the Oil and Military-Industrial Complex oligarchs — was surely that 2008 might become 1932: that is, that financial and economic collapse might provoke a liberal moment in politics, of mass political movements promoting populist and progressive reform. Is that danger past? I believe it is. So, I suspect that our Galtian Overlords feel the danger has passed as well.

    I don’t think Perry, personally, cares at all about becoming President. He just wants to be in the cast of the Presidential Campaign Reality Show, and he’s a practiced and convenient shepherd for the confederate tribe. Perry does not have a Presidential Party of professional consultants and office-seekers behind him, as far as I can tell. Without the professional consultants and PR people, he produces a never-ending string of gaffes, any one of which could be marshalled by our corporate news media, to sink his candidacy in a ready-made “Dean Scream” moment. That vulnerability, however, may work to his advantage. For the oligarchs in power at the Media-industrial complex, it makes him seem controllable.

    The confederate party has been a factor in the dynamics of American politics since roughly 1830, when the slaveowner oligarchs of Greater South Carolina (who had been expanding their plantation cotton agriculture across the Deep South for a generation), decided to manufacture a distinctive Southern patriotism, peculiarly devoted to defending their interests. But, they were never well-suited to defending the interests of the larger northern, commercial and industrial business oligarchy. Revulsion against the confederate party is deep-seated in American politics; even with the census shifts, Obama voters will have to be deeply depressed, for a confederate party candidate to win.

    When I add it all up, Perry just does not seem a likely Republican nominee, or winning Presidential candidate. The only reason to nominate him is to make it easy for Obama to win re-election. If Obama appears to have screwed the pooch on his own election, the safer course is Romney. Romney, personally, wants to be President, and is backed by a Presidential Party of people, who want office and power. And, Romney, with the credentials of a Rich White Business Guy with ties to the Northeast and the mountain West, is going to be appealing to the class of corporate and financial executives. Romney promises “competence” without even a hint of Obama’s socialist drivel.

  27. Rubbish. Rick Perry will not be president of these United States.

    And MY Predict-o-meter has been on the total fritz since 2004.

  28. Celsius 233, thank you.

    As far as I can tell, Perry is a genuine Christian Dominionist. That’s a reason to choose Obama over Perry, if it comes down to it. Romney is not, and the choice is less clear-cut. Generally, I’d say Obama is the better choice, largely because he is not strongly allied with the nationalist and militarist faction of the Republicans, but neither choice strikes me as especially positive.

    Romney in 2016 looks plausible. More than anyone else he is the architect of Obamacare, and it makes a certain amount of sense that he will oversee its implementation and failure.

  29. cathyx

    TPTB can get way more accomplished by having Obama in a second term than a republican president. If Perry were to win it, the democrats would fight everything he wants to do, like they did with Bush. With Obama, the right can get everything passed they want with democratic support to boot. All done with Obama supporters making excuses for why Obama caves.

  30. Quiddity

    I think it will most likely be (in order):


    Perry has a lot of very conservative baggage. Not a problem with the base, but a problem with the moneyed interests that want to win.

    If Romney can survive and get the nomination, look for a very moderate guy to re-emerge. Because that’s who he basically is.

    Right now Obama is favored, but if the economy slows down – a 50/50 likely-hood – then he will lose.

  31. I’m convinced that having a crazy opponent is Obama’s whole strategy and only hope.

    I know that none of us actually believe that shit, but it bothers me that there’s no one on the Democratic side has seen fit to get the word out that Rick Perry’s prayers have a track record of spectacular failure. He’s been praying for rain for months and the drought’s setting records every day.

    And he recently said that prayer was the answer for the US, too, and no one has bothered to draw out the implications.

  32. Jean Paul Marat

    Bachmann/ Perry in 2012 — ’cause Bush/Cheny didn’t do enough.

  33. darms

    Should Perry win the presidency in 2012 IMHO there’s a good chance he will also be the last president of the US or at least the US as we’ve known it for all of our lives (I’m 55)…

  34. groo

    I’m basically with Bruce Wilder.

    a) Perry is just a puppet, to show: ‘We’ -whoever that is, can place an even worse candidate than the one ‘we’ have given you.
    So be happy with what you got.

    b) On the other hand, even if he wins, he has just a playground behind the whitehouse, where Michelle currently plants her vegetables, or bury the shit of the whitehouse-pet-du jour.

