Pilant's Business Ethics

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Tag: Obama (Page 1 of 2)

I’m Beginning to Like Josh Barro

speaking at CPAC in Washington D.C. on Februar...

Ted Cruz speaking at CPAC in Washington D.C. on February 10, 2011. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I’m Beginning to Like Josh Barro

This guy can take this kind of nonsense and instead of being hurt or offended, he turns it into informative and, in a way, defiant essay. I’m impressed.

And he has a good point, this kind of passion (hatred, rage?) is frightening. As a fellow writer, I find this kind of thing daunting but as a politician it must be far more threatening because not only do these people wield influence power in the party, encountering them personally must be an exciting and memorable experience.

James Pilant

One Look At These Emails, And You’ll See Why Republicans Let Ted Cruz Lead Them Off A Cliff

http://www.businessinsider.com/heres-why-congressional-republicans-let-ted-cruz-lead-them-off-a-cliff-2013-10

Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/heres-why-congressional-republicans-let-ted-cruz-lead-them-off-a-cliff-2013-10#ixzz2i1i1VxFE

The people whose letters I’m printing below are literally the people Republicans depend on to re-elect them to Congress. Keeping these people happy is their job — which is why the Republican Party has become so inept and crazy.

Jim Kennedy says I’m a “low information voter” in league with “the black racists”:

Senator Cruz is right on. I am one of those “crazy people” the liberal left does not like, being former Marine, a supporter of Tea Party, college graduate, member of NRA, member of Sons of Confederate Veterans. It is you low information voters and the black racists that hate us conservatives. Watch out in 2014!

William Neisser found me on Facebook and sent this frank message:

do you really believe the crap coming out of your mouth so 2 million people who think this Obama care isn’t good are wrong and living on another planet wow. life for you must be hard when did it become American to make people eat there vegetables. everyone has something to say but please stop talking your breath stinks like the crap you write come back to reality like the 2 million that are wrong an don’t like Obama’s health care academy for idiots thank you again yours truly screwed middle class living on another planet oh an have a great day

Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/heres-why-congressional-republicans-let-ted-cruz-lead-them-off-a-cliff-2013-10#ixzz2i1hj93is

From around the web.

From the web site, The Left-handed Nib.

http://lefthandednib.wordpress.com/2013/10/12/the-gops-messiah-complex/

The GOP’s Messiah Complex

To paraphrase Dana Milbank, the Republican Party is Cruzifying itself.

Lots of good reads on Cruz in the last few days:

  • Josh Barro writes at Business Insider that “Ted Cruz is living on another planet” — and the Tea Party base is more than willing to hang out with him there.
  • This AP article is one of many I’ve seen lately that talk about how fed up establishment Republlicans are with Cruz and his Tea Party fellow crazies. But look at the establishment Republicans they’re quoting by name! …

Is Giving to the Democrats Pointless?

What Occupy taught the unions – Occupy Wall Street – Salon.com

Unions are in a death spiral. Private sector unionism has all but vanished, accounting for a measly  6.9 percent of the workforce. Public sector workers are being hammered by government cutbacks and hostile media that blame teachers, nurses and firefighters for budget crises. To counter this trend organized labor banked on creating more hospitable organizing conditions by contributing hundreds of millions of dollars to the Democratic Party the last two election cycles. In return Obama abandoned the Employee Free Choice Act, which would have made union campaigns marginally easier, failed to push for an increase in the minimum wage, and installed an education secretary who attacks teachers and public education.

What Occupy taught the unions – Occupy Wall Street – Salon.com

You support the Democratic Party. You organize. You get your friends to vote. And then after speaking many fine words most eloquently, they forget you. They ignore you. They insult you. corporate-profits-and-compensation 2000 2011

Those are the friends of the 99%? Those are the friends of the Middle Class? These are the people you can depend on to defend public school, control bank fees and rein in the disastrous casino capitalism that has wrought havoc on the world’s economy?

The current belief of Progressives and Liberals is to vote for the lesser of two evils. May I point out that the lesser of two evils is still evil and you are making a deal with the devil, a devil who delights in betraying your interests.

Consider your options.

James Pilant

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The Banking Industry Gives Obama the Squeeze

President Barack Obama addresses reporters abo...

