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    • It’s Not OK To Think Everything Is OK Or Getting Better and Better
      I’ve discussed the better than ever world argument before. I find it questionable, for a number of reasons and if that interests you read the linked article and the articles it links to. What I’ve been watching is WHO likes and buys the argument. They fall into two groups: the first are techies; the second […]
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The 16 Trillion dollar Con

…. Or “16 Trillion for Bankers and Sacrifice for us” …. It hardly seems fair.

From Bernie Sanders today comes this heart-stopping news:

Veil of secrecy lifted at the Fed

More than two years ago, I asked Ben Bernanke, the chairman of the Federal Reserve, a few simple questions that I thought the American people had a right to know: Who did the Fed bail out? How much did they receive? What were the terms of this assistance?

Incredibly, the chairman of the Fed refused to answer these fundamental questions about how trillions of taxpayer dollars were being put at risk.

Thanks to an amendment that I included in the Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act to audit and investigate the Fed, the American people are finally getting answers to these questions.

A few days ago, the nonpartisan Government Accountability Office completed the first independent investigation into the emergency actions taken by the Federal Reserve. As a result of this investigation, we now know that the Federal Reserve provided a jaw-dropping $16 trillion in total financial assistance to some of the largest financial institutions and corporations in the world.

Among the investigation’s key findings is that the Fed unilaterally provided trillions of dollars in financial assistance to foreign banks and corporations from South Korea to Scotland. In my view, no agency of the United States government should be allowed to bail out a foreign bank or corporation without the direct approval of Congress and the president.

The GAO also determined that the Fed lacks a comprehensive system to deal with conflicts of interest, despite the serious potential for abuse. In fact, according to the report, the Fed provided conflict-of-interest waivers to employees and private contractors so they could keep investments in the same financial institutions and corporations that were given emergency loans.

For example, the CEO of JP Morgan Chase served on the New York Fed’s board of directors at the same time that his bank received more than $390 billion in financial assistance from the Fed. Moreover, JP Morgan Chase served as one of the clearing banks for the Fed’s emergency lending programs.

Let me repeat:

we now know that the Federal Reserve provided a jaw-dropping $16 trillion in total financial assistance to some of the largest financial institutions and corporations in the world.

Where the heck does the Federal Reserve GET this kind of money?  And why can’t they give it to prop up Social Security and Medicare?

WTF?? Another example of how sexism costs all of us

So, I was reading Elizabeth Drew’s article in the New York Review of Books titled “What Were They Thinking?” that recounts how we got to this messy stage of impasse, political grandstanding and Obama’s inflated self-image when I came to what I think might be a hidden gem on two points:

Finding a solution to reducing the deficit that was agreeable to Boehner, to Cantor, to former Speaker Nancy Pelosi, to Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, and to the President was no small task. The men, who had rudely and unwisely excluded Pelosi, now the minority leader, from their deliberations, could no longer avoid dealing with her. They’d considered Pelosi a bit of a pain, insistent as she was on standing up for liberal principles.

Are you f^&*ing kidding me?  These GUYS excluded the former speaker of the house and now minority leader from the negotiations because she sticks up for liberal principles?  I’ll be the first one to say that Nancy shouldn’t be surprised and is paying royally for the mess she made in Denver in 2008.  But Jeez, it is completely unacceptable that there wasn’t even one woman in the room when these assholes met, not even the House Democrats’ minority leader.  It happens in the business world all of the time.  Women don’t get the email, are conveeeeeniently left off the meeting list, their phone calls are ignored.  And THIS is womens’ issues are never considered in the final bills.  If you’re a liberal woman, you’re doubly screwed.

And Barack Obama was OK with this?

You betcha.

#fuckyouwashingtonguys

Update: Craig Crawford says that Congressional leaders have decided to cut Obama out of future negotiations.  Here’s what he’s been hearing:

It’s no surprise that Republicans, led by House Speaker John Boehner, went out of their way to insult the president but remarkably Democrats also went forward over the weekend with Capitol Hill debt talks that did not even include a symbolic emissary from the White House.

[…]

While the GOP obviously would savor a solution to the debt-ceiling crisis that gives Obama no credit, why are Democratic leaders so willing to cut him out?

The answer might be found in growing concerns among veteran Capitol Hill Democrats that their president is a lousy negotiator.

