Follow The Money
Ruminant With A View
by Elizabeth Boleman-Herring
Deep Throat: You thought I’d help out on specifics? I’ll confirm what you get, try to keep you on the right track, but that’s all. Are you guys really working? [Woodward nods] How much?
Woodward: I don’t know maybe 16, 18 hours a day—we’ve got sources at Justice, the FBI, but it’s still drying up.
Deep Throat: Then there must be something, mustn’t there. Look, forget the myths the media’s created about the White House—the truth is, these are not very bright guys, and things got out of hand.
Woodward: If you don’t like them, why won’t you be more concrete with me?
Deep Throat: Because the press stinks too—history on the run, that’s all you’re interested in. You come up with anything?
Woodward: John Mitchell resigned as head of CREEP to spend more time with his family. That doesn’t exactly have the ring of truth. Howard Hunt’s been found—there was talk that his lawyer had 25 thousand in cash in a paper bag.
Deep Throat: Follow the money. Always follow the money.
—from “All The President’s Men” [double-underlinings my own]
TEANECK, NJ—(Weekly Hubris)—12/8/10—Everyone in the mainstream media is getting every major story of the day absolutely, back-assward wrong. (Ezra Klein, I lament to tar you with my broad, tarry brush, but you, too, are running with the hounds, while the fox, the foxes, are very much elsewhere.)
That’s my (conspiracy-theory-tinged) lede, and I’m sticking to it.
Even the blogs are barking up the wrong trees. Debating whether Obama’s caved to the Republicans, or whether the Democrats should do this, that or the other? Smoke and mirrors, smoke and mirrors. Doesn’t matter what one party or the other does: someone not in a party is calling all the shots now.
Try to picture this: The President, Congress, the DC-based media—all are contained in a little echoing box together, where the sturm und drang of politics, as well as the earnest political reporting and commentary seem to matter, seem to have something to do with cause and effect in the real world. But it is all an illusion. It is all sound and fury, signifying nothing.
As long as “The Money Men,” and the big organs—the Supreme Court, the mega/meta-corporations (now freed to donate to any and all campaigns to their anonymous hearts’ content), and the billionaires with their special, special interests really run the world as we know it, nothing that happens or is discussed in our once-upon-a-time republic (now, a puppet state), is beyond voters’, or honest representatives’, or our rarely-bright-enough news analysts’ influence.
I’m not saying there’s a huge, coordinated international conspiracy at work, running this country and others, according to a master plan—I don’t think our species is quite that intelligent. But I do think we should be looking outside, way outside, the circular firing squad that is DC, beyond the usual sources, the usual suspects, and following the money; discovering before it’s utterly too late who’s really running our show.
Like the real Wizard of Oz, there are men like Rupert Murdoch, just for example, who are tipping scales left and right, while we all sit on our couches, go to the voting booths, and spin our little hamster-wheels.
If Iran is buying up our debt, as Wikileaks has revealed, that’s one indicator that things are pretty rotten in the state of Denmark. Just one little indicator. (I, for one, will be very disappointed if Mr. Assange has managed to give unsuspecting sexual partners one or more STD’s; but I am all for the sunlight falling where it usually don’t shine.) Iran buying up our debt. Chew on that.
Trouble is, I don’t think Olbermann and Maddow and, God help us, our various “anchor-people,” are up to getting to the bottom of things anymore.
I do wish I felt we had any investigative reporters equal to the task of ferreting out global miscreants, the multi-billionaires and their minions, the huge multinationals that more resemble The Matrix than any form of government Addams or Marx ever envisioned . . . because this sure ain’t Kansas anymore.
I have long felt that there were underlying reasons for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan which were far larger than even the causes my own jaundiced analysis had revealed (in no order): 1) Israel pulling the US’s strings for its own expansionist purposes; 2) our need to “bleed” off some of our own surplus youth and testosterone abroad in advance of an economic bubble the Big Boys knew was about to collapse; and 3) the armed forces desire to practice-run tactics and equipment that only a contracted war, far from home, could offer.
Just so, I feel it now makes absolutely no difference who’s elected president: we have become a country run by multinational “conservatives” and, no matter who’s in the Oval Office, the real powers that be in the world will have their way with America. National elections are bread and circuses, meant to distract us into imagining we have any say at all in the matters that affect us. Our real masters are elsewhere.
