February 17, 2014

Obama Admin’s TPP Trade Officials Received Hefty Bonuses From Big Banks

Stefan SeligOfficials tapped by the Obama administration to lead the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade negotiations have received multimillion dollar bonuses from CitiGroup and Bank of America, financial disclosures obtained by Republic Report show.

Stefan Selig, a Bank of America investment banker nominated to become the Under Secretary for International Trade at the Department of Commerce, received more than $9 million in bonus pay as he was nominated to join the administration in November. The bonus pay came in addition to the $5.1 million in incentive pay awarded to Selig last year.

Michael Froman, the current U.S. Trade Representative, received over $4 million as part of multiple exit payments when he left CitiGroup to join the Obama administration. Froman told Senate Finance Committee members last summer that he donated approximately 75 percent of the $2.25 million bonus he received for his work in 2008 to charity. CitiGroup also gave Froman a $2 million payment in connection to his holdings in two investment funds, which was awarded “in recognition of [Froman’s] service to Citi in various capacities since 1999.”

Many large corporations with a strong incentive to influence public policy award bonuses and other incentive pay to executives if they take jobs within the government. CitiGroup, for instance, provides an executive contract that awards additional retirement pay upon leaving to take a “full time high level position with the U.S. government or regulatory body.” Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, JPMorgan Chase, the Blackstone Group, Fannie Mae, Northern Trust, and Northrop Grumman are among the other firms that offer financial rewards upon retirement for government service.

Froman joined the administration in 2009. Selig is currently awaiting Senate confirmation before he can take his post, which collaborates with the trade officials to support the TPP.

The controversial TPP trade deal has rankled activists for containing provisions that would newly empower corporations to sue governments in ad hoc arbitration tribunals to demand compensation from governments for laws and regulations they claim undermine their business interests. Leaked TPP negotiation documents show the Obama administration is seeking to prevent foreign governments from issuing a broad variety of financial rules designed to stem another bank crisis.

A leaked text of the TPP’s investment chapter shows that the pact would include the controversial investor-state dispute resolution system. A fact-sheet provided by Public Citizen explains how multi-national corporations may use the TPP deal to skirt domestic courts and local laws. The arrangement would allows corporations to go after governments before foreign tribunals to demand compensations for tobacco, prescription drug and environment protections that they claim would undermine their expected future profits. Last year, Senator Elizabeth Warren warned that trade agreements such as the TPP provide “a chance for these banks to get something done quietly out of sight that they could not accomplish in a public place with the cameras rolling and the lights on.”

Others have raised similar alarm.

“Not only do US treaties mandate that all forms of finance move across borders freely and without delay, but deals such as the TPP would allow private investors to directly file claims against governments that regulate them, as opposed to a WTO-like system where nation states (ie the regulators) decide whether claims are brought,” notes Boston University associate professor Kevin Gallagher.

  • Angelo_Frank

    We have been living under an oligarchy since that actor fellow became president and introduced the country to a system called ‘Reaganomics’. As a result, the top ten percent have 81% to 94% of stocks, bonds, trust funds, and business equity, and almost 80% of non-home real estate. Since financial wealth is what counts as far as the control of income-producing assets, we can say that just 10% of the people own the United States of America.

    • fiwik

      Banking deregulation started under Carter. Clinton signed the bulk of deregulation, including the mother of all deregulation , the Commodity Futures Modernization Act. The Reagan Administration’s
      mistake was removing the income tax liability of millions of lower middle class
      americans, but without the power to repeal their right
      to vote. It’s obvious that getting elected by appealing to the 10% that pay
      the bills, is futile when the 70% that receive more from the government than
      they pay in can just vote themselves a raise.They have consistently
      voted for anyone that promises them MORE. When you don’t pay
      anything, you have very little incentive to say “no” to more
      government spending…after all, you aren’t paying for it.

      • Christopher Fallon

        If you’re right, then why are republicans ever elected?

        • CML

          Because so many are determined that when they win the lottery they don’t want to be taxed.

        • CherMoe

          Corruption, redistricting, suppressing the votes, “faulty” voting machines and LOTS OF MONEY to spread misinformation and lies, courtesy of Karl Rove, the Koch Bros., Citizens Untied and the Supreme Court. The Republican FIX IS IN.

      • Patriot_Games

        Most that government spending is on defense to protect rich guys assets. Here is a scenario for you. Since you get nothing for your money as you say. I have a burglar in my house, I call 911. How long will I have to wait for an officer to arrive? You have a tourist trespassing. You call 911. How long will you have to wait for an officer? I don’t know about you but I paid about 28%. Plus FICA, Medicare, State Tax, Property Tax, local sales tax. So all together I paid about 45% in taxes. How much as a percent of your earnings did you pay? And the problem with 1% is they think the world revolves around them. But death is the great equalizer.

        • Herbert Shallcross

          Social programs of one sort or another take up approximately three times as much of the budget as military spending does. Certainly military spending is excessive. We could probably reduce military spending by 25% and still maintain a clear technical edge over any opponent. That doesn’t excuse the welter of poorly designed, overlapping social welfare problems that deliver help in such an inefficient and wasteful way that it is hard to imagine a more poorly designed system. We could, if the objective was actually helping the needy, deliver far more help for a fraction of the money spent. The problem is the same in both cases, and many others. Politicians buy reelection by shoveling tax money out the door. The people closest to them get most of that cash flow.

          • Starman_Andromeda

            Many of those social welfare programs you decry work quite efficiently–and typically more efficiently than the private sector ones do! Just check out the food stamp program, for one thing. And contrast it with corporate welfare– including tax loopholes. When did Exxon-Mobil last pay taxes? And who let them merge anyway?

            Still, I agree that we could easily cut military spending by a quarter (heck, even half) and not really hurt our imperialistic projection of power in the world.

            We’d need to accompany it, though, with an aggressive infrastructure rebuilding program and one that could make good use of all the laid off people.

          • GregoryC

            Wrong. Social Security, Medicare payments are paid from PAYROLL TAX revenue. Military budget comes from the FEDERAL Income tax revenue. If this country is spending more than we take it, the people evading taxes are mostly those who receive most of the gains, the Top 10%. The Top 1% received 50% of all income gains in 2012.