Although they see him as a talented public communicator, his short time as a senator and painfully slow learning curve as president leads congressional Democrats to think it best to take over and provide cover for him once the deal is done.

Wow, just wow.  Um, would giving him cover really be the best idea?  Maybe they’ve been too permissive.  They provided him with a lot of cover in 2008 and carried him gently over the threshhold of the nomination.  In retrospect, that was a bad idea.  It could explain why he’s painfully slow to learn his job and why he’s so fricking clueless about legislating with Congress. He’s never had to do it before.

After this is all over, the Democrats need to have a heart to heart with President Mashieniblick.  The idea that they can foist him on the rest of us and give us no Democratic alternative is unacceptable when they don’t think he is capable of doing his job.

#fuckyouwashington

Jeff Jarvis, who you may hear regularly on This Week in Google, has a hashtag on Twitter expressing his disgust with the Washington political games and how they have hurt average Americans.  And you too can participate.  Express your gratitude to Washington and include the hashtag #fuckyouwashington.  (or for those among us who don’t say naughty words but are mad as hell anyway, try hashtag #FYW.  Same thing, just shorter.)  Instructions for how to do it by those people who are new to twitter: 1.) create a twitter account.  2.) create a message expressing your frustration and include the hashtag #FYW or #fuckyouwashington.  A hashtag is a keyword preceded by the pound (#) sign.  That’s it.  Your message will be associated with that hashtag.

Here’s how #fuckyouwashington started:

So, I was angry. Watching TV news over dinner — turning my attention from scandals in the UK to those here and frankly welcoming the distraction from the tragedies in Norway — I listened to the latest from Washington about negotiations over the debt ceiling. It pissed me off. I’d had enough. After dinner, I tweeted: “Hey, Washington assholes, it’s our country, our economy, our money. Stop fucking with it.” It was the pinot talking (sounding more like a zinfandel).

That’s all I was going to say. I had no grand design on a revolution. I just wanted to get that off my chest. That’s what Twitter is for: offloading chests. Some people responded and retweeted, which pushed me to keep going, suggesting a chant: “FUCK YOU WASHINGTON.” Then the mellifluously monikered tweeter @boogerpussy suggested: “.@jeffjarvis Hashtag it: #FUCKYOUWASHINGTON.” Damn, I was ashamed I hadn’t done that. So I did

And here’s a sample of the contributions he’s getting:

@partygnome said: “#fuckyouwashington for valuing corporations more than people.”

@spenski, on a major role, cried: “#fuckyouwashington for never challenging us to become more noble, but prodding us to become selfish and hateful…. #fuckyouwashington for not allowing me to marry the one I love…. #fuckyouwashington for driving me to tweet blue.”

@jellencollins: “#fuckyouwashington for making ‘debt’ a four letter word and ‘fuck’ an appropriate response.”

@tamadou: “#fuckyouwashington for giving yourselves special benefits and telling the American people they have to suck it up or they’re selfish.”

@psychnurseinwi: “#fuckyouwashington for having the compromising skills of a 3 year old.”

Go add your opinion.

It looks like Twitter has been moderating the trending topics and even though #fuckyouwashington isn’t on the list, the hashtag is pretty frisky.  Jeff appears to be strategizing to make the topic more visible.  The name may have to change.  Keep an eye out for it.  I suspect that this could get to be more viral than Rebecca Black’s Friday with the right nuturing.

Update: This is from HuffPo.  In the post about Jeff’s hashtag, we get this summary of the voter’s POV from blogger Michael Duff:

Everybody knows you guys are running the clock out, waiting for the next election. But you can’t have it both ways. You can’t go on TV to scare the shit out of us every day and then expect us to wait patiently for 2012.

You can’t use words like “urgent” and “crisis” and then waste our time with Kabuki theater.

Either the situation is urgent and needs to be solved now, or it’s all just an act that can wait for 2012. This isn’t 1954, gentlemen. The voters are on to you now. We know you’re playing a game and we know you’re using us as chess pieces.

That’s why #fuckyouwashington is trending on Twitter. We’re tired of being pawns.

Every politician in Washington needs to pay attention to this outrage, and remember who they’re working for.

Update 2:  Found in a #fuckyouwashington link to a James Fallows post to a NYTimes Graphic (whew!) that shows exactly where, when and by whom the deficit spending actually happened: