Always on the top ten list of radical conservative conspiracy theories is the U.N. and one world government – here are three that have no basis in reality, here, here and here. Knowing that makes this article from left of center against one world government all the more interesting. One of the more interesting reasons is that in some of the ways in which world governments cooperate, especially in financial markets, are ways that the conservative movement enthusiastically supports. Some of the ways in which there is international cooperation is clearly a good thing. Others not so much. An optimist’s view from the edge of the abyss
What is the link between malicious computer hackers, pollution-spewing power stations, bird flu and complex financial products? All pose potential threats to the planet, its climate and inhabitants that no single government could tackle alone. Collectively, they provide doomsters with reasons why the 21st century could be as blighted by war, plague and economic depression as in the first half of the 20th.
Anyone wanting their spine chilled by things that might go wrong in a world of “turbocharged globalisation” could do worse than read Divided Nations, which examines why global governance is failing and possible remedies. A former World Bank policy director and adviser to Nelson Mandela, Ian Goldin takes the benefits of globalisation as given – yet sees a planet as endangered as it is endowed by its rapid economic and technological integration.
Hackers can plant Trojan horses in computers on the other side of the world. Climate change pits poor nations against the rich, big business against environmentalists. In the run-up to the financial crisis, collateralised debt obligations “played the role of the pathogen”. Flu pandemics, spread by globe-trotting humans carrying treatment-resistant viruses, could pose still greater dangers.
[ ]…Widespread reform may begin after the next global disaster. “The financial crisis is only the first of what will be an increasingly severe set of destabilising shocks in the 21st century. New institutions will emerge out of these crises, just as the key elements of our current institutional structure – including the UN and the Bretton Woods institutions – rose phoenix-like from the second world war.”
Yet Goldin professes himself “an optimist” who believes in the “creative power of humanity”. Eurozone leaders have shown politicians can take tough decisions when looking into the abyss, for instance in Greece. Moreover, he presents plenty of examples of nation states co-operating successfully. He might have explored in greater depth why the world was able to agree cross-border rules on air traffic that have created a robust, reliable system; if only banks could be made as safe.
It is strange, or maybe not considering the global reach and power of today’s multinational corporate powers, that we a little safer from actual disease epidemics, but less safe from financial ones. One of the weakest links in the financial chain is Wall Street. It is even too bigger to fail (sorry about the grammar).
From the 2012 Presidential campaign onwards, Republicans have railed against the regulations of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as “job-killing,” as a threat to freedom, and as a drag on economic growth. The claim has never comported with evidence, but like a zombie it just refuses to die.
The latest effort to kill it comes via a new study from the White House’s Office of Management and Budget, which found that the benefits EPA regulations bring to the economy far outweigh the costs.
The way this works is pretty straight-forward. Environmental regulations do impose compliance costs on businesses, and can raise prices, which hurt economic growth. But they also create jobs by requiring pollution clean-up and prevention efforts. And perhaps even more importantly, they save the economy billions by avoiding pollution’s deleterious health effects. Particles from smoke stacks, for example, are implicated in respiratory diseases, heart attacks, infections and a host of other ailments, all of which require billions in health care costs per year to treat. Preventing those particles from going into the air means healthier and more productive citizens, who can go spend that money on something other than making themselves well again. Another example is carbon emissions, which will impose costs on the economy in the form of future disruption to food supplies, destruction from extreme weather, and other upheavals if they’re not curbed. Researchers generally put those costs at around $20 to $25 per ton of carbon, but estimates vary widely. Other regulations are actually aimed at reducing red tape, improving communication between agencies, and facilitating the flow of information.
Yet we have the American Enterprise Institute, The Hoover Institute and the Chamber of Commerce ( these organizations are megaphones for radical Right wealthy corporate interests), that they’re not making enough money. Billionaire radical conservatives and libertarians such as Sheldon Adelson, Harold Simmons, Bob Perry, Foster Friess, William Doré and Peter Thiel constantly whine about regulations being bad for business. How can a billionaire sit there with a straight face and say that regulation that protects the health of American families is keeping them from making money. Are we so far behind in math in the U.S. that people cannot put two and two together and see that the conservative agenda is about blind greed and avarice for power.
Illustrated Family Record (Fraktur) Found in Revolutionary War Pension and Bounty-Land-Warrant Application File, for Philip Frey, Pennsylvania. Date Created: Around 1780 CE – 1815 CE.
If you have ever had as much dealings with public and other assorted legal records as I have, the illustrative embellishments are especially appreciated. It is an actual legal document. Like all wars the American Revolutionary War had it bureaucratic side. Thus records must be kept. In this case the newly formed Continental Congress had passed laws promising grants of government owned land and pensions ( pensions are those among many things that conservatives consider an evil force, yet are happy to have pension invest in businesses they own) to regular soldiers and officers who had served in the war. As well as their survivors – such as widows. This illustrated family record is in German Fraktur script. It was a hand written and colored, birth and baptismal document submitted as part of the application for a pension by Anna Margaretha Kolb, wife of Revolutionary War veteran Philip Frey. Mr. Frey had served between April 1776 and January 1778. It is known that he fought at the battles at Long Island, White Plains, and Germantown. After the war he was officially discharged at Valley Forge. Beginning in March 1839, His wife Anna received $8 a month in veterans pension payments based upon her husband’s service. The certificate is in German because German was still the daily language spoken by most residents of 18th- and 19th-century Pennsylvania. Thus began America’s decline in the evil welfare state that we all know today.
