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Trump will have vast powers. He can thank Democrats for them.
by Glenn Greenwald
Posted November 17, 2016

Glenn GreenwaldLiberals vehemently denounced these abuses during the Bush presidency. From 2001 through 2008, Democrats called them the embodiment of tyranny, an existential threat to democracy, a menacing expression of right-wing radicalism. "America's Constitution is in grave danger," In one 2007 poll, 57 percent of Democrats said they wanted the Guantanamo Bay prison camp to be closed.

But after Obama took office, many liberals often tolerated — and even praised — his aggressive assertions of executive authority. It is hard to overstate how complete the Democrats' about-face on these questions was once their own leader controlled the levers of power. According to a 2012 Washington Post-ABC News poll, 53 percent of self-identified liberal Democrats and 67 percent of moderate or conservative ones now supported keeping Guantanamo Bay open. After just three years of the Obama presidency, liberals sanctioned a system that allowed the president to imprison people without any trial or an ounce of due process. More...

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US Has Killed More Than 20 Million People in 37 "Victim Nations" Since World War II
By James A. Lucas
Posted November 10, 2016

why did US kill my familyWe must continue our efforts to develop understanding and compassion in the world. Hopefully, this article will assist in doing that by addressing the question "How many September 11ths has the United States caused in other nations since WWII?" This theme is developed in this report which contains an estimated numbers of such deaths in 37 nations as well as brief explanations of why the U.S. is considered culpable.

The causes of wars are complex. In some instances nations other than the U.S. may have been responsible for more deaths, but if the involvement of our nation appeared to have been a necessary cause of a war or conflict it was considered responsible for the deaths in it. In other words they probably would not have taken place if the U.S. had not used the heavy hand of its power. The military and economic power of the United States was crucial. More...

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3 Candidates on Maryland US Senate Ballot, Only 2 Were Allowed to Debate

This video provides a perfect example of how "our" democracy is being controlled by the corporate media. Things start to get interesting at around 5:30.

The fact that a candidate can be on the ballot and excluded from the debate shows just how far the corporatocracy has its tentacles into our electoral process. Even the educational institutions of the Univ of Balitmore and the College for Public Affairs were party to this censoring of voices and narrowing of choices. Makes one wonder exactly what sort of values they are teaching to their students and our future leaders.

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The Modern History of 'Rigged' US Elections
By Robert Parry
Posted October 29, 2016

Nixon-KissingerThe United States is so committed to the notion that its electoral process is the world's "gold standard" that there has been a bipartisan determination to maintain the fiction even when evidence is overwhelming that a U.S. presidential election has been manipulated or stolen. The "wise men" of the system simply insist otherwise.

We have seen this behavior when there are serious questions of vote tampering (as in Election 1960) or when a challenger apparently exploits a foreign crisis to create an advantage over the incumbent (as in Elections 1968 and 1980) or when the citizens' judgment is overturned by judges (as in Election 2000). More...

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Why This Election Is All About Wall Street
By Pam Martens and Russ Martens
Posted October 22, 2016

Warren calls for Mary Jo White's resignationObama's choice for U.S. Attorney General, Eric Holder, came from the law firm Covington & Burling which had fronted for Big Tobacco for decades and directly engaged in misleading the public about the devastating health impacts from smoking, according to a Federal court decision.

Then Obama remained silent as the Justice Department failed to indict any Wall Street bank executives for the crimes leading up to the financial crash in 2008. As the PBS program Frontline reported, there were no subpoenas, no wiretaps, no investigations involving Wall Street banks at the Justice Department. More...

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WikiLeaks' October Surprise Explains Why Assange Was Just Silenced
By Claire Bernish
Posted October 21, 2016

JUlian Assange reports the truthEach of these stunning disclosures gives Wikileaks and Julian Assange sufficient concern to consider himself a marked man. Wikileaks continues dropping bombshell revelations in its coordinated October Surprise of documents and emails hacked from Hillary Clinton campaign chair John Podesta — so many, in fact, it has been difficult to keep up. Damning best describes information released so far — damning not only for Clinton, but countless top U.S. politicians, officials, the FBI, the State Department, President Obama, corporate media, Big Banks, and nearly innumerable others.

For all intents and purposes, the sheer volume of damaging information should, theoretically, lay waste to Clinton's bid for the presidency — if not land her behind bars. More...

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The Elephant in the Room: What Trump, Clinton, and Even Stein Are Missing
by David Korten
Posted October 18, 2016

Corporate cancer has taken overIn this most bizarre of presidential elections, no one is talking about one of the biggest—if not the biggest—issues of our time. Namely, the global power imbalance between corporations and governments.

Earth is dying. A few hundred billionaires are consolidating their control of the Earth's remaining real wealth. The healthy function of society requires that governments be accountable to the electorate and that corporations in turn be accountable to democratic governments. Our ability to deal with every other issue of our time—from climate disruption to inequality to violence—depends on that accountability. More...

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New Gallup Poll Shows 57% of Americans Want a Major 3rd Party
by Michael Krieger
Posted October 13, 2016

illusion of choiceThere's good news and bad news in the latest Gallup poll on Americans' desire for a major 3rd Party.

The good news is that at 57%, this is the highest demand we've seen during any recent Presidential election year. The bad news is that we've seen levels this high before. Additionally, this desire for a 3rd Party doesn't actually translate into massive third party support when it comes time to actually voting. More...

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The "Secret" TISA, TTIP and TTP = Corporate Hegemony and Economic Warfare
By Makia Freeman
Posted October 9, 2016

Corporate cancer has taken overTISA, TTIP and TPP continue to be negotiated in secret, as WikiLeaks recently released a new leak from the updated TISA (Trade in Services Agreement) core text and annexes. If you want to know what TISA means in 7 words, it's this: total privatization and commodification of public services.

Unfortunately, once something is privatized, it becomes very difficult to ever get it back into the public hands. Protests against the TTIP (Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, negotiated primarily between the US and EU) have been strong, to the point where several European government officials have publicly stated that the treaty doesn't look like it will pass. Protests have also been strong against the TPP (Trans Pacific Partnership, negotiated primarily among the US, Japan, Canada, Australia and other Pacific nations). More...

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Afghanistan; It's the Heroin, Stupid
By Pepe Escobar
Posted October 5, 2016

US troops patrolling poppy fieldsHere we go again. In yet another Pentagon precision strike, a residential building in Achin district of Nangarhar province was hit as a crowd welcomed home a tribal leader returning from the Hajj.

At least 13 civilians were turned into collateral damage. The Pentagon of course does not discuss the details of counter-terror operations, but it's currently reviewing all materials related to this strike. Nothing obviously will come out of it -- adding the civilian dead to the non-stop mounting toll of Operation Enduring Freedom (Forever). More...

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Living In The Illusion Of Democracy
By Kevin Zeese and Margaret Flowers
Posted October 3, 2016

illusion of democracyThe United States is in the peak of the very long election year. The presidential debates are running in full swing. The media is deep into coverage of Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. And, the people are feeling unrepresented.

Democracy not a market dictatorshipIn this environment it can be hard to step back and see the full picture. We've published many articles that describe the oligarchic plutocracy – a government that serves the wealthy and privileged – that we live in. In the midst of the presidential campaign, we have an opportunity to see how the 1% maintains control and prevents a government that serves the 99%. More...

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US Elections: Neither Free nor Fair
by Alex Gorka
Posted September 29, 2016

people not the elites are the problemDomestic and international experts rate the US elections as the worst among all Western democracies. According to Electoral Integrity Project, Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden are at the top of the ranking, while the US scores 62. The report gathers assessments from over 2,000 experts to evaluate the perceived integrity of all 180 national parliamentary and presidential contests held between July 1, 2012, and Dec. 31, 2015, in 139 countries. The 2014 US congressional elections rank even worse, 65th out of 180 worldwide.

There is a widespread suspicion of the role of money in politics. Regardless of their political affiliation, Americans agree that money has too much influence on the outcome of the vote, the wealthy have more influence on elections, and candidates who win office promote policies that help their donors. More...

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Political Assassinations – The "New Normal" Trend Weapon of the Global Elites?
By Peter Koenig
Posted September 27, 2016

elites use assasination to further their aimsAssassinations to reach an objective is not new for the all-powerful. The practice has been going on at least for centuries, if not for millennia, but it has intensified drastically in the last fifty years, and it is becoming ever bolder, as the rulers of the Anglosphere tighten their grip on humanity – on Mother Earth and her resources. .

They see their end may be nearing. People have increasingly access to alternative sources of news and information, and ever more people gradually start seeing the Big Lie of the controlled media, the propaganda that confuses their minds – and serves the 0.001%.

Assassinations come in handy, when there is a serious roadblock to the advancement of the self-elected rulers of the world – the elusive potentates, who are not just happy with dominating the Anglosphere, the world it must be. These few individuals or families have control over an all-overarching corporate finance kingdom, led by the military-security complex and world banking, spearheaded by the FED-BIS-Wall Street, intimately supported by the IMF and the very "World Bank" itself .More...

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Bridgegate's Enduring Mystery: How Did Port Authority Police Lose Control of the George Washington Bridge?
By Robert Hennelly
Posted September 23, 2016

Chris Christie BridgegateSo far, the Bridgegate story has been told through the tit-for-tat prism of partisan politics. The media has myopically focused on what Gov. Chris Christie knew, and when he knew it, about the plot to punish the Democratic mayor of Fort Lee with four days of lane closures on the George Washington Bridge from Sept. 9 to 13.

But the more disturbing public policy concern, left unaddressed, is just how vulnerable the Port Authority was to having one of its most critical assets commandeered by people that prosecutors allege had criminal intent and who managed to gain control over the operations of the George Washington Bridge. As it turns out, its weakest link was its own police department. The alleged partisan revenge plot that the Department of Justice has said crossed the line into criminality, was executed by the Port Authority Police Department that served as the boots on the ground and moved the traffic cones that closed the lanes. More...

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Fooled Again
By Chris Hedges
Posted September 21, 2016

fooled againThe naive hopes of Bernie Sanders' supporters—to build a grass-roots political movement, change the Democratic Party from within and push Hillary Clinton to the left—have failed. Clinton, aware that the liberal class and the left are not going to mount genuine resistance, is running as Mitt Romney in drag.

The corporate elites across the political spectrum, Republican and Democrat, have gleefully united to anoint her president. All that remains of Sanders' "revolution" is a 501(c)(4) designed to raise money, including from wealthy, anonymous donors, to ensure that he will be a senator for life. Great historical events happen twice, as Karl Marx quipped, first as tragedy and then as farce. More...

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Terrorism: The Product of American Military Policy
By Michael Payne
Posted September 19, 2016

see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evilWhen confronted with a serious and complex problem such as terrorism and trying to understand why it is instilling a great deal of fear into this society, it's very important to identify its root causes: where and when did this deadly threat originate, why is it spreading so rapidly, and what motivates these terrorists?

Well, we don't have to look very far to find the answers to those questions if we review the history of the U.S. government's highly aggressive military policies and actions in the Middle East and North Africa over time. This is a situation in which this government and its leaders refuse to acknowledge something that is becoming more and more evident: that they have created the very terrorist groups that they say now threaten our country. They are, in effect, reaping the harvest produced from the seeds of domination and intimidation that they have planted in that region of the world over many decades. More...

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False Flag Terror "Has Succeeded Consistently Against Audiences Around The World, For Millennia, To Compel War"
by Washingtons Blog
Posted September 15, 2016

False flag attacks part of historyThe media plays along as well. For example, in 2012, NBC News' chief foreign correspondent, Richard Engel, was kidnapped in Syria. NBC News said that Engel and his reporting team had been abducted by forces affiliated with the Syrian government. He reported that they only escaped when some anti-Syrian government rebels killed some of the pro-government kidnappers.

However, NBC subsequently admitted that this was false. It turns out that they were really kidnapped by people associated with the U.S. backed rebels fighting the Syrian government … who wore the clothes of, faked the accent of, scrawled the slogans of, and otherwise falsely impersonated the mannerisms of people associated with the Syrian government. In reality, the group that kidnapped Engel and his crew were affiliated with the U.S.-supported Free Syrian Army. More...

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Maker Of Drug Fueling Heroin Overdose Epidemic Is Lobbying To Keep Weed Illegal
by Carey Wedler
Posted September 14, 2016

opiate manufacturer wants to keep pot illegalIn 2016, cannabis is still illegal in many parts of the country, and pharmaceutical giant Insys Therapeutics Inc., a manufacturer of fentanyl, just demonstrated much of the reason why. Arizona is currently gearing up to vote on legalizing recreational cannabis. Ahead of that vote, Insys just contributed $500,000 in the fight against Proposition 205, U.S. News and other outlets report.


The Arizona-based pharmaceutical company recently gave the funds to Arizonans for Responsible Drug Policy, an anti-legalization campaign group actively fighting to defeat the ballot measure. Insys's contributions are particularly unsettling considering the company currently markets only one product — a spray version of fentanyl, a powerful opiate. More...

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Meet the Texas billionaire and GOP donor behind the North Dakota pipeline controversy
By Sue Sturgis
Posted September 11, 2016

Kelcy Warren, man behind Dakota attacksdog with human blood in its mouthOver the Labor Day weekend, security guards for a petro pipeline company used attack dogs and pepper spray against Native Americans resisting construction of a $3.8 billion pipeline through North Dakota, a project they say is desecrating land sacred to the Standing Rock Sioux and putting critical water supplies at risk of contamination.

If completed, the Dakota Access Pipeline would carry crude from the nearby Bakken oilfields to Illinois, where it would meet an existing pipeline that would transport the oil to Texas. That's the home state of the billionaire and major Republican political donor behind the project: Kelcy Warren, chair of Energy Transfer Equity of Dallas, a company that's No. 65 on this year's Fortune 500 list. More...

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Obama Scrambles To Pass TPP As Corporate Tribunals Face Scrutiny
by Dan Wright
Posted September 5, 2016

TPP a corporate coup d’état—against us!With opposition mounting, President Barack Obama is scrambling to jam the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal through Congress before his term ends in 2017. Both major party presidential nominees—former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and businessman Donald Trump—have publicly stated they oppose TPP and will not sign the agreement if they become president.

Though opposition to TPP has typically focused on the threat of losing American jobs, another concern is coming front and center: loss of sovereignty through a byzantine process known as investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS). According to a recent study of the ISDS process by BuzzFeed, "The system was designed to deal primarily with theft by autocrats, but, in the majority of cases today, businesses are suing democracies for enacting regulations." More...

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Finally, The Clearest Evidence That Shows How Money Shapes America's Elections
By Lynn Parramore
Posted September 2016

money creates our lawsOutrage over how big money influences American politics has been boiling over this political season, energizing the campaigns of GOP nominee Donald Trump and former Democratic candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders alike. Citizens have long suspected that "We the People" increasingly means "We the Rich" at election time.

Yet surprisingly, two generations of social scientists have insisted that wallets don't matter that much in American politics. Elections are really about giving the people what they want. Money, they claim, has negligible impact on elections. More...

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America Created Al-Qaeda and the ISIS Terror Group
By Garikai Chengu
Posted September 1, 2016

ISIS and Al-Queda created by the U.S.Much like Al Qaeda, the Islamic State (ISIS) is made-in-the-USA, an instrument of terror designed to divide and conquer the oil-rich Middle East and to counter Iran's growing influence in the region. The fact that the United States has a long and torrid history of backing terrorist groups will surprise only those who watch the news and ignore history.

The CIA first aligned itself with extremist Islam during the Cold War era. Back then, America saw the world in rather simple terms: on one side, the Soviet Union and Third World nationalism, which America regarded as a Soviet tool; on the other side, Western nations and militant political Islam, which America considered an ally in the struggle against the Soviet Union. More...

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Why I'm Worried America's next President Will Kill Julian Assange
by Jake Anderson
Posted August 31, 2016

speaker of truthI'm worried about Julian Assange. This is not a maternal instinct, but rather, a pragmatic one. The increasingly hostile statements made by top state officials and their surrogates show a widespread condemnation of whistleblowers in the halls of government. President Obama set the tone early in his administration.

In the case of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, the rhetoric goes well beyond condemnation of methodology and straight to advocating for his brutal murder. The transition from authorities' vows of prosecution to their use of surrogates who openly call for Assange's assassination is highly disturbing, to say the least. More...

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Presidential Debates: A Fraud on the American Voter?
By Joan Brunwasser
Posted August 30, 2016

presidential debates are a fraudMaybe the biggest problem with the presidential debates is that the organization running them was forged in sin, so to speak. While official-sounding, the Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD) was jointly created by Democrats and Republicans in 1987 in order to kick out the nonpartisan League of Women Voters, which had been sponsoring the debates since 1976.

With debates regularly attracting over 50 million viewers, the two parties didn't want the independent League running them and determining whether third party candidates could participate. So the Democrats and Republicans replaced the League with the bipartisan CPD, giving their nominees a greater say over virtually every aspect of the debates. The resulting debates were not uniformly well-received. CBS anchorman Walter Cronkite called them "phony, part of an unconscionable fraud." And the League ceased any involvement so as to avoid "becoming an accessory to the hoodwinking of the American public." More...

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The EpiPen Scandal Is Worse Than You Think: What You're Not Being Told
by Alice Salles
Posted August 29, 2016

icons of greedThe EpiPen is a useful device for individuals who suffer from severe allergies. So when news broke that Mylan, the sole maker of the autoinjector "pens" in America, had hiked the prices of its products from $57 each in 2007 to $600 for a package of two in 2016, news outlets had a field day. Promptly after, politicians seized the opportunity to bank on this crisis by promising to "do something."

Presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton urged Mylan to voluntarily slash the prices of its products while promising that, once she's elected, her "plan to address exorbitant drug price hikes like these" will be finally implemented. This is a particularly empty promise considering Mylan has donated between $100,000 and $250,000 to the Clinton Foundation, which was recently revealed to be peddling influence in exchange for cash. More...

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Time to Call out the Fraud Perpetrated by the Commission on Presidential Debates
by Rob Kall
Posted August 27, 2016

open debates to 3rd party candidatesThere's a discussion going on about opening the presidential debates to third party candidates. Currently, there are several efforts to open the presidential debates to third party candidates Gary Johnson and Jill Stein. The Commission on Presidential Debates has set an arbitrary 15% polling level requirement for candidates to be included. This is a pathological symptom of the take-over of the democratic process by the corporate owned mainstream media. The truth is, the current presidential debate system is a fraud in many ways.

The sham model of basing inclusion in debates on polling is exposed as a fraud by the fact that the specified polling organizations the results are to be based upon are not even including the candidates in the polls. More...

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Obama Pushing for TPP: Misinformation and Big Lies His Strategy
By Stephen Lendman
Posted August 19, 2016

TPP=job killing weapon of mass destructionUS trade deals are jobs-killing weapons of mass destruction. They destroy fundamental economic and social structures. They ignore eco-sanity. Preventing TPP's enactment into US law is crucial for all working-age Americans and their families. Obama intends going on the offensive publicly to get Congress on board for its passage. Last October, he touted it in his weekly radio address – featuring a litany of Big Lies, one of many examples of how he consistently betrayed the public trust throughout his tenure.

He blamed China and other low-wage countries for the sins of corporate America offshoring millions of US jobs abroad. TPP will greatly accelerate the process – transforming America into a nation of maids, waitresses, bellhops, fast-food workers, janitors, bus and cab drivers, along with other poverty wage service jobs for most workers able to have any employment. More...

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Computer Expert Hacks Into Common Voting Machine in Minutes to Reveal Shocking 2016 Election Threat
By Bethania Palma Markus
Posted August 7, 2016

electronic voting machines can be hackedIt took Princeton computer science professor Andrew Appel and one of his graduate students just minutes to hack into a voting machine still used in Louisiana, New Jersey, Virginia, and Pennsylvania, Politico reports.

Professor Andrew Appel purchased for $82 a Sequoia AVC Advantage, one of the oldest machines still in use. Within 7 seconds, he and his student, Alex Halderman, had picked the lock open. Within minutes, the duo had removed the device's unsecured ROM chips with their own hardware that makes it easy to alter the machine's results.

Appel, his colleagues and students have been hacking into voting machines at the Center for Information Technology Policy since the late 1990s. With their work, the group has come to the conclusion that at some point, the national election will be the target of a coordinated cyber attack. More...

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Why the GMO Labeling Bill Obama Just Signed Into Law Is a Sham—and a National Embarrassment
By Andrew Kimbrell
Posted August 6, 2016

DARK Act signed by ObamaThis discriminatory bill exempts Big Food from putting GMO labels on food packages and keeps consumers in the dark. It is known as the DARK Act—Denying Americans the Right to Know. It was signed by President Obama last Friday in the afterglow of the Democratic National Convention, without fanfare or major media coverage. The bill's moniker is apt. With a few strokes of his pen Obama scratched out the laws of Vermont, Connecticut and Maine that required the labeling of genetically engineered foods.

He also nullified the GE seed labeling laws in Vermont and Virginia that allowed farmers to choose what seeds they wanted to buy and plant. The White House justified the DARK Act's massive onslaught on local democracy on the grounds that the bill would create national standards for labeling of GE foods. It does nothing of the sort. More...

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How and Why Bernie Sanders Was Taken Out of the Running by the Financial Elites
by Jeff Berwick
Posted August 4, 2016

Elites telling the 99% to shut upMost are unaware that we don't live in a real democracy. In the US, in particular, Presidents aren't elected, they are selected. It has been this way for centuries and was fully cemented, and never questioned again, after JFK was killed when he tried to stand up to the nefarious groups who control the system.

The people who control the US government are those who control the monetary and financial system (and the media and nearly everything else of importance). A key historical figure of these "elites" was Mayer Amschel Bauer Rothschild. He was purported to have said, more than two centuries ago, "Give me control of a nation's money and I care not who makes it's laws." More...

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Stop Drinking the Kool-Aid, America: Political Fiction in an Age of Televised Lies
By John W. Whitehead
Posted July 28, 2016

bread and circusesTune into a political convention and you will find yourself being sucked into an alternate reality so glossy, star-studded, emotionally charged and entertaining as to make you forget that you live in a police state. The elaborate stage show, the costumes, the actors, the screenplay, the lighting, the music, the drama: all carefully calibrated to appeal to the public's need for bread and circuses, diversion and entertainment, and pomp and circumstance.

Politics is a reality show, America's favorite form of entertainment, dominated by money and profit, imagery and spin, hype and personality and guaranteed to ensure that nothing in the way of real truth reaches the populace. More...

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Trump's Treasury Wouldn't Resurrect Glass-Steagall – Here's Why
By Shah Gilani
Posted July 26, 2016

Goldman Sachs nexusIf you read the 58-page draft of the Republican Party's official party platform you'll come across a surprising one-liner: "We support reinstating the Glass-Steagall Act of 1933 which prohibits commercial banks from engaging in high-risk investment." But before Republican big-bank haters get excited, everyone should know that's not presidential candidate Donald Trump's one-liner.

Based on who Mr. Trump is reportedly considering for Treasury Secretary in his would-be cabinet, it's highly unlikely, Republican platform rhetoric aside, a Trump Administration would be even remotely interested in resurrecting Glass-Steagall. Frighteningly, but not surprisingly, there's a huge Goldman Sachs nexus connecting the end of Glass-Steagall to the future prospect of reviving it, with Donald Trump squarely in the middle. More...

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Here's how it works: Industry, lawmakers and money mingle in Cleveland
by Ashley Balcerzak and Robert Maguire
Posted July 24, 2016

protecting Pfizer spnsorship of  eventsHouse Speaker Paul Ryan's impassioned speech to unite the GOP on Tuesday was not the last he would give in Cleveland. A national Republican organization brought in the big guns for their fundraiser, with Ryan headlining the event to inspire donations.

In the tranquility of the Cleveland Botanical Gardens on Wednesday, miles away from the madness surrounding the Quicken Loans Arena, Ryan stressed the need to coordinate and strengthen the Republican party on the federal, state, local and federal levels. His audience? A bevy of state legislative leaders rubbing elbows with industry interests. More...

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Over-Policing Is Rooted in Over-Reliance on Politics
by Joey Clark
Posted July 16, 2016

too much politics in policingThough the police may be the face of law and order, behind their blue eyes rest the marching orders of politicians riddled with this presumption—that the law is the best tool for bringing order to a society facing complex problems.

Let's not give the politicians too much credit though. They, of course, are elected by "the people" to presume as much. As Mencken wrote, "Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard," and though I do not think the common people deserve to be victims of police brutality, I am not surprised they have become the victims of their "representative" government. Indifferent to freedom, the people have forged their own chains and have given "themselves" the reins by empowering their government and its agents. More...

