The Most Corrupt Administration in Modern American History

Kickback: The payment of something of value to a recipient as compensation or reward for providing favorable treatment to another party.

A kickback in the form of money, gifts, credit, or anything of value may be viewed as a corrupt practice that interferes with an employee or official’s ability to make unbiased decisions. - Investopedia

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Kickbacks are an insidious form of corruption, not just because they are illegal and obstruct the political process, but also because they compromise the ethics of officials who have been charged with enforcing regulations that govern the activities of the bribing entities.

For example: If I lobbied a key member of Congress to write a bill to fund my efforts to evict a property owner whose refusal to sell his home is blocking the development of a new shopping center; and then, to insure my success I paid a lobbyist $6 and gave the Congressman $4 in campaign contributions; and those efforts paid off to the tune of $2,457,540, then it would be impossible to claim the kickback didn’t corrupt the legal and political processes. The profits earned under that type of transaction would be considered reprehensible, and it would be the equivalent of a real estate agent purchasing a Beverly Hills mansion for $10. In essence, you could say the rate of return on my investment was 245,754%, and besides, it allowed me to steal the property of a rightful owner. And to make the situation even more intolerable, what if I asked the Congressmen to then write a bill that would exempt me from prosecution.

Seem impossible? Not really. That’s what happened under TARP.

The rate of return earned on TARP funds given to JP Morgan Chase, a Wall Street firm that contributed $847,895 to Barack Obama’s campaign, was exactly 245,754%. And before you argue it was justified because the money was used to bailout the company, consider this statement made by Jamie Dimon during a telephone call to company executives – a call that was secretly monitored by a New York Times reporter:

Twenty-five billion dollars is obviously going to help the folks who are struggling more than Chase. What we do think it will help us do is perhaps be a little bit more active on the acquisition side or opportunistic side for some banks who are still struggling. And I would not assume that we are done on the acquisition side just because of the Washington Mutual and Bear Stearns mergers. I think there are going to be some great opportunities for us to grow in this environment, and I think we have an opportunity to use that $25 billion in that way….”

By his own admission, Dimon revealed that JP Morgan & Chase did not use the bailout money to achieve its intended purpose, but instead used it to take over other financial institutions. And to pull off that $25 billion scam on American taxpayers, all it cost the corporation – with no strings attached – was $10,168,638 in lobbying fees and campaign contributions, ergo, generating a 245,754% return on investment.

And the big losers were the American taxpayers, not the criminals who caused the 2007 global financial collapse. And the icing on the cake for Jamie Dimon – Obama’s close friend and a top campaign contributor – was a “get-out-of-jail” card given by the president’s Justice Department. Even worse for taxpayers, the enormous profits earned from TARP funds, and the resulting mergers and takeovers – according to former Attorney General Eric Holder – have resulted in the creation of financial institutions that were too big to prosecute. And many of those investors have used the new capital to illegally buy up huge sections of land, water, and housing.

But the impact of that corruption was lost to many progressive voters because Democratic operatives accused Republican Congressional leaders of getting rich off the TARP program; but that type of accusation was misleading because it was the Democrats who became the top recipients of TARP kickbacks, including: Barack Obama (the largest recipient - $4.3 million from Wall Street employees), Sen. Chris Dodd (Chairman of the Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs - $854,200), and Sen. Max Baucus of Montana, (Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee - $279,000).

According to Open Secrets.org: “In total, members of the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs, Senate Finance Committee and House Financial Services Committee received $5.2 million from TARP recipients in the 2007-2008 election cycle.”

That is corruption and recreancy at the highest levels of government.

And even though the TARP process was developed under the leadership of former President, G.W. Bush, it was the Obama administration that essentially used the program to design and implement one of the greatest ponzi schemes in American history. It gave cover to criminal bankers and CEOs who not only pulled off the biggest heist in history, but also managed to use taxpayer money to bribe officials into rewriting laws to protect their corporations from being held accountable for financial crimes. And now, the incredible amount of wealth generated by that ponzi scheme has allowed them to buy elections, buy a president and Congress, scoop up millions of homes that were lost to the financial collapse, create the greatest income gap in modern history, and literally, rewrite our nation’s future by limiting opportunities for anyone who was not allowed to participate in that scheme.

But by identifying the people who silently sanctioned those crimes, it’s easy to see the theft would never have succeeded if the Democratic Party had simply done the right thing. By triangulating Democratic voters, Obama created a coalition of African Americans, Hispanics, Gay and Lesbians, and women’s rights activists – interested in promoting only their personal agendas – that prevented the American public from learning the truth. And the Internet hub of that corruption was the Daily Kos, where members of the OFA served as de facto, mob-style knee-cappers, and the site provided PR cover for the administration’s illegal activities, and the majority of the Democratic faithful who participated in the blog helped disburse the administration’s disinformation.

