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One Lawman With the Guts to Go After Wall Street

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Posted on May 17, 2011
AP / Frank Franklin II

By Robert Scheer

The fix was in to let the Wall Street scoundrels off the hook for the enormous damage they caused in creating the Great Recession. All of the leading politicians and officials, federal and state, Republican and Democrat, were on board to complete the job of saving the banks while ignoring their victims ... until last week when the attorney general of New York refused to go along. 

Eric Schneiderman will probably fail, as did his predecessors in that job; the honest sheriff doesn’t last long in a town that houses the Wall Street casino. But decent folks should be cheering him on. Despite a mountain of evidence of robo-signed mortgage contracts, deceitful mortgage-based securities and fraudulent foreclosures, the banks were going to be able to cut their potential losses to what was, for them, a minuscule amount.

In a deal that had the blessing of the White House and many federal regulators and state attorneys general—a settlement probably for not much more than the $5 billion pittance the top financial institutions found acceptable—the banks would be freed of any further claims by federal and state officials over their shady mortgage packaging and servicing practices and deceptive foreclosure proceedings.

At the same time, the SEC and other federal regulatory bodies are making sweetheart deals with the bankers to close off accountability for creating and collecting on more than a trillion dollars’ worth of toxic mortgage-based securities at the heart of the nation’s economic meltdown—a meltdown that has seen the national debt grow by more than 50 percent, stuck us with an unyielding 9 percent unemployment and left 50 million Americans losing their homes to foreclosure or clinging desperately to underwater mortgages. On top of which an all-time high of 44 million people are living below the official poverty line and fewer new homes were started in April than at any other time in the past half century. With housing values still in free fall, we continue to make the bankers whole. 

As Gretchen Morgenson reported in The New York Times, the Justice Department division responsible for checking for fraud in the bankruptcy system has found a widespread pattern of deception by banks foreclosing homes, and she concluded: “So an authoritative source with access to a lot of data has identified industry practices as not only pernicious but also pervasive. Which makes it all the more mystifying that regulators seem eager to strike a cheap and easy settlement with the banks.” 
Not really surprising given both the enormous hold of Wall Street money over the two major political parties and the revolving door through which executives travel between firms like Goldman Sachs and the top positions in the U.S. Treasury Department and elsewhere in the government. The financial crisis occurred only because Republicans and Democrats passed the laws that Wall Street lobbyists wrote ending reasonable banking industry regulation installed in the 1930s in response to the Depression. And when the greed they enabled threatened the foundations of our economy, under Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama, it was the bankers who were assisted into lifeboats that had no room for ordinary people.
 
Not surprising then to find all of the power players in on the latest deals: the Obama administration that had bailed out the banks but not troubled homeowners; the regulators and Fed officials who all looked the other way when the housing bubble was inflated; and the state attorneys general who backed away from going after the perpetrators of robo-signed mortgages and other scams used to foreclose homes.

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But now Schneiderman has a chance to derail the deals, given that he is supported by the state’s tough 1921 Martin Act, which one of his predecessors as New York state attorney general, Eliot Spitzer, had used to good advantage in exposing the financial behemoths that are so heavily based in New York. The Wall Street Journal describes the Martin Act as “one of the most potent prosecutorial tools against financial fraud” because, as opposed to federal law, it doesn’t carry the more difficult standard of proving intent to defraud.

Last week, it was revealed that Schneiderman’s office has demanded an accounting from Bank of America, Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs as to the details of their past practice of securitizing those mortgage-based packages that proved so toxic. Maybe he will fail against such powerful forces, as did Spitzer and later Andrew Cuomo, but it is a test worth watching, since no one else, from the White House on down, seems to be concerned with holding the bailed-out banks accountable for the massive pain and suffering they inflicted on the public.

Click here to check out Robert Scheer’s new 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.

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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MarthaA's avatar

By MarthaA, May 24, 2011 at 4:59 pm Link to this comment

David J. Cyr, May 24 at 9:42 am,

“Those whose opinions are evidenced-based, rather than faith-
based, understand that it’s not a “Good Thing” done to be a
Democrat… doing what Democrats do.” —David J. Cyr, May 24 at 9:42 am

Who in particular are you talking about that YOU are making
reference to as “those?”—and what is the standard of the
evidence YOU make reference to that they use?

Are you making reference to x=x evidence that is based upon a
“unity of balance” of sublation, or are you making reference to the
evidence of sophistry that is based upon ideological definition?

I suspect that you are making reference to the evidence of
sophistry that is based upon ideological definition and that you are
totally unaware of logic as x=x sublation.

Report this
MarthaA's avatar

By MarthaA, May 24, 2011 at 2:46 pm Link to this comment

David J. Cyr, May 24 at 9:42 am,

“Those whose opinions are evidenced-based, rather than faith-
based, understand that it’s not a “Good Thing” done to be a
Democrat… doing what Democrats do.” —David J. Cyr, May 24 at 9:42 am

Ignorance is bliss.  A correct statement would be:

Those whose opinions are evidence based and faith based
understand that it is destruction of mankind, not just not a “Good
Thing” done, to be a hypocritical, Conservative, Saducee, Pharasee,
Corporate Welfare War EXTREMIST Republican…
doing what REPUBLICAN’S do.

Your statement says you would throw away the
judicial court system altogether, for a faith based
court system without evidence, yes? Sorry, your
mother must have dropped you on your head
when you were a pup.  You worship you know
not what, because Jesus wouldn’t go along with
that statement.

Report this
David J. Cyr's avatar

By David J. Cyr, May 24, 2011 at 9:42 am Link to this comment

Those whose opinions are evidenced-based, rather than faith-based, understand that it’s not a “Good Thing” done to be a Democrat… doing what Democrats do.

Report this

By Inherit The Wind, May 24, 2011 at 9:06 am Link to this comment

Notice that when a Jewish guy is actually doing A Good Thing, none of the anti-Semites here notice?  Only when BAD guys are Jews are they always certain to point it out.

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David J. Cyr's avatar

By David J. Cyr, May 21, 2011 at 9:43 am Link to this comment

Quote ardee:

“Whether true or not I fail to see what is wrong with that”

...with that being the fact that the Green Party is full of Roosevelt Democrat progressives, but the electorate isn’t.
________________

After “progressive” Democrats having feverishly voted again and again for Democrats to keep making America more and more regressive, now they are arguing about whether or not to form an unnecessary “3rd” party for “progressive” voters. It’s unnecessary for them to form it because that “progressive” party already exists. It’s the Green Party alternative to the corporate party that is in fact chock-a-block full of unreconstructed “progressive” Democrats.

For example, members of the GP’s National Committee recently got all wet loin excited about the improbable prospect of recruiting Russ Feingold to be the GP’s 2012 POTUS candidate. More to the point, Howie Hawkins is effectively the most radical of Green candidates, but his key issue in the 2010 gubernatorial election was a liberal progressive position: advocating for provision of budget surpluses in New York State by not rebating the stock-transfer tax (a tiny tax that adds up to large sums for feverishly trading speculators that New York collects every year but then routinely returns to the speculators). A state dependent upon stock-transfer taxes would be a state with a vested interest in encouraging speculation… the same speculation that wrecks havoc with the pension and retirement investments that working people will need to depend upon in their old age. Another Green Party candidate, for U.S. Senate, advocated having a tax upon war profits to provide funding for schools. Do I need to explain why having schools funded by profits from wars is consistent with liberal “thinking” but not a good idea.

Regardless of how hard the Greens seek to provide “progressive” voters with everything they say they want in candidates, very few of the people who advertise themselves to be “progressive” voters vote Green. Perhaps it’s because the GP opposes war. Perhaps it’s because the GP supports Single-Payer. Perhaps it’s because (unlike the corporate (R) & (D) party’s supporters) the GP’s members want future generations to have a human habitable planet.

The problem with Greens actually being progressive Democrats is that the function of progressives is what it has always been: to reform the system to save it… to paint over the rot that should be removed. FDR exterminated the Socialists who built the unions, and got trade union members to love war.

Young people today don’t have 40 years of habitable planet left to waste on voting for Democrats, regardless of whether they wear blue or green.

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By CitizenWhy, May 21, 2011 at 5:49 am Link to this comment

In effect, deregulation has turned the governance of the USA over o the Big Banks.

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By ardee, May 21, 2011 at 4:48 am Link to this comment

David J. Cyr, May 20 at 6:01 am Link to this comment

The Green Party is full of old school liberal Roosevelt Democrat progressives… (something that I’m not).

