Corruption, Everywhere You Look

Thought Off 95

Congress sold us out. Again.

Wall Street Needs All of Your Money Now!In passing both a continuing resolution (providing short term funding for the Department of Homeland Security), and an omnibus bill (the budget for the rest of the federal government through the end of the fiscal year – September 2015), Congress included the following gifts to Wall Street, themselves, and a few others:

1) Derivatives trading by commercial banks may now be backed by the FDIC (federal deposit insurance).
2) Increased the amount of money that can be donated, by an individual, to a political party almost tenfold.
3) Ordered more F-35 fighters that the Pentagon doesn’t want, to the tune of over $400 million.
4) Multi-employer pension plans may now cut or “scale back” retirement benefits.

What does this mean?

1) With derivatives trading now FDIC backed there will be no bail-out when the next crash occurs, but instead a bail-in. If you remember the last crash, in 2008, derivatives trading caused the housing bubble to burst, and consequently, the economy. If this were to happen again (heaven forbid), after failed banks drain the FDIC’s paltry $54 billion, your deposits will, in all likely-hood, receive a nominal haircut to “help out” the ailing banks. Ever heard of a banking holiday?

2) The wealthy, monied interests will now find it much easier to “buy” an election, politician, and influence. As if they needed more help (just consider the Supreme Court’s decisions on cases known as “Citizen’s United” & “McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission”). We’re sure the Koch’s, and other billionaire power brokers are giddy.

3) Defense contractors have salaries, shareholders, and workers to pay. Politicians owning their stocks need more money too. This is nothing more than pure pork, and a program very reminiscent of the Bradley Fighting Vehicle.

4) If a pension plan “could fail” within 15 years, and is funded below 80%, the provider may now slash payouts. While there are a number of multi-employer plans, we should probably be looking at municipalities, and states that have drastically underfunded plans. Such as Illinois, with only 39% funding, or so. Only those above 80 years of age are exempt. Wall Street and local politicians are to blame for underfunded plans, in most cases (do the background work). Prior to passage, this was prohibited.
UPDATE: The fallout beginsPensions in peril: Retired Teamsters fear huge cuts are coming

There are other provisions beyond what’s listed above, like a luxury car allowance for Congress, not to mention cuts to key programs and departments, and much more … it is 1600+ pages after all … 1600+ pages that no one read! Imagine that …

Adding insult to injury, a direct attack on the Fourth Amendment occurred on December 10th, as the House passed H.R. 4681, Intelligence Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2015. This was after the Senate passed an amended version adding Section 309 to the resolution (on December 9th), which was not previously known about in the House. Justin Amash, Representative from Michigan says, “It grants the executive branch virtually unlimited access to the communications of every American,” and “statutorily authorizes spying on U.S. citizens without legal process.”

All of this on top of weak employment, real inflation (food, etc.), market volatility (crashing crude prices), our already neutered civil liberties, an encroaching police state, the coming Trans-Pacific Partnership, and whatever else TPTB decide to toss our way!

We hope you have an extraordinarily Merry Christmas, as 2015 looks to be quite volatile for us non-essential, “non-citizens” of the Corporate States of America.

The Secret Government: The Constitution in Crisis (1987)

"The Secret Government is an interlocking network of official functionaries, spies, mercenaries, ex-generals, profiteers and superpatriots, who, for a variety of motives, operate outside the legitimate institutions of government. Presidents have turned to them when ..." (Starting @ 23:21)

"The Secret Government" from CUJourn. A PBS production with Bill Moyers. Further info.

Yet another warning ... *sigh* ...
and it seems not much has changed.

Inequality for All

If you have Netflix, it is available there.
It's well worth your time.

Could You Pass?

The Upside

Informational Blurb

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