    On the other hand, there is still room to the downside.
    Sort of a tiny test-vector to explore the ground of what is possible.

    Because the ‘elite’ seemingly is dumbing down in lockstep with the general populace, this is somehow open to debate.

    The sheer fact that someone like Perry is even considered to have presidential stature, besides all those other clowns (Bachmann, Palin, etc, whats the difference?) tells us what?

    That the suprematists check out, how far they can go:
    i) give them a believer in creationism (no agnostics allowed; smells of thinking) and some city-upon-the hill-junk.
    ii) give them an AGW-denier
    iii) give them a wallstreet puppet
    iv) deny them social secruity
    v) let them pay for senseless wars
    vi) deprive them of their jobs
    vii) let them kill themselves
    viii) whatever

    Basically they do not care.
    Geniuses, just playin.

    Nowadays those clowns ponder the idea that they could form their own billionaire nation states somewhere far out.

  35. Celsius 233

    Treason; Perry’s own ideas and messianic beliefs along with his insistence on a theocratic state is treasonous ant-Americanism.
    Every corporation that has shipped jobs/manufacturing overseas and now sits on money, huge reserves of cash, that could be better used by investing in the future of the U.S. and chooses to sit out the recession; is guilty of treason, IMO.
    The anti-Americanism of the evangelicals, economists, and corporatists is treasonous behavior; yet somehow everything has been turned 180 degrees and they clothe themselves in some sick perversion of twisted patriotism.
    Does/can a society gone so far off course stand a chance of a last minute save?
    I see no life rings out there; just stormy seas of death; both literally and figuratively.

  36. With great respect for Ian and many others here… I simply think we all lose by discussing this merde.

    All I have to say to anyone when politics comes up in person is – If you are even considering an R or D criminal party candidates for so much as dog catcher, you are part of the problem.

    We have to so NO as many ways as possible in both words and action… and let this campaign go while figuring out what we can do that matters.

  37. David H

    Ian — a while back I believe you spoke of an implicit deal whereby the Republicans run an unelectable candidate v. Obama in exchange for Obama continuing his right-wing policies (I’m simplifying a bit.) I’m not pointing fingers, just wondering if/how/why your thinking on this has changed. I agree more with other commenters who’ve said the ruling class has never had it so good, so why dump Obama?

  38. BlizzardOfOz

    Whatever your threshold might be for “treason”, is there any question that turning the treasury and policy making over to Wall Street, which is basically a foreign entity, is treasonous?

  39. Blue Neponset

    I don’t see Perry’s brand of Christianist Republicanism playing well in the Blue State primaries. If Romney wins the primaries in NY, NJ, New England, CA & IL, WA, OR, MI it will be tough for Perry to make that up in the flyover states. There are also a lot of Catholics in FL who won’t like what Perry is selling.

    My bet is on Romney to win the Presidency in 2012.

  40. barrisj

    This (Perry) scenario can only be played out if Obama runs again…however, there are emerging suggestions that he may pack it in before the 2012 elections (see John Ellis piece in today’s BI:, which certainly would invite a HRC run in the primaries. Any early weaknesses shown by Obama preceding an “I won’t run for re-election” announcement in primaries or state caucuses would be the catalyst to push Clinton to the top of the ticket, and Perry (or any other Repub douchebag) would be immediate toast in the general election.


    Barrisj, for some reason your link didn’t work so I’ll try re-posting it. It’s interesting, but I hesitate to believe it for a few reasons. First, as staggeringly incompetent as Obama’s administration has been politically, that doesn’t increase the odds of him quitting since a hallmark of incompetent people is that they don’t have the tools to recognize their own incompetence. And second, I believe he likes campaigning more than governing (it’s what he’s good at, after all).

  42. Z

    I’d take the current odds on Hillary Clinton becoming our next president. To me that’s the bet that the odds are least reflective of reality becoz damn near everyone thinks that Obama actually wants to oversee the mess that he helped create for another 4 years … or that the self-obsessed narcissist who graduated near the top of his class at harvard law school is too stupid to understand the situation that he’d be putting himself into.


