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They Wanted A Perpetual War

And they made sure they created enough of the 'ghost enemy', international criminal terrorist, to give them their wealth and power producing War for themselves and theirs, done in our names and using our sons and daughters, fathers and mothers, relatives and friends!

US unable to document any payments for Abu Ghraib

26 September 2010 - Fending off demands that he resign over the Abu Ghraib prison scandal, Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld told Congress he had found a legal way to compensate Iraqi detainees who suffered "grievous and brutal abuse and cruelty at the hands of a few members of the United States armed forces."

The bush/gop Transfer of the Treasury

To remind people, even before the tax cuts were signed the gas prices started rising, not just a few pennies a gallon but many pennies then dollars, the peoples small tax cut, with stagnated wages, went out everyone's tailpipes, as well as heating costs, as fumes on just one fill up, the rest of that transfer of the treasury into the hands of the few then became their bottom lines and corporate/investor rising wealth that They received the huge tax cuts on!

 

A portrait of the Bush economy

 

 

We Found A Socialist!

The Friday Podcast: We Found A Socialist!

17 September 2010 - Despite what you may have heard, Barack Obama, Nancy Pelosi and other top Democrats aren't socialists. And the top Republicans in Washington aren't free-market libertarians.

But given how freely everybody's throwing those terms around these days, we're wading in to get a deeper understanding of what they really mean. {read rest}

Say Whaaaaaaaaaat....................

I got sick and tired of hearing stuff like this years ago, real sick and tired, looking for funds or cash strapped!

This is soooooooo simple, now you folks Pay Attention!!

Give the Damn Bill To The American Public, Finally, for Everything Owed, and Start Collecting for What's Owed going Back to the Korean Conflict, even for our passed on brothers and sisters, at least those that left families, Got That!!!

And Quite Your Freakin Whining, 'chickenhawks'!!

Lawmakers seek ways to pay for GI Bill upgrades

Sep 18, 2010 - Improvements in the Post-9/11 GI Bill may have to be put off until next year if lawmakers cannot find a way to pay for changes, a key House lawmaker has warned.

Man-Made Mayhem

When crumbling, neglected infrastructure leads to gas explosions, bridge collapses, and other disasters.

Policymakers and politicians like to advocate infrastructure spending as an economic boost—most recently President Obama, who on Sept. 6 proposed a $50 billion spending package aimed at roads, rail, and more. Backers say spending on transport and the like is smart because it offers a good return on investment for stimulus and means we’ll be ready for development in the future. But as the Sept. 9 gas-line explosion in a San Francisco suburb shows, fixing our aging infrastructure is arguably as urgent a matter as any.

Shifting Health Care Cost

And without a full Health Care Bill in place!

In U.S., 13% More Have Gov't Healthcare Since Recession Began

September 15, 2010 - More than one-quarter of American adults reported having government health insurance (Medicare, Medicaid, or military/veterans' benefits) in August. This number is up 13% since Gallup and Healthways started tracking the measure in January 2008, a month after the recession began. At the same time, 9% fewer Americans are covered through their employer.

Obama's Rose-Colored Glasses: Growth has Little to Do with Jobs or Reducing Poverty

By Dave Lindorff

Faced with the bad, but hardly surprising news, that poverty has increased in the US on his watch, to a record level not seen since before President Lyndon Johnson launched the War on Poverty in 1965, President Obama is declaring that the answer to poverty and joblessness is economic growth.

He's wrong, but, as they say on NPR's "Marketplace" program, "But first, the numbers."

Journalists in Rose-Colored Glasses: Economic Cheerleading Instead of Reporting

By Dave Lindorff

It’s no surprise that the Obama administration and the Democrats in Congress are trying to claim that the recession (which they blame on Bush and Cheney) is over and that the economy is slowly returning to health thanks to their efforts at economic stimulus. At least those highly dubious claims get challenged by Republicans, who can be relied on to counter with evidence to the contrary, and to claim that the economy is in a slump thanks to Democratic policies.

The problem comes when the media, which are supposed to be skeptics, start playing economic cheerleaders, and providing the public with false information and false hopes.

U.S. Exports

Not just there as many on this planet, consumers and businesses, have moved to others after the past decade, some returned in the last few years but they're now watching the rhetoric here and you can bet they are paying attention!!

In Latin America, U.S. exports are losing market share

September 6, 2010 - Here's something that should be sounding alarm bells in Washington: Latin American countries — which have long been big buyers of U.S. goods — are increasingly making a larger chunk of their purchases from other parts of the world.