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US Politics' True Bipartisan Consensus: Capitalism Is Untouchable
By Richard D. Wolff
Posted July 5, 2016

Is capitalism really untouchable? The economic aim of both major US political parties is, in the end, the same: to protect and reinforce the capitalist system.

The Republican Party does so chiefly by means of a systematic, unremitting demonization of the government. They blame it for whatever ails the capitalist economy. If unemployment grows, they point to government policies and actions and attack particular politicians for what they did or did not do to stimulate the economy, directing criticism away from the employers who actually deprive workers of their jobs.

The Democrats protect and reproduce the system by assigning to the government the task of minimizing the problems that beset capitalism. So, for example, they want the business cycles that are an inherent affliction of capitalism to be foreseen, planned for, minimized, and overcome by government intervention. This is the underlying purpose of Keynesian economics and the monetary and fiscal policies it generates. More...

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The British Woke UP — Can The Americans?
by Paul Craig Roberts
(Assistant Secretary of the Treasury under Ronald Reagan)
Posted July 1, 2016

British have woken upThe British people, or rather a majority of those who voted, surprised the Establishment, which was confident of the success of its propaganda, by voting to save their ancient and distinguished country, the font of liberty, from disappearing into the EU, a dictatorship ruled by unaccountable appointees. The British had enough of that with kings and decided that the future did not lie in going backward. The British vote to exit the EU could bring the unintended consequence of unravelling the EU and NATO, thus reducing Washington's ability to foment war.

Americans need to decide that they, like the British, do not appreciate being led backward to worse times. The Clintons and the Republican Senator from Texas, Phil Gramm, led America back to Robber Baron days by deregulating the financial system. The senator was rewarded with a multi-million dollar banking job for overturning Great Depression era legislation that made financial capitalism workable. Americans need to understand that capitalists do not care if capitalism works for you as long as it works for them. More...

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Think You've Got It Locked, Hillary? Meet Jill Stein.
By Bill Scher
Posted June 28, 2016

Jill Stein, and laternative to big moneyAfter an anxiety-inducing and divisive primary, Democrats are starting to breathe easier. Bernie Sanders, while not formally conceding to Hillary Clinton, has turned his fire on Donald Trump. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, the darling of the left before Sanders, has effusively endorsed Clinton. So at last the presumptive nominee can hope to gather in all those unhappy Bernie voters and lead a united Democratic Party in the fall, right?

Not if Dr. Jill Stein has anything to say about it.

The longtime Massachusetts environmental activist and presumptive Green Party nominee (the Green convention is not until August 4) is hungrily eyeing disgruntled Sanders voters—many of whom have been saying that even now, with the nomination all but locked up, they still won't vote for Hillary. And Stein appears to know her audience, declaring on CNN right after the California primary that she represents "a plan B … to continue to fight that revolution." More...

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What If We Are The 'Bad Guys?'
by Irwin Ozborne
Posted June 21, 2016

victims of US airstrikeIn Afghanistan, an army squad commander led a "Kill Team" in which they killed civilians for sport and collected body parts as trophies. And in 2006, the Al Ishaqi massacre in Iraq included the killing of 11 innocent civilians including five children and four women. The Pentagon portrays this as part of an operation directed at Al Qaeda. How can you not support them, when they are protecting your freedom?

They do not protect my freedoms. All military interventions since World War II, have been solely to secure resources from third world nations to help profit American businesses. This is all done under disguises of threats – such as the Cold War with no clear enemy and the threat of Communism; the War on Drugs with no clear enemy; and the War on Terror. More...

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Why Is Iran Our Enemy?
By Jeff Faux
Posted June 19, 2016

Iran is not a threat to the U.S.Demonization of Iran runs wide and deep in our mainstream politics. Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump tell us that Iran is the world's chief sponsor of terrorism, aimed at taking over the whole Middle East, if not the world (this echoes the State Department, which in its recently released annual report calls Iran the world's greatest state sponsor of terrorism). Both have declared themselves ready and eager to "strike" and "obliterate" Iran.

After all, the United States engineered the 1953 coup against their democratically elected secular government and imposed a ruthless monarchy on the country for 25 years. The organization of the Shah's murderous and torture-addicted secret police was a joint venture of the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency and Israel's Mossad. When the Iranians finally revolted and deposed the Shah, the U.S. backed the 1980 attack on Iran by Iraq under Saddam Hussein. More...

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Hillary Approved Sending Libya's Sarin to Syrian Rebels
by Eric Zuezze
Posted May 4, 2016

HIllary approved sarin The great investigative journalist Seymour Hersh has reported that the Obama Administration falsely blamed the government of Syria's Bashar al-Assad for the sarin gas attack that Obama was trying to use as an excuse to invade Syria; and Hersh pointed to a report from British intelligence saying that the sarin that was used didn't come from Assad's stockpiles.

Hersh also said that a secret agreement in 2012 was reached between the Obama Administration and the leaders of Turkey, Saudi Arabia, and Qatar, to set up a sarin gas attack and blame it on Assad so that the US could invade and overthrow Assad. By the terms of the agreement, funding came from Turkey, as well as Saudi Arabia and Qatar; the CIA, with the support of MI6, was responsible for getting arms from Gaddafi's arsenals into Syria

However, now, for the first time, Hersh has implicated Hillary Clinton directly in this «rat line». In an interview with Alternet.org, Hersh was asked about the then-US-Secretary-of-State's role in the Benghazi Libya US consulate's operation to collect weapons from Libyan stockpiles and send them through Turkey into Syria for a set-up sarin-gas attack, to be blamed on Assad in order to 'justify' the US invading Syria, as the US had invaded Libya to eliminate Gaddafi. More...

Interesting how this has not been picked up by the lame stream media.

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Trump and Hillary Refuse to Explain Why They Both Share the Same Address in Delaware
by Claire Bernish
Posted May 1, 2016

Hillary and Trump share same Delaware tax haven addressAs it turns out, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump share something pertinent in common, after all — a tax haven cozily nested inside the United States.

This brick-and-mortar, nondescript two-story building in Wilmington, Delaware would be awfully crowded if its registered occupants — 285,000 companies — actually resided there. What's come to be known as the "Delaware loophole" — the unassuming building at 1209 North Orange Street — has become, as the Guardian described, "famous for helping tens of thousands of companies avoid hundreds of millions of dollars in tax." More...

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Suckers on April Fools' Day
by Robert Weismann
Posted April 3, 2016

dark moneyDo they take us for fools?

American Action Network. Patriot Majority U.S.A. American Future Fund. Americans for Responsible Leadership. Americans for a Better Tomorrow, Tomorrow. Those are the names of top electioneering nonprofit organizations — the key Dark Money conduits into our elections.

These innocuous names are virtually impossible to distinguish. By any reasonable standard, the groups exist for the purpose of influencing elections. They are among the leading purveyors of the attack ads blanketing TV airwaves during ever-expanding election seasons. Unfortunately, whether or not we are fooled by the interchangeable names of these groups, they are able to make suckers of us all. More...

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United Technologies: Boss Gets $192 Million, 110-Foot Yacht as 2100 Jobs Move to Mexico at $3 an Hour
by Pam and Russ Martens
Posted March 27, 2016

United Technologies CEO Louis Chenevert golden parachuteA young black girl got a civics lesson in dystopian society sitting in the front row of the Senate Banking hearing this past Tuesday. Her expression was that of someone watching a Halloween horror film. The young girl was the daughter of Lisa Fairfax, a George Washington University law professor who brought her family members along to share her confirmation hearing to potentially become a Commissioner at the Securities and Exchange Commission. Hopefully, what the young girl observed will be enough to head her off in a career direction of white collar criminal law.

Senator Joe Donnelly delivered a heartfelt review of what is going on in his home state of Indiana, asking the two SEC nominees, Hester Peirce and Fairfax, what role the SEC should play in the matter. More...

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Here's what Americans don't understand about Nordic countries
by Anu Partanen
Posted March 22, 2016

Norway, misunderstood by AmericansA Nordic person myself, I left my native Finland seven years ago and moved to the U.S. Although I'm now a U.S. citizen, I hear these kinds of comments from Americans all the time—at cocktail parties and at panel discussions, in town hall meetings and on the opinion pages. Nordic countries are the way they are, I'm told, because they are small, homogeneous "nanny states" where everyone looks alike, thinks alike, and belongs to a big extended family.

This, in turn, makes Nordic citizens willing to sacrifice their own interests to help their neighbors. Americans don't feel a similar kinship with other Americans, I'm told, and thus will never sacrifice their own interests for the common good. What this is mostly taken to mean is that Americans will never, ever agree to pay higher taxes to provide universal social services, as the Nordics do. Thus Bernie Sanders, and anyone else in the U.S. who brings up Nordic countries as an example for America, is living in la-la land. More...

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Exposing the Libyan Agenda: A Closer Look at Hillary's Emails
by Ellen Brown
Posted March 16, 2016

We came, we saw, he diedAfter 1944, the US dollar traded interchangeably with gold as global reserve currency. When the US was no longer able to maintain the dollar's gold backing, in the 1970s it made a deal with OPEC to "back" the dollar with oil, creating the "petro-dollar." Oil would be sold only in US dollars, which would be deposited in Wall Street and other international banks.

In 2001, dissatisfied with the shrinking value of the dollars that OPEC was getting for its oil, Iraq's Saddam Hussein broke the pact and sold oil in euros. Regime change swiftly followed, accompanied by widespread destruction of the country. In Libya, Qaddafi also broke the pact; but he did more than just sell his oil in another currency.

For decades, Libya and other African countries had been attempting to create a pan-African gold standard. Libya's al-Qadhafi and other heads of African States had wanted an independent, pan-African, "hard currency." More...

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Down the Trump Rabbit Hole: Manufacturing Consent
by Cognitive Dissonance
March 15, 2016

the commonsThe myth of the presidential 'elected' office is far too important to the Empire to allow just anybody to serve in that position. All candidates for the office are carefully screened by the Empire's court before being allowed a 'serious' run for office. This doesn't mean mainstream outsiders are prevented from pursuing the office, since allowing the oddballs to run helps support the presidential and democratic myth.

Any 'rouge' candidate who doesn't fit the desired parameters is eventually marginalized and pushed aside by the inability to raise significant campaign funds from court members, by the use of the state's controlled mass media to discredit the individual (and groups supporting the candidate) and, if need be, by more direct persuasion such as blackmail, threats and financial sabotage. More...

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Only One Presidential Candidate Supports Edward Snowden, and It's Not Bernie Sanders
by Kit O'Connell
Posted February 13, 2016

Edward SnowdenNo matter who wins the 2016 election, the United States will likely continue its efforts to capture and prosecute National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden.

Despite the important revelations that Snowden shared with the world about the NSA's illegal surveillance of every U.S. citizen as well as world leaders and foreign nationals, not one major presidential candidate has been willing to voice his or her support for Snowden's actions or express any willingness to allow him to return to the U.S. as a free man.

Despite his campaign positioning the senator from Vermont as an "outsider," Sanders' views on the whistleblower are decidedly mainstream. At the Oct. 14 Democratic debate, Sanders praised Snowden for his "important role in educating the American public," but added: "He did break the law, and I think there should be a penalty to that." More...

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Why the Next President Must Reform Wall Street
By Deena Zaidi
Posted March 4, 2016

Wall street must be reformedMany economists believed that the integration of commercial banking with investment banking, which was allowed under the repeal of the Glass-Steagall Act, deepened the 2008 crisis. The repeal of the Glass-Steagall Act was called the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act. The Glass-Steagall Act was passed in 1933 in response to a number of bank failures that happened after the Great Depression. It separated commercial banking activities from risky investment banking activities.

But the act was repealed in 1999 under President Bill Clinton after $300 million worth of lobbying efforts. He believed that the act was "no longer appropriate to the economy in which we live. It worked pretty well for the industrial economy ... But the world is very different." Some of the biggest banks, like JPMorgan Chase, are already 80 percent bigger than they were since they were last bailed out. After the repeal, the investment banks resorted to risky trading, since such activities remained largely unregulated. More...

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US Mayors Fed Up With Paying Wall Street Interest and Fees
By John Lawrence
Posted March 2, 2016

Wall Street fees killing our citiesAt their meeting on June 19-22, the US Conference of Mayors considered the possibility of establishing public banks as an alternative to Wall Street. Instead of spending a fortune in Wall Street fees and interest, a public bank would keep the money right in each Mayor's jurisdiction. Finally, Mayors are wising up. The Mayors Resolution on Strengthening Municipal Finances addresses the millions of dollars in fees that Wall Street banks charge cities and challenges mayors to negotiate with bankers to reduce these fees or to consider the possibility of a public bank.

Public banking is distinguished from private banking in that its mandate begins with the public's interest. Privately-owned banks, by contrast, have shareholders who generally seek short-term profits as their highest priority. Public banks are able to reduce taxes within their jurisdictions, because their profits are returned to the general fund of the public entity. The costs of public projects undertaken by governmental bodies are also greatly reduced, because public banks do not need to charge interest to themselves. Eliminating interest has been shown to reduce the cost of such projects, on average, by 50%. More...

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As Markets Gyrate Wildly, Senator Shelby's Banking Committee Will Look at Market Structure
By Pam Martens and Russ Martens
Posted March 1, 2016

Senator ShelbySenator Richard Shelby (R-Alabama), the Chair of the U.S. Senate Banking Committee, has announced a hearing on March 3 at 10:00 a.m. to examine "Regulatory Reforms to Improve Equity Market Structure." To appropriately conduct that hearing, all the lights should be turned out in the hearing room and the senators and witnesses should have to fumble and stumble their way to their seats in the dark, since that's what American investors have been forced to do since the 2008 crash – a tortuously long seven years of make-believe financial reform.

Following the 1929 crash, whose economic impact was also swift and devastating, the Senate Banking Committee spent the years of 1932 through 1934 holding comprehensive hearings and investigations on the structure of the stock market. The hearings unraveled, day by day, the frauds that the Wall Street titans of that era were inflicting on a gullible public. More...

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Revealed: The Hidden Agenda of Davos 2016
by Nick Giambruno
Posted February 26, 2016

Davos - the reason for much of the world's poverty"It's a big club and you ain't in it!" I'm often reminded of these words, spoken by the great comedian George Carlin, when I read about the annual World Economic Forum meeting in Davos, Switzerland.

That's where the global power elite gather to discuss the big issues of the day. The most important world leaders attend. As do the CEOs of the largest companies, leaders in the mainstream media and top academics. Central bankers attend, too, along with a wide assortment of celebrities.

The biggest and most important deals take shape in these secret meetings. And this year, I think there was one secret meeting with huge historical significance. I think world leaders decided to dramatically escalate the War on Cash, making it easier for them to impose negative interest rates. Negative interest rates mean the lender pays the borrower for the privilege of lending him money. It's a bizarre, upside-down concept. Negative rates could not exist in a free market. They can only exist in an Alice in Wonderland economy created by central bankers. More...

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Billionaires Behind the 2016 Presidential Elections. "Money Behind Major Candidates": Rubio, Cruz, Trump, Bush, Clinton
By Jack Rasmus
Posted February 25, 2016

no enforcement of anti-trust lawsPoll after public opinion poll in the US today consistently show that US voters overwhelmingly share the opinion that big money billionaires and their corporations were increasingly dominating US elections.

As the United States election cycle began to ramp up last summer, for example, the New York Times/NBC News poll showed no less than 84 percent of U.S. voters – Democrats, Republicans, and Independents alike – shared the common view that there was simply "too much money" flooding into U.S. elections today. While 85 percent of those in the poll further indicated that either major changes or a "complete rebuild" of the U.S. election system was needed to take money out of politics.

Forget minor tweaking reforms of campaign financing. The people of the U.S. now believe the entire process is rigged in favor of rich contributors and corporations who fill to over-flowing the campaign coffers of their chosen politicians. More...

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Scourge of US elections: Electoral College, hackable voting machines & obscure rules
by Cynthia McKinney
Posted February 17, 2016

electronic voting fraudThe US Congress and the election authorities in the 50 states have authorized and encouraged the use of hackable electronic voting machines that are used for vote casting and vote tabulation. Bev Harris and her company, Black Box Voting, has accumulated horror stories surrounding the non-transparency of US elections. I have worked closely with Harris because the danger of these machines is self-evident to everyone except the officials who continue to purchase them for millions of dollars, putting millions of voters' most precious political asset at risk.

Such a scenario is what led former President Jimmy Carter to comment he "absolutely" could not be elected today under such conditions, going so far as to characterize the United States as an oligarchy, not a democracy. More...

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The Big Money and What It Means in Election 2016
by Nomi Prins
Posted February 4, 2016

money in politicsHonestly, you couldn't make this stuff up. How do you respond to a rampaging bull of a billionaire in the political arena? In America in 2016, the answer is obvious. You send in not the clowns, but the matador: another billionaire, of course. So Michael Bloomberg is now threatening to enter the race as a third-party candidate. According to the New York Times, he's considering spending at least $1 billion of his $36 billion (or is it almost $49 billion?) fortune if it looks like Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders (just about the only candidate in the race not backed by billionaires and so an obvious threat to any billionaire around) might truly be nominated for president.

In the post-Citizens United era, after the Supreme Court let a flood of plutocratic money pour through a super PAC darkly, the billionaires began to run rampant. Soon enough, new informal "primaries" were set up in which potential candidates on bended knee toured the resorts and luxury locales those billionaires preferred, auditioning for their support. More...

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Will the 2016 Primaries Be Electronically Rigged?
By Victoria Collier and Ben Ptashnik
Posted January 31, 2016

Ciebolt machines have been hackedPrimary election rigging in the coming weeks and months is all but assured if American voters and candidates don't take steps to prevent it now. Evidence that US voting systems are wide open to fraud and manipulation should be taken seriously in light of the unprecedented high-stakes elections we're facing.

Not in recent history have American voters been presented with such radically polarized candidates, forcing a crucial choice for the direction of our future, and possibly upending long-established centers of power.

Local fixers, insider operatives, rogue hackers and even foreign countries could all rig US elections electronically. More...

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The establishment left out
By Mike Krauss
Posted January 30, 2016

outsiders from establishmentWashington just got clobbered by a gigantic winter storm. There is another one on the way. It’s going to hit Iowa and New Hampshire first. Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders are taking American politics by storm.

The GOP conservative establishment has emergency services out, trying desperately to clear out Trump after completely misreading the first storm warnings. The GOP moderate establishment likes the guy in second place, Ted Cruz, even less than Trump, and are going after him. Cruz looks to them like some kind of suicide bomber, throwing hand grenades in the Senate any chance he gets. More...

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Anatomy of the Deep State
by Mike Lofgren
Posted January 12, 2016

deep state puppetmastersThere is the visible government situated around the Mall in Washington, and then there is another, more shadowy, more indefinable government that is not explained in Civics 101 or observable to tourists at the White House or the Capitol. The former is traditional Washington partisan politics: the tip of the iceberg that a public watching C-SPAN sees daily and which is theoretically controllable via elections. The subsurface part of the iceberg I shall call the Deep State, which operates according to its own compass heading regardless of who is formally in power.

During the last five years, the news media has been flooded with pundits decrying the broken politics of Washington. The conventional wisdom has it that partisan gridlock and dysfunction have become the new normal. That is certainly the case, and I have been among the harshest critics of this development. But it is also imperative to acknowledge the limits of this critique as it applies to the American governmental system. More...

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Calls for Michigan Gov. Snyder's Arrest as Flint Poisoning Scandal Implicates Top Staffers
by Sarah Lazare
Posted January 10, 2016

Gov Snyder poisoned all children in a major U.S. city'To poison all the children in an historic American city is no small feat'. Calls for Michigan Governor Rick Snyder's ouster—and arrest—are growing after internal emails showed that his high-level staffers were aware of lead poisoning in Flint's public water supply six months before the administration declared a state of emergency.

According to the newly-released emails, which were obtained by NBC News, Snyder's chief of staff at the time, Dennis Muchmore, wrote to an unnamed high-level health department staffer: "I'm frustrated by the water issue in Flint." More...

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How Corrupt Is the American Government?
by Washington's Blog
Posted January 8, 2016

corruption of our governmentGovernment corruption has become rampant:

Senior SEC employees spent up to 8 hours a day surfing porn sites instead of cracking down on financial crimes

Investigators from the Treasury's Office of the Inspector General found that some of the regulator's employees surfed erotic websites, hired prostitutes and accepted gifts from bank executives … instead of actually working to help the economy

The Commodity Futures Trading Commission has conspired with big banks to manipulate commodities prices for decades

The government-sponsored rating agencies committed massive fraud (and see this)

The Treasury department allowed banks to "cook their books" More...

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Christmas 2015—–Why There Is No Peace On Earth
by David Stockman
Posted December 28, 2015

WW1 Christmas truceThere is no peace on earth today for reasons mainly rooted in Imperial Washington—— not Moscow, Beijing, Tehran, Damascus, Mosul or Raqqah. The former has become a global menace owing to what didn't happen in 1991.

What should have happened is that Bush the elder should have declared "mission accomplished" and slashed the Pentagon budget from $600 billion to $200 billion; demobilized the military-industrial complex by putting a moratorium on all new weapons development, procurement and export sales; dissolved NATO and dismantled the far-flung network of US military bases; slashed the US standing armed forces from 1.5 million to a few hundred thousand; and organized and led a world disarmement and peace campaign, as did his Republican predecessors during the 1920s. More...

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Marco Rubio Pushes to Block Low-Cost, High-Speed Broadband
by Lee Fang
Posted December 23, 2015

Rubio blocking cheaper and faster InternetIn a rare senatorial act, full-time Republican presidential candidate Marco Rubio joined with a handful of fellow legislators on Friday in an attempt to block local municipalities from undercutting big telecom companies by providing cheap, fast internet service.

Rubio, who is raising campaign cash from the telecom industry for his presidential campaign, fired off a letter to the Federal Communications Commission asking the agency to allow states to block municipal broadband services.

The letter was the latest salvo in a long-running effort by the major telecom companies to outlaw municipal broadband programs that have taken off in cities such as Lafayette, Louisiana, and Chattanooga, Tennessee, because they pose a threat to a business model that calls for slow, expensive internet access without competition. More...

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In Rahm Emanuel's Chicago Surveillance State, Controlling the Data is Key
by Bernard E. Harcourt
Posted December 15, 2015

controlling digital coverupsPOWER CIRCULATES DIFFERENTLY in the digital age. It's all about controlling the digital traces — collecting, mining, sharing, exposing, delaying, or erasing the data. Inevitably, some handling will occur in ordinary politics. But when the data are manipulated in order to obstruct criminal justice or steal an election, then it's no longer ordinary politics; it becomes a cover-up. With each new day, there is growing evidence of a cover-up in Chicago.

In our digital age, seeing, monitoring, and recording the digital footprints is quite different from sharing, releasing, revealing, or publicizing the data. We are all exposed today, most of us out of our own desires and passions. The political struggle, though, is over who controls those digital traces. It's not a question of privacy anymore, since we so often crave publicity; it is a question of controlling the data flows. More...

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Distrust Fuels Outrage at House Financial Services Committee
By Pam Martens and Russ Martens
Posted December 11, 2015

beaureucrats testifiyingJust take a look at the photo. The panel of witnesses that testified yesterday represent just eight of the ten voting members of the Financial Stability Oversight Council.

Behind each of the regulators on the panel (see list and testimony below), with the exception of S. Roy Woodall, the independent member of FSOC with insurance expertise, there is a regulatory agency eating up more and more taxpayers' dollars while the financial system itself continues to exhibit dangerous and erratic behavior; books continue to be published showing the stock market is rigged and Wall Street is a parasitic wealth transfer operation; commodity prices plummet; junk bond defaults double year over year; derivative exposures remain in the dark; community banks continue to go out of business or are gobbled up; and the holdings of the mega Wall Street banks become ever more concentrated, with just six banks now controlling over 90 percent of derivatives (still housed on the books of their insured, taxpayer-backstopped commercial bank) and 40 percent of deposits. More...

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The Real Issues You Won't Hear From the 2016 Presidential Candidates This Election Year
By John W. Whitehead
Posted December 9, 2015

campaigns are now a circusThe countdown has begun. We now have less than one year until the 2016 presidential election, and you can expect to be treated to an earful of carefully crafted, expensive sound bites and political spin about climate change, education, immigration, taxes and war.

Despite the dire state of our nation, however, you can rest assured that none of the problems that continue to undermine our freedoms will be addressed in any credible, helpful way by any of the so-called viable presidential candidates and certainly not if doing so might jeopardize their standing with the unions, corporations or the moneyed elite bankrolling their campaigns.

