PIGMEN WIN AGAIN

72 comments

Posted on 15th December 2014 by Administrator in Economy |Politics |Social Issues

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“The real owners are the big wealthy business interests that control things and make all the important decisions. Forget the politicians, they’re an irrelevancy. The politicians are put there to give you the idea that you have freedom of choice. You don’t. You have no choice. You have owners. They own you. They own everything. They own all the important land. They own and control the corporations. They’ve long since bought and paid for the Senate, the Congress, the statehouses, the city halls. They’ve got the judges in their back pockets. And they own all the big media companies, so that they control just about all of the news and information you hear. They’ve got you by the balls. They spend billions of dollars every year lobbying ­ lobbying to get what they want. Well, we know what they want; they want more for themselves and less for everybody else.”  George Carlin

After 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.

The entire episode has been nothing but Kabuki Theater. Both parties have proven to be  puppets marching to the tune of Wall Street moneyed interests, while further entrenching the status quo by voting to allow more corporate influence over the election process. Each side of the aisle allowed just enough dissent to make it appear they might not reach an agreement. But at the end of the day Pelosi, Boehner, Reid and McConnell joined hands and gave it to the American public good and hard. And of course we had the candidates for president in 2016 Warren and Cruz playing to their constituents with speeches and maneuvers designed to make them look like fighters for the common man. It was nothing but a show, as they did nothing substantive to stop the bill from passing.

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.

Politicians decry money in politics when they are paraded onto the mainstream media talk shows. They profess to be men and women of the people, fighting for our rights. So how do they go about getting money out of politics? They dramatically expand the amount of money wealthy political donors can inject into the national parties, drastically undercutting the 2002 landmark McCain-Feingold campaign finance overhaul. A wealthy donor who could only give a maximum of $32,400 this year to the Democratic National Committee or Republican National Committee can now give ten times as much – a total of $324,000. Do you think these wealthy donors might have ten times more influence over government policies, laws, regulations, and tax codes? Do you think these donors are contributing these funds to fight for the rights of average Americans making $50,000 per year? This change just further entrenches the rich vested interests. Your vote just became even more meaningless.

The most outrageous provision in the spending bill is Wall Street putting the American taxpayer on the hook for when their $250 trillion of derivatives of mass destruction blow up the worldwide financial system again. Elizabeth Warren, playing her part in this farce, feigns outrage, knowing it will pass anyway:

“Mr. President, Democrats don’t like Wall Street bailouts. Republicans don’t like Wall Street bailouts. The American people are disgusted by Wall Street bailouts. And yet here we are five years after Dodd-Frank with Congress on the verge of ramming through a provision that would do nothing for the middle class, do nothing for community banks, do nothing but raise the risk that taxpayers will have to bail out the biggest banks once again. You know, there is a lot of talk lately about how Dodd-Frank isn’t perfect. There is a lot of talk coming from CitiGroup about how Dodd-Frank isn’t perfect. So let me say this to anyone listening at Citi —I agree with you. Dodd-Frank isn’t perfect. It should have broken you into pieces. If this Congress is going to open up Dodd-Frank in the months ahead then let’s open it up to get tougher, not to create more bailout opportunities.”

Senator Warren does hit at the heart of the matter. The Too Big To Fail banks should have been made too small to matter after they created the 2008 worldwide financial collapse. Congress should have reinstated Glass Steagall, the insolvent Wall Street banks should have been liquidated or sold off piece by piece, and the American taxpayer shouldn’t have had to pay one dime. Instead, those banks became bigger, more powerful, more arrogant, and more reckless. And now they are writing the laws supposedly regulating them. Regulatory capture at its finest.

Dodd-Frank was already a behemoth mess of a law, written by bank lobbyists, and so complex it was always destined to fail. The law that set up America’s banking system in 1864 ran to 29 pages; the Federal Reserve Act of 1913 went to 32 pages; the Banking Act that transformed American finance after the Wall Street Crash, commonly known as the Glass-Steagall act, spread out to 37 pages. Dodd-Frank was 848 pages long. One of the few beneficial sections of the law was the provision that  required banks to “push out” their derivatives trading into separate entities not backed by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. Essentially, this provision prohibited the Too Big To Trust Wall Street Banks from using the deposits of customers to gamble on derivatives, with no capital behind the gambling. Any Wall Street bank that wanted to trade derivatives had to do it in non-insured subsidiaries, and when these trades blew up in their faces, the banks would be solely on the hook. They prefer the they win you lose method.

This spending bill included language written directly by Citigroup and inserted by the politicians in the back pocket of Jamie Dimon and the rest of the Wall Street cabal. Dimon showed no shame as he personally called lawmakers to insist they pass this bill with the gutting of Dodd Frank. Wall Street bankers can now gamble with the deposits of their clients with impunity generating obscene insider profits, and when they inevitably blow up the financial system again the American taxpayer will be on the hook for the losses. In a shocking development, the members who voted for the spending bill had received vastly more political contributions (bribes) than those who voted no. Simon Johnson, former chief economist of the International Monetary Fund and a professor at the MIT Sloan School of Management, concisely sums up the goal of this provision:

“It is because there is a lot of money at stake. They want to be able to take big risks where they get the upside and the taxpayer gets the potential downside.”

And there will be downside. Like Captain Renault in Casablanca, Jamie Dimon and the rest of the Wall Street CEOs will be shocked to find there has been gambling going on in their upstanding institutions of finance, as they cash their $10 million bonus checks. The markets are already overvalued, built on a foundation of debt, and rigged by the Wall Street scumbags. They make Bernie Madoff look like an upstanding citizen. It seems awfully coincidental this provision was inserted into the 1,700 page bill just as the markets have begun to tremor. Wall Street wouldn’t be preparing for another earthquake, would they? The fact that Obama signed this bill is a reflection of him being a spineless toady figurehead, doing the bidding of the ruling class.

The Republicans have run against Obamacare since the day it was passed in 2009. They have threatened to overturn it, de-fund it, and scale it back. This spending bill fully funds Obamacare just as it was passed. Dozens of Republicans voted for a spending bill that fully funds the program they despise. Obama recently subverted the U.S. Constitution once again with his latest executive order allowing illegal immigrants to stay in the U.S. and enjoy our wonderful welfare system. The Republicans were morally outraged and their response was to fund Obama’s executive order to the tune of $2.5 billion. There’s $948 million for the Department of Health and Human Service’s unaccompanied children program — an $80 million increase. The department also gets $14 million to help school districts absorbing new immigrant students. And the State Department gets $260 million to assist Central American countries from where of the immigrant children are coming.

