Citigroup leaked email & a viewpoint @ WTF 12/14

war

Citigroup rules…

Citigroup/Wall Street picked… or strongly suggest… people to be in Obama’s cabinet?

We did get fooled again…

joe1They say confession is good for the soul… well… I have an admission to make… I was fooled right along with many others.  I was duped and I should have known better. I let my guard down and fell into a trap that betrayed myself and my belief’s…

First some background on me… some of which to ya’ll I have already revealed; some of which ya’ll may have guessed at and some ya’ll may not have…

When I was a young man back, in the late 1960s and through the 1970s, I was what many would call a radicalized hippie who thought the government of the United States, and their security forces the FBI, CIA and the rest of the alphabet soup that did the actual dirt, as well as the individual state governments and their security forces… aka known as police forces… was jerking us all off and taking us all for a ride down a thorny path to a destination akin to hell on earth… some would even say that we were on the eve of destruction… although my paranoia never ran that deep. However, I believed the United States et. al. was run by a bigoted, chauvinistic profits first; people second, megalomaniac very conservative and very right wing core.

Kinda like I knew there was a 1% of the 1% who effectively ruled over us all for their own damn good and screw us damn peasants before it was a popular go to buzz phrase.

From this perspective I found myself working in and around other radical, and not so radical but extremely liberal, groups… occasionally belonging to few but always staying on the edges… the peripheries. I also found a base and a structure for my unorganized thoughts in various university courses and through interaction with others… students, professors and similar ne’er-do-wells like myself. I studied, examined and found myself immersed in various schools of philosophical thought that ultimately directed me to be a mostly socialist entity… centered in theory by my study of dialectical historical materialism… as my way of seeing the world… the people, the institutions, organizations… as a reality that was interconnected and interdependent upon one another in a sociological, historical and economical context.

OK… enough philosophy…

Now… some folks would call me a commie (which is woefully wrong, if not inadequate… I neither identify nor accept any government that has so far been labeled as Communist) or some would say maybe a left wing wingnut… but personally… I see myself mostly as a humanistic socialist with a smattering of conservatism when it comes to certain issues.

Be that as it may be…

Armed with my new found and developing socially minded self I found myself demonstrating in around the city I mostly associated myself with… Bridgeport, Ct.

When Kent State happened I helped to form a cadre of people that led a spur of the moment, yet very organized, takeover of several University of Bridgeport buildings… including the library and various office buildings where we were able to liberate various supplies and equipment to create posters and leaflets to disseminate our messages to the clamoring masses.banner

I protested the war and social injustice and for my troubles I got tear gassed and peeper sprayed while I stood with thousands and thousands in places like Washington DC…

I worked with people and organizations that labelled themselves as Black Panthers… Students for a Socialist Society… Socialist Workers Party… Peoples Coalition for Peace and Justice… name a left wing organization that hinted at being for equality or peace or justice and somewhere along the line I was probably associated with them… even if it was just to say hello, goodbye…

I was involved with causes that stood up and shouted for Black Power, Puerto Rican Power, Chicano Power, Yellow Power, Red Power…. pick a rainbow color and I was probably there and shouting a slogan…

I found myself in church basements in poor neighborhoods that were predominately Black listening to people like Angela Davis speak about racism, poor people, injustice and how war sucks and benefits only the rich.

I may not have been in the forefront of the movement back then but I was in the trenches and in the midst of the crowds when it came time to speak against the Military–industrial complex.

I was even a draft counselor who suggested ways for young men to avoid being taken by the Selective Service to go fight in what I believed were immoral and unjust wars.military-industrial-complex

I was a trade unionist and worked with other trade unionists for workers rights.

