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No Banker Left Behind

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Posted on Feb 23, 2010
Treasury Department
AP / Evan Vucci

The statue of Alexander Hamilton, the first treasury secretary, stands in front of the Treasury Department in Washington.

By Robert Scheer

They do have a license to steal. There is no other way to read Tuesday’s report from the New York state comptroller that bonuses for Wall Street financiers rose 17 percent to $20.3 billion in 2009. Of course that is less than the $32.9 billion for bonus rewards back in 2007, when those hotshots could still pretend that they were running sound businesses. 

The economy is anything but sound, but you would hardly know that from looking at the balance sheets of the big investment banks. The broker-dealer firms on Wall Street made a record profit, estimated at greater than $55 billion by the comptroller, and the only thing holding back even more grotesque bonuses was concern over criticism from a public that was hardly doing as well.

The enormous rewards last year come not from their having righted the ship of finance by lowering the rate of mortgage foreclosures for ordinary folks, one of four who are now “underwater” on their loans. Consumer confidence this month is the lowest in 27 years, and unemployment is expected to hover near 10 percent for the next two years. No, they get bonuses because the Federal Reserve, backed by the Treasury, bought the toxic mortgage securitization packages that Wall Street banks were left holding. They, and they alone, were made whole.

The way the scam worked is that the Treasury deposited taxpayer dollars with the Federal Reserve, which in turn purchased a whopping $1.25 trillion in toxic mortgages. That’s the figure after the Treasury on Tuesday committed to depositing $200 billion more with the Fed to increase spending on this program—one that was ostensibly designed to increase credit availability to small businesses and others but has hardly accomplished that goal. Credit is still very tight because the big financiers have used the low-cost cash they received from those charitable government programs to solidify their own positions through acquisitions and the like. 

Call it the “no banker left behind” program. While this plan didn’t keep people in their homes, it did wonders for Wall Street profits. To be accurate, it’s mostly the big bankers who reaped the rewards, for, as the FDIC reported Tuesday, the list of smaller banks throughout the country faced with default is growing longer. The big financial conglomerates, which have come to be covered by the FDIC under questionable circumstances, benefit from that arrangement, but they are hardly the ones hurting. The victims are primarily the smaller traditional banks that played by the rules but were overwhelmed after the housing market became dreadfully corrupted.

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The number of banks on the FDIC’s “problem list” soared from 252 at the end of 2008 to 702 last month, and the government’s fund to insure depositors fell to minus $20.9 billion. The source of the problems for those banks is the sorry state of the housing market, with the number of loans that are more than three months overdue at the highest level in the 26 years that such records have been collected. Those hurting are mostly smaller banks, which are paying for the havoc in the housing market that the Wall Street giants created with their collateralized debt obligations (CDOs) and credit default swaps (CDSs). Those mysterious financial innovations meant turning the housing market into a grand casino using people’s homes as chips, with the Wall Street crowd holding all the high cards.

Yet when the crash occurred, it was not those who designed and sold the toxic packages that suffered but rather the individual homeowners whose mortgages had been put into play. They and the smaller banks were still playing by the old rules, which meant that houses were presumed to be worth the money loaned on them. But there was no such disadvantage for the brokers, who would convert those mortgages into stock bundles. They had succeeded in getting the U.S. Congress, at the end of 2000, to exempt those CDOs and CDSs from any regulation.

This debacle was the accomplishment of the Commodity Futures Modernization Act, pushed through Congress during the last years of the Clinton administration by former Goldman Sachs honcho and onetime Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin and his protégé and successor, Lawrence Summers, now the top economic adviser in the Obama White House. The intent was, in Summers’ words, to provide “legal certainty” for those CDO investment gimmicks, meaning no regulator could look to see what was inside the packages. We still don’t know, although we taxpayers now are on the hook for 1.25 trillion dollars’ worth of them.

Can’t say it didn’t work out for the folks at Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan Chase, where total average compensation was up last year by 31 percent. How did you make out?

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 ardee, February 28, 2010 at 9:14 am Link to this comment

John Ellis, February 27 at 3:22 pm #

ardee:
“I am a union member,
drive a tractor trailer for a living,
and hardly qualify as enslaving anyone.”

If above poster has the intelligence to drive a loaded semi down the highway at 75 miles an hour, then he most certainly is of the intelligent middleclass, having a college level ability to achieve.

I have the intelligence to drive that vehicle at the speed limit, which, here in California, is fifty five. But ,more to the point, oh poster of seemingly irrelevant and personalized, as well as off track opinion , which of the blue collar avocations do you consider not middle class? Plumbers, carpenters, horticulturists maybe, or only mine workers possibly?...It was my impression that the term itself, “middle class” referred more to a level of income than IQ.

Wiki sidebar:
The middle class are any class in the middle of a social schema. In Weberian socio-economic terms they are the broad group of people in contemporary society who fall socioeconomically between the working class and upper class. In Marxist terms, middle class commonly refers to either the bourgeoisie before or during capitalism[citation needed], or some emergent new class within capitalism. In common parlance middle class refers to a set of culturally distinct contemporary Western cultures that emphasise sedentary consumerism and petty property ownership within capitalism.
(more juicy stuff there should anyone be interested)http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Middle_class

Whereas my laboring class, the 50% without 12 years of education, we are a class that has been erased from the memory banks of upper 50% who have great jobs, terrific homes, deluxe healthcare and a fat 401k plan invested in our defense economy.

Hmm, so you claim that fifty percent of the populace falls in a category that is defined by its failure to graduate high school? I find the lack of linkage to any demographic datum supporting this conjecture caused by an inability to actually find such support. I would note here that I agree that this lower class, most in need, finds no support and labors in silence.

While those on the bottom of our economic stratum might see those above as leading luxurious and idealized lives I think they are much, much less that fifty percent. Those entrenched within the middle class might speak to the current struggles with upside down mortgages, disappearing employment, uncertain futures and the rest of the nightmares brought down upon all but the top one or two percent of us by our unresponsive and elitist government. Further ,all statistical evidence points to a shrinking of that middle class, so, John, if you wait a few years your preposterous numbers might actually become more accurate and less made up.

In the last election for example, not one word about there being a laboring class or the rich, just the middleclass and the poor.  No laboring class hard labor generating all the wealth, no investor class hoarding all the wealth, just a 90% middleclass and a few hungry and lazy poor.

Aside from the fact that,suddenly and out of the blue, the fifty percent on top became ninety and the fifty percent on the bottom became ten, there is the germ of truth within this final paragraph…blind pig finds acorn.

More datum germane to the topic:
http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m4021/is_n10_v18/ai_18722956/

http://crookedtimber.org/2003/09/29/demographics/
a great site for those who wallow in intellectualism

http://economicedge.blogspot.com/2009/05/damning-demographics.html

To those who think this conversation unnecessary I think it very important. If we are to alter the face of America for the better we first must understand that face. Further, a revolution ,whether peaceful or not, will come from the middle and lower class.

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By Clash, February 27, 2010 at 10:00 pm Link to this comment

John Ellis;

“The disease as I perceive it is not in our culture or customs, but in a war between givers and takers.

Most feel we deserve to live, while a few grasp the reality that we all deserve to die.”

But this is the disease of your culture and your customs, a faith that has you you believe all should be made dead, while life surrounds you, this is your inheritance but you do not have to accept it. This is why they succeed.

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By Clash, February 27, 2010 at 4:15 pm Link to this comment

John Ellis;

While it seems a simple thing to do, to elect politicians that would not be already owned out right would not be easy bordering on the impossible at this point.

If your second point, and I am only assuming, is that one ism could be traded for another and that this would make life better for all, I would have to disagree. While it may seem to treat the symptoms of this diseased culture of death, you would find the outcome the same.

