Saturday, August 31, 2013

(Lies Exposed On Last Labor Day?) No Syria Strike Without Congress OK? Why Not Before? Who's Going To Bail US Out Now? Cheney/Murdoch-Linked Israeli Energy Company

(Personal Note:  As a last ditch effort (possibly, seeing the way things are going on the jobs front in NC today) to keep head above water, please consider a special Labor Day contribution (if you have the extra income) to this blog's continued operation. Thank you for your past support. Peace and love to all.)

PK comes through as usual.

Happy Labor Day.


September 1, 2013

Love for Labor Lost

By Paul Krugman

It wasn’t always about the hot dogs. Originally, believe it or not, Labor Day actually had something to do with showing respect for labor.
Here’s how it happened: In 1894 Pullman workers, facing wage cuts in the wake of a financial crisis, went on strike — and Grover Cleveland deployed 12,000 soldiers to break the union. He succeeded, but using armed force to protect the interests of property was so blatant that even the Gilded Age was shocked. So Congress, in a lame attempt at appeasement, unanimously passed legislation symbolically honoring the nation’s workers.
It’s all hard to imagine now. Not the bit about financial crisis and wage cuts — that’s going on all around us. Not the bit about the state serving the interests of the wealthy — look at who got bailed out, and who didn’t, after our latter-day version of the Panic of 1893. No, what’s unimaginable now is that Congress would unanimously offer even an empty gesture of support for workers’ dignity. For the fact is that many of today’s politicians can’t even bring themselves to fake respect for ordinary working Americans.
Consider, for example, how Eric Cantor, the House majority leader, marked Labor Day last year: with a Twitter post declaring “Today, we celebrate those who have taken a risk, worked hard, built a business and earned their own success.” Yep, he saw Labor Day as an occasion to honor business owners.
More broadly, consider the ever-widening definition of those whom conservatives consider parasites. Time was when their ire was directed at bums on welfare. But even at the program’s peak, the number of Americans on “welfare” — Aid to Families With Dependent Childrennever exceeded about 5 percent of the population. And that program’s far less generous successor, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, reaches less than 2 percent of Americans.
Yet even as the number of Americans on what we used to consider welfare has declined, the number of citizens the right considers “takers” rather than “makers” — people of whom Mitt Romney complained, “I’ll never convince them they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives” — has exploded, to encompass almost half the population.

And the great majority of this newly defined army of moochers consists of working families that don’t pay income taxes but do pay payroll taxes (most of the rest are elderly).
How can someone who works for a living be considered the moral equivalent of a bum on welfare? Well, part of the answer is that many people on the right engage in word games: they talk about how someone doesn’t pay income taxes, and hope that their listeners fail to notice the word “income” and forget about all the other taxes lower-income working Americans pay.
But it is also true that modern America, while it has pretty much eliminated traditional welfare, does have other programs designed to help the less well-off — notably the earned-income tax credit, food stamps and Medicaid. The majority of these programs’ beneficiaries are either children, the elderly or working adults — this is true by definition for the tax credit, which only supplements earned income, and turns out in practice to be true of the other programs.
So if you consider someone who works hard trying to make ends meet, but also gets some help from the government, a “taker,” you’re going to have contempt for a very large number of American workers and their families.
Oh, and just wait until Obamacare kicks in, and millions more working Americans start receiving subsidies to help them purchase health insurance.
You might ask why we should provide any aid to working Americans — after all, they aren’t completely destitute. But the fact is that economic inequality has soared over the past few decades, and while a handful of people have stratospheric incomes, a far larger number of Americans find that no matter how hard they work, they can’t afford the basics of a middle-class existence — health insurance in particular, but even putting food on the table can be a problem.
Saying that they can use some help shouldn’t make us think any less of them, and it certainly shouldn’t reduce the respect we grant to anyone who works hard and plays by the rules.
But obviously that’s not the way everyone sees it. In particular, there are evidently a lot of wealthy people in America who consider anyone who isn’t wealthy a loseran attitude that has clearly gotten stronger as the gap between the 1 percent and everyone else has widened. And such people have a lot of friends in Washington.
So, this time around will we be hearing anything from Mr. Cantor and his colleagues suggesting that they actually do respect people who work for a living? Maybe. But the one thing we’ll know for sure is that they don’t mean it.
_ _ _ _ _ _ _

Obama to seek Congressional OK for Syria action

I keep asking myself if President Obama saw no reason to consult with Congress prior to Great Britain's refusal to join the Syria strike coalition (actually it's a constitutional necessity that he do so before making war on foreign countries), with whom was he consulting (and shouldn't the citizenry know who's more important than their Congressional representatives)?

A U.S. President Defies Congress, the Constitution and the Will of the People; Will Impeachment Follow?

By Michael Payne
The vast majority of the American people are solidly against this president  launching an attack on Syria. If this president dismisses the will of  the people and violates articles of the Constitution that grant specific  authority to initiate war solely to the U.S. Congress, then the question is, will impeachment follow?

President Obama Should Listen To US and UK Public: Don't Strike Syria

By Mark Weisbrot
No one had put forth any military or security reason for the rush to  attack; no one claimed that speed was essential or even relevant to  saving any lives. Rather, it now seems, the urge to shoot first and ask  questions later was driven by the need to carry out this illegal attack  before the public, and their representatives in national and  international bodies, could weigh in.

From my buddy, Mark Crispin Miller we get the insidest of the inside news:

Who really gassed the Syrians? Saudis armed Islamist rebels with chem weapons, say witnesses

And in other interesting news . . .

Israeli Licence to Cheney-Linked Energy Firm on Golan Heights Raises Eyebrows

"The company is a local subsidiary of New Jersey-based Genie Energy Ltd. The  Strategic Advisory Board of another subsidiary, Genie Oil and Gas,  includes former Vice President Dick Cheney, media magnate Rupert  Murdoch, and former Republican Rep. Jim Courter."  "The granting of the  licence by Israel's Ministry of Energy and Water Resources, which was  initially reported by Dow Jones Thursday, comes amidst continuing civil  war in Syria, which has demanded the return of the Heights since Israel  took them in the 1967 Arab-Israeli War."

The world is not going to bail out Washington, now universally  hated, with currency swaps, more loans, and foreign aid. Americans are  going to pay heavily for their negligence, their inattention, their  unconcern, and their ignorant belief that nothing can go wrong for them  and that anything that does is temporary.
Two decades of jobs offshoring has left the US with a third world labor  force employed in lowly paid domestic non-tradable services, a workforce  comparable to India's of 40 years ago. Already the "world's sole  superpower" is afflicted with a large percentage of its population  dependent on government welfare for survival. As the economy closes  down, the government's ability to meet the rising demands of survival  diminishes. The rich will demand that the poor be sacrificed in the  interest of the rich. And the political parties will comply.
Is this the reason that Homeland Security, a Nazi Gestapo institution,  now has a large and growing para-military force equipped with tanks,  drones, and billions of rounds of ammunition?
How long will it be before American citizens are shot down in their  streets by "their" government as occurs frequently in Washington's close  allies in Egypt, Turkey, Bahrain?

Surely the following cannot be true. Not in the land of always-right make believe.

(Although it surely seems like it has a pretty good basis in reality.)

America Totally Discredited

By Paul Craig Roberts

(about the author) Permalink

A foolish President Obama and moronic Secretary of State Kerry  have handed the  United States government its worst diplomatic defeat in  history and destroyed the credibility of the Office of the President, the Department of State, and the entire executive branch.  

Intoxicated with hubris from past successful lies and deceptions used  to destroy Iraq and Libya, Obama thought the US "superpower," the  "exceptional" and "indispensable" country, could pull it off again, this  time in Syria.

But the rest of the world  has learned to avoid Washington's rush to war when there is no evidence.  A foolish Obama was pushed far out on the limb by an incompetent and  untrustworthy National Security Advisor, Susan Rice, and the pack of  neoconservatives  that support her, and the British Parliament cut the  limb off.

What kind of fool would put himself in that vulnerable position? 

Read it all here.

Western Pathological Liars Hold World To Ransom

Pathological liars can't help themselves even when they sound ridiculous.  Washington, London and Paris are telling the world that they are  preparing a "carefully calibrated" blitz on Syria to "save civilians"  and not aimed at "regime change." Just like in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, and Yemen, Pakistan, Somalia, Mali where the West is conducting "humanitarian work." The lunatics are indeed in charge of the asylum.

