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Obama Can’t Knock the Hustle

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Posted on May 17, 2012
AP/Mark Lennihan

By Robert Scheer

How did we end up with such smart scoundrels? Even after it was known that Jamie Dimon’s bank blew more than $2 billion on the same suspect derivatives trading that has bankrupted the world’s economy, Barack Obama still had praise for the intellect of his political backer and the integrity of the bank he heads: “JPMorgan is one of the best-managed banks there is,” the president told the hosts of ABC’s “The View” in an interview televised Tuesday, adding, “Jamie Dimon, the head of it, is one of the smartest bankers we got. And they still lost $2 billion and counting.”

A lesser bank would have gone under and needed to be bailed out, Obama argued: “That’s why Wall Street reform is so important.” But even when fully implemented, Obama’s tepid reforms would not have stopped this scam and will not stop the others that are sure to follow. Being one of the smartest bankers means you are among those who best know how to skirt the law or, if that cannot be done, how to successfully lobby to gut it.

Dimon understands and performs this drill well, for he was in cahoots with his mentor, Sandy Weill, in engineering a series of mergers and acquisitions that would have violated the Glass-Steagall law, which for decades had prohibited commingling investment and commercial banking. The two business executives were able to get Congress and President Bill Clinton to reverse Glass-Steagall, a change that made legal the creation of Citigroup, the too-big-to-fail bank that eventually was saved from bankruptcy only through an immense taxpayer bailout.

The best and the brightest in this case are the bane of the nation because their genius lies in outwitting all efforts to hold them accountable. Dimon, the most recent in a parade of now-disgraced Wall Street golden boys, was nonetheless just awarded $24 million in compensation for 2011 by JPMorgan. Like his mentor Weill, who ran Citigroup into derivative trading hell, Dimon will no doubt suffer little legal unpleasantness or social ostracism stemming from his dodgy behavior. Weill will soon be inducted into the American Academy of Arts & Sciences as an outstanding business leader and philanthropist. 

The fact that Dimon first rose to banking prominence as he worked alongside Weill to reverse Glass-Steagall did nothing to tarnish his reputation in Obama’s eyes. Although Dimon was instrumental in establishing Citigroup, he had a falling out with Weill and left the bank before the great crash. In his subsequent reincarnation at JPMorgan, now the country’s biggest financial conglomerate, Dimon was a major supporter of Democrats and had more access to the president than any other Wall Street leader.

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Dimon was not shy about turning to Obama, whom he had backed with campaign contributions, to complain about the Dodd-Frank regulations. With the JPMorgan CEO exercising his easy access to the president and his Treasury secretary, Tim Geithner, the new regulations concerning bank derivatives trading were rendered meaningless. What did Obama think would happen when he appointed Dimon’s chief Washington lobbyist, William Daley, who served as presidential chief of staff through 2011, when the Dodd-Frank regulations were being promulgated?

As an Associated Press investigative report documented, Dimon led the Wall Street pack in the number of personal meetings and telephone calls with Secretary Geithner while the Obama administration was calibrating its response to the banking meltdown. Dimon has been a Class A director of the New York Fed since 2007, when Geithner was president of that institution, and the two worked closely then on details of JPMorgan’s takeover of Bear Stearns with a $55 billion Fed loan. That’s in addition to the $25 billion in TARP funds JPMorgan received.

Dimon’s close ties to Obama, whom he knew well when both were based in Chicago, were at moments tested by Obama’s feints into populism, but fellow Chicagoans Daley and Rahm Emanuel, who preceded Daley as chief of staff, made it clear that disagreements between the White House and Dimon were merely rhetorical. How much more influence could Dimon have wanted than having his former lobbyist controlling the president’s schedule?

It was a charade: Dimon pretended to welcome some banking regulation and Obama responded with the weakest of reforms.

Crunch time came this past February when JPMorgan executives, including Ina Drew, the recently resigned head of the bank’s unit that was behind the billions in losses, met with Federal Reserve officials to secure guarantees that the portfolio trading that later got the company into trouble was in fact legal. That so-called portfolio hedging, which Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich., said “is a license to do pretty much anything” and violates the intent of the law, has now in fact been accepted by both the Treasury Department and the Fed as legal. As a result, there is a regulatory loophole that Levin called “big enough ... that a Mack truck could drive right through it.” Evidently one did.


