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Banking Porn / January 28, 2010
By Mark Ames


Now I know what they mean when the media uses that word “outrage.” I saw it with my own eyes, during yesterday’s Congressional hearings with Tim Geithner. Turns out “outrage” refers to a ritual whereby Congressmen in Washington put on a kind of talent show on the TV to see who can play the role of Americans best. Then it’s all judged by the pundits, those connoisseurs of “Main Street’s outrage,” sort of like American Idol except that this is American Outrage. It’s really a lot of fun for everyone involved, and it’s useful too because this way, representatives can connect with us by actually pretending to act like they’re us–“outraged Americans”–which we’re told we are, and in fact, we are.  (The winning prize is more campaign money from the billionaires who are always on the lookout for talented politician-actors.)

Yesterday’s talent show, where they practiced on Tim Geithner–Yowza! Them’s some good actors they got there in Congress. Seriously, it was hard to tell if they were even acting or not, you know? I thought, “That looks like us, all outraged ‘n stuff!” What fireworks! I’m talkin’ Ladyfingers-level outrage. Two packs of Ladyfingers even.

Like that Republican from Florida, Rep. John Mica: lawdy lawd, was he steamed up reeeal good when he grilled Geithner! He really socked it to ‘im, right in the ol’ pusser! Michelle Malkin agrees with me on that point. She wrote that Rep. Mica “spanked Turbo Tax Tim” in the hearings. Repeat: he “spanked Turbo Tim”:  Hey, you said it lady, not me.

But here’s the problem: if Rep. John Mica is acting the role of “outraged American,” and I’m an outraged American, that means he’s playing me. If I am anything like what Rep. Mica played yesterday, someone kill me. Have you seen that pervert? I gotta tell ya folks, I get a really bad vibe from Rep. Mica. I keep looking for his electronic ankle bracelet. I mean just look at him, listen to him talk, watch his body language–you just know he’s the kind of Congressman who spends his lunch break masturbating to “Amber Alerts” down in the underground parking garage.

Did I mention that Rep. Mica voted for the TARP bailouts? No? Because Michelle forgot to mention it, so I will–Rep. Mica, the “outraged” thespian above, voted for TARP. And the Fannie/Freddie bailouts. And the car bailouts. And pretty much whatever Bush and Paulson told him to vote for. So yeah, Michelle’s right–Rep. Mica spanked Turbo Tim, but in a playful kind of way.

And what about Geithner? I imagine his inner world is a barren, grim place, a lot like a federal building, with marble floors and columns and stairwells, and lots of echoing ‘n gravitas. Tim takes long thoughtful walks through his own mind’s corridor, where he meets his inner voice, who says, “Tiiiiim, don’t take the criticism to heart, Tiiiiiim. They’re just ignorant and resentful, my son, for they understand not how the system truly works. You do, yes, you, Tiiiiiim. Bob Rubin has confidence in you, and Bob’s approval is worth 305 million of these ignorant fools’ complaints.”

And Tim goes, “I know, O inner voice of strength, I keep this in mind as I weather the verbal blows. But I just really don’t like it when these ignoramuses talk to me this way. Can’t these rabble-roursers criticize my policies without talking to me like I’m Juanita, my own housekeeper? I really want to tell that Congressman Stephen Lynch what I think about him, what a jerk.  But, then I recall how Bob counseled me against responding to the mob’s cries. Instead, he told me, I must channel the force of centrism and consensus-forging. I will know what is centrist when the need arises.

“Bob said that to me, and he also said, ‘Tiiiiim, do not allow anger to overcome you when those who are ignorant indulge their vulgar envy, for thy land is a democracy and thus it means your hard work must be interrupted from time to time, to face “the people” such that their own ignorance-fueled emotions might be assuaged. Just lay off them, O Tiiiiim.’ That’s what Bob Rubin said. I am doing my best to remember those words, O inner voice.”

“Tiiiiiim, remember to keep up centrist appearances. Perform your ‘humble public servant’ role as you rehearsed it this past week with the Burson Marstellar coach. When you speak as their servant, yadda-yadda-yadda; when you tell each of the commoners’ representatives that you appreciate his opinion, which he’s entitled to–that is the path of the true leader. You don’t know how much it means to the poor ignorant fools who populate these great United States, seeing you scolded–it placates them, because then you briefly become like them. As you know, the weak and mediocre endure scoldings in their workplaces every day of their lives. Scoldings from their favorite television news personalities. Scoldings from telemarketers and bill collectors. True, they need these scoldings, because without those scoldings, there would be no personal responsibility in this country (excepting our private circles). Pity those who scold you, for they have never walked these marble floors of your inner life. Instead, these poor wretches think only with their emotions, and not their brains. Not like you, Tiiiim.

“So, to sum up, because I really have to go to another meeting now: just repeat the statements your counsel told you to repeat. And remember, the ignorant weak masses will always envy you, and always try to pull you down to their level. But in truth their complaints are nothing, the sounds of buzzing flies looking for a place to land. They will soon be gone. You won’t even remember their first names.”

Read more:, Mark Ames, Banking Porn

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Add your own

  • 1. 16 Shells from a 30.06  |  January 28th, 2010 at 8:52 pm

    Dead government walking!

    What’s it called when the US has a bond sale, and the bonds won’t sell?

