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View Diary: Citigroup gave Lew $940K ONLY if he got a high-level government position (313 comments)

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  •  I've officially just turned the corner on Obama (15+ / 2-)

    HR me into oblivion if it makes you feel good, but he's corrupt, pure and simple. Between this, his likely appointment of the head of the Walmart Foundation to head OMB, appointing Brennan to head CIA and a decent but less than impressive Republican figurehead to implement his defense agenda, keeping the feckless Holder on at DoJ and his non-prosecution of banksters and war criminals, drones, FISA, ACA, Dodd-Frank, and SO much more, I'm now fully convinced that he's a neoliberal lackey for special interests posing as a fiery progressive: pretty speeches, regressive policies.

    "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

    by kovie on Sat Feb 16, 2013 at 11:13:32 AM PST

    •  I, personally, do not blame the President (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Avila

      ...for Geithner, Summers, or any high-level positions in the Financial Wing of the Federal Government. He plays the hand he is dealt.



      Denial is a drug.

      by Pluto on Sat Feb 16, 2013 at 12:00:07 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  In what way is he dealt his choices? (8+ / 0-)

        I refuse to let him off the hook as a hapless victim of a rigged system. He's part of it. He knew that going in, and is just playing his part now.

        "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

        by kovie on Sat Feb 16, 2013 at 12:04:00 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Leave Obama out of the picture and replace him (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          duufus

          with anyone, and their actions will be more or less in the same vicinity. There's a much wider range allowed on social issues, but that's because social issues are kept apart from Money and Foreign Relations.

          You can't possibly get within 1000 miles of the being a President (or his/her selections) in Washington unless you've first put yourself wholly in debt to the Money Bags. Which means there are lines you will sustain, and lines you will not cross.

          So, you can now be openly gay, remotely bomb a funeral procession, and go home to find you've been foreclosed. The War is Permanent, the Big Money Domination is Permanent, whatever the peasants do.

          The Soviet oligarchy's mistake was claiming that they were democratic, but only allowed one candidate and one party for elections. Very poor perception management skills on their part.


          We live in a nation where doctors destroy health; lawyers, justice; universities, knowledge; governments, freedom; the press, information; religion, morals; and our banks destroy the economy. -- Chris Hedges

          by Jim P on Sat Feb 16, 2013 at 07:50:44 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Doesn't let him off the hook, though (0+ / 0-)

            He chose to be a cog in this particular machine, and he's done well for it.

            "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

            by kovie on Sat Feb 16, 2013 at 09:02:57 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  our problem is the machine. someone will (0+ / 0-)

              be the cog as long as the machine functions. i see it as a distraction and a limited analysis to focus much energy on him. that just evokes team-spirit debates and that's generally useless when throwing a wrench into the works is what has to be done, imo.


              We live in a nation where doctors destroy health; lawyers, justice; universities, knowledge; governments, freedom; the press, information; religion, morals; and our banks destroy the economy. -- Chris Hedges

              by Jim P on Sat Feb 16, 2013 at 10:52:29 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  This machine consists of people doing bad things (0+ / 0-)

                whether willingly and eagerly or reluctantly and unavoidably. Just as there's no such thing as a corporation independent of the people who run and work for it, there's no such thing as a corrupt political machine independent of the people who run and work for it. To hold either in line is to hold these people in line, especially the ones at the top. There's nothing abstract about all this.

                I agree that Obama is just one "cog" in this machine--a human cog--and that there are others perhaps even more deserving of going after. E.g. the Kochs, the heads of the major banks, Murdoch, Limbaugh, Rubin, the heads of the IMF, World Bank & WTO, etc. But he's certainly a major part of the corruption, whether willingly or unavoidably, and at the very least has to be seen as such, and not necessarily as a well-intentioned but hapless reformer up against a system too powerful to change that has forced his compromises. I find such a view to be symptomatic of either wishful thinking or deliberate lying.

                "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

                by kovie on Sun Feb 17, 2013 at 08:49:12 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

          •  I don't understand this at all. (0+ / 0-)
            the Big Money Domination is Permanent, whatever the peasants do.
            Honestly, why would you feel dominated by money? If you feel dominated by money, then why don't you go out and make some?

