Corporate Domination Background Info

 

Green Shadow Cabinet


Citizens Against Monopoly


Open Markets Institute


Time Well Spent


Wealth Inequality in America - The top 1% own 40% of all wealth. The bottom 80% (that’s you and me) own 7% of the wealth. The richest 1% take home 24% of all income. In 1976, it was 9% of all income, tripling in the last 30 years. The top 1% own 50% of all stocks, bonds and mutual funds. The bottom 50% (again, you and I) own 0.5%. The average CEO earns 380 X what the average worker makes - not the lowest paid, but the average worker. The reality in this country is not at all what we think it is. Sources are Here and Here and Here and Here.


“Capitalism has outlived its usefulness. It has brought about a system that takes necessities from the masses to give luxury to the classes. Call it what you may, call it democracy, or call it democratic socialism, but there must be a better distribution of wealth within this country for all of God’s children.”
Martin Luther King


Capital In The Twenty-First Century - by Thomas Piketty - 6 of the 10 wealthiest Americans are heirs. The next generation will be close to 10 of 10. He calls it ‘patrimonial capitalism.’ I call it plutocracy. Either way, it’s not democracy.

Here’s a good short summarization by PNHP. Karl Marx was right: The motivating force of capitalism is the exploitation of labor, whose unpaid work is the source of profit. The employer can claim rights to profit mainly through property rights enforced by the capitalist state. Without government intervention/regulation, wealth, in a capitalistic system, tends to concentrate towards the top creating greater and greater disparity between the classes. It is not hyperbole, but just a simple fact, that we are currently in the new Gilded Age, with wealth disparities that have not been seen since pre-WWI and Here. And as Kevin Zeese and Margaret Flowers put it: “The plutocrats fund the only two parties allowed to run for office and the people are manipulated by fear to vote against their interests in a mirage democracy of rigged elections.” And Here.


Fight Big Money - A realistic plan to get corporate money out of politics.


International Labor Organization


National TPP Resistance Calls


Socialist Alternative


Fix Capitalism


Center for Public Integrity: Most Corrupt State in the Union? GEORGIA and Here


The Next System Project


The Hidden South


Inequality dot Org


Minimum Wage Workers Pay Cut Clock


Definition of Neoliberalism


Reset The Net - Privacy Pack - Secure your communications against illegal government search and seizure.


15 NOW


Stop Fast Track


Fact Sheet on Fast Track Bill - Being used to side-step the Constitution while it crams TPP down our throats.


Striking It Rich: The Evolution of Top Incomes in the USA


Ten Years of Bush Tax Cuts Benefit the Rich


Reaganomics: Did it Work? - No, but it did triple the federal debt, from $997 Billion in 1981 to $2.857 Trillion in 1989.


Flush The TPP


Stop TPP


Center For The Advancement of The Steady State Economy - CASSE


The People’s Budget


Democracy-NOW! Monitors Corporate/DHS/Police Crackdown on OWS


The Real Job Creators


Inequality for All


Occupy Washington, DC


Play Tax Evaders Here


OCCUPY


Rolling Jubilee


99 Rise


Occupy Movement Live Stream


The People’s Budget


OpenSecrets: The Shadow Money Trail


Occupy Wall Street National Gathering


Open Debates


Occupy Monsanto


Open Debates


ProPublica: PAC Track - Showing the Super PAC’s Biggest Donors


NYTimes: Who’s Financing Super PACs


CEO Pay And The 99%


Democracy Is For People


Public Citizen


Don’t Get Rolled


A New Way Forward


Prosperity Agenda


MoJo: Dark Money


March on the RNC


March on Wall Street South


Public Citizen Global Trade Watch


Truthdig: Chris Hedges: Colonized by Corporations - The revolution is coming...slowly.


Bernie Sanders Petition to Overturn Citizens United via Constitutional Amendment - CU decision was 1/21/10.


Memorable Articles:


8/21/18


Forbes: Senator Warren’s Ben Franklin Capitalism - A great article, but very long. Here’s Sen. Warren grandstanding again with a bill that doesn’t have a prayer in the world, with much help from NBC and Forbes Magazine - both very large Hillary Clinton supporters in the 2016 election, and who presumably will continue that support for the Dem nominee in 2020. Maybe this gives Sen. Warren the inside track among the corpora-Dems for that nomination? Maybe the faux-progressives corpora-Dems have decided to tack in this direction just long enough to get the sheep to the polls?


But the reason I liked this article: It picks apart all of the reasons why all of the neocon defenses of the status quo (supply-side trickle down voodoo economics, slippery slope to communist dictatorship) are pure garbage.


While discussing the false notion of neocons that unrestrained capitalism will solve all woes:

The US, which has the worst inequality, second-highest poverty and highest incarceration rates, as well as the worst health and mediocre education outcomes relative to the rest of the developed world while careening from bubble to bust and bubble to bust like a manic-depressive, is doing just fine where ‘creating economic value’ is concerned. Meanwhile Germany, whose economy, education system, and social safety net are the envy of most of the world in part thanks to its pragmatic, can-do, Warren- and formerly American-style corporate social contract, is simply ‘burning value.’”


1/14/18


UK Guardian: Bernie Sanders: Let’s Wrench Power Back From the Billionaires - A five minute read that encapsulates Sanders’ philosophy and solutions.


8/10/17


Economic Policy Institute: Corporations’ Effective Tax Rate: 13% - And very few pay even that, since they move their headquarters overseas specifically to avoid paying any tax, while most American workers making minimum wage cannot afford to rent a 1 bedroom apartment. #CorporateWelfare


4/5/17


Americans For Tax Fairness: Talking Points on Donal Trump’s Tax Plan - File this under #CorporateWelfare.


