And it's not because he's embarrassed, friends.
_ _ _ _ _ _ _
Ever wonder exactly where they were planning to steal the votes for the next election?
Wonder no more.
They don't make mistakes about elections. No matter how foolish the MSM makes most of them look on the TV snooze.
Never take your eyes off the crooks.
The New Yorker wants you to know.
Interactive Map: The War on Voting Rights
(Click here for interactive map.)
In the magazine this week, Jeffrey Toobin writes about Attorney General Eric Holder and his efforts to enforce the principles of the 1965 Voting Rights Act.
In the Shelby County v. Holder decision of June, 2013, the Supreme Court declared Section 4 of the Act unconstitutional by a vote of five to four, arguing, in essence, that the provision was no longer necessary nearly fifty years after the civil-rights era. Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr., wrote the majority opinion, and Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg penned the dissent, joined by the three other Democratic appointees to the Court.
Section 4 outlined a formula for identifying jurisdictions with a history of racial discrimination. These places included many states in the South and various counties and townships scattered across the country. Under Section 5 of the Act, these places were required to receive “pre-clearance” from the federal government before making any changes to voting laws. Though the Supreme Court didn’t render an opinion on Section 5, striking down Section 4 rendered it punchless — without a coverage formula, there are no places that require pre-clearance.
Events since the Shelby decision show that we might still need Section 5. As the map above illustrates, in the months after the Supreme Court decision most of the states that were subject to preclearance have moved to restrict voting rights. Here’s an outline of what’s happened in those states, highlighted in orange on the map. Most of the new restrictive laws are similar — photo-I.D. laws, shortened early-voting periods, and the like. Such measures make voting more difficult, and, as voting-rights advocates argue, they disproportionately affect poor and minority voters.
In 2011, Alabama, home to the plaintiff Shelby County, approved a photo-I.D. law, but never submitted it for preclearance. After the Supreme Court decision, the state announced that it would go ahead with the law, which officially takes effect during this year’s federal primaries.
Section 5 only covered a handful of Florida counties, but the entire state was subject to pre-clearance. In 2012, Governor Rick Scott, a Republican, launched a program to purge the voter roll of non-citizens. The effort, which disproportionately targeted minorities, was ultimately abandoned under a storm of criticism. However, just a day after Shelby, Scott, who faces re-election in 2014, made plans to renew the purge.
On the day of the Shelby decision, Mississippi’s Secretary of State announced plans to implement a photo-I.D. law in time for this year’s federal primaries.
North Carolina functioned much like Florida — Section 5 coverage for certain counties, but pre-clearance necessary for the entire state. Less than two months after Shelby, the state’s Republican-controlled government passed a sweeping bill that includes several new restrictive voting provisions. Among them are a photo-I.D. requirement, a shorter early-voting period, the end to same-day voter registration and pre-registration for sixteen- and seventeen-year-olds, and the end of straight party-ticket voting. The Justice Department has filed a lawsuit challenging the new voting provisions under Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act.
South Carolina tried to enforce a photo-I.D. law in time for the 2012 elections, but a federal court blocked it in October, arguing that there was insufficient time to educate voters and officials. However, the court said that it could take effect in 2013. Immediately after Shelby, the state Attorney General issued a statement praising the Justices, and the photo-I.D. law was officially implemented in time for a September special election.
JPMorgan tied to the CIA?
What will we learn next?
That Jamie Dimon is a close personal friend of almost everyone in government (including Obama)?
By Pam Martens and Russ Martens
February 12, 2014
The nonstop crime news swirling around JPMorgan Chase for a solid 18 months has started to feel a little spooky – they do lots of crime but never any time; and with each closed case, a trail of unanswered questions remains in the public’s mind.
Just last month, JPMorgan Chase acknowledged that it facilitated the largest Ponzi scheme in history, looking the other way as Bernie Madoff brazenly turned his business bank account at JPMorgan Chase into an unprecedented money laundering operation that would have set off bells, whistles and sirens at any other bank.
The U.S. Justice Department allowed JPMorgan to pay $1.7 billion and sign a deferred prosecution agreement, meaning no one goes to jail at JPMorgan — again.
The largest question that no one can or will answer is how the compliance, legal and anti-money laundering personnel at JPMorgan ignored for years hundreds of transfers and billions of dollars in round trip maneuvers between Madoff and the account of Norman Levy.
Even one such maneuver should set off an investigation. (Levy is now deceased and the Trustee for Madoff’s victims has settled with his estate.)
Then there was the report done by the U.S. Senate’s Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations of the London Whale episode which left the public in the dark about just what JPMorgan was doing with stock trading in its Chief Investment Office in London, redacting all information in the 300-page report that related to that topic.
Wall Street On Parade has been filing Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests with the Federal government in these matters, and despite the pledge from our President to set a new era of transparency, thus far we have had few answers coming our way.
One reason that JPMorgan may have such a spooky feel is that it has aligned itself in no small way with real-life spooks, the CIA kind.
Just when the public was numbing itself to the endless stream of financial malfeasance which cost JPMorgan over $30 billion in fines and settlements in just the past 13 months, we learned on January 28 of this year that a happy, healthy 39-year old technology Vice President, Gabriel Magee, was found dead on a 9th level rooftop of the bank’s 33-story European headquarters building in the Canary Wharf section of London.
The way the news of this tragic and sudden death was stage-managed by highly skilled but invisible hands, turning a demonstrably suspicious incident into a cut-and-dried suicide leap from the rooftop (devoid of eyewitnesses or motivation) had all the hallmarks of a sophisticated covert operation or coverup.
The London Evening Standard newspaper reported the same day that “A man plunged to his death from a Canary Wharf tower in front of thousands of horrified commuters today.”
Who gave that completely fabricated story to the press? Commuters on the street had no view of the body because it was 9 floors up on a rooftop – a rooftop that is accessible from a stairwell inside the building, not just via a fall from the roof.
Adding to the suspicions, Magee had emailed his girlfriend the evening before telling her he was finishing up and would be home shortly.
If JPMorgan’s CEO, Jamie Dimon, needed a little crisis management help from operatives, he has no shortage of people to call upon. Thomas Higgins was, until a few months ago, a Managing Director and Global Head of Operational Control for JPMorgan. (A Business Week profile shows Higgins still employed at JPMorgan while the New York Post reported that he left late last year.)
What is not in question is that Higgins was previously the Senior Officer and Station Chief in the CIA’s National Clandestine Service, a component of which is the National Resources Division. (Higgins’ bio is printed in past brochures of the CIA Officers Memorial Foundation, where Higgins is listed with his JPMorgan job title, former CIA job title, and as a member of the Foundation’s Board of Directors for 2013.)
According to Jeff Stein, writing in Newsweek on November 14, the National Resources Division (NR) is the “biggest little CIA shop you’ve never heard of.” One good reason you’ve never heard of it until now is that the New York Times was asked not to name it in 2001.
James Risen writes in a New York Times piece: [the CIA’s] “New York station was behind the false front of another federal organization, which intelligence officials requested that The Times not identify. The station was, among other things, a base of operations to spy on and recruit foreign diplomats stationed at the United Nations, while debriefing selected American business executives and others willing to talk to the C.I.A. after returning from overseas.”
Stein gets much of that out in the open in his piece for Newsweek, citing sources who say that “its intimate relations with top U.S. corporate executives willing to have their companies fronting for the CIA invites trouble at home and abroad.” Stein goes on to say that NR operatives “cultivate their own sources on Wall Street, especially looking for help keeping track of foreign money sloshing around in the global financial system, while recruiting companies to provide cover for CIA operations abroad. And once they’ve seen how the other 1 percent lives, CIA operatives, some say, are tempted to go over to the other side.”
We now know that it was not only the Securities and Exchange Commission, the U.S. Treasury Department’s FinCEN, and bank examiners from the Comptroller of the Currency who missed the Madoff fraud, it was top snoops at the CIA in the very city where Madoff was headquartered.
Stein gives us even less reason to feel confident about this situation, writing that the NR “knows some titans of finance are not above being romanced. Most love hanging out with the agency’s top spies — James Bond and all that — and being solicited for their views on everything from the street’s latest tricks to their meetings with, say, China’s finance minister.
JPMorgan Chase’s Jamie Dimon and Goldman Sach’s Lloyd Blankfein, one former CIA executive recalls, loved to get visitors from Langley. And the CIA loves them back, not just for their patriotic cooperation with the spy agency, sources say, but for the influence they have on Capitol Hill, where the intelligence budgets are hashed out.”
Higgins is not the only former CIA operative to work at JPMorgan. According to a LinkedIn profile, Bud Cato, a Regional Security Manager for JPMorgan Chase, worked for the CIA in foreign clandestine operations from 1982 to 1995; then went to work for The Coca-Cola Company until 2001; then back to the CIA as an Operations Officer in Afghanistan, Iraq and other Middle East countries until he joined JPMorgan in 2011.
In addition to Higgins and Cato, JPMorgan has a large roster of former Secret Service, former FBI and former law enforcement personnel employed in security jobs. And, as we have reported repeatedly, it still shares a space with the NYPD in a massive surveillance operation in lower Manhattan which has been dubbed the Lower Manhattan Security Coordination Center.
