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Bailouts, Bondage and Political Bankruptcy - by Stephen Lendman
Europe and America perhaps face their gravest ever economic crisis. Growing millions are impoverished, unemployed, and out of luck.
Hunger and homelessness are increasing. So is unaddressed anger over handouts to bankers, not people facing crushing hardships.
Last week, I had a conversation with a man who runs his own trading firm. In the process of fuming about competition from Goldman Sachs, he said with resignation and exasperation: “The fact that they were bailed out and can borrow for free — it’s pretty sickening.”
Though the sentiment is commonplace these days, I later found myself thinking about his outrage. Here is someone who is in the thick of the business, trading every day, and he is being sickened by the inequities and corruption on Wall Street and utterly persuaded that nothing has changed in the years since the financial crisis of 2008.
A few weeks ago, we got a real kick out of the fact that Occupy Oakland deposited a $20,000 donation it received into Wells Fargo -- one of the many big banks the movement has been actively protesting since September. Say what you want about Occupy SF camp (it's dirty and filled with homeless people) -- at least protesters there are practicing what they preach.
Members of Occupy SF announced their ambitious plans to turn protesters into bankers by creating the People's Reserve Credit Union. According to Occupy SF's Facebook page:
The goal of this project is to encourage San Francisco residents, businesses, as well as nonprofit and city agencies to keep their money out of the big banks and to redistribute that money locally. Initial services will include micro-loans for the working poor and homeless, and subsidized student loans at low interest rates.
The credit union is being created with the help of San Francisco's Glide Community Church and Supervisors John Avalos and Eric Mar. The group filed its paperwork and has already crafted a thoughtful mission statement: The credit union will serve as a replicable model for other financial institutions to reinvest wealth in their local communities. They will support microenterprise, provide educational loans, and foster community improvement projects.
Jason Macarthur, a protester with Occupy SF, listed the goals that the organization plans to achieve within the first year. That includes starting with 500 members with plans to grow to 2,000 members before the end of next year.
Other plans include:
Massachusetts Files Major Foreclosure-Abuse Lawsuit
he Massachusetts attorney general has filed a lawsuit against five large U.S. banks accusing them of deceptive foreclosure practices, a signal of ebbing confidence that a multi-state agreement can be worked out.
Attorney General Martha Coakley said on Thursday she filed the lawsuit partly because it has been taking too long to hammer out a nationwide settlement.
Attorney General of N.Y. Is Said to Face Pressure on Bank Foreclosure Deal
Eric T. Schneiderman, the attorney general of New York, has come under increasing pressure from the Obama administration to drop his opposition to a wide-ranging state settlement with banks over dubious foreclosure practices, according to people briefed on discussions about the deal.
In recent weeks, Shaun Donovan, the secretary of Housing and Urban Development, and high-level Justice Department officials have been waging an intensifying campaign to try to persuade the attorney general to support the settlement, said the people briefed on the talks.
State is key to deal on mortgages
California's attorney general has a crucial role in national talks with lenders.
NEW YORK AND LOS ANGELES — California Atty. Gen. Kamala Harris has emerged as a key player in pursuing a nationwide settlement with major U.S. banks accused of wrongful foreclosures and is facing increased pressure from consumer groups seeking help for homeowners devastated by the mortgage crisis.
By Lori Spencer
This is Part II of a series of reports from our traveling correspondent in the American heartland. Part Icovered the arrest of 10 Occupy OKC protesters as they “mic checked” a local Walmart on Black Friday. Part II takes them through 13 hours in an Oklahoma jail. Part III will culminate in the occupiers' final standoff against police as they face a forceful eviction from Poet's Park.
Central Bank Intervention: Much Ado About Nothing - by Stephen Lendman
On November 30, the Fed, ECB, Bank of England, Bank of Japan, Bank of Canada and Swiss National Bank acted together to cut the rate on dollar liquidity swap arrangements by 50 basis points. Markets surged. Irrationally trumped reason.
What, in fact, was accomplished? Swap lines were always available. From 2007 - 2009, they were initiated or expanded globally four times.
By Linn Washington Jr.
London -- Standing on a picket line in front of her work place at a world renowned heart-lung hospital in London wasn’t Jeanette Anderson’s first choice for how to spend her day.
At Risk Eurozone Sovereign Credit Ratings - by Stephen Lendman
Moody's says Eurozone crisis conditions place all member state credit ratings at risk.
It warned 87 European banks to expect downgrades. Moreover, Fitch revised America's debt outlook to negative. Nonetheless, its AAA rating is unchanged. For how long is another issue.
By Lori Spencer
Oklahoma City – In the early morning hours of Black Friday, 10 members of Occupy OKC discovered that chanting “Buy local!” in a crowded Walmart is an arrestable offense in the United States of America.
By Jess Guh
The mainstream media likes to claim that Occupy Movement is comprised of aimless activists without concrete goals. They should go ask Martha and Lorena Reyes, two recently fired Hyatt housekeepers who know exactly why the 1% who run everything need to be occupied and what the 99% is demanding.
Until recently, the two sisters worked for the Hyatt Regency in Santa Clara, CA. On October 14th, after 30 years of combined service, they were abruptly fired.
But THESE campers are not nonviolent. Some have even learned the acceptability of pepper spraying people.
Coming: Big Austerity Cuts - by Stephen Lendman
The congressional August Budget Control Act of 2011 established the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction - aka Supercommittee.
Doing so was extralegal. The Constitution's Article 1, Section 8 explains congressional powers. None of them include supercommittee authority to resolve America's debt crisis.