      • hippie1367

        Go 2nd amend yourself you racist trash – tell me how hard the walmart kids have worked in their lives – lifting investment reports isn’t a job.

      • lloydc1234

        Clinton is certainly culpable; however he admitted he made a mistake signing Gramm-Leach-Bliley. Where do you think the cash to “pay those bills” came from? Wall street lobbyists suck money from the Treasury and the companies they represent made their money from the labor of the workers. Grow up.

      • GregoryC

        More money is spent on corporate welfare (subsidies, bailouts, no-bid contracts, Ex-Im Bank), welfare for millionaires (tax loopholes), military (privatized defense contractors) than spent on social safety net. Bottom 90% of Americans are paying payroll taxes on 100% of their meager incomes: 40% of Americans earn less than $20,000 annually and the median individual income is $27,519 (per SSA) how much more in taxes do you expect us to pay?

        • Alamo36

          An excellent start in a national economic turnaround would be to remove the limitation on SS payroll taxes. Taxes should be paid on every dollar earned during a year. If a dollar is earned on so-called “capital gains” it should be taxed identically to the dollar the garbage collector earns for his “labor gains” without exception.If ANY worker has to pay payroll taxes throughout the year, then EVERY income earner should have to pay throughout the year.ALL income should be subject to a payroll tax.

          So if and when the SS Trust Fund is replenished in its entirety, then reducing the tax rate could be considered, so long as any revision suggested would maintain the Fund’s future solvency.

          What’s fair for the gander is fair for the goose.

          Addressing issues similar to the above could be proffered at a Constitutional Convention as the US Constitution states, but ONLY after the Amendment nullifying the Citizens United vs F.E.C. is passed by that Convention. That US SCOTUS decision is the absolute worst decision that Court has ever rendered for it in a nut shell, delivered this nation to the highest bidders…it legally allows the fascist/oligarchs to BUY the United States of America. Never in all our history has any greater crime been committed against the PEOPLE of this country by the 5 majority “Justices” (?) named Roberts, Scalia, Alito, Thomas and Kennedy. Hell wouldn’t be hot enough for them in my opinion.

    • JimTheBoy

      The decline of the middle class started with Reagan firing the Air Controllers and from that point labor unions have been destroyed by the 1%. And then under Reagan, we went from being the world’s largest creditor to the world’s largest debtor and the decline continues. Welcome to the 3rd world!

      • lloydc1234

        Very true.

      • Herbert Shallcross

        The air traffic controllers were idiots. At that time, to expedite traffic, controllers were routinely allowing much smaller separation between aircraft than the rule specified. If they “worked to rule” or just did their job the way the rules said they should, it would have caused massive delays that the administration would have no right to punish them for. They could have put more pressure on for longer than an illegal strike would, but they chose, quite foolishly to strike, That opened them up do disciplinary action including dismissal. They went on strike for a 100% reduction in pay and benefits.

      • Ignacious Strange

        Federal unions have never had collective bargaining power. They were warned what would happen if they struck, and Reagan lived up to his word. He definitely had other shortcomings but on this one he was dead on. Even FDR understood that collective bargain has a place in the private sector but never in the public sector.

      • Susan Grantham

        JimtheBoy- I was an air traffic controller in the USAF at a fighter training base when he chose to fire the civilian controllers- he took all the controllers that were washing out of the career field in all branches of the service and replaced the fired controllers. Problems that occurred due to this decision: the skies were not safe any longer. The replacement controllers were WASHING OUT of the career field because they couldn’t apply the knowledge to the scope. Reagan then placed all the military controllers on emergency manning level, meaning we had 12 hour shifts instead of 8 hour shifts. It burned a lot of controller out needlessly.
        The civilian controllers used the “safety/stress ploy” as their means to strike. As a controller in a level 4 Rapcon, I can tell you first hand that “ploy” is a load of crap and a fall back to get what they wanted. FACT- NO ONE argues with a controller at 30,000 feet; and the only time it gets stressful is if the weather fails quickly, and even then, pilots have flight maps and are aware of the procedures.

        • JimTheBoy

          Susan, in your own personal opinion, did the Air Controllers have ground for “striking”?? Legally or illegalyl, in my opinion does not enter into consideration. I am a very strong labor person and take the position that “striking” is sometimes the only way to get the 1% to pay attention to the workers situation.
          The firing of the controllers actually opened the doors for corporations to follow suit and that is what I hold Reagan responsible for. Had organized labor pulled a work stoppage in sympathy for the controllers, then I believe that Reagan would have backed off. But organized labor “tucked their tails between their legs” and cowardly did nothing.

      • GregoryC

        It started before then: Lewis Powell, Jr 1971 memo before his appointment to the U.S. Supreme Court.

  • Marlowe53

    This needs to end. I call on the members of the press and the government and other powerful people who supported Obama’s election to FINALLY call him out for the whore he is.

    • bromeando

      That’s capitalism. How do you like it?

      • 2400cc

        That’s corruption…

        • bromeando

          Have they broken any laws? Individuals and firms are free to act as greedily and selfishly as they can within the law, absolved from any moral obligations.

      • rbba

        How do you see the good old boy network as capitalism?

        • bromeando

          According to right-wingers who follow Ayn Rand: When I say “capitalism,” I mean a full, pure, uncontrolled, unregulated
          laissez-faire capitalism—with a separation of state and economics, in
          the same way and for the same reasons as the separation of state and
          church…Ayn Rand. Change the system if you don’t like it.

          • rbba

            Hello…you’re on both sides of the issue.

          • bromeando

            ??? I don’t agree with Ayn Rand’s philosophy.

      • lloydc1234

        Pure COMPETITIVE capitalism would be Ok. We have almost pure MONOPOLY capitalism

        • bromeando

          For capitalism to work, the 3 indigence (labor,
          resources and capital), must work together. If capital chooses not to finance
          education, prefers dumb people/labor, and no advancement in the country, it
          will result in the “stale” economy, keeping the status-quo. Neither
          “Socialism” nor the “extreme, eat your child capitalism” is
          an option.

    • SnowStormsinDetroit

      What president has not done something like this?

      This is legal in America so no matter who’s in office it’s going to happen.

      Would you be ok with this if it were a Republican?

