Monday, March 7, 2011

"My father always told me that all businessmen were sons of bitches, but I never believed it until now."

These famous words were used by President John F. Kennedy in 1962 to
his aides in describing the steel barons after they jacked up steel prices,
after the administration worked long and hard with them and the unions, to
create a noninflationary new worker’s contract.

What then occurred was the administration using all the tools in its’ arsenal
to force the steelmakers to roll back the massive price increases within
about 3 days, surprising the president. These tools included jawboning
from the bully pulpit to having the Justice Department under Bobby Kennedy issuing antitrust indictments.,_Bush_and_Oil

How is this interesting bit of history relevant today?

Because we are faced with a similar situation involving a vital component of our
economy, oil, whose price some people, including this blogger and others, believe is being manipulated upwards by financial shenanigans in the commodities futures markets, causing grave injury to average citizens, small
businesses, as well as the global economy as a whole.

The reason for the price rise ostensibly is the crisis in Libya, causing nervousness in the markets, alleged supply and demand issues, as well as
various and sundry other fear factors; all being bandied about by numerous talking heads, politicians, pointy headed intellectuals and others, and don’t forget that good old peak oil theory!

What they don’t talk about, just like a couple of years ago when oil mysteriously
shot up to $147 a barrel and then just as mysteriously quickly dropped back
down to a normal price, well some did mention it after the fact, was the hundreds of billions of dollars of red hot hedge fund and banking money that rapidly flowed into the exchanges, including the unregulated London one, and then rapidly flowed back out, once the gargantuan profits were made.

Now at this point, may I take the liberty of taking Mr. Joseph P. Kennedy’s
words of advice to his son, and update them for modern times? Simply substitute these words, your choice, instead of businessman, use bankers, or investment bankers, or hedge fund managers, or politicians, or bureaucrats.

Your choice, in my opinion all would work just as well.

Those of you who took the time to visit the Smirking Chimp link above, you
know where I am going with this. Our current leader, President Obama, needs
to be channeling his inner JFK and FDR and TR right now. And let me say
right now, in no uncertain terms, I DO NOT BLAME THE OIL COMPANIES

This man elected with such high hopes, needs to start showing the BIG
DAMNED STICK right now, he needs to take the old play right out of JFK’s
playbook, and start beating up on these financiers running up the oil and
also running the rest of us into the financial dirt, right damn now!

It worked then and it will work now.

Since JFK a lot has changed in Washington and the world. But one thing has
gotten overwhelmingly stronger and more entrenched since that time- I am
referring to the power of the presidency, which has become almost imperial in nature.

All that is required is the will, the guts, and the audacity to ACT ON THE MOMENT, and wield the powers of the presidency.

Sadly such words unfortunately don’t seem to apply to the bunch in the executive branch at this exact critical moment in our economic, and political

But as I have said before on these pages, Hope springs eternal.

What good is power and ambition, if they can’t be harnessed to work for
the public’s welfare? Yes, I know some of you reading this may be just burned out with cynicism, well deserved considering all the
crap that has gone on over the years, but this is a prime example of working toward a common good, of working, not to enrich yourself, but
to punish, even scourge politically and financially of course, those who
are cynically using Libya’s travails and agony, to stick the rest of us with
a huge bill!

In other words, a chance to right a wrong, and in the process teach the
wrongdoers a lesson they will not forget for a long, long time. As that
noted financier, Billy Ray Valentine opined once, “the best way to get
even with rich people, is to turn them into poor people.”

This is a life lesson even the nerds in the administration should be able to

I know I have said bad things about this president. But I still have hope, despite
everything that has occurred, despite all the water that has passed under the bridge, that deep down, he wants to do good by us, the average folks, and not just for the rich, despite all the evidence that points to a feeling I have, that they really are his natural constituency and the ones he is most comfortable with.

I still believe, and I believe others do as well.

Again, Mr. President, it is time that you take a moment and familiarize yourself with the above mentioned trinity; JFK , FDR, and TR, act boldly
and decisively, with righteous anger, secure in the knowledge that you are
right, and that we, the American people, stand firmly in your corner.

Fight like the man we believe you are; as you said yourself, you are from
Chicago, where politicians know a thing or two about using their sharp
elbows, and we will have your back, sir.