Bull Moose or Bull Sh*t: Is Obama Changing His Stance Towards Wall Street?

Teddy Roosevelt / Barack ObamaIs Obama changing?

Many in the Occupy Wall Street Movement are patting their efforts on the back, and even claiming credit for what looks like a shift by President Obama towards a more engaged campaign discussing economic fairness.

The President’s speech in Kansas was modeled on remarks made by the Republican Bull Moose Teddy Roosevelt in 1910. There’s nothing like quoting a Republican for credible centrist positioning. (Note: he quotes TR, not FDR.)

Will he embrace GOP Pres Eisenhower’s warning about the Military Industrial Complex next?

Unlikely.

Richard Eskow was quick to salute the new Obama:

“Barack Obama channeled one of American history’s truly transformative figures by visiting the tiny Kansas town where Teddy Roosevelt gave his ‘New Nationalism’ speech over a century ago. It was refreshing to see the President invoke his predecessor, who was a powerful and fearless agent of change both inside and outside the White House.

“For the first time the President directly confronted the injustice of our growing economic divide, which were caused by the ongoing rapacity of the already-wealthy. He promised to take real action against the bankers who accepted our help after ruining the economy, then went on hoarding the nation’s wealth for themselves at everyone else’s expense. Teddy would have been proud.” (He was also proud of his role in the bloody Spanish-American War that turned into the Vietnam before Vietnam.)

Clearly it’s more heartening to hear the president’s new-found embrace of the needs of the millions being hurt by Wall Street’s crime spree — rather than watch his more devious collusion with it.

His speech seemed more radical because of the way the right attacked it. A columnist for the Wall Street Journal compared him to Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez, but also saw the speech for what it was — a campaign posture, a technique for rallying a disenchanted base, not a promise of tough action by the White House.

Writes Daniel Henninger in the Wall Street Journal, “Some will say hearing crude Chavista populism in the Obama speech is an overreaction. That once it’s understood the Kansas speech was the work of the party leader, not the president of the United States, it becomes easier to think about it without overreacting to its intense and vivid rhetoric…”

President Roosevelt was sincerely battling the monopolists of his time, not opportunistically playing politics. “One of the fundamental necessities in a representative government such as ours,” Roosevelt said, “is to make certain that the men to whom the people delegate their power shall serve the people by whom they are elected, and not the special interests.

“No man should receive a dollar unless that dollar has been fairly earned. Every dollar received should represent a dollar’s worth of service rendered — not gambling in stocks, but service rendered.”

Amen.

Just recycling TR isn’t the same as applying his policies. Even Eskow admits that, admitting, “the Obama Justice Department sits idly by as the SEC continues to let major corporations pay slap-on-the-wrist fines for executive criminality- fines that are often paid by the same shareholders they deceived — while “neither admitting nor denying wrongdoing.”

Yves Smith of the Naked Capitalism blog goes further: “Wow, I have to hand it to Obama’s spinmeisters. They’ve managed to find a way to resurrect his old hopium branding by calling it something completely different that still has many of the old associations.

“And we have a twofer in Obama’s launch of his new branding as True Son of Teddy Roosevelt. …The second element of this finesse is that Obama is using the Rooseveltian imagery to claim he will pass legislation to get tough on Big Finance miscreants. That posture, is of course meant to underscore the idea that you just can’t get the perps with the present, weak set of laws.”

The Financial Times reported him saying” “financial institutions whose business model is built on breaking the law, cheating consumers or making risky bets that could damage the entire economy. I’ll be calling for legislation that makes [anti-fraud] penalties count — so that firms don’t see punishment for breaking the law as just the price of doing business.”

Sounds good, except there are laws and rules on the books right now that could be deployed!

Trying to get new “anti-business” legislation through the Republican Congress is sure to be a non-starter and only intended to give him a new club to attack his adversaries with, rather crack down on Wall Street fraud.

