Monday, October 25, 2010

Chinese Funding of Chamber of Commerce/Boehner/McConnell Necessitates Circus Clown Acts To Distract - K(C)ochomania - Civil War Not That Far Fetched?

In my humble opinion, no one has captured our time better - forever - than John Lennon, and it's evident why he was seen as such a dire threat to the powers that be. His killer's father was a CIA operative or didn't you know that yet?

And the "Cold Turkey" of financial catastrophe has got us . . . on the financial run.

My buddy over at Down With Tyranny has distilled the strange brew coming out of the Rethugs for the last 30 years into a very tasty nugget (as far as explaining things go) - for the Chinese. I have to admit that I wondered what this was all about going back as far as George HW Bush's Chinese escapades in the 70's while he was still the reigning CIA DC operative. Remember when he was surprisingly made CIA Director before Reagan's advent? And how the MSM all chimed in that he had no experience there, so he'd be a good choice? Laughs on US.

I guess after the currency manipulations of late any questions we have left will have to await the onset of the commissars. (And you perhaps wondered why the Rethugs felt the need to put real clowns on public display - just more flashing lights to distract the circus attendees, dear.) (Emphasis marks added - Ed.)

Has The Republican Party Turned Itself Into A Great Big Chinese Mole?

Last month we looked at how Congress finally dealt with the plague of Chinese currency manipulation. China is fighting back - by spending money to help elect John Boehner Speaker and Mitch McConnell Senate Majority Leader. It's illegal and it's a job of outsourcing in the opposite direction. Instead of sending American jobs to China this time, China has tasked their sleazy friends at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce with this one.

Why? Good question. Apart from the fact that Boehner has never found a "free" trade agreement-- no matter how destructive to his own constituents - that he didn't embrace and champion, there's plenty of unregulated cash sloshing around in this pot. From NAFTA, CAFTA, the WTO/GATT, to all the fast track legislation and to the current bills he's pushing to send more U.S. jobs to South Korea, Bahrain and Colombia, Boehner has always been and still is a fanatic supporter of "free" (rather than fair) trade.

When Tim Ryan's bill to curb China's currency manipulation hit the floor last month it passed with a gigantic bipartisan majority, 348-79, most Republicans abandoning Boehner and crossing the aisle to vote with Ryan and the Democrats - in effect, to vote for American working families instead of with China's authoritarian communist regime. Even the senior Republican members of Ohio's congressional delegation - ALL of them - voted against Boehner in a rare show of independence. 99 Republicans voted for American families and American jobs; 74 Republicans voted with China's government.

At the time we first looked at it, I couldn't understand. And then the story broke about how China is helping to finance the Chamber of Commerce's multimillion dollar effort to flood the TV and radio airwaves with lies about Democrats in order to put their two agents-- Boehner and McConnell-- into power. I asked Tim Ryan what had happened and he was blunt in pointing out that the whole GOP House leadership - Boehner, Eric Cantor, Mike Pence, Pete Sessions, Darrell Issa, Paul Ryan, David Dreier, Joe Barton, Jerry Lewis, Kevin McCarthy, the guys charged with keeping the campaign cash flowing - were the ones whipping against the bill.

They failed miserably - basically only the crackpots like Michele Bachmann, Steve King, Wally Herger, Mean Jean Schmidt, Scott Garrett, John Campbell, Marsha Blackburn, Tom McClintock, Louie Gohmert, Tom Price, Gary Miller, Paul Broun, and Trent Franks-- had the temerity to thumb their noses at the voters this close to an election - along with three craven and cowardly sellouts desperate for financial help in tough races: Mary Bono Mack (CA), Leonard Lance (NJ) and Dave Reichert (WA).

Yesterday's Capitol Fax broke the story that one of Mitch McConnell's pet candidates, like him another GOP-living-a-lie-closet-queen, Mark Kirk, planned a "Beijing fundraiser which was held the day before a House vote to close tax loopholes for companies that send jobs out of the country." Kirk, of course followed the company line and joined Boehner in voting against closing tax loopholes that would prevent companies from using current U.S. foreign tax credit rules to subsidize their foreign activities, just as he voted more recently against reining in China's systematic currency manipulation that results in dumping, stealing market share and loss of American jobs.

The Supreme Court ruling in Citizens United v FEC has made it possible to hide the sources of foreign (illegal) yuan, dinars and rubles flooding into the electoral system. When the Democrats tried addressing that with the DISCLOSE Act, it passed narrowly in the House 219-206, only two Republicans willing to cross the aisle and vote for sunlight (while a whole pack of corrupt Blue Dogs-- 5 of whom (Bobby Bright, Frank Kratovil, Glenn Nye, Travis Childers, and Jim Marshall) are also getting foreign money through the Chamber of Commerce - opposed the bill. That's when well documented Chinese agent Mitch McConnell moved into action. He was instrumental in getting every single Republican senator to join a filibuster to kill the bill and keep the foreign money flowing into GOP campaign coffers. Nancy Pelosi's blog warned about what is happening in stark terms:

Shadowy front groups headed up by Republican operatives and funded by secret corporate donors are supporting the GOP and their special interest agenda - shipping good-paying American jobs overseas, turning Social Security over to Wall Street, and turning Medicare over to the insurance companies. An editorial in today’s Los Angeles Times highlights the secret money that is being used to influence Americans:

. . . Democracy 21, a campaign-spending watchdog group, estimates that as much as $300 million will be spent anonymously in this election cycle; voters will never know where the money came from

. . . Crossroads GPS has not disclosed its donors. Campaign reform advocates are asking the Internal Revenue Service to investigate the group to determine whether it’s in violation of a requirement that it not be “primarily engaged” in supporting or opposing candidates.

One remedy for the avalanche of anonymous attack ads is the DISCLOSE Act, which would require nonprofits like Crossroads GPS and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce (which is covered by a different provision of the tax code) to disclose the names of the companies, organizations and individuals who fund them. The legislation has been approved by the House but was blocked in the Senate by a Republican filibuster; it could, and should, be revived in a postelection session. The DISCLOSE Act also would require the chief officers of corporations - and nonprofits such as Crossroads GPS - to appear in ads and take responsibility for them, just as candidates do for advertising sponsored by their campaigns.

There is no cogent argument against maximum disclosure . . . . Even as it ruled this year that corporations had the right to engage in political spending, the Supreme Court upheld disclosure requirements, noting a previous holding that “disclosure could be justified based on a governmental interest in ‘provid[ing] the electorate with information’ about the sources of election-related spending.

”That is what the DISCLOSE Act would do. If those who seek to influence elections don’t have the courage of their convictions, Congress must act to identify them.

Tuesday Think Progress revealed what appears to be a bit more than a coincidence to me: the Chamber of Commerce conducting outsourcing seminars for the Chinese government. Among the many lies told by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce recently, chief Chamber lobbyist Bruce Josten said that his organization’s foreign affiliates, called AmChams, are only “comprised of American companies doing business abroad in those countries.” In fact, the Chinese AmCham is comprised of Chinese firms like Northern Light Venture Capital; the AmCham in Russia is comprised of Russian state-run ompanies like VTB Bank; and, the AmCham of Abu Dhabi is comprised of UAE state-run oil companies.

The ties between the AmChams and the U.S. Chamber are deep. In addition to sharing staff members, the Chinese AmCham has worked closely with the U.S. Chamber and the Chinese government to sponsor a series of seminars in America to teach American businesses how to outsource jobs to China (called the China Grassroots Program).

Click on the link for an invite to an event sponsored by the right-wing billionaire Sheldon Adelson, inviting local businesses in Florida to come to Jacksonville and learn about outsourcing from Chinese government officials like Li Haiyan, the Counselor for Economic Affairs for the People’s Republic of China, U.S. Chamber lobbyist Joseph Fawkner, and BChinaB, a firm that specializes in helping American firms outsource their manufacturing jobs to China.

Please click the link and read the whole essay.

On the home front I want to mention that the President of the Greensboro, NC, Chamber of Commerce just recently resigned because he had been offered a much more lucrative assignment in suburban DC. And he's very well-qualified for almost any type of top position: ex-military, no discernible education otherwise. Takes orders perfectly.

