Stephen Colbert-- Here.

Our "Vintage" Video Collection Click On Image

Our "Vintage" Video Collection Click On Image
Great Political Moments Caught For Your Pleasure

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

President Obama Should Take A Lesson From Mr. Toyota

This week and last we have had apologies from what should have been our government officials, our president, the nation’s first Supreme Court appointed president, our Federal Reserve chairman, and the CEO bankstas, but that was not the case. Instead it was from Mr. Toyota. He is not a brand name like Mr. Goodwrench, a GM brand that ended up becoming Mr. Brokenwrench. No, Mr. Toyota has been spitting up apologies like never before. First, it was over his combustion engine vehicles, and now it is over his hybrid operating system vehicles, including a Lexus model.
Mr. Toyota apologized for failing to correct the brake and gas pedal problems. He actually apologized twice. Many say it is too late for apologizes.
Mr. Toyota basically said that he was very sorry for disappointing not only the buyers of his vehicles, but for letting down the employees and the dealers. He was so, so sorry. He understands that the customers don’t trust the company as they once did, but he will do whatever it takes to regain their trust, once more.
Wow!!! We must all agree that an apology was required. Not only required because of defects in the products that resulted in hundreds of thousands of vehicles to be fixed, but in order to stand tall he had to say, ‘I will fix it! I will make it right again! I will work to regain my customer’s trust! I will commit economic resources to make sure that quality control is on the top of the priority list!’
Unfortunately, we Americans have yet to hear such an apology from anyone who was a major pyromaniac in the economic forest fire that swept through this entire nation, then jumped the “Pond” and spread all through Europe. There has been no one!
Former President BushBoy has been mum on this one. Hank-da Paulie-Paulson, now a big time book author, one time CEO of Goldman Sachs, BushBoy’s Treasury Secretary, and, most of all, a major financial crime syndicate hit man has been praising what he believes to be his own successes, when in actuality, they were major failures. We have heard no sincere apologies from Alan Greenspan, or from former President Bill Clinton who signed into law the Commodity Futures Modernization Act, and the death knell legislation killing the decade’s long Glass-Steagall Act, which was the firewall between deposit holding banks (FDIC insured), and the risk potential financial investment houses (not FDIC insured).
Nor have we heard an apology from former Senator Phil Gramm another sleazy-bagster who nearly single-handedly ushered in these laws, under Clinton, which allowed Little Boy Bush to cut some real brush and pile it up miles high for a really big fire to be lit by the likes of Goldman Sachs, BoA, Lehman Brothers, Merrill Lynch, Bear Stearns, Wells Fargo, Countrywide, and others to rip off the American homebuyer, the retirement fund investor, and the general saver trying to make a decent living for himself and his family.
Most of all, we have not heard an apology from President Obama after over one year of banksta rescue maneuvers. $12T handed out to banksta CEOs to make sure that the very thieves who robbed the American taxpayer, were once again back in business, passing out bonuses, replenishing their corporate stock shares so the thieving CEOs and the other monopoly corporate capitalist monster predators could prosper from their continued capital gains, which they can enjoy while all the other Americans who were saving for their own retirement or child college funds would eventually lose half of it. A pure and simple transfer of wealth from the lower 90% to the upper 10% of the income ladder. That was how it worked. We lost it, and they captured it.
Americans are so soft and good hearted that they cannot let the richest of the rich suffer any hardship. How unpatriotic that would look.
It is very likely that President Obama is too late to offer an apology. During his first year as president, he spent a great deal of time shaking hands with all kinds of highfalutin heads of state, and ultra-rich people, as well as getting his picture taken on the beach, dancing, playing with his kids and dog. He had no time, whatsoever, to write up an apology. He was too busy doing more important things. And anyway, an apology would be hollow if it was not followed up by real action—Mr. Toyota style. And Barack is just not allowed to do it.
President Obama did not fix the economic braking problem that drove the economy into the abyss; and, did not fix the sticking accelerator problem, which careened the government tour bus over the cliff. He had a dual problem: brakes and gas. Both failures caused the crashing and careening of the government’s magic bus into a huge cravace.
The economic gas pedal began sticking during Reagan’s presidency, and went full throttle under Little Boy Bush. Obama was elected by a majority to fix the sticking gas pedal, and make sure the economic braking system would not fail. He was voted into office to put the brakes on the Federal Reserve and Treasury to stop Goldman Sachs, and the rest of the syndicate gangsta get-away vehicles from making off with the loot.
But, there were no apologies, and instead, just the opposite occurred! Excuses by the likes of Hank Paulson, who said that the rescue of the banks was essential, otherwise we would see 20% unemployment. Hey, Hankie Spankie, we already have that figure now if you include those who have stopped looking for work, underemployed, and the currently unemployed. Hank Paulson is the same kind of fool that we see vying for attention in order to sell junkie books. You betcha!