So much for principles, ethics, and courage. You see bipartisanship in Congress means that one side will agree to fully fund the welfare state as long as the other side will fully fund the warfare state, while both sides do whatever Wall Street instructs them to do. Neither side cares that the National Debt increases by $2.5 billion per day. That’s what the Fed is for. The neo-cons in the Republican party were happy, as their dreams of World War III come closer to fruition. There’s $1.3 billion for a new Counterterrorism Partnership Fund; $5 billion for military operations to combat the Islamic State, including $1.6 billion to train Iraqi and Kurdish forces (I thought we already trained them once before); $500 million for a Pentagon-led program to train and equip vetted Syrian opposition fighters; $810 million for ongoing military operations in Europe, including requirements that at least $175 million is spent in support of Ukraine and Baltic nations. And you were worried about Defense cuts. The military industrial complex will never allow their profits to decline. If we run out of real enemies, we just make them up out of thin air – ISIS, or go back to the Cold War playbook and declare Russia to be an imminent threat to our safety and security.

Despite running $800 billion actual (not the BS reported deficits) annual deficits, the political hacks of the ruling party still funnel $3.1 billion per year to Israel, $1.3 billion to the dictator in Egypt, and $1 billion to our puppets in Jordan. This hyper-interventionism in the affairs of countries around the globe, either through military intervention, supplying arms, overthrowing elected leaders, or funding dictators has destabilized the entire world. Russia is not the aggressor on the world stage, as portrayed by the mouthpieces for the state in the mainstream corporate media. The American empire has created the conditions for havoc, disarray and war to flourish. Someone will ultimately do something stupid and the fury of hell will be unleashed across the globe. And it is our fault.

You’ll be happy to know the trucking industry still has some pull in Congress. Their drivers will be allowed to work 82 hours per week, versus the far too restrictive 70 hours per week. When you are driving your economy car on the interstate and that 18 wheeler is barreling down on you from behind, thank Congress when the drowsy dude behind the wheel is working his 81st hour of the week. And if you were a hard working middle income blue collar worker in businesses such as trucking, construction and supermarkets and were promised a pension, tough luck. Hidden inside the bill was a haircut for pensions. This provision allows the promised pension benefits of up to 1.5 million workers and retirees to be cut. It affects the pooled pension plans — called multi-employer plans — of mostly union workers across a bunch of companies, where it looks like the plans won’t be able to cover full benefits in coming decades.

Could it be any clearer that we are nothing but lowly peasants and the aristocracy inhabiting the protected luxury skyscrapers suites in New York City and the government buildings in Washington D.C. have nothing but contempt and scorn for our plight, as they gorge themselves like pigs at the trough of working people’s wealth? They use taxes and inflation to siphon your savings and earnings, rig the markets so they always win, write the laws to favor themselves, and use the mass media and the police surveillance state to crush dissent, control the message and intimidate the masses. The ruling class fears the masses and continues to prepare for a coming conflict. Within the Intelligence Authorization Act for FY 2015, passed this week, was written a new section that grants the executive branch virtually unlimited access to the communications of every American.

Sec. 309 authorizes “the acquisition, retention, and dissemination” of nonpublic communications, including those to and from U.S. persons. The section contemplates that those private communications of Americans, obtained without a court order, may be transferred to domestic law enforcement for criminal investigations.   Sec. 309 provides the first statutory authority for the acquisition, retention, and dissemination of U.S. persons’ private communications obtained without legal process such as a court order or a subpoena. The administration currently may conduct such surveillance under a claim of executive authority, such as E.O. 12333. However, Congress never has approved of using executive authority in that way to capture and use Americans’ private telephone records, electronic communications, or cloud data.

The majority of American people still believe they live in a democracy where their vote matters. Sadly, they are living in a delusional fantasy world, as they actually live in a corporate fascist welfare/warfare surveillance state run by one party of vested corporate interests. Until consent is withdrawn and the pigmen are violently confronted, nothing will change. The existing social order will be swept away within the next fifteen years as this Fourth Turning reaches its bloody conclusion. You may think we are all equal under the law, but Orwell knew that some are more equal than others. Can you distinguish the pigs from the men?

“The creatures outside looked from pig to man, and from man to pig, and from pig to man again; but already it was impossible to say which was which.”  ― George Orwell, Animal Farm

“Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want and deserve to get it good and hard.”H.L. Mencken 

72 Comments
  1. starfcker says:

    Another home run, jim. A lot of us have been thinking about this kind of thing lately. Where does it go from here? A big junga tower with a base built entirely of counterfeit money. Tell me why again madoff or jeff skillings are in jail? I’m surprised zero isn’t giving them medals. They weren’t criminals, they were trailblazers.

     

    15th December 2014 at 5:04 pm

  2. ottomatik says:

    Beautiful. Its coming. The hubris is in full view.

     

    15th December 2014 at 5:22 pm

  3. MacGhil says:

    Great stuff. Shared.

    I know it’s peanuts by comparison, but the shameless pigs in CONgress even added a $1000/month car allowance for themselves courtesy of US taxpayers. (You can actually lease a Cadillac sedan for half that.) They get rich just by being elected, and they can’t afford to buy or lease their own fucking cars now?

    http://www.strike-the-root.com/spending-bil-includes-1000-monthly-subsidy-for-congress-to-pay-for-their-cars

     

    15th December 2014 at 5:25 pm

  4. Llpoh says:

    Gets my vote for your best ever.

     

    15th December 2014 at 5:54 pm

  5. overthecliff says:

    Yes, a bloody 4 th Turning conclusion is coming soon. There will be much opportunity to even scores and societal power may shift. One thing for sure is that at the end the people with the weapons will write the rules and start the cycle over again for another 80-100 years.

     

    15th December 2014 at 5:58 pm

  6. Donna says:

    The Cloward–Piven strategy is a political strategy outlined in 1966 by American sociologists and political activists Richard Cloward and Frances Fox Piven that called for overloading the U.S. public welfare system in order to precipitate a crisis.Fox reported Obama opening the flood gates to illegals giving them anything they want plus cash,now SS.All they have to do is walk over the boarder.Where is this money coming from?Thin air.Read golds real value is between 4,500. and 15,000.an oz.

     

    15th December 2014 at 6:42 pm

  7. Stucky says:

    Suddenly my Rare American Cars post seems totally fucking ridicules. I’ll wait until next week.

    I hope Tommy’s dad reads this article also.

    +100 to what Llpoh said above.

    Then I started reading the article. Good gawd almighty, what a clusterfuk of supernova power this nation has become.

    Fuckit. I’m going back to researching my lame-assed carz project. At least I don’t cry when I do that.

     

    15th December 2014 at 7:04 pm

  8. bb says:

    Good news , I drive my own rig working for FedEx. I’m making more money now then I ever have in my life.I could use an extra 12 hours to make even more money.Jim Q I hope you are right about the hours of service change but I haven’t hear anything from FedEx or anything on the trucking radio channels.

    As always good JOB.Would be nice if more people knew what the government is doing to them.I guess they’ll find out the hard way.bb

     

    15th December 2014 at 7:18 pm

  9. T4C says:

    The beneficiaries of the spending bill popping into the bank to make a withdrawal.

