I’ve been having a discussion over email with a friend about Barak Obama, based on my post the other day where I said he’s just like Bush (for denying that the USA has caused the terrorist problem by interfering in the government of other countries). My friend forwarded to me an email from Obama’s mailing list where he talks about troop withdrawal, suggesting he’s one of the good guys. I replied:

“Get Out Of Iraq” is an easy story to sell to the American people at the moment. There is enough support for it with enough corporations that he can get away with it. So Obama gets no points for telling that story. And while he continues to deny that America has caused most of the problems they are facing around the world at the moment, I don’t think he can actually change the underlying problems. At the end of the day, Obama works for the same people that Bush or Hillary or McCain does – the rich white guys. And to get power he has to agree to represent their interests just like anyone else. The two-party system in the US (as in Australia) is there to give us the illusion of freedom of choice. But the system is inherently biased to represent the interests of the people with wealth and power. Look at Ron Paul – most people don’t even know he exists. Why? He’s been getting a massive amount of the primary vote. It’s because the media, and his own Republican executive, have completely ignored him. Why? Because he says the things they don’t want people to hear. If you speak the truth, you get ignored. Anyone, including Obama, who is operating inside the system is bound by the same rules. Say what we want you to say. Don’t say anything you’re not allowed to say – or suffer the consequences.

Like this from Ron Paul:

Of course, while the supporters of increased regulation claim Enron as a failure of “ravenous capitalism,” the truth is Enron was a phenomenon of the mixed economy, rather than the operations of the free market. Enron provides a perfect example of the dangers of corporate subsidies. The company was (and is) one of the biggest beneficiaries of Export-Import (Ex-Im) Bank and Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) subsidies. These programs make risky loans to foreign governments and businesses for projects involving American companies. While they purport to help developing nations, Ex-Im and OPIC are in truth nothing more than naked subsidies for certain politically-favored American corporations, particularly corporations like Enron that lobby hard and give huge amounts of cash to both political parties. Rather than finding ways to exploit the Enron mess to expand federal power, perhaps Congress should stop aiding corporations like Enron to pick the taxpayer’s pockets through Ex-Im and OPIC.

Now, THAT isn’t going to make him many friends in corporate America.

Then my friend asked me why I thought Obama works for the rich, white guys. Here’s why.

It’s simple. Where do you think Obama’s campaign finance is coming from? Poor black people in Louisiana? Let’s see – he’s raised $16 million to date for his campaign. Let see who this came from.

Top Contributors

1 Goldman Sachs $535,678
2 JPMorgan Chase & Co $333,337
3 UBS AG $306,880
4 Kirkland & Ellis $304,264
5 Exelon Corp $299,011
6 University of Chicago $293,481
7 Lehman Brothers $288,197
8 Skadden, Arps et al $282,841
9 Sidley Austin LLP $279,857
10 Citigroup Inc $278,336
11 Harvard University $267,541
12 University of California $251,194
13 National Amusements Inc $237,050
14 Jenner & Block $213,907
15 Jones Day $212,525
16 Morgan Stanley $212,276
17 Google Inc $201,107
18 Mayer Brown $184,333
19 Credit Suisse Group $171,800
20 Citadel Investment Gro $171,650

This is LITERALLY the list of people he works for. Follow the money, people, follow the money. These people don’t “donate” money to a campaign. They “invest” in it. They expect to get something in return for their contribution.

Let’s look at the top one, Goldman Sachs, one of the world’s largest investment banks. You have to ask – what would Goldman Sachs want to get for their investment? Healthcare reform? Perhaps. They also have a private equity arm. What are their significant holdings?

Major Assets (GS Group)

  • Ayco L.P. – (Financial Advisory)
  • Cogentrix Energy (Energy)
  • American Casino & Entertainment Properties (Casinos)
  • Coffeyville Resources LLC (Refinery)
  • Myers Industries, Inc. (Plastic & Rubber)
  • USI Holdings Corporation (Insurance & Finance)
  • East Coast Power LLC (Energy)
  • Zilkha Renewable Energy (Energy)
  • Queens Moat Houses (Hotels)
  • Sequoia Credit Consolidation (Finance)
  • Shineway Group (Meat Processing)
  • Equity Inns, Inc. (Hotels)
  • KarstadtQuelle property group (Retailer)
  • Nursefinders Inc. (Healthcare)
  • Latin Force Group, LLC (Media)

They have a healthcare investment. They will want to make sure it does well, so whether or not they want reform depends on what their business needs. They have an investment in renewable energy. Think they care about oil?

The Google investment is interesting. What do you think they expect to get for their money?

BTW, the above listings are from a terrific site called Open Secrets. Check it out.