The dominant culture has existed far to long,is thoroughly entrenched and will not give up any thing that it believes to be it’s property,this include us.

The question I propose to you is this. Do we continue to struggle within the confines of the diseased culture( off to Iran or Venezuela)as it crashes, or do we seek out and step off in another direction?

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By TAO Walker, February 27, 2010 at 2:33 pm Link to this comment

Further down on this thread general jinjur seemed to recommend exploring “....the process of individual citizen participation (in the political system)....,” evidently with a view toward discovering whether there might be something available in it (short of armed revolt) with even a GhostDancers’ chance of turning The-Situation into something less devastating for the more-and-more miserable half-lives of ‘ordinary people.’  The “point” this Old Indian offered in-response was not really a “criticism,” but rather an observation, yet another variation on the oft-repeated ‘theme’ of “individual”-ity itself being nothing but an artifact of the same CONtraption the daily operations of which general jinjur and many others here are lately finding so….well, so increasingly difficult to go-on-living-with.

In-other-words, and not to put too fine a “point” on it, “individuals” are dead-meat by-design, and no matter how large any random collection of them might get, they haven’t the organic capacity even to affect the direction of the eCONomy (which is the ‘operating system’ for the “civilization” process/program/apparatus), let alone fend-off the damned thing’s built-in meat-grinder effects on theirownselfs….and, of course, on their loved-ones.  So the only real HOPE! for our captive Sisters and Brothers to have any real CHANGE!, is to get out of it altogether….which is where The Tiyoshpaye Way comes in.

There’s no denying, though, that liecatcher’s doubts (about the extreme difficulties homo domesticus faces in kicking their addictions to comfort and CONvenience and a huge variety of other ‘designer drugs’) are well-founded.  Except that the loss of all these degenerative distractions is inevitable and immanent anyhow….no matter what the junkies do or don’t try. 

So this Old Savage is here suggesting that, despite all (carefully-CONtrived-by-their-captors) appearances, there is a viable alternative, that it is in-fact the given Way of Humankind within the Natural Living Arrangement of our Mother Earth, that it is NOT some “commodity” to be bought by prostituting their make-believe selfs in some thieves’ “market”.  It is, instead, the essential essence and nature of their very Humanity….from which they are at-the-moment cut-off by a smothering web of illusion spun by their tormentors for the same self-serving purposes that the domesticated peoples keep cattle in corrals and pigs in pens….for just a couple of obvious and familiar examples.

This may seem to most of ‘em to be an unnecessarily harsh description of the condition their CONdition is in.  So chances are they’ll shy-away from it in institutionally-induced disgust, and reject it out of “individual” false-pride….thus throwing-away the last link to their own Human Nature and CONdemning their selfs to….well, to a lethal dose of whatever ‘poison’ they care to name.  So be it.  That’s completely outside our Native area-of-responsibility, anyway. 

Nevertheless, us surviving free wild Peoples would welcome any help we can get, as vital components in our Mother’s natural immune system, from as many of our currently co-opted Cousins as can get loose from the DEAD END “civilization” device.

HokaHey!

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By ardee, February 27, 2010 at 8:43 am Link to this comment

John Ellis, February 25 at 10:51 am #

ardee:
“It is just far too easy to blame others,
throw up ones hands and walk away.”

No, for you are of the intelligent middleclass and part
of the 51% majority that enslaves my laboring class.
*************************************

Oh ,I forgot to include, along with throwing up ones hands and walking away the fact that some , that would include you, Mr. Ellis, are driven mad in the process.

By the by, scary guy, I am a union member, drive a tractor trailer for a living, and hardly qualify as enslaving anyone…I think, frankly, that you are entombed within your own mind…really scary scenario.

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By D.R. Zing, February 26, 2010 at 10:25 pm Link to this comment

@ ocjim

Thank you for replying.

Never underestimate your opponents. 

If you haven’t already, do check out Shock Doctrine:  The Rise of Disaster Capitalism by Naomi Klein. 

You can bet our elected officials already understand what’s in that book, if not intellectually, then intuitively when they review their campaign contributions.

Friedman economics thrives on disasters and destruction—and it rules regardless of which party is in power.

The only way Friedman economics can continue is for massive numbers of middle class Americans to become lower class, to take low wage jobs, to not have a pension, to not have savings—all of that money must go to the rich.

Americans politicians know this fact.

Obama demonstrated his own awareness when he continued the Bush bailout instead of implementing an American get-the-hell-out of Iraq, of Afghanistan, of an unsustainable energy policy, of an unsustainable economic policy—an American bailout for American taxpayers, homeowners, and churchgoers who have been conned into believing that attacking each other and their own government will save them from ruin.

It will not. We have a system of government built for us that can work for us if we make it work for us.   

It’s been this bad before for different groups:  African Americans, factory workers in the nineteenth century, women—to name a few—and they all persevered to make things better for themselves.

What’s different now is we have tens of millions of Americans whose economic and political rights have been stripped away while we bickered about abortion, gays, flag burning and our government stayed in a permanent state of war that allowed politicians to intertwine disaster economics with a shockingly insane foreign policy and hide it all under the veil of national security. 

All of this was accomplished as Americans were inundated with trivial, edited-for-children bullshit that passes for television news and brilliant brainwashing known as television marketing. 

We can change things.  But it won’t be easy.

For us, the first step is to break up the television networks that are brainwashing us, force them to give free airtime to congressional and presidential campaigns, which would go a long way in stopping politicians from prostituting themselves to the corporations that are plundering us and the world.

The next step is to vastly curtail the ubiquitous marketing campaigns that we now blithely allow to brainwash our children into becoming mindless, shallow, pathological consumers—and I count myself as one of those consumers.

Any American born after the advent of television, which for the first time in history reaches into our homes with audio and video and sells us all a line of bullshit from cradle to grave, is likely to have been hoodwinked into becoming a consummate consumer fool who sells his future to obtain the latest shiny trinkets. 

Very few question how bad marketing is for children and the adults they become. 

But look at the politicians we have now, what fools they are for money, and you can see the majority of them were suckled on the teats of television marketing and weaned on the pacifier of television news.

As we all were. 
We are all fools to a degree.
But that doesn’t mean we have stay fools our entire lives. 

It will take time to undo this mess.
But we can do it.

Click Edit, click Undo.

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By Clash, February 26, 2010 at 9:52 pm Link to this comment

John Ellis;
I included those you point out,(1) Corporations (owned by high high society)(2) military complex(though the high high society there moves back and forth between the corporation and the military service) (3)the fourth estate ( again mostly a corporate affair) (4) The administrative ( then again just appointed by the corporations) (5) The judicial (all just appointees of the administrative) (6) The representative (wholly owned subsidiary’s of the corporations). Oh well maybe there is just one branch of government criminals, who knew?

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By liecatcher, February 26, 2010 at 8:44 pm Link to this comment

To TAO Walker

When the story broke about Goshen College (printed
below), I thought of the following:

From the Yahoo ask a question venue:

“Why is the tiyoshpaye, the extended family, so
important to the Lakotas? What does it do?”
Best Answer - Chosen by Voters

“In the Lakota language the word, “tiyoshpaye,” names
that basic arrangement of humankind able to
engage beneficially and sustainably with its
“habitat,” and to propagate itself healthily over
generations.”

* By keeping the family together, it keeps the family
unit strong.
* Extended family helps to pass down culture,
traditions and skills.

Isn’t it impossible for the people your are inviting
to join your culture
, i.e., The Tiyoshpaye Way,  to give up materialism &
respect mother earth?

GOSHEN STORY
CT, Sun., Feb. 21, 2010
GOSHEN, Ind. - For more than a century, there was no
playing of “The Star-Spangled Banner”
at Goshen College — a small Christian college with
ties to the Mennonite Church.