    SHARING-THE-WEALTH-ON-EARTH_zps7abdc631.jpg

     

    15th December 2014 at 8:08 pm

  10. Westcoaster says:

    They don’t even try to hide how badly they’re screwing us. No indictments for torture. No indictments for Banksters/Wall St. Better have your safety sticker though, or we’ll tase ‘ya! Fuckers!
    http://www.inquisitr.com/1681555/a-victoria-texas-police-officer-tased-a-76-year-old-man-for-expired-inspection-sticker/

     

    15th December 2014 at 8:51 pm

  11. TJF says:

    Another masterpiece. At least we have good shit to read while we all witness the country swirling around and around the toilet bowl waiting for the moment where we all go down the drain. This one will have some staying power.

     

    15th December 2014 at 8:58 pm

  12. Iska Waran, says:

    If Boehner were assassinated, I wouldn’t shed a tear.

     

    15th December 2014 at 11:43 pm

  13. backwardsevolution says:

    Admin – such excellent writing! Great, great job!

    On Israel controlling Congress and media (how the hell did that happen?):

    “He knows that Israel controls the US Congress. No American politician could possibly be re-elected if he voiced even the slightest hint of criticism of the “Jewish State”. AIPAC, the most powerful lobby in Washington (apart from the National Rifle Association) will see to that. The powerful grip the Jewish lobby has on the media is a further guarantee.”

    http://www.counterpunch.org/2014/10/31/prime-minister-chickenshit/

    On democracy:

    “…the three most important 20th century developments – ‘The growth of democracy, the growth of corporate power, and the growth of corporate propaganda as a means of protecting corporate power against democracy.'”

    They have total control now. We are right inside 1984.

    Thank you, Admin.

     

    15th December 2014 at 11:46 pm

  14. crazyivan says:

    .
    That one snuck up on me.

    In trying to formulate an atta boy, I broke down in tears.

     

    16th December 2014 at 12:43 am

  15. Mike Moskos says:

    As long as Janet is willing to fund government debt, they need neither our taxes or our consent.

    But, what’s truly sad is this: drive by a branch of any too big to jail bank. Lots of customers. Convenience trumps morals as people can’t be bothered to make the tiniest of effort to move their money to micro banks or credits unions (ideally with just 1 branch).

     

    16th December 2014 at 2:22 am

  16. Gayle says:

    Admin

    I’m removing your Clint Eastwood series from the TBP Hall of Fame and replacing it with this essay. It is outstanding, my all time favorite.

    Also I join you in no more voting, except maybe for city council.

    Over on Drudge you can enjoy an epic 15 min. rant by Mark Levin. Whether you like him or not, you will love the way he rips the GOP a new one.

     

    16th December 2014 at 2:32 am

  17. harry p. says:

    I told a group of co-workers talking about the spending bill that bi-partenship is just another word for DPing.
    Some laughed while most didnt get it at first.

     

    16th December 2014 at 5:58 am

  18. Olga says:

    Excellent. I don’t know whether to laugh or cry or just slit my wrists now.

    I’ll share it knowing that most will NOT read it – perhaps it’s time I adopt the sheeple attitude of “what the hell can I do about any of this” since it’s apparent that until the bricks start sailing through windows nothing is going to change – the entire system is corrupt to the core.

    As ottomatik states – The hubris is in full view.

     

    16th December 2014 at 6:48 am

  19. IndenturedServant says:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gOqblSqx_VI&feature=player_detailpage

    Pigs (Three Different Ones)

    Big man, pig man, ha ha charade you are.
    You well heeled big wheel, ha ha charade you are.
    And when your hand is on your heart,
    You’re nearly a good laugh,
    Almost a joker,
    With your head down in the pig bin,
    Saying “Keep on digging.”
    Pig stain on your fat chin.
    What do you hope to find.
    When you’re down in the pig mine.
    You’re nearly a laugh,
    You’re nearly a laugh
    But you’re really a cry.

    Bus stop rat bag, ha ha charade you are.
    You fucked up old hag, ha ha charade you are.
    You radiate cold shafts of broken glass.
    You’re nearly a good laugh,
    Almost worth a quick grin.
    You like the feel of steel,
    You’re hot stuff with a hatpin,
    And good fun with a hand gun.
    You’re nearly a laugh,
    You’re nearly a laugh
    But you’re really a cry.

    Hey you, Whitehouse,
    Ha ha charade you are.
    You house proud town mouse,
    Ha ha charade you are
    You’re trying to keep our feelings off the street.
    You’re nearly a real treat,
    All tight lips and cold feet
    And do you feel abused?
    …..! …..! …..! …..!
    You gotta stem the evil tide,
    And keep it all on the inside.
    Mary you’re nearly a treat,
    Mary you’re nearly a treat
    But you’re really a cry.

     

    16th December 2014 at 6:54 am

  20. IndenturedServant says:

    [youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gOqblSqx_VI?feature=player_detailpage&w=640&h=360%5D

     

    16th December 2014 at 6:55 am

  21. IndenturedServant says:

    Fuck it! Just click on it.

    WPES or it could be that YTES!

     

    16th December 2014 at 6:56 am

  22. IndenturedServant says:

    Fuckmedead!

     

    16th December 2014 at 6:57 am

  23. hardscrabble farmer says:

    Masterful work, once more into the breech. Reading this is reminiscent of the New Years when the tsunami hit. On the surface there are sparkling lights and champagne but out there- somewhere out there- there is nothing but emptiness and destruction and it could be here in an instant. In farming circles we’d call you a bellwether.

    Yesterday I spent an hour driving a litter of weaners to a farm on the confluence of two rivers. The farmer was a guy I know casually and have taken a liking to. Last year, just around nightfall, his neighbor’s barn caught fire and he raced over on his tractor in the failing light to help. About halfway there he ran head on into a low hanging branch and crushed his face. He was seriously injured and almost died, but thanks to the attention of the volunteer rescue guys, the love of his family and his own grit and determination he was able not only to survive that horrific accident, but get back up and back at it. He met me at his barn with his tractor and we dropped the piglets off at a hoophouse where they joined the last litter I had delivered. The Maremmas came bounding out with the older pigs to investigate and after we dropped the trailer gate the piglets poured out to check on their new digs.

    As we headed back to the barn he asked me for my advice on a logging project he was doing to connect two pastures and preserve an old stand of sugar maples. We walked through the snow covered hillside and talked about his plan, the health of the trees, the projection for his use of the land, the history of the sugar production and a hundred lesser things. I pointed out the difference between the ruined trees with rotted cores and the vigorous factories of sugar production with their ancient burls and furrowed lightning scars. I gave him my advice and my encouragement and he we both shared our mutual belief system in preparing for things in a future neither of us will live to see. Both of us wish for our children to follow our calling but there are no guarantees- someone will be there, that much I believe- and they will prosper on the labor and foresight of those who took the time and the effort to plan for the future regardless of the present.

