Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Dem Problem Out and Back In - Mother Donna Courtesy of CNN Replaces Her (How the FED Could Have Solved Lehman Without Ruining Economy Forever?)  Jamie Dimon Violates More Proudly  (Does Hillary Get IT? Does Trump?)  Warren Buffett's Machines Choose Hillary or Trump  (Who Wants Elections Easily Stolen?)  Same Israeli Photographs Munich and Nice - Where Are Moving Vans?

Same Israeli Photo-Propagandist Pre-positioned to Record Both Munich and Nice Attacks - Cynthia McKinney

Afghanistan:  President Obama’s Vietnam

Wasserman-Schultz out and then back in? Remind you of anything?

Hillary Clinton Welcomes Wasserman-Schultz to Campaign as ‘Honorary Chair’

CNN commentator Donna Brazile will suspend her ties with the news network as she takes the reins of the Democratic National Committee after the resignation of Rep. Debbie Wasserman-Schultz.
Politico quoted a CNN spokeswoman, who said via email on Sunday, “With news of Donna Brazile stepping in as interim chair for the Democratic National Committee, CNN and Brazile have mutually agreed to temporarily suspend her contract as a contributor for the network effective immediately. As a valued voice and commentator, CNN will revisit the contract once Brazile concludes her role.”

Brava! (So to speak.)

Whistleblower told "Life isn't fair." What a realization! Too late.

Justin Bull, the bank’s former chief operating officer, mocked Chris Ashton during his April 2015 disciplinary hearing, Ashton said in a witness statement made public Tuesday. During the hearing, Ashton said it was unfair to apply rules made in the wake of the scandal to his conduct in 2012.
“Justin leaned forward, spread his arms and said ‘Well, life isn’t fair,”’ Ashton said in his statement. "I found it not only unfair, but entirely unreasonable and deeply offensive."
Ashton sued, saying he was fired unfairly and made a scapegoat after he blew the whistle on improper conduct in electronic chat rooms in 2012, a year before news of the scandal broke.
The bank says Ashton intentionally ignored its code of conduct by using offensive language and sharing confidential information.

Echoing articles I've been reading for over seven years, we finally have a noted economist from the Johns Hopkins University to fill in the blanks. (Click on the link below to read the .pdf file.)

Could the Fed Have Prevented the Lehman Brothers Collapse?

Johns Hopkins economist Laurence Ball examines 2008 bankruptcy that ushered in financial crisis

Laurence M. Ball
Image caption: Laurence M. Ball
The September 2008 collapse of Lehman Brothers, an event that touched off a global financial crisis and ultimately ushered in the Great Recession, could have been averted had the Federal Reserve acted more decisively, asserts Laurence Ball, chair of the Department of Economics at Johns Hopkins University.
Ball makes his case in a paper titled "The Fed and Lehman Brothers," the result of four years of research. He recently presented the research to a group of economists in Cambridge, Mass.
More from The New York Times:
In especially strong language for an academic, Professor Ball takes issue with the established narrative that the Fed was powerless to lend to Lehman in its waning hours:  "Fed officials have not been transparent about the Lehman crisis. Their explanations for their actions rest on flawed economic and legal reasoning and dubious factual claims."
By focusing narrowly on a claim by the Fed that it had no choice but to let Lehman fail, Professor Ball, in his 214-page paper, has brought much needed clarity and rigor to the historical record. His conclusions directly contradict accounts in testimony, memoirs and myriad media interviews by the principal decision makers — Henry M. Paulson Jr., the former Treasury secretary; Ben S. Bernanke, then the Fed chairman; and Timothy F. Geithner, who was president of the New York Fed.
Ball's research suggests that the Fed did have legal authority to intervene, but instead chose — for a variety of reasons — to let Lehman fail.
"I'm not trying to judge them or say I or anyone else would have done any better," he told "The Times." "There was extraordinary political pressure not to bail out Lehman, and it would have been very difficult to go against that. But that's completely different from what they've said. The record needs to be set straight."
In his report, Ball concludes:  "Lehman might have survived indefinitely as an independent firm; it might have been acquired by another institution; or eventually it might have been forced to wind down its business. Any of these outcomes, however, would likely have been less disruptive to the financial system than the bankruptcy that actually occurred."