That’s about to change. For the first time in the
school’s history, Goshen College will play
an instrumental version of the national anthembefore
many campus sporting events.

The decision to reverse the ban on the anthem is
aimed at making students and visitors
outside the faith feel more welcome, but it has
roiled some at the 1,000-student college who feel
the song undermines the church’s pacifist message and
puts love for county above love for God.

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By Clash, February 26, 2010 at 4:22 pm Link to this comment

The government of the United State’s is controlled by 6 branches. All of them in collusion at one time. Criminal collusion, taking advantage of the ignorance they created in a populace that is fragmented beyond repair. How could the out come of this circumstance be otherwise.

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By general jinjur, February 26, 2010 at 2:05 pm Link to this comment

To Tao Walker:

Try as I might, I can’t make heads or tails of what you wrote.  It appears to be a criticism of some sort—could you be more explicit?  Thanks.

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By ocjim, February 26, 2010 at 12:56 pm Link to this comment

Wonderful, D.R. Zing.

Only one thing I differ with:
“Politicians need to be asked:

Do you really think we don’t know what you’re doing?

Do you really think you can destroy the American middle class without destroying your career?

They will mouth “no” of course but deep in their Richard the Third hearts they will feign deny what they could dare not mention:

Yes. And screw you for asking.”
My Take:
Most politicians are too stupid, compromised or focused on winning elections that they don’t know what is going on either.

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By TAO Walker, February 26, 2010 at 11:59 am Link to this comment

“They….were still playing by the rules,” Robert Scheer says here, of the just-plain-folks and their little local bankers getting the shit kicked out of ‘em by the too-big-to-fail banksters’ hired bully-boys in D.C.  Except the commonpeople were, and apparently remain, completely ignorant of the fact the (zero-sum) “money game” runs entirely on gangster rules….and the ‘basic rule’ is FEAR.

Here in Indian Country us surviving free wild Human Beings never judge bunco-artists by their cover-stories.  The only thing we look at is the actual effects of their actual behavior on our actual Living Arrangement.  On-the-other-hand, theamericanpeople are such well-trained suckers for the air-brushed image and the smooth-talked, musically-accompanied sales-pitch that they’ve been willing for generations to overlook the stench and the ugliness and the heterodyne-whine of institutionalized misery their allamerican “way-of-life” has for years been systematically inflicting on the rest of us….until today, that is.  Because (Paul Krugman’s wishfully-thinking-out-loud to-the-CONtrary notwithstanding) the world really is round, and everything americans once so slap-happily visited upon ‘others’ is coming back to fuck-over theirownselfs, in their virtual “homeland”....with a vengeance.   

So it is with a certain amount of ironic amusement that this Old Savage suggests to our tame Sisters and Brothers like general jinjur and others here, stuck in the strait-jackets of their make-believe “individual”-ity, that the ‘price’ you must pay to get free of that counterfeit CONtraption, with its ONE WAY ticket to a truly DEAD END, is to swallow your false-pride, give-up your imaginary “citizenship,” and join us here in The Tiyoshpaye Way.

HokaHey!

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By christian96, February 25, 2010 at 11:11 pm Link to this comment

Liecatcher—-Beware!  Judge not lest you be judged!
Why don’t you try catching “flies.”  You seem to be
struggling with lies!

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By ofersince72, February 25, 2010 at 8:03 pm Link to this comment

Damn John sorry for those problems…
From your side, you got a raw deal sounds like

I still don’t want to dismantle that agency because
of your misfortune with them….
Any way it was not the IRS you spoke of but a
state revenue agency

I stand by my assertion that it is the right wing
and the very rich ones that seem hell bent in
bastardizing the name of federal agency, IRS,
spilling their fear tactics to the undereducated
Limbaugh listeners.
I , on the other hand had the oppisite experience.
I had always filled out my own forms, the easy ones.
one year, a little nest egg came, plus had four
rental houses i was juggling while working a regular
job and didn’t want to mess with so took all the
papers the towns so called top CPA and let him deal
that years taxes…he did…..Three months later
the IRS sent me a check back for 3000 dollars extra
saying I missed many exemptions.
THE CPA SCREWED, AND THE IRS WAS HONEST ENOUGH
TO TELL ME.!!!!!!!!!!!!! i would have neverknown

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By calltoaccount, February 25, 2010 at 7:14 pm Link to this comment

“toxic packages” indeed—  but drenched in FRAUD that has thus far been
ignored. Only by acknowledging and pursuing this ugly but critical reality will the
govt. prove itself worthy of further trust.


“When will we learn that it’s not about politics, ideology or principle?  It’s about
the money!  But drop me a line the next time you hear any corporate or
mainstream media pro daring to talk or write about it in those terms.  Somehow,
as obvious and pernicious a role as it plays in our political process, discussing
venal motive is off limits, part of the pretense that our elected officials actually
represent the best interests of the people who voted for them (as distinguished
from those who bankroll them).”  http://calltoaccount.wordpress.com/

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D.R. Zing's avatar

By D.R. Zing, February 25, 2010 at 6:50 pm Link to this comment

Mr. Scheer,

You asked how I made out.

Well, the day job is going famously as long as I’m willing to walk in the door everyday and do the work of two people. 

The side business went in the crapper.

The book publication was postponed from July 2009 to March 2010—and I ain’t heard a damn thing yet. 

So, you know, overall I’m doing better than some but I’m still pretty pissed off.

Your column is well taken and well considered. I would suggest that future columns address our politicians directly on the assumption they know what they’re doing, but now, unlike the past, so do we.

All the wealth that can be taken from the American middle class has been taken.     

All the wealth, natural and human resources that could be plundered, stolen and raped from developing nations has been plundered, stolen and raped. 

Thank you IMF and World Bank and Milton squeeze-our-egg-sacks-harder Friedman.
 
All the credit card scams that can be pulled have been pulled.

The cradle-to-grave marketing campaign creating mindless purchasing machines otherwise known as consumers who can never have enough money because they can never have enough things has been superbly executed. 

But we can’t buy anymore because we can’t afford anymore. 

Thank you television. 

The housing bubble inflated by Alan I-always-wanted-to-marry-Ayn-Rand Greenspan blowing mysterious smoke in the nether regions of the night and its politicians has indeed burst. 

Much to Alan’s chagrin and dismay. 

The transfer of wealth from government to private enterprise constructing weapons of mass and individual destruction has occurred splendidly. 

Pity we now have to borrow money from the Chinese to keep paying for our military expertise.

The dictators who simultaneously take our money, fund us, fund terrorists, and sell us oil from the Middle East are now being attacked by a man who we wish was a crazy bastard but who seems a superior tactician if not a genius strategist.

That’s Michael Scheuer’s estimation and I’m willing to buy it by the way. 

And the guy who we wish was a crazy bastard also happens to be attacking us, knocking down our shit, generally pissing us off, and causing us likewise to piss away hundreds of billions of dollars as we rampage around the world like a recently castrated bull attacking everything in sight in a blind rage that somehow makes us feel better and somehow consoled about our recent historic testicular loss. 

Sorry for that last run-on. Will clean up the next, he said.   

All that said (and running out of remaining characters) our politicians have made a cynical and stupid deduction or two.

We Americans still don’t know what the hell is going on. 

Unemployment will have to stay at ten percent or more for the foreseeable if not indefinite future because they have squeezed the middle class egg sack for all its worth and having plundered the world for all its wealth the only conceivable way to continue enriching the rich is to eliminate the middle class now that their purchasing power is for-shit anyway.

You follow? 

Politicians need to be asked: 

Do you really think we don’t know what you’re doing? 

Do you really think you can destroy the American middle class without destroying your career? 

