Posts Tagged ‘wall street’

The Truth

The truth is as hard to grasp as water in your hand. – Justin Bass, copyright June 5, 2015.

Google search for %22water EPA%22 on June 5, 2015

Google search for “water EPA” on June 5, 2015


Some good news! It’s the Sun. : )

August 18, 2013 Leave a comment

President Obama OK’d a solar-electric system to be installed on the White House roof this weekend.

* President Carter installed solar panels at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue in 1979, but President Reagan had them removed in 1986.


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Save Social Security = end the salary cap of $100,000 on contributions to the program

* The richest 1% of Americans have been getting the Lion’s share of the wealth created in this country for the last 30-plus years. It happened under Ronald Reagan, it happened under George W. Bush, and it is happening under Barack Obama. It is time to save Social Security for the majority of Americans. It is time for the rich to pay their fair share, because when the richest 1% of Americans garner more than 60% of the economic wealth created in the last decade that is the opposite of democracy and the opposite of economic benefit for the majority of Americans. We all work hard to make this country great. There are more than 300 million people in this country, not just 3 million.


Millionaires, billionaires and Wall Streeters currently pay Social Security contributions only up to approximately $100,000 of their income, and that ain’t right. Remember, we (the taxpayers) bailed out Wall Street and many big names in corporate America (General Motors, Chrysler;special emergency loans to Harley-Davidson, McDonald’s, Verizon, General Electric, Caterpillar). It’s time for Wall Street and corporate America to remember where they come from — a land between the Pacific and the Atlantic oceans teeming with hungry people who are still cleaning up after the Financial Crisis of 2008. 


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“Three factoids underscore that inequality:

¶The 400 wealthiest Americans have a greater combined net worth than the bottom 150 million Americans.

¶The top 1 percent of Americans possess more wealth than the entire bottom 90 percent.

¶In the Bush expansion from 2002 to 2007, 65 percent of economic gains went to the richest 1 percent.”


“Currently, earned income in excess of $113,700 is entirely exempt from the 6.2 percent payroll tax that funds Social Security benefits (employers pay a matching 6.2 percent). 5.2 percent of working Americans make more than $113,700 a year. Simply by eliminating the payroll tax earnings cap — and thus ending this regressive exemption for the top 5.2 percent of earners — would, according to the Congressional Budget Office, solve the financial crisis facing the Social Security system.”


“Despite the manufactured hysteria about a crisis, Social Security has not contributed one penny to the very serious deficit situation the United States faces. Social Security is fully funded by the payroll tax that workers and their employers pay; it’s not paid for by the Treasury. Our deficit has been, in recent years, largely caused by the cost of two wars, tax breaks for the rich, a Medicare prescription drug program written by the insurance and pharmaceutical industries, and the Wall Street bailout — not Social Security.”



“At home, from March 2008 to May 2009, the Fed extended a cumulative total of nearly $9 trillion in short-term loans to 18 financial institutions under a credit program.

Previously, the Fed had only revealed that four financial firms had tapped the special lending program, and did not reveal their identities or the loan amounts.”



“’There’s class warfare, all right,’ Mr. [Warren] Buffett said, ‘but it’s my class, the rich class, that’s making war, and we’re winning.’”


You and Me

April 16, 2013 Leave a comment

You and me

We’ve got all the time

In the world

‘Cause life is long

It goes on and on. © 2013

So much corruption and hypocrisy in America today

April 9, 2013 Leave a comment
* Must-see video…”Exxon turns to paper towels for oil spill clean-up. Rachel Maddow shares photos and video of the pollution from the oil pipeline spill in Mayflower, Arkansas being addressed with paper towels.”
“Exxon turns to paper towels for oil spill clean-up
Video on Rachel Maddow shares photos and video of the pollution from the oil pipeline spill in Mayflower, Arkansas being addressed with paper towels.”
* Must-see video…”British press more honest on Thatcher legacy. Rachel Maddow praises the ability of the British press to describe the full range of Margaret Thatcher’s legacy upon her death, in contrast to the willful ignorance endemic to manipulated American media coverage of political figures like Ronald Reagan.”
“British press more honest on Thatcher legacy
Video on Rachel Maddow praises the ability of the British press to describe the full range of Margaret Thatcher’s legacy upon her death, in contrast to the willful ignorance endemic to manipulated American media coverage of political figures like Ronald Reagan.”
  • This is so wrong…”The Ronald Reagan Legacy Project was started in 1997 by Grover G. Norquist….Our goal is to eventually see a statue, park, or road named after Reagan in all 3,140 counties in the United States.”

