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Apr. 20 2010 - 3:03 pm | 138 views | 1 recommendation | 3 comments

Cola Wars and the Campaign to Sell Wall Street Status Quo

Coca-Cola Lorry aka Truck

In the past hundred years Coca-Cola and Pepsi Cola have spent billions in advertising and employed millions of people to get you to think this caffeinated bubbly sugar water is different/better/worse than that caffeinated bubbly sugar water. People are fiercely loyal and opinionated on the subject. All this marketing and bloviating ignores the fact that two very similar cola products do not equal actual choice. It boils down to an epic campaign for a product void of nutritional substance; a “refreshment” rather than a food. In the end, save the hype – it’s all a bunch of bubbles, sugar and water.

For us veterans of the Cola Wars it’s easy to see that conflict can be manufactured, passions misdirected and sometimes what we fight about is intentionally vague.

We saw this during the health care debate when House Minority Leader John Boehner and others called the then-bill “a government takeover of health care.” The only way the statement was true is if you were an insurance company not wanting to be told you have to cover sick people. If “regulations” equal a government takeover of health care then stoplights are a government takeover of traffic.

Health care reform is a far cry from government taking over anything. In the town halls over the summer people were upset by the idea, so with some encouragement and coaching by interest groups they came out to make that known. As the saying goes, feelings are not facts and in the health care debate the latter beat the snot out of the former. In the end we’re a sick nation that pays more than any other country for health care and we still rate low in quality of care. The bill that passed is an improvement not a cure-all and certainly not enough to trigger the end of the world or even cause an unpronounceable Icelandic volcano to erupt.

The next smoke and mirror campaign is pointed at the financial regulatory reform bill. It’s not an easy task to sell that criminalizing the mass fleecing of the middle class, resulting in the unprecedented cratering of the world’s economy can somehow be bad for working Americans. Senator Mitch McConnell has tried by saying the reform bill will lead to an endless taxpayer-funded bailout. This was widely panned as being straight from pollster Frank Luntz’s Word Doctors leaked report on how to stop the bill. Number 17, under Language reads, “It’s not ‘reform.’ – This is not a reform bill. It is the ‘Stop the Big Bank Bailout bill.’” It’s also widely noted that the status quo is the actual endless taxpayer-funded bailout.

Like saying, “Don’t outlaw grift – private industry theft creates jobs. No socialism!”

Whose side are these guys on?

One would think this financial cataclysm would tone down the canard chorus for some safeguard installments. But, hey, people think the uniform burger chain Burger King is an alternative to the uniform burger chain McDonalds. Mounds of money can make even the goofiest of conclusions suddenly make sense.

It’s not going to be comfortable to convince the millions of victims that the shady, immoral and unethical practices on Wall Street that put them out on the street, crippled their neighborhood and wiped-out their retirement shouldn’t be zapped by sunlight because of “American values.” It’d be a nice trick, though.

One is the argument to leave well enough alone, Wall Street Journal’s Kim Strassel said on This Week, “The fact that the SEC has a civil complaint against this [Goldman Sachs], their argument is that this is about misrepresentation of marketing a security, a law that has been on the books forever.” So because there is a suit brought up by the SEC against Goldman, it is proof we don’t need any more regulations for the banking industry? The suit is civil so if Goldman loses because of their sneaky and super complicated shorting which made them billions, they’ll have to pay a fine. Unfortunately (pun intended), a lot of the stuff they did was legal, that’s the real issue.

Usually being criminally injurious is a crime. But, we can talk it out over a Coke…or a Pepsi, whichever you prefer.


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  1. collapse expand

    The problem with regulation is that our system is a two-tiered approach. I hate f#^king seatbelts in cars! Hate them with a passion! To me they are a symbol of government over-reach. Do you see seatbelts on motorcycles or scooters? Bicycles? Hmmmmm? No, you don’t. What about the Patriot Act? That was rammed down our throats at light speed. But, Oh! just try and bring sane oversight and regulation to the Corporate Eden, and suddenly you are a communist, an obstuctionist or puppy strangler.

  2. collapse expand

    It sure as hell hasn’t been an easy week for poor old Mitch, that’s for sure! Not only was he caught red-handed parroting Frank Luntz’s talking point memos – almost word for word – he has now been exposed for all time and eternity for what he truly is, and what the history books a century in the future will remember him as being: a prostitute for the plutocracy. After the events that have transpired this week, if his constituency have not yet awaken to the fact that their senator is a corrupt political hack who is in the back pocket of a cabal of Wall Street bankers and financiers, then they are utterly beyond hope.

    Earlier this week in New York, Mitch had a meeting with the pimps he struts his stuff for – the hierarchy of Wall Street and the banking industry. It was at this meeting that he developed a political strategy for defeating regulatory reform legislation that they could approve of. He knew he had one hell of a tightrope act to perform once he got back to Washington. On the one hand he had to do his pimp/master’s bidding – and do it right. On the other hand he had to make his constituents believe that he was some kind of prairie populist, man-of-the-people! It blew up in his face. He has now found himself walking in a politically untenable minefield. It sure as hell wasn’t a good week to be Mitch McConnell. I almost feel sorry for the hideous little freak.

    Mitch has been frantically trying to warn us that the proposed regulatory reform bill will harm the American people! He’s telling us that it will virtually guarantee perpetual bank bailouts far into the future! That is a lie and he knows it. In fact the bill is a pathetically watered down piece of legislation that will attempt to end the plunder of America’s economy that these thieves have been engaging in for three decades. You see, Mitch doesn’t give a damn about his country; he doesn’t give a hoot-in-hell about his constituents. All he cares about are the corporate pimps that he is beholden to. Mitch really puts out for these guys, doesn’t he? He’s their ho.

    http://www.tomdegan.blogspot.com

    Tom Degan

    • collapse expand

      I agree with every thing you wrote about Mitch McConnell. Do you believe the ladies and gentlemen on the other side of the aisle are significantly less whore-like? Are we to tip our hat with confidence to Barney Frank and Chris Dodd (whose constituents have fed off this parasitic cash flow for 3 decades)? The whole situation looks pretty gloomy from all perspectives.

      In response to another comment. See in context »
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    I was born in a religious group so fringe it makes normal cult apologists shudder. I've rebelled by not having an alias, paying taxes and embracing science.

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