Whether true or not I fail to see what is wrong with that, though it seems more than obvious that you think it true thus it MUST be so. As to your not being such, well, no shit Sherlock!

capitaltonight.com Howie Hawkins (9/3/2010)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mMndCpT5-58

Hawkins noted that you do not have to win an election in order to change policies. I find him to be far wiser and more mentally stable than I find you. No contest in fact.

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By philipw, May 20, 2011 at 3:44 pm Link to this comment

One needs to strive to be unbiased, clear headed, and sensitive to injustice to man and nature, or it will persist, grow, and devour us as it has in the past.  Except now we are faced with extinction or extreme hardship.  Hugh problems require broad and depth thinking equal to the nature and difficulty of the problem.  The old ways of operating have not worked and we need to be aware of and assist in the transformation to a new way that still honors the sacred mythological wisdom of the past and the deepest values of humanity while providing for new and higher levels of truth and justice in a sustainable way of living.  Few of us have that ability now.  That is the problem.

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By CitizenWhy, May 20, 2011 at 10:09 am Link to this comment

The Austrian economist state that too much cheap money pumped into an
economy leads to bubbles and busts.

But too often this pumping of cheap money is attributed to the government
when in fact there are other major institutions allowed to “print money.”

1. The so-called New York investment banks (really trading houses/gambling
dens) in effect printed money by creating certain debts/bonds/derivatives,
those backed by cash flows such as mortgage payments and those backed by
nothing except other derivates (virtual derivatives). They took a real stream of
money and multiplied it many times over, far beyond any abiiity to pay off the
debts, based solely on the willingness to buy and sell the multiplied but not real
money. They print money with impunity. And they continue to do so. Goldman
Sachs, for instance, which makes no business loans, was re-chartered as a
commercial bank so it could “borrow” cash from the Federal Reserve at 0-1%
interest and make money on that cash through risky trading, buying foreign
bonds, and financing corporations investing and hiring abroad rather than in
the US.

2. Inflows of foreign cash. This is what ruined the Irish economy and is a major
problem now that our globalized economy in effect has been handed over to
the big banks to govern as they please, with guarantees from governments that
their losses would be covered by the government but their gains could be
retained by them at a low tax rate.

Right wing propaganda would have you believe that the government is always
at fault, that it should not regulate and that the banks will govern the world in
the most perfect way. Of course in a globalized economy national sovereignty
grows weaker and corporate sovereignty rules.

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MarthaA's avatar

By MarthaA, May 20, 2011 at 9:43 am Link to this comment

mackTN, May 20 at 8:50 am,

The populace would be able to give Mr. Schneiderman some help
if they would understand they are not the Middle Class.

I wonder if no matter how badly the majority population are treated
if they will ever join forces as the one powerful class and culture
they are? ——
or will they forever be divided under the delusion that they are the
middle class?  The 70% Majority American Populace need to
recognize their class and culture, so they will be able to obtain power
to be represented in the making and enforcing of legislated law and
order in the best interest of the majority population’s class and
culture, the 70% Majority American Populace—NOT the Middle Class.

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mackTN's avatar

By mackTN, May 20, 2011 at 8:50 am Link to this comment

Good for Schneiderman.  Funny how the “blame the irresponsible homebuyers”
fight so hard to deny any fraud or pattern of deceptive practice on the part of
the banks.  The banks knew who they were lending to—it costs them nothing
to get a credit report and verify income and credit status.  This was a win-win
situation: drive house prices way up (kinda like gas); sell them to any and
everybody; then take them back for a pittance and sell them again.  They don’t
need to worry about regulators—the regulators are Friends of the Banks via
campaign funds. The people have no elected representatives to defend them.

Based on this logic, we should free Bernie Madoff.  After all, he was just doing
what irresponsible and greedy investors wanted him to do—make money for
them. Sure, he used deceptive practices but that is outweighed by the stupidity
of his investors who didn’t spend enough time investigating his company.  It’s
always a mistake to rely on the expertise of your investor or lender, despite the
fact you are paying that person for advice. You should know better than them.

No, the victims are not the people who don’t have a house.  In fact, you are the
beneficiaries.  Look how much harder it will be to deceive you.  And, if you do
have a good credit record and are lucky to have a job, you can have your pick of
cheap foreclosures. Good luck.

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Fat Freddy's avatar

By Fat Freddy, May 20, 2011 at 6:02 am Link to this comment

The Austrian economists (von Mises, Hayek, Rothbard, etc.) said, too much cheap, easy money being pumped into the economy leads to mal-investments, which cause the boom/bust cycle. However, I don’t recall reading anywhere in their works that said pumping massive amounts of cheap, easy money, over an extended period of time, into the economy leads to widespread fraud, corruption and system failure. I guess the Austrians figured that was just too fucking obvious to mention.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GTQnarzmTOc

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David J. Cyr's avatar

By David J. Cyr, May 20, 2011 at 6:01 am Link to this comment

The Green Party is full of old school liberal Roosevelt Democrat progressives… (something that I’m not).

capitaltonight.com Howie Hawkins (9/3/2010)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mMndCpT5-58

Howie Hawkins on New York Now
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JDQb1gy_hQc&feature=related

It’s the electorate that has near no Roosevelt Democrats in it. The liberals ensure that elections serve no good purpose by their habitually voting for any degenerate with a (D) appendage.

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By CitizenWhy, May 20, 2011 at 4:19 am Link to this comment

I have always said that Bill Clinton was the best Republican President we have had.
That is, socially moderate but extremely pro-business and anti-regulations
Republicanism was recast into the New Democrats (a term used by Clinton to
describe himself), whose leader is now President Obama. ... Meanwhile the socially
regressive but big spending Dixiecrats took over the Republican Party. ... Thus
Roosevelt Democrats no longer have a political party in the USA

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By philipw, May 19, 2011 at 11:46 pm Link to this comment

Re: Hasapiko
You are correct again, but incomplete as it is not just economics, but people and life.
What I see is a tendency to blame the rich and powerful and the system they have created, but not to blame those who participate in it, sign contracts, and expect to get rich in an ever increasing bubble.  Then the contracts are torn up and the principle and/or interest rates are reduced.  Fine for the irresponsible buyers, a catastrophe for those who thought the law meant something, responsibility meant something, and who still do not have a house, or are forced to have a lesser house.  When they ignore and change the law like this you can expect them to change the laws of pensions and social security, and labor contracts in the future when it is convenient and the people will then be in more poverty.  By accepting this, one then supports more of it in the future.  It’s a lie we are a democracy, and a lie we have a system of laws.  Everybody (the house buyers) for years were using a house to get rich or fund their retirement etc. through an inflationary system that punishes the responsible and those in the future. This is the same behavior as the rich use.  Is this what houses are for, or to live in and pay for. What about working and contributing to society. The whole financial system was largely involved in this inflation of housing values, and it was made possible by people participating.  So everybody is trying to keep housing values up.  Great for the owners and pseudo-owners, death for the buyers and the young.  To accept and support this housing fiasco and manipulation of life because everybody (home owners) is involved is a lowering of life and society.  It happens in a similar way when people accept the killing indigenous people or Jews, or go to war for the rich and powerfull being indoctrinated to think its for home and nation.  To support the bailouts of the rich or the irresponsible buyers and predators (investors) is the mass popular housing greed and system reinforcing itself at the expense of the responsible who know better and want a better society.  Scheer and others put all the blame on the rich and powerful because that is who they want to blame, but that ignores the reality because of this bias and resultant moral black hole.  When reality is ignored worse problems arise and justice is destroyed.  If one is a socialist and can only blame the capitalists and not look at the nature of people and problems of socialism, then one is not functioning in reality.  If society is to improve, people must improve, and bailing out irresponsible people because you hate the rich or because you think the system was bad but popular, then you accept this, reinforce this, and prolong the low level of living and its evils.  Scheer does social development no favor by accepting and supporting irresponsible participants in an evil system.  People cannot replace the rich and powerful until they mature and develop, and Scheer treats them and would keep them as ignorant children rather than help them become more adult so they can replace both socialism and capitalism with mature community living on a united world with equality and justice.  In the fight, its easy to lose perspective and proportion.

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Lafayette's avatar

By Lafayette, May 19, 2011 at 10:14 pm Link to this comment

SHOW ‘N TELL

rb: Well, this is called standing out in the crowd. Schneiderman has a rare and increasingly seldom seen quality - I believe it used to be called courage.

We’ve been through such circumstances before.