The following are just a few of the issues that should be front and center in every presidential debate. That they are not is a reflection of our willingness as citizens to have our political elections reduced to little more than popularity contests that are, in the words of Shakespeare, "full of sound and fury, signifying nothing." More...

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Paris and the Soldiers of the Caliphate: More War, More Blowback
by Jason Hirthler
Posted November 26, 2015

middle east devastation breeds radicalismEvery major terror attack is leveraged by the West to occupy greater segments of the Middle East and to suppress free speech, organization, and protest at home. Our oligarchic elite must never concede their own role in fomenting terror by terrorizing vulnerable populations. They are duty bound by the oligarchs that elected them to observe an elite omerta about empire.

They must never concede that seven Muslim countries invaded, one million Muslims killed, and tens of millions of Muslims turned into refugees has anything to do with terrorism visited on Western capitals, from New York to London to Madrid and finally, again, to Paris. But of course, those figures had everything to do with November 13th. The entire planet would be a better place if we merely had the capacity for self-critique. We don't. More...

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5 Myths Regarding the Paris Terror Attacks
by Washington's Blog
Posted November 22, 2015

surveillance does not make you saferThe NSA and other spy agencies are pretending that the Paris attacks show that we need more mass surveillance. But the New York Times correctly points out in a scathing editorial that mass surveillance won't help to prevent terrorism:

As one French counterterrorism expert and former defense official said, this shows that "our intelligence is actually pretty good, but our ability to act on it is limited by the sheer numbers." In other words, the problem in this case was not a lack of data, but a failure to act on information authorities already had.

In fact, indiscriminate bulk data sweeps have not been useful. In the more than two years since the N.S.A.'s data collection programs became known to the public, the intelligence community has failed to show that the phone program has thwarted a terrorist attack. Yet for years intelligence officials and members of Congress repeatedly misled the public by claiming that it was effective. In reality, top security experts agree that mass surveillance makes us MORE vulnerable to terrorists. Indeed, even the NSA has previously admitted that it's collecting too MUCH information to stop terror attacks. More...

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Time Is Running Out For Pax Americana's Apologists
by Rostislav Ischenko
Posted November 16, 2015

empire in declineThe paradox of the current global crisis is that for the last five years, all relatively responsible and independent nations have made tremendous efforts to save the United States from the financial, economic, military, and political disaster that looms ahead. And this is all despite Washington's equally systematic moves to destabilize the world order, rightly known as the Pax Americana.

Since policy is not a zero-sum game, i.e., one participant's loss does not necessarily entail a gain for another, this paradox has a logical explanation. A crisis erupts within any system when there is a discrepancy between its internal structure and the sum total of available resources (that is, those resources will eventually prove inadequate for the system to function normally and in the usual way). More...

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The Deep State: The Unelected Shadow Government Is Here To Stay
by John W. Whitehead
Posted November 12, 2015

deep stateAmerica's next president will inherit more than a bitterly divided nation teetering on the brink of financial catastrophe when he or she assumes office. He will also inherit a shadow government, one that is fully operational and staffed by unelected officials who are, in essence, running the country. To be precise, however, the future president will actually inherit not one but two shadow governments.

The first shadow government, referred to as COG or continuity of government, is made up of unelected individuals who have been appointed to run the government in the event of a "catastrophe." The second shadow government, referred to as the Deep State, is comprised of unelected government bureaucrats, corporations, contractors, paper-pushers, and button-pushers who are actually calling the shots behind the scenes right now. More...

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How the U.S. Government is Raiding a Citizen Victim Relief Fund to Pay for General Expenses
by Michael Krieger
Posted November 6, 2015

government theftOne of the primary "talking points" used by the Department of Justice to defend its practice of systematically deeming corporate criminals above the law via its used of deferred prosecution agreements, has been an emphasis on how much money it has earned in fines from criminal corporations. These fines were supposed to be distributed to help victimized American citizens. Not any more.

The government's just-approved budget deal takes $1.5 billion from a fund for crime victims and uses it instead to help pay for federal spending, drawing on a growing reserve collected from settlements with banks and major corporations. More...

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TPP Is Toxic Political Poison That Politicians Should Avoid
By Kevin Zeese and Margaret Flowers
Posted October 25, 2015

TPP is NAFTA on steroidsIf you care about corporate power versus democracy, and about jobs, the environment, health care, food, water, energy, climate, regulation of banks and more, then stopping the TPP needs to be a top priority. The agreement comes after six years of secret negotiations — secret to the public, media and elected representatives but not to hundreds of transnational corporations, their lobbyists and lawyers.

The deal is fragile. Negotiators had been near agreement for more than a year and the final two meetings were a struggle. The controversy around this the agreement will come out when it is made public and goes through national legislatures. More...

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The Drone Papers: The Assasination Complex
by Jeremy Scahill
Posted October 18, 2015

drone victimsDrones are a tool, not a policy. The policy is assassination. While every president since Gerald Ford has upheld an executive order banning assassinations by executive order banning assassinations by U.S. personnel, Congress has avoided legislating the issue or even defining the word "assassination." This has allowed proponents of the drone wars to rebrand assassinations with more palatable characterizations, such as the term du jour, "targeted killings."

From his first days as commander in chief, the drone has been President Barack Obama's weapon of choice, used by the military and the CIA to hunt down and kill the people his administration has deemed — through secretive processes, without indictment or trial — worthy of execution. There has been intense focus on the technology of remote killing, but that often serves as a surrogate for what should be a broader examination of the state's power over life and death. More...

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Syrian Crisis: What Will Happen Next?
by Brandon Smith
Posted October 9, 2015

Syrian destructionThe Syrian crisis and the confluence of clashing interests there was entirely predictable. In fact, I wrote an article on my former website in 2010 outlining the potential for Syria as a high value catalyst for global conflict titled "Will Globalists Trigger Yet Another World War?"

In it, I summarized the dubious history of wars initiated over the past century, including the nature of false flags and false paradigms created by globalists designed to divide nations and peoples and turn them against each other. This strategy of engineered war (along with engineered economic collapse) has been used time and time again by the elites to artificially generate chaos and then consolidate and centralize power while the masses are blinded by confusion. More...

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You Can't Separate Empire, the State, Financialization and Crony Capitalism: It's One Indivisible System
by Charles Hugh Smith
Posted October 3, 2015

empire and crony capitalismIf you think you can surgically extract Empire from the American System, force the State to serve the working/middle classes, end the stripmining of financialization, limit crony capitalism/regulatory capture and get Big Money out of politics--go ahead and do so. I'm not standing in your way--go for it.

But while you pursue your good governance, populist, Left/ Right /Socialist/ Libertarian, etc. reforms, please understand the system is indivisible: the Deep State, the Imperial Project (hegemony and power projection), the State, finance in all its tenacled control mechanisms (greetings, debt-serfs and student-loan-serfs), crony capitalism /regulatory capture, money buying political influence, media propaganda passing as "news", and the evisceration of democracy (something untoward could happen if the serfs could overthrow the Power Elite at the ballot box--can't let that happen)--it's all one system. More...

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Forget the New World Order, Here's Who Really Runs the World
by Jake Anderson
Posted September 28, 2015

Eisenhower warnings were ignoredFor decades, extreme ideologies on both the left and the right have clashed over the conspiratorial concept of a shadowy secret government pulling the strings on the world's heads of state and captains of industry.

The phrase New World Order is largely derided as a sophomoric conspiracy theory entertained by minds that lack the sophistication necessary to understand the nuances of geopolitics. But it turns out the core idea — one of deep and overarching collusion between Wall Street and government with a globalist agenda — is operational in what a number of insiders call the "Deep State." More...

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Deep State America
By Philip Giraldi
Posted Septemeber 22, 2015

deep state in the U.S.Democracy is often subverted by special interests operating behind the scenes. Consider for a moment how Washington operates. There is gridlock in Congress and the legislature opposes nearly everything that the White House supports. Nevertheless, certain things happen seemingly without any discussion: Banks are bailed out and corporate interests are protected by law. Huge multi-year defense contracts are approved. Citizens are assassinated by drones, the public is routinely surveilled, people are imprisoned without be charged, military action against "rogue" regimes is authorized, and whistleblowers are punished with prison. The war crimes committed by U.S. troops and contractors on far-flung battlefields, as well as torture and rendition, are rarely investigated and punishment of any kind is rare. America, the warlike predatory capitalist, might be considered a virtual definition of deep state.

One critic describes deep state as driven by the "Washington Consensus," a subset of the "American exceptionalism" meme. More...

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A Refugee Crisis Made in America
By Philip Giraldi
Posted September 16, 2015

syrian refugeesWill the U.S. accept responsibility for the humanitarian consequences of Washington-manufactured wars?

Significantly, the countries that have generated most of the refugees are all places where the United States has invaded, overthrown governments, supported insurgencies, or intervened in a civil war. The invasion of Iraq created a power vacuum that has empowered terrorism in the Arab heartland. Supporting rebels in Syria has piled Pelion on Ossa. Afghanistan continues to bleed 14 years after the United States arrived and decided to create a democracy. Libya, which was relatively stable when the U.S. and its allies intervened, is now in chaos, with its disorder spilling over into sub-Saharan Africa.

Everywhere people are fleeing the violence, which, among other benefits, has virtually obliterated the ancient Christian presence in the Middle East. Though I recognize that the refugee problem cannot be completely blamed on only one party, many of those millions would be alive and the refugees would for the most part be in their homes if it had not been for the catastrophic interventionist policies pursued by both Democratic and Republican administrations in the United States. More...

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Bread and Circuses – The Shady, Slimy and Corrupt World of Taxpayer Funded Sports Stadiums
by Michael Krieger
Posted September 7, 2015

bread and circusesLike pretty much everything in the modern U.S. economy, wealthy and connected people fleecing taxpayers in order to earn even greater piles of money is also the business model when it comes to sports stadiums. Many cities have tried to make voter approval mandatory before these building boondoggles get started, but in almost all cases these efforts are thwarted by a powerful coalition of businessmen and corrupt politicians. Sound familiar? Yep, it a microcosm for pretty much everything else in America these days.

Sharing revenues with the taxpayers funding the stadium: Illegal.

Blatantly corrupt private-public partnership cartels: Perfectly legal.

Two words: Banana Republic. More...

Click here for a rundown of how football stadiums have been publicly financed.

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One Presidential Debate You Won't Hear
by Frankin Spinney
Posted September 5, 2015

sham debatesThe time is ripe for a substantive political debate on a real issue.

The Presidential campaign will move into high gear on the day after Labor Day. But as it now stands, the American people are about to inundated with speeches and debating points over why it is time to rebuild America's defenses, with most of the candidates beating their breasts in an effort to out-tough each other.

Wouldn't it be refreshing if at least one candidate stopped beating his or her breasts and spoke thoughtfully to the importance of moving our country onto a pathway away from blind militarism toward a more sensible grand strategy. More...

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Jimmy Carter: The U.S. Is an "Oligarchy With Unlimited Political Bribery"
by Jon Schwarz
Posted August 6, 2015

President Carter: U.S. is an oligarchyFormer president Jimmy Carter said Tuesday on the nationally syndicated radio show the Thom Hartmann Program that the United States is now an "oligarchy" in which "unlimited political bribery" has created "a complete subversion of our political system as a payoff to major contributors." Both Democrats and Republicans, Carter said, "look upon this unlimited money as a great benefit to themselves."

Carter was responding to a question from Hartmann about recent Supreme Court decisions on campaign financing like Citizens United. I've added Carter's statement to this list of politicians acknowledging that money controls politics. More...

Princeton University study concluding that the U.S. is an oligarchy.

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64 Nations Say No to GMO, Yet US Government Nears Illegal GMO Labeling
By Christina Sarich
Posted August 1, 2015

89% of US corn is Genentically modifiedThe World Health Organization (WHO) has already declared that five of the major chemical herbicides used to grow GMO crops are either likely or definitely cancerous, yet the USA still makes secret trade deals that would allow biotech to push their genetically modified 'food' on Americans who don't want to eat it.

Our right to know if we are even eating GMO crops is being taken away via legislation known as the Deny Americans the Right to Know Act (DARK) act. (This is officially known as the 'Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act.)

More than 60 countries have already passed mandatory GMO labeling laws, and many will ban GMO crops altogether this year if they haven't already. You can see a great map of these GM labeling bans here. More...

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The Kagans: Seeking War to the End of the World
by Robert Parry
Posted July 28, 2015

Kagan PNAC FamilyIf the neoconservatives have their way again, US ground troops will reoccupy Iraq, the US military will take out Syria's secular government (likely helping Al Qaeda and the Islamic State take over), and the US Congress will not only kill the Iran nuclear deal but follow that with a massive increase in military spending.

Like spraying lighter fluid on a roaring barbecue, the neocons also want a military escalation in Ukraine to burn the ethnic Russians out of the east, and the neocons dream of spreading the blaze to Moscow with the goal of forcing Russian President Vladimir Putin from the Kremlin. In other words, more and more fires of Imperial "regime change" abroad even as the last embers of the American Republic die at home. More...

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Lobbyists Fundraising for Clinton, Bush, Rubio and Kasich Are Coworkers
by Lee Fang
Posted July 27, 2015

lobbbyists work both partiesJust how incestuous is the small world of big money politics? The leading Democratic candidate and at least three major Republican candidates are all relying on members of the same lobbying firm to help them raise presidential campaign cash: Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld.

Akin Gump is hardly a household name, but the law and lobbying firm is famous in Washington for its ability to sell access to those in power. Akin Gump's employee roster is filled with former members of Congress, and its client list is a veritable who's who of elite interests, including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Monsanto, Boeing, Chevron, Gilead Sciences, Pfizer and AT&T. The United Arab Emirates and Japan are among the foreign governments represented by the firm.

In presidential politics, lobbying firms influence candidates by soliciting sizable donations to allied Super PACs and by mobilizing large numbers of traditional campaign checks. The practice of collecting checks on behalf of a candidate is known as "bundling." More...

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The Movement to Fight Big Money Politics Now Has a Gold Standard
by Jon Schwarz
Posted Juily 26, 2015

legal corruptionThe good news is that we may not be doomed to spend the rest of our lives thinking of disgusting things to which to compare the American political process. This week for the first time, 12 major U.S. public interest organizations jointly released a campaign finance reform agenda, which they are asking every presidential candidate to endorse.

The unprecedented coordination by the groups — including People for the Americay Way, Public Citizen, Democracy 21, Mayday and the Brennan Center for Justice — grew out of and builds upon a set of "Unity Principles" endorsed by 152 organizations including the AFL-CIO, MoveOn, Greenpeace and the NAACP.

And while simply creating a list of common demands is the baby step part of politics, there's a reason parents get excited when their children first stand up and walk. More...

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Santa Cruz County Votes to Cease Doing Business with Five TBTF Mega Banks
by Michael Krieger
Posted July 17, 2015

too big to jailThis is impressive. Very, very impressive.

It appears that Ryan Coonerty, the Supervisor of the Third District of Santa Cruz County, wrote a letter back in June to the rest of the Board of Supervisors, in which he bravely pleaded the county cease business operations with five of the TBTF Wall Street Mega Banks. Why you ask? Well, because they are criminal felons. Considering Eric Holder refused to punish them, someone has to take a stand.

Here are a few choice excerpts from the letter:
The banks have agreed to plead guilty to felony charges of conspiring to manipulate the price of U.S. dollars and euros exchanged in the foreign currency exchange spot market… The behavior of these banks is offensive and signals a Wall Street culture in which several big banks broke the law even after years of strong criticism and increased regulation following the economic crisis.

It is important that we send a message that if you want to do business with the County, you need to play by the rules. Therefore I recommend that the Board direct that the County's investment policy be modified to reflect that the County of Santa Cruz will not do new business with these felonious financial institutions for a period of five years and further that the County unwind existing relationships with these five banks to the greatest extent feasible." More...

 

Hillary Clinton Outlines Right-wing Economic Policies in New York City Speech
By Andre Damon
Posted July 16, 2015

Hillary Clinton caters to Wall StreetFormer Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, the frontrunner for the Democratic Party nomination in the 2016 US presidential election, presented an unabashedly right wing, pro-business economic program Monday in a major policy speech. It was was the first major speech by Clinton since she officially launched her campaign with a rally at Four Freedoms Park on Roosevelt Island June 13. In contrast to that appearance, a high-profile event that consisted of empty and demagogic rhetoric presented to an audience of trade union officials and Democratic Party functionaries, Monday's speech contained a clear and specific set of policy proposals.

The central aim of Clinton's speech was to reassure the American financial oligarchy that, despite her occasional lukewarm denunciations of corporate criminality and social inequality, she is a right-wing, pro-business defender of Wall Street.

The speech makes clear that a Clinton presidency will pursue the same pro-Wall Street policies of the Obama administration, seeking to expand the fortunes of the super-rich at the expense of the great majority of society, while invoking "fairness" and "equality" as window dressing. More...

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Maryland, Illinois Voting Machines May be Rigged for Democrats
By Melanie Batley
Posted July 4, 2015

no user verified paper trailA number of voting machines in Maryland and Illinois are electronically switching Republican votes to the Democrats, raising suspicions that fraud could be at the root of the alleged malfunction.

According to Watchdog.org, election officials in both states have characterized the problem as a "calibration issue," but a software developer and expert on touch screens used by U.S. intelligence agencies told Newsmax that the explanation was bogus.

"It's a software issue, and it's incredibly suspicious that a bug like that could slip through accidentally. More...

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Jeb! The Money! Dynasty!
by Nomi Prins
Posted June 30, 2015

Bush family and moneyMoney, they say, makes the world go round. So how's $10 billion for you? That's a top-end estimate for the record-breaking spending in this 1% presidential election campaign season. But is "season" even the right word, now that such campaigns are essentially four-year events that seem always to be underway? In a political world stuffed with money, it's little wonder that the campaign season floats on a sea of donations.

In the case of Jeb Bush, he and his advisers have so far had a laser-focus on the electorate they felt mattered most: big donors. They held off the announcement of his candidacy until last week (though he clearly long knew he was running) so that they could blast out of the gates, dollars-wise, leaving the competition in their financial dust, before the exceedingly modest limits to non-super PAC campaign fundraising kicked in. More...

 

"Sentence First, Verdict Afterwards": The Alice in Wonderland World of Fast-tracked Secret Trade Agreements
by Ellen Brown
Posted June 23, 2015

queen of hearts`Let the jury consider their verdict,' the King said, for about the twentieth time that day.
`No, no!' said the Queen. `Sentence first–verdict afterwards.'
`Stuff and nonsense!' said Alice loudly. `The idea of having the sentence first!'
`Hold your tongue!' said the Queen, turning purple.
`I won't!' said Alice.
`Off with her head!' the Queen shouted at the top of her voice.

— Lewis Carroll, "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland"

Fast-track authority is being sought in the Senate this week for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), along with the Trade in Services Agreement (TiSA) and any other such trade agreements coming down the pike in the next six years. The terms of the TPP and the TiSA are so secret that drafts of the negotiations are to remain classified for four years or five years, respectively, after the deals have been passed into law. How can laws be enforced against people and governments who are not allowed to know what was negotiated? More...

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If Elizabeth Warren Is Already Angry at Mary Jo White, Wait Until She Hears About This
By Pam Martens and Russ Martens
Posted June 18, 2015

Elizabeth Warren, watch dog Earlier this month, Senator Elizabeth Warren was so exasperated with the obstructionist role that Mary Jo White has played at the SEC that she sent her a sternly worded, 13-page letter calling her out on her serial broken promises.

Senator Warren highlighted White's failure to finalize rules requiring disclosure of the ratio of CEO pay to the median worker; her failure to curb the use of waivers for companies that violate securities law; the SEC's continued practice of settling the vast majority of cases without requiring meaningful admissions of guilt; and White's repeated recusals related to her prior employment and her husband's current employment at law firms representing Wall Street. More...

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Billionaires Fear Revolt As People Power Grows
By Kevin Zeeze and Margaret Flowers
Posted June 15, 2015

TPP is a corporate coupLast week there was a populist revolt from across the political spectrum. Congress received tens of thousands of phone calls every day from people who are clear which side they are on: they want people and planet before profits; they want an open, transparent democracy not a secretive oligarchy.

The elites also see the revolts, whether it is people standing together to defend homeowners facing eviction or foreclosure, or #BlackLivesMatter rightful rage against police violence, or climate justice protesters marching in St. Paul, protesting at a governor's home in Massachusetts, blocking Shell Arctic drilling or protesting at public meetings. . . every week there are protests like these and more. The elites are aware. They know we are in the midst of revolt. More...

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It Cost Corporations Less Than $18,000 per Vote to Get ''Fast Track'' Passed, and More
By Thom Hartmann
Posted June 3, 2015

government for the highest bidderYou need to know this. It cost corporations less than $18,000 per vote to get "fast track" passed in the United States Senate. According to a recent analysis by The Guardian newspaper, corporate members of the US Business Coalition for TPP donated more than $1.1 million to Senate campaigns in the first quarter of 2015. The average Democrat received about $9,700, and the average Republican raked in almost $20,000.

Although last-minute donations may have increased the price of approval, it looks like corporations got a pretty good deal on fast track and the American people got a raw deal from our lawmakers. For a measly ten or twenty thousand bucks, US Senators were willing to give up their constitutionally mandated power to modify legislation and hand control of our nation over to their corporate masters. More...

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Emails Reveal Diary Lobbyist Crafted "Ag-Gag" Legilsation Outlawing Pictures Of Farms
By Lee Fang
Posted May 30, 2015

illegal to photographAcross the country, legislatures are responding to whistleblowers and activists who have exposed inhumane and at times unsanitary practices at farms by passing laws that criminalize the taking of photos or videos at agricultural facilities.

Farming interests have publicly backed the campaign to outlaw recording. But emails I obtained through a records request reveal that in Idaho, which passed an "ag-gag" law last year, dairy industry lobbyists actually crafted the legislation that was later introduced by lawmakers.

State Sen. Jim Patrick, R-Twin Falls, said he sponsored the bill in response to an activist-filmed undercover video that showed cows at an Idaho plant being beaten by workers, dragged by the neck with chains, and forced to live in pens covered in feces, which activists said made the cows slip, fall and injure themselves. The facility, Bettencourt Dairies, is a major supplier for Burger King and Kraft. The workers who were filmed were fired. More...

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Chris Christie's signature law called unconstitutional in court ... by Christie administration
by Laura Clawson
Posted May 17, 2015

indicators of Christie's characterNew Jersey Gov. Chris Christie's administration is in court arguing that Christie should be able to violate the public employee pension law he pushed for and signed in his first term in office. According to the law, "members of the public-pension systems shall have a contractual right to the annual required contribution amount." That shouldn't have been groundbreaking, but it would have been—had Christie followed it—since the previous nine governors, Democrats included, had shorted the state's contribution to the pension fund even as workers put in their share every year.

Christie's signature pension law required workers to pay still more toward pensions and eliminated cost of living adjustments, but the claim was that in exchange for that, the state would start making its full contribution. Instead, it didn't take long for Christie to start shorting the pension fund. More..

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Politicians & The Manipulated Crowd
by Bob Livinston
Posted April 26, 2015

illusion of freedomLife and happiness in this life under any political system directly depend upon how much our individuality (versus the crowd) is retained and to what extent we throw off manipulated illusions.

The more we are immersed into the mass mind (the crowd), the more we are manipulated and the more dependent on authority (government) we become. Every thrust of this nebulous thing called society is calculated to drive us into the dependent, mindless herd with automatic response to authority.

Not one American in a million discovers that he lives under deception and illusion and that he is victimized by the power of repeated words and phrases. Our lives and property are plundered simply because we don't know that we don't know. Our thought system enslaves us far more than would a conquering army. More...

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Princeton makes it official — USA Has Become Oligarchy, No Democracy
by F. William Engdahl
Posted April 25, 2015

who are they protecting?Martin Gilens is Professor of Politics at Princeton University together with Benjamin I. Page Professor at Northwestern University have published results of a unique analysis "using a unique data set that includes measures of the key variables for 1,779 policy issues." The study concludes that, "Multivariate analysis indicates that economic elites and organized groups representing business interests have substantial independent impacts on US government policy, while average citizens and mass-based interest groups have little or no independent influence. The results provide substantial support for theories of Economic-Elite Domination…"

Their study further concluded, "When the preferences of economic elites and the stands of organized interest groups are controlled for, the preferences of the average American appear to have only a minuscule, near-zero, statistically non-significant impact upon public policy." Finally they conclude, "…Our analyses suggest that majorities of the American public actually have little influence over the policies our government adopts. More...

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Pilot explains his mission before Capitol landing
Posted April 17, 2015

 

Before flying to Washington, pilot Doug Hughes made a video explaining why he planned to land his gyrocopter on U.S. Capitol grounds.

