Monday, May 1, 2017

Divine Right Of Banks

Landless Peasants,

“The King can do no wrong.” —William Blackstone, Commentaries on the Laws of England
“When the president does it, that means that it is not illegal.” —Ex-President Richard Nixon, interview with David Frost
A person or group of people who satisfy Blackstone’s criterion for ultimate sovereign power—the power to commit crimes with impunity—can’t exist in a nation where the law reigns supreme.
The question at bar is why the U.S. Department of Justice has failed to prosecute any too-big-to-fail banks or—more importantly—their bankers, even for admitted crimes. It’s a crucial question, because after eight straight years of unremitting prosecutorial failure, it looks very much as if a select group of top banks can, in fact, do no wrong. If that’s the case, then our constitutional republic isn’t merely in trouble. It's dead.
 Legally, the TBTF banks are indistinguishable from the King, since the power to commit crimes with impunity swallows all other sovereign powers; such a power isn’t even supposed to exist in the U.S., and yet it does. Moreover, since there can’t be two kings in a kingdom, the entire U.S. government, from the president on down, is just one of the King’s men under this formulation of power. The real job of the U.S. government, then, isn’t to represent the will of the people at all, it’s to do the King’s bidding. A nation that isn’t governed by law is governed by instead by a king—it’s one or the other—and the president’s inferiority to such an above-the-law sovereign was confirmed over 40 years ago with Nixon’s ouster. The president, unlike the King, answers to the law (despite Nixon's opinion). 
[Thanks Eleni. The "king" is the corporate body of western banking, as personified in all bankers who conform to the objectives of the oligarchy. Airtight case. No court will actually try it. "The king's men" are everywhere.]

Jim Kunstler sees this: "I live in a corner of Flyover Red America where you can easily read these conditions on the landscape —... You can read it in the bodies of the people in the new town square, i.e. the supermarket: people prematurely old, fattened and sickened by bad food made to look and taste irresistible to con those sunk in despair, a deadly consolation for lives otherwise filled by empty hours, trash television, addictive computer games, and their own family melodramas concocted to give some narrative meaning to lives otherwise bereft of event or effort.  These are people who have suffered their economic and social roles in life to be stolen from them. They do not work at things that matter. They have no prospects for a better life — and, anyway, the sheer notion of that has been reduced to absurd fantasies of Kardashian luxury, i.e. maximum comfort with no purpose other than to enable self-dramatization. And nothing dramatizes a desperate life like a drug habit. It concentrates the mind, as Samuel Johnson once remarked, like waiting to be hanged."

"Economic Reality: Bottom 50% of Americans No Longer Matter", Mish Shedlock (and growing percentage...)

"Escaping Poverty Requires almost 20 years with Nearly Nothing Going Wrong" (Know anybody likely to pull that off? Hey, when would you have kids?)

The argument for Medicare-for-all, yet again. (Notice that the amount the government is already paying into the for-profit system is already more than is paid by all of our peers like Canada, France, England, Spain, Australia and Japan for their entire systems, which are rated so much higher.)
"The government already underwrites 60 percent of all health costs, much of it to subsidize the insurance and pharmaceutical industries, while also partially or completely funding congressional, VA and public employee health coverage."

Republican politicians are increasingly confident that they have the votes to "overturn Obamacare", by gutting th part that makes insurance companies cover people's medical conditions. That can cut costs, without cutting into insurance company profits, which would kill everything... Wednesday is the day. Next, it will be possible to move on to the budget and those tax cuts for the top 10%. Eat healthy!

David Stockman says Trump tax plan is (brain) Dead on Arrival.

Erdogan: "Turkey and US can wipe out ISIL in Raqqa (if Turkey may also wipe out Kurds in Syria, without restriction, now that ISIL is failing us)". 
Sultan Erdogan will meet with Puppet Trump this week for high level ingratiations.

"The Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) continued the anti-ISIL Euphrates Rage Operation in Western Raqqa and managed to drive the terrorists out of more neighborhoods in al-Tabaqa city, killing over 40 of them... According to latest reports, around 40% of Tabaqa city has been brought under Kurdish control with just a few hundred ISIL militants left in its Northern sector and around the city center."

American troops and armored vehicles drive into northern Syria. That's an invasion, right?  

"Russia has supported a Chinese initiative in the UNSC intended to stabilize the situation on the Korean peninsula. It calls on the North to refrain from missile and nuclear testing, while the US and South Korea should halt military drills in the area." 
“In this context, the Russian Federation supported a Chinese proposal for a ‘double suspension’ (Pyongyang is to stop missile and nuclear tests and the US and South Korean militaries are to halt drills near North Korea) as a starting point for political negotiations.” [
This reasonable proposition must not be tolerated!]

Yanis Varoufakis (who knows) advises Theresa May to "avoid negotiating with the EU at all costs". Just decide and do it. You will never get anything except tricks and traps and betrayal and strung out. Is PM May, a "stay" supporter, really the right chmpion for this contest?

Mish Shedlock says the same thing, based on his analysis. "There is absolutely no reason the UK should start a negotiation given the repeated EU demands. Once again, on Thursday, German Chancellor Angela Merkel repeated the EU’s “not reversible” position."

(New-New or just Good-Old) Labor Party advances platform for worker's rights in the UK, what it used to stand for a generation and more ago, before Tony Blair.

Tony Blair: "Labor can win at any point that it wants to get back to winning ways." That is exquisitely clear code coming from that man. "Betray, Betray, Betray!"

Jenny in the Spring Garden, Happy May Day! ("Workers of the World Unite! You have nothing to Lose but Your Chains")
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Tomato Economist

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