Who thought Eliot Ness would take on and finally humble Al Capone in Chicago, Other examples exist and it is testimony of a certain courage that seems nascent in the American psyche at the appropriate moments in time.

Spitzer as well had real prosecutorial courage in NYC, until he fumbled. Examples, perhaps less obvious to the public eye, exist all over the US.

And it is somewhat unique in that we elect these prosecutors, whilst in Europe they are nominated by the Ministry of Justice. Meaning that, in Europe, Justice seems more bureaucratic taking exceedingly long to grind its way forward in a prosecution.

Europeans complain, particularly after the Strauss-Kahn affair, that prosecuting criminals becomes a Media Show ‘n Tell always looking for the electoral wherewithal to continue in one’s job.

Perhaps so, but so what as long as it gets the job done?

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Lafayette's avatar

By Lafayette, May 19, 2011 at 10:01 pm Link to this comment

gow: ... you affirm my opinion that you are not only an ignoramus in geo-political economics and power relations, but a disrespectful, manifest boor to boot.

Ad hominem piffle. Is this all you’ve got in your quiver?

Go away.

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ghostofwatergate's avatar

By ghostofwatergate, May 19, 2011 at 1:52 pm Link to this comment

For those curious readers of Truthdig, and especially this thread, who might be tempted to buy into “La Fayette’s” sweeping statement that China rules (or will rule) the world, here’s some homework:

http://quaylargo.com/rkm/ND/jul97NWOChina.shtml

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ghostofwatergate's avatar

By ghostofwatergate, May 19, 2011 at 12:50 pm Link to this comment

@ “LaFayette”

Sir: Your grasp of the English language is inadequate:

“Puerile nonsense.

Have you got a surprise coming. China rules.”

Check your dictionary, Bud: “Puerile: of or pertaining to a child or childhood; silly, naive, or trivial”

Thus you demonstrate not only your failure in comprehension of English, but your grasp of the workings of the power structure of the status quo, as well. Further, you overreach with your presumption of intellectual superiority, and continually demonstrate a profound lack of actual knowledge, offering nothing but condecending DLC pablum and insult in return.

As an aside, with your condescending and continuing fatuous statements (not only in this thread but numerous others as well) you affirm my opinion that you are not only an ignoramus in geo-political economics and power relations, but a disrespectful, manifest boor to boot. I refer, of course, not only to your fatuous regurgitation of DLC philosophy, but to your presumptuous usurpation by adoption of the name of a great French-American patriot and friend, of which you certainly are not worthy.

In summation, you make a sweeping statement, for which you supply zero documentation, while for mine I am bolstered by the facts of history, both old and new (and reported upon by this very web-magazine). I repeat, the economic elites in league with the owners of the American military-industrial-university apparatus rule the world, and your class is marked for destruction.

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By Hasapiko, May 19, 2011 at 12:19 pm Link to this comment

Philipw wrote:
“If you want to support the people against capitalist predators and parasites, don’t support their cohorts, the irresponsible buyers.”...I’m not sure I understand the logic behind this statement. Philip, imagine you are a bank. You have been entrusted by your depositors to lend responsibly. It is YOUR fiduciary responsibility to find borrowers who are creditworthy. Moreover, since the FDIC is guaranteeing the deposits, it is the responsibility of the FDIC’s regulators to make sure you are doing your job. These are the first two lines of defense against economic collapse and they both failed. No doubt individual responsibility is also important, but there is little doubt that the main culprit has been the willingness of banks to lend at terms that would have given a traditional banker a heart attack.
So, the real question is, why were lending standards allowed to deteriorate? In my previous comment I hypothesized that the reasons were two-fold: (1) the rich were running out of places to invest their money and (2) in the face of declining working class incomes, making home ownership available was an important political tool.
As MarthaA pointed out so well, Wall St. and Washington worked together to destroy the regulations that had been the cornerstone of financial stability for 50 years. However, my main point was that had middle class income risen in line with GDP growth, there would have been less wealth for the rich to misallocate and more wealth for the middle class to buy homes responsibly. This skewing of wealth to the rich was the direct result of 30 years of Reaganomics, otherwise known as freakonomics or trickle-down economics. The wealth did trickle down, in the form of ridiculous loans by irresponsible lenders rather than by solid investment in productive, job-creating endevors. So much for capitalism.

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By thelonegunman, May 19, 2011 at 9:36 am Link to this comment

needs to call Elliot Spitzer (or watch Client #9) to see what the banksters have in store for someone who goes up against them…

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Lafayette's avatar

By Lafayette, May 19, 2011 at 7:39 am Link to this comment

gow: America runs the world

Puerile nonsense.

Have you got a surprise coming. China rules.

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By RS, May 19, 2011 at 7:34 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I really do hope he is allowed to continue with this.  Having a master’s in Finance I know the ins and outs of how these things work, and the mortgage securities are just one of the things he should be looking at.  Many of the deritives are just carefully worded legal papers that are just as bad.  And can we tax these guys.  Wall street managment only gets taxed 15% on their income, while the rest of us are taxed upwards of 30% and its only because the government allows them to count their salary as capital gains, and there by taxed at a lower level.

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By rbrooks, May 19, 2011 at 6:49 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Well, this is called standing out in the crowd. Schneiderman has a rare and increasingly seldom seen quality - I believe it used to be called courage.

It will be interesting to see what happens to this latest annoyer of Wall Street before he manages to kick any White-House-connected arses. I hope he knows better than to get on any small planes, or for that matter to go anywhere, and I mean ANYWHERE, without his wife ...

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MarthaA's avatar

By MarthaA, May 19, 2011 at 5:35 am Link to this comment

John Puma, May 18 at 11:53 pm,

If no skeletons can be found and he can’t be
bought, then the media will find some manufactured
skeletons suddenly, like groping or raping a hotel
maid with all kinds of evidence.  I hope he can
survive and bring their corruption down for the sake
of the nation.

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By mc.murphy, May 19, 2011 at 2:01 am Link to this comment

Comment below addressed to ghostofwatergate, May 19 at 12:15 am

Not used to the the comment thread system yet, sorry about that.

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By mc.murphy, May 19, 2011 at 1:58 am Link to this comment

Damn, I just posted a comment elsewhere telling someone that the train had left
the station with not even a red light left behind.

And in this post expressed similar thoughts, though in the context of Puerta del
Sol turning into Tahrir Square as we speak:  http://mosquitocloud.net/madrid-
puerta-del-sol-no-pasaran/

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By mc.murphy, May 19, 2011 at 1:43 am Link to this comment

MarthaA, May 18 at 11:27

oops, ‘mc.murphy, May 18 at 11:13 pm’ post in response to: philipw, May 18 at
11:01

thank you, MarthaA

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ghostofwatergate's avatar

By ghostofwatergate, May 19, 2011 at 12:15 am Link to this comment

Lafayette: Your condescending remarks are neither needed nor enlightening. We’re not the ignorant ones: we are not sheep and we do we need to Wake Up.

We know we were betrayed at the highest levels and our Elected Officials gave away the people’s money against our strenuously expressed directives. Further, the American people did not ask for Bernays’ brainwashing consumerist propaganda and were deliberately kept in the dark about the post-WWII Grand Design of the American Empire builders. They are not sheeple: they were flat out lied to for *decades* by the most advanced propaganda machines in history. Obama’s presidential run was awarded Best Ad Campaign for 2008, for pity’s sake.

Many of us are quite familiar with history: The American elites have been waging a class war against the American common people for centuries. These elites do not give a flying kadiddlehopper about us poors and will happily see us all dead before we are allowed to derail their national security/capitalist gravy train.

The investigations will not proceed; there will be no media coverage of the massive fraud of the banksters; there will be no new Glass-Steagall Act - the legislative branch will be bought off almost to a man and woman, including what’s left of the honest Republicans and the Democrats. What happens in Basel is of little concern for the American fascist upperclass: America runs the world. Get your head out of your posterior and recognize that the freight train is rolling and you are about to be run over.

The City on the Hill has rotted from the inside out; the thumbs are on the scales of justice and the American dream is *over*.

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By John Puma, May 18, 2011 at 11:53 pm Link to this comment

We will soon be getting the full rundown of the skeletons in Mr Schneiderman’s
closet ... if there be any.

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MarthaA's avatar

By MarthaA, May 18, 2011 at 11:27 pm Link to this comment

mc.murphy, May 18 at 11:13 pm,

You apparently got your post on the wrong thread, as this thread is
about the one lawman that is going after the corrupt banks on Wall
Street, not the nuclear problem in Japan.