This is hilarious in a way, Fox’s Karl Rove Accuses Obama Campaign Of Attempting To Buy The Election. Rove uses two conservative rules straight out of the Republican playbook. He accuses the other side of what he and his crony pals are most guilty. Then deflects a political point on which Republicans are weakest – the public perception that conservatives are fundamentally corrupt puppets of special interests. Let’s say that President Obama and his supporters could buy the election the way Scott Walker (R-WI) bough the recent recall election in Wisconsin. Who and or what would make that possible. The decision by the conservative Republicans on the SCOTUS called Citizens United. By making the surreal claim that political contributions and the propaganda they created via shadowy groups, for were the same thing as free speech, conservatives made buying elections perfectly legal. As the Citizens case was being weighed by the Court, many conservatives went into outrage mode over the fact that Free Money Speech could be regulated. While the ultimate source of the big bucks going into the 2010 and now, the 2012 election cycle can remain in the shadows, the dollar amounts have a way of becoming public. If anyone is buying this election it is Mitt Romney and Republicans. Wall Street’s vote: Romney by a landslide
For three years, Wall Street’s been telling the world how much it can’t stand President Barack Obama.
Now, thanks to campaign finance filings, it’s possible to put a price tag on just how much: Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign and the super PAC supporting it are outraising Obama among financial-sector donors $37.1 million to $4.8 million.
Near the front of the pack are 19 Obama donors from 2008 who are giving big to Romney.
The 19 have already given $4.8 million to Romney’s presidential campaign and the super PAC supporting it through the end of April, according to a POLITICO analysis of Federal Election Commission filings. Four years ago, they gave Obama $213,700.
None of them has given a penny to the president’s reelection campaign or the super PAC supporting it.
Ken Griffin, founder of the Chicago-based hedge fund Citadel, has accused Obama of engaging in “class warfare” and gave $2,500 to Romney’s campaign, plus nearly $1.1 million to the pro-Romney super PAC Restore Our Future. But in 2008, Griffin donated the maximum $4,600 to Obama’s campaign and helped raise another $50,000 to $100,000.
“It is critical that the next president appreciates that America’s prosperity is driven by the innovation and hard work of the American worker, whose valiant efforts have, in recent years, been undermined by the oppressive weight of government intervention,” Griffin told POLITICO in a statement.
Romney is helped by Obama’s support for Dodd-Frank, emphasis on higher taxes for the wealthy and aggressive anti-Wall Street rhetoric. But timing plays a role, too: The rise of super PACs and unlimited outside money means donors spurned by the president can take out their revenge tenfold.
Anthony Scaramucci, a Manhattan hedge fund manager who made the Obama-to-Romney switch, said finance donors are migrating from Obama to Romney because “they feel that our country is in trouble — that our economy is in trouble.”
“There is so much dissatisfaction with the current president and his failed policies that we have found more and more people who are willing and wanting to get involved and who are eager to line up behind Gov. Romney,” Scaramucci said.
President Obama has been mean to Wall Street? That would be because of all the bankers, traders and hedge fund managers that have been prosecuted and sent to jail? No because all those people are making pretty much the same huge unearned millions they were making when they crashed the economy. Who is paying for that? People who do actual work. Who is Anthony Scaramucci – a guy who considers himself a hard worker,
What Robinson nails is the way that this is what Scaramucci does — it’s his job. Scaramucci is a fund-of-funds manager, posting returns even he admits are lackluster: he more or less tracks the S&P 500, while making big, risky bets (a third of his assets are in MBS), investing in leveraged hedge funds, and reserving the right not to redeem his clients’ money upon request. Which means that he only has two ways to make money: either find stupid people to give him their money, or else shower himself with so many conspicuous indicia of success that people just want to buy into his perceived success.
[ ]….But he’s not a stock-picker, or even, really, a hedge-fund manager: he just plays one on TV.
And he’s also dangerous:
SkyBridge, which manages $2.8 billion in assets, is aiming its funds of funds at so-called mass affluent investors. They are households with a net worth of $100,000 to $1 million not counting their primary residence…
“I want to be the Peter Lynch of the hedge-fund industry,” Scaramucci says, referring to the Fidelity Investments money manager and TV spokesman who helped popularize mutual-fund investing in the 1980s and 1990s. “I want to make hedge-fund investing approachable to the average American investor.”…
The fund of funds has a minimum threshold investment of only $25,000, and SkyBridge sells it through Morgan Stanley Smith Barney, Bank of America Corp.’s Merrill Lynch unit and other retail brokerages.
This is a really, really bad idea. Households with less than $1 million in net worth should not be investing in hedge funds; they should certainly not be paying Scaramucci 1.5% a year for the privilege of doing so. (Plus front-end “placement fees” of as much as 3%.)
Gee, maybe Obama should panic, he is losing the support of sleazy self promoting assclowns. Who is Ken Giffins -expert on class warfare? According to Forbes he is worth $3 billion. Every penny of capital he has ever gambled with originated with some working class Joes and Janes that made a product or service while Giffins sit back and sweated over a spread sheet. While I hope he lives a long healthy life, he he dropped dead tomorrow the economy would keep on ticking just as well if not better without him. If there is any proof to the contrary for either Giffins or Scaramucci I’d be happy to read it. That anyone has any respect for either of these arrogant thieves in pin-stripes says something about the twisted idolatry that so many Americans have been taught to bestow on the financial elite. You know why Ken and Anthony are still so wealthy after they crashed the economy? Tax payers bailed them out. They’re both welfare queens who take the big profits but pass the losses to you and me.
