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Our Loss Is BlackRock’s Gain

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Posted on May 19, 2009
BlackRock HQ
AP photo / Mark Lennihan

The mother ship: BlackRock’s headquarters in New York City.

By Robert Scheer

Editor’s note: Minor changes were made in the description of BlackRock in the first sentence and in the timing of the Treasury Department’s decision in the second paragraph.

How much do you know about BlackRock and the hedge funds they manage? Better bone up fast, now that the folks at BlackRock are calling the shots in the government’s trillion-dollar bailout program. As both The New York Times and The Wall Street journal reported on Tuesday, BlackRock execs are now directing key elements of the government program at a time when they stand to reap great profits from the fallout of a problem they helped create. 

The U.S. picked BlackRock to manage the assets once controlled by AIG and Bear Stearns and to analyze the assets of Freddie Mac and Morgan Stanley. And as if that were not enough on its plate, the Treasury Department is widely expected to select BlackRock to be one of the few firms trusted with using U.S. taxpayer dollars to buy toxic assets from the banks and then resell them in a process that presents enormous conflicts of interest with other BlackRock operations.

Bank of America, with a 47% ownership position in BlackRock, is also the owner of what was once Countrywide Financial, which led the pack in selling bad mortgages. The disposition of those failed properties under BlackRock’s tutelage will have much to do with BofA’s future profitability. As if that were not enough financial incest, the former president and other top executives of Countrywide now run a company created by BlackRock, which is profiting mightily by snapping up the sort of distressed loans that they originally had marketed.

Confused? You’re supposed to be. That’s the point of a successful hedge fund, a totally unregulated activity in which very rich people pool their money in order to more effectively rip off the rest of us. And BlackRock is at the top of that game, managing $1.3 trillion in assets. But in this round the stakes are far higher because BlackRock, which did a great deal to cause the economic meltdown, has now been put in charge of the government recovery effort.

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But don’t take my word for it; check out the accounts of BlackRock’s leading role in managing the bailout in The New York Times and Wall Street Journal on Tuesday.

The New York Times: “Can a company that is being paid to price and sell troubled assets for the government buy the same kinds of assets for private clients without showing preference? And should the government seek counsel from a company whose clients stand to make or lose billions if those policies are enacted?”

The Wall Street Journal: “BlackRock helped shape the government’s toxic-asset plan, which critics have said helps vulture investors buy assets on the cheap while exposing taxpayers to the bulk of losses if the investments sour.”

Leading the pack of vulture capitalists profiting from the misery they inspired is the Private National Acceptance Co. (PennyMac), which BlackRock bankrolled. Stanford L. Kurland, chairman and CEO of PennyMac, is the former president of Countrywide Financial. A New York Times story in March headlined “Ex-Leaders of Countrywide Profit From Bad Loans” noted that Kurland’s new outfit was profiting from the misery it had helped cause: “After all, the banking behemoth (Countrywide) made risky loans to tens of thousands of Americans, helping set off a chain of events that has the economy staggering.”

Countrywide, under Kurland’s leadership, specialized in those low “teaser” interest rates that caused people to lose their homes when rates suddenly ballooned. As the Times observed, “Countrywide has become synonymous with the excesses that led to the housing bubble.” Now Kurland’s new company specializes in buying back those forfeited and at-risk properties for pennies on the dollar and making money off new loans and sales.

“It is sort of like the arsonist who sets fire to the house and then buys up the charred remains and sells it,” Margot Saunders, a lawyer with the National Consumer Law Center, told the Times.

“Kurland is seeking to capitalize on a situation that was a product of his own creation,” noted Blair A. Nicholas, a lawyer representing Arkansas teachers suing Kurland and his fellow Countrywide executives. “It is tragic and ironic. … But then again, greed is a growth industry.”

And once again the greediest will make out like bandits, with only a few of them ever being held accountable. Kurland sold $200 million in Countrywide stock shortly before the meltdown and, in any case, the spectacular failure of his banking experience only made him all that more employable.

Quoting federal banking officials, the Times reported, “They said it was important to do business with experienced mortgage operators like Mr. Kurland, who know how to creatively renegotiate delinquent loans.” Has our president never heard of recidivism?

Click here to check out Robert Scheer’s book,
“The Great American Stickup: How Reagan Republicans and Clinton Democrats Enriched Wall Street While Mugging Main Street.”


Keep up with Robert Scheer’s latest columns, interviews, tour dates and more at www.truthdig.com/robert_scheer.



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By craig, July 3, 2011 at 12:33 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

good heart, bit fucked… no one is fighting yet. you are certanly right this will happen. enjoy the peace. Talk to me if you wish. Like your style, but if you start worring about things like life and death, you’ll miss the real picture… yank cop site…wish you well as… living in canada, your jews got you to a 1.? defecit??? won’t bash the hebes that hard. we all bought into this stupidity to some extent. The war in mexico scares me. Blogdel Narco… dismembered bodies laced with advertisements for laundry detergent and wives from russia? somethings, wrong…I’ll quit raving. you need the field traffic.

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By garth, November 30, 2010 at 3:33 pm Link to this comment

“Black Scholes, November 30 at 4:10 am

You guys all appear to be self interested and or self absorbed. I am just pleased I am not in the same room as you, as I can see you all trying to take center stage to be heard. Hear being the word. Not listen. This is the shame of this whole debate and article is that no one has listened. This to me, is the fundamental wrong with our financial decision making we do not listen, we do not consider a balanced approach that permits wealth and also supports the principals of social support for those who cannot, will not or do not wish to play the game.”


What?

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By Max Obrien, November 29, 2010 at 11:10 pm Link to this comment

You guys all appear to be self interested and or self absorbed. I am just pleased I am not in the same room as you, as I can see you all trying to take center stage to be heard. Hear being the word. Not listen. This is the shame of this whole debate and article is that no one has listened. This to me, is the fundamental wrong with our financial decision making we do not listen, we do not consider a balanced approach that permits wealth and also supports the principals of social support for those who cannot, will not or do not wish to play the game.

Report this

By ardee, May 28, 2009 at 7:15 pm Link to this comment

truedigger3, May 28 at 7:35 pm #

ardee,

I explained to you over and over that the tax advantage of the foundations stems primarily from
leaving the money to grow tax free for years and KDelphi provided you with a link to coroborate that.
....

Did you not read the link to the contract signed by The Gates Foundation when Buffet donated his money? If you did them you conveniently avoid noticing that it clearly states that ALL THE MONEY donated by Buffet, and an additional 5% above that must be spent within three years. Read , engage the brain and understand you pull facts from thin air.

You seem fixated so nothing more on this subject will be forthcoming from me, you and KDelphi should be relieved, after all I am soooo rude. But you are both apparently far too smart for the likes of rich little me..right K?

Report this

By truedigger3, May 28, 2009 at 4:35 pm Link to this comment

ardee,

I explained to you over and over that the tax advantage of the foundations stems primarily from
leaving the money to grow tax free for years and KDelphi provided you with a link to coroborate that.
Only 5% of the donated money should be spent each year and not necessarily on the poor. Most of the
money is spent on think tanks or for specific grants that promote conservative causes. Very little go to
the poor and the needy.
You are the idiot who need 101 reading and comprehension course.
You sound like a broken record and I am done with you, and with all due respect you can get lost. OVER AND OUT.

Report this

By KDelphi, May 28, 2009 at 12:49 pm Link to this comment

ardee—you never respond to any links or quotes, except to say how stupid everyone is. Can you explain how you can rectify your supposed status as a “green” with the quotes I gave, and, your remarks about rich people and charity? NO you cant; So you just pop off like some spoiled brat who might have given some money to the Green party at one time to make themselvse feel good.

You have not responded with arguments as to anyone’s posts, links, or articles. If they disagree with YOU, they must just be ‘stupid”. The link you provided to truedigger3 was already responded to by link that i gave. But you dont care…that is what makes you feel good emotionally , so you just ignore the facts.


You cannot be done with me when I would so much more willingly be done with you.

Report this

By ardee, May 28, 2009 at 11:07 am Link to this comment

truedigger3, May 28 at 1:40 pm #


ardee,

Are you Green?! I don’t believe it. You sound like
an ardent neo-con or neo-lib to me, take your pick.

..........

Reading comprehension 101, it wasnt easy for you I guess?

First, my comment was that I am an independant, registered Green because they need the numbers..Get an adult to read and translate that sentence for you.

What you think of my politics concerns me not at all. You make a judgement based upon what evidence,  a couple of posts.

Do you seek to curry favor with someone or just prove your lack of worth?

Every argument has sides, sometimes many such, nothing is ever simple, not the problems nor the solutions. You try to force a childish opinion, sans any sort of thought process, upon my political beliefs. What that says about me…nothing at all, what that says about you..volumes!

Oh and werent you the idiot who claimed that a few billion dollars given to a foundation, with the written mandate to give it away in three years was really a tax dodge…then when asked to corroborate such nonsense ran away with tail between legs? Perhaps you failed to note my citing of the legal contract Buffet enforced with his gifting, perhaps you do not give a rats behind for any truth that shows you to be wrong.

Tax codes are public record…The limits to deductions for charitable giving are quite expicit, you should really look them up rather than making them up.

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By ardee, May 28, 2009 at 10:54 am Link to this comment

KDelphi….you are like a dog with a bone, you do nto listen, think or apparently digest what I have been saying, not in the least. This will be my last attempt to penetrate your apparently indestructable shield against logic…I promise.

ardee—(Part I)we may have issues in common, but, one thing that we most certainly do not have in common, became clear from your comments defending the extremely wealthy and their reliance on charity to relieve what consciences they have. When your/their economic gain (I assume business and stocks) stops taking from those that have so little, maybe I will stop razing you about it. Its doubtful, though, as there is no possible way to earn the type of wealth that you are talking about.
......................................

I defended one action of exactly two wealthy Americans, the contributions to a charitable foundation, and contributions amounting to billions of dollars. From that one defense you extrapolate that I am all you claim me to be…Nice work lady.
.............................
Please stop bragging about your charity work—it is so unbecoming.I did my share of “charity” work and found it to be condescending to the person being “helped”.
.........................
You can kiss my posterior, frankly. I am proud of much of what we accomplished over four decades and I find your attitude about charity to be artificial, downright stupid in fact. Perhaps you failed to be charitable without being condescending, but that would be your problem and yours alone.

There is, sad to say, an endless need for charity in this world, and that you cannot be charitable even towards me marks you and not all charitable works…WTF is wrong with you anyway?
..............................................
But, we were not disagreeing until you brought up Gates, Buffett, etc. Your defense of their piggish lifestyles and self-aggrandizing charity doesnt quite seem worthy of a Green, to me.
..................................

Shrewish much? Funny you dont look shrewish? Show me one single comment of mine defending anyones “piggish lifestyle” Just one freaking example…Do you post fables or try for reality?

That you believe their charitable works to be “self aggrandizement” is your problem and yours alone. I’ll bet you knew nothing whatever about Buffet’s gifting to that Foundation before I mentioned it, he certainly doesnt say a single word abot it.
.........................................

Especially as a Green, I would think that the wealthy’s unsustainable use of the resources of the planet would bother you some, and, no a solar panel in your McMansion is not gonna do it.

..............

You know nothing whatever of my home, nor my financial condition either. But that doesnt seem to stop you from railroad mouth, does it?

You are a typical and quite ugly American KD, thinks she knows all, refuses consideration of other opinions or allows that someones life experience other than her own has value.

What a major disappointment you are. How can you approach a subject with so much vehemence and ignorance? Answer a hundred times, Im sick of this and pretty disgusted with you.

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By truedigger3, May 28, 2009 at 10:40 am Link to this comment

ardee,

Are you Green?! I don’t believe it. You sound like
an ardent neo-con or neo-lib to me, take your pick.
Any way it does not matter what you call yourself,
as they say the proof is in the pudding and definitely you don’t taste Green to me at all.
For your own information, I am not registered Green, but I voted for Cynthia McKinney.

Report this

By KDelphi, May 28, 2009 at 10:01 am Link to this comment

ardee—(Part 2)

And, here is another link on the Buffet/Gates scam.
http://www.socialism.com/fsarticles/vol27no4/robber_baron.html

“The system of corporate-controlled foundations, with its enormous tax breaks, allows individual capitalists to make private decisions on social policy. Instead of paying taxes on their gargantuan, ill-gotten fortunes into a public pool, they are calling the shots in spheres of vital importance to every man, woman and child. This is grossly undemocratic.”


And, there is plenty more, including the way that they got the money—fighting taxes, fighting labor, and, fighting anti-monopoly laws, which he was much more successful in doing here than in the EU. ‘Merka—land of the ripped off.

Solving such problems requires that social resources be allocated to meet collective needs rather than to generate individual profit. But Gates’s proposed solution to the health problems of the global poor is “to make market forces work better.”

“To be sure, the Gates Foundation keeps a close tab on market forces. Whenever it gives away much coveted dollars for vaccine research and development, applicants have to explain whether their research is likely to generate any “intellectual property.” Intellectual property, of course, is the cornerstone of Gates’s fortune.”

