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‘God, What a Piece of Crap’

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Posted on Apr 27, 2010
Blankfein
AP / Charles Dharapak

Goldman Sachs Chairman and CEO Lloyd Blankfein prepares to testify at Tuesday’s televised Senate hearing.


Q & A - Live Chat with Robert Scheer


A live Q & A session related to this column took place on April 29, 2010 at 11:30 am PT.

Click here to view the transcript.


By Robert Scheer

It was the Perry Mason moment in the unraveling of what was left of Goldman Sachs’ reputation. Only in this case, it involved a grizzled former prosecutor, Sen. Carl Levin, rather than a genial defense attorney. The case was broken and the truth about the depth of Goldman’s corruption revealed in his startling cross-examination of Goldman Chief Financial Officer David Viniar.

The Michigan Democrat, citing the language of the internal e-mails of Goldman traders concerning the deceptive products they were selling, asked: “And when you heard that your own employees in these e-mails are looking at these deals said `God what a shitty deal. God, what a piece of crap,’ when you hear your own employees and read about those e-mails, do you feel anything?”

Viniar’s answer told us all we need to know about the banal but profound immorality of Goldman’s business culture: “I think that’s very unfortunate to have on e-mail.”

A flabbergasted Levin cut in with “On e-mail? How about feeling that way?” and Viniar, apparently moved by jeers of ridicule from the audience, conceded “I think it is very unfortunate for anyone to have said that in any form.” Pressed further by Levin asking, “How about to believe that and sell them?” the CFO finally conceded, “I think that’s unfortunate as well.” To which Levin responded, “That’s what you should have started with.”

But Goldman’s executives didn’t start with any such moral qualms or end with them, as was made clear in the testimony of Goldman Chief Executive Officer Lloyd Blankfein that followed. Blankfein basically pleaded ignorance about the company’s scams, making it clear that offering the details of such products was below his pay scale. That would be $68 million in 2007, the highest in Wall Street history, when Goldman’s bets against its customers paid off so handsomely. What was clear is that his job was to ensure the company’s immense year-end profitability with no questions asked about the methods used. “I did not know” he replied when asked about the details of the company’s trades, and at another point he added, “We’re not that smart.” Then there was “I don’t have any knowledge” on selling short, and finally, “We did not know what subsequently occurred in the housing market.”

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What he did know is that the scoundrels in his mortgage betting rooms were, as with that high-flying London operation that got AIG so much loot before it exploded, raking in enormous profits. Such ignorance is bliss for a Goldman CEO who apparently is rewarded in inverse proportion to what he knows of the operation as long as he pays attention to the bottom line.

That was certainly the case for the man whom Blankfein succeeded the year before, Henry Paulson, when Paulson went off to serve as George W. Bush’s treasury secretary. As Paulson admits in his memoir, he was unaware that suspect mortgages were at the heart of the banking meltdown, even though he was head of Goldman when those toxic mortgage securities were developed.

And then there is that other Goldman-honcho-turned-public-servant Robert Rubin, who was a Goldman vice chairman before serving as Bill Clinton’s treasury secretary. In that Cabinet job, Rubin pushed through the Financial Services Modernization Act, which demolished the wall between investment and commercial banking. Ironically, that reversal of the New Deal regulations that had operated successfully for 60 years, the Glass-Steagall Act, was referenced by Blankfein in his Tuesday testimony explaining how Goldman and other firms spun out of control.

When asked by Sen. Ted Kaufman, D-Del., how Goldman had morphed from a traditional investment bank backing sound business ventures to a market gambler in fanciful products, Blankfein attributed it, somewhat forlornly, to “a change in the sociology of the business that took place over the last 15 to 20 years.” He added, “I’m not sure that it was precipitated by the fall of Glass-Steagall or it caused Glass-Steagall to fall. …” 

Of course there was nothing inevitable about the fall of Glass-Steagall in 1999, since it was the result of decades of lobbying by the financial industry. That change was followed by the total deregulation of financial derivatives by the Commodity Futures Modernization Act, which Rubin had pushed and which President Clinton signed into law.

Clinton recently conceded that he got bad advice from Rubin on derivatives regulation, but he still holds to the notion that the reversal of Glass-Steagall was not harmful. No one listening carefully to the day of testimony by the various Goldman executives could accept the idea that these folks can function decently without strict boundaries. 

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


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



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By Tom Edgar, May 27, 2010 at 9:49 pm Link to this comment

Thomas G. I seriously thought we had improved the standard of debate here imagining that we had seen the last of people who, instead of addressing the problem, attacked the writers with personally abusive invective,  drawing from their imaginations, then attributing characteristics of their own biases to their perceived protagonists, whilst not even knowing that persons background.

Your convoluted idea of “Socialism” bears no resemblance to what I, who was born into the movement over 83 years ago, has ever imagined.

That your central banking system, and I remind you that the American Reserve Bank is a totally Private enterprise,  cannot be interpreted as a Socialist enterprise.  That the Capitalist banking system, manipulating the Government, assisting its own Capitalist brothers in times of self induced problems whereby they all profit from the mistakes and mercenary manipulation, can scarcely be called “Socialism.”  Stealing from the taxpaying workers to line the pockets of millionaire money manipulators cannot equate with Socialism aiding the less than needy.

Even the late U S S R or present day China are but State Capitalists. Nobody could call them Communists no more than anybody could truly call America,or any other nation, a Democracy.. Both ideologies in their purest sense would claim that there is input from the proletariat to claim the title. Neither ever have.  Both have elections whereby the next set of Dictators take their turn, at fleecing the populace
and pretending to govern for the benefit of the electors.  One set has a fairer and more democratic election system than the other, although in America’s case the degree is debatable.

Most European countries have varying degrees of social justice parading as “Socialism.” but no country, to my knowledge, has ever been truly “Socialist.” 

As a man I truly despise, (Churchill) once wisely said. (Not quoted verbatim) “Democracy (meaning Capitalism) Is a horrible system but so far is the best we have ever come up with.”
He could have added “For us.” meaning the wealthy of course. If you want to see Capitalism as a failure you have only to look at the majority of the countries in the world, after all it is the system prevailing in just about all of them.  It is a successful model for those who profit the most, for the majority of the people it is a failure.

Would Socialism in its purest form be better?  I doubt it. Nobody wants to eat bread when they all want cake.

So, with respect, before you claim “Socialism” is assisting conniving Capitalists I think you should define what is your idea of Socialism.

As I said earlier, to most Americans especially those of the extreme fundamentalist Christian right, atheism and socialism are synonymous, closely allied to Leprosy or Aids. To me, both of the former are preferable to being associated with the hypocrisy of Newt Gingrich and the Pat Robertsons of this world.

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By ThomasG, May 27, 2010 at 2:20 pm Link to this comment

Tom Edgar, May 27 at 2:53 am,

“Without American socialism here in the United States, you would not last for anymore than a week without being isolated to the point of death.”

There would be no socialist infrastructure to keep you from being isolated.

The infrastructure of American socialism provides the infrastructure for commercial enterprise of privatized capitalism, and the U.S. Treasury cyclically provides the funds to recapitalize failed capital of privatized capitalism.

The laissez nous faire economy of privatized capitalism depends upon an infrastructure of socialism to enable production, distribution, and consumption of commodities; and, without that infrastructure of socialism the whole pyramid scheme of commerce would come to a grinding halt; also, rude products, such as timber and minerals are socialist endeavors as well as the cyclical bailout of privatized capitalism by the use of social capital to recapitalize private capital.

Privatized capitalism is much like a thankless child that condemns those who give the child food and shelter, but privatized capitalism is more like a parasite living on American socialism that in the name of laissez nous faire privatized capitalism sucks out the advantages of American socialism without giving anything in return.

This is what I figured you should be smart enough to understand, and since it is not that difficult, I figured you were engaged in disingenuous propaganda, rhetoric and sophism that someone had inculcated into you to make you dance like a puppet in a dumb show.

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By Tom Edgar, May 26, 2010 at 10:53 pm Link to this comment

Thomas G

Forgive me, English is my first language, in which I am, generally, considered to be competent.  But I can’t understand what point to are attempting to make.

“ARE YOU SMART ENOUGH TO TELL ME WHY” Why what?
The rest of the paragraph isn’t any more elucidating either.

For your information this mid octogenarian, far from being influenced by the lunatic Christian Fundamentalists, has been an atheist all of his life, which I wager is a lot longer than yours.

I have also, in the past, been nominated as a Socialist Party Parliamentary candidate,  which is when I woke up about politics, and Party Politicians.

Having lived under Socialist and Capitalist Governments, in more than one country, and visited many more, including most of those in Western Europe, plus your own and Canada, I feel I have sufficient knowledge to address the merits and evils of both, or all, systems. None of which I consider to be Democratic.

So, if you can clarify your remonstrance I will try my best to furnish a response.

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By ThomasG, May 26, 2010 at 7:54 pm Link to this comment

Tom Edgar, May 26 at 4:08 am,

Without American socialism here in the United States, you would not last for anymore than a week without being isolated to the point of death.  Are you smart enough to tell me why, or are you just another dummy ranting rhetoric and propaganda about socialism that you do not understand, that has been inculcated into you by the Conservative evangelical Christian Movement?

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By Tom Edgar, May 26, 2010 at 12:08 am Link to this comment

If you are in anyway a “Socialist.” you are as bad as an “Atheist.” or the two are synonymous.
So where does that leave the alliances with socialistically inclined countries such as Britain, Finland, Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Holland, etc.,...  Even those who do not actually identify themselves as Socialists, by comparison with the USA they are, as is most of Western Europe, Australia, New Zealand, even, comparatively, Canada. Each and every one of those countries having an, average, superior education, health and welfare system.

Here in Australia with Governments, both State and Federal, hell bent on making the same mistakes as their less than illustrious puppet master the U S A.
Our basic philosophy is still one of social justice.
To be socially just,& with equality of opportunity to all is the foundation of Socialism.  Please forgive me if I only imagined it, but isn’t that also the pretence of those who spout Democracy but embrace Fascist Capitalism, with Socialism as the rescuer when it doesn’t work? If using the taxpayer’s money to bail out corrupt financial and commercial corporations isn’t Socialism rescuing the Capitalist despots.  What the hell is it?

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By MarthaA, May 25, 2010 at 9:04 pm Link to this comment

christian96, May 5 at 12:20 am,

Socialized capitalism would take a lot of stress off the populace, but the Republicans have propagandized the Christian community into thinking there is no other way than privatized capitalism and that God is against socialism, while their tithes and offerings are a means of socialism.