Writes Smith, “No, it has plenty of tools, starting with Sarbanes Oxley. As we’ve discussed at length in earlier posts, Sarbox was designed to eliminate the CEO and top brass ‘know nothing’ excuse. And the language for civil and criminal charges is parallel, so a prosecutor could file criminal charges, and if successful, could then open up a related criminal case. Sarbox required that top executives (which means at least the CEO and CFO) certify the adequacy of internal controls, and for a big financial firm, that has to include risk controls and position valuation. The fact that the Administration didn’t attempt to go after, for instance, AIG on Sarbox is inexcusable …”

We can go on and on detailing the many ways the President, reborn as Teddy Roosevelt, was anything but a rough rider charging up Wall Street hill.

Writing on Huff Post, Jim Sleeper, a former journalist turned Yale professor, compared Obama’s speech to suggestions in an earlier article in the NY Times by Drew Westen, a critic telling him what he should be saying: “Here are some of the lines that Westen suggested in his essay last summer. Following them are the ones Obama delivered this week….”

Westen last summer on what Obama should say: “Many of you have lost your jobs, your homes, your hope. This was a disaster, but it was not a natural disaster. It was made by Wall Street gamblers who speculated with your lives and futures. It was made by conservative extremists who told us that if we just eliminated regulations and rewarded greed and recklessness…”

Obama last week: “Now, just as there was in Teddy Roosevelt’s time, there’s been a certain crowd in Washington for the last few decades who respond to this economic challenge with the same old tune. ‘The market will take care of everything,’ they tell us. If only we cut more regulations and cut more taxes – especially for the wealthy — our economy will grow stronger … It’s a simple theory — one that speaks to our rugged individualism and healthy skepticism of too much government. … Here’s the problem: It doesn’t work. It’s never worked…”

Well, at least Obama is open to suggestions but is it for a turn around in the way he’s governing, or is it to find new applause lines?

Writes financial analyst Ellen Brown, “The continued dominance of the Wall Street money machine depends on … collective amnesia. The fact that this memory is surfacing again may be the machine’s greatest threat — and our greatest hope as a nation. order his Attorney General to enforce the laws right now.”

Network other outlets and his News Dissector blog. He made the film Plunder the Crime Of Our Time. Please email comments to dissector@mediachannel.org.

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  • Anonymous

    Obama learned rule one of being a good politician. “Never shit where you eat”. Wall Street is bankrolling his reelection. He will never go against his bankrollers.

  • Anonymous

    Obama learned rule one of being a good politician. “Never shit where you eat”. Wall Street is bankrolling his reelection. He will never go against his bankrollers.

  • CharlottesvilleYMCA

    Obama learned rule one of being a good politician. “Never shit where you eat”. Wall Street is bankrolling his reelection. He will never go against his bankrollers.

    • Overthetop

      Here is the supposed list of his contributors the first time around.  I gotta say he did good. The backing from some of the oldest law firms that I am willing to bet specialize in defending corporations and bankers Goldman Sachs ( do I really need to say anything here).  Harvard University,  the good ol boy club gave him them their endorsement.  The UC California system,  meaning he suckered all the ex hippies and won a majority of the 55 electoral votes from Califonia

      University of California $1,648,685Goldman Sachs $1,013,091Harvard University $878,164Microsoft Corp $852,167Google Inc $814,540JPMorgan Chase & Co $808,799Citigroup Inc $736,771Time Warner $624,618Sidley Austin LLP $600,298Stanford University $595,716National Amusements Inc $563,798WilmerHale LLP $550,668Columbia University $547,852Skadden, Arps et al $543,539UBS AG $532,674IBM Corp $532,372General Electric $529,855US Government $513,308Morgan Stanley $512,232Latham & Watkins $503,295

  • Anarchy Pony

    Nothing but marketing. The man is two faced lying turd.

  • Anarchy Pony

    Nothing but marketing. The man is two faced lying turd.

  • Anonymous

    Yay! Words!

  • neurolux

    Yay! Words!

  • http://buzzcoastin.posterous.com BuzzCoastin

    Teddy Roosevelt was a tool of Wall Street
    and his Bull Moose campaign helped defeat Taft
    who was straying from his Wall Street script
    and put Wilson (the ultimate Wall Street tool)
    into office and put the Bankstes in control of the country

    Teddy may have meant well
    but he and his Bullwinklian friends were used to create
    the Amerika we know today

    under Wilson:
    the Federal Reserve was created
    the progressive federal income tax
    the involvement of the United States in WWI
    (a war he promised America would never enter)
    the popular election of U.S. senators began,
    withdrawing the traditional Constitutional mandate of state legislatures
    to elect the members of the upper house of Congress

    hope & change, i’m luvin it!