Tax big business and the phony philanthropists! If financial donations are a measure of compassion, then capitalist rulers don’t hold a candle to the masses of workers.

American Foundations, foundations “provide but 7 percent of all charitable resources.” Reports Dowie, “recent studies of individual giving suggest that low- and middle-income donors became more generous as the twentieth century progressed, while the wealthy decreased their giving.”

And, according to journalist Richard Rothstein, for every $10 a philanthropist like Bill Gates gives away, the government loses about $4 in tax breaks.

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By KDelphi, May 28, 2009 at 9:59 am Link to this comment

ardee—(Part I)we may have issues in common, but, one thing that we most certainly do not have in common, became clear from your comments defending the extremely wealthy and their reliance on charity to relieve what consciences they have. When your/their economic gain (I assume business and stocks) stops taking from those that have so little, maybe I will stop razing you about it. Its doubtful, though, as there is no possible way to earn the type of wealth that you are talking about.


Please stop bragging about your charity work—it is so unbecoming.I did my share of “charity” work and found it to be condescending to the person being “helped”.

But, we were not disagreeing until you brought up Gates, Buffett, etc. Your defense of their piggish lifestyles and self-aggrandizing charity doesnt quite seem worthy of a Green, to me.

Especially as a Green, I would think that the wealthy’s unsustainable use of the resources of the planet would bother you some, and, no a solar panel in your McMansion is not gonna do it.


So,  you do not think that the problems of poverty and the loss of working class jobs and standard of living is the fault of the Captains of Industry? You dont believe that the vast accumulation of unspendable wealth has any effect on those that have not attainted it?Well, lets see what the Green party positiion is on that? (I used to be a Green, but, it just didnt seem representative and, when they “split”—well, a Third Party has little chance enough, without splitting. I did support McKinney, though)

Here are some positions of the Green party, on the accumulation of wealth: (Platform) Section II—Social Justice(Sec D)http://www.gp.org/platform/2004/socjustice.html#999284

“7. The accumulation of individual wealth in the U.S. has reached grossly unbalanced proportions. It is clear that we cannot rely on the rich to regulate their profit-making excesses for the good of society through “trickle-down economics.” We must take aggressive steps to restore a fair distribution of income. We support tax incentives for businesses that apply fair employee wage distribution standards, and income tax policies that restrict the accumulation of excessive individual wealth”


Also, this: (same section, G)

“9. The ever-widening gap between rich and poor is destructive of democracy and creates an uneven playing field for economic opportunity. Public welfare that depends on hand-outs from the corporate rich reduces democracy by that same amount. Every citizen must have the leverage necessary to become a productive member of the economy and the society in which we live.”

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By ardee, May 28, 2009 at 7:48 am Link to this comment

KDelphi, May 27 at 6:24 pm #


ardee—that is not my primary concern. I know that , if you spend alot of time with Democrats, you probably find my “
attitude” indefensible.

I am glad that you do.

I have no desire to make muyself easier to fool. Spent too many years with that.

Now, I’d like to work for something that can actually make a difference.Rich neo-libs are a dime a dozen.

....
I am no democrat, for the one hundreth time, I am an independant registered Green as they need the numbers. Nor am I impressed with insulting responses to only half understood comments either.

I am even less impressed with your opinions as to my economic worth or how that affects my politics. You make silly assumptions, ignore my posting of my political activism,and in general act like a horse taking the bridle between her teeth and running off.

Now I could have referred to the other end of that horse but , as I still believe we have much more common ground, politically speaking, than differences, I didnt….

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By KDelphi, May 27, 2009 at 3:24 pm Link to this comment

ardee—that is not my primary concern. I know that , if you spend alot of time with Democrats, you probably find my “
attitude” indefensible.

I am glad that you do.

I have no desire to make muyself easier to fool. Spent too many years with that.

Now, I’d like to work for something that can actually make a difference.Rich neo-libs are a dime a dozen.

Report this

By ardee, May 27, 2009 at 2:32 pm Link to this comment

KDelphi, May 27 at 10:50 am #

ardee—Youre not reading my links so I wont bother to post anymore.

The topic, I believe, was wealthy ass people ripping off the gen pop. FYI, that is how they got there, but, youre comfortable, so you dont care. Dont berak your arm patting yourself on the back.
........................

Are you now become MarthaA? Do you not understand that each of your insulting and bullshit opinions about my lifestyle and my politics makes communication with you increasingly difficult?

Baaah.

Report this

By garth, May 27, 2009 at 11:50 am Link to this comment

I accidentally clicked off the notification.

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By garth, May 27, 2009 at 11:48 am Link to this comment

truedigger3,

I agree.  I wasn’t aware of how these freeloaders are constantly trying to get out of paying their freight until the last few years.  Now, it seems like everything answer to every problem is to cut their taxes.  Introduce a flat tax, etc. 
Also, as Webster Tarpley points out in one of his books on Obama, these people drive the cities to bankruptcy, causing a cut back in all the social services first so that the payments due can be made on the municipal bonds.  What doesn’t seem to come out is that these people own a lot of the municipal bonds.  That’s what happened with Felix Rohatyn and the NYC bankruptcy debacle of the 70s.
Barney Frank was asked recently where he invested his money.  He was forthright enough to admit that all of his money was in municipal bonds.  The cities will hacve to make cuts in social services and the rich will clip coupons and drop a $1 bill in the collection box.
Unfortunately, it will be repeated at the state governmetn level.

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By KDelphi, May 27, 2009 at 11:45 am Link to this comment

garth—thanks.I am with Folktruther, on another thread, who said we need an “anti-rich” campaign.

WHY do these people insist on believing that this rich guy down crap works??! Because it still does for them—so far.

My local paper had horrible stories Sunday, and, when I drive through a very “bad” part of town, that I actaully lived in when I was married—the “bad” has “moved”—no one is THERE anymore!! They are boarded! I just cried.

Then, the “new” “bad” is downtown—-where kids are shooting at other kids at another kids funeral. IT IS ALL TOO MUCH

it is all going to blow, so let their money flow—not in charity,. but, REpayment!

Report this

By garth, May 27, 2009 at 10:55 am Link to this comment

KDelphi,

First, thanks for the compliment. 

What I was referring to by “Great posts”, were most of your entries in this thread.  They have clarity, knowledege, and eloquence.

Most people I come in contact with seem to be trying to deny what is happening to them.  The civilized ones show a sort of white-knuckled hope.  They are hoping that what is happening all around doesn’t happen to them.  The more desperate, the ones I read about in the local paper are less stoic.  They are acting out: setting cars on fire, trying to run down children in a gas station, breaking and entering, and robbing people on the street; in short, crime is on the rise.  That’s another effect of these economic crises that is borne by the working people and the poor who can’t afford to live in gated communities.
I think you are on a roll.  I can feel your anger.

Your posts are also informative.

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By truedigger3, May 27, 2009 at 10:49 am Link to this comment

KDelphi & garth,

I think the primary reason for this fixation on charity by the super-rich is that it is a way to cut taxes.
Without social programs and safety net the budget
could be decreased and the savings channeled to the
super-rich in the form of tax cuts that benefits mostly the super-rich as already had happened.
That is why we will never get a universal health care
or a single payer system. A lot of super-rich people money is invested in the insurance/pharma/medical complex.

Report this

By KDelphi, May 27, 2009 at 9:44 am Link to this comment

garth—you are much more eloquant than I…I know that I need to “step back”, but, I have been so angry about the bullshit in this country (and about it), hurting good people, with much to offer (but they dont want it)for so long, that it comes to be about everyone I know, who has ever had to get on their kneees and beg for some of their money back from these people.

We agree that it IS about power. The power of money (which is the US’s most sacrad object or person), and, power over people. The people that just keep buying into it, make it impossible for those with less power to even explain what is meant.

As long as we all have to prop up the upper classes (PLUS, be grateful to them!!!! AAAUUGHH!), they will never experience pain, and, will feel good about it, too!

I just find it intolerable to the point of tears and screaming…it is hard not to wish them to feel the same pain, but, in reality, I dont wish anyone pain. I just want justice.We wont get it out of the existing govt nor social order.

Thanks

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By garth, May 27, 2009 at 9:28 am Link to this comment

KDelphi,
I remember a few years ago in the middle of the Bush years around 2003, 2004, CSPAN covered a Young Conservatives or Young Republicans Convention.  The audience was mostly college age.  A speaker, some political science professor, was leading the group in a sort of chant, espousing the chief points of the conservative agenda.  In the last point he made, he asked for a group response to his leading question, “And how do we take care of the poor and needy?”  As expected, but still chilling, came the response, “Charity.”
I think part of this fixation with charity for the unemployed, underemployed, homelesss, young, elderly, and unfortunate is that it makes them feel good about their rapacity, but also on a more sinister side, it makes it esier for them to control the masses.  It enables them to enact any cockamamie, harmful scheme they’d like and see results with a very short lead time. 
Imagine if most of the population depended on them for charity just to survive, the power that these people would have?  Now, the middle class can resist their social change agenda for a some time, and that irks them. 
They seem to be too impatient for democracy.  They want to return to some form of Master/Slave relationship, even if only just to get feedback a lot sooner on some scheme they’ve dream up for some social problem like population control. 
They want feedback sooner.  After all, ASAP is what they want to hear.  They don’t have all day. They want summary reports.
BTW Great posts

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By KDelphi, May 27, 2009 at 7:50 am Link to this comment

ardee—Youre not reading my links so I wont bother to post anymore.

The topic, I believe, was wealthy ass people ripping off the gen pop. FYI, that is how they got there, but, youre comfortable, so you dont care. Dont berak your arm patting yourself on the back.

I havent made enough to file taxes—ever! Even with an MS, social workers dont make nenough. I was happy to do it, but, then, to get med coverage, they took what I had paid into SS and PERS Pension, and the cash I got from the rich, drunk guy who hit me.(I wouldnt be old enough to get it,yet, but, now I never will) MOst of it is due to a law that Clinton signed .

If you think that that is fair—-or think that the answer for all of the homeless, ill and dying people I worked with over the years is “charity” (which is mostly to make the wealthy feel ok about their mostly ill-gotten gains) then, you are simply mistaken.

You say that it is “not about the personal”, but, you must not have spent much time at those places you were so “charitable” to. You certainly do find ways to tell everyone about it, though..maybe next time, be a “secret angel” and actually do it for “charities’” sake.

I am a Socialist (card carrying), but, get along fine with some Dems , especially those who understand that, what most USAns are facing right now is a CLass struggle, and, that token minorities but in high office,are only there to stave off real change, and, to make upper class people fel like they did us a big favor.. (I belong to sp-usa, Soc Equality Party, and World Soc Website {or Fourth Intl}—I wont bother to give links)yet, I even get along with some compassionate Libertarians.

What I cannot abide are more fake, “I feel your pain” neo-liberals who sit in their McMansions and expect us to be happy with a neo-candidates like Pres. Obama, Pres. Clinton, etc.

What have they “changed” in the past that you are so proud of? All that they do is pacifiy the masses to save the rich. IOur resources are compelled and brought into line to prop up the system. People like Buffett and Soros just enter into a big circle jerk with those with the “upper class neo-liberal, well-intentioned” groups that do things like Welfare reform, de-institutionalization, “faith based initiatives” (contd), “free trade” agreemtns, Shock Doctrtines in the Southern Cone, and rapig the land of resources—ALL of this , is just to pacify people and keep them thinking that neo-liberals care . They care about money, just like neo-cons.

The people working directly with people in pain, may not feel that way. But, Warren Buffet and his ilk, they did not get that way by being compassonate human beings—-the uS “market” is a rat race for rats. You do not claw to the top of US society by being a decent person.

We need to bring down the elites and let them feel how the majority of the planet gets to live, in our vast, fake money -riddled,Horatio Alger society where “anything is possible”—with money connections.THEN, and only then, apparently, may things actually change.

The so-called “free mkt economy” seems to be doing that for us. By my reckoning, the “middle class” will put up with this, actually, for a very long time. The upper classes, if it finally hits them , after they spend up all of our taxes dollars, will not.

So, it has to hit them where it hurts.

I guess I dont have to ask, “which side are you on”. Thanks for the alms.

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By truedigger3, May 27, 2009 at 6:02 am Link to this comment

ardee wrote:
“We were discussing the altruism of Warren Buffet and whether the Gates Foundation is a giant fraud to return monies donated after accepting tax breaks for them..”
____________________________________________________

ardee,
You either still speed read or you deliberately don’t want to get it.
I explained to you that the tax advantage come from
investing the money donated to the foundation tax free for years. After some years, probably more than
twenty years or so, the original sum can be retrieved
by the founder or his heirs, but the capital gains remain in the foundation for another cycle.
The charitable tax deductions is a minor part in this scheme and probably it has to be returned if the
money got retrieved back. When Buffet put money in Gate’s foundation probably he put it as founding partner too.
No body said the Gate foundation is a Giant fraud,
but it is a tax sheltering scheme and it is not ulteruistic.
The law of foundations and its taxes is complex and
convoluted and is full of holes. Did you follow the Link that KDelphi gave you.!!??

