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November 24, 2011

I'm Thankful We Have Such a Cohesive International Oligarchy

That's what I'm thankful for today. Sure, everybody knows that Gamal Mubarak, Hosni's son and heir apparent, started his career as an investment banker for Bank of America and then set up his own private equity fund. And it's old news that UC Davis Chancellor Linda Katehi takes time out from pepper-spraying American students to assist in the crackdown on Greek students. But did you know that Asma al-Assad, first lady of Syria, was a mergers and acquisitions investment banker at JP Morgan, and about to start on an MBA at Harvard, before she married her husband Bashar?

You really can't run a coordinated international attack on 99% of humanity without having all the attackers be buddies from way back.

—Jonathan Schwarz

Posted at November 24, 2011 09:17 PM

A common dodge of the technocrat is to call this "conspiratorial thinking".

The incestuous scaffolding of our plutonomy is supposed to be a natural outgrowth of freedomcapitalism. Any allusions to the contrary sends tremors through the Jenga.

Posted by: BenP at November 25, 2011 03:03 AM

As another blogger often says, "there is a club and you're not in it." (Driftglass) The sooner the 99% get it, the sooner the one percent can get on with things and the 99% can eat more cake or maybe some crumbs.

Posted by: knowdoubt at November 25, 2011 05:36 AM

cohesive indeed. that started a long time ago. i remember back in the early 80s meeting a chinese guy who had been a leader in the red guards back in mao's day in the 60s. he was then working on wall street as an international lawyer, learning the ropes to prepare for what has followed.

still, there are some limits to the cohesiveness in a capitalist system (maybe any other too), and we'll all try to kill each other soon enough

Posted by: N E at November 25, 2011 09:23 AM

I believe Karl Marx mentioned something about this phenomenon, long, long ago.

Posted by: Mike Meyer at November 25, 2011 01:23 PM


Marx predicted that the U.S. economy would do fine, everyone prospering for a long time, then morph into a plutonomy once a plutocracy formed.

He got that right on the money.

But the rub comes when he predicted what would happen thereafter.

He said that the American working class would throw off the overlords to take the means of production back from them.

A lot of the overlords evidently believed Marx, so they moved lots of the means of production offshore into other lands where they could control the workers, or have puppet regimes there do it for them.

Meanwhile here at home the people have for decades been given mass doses of propaganda that made Stockholm Syndrome easier to be infected with.

So, the odds are that Marx was wrong about what Americas would do in such premises.

Posted by: Dredd at November 25, 2011 02:02 PM


"Conspiracy theory" is typically used when someone points out a pattern that suggests unfortunate conclusions (from the writers of Cracked Magazine to Richard Perle, this is a popular use). Clout, being fortunate, would repel the phrase, which is why it's spun as "expertise" or "experience" making said people "valuable assets."

Posted by: Lewis T at November 25, 2011 05:03 PM

Fun fact of the day: It's ridiculous hyperbole to say Barack Obama is in bed with Big Medicine.

From the Michelle Obama wiki: "In 2002, she began working for the University of Chicago Hospitals, first as executive director for community affairs and, beginning May 2005, as Vice President for Community and External Affairs.[48] She continued to hold the University of Chicago Hospitals position during the primary campaign, but cut back to part time in order to spend time with her daughters as well as work for her husband's election;[49] she subsequently took a leave of absence from her job.[50] According to the couple’s 2006 income tax return, her salary was $273,618 from the University of Chicago Hospitals, while her husband had a salary of $157,082 from the United States Senate."

Posted by: tom allen at November 25, 2011 06:29 PM

Big Medicine? Does he have an Indian wife?

Posted by: N E at November 25, 2011 08:16 PM

Derdd: Marx was on target about the rich conspiring to rob the workers. Looks like his redistribution of wealth is fixing to roll over down on Wallstreet. The Angry Robbed are well AWARE of wah-sup. With satelite technolgy and the net The Rich have nowhere to hide just like the rest of US. Plus machines are doing more percentage of the labor everyday, Laborer will no longer care about being deprived of the furits of its labor. (then again maybe they will care)

Posted by: Mike Meyer at November 25, 2011 10:18 PM

Mike Meyer's Addendum to the Marx Theory Of Wealth's Conspiracy----"They ain't just conspirin', they's inbreedin' too."

Posted by: Mike Meyer at November 26, 2011 12:55 AM

Scratch that on Perle. It was someone else, with a French accent who debated Noam Chomsky on U.S. media bias.

Posted by: Lewis T at November 26, 2011 02:22 PM

No, I did not know that.

Posted by: Amanda Rex at November 27, 2011 02:35 AM

George Carlin - It's a big club and you ain't in it

Here is a 3 minute clip of George Carlin at his best. A tightly compressed 3 minute nugget of pure truth.


There’s a reason. There’s a reason. There’s a reason for this. There’s a reason education sucks. And it’s the same reason it will never, never ever be fixed. It’s never going to get any better. Don’t look for it. Be happy with what you got. Because the owners of this country don’t want that. I’m talking about the real owners now. The real owners. The big wealthy business interests that control things and make all the important decisions.

Forget the politicians. The politicians are put there to give you the idea that you have freedom of choice. You don’t. You have no choice. You have owners. They own you. They own everything. They own all the important land. They own and control corporations. They’ve long since bought and paid for the Senate, the Congress, the state houses, and city halls. They got the judges in their back pocket. And they own all the big media companies so they control just about all the news and information your get to hear. They got you by the balls.

They spend billions of dollars every year lobbying, lobbying to get what they want. Well we know what they want. They want more for themselves and less for everybody else. But I’ll tell you what they don’t want. They don’t want a population of citizens capable of critical thinking. They don’t want well-informed well-educated people capable of critical thinking. They’re not interested in that. That doesn’t help them. That’s against their interests. They don’t want people who are smart enough to sit around the kitchen table and figure out how they’re getting fucked by a system that threw them overboard 30 fucking years ago. They don’t want that.

You know what they want? They want obedient workers. Obedient workers. People who are just smart enough to run the machines and do the paper work and just dumb enough to passively accept all these increasingly shittier jobs with the lower pay, the longer hours, the reduced benefits, the end of overtime and the vanishing pension that disappears the moment you go to collect it.

And now they’re coming for your social security money. They want your retirement money. They want it back so they can give it to their criminal friends on Wall Street. And you know something. They’ll get it. They’ll get it all from you sooner or later ‘cause they own this fucking place. It’s a big club. And you ain’t in it. You and I are not in the big club. By the way, it’s the same big club they use to beat you over the head with all day long when they tell you what to believe. All day long beating you over the head with their media telling you what to believe, what to think and what to buy.

The table is tilted folks. The game is rigged. And nobody seems to notice. Nobody seems to care. Good honest, hard-working people. White-collar, blue-collar, it doesn’t matter what color shirt you have on. Good honest, hard-working people continue – these are people of modest means – continue to elect these rich cocksuckers who don’t give a fuck about them. They don’t give a fuck about you! They don’t give a fuck about you! They don’t care about you – at all! At all! At all! You know. And nobody seems to notice. Nobody seems to care. That’s what the owners count on – is the fact that Americans will probably remain wilfully ignorant of the big red, white and blue dick that’s being jammed up their assholes every day. Because the owners of this country know the truth. It’s called “The American Dream” because you have to be asleep to believe it.

Posted by: mistah charley, ph.d. at November 27, 2011 05:57 PM

And to George Carlin (may he R.I.P.) I say, " Let's take it all back." NATIONALIZE GOLDMAN-SACH. In an instant, a mere stroke of the President's Pen and The Rich can kiss it ALL goodbye.

Posted by: Mike Meyer at November 28, 2011 01:13 PM