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Notes from Larry:

I wish to thank those of you who come to this site even though I have been absent for quite some time. This site has a very important purpose. There is much to say and much to hear from all of you.

For those of you who might be wondering about m;y health, I am happy to report that I have fully recovered and am healthier and stronger then I have been in over 20 years. My health was not my reason for my absence. I just needed some time away and appreciate your understanding. I will, however, be back right after the New Year.

Please contact me at of you would like to participate. There is a lot happening and -
"Together We Can and Must Make A Difference".
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To Larry:

January 5, 2010

Barack Obama: Read "Road To Perdition" by Jim Quinn

The western front of the United States Capitol...Image via Wikipedia
This is an excellent piece and brings out some very interesting points.  It is rather long but is worth the time.  Road To Perdition is from

Mr. Quinn's comment,  "Politicians do not care about budgets, inflation, or the value of the U.S. dollar. They care about power, personal enrichment and being re-elected." is so very true.  Maybe this should be required reading for those in the White House as well as in Congress.  It is no secret - or at least not to many of us that politics is all about politics, power and wealth.  Where have all the statesmen gone?  Those statesmen were individuals who were politicians part time and citizens and patriots full time.

Maybe that is exactly what the problem is.  Politics should not be a full time, overpaid, over benefited job.  Take away all the perks - the best health care in the country, the guaranteed pension that beats any individual retirement plan, the lavish travel and lifestyles - and see who then runs for office.  Politics is a service, a service to your nation that you perform because you want to make a difference for your fellow citizens not for yourself and your family.  It is a second job not a primary one just like it was in the beginning of this republic. 

If we change the rules, eliminate the dynasties by limiting terms then and only then can we accomplish change.  Every Presidential candidate in my lifetime has campaigned on "change" yet the only change has been for themselves and to those large campaign contributors.  Obama preached "change" and change (like in pennies, nickles and dimes is all we, the people, got and they are even trying to scoop that up as well.

We, as the people of this nation need to wake up.  If we do we can accomplish the change we so desparately need.
"Christmas is a time when kids tell Santa what they want and adults pay for it. Deficits are when adults tell the government what they want - and their kids pay for it."...Richard Lamm                                                            
“Government ‘help’ to business is just as disastrous as government persecution... the only way a government can be of service to national prosperity is by keeping its hands off.” ...Ayn Rand
Decade after decade, Americans have voted for intellectually and morally bankrupt dullards that promise them more goodies under the tree. Every day is Christmas in Washington DC. Long-term means the next election cycle to these traitors of the Republic. I have written ad nauseum about the impending financial cataclysm that awaits our nation. I have spent countless hours documenting the unsustainable path of our politicians’ financial decisions and lack of courage in addressing the forthcoming tragedy that grows closer by the day. Our political system is so corrupt and dysfunctional that there is absolutely no chance that our path will be altered at the voting booth. Government programs are fashioned, but never finished. The IRS tax code consists of 3.4 million words covering 7,500 pages of payoffs to business lobbyists. Simplicity is a virtue. The politicians who are bought and sold by corporate interests prefer complexity and obscuring the truth. Everyone knows that the government cannot fulfill the fiscal promises they have already made. Instead of dealing with this reality using intelligence, courage and conviction, the weak kneed politicians that slither the halls of Congress have chosen to add a brand new bloated entitlement program guaranteed to detonate in our faces. This is the existing reality. There is nothing I can do that will change this reality. Instead, I will propose a new model.

Politicians do not care about budgets, inflation, or the value of the U.S. dollar. They care about power, personal enrichment and being re-elected. In fiscal 2000, the US government had $1.545 trillion of receipts and $1.458 trillion of expenses, resulting in a surplus of $87 billion that year. A mindless government bureaucrat doesn’t conclude that the surge in receipts was due to the internet bubble resulting in billions of one time capital gains revenues. They should have expected reduced revenues in future years. Nine years later government receipts were $1.51 trillion, while expenditures had reached $3.5 trillion. Total government outlays never go down. Obama’s FY10 budget projects $1.649 trillion of receipts and $3.042 trillion of expenditures, resulting in a deficit of $1.393 trillion. Deficits in the range of $1 trillion per year are projected for the next 10 years. Instead of addressing this budget gap that will absolutely lead to economic disintegration, politicians add new entitlements, expand our interventionist foreign wars, and dole out pork to their corporate backers.

Read the complete here

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  1. I know too many people that feel like this guy...