    My friend’s face face bears the scars of his accident prominently, but to me they look like the lightning tracks on the old maples, evidence of great strength and fortitude. Rather than diminish the man, they prove his character and serve as a reminder not only of his past, but of his future. Resilience and forebearance are not traits commonly held in these venal times, but they are the ones that will allow us to emerge on the other side of what is yet to come. He thanked me for my time and I thanked him for his and we both went back to what we had to do with smiles on our faces even though it was Sunday.

    As I write this there is just enough light outside to see the snow covered fields and the cattle jostling each other as they make their way to the feeder. I have a lot on my plate but I am not the only one so even if I work alone, I am working in the shadows of everyone who worked before me.

     

    16th December 2014 at 7:14 am

  24. flash says:

    Wow, JQ, you double tap the filthy back stabbing party of Greedy Old Parasites in the head .skin em’ and nail their stinking hide to the woodshed door for all the world to be witness and be repulsed.

    This is a definite coupe de force against the party of stupids’ ” because lesser evil” morons and I do hope and pray one of the witless ideologues come son to defend the sorry sack-o-shits billing themselves as the party of limited government.
    Anyone that still thinks the Republican Party represents any interests outside the 1percent’s should be immediately placed on heavy sphyche meds and not be allowed access to guns, alcohol , car or small children.They don’t call the Repugs the party of stupid fer’ nuthin’ … a blistering pox on their hides is all I wish.

     

    16th December 2014 at 7:19 am

  25. IndenturedServant says:

    Gayle, I just listened to that Levin rant. It’s a decent rant but I came away thinking he’s just a putz because after all the shit he’s ranting about, he’s still one inch from bailing on the Republicans! What more does he need before he bails for good?

    This would be a good rant for Sensetti to listen to. He still has the faith.

     

    16th December 2014 at 7:24 am

  26. IndenturedServant says:

    flash said:
    “Anyone that still thinks the Republican Party represents any interests outside the 1percent’s should be immediately placed on heavy sphyche meds and not be allowed access to guns, alcohol , car or small children.”

    That is not going to sit well with our pal Sensetti.

     

    16th December 2014 at 8:03 am

  27. flash says:

    I/S ,IMHO, this 1600 page cronybum spending bill should be soaked in gasoline, stuffed up Mark Levin’s bunghole with a flat pointed shovel and set aflame for the entertainment t of a national pay per view audience.
    Mark Levine via his trademark nasal whine has been shilling for the Repugant party for years and now suddenly he claims to be within an inch of leaving the party of backstabbing crony corporatist?

    No,Levin, the Repug shill is just as complicit in the anal rape of the American taxpayers as the Congressional members of party of limited integrity themselves and should be held 100% accountable along with the reptiles whose venom he hawked as the snake oil cure for all that ails this remnant of a Republic.

    I don’t know how the beat down Repug bride Sensitti could still defend the Party of Perfidy after this last brutal bout of spousal abuse, but then the self-disillusioned can convince themselves of anything that promises some future reward, even if that reward never appears.It’s the promise that’s the attraction….next time it will be different, just keep voting Republican….dumbasses.

     

    16th December 2014 at 8:43 am

  28. IndenturedServant says:

    flash, to be honest, I had heard of Levin but never heard his voice until this morning. It feels good to know that my instincts were correct and he is just the putz shill I thought he was.

    +1,000,000 on your first sentence above! Hilarious!

     

    16th December 2014 at 8:51 am

  29. Sensetti says:

    I am preparing a scathing rebuttal, just hold on. I was unaware that the boat load of Republicans we just elected had been seated yet. Tom Cotton, the fine Gentleman from Arkansas that I helped elect to represent me, was not even at the table.

    Here’s a taste of of what I will be laying down. If there’s no difference between Repubs and Dims then there should be no difference in the laws between Red States and Blue States. Texas should have the same outlook as Illinois. Gun laws would be uniformed across the country, and that’s just not the case.

    If votes don’t count Mark Pryor would still be my Senator, instead of scratching his unemployed ass.

    Let me sum up Admin’s above article, of which I appreciate his effort.

    The Golden Rule
    He who has the Gold makes the rules.

     

    16th December 2014 at 9:04 am

  30. Stucky says:

    Levin does go on some pretty good rants. I’ll give him that.

    But …. he has no solutions that make sense. Just the same old regurgitated bullshit.

    RP has solutions. Judge Napolitano has answers. Jim Quinn has answers. They are like the Ancient Prophets of days long ago.

    3-verse-4-with-desert.jpg?w=450

    Oh, yeah … those in power never listened to The Prophets. They silenced them.

     

    16th December 2014 at 9:06 am

  31. flash says:

    I/S , if I remember correctly , it was on on the Sean Hannity show,another party of perfidy putz, where Levin a Jew lawyer and rabid supporter on anything Israel .first got national recognition as a call in guest of.Hannity.

    Ass-Hat neocon Hannity was fond of introducing the shrill voiced Levin as”the great one”…great at what , other than lying, I never found out..but then I haven’t watched Fox or any other lame stream media since the 2008 campaign of Ron Paul..

    RES!

    http://www.lewrockwell.com/2014/12/laurence-m-vance/did-the-gop-tell-the-truth/

    Since when are Republicans concerned about the Constitution?

    Republicans never said a word about the Constitution when George W. Bush issued 291 executive orders. They never said a word about the Constitution when Bush issued 161 signing statements affecting over 1,100 provisions of federal law, which, according to a Blue Ribbon Task Force of the American Bar Association, undermines “the rule of law and our constitutional system of separation of powers.” The evil Obama has only issued 30 signing statements.

    But wait a minute, Mr. Vance, don’t the Republicans say in their party platform: “We are the party of the Constitution”? Don’t they maintain that the Constitution is “the greatest political document ever written” and that “that sacred document shows us the path forward”? Didn’t House Republicans in their Pledge to America promise to “honor the Constitution as constructed by its framers”? Didn’t they also bemoan there how “Congress has ignored the proper limits imposed by the Constitution on the federal government”? Didn’t they mention how the “lack of respect for the clear Constitutional limits and authorities has allowed Congress to create ineffective and costly programs that add to the massive deficit year after year”? Didn’t they promise to “require each bill moving through Congress to include a clause citing the specific constitutional authority upon which the bill is justified”?

    Of course they do and of course they did. But does anything they say or write about the Constitution mean anything? Of course not. Anyone who looked at Republican actions and deeds instead of reading and listening to their promises and lies would see in just a few seconds that they violate, propose to violate, and are proud to have violated the Constitution at every press conference they give, throughout every interview they grant, in every document they issue, and during every minute that Congress is in session.

    (See my critiques of the Republican party platform and Pledge to America.)

     

    16th December 2014 at 9:06 am

  32. BUCKHED says:

    Who ever voted down on HSF’s post…..you are a moron.

