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BLOOMBERG: Obama Goes From White House to Wall Street in Less Than One Year. “Obama is coming to Wall Street less than a year after leaving the White House, following a path that’s well trod and well paid. While he can’t run for president, he continues to be an influential voice in a party torn between celebrating and vilifying corporate power. His new work with banks might suggest which side of the debate he’ll be on and disappoint anyone expecting him to avoid a trap that snared Clinton.”

Hey, they didn’t call him President Goldman Sachs for nothing.


But it’s yet another argument for my Revolving-Door Surtax.

Flashback: Joe Biden to Goldman Sachs execs: “I’m doing a job interview with you.”


At least, that’s how I’m reading this AP headline: “Kaepernick Will Sit Through Anthem Until There’s Change,” given that Hillary is running as Obama’s third term, and San Francisco, which has recently been struck with allegations of racism in its police department, hasn’t had a Republican mayor since about the time the Beatles arrived in America. Otherwise he’s just engaging in kabuki, a sort of one-man version of Occupy Wall Street, which never raised much of a ruckus over President Goldman Sachs during their protests.

So, just how much change would you like, Mr. Kaepernick?


SALON: Americans deserve more than an apology for the foreclosure fraud epidemic.

“I lost my home of 30 years to fraudclosure.”

“I have been fighting this bank for over five years now. I am finally losing everything to their fraud.”

“We feel captive in our own home.”

This is a sampling of what I have awakened to practically every day for the past few months, since my book “Chain of Title: How Three Ordinary Americans Uncovered Wall Street’s Great Foreclosure Fraud” came out. Hundreds of people have emailed me, sent me letters, attended my public events, to relate their personal horror stories of foreclosure and dispossession. They come from across America, from different social and economic backgrounds. Some lost everything, and some haven’t given up.

Hey, they don’t call Barack Obama “President Goldman Sachs” for nothing — but is America (including Salon writers) ready for Madam President Goldman Sachs?


CNBC: Wall Street is giving up on Donald Trump.

But Wall Street gave up on Republicans in 2008. They’d rather have President Goldman Sachs and his handpicked successor.



(Via Newsalert.)

JUST CALL HIM VICE-PRESIDENT GOLDMAN SACHS: Tim Kaine, Clinton’s VP pick, is a Democrat Wall Street can like.

TRUMP TWEETS, “Bernie Sanders endorsing Crooked Hillary Clinton is like Occupy Wall Street endorsing Goldman Sachs.”

But isn’t that exactly who Occupy endorsed? At no point in 2012 did the leftwing movement call for the ouster of President Goldman Sachs while protesting and pooping on police cars.


HEY, THEY DON’T CALL HIM PRESIDENT GOLDMAN SACHS FOR NOTHING: Income for top 1% in America rose twice as fast in 2015 as it did for the remaining 99%.

WHY ARE DEMOCRAT-RUN INDUSTRIES SUCH CESSPITS OF SEXUAL PREDATION? Goldman Sachs hired prostitutes to win Libyan business, court told.

Will any journalists ask President Goldman Sachs or his designated successor about this story? (A rhetorical question, I know, I know.)



ANALYSIS: TRUE, DEPENDING ON WHAT THE MEANING OF ‘IS’ IS. Why Both Clintons Are Such Unapologetic Liars.

Related: Hillary Clinton: I Am Goldman Sachs’ ‘Partner in Government.’

No doubt, the investment firm is hoping for a smooth transition of power, from one President Goldman Sachs to another.



‘LACK OF ENTHUSIASM’ MAY DOOM DOWAGER EMPRESS OF CHAPPAQUA’S PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN: As Michael Walsh spots, even her cheerleaders at the New York Times are forced to grit their teeth and write:

But Mrs. Clinton has a striking problem with young voters. A recent NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll showed that a solid plurality of young voters has a negative view of Mrs. Clinton. She did even worse in a Bloomberg Politics national poll. Here is a result to unnerve her Brooklyn campaign headquarters: Both Barack Obama and Bill Clinton get a 60 percent favorable rating with 18-to-29-year-olds. She gets 35 percent approval and 57 percent unfavorable.

Betsy Newmark spots the Times adding this black mark against Hillary as well:

Though she criticizes the American economy as being “rigged” for the rich*, Mrs. Clinton has lost some support recently from party members who think she would go easy on Wall Street excess if elected.

President Goldman Sachs going easy on Wall Street? Heaven forefend!


* To be fair, Hillary may have stumbled onto something here, but not in the way she thinks.

CLINTON TELLS GOP HOW TO DEFEAT HER: “Her answers were terrible, but they were terrible because there are no better ones. And this is the Republican opening: She cannot move very far away from the president, because she was his diplomatic steward for four years,” John Podhoretz writes in the New York Post.

At Hot Air, Jazz Shaw notes “Clinton delivers bizarre performance in CBS Dem debate,” including this bit of clumsy tap-dancing from inside the exoskeleton:

The most bizarre part of the entire evening, however, had to be when Sanders challenged Clinton about all the Wall Street money she’s taken. She launched into an answer which invoked 9/11 and how proud she was to help them rebuild after the attacks.

“I represented New York, and I represented New York on 9/11 when we were attacked. Where were we attacked? We were attacked in downtown Manhattan where Wall Street is.”

“I did spend a whole lot of time and effort helping them rebuild,” said Clinton, who represented New York from 2001 to 2009. “That was good for New York. It was good for the economy, and it was a way to rebuke the terrorists who had attacked our country.”

At that point I was just staring at the television screen speechless. I was sort of hoping that Dickerson’s next question would be whether or not Hillary was smelling burnt hair at the moment because it sounded as if she’d had a stroke. I clearly wasn’t the only one, either. The bizarre, rambling 9/11 answer led to jaws dropping all over Twitter (you can see a list from the RNC here) including the Daily Beast:

“Clinton Is Having As Bad A Night As She Could Be Expected To Have, With ISIS Not America’s Fight And 9/11 Is Why I Took Wall Street $$” (, 11/14/15)

Which is yet another way that Hillary isn’t moving very far away from President Goldman Sachs:



He runs around the country alleging that the economy is “rigged” — a term borrowed from Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren — by what he calls “the billionaire class.”