Report this

By mc.murphy, May 18, 2011 at 11:13 pm Link to this comment

The EPA ceased monitoring for fallout from Fukushima. The nuclear energy
lobby is powerful.

When you or yours will, ravaged by cancer, start croaking at an early age; you,
the victim, will be able to hold yourself responsible, for having failed to move to
safer ground.


“As I noted Tuesday, the EPA has suspended all heightened radiation
monitoring, and will simply test and report every 3 months as if there were no
nuclear crisis in Japan.”

“Expert: “It Seems To Be Part Of The Pattern Of The EPA Trying To Make Sure
That There Are No Measurements That Could Cause People To Be Concerned”
http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2011/05/expert-it-seems-to-be-part-of-
pattern.html

http://mosquitocloud.net/

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By philipw, May 18, 2011 at 11:01 pm Link to this comment

Good statements Hasapiko.  Moreover, there was a bubble of greed that has to be corrected.  It was, of course, the bankers and Wall Street who set the context, but it was also the irresponsible buyers who were playing in and supporting the unbridled capitalist system.  The real victims were and are the responsible people who did not buy into the bubble and who still want a house if the prices are allowed to fall to their real level, with responsible financing.  These people don’t even have a house while the predatory buyers are living for free while they destroy the houses. To support the irresponsible buyers, and call them the folk as Scheer does is to support the capitalist greed system and continues to punish the responsible who are the real victims.  If you want to support the people against capitalist predators and parasites, don’t support their cohorts, the irresponsible buyers.  Don’t turn predators into victims and ignore the real victims.  If you want to find truth, dig a little deeper, than just blaming the people you hate.  There will not be a better society until there are better people, who are informed, act responsibly, and learn by their errors.  Responsibility and development are essential, and Scheer undermines the solution in this regard.  People such as Scheer and Hedges don’t want to admit that the entire system was at fault, was supported by all these irresponsible buyers and homeowners getting all the cash they could from their houses, and that they are supporting this faulty system instead of working for a better society of mature developed individuals.  In his hate for the capitalists, Scheer misses the whole picture and subverts the solution due to his moral black hole that obscures and delays truth and justice, and might contribute to an irresponsible violent uprising of immature and irresponsible people who are rightly frustrated, but wrongly thinking they are owed something for nothing, pie in the sky.  Real solutions need to get beyond hatred for the greed system-they need to get to truth and justice.

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By MarthaA, May 18, 2011 at 9:41 pm Link to this comment

Here is a neat rendition of what happened with Capitalism run amok
in the United States that’s perpetrators should end up in jail:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qOP2V_np2c0&feature=relmfu

Truth about The Big Con Job:

http://www.independent.com/news/2011/apr/29/big-con-job/?print

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By Lafayette, May 18, 2011 at 9:12 pm Link to this comment

EXAGGERATED WEALTH FIXATION

Maani: Does this mean he will be successful in his current investigation?  Of course not.  But I can guarantee you that he will be as tenacious as anyone has ever been in pursuing this issue.

Then we can only wish him Godspeed.

But I underline the fact that he alone will not change the game-rules. For that to happen, Federal legislation is needed to reform the electoral funding mechanism (finally and definitively) and to institute close Federal oversight of both Lending and Investment Banking Markets.

Which has not been done sufficiently either in the long or short past-history of this country in its pell-mell rush to Financial Glory.

We have done so far too little to prevent Great Recession II from reoccurring in another ten years - when yet another group of Greedy GoldenBoys reach maturity on Wall Street. So fixated as a nation are we on the accumulation of Exaggerated Wealth.

I repeat (the Lesson of History): Those who refuse to learn from history are condemned to repeat it. (Santayana).

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By Lafayette, May 18, 2011 at 8:57 pm Link to this comment

BULL IN A CHINA SHOP

gow: Also, it’s a little late in the game to think that we can “fix” any of this through the democratic legislative process or even via judicial prosecution without causing a massive collapse of the world’s economic framework when the markets react in panic mode.

This is not true.

What can happen, however, is that the New Financial Regulatory Framework that has been devised in Basle3 is not adopted and adhered to by the US and other nations.

And since Uncle Sam prefers to behave like a bull in a China Shop, non-adherence could very well happen.

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By Lafayette, May 18, 2011 at 8:48 pm Link to this comment

THE ARSONISTS

mad: I can’t understand how anyone can defend Obama at this stage of the game

Then read history, particularly the bit about the Great Depression. Which lasted ten lonnnnngggg years, because America’s initial policy to Depression Economics was to “do nothing”.

The events that led up to the stock-market crash of 1929 are remarkably similar to those that brought about the Credit Mechanism seizure in the fall of 2008. They prompted the Great Recession of 2009 from which we are still trying to climb out.

Roosevelt finally came up with the New Deal stimulus-spending in the early 1930s but it took the rest of the decade to fully recover. (And WW2, one might add.) Keynes’ book (General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money, published in 1936) reflected the lessons of the New Deal and proposed Stimulus Spending to break the back of the Depression.

People who refuse to learn the lessons of history are condemned to repeat their mistakes -  Santayana.

Which is precisely what we have been doing by avoiding Keynesian Stimulus Spending - out of a misguided concern for Deficit Spending. Deficit Spending helps spur economic activity, which adds jobs, which adds Tax Revenues, which pays for the Deficit Spending by means of the Multiplier Effect.

Read Keynes as well. In fact, take a course in EC101. All you see myopically (like a great many in this forum) is the aspect of criminality to what happened and it suits you to blame whoever you can, even wrongly.

MY POINT

So you blame Obama? Because the HofR is now owned by the Replicants who have refused Stimulus Spending?

OK, then what presidential hopeful on the Right has the credentials and economic vision to pull America forward and correct the problems that created the Mess?

Who will reform both our political governance and lack of market oversight necessary to prevent a repeat economic conflagration from happening once again. The Republicans?

They are the arsonists who lit the fire by negligent oversight of both Mortgage Market and Investment Banking from 2000 to 2008.

And who voted these scoundrels into office? We, the sheeple.

Wake up, sheeple.

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By Amir, May 18, 2011 at 7:16 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

It is important to start with website, mailinglists and blogs in advance, in order to support the efforts of Eric Schneirman and prevent any efforts to derail his plans. He needs lobbying as well as supporters to write him letters of support in local, nationals or international newspapers.

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By Maani, May 18, 2011 at 4:41 pm Link to this comment

mc.murphy:

You are, of course, forgiven for being new.  LOL.  I am a “veteran” here, having been on these boards for half a decade.  Most of the “regulars” know me and can attest to my own sense of honesty, integrity, and fair play.  (Indeed, I would hazard a guess that even those vets here who disagree with me all or most of the time would agree that I am honest, fair and have a high highly developed sense of integrity.)

Partick Henry:

Given that Eric only became AG last year, he may not have any trophies at all, since for his first year or so he was busy acclimating himself to the job and testing the waters on slightly less hot-button issues.  Give him a little time; unless he is derailed by forces beyond his control (which, as many here point out, is certainly possible), I assure you he will start taking heads.  LOL.

Martha:

Thanks.  I will probably see Eric next Thursday evening and will give him the good wishes of those here who are at least willing to support him as he tries to do what so many others have failed to.

Peace.

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By PatrickHenry, May 18, 2011 at 4:21 pm Link to this comment

Before this guy is lionized in the media, I want to see some results. 

Some convictions, not just fines, but seizure of assets and jail time.

Whos the biggest head on his trophy wall?

Its a target rich enviroment on Wall street.

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By MarthaA, May 18, 2011 at 4:06 pm Link to this comment

Maani, May 18 at 3:18 pm,

I wish your friend Eric well in his endeavor.

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By MarthaA, May 18, 2011 at 3:52 pm Link to this comment

mc.murphy, May 18 at 2:50 pm,

Blather, you have an over abundance of “confidence without merit” for your blather.

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By kass, May 18, 2011 at 3:51 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

This article is a thing of beauty. I’ve never seen the whole scenario better
expressed. Scheer can write!

As for Schneiderman, sending him good wishes and godspeed with every ounce of
my being.

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By MarthaA, May 18, 2011 at 3:39 pm Link to this comment

John Steinsvold, May 18 at 9:48 am,

It is time to apply a “unity of balance” to things other than
mathematica; the data of hundreds of years is available to construct
models for this purpose, but the political will is clouded by self serving
greed.

