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Obama's Stimulus Conundrum

President elect Barack Obama must begin to address the economic situation quickly. However the most 'experienced' hands in this arena are the very source of the problem, on both the right and the left. These problems go to the very core of our capitalist democracy.

The corporate welfare left and the public asset thieves on the right are all currently salivating for an infusion of new funds, yet, curiously, it is exactly these same folks that have created the melt down in the economy. Funding these individuals is, in my opinion, guarantee the failure of America - likely within the decade.

With Bush II's attempted rescue of Wall Street under former Goldman Sachs CEO Henry Paulson the debate between FDR Keynsians (New Deal) and Reagan Friedmanites (Supply Siders) is over. This abusive alcohol fueled ideology has collapsed in a pile of corrupt public officials who treat the authority and importance of government like Ted Bundy treated his penis.

But this does not mean the right wing criticisms of government are wrong.

The sad story is that both sides are right, as you know, Washington D.C. is corrupt and it's sub 20% approval ratings - both Bush's Whitehouse and the Democratic legislature is ample evidence of America perceiving, and knowing, this fact.

But the failure of the Bush federal Republican crew does not say that there is not a role for the free market, and, in fact, in certain areas, including labor, it could atill work a whole lot better. The question though is the form of the balance between government and business. This is, and should be, a source of endless debate.

As case in point, consider the Western Washington Law firms of Foster Pepper Shefelman and the former firm of Preston Gates Ellis.

Preston Gates Ellis in its day was the pre-eminent municipal bonding firm in the State - perhaps because of their lack of involvement in the WPPS Bond default, the largest in US history. The roots of their power were based in the good old boy networks of highway contracts, and, unfortunately, Seattle vice. Their biggest client, Puget Power, one of the largest private utility companies in the Country. In their day they were definitely the best thing happening, though old school they had good families with happy stay at home moms who they spoiled and they looked to the future of civil rights.

Their friends in government included folks like Dan Evans, a Republican, and Martin Durkan, a Democratic legislative leader who would become the State's most powerful lobbyist.

Perhaps telling though was they were more concerned with futures of their own upper class daughters then a true advancement of civil rights for all. And, unfortunately, this class of boomer women was as spoiled in the workplace as there wives had been at home - a dangerous mix with the already arrogant old boys.

Foster Pepper Shefelman is another long time Seattle law firm. The base of their power was their control over the Seattle financial institution Washington Mutual (I believe it was Louis Pepper who was CEO there for quite some time). But in the generation of boomer women they rose to power, most notably at the hands of former City of Seattle land use attorney Judy Runstad.

They moved into the public arena during Norm Rice's stint as Mayor, handling the City's low income housing bonds - currently they are bond counsel for Sound Transit, and head the Greater Seattle Chamber of Commerce, a very adept organization at leveraging public dollars for 'business friendly' projects - presumably those of their large development related practice as well. Presumably many of these clients were also funded by WAMU loans, though it is not within my abilities to verify.

Preston Gates, is now gone, most likely due the criminal actions of a D.C. lobbyist, Jack Abramoff.

Hopefully Foster Pepper will soon be too, but they are certainly hoping for a bailout of their own from D.C. right now.

That though is another story, one which I will hopefully address again.

The crucial question is just why is it that when you look at who is actually controlling government and wall street expenditures there is no discernible difference between corporate welfare democrats and right wing folks who righteously believe the public assets are their's to steal in the name of capitalism and privatization.

The answer is that right left politics is merely a smoke screen, carefully crafted by the legal profession of the sort as PGE and FPS. There is, in fact, a class of corrupt oligarchs in this country no so different from the more obvious people in Russia that pay their way by corrupting the legal process. Sure, sure, everyone's got the appearance of being nice and they've documented their 'goodness' to no end, but make no bones about, they aren't serving the public interest and they aren't competing as in a free market. They are serving themselves and the techniques they use to do so are shameful.

For one, just ask Ted Bundy, the smiling Dan Evans protege and boomer era law student colleague of a number of the most powerful lawyers in this State, including the speculative leader to be our next US Attorney, Jenny Durkan, spoiled daughter of Martin.

Consider this dear reader - perhaps Bundy was actually the most honest of his classmates, unable to maintain the front of corruption and instead collapsing wholely into the true nature of power in this Country.

Who knows?

Perhaps another lawyer 'playing' around on campus does, Mike Nifong, of North Carolina. Saliently, Obama was among those who early came up for the investigation of his actions as his corrupt front began to unravel.

Perhaps we should also ask the board of directors of the University of Washington, including lawyer Bill Gates Sr. and Dan Evans why they still allow the failed lawyers of FPS free reign on the UW campus?


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