            I don't understand this identification with "peasantry" at all, especially from those with enough leisure time to blog and rant and rail about "banksters" and this and that.

            I seriously don't understand this, and that's why I don't understand the anger at the administration around this issue. Should people who broke the law be prosecuted? Absolutely. But I don't understand why this consumes people. Day in. Day out. Railing against "banksters" like you're on the fucking barricades in Les Mis.

            I mean, do you know how bourgeois it is to obsessively blog on Daily Kos? And you sit here and talk about fucking peasants? As if you are one?

            Do you make $2/day? If you do, then I stand corrected; but I somehow doubt that someone with access to relative high-speed internet qualifies as a peasant.

            I seriously don't get it. Why the anger? I understand concern, I don't understand the anger.

            •  Yeah, I'll just go out and make some money (0+ / 0-)

              You must live in some magical land where people can get rich through hard work, or something.  You just throw all the stupid lefty baiting tropes in there as well.  Poor people can and do spend time on the computer, your nonsense response not withstanding.

              Honestly, why would you feel dominated by money? If you feel dominated by money, then why don't you go out and make some?
              Seriously, fuck you.  I don't have a reasonable response to this sort bullshit except fuck you.
              •  People make money all the time. (0+ / 0-)

                I live in the real world, not in any magical land. And I certainly don't live in a magical land where someone with enough leisure time to blog all day is a "peasant". That's ridiculous.

                But I was asking you a serious question. If you don't like not having money, or if you don't feel like you have enough, then go out and make some. I didn't say it was easy, but it's certainly possible.

                The thing I don't understand is this pre-occupation with other people's money. This idea that an asshole on Wall St. has a billion bucks so therefore you're an inadequate peasant. That's just fucking stupid. That guy's money has nothing to do anybody's life choices. It would never occur to me to be angry because some guy had a billion bucks that he didn't deserve because that's got nothing to do with me and the path I'm on.

                Mind you, I'm not saying "get a job." I don't think a person should have to have a job or money. I'm saying keep your eye on the prize, because at the end of the day, what matters is what we did with our time here. Being pissed at corrupt douchebags and blogging to the choir isn't doing anything.

                •  You do live in a magical world (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Jim P
                  But I was asking you a serious question. If you don't like not having money, or if you don't feel like you have enough, then go out and make some. I didn't say it was easy, but it's certainly possible.
                  You're fucking kidding me, right?
                  That guy's money has nothing to do anybody's life choices.
                  Except that it does, or haven't you been paying attention. More money means more speech, means more political power.  Being filthy rich means that you aren't subject to the same law as the rest of us.
                  Being pissed at corrupt douchebags and blogging to the choir isn't doing anything.
                  Obviously not to the choir when we've got folks like you willing to apologize for any sort of excess. Spreading bullshit about how I can just go make money(Seriously though, WTF?  You really live in an alternate reality if you think that's how it works.)
                  •  I'm not apologizing for any kind of excess. (0+ / 0-)
                    Except that it does, or haven't you been paying attention. More money means more speech, means more political power.  Being filthy rich means that you aren't subject to the same law as the rest of us.
                    And I'm certainly not screaming that rich people aren't subject to the same laws while I do absolutely nothing about it. You're unwilling to call for the impeachment of the President even though you presumably think he should be impeached for corruption. Your protests are impotent expressions of anger on a blog to people you've never met and will likely never meet.

                    Here you are, saying that all of our public officials are corrupt, and that rich people get away with everything, and yet you're not willing to do a goddamned thing. Not one goddamned thing. You just hide your impotence behind anger that does absolutely nothing for anyone.

                    If you're serious that our President and other elected officials are so corrupt that they are willing co-conspirators to a fraud being perpetrated on the American public, then your unwillingness to follow through is the problem, and you have only yourself to blame for the fact that rich guys get away with everything. If you see this fraud and corruption, then you have a responsibility to do something about it. You have a responsibility to do something that would actually entail some risk. But the thing is, you don't have the courage to do anything except whine.

                    I asked you upthread why you don't go out and make some money if you don't like not having as much as you would want. You thought that question was completely unrealistic because you lack courage, and you can't imagine doing something that would entail some risk. So you snort derisively that I live in a fantasy land because you can't imagine yourself actually going out and making more money. It's too hard, right?