By Robert Parry

A Dodgy Dossier on Syrian War

President George W. Bush misled the world on Iraq's WMD, but Bush's bogus case  for war at least had details that could be checked, unlike what the  Obama administration released Friday on Syria's alleged chemical attacks - no direct quotes, no photographic evidence, no named sources, nothing but "trust us."

By Norman Solomon

While Cameron Defers to Parliament, Obama Locks into Warfare State of Mind

Some  progressive groups and members of Congress have focused on urging that  Congress get to vote - or at least play a role - in the decision on  whether to bomb Syria. But we should not imply that we'll be satisfied  as long as the matter comes to a congressional vote. Time is very short we should cut through the preliminaries and get to the point: No attack on Syria!

By Alan Grayson

We Are Not the World's Policeman

A possible U.S. attack on Syria is in the news, and on people's minds  today. Here is what Congressman Alan Grayson had to say about it, in an  interview on national radio this morning.

Wealth Distribution in America, Graphically Shown

The distribution of wealth in America.  If you thought you knew what it was, or wanted to know, you'll find this  short video rather astounding.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Rise of Right Ensures USA Status As Planet's No. 1 Crime Family (Surefire Scheme: Fund 'Em! No Matter How Unable To Repay! As Taxpayers Are Always First On Hook)

(Please consider making even a small contribution to the Welcome to  Pottersville2 Quarterly Fundraiser happening now ($5.00 is suggested for those on a tight budget) or sending a link to your friends if you think the subjects discussed here are worth publicizing. Thank you for your support. We really appreciate it. Anything you can do will make a huge difference in this blog's ability to survive in these difficult economic times.)

Not a mistake.

Sounds like no mistakes were made at all.

And if Angilo Mozingo's jail time is spent as nicely as Raj Rajaratnam's is, there will be lots more "not a mistake"s made in the future.

No harm, no foul?

Not to them anyway.

But watch out for the whistleblowers! They're dangerous!

You've gotta love this guy as much as I do. Now, here's a candidate after my heart.

Wednesday, Aug 28, 2013 07:45 AM EST

Wall Street’s Greatest Enemy: The Man Who Knows Too Much

What Michael Winston knows about corporate crimes will horrify you. That's why financial giants want to destroy him

By David Dayen

Wall Street's greatest enemy: The man who knows too much

Michael Winston (Credit: Reuters/Joshua Roberts)

You may know Michael Winston’s story from a series of articles by Gretchen Morgenson in the New York Times, or from a celebrated Frontline episode, “The Untouchables,” about the lack of prosecutions on Wall Street. He was a Ph.D. who rose to the corporate elite, with stints at Lockheed Martin, McDonnell Douglas, Motorola and Merrill Lynch. He was recruited to mortgage originator Countrywide Financial with the promise that it wanted to become the “Goldman Sachs of the Pacific,” a full-service global financial corporation.

“They talked about the importance of ethics and principles, and they said they heard I was a high-integrity guy,” Winston tells Salon, noting his father had a vanity plate that read “HONOR.” Winston initially succeeded as enterprise chief leadership officer at Countrywide, getting promoted twice in 14 months and building a team of 200 working on corporate strategy.

But he could not ignore the rot at the heart of the company’s profitmaking approach.

So now, a successful high-level executive for 30 years, he has been embroiled in seven years of lawsuits with Countrywide and the company that bought it, Bank of America. His determination to speak out against multiple violations of law at Countrywide earned him retaliation, and eventually, he was frozen out of corporate boardrooms, unable to find a new job. He won a jury verdict in his case, but after two and a half more years of fighting, an appellate court reversed the ruling in highly unusual circumstances.

“I keep hearing about whistle-blower protections,” he tells Salon, exasperatedly. “It certainly didn’t happen for me.”

Now, Bank of America wants to gouge Michael Winston one last time, demanding an interest payment on money awarded to him that he never received.

“Thus far, the person who did the right thing got punished, and the person who did the wrong thing got rewarded,” Winston said. The chilling case shows that the greatest enemy for Wall Street is the man or woman who actually tries to expose its secrets.
* * *

“FUND-EM.” That’s what the license plate read when Winston pulled into Countrywide headquarters at the end of 2005. It was the car of CEO Angelo Mozilo. “What does that mean?” Winston asked a colleague.

“That’s Mozilo’s growth strategy for 2006,” his colleague replied. “We fund all loans.”

“What if the borrower has no job?” Winston asked.

“Fund ‘em.”

“What if they have no assets?”

“Fund ‘em.”

“No income?”

“If they can fog a mirror, we’ll give them a loan.”

Winston relayed his fears about this doomed strategy to Drew Gissinger, head of Countrywide Home Loans, offering proposals on how to prioritize customer satisfaction and strong fundamentals over making dicey loans. “I was trying to save Countrywide from itself,” Winston said. These proposals were politely taken and discarded. Later Gissinger would say he never received them.

A separate triggering event had nothing to do with loans, but how Countrywide treated its employees. In addition to selling toxic mortgages, Countrywide also housed its staff in toxic buildings. One in particular, on Tapo Canyon Road in Simi Valley, Calif., was notorious for noxious air, exposed wiring and a generally hideous atmosphere.

Winston worked in this building, and he and his team experienced shortness of breath, dizziness and headaches. One female employee, 35 weeks pregnant, said she was afraid to work there. Michael himself was struck by a toxic substance coming from an overhead air vent. “I thought I was being poisoned,” he said. This is at a company that made $2.7 billion in net revenue in 2006.

Countrywide claimed that it did an investigation of the air quality and found nothing wrong, when Winston knew it was still taking air samples in his office. Winston confronted his boss over this, and she replied that she lied to “prevent a panic” at the company. That’s when Winston submitted a complaint to California’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (Cal-OSHA).

The retaliation was swift. Winston’s team was assigned elsewhere, his budget was cut, and his responsibilities reduced. Winston stayed out of a sense of loyalty to the team he persuaded to join Countrywide. “Everyone I recruited sold their houses in New York and moved to California,” Winston told Salon. “If not for that, I would have been gone at the first sign of trouble. I felt an obligation to them.”

After months of hardship, the president of Countrywide, Dave Sambol, asked him to come to New York and basically lie to the credit rating agency Moody’s about its corporate governance practices. Countrywide had gone without a president and chief operating officer for five months without informing investors, and had delivered top executives outsize compensation.

Countrywide wanted Winston to fabricate a story about these practices and deliver it to Moody’s. Winston refused to lie. Three weeks later, the CEO, Angelo Mozilo, demanded Winston’s termination because he wouldn’t break the law. (The termination would not come until 2008, by Bank of America when it bought the company.)

For the next several years, Winston pursued a series of court cases, first against Countrywide and then against its new corporate parent, Bank of America, over the illegal retaliation. Winston and his lawyer, a former prosecutor at the Los Angeles district attorney’s office, saw so many lies from top Countrywide executives at their trial, that they wanted to get criminal charges instituted. Winston’s lawyer actually wrote to then-DA Steve Cooley, but nothing came of it (the DA’s office claimed it was never sent the material).

To use just one of a hundred examples, Mozilo claimed under oath he was “unimpressed” with Winston, despite a large documentary record of praise.

“The assumption when someone raises their right hand, you see a check go off in the head of the jury, now we’ll hear the whole truth,” Winston said. “But no part of it was truthful.” In early 2011, after a month-long trial, the jury found in Winston’s favor, awarding him $3.8 million.

Sadly, the story doesn’t end there. First, Bank of America tried to get a “judgment notwithstanding the verdict” in its favor. When a judge tossed that out, the bank “went shopping for justice,” Winston said.  The company would eventually find an appellate court in California to conduct a 29-minute hearing with no transcript made of the proceedings, a highly unusual practice. It didn’t bother to hear from Winston – he was 3,000 miles away at the time of the hearing. The court heard no new information in the case, only the 2-year-old trial record, filled with “perjurious content” from Countrywide executives, in Winston’s view.

Though legal precedent requires appellate courts to not reevaluate evidence heard by a jury, in this case they did, creating new evidence requirements that they said Winston did not meet. According to the Government Accountability Project, which presented an amicus brief to Winston in the case, “respect for the jury’s determinations is the rule in California and the federal system.” Nonetheless, the appellate court reversed the jury verdict, rescinding the $3.8 million award. The court claimed that Bank of America could not be held liable for Winston’s travails, despite clear legal precedent that it assumed those liabilities when it bought Countrywide.  “They reversed my verdict and they broke the law to do it,” Winston said.