  43. groo


    …is guilty of treason, IMO. …

    I think this is correct, in its own peculiar sense.
    We have (at least) two domains:
    The moral/ethical and the legal.
    Another one would be the scientific versus the merelly verbal.
    Those domains drift further and further apart.

    To an outrageous, frivolous, degree, bordering on the pornographic.

    We cannot enforce morals by law.
    Cameron ironically tries this, when he wants to punish the rioters such that the ‘orderly society’ is emotionally satisfied, and transgresses the law, of which the british are so proud of.

    Which tears society apart, until it ends in a Hobbesian state.

    Capitalism is on the downslope since the abandonment of the ‘protestant ethics’, which is the unspoken undercurrent not only of capitalism, but of any functioning society.

    The american political landscape is comprised mostly of hypocrites and pretenders, which can be bought anytime by the amount of a tip.
    Corruption and confusion from the top meets its base, which is not as dumb as the elite thinks it is.
    It is mirroring the top, and matches its cynicism.

    I have no idea how this can be healed.
    It cannot be expected that the loosers in this dire system develop ‘morals’, as an overarching -necessarily diffuse- environment, where ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ are the unspoken, viscerally lived conduct of decent behavior, and only the tip of the iceberg is encoded in law.

    The same can be said of science.
    It is based on doubt and intersubjective verification of facts.
    But what if a dogmatist creationist or whathaveyou believer summons a cult, where this concept does not hold, and finally gains a majority?

    Perry, Bachmann, Palin etc are exactly of this strand.
    And it resonates in the increasing numbers of couchpatotoes and Alzheimer patients, who are driven to the ballot booth by sheer irrational anger.
    Sort of a transformation of society into the more sarcastic parts of the Muppet-show.

    Mobilization of the loosers is not something where the left is good at. It is always hoping that -ahem- ‘intellect’ should be sufficient.
    Which it obviusly is not.
    Remember that half of the population is below IQ 100 by definition.
    (just saying. I am not happy with that. But application of softer versions like EQ does not lead to better results.)

    We can be embarrassed without end, but when the democratic majority (with a little help from the voting machines and the media and the corporations and the leisure class) decides to go over the cliff, we seem to have to follow suit.

  44. groo

    just thinking:

    Orwell and Huxley both projected societies, where ‘democracy’ was so dysfunctional that its universal scope was questioned at its core.

    Where does the right and duty to resistance start?
    Where does it end?

    Some yeras ago I thought that the critical threshold is 80%.
    Well above constitution-altering majorities, (two third in most cases).

    But I am not sure of that anymore either.
    What if You are the last man standing?
    Is your destiny per definition the mental asylum?

    Obviously only time will tell.
    And hindsight of the survivors is your only ally in this case.

    In a next step, this tells us, what ‘material’ the core of a human being consists of.

    Sounds a lot like Breivik, does’nt it?
    To escape this relativism, I rely on science, critical thinking , critique of language and reflection of my inborn follies.
    To escape this relativism I believe in the literal word of god, in god-given authority, the redemption of all my weaknesses by this benevolent supreme being, and reject anything, which stands against this. As a true believer, my god appreciates me, and I will live in eternity near the light after the rapture.

    All those midgets, who dare to rely on their own earthly, fallible reasoning, will rot in hell.
    The final triumph will be ours, and we are blessed by god, because we believe in his supreme wisdom (with a little distraction by sin and the devil.)


  45. Celsius 233

    groo PERMALINK
    August 18, 2011
    …is guilty of treason, IMO. …
    I think this is correct, in its own peculiar sense.
    Occasionally hyperbole best describes the utter hopelessness of our dilemma in the western world. Of the players in the western world, it would appear America has the least chance of coming out of the present chaos intact (in the healthy aspect of that word). England seems on the edge of unraveling as well.
    Europe will fare better, IMO, and I look to Iceland to come out of this as the healthiest form of democracy(?) on the planet.
    I’m to the point where I’m beginning to hate the word democracy; it’s been perverted and used as a hammer to beat the world into some form of proto-fascist entity. It’s probably the most abused word in the English language.
    As to morals and justice? More buzz words that are devoid of any real meaning.
    Orwell had an uncanny sense of what we humans are really about…

  46. @groo, just have to say, as a general observation:

    My comprehension of your syntactical style has been growing (and may I humourously point out the irony here of your occasional protest regarding the opacity of other commentors’ American-centric syntax). As a consequence, I’m not forced to re-read your posts to get what you’re saying, as much as I used to.

