Sunday, August 23, 2015

Oh, Come On! Can't the Wealthy Buy Up Everything? After All, They Got Away with Crashing the U.S. Market for Free  (It's OUR Money)  Trump Was Right?  (More U.S. Nukes Launched)  Greece PM Resigns To Spend More Time . . . Aiding the Country)

Recognize your Grandma?


Above:  the ancestors of today’s anti-immigrant Republicans.

As this nation is going through one of its occasional freakouts about immigrants, it’s worth looking at how the nation has dealt with immigrants in the past. Specifically, how did the nation start dealing with American born children of people it wanted to deport? Hidetaka Hirota:

Michael Hudson always has some stellar insights to share.

It’s Our Money

August 20, 2015

I was interviewed on Ellen Brown’s radio show “It’s Our Money”, where she writes:

Is the financial deprivation of entire nations engendering a new level of frustration and political unrest? Are the unlikely top-ranked US presidential candidates a sign that the Europeans aren’t the only ones who want to “throw the bums out?” Ellen engages these emerging political themes in her conversation with renown author, advisor and Economics professor Michael Hudson, just back from his consultations with Greece’s Syriza party.
Download the episode (right click and save)

Look into his eyes.

Those scheming, cold-cash-moralless-motivated eyes.


From our friend at the Immoral Minority:

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Two Men Beat and Urinate on Homeless Hispanic Man. "Trump Was Right" One of Them Tells Police.

Courtesy of the "Boston Herald":  Two brothers urinated on and beat a Hispanic homeless man who was sleeping near a train station and one of them said afterward that Donald Trump was right about deporting "all these illegals," police said.

The brothers, Scott Leader and Steve Leader, were held without bail Wednesday on charges including assault, indecent exposure and threatening to commit a crime. They pleaded not guilty.

A state police report filed in court says Scott Leader told troopers after his arrest, "Donald Trump was right, all these illegals need to be deported," "The Boston Globe" reported. Court records show Scott Leader served a year in prison for a hate crime against a Moroccan coffee shop worker after the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks, the "Globe" said.

Witnesses flagged down a state trooper at about 12:30 a.m. Wednesday after they saw two men use a metal pole to beat a man near an MBTA station and then walk away laughing, prosecutors said. 

The victim, who was treated for a broken nose, serious bruises and other injuries, told police he awoke to find the two men urinating before they ripped off his sleeping bag and blankets and beat him.

Look, the "Trump effect" is already starting to spread.

In a few more months I imagine hate crimes against brown people will go up significantly.

I can't even begin to imagine how bad it would be if he were to actually get elected.

Update:  Here was Trump's response to this attack:

Told of the attack, which also left the man soaked in urine, Mr. Trump said at a news conference late Wednesday that it was the first he had heard of it.

“It would be a shame,” Mr. Trump said, before adding: “I will say that people who are following me are very passionate. They love this country and they want this country to be great again. They are passionate.”

Yeah these guys are just are just passionate about making the country great again.

And with Mr. Trump leading them they will.

Even if they have to beat and piss on every Hispanic in the country.

I'm making up the titles for several of the essays today. I think I've got the next one perfectly.

What do you think?

Billionaire Dumb Asses Run Amuck on Media They Own
By Pam Martens and Russ Martens

August 20, 2015
Judging by the speed at which U.S. billionaires are going unfiltered on the airwaves and in print, the U.S. may soon find itself indelibly defined as a nation of well-heeled meatheads.

Yesterday we reported on billionaire Sandy Weill, whose crackpot idea of a financial supermarket and rollback of the Glass Steagall Act resulted in his becoming a billionaire despite the implosion of his creation, Citigroup, in 2008.  Citigroup became the largest banking bailout in U.S. history and a catalyst for the largest U.S. downturn since the Great Depression. Now in their twilight years, Weill and his wife, Joan, have nothing better to do than attempt to gut a dead man’s will in order to chisel Joan’s name into the façade of Paul Smith’s College, a 1,000-student campus in New York’s Adirondack mountains.

As the Weill article evolved, reflecting a life-long pattern of “let them eat cake,” a legitimate concern came to mind that aging will only accentuate the bad behavior of America’s one percenters if average Americans don’t grab the high road and call out the behavior.

Thoughts quickly moved to what JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon might be like at 80. In 2014, the same year that JPMorgan became the first major Wall Street bank in history to receive a deferred prosecution agreement for felony actions in the Bernie Madoff matter, and in a year in which it rarely left the front pages of the business press for charges of assorted malfeasance against consumers, Jamie Dimon was mailing out a Christmas Card so lacking in humility that it went viral within moments of arriving in mailboxes.

