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      by Tony Wikrent Economics Action Group, North Carolina Democratic Party Progressive Caucus Strategic Political Economy Why the New Silk Roads are a ‘threat’ to US bloc Pepe Escobar [Asia Times, via The Big Picture 1-23-20] Asia and Europe have been trading goods and ideas since at least 3,500 BC. Historically, the flux may have suffered […]
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Wednesday: Obama has big donors? I’m shocked, SHOCKED!

Yep, according to the NYTimes this morning. The Dauphin of Democracy, that paragon of virtue, takes little donations from wee, little people and he’s not too humble to tell you about it every chance he gets.  But it turns out that this may not be the whole story:

In an effort to cast himself as independent of the influence of money on politics, Senator Barack Obama often highlights the campaign contributions of $200 or less that have amounted to fully half of the $340 million he has collected so far.

But records show that one-third of his record-breaking haul has come from donations of $1,000 or more: a total of $112 million, more than Senator John McCain, Mr. Obama’s Republican rival, or Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton, his opponent in the Democratic primaries, raised in contributions of that size.

Nice haul there, Barry.  “But!”, the Obamaphile protests, “he can’t know where all of that money comes from.  He’s busy running a campaign.  His finance people probably aren’t telling him.”  The Times reporters helpfully explain:

While his campaign has cited its volume of small donations as a rationale for his decision to opt out of public financing for the general election, Mr. Obama has worked to build a network of big-dollar supporters from the time he began contemplating a run for the United States Senate. He tapped into well-connected people in Chicago prior to the 2004 Senate race, and once elected, set out across the country starting to cultivate some of his party’s most influential money collectors.

He courted them with the savvy of a veteran politician, through phone calls, meals and one-on-one meetings; he wrote thank-you cards and remembered birthdays; he sent them autographed copies of his book and doted on their children.

Awww, how thoughtful.  {{sigh}} It appears that Barry is well aware of the big donors after all, having courted them and all.

{{shaking Firefox at the NYTimes site}}  There’s something wrong with the Times this morning.  It seems insufficiently fawning.  Maybe Adam Nagourney should have a talk with Luo and Drew and tell them to expect a call from Obama’s people to their editors if they keep this up.

It turns out that many of these people are from the finance, investment and securities trade.  You know, brokers and hedge fund managers.  I can’t imagine what they want from Obama, the man of the little people.  And Obama just can’t help schmoozing these bundlers to pieces:

They met for Chinese food in Washington the following week, and Mr. Obama scored points with Mr. Solomont when he pointed out that they had both been community organizers earlier in their careers.

“I’ve been involved in politics a long time,” Mr. Solomont said. “Nobody’s bothered to know that about me.”

Wow, I got all choked up there for a moment.  That’s really touching.  Only an expert schmoozer could pull that off and make it look sincere.  Smooth.  And it never hurts to start early:

In December, Mr. Obama visited the New York office of the billionaire investor George Soros to court a roomful of high-powered Democratic fund-raisers, hoping to lure some of them away from Mrs. Clinton. Not everyone was swayed, but Mr. Obama won over Orin Kramer, a hedge-fund executive from New Jersey, and Mr. Wolf, the UBS executive, both of whom are now among Mr. Obama’s biggest fund-raisers.

(Hedge funds, hedge funds.  Aren’t those the “instruments” designed to bet on the market?  Now, why would they want Obama…?)

Anyway, go read the whole thing.  Obama’s campaign expect the booty from the biggies to increase with respect to all of his donations.  I can’t understand why this is.  Surely, SURELY, the little people will increase their giving in order to keep up.  Otherwise, Obama may feel obligated to devote more of his attention to the Hedge Fund managers.  Nahhh, that would never happen.

Meanwhile, Hillary Clinton writes a piece for the Wall Street Journal where she shames the offshore accounts of some of the Bushies biggest scam artists like Halliburton, who feed off of our latest tragedies and wars. In No Crisis is Immune from Exploitation Under Bush, Clinton proposes a series of steps and a commission to root out waste, fraud and abuse of the Bushie contractors.  She says the country needs a president who will say “The Buck Stops Here”.  Someone like Truman.  Oddly, she makes no mention of Obama.

LetFreedomRing found this nifty video of a TownHall meeting with Obama that didn’t get off on the right foot:

Go figure.