I will give Giffin credit for at least a short while, he pushed for making derivative trading part of some kind of transparent market-like stock exchange. That will never happen now, and certainly has no chance in a Romney administration. So Giffin is your basic Wall Street BullSh*ter.
“These are the times that try men’s souls: The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of his country; but he that stands by it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman.” – Thomas Paine
November 6, 2011 Washington Post article by Zach Goldfarb:
During Obama’s tenure, Wall Street has roared back, even as the broader economy has struggled.
The largest banks are larger than they were when Obama took office and are nearing the level of profits they were making before the depths of the financial crisis in 2008, according to government data.
Wall Street firms — independent companies and the securities-trading arms of banks — are doing even better. They earned more in the first 2 1 / 2 years of the Obama administration than they did during the eight years of the George W. Bush administration, industry data show.
Behind this turnaround, in significant measure, are government policies that helped the financial sector avert collapse and then gave financial firms huge benefits on the path to recovery. For example, the federal government invested hundreds of billions of taxpayer dollars in banks — low-cost money that the firms used for high-yielding investments on which they made big profits.
This is one of those occurrences or attitudes that is easy to over analyze – Wall Street or at least a sizable chunk of it does not like Obama now for ….fill in the blank with a dozen wonky reasons. One reason will do. There is no amount of money and power which will make them grateful or content. The median income of the American household has slipped to about $52k. Giffin’s worth is the same as 77,000 households. Does he do the work of that many families. Is he as smart as those families. Does the value he adds to the economy add up to the same as 77,000 families. You know who thought like Giffin and Romney? 16th century kings. The little people should be grateful for the kings like Romney and Giffin and just the heck up.
For nearly a decade, Beth Jacobson lived inside the vast machinery of subprime mortgages that shook the nation’s economy.
In sworn court testimony, she described watching loan officers comb through heavily African American areas such as Baltimore and Prince George’s County, forging relationships with churches and community groups to sell their members shoddy mortgages. She says she processed loans for homeowners with sterling credit ratings with higher interest rates than they needed to pay. And she says she pumped out millions of dollars in mortgages to people with no paperwork and low incomes, becoming Wells Fargo’s top-producing loan officer.
Mitt Romney spent this morning in Florida trashing the stimulus, saying the Obama administration “borrowed almost a trillion dollars but used it to protect government.”
But just hours after the speech, Romney boarded a plane to Tennessee to fundraise with a beneficiary of Obama’s stimulus funds.
Romney will spend Tuesday night at a $10,000-a-head fundraiser at the house of Orrin H Ingram II, Chairman of the Ingram Barge Company — which received $130,000 in federal stimulus money. Ingram Barge Company is a private company, not a government entity.
By taking any campaign contributions from anyone who received stimulus money or benefited from Recovery Act funds, Romney is running his campaign on stimulus funds.
1. Issa Has No Case: Issa’s uncovered no evidence showing Holder bears any blame for the botched operations begun under George W. Bush, even though the Justice Department turned over thousands of pages of documents concerning the operations. Instead of accepting this fact, Issa has requested many more documents containing confidential information regarding ongoing law enforcement investigations, and is now threatening to hold Holder in contempt if these documents are not turned over. Holder is entirely correct to withhold these documents, however, because Justice Department documents are not subject to congressional subpoena if they would reveal “strategies and procedures that could be used by individuals seeking to evade [DOJ’s] law enforcement efforts.”
The only scandal here is Issa using his Congressional powers as a lawmaker to carry out a political attack for the benefit of the Republican party.
SLAVERY BY ANOTHER NAME | Preview | PBS
SLAVERY BY ANOTHER NAME is a 90 minute documentary that challenges one of America’s most cherished assumptions: the belief that slavery in this country ended with Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation of 1863.
Workers in the USA who are making less than $12 an hour probably don’t absolutely love their jobs. In cities such as Dallas, New York, San Francisco and Miami they’re just getting by. They are paying their payroll taxes – for their Medicare and Social Security. This is a group that needs those programs more than high income households because even the best savers are not going to have much when they retire. This is deep working class America. They also pay federal taxes when they buy gas and a few other things. They pay local fees ( frequently which are hidden taxes politicians with no guts vote for so they can clam they did not rise taxes). According to Republicans these people – the bottom 50% of all income earners and who frequently work far harder for their money than the Koch brothers or the Coors family ever will – are freeloaders who need to anti-up their share of the federal tax pie. Romney “Wants” Breaks for the Middle Class: Too Bad His Actual Plan Favors the Mega-Rich
As part of his critique of Herman Cain’s absurd “9-9-9” tax plan, Mitt Romney said in last night’s debate, “I want to reduce taxes on middle-income families.”
It was a throw-away line, mentioned in passing. But it’s important to realize what Romney claims to “want” is not even close to what Romney actually intends to do.
In fact, there’s no real ambiguity here. The apparent Republican frontrunner has already said he wants to see middle-class taxes go up right away, having endorsed an increase in payroll taxes in 2012. Romney has also backed higher federal income taxes on lower- and middle-income earners for the foreseeable future. He’s been surprisingly explicit on this, recently telling voters, “I think it’s a real problem when you have half of Americans, almost half of Americans, that are not paying income tax.”