"I'm demanding reform and declaring a voter's rebellion in a manner consistent with Jefferson's description of rights in the Declaration of Independence," he wrote in his letters. "As a member of Congress, you have three options.
1. You may pretend corruption does not exist.
2. You may pretend to oppose corruption while you sabotage reform.
3. You may actively participate in real reform."

Doug Hughes is a true American patriot and is doing what he can to take back our government from the greedy hands of the money class, who have totally corrupted our political system with their legal bribes (donations) to futher their own self-serving interests.

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"Manufacturing Dissent": The Anti-globalization Movement is Funded by the Corporate Elites
By Professor Michel Chossudovsky
Posted April 13, 2015

corporate media propaganda"Manufacturing consent" describes a propaganda model used by the corporate media to sway public opinion and "inculcate individuals with values and beliefs…":

The mass media serve as a system for communicating messages and symbols to the general populace. It is their function to amuse, entertain, and inform, and to inculcate individuals with the values, beliefs, and codes of behavior that will integrate them into the institutional structures of the larger society. In a world of concentrated wealth and major conflicts of class interest, to fulfill this role requires systematic propaganda. (Manufacturing Consent by Edward S. Herman and Noam Chomsky)

"Manufacturing consent" implies manipulating and shaping public opinion. It establishes conformity and acceptance to authority and social hierarchy. It seeks compliance to an established social order. "Manufacturing consent" describes the submission of public opinion to the mainstream media narrative, to its lies and fabrications. In this article, we focus on a related concept, namely the subtle process of "manufacturing dissent" (rather than "consent"), which plays a decisive role in serving the interests of the ruling class. More...

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White House Blog Reveals A Profound Lack Of Support For TPP
By Kevin Zeese & Margaret Flowers
Posted April 10, 2015

TPP lacks supportWidespread environmental opposition to the Trans-Pacific Partnership prompts an embarrassing White House statement claiming environmental support from some of the country's most conservative, corporate-funded environmental organizations. The White House has published a handful of comments from "environmental groups" implying widespread support for the Trans-Pacific Partnership and other corporate trade agreements. Yet these cherry-picked comments from some of the most conservative, corporate-funded environmental groups actually reveal the administration's desperation to find any support for such deals.

Indeed, the reality is that scores of major environmental organizations including Sierra Club, Natural Resources Defense Council, League of Conservation Voters, Defenders of Wildlife, Union of Concerned Scientists, Greenpeace, Friends of the Earth, 350.org, and many others oppose the TPP and have spoken out against fast-track trade authority. They recognize the TPP as a backward step for environmental protection that will help push the world over the tipping point for climate change. More...

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False Flag Terror: Presidents, Prime Ministers, Congressmen, Generals, Spooks, Soldiers and Police Admit to it
By Washington's Blog
Posted March 21, 2015

who are they protecting?Not Theory … Admitted Fact. There are many documented false flag attacks, where a government carries out a terror attack … and then falsely blames its enemy for political purposes.

In the following instances, officials in the government which carried out the attack (or seriously proposed an attack) admit to it, either orally or in writing:

(43) High-level American sources admitted that the Turkish government – a fellow NATO country – carried out the chemical weapons attacks blamed on the Syrian government; and high-ranking Turkish government admitted on tape plans to carry out attacks and blame it on the Syrian government.

(44) The Ukrainian security chief admits that the sniper attacks which started the Ukrainian coup were carried out in order to frame others. Ukrainian officials admit that the Ukrainian snipers fired on both sides, to create maximum chaos.

(45) Britain's spy agency has admitted (and see this) that it carries out "digital false flag" attacks on targets, framing people by writing offensive or unlawful material … and blaming it on the target. More...

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Lawmakers Say TPP Meetings Classified To Keep Americans in the Dark
by Jon Queally
Posted March 19, 2015

TPP is classified?Lawmakers in Congress who remain wary of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade agreement are raising further objections this week to the degree of secrecy surrounding briefings on the deal, with some arguing that the main reason at least one meeting has been registered "classified" is to help keep the American public ignorant about giveaways to corporate interests and its long-term implications.

"I'm not happy about it," Rep. Alan Grayson (D-Fla.) told the Huffington Post, referring to the briefing with Froman and Labor Secretary Thomas Perez on Wednesday. The meeting—focused on the section of the TPP that deals with the controversial 'Investor-State Dispute Settlement' (ISDS) mechanism—has been labeled "classified," so that lawmakers and any of their staff who attend will be barred, under threat of punishment, of revealing what they learn with constituents or outside experts. More...

So " the controversial 'Investor-State Dispute Settlement' (ISDS) mechanism—has been labeled classified?" So how many of the industry lobbyists negotiating this corporate coup have security clearances?

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25 statist propaganda phrases and how to rebut them
By Matthew Reece
Posted March 16, 2015

In the discourse of statists, there is a group of phrases of which one or more tend to be present in nearly every argument. While this is not an exhaustive listing of that group, it does contain twenty-five of the most common phrases that statists use in their arguments. As propaganda has a tendency to be repetitive, some of these phrases contain the same logical fallacies, and will therefore have similar refutations. As such, the phrases are ordered so that earlier rebuttals also apply to some later phrases.

You don't have to like our leaders, but you should respect them"
Respect should be a response to virtue. Ordering the use of initiatory force against people to control them is not virtuous behavior, therefore it is unworthy of respect. More...

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Do Corporations Really Need More Rights? Why Fast Track for the TPP Is a Bad Idea
by David Korten
Posted March 15, 2015

TPP is NAFTA on steroidsWe can have democracy and a prosperous, just, and sustainable human future. Or we can have corporate rule. We cannot have both.President Obama is currently pressing members of Congress to pass Fast-Track authority for a trade and investment agreement called the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). If Fast Track passes, it means that Congress must approve or deny the TPP with minimal debate and no amendments. Astonishingly, our lawmakers have not seen the agreement they are being asked to expedite.

The secret gatherings of unelected government officials and corporate representatives in which agreements like the TPP are negotiated have become de facto transnational legislative bodies, drafting international laws the democratically elected legislative bodies of signatory countries then rubber stamp. More...

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End Big Money's Chokehold on Democracy. Amend the Constitution.
by Robert Weissman
Posted March 4, 2015

get money out of politicsThe American political system is facing an existential crisis. Do we aim to be a democracy – meaning a system of rule by the people – or do Americans stand down and permit a very narrow elite class to operate a functioning oligarchy?

Our Constitution begins with the powerful words "We the People" and elaborates a political system in which the people are sovereign. Yet in a series of decisions, of which Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission is the most notorious, the US Supreme Court has interpreted the First Amendment of that document so as to erode our democracy. Now it's time to amend the great document to re-establish democratic principles. More...

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Yanis Varoufakis: The Straw That Breaks the Ponzi's Back?
By Cognitive Dissonance
Posted February 19, 2015

house of cards collapseAs individual pawns cavalierly exchanged back and forth, one for one, in the same manner high ground is taken, only to be conceded, then taken again in a bloody game of war only those at the top could possibly win, you and I must step back and ask ourselves the only two sane questions left. How did we get here and where do we go from here?

I can't count the number of times I have heard, read or seen one commenter after another declare with the highest piety their belief that capitalism has been tragically subverted, perverted and co-opted into what it is today. Often the unspoken, but clearly implied, thought is that aside from a few bad apples stinking up the joint, capitalism would be humming along just fine thank you, providing full employment, the proper allocation of capital and apple pie justice for all.

While clearly the above description is an exaggeration, though not by much, when will "We the People" begin to question the basis for our most fundamental and indoctrinated premise, one that declares 'Capitalism' is the greatest thing since sliced bread and clearly superior to any other socioeconomic system out there? More...

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Behind The Global Game Of Thrones
by Raúl Ilargi Meijer
Posted February 12, 2015

power behind the throneGreek PM Alexis Tsipras yesterday laid out Syriza's stance, and from what I saw he didn't pull even one punch. Despite all the suggestions from the financial press throughout the past week that Tsipras and Varoufakis reneged on campaign promises to seek debt write-downs, they didn't, and never have – other than perhaps in semantics. We need a much deeper and more comprehensive change to how we've organized our societies. Syriza understand this, and they're acting on it, but they can't do it alone, and besides their priority must be the Greek population, not the systems that are strangling the world, because that's what they were voted into office for. We need to support them much more than we have so far, or both their fight and ours will end in defeat.

We have put the sociopaths in charge, in an international and largely anonymous dictatorship. Who really pulls the levers in the IMF, or NATO etc? We have no way of knowing. And that's the problem. And that is what Syriza, and precious few besides them, are set to fight. And why they deserve – and need – our support. Because if they don't win, we don't. More...

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How American Oligarchs Are Pushing America to the Brink of Fascism
By Thom Hartmann
Posted February 8, 2015

Drift towards fascismIt used to be more difficult for the ultra wealthy to buy American democracy.

As the American Heritage Dictionary noted, fascism is: "A system of government that exercises a dictatorship of the extreme right, typically through the merging of state and business leadership, together with belligerent nationalism."

Well, it it may well on our doorstep. And the oligarchs are plotting their final takeover by using their economic dominance to capture governmental power - specifically, the governmental power which sets the rules for the very marketplace that provides the oligarchs with such massive wealth. Once the American corporate barons own the institutions that are meant to regulate them, it's game-over for both rational capitalism (including competition) and for democracy. More...

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Repealing the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP): Fast Track Not A Done Deal, The People Will Stop It
By Kevin Zeese and Margaret Flowers
Posted January 21, 2015

TPP - NAFTA on steroidsThere is bi-partisan opposition in Congress to Fast Track and a large movement of movements mobilized to stop it. The corporate media is reporting that since the Republican leadership and President Obama support Fast Track trade authority, it is a done deal. And that message, also heard by countries negotiating the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), is driving the race to finalize that agreement.

The truth is: Fast Track is not a done deal. There is bi-partisan opposition in Congress and a large movement of movements organized to stop it. Across the political spectrum there is mass opposition to fast tracking the secretly negotiated TPP, the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP, aka TAFTA) and the Trade in Services Agreement (TISA). People remember the impact of NAFTA on job loss, destruction of Mexican agriculture, expansion of inequality, environmental degradation and increased immigration. The most recent South Korean trade pact, which Obama touts as a success, is leading to similar results of lost jobs and an expanding US trade deficits. More...

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The First Question to Ask After Any Terror Attack: Was It a False Flag?
By Washington's Blog
Posted January 17, 2014

was it a false flag?Governments from around the world admit they've used the bully's trick … attack first, and then blame the victim. False flag terrorism" is defined as a government attacking its own people, then blaming others in order to justify going to war against the people it blames.

Or as Wikipedia defines it: False flag operations are covert operations conducted by governments, corporations, or other organizations, which are designed to appear as if they are being carried out by other entities. The name is derived from the military concept of flying false colors; that is, flying the flag of a country other than one's own. False flag operations are not limited to war and counter-insurgency operations, and have been used in peace-time. More...

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'Incomprehensible' Secrecy: Sanders Demands Release of TPP Agreement Text
by Deirdre Fulton
Posted January 6, 2014

TPP, why so secret'It is incomprehensible to me that the leaders of major corporate interests are actively involved in the writing of the TPP, while the elected officials of this country have little or no knowledge as to what is in it,' says senator Bernie Sanders.

Proponents of the pact, which would encompass 12 nations that represent 40 percent of the global economy, are pushing for a fast-track process that would hand over negotiating authority to President Barack Obama, who supports the deal. Critics claim the TPP poses threats to civil liberties, workers rights, public health, food safety, and global financial stability. More...

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The Consequences of TPP
by Michael T. Hertz
Posted January 5, 2014

NAFTA on steroidsSo – watch out for the TPP, all you who want to protect American sovereign rights. Because once it is enacted, our entire legal system is up for grabs. If you know anything about the checkered history of the Trans Pacific Partnership, you know that this is coming.

What is wrong with the TPP? It is NAFTA on steroids. Here's how it works. As in NAFTA, there will be whole sections in the TPP that override important national law regarding labor, environment regulations, and the like. Under the U.S. Constitution, a treaty overrides both state and federal law. So the TPP will be the superior law. If a foreign company believes that the TPP is in conflict with an American law, it can bring a lawsuit. But the lawsuit isn't brought in a court, but before a TPP arbitration panel – comprised of private lawyers, some of whom were probably responsible for drafting the TPP in the first place. And whatever the panel decides goes! More...

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Memo To WSJ: The CRomnibus Abomination Was Not 'A Rare Bipartisan Success'
by David Stockman
Posted December 20, 2014

class action suit against bankersThe rank economic cheerleading in the guise of "news" printed by the Wall Street Journal, Reuters and the rest of the financial press never ceases to amaze. But on the heels of Congress' pathetic capitulation to Wall Street over the weekend you have to wonder if even the robo-writers who compose the headlines are on the take.

Not only did Citigroup and the rest of the big Wall Street banks succeed in gutting the "push-out" requirements of Dodd-Frank, thereby extending their lease to gamble in the derivatives market with FDIC (i.e. taxpayer) guaranteed money. Crony Capitalism also got a huge bonanza in the form of a 10X increase in the contribution limit to party committees. Now the heavy hitters can actually give $230,000 annually to the GOP and Dem campaign committees. And this is supposed to merit praise? More...

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Pigmen Win Again
By James Quinn
Posted December 18, 2014

congress at the troughAfter the disgusting example of politicians of both spineless parties bowing down before Wall Street, the military industrial complex and corporate interests this weekend with the passage of a bloated pig of a spending bill totaling $1.1 trillion, how can anyone not on the payroll of the vested interests not admit there is only one party – and it serves only the needs of the wealthy business interests. Obama, champion of the common folk, signed this putrid example of political corruption and corporate capture of the American political system. For all the believers who voted for the red team in the November mid-terms, this is what you got – a bipartisanship screwing of the American people.

What this entire debacle has proven is that voting doesn't matter. Your vote is meaningless. Political parties are nothing more than a front for the vested interests. The corrupt politicians are bought and sold by Wall Street and corporate interests. The bills are written by lobbyists for the vested interests. When a spending bill is over 1,700 pages, the purpose is to obscure, hide and insert provisions that will benefit those with money to influence the process at the expense of average Americans. None of the perpetrators in Congress actually read this bill. The public had no say regarding this bill. If this is what bipartisan cooperation looks like, I'll take gridlock. The system has been so completely captured by those pulling the wires, they no longer even pretend to care what we think. They keep winning and care not about the consequences of their ruthless despicable pillaging. More...

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If This is the Kind of 'Bipartisanship' Coming in 2015, the Country Is In Dire Straits
By Robert Weissman
Posted December 16, 201
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corporate puppets in WashingtonWe’ve just seen the worst that Washington has to offer with the “cromnibus” government spending bill passed by the U.S. House of Representatives last night.

Instead of Congress passing a clean funding bill along lines that were previously agreed to and had bipartisan acceptance, Big Business exercised its insider influence and took advantage of an artificially rushed and secretive process to cut deals to enhance the political influence of the super-rich, put taxpayers on the hook – again – for Wall Street recklessness and make our roads less safe.

Moneyed interests maneuvered to eviscerate campaign spending rules, so that a super-rich couple may now contribute up to $3 million to a national political party in a single (two-year) election cycle. It’s a certainty that this move will be followed up by calls to “level the playing field” and permit the same monstrous contributions to candidates and political committees. More...

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"The Most Egregious Sections Of Law I've Encountered During My Time As A Representative"
by Mike Krieger
Posted Cecember 14, 2014

corruptionWhile most Americans are busy Christmas shopping and making preparations for trips to see family, Congress remains hard at work doing what it does best. Giving gifts to Wall Street and trampling on citizens' civil liberties.

I knew the plebs were about to be royally screwed a week ago when I published the post: Wall Street Moves to Put Taxpayers on the Hook for Derivatives Trades. The piece concluded with the following:

Remember what Wall Street wants, Wall Street gets. Have a great weekend chumps.

Naturally, Wall Street got what it wanted. In fact, this provision was so important to the financial oligarchs that Jaime Dimon called around to encourage our (Wall Street's) representatives to support it. More...

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Reckless Congress 'Declares War' on Russia
by Ron Paul
Posted December 7, 2014

Ron Paul warns about warThe US House recently passed what I consider to be one of the worst pieces of legislation ever. H. Res. 758 was billed as a resolution "strongly condemning the actions of the Russian Federation, under President Vladimir Putin, which has carried out a policy of aggression against neighboring countries aimed at political and economic domination."

In fact, the bill was 16 pages of war propaganda that should have made even neocons blush, if they were capable of such a thing.

If anyone thinks I am exaggerating about how bad this resolution really is, let me just offer a few examples from the legislation itself: More...

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With Election Over, First Order of Business Is $450 Billion Corporate Tax Break
By Dave Johnson
Posted December 1, 2014

who are they protecting?The election is over. Congress is back in Washington. The first order of business after the election is to give big tax breaks to the corporations – $450 billion worth.

Every year Congress renews a package of "temporary" corporate tax breaks. The renewal process is called "tax extenders" because they extend the term of these temporary breaks. So now the Congress is working on this year's extenders package, except this time it wants to just make many of them (the ones that mostly give handouts to giant corporations and campaign donors) permanent. The Washington Post calls this process "a periodic bonanza for lobbyists." More...

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Dividing the Spoils
by Bill Moyers
Posted November 23, 2014

who are they protecting?Consider the new report from the watchdog Sunlight Foundation: From 2007 to 2012, the two hundred most politically active corporations in the United States spent almost $6 billion for lobbying and campaign contributions. And they received more than $4 trillion in US government contracts and other forms of assistance. That's $760 for every dollar spent on influence, a stunning return on investment.

Our government has become a clearing house for corporations and plutocrats whose dollars grease the wheels for lucrative contracts and easy regulation. It's all pay for play, and look the other way. Partisans of the system say, hey, it's just business as usual, but that, of course, is the problem. We were struck by this headline in The Washington Post after the November elections: "Parties head back to Capitol to begin carving up spoils, remains from midterms." Right: Not only leadership posts and committee chairmanships, but carving, dividing up the spoils also means divvying up the loot. And those contributions were not made for the sake of charity. More..

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Dozens of Communities Vote to Boot Big Money from Politics
by Deirdre Fulton
Posted November 9, 2014

government by the highest bidderCitizens in dozens of communities voted overwhelmingly on Tuesday for their legislators to pass a constitutional amendment to overturn the U.S. Supreme Court's Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission decision, which opened the door for the super-rich and corporations to trample democracy.

As they headed to the polls to vote in what turned out to be the most expensive midterm election in history—one in which outside money from undisclosed sources played an outsized role and the number of small individual donors shrank—voters across the country made clear their desire to end corporate personhood and get big money out of politics.

The local measures, which were all similarly worded, gained anywhere from 70 percent of the vote in Milwaukee County to 83 percent support in the village of Park Ridge. There are now 54 jurisdictions in Wisconsin that have called for such an amendment, in addition to 16 state legislatures and well over 500 municipalities nationwide. More...

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We are losing badly to the corporate state. Here's what we need to do.
by Don Hazen
Posted October 27, 2014

corporate governance As the Editor of AlterNet for 20 years, I have read and seen the entire range of horrendous and growing problems we face as a society and globe virtually every day. It is not just climate change, or ISIL, or Ferguson, or poverty and homelessness, or more misogynistic murdering of women, or the Democrats about to lose the Senate as Obama gets more unpopular. It is much, much more. Every day. It passes by before my eyes. At AlterNet, there are no issue silos—there is just the open faucet of depressing political information coming and going every hour of every day (with the occasional story of success and inspiration).

So I am sorry to share my deep-seated opinion, which should jibe with anyone who is paying attention. After decades of engagement in progressive politics and media, it is very clear to me: we progressives, liberals, common sense people, are losing badly to the conservative business state, the tyranny of massively expanding tech companies, theocratic right-wing forces and pervasive militarism, home and abroad. By virtually every measure, things are getting worse. And are trending much, much worse in ways we can easily measure, like inequality, climate, militarization of police forces, etc., and in ways that are more psychological and emotional. More...

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The District of Corruption – America's Glittering Capital
by Thomas Magstadt
Posted October 26, 2014

District of CorruptionWashington, DC, is not like other cities in America. Money is no object. Don't believe it? Pay a visit there and have a look around, you'll see your tax dollars at work…

Ever wonder about the "DC" in Washington, DC? When I went to graduate school and later worked in that glittering city, I never gave it much thought. Having returned from a recent visit to the nation's capital, however, I can't help but think that some avenging angel tricked the founding fathers into putting these two odd initials – DC – in the name of the place.

Other cities scratch and scramble for monies necessary to maintain decent schools, roads, water and sewer lines, fire and police departments, and the like. But, to repeat, Washington is different. It's different for one simple reason: Washington is where a lot of your tax dollars – billions, if not trillions – go to die. More...

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Beyond Orwellian Nightmares and Neoliberal Authoritarianism
By Henry A. Giroux
Posted October 16, 2014

we will protect youCentral to George Orwell's nightmarish vision of a totalitarian society was a government so powerful that it not only dominated all of the major institutions in a society, but it also was quite adept at making invisible its inner workings of power. This is what some have called a shadow government, deep state, dual state or corporate state.

In the deep state, politics becomes the domain of the ultra-wealthy, the powerful few who run powerful financial services, big corporations and the imperious elite of the defense industries and other components of the military-industrial complex. Corporate interests such as ExxonMobil and other fossil fuel companies, megabanks such as Bank of America, and defense industries such as Boeing, General Dynamics, Northrop Grumman and Lockheed Martin are powerful lobbying groups and as such have control of the major seats of political power and the commanding institutions necessary to insure that the deeply anti-democratic state rules in the interests of the few while exploiting and repressing the many. More...

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Computerized Election Theft and the New American Century
By Jonathan D. Simon
Posted October 15, 2014

voting machine fraudMany despairing observers of The New American Century have asked me whether - given the recent revelations about NSA surveillance, along with other signs that American democracy is deteriorating irrespective of which party governs - an honest vote counting system would even matter anymore. A fair question to which I believe the ultimate, if uneasy, answer is "Yes."

There was a brief glimpse during the Occupy movement of what public anger at American Systemic Injustice might come to if it found a way to assemble, to come out of its isolated private homes and apartments and shelters and cubicles into the public squares of the nation. It was a powerful image, one that so shook US rulers in their corporate and governmental corridors of power that they soon resorted to a federally-coordinated blitzkrieg to empty those squares and kill Occupy before it multiplied any further and before the Bastille was in any real danger. More...

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An Ebola Outbreak Would Be Advantageous For Globalists
by Brandon Smith
Posted October 12, 2014

ebola good for globalistsIt's sad to say with such finality, but a universal fact of existence is that most of the people you meet in this life are fundamentally and functionally ignorant. Not necessarily stupid, but certainly ignorant. Ignorance comes not from a lack of intelligence, but from a denial of knowledge and truth. That is to say, ignorance takes hold when people decide to act as though they know and understand a thing, even if they do not. Ignorance prevails when a society or nation chooses to value the appearance of expertise, to value the theater of overconfidence, and to cheer for the bluster of morons rather than admit that they have unanswered questions on subjects they do not yet grasp. For nothing is worse for the self absorbed than to acknowledge that they do not know.

Entire nations have fallen throughout history because of this terrible weakness...

By extension, such ignorance is not just an inherent disease but also an easily exploitable disease. When we refuse to think critically and examine our surroundings thoroughly, we become like grazing gazelles oblivious to the predators encircling us in the tall grass. And, just as there are predatory individuals that hide amongst us, there are are also predatory oligarchs that camouflage themselves as benevolent politicos and financial professionals standing above us. Normal predators we fear, establishment predators we invite into our homes as protectors, saviors, and partners. More...

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The Surprising Reason that Crushing Economic Inequality Isn't More of Election Issue
By David Sirota
Posted October 6, 2014

greedy workersIf critics of income inequality are wondering why the growing gap between rich and poor hasn't been a more potent political issue in the upcoming elections, a new study offers some answers: Americans grossly underestimate this inequality. That's one of the key findings of a survey showing the gap between CEO and average worker pay in America is more than 10 times larger than the typical American perceives.

In the report, Harvard University and Chulalongkorn University researchers analyzed survey data from 40 countries about perceptions of pay gaps between rich and poor. In every country, respondents underestimated the size of the gap between CEO and average worker pay. In the United States, for example, the researchers found the median American respondent estimated that the ratio of CEO to worker income is about 30-to-1. In reality, the gap is more than 350-to-1. More...

