Cultivating this relationship was smart for the President. It’s a good way to keep tabs on (and to manipulate potentially) tone with an influential young(er) and politically motivated demographic.
It is also unfortunately another great example of the #CRONYMEDIA.
It might be “fake news” (as Stewart often says) but one could make the case that sometimes Jon’s product ventured a little close to the propaganda line. It may be smart. He may be smart. But if Stewart is meeting with the President secretly during particularly sensitive times for narrative creation, propaganda may not be too strong a word.
I like Jon Stewart. I’ve watched him since his show on MTV. But it’s best that he’s leaving now.
An interesting and somewhat desperate statement on corruption from a fan big government in Salon.
Thing is, as we say often, government is inherently corrupt. One can’t just get “good people” into office and then things will change. Government must itself be reduced.
Yes this means that many big modern liberal dreams must be abandoned.
I do not write this flippantly. I understand that this would constitute a political sea change.
Ralph Nader is one our favorites here at ACC. We disagree with him on a myriad of issues. He likes government quite a lot. We, well are more skeptical of the state. Saying that though, there is no doubt that Mr. Nader is an enemy of crony capitalism and one of the good guys running around Washington. (There are a few.)
Below is a declaration. A call to town halls. A call to take the rhetorical fight directly to our elected officials during their summer recess. If our representatives are going to ignore us in DC they will have a much harder time ignoring us at community meetings and grandstanding events. Turn on your iPhones. Record responses to hard questions. See what happens.
They do work for us.
That we have an IRS is bad enough. For the majority of our country’s history we had no IRS and we prospered. And we would again if the IRS and the income tax disappeared. But it is exponentially worse that the agency has been used as an outright tool of persecution by the White House. The IRS wasn’t looking for tax cheats, it was looking for enemies of the president.
And the president says that the real scandal is that the IRS doesn’t get enough funding.
Destroying (or attempting to destroy) one’s political opponents with said agency is no big deal however. Not like that is straight out of the 3rd world crony playbook or anything.
The question I have is why Congress, and specifically leadership keeps letting the Obama administration get away with this sort behavior. Behavior which is quite serious and damaging to the United States.
The Pentagon has no idea where a significant amount of your tax money money goes. It seems to spin off into some crony black hole. Same it seems for Obamacare, not that this should surprise anyone. Really the Pentagon, Health and Human Services it’s all of government which doesn’t seem to operate by the normal rules of accounting and with any basic respect for the taxpayer.
Now, though the Feds lose, think about that for a second, LOSE, billions probably every year, you had better have everything straight on your tax filing. Because even though the government doesn’t care enough to follow your money and how it is spent once it is within the system, it sure as shinola cares about whether you pay your “share” into the black hole.
It’s true. Free people stand up for themselves. Free people respect others but question why it is that they must fall in line.
This general disposition annoys politicians and perhaps more importantly it annoys the people who do not see any value in standing up for themselves, in thinking independently. Why can’t you just get along? Why do you have to question everything? What makes you so special that you get to challenge the system which is obviously (sic) in place for the greater good?
It really is a question of what one thinks it means to be alive. It’s that fundamental.
There is some debate around here as to the world’s most crony company. There are many candidates but consistently in the top 5 or so is Goldman Sachs, Government Sachs.
Few companies have exploited the taxpayer and political connections to the extent Goldman has. Truly it is a company built fundamentally on cronyism.
In 2008 Goldman Sachs was leveraged more than 100 to 1 on its assets. (That is probably a conservative estimate.) When the economic tide turned it was fully exposed. It should have died the disgraced death it deserved. It should have been crushed under the wheel of the market.
Goldman however had a former CEO at Treasury, Hank Paulson, who bailed out his buddies with money taken from taxpayers.
Fascism and (Marxist) socialism are sisters. Close sisters. Both are fundamentally about controlling the economy in a quest for a greater “good.” They have important differences which are more than stylistic differences. But both are fundamentally opposed to free markets, free prices, and fundamentally the free will of individuals. At least most individuals.
What is “socialism” and what is “fascism” is a point of ongoing debate on this site. Invariably someone posts a meme which purports to define fascism as what we see it in the movies. See, FDR and Obama can’t have fascist tendencies. (In FDR’s case it was probably more than just a tendency.) They don’t (didn’t) wear jack boots and goose step around the White House. Fascists have a look. They are “right-wing.” (Right and Left as we know them in this country really are vestiges of another time and are less and less useful.)
But fascism is not about a look. It is about state control of a nominally private economy. And most of the fascists I know of tend(ed) not to watch Triumph of the Will on loop. Many look(ed) perfectly respectable.
I forgot who said it, but it is true that the most dangerous fascist of all may prefer tweed jackets to arm bands and over-starched shirts.
The change is happening actually. I feel a shift, on a broad scale. It has just started, but pay close attention. Statism is failing and people are beginning to remember (or learn) that real markets solve problems and allow people to create wealth.
The everyday person is becoming more aware that tossing one’s lot in with the Grubers of the world is just foolish.
It will take a revolution in economic thinking to turn the USA around, and I am more optimistic now than I have been in a long time that such a shift can happen. Indeed that it is happening.
So let’s see…Obamacare has infused the health insurance companies with heaps and heaps of taxpayer dollars. Big Pharma has done almost equally as well under the cronycare regime. Premiums for terrible policies – which as I see it could largely be bought for the same or lower prices before Obamacare – are going up.
Yup, this thing worked out great.
All of a sudden things have gotten very interesting in the race for the Democratic presidential nomination. Hillary looks vulnerable. Soros is calling in the money cavalry for Ms. Clinton. The AFL-CIO is even afraid that local chapters are going to go rogue and start endorsing Bernie Sanders. Inevitability has given way to concern if not panic in the Ready for Hillary camp.
The debates should be fun.
Hey, he had a good week. Obama appeased both his corporate sponsors with the passage of fast track authority for the TPP and the Supreme Court rewrite of Obamacare. Then he appeased the West Coast folks with the gay marriage ruling. Add in a couple of other factors which we will not comment on and there you go, the bourgeois, middle class, flyover country people are put in their place.
The Republican House and Senate leadership have a lot invested in the TPP, and so do many very powerful industry interests. The “free trade” agreement has been in negotiations for years. Many a lobbyist has a bonus riding on this legislation.
As we said a couple of weeks ago some of the worst bills become law just before summer vacation or Christmas when no one is paying attention and all the lawmakers just want to go home.