Tags: Oligarchy

United States of Newspeak – Obama Calls Executive Orders “Presidential Memoranda” to Avoid Scrutiny and Issues Most in History

Screen Shot 2014-12-17 at 11.39.49 AMIf there’s one thing we have learned about Barack Obama, it’s that he is a master of deception and absolutely loves to lie to the public. He seems to enjoy conning the plebs to such a degree, I think he actually receives blasts of dopamine every time he does it. The bigger the lie, the better the rush.

The latest example relates to his issuance of executive orders, or lack thereof, something that Obama Inc. has actively attempted to portray as evidence of his restraint when it comes to executive power. Here are a few examples from a USA Today article published earlier today.

First, from the man himself:

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The Rent is Too Damn High – Zillow Report Shows Rents Unaffordable in All Top 35 Metro Areas

Screen Shot 2014-12-11 at 10.32.57 AMWhile most of this Zillow article is merely a sales pitch to convince broke and struggling Americans trapped in low paying jobs to buy homes they can’t afford, the small section highlighting how rents are historically unaffordable is pretty interesting. Zillow analyst Meredith Miller notes that:

Renters, on the other hand, continue to struggle. Renters making the national median income and renting the median-priced apartment should expect to pay about 30 percent of their income in rent, compared to roughly 25 percent historically. Of the largest 35 metros areas, Miami, San Francisco, New York, San Jose and Los Angeles have the biggest differences between current and historic rent affordability.

Rents are historically unaffordable in all of the largest 35 metro areas.

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Welcome to the Recovery – McKinsey Survey Shows 40% of Americans Living Paycheck to Paycheck, Up From 31% in 2012

Screen Shot 2014-12-09 at 11.22.38 AMNothing screams economic recovery like 2 out of every 5 Americans living paycheck to paycheck. Especially when that number has reportedly increased by 33% since 2012.

Perhaps someone should inform these destitute plebs that the stock market is up nearly 45% over the past two years, and after all, nothing says economic success like the 0.01% enriching themselves via fraud and financial engineering.

Here are two of the most sobering findings from the survery:

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Wall Street Moves to Put Taxpayers on the Hook for Derivatives Trades

Screen Shot 2014-12-05 at 3.39.28 PMWall Street has for some time attempted to put taxpayers on the hook for its derivatives trades. I highlighted this a year ago in the post: Citigroup Written Legislation Moves Through the House of Representatives. Here’s an excerpt:

Five years after the Wall Street coup of 2008, it appears the U.S. House of Representatives is as bought and paid for as ever. We heard about the Citigroup crafted legislation currently being pushed through Congress back in May when Mother Jones reported on it. Fortunately, they included the following image in their article:

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Tensions Between the U.S. and Russia Are Worse Than You Realize – Remarks by Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov

Screen Shot 2014-12-01 at 12.39.13 PM“I am young, I am twenty years old; yet I know nothing of life but despair, death, fear, and fatuous superficiality cast over an abyss of sorrow. I see how peoples are set against one another, and in silence, unknowingly, foolishly, obediently, innocently slay one another.”

– Erich Maria Remarque, All Quiet on the Western Front

Despite an interest in geopolitics, I haven’t really written anything on the concerning and worsening tension between the government of the United States and the government of Russia. I intentionally wrote government twice in order to emphasize the fact that 99.9% of Americans do not have real grievances with actual Russian people, and vice versa. This is a high-level conflict between powerful “leaders” playing a game of Risk with average citizen as pawns. This is how it’s always been. As human beings, we should never lose sight of this so the mistakes we make in the future aren’t nearly as tragic as those made by our ancestors.

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Neo-Feudalism Has Officially Arrived – Congressman Suggests Building a Moat Around White House

Screen Shot 2014-11-19 at 1.46.23 PMWhat has been occurring over the past several years is not a recovery, rather, it’s a painful transition of the U.S. into a neo-feudal society. Earlier this week in the post, Welcome to the Recovery – U.S. Child Homelessness Hits Record as Poverty in Mass. is Highest Since 1960, I wrote:

While the general population is aware something is seriously wrong, people remain extremely confused about the root of the problem. This is because what’s happening all around us isn’t socialism and it isn’t free market capitalism. It is actually a return to something much more ancient and much more oppressive. It is a return to serfdom, neo-fedualism and oligarchy.

