The Idiocracy Files (Redux), Part 5: The U.S. $enate Meets with Its Landlord
[We continue our encore presentation of Noah's Idiocracy series. And don't forget Noah's new "Need a last-minute Christmas gift suggestion?," "50 Years Ago Today: The Beatles," and "A Tale of Two Popes -- the one in the Vatican and the one in North Carolina."]
"And the banks -- hard to believe in a time when we're facing a banking crisis that many of the banks created -- are still the most powerful lobby on Capitol Hill. And, frankly, they own the place."
-- Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL), May 2009
On June 13 of this year, almost exactly three years after the above quote from one of the few of the more honest men in Washington, the U.S. Senate Banking Committee gave us more of what Congress does best: a classic dog-and-pony show, a farce meant for public consumption, to be cut down, shined up and packaged for the nightly news by Washington's media accomplices.
The special guest star attraction this time was Jamie Dimon, chairman, president, and CEO of J. P. Morgan-Chase, a creature who is so warped that he can actually say, even on national TV, that he has no idea why he is so unpopular with the American public, and say it with a straight face. Gee, all he (and his bankster cohorts) did was bring the world economy to the brink of total collapse, ruin lives that are of no consequence to him, make a profit on such actions, and then hold up the taxpayers for even more of their hard-earned money. What a swell guy!
So it' was about time that this dark lord of the financial world got called on the carpet by the people in Washington who look out for us, right? You know, the people we elect to represent us? Yeah, well, somewhere between your voting booth and the Capitol building, the $enate's mission changed. Fancy that!
Hence the farce back in June when Dimon Jamie arrived for his stern, harsh, and even brutal questioning by our senators, brutal enough to remind one of the Spanish Inquisition -- or, well, perhaps something milder. Let's take a look at some of the harsh inquisitors and some highlight quotes that will show what a nasty day Dimon had. These guys didn't just remind me of Idiocracy. A famous Monty Python sketch also came to mind.
AND NOW, THE BRUTAL, INHUMAN $ENATE INQUISITORS!
1. Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN)
"You're obviously renowned -- rightly so, I think -- as one of the best CEOs in the country. . . . You missed this. It's a blip on the radar screen."
A blip! Four billion dollars lost in speculative derivative trading is a blip? That's right, the score was up to $4 billion as of the "hearing." Originally Dimon told the country that his company's loss was $2 billion. Now it looks like it may be as high as $7 billion. Pocket change. Either the guy is a pathological liar or he is grossly incompetent. Makes me wonder if his great-grandfather was the captain of the Titanic.
2. Sen. Michael Crapo (R-ID)
"One of the tensions we face here is that we wanna be sure that we are adequately regulating our financial institutions, but we wanna be sure also that we basically don't have the regulators running our private sector institutions . . . and again, what should the function of the regulators be."
Unbelievable! Crap-boy is asking Dimon what the function of the regulators should be. If this assclown had a farm, he'd be asking the foxes what their role in guarding the chicken coop should be.
3. Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC)
Now this guy is well-known for being a world-class asswipe. Let's see what this genius from South Carolina, now moved on to run the Heritage Society, had to say.
"I would like to come away from the hearing today with some ideas on, uh, what you think we need to do."
Gee, I wonder what Jamie Dimon thinks! Why, it wouldn't shock me if he just came out and said, "I think we need to do nothing. Does nothing work for you?" After all, four years have now passed since the crash and "nothing" is what Washington has done, simply because, as Senator Durbin said, the $enate is owned by the banks. They got off even easier than BP.
No lesson will be learned. Expect a bigger crash eventually, and expect these bribe-taking cretins to say publicly that they just didn't see it comin' and who could have possibly predicted, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah? It'll be like Condoleezza Rice saying that no one could have imagined terrorists flying planes into the WTC.
4. Sen. Richard Shelby (R-AL)
What does the renowned racist from Alabamy say?
"Would you feel better in a closed hearing?"
I can imagine what that would be like: laughs, drinks, K Street-provided lap dancers, and envelopes of cash for all. Who wants another round?
* * * * *Crapo and Corker? Ya just can't make these names up. They're like something out of a Charles Dickens novel. It gets better. Crapo's No. 1 "campaign contributor"? J. P. Morgan-Chase. Corker's No. 1? Goldman-Sachs. Not to worry, his No. 2 is Morgan.
To be fair, and I always want to be fair, I've only called attention to the four worst of the grand inquisitors. After the committee was through wasting our time, Dimon even thanked $enator Corker for such easy questions, right out in the open; no shame, plenty of arrogance. Makes me wonder what kind of handouts were given out after the show. Were there any briefcases left behind in the Senate that day?
Of course, if it was up to me, the majority of the $enate would all be fitted for orange jump suits, or better yet salted up and dragged through glass after going before a judge, if you could find a judge that hadn't also been paid off by the same "campaign contributors." Ask yourself who has damaged this country more, Al Qaeda or the Wall Street criminal element and their Washington enablers? Who is even responsible for more deaths? I have no doubt that if Jerry Sandusky gave $enators the same kind of money as the banksters, they'd treat him the same.
Money buys a lot of ass-kissing in Washington. Sure, we already knew that. It's just that Washington business is getting done in a much more brazen manner these days, as evidenced by the June 2012 inquistition of Jamie Dimon. Ever wonder what the janitors use to clean the slimy ooze from the Capitol floor and furniture every night?
JAMIE DIMON: I think that no matter how good you are, how competent people are, you never, ever get complacent in risk. Challenge everything. . . .Yeah, Dimon. You are so good. What a great guy! Not. Great smirk too. Try arrogant creep, for starters. Yeesh. We've already seen how money can buy infinite heaps of arrogance by observing the likes of Romney. How many more of these arrogant, insensitive crap-spewers do we have to put up with before the combined rage and indignation of the world just says enough and heaves these a-holes into the shark-infested waters off their Cayman Islands? I'd like to see if the sharks would even touch them.
To his credit, Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR), who actually tried to grill Dimon and even reminded him that "this is not your hearing" when Dimon arrogantly tried to talk over his questions, made an attempt to do the people's business, but, as we know, the majority of the Democrats aren't much better.
Our corporatist President Obama, in a May interview on The View, called Dimon "one of the smartest bankers we've got" and called Morgan "one of the best-managed banks there is." Obama went on to say that even smart people make mistakes. True enough, but ideally they don't lie about the size of the mistake every time a microphone is placed in front of their face, oath or not. Besides, no one ever said bad guys weren't smart sometimes.
Now there's talk that Dimon might be the clown that replaces Tim Geithner as Treasury secretary. More of that fox-guarding-the-chickens stuff. Ain't Washington grand?
Lots of people say the problem with Washington can only be solved if we somehow get the money out of politics. Of course, there isn't much chance of that happening when the people that make the laws are the same ones that take the cash. If any progress is to be made before the 2014 elections in increasing the awareness of just how low Washington has sunk, there is a lot of work to be done.
THE IDIOCRACY FILES
The world of Mike Judge's 2006 film Idiocracy, projected for 500 years into the future, arrives 494 years early!
"As the 21st century began, human evolution was at a turning point. Natural selection, the strongest, the smartest, the fastest, reproduced in greater numbers than the rest, a process which had once favored the noblest traits of man, now began to favor different traits. Most science fiction of the day predicted a future that was more civilized and more intelligent, but as time went on, things seemed to be heading in the opposite direction. A dumbing down. How did this happen? Evolution doesn't necessarily reward intelligence. With no natural predators to thin the herd, it began to simply reward those who reproduced the most and left the intelligent to become an endangered species."
-- The Narrator, Idiocracy
Part 1: 2012: The Year That Idiocracy Moments Broke the Scale
Part 2: More Idiocracy Moments for 2012
Part 3: Republicans Seek to Create a New Country. It's Called Crackpotopia!!!
Part 4: Special Arkansas Edition
Part 5: The U.S. $enate Meets with Its Landlord