     

    16th December 2014 at 9:08 am

  33. overthecliff says:

    I just don’t see that this article from Mr. Quinn is so super, as most commenters do. It is good but so is most of his writing. Mr. Quinn is a n intelligent and moral writer. He is why I keep coming back. He has some really interesting and entertaining commenters,too.

     

    16th December 2014 at 10:04 am

  34. Stucky says:

    Dear overthecliff,
    MjAxMi1kMWJiMjIxYjgxNDViZDI3.png

     

    16th December 2014 at 10:23 am

  35. Donna says:

    A blind man could see B O is collapsing the country to impose socialism .Be ready

     

    16th December 2014 at 10:23 am

  36. Stucky says:

    ” … collapsing the country to impose socialism .” ———– Donna

    I think that process started a long time ago …. at least back to FDR.

     

    16th December 2014 at 10:26 am

  37. Stephen says:

    Well said. I believe if there was a functioning justice system, these ‘pigmen’ and their evil associates would be arrested. Instead this ‘Rule of Evil’ continues. See links:
    http://graysinfo.blogspot.ca/2013/09/the-rule-of-evil.html
    http://graysinfo.blogspot.ca/2014/12/is-there-open-conspiracy-to-control.html
    http://graysinfo.blogspot.ca/2014/12/do-gangsters-rule.html
    http://graysinfo.blogspot.ca/2013/07/are-these-some-of-respectable-gangsters.html

     

    16th December 2014 at 11:27 am

  38. Skinny says:

    It’s remarkable that now they do it I full sight. I miss the good old days when these deals were concocted in back rooms in the dark of night. Now it’s right out in the open and the only excuse offered is “if we don’t do it the government will shut down.” For God’s sake shut it down and keep it shut down.

     

    16th December 2014 at 11:36 am

  39. Jim says:

     

    16th December 2014 at 12:15 pm

  40. flash says:

    Sensetti -I am preparing a scathing rebuttal, just hold on.

    For the love of fried chicken and watermelon son, don’t go there.Leave the shit shining to those who get paid to do it…ain’t no good gonna come outa’ it and it’ll all end in painful boos and puppy tears fer’ ya’…do a fluffy kitten post instead….you’ll thank me for this advice later after you witness the next wave of socioeconomic damage the new pack of pilfering ratz wreak. …you’re welcome.

     

    16th December 2014 at 12:37 pm

  41. harry p. says:

    Closer to reality than most want to admit

     

    16th December 2014 at 12:44 pm

  42. the tumbleweed says:

    Levin is only on the air because of some sort of radio industry contractual agreement, if a station wants Sean Hannity’s show they have to take Levin’s as well. Hannity himself is a pre-packaged product of Fox News, a division of Newscorp, owned by Rupert Murdoch who is a top 1% elitist kleptocrat. If Levin goes on an epic rant you can rest assured he was given the order to act as a controlled opposition lightning rod, or he is simply given some latitude to do what is necessary to keep ratings up. No doubt an overpaid consultant in a fancy suit ran the numbers and told Levin that the peasants in the fields are murmuring again, and he best do something about it. That is why he is “one inch” away from leaving the Republican party. If he had an integrity and was not a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Murdoch-Ailes-Hannity government-media complex he would have already left them long ago.

    The R’s and D’s will jockey for position just like the Colts and the Bears. Sure, they both would prefer to win the Super Bowl and get the extra bennies that come with it. But regardless, they are both getting paid at the end of the day, off of the backs of the dupes who continue to fill the seats, order the jerseys, and watch the games. They are laughing all the way to the bank at these poor saps who lack both the intelligence and conviction to do something else, anything else with their time. (psstt if you’re a voter, that’s you)

     

    16th December 2014 at 12:48 pm

  43. Mark says:

    Osambo is privy to all the dirt/goods on the repubs and demons. Remember the “leaks” about the NSA?
    Well, that was just a warning shot for all to hear/see that EVERY ONE has a folder in the clouds and on secured hard drives.
    Whether it’s diddling little boys/girls or snorting coke off a whore’s ass. IT’S RECORDED.
    Example:
    Senator Jim DeMint (R-SC). He all of a sudden “retired” right in the middle of his 2nd term. His lame excuse was he could “get more done” on the “outside” at Heritage Foundation.
    Now what idiot could possibly believe this? Here we have a very popular senator that could filibuster a bill, ratify treaties and law and confirm judges and other federal officers.
    How could working for the Heritage Foundation equal the power of a re-elected senator? IT CAN’T!!!
    The goods on DeMint was about to go viral. Either about an affair, boys/girls, drugs or both. So he retired instead of facing the music.
    Now we have a dfective piece of farm equipment as a senator called Tim Scott. Now SC has two “confirmed” bachelors as senators So these two will do whatever their told.

     

    16th December 2014 at 2:47 pm

  44. Administrator says:

    A brief word from Matt Taibbi on the passage of the 2015 Spending Bill by the Senate.

    Basically, the American People were pushed aside by the Congress to favour JPM and Citigroup who lobbied heavily for public coverage for their gambling on derivatives.

    We might expect this from the Republicans, although it is difficult to understand how they can rationalize supporting corporate welfare when they are so tough on entitlements for the poor. And as for the Democrats…

    “If the Democrats actually stood for anything other than sounding as progressive as possible without offending their financial backers, then they would do what Republicans always do in these situations: force a shutdown to save their legislation. How many times did Republicans hold the budget hostage to rescue the Bush tax cuts?

    But the Democrats won’t do that here, because they’re not a real party. They’re a marketing phenomenon, a big chunk of oligarchical Blob cleverly sold to voters as the more reasonable and less nakedly corrupt wing of a two-headed political establishment.

    So they’ll punt on this issue in the name of “maturity” or “bipartisanship,” Wall Street will get a nice win, and Hillary Clinton or whoever else is being set up as the Blob candidate on the Democratic side will receive an avalanche of Financial Services donations to stave off Warren (who will begin appearing in the press as an unhinged combination of Lev Trotsky and Spartacus). A neat little piece of business all around. I don’t know whether to applaud or throw up.”

     

    16th December 2014 at 3:06 pm

  45. Maggie says:

    Anyone else think this is John McCain with fake ears on?
    pigman2_zps8fb08aec.jpg

     

    16th December 2014 at 3:10 pm

  46. Cap'n C says:

    To say “I accept” in an age like our own is to say that you accept concentration-camps, rubber truncheons, Hitler, Stalin, bombs, aeroplanes, tinned food, machine guns, putsches, purges, slogans, Bedaux belts, gas-masks, submarines, spies, provocateurs, press-censorship, secret prisons, aspirins, Hollywood films and political murder. – George Orwell (1903-1950), British author. “Inside the Whale,” Inside the Whale and Other Essays (1940).