No surprise here.

Wonder how grand (and disgusting) his next Chritmas card will be?

Did Jamie Dimon’s Secret Meetings With Competitors Violate Antitrust Laws?

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: July 22, 2016
A mere three months after JPMorgan Chase and three of its competitors (Citicorp, Barclays and the Royal Bank of Scotland) pleaded guilty to a felony charge of conspiring to rig foreign currency trading and paid criminal fines totaling over $2.5 billion, the CEO of JPMorgan Chase, Jamie Dimon, began meeting in secret with his competitors in the asset management field.
On February 1 of this year, the "Financial Times" reported that “secret summits” had been held beginning in August 2015 between “asset management bosses” including Jamie Dimon, Abby Johnson of Fidelity, Larry Fink of BlackRock, and Tim Armour of Capital Group. The article went on to report that Dimon and Warren Buffett had convened the sessions at JPMorgan’s headquarters in New York to discuss “a statement of best practice on corporate governance.”
Secret meetings between competitors, regardless of what they are said to be discussing, is a serious no-no under U.S. antitrust law. A company like JPMorgan Chase, that was charged by the U.S. Justice Department in 2014 with two deferred prosecution felony counts for its egregious conduct in the Bernie Madoff Ponzi scheme and hit again the next year with the felony count in the foreign currency conspiracy is skating on very thin ice. (It should be noted that under Jamie Dimon’s leadership, JPMorgan Chase received its only felony counts in the bank’s century old history. That should tell the public something about how things have changed in American banking culture.)
Two trial lawyers, Helen Davis Chaitman and Lance Gotthoffer, have written a book and set up a web site to call the public’s attention to JPMorgan’s mob-like activity. The lawyers write:  “In the past four years alone, JPMorgan Chase has paid out $35,735,254,670  in fines and settlements for fraudulent and illegal practices.” In one chapter of the book, they compare JPMorgan Chase to the Gambino crime family and recommend that it be prosecuted under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO).
If these meetings were genuinely about crafting “best practice on corporate governance” why did they commence in secret? Why were they not commenced at one of the official financial industry trade associations like the Financial Services Forum or the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (SIFMA), which says it is “the voice of the nation’s securities industry.”

According to guidelines published by various trade associations and law firms, the following rules must be followed when conducting meetings between competitors to avoid the perception, or actual charges, of antitrust violations:
– Meetings must be regularly scheduled and should never be secret.
– A properly designated Chairman shall prepare and follow a formal agenda which should be reviewed in advance by legal counsel.
– Legal counsel should be present at all meetings.
– Formal written minutes of meetings should be taken and archived.
– Properly instituted bylaws should be followed.
– A Board of Directors should be properly instituted.
– Any company meeting the requirements of the bylaws should be allowed membership in the group.
Yesterday, the "New York Times"’ Andrew Ross Sorkin wrote about the secret meetings, providing an altruistic spin. Despite writing in the article that participants “had arrived for a meeting that they were told they would absolutely have to keep secret,” Ross Sorkin does not once raise the antitrust issue in the article.
He does note however that at some point the group was expanded beyond just asset managers to include “the chiefs of General Motors, General Electric and Verizon,” although he does not make it clear if these individuals actually attended meetings or just participated in conference calls and email exchanges.

The group has launched a web site that includes no mention of a Board of Directors, bylaws, minutes, legal counsel or any of the other mandates to comply with U.S. antitrust laws. It has published its recommendations on corporate governance principles and says in a letter that:
“More than 90 million Americans own our public companies through their investments in mutual funds, and millions more do so through their participation in corporate, public and union pension plans. These owners include veterans, retirees, teachers, nurses, firemen, and city, state and federal workers. We owe it to all of them – and to all our shareholders and investors who have entrusted us with their savings – to get this right.”
The governance principles are signed by billionaires Jamie Dimon and Warren Buffett and 11 other One-Percenters. There is no mention that any veteran, retiree, teacher, nurse, fireman, municipal worker or consumer rights group (that the authors correctly note are impacted by these decisions carved out in secret) sat in on the meetings or had input into the fashioning of the principles.