Sanders doesn’t mean this metaphorically. It’s not a poetic exaggeration. He’s dead serious. As he put it in his speech at Liberty University a couple of months ago, our economy is “designed by the wealthiest people in this country to benefit the wealthiest people in this country at the expense of everybody else.”

Designed. Per Sanders, the wealthy have built and maintained a self-serving system of income inequality at the cost of the 99 percent. As he has put it: “This is a rigged economy — heads they win, tails you lose.”

But when will he start attacking President Goldman Sachs by name, and his would-be successor?



Related: Fellow socialist Bill de Blasio endorses Hillary over Bernie, oddly enough.

(Via Betsy Newmark.)

THE PRICE OF CRONYISM: Joel Kotkin: How Big Government And Big Business Stick It To Small U.S. Businesses.

Rather than a new age of democratic capitalism imagined by Reagan era conservatives, we increasingly live in a world dominated by large companies. The overall revenues of Fortune 500 companies have risen from 58 percent of nominal GDP in 1994 to 73 percent in 2013. At the same time, small business start-ups have declined as a portion of all business growth, from 50 percent in the early ’80s to 35 percent in 2010. Indeed, a 2014 Brookings report (PDF) revealed that small business “dynamism,” measured by the growth of new firms compared with the closing of older ones, has declined significantly over the past decade, with more firms closing than starting for the first time in a quarter century. Only 35 percent of small business owners, according to a recent survey by the National Small Business Association, express optimism about the economy.

This decline in entrepreneurial activity marks a historic turnaround. Start up rateshave fallen for young people in particular, dropping to the lowest levels in a quarter century. At the same time the welfare state has expanded dramatically to the point that nearly half of all Americans now get payments from the federal government, notably through Medicare and Social Security. At the same time, the lack of grassroots economic activity may contribute to labor participation rates, now the lowest in almost four decades.

The Obama administration’s progressive-sounding rhetoricmay offend some of the thinner-skinned members of the oligarchy, but his economic policies—the bank bailouts, super-low interest rates, and growing federal power—have also improved the balance sheets of the corporate hegemons and the super-rich. In contrast, these policies do little, or less than little, for the yeoman class. Money today is made far more easily today by playing games with the market than making or selling on Main Street.

Hey, they don’t call him President Goldman Sachs for nothing.


Luckily, if we elect Hillary things will be completely different! See:


WOMAN OF THE PEOPLE: More CEOs donate to Clinton than to any GOP candidate.

The GOP is often considered the party of business — but it looks like the nation’s CEOs may not agree.

Hillary Clinton has received more donations from CEOs than any Republican candidate so far this year, according to a Big Crunch analysis of the last complete batch of individual Federal Election Commission records.

More than 760 people have given to Clinton’s campaign and identified their occupations as “CEO” or a variation of “chief executive” — that’s about as many CEO backers as Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz combined.

They know that her class-warfare rhetoric is just a smokescreen for feathering their nest in exchange for donations and speaking fees. Just like President Goldman Sachs. Or, should I say, President Goldman Sachs The First.


Related: Everyday Americans: Hillary Clinton’s Campaign Bankrolled by Corporate Law Firms, Lobbyists, Wall Street Banks, Ivy League Stiffs.

MORE CEOS DONATE TO CLINTON THAN TO ANY GOP CANDIDATE: What else would you expect for the next potential President Goldman Sachs?



Hey the cognitive dissonance inherent in corporatism and the Gleichschaltung. can be brutal — it’s not easy being President Goldman Sachs.


(As Hillary may discover — along with her more rabid leftwing supporters — starting in 2017.)



PRESIDENT GOLDMAN SACHS HARDEST HIT: Wall Street’s latest panic: Trump could win:

The CEO of one large Wall Street firm, who declined to be identified by name criticizing the GOP front-runner, said the assumption in the financial industry remains that something will eventually knock Trump off and send voters toward a more establishment candidate. But that assumption is no longer held with strong conviction. And a dozen Wall Street executives interviewed for this article could not say what might dent Trump’s appeal or when it might happen.

“I don’t know anyone who is a Donald Trump supporter. I don’t know anyone who knows anyone who is a Donald Trump supporter. They are like this huge mystery group,” the CEO said. [Shades of Pauline Kael! — Ed] “So it’s a combination of shock and bewilderment. No one really knows why this is happening. But my own belief is that the laws of gravity will apply and those who are prepared to run the marathon will benefit when Trump drops out at mile 22. Right now people think Trump is pretty hilarious but the longer it goes on the more frightening it gets.”

The latest frightening broadside for the Wall Street class came on Sunday when Trump said on CBS’s “Face the Nation” that executive pay in America is “a complete joke” and promised to raise taxes on “the hedge fund guys.” In a statement sent to POLITICO on Monday from his campaign, Trump relished in the attacks from Wall Street, singling out both Bush and Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton, another favorite on Wall Street.

“Jeb Bush and Hillary Clinton will continue to let Wall Street and the ‘hedge fund guys’ rip off the people by paying no or very little in taxes,” Trump said. “They have total and complete control of Hillary, Jeb and others running. My campaign is self- funded. The only people that have control of me are the people of the United States.”

By the time of the 2008 election, Wall Street abandoned Republicans, preferring Michael Bloomberg’s nanny state and Barack Obama’s arugula to the GOP’s traditional values, as Kevin D. Williamson wrote the following year:

Wall Street isn’t politically agnostic, and there’s more to its politics than money. Culture matters, and you won’t find a lot of Pentecostal churches in Greenwich, Conn. Wall Street guys, for the most part, do not have time for social conservatives. “Of course these guys aren’t conservative,” says one longtime bond trader. “Why the [expletive deleted] would they be? We’re talking about guys who live in Manhattan, guys with manicures and eight-figure bank balances. And their wives–their wives aren’t showing up at parents’ day at Brearley with a Sarah Palin button. It’d be like showing up in flip-flops from Wal-Mart. Like showing up in a [rather lengthier expletive deleted] tracksuit.”

