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  • Political Theatre
    ad time and more time in the room with policy makers We all know without having to be told how dangerous that is And yet with these decisions Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts and the other right leaning justices want to tell us it just isn t so Roberts may come by his beliefs and interpretations honestly but his interpretation of what is and is not constitutional is truly scary bordering on fundamentalist in its willingness to disregard simple observation of the world around him His decisions on campaign finance will have lasting and probably destructive effects but there he is and there he will stay along with the other right wing leaning justices until he retires or dies We must remember then that Roberts is Chief Justice of a right leaning Court because he and his right leaning colleagues were nominated by and voted for by right leaning men and women who were themselves supported by America s own ruthless homegrown capitalists aggressively selfish men and women who made their money by not having to be accountable to others and who spend their money to ensure that they will never have to be If this sounds a little too familiar maybe a little too much like something you ve read about some post Soviet backwater it may be time to accept at long last that we have our own oligarchs here and that they are no less dangerous to us Just something to think about heading into the 2014 and 2016 election cycles Daniel Ward 1 note Permalink Posted at 2 58 PM Tagged oligarchs Russia pan russian ism Cold War rule of law democracy enemies supreme court citizens united campaign finance law poland belarus kazakhstan uzbekistan chechnya republic of georgia republic of moldova ukraine crimea mccutcheon v fec bullying politics koch brothers syria Rwanda unemployment accountability aggressive selfishness defensive selfishness Oligarchies Jun 30 The Up In The Air President Timothy Egan New York Times Opinionator 06 27 13 1 note Permalink Posted at 12 03 PM Tagged barack obama supreme court voting rights act jim crow citizens united keystone XL gun control The Sequester congress filibuster wendy davis Political Theatre May 14 Profiling Revelations that Internal Revenue Service agents paid extra attention to tax exemption applications from right wing political action groups shouldn t really shock anybody especially considering that the extra attention started in March 2010 Just two months earlier the Supreme Court of the United States had delivered its decision on Citizens United v The Federal Election Commission The Court s decision that campaign spending equated free speech meant that corporations and individuals were free to spend whatever they wanted to on election campaigns That should have raised red flags at every single government regulatory agency and it probably did After all the decision by far benefitted corporations which have deep pockets want to pay fewer and lower taxes want to have less government oversight and may even intimidate their own employees for political gain

    Original URL path: http://politicaltheatre.net/tagged/citizens-united (2016-05-02)
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  • Political Theatre
    be promoted high enough never to have to fear prosecution DW Permalink Posted at 3 29 PM Tagged libor ubs citigroup citibank corruption regulation middle managers 2008 financial crisis wall street economics politics the cheating culture aggressive selfishness greed Political Theatre Dec 11 Congressional Deal Aimed at Avoiding Shutdown Includes Victory for Big Banks Businessweek Permalink Posted at 7 27 AM Tagged corruption congress john boehner wall street clean water highway safety here we go again politics Political Theatre Nov 01 The scandal hit politicians seeking re election With most election districts for both state and federal office now safely in the hands of one party or the other not only is it difficult to remove a scandal ridden encumbent but they are emboldened by that difficulty The long and short of it gerrymandering at the state level encourages corruption and gridlock at both the state and national levels At some point some clever politician is going to make this a campaign issue Maybe next year DW 2 notes Permalink Posted at 5 21 PM Tagged congress republicans democrats sexting corruption gerrymandering Political Theatre Sep 17 Deterrence pt 2 Community The word gets thrown around a lot Take for instance the term diplomatic community This particular community operates under a very particular set of rules Diplomats abroad are afforded special rights the most special being immunity from prosecution for breaking the laws of their host countries As we see from time to time this exception remember that word leads to what we in the host country might call bad behavior You know like unpaid parking tickets It is illegal for them to park where and when they should not and it is illegal not to pay tickets given for breaking the law but because they cannot be charged for not paying diplomats find themselves succumbing to the temptation to park in loading zones during street cleaning In New York and Washington D C as well as consulate and embassy filled cities around the world unpaid parking tickets are a problem although not a big enough problem that the host countries threaten to violate the sanctity of diplomatic community ettiquette and send the diplomats home Host countries usually reserve that for espionage Or murder Yes even then the diplomat may be immune Sure the diplomat s country may wave his immunity but odds are they won t not unless doing so might cost them something more valuable With no leverage the host country can only open the door and ask the guest to leave and even then they can only ask nicely That s the trouble with throwing words around Calling something a community is fine but you can t deter bad behavior from an outsider Deterrence requires an individual or group s acceptance of the authority of a community and no one on the outside wants to hear the word When we see what we think of as bad behavior such as political corruption corporate abuse police brutality rioting terrorism or military invasion these actions are taken by men and women who do not accept that they are part of the community they are harming This is to say they do not accept that those they are harming could have authority moral or otherwise over them Either they feel excluded from the community common feelings in cases of police brutality rioting and terrorism and use that to justify bad behavior or they wish to behave badly that would be political corruption corporate abuse and military invasion and attempt to exclude themselves from the community preemptively This latter group has a name for their choice Exceptionalism Like diplomats with parking tickets these people want to believe the rules of common people simply do not apply to them In the short term they get away with it like all criminals do in the long term they and everyone else in whatever community they ve touched pay a very high price What s happening in eastern Ukraine and in Syria and Iraq right now is rightly described as exceptionalist behavior Russian President Vladimir Putin has guided his people wherever they may live to the belief that rules imposed by others the United Nations and the United States in particular do not apply to them To hear Putin or one of his lackies speak international opinion is just a means of keeping the Russian people down Likewise the group calling itself Islamic State of has gone out of its way to violate any international sense of human decency in great part to remove themselves from having to accept being part of a community that disapproves of their violent invasion of Iraq and the atrocities committed there and in Syria They dress is up as a war for islamic traditions but their cruel taunting videos of executions show them to be outside just about every other Muslim community on Earth And that to be sure is fine by them Both groups have committed violent cruel atrocities both have thumbed their noses at international outrage and both have used identification with those atrocities and nose thumbing as a means of tightening bonds within their own communities This is what exceptionalism is And here s the uncomfortable bit what s happening in Ukraine and the Middle East right now is part of the price to be paid for America s dalliance with exceptionalism To be clear this is not to say that America is directly at fault for what has been done by masked people in Ukraine and Syria Their aggression was always going to find a target and they wear masks for the same reasons bank robbers and kidnappers do No this is what happens when one country decides that the rules of a world community in which they reside such as those regarding the invasion of another country do not apply to them That is what the United States did in Iraq That is what the United States was perceived to have done elsewhere At

