By Dave Lindorff
NBC/Wall St Journal Poll: 40% say country worse off since Obama, 31% say better
Federal Reserve Board: US economy is stalling again
NY TImes: "White House Memo: First Wave of Weary Aides Heads for the Exits"
Labor Dept.: New jobless claims hit record not seen since February 20
It's a grim sign for the Obama administration that droves of staffers are pulling up stakes and looking for jobs elsewhere, not even waiting until the mid-term elections are over. Gone is Christina Romer, chair of the President's Council of Economic Advisers, going is White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, gone is communications spokeswoman Linda Douglass, gone is Budget Director Peter Orszag, gone is White House Counsel Gregory Craig. Even the president's senior political adviser, David Axelrod, widely credited with having engineered his primary and election victories, is said to be ready to leave.
Seasoned sailors used to get worried if they saw a line of rats scurrying down the mooring lines securing a ship to the pier just before it was time to set sail. It was considered an omen of doom. And indeed, the SS Obama, a once mighty vessel hailed as unsinkable at its launch, does appear to be listing badly (to starboard) now, just as it prepares to head back out to sea and face a severe November storm.
The captain of this ship, Barack Obama, has made so many wrong turns (always to starboard) on his maiden voyage that it's no wonder so many of the crew are looking for other work. Not only that, but Capt. Obama made some really bad choices for chief officers, giving thosewho labor below decks little reason to feel confident that their leader's own mistakes in navigation or judgement would be rectified.
With warmongers like Robert Gates and David Petraeus running the war machine, there was little chance that Obama would get the US out of its two-war quagmire, and indeed, he has done little to extricate the US from Iraq, while doubling down on the hopeless effort in Afghanistan.
With Wall Street sycophant Timothy Geithner at Treasury and Larry Summers, the greedy, over-fed, ego-maniacal misogynist architect of derivative deregulation, as head of his National Economic Council, there was no chance of his seriously tackling bank regulation or the stranglehold over the economy held by a few too-big-to-fail Wall Street mega-banks.Nor was he likely to make a serious effort to tackle joblessness, which afflicts as many as one-in-four or one-in-five American workers.Little wonder that the big ship's engine is sputtering, and is barely able to keep the screws turning or the bilge pumps working, raising concerns that if heavy weather strikes, it may not even be possible to keep the vessel headed into the wind, or even afloat for that matter...