The truth has been shown to be that President Obama has no intention of pulling a Mr. Toyota. President Obama has allowed crime syndicate field general Ben Bernanke to re-enlist as Federal Reserve chairman, as well as most of those Democrats in Congress. 47 of the 70 votes to reconfirm Bernanke for a second term as Fed chairman were Democrats. 30 were no votes, and they were mostly Republicans. Now the Republicans are reigniting the populist torch and will probably carry it all the way to the 2012 presidential election, as well as into the midterm election cycle.
President Obama was the master-of-ceremonies at the ‘Republican-As-Populist’ bumper sticker slogan party. Why would the Democrats, who have been pathetically looking like the party of spinelessness, so willing to throw away their reelection bids, and an opportunity to discard an economic war criminal holdover from the Bush administration? What were they thinking? Do they actually believe that we will be entering an economic recovery with massive joblessness numbers, while Greece is on the verge of a sovereign wealth default, as well as working Americans spending nearly everything they make on a home that is more than likely underwater; and  their credit card interest rates are rising toward 70%; and  mom and pop’s daily and weekly purchased items have become more expensive because the dollar is worth-less forcing them to use more dollars on what appears to be more expensive items; and then there is the rising college costs, as we watch our savings shrink, and as we hope that the principal can remain even. Can someone tell me what is in the water that flows through the tap at the White House and Congressional water fountains?
What we are witnessing today is a flat out war against working Americans in this Congress. The Republicans are pulling every political maneuver to obstruct President Obama’s agenda. Professor Elizabeth Warren’s desired Consumer Financial Protection Agency, which would protect consumers from fraudulent financial instruments sold by banks, is being killed by banks and Senate Republicans. The House of Representatives passed the formulation of such an agency, but the Senate is being paid by banksta lobbyists to push it back. The banks do not want to agree to sensible reforms that would protect consumers. They like fraud!
Jamie Dimon, the CEO of Citigroup, cavalierly stated that there would be no reason for reforms and consumer protections because “financial crises are expected every 5-7 years, so we should just get over it.”
Instead of President Obama and Congress working diligently to prevent financial crises ever again, especially since this one was the worst since the Great Depression, they are playing party games to do little to protect working Americans from further economic collapses and destruction of their savings and asset wealth.
Oh, did we forget that the most important view is to protect the richest people in the country from ever suffering any inconveniences, and to make sure that the lower 90% meet the needs of the upper 10% of the people?
Citigroup is working fast and furious to subvert the Obama administration’s stage performance from appearing to even look like he is a man of the people. Jamie Dimon is dope-slapping Obama in public to let me and you know exactly who this president is working for. Jamie Dimon is masterminding a plan to subvert any Credit CARD Act requirements from doing anything but screw users even after the law was passed and to be enforced.
Here it is explained by Mr. James Kwak, of Baseline Scenario, “Credit Card Cleverness”: “Section 171 of the CARD Act (detailed guide here) prohibits “hair-trigger” increases in credit card interest rates on outstanding balances, whereby an issuer could increase a rate for any reason at any time. 171(b) specifies how interest rates can be changed; for example, the rate can change as the index it is based on changes, or the rate can change at the end of a clearly defined introductory period. 171(b)(4) says that if a borrower misses a minimum payment, the issuer has to wait sixty days before raising the interest rate. 171(b)(4)(B) says that after raising the rate, if the borrower makes the minimum payments for the next six months, the issuer has to restore the previous rate.
The person who got the letter above used to have an 8.1% APR. This letter raises the APR to 29.99%. But, if he pays his balance on time, he will get a “credit” amounting to (at least) 70% of the interest amount, bringing the APR down to 8.99%. If he misses a minimum payment, he may not be eligible to continue in the program. In other words, he has an 8.99% APR that jumps to 29.99% immediately (retroactively, actually, since it can apply to the previous month’s balance) if he misses a payment. Furthermore, the 8.99% rate does not have to be restored after six months of making payments, because the official rate was always 29.99%, and the 70% credit is just a “program.”
This attempt to get around Congress’s clear legislative intent is so transparent that it should be an easy case for the appropriate regulator to strike down. I believe the appropriate regulator for this kind of thing is the Federal Reserve. Maybe Ben Bernanke can show that he’s serious about consumer protection.” (End)
Here is more evidence of the Republican’s War Against Working Americans! ‘Republikon’ economic war strategist Frank Luntz wrote a memo describing in detail how his fellow jihadis could kill financial regulatory reform so working Americans continue to remain victims.