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Super PAC(ked) With Out-of-State Money
by Lalita Clozel
Posted October 4, 2014

bidding for governanceThey may be called super PACs, but they can't be everywhere at once. It's become fashionable for these committees, which can spend unlimited amounts on ads backing or attacking candidates anywhere in the country, to tout their allegiance to a state. But as often as not, an OpenSecrets Blog analysis found, they run mainly on out-of-state money.

We tallied up all the super PACs with a state or regional reference in their name that have spent money on ads this election cycle. Out of 34 of these supposedly home-grown super PACs, only 17 had received at least half of their contributions of more than $200 from within the state. More...

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Barbarism Versus Stupidism
by Howard Kunstler
Posted September 24, 2014

stupidity or barbarismIn my lifetime, the USA has not blundered into a more incoherent, feckless, and unfavorable foreign policy quandary than we see today.

The US-led campaign to tilt Ukraine to Euroland and NATO — and away from the Russian-led Eurasian Customs Union — turned an "intelligence" fiasco into a strategic humiliation for the Obama White House. Notice that the story has vamoosed utterly from the American media headlines, even when the Russian Engineers' Union issued a report last week asserting that the Malaysian Airlines Flight MH17 was most likely shot down by 30mm cannon fire from Ukrainian military aircraft. The USA State Department didn't deign to refute it because doing so would have drawn attention to the fact that it was the only plausible explanation for what happened. More...

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The Coming Climate Revolt
by Chris Hedges
Posted September 23, 2014

NYC climate rally 2014We have undergone a transformation during the last few decades—what John Ralston Saul calls a corporate coup d'état in slow motion. We are no longer a capitalist democracy endowed with a functioning liberal class that once made piecemeal and incremental reform possible. Liberals in the old Democratic Party no longer exist within the Democratic Party, as Nader has been lamenting for several years. They were pushed out as corporate donors began to transform the political landscape with the election of Ronald Reagan. And this is why the Democrats have not, as Bill Curry points out, enacted any major social or economic reforms since the historic environmental laws of the early '70s.

We are governed, rather, by a species of corporate totalitarianism, or what the political philosopher Sheldon Wolin describes as "inverted totalitarianism." By this Wolin means a system where corporate power, while it purports to pay fealty to electoral politics, the Constitution, the three branches of government and a free press, along with the iconography and language of American patriotism, has in fact seized all the important levers of power to render the citizen impotent. More...

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Wall Street Declares Victory Against the American People: The Banking Elites are Now Waging War against One Another
By Eric Zuesse
Posted September 4, 2014

rich have declared victoryOn August 31st, the Republican political site Politico bannered "Wall Street Republicans' Dark Secret: Hillary Clinton 2016," and Ben White and Maggie Haberman delivered a blockbuster report about the big-money Republican donors they had talked to, who confided (not for specific attribution, though) that they might finance Hillary Clinton to become President, if Jeb Bush announces after November's mid-terms that he won't run for the Republican Presidential nomination. Ms. Clinton is so appealing to Republican aristocrats, many of them will back her if Republicans won't nominate Bush.

Of course, virtually all Democratic aristocrats are already pouring money into the place-holding fundraising campaign for Clinton's expected entrance into the Democratic Presidential contest.

This means that virtually the entire aristocracy will be flooding Clinton's Presidential war-chest, unless Jeb Bush seeks the Republican nomination. More...

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The Time Is Ripe For A False-Flag Attack On American Soil
by Brandon Smith
Posted August 31, 2014

scapegoat for next false flag?I believe the time is in fact ripe for a large scale false-flag on American soil. It may be a singular attack limited to a city or region, or, numerous smaller attacks executed in concert. I see the media overload of ISIS fever as a means to condition the public to believe in the ISIS myth – the myth that they are a sophisticated international super-terrorist conglomerate; a real life Legion of Doom. If Americans are conned into buying this myth, they may also be fooled into abandoning their Constitutional liberties and natural freedoms in the face of a well planned attack blamed on ISIS elements. I believe there will likely come a day when the mere act of exposing the lie or standing against government overreach will be called "treason", and people like myself will be labeled "no better than ISIS".

With all this hype circling ISIS, I have to suggest that maybe, just maybe, we are being given the ultimate scapegoat for the ultimate false flag attack. When building the narrative of a traditional story, the hero is really a secondary character, because the hero is only as impressive as the villain he must eventually defeat. If you look at mainstream media and geopolitics as a theater script, rather than a series of random events, it appears as though ISIS is being built up as a villain so pervasive and devious the group could accomplish ANYTHING. More...

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10 Big Fat Lies and the Liars Who Told Them
by Chuck Lewis
Posted August 11, 2014

big fat liesInvestigative journalist Chuck Lewis joined Bill recently to discuss his new book, 935 Lies: The Future of Truth and the Decline of America's Moral Integrity, that looks at the history of government officials and media pundits speaking and repeating (and repeating and repeating) untruths to shape public opinion and policy.

The title of the book refers to the number of times President George W. Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney and other top administration officials made false statements in the run-up to the 2003 invasion of Iraq. But the book has a far greater scope, looking at how lies have shaped American policy over several decades. Here are 10 notable whoppers that affected hundreds, thousands, and in some cases, millions of lives. More...

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America's Massive National Security State Is the 4th Branch of Government
by Tom Engelhardt
Posted August 5, 2014

where are the chacks and balances?As every schoolchild knows, there are three check-and-balance branches of the U.S. government: the executive, Congress, and the judiciary. That's bedrock Americanism and the most basic high school civics material. Only one problem: it's just not so.

During the Cold War years and far more strikingly in the twenty-first century, the U.S. government has evolved. It sprouted a fourth branch: the national security state, whose main characteristic may be an unquenchable urge to expand its power and reach. Admittedly, it still lacks certain formal prerogatives of governmental power. Nonetheless, at a time when Congress and the presidency are in a check-and-balance ballet of inactivity that would have been unimaginable to Americans of earlier eras, the Fourth Branch is an ever more unchecked and unbalanced power center in Washington. Curtained off from accountability by a penumbra of secrecy, its leaders increasingly are making nitty-gritty policy decisions and largely doing what they want, a situation illuminated by a recent controversy over the possible release of a Senate report on CIA rendition and torture practices. More...

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Utility Trade Group Funds ALEC Attack on Americans Using Solar
by Nick Surgey
Posted August 4, 2014

war against solar panel ownersAs the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) prepares to meet in Dallas this week, the Center for Media and Democracy has uncovered new evidence that Edison Electric Institute (EEI) -- the trade association for the U.S. utility industry -- has been funding ALEC's legislative assault on solar energy.

Although ALEC recently proclaimed that it was being falsely portrayed as "anti-clean energy," these latest revelations confirm that ALEC continues to pursue a polluters' wish list, despite its PR pronouncements.

"Solar Is Dumb," says ALEC Legislator. More...

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The Emperor's Rage: Let Chaos Envelop the World!
By Prof. James Petras
Posted August 1, 2014

Obama militaryAt the center of chaos, the wild-eyed President Obama strikes blindly, oblivious of the consequences, willing to risk a financial debacle or a nuclear war. He enforces sanctions against Iran; imposes sanctions on Russia; sets up missile bases five launch minutes from Moscow; sends killer drones against Pakistan, Yemen and Afghanistan; arms mercenaries in Syria; trains and equips Kurds in Iraq and pays for Israel's savagery against Gaza.

Nothing works.

The Chaos President is blind to the fact that starving one's adversaries does not secure submission: it unites them to resist. Regime change, imposing proxies by force and subterfuge, can destroy the social fabric of complex societies: Million of peasants and workers become uprooted refugees. Popular social movements are replaced by organized criminal gangs and bandit armies. More...

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Comcast's Worst Nightmare: How Tennessee Could Save America's Internet
By David Sirota
Posted July 29, 2014

threat to the cabke companiesThe business lobby often demands that government get out of the way of private corporations, so that competition can flourish and high-quality services can be efficiently delivered to as many consumers as possible. Yet, in an epic fight over telecommunications policy, the paradigm is now being flipped on its head, with corporate forces demanding the government squelch competition and halt the expansion of those high-quality services. Whether and how federal officials act may ultimately shape the future of America's information economy.

The front line in this fight is Chattanooga, Tennessee, where officials at the city's public electric utility, EPB, realized that smart-grid energy infrastructure could also provide consumers super-fast Internet speeds at competitive prices.The result is a system that now provides the nation's fastest broadband speeds at prices often cheaper than the private competition. As the Chattanooga Times Free Press noted a few years back, "EPB offers faster Internet speeds for the money, and shows equal pep in both uploading and downloading content, with Comcast and AT&T trailing on quickness." More...

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N.J. gives $260 million tax break to energy company with political ties
By Salvador Rizzo
Posted July 15, 2014

crony capitalismNew Jersey officials today approved a $260 million package of tax credits — the third-largest economic subsidy in state history — for a nuclear-energy company planning to build reactors on the Camden waterfront.
It was the largest tax subsidy awarded in recent years by the state Economic Development Authority, and it went to Holtec International, a Marlton-based company whose board includes one of the state's most influential Democrats, George Norcross.

Under the terms of the award, Holtec will create 235 new full-time positions and relocate 160 existing jobs from other parts of the state to Camden. Once those workers are in place, the firm will reap subsidies of $26 million a year for 10 years. In exchange, New Jersey will realize $155,520 in net economic benefits over 35 years, the authority estimated. Under the terms of the agreement, however, the company is required to stay at the Camden location for only 15 years. More...

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America's Real Foreign Policy: Global Corporatization by Force
by Noam Chomsky
Posted July 7, 2014

who is the military really protecting?Whose security is the U.S. military and foreign service protecting?

The question of how foreign policy is determined is a crucial one in world affairs. In these comments, I can only provide a few hints as to how I think the subject can be productively explored, keeping to the United States for several reasons. First, the U.S. is unmatched in its global significance and impact.

Second, it is an unusually open society, possibly uniquely so, which means we know more about it. Finally, it is plainly the most important case for Americans, who are able to influence policy choices in the U.S. -- and indeed for others, insofar as their actions can influence such choices. The general principles, however, extend to the other major powers, and well beyond. More...

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US War Against Russia Is Already Underway
by Paul Craig Roberts, (Asst. Sec. of the Treasury during Reagan Administration)
Posted July 3, 2014

Putin shows restraintIn the real sense, there is no longer an American national interest. There is the interest of these powerful interest groups. And we've had these recent studies from scholars who have found that the American public has no input whatsoever into government decisions or into policy decisions. The conclusion of the recent study, which looked at thousands of government decisions, was that the American people have zero input into the formation of policy.

So, in that sense, the US is sort of making itself vulnerable in many ways. For example, look at the economic policy. For years now, in order to support a handful of large banks the Federal Reserve is creating trillions of dollars, new dollars. More...

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How Did the Clintons Become So Rich?
By Zaid Jilani
Posted July 2, 2014

hos did the Clintons get their wealth?The real scandal is not that the former president and first lady are so wealthy, but how they got that wealthy. Clinton didn't just make "a lot of money" when he left the White House. Together, the Clintons pulled in $111 million from 2000 to 2007 — far more than what most people would consider a lot.

As Hillary Clinton grappled with foreign policy issues in Pakistan, Turkey and the Middle East, Bill Clinton took home $175,000 from the Middle East Institute, a think tank that does work in those areas. In 2011 she filmed a video congratulating Kuwait on its independence; a few months later, he was paid a $175,000 honorarium from the Kuwait America Foundation.

Shortly after stepping down from her post, the she then embarked on her own spree of paid speeches, which don't have to be disclosed because neither Clinton is a public official anymore. But from voluntarily disclosures and press reports, we know that she gave at least two paid speeches to Goldman Sachs for $200,000 each. Although she has not disclosed her full remarks at these events, a number of attendees talked to Politico about her tone and content. "Clinton offered a message that the collected plutocrats found reassuring, according to accounts offered by several attendees, declaring that the banker-bashing so popular within both political parties was unproductive and indeed foolish," read the article. More...

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Western World Is Upside Down
by Michael Noonan
Posted June 24, 2014

upsidedown worldWhat makes sense any more? In the United States, all one hears in the news is lies, deceit, and propaganda. In the EU, Mario Draghi "dictates" what is [un]real, backed by a host of unelected, non-representative NWO bureaucrats. In the UK, do not know if anyone is really in charge. Regardless, there is no truth being told, in fact, the truth is actively being hidden and/or suppressed. Governments are circling the wagons against people. Banks are being protected, at all costs, literally.

We live in an Alice In Wonderland, circa Orwell's 1984 world. Everything is upside down, and that includes the price for gold and silver. In the United States, if you do not like what you hear from the inept central planners, or if you choose to criticise what you hear, you run risk of being branded a "terrorist," certainly one who is a threat to the existing regime. More...

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Mystery Surrounding The Bilderberg Group Conclave
By Russ Baker
Posted June 20, 2014

New World OrderThe Bilderberg Group is so inherently bizarre that its yearly gatherings generate extreme reactions. Those who openly profess the belief that the Bilderbergers essentially run the world pay it a whole lot of attention, usually trooping to the scene to stage colorful protests. The media, by and large, ignores it.

A key question worth asking, of course, is how officials from companies that derive such a big share of their profits from war get along with those ostensibly concerned with advancing the cause of peace. Another is about what kinds of "public policy" think tanks find themselves in alignment with ruthlessly profit-oriented executives. More...

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Let "Dollar" Collapse Or Choose War. Elites Will Opt For War
by Michael Noonan
Posted June 12, 2014

keeping the world safe for corporationsThe world has never been in a position like this before, where all global currencies are fiat and dependent upon central banker power. The push for a New World Order is inexorable, and make no mistake, the monied elites are fully in control, or almost so. We maintain this is why so many in the Precious Metals community have miscalculated the timing for when gold and silver would take off to the upside, collapsing the Fed's fiat "dollar," or as a result thereof.

Ukraine is truly the test where East meets West. It is the US-led coup that is a staging ground for an assault on Russia. Obama is leading the charge, once again, choosing the drums of war to get across the message that to challenge the supremacy of the "dollar" as the world's reserve currency, [as the ATM machine used by the elites to pillage the world's assets and remain in control], can have a serious outcome. More...

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The Purchase Of Our Republic
by Y. Falkson
Posted June 7, 2014

how can a politician represent youAmericans know that something is wrong, deeply wrong. They see signs of the problem everywhere: income inequality, growing concentration and power of mega corporations, political donations/corruption, the absence of jobs with decent salaries, the explosion of the US prison population, healthcare costs, student loan debt, homelessness, etc. etc.

However, the true causes and benefactors behind these problems are purposely hidden from view. What Americans see is Kabuki Theater of a functioning form of capitalism and democracy, but beyond this veneer our country has devolved into the exact opposite.

Those who benefit from this crony capitalist state go to extreme lengths to paper over the reality and convince Americans that the system works, the American Dream is still a reality and that American democracy is in fact democratic. More...

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The Detroit Model: Permanent Rule by the Banks
by Jerry White
Posted May 16, 2014

rule by the banksThe Michigan legislature is debating a series of bills to impose a financial authority on Detroit that would remain in place long after the city emerges from bankruptcy. An unelected financial "oversight" committee, known as the Michigan Settlement Administration Authority (MSAA), would run the city for two decades, effectively usurping the local government.

When the governor of Michigan installed Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr in Detroit last March, it was presented as a temporary measure, lasting 18 months at most. Now, according to the restructuring plan submitted by Orr, a bankruptcy lawyer with close ties to Wall Street, a new body "composed of individuals with recognized financial competence and experience" will have the authority to limit city borrowing and expenditures and tear up labor agreements. More...

Funny how the "sanctity of the contract" was paramount in the justification to pay billions in banker bonuses after the bailouts, but not so important when it comes to paying pensioners living off of $19,000 a year.

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False East/West Paradigm Hides The Rise Of Global Currency
by Brandon Smith
Posted May 10, 2014

false East/West paradigmDespite popular belief, very few things in our world are exactly what they seem. That which is painted as righteous is often evil. That which is painted as kind is often malicious. That which is painted as simple is often complex. That which is painted as complex often ends up being disturbingly two dimensional. Regardless, if a person is willing to look only at the immediate surface of a thing, he will never understand the content of the thing.

This fact is nowhere more evident than in the growing "tensions" between the elites of the West and the elites of the East over the crisis in Ukraine.

I am continually astonished at the refusal of many otherwise intelligent people to consider the evidence or even the possibility that there is, in reality, no fundamental political or philosophical conflict between the power brokers of the East and the West. As I outlined in great detail in Russia Is Dominated By Global Banks, Too, the truth is they are both working toward the same goal; and both ultimately benefit from an engineered and theatrical display of international brinksmanship. More...

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Please Stop Me Before I Vote for a Bought-&-Paid-For Demopublican Again
by Charles Hugh Smith
Posted May 5, 2014

puppet governmentIf we only voted for unbuyable candidates, money would become poison in politics rather than mother's milk.

The solution to money in politics is simple: stop voting for politicos who accept millions of dollars in bribes, ahem, campaign contributions and who court lobbyists. It's really that easy: stop rewarding those who collect millions and start punishing them by refusing to vote for any politician who accepts more than $100 from any entity in any one election cycle.

As with so many other issues, we have been well-trained to expect a centralized authority to save us from ourselves: in effect, we're asking the Supreme Court, Congress, etc. to please stop us before we vote for a bought-and-paid-for politico again. Nobody forces us to vote for the candidate who raises the most money and blows it on media buys to persuade us that they're not bought-and-paid-for. But think about it: the very fact this craven toady can afford to spend millions of dollars on advertising proves he/she is well and truly bought-and-paid-for. More...

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Polls: Americans Are Sick of the War On Terror, War On Drugs … And All of the Other Failed U.S. Wars
by Washington's Blog
Posted May 2, 2014

let the rich fight their own warsThe American people are now overwhelmingly opposed to more war in Ukraine, Syria, Iran and elsewhere.

A new Wall Street Journal/NBC poll shows:

Americans in large numbers want the U.S. to reduce its role in world affairs even as a showdown with Russia over Ukraine preoccupies Washington ….

In a marked change from past decades, nearly half of those surveyed want the U.S. to be less active on the global stage, with fewer than one-fifth calling for more active engagement—an anti-interventionist current that sweeps across party lines. More...

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Senate Agrees: US People Can't Know Overseas Drone Death Toll
by Jon Queally
Posted April 30, 2014

James Clapper, lied to CongressAt behest of intelligence chief, Senate removes "modest" provision that would reveal number of people killed by US attacks overseas.The Senate Intelligence Committee and the Obama administration agree on this: the American people should not know the number of people killed by U.S. drone attacks overseas, nor should they hope to understand the circumstances under which such lethal killings are authorized or executed.

This high-level agreement was confirmed on Monday after a "modest" provision designed to add transparency to the US drone assassination program was killed in the Senate committee following objections by the Obama administration's intelligence chief. More...

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How the Obscenely Wealthy Are Strangling Our Democracy
By Steven Rosenfeld
Posted April 24, 2014

Money buying electionsA new academic paper by Princeton University's Martin Gilens and Northwestern University's Benjamin Page has made national headlines by concluding that wealthly Americans almost always get what they want from the political system regardless of what middle-class and working-class people seek from the government.

Most people in a democracy think that the government pays a lot of attention to average citizens. And what we found was when average citizens disagree with more affluent people and more organized interest groups, the average citizens lose out almost always. In other words, they have almost no independent influence. More...

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Beware Anything Called Corporate Tax "Reform"
by Dave Johnson
Posted March 31, 2014

beware of corporate tax "reforms"Corporate tax policy involves a lot of complicated accounting language, so people tend to tune out. But you should pay attention because there is big money involved – really, really big money that could be used for roads, courts, schools, health care and all the other things government does to make our economy and our lives better.

Tax policy is one of those subjects that most people ignore. Lots of the work is done behind the scenes. Lobbyists own the process, so any reform means those with the biggest lobbyist budget come out ahead. The huge tax breaks tend to sneak through while people are not paying attention, and then we find out that the money is gone. The lobbying world knows how to game this system and a round of tax-game playoffs is about to begin. More...

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Banks Have Become the Permanent Government of Europe
by Ellen Brown
Posted March 31, 2014

behind the curtain of OzOn March 20, 2014, European Union officials reached an historic agreement to create a single agency to handle failing banks. Media attention has focused on the agreement involving the single resolution mechanism (SRM), a uniform system for closing failed banks. But the real story for taxpayers and depositors is the heightened threat to their pocketbooks of a deal that now authorizes both bailouts and "bail-ins" – the confiscation of depositor funds. The deal involves multiple concessions to different countries and may be illegal under the rules of the EU Parliament; but it is being rushed through to lock taxpayer and depositor liability into place before the dire state of Eurozone banks is exposed.

Under the new EU banking union, before the taxpayer-financed single resolution fund can be deployed, shareholders and depositors will be "bailed in" for a significant portion of the losses. The bankers thus win both ways: they can tap up the taxpayers' money and the depositors' money. More...

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The State, the Deep State, and the Wall Street Overworld
By Prof Peter Dale Scott
Posted March 16, 2014

deep state - shadow governmentIn the last decade it has become more and more obvious that we have in America today what the journalists Dana Priest and William Arkin have called two governments: the one its citizens were familiar with, operated more or less in the open: the other a parallel top secret government whose parts had mushroomed in less than a decade into a gigantic, sprawling universe of its own, visible to only a carefully vetted cadre – and its entirety…visible only to God.

There is the visible government situated around the Mall in Washington, and then there is another, more shadowy, more indefinable government that is not explained in Civics 101 or observable to tourists at the White House or the Capitol. The former is traditional Washington partisan politics: the tip of the iceberg that a public watching C-SPAN sees daily and which is theoretically controllable via elections. The subsurface part of the iceberg I shall call the Deep State, which operates according to its own compass heading regardless of who is formally in power. More...

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The "Deep State" - How Much Does It Explain?
By Mike Lofgren
Posted March 1, 2014

Military-industrial-security complexEveryone knows about the military-industrial complex, which, in his farewell address, President Eisenhower warned had the potential to "endanger our liberties or democratic process" but have you heard of the "Deep State?"

Mike Lofgren, a former GOP congressional staff member with the powerful House and Senate Budget Committees, joins Bill to talk about what he calls the Deep State, a hybrid of corporate America and the national security state, which is "out of control" and "unconstrained." In it, Lofgren says, elected and unelected figures collude to protect and serve powerful vested interests. "It is … the red thread that runs through the history of the last three decades. It is how we had deregulation, financialization of the economy, the Wall Street bust, the erosion or our civil liberties and perpetual war." More...

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Why the First Issue Is Money in Politics
by John Light
Posted February 17, 2014

finest government money can buyConstitutional scholar and activist Lawrence Lessig, often says that his crusade is the most urgent in America because it impacts virtually every other issue. From achieving tax reform to fighting climate change to strengthening the social safety net, we will see no progress until the wealthy entities that benefit can no longer buy up politicians to prevent the status quo from changing.

"The people who want to stop reform will pay an enormous amount of money to be able to achieve that," Lessig told us when we met during his march. "…What this system has done is made the politics of dysfunction incredibly profitable." Some lobbyists, he noted, even advertise their ability to exploit the system and use legislators to "delay and obstruct" progress in Congress.

"We will never get your issue solved until we fix this issue first," Lessig said in a TED talk last year. "So it's not that mine is the most important issue. It's not. Yours is the most important issue, but mine is the first issue, the issue we have to solve before we get to fix the issues you care about." More...

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Study: Polarization and Gridlock Work Well for Rich Americans
by Joshua Holland
Posted Feb 12, 2014

gridlock works well for elitesAt the end of 2013, only 12 percent of Americans held a positive view of Congress – three points above the all-time low set earlier in the year, according to Gallup. Two out of three respondents to a CNN/ORC poll said this was the worst functioning Congress they'd seen in their lifetimes. And these dismal views weren't just the product of subjective impressions – in its first year, the 113th Congress managed to pass only 66 bills, the fewest in the 40 years for which reliable data exists.

But a study published last November in The Journal of Politics suggests that this sorry state of affairs is good news for a small group of Americans at the top of the economic pile. "Washington gridlock helps the super-rich stay rich, and get richer," says Thomas Volscho, a sociologist at the City University of New York and one of the authors of the study. "And the richer they get, the more the gridlock actually helps them." More...

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John Kerry vs. Hillary Clinton on the Keystone XL Report
By Eric Zuesse
Posted Feb 3, 2014

Clinton vs Kerry on XL PipelineBack on 26 March 2013, I headlined, regarding Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's revised Keystone XL pipeline report, that "State Department's Keystone XL 'Study' [Is] Now Exposed as a Triple Hoax," and documented that Clinton's redo of her earlier faked report was itself fake, because: first, "The study does discuss 'Climate Change Impacts on the Proposed Project,' but not the proposed project's impacts on climate change"; and, second, because it was not written by the State Department but by an oil-industry contracting firm (ERM Inc.) that Clinton's State Department had non-competitively assigned to be performed by the company that was selected for this purpose by the corporation (TransCanada) that would own the pipeline; and, third, because that contractor had no climatologist. Both of Clinton's reports were simply fakes; they were barely disguised promo-pieces for TransCanada.

