Bill Moyers interviewed James Kwak and Simon Johnson, both of Baseline Scenario, on the prospects for financial reform. Kwak noted that nothing has changed. He could not have summarized the entire state of American economics and politics more succinctly.
Obama and the current Congress have changed nothing -- in any arena of American activity. He is about to nominate someone for the Supreme Court who will be significantly more conservative than John Paul Stevens. (Only two of the names the prospective nominees list are liberal in the sense of Stevens, and they are both long shots.)
All of the conservative Clinton-Bush foreign and military policies (which are substantively one and the same in the case of the US) continue, with a token nod to the issues of Guantanamo.
Copenhagen was a failure and predictably so given that the US government refuses to make any demands of consumers or corporations.
The Big Picture is utterly bleak. Economy, environment, education, infrastructure, and on and on -- all in dismal shape.
James Kwak commented that the big banks bet against the American dream, reminding me of a comment Paul Krugman made in an interview with Bill Maher: "The American dream isn't dead, but it's dying pretty fast." The sad fact is that Kwak and Krugman are probably speaking too optimistically. The big banks are arguably betting against humanity on the assumption that somehow, in their brave new world, the rich will be entirely immune to consequences visited upon Other 99.9% of humanity.
The US now has the lowest degree of social mobility in the industrialized world, with the possible exception of Britain (which, thanks to Thatcher and Blair, has been even more American than the Americans, taking many Reaganite policies even further than Reagan).
The American Dream is dead. Much more is also. If (big if) we are lucky, Homo sapiens may survive. Interview some biologists. You may be surprised by how widespread this view is.