* * *

Despite Bank of America taking two years to delay and appeal the verdict, Winston has no right to appeal. He sought a rehearing and then an appeal to the California Supreme Court, to no avail. He’s working on an appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court, arguing that his constitutional rights were violated. “The Constitution gives you the right to a trial by jury. It doesn’t say ‘only if the jury finds in favor of Bank of America,’” said Winston.

The insult on top of injury comes from Bank of America retributively seeking monetary damages from him. It filed in Superior Court to recoup roughly $65,000, allegedly the cost of posting a bond that was ordered by the trial judge after the original $3.8 million jury award. But Bank of America never paid the award to Michael Winston. “I never saw a dime and paid $600,000 in legal fees,” Winston said. The egregious demand for restitution – from a multibillion-dollar company – is a symbol of the vindictiveness of a corporate giant lashing out at someone who dared to expose them.

Winston, 62, has not been able to find work since this ordeal, despite a stellar record over three decades. Bank of America even tried to subpoena speaker’s bureaus Winston had signed up with to tell his story on the lecture circuit, causing those organizations to break ties with him. So the $65,000 is not a trivial amount for him. And the principle of having to pay Bank of America after it put him through hell for years is stinging.

The lesson is clear: If you object to the corrupt practices at financial giants like Countrywide and Bank of America, you will be marginalized and financially ruined. And even if you think you’ve won, over time you will lose. “No one who receives a jury verdict can feel safe,” Winston said. His actions – filing a health and safety complaint and refusing to misrepresent material facts for the company – are supposed to be protected by law. None of that mattered. Says Winston, “If I can’t get this case heard, why would any whistle-blower speak up?”

David Dayen David Dayen is a contributing writer for Salon. Follow him on Twitter at @ddayen.

5 Wildly Offensive Comments and Actions by Rich Jerks 


By RJ Eskow

comments_image 94 COMMENTS
"I don't think the common person is getting it… if you’re lower income — one, you're not as educated, two, they don't understand how [the system] works.” 

“The poor we shall always have with us,” said the Bible, and lately there are more of the poor than ever—over 50 million at last count. But that doesn’t stop wealthy Americans from saying things that reek of insensitivity and callousness toward those less fortunate than themselves, which nowadays is pretty much everybody.

The lordly indifference of the fabulously wealthy has left us with a rich cornucopia of blithely cold-hearted remarks and actions. Which of these rich folks made the most some objectionable, offensive or downright heartless comments? See for yourself.

1. Mark Zuckerberg

The Facebook CEO recently launched a “super-PAC,” aka influence-peddling organization, to represent his interests and that of his fellow Silicon Valley billionaires. A number of them refused to join [3] on moral and ethical grounds, however (good on ya, Vinod Khosla and Josh Miller), leaving only the more venal among them on Zuckerberg’s roster of supporters.

The super-Pac’s prospectus [4] boasts that Zuckerberg and his fellow tech moguls have certain “tactical assets, including the fact that “We control massive distribution channels” and “We have individuals with a lot of money. If deployed properly this can have huge influence in the current campaign finance environment.”

In other words, “We can corrupt the political process even more than it already has been.”

During Facebook’s initial public offering, Zuckerberg made this claim [5] in a letter to potential investors: “We expect governments will become more responsive to issues and concerns raised directly by all their people rather than through their intermediaries controlled by a select few.”

We now learn that Zuckerberg doesn’t have a problem with “intermediaries controlled by a select few” after all, as long he’s doing the selecting.

But then, that particular statement’s the least of Zuckerberg’s post-IPO worries. The Facebook IPO resulted in a rash of lawsuits [6] against Facebook, a $10 million fine [7] for the exchange that handled it, and a series of ongoing government investigations.

The super-PAC’s first initiative is supposed to be immigration reform. But the group’s been running ads and making other efforts to support a hard-right political agenda, directly and through subsidiaries called Americans for Conservative Action and Council for American Job Growth. One ad features [8] conservative Republican Marco Rubio. Others [3] oppose Obamacare and promote the environmentally destructive Keystone XL pipeline.

That’s not “disruptive,” to use a favored Silicon Valley term.

It’s destructive. And it’s sleazebag politics as usual. That super-PAC prospectus also boasts that “Our voice carries a lot of weight because we are broadly popular with Americans,” but it’s been doing its best to change that.

Zuckerberg’s fond of saying “Move fast and break things.” Yeah—like democracy.

2. Peter Shih

Whatever his other faults, Zuckerberg chooses his public words pretty carefully. That’s not true of Zuckerberg wannabe Peter Shih. Shih’s recent product of tech incubator ycombinator [9] makes him more of an incubating tycoon than a present-day one.

Listen to what Shih had to say in a recent blog rant against San Francisco. The post, titled "10 Things I Hate About You: San Francisco Edition [10]," managed to be profoundly offensive to … well, just read the excerpts [11] yourself:
  • “I hate how the weather here is like a woman who is constantly PMSing.”

  • "I'm referring to all the girls who are obviously 4's and behave like they are 9's. Just because San Francisco has the worst Female to Male ratio in the known universe doesn’t give you the right to be a bitch all the time.”
  • “Stop giving [homeless people] money, you know they just buy alcohol and drugs with it right?…. I'm seriously tempted to start fucking with people and pay for homeless guys to ride the Powell street cable cars in the middle of the day, that ought to get the city's attention.”
Shih also complains about “public transit being non-existent past midnight and the transvestite to taxi ratio being quite literally off the charts.” You can’t condemn a whole group of people because one person’s offensiveness is “off the charts.” But Shih is representative of the tech subculture, at least when it comes to some of its least flattering attributes – like excessive self-regard and the improper application of testosterone-fueled energy.

3. Eric Schmidt

Google CEO Eric Schmidt airily dismissed Google users' concerns about privacy this way in a 2009 television interview [12]: “If you have something that you don't want anyone to know, maybe you shouldn't be doing it in the first place.”

Now Google has formalized Schmidt’s indifference to civil liberties. Last month it made this claim in a motion [13] to dismiss a class action suit: "people who use web-based email today cannot be surprised if their communications are processed by the recipient’s ECS provider in the course of delivery.”

Google went on to approvingly quote a 1979 ruling which said that “a person has no legitimate expectation of privacy in information he voluntarily turns over to third parties.”

Google’s position is, therefore, that any Gmail user—or anybody who sends an email to a Gmail user—has no right to expect their communication to remain private. We’ll say this for Mr. Schmidt: We can’t say he didn’t warn us.

4. Marissa Mayer

Last year Yahoo! announced that Marissa Mayer, a longtime tech star at Google, was going to be its new CEO. Later that day Mayer announced she was pregnant. That was a good moment for society: The USA was overdue for a pregnant celebrity CEO.

Mayer built a nursery right next to her office so she could bring her infant son to work. That was a nice moment, but it didn’t last long. She then promptly ended the company’s policy [14] of letting people work from home, a sign that she lacks empathy toward less fortunate parents. She then improved Yahoo’s parental leave policy—also nice (and necessary if you want to get and keep good Silicon Valley employees). But she did it in a way that favors biological birth parents [15] over those who adopt.

Mayer also stereotyped and demeaned the feminists who made her success possible:

"I don’t think that I would consider myself a feminist. I think that I’d certainly believe in equal rights … But I don’t I think have sort of militant drive and the sort of chip on the shoulder that sometimes comes with that. I think it’s too bad but I do think feminism has become in many ways a more negative word…"
But what she didn’t say was as insensitive as what she did say. For context it should be noted Mayer lives well. The Gilded Age lifestyle choices described in a recent Vogue include “glitzy parties,” Mozart tunes playing on a “computer-driven baby grand piano,” and the “two-story, miniaturized model of Palo Alto’s Peninsula Creamery” in her backyard.

Mayer can spend her money as she likes, but that kind of spending becomes distasteful if the person is also part of an effort to keep the working poor in poverty. Mayer is on the Walmart board of directors, and Walmart is actively resisting increases to the minimum wage [16]. Walmart’s wages are so low many of the people who work there—many of them parents—need government help to get medical care and eat an adequate diet.