    There’s an econ phrase for it…

    some kinda “moment”

    or something like that

    I’ll look it up quick and get back to you

    anyhow, that’s where the rubber meets the road for this funhouse mirrored economy

    The “Minsky Moment”

    Look it up

    It a comin’

    and it leaves the political show in DC looking like the band on the Titanic

  • 2. Seymour Butz  |  January 28th, 2010 at 9:04 pm

    How the hell did you do that photoshop?

  • 3. good 'ol johnny  |  January 28th, 2010 at 9:31 pm

    Why would these people want to “rock the boat,” as they say? Their JOBS depend on having rich individuals and corporations support them. Get that? Jobs?

  • 4. darth_vader_420_69  |  January 28th, 2010 at 10:23 pm

    this outraged diatribe seemed genuine or at least properly faked:

    Just watch Geithner’s face contort darkly as he gets insulted by the upstart congressman. It’s even more hilarious than the whiny “you don’t know me at all!” in the video you describe.

    Anyway this article is beautiful, thanks

  • 5. darth_vader_420_69  |  January 28th, 2010 at 10:31 pm

    ^^that link was terrible quality damn

  • 6. T. Hallman  |  January 29th, 2010 at 12:53 am

    “SEC mulled national security status for AIG details

    “NEW YORK (Reuters) – U.S. securities regulators originally treated the New York Federal Reserve’s bid to keep secret many of the details of the American International Group bailout like a request to protect matters of national security, according to emails obtained by Reuters.”

    Heh. The Fed is already as secretive as spookville. Then SEC and Fed wanted to add a spook layer to that.

    It’s impossible to distinguish between The Company and US Fed Wall Street ZLC (zero liability corporation.)

  • 7. porkers-at-the-trough  |  January 29th, 2010 at 5:00 am

    Hey Mark, whenever you write on Rubin, Summers, Greenspan, Bernanke, Emanuel, and all the other usual Fed Reserve/Goldman-Sachs suspects (and their gentile “FRONT MEN” like Hank Paulson, Timmy Giethner, “Heckuva Job Bushie” & Dastardly Dick, and now Ba-rack Obama), can you include the LINKS to your earlier, excellent articles… especially the one from Nov. _2008_ where you __predicted__ this self-destruction Economic Nightmare of the U.S. economy? Thanks for dat…

    And, no, I ain’t being “anti-semitic”… I have in past donated to, and supported, genuinely “progressive” Congressmen such as Robert Wexler and now Congressman Grayson.
    But it wouldn’t have been “anti-German” to have pointed out, in the 1930s, that all Germans – good and bad – were under the heel of the you-know-who party, just as today, America is under the heel of the Rubin-Summers-Bernanke-Greenspan Goldman Sachs Financial Terrorists.

  • 8. Judas Chongo  |  January 29th, 2010 at 11:39 am

    my girlfriend has a listless vagina

  • 9. Tsar_of_the_CafeNoir  |  January 29th, 2010 at 12:19 pm

    Aliens. Giethner = Bishop the android; sent along with the crew courtesy of Weyland Industries to ensure a smooth mission. He gets ripped in half by the Alien queen in the end though, boo hoo.

    I would guess that the private Central Banks act as “Weyland Industries” and the Federal Government are the “Aliens.” We are the ignorant space marines that die fighting the Aliens for the profit of Weyland Industries! Hey at least a couple of them survive at the end of each movie right?!

    I’m going to go spend some Zim Dollars to try and forget about this horror. As long as I don’t pick up the Alien Quadrilogy I think I’ll be alright this weekend.

  • 10. chugs  |  January 29th, 2010 at 12:54 pm

    “There is an idea of a Tim Geithner; some kind of abstraction. But there is no real me: only an entity, something illusory. And though I can hide my cold gaze, and you can shake my hand and feel flesh gripping yours and maybe you can even sense our lifestyles are probably comparable… I simply am not there”

    Tim Geithner really reminds of Patrick Bateman. i fear he has an apartment somewhere filled with the dead bodies of prostitutes that he mutilates and eats

  • 11. Realist  |  January 29th, 2010 at 4:20 pm

    Bernanke was reappointed. So dont mind the possibility of Geithner getting grilled or replaced. Wont change a thing.

  • 12. internal exile  |  January 29th, 2010 at 7:32 pm

    Everything, and I mean everything is going the plutocrats way. Why would they change a damn thing?

  • 13. Fischbyne  |  January 29th, 2010 at 11:19 pm

    Ames doesn’t need fan boys. He needs CRITICS! Even PBS is ridiculing the Dems for their lackluster performance. Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me: “It will be great when the Democrats have the White House, Senate and House. Then we’ll really be able to accomplish something.” The shit is sliding faster than we know. Shit, the Supreme Court just gave the Corps the ENTIRE electoral process! A significant reduction in pretension! Our duty now is to keep our few leftist heroes sane, not coddle them with compliments!

  • 14. jc saves  |  January 29th, 2010 at 11:54 pm

    the android in alien wasnt pure evil guys chill out

    here is a positive, refreshingly open minded, more forgiving analysis

    <3 keep it nutty jim

  • 15. AustinJunkie  |  January 30th, 2010 at 12:23 am

    John Mica has the most extraordinary rug this side of James Trafficante on his head. That thing is beautiful, man.

  • 16. Mike D  |  January 30th, 2010 at 3:55 pm

    Let go of our bonuses, you bitch!

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