How the Wall Street Bankers Bought Congress

You would think that causing the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression might have repercussions. You would think being a major factor in the destruction of around 40 percent of the world’s wealth might get you in trouble. You would think being the cause of the worst housing crisis in history — with millions of people losing their homes because of you — might force a restructuring of how Wall Street does things.

You would think that. But you’d be wrong.

For Wall Street’s lobbyists in Washington, it’s business as usual. Since Barack Obama took office, the bankers have succeeded in pushing through bogus “stress tests” of financial institutions’ solvency, escaping tougher government oversight, and steamrolling attempts to give working-class borrowers a break.

Even the much-hyped limits on CEO pay are being rolled back. In mid-June, Barack Obama lifted a five-month-old limit on executive compensation at financial firms that took federal bailout money. Apparently, only $500,000 a year in salaries and other perks was just too much of a sacrifice for the financial system to bear. Instead, Obama has established a “special master of compensation,” who will decide on pay to top executives at banks still reliant on government money.

While having a “special master” oversee pay might sound like a big deal, the banks aren’t sweating it. “Our people kind of thought it was a non-event,” one unnamed executive of a large bank told the Washington Post. “I don’t think there are worries about it on Wall Street.” And, the executive added, “It’s not like the horrible and unethical action from Congress, where they were putting artificial caps on pay or trying to steal back bonuses.”

The sense of entitlement on display in comments like these is staggering — as if the “wizards” of Wall Street deserve the billions in compensation showered upon them in the past decade for producing what has proved to be fictitious wealth, while destabilizing the economy and destroying the lives of people across the U.S.

As for legislation aimed at stemming the kinds of predatory lending practices that helped exacerbate the housing bubble and ultimately triggered the financial crisis, Senate Banking Committee Chair Christopher Dodd recently said, “We’ve got a lot on our plate. We’ve got other things to do.”

Apparently, however, one of those “other things to do” was not passing “cramdown” legislation — a measure that would have enabled bankruptcy court judges to lower the principal on existing mortgages for homeowners facing foreclosure, thereby helping people to keep their homes. In that bill, defeated in early May, the Senate sided with banks over homeowners by a 51-45 margin.

Housing rights activists estimate the legislation could have staved off 1.7 million foreclosures and preserved $300 billion in home equity. Nevertheless, a dozen Democrats in Senate voted against it.

“Instead of defending ordinary Americans, the majority of the senators went with the banks,” said the Center for Responsible Lending in a statement. “Yes, the same banks who have benefited so richly in the [$700 billion Troubled Asset Relief Program, or TARP] bailout.”

Meanwhile, the Treasury Department was celebrating the fact that 10 banks would be paying back TARP funds — insinuating that the financial system is on stable enough ground that the government could begin backing off.

But the same day that Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner talked up the TARP repayments, TARP Oversight Panel Chair Elizabeth Warren said the so-called stress tests, conducted to determine whether the big banks were on safe financial footing, should be redone.

“The employment numbers for 2009 have already exceeded the harshest scenario considered so far, suggesting that the stress tests should be repeated,” Warren’s report stated.

There was just one piece of legislation that didn’t go entirely the banks’ way: a bill, signed into law by Obama in May, that put some restraints on the out-of-control credit card industry,

The new law bans increases in annual percentage rate interest charges during the first 12 months after opening up an account. Consumers must get 45 days’ notice of changes in rates or contracts, and 30 days’ notice for account closures. The law also eliminates the notorious practice of “double billing,” in which credit card issuers impose finance charges based on balances already paid.

Yet even here, industry lobbyists were able to block changes sought by industry critics. Crucially, there’s still no cap on the interest rates that credit card companies can charge.

That’s why John Taylor, chief executive of the National Community Reinvestment Coalition, said in a recent interview: “It’s the bottom of the ninth, and it’s bankers 10, consumers zero. It’s like being in a street fight, and you and a few friends just went up against 100 other people, and you’re just picking yourself up off the ground. And you’re just bloodied.”

One reason bank lobbyists have been so successful is that they have convinced Congress to take on financial issues piecemeal, rather than in a single piece of legislation. That way, the lobbyists could focus on one battle at a time.

And on each bill, they made the case that new rules would restrict credit and jack up interest rates, thereby hurting consumers. Overall, the financial industry spent $42 million in lobbying efforts in the first quarter of 2009 — even as many banks were still being bailed out with taxpayer money.

By and large, this tactic has been successful. Scott Talbott, a lobbyist at the Financial Services Roundtable, admitted, “We knew we were going to be up against it. Yeah, we know it was going to be a tough year. And so far, it has not been a tough as expected.”