Mayer had the chance to meet with Walmart workers who were unjustly fired after protesting the corporation’s policies, but she refused to speak with them [17]. She had them arrested instead. 
Mayer’s public silence doesn’t just extend to mistreated Walmart workers. She prefers to let others do her political talking, too. Yahoo! is part of Zuckerberg’s right-wing super-PAC. It also reportedly remained [18] in the Koch brothers far-right American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), even after many other corporations [19] publicly left the group over its extremist policies.

If you’re going to live a life of glamor and opulence, it’s best not to project such insensitivity toward other, less fortunate parents. Or to back politicians who are bent on destroying the social safety net.

5. Daniel S. Loeb

Mayer reportedly got her job through the machinations of hedge fund manager and Yahoo! board member Daniel S. Loeb, who’s known for his relentless publicity-seeking and self-promotion, as well as for his tasteless political comments.

The most notorious of those comments can be found in an Investor Letter [20] Loeb sent around last year, which suggested that President Obama’s political agenda was the “redistribution of wealth.” That’s a pretty extreme claim to make, especially when wages have remained stagnant for most Americans and wealth inequality has grown even more pronounced.

As the AFL-CIO [21] recently pointed out, it also appears that Loeb’s “reinsurance company” may not be in the reinsurance business at all, but has incorporated itself as a Bermuda reinsurer in order to get around U.S. regulations and safeguards. Loeb may think that’s justifiable gamesmanship, given his expressed hostility toward regulation. But his Wall Street peers destroyed the economy the last time they were allowed an unregulated play period with the world’s money.

Loeb is reportedly a Democrat who backed Obama in 2008. But in 2012 he co-hosted a $25,000 per guest Romney fundraiser which made the wrong kind of headlines [22]:

"I don't think the common person is getting it,” said one Loeb guest. “. … I just think if you’re lower income—one, you're not as educated, two, they don't understand how [the system] works.” 
Loeb spouts enough economic misinformation and extremist cant to earn an honorary membership in the Tea Party. He’s distressed about proposals to end loopholes for hedge fund managers and tax them the same way ordinary people are taxed – teachers, for example, and police officers. So he uses historical quotes to describe those proposals, which are far more modest than tax regulations under presidents Eisenhower and Nixon, as “oppression” of a “minority” and “tak(ing) from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned.”

6. Steve Schwarzman

Hedge funder Steve Schwarzman makes Loeb sound like the Dalai Lama. It was Schwarzman [23] who famously compared the idea of taxing hedge funders to an infamous Nazi act of war. “It’s like when Hitler invaded Poland in 1939,” said Schwarzman.

Schwarzman also … oh, why bother? That pretty much closes the case against him.
A lot of wealthy people aren’t on the list, of course, because they’re fair and reasonable people. But scientific research [24] tells us that the wealthier classes are more inclined toward selfishness, arrogance and a sense of entitlement. They can hold some pretty extreme political views [25], too.
So as the rich continue to inherit the earth, we’ll be hearing a lot more the wealthy people who, like Zuckerberg and Mayer, want to corrupt the political process; those who are aggressively ignorant of political and constitutional principles, like Schmidt and Loeb; and the ones who are just loudmouthed jerks like the other guys on this list.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Bombing of Syria Will Not Be That Subtle (H/T to the Rude One) And When Did Syria (Like Iraq) Attack U.S.?

(Please consider making even a small contribution to the Welcome to  Pottersville2 Christmas/Holiday Season Fundraiser happening now or at least sending a link to your friends if you think the subjects discussed here are worth publicizing. Thank you for your support. We are in a real tight spot financially right now and would sincerely appreciate any type of contribution. Anything you can do will make a huge difference in this blog's ability to survive during this holiday.)

The Rude Pundit makes some telling points about those running the White House under the Bush junta. Remember back that far? Funny how it all seems so familiar again. Almost like an exact rerun (but who will play Rove this time?).


Rude Pundit: At Least Now They Use a Scalpel and Not a Shiv

The detention of Guardian reporter and columnist Glenn Greenwald's partner for questioning in London, as well as the search of Bolivia's president's airplane for Edward Snowden, seem like a more subtle, nuanced approach to intimidation by this administration (and its allies). That's as opposed to the previous administration, which used to go after enemies with all the subtlety of a hatchet-wielding psychopath. Let's take a trip down memory lane, back to March 2004...

Karl Rove's Sodomizin' Stormtroopers:

God, how the roads of Washington are littered with the anally-violated bodies of those who cross the Bush Administration and Karl Rove's Sodomizin' Stormtroopers. Dressed in black outfits, with black helmets and large black strap-ons, the Sodomizin' Stormtroopers are sent out, like flying monkeys, to ass-fuck anyone who dares question the word of George Bush and his minions.
Ask former weapons inspector Scott Ritter, entrapped in an online chat with an "underage girl" and arrested at a diner, handed over to the SS, who roughly fucked the mainstream credibility out of him. Ask Paul O'Neill, who dared to say that Bush was a shallow, uninterested leader.

Characterized as a kook who was unworthy of his Treasury Secretary position, Rove dispatched the SS to bend him over a stack of classified documents and fuck him until his ass bled and he cried that he would disappear. That'll teach him to cavort with Bono.
The SS takes photos that they send to Sean Hannity, Bill O'Reilly, and others so that they can giggle at the bleeding sphincters of those who have met the fate of a Rovean rogering. Colin Powell is a tough bastard, still able to stand up after all the ass fuckings he's received.
And now, oh, delicious rectum, they're at it again, going after Richard Clarke, who had the temerity of having fairly unimpeachable credibility in being in the inner circle of national security in the two decades prior to 9/11.

So, having seen the semen-stained asses of others, why would Richard Clarke write his book?

Why would he say all the things he has said, about the monomaniacal heights of Rumslove's obsession with Iraq, about Condi's inexperience, about the unmitigated evil that is Dick Cheney, about the way in which the Republican's gleeful obsession with Clinton's cock was one of the essential reasons that 9/11 happened, about the way in which the President pressed him to connect 9/11 to Iraq despite all evidence to the contrary?
On 60 Minutes, Clarke admitted that he knew the fate that awaited him. When he said, "I'm sure they'll launch their dogs on me," you could see in his eyes that he knew the Stormtroopers had already sanded the strap-ons for rough anal insertion. Leslie Stahl looked almost sympathetic when she asked if he should be loyal to the President and Clarke answered that he should proabably think about the safety of the country first.

Let's remember a couple of things here: when one takes an oath of office as a federal appointee, one is asked to uphold the Constitution, not the President: ''I, [name], do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter. So help me God."
Sure, it's idealistic to think that one won't back one's employer, but let's be clear here: a public official's first duty is to the Constitution and all that that implies. It ain't to be loyal to a particular president or party. It's why Clarke could be well-regarded in three administrations prior to this Bush.

And when pundits and administrators ask, "Why wait till now, when there's an election going on?" as they are doing consistently now, part of the answer is, "No, shit, he wants to sell books." But the other, rather interesting and more complex answer, is found is yesterday's piece of crap article by Judith Miller that was buried by the New York Times: the "manuscript was screened for classified information by White House lawyers before its publication."
One might wonder how long such a screening takes, considering what happened with the Paul O'Neill. One could say that perhaps Clarke, sensitive to national security, wanted to make sure that he didn't disclose classified info, and, perhaps, that process of being careful to protect the nation and the Constitution, takes time. After all, he didn't leave the administration until a year ago.
And maybe, just maybe, Clarke wrote the book for that very reason: he might have worked at the discretion of the President, but he owes his allegiance to the country, not the man, something Bush and his people forget at every turn of a lying word.

It doesn't really matter, though. Rove's SS is out in full force, denouncing Clarke, picking the location for the ass fucking so that it's as public as possible. Hell, wasn't it just so cute when Scott McClellan called Clarke's book "Dick Clarke's 'American Grandstand'"? God, those witty motherfuckers.

Whoever comes out next against the Bushkoviks better be careful: the SS can make it a short, effective ass fucking or a long, drawn out reaming. The Sodomizin' Stormtroopers are waitin' for the word from Rove on how to go after David Kay or Hans Blix, neither of whom was shilling for a book when they defied the will of Bush (yes, Blix has a book out now, but that's a recent development). Don't you worry, America. Rove's SS will make every thing grey all nice and black and white once again.