Image via Wikipedia

Big banks have picked their candidate, and it’s Romney – from McClatchy

“We’ve seen a massive shift from Obama to the Republican candidates on the part of the financial industry,” said Carmen Balber of Consumer Watchdog, a California nonprofit that advocates for taxpayers and consumers. “Obviously, part of that has to do with a competitive primary. But we’ve definitely seen the financial services industry publicly chastise the president for going after financial reform.”

Big banks have picked their candidate, and it’s Romney | McClatchy

Isn’t this sweet? Barack Obama bails out the banks, protects them from prosecution for their crimes, installs banking industry figures in virtually every possible position in the government, pretended that the mortgage crisis wasn’t happening and was careful to give only the most measured criticism of the financial industry and the 1% – and his reward is massive contributions to this likely opponent.

For all of his compromise, for all of his favoritism, for all of his abandonment of the goals of justice and accountability, the President got less than nothing.

This was hardly unpredictable. The dramatic reactions of the wealthy investment to class to Obama’s mile criticism, the weak legislation of Dodd-Frank financial reform law, and the Occupy Wall Street movement demonstrated that Wall Street’s sense of entitlement and worthiness is fragile at the very least.

Only the most slavish devotion, only agreement on every point and only an acceptance of the financial industry as worthy, doing God’s Work, is adequate for the malefactors of great wealth.

The President should have realized this.

James Pilant

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President Claims to be Concerned with the Mortgage Crisis

The following article title and brief selection is by Zandar from the web site, Zandar Versus the Stupid.

I very much want you to visit the site and read the article in full. If at all possible explore the web site and look at other essays.

My commentary is below the article excerpt.

Turn On The Lights, Watch The Roaches Scatter Part 84

A White House official said Obama has taken the housing crisis seriously since the start of his term and will look to augment the effort in the months ahead.

“From day one the President has worked to stabilize the housing market and help responsible homeowners stay in their homes, including through refinancing efforts, foreclosure prevention programs and programs directed at the hardest hit states,” said White House spokeswoman Amy Brundage.

“The President will continue to expand on these efforts and look at new ways to help homeowners, just as he has over the past few months with new programs to help underwater homeowners and expanding forbearance so more unemployed homeowners can stay in their homes,” she said.

I wish that were true. I wish the mortgage crisis had been an important concern for the White House but it has not been a concern and is unlikely to become one.

When the President was first elected he had large majorities in both the House and Senate. He could have made mortgage foreclosures a priority instead he created TARP, a plan which did not allow for mortgages to be reduced in line with reduced home values but only extended the time for payment. The banks used this program as a club to expedite foreclosure. They told clients to skip payments for three months to qualify for the program, then foreclosed on them telling them they had decided they were ineligible. The government didn’t even keep records of what the program was doing for the first year.

When the robo-signing scandals began, the federal government did nothing. When the scandal expanded to impugn the record keeping and practices of several large banks, the federal government did nothing.

And now the federal government attempts to cut a sweetheart deal with the industry so that they can evade any legal responsibility for their acts while, in theory, bringing some minimal aid to homeowners.

This administration has always been far more a servant of the banks than a servant of the people. I want as many State Attorney Generals as possible to no longer cooperate with the administration and pursue their own negotiations with the financial industry. That will mean that justice at least has a chance of being served.

James Pilant

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Obama Administration Continues to Protect Banks, Ignores Consumers

It seems that I can never get free of this subject. Obama never met  banker he didn’t like and whose interest he didn’t place ahead of everyone else. One of the things that average Americans resent is the lack of prosecution of these rogue banks. Just what did the banks do that makes me so angry? They lied directly in court claiming ownership of properties they did not own. The filed false affidavits lying about their ownership. They defrauded many customers by lying about the terms of the mortgage agreement. The lured investors into securities backed my mortgages that they knew would fail as investments and then bid against those investments with derivatives to make ever more money. To add one further insult, these heartless financial wizards foreclosed on serving veterans’ homes contrary to federal law.

Now get this. These arrogant people created their own system of ownership. Under the law of each State enshrined in American law, ownership of real property is proven by a careful record’s trail kept in most states in each county court house. To evade fees and speed the process, the mortgage machine created a computer system called MERS. They would make a single transaction using the county system then they traded the properties much like the homes in the monopoly board game. Instead of careful record keeping, we have a system where in many cases, no one knows who owns the property. In case you missed it, by using their own private system of property ownership, they never paid a dime of taxes on the transfers defrauding the states out of millions of dollars of taxes.

