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SCOTUS Rolls With Plutocracy

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  • #16
    Originally posted by alkemical View Post
    Baja - Despotism is where we are at. It's sad and frustrating. We have all these clowns here arguing which side of the con screws them less. It's this weird stockholm syndrome that i haven't figured out. Dumbed down, brainwashing, combination of all of the above. I don't know.
    It's all of the above and more. I think the biggest factor is people are so very invested in the "system" for there very life (as they see it) that the truth is just too frightening to face.

    They need to believe things are OK and on the upswing. They can not see what is flaunted right in front of their eyes because the reality is too devastating
    Last edited by baja; 04-04-2014, 03:50 PM.

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    • #17
      At many stages in the advance of humanity, this conflict between the men who possess more than they have earned and the men who have earned more than they possess is the central condition of progress. In our day it appears as the struggle of freemen to gain and hold the right of self-government as against the special interests, who twist the methods of free government into machinery for defeating the popular will. At every stage, and under all circumstances, the essence of the struggle is to equalize opportunity, destroy privilege, and give to the life and citizenship of every individual the highest possible value both to himself and to the commonwealth. (Teddy Roosevelt)

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      • #18
        Maybe if the Wall Street "suicides" escalate the banksters will do themselves in....

        ANOTHER JPMORGAN INVESTMENT BANKER JUMPS TO HIS DEATH

        MARCH 18, 2014

        http://www.silverdoctors.com/another...-to-his-death/

        Seriously, what do you think the odds are he was helped to jump?

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        • #19
          If wealth and income weren’t already so concentrated in the hands of a few, the shameful “McCutcheon” decision by the five Republican appointees to the Supreme Court wouldn’t be as dangerous. But by taking “Citizen’s United” one step further and effectively eviscerating campaign finance laws, the Court has issued an invitation to oligarchy.

          Almost limitless political donations coupled with America’s dramatically widening inequality create a vicious cycle in which the wealthy buy votes that lower their taxes, give them bailouts and subsidies, and deregulate their businesses – thereby making them even wealthier and capable of buying even more votes. Corruption breeds more corruption.

          That the richest four hundred Americans now have more wealth than the poorest 150 million Americans put together, the wealthiest 1 percent own over 35 percent of the nation’s private assets, and 95 percent of all the economic gains since the start of the recovery in 2009 have gone to the top 1 percent — all of this is cause for worry, and not just because it means the middle class lacks the purchasing power necessary to get the economy out of first gear.
          It is also worrisome because such great concentrations of wealth so readily compound themselves through politics, rigging the game in their favor and against everyone else. “McCutcheon” merely accelerates this vicious cycle.

          As Thomas Piketty shows in his monumental “Capital in the Twenty-First Century,” this was the pattern in advanced economies through much of the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries. And it is coming to be the pattern once again.
          Picketty is pessimistic that much can be done to reverse it (his sweeping economic data suggest that slow growth will almost automatically concentrate great wealth in a relatively few hands). But he disregards the political upheavals and reforms that such wealth concentrations often inspire — such as America’s populist revolts of the 1890s followed by the progressive era, or the German socialist movement in the 1870s followed by Otto von Bismarck’s creation of the first welfare state.

          In America of the late nineteenth century, the lackeys of robber barons literally deposited sacks of money on the desks of pliant legislators, prompting the great jurist Louis Brandeis to note that the nation had a choice: “We can have a democracy or we can have great wealth in the hands of a few,” he said. “But we cannot have both.”

          Soon thereafter America made the choice. Public outrage gave birth to the nation’s first campaign finance laws, along with the first progressive income tax. The trusts were broken up and regulations imposed to bar impure food and drugs. Several states enacted America’s first labor protections, including the 40-hour workweek.

          The question is when do we reach another tipping point, and what happens then?

          Robert Reich

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          • #20
            An oligarchy, Webster’s dictionary tells us, is “a form of government in which the ruling power belongs to a few persons.” It’s a shame that the Republican majority on the Supreme Court doesn’t know the difference between an oligarchy and a democratic republic.

