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Saturday, March 23, 2019

We’re sick and tired of being bullied and stomped on by the Powers That Be in Washington, and by gollies, we’re not going to take it anymore!

Hooray! It’s about time that workers, consumers, small farmers and other “small fry” joined together in a populist rebellion to make big-shot Congress critters of both parties listen to us. But — uh-oh — wait a minute. These mad-as-hellers aren’t wielding pitchforks and torches, but big bags of cash. Holy Thom Payne — they’re bankers!

Very few Americans on this side of the ATM machine think that the biggest problem in Washington is that the moneychangers don’t have enough clout. But, incredibly, here they come with a super PAC intended to force lawmakers to bow even deeper to their needs.

“Congress isn’t afraid of bankers,” declared one of the bank honchos who organized the Friends of Traditional Banking super PAC. “They don’t think we’ll do anything to kick them out of office,” he said, but that’s exactly the plan.

In a dramatic and wholly destructive escalation of Big Money’s assault on America’s democracy, FTB’s funders are not out to support candidates, but “to defeat our enemies.” A Utah banker who chairs the new super PAC explains that giving $10,000 or so to the opponent of an incumbent who sides with the people has no impact, “but if you say the bankers are going to put … $1 million into your opponent’s campaign, that starts to draw some attention.” He calls this a “surgical” approach to carving out political power. Yeah — like doing surgery with a chainsaw and sledgehammer!

Thank you, Supreme Court, for making this crass money play possible with your plutocratic Citizens United decision. Now that bankers are going to intimidate officeholders with the threat to put unlimited campaign cash against them, we can expect Big Oil, Big Pharma and all the other Bigs to join the fun.

But bankers don’t throw their weight around only in terms of campaign contributions. Indeed, Woody Guthrie wrote a song titled “Jolly Banker,” a perfect-pitch parody of the propensity of Depression-era bankers to feel good about gouging their small borrowers.

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12 responses to “Jim Hightower: Snarling Banks”

  1. ObozoMustGo says:

    It’s hard to complain about the banks pooling their money to influence politics when the unions have been doing this to the exclusive benefit of the DemocRATS for decades on end. Not defending banks, but being objective and neutral, you have to say that what bothers the leftist nutjobs and useful idiots about “Citizens United’ is the fact that their monopoly on massive fundraising through pooling funds by unions has now ended. That’s what pisses you useful idiots off. At least be honest about it.

    Have a nice day!

    • johninPCFL says:

      Well, that and money that could be used for higher wages or plant expansion being used to fund the loudest tax-cut windbags ever.

    • The thing was, to counter the union collective voice, the banks, etc. already had lobbyists with direct political ties to the politicians. Citizens United didn’t level the playing field, it gives an even more unfair advantage to the corporations. It also gives the right for undisclosed, non-US citizens more access to our government than someone who is a citizen, working more than 40 hours a week for their kids. So, let’s be honest about it, it isn’t about leveling the field, it is about suffocating the last hope of getting a glimmer of consideration as a human being from the government. We were votes before, now we are nuisances in the way of the money flow.

      • ObozoMustGo says:

        DoNot… what fantasy land do you live in? Do you really think the unions had NO voice in the halls of power? Who the hell do you think you’re fooling other than the dreamy useful idiots out there that buy such crap. 2 of the top visitors to the White House for the first 2 years were none other than Richard Trumka (AFL-CIO) and Andy Stern (SEIU). How can you says they have no voice? Secondly, how does someone that is undisclosed get access to the government if they are, in fact, undisclosed? Hmmmmm

        You have this emotional fantasy about “the working man” that just does not reflect reality in any way. You’d prefer to restrict political spending of groups you do not like, while romaticizing that the groups you do like are just downtrodden “little people” fighting the evil profiteers.

        Take another hit on your bong, dude!

        Have a nice day!

        • dtgraham says:

          Only about 6-7 % of the American private sector is unionized. The public sector unions are about all that’s left and unions never did, and certainly don’t now, come anywhere remotely close to the kind of money that corporate interests can throw at politicians. Especially now with citizens united. Walker is outspending Barrett in Wisconsin by a factor of 25-1.

          While unions may represent the interests of the common man more than corporate power…. still, you have a point. Why not ban both union and corporate donations? It’s done in your neighbour to the north and probably elsewhere I’m sure. Amongst the advanced democracies, the U.S. may be the last bastion of the best politicians money can buy.

