Sunday, November 9, 2014

Uprisings Here And Abroad

Venezuela

Workers have taken over a Clorox factory after its US owners abruptly abandoned it, leaving them without jobs. Venezuela's Socialist government is supporting the takeover, which is provided for in the country's constitution, which was approved by Venezuelan voters during the reign of Hugo Chavez.

“These workers are committed to assuming the responsibility to run a company based on the needs of the country,” explained Labor Minister Jesus Martinez. “They aren’t debating a pay rise nor a collective contract."


Net  Neutrality

President Obama keeps saying he's committed to net neutrality, but the proposals his FCC chairman keeps submitting don't back that up. Activists earlier forced FCC chair Tom Wheeler, a former cable company lobbyist, to back down on a proposal to allow internet "fast lanes" that would allow internet providers to favor the content of companies able to pay a fee, and make it difficult to find content put up by activists, independent media, and the rest of us. Wheeler has submitted a counter proposal that allows the same things, say activists, who are gearing up to oppose it.

Impeach Obama?

Speaking of the president, super investigative reporter Matt Taibbi is out with a new article in Rolling Stone detailing how Obama's attorney general, Eric Holder, helped Wall Street bank JP Morgan Chase avoid criminal prosecution and cover up the evidence of its massive fraud. Taibbi interviews former Chase lawyer Alayne Fleischmann, who would have been the government's key witness in its case against Chase and other banks, who tells how justice department underlings interviewed her repeatedly, only to have the case repeatedly quashed by higher ups.

Fleischmann details how the fraud was committed, as Chase supervisors overseeeing the packaging of mortgage loans, known to be bad, into securities that were then rated A+ and sold to investors, including credit unions and pension funds, forced Chase employees to cover up evidence of the bad loans and submit false reports.

Taibbi, through good reporting, supplies crucial details to the story, such as that a phone call by Chase CEO Jamie Dimon to Holder's office halted a pending indictment of Chase and reopened negotiations, which resulted in a hand-slap settlement that buried all the evidence and left investors, consumers and underwater homeowners holding the bag. 

President Obama has held no one accountable for big bank crimes, which are numerous and widespread. Taibbi casts the story in the "too big to fail" light, but it's also about the Democratic Party wanting to keep open its Wall Street pipeline of campaign cash. House Republicans, especially younger members who grew up in the information bubble of conservative talk radio and web sites, are said to have the votes to impeach Obama. They certainly have just cause; his decision to let off scott free the Wall Street criminals who gave the American people a multi-billion dollar fleecing.

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