For more than 200 years, owning property has been the goal of Americans. To be a landowner was a mark of prestige, of achievement and security. But keeping property lines straight, land fraud and busted titles have bedeviled citizens. To curb these abuses laws were established to make as certain as possible land ownership, to protect the right to property. The right to own property is not sacred but it is as close to sacred as laws can make it.

These men, these arrogant men created their own separate legal system ignoring the laws of the government and the rights of citizens. They then used it to evade taxes and speculate like Riverboat gamblers playing with chips.

The law provides penalties so that justice may be served. Those who fail to obey the law are punished. Those are hardly radical thoughts. They are the basis of a system that treat both the small and the great equally. The administration is pushing an agreement which will free the mortgage banks from responsibility for their crimes.

What kind of nation do we live in where a petty shoplifter faces jail time and fines and bankers are freely given immunity without any assurance that I find credible that they will behave better in the future. I mean after engaging in a crime spree that makes organized crime look like a child stealing candy, they walk free. Doesn’t that give then the impression that they are above the law. It gives me that impression.

Can’t we have justice? What did I do? What did my fellow citizens do? Are we some of lesser creation that we must watch in awe and envy while those who evade over and over not just the law but evade their responsibilities of citizens to pay taxes and to act for the common good?

What kind of country are we becoming?

James Pilant

The Obama Administration’s ‘New’ Bank Fraud Deal: Still Unfair, Still Unjust, Still Unbalanced

The Obama White House continues to push for a settlement that would let bankers avoid being punished – or even investigated – for a wave of mortgage-related crimes that includes perjury, tax evasion, and several types of fraud.

Despite the President’s new-found populism – rhetorically, anyway – officials in his Administration continue to push an unfair deal designed to conceal the financial Crime of the Century.

The Financial Times reported on new details of the proposed settlement, whose stated purpose is to punish banks and reduce the amount of money owed by underwater homeowners. But it’s increasingly clear that the deal wouldn’t help homeowners very much and wouldn’t punish bankers at all.

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Obama Over Rules His Own Experts – Plan B

I am a more than a little annoyed by this. Didn’t this guy promise to rely on the experts and instead we get some paternalistic crap about 11 year olds? This decision is going to have serious repercussions. Teenage girls are going to get pregnant with all that entails for their futures when they should have had a choice of contraception. We are not yet a nation of Baptists who believe ineffectual admonishments against having sex is an improvement over reality. Every day in this nation, particularly in the South, teenagers have sex, millions of them. They’ve been told not to. However, since the survival of the human species has depended on the young having sex for hundreds of thousands of years, it may well be possible that a church pamphlet and a pat on the head may not discourage them.
President Obama appears to be working his way through all of his campaign promises one by one, tossing them out like softballs at a little league game. I have been disgusted a long time. I don’t know what bothers me more, his fake populism or his gutless inability to negotiate.
Below are some thought from Salon.
James Pilant
Official photographic portrait of US President...

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Obama’s woman problem – Gender Roles – Salon.com

But as an American, I think it is important for my president not to turn to paternalistic claptrap and enfeebling references to the imagined ineptitude and irresponsibility of his daughters – and young women around the country – to justify a curtailment of access to medically safe contraceptives. The notion that in aggressively conscribing women’s abilities to protect themselves against unplanned pregnancy Obama is just laying down some Olde Fashioned Dad Sense diminishes an issue of gender equality, sexual health and medical access. Recasting this debate as an episode of “Father Knows Best” reaffirms hoary attitudes about young women and sex that had their repressive heyday in the era whence that program sprang.

Obama’s woman problem – Gender Roles – Salon.com

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David Brooks: To Hell With the Polls! | Video Cafe

We all know that David Brooks is one of those “very serious people” (I owe Paul Krugman for the phrase.) who believe in Centrism. That is a very pretty word that indicates that if we all play nice we will live wonderful lives. We will also have to give up social security, medicare and a host of other programs because unlike the 1%, we less significant people are the ones supposed to compromise and be nice.

I’m not nice. I believe in conflict. I believe that until we make politicians suffer and lose office over their willingness to compromise on social security that the program will be in danger from the “centrists.”

The centrists believe in politicians governing without the influence of the unlettered masses – that would be us. You, when your social security benefits are taken away from you (the ones you’ve already paid for) that is shared sacrifice when the rich get tax cuts that is a spur to the economy and a reward for the “productive” classes.