    The Ronald Reagan Legacy Project is committed to preserving the legacy of one of America’s greatest presidents throughout the nation and abroad.”

    FAH-Q = For All to Hear & Question. ; ) ___________________________________________________________________________________________ PROBLEM: The greedy, self-serving Superwealthy and their enab…

    After his central role in the Jack Abramoff scandal, why does Grover Norquist have any credibility left?”


    “We are not auditioning for fearless leader,” Grover Norquist told conservatives at the CPAC convention in February. “We don’t need a president to tell us in…
    “Exxon wins safety award as Mayflower sees no end to spill cleanup (VIDEO) — RT USA
    As responders continue clearing tens of thousands of gallons of oil from a small Arkansas town after an Exxon pipeline burst, delivering a severe blow to the local ecosystem, a major NGO has named the oil giant the winner of a national safety award.”
    • EXCERPT: “In preliminary other findings released in the weeks following the fire, the Chemical Safety Board has faulted Chevron’s failure to replace a heavily corroded pipe on the 245,000 barrel-per-day crude distillation unit that ruptured setting off the fire, which caused only minor injuries at the second-largest refinery in California.

      The board has also criticized the refinery for failing to shut the unit down when it sent firefighters on August 6 to try and find the leak.

      California’s worker safety regulator the California Occupational Safety & Health Division (Cal/OSHA) fined Chevron $963,000 on January 30 for 25 violations of worker safety regulations.”

      The federal agency investigating the fire that broke out in August at Chevron Corp’s oil refinery in Richmond, California, faulted the state’s regulatory system for not being proactive enough in preventing accidents.”
    • “According to the indictments, one Republican official from Queens frisked a briber, who was actually an undercover F.B.I. agent, to make sure he wasn’t wearing a wire. Then failed to find the wire. Then took the bribe while being recorded. This all happened at a super-secret meeting at Sparks, the steakhouse where John Gotti had Paul Castellano rubbed out. I believe there should be an unwritten rule in criminal conspiracy that you do not schedule your big payoff at the most famous gangland murder site in Manhattan.”

      New York’s recent corruption scandals shatter our confidence that taking money was the
      one thing politicians know how to do well.”
    • “Unemployment, not excessive money printing, is what ails us now — and policy should be
      doing more, not less.”

      The push to see depression as a necessary and somehow desirable punishment for past sins
      is as strong as ever.”

      Social Security, don’t touch it. Mr. President, I’ve gone to bat for you over and over again.
      I volunteered for you in 2008 and in 2012. I stand up for you in conversation and defend you on-line. B…

      Bernie Sanders Sets The Record Straight On Social Security And The Fraud The GOP
      Is Attempting To Pull On The Elderly And Veterans”
    • “The Big Lie”…EXCERPT from End This Depression Now! by Paul Krugman, pages 64-66;
      W.W. Norton & Company 2012:

      “The Big Lie

      ‘I hear your complaints. Some of them are totally unfounded. It was not the banks that created the mortgage crisis. It was, plain and simple, Congress who forced everybody to go and give mortgages to people who were on the cusp. Now, I’m not saying I’m sure that was terrible policy, because a lot of those people who got homes still have them and they wouldn’t have gotten them without that.

      But they were the ones who pushed Fannie and Freddie to make a bunch of loans that were imprudent, if you will. They were the ones that pushed the banks because it’s one target, it’s easy to blame them and Congress certainly isn’t going to blame themselves. At the same time, Congress is trying to pressure banks to loosen their lending standards to make more loans. This is exactly the same speech they criticized them for.’

