Pilant's Business Ethics

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Tag: President Obama (Page 1 of 3)

Obama Lied About Net Neutrality

Obama Lied About Net Neutrality

Net neutrality is a business ethics issue. Are a handful of cable companies able by skillful lobbying and enormous campaign contributions going to be able to end the open internet? The question is one of basic fairness. Will the government allow the regulations to be changed so that small players on the internet (like me) can be placed on the slow track to oblivion while large companies like Netflix have priority for internet use? If the regulations are changed as planned, my tiny voice and millions of others will probably disappear because who wants to wait around while our content loads?

This problem was not supposed to happen. In fact this situation is supposed to be impossible because the President of the United States said it wouldn’t happen.

Many people in the United States, literally millions of them, believed that they elected as President, a man committed to net neutrality. For he did not imply that he was in favor of an open internet, he loudly proclaimed his support and said he would not appoint an FCC commissioner opposed to net neutrality. You can hear that direct statement in one of the You Tube video’s below.

If Obama had been defeated in 2008 or 2012, I would have expected a challenge to net neutrality. It is appalling that after all his honeyed words, his dramatic phrases, net neutrality is on the chopping block.

James Pilant

 

Watch Obama Lie About Net Neutrality Three Times Below

(I can get you more – do you really need them?)

In the one below he says he is a big believer in net neutrality.

In this one, in 2007, the President says he will take a back seat to no one when it come to net neutrality.

In this one, an interview on MTV, he is asked if he will support net neutrality and pledge not to appoint someone to the FCC who will oppose it.

On the same subject.

http://wp-cron.com/2014/05/17/obama-backs-away-from-net-neutrality-campaign-promises-after-fcc-vote/

http://deusnexus.wordpress.com/2014/04/28/war-net-neutrality/

Is Obama Pointless?

o005Is Obama Pointless?

At the time of his election, it would have been expected that the presidency of Barack Obama would have created a climate more favorable to business ethics. This did not happen. Business ethics were not in any way part of the White House’s agenda. Under Obama, even mild interest in prosecuting business crime is absent. Under Obama, corporate cooperation with the White House has been a continuing priority from the Affordable Healthcare Act to the bizarre HAMP plan to “help” struggling homeowners. Both were business ethics nightmares. The President had run on a platform of open government, and yet a few months after taking office met with the insurance companies and cut a deal insuring their participation and profits in the new healthcare act. HAMP was turned into a deadly and devastating weapon to be used against homeowners, the banks ceaselessly manipulating the rules to force homeowners out while collecting billions of dollars in fees.

I could go on. Where this President could have sided against corporations, but he has avoided this, and is an advocate of enhanced corporate power. If the trans-pacific trade deal were to go into effect, corporations would gain many of the powers of sovereign nations. As if, giant corporation do not have enough influence in the government, the treaty would allow them to sue nations to prevent rules such as regulations on pollution from going into effect.

This President has failed in his duty to protect the American people from corporate villainy, in particular the great Wall Street investment firms.

The lesson of the Obama administration is that influence is better than righteousness, connections than a commitment to the public interest and expediency more powerful than morality.

James Pilant

What the hell is Barack Obama’s presidency for? | Gary Younge | Comment is free | The Guardian

Barack Obama has now been in power for longer than Johnson was, and the question remains: “What the hell’s his presidency for?” …

via What the hell is Barack Obama’s presidency for? | Gary Younge | Comment is free | The Guardian.

From around the web.

From the web site, FCPA Compliance and Ethics Blog

http://tfoxlaw.wordpress.com/tag/obama/

Still this resistance may be changing. In an article in the New York Times (NYT), entitled “Obama Urged To Back Plan To List Owners Of Shell Firms”, Ravi Somaiya reported that “Anticorruption activists have urged President Obama to back a plan to publicly register the owners of shell companies in the United States and around the world, a move they say is essential to thwart corrupt government officials, tax evaders and money launderers who rely on an opaque financial system.” ..