This cultural divide is particularly visible in New York City politics. “Ten to 15 years ago, half of the Upper East Side [officeholders] were Republican,” says John Mills, executive vice president of the Lexington Democratic Club. “There’s not one Republican there now. Abortion and gay rights are two of the biggest issues, and there are a lot of Jewish voters here not comfortable with Christian conservatives.”

Wall Street has no love for the southern, rural, and evangelical. But it’s not just the Jesus stuff–the southern and rural parts matter, too: Republican congressmen tend to represent places like Glasscock County, Texas, America’s most Republican jurisdiction, which reliably gives 90-odd percent of its votes to the GOP. Those districts are not going to feel the pain of the financial markets the way New York, New Jersey, California, and Connecticut are. The bailout is not very popular in farm country. Wall Street knew there was a gathering storm in the markets, and it didn’t want to find itself at the mercy of small-town and rural Republicans’ riding to the rescue.

And thus, the birth of the man Glenn likes to call “President Goldman Sachs.”

As Kevin noted, Wall Street abandoned the American heartland in 2008, so it shouldn’t be at all surprised to discover that someone showing up with an anti-Wall Street message resonates with voters there. I’m disappointed it’s a rather punitive and populist message than a conservative one, but historically, fire and brimstone populism has always allowed a candidate to position himself as the champion to a large group of disenfranchised voters.

LAWS ARE FOR THE LITTLE PEOPLE: Obama Administration Refuses To Follow Law Banning Government Contracts To Companies Who Engaged In Tax Inversions. And notice how quick President Goldman Sachs is to protect the fatcats’ interests when it matters.

POLITICO: Where Was Obama When The Middle Class Needed Him?

The past six years have seen a series of hits to middle-class economic security in the form of radical changes in healthcare; decreased pension guarantees from companies; less job security; and volatility in financial markets that has made retirement planning challenging. Cap that off with the massive hit to financial net worth because of the bursting of the housing bubble and you have a recipe for roiling discontent. Washington, meanwhile, anchored by the Obama administration, is widely seen as having done precious little other than shore up the financial system and the banks in 2009.

When it comes to the economy, in fact, Obama arguably has spent most of his presidency focused either on the needs of the very poor (the uninsured) or the very rich (Wall Street’s banks, which were nursed back to health).

Hey, they don’t call him President Goldman Sachs for nothing.


African Americans for decades flocked to Prince George’s County to be part of a phenomenon that has been rare in American history: a community that grew more upscale as it became more black.

The county became a national symbol of the American Dream with a black twist. Families moved into expansive new homes, with rolling lawns, nearby golf courses and, most of all, neighbors who looked like them. In the early 2000s, home prices soared — some well beyond $1 million — allowing many African Americans to build the kind of wealth their elders could only imagine.

But today, the nation’s highest-income majority-black county stands out for a different reason — its residents have lost far more wealth than families in neighboring, majority-white suburbs. And while every one of these surrounding counties is enjoying a strong rebound in housing prices and their economies, Prince George’s is lagging far behind, and local economists say a full recovery appears unlikely anytime soon.

The same reversal of fortune is playing out across the country as black families who worked painstakingly to climb into the middle class are seeing their financial foundation for future generations collapse. Although African Americans have made once-unthinkable political and social gains since the civil rights era, the severe and continuing damage wrought by the downturn — an entire generation of wealth was wiped out — has raised a vexing question: Why don’t black middle-class families enjoy the same level of economic security as their white counterparts?


LIFE IN THE OBAMA ERA: Poverty Number Highest Since Records Were Kept:

The official U.S. unemployment rate has indeed fallen steadily during the past few years, but the economic recovery has created the fewest jobs relative to the previous employment peak of any prior recovery. The labor-force participation rate recently touched a 36-year low of 62.7%. The number of Americans not in the labor force set a record high of 92.6 million in September. Part-time work and long-term unemployment are still well above levels from before the financial crisis.

Worse, middle-class incomes continue to fall during the recovery, losing even more ground than during the December 2007 to June 2009 recession. The number in poverty has also continued to soar, to about 50 million Americans. That is the highest level in the more than 50 years that the U.S. Census has been tracking poverty. Income inequality has risen more in the past few years than at any recent time.

Related: Number of Ultra Rich Increased 6% in 2014.

Hey, they don’t call him President Goldman Sachs for nothing.

HEY THEY DON’T CALL HIM PRESIDENT GOLDMAN SACHS FOR NOTHING, YOU KNOW: Forget the 1%: It is the 0.01% who are really getting ahead in America.

JOEL KOTKIN: Democrats Move Left.

Much has been written about the right-ward shift of the Republican Party, but far less about a mounting left-wing movement among Democrats. While the media tends to dismiss the right-wingers of the GOP as “wingnuts,” it typically refrains from categorizing even the extreme left of the Democratic Party in a similar manner.

President Barack Obama has accelerated this leftward trend in two ways. First, his administration, particularly in contrast to that of former President Bill Clinton, has laid the rhetorical basis for a move to the left by shifting the party agenda on social, environmental and economic policies. Clinton may have declared that “the era of big government is over,” but under Obama an ever-expanding federal government has become the essential raison d’être for the party.

Yet if Obama’s soaring rhetoric set the stage, his weak record of achievement has sparked mounting concern among left-leaning activists. Obama’s success has hinged in part on the far-left portions of the party controlling their more-fevered passions, particularly about ever-increasing income inequality and bans on fossil fuel use.

But now many on the political left are openly critical of the president, notably for his close ties to the moguls of Wall Street and Silicon Valley. These moguls have been the predominant beneficiaries of his economic policies while middle-class incomes have continued to languish – and even fall.

Hey, they don’t call him President Goldman Sachs for nothing.

WHAT DID YOU EXPECT, FROM PRESIDENT GOLDMAN SACHS? I MEAN, REALLY. WHAT DID YOU EXPECT? In 8 Econ Recoveries from 1949 to 2000, Bottom 99% Got Over 1/2 of Income Gains. In this Recovery, 99% get measly 5%.

