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Gender: Male
Hometown: Detroit, Michigan
Home country: Citizen of the world whose address is in the U.S.
Current location: Detroit, Michigan
Member since: Fri Oct 29, 2004, 12:18 AM
Number of posts: 65,989

Journal Archives

Robert Reich: Wall Street’s Threat to the American Middle Class

Wall Street’s Threat to the American Middle Class

Presidential aspirants in both parties are talking about saving the middle class. But the middle class can’t be saved unless Wall Street is tamed.

The Street’s excesses pose a continuing danger to average Americans. And its ongoing use of confidential corporate information is defrauding millions of middle-class investors.

Yet most presidential aspirants don’t want to talk about taming the Street because Wall Street is one of their largest sources of campaign money.

Do we really need reminding about what happened six years ago? The financial collapse crippled the middle class and poor — consuming the savings of millions of average Americans, and causing 23 million to lose their jobs, 9.3 million to lose their health insurance, and some 1 million to lose their homes.

A repeat performance is not unlikely. Wall Street’s biggest banks are much larger now than they were then. Five of them hold about 45 percent of America’s banking assets. In 2000, they held 25 percent. .............(more)


A 21st Century Left Rises: Syriza’s Victory and Its Relevance for the U.S. and the World

from truthdig:

A 21st Century Left Rises: Syriza’s Victory and Its Relevance for the U.S. and the World
Posted on Jan 27, 2015

By Alan Minsky

The Greek election Sunday night produced a historic moment, one that millions of people have long awaited: Syriza’s triumph was the first time that a radical-left party has won an election in Europe since the Cold War began (and arguably, ever). The euphoric celebrations in Athens came as no surprise—very little lifts people’s hearts like the dream of a truly egalitarian society.

Of course, after five years of economic austerity, life in Greece these days is more nightmare than dream.

Now that the Greek people have defied the global ruling class by electing Syriza, the question shifts to whether the coordinated forces of global neoliberal capitalism will allow an alternative economic model to take root, one that prioritizes the welfare of the common people over that of the 1 percent. What happens next in the country where democracy was born is of the utmost importance to people around the world, including in the oligarchic United States.

Before addressing the extremely difficult circumstances facing the next Greek government, let’s stay focused on why this moment is so huge—and not just because it will roil international markets and destabilize the euro. Those things are very important, but let’s think even bigger. ...................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/a_21st_century_left_rises_syrizas_victory_and_its_relevance_for_the_us_an

Australian Open (spoiler)

Tomas Berdych put a beatdown on Rafa.

CIA Whistleblower Jeffrey Sterling Convicted

Published on Jan 26, 2015

Investigative journalist Marcy Wheeler says Sterling faces decades in
prison for leaking details of a botched CIA operation against Iran's
nuclear program

In Victory for Gov't Whistleblowers, Supreme Court Sides with Fired TSA Air Marshal Who Spoke Out

Published on Jan 23, 2015

http://democracynow.org - A major U.S. Supreme Court decision has upheld the right of federal employees to become whistleblowers. The case centers on former Transportation Security Administration Federal Air Marshal Robert MacLean. In July 2003, MacLean revealed to an MSNBC reporter that the Department of Homeland Security had decided to stop assigning air marshals to certain long-distance flights in order to save money, despite warnings of a potential plot to hijack U.S. airplanes. MSNBC's report on the story sparked outcry, and the policy was quickly reversed. MacLean was fired three years later after admitting to being the story's source. He filed a lawsuit over his dismissal, sparking a multi-year legal battle that ended earlier this week when the Supreme Court ruled on his behalf in a 7-to-2 decision. At issue was whether MacLean's actions could be protected by the U.S. Whistleblower Protection Act, a law that protects employees if a disclosure exposes unlawful conduct, gross mismanagement or threats to public safety. We speak to Robert MacLean and attorney Neal Katyal, who argued MacLean's case before the Supreme Court. Katyal is the former acting solicitor general of the United States.

Professor Richard Wolff: How the Business Community Screwed the Working Class

Australian Open: The Scream Queen

The WTA really needs to do something about Maria Sharapova's screaming. Her screams get longer and louder as the match goes on, and they persist even as the ball gets to her opponent's side of the court. I would find that incredibly grating if I were playing her.

"people around the world will no longer accept austerity..while the rich continue to get much richer


Statement on the Election in Greece
Sunday, January 25, 2015

BURLINGTON, Vt., Jan. 25 – U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) issued the following statement today after Greece rejected austerity economics and gave a decisive victory to the Syriza party of Alexis Tsipras, the next prime minister:

“The Syriza victory in the Greek elections tell us that people around the world will no longer accept austerity for working families while the rich continue to get much richer. The top 1 percent of the world’s population will soon own more wealth than the bottom 99 percent. This is wrong and unsustainable from a moral, economic and political perspective.”

Media Demonization of Syriza: Pretending that Neoliberalism is Popular and Mainstream

Media Demonization of Syriza: Pretending that Neoliberalism is Popular and Mainstream
Posted on January 26, 2015 by Yves Smith

We’re having two posts on the Greek elections tonight, since the media accounts are so slanted as to merit discussion. The notion that a democratically elected government would put broad social interest over continued, self-destructive sacrifices to financiers and their allies in European governments is so threatening that a large swathe of media outlets seem almost to take visceral offense at the idea. Editors and writers are thus serving as vocal enforcers of keeping the Overton Window locked in its present, far right position.

As Christopher D. Rogers said in comments yesterday:

What the “fuck” does the BBC coverage of the Greek election think it is doing and what bloody Orwellian-double speak western world am I living in?

Before you think one’s language inappropriate please consider this. In its coverage of the momentous events presently taking place in Greece, our bloody wonderful, alleged impartial, BCC reporters are calling Syriza “the radical left Party”. You heard it here folks, Syriza, that 40 years ago would have been to the right of the then UK’s Labour Party, is now a “radical left” organisation, with all the undertones that go with the word “radical.”

Having read quite a lot of Yanis Varoufakis’s output over the past 12 months, I’d hardly call Yanis a radical, nor for that matter would I call Mr. Tsipras radical for those of you who would like to contrast the Syriza election promises with the 1983 Labour Party manifesto that Michael Foot went to the country with, and which Roy Hattersley, who with Neil Kinnock, started the rot to infect that once proud leftwing organisation, referred too as the “longest suicide note ever written. By the way, in 1983 the actual left of the Labour Party wanted our country outside of the then EEC, they wanted to rid our nation of nuclear weapons and turn back the clock on four years of huge social upheaval caused by Thatcher and her monetarist economic prescriptions, what we call today “neoliberalism”.

Whilst I’ve yet to reach 50, in my humble opinion as someone who embodies many principles of the actual left, Syriza is not hot bed of radicalism, and yet the Uk media, much of the European media and obviously your US media are making out that Syriza are a threat not only to Europe, but no doubt the world – which I actually only hope is right, for at long last it seems people are awakening and coming out of the shadows to see the world for what it is and those legacy parties, be they left or right, for what they are. Corporate whores no less.

Needless to say, the BBC is not alone in trying to depict Syriza as extremist: .................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2015/01/media-demonization-syriza-pretending-neoliberalism-popular-mainstream.html

Pan-European Leftist Movement Is Rising: Joe Weisenthal


Published on Jan 26, 2015
Jan. 26 -- Bloomberg’s Joe Weisenthal examines the potential impact on the rest of Europe from the victory by the anti-austerity Syriza Party in this weekend’s elections in Greece. He speaks on “Bloomberg Surveillance.” (Source: Bloomberg)

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