They will mouth “no” of course but deep in their Richard the Third hearts they will feign deny what they could dare not mention: 

Yes. And screw you for asking.

And then what? 

Hell, I don’t know.

Smoke some of that kick-ass pharmaceutical what-they-now-call medicine that’s going around.

Watch a stupid-ass episode of Live to Tell the Tale or whateverthehell synonymous insufferable crap is on the tube. 

Maybe.

Or maybe we start squeezing their egg-sacks instead.

My beautiful six-foot-two blond haired Russian friend recently asked me:  What does peace-out mean? 

I said it’s a way for young and old hippies to wish each other the best in these difficult times.

Peace out.

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By ocjim, February 25, 2010 at 6:23 pm Link to this comment

Many respondents to this piece portray bankers as beasts who prey on the people. Bankers are not beasts, they are individuals who sacrifice family, heart, soul and a few brains to attain power and wealth. The people are ciphers who participate in a game that bankers and their allies have fashioned through a leadership they pay well.

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By liecatcher, February 25, 2010 at 5:06 pm Link to this comment

No Banker Left Behind Posted on Feb 23, 2010
By Robert Scheer


@ christian96, February 25 at 1:04 pm

You are no Christian. You are a blatant fascist
spewing hatred.
You are an embarassment to millions of real
Christians, & just
a hired thug pretending to be a real person.

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By ofersince72, February 25, 2010 at 5:03 pm Link to this comment

If you consider the Green Party YOUR Party,

not to worry John Ellis,  I have been called a
coward and gutless on Truth Dig…I am not voting
repub or Dem….
I can choose what indept party or no party write in

Truth Dig is a Democrat protector website where
opinions are expressed.
Every now and then they have a red alert….......

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By ofersince72, February 25, 2010 at 4:28 pm Link to this comment

John Ellis

From all your posts ,  you are the most confused
person i have ever read….You rarely make any sense\
at all….
If you are liberal ,  what do you stand for?
and it is true, 40k or less pay little taxes.
and just what has the IRS done so bad to you??????

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By Liquor Store Larry, February 25, 2010 at 4:09 pm Link to this comment

“Gentlemen, I have had men watching you for a long time and I am convinced that you have used the funds of the bank to speculate in the breadstuffs of the country. When you won, you divided the profits amongst you, and when you lost, you charged it to the bank. You tell me that if I take the deposits from the bank and annul its charter, I shall ruin ten thousand families. That may be true, gentlemen, but that is your sin! Should I let you go on, you will ruin fifty thousand families, and that would be my sin!

You are a den of vipers and thieves. I intend to rout you out, and by the Eternal God, I will rout you out… President Andrew Jackson

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By Liquor Store Larry, February 25, 2010 at 4:07 pm Link to this comment

“It is well that the people of the nation do not understand our banking and monetary system, for if they did, I believe there would be a revolution before tomorrow morning.”—Henry Ford

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By ocjim, February 25, 2010 at 3:48 pm Link to this comment

In a more enlightened time, most executives would be considered embezzlers, certainly their crimes rank higher than maybe 50% of the bloated prison population, which imprisons the poor in record numbers. Many would have been charged as con-men or frauds in more egalitarian times. Republicans admire their greed and corruption like wannabees or students. Average Americans just struggle to stay afloat.

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By politicky, February 25, 2010 at 3:48 pm Link to this comment

Mr. Scheer,

Your restraint in using the term “banker” instead of what I consider the more accurate term “bankster” is to be commended.

I have no idea how we dislodge the banksters from the top of the pyramid and pry loose their paid hawk’s talons from our necks.

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By christian96, February 25, 2010 at 9:24 am Link to this comment

Adp3d——As I sent a message to you I noticed an
advertisement for Ally bank just above this aricle
“No Bank Left Behind.”  Why would Truthdig write
an article against banking yet advertise for one?
I sent the following comments to Ally bank.  That’s
one way to protest.  It won’t stop the evil practices
but at least I spoke my opinion.  I would ask anyone
reading this not to do business with Ally bank.
Thank you.

I have seen the two commericals on tv where Ally ridicules two
little girls.  I can assure you I will never do any business with Ally.
Neither will any friends and people online I can reach.  Ally epitomizes
the extant evil in business especially banking.  May God bring revenge
upon Ally for their abuse of children.

Dr. Parker
Child Development Specialist

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By ofersince72, February 25, 2010 at 8:45 am Link to this comment

The Green Party are also mostly LIBERALS.

    <><>*** I AM A L I B E R A L ***<><>

Democrats and Republicans are conservatives.

and i will never ever cast a vote for either
of those parties again !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

You may call that LIMBAUGH, I won’t run from it
like the other cowards did !!!!!!!!!

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bonito's avatar

By bonito, February 25, 2010 at 8:33 am Link to this comment

The economic situation in this country reminds me of
the song that Kris Kristofferson wrote ” Freedom is
just another word for nothing else to loose, nothing
still ain’t nothing but it is free” Maybe if we quit
accepting freedom for our wages, We would be much
better off. Freedom will not pay the mortgage, pay off
the wheels, or put food on the table but then the Elite
do not think working people need any of these things.

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By ofersince72, February 25, 2010 at 8:20 am Link to this comment

Geralam….

You get that idea from listening to American
mainstream, for lack of words..BULLSHIT, PURE BS

Truth of the matter is,
A family living on 40k with a couple of children
pay little or no taxes… In fact I know of a few
that get food stamps on top of this
(even being a liberal, don’t like this)

If you make 25k with a child dependent you actually
get all your money back plus some at the end of the
year

It is the right wing propagandist that has everyone
afraid of the IRS.  They are a good organization.
They have to collect taxes. And,  repubs are the last
to look for to get tax breaks for the vast majority
of Americans that also fall into the class of making
50k or less.
There are many, many things i don’t like about my
government that i would love to see changed
But there were many , many things that i used to
LOVE about American government that are no longer
here, mostly privatized.
I LOVE EVERY RED TAPE AMERICA USED TO HAVE
WHEN WE HAD THE MOST EFFICIENT AND COST EFFECTIVE
GOVERNMENT THAT HAS EVER EVER EVER BEEN ON THIS
PLANET FOR ITS SIZE AND POPULATION.
We have a very disgusting past in social justice
we were were working on it…they stole that from us
and put us right back to the disgusting self interest
puking all for me mentality that this country
started out as.
ASK CHIEF JOSEPH…............

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By ardee, February 25, 2010 at 3:38 am Link to this comment

John Ellis, February 24 at 11:58 am #

SOMETHING FOR NOTHING

Ardee:

“We have only ourselves to blame.”

No, for we are being victimized by the highest achievers who hoard excessive wealth and allow just enough to trickle down so that a majority of voters have great jobs and always vote center-right.

A million or so foreclosures , the loss of hundreds of thousands of jobs as well..That trickle down stuff you mention seems a bit scarce to me.

As to blame, well, we live in a democratic republic and hold elections every two years, so those in govt are there because of choices we made in the voting booth. Certainly we are far too easily tricked, and scared , and manipulated too. But, in the end, if one is to make changes one must accept responsibility. It is just far too easy to blame others, throw up ones hands and walk away.

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By liecatcher, February 25, 2010 at 12:03 am Link to this comment

No Banker Left Behind
Posted on Feb 23, 2010

By Robert Scheer

“They do have a license to steal.”