    Wed, 01/06/2010 - 11:25

  2. Between Summers and Geithner, it appears that President Obama has made the exact same mistake that one George W. Bush did: Instead of filling his administration’s most important posts with his own people, he reached back to prior admins (Cheney, Rumsfeld, etc) and loaded up on incompetent retreads.

    It simply cements the fact that the country has been captured by large corporations and special interests. It transcends party affiliations and ideology and is evident at all levels. Be it elected or appointed officials at Federal, State or local municipalities, Unions or other organized and funded groups, it has no boundaries. The ’system’ be it economic or political is run by the few for the few. Any changes to this arrangement will not be made organically.

  3. 2nd video says it all...

    During his campaign, Barack Obama surrounded himself with progressive leaders who believed that we could prevent another economic crisis by enforcing tougher regulations for Wall Street. However, once he took office, he sent those progressives packing, and filled his cabinet with former Wall Street insiders who want to keep the system operating out of the scope of the government. This isn’t the "change" that we were expecting, and this is one of the reasons that the president is now facing an uphill battle to win back the votes of his base. Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. talks about the president’s sell out with Matt Taibbi, political correspondent for Rolling Stone magazine.

  4. The Obama Administration Wants to Annuitize Your 401k's and IRA's

    Instead of "Yes We Can" the slogan for the Obama Administration should be "Over One Million Fat Cats Served." And the only difference in the Republicans is the breed of the fat cats whose desires they seek to fulfill. The public has lost its advocacy in Washington, and therefore the democratic republic is in peril.

  5. January 8, 2010
    MOTHER JONES journalists David Corn and Kevin Drum offer a hard look at the obstacles to real reform of the financial industry.

    Thanks to taxpayers like you who generously bailed banking from the financial shipwreck it created for itself and for us, by the end of 2009 the industry's compensation pool reached nearly $200 billion. And despite windfall profits, the banks will claim almost $80 billion in tax deductions. And nearly $20 billion of those deductions will go to just three institutions — Morgan Stanley, JP Morgan Chase, and Goldman Sachs.

    Ah, yes — Goldman Sachs, that paragon of profit and probity — which bet big on the housing bubble and when it popped — presto! — converted itself from an investment firm into a bank so it could get your bailout money. Now consider this: in 2008, Goldman Sachs paid an effective tax rate of just one percent. I'm not making that up — one percent! — while their CEO Lloyd Blankfein pulled down over $40 million. That's God's work, if you can get it. And, believe me, Wall Street bankers know how to get it.

  6. How about looking into this?

    Cerberus Capital: Literally Blood-Sucking the Poor to Make Their Billions

    Cerberus Capital, one of Wall Street’s most notoriously ruthless leveraged-buyout firms (or “private equity firms” in PC-speak), recently made a $1.8 billion killing on its human plasma investment, a company called Talecris. Talecris was purchased for a mere $82.5 million just four years earlier, meaning Cerberus made 23 times its investment on human plasma. This was accomplished by the most savage, heartless means possible: by paying peanuts to impoverished human plasma donors, who increasingly come from Mexican border towns to blood-pumping stations set up on the American side, jacking up the price of plasma by restricting supply (a lawsuit filed by the Federal Trade Commission accused Cerberus Plasma Holdings of “operat[ing] as an oligopoly”), and then selling the refined products to the most desperately ill—patients suffering from hemophilia, severe burns, multiple sclerosis and autoimmune deficiencies. The products cost so much—one, IVIG (intravenous immunoglobulin) cost twice the price of gold as of last summer—that American health insurance companies have been dropping or denying their policyholders in increasing numbers, endangering untold numbers of people.

    Profiting from ruined American lives is nothing new to Cerberus. (The company takes its name from the legendary three-headed attack dog of Greek legend who guards the gates of Hell, making sure no condemned soul ever escapes. How appropriate.) Cerberus is the same shady fund that bought Chrysler and GMAC in 2007 and drove them into the ground, blamed everything on unions (even after firing 30,000 Chrysler employees), and dumped the companies onto American taxpayers—but only after lining up tens of billions in taxpayer-funded bailout funds. Cerberus is led by some of the most aggressive "free market" Republicans of our time. The chairman of Cerberus is former Treasury Secretary John Snow, who oversaw the destruction of America’s economy while serving under Bush from 2003 to 2006, bragging during his tenure, "We are the envy of the world."