While U.S. exports to the region are growing, in some cases significantly, their percentage of Latin America's overall imports is shrinking. To put it in economists' jargon, U.S. exports are losing market share in Latin America.

$3 trillion and beyond

When ever you hear Anyone speaking about Tax Cuts, especially that they create jobs but that's another issue, what they are saying is that they had no problem Rubber Stamping Everything for Their Wars of Choice and Now They Once Again Don't Want To Pony Up In Keeping The Promises Made To Those They Sent and Are Still Sending, DeJa-Vu all over again!!

The true cost of the Iraq war: $3 trillion and beyond

September 5, 2010 - Writing in these pages in early 2008, we put the total cost to the United States of the Iraq war at $3 trillion. This price tag dwarfed previous estimates, including the Bush administration's 2003 projections of a $50 billion to $60 billion war.

"Where America Stands"

With the construction industry in the toilet across all aspects and across the country believe me I know what this country has been ignoring, we have a big problem with doing that on a whole host of issues {like sending military into invading then long occupations and not listening to them thus not caring for many when they return}, for decades should have been at least more than just started to be taken care of {some states and communities did use stimulus monies for just that but once no money preventive maintenance, or replacement, once again stops} as the collapsed economy started and those with the wealth {that's how most of theirs is made with breaks given on taxes enhanced development packages just to attract companies and much much more} should be main contributors to upgrading our Deteriorating Infrastructure, and it ain't just bridges and roads!!

 

Investors are a Wacky Bunch, and the Financial Press is Largely a Shill Game

By Dave Lindorff

One of the great mantras of the modern economics profession is that markets know best, and that the collective "wisdom" of investors is generally correct.

I've never really believed that, having spent years writing about business and finance. In fact, my interviews with market strategists, Wall Street economists and portfolio managers have convinced me that it's the rare investor or analyst who has done much serious reading of history, political science or even economics and finance for that matter. Sure, some people can be very good at analyzing the worth and the potential of a specific company, but when it comes to macroeconomic trends, most of the explanations you get are very narrowly focussed and ignorant, showing little concern for or understanding of the great drivers of history, economics or politics.

Iraq: Billions Wasted, Billions

War Profiteering, Blood Wealth, is easy to reap in Wars of Choice! And the U.S. doesn't do Accountability for Anything!

 

AP IMPACT: US wasted billions in rebuilding Iraq

 

29 August 2010 - A $40 million prison sits in the desert north of Baghdad, empty. A $165 million children's hospital goes unused in the south. A $100 million waste water treatment system in Fallujah has cost three times more than projected, yet sewage still runs through the streets

As the U.S. draws down in Iraq, it is leaving behind hundreds of abandoned or incomplete projects. More than $5 billion in American taxpayer funds has been wasted — more than 10 percent of the some $50 billion the U.S. has spent on reconstruction in Iraq, according to audits from a U.S. watchdog agency.

Today: 08.29.2010, and Everyday!

Remind the beckers and hockey puck herds, Today, what they want to go back to is the Total Incompetence of the previous administration and the repub congresses then and before which brought the Example of Katrina's Devastation, in this Country, to the people of the Gulf!!

That they were blaming everyone else as they Supported that Incompetence, not only as to that but the emptying of our treasury, two wars and occupations of choice, tearing apart the constitutional rights of this country, the destruction of the economy {though that was coming with the con of trickle down capitalism anyway, the affore mentioned just hastened it and made it worse} and Oh So Much More.........................................!!

 

That's the 'god' they Worship!!

Fighting Words on Social Security: Apply the FICA Tax to All Income Including Investment Income and Lower the Retirement Age

By Dave Lindorff

It’s time for us progressives to stop playing defense on Social Security.

We’ve watched the retirement system suffer years of attacks by conservatives and by class traitors in the Democratic Party. We have seen the retirement age raised since 1983 from 65 to 67, and the cost-of-living calculation altered so that our benefits have declined in value over time, while the tax rate on working people has risen.

It’s time to stop fighting rear-guard actions and to go on the offense.

The Latest Bi-Partisan Attack on Social Security: Let Them Eat Cat Food

By James Ridgeway

President Obama’s Deficit Commission is all smoke and mirrors. Its members are making a big show of laboring over ”painful” choices and considering all options in their quest to bring down the deficit. But  inside the Beltway everyone knows what’s going to happen: The commission will reduce the deficit on the backs of the old and the poor, through cuts to Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid. Some opponents have taken to calling it the Cat Food Commission, since that’s what it’s victims will be forced to eat once the commission gets done slashing away at their modest entitlements.