Of course, those who aren’t paying income taxes include a fairly narrow group of people: lower- and middle-income workers who fall below the tax threshold; the unemployed; students, and retirees. Romney thinks it’s a “real problem” that they’re not paying federal income taxes — and it’s a problem he intends to fix by raising their taxes.
But, the former governor says, that’s only part of the picture. Sure, Romney will raise middle-class income taxes, but he also intends to give the middle class a capital-gains tax break.
Under Romney’s plan, those making less than $200,000 a year would see their capital gains taxes eliminated entirely. And what’s wrong with that? Pat Garofalo explained:
Romney may think he focused his tax cut on the middle-class, but according to a ThinkProgress analysis of Tax Policy Center data, nearly three-fourths of households that make $200,000 or less annually would get literally nothing from Romney’s tax cut, due to the simple fact that most of those households have no capital gains income
To be exact, 73.9 percent of the households upon which Romney “focused” his tax cut will see zero benefit from it. […]
For families making between $40,000 and $50,000 annually, Romney’s tax cut comes out to a whopping $216 per year. Meanwhile, the payroll tax cut enacted by the Obama administration in 2011, which Romney derided as a “temporary little Band-Aid,” gave those same households a tax cut of $800 to $1,000.
Romney also, incidentally, wants massive tax breaks for the wealthy and corporations.
“I want to reduce taxes on middle-income families”? What Romney “wants” is irrelevant.
To be sure, there are some who might argue that middle-class taxes should go up, and it’s a subject worthy of debate. The problem here is that Romney just isn’t telling the truth about his own agenda. If he intends to raise middle-class taxes, and his own plan suggests that he does, Romney should prepared to defend his agenda.
If most Americans want Medicare and Social Security to remain solvent it is probably inevitable that we do away with the current payroll tax cuts. In Romney’s formula people who my grandmother used to say lived from hand to mouth, or pay check to pay check, just trying to keep their head above water will have to kick in some minimum federal income tax. All the while the richest Americans get yet another cut on their capital gains. Who are the capital gains people – mostly the 1%. They get a huge amount of their income from capital gains, thus a lower effective tax rate than, you know who, Warren Buffet’s secretary. No matter how badly the tax cut our way to economic nirvana plan fails, conservatives are going to stick with it. There is very obviously no evidence that cutting capital gains to historic lows creates jobs. They do make people with lots of money richer. In America, money is political speech and political power. So Romney’s plan is the continued dis-empowerment of the 99%.
This connection between taxes, political power and dis-empowerment of the non-wealthy is enough to make most Americans pause. If we have a free market merit based economy how come so many Americans are working so hard ( or want to work, but cannot find employment) and we’re not getting ahead. How or why is this unwholesome and un-meritocracy system allowed to continue. As much power as the wealthy and their network of think tanks and lobbyist are they only have so many votes. Except they’re counting on a large minority of voters, working class voters, to vote against their own best interests in some Faustian bargain – How Christian Fundamentalists Disempower Themselves and Help Empower the Top 1% to Exploit the 99%
Evangelical fundamentalism helped empower the top 1 percent. Note I didn’t say religion per se, but religious fundamentalism.
Why? Because without the fundamentalists and their “values” issues, many in the lower 99 percent could not have been convinced to vote against their (our) economic self-interest; in other words, vote for Republicans who only serve billionaires.
Wall Street is a great target for long-overdue protest, but so are the centers of religious power that are the gatekeepers of Republican Party “values” voters that make the continuing economic exploitation possible.
Fundamentalist religion — evangelical and Roman Catholic alike — has delegitimized the US government and thus undercut its ability to tax, spend and regulate.
The fundamentalists have replaced economic and political justice with a bogus (and hate-driven) “morality” litmus tests of spurious red herring “issues” from abortion to school prayer and gay rights. The result has been that the masses of lower middle-class and poor Americans who should be voting for Democrats and thus their own economic interests, have been persuaded to vote against their own class and self interest.
This trick of political sleight of hand has been achieved by this process:
Declare the US government agents of evil because “the government” has allowed legal abortion, gay rights, etc.
Declare that therefore “government is the problem,” not the solution.
The government is the source of all evwww.amazon.com/Sex-Mom-God-Strange-Politics/dp/0306819287/ref=tmm_hrd_title_0il, thus anyone the government wants to regulate is being picked on by satanic forces. The US government is always the bad guy.
Good, God-fearing folks will always vote for less government and less regulation because “the government” is evil.
So unregulated corporations, banks and Wall Street are always right and represent “freedom” while government is always wrong and represents “tyranny.”
All the GOP presidential candidates are exploiting this phenomenon. Herman Cain, a puppet of the Koch brothers said without shame, without having clue from inside his bubble of elitism that the OWS movement should be protesting in front of the White House, not America’s financial centers. Certainly Washington shares some of the blame – if we had not had thirty years of financial deregulation by Washington – the Wall Street meltdown might never have happened. We still might have had a housing bubble but not one so severe – the severity was caused by Wall Street as well – Private Wall Street Companies Caused The Financial Crisis — Not Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac Or The Community Reinvestment Act . How do you get people to vote in their own rational best interests. I’ve always wondered about the cultural wing-nuts and abortion. By national budget standards investments in education about both abstinence and birth control, at least a two year degree from a community college and a job that pays a living wage all bring down the abortion rate. Yet the very same culturally conservative vote to increase abortions when they vote to cut programs those programs. Want a lower crime rate, don’t build more prisons, invest in education.