I used to like Kenneth Copeland, but he has gotten into politics to the point that I end up turning him off.  Yesterday, Copeland was spouting and trying to convince people that God had told him that socialism was satanic.  For the love of God, all I can say about Christian political Republican propagandizing is that Kenneth Copeland, like Pat Robertson and all the rest of the conservative Republican Christians are following the mammon God, which is not the Lord God, even if they say they are, they are double talking the Word of God and following the mammon God.

Here is a post relative to the populace preferring social capital to private capital:

http://socialistworker.org/2010/05/24/looking-for-an-alternative

There is absolutely nothing ungodly about socialized capitalism, which I think the United States should be about accomplishing for the sake of the nation and the populace of the nation.

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By christian96, May 4, 2010 at 8:20 pm Link to this comment

Tom—-You are absolutely correct.  Keep breathing
is what it is all about.  I had a friend who
supposedly committed suicide several weeks ago.
All of our mutual friends cannot believe this guy
killed himself.  No motive what-so-ever.  He said
good-by to his wife, daughter, and grandchild as
they drove off one Sunday morning.  Then, he pulled
his car into the garage left the car running and
killed himself.  He left a note to his wife but there
was nothing in the note to indicate his motive.  He
and his wife had nice retirement incomes.  I haven’t
ruled out foul play.  Believe me, in America anything
is possible.  I’ve seriously considered leaving the
country.  When I was in graduate school one of the
professor’s on my doctoral committe said New Zealand
is the prettiest place on the planet.  What is your
opinion?  Yes, for the last several days I have
been very angry with Saint Patrick Robertson.  He
had me fooled for many years.  I use to send him
money when he was teaching about God.  When my
engagement broke up in the 1970’s I even took the
wedding rings down to lair and gave them to the
organization and ask them to sell them and use the
money to preach about God.  He hardly ever talks
about God anymore.  It’s mostly finances and politics.  I should have gotten the clue several
years ago when he ran for President of the United
States.  The straw that broke the camel’s back
took place on April 26th.  The prior day, April 25th,
a memorial was held for the families and friends of
the 29 coal miners killed in a mine explosion on
April 5th.  President Obama spoke at the memorial.
In his speech President Obama ask the families and
friends to seek comfort by seeking the face of God.
President Obama also quoted Psalm 23 from the Bible.
The next day I decided to watch Pat Robertson’s TV
show The 700 Club to see what he would say about
the memorial and President Obama’s speech.  He didn’t
mention one word about the memorial or speech.  Not
one word.  It was a slap in the face of the deceased
coal miners, their families and friends.  I was
raised in a coal mining community.  I know first hand
what these people were going through.  As a kid I
would lay in bed at night until I heard my father
talking to my mother downstairs in the kitchen.
When I heard his voice I could go to sleep.  I knew
he had made it home safely from another shift in
the mines.  You would think Pat Robertson would
want Christians across America to know their President mentioned God and the Bible in his speech.
Not Pat Robertson.  He’s a Republican.  President
Obama is a Democrat.  Since you don’t follow him
let me assure you Pat Robertson has a very large
following in America.  When the elections near
this Fall he will spend much time talking about the
positive beliefs of Republicans.  You can take that
to the bank.  I probably should stop using that saying with the fiasco that has been transpiring in
the banking industry.  I should stop talking about
the neglect of coal miners by Saint Robertson.  Many
people on this site could care less about God or
coal miners.  Take care.

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By Tom Edgar, May 4, 2010 at 4:05 pm Link to this comment

C96.

I trust that visiting this site helps you to learn. 
It is what I do. Addiction to knowledge is not only dangerous it is insatiable.  If you want to learn even more, visit the other T D site “Karen Armstrong’s The Case for God.”  I am struggling through that book.

I have digressed… You have a fixation of Pat R whilst there many more just like him, maybe with less influence, for my part I rarely even give him, or them a thought, but then Australia is by and large pretty irreverent with only 25% of the populace attending places of religious worship.  The Beach, Beer and Sport are much more important.

Robertson and his ilk in the Evangelistic area are nothing more than deified con men.  It always amazes me how people can be fleeced by these charlatans.
My own interpretation of course is that it is only a matter of degree between them and the profitable business of main stream religions, who avoid taxation on their earnings.  There is not a great deal of difference between the Pat Robertsons of this world and the Nigerian Scammers, and so help me, there are still people being fleeced daily by these too.  As your famous past President said You can fool some of the people all of the time, Most of the people all of the time or words to that effect.  Reminds me of religion. or the Scammers on the Stock Market that other Religious Institution, where people worship the God of Mammon.

Have a friend who has slept with a mask for many years, have some others who should wear one daily.
But all I can say is keep breathing son its the only way to go and go and go, and you are gone when you don’t.

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By christian96, May 4, 2010 at 10:43 am Link to this comment

Martha and Tom—-I’ve been gone for a day.  Spent
last night in a sleep study to see if I have sleep
apnea.  I do.  Guess I’ll be wearing a mask at night.
Could have an advantage.  If someone breaks into my
place and sees me sleeping with that mask on they
may think I’m an alien and run away.  Your conversation about Capitalist and Capitalism is
interesting.  I really haven’t given it much thought.
Maybe a writer from Truthdig will write an article
and enlighten us.  If Pat Robertson begs for money
from old ladies across America and takes the money
and invests it does that make him a captialist?
Speaking of Pat Robertson, this morning on The 700
Club he said, “The PIGS in Europe are in financial
trouble(PIGS meaning Portugal, Italy, Greece, Spain).
If the PIGS go under it will hurt America. The PIGS
won’t be able to buy American goods.”  Wonder what
goods they buy since weapons and porn are our two
leading exports?  Pat loves to talk about finances
and government.  Every now and then he mentions God
to keep the old ladies sending in the bucks.

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By Tom Edgar, May 3, 2010 at 7:45 pm Link to this comment

No. Capital is the spring from whence the money stream flows. What is done with the money stream defines a Capitalist, and Capitalism. The misuse of the stream by the Goldman Sachs of this world pollutes the system, just the same as those who, for their own advantage, pollute the streams and waterways from its crystal pure origins of our whole ecological (& financial) systems,  regardless of the consequences downstream.

Heck I’m lapsing into biblical parables again.  I’ll earn a dog collar yet.

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By MarthaA, May 3, 2010 at 7:26 pm Link to this comment

Tom Edgar, May 3 at 10:50 pm,

How much interest do you make on your money in the bank?  Not enough to be a money stream.  Capital is the revenue stream.

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By Tom Edgar, May 3, 2010 at 6:50 pm Link to this comment

Martha.  I can’t see how you could write that and still have read, and interpreted my submission.

I thought, and reading it again, am sure I made a differentiation between money hoarded, and money usefully converted for gain.

Money under the mattresses depreciates in value, money in the Bank gains by accruing interest, being Banks not always ahead of depreciation.  It is possible, even more so, to lose money on the Stock Market than in a Bank, How does one equate with Capitalism but the other not? Both are forms of investment with money earning money.  According to the strict interpretation of Islam either way is immoral.  Doesn’t stop the Saudis, and others, from
taking advantage of the system.

Cynically I add that it is possible to lose more investing on the Stock Exchange than by leaving it under the mattress.  But one makes you a fool whilst the other a Capitalist?  Now your Broker on the Stock Exchange and your Banker makes money when you do, and when you don’t. They both make a profit from other people’s money.  For me that is a Capitalist,  Goldman Sachs, and others, epitomised just that.

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By MarthaA, May 3, 2010 at 6:20 pm Link to this comment

Tom Edgar, May 3 at 8:04 pm,

Have you confused a nest egg with capital?  Capital is not money, but can be money if the money is working to bring in more money. Money is a capital asset and is not capital unless it is working and making a revenue stream, which is capital.  A miser isn’t a capitalist, only a person who hoards money.  A capitalist is a person who uses his capital assets for a revenue stream. Land is a capital asset, but if it sets and is not used it is not capital, capital is the revenue stream from the capital asset.

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By Tom Edgar, May 3, 2010 at 4:04 pm Link to this comment

Sorry Martha I don’t agree.  Capital is the wealth at your disposal to use.  If you leave it under the mattress it is still there for your use. Most people aren’t that silly and will deposit it somewhere to earn a little, even if not enough to counter inflation.

One could argue that your home is an investment and can be realised in one form or another for cash and is part of your capital wealth.

My daughter, some years ago, was told by her accountant. “Congratulations,  you are in the millionaires club.”  She was still living from month to month on her wage. but her properties were well over a million along with her equity but cash wise no.  So Capital isn’t necessarily greenbacks or cowrie shells, But can so easily be other things that represent them.

If you have little reserve cash because you have bought bullion, diamonds, or paintings does this mean you are different to investors on the stock market who have shares in gold and diamond mines or art galleries?

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By MarthaA, May 3, 2010 at 1:14 pm Link to this comment

Tom Edgar, May 3 at 9:24 am,

“With this man saving sufficient capital was an obsession.”

Savings is not capital; there is NO REVENUE STREAM on savings.

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By Tom Edgar, May 3, 2010 at 5:24 am Link to this comment

As you say Martha Capital is the money that of itself engenders more wealth.

Even the poorest of income earners is often able to gain a surplus which can be turned into “Capital.”

In my childhood I lived in an apartment block, this was in the 30s.  One poor family with seven or eight children and a, very often, unemployed father were even poorer than we.  However no matter what he earned or even when only on the “Dole” he saved 10%. he neither drank nor smoked. With this man saving sufficient capital was an obsession. By the time the war came and the cost of housing plummeted he had sufficient to put a deposit on a house.

Now I know not everyone has that resolve but if you are determined enough you can become a capitalist.
I once served with a man who only sailed on tankers, and never went ashore, saving every penny and studying for his goal of being a doctor.  He became a rather well off medico and invested further.  Another capitalist.

Now neither of these men would ever think of themselves as Capitalists.  Capitalism has become a dirty word because of the machinations of the Corporate Crooks just as Communism is besmirched by the misusers of the power that they, like their Capitalist counterparts, did in more recent years.

Capitalism, Socialism, Communism, all are capable of bringing good honest government of, and well being to,  the ordinary people.  But only if those with the power are fair,  honest, and genuine in their endeavours.
Unfortunately it is not that kind of person who usually makes it to the top, in government, or in business.  Sorry if that is pessimistic.

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By MarthaA, May 3, 2010 at 4:01 am Link to this comment

Tom Edgar, May 3 at 6:02 am,

“Some are Capitalists though not many at the Goldman Sachs level, and therein lies the rub.”