Even… the Vietnam Veterans Against the War…

Why am I telling ya’ll all of this? Because I want to let ya’ll know I knew what the hell the damn government of America stood for back then. That I ain’t no Johnny come lately to the foray that wants to depose the rich from their lofty isolation from the “dirty woe-be-gotten masses” and from their perches of prestige and elitism… to have them pay their fair and share of the bill of keeping America healthy, safe and educated… for all of we the peoples.  I want ya’ll to know that even back then… and truth be known probably since the days of the so-called revolution in 1776… the United States stood for profits at the expense of we the people. And, that politicians, especially if they were an elephant or a donkey, were just instruments or tools for certain peeps… peeps we now call the elite of the elite…the 1% of the 1%.

And, this comes to why I am here writing what I am writing…

Way back in October… a piece was written that frankly is an eye-opener and reveals some shit I should have been aware about but being somewhat lazy; somewhat old and somewhat I can’t read and absorb every piece of information out there or be in all places at all times to absorb all the damn facts… I missed this when it was published…but… just last week I saw it on a social media site. I clicked on it and I checked it out simply because it grabbed my attention…

The piece was entitled… “Citigroup chose Obama’s 2008 cabinet, WikiLeaks document reveals” and it was written by Tom Eley.

The opening paragraph of this piece says… “One month before the presidential election of 2008, the giant Wall Street bank Citigroup submitted to the Obama campaign a list of its preferred candidates for cabinet positions in an Obama administration. This list corresponds almost exactly to the eventual composition of Barack Obama’s cabinet.”

It seems WikiLeaks.. that fount of information that somehow gets into people’s private email accounts, as well as other sources, and finds stuff that can be very intriguing to be nice and downright incriminating to be truthful… released some information from the email account of John Podesta, who most recently served as Hillary Billary’s campaign chairperson, and, in 2008 eventually wound up as the chairperson of the then Prez-elect’s… the Bamster… transition team.

Specifically, this particular article, as well as many other articles, are saying that on October 18, WikiLeaks released an email from Michael Froman, a former Citigroup executive, that was directed directly to the Bamster.

Obama talks with Michael Froman,
Obama talks with Michael Froman,

Barack…

Following up on your conversations with John over the weekend, attached are two documents:

A list of African American, Latino and Asian American candidates, divided between Cabinet/Deputy and Under/Assistant/Deputy Assistant Secretary levels, as well as lists of senior Native Americans, Arab/Muslim Americans and Disabled Americans.

We have longer lists, but these are candidates whose names have been recommended by a number of sources for senior level jobs in a potential Administration…. A list of women, similarly divided between candidates for Cabinet/Deputy and other senior level positions.

Please let us know if you have any questions.

Mike Froman

Obama meets with cabinet
Obama meets with cabinet

While this email in itself may seem innocuous it does show that a person associated in a big way with the decision making of Big Finance played a not insignificant role in choosing staff members of Obama’s administration.

However, an earlier, more specific email was sent out on October 6, 2008. This one wasn’t to the Bamster but to the eventual chairperson of the Bamster’s transition team… John Podesta.

The “suggestions” for the Bamster’s cabinet wound up mostly to be the reality of the Bamster’s actual cabinet… among those suggested that came to be cabinet members were… Eric Holder for the Justice Department, Janet Napolitano for Homeland Security, Robert Gates for Defense, Rahm Emanuel for chief of staff, Peter Orszag for the Office of Management and Budget, Arne Duncan for Education, Eric Shinseki for Veterans Affairs, Kathleen Sebelius for Health and Human Services, Melody Barnes for the Domestic Policy Council… as well as many other suggestions that came to fruition…cabinet

I strongly suggest, if you are really interested or intrigued by this wikileaked email and want to see the entire set of lists including the “cabinet suggestions”, that you click on the “wrote an email” link above… when that opens click on attachments… when the attachment names appear, click on Cabinet Example.doc that will give you all of Citigroup’s… ummm… Froman’s suggestions.