3/9/17


Institute for Taxation and Economic Policy: The 35 Percent Corporate Tax Myth - File this under #CorporateWelfare. In the period studied, 2008 - 2015, 18 of the country’s most profitable corporations paid nothing in taxes. 100 corporations had at least one year in which their tax bill was zero or negative (refund). The study examined only the corporations that were consistently the most profitable over the eight year period. As a group they paid 21.2% in taxes, just over half of the statutory 35% rate. Collectively they received $513 Billion in tax breaks over the period studied. How did they do it? Loopholes in the tax code, industry specific subsidies, the ability to write off executive stock options, etc.


One Example:

In the US, oil companies - the most profitable enterprises in the history of the world - receive about $40 Billion in annual subsidies, and Here. Worldwide, they receive about $1 Trillion yearly.


1/20/17


PBS Independent Lens: Today Only 5 Corporations Own Most News Media - Down from 6 in 2012. When you start hearing a chorus of media all chanting the same phrase (such as ‘weapons of mass destruction,’ or ‘fake news,’ or ‘hacked the election,’ or ‘civil rights icon’), it’s called neuro-linguistic programming. MSM uses this technique all the time.


1/15/17


OXFAM: Just 8 People Now Have The Same Wealth As The Poorest 3.6 Billion - A 2 minute read with some very interesting links.


“Capitalism has outlived its usefulness. It has brought about a system that takes necessities from the masses to give luxury to the classes. Call it what you may, call it democracy, or call it democratic socialism, but there must be a better distribution of wealth within this country for all of God’s children.”

Martin Luther King


7/8/16


NYTimes: Investors Get Stung Twice by Executives’ Lavish Pay Packages - See related articles Here, Here, Here, Here, and Here. Here is how these lavish pay packages and buybacks can reduce the value of your nest egg. Stock buybacks were considered to be price manipulation and were illegal until Reagan’s SEC Chairman appointee John SR Shad changed the rule.


“Since 2004, companies have spent nearly $7 trillion purchasing their own stock — often at inflated prices, according to data from Mustafa Erdem Sakinc of the Academic-Industry Research Network. That amounts to about 54% of all profits from Standard & Poor's 500 index companies between 2003 and 2012, according to William Lazonick, a professor of economics at the University of Massachusetts Lowell.”


Executives can use stock buybacks in 3 ways: 1. They increase earnings per share, which can trigger bonuses for the executives. 2. They can bump up the stock price, which allows the executives to sell their stock options at a higher price. 3. They can prevent the dissolution of the stock price if executives decide to sell large blocks of their own stock options.


1/29/16


LATimes: Too Poor to Retire, Too Young to Die - And 1/3 of American children live in poverty, while the ultra-rich can afford to hire teams of lawyers, accountants and financial wizards to their #CorporateWelfare rolling...and Here, Here, Here, Here, Here, Here, Here, Here, Here, Here, Here, and on and on. But no politician, except one, will talk about it. Voting is of minimal importance... Organize or Die.


10/8/15


CNN Money: Wall Street Isn’t Worried About Hillary Clinton’s Plan - Wall Street “gets it.”


9/4/15


ShadowProof: New Book Examines Extreme Poverty Caused by 1996 Welfare Reform Law - As a result of ‘the end of welfare as we know it’, the number of Americans attempting to live on $2 or less per day has doubled and one third of American children now live in poverty and Here.


8/31/15


Salon: The Rise of Imperial Plutocracy: New Research Exposes the Stunning Domination of Global Super-Elites - A study of how a very small segment of the population - the extreme rich - hogs all of the resources and maintains their control of the political process. One item: The US has the largest gap between rich and poor on social spending of any nation. If the people ruled and their views were put into place, social spending would be 40% higher than it currently is. Such a government has no legitimacy.


8/25/15


Shadowproof: Almost One-Third of Children Live in Poverty in the ‘Richest Nation In The World’


7/12/15


Truthdig: Chris Hedges: We Are All Greeks Now - One of his best ever. “The destruction of Greece, like the destruction of America, by the big banks and financial firms is not, as the bankers claim, about austerity or imposing rational expenditures or balanced budgets. It is not about responsible or good government. It is a vicious form of class warfare. It is profoundly anti-democratic. It is about forming nations of impoverished, disempowered serfs and a rapacious elite of all-powerful corporate oligarchs, backed by the most sophisticated security and surveillance apparatus in human history and a militarized police that shoots unarmed citizens with reckless abandon. The laws and rules it imposes on the poor are, as Barbara Ehrenreich has written, little more than “organized sadism.”


7/10/15


UK Guardian: Pope Francis: “Unbridled Capitalism Is The Dung of the Devil” - "Let us not be afraid to say it: we want change, real change, structural change," the Pope declared, as he blasted a system of unbridled capitalism across the planet that "has imposed the mentality of profit at any price, with no concern for social exclusion or the destruction of nature." “This system is by now intolerable: farm workers find it intolerable, laborers find it intolerable, communities find it intolerable, peoples find it intolerable. The earth itself – our sister, Mother Earth, as Saint Francis would say – also finds it intolerable,” Referring to IMF policies in the 3rd world: “The new colonialism takes on different faces. At times it appears as the anonymous influence of mammon: corporations, loan agencies, certain ‘free trade’ treaties, and the imposition of measures of ‘austerity’ which always tighten the belt of workers and the poor,” he said. He defended labor unions and praised poor people who had formed cooperatives to create jobs where previously “there were only crumbs of an idolatrous economy”.


