Obama & Holder: At War With Corporate America

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In this celebrity-comicon world where teleprompters send us uncomplicated pablum of feel-good lies that big government will take care of all our ills, let’s pluck some of the mainstream assessments out by the roots before the sand coagulates and our necks get permanently imbedded.  There is much false nonsense to rip out of the dark morass it comes from, nevertheless observing a couple of deplorable pieces of social truth will provide a good start.

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First, we have the bleak reality that, “Over 46 million people in the United States, including 12 million children and 7 million seniors, are served by the 58,000 food pantries and meal service programs supported by Feeding America’s 200 food banks. ….  620,000 households which include at least one active U.S. service member receive food assistance from the Feeding America network, while 20 percent of client households include at least one veteran.”  Even if these numbers are remotely close, they define “misery.”

FoodLine

Second, we go to the great lie that unemployment has been floating just above 6% when reality suggests a number north of 12%. How much?  No one knows quite, only that government figures enjoy the fact that so many have been unemployed for so long that they don’t matter and shouldn’t be factored in.  Some numbers indicate that real unemployment is above 16% and other calculations push it toward 20%.  Depending on how one arrives at the numbers, they can even reach 37.% as discussed here.  Making matters worse is the fact that too many jobs created in recent years have only provided part-time work. Unemployment rates are economic lagging indicators, which are evidence of long term trends, in this case, negative ones, and when you aggregate other indicators such as those who depend on meal service programs, or the millions who must hold two jobs to feed themselves, you get a good sense of the state that befalls America’s vast majority, often miscalled the middle class.

Food Lines

The debt burden accumulating on the backs of this majority also looks insurmountable.  While each household now holds personal debt that it will never be able to repay, it listens each day to that magic mountain of debt being incurred on its behalf by an out-of-control government — the number now kissing $18 trillion and rapidly rising.  And the great teleprompter tells us, “I will not sleep until every single . . .”    Ah, who cares.  It’s meaningless blather.

Self-righteous statists simplistically paint conservatives as heartless defenders of  the rich 1% who invoke calls for the unemployed to, “pick themselves up, get off the couch and go find work. Move if you have to.”  That plays well on the ill-informed.  Out of ignorance,  liberals support unions who locked-in seniority and job guarantees — competence be damned.  How’s that worked out for us?  For example, how many of us can look back on our educational periods and count on more than one hand, the number of teachers who inspired us, who motivated us, whom we learned from, or learned with.  Personally, I can recall, at best, five such individuals, teachers or professors, who would fit through any of those filters. We have a whole educational system which defaults to mediocre.

In the world of Obama, the self-styled liberal progressives seem to have very effectively disregarded the fact that America’s richest bankers financed their leader’s two elections.  The progressives have barraged conservatives with assertions of being kleptocrats, or being supportive of kleptocrats, deflecting light from the realities of their own leadership.  Making sure there is international banking support for his own long term aspirations beyond the Presidency, Obama has set building blocks such as, . . . naming his Chicago big-money collection team Bruce Heyman and his wife Vicky, to occupy the U.S. embassy in  Ottawa. Heyman had been a managing director at Goldman Sachs. Is he one of the bankers who should have enjoyed some jail-time?  We’ll never know.

It gets confusing — bankers supporting Obama while he and Holder use the power of the DOJ to extort cash from American corporations. It’s not really much of a teaching moment.  International bankers should care, but they just don’t.  They don’t care about “jobs” in America. They just care about controlling The Fed and making sure that The Fed and all central banks continue enabling them to earn hundreds of billions with easy money flowing to them at near 0% interest.  It’s all good.  For America’s hungry, unemployed, underemployed, and even the currently employed, it’s not so good.

Food Service Line

We are witnessing an unprecedented pillaging of corporate cash. Stories such as this, “Department of Justice is giving liberal activist groups money from a $16.6 billion settlement with Bank of America,” are just the tip of the ongoing war on business being conducted by this Administration.  It’s all part of Obama’s “redistribution” to his and his worshipers’ coffers.

Foreigners, such as this one, are also subject to Obama tactics, “Credit Suisse became the first financial institution in more than a decade to plead guilty to a crime Monday when the Swiss bank admitted it conspired to aid tax evasion and agreed to pay $2.6 billion to settle a long-running probe by the U.S. Justice Department.”  Did any senior or other executive get charged with misconduct and go to jail?  Not one.  Are the laws of the land being enforced?  No.  Do we need more regulation? Not at all. Just enforce those which exist instead of using force to extract cash.

“Citigroup agreed to pay $7bn on Monday to settle a federal investigation into the toxic mortgage products the bank sold in the run-up to the financial crisis.  The agreement comes after months of tense negotiations and comes as Justice Department continues to negotiate a similar settlement with rival Bank of America.”    Again, did we see any police vans pick-up senior managers in this case? None.

Holder has evidently found that the False Claims Act can reap him and Obama rich rewards.  There is no moral standing in his actions. The cash awards have nothing to do with the public good. If there was, we would be treated to insights on the real injury to the public, and we would know WHO committed the crimes. We are instead insulted by an unprincipled and  morally deficient Administration.

