Citigroup: The Original Gangsta: Robert Scheer

The prototypical too-big-to-fail bank will pay $7 billion in fines, a move that will avoid a humiliating trial dealing with its role in the financial meltdown.
– 2014/07/14


The evidence is clear for anyone willing to face facts.


Deregulation of the financial services industry screwed us all except, of course, for those at the top of Wall Street and K Street and Capitol Hill.


The rich and powerful have proven throughout history that they simply cannot be trusted. When are we all going to learn that lesson?


Let me start by asking you Randians who believe libertarian fairy tales about free markets and Invisible Hands.


You do realize – actually and sadly, I guess you don’t – that there’s no such thing as a free market or an Invisible Hand and there never can be.


There are no supernatural powers at work in the marketplace. The market can’t sort things out by itself. The people of wealth power aren’t making decisions to do anything to improve the market or our lots in life.


How many times do you need to be hit over the head with the factual 2X4s before you get it that corporations are run by people who, when left unchecked, have proven again and again the only self-governance they’re interested in is toward whatever definition of unfettered capitalism – including, BTW, all the generous government subsidies they can get their hands on thanks to our tax dollars – yields them the greatest returns?


When will you get it that that is not their largess trickling down on us, and when will you understand that wishing for some piss-poor Russian novelist’s fiction to suddenly become reality won’t make it so no matter how many times you click your ruby slippers together?


As for you more mainstream conservatives, Republicans, and even most tea partiers, you need to quit listening to the libertarians and the off-the-rails radicals among you.


The only people benefiting from deregulating corporations and guns while wanting more regulation of gays, women, minorities, and immigrants are those who are using their Not-So-Invisible Hands to pull the economic strings. Will you ever see that those strings are tightening around your necks, too?

And "The American Dream?" It’s a dream now for a reason, and if you spent 15 minutes looking at history you’d know that.

The only time that Dream could actually be realized was during America’s Golden Age when Democrats ruled most of government post-Depression; when labor was strong and growing; and when banks and financial services were regulated up their wazoos.

So, please, all you well-educated, thoughtful, and clear-thinking conservatives, would you please stop kissing the Mad Hatter’s and GOP’s asses when it comes to their lies about smaller government, lower taxes, weaker labor, and less regulation?

The 30+ year experiment of Reaganomics has failed. Be grown ups about it, at least, and admit it.


Now for you dyed-in-wool Democrats, liberals, progressives, and transpartisans (which, IMHO, is as about as believable a thing as Invisible Hands – talk about non-committal).


The Financial Services Modernization Act, aka Gramm-Leach-Bliley, passed with overwhelming bipartisan support. It was signed into law by a Democratic president. It broke down all the barriers and protections that were put up after the last Great Depression.


We clearly didn’t learn anything from history, putting the foxes back in charge of the hen houses they had been locked out of for all those prosperous years in America.


If this article doesn’t prove that Big Money trumps ideology, party, and policy – the kind we like to fantasize about as coming only from Democrats who, in our fairy tale world, are always doing right and looking out for the little guy – then what will?


And, when will you well-meaning, kumbaya-singing, fellow liberals on the Blue Team call out Clinton for what he did? Isn’t it time to stop canonizing him as your Saint Reagan?


It’s all about money and power.

Can someone prove to me that money doesn’t rule our government at every level?

Can someone tell me why there aren’t more Americans willing to do something about it?

For those who are willing, let me make a few of the same suggestions I’ve been making. They are non-partisan and apply to everyone of every political stripe and leaning:

1. Become a Citizen Co-Sponsor of the American Anti-Corruption Act at

2, Support the MayDayPAC, the "SuperPAC to end all SuperPACs" at

3. Get behind and support organizations working to overturn Citizens United and McCutcheon like Move To Amend ( and WolfPAC (


If we’re going to make a difference, the first thing that has to happen is we have to be louder and more powerful – and electorally more important and more threatening – to politicians than a few wealthy donors and corporations.


That’s why getting money out of politics – and voting in every single election – is so important. 


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