    Original URL path: http://politicaltheatre.net/tagged/corruption (2016-05-02)
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  • Political Theatre
    states supreme court Jan 26 Senator Elizabeth Warren Calls for Action to Root Out Influence of Money in Politics YouTube Permalink Posted at 11 37 PM Tagged elizabeth warren citizens united corruption politics economics united states supreme court 2016 presidential

    Original URL path: http://politicaltheatre.net/tagged/united-states-supreme-court (2016-05-02)
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  • Political Theatre
    me The Hillary Clinton refutation of Bernie Sanders from the New Hampshire Democratic Presidential Debate refuted by Elizabeth Warren on Bill Moyers Now twelve years earlier 02 06 2004 1 note Permalink Posted at 9 05 AM Tagged elizabeth warren bill moyers bill moyers now hillary clinton wall street bernie sanders Political Theatre Jan 26 Senator Elizabeth Warren Calls for Action to Root Out Influence of Money in Politics YouTube Permalink Posted at 11 37 PM Tagged elizabeth warren citizens united corruption politics economics united states supreme court 2016 presidential race wall street Political Theatre Aug 03 How Libor whiz Rain Man became the guy everyone was going to blame Reuters Kristin Ridley Reuters 08 03 15 The dream of financial traders is no longer merely to have the houses the cars the bling and enough money to live like royalty it s to be promoted high enough never to have to fear prosecution DW Permalink Posted at 3 29 PM Tagged libor ubs citigroup citibank corruption regulation middle managers 2008 financial crisis wall street economics politics the cheating culture aggressive selfishness greed Political Theatre Dec 11 Congressional Deal Aimed at Avoiding Shutdown Includes Victory for Big Banks Businessweek Permalink Posted at 7 27 AM Tagged corruption congress john boehner wall street clean water highway safety here we go again politics Political Theatre Sep 10 Deterrence pt 1 They dream of glory on the field and riches off of it They dream that one day if they re good enough they might get to wear a golden blazer before a crowd of their peers as they are enshrined as immortal or as close to it as man may get in this life Ray Rice could have had that He already had the first two He was a star running back one of football s glamour positions One breakout play in a game for a running back could be a highlight seen by millions one played and replayed for a lifetime Rice had had dozens of those He has a Super Bowl ring too Until Monday he had a contract that would have guaranteed comfort and security for him and his family for life Had he lasted a little longer and had we not seen him punching a woman and calmly standing over her unconscious body Rice might have had the golden blazer too Ah but we did see that video The woman now his wife insists on defending him as though something in what millions have now seen was somehow open to interpretation It is important for us to consider why she wants it to be so why she needs it to be so but the sight of the man calmly dragging the woman he had just punched out of an elevator says more about what we were seeing than anything she ever could However he may claim to love the mother of his children Ray Rice calmly stood over her until the elevator doors opened and calmly dragged her out into the lobby He did not panic He did not kneel down to make sure she was okay No he pulled her limp body just far enough then dropped her on the carpet and nudged her leg with his foot in a half assed effort to move it out of the way of the elevator doors This was not some momentary act This was not 30 seconds of an otherwise pure exemplary life This wasn t something new or unexpected This was just caught on video Seeing it for ourselves does something It changes us We can t push it away like we want to We need to make it stop We need to make sure we don t see this again We could try to pretend things like this don t happen and look the other way but we ve seen too much It was real So we have to prevent it from happening again or at least try to But how Deterrence requires belief in one thing what could be lost for doing what we as a community deem wrong must exceed whatever could be gained from doing it This however requires two other things something to lose and the belief that we are part of a community This time and again is where deterrence falls apart Take for instance the problem of performance enhancing drugs PEDs in the NFL and other professional leagues Steroids and human growth hormone have transformed not only the athletes in just about every professional sport but the business models of how those sports are run and how they are marketed too For the past thirty years there s been a lot of money to be made in selling bigger gaudier flashier numbers and the bigger gaudier flashier athletes putting them up In the short term it s a party for everyone It s easy for fans team management and the athletes themselves to look past what they don t want to see That s what they short term is all about In the long term though with the public footing the bigger gaudier flashier bills for their entertainment the business models fall apart as assuredly as the aging athletes Fans balking at the ever rising costs start to connect the numbers more to the drugs and less to the athletes and they stop trusting what they re seeing That s when the money stops coming in Or threatens to The sports must either take action to protect their brand image by shaming and expelling those behaving badly or risk being tied to those publicly shamed athletes as they go down It was no accident that Major League Baseball s PED testing and punishment only began in earnest after public outrage made it necessary It was no accident that the token nature of the initial penalties had little to no effect on player behavior There was still too much money to be made for any player when measured against what he might