                    Same thing with the impeachment of the President. I ask you why you don't call for his impeachment, and why you don't start a movement to call for his impeachment and change the culture of corruption of Wall St. and in Washington. Your answer? 'Well, ... the alternative would be worse, and impeaching him wouldn't do anything.' If impeaching Obama won't do anything, then why are you screaming for the arrest of Wall St. executives? That wouldn't do anything either.

                    Your answers are bullshit because you don't have the guts to do anything but rage on a blog. That's why I think all this anger at Wall St. is just one big jerk off.

                    •  You clearly live in a world in a different world (0+ / 0-)

                      than most of us and have obviously bought in to the nonsense lies.

                      Your answers are bullshit because you don't have the guts to do anything but rage on a blog. That's why I think all this anger at Wall St. is just one big jerk off.
                      It makes you look stupid when you make claims about what someone does or doesn't do when you obviously have no idea what they're actually doing.  Accusing me of being a coward is hilariously idiotic.  I do and have done numerous things.  Shit, I quit my job and got a one way ticket to New York to help start occupy wall street.  But, no, you deign to throw insults and call me a coward.
                      I asked you upthread why you don't go out and make some money if you don't like not having as much as you would want. You thought that question was completely unrealistic because you lack courage, and you can't imagine doing something that would entail some risk. So you snort derisively that I live in a fantasy land because you can't imagine yourself actually going out and making more money. It's too hard, right?

                      Same thing with the impeachment of the President. I ask you why you don't call for his impeachment, and why you don't start a movement to call for his impeachment and change the culture of corruption of Wall St. and in Washington. Your answer? 'Well, ... the alternative would be worse, and impeaching him wouldn't do anything.' If impeaching Obama won't do anything, then why are you screaming for the arrest of Wall St. executives? That wouldn't do anything either.

                      You're seriously naive if your being honest at all.  You really do like in magic capitalist land where risk is the only thing it takes to make money.and all it takes to get rid of corruption in government is some good old fashion elbow grease and "risk".
            •  I don't consider myself a peasant, (0+ / 0-)

              but you seem weak on what "irony" is. To Big Money, you too are a peasant. I'm surprised you haven't noticed. (One great-grandfather by the way was "a farmer for the Tsar" as he told my grandfather. That is, a serf.)

              I make, on average, $0 a day for the last nine months and am running on savings and social security and buying discount day-old bagels to eat. Unless I get the job I interview for on Wednesday, there's a good chance I'll be homeless by April.

              If I didn't have internet, I couldn't apply for jobs. I apply to several each day, seven days a week.

              You really know nothing whatsoever about the lives of people, do you?

              Nor of history, and the role of the Wealth-obsessed in it? Nor anything about the current condition of people in the US? Really?

              Really?

              So maybe read history, and daily newspapers and official accounts of poverty in the US, and much you wonder will be explained.

              You can start with the overthrow of the last king of Rome and why that happened and go through feudalism, serfdom, and slavery and each and every war for all of recorded history and then maybe work out what "Big Money" refers to; what "Big Money" has done and still is doing.

              You can read up on how the Aristocrats of England stole the Commons from the "non-free" (a literal and legal class which included about 1/3 of the people) and turned them into servants and beggars. And finally workers in their factories, all day for a pittance barely enough to eat.

              You can go through the history of panics and crashes and fraud and mass-murder and genocides and enforced opium-addiction from the inception of the Bank of England and the East India Company through today where there are 35 million refugees, half of whom are the direct result of US/Corporate/Banker instigation.

              Or, you could take a good look at the condition of your neighbors. In the Christian sense, the other humans. Yeah, it might be "I'm alright Jack" for you today, but guess how quick that can disappear.

              You can look at the current immiseration of literally tens of millions of people in the US alone, which has continued with increasing numbers every year for the last 10-12, and then add in the human beings in Western Europe (Greeks are eating from garbage cans), and reflect on that, all due to the machinations -- as always, quite publicly stated and documented -- of Big Money.

              Wars, theft, impoverishment, political suppression, environmental destruction, -- not as abstract things but as things leading to gruesome death and mutilations in their millions and tens of millions, limited abilities and shorter lives for hundreds of millions, cancers and other health issues, massive climate changes, desertification, slave-labor conditions... all due to the priorities and actions of Big Money people obsessed with gaining Wealth beyond Wealth, and the Power that brings.

