Congress finally banned its members and other federal officials from stock trading based on insider government information, but not before the law was watered down in two key respects, as Michael Winship reports.
Exclusive: Orwell’s insight – that who controls the present controls the past, and who controls the past controls the future – could apply to the American political debate in which the Right has built a false narrative that enlists the Framers of the Constitution as enemies of a strong central government, writes Robert Parry.
Exclusive: Many on the American Right insist federal actions from the Civil War to recent banking regulations were encroachments on states’ rights and personal liberties, but underlying these claims – in the 1860s and today – is the greed of the richest 1 percent treating the 99 percent as chattel, writes Mark Ames.
The Occupy Wall Street movement has resisted making specific proposals for reform, focusing instead on its trademark occupation of parks and its protests on behalf of the 99 percent. Some longtime activists now urge OWS to “go left,” but Danny Schechter says it also much broaden its reach to that 99 percent.
The New York Police Department reacted quickly against Occupy Wall Street activists who returned to Liberty Square (or Zuccotti Park) six months after the original occupation began. But the confrontation marked one more milepost in a longer and surely more painful journey, writes poet Phil Rockstroh.
America’s banks remain under fire, including a public resignation by a Goldman Sachs executive disgusted by the firm’s abuse of its clients. New protests also include calls by some Christian churches for the banks to repent for their roles in the nation’s foreclosure crisis, Michael Winship reports.
Exclusive: For the past decade, the people of the small central European nation of Slovakia have suffered under a harsh and corrupt “privatization” scheme devised by the Koch Brothers’ Cato Institute. However, in weekend elections, they defied their oligarchs by voting for a left-of-center “populist” party, reports Mark Ames.
International agencies and global movements target human rights violators from small or isolated countries, but the idea of holding accountable the powerful and well-connected who cause much greater human suffering is considered unthinkable, a paradigm that Danny Schechter challenges.
When financier Robert Allen Stanford was a high-flying billionaire, he spread his campaign donations around to powerful politicians of both parties, from Barack Obama to John McCain. But now – with Stanford convicted of fraud – a federal court is demanding refunds of his largesse, reports Michael Winship.
Since the early supply-side days of Ronald Reagan, the Right has pretended that slashing taxes on the rich will generate extra revenue, thus more than paying for itself. The reality has turned out differently, but Michael Winship says that hasn’t changed the determination to bend reality to politics.