6/22/15


MoJo: New Study By Economic Policy Institute: American CEOs Now Make 303 Times As Much As Their Workers - Here’s the study.


4/20/15


Bloomberg: Series of Special Reports on How Corporations Dodge Taxes And Get Away With It - This series won the Pulitzer Prize for explanatory journalism. #CorporateWelfare


4/16/15


Popular Resistance: Trillions in New Wealth, Millions of Children in Poverty - “America’s wealth grew by 60 percent in the past six years, by over $30 trillion. In approximately the same time, the number of homeless children has also grown by 60 percent.” 1 in 5 children in the US are on food stamps. Only the richest have had income gains since 2010. Half of American children live in poverty.Only two nations still refuse to ratify the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child: South Sudan and the United States. When President Obama said, “I believe America is exceptional,” he was close to the truth, in a way he and his wealthy friends would never admit.” It’s time for a steeply progressive income tax.


4/8/15


Truth Out: How The US Became an Oligarchy


3/31/15


Scientific American: Economic Inequality Is Far Worse Than You Think - “The top 20% of US households own more than 84% of the wealth, and the bottom 40% combine for a paltry 0.3%. The Walton family, for example, has more wealth than 42% of American families combined.


The median American estimated that the CEO-to-worker pay-ratio was 30-to-1, and that ideally, it’d be 7-to-1. The reality? 354-to-1 and Here. Fifty years ago, it was 20-to-1.”


As the journalist Chrystia Freeland put it,  “Americans actually live in Russia, although they think they live in Sweden. And they would like to live on a kibbutz.” An infographic video of the study went viral and has been watched more than 16 million times.


3/26/15


Salon: The Truth About the Ultra-Rich and Their NYTimes Apologists - “IRS data compiled by Thomas Piketty, Emmanuel Saez and their colleagues at the top incomes database shows how stark America’s shift from a broad-based prosperity model has been. From 1947 to 1973, the average incomes of the bottom 90 percent increased 99.2 percent, compared to 88.9 percent for the top 10 percent, and a mere 7.4 percent for the top 0.1 percent.  But from 1973 to 2008, the average incomes of the bottom 90 percent fell 6.1 percent, while the average incomes of the top 10 percent continued rising by another 70.8 percent, and average incomes of the top 0.1 percent skyrocketed an astronomical 706.4 percent.


With the bottom 90 percent losing ground, on average, and the top 0.1 percent gobbling those losses up like candy, it makes perfect sense to try to distract attention by finger-pointing at the poor”

Whenever you hear an interviewee talk about the need to reduce ‘entitlement programs,’ let it remind you of this.

Choosing between Republican and Democrat from an economic policy standpoint is a choice between ‘trickle-down’ and ‘trickle-down lite.’

There is no empirical evidence to support ‘trickle down’ policies. There is plenty of empirical evidence to support Keynesian policies - they have worked  every time they have been implemented.


3/10/15


PBS: The Biggest Scam Bankrupting the Middleclass - Synopsis (corroborating links in article): Stock buybacks were classified as illegal stock manipulation before Ronald Reagan. More than $6.9 Trillion since 2004 - roughly 50+% of corporate profits, while we have $3.6 Trillion backlog in road, bridges, dams and other public infrastructure repairs, $1.2 Trillion in student debt, and ‘safety net’ programs that are supposedly in trouble. Prior to Reagan, this is money that would have been used for R&D, and manufacturing expansion/improvement creating thousands of jobs and disposable income for workers that would have cushioned any recession. But now it goes directly into the pockets of the super wealthy corporate C-class employees and the Boards of Directors. Walmart alone has spent $65.4 Billion in buybacks, enough to give each of its 1.4 million workers a $4,670 per year raise - about what it costs US taxpayers to subsidize those same employees’ food stamps, Medicaid, subsidized housing and other public assistance. Next time you hear reports of how well the Dow Jones and S&P 500 stock averages are doing despite a lackluster job market, keep this in mind.


1/29/15


Common Dreams: 1/5 of All US Children Now on Food Assistance and HuffPo - To say nothing of the fact that 1/4 of US children go to bed hungry and more children in America than ever are homeless. The 1% must feel very good at night when they go to bed.


1/28/15


HuffPo: One in 5 American Kids Are On Food Stamps


1/28/15


Think Progress: The 1 Percent Have Gotten All of the Income Gains Since the Recovery #CorporateWelfare


1/27/15


NYTimes: Gains From the Economic Recovery Still Limited to the 1% - If you make in excess of $900,000 net yearly income, not including capital gains, rejoice! If not, you are screwed. We are all stuck in 1970. Berkeley economist Emmanuel Saez has revised his original study. The 1% didn’t get ‘most’ of the gain, they got ALL of the gains from the so-called recovery. Here’s the definitive study for the entire period. Also see Here and Here and Here and Here and Here. #CorporateWelfare


1/25/15


UC Berkeley: Emmanuel Saez: Striking it Richer; The Evolution of Top Incomes In the US (Updated With 2013 Preliminary Results) - The 1% got it all. #CorporateWelfare


1/19/15


Common Dreams: By 2016 The Richest 1% Will Own More Than the Rest of the World Combined - The wealthiest of all are mostly Americans “And it's not an accident. The world's most wealthy, as the Oxfam report documents, spend enormous amounts of their money each year on lobbying efforts designed to defend the assets they have and expand their ability to make even more. The world's wealthiest, reads the report, "have generated and sustained their vast riches through their interests and activities in a few important economic sectors, including finance and insurance and pharmaceuticals and healthcare. (me: It left out the defense industry $800 Billion per year all inclusive.) Companies from these sectors spend millions of dollars every year on lobbying to create a policy environment that protects and enhances their interests further. The most prolific lobbying activities in the US are on budget and tax issues; public resources that should be directed to benefit the whole population, rather than reflect the interests of powerful lobbyists.” Put another way, the government which was originally created to look after the “governed” and take care of the welfare of the country as a whole, is now simply a tool of the very few wealthiest people on the face of the earth. In cases such as this our founding fathers said that “it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.”