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By ardee, May 27, 2009 at 3:36 am Link to this comment

KDelphi, May 26 at 8:20 pm #

ardee—Like I said you simply dont get it—most people who have been fortunate enough to retain their wealth dont. Maybe you shouldve applied for a Medal of Freedom while Bush was still president. Dont you , really, have any idea how condescending that sounds to someone who has to give up everything to get most civilized countries consider a human right? Keep your neo-liberal charity, ok? It just prevents real change. You believe that its ok for Buffett to have that kind of money while others have to go to a food bank…well, then, I would have to say that we agree on almost NO issues.
................

You are right, I dont get it. What I dont get is your intractable refusal to understand that,especially in an imperfect society, charity is essential, important and a necessity if we wish to avoid much suffering.

Further I believe that you have sidetracked the real kernel of debate here with your own sociological views on another subject entirely We were discussing the altruism of Warren Buffet and whether the Gates Foundation is a giant fraud to return monies donated after accepting tax breaks for them..

Sheer and utter nonsense, please, the next time you have your taxes done ask your accountant to explain the limits on such donations, they are much smaller than you would believe. Otherwise wade throught the almost incomprehensible tax codes online and find the truth.

The monies Buffet and Gates put into that Foundation are gone from their personal grasp, and are used to fund hospitals, schools , growing technologies in third world countries etc. regardless of the wacko beliefs of anyone ( not that I think you wacko).

I hope to debate with you further on other topics and understand that, in most cases, we will agree far more than we disagree. Even here we agree that great wealth comes with a great price, we just disagree as to the motives of two men.

Lastly, be careful when you get personal in a debate.It is about the subject not about my own personal condition, or yours either for that matter. As I have noted before, I worked with the poor, the working classes , the disadvantaged children, the elderly and the unemployed for decades in the SF Bay Area. The group I helped found in 1967, an outgrowth of the old “Diggers movement” in fact” is still working towards alleviation of the problems of these folks to this day, many within it are the children of the founders.

That you have had problems in life is unfortunate, that these problems make you an expert in tax laws or in deciding the intent of someones motives is false. We , all of us, encounter difficulties in life, rich and poor alike.

You and I want a society remarkably similar I believe, and to quarrel over such as this may be unavoidable but it should not detract from the fact that we are allies.

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By KDelphi, May 26, 2009 at 7:26 pm Link to this comment

garth—That is really scary…

I dont know what the hell we have “financial services” for, anyway. they dont really exist…

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By garth, May 26, 2009 at 6:59 pm Link to this comment

Shortly, the BlackRock’s ripoff will be like a cow pissing on flatrock.
From WRH

“As Newsweek noted April 10th, the big boys were using bailout money to aggressively lobby against the regulation of credit default swaps:

Major Wall Street players are digging in against fundamental changes. And while it clearly wants to install serious supervision, the Obama administration—along with other key authorities like the New York Fed—appears willing to stand back while Wall Street resurrects much of the ultracomplex global trading system that helped lead to the worst financial collapse since the Depression.
At issue is whether trading in credit default swaps and other derivatives—and the giant, too-big-to-fail firms that traded them—will be allowed to dominate the financial landscape again once the crisis passes. As things look now, that is likely to happen. And the firms may soon be recapitalized and have a lot more sway in Washington—all of it courtesy of their supporters in the Obama administration…

The financial industry isn’t leaving anything to chance, however. One sign of a newly assertive Wall Street emerged recently when a bevy of bailed-out firms, including Citigroup, JPMorgan and Goldman Sachs, formed a new lobby calling itself the Coalition for Business Finance Reform. Its goal: to stand against heavy regulation of “over-the-counter” derivatives, in other words customized contracts that are traded off an exchange…

Geithner’s new rules would allow the over-the-counter market to boom again, orchestrated by global giants that will continue to be “too big to fail” (they may have to be rescued again someday, in other words). And most of it will still occur largely out of sight of regulated exchanges…

The old culture is reasserting itself with a vengeance. All of which runs up against the advice now being dispensed by many of the experts who were most prescient about the crash and its causes—the outsiders, in other words, as opposed to the insiders who are still running the show.

And today, Treasury gave the financial giants exactly what they wanted. As Bloomberg writes in an article entitled “Wall Street Derivatives Proposals Adopted in Treasury Overhaul “:

Wall Street’s largest banks are getting what they want in the U.S. Treasury’s plan to regulate over-the-counter derivatives by making all market participants adhere to the same capital requirements…

“The banks appear to wish to maintain the intra-dealer market and raise barriers to new entrants to keep the OTC business as compartmentalized as possible and to protect their profitable market conditions,” said Brad Hintz, an analyst at Sanford C. Bernstein & Co. in New York. “The Street’s lobbyists appear to be asking for a ‘club’ structure in OTC trading.”...

The bank-written plan, titled “Outline of Potential OTC Derivatives Legislative Proposal” and dated Feb. 13, said the systemic regulator “shall promulgate rules” requiring “capital adequacy,” “regulatory and market transparency” and “counterparty collateral requirements.”

Hintz said Wall Street revenue from trading fixed-income, commodities and currency swaps in the over-the-counter market may be reduced by 15 percent under the Treasury’s changes. “Limiting potential competition” in the market “may not be an unreasonable position to take” by the banks due to the potential loss of income, he said…

Investment banks fought regulation of OTC derivatives for more than a decade because the contracts provide a significant portion of bank earnings.”

Instead of “blowing up or burning” over-the-counter CDS - as nobel economist Myron Scholes urged - or making any other real changes which would help the economy and the consumer, the rule changes are mainly a p.r. effort by the derivatives industry itself (like the stress tests were a p.r stunt by the banking industry.)”

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By KDelphi, May 26, 2009 at 5:20 pm Link to this comment

ardee—Like I said you simply dont get it—most people who have been fortunate enough to retain their wealth dont. Maybe you shouldve applied for a Medal of Freedom while Bush was still president. Dont you , really, have any idea how condescending that sounds to someone who has to give up everything to get most civilized countries consider a human right? Keep your neo-liberal charity, ok? It just prevents real change. You believe that its ok for Buffett to have that kind of money while others have to go to a food bank…well, then, I would have to say that we agree on almost NO issues.

I didnt either, until I worked as a social worker for years an years, and, then became disabled. They took everything.

I hope that you never have to get it. and, yes, I think that anyone that accumulates that much money in a Capitalist system is a greedy pig.

But, hey , its the USA, so , youre in the majority and yes, I think you are deluded.

Its my INFORMED opinion. Am I still allowed one? Cause I have to ask if I’m allowed to have anything else—usually no..

Believe me—you DO NOT KNOW!

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By ardee, May 26, 2009 at 5:07 pm Link to this comment

My point was that you have no idea what it is like to pay into a system and then have to depend on charity—-pay your fricking taxes, and, give your pmoney to a party besides the duopoly which might help us catch up the the cilivized world in terms of a social safety net. Until then, people with that much money, who evade taxes, are the enemy , to me.

And you will never have to understand that—you got lucky.
................................

No I didnt get lucky, I worked my ass off. And I still do! So you dont believe in charity? I dont believe you dont!

I believe in charity, and I back my beliefs with annual contributions to such as Make A Wish, The Food Bank of my city, and others. Further I toiled for years in community activities that resulted in health clinics for the poor, day care for children of working parents, senior centers and many other such necessary community safety nets, and did so for forty odd years. But this is about the assassination of Buffet’s character after all, and not about me.

Regardless of how Buffet made his money, and despite that link to some BS about some crafty scheme to get it all back here are the facts:

“Buffett’s gift came with three conditions for the Gates foundation: Bill or Melinda Gates must be alive and active in its administration; it must continue to qualify as a charity; and each year it must give away an amount equal to the previous year’s Berkshire gift, plus another 5 percent of net assets. Buffett gave the foundation two years to abide by the third requirement.”

Does this still sound like some scheme to hold onto money? How does he plan to hold onto what he mandates must be given away?

With everything wrong with this world, and the accumulation of great wealth by the few while the majority suffer is certainly a great evil, can we not still use common sense to see that Buffet is a bit different from the way you and others portray him?

There are many, many who have much wealth and give nothing. How about blaming them…...

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By KDelphi, May 26, 2009 at 2:49 pm Link to this comment

arde—-do you think that it is in wikipedia under Bill and Melinda Gates Found would influence it any?

That was not my point anyway—my point was that so-called charity infantalizes people and destroys their lives. It is only used to keep people thinking tha the rich give a damn and that we should allow our benevolent ruling class to keep accumulating wealth at our expense.

I aint buying it.

I dont want “charity”, I want my pension back and, health care for everyone.

If the rich wanted that , we would already have it. “Charity” just staves off “change” (as Obama puts it)

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By KDelphi, May 26, 2009 at 2:44 pm Link to this comment

ardee—I dont know if my post about Buffet/Gates shell game posted.

Why should I give one of the richest guys in the world a break? They help keep people like me impoverished with their scams.

I will do no such thing. Nobody has the right to have that much money when people are dying for lack of basic needs. That is my opinion, and, the opinion of more and more people (people are a little “slow” here in the uS).

My point was that you have no idea what it is like to pay into a system and then have to depend on charity—-pay your fricking taxes, and, give your pmoney to a party besides the duopoly which might help us catch up the the cilivized world in terms of a social safety net. Until then, people with that much money, who evade taxes, are the enemy , to me.

And you will never have to understand that—you got lucky.

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By KDelphi, May 26, 2009 at 2:34 pm Link to this comment

ardee—here it is.
http://boycottnovell.com/2009/03/09/warren-buffett-money-from-gates/

Poor’ Warren Buffett Receives Donations… from the Gates FoundationPosted in Bill Gates, Deception, Finance, Microsoft at 3:01 am by Roy Schestowitz

“My background is finance and accounting. As a socially conscious venture capitalist and philanthropist, I have a very good understanding of wealth management and philanthropy. I started my career in 1967 with the IRS as a specialist in taxation covering many areas of the tax law including the so-called legal loopholes to charitable giving. […] However, the Gates Buffet foundation grant is nothing more than a shell game in which control of assets for both Gates and Buffet remain the same. […] The only difference is that the accumulation of wealth by these two will be much more massive because they will no longer have to pay any taxes.”

The Gates and Buffet Foundation Shell Game

Warren Buffett had joined this game and put some of its fortune inside the Gates Foundation a few years ago. It is a win-win situation for him. He receives credit for supposedly philanthropic deeds while at the same time his fortune is secured from the IRS and therefore there is smaller erosion of value. According to this very curious report which a reader sent us, the Gates Foundation is also investing in Warren Buffett’s very own company.

Huh?

“Gates Foundation is busy investing in governments and pharmaceuticals that the foundation tells government to pass money to.”This calls for the question, “isn’t the goal of the Gates Foundation to do charitable work?” For all one can gather, the Gates Foundation is busy investing in governments and pharmaceuticals that the foundation tells government to pass money to. Additionally, this foundation invests in petroleum (made cheaply, even at the expense of Nigerian kids’ lives), automobiles, media companies that soon praise the Gates family, various harmful drugs, and also tobacco.

Quite an interesting charity they have there. Does it also pay tax or is it helping the Gates family become exempt from paying any because, evidently, the country is awash with money anyway? Sarcasm ought to be noted here, of course

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By ardee, May 26, 2009 at 2:34 pm Link to this comment

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bill_and_Melinda_Gates_Foundation

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (B&MGF;) is the largest transparently operated[3] private foundation in the world, founded by Bill and Melinda Gates. The primary aims of the foundation are, globally, to enhance healthcare and reduce extreme poverty, and in America, to expand educational opportunities and access to information technology.
edit…..
It has an endowment of US$35.1 billion as of October 1, 2008.[2]  In 2007 its founders were ranked as the second most generous philanthropists in America.[5]

In 2006, the Foundation won the Prince of Asturias Award for International Cooperation.[6]

and:

In 1994, the foundation was formed as the William H. Gates Foundation with an initial stock gift of $94 million. In 1999, the foundation was renamed the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. After a merger with the Gates Learning Foundation in 2000, Gates gave an additional US$126 million.[7][8] During the foundation’s following years, funding grew to US$2 billion. On June 15, 2006, Gates announced his plans to transition out of a day-to-day role with Microsoft, effective July 31, 2008,[9] to allow him to devote more time to working with the foundation.

