You heard it here first. Barack Obama is truly the same old stuff that all Washington insiders are made of. He conned the electorate into believing that he was the candidate of change. However, as I said here, he forfeited that mantle a long time ago. The man is not yet in office and he’s already showing his true stripes as a Washington insider. Consider his early moves …
For Secretary of State, his first choice appears to be Hillary Clinton, never was there a bigger Washington insider than the former First Lady and 2 term Senator from New York.
As Health Secretary, he came up with former Speaker of the House, Tom Daschle who was first elected to the House of Representatives in 1978 and the Senate in 1986 where he served until 2004 before being ousted by a Republican challenger. Always the Washington insider, Daschle joined Alston & Bird who represent CVS Caremark, the National Association for Home Care and Hospice, Abbott Laboratories and HealthSouth. Daschle also holds a paid position as an advisor to the Mayo Clinic. In spite of all these entanglements, Obama, who pledged to avoid the K Street entanglements of various lobbying groups, still picked a man to hold a an appointed office of some serious significance.
Obama’s pick for Attorney General was yet another long time Washington insider. Eric Holder went to work for the Department of Justice, immediately after graduating from law school where, in 1997 President Bill Clinton nominated Holder as the deputy Attorney General. In 2000, after the election of George Bush, Holder joined Covington & Burling where he represented big spending and highly influential clients like Merck.
Janet Napolitano is Obama’s pick to head the Department of Homeland Security, Napolitano is another former Clinton appointee. In 1993, Bill Clinton appointed Napolitano as the United States attorney for the District of Arizona. She is the current governor of Arizona.
Obama’s closest advisor, his Chief of Staff, Rahm Emanuel is also similarly entangled in Washington’s seductive web. Emanuel was the chair of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee in 2006. He is the fourth-ranking Democrat in the House, behind Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Leader Steny Hoyer and Whip Jim Clyburn.
Thursday, November 20, 2008
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
A second round of calls for an individual home owner bailout went up this week. We shouldn't necessarily be trying to keep these homes out of foreclosure. Consider how out of whack home prices and personal incomes are right now. When Bill Clinton expanded CRA, home price appreciation accelerated while personal income continued to grow at a pace that was roughly equal to inflation. Just to put that in real terms, when homes were appreciating at 20% a year or more, personal incomes were growing at about 4% a year. Does anybody appreciate the significance of this? Does anyone understand that home prices need to come back to parity with personal income? Forget punishing he idiot homeowners who foolishly bit off far more than they could chew, they deserve it, but that is a debate for another time. Home prices have to retreat back toward natural levels with respect to personal incomes in order to avoid significant inflation. The only alternative to devaluing homes would be to massively inflate personal incomes, which would be good, except for the fact that the real gains in personal income would me negligible because the cost of everything else will increase with personal incomes.