#CorporateWelfare


1/16/15


HuffPo: More Than Half of American School Children Live in Poverty


11/17/14


Common Dreams: More Homeless Children in US Now Than At Any Time in History


10/23/14


TruthOut: IRS Whistleblowers: IRS Execs Behind Multi-Billion Dollar Giveaways to Corporations - ...while individuals are hounded into jail and bankruptcy for the exact same violations. More Corporate Welfare. The numbers here are truly staggering. Lost government revenue to large corporate cheaters in the $$ Hundreds of Billions per year. Trillions are stashed in off-shore tax ‘havens.’ Before his appointment as Obama’s Treasury Secretary, Jacob Lew headed up the Citigroup division that oversaw the bank’s expanding investments in the Caymans and even set up one for himself. This is all very routine and established practice for the 1%. But no worries, the whistle-blower letter was copied to Elizabeth Warren. I’m sure she’ll put a stop to this immediately! Right.

#CorporateWelfare


10/9/14


Pew Research: For Most Workers, Real Wages Have Barely Budged for Decades


5/30/14


Counter Punch: The Democrats’ New Fake Populism - Very insightful.


5/22/14


NYTimes: Officials Cast Wide Net in Monitoring Occupy Protests - More evidence of corporate/government collusion to prevent, subvert and squash Constitutionally protected free speech. This has been going on for years, and Here, coordinated directly through the White House, and Here. During a Houston demonstration, the FBI even had snipers on buildings with orders to shoot to kill if corporate interests were harmed. See also entries of 4/10, 3/21, 2/13/14, 7/31, 7/29, 5/22/13, 12/29/12.


4/21/14


NYTimes: Justice Stevens Suggests Solution for ‘Giant Step in the Wrong Direction’ - Regarding Citizens United, Stevens “questioned the majority’s attempt to recast a modest case into a blockbuster that would overrule major precedents and allow unlimited campaign spending by corporations and unions.” “Essentially,” he wrote, “five justices were unhappy with the limited nature of the case before us, so they changed the case to give themselves an opportunity to change the law.” Here is Stevens’ original dissent (1/21/10). New Yorker: Money Unlimited - How Justice John Roberts Orchestrated The Citizens United Decision.


Popular Resistance: Fighting For A Legitimate Democracy - Declaration of Independence: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it.” We have reached that point when the 1% plutocrats have gained control and caused the politicians to rule against the consent of the governed.


Bill Moyers: All Three Branches of Federal Government A Protection Racket for the 1% #CorporateWelfare


4/14/14


Common Dreams: First Ever Scientific Study of the Question: Is The US A Democracy?: Nope - Study by Princeton and Northwestern Universities. It’s an oligarchy. The study focused on 1,779 policy issues and found that in all cases, the preferences of the wealthy economic elite were enacted into law, while “the preferences of the average American appear to have only a minuscule, near-zero, statistically non-significant impact upon public policy.” I would say plutocracy. A study in the Political Research Quarterly corroborates that conclusion. Democrats were actually less responsive to low income Americans and more responsive to the wealthy than Republicans.


From the article: “American democracy is a sham, no matter how much it's pumped by the oligarchs who run the country (and who control the nation's "news" media). The U.S., in other words, is basically similar to Russia or most other dubious "electoral" "democratic" countries.”


4/10/14


Halifax Media Co-op: Tactical Police Plan For Raid on Occupy - Once again government coordinates with corporate interests to stifle peaceful and legal protest. See entry of 2/13/14 for all the links.


4/5/14


NYTimes: Corporate Profits At Their Highest in 85 Years; Wages At Lowest in 65 Years


3/21/14


Houston Mint Press: FBI Continues to Withhold Info on Occupy Assassination Plots


2/13/14


Popular Resistance: American Petroleum Institute Spies on Environmentalists - Just another in the long list of ongoing instances where corporate Amerika in coordination with the Obama Admin and Here and Here and Here and Here and Here has significantly ramped up their spying activities and their collusion and violated the Constitutional rights of law-abiding Americans, preemptively beating them, even training snipers on them, bringing down overbearing force on those who would reveal these acts, and throwing them in jail before any protest activities have even begun.


2/10/14


Common Dreams: How Entitlements For the Rich Cheat the Rest of Us #CorporateWelfare


2/6/14


Fresh Air: When It Comes to High-Speed Internet, the US Is Falling Way Behind - This was before the recent FCC decision to treat internet as common carrier. But the speeds are still too slow and expensive. The next battle will be municipal broad band which is also discussed in this interview. A clear and concise explanation of the recent DC Appeals Court decision that allows large carriers, like Verizon, to slow down and even block sites they don’t want you to see. The large carriers are now basic monopolies and are not adopting the latest technology for quickly moving large amounts of information. As a result not only are we on the verge of being restricted in content that we can receive, even that content will be delivered slowly and at greater cost relative to other countries, like S. Korea, that have adopted new innovation.