    And I really am enjoying your input! Lots of good mind-tickling in there.

  47. bill

    “If Perry were a Democrat he’d be finished before he started.”

    Hell, Bush was arguably a goddam deserter running against Kerry, a certifiable war hero, and Bush still clocked him. If the PTB want Perry in, he’ll get in.

  48. groo


    Words get used up by their endless repetition.

    Arrange them differently, and eventually they sound exotic, harsh, offensive, although their intent is the same.

    BUT: This is a surface effect. So beware!
    (…deleted some longish text here…)

    Very glad that You recognized that.

  49. Shoes4Industry

    Biden will step aside and Hillary will “selflessly” join the ticket in a last ditch effort to save his presidency. Her ego is needy enough to take second banana for 4 years with the hope of moving back into the WH in 2016 when she’ll be up against a Christy/Rubio Republican challenge.

  50. groo


    I think she is finished. For whatever reason.

    The interesting thing to me is, that the democratic camp does not come up with a single alternative to Obama. there is not even an unsubstantial one.
    Or did I miss something?

    This camp is so ‘noble’ that it even cannot conceive of an alternative.

    Who would be a democratic hope for the future?
    Mister NO-ONE!

    Not Hillary.
    (besides of that: She is just a fake option, deeply entrenched in Arkansas corruption among other: Chelsea Clintons husband :..Marc was a Goldman Sachs investment banker, and, at the time of the marriage, an investment banker at 3G Capital Management)

    Which brings me to another point:

    A corruptable president is by miles preferable to an uncorruptable one by the PTB in the background.
    (You eventually have to kill him, which is always unpleasant)

    This is the base-option:
    Anyone uncorruptable is not fit for presidency.

    You can freely choose among the corruptable lot.
    It does not matter who/she is.

    (S)He just has to stage the fake surface of some sort of honesty.
    Or whatever that translates to, nowadys.

    Go through all the Senators and congressmen, and you find out that 90-95% are pure surface, with some spots of pseudo-opposition, which can be bought by a meager handful of Dollars, if needed.
    ‘Opposition’ is just a business-model.

  51. groo


    just asking a question:

    Who noticed, that 70-90% of the western political elite are lawyers?
    Obama & Michelle
    The Clintons
    The Blairs,
    …and on and on it goes.

    The concentration raises, when going up on the ladder of political hierarchy.

    The worst of the lot seem to be couples.
    See Cherie Blair who seems to have quite some loose bolts in her head.
    Blair the convert to Catholizism.
    Dito the Clintons, who transform the pattern to something hereditary with a twist: by handing the system of fraud to a daugther, who studied -ahem- ‘History’, and a son-in-law, who is of Goldman-Sachs-socialization.

    Or see Gerhard Schroeder, who managed to be married four times.
    Studying ‘jus’ seems to help in personal and political affairs.

    Does anybody see a pattern here?
    I do!
    But maybe I am just mentally challenged.

  52. Rob Grigjanis

    Who noticed, that 70-90% of the western political elite are lawyers?

    Definitely. As for high corporate positions, it is not necessary to be a sociopath to succeed in these two professions, but it can’t hurt.

  53. groo

    Interestingly enough the only one who managed to be in high office as an ECONOMIST (Chancellor of Germany) was Ludwig Erhard -a conservative- 1963-1966, the father of the modern German social contract, the ‘soziale Marktwirtschaft’

    He was ‘killed’ i.e. neutralised by Lyndon B Johnson, by demanding compensations for the cost of US-occupation in Germany. This seriously handicapped the German model.

    Well . At those ancient times international strategies were still not very sophisticated.

    To internalize the devolution of international politics, one just has to let the incubents of US presidential office pass through ones inner eye:
    From Kennedy to Obama.

    The ‘curve’ somehow SEEMS to resemble the stock-market.

    Which it is NOT.