  • BuzzCoastin

    Teddy Roosevelt was a tool of Wall Street
    and his Bull Moose campaign helped defeat Taft
    who was straying from his Wall Street script
    and put Wilson (the ultimate Wall Street tool)
    into office and put the Banksters in control of the country

    Teddy may have meant well
    but like Obummer he had Wall Street’s financial support
    and he and his Bullwinklian friends were used to create
    the Amerika we know today
    by helping Wilson beat Taft

    under (Mr. Progressive) Wilson:
    the Federal Reserve was created
    the progressive federal income tax
    the involvement of the United States in WWI
    (a war he promised America would never enter)
    the popular election of U.S. senators began,
    withdrawing the traditional Constitutional mandate of state legislatures
    to elect the members of the upper house of Congress

    hope & change, i’m luvin it!

    • Ronniedobbs

      always nice to read a well informed post.  its depressing they are such an anamoly in the interwebs

    • Teddy

      the progressive income tax was friendly to wall street?? as opposed to what came before? please elaborate.

      • BuzzCoastin

        the answers a little long & complicated
        here’s the short version
        Wall Street controlled Wilson & the Congress for their benefit
        (by rigging elections through contributions)
        there was no Federal income tax before Wilson (more or less)
        it required a constitutional amendment to create the IRS
        (wee the sheeple voted for more taxes, according to them)
        this tax put the tax burden on the middle class
        (not on the corporations or the 1%)
        enabled the expansion of the Military-Industrial-Bankster Complex
        and consolidated more power to the federal gov

        Wall Street was funding all three campaigns
        Teddy was funded by Wall Street as a strategy
        to weaken Taft’s support to bring Wilson into the White House
        Wilson was literally asleep for most of his terms as president
        the Banksters won whichever one won
        but Wilson was their first choice and
        Bull Mice helped bring that about

        • HoboDieter

          Any evidence to support your claims of “Wall Street” backing Theodore Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson? 

          • BuzzCoastin

            Theodore Roosevelt had been a Morgan man from the beginning of his career. His father and uncle were both Wall Street bankers, both of them closely associated with various Morgan-dominated railroads.

            Roosevelt’s first cousin and major financial adviser, W. Emlen Roosevelt, was on the board of several New York banks, including the Astor National Bank, the president of which was George F. Baker, close friend and ally of J.P. Morgan and head of Morgan’s flagship commercial bank, the First National Bank of New York.’

            At Harvard young Theodore married Alice Lee, daughter of George Cabot Lee, and related to the top Boston Brahmin families. Kinsman Henry Cabot Lodge soon became T.R.’s long-time political mentor.

            Theodore Roosevelt came out of retirement to run for President, in order to break Taft, and to elect, for the first time in a generation, a Democratic President. The Bull Moose party was liquidated soon after.

            Supporters of Roosevelt were studded with financiers in the Morgan ambit, including Judge Elbert Gary, chairman of the board of U.S. Steel; Medill McCormick of the International Harvester family, and Willard Straight, Morgan’s partner. In the same year, Straight and his heiress wife, Dorothy Whitney, founded the weekly magazine of opinion, The New Republic, symbolizing the growing alliance for war and statism between the Morgans and various of the more moderate (i.e., non-Marxist) progressive and socialist intellectuals.

            http://www.lewrockwell.com/rothbard/rothbard66.html

            if you had google this
            you could have easily found this and other evidence to this connection

          • Rascojr

            You win the internets. But now what? :(

          • HoboDieter

            Thank you for the condescension, I was simply asking you to support your claims. Now excuse me while I read over your link. 

          • HoboDieter

            So I used this mythical google and searched “Theodore Roosevelt Wall Street” and guess what doesn’t come up, your link. 

            Speaking of which it has some nice spin on some of the facts, such as “Throughout the 19th century, the Republicans had been mainly a high-tariff, inflationist party…” Which sounds bad until you realize that the Republican Party didn’t even exist until 1854. And its main issue was originally slavery.

