Sunday, March 27, 2016

No President Can Fix Washington Corruption

(*Edited excerpts from David Lightman at

Supporters of Donald Trump, Bernie Sanders and Ted Cruz all share the same grievance. In 2016 America, the deepest divide is not between Democrats and Republicans. It’s not even between conservatives and liberals. It’s between "us" and "them" — The People versus The Establishment.

What is the establishment? It includes members of Congress (both Democrats and Republicans), political donors, Wall Street bankers and the mainstream media. Of 78 members of Congress who left office after the 2010 elections, 4 out of 5 found work with lobbying firms, government jobs or political action committees.

Americans are split on whether Trump is part of "The Establishment" — but 7 out of 10 think Hillary Clinton is. Eleven years ago Trump got married for the third time in an over-the-top Palm Beach wedding in an "Who’s Who" event of elites, which also included Bill and Hillary Clinton.

One of Bill Clinton’s former White House spokesmen hosts an influential network Sunday talk show. NBC hired Chelsea Clinton as a “special correspondent,” paying her a reported $600,000 annually, far above the typical pay for a reporter with no journalistic experience.

The ties are intricate and deep. Five Treasury secretaries in the past three presidential administrations have either headed big Wall Street firms, or became top executives after leaving their jobs. Every member of the U.S. Supreme Court has at least one Ivy League degree. Every president elected since 1988 is an Ivy Leaguer. So are Clinton and Trump.

Corporate and other special interests retained 11,465 registered lobbyists last year, spending $3.2 billion — roughly the same amount the United States pledged to poor countries to cope with global warming. To voters, the big money is emblematic of an impenetrable system they have no chance of influencing, let alone understanding.

That’s why many cheer when Bernie Sanders complains that no one was punished harshly for the financial meltdowns of 2008. His lament touches directly what distresses people about the New York-to-Washington axis. People lost their jobs and homes in that recession. The nation teetered on the brink of an historic financial meltdown. Banks and institutional investors had let the mortgage market run amok.

Sanders was livid, saying the latest $5 billion settlement with Goldman Sachs “should make it clear to everyone that the business model on Wall Street is a fraud,” a product of the financial world’s revolving door to Washington. Meanwhile, Hillary Clinton was paid $675,000 for three Goldman Sachs speeches she made behind closed doors in the years after she left her job as Secretary of State in 2013. She demanded that her transcripts be kept, and so far refuses to release them publicly.

Much of the "influence industry’s" goal is to get a slice of the $4 trillion federal budget. In recent years, the budget has become ever more a prize for the establishment insiders, removed even from most members of Congress. The last four annual budget plans have been negotiated by a handful of leaders, including former House Speaker John Boehner, then presented to the rank-and-file as a done deal.

It’s all part of a shadowy system that seems open and approachable only to the well-entrenched and well-heeled. Once elected to the Congress, members basically have lifetime employment, regardless of elections. And the key reason for the insider edge? Money.

Whoever wins the White House will find the same corrupt "establishment" chiseled deep into the Washington fabric as firmly as the monuments that dot its landscape. Two-thirds of the Senate doesn’t face re-election this year. History says at least 85 percent, and probably many more, in the House of Representatives will return.

So no matter who is elected to be the next president, no lobbyist will suddenly close their practice. This isn’t about one person. This is about the whole, big picture.

[* Meaning, the entire corruption of America's government in Washington D.C. >>> And every year you can see them all gathered together at the White House Correspondence Dinner — or at other elaborate and glamorous gala affairs —  making jokes, all while Rome burns. No President can fix Washington corruption; but it can't hurt to at least elect ONE honest politician: Bernie Sanders.]


  1. From the full transcript of Bernie Sanders's GREAT interview with the L.A. Times Editorial Board on March 27, 2016: "We’re not gonna give up until the last vote is counted."

    Wall Street Journal: Bernie Sanders gets no Respect. He runs away with three more states, but Democratic elites stick with Hillary Clinton ... The Democratic establishment has done far more to rig the nominating process to favor elites.

    * It was an "OK" article for the WSJ — until the very last sentence. They just couldn't help themselves.