From the web site, Deadly Clear.

http://deadlyclear.wordpress.com/2013/01/18/hamp-the-modification-scam-and-now-settlement-sham/

See, the banks are not in the mortgage business to loan, they are in it to default and profit by defaults; to collect servicing fees and bid on defaults in the market and to sell a house multiple times… until their investors got wise and wanted their money back.  Thus, the creation of TARP, and then HAMP, a scam to support the banks by foaming the runway, deceiving the mortgagors that they could actually get a modification while they paced the timing of their foreclosures. These bailout plans were never for you and me.

 

Unpaid Internships, A Career Pathway for the Wealthy

Unpaid Internships, A Career Pathway for the Wealthy

Unpaid Internships, A Career Pathway for the Wealthy

Unpaid Internships, A Career Pathway for the Wealthy

The scourge of unpaid internships must stop. It’s give an enormous advantage to those with the money to live without income. It’s a slap in the face to every highly skilled motivated American who has to pass on these opportunities they lack inherited wealth or well placed families.

These are jobs, period. Most of us can’t work for no money. But these jobs provide vital contacts for later careers specifically politics and lobbying.

Essentially these are an extension of the charmed lives of the children of the wealthy, you know, the pompous fools proclaiming they got everything they have through hard work and intelligence when their every move was cushioned by private and public wealth. It is an ongoing somber warning to the 99% that you are not a player in this game.

It’s time for this practice to end and that the Obama White House continues to do it is not surprising. This administration is just as wired into the system of the malefactors of great wealth as any previous administration.

Let’s have a real system of interns made up of the best and brightest of those in our colleges and universities. Ability and competence are common characteristics among this great people, the Americans. Surely we can set up a program where college students can compete on the basis of ability not birth.

James Pilant

How the young elite rise in Washington, D.C. – Salon.com

What do you call an employer that refuses to pay its workers any salary at all? Answer: The White House.

via How the young elite rise in Washington, D.C. – Salon.com.

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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Professional politicians made up of mostly lawyers con men (via str8media)

Yeah. Pretty much.

We have a brand new national catastrophe. There is no way to sugar coat it, no way to improve the sound of it. Middle class Americans are going to suffer a further decline in benefits, job security and educational potential while the “bond” market is protected (although it was doing just fine). Professional politicians have to be considered part of the problem. Holding the nation’s credit hostage is not the tactic of a responsible human being.

James Pilant

Professional politicians made up of mostly lawyers con men WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama and Republican congressional leaders reached historic agreement Sunday night on a compromise to permit vital U.S. borrowing by the Treasury in exchange for more than $2 trillion in long-term spending cuts. Most of you don’t get it but are too blind to see even if it was laid out in front of you, their plan is to bankrupt this country, this vote fixes nothing.  Please ignore your party loyalty and think about ou … Read More

via str8media

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Middle Class And Poor To Feel The Pain After Deal Is Passed (via Sky’s Universal Predications)

Yes, as always, this is the case. The beltway bloviators, the “villagers,” the 24 hour news networks, the opinion makers, etc. long ago decided that the great mass of Americans were a bunch of lazy, unmotivated, whiny, and fat hogs who need the discipline of the market in their pointless lives. I am reminded of the condemnation in the Bible for those who load the poor with burdens while being unwilling to bear any burden of their own.

James Pilant

Middle Class And Poor To Feel The Pain After Deal Is Passed (As always, the middle class and the poor will feel the pain the most, while the wealthy get another tax break. And when we hit the debt ceiling again in a few years, they’ll be asked to do it all over again–by taking it up the ass for the rich.) Debt hope: Obama praises ‘Gang of Six’ plan WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama and a startling number of Republican senators lauded a bipartisan deficit-reduction plan Tuesday that includes $1 tri … Read More

via Sky’s Universal Predications

The Best of the Debt Ceiling Postings on the Web

Wright Investor Services discusses the debt ceiling debate’s effect on stocks. There is no pro or con here just cold analysis.

eleriravuby in a posting called: Conservative ire threatens GOP debt plan in House (AP)   comments as follows –

For all that, it was the tea party-backed members of Boehner’s own party who continued to vex him, and heavily influence the debt and deficit negotiating terms ? not to mention his chances of holding on to the speakership.

THE DC FOLLY TROLLEY (via Corruptus Maximus) This is not a kind view of the Obama Administration.