      –Michael Bloomberg, mayor of New York, on the Occupy Wall Street protests

      The story I have just told about complacency and deregulation is, in fact, what happened in the run-up to the crisis. But you may have heard a different story—the one told by Michael Bloomberg in the quotation above. According to this story, debt growth was caused by liberal do-gooders and government agencies, which forced banks to lend to minority homebuyers and subsidized dubious mortgages. This alternative story, which says that it’s all the government’s fault, is dogma on the right. From the point of view of most, indeed virtually all, Republicans, it’s an unquestioned truth.

      It isn’t true, of course. The fund manager and blogger Barry Ritholtz, who isn’t especially political but has a keen eye for flimflam, calls it the Big Lie of the financial crisis.

      How do we know that the Big Lie is, in fact, not true? There are two main kinds of evidence.

      First, any explanation that blames the U.S. Congress, with its supposed desire to see low-income families own homes, for the explosion of credit must confront the awkward fact that the credit boom and the housing bubble were very widespread, including many markets and assets that had nothing to do with low-income borrowers. There were housing bubbles and credit booms in Europe; there was a price surge, followed by defaults and losses after the bubble popped, in commercial real estate; within the United States, the biggest booms and busts weren’t in inner-city areas but rather in suburbs and exurbs.

      Second, the great bulk of risky lending was undertaken by private lenders—and loosely regulated private lenders, at that. In particular, subprime loans—mortgage loans to borrowers who didn’t qualify according to normal prudential standards—were overwhelmingly made by private firms that were neither covered by the Community Reinvestment Act, which was supposed to encourage loans to members of minority groups, nor supervised by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the government-sponsored agencies charged with encouraging home lending. In fact, during most of the housing bubble Fannie and Freddie were rapidly losing market share, because private lenders would take on borrowers the government-sponsored agencies wouldn’t. Freddie Mac did start buying subprime mortgages from loan originators late in the game, but it was clearly a follower, not a leader.

      In an attempt to refute this latter point, analysts at right-wing think tanks—notably Edward Pinto at the American Enterprise Institute—have produced data showing Fannie and Freddie underwriting a lot of ‘subprime and other high risk’ mortgages, lumping loans to borrowers without stellar credit scores in with loans to borrowers who failed strict lending criteria in other ways. This leads readers who don’t know better to think that Fannie and Freddie were actually deeply involved in promoting subprime lending. But they weren’t, and the ‘other high risk’ stuff turns out, on examination, to have been not especially high-risk, with default rates far below those on subprime loans.

      I could go on, but you get the point. The attempt to blame government for the financial crisis falls apart in the face of even a cursory look at the facts, and the attempts to get around those facts smack of deliberate deception. This raises a question: why do conservatives want so badly to believe, and to get other people to believe, that the government did it?

      The immediate answer is obvious: to believe anything else would be to admit that your political movement has been on the wrong track for decades. Modern conservatism is dedicated to the proposition that unfettered markets and the unrestricted pursuit of profit and personal gain are the keys to prosperity—and that the much-expanded role of government that emerged from the Great Depression did nothing but harm. Yet what we actually see is a story in which conservatives gained power, set about dismantling many of those Depression-era protections—and the economy plunged into a second depression, not as bad as the first, but bad enough. Conservatives badly need to explain this awkward history away, to tell a story that makes government, not lack of government, the villain.

      But this in a way only pushes the question back a step. How did conservative ideology, the belief that government is always the problem, never the solution, come to have such a firm grip on our political discourse? That’s a slightly harder question to answer than you might think.”