Bill and Melinda Gates, along with the musician Bono, were named by TIME as Persons of the Year 2005 for their charitable work. In the case of Bill and Melinda Gates, the work referenced was that of this foundation. On May 4, 2006, the foundation received the Prince of Asturias award for International Cooperation.[10]


[edit] The Warren Buffett donation
On June 25, 2006, Warren Buffett (then the world’s richest person, estimated worth of US$62 billion as of April 16, 2008) pledged to give the foundation approximately 10 million Berkshire Hathaway Class B shares spread over multiple years through annual contributions, worth approximately US$30 billion in 2006.[11] Buffett set conditions so that these contributions do not simply increase the foundation’s endowment, but effectively work as a matching contribution, doubling the Foundation’s annual giving: “Buffett’s gift came with three conditions for the Gates foundation: Bill or Melinda Gates must be alive and active in its administration; it must continue to qualify as a charity; and each year it must give away an amount equal to the previous year’s Berkshire gift, plus another 5 percent of net assets. Buffett gave the foundation two years to abide by the third requirement.”[12] The Gates Foundation received 5% (500,000) of the shares in July 2006 and will receive 5% of the remaining earmarked shares in the July of each following year (475,000 in 2007, 451,250 in 2008).[13][14]


[edit] Activities
To maintain its status as a charitable foundation, it must donate at least 5% of its assets each year.[15] Thus the donations from the foundation each year would amount to over US$1.5 billion at a minimum.

The Foundation has been organized, as of April 2006, into four divisions, including core operations (public relations, finance and administration, human resources, etc.), under Chief Operating Officer Cheryl Scott, and three grant-making programs:

Global Health Program
Global Development Program
United States Program
Under a probably new program, The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation will give hundreds of millions of dollars in the next few years to programs aimed at encouraging saving by the world’s poor, the Wall Street Journal reported[16].

On the 18 December 2008, the William J. Clinton Foundation released a list of all contributors. It included The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, which gave between US$10-25 million.[17]

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By ardee, May 26, 2009 at 2:27 pm Link to this comment

KDelphi, May 26 at 3:00 pm #
ardee—well, you must either live in a very wealthy area or be seriously deluded
.......................................

I do indeed live in an upscale area, so? I do not consider myself deluded nor do I see things in only black and white.

The point I was making had nothing whatever to do with the way Buffet accumulated his wealth, he did, in fact, make a recent offer on my own company.

There are a lot of billionares in this world,359 in the USA alone and even more millionares. How many, do you suppose, contribute the great bulk of their money to charitable giving? How many have stated that they consider great wealth a curse that they will not inflict upon their children? How many have noted that they believe the tax code unfair to the mnajority of people and that his income should be more heavily taxed in fact?

KDelphi, I believe that we are on the same side on most issues, but I also believe that there are nuances and room for much more deliberation than we see here for the most part. Give the damn guy a break!

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By KDelphi, May 26, 2009 at 2:20 pm Link to this comment

ardee—what Buffett gets out of it, personally, is in my post.

I’m certain that I could find comparable sites for Soros, Gatse, etc.

What, do you just think that these are “superior people”, or what??

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By ardee, May 26, 2009 at 2:15 pm Link to this comment

truedigger3, May 26 at 3:33 pm #


For details consult a lawyer or hit law books, I am not a lawyer. I read that somewhere, I don’t remember where, and there was no reason to believe
that what I read was a lie or a fabrication from the
writer.
....................................

So, in response to my request for verification of the tax code you liberally cite, you admit to not having a clue to its authenticity. Further you accuse me of failing to read your initial effort when you indeed failed to verify as you now admit you cannot.

I am confused. I am also in doubt as to the ability of a charitable contribution, with its associated tax relief, to revert to its initial contributor. Would that not require the return of the tax refund?

It also fails to explain how Warren Buffet could benefit from his supplying almost a billion dollars to the Gates Foundation, a charitable enterprise not owned by him.

One last point, if you will. My requesting clarification of a statement you make is not an insult, only a request for clarification. I fail to see the need for your rudeness. How does this serve the debate ?

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By truedigger3, May 26, 2009 at 12:33 pm Link to this comment

ardee wrote:
“Please reference your claim that ,once a donation is made to a charitable foundation one may retrieve it years hence. Please consider also that tax breaks do not match the enormity of these contributions.”
____________________________________________________

ardee,

Do you speed read or what?! Did you read my post
with concentration??  I already explained that to
you.
Here it is again!!
First there is difference between contributing to just any charitable foundation and contributing to the foundation the donor created himself.
What I said apply only to the foundation created by
the donor himself.
The tax advantage stems not from charitable deduction
which may still apply but from investing the money
donated to the foundation TAX FREE inside the foundation and after some years “defined by the law”,
the donor or his heirs can retrieve up to the original donated sum and leave the capital gain to
grow for another cycle. As you see, this might be
a good way to bypass partially estate taxes.
For details consult a lawyer or hit law books, I am not a lawyer. I read that somewhere, I don’t remember where, and there was no reason to believe
that what I read was a lie or a fabrication from the
writer.

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By KDelphi, May 26, 2009 at 12:00 pm Link to this comment

ardee—well, you must either live in a very wealthy area or be seriously deluded.

Paul D’Amato on “charity” (names some people you mentioned..)http://socialistworker.org/2006-2/612/612_09_Charity.shtml

“...The praise of Buffett separates his act of giving from the means by which he accumulates such staggering amounts of wealth. The reality, in the words of Karl Kautsky, is that “Colossal poverty is the foundation of colossal wealth.”....

....Buffett made his money by ruthless exploitation; buying up companies cheaply, cutting costs and restoring their profitability, or shutting them down and moving on. Along the way, he has laid off thousands of workers.”....

“People as successful as Buffett don’t accumulate $44 billion in wealth through charitable dealing,” writes MarketWatch’s David Weidner. “Long after the public turned on smoking and health, Buffett infamously explained his investment in the tobacco business: ‘It costs a penny to make. Sell it for a dollar. It’s addictive. And there’s fantastic brand loyalty…”

Frederick Engels spoke contemptibly of bourgeois philanthropists who claim to have “rendered the proletarians a service in first sucking out their very life-blood and then…placing yourselves before the world as mighty benefactors of humanity when you give back to the plundered victims the hundredth part of what belongs to them.”

One of the great obscenities of capitalism is the charity event where the rich philanthropists get together and pat each other on the back. “Think of cavorting around in a dress suit because some poor wretch is hungry,” Eugene Debs wrote in 1902, “and…that in ‘fashionable society’ the definition of this mixture of inanity and moral perversion is ‘charity.’ Fleece your fellows! That is ‘business,’ and you are a captain of industry. Having ‘relieved’ your victims of their pelts, dance and make merry to ‘relieve’ their agony. This is ‘charity’ and you are a philanthropist.”

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By ardee, May 26, 2009 at 4:08 am Link to this comment

Truedigger3, May 25 at 7:22 pm #

Please reference your claim that ,once a donation is made to a charitable foundation one may retrieve it years hence. Please consider also that tax breaks do not match the enormity of these contributions.

KDelphi, May 25 at 11:43 pm #

ardee—with “all that money” “given away”, if “charity” were going to work, dont you think that it wouldve solved SOME problem by now?
....................

Why do you assume it has not?

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By KDelphi, May 25, 2009 at 8:43 pm Link to this comment

ardee—with “all that money” “given away”, if “charity” were going to work, dont you think that it wouldve solved SOME problem by now? As jackpine say, its demeaning and an excuse not to correct socio-economic problems in a way that actually benefits those that need it.

truedigger3—I cant disagree with that…I just thought that it was an interesting point.

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By truedigger3, May 25, 2009 at 4:22 pm Link to this comment

ardee,

The overhead is a big problems for charities like
United Way, March of Dimes and American cancer Society ete etc.
But we are talking here about something different which is the foundations that have been set up by the super-wealthy.
Most of the money put in these foundations are NOT
spent but invested and grow and grow tax free.!!
The tax advantage stems not from charity deduction
but from after some specified years the original founder can get his original contribution back and
leave the gain to grow again and after another cycle he can get more money back etc etc.
I am not a tax attorney but this is an example of many of the loop holes in these fondation stuff.
As I said, small fraction of the money spent reach
the poor and the needy, the bulk of it is spent on
conservative think tanks, instructional material and
propoganda for conservative ideas and philosophies.
Yes, some of the money is spent to promote the arts, humanities, scientific, medical research and the environment, but not much.
Buffett is a smart guy. He might be greedy
but he knows uncontrolled greed is bad for everyone
including the super-rich. That why he opposed some
Bush’s obscene tax cuts that benefitted mostly the
super-wealthy.

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By truedigger3, May 25, 2009 at 2:34 pm Link to this comment

KDelphi,

I 100% agree with you that charity is bad unreliable
( and I add demeaning) alternative to social justice and its safety net.
However, I beg to differ with you about runaway population growth and its disasterous effects.
Sure, greed and exploitation and over-consumption
of the well-to-do is a major conributory factor for poverty and environmental degradaton in the world but unchecked population growth in large parts of the world is as important conributory factor toward poverty.  There is no way in the world that the economy of the world (also assuming freedom of exploitation, greed and overconsumption) will be able keep pace with the increase of the population who are already very poor.
And birth control is running against a wall of either ignorance or many religious dogmas. It is a serious problem.

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By ardee, May 25, 2009 at 2:26 pm Link to this comment

truedigger3, May 25 at 2:28 pm #

ardee,

Giving to foundations doesn’t mean the money will be spent on the poor and the needy. Only small fraction of it!!
It is a good way to shelter some of the wealth from taxes, specially capital gains taxes.
.........
Do you not remember, when Bush gave those tax cuts to the rich, Buffet came out foursquare against them, calling them unjust, unfair and ridiculous.

Do you know for certain what percentage of the money given goes to overhead…..Yeah, neither do I. I think you assume because so many of our charitable organisations have such high overhead…I do not believe the Gates Foundation is one of them though.

As to tax breaks, when one donates hundreds of millions, as do both Gates and Buffet, the tax breaks aren’t there as the donations are way above allowable limits.

I am not saying these guys are angels by any means, Gates bought the DOS operating system for $500 bucks after all. But altruism is what it is and fairness is what it is as well. I have listened to Buffet speak on several occasions, and he , believe it or dont, speaks like a man of the people. Both he and Gates have stated publicly that they will not “curse” their children with great wealth.

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By garth, May 25, 2009 at 12:56 pm Link to this comment

Thanks, KDelphi and truedigger3 for the link and the information on Soros and Buffet.

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By garth, May 25, 2009 at 12:52 pm Link to this comment

Example,

David Cay Johnston points out in the first chapter of “Perfectly Legal,” how a man named Jonathan Blattmachr, partner in the law firm, Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCoy, and counselor to people who want to avoid taxes “devised a way that Bill Gates, the richest man in the America (at the time), could reap $ 200 miilion in profits on Microsoft stock without paying the $ 56 million in capital gains taxes that the law required at the time.  The plan was so lucrative that Gates would not have to pay a single dollar in tax and would even be entitled to an income tax deduction of $6 million or so.”


Whatta guy!
“Perfectly Legal” pps.6 & 7

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By KDelphi, May 25, 2009 at 11:49 am Link to this comment

The tyranny of unreliable “charity” (as opposed to true social change)

“..The Malthusian theory of overpopulation represented a wel come change inasmuch as it diverted the attention of the workers away from the true cause of their problems, capitalism, shifting the blame from an economic base to a biological and sexual one. It is always a necessity for the ruling class of any era to find a scapegoat, and” overpopulation” can be just as useful as racism, opposing nationalities, or “indolent” workers. Different times are conducive to different lies -just so long as the truth of how capitalism really functions is never discovered..”

The Malthusian theory of overpopulation represented a wel come change inasmuch as it diverted the attention of the workers away from the true cause of their problems, capitalism, shifting the blame from an economic base to a biological and sexual one. It is always a necessity for the ruling class of any era to find a scapegoat, and” overpopulation” can be just as useful as racism, opposing nationalities, or “indolent” workers. Different times are conducive to different lies -just so long as the truth of how capitalism really functions is never discovered”

The Malthusian theory of overpopulation represented a wel come change inasmuch as it diverted the attention of the workers away from the true cause of their problems, capitalism, shifting the blame from an economic base to a biological and sexual one. It is always a necessity for the ruling class of any era to find a scapegoat, and” overpopulation” can be just as useful as racism, opposing nationalities, or “indolent” workers. Different times are conducive to different lies -just so long as the truth of how capitalism really functions is never discovered”

From Socialism and Charity blogspot.

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By KDelphi, May 25, 2009 at 11:36 am Link to this comment

ardee—I not only think that they are obligated to do so,(even though these “charities” are largely neo-liberal tax shelters and operate like the shameful IMF) I dont think that anyone on the planet has ever earned THAT much money. No one should be using that many resources. I dont know what your idea of “frugal”
is, but, what in the world could these people have done to make them deserving of such “privilege”?? They count on people buying into the “they earned it” bullshit.

Just trying to add a counter balance to failed neo-liberal “we feel your pain” Capitalist thought.

