RUSH: So here’s the long-ago promised analysis of the Democrats’ latest strategery to portray ourselves in a war with the US economy. By the way, from JP Morgan Chase, I have some astounding numbers here, worldwide market cap losses according to certain dates. Here are the values of the WCAU World Market Cap Index on requested dates. The market cap index on the day Obama was nominated was $47.3 trillion, which means the total market cap of industrialized countries around the world was $47.3 trillion. On Election Day it had dropped to $34.4 trillion. On Inauguration Day, World Market Cap Index was $29.5 trillion. Today, the World Market Cap Index is $25.6 trillion. The world market cap, the wealth of the world has dropped by $22 trillion since Barack Obama was nominated. That’s how much Barack Obama has cost the world, about $22 trillion in market cap, and it’s continuing to plunge.
All right, Thomas Friedman, the highly respected, almost godlike columnist on foreign policy in the New York Times has a very funny, naive, and sophomoric piece today on the economy in the New York Times. The headline: ‘This Is Not a Test. This Is Not a Test.’ That’s a takeoff on the old EBS warning, ‘This is not a test. This is a real warning. We’re at war. Get under your desks. The Russian nukes are on the way.’ Remember that when you were in school? ‘It’s always great to see the stock market come back from the dead, but I’m deeply worried,’ writes Professor Friedman, ‘that our political system doesn’t grasp how much our financial crisis can still undermine everything we want to be as a country.’ Mr. Friedman, the political system knows exactly what’s happening here, and they sit by and watch it. I could stop after every sentence of this piece, but I’d be here the whole hour doing it, so I will use discipline and only reply to the most sophomoric aspects of this piece.
He writes, ‘Friends, this is not a test. Economically, this is the big one. This is August 1914. This is the morning after Pearl Harbor. This is 9/12. Yet, in too many ways, we seem to be playing politics as usual. Our country has congestive heart failure. Our heart, our banking system that pumps blood to our industrial muscles, is clogged and functioning far below capacity. Nothing else remotely compares in importance to the urgent need to heal our banks. Yet I read that we’re actually holding up dozens of key appointments at the Treasury Department because we are worried whether someone paid Social Security taxes on a nanny hired 20 years ago at $5 an hour.’ That’s not why, Mr. Friedman, but even if it were, so here comes the excuse to get all kinds of tax cheats who might be brilliant — anybody want to make the case for Geithner to me anymore? Can somebody explain to me why we had to have a tax cheat? He’s the only guy that could deal with the banking crisis? He’s incompetent! ‘Dozens of key appointments at the Treasury department ’cause we’re worried –‘ I think we can’t fill spots there ’cause nobody wants to work there, Mr. Friedman.
‘Meanwhile,’ writes Mr. Friedman, ‘the Republican Party behaves as if it would rather see the country fail than Barack Obama succeed. Rush Limbaugh, the de facto GOP boss, said so explicitly, prompting John McCain to declare about President Obama to Politico: ‘I don’t want him to fail in his mission of restoring our economy.” Now, this is the result of Mr. Friedman being ignorant, naive. He knows damn well — well, maybe he doesn’t. You know, I remember at the CPAC speech, when I mentioned John Kerry, and I pause and I said, who, by the way, served in Vietnam, and there was laughter from the audience. And then later when I read a review of the speech, some liberals were just aghast that conservatives would laugh at someone’s service to their country. And I said, ‘We live in two worlds.’ I said John Kerry, who served in Vietnam, because he tells us every time he opens his mouth, particularly during the campaign, that he served in Vietnam. I was lampooning Kerry, not public service or military service.
At any rate, ‘the Republican Party believes and behaves as if it would rather see the country fail than Barack Obama succeed.’ Mr. Friedman, what we know is that the country cannot succeed if Obama succeeds with his policies. And that’s what you’re writing about. You’re writing about the failure of the economic banking system. Obama’s in charge of it, and you’re blaming me and you’re blaming Republicans. Obama’s in charge of it, Geithner’s in charge of it. They’re ignoring the banking bailout, they’re ignoring the banking business, they’re ramming liberal socialist policies down our throats while everybody’s distracted by this other thing and being distracted by this attack on me, in which you are now participating. We don’t want the country to fail, and we have never said it. It is the exact opposite. We want everybody to succeed. We just know that Obama’s policies will not bring that about.
‘As for President Obama,’ writes Mr. Friedman, ‘I like his coolness under fire, yet sometimes it feels as if he is deliberately keeping his distance from the banking crisis, while pressing ahead on other popular initiatives.’ Thomas, I call this the Buffett-Welch-Barton Biggs head fake. He just has a paragraph about me and the Republicans wanting the country to fail, which is a lie and then turns around and scratches his head, ‘I love Obama’s coolness under fire, but it feels like he’s deliberately keeping his distance from the banking crisis. I understand that he doesn’t want his presidency to be held hostage to the ups and downs of bank stocks, but a hostage he is. We all are.’ Mr. Friedman, you know what, you ought to write a column dedicated to Obama and just try and convince him to ask his buddy George Soros to fix all this. Tell George Soros he can stop shorting the US economy.