    At times I am embarrassed by the wrong conclusions of Mandelbrodt-who is a wise man, apart from his wrong conclusions-, , who attribute societal movements to fractal or brownian motions , and to some degree Nassim Taleb and others , who blame black swans as the unpredictable agents of disorder.

    Sorry guys. neither of that is ‘true’.

    Neither the movements in stock-markets are fractal/brownian/random, nor are black swans ,Taleb-style, per se unpredictable far-out events.

    Which brings me back to the topic:

    The central tenet is, that we have to prepare for the unpredictable (may they be terrorists or black swans), and have tools available to fight it.

    Those are -well- laughable propositions.
    Mandelbrodt is dead since last year, so he has difficulties defending himself.

    So, Nassim, take over !

  54. groo

    upon rereading my last post, I am afraid that only very very wellmeaning people decode that.
    So I have some clarifications to make. As the circus moves on, I am probably lost on that.

    Trying my best.

  55. Who noticed, that 70-90% of the western political elite are lawyers?

    I’ve come to think that law is the requisite “humanities” course for the elite. Appropriately over-priced, of course, to help keep out the riff-raff.

    Apologies to the ethical practicing attorneys out there.

  56. Jim C.

    I think Perry could easily be the GOP nominee, but if he’s elected president it will only be with the clear, collusive help of the media. Obama is so far superior to him intellectually that this is the only way Perry can succeed– by them ignoring his obvious liabilities and focusing only on the incumbent.

    My prediction is that with a strong opponent, Obama will win the popular vote but lose the Electoral College. In fact, I don’t see how it’s possible for him to win either Florida, Ohio and Pennsylvania, let alone Iowa or Indiana or Wisconsin. And he needs the big ones to win.

    So get ready for the worst. And then sit back and watch the gasbags bubble over in excitement about the wonderful world of “politics.” They’ll be absolutely giddy.

  57. Shoes4Industry

    I did not claim HRC was a noble choice, she’s as corrupt and vile and fake as BO, but there’s a faction of the Democratic party with buyer’s remorse (or were never on board in the first place), this would placate the PUMAs and bring them back in the tent (perhaps). What other chance does he have.

  58. i guess i don’t really care. i mean, what’s the difference? at this point? sure, Perry is a christianisnt fascist, but that’s really just a matter of degree, isn’t it?

    yes, i’m glad we have a “liberal” preznit who ended DADT (sort of, some day, etc). but those kinds of Cadillac issues don’t really make much of a difference in my life; i’ve been out of the service for a long time and EDNA would’ve been much more useful. i could go on and on but i know most here know what i mean; passing and promoting various Beltway “liberal” favorite reforms mean nothing in this economy, in the face of these endless wars, in terms of what entitlement programs are being slashed, of how health “care” is going to be implemented…

    yeah, it’s just really hard for me to care right now. i’m very seriously trying to set up an opportunity to live in another country, where political participation is still valid and useful. that’s not here. O isn’t “in charge” and whomever comes after him will be equally a puppet to unelected superrich powers, who are committed to raping what wealth is left in this country. so really, why follow the horse race? it’s not like it matters anymore, and if it did, the Video Poker Voting Machines would ensure that TPTB get the candidate of their choice, anyway.

  59. barrisj

    Well, quite honestly, HRC has baggage, much of it supplied by hubby – however, her own liabilities (“muscular” foreign policy, unadulterated ‘Murrican exceptionalism, Wall Street connections) don’t seem to matter to a sizeable chunk of Demo voters…just check out the last couple of years’ worth of blogging on Larry Johnson’s “No Quarter” site. ABSOLUTELY nothing will change – or would have changed – with an HRC administration. The critical difference, IMHO, is that HRC understands the elusive quality of “leadership”, which Barack simply just doesn’t get, full stop. Whether it (her leadership) would redound to the “greater good”, or ultimately serve the interests of the plutocracy, she would insure that the core “Democratic” principles not be completely sacrificed upon the altar of “fiscal prudence”. Any of you who were politically active or conscious during the last year of the LBJ presidency should surely understand that an incumbent – completely crushing his opponent in his previous election – suddenly can become acutely vulnerable to even a challenge from a fringe candidate such as Eugene McCarthy, who had a small but vocal and committed supporter group which gained enough credibility – coupled with Johnson’s rapidly eroding support amongst party faithful and the elite – to force him to utter his famous, “…I will not seek nor will I accept my party’s nomination…”, etc., etc. Now HRC is NOT Hubert Humphrey, who had the task of trying to put back all that LBJ rendered asunder, and whoever the Repubs nominate, he/she won’t have done all the spadework that the evil Dick Nixon had undertaken in order to offer up himself as the only “sensible” candidate on the Right. Frankly, if Hillary has the ambition to do so, I think that she and the party elite will convince Obama that it really, really is the time to think about “spending more time with my growing family”, or whatever.