Many of the populace that work for themselves have no idea that meeting their needs in a small business has nothing at all to do with being a capitalist, unless they have a steady revenue stream of money coming into their coffers.  Most of the populace work for the capitalists from paycheck to paycheck and have no idea what capital really is, most people think money is capital in and of itself, but money in and of itself isn’t capital, unless it provides a revenue stream.  It seems that exactly what capital is would be taught in schools to the young in a capitalist country.

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By Tom Edgar, May 3, 2010 at 2:02 am Link to this comment

C96.  See you can write well and in a kindlier mode.
“Soft answer turning away wrath”

I shouldn’t have bragged so much. I wait until this late period of my life to contract asthma. Finding that my sister and mother had it all their lives doesn’t make it easier.  I am not used to being anything but healthy.  That wood heap will wait awhile, fortunately I have enough to last all winter.

I recall many years ago, when I was a competitive amateur wrestler, an asthmatic competitor asked specifically to be matched with me in an inter-club tournament.  Now this guy milked by hand a dozen cows on his little dairy farm. When we locked on he took my wrists, and for the first time ever I was unable to break the hold. So I threw him whilst he held me. The skin on my wrists actually tore from his iron grip. Three times we met and each time he was becoming harder to beat, well I was not young even then. He never let his asthma be an excuse. So I take asthma as something else to beat. Just might take a little time.

I too could also reminisce on the disparity of Blacks and Whites in Louisiana in 1944/5 but this is
still, of this particular site, a digression from the theme.

Don’t forget we atheists on this site are still humans with all the failings and successes of the not so enlightened.  The same differences in all other areas.  Some are Capitalists though not many at the Goldman Sachs level, and therein lies the rub.
People such as the many Politicians who protect and aid these corporate crooks, or the crooks themselves, so often say as the Jewish Trader working on a sabbath.“Don’t let religion get in the way of making a buck.”

Keeping religion out of Government maybe a good thing
using it selectively in Big Business (or Government) is another matter. It serves to quieten dissenters to their nefarious practices.

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By christian96, May 2, 2010 at 7:35 pm Link to this comment

Tom—-I am impressed by your physical abilities.
I’ve let myself go for several years but at one
time I was one of the best fist fighters in a
county made up of mostly small coal mining communities in West Virginia.  By the way, Virginia
and West Virginia are two separate States in America.
Virginia could be characterized as the home of the
wealthy aristocrats while West Virginia is the home
of the lowly working class. I taught at a university
in Sourthwestern Virginia where the blue bloods(wealthy aristocrats) live.  I appeared on a talkshow
in Lynchburg, Virginia to discuss why wealthy people
neglect poor people.  The narrator of the program
was a black fellow.  I lost my university teaching
position and was never able to locate another one.
The black fellow lost his TV program.  The TV station
was purchased by someone in Arizona. Now, Arizona is
in a tizzy over illegal aliens.  I hope the aliens
invade them like a swarm of locusts.

Martha and Inherit The Wind—-Thank you for the
references.  I’ll check them out and hopefully find
someone to expose Pat Robertson before his deceitful
venom overflows this Fall just before the elections.

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By Tom Edgar, May 2, 2010 at 5:39 pm Link to this comment

C96 Now it just so happens that I am, very gratefully, not an American and live in SE Queensland
Without looking it up I daresay you don’t know the other States with boundaries to my home State.A large number of Americans couldn’t even point to the position of my country on an atlas. Not that my observation regarding attitudes to Unions is changed. West or East it is of no relevance.Are they not both Virginians, or more importantly not Americans? Your pedantry is only matched by your evident gentle kindly Christian language.

Regarding my senility.  I’ll match my intellectual capacity against yours, and judging from your literacy skills it will be a no contest. Not only my
mental capacity but I daresay, relatively,  physicality.  I’m still splitting hardwood logs for my cook stove, and caring for a son, and maintaining a thirty acre block in the mountains.

I suggest you go to your childish superstitious ritualistic, prayer hall of whatever faith.  Pray to your non existent sky dweller to change Pat Robertson, and Goldman Sachs and all the other Christian, avaricious, capitalist money making profiteers who fight the Unions, and the Workers to maintain “Economic” advantages for the wealthy at the expense of the workers who produce the materials contributing to the investors wealth.

You state that we, on this forum, are spouting hot air, and doing nothing. Pointing the finger still leaves several pointing in your own direction. For your information, at your age I was still active in the productive work force, albeit self employed. Because of my previous affiliation with Unions, and
then as an affiliate member of the Employers Federation through my own Professional Association I advocated cooperation and not confrontation.  I was defeated because of the very same attitude epitomised by Goldman Sachs.  Them and Us.

A little of the claimed Christian forbearance and humility could be of some advantage, should you use it.

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By MarthaA, May 2, 2010 at 1:55 pm Link to this comment

christian96, May 2 at 4:45 pm,

I hope you didn’t have a family member killed in that horrible mine disaster.  There really needs to be strong, strict, enforceable safety laws so that these mine disasters won’t keep happening, because if the populace just sit back, the capitalists in and of themselves do not care one iota about any member of the populace.  As far as a capitalist is concerned, if one breaks, get another.  Here is a list of some blogs that I found on Truthdig and other places about the Massey mine disaster:

http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/massey_disaster_not_just_tragic_but_criminal_20100413/

http://www.truthdig.com/eartotheground/item/investigating_tragedy_20100410/

http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/will_we_forget_the_miners_again_20100407/

http://blogs.alternet.org/speakeasy/2010/04/07/the-company-behind-the-mine-disaster/

http://www.fair.org/blog/2010/04/16/in-discussion-of-mine-disaster-coverage-only-imaginary-unions-allowed/


http://blogs.wvgazette.com/coaltattoo/2010/04/06/the-massey-mine-disaster-now-what/

http://roomfordebate.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/04/07/why-do-we-still-have-mining-disasters/

Hope one of these will help you.

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By Inherit The Wind, May 2, 2010 at 1:33 pm Link to this comment

Christian96:
First you called me a jerk, then I responded that you were being the jerk for insisting on posting irrelevancies on this thread.  Now you’ve called me an “asshole” and said “where SHOULD I post about the mine disaster?”

Well, it took me all of 30 seconds and it’s right here, under “REPORTS”

http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/massey_disaster_not_just_tragic_but_criminal_20100413/

So go post THERE, (and stop acting like an asshole).

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By christian96, May 2, 2010 at 12:45 pm Link to this comment

Tom—-You made the following comment:
I daresay Americans everywhere are sympathetic to The Virginian miners, who in the main reject the “Union.” who would have protected their rights and conditions.

I have no idea what you are talking about.  First,
the miners were not in Virginia.  They were in West
Virginia.  Virginia and West Virginia are two separate states.  I use to face this ignorance when
I went into the Air Force in 1958.  When I would
tell someone I was from West Virginia they would
reply, “How far are you from Richmond?”  For God’s
sake doesn’t anybody learn geography in school.
Who rejected the “union?”  It sure wasn’t the miners.
Since you told me you are 83 I’ll check that one
off to senility.  With all these intellectuals making
comments about Goldman and Sachs on this thread,
HAVE YOU CHANGED ANYTHING?  Absolutely nothing. Just
as I have been unable to expose the deceptions of
Pat Robertson.  At least, Martha, on this post shows
some compassion.
THEN POST ON THE THREADS ABOUT THE MINE DISASTERS, NOT HERE WHERE IT’S TOTALLY IRRELEVANT AND OBNOXIOUS TO POST!

In Herit the Wind—-You wrote the above.  If it
wouldn’t be too much trouble could you tell me where
I could find post dedicated to mine disasters. If
you think this site is “totally irrelevant and
obnoxious to post” you are not a “jerk.”  You are a
complete obnoxious selfish ASSHOLE.  There wen’t
my Christianity.  If you don’t want to be treated
like an ASSHOLE don’t write like one.  I’ve been
reading these posts on truthdig for a long time.
I haven’t seen anyone do anything except blow
off a lot of hot air. Not one iota of a change has
come from blowhards like yourself.

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By MarthaA, May 2, 2010 at 8:29 am Link to this comment

It is my firm hope that those of the genteel populace who bought the American Dream propaganda will learn they are genteel and not foolishly continue to think they are in league with the GOP of the Republican Party, get out of the Republican Party and join the populace Democratic Party and make it something more than a genteel political party for academics.  There is no GOP in the Democratic Party, so all genteel Republicans and loner Independents should gravitate to the Democratic Party, unite and change the Democratic Party for the good of all the populace, instead of only the favored genteel toadies to the GOP.

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By MarthaA, May 2, 2010 at 7:54 am Link to this comment

Tom Edgar, May 2 at 2:23 am,

My comment was addressed to Christian96, but you might notice that God was introduced by Robert Sheer in the title.

I agree with your comment, “What is needed is positive action and incarceration of the guilty parties.”

Senator Levin did a good job bringing out their guilt and that is exactly what needs to continue to be done, one banker at a time, until all are convicted and all are in prison for their larcenous and treasonous crimes against humanity and the nation, because these Right-Wing Republican EXTREMIST corporate bankers and all those that assisted them knew exactly what they were doing and didn’t care that the country was being destroyed from within, as long as they could be the fat cats on top.

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By Leefeller, May 2, 2010 at 7:51 am Link to this comment

Omop,

I had hoped otherwise, seems even for Buffet, integrity
may only go as far as his wallet. I was wondering why
Buffet was supporting Goldman slacks, thought Buffet was
above the rest and better than that.

Bottom line is the bottom line, for nothing else matters
in the minds of opportunists, I mean nothing.

Some peoples illusion of God is to worship money, so
they give their money to Goldman Slaks.  Seems some
people having a delusion of God give their money to Pat
Robertson!

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By omop, May 2, 2010 at 6:11 am Link to this comment

HOLD ZEE PRESSES.

GOD’S MAIN MAN ON EARTH IS DEFENDING GS AS A PRINCIPLED AND ETHICAL
ALL AMERICAN BUNCH OF GUYS IN THE BUSINESS OF MAKING MONEY .

TO WIT: Mr. Buffett has a significant investment in Goldman. In 2008, during
the depths of the financial crisis, Berkshire invested $5 billion in preferred
shares. Those shares carry a 10 percent interest rate, meaning that Berkshire is
earning about $500 million a year from its holdings.

  [ OR AS GOD’S MAIN MAN PUT IT WERE MAKING $15 ...THATS FIFTEEN
DOLLARS EVERY SECOND ON OUR MONEY WITH GS.]

  AND THATS NO BULL.

