Obama to Reform Critics, “Grab a Mop!”

NN_27obama2Barack Obama has had crowds chanting “Grab a Mop” at more than one location.  In a speech in California, Obama states:

“What I reject is when some folks sit on the sidelines and root for failure,” he said at a fundraiser in San Francisco where he was joined by Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi.

“I’m busy,” he told the crowd. “Nancy’s busy with her mop cleaning up somebody else’s mess. We don’t want somebody sitting back saying you’re not holding the mop the right way.

“Why don’t you grab a mop? Why don’t you help clean up?

“You’re not mopping fast enough,” the president said, imitating his critics’ comments.

“That’s a socialist mop.

“Grab a mop!” he demanded. “Let’s get to work.”

The theme has proven to be so popular, that Obama used it in a speech in New Jersey today.  I like it.  What do you guys think?  Can you think of better exhortations?

23 Comments

Filed under Healthcare

23 responses to “Obama to Reform Critics, “Grab a Mop!”

  1. I think this sets just the right tone. It says: “I am working and you guys are not just screwing off, you’re obstructing!”

  2. The only place I see him wallowing in the mud with them is the Fox News scenario. I wish he had put them on ignore without saying anything — some things shouldn’t be dignified with any kind of response.

    Otherwise, I think he has done a good job of staying out of the childish fray, he has often resisted the need to respond or acknowledge.

    Yes, we all need to grab a mop. And, him saying it out loud makes the party of no more obvious in their obstruction.

  3. wicked

    Mopheads, good for nothing but at the end of a mop stick.

  4. lilacluvr

    fnord – I agree about the Fox News thing – but then maybe it is the strategy of the White House advisers to just let Fox News run their mouths and whine so much that the rest of America just starts ignoring them?

    Kinda like the boy crying wolf? After so many times of crying foul, the boy was not believed.

    Obama has painted the Republicans as obstructionists and the Party of No and the Republicans have obliged him by following that pattern. And that is why there are only 20% of people even willing to claim they are Republican?

    But one thing that I think will help Obama’s favorable rating with the average American is when he puts his foot down on the bailed out greedy CEO’s paychecks and perks. I’m thinking the average person is going to yelling ‘yea and it’s about frickin’ time’.

  5. Pedant

    Fox news is just following the lead of the Bancroft family, longtime owners of the Wall Street Journal (the Bancroft family are descendants of Charles Barron, who acquired the WSJ from Dow and Jones in the early 20th century) who sold a controlling interest in the WSJ to Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp in 2007.

    For many years the WSJ has been an excellent reporter of the news with a whack editorial page (the Bancrofts controlled editorial content of the WSJ). The editorial pages of the Wall Street Journal are the back 2-6 pages of section A. The rest of the paper is superb, but imo the last few pages of section A have never been fit for anything but lining birdcages.

    Similarly, Fox News reports the news accurately but gives up its prime time to the whack elements of American conservativism, elements like Beck and the other crazy guys.

    It’s a timeless business model, one that the WSJ perfected and that News Corp uses, too. The excellent reporting adds credibility to the whack opinion pieces, and the net effect is moving the readership to the right. And let’s face it, their readership is mostly male. For one reason or another, most males become more conservative over time so this isn’t that hard to do.

    Anyway, Fox News is following a very old business model, one that’s tried and true when you’re hustling aging males. It worked for years at the WSJ, and I suspect it will work for another century or ten for News Corp, too.

    $0.02

  6. 6176746f6c6c65

    It is indeed interesting to hear all the caterwauling about executive pay, etc. emanating from those whose ideas of fiscal responsibility at the corporate level begin and end with the amount of the quarterly dividend they receive.

    First, and perhaps most important, is the fact that the government having provided bail out money, stands in a similar position as do venture capital providers. While I’m sure not too many of those reading have been involved in a venture capital deal, it is very common for those providing the same to have veto power over the amounts of compensation payable to executives running the firm during the period there is something owed the venture capital providers, whether in the form of loan repayments or guaranteed dividends on the special issue of preferred stock issued in return for the investment (which usually also has a mandatory redemption feature as a part thereof) or some combination of both, together with other forms of securitizing the investment. In this regard, the government is in no different place than what occurs, often with more onerous terms and conditions, in the “private sector”.

    Second, the proposed caps go only to those things which the corporations are not otherwise already contractually obligated to do, namely the bonuses and options; generally, there is an existing contract setting base compensation, which absent a bankruptcy proceeding (Chapter 11) cannot involuntarily be changed or altered.

    Third, the protestations of those like BoA that if these restrictions are enforced there will be a loss of talent should be ignored. I cannot believe there would be a great demand for such “executive talent” where it clearly is shown that such “talent” is directly or indirectly responsible for the company’s being in the situation it found itself when, hat in hand, it came to the federal trough for the funds provided, in some cases more than once. Make those protesting put up or shut up; that is, make them demonstrate harm from the actions to be implemented or go away.