// posted by Rude One @ 8:34 AM

Good luck to the rest of US now.

Steve Lendman has the details.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

War on Syria Looms

by Stephen Lendman

Russia's gone all out to prevent it. Best efforts aren't working. Last Wednesday's false flag explains. It's pretext for waging war.

Dmitry Rogozin is Moscow's former NATO envoy. He's currently Deputy Prime Minister.

He said belligerent Western powers treat Muslim countries like a "monkey with a hand grenade." Earlier he criticized "Anglo-Saxon" plans to attack Syria.

NBC and CNBC headlined "US strike against Syria 'as early as Thursday.' " Unnamed senior US officials were cited.

They said "three days" of attacks are planned. They'll be limited in scope. They'll send Assad a message.

Command and control bunkers, airfields and artillery will be targeted.

Reuters said US forces are "ready to go." They can attack as soon as ordered. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel was cited.

On Monday, Syrian opposition leaders met with Washington and other anti-Assad officials. They did so in Istanbul. They were told military action is imminent. According to one source:

"The opposition was told in clear terms that action to deter further use of chemical weapons by the Assad regime could come as early as in the next few days, and that they should still prepare for peace talks at Geneva."
Following Ghouta's incident, opposition Syrian National Coalition (SNC) secretary general Badr Jamous abandoned peace discussions.

He called for "punish(ing) this dictator, Bashar the Chemist and then we can discuss Geneva."

He wants to negotiate from strength, not weakness. Death squad insurgents are no match against Syria's superior military. He hopes air power will change things. Token strikes won't accomplish much.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Ghouta was strategically timed. It "suited" the opposition. They "obviously do not want to negotiate peacefully." They want talks "sabotage(d)."

"Why go to a conference if you believe that the regime's infrastructure will all be destroyed anyway by allies, and then you can just march into Damascus unopposed, and take control," he asked?

Russia Today suggested attacks aren't likely until UN inspectors leave. They're scheduled to remain until Sunday.

On August 27, London's Telegraph headlined "Syria: Russia evacuates citizens ahead of military strikes in the 'next few days,' " saying:

"A Russian emergency situations ministry aircraft carrying aid landed in Syria on Tuesday, and is set to take Russians and other CIS citizens out of the country on its return flight."

"The Ilyushin-76 jet landed at the Latakia airport with 20 tons of humanitarian aid, mostly consisting of tinned foods and sugar, a ministry spokeswoman said."

"About 180 people who 'have expressed a desire to leave Syria,' 100 of them Russian, are set to leave on the return flight."

"Russia said it had evacuated all of its defence personnel from Syria in June, but a foreign ministry spokesman said at the time that about 30,000 other Russians were still living across the country."

Downing Street confirmed plans for war. A separate Telegraph report headlined "MPs demand a vote on Syria as No. 10 considers recalling Parliament."

More than 50 MPs demanded debate. Eighty-one Tories signed a letter before recess. They said parliament must be consulted before Britain becomes more deeply embroiled.

MP Andrew Bridgen said:

"We live in a parliamentary democracy, not a dictatorship."

"I would imagine that if colleagues wanted to have a debate about arming rebels they would certainly want to have one about the potential for a cruise missile or tomahawk missile strike."
Prime Minister David Cameron can authorize force with or without debate. He can do so whether or not parliament approves. Doing it risks vote of confidence ouster. It's unlikely. It's a small risk to take.

On August 27, Itar Tass headlined "NATO might hold emergency meeting on Syria on August 29," saying:

It's planning "to discuss the situation in Syria in the wake of the chemical attack in suburban Damascus on August 21."

Perhaps war plans will be finalized.

"NATO's press service told Tass it could not confirm this information as yet."

"The leading NATO countries including the USA, France and Great Britain, have announced that they have been considering possible options of military intervention in Syria."

"Until recently, NATO, as an organization, has adhered to the position of noninterference in this conflict."

Perhaps policy's about to change.

Iran's Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Araqchi strongly "warn(ed) against any military attack in Syria. There will definitely be perilous consequences for the region," he stressed.

Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Moallem said all means will be used for self-defense. "We will not hesitate to use any means available," he stressed.

On Tuesday, Moallem again said Syria didn't use chemical weapons any time throughout months of conflict.

"I assure the residents of Damascus that the objective of the Armed Forces' military efforts taking place currently is to ensure their safety, so the endeavor will not be halted, and (Western and regional opposition) will not limit the Army's victory," he added.

He called Washington's accusations "categorically baseless."

"Since the beginning, we have doubted the US intentions towards Geneva Conference, and we told our Russian friends we trust you but we do not trust the USA because it does not want a political solution and the reason is clear which is that Israel does not want this solution, but rather it wants the continuation of violence and terrorism."

"If the countries which want to launch a military strike against Syria believe that such a strike will affect the military operations in Ghouta, then these countries are mistaken."

They "aim firstly at launching preemptive strikes to the schemes of invading Damascus and secondly protecting the civilians in Damascus neighborhoods from the terrorist rockets launched by the terrorists."

On August 26, CBS News headlined "Obama orders release of report justifying Syria strike," saying:

It's coming by around mid-week. On Saturday, his national security team met. Members unanimously agreed. A military response is necessary, they said.
Obama ordered legal justification prepared. Doing so turns fundamental law principles on their head. It doesn't matter. Hegemons do what they please.

Their rules alone matter. What America says goes.
Attacking Syria's virtually certain. Only its timing remains unknown.

Cruise missile diplomacy won't be announced. Explosions will explain when attacks begin. So will mass casualties. Civilians always suffer most.

Extremist neocons run the Foreign Policy Initiative (FPI). It's the Project for the New American Century's successor organization.

On August 27, it headlined "Foreign Policy Experts Urge President Obama to Respond to Assad's Chemical Weapons Attack," saying:

"Sixty-six former US government officials and foreign policy experts sent a bipartisan letter to President Barack Obama today"
They want war, not peace. "Left unanswered, the Assad regime's mounting attacks with chemical weapons will show the world that America's red lines are only empty threats," they said.

"It is therefore time for the United States to take meaningful and decisive actions to stem the Assad regime's relentless aggression, and help shape and influence the foundations for the post-Assad Syria that you have said is inevitable."

A rogue's gallery of scoundrels signed it. They include:

Ammar Abdulhamid

Robert Kagan

Elliott Abrams

Lawrence F. Kaplan

Fouad Ajami

James Kirchick

Michael Auslin

Irina Krasovskaya

Gary Bauer

William Kristol

Paul Berman

Bernard-Henri Levy

Max Boot

Robert J. Lieber

Ellen Bork

Former Senator Joseph Lieberman

Paul Bremer

Tod Lindberg

Matthew R. J. Brodsky

Thomas G. Mahnken

Eliot A. Cohen

Michael Makovsky

Former Senator Norm Coleman

Ann Marlowe

William Courtney

Clifford D. May

Seth Cropsey

Alan Mendoza

James S. Denton

Joshua Muravchik

Paula A. DeSutter

Former Governor Tim Pawlenty

Larry Diamond

Martin Peretz

Paula J. Dobriansky

Danielle Pletka

Thomas Donnelly

David Pollock

Michael Doran

Arch Puddington

Mark Dubowitz

Karl Rove

Colin Dueck

Randy Scheunemann

Nicholas Eberstadt

Dan Senor

Eric S. Edelman

John Shattuck

Reuel Marc Gerecht

Lee Smith

Abe Greenwald

Henry D. Sokolski

Christopher J. Griffin

James Traub

John P. Hannah

Mark D. Wallace

Bruce Pitcairn Jackson

Michael Weiss

Ash Jain

Leon Wieseltier

Kenneth Jensen

Khawla Yusuf

Allison Johnson

Robert Zarate

Robert G. Joseph

Radwan Ziadeh

War appears virtually certain. It's America's option of choice. It's longstanding policy. Iran awaits after Syria's destroyed.

A permanent cycle of violence persists. Big Lies facilitate it. No end in sight looms.

Either ways are found to end wars or they'll end us. Mushroom shaped cloud finality may have final say. Forewarned is forearmed.

(Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at

His new book is titled Banker Occupation: Waging Financial War on Humanity.

Visit his blog site at

Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

It airs Fridays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.

