Friday, February 05, 2016

Red Hot Chili Peppers Played A Bernie Benefit Tonight-- And Some Advise From Bankster Lloyd Blankfein

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Tonight's Red Hot Chili Peppers concert for Bernie was sold out-- weeks in advance. Flea, the Peppers' long-time activist bass player, is a big Bernie fan, although sometimes he can't help himself when it comes to denouncing the Republican clowns. "I can't take Donald Trump or anything he says seriously," he said last week. "I just think that he's a silly reality-show bozo and blustering guy who likes getting attention. I don't think he wants to be president, and I don't think he has a chance to be the president. He's just some egotistical, silly person whose main concern in life is getting a blowjob. He wants to be on TV and he wants everyone to thinks he's important... I don't think he even believes what he says. He's just a product of, if you yell loud enough and bluster around enough, people are going to pay attention to you. He works the media and they love it. I'm hesitant to even discuss it because I just find it all to be really trivial. This guy literally has never said a single thing about anything that actually affects an issue that has anything to do with anyone in America's reality. He's never said anything like he is going to help working class people or poor people. I guess he can help rich people get tax breaks. He's a real-estate bozo who was born rich and has parlayed it from being a money-scammer guy."

And he hasn't exactly been a fan of the other fascist-leaning Republican in the race, Ted Cruz. "Ted Cruz is a selfish, mean-spirited man. He's taking millions of dollars from companies like Goldman Sachs and all these corporations and those are the people who are going to tell him what to do if he gets in office. The NRA and big financial institutions are going to tell him what to do, and he's going to do what they say because they're the ones that own him." But he'd much rather talk about Bernie. He penned a story for Rolling Stone this week.
When we first started hearing about the Democratic [presidential] hopefuls, I saw that he was running and I just started paying attention. When I heard that he wasn't taking money from any corporations, didn't have any Super PACs and was doing it with a lot of small donations, I was amazed. The concept of a president in this country who is not beholden to corporate lobbyists is such a beautiful idea.

A year ago, nobody really cared about Bernie Sanders or knew who he was. And here's a guy that is not relying on fear-mongering or Super PACs or billions of dollars. He's just talking about issues that really affect us as human beings, like caring about each other and evening the playing field.

People try to demonize it like, "Socialism is the next step to communism." That's just insane silliness. Bernie isn't talking about eliminating the spirit of capitalism in terms of the competitive spirit of people being able to lift themselves up by their bootstraps through discipline and hard work and creativity and ingenuity. He's not trying to eliminate making something great of yourself and being part of the American dream. He's just saying, "Let's even the playing field so everybody can get a decent education and have an opportunity to get health care and take care of themselves and educate themselves." That's what civilization should be about.

The bottom line is that everybody deserves to get a good education. This country is completely capable economically of providing a high-grade education for everybody regardless of their economic class. And everybody deserves to have a high grade of health care regardless of their economic class. That is what's going to help [reduce] crime and poverty. That is what's going to make this country a beautiful, vibrant place.

People can still get rich, but it's just giving everybody a chance that everybody deserves. I'm for Bernie Sanders all the way. I believe in him; I believe in what he says. I relate to people who realize that we're all connected, and who realize that we have to look out for each other and love each other. And that's what Bernie's about.

Beyond economic issues, the thing that drives my interest the most in any presidential candidate is the one that's least likely to go to war and least likely to start some bloodthirsty murderous war campaign in order to keep the Military Industrial Complex going and make billions for the corporations at the expense of human life. I think Bernie is the least likely to start a cockamamie war.

I just don't care [that critics call him "unelectable"]. I think saying he's unelectable is a silly thing. Clearly, he's electable. He's a guy who's getting votes and just showed in Iowa that he's neck-and-neck with Hillary. Consciously electing someone based on being a human being with integrity who actually speaks for the people of this country and the things that concern them-- and not fear-mongering — is an amazing concept that's really inspiring. And it gives me a little bit of faith in the political process.

The Chili Peppers are doing a show for Bernie this weekend and it's something like $30,000 to rent the venue. We said, "Oh, we'll pay for the cost of the venue rental." And he wouldn't accept it! He said, "We can't accept you guys; you're a group-- you're incorporated-- so I can't accept that money." He can accept the ticket cost because each one is a small donation, but the 30 grand? "No, I don't accept money like that."

If he's elected, I would hope that a Sanders presidency would make it so 1) he wouldn't go off into any wars unless if it really was to protect other human beings, 2) that he would make high-quality health care accessible to everybody regardless of how much money they have, and 3) that he would make higher education available for everybody. And that means everybody. That means people who live in very poor communities and are struggling who deserve as good as an education as people in rich communities. The playing field is rigged. And if you're poor and a minority, you don't have a chance, man. Or your chance is like a needle in a haystack. I want everybody to have an equal chance.


Oh, and if you missed the show and still want to contribute to Bernie... here's the place.

More Rolling Stone... this time full of free advice from from Hillary booster Lloyd Blankfein plus bankster whores Joe Kernen and Becky Quick of CNBC. (Hillary's #2 campaign donor is Blankfein's company, Goldman Sachs-- $711,490.) Blankfein went on Squawk Box to squawk about how "dangerous" and "frightening" Bernie is.
"Could you imagine," he asked, "if the Jeffersons and Hamiltons came in with a total pledge and commitment to never compromise with the other side?"