This same consulting political terrorist outlined how to kill health care reform for his comrades. After that, he went after financial regulatory reform.
In Sam Stein’s piece on Huffington Post, called “Frank Luntz Pens Memo To Kill Financial Reform”, “In a 17-page memo titled, "The Language of Financial Reform," Luntz urged opponents of reform to frame the final product as filled with bank bailouts, lobbyist loopholes, and additional layers of complicated government bureaucracy.
"If there is one thing we can all agree on, it's that the bad decisions and harmful policies by Washington bureaucrats that in many ways led to the economic crash must never be repeated," Luntz wrote. "This is your critical advantage. Washington's incompetence is the common ground on which you can build support."
Luntz continued: "Ordinarily, calling for a new government program 'to protect consumers' would be extraordinary popular. But these are not ordinary times. The American people are not just saying 'no.' They are saying 'hell no' to more government agencies, more bureaucrats, and more legislation crafted by special interests."
In Republican circles Luntz's words, which have helped the party score win the message wars over health care and other legislative battles, are often treated as gospel. Already, some of the advice he's offered on regulatory reform has found its way into the political discourse -- with a proposed Consumer Financial Protection Agency seemingly on life support under Republican objections.
In addition to tying regulatory reform to a massive government takeover, Luntz's memo includes several other data points and messaging suggestions as a blue print for the legislation's defeat. Opponents, he writes, would be well served to link the package to the financial industry bailout (which, it should be noted, is fundamentally not part of the legislation). According to accompanying polling data, 52 percent of voters said they would be "much less likely" to vote for their member of Congress if they voted for a financial reform bill that contained a fund to bail out banks and Wall Street.
"Public outrage about the bailout of banks and Wall Street is a simmering time bomb set to go off on Election Day," Luntz wrote. "Frankly, the single best way to kill any legislation is to link it to the Big Bank Bailout." (End)
What Luntz was doing was to frame his resistance to what would actually help working Americans, and their savings and investments as a negative. He actually stated that ordinarily people would be in favor of financial regulatory reform, and consumer protections but not now. HUH? Not now? These are the worst times since the Great Depression. If not now, then when would Americans want to be protected and demand regulation by their government?
This is a battle plan to brainwash Teabagger-types that don’t want bigger government, yet it is these same Republicans who voted in Bush’s massive budget deficits, war funding, domestic spying agenda, expansion of Medicare prescription drug benefit plan, bailouts, and the exporting of what has ended up to be 80% of all manufacturing jobs. Luntz’s Economic War Plan is also framed in lies. None of the regulatory reforms are tied to bailouts, but Teabagger-types, which is the Kool-Aid drinking group they are hoping to rally, will eat the pabulum.
James Kwak, responded to Luntz’s attack plan, wrote in his piece called “Elizabeth Warren Calls Out Wall Street”:
“The goal is simple: to make Americans think that the CFPA is their enemy, because it’s part of the government, and that the banks are nice cuddly ewoks by comparison.
This is absurd.
We like to make fun of government in this country, but really, what are you and a few of your buddies going to do to fight JPMorgan Chase on your own? For all of our beloved rugged individualism (and our individual right to handguns), it doesn’t do much good when you’re up against your credit card issuer. There is no Chicago-school free market solution to an oligopoly that, on top of all its other advantages, has an implicit government guarantee that gives it a major funding cost advantage over its competitors. One of the purposes of government is to protect ordinary people from forces (hurricanes, terrorists, monopolies) against which free market forces do not provide adequate protection. This is why we need a Consumer Financial Protection Agency. And this is what Frank Luntz wants to trick people into forgetting.” (End)
The ‘Republikon’ Party is working hard to push back protections for hardworking Americans.  Ranking Senate Banking ReCon Richard Shelby is not supporting any formation of a consumer financial protection agency with teeth and bite. This is their strategy. Shelby said that Democrat Chris Dodd, who supports the agency being independent, is the only one on the Senate Banking Committee supporting it.
Americans must wake up to the fact that President Obama is just dancing on the government stage pretending to be looking out for working Americans, when in actuality there is a curtain behind his with all his stage managers telling him how to perform the act. Those managers are the corporate elite, the monopoly capitalists, and the financial banking investment crime syndicate; yet, behind them is another curtain, very sheer, and impossible to see through. Behind that curtain is the military industrial-intelligence-domestic spying puppet masters controlling the entire stage performance.
President Obama’s damage control has not been with the American people, the real consumer in the country, but with those indulging in maintaining control of asset wealth inflation.
Thank for reading, jerry