Tag: Barack Obama

Yeah, About that

This strangest thing about this moment is almost every Dem is acting as if Obama’s first term was a horrible failure but no one wants to explicitly say that. https://t.co/CuyrgEN6XT

— Jon Walker (@JonWalkerDC) February 2, 2021

So, let’s do a rundown of the 2009-10 Obama years and what happened:

  • Democratic Governors, from 29 to 16.
  • Control of state legislatures, and redistricting, from 59% to 31%. (over 1000 state leg seats)
  • Double digit losses in the Senate.
  • Over 5 dozen loses in the House.

Why would even the most psychopathic Democrat, or Jim Manchin (but I repeat myself) want even a small piece of such a disaster?

The answer is that they don’t which indicates that the Democratic Party establishment (There is no Democratic Party establishment) might actually have a small learning curve.

I never believed that I would be able to write that in a non-ironic way.

Headline of the Day

How Amy Coney Barrett and Barack Obama Transcended Petty Partisanship To Crush Community Activists in Chicago


This is an Architectural Atrocity

This details how Obama’s need for a monument to himself by way of his Presidential library will, as I noted about a year ago, desecrate one of Fredrick Law Olmstead’s crown jewels, and that his has been aided and abetted by one Federal Judge Amy Coney Barrett:

Proving that architectural narcissism isn’t a quality limited to the outgoing forty-fifth president, Barack Obama is currently attempting to erect a hideous 235-foot tower, a monument to himself and his presidency, in a park in Chicago, over the objections of community groups. Local organizations fighting the project recently suffered a defeat at the hands of a federal review, which concluded in Obama’s favor. But according to the Wall Street Journal, a key ally in the approval process last summer was then judge Amy Coney Barrett, who has since, of course, become Trump’s latest addition to the Supreme Court.

Obama’s papers will live elsewhere; this $500 million project is not a presidential library but a museum celebrating the former president, overseen by the Obama Foundation, whose board is made up of a distasteful gang of financiers, with private equity well represented. As Wall Street Journal opinion writer James Freeman sardonically noted last week, Obama is impinging on “treasured green space to realize his vision of a self-tribute in stone and glass.” The groups fighting the project argue that it will wreak environmental damage on Jackson Park. They argue that the project will destroy much of the natural life in the park, including four hundred trees. They also say the tower will interfere with needed sunlight during the day, cause light pollution at night, and interfere with bird migration (the park is apparently a well-known route for birds).

The community activists also fear that the project will lure a large number of tourists and car traffic, disrupting what is currently a relatively calm and natural retreat. They also find the design of the project garish and vulgar, at odds with the aesthetics of the Frederick Law Olmsted–designed park, a historic 1893 World’s Fair site which was restored back to naturalistic parkland after the fair. The activists have presented alternative designs and traffic plans, but the Obama Foundation has ignored them — as arrogant multimillionaires tend to do when faced with suggestions from the little people.

This is tremendously apropos of the legacy of a man why my brother calls, “Our President Harding.”

He looked the role, and he gave great speeches, but when push came to shove, he never put anything ahead of himself, and now, he’s going to befoul one of the great public spaces in the world, (plus a f%$#ing luxury golf course) because it’s always about him.

Quote of the Day

Central to this narrative is the presentation of the difference between Trump and Obama as akin to the difference between Hitler and Gandhi. A better analogy – especially when it comes to foreign policy – would be the difference between John Wayne Gacy, the serial killer who was known for dressing up as a clown at public events, and Ted Bundy, the tall, handsome serial killer who enticed his victims into his car with his charm and good looks.

Peter Bolton at Counter Punch

He’s writing about how Joe Biden has stapled himself to Barack Obama’s increasingly dubious legacy.

It’s a wonderfully evocative turn of phrase.

H/t Naked Capitalism.

A Monument to His Ego

This is an Architectural Atrocity

I am referring of course to Barack Obama’s proposed Presidential library.

