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Class War For Idiots / October 15, 2009
By Mark Ames

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It’s not often you get to see a sleazy tool like US Chamber of Commerce head Tom Donohue get smacked around on live TV. In part that’s because people like Donohue operate in the dull backrooms where the payoffs are made, the administrative codes are tweaked, and the deals are cut, making him almost invisible. Which is why it’s a good thing to have someone like Dylan Ratigan fighting the good fight–because he comes from the CNBC business world, so he’s got a better sense of where the real Brain Bugs are hiding. Donohue is currently leading the fight to kill the proposed Consumer Financial Protection Agency, because an agency like that might protect 304.9 million Americans from the .1 million serial-rapists on Wall Street.

In case you’re wondering why you should hate Tom Donohue–you should, because he hates you and everyone else who isn’t a billionaire– here’s what I wrote about him last month in my article on “Death Bonds”:

This week, a new advertising/AstroTurf campaign to kill the CFPA was launched, including a website, sponsored by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce–the site prominently links up to ALTA. It’s no surprise that the Chamber of Commerce is behind the move to keep American carotid veins as vulnerable as possible to billionaire fangs.

The head of the Chamber, Thomas Donohue, is the perfect man to play the role of Dracula’s Assistant: his resume includes serving on the board of directors at Qwest during the period when Qwest was accused of one of the worst fraud scandals in corporate history, resulting in billions in overstated revenues, and criminal and civil charges against the CEO (who was sentenced to 6 years in prison) and eight others; the board of directors of Union Pacific Corp, when as head of the compensation committee Donohue approved some of the highest CEO compensation packages in history, including tens of millions to former CEO Richard Davidson, along with his $2.7 million annual pension when he retired in 2006; the board of directors of XM Radio, which is currently almost bankrupt and facing delisting; and the board of directors of a nursing home monolith, Sunrise Senior Living, which is being investigated by the SEC for fraud, and which today faces possible bankruptcy. (Not surprisingly, one of Donohue’s longest-running goals is to protect billionaires from lawsuits.)

This is the man heading a $2 million campaign to kill the Consumer Financial Protection Agency, so that our deaths can be more easily exploited.

It’s as if the billionaires are just playing with us at this point. As if they’re saying, “Hey, dumbfuck Americans! You can have your blood back when you suck it out of my cold dead veins! Oh wait, my veins are already cold ‘n dead. And rich!Ha-ha! Ah, I kill myself sometimes. Now, give me your fuckin’ neck, before I rip out your veins with my bare fangs!”

Mark Ames is the author of Going Postal: Rage, Murder and Rebellion from Reagan’s Workplaces to Clinton’s Columbine.

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  • 1. Hermies Purrbuckets  |  October 15th, 2009 at 9:16 am

    Huh, another evil rich white man pissing on the peasants. How unusual. Reminds me of my pome:


    The American Male.
    Garden Snail.
    Blood of Ale.
    Garbage Pail.


  • 2. Plamen Petkov  |  October 15th, 2009 at 10:12 am

    Of course they are playing with you. But definitely NOT at “this point”. They have been playing with you American sheeple for a long looong time. Maybe as long as from 1913 when the Fed reserve Bank was created, or if one stops and really starts to think about it, maybe for a few centuries. As a matter of fact, maybe the rich have ALWAYS been plying with the poor, eh? Got that realization yet?? It takes time, I know.
    The MAIN difference is that today the average American sheeple is beginning to see that they have been fed a pack of lies all their lives and what’s worse you are seeing that sweet, sweet 1st world lifestyle you enjoyed for the past 60 so years slipping away and there is NOTHING, nothing you can do to stop that.
    Welcome to how the rest of the world lives. Hope you can manage it.

  • 3. W. Kiernan  |  October 15th, 2009 at 1:19 pm

    My goodness gracious, that was so rude!


  • 4. Connors  |  October 15th, 2009 at 4:58 pm

    I’ve never seen anything like that. The guy just manhandled the American right, and the latter’s response is to cry foul over the manner of the questioning?

  • 5. klauposius  |  October 15th, 2009 at 5:05 pm

    How do people like Dylan Ratigan get jobs? He can’t speak the English Language. Donohue lays out his points and builds to a statement about government and capitalism. Ratigan comes on spitting and yelling with terms dependent on things he explains later, accuses without explaining context and generally creates a mess. The people in power in american politics speak calmly from a well written playbook. The others blather without benefit of understood terms. Part of power is being comprehensible. Lets see. What did Ratigan mean? Government regulation properly enforced creates a fair market place from which jobs may grow. What was his accusation? Government funds industries that are moribund as long as they can bribe. This stifles job creation. What are his facts? At this point three instances from the gross accumulation of evidence should be enough to humiliate Donohue. While he’s spluttering just keep piling them on. Run out of time while he splutters.

    In this video Donohue came out ahead. Its like the Checkers Speach. My Dad was in Bar in Cambridge and watched it on TV. The Harvard guys thought they had nailed Nixon. No. Nixon nailed them. Because his argument was clearer and went to the heart. Thats what Television means.

    No more screamathons from the left please.