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By Korky Day, May 21, 2012 at 9:35 am Link to this comment

If Barack Obama were the least bit heroic or looking to his place in history, he’d use his background in constitutional law to our benefit.  He’d be introducing constitutional amendments to make the USA a democracy for the first time, as in

http://www.demochoice.org/dcballot.php?poll=DemoRefUS

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By kathy sullivan, May 20, 2012 at 7:24 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Maybe, we’ll luck out and the world will end on December 21, 2012 and we won’t
have to face this ugly, dirty mess!

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By truthbug, May 19, 2012 at 5:57 pm Link to this comment

To JDmysticDJ:

I don’t think you understand the objection to Obama and the Dems.  The heroic efforts you attribute to them in fighting the Repugs is misplaced.  These activities only play politics within a very corrupt system, wherein no good outcome is possible, because of the tremendous polarities of the present Two Party Dictatorship. 

Instead, we need Obama and the Dems - or any other political leadership - to tell us what we already know; i.e., that our government is corrupt, and of course to provide the details, leading us out of it.  It’s nearly certain that, should Obama take such an approach, he would be elected in a landslide.  But of course he’ll never to it, simply because he’s under the sheets of corruption, and perhaps he fears too much for his life. 

It’s necessary for us to change the paradigm within which the parties act, as if to come in from outside the current political system.  This is often the function of revolution, but we’re a long way from that.  Thus, I’m very pessimistic.

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By David J. Cyr, May 19, 2012 at 4:47 pm Link to this comment

QUOTE, of (D) avatar being a painting in many shades of devious blue:

“Principled dumbasses not voting, or wasting their votes on impossible third Parties, are in fact unprincipled nihilist morons who will contribute to a horrendous catastrophe.”
_________________

The (D) dedicated corporate party apparatchiks are unrelenting in their efforts to persuade people that it’s stupid to vote for any good to be done. The deeply depraved Democrats insist that the only “intelligent” vote is to vote for every evil to be (D) done well.

Too many millions of voters believing the ill logic of the corporate party’s Democrat operatives (that good can only come from always voting for more evil) is how America became a degeneratocracy.

Democrats are always blaming a principled minority for the catastrophes created by the putrid principled Democrat majority.

The “Principles” of Liberal Voters:

http://chenangogreens.org/home/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=491&Itemid=1

Jill Stein for President:

http://www.jillstein.org

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By JDmysticDJ, May 19, 2012 at 10:38 am Link to this comment

Scheer quotes Obama from his appearance on “The View”:

“JPMorgan is one of the best-managed banks there is…Jamie Dimon, the head of it, is one of the smartest bankers we got. And they still lost $2 billion and counting.”

Writing that the above comment by Obama is an endorsement of Dimon’s and Wall Street’s activities is gross demagoguery. Scheer is playing to his audience of Obama hating moronic nihilists here on truthdig, and he is distorting reality while doing so.

Obama argued for stronger more affective regulation of Wall Street during that appearance.

WASHINGTON (Reuters):

“Wall Street reform was one of Obama’s signature domestic policy achievements, but he has faced opposition in trying to enforce it.
Obama said in the interview that he was still fighting for tough reform”

“Senate Republicans held ranks on Monday and blocked a Democratic effort to overhaul the financial system and crack down on Wall Street.
“In a 57-41 vote, Democrats fell short of the 60 votes necessary to proceed to the Wall Street bill.
One Senate Democrat, Ben Nelson (Neb.), joined Republicans in voting against the motion. Nelson had reportedly been pushing for a provision backed by Warren Buffett that would have largely exempted existing derivatives contracts from the bill’s new rules.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) immediately moved to intensify the pressure on Republicans by scheduling additional procedural votes on Tuesday and Wednesday that would open debate on the financial reform bill.
President Barack Obama issued a statement to express his “deep disappointment” that Republicans had blocked opening debate on the measure as other Democrats in the House and Senate rushed to put out statements charging the GOP with holding up the bill.”

Scheer implying that Wall Street is backing Obama is pure bullshit. The financial institutions have donated three times as much money to Romney as they have to Obama throughout 2011 and 2012. Dimon who says he is just barely a Democrat is a strange anomaly and he has been very, very critical of Obama’s attempts to regulate Wall Street. Except for 2008 when Obama was sure to win the Presidency the financial institutions historically have supported Republicans by large margins. The big money has always hedged its bets in politics but big money has always donated primarily to Republicans. Thanks to the Citizen’s United right-wing Supreme Court decision big money super packs are funding Wisconsin Republican Governor Walker 25 to1. Note your own area and you will see that the air waves will be barraged by political advertisements from super packs attacking Obama and endorsing Republican candidates. Don’t be fools - talk about people voting against their own interests. Every vote not cast for Obama and the Democrats is a vote cast for Republicans and if you believe there are no differences between the two Parties you are a complete and total ignoramus.