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By KDelphi, May 25, 2009 at 11:29 am Link to this comment

ardee—-that would be the eternal question, which, I am sure not smart enough to answer, but, we must keep working on it.

garth—good links..and heres one for you ie the social (in)security scam (as I’ve prob said before, my pc wont let me go to links without closing this window, so I’ll go check them out now)
http://www.cbpp.org/cms/index.cfm?fa=view&id=110

Long-Term Social Security Shortfall Smaller Than Cost of Extending Tax Cuts for Top 1 Percent

By Kris Cox and Richard Kogan

March 31, 2008

2001/2003 Tax Cuts

The Social Security trustees’ report issued this week estimates that Social Security faces a total shortfall over the next 75 years of 0.56 percent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP).  This is slightly less than the estimated cost over that same period of extending the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts just for the top 1 percent of households:  0.6 percent of GDP.  (Currently, households in the top 1 percent make more than $450,000 per year.)

This striking fact should serve as a much-needed “reality check” in discussions over entitlement programs and the nation’s long-term fiscal future.  Too often, such discussions assume that Social Security faces a titanic shortfall that will require radical restructuring of the program, while paying little or no attention to the enormous fiscal damage that would result from extending the tax cuts without paying for them.

Extending all of the tax cuts (not just those for the top 1 percent) would cost 1.95 percent of GDP over the next 75 years, if their cost is not offset through spending cuts or other revenue increases.  That is three and one-half times the size of the Social Security shortfall over that period.

The GAO says that the number one cause of the US deficit is the huge tax cuts. I spent my $250 towards my “now adjustable rate” credit card bil of over $10,000…wow, thanks.


Universal health care would cost 2% of GDP—-priorities, Obama, priotrities..

why did the font change? have no idea…

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By truedigger3, May 25, 2009 at 11:28 am Link to this comment

ardee,

Giving to foundations doesn’t mean the money will be spent on the poor and the needy. Only small fraction
of it!!
It is a good way to shelter some of the wealth from
taxes, specially capital gains taxes.
A lot of the money is used to foster “free enterprise” propoganda and educational programs.
All the characters you mentioned, especially Gates and Soros have a history of predatory deals and rigging the markets to their advantage. Soro caused
the collapse of the Sterling Pound in the Early Eighties and the Asian economic disaster of 97, 98.
Buffet defended the shaprp rise in gas prices last
year because he invested in oil deals and he also has a lot of money in Goldman Sacks and Morgan Stanley. Those characters don’t spend a single penny without getting something in return. May be some good publicity wouldn’t hurt.

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By ardee, May 25, 2009 at 11:05 am Link to this comment

garth, May 25 at 11:26 am #

Well, yes and no…Gates Foundation gives away 2 billion to very worthy causes and he himself has pledged to give away 95% of his wealth to such as those.

Buffet is the chief contributor to that Foundation and lives rather frugally for the second wealthiest man in the world. He also gives away all his earnings from Berkshire Hathaway.

Soros, also in attendance at that meeting, is a large contributor to Democratic causes and philanthropies as well.

To note that the only reason they are in support of gay rights is because one of them employs a gay chef seems more than a bit over the top, as does most of your rant in that post in fact.

One should always speak out against what one believes to be bad, but one should also use perspective to not ignore the good. These guys give more away than than the budget of many third world nations, and they certainly are not obligated to do so. Population explosion is a very real problem, and one we all should be concerned about…they seemingly are.

Just trying for balance here.

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By garth, May 25, 2009 at 8:26 am Link to this comment

RockingRobin,

Thanks for the info on Canola oil.  I had been seeing some news bits about it.  That along with Aspartame, Splenda, High Fructose sugar, and all the Madison Avenue drugs that are going to kill or harm a lot of people.
I agree with you. I think these substances are meant to do a lot of damage over the long run and, thereby, contribute to the future wealth of the investment class that will be provided by new Health Insurance bill favored by Rockefeller’s darling, Obama.  This bill is no doubt collusion between Wall Street-PHRMA-Health Insurance industry.

Check this out. 
Bill Gates, David Rockefeller, Warren Buffet, Oprah Winfrey among others discussed ways to curb population growth. Who in his right mind would want this group of Capitalist War Lords to have anything to do with issues so personal to someone’s life.  Oprah Winfrey is a typical token of the wealthy capitalist class.  She’s supposed to show that anyone can make it.  Bill Gates, Buffet and Rockefeller—All creepy thieves.  Gates is all-right as long as he can steal from others and have a monopoly, Buffet is all right, just ask the workers in a North Carolina text mill he closed down.  And Rockefeller, more should be exposed about this serpentine robber baron.  The only reason that the neoliberals are in favor of gay marriage is because David has a summer-home chef. A guy he “adopted” from a restaurant in NYC. 
———————————————
Beginning of News story.

SOME of America’s leading billionaires have met secretly to consider how their wealth could be used to slow the growth of the world’s population and speed up improvements in health and education.

The philanthropists who attended a summit convened on the initiative of Bill Gates, the Microsoft co-founder, discussed joining forces to overcome political and religious obstacles to change.

Described as the Good Club by one insider it included David Rockefeller Jr, the patriarch of America’s wealthiest dynasty, Warren Buffett and George Soros, the financiers, Michael Bloomberg, the mayor of New York, and the media moguls Ted Turner and Oprah Winfrey.

These members, along with Gates, have given away more than £45 billion since 1996 to causes ranging from health programmes in developing countries to ghetto schools nearer to home.

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/us_and_americas/article6350303.ece
——————————————————————-
To me it looks like Fascism is in full bloom.

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By christian96, May 24, 2009 at 9:04 pm Link to this comment

Ardee——Do I have anything to say?  WEEEEELLLLLLLLL,
IT’S OBVIOUS YOU DON’T!  HAVE FUN IN SUMMER SCHOOL.
BRUSH UP ON THAT VOCABULARY!

        DAFFY

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By ardee, May 24, 2009 at 2:14 pm Link to this comment

christian96, May 24 at 3:03 pm #

Do you have anything to say? Anything at all? If not isnt summer school starting soon?

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By garth, May 24, 2009 at 12:41 pm Link to this comment

“U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner will attend this year’s Bilderberg meeting in Athens, Greece.

Geithner’s presence will be in violation of the Logan Act, intended to prohibit American citizens without authority from interfering in relations between the United States and foreign governments.”

http://robertscourt.blogspot.com/2009/05/tucker-confirms-geithner-presence-at.html

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By christian96, May 24, 2009 at 12:03 pm Link to this comment

Ardee—-You’ll have to do much better than that!
Cursing!  Perhaps, your vocabulary limits your
intellectual expression!  Ho Hum!

          Daffy

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By ardee, May 24, 2009 at 5:43 am Link to this comment

christian96, May 23 at 8:53 pm #

Speaking of intellectual firepower, how does living in that glass house suit you?

My comments to KDelphi were not about her certainly but a general question that I felt deserved thought.

Your comments, on the other hand, were either too sarcastic to grasp or blatantly sophomoric. I went with the latter.

You, in order I suppose to display your lack of worth to this forum, claim to have read only two of my efforts yet find no problem in condemning me based upon such an inadequate representation. Knock yourself out.

I have a penchant, I readily admit, for responding in kind, if you remain here you will have to ignore me, or better still, elevate your own efforts here. This shit wont do at all:

“Of course Adolf didn’t have the pearly whites that Obama does.  Anyone notice any similarities of Adolf and Obama?  Excsuse me!  I must return to the Military
Channel”

Based upon this sample I would urge you to spend all your free time watching TV, thus sparing us here any further examples of your childishness.

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By garth, May 23, 2009 at 7:47 pm Link to this comment

One of the perverted reasons that Wall Street and Status Quo wants to undo Social Security is that currently, the fund is in Treasury Bills.  T bills are protected by the Constitution, the government is bound to stand behind them.
Now, these people don’t care about the Constitution.  As a matter of fact, I suppose that most of them would agree with George W. Bush who said that it’s just a goddamn piece of paper, but if the tables were turned and the fund was no longer backed by T bills and reacting to the flux of the stock market, then they would certainly feel justified, maybe pleased, when the dollar is dropped as the world currency and the stock market goes to 1000.
The Social Security recipients, now stock market players, if you will, would still be responsible for paying off the assumed debt.
These techniques have been used before by the former Massuchesetts Governor, Mitt Romney.  That’s how he earned 400 million dollars after Harvard Business School.  One example is what happened to Staples after he bought it by leveraged buyout.
George W. just wasn’t the salesman that they hoped for.  The longer he tried to privatize Social Security, the less popular his plan became, until that ridiculous photo op in front of a safe in West Virginia.  He looked like an idiot.
They have restored hope now in Obama, that he might be able to bring home the bacon.

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By rockinrobin, May 23, 2009 at 7:15 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Wall ST worked WITH Congress at ripping off trillions of American citizens: as reported repeatedly on Bill Moyers Journal; in Liar’s Poker, License to steal & many more books; Hillary put in $1000 & got $100,000 return in 14 hours; WAKE UP: Timothy G claimed “he never regulated a bank”; yes he did & it was the MOST CORRUPT in the LAND; yep, PROMOTE CRIMINALS FOLKS!
Bush/Clinton working together Canola Oil; oil from Canada; all kinds of reports “good” for you; all LIES; read up on this well folks: heavy weight gain, high blood pressure, causes diabetes: made from GENETICALLY MODIFIED SEEDS; remember: TARGET & HARM for PERSONAL BENEFITS: they own a GREAT deal of stock in PHARMA like Rockefeller;
THIS is the REASON this nation has NEVER had health care; AGAINST THEIR AGENDA!
  BTW, they DID write a LAW stating that health coverage STOPS the moment you get ill; insurance companies do not have to PROVIDE ONE IOTA of care; per Calif Senator on M&J morning show.
Monsanto, maker of agent orange, white phosphorus, much much more: they own GREAT STOCK folks: reason they want WAR; make trillions & trillions KILLING off the PEOPLE HERE & now globally. Why do you THINK the USA has had the highest DEATH RATE of infants folks? thank your Congressfolks!

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By christian96, May 23, 2009 at 5:53 pm Link to this comment

Come on Ardee——Show a little more intellectual
firepower.  Your comments to me and Kdelphi may
impress people on your own intellectual level but
that’s it.  While you are at it, perhaps, you could
be more specific about “what people” and “which
opinions!”  I’ve read two of your posts.  You seem
to find some perverted pleasure in cutting others
down.  Let’s see if there is some intellectual fire
behind your smoke screen of generalities.

Daffy Duck

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By ardee, May 23, 2009 at 5:23 pm Link to this comment

KDelphi, May 23 at 3:45 pm #
So why, I wonder, is it so damned hard to find common ground? Why is it that people hold their opinions dearer than they hold truth, compassion or even common sense? Why do so many loyal democrats fail to see the misery around them, misery that could be greatly alleviated by a decent health care formula, by a peaceful solution to problems, by simply owning up to their lack of responsibility to the people of this nation instead of the corporations who fund them so amply?

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By KDelphi, May 23, 2009 at 12:45 pm Link to this comment

Louise, I have real trouble follwoing your arguments, always, have, and, maybe, you mine. I can guartantee you that you would be happier if your “soulmate” (which you see to be looking for on a word processor) were not online…geez…I was referring to some peoples’ seeming need to identify with a majority group to fulfill needs for belonging, instead of using their own mind and heart…oh, as you say, never mind!

jackpine is right—you can only think in terms of black, and white, right and wrong, blah, blah, blah, Maybe I would be happier if I reduced all thoughts about the world to that, but, I happen to have a conscience, and, people like you just accept. That IS the problem. “who cares if people die and end up in the strteet—i sortve feel their pain in a clintonesque kinda way” . IU suppose that you still believe that the “banking crisis” was caused by ordinary people who “lived beyond their means”...it was a scam from start to finish, and, no one sold it to use quite like the ‘compassionate Dems”.

I have used credit cards because I am on Medicaid, ok? 90% of my charges are medical. I cannot get health care, no thanks to the fuc*ing Democrats—people like you. Even when I worked, I had to sign a pre-existing conditions clause, and, trying to return to work now, it is shakey…I certainly dont need someone with arguments as lame as LouiseDem to lecture me.

thank you, garth, trudigger3—I guess expecting compassion (or arguing for such) with democrats, ie morality, is a battle with an unarmed person. But, I’m sure I didtn “hurt her”.

If things are horrible , and, you dont “complain”, you are saying that it is “ok with you”. If you continue to vote the basterds back in, you are complicit. I never will be again. But, I have to live with myself.

Louise probably wont have any problem with that.