I think that his presidential complex would rip the heart out of one of Fredrick Law Olmstead’s most significant works, and the Federal Highway Administration’s review of the project has determined that it would diminish the integrity of the park.

Here’s hoping that this, along with the fact that Obama crony Rahm Emanuel is no longer mayor, will result in some much need accountability on this project.

There is also the matter that the Obama Foundation has refused to even consider a community benefits agreement, which would provide guarantees for the local residents regarding jobs and affordable housing:

Construction of the $500 million Obama Presidential Center will have an “adverse impact” on historic Jackson Park that must be mitigated, a federal review has concluded.

In a report triggered by Jackson Park’s listing on the National Register of Historic Places, the Federal Highway Administration homed in on the negative impact the four-building complex would have on the majestic Midway Plaisance and the Jackson Park Historic Landscape District.

The project would diminish the “the historic property’s overall integrity by altering historic, internal spatial divisions that were designed as a single entity” by renowned landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted, the FHA concluded.

It also concludes the “size and scale of new buildings” would “diminish the intended prominence of the Museum of Science and Industry building and alter the overall composition and design intent of balancing park scenery with specific built areas.”


The finding puts pressure on the Obama Foundation to find a way to “resolve adverse effects” and turns up the heat on Mayor Lori Lightfoot to order the foundation to make those changes.

“The Obama Foundation has yet to show any interest in compromising on any of this. It may take [Lightfoot] to bring them to the table,” said Margaret Schmid, co-president of Jackson Park Watch.

“It means there are lots of new obstacles facing this proposal. A big question is, does Chicago want to go on record as having allowed a project that has major adverse impacts on this important historic park or can the project be redesigned to be compatible with this historic landscape?”

It’s not a surprise that the Obama Foundation is refusing to do anything for the poor and minority residents of the neighborhood, that was pretty much the Obama administration’s policy for or the poor and minority residents of the country.

They were too busy, “Foaming the runway,” for the big banks.

Trump Is Still Not the Deporter in Chief

There has been a lot of outrage over how DoJ Lawyer Sarah Fabian has been saying that children in detention do not need mattress, or soap, or toothbrushes or real blankets in detention facilities kept so cold that they are nicknamed “Refrigerators”.

Well, it turns out that she’s done worse things.

In particular, she argued for putting children in solitary confinement under the Obama administration:


The United States’s loathsome argument—that it is “safe and sanitary” to confine children without soap, toothbrushes, dry clothes, and on concrete under bright lights—is morally indefensible. It’s also a spectacularly foolish argument to raise in the famously liberal Ninth Circuit, where the United States should have expected exactly the reception that it got. And even though the litigation began under the Obama administration, it was the Trump administration that elected to bring this appeal and ask the court to bless these inhumane conditions as “safe and sanitary.” That’s an extremely aggressive legal argument, and one that suggests that the disturbing conditions being reported at confinement centers are intentional, not a sign of mere neglect.

It is right and fit to condemn the Trump administration for its argument and its treatment of children. But it’s wrong to think the problem can be cured with a presidential election. Trump will depart; the problem will not depart with him. This administration is merely the latest one to subject immigrant children to abusive conditions. It’s been 35 years since Jenny Flores was strip-searched in an adult facility. Before Sarah Fabian defended concrete floors and bright lights for President Donald Trump, she defended putting kids in solitary confinement for President Barack Obama.

Remember, the UN has defined solitary confinement as torture, and the DoJ, and ICE, and CBP asked the courts to allow them to torture children with solitary confinement in 2015:

The Department of (in) Justice recently submitted a motion in opposition to a lawsuit filed by mothers and their children who want ICE to stop torturing their children by placing them in solitary confinement.