12/12/13


FireDogLake: Hillary Clinton Pledges Allegiance to Wall Street Along With Democrats in Perpetuity - No surprise here. Just lettin’ you know. Difference?


9/16/13


CNN Money: The Rich Are Richer Than Ever - Yep, that’s “ever.” And yet 48 million people in America - and 16 million children - go to be hungry every night. Even after PPACA full implementation, 30+ million will have no health care. 4 out of 5 Americans have faced homelessness, near-poverty, no work sometime during their lifetimes.


9/3/13


UC Berkeley, Emmanuel Saez: 95% of Income Gains From 2009 - 2012 Went to Top 1% - They got it all. #CorporateWelfare


8/19/13


Counter Punch: Obama’s Economic Agenda - Actually it’s the agenda of all Democrats and Republicans. Some highlights: 97% of new jobs over the last 6 months have been low-paying, service sector, part-time according to a George Mason University study. 10 million workers still can’t find jobs. 47 million people are on food stamps. 5 million borrowers are in some stage of default on their home loans. 4 out of 5 American adults struggle with joblessness, near poverty, or reliance on welfare for at least part of their lives. The median net worth of middle class US families fell by 39% between 2007 and 2010 while the median value of the family home dropped 42%. Discretionary federal spending is lower than it’s been in 50 years while the US deficit is dropping faster than at any time since WW2. The CBO has estimated that the sequester will halve economic growth in 2013; from 3% to 1.4%. Meanwhile pre-tax corporate profits make up 12% of GDP and growing. In answer to all this, Obama has appointed a commission of deficit hawks to the Bowles-Simpson committee - the Catfood Commission. His latest proposed budget cuts Social Security benefits by 2%, instead of removing the ‘cap’ which would require high earners to pay their fair share. His proposed tax increases would cut the net income of the typical wealthy household by just 0.6%. Both the Republicans and Democrats are doing just the opposite of what every peer-reviewed credible economic theory says the federal government should do in a time of deep recession.

#CorporateWelfare


7/31/13


Houston Chronicle: FBI Aware of Plan for Snipers to Take Out Occupy Leaders


7/29/13


Mint Press: Stratfor’s Strategies to Win the Media War Against Grassroots Activists - Thanks to Jeremy Hammonds and Wikileaks for hacking this nefarious corporation and revealing its coordination with federal and state agencies to thwart Constitutionally protected peaceful protest and Here and Here and Here. Basic strategy: Divide activists into 4 groups: 1. ‘Opportunists’ - these can be turned by appealing to their own self-interest. 2. ‘Realists’ - can be easily convinced that transformative change is not really possible and therefore they must settle for what is possible. 3. ‘Idealists’ - can be convinced that they have the facts wrong and then pulled into the ‘Realist’ camp. 4. ‘Radicals’ (everybody else) - are those that see the system as corrupt and needing transformation. Once the other 3 groups have been co-opted, the ‘radicals’ can be isolated and discredited using false charges to assassinate their characters. Stratfor (a PR firm that evolved into a private intelligence agency) has its roots in executives who headed up the efforts to discredit those who wanted to reveal cigarettes’ damage, defending the chemical industry and Big Agriculture (Monsanto). It developed strategies now used by Koch funded entities such as Americans for Prosperity. Stratfor keeps extensive dossiers (“Global Intelligence Files”) on all ‘forces of change’ - Occupy, United for Peace and Justice, etc.


5/22/13


Democracy-NOW!: Corporate/Counterterrorism Apparatus Used to Monitor Occupy Movement Nationwide and The Progressive and SourceWatch - How corporate America, including Wall St. firms, coordinates with DHS, the FBI and local police around the country to systematically monitor, infiltrate and crush the Occupy movement. The coordinated crackdown is using the National Defense Authorization Act to preemptively arrest Occupy leaders, denying civil liberties contained in the Constitution to those trying to lawfully defend those civil liberties, thus criminalizing the First Amendment. This is not about protecting the US from foreign attack, this is about advancing the interests of and making more powerful the large corporate control over the functioning of national, state and local governments. See also UK Guardian: How The FBI Coordinated the Crackdown on Occupy.


4/23/13


PBS: The Retirement Gamble - The interview with John Bogle is crucial. Discussion is about how unseen charges steal 3 years worth of retirement income from unsuspecting clients’ funds. Using indexed funds avoids those charges.


3/6/13


Bill Moyers: One Economy, Two Americas - Corporate profits have been rising at a 20% annual rate for 4 years. Average household incomes: 1/4%. 24 million Americans are looking for full time work. 15+ million American children go to bed hungry every night. The rich keep getting richer at everyone else’s expense. #CorporateWelfare


2/22/13


HuffPo: DOJ Admits Aaron Swartz Prosecution Was Political, Not Criminal


Chris Hedges: “OBEY”


1/31/13


UC Berkeley Study Updated: Top 1% Got 121% of Income Gains 2009-2011 - See “Income Inequality in US, 1913-1998 as updated 2013” under “Income and Wealth Inequality.” As printed in the Quarterly Journal of Economics. #CorporateWelfare


1/4/13


Rolling Stone: Secrets and Lies of the Bailout - A very long review of the many deceptions foisted on the American public, to convince them to give Wall Street every thing they wanted to rescue them from their own mistakes and greed. Highlights:

  1. 1.When the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act was first passed in 2008, Sect. 109 stated that the $700 Billion would be used to buy up the troubled mortgages and help struggling homeowners - and specifically empowered the Treasury secretary to "facilitate loan modifications to prevent avoidable foreclosures." But as soon as the law was passed, the Federal Reserve and Treasury unilaterally decided to just give the money to the big banks with no conditions - which of course facilitated the executive and trader salaries and bonuses. Struggling homeowners to this day have not gotten one penny of help.