In fact, the true intent of the Deficit Commission was evident before it was even formed. That intent was only driven home when Obama appointed as its co-chair Alan Simpson, a former Republican senator from Wyoming who is well known for voicing, in the most colorful terms, what Paul Krugman calls the “zombie lie” that old-age entitlements will soon bankrupt the country.

There's Nothing Wrong with Social Security which Taxing the Rich Fairly Wouldn't Fix

By Dave Lindorff

New York Times columnist and economist Paul Krugman, in his column today, is right to expose the attacks on Social Security as being the work of right-wing ideologues eager to destroy a government program that works, backed by cowardly Democrats who want to show their fiscal “responsibility” by getting tough with future pensioners.

But he doesn’t go the extra step to point out that this program, founded 75 years ago as a cornerstone of Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal, could be much more fair and even generous to elderly and disabled retirees, and also placed on a much sounder economic footing, by a few simple reforms that would not cost most people a penny, or require hard working folks to work one day longer before retiring.

Bottom line for bottom feeders

GI benefits: Bottom line for bottom feeders

15 August 2010 - This weekend, the world marks the 65th anniversary of the end of World War II. You'll never find a worse piece of timing than this:

According to Bloomberg and BusinessWeek, some big insurance companies have hit upon a way to make money off the benefits that should go to the families of U.S. troops who have been killed in combat.

The companies work with, or maybe just work, the Veterans Administration. They're not fly-by-night companies, either. MetLife and Prudential are among those under scrutiny by the state of New York and now by Congress.

Snip

State and Local Stimulus Monies, drip....drip...drip..........

Big chunk of economic stimulus yet to be spent by state, local governments

August 14, 2010 - As Americans puzzle over why the economic stimulus package enacted more than a year ago has failed to restore vigorous job growth, one explanation has emerged from new reports: A lot of the money is not yet out the door.

Detroit is struggling with 14 percent unemployment, but as of June 30 the city had spent less than 1 percent of the $8.8 million in stimulus funds it received for energy-efficiency initiatives. In budget-strapped Arizona, Phoenix has spent even less of its $15.2 million, and in hard-hit South Florida, Fort Lauderdale has spent $66,000 of its $2 million.

Dodd-Frank Financial 'Reform' Act May Force Companies to Clean Up Their Act

By Dave Lindorff

Wall Street lobbyists may have successfully managed to emasculate most of the important parts of the financial reform bill just passed by Congress last month, but one part of that 2000-page act, which establishes as bounty for whistleblowers who expose corporate financial wrongdoing to the Securities and Exchange System, managed to slip through unscathed.

If this surprisingly strong measure is supported by strong enabling regulations at the SEC, which has until next April to draw them up and approve them, some legal experts, including at law firms that specialize in representing corporate clients, say it could have a profound effect on the behavior of American companies.

The language being used by some of these attorneys is actually pretty apocalyptic, and entertaining to read.

Here’s a comment by the corporate law firm of Seyfarth Shaw on the new whistleblower provision’s significance:

The Fallen are for Profits

Huge executive compensation, write off corporate perks and of course to the delight of the wall street investors!

Fallen soldiers allegedly prove profitable for insurance companies

August 4, 2010 The Missouri and Kansas insurance departments said Tuesday that they were checking for complaints over a practice in which life insurance companies were reportedly profiting from the deaths of U.S. soldiers.

First revealed last week by Bloomberg News, the practice involves life insurers that reportedly earn millions in additional profits by holding a portion of the benefits from such policies and paying them out over time.

Military Industry Welfare

Why aren't conservatives blasting military industry welfare?

July 29, 2010 A most peculiar thing happened last week: The Washington Post ripped a federal welfare boondoggle to shreds, exposing tens of billions of dollars of waste, duplication and bureaucratic excess . . . and conservatives didn't erupt in astonishment and praise. In fact, they didn't raise a peep.

That's because the welfare queens ripping off taxpayer dollars in this case aren't poverty pimps waving the bloody flag of race and class, but military-industrial hustlers exploiting the war on terrorism to build themselves opulent and powerful fiefdoms.

If You Want to Do Something Illegal in America, Do Something Spectacularly Illegal

By Dave Lindorff

If you want to avoid facing a tough prosecution for malfeasance, be a banker, not a biker.