The DOJ now can be called the DOIJ for its monstrous defense and advocacy for the following policy:

ICE also has family residential standards that govern discipline and cover, among other things, a situation where a resident has participated in the offense of “insurrection,” which is defined as “[p]articipation or encouraging another to participate in unauthorized activity such as protesting or rioting.” See ICE/DRO Residential Standard, Discipline and Behavior Management, at 17, attached hereto as Exhibit O.6

The ICE disciplinary standards state that their purpose is to “provide a safe and orderly living environment” at ICE family residential facilities, and to “manage discipline and behavioral problems in a manner that ensures the safety and welfare of staff, residents, and visitors.” Exhibit O at 1. “Insurrection” is considered a major offense at ICE family residential facilities, and under the standards requires separation from the general population. Id. at 16-17. Medical observation rooms may be used to facilitate this separation.

In other words, if a mother protests or encourages another to protest, DOJ,  led by the lawyer-warrior in favor of locking up toddlers and children, Sarah B. Fabian, ICE has a right to punish the mothers’ children with solitary confinement.

I would note that the pace of deportations under the Obama administration are still outpaced by those of the Obama administration.

There is a special place in hell for both of them.

Trump Caves

Returning to an Obama administration policy

Trump blinked, and issued an executive order changing the asylum policy to something marginally less heinous.

Ironically enough, it appears to be very similar to Obama’s 2014 policy:

President Trump caved to enormous political pressure on Wednesday and signed an executive order meant to end the separation of families at the border by detaining parents and children together for an indefinite period.

“We’re going to have strong — very strong — borders, but we are going to keep the families together,” Mr. Trump said as he signed the order in the Oval Office. “I didn’t like the sight or the feeling of families being separated.”
But ending the practice of separating families still faces legal and practical obstacles. A federal judge could refuse to give the Trump administration the authority it wants to hold families in custody for more than 20 days, which is the current limit because of a 1997 court order.
The president’s four-page order says that officials will continue to criminally prosecute everyone who crosses the border illegally, but will seek to find or build facilities that can hold families — parents and children together — instead of separating them while their legal cases are considered by the courts.

Justice Department officials said the legal authority to end family separation relies on a request they will make in the coming days to Judge Dolly M. Gee of the Federal District Court in Los Angeles, the daughter of immigrants from China who was appointed by President Barack Obama. She oversees a 1997 consent decree, known as the Flores settlement, which prohibits immigration authorities from keeping children in detention, even if they are with their parents, for more than 20 days.

The 1997 case imposes legal constraints on the proper treatment of children in government custody, which stopped Mr. Obama after his administration began detaining families together during a similar flood of illegal immigration several years ago.

“It’s on Judge Gee,” said Gene Hamilton, the counselor to Attorney General Jeff Sessions. “Are we going to be able to detain alien families together or are we not?”

As for those of you who are wondering why I’m bringing up the contemptible policies of the Obama administration, it is because Trump’s even more despicable policies did not spring fully grown out of his head:  They were a logical progression of Obama’s eager embrace of his role as, “Deporter-in-Chief.”

The past is prologue, here, and it is not by accident.

Fundamentally, the issue of illegal immigration is driven to a large demand for low cost labor, and if we were to aggressively target employers, and increase the perceived risk and perceived cost to potential employers, our immigration enforcement system would be both more humane and more effective.

Interesting Insight into the Origins of Trump’s Child Snatching Policy

Ian Welsh has come across how Barack Obama’s truly horrific immigration policies led directly to Trump’s even more contemptible child snatching:

So, you’ve all heard about this by now.

It is, obviously, a terrible crime. And yeah, evil.

It is an extension of Obama’s policy of holding families (without splitting them up, but still in terrible conditions). If you want to understand the link, read this Twitter thread.

Thread: How did we get here?
In 2015, I shook President Obama’s hand, thanked him for DACA, and asked him to reverse course & close the for-profit baby jails (also known as “family detention centers”) he opened in Dilley & Karnes City, Texas. What he said shook me to my core 1/ pic.twitter.com/K5vi6S2RPj

— R. Andrew Free (@ImmCivilRights) June 19, 2018

It is rather telling that (read the whole tweet storm) it is clear from the exchange that putting families in detention was intended as a deterrent by the Obama administration, because they thought that no one but a few immigration lawyers would care.

Sounds familiar.

Trump’s immigration policies are not an abberation, they are a natural progression from prior administrations.

So Not a Surprise

If there is one safe US Senate seat for the Democrats this election cycle, it’s California.

But this time around, the not only did the California Democratic Party not endorse Dianne Feinstein,* she actually lost to her challenger by a significant margin, though not enough to actually get the endorsement. (Kevin De León beat her 54% to 37%, and he needed 60% for the endorsement)

So, now that she has a viable primary challenge, and the top two finishers will almost certain Feinstein and De León, which given California’s jungle primary means that they will face off in the general.

Once again proving that Republicans fear their base, and Democrats hate their base, so given that Feinstein is far more conservative than the state, and De León is not, the establishment has pulled out the stops for Dianne, including an endorsement from Barack Obama.

Not a surprise. Barack Obama has always hadd nicer things to say about conservatives than he ever did about progressives:

Former President Obama is endorsing Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) as she faces a prominent Democratic challenger.
Obama said in a Friday statement that he was giving his “strong endorsement” and calling Feinstein “one of America’s most effective champions for progress to the Senate.”

“She’s always been an indispensable leader for California, and we became dear friends and partners in the fight to guarantee affordable healthcare and economic opportunity for everybody; to protect our planet from climate change, and our kids from gun violence,” he added.

Feinstein’s reelection campaign blasted out the announcement on Friday, noting the two had worked on “shared priorities” when Obama was a senator and during his administration.

Feinstein, 84, has held her the seat since 1992 but is facing frustration from liberals who believe her old-school Senate collegiality is out of touch in the era of President Trump.

The problem is not her , “old-school Senate collegiality,” it’s her support for the surveillance state, Wall Street, Iraq, the Death Penalty, the Flag Burning Amendment, Internet Censorship, expansion of the H1B program, and her opposition to marijuana legalization that puts her out of step with California voters.

It isn’t her “Senate collegiality” that people have a problem with, it’s her policies.

*Full disclosure, I’ve never met her, but she is my 2nd cousin once removed.

Quote of the Day

The problem isn’t simply that these people weren’t prosecuted (though they should have been). It’s that they weren’t even shamed enough to think that maybe the public spotlight wasn’t the best thing for them.

Duncan “Atrios” Black

Atrios is talking about the torturers, like Gina Haspel, who were emboldened by Obama’s refusal to persecute even the worst of them.

Obama’s decision to, “Look forward, not back,” on torture did not put the chapter behind us, because, not only did it not put torture behind us, it Endorsed torture and torturers.

Barack Obama, and his AG at the time, Eric “Place” Holder are not stupid people, and they had to know that a failure to prosecute constituted and endorsement of torture.

They Have Managed to Outrage Me Again

So, Donald Trump has fired Rex Tillerson as Secretary of State (via Twitter, no less) and announced his intent to replace him with current CIA head Mike Pompeo.

This is not a shock, it’s been telegraphed for a while, and it is a not an outrage.

What is an outrage is who has been named to replace Pompeo at the CIA, Gina Haspel, the inspiration for the main character in the Leni Riefenstahl Kathryn Bigelow film Zero Dark Thirty, who ran the CIA torture camp in Thialand, and then destroyed evidence to evade Congressional oversight:

Donald Trump’s pick for head of the Central Intelligence Agency, Gina Haspel, reportedly oversaw a black site prison in Thailand where terrorism suspects were tortured. She briefly ran the prison in 2002, anonymous officials told the Associated Press.

Deputy CIA director could face court deposition over post-9/11 role in torture

If the US Senate confirms Haspel, she would be the first female director of the agency, but the historic significance of her nomination was immediately overshadowed by her reported link to the black site, where two suspected al-Qaida members were waterboarded.

