That Giant Sucking Sound in California

Wolf Richter's picture

Wolf Richter

There never was that “giant sucking sound” that Ross Perot had warned about during his quixotic presidential campaign in 1992—the sound that manufacturing jobs would make as they headed south to Mexico if NAFTA were ratified. Turns out, he was wrong. The jobs went south silently, and not in one fell swoop either, but gradually. However, yesterday in San Francisco, there was a giant sucking sound. It wasn’t from jobs going south, but from money going east. Lots of it. And in one fell swoop. President Obama was in town, fundraising.

His first stop in San Francisco—after a breakfast fundraiser in Southern California—was the Mark Hopkins Intercontinental on Nob Hill. $38,500 a person. With 70 people attending, the take was $2.7 million. Then they drove to a fundraiser at a private home in the Pacific Heights neighborhood, the most spectacularly expensive area in San Francisco, and perhaps in the world, where the Pelosis live. No reporters allowed. Also $38,500 a person, 70 people, $2.7 million. A cool $5.4 million between the two. It’s all very democratic. The elite got to buy access to the President and got to bend his ear. Anyone can do it. It just takes some money and knowing the right people.

Then in the evening, finally, there was a fundraiser for the hoi polloi at the Nob Hill Masonic Center. 2,500 people paid $100 or more for their tickets. And they got what they expected: after hobnobbing all day with some of the richest people in California, Obama remembered ... the middle class. During his 30-minute speech, he promised to do what he could to improve their lot—having suddenly become a populist.

"And I don't want this nation to be known just for buying and consuming stuff," but for manufacturing, he said. Indeed. Since 2000, real wages have declined, and the White House touts this horrid statistic in a recent paper that outlines how to make America competitive with low-wage countries like China. And one of the principal strategies is lowering wages. Read.... When the White House Touts Falling Wages.

But unlike the intimate groups of the prior two fund raisers, these attendees got no access. Their hundred bucks just gave them an opportunity to see him on stage in the distance, and later, some of them got to shake his hand. That’s all the hoi polloi got. Nevertheless, they gave him rousing applause. But when a couple of people did speak up against him and made their way down the aisle, they were promptly removed—not arrested and not shot, just thrown out. No dissent allowed.

Outside, streets were blocked, and traffic was a snarl. Protesters of all stripes stood around and yelled, wanting to be heard and seen, from Tea Party activists to frustrated leftists and deceived medical marijuana devotees, who'd massively voted for Obama in 2008 only to get their hide skinned by the subsequent federal crackdowns on dispensaries, growers, and other elements of California’s most vibrant industry—elements that are largely legal under California law and illegal under federal law. But who are these people going to vote for? Rick Santorum? So the crackdowns will continue.

Obama doesn't come to California to campaign. Doesn't need to. He has California in his pocket. He comes to raise money. But even here, his job approval rating has plummeted from 65% in March 2009, when green shoots were still everywhere. Well, we couldn’t see them, but they had to be somewhere, invisible ones maybe, because California was going bankrupt and losing jobs faster than anyone could count—and it continued to lose jobs until August 2011 (yep, no typo, for that ongoing debacle, read.... The Shriveling Middle Class in California). So the bloom has come off the rose, and in a December field poll, his job approval rating in California was down to 48% (though that's still light years ahead of.... The Most Disparaged Profession).

But California is unique. Take high-speed rail. The most profitable route in the world is the Tokyo-Osaka Shinkansen with 150 million passengers per year. Even Amtrak, the perennial money loser, has a very profitable route: the Acela Express between New York City and Washington DC. In theory, California’s high-speed rail project could fall into that category. “In theory,” because in reality, it has turned into a hair-raising and very expensive scandal. Read.... Bait And Switch: High-Cost Rail to Nowhere.

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GMadScientist's picture

Maybe they showed him the "secret bunkers".

Chimerican's picture

I say give the Man another term. I could use free health care and housing. There are plenty of wealthy people who should be paying more taxes to help out those who don't make enough.

The Alarmist's picture

Yeah, I could use some free stuff too. So can everybody. Hey, everybody, free stuff from Obama's stash!