Suggested for the powerful position of the Secretary of Treasury were Robert Rubin, Larry Summers, and Timothy Geithner

Rubin was Treasury Secretary under Bill Clinton… he spent 26 years at Goldman Sachs and from 1990 to 1992 he was a co-chairman of the board of directors… he was an intricate contributor to the undoing of financial industry underwriting guidelines which had been intact since the 1930s… written because of the Great Depression… he also served as a director and senior counselor for Citigroup, and, from November to December 2007, he served temporarily as the chairman of Citigroup. He ultimately quit the company in January 2009. Overall, since 2008, Rubin got $17 million-plus and $33 million in stock options from Citigroup.

Larry Summers was the Chief Economist of the World Bank from 1991 to 1993… in 1993, Summers was appointed Undersecretary for International Affairs of the Treasury Department… in 1995, he was promoted to Deputy Secretary of the Treasury under his long-time political mentor… wait for it… Robert Rubin… in 1999, he eventually followed Rubin as Treasury Secretary. During his work as a member of Bill Clinton’s cabinet Summers played a prominent and an influential role in the deregulation of the U.S financial system, including the repeal of the Glass-Steagall Act.

And the winner was… Timothy Geithner…geithner1

From 1998-2001 Geithner was the Under Secretary of the Treasury for International Treasury Secretaries to Treasury Secretary’s… yer right… Rubin and Summers… who, as we all know by now, served under Wee Willy Clinton. from 2003 to 2009… and, at one point, essentially ran the Federal Reserve of New York as its president… he was the Bamster’s Treasury Secretary from 2009 to 2013.

First, as President of the New York Fed and then as Secretary of the Treasury, Geithner was a key factor in government efforts to respond to and recover from the Great Recession of 2007-2008… as Treasury Secretary he oversaw the spreading around of some $350 billion through TARP… aka Troubled Asset Relief Program… that was enacted in response to the subprime mortgage crisis before George Bush left the presidency.

Are you seeing any trends here? Seeing any difference between the three “suggestions” for the country’s Secretary of Treasury… any difference between how the damn country was run from Bill Clinton… through the George Bush the II regime… and… up to the Bamster?

None what so ever if ya’ll ask me… didn’t make much difference except for some bullshit window dressing policy sleight of hand tricks… give a little here and take a lot there…

And I’m willing to bet serious money that if we go back and look at the previous presidents all the way back to maybe even Kennedy that the story would be… meet the new boss; same as the old boss…

Grok this…

In September 2008 it all came crashing down and the Great Recession happened…

… on October 3, 2008 lame duck President George W. Bush signed into law the Troubled Asset Relief Program. That program gave $700 billion of we the people’s money so that Wall Street banks could be bailed out of their self-created crisis that resulted from their Ponzi-style subprime mortgage crisis. The single biggest beneficiary was Citigroup, which was given $45 billion in cash in the form of a government stock purchase, plus a $306 billion government guarantee to back up its worthless mortgage-related assets.

Just so ya’ll know… Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, and JP Morgan were among the Bamster’s top donors during his campaign leading up to the 2008 election.

Just like they were among Hillary Billary’s when she just tried to be the prez… just like they were when Wee Willy Clinton ran… and… just like they were when Bush the II ran…citi-congress-in-session

Now grok this… then-presidential candidate and senator from Illinois the Bamster was instrumental in ramrodding what was a very unpopular bill through Congress. (Lots of folks simply did not like or approve of bailing out large banks for essentially causing a financial crisis that was of their own doing.) Through the Bamster wheeling and dealing, as well as other factors, large portions of the country’s corporate-financial elite decided that they would be better served if the Bamster was the prez than if the elephant, John McCain, were the prez. Nothing like pulling a few behind the scenes deals that benefit them that’s gots  to get even more to endear yourself to their greedy fat-ass hearts

Yesiree buddies… the great donkey candidate of “hope” and “change” for all of we the peoples actually not only helped make TARP into law but then served as the primary tool that allowed trillions of dollars to be given to the troubled ginormous profitable and wealthy financial intrusions… and furthermore… saw to it that not one damn big wig, high faulting, wealthier than wealthy banking official took any weight for running quite possibly millions of people into extreme financial difficulty if not outright bankruptcy.