JPMorgan and Jamie Dimon have received a great deal of press attention for the whopping $4.6 million that JPMorgan donated to the New York City Police Foundation. Leonard Levitt, of NYPD Confidential, wrote in 2011 that New York City Police Commissioner Ray Kelly “has amended his financial disclosure forms after this column revealed last October that the Police Foundation had paid his dues and meals at the Harvard Club for the past eight years. Kelly now acknowledges he spent $30,000 at the Harvard Club between 2006 and 2009, according to the Daily News.”
JPMorgan is also listed as one of the largest donors to a nonprofit Foundation that provides college tuition assistance to the children of fallen CIA operatives, the CIA Officers Memorial Foundation. The Foundation also notes in a November 2013 publication, the Compass, that it has enjoyed the fundraising support of Maurice (Hank) Greenberg. According to the publication, Greenberg “sponsored a fundraiser on our behalf. His guest list included the who’s who of the financial services industry in New York, and they gave generously.”
Hank Greenberg is the former Chairman and CEO of AIG which collapsed into the arms of the U.S. taxpayer, requiring a $182 billion bailout. In 2006, AIG paid $1.64 billion to settle federal and state probes into fraudulent activities. In 2010, the company settled a shareholders’ lawsuit for $725 million that accused it of accounting fraud and stock price manipulation. In 2009, Greenberg settled SEC fraud charges against him related to AIG for $15 million.
Before the death of Gabriel Magee, the public had lost trust in the Justice Department and Wall Street regulators to bring these financial firms to justice for an unending spree of fleecing the public. Now there is a young man’s unexplained death at JPMorgan. This is no longer about money. This is about a heartbroken family that will never be the same again; who can never find peace or closure until credible and documented facts are put before them by independent, credible law enforcement.
The London Coroner’s office will hold a formal inquest into the death of Gabriel Magee on May 15. Wall Street On Parade has asked that the inquest be available on a live webcast as well as an archived webcast so that the American public can observe for itself if this matter has been given the kind of serious investigation it deserves. We ask other media outlets who were initially misled about the facts in this case to do the same.
Do you still not see where decades of hard-won taxpayer money (certainly not available to fund Social Security/Medicare/Medicaid, etc. or single-payer health care (which saves the whole country money)) has gone?
That these guys NEVER lose?
Do you still believe you're just unlucky in the job market?
Or are you still relying on the MSM to tell you the truth?
The declining number of Americans who hold a job or are looking for one has been a hot topic since the end of the recession. What’s more to blame: the weak recovery or unavoidable long-term trends such as the retirement of baby boomers?
Economists agree both factors are at work. It’s harder to find a job nowadays than in the past, but baby boomers are expected to leave the workforce in greater numbers as more hit retirement age. What’s a matter of dispute is how much blame should be placed on one over the other.
A new study by Goldman Sachs doesn’t resolve the issue, but it offers some interesting insights. Among them: The firm found that bull and bear markets show a strong link in when older workers choose to retire. So the 30% surge in the S&P 500 index in 2013 could spur a bigger wave of baby-boomer retirements in the next year.
Does that mean the labor-force participation rate, now hovering near a 35-year low of 63%, will fall again in the coming months? Not necessarily. The Goldman study also suggests younger people are likely to enter the workforce in greater numbers as the labor market continues to mend.
The behavior of the oldest and youngest workers, it turns out, move in opposite directions during and after a recession.
Even as the economy was crashing in 2008 and 2009, for example, the number of Americans 55 and older joining the labor force actually rose sharply. How come? They needed the money, especially with retirement age approaching and their stock portfolios in the toilet.
Younger people, on the other hand, saw dim job prospects and decided to go to college or get a second degree. Consider this: From 1990 to 2006, the number of youths pursuing education beyond high school rose an average of 260,000 every year. Yet the number spiked to 850,000 in 2008 and a whopping 1.3 million in 2009, Goldman economists Jari Stehn and Hui Shan found.
What about the next few years? The Goldman economists believe the roles could reverse. The firm’s research shows a sizable rise in retirements among workers 55 to 64 when the stock market gains 10%. Last year’s 30% advance could spur an even large wave of workforce departures.
Indeed, the shift already appears to be taking place. The percentage of Americans 55 and older in the workplace actually posted the biggest drop in 2013 since 1980. The rate fell to 39.9% from 40.7% last year – and it fell again in January.
The percentage of 16 to 24 year-olds not in the workplace, on the other hand, appears to have stabilized after tumbling from around 60% in early 2007 to just under 55% in 2013.
Many who entered college after the recession have graduated and need to find a job, a process helped in part by a steady pickup in hiring over the past few years. The U.S. has added more than 2 million new jobs for three straight years.
Does that mean good times are just around the corner? Probably not.
