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13 Jun

Mr. President, When You Dine With Wall Street, Bring The Handcuffs

The O’Leary: Obscene Obama.

The McGlynn: Today’s New York Times Headlines

Count me out!

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Mr. President, When You Dine With Wall Street, Bring The Handcuffs

by Tasini .

It is a sad story to read, and a sad but powerful comment on who runs America. Rather than come to dinner with subpoenas and maybe even a few warrants for the arrest of the people who helped engineer the economic crisis we are still digging out of, the president is groveling–for campaign cash from Wall Street. It makes me weep.

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Dinner is on:

A few weeks before announcing his re-election campaign, President Obama convened two dozen Wall Street executives, many of them longtime donors, in the White House’s Blue Room.
The guests were asked for their thoughts on how to speed the economic recovery, then the president opened the floor for over an hour on hot issues like hedge fund regulation and the deficit.

Mr. Obama, who enraged many financial industry executives a year and a half ago by labeling them “fat cats” and criticizing their bonuses, followed up the meeting with phone calls to those who could not attend.

The event, organized by the Democratic National Committee, kicked off an aggressive push by Mr. Obama to win back the allegiance of one of his most vital sources of campaign cash — in part by trying to convince Wall Street that his policies, far from undercutting the investor class, have helped bring banks and financial markets back to health.

Last month, Mr. Obama’s campaign manager, Jim Messina, traveled to New York for back-to-back meetings with Wall Street donors, ending at the home of Marc Lasry, a prominent hedge fund manager, to court donors close to Mr. Obama’s onetime rival, Hillary Rodham Clinton. And Mr. Obama will return to New York this month to dine with bankers, hedge fund executives and private equity investors at the Upper East Side restaurant Daniel. [emphasis added]

I would feel differently if the president left the handcuffs at home and was dining with Wall Street because he wanted to demand that Wall Street lead the business world in a massive jobs program–a 21st Century WPA–or at least release some of the one trillion dollars in cash now parked unused in corporate treasuries…at the same time that millions of people are without work. But, I doubt that demand will be on the table.

Ironically, I just gave a talk today about the economic crisis and the culpability of our political leaders in letting Wall Street ruin the lives of millions of people. Several people asked: so how do we change this?

Truthfully, a big part of the answer–underscored by the president’s desperate need to appease Wall Street–is that until we get full public financing of elections and rid the country of the ability of rich people to buy our politicians, then, the groveling by candidates will continue, from the local city council person right up to the President of the United States. The thirst to win means that candidates mainly care about the campaign donors, not the average Joe or Jane.

I will say this, though. Beginning tomorrow, we need to mobilize and recruit tens of thousands of people to be in the streets at Daniel when that dinner goes down. We have to be there so the voices of the people are heard–so the president understands that, as he collects checks to finance his billion-dollar campaign, the people have not forgotten and still will demand accountability for a great crime that still goes, mostly, unpunished.

Leave the tux at home. Bring the handcuffs.

Who is ready to flood the streets?
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One Response to “Mr. President, When You Dine With Wall Street, Bring The Handcuffs”

  1. 1
    escort bayan Says:

    I will say this, though. Beginning tomorrow, we need to mobilize and recruit tens of thousands of people to be in the streets at Daniel when that dinner goes down. We have to be there so the voices of the people are heard–so the president understands that, as he collects checks to finance his billion-dollar campaign, the people have not forgotten and still will demand accountability for a great crime that still goes, mostly, unpunished.

    Leave the tux at home. Bring the handcuffs.

    Who is ready to flood the streets? …

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