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Who's funding Obama?


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To follow, a recent piece by Pilger, shallow and dishonest on RFK, but not without interest on the subject of Obama's money sources:

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article20015.htm

After Bobby Kennedy

Bobby Kennedy's campaign is the model for Barack Obama's current bid to be the Democratic nominee for the White House. Both offer a false hope that they can bring peace and racial harmony to all Americans

By John Pilger

30/05/08 "ICH" -- - In this season of 1968 nostalgia, one anniversary illuminates today. It is the rise and fall of Robert Kennedy, who would have been elected president of the United States had he not been assassinated in June 1968. Having travelled with Kennedy up to the moment of his shooting at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles on 5 June, I heard The Speech many times. He would "return government to the people" and bestow "dignity and justice" on the oppressed. "As Bernard Shaw once said," he would say, "'Most men look at things as they are and wonder why. I dream of things that never were and ask: Why not?'" That was the signal to run back to the bus. It was fun until a hail of bullets passed over our shoulders.

Kennedy's campaign is a model for Barack Obama. Like Obama, he was a senator with no achievements to his name. Like Obama, he raised the expectations of young people and minorities. Like Obama, he promised to end an unpopular war, not because he opposed the war's conquest of other people's land and resources, but because it was "unwinnable".

Should Obama beat John McCain to the White House in November, it will be liberalism's last fling. In the United States and Britain, liberalism as a war-making, divisive ideology is once again being used to destroy liberalism as a reality. A great many people understand this, as the hatred of Blair and new Labour attest, but many are disoriented and eager for "leadership" and basic social democracy. In the US, where unrelenting propaganda about American democratic uniqueness disguises a corporate system based on extremes of wealth and privilege, liberalism as expressed through the Democratic Party has played a crucial, compliant role.

In 1968, Robert Kennedy sought to rescue the party and his own ambitions from the threat of real change that came from an alliance of the civil rights campaign and the anti-war movement then commanding the streets of the main cities, and which Martin Luther King had drawn together until he was assassinated in April that year. Kennedy had supported the war in Vietnam and continued to support it in private, but this was skilfully suppressed as he competed against the maverick Eugene McCarthy, whose surprise win in the New Hampshire primary on an anti-war ticket had forced President Lyndon Johnson to abandon the idea of another term. Using the memory of his martyred brother, Kennedy assiduously exploited the electoral power of delusion among people hungry for politics that represented them, not the rich.

"These people love you," I said to him as we left Calexico, California, where the immigrant population lived in abject poverty and people came like a great wave and swept him out of his car, his hands fastened to their lips.

"Yes, yes, sure they love me," he replied. "I love them!" I asked him how exactly he would lift them out of poverty: just what was his political philosophy? "Philosophy? Well, it's based on a faith in this country and I believe that many Americans have lost this faith and I want to give it back to them, because we are the last and the best hope of the world, as Thomas Jefferson said."

"That's what you say in your speech. Surely the question is: How?"

"How . . . by charting a new direction for America."

The vacuities are familiar. Obama is his echo. Like Kennedy, Obama may well "chart a new direction for America" in specious, media-honed language, but in reality he will secure, like every president, the best damned democracy money can buy.

Embarrassing truth

As their contest for the White House draws closer, watch how, regardless of the inevitable personal smears, Obama and McCain draw nearer to each other. They already concur on America's divine right to control all before it. "We lead the world in battling immediate evils and promoting the ultimate good," said Obama. "We must lead by building a 21st-century military . . . to advance the security of all people [emphasis added]." McCain agrees. Obama says in pursuing "terrorists" he would attack Pakistan. McCain wouldn't quarrel.