Well now we have definitive proof. It can’t get any more in your face than this.

From MarketWatch:

WASHINGTON (MarketWatch)—Faced with an increasing number of White House intrusions that led to the resignation of a Secret Service director, a congressman on Wednesday suggested that maybe a moat should be erected around the president’s home.

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Welcome to the Recovery Part 2 – Washington D.C.’s Homeless Population Expected to Rise 16% in 2014

Screen Shot 2014-11-19 at 11.47.36 AM

Earlier this week, I published a post titled: Welcome to the Recovery – U.S. Child Homelessness Hits Record as Poverty in Mass. is Highest Since 1960. That was actually the second in a recent series of pieces highlighting the real world impact of this so-called “economic recovery,” which is now supposedly in its fifth or sixth year, despite having provided little or no benefit to the average citizen. The first in the series was: Child Poverty Jumps by 2.6 Million in Developed World Since 2008, While Number of Global Billionaires Doubles.

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How the IRS and Department of Homeland Security are Expanding Undercover Work (IRS Agents Can Even Pose as Clergy)

Screen Shot 2014-11-17 at 3.40.39 PMThose guidelines apply only to the law enforcement agencies overseen by the Justice Department. Within the Treasury Department, undercover agents at the I.R.S., for example, appear to have far more latitude than do those at many other agencies. I.R.S. rules say that, with prior approval, “an undercover employee or cooperating private individual may pose as an attorney, physician, clergyman or member of the news media.”

Across the federal government, undercover work has become common enough that undercover agents sometimes find themselves investigating a supposed criminal who turns out to be someone from a different agency, law enforcement officials said. In a few situations, agents have even drawn their weapons on each other before realizing that both worked for the federal government.

- From the New York Times article: More Federal Agencies Are Using Undercover Operations

If this article doesn’t prove to you without a shadow of a doubt what the prosecutorial priorities of the U.S. federal government are I don’t know what will. I have been railing for years on this site about how the rule of law is dead and buried in the USA. How the “justice” system is targeting average citizens for non crimes, while allowing the large financial criminals responsible for destroying the global economy to get off on DPAs, or deferred prosecution agreements originally crafted to deal with juveniles (see: The U.S. Department of Justice Handles Banker Criminals Like Juvenile Offenders…Literally).

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Chart of the Day – This is What Neo-Feudalism Looks Like

I got this from Naked Capitalism. Before presenting the chart, here are some words to bear in mind from Yves Smith:

Short omits some key elements from his discussion. One is that until recently, a profit share of GDP of 6% was perceived to be a cyclical peak; no less than Warren Buffet deemed a higher level to be unsustainable. And in fact, we see an explosion of profit share from 6% to 10% of GDP in the runup to the crisis, roughly from 2003 to 2007. The “rescue the banks and financial markets” measures succeeded in bringing the profit share back to its pre-crisis levels, at the expense of workers.

Notice the inflection point in profit share is 1987, when Greenspan became Fed chairman. Correlation may not be causation, but the timing is almost exact.

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Ex-NYC Mayor Mike Bloomberg on Dodd-Frank: “The Government Should Have Let the Industry Craft the Bill”

Screen Shot 2014-11-12 at 10.35.10 AMThis week has been the week of the ill advised oligarch quote. It all started quietly enough, with Las Vegas Sands CEO and crony Republican godfather, Sheldon Adelson, expressing his disdain for both journalism and democracy, all in one quaint little conference in which participants debated how quickly and how severely Iran should be bombed into the stone age.

Then we had the architect of Obamacare, the consummate oligarch minion, Jonathan Gruber, admit that the law was deliberately crafted deceptively in order to fool the “stupid” American public.

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