    1. 99% of everyone who reads this interview will vote for Bernie -- even Republicans ;)

  2. #AnaKasparian of #TheYoungTurks > #HillaryClinton demonstrates weakness by not debating #BernieSanders in #NewYork

    So in other words...

    #HillaryClinton crapper #JoelBenenson tells CNN's #KateBolduan she won't debate in #NewYork unless #BernieSanders stops telling the truth

  3. Bernie Sanders Will Make the Economy Great Again

    "Liberal critics like Paul Krugman argue that Sanders’s economic platform is unrealistic. They are dead wrong."

    (Written by a Distinguished Professor of Economics and co-director of the Political Economy Research Institute at the University of Massachusetts–Amherst)

  4. What Hillary Clinton, her naive supporters, her lying surrogates, the slimy superdelegates and the rest of the corrupt establishment Democrats don't seem to realize is, Bernie Sanders' supporters don't owe their vote to Hillary Clinton if she becomes the Democratic nominee, because they're not even Democrats — they're Independents — who only registered as Democrats to vote for Bernie Sanders.

    Using scare tactics like "You better vote for Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump might be the next President" won't work. Because if not for Bernie, many might have voted for Trump anyway (or not voted at all), because they don't want another establishment politician in the White House. They are sick to death of government corruption and want REAL change — not another choice of "the better of two evils". Many people will take their chances with anarchy before they'd vote for another corrupt politician.

    Neither Sanders nor Trump took bribes to get elected, and they will only be beholden to average people, not super-wealthy campaign donors.

    If the Democratic party machine and all the shillery sheeple don't want to see Donald Trump in the White House, then they should nominate Bernie Sanders, because many of them would rather take their chances with Donald Trump for 4 years rather than vote for Hillary Clinton. It's Hillary's supporters who should vote for Bernie if they don't want to see Donald Trump in the White House.

    Bernie Sanders is the only honorable person in the Democratic primary, and the Democrats treated him like crap — so don't expected to be rewarded by expecting votes you don't deserve.

  5. I will vote for Bernie if he gets to become the candidate. Otherwise, I will vote or Trump.

    1. What wasn't mentioned in that WSJ article was that some of these rich people, after reaping their fortunes here in America, left the U.S. in decline to take up citizenship in another country.

    2. (Heather Digby Parton at Salon doesn't agree...)

      Every single election cycle since 1968 the press has been obsessed with this mythical Real American who is always angry, always frustrated, always railing against the so-called elites because they allegedly only care about the racial minorities or the women or somebody other than them...

      In those early days it was referred to as “The Silent Majority” of Richard Nixon, which Donald Trump has unoriginally revived. Since then, pollsters have come up with slogans to target certain demographics...

      1976 featured media obsessing over the everyman outsider Jimmy Carter, a born-again Christian from the South who spoke to Real Americans who just wanted a president who wouldn’t lie to them. It wasn’t long before they discovered that he didn’t really fit the bill. The Real Americans, it turned out, were more conservative than Carter and really wanted the Gipper to Make America Great Again. And thus the most Real Americans in the whole country were discovered: the Reagan Democrat...

      These are people we now refer to as “Republicans” but the myth of these alleged swing voters has persisted even to this day, as reporters commonly wonder if Trump is going to be able to nab those Reagan Democrats, who no longer exist...

      About the same time, the Democratic Party began their quest to once more bag their great white whale — the Southern white male; they recruited their presidential candidates among the ranks of the white Southerners of the New South and crafted their message to appeal to him...

      In 1994, the term “Angry White men” was found to have been used more than 1,500 times in the run-up to Newt Gingrich’s mid-term sweep of the House...

      By 2004 the press once again donned the proverbial hair shirt and castigated itself for failing to properly cover the Real Americans...

      Now we are witnessing yet another iteration of the phenomenon with the Trump voter of 2016, a very, very angry white guy everyone supposedly ignored for years. But the truth is that whether they are Reagan Democrats or Reagan Republicans or Heartland voters or Southern white males, these citizens’ needs and desires are always at the forefront of media attention in virtually every election. And their concerns are always the same: They believe they are personally getting screwed because immigrants and welfare queens and gays and feminists and foreigners are all taking what they aren’t entitled to and America is weaker and less significant because of it.

      This has been going on for almost 50 years...