It’s a gorgeous road (via A Walternative Universe) Here are some beautiful photographs followed by political commentary – it’s all very well done.

Hurry up and wait…. (via From D.C., With Love) This appears to be an actual participant in the crisis, a D.C. insider. However, she’s not giving up any heads up’s on the crisis.

current politics (via JCS Blog) This writer believes that our current debt ceiling situation is a positive thing. Please read and see what you think.

Here’s a comment from  Predictions (via Tfgray’s Weblog) –

True, I came up with a different reason for Wall Street’s blasé attitude, but there’s a fundamental similarity. They’ve already figured out a way to make money off it. Buy low, sell high is a lot easier to do when everyone is bailing on their investments in order to cover the expenses that their Social Security check used to.

This is a very cynical comment. I really like it. One must appreciate cynicism when it is delivered accurately.

Here is the last of the blog posts I enjoyed (and had time to read). Take a look at this paragraph – this is some pointed writing.  It’s from – The Fairest Game: Servants of Oligarchs (via For The Kindle/Lulu Ebook Lover)

The debt ceiling debates in Washington seem to best illustrate my point. This is the silliest political side show I have ever seen. It seems like we have a lot of those these days with the strange goal of this non official so-called Tea Party leading these power hungry Republicans by the nose rings. In Speaker Beohner, for instance, we have what must be one of the most Lillie livered politician ever to grace the front page of any newspaper. If my memory serves me, I believe it was he who stated that the leader of the republican party was actually Rush Limbaugh. It wasn’t something that he suggested in some round about way, either. For this professional public servant a race/class baiting talk show host was the leader of the Grand Old Party, the party of Teddy Roosevelt, the party of Dwight Eisenhower. It’s men like this, politicians like this who are, next to (very sadly to say) our current President who are the fairest game, the fairest game for the angry public, for comedians, for cartoonists. Why, because what we see speaking to us from the radios and TV sets are the servants of oligarchs. Their actions are meant to fly in the face of the overall public.

Obviously, I could only cover a small proportion of the writing on the net but I do hope you enjoy my selections.

James Pilant

 

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Five Reasons the House GOP Is to Blame via James Fallows from The Atlantic

James Fallows

James Fallows continues his comments on the current debt ceiling crisis. –

Here’s a comparison: Suppose, by similar quirk, there was an arbitrary ceiling on the amount of ammunition the U.S. military could buy each year. Or the amount of fuel for drones, bombers, and Humvees. Like overall national debt, these purchases are foreseeable consequences of previous political decisions — in this case, about the wars the country decides to fight. But suppose that when the “ammo ceiling” came due for its routine extension, a group of legislators said they would refuse. No more bullets or jet fuel after August 2, and for good measure no more food for the troops, unless demands for radical change in future foreign policy were met in full. That would rightly be seen as blackmail, and as a reckless willingness to damage the nation for partisan ends. A similar reckless exercise in blackmail is underway now, with the difference that the consequences can be longer-lasting and worse.

Blackmail- that’s exactly how I see it. I am happy to observe that I am not the only one.

There is not much to be done now. The Republicans cannot generate a bill that will get a majority of their own caucus’ vote. Without that, there is no chance of a congressional action ending the crisis. The only ball park left is for the President to declare that based on a Constitutional provision, the United States will continue to pay its debts.

I doubt if he has the will or the courage. Of course, even mice pushed into a corner will on occasion bite.

James Pilant

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The U.S. as ‘Lethal Laughing Stock’ (via James Fallows from the Atlantic)

This is from James Fallows –

Yesterday I mentioned that governmental paralysis over the debt ceiling — a wholly artificial construct* being addressed with mainly incoherent arguments** — was already turning the strongest, richest country in the world into an international laughing stock, whether or not we reach the final disaster of a default.

Yes, that’s about right.

It’s easy to blame the ideology driven House or Representatives but the real villain is the President. Obama has established a reputation as a negotiator ever ready to cave under every imaginable circumstance, always willing to appear as the “adult in the room” no matter what has to be given up to maintain that image. But if that isn’t enough, we have a President celebrated for his eloquence who is constantly unable to rally the American people behind any major policy whatever. His speech this week should have laid out the shady blackmail being played out by the House, instead it’s a wimp suggestion to “call your congressman.”

