What Are You Gonna Do About It, Democrats?

by William Skink

It took Bill Clinton and his merry band of Neoliberals to twist the knife in the heart of organized labor by throwing all-in with NAFTA, financial deregulation and the criminal syndicate known as Wall Street. Now the Big Banks want to make sure Democrats know who calls the shots with a brazen threat to freeze campaign donations over fairly tame criticism from politicians like Elizabeth Warren:

Four major banks are threatening to withhold campaign donations to Senate Democrats in anger over Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s (D-Mass.) attacks on Wall Street.

Representatives from financial powerhouses Citigroup, JPMorgan, Goldman Sachs and Bank of America recently met in Washington and discussed the growing hostility towards big business within the Democratic ranks, according to a Reuters report Friday.

Bank officials cited Warren and Senate Banking Committee ranking member Sherrod Brown (Ohio) as the two main lawmakers leading the charge against them. But the banks have not agreed on how to respond together, with each firm making its own decision on donations, Reuters reported.

This weak reporting from the Hill fails to provide the proper context to this obscene display of corporate whining. For a better take, here’s Zerohedge:

Having already proven that their institutions are above the law in the aftermath of the financial crisis, executives at the “Too Big to Fail and Jail” banks have decided it’s time to teach Senate Democrats a lesson. Not being content with trillions in taxpayer backed bailouts to protect and further consolidate virtually all wealth within their oligarch fiefdoms, these bankers are irate at the notion that a commoner would dare criticize their unassailable crony privilege.

However, the worst part of this story, is that while Warren is harsher than most of her completely bought and paid for colleagues, she is still pretty meek when it comes to the big bank oligopoly. In her most misguided position, she doesn’t even support an audit of the largest organized crime institution operating within these United States, the Federal Reserve.

So what are you gonna do about it, Democrats? You abandoned your base decades ago and wonder why elections are getting harder to win. You blame anything save the actual policies that have paved the road to get us to where we are today. And instead of learning lessons from what trade agreements and deregulation have done to the American population, more of the same is being devised in secret, like the despicable Trans-Pacific Partnership:

Although it is called a “free trade” agreement, the TPP is not mainly about trade. Of TPP’s 29 draft chapters, only five deal with traditional trade issues. One chapter would provide incentives to offshore jobs to low-wage countries. Many would impose limits on government policies that we rely on in our daily lives for safe food, a clean environment, and more. Our domestic federal, state and local policies would be required to comply with TPP rules.

The TPP would even elevate individual foreign firms to equal status with sovereign nations, empowering them to privately enforce new rights and privileges, provided by the pact, by dragging governments to foreign tribunals to challenge public interest policies that they claim frustrate their expectations. The tribunals would be authorized to order taxpayer compensation to the foreign corporations for the “expected future profits” they surmise would be inhibited by the challenged policies.

Over at Montana Moogirl, this post lamenting how the architect of Montana’s disastrous energy deregulation is still holding forth at the state capitol does include the parenthetical acknowledgment of the three Democrats it took to get this boondoggle pushed through. And that’s good, because a true reading of history must include Democrat complicity in the wholesale sell-out of American labor to corporate interests.

And Democrats are at it again with the secret TPP talks, the latest barrage of trade negotiations that will undoubtedly be the final nail in the coffin for our national sovereignty if fast-tracked into existence. Any illusions that we live in a Democracy will vanish once the true scope of what’s being negotiated starts percolating into the dim consciousness of the American populace.

But by the time that happens, it will already be too late.

  1. What will Democrats do? They will AIR it out: Absorb, Internalize, Rationalize.

  2. steve kelly

    Naked military and financial aggression against all living things will continue with bipartisan support. Violence will continue to escalate begnning with all those least able to defend themselves.

    “Extraction industries, like wars, empower a predominantly male, predatory population that is engaged in horrific destruction and violence. Wars and extraction industries are designed to extinguish all systems that give life—familial, social, cultural, economic, political and environmental. And they require the obliteration of community and the common good.”
    – Chris Hedges http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article41401.htm

  3. troutsky

    We know what the Democrats will do. The question is: what will you’all do? March against TPP? Occupy a park? Build a bunker?

  4. It might make for a more credible argument against the TPP if you didn’t cite the magazine for the John Birch Society as evidence. Especially an article that mocks the idea of human-caused global warming.