If a society that serves the greater good, instead of the greater
greed is desired, we must seek a “unity of balance” in society that is
inclusive and balanced on both sides of the equal sign, x=x.

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By mc.murphy, May 18, 2011 at 3:33 pm Link to this comment

By Maani, May 18 at 3:18 pm

“As one who has known Eric personally doe over 20 years, and suported him from
his very first campaign forward, I can attest to his honesty and integrity.”

Sorry, I’m new here - but who are you, and why should I listen to your attestations?

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By ghostofwatergate, May 18, 2011 at 3:25 pm Link to this comment

Everybody’s right in this thread. The financial crisis looming over our heads has many causes, some of which were aggravated by interested parties, with both the Obama and the Clinton administrations not excepted.

If we continue down the present economic path we are on, we are scheduled for a massive catastrophe. Also, it’s a little late in the game to think that we can “fix” any of this through the democratic legislative process or even via judicial prosecution without causing a massive collapse of the world’s economic framework when the markets react in panic mode.

So, given that’s it’s inevitable that there will be a collapse, regardless of cause, I say let’s get ahead of the curve and start the hangings early.

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By Maani, May 18, 2011 at 3:18 pm Link to this comment

As one who has known Eric personally doe over 20 years, and suported him from his very first campaign forward, I can attest to his honesty and integrity. Yes, he took campaign contributions from a variety of sources, including real estate, etc.  But one does not get into office without doing so.  What matters is what one does once s/he is there - how much they are willing to buck the system DESPITE those donations.

Eric has demonstrated a unique knack for bucking the system, despite taking contributions from special interests.  He led the move to change the State Senate from majority GOP to majority Dem, and succeeded - the first time on over 60 years that the entire State legislature was Dem-controlled.  True, shortly after this, there was that “putsch” in which Espada, Montserrate and a couple of others played traitor, voting with the GOP.  But it was also Eric who led the investigation into and removal of Montserrate from the Senate after Montserrate’s conviction re domestic violence.  Eric was also the primary mover and shaker behind the Senate’s ethics bill.  And he has been a staunch and unwavering supporter of education, ending homelessness and, in particular, rent regulations and affordable housing.  I daresay I cannot think of a single NYS politician who has Eric’s background of 100% integrity.

Does this mean he will be successful in his current investigation?  Of course not.  But I can guarantee you that he will be as tenacious as anyone has ever been in pursuing this issue.

Peace.

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By mc.murphy, May 18, 2011 at 2:50 pm Link to this comment

MarthaA, May 18 at 1:59

I’m proposing that you burn your Neo-liberal/Conservative bra. It’s a politically
expedient schism, and the last the people of this country need to see perpetuated
amongst themselves.

Burn it, and focus on issues: FIRE and MIC, and maybe, just maybe, we can front a
unified mass against the Oligarchy.

Keep on keeping on with your conservative tripe, and you’ll represent the biggest
obstacle to real and dire change.

http://mosquitocloud.net/

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By MarthaA, May 18, 2011 at 1:59 pm Link to this comment

mc.murphy, May 18 at 12:03 pm,

Perot was the politician I worked to get elected, but he pulled out,
and I ended up being sorry I supported him after he said he could
not see any need of helping veterans and his VP didn’t know who
he was or what he was doing here.

Clinton did sign NAFTA that started the outsourcing of jobs.  All of
these Trade Agreements are not in the best interest of the
majority population, but Democrats do not represent the majority
population.  The majority population needs a political party to
represent their interests.

Republican “Grover Norquist, along with Bill Kristol, Ralph E. Reed,
Jr., Clint Bolick, and David McIntosh, is one of the so-called “Gang
of Five” identified in Nina Easton’s 2000 book by that name, which
gives a history of leaders of the modern, post-Goldwater
conservative movement.”

“Norquist’s national strategy includes recruiting politicians at the
state and local levels. Norquist has helped to set up regular
meetings for conservatives in many states, meetings modeled
after his Wednesday meetings in Washington, with the goal of
creating a nationwide network of conservative activists that he
can call upon to support conservative causes, such as tax cuts and
deregulation. There are now meetings in 48 states.”
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grover_Norquist

“The Gramm–Leach–Bliley Act (GLB), also known as the Financial
Services Modernization Act of 1999, (Pub.L. 106-102, 113 Stat.
1338, enacted November 12, 1999) is an act of the 106th United
States Congress (1999–2001). It was signed into law by President
Bill Clinton and it repealed part of the Glass–Steagall Act of 1933,
opening up the market among banking companies, securities
companies and insurance companies. The Glass–Steagall Act
prohibited any one institution from acting as any combination of an
investment bank, a commercial bank, and an insurance company.”

“The Gramm–Leach–Bliley Act allowed commercial banks,
investment banks, securities firms, and insurance companies to
consolidate. For example, Citicorp (a commercial bank holding
company) merged with Travelers Group (an insurance company) in
1998 to form the conglomerate Citigroup, a corporation combining
banking, securities and insurance services under a house of
brands that included Citibank, Smith Barney, Primerica, and
Travelers. This combination, announced in 1998, would have
violated the Glass–Steagall Act and the Bank Holding Company Act
of 1956 by combining securities, insurance, and banking, if not for
a temporary waiver process. The law was passed to legalize these
mergers on a permanent basis. GLB also repealed Glass–Steagall’s
conflict of interest prohibitions “against simultaneous service by
any officer, director, or employee of a securities firm as an officer,
director, or employee of any member bank.”

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gramm–Leach–Bliley_Act

This was all a part of the Right-Wing Conservative Movement to
shrink the U.S. government down to where it could be drowned in
a bathtub. 

Nancy Pelosi, Bill Clinton, Larry Summers and Robert Rubin are all
Conservatives on the Democrat side that went along with the
Republican deregulation for their own benefit and Phil Gramm was
a Conservative Republican leader of the deregulation along with
Conservative Grover Norquist:

“S. 900—Financial Services Modernization Act (Gramm-Leach-Bliley
Act that repealed the Glass-Steagall Act)
Roll Call # 570” 
http://pelosiwatch.us/Krissy-s-Blog/January-12-2008.html

“It is clear, however, that there is bipartisan resistance to a
thorough investigation of what caused the collapse. There have
been hearings galore. But they are often little more than hazings
of corporate executives and government officials.Even the
illuminating hearings have not been connected in a meaningful
way that will help us all understand what went wrong. ...”

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By Hasapiko, May 18, 2011 at 1:47 pm Link to this comment

Robert Scheer wrote:
“The financial crisis occurred only because Republicans and Democrats passed the laws that Wall Street lobbyists wrote ending reasonable banking industry regulation installed in the 1930s in response to the Depression.”
This argument is only partially correct. The other reason for the crisis is that the American middle class had fallen so far behind that it could no longer afford to buy homes and keep current on monthly mortgage payments.
There is a direct linkage between these two prime factors - deregulation on one hand and the impoverishment of the middle class on the other. Deregulation, which really took off in the ‘80’s under Reagan, did accelerate economic growth, but that growth was primarily in the money economy and it benefited primarily the investment community. Take for example GE, the largest US industrial company. Its earnings grew at a 15% clip while its revenue from the sale of industrial equipment stagnated. How was that done? GE exploited its AAA credit rating to borrow cheap and lend at a profit, while outsourcing its industrial base and thousands of jobs to the 3rd world.
What did the rich decide to do with all that spare cash? They bought real estate. Yes, all that home buying during the boom was financed primarily by Wall Street and it created an asset bubble. In the mean time median household income hardly rose. The rest of the story is well known. Ordinary people, seeing home values rise year after year, bought homes they shouldn’t have with zero down and other irresponsible financing arrangements. Why was this allowed? Because allowing the impoverished middle class to borrow cheap money was a way for the Wall Street-backed politicians to prevent a social revolution - one that may be underway now.
It boggles the imagination that so many Americans, including Mr. Scheer, apparently, continue to overlook this inherent flaw in “free market” capitalism (which we know is not free to begin with) i.e., that it skews wealth distribution to the rich and that the rich do not invest their money to the greater benefit of society, resulting in repeated boom and bust cycles in the economy.

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By Steve E, May 18, 2011 at 1:35 pm Link to this comment

Next, civil disobedience will be met with fire. Don’t doubt it for a moment suckers
because the truth is all laid out for you to see and the truth is a warning as well.
All the great minds are not going to stop these monsters. We have been put on
notice that this is the way it will be. They are not going to pull any punches and all
the two-bit analyzing and quasi intellectual hand wringing is not going to change
anything. The consumer society has blossomed and Disneyland has croaked.
Home of the brave and land of the free, my ass.

