Saturday, January 22, 2011

Who Represents You?

An interesting exercise is to annotate the list of corporate interests at the White House dinner for the premier of China. I found the list on one of my favorite blogs, which reprinted it from the Washington Post, which had focused on printing unflattering photos of the ladies in attendance. (This generated the usual flurry of trash talk about having to eat while looking at Madeline Albright, etc., posts I always imagine being typed by fat, grouchy men who haven't had a date in decades, if ever.)

The list was in alpha order by the last name of the big dog in each couple. That is, it was in alpha order after the opening names, the really big dogs, Obamas and Hu Jintao. But the real news is who these people work for:

Goldman Sachs
JP Morgan Securities
JP Morgan Chase & Co.
The Carlyle Group -- Financiers to the war machine.
Washington Post
New York Times   -- Chief apologists for Israel's violent occupation of Palestinian lands.
The Atlantic Monthly
Vogue Magazine -- Representing Condé Nast, media conglomerate that keeps the public distracted while blocking out news of wars, civil rights violations, etc.
Archer Daniels Midland -- Agribusiness giant that sponsors corporate-mouthpiece-posing-as-a-voice-of-the-people, National Public Radio.
Dow Chemical

This is the same week that news emerged of Supreme Court justices taking meetings with the Koch brothers prior to making their landmark Citizens United ruling a year ago,  which overturned numerous precedents limiting campaign contributions by corporations. Both Justices Clarence Thomas and Anthony Scalia apparently should have recused themselves but, as one pundit commented, Scalia has refused to recuse for a lot more blatant associations than this one.

Remember checks and balances? Remember when you were an idealistic kid who believed the Supreme Court was independent? Or maybe you never did. I guess it depends how young you were during the presidential election in 2000.

Just to make sure all the branches of our bought-and-sold government were present they had Justice Stephen Breyer,  Senator John Kerry, Rep. Nancy Pelosi, Secretary of the Treasury Tim Geithner, Secretary of Gutting Public Education, Arne Duncan -- and Admiral Mullen, who is chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff of the biggest, baddest military ever to rule the world.

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