              Take a few minutes and put yourself in the role of any of these people. Be a refugee eating grass to survive (the experience of one friend); be a young girl with an arm or leg missing from a bombing for Democracy in Iraq or Libya or Pakistan or Somalia; be a parent dying of cancer from sloppy nuke plants and toxic wastes in general; be someone in jail for revealing state crimes; then imagine you are 10,000, 100,000, a million, ten million, a hundred million of those people. Maybe that will help your understanding.

              But I can completely credit you haven't noticed any of this. And if you have, that it doesn't bother you. Because you're just that special.


              We live in a nation where doctors destroy health; lawyers, justice; universities, knowledge; governments, freedom; the press, information; religion, morals; and our banks destroy the economy. -- Chris Hedges

              by Jim P on Sun Feb 17, 2013 at 10:43:09 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Geez, I just read your other comments (0+ / 0-)

                in the thread. You are one deeply ignorant and/or dishonest human being. Really you're just fucking creepy and stink to high heaven of lies and bullshit.

                Go find a history book, and see where any level of political change started. It has always been with a few people, often writers, discussing things.

                The Vietnam War was ended because beatnik poets spoke to college kids. For example. Read about the coffee shops and salons of France and England, and where the anti-slavery movement came from.

                What you are really interested in is suppressing or diverting from any hint of criticism of the President. You are transparent on the point, though you like to pretend you are an honest dealer.

                But you're not.

                If you were honest you would be upfront about that. Instead you pour shit from your fingers into the keyboard to slime people.

                You are a seriously, and deeply, fucked up and dishonest and manipulative human. Any further conversation between you and I will return repeatedly and unrelentingly to that point.


                We live in a nation where doctors destroy health; lawyers, justice; universities, knowledge; governments, freedom; the press, information; religion, morals; and our banks destroy the economy. -- Chris Hedges

                by Jim P on Sun Feb 17, 2013 at 10:53:32 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

    •  Hiring a Walmart exec to head OMB? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      raincrow, kurt

      That is very bad.  Very, very bad.  Why would he choose someone like that?  It reeks.

      Democratic Leaders must be very clear they stand with the working class of our country. Democrats must hold the line in demanding that deficit reduction is done fairly -- not on the backs of the elderly, the sick, children and the poor.

      by Betty Pinson on Sat Feb 16, 2013 at 12:49:20 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Technically not a Walmart exec (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        duufus, Bisbonian

        Rather, a Walmart Foundation exec, its president specifically. She used to work for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, so she's not exactly a far-right ideologue. Rather, she appears to be another careerist neoliberal working to further the interests of the 1%. The WF poses as a charitable foundation and has donation a lot of money to causes, but actually uses this money to bribe these causes to support its parent firm's interests, or at least not oppose them. E.g. not supporting worker strikes or attempt to unionize Walmart.

        And this is who Obama appears to want to manage the country's budget, according to Lee Fang at the Nation. I.e. another neoliberal corporate hack or shill, like Lew, Geithner, Emanuel, Daley, Panetta, Holder, etc.

        "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

        by kovie on Sat Feb 16, 2013 at 04:20:30 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  What is wrong with Obama? (0+ / 0-)

          He should be embarrassed to be appointing corporate hacks like these to powerful jobs during a recession created by the 1%.   What is he thinking?

          Democratic Leaders must be very clear they stand with the working class of our country. Democrats must hold the line in demanding that deficit reduction is done fairly -- not on the backs of the elderly, the sick, children and the poor.

          by Betty Pinson on Sun Feb 17, 2013 at 11:37:43 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  He's thinking that as a neoliberal posing (0+ / 0-)

            as a progressive, this is exactly what he should be doing. I really wish we'd stop this silliness about pretending that he's a genuine progressive and not a neoliberal to the core. There is some overlap between the two, especially on social issues (but then social progressivism is good for business so it's more of a practical than moral stance), which probably explains part of the confusion. But mostly we confuse his rhetoric for his true beliefs and intentions, which are best deduced from his actions, not his words. Bush also said some nice things about compassion and freedom and stuff.