So despite Wall Street’s greatest crisis since the 1930s, the banking system is still calling the shots in Washington. Indeed, in a rare moment of candor, Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) said: “And the banks–hard to believe in a time when we’re facing a banking crisis that many of the banks created–are still the most powerful lobby on Capitol Hill. And they frankly own the place.”

What’s more, the same people move seamlessly back and forth between the corridors of power in finance and politics. Consider the case of Michael Paese, an ex-JP Morgan employee who became the top staffer to Rep. Barney Frank, chair of the House Financial Services Committee — which oversees Wall Street. Last September, Paese bolted to become Goldman Sachs’ top lobbyist. There he replaced Mark Patterson, who, in turn, left Goldman Sachs to become chief of staff at the Treasury Department.

Goldman Sachs, remember, is the firm that was run by former Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson before he went to Washington to work in the Bush administration. And don’t forget that Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner himself is a disciple of Ronald Rubin, another former Goldman Sachs executive turned treasury secretary during the Clinton administration.

Given this Wall Street-Washington circuit, it’s little surprise that Barney Frank has written a piece of legislation on lending “reform” that seems tailored to Wall Street.

His proposed measure has nine consumer, housing and civil rights groups up in arms. The National Consumer Law Center, for example, says the proposed legislation would “do more harm than good,” and added in a statement, “The bill is complex, convoluted and simply will not accomplish its main goal–to fundamentally change the way mortgages are made in this country.”

Just in case the Wall Street/Washington revolving door isn’t sufficient to get their way, the finance capitalists spread enormous amounts of money around Congress.

In the 2008 election cycle, securities and investment firms donated a whopping $154.9 million to political campaigns — $57 million more than the 2004 elections, according to OpenSecrets.org. Of that, 57 percent went to Democrats and 43 percent to Republicans. Real estate, which became deeply enmeshed with Wall Street during the housing bubble, donated another $136.7 million. The split was 49 percent Democrats and 51 percent Republicans.

Commercial banks, meanwhile, contributed $37.1 million to politicians–the most ever from that sector–with 48 percent going to Democrats and 52 percent to Republicans. Lastly, hedge funds tossed in another $16.7 million — four times as much as the sector had donated in any other election cycle. Hedge funds favored Democrats by a 65-35 percent margin. Altogether, that comes to $345.4 million.

While the numbers may have been larger than ever, Wall Street has long bought members of Congress in both parties to advance its legislative agenda. And it was a Democrat, President Bill Clinton, who signed into law two key pieces of legislation that set the stage for the current financial crisis.

The Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act, passed by a Republican Congress in 1999, repealed the Depression-era Glass-Steagall laws, which had separated risky investment banking from traditional, deposit-taking commercial banks. A year later, Congress passed the Commodity Futures Modernization Act, which kept large parts of commodities trading beyond the reach of regulators — including complex financial instruments that triggered the financial meltdown.

Today, Democrats have total control of the legislative process. But Wall Street is still getting its way, despite the bankers’ shattered credibility for their role in crashing the economy. Real financial reform that provides relief to working people will come only when social movements can put enough pressure on politicians to force them act.

Petrino DiLeo writes for Socialist Worker, where this article first appeared. Thanks to Alan Maass. Read other articles by Petrino, or visit Petrino's website.

24 comments on this article so far ...

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  1. Don Hawkins said on June 23rd, 2009 at 11:52am #

    Palm Beach Post Staff Writer
    Sunday, June 21, 2009

    More drought, more flooding. Hotter days, harder rain. Higher- intensity hurricanes.
    Cracked highways, derailed trains.

    The Everglades – a salt marsh, if visible at all. Cape Canaveral – more suited for submarines than space shuttles.
    It’s the year 2099, the globe is warm, and coastal Florida could be under 3 feet of water.
    It sounds like movie trailer hype. But it’s what a plain-language climate report issued last week by the Obama administration means, scientists say.
    The 158-page report, six pages of which focus on Florida and the Southeast, says global warming is “unequivocal,” man-made and primarily due to emissions of heat-trapping gases from the burning of coal, oil and gas.
    Though the report was initiated in 2007 during the Bush administration, some say its release now was timed as a call to action as legislators in Washington debate a climate bill that would limit greenhouse gas emissions from factories and power plants.
    “We’ve been pushing for a long time to have science be the basis of our policy,” U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla., said Friday. “This new report just underscores why we’ve got to start right away to curb air pollution that causes global warming.”
    Though the sea level rise and other impacts will take decades to unfold, the report’s urgency lies in the fact that it would take decades for solutions to take hold, said Brian Soden, professor at the University of Miami’s Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science.
    “The climate over the next 20 years has already been determined,” Soden said Thursday. “It’s going to get warmer, and there’s nothing we can do about that, even if we stop emitting greenhouse gases tomorrow. … We need to make decisions about what our emissions are going to be for the future.”
    Among the projections for the Southeast by 2099:

    A little secret long before 2099. None of this is true of course because Hannity, rush, Beck, Blankenship and his group the GOP and the other side sort of say so. Sorry this is a nobrainer anymore and yet we still see and hear the BS. That must be a real kick saying that stuff knowing full well what’s coming. Kind of goes to the thinking of some now doesn’t it. And what is that thinking?

    Look again at that dot. That’s here. That’s home. That’s us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every “superstar”, every “supreme leader”, every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there — on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam.
    Carl Sagan

    Remember destroyer of civilization part. Oh that’s not true you just might change your mind on that after this summer and next on the big picture that includes more than just climate breakdown for us human’s and all other life forms. Is it the fact that driving big cars or resources to keep golf in play or that whole call call now part must change yes but for a few it’s a little more than that for the cowards and destroyers of civilization every corrupt politician a little more than that now isn’t it. Am very sure the very thought of being just a person and not the money/debt and power they just couldn’t go on. I mean how could they? Oh they could gone on and very sure keep trying to have more a lot more I mean what else is there. Well read Carl again it’s there and the few do that too, yes for only a few sort of. Shocking isn’t it. Oh they don’t know what’s coming unless we change bullshit they know now 10 years ago sort of. They know. It’s a tuff one isn’t it. The tuff est problems we have ever face not true reread first part.

    If we keep on with business as usual, the Earth will be warmed more every year; drought and floods will be endemic; many more cities, provinces, and whole nations will be submerged beneath the waves – unless heroic worldwide engineering countermeasures are taken. In the longer run, still more dire consequences may follow, including the collapse of the West Antarctic ice sheet, and the inundation of almost all the costal cities on the planet. Carl Sagan

    Carl Sagan died in 1996 and to know then earlier about West Antarctic ice sheet was very clear thinking indeed.

    I guess what Carl wrote now day’s is not cool doesn’t fit our lifestyle yes you could certainly say that and there it is again that laughter off in the distance that’s getting louder. Lifestyle HA HA Ha ha How is that whole lifestyle in say California this day in the twenty first century on Earth are they getting back to normal Ha Ha.

    The middle ground between light and shadow, between science and superstition, and it lies between the pit of man’s fears and the summit of his knowledge. This is the dimension of imagination. It is an area which we call the Twilight Zone. ” Rod

    “Real funny Rod somebody call the club I want a one o’clock tee time”.

    The Greatest enemy of knowledge is not ignorance, it is the illusion of knowledge. –Stephen Hawking

    “Real funny Stephen call CNBC and tell them I’ll do the show will get those electrons moving we need to fight these people”.

    The twenty first century on Earth;

    It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to heaven, we were all going direct the other way – in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only. Charles Dickens

  2. Don Hawkins said on June 23rd, 2009 at 12:57pm #

    NAOMA, W.Va. – Actress Darryl Hannah, NASA scientist James Hansen and other mountaintop removal mining opponents have been arrested during a protest in southern West Virginia.

    State Police troopers arrested Hannah, Hansen, former Rep. Ken Hechler and several other protesters Tuesday afternoon after they blocked State Route 3 near a Massey Energy subsidiary’s coal processing plant in Boone County.

    They were among several hundred protesters who held a rally outside an elementary school that sits about 300 feet away from the plant’s coal storage silo.

    After the rally, the crowd marched quietly to the plant and attempted to enter the property. They were blocked by several hundred coal miners chanting “Massey.” About a dozen protesters then sat on the road and were arrested.

    The charges weren’t immediately available.

    They were blocked by several hundred coal miners chanting “Massey.” Here we go what’s next Exxon Exxon or GM GM or DOW DOW. Dumb scientist and actor this is our land and we will destroy it if we want. Plus the bonuses are good. What do you think 5 to 10.

  3. Melissa said on June 23rd, 2009 at 1:12pm #

    I once read somewhere, I think a comment here, that gee, ain’t it funny that millions can be slaughtered, our entire planet polluted beyond inhabitability, etc, etc. but yet so little is said, or only a lot said by a small number of committed people. BUT, they messed with our whole money, consumption, disposable materialistic addictions! Millions mobilized to shout the ole: Hang ‘em!