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By Inherit The Wind, May 2, 2010 at 6:09 am Link to this comment

christian96, May 1 at 9:24 pm #

Inherit The Wind—-What happened with this particular
corporation is of no interest to me.  The same principles have occurred numerous times in the past
and will occur numerous times in the future.  Someone
selling their souls for money through lies and deception.  What interest me right now is the slap
in the face to the families and friends of the 29
deceased coal miners and their families and friends
when Pat Robertson on his TV program chose not to
even mention the memorial to these deceased miners.

**********************************************

THEN POST ON THE THREADS ABOUT THE MINE DISASTERS, NOT HERE WHERE IT’S TOTALLY IRRELEVANT AND OBNOXIOUS TO POST!

I AM NOT A JERK FOR TELLING YOU NOT TO WASTE EVERYONE’S TIME CLOGGING UP A THREAD WITH AN UNRELATED ISSUE!  YOU ARE THE JERK FOR DOING SO!

(I was trying to be nice about it but you chose to act like such a p*tz about it that this is the best you deserve.)

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By truedigger3, May 2, 2010 at 5:42 am Link to this comment

Re:By Leefeller, May 2 at 8:25 am #

Leefeller,

I am really surprised and glad. Finally you wrote a serious post, and a good one too.

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By Leefeller, May 2, 2010 at 4:25 am Link to this comment

Aside from the title which must annoy C96, and his
crocadilbe tears laced fetish of Robertson’s hypocrisy, 
the self righteous irk, me thinks it is more the title
of this article that pisses C96 off,.... than anything
else.

For what it is worth there is a commonality in attitudes
of the mine industry, the oil industry, Goldman Slaks,
the war industry and any other capitalist opportunists
who worships the all mighty dollar instead of life
itself.

This article has nothing to do with the hypocrisy of
religions and minion followers, except for their
adherence to delusions of opportunity. 

So, now the price of coal will go up because maybe they
will make the job safer for the miners. So now the price
of oil will go up, so it will be safer for the oil
workers and potentially the environment.  And now
Goldman Slacks has been called on the carpet and the
price of everything may go up because millions of people
have lost their retirements, homes and jobs.  Many
people may lose their lives because they lost their jobs
and cannot afford a thousand dollars every month for
health insurance from Insurance companies with
integrity and reason just like Goldman Slaks.

The hypocrisy in opportunism of religion seems very
similar to Goldman slacks for the bottom line is making
money selling an imaginary product or something that
does not exist,  God if anything at all is a another
kind of derivative. 

Hence the title of this article;  “‘God, What a Piece of
Crap’”

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By Tom Edgar, May 1, 2010 at 10:27 pm Link to this comment

Typo….. That Payers should have been Prayers. You know the people who mumble to nothing trying to gain something.

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By Tom Edgar, May 1, 2010 at 10:23 pm Link to this comment

Ac mein Gott in Himmel .. We’ve got another Christian ratbag.  Is this an attempt to undermine sensible dissertation with meaningless twaddle about non existent entities?

Fascist right wing Godless Corporations. Godless left wing Socialists.  With only the Godly in the middle?

Goldman Sachs. Undoubtedly Judaic in origin and probably emphatically so even now, but still part of the people of the “Book.”  Theoretically, at least, there should be no followers of Islam on these corrupt financial boards.

Well if you wish a God to intervene why aren’t all those mumblings into the ether to nobody in particular not producing the desired result and distributing the enormous wealth they have accrued?

Last I heard the most prominent of these, and the largest,  distributors of unnecessarily accrued excess wealth from business activities was Bill Gates.  Oops! He isn’t a believer.

Cut the Christian evangelising and pay attention to the problem.  The one that this site is supposed to be about. Payers won’t stop the preyers, it has never worked in any other area.  You need a powerful leader who will combat these controllers of America’s finances and destinies from further pillaging of the national purse.

Pie in the sky appeals to imaginary beings is negative action, it is just hoping a non existent being will do something.From nothing, nothing comes, I recall is a popular Fundamentalist maxim.

What is needed is positive action and incarceration of the guilty parties. Ye Gods you have enough jails for them, just let out a few of the minnows & net the sharks.  Sorry.. I forgot the administration isn’t afraid of minnows…......

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By MarthaA, May 1, 2010 at 9:05 pm Link to this comment

christian96, April 29 at 10:45 am,

You are doing a fine job by telling the truth.  God is not on the side of Pat Robertson as much as he says he is any more than he was on the side of Jerry Falwell. 

The Right-Wing conservative EXTREMIST Pat Robertson used and uses socialist means through receiving tithes and offerings from the populace to get his power and bully media pulpit, and is using his bully media pulpit for political means which is not in the best interest of the populace of our country or God.  There is nothing you or anyone else can do, other than just keep telling the truth and getting the truth out to whoever will listen, because the populace of our country is in real jeopardy from the fascist Right-Wing Godless corporations. 

You must rely on God to take care of the situation.  Vengeance belongs to God. 

Pat Robertson is either deceived or a charlatan, but either way he will be handled by God, because he is doing great harm to the church.

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By Tom Edgar, May 1, 2010 at 7:54 pm Link to this comment

O K C96.
You can cut out the very Christian aggression and offensive terminology.

I daresay Americans everywhere are sympathetic to The Virginian miners, who in the main reject the “Union.” who would have protected their rights and conditions.

That any person, Obama or anyone else, doesn’t pester an imaginary being, who from a Christian’s point of view, or Muslims too for that matter, designated they should die in this horrible manner, is immaterial. Mumbling inconsequential thoughts isn’t about to bring them back nor will it prevent avaricious mine owners, and investors in the coal industry, profiting from this trade in black gold and human misery.

The investors on the Stock Market including Goldman Sachs et al are only concerned with monetary profits.  If you want to make waves then I suggest that thee are other oceans than this which is not really fertile ground for your proselytising evangelism.  I am afraid the intelligence level of the contributors is far above that.  You are out of your depth here in spite of your claimed academic levels. You are only proving that education and intelligence are not necessarily one and the same.

Those miners were probably, ineffectually, praying for physical salvation,  if you think it so effective may I suggest you pray for a change of heart for Goldman Sachs, and all the other thieves who have robbed the American populace. Chances of it working for the miners and the moguls roughly equal. Zilch..

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By christian96, May 1, 2010 at 5:24 pm Link to this comment

Inherit The Wind—-What happened with this particular
corporation is of no interest to me.  The same principles have occurred numerous times in the past
and will occur numerous times in the future.  Someone
selling their souls for money through lies and deception.  What interest me right now is the slap
in the face to the families and friends of the 29
deceased coal miners and their families and friends
when Pat Robertson on his TV program chose not to
even mention the memorial to these deceased miners.
Perhaps, you are like Pat Roberson don’t really
give a damn to what happpened to the miners.  In fact, my educated guess would be that the majority
of Americans don’t give a damn about what happened
to the miners. But I give a damn.  I was raised
among miners.  I don’t worship money.  Why are you
so interested in Goldman Sachs?  Did you lose some
bucks through their lies and deceptions?  I just
spent most of the last week contacting democratic
politicans, CNN, other news agencies including
Democracy Now, trying to find someone who will
expose the deception of Pat Robertson.  I didn’t
get any help from anyone.  Maybe if I would have
mentioned that some of the deceased miners were gay
I would have heard from Amy Goodman.  Democracy Now!
What a joke! I posted here hoping that some of the
so-called intellectuals might have some idea how I
could expose Pat Robertson for his neglect to cover
the memorial and the President of our nation talking
about God and the Bible.  I got the same result I
got from the other jerks.  They like to move into
Appalachia and get a couple of pictures of the
widows and children crying so they can possibly
scope the other news coverage.  It makes them more
bucks.  If you don’t like my comments just scroll
through them! Jerk!

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By Earl, May 1, 2010 at 3:31 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

You know… they used to hang a person for stealing a horse.

How many horses add up to the amount of money stolen by these guys?

Too bad you can’t hang a guy a billions or more times.

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By Tom Edgar, May 1, 2010 at 3:21 pm Link to this comment

ITW You are right in the distraction bit but always the ugly head of religiosity is simmering beneath the surface, even if it is only to justify the avarice of those who already have too much for any normal needs.
One would think that Jesus Christ had advocated Capitalism, and acquisition of Goldman Sachs like wealth instead of equal distribution of the earth’s resources.  Whilst the J C figure could easily be a Robin Hood creature i.e. an amalgam of several different people he nevertheless would, from my reading, be appalled at, not only the actions of GS, but the people who actively support and condone their, and other groups financial failings in this sorry Capitalist episode.

The er group, Republicans, who seem to be the equivalent of the British Conservative Party, minus their dignity.  They are known as the Conservatives at prayer, or the Church of England using Power.  Maybe the Republicans are just the Fundamentalists on the fiddle. Well if you want to have a piece of the action then the only way to go is not to upset the orchestra conductors, Goldman Sachs and the other groups who actually control the wealth,  and its unequal distribution.

It has been said here that there should be more Government controls.  Socialism?  I won’t disagree.
But who controls the controllers? There has to be a balance but even the best high wire-men can fall.

Heck I’m beginning to write in parables. vaja con Diabolo

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By Inherit The Wind, May 1, 2010 at 11:55 am Link to this comment

Christian96:

I’ve been really rough on you in the past, and expect to be really rough on you in the future, but let me see if I can explain.

I’m actually interested in your figuring out how to get more Americans to realize that Robertson has only 2 god: Money and Power. I’d love to take that on in another thread.

HOWEVER, underlying ALL the comments about your post is the simple premise: It does NOT belong in this thread which is about the Senate hearings that revealed Goldman, Sachs KNEW they were selling bad investments, yet kept doing it.

Your post, while interesting to me (I distrust all televangelists), is NOT APPROPRIATE for this thread. That’s the real beef people have with you here, though some have been distracted into theology discussions.

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By doublestandards/glasshouses, May 1, 2010 at 10:21 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

In his commensement address at Michigan State Obama equated socialists with fascists and right wing nuts.  “Why would anyone want to listen to a fascist, a socialist, or a right wing nut?”

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By Leefeller, May 1, 2010 at 7:46 am Link to this comment

Manipulation pays well, manipulation is a hard job and
someone needs to get paid for it. So many business in
this great society, provide nothing except an exchange
of money to fill their coffers. At least the Tycoons of
yesterday used their money and manipulations to build a
railroad or something. 

Well we have the oil companies and the coal mines
cutting corners like the old and new sweat shops, so a
few people get killed? All a part of business.