Supercommittee Strikes Out - by Stephen Lendman
On November 20, New York Times writer Eric Lipton headlined, "Lawmakers Trade Blame as Deficit Talks Crumble," saying:
By Dave Lindorff
The growing number of video clips and photos showing police in Darth Vader-like riot gear assaulting peaceful demonstrators with everything from tear gas and mace to truncheons, point-blank shots with beanbags and rubber bullets, and of course the ubiquitous fist and club, have made a bad joke out of claims that America is either the land of the free or the home of the brave.
By John Grant
With a $55 million construction contract “imminent” for Dilworth Plaza -- home since early October for Occupy Philadelphia – the city trade unions and those in Occupy Philly determined to hold-out in the Plaza have come to a showdown.
Everything in life is a dialogue with something, and that goes for the bottom-up/top-down dialogue known as the Occupy Movement. The Philadelphia Police are the well-armed arbiter in the middle of this dialogue with the city. The dialogue, however, just got more complicated with the entrance of the job-hungry trades union.
By Dave Lindorff
The scripted excuses provided by mayors around the country to justify their police-state tactics in rousting peaceful occupation movement activists from their park-based demonstrations now stand exposed as utter nonsense, and, given their uncanny similarity in wording, can be clearly seen as having been drawn up for them by some hidden hands in Washington. the same can be said of the brutal tactics used.
Prepared by Occupy Washington DC
Freedom Plaza, November 2011
The disconnect between Congress and the people is vast. For decades, Congress has been passing laws that benefit the 1%, their campaign donors and big business interests, rather than creating a fair economy that serves all U.S. citizens. With this report Occupy Washington, DC shows that Congress is out of touch with evidence-based solutions, supported by the majority of Americans that can revive the economy, reduce the deficit and wealth divide while create millions of jobs.
By Charles M. Young
After watching the Packers beat the Vikings on Monday Night Football, I had insomnia, so it was kind of an accident that I checked my email at 2 a.m. and discovered the police were clearing Zuccotti Park. Everyone had been expecting an eviction since it all started on September 17, but not expecting it at that particular moment. On my cell phone, there were several frantic texts from Occupy Wall Street begging for community support. So I hopped on a slow subway and arrived at Chambers Street about 3 a.m.
Police State Tactics: Signs Point to a Coordinated National Program to Try and Unoccupy Wall Street and Other Cities
By Dave Lindorff
The ugly hand of the federal government is becoming increasingly suspected behind what appears to be a nationwide attempt to repress and evict the Occupation Movement.
Across the country in recent days, ultimatums have been issues to groups occupying Portland, OR, Chicago, IL, San Francisco, Dallas, TX, Atlanta, GA, and most recently New York, NY, where the Occupation Movement began on September 17. The two most recent eviction efforts, in Oakland and New York, have been the worst.
On Thursday, OccupyWashingtonDC.org teamed up with the Backbone Campaign, National People's Action, and the New Economy Working Group in a march from Freedom Plaza to the Federal Housing Finance Administration (FHFA).
The demand they brought, along with giant props including a foreclosed house under water, was for a correction. The 1%, they said, inflated house values and made off with ill-gotten gains, but those left with underwater mortgages when the house values were brought back down have suffered. The demand is for mortgage values to be adjusted to match the current market values of houses.
By Michael Collins
If you are twenty four or younger, you are likely either under or unemployed. Only about 60% of those 16 to 24 years old are in the labor force (those employed or seeking jobs). Their unemployment rate is 18%.
For years, Money Party lackeys, our (s)elected officials, put out a propaganda line that said, Get an education or there's no future for you. Well, lots of people got a college or trade school education or on the job training and there are no jobs for them.
There has been no increase in jobs in the United States since 2000. In fact, the number of jobs relative to the total workforce has actually declined. Negative job growth for eleven years shows that the current economic system has failed miserably. Here's the ugly picture the rulers won't talk about.
By Dave Lindorff
Once again we got a cheery report from most of the media about employers hiring, albeit “not enough,” and about the jobless rate falling, albeit “it’s still too high.”
The proximate cause of this latest round of propaganda from the corporate media is the latest monthly jobless figure reported out by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, which said that employers had added 80,000 net new jobs (actually they found that private sector employers had added 104,000 jobs while public agency employers had pink-slipped 24,000 people), and that the official unemployment rate was 9.0 percent, just a notch lower than last month’s 9.1 percent figure.
As the Occupy Wall Street movement pushes forward, evolving daily in mission and meaning, its cinematic companion has arrived on the scene. Heist: Who Stole The American Dream? is the latest socially and politically relevant documentary executive produced by Earl Katz, President of Public Interest Pictures. Heist will soon premiere as the fundamental primer on the historical and present-day inequities which gave rise to the Occupy Movement. From its 1930s depiction of Depression Era breadlines to Wisconsin Governor Walker's current assault on Collective Bargaining, Heist tells the story of America in decline due to the excessive greed of corporate executives and politicians bent on destroying the middle class.
Nov. 2, 2011 - A new study suggests that defense hawks are crying crocodile tears over planned cuts to Pentagon spending.
Capitol Hill conservatives and Pentagon brass fighting cuts to defense spending have argued that the military is limping off the battlefield with decrepit hardware. It's quite the sob story: At a hearing last week, Rep. Buck McKeon (R-Calif.), the chair of the House armed services committee, cut his remarks short to literally sob for "these young men that are going outside the wire over in Afghanistan, every day on patrol."