Traditional Democrats who tried to expose the corruption – much like the liberals who tried to gain access to Obama’s White House – were marginalized, and even ostracized from the site if their voices began to resonate.

If you haven’t read Matt Taibbi’s accounting of the TARP crimes, Secrets and Lies of the Bailout, then please do so; it’s eye opening, and you can find the article at this link: http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/secret-and-lies-of-the-bailout...

And if you want to see a prime example of Wall Street corruption, then read Taibbi’s article, The Scam Wall Street Learned From the Mafia. It illustrates how low bankers and traders will sink to steal anything they can get from the American public. http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/the-scam-wall-street-learned-f...

At almost every level, Barack Obama’s policies, broken promises, and lies have corrupted the political process, essentially, thwarting the will of the American public. His administration is filled with corrupt Wall Street cronies and insiders, as was made evident by his response to Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s recent attack on SEC head, Mary Jo White.

The Boston Globe:

Speaking from the White House briefing room, Earnest said the president believes the SEC chairwoman “shares his values and the priority that he has placed on promptly implementing Wall Street reform.” He also said that President Obama “does continue to believe that she is the right person for the job.”

In other words, he wants to ensure that no member of his administration actually holds his campaign contributors accountable for their crimes.
And of course, the financial industry’s response to Sen. Warren’s letter was predictable. Consider the title of this Business Insider article: Everyone thinks Elizabeth Warren went too far in a too-personal letter she wrote to the SEC chairwoman.

Each time, Warren has attempted to rein in corporate corruption, it has been met with the same accusation: she went too far. But if you compare that stance to the free-pass the Obama administration has given to the president’s corrupt campaign contributors, then you can understand why so many people in our nation are suffering.

And when you read Warren’s letter, it’s easy to understand how Obama’s and Clinton’s campaign contributors continue to escape accountability for their crimes, even when they confess to those illegal activities.

From Think Progress:

When other agencies have taken a tough line over financial lawbreaking, Warren writes, White has played the good cop, slipping the crooks a care package to limit the fallout from their misdeeds. The SEC grants a special status to certain large, long-tenured firms that allows them to speed up their work by reducing their regulatory compliance requirements. When a company on that list breaks the law, it’s supposed to lose its special privileges. Such companies can apply for a waiver to stay off the naughty list. White had indicated publicly that she wanted to toughen the agency’s approach to waiver requests in cases where they might “‘soften’ the impact of an enforcement action.”

But that’s exactly what the SEC decided to do when the Department of Justice forced several of the largest banks in the world to plead guilty to felony charges in May. Even though JP Morgan, Royal Bank of Scotland, Citigroup, and Barclays all admitted to criminally rigging currency exchange rates at the expense of clients and other investors, White’s SEC decided to spare the four banks on the list from increased regulatory scrutiny going forward. Since the fines levied against the banks were far too small to meaningfully dent their bottom lines, the SEC waivers arguably gutted the most meaningfully punitive consequences the felonious banks would’ve faced.

One commissioner named Kara Stein blasted the White-led agency’s decision publicly. Stein called the banks recidivists who have requested and received numerous SEC waivers in recent years despite repeated instances of misconduct. Progressive activist group Credo has asked President Obama to appoint two more SEC commissioners who share Stein’s more aggressive mindset toward the job. White has reportedly clashed so much with Stein internally that the latter commissioner does not allow White’s chief of staff into her office.

Warren’s letter blasts White for going back on her “strong words” on waivers by granting more than half of the total requests she’s fielded, even in criminal cases. The agency had not granted a waiver in a criminal case since 2005 prior to White’s appointment, the letter says.

You can read the Think Progress article here: http://thinkprogress.org/economy/2015/06/02/3665184/warren-blasts-sec-ch...

And here is a link to Warren’s letter; both are worth the read: http://www.warren.senate.gov/files/documents/2015-6-2_Warren_letter_to_S...

Investigative historian, Eric Zuesse, recently penned an article published at the Huffington Post, titled: “Is the Obama Administration the Most Corrupt in U.S. History?http://www.huffingtonpost.com/eric-zuesse/is-the-obama-administrati_2_b_...

When you consider how much Obama’s policies have negatively impacted the quality of our nation’s future, and how much the TPP will degrade it even further, then I think the proper response begs another question: How can it not be the most corrupt administration in U.S. history?