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By ardee, May 23, 2009 at 12:41 pm Link to this comment

christian96, May 23 at 3:32 pm #

Funny, all I notice is a seeming similarity between you and two other characters; Josef Goebbels and Daffy Duck

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By christian96, May 23, 2009 at 12:32 pm Link to this comment

I am watching “The Fatal Attraction of Adolf Hitler”
on the Military Channel(after all it is Memorial
Day weekend).  During the commerical I decided to read a few comments on Truthdig.  I noticed “truthdigger3” made reference to the excellent oratory skills of Obama.  The same was just
said about Adolf Hitler on the Miliary Channel.  Of
course Adolf didn’t have the pearly whites that Obama
does.  Anyone notice any similarities of Adolf and
Obama?  Excsuse me!  I must return to the Military
Channel

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By garth, May 23, 2009 at 9:18 am Link to this comment

KDelphi,
I am not amazed by the lack of compassion by the stalwarts for the status quo here.  I was struck by your news that you might be headed for bankrupcy.  A city councilor held a meeting and informed those who came that foreclosure, or the Wall Street Santa Claus, is coming to our part of the city soon.  Your news struck home, but on this site, I guess you can’t expect a little human comapassion from the Dems and Repub masses—they were prepared and practically trained to behave like that.  Remember, Katrina.
If all this is bad news, wait till the health insurance and Social Security take center stage.  According to Drs Himmelmann and Wolf on Moyers last night, this health insurance plan is going to help wipe out the whole country.  It’s going to drive the nation bankrupt along with the bailout, three wars, and the collapse of the dollar. 
The New Health Giveaway is going to be like the one here in Mass.  Everyone buys insurance or pays a fine.  The insurance companies love that part of it.  They also love paying their management high salaries.  The bills, however, are breaking the state treasury.  But what do they care?  Deval Patrick, the Governor of MA, was, after all, the pacer for Obama.  He proved that you could sell bullshit and enough people would think it’s chocolate ice cream.
For social security, they like Bush’s privatization.  Wall St. firms will do a leveraged buyout of the fund which is worth about 4 trillion dollars with a couple of billion.  They will then shift the debt of the buyout over to the fund and the people on Social Security will become responsible for paying off the debt.  Each person will be given a choice of stocks from a set of prescribed plans.  The debt from the LBO will be repaid to the government from the Social Security fund.  So, at the end of your work-a-day life, a lot of Social Security recipients will just receive enough money to pay off the debt.  If the market goes south or stays in the doldrums, then we might end up just owing money to the government.
I think this is one of the great ideas that Obama was praising the likes of Ronald Reagan for.

We’ve got a tough row to hoe.

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By rockinrobin, May 23, 2009 at 8:52 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Target & Harm for PERSONAL GAIN & PROFIT folks: THIS they said was the way “democracy” worked; it is a CRIME. Working WITH businesses: indeed, Rockefeller owns the Pharma AND ALL have large stocks in it; drs are PAID to meet prescription quotas; Monsanto maker of Agent Orange & most chemicals USED in FOOD CHAIN & every other item in YOUR HOMES & LIVES are geared to HARM YOU; Criminalizing the CORPS & thru the MISUSE of laws, forcing you to BUY from the FOLKS who make you ill & then PAY the SAME FOLKS to make you “well”; the 2 party system is a FRONT: to “give” you a CHOICE: went to Chinese DECADES ago: set up a Congress; listen to the people; write laws & then the people will stop squawking THINKING that you have to follow them; then do WHATEVER you want: THIS is DEMOCRACY! they claim; Capitalism does NOT HAVE TO BE CRIMINAL! But with literally trillions in off shore accounts, you THINK they are going to STOP any time soon? don’t think so; and the COURTS as Antonin Scalia said with sneering contempt to the PEOPLE YOU wrote the laws; and they CHANGE them, CALL to find out “how to rule”; more criminal than any appearing before them. (libertine party STARTED by Rockefeller) What NEEDS to be done in this nation is for JUSTICE to be restored; judges JUDGED; and “elected” who claim the RIGHT to do whatever they choose & NEVER be brought to justice: well, RICO LAWS would APPLY HUH! THIS is why they are taking steps to PREVENT; using the media to DECEIVE.

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By truedigger3, May 23, 2009 at 7:09 am Link to this comment

louise,

Buzz off and go to buzzflash.com where you belong.
This is not a DLC site.
We are tired of your partisan drivel and I repeat,
most of us here are not partisans. We hate both
the Democratic and Republican parties. Most of us, also, know how fake Obama is , even with his toothpaste smile and excellent oratory.

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By Louise, May 23, 2009 at 6:38 am Link to this comment

KDelphi,

Awe ... the Credit Card Bill. Is that anything like the Senior Drug Bill? Or the Animal Rights Bill, or the light bill?

Perhaps we can equate the word if not the action. Perhaps “bill” needs to be re-thunk and called “come due now”. Or, “come and get it”. Or, “oh never mind”.

I like, oh never mind.

“In the latest action from Capital Hill, the House has issued plans to clean up excessive debt ... oh never mind.”

Of course this will hold great appeal to all those politicals who find arguing both sides of everything essential to survival. Where looking for anything to argue about has become the primary reason to get out of bed. And when the steam evaporates and the issue is forgotten, every day and minute and thought can end with, oh never mind. More comfortable than we are all bonkers. Certainly more face-saving than, “now where was I? I forgot what I stand for!”

Besides, if “oh never mind” becomes the euphemism for congressional action, mainstreammedia will start to make sense, and that will go a long way to restoring that warm fuzzy feeling babies and tired moms look for when they pull the blanky out of the dryer.

No matter, because no matter what, nobody really cares anyway. As you so aptly put it, “Louise—See, what you dont understand is that I dont give a rat’s ass… ” Actually I do understand, which may explain why you rankle so.

By the way, I have never considered you to be a soul-mate, other than we share the same planet. Are you godistwaddle?

As far as bankruptcy goes, having been smart enough to never, ever get a credit card, I can only say, I feel the pain those who did, do. (Live on credit that is.) Maybe that’s the side-affect of being able to see what’s coming when one thinks the need to go hopelessly in debt is a “government guaranteed” right.

Apparently it really bothers you that I am happy. Sorry about that, nothing I can do to help you understand that happiness comes with accepting reality whether you want it or not. Dealing with all the pain and sorrow reality delivers. Nothing I can do to help you understand, the first step to self-awareness is being able to cope with what life dumps on you. Which can lead to the ability to find pleasure in the fleeting days we are all granted to live, and learning how to grieve in sorrow, laugh at the absurd and change the changeble. And accepting when someone/something is hopelessly unchangeble walk away.

Just for clarification, in case there’s anyone reading who understands calarity. Truthdig has become little more than a sounding board for angry people with a need to vent. Kinda sad, because I’m sure the original intent was to open a foram for debate. And while some believe debate should only be arguing, even arguing is based in the need to make a point. Or at the very least inform one another. I like to think there needs to be a purpose. If I simply want to see angry people vent, I can go to the corner bar.

jackpine savage,

“Your arguments are always circular, and when you get called out you simply end up writing unedited, mistake filled little screaming rants that don’t make any sense.”
~~~

Thanks for proving my point. Of course anything I might think or say is lost on folks who cant understand making sense. You-all really are only about being angry, right? Right.

So, Oh never mind.

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By truedigger3, May 23, 2009 at 6:37 am Link to this comment

The cridit cards law just signed by Obama is nothing
but a sham and a farce. It is one more of the make believe measures inacted by Obama without any real substace.
One more smoke and mirror and a dose of bullshitting
to the unwashed masses!!
Nothing in the law that prevents the companies from
raising interest rates or imposing excessive penalities and fees. They have just have to wait a little and tell you about it in advance. Duh.!!
And the credit card companies still have 10 months
to run amock. I have my interest rate raised about
couple of weeks ago although I pay promptly and in
full.
And I bet, in the near future,  everyone will have to pay an annual fee and iterest will be charged from the date of puschase. No more free cards or grace periods.
Eventually the companies will be making mor money
by the new law??!!

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By jackpine savage, May 23, 2009 at 5:23 am Link to this comment

Louise,

You spend an awful amount of time telling people to “come up with a plan” and “do something constructive” (not actual quotes, but inserted to signify someone’s lips/fingers moving).  But beyond vote for Dems and call your representative you don’t ever seem to offer your plan.  Strange.

Your arguments are always circular, and when you get called out you simply end up writing unedited, mistake filled little screaming rants that don’t make any sense.  Oh wait, i guess you’re a loyal Democrat so it’s to be expected.

KDelphi,

See above.  Arguing with Louise is a lost cause…similar to being a caller on the Limbaugh show.  She knows what she believes, and no amount of fact will changer her mind.

She is, quite simply, an excellent example of what’s wrong with America.

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By AuntBec, May 23, 2009 at 12:00 am Link to this comment

Garth, I’m with you!  I mean it, sign me up and let’s throw the bums out, and preferably put them in jail.  I think a national day of everyone staying home, preferably in a park listening to someone inspire them to come to their senses, is just what we need - and not one the government takes off and the retailers hold sales.

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By christian96, May 22, 2009 at 11:00 pm Link to this comment

Do you think the evil wicked deceptive businesses
and politicans are going to get away with their folly?  “They shall cast their silver in the streets
and their gold shall be removed:  their silver and
gold SHALL NOT be able to deliver them in the day of
the wrath of the Lord.”(Ezekiel 7:19)  “Go to now,
you rich men, WEEP AND HOWL for your miseries that
shall come upon you.  Your gold and silver shall be
a witness against you, and shall eat your flesh as
it were fire.  You have reaped treasure together for
THE LAST DAYS.  Behold, the hire of the labourers
who have reaped down your fields, which is of you
kept back by FRAUD, crieth:  and the cries of them
are entered into the ears of the LORD.  You have
lived in pleasure on the earth and been wanton…
you have condemned and killed the just.”(James 5:1-6)
The DAY OF VENGEANCE of our God is near.(Isaiah 61:2)

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By KDelphi, May 22, 2009 at 2:29 pm Link to this comment

Louise—See, what you dont understand is that I dont give a rat’s ass about Paul either..YOu just dont get it…lol Maybe in grade school they told you about, lets see"thinking for yourself”?? Ever hear do of it? I agree with Kucinich on alot of stuff, and, I have even met him, but, see , he is married and I am not interested in HIM PERSONALLY, ok??

IT IS NOT ABOUT EITHER PARTY NOR THE PERSON FOR ME!! I agree with Paul on the Fed and the military—thats it!! I dont have to agree with everything (I disagree strongly with Paul on the economy), I just have to see them heading in the right direction ,and Dems aint!! Neither are GOP!! Do you understadn what I am saying here, at all?
We are not “soul mates”!! I do not expect any public figure to fulfill my emotional needs, not either f*cked up party! You do…I hope it makes you happy.
Is someone paying you??They should be!


Be a loyal Dem, Louise! I dont care! its not difficult… I was merely trying to enlighten you…

garth—yep, the “credit card bill” is reprehensible. I might have to file bankruptcy.

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By garth, May 22, 2009 at 1:09 pm Link to this comment

KDelphi,

“Oh, I called 4 members of the Senate today about the new “credit card bill”—all free calls….did I “lobby” enough for you , Louise? Do you think that they will “get right at it”?

=====

I bet if we looked behind the scene, we’d see that the credit card companies wrote this legislation. It gets the heat off them for a while and does nothing substantive for the credit card holder.
One of the Credit card companies’ latest schemes is for those who pay their credit card bills on time, the companies have a new ploy.  They mail out three or more bills in advance instead of each month and the credit card holder is responsible for keeping track of them and paying on time.  Predictably, the number will rise of those who used to pay on time, but will now miss or become late in their payments.  Instead of putting a max on cards, not a bad haul for lending us back the money that we loaned them at about %5 interest.  They still have a free path to charge usurious rates.
Ten Democrats helped the Republicans defeat the foreclosure bill.  They said a person who owns multiple dwellings can renogiate mortage rates, but a single home owner cannot.  They have to foreclose.
The bastard who pisses me off the most of these spineless ten is Byron Dorgan of North Dakota.  He used to bray about the Huffy bike manufacturer going overseas.  When there was nothing that could be done he was up front and loud and showy.  Then when it comes to voting, he opts to support the banks.  Now, he’s parading in front of the camera on C-SPAN to voice his opinion on how he’s backing the credit card hoax. 
They’ve passed the bill and more and more people will get into credit trouble, but there’ll be no more coverage.
The Wall St. Screwing is entering a new phase.  The banks that are too big to fail are mainlining it directly from the Fed, getting around another visit to ongress, which I’m sure would have to have been televised.  Lehmann Bros and Baer Strearn were jettisoned to scare the shit out of the public and the investors who weren’t important enough to have gotten the memo.  Letting them fail was shot across the bow.  They certainly weren’t too big to fail, were they?
Locally, all state taxes and fees are going up. 

I’ve got a solution.  Arrest them and throw them in jail and don’t let them out until it’s all sorted out.  Every sordid detail should be made public.
Stop payment by the Fed and close it down.  Everyone gets a paid national holiday maybe a paid vacation. 
Close down Gitmo, Bagram, and Abu Ghraib.  End renditions.  Bring all troops home and give them a year’s paid leave. 
Cut the military budget by ? percent.  Force the brass into retirement.  What the hell, give’em a parade if it’ll make ‘em happy.
Start major work projects, a super WPA.

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By Louise, May 22, 2009 at 11:54 am Link to this comment

KDelphi, May 22 at 12:28 pm #

“And, Louise, if this bill passes., you will have to remember that Ron Paul is NOT a beloved DEMOCRAT!”