That appears to be the lesson of Saturday’s front page of the Wall Street Journal, where the lead story was about how Bank of America repeatedly hid its massive bad debt holdings from regulators and investors through a creative accounting device called “repurchase agreements,” and the second story, just above the fold, was about how US Food and Drug Administration prosecutors are “Casting a Wider Net” investigating the use of steroids by competitive cyclists.

Capitalism is an Anti-Social Disease

By Dave Lindorff

Looking at the catastrophe in the Gulf of Mexico, where impact of the greed of corporate executives at British Petroleum, TransOcean and Halliburton, not to mention the greed of paid-off regulators in the Minerals Management Service and the members of the House and Senate who took dirty money to water down drilling regulations is evident, I was reminded of a prominent business leader in New York, recently deceased.

Told by his sister of a young woman she knew who had posted a sign on her wall saying, “Happiness is not having what you want, but wanting what you have,” this executive, who had held a top position in the media, sniffed, “Ugh! That’s terrible. If people thought like that, no one would strive to do anything.”

Ring of Fire “Flash Crash” Financial Terrorism Interview

Ring of Fire “Flash Crash” Financial Terrorism Interview
By David DeGraw | David DeGraw.org

“On May 6th of this year, the stock market took a tremendous plunge in a matter of minutes, sparking fears that the recovery we’re seeing in the economy had all been undone. But miraculously, and very suspiciously, the market skyrocketed again and all was fine. We were told that the so-called flash crash was merely the result of a trader with fat fingers who hit the wrong buttons. But Congress isn’t so sure about this, and the timing of the crash coincided with a vote on a bill that would have broken up the big banks that caused our financial meltdown. Mike Papantonio talks with David DeGraw, who submitted a report for the House Homeland Security Committee about how this crash could have been the work of financial terrorists.” Read more.

How Goldman Sachs Caused a ‘Silent Mass Murder,’ Gambling on Starvation in the Developing World


How Goldman Sachs Caused a ‘Silent Mass Murder,’ Gambling on Starvation in the Developing World
How Goldman Sachs, Deutsche Bank, the traders at Merrill Lynch, and others caused the starvation of some of the poorest people in the world.
By Johann Hari | Alternet via People for Freedom

By now, you probably think your opinion of Goldman Sachs and its swarm of Wall Street allies has rock-bottomed at raw loathing. You’re wrong. There’s more. It turns out that the most destructive of all their recent acts has barely been discussed at all. Here’s the rest. This is the story of how some of the richest people in the world – Goldman, Deutsche Bank, the traders at Merrill Lynch, and more – have caused the starvation of some of the poorest people in the world.

It starts with an apparent mystery. At the end of 2006, food prices across the world started to rise, suddenly and stratospherically. Within a year, the price of wheat had shot up by 80 per cent, maize by 90 per cent, rice by 320 per cent. In a global jolt of hunger, 200 million people – mostly children – couldn’t afford to get food any more, and sank into malnutrition or starvation. There were riots in more than 30 countries, and at least one government was violently overthrown. Then, in spring 2008, prices just as mysteriously fell back to their previous level. Jean Ziegler, the UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food, calls it “a silent mass murder”, entirely due to “man-made actions.”

Earlier this year I was in Ethiopia, one of the worst-hit countries, and people there remember the food crisis as if they had been struck by a tsunami. “My children stopped growing,” a woman my age called Abiba Getaneh, told me. “I felt like battery acid had been poured into my stomach as I starved. I took my two daughters out of school and got into debt. If it had gone on much longer, I think my baby would have died.”

Most of the explanations we were given at the time have turned out to be false. It didn’t happen because supply fell: the International Grain Council says global production of wheat actually increased during that period, for example. It isn’t because demand grew either: as Professor Jayati Ghosh of the Centre for Economic Studies in New Delhi has shown, demand actually fell by 3 per cent. Other factors – like the rise of biofuels, and the spike in the oil price – made a contribution, but they aren’t enough on their own to explain such a violent shift.

To understand the biggest cause, you have to plough through some concepts that will make your head ache – but not half as much as they made the poor world’s stomachs ache. Read more.

Wells Fargo, Wachovia Involved in Numerous Mexican Drug Laundering Schemes

Wells Fargo, Wachovia Involved in Numerous Mexican Drug Laundering Schemes
By Mike Shedlock | Favstocks

If you or I was involved in drug laundering of as little as 2 dollars and fifty cents we would be in prison.