Principled dumbasses not voting, or wasting their votes on impossible third Parties, are in fact unprincipled nihilist morons who will contribute to a horrendous catastrophe. 

 
.

 

 
.

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By americanme, May 19, 2012 at 10:22 am Link to this comment

I am never embarrassed:

1.  Didn’t write the book.

2.  Didn’t produce and direct the film.

3.  The point, duh and double duh is that everyone living in this hemisphere in an American—not just gringos.

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By EmileZ, May 19, 2012 at 3:11 am Link to this comment

@ americanme

“Walkout”... now there’s something you can sink your teeth in.

Chicano!!!

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By EmileZ, May 19, 2012 at 2:46 am Link to this comment

@ americanme

The movie isn’t all that great. In fact it is sort of weak and stupid. So is Battlestar Galactica.

If I were you, I would be embarassed.

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By litlpeep, May 18, 2012 at 8:55 pm Link to this comment

How much evidence does it take to persuade the true-believing Obamaniacs that they are following a pathological, dangerous, and, ultimately, very sick man?

Yes, I realize Romney is in that same class.

So vote third party!  There are plenty of options.  The only way to get the Democratic Party Leadership’s attention, is to rebuke them into third party status.  They have no shame.  They pander to Wall Street bankers, and Wall Street rebukes them by throwing their re-election billions to rebloodlicans, and the stupid Democrips pander to the bankers even more!  What is sick here?

THE DEMOCRIPs Party!  Like the Rebloodlican party!

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By flaco, May 18, 2012 at 4:12 pm Link to this comment

What were you expecting from the candidate of the Democratic party establishment? All you got is another Wall Street pawn.

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By Korky Day, May 18, 2012 at 1:00 pm Link to this comment

Don’t forget that the type of ballot is the main cause of people voting for the lesser of 2 evils.  That’s why the USA’s one-X ballot is defended to the death by the Republicans and Democrats:  they know that their hegemony depends on resisting the world-wide advance to pro-rep (proportional representation) and ranked ballots.

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By truthbug, May 18, 2012 at 12:34 pm Link to this comment

Surfnow,

Let me cajole you out of your voting philosophy with the following argument. 

Your “best vote” idea is to vote for the guy who most closely matches your criteria and who has a likely chance of winning.  This is how you spend your single vote, and it is your “right action” within society, which hopefully, en masse, also lives up to this same “right action.”  We can call this approach, “pick the winner.” 

Alternatively, “right action” for society can be viewed as “each person votes according to his/her conscious.”  I contend that this latter view of “right action” is consistent with a true democracy. 

All voting philosophies are based on a view that the individual voter uses his/her vote in the best way.  Both your view and the alternative view make the same claim. 

The democracy you foster with your approach is highly political, an example of how “sausage making” works in our corrupted Congress, who routinely use such tactics.  It’s a bit revulsive, but even worse, it produces an immovable Two Party system, with neither party experiencing pressure to do the right thing.  Each party knows it’s constituency will always vote for their guy, no matter how poorly he/she performs, simply because they are voting to keep the other party’s candidate out.  Voting for a negative reason destroys democracy.  It’s a true democracy wherein citizens vote according to their conscious on who they think is the best person for the job.  Thus, in truth, you’re view of “right action” is erroneous, when viewed from Democracy’s ideals. 

You might also confront your greatest fear: that the Other Party will win.  I contend that the practical (not hearsay) differences between the two parties is so small, the resulting rejuvenat

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By americanme, May 18, 2012 at 12:00 pm Link to this comment

surfnow:

I am going to have to call you a liar.

Sorry about that.

But you are NOT a progressive.

There are NO, count ‘em—ZERO, progressives in the US.

Moreover, nobody in the US even knows what “progressive” MEANS!

A bunch of half-baked whiners promote the Way of the Wimp on these US-government financed safety valve sites like Truthdig and Common Dreams and call themselves progressives.

Gives me a pain in the ass.

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By madisolation, May 18, 2012 at 10:24 am Link to this comment

Thanks, Michael Calvin. And you’re right that neither Glen Ford nor any of the excellent columnists at Black Agenda Report would get published here. Common Dreams used to publish Ford, but I haven’t seen anything written by him in a while.
 