The slobbering Squawk Box hosts went on to propose firing all the academics in the country, because clearly it is their fault that so many young people are willing to support a socialist.

"I'm ready," said co-host Joe Kernen, "to send my daughter to Brigham Young or Liberty or something."

Then Kernen, Becky Quick and Blankfein all made jokes about how socialism doesn't work and how all those Berniebots should take a trip to Cuba.

"The best real-time experiment is, I went to Cuba," said Lloyd.

"I haven't been," Kernen said proudly.

"You should go," said Lloyd. "You go there, stop in Miami and you just see the Cuban community and how much wealth they've generated.

Of course the politics of Sanders is closer to what you'd find in Sweden or Denmark than Cuba, but they were rolling by then.

Lloyd added that the current popular discontent with Wall Street was just something that happens randomly, like the weather. "There's a pendulum that happens in markets and it happens in political economy as well," he said.

He added that he didn't want to pick a candidate because "I don't want to help or hurt anybody by giving an endorsement."

For people who so very pleased with themselves for ostensibly being so much smarter than everyone else, people like Blankfein are oddly uncreative when it comes to deflecting criticism.

The people who don't like them are always overemotional communists. All those young people who are flocking to the Sanders campaign? Dupes, misled by dumb professors who've never been to Cuba.

And their anger toward Wall Street? Causeless and random, just a bunch of folks riding an emotional pendulum that brainlessly swings back and forth. Don't take it personally, people are just moody that way.

...Lloyd apparently thinks politicians should naturally reside in a state of more or less constant accommodation with Wall Street. Thomas Jefferson would have compromised with us, he says! One can assume that his model of a "compromising" politician is Hillary Clinton, who took $675,000 to give three speeches to his company. "Look, I make speeches to lots of groups," Hillary explained. "I told them what I thought."

Asked by Anderson Cooper if she needed to take $675,000 to tell Goldman what she "thought," Hillary shrugged. "I don't know," she said. "That's what they were offering."

Even more significant than the $675,000 Hillary took from Goldman, or the $30 million in speaking income she and her husband received combined in the last 16 months, is the account of what Hillary apparently told Goldman she "thought" during those speeches.

According to Politico, who spoke to several attendees, Hillary used the opportunity to tell the bankers in attendance that the "banker-bashing so popular within both parties was unproductive and indeed foolish."

She added that the proper attitude should be, "We all got into this mess together, and we're all going to have to work together to get out of it."

...In her speech, Hillary's we included the executives in her audience. Her message was basically that It Takes a Village to create a financial crisis. This was the Robin Williams breakthrough scene in Good Will Hunting, with Hillary putting a hand on the Goldmanites' shoulders, telling them, "It's not your fault. It's not your fault."

But it was their fault. The crash was caused by a tiny handful of people who spent years hogging fortunes through a bluntly criminal scheme in the home lending markets. The FBI warned back in 2004 of an "epidemic" of mortgage fraud that could have an "impact as big as the S&L crisis," but those warnings were ignored.

What the FBI was talking about back then mainly had to do with smaller local lending operations that were systematically creating risky home loans, falsifying credit applications to get unworthy borrowers into mortgages they couldn't afford.

What they didn't understand back then is that the impetus for that criminal activity was the willingness of massive banking institutions on Wall Street to buy up those bad loans in bulk. They created a market for those fraudulent loans, bought billions' worth of them from local lenders, and then chopped up and resold those bad loans to pension funds, unions and other suckers.

The "village" didn't do this. Lloyd Blankfein and his buddies did this. (Goldman just a few weeks ago reached a deal to pay a $5.1 billion settlement to cover its history of selling bad loans to unsuspecting investors, joining Bank of America, Citi, JP Morgan Chase and others).

People aren't pissed just to be pissed. They're mad because a tiny group of crooks on Wall Street built themselves beach houses in the Hamptons through a crude fraud scheme that decimated their retirement funds, caused property values in their neighborhoods to collapse and caused over four million people to be put in foreclosure.

And they're particularly mad that they got asked to pay for this criminal irresponsibility with bailouts funded with their tax dollars.

What the Clintons have done by turning their political careers into a vast moneymaking enterprise, it's not a value-neutral activity. The money isn't just about buying influence. The money also physically moves people, from one side of an imaginary line to another.

You will never catch Bernie Sanders standing in a room as a paid guest of a bank under investigation for ripping billions off pensioners and investors, addressing the audience in the first-person plural. He doesn't spend enough time with that kind of crowd to be so colloquial.

The Clintons meanwhile have by now taken so much money that when they stand in a room full of millionaires and billionaires, they can use the word "we" and not have it sound odd. The money has irrevocably moved them to that side of the ropeline. On that side of the line, public anger isn't legitimate, but something to be managed and waited out, just as Lloyd suggests.

When people like Blankfein tell us they don't take criticism personally, what they're saying is that it's too brainless and irrational to be taken any other way. He means to be insulting. And we should all take it that way.
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