Wachovia bank, now part of Wells Fargo via a merger, has laundered countless sums of Mexican cartel drug money and will get off with a slap of the wrist. The reason...Wells Fargo is too big to fail.

Please consider Banks Financing Mexico Gangs Admitted in Wells Fargo Deal

Just before sunset on April 10, 2006, a DC-9 jet landed at the international airport in the port city of Ciudad del Carmen, 500 miles east of Mexico City. As soldiers on the ground approached the plane, the crew tried to shoo them away, saying there was a dangerous oil leak. So the troops grew suspicious and searched the jet.

They found 128 black suitcases, packed with 5.7 tons of cocaine, valued at $100 million. The stash was supposed to have been delivered from Caracas to drug traffickers in Toluca, near Mexico City, Mexican prosecutors later found. Law enforcement officials also discovered something else. Read more.

Never Learning The Lessons

Even though the Alaskan spill was from an Exxon Ship since that, and many other spills, the now huge oil companies have not invested in technology and crews to take care of any possible accidents nor in the needed cleanup technology for devastating accidents. If we in the construction industry cut common sense corners in building anything, especially as lessons came from past engineering mistakes or just better understanding, there'd be buildings and more collapsing all over the place or when mother nature or mother earth hits with force more deaths! Alaska's present, after 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill, might be Gulf Coast's future

Economic War on the "Lesser People"


Economic War on the "Lesser People"
Pete Peterson Pushes Ahead
By John Halle | CounterPunch

Were the objective of Pete Peterson's $1 billion campaign to gut Social Security any less odious, it would easy to admire it as a marvel of public opinion engineering, a true masterpiece in the manufacture of consent.

A bird's eye view of Peterson's infernal propaganda machine shows two complementary marketing strategies-one directed at political elites, the other at the "lesser people" as Obama deficit commission co-chair former Senator Alan Simpson recently described them

The former was most prominently on display in an April deficit summit which brought together a bipartisan assortment of power brokers, extending up to and including former President Clinton. Perhaps most predictive of what appears to be in the cards, members of the commission were in attendance and joined in the amen chorus as chunks from the hide of hard won New Deal entitlement programs were sliced off and made offerings to the Gods of fiscal austerity.

Indeed, one of these, the Democratic co-chair Erskine Bowles had already sang from the Peterson hymnbook a month previously: "We're going to mess with Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security" the former Clinton chief-of-staff trumpeted, "because if you take those off the table, you can't get there."

On a parallel track is the hard sell directed at the rest of the population-those of us who will be victims of the cuts. Here Peterson is careful to cover his plutocratic tracks by outsourcing these functions to America Speaks, a paradigmatic astroturf operation serving to martial "authentic" popular support for pulling the plug on Grandma's paltry monthly check. Read more.

Take Action: Call Rep. Barney Frank on Financial Reform, HR 4173 - Derivatives and Hedge Funds


Congress plans to close up this chapter on financial reform (HR 4173). Whether or not strong reform will be in this bill is TBD. With the BP disaster taking up all the news, Congress isn't hearing as much from citizens, and it's making them lean towards the banks. So far, our ongoing call-in days are swaying some conferees on derivatives reform. But, Thursday conferees will vote on the two remaining structural reforms in the bill, hard leverage limits and stopping taxpayer funds for derivatives.

Can you call Rep. Frank to help ask two key questions, creatively - ask if they support 716 and leverage requirements without loopholes for hedge funds. If not, cite the finance cash and ask how many calls from citizens is it going to take to outweigh the influence big bank lobbyists have had on their position?

Make your one call right now, Rep. Barney Frank (D, MA), (202) 225-5931:

Pick from these suggestions. "Hi, My name is _____ and I care about the outcome of the financial reform bill, HR 4173. I'm frustrated by the process for fixing the big banks. Congressman Frank needs to take this seriously and come out with a strong statement that the bill should not pass without hard leverage limits, without the derivatives desk spin off and without loopholes for derivatives trades and Scott Brown's favorite banks and hedge funds. What is his position?..

Rep. Frank has received $581,899 in campaign contributions in 2010, can you tell me how many citizen calls would be helpful for Rep. Frank to keep loopholes out of the derivatives and capital requirements sections?

Thanks so much, do you think Rep. Frank can read this article from economist Jane D'Arista on reform, "Why 716 is the Indispensable Reform"? We'd be relieved to know that Rep. Frank made his decision after reading this article."

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