  60. CD: Iceland?

    barrisj: Rather than “spend more time with my family,” a very lucrative TV contract, or a job as the “Goodwill Ambassador” for Goldman Sachs, or possibly the President of the World Bank. Obama’s made. He’s got nothing to worry about, and he’ll go to his grave believing we didn’t appreciate him sufficiently.

  61. “Let me be clear,” said Obama in his Pay-Per-View farewell speech to a divided electorate. “My good friend Lloyd made me an offer I couldn’t refuse: A big chunk of change. And I hope someday you all get to cash in your chips like I just have. Good luck, America!”

  62. sunsin

    To set things in a larger context, now that we can see Mr. Walsh and a number of the posters above have made complete fools of themselves on Libya, why should we take any of their other speculations seriously? I’ll grant they will do for humor of a rather cruel kind, watching people try to grapple with issues and ideas far out of their depth.

  63. jcapan

    “To set things in a larger context, now that we can see Mr. Walsh and a number of the posters above have made complete fools of themselves on Libya, why should we take any of their other speculations seriously? I’ll grant they will do for humor of a rather cruel kind, watching people try to grapple with issues and ideas far out of their depth.”

    Look, it’s Juan Cole’s TA.

  64. Z

    I’ve been saying this for a while: obama is going to back out of the election. He doesn’t want to run again.; he wants to cash out now. He’s done damn near everything he could do to hurt his re-election chances without making it too obvious. He just doesn’t want it make it transparent that he is cashing in for selling out 99% of the country for 4 years. So he’s got to ruin his re-election prospects in order to step down “honorably” and let someone else run. Again, this oval office gig hasn’t been emotionally rewarding enough for the self-enamored narcissist.

    Some people think that he’s going to stay in the race to make sure that a republican wins the presidency. To which I say: I doubt that, but really what the hell could you put past him at this point? I mean, the mfer basically hijacked hope and damaged hundreds of millions of people just so that he could strut and preen on the world’s biggest stage and, in the process, add another order of magnitude to his wealth. And the dude was plenty rich already and had plenty of future earning power without selling out so many people.

    But looking at his self-interest … and he sure is in tune with that … would he really want to live through the stress of throwing an election to an opponent that is probably going to need some help along the way? Does he want to go through the stress of walking the tight rope between desperately throwing an election … becoz he DOES NOT want to be president again … and trying not to make it too obvious?


  65. alyosha

    Those of you who think Obama isn’t going for a second term, please explain why he’s out fundraising right now? For all his many defects, who really is going to run in his stead? Or to put a point on it, who is in fact running against him – or even putting an organization together – right now? Nobody.

    You think he’s ruined his chances for re-election; I don’t think he sees things that way at all. He views health care “reform” as a major achievement, as well as “saving” the banking system from a major crash. Next up, winding down one or more of the wars we’re currently engaged in, beginning with Libya.

    Put yourself in his shoes, and try to see the world from his viewpoint, instead of projecting your own understanding of what you interpret as his failures.

  66. Z


    Again, Obama does not want it to be transparent that he is going to cash out after 4 years of dutifully serving the plutocracy so of course he is going to continue going through the motions of running. It is expected that presidents run for a second term … the last one not to was Lyndon Johnson … instead of blatantly utilizing the office as a platform for future riches.

    Put yourself in his shoes: What would I rather do, move on to a much more lucrative post-presidency career with higher pay, less hours, greater freedom and considerably less stress; or toil in the oval office for another 4 years, risk my popularity and future marketability, and sit in the hot seat as the deplorable policies that I helped effectuate play out during a period where this country is going to go through a hell of a lot of turmoil and pain?