Hey, they don’t call him President Goldman Sachs for nothing.

CULTURE OF CORRUPTION: Tapes showing meek oversight of Goldman are about to rock Wall Street.

Hey, they don’t call him President Goldman Sachs for nothing.

MAYBE THIS IS WHY OBAMA’S POLLING BADLY EVEN IN BLUE STATES: William Galston: The Recovery That Left Out Almost Everybody.

More than five years after the official end of the recession, the Public Religion Research Institute finds, only 21% of Americans believe the recession has ended.

Two recent reports help explain the disconnect between the official jobs numbers and the economic experience of most Americans. Every fall, the U.S. Commerce Department issues a detailed analysis of trends in income, poverty and health insurance. Although economists have some technical quibbles with the Commerce data, the broad trends are unmistakable.

This year’s report found that median household income was $51,939 in 2013, 8% lower than in 2007, the last year before the recession. Households in the middle of the income distribution earned about $4,500 less last year than they had six years earlier. No wonder 56% of Americans told the Pew Research Center that their incomes were falling behind the cost of living.

The Federal Reserve’s triennial Survey of Consumer Finances confirms these findings. Between 2010 and 2013, the Fed reports, median family income fell by 5%, even though average family income rose by 4%. This is, note the authors, “consistent with increasing income concentration during this period.” Only families in the top 10%, with annual incomes averaging nearly $400,000, saw gains during these three years.

So President Goldman Sachs delivered big returns to the fatcats, at the expense of everyone else. Go figure.

CORNEL WEST IS NOT SO HAPPY: “He posed as a progressive and turned out to be counterfeit. We ended up with a Wall Street presidency, a drone presidency”

Hey, they don’t call him President Goldman Sachs for nothing.

JOEL KOTKIN: Dawn of the Age of Oligarchy: the Alliance between Government and the 1%.

When our current President was elected, many progressives saw the dawning of a new epoch, a more egalitarian and more just Age of Obama. Instead we have witnessed the emergence of the Age of Oligarchy.

The outlines of this new epoch are clear in numerous ways. There is the diminished role for small business, greater concentration of financial assets, and a troubling decline in home ownership. On a cultural level, there is a general malaise about the prospect for upward mobility for future generations.

Not everyone is suffering in this new age. For the entitled few, these have been the best of times. With ever more concentration of key industries, ever greater advantage of capital over labor, and soaring real estate values in swanky places such as Manhattan or San Francisco which , as one journalist put it, constitute “vast gated communities where the one percent reproduces itself.” The top hundred firms on the Fortune 500 list has revenues, in adjusted dollars, eight times those during the supposed big-business heyday of the 1960s.

This shift towards oligarchy well precedes President Obama’s tenure. It was born from a confluence of forces: globalization, the financialization of the economy, and the shift towards digital technology. Obama is not entirely to blame, it is more than a bit ironic that these measurements have worsened under an Administration that has proclaimed income inequality abhorrent.

Despite this administration’s occasional rhetorical flourishes against oligarchy, we have seen a rapid concentration of wealth and depressed conditions for the middle class under Obama. The stimulus, with its emphasis on public sector jobs, did little for Main Street. And under the banner of environmentalism, green cronyism has helped fatten the bank accounts of investment bankers and tech moguls at great public expense.

Hey, they don’t call him President Goldman Sachs for nothing. But read the whole thing.

BETRAYAL! Lefties Aghast as Leaked Global Trade Deal Turns Out To Be About . . . Financial Deregulation. Hey, they don’t call him President Goldman Sachs for nothing.


It’s certainly possible to take the Warren analogy too far; Brat doesn’t have the same devoted following as Warren or her Ivy League academic prestige, and he lacks a parallel position within the conservative firmament. But it’s not a bad comparison, as far as it goes. And it touches on some of the ways that liberal populism and conservative or libertarian-tinged populism often overlap—the distrust of elites, frustration with those in power, and anger over the ways that big government and big business, so often assumed to be titanic opponents, work in tandem against the interests of the masses.

It also suggests the political power of this populist critique, even on the right. In recent years, liberals have successfully channeled anger against the joining of businesses interests and political power, but Republican politicians have not been nearly as effective in their attempts to do so, despite the current of anti-elite sentiment that runs through the Tea Party. There are many reasons why the GOP hasn’t been as successful (its reliance on corporate donors, its professional connections with corporate lobbying groups, the fact that many of its candidates are themselves part of the business class), but one reason why is that criticism of business, big or small, is simply not part of the identity the GOP has built for itself over the last several decades. That’s not the language it speaks; the GOP is the party that represents business, not the party that criticizes corporate power.

Dave Brat, on the other hand, knew how to speak that language, and it turned out to be particularly effective against an eager, ambitious establishmentarian widely viewed as out of touch with the local interests of his constituents.

It’s paywalled, but Kimberley Strassel makes a similar point in the WSJ. Excerpt:

Mr. Brat reprised his themes for Fox News’s Sean Hannity the night of his victory, explaining: “We need to take free markets seriously. That means we have to put an end to all these tax credits and tax deductions and loopholes. [Michigan Rep.] Dave Camp had a good bill which simplified the tax code and had a Reagan-esque 10 and 25 percent rate. That made sense and it was going to be pro-growth.” This clearly resonated with the 56% of voters who chose to rout a sitting majority leader. . . .

Mr. Brat openly derided “Making Life Work,” referring to its “catchy little phrases to compete with Democrats for votes.” As he told Mr. Hannity: “I do not want the federal government trying to make my life work.” Mr. Brat also ably tied together the cronyism/complexity/growth arguments to make the case for real tax reform (rather than Democrat-lite tax spending).

The hallmark of conservative policy innovation is the use of markets to limit government and expand citizen freedom and choice. That’s reform. The lesson of the Brat-Cantor race is that the traditional reform concept is still popular (and populist). At least when it’s delivered with economic understanding and conviction.