That was fun tonight. Attack, defend, attack and attack some more. Texas Gov. Rick Perry had some problems in tonight’s Republican presidential debate, as he’s had before — do we really want to “defund the United Nations”? — but he was a real presence this time, and I thought he put some life back into his campaign.
Former Gov. Mitt Romney found himself on the defensive as he never has been before. His health-care plan in Massachusetts finally got a real going-over, with Sen. Rick Santorum leading the way. Santorum was an important player throughout the discussion, and this has to give him a bump — in attention, if not in the polls.
For the most part, Romney was fluid and fluent, as is his habit. But I thought the particularly bitter exchange he had with Perry, over whether Romney had hired an illegal immigrant, hurt Romney more than Perry. There was petulance and perhaps a trace of arrogance in the way Romney kept badgering Perry. “It’s been a tough couple of debates for Rick” and “You have a problem with letting people finish speaking” are Romney lines that will get played over and over, and I don’t think they came off well. In truth, neither Romney nor Perry looked great when they went into junkyard-dog mode, but it may be a net win for Perry, because he put himself on the same level as Romney. But on the question of Mormonism and the religious faith of politicians, Romney’s answer was very good, while Perry’s response at times came close to incoherence.
It’s not difficult to imagine the Perry prep team over the last couple weeks. It’s the political version of Rocky. His team told Perry that it had to land some solid punches or he was down for the count. This is no time to be a gentleman. Romney’s support might not win any prizes for enthusiasm, but his supporters have not been easy to sway either. As feisty as everyone was when you have all those punches being thrown, it tends to distract so much people aren’t sure who won. So they just stay with the leanings they had before the fight started.
Chris Christie(R-NJ) seems to be out of the presidential race this cycle. One poll has Romney back on top. While another has Mitt Romney and Herman Cain tied. Rupert Murdoch and his Fox News noise machine will still decide who the conservative presidential nominee will be. Give Fox a few days to let the dust settle and we should start to detect who they prefer. It could be something subtle like Romney is a nice guy and all, but maybe he’d be better as a VP candidate to Perry as president or refer to Cain as a possible VP to Romney.
I have to admit I like a certain amount of certainty in my life. While I get tired of my routine and like to change things around once in a while, a routine can feel comfortable. On the other hand conservatives seem obsessed with not just certainty for themselves but being very serious people, are super concerned that everyone else have some iron box-like certainty in their life. Other than pushing America toward the austerity that will mean a lost generation of workers, one of their highest priorities in the last two years has been certainty. They are good at it. They knew from 2000 to 2008 that cutting taxes and spending like crazy would be a major factor in crippling the economy. They acted with all the seriousness and certitude America has come to expect from the radical Right. Herman Cain shares that maniacal concern with uncertainty – Cain Claims That His Tax Plan Is ‘Not Regressive On The Poor’ — Economists Disagree
Of course, Cain took a few moments to promote his “999? economic plan, which calls for the corporate income tax and personal income tax to be set at a flat rate of 9 percent, as well as the creation of a 9 percent national sales tax. During the interview, Cain said his plan would not be regressive for low-income Americans:
The first thing you do is you throw out the current tax code which creates too much uncertainty, and this is why I have proposed my “999? plan. Very quickly, it imposes a 9 percent business flat tax, a 9 percent personal income tax, and a 9 percent national sales tax. It expands the base so that everybody has a lower rate. And it is not regressive on the poor.
Cain seems to believe that, because his plan has a flat rate, it is not regressive. But sales taxes are hugely regressive on the poor.
Cain was part of a large corporation for years, he used to be a corporate CEO and is now part of a business group with business and financial holdings. In each of these stations he had a CFO or head accountant who knew what they would pay in taxes every year. Corporate America is certain it is sitting on trillions in profits. I’m not sure that his experience means he has no excuse for not running his numbers or that since he was a CEO, that explains why he doesn’t care if his numbers don’t work. Herman Cain’s 9-9-9 Plan
Praised by supporters for both its simplicity and its specificity, Cain’s plan drops the current 35 percent corporate tax rate to 9 percent, swaps the 6-bracket personal income tax system for a 9 percent flat tax and creates a 9 percent national sales tax.
“Our tax code is the 21st century version of slavery,” Cain said in a campaign video publicizing his 9-9-9 plan. “We will replace oppression with prosperity.”
Cain is a millionaire. he does not work per se. He is currently traveling around the country enjoying the leisure, luxury and lifestyle the vast majority of Americans will never know, no matter how hard they work. Is that the kind of slavery he is talking about. From the time he left college until now Cain has enjoyed a nice lifestyle – while I’m sure he has run into the same kind of cultural and institutionalized racism that every African-American experiences he can hardly describe his current circumstances as oppressive. His constant comparing taxes to slavery is almost as offensive and certainly untrue as Glenn Reynolds and his circle of jerks comparing taxes to rape – Humorless morons cracking rape “jokes”. Cain suffers the same malady I’ve observed in many right-wing conservatives over the years. They will have a certain skill set or talent, outside of that they’re all loony beliefs. In Cain’s case he has been surrounded for years by people whose job it was to say yes and to humor everything he said. Now he is of an age and disposition that he believes he is always right. No need to run any numbers through a real world situation. No need to make reasonable analogies between things – taxes=slavery. Sure they’re just the same.