From the same trustworthy source we have the inside story on Robert Menendez - remember him? Human metaphor for the downfall of the Democratic Party and how the Dems became Dims. (Hint! Money. Money. Money. Money!)

Worst DSCC Chair Ever (On Purpose)

In yesterday's Charlotte Observer, North Carolina's #1 newspaper, there was a glowing endorsement of Elaine Marshall's Senate scrappy insurgent campaign. The endorsement was a slap in the face not just to reactionary corporate shill and incumbent Richard Burr, but also to his pal, sleazy New Jersey ward-heeler and failed DSCC chair Robert Menendez. Marshall, they enthused, "dove into this year's Senate race without Democratic Party backing, yet beat the party's hand-picked choice in the primary. 'I don't have to vote with the Senate leadership,' she told us. 'I wasn't their pick'."

Not only was she not their pick, when North Carolina Democrats let Menendez know what he could do with his pick - and handed the progressive, activist Marshall a decisive win against the corporate-oriented slug - Menendez took his toys and ran back to Washington. He had forced Marshall to spend almost a million dollars to win a primary fight he insisted on - even after she won the first round - and since then has studiously, many would say vindictively, ignored North Carolina, easily the Democrats' best chance of picking up a GOP-held seat in the entire country.

From the time he handed Scott Brown Teddy Kennedy's Senate seat in Massachusetts, right through all his wrong-headed primary meddling, Menendez's place in history has been assured: the worst DSCC Chair ever. He has been the driving force in making John Cornyn look astute and in turning a filibuster-proof Democratic majority into a hodge podge that may or may not be able to cling to a bare majority. Out of touch, self-serving political hacks like Menendez and Redfern are managing to emphasize that the Democratic Party, despite the disciples of Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt at the grassroots level is anything but a peoples' party.

I never trust Time Magazine for any type of real news, and yet, they may surprise me (although I'm sure this is just more flashing-light type distraction from the real issues for circus goers). From the Curious Capitalist blog at Time Magazine we read (emphasis marks added - Ed.):

"Will the Federal Reserve Cause a Civil War?"

November 3rd is when the Federal Reserve's next policy committee meeting ends, and if you thought this was just another boring money meeting you would be wrong. It could be the most important meeting in Fed history, maybe. The US central bank is expected to announce its next move to boost the faltering economic recovery. To say there has been considerable debate and anxiety among Fed watchers about what the central bank should do would be an understatement. Chairman Ben Bernanke has indicated in recent speeches that the central bank plans to try to drive down already low-interest rates by buying up long-term bonds. A number of people both inside the Fed and out believe this is the wrong move. But one website seems to believe that Ben's plan might actually lead to armed conflict. Last week, the blog, Zerohedge wrote, paraphrasing a top economic forecaster David Rosenberg, that it believed the Fed's plan is not only moronic, but "positions US society one step closer to civil war if not worse."

I'm not sure what "if not worse," is supposed to mean. But, with the Tea Party gaining followers, the idea of civil war over economic issues doesn't seem that far-fetched these days. And Ron Paul definitely thinks the Fed should be ended. In TIME's recent cover story on the militia movement many said these groups are powder kegs looking for a catalyst. So why not a Fed policy committee meeting. Still, I'm not convinced we are headed for Fedamageddon. That being said, the Fed's early November meeting is an important one. Here's why:

Usually, there is generally a consensus about what the Federal Reserve should do. When the economy is weak, the Fed cuts short-term interest rates to spur borrowing and economic activity. When the economy is strong and inflation is rising, it does the opposite. But nearly two years after the Fed cut short-term interest rates to basically zero, more and more economists are questioning whether the US central bank is making the right moves. The economy is still very weak and unemployment seems stubbornly stuck near 10%.

The problem is the Fed only directly sets short-term interest rates. And they are already about as close to zero as you can go. That's why Ben Bernanke has been recently talking about something called "quantitative easing." That's when the Fed basically creates money to buy the long-term bonds that it doesn't directly control, and drive down those interest rates as well. That should further reduce the cost of borrowing for large companies and homeowners. Some people are calling this "QE2" because the Fed made a similar move during the height of the financial crisis when it bought mortgage bonds.