Reading Jones, wow, what a great idea you have: get all the independent candidates in a back room NOW, make the decision on who is going to be the third party candidate, and then every one of us should get behind that candidate. It’ll be like “trying to shove a wet noodle up a wildcat’s ass” (Ha!), but it can be done.

surfnow, you write that you’d vote for a progressive candidate in a minute “if we had one who had a chance of winning.”  What, that’s what you think citizens should do? Not vote their conscience or their cause, but just pick the winner? Seriously, I think you’re just trying to justify your vote for the status quo. You wrote:
“But until serious campaign finance reform takes place and until MSM news is decorporatized no progressive independent platforms will be taken seriously by either party.”
How do you think that will happen? Certainly not by voting for Obama. He’s at the trough right now, wallowing around like a hog in all that dirty campaign money and enjoying every promise of post-presidency favors to come his way if he’ll sell out the American people completely during his last term. And he will. And you are going to vote for such an individual?*
The least—the very least—we can do is have the courage not to vote for Obama or Romney.
*My apologies to hogs.

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By Elektra123, May 18, 2012 at 9:34 am Link to this comment

That Obama still had praise for Daimon is very revealing. He is without a doubt in bed with the banking community.
Implementing WEAK reforms is another sign that we will get more of the same in the next four years.
That Clinton got Congress to reverse Glass-Steagall is disgusting.
These two republicrats have done everything to encourage the “too big to fail” to continue to succeed, and by that I mean eventually fail again.
Adding to this outrage is the award that Weill will get - induction into the American Academy of Arts & Sciences as an “outstanding business leader and philanthropist”.
We need another FDR in the WH, someone who is as audacious and who will use that pitchfork against the banksters for the crimes they have perpetrated on our citizens, and other countries as well.
I’m for Jill Stein.

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By ReadingJones, May 18, 2012 at 8:40 am Link to this comment

Surfnow,

Which comes first the chicken or the egg? In union
negotiations over a contract you have to have a
strike vote and a group of workers who mean it.
Without that I heard an old union man say “...its
like trying to shove a wet noodle up a wildcats
ass..”

I lead my first labor negotiation at the ripe old age
of 18. We got a 15cent raise on a 75 cent base and
recognition of seniority rights. My guys were happy,

Voting for the independent is like voting for the
strike.

All the independent candidates should hold a back
room negotiation, do a bunch of log rolling and agree
on a candidate everyone can back. All progressives or
at least many of them need to stand up for whats
agreed to.

At that point you have a chance to create real hope
and change.

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By katsteevns, May 18, 2012 at 8:29 am Link to this comment

PR…dig it?!?

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By surfnow, May 18, 2012 at 8:21 am Link to this comment

I’m a progressive and always have been. And no, I’m not afraid to vote for a progressive and would in a minute if we had one who had a chance of winning. But until serious campaign finance reform takes place and until MSM news is decorporatized no progressive independent platforms will be taken seriously by either party. The numbers for an independent would have to be off the chart for that to happen. The Nader platform that brought him 7 million popular votes in 2000 meant nothing to the big parties.

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By Michael Cavlan RN, May 18, 2012 at 8:13 am Link to this comment

Madisonisolation

Thank you. Could not have put it better. Those who promote and vote for Obama and the Democratic Party are in fact supporting the more effective evil. As Glen Barr of Black Agenda Report correctly frames it.Not that Glen Barr would ever get his work published here. Too many Obama apologist articles in the way.

Sadly, the cowardice you speak of seems to be endemic in much of the “progressive” community.

We stand up, fight on and speak our truth regardless. Can ya dig it? As in TruthDig it.


Michael Cavlan RN
Candidate US Senate 2012
Minnesota Open Progressives

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By madisolation, May 18, 2012 at 5:22 am Link to this comment

surfnow,you write:

“No progressive could possibly say that they are happy with Obama’s performance. But believing that voting in large numbers for an independent will force the Ds and Rs to sit up and take notice is a pipe dream.”

“Just another reason why I’ll have to hold my nose while pulling that lever on November 4. Obama is a total tool of Wall Street and the MIC but what other choice do we have?”