    • Don – thoughtful people know that sources should not be autocratically discounted, as truth can happen anywhere. It’s a complicated world, so we are open to wide possibilities.

      Less thoughtful people only go to trusted sources, as doing so eliminates the need to think.

      No wonder you don’t know anything!

    • lizard19

      thank you for pointing that out. in my haste to post this morning I didn’t examine closely this particular source. there are plenty of other sources critical of the TPP to cite. I don’t know if Truthout carries the official Don Pogreba stamp of approval, but they have 5 pretty good reasons to oppose this corporate insanity.

      again, thank you for reading my posts with such a discerning eye. I look forward to your next Zinke missive.

      • steve kelly

        Imagine the wrath of the station master if you’d cited Nader?

      • JC

        I wonder if Pogie is as close-minded about the sources his high school students use? I can imagine him limiting them to MSM and liberal sources only. And what a sheltered world he would keep them in.

        And he really is disingenuous if he doesn’t already understand the dangers of the TPP, and needs a “credible argument” from 4&20 to convince him.

        Actually, he probably supports it because that’s the liberal position, to support trade agreements like this (Clinton led the way with NAFTA). Otherwise dems will lose more campaign money from their bankster overlords.

        • Simple truth is that people capable of critical thought are not worried about sources, as wider perspective and ability to connect dots and evaluate evidence (and the relative worth of evidence) means that they can be exposed to anything without fear of being lied to.

        • You nitwit. It’s the magazine of the John Birch Society. It’s an article that calls climate change a hoax. Maybe next one of you can link the same author’s attack on the Southern Poverty Law Center:

          Now, in your view, linking to any source that agrees with the position you’ve taken is a sign of your open-mindedness. For the rest of us, linking that kind of idiocy is the same kind of close-minded moronic behavior that leads you to question the way I teach my students every time there’s a disagreement between us. You have no idea how or what I teach and your sad, tinny-sounding personal attacks about my job are a reflection of your moral and intellectual cowardice.

          [ad hominem attack removed — JC]

          Keep linking to the Birch Society. If it persuades the four of you who read this drivel and think it’s serious, as opposed to the dozens to read it for humor and well-earned break from reality, I applaud your decision.

          • JC

            You know Don, I didn’t write the article or link to the New American. So quit exasperating your indignation to me. And you know nothing about my views here, so quit with the ad hominem attack.

            But you come in here acting like a high school teacher, expect to be treated like you’re one.

            So what do you think about the TPP, Pogie? That’s the issue, and you’ve made every attempt to avoid the issue.

          • This is the first I’ve heard of your moral courage. Generally you hide behind your wall and attack or ban anyone who takes issue with you.

            I salute your change in essential nature. I sincerely hope you are becoming a man today.

            • Good to see you’re still a sexist, Mark. I’m not sure what “becoming a man” means, but I suspect your definition is about as retrograde as your imagined radical politics.

              You’re certainly welcome to make a fool of yourself commenting at my site anytime. Nice of these guys to let you back after what was it, three years?

            • Here’s the banner quote from my blog, directed at American liberals, but also fitting you q.

              These attitudes you have adopted – I know they comfort you. You are indifferent and incurious about the important events of our times. You are smug about it, thinking yourself wise to be so. But I must advise you that from a distance your attitude is indistinguishable from stupidity.”

              In matter like TPP, we will find the liberals in league with the right wing in support. Whether you personally oppose it is of no consequence, as we have no outlet in this country for opposition, the two parties being the same entity. It is your failure to understand your own party that leads me to believe that you do not have the intellectual depth fo

              • …the intellectual depth for the role you assign yourself.

              • Turner

                I’m far from smug about voting for Democrats I only halfway respect. But the much disparaged ‘lesser of two evils’ argument still carries some weight with me. There’s a big difference between Ryan Zinke and John Lewis, who clearly would’ve been the lesser of two evils. Obama, for all his faults, has been a far better president that McCain or Romney would’ve been.

                It would be nice if a true progressive could run and win. But as long as corporations run things, we’ll have to settle for the least obviously corrupted politicians offered to us at election time. Saying they’re all equally corrupt and refusing to vote for any of them is the truest expression of smugness and preciousness I’ve encountered.