‘First,’ writes Mr. Freedom, ‘to get out of a crisis like this you need to let markets clear. You need to let failed companies, or homeowners, go bankrupt, unlock their dead capital and reapply it to thriving entities.’ Mr. Friedman, this is why I characterized your piece today as sad, naive, and sophomoric. What is it I have been saying for two months? Let the failed companies fail! Don’t bail out homeowners who can’t pay the loans in the first place. Don’t make the rest of us who are affording our mortgages, barely in some cases, pay for somebody else’s, including their second loan. You are parroting me. How do we fix this? This is what I suggested that we do. People like you just made me a straw man. I want Obama to fail ’cause he’s doing the opposite of what you’re suggesting. Obama’s bailing out losers. Obama’s bailing out losing companies. Obama’s bailing out losing homeowners. You say they should fail. I say they should fail. The market needs to cleanse itself. I’m getting blamed.
Anyway, it goes on. ‘President Obama announced today that he had invited the country’s 20 leading bankers, 20 leading industrialists, 20 top market economists and the Democratic and Republican leaders in the House and Senate to join him and his team at Camp David.’ Tom, when are you going to realize that Obama has a checklist, and on the checklist is something like ‘banking problem’? So what he does, he’ll convene these 60 or so people at Camp David for a couple days, he’ll give them a lecture, they’ll go have their little sessions and come out after their breakout groups, they’ll report back. Nothing will change and he’ll check the box off, ‘I’ve dealt with the banking problem.’ Because his purpose Mr. Friedman is not to deal with anything, it’s just to keep that approval number up. He wants people like you and others who voted for him to think he’s dealing with it or has dealt with it, or that he’s paying attention to it, while it never gets fixed. So he’s just got a series of checklists. He defines his success by how many of the checklist he gets through every day, bam, bam, bam, got that, got that, got that, got that, yeah, had the women’s summit, yeah, had the health care summit, yeah, had the mortgage summit, yeah, going to have the bank summit up at Camp David, yep, yep, yep, what a good day’s work, problem solved. Now let’s go to the Wednesday night cocktail party with hundred-dollar Wagyu beef and whatever else the taxpayers are paying for before I hop on one of my two private jets for a dinner party weekend in Chicago.
Mr. Friedman, you gotta realize this is how he operates. He doesn’t fix anything. He just wants people to think he cares about it, is working on it, and maybe has dealt with it. That’s what got him elected. He’s never fixed anything in his life, Mr. Friedman. He’s never been an executive of anything. He’s never solved a problem. He’s simply taking advantage of them, Mr. Friedman, and you are right in there offering guidance and support along of the rest of the naive and hapless who have invested so much emotionally here that you’ve checked your intellect at the door before you went in to vote.
RUSH: I just heard Thomas Friedman lament that we can’t get good people to help poor old Geithner because of the nanny tax problem. Well, this afternoon on Andrea Mitchell, NBC News, she talked to Barney ‘Fwank,’ and she asked him what Friedman said. Is there really a problem here? And here’s what Barney ‘Fwank’ said.
FRANK: The media is the problem here, in part. It is the over-focus on the part of people in media to relatively minor infractions that cause this. I guarantee you my colleagues would not, on their own, be doing this.
MITCHELL: I take your point, Mr. Chairman. You’re right, and, ummm, we plead guilty.
FRANK: The people that — who may be bringing us out of this are the average citizens. They are so now focused on real problems that I have found encouragingly they are much less interested in the gossip and in the trivia and even the — the — the minor infractions than they are in — Are you gonna get credit for me? Am I going to get a job? What will happen to my health care if I lose my job? Adversity does seem to be concentrating mind, uh, in a very good way.
RUSH: Barney Frank blames the media for the fact that they’re focusing on too many tax cheats who otherwise would be great employees at the Treasury Department. Andrea Mitchell says, ‘I take your point, Mr. Chairman, you’re right, and we plead guilty.’ Moving on with the war. Moving on with the… (interruption) Nah. See, she does come off like a ‘butt boy’ there. You know, they all are. People don’t like the term, Snerdley. We have new people tuning in and they hear the term. They’re not going to understand the humor with which we intend this. I apologize, folks. I know that there are millions of you new tuning in and you’re just waiting for an excuse to tune out ’cause you’re waiting for all these misconceptions you have to be confirmed, but call Andrea Mitchell whatever you want. For the media, she now accepts blame. Yeah, the media’s keeping good people out of Treasury because they’re focusing on tax cheats. Anyway, on Morning Joe, Scarborough today spoke with Tom Brokaw, and this is about the theme that’s been advanced here that we are in an economic war, that this is the first day of 1914, that this is the day of Pearl Harbor! This is 9/12!