            There are also no citations in that document which makes it impossible to find out where these facts come from, you would think that someone with a Ph.D would want to show the research he has done to support his facts. 

  • Monkey See Monkey Do

    Makind will never break free of the shackles they are locked up in if they keep looking to leaders. Unite as one or fall as many.

  • Monkey See Monkey Do

    Makind will never break free of the shackles they are locked up in if they keep looking to leaders. Unite as one or fall as many.

  • Stumage

    He said it right from the start, he believes in change! change his mind, change his stance, change his underwear!

  • Stumage

    He said it right from the start, he believes in change! change his mind, change his stance, change his underwear!

  • Ronniedobbs

    always nice to read a well informed post.  its depressing they are such an anamoly in the interwebs

  • Overthetop

    Here is the supposed list of his contributors the first time around.  I gotta say he did good. The backing from some of the oldest law firms that I am willing to bet specialize in defending corporations and bankers Goldman Sachs ( do I really need to say anything here).  Harvard University,  the good ol boy club gave him them their endorsement.  The UC California system,  meaning he suckered all the ex hippies and won a majority of the 55 electoral votes from Califonia

    University of California $1,648,685Goldman Sachs $1,013,091Harvard University $878,164Microsoft Corp $852,167Google Inc $814,540JPMorgan Chase & Co $808,799Citigroup Inc $736,771Time Warner $624,618Sidley Austin LLP $600,298Stanford University $595,716National Amusements Inc $563,798WilmerHale LLP $550,668Columbia University $547,852Skadden, Arps et al $543,539UBS AG $532,674IBM Corp $532,372General Electric $529,855US Government $513,308Morgan Stanley $512,232Latham & Watkins $503,295

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000480492140 Tony Traverso

    obama is just another pawn with no real power

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000480492140 Tony Traverso

    obama is just another pawn with no real power

  • Teddy

    the progressive income tax was friendly to wall street?? as opposed to what came before? please elaborate.

  • http://buzzcoastin.posterous.com BuzzCoastin

    the answers a little long & complicated
    here’s the short version
    Wall Street controlled Wilson & the Congress for their benefit
    (by rigging elections through contributions)
    there was no Federal income tax before Wilson (more or less)
    it required a constitutional amendment to create the IRS
    (wee the sheeple voted for more taxes, according to them)
    this tax put the tax burden on the middle class
    (not on the corporations or the 1%)
    enabled the expansion of the Military-Industrial-Bankster Complex
    and consolidated more power to the federal gov

    Wall Street was funding all three campaigns
    Teddy was funded by Wall Street as a strategy
    to weaken Taft’s support to bring Wilson into the White House
    Wilson was literally asleep for most of his terms as president
    they won whichever one won
    but Wilson was their first choice and
    Bull Mice helped that come about

  • Wef

    I was a little surprised to read recently in William Jennings Bryan’s “Cross of Gold” speech from 1896 that the “trickle-down” ideology was so deeply rooted – he states the position in these terms:

    “There are two ideas of government. There are those who believe that if
    you just legislate to make the well-to-do prosperous, that their
    prosperity will leak through on those below. The Democratic idea has
    been that if you legislate to make the masses prosperous their
    prosperity will find its way up and through every class that rests upon
    it.”

  • Wef

    I was a little surprised to read recently in William Jennings Bryan’s “Cross of Gold” speech from 1896 that the “trickle-down” ideology was so deeply rooted – he states the position in these terms:

    “There are two ideas of government. There are those who believe that if
    you just legislate to make the well-to-do prosperous, that their
    prosperity will leak through on those below. The Democratic idea has
    been that if you legislate to make the masses prosperous their
    prosperity will find its way up and through every class that rests upon
    it.”

  • HoboDieter

    Any evidence to support your claims of “Wall Street” backing Theodore Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson? 

  • http://buzzcoastin.posterous.com BuzzCoastin

    Theodore Roosevelt had been a Morgan man from the beginning of his career. His father and uncle were both Wall Street bankers, both of them closely associated with various Morgan-dominated railroads.