Posted by Steve Lendman @ 11:46 AM

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

(CIA Helped Saddam Gas Iran in 1988) The Banksters May Be Guilty of the Most Heinous of Crimes: But Wake US Up When They Go To Jail (Hard To Believe 9/11 Story When You Know Who Bernard Kerik Is (& Bush Brother & Kin Involvement With Kuwaitis))

(Please consider making even a small contribution to the Welcome to  Pottersville2 Quarterly Fundraiser happening now ($5.00 is suggested for those on a tight budget) or sending a link to your friends if you think the subjects discussed here are worth publicizing. Thank you for your support. We really appreciate it. Anything you can do will make a huge difference in this blog's ability to survive in these difficult economic times.)


Monday, Aug 26, 2013

CIA Helped Saddam Gas Iran in ’88

Files now reveal that U.S. intelligence gave key location data to Iraq during war with Iran

By Natasha Lennard
CIA helped Saddam gas Iran in '88
Saddam Hussein
As Foreign Policy revealed Monday, recently declassified documents show that in 1988, the U.S. gave key intelligence to Saddam Hussein’s Iraqi military, which enabled the gassing with chemical weapons of Iranian troops. The U.S. was reportedly well aware of plans to use the nerve agent.
As our current administration equivocates over military intervention in Syria and aid to Egypt, it’s worth remembering that the U.S. has a long and storied history of shifting strategic alliances in the Middle East, aligning with the vagaries of U.S. politico-economic interests of the time.
Via FP

And now to our regularly scheduled "news" . . . but . . . wait . . . first . . . another


26 Aug 2013 at 4:33 PM

“Well That’s My Cue To Leave” Says Guy Who Handles “All Litigation And Government Investigations Affecting JP Morgan Around The World” After 957th Probe Into Bank’s Affairs

By Bess Levin
Michael Coyne is gonna take off now.

JP Morgan Chase’s co-head of litigation is leaving the bank as it faces a mounting pile of regulatory headaches, lawsuits and investigations, said people close to the situation.

Michael Coyne, who is responsible for all litigation and government investigations affecting J.P. Morgan around the world, will become general counsel of UnionBanCal Corp., a San Francisco lender with $102.23 billion in assets and 422 branches. J.P. Morgan, the nation’s largest bank, has $2.4 trillion in assets and 5,657 branches.
An announcement is expected Monday. Mr. Coyne’s departure comes as J.P. Morgan tries to work its way through a litany of legal problems and a heightened period of regulatory scrutiny. The bank disclosed recently that future legal losses could be as much as $6.8 billion above its existing reserves, more than any other U.S. bank.
Top Litigator Set to Leave J.P. Morgan [WSJ]
_ _ _ _ _ _ _

The government may very well decide to go after Chase in what it considers a big way. It may do the same for Bank of America, and then it may keep going on down the line to other banks, until it has collected a billion dollars or so from all the usual suspects, who were virtually all engaged in the same kinds of schemes, gathering and selling to customers radioactive mortgage bonds they knew were likely to explode, or were ridden with fraud and faulty underwriting.

But to me, these investigations will be meaningless unless one of two things happens, once they reach the inevitable stage of concluding painstakingly-crafted settlements with the inevitable teams of high-priced lawyers for the offending firms:
  1. Someone goes to jail.
  2. The company is ordered to break itself up into smaller pieces.
As to point one, here's the thing. If criminal laws were violated, then the government certainly has discretion to exercise mercy and seek non-criminal sanctions against the individuals responsible. But they can really only do that and not be total hypocrites if they also simultaneously implement leniency programs for ordinary street criminals at the same time.
Just yesterday, for instance, a federal judge in Mississippi handed down a six-month sentence to a man and ordered him to pay $8,282 in restitution for food stamp fraud - one Stanley Jones apparently lied in an application about whether or not anyone in his household had ever been convicted of a felony drug charge when he applied for food stamps.
Stanley Jones is going to do six months in jail for fraud in a case brought by the same Justice Department now sniffing around Chase and Bank of America. I would be shocked if $8,282 didn't represent the entire amount of value "taken" via Jones's fraud.
I spent a lot of time with people targeted for welfare fraud for my upcoming book, The Divide, and the state never settles for anything less than every last dollar in these cases.
Incidentally, you can find cases like this pretty much every day in every state in the country. Guaranteed, someone somewhere in America right now is drawing jail time for some form of welfare fraud.
Meanwhile, S.E.C. target Fab Tourre - the Goldman exec who joked about selling bad bonds to "widows and orphans" - will not do a day in jail for his part in a fraud that caused two banks in Europe to lose over a billion dollars.
And Fab's restitution will range from $30,000 to $780,000, depending upon how much judge Katherine Forrest decides to ding him for each of his six counts of civil fraud. (It will be very interesting to see where she lands on that decision).
Fab's bank, Goldman, Sachs, has already settled for $550 million for the same case, which is a lot of money, but again less than the total amount of the damage.
And nobody went to jail.
This isn't about throwing bankers in jail for the sake of it. It's about making things fair. If we're going to keep throwing people in jail for food stamp fraud, then bankers who commit systematic securities fraud also have to go to jail.
Either that, or we have to come up with alternative punishments for both types of nonviolent criminal. I'm not opposed to that, either. There are powerful arguments to be made against jail for many nonviolent offenders. The punishments for rich and poor just have to match, that's all.
As to point two - if we're not putting people in jail, we at least have to insist the companies break themselves up - this is in response to the argument made by the likes of Attorney General Eric Holder and former Department of Justice criminal division chief Lanny Breuer last winter after settlements involving HSBC (for money laundering) and UBS (for mass rate-fixing in the LIBOR scandal).
The justification in those cases for deferred and or non-prosecution agreements coupled with huge fines as punishments for sweepingly destructive offenses was that the companies in question were too large and too systemically important to risk indicting criminally.
Well, let's say that's true. It's an argument not completely without merit. Nobody wants to see a repeat of the Arthur Andersen case, when the federal government indicted on a single count, the company went under, and 28,000 jobs were lost.
But if that's true, then the state can't simply accept that reality every time a huge company starts committing serial fraud or theft.
If these companies commit crimes but are too big to prosecute, well, then, in lieu of indictments of the firm, or jail terms for executives, they have to become smaller, so that they can safely be prosecuted the next time. The state has the power to make that happen, but it would be a shock if they ever exercised that power.
That won't happen, however. Almost guaranteed, these investigations will end with huge cash settlements. We'll keep the jails filled with food-stamp thieves, while the bank execs who knowingly hawked doomed mortgage bonds to "widows and orphans" all over the world will almost certainly get off.
At worst, their shareholders will cough up another billion or two in settlement money.
All of this is stuff that has to be kept in mind when news of such investigations leaks. It may sound like tough action. But it could just as easily be more of the same cost-of-doing-business, for-appearances-only non-regulation of the looking-busy genus. Wake me up when someone goes to jail.

Matt Taibbi evinces disbelief.

Along with 200 million others.

Matt Taibbi. (photo: Current TV)

Matt Taibbi. (Photo: Current TV)

New Bank Investigations: Real Action, or More of the Same?

By Matt Taibbi, Rolling Stone

09 August 2013
lot of interesting things happening on the white-collar enforcement front. Evil hedge fund SAC Capital and its villainous ruler Stevie Cohen were run through the gauntlet, Goldman Sachs patsy Fabulous Fab took a beating in civil court (I love the detail that emerged, that Goldman executives now call him "the poor kid"), and now, apparently, a pair of high-profile investigations have been launched against Bank of America and J.P. Morgan Chase for subprime mortgage fraud.

The latter investigations seem to be designed to answer criticisms that nobody is going after the real doers of evil systemic crimes.
The Chase case apparently involves a criminal investigation, which is indeed interesting. The company admitted as much yesterday, saying federal investigators out West have "preliminarily concluded" that Chase brazenly violated securities laws when it sold subprime mortgage-backed instruments in 2005-2007.
But I'm skeptical it will turn into a real criminal investigation. All of the stories that broke in the last day or two noted the same detail, that Chase has beefed up its estimates for litigation/settlement costs:

As the investigations drag on, the bank is racking up significant legal costs. To help cushion against potentially hefty payouts to the authorities, JPMorgan recorded a $678 million expense for additional litigation reserves in the second quarter, up from $323 million in the same period a year ago, according to the filing on Wednesday.