~~~

Actually my beloved democrat representative is one of the co-sponsors, as are most of the dem reps in this state. When you get a minute, just for shits and giggles, why don’t you study Pauls bio. Might find it interesting.

Oh, and your welcome. wink

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By KDelphi, May 22, 2009 at 9:28 am Link to this comment

And, Louise, if this bill passes., you will have to remember that Ron Paul is NOT a beloved DEMOCRAT!

Your Democratic Party, (as well as the GOP) would never do this, although Paul is registered as GOP.

That is one reason I plan to never support either party of the duopoly again.

Oh, I called 4 members of the Senate today about the new “credit card bill”—all free calls….did I “lobby” enough for you , Louise? Do you think that they will “get right at it”?

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By KDelphi, May 22, 2009 at 9:24 am Link to this comment

Louise, I “lobby Congress” all week long. I call, I email, I’ve told you that before.

The Credit Card Bill being signed in today, is being defeated at its purposes as we “type”—the credit care rates have found the loophole , that Congress, so kingly left them, that , the new rules “dont apply to variable rate cards”. I’m sure that they left them plenty other “outs” also. Since it is so long before it takes effect, that should be the next big crisis in foreclosures…I wondered why they switched me to variabel rate this month.

Maybe I can “lobby” Congress to actually pass a bill that would protect customers?!! Nah, they dont do things like that. Theyre too busy collecting campaign donations.

This would be funny, if it werent so pathetic.

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By garth, May 22, 2009 at 5:44 am Link to this comment

The banks have been given $trillions and it seems to be just sloshing around in their coffers.  At last report, they are not lending.  I guess they’re saving for a rainy day.  For those who still have a job, the tax cut amount to $13 a week.  Now, there’s a surge.
Congress just approved $90 billion more for Obama’s AfPakIraqistan War.  That’s $90 billion more down the rat hole. I think Obama should retrieve Truman’s old paperweight and truncate its message to, “The buck stops.”
If Obama ever starts to think of his legacy, he ought to envision a half-eaten mayonnaise sandwich on day-old bread left out in the sun.

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By Louise, May 22, 2009 at 5:31 am Link to this comment

KDelphi, May 21 at 5:52 pm #

“the petition , with a summary , is at the site, but, I want to see the bill..cant seem to find it anywhere, and, dont know whether kucinich is advocating another bill just because Paul is GOP or what…it doesnt say WHAT they want to do…abolish the Fed? Make it more transparent? Make them stop printing money? What?”
~~~

Pauls Bill:

HR 1207, Federal Reserve Transparency Act of 2009, sponsored by Rep. Ronald Paul [R-TX] with 175 co-sponsors. (as of May 21) Calls for amending title 31, United States Code, to to reform the manner in which the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System is audited by the Comptroller General of the United States and the manner in which such audits are reported, and for other purposes. You can find the full text here: http://www.govtrack.us/congress/billtext.xpd?bill=h111-1207 with links to title 31, United States Code.

List of co-sponsors as of May 21, 2009 can be found here: http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bill.xpd?bill=h111-1207

Note: On the left side of the link to text, you will find links to Download PDF and a link to the Full Text on THOMAS. And you can link to the current Bill Status.

Kucinich Bill:

HR 7260, Transparency in the Creation of Wealth Act of 2008, sponsored by Rep. Dennis Kucinich [D-OH] with no co-sponsors. This bill never became law. This bill was proposed in a previous session of Congress. Sessions of Congress last two years, and at the end of each session all proposed bills and resolutions that haven’t passed are cleared from the books. Members often reintroduce bills that did not come up for debate under a new number in the next session. You can find the full text here: http://www.govtrack.us/congress/billtext.xpd?bill=h110-7260

Last Action: Referred to the House Committee on Financial Services, Oct 3, 2008.
~~~