    Original URL path: http://politicaltheatre.net/tagged/wall-street (2016-05-02)
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  • Political Theatre - How Libor whiz Rain Man became 'the guy everyone...
    to blame Reuters Kristin Ridley Reuters 08 03 15 The dream of financial traders is no longer merely to have the houses the cars the bling and enough money to live like royalty it s to be promoted high enough never to have to fear prosecution DW Permalink Posted at 3 29 PM Tagged libor ubs citigroup citibank corruption regulation middle managers 2008 financial crisis wall street economics politics the

    Original URL path: http://politicaltheatre.net/post/125778852928/how-libor-whiz-rain-man-became-the-guy-everyone (2016-05-02)
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  • Political Theatre
    more government committees is that there are two sets of rules one for the rich and one for the rest of us Think of it as compound interest only in this case the interest is bloodlust It s no mere coincidence that were seeing a long line of these cases at the end of an era in which abuse was just an increasingly accepted part of things getting done Just two months ago it was Jamie it happens all the time Dimon on the hot seat He apologized for a small slip up fired the woman in charge and was allowed to keep his job and bonuses Why Because not only does it happen all the time but everybody else is doing it He and his team met what passes for a standard of behavior They also have very good lawyers so good luck proving that they did wrong anytime soon This is the problem the Justice Department has had in prosecuting wrongdoing in the 2008 financial meltdown Well that and a complete lack of political will At this point no one believes anyone will be held accountable for the millions of jobs and billions of dollars lost And the public very much like people being held accountable especially when it s their jobs and their dollars This hurts President Obama s reelection campaign as it should He campaigned on accountability in 2008 and has done little if anything to fulfill his promises Having lost much of the faith those on the Left granted him in the last campaign Obama is as much campaigning to rebuild voter turnout this go round as anything Barack Obama does however have enormous advantages over Mitt Romney not the least of which is that Mitt Romney is Mitt Romney representative of Wall Street and derivative traders everywhere No matter how much money Jamie Dimon donates to Obama s war chest Romney just can t shake that he belongs to a class of people who testify before politicians rather than belonging to the political class itself This is why Obama has been hammering away at Romney s Bain Capital association people getting rich by gaming the system are hated right now In the short term gaming the system is always popular because a lot of people make a lot of money quickly in the long term it always becomes a matter of those at the bottom feeding the fortunes of those at the top of the early adopters profiting while those late to the game pay the price If it all sounds like a global Ponzi scheme that s because it is The pattern is what counts not the business And Team Obama knows this Team Romney probably knows it too but what are they going to do They re on the side of the guys getting away with it And when people are suffering anybody getting away with it is just salt in the wound This is why John Edwards getting off hurts Romney

    Original URL path: http://politicaltheatre.net/tagged/libor (2016-05-02)
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  • Political Theatre
    became the guy everyone was going to blame Reuters Kristin Ridley Reuters 08 03 15 The dream of financial traders is no longer merely to have the houses the cars the bling and enough money to live like royalty it s to be promoted high enough never to have to fear prosecution DW Permalink Posted at 3 29 PM Tagged libor ubs citigroup citibank corruption regulation middle managers 2008 financial

    Original URL path: http://politicaltheatre.net/tagged/ubs (2016-05-02)
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  • Political Theatre
    street economics politics the cheating culture aggressive selfishness greed Political Theatre May 27 Robert Reich Why Democrats Can t be Trusted to Control Wall Street robertreich Who needs Republicans when Wall Street has the Democrats With the help of congressional Democrats the Street is rolling back financial reforms enacted after its near meltdown According to the New York Times a bill that s already moved through the House Financial Services

    Original URL path: http://politicaltheatre.net/tagged/citigroup (2016-05-02)
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