You harm your country by acting like such a wimp. You wring your hands and whine: “Oh, what choice do we have? Oh, dear! Best to vote for Obama and not upset the two-party status quo! It won’t make a difference to the Democrats or Republicans if a great number of people vote for an independent candidate, anyway.”
How cowardly can you get? You won’t even go into the privacy of a voting booth and mark your ballot for someone who wants to end the murder and mayhem, who wants to apply the rule of law evenly, who wants to reverse the devastation wreaked by corporate/government collusion? You can’t even screw up the courage to do that?
Voting for whom you think is the lesser of two evils still makes you evil (and a weak, unprincipled individual).

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By do over, May 17, 2012 at 5:33 pm Link to this comment

The only things missing in this cozy relationship is a hooker and a cigar.

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By americanme, May 17, 2012 at 4:44 pm Link to this comment

I wouldn’t be caught dead joining YOUR traffic—which is nothing but suckers and chumps and koolade drinkers addicted to voting for the very folks who continually tell you to bend over and spread ‘em.

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By DornDiego, May 17, 2012 at 4:23 pm Link to this comment

Americanme…
... you sound like one of those people who’d rather run
a car off the freeway than let it join traffic.  No one in
this skein of commenters has asked for your sympathy,
and none of them seem like “suckers and chumps.”  If
you want to persuade people you shouldn’t be blowing
so toxic, you know?
Anger tends to provoke opposition or indifference, you
know?

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By John Poole, May 17, 2012 at 2:40 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Jimmmmmmmmmmy- Neil Posner’s AMUSING OURSELVES TO DEATH was an
interesting read. Maybe this “realm” was purposely set up to be a sort of moral
obstacle course with the finish line the feather, soul and scale procedure. None in
the governing class would pass such a test, HORUS and OSIRIS would fall over in
laughter at the results.

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By americanme, May 17, 2012 at 2:37 pm Link to this comment

Obama IS a hustler himself.

he sure hustled you voting addicts.

And most of you will be hustled by him again.

You’ll get no sympathy from me, suckers and chumps.

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By Michael Cavlan RN, May 17, 2012 at 12:54 pm Link to this comment

I can imagine it.

Minnesota style.

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By Michael Cavlan RN, May 17, 2012 at 12:52 pm Link to this comment

Truthbug

God willing. Or even imagine, if you like, an even more horrifying calamity. A Third Party candidate actually winning.  Even though those of us third party folks get virtually no coverage in the “progressive” media or blogs. Mirroring the invisibility we receive in the corporate media.

Michael Cavlan RN
Candidate US Senate 2012
Minnesota Open Progressives

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By truthbug, May 17, 2012 at 12:09 pm Link to this comment

To Surfnow,

I suggest you think more before you write.  If the Dems lose in the coming election and a third party gets 10% or even 5% of the vote, you can bet your money that the Dems will “sit up and take notice.”

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By ElkoJohn, May 17, 2012 at 10:40 am Link to this comment

it all crashed in the 1930’s
and it will all crash again
then and only then will we have a chance
at a populist government.

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By ReadingJones, May 17, 2012 at 10:28 am Link to this comment

I will believe that “corporations are people my
friend,” when, by some means, we can give them capital
punishment. Think it will happen?

“All power comes out of the barrel of a gun..“Chairman
Mao.

We need the police and the military on our side. They
have most of the guns. Stop insulting them.

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By katsteevns, May 17, 2012 at 10:11 am Link to this comment

Proportional representation is utilized in:
Austria
Belgium
Bulgaria
The Czech Republic
Denmark
Finland
Germany
Greece
Hungary
Iberia
Iceland
Ireland
Israel
Italy
Lichtenstein
Luxembourg
The Netherlands
New Zealand
Norway
Poland
Portugal
Spain
Sweden
Switzerland

The list goes on…...

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By Marian Griffith, May 17, 2012 at 10:07 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

@surfboy

I agree if you say that a third party is desperately needed. But right now there is no such party and it will take time and a lot of effort to build up a viable alternative.

On top of that, like the Brits, the Americans are too scared of the thought of a three or more party system where it is not instantly clear who is in charge. Their world view is, by and large, too binary.
You are a patriot or you are a communist traitor.
You are democrat or you are republican.
You are good or you are evil.
You are with me or you are my enemy.
In such a mindset is no room for compromise and discussion.
And a third party will always be seen as either democrat or republican and only serve the split that faction of the voters.