The card featured wide angle views of Dimon and his family in casual clothing, gleefully playing tennis (yes, tennis) in their lavishly appointed living room. Chris Hayes at MSNBC said the image suggests “hey, we’re so rich we can destroy our own stuff.” Matt Vella at Time Magazine called it “maddeningly tone deaf.”

In 2013, Dimon actually bragged in public about his outsized wealth by putting down a lower salaried Wall Street analyst at the company’s own investor conference. In response to a question posed by banking analyst Mike Mayo, as to whether higher capital at rival bank UBS might create a competitive headwind for  JPMorgan, Dimon responded:

Dimon: “You would go to UBS and not JPMorgan?”

Mayo: “I didn’t say that; that’s their argument.”

Dimon: “That’s why I’m richer than you.”

And, of course, who can forget Goldman Sachs’ CEO Lloyd Blankfein telling "The Times" of London that he’s “doing God’s work.” Goldman Sachs is, of course, the firm that created and sold Abacus to its customers, a deal knowingly designed to fail.

Against this unseemly background comes the quintessential presidential candidate to complete America’s image as a nation of arrogant egomaniacs whose crass ruminations are trumpeted to the masses by corporate media.

In a recent column, George Will, the conservative columnist, called Donald Trump an “unprecedentedly and incorrigibly vulgar presidential candidate. It is his right to use his riches as he pleases. His squalid performance and its coarsening of civic life are costs of freedom that an open society must be prepared to pay.” Will goes on to depict Trump as an “interloper” and a cynical opportunist “deranged by egotism.”

Progressive columnist, Maureen Dowd, of the "New York Times" conducted a recent interview with Donald Trump. Quips from Trump include the following:

“Heidi Klum. Sadly, she’s no longer a 10…”

“I can’t hit people who don’t hit me. Maybe that’s my weakness. Perry started it. Lindsey Graham started it. This moron Rand Paul just started it because he is mired in 12th place and he’s a U.S. senator…” In other comments about Rand Paul, Trump adds:

“Tiny little guy. Did you see the press release I put out about Rand Paul? Pretty brutal, right? A nasty, nasty guy. I gave him a lot of money for his eye center. I played golf with him. I’m a good golfer. I’ve won 18 club championships. And he’s a golfer and I killed him. I could play him a thousand times and never lose to him.”

This is America, circa 2015, where the man leading the polls for Republican presidential candidate speaks with the unfiltered mouth and ego of a pubescent adolescent, flaunting his athletic conquests and measuring women with numerical scores.

How do you like this title?

Not mine.

Donald Trump Is a Dumb, Lying Piece of Shit, So He'll Probably Be President

Speaking of things I wish I had written . . . read the one below by my hero, Daniel Ellsberg.

It's a killer.

Daniel Ellsberg Arrested at Lawrence Livermore Lab on 70th Anniversary of Nuclear Bombing of Hiroshima
By Jane Ayers, Reader Supported News

20 August 15

ietnam War-era whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg, 84, known for releasing the Pentagon Papers in 1971, has once again been arrested for protesting U.S. nuclear weapon arsenals, this time at Lawrence Livermore Labs on Thursday, August 7, the 70th anniversary of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima, Japan. Ellsberg was arrested with fifty other protestors from the Bay Area, while 250 more joined in support to draw attention to the 2016 funding of Lawrence Livermore Labs: $1 billion for nuclear weapons, designing new long-range warheads, and upgrading existing nuclear arsenals.

According to a video of the protest, Ellsberg, a former Defense Department analyst, addressed the protestors outside the fence of Lawrence Livermore Lab, stating, “The killing at Hiroshima was mass murder.… In the target plans that I worked on, and ones I worked on in Russia, the smoke will go into the stratosphere as it did in Hiroshima by higher firestorm.

But simultaneously, thousands of cities, with pillars of smoke, will join around the globe blotting out the sunlight sufficiently to kill harvests around the world, and condemn nearly the entire population of the world to death. It’s the Doomsday Machine, The End. We’ve known that, not at the time of the Cuban Missile Crisis, but for the last twenty-five years, and yet these threats go on; the threats go on. They are threats of ending nearly all life. It’s never a good day to die, but it is a good day to get arrested.”

Japanese elder Takashi Tanemori also spoke to the rally. He was only 8 years old when the bomb was dropped on Hiroshima, and he lost his whole family and became blind from the atomic blast. He spoke of the importance of forgiveness, but for all to keep trying to eradicate all nuclear threats in the world.

According to the "San Jose Mercury News," after speaking to the rally of supporters from the Livermore Conversion Project and the Tri-Valley CARES (Citizens Against a Radioactive Environment), Ellsberg and the fifty other protestors lay on the ground (in chalk lines drawn around their bodies to symbolize the victims of atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki) blocking the West Gate of the facility. Reports state that members of the Lawrence Livermore Lab police force showed up in riot gear with batons, and after demands by the Alameda County Sheriffs to disperse, Ellsberg and others were nonviolently arrested, cited for trespassing, and immediately released.