The new XL report from Kerry's State Department was issued on a Friday night (January 31st) like Clinton's was, in order for it to be buried in the weekend's news, like Clinton's was. It is not quite such a fake as Clinton's were. First, it almost discusses the proposed project's impacts on climate change. Second, it was actually written by the State Department; but, still, it had no participation from a climatologist. More...

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What a Paul Craig Roberts Administration Would Look Like
By Dr. Paul Craig Roberts,  former Assistant Secretary of the US Treasury under Ronald Reagan
Posted Jan 25, 2014

Paul Craig RobertsUnless I am being spoofed, several hundred readers wrote me in as their selection for President. I am honored. Some asked if I were elected by write-ins and not instantly assassinated, who would I appoint? An easy question to answer.

Nomi Prins would be Secretary of the Treasury, and Pam Martens would be Deputy Secretary of the Treasury.
Lew Rockwell would be the chairman of the Federal Reserve.
Michael Hudson would be chairman of the Council of Economic Advisors.
Homeland Security would be abolished.
Julian Assange and John Pilger would be heads of the Public Broadcasting Corporation.
Gerald Celente would be White House Press Secretary.
John Williams (shadowstats.com) would be in charge of federal statistics.
Brooksley Born would be in charge of all federal financial regulatory agencies.
Noam Chomsky would be US Ambassador to the UN.
David M. Walker would be Director of the Office of Management and Budget.

Key members of the Bush and Obama regimes from the president down, and every neoconservative would be handed over to the war crimes tribunal for trial. I could go on. There are two or three hundred appointments to fill, but I think the picture is clear. It would be an administration that represented Americans, not special interests and foreigners, and an administration that put the country back in order. More...

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Bipartisan New World Order: Fast Tracking the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP)
By Kevin Zeese and Margaret Flowers
Posted Jan 23, 2014

New World Order - TPPThe White House is calling January "TPA (Trade Promotion Authority) Month" and has made it their task to pass Fast Track. President Obama needs Fast Track to pass the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). When Congress returned this month, a bill was quickly introduced after delays of more than a year. bipartisan
The lies begin with title of the bill: "The Bipartisan Congressional Trade Priorities Act of 2014." Bi-partisan? In the House there was only one sponsor, Republican David Camp (MI). The Republicans demanded the Democrats add a sponsor before it was introduced, but due to public pressure, they could not find one.

The only Democrat on the bill in the Senate is Max Baucus (MT) — the senator who gave us the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy and who is leaving the senate to become Ambassador to China. So, the bill is only bi-partisan until he heads off to his new job. More...

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TPP Toxicity Grows, We Can Stop It
By Kevin Zeese
Posted Jan 18, 2014

TPP - NAFTA on steroidsThe White House is calling January "TPA (Trade Promotion Authority) Month" and has made it their task to pass Fast Track. President Obama needs Fast Track to pass the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). When Congress returned this month, a bill was quickly introduced after delays of more than a year. The lies begin with title of the bill: "The Bipartisan Congressional Trade Priorities Act of 2014." Bi-partisan? In the House there was only one sponsor, Republican David Camp (MI). The Republicans demanded the Democrats add a sponsor before it was introduced, but due to public pressure, they could not find one.

Leaks are sinking the TPP like the Titanic on its way to the bottom of the ocean. Ron Kirk, the former US Trade Rep said they were keeping it secret because the more people knew, the less they would like the TPP and it would become so unpopular it could never become law. Each leak has proven him right. More...

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After 20 Years of NAFTA Poverty, Lawmakers Move to Fast-Track TPP
by Sarah Lazare
Posted Jan 12, 2013

TPP = Corporate CoupOn the heels of NAFTA's "20 years of regret" anniversary, U.S. lawmakers are aggressively pushing legislation to fast-track what has been called NAFTA on steroids: the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).

Three powerful lawmakers —House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp (R-MI), Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-MT) and Ranking Member Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) — announced legislation (pdf) Thursday that would allow the Obama administration to fast-track approval of this behemoth trade deal.

Known as "trade promotion authority," the legislation would allow the Obama administration to dodge deliberation and amendments from Congress. Public Citizen summarizes:

Whether or not the president obtains the listed negotiating objectives, the bill would empower the president to sign a trade pact before Congress votes on it with a guarantee that the executive branch can write legislation to implement the pact and alter wide swaths of existing U.S. law and obtain both House and Senate votes within 90 days. That legislation is not subject to markup and amendment in committee, all amendments are forbidden during floor votes and a maximum of 20 hours of debate is permitted in the House and Senate. More...

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Why Political Protests Ultimately Always Fail
by J.S. Kim
Posted Dec 28, 2013

Thailand protestsCurrently in Bangkok, Thailand, protests against the government remain strong with tens of thousands to hundreds of thousands regularly gathering across the city in an attempt to oust Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra from office. However, there are many reasons why such protests never achieve their long-term goals, even when they achieve their short-term objectives. For example, were the protestors to successfully oust current PM Yingluck Shinawatra from office as they so desire, the political system is so corrupt that another corrupt PM would just replace her. Therefore, the protestors, who fail to understand and attack the root of the underlying problems of corruption- the bankers that monopolize control of the country's monetary supply- instead attack the symptoms and manifestations of the corruption. Thus, corruption will always remain.

When a Prime Minister or President anywhere in the world states, and actually does, the following: "I will rout out all bankers that manipulate interest rates, stock markets, commodity markets, real estate markets, forex markets and every single banker that prevents free markets from operating within my country", then that will be a politician worthy of the people's support. More...

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World Bank Whistleblower Reveals How The Global Elite Rule The World
By Michael Snyder
Posted Dec 27, 2013

 puppeteers revealedKaren Hudes is a graduate of Yale Law School and she worked in the legal department of the World Bank for more than 20 years. In fact, when she was fired for blowing the whistle on corruption inside the World Bank, she held the position of Senior Counsel.

She was in a unique position to see exactly how the global elite rule the world, and the information that she is now revealing to the public is absolutely stunning. According to Hudes, the elite use a very tight core of financial institutions and mega-corporations to dominate the planet.

Karen HudesThe goal is control. They want all of us enslaved to debt, they want all of our governments enslaved to debt, and they want all of our politicians addicted to the huge financial contributions that they funnel into their campaigns. Since the elite also own all of the big media companies, the mainstream media never lets us in on the secret that there is something fundamentally wrong with the way that our system works. More...

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A Corporate Coup in Disguise
By Jim Hightower
Posted Nov 26, 2013

Corporate coupWhat if our national leaders told us that communities across America had to eliminate such local programs as Buy Local, Buy American, Buy Green, etc. to allow foreign corporations to have the right to make the sale on any products purchased with our tax dollars? This nullification of our people's right to direct expenditures is just one of the horror stories in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).

This is a super-sized NAFTA, the 1994 trade scam rammed through Congress by the entire corporate establishment. NAFTA promised the "glories of globalization": prosperity across our land. Unfortunately, corporations got the gold. We got the shaft -- thousands of factories closed, millions of middle-class jobs went south, and the economies of hundreds of towns and cities were shattered.

Twenty years later, the gang that gave us NAFTA is back with the TPP, a "trade deal" that mostly does not deal with trade. Of the 29 chapters in this document, only five cover traditional trade matters! The other chapters amount to a devilish "partnership" for corporate protectionism. More...

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Americans Are Finally Learning About False Flag Terror
by George Washington's Blog
Posted Nov 26, 2013

false flag attacks commonGovernments from around the world admit they carry out false flag terror:

As admitted by the U.S. government, recently declassified documents show that in the 1960's, the American Joint Chiefs of Staff signed off on a plan to blow up AMERICAN airplanes (using an elaborate plan involving the switching of airplanes), and also to commit terrorist acts on American soil, and then to blame it on the Cubans in order to justify an invasion of Cuba. See the following ABC news report; the official documents; and watch this interview with the former Washington Investigative Producer for ABC's World News Tonight with Peter Jennings.

A U.S. Congressional committee admitted that – as part of its "Cointelpro" campaign – the FBI had used many provocateurs in the 1950s through 1970s to carry out violent acts and falsely blame them on political activists. Much, much more...

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Hillary Clinton Rakes in Big Money from Two Goldman Sachs Speeches in One Week
by Rod Bastanmehr
Posted Nov 1, 2013

Clinton in bed with Wall StFormer Secretary of State, and presumed 2016 presidential hopeful, Hillary Clinton spoke at two separate Goldman Sachs events in the past week (on October 24, and then again on October 29), for a cool $200,000 per speech, her normal fee according to Politico and the New York Times. $400,000—not a bad payday for the former First Lady.

Alec Torres of the National Review Online reports that, on the 24th, Clinton spoke for the AIMS Alternate Investment Conference, a closed event held exclusively for Goldman clients. AIMS is an annual conference that explores strategic models and new products available to financial advisers. Pretty exclusive stuff. More...

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Money Corrupting Politics Could Get Even Worse
By Karin Kamp
Posted October 14, 2013

money controls the puppetsIf you think we need more money influencing politics in America, then today could be a great day for you.

The Supreme Court is hearing arguments this morning in McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission (FEC), a case challenging the overall limits an individual can donate to political action committees, candidates and parties in a two-year federal election cycle.

New research by Demos predicted that if the court rules in favor of McCutcheon, more than $1 billion in additional campaign contributions from a group of elite donors would be added through the 2020 election cycle. More...

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Americans Are Being Treated to Political Theater: Forget the Government Shutdown – It's About Shutting YOU Down
By The Hagmann & Hagmann Report
Posted October 10, 2013

political theaterAmericans are being treated to political theater at its finest. It's not a theater of entertainment, however, but a coliseum of enslavement where in the world of deception, perception becomes reality. This theater requires audience participation, where we, the theater-goers, become part of the play. We are a truly captive audience, entranced into mindlessly choosing sides at the frenzied urging of the corporate media and partisan cheerleaders firmly seated behind the microphones and television cameras of the nationally syndicated media.

Audience members who remain seated and captivated by the stellar performances of the actors, while maintaining a mental death-grip on the media cheering "their side," are sadly in the majority. They are yelling at just above a throaty whisper at us and others who see beyond and behind the curtain, telling us to sit down and shut up, as we are reaching a critical moment in the performance. More...

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A Corporate Coup in Disguise
by Jim Hightower
Posted October 7, 2013

corporate governmentWhat if our national leaders told us that communities across America had to eliminate such local programs as Buy Local, Buy American, Buy Green, etc. to allow foreign corporations to have the right to make the sale on any products purchased with our tax dollars? This nullification of our people's right to direct expenditures is just one of the horror stories in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).

This is a super-sized NAFTA, the 1994 trade scam rammed through Congress by the entire corporate establishment. NAFTA promised the "glories of globalization": prosperity across our land. Unfortunately, corporations got the gold. We got the shaft -- thousands of factories closed, millions of middle-class jobs went south, and the economies of hundreds of towns and cities were shattered.

Twenty years later, the gang that gave us NAFTA is back with the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP), a "trade deal" that mostly does not deal with trade. Of the 29 chapters in this document, only five cover traditional trade matters! The other chapters amount to a devilish "partnership" for corporate protectionism. More...

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Obama's Friends in Low Places
By Robert Scheer
Posted September 25, 2013

Obama friends in low placesThat Barack Obama is such a kidder. No matter how awkward the moment, he's got just the right quip to purchase some wiggle room. Remember when his old Chicago banking buddy Jamie Dimon, the CEO of JPMorgan Chase, first ran into that bit of trouble over his bank's "London Whale" derivative scam? That scheme has already lost $6 billion with close to $1 billion more piled on by the SEC in fines last week after JPMorgan admitted it broke the law.

If you still require to be disabused of Obama's pretend populism, consider his decision to select William M. Daley, JPMorgan's representative in Washington, to be his White House chief of staff. It gave Dimon the key White House connection to accompany the passkey he already had at Treasury with his pal Timothy Geithner as secretary.

It was a real cozy arrangement; Dimon was still a governor of the New York Federal Reserve Bank, where he had served during Geithner's presidency overseeing the banking meltdown. Geithner had been instrumental in arranging Fed financing for JPMorgan's acquisition of troubled Bear Stearns through a $55 billion loan and later an additional $25 billion in TARP funds. More...

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Draghi's Termination Of Berlusconi Explained: Sylvio Threatened To Leave Euro
by Ambrose Evans-Pritchard
Posted September 18, 2013

Unseated by the bankersSo, we now know: Silvio Berlusconi seriously floated plans to pull Italy out of the euro in October/November 2011, precipitating his immediate removal from office and decapitation by EMU policy gendarmes.

Ex-ECB insider Lorenzo Bini-Smaghi has quietly dropped a few bombshells in his new book Morire di Austerita (Dying of Austerity), worth a read if you know Italian.

Specifically, he discussed (threatened?) Italian withdrawal from the euro in private meetings with other EMU governments, presumably with Chancellor Angela Merkel and France's Nicolas Sarkozy, since he does not negotiate with underlings. We have long suspected this. Now it is confirmed. More...

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How a Koch Brothers "Business League" Spent $236 Million to Frame the Debate
by John Nichols
Posted September 15, 2013

Money buys powerFor the first time really in our politics, money is taking the field as an organized power.It is unscrupulous, arrogant and overbearing. But it is not proud.

No matter what the billionaire Koch brothers and their operatives say. This week, it has been revealed that Charles and David Koch and their wealthy partners funded an, until now, "secret bank" that made "grants" of $236 million during the 2012 election cycle to maintain the right-wing political infrastructure that advances their economic interests. And by all accounts, they're just getting started.

This is not about contributions to candidates or campaigns. This is not about contributions to parties or traditional political organizations. This is about "framing the debate." Winning elections matters. But shaping the discourse -- so that whichever party wins, so that whichever candidate prevails, the discussion defaults to a narrow set of "options" -- matters more. More...

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Not Too Big to Jail: Why Eliot Spitzer Is Wall Street's Worst Nightmare
by Ellen Brown
Posted August 21, 2013

Spitzer takes on the big banksBefore Eliot Spitzer's infamous resignation as governor of New York in March 2008, he was one of our fiercest champions against Wall Street corruption, in a state that had some of the toughest legislation for controlling the banks. It may not be a coincidence that the revelation of his indiscretions with a high-priced call girl came less than a month after he published a bold editorial in the Washington Post titled "Predatory Lenders' Partner in Crime: How the Bush Administration Stopped the States from Stepping in to Help Consumers."

The editorial exposed the collusion between the Treasury, the Federal Reserve and Wall Street in deregulating the banks in the guise of regulating them, by taking regulatory power away from the states. It was an issue of the federal government versus the states, with the Feds representing the banks and the states representing consumers. More...

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Democratic Establishment Unmasked: Prime Defenders Of NSA Bulk Spying
by Glenn Greenwald
Posted July 27, 2013

big brother spyingOne of the worst myths Democratic partisans love to tell themselves -- and everyone else -- is that the GOP refuses to support President Obama no matter what he does. Like its close cousin -- the massively deceitful inside-DC grievance that the two parties refuse to cooperate on anything -- it's hard to overstate how false this Democratic myth is. When it comes to foreign policy, war, assassinations, drones, surveillance, secrecy, and civil liberties, President Obama's most stalwart, enthusiastic defenders are often found among the most radical precincts of the Republican Party.

The rabidly pro-war and anti-Muslim GOP former Chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, Peter King, has repeatedly lavished Obama with all sorts of praise and support for his policies in those areas. The Obama White House frequently needs, and receives, large amounts of GOP Congressional support to have its measures enacted or bills its dislikes defeated. More...

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Prometheus Among the Cannibals
by Rebecca Solnit
Posted July 20, 2013

Truth tellerDear Edward Snowden,

Billions of us, from prime ministers to hackers, are watching a live espionage movie in which you are the protagonist and perhaps the sacrifice. Your way forward is clear to no one, least of all, I'm sure, you.

I fear for you; I think of you with a heavy heart. I imagine hiding you like Anne Frank. I imagine Hollywood movie magic in which a young lookalike would swap places with you and let you flee to safety—if there is any safety in this world of extreme rendition and extrajudicial execution by the government that you and I were born under and that you, until recently, served. I fear you may pay, if not with your death, with your life—with a life that can have no conventional outcome anytime soon, if ever. "Truth is coming, and it cannot be stopped," you told us, and they are trying to stop you instead. More...

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Has Washington's Arrogance Undone Its Empire?
By Paul Craig Roberts (former Assistant Secretary of the Treasury under Reagan)
Posted July 5, 2013

NATO puppetsNo one likes a bully, and Washington's NATO puppets have been bullied for six decades. British prime ministers, German chancellors, and French presidents have to salute and say "yes sir." The British seem content in their role as Washington's favorite lackey, but France and Germany have not enjoyed that role. France's last real leader, General DeGaul, would have nothing to do with it and refused to join NATO. Germany, dismembered with East Germany occupied by the Soviets, had no choice. Germans' gratitude to President Reagan for their unification resulted in re-unified Germany falling under Washington's hegemony.

However, if news reports from Berlin are true, Germany has had enough. The catalyst was Edward Snowden's revelations that Washington spies on everyone including its allies, both Germany and the EU in particular. Moreover, Washington uses Britain as the Trojan Horse within the EU as a backup spy in case NSA misses something. More...

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The Court, the Corporate Coup, and the Call to Struggle
By Richard (RJ) Eskow
Posted June 27, 2013

Corporate coupOur democracy was under siege even before the Supreme Court's ruling on the Voting Rights Act. This decision caps the Court's clean sweep on behalf of the United States Chamber of Commerce and is part of a concerted effort to seize democracy on behalf of moneyed interests. It's a mistake to view this decision in isolation. It's part of an ongoing, corporate-backed constitutional coup.

The takeover, when it happened, came swiftly. First came Citizens United, a ruling which amplified the power of money over the democratic process. The 2012 election was followed by misguided punditry which claimed that Democratic victories in the White House and Senate proved that elections weren't dominated by moneyed interests. More...

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Verified Warnings From Former U.S. Presidents About the "Invisible Government"
by Ross Pittman
Posted June 23, 2013

Kennedy warningPast presidents of the United States and other high profile political leaders have repeatedly issued warnings over the last 214 years that the U.S. government is under the control of an "invisible government owing no allegiance and acknowledging no responsibility to the people."

According to six of our former presidents, one vice-president, and a myriad of other high profile political leaders, an invisible government that is "incredibly evil in intent" has been in control of the U.S. government "ever since the days of Andrew Jackson" (since at least 1836). They "virtually run the United States government for their own selfish purposes. They practically control both parties… It operates under cover of a self-created screen [and] seizes our executive officers, legislative bodies, schools, courts, newspapers and every agency created for the public protection."

The warnings listed below, which appear in chronological order, began with our first president – George Washington.  The last president to speak out was JFK, who was assassinated.    Read what they and other political leaders have said about the invisible government. More...

Click here for a video of Kennedy's warning.

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What Must Be Done About the Monsanto Corporation, and Why
The Green Shadow Cabinet
Posted May 31, 2013

The Green Shadow Cabinet includes nearly 100 prominent scientists, community and labor leaders, physicians, cultural workers, veterans, and more, and provides an ongoing opposition and alternative voice to the dysfunctional government in Washington D.C.. As with shadow cabinets in other countries, the Green Shadow Cabinet of the United States responds to actions of the government in office and demonstrates that another government is possible.

Monsanto greedThe Monsanto corporation is a top "corporate climate criminal" whose drive for profit and control of the global food system threatens food safety, biodiversity, and food sovereignty. Monsanto is the world's leading producer and proponent of genetically modified agriculture. Through aggressive purchases of seed companies, Monsanto is rapidly taking control of the world's seed supply.

In addition, Monsanto produces dangerous chemicals that poison communities, add toxics to the food supply and create 'super weeds' that require increased application of even more toxic herbicides. Monsanto also promotes farming practices that severely exacerbate climate change by requiring excessive water and energy, and promoting massive deforestation to provide land for genetically modified agriculture More...

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LEAK: U.S. Using Taxpayer Dollars to Promote Monsanto Overseas
by Anthony Gucciardi
Posted May 25, 2013

genetically modified foodMonsanto truly has the United States government in the palm of its bloody proverbial hand.Just when you thought the latest Supreme Court ruling in favor of Monsanto's anti-farmer patent policy was enough evidence of Monsanto's deep relationship with the US government, hundreds of new cables from the State Department and embassies around the world reveal that your taxpayer dollars are being used to push Monsanto's genetically modified seeds.

Even mainstream news websites like Reuters are now reporting on the cable details, as it becomes more than crystal clear that the United States government is literally assisting Monsanto in promoting it's health-crushing genetically modified seeds and escalating the corporation above the law. The same corporation busted for running slave-like work rings where 'employees' were required to work on the GMO corn fields for up to 14 hours a day or have their pay withheld. More...

This article highlights the control that Monsanto has over government.

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Billionaires Unchained: America is a Democracy of the Wealthy
by Andy Kroll
Posted May 23, 2013

I want moreBillionaires with an axe to grind, now is your time. Not since the days before a bumbling crew of would-be break-in artists set into motion the fabled Watergate scandal, leading to the first far-reaching restrictions on money in American politics, have you been so free to meddle. There is no limit to the amount of money you can give to elect your friends and allies to political office, to defeat those with whom you disagree, to shape or stunt or kill policy, and above all to influence the tone and content of political discussion in this country.

So what is dark money? How does it wind up in our elections? Say you're a billionaire and you want to give $1 million to anonymously influence an election. You're in luck: you can give that money, as many donors have, to a nonprofit organized under the 501(c)(4) section of the tax code. That nonprofit, in turn, can spend your money on election-related TV ads or mailers or online videos. But there's a catch: unlike super PACs, the majority of a 501(c)(4) nonprofit's work can't be political. Note, though, that where the IRS draws the line on how much politicking is too much, and even what the taxman defines as political, is very murky. And until Congress and the IRS straighten all of that out, donors wanting to influence elections have a mostly scrutiny-free way to unload their money. More...

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Obama in Plunderland: Down the Corporate Rabbit Hole
by Norman Solomon
Posted May 15, 2013

Government bought and paid forThe president's new choices for Commerce secretary and FCC chair underscore how far down the rabbit hole his populist conceits have tumbled. Yet the Obama rhetoric about standing up for working people against "special interests" is as profuse as ever. Would you care for a spot of Kool-Aid at the Mad Hatter's tea party?

To nominate Penny Pritzker for secretary of Commerce is to throw in the towel for any pretense of integrity that could pass a laugh test. Pritzker is "a longtime political supporter and heavyweight fundraiser," the Chicago Tribune reported with notable understatement last week, adding: "She is on the board of Hyatt Hotels Corp., which was founded by her family and has had rocky relations with labor unions, and she could face questions about the failure of a bank partly owned by her family. With a personal fortune estimated at $1.85 billion, Pritzker is listed by Forbes magazine among the 300 wealthiest Americans." More...

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Why Does Exxon Control the No-Fly Zone Over Arkansas Tar Sands Spill?
by Steve Horn
Posted April 8, 2013

corporate no fly zoneThe Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has had a "no fly zone" in place in Mayflower, Arkansas since April 1 at 2:12 PM and will be in place " until further notice," according to the FAA website and it's being overseen by ExxonMobil itself. In other words, any media or independent observers who want to witness the tar sands spill disaster have to ask Exxon's permission.

Mayflower is the site of the recent major March 29 ExxonMobil Pegagus tar sands pipeline spill, which belched out an estimated 5,000 barrels of tar sands diluted bitumen ("dilbit") into the small town's neighborhoods, causing the evacuation of 22 homes.

The rules of engagement for the no fly zone dictate that no aircraft can fly within 1,000 feet of the ground in the five-mile radius surrounding the ExxonMobil Pegasus tar sands pipeline spill. The area located within this radius includes the nearby Pine Village Airport. More...

Click here for a story on how Exxon has locked down the town of Mayflower AK to keep information abouot the spill from "leaking" out.

It is so sad that our nation has degenerated to the point where corporations can now declare no-fly zones over U.S. airspace.

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Senate Passes Monsanto Protection Act
by Anthony Gucciardi
Posted March 26, 2013

Monsanto genetic mutationIn the typical slippery nature of Monsanto's legislation-based actions, the biotech giant is now virtually guaranteed the ability to recklessly plant experimental GM crops without having to worry about the United States government and its subsequent courts. The Monsanto Protection Act buried deep within the budget resolution has passed the Senate, and now nothing short of a presidential veto will put an end to the ruling.

