This morning’s Jolt looks at the police taking on the White House press corps, whether California is a glimpse of our national future, and my first tentative steps into the strange, complicated story of the charges against Goldman Sachs.
I’ll be honest; the misdeeds alleged by the SEC against Goldman Sachs are so far above my head that every headline about it might as well come with an altimeter. It sounds kinda-sorta bad and illegal, but two of the five commissioners of the SEC didn’t see a crime; then again, I can’t believe that de facto national policy was to offer $400,000 no-money down mortgages to folks that you and I would refuse to loan forty bucks. For years, I thought of Goldman Sachs as the place that gave Jon Corzine the seed money he needed to buy statewide offices in New Jersey.
But the idea that we’re all supposed to accept the notion that Goldman Sachs is somehow Public Enemy Number One, and not pay any attention to the firm being the financial nexus of the Democratic Party for most of the past decade, is somewhat mind-boggling. It’s like watching the “American Idol” regulars insist the show will be fine without Simon Cowell. Guys, he’s the reason you are where you are.
J.P. Friere lays out the numbers: “Campaign contributions from Goldman Sachs employees to President Obama are nearly seven times as much as President Bush received from Enron workers, according to numbers on OpenSecrets.org. President Bush’s connections to Enron were well-hyped during the company’s accounting debacle that rippled through the economy. Time magazine even had an article called, “Bush’s Enron Problem.” The Associated Press ran with the headline, “Bush-backing Enron makes big money off crisis.” David Callaway wrote that Enron for Bush was worse than Whitewater for Clinton.’”
The Post’s Michael Shear lays out how the firm’s ties to Obama were more than financial: “As a senator and in the early stages if his presidential bid, Obama spent plenty of time wooing the executives of Wall Street titans such as Goldman Sachs, the biggest and most influential of the New York investment banks. Lynn Sweet of the Chicago Sun Times reported in 2008 that Obama held a private round-table discussion with Goldman employees, moderated by Tom Brokaw. In 2006, Obama gave a speech to the firm’s partners meeting.”
The Jammie Wearing Fool notices that Obama is turning on his second-largest donor . . . and then using that in an effort to raise more money: “This is cheesy on so many levels, but not unexpected with this sleazy crew. Here you have a guy who raised the most money of any politician from the company he’s now declared war on and now he turns around and uses them to piggyback off and direct people searching on the web for information about Goldman Sachs to his own personal website.”
Isn’t Obama essentially saying, ‘give me money so I can get money out of politics?’