            Once you realize that he's a neoliberal who's moderately socially progressive on some issues (and even then only when pushed to it and on issues where there isn't a huge neoliberal downside), it all makes sense.

            "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

            by kovie on Sun Feb 17, 2013 at 12:37:44 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

    •  OK, wish granted (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      shrike, emelyn, Argyrios, Kathy S

      You list a number of policy disagreements you have with Obama--fair enough.  But the leap to he's "corrupt, pure and simple" is ridiculous.

      As, by the way, is this diary.

      "Well, I'm sure I'd feel much worse if I weren't under such heavy sedation..."--David St. Hubbins

      by Old Left Good Left on Sat Feb 16, 2013 at 12:52:11 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  It may be ridiculous, but its not HR-able. (8+ / 0-)

        Corrupt, as in no prosecutions of Wall St. execs. Corrupt as in nominating nothing but insiders. Holder prosecutes medical MJ and real whistleblowers and let's financial crime skate.

        Corrupt.

        Same shit, different party label.

        You can HR me too, but it would be an abuse of the HR system.

        •  I'm tired of toeing this site's unwritten rule (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          goodpractice, Bisbonian, kurt, emal

          that while you can criticize this or that Dem, you have to accept their overall good intentions as a party, and that working WITH the party, as opposed to in opposition to it, be it from within or without, is the only way to get things done. I'm not calling for anyone to go indie or join or start a 3rd party. I haven't given up on the Democratic party, per se, as I still see it as the most effective organization to achieve progressive reform. I've just given up on its present leadership and agenda on this count, and want to see them toppled and replaced, with people like Warren, Boxer, Baldwin and Ellison.

          I.e. actual progressives. I want the Democratic party to be the progressive party again, not the fake progressive but actually neoliberal party. I'm tired of being punked by these corporate shills and lackeys, from the top on down.

          "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

          by kovie on Sat Feb 16, 2013 at 04:14:38 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  No shit (0+ / 0-)

          I was just being polite and complying with the commenter's request.

          "Well, I'm sure I'd feel much worse if I weren't under such heavy sedation..."--David St. Hubbins

          by Old Left Good Left on Sat Feb 16, 2013 at 06:33:56 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  Yeah, he's done all these things (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        protectspice, duufus, Bisbonian, mkor7

        because he truly believes that they're the best policy decisions possible. Keep on telling yourself that to shield yourself from how this really works.

        Because if he truly believes this, then he's an idiot. There's no such thing as an intelligent and informed neoliberal true believer because it doesn't work. To believe in neoliberalism you have to either be an idiot, or ignorant. If you're neither, then you're just hiding behind neoliberal ideology to justify your theft and corruption. And Obama is neither stupid nor ignorant.

        Ok, I'll allow that he's unhappily going along, unable to oppose forces vastly more powerful than himself. In which case, he's incompetent and weak.

        I'm tired of playing the loyal Democrat hoping that this time Lucy won't pull the football. The fix is in and those of us who don't admit it are just fools.

        Crumbs for us, bounty for them. That's how this works.

        "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

        by kovie on Sat Feb 16, 2013 at 04:09:55 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  99% of this country doesn't give a fuck (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          emelyn

          about the banks other than a place to deposit money and write checks.  If they cared then Citi, BoA, Wells and Morgan would wither away from neglect.

          It is only in fairy blog land that all bankers are evil demons and some magic pol will rescue the poor customers from their evil clutches.

          "The way to see by faith is to shut the eye of reason." - Thomas Paine

          by shrike on Sat Feb 16, 2013 at 04:16:44 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  And yet you're still here (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            emal

            I guess someone has to remind us of how little we matter.

            What an ironic sig line, btw. Paine would laugh at your choice of him.

            "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

            by kovie on Sat Feb 16, 2013 at 04:51:46 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  Btw (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            billlaurelMD, Bisbonian, emal

            99% of the country has no choice in the matter, and way less than that aren't upset with big banks. I literally have no idea where you came up with this nonsense number. Even if you count only teabaggers, it's at least 30%, and obviously, the real number of people who DO give a shit is much higher.

            "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

            by kovie on Sat Feb 16, 2013 at 04:53:46 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

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