  • 6. Paul Yarbles  |  October 15th, 2009 at 5:33 pm

    Ouch! I guess that guy from Prizzi’s Honor isn’t coming back on Ratigan’s show.

    “Want a cookie?”

    “Fuck you, you fucking errand boy for the treasonous plutocratic thieves that own this fucking country!”


    Thank God there are a few people like Dylan Ratigan out there in the MSM. A thread of honesty and hope in a vast tapestry of deceit and despair.

  • 7. zek  |  October 15th, 2009 at 6:08 pm

    i don’t know why he let that old man talk at all. it would have been better if he just yelled the whole segment instead of just the majority of it. or he should have told the camera man to kick him.

    jokes aside, though it may have been cathartic for him to yell what’s what at the face of evil, he looked like his hair plugs were about to pop-out from the outrage. although i’m a fan of outrage, he came off as impotent while the smug sob is probably joking about this right now with his pals.

    but really, i feel the worst for that poor black guy in glasses – he had to put on make up, etc. just to watch your buddy vent.

  • 8. Filler  |  October 15th, 2009 at 10:57 pm


    I didn’t realize spouting vague libertarian nonsense is laying out a point or building to a statement! But what do I know, I’m just the guy who can understand english when spoken faster then two words a minute and who actually bothers to understand the fucking context of the videos I watch.

  • 9. thomzas  |  October 16th, 2009 at 2:26 am

    Donohue’s going to be fuming on the golf course about that later.

    I like how Ratigan can finish with a “thank you so much”!

  • 10. Armen  |  October 16th, 2009 at 3:09 am

    Deeply, DEEPLY satisfying.

    The propagandists have grown fat and complacent on the Fox News tit. Watching the disbelief in their faces when they’re called on their bullshit makes my dick hard.

  • 11. General Foods  |  October 16th, 2009 at 6:19 am

    That was weak. Ratigan brought nothing but indignant outrage and unsubstantiated conspiracy theories. No facts, no analysis. The vampire remained calm throughout, mildly pointing out that he could not get a word in edgewise. Finally the vampire won by running out the clock, and looking calm and collected against the interviewer’s spittle storm. Context doesn’t matter; that’s for debating clubs. If you’re going after vampires, you have to bring a stake.

  • 12. Toba  |  October 16th, 2009 at 6:44 am

    ” Screamathons”eh! Klaus #5, People like Donohoe and his ilk should be grateful that folks are still at the point where righteous anger is directed deservingly instead of bullets.

  • 13. cheese  |  October 16th, 2009 at 7:15 am


  • 14. James Bowman  |  October 16th, 2009 at 8:34 am

    I appreciate where Ratigan is coming from, but he comes off like a lefty version of O’Reilly or Hannity. If his purpose is to fire up the people who already agree with him, then I guess it kinda works. If he’s trying to unmask these monsters to an unsuspecting public, however, I don’t see his method to be effective in the least.

  • 15. leftneck  |  October 16th, 2009 at 10:12 am

    There was a good bit in a similar vein from America’s greatest dyke last night, . Make sure you watch Part 2, that’s where the money shot it.

    You should check it out, Bowman–Maddow is much better at television than Ratigan.

  • 16. nosuchthingasshould  |  October 16th, 2009 at 12:31 pm

    The whole point is to be rude and not let the motherfucker speak. There is no sense in attempts at having a polite conversation with that kind of an enemy. These guys have spent decades, generations, molding the average american’s understanding of the very language in such a way that they are guaranteed to win every polite debate by simply pressing the right buttons in the sheeple’s mind, using the right phrases and slogans.
    Those arguing against plutocracy meanwhile have to constantly walk a minefield of words that have been vilified and bent out of shape by those same decades of propaganda. Rattigan manages to actually use some of the same catchphrases that these fucks have always relied on to attack them.
    He also manages to use another of their tools, the respect for the bully that the american sheeple have been trained to feel. That he seems to be the left’s version of Hannity’s is true, but that is exactly what the left was sorely missing. Someone who’ll stop being reasonable and does something that the peasants can actually understand, namely kick the opponent in the face. In that context it is Maddow, as good as she is, who preaches to the quire.

  • 17. nosuchthingasshould  |  October 17th, 2009 at 8:11 am

    Choir for fucks sake, choir. Preaches to the choir.

  • 18. jester l  |  October 17th, 2009 at 11:28 am

    His tone was Hannity, but his arguments and context were sound, unlike the former.
    I think the real deficiency was the whole format: how can one debate something so complex in a few minutes? The format was also predicated on the concept of a genuine debate, with relevant points of view. Donahue, if decloaked, would face an overwhelming consensus of illegitimacy.

  • 19. klauposius  |  October 18th, 2009 at 4:58 am

    Ratigan is very Hannity. Very Roaring Republicans.

    Don’t know if anyone ever watched Tim Sabastian on the BBC program Hard Talk. Donahue would not have survived Tim. Sabastian was a calm deliberate hunter of his prey. No screaming just cold facts. He nailed people. Americans seem to think by screaming hard enough, you win. Its the part of the “embrace your failure; celebrate your weakness” theme that seems so prevalent in the US these days. Back in the real world Ratigan will disappear and Donahue will still be there and he will count his money.