“GlaxoSmithKline – July 2012: In what was billed as the largest healthcare settlement with the DOJ ever, the drugmaker paid $3 billion.”  The list continues, and it is long and boring, but Obama has been busy, . . .  Pfizer Inc. $2.3 billion.  Abbott Laboratories in 2012  agreed to pay $1.6 billion and pleaded guilty to a criminal misdemeanor violation following allegations that the company improperly promoted an anti-seizure drug.  Eli Lilly agreed to pay $1.42 billion to settle a probe into alleged improper marketing of the antipsychotic drug Zyprexa.  Wells Fargo & Co., J.P. Morgan Chase & Co., Citigroup Inc., Bank of America Corp., Ally Financial Inc.  agreed to pay $25 billion in penalties and borrower relief over alleged foreclosure processing abuses.

Intel, Johnson & Johnson, Siemens, Toyota, BP, Etc., etc., etc.   Settled, settled, settled, and settled. Billions.  All behind CLOSED DOORS.  And who decides how many billions an action warrants?  Ask Holder.

Case after case the DOJ is “settling” behind a veil, with threats that the full power of the U.S. government can be brought down on them, and we passively observe billions of dollars being extracted from treasuries.  In the long trail of claims against these corporations, we find no answers, because we in fact have no idea what was really pleaded and settled, other than the total of billions paid.   Again, if the crimes were of a magnitude to warrant the billions paid in fines, who went to jail?  Who committed these crimes?   It appears that no one did. No crime, no foul?  Just stench coming from a DOJ and deliberate Administration. In the whole history of America, this has never before been evidenced.

Do the executives at the top care?  No.  The billions in extracted fines do not come from their personal coffers.  Payments come out of shareholder pockets, but keep in mind, these are companies producing tens and hundreds of billions of dollars.  The CEOs don’t care, since there are no personal repercussions.  The Obama/Holder DOJ  doesn’t seek justice, it seeks cash through coercion.  After almost six years of Obama’s Administration, the term kleptocrat is applicable to this bunch.  Putin has nothing on these guys.

The corrupt system should, with moral and legal strength of its senior courts, be expunged of corrupt lawyers and judges.  America is a Nation of Laws.  When those laws are broken by individuals, those individuals should be brought to justice — evidently, this is a new concept for Obama and Holder.  Taxing the shareholders of companies through penalties is not an answer to solving corporate malfeasance, and it is certainly not a solution to the dearth of jobs.  The bully-pulpit tactics of the DOJ get lipstick lathered on them and find approval from uninformed crowds of dutiful followers, all the while these maneuvers are further eroding their opportunities for finding work and undermining their wellbeing.  Against the largest corporations, Obama and Holder are waging a job-demolition war. Furthermore, these warped maneuvers hardly help the consumer with lower retail prices.

To make sure there is no doubt about how it feels about business, this Administration has also mounted a regulation encumbrance war against all companies, and against entrepreneurs in particular.    Large companies can afford some of the socialistic overburdening regulations. Young ones cannot.  Regulatory requests kill young companies.  Get rid of the regulations Obama has imposed, but make sure anyone who breaks the law is prosecuted.

Extorting cash from companies, is no way to inspire a society.  People want to work. People have always found fulfillment in their work, whether physically toiling on a farm, or in a mine, or writing code, or healing neighbours. Through work, a society finds self satisfaction.  Most importantly, it feeds itself, and houses itself.

The present White House crowd, seems not just uninformed and ignorant, but it seems to have completely turned off its intuitive capacities. There is little doubt, after almost six years, that this extreme self-service is intentional.

And more Americans go hungry.

 

 

A constituent of the vast baby boomer generation with a career which has been fortunate to know the ponderous corporate worlds, as well as the intimately pressurized, and invigorating entrepreneurial domains of high tech and venture capital, I have harvested my share of mistakes meandering through corridors of enterprise from Silicon Valley, to London and endless, colourful, sometimes praetorian points in between. The voyage has provided an abundance of fodder for a pen yielding to an inquisitive keyboard, a foraging mind, and a passionate spirit. Whether political or business or social or economic or personal, is it not all political? It is a privilege to write, and an even greater privilege to be read by anyone, and sometimes with the wind at my back the writing may occasionally be legible. I do not write to invite scorn, nor to invite respect, but if I get really lucky the writing can stimulate thinking. I also write for the very selfish purpose of animating my own processes, and engaging the best of what life offers. Above all, whether biting fire or swatting shadows, I am grateful to be gifted the freedom to write and publish whatever flows down to the keyboard. To all those who enabled this freedom, and to all those standing guard to preserve it, I am indebted.

6 Responses to “Obama & Holder: At War With Corporate America”

  1. 1

    Skook

    author

    Is our government now based on the principles of extortion?

    At what point will these politi-criminals demand money from the middle class to supplement their extravagant lifestyles. The mobs did this in the big cities. Soon we will get a letter demanding a $20,000 settlement or prosecution by the IRS, especially, if you are not a registered Democrat.

    http://skooksjournal.com/?p=227

  2. 3

    James Raider

    author

    @Skook: #1,

    . . . prosecution by the IRS, especially, if you are not a registered Democrat.

    What? Nah, not possible. No President/AG pair would be so arrogant that they’d do something like . . . . oh, umm, they ARE already doing it. Hmm. AND they are rabble rousing the mobs with every excuse they can find that comes along, with plenty of self-righteous indignation. AND the insightful geniuses in the media are supporting them. AND these guys are accumulating a Cash Horde. Me thinks a shitstorm cometh — 2 years is a long time.

  3. 5

    This one

    We should all be at war with corporate America who is systematically buying our democracy and writing the laws to screw average Americans more and more. And the knuckle draggers who watch Fox News will follow them blindly. That’s the scary part.

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