      • Gene Silvers

        You’d obviously be okay with it if it were a Republican. Because you’re obviously okay with it when it’s a Democrat.

        • SnowStormsinDetroit

          My point is ..

          Don’t hate the player..

          hate the GAME.

      • sophiajim

        I’m a strong dem and I am against this deal as most know that the worker here in the US loses on every deal. These deals are for the corporations so they can move to cheaper labor with no benefits and very little safety. Do as they want and never have to worry about being sued.

        • SnowStormsinDetroit

          You gotta rethink being a strong dem Sophia. Im very serious…I do realize Repubs are lunatics but

          Neither of these parties deserve our loyalty. It’s all a fraud. And we need a strong 3rd party.

          If you notice both parties are sliding more and more to the right.

    • Rick Drake

      Marlowe53. Learn to think critically or forever be ignorant. Where in this article does it say that Obama had them paid…the bonuses were from the banks they were working at before working for the government, which had NOTHING to do with paying the money! You wanna get pissed, get mad at the Bush illegal wars that cost US taxpayers 7 TRILLION and counting.

      • Randy Hyle

        They got paid for getting a job in government by the banks they worked for. They hope it will be money well spent if these guys can give them favorable deals, fight regulations, and keep those billions of dollars in subsidies rolling in.

        • upnortmi

          right on randy…

      • Stoli89

        What the banks are doing with these government/political appointees is providing what are akin to LTIP’s. LONG-TERM INCENTIVE PACKAGES. This should be illegal, as it clearly presents conflicts of interest.

      • Ricestarz


      • upnortmi

        rick I voted for Obama twice,i agree with Marlowe , geitner sumners lew. they all have that revolving door virus.

      • notsoweaklyreader

        Tell that to seniors whose SS benefits Obama is planning to cut.

        • Rick Drake

          I know it’s difficult, but do try to stay on topic.

      • Alamo36

        Rick, none of those officials that accepted that “bonus” money should have been placed in govt policy-making positions. Had anyone of them donated those considerable sums to a dutifully recognized charitable concern, then they should work in a policy-making job, but not before. If that wouldn’t fit their plans they need to remain OUT of my govt.

        You can believe that that pile of money has tentacles
        attached to it (and I kind of think that their former employers’ livelihood just might be addressed before your family’s or mine would be considered, don’t you?)

  • archiebird


  • jaropa

    Republicans, democrats, …. as they say in Spain: “¡La misma miedra es!”

  • Cheryl

    The people who belong in prison for a very long time are making millions of dollars off the backs of the rest of us. And they congratulate themselves for doing it. They are considered wildly successful, hard workers, contributors, job creators. They are NONE OF THOSE. These people are nothing more than the basest sort of liars, thieves, manipulators. Evil men doing evil deeds.

    • SnowStormsinDetroit

      Don’t forget Lazy.

    • Too Disgusted

      Millions? How about Billions?

  • Richard Chase

    I’m all puked out.

  • chabuka

    And believe me, if Hilary becomes President or which ever GOP flavor of the month, there will be more “deals” just like this….time to look toward someone who IS fighting against the oligarchies’ instead of for them….some one like Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders or Sherrod Brown, for example

    • Marvin Harrison

      Warren should be ready in 8 years.

      • Gistine

        They’ll get to her, too. She isn’t any better -perilous times, indeed.

        • CML

          I think not, but with Citizens United as the law of the land, the road may prove too steep.

          • David K

            Exactly. The big money isn’t going to back Warren.

          • CML

            I’ll give what I can.

          • Gistine

            I like your optimism. If she doesn’t fall prey to corruption, she will be prey from corruption. It’s been this way since time immemorial, starting with Lincoln. Call me jaded, but current times and past events demonstrate to me this country is going to hell in a hand basket. I hope you’re right, but in any case, I will go down swinging. Peace.

          • GregoryC

            Ruling elite thoroughly vet Presidential candidates making sure they’ll be served at the expense of the masses. If you’re truly a candidate of change or reform, you won’t make it to the White House.

          • David K

            I think I said that 😉

        • Alamo36

          I completely disagree. There’s nothing in her history that even suggests that Lizzie Warren is anything but honest, incorruptible, intelligent and hell bent on making life better for everyone not included in the top 1/10th of 1 percent…..and her policies will save even those bastards from themselves although they are too crooked to realize it.

          The proletatiat are frankly fed up with the screwing that the Democrats and Republicans have handed them since the Reagan Revolution vomited on this nation in 1980.

      • Stoli89

        Are you suggesting she would be less prepared than Obama in 2008 or GWB in 2000? I humbly disagree. If the Democratic party gave her the same tools in which to vault herself into Nation’s spotlight as it did Obama, then why not? As for GWB, who still has difficulty speaking in complete and coherent sentences, there should be no doubt as to her apparent qualifications.

        • lloydc1234

          Excellent point. She is ready NOW.

          • cico31

            imagine the cesspool

        • bobthebuilder914 .

          GWB put the Enron jokers in jail- Obama has ignored the corruption on Wall Street.

          • greylox

            * Ken Lay? Jail? LOL.

          • jfhIV

            Ken Lay was convicted, but died before going to jail.

          • greylox

            **I know the myth. 😉

          • Alamo36

            Jeff Skilling and Andy Fastow and Fastow’s socialite wife did serve time…not nearly enough, but federal correctional system “time” and “The Smartest Guy in the Room” Jeff Skilling is still in the pen

        • SBRules

          The trouble with that is the Democratic Party will not give her the tools, unless Hilary does not run…she is the next “chosen one on that side”
          and if they do let Warren ever run, they will corrupt her. We need to let both democrats and republicans know they are parties that will not get our votes any longer. And we have to show it by numbers.

      • Tonyandoc

        Do we have eight years?

      • Hosea McAdoo

        Will there be a salvageable America in 8 years and can she survive a corporate vetting if running as a Democrat?

    • Stoli89

      Those are unfortunately the only Senators who actually fight for average Americans. The rest are so deeply beholden to powerful special interests, they could care less about the middle class. Hillary is Corporate America’s back-up plan, should its Republican shill not make it to the White House. On certain issues she is certainly better than a Republican/Neo-Con/Fascist/Oligarch…but 9 times out of 10 she is going to side with the TBTF banks and “free” trade, which basically means job creation in other parts of the world (India, China, Indonesia, etc.) at the expense of US labor.