American elections have always been about courting the small fraction in the middle who has no preference for either party and so can vote as they please (and about getting normally disenchanted or disfranchised voter groups to show up in sufficient numbers). The reason why there is now such a call for a third party is because the democrats have shifted so far to the right that even moderate republicans are beginning to wonder what is there on the left side of the political spectrum. And thanks to the lunacies of the mainstream media (be it outright being batshit crazy rightwing or the idea that any point of view, no matter how clinically insane, deserves exactly as many seconds of airtime) the idea of what is the centre of the political spectrum keeps shifting to the right even quicker than the democracts can adjust their position.
This mad dash to the right, and self destruction, started in the late 70s and early 80s and shows no sign of slowing down.

So is Obama a left leaning liberal?
By the definition of Fox News he is, even a radical. Sadly it is the opinion of Fox News that determines the political divide and not the opinion of people with a modicum of sanity left.

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By Korky Day, May 17, 2012 at 10:06 am Link to this comment

Sorry, I was unclear.  I meant:
The USA, Canada, the UK, and India are the only major countries which have failed to establish pro-rep (proportional representation) nationally.  Those countries are falsely labelled “democratic” by Western-biased institutions, media, and academics.

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By DornDiego, May 17, 2012 at 9:53 am Link to this comment

A great reminder from Robert Scheer, and some commenters,
that we’re all laboring to protect a democracy that no longer
exists.  It used to be that a flat-out insistence that money rules
this country would have been greeted with red-faced shouts of
“Godless Communist Marxist !!”  Now that we have corporations
(guns? wars?) who are people, and a slick advertisement in the
White House, stale bread and circuses and media monopolies
we’re left to marvel that down here on the street level (not the
freeway) people are treating each other humanely.  The only
real hope is that the gangster/banksters and psychopaths in
penthouse offices are a culture we can insulate ourselves from
until they lose control and start shooting each other.

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By Korky Day, May 17, 2012 at 9:48 am Link to this comment

Voting the lesser of 2 evils actually makes sense, but only if there is no hope of ever changing the system that creates the lesser-of-2-evils dilemma and its accompanying spoiler syndrome.
However, there IS hope.
Many countries have done so.
Only the USA, Canada, the UK, and India, among major countries falsely labelled “democratic” by Western standards, have failed to establish pro-rep (proportional representation).
The Green Party has always stood for pro-rep.

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By katsteevns, May 17, 2012 at 9:40 am Link to this comment

By Doubtom, May 17 at 7:28 am

“Have we had enough yet?”

I don’t know. Hundreds of thousands of dead Iraqis and how many ongoing wars? The Middle Easterners, Muslims(and the Russians) have certainly had enough. We still need that pipeline. But wait! Latin America is going socialist again so we need to go down there and crack some skulls as well.

Put Romney in office and he might even drop the bomb on Mexico or Iran. The sky’s the limit!!!

No, we ain’t had enough yet.

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By surfnow, May 17, 2012 at 9:34 am Link to this comment

No progressive could possibly say that they are happy with Obama’s performance. But believing that voting in large numbers for an independent will force the Ds and Rs to sit up and take notice is a pipe dream.

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By jimmmmmy, May 17, 2012 at 9:16 am Link to this comment

Imax. Ihe media is a “business” once a story loses it’s legs it’s over and onto the next horror. The purpose of corporate media is to generate profit through advertizing. Content is just the hook. It’s called info/tainment.

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By jimmmmmy, May 17, 2012 at 9:10 am Link to this comment

Top notch article , but depressing as hell. The truth may set us free but it sure doesn’t guarantee happiness

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By truthbug, May 17, 2012 at 8:48 am Link to this comment

To Surfnow,

By some measure, there is a wide difference between Romney and Obama, at least from what they say.  But I contend that, once in office, the difference, as measured by what they accomplish, will be much smaller. Apart from tax cuts, Bush delivered very little to those who voted for him.  Apart from a botched Healthcare plan, Obama has done likewise. 

My claim is based on a belief that the people who control the most important issues, i.e., Finance, Military, and Corporations, also control the government.

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By stands to reason, May 17, 2012 at 8:43 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Robert, go back and read the article on the psychopaths recently
on truthdig. That should answer your question only, the 1% thing
is a bit off by several 10%s in my opinion. And easy money is the
reason why psychopaths are so very prevalent in this world along
with the enforcement that should go with regulating any and all
economies.