One good thing is Goldman Slacks pays well and far as I
know has not cut corners and got anyone kilt, though
that would be most unfortunate if they did.

In most businesses the middle and upper man makes the
most money, I suppose this is capitalism?

No they don’t need no stinking regulations, they need an
enema!

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By christian96, May 1, 2010 at 6:27 am Link to this comment

Tom—-At 83 you are not that closer to the grim
reaper than myself.  I turned 70 on April 15th,
income tax day.  Good God almighty there must be
some reason out of all the days I had to be born on
tax day.  I wish I could explain to you in a few words why I believe in the Bible.  It would take more
space than I have here.  I’ve been slothful about
writing the book I’m writing for teenagers about the
Bible.  Hopefully, you’ll still be around to read
my book.  I’m going to start writing tomorrow(can’t
today because it is the Sabbath, a special day of
rest where a person ceases their own work and communicates with God).  I have something that occurred lately that has given me imputus to get busy
with writing.  I was raised in a coal mining community in West Virginia.  As you probably know
from watching news, there were 29 coal miners killed
in a mine explosion on April 5th. On April 25th,
which would have been my father’s 96th birthday if
he was alive, CNN covered the memorial to the miners
in Beckley, West Virginia.  Pres. Obama spoke graciously at the memorial asking the families and
friends of the miners to seek God for comfort.  He
also quoted Psalm 23 from the Bible.  The following
day, April 26th, I watched Pat Robertson on The 700
Club to see what he had to say about the memorial
and Preident Obama’s speech.  If he was a true Christian you would think he would want the Christians watching his program to know their President was talking about God and quoting the Bible.  He didn’t even make one reference to the
memorial or speech by Pres. Obama.  It was a slap
in the face to the families and friends of the miners
killed in the explosion.  I have contacted more than
10 sources trying to get them to bring Pat Robertson’s deceitful neglect to the attention of the
nation.  Not one person would help me.  Therefore,
I’ll do it myself in the book I am writing for teenagers.  I have suspected for a long time Pat
is a false teacher Jesus discussed would come on the
scene in the last days.  Well, he better pray to
God I wasn’t close to him on the day he neglected
the miners.  He would have heard from me.  I have had
a bad temper all my life and I would have let him
have it.  When I was young I fought with my fists.
Now that I’m old I’ll have to fight with words.  I
can do it.  God has blessed me with a good mind and
the ability to write.  I can understand your questions about the Bible.  I’ve been studying it
for 32 years.  I’ve got my own questions.  I’m not
crazy about the scripture where God orders the Jews
to kill all the men, women, and children of the people living in Jericho.  The Bible mentions sunset
and sunrise.  We all know the sun doesn’t set or
rise.  The earth revolves towards or away from the
sun.  There is a scripture where God says the love
of money is the root of all evil.  That isn’t true.
Money doesn’t have a thing to do with me lusting
after women.  Those are just a few of my many questions about the Bible but at the same time there
are many truths in the Bible.  I have Master and
Doctoral degrees in Counseling and Child Development.
I know a truth about human, growth, and development
when I see it.  I like the teachings of Jesus but I
don’t like some teachings in the Old Testament but
yet Jesus quoted verses from the Old Testament.  I’ve
got to run.  Saturday mornings I study the Torah with
Jews that accept Jesus as the messiah.

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By Tom Edgar, May 1, 2010 at 1:05 am Link to this comment

Christian 96.

You can look in dozen of places in that book written by semi literate goat herders 5,000 years ago and find passages which today would land the writer in jail.

Numbers 31 7 18 Deuteronomy 20 10 14 Judeges 5 30 Zacheria 14 1 12.

Admonishing the “God’s” followers to rape and keep slaves and feel free to rape the slaves.  Yeah I remember well the southern United States white residents quoting chapter and verse to justify their slave keeping.

There has NEVER been a theologian of any religion that has produced verifiable evidence of a God’s existence. You want to scare the pants off me with your flying in the sky monster? Well at 83 I am closer to the end than you, and being dead doesn’t faze me in the least, in peace and war I have been very close.  What does concern me greatly is the dying bit, I’m not too keen on being there when it happens.

I pity your closed mind, and lack of ability to understand plain intelligent common sense and your irrational obsession for superstitious beliefs.

I daresay when your turn comes to “But the Farm” you will be like so many of those on the war fronts.  Praying that it won’t happen to me.  I can assure you
the believer and the non believer had equal odds.
Strangely when it does happen most seem to turn, not to God.  but MOM. I know, quite involuntarily, I did.

So take your childish quotations from that mish mash of fiction fact and fable then add it to the pile in the Koran and Gita.  Yes in all of them there are lovely lines and poetry along with the most vile injunctions.  Most believers ignore the nasty bits and quote the nice.I always thought the Gods were Politicians..All the “Acclaim but none of the blame.”

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By ofersince72, April 30, 2010 at 11:57 pm Link to this comment

but they had to find some way to fund their porno
addiction.

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By christian96, April 30, 2010 at 8:08 pm Link to this comment

Tom Edgar—-I can’t find the scripture you refer
to in Deuteronomy.  I read in Deut. 22;25 where
a man who rapes a girl is to be put to death.  What
would make someone refer to God as porographic?
What a demented mind.  Perhaps God refers to people
as yourself when talking about people who walk in
the vanity of their own mind, “Having their understanding darkened, being alienated from the
life of God through the ignorance that is in them,
because of the blindness of their mind: who being
past feeling have given themselves over to
lasciviousness and uncleanness.”(Ephesians 4:18,19).
It’s not too late to repent.  It will be one day!

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By Tom Edgar, April 30, 2010 at 6:09 pm Link to this comment

Christian 96 Please go to your collection box and find something to bail out the less fortunate.  Then go to your precious pornographic Bible and read Deuteronomy where Your sex mad God orders his followers to rape the women of their enemies.  Oh and that is not the only filthy evil minded bit there are plenty of others.

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By Dan Weisman, April 30, 2010 at 3:32 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Amunaor summed it up brilliantly.
    In country boy terms it is summed up this way: “There are so many foxes in our hen house, that it’s hard to even find ONE hen.”
  In the Frank Capra film ‘Mr Deeds Goes to Town’, Gary Cooper as Mr. Deeds says while taking a late night stroll in New York City:“People here are funny. They work so hard at living they forget how to live. Last night, after I left you, I was walking along and lookin’ at the tall buildings, and I got to thinking about what Thoreau said. ‘They created a lot of grand palaces here, but they forgot to create the noblemen to put in them.’ I’d rather have Mandrake Falls.

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By amunaor, April 30, 2010 at 1:59 pm Link to this comment

**********AUDIT AUDIT AUDIT**********

In this world of unchecked power and insatiable, bottom-line egos, the financial institutions have become psychopathic predators, who troll the sea of flesh, with baited glitzy ads designed to snare its next victim into a cycle of debt slavery.

It has been the failure of the descendant sentinels whose charge it was to mitigate the ‘checks and balances; to rein in the ego. Instead, politicians have disregarded those now distant admonitions, as outdated words on a scrap of paper in need of amendment, whose distant melodious choir of voices has become dim and meaningless.

Perhaps the current light being shown upon these corporate financial criminals is the prerequisite medicine by which chisel deeper into its façade, exposing it to the disinfecting rays of the sun, while introducing appropriate language to bind its rapacious ego.

In 1913, when the money powers centralized their control, consecrated in the creature of the Federal Reserve, the popular press from that bygone era criticized it as a, “den of vipers and thieves”, in other words, a sanctuary for con-artists.

It’s been long overdue; it’s time for Dorothy to peek behind the curtain; the Federal Reserve; the façade for illusionists and enablers of those who binge on reckless debauchery, at the expense of the blind and poor.

**********AUDIT AUDIT AUDIT**********

Peace, Best Wishes and Hope

WikiLeaks—Collateral Murder
http://wikileaks.org/

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By Leefeller, April 30, 2010 at 1:37 pm Link to this comment

This whole thing wouldn’t have ever happed if the military didn’t come up with the stupid don’t ask don’t tell thing! Maybe they should make Goldman Slacks move to Arizona where they can take some integrity classes from bigots and say they are what caused the problem.  After all taking responsibility is not in the cards.

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By thenine9, April 30, 2010 at 12:12 pm Link to this comment

Congress is not without responsibility and accountability in what Goldman Sach’s and others were doing. There is nothing new in these revelations, question is why is Congress surprised?  Read, THE HOUSE OF MORGAN,author Ron Chernow, history repeats itself,with minor adjustments given the times we live.

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By GladItsNotMe, April 30, 2010 at 12:06 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

These “trials” are simply negotiations.  A new-floor price is being publicly debated
to allow organizations like Goldman to continue doing what they do best…
transferring and obsfucating wealth.  When the transfers become to egregious or
the public wakes up long enough to recognize one, they need to be placated and
the political engine paid (because the cost of being re-elected will rise as a result
of this awakening).  One the clock starts ticking on re-elections, “fortunes favor”
will switch back to the industry and the new-floor price is set for the more-less
status quo, operationally between Washington / Wall Street and K.

The question I always concern myself with, “Is democracy strong enough to
survive capitalism?”.  Just because it brought down other forms of government,
does not mean it’s desires and growth do not threaten democracy too.

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By MeHere, April 30, 2010 at 12:04 pm Link to this comment

What’s very disturbing about all this is that, while most people may accept there’s
been big financial looting, they still tend to view it as an isolated event: the
legislators seem to be doing their job of investigating, and they’ll be doing some
fixing (or not,) and that’s all.  The fact is that the heist extends to most areas that
are vital to society. It is all connected. There’s failure in recognizing that the
biggest heist of all stems from legislators and government officials. That’s what
needs to be under scrutiny and investigation. In many ways, Goldman Sachs is not
much more than third-rate entertainment.

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By Arm, April 30, 2010 at 11:35 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

CROOKS QUESTIONING CROOKS!!!!!  What a crock!  SHAME ON ALL OF THEM.

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By christian96, April 30, 2010 at 5:51 am Link to this comment

TheBeerDoctor—-My reaction to your comments is
best reflected by the title of this article “God,
What A Piece Of Crap.”  Have a beer but don’t get drunk.  The Bible says, “Drunkards shall not enter
the Kingdom of Heaven.”

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By thebeerdoctor, April 30, 2010 at 3:28 am Link to this comment

Please not: this thread is about Goldman Sachs and Washington. It is not about someone donating wedding rings to the 700 Club.
If the good Christian convert thinks discussing that subject is a form of mental pornography… well, good luck with that kind Christian thought.