“The fact that she’s been able to stay in the agency, rise in the agency and now is in line to be director should be deeply troubling,” Larry Siems, author of the Torture Report, a book analysing government documents relating to Bush-era torture released in 2014, told the Guardian.

Haspel also drafted a cable ordering the destruction of CIA interrogation videos in 2005.

A US justice department investigation into the tapes’ destruction ended without charges, but the event helped spark a landmark investigation into US detentions and interrogations.

Christopher Anders, deputy director of the American Civil Liberties Union’s Washington legislative office, claimed Haspel “was up to her eyeballs in torture”.

Anders urged the CIA to declassify her torture record before the Senate considers her nomination.

She has been described as having, “Ran a laboratory for torture.”

This crap has me agreeing with John Sidney McCain III, who has described her as a representing, “One of the darkest chapters in American history,” which is a complete mind f%$# to me.

While we are at it, it should be noted that German prosecutors are considering issuing an arrest warrant against Haspel for her torture.

Once again, the world has exceeded my already blindingly low expectations.

She should be in jail, but Obama decided, in defiance of signed treaties, to prosecute any of the torturers.

Thanks, Obama.

Yeah, Pretty Much

Protesters are demanding that Barack Obama sign a community benefits agreement before building his Presidential library, because they do not trust him to keep his word to benefit the (largely minority) residents of the neighborhood.

I wouldn’t trust him either:

Black aldermen attempting to congratulate African-American contractors that won the right to help build the Obama Presidential Center in Jackson Park were drowned out Wednesday by protesters demanding that former President Barack Obama put it in writing.


Protesters chanting, “C.B.A.” and “Shame,” had other ideas. They were determined to drown out the aldermen and make their voices heard.

The raucous demonstration was led by Jitu Brown, who used similar, in-your-face tactics during the drive that forced Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s hand-picked school board to save Dyett High School.

“We cannot take the president’s word on the fact that they’re not gonna push African-Americans out with the Obama Presidential Center. There is no history that says their word is worth anything,” Brown said.

“What we need is an in-writing community benefits agreement that says that people who live in those communities will benefit — not in a profiteering way, but jobs, investment in neighborhood elementary schools, transportation infrastructure. That is not a lot to ask. In the case of the Staples Center in Los Angeles, it kept people in their communities.”

Brown was asked why he is so convinced that promises made by the nation’s first African-American president won’t be kept.

The situation will not be different because our African-American president endorsed school privatization — the closing of schools all across the United States. Our African-American aldermen have sat by while 50 schools closed in the city of Chicago. And it had a harmful effect on Chicago’s children,” Brown said.

(emphasis mine)

Yeah, pretty much.

Barack Obama protected the banks while presiding over the largest destruction of black wealth in history.

Trusting him is a sucker bet.

Facebook, Twitter, and Jewish Passover Songs

Someone on Facebook post complained about a Tweet calling Obama a Neoliberal tool.

I observed that many of his behaviors served the neoliberal playbook, and they replied, “You’re wildly wrong on the powers of POTUS if you think Obama was able to singlehandedly do quite a lot of that list,” and I replied:

He had a literal blank check or mortgage relief, and he “Foamed the Runways” (Geithner said that) for insolvent banks, it’s on him.

His decisions on target assassinations and his embrace of torturers and torture enablers were his decisions as CinC, it’s on him.

His decision not prosecute banksters was his AG’s decision, and he supported it, it’s on him.

He tried to push through TPP, it’s on him.

He did not lift a finger to support card check, it’s on him.

Sing to the tune of “Chad Gadya.”

I am feeling very smug about my bon mot right now.

Commitment to Transparency, My Ass

There was never an indictment, because it was determined that this would serve to alert the Japanese that their codes had been broken, but what was interesting to me was that, 70 years after the fact, the government was still trying to keep this cloaked in secrecy:

Newly published documents by the National Security Archive reveal why a grand jury refused to prosecute a Chicago Tribune reporter during World War II for a leak.