                Unsmugly voting for the lesser of two evils doesn’t mean I have to be enthusiastic during campaign season. My door-knocking days are over.

              • I think it is a trap, that’s all, Turner, and that idea that there is a “lesser evil” is a palliative.

                “Obama, for all his faults, has been a far better president that McCain or Romney would’ve been.”

                That’s unknowable. It’s also moot, in my view, as the presidency itself is long compromised and held hostage by private, military and intelligence power. As Buckminster Fuller put it, roughly, the president rides on the tale of a giant serpent. He can imagine he is in charge, but the serpent can toss him off at any time.

                I view voting as a valuable activity in a functioning democracy, but not in a fake one.

    • Matthew Koehler

      Hi Don: The entire U.S. progressive movement and the entire U.S. labor movement are united in opposition to the TPP.

      Yes, the TPP is making for strange bed-fellows, as Obama has decided to abandon labor, progressives, all major environmental and consumer groups, internet freedom activists and his own party to work with the U.S. Chamber, Business Roundtable and Sen Hatch, Sen McConnell and Speaker Boehner and Rep Paul Ryan (i.e. all the people and organizations that tried to defeat him…twice!) to try and ‘fast-track’ the TPP through Congress with no debate.

      So far 150+ House Dems are opposed to TPP ‘fast-track,’ as are about 60 House GOP members.

      Last week WikiLeaks released the secret draft text of the TPP’s Investment Chapter, which confirmed that the TPP would give extraordinary new powers for thousands of foreign firms to challenge U.S. policies and demand taxpayer compensation.

      This shadowy parallel legal system for foreign corporations – known as the Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) system – is obviously cause for alarm and one of the main reasons why you see so much opposition from the entire U.S. progressive, environmental and labor movement, as well as some folks on the far right who also are very concerned about threats to American sovereignty.

      The links I provided above should give you an ample amount of information, context and analysis to see that opposition to the TPP and fast-track is broad, deep and spot on.

      As such, your apparent attempt to try and discount and discredit the tremendous opposition to the TPP and fast-track is just bizarre.

      Perhaps this weekend over at ID you can write a defense of the Obama/McConnell/Boehner/Ryan/Hatch/U.S. Chamber/Business Roundtable ‘free trade’ pact.

      • I’m not defending the TPP. Did I say I was?

        Surely, you would agree it might not be a good idea to cite the John Birch Society as evidence against it, though.

        Unlike the people here, who are experts on every international crisis and trade deal from their vantage point in Missoula, I tend to write about local issues.

        Thanks for the writing suggestion, though.

        • JC

          What’s more important Pogie? Jumping up and down over a cite that the author has already acknowledged was a bad choice or talking about the TPP?

          You still haven’t taken a stance on the issue. You seem more concerned flinging shit around than talking about the issues.

          And I’d appreciate it if you’d give our commenters their fair shake. Matt Koehler, for instance works professionally on trade issues, so kindly refrain from insinuating otherwise. It just makes you look like a petty ignorant democrat.

  5. Love that expression .. “Lol.” So original, such a sardonic edge on it. You should copyright it.

  6. Matt, Don will not review your links.

    It is as simple as this: If TPP were proposed while a Republcian was president, Don would oppose it. Since a Democrat is president, he favors it.

    All the stuff about reading and use of various sources is window dressing. Don reads, if he reads all, only those outlets that reinforce his views. These are trusted sources.

    The question is, why does he invoke such passion in others? He’s not worth the trouble. But he does, in his passive aggressive manner, manage to poke us in the eye with his arrogant schtick.

  7. Eric

    At least you’re beginning to figure out who the Libs/Dems really are.

    It’s not a new thing – and as I reminded whichever of the four ‘Cowgirls’ wrote that post, on May 25, 1999 on PSC docket D99.4.82, four Democrats;
    (Chairman) Dave Fisher
    Nancy McCaffree
    Bob Anderson
    Bob Rowe
    and one Republican Gary Feland, approved deregulating energy in Montana.

    And guess who’s running the power company now – Democrat Bob Rowe.

  1. 1 A Response to Partisan Trolling | 4&20 blackbirds

    […] a bit on a bizarre sentiment expressed by the source-scold stinking up the comment thread of my last post. It’s a sentiment I’ve had hurled at me before—a condescending effort to minimize […]

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