BROKAW: This is the economic equivalent of war. The country is being reset in every conceivable way — economically, culturally, politically. We’ll be looking back on this period of time and saying, ‘That was another beginning of another chapter in the American saga,’ and as I go around the country and talk to groups, I s-say, ‘You know, a hundred years from now the historian will judge this time not just by what Obama does but by, ‘What will we do?”
RUSH: ‘A hundred years from now the historians will judge this not by just what Obama does, but by, ‘What we will…?” Yeah. That’s damn right more than he knows, and in ways he can’t even imagine. Here is author Frank Schaeffer on MSNBC Live yesterday afternoon.
SCHAFFER: Republicans have become to our war against economic collapse, what Jane Fonda was what she was in Vietnam rooting for the other side. We’re in another war now! This is an economic war, and everybody who loves this country has to stand together and back our president.
RUSH: Jeez! I don’t know who this guy is, Frank Schaeffer, but now we’re Jane Fonda, and whatever the president wants to do — he’s a king! Whatever he wants to do, we have to back him. No, we don’t! We have the Constitution. We have separation of powers, and we do not have a king, Mr. Schaffer. But I’m reminded of this in Connecticut, April 28th, 2003, talking about backing our president.
HILLARY: (screeching) I am sick and tired of people who say that if you debate and you disagree with this administration, somehow you’re not patriotic, and we should stand up and say, ‘WE ARE AMERICANS AND WE HAVE A RIGHT TO DEBATE AND DISAGREE WITH ANY ADMINISTRATION!’
RUSH: Pshew! Ugh! I get high blood pressure when I hear that. Doesn’t that…? For you new listeners, especially you gentlemen, doesn’t that…? That was Hillary Clinton. Doesn’t that remind you of your first, maybe your second, or both your ex-wives? ‘I get sick and tired of people who say…?’ I mean, that will send you down to Archie Bunker’s bar faster than anything in the country, including your kid getting an ‘F’ on the report card. But her point out there was, ‘We’re not going to just sit around and blanketly agree with George W. Bush. No, no, no, no, no!’ See, it was patriotic to dissent then. Now it’s unpatriotic to dissent. You see how the left is allowed to change their definitions? All right. We’ve gotta take a brief time-out here. The next sound bite we have is with Chris Matthews and socialist California representative Barbara Lee. (laughs) Remember yesterday when I proclaimed, ‘Look, if Obama is the general in this war, ‘This war is lost.” That sent poor old Chris, who normally gets leg tingles on his show, over the edge. He’s totally missing again, sense of humor and the irony, the sarcasm and the satire.
RUSH: Here’s Matthews talking with Barbara Lee. MSNBC Hardboiled last night. Matthews is just livid, and no sense of irony. They have no… We live in two different worlds. I don’t know if they even have any memory of things that actually happen that I play off of on this program. Listen to do so.
MATTHEWS: Here’s Rush Limbaugh today with his thoughts!
RUSH ARCHIVE: It’s around nine minutes to one Eastern Time on March the 10th, and I, El Rushbo, proclaim: ‘This war is lost.’
MATTHEWS: He’s talking about the war on the economy, on the bad economy! Barbara! Congresswoman, um, Lee! What do you think of Rush Limbaugh saying that the Barack Obama war to save the American economy is ‘lost’?
LEE: Well, you know, for those who listen to Rush Limbaugh, so be it. Rush Limbaugh has no clue. The economy is not lost. The president is working very hard.
RUSH: That’s a ringing endorsement isn’t it? He’s trying hard. He’s working very hard. The economy isn’t lost. Well, we kept hearing it was lost from these people for six years during the Bush administration. Folks, see, it’s like at the CPAC speech when I said, ‘John Kerry — who, by the way, served in Vietnam,’ and everybody laughed because we make fun of Kerry for telling us every time he opens his mouth that he served in Vietnam. Well, Chris (or whoever monitors this program for Chris) I want to take you back. We have two sound bites, both from Harry Reid in April of 2006.
REID: [T]his war is lost and that the surge is not accomplishing anything.
RUSH: And the next one…
REID: As long as we follow the president’s path in Iraq, the war is lost!
RUSH: Harry Reid twice, before the surge began, declared: ‘This war is lost! This war is lost!’ That’s Harry Reid surrendering, Harry Reid trying to secure the defeat of American military personnel and their mission, Chris — and I’m parodying Harry Reid! If Obama is the general of this war, it’s lost. I said this date. I said, ‘Nine minutes to one o’clock Eastern on March 10th,’ because I knew I was marking it for the media, ’cause I knew what they were going to do! I love tweaking these people. I know how they’re going to do it. ‘I, El Rushbo, proclaim, ‘This war is lost.’ If Obama is our general, ‘This war is lost.” Here, play these two Reid bites back together, April, 2006 — only two years ago, Chris. You gotta have enough of a brain left to have two years worth of memory.
REID: [T]his war is lost and that the surge is not accomplishing anything.
REID: As long as we follow the president’s path in Iraq, the war is lost!