Tag Archives: citizens

Blagojevich gets 14 years, but what about these guys?

By Michael Collins


(Washington, DC) Former Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich just got 14 years in prison. He wheeled and dealed to leverage contributions and other favors based on his position as governor. He was indicted by former special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald (who tanked the Valerie Plame case).

Maybe it was the former governor’s colorful (and to some vulgar) language captured on audio tapes or his brash style. Regardless of the motives, the time, money and attention wasted on his indictment and trial stands in stark contrast to the crimes never prosecuted, crimes that resulted in death, unnecessary illness and suffering, and the loss of trillions of dollars caused by the perpetrators of the current economic crisis. (Image: michaelpickard)

While prosecutors pick easy targets like Blagojevich, serious crimes go unprosecuted.

President George W. Bush and Vice President Richard Cheney lied about the basis for invading Iraq. As a result, they are responsible for the deaths of soldiers resulting from that invasion and occupation.
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Decline and Fall (Maybe) January 1, 2011

The Happy New Year Edition (with some good news about 2011)

Michael Collins

The best thing about 2010 is that it’s over. It was a year filled with utter stupidity, mendacity, and greed beyond all bounds on the part of our rulers, also known as The Money Party. Lots of fiddling while Rome and the rest of the world burned. Knowledge is power and among the ruling elite in the United States, the power was off. Somebody forgot to pay the bill or paid with a bad check, no doubt.

A Decade of Job Stagnation In 2000, 135 million citizens were employed. In 2010 there were 139 million Americans employed. Given the 9.7% increase in population since 2000, we would expect to see at least 148 million citizens with jobs. Nobody much wants to talk about this or the true unemployment figures produced by the US Census called “U6”. That measure accounts for, “Total unemployed, plus all persons marginally attached to the labor force, plus total employed part time for economic reasons, as a percent of the civilian labor force plus all persons marginally attached to the labor force.” Bureau of Labor Statistics
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And While We are on the Subject of Christmas, a Word about the Estate Tax

By Numerian

Merry Christmas to All! If it be more blessed to give than to receive, what better time than Christmas Day to discuss the Estate Tax.

You might say to yourself: How dry, how dull – leave me to my eggnog and on some other day I will look into this subject. But there is no better day than Christmas Day to think about what any citizen of a democracy owes to his or her country, and this is especially true about the wealthier, and especially the wealthiest, among us. Image: Mark Fiore

My first Christmas gift to you is my most favorite of all quotes, from that most astute observer of democracy, Alexis de Tocqueville. He was a man who was intimately familiar with the social sclerosis that resulted from aristocracy, and he had a chance to compare it in the 1830s to the newly-invented American democracy. He said the following in Book I of his Democracy in America. Continue reading

Billionaire Bloomberg to America – “Suck it up”

By Numerian posted by Michael Collins

What is it with these billionaires, lecturing us to “suck it up” if we don’t like the bailouts? A few months ago it was Charlie Munger, co-founder of Berkshire Hathaway and sidekick to the better-known Warren Buffett, who said “we shouldn’t be bitching about a little bailout”, and people facing financial troubles should just “suck it up and cope.” Back in September when Munger was speaking, we didn’t know just how little the bailout was, but now that the Federal Reserve has been forced to divulge details of its six bank emergency financing vehicles, we discover that over $3 trillion in taxpayer money was delivered to US and foreign banks, companies like General Electric, mutual funds like PIMCO, and a few individuals, some of whom happened to be billionaires like Charlie Munger. (Image)
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No Room at the Inn – Not even a TARP


Michael Collins

What do you get when you cross Tim Geithner and Peter Peterson?

Barack Obama; who would rather help the big banks and balance the budget than offer a helping hand for struggling homeowners. (Image)

The president demonstrated new heights of indifference toward the people in his handling of the mortgage relief program made a part of the Trouble Asset Relief Program (TARP). Citizens paid the full share for TARP and were to get a modest proportion. That’s not the case. The November 2010 Congressional Budget Office Report on TARP was just issued. It showed that the funds for home mortgage assistance programs would be reduced from $50 billion to $12 billion, as reported in the Huffington Post.

Reading the details of the report, we find that the take back from homeowner relief through TARP funds is even more outrageous. The actual funds spent so far for homeowner relief is only $710 million.
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