Within hours after Ellsberg was released, he appeared on the Scott Horton Radio Show, where he further explained, “The possibility of human extinction as a result of American or Russian, and/or together, nuclear weapons that are on alert facing each other right now still exists, and still reflects American policy under our current president, as well as his predecessors.”

To understand the authenticity of the knowledge of Daniel Ellsberg, look to his bio:  In the early 1960s, Ellsberg, a former Rand employee, was a consultant to the Departments of Defense and State, and to the White House, where he specialized in resolving problems of the command & control of nuclear weapons, nuclear war plans, and crisis decision-making. He drafted the Secretary of Defense Guidance to the Joint Chiefs of Staff concerning operational plans for conducting a general nuclear war.

He has been arrested in nonviolent civil disobedience actions close to one hundred times, with 50+ geared to protesting nuclear weapons, e.g. at Rocky Flats Nuclear Weapon Production Facility, the Nevada Test Site, Livermore Nuclear Weapons Design Facility, the vicinity of Ground Zero at the Nevada Test Site, and at the Vandenberg Missile Test Site. Over the past few years, he has been arrested at Vandenberg Air Force Base to protest the testing of dummy ICBMs (Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles) to show the danger of having land-based missiles.

In addition, Ellsberg protested nuclear policies during the Carter and Reagan administrations, questioning President Carter’s idea of using neutron bombs and President Reagan’s promotion of Cruise and Pershing missiles. In the 1980s, Ellsberg also traveled with a Greenpeace voyage to Leningrad, protesting Russian nuclear testing, and was expelled from the Soviet Union at the time.

In 1995, Ellsberg launched an Abolition Fast, in which he and the Rev. William Sloan Coffin fasted on water for twenty-six days during the Non-Proliferation Treaty Renewal Conference held at the United Nations. The fast also included nuclear activists pledging to fast one or more days during the U.N. conference.

A documentary movie of his life work, “The Most Dangerous Man in America:  Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers,” is highly recommended to grasp the nuclear policies he has dedicated his life to raising to higher standards, and to highlight the global need for nuclear disarmament.

Yes, it’s a good day when Daniel Ellsberg gets arrested.

Breaking News:  On August 19, 2015, just two weeks after Ellsberg’s recent arrest on the 70th anniversary of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the U.S. plans to once again launch a dummy Minuteman III Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) from Vandenberg Air Force Base (in California). It will target the Kawajalein Atoll in the Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI).

This test comes also in the midst of the major lawsuits filed by the Marshall Islands, called the Nuclear Zero lawsuits, which are attempting to hold the nine nuclear nations accountable for not adhering to the provisions in the Non-Proliferation Treaty to disarm.

The lawsuit has been appealed to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals (SF). David Krieger, president of the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation and consultant to the Marshall Islands in the Nuclear Zero lawsuits, stated today, “While the U.S. continues to develop and test launch its nuclear-capable missiles, the Marshall Islands is seeking a judgment against the U.S. and other nuclear-armed nations for failure to fulfill their nuclear disarmament obligations under international law.” Krieger previously was arrested with Ellsberg at Vandenberg Air Force Base in protest of other test launches of ICBMs.

(Jane Ayers is an independent journalist (USA Today, Los Angeles Times, The Nation, etc.), and is a regular contributor to Reader Supported News. Contact her at or visit her website.)

How about a few more choice words on the lifestyle of the rich and grifting?

It's never enough is it?

Talk about "vile."

The Weills have an uncanny penchant for scandal. "Time Magazine" named Sandy Weill one of the “25 People to Blame for the Financial Crisis,” the greatest economic collapse since the Great Depression.

On February 1, 2009, Sandy Weill landed on the front cover of the "New York Post" under the tag line “Pigs Fly.” The ruckus was over Weill flying himself and Joan and other family members to a posh Mexican vacation resort on a Citigroup corporate jet at the same time the insolvent Citigroup had sopped up $45 billion in a taxpayer bailout and was set to receive $300 billion more in asset guarantees.

What the "New York Post" did not know at the time was that the New York Fed was secretly funneling what would end up as a cumulative $2.513 trillion, according to the Government Accountability Office (GAO), in below-market rate loans to resuscitate the collapsing carcass of the Frankenbank created by Weill. While Citigroup was charging struggling consumers rates as high as 17 percent, it was borrowing from the taxpayer at a fraction of one percent.