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By Shift, April 30, 2010 at 12:56 am Link to this comment

The inverse relationship between money and memory is no surprise.  Corruption is the path to financial success and forgetfulness.

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By Tom Edgar, April 29, 2010 at 9:33 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Christian96.  With respect, whilst this site is not necessarily attended by atheists there are a lot of us who are.  It follows that intruding your particular superstitious beliefs into a purely political/economic debate where the main culprits are all Christians would receive an adverse reaction.

If you wish yours, and others, prayers to be included then may I suggest praying for the resurrection of the miners.  Although, on reflection, wasn’t it God who killed them through the medium of his God fearing, safety ignoring,  Mine Owners?

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By christian96, April 29, 2010 at 8:31 pm Link to this comment

Thebeerdoctor—-I was asking for help.  It’s obvious
I’m not going to get any from you.  I was hoping
some great minds on this thread could point me in
the right direction as far as exposing Pat Robertson
for his neglect of covering the memorial to miners
and the speech of the President of our country but
you are to busy sitting around mentally masturbating
one another about something you have no control over.
We’ll see what tune you are singing this Fall as
Pat Robertson manipulates the minds of millions
of Americans in favor of Republican candidates.

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By MarthaA, April 29, 2010 at 10:46 am Link to this comment

Hallow Shal, April 28 at 9:55 pm,

It does matter whether they are a D or an R.  Right-Wing genteel populace R’s, the DLC, are expected to do such things as toadies to the GOP, while D’s are sent to Congress to represent the populace and be on guard, but the conservative/moderate neo-D’s of the DLC decided only to represent academics, leaving the rest of the left without representation.  The solution is to get the conservative/moderate DLC neo-D’s out of the left’s Democratic Party and reform the Democratic Party back to what it was when it represented the farmers and the laborers, which can be done when the greater majority populace decides to join the Democratic Party and clean it up.  Other than this technicality, I agree with your post.

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By Leefeller, April 29, 2010 at 8:30 am Link to this comment

“It is below my pay scale”  proclaimed the king to his
subjects, so suffer must you, for we need to fill the
Royal coffers,  even if it hurts my loyal subjects! !

So the loyal or unloyal subjects asked “What of
regulations?”

Raising one eye brow, winking a few times, finally the
the King scowled and replied ” No… we cannot have
regulations for that would be just like
.......socialism, the same for accountability, honesty
and responsibility,.... all socialism and if,..... I
your king does not like it… or know of it, then it
must be socialism,.... this must be so of the word
integrity? “

Well,  like all bad movies the ending is obvious!

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By thebeerdoctor, April 29, 2010 at 7:53 am Link to this comment

@ erichwwwk

Thank you for the link to the George Akerlof-Paul Romer paper. Looting as related to the S&L debacle, does remind me of Bush brother Neil, giving away $ millions in loans to his buddies, that would never be paid back.
There is nothing quite like gambling with money that does not belong to you.
Although Bush (Neil that is) was never criminally indicted for his role in the collapse of the Silverado Savings and Loan, he did pay a fifty thousand dollar fine for a debacle which cost the U.S. taxpayers $1.3 billion.

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By thebeerdoctor, April 29, 2010 at 7:31 am Link to this comment

Dear christian96, why you would choose to steer this thread from the subject of Goldman Sachs and their well oiled machinations in Washington, to some idiotic concern for the venal Christian charlatan known as Pat Robertson is beyond me. Like so many of the zealously religious, you feel your call to prayer to establish that President Obama demonstrates his lack for separation of church and state, is not only rude but insulting to those on this thread who have devoted considerable time and thought, to the subject at hand. Instead of talking to yourself (which is what prayer actually is), you might actually do some research to find out what is actually being discussed here.No. it is not Psalms 23, it is things like abolishment of the Glass-Steagall Act through the Commodities Futures Modernisation. Its about Alan Greenspan and Ayn Randian belief in the free market of money. Its about investor (gambling) banks re-branding themselves as holding banks, in order to participate in the (latest count) $13 trillion looting of the national treasury.
I gather from the 700 Club babble that you are obviously unaware of what this story is all about.

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By christian96, April 29, 2010 at 6:45 am Link to this comment

I need your help.  I spent my formative years in a
coal mining community in West Virginia where my
father worked 40 years.  Last Sunday, April 25th,
I watched a memorial on CNN from Beckley, West Virginia dedicated to the 29 miners killed in the
explosion on April 5th.  Pres. Obama spoke at the
memorial asking the families and friends of the miners to seek comfort by seeking the face of God.
Pres. Obama also quoted Psalm 23 from the Bible.
The next day, April 26th, I decided to watch Pat
Robertson to see what he had to say about the memorial and Pres. Obama.  He said nothing.  He
completely neglected the memorial and Pres. Obama’s
speech.  Being the good Christian he is you would
have thought Pat Robertson would have been delighted
to inform the Christians watching his program throughout our nation that our President was speaking
and God and the Bible.  ABSOLUTELY NOT!  He completely ignored everything.  I think it had to do
with politics.  He is a Republician and Pres. Obama
is a Democrat.  I don’t care about your opinion
about God, President Obama, or even Pat Robertson.
What I need to know is how can I get the sly deceitful neglect of Pat Robertson to the people of
America?  This Fall he will be talking positive about
the Republicians.  I need to get this information to
the public.  Any suggestions for how I can accomplish
this? Following the comments is a letter I sent Pat
Robertson on April 26th but my letter will not let
the American people know of his neglect not only of
the speech by President Obama but mainly the neglect
of the memorial to the slain coal miners.  HELP!

April 26, 2010

Dr. Pat Robertson
The Christian Broadcasting Network
977 Centerville Turnpike
Virginia Beach, Virginia 23463

Dear Dr. Robertson:

Hope this letter finds things going well.  During The 700 Club program today you
neglected to cover the Memorial yesterday, April 25th, in Beckley, West Virginia
to the 29 coal miners who perished in an explosion on April 5th.

April 25th has special meaning to me.  Had my father been alive it would have been
his 96th birthday.  He worked 40 years in the coal mines of West Virginia.  My grandfather worked 50 years in the mines.  I worked midnight shift 6 months while
attending undergraduate school.

President Obama spoke graciously at the Memorial asking the families of the deceased
miners to seek the face of God for comfort.  President Obama also quoted Psalm 23.
I would think you would have covered the speech to let Christians throughout our
nation know their President is speaking about God and quoting the Bible.  Yet,  you
neglected to cover the Memorial and President Obama’s speech.  For God’s sake, I hope
you didn’t neglect the speech by President Obama because he is a Democrat and not
a Republican.  Surely you don’t put politics before God.

In the 1970’s, after my engagement broke up to a beautiful Christian lady I loved very
much, I brought the wedding rings to The 700 Club, gave them to your producer, John
Cardoza, and ask him to sell them and use the money to spread the word of God.

If it wouldn’t be too much trouble, would you please respond to this letter to let me know
the reason you neglected to cover the Memorial to the deceased miners and the speech by
President Obama?  Thank you very much.

A Loving Christian Brother


Dr. Charles R. Parker

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By erichwwk, April 29, 2010 at 6:42 am Link to this comment

In 1993 George Akerlof (and Paul Romer- whose wife Christina is current head of Obama’s Council of Economic Advisors - George won the 2001 Nobel Prize in economics and HIS wife, economist Janice Yellen is head of the SF Federal reserve bank) wrote

“Looting: The Economic Underworld of Bankruptcy for Profit” which foresaw the inevitability of all this.

from the wiki entry under George Akerlof, “Looting” section:

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

In 1993 Akerlof and Paul M Romer brought forth “Looting: The Economic Underworld of Bankruptcy for Profit”, describing how under certain conditions, owners of corporations will decide it is more profitable for them personally to ‘loot’ the company and ‘extract value’ from it instead of trying to make it grow and prosper. IE:

“Bankruptcy for profit will occur if poor accounting, lax regulation, or low penalties for abuse give owners an incentive to pay themselves more than their firms are worth and then default on their debt obligations. Bankruptcy for profit occurs most commonly when a government guarantees a firm’s debt obligations.” [7]

This article can be read for free here

http://www.scribd.com/doc/13579076/Looting-Akerlof-Romer

Yves Smith argues in her book “Econned” that Akerlof and Romer’s “Looting” theory applies to the subprime mortgage crisis and the Financial crisis of 2007-2010. She argues that the ‘Looted’ companies in this case are banks and others who were ‘looted’ by certain traders and executives within those companies. [8]

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By par4, April 29, 2010 at 5:18 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

We can rend our garments and gnash our teeth all we want.Until we elect a new government that isn’t composed of Republicrats it’s all just impotent rage. The vast majority of professional politicians are only there to protect the wealth of the top 5% of the population.Most of that wealth is unearned and undeserved. What wasn’t inherited has been transferred from the former working class and poor to the new robber barons through out-sourcing our industries and undermining our already pitiful social safety net.

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By RAE, April 29, 2010 at 3:55 am Link to this comment

Thank you, Prole, for: ““No one listening carefully to the day of testimony by the various Goldman executives could accept the idea that these folks can function decently without strict boundaries” – or that the jokers questioning them are the last charlatans to be setting such boundaries!”

I have no understand of how the USA functions even as well as it does. There are SO many cooks at the broth, so many good guys, so many charlatans, so many unknowns who speak the truth never to be heard from again, so many out and out liars who rise to stardom and maximum power.

It’s more than a full time job just tracking who’s doing what to whom let alone finding time to analyze and reach supportable conclusions. So we rely on second, third and four hand, edited, expurgated, doctored and untested opinions and unsupportable assumptions for our “facts.”

Good luck to us all.

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By Tom Edgar, April 29, 2010 at 1:02 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Err!! If you didn’t know what your company was doing
What WERE you doing to justify your remuneration???

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By ofersince72, April 28, 2010 at 11:12 pm Link to this comment

Was everybody in Oklahoma under the influence
  of drugs when they elected Tom Coburn.???

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By ofersince72, April 28, 2010 at 11:06 pm Link to this comment

Obama’s

National Commission on Fiscal Responsibilty and Reform

Wait until these guys are done !!!!!!!
The Wall Street dudes get a cake walk compared to
what they are going to do to us !!!!

You are going to hear one lie after another
about Social Security.
Yet it is the only agency that produces a surplus,
you are going to hear that it is the core of our
financial problems…and not one word about the MIC.

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By ofersince72, April 28, 2010 at 10:33 pm Link to this comment

ThankYou Prole,

This isn’t the first hearing that I have seen Levin
pull his indignant act.  Great Post !!!!!!