Don't ask who is going to pay and when ... Just be sure it isn't Obama and the rest of the criminal elite "running" the show.

booboo's picture

Mark Zuckerberg, ha! he will die as broke as a Soviet gypsie, hiding from the same people he once funded. Another useful idiot. 

The Alarmist's picture

"That giant sucking sound" and "San Francisco" in the same breath ... Along with a Big O ... Priceless!

AldousHuxley's picture

Obama's rescue plan for Cali: dotcom 2.0 IPOs

  • State will get income from capital gains cash outs
  • Jobs
  • IPO millionaires will starting buying homes around the bay area lifting home prices up and helping banks


Obama was in San Francisco again today. Meeting with the next large tax payer Mark Zuckerberg with billion dollar tax bill.

They were probably discussing the right timing for Facebook IPO so that Bernanke can turn up the presses just in time.


"S&P ups outlook on California ratings to positive"


disabledvet's picture

"Hyman Minsky meet Hyman Rickover." big deal. What SHAlL they talk about? Sure he'll take the money...people can have their picture taken with the the end of the day he's going back to Chicago and should he win..a 2nd term...and should he lose "creating some type of institute" or something. As it is BO's got way too much on his plate to really concern himself with whatever these clown fund raisers think they're gonna "get from access." We haven't had a government this proactive since the 80's and the Cold War. Unless you're laying out some large scale committments needed by the Federal Government in California that have something to do with the exploding war in the Middle East then all your really getting for your money is a photo-op. Unless of course you want the President to do something about the nuclear material sloshing up on your shores out there from the Fukushima disaster. And "since the media has nothing to say about the matter"...

Nobody For President's picture

Little side story that was funny, at least to this pilot. When POTUS flies in Air Force One or his chopper, there is basically a 10 mile circle around him civilian traffic cannot go - especially non-commercial general aviation. This is announced in TFRs (Temporary Flight Restrictions), and any pilot doing any kind of flight planning will be aware if the Pres is in town (or in the air). So the Potus flight in southern California had a (oldish) Cessna 172 intrude into the TFR, and after numerous unanswered calls from ATC, two F-15s were dispatched to intercept and escort the aircraft to some local airport.

Turned out there was one pilot and one passsenger and large load of weed aboard...

You can't make this stuff up.

Everybodys All American's picture

Why do you think they vote the way the do? How else can you explain Pelosi? and last of all why do you think they call it dope?

Problem Is's picture

The Further Adventures of...

CREEP-Committe to RE-Elect the POS

Of Useful Idiots and Telepromptin' Fools
Bullshit Barry Soetoro flies out at tax payer expense to raise mucho campaign bribes in the home of the beneficiaries of SOPA (Read: Rent seeking parasites)...

A gay time was had by one and all rubbing elbows with the Peace Laureate...

derek_vineyard's picture

apple planning to build a new campus there..........and facebook is calling palo alto its headquarters

maybe CA should tax apple to cover its defecit?....................fuck no and lose its number 1 attraction

therearetoomanyidiots's picture

And where are the calls for abhorent and disgusting quartely profits (13b, same as exxon) of Apple during hard times....guess it's okay cuz they support obamao?


bigkahuna's picture

Too bad. The weather is so nice - what a waste.

hack3434's picture

Sad to say but Cali will get what it deserves. 

therearetoomanyidiots's picture

doubtful, they run the printing press (Hollywood) that tells the 50% that approve of this guy, what to think...

Blue Horshoe Loves Annacott Steel's picture

Be careful what U wish for.  California is a microcosm of the USA.  We're all f*cked, just some are more f*cked than others.

YouThePeople's picture

'One Bay Area'. Gee, it sounded so warm and fuzzy.

nasa's picture

I'm sure there were plenty of pro SOPA, PIPA, and OPEN supporters at that 38.5K a plate shakedown.   

brown_hornet's picture

Illinois doesn't have any left to give.

the grateful unemployed's picture

you gave us POTUS who about you take him back?

the grateful unemployed's picture

cowleefohrnians are very adept at voting for whichever side of the bread has the butter. and so when ahnald came in here (with geo bush and his enron pals lurking in the background) they gave the terminator a shot, although they NEVER game him their support. one recalls nancy polesi being booed at a speech in SF during the 2006 midterms, but she won ANYWAY. for one term as speaker. you see you might win the election but you don't win the people. bush knew it, obama has figured it out (he is bush again) and so the new majority is 45%. or less. just keep pulling that lever for a third party, and spread the word. obama doesn't need your vote, why vote for him?

hairball48's picture

Shantibaba's SuperSilverHaze is my choice :)

The next giant sucking sound you'll hear in Kalifornia will be tax dollars from the other 49 states being pulled in to bail out their profligate asses....and that really pisses me off.

Problem Is's picture

California... The Citibank of States

TBTF... To big and corrupt to manage... Management is too incompetent and just plain stupid to run the place... Time to break this bitch up...

Omen IV's picture

its time to break up the USA! 

there is nothing united about the united states - 1860 there may have been a reason to fight for unity - today there is none! - the only time this country was united in the last 75 years was WWII other than that it is insanity dejour

create two or more new countries - NEWCO #1 - NY/NJ/Conn/Mass/ RI/ CA/Wash / Oregon and Miami Beach

leave the "rest" of them to do what ever they want - run around the world and kill whoever they want  and discriminate against whatever group that appeals to them

smart women  - who will be refugees from the "rest" - always welcome to Newco #1 - without any border controls

Lednbrass's picture

Yes, but its to fund programs most of the rest of those states never wanted in the first place, then drooling idiot Californians have the nerve to act like they are doing everyone else a favor.  When you force programs on everyone else you should have to pay for it, and I personally hope it bankrupts California, New York, Illinois, etc. and leaves them in smoking ruins.  May Detroit be all of their fates, and soon.

Lednbrass's picture

Its not a reach at all- and I guess youre an idiot with a world view learned on Nickelodeon.  As a point of reality much of the nation never wanted the vast federal power and spending we now have, the drive for came from the northeast and left coast states that are (quelle suprise) now having the biggest problems.  Yes, it takes alot of nerve to use the central government to institute all manner of programs that are anathema to much of the rest of the nation and then pretend that you are somehow doing people a favor.

What a simplistic and infantile response, you cannot grasp that others dont want the vast Euro-style social programs and somehow conclude that mocking the likes of California that shoved it on everyone else and is now going broke can only be because they "want to hate something"?

If youre a day over 14 I feel sorry for you.

Ungaro's picture

But who are these people going to vote for? Rick Santorum?

No, that other candidate whose name cannot be mentioned, who wants to right-size .gov, cut spending by $1T in year one, end unconstitutional wars, get .gov out of people's lives, including legalizing drugs -- leaving it up to each state what they would like to license and tax vs. which offenders in victimless crimes they would like to feed and house for the long term at taxpayer expense.

Both the D and the R parties are cartels of various corporate elites not unlike the zaibatsus of old Japan. Their democratically erected puppets do their bidding or sayonara.

In order to get elected, Dr. No-Name would have to take on the .gov, the Ds and the Rs in addition to the apathetic and ignorant, TV-addicted lemmings. How on Earth can we make that happen???

When gas hits $6/gallon and food is rationed, when there are wide-spread riots and the internment camps burn, when there is blood in the streets and SPX breaks below 400, people will begin to look for a way out. Until then, all is well in Pollyannaville.


therearetoomanyidiots's picture

Does anyone believe what the Times is selling here?   Romney/Paul 2012?  


Down arrows commence


benb's picture

I don't. They are merely trying to diffuse Paul's strength. The Times in general is a subversive Globalist Rag. There of course are exceptions.

I a good example of their miserable propagandizing would be jr. NWO front /subversive, Thomas Friedman. Listening to that little freek going around telling eveyone as he did that the Iraq war was benificial for the ME and that a new day was dawning for the people of Iraq truly makes the Times - The Toilet paper of record... the criminals have the microphone.

Blue Horshoe Loves Annacott Steel's picture

I live in Pottersville.  Hopefully next stop isn't Tent City USA.

10mm's picture

Im lookin forward to see if AMERICANS can actually riot off their fat fucking lazy boy asses.As far as Rick Santorum,the West Pennsylvania whack job that he is,right wing NEO Con small dick head POS,he has noooooo chance.