The bank also estimated it could incur up to $6.8 billion in losses beyond its reserves, nearly $1 billion more than the first quarter of the year.
The government may very well decide to go after Chase in what it considers a big way. It may do the same for Bank of America, and then it may keep going on down the line to other banks, until it has collected a billion dollars or so from all the usual suspects, who were virtually all engaged in the same kinds of schemes, gathering and selling to customers radioactive mortgage bonds they knew were likely to explode, or were ridden with fraud and faulty underwriting.
But to me, these investigations will be meaningless unless one of two things happens, once they reach the inevitable stage of concluding painstakingly-crafted settlements with the inevitable teams of high-priced lawyers for the offending firms:
  1. Someone goes to jail.
  2. The company is ordered to break itself up into smaller pieces.
As to point one, here's the thing. If criminal laws were violated, then the government certainly has discretion to exercise mercy and seek non-criminal sanctions against the individuals responsible. But they can really only do that and not be total hypocrites if they also simultaneously implement leniency programs for ordinary street criminals at the same time.
Just yesterday, for instance, a federal judge in Mississippi handed down a six-month sentence to a man and ordered him to pay $8,282 in restitution for food stamp fraud - one Stanley Jones apparently lied in an application about whether or not anyone in his household had ever been convicted of a felony drug charge when he applied for food stamps.
Stanley Jones is going to do six months in jail for fraud in a case brought by the same Justice Department now sniffing around Chase and Bank of America. I would be shocked if $8,282 didn't represent the entire amount of value "taken" via Jones's fraud. I spent a lot of time with people targeted for welfare fraud for my upcoming book, The Divide, and the state never settles for anything less than every last dollar in these cases. Incidentally, you can find cases like this pretty much every day in every state in the country. Guaranteed, someone somewhere in America right now is drawing jail time for some form of welfare fraud.
. . . All of this is stuff that has to be kept in mind when news of such investigations leaks. It may sound like tough action. But it could just as easily be more of the same cost-of-doing-business, for-appearances-only non-regulation of the looking-busy genus. Wake me up when someone goes to jail.

Speaking of needing to be awakened when any real news is reported . . .

There's nothing odd about the 9/ll buildings take down at all (even though every day new information arises from the dark side).

Keep telling yourself that.

As the U.S. invades the umpteenth country (opened up to takeover by it).

Don't watch the following video if you value your ignorance (it will set your hair on fire).

"We were told the buildings were going to come down." - Rudy Guiliani (son of jailed mobster and other mobster kinship as well as BCCI/CIA insider ties).

"There were no secondary explosions." - Bernard Kerik - in jail at present for numerous felonies (well-known mobster who was NY Police Commissioner during the 9/11 event, worked previously for the Saudi royal family and Morrison-Knudsen (demolitions company) in Saudi Arabia, personal chauffeur for Guiliani before being appointed to several inside jobs including George W. Bush's nominee to head the brand new U.S. Department of Homeland Security, and in charge of the operation which "found" the intact passport of one of the Saudi "bombers" that proved who the culprits really were).

Why did The U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) play dumb about any knowledge relating to the finding of nanothermite in the rubble when its top officials at that time were a materials science engineer, a scientist trained at Los Alamos in nuclear demolition, and a man who published over 10 technical papers on nanothermite?

And how did the people guiding the airplanes know when to turn off the transponders in order to perfectly elude the radar? From the Toronto Hearings (

And, oh yes - one more tiny detail - how did Building 7, which was not hit by a plane (and was behind Buildings 5 and 6, which didn't collapse) implode? (errr . . . collapse?)

USA USA USA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

So, again . . . it's just money (and power and control)? El Greedo strikes again.

And WTF was the mainstream media reporting on during the following tumultuous national and international events?


KuwAm and Stratesec: Directors and Investors That Link 9/11 To A Private Intelligence Network

The Kuwaiti-American Corporation (KuwAm), parent company of World Trade Center (WTC) security company Stratesec, had some interesting links to royalty in both Iran and KuwaitSome of the company’s directors also had connections to U.S. intelligence agencies and at least one was associated with the CIA-funded terrorist financing network that included BCCI.

Through these links we can see that the origins of the War on Terror are related to the origins of the first Gulf War, and to a private network of covert operatives that stretches back for generations.
After the 1993 bombing, a company called Stratesec was responsible for the overall integration of the new WTC security system.  In the few years leading up to 9/11, Stratesec also had contracts to provide security services for United Airlines, which owned two of the planes that were destroyed on 9/11, and Dulles Airport where American Airlines Flight 77 took off.
Stratesec’s board of directors included Marvin Bush, the brother of George W. Bush, and Wirt Dexter Walker III, a distant relative of the Bush brothers.[1]  Marvin Bush joined the board of Stratesec after meeting members of the Al Sabah family on a trip to Kuwait with his father in April 1993.  During this trip, the Kuwaiti royals displayed enormous gratitude to the elder Bush for having saved their country from Saddam Hussein only two years earlier.
But the Bush-Kuwaiti connection went back much farther, to 1959, when the Kuwaitis helped to fund Bush’s start-up company, Zapata Off-Shore.  As a CIA business asset during this time, Bush and his company worked directly with the anti-Castro Cuban groups in Miami before and after the Bay of Pigs invasion.[2]

During the 1993 trip, the royals in the United Arab Emirates showed similar gratitude to the Bush family by putting Marvin on the board at Fresh Del Monte, which was purchased by the UAE-owned company IAT in 1994. The alleged 9/11 hijackers had many connections to the UAE, and much of the funding for the attacks came through that country.
Mish’al Yusuf Saud Al Sabah, the majority owner of KuwAm Corporation, was the company’s chairman since 1982. Just after the Bush family visit in 1993, KuwAm gained a controlling interest in Stratesec.[3]
The other owners of Stratesec were Walker, who along with Al Sabah joined the Stratesec board, and an entity controlled by Walker and Al Sabah, called Special Situation Investment Holdings (SSIH)KuwAm owned several other companies, including Commander Aircraft and Strategic Jet Services , which were controlled under the Oklahoma-based company called Aviation General (AGI).
KuwAm’s aircraft companies had international clientele and Al Sabah was known to personally engage customers who purchased aircraft.[4]  In 1996, Al Sabah announced that AGI sold aircraft to the National Civil Aviation Training Organization (NCATO) in Giza, Egypt.
NCATO was in a partnership with Embry-Riddle University where two of the alleged 9/11 hijackers, Saeed Alghamdi and Waleed M. Al Shehri, were said to have gone to flight school.[5]
Ten days after the attacks, Embry-Riddle was relieved to report that Al Shehri had turned up alive.[6] Unfortunately, the many reports that some of the alleged hijackers had turned up alive were never investigated by the FBI or the 9/11 Commission.
Like Stratesec, all three of KuwAm’s aircraft companies went bankrupt within three years after 9/11.  The company blamed terrorism and the war in Iraq for a reduced demand for its products.[7] Despite the losses, the Kuwaiti royal family can be said to have benefited from 9/11 due to “The War on Terror” that removed Saddam Hussein from power. Of course, that was the second consecutive US war that Kuwait benefited from, the first being the 1991 Gulf War led by President George H.W. Bush.
The 1991 Gulf War was started on the basis of blatant lies, at least one of which involved a relative of Mish’al Al Sabah. This was a 15-year old girl named Nayirah, who was the daughter of Mish’al’s first cousin, Saud Nasser Al Saud Al Sabah, the Kuwaiti ambassador to the United States.[8] The girl lied about having witnessed Iraqi soldiers taking babies out of incubators and leaving them on the “cold floor to die.” It was later learned that her testimony was false and that she had been coached to tell the lies by the public relations firm, Hill & Knowlton.[9]
Needless to say, Mish’al Al Sabah is very well connected to the Kuwaiti royal family and, therefore, to the Kuwaiti governmentOther first cousins of Mish’al included Salim Abdal-Aziz Saud Al Sabah, the Governor of Kuwait’s Central Bank, and Sabah Nasir Saud Al Sabah, the Head of the Engineering Department for Military Projects in the Ministry of Defence.  Mish’al’s brother Ali married the daughter of Kuwaiti Emir Jabir III.
Wirt D. Walker III, CEO of Stratesec and managing director at KuwAm, was the son of a career U.S. intelligence officer and a former coworker of William Casey, who later became CIA director.
Walker was also a descendant of James Monroe Walker, who ran the businesses of the U.S. deep state organization called Russell & Company.[10]  Coincidentally, the brother-in-law of the original Wirt D. Walker, John Wellborn Root, was the long-time employer of Emery Roth, whose company was later the architect of record for both the WTC Towers and Building 7.[11]
Mish’al Al Sabah actually lived with Walker and his family for six months when Al Sabah was only 15 years of age, at the time that George H.W. Bush was CIA directorAs a result of their close relationship, Al Sabah brought Walker and KuwAm “many rich, limited partnership investors from Kuwait, Europe and the U.S.”[12]  Walker and Al Sabah started KuwAm in 1982, when Al Sabah turned 21 years of age.
Other people who worked for Kuwam included Pamela S. Singleton, who was a KuwAm partner and principal.  Singleton was also associated with Winston Partners, another company run by Marvin Bush.
KuwAm board member Robert D. van Roijen was said to be the man responsible for getting Walker involved in the aircraft businessLike Walker, van Roijen was the son of a CIA officer. His father was born a Dutch citizen in England, immigrated to the U.S. in the 1930s and was an intelligence officer in the Army Air Corps before joining the CIA.[13]  The senior van Roijen later became the owner of Robert B. Luce, Inc., a Washington-based company that published The New Republic.
Van Roijen’s grandfather was Dutch ambassador to the United States in the 1920s, and his uncle, Jan H. van Roijen, had the very same appointment from 1950 to 1964.  During the 1973 Oil Crisis, the Dutch government sent Jan H. van Roijen, who was also a member of the Bilderberg Group, to Saudi Arabia in an unsuccessful attempt to patch things up diplomatically.
Unlike Walker, the younger van Roijen admits that he was an intelligence officer too, with the U.S. Marines from 1961 to 1963.  It is interesting to note that the CIA-trained anti-Castro Cubans that Marvin Bush’s father was helping, during this same time, thought that the U.S. Marines would be right behind them as they stormed the shores at the Bay of Pigs.
Van Roijen was also Tricia Nixon’s White House party escort during the time of the Nixon Administration. Van Roijen’s sister was working in the White House communications office, and he used those connections to his advantage as a lobbyist for IBM, obtaining strategic information from government offices such as the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB).[14]  At the time, future Carlyle Group CEO Frank Carlucci was Deputy Director of the OMB.
Another interesting connection between KuwAm and the Nixon years was that KuwAm’s offices were in the Watergate Hotel, the same building that was burglarized in the 1972 scandal that led to Nixon’s resignation. In the years leading up to 9/11, both Stratesec and Aviation General convened their annual shareholders’ meetings in KuwAm’s Watergate offices, in Suite 900.[15]