Yes they do, & it was signed,sealed, & delivered on
December 23,1913 by Woodrow Wilson. It’s the FEDERAL
RESERVE ACT giving private banksters the franchise to
control our money supply. That was the beginning of
the
end of Democracy. Ironically, Glen Beck did a recent
rank on how he hates Woodrow Wilson because he passed
the income tax law. Which Wilson signed at the same
time so that we the people would pay the interest on
the money the FED created out of thin air & loaned it
to the the government. Other central banks around the
world do the same thing & are part of a cabal that
controls the world. The BIS, BANK FOR INTERNATIONAL
SETTLEMENTS in Switzerland & the BANK OF ENGLAND
pull all the strings,& not Israel or the Zionists as
the red herring spewers like to say.
To learn more & be able to separate fact from
fiction:
YouTube - Web of Debt, The Shocking Truth About Our
Money System
Author Ellen Hodgson Brown talks about her book,
how money is created by the banks using an illusion
and
how we can fix the coming economic meltdown.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bn6mlgrG51I

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By keepyourheaddown, February 24, 2010 at 10:05 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

it’s already over for america, the only thing left is nuclear war and it’s on the way…

can’t happen soon enough…

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By adp3d, February 24, 2010 at 9:35 pm Link to this comment

Wow - I just had a brainstorm!  I wonder what would
happen if all and every one of us that has a mortgage
would not make a payment for one month, say April(in
honor of tax day).  Just what kind of message would
that send?  How would the banks handle it?

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D.R. Zing's avatar

By D.R. Zing, February 24, 2010 at 9:20 pm Link to this comment

Note for the independent party that hopefully will one day replace the Democrats or Republicans:

We desperately need regulations to drastically curtail the number of business mergers and acquisitions taking place each day. 

Big businesses are incredibly inefficient, witness Microsoft as compared to Apple, Southwest Airlines compared to United Airlines, your locally owned grocery store compared to the corporate clones. 

Regulate the banks. Curtail the mergers. Break up businesses that are too big to fail or controlling our news media. 

Ground the shitbirds.

Make that last part the party campaign slogan.

Bound to be a winner.

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By keepyourheaddown, February 24, 2010 at 8:31 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

it’s already over…

all that awaits is NUCLEAR WAR…

and it can’t happen soon enough…

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By gerarlam, February 24, 2010 at 7:54 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Poor america

You look like a country occupied by a foreign power.

The IRS seems to be the bully that keeps the people in line.

It looks like there are many things detrimental to the ordinary people in your country. Why does it keep on going that way?

We hear all the time that Isreal really governs the United States of America. Is that true?

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By bear in woods, February 24, 2010 at 7:44 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Fear not my fellow Americans…The bonuses paid out will surely trickle down to us, patience, that is the key…Ah, the magic of an unregulated market.

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By ofersince72, February 24, 2010 at 5:48 pm Link to this comment

We need to quit talkling in terms of economic
systems…
and start talking in terms of employment systems.

screw all the terminolgy,

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By ofersince72, February 24, 2010 at 5:36 pm Link to this comment

How about writing about some responsible job creation
legislation…..not a highways bill, everytime since
forever we need job….boom,...more highways

Why don’t the Dems do this

put through a bill that requires all imports
show a minimum wage and health benifits…
Bet that would produce some jobs and some manufacturing in this country….
Oh no, can’t do that….Wall Street and NAFTA
won’t allow it….

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By ofersince72, February 24, 2010 at 5:00 pm Link to this comment

We missed a really, really good chance to restructure
our way of life when Obama and Bush pulled their
communism for the rich and stole our money to feed
the pigs.

Local farming would have had to dig its self out
of government dependentcy,
Think locally would not have just a bumper sticker
We have many, many ingenious citizens in this country
whose imagiations have been stifled for many years
by our consummer junk driven society.
Many would have learned once again how easy it is
to take a ten by ten plot and grow food.
or local furniture making and trading.. many, many
local trading ideas gone..again…
Globally, trading would be mostly cultural again.
Beautiful Afgan rugs, ect.
Now we are under totalitarian rule…all we can
is complain and point fingers everywhere but back
at ourselves…..because we really like jamming a cell phone in our ear half the day, we really didn’t
want change….at least not for anyone but ourselves
and really we were just voting to keep the staus quo
for me.

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By ofersince72, February 24, 2010 at 4:46 pm Link to this comment

a good analogy that i have liked to use and will
use it again, is the anti-war demonstrations of
the sixties and very, very early seventies

they really weren’t anti-war demonstrations…
they were anti-middle class involvement

once you could buy a lottery number, or the draft
was repealed and the middle class’ sons weren’t
being brought home in caskets…all was forgotten…

That is the very same situation we have today
self interest….not social justice….
our inner cities and rural areas have had the effects
of a financial crisis for ever….it was never public
concern….who cared, Nobody…just jail em.

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By omop, February 24, 2010 at 4:37 pm Link to this comment

TO : By G.Anderson, February 24 at 6:28 pm #

      Ok, so by now, everyone should understand that the bankers got away
with it.

      Why?  This is what Thoams Jefferson is quoted as having said..

      “THE MERCHANT HAS NO COUNTRY.

    Its like the guys in Vegas proclaim ( analogy to the number of recessions,
depressions et, al in the USA )

    “If by the THIRD hand of the poker game you have not figured who the
patsy is…....you’re IT.

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By markus Kurtz, February 24, 2010 at 4:30 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

We do have snipers coming back from Bushs’ War, and I hear they are looking for
a Job!

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By ofersince72, February 24, 2010 at 4:30 pm Link to this comment

I don’t look for Sheer or Robinson to lead in any way
or any journalist that has access,  or they will
quickly be denied that access.
With no personnal contempt meant for either,
this week..Sheer rehashes the financial scam that
all already know about….He still does not label
it criminal activity to be investigated by the Just
Dept. and those responsible, from Bush to Obama
and their administrtors, the bankers the investment
firms to be jailed.
Same with Robinson
This week he comments on the health care bill which
everyone in America knows is a fraud and probably
won’t pass the Supreme Court with its mandates.

No attention that just one month of war expenitures
would clean up Haiti
or finance socialized health care. ect.
Not one them refer to these wars as resource wars
but hold to the WAR ON TERROR scare reference.
There is no responsible jounalism left except on
blogs that are just preaching to the choir.
I do agree with what Ardee said on another TD
blog….we are to blame, all of us…we allowed this
to happen over the last several decades. I certainly
am not at all the only one that saw the smoke screens
for the last three decades….however..as long as it
didn’t affect one personally, there was little protest.
Now the chickens have come to roost, it effects the
middle class too, everyones feathers are ruffled.
As I have told many through the years, your going to
wake up when it affects you and it is going to be too
late…..your rights are going to be long gone.
And that is the situation we are at today…
AND, we STILL don’t care how it affects others
like the citizens of IRAQ, AFGAN, PALIST, CUBA,
COLUMBIA, INDONES, MALYS, AND ON AND ON AND ON
Just our 401ks

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By general jinjur, February 24, 2010 at 4:02 pm Link to this comment

ps.  Free speech means access for rich people, for the rest of us it’s the opiate of the masses.

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By general jinjur, February 24, 2010 at 4:02 pm Link to this comment

ps.  Free speech means access to rich people, for the rest of us it’s the opiate of the masses.

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By general jinjur, February 24, 2010 at 4:00 pm Link to this comment

@gerard who wrote: “Why is there such a vacuum between those who could help and those who need help?

Robert Scheer, probably you could help with this obvious and important question.  Can you and others like you step out of your reporter shoes and into a more positive role by helping to make the connections that would give people access to the help they need?”

This has frustrated me, as well.  So many calls for a march in Washington to indicate how seriously some of us feel about the direction (or non direction) of our government and yet even Robert Reich who posted on Huffington Post for march clearly had no intention of actually putting himself out in front.  Where were Bernie Sanders, Dennis Kucinich (who, incidentally told people they should vote for Obama once he, himself, dropped out of the Presidential race)
and other well known people who insist they’re for the public option and/or medicare buy-in who would have had a great following if they’d shown leadership willingness?  Believe me, I would have marched but I kept seeing myself walking down the streets of Washington mumbling to myself since no one would have been with me.

