Monday, July 18, 2016

After Dallas  (Men Who Sold the World)  Occupy Lives  (29 Pages Released)  Why BR Exited  (Financial Crisis Costs Overcharged Taxpayers, Stole their Retirements and Vastly Overpaid Banksters)  FEC Fines Kochs  (Finally Reining In Robber Barons?)

After Dallas, Too Many Empty Words Were Spoken

Meet the Men Who Sold the World

Occupy is alive and doing good during the 2016 Conventions. Also well.

29 Pages Revealed:  Corruption, Crime and Cover-up Of 9/11

I know summer is a busy time. I know that next week is the Republican Convention. I know that Congress is out of session for two months. And I know that ISIS attacks continue in Nice, Orlando, San Bernardino, Belgium, Paris, and more. Just like I know that Donald Trump picked Mike Pence as his running mate and that there was a coup in Turkey. For an Administration looking to dump some insanely incriminating evidence and have nobody take notice — doing it yesterday when Congress was leaving for their two month summer recess was probably the best day anyone could have imagined.
But, the world is an unstable, crazy place. And, while I used to think I was safe because my government was looking out for me and making decisions that were in my best interests and that of other citizens, I now know better. For fifteen long years, I have fought to get information regarding the killing of my husband from the U.S. government. I have fought, pleaded, and begged for the truth, transparency, justice, and accountability because my husband and 3,000 others were brutally slaughtered in broad daylight. And our government has done nothing but block, thwart, impede, and obstruct that path to truth, transparency, accountability, and justice. Even going so far as to gaslight us to this very day by denying the plain truth written on the plain paper of the 29 pages.
Please read the 29 pages. Look at the facts and evidence. And then watch the venal way various members of our government and media play spin-master on those facts — telling you to deny the very harsh, sobering reality found within those 29 pages. I hope their gaslighting disgusts you as much as it disgusts me.
Note that these 29 pages merely detail the Saudi connection to the 9/11 attacks in San Diego. They briefly touch on the Phoenix information, as well. Though more notably, the 29 pages do not include information found in the more than 80,000 documents that are currently being reviewed by a federal judge in Florida — 80,000 documents that neither the 9/11 Commission, the Joint Inquiry, the Clinton, Bush, or Obama White House, nor the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia wants us to know about.

Charlie has Pierced the innards of the 28 pages or has he?

The White House soft-pedaled this stuff Friday afternoon, but there's still a lot in here that smells like a dead mackerel in the noonday sun.
But some investigators remain puzzled by the exact role played by Fahad al-Thumairy, a Saudi consular official based in the Los Angeles area at the time of the attacks. They believe that if there had been any Saudi government role in the plot, it probably would have involved him. Mr. Thumairy was the imam of a mosque visited by two of the Sept. 11 hijackers, and some American government officials have long suspected that Mr. Thumairy assisted the two men — Nawaq Alhamzi and Khalid al-Midhar — after they arrived in Los Angeles in early 2000. An F.B.I. document from 2012, cited last year by an independent review panel, concluded that Mr. Thumairy "immediately assigned an individual to take care" of Mr. Alhamzi and Mr. Midhar "during their time in the Los Angeles area," but the F.B.I. has been unable to piece together other details of the movement of the two men during their early days in the United States. Two investigators for the Sept. 11 commission interviewed Mr. Thumairy for several hours in Riyadh, the Saudi capital, in February 2004, but he denied having any ties to the hijackers — even after being presented with phone records that seemed to link him to the two men.  
Well, I'm convinced. This al-Bayoumi cat also appears to me to be worth a second look. Per NBC:

For example, the report speculates that a U.S. resident named Omar al Bayoumi may have been a Saudi intelligence agent. He had extensive contacts with Saudi officials and received money from a Saudi defense contractor. As is well known, the report discusses Bayoumi providing assistance to future 9/11 hijackers Nawaf al-Hazmi and Khalid al-Mihdhar in San Diego. He was arrested in Britain after the 9/11 attacks, but released after the FBI could not tie him to al Qaeda. The 9/11 commission found "no credible evidence that he believed in violent extremism or knowingly aided extremist groups." The Saudis deny he was their asset.
Actually, the 28 pages themselves say a lot more than that.
They say that the FBI has information that al-Bayoumi provided "substantial assistance" to the two hijackers. Then there's Osama Bassman, a friend of al-Bayoumi's who also helped the same two hijackers and who the FBI suspected had connections not only with Saudi intelligence, but also with Osama bin Laden, the Eritean Islamic Jihad, and with Omar Abdel-Rahman, the blind sheikh who is currently enjoying the government's hospitality at the SuperMax in Colorado.