Both candidates have paid ritual obeisance to the regime in Tel Aviv, unquestioning support for which defines all presidential ambition. In opposing a UN Security Council resolution implying criticism of Israel's starvation of the people of Gaza, Obama was ahead of both McCain and Hillary Clinton. In January, pressured by the Israel lobby, he massaged a statement that "nobody has suffered more than the Palestinian people" to now read: "Nobody has suffered more than the Palestinian people from the failure of the Palestinian leadership to recognise Israel [emphasis added]." Such is his concern for the victims of the longest, illegal military occupation of modern times. Like all the candidates, Obama has furthered Israeli/Bush fictions about Iran, whose regime, he says absurdly, "is a threat to all of us".

On the war in Iraq, Obama the dove and McCain the hawk are almost united. McCain now says he wants US troops to leave in five years (instead of "100 years", his earlier option). Obama has now "reserved the right" to change his pledge to get troops out next year. "I will listen to our commanders on the ground," he now says, echoing Bush. His adviser on Iraq, Colin Kahl, says the US should maintain up to 80,000 troops in Iraq until 2010. Like McCain, Obama has voted repeatedly in the Senate to support Bush's demands for funding of the occupation of Iraq; and he has called for more troops to be sent to Afghanistan. His senior advisers embrace McCain's proposal for an aggressive "league of democracies", led by the United States, to circumvent the United Nations.

Amusingly, both have denounced their "preachers" for speaking out. Whereas McCain's man of God praised Hitler, in the fashion of lunatic white holy-rollers, Obama's man, Jeremiah Wright, spoke an embarrassing truth. He said that the attacks of 11 September 2001 had taken place as a consequence of the violence of US power across the world. The media demanded that Obama disown Wright and swear an oath of loyalty to the Bush lie that "terrorists attacked America because they hate our freedoms". So he did. The conflict in the Middle East, said Obama, was rooted not "primarily in the actions of stalwart allies like Israel", but in "the perverse and hateful ideologies of radical Islam". Journalists applauded. Islamophobia is a liberal speciality.

The American media love both Obama and McCain. Reminiscent of mating calls by Guardian writers to Blair more than a decade ago, Jann Wenner, founder of the liberal Rolling Stone, wrote: "There is a sense of dignity, even majesty, about him, and underneath that ease lies a resolute discipline . . . Like Abraham Lincoln, Barack Obama challenges America to rise up, to do what so many of us long to do: to summon 'the better angels of our nature'." At the liberal New Republic, Charles Lane confessed: "I know it shouldn't be happening, but it is. I'm falling for John McCain." His colleague Michael Lewis had gone further. His feelings for McCain, he wrote, were like "the war that must occur inside a 14-year-old boy who discovers he is more sexually attracted to boys than to girls".

The objects of these uncontrollable passions are as one in their support for America's true deity, its corporate oligarchs. Despite claiming that his campaign wealth comes from small individual donors, Obama is backed by the biggest Wall Street firms: Goldman Sachs, UBS AG, Lehman Brothers, J P Morgan Chase, Citigroup, Morgan Stanley and Credit Suisse, as well as the huge hedge fund Citadel Investment Group. "Seven of the Obama campaign's top 14 donors," wrote the investigator Pam Martens, "consisted of officers and employees of the same Wall Street firms charged time and again with looting the public and newly implicated in originating and/or bundling fraudulently made mortgages." A report by United for a Fair Economy, a non-profit group, estimates the total loss to poor Americans of colour who took out sub-prime loans as being between $164bn and $213bn: the greatest loss of wealth ever recorded for people of colour in the United States. "Washington lobbyists haven't funded my campaign," said Obama in January, "they won't run my White House and they will not drown out the voices of working Americans when I am president." According to files held by the Centre for Responsive Politics, the top five contributors to the Obama campaign are registered corporate lobbyists.

What is Obama's attraction to big business? Precisely the same as Robert Kennedy's. By offering a "new", young and apparently progressive face of the Democratic Party - with the bonus of being a member of the black elite - he can blunt and divert real opposition. That was Colin Powell's role as Bush's secretary of state. An Obama victory will bring intense pressure on the US anti-war and social justice movements to accept a Democratic administration for all its faults. If that happens, domestic resistance to rapacious America will fall silent.