     

    16th December 2014 at 7:10 pm

  47. Llpoh says:

    The reason I like this particular article over-much is that I feel the passion Admin has coming through. The emotion is pouring out. I cannot really add anything,as it is tremendous and needs nothing added to it whatsoever.

    He has hit the nail squarely on the head. He clearly sees that the powers that be have been thoroughly bought and paid for and it is disgusting.

    For the last couple weeks I have been driving what remains of Route 66. It is some of the most beautiful scenery on eArth, make no mistake. The people are wonderful,and the US still has much special about it.

    The problem I am seeing is that folks are totally oblivious to what is happening around them. Those still in the middle class do not understand that they are going extinct. I just read that around 15 million folks have moved from middle class to lower class,and the numbers increase daily.

    Those still in the middle class simply do not see it coming. They are only interested in the goodies and pleasures of their middle class lives. They cannot bring themselves to see it coming to an end. But come it is and it is coming faster every day.

    Several economists are writing about it and thinking about it, some with some clarity, believe it or not.
    What they are saying, to some e tent at least,echoes what I have been saying. The middle class were not highly skilled, but they had some very basic skills. Their skills were not sufficient to keep them from being replaced by automation and by foreign competition.

    And so they are doomed.

    And compounding that is the issues Admin rails against so eloquently above. There isa feeding frenzy, and the middle class simply has no clue that they are being fed upon.

    The awakening is going to come far too late.

     

    16th December 2014 at 9:38 pm

  48. Kill Bill says:

    .I could use an extra 12 hours to make even more money. -bb

    You can work eighty hours. No one is arguing that. Do it plumbing goats. IDGAF.

    It is just YOU driving a thing loaded with who knows what, when you double your work week, with you steering it with your dickskinners, cannot end well for others and youself.

     

    16th December 2014 at 10:02 pm

  49. flash says:

    …then the end of the Roman republic was at hand, and nothing could save it. The laws were the same as they had been, but the people behind the laws had changed, and so the laws counted for nothing.”

    Theodore Roosevelt, 1911

     

    17th December 2014 at 8:06 am

  50. TE says:

    Thank you Jim, this was another fabulous statement of reality.

    You only forgot to add the provision for the giant agri-business, they no longer have to fret about run off their poisoned fields entering our water tables, the EPA is no longer in the business of controlling it.

    So, to recap what has happened with BI-PARTISON flavor (Sensetti, come on man, your vaulted Repukes voted “yes” too!):

    Bank get CONgressional guarantees of what the FDIC already ruled. In ’09/’10 the FDIC already implemented the FULL guarantee of banking derivitives above our deposits. I tried to warn people, nobody cared. Now, a full six years later, it is snuck into a CONgressional bill and voila, knowledge. Warren full well knows that. Proof she is nothing but a shill to make the sheeple think somebody gives a fuck about us. Banks and WDC win, we will lose it ALL.

    Ted Turner (the largest “farmer” in the US according to the free cash he gets from the FHA) can now pollute our ground water with impunity and Monsanto won’t have to worry (as if they did) about it either. You all know that Monsanto was given a free pass from lawsuits if they end up killing us with their frankenfoods, right? Yep, couple years back. Oh yeah, the Repukes voted for that too. Big business and WDC win, we could lose it all including our health and lives.

    Illegals have now been made an official half-trillion dollar business. Again, big labor (public unions) win, we the people not so much.

    I could go on, but I have work to do and this shit sends me wishing to be drunk.

    @bb, ah, good ole Fed Ex. You, dear sir, are covered by TWO sets of laws. 1-trucking and 2-trains. Did you even know that?

    Fed Ex is not a SHIPPING company, they are a Railroad, at least according to the regulators that matter.

    Nice gig for their real employees (sorry bb, but that is why you are “independent” and UPS drivers are unionized truckers), sucks for everyone else.

    Enjoy it while it lasts, nothing lasts forever.

    Thanks again Jim. Even though I feel like bawling, you somehow give me the hope. The hope that I’m not facing the upcoming horror alone, because without you and this place, that is exactly where I would be.

    Merry Christmas

     

    17th December 2014 at 9:54 am

  51. Rise Up says:

    Somewhere in that spending bill they must have outlawed the manufacture of pitchforks (not that anyone would use one anyway against these thieves and liars…).

     

    17th December 2014 at 11:22 am

  52. yahsure says:

    Donna,it all blends together.A economic collapse,Global warming and Agenda 21. Society collapses and the elite have the answers. Just be quiet slaves and give up your guns and freedoms.

     

    17th December 2014 at 2:52 pm

  53. EndTheIllusion says:

    Interesting how we do not know specifically the name of the Senator who inserted this provision into the bill. We need to find out the name of the House member(s) and Senator(s) responsible for this atrocity of a crony omnibus bill and put their names on it. This way when the next bailout hits, we can refer to the bill that authorized the bailout to their names.

     

    17th December 2014 at 7:19 pm

  54. backwardsevolution says:

    This is a must-read from TruthOut. The pigmen are angry at tiny, little Uruguay.

    “Uruguay has spent the last decade quietly defying the new transnational order of global banks, multinational corporations and supranational trade tribunals and is now in a fight for its survival as an independent nation. It is a rich and important story that needs to be told.”

    The Trans-Pacific Partnership and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership will strip sovereignty. If passed, the multinational corporations will be filling their troughs with hookers and champagne.

    Get on the phone and stop this.

    http://truth-out.org/news/item/27932-uruguay-takes-on-london-bankers-marlboro-mad-men-and-the-tpp

     

    18th December 2014 at 3:34 am

  55. backwardsevolution says:

    30 more pigs!

    “The Group of Thirty, established in 1978, is a private, nonprofit, international body composed of very senior representatives of the private and public sectors and academia. It aims to deepen understanding of international economic and financial issues, to explore the international repercussions of decisions taken in the public and private sectors, and to examine the choices available to market practitioners and policymakers.

    They meet twice a year (June and December), and take a look at some of the members:

    Jean-Claude Trichet, Mark Carney, Mario Draghi, William Dudley, Timothy Geithner, Mervyn King, Paul Krugman, Haruhiko Kuroda, Ken Rogoff and, last and least, Larry Summers.

    http://www.group30.org/members.shtml

    And under the heading “Special Thanks,” there is a link to their contributors: pigmen galore!

    http://www.group30.org/about.shtml

    They “examine the choices available to market practitioners and policymakers” really means they come up with the choices the policymakers are told to make. Sickening.

     

    18th December 2014 at 3:58 am

  56. Administrator says:

    WINNING!!!!!

    Federal Reserve delays parts of Volcker rule until 2017

    The rule banning banks from using their own funds for risky trades is named after former Fed chair Paul Volcker

    The US Federal Reserve has given Wall Street banks even more time to comply with parts of the Volcker Rule, a key provision of the 2010 Dodd-Frank financial reform bill.