      • GregoryC

        One of those Senators recently voted YEA to cut SNAP funding.

      • Hosea McAdoo

        Because of corporate money I think it lis impossible to get an honest candidate from the big two. If one is looking out for the 99% there will be no campaign money. Only a beholden candidate (Read, corrupt, dishonest, working for the 99%) will get to the general election. I see no change on the horizon, just more and deeper fascism. As Sincliar Lewis said, “When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying the cross.” He left out wearing a corporate hat.

      • rabblerouzzer

        I’d add Tammy Baldwin from Wisconsin to your list and maybe Al Franken. I got to interview Baldwin shortly after she was elected to the Senate and she is the real deal, IMHO. While not as confrontational as Warren (and who doesn’t love that?), she has the low-key but dogged negotiating and arm-twisting skills necessary to get stuff done. Warren shames them, Baldwin wears them down. Her long tenure in the House could be helpful in coordinating progressive efforts in both houses of Congress.

    • Your1Friend


      The Democratic Party is merely the Republican Party half-neutered.

      • 17 commuter

        the democrats are the other half of stupid that runs the government.

        • Moonpie

          Dems aren’t the other half. That is certainly a false equivalency. Maybe 1/8 to 1/4.

          • Your1Friend

            Not sure about the math, but you are probably quite close!

          • 17 commuter

            Food for thought, 1/3 of California voters are already registered independent as of the last election.

          • Your1Friend

            Thank you, 17 commuter.

            Now it is my turn to register independent.

          • 17 commuter

            there are only two political parties to choose from. There in lies the problem we have as the electorate. All you need to vote these days is a coin and a good toss.

          • Hosea McAdoo

            The nominees for the big two are chosen by corporate money. They will have vetted both and will be happy with the outcome however it goes. The general election is just for show to let the sheep think they chose a President. Neither will work for the 99%

            I think a strong third party is the only answer, but they will have to work together to have enough strength to be anything other than a joke. Each seems determined to do their own thing at the expense of America although their stated platforms are quite similar.

            There are huge numbers fed up with the big two and would support a real third party instead of either voting for a lesser of evils or not voting. After writing about this and writing to the parties the response makes me very pessimistic about an America for the people.

          • ALCAM

            You will never have “Democracy” while you have political parties. The elected people represent the party, not the electors.

          • SBRules

            about that coin toss; it gets tossed at both parties: I.e illegal donations and backdoor deals…http://www.republicreport.org/2014/big-banks-tpp/

        • FaintCryofFreedom

          Oh, I don’t know. How stupid are they, really, if they’ve been able to setup these systems of money merry-go-round (taxpayer-funded, hey…) right out in the open, where citizens have full view, a front-row seat, if you will, to the unbridled corruption….yet we do nothing to stop it? Or, more appropriately, just exactly WHO is stupid in this scenario?

          • Tonyandoc

            “…just exactly WHO is stupid in this scenario?”
            Could it be voters who re-elect individuals to Congress at around the same percentage as they disapprove of them collectively, who pay for their campaigns into the bargain and who avidly embrace the “divide and rule’ game to ensure nothing changes?
            How is it stupid to take advantage of an such and electorate?

          • paxprose

            You’re operating under the assumption that those voters are actually represented by their congressmen and women and not located is some district gerrymandered to hell.

          • Tonyandoc

            There are still options no matter how gerrymandered a district. Abstention being the only one if only the main parties are represented and there is no wit or will amongst the voters to organize and find an alternative candidate to support with their time, effort and cash.
            Also – I’m intrigued how this thread has remained alive for so long.

          • Being There

            The populous are the fools. Their attention is easily misdirected and they are being taken for a nightmarish ride to abject poverty and slavery. It could blow up in the faces of the elite, there’s always a calculus of change.

          • I have that same thought all the time; not so much stupid, as corrupt.

      • Dual citizenship is treason

        The Democrats lie about what the Republicans are proud of !

      • AutAut

        And if one compares the policies Obama campaigned for in 2008 and his abrupt about-face after he was elected, one can see how he turned into the cheerleader-in-chief for the Pentagon, investment banks, national security overreach, on & on.
        Like ‘chabuka’ commented above, only “some one like Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders or Sherrod Brown…” are fighting for us.

        • Your1Friend

          I agree.

          The Democratic Party has taken our votes for granted.

        • Hosea McAdoo

          There are few more but you are right. The ratio of leaders for the 99% to the 1% is extremely high, maybe 50 of the total 545 (435 Reps, 100 Sen., 1 President, 9 SCOTUS)

        • Alamo36

          AutAut, your thoughts are mine completely.

      • sgtdoom

        When it comes to money, there are no Republicans or Democrats. Rich men never fight each other seriously. There is the finest coalition of all parties when it comes to control of the Treasury of the United States.” — Sen. James Couzens (R-Mi)

        These words were uttered by Couzens in 1933 after listening to the testimony of J.P. Morgan, Jr., admitting to bribing Calvin Coolidge, Herbert Hoover’s treasury secretary, Woodrow Wilson’s treasury and war secretaries, Gen. John J. Pershing, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce president, and the chairmen of both the Democratic and Republican National Committees. (Testimony elicted from Morgan by the hellhound of Wall Street, Ferdinand Pecora.)

      • Scott Bidstrup

        Gore Vidal said it best: “The United States is a one party state: the Business Party. It has two right wings, the Republicans and the Democrats.” No truer description of the U.S. political system was ever uttered.

    • lloydc1234

      Can’t disagree with that. Her husband has become extremely wealthy and hobnobs with the rich.

      • BoBelinski

        Oh noooo, not money!! Ahem, anyone remember the Kennedys or Roosevelts or, for that matter, George Soros? I have a very healthy distrust of the rich, too, but to think that no wealthy people are progressive — or that no one can be wealthy and keep their progressivism alive — goes against history.

        • BoBelinski

          Oops, I’m a moron. Disregard my comment above – I rushed to judgment and thought lloydc was talking about Eliz. Warren. Sorry.

        • Leigh Dunlap

          I wish Warren Buffet would run!

