Thursday, May 9, 2013

But you told us to vote for this ...

Obama in Plunderland

Link to an article by Norman Solomon, which is quoted below.

Norman Solomon has an excellent piece on the ways that President Obama shafts ordinary people in favor of his big corporate contributors.  This article focuses on the detail of how Obama's corporate fund-raisers are given key government posts.  When you just say 'corporate fund-raisers', it has a nasty ring to it, at least to my ears, but it doesn't really capture the essence of what damage is done when these people are named to key posts like FCC Chairperson or SEC Commissioner.

Barack Obama eventually has the money land in his various fund raising bank accounts.  But its these corporate fund-raisers who the corporate raiders have had on speed dial since at least the last campaign.  They are the ones on the front line.  Visiting corporate offices, wining and dining various wealthy corporate wealthlords.  Calling them up as much as they dared to ask for more and more and more money for the Obama campaign funds.  That's how they 'succeeded' in this American government.  By racking up tallies that put them at the top of spreadsheets of who raised the most money for Barack Obama.

The traffic is not one way, of course.  The corporate wealthlords (I started to type warlords before, but 'wealthlords' just seemed closer to the mark) of course get to use these contacts to express their opinions on exactly what the US government led by President Obama should be doing, or not doing.  Very rarely, their money gives the the ability to say this directly to the President.  But for most of them this is a hand-shake and a five minute conversation at a fund-raising dinner that their 5 or 6 figure contribution bought them.  However, they talk to their local fund-raisers all the time.  The fund-raisers are calling them, and probably doing so often in their quest for more funds.  But each of these calls is also an opportunity to say "hey, how come the FCC isn't letting us rape and pillage as much as we want to?" back to the fund-raiser.  When one of these corporate wealthlords sees a news story they don't like about President Obama hinting he might actually do something humane an decent, its the corporate fund-raiser who's number they have on speed-dial.

Now, they've got a Secretary of Commerce, the FCC Chair, and an SEC commissioner on speed-dial.

To nominate Penny Pritzker for secretary of Commerce is to throw in the towel for any pretense of integrity that could pass a laugh test. Pritzker is “a longtime political supporter and heavyweight fundraiser,” the Chicago Tribune reported with notable understatement last week, adding: “She is on the board of Hyatt Hotels Corp., which was founded by her family and has had rocky relations with labor unions, and she could face questions about the failure of a bank partly owned by her family. With a personal fortune estimated at $1.85 billion, Pritzker is listed by Forbes magazine among the 300 wealthiest Americans.”

But with countless billions of dollars at stake, the corporate fix was in. As Johnson pointed out, “Wheeler’s background is as a trade association representative for companies appearing before the Commission, a lobbyist in Congress for other FCC customers, and a venture capitalist investing in and profiting from others whose requests he’ll have to pass on. He has no record, of which I am aware, of challenging corporate abuse of power on behalf of consumers and the poor.”
But wait. There’s more. “Nor does Wheeler’s membership on the president’s Intelligence Advisory Board bode well for those who believe Americans’ Fourth Amendment privacy rights should be getting at least as much attention as the government’s perceived need to engage in even more secret snooping.”
To urge senators to reject the nominations of Pritzker and Wheeler, click here.
Those quotes are from Obama in Plunderland, the recent article from Norman Solomon.

I generally like Norman Solomon.  He tends to be on the right side.  But, I can't help but stop to think "Hey, you told us to vote for this guy!"  Norman Solomon not only used his public profile to tell us to support Obama in 2008, but he was a delegate for Obama and the 2008 DNC.

This is more important than just taking a cheap shot at someone for a bad decision they made.  And from his 2012 campaign to get a nomination to run for Congress, and what's he's been saying and writing for the last few years, I assume Mr. Solomon knows that it was indeed a mistake to support Obama in 2008.  He does such a wonderful job detailing the damage this has done.

The reason this is important is that there are more campaigns to come in the future.  And we are certain to see more Wall $treet funded fake progressives like Obama on the ballots.  Not only at the Presidential level, but also aimed at the Democratic seats in the House and the Senate ... as well as your Governor and to a lessor extent state legislatures.  American politics today is full of people who seem to have two characteristics.

The first is that they talk left to their strong Democrat or Democrat-leaning districts and states. Then they go to Washington and do exactly the opposite.

The second is that they seem to be or become personally wealthy and their campaigns are always very well funded.   Usually the most well funded campaign in the race.

If you want a general rule for politics and voting, it would be this.  Never, ever vote for the candidate who has the most money in the race.  Generally this information is released in campaign finance reports during the election.  There's a giant loophole, where the reports for the last part of the campaign aren't released until after the election, but you can still look at the last reports released before the election and know where the corporate moneybags have been dropping their bribes, uh, contributions.

For example, here in Colorado I refused to vote for John Hickenlooper, the supposedly progressive Mayor of Denver who has been Colorado's governor.  I looked before the last election and he had raised millions of dollars more than the other candidates combined.  That's a pretty normal situation when an incumbent governor is a huge betting favorite to win re-election.  Every corporate wealthlord with an interest in the state wants to be on his contributor list and make sure they have the Governor's fund raisers, and probable future cabinet officers and powerful state officials, on speed-dial.  But it was enough to tell me that I should not vote for him.  Today, my lefty and progressive friends in Colorado are sounding shocked that Governor Hickenlooper is taking the side of the oil and gas industry in supporting fracking over citizen democracy.  I have to try to put a fake 'surprised' look on my face when they tell me about this.

In the next election, there will be more well meaning progressives and lefties telling you how its important that you vote for the next wave of Wall $treet financed, fake progressive Democrats.  I bring up Mr. Solomon's 2008 mistakes as a reminder that we should not listen to them.  Mr. Solomon's excellent article, linked to in the sub-title at the top, is a reminder of the damage that occurs when we vote for these candidates.


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