So, follow the money, someone smarter than this old journalist.
See who’s holding all the cards, all the chits, all the pawn slips. Who owns America, now? How does this owning work? Is there some way of determining who and where the bad guys are, and reclaiming this republic?
If someone sane has already thought these thoughts out there in blog-land, I’ve missed their pieces, and I think I’d have sniffed them out. Everyone’s just rattling on, business as usual, and I keep yelping at the MSNBC talking heads—the closest thing to relatives I have in this country: “You’re missing the story, Idiots!”
Bush and Cheney got everything they wanted not due to strength of character, the weasels, or political influence, or anything else . . . except the fact that they nicely toed the Company Line. But what company?
The company with pockets deeper than hell. And there is a money trail back to those pockets . . . .
Re-read Deep Throat’s quotes above again. Neither those in government nor those in the Fourth Estate are very bright. But crooks, even B-I-I-I-G crooks, leave a (green) paper trail. Follow it.
Same E. Herring I knew in Athens back in the 8O’s? No double barreled name then and buddy with (forget his name; Alex something or other) old timer newsman of solid repute. If same, good to know she’s still muckraking. Go for it, lady!
Follow the green paper trail? I can’t even follow the yellow brick road. Yes, it always comes down to money. If thousands of Mexicans can kill each other over drug money, and thousands of Americans can kill …, Wait a minute, Americans don’t kill, they get killed. They do it to spread democracy. Democracy is the buzz word that we use when we invade other countries, bomb cities, kill noncombatants and wreck infrastructures. Then we force elections as we thumb print voters to enable them to be easily identified for retribution by local leaders.
I’m not anti-military. We need defenders of the realm as long as dictators, tyrants and other SOB’s outnumber the types of people that I would invite to dinner. I admire anyone who puts themselves on the line for the good of the old U.S. of A. It’s just that my vision gets a little fuzzy when I try to look for America. Where has it gone? What has it become? I kind of believe that while it’s imperfect, it’s still head and heels above what ever is next best. Sort of like saying a D- looks great next to an F+. While it may be passing, it’s not what I would aspire to as an academic goal.
So, after we gather the usual group of suspects: big oil, mega industry, giant financial companies, what do we do? We couldn’t even rein in the banking/Wall Street honchos after they nearly brought down the world economy. If we disband the culprits, then the little oil, mini industry and midget financial companies would expand and replace the culprits.
Getting back to Mexico, when the drug lords are killed by each other (or once in a while the local or federal police) the next in line or an outsider fills the void.
What to do? Take the money incentive out of it? Can we regulate drug trade at a fair price? A pipe dream! Can we limit wealth to a reasonable level? I don’t buy it! Great change is impossible and minor change is ineffective. Talk about being caught in the middle, I feel like I’m caught underneath. In the sea of uncertainty, I hope that we can all tread water a little longer.
First, Robert, yes, it’s one and the same Elizabeth, and I was Deputy Editor of The Athenian Magazine when Alex Kitroeff–genius!–was a columnist there. The double-barrel-renaming occurred so I could put my mother’s name, too, on all my books. She was always my muse and gadfly… Good to know you’re out there reading, and writing in. Many thanks! EB-H
Mano, brilliant riposte! And very, very funny, if it weren’t all so horribly tragic. We went to see Lewis Black perform at BergenPAC on Friday. I clapped so hard, I nearly broke my wrists. At the end of the show, he drops the laughter-making mask, and tells things as they are. When even Black can’t be funny any longer about “what is,” you know we’re on the rocks.
E, I agree with you on everything, and ALSO with Mano. Frankly, I’ve been contemplating where, just where, MIGHT be a safe place to live in the next couple of years. Meanwhile, let’s all remember to BREATHE before “they” figure out a way to tax us for that as well!
Vermont, Scott. Vermont. We can start up a jazz commune. Hell, we’ll have a world-class trombone, a world-class trumpet, the best book in Christendom and three lyricists. What else do we need? And Howard Dean and Bernie Sanders will be right down the pike.
Not to mention Bob Brookmeyer only one state away! :>)