Not everyone agrees this is a good move. In fact, a number of presidents of regional Fed banks, not all of which get to vote at Fed policy meetings, have recently come out against Bernanke's plans. Some say it sets bad policy. Others think it will stoke inflation, which might be the point. Few, though, have warned of armed conflict. Here's how Zerohedge justifies its prediction of why the Fed's Nov. 3rd meeting will lead to violence:

In a very real sense, Bernanke is throwing Granny and Grandpa down the stairs - on purpose. He is literally threatening those at the lower end of the economic strata, along with all who are retired, with starvation and death, and in a just nation where the rule of law controlled instead of being abused by the kleptocrats he would be facing charges of Seditious Conspiracy, as his policies will inevitably lead to the destruction of our republic.

OK. The idea that Bernanke might kill large swaths of low-income neighborhoods or Florida by his plan to further lower interest rates is a little ridiculous. But there is a point in Zerohedge's crazy. Lower rates do tend to favor borrowers over savers. And the largest borrowers in the country are banks, speculators and large corporations. The largest spenders in our country though tend to be individuals. Consumer spending makes up 70% of the economy. And the vast majority of consumers are on the low-end of the income scale. So I think it is a valid question to ask whether the Fed's desire to drive down interest rates at all costs policy is working. Companies are already borrowing at low rates. They are just not spending. (Read a special report on the financial crisis blame game)

That being said, civil war, probably not. "It is a gross exaggeration," says Allan Meltzer, who is a top Fed historian at Carnegie Mellon. "I cannot recall ever learning about riots or civil war even when the Fed made other mistakes." When I called, David Rosenberg was traveling and couldn't talk, but he did send me a quick e-mail to stress that he has never, ever suggested that any moves the Fed makes will lead to a militia uprising.

Some smart people, though, including Meltzer, it appears, and Rosenberg do think the path of quantitative easing that the Fed looks likely to embark on is the wrong move. John Taylor, a top Fed scholar at Stanford, says eventually you will have to pull the support out, and when you do a year from now when the economy is recovering he thinks it could be quite disruptive. So even if you don't double dip now, you might double dip then. And even if you don't it would make for a slow recovery. Others, such as Raghuram Rajan, who has became famous for warning about the possibility of a financial crisis back in 2005, believe low-interest rates could be creating new bubbles in say gold or commodities.

So it seems clear what the Fed is likely to do. How the economy, the militias and the rest of us react is up in the air. The count down is on. T minus 15 days to Fedamageddon. See you there, hopefully.

Read more here. More K(C)ochomania from Think Progress (and did you get your invite to the confab they are having for large donors in Palm Springs in January yet? Call if not, as you don't want to miss this one - they are planning 2012's spectacular!). Those C(K)ocks! What philanthropists!!! If you're wondering where the funding for Jim Demented"s Democratic opponent (unknown previously to the Dims in S.C.) came from, read on. They fund lots of good causes - like repealing Social Security, etc., etc. One more interesting moment in the essay comes when it traces Beck's long-term funding by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. He tells his lower-class, uneducated listeners to "give back their paychecks to their employers" in so many words. And the Chamber of Horrors (er, of Commerce) can now tell their employees how to vote - specifically - and for whom!

In 2006, Koch Industries owner Charles Koch revealed to the Wall Street Journal’s Stephen Moore that he coordinates the funding of the conservative infrastructure of front groups, political campaigns, think tanks, media outlets and other anti-government efforts through a twice annual meeting of wealthy right-wing donors. He also confided to Moore, who is funded through several of Koch’s ventures, that his true goal is to strengthen the “culture of prosperity” by eliminating “90%” of all laws and government regulations. Although it is difficult to quantify the exact amount Koch alone has funneled to right-wing fronts, some studies have pointed toward $50 million he has given alone to anti-environmental groups.

Recently, fronts funded by Charles and his brother David have received scrutiny because they have played a pivotal role in the organizing of the anti-Obama Tea Parties and the promotion of virulent far right lawmakers like Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC). (David Koch praised DeMint and gave him a “Washington Award” shortly after the senator promised to “break” Obama by making health reform his “Waterloo.”)

