Tag Archives: Matt Taibbi

Today’s Quote: Who the Teabaggers Really Are

Matt Taibbi provides as good a definition as I’ve read thus far.

“Vast forests have already been sacrificed to the public debate about the Tea Party: what it is, what it means, where it’s going. But after lengthy study of the phenomenon, I’ve concluded that the whole miserable narrative boils down to one stark fact: They’re full of shit. All of them. At the voter level, the Tea Party is a movement that purports to be furious about government spending — only the reality is that the vast majority of its members are former Bush supporters who yawned through two terms of record deficits and spent the past two electoral cycles frothing not about spending but about John Kerry’s medals and Barack Obama’s Sixties associations. The average Tea Partier is sincerely against government spending — with the exception of the money spent on them. In fact, their lack of embarrassment when it comes to collecting government largesse is key to understanding what this movement is all about — and nowhere do we see that dynamic as clearly as … in Kentucky, where Rand Paul is barreling toward the Senate ** with the aid of conservative icons like Palin.
“Early in his campaign, Dr. Paul, the son of the uncompromising libertarian hero Ron Paul, denounced Medicare as ‘socialized medicine.’ But this spring, when confronted with the idea of reducing Medicare payments to doctors like himself — half of his patients are on Medicare — he balked. This candidate, a man ostensibly so against government power in all its forms that he wants to gut the Americans With Disabilities Act and abolish the departments of Education and Energy, was unwilling to reduce his own government compensation, for a very logical reason. ‘Physicians,’ he said, ‘should be allowed to make a comfortable living.’ ”
— Matt Taibbi, “Tea and Crackers,” Rolling Stone, Oct. 15, 2010 issue.

** [Ed. Note: Rand Paul’s Democratic opponent, Jack Conway, has come up in the polls by 30 points in the past few months. He and Paul are now is a statistical dead heat.]

Today’s Quote: Calling All Teabaggers

“Con artists have a word for the inability of their victims to accept that they’ve been scammed. They call it the ‘True Believer Syndrome.’ That’s sort of where we are, in a state of nagging disbelief about the real problem on Wall Street. It isn’t so much that we have inadequate rules or incompetent regulators, although both of these things are certainly true. The real problem is that it doesn’t matter what regulations are in place if the people running the economy are rip-off artists. The system assumes a certain minimum level of ethical behavior and civic instinct over and above what is spelled out by the regulations. If those ethics are absent — well, this thing isn’t going to work, no matter what we do. Sure, mugging old ladies is against the law, but it’s also easy. To prevent it, we depend, for the most part, not on cops but on people making the conscious decision not to do it.”
— Matt Taibbi, “Wall Street’s Bailout Hustle,” Rolling Stone, Feb. 21, 2010.

This quote applies just as easily to the na Teabaggers who are being hustled by the ‘con’-servative GOP.

Bill Black’s Top Ten Ways to Crack Down on Corporate Crime

Here are ten logical and necessary steps to warding off another financial crisis which I doubt the Obama Administration will attempt. They are apparently still in thrall to the idea of returning all the pieces on the board to where they were before the meltdown in the fall of 2008. That’s just not going to work, as Michael Moore, Matt Taibbi, and many others know; it will only precipitate another crisis since the ‘bulls’ on Wall Street and the ‘too big to fail’ banks continue to dabble in the same financial foolery and malfeasance they perpetrated that caused the last collapse.

Bill Blacks Top Ten Ways to Crack Down on Corporate Financial Crime
by Corporate Crime Reporter
March 10, 2010

Ninety-five percent of criminologists study blue collar crime.

Five percent study white collar crime.

Of the tiny minority who study white collar crime, ninety five percent focus on the individuals who rip off the corporation.

We are left with a small handful of criminologists think Edwin Sutherland, John Braithwaite, Gil Geis who have studied or are studying corporate crime.

That would be crime by the corporation.

Bill Black is one of the most prominent of those living corporate criminologists.

His specialty control fraud.

Control fraud is when the CEO of a company uses the corporation as a weapon to commit fraud.

Bill Black is a lawyer and former federal bank regulator.

Hes the author of the corporate crime classic The Best Way to Rob a Bank is to Own One: How Corporate Executives and Politicians Looted the S&L Industry (University of Texas Press, 2005.)

Black says there are steps we can take as a society to control corporate crime in particular financial crime.

In an interview with Corporate Crime Reporter last week, Black laid out his top ten.

Number ten: Hire 1,000 FBI agents.