            Yes, I said “the Republican majority,” violating a nicety based on the pretense that when people reach the high court, they forget their party allegiance. We need to stop peddling this fiction.

            On cases involving the right of Americans to vote and the ability of a very small number of very rich people to exercise unlimited influence on the political process, Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. and his four allies always side with the wealthy, the powerful and the forces that would advance the political party that put them on the court. The ideological overreach that is wrecking our politics is now also wrecking our jurisprudence.

            The court’s latest ruling in McCutcheon et al. v. Federal Election Commission should not be seen in isolation. (The “et al.,” by the way, refers to the Republican National Committee.) It is yet another act of judicial usurpation by five justices who treat the elected branches of our government with contempt and precedent as meaningless. If Congress tries to contain the power of the rich, the Roberts Court will slap it in the face. And if Congress tries to guarantee the voting rights of minorities, the Roberts Court will slap it in the face again.

            http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinio...b08_story.html

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            • #21
              I wish Robert Reich would run for pres.

              Been following that guy for a long time now.

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              • #22
                First, the Court doubled down on its insistence in Citizens United that the definition of "corruption" only extends to quid pro quo transactions -- political contributions for official action, otherwise known as bribery. "Ingratiation and access are not corruption," the Court wrote. "They embody a central feature of democracy -- that constituents support candidates who share their beliefs and interests, and candidates who are elected can be expected to be responĀ­sive to those concerns." In other words, not only can the government not try to prevent special relationships from forming as a result of political contributions, but such relationships are to be applauded.

                This vision of democracy is absurd. Until the Citizens United decision four years ago, the Court understood corruption to mean "a subversion of the political process" through which our elected representatives are encouraged "to act contrary to their obligations of office by the prospect of financial gain..." So, Congress and the states could put reasonable limits on campaign contributions to prevent elected officials from being unduly influenced by the wishes of their richest supporters.

                Now, under the Roberts Court's doctrine, even the basic contribution limits -- which prevent individual donors from giving more than $5,200 to any candidate for federal office -- are at risk as impermissible government efforts to regulate "influence" and "access."

                Even more bizarrely, the Court conflates "donors" with "constituents," suggesting it is constitutionally important for a candidate to be responsive to the concerns of donors -- even those who cannot vote for them. McCutcheon wasn't about "constituents" supporting candidates they could potentially vote for. It was about an outsider spending money to support many candidates he couldn't vote for. In fact, under the old aggregate limit, Shaun McCutcheon could have contributed the maximum amount to the three candidates for which he would be constituent (the president, one House member, and one senator two out of three election cycles) with plenty of room to spare.

                http://www.huffingtonpost.com/david-...b_5107405.html

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                • #23
                  You know how I know this signals the end of this republic? Because, outside of a few columnists and talking heads, nobody really gives a ****.

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                  • #24
                    For you Ro;

                    http://www.theforbiddenknowledge.com/manipulation/

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                    • #25
                      Originally posted by Rohirrim View Post
                      You know how I know this signals the end of this republic? Because, outside of a few columnists and talking heads, nobody really gives a ****.
                      Because it doesn't really matter. Citizens United did all that was needed to destroy the political process in Washington. I actually like this ruling in some respects - why bother with the farce of forming a 403c to which you can donate unlimited funds to be used as you choose in a political race instead of just directly donating the funds. The effect is the same.

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                      • #26
                        Ultimately, the committee inserted every word of Mr. Bopp’s (Citigroup) suggestion into a 2012 version of the bill that passed the House, save for a slight change in phrasing. A later iteration of the bill, passed by the House committee earlier this month, also included some of the same wording.

                        And when federal regulators in April released a rule governing such trades, it was significantly less demanding than the industry had feared, a decision that the industry partly attributed to pressure stemming from Capitol Hill.

                        Citigroup and other major banks used a similar approach on another derivatives bill. Under Dodd-Frank, banks must push some derivatives trading into separate units that are not backed by the government’s insurance fund. The goal was to isolate this risky trading.