“Married mother of 3. Lost my job in 2009. My family lost our health insurance, our savings, our home, and our good credit. After 16 months, I found a job — with a 90 mile commute and a 25 percent pay cut. After gas, tolls, daycare, and the cost of health insurance, i was paying so my kids had access to health care.”
Let’s be clear. This isn’t really the 99 percent. If you’re in the 85th percentile, for instance, your household is making more than $100,000, and you’re probably doing okay. If you’re in the 95th percentile, your household is making more than $150,000. But then, these protests really aren’t about Wall Street, either. There’s not a lot of evidence that these people want a class war, or even particularly punitive measures on the rich. The only thing that’s clear from their missives is that they want the economy to start working for them, too.
“I am young. I am educated and hard working. I am not able to pay my bills. I am afraid of what the future holds.”
[ ]…But this is why I’m taking Occupy Wall Street — or, perhaps more specifically, the ‘We Are The 99 Percent’ movement — seriously. There are a lot of people who are getting an unusually raw deal right now. There is a small group of people who are getting an unusually good deal right now. That doesn’t sound to me like a stable equilibrium.
The organizers of Occupy Wall Street are fighting to upend the system. But what gives their movement the potential for power and potency is the masses who just want the system to work the way they were promised it would work. It’s not that 99 percent of Americans are really struggling. It’s not that 99 percent of Americans want a revolution. It’s that 99 percent of Americans sense that the fundamental bargain of our economy — work hard, play by the rules, get ahead — has been broken, and they want to see it restored.
Out of some combination of contempt and opportunism, Fox News along with right-wing pundits and magazine writers are calling out Occupy Wall Street as stupid, juvenile, and dangerous.
The strain of deep contempt is best expressed in this column by National Review editor Rich Lowry, titled “The Left’s Pathetic Tea Party”:
Occupy Wall Street is not a real answer. It is both more self-involved and more ambitious than the Tea Party. It represents an ill-defined, free-floating radicalism. Its fuzzy endpoint is a “revolution” no one can precisely describe, but the thrust of which is overturning our system of capitalism as we know it. If elected Democrats dare associate their sagging party with this project, they need immediately to consult their nearest psychiatrist and political consultant, in that order.
Abe Greenwald at Commentary expands on the idea that the protest movement will hurt the Dems:
These leftists are so reckless that an extended, high profile “occupation” movement of national reach would bury liberalism months before November 2012. It would, in short, function for Democrats exactly as Democrats had hoped (in vain) that the Tea Party would function for Republicans in 2010. In unhinged “Occupiers,” conservatives would find an easy and clean target to run against and destroy.
OK than destroy Democrats in 2012 running on a ticket and message that says decent hard-working Americans did all the things they were supposed to do, among them get an education and work hard – and portray these people as shiftless lazy Marxists. Not all of course, but much of what the Right is so livid about is gasp! returning to about the same tax rate all of us “slaves” paid during the Clinton administration. Or having the tax justice Reagan spoke about – VIDEO: Reagan Called For An End To ‘Crazy’ Tax Loopholes That Let Millionaires Pay Less Than Bus Drivers. Note that Ann Coulter and the other right-wing knuckle draggers are not calling Saint Ronnie a totalitarian.
AP sources: Bush-era probe involved guns ‘walking’. The DOJ does oversee the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. That does not mean in the real world we all know that they got permission from Eric Holder for Fast and Furious. In fact the DOJ was prosecuting people for the Bush era Operation Wide Receiver. CBS and the right are making a huge deal about when Holder knew about F&F. he actually does not get an opportunity to fully answer Darrel Issa questions during the hearing the Right and CBS swears is a smoking gun. Issa keeps talking over him to score points. How this all turns out is still up for debate – especially since you know, all the facts are not in. I really would like to know why a conservative website calls itself The American Thinker. This is what passes for thinking over there – ‘The Black US Attorney Has Common Cause with the Black Criminal’ by Selwyn Duke
According to Department of Justice whistleblower J. Christian Adams, AG Eric Holder has a certain something in his wallet. It is a quotation — and he has carried it for decades. It essentially says, to quote Adams, “Blackness is more important than anything, and the black US attorney has common cause with the black criminal.” It’s not surprising that Holder would feel this way about black lawyers and criminals.
Because in his case they’re one and the same.
Holder, the man whose misfeasance led him to drop the infamous Black Panther voter-intimidation case, now may have done what all corrupt men, sooner or later, eventually do.
The rest is the flimsy case that A.G. Eric Holder personally knew and condoned F&F. Does the name J. Christian Adams ring a bell. he is a notorious right-wing operative. The one that tried to hang the New Black Panthers voter intimidation case around Holder’s neck. In other words he and Mr. Duke have all the veracity of a cockroach fart – Manufactured scandal: Right wing’s phony allegations against the Justice Department
J. Christian Adams’ accusations that President Obama’s Justice Department engaged in racially charged “corruption” in the New Black Panther Party case do not stand up to the evidence. Adams is a right-wing activist tied to the Bush-era politicization of the Justice Department who has admitted he lacks first-hand knowledge of the events he is discussing, and his claims fall apart given the fact that the Obama DOJ obtained judgment against one defendant, while the Bush DOJ declined to pursue similar allegations in 2006.