Want to know whom the protesters are?

Wouldn't everyone.

Philadelphia is bracing for up to 200,000 protesters -- even as organizers insist there could be up to 1 million. 
A “fart-in” so people can smell the “stink” of U.S. political system, a “Clintonville” shanty town modeled off of then Hoovervilles of the 1930s, de-registration efforts by multiple groups — these are just a few things that demonstrators protesting this week’s Democratic National Convention have up their sleeves.

Don't miss the comments below the next article.

Because they are especially pithy.

(Careful, Erica. It's all in the pronunciation.)

Does Hillary Get It?

By Robert Reich, Robert Reich's Website
25 July 16
Does Hillary Clinton understand that the biggest divide in American politics is no longer between the right and the left, but between the anti-establishment and the establishment?

I worry she doesn’t – at least not yet.

A Democratic operative I’ve known since the Bill Clinton administration told me “now that she’s won the nomination, Hillary is moving to the middle. She’s going after moderate swing voters.”

Presumably that’s why she tapped Tim Kaine to be her vice president. Kaine is as vanilla middle as you can get.

In fairness, Hillary is only doing what she knows best. Moving to the putative center is what Bill Clinton did after the Democrats lost the House and Senate in 1994 – signing legislation on welfare reform, crime, trade, and financial deregulation that enabled him to win reelection in 1996 and declare “the era of big government” over.

In those days a general election was like a competition between two hot-dog vendors on a boardwalk extending from right to left. Each had to move to the middle to maximize sales. (If one strayed too far left or right, the other would move beside him and take all sales on rest of the boardwalk.)

But this view is outdated. Nowadays, it’s the boardwalk versus the private jets on their way to the Hamptons.

The most powerful force in American politics today is anti-establishment fury at a system rigged by big corporations, Wall Street, and the super-wealthy.

This is a big reason why Donald Trump won the Republican nomination. It’s also why Bernie Sanders took 22 states in the Democratic primaries, including a majority of Democratic primary voters under age 45.

There are no longer “moderates.”  There’s no longer a “center.” There’s authoritarian populism (Trump) or democratic populism (which had been Bernie’s “political revolution,” and is now up for grabs).

And then there’s the Republican establishment (now scattered to the winds), and the Democratic establishment.

If Hillary Clinton and the Democratic Party don’t recognize this realignment, they’re in for a rude shock – as, I’m afraid, is the nation. Because Donald Trump does recognize it. His authoritarian (“I’ am your voice”) populism is premised on it.

“In five, ten years from now,” Trump says, “you’re going to have a worker’s party. A party of people that haven’t had a real wage increase in 18 years, that are angry.”

Speaking at a factory in Pennsylvania in June, he decried politicians and financiers who had betrayed Americans by “taking away from the people their means of making a living and supporting their families.”

Worries about free trade used to be confined to the political left. Now, according to the Pew Research Center, people who say free-trade deals are bad for America are more likely to lean Republican.

The problem isn’t trade itself. It’s a political-economic system that won’t cushion working people against trade’s downsides or share trade’s upsides. In other words, a system that’s rigged.

Most basically, the anti-establishment wants big money out of politics. This was the premise of Bernie Sanders’s campaign. It’s also been central to Donald (“I’m so rich I can’t be bought off”) Trump’s appeal, although he’s now trolling for big money.
. . . Hillary Clinton doesn’t need to move toward the “middle.” In fact, such a move could hurt her if it’s perceived to be compromising the stances she took in the primaries in order to be more acceptable to Democratic movers and shakers.

She needs to move instead toward the anti-establishment – forcefully committing herself to getting big money out of politics, and making the system work for the many rather than a privileged few.

She must make clear Donald Trump’s authoritarian populism is a dangerous gambit, and the best way to end crony capitalism and make America work for the many is to strengthen American democracy.