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By general jinjur, February 24, 2010 at 3:59 pm Link to this comment

@gerard who wrote:; “Why is there such a vacuum between those who could help and those who need help?

Robert Scheer, probably you could help with this obvious and important question.  Can you and others like you step out of your reporter shoes and into a more positive role by helping to make the connections that would give people access to the help they need?”

This has frustrated me, as well.  So many calls for a march in Washington to indicate how seriously some of us feel about the direction (or non direction) of our government and yet even Robert Reich who posted on Huffington Post for march clearly had no intention of actually putting himself out in front.  Where were Bernie Sanders, Dennis Kucinich (who, incidentally told people they should vote for Obama once he, himself, dropped out of the Presidential race)
and other well known people who insist they’re for the public option and/or medicare buy-in who would have had a great following if they’d shown leadership willingness?  Believe me, I would have marched but I kept seeing myself walking down the streets of Washington mumbling to myself since no one would have been with me.

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By ofersince72, February 24, 2010 at 2:53 pm Link to this comment

come on bloggers

look at the cup half full

we have a committee
a famous sub-committee

on the..
Constitution, Civil Rights,  AND Civil Liberties.

see,  all is well….

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G.Anderson's avatar

By G.Anderson, February 24, 2010 at 2:28 pm Link to this comment

Ok, so by now, everyone should understand that the bankers got away with it.

The next step is why.

BECAUSE THEY OWN CONGRESS, THEY OWN IT, THEY BOUGHT IT, IT WAS A MASSIVE SELLOUT, FIRESALE AMERICA…

Let’s try to avoid, pissing contests on this one…

Face the facts, we are in a depression, not a recession, a depression, that’s getting worse by the day…and as long as the Bankers own the government next to nothing will be done for the people, and everything will be done for the crooks on wall street.

That’s while Goldman Sacks employess are buying hand guns for themselves. Because they know what’s coming.

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By gerard, February 24, 2010 at 2:27 pm Link to this comment

Comments above indicate that many thousands of people are upset and disgusted with the financial system and its corporate/government “controllers.”

Comments also indicate that people want to do something about using their Constitutional rights to make the system work more justly.

There must be people with enough financial smarts to know what needs to be done who are NOT part of the “system”. There must be ways to draw them into the country’s problems to give leadership and help so people can cooperate to do what needs to be done.

Why is there such a vacuum between those who could help and those who need help?

Robert Scheer, probably you could help with this obvious and important question.  Can you and others like you step out of your reporter shoes and into a more positive role by helping to make the connections that would give people access to the help they need?

Report this

By gerard, February 24, 2010 at 2:27 pm Link to this comment

Comments above indicate that many thousands of people are upset and disgusted with the financial system and its corporate/government “controllers.”

Comments also indicate that people want to do something about using their Constitutional rights to make the system work more justly.

There must be people with enough financial smarts to know what needs to be done who are NOT part of the “system”. There must be ways to draw them into the country’s problems to give leadership and help so people can cooperate to do what needs to be done.

Why is there such a vacuum between those who could help and those who need help?

Robert Scheer, probably you could help with this obvious and important question.  Can you and others like you step out of your reporter shoes and into a more positive role by helping to make the connections that would give people access to the help they need?

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By brhorton, February 24, 2010 at 2:24 pm Link to this comment

Expect another Economic Crash

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By ofersince72, February 24, 2010 at 1:47 pm Link to this comment

Not to worry America…

We have a permanent Select Committee on INTELLIGENCE

i am sure these intelligent critters are going
to put their intelligent heads together and lead us
to greener pastures.

And we have congress investigating fracking
I am sure frackings days are limited now

The Justice Dept. rightfully just cleared those
honorable lawyers of The Bush Admin…
I can’t imagine what anybody thought was wrong
with their memmos.. THANK YOU MR. HOLDER

Not only that….
the House has a
Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global
Warming
Just who says your tax dollars are going to waste?
spit in their eye…..the nerve.

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By Big B, February 24, 2010 at 1:21 pm Link to this comment

I have said it before, Kiddies. we are living the real life manifestation of “Rollerball” (not the crappy re-make, but the original with James Caan)

Our nation has taken the nexy logical step in the evolution of capitalism, that is the purchase of influence and thus the purchase of the government by a small group of corporatists.

The fault lies not ONLY in our philosophy, but in ourselves as well (I know beerdoc will correct me on my taking of licence with an infamous Shakespere quote) but you know what I mean. Welcome to serfdom, working class americans! It’s what happens when you elect assholes like Ronny ray-guns and slick Willy.

Save a place in the bread line for me, Comrads!

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By Phylin, February 24, 2010 at 1:21 pm Link to this comment

Robert Sheer’s article.

How To Win When You Lose

A long time ago, when first looking for work,
I found a good job in a bank as a clerk.
If I did well, I was told, and willing to learn
at the end of the year a reward I would earn.


I made my best effort, worked hard, learned to do the job fast
and to leave at the end of the day I was one of the last.
My diligence was indeed rewarded I am happy to say
with an end-of-year bonus of two weeks’ extra pay.

Those who were able to rise to very top floor
than an ordinary worker earned thirty times more.
I was told that, if in the world of banking I wanted to stay,
there was nothing at all that would stand in my way,

I decided soon after that I had been wrong
and in the world of money changers I did not belong.
But now I discover those at the top pick up so much dough
they get 360 times more than the ones down below.

There is also the loot they believe is their right
as they watch their firms’ profits vanish from sight.
When they discover they cannot get themselves out of the hole
they jet off to Washington with a big begging bowl.

Devastated at seeing his buddies in utter distress
Hank Paulson for a bail out was soon quick to press.
If he had billions of taxpayers’ dollars and given carte blanche
he would be able the economy’s haemorrhaging to stanch.

The idea that his alone should be the decision
was quickly greeted with scornful derision.
But be was given billions of dollars without further ado
to hand to the pals who were his select chosen few.

What a surprise then to discover that among those being bailed
were bankers who had most ignominiously failed.
The news soon leaked out that a very big chunk
was being handed to those whose performance was junk.

John Thain set the example with the his $35,000 commodhe
that he bought for his office, not for his abode.
Has anyone yet been able to determine
whether its seat is covered with mink or with ermine?

When Obama said a brake would be put on those the taxpayers were helping
from the banks’ C.E.Os were heard cries like sad puppies yelping.
They claim limitless recompense is indeed well deserved
or the very best talent could not be preserved.

How much talent, one wonders, what kind of brain
does it take to flush a company down a Wall Street drain?
So remember when advising your children what profession to choose
to tell them in investment banking you always win when you lose

http://www.philitics.com for more verses

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By general jinjur, February 24, 2010 at 1:20 pm Link to this comment

ardee wrote: “We the people are far too easily manipulated, whether by a supposed progressive candidate or by the far right, and, once we have been tricked into casting our ballot we are relegated to the ignore file until the next election cycle.

We have only ourselves to blame.”

What, exactly should we blame ourselves for?  Casting votes for one of the poor choices that are offered to us? 

I’m not arguing that we shouldn’t blame ourselves for some of the mess we find ourselves in, but it would be a useful discussion to go through the process of individual citizen participation possibilities to find out what, other than civil disobedience, is actually available to us to impact outcomes.

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By rolmike, February 24, 2010 at 12:21 pm Link to this comment

HERE IS PART OF A POSTING OF MINE AT THE
http://summapolitico.blogspot.com/



SEPTIMUS …THE OBAMBACY..  AT ONE YEAR PLUS SEVEN
MONTHS, 1/4th of his term, the hot air presidency,
OBAMA, PROMISE KEEPER
  a roundup of specifics ....
TO BE SUNG TO THE TUNE OF
“SMOOTH OPERATOR”
BRAND OBAMA
  STILL ROTS MY TEETH!

