Monday, May 6, 2013

A Bad Penny

Trey Smith

It seems that, by and large, most Americans have no earthly idea who our presidents nominate for cabinet posts. Generally speaking, it is some person we've never heard of. That is not surprising because most of us don't travel in such circles. The president (doesn't seem to matter which one it is) will herald the nomination and act as if the named individual is a paragon of virtue. There is never a hint of a conflict of interest. The nominee is presented to be some sort of saint that will serve ALL people equally.

Of course, this is rarely the case. A lot of these people aren't paragons of anything aside from wealth and sleaze. Their nomination certainly is designed to serve someone; it's just that those someones are not us, the general public. This is as true for Democratic presidents as it is for Republican ones.

President Obama has turned it into an art form. He has surrounded himself with Wall Street types -- the sort of individuals most responsible for crashing the world economy -- yet selling these people to the American populace as dedicated public servants.

Want an example? In recent days, Obama nominated a woman by the name of Penny Pritzker as Secretary for the Department of Commerce. Do you have any idea who this woman is? I certainly wasn't familiar with her name, but fortunately, Greg Palast is.
We never heard of this guy Barack Obama until 2004. Less than three years before taking the presidency, he was in the Illinois state senate, a swamp of scammers, backhanders, and party machine tools — not a stellar launch pad for the White House. And then, one day, state Sen. Barack Obama was visited by his fairy godmother. Her name is Penny Pritzker.

Pritzker’s net worth is listed in Forbes as $1.8 billion, which is one hell of a heavy magic wand in the world of politics. Her wand would have been heavier, and her net worth higher, except that in 2001, the federal government fined her and her family $460 million for the predatory, deceitful, racist tactics and practices of Superior, the bank-and-loan-shark operation she ran on the South Side of Chicago.

Superior was the first of the deregulated go-go banks to go bust – at the time, the costliest failure ever. US taxpayers lost nearly half a billion dollars. Superior’s depositors lost millions and poor folk in Sen. Obama’s South Side district lost their homes.

Penny did not like paying $460 million. No, not one bit. What she needed was someone to give her Hope and Change. She hoped someone would change the banking regulators and the Commerce Department so she could get away with this crap.

Pritzker introduced Obama, the neophyte state senator, to the Ladies Who Lunch (that’s really what they call themselves) on Chicago’s Gold Coast. Obama got lunch, gold and better – an introduction to Robert Rubin. Rubin is a former Secretary of the Treasury, former chairman of Goldman Sachs and former co-chairman of Citibank. Even atheists recognized Rubin as the Supreme Deity of Wall Street.
Ah yes, that's what we need right now -- a predatory and ethics challenged Wall Street type!

And you wonder why things never change? Look who is running the country!

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