# Anonymot 2016-07-25 09:07
Hillary has not shot herself in the foot, but in the head - and we'll all be buried with her despicable ignorance, her ego, her greed, and her bad judgment.

Reading your article merely is convincing that between these two devils there is a greater chance of survival with Trump than with the Clintons/Deep State.

Mr. Reich, you surely have the Clinton phone number. Tell her to stand down in favor of Sanders or she will go down in the infamy she has brought on herself.

# Helga Fellay 2016-07-25 09:34
and Reich doesn't get it either or he would not have written that "the biggest divide in American politics is no longer between the right and the left, but between the anti-establishment and the establishment." It's both. The establishment represents the right, in both parties. The left represents those that are leaving both establishment parties to join the Greens or the growing numbers of voters unaffiliated with either party.
# Buddha 2016-07-25 09:41
One could argue that the Tim Kaine appointment shows that she doesn't get it. The Dems strayed from Progressive principles and stopped caring about the working class. Whereas the GOP hasn't represented the working class in more than a century. The irony is that the Republican Party overthrew their bought-and-paid-for Establishment, whereas the Democratic Party simply re-nominated its Establishment for ANOTHER 4 years of rigging the system against the working class. If Trump wins, it isn't going to be "idiot Americans'" fault, it isn't going to be the fault of any of us Progressives who vote Stein or just don't show up, it will be the fault of the Democratic Party Establishment and the "Stockholm Syndrome" Dem voters who supported that Establishment in the Primary for shoving such a despised and untrustworthy candidate like HRC down our throats.
# christianadvocate 2016-07-25 09:52
It is amazing to me that the party whose very existence is premised on beating down wages and jobs so that profits could rise for corporate America, has actually seized from the Democrats the working class. This is due to the Dems spending their time focused on moral and cultural issues at the expense of the every-day working class individual. Shame on us Democrats for letting it happen. 
# Blackjack 2016-07-25 09:55
No, she doesn't get it and she doesn't care. This entire election is all about her. She's not as vocal in her narcissism as Trump is, but it exists, nonetheless. She also doesn't get how she and her DNC henchmen have turned off older, loyal Dems. I will not vote for her and my days as a Dem loyalist are over. I could once hold my head up high, knowing that Dems had higher moral values and cared more about the little people than the Repukes. No more. For the last 40 years Dems have slid more and more rightward, to the point that I no longer recognize the party. It truly has left me and now I am leaving it. The election is up for grabs and the Dem candidate should be one who "gets it." That would be Bernie, of course, but thanks to the sleazy tactics employed by the Dem Party, the DNC, and HRC, the best man/woman will NOT win in 2016. Dems have squandered a golden opportunity and the party, the country and the world will suffer as a result.
# librarian1984 2016-07-25 10:17 First off, HRC has NOT won the nomination. You can say it 5000 times but it doesn't make it true. Nice AP imitation BTW.

Secondly, Kaine is as 'vanilla middle' as you can get? Really? MOST people are FOR TPP, fracking, WS deregulation and limits on women's control of their own healthcare? hmm

I'm in PA, a big state in play, and if the election were held today I think Trump would win.

Establishment vs populism -- that's the big idea? Everybody has known this for a year. You going to tell us all about the iphone 5 next? Or is the news that the Clinton people aren't listening, aren't taking input, aren't even pretending to be transparent or honest? yawn.

Trump isn't desirable but he can read a room and he's right about the left forming a populist party. If the Democrats don't eject the Clintons this week they are looking at a new opponent from the left, and they can kiss the executive goodbye for a long time. They can kiss a Democratic Senate goodbye too because HRC heading the ticket will depress the base. Literally! It is really a pleasure to watch the convention activities. These establishment shills are squirming under the negative attention. I've even seen a couple of reporters ask tough questions! It's about time.
# RMDC 2016-07-25 11:12 The Clinton political machine is a front for big banks. If the Clintons did not do this dirty work, the banks would have plenty of others who would. Obama was happy to do the work for the banks. By banks I really mean the military-industrial-banking-israeli complex.