Severus ObamBus

At 13 of his 48 months
One fourth +  of his TERM
http://www.roman-emperors.org/sepsev.htm
More Caramel, more Sugar, Sweeter smiles, Friendlier
embraces Gentler noises
The same big shtick The same formula Different
tactics, Same Strategy that’s what you can call the
same old same old Coke
Yup, the New Coke Tastes nearly Like The Old
The Sheeples still sort of like It
they’re still drinking it up
Yes, we will be happy earning Chinese slave laborers
wages as Larry Summers nods out at the first Cabinet
meeting!
Yes we can!
Fill the gas bag with hope!
One more time
While the disenchanted sheeples
Are drinking a nasty brew of tea!


OBAMBI’S FIRST FOURTEEN MONTHS
a.k.a. the Goldman-Sachs Presidency

20+ BROKEN PROMISES
5 KEPT [sort of]
FAR MORE CONTINUITY THAN CHANGE Ought the
continuities be considered broken promises,too?
This just in: ctd. Bushies Military Commissions!!!
continues renditions
[with safeguards no less! wow!]
Bailed on not supporting the Marriage act, i.e I
can’t live in bigamous bliss with my Goat Chiquita
and Burro Durango
Mountain tops in the Appalachians ctd. to be
exploded off and ruining the stream;
continue signing statements!!!
Opposes….
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-
dyn/content/article/2009/06/08/AR2009060804117_pf.htm
l
READ THE REST OF THE DAMNING POINT BY POINT
AT:http://summapolitico.blogspot.com/

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By Gordy, February 24, 2010 at 12:12 pm Link to this comment

It’s not just an American problem - same in the UK and
elsewhere.

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By omop, February 24, 2010 at 12:06 pm Link to this comment

Is it not time for all of us to grow up and realise that we are all “serfs” of the
socalled bankers ( several of whom are foreigners ) that control the Federal
Reserve.

Why woukd the Queen of England knight Alan Greenspan a couple of years ago.

The following is a quote made by Senator George Mahone in 1957.about the
“secret ownership of the US Federal Reserve.

“I believe that if the people of this nation fully understood what the Congress
had has done to them, that they would move on Washington…..(the
establishment of the Federal Reserve) is a preconceived plan to destroy the
economic and social independence of the USA”

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By Mark, February 24, 2010 at 11:58 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Bravo (brava?) Cricket Jones!

Anybody with average intelligence and an open mind who has been paying attention already knows that the financiers, the corporate elite and the top 1% of the population, along with their lackeys in Congress, have screwed the rest of us.

Time for the Scheers of this world to move on to the next level. To quote Cricket Jones:

“For starters, less about how much loot the bank robbers got away with and more about how to fix the vault locks. Congrats for what you’ve done on Step A, we’re here to help you with Step B.”

And if I might add one more thought, spare us any further ruminations on why the current POTUS isn’t acting more forcefully, providing more leadership, using his bully pulpit to bring about the change he spoke of during the campaign, etc.

Anybody with average intelligence and an open mind who has been paying attention already knows the answer. Hint: It’s not because his advisors are giving him bad advice.

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By nemesis2010, February 24, 2010 at 10:56 am Link to this comment

Ain’t the corporatocracy grand? The ruling elite of the Empire are so confident in the complacency and docility of the domesticated American serf that they are now openly flaunting their kingly grandeur in the public’s face. There isn’t even a modicum of shame. They know that by 2015 the gig will be up and they’re pillaging and hoarding all they can before—like the rodents that they are—they abandon the sinking ship!

Will Americans ever learn that corporate capitalism, voodoo economics, trickle down theory or whatever other tag they put on it is nothing more than profit by coercion for the ruling elite and its poltroonish minions in government? 

The once feared sleeping giant is going the way of all empires and its people are now nothing more than aged, toothless, obese slobs.

While in a popular chain supermarket a few days ago, I saw a hugely obese woman feasting on a package of Oreo cookies while riding a cart to do her shopping. She wasn’t crippled; it was just a lot easier for her to ride rather than burden her legs and feet with the massive weight. The cookies were—to me—the pièce de résistance and I thought at the time; what an excellent metaphor for AmeriCorp society today!

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By bpeterson1931, February 24, 2010 at 10:21 am Link to this comment

I propose, for all tax payers, that all annual net income (including investment income, bonuses, the present value of all deferred payments, etc) up to 2 times the Presidents Wage (PW now about $400K) be subject to a graduated tax with a maximum rate of 35%.  In addition, each person could add to a retirement account with a lifetime limit of 50 times PW, and there would be no restriction on owning investments of any size.  However, any funds extracted for disposal personal use over that allowed above would be subject to the 1950s marginal tax rate of 91%. 
I have sent this proposal to my Senators and Representative a number of times asking them to explain to me the problems of living on $800K per year of net income (less 35%), a $20 million retirement fund, and control of any investments of any size.  I have never received an answer!

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RAE's avatar

By RAE, February 24, 2010 at 10:11 am Link to this comment

After these guys have stolen all the money in the world - after they have bought everything of value and control everything else - WHAT THE HELL ARE THEY GOING TO DO WITH IT?

While I abhor the actions of child molesters, rapists, abusers of all stripes, I can at least find a tiny modicum of compassion and understanding for their sicknesses.

The scum of Wall Street are beyond redemption. I would rather have AIDS than have any of them even as an acquaintance. They, collectively and individually, are the most dangerous criminals on earth. The fact that our “leadership” is clearly in bed with them makes me sick to my core.

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bonito's avatar

By bonito, February 24, 2010 at 10:09 am Link to this comment

Whenever the top three percent of the population
decide to have a recession or depression, it is the
working people, the poor, and the middle class that
suffer, certainly not the overpaid Jocks, rocks, and
movie stars.  Leading the pack must be the bankers,
brokers, and TV personalities. But above all the
fabulously rich folks that make tons of money
exploiting labor. Working people in this country as a
whole, have not had a meaningful raise in thirty
years, thanks to the efforts of the republican party,
and their Saint Ronnie the raygun. In the near
future, all the working people have to look forward
to is stagnant, minimum, and starvation wages just so
we can look longingly at our elite members of
society, and wish we were there. One alternative is
Revolution, like as in 1776, but then that would be
illegal because one of the first things Congress did
was to outlaw violent revolution. Politicians tell us
to vote for me, I will help you working folks, well
we have heard that for years, and guess what nothing
happens. Don’t look for many good paying jobs to
return, most of them were shipped to Mexico, Japan,
China, and many other countries in the world that
ship us anything and everything they make, but
restrict what we can export to them.  The two party
system is broken and no longer works, if it ever did
so in the past.

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By rudyspeaks1, February 24, 2010 at 9:58 am Link to this comment

The main fact that can’t be overlooked in this mess; the election of Obama
changed nothing. The vampire squids of Goldman-Sachs ran the nation’s money
supply under Clinton, then, when we (or the Supreme Court) changed the political
party in power, under Bush, then again under Obama. Nothing changed. The
President isn’t this ship’s captain, Goldman-Sachs is. POTUS is just the cruise
director, visible, animated, full of ideas about what we’re going to do next… but
the captain steers the ship… Can’t be said often enough; Don’t vote for the
Corporate Party (DEM/REP) ever again.

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By Robin Hood, February 24, 2010 at 9:40 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

When the government actively works to funnel the money from the poorest to the richest, you know you’re living in a fascist state.

Is it any wonder a wide majority of Americans now hates the federal government?

Billions for the bastards who’ve destroyed the country, but grandma and grandpa will be forced to choose between “Little Friskies” and “Mighty
Dog” for dinner.