[ ]….Adams is a long-time right-wing activist, who is known for filing an ethics complaint against Hugh Rodham that was subsequently dismissed, served as a Bush poll watcher in Florida 2004, and reportedly volunteered for a Republican group that trains lawyers to fight “racially tinged battles over voting rights”;
Adams was hired to the Justice Department in 2005 by Bradley Schlozman, who was found by the Department of Justice Inspector General and Office of Professional Responsibility to have improperly considered political affiliation when hiring career attorneys — the former head of the DOJ voting rights section reportedly said that Adams was “exhibit A of the type of people hired by Schlozman”;
Adams has admitted that he does not have first-hand knowledge of the events, conversations, and decisions that he is citing to advance his accusations;
The Bush administration’s Justice Department — not the Obama administration — made the decision not to pursue criminal charges against members of the New Black Panther Party for alleged voter intimidation at a polling center in Philadelphia in 2008;
The Obama administration successfully obtained default judgment against Samir Shabazz, a member of the New Black Panther Party carrying a nightstick outside the Philadelphia polling center on Election Day 2008;
The Bush administration DOJ chose not to pursue similar charges against members of the Minutemen, one of whom allegedly carried a weapon while harassing Hispanic voters in Arizona in 2006;
No voters have come forward to claim that they were intimidated from voting on account of the New Black Panthers standing outside the polling center in 2008;
The Republican vice chairwoman of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, which is currently investigating the Justice Department’s decision, reportedly said that the other conservatives on the Civil Rights Commission were trying to use New Black Panther case “to topple” the Obama administration. Thernston has also called the case “very small potatoes” and criticized the “overheated rhetoric filled with insinuations and unsubstantiated charges” surrounding it, and said that rhetoric has not “served the interests of the commission”; she further said that DOJ has given a “plausible argument” for not pursuing additional charges in the case;
For months, the right-wing media has been desperately trying to tie the ATF’s failed Fast and Furious operation to the upper reaches of the Justice Department and the White House, claiming that President Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder must have known the flawed techniques used by the ATF despite their denials.
The right-wing media claimed that the stimulus funded the operation; that wasn’t true. They claimed that Attorney General Holder “took credit” for Fast and Furious in a speech; that wasn’t true either. They’ve even claimed, absent any evidence whatsoever, that the Obama administration deliberately set up the operation to arm Mexican drug cartels in order to justify increased gun control.
But in an appearance today on Fox News, Michael Sullivan, acting director of the ATF under President Bush, pushed back against such claims, saying that Operation Fast and Furious was “well within the rights of the director [of ATF] to approve or reject,” and that he would be “surprised” to learn that “authorities outside the ATF” would have known the details of a specific firearms trafficking operation.
I found the perfect article for McCain. On Monday our hero SuperMcBailout couldn’t be bothered to read a three page summary of the Bush/Paulson bailout plan. This little primer, not a plan is only one page long – The Dummy’s Guide to the US Banking Crisis. Snark aside a good quick reference. While not the last word on the subject it lays out the basics. The very last entry describes Paulson as acting decisively. If yelling fire after watching half the house burn down is the new decisive.
Just a quick McCain to the rescue time line update. McCain called Letterman to cancel on Wednesday and according to Letterman, McCain sounded as though it was urgent and he had to leave immediately. Letterman gets a live feed of Johnny getting make-up for an interview with Katie Couric. Did SuperMcBailout leave for Washington after the Couric interview on Wednesday. No, he didn’t leave for Washington until Thursday morning. As Letterman said “Somebody’s putting something in his Metamucil”. McCain hasn’t placed a vote in the Senate since April. Democrats, Republicans and the White house had been working for a week on some kind of solution. If McCain had decided to return Wednesday or Thursday and made an announcement to that affect no big deal. Why all the cheesy theatrics and saying one thing while doing another. Four years of a McCain-Palin presidency would no doubt be entertaining for those that have the stomach for four more years of Kabuki theater. McCain has suspended his campaign for the benefit of all Americans or maybe he’s just a media hog, McCain to do round of network interviews tonight
A must read. McCain keeps saying he wants to get to the bottom of the Wall Street fiasco. He might want to start with questioning, in a public hearing, everyone on the Straighttalk Express, It’s Judgment Day for McCain
Maybe the McCain Commission on Deregulation can kick off with a statement from the candidate himself. It will be helpful for the public, if painful for the senator himself, to hear about Mr. McCain’s own close brush with one of the towering figures of financial deregulation, Charles Keating, the master of Lincoln Savings and Loan. Keating had a special, urgent interest in getting Big Brother off our backs: in 1986 some meddlesome agency suspected him of massive violations of S&L regulations. Keating fought back by recruiting a handful of legislators, including Mr. McCain, to pressure S&L regulators to leave his S&L alone. A few years later, Lincoln became one of the largest financial failures in U.S. history.
After that, Mr. McCain can get on to witness No. 1: Phil Gramm, a former adviser to the candidate on economic issues and for many years the heavyweight champion of financial deregulation. It was this very fellow who, as a senator, co-authored the Financial Services Modernization Act, largely trashing the old financial regulatory structure and allowed banks, insurance companies and investment houses to merge into what Mr. Gramm called “a supermarket for financial services” — supermarkets whose lousy decisions are now the wonder of the world and whose losses we will be underwriting for years to come.