The Clintons are just functionaries. They do what they are told. They have been able to put together a political machine what is very effective. They essentially took over the Democrat party in the 1990s when it was in disarray after the Reagan revolution. They turned it into the elite servant staff that is is today.

This is the essence of an establishment party and functionary. Clinton will say whatever is needed to get people to vote for her.

Hillary will be president. She has the political machine that Trump cannot beat. She will be very unpopular and Trump will beat her up pretty badly. The congressional republicans will impeach her during her first term. The senate won't convict her. A damaged and weak Hillary is good for congressional republicans. She will be bullied and will do their bidding, just as Bill did in the 90s.
# Headzzzup 2016-07-25 11:16
Part 1: Sat - day after Rep. Convention. The Establishment MSM & Establishment pundits got it all wrong. They said the week was a disaster for the Republican Party and blamed Trump for his disorganized and badly planned Convention. What they got wrong is that this Convention was about the planned demolition of the Rep Party by Trump. The “any one but Trump movement” was totally defeated. Ted Cruz had a long (vetted) speech that laid out the Conservative, Religious right view of the Republican Party. He was booed off stage. He said don’t vote for this charlatan (“vote your conscience”} and was booed off stage. His wife had to be escorted through the crowd of delegates to prevent her from being injured. The pundits said this was a disastrous speech. Instead, it cemented Trump as the anti-Republican candidate.
# Headzzzup 2016-07-25 11:20
Part 4: Watch Trump drop all the Rep trappings in the next month and move consistently to the left of Hillary. Against the TPP and all the trade agreements that benefit the corporate elite, not the common man (Bernie’s stance) - against the regime changes that are Hillary’s hawkish hallmark (Bernie’s stance) - instead of spending our money abroad, spend it at home, building our infrastructure (Bernie’s stance) - revise the broken, obsolete NATO alliance (similar to Obama’s stance). Have NATO countries carry the costs of our defending their countries. Stop Hillary’s aggressive war against Russia - risking a Nuclear War that would wipe out civilization as we know it. 

These are now Warren Buffett's "strip-and-flip" voting machines.

Ready for the fun, kiddies?

You can't tell the players without a score card!

Will GOP Swing State Governors Strip & Flip Donald Trump Into the White House?

By Bob Fitrakis & Harvey Wasserman, Reader Supported News
24 July 16 
s the Democratic Convention opens in Philadelphia, there’s just one one clear message that matters from the Republicans: Donald Trump will be within ten points of Hillary Clinton in the fall election.
Thus, unless the Democrats do something about the issue of election protection, it will be within the power of key GOP swing state governors to give Donald Trump the presidency.

For all its problems, the wildly disorganized and fractious gathering in Cleveland all boiled down to Trump’s final speech. It was rambling and often incoherent. But it delivered the classic strongman message: You need ME to protect you.

Given the chaos, violence, and injustice of imperial America in 2016, that message is almost certain to sell with enough Americans to keep Trump close enough to Hillary Clinton to allow the election to be electronically stripped and flipped.

In 2008 and 2012, Barack Obama was able to overcome these barriers with a huge popular margin in more states than the GOP could reasonably steal.

This year, in a close election, given how the mechanics of our election system operate, the decision of who will enter the White House will be in the hands of the GOP governors of such swing states as Florida, North Carolina, Ohio, Michigan, Iowa and Arizona.

Those will be the only six votes that really count in November. Should all or most of these governors (with their GOP Secretaries of State) flip the vote count for Trump, he will likely has a lock on the White House.

Two major “strip and flip” forces can doom the Democrats in 2016.

First, the GOP stripping of millions of suspected Democrats from the voter roles is proceeding. As Greg Palast reports in his brilliant new film, “The Best Democracy Money Can Buy – a Tale of Billionaires and Ballot Bandits,” computer programs coordinated by Kris Kobach, Kansas’s GOP secretary of state, are being used to disenfranchise millions of mostly African-American, Hispanic and young citizens.

As exposed by Palast, the stripping technique entered the computer age in 2000, when Florida governor Jeb Bush dropped more than 90,000 blacks and Hispanics from the registration rolls in an election ultimately decided by 537 votes.