    The top vampire in Cerberus is the fund’s founder, billionaire Stephen Feinberg, a major Republican Party campaign donor with a hardcore fetish for Harleys and big guns. Supposedly Feinberg was very uncomfortable with taking all those socialism-esque billions from American taxpayers. The New York Times described him as "a longtime free-market enthusiast and a Republican who never envisioned himself needing the government for help.”

    It’s such a miserable way to make cash that Cerberus and its fellow oligopolists have resorted to setting up plasma-sucking franchises along the U.S.-Mexico border, which have mushroomed like Starbucks Coffee did in the '90s. In the latter part of 2009 alone, Cerberus-owned Talecris opened four new plasma-milking factories, plastering the Mexican side of the border with advertisements promising easy cash, and parking special plasma-farm buses on the American side of the border to haul their human cargo to those milking dens not within walking distance of the Rio Grande.

  7. What happened to transparency?

    Eric King of King World News this week interviewed GATA Chairman Bill
    Murphy, GATA board member Adrian Douglas, and your secretary/treasurer
    about GATA's lawsuit against the Federal Reserve and gold's prospects
    for the new year. The interview is about a half hour long and you can
    listen to it at the King World News Internet site here:

  8. The NY Post has a good indictment on Tim Geithner. They quote a known troublemaker named Josh Rosner:

    “We’ve seen an ongoing effort by Tim Geithner at the Federal Reserve and Treasury to do the public’s work out of the public’s view in ways that benefit the banking interest ahead of the public’s,” said Joshua Rosner, a managing director at Graham Fisher & Co. “It was under Tim’s direction that we were given stress tests that were less than transparent and less than credible,” he added.

  9. "Our rulers deliver favors to their clients...For in a predatory regime, nothing is done for public reasons. Indeed, the men in charge do not recognize that "public purposes" exist. They have friends, and enemies, and as for the rest--we're the prey."
    - James K. Galbraith

  10. After the administration is done lining their pockets and setting themselves up for their next gigs maybe you could work on this:

    Escaping the mortgage battlefront

    How can homeowners stop the carnage associated with mortgage loan modifications?

  11. More status quo....just what we voted for....

    SEC Folds Like A Lawn Chair, Will Not Seek Charges Against BofA Individuals

  12. The Case Against Geithner
    by Dylan Ratigan
    As we sit here today, Wall Street continues to exploit a policy of government-sponsored giveaways and secrecy to pay themselves billions.

    Record-setting bonuses due to banks like Goldman Sachs as early next week.

    Yet instead of acting as our cop, Secretary Tim Geithner has become central to what may be a cover-up of the greatest theft in U.S. history.

  13. Issa On AIG: "The American People Deserve Somebody's Head On A Platter"

    Darrell Issa asks the key question: "If not Tim Geithner then who? What's wrong with a system that the New York Fed can hand out your tax dollars in these quantities and not think it is particularly important to make sure it's the right amount."

  14. Kill Wall Street Bonuses or Tax 'em to Death, MIT's Simon Johnson Says

    Simon Johnson, professor at MIT's Sloan School of Management and former chief economist of the IMF, says there's a simple solution to this seemingly complex problem: "People working at our largest banks - say over $100 billion in total assets - should get zero bonus for 2009."

    Looking back, all the big firms were saved by the various government programs, including Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley were allowed to convert to bank holding company status in 2008, Johnson says. "There were unconditional bailouts for all our big banks - it was a decision made on the fly in the crisis. Let's not second-guess," he says. "But no way that strategy implies, requires, or is consistent with the banks then paying all that money out to their employees."

    By contrast, when the government instituted a similar "recapitalization" strategy for banks after the Latin America debt crisis of the early 1980s, the banks retained the money to help rebuild their balance sheets, he recalls. "In this case they're going to pay out 40% [of profits] - that's not good economic policy."

  15. House Plans To Subpoena Geithner Over AIG Decisions; Geithner's Got To Go

    Geithner's "we had no choice" defense is not only a revisionist lie, it is irrelevant as a defense.

    Geither is not above the law. He sounds just like Richard Nixon in his "I am not a crook" speech and again in an Interview With David Frost "When the president does it that means that it is not illegal."

  16. Watch Today's FCIC-Banker Hearings Live Commercial Free

    Jan 13- 14

  17. Why Obama Must Take On Wall Street

    Last week, Senator Chris Dodd, chairman of the Senate banking committee, announced he would not seek re-election next November, recasting himself as a lame duck who will do whatever the banks want. Mr Dodd’s decision “makes it more likely that regulatory reform will be enacted”, says Edward Yingling, chief executive of the American Bankers Association, because it “frees him from political dynamics that would have made it more difficult for him to compromise”. Translated: Dodd’s committee will report out a bill – Democrats would be embarrassed not to – but it will be weak because voters can no longer penalise Mr Dodd for rolling over for the Street.

