by Stephen Lendman
Kleptocracy defines America. Corrupt politicians and corporate crooks conspire. Against ordinary people. Covertly and overtly.
Violating the letter and spirit of good governance. Looting the nation's wealth. Handing it to monied interests. Wall Street tops the pecking order.
Whatever bankers want they get. In unlimited amounts. Running Fed policy assures limitless cash on demand.
Controlling Washington, state capitals and municipal governments assures everything else.
On Thursday, House members passed a $1.1 trillion+ spending bill. On Saturday, senators followed suit.
Expect Obama to sign it into law straightaway. With little fanfare. Perhaps already. Monied interests own him
Enactment rolls back Dodd-Frank's Section 716: Prohibition Against Federal Government Bailouts of Swaps Entities.
The principal reason why Washington engages in military wars, sanctions and clandestine operations to secure power abroad is because its chosen clients cannot and do not win free and open elections.
A brief survey of recent election outcomes testify to the electoral unattractiveness of Washington backed clients. The majority of democratic electorates rejects candidates and parties which back the US global agenda: neo-liberal economic policies; a highly militarized foreign policy; Israeli colonization and annexation of Palestine; the concentration of wealth in the financial sector; the military escalation against China and Russia. While the US policy attempts to re-impose the pillage and dominance of the 1990’s via recycled client regimes the democratic electorates want to move on toward less bellicose, more inclusive governments, which restore labor and welfare rights.
By Joslyn Stevens
The arguments against raising the minimum wage are bullshit. The majority of Americans including conservatives support an increase yet congress continues to drag its feet on doing right by the people they claim to serve. The conservative “pull-yourself up-by your-bootstraps” mentality has become an acceptable excuse to justify kicking people when they’re down. The greedy and elitist attitudes of CEO’s and bankers have created a culture of entitlement in this country in which stealing from others less powerful is the best way to get to the top regardless of the social cost.
In light of the latest revelations from The Public Accountability Initiative that “the media continues to present former military and government officials as venerated experts without informing the public of their industry ties – the personal financial interests that may be shaping their opinions of what is in the national interest”, I thought it would be worthwhile sharing a few choice words from one of the greatest rappers to ever grace the mic, Immortal Technique.
by Stephen Lendman
On Wednesday, Obama nominated Janet Yellen as Fed chair. She's currently vice chairwoman. Senate confirmation is certain. It's rubber-stamp.
She'll succeed Ben Bernanke. On January 31, his second four-year term ends.
In its hundred year history, Yellen will be the first female Fed chair. According to the Central Bank Directory (CBD), 17 others head central banks globally. CBD lists 177 from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe.
Yellen may be the richest central bank head. Her reported investments were at least $4.8 million in 2012. Estimates range up to around $13 million. A year later, her wealth may be millions higher. She's privy to inside information. She helps make it. She's able to take full advantage. So can other Fed governors. They're all millionaires.
It’s no secret that the only reason the markets have been roaring – since bottoming out in March 2009, the DOW is up approximately 125% and The S&P 500 approximately 120% - is because of unlimited quantitative easing to the tune of $85 billion a month, a last resort, desperate measure that the FOMC began in 2012 to maintain its ‘growth’ targets. The end result of this program has essentially been the transfer of wealth from Main Street to Wall Street.
“In terms of types of financial wealth, the top one percent of households have 35% of all privately held stock, 64.4% of financial securities, and 62.4% of business equity. The top ten percent have 81% to 94% of stocks, bonds, trust funds, and business equity, and almost 80% of non-home real estate. Since financial wealth is what counts as far as the control of income-producing assets, we can say that just 10% of the people own the United States of America.”
Our government representatives would like us to believe that the subprime mortgage crisis (2, 3, 4, 5) could not have been predicted. The truth is, the collapse was expected and authorities were well aware that crimes were being committed.
It is said that if you want to find the corrupt, follow the money. This catchphrase, however, cannot be used as a preventative measure; it can only be used in retrospect to punish perpetrators of a crime. It does very little to protect us from predators. This is unfortunate when applied to our current crony capitalistic system; a wrong decision in our personal finances can mean the difference between living a life of debt servitude or one of freedom.
In our current centralized economic system, the best way to avoid pitfalls and preserve wealth, improving lifestyle, is to pay close attention to changes in laws and be mindful of their implications. Take, for example, the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005 (BAPCPA):
by Stephen Lendman
Class war rages in America. Institutionalized inequality defines it. Obama continues what began decades ago. He exceeds the worst of his predecessors.
He supports capital's divine right. He transferred unprecedented wealth amounts from ordinary Americans to Wall Street, war profiteers, other corporate favorites and privileged elites.
He's ideologically over-the-top. He's no progressive. He's polar opposite. He's not what most people expected. He's not what they deserve.
He's pro-business, pro-privilege, pro-super wealth, anti-populist, and anti-government of, by and for everyone equitably.
Since bottoming out at an intra-day low of 6,467 on March 6, 2009, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DOW) has risen to 15,295 as of May 23, 2013 - a gain of approximately 130% in just over 4 years. The S&P 500 has shown similar results, advancing from an intra-day low of 666 to 1,650 for the same period, a gain of approximately 125%. Stellar returns.
As to why the markets have risen at historic rates during times of austerity economics? The answer is simple, it’s due to quantitative easing (QE) began by centralized banks after the market crash of 2008 – “fundamentally a regressive redistribution program that has been boosting wealth for those already engaged in the financial sector or those who already own homes, but passing little along to the rest of the economy.”
The amount of stimulus used varies depending on your definition of stimulus, so we won’t bother keeping tabs on the trillions that have been dumped into the markets in the last 4 years. We’ll just make note that at present the Federal Reserve is continuing its unlimited quantitative easing program to the tune of $85 billion a month, a last resort, desperate measure that the FOMC began in 2012 to maintain its ‘growth’ targets.
Assault on Wall Street glorifies the revenge killing of Wall Street big wigs by a seemingly decent man who lost everything, including his wife, due to the manipulation and fraud of those he gunned down.
Combat veteran and armored car driver, Jim Baxford reaches a hefty body for this sort of thing. He's got nothing on the last three presidents of the United States who bear responsibility for military actions leading to the deaths of several hundred thousand civilians in the Middle East and North Africa.
Baxford's actions are part of a larger social acceptance of violence as a solution to political and personal challenges. This film is not about class warfare. It narrates in detail the losses and pain that Baxford and his wife suffer, why he holds the Wall Streeters accountable, and how he gets his revenge on his own. (Image)
Written and directed by Uwe Boll and produced by Lynnpark Productions of Canada, the film offers an all-American series of horrors that fell on many ordinary citizens but rarely as hard as those horrors fell on the Baxford's.
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