        • GregoryC

          Todays Corporate-Wall Street Democrats look more like Republicans than the Kennedy or Roosevelts. Imagine if we had elected a real agent of Hope and Change who would have created a jobs program repairing, rebuilding infrastructure like FDR or busted monopolies, Wall Street banks like Teddy.

    • Dean K.

      Vote indeptendent! Vote 3rd party! That is the only reasonble solution.

      • dvm

        Why would they be less corruptible?

      • Leigh Dunlap

        I do not recommend that as it just takes votes away from whoever your second choice candidate is and will only result in your 3rd choice candidate winning. Probably sad, but TRUE! A 3rd party candidate has NO CHANCE of winning and these elections are much too important to throw a vote away.

        • David K

          Quite the opposite, I think holding one’s nose and voting for ‘the lesser of 2 (very) evils’ is throwing one’s vote away.

        • Larry Johnson

          voting for the best of 2 evils is still voting for evil.

          • Alamo36

            Very well said,Mr Johnson

      • SparkyJP

        It IS the only reasonable solution, however it may not fix the problem.
        If candidates can be bought, I’m sure electronic voting can be rigged

        not the vote that counts. It’s who counts the votes.” – Josef Stalin

    • Carol Downer Weller

      But are they running?

    • Being There

      That’s why they can’t run for higher office.

    • Being There

      It is all a sell-out to destroy sovereign states and turn them into
      corporate colonies with no legal recourse and no way to fight deadly
      pollution. Globally it is inverted Trotskyism, on the ground it will be
      coroporate fascism. This is the true face of global Neoliberalism and
      that’s what is being offered as the only choice. Economic history has
      been redacted. TINA-There is no alternative–M. Thatcher.

    • gramdaisy

      Did you think Obama was one who would fight the oligarch’s too? HAHA fooled you. Check out Cpusa.org. See who they support then you can vote for them.

      • Alamo36

        Obama was a gutless, inexperienced wimp that had a blatant history of inability to take a position on any issue that had one iota of controversy to it as a fledgling Illinois State Senator prior to running for the US Senate whereupon serving 2 years, he declared himself fit to be President….talk about misguided confidence, he’s it ! But fate stepped in and provided 2 bigger misguided misfits in McCain and Palin. Thus the choice was the Boy wonder vs McCain (who should have gone to prison over his involvement in the Keating 5 corruption scandal and the appalling Sarah Palin who had even less meaningful experience in govt than Obama.

        .These “Leaders” would be dumbfounded if tasked to pour pi$$ out of a boot.

        How this nation is able to continue with fools like this is far beyond me…surely among our 315 million souls there are some people that can get this country back on track.

    • ElRoi

      Eff sHillary…Bernie Sanders is the last, best hope to save what is left of the working class in this nation.

  • baffledbylife


  • kidcat24

    So what’s the plan, now that we know they’re all corrupt?

  • Striking

    JFC – if they had any integrity, they’d turn it down. A banker with integrity – that’s an oxymoron.

  • George Tsokanis

    the more things change the more they stay the same

  • marieandbrian

    I’m SHOCKED!!!! (not really).

  • Ccm Marshall

    This is sickening and again erodes my confidence in bank. I’ve started my own bank.. Mattress Savings! These banks are using our money to fatten a select few. The government should end this practice.. HANDS DOWN!!

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  • Randy Hyle

    To quote Sarah Palin, “How’s that hopey-changey thing working out for you now?” Reality has proven that the last two Democratic Presidents were nothing more than right of center Republicans. Clinton Gave us NAFTA and the end of Glass/Steagall which paved the way for the Great Recession. Obama has been great for banks, corporations, and Wall St. Corporate profits and stocks are at all time highs, the rich continue to get richer,and the income gap grows. He talks like a Liberal, but he walks like a corporate whore. Look at these two appointments. Both from the banking industry. It is no longer “Our” government. The bankers write the banking regulations, the energy companies write our energy policy, and Wall St. writes regulations for the SEC. And I’m sure large military contractors have some sort of imput in our foreign policy. As we argue over stupid social issues, the robbery of the people continues unabated, no matter whether it is a Democrat or Republican president. And as long as theese are the only two choices we have, nothing is going to change.

    • Tom Piper

      Well Obama did offer proposed legislation to provide incentives to businesses that brought jobs back from off-shore and close tax loopholes for corporations that off-shore jobs but the GOP blocked it.

      He and Elizabeth Warren did push for and got the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, watered down as it may be.

      I’m often discouraged with Obama and the Democrats lack of success or in some cases lack of effort in many areas that need the playing field leveled. However, the oposition is so entrenched, powerful and have the GOP doing their bidding that it’s almost a miracle that anything good for the American people as a whole gets done.

      • Helza Poppin

        Obama’s support for CFPB was lukewarm at best.

      • notsoweaklyreader

        Tell that to seniors whose SS benefits are being cut at a time in their lives when they can’t recover.

  • sweettj97

    really misleading story, are they not supposed to get severance package , you made it seem like they got kick backs or bribes , shameless reporting

  • Not takin it anymore

    meet the new boss . .same as the old boss . . .

  • Your1Friend

    Washington is as corrupt as it ever was.

    • notsoweaklyreader

      More so.

    • Alfonso Bergamo

      These days you call the President the boss of bosses

  • Brainpicnic

    Government by the corporation for the corporation.

  • piratepat

    no surprise, no solution in sight, as the Republic goes down . . .

  • Political Pundit aka Paul Ryan

    Politics is performance art for entertainment and distraction. The trajectory is consistent with either party.

  • Wil

    Why should anyone bother to vote anymore?

  • phil_in_VA

    This is what we get from Obama (sorry, President Obama) now that he doesn’t have to win another election: nice sounding phrases about marijuana, welcome moves about marriage equality (now that the courts are with him), and a big mambo-jambo giveaway to the banks and the hedge funds. How do you like me now, middle-class?

    • notsoweaklyreader

      Not to mention gutting Social Security and stealing seniors’ EARNED benefits.

      • Phil G

        The Dems are not the ones stealing social security benefits, the GOP are, they are the lunatics who have been trying to “privatize” social security for over a decade. Privatizing social security basically means putting the taxes collected into the stock market and hoping for the best. Not exactly a good strategy and akin to the difference between a defined benefit pension and a 401k plan.

