Tag Archives | Plunder

Living In A Real World House Of Lies

House of LiesIf you go to the corner of 8th Avenue and 42nd Street near Times Square in Manhattan, just down from the Wax Museum and around the corner from the bus station, and look up, you’ll see an oversized billboard for Showtime’s fast -paced “House of Lies,” a new cable TV series that is more like a realistic docudrama about the world of hard-charging management consultants.

Don Cheadle stars in this tightly written challenge to the popular “Mad Men” glorification of Madison Avenue in the 1950’s, spiced with the insertion of pretty graphic hot sex that makes Janet Jackson’s Superbowl moment seem like it belonged on the Disney Channel. An actor on the series laughingly downplays the explicit physical grappling as “naughty.”

At a time when Mitt Romney, a former management consultant himself in his years at Bain, is running for president, this show offers insight into just how vulgar vulgar capitalism can be.… Read the rest

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Degrade This!

200px-Standard&PoorsWe live in an increasingly degraded country.

Our politics are degraded and a laughing stock to the world. Our military is demoralized and degraded with soldiers urinating on dead civilians and awaiting deployment orders for the next illegal intervention.

Our education system has been degraded with standards falling and pervasive defunding. Our transportation system, ditto.

I could go on, but I don’t have to. We are all living the decline with downward mobility, joblessness and foreclosures, to cite a few trends that make life so miserable for so many.

Now, our godlike financial ratings agencies have decided to degrade nine countries struggling to fix their financial crisis. The decision by Standard and Poors (Best renamed, “It is now Standard to Be Poor”) to downgrade credit ratings for France, Italy, Austria and six other European countries signals those nations that Wall Street has them by the cojones. Their costs for borrowing will go up.… Read the rest

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A World In Denial

Donald Rumsfeld

Donald Rumsfeld

Geoffrey Wheatcroft writes in the New York Times:

Could there be a single phrase that explains the woes of our time, this dismal age of political miscalculations and deceptions, of reckless and disastrous wars, of financial boom and bust and downright criminality? Maybe there is, and we owe it to Fintan O’Toole. That trenchant Irish commentator is a biographer and theater critic, and a critic also of his country’s crimes and follies, as in his gripping if horrifying book, Ship of Fools: How Stupidity and Corruption Sank the Celtic Tiger.

He reminds us of the famous if gnomic saying by Donald H. Rumsfeld, then the United States secretary of defense, that “There are known knowns… there are known unknowns … there are also unknown unknowns.” But the Irish problem, says Mr. O’Toole, was none of the above. It was “unknown knowns.”

What he means is something different from denial, or evasion, irrational exuberance or excess optimism.

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It’s Time To Occupy A New Year

"Plunder" Filmmaker Danny Schechter

"Plunder" Filmmaker Danny Schechter

Out with the old. I would say good riddance to 2011 even as I fear 2012 may be worse, given the financial trends, social chaos and political idiocy that we confront every day.

Every time I think it can’t get worse, it does.

It seems so clear that the political system is moribund and paralyzed and the economic system may be in worse shape.

A tiny sliver of the 1% may be in charge although not in control. Their own short-term greed makes it unlikely that they can stabilize the system or do any longer term planning. Their Titanic has hit its iceberg. Some new technologies may be keeping it afloat for now but for how long?

We lurch from crisis to crisis in an atmosphere of deep denial.

Obama clearly has no new ideas and the Republican candidates for the most part don’t know what an idea is, as they pander to a know-nothing base to prove that they can be as crass as they are.… Read the rest

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The Citigroup Plutonomy Memos: Bombshell Documents That Detail the Rule of the 1 Percent

Plutonomy MemosVia Politicalgates:

“Are they real?” That’s the question people usually ask when they hear for the first time of the “Citigroup Plutonomy Memos.” The sad truth is: Yes, they are real, and instead of being discussed on mainstream media outlets all over America and beyond, Citigroup was surprisingly successful so far in suppressing these memos, using their lawyers to issue takedown-notices whenever these memos were being made available for download on the internet.

So what are we talking about? In 2005 and 2006, several analysts at Citigroup took a very, very close look at the economic inequalities within the USA and other countries and wrote two memos which were addressed to their very wealthy customers. If there is one group of people who need to know the truth about what is really going on within the society and the economy, minus the propaganda, then it’s businesspeople who have a lot of money to invest, and who want to invest wisely.