Time to do a Nicolae Ceaucescu on Hank Paulson, Lloyd Blankfein and others who pose a greater clear and present danger to this country than Iran, North Korea, Venezuala, Iraq, AfPak or any other member of the so-called “axis of evil.”

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By christian96, February 24, 2010 at 9:05 am Link to this comment

The manipulation by politicans to blatantly serve
the wealthy class was epitomized by Pres. Bush’s
gifts to wall street and banking.  What use to be
covert manipulation in Washington has become quite
overt.  They don’t even try to hide their extant
evils.

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Trailing Begonia's avatar

By Trailing Begonia, February 24, 2010 at 9:02 am Link to this comment

What a disaster!  All the king’s horses and all the king’s men couldn’t put this country back together again.

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By Cricket Jones, February 24, 2010 at 8:54 am Link to this comment

Thanks, Robert. What’s required now is your same eagle eye to expose the names of specific people at the SEC, the Fed, Congress, and the White House who remain complicit with these crimes. For example, how can we entice media interviewers to ask Senator Dodds and President Obama about how their cozy COIs with banksters continue to throttle banking reform? Where are the interviews with politicians who stand in the way, and repeated pestering about the specific pieces of legislation that warrant implementation?

We also can use your sharp pen to mobilize citizen voting, much as Larry Lessig at Harvard is mobilizing voters on a Constitutional Amendment to reform campaign financing. Let’s do it!

For starters, less about how much loot the bank robbers got away with and more about how to fix the vault locks. Congrats for what you’ve done on Step A, we’re here to help you with Step B.

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Liquor Store Larry's avatar

By Liquor Store Larry, February 24, 2010 at 8:47 am Link to this comment

Last time we had trants to contend with we threw tea in Boston Harbor. This time I think we should throw the bankers themselves.

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By balkas, February 24, 2010 at 8:47 am Link to this comment

US is governed by laws, proclaim pols. Apparently not by people;neither rich nor poor.
Wonderful!Wonderful!
We are nation of laws, say congress people! And no banker is being hauled off to courts for allegedly braking any law.

Of course, pols leave out the fact that nearly all laws and the special set of laws, called constitution, cannot ever be understood, only interpreted! 

So the proper proclamation wld be: We are a nation of laws, interpreted by supremes [not dianne’s]who are appointed by WH-congress to that position.

So, i proclaim, americans are still ruled by people! The judges are called to give ruling on issues, but seems never on warfare, cia terror,health care, free higher education, right to life, right to be informed, banking, etc.

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By Aaron Ortiz, February 24, 2010 at 8:44 am Link to this comment

I despise greed, let’s keep language clear, using words for their meaning, not their
emotional impact.

Greed is not theft. it is greed, and yes. I hate it.

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Liquor Store Larry's avatar

By Liquor Store Larry, February 24, 2010 at 8:27 am Link to this comment

Someone bombed the JP Morgan Chase office in Athens and these guys wonder where guys like Joe Stack come from? When only violence remains as an option, violence is often what occurrs. God knows it couldn’t happen to nicer guys.

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By Aaron Ortiz, February 24, 2010 at 7:37 am Link to this comment

One may call the bonuses callous, unethical, selfish, arrogant, clueless, but “stealing”?

Calling the bonuses “stealing” implies property is theft and/or hatred of the rich. It
suggest wishes for anarchy or communism?

Before you ad-hominem me: I am not rich nor do I desire riches.

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By omop, February 24, 2010 at 7:31 am Link to this comment

The essence of fairness, equality , justice and a government of the people, by the
people for the people AND THE SOCIALISTS TAKING OVER AMERICA.

  Bet those folks do not worry about health reform, their homes being foreclosed,
changes in credit card interests, the price of gas, the cost of feeding a family of 4,
driving a 1992 auto and you know stuff like that.

  As Marie Antoinette put it, “can’t afford bread. Eat cake”.

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Gloria Picchetti's avatar

By Gloria Picchetti, February 24, 2010 at 6:43 am Link to this comment

Please shoot me.

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By gerarlam, February 24, 2010 at 5:46 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

In Quebec City, in the building which we call ‘’ Le grand Theatre’‘, there is a french writing on the wall Which says’’ You are not tired of dying, bunch of morons? That is enough.’‘
That is what I say to the american people to-day.

People, rise up and tell them that this has to change , or else…

Too bad, America was a model country and a land with such promises.

And now, it is a rogue country and a place for just a few.

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By christian96, February 24, 2010 at 5:17 am Link to this comment

Mr. Scheer’s last question was “How did you make out?” Thank God, I didn’t get caught up in the housing mess. I own a small house in Ohio I purchased
for $30,000 in 1986.  My youngest sister died of a
rare lung disease at the age of 53 in 2002.  Her
daughter got into a financial crisis in New Hampshire.  Since she’s 40 years old with only a
high school education she was forced to take jobs paying minimum wage.  I told her to move into my house in Ohio and I would purchase a small condo
here in Florida.  I hate winters.  I make less than
$40,000 a year on my disability from State Teacher’s
Retirement of Ohio. Last year my retirement medication plan required me to pay a maximum of $2000 a year on the 12 medications I take.  This year that minimum was raised to $3000 a year. A $1000 jump in one year. Wow.  That seemed like a lot to me.  What can I do about it? Nothing!  I am glad there are people like Mr. Scheer who understand the specifics of this banking fiasco.  I believe my
following comments on another site are appropriate
here:

  By christian96, February 23 at 2:58 am #


JDMysticDJ & Renzo—-You both are in touch with
reality to use a pun.  I haven’t watched any of
the reality programs but I get a good idea from
the commericals of the nature of the
programs.  Renzo you made reference to the Roman
Empire.  I am sure you are probably aware that one
condition of the falling Roman Empire was it’s
tendency to put more emphasis on spectacle rather
than substance.  America to a tea!  It’s sad to
see our nation with the capacity to do so much good
decay into a cesspool of selfish materialism.  However we can’t really blame the masses.  We’ve
ignorantly been conditioned by our corporate and
political leaders.  A very small miniority see what
is happening.  The masses don’t.  They daily go about
their obsession with money, movies, soap operas and
sports.  Speaking of sports the Roman Empire had a
coliseum.  We have sports coliseums in each major
city as the fans cheer and boo to baseball, basketball, football, etc.  In my opinion all violent
sports should be banned from public schools.  If I
suggested such the masses would cry “crucify him.”
Especcially Los Vegas who makes big bucks off beting
on the activites in the coliseums.  The ruling class laughs all the way to the bank as the attention
of the masses is diverted into activites such as
soap operas, movies, sports, etc.  What is going
to happen in the future?  The party is going to come
to a screeching stop when the mark of the beast is
introduced.  The rich and poor are going to be forced to choose between accepting or not accepting
the mark to buy and sell.  Those who accept will be
cast into a lake of fire.  Those who don’t will be
killed.  Not much of a choice.  At that time the
wealthy ruling class will cast their gold and silver into the streets.  I hear the train whistle blowing
in the distance.  It’s almost upon us.  Woe unto those who can’t hear the train coming down the tracks.  Decision time

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By ardee, February 24, 2010 at 3:55 am Link to this comment

A nation in which the subtleties and direction of governance are lost. We see a government focused solely upon the rich, we see a government which refuses to investigate, much less prosecute, the criminal activities of the several within the Bush administration who used our Constitution as so much toilet paper. We see a government prosecuting an unwinnable war , not for noble purpose but to ensure the profits of war.

We the people are far too easily manipulated, whether by a supposed progressive candidate or by the far right, and, once we have been tricked into casting our ballot we are relegated to the ignore file until the next election cycle.

We have only ourselves to blame.

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