  2. 2.When the furious politicians realized they had been duped and threatened to pass a law canceling the remaining $350 Billion, Larry Summers put together a 5 point proposal to ameliorate their concerns. It promised to use the remaining money to: stimulate bank lending, thus putting people back to work; to force banks to increase lending above certain baseline levels; he promised to impose ‘tough and transparent’ conditions on banks; to make sure that none of the money was used to enrich shareholders or executives; that bailout money would be used to help homeowners in foreclosure; that the bailouts would be temporary and that there would be a plan for the quick exit of government intervention. All Lies. It was nothing but a premeditated trick by the Federal Reserve and the Obama Administration to service their Wall St. clients.

And that’s just the first page. This is a really great Matt Taibbi article.


12/29/12


UK Guardian: How The FBI Coordinated the Violent Crackdown on Occupy - The “Domestic Security Alliance Council” - a combination of FBI, DHS, the big banks and local law enforcement throughout the country. “New documents show that the violent crackdown on Occupy last fall – so mystifying at the time – was not just coordinated at the level of the FBI, the Department of Homeland Security, and local police. The crackdown, which involved, as you may recall, violent arrests, group disruption, canister missiles to the skulls of protesters, people held in handcuffs so tight they were injured, people held in bondage till they were forced to wet or soil themselves –was coordinated with the big banks themselves.” The documents show “a nationwide meta-plot unfolding in city after city in an Orwellian world: six American universities are sites where campus police funneled information about students involved with OWS to the FBI, with the administrations' knowledge (p51); banks sat down with FBI officials to pool information about OWS protesters harvested by private security; plans to crush Occupy events, planned for a month down the road, were made by the FBI – and offered to the representatives of the same organizations that the protests would target; and even threats of the assassination of OWS leaders by sniper fire – by whom? Where? – now remain redacted and undisclosed to those American citizens in danger, contrary to standard FBI practice to inform the person concerned when there is a threat against a political leader.” Hints that the Obama Admin. has been coordinating these unConstitutional crackdowns has been circulating for months, but it now becomes very clear. No Republican could ever get away with this.


11/7/12


UK Guardian: What Will Progressives Do With Their Big Election Victory? - It’s called self-disempowerment, in 6 steps. The ‘Grand Bargain’ that all liberals are now claiming they will never accept is all but assured - and by their own doing.


10/25/12


Nation of Change: Three Ways Big Oil Spends Its Profits to Defend Oil Subsidies, Defeat Clean Energy - and defeat efforts at climate change mitigation. Summary: The most profitable business in history, with about $100 B in profits per year, gets $4 Billion annually in tax subsidies, shelters most of its profits overseas and spends about $100 Million in lobbying activities, plus another $150 Million in climate-change-denial and other types of misinformation campaigns. Oil production on public land is up 240 million barrels/year under Obama, with an additional 20 million acres in the Gulf of Mexico yet to be developed. They will be announcing their 3rd quarterly profits beginning today. Shell, Exxon ($45 Billion Profit/year), ConocoPhillips, Koch Brothers, BP ($25 Billion Profit/year). To admit the validity of human caused climate change would mean they would have to write off $20 Trillion in reserves, which would devastate the most profitable business in history. This article focuses on the contributions to Republicans, but I don’t see Obama or the Democrats making any substantial noises in favor of climate change mitigation or the removal of the $4 Billion annual government welfare for the oil companies.

#CorporateWelfare


10/3/12


Democracy-NOW!: How The Dems and Rethugs Stole Control of Presidential Debates from the League of Women Voters and Why - The ‘Debate Commission’ is now co-chaired by two insider lobbyists and completely controlled by the two parties to make sure only they are included, only soft-ball questions are asked and the audience is hand picked. It’s basically an illusion designed to make us think we have a choice. Brought to you by Bud-Light.


History:

1980: The League of Women Voters defied the Democratic Party and allowed independent presidential candidate John Anderson into the Carter/Reagan debate whereupon Carter refused to appear. 55 million Americans watched Anderson debate Reagan.


1984: The Reagan and Mondale campaigns vetoed 80 moderators proposed by the League, because the two parties wanted only softball questions. The League stood up to the two parties and the public backed them. The Dems and Reps were forced to take the moderators appointed by the League.


1988: Bush I vs. Dukakis: The two parties drafted a secret ‘debate contract’ which they passed on the to League. The League refused to implement the contract, made it public and called it a fraud and an attempt to hoodwink the public.


League of Women Voters Refuses to “Help Perpetrate a Fraud” - "The League has no intention of becoming an accessory to the hoodwinking of the American public."


The two parties then created the “Commission on Presidential Debates,” implemented the contract and created their own debates supplanting the League. The Commission is funded by Anheuser-Busch and other large corporations. The two parties meet behind closed doors to dictate the terms of debate, the composition of the audience, and the soft-ball questions to be used. The two co-chairs of the Commission are former Republican and Democratic Party Chairmen respectively.


Open Debates


7/26/12


Salon: Protectors of Wall Street - Starts with a great example of how impossible it would be for the Democratic party ever to be ‘changed from the inside’ showing how the Democratic leadership squelches the rank and file every time they try to put some fairness in the legislative process, and how ridiculous it is to think that the Democratic Party can be reformed from within. Then does an in-depth review of the new book “Bailout” by the former TARP IG and all of the issues surrounding its supporters and the egregious conduct of the government personnel who should have made Wall Street accountable, but instead made sure the big banks got everything they wanted at every step in the process and even up to today. Socialism for the rich. Everyone else is on their own.