Piracies and dangers.

America's war on Iran has already begun. In December, Bush secretly authorised support for two guerrilla armies inside Iran, one of which, the military arm of Mujahedin-e Khalq, is described by the state department as terrorist. The US is also engaged in attacks or subversion against Somalia, Lebanon, Syria, Afghanistan, India, Pakistan, Bolivia and Venezuela. A new military command, Africom, is being set up to fight proxy wars for control of Africa's oil and other riches. With US missiles soon to be stationed provocatively on Russia's borders, the Cold War is back. None of these piracies and dangers has raised a whisper in the presidential campaign, not least from its great liberal hope.

Moreover, none of the candidates represents so-called mainstream America. In poll after poll, voters make clear that they want the normal decencies of jobs, proper housing and health care. They want their troops out of Iraq and the Israelis to live in peace with their Palestinian neighbours. This is a remarkable testimony, given the daily brainwashing of ordinary Americans in almost everything they watch and read.

On this side of the Atlantic, a deeply cynical electorate watches British liberalism's equivalent last fling. Most of the "philosophy" of new Labour was borrowed wholesale from the US. Bill Clinton and Tony Blair were interchangeable. Both were hostile to traditionalists in their parties who might question the corporate-speak of their class-based economic policies and their relish for colonial conquests. Now the British find themselves spectators to the rise of new Tory, distinguishable from Blair’s new Labour only in the personality of its leader, a former corporate public relations man who presents himself as Tonier than thou. We all deserve better.

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To follow, a recent piece by Pilger, shallow and dishonest on RFK, but not without interest on the subject of Obama's money sources:

The objects of these uncontrollable passions are as one in their support for America's true deity, its corporate oligarchs. Despite claiming that his campaign wealth comes from small individual donors, Obama is backed by the biggest Wall Street firms: Goldman Sachs, UBS AG, Lehman Brothers, J P Morgan Chase, Citigroup, Morgan Stanley and Credit Suisse, as well as the huge hedge fund Citadel Investment Group. "Seven of the Obama campaign's top 14 donors," wrote the investigator Pam Martens, "consisted of officers and employees of the same Wall Street firms charged time and again with looting the public and newly implicated in originating and/or bundling fraudulently made mortgages."

Well it’s actually 5 of the top 14 and 6 of the top 13. That still sounds impressive until one does the math and sees that the total donated by employees of these companies is $ 2.2 million, less than 1% of the $ 265.4 million total he has raised. It’s not surprising that employees of financial companies would be among his top donors, lots of people with disposable income work for them, they tend to be urban and university educated which one of Obama’s main support groups. Since the maximum personal contribution is $ 2,300 (or $4,600 for primaries and general election)* he obviously got contributions from hundreds employees of these companies many of who are Democrats or independents. 99.6 of his contributions ARE from individual donors, many happen to work for high finance.

Are these companies responsible for bad morgages? I'd like to see the evidence.

The actual data from the author's cited source.

Rank – company – Total donated by employees

1 - Goldman Sachs $ 571,330

3 - UBS AG $ 364,806

4 - JPMorgan Chase & Co $ 362,207

5- Citigroup Inc $ 358,054

7 - Lehman Brothers $ 318,647

13 - Morgan Stanley $ 259,876

TOTAL $2 ,234 ,920

http://www.opensecrets.org/pres08/contrib....p;cid=N00009638

Total raised:

Individual contributions $264,493,051 100%

PAC contributions $-750 -0%

Candidate self-financing $0 0%

Federal Funds $0 0%

Other $946,977 0%

TOTAL $265,440,028

http://www.opensecrets.org/pres08/summary....p;cid=N00009638

* http://www.fec.gov/pages/brochures/citizens.shtml

Edited by Len Colby
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Len Colby: Since the maximum personal contribution is $ 2,300 (or $4,600 for primaries and general election)* he obviously got contributions from hundreds employees of these companies many of who are Democrats or independents. 99.6 of his contributions ARE from individual donors, many happen to work for high finance.