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D17: Protests Mark The Third Anniversary of OccupyWallStreet Movement Puts On A “Why I Occupy” Show in Times Square

Saturday marked the third month anniversary of Occupy Wall Street. It was also Bradley Manning’s Birthday. It was one of those days that confirmed the validity of the chant: “All Day, All Week, Occupy Wall Street”.

Ok, maybe, it wasn’t a whole week but Saturday felt like a week in one day. The plan for the day, as announced, was to gather at Duarte Park at 6th Avenue and Canal Street to attempt a RE-Occupation of vacant land owned by Trinity Church, more of a real estate company than a house of worship.

For a few weeks, the Occupy Movement had been demanding that the church allow the movement to take “sanctuary” on that land. There were earlier protests and even a hunger strike that made page one of the New York Times. Police in riot gear had ousted the occupiers the last time they tried to take over the space a few weeks back, and, since then, there has been a rancorous standoff between a Church that is supported by many fat cat one-percenters and OWS’s volunteer non-violent army of outrage.… Read the rest

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U.S. Ponzi Scheme Targeted Mormons

Book O fMormonReports the AP via Google News:
US financial regulators charged a father and son in Utah state with operating a $220 million property investment Ponzi scheme which targeted fellow members of the Mormon church. The Securities and Exchange Commission charged Wendell Jacobson and his son Allen Jacobson, of Fountain Green in central Utah, with selling shares in their purported real estate business and using the funds from some investors to pay returns promised to others. It said that since 2008 the two had solicited investments into their business of ostensibly buying, rehabilitating and then renting out properties. They appeared to use the memberships in the Utah-based Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints — the Mormon church — "to make connections and win over the trust of prospective investors," the SEC said. Securities in their businesses were sold to investors without registering with the SEC as required by law.
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Bull Moose or Bull Sh*t: Is Obama Changing His Stance Towards Wall Street?

Teddy Roosevelt / Barack ObamaIs Obama changing?

Many in the Occupy Wall Street Movement are patting their efforts on the back, and even claiming credit for what looks like a shift by President Obama towards a more engaged campaign discussing economic fairness.

The President’s speech in Kansas was modeled on remarks made by the Republican Bull Moose Teddy Roosevelt in 1910. There’s nothing like quoting a Republican for credible centrist positioning. (Note: he quotes TR, not FDR.)

Will he embrace GOP Pres Eisenhower’s warning about the Military Industrial Complex next?

Unlikely.

Richard Eskow was quick to salute the new Obama:

“Barack Obama channeled one of American history’s truly transformative figures by visiting the tiny Kansas town where Teddy Roosevelt gave his ‘New Nationalism’ speech over a century ago. It was refreshing to see the President invoke his predecessor, who was a powerful and fearless agent of change both inside and outside the White House.

“For the first time the President directly confronted the injustice of our growing economic divide, which were caused by the ongoing rapacity of the already-wealthy.… Read the rest

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Was Blagojevich Arrested On Corruption Charges After Going Up Against Bank of America?

Site' editor's note: Former Illinois Governor Rob Blagojevich was sentenced to 14 years this week after being convicted of a wide range of corruption charges, including the allegation that he tried to sell the Senate seat vacated by President Obama. You won't see the talking head presttitutes discussing the fact that former Governor Rob Blagojevich was arrested exactly one day after he announced he was "...asking all Illinois government agencies to suspend business with Bank of America" ... Here's Rod Blagojevich uncensored on We Are Change Chicago:
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Who Is Winning The War on Wall Street? Making It Personal Is One Way To Seize The Initiative

Wall Street has become a battleground, defended by a battalion of New York Cops, and under surveillance around the clock. There’s a war under way after months of protests and assaults by the non-violent warriors of Occupy Wall Street.

So, who’s winning?

On the surface, despite major layoffs and economic setbacks, you would have to say that the epicenter of our financial markets is alive, if not well. The exchanges and banks remain open for business, even if their costs for security are up, and their long-term optimism is way down.

Attempts by occupiers and activists to “shut it down” have so far failed, but they have slowed it down and forced its defenders on the defensive. A sharp critique of out of control capitalism that was barely heard in the media before the movement began. It is now everywhere. The Movement has changed the national conversation.

The gluttons of greed are, at least temporarily, on the defensive.… Read the rest

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