by Evert Cilliers aka Adam Ash
I heard an amazing story about Hillary Clinton from someone who worked for her. When she was a Senator, and some corporation gave her big campaign money, she wouldn't take the money if she knew she was going to vote against that corporation's interests on a bill that corporation wanted passed. She would tell them straight that she was going to vote against them, and then ask them if they still wanted her to cash their check, because she'd rather not have their money (this guy told me that weirdly enough, 90% of the corporations would tell her, heck, keep the money).
So this is a story about something very unique: an American politician who refuses to be bought.
One wonders if, under a Hillary presidency, with a Hillary Department of Justice … if Wall Street, Jon Corzine, and all the other financial crooks would be walking around free today.
Obama has been totally bought by Wall Street. Not a single CEO from any of the big banks has been in trouble with the law, after the biggest financial meltdown and scandal of our times. Wall Street sold stuff they knew was crap to pension funds and other customers, and even bet against the stuff they sold. This is big-time fraud, to sell stuff you know will blow up, but you don't care, because the stuff will blow up after you've collected your bonus. Too big to fail turns out to be too big to jail. Not a single hand of justice has been laid on them. And no laws have been made to force them to be honest and transparent. Tim Geithner and the SEC are giving Wall Street crooks a free pass. Jon Corzine openly stole a billion bucks from his customer accounts to cover his bad margins, and he is walking free.
Would Hillary have let Wall Street off scot-free? Who knows. But at least now I know she was willing to refuse money from corporations whom she was going to vote against. She was not for sale when she was a Senator. But Obama as president was and is for sale. He sold out to Wall Street when he became president, because his candidacy was backed big-time by Wall Street money.
That's why I'm hoping Hillary runs again after Obama finishes his second term. I'm hoping she runs with Elizabeth Warren as her veep on an all-women ticket. That would set up Warren for the presidency after a Hillary presidency. One thing you can be sure as heck about: under a Warren presidency, Wall Street would be forced to get in line.
Warren would prosecute where Obama is too much a of 100%-bought toady to do a thing about Wall Street fraud.
There was more prosecution of corporate fraud under George W. Bush than there is under Barack Obama. During the Savings and Loans scandal in Reagan's time, Bill Black prosecuted thousands of fraudsters. This is an unbelievable irony: Republican presidencies saw more prosecution for Wall Street malfeasance than this Democratic presidency. Our plutocracy can lie, steal and gut our economy with no accountability at all. This is the biggest scandal of the Obama presidency.
Once upon a time there was a Democratic president with guts. He said this about our economic overlords:
“Out of this modern civilization, economic royalists carved new dynasties. New kingdoms were built upon the concentration of control over material things. Through new uses of corporations, banks, and securities, new machinery of industry and agriculture, of labor and capital — all undreamed by the fathers — the whole structure of modern life was impressed into this royal service.
“There was no place among this royalty for our many thousands of small business men and merchants who sought to make worthy use of the American system of initiative and profit. They were no more free than the worker or the farmer. Even the honest and progressive-minded men of wealth, aware of their obligation to their generation, could never know just where they fitted into this dynastic scheme of things.
“It was natural and perhaps human that the privileged princes of these new economic dynasties, thirsting for power, reached out for the control of the Government itself. They created a new despotism and wrapped it in the robes of legal sanction. In its service, new mercenaries sought to regiment the people, their labor, and their property. And as a result, the average man once more confronts the problem faced by the Minute Man….
“Against economic tyranny such as this, the American citizen could appeal only to the organized power of the Government…
“The royalists of the economic order have conceded that political freedom was the business of the Government, but they have maintained that economic slavery was nobody’s business. They granted that the Government could protect the citizen in his right to vote, but they denied that the Government could do anything to protect the citizen in his right to work and his right to live….
“The economic royalists complain that we seek to overthrow the institutions of America. What they really complain about is that we seek to take away their power. Our allegiance to American institutions requires the overthrow of this kind of power.”
The Democratic president who said this was FDR. Would that his like comes among us again.Who is there who would call it like it is today? What happened under FR has happened again, and his words are as true about our time as they were of his time. I think the closest thing we have to him today is Elizabeth Warren. If Hillary doesn't run in 2016, Warren should.
And then you should vote for her if you want Wall Street off your back and in jail.
Here's what a friend emailed me last week in our mutual despair:
“The reality of how corrupt the financial system has become — from the too big to fail institutions on Wall Street — to the rich rednecks and their private equity funds — is as depressing as watching them tighten their publicly-financed grip on a broken political system.
“And as the Occupy Wall Street failure has demonstrated, we've reached a point where change is impossible. The foxes don't just run the hen house, they own it. Corporate/political corruption has become the ethos Harvard grads aspire to. You'd think lying, stealing and proudly figuring out new ways to take advantage of people is the most popular business school curriculum.
“Seriously, how do you eliminate corruption from a system when the criminals are in charge of the reform?”
We can only do it if we give incorruptible politicians an opportunity to take over the hen house. Incorruptible politicians like Hillary Clinton. Like Elizabeth Warren.
Please bear this in mind in 2016, when we may have our last chance to put an incorruptible president in charge of our corrupted system.
(Afternote: I have a book out, self-published at the moment, based on my many provocative posts to 3QD. It's called The Real Obama: Progressive Tiger or Wall Street Poodle? You'll never have more fun reading about politics. Only $12 — order a copy here: lulu.com/product/paperback/the-real-obama-progressive-tiger-or-wall-street-poodle/18939747)