So he'll be standing up for the man and woman in the street against Wall St, then, I take it?

I'm beginning to see what Obama actually means when he ritually intones "change." Like The Leopard in Lampedusa's classic by same title, Obama believes that things really have got to change...in order to stay the same. He's an intelligent conservative, it would seem.

Paul

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Len Colby: Since the maximum personal contribution is $ 2,300 (or $4,600 for primaries and general election)* he obviously got contributions from hundreds employees of these companies many of who are Democrats or independents. 99.6 of his contributions ARE from individual donors, many happen to work for high finance.

So he'll be standing up for the man and woman in the street against Wall St, then, I take it?

His voting record in Senate and Illinois legislature indicate that he probably would more often than not. Since the employees of the seven financial companies among the 20 whose workers donated the most money only account for only 0.83 % of the money he’s raised I don’t see why not. I’m not saying he will definitely always do what’s in the best interest of the middle and lower classed but the attempt to smear him based on his campaign contributions is baseless.

I'm beginning to see what Obama actually means when he ritually intones "change." Like The Leopard in Lampedusa's classic by same title, Obama believes that things really have got to change...in order to stay the same. He's an intelligent conservative, it would seem.

your evidence?

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I'm beginning to see what Obama actually means when he ritually intones "change." Like The Leopard in Lampedusa's classic by same title, Obama believes that things really have got to change...in order to stay the same. He's an intelligent conservative, it would seem.

your evidence?

Your defending him. I find this troubling.

Paul

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Guest David Guyatt

I am by no means now alone in regarding Obama as yet another chosen son of the financial ruling elite.

http://moderate.wordpress.com/2007/09/15/o...on-family-feud/

Let’s call Barack Obama what he is—a sock puppet for the ruling elite. Obama made this plainly obvious recently when he tabbed Zbigniew Brzezinski as his top foreign policy adviser.

Shifting the current atrocious and dangerous American foreign policy back from the neocon madness is a good thing, but let's not willfully blind ourselves that Obama truly represents our interests.

The bottom line is that the political system is now so tragically flawed, imo, that no one will ever get elected who will truly represent the will and wishes of the ordinary man in the street. It is only there to represent the influences of wealth and power while deceiving the rest of us that it is representative.

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Our rulers know that the American body Politic has become soft as yesterday's strawberry shortcake.

They know that voters are just looking to get their Don't Blame Me I Voted For Obama t-shirts, to wear for another eight years, while the next two million are killed in the Middle East.

Then it will be time to pull another lever and buy the next t-shirt. That's about the extent of electoral change permissable from the grass roots of the CNN hothouse, where all the analysts are former Clinton, and all the oil and munitions

portfolios are well above average.

Of course this is not the result of any static national character.

It has resulted from forty years of not a single clear and true thing being allowed on our airwaves. That is why the assassinations of 1968 must be pointed to in order to remind the citizens what half of an opposition party sounded like.

That is why I am continuously astounded by the lack of interest in the RFK and MLK assassinations. These assassinations show what can happen in a reciprocal development when grass roots movements are given some air-cover in the national media.

Since 1968, there has been no air-cover, and the grass roots are dead. Surely this is the lesson of 1968, rather than the personal "sincerity test" of any one pol. It is a lesson that is being ignored in surprising places.