  • 20. LIExpressway  |  October 18th, 2009 at 6:55 pm

    Ratigan is getting closer to being the voice we need. He’s not there quite yet, and may never be. If people don’t have a real choice Fascism will seem like the only alternative.

  • 21. actually,  |  October 19th, 2009 at 10:41 am

    I find this report nauseating.

    Are you ### blind? Can’t you see that the reporter, behind a ridiculously cheap façade of vacuous, paranoid outrage and empty slogan-honing, is actually legitimising the very system that creates all these catastrophes??

    like “oh, if only we had a pristine capitalism, one that would live up to its ideals!”
    guess what: this is how capitalism actually works. this is what you get from an exploitative, profit-seeking, oligarchic class society: permanent immiseration of the majority (not necessarily physical, though there is a lot of that too) and then periodic crashes – and a government that serves as the defensive arm of the ruling class. THESE ARE NOT COINCIDENCES.

    “class war”?!?! these two guys are on the same side of the class war, for god’s sake. I can’t believe you guys don’t see that.

    i mean damn.

  • 22. Chris  |  October 20th, 2009 at 8:08 pm

    Yeah, so even if they speculate or don’t speculate with that money, the original capital or the profits eventually get funneled down into lending capital for these huge banks.

    So, essentially, our systems cure for this thing is to take the taxes earned on the backs of Americans and then eventually lend that money back to them, at 6-28%. So we get to pay interest on money that we already earned, for the privilege of it being returned into the economy. After all, thats how banks ultimately make money, right? Through lending? Sounds good. Not criminal at all. If thats not a rigged system and ponzi scheme that criminally steals from its people, then I don’t know what is.

    Solution? Stop promoting population growth through your bullshit religious propaganda, welfare, and food subsidies and let the economy shrink back to a manufacturing base only. But that would never happen, because that would mean that you couldn’t buy and cheat your way to the top nearly as easily, or as extensively. Also, its much harder to steal from large politically powerful manufacturers than it is from everyday Americans, through their taxes, in a vastly overleveraged economy and currency. In a normal economy, with a balanced and just (guffaw) political and legal system, you’d actually have to produce something to make real money. Politicians make the equivelant of other public servants, and campaign donations and lobbyists would be illegal. Heaven forbid.

  • 23. nosuchthingasshould  |  October 21st, 2009 at 4:50 am

    @21 actually
    You’ve got a point, I was thinking about ammending my original post with something simmilar. Still, there is not going to be a succesful popular resistance in america that doesn’t fit in with the predominant cultural conditioning. This happens to be coined by the vampires. You’re fucked.

  • 24. ...  |  October 21st, 2009 at 2:13 pm

    “The outrage directed at Wall Street today recalls a long tradition of populist resentment against financiers, and suggests that elements of
    this tradition have persisted alongside the ever-increasing integration of ‘working people’ into capitalist financial relations. Yet populism has also long been used to manipulate anti-authoritarian mass sentiments in ways that fortify political authority; the curious mix of individualism and conformity that Tocqueville noted in American society is epitomized today by Fox News. American elites have developed an uncanny capacity to play to such sentiments. This dialectic of uproar and integration was amply illustrated in the wake of the dot-com meltdown, as widespread practices of corporate fraud emerged. The ensuing legislation provided only a minimal degree of protection from ‘Enronitis’, and did nothing to help those who had lost their jobs or their pensions.
    But the sight of a few CEOs being led away in handcuffs served to assuage the flurry of popular anger, while financial elites continued devising chains of intermediation of which they were the main beneficiaries, just as before.

    this is what’s happening again. inveighing against “stealing” “give us our money back!” and so on, IN ORDER TO retain the status quo, to ensure that the power configuration does NOT change.
    so that if there is a recovery (far from certain, that is…) average americans will be fucked again in some years time.

    it’s appalling and at the same time comical how certain people, who claim to be the most fiercely opposed to “corporate bullshit” and so on, completely suck up to the ruling ideology when it comes to serious questions.

  • 25. Joseph Culp  |  October 27th, 2009 at 10:10 pm

    Capitalism in destruction! Dont worry, the crafty US government will use its super-glue and duck tape to piece it back together and make it good as new. It should only take about 10 or 20 years.

  • 26. Robert  |  October 29th, 2009 at 6:34 pm

    Exactly to who are they going to lend money too, when third world countries are paying wages at cents on the dollar to workers who can never afford to buy the products they make.

  • 27. SomeGuy  |  February 15th, 2010 at 12:12 pm

    Tom Donohue doesn’t sound like such a bad guy from what I’ve seen of him on TV. I’m not saying he isn’t wrong on some issues, but he definitely know international business and has some pertinent things to say.

    Maybe not the things brought up on this site but things like:
    1. Enforcing our bi-lateral trade agreements.
    2. Defending trade agreements with Korea. They are cutting separate deal with the EU that will kill 300 thousand US jobs if we don’t stop it.
    3. Change national security export rules that prohibit exporting items you could buy on a street corner in France. This would add hundreds of billions of dollars in salable items to our exports.
    4. Addressing the training needs of our workforce going forward.

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