Everybodys All American's picture

can I add I think less of Obama or does that get me renditioned?

ptolemy_newit's picture

Very easy to manipulate voting machines true Cpk.

Especially if you want to send / group the machines with the poor Cpk score to the voting stations of your choice.

fooled by selective randomness


nmewn's picture

I've never smoked a chad but I'm game for just about anything.

Just because a bunch of NE old farts with alzheimers retired to the SE coast of Florida...and were dragged out of their condos with promises of a "free" early bird special if they just got on the bus and voted...does not mean they are Floridians.

Settin the record straight here and now.

Besides...the SCOTUS dissenters (on stopping the recount), actually stumbled and affirmed states rights in their dissenting opinion...very un-statist like ;-)

A Nanny Moose's picture

Been to Broward Co.

I now understand the "why" behind dangling chads.

Lednbrass's picture

Yep, much of the lower half of Florida is northern scum that washed up on the beach.  Unfortunately much of the south has been deluged with northern retirees who move south then try to turn it into the same dump they left, here in SC its the flotsam of Ohio and Indiana.  They seem surprised that many are outright hostile to them.

benb's picture

California is in slow-motion Mexification. Sonoma County Board of Supervisors recently 'voted' to comply with Agenda 21 with respect to county roads. They have approved de-paving approximately 1100 miles of the existing 1300+ miles of county roads. The public is still mostly asleep. But I must say a lot of Californians are hip to Obomba. The elections are rigged.

Lucius Cornelius Sulla's picture

Gravel roads are just the beginning.  There will be open sewage running on the streets before the public employees have their pensions cut.

zoomer's picture

"There IS  open sewage running on the streets before the public employees have their pensions cut."

Fixed for you.

Re: Jefferson County

DoChenRollingBearing's picture

California: The American Dream turned into the American Nightmare.

benb's picture

California really was the Dream to Live 35-40-50 years ago. Quality of life has been a downhill mishmash since the eighties. Density, political correctness, 'diversity,' U.N. zoning, an ultra currupt State Legistrature along with the Globalist owned goverors have turned much of it into a characterless nothingville. I'm relocated to a sparsely populated very northern region of the state... And I must also say - It's outa sight here!

The Big Ching-aso's picture



We're so thoroughly fucked Debbie Does Dallas looks like a documentary on how to keep your virginity.

Wakanda's picture

That "giant sucking sound" in CA is Hollywood, LA, and San Fran puckering up and collectively kissing BO's ass.

He loves it, they love it, everybody's happy!

Problem Is's picture

Let me fix that:

"Hollywood, LA, and San Fran puckering up and collectively kissing BS's ass."

Bullshit Barry Soetoro... Initials BS... How fitting...

nmewn's picture

"...only to get their hide skinned by the subsequent federal crackdowns on dispensaries, growers, and other elements of California’s most vibrant industry."

lol...that say's a lot...bubble bubble bubble...sisphit...hack...cough. What does sensi go for out there these days anyways?

Good point on the rail scam. Our incoming govenor said nyet to the O'Barry of the better things he's done. But, advocating the privatization of prisons...not so much.

We gotta crawl before we can walk though...yes we can ;-)

GMadScientist's picture

Serious answer: $200-$360/oz depending on quality and "volume discount".

There's been notable contraction in the weed market, likely because it's one of those "can't get with credit toooo easily" (especially if you're a 350 FICO, ducking phone calls).

Lest Kamala (sure I'll robo-sign if you're check clears) or Holder (see-no,hear-no,say-nada) focus their attention on me as a "profit center", I found a present in a matchbox I'd sent to the future (such a considerate cat, to myself, if not others).

nmewn's picture

Thanks GMad.

Damn!!!...I guess I better start another retirement account or have my buddies save me some seeds ;-)

ljag's picture

What does sensi go for out there these days anyways?


I take it it has been a while since you scored some good herb, nmewn? Sensi? Reallly?

Next time you do decide to get high, ask your dealer for some "BBCheese" or "TrainWreck" or "Kush". At least he won't look at you wierd?