    What is truly remarkable is what Congress and the administration have shown no interest in doing. Large numbers of Americans have lost their homes to bank foreclosures or are in danger of doing so. Yet American bankruptcy law does not allow homeowners to declare bankruptcy and have their mortgages reorganised. If it did, homeowners would have more bargaining power to renegotiate with banks. But neither Congress nor the administration has pushed to change the bankruptcy laws. Wall Street opposes such change and was instrumental in narrowing the scope of personal bankruptcy in the first place.

  18. Americans are damn tired of the lies, the misdirection and the utter failure of The Obama Administration to do what they promised to do - that is, to not be an administration catering to the banksters.

    "I did not run for office to be helping out a bunch of fat cat bankers on Wall Street," Mr. Obama said in an interview on CBS's "60 Minutes" program on Sunday.


  19. Wednesday, January 13, 2010
    Obama to Announce $120 Billion TARP Fee

    But Team Obama does not want to play up the extent to which the industry has benefitted from public munificence; that only stokes the deserved and correct public anger, which includes the Administration for cutting such a crappy deal with the industry. So it has the PR conundrum of having it be beneficial for political reasons for them to beat up on the financiers, but now being so deeply aligned with them as to make that impossible, save perhaps on a few narrow issues that it hopes will have sufficient peasant-appeasement value. Any full-bore attack would represent an embarrassing change from the Administration’s past fawning posture, and would also require the sacrifice of a senior head or two, presumably starting with Timothy Geithner, to look credible. But Obama seems constitutionally incapable of firing anyone, no matter how much it would serve him to do so.

    The sketchy announcement du jour, that Obama will announce a $120 billion TARP fee this week (hhm, conveniently timed to distract attention from the start of the hearings into the crisis and Wall Street bonus announcements) illustrates the bizarre position the Administration is in. Alert readers may recall that Obama was touting the performance of the TARP at his Lehman anniversary speech in September.

  20. Its like a Mel Brooks movie...these guys are all out for the same thing...a smoothe ride for themselves:

    Our representatives that we have entrusted sound economic policies to...

  21. Maybe Jon Stewart should have questioned the bankers..he seems to have a better handle on the situation than our esteemed leaders...

    Jon Stewart on Wall Street Bonuses

  22. Modification Horror Stories

  23. Happy New Year -- But Not to You, Aurora Loan Services

    Happy New Year. Wish me a happy anniversary, too. I'm celebrating the first anniversary of my effort to modify my mortgage through Aurora Loan Services.

    You are going to see a lot of this post in the near future, because I'm going to cross-post it everywhere until I find someone who knows someone in Aurora Loan Services or its regulator. I've never wanted to bring a company down before, but I do now.

    I wasn't quite angry enough until last week, when I read an article in the Times that made me realize I was not an isolated case, but an example of a widespread and apparently deliberate policy on the part of this particular servicer to deny homeowners programs the government has sought to extend, even though failing to extend these programs helps no one but Aurora itself.

  24. To the comment on Aurara in reference to modifications:

    You are NOT ALONE and Aurora is NOT THE ONLY ONE who give you a run around for a loan modification.

    I follow this topic and that of the mortgage industry in two other blogs, and

    What I know is that almost all the servicing companies (people refer to as "their bank"-but IS NOT) do the same thing you are experiencing.

    They request the same paperwork over and over again saying they never got it or lost it or even destroyed it after a period of time.

    This whole concept of loan modifications is yet another scam by the banking industry. They cannot make as much money modifying your loan as they can by foreclosing on your home.

    There simply is just no incentive whatsoever for them to do so even with all the government "regulation" regarding this subject.

    The servicing companies you talk to first tell you that you must be past due on your mortgage to even be considered. A recent reader told me that they were not at the time they applied for the modification but followed "their bank's" advice and is now ten months behind in payments with no modification in sight.

    There is this plan, I believe, to extract as much real property from the American public as they can. Just more transfer of weatlth to the "elite".

    I will start another post on this topic. Perhaps we can get others like you to tell us their story which we in turn can send on to ouor Prez.

  25. An Uncontrite Geithner Says It Was "Right Thing" To Pay Off AIG Counterparties At Par, Says His Job Is In Obama's Hands