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By Michael Shaw, May 18, 2011 at 12:40 pm Link to this comment

My hat goes off to Eric Schneiderman. We should all stand behind him with pitchforks and torches if necessary. I would say one other thing. That is that today’s current so called fiscal crisis has been engineered by the bankers and the right wingers here just as they were in Canada in 1998, where public funding on things like unemployment insurance was drastically cut on the words of a few billionaires who cried wolf and who don’t care a damn about how many people they put out of work or onto the streets, so long as they do not pay taxes. Read the Shock Doctrine by Naomi Klein. That says it all!

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By pathman25, May 18, 2011 at 12:12 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

He can start with evidence collected by Senator Levins’ committee: “Wall Street and the Financial Crisis: Anatomy of a Financial Collapse.” Matt Taibbi has a nice summary here:
http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/the-people-vs-goldman-sachs-20110511?page=1

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By mc.murphy, May 18, 2011 at 12:03 pm Link to this comment

By MarthaA, May 18

But, but wasnt it Clinton, Summers, Rubin, and Grahm who blessed us with the
Financial Services Modernization Act of 1999?

And wasn’t it Clinton who pulled the carpet of assistance from under the feet of
the most needy? Clinton who ensconced neo-liberalism with NAFTA?

Who did you vote for while everyone with half a sense voted for Nader?

Perhaps Perrot is your answer, he at least was railing against the sucking sound
of jobs wooshing south and across the Pacific…

http://mosquitocloud.net/

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By MarthaA, May 18, 2011 at 11:54 am Link to this comment

mc.murphy, May 18 at 11:09 am,

The destruction of government benefit to the majority population
is and was a Conservative Revolution Plan of Republicans and
Conservatives/Moderates and Neo Liberals that
began in the 1980’s in favor of Corporate
Welfare and fascist government—Neo-Liberal and
Neo-Conservative are new ways of saying conservative, and
conservatives are not fiscal conservatives at all as they would
have you believe, but conservatism’s conservatives that’s goal is
to dump the majority population and keep everything for
themselves.

The Deficit Solution - Cut Corporate Welfare and help starving
mothers and children and the unemployed find jobs, starving
mothers and children and the unemployed are a drop in a bucket
next to corporate welfare:

http://hubpages.com/hub/TheDeficitSolution

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By madisolation, May 18, 2011 at 11:40 am Link to this comment

ardee is right. Obama does pardon an entire industry. Ardee, you write:
“I wonder how our Attorney General passes the time with absolutely nothing to do?”
He goes after cancer patients trying to get some medical marijuana to relieve their pain.

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By mc.murphy, May 18, 2011 at 11:09 am Link to this comment

Another lawman with guts was Iowa’s AG Tim Miller. The country was offered a
dose of hope, and then, as most offerings of hope from governmental institutions,
hope crashed and burned in an extend and pretend klieg light spectacle.

Let’s all hold our breath —not!

http://mosquitocloud.net/

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By MarthaA, May 18, 2011 at 11:05 am Link to this comment

Beginning the process with Grover Norquist and Phil Gramm who
made it clear that the conservative goal is to shrink government
down to where government can be drowned in the bathtub by
allowing the process of deregulated banking corruption:

Big Con Job:
http://www.independent.com/news/2011/apr/29/big-con-job/?print

“The Big Con works like this: When the Republicans are in power,
they run up huge deficits. Think Reagan deregulating the savings
and loan industry, which gave rise to massive fraud and theft,
which, in turn, lead to the use of our taxes to salvage the industry
and protect people’s savings, which left the federal government
with its largest deficit in history up to then. What was the
Republican response to the deficit they created? “Cut spending!
Cut spending for all those programs (that help people but) that we
can no longer afford.”

There’s your con. They create a money crisis that becomes the
excuse to financially starve the government that they have defined
as “the problem” rather than the solution, except, of course, when
they want bailouts. We are being conned, manipulated, and bled.

The George W. Bush tax cuts for the rich were another way to
starve the government. To that, add the endless, unwinnable war
in Afghanistan and the unfunded invasion and war in Iraq, both of
which feed the military industry while taking money away from
programs for people, our infrastructure, research, education, and
other good things, and you have the further erosion of positive
government activity as you drain money into destructive activity.

Former Republican Senator Phil Gramm of Texas, under the
heading of “reform,” managed to slip in financial deregulation of
the banking industry at the very end of the Clinton administration
by dumping the Glass-Steagall Act, which was one of the pillars of
banking law since its passage in 1933. Glass-Steagall had erected
a wall between commercial banking and investment banking that
kept depository banks from doing business on Wall Street. With
the demise of Glass-Steagall, Wall Street became a wild gambling
casino and we are still paying for those excesses. The bankers,
however, are doing just fine after trillions of dollars of our tax
money bailed them out. Now, billions remain available to them to
borrow at near zero interest. What an amazing deal for them and
what a con on us to allow it!”

Grover Norquist quotes:
http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/authors/g/grover_norquist.html

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By felicity, May 18, 2011 at 10:35 am Link to this comment

It’s time to take securities regulators to task. 
Remember Ivan Boesky, the guy who, by way of insider
information, was able to make zillions by buying
stocks ahead of takeovers?  For a few years, white-
collar crime was something no one engaged in if he
didn’t want to spend years in jail paying for it.

A decade and a half later, the ‘90’s, securities
regulators ignored white-collar crime and created a
world in which you could commit crimes and pretty
much get away with it.

The point is that potential white-collar criminals
are always around, will always take advantage of the
opportunity to commit white-collar crimes and the
only thing stopping them is a zealous, all-knowing,
all-seeing bunch of securities regulators.

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By MarthaA, May 18, 2011 at 10:31 am Link to this comment

bart, May 18 at 10:09 am,

Corrupt bankers and corrupt politicians in the United States caused
corruption in the United States and all over the world, but the United
States must take care of the root corruption situation at home first,
before they can even think of helping the world, because if one can’t
take care of ones own problems, how can that one take care of
anyone else’s problems.

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By bart, May 18, 2011 at 10:09 am Link to this comment

@marthaA: what about the effects on the REST of the world! yes, americans are
suffering, in part because of the habit they have of voting against their best own
interests - UAW members voting for reagan, bush etc. – but let’s go beyond
nationalism here. i mean, isn’t that part of the problem?

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By John Steinsvold, May 18, 2011 at 9:48 am Link to this comment

An Alternative to Capitalism (which sidesteps Wall Street)

Several decades ago, Margaret Thatcher claimed: “There is no alternative”. She was referring to capitalism. Today, this negative attitude still persists.

I would like to offer an alternative to capitalism for the American people to consider. Please click on the following link. It will take you to an essay titled: “Home of the Brave?” which was published by the Athenaeum Library of Philosophy:

http://evans-experientialism.freewebspace.com/steinsvold.htm

John Steinsvold

Perhaps in time the so-called dark ages will be thought of as including our own.
—Georg C. Lichtenberg

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By MarthaA, May 18, 2011 at 9:47 am Link to this comment

I will pray that NY AG Eric Schneiderman succeeds with his efforts,
because it is imperative that these crooks, ALL of them, receive
justice for the traitorous crimes they committed against the
country as a whole.  We as a people can’t just laugh it off and say
that everybody was involved therefore no one was responsible,
because everybody was not involved, the 70% majority
population, the American Populace, are the ones suffering the
consequences and the criminals should receive justice, which as it
says in this link about what happened—jail is where these
bankers and their cohorts should be:

http://bit.ly/jFTYVJ

Bankers Guilty of Fraud:

http://bit.ly/mbwNlR

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By prisnersdilema, May 18, 2011 at 9:33 am Link to this comment

The plutocracy has many accidental means to rid itself of men like this. let’s hope he’s
not a pilot, and can resist prostitutes aimed in his direction. If that fails they can always
create an airline crash, or car accident;  walking across the street can be very dangerous
at times. Then here are sudden heart attacks, strokes, and prostate cancer.

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By Paco, May 18, 2011 at 9:14 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

We should prepare ourselves for Schneiderman to withdraw from the case when he is charged with rape.

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By Dave L., May 18, 2011 at 9:02 am Link to this comment

He will fail or wind up dead from an “accident.”

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By morongobill, May 18, 2011 at 8:51 am Link to this comment

I agree he has the guts, let’s just hope he doesn’t have any out of wedlock children or $3,000 a night call girls as the skeletons rattling in his closet.