KDelphi, 

“Here is the website (gawd! lol) and a full description…I signed it.
http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/”
~~~

Congratulations! Wow! Dare I say it?

You just LOBBIED CONGRESS ~ smile

Go to google and type in, petition supporting H.R. 1207, and hit search.

There are a bunch of them! You can sign them all! If you want to, you can then make a phone call and send an email to your representative. And, if he/she is already a co-sponsor, thank them. If not, encourage them to sign on. And make sure you explain why.

NOTE: E-mailed Petitions are not as effective as personal messages and hard copy petitions, so if you can, use them all!

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By KDelphi, May 21, 2009 at 10:22 pm Link to this comment

Louise—You, yourself, seem to have plenty of time and energy for telling people to stop pointing out what is wrong. I could tell you what I would do, but, you would just “yell”.

If you want to waste time “lobbying” Congress, as you always put it, go ahead. I dont think that your vision of the US is nearly the same as mine anyway.

You are assuming that people are just “liberal Democrats”, who would like nothing better than to have a Clinton in the WH.

You could sign that petition for transparency, or, work to put Third Party candidates in office, or, work for another party altogether, but, nah.
Havent you been “working within the Dem Party” all of your life?
Arent you sick of waiting for them to “change”? Wouldnt you like to see some REAL change before you die?

I would. And I am no longer willing to support the lesser of two evils.

“And I repeat again, “as usual, we are mad at the wrong people about the wrong things!” (I would disagree)“Oh yeh, that’s a good way to win. Maybe that’s why Rummy never got his fight right” (???)

The Democratic party has plenty of good, censored websites…just go to the Party website…

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By Louise, May 21, 2009 at 3:16 pm Link to this comment

If anyone cares to look, you’ll find I gave a fairly accurate account of BlackRock in my first post. I don’t think I ever stated the BlackRock “nonsense” was nonsense, or to question it was simply Obama bashing. The one thing I did point out was this isn’t news. BlackRock has been “managing” the “bailout” since last October!

I make no apologies for having said ...
“OK, I know, it wasn’t just the repubs, but at that time, they WERE the majority in the Senate, so it does look a bit suspicious, although you can’t find a repub today who will admit they voted for the TARP.” ...
Because that’s true. None will admit having voted for, or supporting the bailout. But then none will admit having supported Bush and Cheney either. Which is pretty remarkable when you think about it. Must have been those mysterious little green men.

So having said that, I understand the frustration felt by so many who feel we should be seeing things done differently. I also understand the frustration of not having my candidate elected. Been there, done that. But I have to say, had I spent endless hours pointing out everything wrong, every day, forever, I suspect I would have burned out years ago. I certainly never would have survived eight years of Bush. Come one guys, I’m really sick of hearing what’s wrong. I know what’s wrong! So, can any of you come with a practical, workable, suggestion leading to a solution?

Throw the bastard(s) out is not a solution, it’s a sentence.

I repeat, and will continue to repeat CONGRESS is the only avenue, short of civil war, we have to make what we want to happen, happen! I’m to old to fight a civil war. Besides, since we all seem quite incapable of doing anything but yelling at each other about who’s the rightest about being the wrongest, or something like that, we would never win. We’d be to busy fighting with each other about who the enemy is! Duh ...

And I repeat again, “as usual, we are mad at the wrong people about the wrong things!” Oh yeh, that’s a good way to win. Maybe that’s why Rummy never got his fight right.

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By KDelphi, May 21, 2009 at 3:04 pm Link to this comment

Here is what it says, which might help gain some “Dem” signatures…(Grayson)

“..The net effect of recent actions has been to isolate financial policy-making entirely from democratic input, and allow the Treasury Department to leverage the Federal Reserve’s balance sheet to spend money it cannot get appropriated from Congress. The public does not know where trillions of its dollars are going, and so has no meaningful control over the currency or this unappropriated “budget”. The extraordinary size of these lending facilities combined, the extreme secrecy, and the private influence is a dangerous seizure of Congress’s constitutional prerogative to appropriate public monies and control the currency.

An audit of the Federal Reserve may not be sufficient to control this sprawling system or bring it back into balance, but it is a start. The public has a right to know to whom the US government is lending trillions of dollars. Dancing around this issue with technocratic terms like ‘increasing liquidity’ and ‘private financial intermediation’ is preventing a full and long overdue public debate on the role of the Federal Reserve and the influence of private banking interests in the governing of our economy.

I encourage my colleagues to support H.R. 1207, so that we can bring some transparency to our banking system and allow the public to have a real debate over the fundamental direction of our nation’s political economy.”

I will also sign the petition to try to get Kucinich to support it , over his Bill, HR7260. They would just compete. Which I will not try to find the website for now, as my browser keeps crashing. My pc is just too old for some of these websites.

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By KDelphi, May 21, 2009 at 2:55 pm Link to this comment

Here is the website (gawd! lol) and a full description…I signed it.
http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/

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By KDelphi, May 21, 2009 at 2:52 pm Link to this comment

the petition , with a summary , is at the site, but, I want to see the bill..cant seem to find it anywhere, and, dont know whether kucinich is advocating another bill just because Paul is GOP or what…it doesnt say WHAT they want to do…abolish the Fed? Make it more transparent? Make them stop printing money? What?

Maybe my browser just wont open it…

sorry

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By thebeerdoctor, May 21, 2009 at 2:47 pm Link to this comment

re: Amon Drool

http://www.campaignforliberty.com/campaigns/auditthefed.php.

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By KDelphi, May 21, 2009 at 2:46 pm Link to this comment

Amon Drool—I cant seem to get my browser to open the naked capitalism website…anybody able to get a link? Lemme try grayson…

garth, no its not ‘just you”,. but lew rockwell gives me the creeps. when it is tilted towards one party of the other to much, I want to read it first.

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By garth, May 21, 2009 at 2:43 pm Link to this comment

KDelphi,

I signed the petition.  I am digusted with all this violence and greedy nonsense.  I think that the government should be thrown out of office, Democrats and Republicans, and the ones who are responsible for this economic mess as well as for the torture at Guantanamo, Bagram, and Abu Graib should be thrown in jail for a long time.
For those special people living in the gated communities far from the madding crowd, the oligarchs, they should be paid a visit, a la Czar Nicholas, and shown the way to their wine cellars. Every last one of them.
But that’s just me.

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By Amon Drool, May 21, 2009 at 1:44 pm Link to this comment

kdelphi…u can find grayson’s letter to his fellow house dems at the naked capitalism website in yves smith’s “a call for greater accoutability of the fed” post.  grayson provides a summation of hr 1207 and a link to the petition is also provided.  i know little of rep grayson, but i gotta say, his letter is pretty impressive stuff.

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By KDelphi, May 21, 2009 at 1:08 pm Link to this comment

Amon Drool-I must say, I cringe when I see the name Lew Rockwell, but, here is the link to the petition. I agree with Paul on this one, and, the antiwar initiatives, but not much else. Stils, as we are, we face the worst of both worlds.

Socialism for thme (as I think there should be for everyone) and Capitalism for us. Its bullshit.

Here’s the petition site:http://www.thepetitionsite.com/2/The-Federal-Reserve-Transparency-Act

I am waiting to read the entire bill (when I can find it, not on Paul’s site because it loads cookies on my browser), before I sign….

Here is a petition someone drew up to present to Rep Kucinich, asking for his support on Paul’s bill…:

http://74.125.47.132/search?q=cache:HMu_8hnNho0J:files.meetup.com/1292406/HR 1207 Petition.doc+Petition+for+HR+1207&cd=6&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us

This is why Kucinich has a competing bill.

“Don’t let Big Media chose who will best represent us as a nation, choose the candidate that best supports you.

Kucinich 2008

——————–

Note to Ron Paul supporters: I know the Federal Reserve is very important to you all, as it should be for everyone. I want to let you know you have a natural ally with Dennis Kucinich. Lets hope for a general election between these two honorable men and then let the people decide.”

Added: November 19, 2007
Also, “Kucinich Introduces Legislation”

http://www.commondreams.org/newswire/2009/05/15-10


He proposes HR 7260…maybe they can work out a compromise? Maybe Lew Rockwell scares Kucinich also? lol..I am still trying to find the entire bill…maybe on Paul’s site? I cant go there or my browser says, “out of memory, line…blah, blah, blah”

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By KDelphi, May 21, 2009 at 12:15 pm Link to this comment

thebeerdr—“This makes the denials of the participants even more appalling. The people in charge at these firms claim, not unlike much of the political leadership, that they were simply along for the ride and had no idea that the vehicle they were traveling in, was actually stolen.”

Good points!! Thanks, garth. I would do a long post on it, but, I would probably be biased, being all lower class and all now…coming soon to a suburb near you…lol. I hate to see it, but, supporting the bourgeouis has become an exercise in masochism for the lower classes…

(Louise is continuing from another thread, basically…poor Pres. Obama, only the most powerful person in the world—I’ll bet he really cares what we say on truthdig)

Louise says, “Oh well, so did McCain.” I DO NOT GIVE A RAT’S ASS! I HATE MCCAIN EVEN MORE! Gawd! Is it totally inconcievable to you that someone supports NEITHER?! I have seen people suggest this to you over and over, and, you fall back on, well, must be GOP…I HAVE NEVER BEEN MORE PROUD TO BE A SOCIALIST!NOTHING that Pres. Obama , or the Dems, or even Sanders has done, or tried to do, even approaches Socialism, because that would mean more equality and the Dems couldnt raise $1 billion for their campaigns next year.

“..the “experts” as did most of us. How many of us anxiously watched the Stock Market hiccup when so few of us actually have stock? How many of us gobbled up every comment by every expert provided in every newspaper and on every TV channel everyday, long before even THEY understood what had happened?”

Not me. I never trusted those guys and have almost no interest in the stock mkt, which no one in my family has any stake in anymore at all. I think we should close the stock mkt. and turn it into a low income housing condo complex.

As it is , I support about two people in Congress—Kucinich and Sanders, and, only partially, and, only , sometimes. You will never get it . You are a diehard Dems. Fine. Even a dead fish can go with the flow.

The “‘Merkin Dream” is a greedy nightmare. The motto of Ohio used to be “Progress is not a dirty word”, but, if not the word, the state sure as hell is now, where Taft et al sold us down the burning Cuyahoga River, with Bill Clinton’s permission.

I AM SICK TO DEATH of both parties…Louise ,so stop acting like I’ve ever said I supported the GOP.
I posted an article from Dandelion Salad yesterday, asking “what is the difference”. Please. Tell me. What is so “changed”. GITMO? Iraq, which we already signed a treaty to leave, and, we may stay longer, ala Clinton? the plan to “buy insurance from open mkts”? Gun laws? Abortion? Gay marriage?

The Dems are scoring about a zero on them all.Just like the GOP. Betterthanbush betterhtanbush betterthanbush. The new Democrat rallying cry~! He has set the bar so low you will be satisfied with anyone…

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By Amon Drool, May 21, 2009 at 12:02 pm Link to this comment

representative alan grayson has sent a letter to his house democratic collleagues.  the letter encourages his fellow dems to support ron paul’s hr 1207 “federal reserve transparency act.”  i realize many TD’ers are sceptical of the libertarian position.  but on imperialism and banking, we can join hands with most of them.  anyway, there’s a petition floating around the net that can be accessed thru the “naked capitalism” website.  i tried getting to the petition thru j. hamsher’s firedoglake, but no go.  the petition encourages house dems to support paul’s bill. n. klein, willliam black, r. kuttner, j. galbraith, dean baker, yves smith have all signed.  no magic pill with this bill, but at least a step in the right direction.

(i really have to learn how to post links one of these days.  could someone with that simple skill, post a link to the petition)

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By rollzone, May 21, 2009 at 11:31 am Link to this comment

hello again. agreed politicians are puppets of problems; our democratic republic will not fail: capitalism must be eliminated from our politics. PACs, special interest groups,: bribers must be relegated to token $1 contributions, that express intent; without being allowed to buy their minority will. capitalism in politics as we now experience it in no way reflects the spirit of the founding fathers: many whom were quite wealthy; brought up of far nobler character; incapable to conceive present realities. my apology if this drifted off topic.

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By thebeerdoctor, May 21, 2009 at 11:18 am Link to this comment

I may be incorrect on this, but Truthdig comments are suppose to be a forum where people are encouraged to think, and share their ideas with others, who may or may not agree. For example on my own web sites, if someone reads an article I wrote and does not like it, and proceeds to post a comment why. I never delete the comments that are critical. If a person does not like something, they are just being human, and is that not our respective function?
Which brings me to this BlackRock nonsense. Those who question the wisdom of putting this firm in charge of public money, have simply been dismissed as “Obama bashing” folks who are simply unhappy. Isn’t that a rather lame response? People who have spent hours researching these topics are written off because many of the facts discovered are not very pleasant. In that case, articles by Jeremy Scahill, Matt Taibi, and Noam Chomsky, can be easily dismissed because these writers have an anti-Obama agenda. Even Howard Zinn, who stands as a living witness to the shit storm that occurred in the south during the 1960’s, questions the motives of President Obama, even though he clearly supported the idea of him becoming the next president. But I guess the alternative historian MUST have an anti-Obama agenda?
But since Truthdig is suppose to get at the facts if possible, and the readers are suppose to decide what to make of it, I offer this link concerning Obama’s pick to run the newly revamped up Af-Pak war. Perhaps the people who use the Obama bashing excuse, will read this and actually think for themselves.

http://www.tomdispatch.com/post/175074/the_pressure_of_an_expanding_war

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By NABNYC, May 21, 2009 at 10:44 am Link to this comment

We have rules and we have laws, and they are mostly self-enforced.  Most of us are taught while young that we need to take turns, share, be fair, don’t lie, cheat, or steal.  We are therefore predictable in our behavior.  If some criminal wants to anticipate how most of us will act or react, they can do so based on the assumption that most of us follow the rules and laws.

We select and appoint people to enforce the rules and laws, and to protect our constitution and our society.  But they no longer do that.  At some point along the way, they sold out.  Now our Congress consists of extremely wealthy people who spend all their time, every single day, soliciting and accepting bribes to sell their vote, and misuse their position and influence for the benefit of rich people, corporations, and even foreign nations.  It is treason.

Because the rules and laws are no longer enforced, the criminals have set up very sophisticated criminal enterprises, loansharking, fraud, drug dealing, war-for-profit, and they have stolen much of the wealth of the world, while the rest of us have less and less.

Since 1980, from Reagan to Bush to Clinton to Bush again, the national government has been turned into a criminal enterprise, and it is working against the people of this country.  Political party affiliation is irrelevant to the politicians except for the minor emotional issues they use to manipulate and distract the public. 

Bill Clinton told us that it was good that U.S. businesses were taking American jobs out of this country, because we were all going to be rich people, so rich we would just sit around and manage our portfolios without need of work.  Bill Clinton was paid almost a billion dollars by rich people, corporations, and foreign nations as soon as he left office.  Why did they give him that money?  Because he betrayed us, and let them proceed in destroying our country.

The rich people and corporations have looted our country and taken the money offshore, tax-free, where they sit, vulture funds, waiting to rush back in and buy up everything as soon as we are broke.  Which will be soon.  California is broke, and the Terminator is going to sell off every asset of the state, from off-shore oilwell drilling rights to the lumber, mountains, minerals, lakes—everything.  The water, the most precious resource, will likely be sold to some corporation which will then charge a fortune for a sip to a thirsty state.

There is no chance the Democrats will end the criminal enterprise known as campaign “contributions” as long as they are in the majority.  And ditto for the Republicans.  Which means it will never change.  The right-wing packed courts uphold every fraudulent business practice imaginable, and serve mostly to throw more Americans into prison for life.

I’m not sure what the public can do to stop this.  Congress is voting to arm every American, now even encouraging people to take loaded guns into our parks.  By letting the assault-weapons laws expire, they are encouraging Americans to buy and carry loaded assault weapons in their daily lives.  The saturation of our nation with weapons increases the likelihood of an “incident” that would justify imposition of martial law. 

It appears that we are in the midst of a multi-decade coup to end democracy.  I have little hope.

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By Louise, May 21, 2009 at 10:22 am Link to this comment

KDelphi,

“Obama was a senator them, and lobbied heavily for the Bailout Bill. All the Dems did. We should blame them all. If they had admitted amendments by Kucinich, Sanders, Kaptur, Sherman and others, the basterds would’ve at least had to clean up SOME of their mess…”

Oh well, so did McCain. As I recall, they both sat at the then president’s table and looked befuddled and perplexed. (as did the then president) They both knew there was a problem, but like the majority of US, they didn’t understand the complexity or the far-reaching consequences of the problem. At the risk of getting yelled at, I doubt if ANYONE at that table did! When such a thing happens, people tend to listen to the “experts” as did most of us. How many of us anxiously watched the Stock Market hiccup when so few of us actually have stock? How many of us gobbled up every comment by every expert provided in every newspaper and on every TV channel everyday, long before even THEY understood what had happened?

Even now, when there is ample evidence PROVING this calamity is largely the result of deregulation there are those who insist that’s not the problem! Hedge Funds for example didn’t even exist when the calamity of the Great Depression hit! So by their very nature went largely unregulated for decades! (which is probably what led to their creation) And, for the most part are still only loosely regulated.

We need to accept the movers and the shakers in the world of finance don’t live in the same world we live in. They simply cant feel our pain. But at the same time, we need to accept that deep down, we all long to have a life as free of need as they do.

Since birth we’ve been indoctrinated to believe in the American Dream, which all to often has been seen as the right to attain great wealth. So like it or not, we tend to put those who have great wealth on a pedestal, even though few if any of them deserve that kind of respect. Few if any of them are any smarter, or even as smart as the rest of us. They understand the nonsensical witchcraft of their closed society, but that’s about it. But we’re STILL intimidated by them - STILL allow them to believe they produce, when they are actually non-producers - STILL allow them to have un-earned value, when they are little more than the smallest collection of recipients, of the largest chunk of WELFARE our government hands out! And for as long as I can remember, ALWAYS have been! We want to see them all fall on their face, lose everything, hurt like we do. But we’re scared if that happens, everything will all fall down and in the end, we’ll all get hurt even worse!

Had “nationalize” the banks not been taken off the table, maybe now we would actually be on the road to recovery. WE, not just the bankers. But oh, no! That would be Socialist, or Communist, or Somethingist! That would be too much government, or anti-free market capitalism! In the world of Capitalist Greed and politics, such a thing as nationalizing the banks was unacceptable. If it gives comfort to the Obama bashers to blame Obama for that, so be it. But stop and think for just a moment. Was that a compromise inserted into the bill to get repub votes? How many know what their Senators position on nationalizing the banks was? How many let him/her know how they felt about it? Or were you-all, like me, still reeling from the sudden shock and not quite sure what to think, or what to do?

We’ve had a few months to stew on it, but seems to me, we’re still as unsure and divided as we were then. Excepting for the one constant - blame president Obama, and let Congress and Capitalist greed roll on and on and on - and we do. Otherwise things might be different by now. Here’s a simple challenge. Everybody telephone your Congressaurs office and ask which way the calls and letters are leaning. What constitutents are actually demanding. You might be surprised at the answer.

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By garth, May 21, 2009 at 10:09 am Link to this comment

KDelphi,

I think you have great idea to urge Truthdig to do a piece on class in America.  I think Chris Hedges would be a good contibutor to take this on.

It is a great idea.

Thanks for suggesting it.

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By thebeerdoctor, May 21, 2009 at 4:21 am Link to this comment

re: KDelphi

Found this in the archive, I do not know if you have ever seen it. If you have, please pardon my redundancy:

http://thebeerdoctor.newscloud.com/2008/11/17/the-comfort-of-disbelief/

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By garth, May 20, 2009 at 5:48 pm Link to this comment

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY!
“This country, with its institutions, belongs to the people who inhabit it. Whenever they shall grow weary of the existing Government, they can exercise their constitutional right of amending it or their revolutionary right to dismember or overthrow it.”—Abraham Lincoln, 1861

from WRH

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By KDelphi, May 20, 2009 at 4:49 pm Link to this comment

thebeerdr—I HATE those guys, ala Animal House…

more on blaming the victim:

“...Yet, it’s easier to blame average consumers who ran up too much debt on their credit cards or subprime borrowers who got in over their heads. In times of crisis, our complicit media likes to spread blame around. Columnist David Brooks suggests that the big unanswered question of the crash of 2008 is “how so many people could be so stupid, incompetent and self-destructive all at once.” ( http://www.nytimes.com/2009/01/16/opinion/16brooks.html.) But everyone is not to blame.  Not this time. Financial free markets failed. Free-market ideology failed. Firms that are too big to fail, failed (while profiting all the way until they raided the Treasury.).  Let’s hope our memories don’t fail as well. ...”


Wall St. and the Media Are Trying to Make Us Forget Who Started the Financial Crash

By Les Leopold, AlterNet. Posted May 20, 2009.

http://www.alternet.org/workplace/140123/wall_st._and_the_media_are_trying_to_make_us_forget_who_started_the_financial_crash/

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By rollzone, May 20, 2009 at 3:43 pm Link to this comment

hello. a subsidiary company of b/a //blackrock buys the toxics with fresh printed tax dollars, and thereby relinquishes the parents: as they funnel out all the good dollars; declare uncollectable the remaining debts; thereby the only losers are the little investors- i do not see the problem here. this is THE bank of America we are looking at. they are able to make money. they are not the little depositors that get their little loans that will have to pay for all this- they are a business. shareholder responsibility- too big to fail.

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By garth, May 20, 2009 at 1:41 pm Link to this comment

This part of the article just verifies what Galbraith said about this deal.  They will get to rifle through the assets and direct the valuable stuff to cronies and leave the worthless paper for us.
——————————————————-

The New York Times: “Can a company that is being paid to price and sell troubled assets for the government buy the same kinds of assets for private clients without showing preference? And should the government seek counsel from a company whose clients stand to make or lose billions if those policies are enacted?”
———————————————

Is anyone going to say or do something? 

BTW, how’s Obama doing? 60% favorability still?

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