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By Doubtom, May 17, 2012 at 8:28 am Link to this comment

Bring back Ralph Nader!  Not many listened when he counseled that there wasn’t a
bit of difference between the two major parties and to continue to vote the two
parties is to continue with the corrupted status quo. 
Have we had enough yet?  Have we reached the point where we will stop ridiculing
people like Nader, who has a lifetime of serving the needs of the people, who has
proved to be incorruptible, and who possesses both the intellect and the integrity
to return this nation to some semblance of fairness and decency?
How long must we continue being taken in by glib performers like Clinton and
Obama on the Democratic side or just plain tools of the elite, like the fools Bush
and Romney of the Republican party?
Why are people like Bernie Sanders, Dennis Kucinich and Ralph Nader always
marginalized by the media?  Those who control the media control the opinions of
the public.  This nation is in dire need of a revolution; voting in a totally corrupt
system will solve absolutely nothing!  The proof is right there for all to see!

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By katsteevns, May 17, 2012 at 8:14 am Link to this comment

It was a big mistake that we didn’t put Cynthia McKinney in the White House when we had the chance.

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By katsteevns, May 17, 2012 at 8:08 am Link to this comment

“Capitalism will never fail because it will always have socialism to bail it out.” - Nartha Nader

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By Jim Yell, May 17, 2012 at 7:50 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Number one “why do people still call Obama a “Liberal” which is a lie, a “Progressive” which is another lie. In fact we do not have a Proggressive, or a Liberal Party in the United States. Clinton and Obama belong to the same club, which is the club of those who don’t find a place in the Republican Party, but are not embarressed by presenting themselves as something they are not.

I had a very modest expectation that Obama would be a balanced and lawful President. Instead he has entrenched the move to oppressive government. He by his actions he has validated the repressive and illegal dismissal of our Bill of Rights.

I had thought being the first Black President he would worker harder for everyone, but instead he has only protected the very wealthy. He is Corporatist, as is the Repbulican Party. He is a disappointment, but not because he is Black.

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By surfnow, May 17, 2012 at 7:49 am Link to this comment

I love Ralph Nader but I can’t agree with his dictum about thelesser of two evils when the range of evil is so wide. Romney is a sociopath and as little as Obama has done having a wacko like Romney with his hands on the button is a little too scary.

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By grokker, May 17, 2012 at 7:42 am Link to this comment

@surfnow It’s despicable when people say I’ll “hold my nose and vote”. Why bother voting? The lesser of two evils is still evil. If you feel you must participate in a fools game, vote your conscience, not some inevitable winner. Vote Green, vote Socialist, Communist, hell, vote for your mama. In the end, voting Dem or Repub will accomplish nothing but the further denigration of what’s left of democracy in the US. The signal must be sent to the powers that be. We’re tired of this trap that’s been set for us where we feel we must vote for someone that could win. Can you see the insanity in participating in this charade? If the two party (really one party) system is irreparably broken, why do you feel it’s necessary to perpetuate it?

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By surfnow, May 17, 2012 at 7:29 am Link to this comment

Just another reason why I’ll have to hold my nose while pulling that lever on November 4. Obama is a total tool of Wall Street and the MIC but what other choice do we have ?

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By Elektra123, May 17, 2012 at 7:27 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

That Obama still had praise for Daimon is very revealing. He is without a doubt in bed with the banking community.
Implementing WEAK reforms is another sign that we will get more of the same in the next four years.
That Clinton got Congress to reverse Glass-Steagall is disgusting.
These two republicrats have done everything to encourage the “too big to fail” to continue to succeed, and by that I mean eventually fail again.
Adding to this outrage is the award that Weill will get - induction into the American Academy of Arts & Sciences as an “outstanding business leader and philanthropist”.
These gangsters are rewarded for their greed.
We need another FDR in the WH, someone who is as audacious and who will use that pitchfork against the banksters for the crimes they have perpetrated on our citizens, and other countries as well.
I’m for Jill Stein.

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By M Henri Day, May 17, 2012 at 7:26 am Link to this comment

No doubt if we just wait for the «human heart to become «purified», the problem will resolve itself….

Henri

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By prisnersdilema, May 17, 2012 at 7:23 am Link to this comment

At this point, our laws have been perverted to make it safe for the bigger criminal, to
steal whole countries at a time… While smaller criminals, and there are millions of them,
waste their lives in jail…

Until the rule of law is restored, there will be no economic recovery, only slicker and
slicer lies, mis directions, and public ass kissings for the money….

This is how countries and empires fall, sliding into eternity, poisoned.. by lies, and the
crimes, of their leaders….

