Monday, November 14, 2011

Weekly Roundup, November 7-14, 2011

By Blueberry T

Monday, November 7, 2011

Herman Cain’s Campaign Dying a Quick Death?

Patrick’s post is set against the multiple accusations of sexual misconduct by Herman Cain toward women whom he was hiring or supervising. Now women are coming forward publicly with explicit accusations; and despite Cain’s attempt to smear the accusers and call their claims baseless and unfounded, it’s clear that they are not, since his employer paid cash settlements to two of the women. This post also picks up on the idea (put forth by Rachel Maddow and others) that Cain’s campaign is a huge joke; enjoy the parallels with “Undercover Brother” and the campaign ad spoof videos! (Who knew that Huntsman’s daughters had such a sense of humor?)

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Taking a Closer Look at the Perry-Gramm Connections

This is Part 1 of Nomad’s brilliant 4-part post on the web of influence of Phil and Wendy Gramm. We learn of the symbiotic and profitable relationships of Rick Perry to the Gramms, and of Phil Gramm’s early back-room dealings and possible criminal activity in Texas that eventually led Gramm to a seat of incredible power as the head of the Senate Banking Committee in the late 1990s. There he became the “high-priest of financial deregulation,” playing the leading role in the 1999 repeal of the Depression-era Glass-Steagall Act that had mandated the separation of commercial banks and investment banks. Gramm’s deregulation of the banking industry set the stage for mega-mergers, “too big to fail” and the collapse of the economic system. As Nomad says, “The party had really begun and after the celebration was finished, the country would be faced with the biggest economic hangover in its history."

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Part 2 of the Perry-Gramm Series

Another amazing, well-researched and argued post by Nomad, this one revealing how utterly corrupt is everything that Phil Gramm is involved in. After leaving the Senate, Gramm became Vice-Chairman of UBS Warburg, described as “the new Enron.” People raised the alarm about Gramm’s role at UBS from Day 1, because of his complicity in the collapse of Enron that had just taken place but left him and his wife unscathed; in fact, they profited from the criminal mismanagement at Enron. Gramm’s deregulatory machinations extended far beyond banking, allowing predatory lending that fueled the collapse of the mortgage/housing sector as well as to the energy field from which he and his wife directly profited.

Please make sure to read the section on the incestuous relationship between the Gramm’s and Rick Perry as Governor. Follow the money, and you’ll see the patronage positions that Perry has given out to large donors. In this case, Perry was the beneficiary of the Gramm’s financial largess and Wendy Gramm was the beneficiary of Perry’s patronage appointments – one example among many of the huge influence of money in buying Perry’s political appointments. Nomad also highlights Phil Gramm’s key role in promoting “dead peasant” insurance, whereby investors buy life insurance from which they, not the insured, benefit. I thought I was already pretty aware of the corruption of the right-wingers, but this stuff is simply staggering.

Friday, November 11, 2011 (out of order)

Part 3 of the Perry-Gramm Series: Wendy Lee Gramm

Wendy Gramm is deeply enmeshed in the web of corruption surrounding her husband. An economist in her own right, Wendy Gramm has apparently forsaken her family’s struggles and the importance of the labor movement and affirmative action in her/their success. She is a leading advocate of deregulation, “free markets” and an “unfettered economy.” Through her husband’s connections, she held key positions under Reagan/Bush I that enabled her to dismantle key regulatory protections and to prevent redress of investor complaints. Her role as a director of Enron, and her husband’s connections, appear to be a case study in corruption and conflicts of interest. Not only that, but she, a member of Enron’s auditing committee, conveniently cashed out her Enron holdings shortly before the Enron collapse that destroyed so many people’s life savings and retirement. She and her husband not only gained enormous power through their mutually beneficial connections, but profited handsomely as well. Even before seeing Part 4: I nominate Nomad for a Pulitzer Prize – well done!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

A Declaration of Independence for the 21st Century

Sunnyjane’s outstanding post enumerates the injustices perpetrated on America by the extreme right-wing that has taken over the Republican Party. She sounds a call to action to fight their insidious efforts to weaken our democracy and turn back the clock on progress achieved by the middle class, workers, women, minorities and the poor and disadvantaged. Her post has excellent links to document and elaborate on the assault by the Republicans on our hard-earned rights and well-being. She ends with the hopeful wins that took place on Election Day and a clarion call for America to fight back because “The Right is Wrong for America.”

Some Comments and Links:

Peacepax (responding to this excellent link from cheeriogirl): Now, how can we get twitter world to read this article?? Its really just simple math. Divide our problems, multiply our joy.

alwaysthink (from DailyKos): This quote from Weyrich (ALEC cofounder) explains what they are up to, "We will use guerrilla tactics to undermine the legitimacy of the dominant regime. We will take advantage of every available opportunity to spread the idea that there is something fundamentally wrong with the existing state of affairs… it will contribute to a vague sense of uneasiness and dissatisfaction with existing society. We need this if we hope to start picking people off and bringing them over to our side. We need to break down before we can build up. We must first clear away the flotsam of a decayed culture."

Linda1961: Many have compared the gop 2012 presidential field to clowns in a clown car, but I beginning to feel that I'm stuck in an episode of the "Twilight Zone." [Later she posted this tweet] TheDailyEdge “#GOP in Disarray as Mississippi & Ohio Voters Send Message that Party Must Look Out for Real People, Not Just Fertilized Eggs & Corporations"

Patrick found this great tweet from @rationalists: Despite four women now accusing Herman Cain, he's still not a true social Conservative until we hear from a gay prostitute.

Sunnyjane: What irony that they want to deregulate our financial, safety, and political systems, but insist on regulating a woman's body.

Wooljunkie: Maybe it's time to listen to what Thomas Jefferson supposedly said all those years ago: "I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies."

JCos: When the governor of Texas can't recall the word Energy, that's like Palin forgetting to go braless to a meeting with financial supporters. [Later] So the person who reported witnessing Sandusky raping a child is being threatened for ruining Joe Paterno's legacy? Republican logic.

Here’s a good article from WaPo on the big lie about what caused the financial crisis.

Nomad posted this.

Older_Wiser posted this link to the Smirking Chimp – Sorry GOP, it looks like America’s bullshit detector just went off. O_W and alwaysthink also linked to this video of Makana performing his “Occupy Anthem” -- he performed it repeatedly in front of all the world leaders at the Asia-Pacific gala. (How you say chutzpa in Hawaiian?)

Bandit Basheert posted a link to this (with a great cartoon) on “Cain is not Able” on lynnrockets.

Inconnue found another great cartoon:

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