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comment by kleinbl00
kleinbl00  ·  809 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Barack Obama's $400,000 speaking fees reveal what few want to admit

... You realize he got a $65m advance on his memoirs, right? So is your position that Alfred A. Knopf has 150x the influence over the presidency of Barack Obama than Wall Street does? Because I know you understand politics better than this, but i also know you like to indulge in an unhealthy amount of what I'll charitably call "dudgeon for nothing" because spitting out these phlegmatic little gobbets of nothing means you don't have to chew it over, I guess?




OftenBen  ·  809 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I would be equally upset if he took only a single paperclip out of the tray on his way past the reception desk.

It's not about dollar value and you know it. It's about the principle that money needs to be taken out of politics.

Obama taking this money validates the idea that money is an acceptable method of effecting politics.

kleinbl00  ·  809 days ago  ·  link  ·  

And that's why you're upset so much - you reserve the right to be morally outraged unless everyone conforms perfectly to your platonic ideal of the universe. "It's the principle of the thing" has been said before more needless catastrophes than anything this side of "god is great" and I think you should reflect - for just one fucking moment - on whether or not any politician anywhere has ever done anything that you don't feel scornful about.

You've erected a scenario for yourself whereby obviously Obama is a craven money-grubbing opportunist because now that he's out of office, he's getting speaking fees... probably for something underhanded and dishonest that he did while in office and you didn't even bother to notice that Cantor Fitzgerald's biggest political contributions were to John Fucking Boehner.

Being "equally upset if he took only a single paperclip" doesn't make you principled, it makes you pathologically unreasonable. Who should he take money from? What should he do? Because I want this fucking organization to have every resource they can get and I don't give a shit if they take money from Satan himself. And that probably makes me a cuck or some shit in your eyes but I know one thing - I spend a lot less of my day outraged.

goobster  ·  808 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Ah to be young again, and see the world in black and white. It was so much easier then! The answers were so clear!

I envy your righteous right-ness.

But honestly, if someone offered you money to speak on a topic you know well, would you take it? Or would you tell them no?

OftenBen  ·  808 days ago  ·  link  ·  

    But honestly, if someone offered you money to speak on a topic you know well, would you take it? Or would you tell them no?

If that someone was Cantor Fitzgerald or a related organization I'd tell them to fuck off.

goobster  ·  807 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Wrong.

You would take the opportunity. And you know you would.

Because when would you EVER have the opportunity to speak to that crowd, and have their full attention?

_refugee_  ·  807 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Totally on a side bar here and not trying to engage in the "Well, is Barry a sellout?" discussion, but I am driven to point out that some people would turn down an offer like this not because of morals, but because there is no fucking way in hell I would desire to or be able to speak in front of a crowd like that. I cried reading a poem in front of 12 people once; I chronically blush; eeehhhh, I think I would pass.

Edit: OK, on second thought, I might agree if there was absolutely no content requirement. I could say hi and leave, right?

On another note ... what if we waited to call him a sellout until we heard what he had to say? Would be freakin' hilarious if he takes their money and gives a speech about the necessary overhauls he thinks the banking and investment industry needs.

...yeah, sure, he probably isn't going to do that, but if the rest of you are going to make him a sell-out or a bribe-taker or a smart money man, why can't I make him a maverick?

OftenBen  ·  807 days ago  ·  link  ·  

    Would be freakin' hilarious if he takes their money and gives a speech about the necessary overhauls he thinks the banking and investment industry needs.

I would love to see this.

'Thanks for the check guys. You know, you should probably stop buying and selling Senators and members of Congress like NFL free agents.'

kleinbl00  ·  807 days ago  ·  link  ·  

    You know, I remember having a long conversation with Warren Buffett, who is obviously a friend of mine, but I think he's the greatest investor of our modern era, and he said, you know, I would go and I'd talk to my friends and I'd ask them to explain to me what a default credit swap was, and by the time they got into their fifth minute, I had no idea what they were talking about.And when they got into their tenth minute, I realized they didn't have any idea what they were talking about.

    I mean, Alan Greenspan said, I didn't understand at all what they were trading. So I think it's in everybody's interest to get back to a better transparent model.

    And we need banking. I mean, right now, there are so many places in our country where the banks are not doing what they need to do because they're scared of regulations, they're scared of the other shoe dropping, they're just plain scared,so credit is not flowing the way it needs to to restart economic growth.

    So people are, you know, a little —they're still uncertain, and they're uncertain both because they don't know what might come next in terms of regulations, but they're also uncertain because of changes in a global economy that we're only beginning to take hold of.

    So first and foremost, more transparency,more openness, you know, trying to figure out, we're all in this together, how we keep this incredible economic engine in this country going. And this is, you know, the nerves, the spinal column.

    And with political people, again, I would say the same thing, you know, there was a lot of complaining about Dodd-Frank, but there was also a need to do something because for political reasons, if you were an elected member of Congress and people in your constituency were losing jobs and shutting businesses and everybody in the press is saying it's all the fault of Wall Street, you can't sit idly by and do nothing, but what you do is really important.

HIlary Clinton at Goldman Sachs, October 2013

OftenBen  ·  802 days ago  ·  link  ·  

That's a whole lot of words to say 'The little people are starting to become aware of how badly you and I are fucking them.'

kleinbl00  ·  802 days ago  ·  link  ·  

No it's not. You said you "would love to see" a speech about the necessary overhauls the banking and investment industry needs. Clinton gave that speech. It was leaked by Russia.

You were explicitly given what you asked for. Your response? "I still want to be mad."

OftenBen  ·  801 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Taken from the passage you cited

    there was a lot of complaining about Dodd-Frank, but there was also a need to do something because for political reasons, if you were an elected member of Congress and people in your constituency were losing jobs and shutting businesses and everybody in the press is saying it's all the fault of Wall Street, you can't sit idly by and do nothing, but what you do is really important.

Translation - We really didn't want to change a single thing about the way you guys do business, because it's good for every senator and congressman and the entire political ecosystem if you guys are stinking rich. The press says that it's your fault that everyone is broke (But we both know that's not true, wink wink nudge nudge) so we had to do SOMETHING or else the little people might have actually gotten upset enough to do something crazy like vote out their sitting senators and congressmen.

Why was the contents of this speech a secret? Why was it politically potent for it to be leaked? Obama just spoke to bankers and to 'mature' people, that's not anything politically potent. Why does it matter?

I asked for someone to actually tell the financier class 'Hey, guess what, we're bringing Glass-Steagall back because you guys literally couldn't stop stealing and making openly consumer-hostile decisions if your lives depended on it. Thanks for the check.'

kleinbl00  ·  801 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Take out all the insinuations and the fact that you're moving the goalposts now so you can stay outraged, and your comment becomes whitespace.

OftenBen  ·  807 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I know I wouldn't.

There's nothing I can say to the guys at Cantor Fitzgerald to convince them that they need to stop using their money to influence the political process.

I firmly believe that money in politics is the single biggest corrupting influence at work in our process right now. There are other forces at work, but getting rid of that force would help substantially.

kleinbl00  ·  807 days ago  ·  link  ·  

In a hundred words or less, explain why you view the employees of Cantor Fitzgerald distastefully.

user-inactivated  ·  809 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Good counterpoint. This conversation is juicy. Let me go make some popcorn.