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By FiftyGigs, April 28, 2010 at 6:08 pm Link to this comment

My momma would say, “You have to give the money back.”

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By Hallow Shal, April 28, 2010 at 5:55 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

To know the truth about the Democrats, realize that there have still been no prosecutions of such crooks.

Since wall street keeps getting worse publicity, a few lower level drones will probably be sacrificed.  There will be a few show trials of mid managers who will bear the blame.

These execs should have been testifying wearing orange jump suits with US Marshalls waiting to take them back to federal prisons.  All of their worldly goods should have already been seized and forfeited in an attempt to return to the American citizens these crooks stole.

The fact that none of these things are true tells you all you need to know about the Democrats.  If you go to OpenSecrets.org, you’ll see Goldman Sachs is second on the list of Obama’s contributors.  That’s why these guys aren’t wearing orange jumpsuits and watching their palaces and yachts being sold at auction.

There’s an easy answer ..... please stop voting for the candidates that get money from wall street.  It doesn’t matter if it says (D) or (R) after the name. If a candidate takes wall street money, then no one should ever vote for them.  They are not on your side.

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By John, April 28, 2010 at 5:23 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I’ve noticed that the banks (if thats what these are called) have not produced a list of useful deals that might be used to mitigate the all the “waste” they’ve produced. Have they done anything productive for the economy? It doesn’t look like it.

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By MarthaA, April 28, 2010 at 4:45 pm Link to this comment

Clinton made out like a bandit, being the best Republican that has ever been, according to Alan Greenspan.  Whatever Clinton says, he played a significant role in the destruction of the United States economy and should be held accountable.  Avarice behavior is not stupid behavior.  These good old boys knew what they were doing and did it anyway.  Stupidity is a last resort when caught in the cookie jar.

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By usedtobesupermom, April 28, 2010 at 4:42 pm Link to this comment

I say these BANKSTER CRIMINALS SHOULD, NO MUST BE TARRED & FEATHERED! Then SEIZE ALL THEIR WEALTH & POSSESIONS EXCEPT THE CLOTHES ON THEIR BACKS. Too BAD FOR THEIR FAMILIES, BUT THEY ARE GUILTY & ACCOMPLICES. They lived a life of luxury on STOLEN money! They should be treated like Bernie Madoff.
After that INSTEAD of being sent to “CLUB FED” they must be made to work in the sewers or some other equally disgusting job, WITHOUT MASKS! Their further punishment should be FORCING THEM TO LIVE ON THE FEDERAL MINIUM WAGE FOR THE REST OF THEIR LIVES!
Even that’s too good for them!
THEY ARE DOMESTIC TERRORISTS! Bin Ladin & Al Qaeda didn’t have to destroy the country. WALL STREET DID!

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By amunaor, April 28, 2010 at 2:15 pm Link to this comment

((RE:  felicity, April 28 at 5:41 pm
And these bank criminals pleading ignorance…))
***

As ‘artful dodgers’, that’s what con-artists do.

With psychological tricks and snares, they rig the game in their favor; selling fabrications, euphemistically listed as, ‘structured products’ passed on as ‘synthetic collateralized debt obligations’ (an abstraction, when verbalized, sounds like a mouthful of marbles) then, call it ‘market making’! Welcome to the ‘horse thief economy’ of the Wild West.

Here, in their world, pigs can, and do indeed fly.

Peace, Best Wishes and Hope

WikiLeaks—Collateral Murder
http://wikileaks.org/

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By felicity, April 28, 2010 at 1:41 pm Link to this comment

I’ve concluded that the reason big banks began (way back in ‘05, by the way) selling sub-primes was because they saw extremely profitable short sales of them - of course after they’d dumped them on some unsuspecting customer - on the not too distant horizon.  Talk about being set up.  Way back then one could walk into a bank, get a sub-prime, no money down - and here’s the kicker, your income would be whatever you said it was, no questions asked and no verifying done.

Wells Fargo went so far as changing loan applicant information so a person who actually qualified for a prime looked on paper like he didn’t. He was told he qualified for a sub, however.  In fact, Wells Fargo loan agents were INSTRUCTED to only sell subs.

And these bank criminals pleading ignorance, in fact ignorance for at least the last five years, is really a bunch of crap.  In ‘05, 30% of sub-prime mortgagees couldn’t even make their first house payment.

The Street is riddled with crime and the criminals have long since split the scene, billions in hand, not to mention the DC thugs who have reaped in and are reaping in millions.

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By truedigger3, April 28, 2010 at 1:38 pm Link to this comment

Scheer wrote:
“No one listening carefully to the day of testimony by the various Goldman executives could accept the idea that these folks can function decently without strict boundaries.”
____________________________________________________

But these boundaries will never be put in place by these posturing politicians.
These hearings are nothing but theatrical performance for public consumption.
All that huffing and puffing and the shouts of indignations are nothing but make-believe bullshitting and classical posturing and in the end nothing serious will happen. There will be no REAL regulations and the thiefs and fraudsters of Wall St. will keep plundering the public treasury and paying “campaign conributions” to the politicians who are supposed to regulate them and keep watch on them.!!!
What a sickening farce??!!

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By amunaor, April 28, 2010 at 1:33 pm Link to this comment

How’s about sending out one of our own ‘Synthetic Executives’, to force feed one of our own ‘Structured Products’ right down these artful dodger’s throats!

How’s that for ‘Market Making’?

Peace, Best Wishes and Hope

WikiLeaks—Collateral Murder
http://wikileaks.org/

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By thebeerdoctor, April 28, 2010 at 12:05 pm Link to this comment

“We must ask ourselves: Do we have what it takes to stop the financial insanity this time? Or will be lulled into complacency once again, so eager for a return to “normal” that we fail to stop the same systemic cascade of reckless and shady practices and greed from devastating us all over again? And the answer must be: No, we won’t! It’s past time to flex our will and end the next pillage before it starts.”
NOMI PRINS,
It Takes A Pillage

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By amunaor, April 28, 2010 at 11:27 am Link to this comment

RE: omop, April 28 at 2:18 pm
***

How shallow omop! There is much more to it than that! Human nature and Big egos have no boundaries.

Yes, Wall Street is a den of vipers that need to be tormented and bound in chains, but trouncing out age old, discredited documents – Protocols of Zion – won’t get you anywhere (found in your other postings). These documents were proven to be manufactured by those that desired to incite the pogroms they later produced; a distraction.

There is a variegated assortment of nefarious psychological deception, woven throughout this filthy cloth.

Peace, Best Wishes and Hope

WikiLeaks—Collateral Murder
http://wikileaks.org/

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By prole, April 28, 2010 at 11:26 am Link to this comment

…yadah, yadah, yadah…another photo op for the grisly former prosecutor Sen. Carl Levin. If “Goldman’s executives didn’t start with any such moral qualms or end with them” that’s hardly news. “Moral qualms” don’t come very easy to Porky Levin, either. Between 2005-2010, Levin has raised over $8.6 millions in campaign cash; and has been second only to the rebarbative Joe Lieberman in blood money received from pro-Israel contributors. Levin is chairman of the powerful Senate Armed Services Committee and has presided over a mushrooming military budget and funding for two illegal U.S. occupations in Iraq and Afghanistan – as well as copious arms to Israel’s terrorism in Palestine. The pompous Levin has refused to cut off funding for any of these moral infamies. In January of last year the fulsome Levin was a co-sponsor of a Senate resolution, partly crafted by AIPAC, endorsing the Jewish State’s massacre in Gaza. Maybe the Michigan Democrat and his sleazy Senate cronies should be in the dock themselves at a show trial. Perhaps someone should sternly ask the Johnny-come-lately Levin why he didn’t ‘break the case’ sooner, why he didn’t do anything about the financial finagling that has been going on for years with government collusion that finally led to the inevitable crisis point?!! More importantly, maybe someone should ask the repellent Levin ‘’do you feel anything” when you read all those reports or see all those pictures of all those dead Palestinian and Iraqi and Palestinian kids strewn all over their occupied lands, cut down with weapons you so generously provided?!! Levin’s self-righteous hypocrisy – and Scheer’s celebration of it – “tells us all we need to know about the banal but profound immorality of” Amerika’s political – and media – culture. The Michigan Democrat and his un-esteemed colleague’s moral depravity is truly flabbergasting! “No one listening carefully to the day of testimony by the various Goldman executives could accept the idea that these folks can function decently without strict boundaries” – or that the jokers questioning them are the last charlatans to be setting such boundaries!

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By yrscrewed, April 28, 2010 at 11:18 am Link to this comment

The grilling of GS is all smoke and mirrors.  No one will remember this months from now.  What I would like to have some special prosecutor grill congress on the Cooking the Books at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.  Therein lies the reason for the scams that went on wall street.
Start with the Banking Committee and its Chairman good ole Barnie Franks and his pals.  Wall street knew the scams and many got rich from these things that did not exist, you know toxic assets.
All of congress is corrupt except maybe Ron Paul.
If you don’t know that by now then yrscrewed.

I can’t wait for the CCX to start trading it is a 10 Trillion Market, it is the AIR Exchange. LOL

And GS will run that program just like Enron they traded air also.

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By chariotblue, April 28, 2010 at 11:09 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

In today’s world, greed automatically trumps all other values and
considerations. It is axiomatic that a political system bought and paid for by
extremely wealthy interests will never again accept the minimal rewards that
come from investing long term in productive venture.  A fixed gambling casino
environment offers such huge and immediate rewards, [see Matt Taibbi’s
Rolling Stone article that describes a hundred year history of Goldman bubble
creation and market manipulation], and failure only means a quick stop at the
Fed to replenish the pool of funds at the top of the pyramid. Government has
even ceased to pretend that fair play is relevant in Economic life. Only a surfeit
of money at the top allows for any trickle-down at all, and this only in
sufficient quantity to convince legislators that they need to keep their hands off
the financial system. Treasonous behavior pervades the system, and will
continue until tough prosecutions and jail terms for the most egregious
manipulators materialize. Bring back Spitzer and Black!!!!!!!

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By steele505, April 28, 2010 at 10:39 am Link to this comment

I wonder if Goldman Chief Financial Officer David Viniar will have a convenient heart attack like Enron’s Ken Lay?

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By acudoc, April 28, 2010 at 10:27 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I must be hopelessly naive, as my solution to the whole mess is to repeal the Federal Reserve Act of 1913 and institute a return to honest money as per the Constitution, allowing banks to fail if they can’t back up their demand deposits with specie and in general allowing the creation of loans only from previous savings, not leveraging as is done in one form or other by the present set of crooks on Wall Street, at the FED, and in Congress.