    There is more I could say, of course; there always is. 🙂 I think, however, the above short rant should be sufficient to illustrate my impatience with those making the noise.

    • jammer5

      The fact Obama has the same people who are responsible for the meltdown working in his administration speaks volumes on who and what controls the beltway. It’s money, and will always be money as long as we keep electing the same people into power positions. Even if we do elect new blood, the odds of change are stacked against the average American.

      • 6176746f6c6c65

        So long as the costs of campaigning and elections keep increasing, it will always be money regardless of the identity of those elected.

        Having those responsible for the mess now working for the administration, it’s a bit like hiring the expert hacker to work on security of networks; distasteful, but necessary to get the expertise needed to defend against others trying the same thing. Not trying to defend but pointing out what, to me, seems to be the reality of the situation.

      • jammer5

        The thing is, there were people who saw this coming and warned about it. People like Berksley Born, Thomas Frank and others. They were vilified by the so-called experts, who are now working for the government. So far, I’ve seen little to justify the move. In this case, I think the expert hacker analogy is off. It’s more like letting the fox back in the hen house in order to kill off the rest of the hens.

        It might just be me, but I’ve seen little to make me think things are going to change. I do hope I am wrong, and will be more than happy to admit it, should it come to that.

  7. 6176746f6c6c65

    While what you say is true, Jammer, did these folks have the expertise to be able to unwind it or to stop the next one? Returning to my analogy, there are those who can warn about hacker attacks, but do they have the ability to protect against further or existing attacks? Not trying to be argumentative, it seems to me that for what it may be worth it is those who created the current situation who are in the best position to recognize any further tries and to help repair the current one.

    • jammer5

      Nothing argumentative here either, just a good discussion. If you had the chance to watch frontline this week, you’d have heard Brooksley Born discussing the problems with derivatives over ten years prior to the meltdown, and telling congress exactly what would happen and why. She was basically stuck in a corner with a dunce cap by the same people working for the administration today. Only one of those same people have acknowledged her foresight. If anybody knows what to do, it’s her.

      I seriously think the ones working today for Obama are more interested in their bank accounts than righting the wrongs, and realigning the system to protect the American peoples money.

      I have been saying since the start of this mess that the OTC derivative market should be heavily regulated. So far, even though anyone with any insight into that market knows what needs to be done, nothing has been done. The scams are still out there being used and abused by those same financial empires, and the administration insiders are calling for another bailout. Obama has said himself some businesses are too big to fail. The only entity in this country too big to fail is the government itself. All others are at risk because of the basics of Capitalism.

      The very statement that some are too big to fail flies in the face of what this country is supposed to be about. What that statement says to me is, on the beltway, capitalism=socialism, and not the socialism the Republican teabaggers are hollering about.

      • wicked

        What makes you think government is too big to fail?

        And, btw, I’m seriously interested in my bank account. 🙂

      • jammer5

        Government failure=anarchy.

        Of course you’re interested in your bank account. But those responsible for seeing other peoples bank accounts don’t again take a hit, like they’ve done this past year, need to look at the big picture, and that includes way more than their bank accounts. I haven’t seen them doing that.

      • wicked

        I was just pokin’ ya, jammer. 🙂 Playing devil’s advocate is a game for me.

        I’ve thought for a long time that the U.S. could easily fall, much like Rome did. I just didn’t think I might see it in my lifetime. Ask my kids. They’ll tell you I’ve said this over and over. Remember, what goes up, must come down. Sadly, I fear that if we don’t do something, the downward spiral we’re on could lead to the end.

  8. 6176746f6c6c65

    Jammer, agree with what you post. It has been a slow but steady insidious creep to where we as a nation now find ourselves. I’ve been watching and worrying about derivatives, the lack of regulation thereof, and the inevitable collapse of that market for a very long time. Didn’t say much publicly about my concerns, as there didn’t seem to be many who would listen, much less agree that a problem existed. All that many who pretended to know something about derivatives seemed concerned about was getting the next good deal from them, not that their investment therein could overnight become worthless.

    Real changes must be made; no argument here. However, until and unless those with the proper “Street cred” say so, those seeking such changes will be treated as Ms Born was. This is, imho, the result of the outsized influence which accompanies the ability to make substantial financial contributions to campaigns.

    It has always made sense to socialize risk and privatize profits from a business perspective. Unfortunately, the environment which permits this is well entrenched, and will not change easily. While it is easy to say there should not be any private entity which is “too big to fail”, a sentiment with which I agree, the melding of private and public interests has given rise to the conditions we now face, i.e., to be able to undertake recovery, it is necessary to engage in deficit spending. For there to be funds needed, there must be willing buyers of the debt instruments issued by the government. Those buyers will not be willing to participate if the U.S. allows private securities issuers to fail, where such securities are also held by said foreign entities.