. . . Sandy Weill caused a scandal with another donation to a school – the 92nd Street Y in New York City, a highly sought after preschool for the toddlers of Manhattan’s well-heeled. During Sandy Weill’s tenure, Citigroup employed a research analyst, Jack Grubman, who pumped out buy ratings on stocks to the public while admitting in internal emails that the stocks were dogs. Grubman was charged by the SEC, paid $15 million and was banned from the securities industry for life.  Grubman’s severance was a cool $32 million. Sandy Weill and the 92nd Street Y were mentioned by name in the SEC enforcement action:

“In late November 1999, Grubman upgraded AT&T Corporation from a Neutral – his longtime rating on the stock – to a Buy. SSB and Grubman did not disclose in the report that Grubman had a conflict of interest relating to his evaluation of AT&T or that his objectivity had been compromised. Prior to the upgrade, Sanford I. Weill, the co-CEO and Chairman of Citigroup (and a member of the AT&T board of directors), had asked Grubman to take a ‘fresh look’ at AT&T.

Thereafter, during the time that Grubman was conducting his ‘fresh look’ at the company, Grubman had asked Weill for assistance in gaining admission for his children to the selective 92nd Street Y preschool in New York City. After Grubman upgraded AT&T and his children had been admitted to the preschool, Grubman stated privately that he had upgraded AT&T to help his children get into the 92nd Street Y preschool.”

The Citigroup Foundation admitted that it had donated $1 million to the 92nd Street Y, but denied that it was tied to getting Jack Grubman’s children admitted.

Joan Weill created her own scandal on Wall Street back in the early 1990s. The SEC charged that Joan Weill’s psychiatrist, Robert H. Willis, had traded on inside information he had gleaned from her about her husband’s activities on Wall Street.

According to the Associated Press, “Dr. Willis admitted he traded in stock of the BankAmerica Corporation in January and February 1986 after he learned from a patient, Joan Weill, that her husband, Sanford I. Weill, the former chief executive of Shearson Loeb Rhoades, was trying to become chairman of BankAmerica.” (Weill never became Chairman of BankAmerica.)

Our pal at Rectification of Names graciously lets us know what's happening in the latest Grecian nightmare:

Greece’s Radical Leftist Prime Minister Resigns In Defeat

Government officials told reporters Thursday that Tsipras will turn in his official resignation papers this afternoon and call for a new parliamentary election on September 20th. Tsipras hung on for weeks longer than eccentric Finance Minister Yannis Varoufakis, who motorcycled off into the sunset immediately after a July referendum that appeared to put Greece on the verge of exiting the European Union.
In the weeks since that vote, cooler heads prevailed and struck a deal to keep Greece in the currency group... The deal is a catastrophic defeat for Tsipras’ administration, and observers believed it was likely he would lose his job one way or another from the time that he reluctantly called for lawmakers to approve the bailout.
I don't think the writer, Alan Pyke, has a very clear idea of how parliamentary systems work. And it's a howl of Eeyore Caucus despair:   on the assumption that whatever happens is and must be evidence of the ineluctable victory of the vampire squids and the impossibility of any resistance other than the total revolution that's been around the corner almost as long as the Messiah's been on his way, well of course not really, but you know what I mean.

As a matter of fact, Tsipras has done extremely well, considering how badly stacked the odds were, and his resignation is a sign of earned confidence. The renewed austerity program is still pretty horrible, but he has succeeded in forcing the Germans to go to the table to negotiate some debt relief, something they had insisted for years was impossible by Eurozone rules, and it will be a pretty big one, of a third to a half of the country's total; and the country has been permitted to run another deficit this year.

And the tourism industry has roared back to life (Athens Airport expects 25 million arrivals this year, up from 21 million last year), which means substantial increases in employment and government revenue.

The real reason for his resignation, which has been expected for weeks, I think, isn't that he intends to stop being prime minister, but that he's planning to be a stronger prime minister as soon as possible; because he's so popular in Greece at the moment, and wants to take advantage of the fact to thin out the ranks of his opponents both inside and outside the Syriza party:

Mr. Tsipras is betting that Greek voters, weary of instability, will support him in a new vote and enable him to form a new government absent hard-line leftist dissenters. Despite his reversal on the bailout plan, Mr. Tsipras has remained highly popular, with the most recent polls in late July showing no other leader in a strong position to challenge him at this stage.
This will help him swing victory in the one area where he and the Germans strongly agree, in the need to reform the Greek tax system and start collecting more from the wealthy cheats. Things are looking much better in Greece than they did a few months ago, and that's a fact. To suggest otherwise is just journalistic malpractice.

"How a Dubious Statistic Convinced U.S. Courts to Approve of Indefinite Detention"
- Radley Balko on fact-checking the phony statistics behind extreme laws.

Not mine either.

Thank goodness.

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