6/14/12


Business Insider: 6 Corporations Control 90% of the Media in the USA


5/29/12


UK Guardian: Christine Lagarde, Scourge of Tax Evaders, Pays No Taxes and Forbes


5/21/12


New Yorker: Money Unlimited: How John Roberts Orchestrated The Citizens United Decision


4/27/12


HuffPo: Pelosi Backs Recommendations of the Catfood Commission - Including large cuts to Social Security and Medicare. DemocRATs! #CorporateWelfare


3/6/12


Common Dreams: Top 1% Monopolized 93% of Income Gains In 2010 Meltdown #CorporateWelfare


1/17/12


ProPublica: Overview of Foreclosure Crisis


10/6/11


Firedoglake: Obama Said Banks Did Not Commit Fraud - These were comments he made at a press conference in response to a question by Jake Tapper. As this article clearly explains, his statement is total nonsense. They committed fraud when they made the loans and encouraged people to buy homes at unjustified prices and to get into loans they could not afford. You’d think that the term the banks used for these loans: ‘liars loans’ would have given them a little hint that it was probably illegal. They committed fraud when they bundled those loans into a package and sold them at unjustified ratings and prices. The ratings agencies committed fraud when they gave these trash loans AAA+ ratings. They committed fraud when they dumped the loan-bundles onto their unsuspecting clients and then actually bet against their clients. They committed fraud when they forged and ‘robo-signed’ documents needed in court for foreclosure proceedings. All along the way the Obama DOJ under AG Holder has made every possible effort to 1. not investigate fraud and 2. when fraud was undeniable has found ways to allow the banks to cut a deal to avoid responsibility for their actions. Take a look/listen to what William Black, who brought down the Keating 5 and prosecuted the S&Ls during the meltdown in the ‘80s has to say about Obama’s statement.


11/12/10


HuffPo: The Financial Crisis and America’s Political Duopoly - By the director of Best Documentary Academy Award winner ‘Inside Job.’ “far from being in an era of brutal partisan warfare, as conventional wisdom holds and as watching the nightly television news might suggest, the United States is now in the grip of a political duopoly in which both parties are thoroughly complicit. They play a game: they agree to fight viciously over certain things to retain the allegiance of their respective bases, while agreeing not to fight about anything that seriously endangers the privileges of America's new financial elites...People who should be aligned in calling for fairer taxes, campaign finance reform, stricter financial regulation, better public education, and investment in America's infrastructure are instead divided by their opposing views on gun control, abortion, and gay marriage. It is a strategy that has worked remarkably well for both parties.”


4/5/10


Matt Taibbi: The Great American Bubble Machine - A classic


4/26/09


While NY Fed President, Geithner forged ties to finance club

While at the Fed, during “an era of unbridled and ultimately disastrous risk-taking by the financial industry”, he “forged unusually close relationships with executives of Wall Street’s giant financial institutions.” “His actions, as a regulator and later a bailout king, often aligned with the industry’s interests and desires...” And just last Friday during Congressional testimony, he stated that as Fed Pres., he was NOT a regulator. And actually that is true, he served no regulatory function even though it did happen to be in his job description to do so - he just refused to take on the responsibility of his position. And today he continues to make sure the Wall Street bankers are taken care of and tucked in at night. As I’ve been saying for weeks, these are his buddies and he’s bailing them out with your tax liabilities. Hello!?! When would you like to start fighting back?


5/30/09


HuffPo: Dick Durbin: Banks “Own the Place”


4/7/2003


New Yorker: The Investigation - A very, very long article, but it is a great, detailed study of just how then New York Attorney General Elliot Spitzer declared war on Wall Street well before the financial melt-down was even thought of. He was the first high-profile individual to declare publicly that Wall Street firms were too big, were cheating their customers with bogus advice and should be broken up into separate commercial and investment entities. Had he been successful in this, it is doubtful that the meltdown would ever have occurred. It was huge at the time and was the point in time that those firms began plotting to get him. They found his weak spot and made the most of it.


*********************


Fiscal Times: Top 1% Got 93% of All Income Gains in 2010 and WSJ


Center on Budget and Policy Priorities: 67% of Income Gains 2002-2007 Went to Top 1%


Sociological Images: Interactive Graph of Historical Income Gains


Tax Policy Center: Historical Percentage of Tax Revenues by Source - Note how corporate income taxes as a percentage of all revenues have dropped from almost 40% (1943) to 8% in 2011.


NYTimes: Study Tallies Corporations Not Paying Income Tax - About 2/3 of all corporations, foreign and domestic, pay no income tax on revenues earned within US.


In a Nutshell:

After a slow, steady rise between 1890 and 1970, real hourly wages began to stagnate. But real hourly worker productivity has skyrocketed in the period between 1970 and now. The gap between those two is corporate profits. In the last 40 years, corporations have experienced their largest profit boom in history.


Even after paying their Directors and C-level executives tens and even hundreds of millions of dollars per year, the corporations have had to put this bonanza of profits somewhere, so the profits went into lobbying and financial institutions where it was then used to fuel the internet bubble and then the housing and credit bubble.


Meanwhile middle class debt has steadily increased since 1970.


So in effect the corporations have found a way to keep the wage increases that workers should have received over the last 40 years and instead of paying it to them, the corporations now lend it to them at interest. This has snow-balled corporate profits even more. And through the many tax loopholes that corporations enjoy, they pay practically no tax on all these profits.


