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For the second time in a row, Obama has hired as his chief advisor someone who directly benefited from the greed and stupidity that led the country's current financial crisis.
For the seven years William Daley was with JP Morgan Chase, including a tour as a member of its executive committee. During this time JP Morgan got over three times as much in TARP aid as was promised states to help millions of Americans facing foreclosure and 35 times the size of Obama's own foreclosure fund.
Daley's government experience has mainly been as Commerce Secretary under Clinton, a post designed to appease big business interests without interfering too much with the overall administration. He was also a major backer of the NAFTA agreement.
Worse, this is the second time in a row that Obama has named as chief of staff someone with deep involvement in the financial industry that brought the country down. The New York Times reported in 2008:
||||| In late 1998, while Washington was in the throes of the Monica Lewinsky scandal, Rahm Emanuel, a departing senior political aide to President Bill Clinton, ventured out to an elegant restaurant in Dupont Circle for something of a job interview. . .
John Simpson, who ran the Chicago office of the investment banking boutique, had flown to Washington to meet with Mr. Emanuel at the behest of Mr. Simpson’s boss, Bruce Wasserstein, a major Democratic donor and renowned Wall Street dealmaker who had gotten to know Mr. Emanuel. . .
Mr. Emanuel, who was chosen last month to become President-elect Barack Obama’s White House chief of staff, went on to make more than $18 million in just two-and-a-half years, turning many of his contacts in his substantial political Rolodex into paying clients and directing his negotiating prowess and trademark intensity to mergers and acquisitions. He also benefited from the opportune sale of Wasserstein Perella to a German bank, helping him to an unusually large payout. ||||
And the NY Post reported:
|||| Emanuel served on the Freddie Mac board of directors during the time that the government-backed lender lied about its earnings, a leading contributor to the current economic meltdown. The Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight Agency later singled out the Freddie Mac board as contributing to the fraud in 2000 and 2001 for "failing in its duty to follow up on matters brought to its attention." In other words, board members ignored the red flags waving in their faces. The SEC later fined Freddie $50 million for its deliberate fraud in 2000, 2001 and 2002. Meanwhile, Emanuel was paid more than $260,000 for his Freddie "service." Plus, after he resigned from the board to run for Congress in 2002, the troubled agency's PAC gave his campaign $25,000 - its largest single gift to a House candidate. ||||
Even during the presidential campaign, it as clear that on Wall Street matters - as on so many others - Obama was not who he pretended to be. Here were some of the Progressive Review's gleanings from before Obama was elected:
-- Cass Sunstein, a constitutional advisor to Obama, told Jeffrey Rosen of the NY Times: "I would be stunned to find an anti-business [Supreme Court] appointee from either [Clinton or Obama]. There's not a strong interest on the part of Obama or Clinton in demonizing business, and you wouldn't expect to see that in their Supreme Court nominees."
-- Obama wrote that conservatives and Bill Clinton were right to destroy social welfare
-- Supported making it harder to file class action suits in state courts
-- Voted for a business-friendly "tort reform" bill
-- Voted against a 30% interest rate cap on credit cards
-- Had the most number of foreign lobbyist contributors in the primaries
-- Is even more popular with Pentagon contractors than McCain
-- Was most popular of the candidates with K Street lobbyists In 2003, rightwing Democratic Leadership Council named Obama as one of its "100 to Watch." After he was criticized in the black media, Obama disassociated himself with the DLC. But his major economic advisor, Austan Goolsbee, is also chief economist of the conservative organization. Writes Doug Henwood, "Goolsbee has written gushingly about Milton Friedman and denounced the idea of a moratorium on mortgage foreclosures."
-- Doug Henwood, Left Business Observer: "Top hedge fund honcho Paul Tudor Jones threw a fundraiser for him at his Greenwich house last spring, 'The whole of Greenwich is backing Obama,' one source said of the posh headquarters of the hedge fund industry. They like him because they're socially liberal, up to a point, and probably eager for a little less war, and think he's the man to do their work. They're also confident he wouldn't undertake any renovations to the distribution of wealth."
In other words, Obama has once again successfully conned his constituency. Sorry, but it's not just the right that's deep into masochistic myth. Liberals have a destructive dream world, too -- it's called Obamaland.