While the Koch brothers — each worth over $21.5 billion — have certainly underwritten much of the right, their hidden coordination with other big business money has gone largely unnoticed. ThinkProgress has obtained a memo outlining the details of the last Koch gathering held in June of this year. The memo, along with an attendee list of about 210 people, shows the titans of industry — from health insurance companies, oil executives, Wall Street investors, and real estate tycoons — working together with conservative journalists and Republican operatives to plan the 2010 election, as well as ongoing conservative efforts through 2012.

According to the memo, David Chavern, the number two at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and Fox News hate-talker Glenn Beck also met with these representatives of the corporate elite. In an election season with the most undisclosed secret corporate giving since the Watergate-era, the memo sheds light on the symbiotic relationship between extremely profitable, multi-billion dollar corporations and much of the conservative infrastructure. The memo describes the prospective corporate donors as “investors,” and it makes clear that many of the Republican operatives managing shadowy, undisclosed fronts running attack ads against Democrats were involved in the Koch’s election-planning event:

– Corporate “investors” at the Koch meeting included businesses with a strong profit motive in rolling back President Obama’s enacted reforms. Several companies impacted by health reform, including Allan Hubbard of A & E Industries, a manufacturer of medical devices and Judson Green, a board member of health insurance conglomerate Aon, were present at the meeting. Other businessmen at the meeting, like Omaha Burger King franchiser Mike Simmonds, are owners of fast food stores which have fought efforts to provide health insurance to their employees. Many corporate attendees of the meeting represent the financial industry impacted by Wall Street reform. For instance, attendee Bill Cooper is the CEO of TCF Financial, a corporation involved in the mortgage banking industry. Cooper recently filed a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of Wall Street reform. Other financial industry players in the meeting hail from firms ranging from Bank of America, JLM Investment, Allied Capital Corp, AMG National Trust, the Blackstone Group and Citadel Investment.

Annie Dickerson, a representative of Paul Singer, a powerful hedge fund manager who also gives tens of millions to Republican causes, was present. In addition, Koch Industries itself has a hedge fund and other financial derivative products in its portfolio of interests, which include oil pipelines, coal shipping, asphalt, refineries, consumer goods, timber, ranching, and chemicals.

– Several executives at the meeting have an incentive to stop Democrats and President Obama from addressing climate change and enacting clean energy reform. The meeting included oil executives from Aspect Energy, Murfin Drilling, Anschutz Company, GeoPark Holdings, Smoky Oil, and several members of Koch’s various subsidiaries. The meeting documents explicitly state that funding efforts to curb “climate change alarmism” were discussed.

Fred Malek, Karl Rove’s top fundraiser for his $56 million attack ad campaign against Democrats, attended the meeting, along with leaders of other secret attack groups. Heather Higgins, who leads the Independent Women’s Forum, a shadowy group that has spent millions of dollars in attack ads on health reform, attended the meeting. So did Gretchen Hamel, a former Bush flak who now runs an attack ad group called “Public Notice,” which denounces spending programs.

– Participants collaborated with infamous consultants who specialize in generating fake grassroots movements, as well as experts on how corporations should take advantage of Citizens United. One session, about how to “mobilize Citizens for November,” involved a discussion with Republican strategists Tim Phillips and Sean Noble, anti-union leader Mark Mix, and longtime Koch operative Karl Crow. Phillips — a veteran astroturf lobbyist who previously managed a deceptive grassroots lobbying campaign to help the Hong Kong-based Tan family maintain their forced abortion sweatshops in the Mariana Islands — now leads the day-to-day operations of Americans for Prosperity, the group ThinkProgress first reported to have helped organize many of the initial Tea Party rallies against Obama.

Americans for Prosperity, founded and financed by David Koch, has a field team of over 80 campaign staffers spread out around the country, and additionally plans to spend $45 million dollars worth of attack ads against Democrats. Shortly before the planning meeting, Crow authored a campaign finance memo explaining that because of the Citizens United Supreme Court ruling, he advised specifically that the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s 501(c)(6) and Americans for Prosperity’s 501(c)(4) can “now use general treasury funds to produce communications materials opposing or supporting specific candidates” and corporations can aggressively pressure their employees to vote a certain way.

The memo notes that participants in the 2010 election planning meeting “committed to an unprecedented level of support.”

Interestingly, the Koch meetings are managed by Kevin Gentry, an executive who doubles as a staffer in the Koch Industries lobbying office in Washington and as the key point person who helps deliver Koch charitable foundation grants. As ThinkProgress has documented, Koch Industries has dramatically boosted its own profits by using conservative front groups to manipulate public policy. The fusion between the “intellectual” conservative movement and big businesses opposed to regulations and accountability has a history in America dating back to the New Deal. During the 30's, the Du Pont family and other wealthy interests organized an assortment of “Liberty League” front groups to try to defeat New Deal agenda items and repeal President Roosevelt’s Social Security program.

Now, corporations fund groups like the Heritage Foundation and the American Enterprise Institute — both had representatives at the Koch meeting — to further their lobbying agenda. The American Enterprise Institute even changed its name from the New Deal-era American Enterprise Association to try to dispel the notion that they were nothing more than a glorified business trade association.

As the memo states, Beck has addressed this regular gathering of conservative corporate executives in previous years. Past Koch meetings have included various Republican lawmakers, including DeMint, and Supreme Court Justices Clarence Thomas and Antonin Scalia as speakers.

After ThinkProgess published its exclusive investigation of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce revealing that the Chamber has been actively fundraising from foreign corporations for its 501(c)(6) account used to run a $75 million attack ad campaign, Chamber lobbyists found common cause with Beck and many of the conservative talking heads. Shortly after our investigation, Beck hosted an on-air fundraiser, asking his audience to give to the Chamber. Casual observers might have been surprised by the Chamber’s swift alliance with Beck (Chamber executives appeared on the Beck radio program and sung Beck’s praises on the Chamber blog), who has compared Obama to Adolf Hitler and called the President a “racist” who has a “deep-seated hatred for white people.”

By telling his listeners to give money to the Chamber, Beck, who owns a media company worth more than $32 million dollars and an experimental Mercedes Benz, essentially told his working class viewers to give their wages back to their employers. However, Beck never disclosed his long working history of discussing political strategy with America’s largest corporations. The Koch memo clearly shows that Beck has been collaborating with the Chamber, as well as other titans of industry, for years. In his latest appeal for support to the Chamber’s foreign-funded trade association, which already counts JP Morgan and ExxonMobil as dues-paying members, Beck yesterday told his audience that the Chamber simply “defends the little guy.”

Click to view a letter inviting corporate executives to attend the next Koch meeting in January, along with a list of the sessions held by Koch for the last meeting in June of 2010. An attendee list of the June, 2010 meeting is attached at the bottom of the document.

Some of the donors at the Koch meeting were longtime Bush fundraisers, like Cintas Corporation CEO Dick Farmer and wholesale executive Art Pope. However, many names appear to be relatively new to conservative movement “investment.” Click here for a listing of the attendees.

CAN YOU SAY "TREASON" YET? I found another essay of pearls, which appears below. Click on the link for the whole schmear. Whether you are at one with this perspective or not, you've got to admit that debt is the word currently.

From Global Depression to Global Governance

The role of the corporate elites' secretive global thinktanks

We now stand at the edge of the global financial abyss of a ‘Great Global Debt Depression,’ where nations, mired in extreme debt, are beginning to implement ‘fiscal austerity’ measures to reduce their deficits, which will ultimately result in systematic global social genocide, as the middle classes vanish and the social foundations upon which our nations rest are swept away.

How did we get here? Who brought us here? Where is this road leading?

Not bad questions for now, although we do notice that the positions pay very well - forever. From Global Research, we read about the secret groups who have purposely evolved our societies into funding ventures for their personal enrichment - explaining the totally unexpected oil shocks of the 1970's and much, much more (emphasis marks added - Ed.):

As historian Carroll Quigley wrote: "The powers of financial capitalism had another far-reaching aim, nothing less than to create a world system of financial control in private hands able to dominate the political system of each country and the economy of the world as a whole. This system was to be controlled in a feudalist fashion by the central banks of the world acting in concert, by secret agreements arrived at in frequent private meetings and conferences. The apex of the system was to be the Bank for International Settlements in Basel, Switzerland, a private bank owned and controlled by the world’s central banks which were themselves private corporations."

In 1954, the Bilderberg Group was formed as a secretive global think tank, comprising intellectual, financial, corporate, political, military and media elites from Western Europe and North America, with prominent bankers such as David Rockefeller, as well as European royalty, such as the Dutch royal family, who are the largest shareholders in Royal Dutch Shell, whose CEO attends every meeting. This group of roughly 130 elites meets every year in secret to discuss and debate global affairs, and to set general goals and undertake broad agendas at various meetings. The group was initially formed to promote European integration. The 1956 meeting discussed European integration and a common currency. In fact, the current Chairman of the Bilderberg Group told European media last year that the euro was debated at the Bilderberg Group.

In 1973, David Rockefeller, Chairman and CEO of Chase Manhattan Bank, Chairman of the Council on Foreign Relations and a member of the Steering Committee of the Bilderberg Group, formed the Trilateral Commission with CFR academic Zbigniew Brzezinski. That same year, the oil price shocks created a wealth of oil money, which was discussed at that years Bilderberg meeting 5 months prior to the oil shocks, and the money was funneled through western banks, which loaned it to ‘third world’ nations desperately in need of loans to finance industrialization.

When Jimmy Carter became President in 1977, he appointed over two dozen members of the Trilateral Commission into his cabinet, including himself, and of course, Zbigniew Brzezinski, who was his National Security Adviser. In 1979, Carter appointed David Rockefeller’s former aide and friend, Paul Volcker, who had held various positions at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York and the U.S. Treasury Department, and who also happened to be a member of the Trilateral Commission, as Chairman of the Federal Reserve. When another oil shock took place in 1979, Volcker decided to raise interest rates from 2% in the late 70s, to 18% in the early 80's.

The effect this had was that the countries of the developing world suddenly had to pay enormous interest on their loans, and in 1982, Mexico announced it could no longer afford to pay its interest, and it defaulted on its debt, which set off the 1980s debt crisis – collapsing nations in debt across Latin America, Africa and parts of Asia.

It was the IMF and the World Bank came to the ‘assistance’ of the Third World with their ‘structural adjustment programs’, which forced countries seeking assistance to privatize all state owned industries and resources, devalue their currencies, liberalize their economies, dismantle health, education and social services; ultimately resulting in the re-colonization of the ‘Third World’ as Western corporations and banks bought all their assets and resources, and ultimately created the conditions of social genocide, with the spread of mass poverty, and the emergence of corrupt national elites who were subservient to the interests of Western elites.

The people in these nations would protest, riot and rebel, and the states would clamp down with the police and military. In the West, corporations and banks saw rapid, record-breaking profits. This was the era in which the term ‘globalization’ emerged. While profits soared, wages for people in the West did not. Thus, to consume in an economy in which prices were rising, people had to go into debt. This is why this era marked the rise of credit cards fueling consumption, and the middle class became a class based entirely on debt.

In the 1990's, the ‘new world order’ was born, with America ruling the global economy, free trade agreements began integrating regional and global markets for the benefit of global banks and corporations, and speculation dominated the economy.

The global economic crisis arose as a result of decades of global imperialism – known recently as ‘globalization’ – and the reckless growth of – speculation, derivatives and an explosion of debt.

As the economic crisis spread, nations of the world, particularly the United States, bailed out the major banks (which should have been made to fail and crumble under their own corruption and greed), and now the West has essentially privatized profits for the banks, and socialized the risk.

In other words, the nations bought the debt from the banks, and now the people have to pay for it. The people, however, are immersed in their own personal debt to such degrees that today, the average Canadian is $39,000 in debt, and students are graduating into a jobless market with tens to hundreds of thousands of dollars of student debt that they will never repay. Hence, we are now faced with a global debt crisis.