Edited by Nathaniel Heidenheimer
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I agree, but with a caveat (of sorts). Obama is about the best we can get now under the current tragicly flawed and Elite-controlled system. Perhaps he even secretly harbors visions to try to move things toward more bottom-up Democracy, as did JFK - another flawed political figure, but a breath of fresh air compared to what came before, after and were the alternatives. JFK paid the ultimate price for his 'hubris' as seen by those who feel they really rule. Obama might, sadly, meet a similar fate. I agreee, Obamas advisors are problematic [more so that the few more progressive ones, like Powers, were forced to step-down], but he is (for better or for worse) trying, by playing 'politics' to make some [albeit minor] changes. While I condemn his distancing himself from Rev. Wright, the very fact he once embraced him, does say some positive things about Obama. He is not going to be the light of the World and no champion of TRUE Democracy, and might well pay as high a price as did JFK should he try to stray from the bounds his 'sadvisors' and 'backers' will set for him...but he also might just give us [uSA and to some extent the World] enough breathing room to make our moves for true change. He will not lead it, I think, but may follow if the People lead. A W would not follow anything but the worst of the worst in the Deep Political Establishment. I think there is a small chance that Obama would welcome being 'led' by the People toward things more progressive. [Or am I dreaming, based upon my wishes?! Time will tell]

One thing we can say is that Obama appears to be more left-wing that JFK was in 1960. JFK changed, maybe Obama will also. If he does, he really will be in danger of being assassinated.

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Guest David Guyatt
To answer the question which is the title of this thread, pretty much the same people and interest groups which are funding HRC and McCain.

Exactly! Think Bilderbergers.

Jack

As you know, the Trilats are the Bilderbergers Jack, except that they were formed to roll the Japanese elite into the western elite. Otherwise, the same beast with the same right-wing agenda...

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I agree, but with a caveat (of sorts). Obama is about the best we can get now under the current tragicly flawed and Elite-controlled system. Perhaps he even secretly harbors visions to try to move things toward more bottom-up Democracy, as did JFK - another flawed political figure, but a breath of fresh air compared to what came before, after and were the alternatives. JFK paid the ultimate price for his 'hubris' as seen by those who feel they really rule. Obama might, sadly, meet a similar fate. I agreee, Obamas advisors are problematic [more so that the few more progressive ones, like Powers, were forced to step-down], but he is (for better or for worse) trying, by playing 'politics' to make some [albeit minor] changes. While I condemn his distancing himself from Rev. Wright, the very fact he once embraced him, does say some positive things about Obama. He is not going to be the light of the World and no champion of TRUE Democracy, and might well pay as high a price as did JFK should he try to stray from the bounds his 'sadvisors' and 'backers' will set for him...but he also might just give us [uSA and to some extent the World] enough breathing room to make our moves for true change. He will not lead it, I think, but may follow if the People lead. A W would not follow anything but the worst of the worst in the Deep Political Establishment. I think there is a small chance that Obama would welcome being 'led' by the People toward things more progressive. [Or am I dreaming, based upon my wishes?! Time will tell]

One thing we can say is that Obama appears to be more left-wing that JFK was in 1960. JFK changed, maybe Obama will also. If he does, he really will be in danger of being assassinated.

Yes, let's hope Obama develops into a JFK clone when in office. There's nothing else to hang your hat on anyway.

He'll inherit a poisoned chalice of problems which will threaten America's social cohesion. Whether this will make it more difficult for Obama than it was for JFK remains to be seen. The timing's just about right. He can potentially put himself up there with Lincoln and Kennedy, before he shares their fate.

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To answer the question which is the title of this thread, pretty much the same people and interest groups which are funding HRC and McCain.

Nt so unless he's being secretly funded because the available data says he got 99.6% of his money from private donors only 1% of which came from employees of finanicial companies

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To answer the question which is the title of this thread, pretty much the same people and interest groups which are funding HRC and McCain.

Nt so unless he's being secretly funded because the available data says he got 99.6% of his money from private donors only 1% of which came from employees of finanicial companies

Len-

Private donors are the "people" to whom I was referring.

The race is developing in earnest, now, and the special interests and wealthy private donors (many of whom give to both sides, to cover all bases) will likely be heartily supporting Obama.

Obama will have many of the same "bundlers" working for him who have worked for him thus far or, alternatively, HRC.

He wants to win, so he will welcome the $.

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