A billion here, a billion there….

Unless a photo of  Obama holding a white baby in a Pakistani motel emerges, we should have a new President in 2009.  Martha Reeves’ royalties for “Dancin’ In the Street” will go through the roof in November.

But, what’s gonna be #1 with a bullet in 2009-10-11-12.

You are aware that what Barack Obama says he’s gonna do is not necessarily what’s gonna happen? Right? There’s 535 other politicians plus a horde of lobbyist with monkey wrenches in hand and billions of bucks earned the old fashioned way (foreclosing on our homes) that must be considered.  And Barack is a politician after all and sometimes what politicians say turn out to be false promises lies different from what they actually do.

Recently, I wrote a McCain piece at DKos and I committed the cardinal sin of blogging.  I failed to look at both sides of the coin, and I learned that maybe there are not two different sides of this coin.

1,000,000,000 dollars says Wall Street will be our next President (again).  That’s One Billion Dollars of combined contributions which if laid end to end would take a long time to pick up.

A billion here, a billion there, pretty soon it adds up to real money.

   Senator Everett Dirksen

It has become more important to gather dollars than votes given the nature of the modern media. Oldsters here may remember when there were just 3 TV Networks and no (gasp)Internet.  Get the money and the votes will follow. The cost of buying the White House (along with everything else) has gone up. At the same time, oversight, ethics and scruples have continued to plummet.

Normally, the FEC tries to root out infractions and loopholes — fining campaigns for incomplete reporting, or for taking shortcuts around spending limits — in the early months of a campaign season. But that ship sailed way too long ago to take the stink off the 2008 race.

Because the FEC has been dead in the water for so long, it’s likely that we’ll still be in the dark about a large chunk of this record manure pile of campaign contributions when we go to vote in November.

Matt Taibbi

Here’s where I made my mistake in an earlier post over at Daily Kos. When claiming McCain was bought and paid for by Wall Street, I included these figures.

McCain’s Largest Contributors

   Merrill Lynch $284,610

   Citigroup Inc $252,801

   Morgan Stanley $211,821

   Goldman Sachs $198,045

   Blank Rome LLP $171,026

   AT&T Inc $169,613

   JPMorgan Chase $165,275

   Greenberg Traurig LLP $152,687

   Credit Suisse Group $133,125

   UBS AG $127,315

   Bank of America $116,125

   US Government $114,176

   Lehman Brothers $112,700

   PricewaterhouseCoopers $111,070

   Wachovia Corp $111,046

   FedEx Corp $97,753

   Pinnacle West Capital $94,900

   Bear Stearns $90,100

   Blackstone Group $89,500

   Bank of New York Mellon $89,500

   *The tables list the top donors to the candidates in the 2008 election cycle. The organizations themselves did not donate, rather the money came from the organization’s PAC, its individual members or employees or owners, and those individuals’ immediate families. Organization totals include subsidiaries and affiliates. Open Secrets

And here’s the other side of the coin I neglected to research.

Barack Obama’s Largest Contibutors

Goldman Sachs  $627,730

University of California  $523,120

JPMorgan Chase & Co  $398,021

Citigroup Inc  $393,899

UBS AG  $378,400

Google Inc  $373,212

Harvard University  $369,802

Lehman Brothers  $353,922

National Amusements Inc  $352,603

Moveon.org  $347,463

Sidley Austin LLP  $326,845

Skadden, Arps et al  $304,050

Time Warner  $298,972

Morgan Stanley  $291,388

Microsoft Corp  $276,925

Jones Day  $266,705

Latham & Watkins  $252,845

University of Chicago  $250,685

Wilmerhale Llp  $249,282

Exelon Corp  $239,061

Some of the same large donors from the Financial Sector are on both lists.

How extraordinary is it that?  Not at all, these clowns always hedge their bets.

Matt Taibbi again,

The truth is that the campaigns of both Barack Obama and John McCain are being inundated with cash from more or less exactly the same gorgons of the corporate scene. From Wall Street to the Big Oil powerhouses to the military-industrial complex, America’s fat-cat business leaders know that the Animal House-style party of the last eight years that made almost all of them rich with bonuses, government contracts and bubble profits is about to come to an end, and someone is going to have to pay to clean up the mess. They want that someone to be you, not them, and they’ve spared no expense to make sure both presidential candidates will be there to bail them out next year.

They’re succeeding. Both would-be presidents have already sold us out.

In layman’s terms, we’ve gone from being screwed to being fucked. Who knows — maybe Barack Obama will surprise us if he wins the election. But if you look at the money, it doesn’t look good.

In his August 9th story, Taibbi explains in detail some of the sleazy-assed shit these Robber Barons do.  McCain is an easy target of course, but he also takes aim at Obama and how he is courting these mega-thieves.

And as usual, Matt leaves us with a zinger,

It may suck to be you right now, but all that pain isn’t so bad if you are a big oil speculator.

When you live in million-dollar Manhattan townhouses and make billions in profits betting on the pain of the ordinary foreclosed homeowner, you shouldn’t get to run around on TV with the prospective president on your arm. You should be hung by your balls. But that’s not the way it works, and despite what you might have heard about “change,” it probably never will be.

For all the excitement that Barack Obama has garnered, and all the talk about a new day in Washington, it would be tragic if the real legacy of his election victory was to finally expose the essentially unchanging, oligarchic nature of our political system. It’s the same old story: Money talks, and bullshit walks. And don’t be surprised if we’re the ones still walking after November.

It’s a good read.  

Chances are that we could be listening to this tune no matter who wins.

and it goes like this..

When you’re low down and dirty

From walkin’ the street

With your old hurdy gurdy

No one to meet

Said love ain’t the same

On the south side of town

You could look

But you ain’t gonna find it around

It’s the same old story

Same old song and dance, my friend

It’s the same old story

Same old story

Same old song and dance


Skip to comment form

    • Zwoof on August 22, 2008 at 12:54

    Long time no see.

    • Edger on August 22, 2008 at 19:51

    with your usual cut through the crap to reveal the festering truth type of Zwoofiness, Zwoof. 😉

  1. in today’s economy.

    I worked so hard to get to be middle class…only now to find that rich is $5 million! I guess I don’t even make middle class with that number!

    Oh well, as my Dad used to say, when the market goes down, we get a change in administrations. We are going to get change…but will it be enough?

  2. I have no optimistic expectations, no matter what the outcome of the elections….

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