You see, ultimately the truth is this: you can ‘t get something for nothing. At some point you have to pay the piper. Better now than later, as we are very close to catastrophe on our present course of fiat, debt-based “money” creation.

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By omop, April 28, 2010 at 10:18 am Link to this comment

Everything is legal in America until u get caught.

Baron M. A. Rothschild boasted that he was “the actual ruler of the British
empire where the sun never sets”.

He also is quoted as saying, :“Give me control over a nation’s currency and I
care not who makes the rules.”

Mr. Scheer appropriately called it, “What a piece of Crap”.

The crooks being questioned by the people they bought.

What a joke!

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By amunaor, April 28, 2010 at 10:09 am Link to this comment

Nothing ever ‘changes’ following these ‘feigned’ public displays of righteous indignation, by those, so called, guardians!

At the end of the day, the only thing that changes is the ‘gaming’ board being rearranged; with the size of the ‘take’ increased, as the house is rigged to always come out ahead.

Such is the result of unrestrained egos, left to fly without any checks and balances. Now they fly too close to the sun.

The ‘Public Option’ in this case would be to keep the fruits of your labor out of the hands of this ‘horse thief economy’. The alternative is that the next ‘Shitty Deal’ will be even more magnificent; with the public, again, of course, holding the dirty end of stick.

Peace, Best Wished and Hope

WikiLeaks—Collateral Murder
http://wikileaks.org/

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By Spiritgirl, April 28, 2010 at 9:29 am Link to this comment

And yet, the public is told that these people are the “best & brightest”, puhlease!  These liars need to be charged under RICO statutes and hauled directly to jail!  As for these “public hearings” - they are solely for “show”!  Will Congress tie the hands of their puppet-masters, really, well you be the judge!  These are the very people that contribute to the Congressional campaigns, yet another reason for public funding of elections!

And where is the outrage from the Tea Party sheeple?  Or can they not connect the dots between Congress repealing financial regulation, donations to campaign coffers from those very same financial donors, and the collapse of the economy!  It’s not rocket science people - the banksters gambled, even as they were selling worthless crap, and they were betting that the worthless crap they were selling would blow-up!  Yeah “Free Markets”, isn’t it about time to regulate those suckers - cause in a real “FREE-Market” those banksters should have been allowed to go down with the ship, not given welfare on the backs of the taxpayers!!

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By WriterOnTheStorm, April 28, 2010 at 9:01 am Link to this comment

From the comments on this thread that clear that some still aren’t ready to face the truth about
America. Greed is not just an affliction of the elite. Greed permeates American society from the
top to the bottom. It is the unifying principal, the sine qua non of the American social construct. 

Greed is built into the 300 hp engine underneath the hood of your Chrysler hemi. Greed is in
that 1200 dollar carbon fiber infant stroller. Greed is weighing your foot down on the accelerator
as you pass the mom n pop on your way to Wallmart. Greed is what makes a college student
throw away a promising medical career for a million-to-one shot at acting superstardom. Greed
is a poison in the hearts of those parents with 18 children proudly parading number 19 on the
morning talk shows. Greed rots a military capable of destroying the planet seven times over.

When greed is your gospel, Wall Street’s profit-uber-alles is not a pesky side affect, it’s the
logical, inevitable consequence. America, you deserve Goldman Sachs.  Richly.

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By RAE, April 28, 2010 at 8:33 am Link to this comment

The Goldman Sachs and other such casino operations wouldn’t exist, let alone thrive, if it weren’t for the expectations (greed) of tens of thousands of “little people.”

Someone with a thousand or ten thousand dollars figures… hey, I should be able to “invest” and make this money work for me. These “investors” DEMAND ever larger returns and if it means not asking questions as to where the 8% or 10% or 12% annual “profit” came from, so be it.

All the “little guys” dream of the day when their little nestegg magically morphs into a large nestegg with little or no risk or effort on their part. Something for nothing. Greed. “Investors,” look in the mirror for the root of the problem.

The whole system is insane. The money doesn’t even really exist in the first place… a computer just makes it up and then the games begin. Anyone even wonder where the $68M paid to the CEO last year came from? In my view, two things are for sure… it came from the pockets of “little people” and wasn’t “earned” by him. I agree with whoever suggested that any income from any source totalling over $1M should be taxed at 100%. No one needs or deserves more.

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By ofersince72, April 28, 2010 at 8:31 am Link to this comment

The democrats are real good with thier public hearings,
they make them last and last, until no one is interested,
then they go away. 

And I still want to be part of the unloading crew
the next C130 full of one hundred dollare bills.

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By harkh, April 28, 2010 at 8:26 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Some time ago I came to the conclusion that Congressional hearings are nothing but political theater.  I don’t see any reason to change my mind after the Goldman Sachs show.

Nothing is going to stop the looting of the American economy and middle class by the rich and powerful, until there is nothing left of us.

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By SteveBrant, April 28, 2010 at 8:12 am Link to this comment

I believe the reputation of Goldman Sachs took a big enough hit yesterday that the future of the firm is at risk (and deservedly so).  As Arthur Andersen died from its involvement in the collapse of ENRON, Goldman Sachs may die from its involvement in the collapse of capitalism.  Here’s my HuffPost essay on the subject:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/steven-g-brant/the-death-of-goldman-sach_b_554371.html

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By Graeme Simpson, April 28, 2010 at 8:08 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

It certainly makes one wonder now if it is actually to fix this engineered fraud, so many people in power now have totally lost the plot & any connection with the average population.
I was a total optimist until the late ninties when one & all seemingly started taking silly pills en masse.
No, I now honestly believe that it’s going to take a broom to sweep out this epidemic of greed, deceipt & lies however the people in these positions are not going to be easily swept away from their dream positions. I see a lot of violence on the horizon as more &  more people start to realise that what they are being told is nothing but bullshit with the worst still to come.
I often wonder if the main players in this fraud actually think they’re safe because this will be a worldwide reaction & I can’t imagine the lawless masses allowing these leaches to survive in style while most won’t know where their families next meal is coming from.
There are still many good people on this earth & it’s up to us to ensure they are the ones that gain the positions of power that are essential if we want our kids & grandkids to live in a world worth living in, fundamental change to once again give people the power over politicians & corporations is inevitable which won’t be pleasant, that you can bet on.
I wish you all well.

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By Aarky, April 28, 2010 at 7:58 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I hate to say it, but those cursed Republicans have apparently read part of the proposed bill to reform Wall Street. I also read the parts that state that any loans in the future to bail out the banks will need to have real collateral. OH, SILLY ME! I thought the whole point of reform was to make certain we didn’t have another crash. One of the main points that Sheer makes is that the scrapping of the Glass-Steagall Act and the creation of the Commodities Modernization Act of 2000 helped fuel the recession. Notice that the reform does not call for the re institution of the provisions of Glass Steagall or repeal of the Commodities Act. So when Senator Dodd gets up and thunders out his lines in the Kabuki Theater, it really is political theater to convince the US public that they are serious about reform. Obama plays his role well, but if he were serious about reform, he would have been calling for Congress not to re-confirm Ben Bernanke as head of the FED and he would also call for an audit of the FED to see how many trillions were given, loaned, or other wise guaranteed in back room deals by the FED to these large investment banks.

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By Mark, April 28, 2010 at 7:08 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

PatrickHenry:

There won’t be any RICO prosecution.

They could’ve brought a RICO case against GS right now. Securities fraud is one of the enumerated forms of “racketeering” proscribed by RICO.

At the same time, the MSM is telling us to tread softly with regards to Wall Street. See Fareed Zakaria, Newsweek, 5/3/10. I’ll save you the trouble. According to Fareed, nobody could’ve seen this coming!

The fact that several somebodies did - Krugman, Baker, Stiglitz, Brooksley Born, to name a few - well that’s just ignored.

The current Senate hearings, and the civil case against GS, are political theater to try to convince the public that something is being done to curb the abuses of Wall Street. GS will pay a fine in the civil case, and that, will be that. Move along, now. Nothing to see here.

Amazingly, per Scheer’s column, Lloyd Blankfein unwittingly made the case for the complete restoration of Glass-Steagall. You would think that would be simple enough. Adopt a bill that reinstates Glass-Steagall in its entirety. It was in force for 60 years and had a body of court decisions attached to it which helped define and set its parameters.

Reinstatement aint gonna happen either.

Instead, we’ll get weeks/months of debate by a corrupt Congress leading to the adoption of a voluminous, opaque statute shot thru with loopholes. The same to be enforced by an indifferent and corrupt executive branch. Not to mention the fact that since it will be a new statute, a seemingly endless stream of cases will be brought before the Federal courts seeking clarification of its terms.

In the meantime, Wall Street, and the financial elites, will continue to grind the bones of the lower 90th percentile to make their bread.

As always: Money = Power

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By P.W. Walker, April 28, 2010 at 6:52 am Link to this comment

I wish one of the Goldman executives shot back and pointed out Democrats had
no problems cashing in their campaign contribution cheques and Democrats
couldn’t have been more naive.  Where else did they think this money was coming
from during the era of outsourcing?

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Magginkat's avatar

By Magginkat, April 28, 2010 at 6:51 am Link to this comment

Gee whiz….they don’t know anything about this shit*y deal.  That sure enough is reason to tax those CEO bonuses at a 100% rate.  Apparently the bonuses were paid to these clowns because they are the smartest people in any business.  Now they admit they don’t know sh*t.  So take their bonuses and cut their salaries to a miserly one million a year!

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By balkas, April 28, 2010 at 6:48 am Link to this comment

This piece, like all others by msm scribes, offers us sensation sans causation.
So, sensation minus causation=desertion. I.e., public is left with bewildernment.

The fact appears that goldman-sax has not broken a single law. As for morality and its laws go, well, this one is not as bad as some others! But show business must go on!tnx

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By farmertx, April 28, 2010 at 6:48 am Link to this comment

It is impressive to see Goldman Sachs basically saying ‘Hey, it’s not our fault folks were dumb enough to trust us. We are making money for ourselves any way we can’. And just as impressive is seeing the R’s with two exceptions stand proudly in favor of such dealings.
I have been assured by local “conservatives” that all this is really the fault of us Liberals.
Liberals forced banks to lend money to people who couldn’t afford the payments.
Uh, actually the law prohibited “red-lining”, the practice of denying all loans based on Zip Code or other area designations. The shysters basically said well if we can’t deny all of them, that must mean we have to approve all of them. Now, how can we make money on that?
But there I go, putting facts into play when we all know that they can’t handle facts unless they invented them.

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