As of 1998, the building was owned by The Blackstone Group and the offices that KuwAm occupied were leased by the Royal Embassy of Saudi ArabiaThe offices just below KuwAm, in Suite 800, were occupied by the Saudi embassy.
Hamzah M. Behbehani was a director and partner at KuwAm from 1995 to 1997, and was named as a principal, along with Walker and Al Sabah, in lawsuits in which KuwAm engaged.  BehBehani had come to KuwAm after spending three years with investment companies in London.  Prior to that, from 1986 to 1992, Behbehani had worked for the British branch of the Banque Arabe et Internationale  d’Investissments (BAII), one of the Arab-Western partnership banks started in the 1970s.
BAII was “heavily involved in the oil trade; it finances oil imports and the export of capital goods and equipment for the refining and petrochemical industries.”[16]  But as authors Peter Truell and Larry Gurwin noted, BAII was also intimately associated with the CIA-linked terrorist financing network, the Bank of Credit and Commerce International (BCCI).
“Run by a board member of BCCI, Yves Lamarche, BAII had played a critical role in some of BCCI’s dubious schemes, lending $50 million to help finance the takeover of First American and also providing funds to allow [Ghaith] Pharaon to buy Independence Bank in Los Angeles.”[17] KuwAm director Behbehani worked for BCCI’s partner BAII from the time Pharaon purchased Independence Bank and throughout the time that the financial crimes, in which these banks engaged, came to a crescendo.
Behbehani left KuwAm to become Senior Vice President at Gulf Investment Corporation (GIC), where he remained until 2004.  GIC’s 2002 annual report lists Behbehani as “Head of Marketing.”[18]  From 2004 to 2008, Behbehani was Executive Vice President at Kuwait Finance & Investment Company (KFIC).
The relationship between the Kuwaiti firms that Behbehani worked for, the Al Sabah family, and the prime BCCI funding vehicle — the Kuwaiti International Finance Company (KIFCO) — remains to be revealed.

However, the U.S Senate investigation did turn up a clue.  The IZ Company for Exchange, indicted by the Senate committee, was run by one Subhash Sgar, who was also a director of the Al-Sabah General Electrical company.
The Senate Committee reported that — “Concerning BCCI’s banking arm in Kuwait, the Kuwait International Finance Company (KIFCO), Price Waterhouse found that placements recorded by BCCI with KIFCO were inconsistent with Kifco’s financial statements regarding the same transactions.

Price Waterhouse noted that the principal mechanism for repaying Kifco’s loans from BCCI was a mysterious Kuwaiti entity called “the IZ company for Exchange,” and that “we now have suspicions as to the propriety of the transactions.”[19]
In June 2000, there was a sell-off of Stratesec stock as the company was reporting several years of steady losses.[20]  The investors who owned Stratesec stock at the time formed a most surprising group.

  • Barah Salem Al Sabah was a Stratesec shareholder.  She was the exiled Kuwaiti royal who had called for the ouster of Saddam, in 1990.[21]  Two days after Barah’s plea, on September 11, 1990, President Bush addressed a joint session of Congress and the American people and called for an intervention (and a New World Order).
  • Journalist Arnaud de Borchgrave was also an investor in Stratesec. De Borchgrave is currently Editor-at-Large of The Washington Times and United Press InternationalStratesec stock was also held by a trust in the name of his wife, Alexandra de Borchgrave, who was the granddaughter of American journalist and financier Henry Villard Alexandra’s father and grandfather both owned the left-leaning magazine, The Nation.
  • Another Kuwaiti family, that of Adel & Anwar Mustafah T. Alghanim, was a large volume stockholder in Stratesec. The family runs Anwar Alghanim Engineering in Kuwait.
  • A man named Manuchehr Riah was a Stratesec stockholder.  This appears to be the same person as Manouchehr (or Manoutchehr) Riahi, who worked for the Shah of Iran.  It was said that Mr. Riahi’s family had “devoted itself to the service of the Persian royal families since the 1500s.”  Riahi’s wife was the sister of the woman married to the Shah’s half-brother, Prince Abdul Reza-Pahlavi.  In 1955, Riahi worked to land a major oil contract for Iran. 
  • His partner was Vincent Hillyer, a Californian who married into the royal family.  Hillyer’s wife was the Shah’s younger sister, Princess Fatemeh. Together they were trying to woo the Pan American International Oil Company (later AMOCO).[22]

    Riahi fled to the United States when the Shah fell from power.  Interestingly, a young Iranian businessman named Kamran Hashemi was a director and large volume stockholder at Stratesec.
  • Additional Stratesec stock was held by Harrison Augur, an attorney and financier who was a graduate of Yale (1964) and the law schools of both Columbia and New York University.
Wirt D. Walker and his wife, Sally White Walker, were the focus of 9/11 insider trading flagged by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Unfortunately, the FBI did not interview either of the Walkers and they were both cleared of any wrongdoing because they were said to have “no ties to terrorism or other negative information.”[23]
In any case, there is solid evidence that KuwAm and, its WTC security company Stratesec, had strong connections to the Kuwaiti royal family, which benefited from 9/11 through the ouster of Saddam Hussein.

The companies were also strongly linked to the Bush family network and to people who came from deep-state U.S. intelligence backgrounds, like Wirt D. Walker and Robert D. van Roijen.
Combined with other information about the directors and shareholders, these facts call out for in-depth investigation into KuwAm and its associates with regard to the events of September 11.

Still confused?

Don't blame me. I just found the article - but it fits in with my philosophy that everything comes out eventually. Everything.

It explains quite a lot, too, about why a real investigation into 9/11 couldn't be allowed, ever.

It also makes you stop and think back about the personal danger inherent in JFK's plan for disbanding the CIA. That was his plan for the days immediately after his Dallas trip. And my guess is that Bush's New World Order is not our New World Order.

Lots more at the link here.