Pass legislation (HR 3995) introduced by Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur that would fund the hiring of 1,000 FBI agents to investigate white collar crime.

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The Tattlesnake CPAC Proof GOP is Still Doomed Edition

CPAC’s Corporate Mythmakers and True Believers Headed for a Hard Fall

“Con artists have a word for the inability of their victims to accept that they’ve been scammed. They call it the ‘True Believer Syndrome.'”
— Matt Taibbi, “Wall Street’s Bailout Hustle,” Rolling Stone, Feb. 21, 2010.

You know you’re in trouble when your keynote speaker is Glenn Beck, the current Dancing Bear of the Fox Evening Zoo and promulgator of preposterous pompous carnival-clown revisionism of everything from the political thinking of progressive Tom Paine to the nature of Marxism. (Well, at least he left the cry-eye Vick’s VapoRub in the dressing room for this event.) Beck, like the rest of the Fox News team, seems to delight in unapologetically getting it wrong, time after time, and he knows his fans never read such authors as Paine or Karl Marx so, with skillful editing, ventriloquist Glenn can plant whatever Bizarro World ideas he desires in the mouths of the departed and defenseless. The most dedicated inhabitants of TV’s Beckistan no doubt reject the proof of their own eyes and ears when confronted with any reality that veers from the Ringmaster’s teachings, as any mind-locked True Believer does. It’s a matter of faith — in a Republican Jesus, or Roger Ailes’ political ads disguised as news, or Frank Luntz’s fright-laden euphemisms, or a former beauty queen turned half-term governor from Alaska. It’s amazing that they wave the flag of freedom so strenuously they apparently only want the freedom to follow a leader, and down the narrowest of ideological paths, at that.

Speaking of Gov. Mrs. Palin, she was not in appearance at the Conservative Political Action Conference; not only could the organizers not meet her hefty price for speechifying, but she perhaps discerned, with the dumb canniness sometimes given to the vapid, that she wouldn’t be welcome in a crowd that voted Mitt Romney first in their last three presidential straw polls.

And then there’s the bright-eyed Romney himself; like most of his party, the former Massachusetts governor stopped making any consistent and coherent sense long ago; his speeches are now grab-bags of memorized GOP Talking Points and anti-Obama crowd-pleasers, but he has mostly refrained from the cringe-inducing personal vignettes such as tying incontinent pets to the roof of the family ride for a jaunt on the open highway or his Milquetoast macho-man exploits of gunning down small rodents with a hunting rifle. The things most people would be embarrassed to admit, Mitt banters about airily with a male model’s manly grin, which I guess proves he is a Republican to his core.

And speaking of core Republicans, we have Mr. Cheney, Richard the Lyin’-Hearted, a man with no intelligence or military experience (an appointment as Secretary of Defense does not make one an expert on interrogation or confinement), who openly boasts that his unconstitutional torture program worked, believes he competently handled his role as White House counter-terrorism chief prior to 9/11, and has a long, clanking string of wrongheaded predictions following him like a trail of empty cans tied to a cat’s tail. Cheney is arguably the most disliked politician in America, but in the upside-down world of CPAC, he is a national champion and was greeted with the garlands of approbation by the assembled worshippers in Washington that he once erroneously said would be thrown at our troops in Iraq. Perhaps as a sign of how far out in the ozone the gathered Republicans and their neoconservative cohorts orbit, many lustily cheered a Cheney run for president in 2012; Bush’s superordinate vice president had enough sense to tease and then quickly squelch that notion and spare himself the humiliation of a 50-state landslide victory for President Obama.

Cheney, on cue, availed himself of the opportunity to produce another of his wacky spells of side-splitting clairvoyance the Republicans would be resurgent in 2010 and Obama would be a one-term president. With his shot-in-the-face record of the exact opposite happening, you’d think he’d bury his cloudy crystal ball and stop making an ass of himself in this way but, then, you don’t know Dick he seems to thrive on being wrong and then denying it. Regardless of the Beltway Conventional Wisdom, three races where the Republican won against miserable Dem candidates does not make a trend and, as the overworked Cocktail Party Punditocracy clich矧oes, “in politics, a month is like a year.” With Cheney’s smug regurgitation of this trite BCW on the glowing prospects for Republicans this year, it’s bankable that it won’t be quite as bad a year for the Democrats as the GOP would like it to be. And defeating Obama in 2012? Perhaps Dick should have a candidate in mind first to complete that task none of the current GOP front-runners would come anywhere near to pushing Obama out of the presidency except Ron Paul, and Cheney and the GOP elite loathe him.

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