Given that President Goldman Sachs is in the pocket of Wall Street, and that the Dems are championing policies that benefit the very rich and the very poor at the expense of the middle class, this would seem to be a fruitful line of attack.

And, unsurprisingly: The House GOP Represents More Low-Wage Workers Than Do Democrats. Check out the map.

Related: Ed Morrissey: The Absurdity Of Leadership Fights In An Era Of Populism. “Cantor became part of the institutions rather than someone who could represent his district’s interests in contrast to them. Cantor missed the populist swing in his district, and the House GOP seems to be missing it in general.”

PRESIDENT GOLDMAN SACHS: Obama subsidizes private jets for high-flyers abroad.

HEY, THEY DON’T CALL OBAMA PRESIDENT GOLDMAN SACHS FOR NOTHING: Eric Holder Gives Pass to Banking Criminals at Credit Suisse. “When it comes to the Tea Party, Obama’s IRS probes private citizens beyond the legal limits. But when it comes to Swiss banks engaged in widespread criminal conduct, Eric Holder’s Justice Department turns a blind eye.”

JAMES TARANTO: 1930-Something: Old-school leftists are unhappy with Obama’s America.

Reed disdains what he calls “the cult of the most oppressed,” the idea “that there’s something about the purity of these oppressed people that has the power to condense the mass uprising. I’ve often compared it to the cargo cults. . . . As my dad used to say, ‘If oppression conferred heightened political consciousness there would be a People’s Republic of Mississippi.’ ” (This all seems a bit out of place in Salon, whose usual stock in trade is exotic identity-based grievances. Last week the site ran an article by Randa Jarrar, an Arab-American novelist, titled “Why I Can’t Stand White Belly Dancers.”)

Conservatives share Reed’s and Frank’s aversion to identity politics, though of course for different reasons. They (we) see it as anathema to the classical liberal ideas of individual freedom and equality of opportunity. Reed pointedly rejects what he calls “a neoliberal understanding of an equality of opportunity.”

What Reed wishes for instead, in his Harper’s article, is a radical “redistributive vision,” which “requires grounding in a vibrant labor movement.” There’s more than a bit of nostalgia here: He opens by observing that the left “crested in influence between 1935 and 1945, when it anchored a coalition centered in the labor movement,” and that “at the federal level its high point may have come in 1944, when FDR propounded what he called ‘a second Bill of Rights,’ ” including “the right to a ‘useful and remunerative job,’ ‘adequate medical care,’ and ‘adequate protection from the economic fears of old age, sickness, accident, and unemployment.’ “

What we actually have is a coalition of Wall Street — they don’t call him President Goldman Sachs for nothing — and gentry liberals, with enough minorities included as electoral fodder to provide key votes. But look who’s getting richer these days. It’s the .1 percent. A few rubes are just starting to catch on.

THE OBAMA ECONOMY AND A NEW ARISTOCRACY: Is Downton Abbey The Future Of The US Economy?

Steinsson and Nakamura aren’t the only ones looking to employ people in service jobs. While they seem to pay people for one-off tasks or on a part-time basis, the WSJ reports that demand for full-time live-in domestic help is growing rapidly, including for chefs, housekeepers, estate managers, and even maids and butlers. The return of butlers and maids is attention grabbing enough, but the story is full of many other eye-popping details. The pay, for instance, can rise as high as 200,000 dollars thousand a year for a butler, and some agencies say families have begun to build separate kitchens in their houses for the kitchen staff in order to maintain family privacy.

These Downton-esque luxuries may seen irrelevant to the wider trends deciding the future of American employment, but in fact they represent the growing class of service jobs that could become a significant part of our economy, especially if we find ways to facilitate the transition to a service-based economy. As manufacturing and clerical jobs decline, creating enough demand for service labor will push wages up to good levels. It is the relationship of supply and demand which is fundamentally behind the stagnant wages we see today. Figuring out how to change that will get living standards moving in the right direction again.

There’s nothing dishonorable about domestic service, but this isn’t the Hope And Change we were promised. Then again, they don’t call him President Goldman Sachs for nothing.

NOPE. NOT AT ALL. NEXT QUESTION? Does Hillary Clinton’s Enthusiasm for Profit Extend Beyond Her Own Earnings? “The news that Hillary Clinton has earned what the Washington Post characterized as ‘close to $500,000’ for two recent speeches to Goldman Sachs is generating a certain amount of excitement.” So if Hillary’s elected, President Goldman Sachs The First will be replaced by President Goldman Sachs The Second. Guess I’ll need to redo this logo a bit if that happens.


THIS NEWS WILL PLAY WELL AT THE CORNER: Duran Duran’s John Taylor: Biden a ‘D*ck’ in Debate, Likes Ryan.

Bruce Springteen will be touring for Obama, but then, like President Goldman Sachs, he’s pretty much an old-line One Percent establishment guy anyhow.




“New book shows U.S. top earners pay larger share of taxes than any other industrialized nation”

— Kerry Picket of the Washington Times today.

● Mitt Romney to CNN’s Wolf Blitzer on taxes, “I want high income people to continue to pay the same share they do today.” 

— Headline on CNN Website today.

Forget President Goldman Sachs. If OWS really wants to stick it to the man, there’s only once choice for them in this election.

President Goldman Sachs

JUST ANOTHER DAY FOR PRESIDENT GOLDMAN SACHS: “Tim Geithner, the US Treasury secretary, acted to shield Citigroup’s bondholders and management from accountability at the height of the financial crisis while taxpayers were left on the hook, a former US bank regulator has alleged,” according to the Financial Times.

FLASHBACK: How Wall Street Occupied the White House.

IT’S A GOOD ARGUMENT, AND IT HAS THE ADVANTAGE OF BEING TRUE: Super-PAC ads look to tie Obama to Wall Street and turn off his supporters.

Hey, they don’t call him President Goldman Sachs for nothing.

ED DRISCOLL: President Goldman Sachs Presents ‘The Muppet Show,’ Sponsored by GE.

Consider this another example of Blair’s Law: Goldman Sachs, the company that thinks of its customers as “muppets,” is deeply in bed with the Obama administration, right down to their fundraising operations. The leader of said administration thinks of most Americans as lethargic bitter clingers, typical white people, who’ve acted stupidly, who’ve become soft, and who have lost their imagination and willingness to go along with the big government projects he envisions for them. (“What about more smart grids?” “We need more moon shot!”) And the above articles appear on a subsidiary Website of General Electric, whose CEO is Obama’s “Jobs Czar,” when he’s not sending GE’s own jobs to China, and whose on-air talent at the sister network to CNBC thinks of half the American people in arguably even worse terms than Obama himself does.

Read the whole thing.

Plus: “Barack Obama’s reelection campaign has released the most recent list of names of fundraising bundlers. On that list is Jon Corzine, the former governor of New Jersey and embattled money man, the former head of MF Global.”

THE NATION SAYS THAT THE REAL HILARY ROSEN SCANDAL is that she’s just another of the many corporate whores who have surrounded Obama:

Per a senior Dem: “Serious Dem operatives are aghast at Hilary Rosen’s misguided attack on Ann Romney’s work history. She and others at PR firm SKD Knickerbocker have represented many clients that have raised hackles with senior White House staff. It’s an open secret in the Dem consultant community that SKD has been signing up clients based on ‘perceived White House access’ tied to prior relationships and employment.”

As we’ve reported, SKDKnickerbocker is led by a team of former Democratic operatives and key White House figures. But instead of promoting a progressive agenda, or even an Obama agenda, these consultants score huge contracts by helping corporate interests lobby for policies that are not in line with the public interest. Many SKDKnickerbocker employees, including Anita Dunn, a former White House communications director, are also frequent White House visitors.

We’ve compiled a partial list of SKDKnickerbocker’s clients. Since the firm refuses to register as an ordinary lobbying firm, we don’t know their full roster of clients.

My favorite: “SKDKnickerbocker was hired to push for billions in tax breaks for already profitable corporations.”

Then, of course, there’s her history as an attack dog for the music industry. Well, what do you expect? They don’t call him President Goldman Sachs for nothing.

This kind of climate comes down from the top. Related: Why Hilary Rosen visited at the White House. Including 5 meetings with President Goldman Sachs.

BLOOMBERG: Obama Relies on Debt Collectors Profiting From Student Loan Woe. “With $67 billion of student loans in default, the Education Department is turning to an army of private debt-collection companies to put the squeeze on borrowers. Working on commissions that totaled about $1 billion last year, these government contractors face growing complaints that they are violating federal laws by insisting on stiff payments, even when borrowers’ incomes make them eligible for leniency. . . . In failing health, after contracting hepatitis from a blood transfusion, Campos pleaded with Pioneer, owned by SLM Corp. (SLM), the nation’s largest student-loan company better known as Sallie Mae. He left a $40,000-a-year job at the Massachusetts health department when he got too sick to work and waited for a liver transplant. The 52-year-old former busboy, a naturalized U.S. citizen from El Salvador, earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in the 1990s from Cambridge College in Massachusetts.”

Occupy the Department of Education! Or, you know, the White House. Just the kind of behavior you’d expect from the administration of President Goldman Sachs! (Bumped).

UPDATE: A reader emails:

Noticed your post regarding student loan providers engaging in hard-headed collection practices. You might want to also consider another feature of student loans that I believe resembles loan-sharking. After graduation, many students consolidate their loans into a single loan. This is because each year a student is in school, a new loan is made. Sometimes there are multiple loans in a single year, due to different kinds of eligibility, etc. This means that a graduating student can often have a half-dozen or more individual loans to manage. Student loan providers helpfully allow consolidation of all these loans into a single loan with a fixed interest rate. Now here’s the rub. Once consolidated, the loans cannot be refinanced and the borrower is locked to the same interest rate no matter how low market rates might go. There have been bills introduced to allow student loan refinancing, but so far the lenders have lobbied heavily against allowing the practice and the bills have failed. This means that a student who borrowed during a period of high rates is locked to those rates, potentially for decades, without any real recourse.

No name on this one. I am in administration now.

A report from the Dark Side!

BLOOMBERG: Obama Relies on Debt Collectors Profiting From Student Loan Woe. “With $67 billion of student loans in default, the Education Department is turning to an army of private debt-collection companies to put the squeeze on borrowers. Working on commissions that totaled about $1 billion last year, these government contractors face growing complaints that they are violating federal laws by insisting on stiff payments, even when borrowers’ incomes make them eligible for leniency. . . . In failing health, after contracting hepatitis from a blood transfusion, Campos pleaded with Pioneer, owned by SLM Corp. (SLM), the nation’s largest student-loan company better known as Sallie Mae. He left a $40,000-a-year job at the Massachusetts health department when he got too sick to work and waited for a liver transplant. The 52-year-old former busboy, a naturalized U.S. citizen from El Salvador, earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in the 1990s from Cambridge College in Massachusetts.”

Occupy the Department of Education! Or, you know, the White House. Just the kind of behavior you’d expect from the administration of President Goldman Sachs!


You mean President Goldman Sachs? Not likely.

WHAT COULD GO WRONG? So America has a President Goldman Sachs, Italy has a Prime Minister Goldman Sachs, and the European Central Bank will now be headed by a former Goldman Sachs banker.

THE WASHINGTON EXAMINER ON PRESIDENT GOLDMAN SACHS: President Obama walks on both sides of Wall Street.

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney gets grief from a lot of conservatives for having changed his position over the years on important issues like abortion and government-run health care. But Romney is a rank amateur compared to the doubletalk coming from President Obama on the topic of Wall Street. On the one hand, there is the former community organizer Obama. This Obama has made it clear in recent weeks that he is at one with the Occupy Wall Street protesters, saying, for example, when ABC asked how he viewed the demonstrators, that “the most important thing we can do right now is those of us in leadership letting people know that we understand their struggles and we are on their side. …”

But then there is the Obama who is more than happy to accept high-dollar contributions from every Gordon Gecko on Wall Street. As the Washington Post recently reported, Obama has accepted more money — more than $15.6 million — from these people than all of the Republican presidential aspirants combined.

As I keep saying: They don’t call him President Goldman Sachs for nothing.

PRESIDENT GOLDMAN SACHS: Wall Street has already made more money under Obama than it did in Bush’s two terms. “Behind this turnaround, in significant measure, are government policies.”

#OCCUPYFAIL: Walter Russell Mead: Occupy Blue Wall Street. “Members of what Howard Dean likes to call ‘the Democratic wing of the Democratic Party’ prefer not to think too much about Blue Wall Street and its role in the Democratic coalition, but particularly as times get tougher for the blue social model, it is Blue Wall Street that makes things work and calls the shots. For Blue Wall Street the conflict between the interests of the private sector and the power of the government does not really exist. The symbiosis between Blue Wall Street and the state is strong and deep. The pension funds, bond issues and other financial transactions that blue city and state governments need helps nourish Blue Wall Street; Blue Wall Street helps integrate the policy agenda of other government focused interest groups with larger national priorities and movements. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are the archetypes of this symbiosis: they are government-backed forces in the capital markets built around support for the single most important American social program of the blue period: home ownership. . . . Blue Wall Street benefits much more from the blue social model than the other elements in the coalition. Five figure cop salaries and low six figure salaries for goo-goo social engineers pale before the seven, eight, nine and ten figure paydays on the Street. There is a direct connection between those big paydays and the connection between big finance, big government and Democratic (as well as Republican) interest group politics. Good relations with politicians help make money: ask the leadership of Goldman Sachs.”

Hey, they don’t call him President Goldman Sachs for nothing.

THE CORZINE SCANDAL: Another Black Eye For Blue Wall Street. “Remember two years ago when President Obama was vigorously campaigning in New Jersey, hoping that the Democratic Party wouldn’t face a humiliating gubernatorial defeat? Maybe he should have campaigned harder. If nothing else, it might have kept Democratic candidate for Governor Jon Corzine away from MF Global. The company’s recklessness—with clients’ money, no less—is precisely the kind of story that the Democratic Party doesn’t want as Wall Street stands occupied. (Via Meadia hopes by the way that this was all a terrible misunderstanding and that Governor Corzine’s reputation will somehow emerge intact from the debacle, but at this point we aren’t holding our breath.)”

Plus this: “The Democrats can bark at Blue Wall Street, but they cannot really bite. A few little puppy nips, perhaps, but any efforts by the Democrats to throw Wall Street under the bus will fail. Blue Wall Street is the bus, and it refuses to roll over itself.”

Hey, they don’t call him President Goldman Sachs for nothing.

UPDATE: Crony Capitalism: Corzine used leverage to keep regulators from investigating MF Global. Plus: “Mona Charen notes that this makes Barack Obama’s attack on Republicans look more like a case of projection.”

NO, NO, YOU’RE ONLY SUPPOSED TO BRING THE PITCHFORKS TO OPPONENTS OF THE REGIME! Protesters Occupy GE CEO Jeff Immelt’s Connecticut Front Lawn. “Occupy Wall Street protesters took a field trip from Zuccotti Park on Saturday morning, all the way to the wealthy suburban enclave of New Canaan, Conn., where they took their anger at income and tax disparity to GE CEO Jeff Immelt’s front lawn.”

I have to admit that In the land of the free, they tax me but not G.E.! is sorta catchy. No word on what President Goldman Sachs thought about this, but I note that the group involved, Working Families, is an offshoot of the ACORN group that was disbanded after a teen-prostitute scandal.

Plus, this pic from reader Steve Judkins shows the wave of anger that’s spreading across America.

UPDATE: “Glenn Beck Gets Results.” Heh.

ANOTHER UPDATE: “We Are The 5 Percent.” (Background here for those who don’t get it. Yeah, it’s kinda arcane . . . )

#OWSBLOWBACK: Protester: fundraisers tie Obama to ‘money elite’. Gee, do you think?

Kevin Zeese observed to that “President Obama, with his one billion dollar campaign, is holding fundraisers that cost $38,500 to get into.” Zeese noted that the fundraiser cost is “higher than the median individual income for Americans, which is $1,000 less.” He added that such a fundraiser “puts Obama out of touch with the people and very much in touch with the money elite.”

President Obama has raised over $64 million so far for his reelection campaign. Charlie Spiering of The Washington Examiner recently detailed a two day, seven fundraiser cash-crawl by Obama that included a stop at one of those high-dollar fundraisers.

Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., lectured the Occupy Wall Streeters a couple days ago, saying they made him ‘unhappy’ for not supporting Democrats in 2010.

They don’t call him President Goldman Sachs for nothing.

PRESIDENT GOLDMAN SACHS: Obama Has More Cash From Wall Street Than All GOP Hopefuls Combined. “Obama has brought in more money from employees of banks, hedge funds and other financial service companies than all of the GOP candidates combined, according to a Washington Post analysis of contribution data.”

DEMOCRACY IN AMERICA: Sharpton: “If you won’t get the jobs bill done in the suite, we will get the jobs bill done in the street!”

Up yours, Al, you pathetic Jew-hating demagogue. And together with the anti-semitism we’ve seen elsewhere, this kind of talk is making me ready to call for a temporary suspension of Godwin’s Law. But beware of other legal issues.

Related: Nazis and Communists Throw Their Support Behind Occupy Wall Street Movements.

Also: Video: Occupy Portland Protesters Sing…”F*ck the USA”.

And: Obama Campaign Seeks To Capitalize On Anti-Wall Street Anger. President Goldman Sachs thinks the protesters will be useful. So what does that make them?

And where’s ThinkProgress?

UPDATE: Reader Antoinette Aubert writes: “The problem with calling everyone you disagree with a Nazi is that it makes the term meaningless. On the other hand when a group of people blame all the world’s problems on a small Jewish cabal and yell for all the Jews to get out of the country, well that IS the meaning of Nazi.”