In case you're not familiar, the Monsanto Protection Act is the name given to what's known as a legislative rider that was inserted into the Senate Continuing Resolution spending bill. Using the deceptive title of Farmer Assurance Provision, Sec. 735 of this bill actually grants Monsanto the immunity from federal courts pending the review of any GM crop that is thought to be dangerous. Under the section, courts would be helpless to stop Monsanto from continuing to plant GM crops that are thought even by the US government to be a danger to health or the environment. More...

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Riddled With Corruption: Two More Public Officials "Cash In"
By Mike Whitney
Posted March 19, 2013

Shapiro cashes inIs there anything more maddening then watching elected officials and regulators cash in for their time in office?

Here's two more names you can add to the list: Former SEC chief Mary Schapiro and ex-US Senator Scott Brown (R-MA). Schapiro, the feckless sellout who accomplished absolutely zero as chairman of the once-feared Securities and Exchange Commission, is pegged to join General Electric's board of directors. According to an article in Marketwatch:
"GE Chairman and Chief Executive Jeff Immelt said Ms. Schapiro's experience overseeing U.S. financial markets and understanding of corporate governance and financial regulation will benefit the company."

What an outrage! Can you imagine how subservient you'd have to be to get rewarded by the very industries you were supposed to regulate? If Schapiro had ever lifted a finger against GE or any of the other monster corporations that run the country, her career would now be kaput. Instead, she's going to rake in millions for sleeping through tedious board meetings where she'll contribute absolutely zilch. Such a deal. More...

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Whiny Billionaires in Need of Sequestration
by Robert Scheer
Posted March 8, 2013

Lower tax rate than his pool boyThe suddenly increased national debt is primarily the result of a deep recession caused by the top bankers and hedge fund hustlers of Wall Street, saved from their folly by massive and costly federal intervention. The result has been a season of obscene profit for them, while the rest of the nation has floundered. But instead of making the rich pay, ordinary citizens will be visited with job furloughs and a savaging of public services that often are lifesaving.

What is truly outrageous about Schwarzman is not the $213.3 million he got last year from Blackstone, the private equity company where he has long been the CEO. Heck, he "earned" that much the previous year and has been raking it in since he co-founded the company back in 1985. What is startling, and it goes to the hubris of America's most wealthy at the heart of the current sequester impasse, is that he thinks the more than $1 billion he and eight other private equity executives got in compensation last year should continue to be taxed at the "carried interest" rate of 15 percent, rather than the 35 percent reserved for ordinary income. More...

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Meet 6 Politicians Getting Rich from America's Endless Wars
by John Knefel
Posted February 25, 2013

money in politicsThe defense industry is a powerful and influential lobby. War is a racket, and perpetual war is a money-printing machine. Though the defense industry as a whole contributes relatively little to members of Congress compared to, say, the pharmaceutical lobby, it remains an incredibly powerful and influential lobby. Below are the six members of the House whose primary industry donor in the 2012 election cycle was the defense sector. More...

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Billionaire Burglar Breaks into Obama's Cabinet
by Greg Palast
Posted February 17, 2013

Billionaire burglarWe never heard of this guy Barack Obama until 2004. Less than three years before taking the presidency, he was in the Illinois state senate, a swamp of scammers, backhanders, and party machine tools - not a stellar launch pad for the White House. And then, one day, state Sen. Barack Obama was visited by his fairy godmother. Her name is Penny Pritzker.

Penny's from Heaven?

Pritzger's net worth is listed in Forbes as $1.8 billion, which is one hell of a heavy magic wand in the world of politics. Her wand would have been heavier, and her net worth higher, except that in 2001, the federal government fined her and her family $460 million for the predatory, deceitful, racist tactics and practices of Superior, the bank-and-loan-shark operation she ran on the South Side of Chicago. More...

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Rumored Treasury No. 2, Lobbied Regulators For Morgan Stanley, A Lot
by Mark Gongloff
Posted January 17, 2013

Porat lobbyistPresident Obama's pick to run the Treasury Department isn't much of a financial reformer. And it looks like his potential pick for Treasury's No. 2 spot might not be, either: She actively lobbied for Wall Street.

Obama is reportedly considering tapping Morgan Stanley chief financial officer Ruth Porat to be the "number two" at Treasury under his pick for Treasury Secretary, Jack Lew. Picking Porat would address two problems for Obama: the notable lack of women named so far to his second-term cabinet, and Lew's professed lack of financial expertise.

But it might create yet another headache: Though Porat is accomplished and apparently knows financial markets, she has also frequently lobbied regulators over the rules in the Dodd-Frank financial-reform law, according to an incomplete tally by the Sunlight Foundation. A strong regulator might have made a good deputy for the budget-focused Lew. It is hard to imagine that Porat, who has spent the past couple of years arguing Wall Street's case to regulators, will be that regulator. More...

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"Failure of Epic Proportions": Treasury Nominee Jack Lew's Pro-Bank, Austerity, Deregulation Legacy
Video Discussion with William Black and Matt Taibbi
Posted January 13, 2013

 

Former bank regulator William Black and Rolling Stone's Matt Taibbi join us to dissect the career of Jack Lew, President Obama's pick to replace Treasury Secretary Timothy Geither. Currently Obama's chief of staff, Lew was an executive at Citigroup from 2006 to 2008 at the time of the financial crisis. He backed financial deregulation efforts while he headed the Office of Management and Budget under President Bill Clinton.

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The Fiscal Cliff, A Self-Created Bi-Partisan Drama
by Kevin Zeese
Posted December 30, 2012

politician created phony crisisThe fiscal cliff is a self-created bi-partisan drama that demonstrates the failure of traditional politics and the need for mobilized resistance and a new independent political movement. The mass media and operatives from the Democratic and Republican parties have raised all sorts of imagined fears to provide cover to unnecessary cuts to health, retirement and social programs, while marginally increasing taxes on the wealthiest. But watch out,this is really only the set-up for the payback to big business interests that bankrolled the 2012 elections.

President Obama is on track to be the first Democratic president to cut Social Security benefits at a time when pensions are disappearing and it is the primary source of income for elderly Americans. Social Security does not add to the deficit as it has a $2.7 trillion surplus, expected to rise to $3.7 trillion according to the Social Security Trustees.Cuts to Medicare and Medicaid are also on the table;no doubt other safety net programs will also be cut. More...

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Why Billionaire Political Investors Will Keep Pouring Money Into Politics - Until They're Stopped
by Robert Reich
Posted December 13, 2012

pocket changeYou see, if and when they eventually win, these billionaires will clean up. Their taxes will plummet, many of laws constraining their profits (such environmental laws preventing the Koch brothers from more depredations, and the anti-bribery Foreign Corrupt Practices Act that Adelson is being investigated for violating) will disappear, and what's left of labor unions will no longer intrude on their bottom lines. And they have enough dough to keep betting until they eventually win. That's what it means to be a billionaire political investor: You're able to keep playing the odds until you get the golden ring.

Relative to their net worth, the billionaire investors have been playing for a pittance. Forbes magazine estimates Adelson's net worth at $21.5 billion. His Las Vegas Sands Corporation just approved a special dividend paying him about $1.2 billion this year, ahead of any possible tax increases that might emerge from congressional budget negotiations. More...

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Susan Rice, Top Candidate for Secretary of State, Has Millions Tied to Canadian Tar Sands
by Stephen Lacey
Posted November 30, 2012

Rice - conflict of interestMost of the attacks against Susan Rice, Obama's supposed top pick for Secretary of State, have come from Republicans. But now the left — mainly groups opposed to developing Canadian tar sands — may have some reasons to question Rice. According to a report from OnEarth Magazine, Rice has millions of dollars tied up in top Canadian energy companies — including TransCanada, the company pushing for the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline.

The 1,700 mile Keystone XL pipeline would pipe carbon-intensive tar sands crude from Alberta to refineries in the Gulf of Mexico. Because the pipeline crosses international borders, its approval falls under the jurisdiction of the State Department. That means Rice — or any other candidate tapped to head the State Department — would be responsible for approving or rejecting the project. More...

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Elite Intrigues and Military Purges: It's Not About Sex, Stupid!
by Prof. James Petras
Posted November 22, 2012

More to this than media reportsThe headline stories claim that CIA Director General David Petraeus resigned as head of the CIA because of an adulterous relation with his young biographer and that General John Allen, Supreme Commander of US troops in Afghanistan, was under investigation and his promotion to top commander of US troops in Europe was on hold, because, we are told, of his 'inappropriate' comments in the exchange of e-mails with a civilian female friend. We are told that a 'hard-charging' local FBI agent, Frederick Humphries, Jr., had uncovered amorous e-mails sent by General Petraeus to his girlfriend-biographer in the course of investigating a complaint of 'cyber-stalking'.

In other words, we are asked to believe that a single, low-ranking, zealous FBI agent has toppled the careers of two top US Generals: one in charge of the principle global intelligence agency, the CIA, and the other in command of the US and allied combat forces in the principle theater of military engagement – on the basis of infidelity and flirtatious banter!

Nothing could be more far-fetched simply on prima facie evidence. More...

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Why I'm Voting Green
by Chris Hedges
Posted October 30, 2012

Green PartyThe November election is not a battle between Republicans and Democrats. It is not a battle between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney. It is a battle between the corporate state and us. And if we do not immediately engage in this battle we are finished, as climate scientists have made clear. I will defy corporate power in small and large ways. I will invest my energy now solely in acts of resistance, in civil disobedience and in defiance. Those who rebel are our only hope.

And for this reason I will vote next month for Jill Stein, the Green Party candidate, although I could as easily vote for Rocky Anderson of the Justice Party. I will step outside the system. Voting for the "lesser evil"—or failing to vote at all—is part of the corporate agenda to crush what is left of our anemic democracy. And those who continue to participate in the vaudeville of a two-party process, who refuse to confront in every way possible the structures of corporate power, assure our mutual destruction. More...

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Before the Election was Over, Wall Street Won
by Naomi Prins
Posted October 24, 2012

Wall Street wins electionBefore the campaign contributors lavished billions of dollars on their favorite candidate; and long after they toast their winner or drink to forget their loser, Wall Street was already primed to continue its reign over the economy.

Savers, borrowers, and the economy are still losing money due to the preservation of the illusion of bank health. More critically, the big banks grew through acquisitions and the ongoing closures of smaller local banks that provided better banking terms to citizens. The big banks have more assets and deposits, on which they are over-valuing prices, and paying less interest than before, due to a combination of Fed and Treasury blessed mergers in late 2008, QE and ZIRP. Yet, we're supposed to believe this situation will somehow manifest a more solid and productive economy. More...

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Mitt Romney's Bailout Bonanza: How He Made Millions from the Rescue of Detroit
by Greg Palast
Posted October 21, 2012

 

A major new exposé on the cover of The Nation magazine called "Mitt Romney's Bailout Bonanza: How He Made Millions from the Rescue of Detroit." Investigative reporter Greg Palast reveals how Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney made some $15 million on the auto bailout and that three of Romney's top donors made more than $4 billion for their hedge funds from the bailout.

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How Do You Take Your Poison?
by Chris Hedges
Posted September 29, 2012

corporate oligarchyCorporate power, no matter who is running the ward after January 2013, is poised to carry out U.S. history's most savage assault against the poor and the working class, not to mention the Earth's ecosystem. And no one in power, no matter what the bedside manner, has any intention or ability to stop it.

If you insist on participating in the cash-drenched charade of a two-party democratic election at least be clear about what you are doing. You are, by playing your assigned role as the Democratic or Republican voter in this political theater, giving legitimacy to a corporate agenda that means your own impoverishment and disempowerment. Our corporate oligarchs are harvesting the nation, grabbing as much as they can, as fast as they can, in the inevitable descent. More...

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Feast of Fools
by Lewis Lapham
Posted September 21, 2012

illusion of democracyThe ritual performance of the legend of democracy in the autumn of 2012 promises the conspicuous consumption of $5.8 billion, enough money, thank God, to prove that our flag is still there. Forbidden the use of words apt to depress a Q Score or disturb a Gallup poll, the candidates stand as product placements meant to be seen instead of heard, their quality to be inferred from the cost of their manufacture. The sponsors of the event, generous to a fault but careful to remain anonymous, dress it up with the bursting in air of star-spangled photo ops, abundant assortments of multiflavored sound bites, and the candidates so well-contrived that they can be played for jokes, presented as game-show contestants, or posed as noble knights-at-arms setting forth on vision quests, enduring the trials by klieg light, until on election night they come to judgment before the throne of cameras by whom and for whom they were produced.

The cable-news networks meanwhile package dissent as tabloid entertainment, a commodity so clearly labeled as pasteurized ideology that it is rendered harmless and threatens nobody with the awful prospect of having to learn something they didn't already know. More...

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Where Is the Outrage over Money in Politics?
by Bill Moyers
Posted Sept 4, 2012

corruptionNo serious proposal to take the money out of politics, or even reduce its tightening grip on the body politic, will emerge from Tampa or Charlotte, so the sounds of celebration and merriment are merely prelude to a funeral cortege for America as a shared experience. A radical minority of the super-rich has gained ascendency over politics, buying the policies, laws, tax breaks, subsidies, and rules that consolidate a permanent state of vast inequality by which they can further help themselves to America's wealth and resources.

We are nearing the culmination of a cunning and fanatical drive to dismantle the political institutions, the legal and statutory canons, and the intellectual and cultural frameworks that were slowly and painstakingly built over decades to protect everyday citizens from the excesses of private power. The "city on the hill" has become a fortress of privilege, guarded by a hired political class and safely separated from the economic pressures that are upending the household stability, family dynamics, social mobility, and civic life of everyday Americans. More...

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Politics 101
by Unknown
Posted July 30, 2012

replace all the mokees at the same timeIf you start with a cage containing five monkeys and inside the cage, hang a banana on a string from the top and then you place a set of stairs under the banana, before long a monkey will go to the stairs and climb toward the banana.

As soon as he touches the stairs, you spray all the other monkeys with cold water.

After a while another monkey makes an attempt with same result ... all the other monkeys are sprayed with cold water. Pretty soon when another monkey tries to climb the stairs, the other monkeys will try to prevent it.

Now, put the cold water away. Remove one monkey from the cage and replace it with a new one.

The new monkey sees the banana and attempts to climb the stairs. To his shock, all of the other monkeys beat the crap out of him. After another attempt and attack, he knows that if he tries to climb the stairs he will be assaulted. Next, remove another of the original five monkeys, replacing it with a new one.

The newcomer goes to the stairs and is attacked. The previous newcomer takes part in the punishment...... with enthusiasm, because he is now part of the "team". Then, replace a third original monkey with a new one, followed by the fourth, then the fifth. Every time the newest monkey takes to the stairs he is attacked.

Now, the monkeys that are beating him up have no idea why they were not permitted to climb the stairs. Neither do they know why they are participating in the beating of the newest monkey.

Finally, having replaced all of the original monkeys, none of the remaining monkeys will have ever been sprayed with cold water.

Nevertheless, not one of the monkeys will try to climb the stairway for the banana. Why, you ask? Because in their minds...that is the way it has always been!

This, my friends, is how Congress and the Senate operates... and this is why, from time to time:
ALL of the monkeys need to be REPLACED AT THE SAME TIME.

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Leaked Trade Doc Shows Obama Wants to Help Corporations Avoid Regulations
by Lori Wallach

Posted June 20, 2012

A draft agreement leaked Wednesday shows the Obama administration is pushing a secretive trade agreement that could vastly expand corporate power and directly contradict a 2008 campaign promise by President Obama. A U.S. proposal for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade pact between the United States and eight Pacific nations would allow foreign corporations operating in the U.S. to appeal key regulations to an international tribunal. The body would have the power to override U.S. law and issue penalties for failure to comply with its ruling. We speak to Lori Wallach, director of Public Citizen's Global Trade Watch, a fair trade group that posted the leaked documents on its website. More...
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Senators Suck Up to Jamie Dimon, Get Paid for It
by George Zornick
Posted June 15, 2012

Government for saleIn fifty years, when historians look back upon the current era of unbridled financial sector influence on American government—unless all historians are by then employed at CitiBankofAmericaChaseOne Institutions of Higher Learning™—Wednesday's hearing of the Senate Banking Committee will be an instructive example of our perverse power structure. Jamie Dimon, CEO of the JPMorgan Chase, the country's largest bank, appeared before the committee after a clear screw-up: traders at JPMorgan placed a series of complex bets that resulted in $2 billion in losses and counting.

This should be of great concern to the Senate. Since deposits at JPMorgan Chase are backed by the federal government, risky market gambling could create the need for another massive public bailout of a normally profitable private bank.

But instead, a vast majority of the Senators at Wednesday's hearing repeatedly praised Dimon's wisdom and executive acuity while politely soliciting his opinion on how he thought his own bank should be regulated. That shouldn't be too surprising if one examines the bank's political giving--members of the committee received $522,088 of the bank's cash in recent years, with $296,557 going to Democrats and $285,531 to Republicans. More...

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State Politicians and the Public Pension Cookie Jar
by Steven Malanga
Posted June 11, 2012

Former mayor DaleyLegislators in dozens of states have crafted retirement perks that are even more generous than those of their government employees. As states and municipalities confront the crushing cost of pension promises, these elected officials are being asked to rein in a system they benefit from.

Illinois residents recently got a glimpse of the double standard at work when they learned how former Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley had gamed the system. In early 2011, as he was ending his 22-year tenure, Mr. Daley complained of the growing cost of government and warned that rich pension benefits for public workers might sink Chicago's budget. But he didn't mention that he had exploited the system he was criticizing to boost his own final retirement package to $183,000 a year. More...

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The 14 characteristics of Fascism
by Dr. Lawrence Britt
Posted June 7, 2012

fascism is slaveryDr. Britt, a political scientist, studied the fascist regimes of Hitler (Germany), Mussolini (Italy), Franco (Spain), Suharto (Indonesia), and Pinochet (Chile). He found the regimes all had 14 things in common, and he calls these the identifying characteristics of fascism. Some of these include:

Corporate Power is Protected -- The industrial and business aristocracy of a fascist nation often are the ones who put the government leaders into power, creating a mutually beneficial business/government relationship and power elite.

Supremacy of the Military -- Even when there are widespread domestic problems, the military is given a disproportionate amount of government funding, and the domestic agenda is neglected. Soldiers and military service are glamorized. More...

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Harnessing People Power: Co-Option at Work in America Today
by Edmund Berger
Posted April 23, 2012

Co-opting movementsThroughout history change has been a perpetual tug-of-war between the different social classes. These great divisions have been recast again and again in various manifestations (the bourgeoisie and the proletariat, the have and have-nots, the 1% and the 99%), but they are always expressing the same common problem: progress, however far it takes us, cannot seem to shake off its built-in inequalities and injustices that always follow alongside it. This sentiment is not the subject of perpetual debate, however. It is most often found in the margins, outside the mainstream, only flickering into popular consciousness when the truly irrational nature of the dominant system reveals itself. These irrationalities serve to mobilize the multitude to demand change, yet the result of these mobilizations is a rationalization of underlying problems. Change does come, but it is limited and mutable, subject to its own changes. More...

This is a long but very well written and well documented article on how movements such as the Tea Party, Occupy, and others eventually become co-opted by the elites and the dominant system. One part of the co-opting is to get the movement to support political candidates. However, once these candidates are in office, they often become co-opted themselves by their political party, campaign donors and others. This is a must read for anyone who truly wants to understand this process and its implications.

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Why Obama's JOBS Act Couldn't Suck Worse
by Matt Taibbi
Posted April 23, 2012

License for fraudBoy, do I feel like an idiot. I've been out there on radio and TV in the last few months saying that I thought there was a chance Barack Obama was listening to the popular anger against Wall Street that drove the Occupy movement, that decisions like putting a for-real law enforcement guy like New York AG Eric Schneiderman in charge of a mortgage fraud task force meant he was at least willing to pay lip service to public outrage against the banks.

Then the JOBS Act happened. The "Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act" (in addition to everything else, the Act has an annoying, redundant title) will very nearly legalize fraud in the stock market. More...

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Partisan Confusion: Outside the Supreme Court While the Health Insurance Mandate is Debated
by Kevin Zeese
Posted March 29, 2012

Political confusionMy colleague, Margaret Flowers, asked two women carrying an Americans for Prosperity sign (a group opposed to Obama's law) whether they were on Medicare. They said "yes." "Do you like it?" Again, "yes." "Do you know Medicare is a government program?" A confused look. "Do you know the Republicans want to end Medicare, make it into private insurance?" "You don't know what you're talking about. You probably support Obama" and they started to walk away. "No, we oppose ObamaCare," the women stopped and listened again, "we think everyone should have Medicare. Don't you think it would be a good idea if every American could have the Medicare you have and like?" "Hmm, yes" then, more confusion in their faces.

Then, talking to the Democrats showed equal partisan confusion. I explained: "We oppose the Obama mandate because we want to end insurance control of health care. We support single payer, Medicare for all?" Response: "So do I." I asked: "Single payer ends insurance, and Obama's law entrenches insurance more deeply in control of health care, aren't those opposites?" Response, obviously not understanding what "opposite' means: "It's a step in the right direction." I ask: "How can it be a step in the right direction when it is going in the opposite direction?" More...

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A Tangled Web: Who's Making Money From All This Campaign Spending?
by Al Shaw, Kim Barker and Justin Elliott
Posted March 25, 2012

unlimited ANONYMOUS contributionsMany have been detailing the vast sums being raised by the presidential candidates and the super PACs supporting them. But where are all those millions being spent? Among other things, the answers can provide hints on potential improper coordination between campaigns and super PACs. Here are the 200 biggest recipients of spending by the major campaigns and most of the major super PACs.

More...

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Our Politicians Are Money Launderers in the Trafficking of Power and Policy
by Bill Moyers
Posted January 31, 2012

power dealersJohn Boehner calls on the bankers, holds out his cup, and offers them total obeisance from the House majority if only they fill it. That's now the norm, and they get away with it. GOP once again means Guardians of Privilege.

Barack Obama criticizes bankers as "fat cats", then invites them to dine at a pricey New York restaurant where the tasting menu runs to $195 a person. That's now the norm, and they get away with it. The President has raised more money from banks, hedge funds, and private equity managers than any Republican candidate, including Mitt Romney. Inch by inch he has conceded ground to them while espousing populist rhetoric that his very actions betray. More...

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How Super PACs Are Choosing Your Next President
by David Zeiler
Posted January 20, 2012

corporate takeover of governmentIt's no secret that the rich use their money to influence the ballot, but in this year's election cycle they have created a new, more insidious way to do it.

They are called super PACs and they are choosing your next President.

Super PACs (political action committees) have drawn attention in recent months because of their outsized influence on the Iowa caucuses and the New Hampshire primary. These organizations can raise and spend unlimited amounts of money, with the only restriction being that the super PAC cannot "coordinate" with the candidate.

In a super PAC, individual donations of $500,000 to a $1 million or more are not uncommon. "The sky's the limit,"Columbia Law Schoolcampaign-finance expert Richard Briffault told USA Today. "We are back to the pre-Watergate era of unlimited amounts of money." More...

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Obama Nominates Carlyle Group Partner to The Federal Reserve Board of Governors
by Kevin Zeeze
January 2, 2012

change you can believe in?While on vacation in Hawaii, Obama tapped Jerome Powell to serve on the Federal Reserve Board of Governors. Powel served as the undersecretary for finance under the president George H. W. Bush and was a partner of The Carlyle Group. The Carlyle Group is a massive private equity firm and one of the largest defense contractors in the world.

They're made up of some of the most influential policymakers over the last five administrations including both Bush presidents, former Secretary of State James Baker III, former Secretary of Defense Frank Carlucci, former Clinton Chief of Staff Mack McLarty, and former SEC Chairman Arthur Levitt to name a few.

Other notable investors in The Carlyle Group include the bin Laden family and the Saudi Royal Family. Coincidentally, George H. W. Bush was meeting at the Ritz Carlton Hotel in Washington on the morning of September 11th with one of Osama Bin Laden's brothers. More...

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Occupy Rigged Elections: A Call for the Second American Revolution in 2012
by Victoria Collier and Ronnie Cummins
Posted December 29, 2011

Altered voting machine?Once you understand how the machinery of the American voting system actually works, you're going to feel a little stunned, as if you came home from a three month vacation to discover you left your keys hanging in the front door.

Did you know that no one - not even an election supervisor - is allowed to view the software?