It is here where we remind you that two of Dzokhar Tsarnaev's friends are doing serious federal time merely for cleaning out his room in the wake of the Boston Marathon bombing in 2013. I'm sure this will set the Intertoobz aflame with unfounded and occasionally lunatic conspiracy theories, but there is a helluva lot of smoke coming from these 28 pages and there certainly doesn't seem to be any good reason for its having taken so long to pry them loose from our government. And covering an ally's ass is not a good enough reason, not with the families of 3,000 dead Americans still waiting for justice.
# grandlakeguy 2016-07-17 00:58
So where is the part about changing the laws of physics?
After all jet fuel can't melt steel and no steel frame building ever collapsed from fires.
On that day THREE major steel framed buildings collapsed and one wasn't even on fire!

# Stilldreamin1 2016-07-17 05:14
It will be productive to dovetail this new information with older information about the ability of hijackers to enter the US on expired visas, the special access and status granted Saudi visitors, the movement of the 19 hijackers in the US and contacts/shadow ing by US/Israeli intelligence assets.
# REDPILLED 2016-07-17 07:36
The Saudi motive coincided with the Bush/Cheney motive to remove Saddam Hussein and destroy Iraq, a powerful rival of Saudi Arabia and a state independent of the U.S.
How do YOU explain the mysterious and unprecedented behavior of the U.S. air defense systems that day, the failure of the Secret Service to get Bush out of the Florida classroom once the attacks were underway, the free-fall collapse into their own footprints of the three WTC skyscrapers, and the miraculous, convenient "finding" of the alleged lead hijacker's passport in the street near the WTC ruins?

# pushingforpeace 2016-07-17 07:29
I bet HRC and Bill know a lot about this and that's probably one reason they hold so much sway in DC.

And then there's that off-hand mention of Bandar Bush.

Remember him? Wonder where he's been hiding out since his timely demotion from his old Saudi post?

Not to mention the pyrotechnics surrounding that unbelievable Pentagon strike, kerosene-level-jet-fueled office fires melting all the steel (in one building that wasn't even hit by a plane), the incredible flying skills of airplane-lesson dropouts, and the hole in the ground without any unearthed airplane parts in PA.

We could go on, couldn't we?

And as for how the other sides lives now . . .

Netanyahu and Son Investigated for Using False Passport, Money Laundering Via Panama Account

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I think it's really "all over now."

We've seen enough this election cycle.

We're cured.

Stolen from my mentor at BLCKDGRD:

  • One of my Hillaryite Colleagues is nervous again, stunned by Hillary's plummeting polls since Comey justly called her a serial liar and regal jackass with neither interest in or competence for following rules mere mortals must. He's leading in Ohio and Pennsylvania and Florida, HC said. O look, I said, pointing to the big screen in the Student Union, a truck plowed into a Bastille Day crowd in France. HC said, this is nuts. Students rushed through the Student Union holding cell phones in front of their faces, screaming at each other like battle bugles. It's dress rehearsal, I said.
The greatest trick the Republicans ever performed was dragging America’s political spectrum so far right of center that the Democrats caved and became center-right corporatist shills. Basically, if you’re not a slur spewing bigot who lives eternally paranoid of trans kids figuring out their identity, a black man demanding he be treated with dignity, and buying chicken sandwiches to protest gay marriage  —  you’re closer to a Democrat than a Republican. As it stands, the “big tent” has enabled a horrendous compromise between anti-war, anti-poverty, anti-racist idealists who believe in building a better America, and the well-to-do status quo defending blowhards who think buying a Beyonce album on iTunes is somehow proof you believe Black Lives Matter.
Essentially, those who understand our current politics are infested with a rot that spread misery and poverty, and “free market” neoliberals who cloak their faith in the current system with a sick and twisted perversion of “Identity Politics.” They seek nothing more than a more diverse oligarchy to rule over the poor and the disadvantaged, they think they can weaponize poverty to punish and silence white racism. They’ll call illegal drone strikes a “white issue,” they’ll defend an infinitely rich and powerful white woman’s vocal support of an illegal war that has murdered hundreds of thousands if not millions. They’ll support a “sit-in” to create policy around a Bush-era terrorist watchlist to strip rights from Muslims. All of this is so far detached from anything a “Left” would ever stand for.
This coalition of “We Are The Left” posted on Medium is made up of some of the worst of the worst of these voices. This past year Leftists have punched back and agitated these spineless parasites, a number of which are paid to spew opinions to the mainstream, completely detached from the everyday lives of most voters. “Get Rid of the White Emoji” for starters. We’ve agitated and spit back in their faces with one simple fact — that they’re wrong, and you are so far from the Left you’re a bougie self-parody.
What #WeAreTheLeft writes in their manifesto is little more than gibberish. They throw out all these examples, fail to find a coherent thread to tie them together, and fail to prove their point that cohesion is necessary. They demand that Leftists give up in a post-Sanders world and simply follow quietly behind your woke slay queen Hillary, instead of doing what their favorite political rap battle professes and find some sort of working compromise. This isn’t politics, this is peer pressure.
Many of the people who have signed this piece cried about “BernieBros,” a targeted campaign to pretend the strong support of Bernie Sanders was nothing more than disgruntled white men who can’t handle a woman president or their jobs going to women and PoC. Of course, the reality is that over 2/3rds of Sanders supporters were women and/or PoC. You’d prefer PoC singing and dancing on a Broadway stage about how great the status quo is, not starting riots and demanding their rights as human beings.
. . . Racism is more than some leftist agitator in your mentions. Racism is a billion dollar corporation selling “Stay Woke” shirts for 20 bucks and cheering a gay black activist getting assaulted and arrested by a militarized police  —  that Hillary Clinton was a huge contributor to arming, by the way  —  while allowing actual fascists to organize and broadcast on their platform in what we now call the “alt-Right.” But of course, they gave you a little blue checkmark and a premium experience to imprint the ideal that what happens on Twitter somehow matters. And my god, it fucking worked.
Over the past year or two of watching this fight play out between Liberalism and the Left, I’ve listened to and heard the anger of so many marginalized identities who are enraged to see your ideological failures speak for them. Trans women pissed one of their loudest spokeswomen is arguing the gender identity of corporate mascots while demanding cops get more respect. Queer Muslim women infuriated of white female Flatbush gentrifiers defending every one of Hillary Clinton’s fuckups, including the ones that have enabled ISIS to profit from the sex slave trade of young girls in places like Libya. Black men who see that Obama and Hamilton aren’t giving them any reprieve from a racist corporate culture and cops with the free reign to murder without consequence.
To paint this as disgruntled white men against a coalition of (mostly) white women and PoC is frankly nothing more than an outright lie  —  because you refuse to be uncomfortable at the ideal that perhaps a corporate pop star appropriating the image of an explicitly Marxist organization whilst also profiting millions from sweatshop labor for their vanity brand is a gross, oppressive vulgarity. What you speak is white supremacy, wrapped in a shiny wrapper of liberalism, not liberation.
You are not “The Left.” You are the lowest of the low and do nothing but fortify the rich white male elite that benefit from the exploitation of so many marginalized identities. We don’t need you  —  and we will burn your whole fucking Party to the ground if that’s what it takes.

There is a very good reason that explains BREXIT outside of the obvious xenophobia/racism that was reported to have been the motivation of those voters at the bottom of the British cultural pyramid.

. . . Before the last general election, 27 of the 59 richest hedge fund managers in Britain sponsored the Conservatives. Perhaps these donations had nothing to do with the special exemption from stamp duty on stock market transactions the chancellor granted to hedge funds, depriving the public sector of about £145m a year. But that doesn't seem likely.
At the Conservatives' annual Black and White Ball, you get the access you pay for:  £5,000 buys you the company of a junior minister; £15,000, a cabinet minister. Politicians insist that there's no relationship between donations and appointments to the House of Lords, but a study at Oxford University found that the probability of this being true is "approximately equivalent to entering the national lottery and winning the jackpot five times in a row."
We might not have had a say in the choice of the new prime minister, but I bet there was a lively conversation between Conservative MPs and their major funders.
Among the many reasons for the crisis in the Labour party is the desertion of its large private donors. One of them, the corporate lawyer Ian Rosenblatt, complains:  "I don't think Jeremy Corbyn or anyone around him is remotely interested in whether people like me support the party or not." Why should the leader of the Labour party have to worry about the support of one person ahead of the votes of millions?
The former Labour adviser Ayesha Hazarika urged Corbyn to overcome:  "Meeting rich people and asking for money is not exactly part of the brand that has been so successful among his party faithful. But … sometimes you just have to suck it up and do things you don't like."
Under our current system she might be right, not least because the Conservatives have cut Labour's other sources of funding:  trade union fees and public money. But what an indictment of the system that is. During the five years before the last election, 41 percent of the private donations made to political parties came from just 76 people. This is what plutocracy looks like.
Stand back from this system and marvel at what we have come to accept. If we saw it anywhere else, we would immediately recognise it as corruption. Why should parties have to grovel to oligarchs to win elections? Or, for that matter, trade unions?
The political system should be owned by everyone, not by a subset. But the corruption at its heart has become so normalised that we can scarcely see it.
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Bad News:  We’re Actually Using More Fossil Fuels Than Ever

Renewable forms of energy are growing far faster than anyone expected. But so is the use of oil, coal, and natural gas.