McCain is now claiming that he reached out to Obama to find a bipartisan solution – its even an official McCain talking point. The reverse is true, Obama was the one that called McCain
“At 8:30 this morning, Senator Obama called Senator McCain to ask him if he would join in issuing a joint statement outlining their shared principles and conditions for the Treasury proposal and urging Congress and the White House to act in a bipartisan manner to pass such a proposal,” said Obama spokesperson Bill Burton. “At 2:30 this afternoon, Senator McCain returned Senator Obama’s call and agreed to join him in issuing such a statement.
Some Republicans are signing on for the no bailout of any kind position. Letting some Wall Street fat cats sink into the abyss is one thing, but working class homeowners do need some help. Skip to the bottom if you’re in a hurry, House Republicans Obstruct Bailout Plan
Cons still don’t get irony, Gateway Pundit: Missouri Sheriffs & Top Prosecutors Form Obama “Truth Squads” & Threaten Libel Charges Against Obama Critics. Libel, as stated in that thing called the U.S. Constitution has never been covered by free speech. Yes, how dare someone take away the Right’s incessant libeling of anyone to the left of Herman Goering. Without all the smears they wouldn’t have much to say to America, they’d be stuck having to act like adults and honestly discuss issues.
And so I decided to act and act boldly. It turns out that there’s a lot of interlinks throughout the financial system. – George W. Bush, September 21, 2008
But CRA (Community Reinvestment Act) has always had critics, and they now suggest that the law went too far in encouraging banks to lend in struggling communities. Rhetoric aside, the argument turns on a simple question: In the current mortgage meltdown, did lenders approve bad loans to comply with CRA, or to make money?
The evidence strongly suggests the latter. First, consider timing. CRA was enacted in 1977. The sub-prime lending at the heart of the current crisis exploded a full quarter century later. In the mid-1990s, new CRA regulations and a wave of mergers led to a flurry of CRA activity, but, as noted by the New America Foundation’s Ellen Seidman (and by Harvard’s Joint Center), that activity “largely came to an end by 2001.” In late 2004, the Bush administration announced plans to sharply weaken CRA regulations, pulling small and mid-sized banks out from under the law’s toughest standards. Yet sub-prime lending continued, and even intensified — at the very time when activity under CRA had slowed and the law had weakened.
Second, it is hard to blame CRA for the mortgage meltdown when CRA doesn’t even apply to most of the loans that are behind it. As the University of Michigan’s Michael Barr points out, half of sub-prime loans came from those mortgage companies beyond the reach of CRA.
Robert Gordon points out that months ago the right-wing libertarians at Cato and the Republican hacks at The National Review were already trying to do some blame shifting away from under regulated lenders onto libruls, low income home owners and minorities. Fox has been pushing that meme, Fox News’ Neil Cavuto
On September 18, Fox News’ Neil Cavuto conflated giving home mortgages to minorities with risky lending practices, suggesting that there should have been “a clarion call that said, ‘Fannie and Freddie are a disaster. Loaning to minorities and risky folks is a disaster.’ “
All of this finger pointing by Conservative zealots like Cavuto has a fumbling Keystone Cops quality about especially in light of their candidate for president and McCain’s adviser Rick Davis. As we all know Davis was on the payroll of the Homeownership Alliance which was an advocacy group for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac,
“You can say what you want about free-market distortions, but people like the system because it gets them into houses cheap,” Mr. Davis said to Institutional Investor magazine in 2000, adding that he would run the advocacy group out of his Alexandria, Va., lobbying firm.
Its clear enough for those not wearing Conservative blinders that Republicans were happy to make those loans that Cavuto suddenly decided were poor risks as long as the cash was flowing. Still might be if the regulations had not been weakened by Neil’s buddy Dubya and his Republican hand-maidens in Congress.
Oppenheimer analyst Meredith Whitney, one of the most influential banking analysts on Wall Street, said in a report published Tuesday that the bailout was too late to save the credit and lending markets.
“A virtual suction of liquidity has occurred in the credit and lending markets, and consumer and corporate credit is already showing the effects,” Whitney said.
“What started last summer has accelerated and intensified so much so that we believe any government bailout plan has little hope of improving core fundamentals over the near and medium term,” she added.
That “suction of liquidity” has been more real then virtual for many people. Nice sound bite though.
Another reason not to be so quick on the blame shifting from Wall Str. to Main Str. is these guys knew what they were doing was riding on some pretty thin paper promises. No one held a gun to any mortgage banker’s head and forced them to make poor lending decisions. Greed had a lot to do with it, Report: FBI probes firms at heart of meltdown
Over the past year as the housing market cratered, the FBI has opened a wide-ranging probe of companies across the financial services industry, from mortgage lenders to investment banks that bundle home loans into securities sold to investors. FBI has said its hunt for culprits in the nation’s subprime mortgage crisis focused on accounting fraud, insider trading, and failure to disclose the value of mortgage-related securities and other investments.
The investigations revealed Tuesday come as lawmakers began considering whether to approve emergency legislation that would give the government broad power to buy up devalued assets from troubled financial firms.
Campbell Brown Rips McCain Camp’s “Sexist” Treatment Of Palin. Brown goes way off the deep end on the compliments of Palin. She is flesh and blood, not a goddess. Still, the major point stands. Either McCain thinks Palin can stand up under the same questioning any candidate would get when running for VP of the U.S. or he doesn’t. If Mac daddy thinks his little soul mate isn’t ready for some questions from our generally lame press corps then how ready to lead can she be.