Close enough for government work, anyway.

YA THINK? In Private, Bankers Dismiss Protesters As Unsophisticated.

“Who do you think pays the taxes?” said one longtime money manager. “Financial services are one of the last things we do in this country and do it well. Let’s embrace it. If you want to keep having jobs outsourced, keep attacking financial services. This is just disgruntled people.”

He added that he was disappointed that members of Congress from New York, especially Senator Charles E. Schumer and Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, had not come out swinging for an industry that donates heavily to their campaigns. “They need to understand who their constituency is,” he said.

Generally, bankers dismiss the protesters as gullible and unsophisticated. Not many are willing to say this out loud, for fear of drawing public ire — or the masses to their doorsteps. “Anybody who dismisses them publicly is putting a bull’s-eye on their back,” the hedge fund manager said.

I’m dismissing them publicly. They’re tools of President Goldman Sachs. The bankers have much to answer for, but these people aren’t even smart enough to ask the questions. And if I were the Wall Streeters, I’d be negotiating a move to Dallas, as rumor has it they’re considering.

WASHINGTON POST HEADLINE: Raj Rajaratnam, hedge fund billionaire, gets 11-year sentence for insider trading.

What the story doesn’t mention: Raj Rajaratnam Big Democratic Booster.

UPDATE: Other Wall Street fraudsters who donate to Dems. Bernie Madoff, for example, gave a lot.

ANOTHER UPDATE: Mike Lupica goes after President Goldman Sachs. “When do they head to Washington and start yelling about a President who often looks like the Fundraiser-in-Chief, trying to keep his job backed by what might become the richest campaign in history, in a jobless country going broke. It’s why you wonder if there will come a day when the house that Occupy Wall Street is standing in front of isn’t Jamie Dimon’s on Park Ave., it is the White House.”

MICHAEL WALSH: COMPARE AND CONTRAST: “About the only thing the Tea Party and the unwashed rabble occupying Zuccotti Park have in common is their deep loathing for the financial and political nomenklatura who precipitated the economic collapse of 2008 and — thanks to their generous campaign donations to politicians — have emerged unscathed while the rest of us suffer. Any other resemblance is purely coincidental.”

President Goldman Sachs was unavailable for comment.

Related: WaPo: Occupy Wall Street protests reveal liberal tensions. “How good can Obama be when he needs so much Wall Street money?”

MARK STEYN: ANARCHISTS FOR BIG GOVERNMENT. “Underneath the familiar props of radical chic that hasn’t been either radical or chic in half a century, the zombie youth of the Big Sloth movement are a ludicrous paradox.”

This parody, seen on Facebook, says it all . . .

As I keep pointing out, if you’re not protesting against President Goldman Sachs, you’re not protesting against “Wall Street.” You’re just a hack. Sorry.

UPDATE: Reader Eliot Picard writes:

In observing the Occupy protests, including milling about the crowds in Boston near my office, it is quite apparent that the student loan debt bomb is probably the main impetus for these actions. It goes without saying that the students and former students facing non-bankruptable debt and minimal job prospects have a legitimate grievance although we may certainly disagree on what needs to be done. One question that keeps occurring to me is whether the colleges and universities that encourage degrees in various useless humanities disciplines bear some significant responsibility for this crisis.

One can only assume that presidents, deans, provosts, etc. know fully well that there is a limited market for degrees in Wommyn’s Studies, Language Arts and the like. My mother, ever the incisive wit, G-d bless her, called the graduates of such programs “unemployable at a higher level”. Indeed, when I finished a double major B.A. in Biology and Philosophy (Rensselaer Polytech, class of 1990) and expressed interest in graduate level philosophy I was told that the school had shut down the Ph.D. program to discourage students from doing much more in the field that I had done already. Clearly RPI knew that allowing and encouraging such a path of study was tantamount to academic malpractice. This sort of sane pedagogical judgement, from which I benefitted in my impetuous youth, has been missing across the rest of academia.

Is there some room for legal action to “claw back” arguably misspent tuition dollars from the universities (IANAL so forgive my obvious misuse of that term). I cannot but think that there has to be some sanction against those universities and their officials who were more than happy to take the big tuition checks while failing to look after the interests of the students in their charge.

One suspects that if this were deemed likely, the AAUP wouldn’t be endorsing the protests. But, of course, that’s right. If any other industry lured 18-year-olds into lifetime debt based on misrepresentations about the value of what it was selling, the executives would already be social pariahs and criminal defendants. I’m in favor of allowing student loan debt to be discharged in bankruptcy, and of forcing the universities to eat part of it in the process. I also think that prospective students should be informed of the percentage of enrolees who graduate, the average indebtedness of graduates (dropouts), and the percentage of that debt that is in default, or over 60 days late. Perhaps this could be subdivided by major to provide a more useful picture of what people are getting into.


The Obama administration has become a house of mirrors.

Wall Street is the wicked enemy.

Geithner is Goldman Sachs. Goldman Sachs is everywhere in the Obama admin.

Rise up against the evil bankers!

Pay off the evil bankers!

The evil bankers must direct our economy policy or we are doomed!

Like I said yesterday: If you’re not protesting against President Goldman Sachs, you’re not protesting against “Wall Street.” You’re just a hack. Sorry.

SURE, WHY NOT? What We Really Need is Anti-Corporate Anarchy, With Our ‘Organizers and the Law Team’ Writing Our Demands. “Anarchy — you keep using that word. I do not think it means…No, actually, you’re using absolutely spot-on, even if you don’t know it.” It’s not anarchy until it’s been through the approved committee process.

But really: If you’re not protesting against President Goldman Sachs, you’re not protesting against “Wall Street.” You’re just a hack. Sorry. “The modern anarchists are just the far-left’s muscle. Look at when and where they show up, who they march with and for, and how carefully the press ignores them and their acts.”

A RESPONSE to some Occupy Wall Street demands.

My question is, why aren’t they presenting their demands to President Goldman Sachs at the White House? Where do they think Obama’s campaign donations came from? Who has gotten rich — and bailed out — under his Administration?