      * I highly recommend the book by Paul Krugman, “Winner of the Nobel Prize in Economics.”

      picture source:

      A call-to-arms from Nobel Prize–winning economist and best-selling author Paul Krugman.
      The Great Recession is more than four years old—and counting. Yet, as Paul Krugman points
      out in this powerful volley, “Nations rich in resources, talent, and knowledge—all the
      ingredients …”
    • “Republicans will lie, cheat and steal…EXCERPT: “As I reported a couple of weeks ago, a recent Senate bill came with a nice bonus for the genetically modified seed industry: a rider, wholly unrelated to the underlying bill, that compels the USDA to ig…”

      The notoriously agribiz-friendly senator freely admits that he crafted the recent GMO rider—and that Monsanto helped.”

      Two years ago, Josh Fox introduced us to hydraulic fracturing with his Oscar®-nominated exposé Gasland. Now this once-touted energy source has become a widely discussed, contentious topic. In his follow-up, Fox reveals the extreme circumstances facing those affected by fracking, from earthquakes to…”
    • * Legacy of failure manifests as a library and museum on May 1, 2013.

      The George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum in Dallas is set to open its doors to the public on May 1.”

      President Barack Obama’s defense to Democratic senators complaining about how little his
      administration has told Congress about the legal justifications for his drone policy: Dick Cheney
      was worse. That’s part of what two senators in the room recounted of Obama’s response when,
       For lagniappe…
      “History Licking Its Chops To Judge George W. Bush
      ‘Let Me At That Fucker,’ Says Branch Of Knowledge”,31921/

To all the idiots out there

April 7, 2013 Leave a comment

What do you mean public employees shouldn’t get a pension? That’s part of the incentive that attracts teachers and police officers to those jobs. You understand that they don’t get Social Security; they get a pension instead, right?


Read more…

EXCERPT: “A retired teacher entitled to $400 a month through a civil service pension and a $300-a-month spousal benefit would have received the total amount before the government pension offset was put in place. Under the offset, however, the teacher’s spousal benefit is reduced by two-thirds of his or her pension check (about $267). So the teacher would receive $33 from Social Security. If two-thirds of the pension exceeded $300, the teacher receives nothing. The survivor benefit is subject to the same two-thirds rule.”

EXCERPT: “But her career in public service is going to cost her a chunk of the Social Security she already earned, as well as a portion, and possibly all, of the spousal retirement benefit she would otherwise be due through her husband.”

EXCERPT: “Over a million public employees in California who qualify for Social Security –directly or indirectly through their spouses – won’t get the benefits when they retire. They include firefighters, police officers and schoolteachers. Years ago, Congress voted to keep pensioners from double dipping. But the decision wound up penalizing civil servants across the country.”

For perspective: Hank Paulson’s Bush-led-government-aided thievery of $200 million…

EXCERPT: “Another culprit was Goldman Sachs, which also had the good fortune, around then, to see its CEO, a bald-headed Frankensteinian goon named Hank Paulson (who received an estimated $200 million tax deferral by joining the government), ascend to Treasury secretary.”


It’s time to break up the big banks

February 8, 2013 Leave a comment

[Now that the banks are healthy again] “let’s break these suckers up…so we can actually have justice for all, including bankers.” Go to minute 1:00 of the Daily Show interview to hear Neil Barofsky speak the words inside quotation marks.

[* My idea in brackets]—neil-barofsky-extended-interview-pt–2

The $700 billion TARP (Troubled Asset Relief Program) bailed out Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan, and on and on. President George W. Bush and ex-Goldman Sachs CEO turned U.S. Secretary of the Treasury, Hank Paulson, said TARP would be used to buy up bad mortgages and help underwater homeowners in order to clear the “toxic assets” from the real estate industry and free up consumer credit again. Nope, didn’t happen that way. That’s why you always have to remember: Republicans and Conservatives will lie, cheat and steal.



“At home, from March 2008 to May 2009, the Fed extended a cumulative total of nearly $9 trillion in short-term loans to 18 financial institutions under a credit program….

Even bedrock corporations like Caterpillar, Harley-Davidson, General Electric, McDonald’s, Toyota and Verizon relied on a Fed program that supported the market for commercial paper….

So did the California Public Employees Retirement System, the nation’s largest public pension fund, and several insurers and university endowments.”

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