Not one Wall Street executive of any import served any time for being responsible and causing people to be financially ruined… and… quite possibly causing some people to literally wind up dead.

And… the cherry atop of the great banana split bailout to end all bailouts… the Bamster kinda, sorta made sure that legislation that was being bandied about among the folks in Congress to consider capping executives’ salaries at any bailed out firm or bank never sniffed the light of day of being passed… forget enacted.

We know what would happen if Hillary Billary got elected… and… we can now see what Trumpty Dumpty is doing with his nominees for his cabinet…

The names may have changed but he same companies… the same corporations… the same big fat-cats are still ruling the roost.

Different names but the powers that be behind the way the political system is run and managed in America? Still the same… after all these damn years… It. Is. Still. The. Same.

Big Finance… Big Corporate America… is still calling the shots… nothing has changed… and we are still getting fucked up our tender asses and we ain’t even getting a kiss or thank you kindly.obama-citi-575x420

We all got bamboozled… been getting bamboozled right along…  and will continue to get bamboozled until the political show that runs things get changed.

Yeah the Bamster did a lot of things that many consider… including this old fool… good for we the peoples…

He remade the nation’s health-care system… yeah it ain’t near as good as it should be but its better than it was… he changed a Justice Department that at least did more than other presidents did when it came to investigating police brutality and discrimination…. he began dismantling the private-prison system for federal inmates… he nominated the first Latina justice to the Supreme Court… he supported marriage equality Gay rights!) and a list could go on and on and on… BUT…

… all these things… although needed by we the people… are nothing but window dressing… lipstick on the pig… a lot of sound and fury that signifies not a whole hell of a lot… and if we look past the window dressing… strip the lipstick of the pig… stop the damn noise… and look behind the facade and remove the curtains the truth will be found and it seems that the Bamster himself  was just another party tool that kowtowed to the bidding of the rich sons of bitches in their ivory towers and counting houses counting out there profits that they raped from us all.

Burn the damn place damn. Burn Washington or nothing will ever change. Now… please…understand… I am speaking figuratively and not calling for the hoi polloi to go out and get some torches and pitchforks and rush the white castle and then tar and feather the politicians and run them out of town on a rail… althoughhhhh… but naw… nor… am I saying we need to go running around with them torches and setting fire to anything that doesn’t move…  but I am saying we need a new system created that really is for, of and by the people and not the Big Banks and Big Corporate America.

If, the rats continue to a guard the cheese, then eventually there will far and few crumbs from the cheese wheel to take care of the field mice toiling away in the fields.

But we all fell for the royal scam… including me…

But… I should have known better… knowing all hat I did… understanding my past political background… my sociological background… of how I thought and believed about the so-called system.  I let down my guard and fell for the bullshit.obama-wall-street

I voted for Bill Clinton… twice… and… I voted for Barack Obama… two times, also.

I should have never done it. I should have stayed true to my core beliefs. I should have known no matter what “good” they try to foist down upon us… and… then tell us “See what we do for you?” … that in the end the politicians on both sides of the aisle were nothing more than just tools of a higher calling… called mo money, mo money mo money…tools of the same old Military-Industrial complex. That Big corporations… Finance… Oil… Pharm… Big Whatever… is out there and shucking and jiving us… constantly bullshitting us and conning us into handing over our hard earned pitiful peon wages because the lie that they always tell us is that they are gonna make it better for us. But as each eight years of each of the presidents slips away we find that we should of spent some of our hard earned shekels buying higher and better wading boots because the river of debt we find ourselves engulfed in is rising ever so steadily.

To paraphrase Malcolm X… we are all chumps…

And me?

I’m up there in the chump scale…

I should have known better and never let down my guard and trusted the dirty fucking bastard’s.

A hard rain’s agonna fall…

With his song… A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall… Robert Allen Zimmerman… aka Bob Dylan… accepted his Nobel Prize for literature at the Nobel Prize ceremony in Stockholm. He accepted it through the voice of Patricia Lee Smith… aka Patti Smith… who performed the words with the backing of the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra who played the notes of the song/poem in what has been described a spare and gentle arrangement. His acceptance itself was in itself a rendition of irony as Dylan is often times referred to as his (and my) generation’s Poet Laureate while Smith is often referred to as “punk poet laureate” of her generation.dylan

Poet Laureate … is a tip of the cap to Dylan’s ability to write songs dripping sometimes with rebellion, sometimes irony and sometimes sardonic complexity… sometimes beautiful, sometimes macabre, oftentimes caustic and sarcastic (or did I reference that already? Oh, well, with Dylan it bears repeating) and always a truthful and succinct social commentary of the world as Dylan himself saw it. And… punk poet laureate is a tip of the cap to Smith’s own ability to write poignant and poetic words… sometimes rebellious, sometimes caustic, sometimes weird and… like Dylan… always a truthful and succinct social commentary of the world as she saw it… both in spoken word as well as performance art through verse and music… or as many folks quaintly say song.

The words from Hard Rain begin with the questions… Oh, where have you been, my blue-eyed son?
And where have you been my darling young one? And are answered with a litany of sad and woeful and mournful answers of all that the blue eyed young man had seen through his travels in and out of his personal world.

In the second verse the questions are asked… Oh, what did you meet my blue-eyed son? Who did you meet, my darling young one? And the blue eyed soul describes a world of everyman reality… of love spurned, of loneliness… and… of hope and of beauty… as well as tragedy and horror…

Third verse asks… And what’ll you do now, my blue-eyed son? And what’ll you do now my darling young one? And the son replies…

I’m a-goin’ back out ‘fore the rain starts a-fallin’
I’ll walk to the depths of the deepest black forest
Where the people are a many and their hands are all empty
Where the pellets of poison are flooding their waters
Where the home in the valley meets the damp dirty prison
And the executioner’s face is always well hidden
Where hunger is ugly, where souls are forgotten
Where black is the color, where none is the number
And I’ll tell and speak it and think it and breathe it
And reflect from the mountain so all souls can see it
And I’ll stand on the ocean until I start sinkin’
But I’ll know my song well before I start singing
And it’s a hard, it’s a hard, it’s a hard, and it’s a hard
It’s a hard rain’s a-gonna fall.

Words that told of a time fraught with uncertainty and peril and yet of self-hope that at least one man could be a vocal Appleseed… a troubadour… who would spread the truth of the world and who would not be afraid to spoke it out long and hard… as hard as the hard rain that’s a-gonna fall.

Patti Smith sings "A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall", at Nobel Prize ceremonies as she accept the Prize in Literature for Bob Dylan
Patti Smith sings “A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall”, at Nobel Prize ceremonies as she accept the Prize in Literature for Bob Dylan

His words may have been indicative and germane to the time he wrote them… Vietnam war, civil rights still were an issue… countries in turmoil with coups and wars and revolutions… border disputes… Cuban missile crisis… the cold war… disease and hunger are rampant the world over… chemicals from war and industry  poison the earth… and many people don’t have a pot to piss in or a window to through it out of…

But… his words are still indicative and germane to these so-called modern times, too… civil rights is still an issue… as Black lives still don’t matter as much as some other lives… war and pestilence still rage throughout the world… countries still have border disputes… the cold war is waged through the internet… governments still fight over borders… earth is still being poisoned by war and corporations… and many people… more than before in fact… still don’t have a pot to piss in or a window to throw it out of…

All in all a fine choice from his vast library of poetic works.

Another thousand words…

france

This weeks gratuitous pictures…

S13 Swim 2

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Barbara Palvin (23) is a Hungarian model and actress…

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