The banksters will play hardball, that’s for sure.

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By djnoll, May 18, 2011 at 8:43 am Link to this comment

While everyone here, including you, Mr. Scheer, seem intent on blaming Obama for the bailout of the banks, I would like to point out two salient facts:

1.  TARP was shoved down the American throat, not by Mr. Obama, but by George W. Bush, Hank Paulsen, and Ben Bernanke.  Bush used threats of martial law under WH Order #51 which states that the president can declare martial law not only under times of civil disruption or natural disaster, but also under time of financial crisis.

2.  As for the money that was given to the banks outside of TARP, this was also done on the Bush watch by Bernanke and Timothy Geithner, without disclosure to the Congress or the American people before Obama became President.

Now, as for Obama, his failure to govern in this matter is tied to the control of his Presidency by the DNC, which is controlled by the Clinton Banker Cartel.  You need only look at how they scrambled to pass a weak regulation bill when the bankers snubbed Obama a year ago in favor of Clinton.  The Clintons have been in bed with the bankers as much as the Bushes and anyone who fails to understand this is either blindly ignorant or just plain foolish.

This nation is under assault from an institution that has become so corrupt that no one in political power can stop it.  And as long as we allow ourselves to be held captive to the banks, the longer we will suffer under their strong arm tactics.  We should have nationalized the banks in 2009, broken up the TBTF banks, and reinstated the harsh banking regulations that were repealed in 1998.  Instead, we bailed them out and we have been paying for it ever since.

My husband took a course in economics recently, and I was tutoring him.  The course textbook was written by Ben Bernanke, and in it he claimed the old Friedman believe that in a free market winners have an obligation to support the losers by shoring them up to keep more players in the market.  Ben Bernanke is a fool of the greatest order.  In a free market, losers leave the market and make room for new businesses to enter and grow.  In a real free market, no winner ever supports the losers, and we saw this when the losers (who never really lost anything if bonuses are any indicators)used TARP money not to help the people they had bilked, but rather to buy up smaller banks and reduce the number of businesses in the marketplace, creating an oligarchy.  The fact that Mr. Obama re-appointed this man on the advice of Timothy Geithner is one of his greatest failings as a president.

So, yes, Mr. Scheer, President Obama has his share of responsibility for this mess we are in, but please put the blame where it truly belongs, on the Bush Administration, the DNC, the GOP, Ben Bernanke, Timothy Geithner, Bill Clinton and his wife.  Sadly, the NY AG will never get to them along with their banker friends.  Money does not equal free speech in this country, but it certainly equals power and immunity for some.

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By bart, May 18, 2011 at 7:54 am Link to this comment

Robert, in our brief exchange on the REAL unemployment rate you ensured me
that you use the higher [actual] percentage, thus closer to 18% so as not to
mislead readers and yet i read “stuck us with an unyielding 9 percent
unemployment and left 50 million Americans losing their homes to foreclosure or
clinging desperately to underwater mortgages.”

This 9% continues to minimize the numbers of those suffering from un or under
employment and only works to undermine the severity of current govt. policy and
banking malfeasance…

otherwise good article altho when we have to lionize and revere and thank those
few actually just doing their jobs you know things are bad.

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By Rixar13, May 18, 2011 at 7:44 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

“Last week, it was revealed that Schneiderman’s office has demanded an accounting from Bank of America, Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs as to the details of their past practice of securitizing those mortgage-based packages that proved so toxic.”

Thumbs up ^... How’s about some justice for the working poor Americans…

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D.R. Zing's avatar

By D.R. Zing, May 18, 2011 at 7:43 am Link to this comment

Dear David J. Cyr:

Have you tried Preparation H? 

Zing

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By TDoff, May 18, 2011 at 7:37 am Link to this comment

We (those of us not among the corrupt gang plundering this nation, or aspiring to become members) all know what the problems are. Some of us (you) even know the solutions.
What we don’t know, or are not willing to admit, is how to effect the solutions. For those who hope (perhaps ‘dream’ or ‘wish’ is a better word) for a non-violent revolution, the odds against that are great.
To effect the changes needed by ballot, we would need different choices to vote for than the powers-that-be permit.
To cut this short, what could be an endless and fruitless dissertation, and get to the chase, let’s face the fact that our entire society has become corrupt, including you and I.
We’re the ones who put up with the corruption of our language, accepting a culture consisting of and based on hypocrisy and outright lies. Together with accepting a society in which words, thus concepts, such as ‘honor’, ‘veracity’, ‘true to one’s word’, and the like, have become frivolous, thus meaningless.
We’re the ones who watch and just stand by as our core values are destroyed, as the basis needed for a properly functioning democracy are eliminated, such as thorough education for our citizens, by a sound and complete public educational system, and truthful and complete knowledge of what our ‘leaders’ do and thus our nation does, by a free press.
In order to function properly, and thus act intelligently, we must be aware of the reality about us. And how can we be aware of that reality, when the language we use has been so distorted, so perverted, by the intent of those who manipulate us, that we can no longer be certain that what we hear and what we read has the meaning the words apparently convey?
This is not a cute game that we play, the necessity to attempt to determine the real facts behind the words used every time our ‘leaders’ speak. It has consequences, especially when we guess wrong about the true meaning or intent.
I first suggest we quit thinking of, and referring to, the folks we choose to represent us, as ‘leaders’, and letting them get away with thinking of themselves as our ‘leaders’. They are our representatives, our agents. Agents work for the folks who choose them to represent their interests. We are their bosses, their ‘leaders’, and we should never let them forget it. That will rid us of one perversion of our language and relationships.

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By D.R. Zing, May 18, 2011 at 7:24 am Link to this comment

@abikecommuter

I agree with the gist of your post.

I do, however, pause at the use of the term incestuous.  I think the word you’re looking for is diabolical, as in diabolical sonsabitches

That last word, by the way, is a rarely used technical term used to describe the offspring of female dogs who rise to the top of the banking system.

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By D.R. Zing, May 18, 2011 at 7:15 am Link to this comment

Wow, Lafayette, excellent point. Excellent clarification in the preceding paragraphs as well.

Only have one quibble: “Lead head” is a bit confusing because of the fact lead has two pronunciations and meanings. I would therefore respectfully suggest “Led Hedlin King George the Second.” 

As for Schneiderman, he’s a brave man. Let’s just hope he’s not playing hide the sausage with any organ grinders.

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By abikecommuter, May 18, 2011 at 7:14 am Link to this comment

This collusion, often incestuous, between regulators adnd pollutors, is the characteristic
failure of our economic system, simply fixed, as James Hansen and others have pointed
out, by placing the forcing technology in the pockets of consumers.

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By tedmurphy41, May 18, 2011 at 6:31 am Link to this comment

You never know! Eric Schneiderman could become the main catalyst to causes the first crack to appear in the dam holding in all that’s rotten about American politics, including high finance.

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By David J. Cyr, May 18, 2011 at 6:07 am Link to this comment

Schneiderman’s AG campaign received “contributions” amounting to $7,418,222.13, primarily accumulated in large amounts:

http://www.elections.state.ny.us/ContribAndExpend.html

Do you have $100,000, or $50,000, or 25,000, or $10,000, or $5,000, or even just the chump change of only $2,000 for a plate of Schneiderman’s rubber chicken?

Big barking at Money, with not so much biting, is how devious liberal AGs get even bigger “contributions” for their next campaign of public deception… on their way to becoming Albany’s top government gangster (i.e. Governor).

Any Democrat perceived to be “good” is a Democrat who has successfully deceived the perceivers.