Please read on for the history of the G-20, China policies and your future of paying off for the rest of your and your children's children's lives the debts they have incurred. After that, if you're up to it, some light reading about:
The Origins of the American Military Coup of 2012
Tom Engelhard at TomDispatch also has some well-thought-out conversation you may want to consider as you decide whether to vote at the next election (or just move out of the country) or not (emphasis marks added - Ed.).
A World Made by War How Old Will You Be When the American War State Goes Down?

Tom Engelhardt

When you look at me, you can’t mistake the fact that I’m of a certain age. But just for a moment, think of me as nine years old. You could even say that I celebrated my ninth birthday last week, without cake, candles, presents, or certainly joy. I’ve had two mobilized moments in my life. The first was in the Vietnam War years; the second, the one that leaves me as a nine-year-old, began on the morning of September 11, 2001. I turned on the TV while doing my morning exercises, saw a smoking hole in a World Trade Center tower, and thought that, as in 1945 when a B-25 slammed into the Empire State Building, a terrible accident had happened.

Later, after the drums of war had begun to beat, after the first headlines had screamed their World-War-II-style messages (“the Pearl Harbor of the 21st century”), I had another thought. And for a reasonably politically sophisticated guy, my second response was not only as off-base as the first, but also remarkably dumb. I thought that this horrific event taking place in my hometown might open Americans up to the pain of the world. No such luck, of course.

If you had told me then that we would henceforth be in a state of eternal war as well as living in a permanent war state, that, to face a ragtag enemy of a few thousand stateless terrorists, the national security establishment in Washington would pump itself up to levels not faintly reached when facing the Soviet Union, a major power with thousands of nuclear weapons and an enormous military, that “homeland” - a distinctly un-American word - would land in our vocabulary never to leave, and that a second Defense Department dubbed the Department of Homeland Security would be set up not to be dismantled in my lifetime, that torture (excuse me, “enhanced interrogation techniques”) would become as American as apple pie and that some of those “techniques” would actually be demonstrated to leading Bush administration officials inside the White House, that we would pour money into the Pentagon at ever escalating levels even after the economy crashed in 2008, that we would be fighting two potentially trillion-dollar-plus wars without end in two distant lands, that we would spend untold billions constructing hundreds of military bases in those same lands, that the CIA would be conducting the first drone air war in history over a country we were officially not at war with, that most of us would live in a remarkable state of detachment from all of this, and finally - only, by the way, because I’m cutting this list arbitrarily short - that I would spend my time writing incessantly about “the American way of war” and produce a book with that title, I would have thought you were nuts.

But every bit of that happened, even if unpredicted by me because, like human beings everywhere, I have no special knack for peering into the future. If it were otherwise, I would undoubtedly now be zipping through fabulous spired cities with a jetpack on my back (as I was assured would happen in my distant youth). But if prediction isn’t our forte, then adaptability to changing circumstances may be - and it certainly helps account for my being here today. I’m here because, in response to the bizarre spectacle of this nation going to war while living at peace, even if in a spasmodic state of collective national fear, I did something I hardly understood at the time. I launched a nameless listserv of collected articles and my own expanding commentary that ran against the common wisdom of that October moment when the bombing runs for our second Afghan war began. A little more than a year later, thanks to the Nation Institute, it became a website with the name, and because our leaders swore we were “a nation at war,” because we were indeed killing people in quantity in distant lands, because the power of the state at home was being strengthened in startling ways, while everything still open about our society seemed to be getting screwed shut, and the military was being pumped up to Schwarzeneggerian dimensions, I started writing about war.

At some level, I can’t tell you how ridiculous that was. After all, I’m the most civilian and peaceable of guys. I’ve never even been in the military. I was, however, upset with the Bush administration, the connect-no-dots media coverage of that moment, and the repeated 9/11 rites which proclaimed us the planet’s greatest victim, survivor, and dominator, leaving only one role, greatest Evil Doer, open for the rest of the planet (and you know who auditioned for, and won, that part hands down)!

P.S. I thought the same thing on the day of 9/11 - that this horrendous event "might open Americans up to the pain of the world."

Read on, Garth!

Still in the dark?

You may be beyond help. Suzan ________________

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