Correspondent Stanley Johnston was accused of revealing the United States cracked a Japanese code, which alerted the military to Japanese war plans before the Battle of Midway. A Tribune editor attributed the source of information to “naval intelligence.”

A prosecution was contemplated under the Espionage Act, but the government backed off because they feared what may happen if a trial publicized that the U.S. compromised the Japanese code.

The Justice Department under President Barack Obama fought against a lawsuit filed by the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press. It lost when a district court ruled in 2015 that disclosure would “result in a more complete public record of this historic event” and affirm the government is “open, in all respects, to scrutiny by the people.”

Yet, the government appealed, and it was not until September 2016, when the appeals court ruled against the government’s claim that a federal court had no jurisdiction to order the release of transcripts, that an effort to keep 75 year-old documents secret came to an end.

This is a 75 year old secret, and Barack Obama and his Evil Minions felt compelled to keep it under wraps, because ……… Worst Constitutional law professor ever.

One would think that Obama was working for the US state security apparatus, not the other way around.


Hillary Clinton says she made a mistake when she gave speeches on Wall Street after leaving government. Taking money from banks, she writes in her new memoir, created the impression she was in their pocket.

Her old boss doesn’t seem to share her concern.

Last month, just before her book “What Happened” was published, Barack Obama spoke in New York to clients of Northern Trust Corp. for about $400,000, a person familiar with his appearance said. Last week, he reminisced about the White House for Carlyle Group LP, one of the world’s biggest private equity firms, according to two people who were there. Next week, he’ll give a keynote speech at investment bank Cantor Fitzgerald LP’s health-care conference.

So much for hope an change.

When Does the Petition About Obama Start?

In response to a petition by over ¼ million people, the Nobel Prize committee has announced that cannot strip Aung Sang Suu Kyi of the prize for her support of genocide against the Rohingya in Myanmar:

The organization that oversees the Nobel Peace Prize said Friday the 1991 prize awarded to Myanmar’s Aung Sang Suu Kyi cannot be revoked.

Olav Njolstad, head of the Norwegian Nobel Institute, said in an email to The Associated Press that neither the will of prize founder Alfred Nobel nor the Nobel Foundation’s rules provide for the possibility of withdrawing the honor from laureates.

“It is not possible to strip a Nobel Peace Prize laureate of his or her award once bestowed,” Njolstad wrote. “None of the prize awarding committees in Stockholm and Oslo has ever considered revoking a prize after it has been awarded.”

An online petition signed by more than 386,000 people on Change.org is calling for Suu Kyi to be stripped of her Peace Prize over the persecution of Myanmar’s Rohingya Muslim minority.

Suu Kyi received the award for “her non-violent struggle for democracy and human rights” while standing up against military rulers.


Rohingya fleeing to Bangladesh have reported being ordered to leave Myanmar under the threat of death. They have described large-scale violence allegedly perpetrated by Myanmar troops and Buddhist mobs that included homes being set on fire and bullets sprayed indiscriminately.

Suu Kyi has dismissed the Rohingya crisis as a misinformation campaign.

I’m wondering where the outrage is over a program of targeted assassination by flying robots, including the deaths of thousands of non combatants hasn’t generated a f%$#ing petition.

Seriously, the Nobel prize committee is really the gang that cannot shoot straight.

Something Seriously Weird

The indespensible Matt Tiabbi has looked into the Government takeover of the government-sponsored entities (GSEs), Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and found it odd.

Not only is it odd, but it runs completely counter to the normal way that the Treasury Department handled rescues during the financial crisis.

For the bailouts of both the auto companies and AIG, the Secretary of the Treasury Timothy “Eddie Haskell” Geithner could not get the government out of those businesses, but with Fannie and Freddie, they retained a permanent ongoing interest:

In August 2012, a few months before Barack Obama told Mitt Romney the Eighties had called and wanted their foreign policy back, the U.S. government made a momentous and little-discussed decision. It unilaterally changed the terms of the bailout of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, seizing all of the companies’ profits.