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By GJS, May 18, 2011 at 6:05 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

For what it’s worth I sincerely hope this guy is honest in his persuit for these bastards & can indeed make them pay for utterly destroying so many peoples lives.
Politics has never ever scared me before however if there are any normal working people out there who are NOT worried about where we are headed I suggest you start NOW.
In my 50 odd years I’ve never seen so many things turn around so quickly NOR would many of these things be allowed to occur without massive opposition at least, it truly is more than worrisome that most people are just willing to accept whatever they’re told.
Unfortunately there are far too many people that either don’t know or don’t care about the freedom & conditions they have enjoyed for so long was from the blood sweat & tears of their parents, grandparents etc.
I suggest we ALL wake up & tell the powers that be what we want NOT listen to them say what we want, even if it means abandoning your Political Party that you have given undivided loyalty to because whichever one it is they have BOTH let everyone down badly & don’t deserve your loyalty.
Tell them in a way they cannot misunderstand or ignore VOTE for UNALIGNED INDEPENDENTS, I guarantee that you will see the biggest transformation in politics the world has seen if the 2 major Political Parties are banished even if it’s just for one term, you may even decide to keep the Independents.
Naturally for this to work there must be enough people to accomplish it by voting against the 2 major Parties BUT surely there are more than enough people out there who do actually care enough to see just how corrupt & unfair things have become, things that are only going to get worse, if that doesn’t scare you then think about what you will be saddling your kids & grandkids with, a life they wish they’d never been brought in to.
We’ve allowed this to happen & we are the ones who MUST clean it up, NOT just pass the buck, it’s just NOT right !
I wish you all well

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By StormeeATL, May 18, 2011 at 5:50 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Yes, it is right to give Clinton, GW Bush and Obama their fair share of the blame here. But you can’t ignore Reagan, the godfather of deregulation and trickle-down economics that needed a closer back-room relationship between politicians and Wall-Street to be “successful.” GHW Bush to his credit called Reaganomics “voodoo economics” and didn’t really do much himself in the areas of deregulation, etc, and it may have cost him a second term. And while I agree both sides share the blame, the Republicans particularly the right wing have been driving home this notion that any type of regulation to the banking and investment industries or business in general is tantamount to socialism/communism. Many of their sheeple believe this ideal and push to keep Democrats out of power. I do think there are far more Dems out there than Republicans who would fight against Wall Street if they had more power to do so, but we wont’t get to see if that would happen until people really see through that while the Republicans yell “socialism!” at any regulatory attempt, their lawmaking tilting in favor of Wall Street and big business in general is creating a plutocracy and is far closer to pure fascism than the Dems ever come to pure socialism. The Republicans just have a far louder media voice (something they are covertly trying to get more control of, too)

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By tdbach, May 18, 2011 at 5:38 am Link to this comment

Right you are, Lafayette. Until we disabuse ourselves of this dangerous notion that money is “speech”, our republic is will remain a garden party for oligarchs and a 12-hour shift in the coal mines for the rest of us.

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By madisolation, May 18, 2011 at 5:21 am Link to this comment

Good for Eric Schneiderman. I hope he stands his ground or if he loses, he goes down goes down swinging.
Lafayette wrote:
“TARP, btw, has been fully repaid with interest.”
Not even close. The American Spectator quotes former Congressional Oversight Panel members:
“TARP was never where the real action was happening. In fact, other Fed and FDIC programs added another $2 trillion of taxpayer money at risk to the 19 stress-tested banks alone, on top of the $1.1 trillion of MBS purchased by the Fed. TARP is but one-eighth of that total.” Those numbers do not even include the Fed’s near-zero interest rate policy, which has allowed big banks to earn risk-free profits.”
http://spectator.org/blog/2011/03/17/tarp-revisionism-watch
To let Obama off the hook for this mess is just obscene. He voted for it, he did nothing to change it, and other Democrats followed his lead. I can’t understand how anyone can defend Obama at this stage of the game, but to defend TARP? You write:
“...the unemployment rate would not have topped-out at 9% but could easily have reached double that level…”
Everyone knows that unemployment is not really 9%. It’s more like 16%-20%, if you count those who have dropped out of the labor pool and those who are working less hours than they would like. Besides, you can’t prove that failure to pass TARP would have made any difference in the unemployment rate. Creating federal jobs could have offset the problem, and we’d be a wealthier country to boot.
If our politicians won’t fight the banks, what makes you think they’ll enact election reform? That is a pipe dream and a distraction. First we have to get rid of as many corrupt politicians as we can, beginning with President Obama, the Lover of “Savvy Businessmen.”
I’m glad Scheer is casting some blame on Obama concerning his coziness with the banks (“the Obama administration that had bailed out the banks but not troubled homeowners”), but last week Scheer called Obama “the brilliant President.” So Obama’s brilliant when it comes to warmongering but a puppet of the privileged when it comes to TARP? Reading Scheer’s opinions on Obama is like watching a yo-yo go up and down. Make up your mind, Scheer, and keep in mind that Obama loves only two things: money and power.

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By ardee, May 18, 2011 at 3:19 am Link to this comment

Ford pardoned Nixon, Obama pardons an entire industry. In fact, Obama allows free rein to all industries all the time. That Shrubya created TARP is history, that Obama supports criminal behavior in our largest corporations is today’s news.

I wonder how our Attorney General passes the time with absolutely nothing to do?

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By Lafayette, May 18, 2011 at 3:00 am Link to this comment

SHEER FOLLY

RS: Not surprising then to find all of the power players in on the latest deals: the Obama administration that had bailed out the banks but not troubled homeowners ...

Good article and comprehensive, but the above fact is Sheer Folly. Obama did not bail out the banks. Lead-head chose a Goldman Sachs partner named Paulson to do so - who, in turn, put together TARP. Obama simply continued the procedure and he was right to do so.

TARP, btw, has been fully repaid with interest. As well, must be noted in its context, had TARP not been instituted the unemployment rate would not have topped-out at 9% but could easily have reached double that level - as it did during the Great Depression which, lest we forget, lasted close to ten long years.

As for the wheeling ‘n dealing between Wall Street and LaLaLand on the Republic ... yes to that blot upon our political governance.

But what Schneiderman might accomplish, whilst having the sweet smell of revenge, will not stop the process of governance corruption. That is, the corporate donations of electoral funds (PACs) and the revolving-door self-prostitution of public officials who become lobbyists.

MY POINT

Only two measures can change the Corruption of Governance plaguing this land:
* Legislation that finally and fundamentally changes our Warped Electoral Funding Process. And,
* A reform of the Supreme Court, which (under Roberts) has taken to genuflecting at the altar of Free Markets. Of the kind, “the constitution was meant to be extended to corporations who have the same freedom of speech as citizens”.

Me arse, Mister Roberts, me arse to that idiocy. What corporation has ever gone forth to defend this country with their lives? Uh? Which one?

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By Lafayette, May 18, 2011 at 2:59 am Link to this comment

SHEER FOLLY

RS: Not surprising then to find all of the power players in on the latest deals: the Obama administration that had bailed out the banks but not troubled homeowners ...

Good article and comprehensive, but the above fact is Sheer Folly. Obama did not bail out the banks. Lead-head chose a Goldman Sachs partner named Paulson to do so - who, in turn, put together TARP. Obama simply continued the procedure and he was right to do so.

TARP, btw, has been fully repaid with interest. As well, must be noted in its context, had TARP not been instituted the unemployment rate would not have topped-out at 9% but could easily have reached double that level - as it did during the Great Depression which, lest we forget, lasted close to ten long years.

As for the wheeling ‘n dealing between Wall Street and LaLaLand on the Republic ... yes to that blot upon our political governance.

But what Schneiderman might accomplish, whilst having the sweet smell of revenge, will not stop the process of governance corruption. That is, the corporate donations of electoral funds (PACs) and the revolving-door self-prostitution of public officials who become lobbyists.

MY POINT

Only two measures can change the Corruption of Governance plaguing this land:
* Legislation that finally and fundamentally changes our Warped Electoral Funding Process. And,
* A reform of the Supreme Court, which (under Roberts) has taken to genuflecting at the altar of Free Markets. Of the kind, “the constitution was meant to be extended to corporations who have the same freedom of speech as citizens”.

Me arse, Mister Roberts, me arse to that idiocy. What corporation has ever gone forth to defend this country with its life? Uh? Which one?

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By expat, May 18, 2011 at 2:53 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

as usual, sheer is full of sh..


bla bla…

nobody is going after wall street… seriously.

But it’s not all that important, the us$ will likely no longer exist by the end of 2011,

it’s all coming apart at the seams…

‘bout time!

first hyperinflation followed by deflationary depression where 1929 was a picnic in comparison,

and

about 40% of ameriKans having contracted some kind of cancer and died from it within 5-10 years (thanks GE “we bring good things to life!”)

worldwide food famines like we haven’t seen since middle ages.

to just cite a few…

the transition to Aquarius is going to be painful at first.  Fasten your seat belts…  you can just see all the ambient insanity accelerating.

Get out of US, Europe, ME now!  South Hemispere is best, only 10% of effect of northern nukes.

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By Marc Schlee, May 18, 2011 at 2:43 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

He better stay away from single-engine aircraft and women. 

FREE AMERICA

REVOLUTIONARY (DIRECT) DEMOCRACY

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