You see, centrism is a fancy word for elitists and a top down ethos of enlightened philosopher kings keeping the craven, greedy masses (yeah, that would be you) in line.

It’s a precious belief in the virtue of oligarchies. It’s royalism without the royal family just the next enlightened figure to ignore popular opinion and do what is “necessary.”

This is contemptuous of democracy and the hard working, honest American people.

And this is what passes for intelligent comment at the New York Times.

James Pilant

David Brooks: To Hell With the Polls! President Obama Should Not Campaign on Raising Taxes on the Rich | Video Cafe

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Campaign for America’s Future: Extremists Won (via Beaver County Blue)

This is from the Campaign for America’s Future. The author explains why the budget deal is a disaster. I agree with everything in the article.

The biggest disaster is to our chances of rational government. The President has handed the House or Representatives a sledgehammer to pound him to mulch anytime they want something.

James Pilant

Campaign for America's Future: Extremists Won Capitulation By Robert Borosage The raw deal on the budget ceiling has been cut. The Tea Party terrorists – the extremist faction willing to hold the economy hostage to get their way – have won. The Republic, common sense and decency have been trampled. With the economy deeply depressed, 25 million people in need of full time work, the raw deal will impede any recovery. It precludes any serious action on jobs from the federal government. It will … Read More

via Beaver County Blue

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An Economic Wake Up Call (via Here’s What Nancy Thinks)

Income inequality in the developed nations is almost exclusively an American phenomenon. As you can see from the graph, we are more equivalent to African nations with limited economic development in terms of income. We Americans, certainly need an economic wake up call.

Another interesting article is the graph on the origins of our budget problems. Please pay attention to the enormous role played by the Bush tax cuts in destroying revenue.

James Pilant

An Economic Wake Up Call I don’t want a “share the wealth” society in the sense that Republicans like to threaten the people with… You have to admit, though, that there used to be a time when money made it to the top, the top would keep a little and spend the rest to grow their business by hiring new people and so forth. When the money trickled down, there was more money to trickle back up. Now, the mighty dollar is harder to come by because the money makes it to the t … Read More

via Here’s What Nancy Thinks

Net Neutrality – Where Is The President?

Official presidential portrait of Barack Obama...

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During the campaign two years ago, Obama repeatedly stated his support for net neutrality – Watch!

Did you hear that – “I will take a backseat to no one.” Backseat! He might as well be in the trunk for all the help he’s been.

“I am a strong supporter of net neutrality.” Okay, that’s good. How about NOW? Where is he?

“I’m a big believer in net neutrality.” Still nice, but how about saying something now?

“I remain firmly committed to net neutrality.” Is he still? I don’t have anyway to know.

Okay, guys, probably you’ve seen enough. I can find more clips. I’ve already seen them. The open internet is under attack right now at the FCC and in Congress. A bill was considered a few days ago, that would have essentially ratified the agreement between Google and Verizon dividing up the internet and giving broadband to corporations. The attacks are well funded and continuous. The President referred to the danger of large companies getting control in his many speeches.

Where is he now? Where is the President of the United States? Where are all his pretty words? If he doesn’t speak soon, he will only be commenting on the division of the web into corporate sectors after it’s done.

If there is no net neutrality, this web site may become so slow as not to be viable or simply not deemed worthy of band width. Under the new rules, the FCC cannot issue any regulations but can hear complaints. Thus, if I am treated wrongly I will be able to complain to the FCC and should they decide in my favor after months during which my audience has gone away to other sites approved by the great media companies, that will fix everything, right? I’ll be all whole and returned to where I was. Right?

There are tens of thousands of sites like mine. And these voices cry out for advocacy for the poor, or the environment, etc.., some cry out for political action, …., some broadcast every crazy theory you can imagine, … and some are people just crying out that they are there – they are significant – they are important – they plead for attention and recognition.

And soon, these voices will be silent, their bandwidth divied up for movie companies and media channels and, of course, the occasional lapse where they allow a semi-independent voice to speak.

Pretty words are not the same as action. Eloquence is not the same as standing up for your beliefs. Political expedience cannot be an excuse of inaction where action has been repeatedly promised.

Where is the President? Did he mean any of that stuff he said? Is there time left for him to do or say anything?

James Pilant

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