        Open your eyes and take a look at your two choices. The GOP is the party actively destroying the middle class and the Dems are the party standing by and taking very few actions to slow the disaster.

        A very grim set of choices but still a stark difference.

        • notsoweaklyreader

          Obama is pushing Chained CPI in his next budget, even though he is NOT being blackmailed into doing so this time. And even though the deficit has fallen dramatically, and there is NO justification for attacking seniors this way.

        • Jacqueleen

          It was a Democrat, President Johnson who helped himself to the Social Security Reserves to spend on some other frivolous pay backs. That is why SS is in trouble. The Dems keep dipping into the reserves. Get it straight.

  • CML

    Obama, If you have any balls at all, clean house.

    • Alfonso Bergamo

      He would have to start with himself

      • CML

        Yeah. I think about my vote, then I remember the alternatives I had.

        • notsoweaklyreader

          At least Romney was honest about the damage he planned to do. Obama lied from day one. Obama has NO conscience.

          • CML

            Romney’s been on both sides of almost every issue at one time or another, but everyone knew his true intentions.
            It was a slap in the face when Obama called those of us who took his campaign rhetoric seriously “professional liberals”. Near the end of G.W. Bush’s term he made a few moves to repair his legacy. I can only hope. Sadly, had he used his gifts to accomplish the goals he espoused in his campaign, he might have pulled it off, despite the GOP’s efforts to the contrary.

  • edbotsko

    If this isn’t illegal it is certainly unethical… Getting huge bonuses for negotiating away American jobs???? How is that worth a bonus???

    • Jacqueleen

      Especially when you take an oath to protect the welfare of the American People……IMPEACH THE IMPOSTER! THEN INDICT THE IMPOSTER.

  • edbotsko

    Deregulation is useless unless you enforce the rules… Yeah it makes a great comment to make on the evening news, but when this unethical activity still goes on after initiated by Carter or Reagan is the travesty.. We know what is being done and who is doing it, and then we look the other way instead of enforcing the regulation.. An occasional “wrist slap” financial penalty seems to be enough to divert the attention of us in the masses…

  • Joe the Socialist

    That a scandal of this magnitude is pushed into the back pages
    by a non-issue like gay marriage says volumes about the
    brainwashing of America by the media, religion and lying ass politicians.


    BOY, I’m glad this Admin is “The MOST TRANSPARENT” in history !!!!…..LOL!!!….TOO BIG TO FAIL !!!!…..TOO BIG TO PROSECUTE !!!!….LOL!!!……Well, I guess YOU DO GET THE GOVERNMENT YOU DESERVE !!!!!

  • cosliberal

    This is a surprise why?

  • hippie1367

    Each and every member needs to be executed as criminals

  • bill janes

    As with NAFTA, jobs going to Mexico left in American only ‘the giant sucking sound’ and Mexico has not improved the condition of workers – a lose lose. Only the international corporations have a ‘win’.

    Thus, it will be if the Trans-Pacific-Partnership passes. Only worse.

    For corporations: Patents will be extended

    For corporations: Copyrights will be extended

    For corporations: No workplace, worker benefits or minimum wage requirements will apply

    For corporations: No environmental requirements will apply

    Trans-Pacific-Partnership, again, for workers in America and for workers abroad a lose/lose, for corporations a huge ‘win’.

    No Thanks, Obama. You’re work concentrating wealth and demeaning the middle class has been very fruitful for corporations (e.g. bank bailouts, paying CEOs of broke Wall Street firms ‘bonuses’ using tax payer money, settling for a ‘stimulus’ that was 2/3rds tax breaks and only 1/3 jobs passing-off an corporate subsidy as ‘health care reform’, screwing up three ‘programs’ to help mortgagees – they all were worthless to the public, raising student loan rates, and proposing cuts to Social Security) … No, but Thanks Very Much, Obama; we don’t need any more of your policies and priorities to pass. You’ve ‘helped’ enough.

    • notsoweaklyreader

      Totally concur!

    • Jacqueleen

      Traitors deserve the death penalty and that goes for all of those guilty by association and bribes.

  • phatdaddy51

    designed and constructed for abuse

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  • notsoweaklyreader

    Does this surprise anyone? Anyone still think Obama is even a remotely decent human being?

    • David K

      Just another politician. Hope & Change was just a catchy slogan.

  • “Many large corporations with a strong incentive to influence public policy award bonuses and other incentive pay to executives if they take jobs within the government.”

    Never heard of getting a bonus for quitting a job..

    but then again there is Sarah Palin..

  • Alfonso Bergamo

    Obama was worth around one million dollars before he was elected President, now just a few years later he s worth over ten million dollars.
    Will someone please explain !!!

    • kenny

      books sales… duh

      • David K

        His real paydays will come after he leaves office. Quid pro quo

    • Jacqueleen

      I read that he is nows worth 15 million and who knows what is concealed. In my opinion, daddy “O” is paid for each milestone. The longer he stays in office, the more destruction will be accomplished and he will gain more millions at the expense of our freedoms. The Senate is on the take as well. Now we can add the dis-compassionate, corporatists with bodies but no souls. ALL FOR THE NWO.

  • ©Dave ℗ Rickmers®

    This, like the NSA, is uniting left and right libertarians. Seeds of Revolution germinate..

  • Will Wilkin

    The problem is much deeper than bad individuals in power, it is a deep systemic corruption rooted in the wealth flowing through the political system (both parties, individual campaigns, think tanks and lobbying and revolving-door influence-pedaling by former players in the legislative and executive branches). This wealth is being made through the offshoring and outsourcing of manufacturing and other high value-added industries through the “free trade” that both parties and all recent administrations promote. Our larger consumer-entertainment-“laissez-faire” popular culture –and the mass media that amplifies it– will continue offering irrelevant spectacles and culture war as “news” while the deindustrialization progresses virtually without notice.

  • Rick the liberal clubber

    Let’s start a revolution today. Why wait longer?

  • nnn01

    Oh so this is how it’s done. You make a deal with the big banks while working for the administration to increase goods coming into the United States from Pacific countries. These countries make money, the American worker is without work because of the flood of imports and those who broker these deals make millions. Ain’t American politics the greatest. And an administration that supports this while claiming to lower the unemployment rate. Well you figure it out.

  • Richard Kerr

    The cosy relationship between the Administration and the wheeler dealers of Wall Street, since these same WDs brought the nation’s economy so close to the brink of complete collapse, is its primary failing.

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  • onetree

    These Wall Street and corporate types are exactly the people who should never be allowed anywhere near the government because these practices have given us a level of corruption that may be impossible to clean up without drastic actions. We certainly wouldn’t need or want more corporate crookery in government, which is of course why they tried to keep this deal very quiet.

  • bradley

    the references back to Bush or the GOP are ridiculous. Obama is a big disappoint to me. He could have done something, but chose the Wall Street way.

    • Will Wilkin

      Forget about political parties. They are the same corporate cash at root. Only the leaves are different, which side of the irrelevant culture war will motivate you to vote one more useless time?

  • JordanKratz

    Stop the TPP..we do not want your stinkin used toilet paper pact and we as in us and the citizens of those Nations whose leaders sell them out will be in for a big surprise.

    Bring back the French Revolution ! Viva Le Revolution !

  • rincon101

    Mandela an inspiration.
    Obama business as usual

    • David

      Mandela was a huge racist. Look up the truth about him.

  • Paul

    And you lefties will all line up behind Hillary in 2016….and get the exact same thing.

    • Will Wilkin

      Is there ANYONE worth “lining up behind?” How does the citizen find a voice amidst all this lobbyist cash going through both parties?

      • Paul

        Randomly pick someone on a district water board in North Dakota…..it would be a huge improvement. I was a registered Republican for 38 years…..I went Independent six months ago……I’ll probably go Libertarian next election.

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  • briteleaf

    A government of professional politicians who receive money is a government for sale to the highest bidder. Someday, the working poor and the unemployed will march on Washington and take our government back, instituting new government that money cannot buy.

  • Egbert Hakker

    bankers should work for shares only.

    • Jim C

      Actually they should work for salary only . The reason they are given shares as compensation is to get around taxes and to allow bloated compensation . When they get shares as comp it’s generally in the form of options which also leads to quarter to quarter short term planing .

  • searider

    No different than the “special” deals accepted by Republicans in past administrations. If you want talented and exceptional people, you have to get them at the top, not at the bottom….. That means that they’re successful and probably financially successful too…. If you choose “poor” candidates that are not successful, the results are indeed predictable……

    • David

      So why did you cry about the Republicans, but now suddenly it’s OK?

      • searider

        NOT OK, but unavoidable, even for Republicans. If you’re looking to appoint someone and require experience, talent and intelligence, are you going to look for losers ? I think it sucks but, it’s just the facts of life.

  • Dean K.

    What else do you need to realize that you must vote independent or 3rd Party in all upcoming elections?

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  • otherjerseyguy

    How big was Barack Obama’s multimillion dollar fast track bonus?

  • so this is why gov’t works so well for the upper income folks and not so well for the rest of us. it seems like the article is trying to make it appear like this is something unique to the Obama administration, it is not.

  • DVM

    Do we really need to know more than this?

  • James A. Burgin

    A-L-L politicians are bought and paid for by billionaires, multi-conglomerates and special interests. And as long as the voters remain blissfully unaware of this the politicians will continue to obey what their rich masters tell them to do.

    • John Smith

      I wish I could disagree.

  • deniswinkle1

    First they have to go through the Under Secretary (OUS) for International Trade and the Secretary of Commerce. Second they have to get “Fast Track”. Than they have to get Subcommittee hearings and approval. Than they have to get Boehner, Cantor and Reid and Pelosi to approve and being it to the floor. Than get Congressional Approval
    and Sign Off! That is? If we still have a Constitutional Republic of the People-by the People and for the People? As we look the past 30 years in the corporate liberalization and
    deregulation we can attribute to 911 and the setting of NAFT. In the creation of ALEC and APEC in accord with the US/EU trade agreements redefining the “Rule of Law” worldwide. Private organizations profiting off our Tax Dollars provide with government contracts in the out sourcing of American Jobs. As the EU Union and IMF Austerity ransacks its neighboring countries through the Euro.
    The world needs to return to the Power of a Republic and the Human Decency of “We the People”. In what came to demonize and laid utter depravity against Our Domestic Safety Net and the Protectionism provide for worldwide trade. It has a long way to go? Before we blame the Black Guy!

  • Bob Zimmerman

    Just another Obama sellout of the american taxpayer.

  • ta2t2o

    I wonder if they’re paying any of their employees minimum wage…or keeping them on part time to avoid paying them healthcare.

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  • Truth

    Oh people wake up, Obama is in with the rich and always has been. The man is an actor and a liar, and he is in the 1 percent gang all the way. I hope people wake up in Nov. and do not give this man anymore power, he is out for the rich and his own. That is all.


      Your Right. The Dodd Frank Act / G20 Agreement will use depositors money to bail out bank failures. Check out Money Is Not Safe In Big Banks On You Tube!

    • notsoweaklyreader


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  • janetmamajo4

    So disgusting….it’s all about money, not the American people…. I am an Obama supporter, but do not support this….and if the keystone pipeline gets his approval, then it’s over. Too much money in politics…. they should be made to return every dime, and be punished for taking what is a bribe…. disheartening to say the least.

  • Radical democrat

    “Filed under: Plutocrats”

    That pretty much describes the US at this point.

    “Hope and change?” Not so much.

  • Adrian Cracchiolo

    Could it be that the homeless in Utah maybe saved from the banks good deal lol

  • Adrian Cracchiolo

    Fast Track started with Nixon

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  • ddearborn

    So despite all rhetoric to the contrary, these “bonuses” give the appearance of being bribes. If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, sounds like a duck……… And we the people are supposed to just sit back say OK to this nonsense?

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  • Ezra Pound

    It doesn’t matter that the people organizing the TPP are Jewish. Anyone who points out that Jews are the ones pushing TPP down America’s throat is an irrational anti-Semite who hates all Jews and want to put them in gas chambers.

    • Paul

      Thank you anti-semite for your hatred and ignorance. Not sure why you are so worried about the TPP though because it shouldn’t impact your ability to buy a pointy hat and white robe.

      • Ezra Pound

        Thanks for proving my point, which was my intention. Merely pointing out the fact that the big TPP players are Jewish makes one an “anti-Semite” (i.e., someone hated by Jews.) If these men were all Buddhists or Hindus or God forbid Muslims or Iranians!, there would not only be discussion about the phenomenon, there would be resistance. But if you point out that they are Jews – and since discussion of Jewish power in America is strictly verboten – you are instantly labeled a “racist” and an “anti-Semite.” Well, I have news for you, Paul, if the truth is “anti-Semitic” that says more about supposed “Semites” than it does about the truth or those who speak. The TPP means the end of American commercial sovereignty. And if you were a loyal American, you would care about that.

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  • mikieboy

    doesn’t matter there all working for the bankers , I think the most important vote you can cast is for your local sheriff . im pretty sure the presidential election has been decided well in advance

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  • lilbear68

    its gonna happen just like NAFTA did, but this will be NAFTA on steroids

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  • Tom Moody

    The whore-mongers never stop and the whores will never leave their profession.

  • Lyla

    Yeah. I am not voting for Hillary unless she comes out against NAFTA/GATT and all the other “free” trade agreements her husband signed and pushed through congress. Also, she must disavow the Commoditeis Futures Trading Act her husband pushed through in 2000 that allows banks to gamble in oil, gold etc.; for which reason we now have such high gas prices. Or the bill he passed liberalizing banks to become investment entities that crashed us with their housing antics! All proposed by Phil/Wendy Grahm, Texas millionaire Republicans. How much did the Clintons get to push all this through against the public interest? Hillary must also disavow TPP loudly and long.

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  • jimmyslippers

    I don’t see any conflict of interest there. Move along sheeple, nothing to see here.

  • Mike Lashewitz

    Crimes against Amerika.

  • Far and Wide

    TPP is secret in New Zealand as well, nobody knows what is on the table.

  • Being There

    It is all a sell-out to destroy sovereign states and turn them into corporate colonies with no legal recourse and no way to fight deadly pollution. Globally it is inverted Trotskyism, on the ground it will be coroporate fascism. This is the true face of global Neoliberalism and that’s what is being offered as the only choice. Economic history has been redacted. TINA-There is no alternative–M. Thatcher.

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  • abinico

    Maybe some day people will figure it out and dump capitalism.

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  • Dave

    It isn’t democrat vs republican but rather the people vs the banks. Lord Acton (1834-1902) said ” the issue that has swept down through the centuries and which will have to be fought sooner or later is the people vs the banks”. The global banking cartel along with multinational corporations operate to destroy the independence and sovereignty of nations. This is done by design and is premeditated war against all freedom loving people. Policy is suppose to be decided by we the people, not the banks who literally control most of our elected policy decision makers through either bribes, intimidation or disinformation.

    The global bankers, especially Rockefeller influence, helped get NAFTA and GATT pushed through. Rockefeller Foundation funded the Harvard Economic Research Project which was done with the intent of learning how to completely control a society through manipulating the economic factors. They determined that this knowledge would enable them to conduct a type of economic warfare and thus represented a “silent weapon”. Read “SILENT WEAPONS FOR QUIET WARS” authored by the Bilderberg Group in all probability and you will then better understand the mindset of those committing TREASON from behind the scenes.

  • J.G. Sandom

    We have become a plutocracy as much as our former Cold War nemesis, Russia. Tech, Big Oil and Wall Street oligarchs, combined with the military-industrial complex (which Eisenhower tried to warn us against) collude (in spirit, if not in actual boardrooms) to keep the people’s power in check via libertarian deregulation, union-busting, Citizens United (and other activist SCOTUS rulings), privatization of the Intelligence Community (IC), the opiate of digital media that pushes the idolatry of money & all things celebrity, and our collective fear of terrorism (hence our perpetual war footing). This is what my forthcoming novel, 404, is all about. Wake up, America! Our country is being stolen from us in plain sight.

    • frankblank

      Stop advertising your forthcoming novel. That said, of course the collusion occurs in actual board rooms, but not exclusively. You should re-title your novel to “Scalia in the Duck Blind.”

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  • Filter Free Radio

    Another great investigative report Lee! Thank you so much for the great work you do! Here is our interview with Lee on this article 2/25/14 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3fyPjy3BQCo

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  • likesaview

    We need to start asking those running for office “Will you join Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren in amending the constitution, making it clear that corporations are not people? that money is property, not speech?” Until we get radical campaign finance reform, no party has a chance of working for the common good. They will be forced to look somewhere for the huge dollars it now takes to run an election campaign. And they will be beholden to someone for those funds. It makes it impossible for rational people to act rationally.

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  • victor yao

    The battle of the oligarchies in both parties spells the end of our democracy. It is time we move on to multi party systems so that oligarchies cannot hide and muddy our our political system to foul the voters.

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  • Dorothy Knable

    We need Bernie to talk to Elizabeth about who will do what. Having read her biography and much else, I want her for future Pres. runs, but Sanders for 2016. She is VERY important to our controlling the banks and couldn’t as Vice Pres. Of course, all this presupposes a major turnout of voters — including those who must plan ahead to beat ALEC imposed state laws of voter i.d., exclusion of lists of people wrongly said to have “criminal backgrounds” — And our youth, whose future is at stake, voting.

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  • paulroden

    Just like my high school social studies teacher used to say: “money talks, B.S. walks and we are all running a close third.” It is just another example of the good old “Golden Rule, ” “them that has the gold, write the rules.” If TPP and TTIP pass, you might as well not have government, laws, regulations and elections anymore. The 1% and the multinationals and their outsourced corporate overseers will be ruling. Much more cost effective for business than having “burdensome taxes” , “burdensome regulations” and “burdensome BIG government” in the way of or on the backs of the “job creators,” interfering with the “invisible hand of the free market,” which will solve any and all problems, bringing prosperity, freedom and liberty for all.

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  • Bernie Sanders.

  • ElRoi

    Here are the corporate ties of the despicable douche bags blObama has been taking advice from on his completely selling out the working class of this nation with his beloved TPP. Either blObama is an utter effing fool or he is completely part of the final stage of corporate take over of this nation. Either way we are all effed. Bernie Sanders is the last, best hope to save what is left of the working class in this nation.

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