In 2004 the Ohio GOP stripped more than 300,000 inner city voters in an election decided by 118,775 officially, though more than 90,000 votes still remain uncounted.

Palast shows that in 2016, the Democratic constituency will be electronically stripped of millions of voters in at least two dozen key states, easily enough to make the difference in a close election.

But if that isn’t enough to put Trump in the White House, the final count can be flipped with computerized “adjustments” made in the dark hours of election night.

In both Florida 2000 and Ohio 2004, electronic manipulation put and kept George W. Bush in the White House.

In 2016, well over half the votes will be cast on electronic voting machines. Most of these are ten years old or more. All can be easily manipulated by their owners, which are private corporations, primarily Warren Buffett’s ES&S.

The courts have ruled that the software on these machines is proprietary. So there is no effective public monitoring or accountability of the tallying process. At the end of election day, if they are in agreement with each other, the governor and secretary of state can make the vote count pretty much whatever they want.

In a close election, the six key swing states electronically available to the GOP are likely to comprise more than enough votes to swing the Electoral College. The question is:  will their governors give those electoral votes to Trump?

Florida’s governor is the far-right Rick Scott. After 2000, Florida reformed the secretary of state position used by Katherine Harris to help Jeb Bush put George W. Bush in the White House. But the governor’s power over the vote count remains potentially decisive. Florida also has a key Senate race involving Marco Rubio, which gives the GOP an added incentive

North Carolina has also made adjustments to its vote count system, and has a Democratic Secretary of State. But its disenfranchisement measures are legendary and could be decisive.

Michigan, Iowa and Arizona could all be strip-and-flip locks for the GOP.

So as always, Ohio may be the key. Governor John Kasich has made very clear his disdain for Donald Trump. But the US Senate race pits his good friend Rob Portman against the former Democratic governor Ted Strickland. Kasich may be willing to throw Trump under the bus. But he and his secretary of state, Jon Husted, will be strongly committed to sending Portman back to the Senate.

Thus they won’t want the unlikely discrepancy of a GOP Senate victory alongside a GOP presidential loss.

Whatever the case, no matter how many hundreds of millions are spent on this campaign, no matter how many thousands of hours the bloviators blab about this issue or that, when push comes to shove, this election will be decided on election night by the swing state governors and secretaries of state who have their hands on the electronic vote count.

Thus the smart money would be on Donald Trump entering the White House in January 2017.

(Bob Fitrakis & Harvey Wasserman’s Strip & Flip Selection of 2016: Five Jim Crows & Electronic Election Theft is at, along with The Fitrakis Files. Harvey Wasserman’s America at the Brink of Rebirth: The Organic Spiral of US History is at
# grandlakeguy 2016-07-24 22:54 Everyone should know what happens to anyone in office (or attempting to get into office) when their election is hacked and they cry foul...

Please look into the case of DON SIEGELMAN who won the election for Governor in Alabama in November 2002 only to have his win taken away the next morning when thousands of votes were "discovered" in Baldwin County flipping the election to Republican Riley. The Republicans would not allow an examination or recount of those
votes and Don Siegelman raised hell about it.
Karl Rove got involved and...
Don Siegelman is still in prison on ridiculous charges.
. . . When we monitor elections in foreign nations any discrepancy in the exit polling in excess of 2% throws the results into question. 

In this year's primaries we saw exit polling discrepancies in numerous states in the 8% to 11% range.

Coincidentally those primaries ALWAYS showed that the manipulations favored Hillary Clinton.

The obvious nature of what was happening became so glaring that the DNC found an ingenious way to make sure that they would not be thusly embarrassed in California, what was the solution?

# elizabethblock 2016-07-24 21:18
Yes, we do. I've been an election official in Canada for every election for something like twenty years. We only use machines to count ballots in municipal elections, where there is more than one office on the ballot -- but there are still paper ballots, and if there's a problem they can be recounted.

If Americans use stealable election technology, it's because that's what they, or some of them, want. Eh?

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