My dad was born and raised in Oklahoma, but my grandparents on that side were originally from Missouri. So I inherited some mule-stubborness along with a “show-me” attitude.
To the dismay of some people who have been reading my posts for years I refuse to believe in the Protest Fairy and I remain skeptical if not suspicious of the OWS movement. What do they expect me to do, lie and pretend to believe in something I don’t? If I could do that I would be getting paid big bucks to do this instead of blogging for free.
It is my belief that OWS is an astroturf operation intended to aid Barack Obama’s reelection.
Can the Occupy Wall Street protests be transformed into a get-out-the-vote organ of Obama 2012 and the Democratic Party? To determine if this is likely, let’s review a few relevant facts.
In March, 2008, The Los Angeles Times published an article with the headline “Democrats are darlings of Wall St“, which reported that both Obama and Clinton “are benefiting handsomely from Wall Street donations, easily surpassing Republican John McCain in campaign contributions.” In June, 2008, Reuters published an article entitled “Wall Street puts its money behind Obama”; it detailed that Obama had almost twice as much in contributions from “the securities and investment industry” and that “Democrats garnered 57 percent of the contributions from” that industry. When the financial collapse exploded, then-candidate Obama became an outspoken supporter of the Wall Street bailout.
After Obama’s election, the Democratic Party controlled the White House, the Senate and the House for the first two years, and the White House and Senate for the ten months after that. During this time, unemployment and home foreclosures were painfully high, while Wall Street and corporate profits exploded, along with income inequality. In July, 2009, The New York Times dubbed JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon “Obama’s favorite banker” because of his close relationship with, and heavy influence on, leading Democrats, including the President. In February, 2010, President Obama defended Dimon’s $17 million bonus and the $9 million bonus to Goldman CEO Lloyd Blankfein — both of whose firms received substantial taxpayer bailouts — as fair and reasonable.
Upon being inaugurated, Obama empowered as his top economic adviser Larry Summers, who had “collected roughly $5.2 million in compensation from hedge fund D.E. Shaw over the [prior] year and was paid more than $2.7 million in speaking fees by several troubled Wall Street firms and other organizations,” including a fee of $135,000 for a single day of speaking at Goldman, Sachs, and who also led the orgy of Wall Street deregulation in the 1990s. Obama installed as Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner, whom the New York Times explained had “forged unusually close relationships with executives of Wall Street’s giant financial institutions.”
When Obama chose him, Geithner had just participated in a secret meeting along with Bush Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson and Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein, at which it was decided that a bankrupt AIG would be saved and then — with taxpayer money — would pay Goldman every penny owed to it. Summers, in February, 2009, defended gaudy AIG bonuses as compelled by “the rule of law” even after the administration forced auto union workers to take sizable cuts in their contractually guaranteed pay.
As his Chief of Staff at Treasury, Geithner chose Mark Patterson, the former top lobbyist for Goldman, Sachs. Goldman replaced Patterson with Michael Paese, who at the time was the top staffer to Democratic Rep. Barney Frank in his capacity as Chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, which regulates Wall Street. Obama’s choice to oversee America’s futures markets was Gary Gensler, a former Goldman Sachs executive who, during the 1990s, was known for his shockingly lax enforcement of regulations governing derivative products. Obama re-appointed Bush’s Fed Chair Ben Bernanke, and named CEO of GE Jeffery Immelt to head his panel of jobs advisers, along with several other job-cutting corporate executives.
When Rahm Emanuel — who had made $16 million in three years as an investment banker after leaving the Clinton White House — left as Obama’s Chief of Staff to run for Mayor of Chicago, Obama chose as his replacement Bill Daley, who at the time was serving as JP Morgan’s Midwest Chairman and a director of Boeing. Shortly after Obama’s star director of Office of Management and Budget, Peter Orszag, left the administration, he became a top executive at Citigroup. The DCCC, recently headed by Emanuel and now feigning support for the protests, is characterized by little other than a strategy of supporting corporatist, Wall-Street-revering “Blue Dog” Democrats as a way of consolidating power.
One of the most significant aspects of the Obama administration is the lack of criminal prosecutions for leading Wall Street executives for the 2008 financial crisis. Obama recently opined — even while there are supposedly ongoing DOJ investigations — that Wall Street’s corruption was, in general, not illegal. The New York Times recently reported that top Obama officials are heavily pressuring New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman to join a woefully inadequate settlement agreement that would end all investigations and litigations against Wall Street firms for pervasive mortgage fraud.
Gee, how could an anti-Wall Street movement support a Wall Street puppet?
Take a look at the pictures at the top and bottom of this post. They were taken at a “Occupy Chicago” protest. Besides the American flag, do you notice anything else missing from those pictures? Take your time, I’ll wait.
Do you see any mention of Barack Obama? Any at all, good or bad?
Kinda curious, isn’t it? All this anger directed at Wall Street bankers, and none of it towards the bankers’ puppet.
Yes, it’s true that the OWS is not supporting Obama. (Not yet anyway.)
Imagine this scenario – next spring when the protests pick up steam again (they’re gonna have to shut down for the winter in a few weeks) Obama announces he’s firing Tim Geithner and is now a born-again populist who wants to tax the rich and regulate the banks. (He’s halfway there already)
Suddenly OWS decides that Obama’s their guy. Not all of them, but they’ll have enough union members and OFA types seeded into the movement to make it plausible and the media will cover them and not the dissenters.
They won’t be ecstatic, of course, but they’ll support Obama because “The Republicans are worse!”™
What’s that you say? People will never fall for that?
Why not? They did before.
If you think I’m wrong then answer this question – who runs OWS?
BTW – did Obama have any connection with National People’s Action when he was a community organizer?