The government originally insisted on a 10 percent annual dividend in exchange for what ultimately became a $187 billion rescue. In 2012, the government quietly changed that 10 percent deal to one in which the state simply seized all profits. Government regulators euphemistically described this as “fully capturing financial benefits.” The press paid almost no attention to this event.


They had gone bust during the crash years for a variety of reasons, mostly due to incompetent and corrupt management. But by the summer of 2012, with the real estate market in recovery, the companies weren’t bust anymore. On the contrary, they were about to start making money again – enormous piles of it, in fact.

The government has always insisted it didn’t know this. Not just in the summer of 2012 but numerous times since, officials have insisted that they needed 100 percent of Fannie and Freddie’s profits because they wanted to protect taxpayers from likely future losses, and because Fannie and Freddie would otherwise be unable to pay back what they owed.

Mario Ugoletti, a special adviser to the director of the federal housing agency, said in 2013 of the companies’ debts that it was “unlikely that [Fannie and Freddie] would be able to meet that amount consistently without drawing additional funds from Treasury.”

But documents just released in a court case show that the government privately believed just the opposite before it made its historic decision to “sweep” the GSE revenues.

One key document is a memo from Mary Miller, assistant Treasury secretary for the financial markets, to then-Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner. Dated December 11th, 2011, Miller writes to Geithner that “Freddie is expected to be net income positive by the end of 2012, and Fannie by the end of 2013.”


The only reason this story is hitting the headlines at all this week is because the government’s 2012 decision triggered an all-out pitched battle between two investor groups. Those who bet on Fannie and Freddie’s revival were wiped out by the government’s 2012 decision, while those who shorted the firms have made fortunes.

The documents that came out this week were released in a lawsuit brought by Fannie and Freddie shareholders who believe that the government stole billions of dollars in profits from them.

Well, that last bit explains cui bono, doesn’t it.

I’m wondering if the firm Warburg Pincus, where Geithner secured a job as president, had short positions on Fannie and Freddie, but I am a cynical SOB.

Then I decided to put on my cynical hat, and thought perhaps the Obama administration was attempting to move the GSE’s function, and their government backing, to Wall Street, so as to privatize the profits and socialize the risks, to benefit the finance industry at the expense of ordinary Americans.

This did seem to be the modus operandi of the Obama and his Evil Minions, and that the easiest way to take down the GSE’s would be to eliminate the major constituency for the supporting them, their investors.

It appears to have worked:

Lurking underneath the scandal derisively termed “Fanniegate” is a monstrous struggle for future profits. The fight here is not just about the profits generated by the GSEs, but what to do about them generally. Finance lobbyists have successfully forged a bipartisan consensus that the companies need to be privatized. Essentially, Wall Street wants to step into the shoes of Fannie and Freddie.

In most versions of GSE reform currently winding their way through Congress, the same too-big-to-fail banks that blew up the mortgage markets in 2008 would assume most of the responsibilities of Fannie and Freddie. Crucially, securitized mortgages would continue to enjoy government backing under many of these proposals.

Privatized profits, socialized losses. Who doesn’t love that formula?

It would be the ultimate triumph for Wall Street, and the ultimate shocker ending to the crash era. After nearly blowing up the planet with a mortgage bubble and getting bailed out by taxpayers, banks would now be handed control of the real estate markets and granted permission to reap massive profits trading government-backed mortgages until the end of time.

I kind of hope that it’s petty corruption by Geithner, who, after all, is a rather petty fellow, because the other alternative is that the policies of the Obama administration with regard to the finance industry were at their core ineluctably evil.

The counter argument to this theory is the massive program of prosecuting the Wall Street banksters for their crimes, but even George W. Bush prosecuted more aggressively than the Obama administration did.