    The rule prevents federally-insured banks from using their own money when investing in certain risky assets.

    The Fed had already announced banks would have until 2017 to deal with one type of trading product.

    It will now grant an extension to other types of funds.

    Initially, the Fed had said banks would have until 21 July 2017 to stop trading in collateralised loan obligations, which essentially move the risk of investments in loans off their balance sheet.

    The new extension applies to other types of “legacy covered funds”, according to a release on the Fed’s website, which include “having certain relationships with a hedge fund or private equity fund”.

    The Volcker rule is named after former Federal Reserve chair Paul Volcker and it limits the ownership stake banks can have in risky funds to a maximum of 3%.

    Part of the rule, which bans proprietary trading, is still scheduled to go into effect on 1 July 2015.

    This is the second big victory for banks, who have spent nearly four years arguing that the regulations stipulated in the 1,600-page Dodd-Frank bill are too onerous.

    Last week, a coalition of big banks, led by Citigroup, succeeding in convincing Congress to repeal a provision that required banks to put their riskier investments into separate holding companies that would not be insured by the US government.

     

    19th December 2014 at 6:58 am

  57. flash says:

    speaking of pigmen…everything is an act of war with the neocon cretins

    NK hacks Hollywood filth dispenser …act of war!
    And just think there are ‘murcican booger eaters who supported this demented lard-ass phuck for POTUS.. God help US ,because we certainly aren’t; gettign any help from what passes for leadership in the land that sanity forgot.

    http://36.media.tumblr.com/83148e025125442220801316ca151be7
    /tumblr_ngr6s1pnML1r3owlzo1_500.png[/img]

    tumblr_ngsbufyv6R1rxf7n9o1_500.jpg

     

    20th December 2014 at 8:28 am

  58. flash says:

    tumblr_ngr6s1pnML1r3owlzo1_500.png

     

    20th December 2014 at 8:29 am

  59. Sensetti says:

    act of war
    noun
    1.
    an act of aggression by a country against another with which it is nominally at peace.

     

    20th December 2014 at 8:41 am

  60. Sensetti says:

    I guess the question is was this an act of aggression?

     

    20th December 2014 at 8:49 am

  61. Sensetti says:

    Deciding what amounts to an act of war is more a political judgment than a military or legal one. International law avoids the phrase in favor of “armed attack” and “use of force.” Retired Gen. James Cartwright, former vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, has often said that an act of war “is in the eye of the beholder.”

    As Cartwright has pointed out, the United States didn’t go to war with North Korea after it sank a South Korean warship in 2010, nor with Iran after the U.S. Embassy in Tehran was seized in 1979. Would we want to start a war over a virus that causes a power blackout? And if not, what other actions might the government contemplate?

    The government has defined an armed attack in cyberspace as one that results in death, injury or significant destruction, as Harold Koh, the State Department’s chief legal adviser, recently put it. Here’s the rule of thumb, as Koh stated it: “If the physical consequences of a cyberattack work the kind of physical damage that dropping a bomb or firing a missile would, that cyberattack should equally be considered a use of force.” If an attack reaches those levels, then a nation has a right to act in self-defense.
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/when-is-a-cyberattack-an-act-of-war/2012/10/26/02226232-1eb8-11e2-9746-908f727990d8_story.html

     

    20th December 2014 at 8:58 am

  62. flash says:

    Sensetti , last time I checked the USA government and Sony corporation where two separate entities.
    Only a dumbass neocon asswipe would suggest a hack on the a multinational corporation’s shit for entertainment unit is as an act of war…regardless.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sony
    Sony Corporation (ソニー株式会社 Sonī Kabushiki Gaisha?), commonly referred to as Sony, is a Japanese multinational conglomerate corporation headquartered in Kōnan Minato, Tokyo, Japan.[3] Its diversified business is primarily focused on the electronics (TV, Gaming Consoles, Refrigerators), game, entertainment and financial services sectors.[2] The company is one of the leading manufacturers of electronic products for the consumer and professional markets.[4] Sony is ranked 105th on the 2014 list of Fortune Global 500.[5]

     

    20th December 2014 at 9:11 am

  63. flash says:

    What t we need are more women and minority community organizers in national leadership positions , because diversity si our strength.

    http://www.newyorker.com/news/news-desk/unidentified-queen-torture

    The NBC News investigative reporter Matthew Cole has pieced together a remarkable story revealing that a single senior officer, who is still in a position of high authority over counterterrorism at the C.I.A.—a woman who he does not name—appears to have been a source of years’ worth of terrible judgment, with tragic consequences for the United States. Her story runs through the entire report. She dropped the ball when the C.I.A. was given information that might very well have prevented the 9/11 attacks; she gleefully participated in torture sessions afterward; she misinterpreted intelligence in such a way that it sent the C.I.A. on an absurd chase for Al Qaeda sleeper cells in Montana. And then she falsely told congressional overseers that the torture worked.

    Had the Senate Intelligence Committee been permitted to use pseudonyms for the central characters in its report, as all previous congressional studies of intelligence failures, including the widely heralded Church Committee report in 1975, have done, it might not have taken a painstaking, and still somewhat cryptic, investigation after the fact in order for the American public to hold this senior official accountable. Many people who have worked with her over the years expressed shock to NBC that she has been entrusted with so much power. A former intelligence officer who worked directly with her is quoted by NBC, on background, as saying that she bears so much responsibility for so many intelligence failures that “she should be put on trial and put in jail for what she has done.”

    Instead, however, she has been promoted to the rank of a general in the military, most recently working as the head of the C.I.A.’s global-jihad unit. In that perch, she oversees the targeting of terror suspects around the world. (She was also, in part, the model for the lead character in “Zero Dark Thirty.”)

    According to sources in the law-enforcement community who I have interviewed over the years, and who I spoke to again this week, this woman—whose name the C.I.A. has asked the news media to withhold—had supervision over an underling at the agency who failed to share with the F.B.I. the news that two of the future 9/11 hijackers had entered the United States prior to the terrorist attacks. As I recount in my book “The Dark Side,” the C.I.A. got wind that one of these Al Qaeda operatives, Khalid al-Mihdhar, had obtained a multiple-entry visa into the United States eighteen months before 9/11. The agency also learned, months before the attacks, that another Al Qaeda operative, Nawaf al-Hazmi, had flown into Los Angeles. Yet the C.I.A. appears to have done nothing. It never alerted the F.B.I., which had the principle domestic authority for protecting the U.S. from terror attacks. Its agents had, in fact, been on the trail of at least one of the hijackers previously, but had no way of knowing that he had entered the United States. Nor did the C.I.A. alert the State Department, which kept a “TIPOFF” watch list for terror suspects.

    Amazingly, perhaps, more than thirteen years after the 9/11 attacks, no one at the C.I.A. has ever been publicly held responsible for this failure.