    His self-interest … which is damn near his only interest … is in cashing out after his first term. His challenge is to arrange the pieces on the board such that he has an “honorable” way out.


  67. Z


    There was not one poll that I’m aware of that told obama that throwing ss and medicare on the table for cuts during the recent debt ceiling debacle … that he very much set the table for and then later directed … was popular and yet, uncharacteristically, there he was front-and-center taking full credit for doing just that instead of cowardly hiding behind his deceit like he usually does. Those programs have majority support from republican and democrat voters AND the independents. Hell, even the congressional republicans were loath to go after ss … after bush’s popularity damaging quest to privatize it … and medicare … after the ryan care debacle and what many saw as the consequent loss of the seat in the ny house race … but obama anxiously jumped on that wagon. And the results have come in … which we all knew ahead of time … and it damaged his election prospects, and yet he’s still pressing that in his upcoming recommendations to the super congress on deficit reduction.

    The dude that had enough political acumen to become our first black president against considerable odds didn’t just lose that skill … he knows what he’s doing. And if he wants to damage his re-election prospects enough so that he can bow out “honorably” in the party’s best interests … which he certainly doesn’t really give a shit about … then he has to attack his liberal support. And that’s exactly what he’s done by going after ss and medicare … and he doesn’t appear at all to be interested in changing course despite the evidence of what it is accomplishing. Instead, he is still twisting that shiv into his liberal support.


  68. “Put yourself in his shoes, and try to see the world from his viewpoint”

    Exactly. Obama thinks he’s doing a great job. He’s done what he believes needed to be done: showered largesse upon the wealthy and powerful so they can let a few drops trickle down to the rest of us, protected the government’s ability to do what it wants without interference, taken steps to reduce the middle class’s standard of living to an “affordable” level, maintained our military dominance, and so on. So what if his approval numbers are dropping? He has his cabal of advisers feeding him lines like “the public says it wants bipartisanship!” and “tack rightward to win independents!” Meanwhile he maintains a solid core of supporters who will vote for him–literally–no matter what he does, so why not antipicate all Democrats acting like that?

    Besides, any day now the economy will turn around. He’s reduced the deficit, lowered taxes, proposed free trade agreements–everything his neoliberal playbook says can cure economic woes. All he has to do, in his mind, is sit back and wait for it to work.

  69. alyosha

    Z, if I was a betting man, I’d like to place a small bet with you. Like Notorious PAT, I think Obama really believes he’s doing a great job, and is out there fundraising (I’ve read the goal is $1 billion if you can imagine that obscene amount) to win the next four years.

    Don’t overcomplicate it. Remember 11-dimensional chess? It didn’t exist. It’s one of those expressions that’s fading from currency.

  70. barrisj

    OFF Topic, but I am rather amused at all the self-congratulatory rubbish being offered up by Obama and his Nato stooges, after the apparent fall of the Ghadafi regime. So, once again, “humanitarian intervention” scores a win. Well, the formula is quite simple: choose a small country with NO air-defenses worth mentioning, an authoritarian government that has previously worked with “the West”, a “popular” uprising aided by Western security services, then…SEND IN THE DRONES! Followed by Nato fighter-bombers, and Bob’s yer uncle!
    Now the tricky bit: how to install a “reliable” pro-West, “free-market” transition government that will quickly renegotiate various oil concessions in order to allow “reasonable profits” by the multinationals…and, of course, establish “internal security” with the aid of the above-mentioned Western services. Ah, freedom, ah, Democracy!

  71. anon2525

    Also off-topic: Jack Layton, RIP. People are debating Perry, Bachmann, Paul, et. al., but we don’t have someone comparable to Layton to support.

  72. barrisj

    Amen, anon2525, though there are quite a few tributes posted by Canadians on “The Agonist” website…


  73. Z


    I think 11-dimensional chess does exist and we’re the pawns.


  74. nice, nice

  75. Jean Paul Marat

    What if it is as simple as Obama realizes that the whole system is collapsing and doesn’t want to be the one left holding the handle.

  76. Theocratic fascism?

    Could be. Perry is the Dem. fascists wet dream, but his corporatist buddies, of course, wouldn’t give a damn, it’s win win for them either way.

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