    Roosevelt’s first cousin and major financial adviser, W. Emlen Roosevelt, was on the board of several New York banks, including the Astor National Bank, the president of which was George F. Baker, close friend and ally of J.P. Morgan and head of Morgan’s flagship commercial bank, the First National Bank of New York.’

    At Harvard young Theodore married Alice Lee, daughter of George Cabot Lee, and related to the top Boston Brahmin families. Kinsman Henry Cabot Lodge soon became T.R.’s long-time political mentor.

    Theodore Roosevelt came out of retirement to run for President, in order to break Taft, and to elect, for the first time in a generation, a Democratic President. The Bull Moose party was liquidated soon after.

    Supporters of Roosevelt were studded with financiers in the Morgan ambit, including Judge Elbert Gary, chairman of the board of U.S. Steel; Medill McCormick of the International Harvester family, and Willard Straight, Morgan’s partner. In the same year, Straight and his heiress wife, Dorothy Whitney, founded the weekly magazine of opinion, The New Republic, symbolizing the growing alliance for war and statism between the Morgans and various of the more moderate (i.e., non-Marxist) progressive and socialist intellectuals.

    http://www.lewrockwell.com/rothbard/rothbard66.html

    if you had google this
    you could have easily found this and other evidence to this connection

  • http://buzzcoastin.posterous.com BuzzCoastin

    Theodore Roosevelt had been a Morgan man from the beginning of his career. His father and uncle were both Wall Street bankers, both of them closely associated with various Morgan-dominated railroads.

    Roosevelt’s first cousin and major financial adviser, W. Emlen Roosevelt, was on the board of several New York banks, including the Astor National Bank, the president of which was George F. Baker, close friend and ally of J.P. Morgan and head of Morgan’s flagship commercial bank, the First National Bank of New York.’

    At Harvard young Theodore married Alice Lee, daughter of George Cabot Lee, and related to the top Boston Brahmin families. Kinsman Henry Cabot Lodge soon became T.R.’s long-time political mentor.

    Theodore Roosevelt came out of retirement to run for President, in order to break Taft, and to elect, for the first time in a generation, a Democratic President. The Bull Moose party was liquidated soon after.

    Supporters of Roosevelt were studded with financiers in the Morgan ambit, including Judge Elbert Gary, chairman of the board of U.S. Steel; Medill McCormick of the International Harvester family, and Willard Straight, Morgan’s partner. In the same year, Straight and his heiress wife, Dorothy Whitney, founded the weekly magazine of opinion, The New Republic, symbolizing the growing alliance for war and statism between the Morgans and various of the more moderate (i.e., non-Marxist) progressive and socialist intellectuals.

    http://www.lewrockwell.com/rothbard/rothbard66.html

    if you had google this
    you could have easily found this and other evidence to this connection

  • Rascojr

    You win the internets. But now what? :(

  • HoboDieter

    Thank you for the condescension, I was simply asking you to support your claims. Now excuse me while I read over your link. 

  • HoboDieter

    Thank you for the condescension, I was simply asking you to support your claims. Now excuse me while I read over your link. 

  • HoboDieter

    Thank you for the condescension, I was simply asking you to support your claims. Now excuse me while I read over your link. 

  • HoboDieter

    So I used this mythical google and searched “Theodore Roosevelt Wall Street” and guess what doesn’t come up, your link. 

    Speaking of which it has some nice spin on some of the facts, such as “Throughout the 19th century, the Republicans had been mainly a high-tariff, inflationist party…” Which sounds bad until you realize that the Republican Party didn’t even exist until 1854. And its main issue was originally slavery.

    There are also no citations in that document which makes it impossible to find out where these facts come from, you would think that someone with a Ph.D would want to show the research he has done to support his facts. 

  • HoboDieter

    So I used this mythical google and searched “Theodore Roosevelt Wall Street” and guess what doesn’t come up, your link. 

    Speaking of which it has some nice spin on some of the facts, such as “Throughout the 19th century, the Republicans had been mainly a high-tariff, inflationist party…” Which sounds bad until you realize that the Republican Party didn’t even exist until 1854. And its main issue was originally slavery.

    There are also no citations in that document which makes it impossible to find out where these facts come from, you would think that someone with a Ph.D would want to show the research he has done to support his facts. 

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