One use of this profit bonanza is to fund their armies of lobbyists. Another use has been to buy up and control the propaganda of the main stream media (MSM). A third use is to fund astroturf organizations which in effect rabble-rouse the middle class into supporting measures which benefit the corporations and destroy the very middle class they are using.


The Teabaggers are a perfect example. They are financed by Americans For Prosperity, Freedom Works, the Heritage Foundation, the Cato Institute, etc. whose board of directors is filled with Koch Bros. industry executives and up until he was outed for being too high profile, was run by Dick Armey, former congressman and former Jack Abramoff cohort, and employee of DLA Piper, a major lobbying firm for the health industry.


So we have two classes in this country. One is the corporate class composed of the C-level executives, boards of directors and traders. The other class is the rest of us who create the wealth that the corporate class receives. The so-called “middle” class is going away.


The richest 1% of the citizens of the US now own collectively more than the bottom 95%. This is the greatest wealth gap ever in the history of the US and the gap widens every day that the corporations are allowed continue to dominate our courts and governments.


There is a class war going on right now. The corporate class is quietly fighting us, but we are not fighting back in any meaningful way.


Paul Krugman presents clear, succinct statistics of his own to back up this view.


Note the role of modern day brown shirts: Operation Rescue and Scott Roeder (Dr. George Tiller's murderer), all the strange people that are visiting him in jail; the white supremacist that attacked the Washington Holocaust Museum killing a security guard; Rep. Akin (R-MO) joked about lynching those in favor of health care reform; the man outside the Obama rally with a loaded gun strapped to his hip; the folks bringing guns (with hidden weapons permits) to town hall meetings; the fights that are breaking out at those meetings; swastikas painted on Rep. Scott's office sign in Atlanta; the militia/vigilante movement; the death threats that some Congressmen are receiving; Idaho Republican gubernatorial candidate Rex Rammell joking about acquiring a license to hunt President Obama. They should all be identified and removed from civil society. There are laws on the books sufficient to handle these domestic terrorists. Let's use them.


Politico: Liberals Fear Grand Bargain Betrayal if Obama Wins - Ya think? Poor “liberals” fear Obama but Romney is even ‘scarier.’ No matter which way they turn, life is very scary. Wouldn’t want to be one. The difference between liberals and progressives.


Nation of Change: Three Ways Big Oil Spends Its Profits to Defend Oil Subsidies, Defeat Clean Energy - and defeat efforts at climate change mitigation. Summary: The most profitable business in history, gets $4 Billion annually in tax subsidies, shelters most of its profits overseas and spends about $100 Million in lobbying activities, plus another $150 Million in climate-change-denial and other types of misinformation campaigns. Oil production on public land is up 240 million barrels/year under Obama, with an additional 20 million acres in the Gulf of Mexico yet to be developed. They will be announcing their 3rd quarterly profits beginning today. Shell, Exxon ($45 Billion Profit/year), ConocoPhillips, Koch Brothers, BP ($25 Billion Profit/year). To admit the validity of human caused climate change would mean they would have to write off $20 Trillion in reserves, which would devastate the most profitable business in history. This article focuses on the contributions to Republicans, but I don’t see Obama or the Democrats making any substantial noises in favor of climate change mitigation or the removal of the $4 Billion annual government welfare for the oil companies.


How the Corporations destroyed Ralph Nader


Statement from James K. Galbraith and Lloyd Bentsen to Obama’s “Catfood” Commission for Deficit Reduction - in part: “You are plainly not equipped by disposition or resources to take on the true cause of deficits now and in the future: the financial crisis. Recommendations based on CBO’s unrealistic budget and economic outlooks are destined to collapse in failure. Specifically, if cuts are proposed and enacted in Social Security and Medicare, they will hurt millions, weaken the economy, and the deficits will not decline. It’s a lose-lose proposition, with no gainers except a few predatory funds, insurance companies and such who would profit, for some time, from a chaotic private marketplace.”


Income Inequality: A Deeper Look - What happens in any country when an elite-caused financial crisis occurs: “Someone has to get squeezed. Squeezing the oligarchs, though, is seldom the strategy of choice. Quite the contrary: at the outset of the crisis, the oligarchs are usually among the first to get extra help from the government, such as preferential access to foreign currency, or maybe a nice tax break, or -- here's a classic Kremlin bailout technique -- the assumption of private debt obligations by the government. Under duress, generosity toward old friends takes many innovative forms. Meanwhile, needing to squeeze someone, most governments look first to ordinary working folk -- at least until the riots grow too large.” Americans are completely apathetic and have been trained into submission. This is leaving a gigantic vacuum that the large corporations - run by the oligarchs - are all too happy to fill. America has become a vast Surveillance and National Security state. And Here.


Public Integrity: Who Bankrolls Congress


Center For American Progress: What The Debt Deal Will Cost - $1.3Trillion in protected tax loopholes for corporations and the rich; $1.2Trillion in cuts for jobs, schools, health, sick, and low-income.


Only 2% of the people who benefit from the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy are small business owners


CBS News: During the Bush Admin. the National Debt increased 72% from $5.7T to $9.8Trillion. Republicans during that time voted to increase the debt limit 7 times.


ALEC Exposed


The Game: Wall Street’s Robber Barons Declare War on American Workers


We Are The 99%


1995 Study by Noam Chomsky and Edward Herman showing that as US foreign aid to a country goes up, so do human rights abuses. Why? As foreign aid goes up, so does the climate for business. As business owners gain control, it behooves them to eliminate union activists, torture and murder of peasants, assassination of priests and human rights activists.