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By Mike N., May 17, 2012 at 7:17 am Link to this comment

The fact that this country hasn’t erupted into total chaos is amazing.  The only reason it holds together is because the vast majority are so brainwashed that they actually get angry when you suggest anything is wrong with the current system.  Most people just don’t want their bubble burst, or to be inconvenienced by facts they don’t like.  In fact, they don’t like facts at all.  They like the fable that they are the best living in the best country.  They still have suitable accommodations, so they go to work, follow instructions, watch TV and ingest food produced in laboratories without giving a single thought to their actual plight.  As their situation deteriorates, they only think they have to work harder doing what they are already doing.  They are utterly blind to real power and it’s application.  We live in a nation of clueless drones.  As long as we do, those at the top can do exactly as they please.

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By ReadingJones, May 17, 2012 at 7:16 am Link to this comment

Psychopaths are often very intelligent. It is not
brains but a moral compass that they lack. A recent
article in the New York Times pointed out that the
incidence of psychopathy among the scoundrels of Wall
Street is many times that found in the general
population. I think the same thing will be found to
be true in the ranks of the CEOs and the members of
Congress, the Executive branch and the Supreme Court.

For such people the very term “moral compass” is
meaningless. It is if one says something like “green”
to a blind man.

I think the only cure for their illness is what a
therapist I know called .22 therapy.

Viva le Revolution

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By truthbug, May 17, 2012 at 6:17 am Link to this comment

Can there be any doubt that Obama is in bed with Wall Street?  (It’s too bad Oprah Winfrey didn’t catch the contradiction in Obama’s obeisance to Dimon.)

Can there be any doubt that our government is corrupt?

If the Occupiers adopt one demand, surely it should be to end Corruption in Washington, in all three branches of government. 

Oh, and add one other demand: that Congress initiate a Constitutional Amendment outlawing Private Contributions to elections and promulgating that all political contributions come from public funds, duly created for such purposes.

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By IMax, May 17, 2012 at 5:40 am Link to this comment

The Martin/Zimmerman tragedy is now conspicuously missing from the media.  In the discovery phase of this incident we’re learning how the preferred narrative, white racist hate-crimes against all people of color, may not be present in this case.  Without that preferred narrative those in the media are no longer interested.  Not as interested, anyhow.

According to ABC News, George Zimmerman’s family doctor saw him the morning after the shooting of Trayvon Martin.  The doctor’s observations reportedly noted Zimmerman suffered a broken nose, two black eyes, bruises on his face and lip, two cuts on the back of his head, and a back injury.

The NBC affiliate in Florida is reporting that the medical director who performed the autopsy on Trayvon Martin found only two injuries on his body:  the gunshot wound and broken skin on his knuckles.

The Germanic sounding Zimmerman, with “white” blood as part of his heritage, with serious injuries caused by Martin is of no interest here on TruthDig and elsewhere.  I’d say this is an interesting development, in and of otself.

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By Big B, May 17, 2012 at 4:45 am Link to this comment

Been watching Max Keiser alot lately. He was predicting that Dimon was going to pull something like this over a month ago. But like the other long line of dead canarys that littered the road of 2007 and 2008, this act will be brushed under the nearest carpet, or flat out ignored.

People mistakenly think that the banks have already played their trump card. Oh no no no. The BIG score is just around the corner. Will Barry have the balls to stop it? Please…

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By David J. Cyr, May 17, 2012 at 4:42 am Link to this comment

QUOTE, Robert Scheer:

“How did we end up with such smart scoundrels?”
__________________

The “progressive” liberals, who ever activistly (D) dedicated their lives to getting the corporate party’s “best & brightest” criminals elected, now pretend to be shocked with getting all the gangster government they (D) stalwartly voted for.

How did we get to where we are? Liberals insisted that every election was too important for them to not vote for (D) evil.

The Devolution of Liberalism:

http://chenangogreens.org/home/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=496&Itemid=1

Jill Stein for President:

http://www.jillstein.org

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By M Henri Day, May 17, 2012 at 4:24 am Link to this comment

Surprise, surprise ! Thanks for pointing these shenanigans out, Robert, but I strongly suspect they will have little purchase on the US electorate. It looks as if the whole system will have to collapse before measures are taken to redress the most obvious lapses. The pitcher goes to the well….

Henri

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By bigchin, May 17, 2012 at 3:52 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

and yet, according to Mr. Scheer’s past essays, we have no choice but to vote for Obama…

How do you spell “r-e-p-u-l-s-i-v-e p-r-o-g-r-e-s-s-i-v-e h-y-p-o-c-r-i-s-y?”

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