    IIRC, China (one of the biggest current creditors) sent a not too subtle warning to the U.S. last October or November, signaling an official reluctance to further participate in future official offerings if their substantial holdings of derivatives, particularly the MBOs, were wiped out by the U.S. not propping up the issuers. I don’t believe this was an isolated case, just the most public case.

    Thus, I feel that the actions of the prior Administration effectively handcuffed the current Administration, removing much of its ability to undertake meaningful change in this area. Until the derivatives are unwound, this will continue to be the case. And, unwinding them will be best done by the SOBs that created them initially. Sure, others can undertake the chore, but to do so requires first finding all the unmarked graves, the locations of which are known to the scoundrels who put the bodies there in the first place. I don’t think there’s enough time for outsiders to find them; thus, the conundrum.

    Too long, too convoluted; but this is the foundation of my view. Good discussion, one I’ve enjoyed. The OU – KU game calls, as do other responsibilities, and I exit the discussion with regret.

    • wicked

      Aw, no team for me to cheer for. 😉 I hate OU, always have, always will, yet I refuse to cheer for KU. That has more to do with basketball than football, but in nearly 30 years, it hasn’t changed my allegiance…or non-allegiance, as the case may be. But you cheer loud, 6176!! To be honest, I’d much rather see KU win than the dastardly OU.

      I have a friend who’ll be at the Chiefs’ game tomorrow. I’ll be listening for the final score of the Dallas/Atlanta game.

    • wicked

      BTW, I have no clue what derivitaves are, just that they must not be good. At least in the current incarnation. No, don’t try to explain it to me. It involves numbers, and my mind automatically shuts down where they’re concerned. Blast that math & science teacher I had in 6th grade!

  9. I saved this explanation PrairiePond once made of derivatives. I understood it better than any other.

    ” Joe goes to the track and bets $2 on a horse.

    Two guys standing nearby get into a discussion and Fred says to Sam, “I’ll bet you $5 that Joe wins his bet.”

    Next to them are Bill and Bob. Bill says: “I’ll bet you $10 that Fred welshes on his bet if he loses.”

    Next to them is Sally. Sally says: “For $3 I’ll guarantee to Bill that if Bob fails to pay off, I’ll make good on the bet.”

    Sally then goes to Mary and borrows the $7 needed in case she has to ever pay off and promises to pay back $8. She doesn’t expect to ever have to pay since she believes Bob will always make good. So she expects to net $2 no matter what happens to Joe.

    A quick calculation indicates that there is now 2+5+10+3+7 = $27 riding on the outcome of the horse race.

    Question how much has been “invested” in the horse race?”

    • jammer5

      For over the counter derivatives, over $560 trillion.
      For all derivatives, the estimate is over $1.4 quadrillion. World GWP (gross world product) is estimated at $60 trillion. Tell me this couldn’t sink the world if not handled properly.

      Peruse Don Bauder’s columns at San Diego reader. He has some excellent ones on derivatives.
      http://www.sandiegoreader.com/staff/don-bauder/stories/

  10. Doesn’t PrairiePond’s explanation make much more sense than this (or any other!) definition I found with a bit of googling? There were many, but it seems they all have in common that a bit of money becomes a whole bunch of money without more value being added.

    Futures contracts, forward contracts, options and swaps are the most common types of derivatives. Derivatives are contracts and can be used as an underlying asset. There are even derivatives based on weather data, such as the amount of rain or the number of sunny days in a particular region.

    Derivatives are generally used as an instrument to hedge risk, but can also be used for speculative purposes. For example, a European investor purchasing shares of an American company off of an American exchange (using U.S. dollars to do so) would be exposed to exchange-rate risk while holding that stock. To hedge this risk, the investor could purchase currency futures to lock in a specified exchange rate for the future stock sale and currency conversion back into Euros.

  11. jammer5

    6 . . . We can continue this at some other time. I am truly enjoying it. Imagine a true discussion without rancor . . . one of the reasons I love this place.

    wicked: Watch Moore’s movie, Capitalism, a love story, sometime. He asks a bunch of financiers to explain derivatives, and gets shunned: they can’t explain them.

    fnord: PrairiePond’s explanation is the best I’ve ever heard. But then again, she is what she is, so I expect that. What it all boils down to, it’s a complicated way to bypass federal insurance regulations, which state all insurance policies must be backed by cash. Credit Default Swaps, the so-called backbone of the derivative market, weren’t backed, hence when the housing market went underwater, and those CDSs became due, there was no money to pay them off. Hello taxpayer, got any money? Give it to the gubment.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Credit_Default_Swap