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Big Al's picture

of wealth inequality and the overall western ruling class agenda of global capitalist control. It's the same with foreign policy, this
admin has upped even the Bush admin relative to global war crimes because that's the stage of the game they're playing. I suspect
the next admin will be even more dangerous than this one and on and on it will go until it all breaks down. It's like an addict, they have
to cheat more, lie more, steal more, and kill more to feed the habit as time goes by.

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OLinda's picture

is a doozy! Recommended reading.

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- - - -
If you don't like the Mafia, why don't you join it and change it from the inside?

gulfgal98's picture

It is a very long letter, but the level of detail provided in it leaves no question about the amount of corruption that is happening within the SEC under White's chairmanship. Definitely worth reading.

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"I don't want to run the empire, I want to bring it down!" ~Dr. Cornel West

"Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable." John F Kennedy

gulfgal98's picture

I have not had time to read all the links but I do believe that the Obama administration is probably the most corrupt ever. Obama did not come into this with blinders on. He was chosen for his charisma and his willingness to carry the water for the PTB, particularly the banksters. This became clear from the first appointments. I may have more comments later after I have read all the links. Thanks for doing a yeoman's work on this. Good

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"I don't want to run the empire, I want to bring it down!" ~Dr. Cornel West

"Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable." John F Kennedy

It's difficult to understand why so many Democrats think he is the greatest president, ever...he is the most deceitful, corrupt politician in my lifetime.

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praenomen

mimi's picture

off to reading the links.

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TTTT (too tired to talk)

joe shikspack's picture

i hope that warren keeps up her rhetorical assault on the obama admin, it's the sort of speech that "goes too far" that makes it onto the evening news. if they can frame this as a democratic blood feud or something, the public might get a whiff of it.

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This is going to be a very telling week; if the rank and file don't step up to the plate and support people like Elizabeth Warren, then our nation will be in big trouble...the TPP is the game changer...but fortunately, you're right: when she stands up to Obama a lot of people sit up and pay attention...

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praenomen

Pluto's Republic's picture

Thanks, praenomen. I've read these articles, but the way you wove them together makes for a more comprehensive and lasting understanding.

I have two comments. Point One, I simply don't see the case made that the Obama administration is any more corrupt than any other administration over the past 50 years or so. Vast financial deregulation began in the 1980s, and from that point forward the precision trajectory was set. The numbers may be larger now, but the trajectory is no more egregious; it's merely a factor of time. You can see the trajectory here, expressed in the huge amounts of money flowing into the pockets of financiers.

The US slave-owner's Constitution is the underlying systemic flaw that allows for massive government corruption. The Constitution, itself, is corrupt because it does not directly confer (make senior to government rule) one single human right upon the people — not even the right to vote in a Federal election, which can be revoked, limited, "tallied," or "recounted" at any time by the states. (Indeed, the Supreme Court recently ruled that the Federal government no longer has oversight of elections at the state level, which better serves America's corporate owners and the President they pre-select.) In the modern constitutions of the world, declared human rights are the ONLY checks and balances that are needed — and the people of all nations in the world have demanded this. Since the American people cling to their ignorance and serfdom (guns and bibles) and will not demand a world-class constitution that would put all their human and civil rights ahead of government corruption (rights such as privacy, food, shelter, health care, personal security), I simply cannot see where Americans do not richly deserve the consequences of their cowardice, expressed here:

growth-of-family-income-chart.jpg

Point Two, the focus here is on the financial destruction of the US as a society, but the corruption takes place across many arenas and affects the entire world. A wider-angled lens brings into view a larger picture that includes the socially-destructive TPP and TTIP, for example. Also coming into focus is the global criminality of the NSA, which will historically be regarded as the the direct cause of the fall of the US empire. A recent example of this type of corruption, in the realm of global murder and mayhem, is sales of toxic gases and chemical weapons to nations that made substantial contributions to the Clinton Foundation, while Hillary was Secretary of State. She was certainly not the first or the worst; the global drug distribution industry of the US Defense cartels has been robust since the Reagan administration.

During the roughly two years of Arab Spring protests that confronted authoritarian governments with popular uprisings, Clinton’s State Department approved $66 million worth of so-called Category 14 exports -- defined as "toxicological agents, including chemical agents, biological agents and associated equipment" -- to nine Middle Eastern governments that either donated to the Clinton Foundation or whose affiliated groups paid Bill Clinton speaking fees.