The Goldman Sachs study says the surprisingly rapid decline in the U.S. unemployment rate over the past few years still “understates the extent of the slack”, or weakness, in the labor market. The jobless rate dropped to 6.6% in January from 7.9% one year earlier, largely because more workers dropped out of the labor force.
- Jeffry Bartash
Follow Jeffry on Twitter @jbartash
Follow Capitol Report on Twitter @capitolreport
Yes, she's new on the job.
But not that new.
By Pam Martens: February 13, 2014
Janet Yellen, Chair of the Federal Reserve Board of Governors
The new Chair of the Federal Reserve Board, Janet Yellen, is one of the most seasoned and knowledgeable central bank chiefs in the 100-year history of the Fed. But there was one sentence in Yellen’s testimony on Tuesday before the U.S. House Financial Services Committee which is alarming. Yellen told the Congressional panel:
“Inflation remained low as the economy picked up strength, with both the headline and core personal consumption expenditures, or PCE, price indexes rising only about 1 percent last year, well below the FOMC’s 2-percent objective for inflation over the longer run.”
A strong economy is incompatible with declining inflation. One or the other will win out. In a consumer-based economy such as the United States, where personal consumption represents 70 percent of GDP, preventing deflation from getting a foothold is prominently on the Fed Chair’s radar screen, whether it is acknowledged or not.
Yellen’s greatest enemy to succeeding in her job may be her inundation with the vast quantities of economic research spewed out by her employer and its 12 regional banks. Unfortunately, much of that research takes the pulse of the economy in the rearview mirror rather than in real time. During rapid and volatile economic currents, Yellen would be well advised to start listening carefully to real-time reports coming from CEOs, CFOs, Purchasing Managers and real business owners across America.
Yellen should be paying close attention to see if the following phrases emerge from the above group: “sharp slowdown,” “unanticipated contraction in sales,” “weakness we did not foresee coming,” and “abrupt.”
Just such a message came yesterday when Cisco’s CFO, Frank Calderoni, told MarketWatch that “Clearly, there’s been a slowdown and it’s been very abrupt. It’s difficult to determine how long it will last.”
As has been regularly pointed out, but perhaps the Fed still needs to be reminded of, this economic period has no equivalent, other than the Great Depression. From the Wall Street collapse to the unprecedented income and wealth inequality which left a nation of consumers unable to consume, the parallels between now and then should not be dismissed. It was Herbert Hoover who pointed out in his presidential memoirs that U.S. output can and did abruptly hit a brick wall.
We did not see the same hitting of the brick wall from 2008 to 2012 as was witnessed between 1929 and 1933 because this time around we had safety nets already in place that did not exist after the stock market crash of ’29. The Social Security Act was enacted on August 14, 1935; FDIC insurance on bank deposits was created under the Banking Act of 1933; it was not until August 1937 that 48 states, Alaska, Hawaii, and the District of Columbia had enacted their own unemployment insurance laws, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.
But safety nets come at a steep price. The U.S. debt now stands at over $17 trillion and the Fed’s balance sheet has risen to over $4 trillion as a result of its bond-buying program that has pumped more than $1.02 trillion of artificial stimulus into the economy over the past year – money that now seems to have ended up artificially inflating stock and bond markets in emerging markets rather than creating U.S. jobs and a sound path toward U.S. economic stability.
Other real time economic warnings abound. According to data compiled by Bloomberg, the Personal Consumption Expenditures Price Index, minus food and energy costs, “rose 1.2 percent in 2013, matching 2009 as the smallest gain since 1955. Of 27 categories of goods and services in the gauge, 18 showed smaller price increases over the past two years.”
Last October, the U.S. Department of Education reported an all time high in the number of homeless students attending public schools – a figure of 1,168,354, which is acknowledged to underestimate the problem. That statistic is not compatible with an economy that has “picked up strength” as Yellen told Congress this week. It is compatible with more troubling news out of the region where Congress holds court. According to the Washington Post this month, the number of homeless families in Washington, D.C. is on pace to double this year.
A weakening economy is also compatible with news coming out of the farm belt where corn and soybean prices are slumping along with farm land prices. According to this morning’s Wall Street Journal, “a monthly survey of Midwestern lenders by Omaha-based Creighton University in January found the outlook for farmland and ranchland prices was the weakest in more than four years.”
The old adage on Wall Street that in times of economic distress people turn to comfort foods is not holding up this time around either. Nestle has just reported the smallest annual sales growth in four years.
As we reported in December, the Federal Reserve Board of Governors gets a great amount of its intelligence from the New York Fed. That is certain to be clouded with the trading positions and agenda of the Wall Street firms that constitute a large part of the input in the intelligence gathering operation. Going forward, Yellen would be well advised to monitor real time data coming directly from the mouths of business people with a front row seat to real time changes in economic conditions.