          • ObozoMustGo says:

            Good morning, dt. I hope this day finds you well. I’m looking forward to a long weekend.

            It’s unfortunate that the private sector unions have had the biggest hand in their own demise by never really understanding soon enough that their own power became an incentive for businesses to locate overseas where they did not have to deal with them. In other words, they priced themselves out of the market. I think unions were appropriate long ago, but they missed their chance to become partners with their businesses, and instead became adversaries.

            Regarding money in politics… the really hard part is that pesky little first ammendment..

            Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

            You see, Congress CANNOT abridge freedom of speech. The SCOTUS was correct in Citizens United. There is nothing wrong with people of like mind pooling their money to have their political speech heard. And I will defend the rights of those with whom I bitterly disagree to have the same freedoms.

            You see, I’m not complaining about unions having their rights to free speech. I only see hypocrisy in those that say groups with whom they disagree cannot have their free speech while not recognizing they support the same thing only from people with whom they agree.

            In other words, you cannot support union political speech and then complain about Citizens United and seek to deny others the same exact rights.

            Does this make sense?

            Have a nice day, and a great Memorial Day weekend, dt!

  2. clarenceswinney says:

    WISDOM—each hi school and college should require reading bill clinton three Covenant with America lectures at georgetown U in Fall of 1991.
    Great. Such Foresight.
    We need leaders today with such wisdom
    clarence swinney lifeaholics of america

    • TheSkalawag929 says:

      First we need to make sure that the students being required to read this material can read at the level the material is written. And why is it that one of the first places to be cut is education.
      By cutting education were are depriving our selves of the best future leaders we can get.

      Get out the Vote
      Obama/Biden 2012

  3. clarenceswinney says:



    Max Baucus—Chair Senate Finance Comm—70% poll for Public option–
    Bill hit his comm— first act—removed public option for debate
    shocked me—I trusted him. Zap. Report=he had $1,900,00 in his campaign kitty from health care industry..

    The millions spent by thousands of Lobbyists expect favors. Buy them.

    We need a Washington revolution and kick all out

    Obama lost me with Gay Marriage. Totally disgusted. I am in a position I trust no one in Washington. I know few are very good but $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ BUYS ANYONE

    $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ OUT OF GOVERNMENT—— QUICK

    NYT had superb article on Wall Street employees going into many many many government jobs in Congress and White House

    They left for a much lower paying job.
    Conclusion—Wall Street biggies are placing them in positions to make decisions for Wall Street.
    Pay under table or? Many have done this. Worked in Wash for few years then back to Wall street into a higher paying job

    This is sad sad. RULES MUST CHANGE

    NO $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ IN WASHINGTON

    NYT had article on Interconnectivity between Board Of Directors in WSA firms
    You vote for my pay+pension I vote for yours

    5 big banks own 50% of deposits in 7000 banks and 10 own 80%

    Restate Glass Steagall—separate Casinos from local banks

    County Banking Systems—local wealth kept local to create more local wealth and jobs
    WASHINGTON SOLUTIONS (Congress + White House)
    1. fed fund election—6 mos-3 primary 3 general—free equal tv time—debate a week=12=adequate to evaluate candidates NO $$ =O
    2. Since they will not need campaign funds Ban them from receiving anything of a financial value this closes K St.
    3. Progressive Flat Tax by group—We have the income to pay our way-do it
    We rank #2 as lowest taxed in OECD nations. We have an income of $14,00 billion yet tax 2400 and borrow 1300. Dumb?
    clarence swinney Lifeaholics of America Political Historian for 21 years

    • albertm says:

      Good ideas…..the only trouble is that all solutions must be passed by the corrupt Congress. The only solution would be to fill Congress with third party candidates. That would be our best chance for change.

  4. howa4x says:

    We need public financing of elections. Until that day comes the cash will flow and there is no stopping it. Most of the public is unaware of who is behind these super pacs, and now sheilded by the Supreme court can pour money under cover. We are moving to out right control of America by corporate interests. They actually put one of their own up for president. He would remove most all of the regulations of Wall st. So let the games begin, the people Vs the corporations in a duel of who will control America

  5. Elsa says:

    Huzpah, if I have ever heard it. Thank you, Citizens United. How about impeaching the members of the Supreme Court who voted for it.

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