That represented a 50 percent overall increase in such export approvals to the same countries over the two years prior to the Arab Spring, according to an International Business Times review of State Department documents. In the same time period, Arab countries that did not donate to the Clinton Foundation saw an overall decrease in their State Department approvals to purchase chemical and biological materials.

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The purpose of a writer is to keep civilization from destroying itself.
– Albert Camus

I base my claim on several factors: First, and perhaps the most important point: Obama's policies have completely changed the future of our nation, and not in a positive way. He was very clearly given a mandate to change the direction of our country, one that would be the antithesis of the very dark path taken by Bush during his presidency; and Obama went to extreme lengths to assure voters he would fulfill that mandate; only he didn't. Instead, it became very clear from the outset of his administration that his candidacy was underwritten by the criminals on Wall Street, and his primary goal was to promote a hidden, corporate agenda; that is why he placed a Wall Street lawyer at the head of the Justice Department, that is why he gave control to the Fed and the Treasury to Wall Street insiders, that is why he filled his administration with Republicans instead of Democrats.\.

Second, his unwillingness to prosecute Bush's war criminals, and the criminals who caused the financial collapse is recreancy at the highest level, and he should be impeached for circumventing the law.

Third -- which is linked to the first -- he is a neo-liberal, and the impact of having a neo-liberal assume office by becoming a trojan horse candidate is different than having -- say a Republican -- pull off the same charade; Republicans are corrupt to the core, but the neo-liberal expansionist paradigm is the most evil construct in modern history; its sole purpose is to transfer wealth -- all wealth worldwide -- to an elite few, which was made evident when he allowed 99% of all net profits earned in this country during his presidency to go to the top 1%...

Fourth; instead of holding Wall Street criminals accountable for their crimes, he shifted the burden of paying for those crimes onto the shoulders of the innocent victims; and you have to take into account the thousands of people who committed suicide because everything they had spent their lives accumulating was lost because his campaign donors had illegally gambled away their futures.

The impact of his corruption has negatively impacted more innocent people than the corrupt policies of any other politician I can remember...

Those are just a few of the reasons I believe he is the most corrupt politician in modern history...but believe me, I've spent many months researching every speech he has made, every policy he has enacted; every promise he has broken, and the list goes on and on...and it's impossible to find anyone who has matched the evil he has done.

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praenomen

gulfgal98's picture

in an outstanding diary. I have always felt that Obama's real legacy will be number 2, particularly the banksters, the prosecution of whom he had full control, if he had so wished.

Second, his unwillingness to prosecute Bush's war criminals, and the criminals who caused the financial collapse is recreancy at the highest level, and he should be impeached for circumventing the law.

Most people care about their legacy, but I do not believe Obama cares one whit. He will end up very rich. And no matter what he does after his Presidency, he cannot undo the damage that he has done to this country. I think he is a sociopath. Only a sociopath could blatantly lie to the people like he has, knowing that his lies have negatively impacted over 99% of this country. And his lies have even more negatively impacted people of color who are still his strongest supporters than anyone else.

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"I don't want to run the empire, I want to bring it down!" ~Dr. Cornel West

"Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable." John F Kennedy

I'm working on a new article discussing the connection between the South China Sea confrontation and the TPP, and I have been forced to take short breaks more frequently than I normally do, simply because the material I have been researching has made me so angry.

The disconnect between Obama's true legacy, and the manufactured version he will sell to the American public will not match...but absolutely, every single thing he has said and done contains an element of dishonesty...just like the new NSA law...what a joke.

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praenomen

gulfgal98's picture

of Obama's cynicism when he proposed the $10.10 per hour minimum wage. It sounded good on the surface but instead of his proposing a real living wage, what it really did was bring a minimum wage earner just barely over the poverty line.

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"I don't want to run the empire, I want to bring it down!" ~Dr. Cornel West

"Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable." John F Kennedy

Unabashed Liberal's picture

many very low income workers (making minimum wage) from qualifying for other social welfare programs--like SNAP, etc., which have as their cut-off, the FPL (Federal Poverty Level).

I've got to clip the video (from the full C-Span interview) which basically describes how this amount was arrived at BECAUSE it put folks "just beyond" the poverty level.

Apparently, some Democrats think that this is commendable.

(More proof of how out-of-touch they are.)

Mollie


"A real hero is that person who does good random deeds without expecting anything in return, only to have the satisfaction that he did something for us, for our planet."--Author Unknown
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Everyone thinks they have the best dog, and none of them are wrong.

gulfgal98's picture

That was my point. That is why it was so cynical.

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"I don't want to run the empire, I want to bring it down!" ~Dr. Cornel West

"Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable." John F Kennedy