                        The provision exempted many derivatives from the requirement, but some Republicans proposed striking the so-called push out provision altogether. After objections were raised about the Republican plan, Citigroup lobbyists sent around the bank’s own compromise proposal that simply exempted a wider array of derivatives. That recommendation, put forth in late 2011, was largely part of the bill approved by the House committee on May 7 and is now pending before both the Senate and the House.

                        Citigroup executives said the change they advocated was good for the financial system, not just the bank.

                        “This view is shared not just by the industry but from leaders such as Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke,” said Molly Millerwise Meiners, a Citigroup spokeswoman.

                        Industry executives said that the changes — which were drafted in consultation with other major industry banks — will make the financial system more secure, as the derivatives trading that takes place inside the bank is subject to much greater scrutiny.

                        Representative Maxine Waters, the ranking Democrat on the Financial Services Committee, was among the few Democrats opposing the change, echoing the concerns of consumer groups.

                        “The bill restores the public subsidy to exotic Wall Street activities,” said Marcus Stanley, the policy director of Americans for Financial Reform, a nonprofit group.

                        But most of the Democrats on the committee, along with 31 Republicans, came to the industry’s defense, including the seven freshmen Democrats — most of whom have started to receive donations this year from political action committees of Goldman Sachs, Wells Fargo and other financial institutions, records show.

                        Six days after the vote, several freshmen Democrats were in New York to meet with bank executives, a tour organized by Representative Joe Crowley, who helps lead the House Democrats’ fund-raising committee. The trip was planned before the votes, and was not a fund-raiser, but it gave the lawmakers a chance to meet with Wall Street’s elite.

                        In addition to a tour of Goldman’s Lower Manhattan headquarters, and a meeting with Lloyd C. Blankfein, the bank’s chief executive, the lawmakers went to JPMorgan’s Park Avenue office. There, they chatted with Jamie Dimon, the bank’s chief, about Dodd-Frank and immigration reform.

                        http://dealbook.nytimes.com/2013/05/...ted=print&_r=0

                        What this article says is that Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, and others, wrote the bill that regulates their industry (while effectively taking all the power out of Dodd-Frank), handed it over to Congress, and they passed it. And quick too. None of that bipartisan squabbling when the Big Boys want something done. What a deal, eh?
                        Last edited by Rohirrim; 04-08-2014, 09:26 AM.

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                        • #27
                          Originally posted by baja View Post
                          Not much different than believing in unicorns. Really, think about it; Why would anybody have to use secret organizations when they can manipulate the process right out in the open and buy whatever influence they require with the blessings of the SCOTUS? The secret organizations do not exist because there is no reason for them to exist.

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                          • #28
                            So you didn't read it.

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                            • #29
                              Originally posted by baja View Post
                              So you didn't read it.
                              Right up until here:

                              Since Biblical times, the esoteric knowledge, outlined briefly in this book, has been largely withheld from the majority of people throughout the world. Initially, this information was the remnant of Atlantean knowledge but was gradually dispersed and further diluted by cataclysmic events such as the Great Flood. Throughout the ages, lost information has been returned to the collective consciousness of mankind via prophets and channellers. Great Mystery Schools, such as the Essene order, set themselves apart in order to carry forward this knowledge via carefully selected initiates.

                              There is no secret knowledge. There is no separate peace. There are no gurus or prophets. Frankly, the belief in such things does more to turn people into sheep than hours and hours of propaganda could accomplish.

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                              • #30
                                Originally posted by Rohirrim View Post
                                Right up until here:

                                Since Biblical times, the esoteric knowledge, outlined briefly in this book, has been largely withheld from the majority of people throughout the world. Initially, this information was the remnant of Atlantean knowledge but was gradually dispersed and further diluted by cataclysmic events such as the Great Flood. Throughout the ages, lost information has been returned to the collective consciousness of mankind via prophets and channellers. Great Mystery Schools, such as the Essene order, set themselves apart in order to carry forward this knowledge via carefully selected initiates.

                                There is no secret knowledge. There is no separate peace. There are no gurus or prophets. Frankly, the belief in such things does more to turn people into sheep than hours and hours of propaganda could accomplish.
                                You should change your user name it does not fit your beliefs.

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