Did you know that the Vulnerability Assessment Team (VAT) at the US Department of Energy's (DOE) Argonne National Laboratory in Illinois just hacked a Diebold Accuvote touch-screen voting machine by remote control with $26 in computer parts?

We know these things because a small group of American election integrity activists have been working tirelessly, without much recognition or compensation, to compile a mountain of evidence. More...

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The Remarkable Political Stupidity of Wall Street
by Robert Reich
Posted December 12, 2011

SDtupid bankersWall Street is its own worst enemy. It should have welcomed new financial regulation as a means of restoring public trust. Instead, it's busily shredding new regulations and making the public more distrustful than ever. The Street's biggest lobbying groups have just filed a lawsuit against the Commodities Futures Trading Commission, seeking to overturn its new rule limiting speculative trading.

For years Wall Street has speculated like mad in futures markets – food, oil, other commodities – causing prices to fluctuate wildly. The Street makes bundles from these gyrations, but they have raised costs for consumers. In other words, a small portion of what you and I pay for food and energy has been going into the pockets of Wall Street. It's just another hidden redistribution from the middle class and poor to the rich. More...

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Corporate Taxpayers & Corporate Tax Dodgers 2008-10
Citizens for Tax Justice & the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy
Posted November 21, 2011

Tax dodgersEarlier this year, Berkshire Hathaway Chairman Warren Buffett made headlines by publicly decrying the stark inequity between his own effective federal tax rate (about 17 percent, by his estimate) and that of his secretary (about 30 percent). The resulting media firestorm has drawn welcome attention to unfair tax breaks that allow the richest Americans to avoid paying their fair share of the personal income tax. But these inequities are not limited to the personal tax. Our corporate tax system is plagued by very similar problems, problems that allow many of America's most profitable corporations to pay little or nothing in federal income taxes.

This study takes a hard look at the federal income taxes paid or not paid by 280 of America's largest and most profitable corporations in 2008, 2009 and 2010. The companies in our report are all from Fortune's annual list of America's 500 largest corporations, and all of them were profitable in each of the three years analyzed. Over the three years, the 280 companies in our survey reported total pretax U.S. profits of $1.4 trillion. More...

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Congress is Getting Richer – With Help From Legal Insider Trading
by Kerri Shannon
Posted November 17, 2011

Fat cat politiciansWhile many Americans continue to struggle to save money, members of Congress are getting richer.

According to a CBS News "60 Minutes" segment that aired Nov. 13, congressional "insider trading" might be a key factor in their financial success. Congress members may be using information gained from their "insider" positions to make highly profitable trades in the stock market. This form of insider trading may be unethical, but it's also legal.

Congressional leaders, however, even though privy to non-public information, are not considered corporate insiders, and can trade on such information and escape penalty. Congressional staffers and lobbyists also are exempt. More...

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As Zuccotti Park Is Cleared, Congress Moves to Gut Financial Reform
by Mary Bottari
Posted November 16, 2011

Money in politicsIn the dead of night last night, the movement to hold big banks accountable for their crimes took two major hits. Occupy Wall Street activists were swept from Zuccotti Park as radical members of Congress moved to gut funding for the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) and advance a series of shocking proposals to roll back financial reform.

On Capitol Hill, a similar rout was taking place in the dead of night. In a fast move that deals a serious blow to a key regulator in charge of Wall Street derivatives trading, the budget request for CFTC was cut by more than a third by legislators eager to kill any oversight of Wall Street.

The derivatives market is $600 trillion big and much of that market is controlled by just 4 Wall Street megabanks: JP Morgan Chase, Citigroup, Bank of America and Goldman Sachs. Who is the watchdog for those derivatives? The CFTC has responsibility for most of them and it is getting a budget of only $205 million. They will not be able to hire the people or buy the technology that they need to keep up with Wall Street, never mind actually keep watch over them to try to prevent another financial catastrophe. More...

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To Get Really Rich, Get Elected
by Lew Rockwell
Posted November 10, 2011

Government for saleEconomic Collapse writes: Do you want to get rich? Just get elected to Congress. The U.S. Senate and the House of Representatives are absolutely packed with wealthy people that are very rapidly becoming even wealthier. The collective net worth of the members of Congress is now measured in the billions of dollars. The people that we have elected to the House and Senate are absolutely swimming in money. Unfortunately, it is not easy to get elected to Congress. In this day and age you generally have to be heavily connected to those that are very wealthy to get into Congress because it takes gigantic amounts of cash to win campaigns. But if you can get in to the club, you pretty much have it made. The numbers that you are about to read are very difficult to believe and they should deeply sadden you. They show that Congress has become all about money.

Congressional races are mostly financed by wealthy people, most of the people that we elect to Congress are very wealthy, and they rapidly get wealthier after they are elected. All of this money has turned our republic into something far different than our founding fathers intended. More...

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"We the People," Not "We the Corporations"
by Jim Hightower
Posted October 26, 2011

We The CorporationsA year from now, Americans will be caught in an unprecedented blizzard of presidential campaign ads. We'll be blinded by the whiteout and buried in the storm's negativity.

For the first time ever, most of this ad blizzard will not come from the candidates, but from ads secretly funded by huge corporations. This is because a five-man cabal on the Supreme Court issued an edict last year that perverts nature itself. In a case titled Citizens United, the five decreed that -- shazam! -- lifeless corporate entities are henceforth "persons" with more electioneering rights than ... well, us real-life persons.

The good news is that real citizens of our country are united against Citizens United. In a January Hart Research poll, 87 percent of Democrats, 82 percent of independents and even 68 percent of Republicans favor passing a constitutional amendment to overrule the Court's bizarre decision and make clear that only people are people. More...

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The Election March of the Trolls
by Chris Hedges
Posted August 31, 2011

Trolls tell us what we want to hearWe have begun the election march of the trolls. They have crawled out of the sewers of public relations firms, polling organizations, the commercial media, the two corporate political parties and elected office to fill the airwaves with inanities and absurdities until the final inanity—the 2012 presidential election. Journalists, whose role has been reduced to purveyors of court gossip, whether on Fox or MSNBC, descend in swarms to report pseudo-events such as the Ames straw poll, where it costs $30 to cast a ballot.

The trolls dominate or have neutralized every major institution in the country on behalf of their corporate paymasters. The press, education, Wall Street, labor and our political parties are managed by trolls or have been destroyed by them. Sometimes these trolls speak like liberals. Sometimes they speak like conservatives. Sometimes they are secular. Sometimes they are Christians. But the language they use is a cover for the relentless march toward a totalitarian capitalism and a kingdom where the trolls, if not the rest of us, live happily ever after. Rick Perry and John Boehner overtly make war on Social Security. Barack Obama and Nancy Pelosi say they would like to save Social Security but are sadly powerless before the decisions of a congressional super committee they helped form. The result, of course, is the same. We get to choose the rhetoric and manner in which we are deceived and disempowered. Nothing more. More...

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Congressional Representatives Charge Constituents for Access
By Reid Epstein
Posted August 25, 2011

Pay per view CongressmanIt will cost $15 to ask Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) a question in person during the August congressional recess.

The House Budget Committee chairman isn't holding any face-to-face open-to-the-public town hall meetings during the recess, but like several of his colleagues he will speak only for residents willing to open their wallets.

Ryan, who took substantial criticism from his southeast Wisconsin constituents in April after he introduced the Republicans' budget proposal, isn't the only member of congress whose August recess town hall-style meetings are strictly pay-per-view.

Democratic Party of Wisconsin spokesman Graeme Zielinski said Ryan is scared to defend his record before his fellow citizens.

"Paul Ryan has had a hard time going before open crowds, and for good reason," Zielinski said. "I'm sure Ryan doesn't want to go before the public to explain while his extreme ideology caused Standard & Poor's to downgrade U.S. long-term treasury bonds. Beside, Ryan likes smaller settings — the kind where you can cozy up to a hedge fund manager and get a good $350 bottle of wine." More...

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Ruling on Behalf of Wall Street's "Super Rich": The Financial End Time has Arrived
by Prof. Michael Hudson
Posted August 6, 2011

Sheriff's depuites, a growth industryMr. Obama seems to be campaigning for his own defeat! Thanks largely to the $13 trillion Wall Street bailout – while keeping the debt overhead in place for America's "bottom 98%" – this happy 2% of the population now receives an estimated three quarters (~75%) of the returns to wealth (interest, dividends, rent and capital gains). This is nearly double what it received a generation ago. The rest of the population is being squeezed, and foreclosures are rising.

The pretense is that cutting taxes for the super-rich is necessary to win Republican support for including the middle class in the tax cuts. It is as if the Democrats never won a plurality in Congress. The pretense is "to create jobs," evidently to be headed by employment of shipyard workers to build yachts for the nouveau riches and sheriff's deputies to foreclose on the ten million Americans whose mortgage payments have fallen into arrears. More...

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The President Surrenders
by Paul Krugman
Posted August 1, 2011

Paul KrugmanA deal to raise the federal debt ceiling is in the works. If it goes through, many commentators will declare that disaster was avoided. But they will be wrong.

For the deal itself, given the available information, is a disaster, and not just for President Obama and his party. It will damage an already depressed economy; it will probably make America's long-run deficit problem worse, not better; and most important, by demonstrating that raw extortion works and carries no political cost, it will take America a long way down the road to banana-republic status. More...

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Obama's Bad Bargain
by William Greider
Posted July 31, 2011

ObamaTake a dollar from working stiffs who need these programs, take a dollar from the superrich who don't need a tax break. How fair is that?

The most distressing outcome of the deficit hysteria gripping Washington may be what Barack Obama has revealed about himself. It was disconcerting to watch the president slip-slide so easily into voicing the fallacious economic arguments of the right. It was shocking when he betrayed core principles of the Democratic Party, portraying himself as high-minded and brave because he defied his loyal constituents. Supporters may hope this rightward shift was only a matter of political tactics, but I think Obama has at last revealed his sincere convictions. If he wins a second term, he will be free to strike a truly rotten "grand bargain" with Republicans—"pragmatic" compromises that will destroy the crown jewels of democratic reform. More...

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Who Rules America?
by G. William Domhoff
Posted July 25, 2011

Who rules America?I sit in an interesting chair in the financial services industry. Our clients largely fall into the top 1%, have a net worth of $5,000,000 or above, and if working make over $300,000 per year. My observations on the sources of their wealth and concerns come from my professional and social activities within this group.

I could go on and on, but the bottom line is this: A highly complex and largely discrete set of laws and exemptions from laws has been put in place by those in the uppermost reaches of the U.S. financial system. It allows them to protect and increase their wealth and significantly affect the U.S. political and legislative processes. They have real power and real wealth. Ordinary citizens in the bottom 99.9% are largely not aware of these systems, do not understand how they work, are unlikely to participate in them, and have little likelihood of entering the top 0.5%, much less the top 0.1%. Moreover, those at the very top have no incentive whatsoever for revealing or changing the rules. I am not optimistic. More...

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Is the United States a representative democracy or a mirage democracy
by Kevin Zeese
Posted July 4, 2011

Illusory democracyIt is a shame to have to ask whether democracy is a mirage in the United States, no doubt most Americans would rather be celebrating U.S. democracy than questioning it. But the reality of the disconnect between government and the people has become so stark it is impossible to ignore.

Gallup reports that Americans belief in our form of government and how well it works is now at only 42% (in 2002 it was at 76%). Less than a quarter of Americans approve of the job Congress is doing, yet because of manipulation of the political process, the drawing of voting districts, the impact of campaign money and the power of incumbency, more than 90% will be re-elected. More...

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In Two Steps Obama Can Reduce the Influence of Secret Donations in 2012
by Kevin Zeeze
Posted May 10, 2011

Chamber of CommercePresident Obama is considering an executive order that would require companies bidding for federal contracts to disclose all of its federal political spending over $5,000 for the previous two years which they now keep secret, including money spent indirectly through third party organizations like the Chamber of Commerce. The proposed transparency order would create one central database on the website data.gov that would list the political activities of government contractors and their affiliates and officers.

The reaction to the executive order highlights the need for it. The Chamber of Commerce has been apoplectic over the executive order, making arguments that are absurd on their face. They have been lobbying former Chamber board member, William Daley , who is Obama's chief of staff. They claim transparency will lead to corruption in government contracting when just the opposite is true. Politics and procurement are already linked as politicians already know who their donors are; this transparency order will make money less powerful, not more powerful. If the public knows which corporations donated to which candidates or other electoral efforts it levels the playing field. Favoritism to donors will be seen as corruption of the process. Rather than creating a spoils system for government contractors, transparency will expose it and end it. More...

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It Was the Banks
by James K. Galbraith
Posted November 6, 2010

Summers-GeithnerThe original sin of Obama's presidency was to assign economic policy to a closed circle of bank-friendly economists and Bush carryovers. Larry Summers. Timothy Geithner. Ben Bernanke. These men had no personal commitment to the goal of an early recovery, no stake in the Democratic Party, no interest in the larger success of Barack Obama. Their primary goal, instead, was and remains to protect their own past decisions and their own professional futures.

Up to a point, one can defend the decisions taken in September-October 2008 under the stress of a rapidly collapsing financial system. The Bush administration was, by that time, nearly defunct. Panic was in the air, as was political blackmail - with the threat that the October through January months might be irreparably brutal. Stopgaps were needed, they were concocted, and they held the line.

But one cannot defend the actions of Team Obama on taking office. Law, policy and politics all pointed in one direction: turn the systemically dangerous banks over to Sheila Bair and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. Insure the depositors, replace the management, fire the lobbyists, audit the books, prosecute the frauds, and restructure and downsize the institutions. The financial system would have been cleaned up. And the big bankers would have been beaten as a political force. More...

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The Secret Big-Money Takeover of America
by Robert Reich
Posted October 10, 2010

Robert ReichNot only is income and wealth in America more concentrated in fewer hands than it's been in 80 years, but those hands are buying our democracy as never before -- and they're doing it behind closed doors.

Hundreds of millions of secret dollars are pouring into congressional and state races in this election cycle. The Koch brothers (whose personal fortunes grew by $5 billion last year) appear to be behind some of it, Karl Rove has rounded up other multimillionaires to fund right-wing candidates, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce is funneling corporate dollars from around the world into congressional races, and Rupert Murdoch is evidently spending heavily. More...

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Do Not Pity the Democrats
by Chris Hedges
Posted September 26, 2010

DemocratsThere are no longer any major institutions in American society, including the press, the educational system, the financial sector, labor unions, the arts, religious institutions and our dysfunctional political parties, which can be considered democratic. The intent, design and function of these institutions, controlled by corporate money, are to bolster the hierarchical and anti-democratic power of the corporate state. These institutions, often mouthing liberal values, abet and perpetuate mounting inequality. They operate increasingly in secrecy. They ignore suffering or sacrifice human lives for profit. They control and manipulate all levers of power and mass communication. They have muzzled the voices and concerns of citizens. They use entertainment, celebrity gossip and emotionally laden public-relations lies to seduce us into believing in a Disneyworld fantasy of democracy. More...

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Rule By The Rich
by Paul Craig Roberts
Posted January 27, 2010

The Democrats were destroyed as an independent party by jobs offshoring and so-called free trade agreements such as NAFTA. The effect of "globalism" has been to destroy the industrial and manufacturing unions, thus leaving the Democrats without a power base and source of funding.

Obama and the Democrats cannot be an opposition party, because Democrats are as dependent as Republicans on corporate interest groups for campaign funding.
The Democrats have to support war and the police state if they want funding from the military/security complex. They have to make the health care bill into a subsidy for private insurance if they want funding from the insurance companies. They have to abandon the American people for the rich banksters if they want funding from the financial lobby.

Now that the five Republicans on the Supreme Court have overturned decades of U.S. law and given corporations the ability to buy every American election, Democrats and Republicans can be nothing but pawns for a plutocracy. Most Americans are hard pressed, but the corporations have only begun to milk them. More...

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Supreme Court Hands Nation Over to Corporations
by Rudy Avizius
Posted January 25, 2010

Corporate States of AmericaAmericans have long had a sneaking suspicion that there was a “hidden hand” directing our government in Washington and the states, and they were right. The “hidden hand” was actually the corporations, unions, and other special interests that contribute literally $billions to our politicians in order to influence legislation that will favor them. This has happened even with the limits that have been placed on these groups that prevented them from directly contributing to campaigns.

Thursday January 21 2010, will go down in history as a dark day. This is the day that a divided  Supreme Court, in a case of unbelievable overreach removed all limits on corporate political campaign spending. If you thought our politicians were corrupt and beholden to corporations before, things are about to get a LOT WORSE now that all limits have been removed. Justices Roberts, Alito, Scalia, Thomas and Kennedy swept aside decades of legislative restrictions on the money from corporations in political campaigns and ruled that companies can use corporate funds to support or oppose candidates. These 5 justices have just opened the floodgates and the strangle hold the banks have over the nation's wealth will now be amplified by this Supreme Court ruling that has totally removed all limits on campaign financing by corporations. This black day will go ultimately go down in history where the Supreme Court officially validated the takeover of the government by the corporations. More....

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MOTHER JONES journalists David Corn and Kevin Drum offer a hard look at the obstacles to real reform of the financial industry.
Bill Moyers Journal
Posted January 11, 2010


David Corn and Kevin DrumThe ancient Romans had a proverb: "Money is like sea water. The more you drink, the thirstier you become." That adage finds particular meaning today on Wall Street, which began this New Year riding a tidal wave of bonuses in a surging ocean of greed.

Thanks to taxpayers like you who generously bailed banking from the financial shipwreck it created for itself and for us, by the end of 2009 the industry's compensation pool reached nearly $200 billion. And despite windfall profits, the banks will claim almost $80 billion in tax deductions. And nearly $20 billion of those deductions will go to just three institutions — Morgan Stanley, JP Morgan Chase, and Goldman Sachs. Ah, yes — Goldman Sachs, that paragon of profit and probity — which bet big on the housing bubble and when it popped — presto! — converted itself from an investment firm into a bank so it could get your bailout money. More...
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Senator Byron Dorgan to retire
Posted January 10, 2010

PoliticsSenator Byron Dorgan of North Dakota recently announced his retirement and our government will be losing a highly qualified elected official. He was one of only 8 senators who had the wisdom to vote against Gramm Leach Bliley Act in 1999 which tore down the firewall that had existed between the commercial banks and the investment houses and kept the banks from gambling with depositers' money since the Great Depression. "I think we will look back in 10 years' time and say we should not have done this," Byron Dorgan said at the time of the vote.

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Misreading the Iranian Situation
by George Friedman
Posted September 16, 2009

The calm assumptions in major capitals that this is merely another round in interminable talks with Iran on its weapons revolves around the belief that the Israelis are locked into place by the Americans. From where we sit, the Israelis have more room to maneuver now than they had in the past, or than they might have in the future. If that’s true, then the current crisis is more dangerous than it appears.

We are reminded of the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis only in this sense: We get the sense that everyone is misreading everyone else. In the run-up to the Cuban Missile Crisis, the Americans didn’t believe the Soviets would take the risks they did and the Soviets didn’t believe the Americans would react as they did. In this case, the Iranians believe the United States will play its old game and control the Israelis. Washington doesn’t really understand that Netanyahu may see this as the decisive moment. And the Russians believe Netanyahu will be controlled by an Obama afraid of an even broader conflict than he already has on his hands. More...

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Reforming the Global Financial System by Flushing Out the Parasites
By Nikki Alexander
Posted March 13, 2009

financial parasitesThroughout his political life Thomas Jefferson fought off the covert attempts of European bankers to control the nation's money supply through a privately-owned central bank. Andrew Jackson succeeded in defeating these racketeers, nationalizing the banks and paying off the public debt. Our country then flourished without inflation. When Abraham Lincoln issued ‘greenbacks' that deprived private bankers of their monopoly control of the nation's money supply he was assassinated. The international bankers battled for more than a century to establish a private central bank in the United States with the exclusive right to print their own fiat notes and exchange them for government debt. They succeeded in 1913 with The Federal Reserve Act, a covert coup that authorized a private central bank to create money out of nothing, lend it to the government with interest and control the national money supply, expanding or contracting it at will. Representative Charles Lindbergh called the Act "the worst legislative crime of the ages." Fifty years later, President John F. Kennedy almost restored our Constitutional monetary system when he issued debt-free Treasury Notes. He too was assassinated.

Although governments have inherent authority to create their own money, they foolishly borrow it from central banks, with interest. A central bank fabricates fiat notes (paper money) and credit by “lending” them into existence, in return for treasury bonds of the host government ~ taxpayer IOUs. This “money” has no pre-existing substance in reality and is conjured up through accounting entries. It is literally created out of nothing

Click here for full article.

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February 24, 2009
Understanding Money and War--Part I
By R. D. Bradshaw

“The Fed is also directly responsible for monetary inflation and the decline in the US standard of living since its year-end 1913 inception and especially since the 1970s. From the late 18th century to 1913, virtually no inflation existed under the gold standard except during times of war. Using government data, it now takes over $2000 to equal $100 of pre-Fed purchasing power. In other words, a 1913 dollar is worth about a nickel today.

“At that time, a dollar was defined as 1/20 of an ounce of gold or about an ounce of silver. The Fed then changed the standard away from precious metals to the full faith and credit of the government. Ever since (except for periods such as the 1930s) inflation eroded the currency's value and (more than ever) continues to do it today…

“Under the Federal Reserve System (besides inflation), we've had rising consumer debt; record budget and trade deficits; a soaring national debt; a high level of personal and business bankruptcies; today, millions of home foreclosures; high unemployment; the loss of the nation's manufacturing base; growing millions in poverty; an unprecedented wealth gap between the rich and all others; and a hugely unstable economy now lurching into crisis mode…

Click here for full article.

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February 5, 2009
The Big Picture
Part 3 - What can we do?
by Rudy Avizius

In Part 1 of this series, we examined how our “leaders” and “experts” ignored the warning signs of an impending economic storm and ended up with huge trade deficits, growing budget deficits, rising consumer debt, the collapse and loss of trust for our financial sector, the erosion of our middle class, significantly increased corporate debt levels, the United States as the world’s largest debtor nation, a planet on the verge of potentially catastrophic climate change, and out of control population growth.

In Part 2, we examined how the government response has essentially rewarded the same people who created this economic mess with massive bailouts, guarantees, cash injections that have the taxpayer on the hook for $trillions. The article showed how the government people running the bailout were complicit in this fraud, how its actions have essentially been ineffective in rescuing the banks that are effectively insolvent, and have failed to stop the downward spiral of the economy. 

One would be hard pressed to look into history and see any society where national savings have been defrauded on such a scale and the perpetrators rewarded with more money. In Part 3 we will explore some of the things we can do on both the government and personal levels.

Click here for full article.

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January 29, 2009
The Big Picture
Part 2 - The government response
by Rudy Avizius

In the first part of this article we examined how we got ourselves into this economic mess and how our “leaders” and “experts” missed so many warning signs. In this second of 3 parts we will examine what the government response has been.

Our political leaders who once thought that we could spend and borrow our way to prosperity now seem to recognize that indeed something is very wrong. However they still do not view the “big picture” and have instead focused on individual elements of the problem without taking a holistic approach. Their reaction to the economic mess was to pass bailout bills worth over $700 billion, provide insolvent banks with taxpayer cash, guarantee bad debts, and purchase toxic assets. This response has channeled most of the resources mentioned to our financial institutions in order to “increase their liquidity”.


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January 28, 2009
The Big Picture
Part 1 - How did we get here?
by Rudy Avizius

As the environmental, financial, and economic situation continues to deteriorate around us, we need to step back and take a look at the big picture. We need to see how we ended up in this economic mess, what the government response has been, and what we can do to climb out of this hole that we have collectively dug ourselves into. We are starting to see that our perceived prosperity has really been an illusion and was totally unsustainable. The goal of this article will be to provide a simplified examination of the big picture. It will be broken into 3 parts, the first will examine how we got into this mess, the second will examine the government’s response, and the third will provide suggestions on how we can start the process of rebuilding this nation’s ability to create wealth and prosperity for all.

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January 9, 2009
Why we are here?
End the illusion, we cannot continue with “business as usual”
by Rudy Avizius

As one takes stock of what is happening to our nation, using simple common sense it becomes evident that things are not working. It does not take an “expert” with a PhD in economics or political science to figure out that things have gone horribly wrong on many fronts: economic, social, justice, community, environment, to name just a few.
It seems that our political leaders and government regulators have had their heads buried in the sand, ignoring the warning signs of the impending huge economic and financial storm that was brewing, all while taking contributions and being influenced by the very people who were driving our economy and nation over a cliff. Simultaneously while this was happening, the best our corporate controlled media could do was to lamely ask “are we in a recession yet”?

Click here for full article

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