    10559931_1525421404376894_56188637573078879_n.jpg?oh=d7f9f975a27ed1949f0fcb9d0d8768ed&oe=5502541E&__gda__=1429636505_102f797a3bde5c03c7b1e16c5dbe0b32

     

    20th December 2014 at 9:23 am

  64. Frank says:

    You might be right about Warren and Cruz (and Rand Paul), but at least they SAID something about it. Everybody else just voted yes. Nancy Pelosi, who voted to repeal Glass-Steagall in 1999, pretended to be against it (when she knew there were enough yes votes).

    I’d rather have Warren vs. Cruz than Killary vs. Jeb.

     

    20th December 2014 at 9:14 pm

  65. starfcker says:

    Sony is a jap company. How the fuck is that an act of war against us?

     

    20th December 2014 at 9:56 pm

  66. El Coyote says:

    2015, the year of the Great American swindle. The ruling class will announce a suspension of civil liberty to conform to international (Chinese) practices. This is only a temporary measure to deal with a national emergency created by the influx of non-Nationals that have been enticed to come here by coyotes and the Obama Doctrine of Non-Deportation of new arrivals (only old arrivals). As soon as they are all socialized properly, all restrictions on the population will be lifted.

    If you watched Life Of Pi, you know not to feed a tiger by hand. Bringing in a large number of non-Americans, you are inviting a tiger into the USA which we will attempt to feed by hand while avoiding being swallowed up in the process. This ought to keep the hoi-polloi distracted from the machinations of the ruling class.

     

    21st December 2014 at 3:57 am

  67. Administrator says:

    WASHINGTON — For all the anger among progressives about a Wall Street bailout provision that made its way into the just-passed $1.1 trillion government spending bill, there’s been little attention on the person who put it in there.

    Meet Congressman Kevin Yoder (R-Kansas).

    Yoder, a second-term congressman whose largest contributors are in the finance industry, introduced the provision last summer. It was literally written by Citigroup executives, but Yoder took their language and rolled it into an amendment to a spending bill in a House subcommittee meeting. It got swept into the year-end spending package because it “was within the scope of negotiations” on it, according to an Appropriations Committee aide.

    The provision, which prompted a fiery speech by Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), undoes a rule that prevents big banks from relying on the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. to bail them out if things go sour when they trade risky assets. The rule was put into place as part of the 2010 Dodd-Frank law, which overhauled the financial regulatory system after the 2007-2008 financial crisis stemming from banks making extremely risky bets and losing. The government had to bail them out with taxpayer money, and Yoder’s provision paves the way for another possible bailout.

    Yoder has been mum about the spending package since it passed the House. His office hasn’t responded to multiple requests for comment on why he slipped the Citigroup language into it. The press statements on his website say nothing about the provision or the spending bill. There are no posts about it on his Facebook page. He’s said nothing in his Twitter feed.

    But a look at the comments on Yoder’s Facebook page shows that some people, including Kansas voters, are catching on that he was the one behind the Wall Street provision. And they’re not happy.

    “I have always voted for you, Congressman Yoder, but I am disappointed with your yes vote on the Omnibus bill and we, your constituents, deserve an explanation as to why,” writes Dianne Lavenburg, who lives in DeSoto, Kansas. “[P]lease clarify your involvement regarding the taxpayer bailouts for risky bank investments also included in the Omnibus bill.”

    “How much did Citi donate in exchange for you inserting their requested verbiage?” asks Kevin West, who studies at Kansas State University.

    “Why is there a Wall Street giveaway in the Continuing Resolution? Did you learn nothing during the last cycle of collapse and bailouts? Plain ignorance, or willful ignorance?” says Rich Reavis, who plays in a band called Rail Dog that performs around Kansas. “Did you speak out against putting that crap in the CR?”

    Scott Gregory of Roeland Park, Kansas, which falls in Yoder’s district, says, “I’m sure the good folks of the 3rd District were just beating down the door to get CITI favored treatment. You are a sell-out to Wall Street lobbyists.”

    Citibank maintains the rule change is good for everyone. Asked for comment on the provision being included in a must-pass bill, a company spokeswoman pointed HuffPost to a recent blog post by Ed Skyler, executive vice president for global public affairs, outlining why banks back the provision being repealed.

    “Citi is strongly committed to the safety and soundness of the financial system. We also support a regulatory framework in which U.S. companies can be as competitive as possible,” Skyler writes. “This correction to the ‘swaps push-out’ provision supports both goals.”

    To be clear, lawmakers in both parties supported the bank provision by voting for the spending package. Republican leaders in the House and Senate, as well as Democratic leaders in the Senate and appropriations committee chairs on both sides of the aisle, were in favor of including the provision. Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.), the lead appropriator in the Senate, actively defended the bank language.

    The vote created unusual fractures in the House, where Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) broke from Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) in opposing it. The bill also led to odd alliances in the Senate, where Warren and Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) found themselves united against it. The final House vote can be seen here. The Senate vote is here.

    Language has been added to note that lawmakers of both parties voted for the Wall Street provision.

     

    21st December 2014 at 11:34 am

  68. Edward Ulysses Cate says:

    What do you expect from a Congress made up of a majority of sociopaths, who sell themselves by selling out the future of everyone else they’re supposed to represent at the table. Until folks get mad enough to vote out ALL incumbents in every election possible, things will only get worse. Yes, that means some good folks will be thrown out, but with sociopaths at 1% of the population, we’re bound to have a majority of NON-sociopaths in each group. The bonus is that you don’t have to send in any campaign contributions. In fact, the best way to vote in any party is to vote in the LEAST financed. Even if they’re voting their self-interest, it will be more along the lines of the 99% interests.
    Besides, when Kansans sell out, you know that the country is rotten to the core.

     

    21st December 2014 at 7:00 pm

  69. Goldbug says:

    A well-written piece, Jim, summarizing what we especially in the gold community have known for years. But let me ask you this: Instead writing self-righteous rants, have you ever volunteered to help any solid, wholesome, God-fearing candidates get elected at even the local level like a school board or sheriff where it really counts? That’s the only way we can ever hope to push back against the federal Leviathan you write so eloquently about.

     

    22nd December 2014 at 10:33 pm

  70. Administrator says:

    If voting changed anything, they’d outlaw it.

    I worked my ass off for Ron Paul in 2008 and 2012. This blog exists because of Ron Paul.

    I will no longer vote.

     

    23rd December 2014 at 8:22 am

  71. El Coyote says:

    In those days came James the Libertarian, preaching in the wilderness of Philly, And saying, Repent ye: for the Fourth Turning is at hand.

     

    23rd December 2014 at 1:04 am

  72. neilmaccallister says:

    The author is wrong — Barack Obama was elected by millions of citizens.
    If no one had voted for Barack — Barack would not be President.
    We Americans get whomever we vote for.
    “Administrator” here refuses to vote.
    And yet sits here and whines — just like George Carlin.

     

    26th December 2014 at 10:48 pm

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