I would like to explain something to Mr. Obama. My congressman is one of those people who are blackmailing him to do what they want on the budget. There is no threat I can imagine including physical violence that will change his mind. He could not care less what I think and probably even less what the President thinks.

I am a constituent of this person only in the most technical sense. In reality I am meaningless to him. His real constituency is Fox news, Rush Limbaugh, the Tea Party and talk radio. The President’s call for phone call activism is a waste of his and my time.

So, the train wreck approaches. Will the President cave? Of course – that’s almost his profession.

But that is not enough any more to stop default. There are too many competing plans and the Republicans Congress is split – unable to generate a majority for any one plan. Even if they can get it together in these last few days. any bill put together by these petty blackmailers, is dead on arrival in the Senate.

So, disaster is coming, kinds of a 2012 apocalypse on an early schedule, a quick gateway into the status of a lethal laughing stock just like Fallows said.

James Pilant

 

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They Make A Wasteland and Call It Healthcare

The Individual Mandate.

President Obama took universal health care and converted it into an insurance company bonanza. The President claims a great victory and says he has accomplished what many Presidents failed to do. Quite a victory. It reminds me of a quote about a war “They take a wasteland and call it peace.” Well we have the wasteland.

We live in a country where you can at penalty of law be forced to buy medical insurance.

It’s a great precedent. Think of all the things Congress might decide you should buy. From the innocuous like an emergency medical kit to disaster insurance (only if you live on the coast) to forced retirement accounts only in Wall Street Investments (We wouldn’t want the Chinese to get American money). The government has the power to force Americans to make any business profitable.

Back in the days before the Civil War, many people called the new industrial workers, “wage slaves.” What does that make us, “insurance slaves?” Taxes are one thing. I understand that civilized societies need to do things, defense, education, etc. But when did business get to collect taxes? Because that’s essentially what this is. The government mandates that you buy a service whether or not you want it. Everyone has to pay out the money, no exceptions. That’s a tax.

Individual responsibility.

They always cry out this one phrase, whenever they take something from you. Now, they say, once you’re buying insurance, you’ll be compelled to act responsibly. No free riders (Brush those teeth, eat right). You’ll be part of the system. I don’t think I have to worry about you being fooled.

This is an insurance company mandate.

There is no universal health care here. Forced consumers are powerless consumers. What do you get when you have no bargaining power? Tell me, if you have a $4,000 deductible, how inclined are you to get medical problems looked after? Not having insurance is a set of problems. They are formidable problems. Having this kind of insurance is a set of problems. They have you like so many rats in a trap. Bewildering sets of rules, denials of insurance claims, endless games and financial penalties aimed at American citizens. There is indeed insurance here, the insurance companies are insured against loss. They are insured against their own incompetence, stupidity and failure.

They’re too big to fail. Could the government allow an insurance company to go under? Wouldn’t that interfere with the smooth delivery of services? What’s a few billion here or there to keep the system running. And the government will have new ways to make insurance companies on the backs of Americn taxpayers.

How about profit? Let’s have a look.

This is a superb post by one of my favorite bloggers, J.N. Nielson on his blog, Grand Strategy: The view from Oregon.

How about the money?

How much cash flow are we talking about as a result of the individual mandate? I did some very rough calculations — literally on the back of an old envelope — and if we take the frequently cited figure of 47 million Americans without health insurance, and divide this by average household size of 2.59, we get more than 18 million uninsured households. I found figures cited between $46,000 and $50,000 as the median US household income in 2010. I took the lower number of $46,000, and found estimates between 7.5 and 12.8 percent of household income to be spent on healthcare (the Urban Institute’s report cited above gives a rate of 2.5 percent, but this is not to be taken seriously). If we pick a number between the two percentages cited, between the high and the low figure, we get about $4,650.00 annually for health insurance per household. This is an unrealistically low number, but I’m doing a conservative calculation. With these conservative numbers, we find that the individual mandate would funnel another 83.7 billion dollars into the coffers of the insurance industry annually. This is cash flow that they can leverage even if they have to pay out a little more than 83 billion in claims.

83.7 billion dollars. Pretty good chunk of change, courtesy of the United States government.

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