Mr. Hope and Change Comes through Again

by Paul Donahue

I generally avoid commenting on financial matters, largely because I don't understand them, but this time I can't resist. With Obama now having made his pick of Mike Froman as the new US trade representative and Penny Pritzker as Secretary of Commerce, Mr. Hope and Change has once more demonstrated his unfaltering fealty to the wealthy and powerful, coming through yet again for the 1%. This is his statement:

President Obama: "One of the reasons I’m proud to nominate them is they don’t forget what matters. They know this is not about just growing balance sheets. It’s about growing opportunity for people. It’s about growing a sense of security for the middle class. And, most of all, they operate with integrity, and they understand that public service is a privilege, and you’ve got to do it right when you get involved on behalf of the American people."

That classic Obama statement, saying one thing while doing the exact opposite, would be really funny if it weren't so tragic. 

Penny Pritzker, his pick for Secretary of Commerce, is a billionaire hotel heiress and a prominent Obama fundraiser. The Hyatt Hotels, on whose board she serves, has a long history of battling unions. She also served on the Chicago Board of Education and for her work there she has been harshly criticized by the Chicago Teachers Union for her anti-union behavior. Even more importantly, however, she was one of the main architects of the subprime mortgage crisis that caused millions of Americans to lose their homes, contributing significantly to the crash of the US economy. There is plenty written about her, e.g....

Mike Froman, the current deputy national security adviser for economic affairs, is Obama's pick for the cabinet level position of US trade representative. In his current position, Froman has been instrumental in pushing "free trade" agreements, including the largely secret Trans-Pacific Partnership. From what little is known of this trade agreement, it has been described as NAFTA on steroids. NAFTA, as critics knew it would be, was responsible for the export of many US jobs to Mexico - almost 900,000 of them. Among many other bad, bad features, the Trans-Pacific Partnership is known to include new investor safeguards to make it even easier for corporations to ship US jobs offshore.

Now Mr. Hope and Change would like Americans to believe that in their new positions as US trade representative and Secretary of Commerce, Froman and Pritzker will have a complete change of character and will spend their days "growing a sense of security for the middle class" instead of trying to bleed dry the American people. How does this sociopath and pathological liar have even a shred of credibility remaining?

Pacifica, California

03 May 2013