Time to Rein in the Robber Barons Again

Thursday, 14 July 2016
By The Daily Take Team
The Thom Hartmann Program
I'm going to let you on a little secret about many of the CEOs of the US' largest companies:  The biggest decision that they make these days, is how best to divvy up the wealth that they've stolen from US working families and middle class.
Seriously, according to research by Lawrence Mishel and Jessica Schieder at the Economic Policy Institute, CEOs in the US' largest firms are raking in an average of $15.5 million in compensation.
That's an average compensation of 276 times the annual average pay of the typical worker!
And that's DOWN from 2014, when the average CEO of the US' largest firms earned 302 times the average pay of a typical US worker.
But don't feel too bad for the poor CEOs who are only earning $15.5 million as opposed to the $16.3 million they earned in 2014, because their earnings are still up over 46 percent since President Obama took office.
The fact is, CEO compensation only appears to be down because so much of their compensation comes in the form of stock options, which means that the market slowdown in 2015 is really the only reason that it looks like CEOs earned relatively less than they did in 2014.
Despite the market downturn and the decrease in top-CEO pay in 2015, the average compensation for a CEO of one of the US' largest firms is still up over 940 percent since 1978, back when CEOs "only" earned about $1.5 million per year, roughly 30 times more than the average worker.
In Mishel and Schieder's analysis, they point out that most major CEO's simply extract wealth from the economy without adding to the economy in any truly productive manner.
They write that, "We have argued that high CEO pay reflects rents - concessions CEOs can draw from the economy not by virtue of their contribution to economic output but by virtue of their position. Consequently, CEO pay could be reduced and the economy would not suffer any loss of output."
And that tells us something very important, and very troubling:  Right now we're living in another gilded age, and the CEOs of the largest US corporations are nothing but 21st century robber barons.
While CEO pay has increased by over 940 percent since 1978, average worker pay has only increased by 10.3 percent, meaning that while top CEOs have seen their earnings go up by $15 MILLION a year since 1978, average workers are only earning about $5,000 a year more on average.
It wasn't always this way, as you can see in this graph, CEO pay didn't start tracking to the stock market until the early 1980s.
As economist JW Mason points out, one major reason for the change was the "shareholder revolution" in the early 1980s, when incentives under the Reagan administration made it so that companies became more interested in buying back their own stock from the public than they were in investing in new projects or hiring US workers.
That turn towards stock buybacks and away from reinvestment in making companies grow disconnected stock value and dividend payouts from real economic output, and priced out smaller investors while concentrating wealth and voting power into the hands of a few economic elite who serve as corporate executives and board members.
But up until 1993, the top CEOs still "only" made between 50 times and 90 times what a typical worker would make.
Then, Bill Clinton and Congress passed a law placing a $1 million cap on how much a company can deduct for executive pay as a business expense.
And that sounds like a good plan, because it places a hard limit on how much a firm can pay out to its executives before taking on giant tax burdens.
But there was a huge exception written into the law that made the stock buyback situation even worse.
Under that law, compensation that's based on a company's "performance" is exempt from that $1 million limit, and since a company's stock market value is supposed to be a measure of economic performance, companies started simply paying their executives in stock shares and options.
But remember, stock options don't actually reflect a firm's performance anymore, because ever since the "shareholder revolution" in the 1980s, firms have been artificially inflating their stock value by buying back their own stock from the public to decrease the number of available shares and thus artificially drive up the price of the stock.
The nation's 1% has been making a killing from artificially inflated stock prices for nearly four decades, and that concentration of wealth and power has come at the direct expense of the US working and middle class.
Between 1948 and 1973, productivity and wages tracked very closely, productivity increased by 96.7 percent and wages went up 91.3 percent.
But between 1973 and 2013 (that's the same time period when stock buybacks effectively de-linked stock value from economic output), worker productivity increased by 74.4 percent, and wages only increased by 9.2 percent.
And that's been really harmful to our economy, because it's a basic economic fact that the wages of average workers, the people who actually buy stuff, are what drive real economic growth.
It's time to make the US economy work for everyone, and to take real action to reign in these robber barons and the obscene level of income inequality they've created in this country.

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