    Weird threshold, eh?

    Anyway, it is my opinion that it was an orchestrated “calamity”. It was crafted cong before, in order that, as the Rham-bo says “Never let a crisis go to waste” In other words that wasn’t the result, the “change” is yet to come. It was the set-up for something much worse. I predict it won’t be the change so many believe(d) in.

    Melissa

  4. Don Hawkins said on June 23rd, 2009 at 1:20pm #

    The Earth revolves around the Sun. Blaspheme

  5. Don Hawkins said on June 23rd, 2009 at 1:30pm #

    Rep. Ken Hechler is 94 years old. The Earth revolves around the Sun. Blaspheme. Shout it from the roof tops.

  6. Don Hawkins said on June 23rd, 2009 at 5:05pm #

    In a statement distributed by the Rainforest Action Network, Dr. Hansen said:
    I am not a politician; I am a scientist and a citizen. Politicians may have to advocate for halfway measures if they choose. But it is our responsibility to make sure our representatives feel the full force of citizens who speak for what is right, not what is politically expedient. Mountaintop removal, providing only a small fraction of our energy, should be abolished.

    Dr. Hansen has said for years that growing reliance on coal, far more so than oil, is the biggest threat to the global climate. As a result, he has strongly criticized the climate bill that is facing a vote by the full House of Representatives on Friday. He cites studies concluding that various provisions would allow expanded coal use in coming decades despite an overall cap on emissions of carbon dioxide. In a profile of Dr. Hansen by Elizabeth Kolbert in the current issue of the New Yorker (subscription required), she pressed him on his stance:

    Dr. Hansen pointed out that the bill explicitly allows for the construction of new coal plants and predicted that it would, if passed, prove close to meaningless. He said that he thought it would probably be best if the bill failed, so that Congress could “come back and do it more sensibly.”
    I said that if the bill failed I thought it was more likely Congress would let the issue drop, and that was one reason most of the country’s major environmental groups were backing it. “This is just stupidity on the part of environmental organizations in Washington,” Dr. Hansen said. “The fact that some of these organizations have become part of the Washington ‘go along, get along’ establishment is very unfortunate.” NYT

    Meaningless and that is what these people think of you and your kid’s. The climate bill is meaningless. There is away this is not it and all we are talking about is the human race’s survival. Shout it from the roof tops. Meaningless Meaningless Meaningless

  7. Melissa said on June 23rd, 2009 at 8:35pm #

    I’m not sure if you really seek my opinion, but I’ll toss it out there anyway. . .

    Yes, I think it is entirely possible, even likely, that a socialist workers agenda could have great gains by 2012. Will it be called a Socialist Workers Party? Or something completely different? Might a Socialist Worker candidate run as an Independent (like Nader) so the message is received without the backlash and deep suspicion that comes with using the S word? Maybe the strategy should be to run many candidates with the agenda/platform under different parties?

    You aren’t only focusing upon Presidential candidates I hope . . . closer to home, from the local to State too!

    The desired outcomes that I think I have heard you speak of are reflective of what the majority of USAers really want, but I don’t think the Socialist Workers Party name, with the black and red banner will ever be received.

    As far as capitalism is concerned, I have wondered for a while if the word is being misused. I don’t think I have witnessed capitalism in USA, nor has anyone else alive today. That has been dead for a long time. Corporate Capitalism, what we see today, is a different bird and rests on collectivism. Just not a collectivism that benefits us who pay for those fine breaks. Collectivism for the rich. And yes, it stinks the place up, and it’s been that way for much longer than our lifetime.

    -Melissa-

  8. Don Hawkins said on June 24th, 2009 at 3:06am #

    Melissa please keep writing it’s a gift and it’s free.

  9. Don Hawkins said on June 24th, 2009 at 4:01am #

    Sent this message to news media this morning.

    “I hope we are civilized when climate disaster hits”
    Thursday, 11 June 2009 09:34

    Interview of Gaia founder James Lovelock*
    BY STEPHEN LEAHY
    IPS NEWS AGENCY
    TORONTO — “When the first great climate disaster strikes, I hope we will all pull together just as if our nation were being invaded,” says British scientist James Lovelock in this exclusive Tierramérica interview.
    As the world marks International Environment Day Friday, Lovelock argues that as the climate warms and the carbon content of the atmosphere soars, humanity is facing a far grimmer future that will be upon us sooner than any of the projections made by the Intergovernmental Panel Climate Change (IPCC).
    A chemist, physician and biophysicist, Lovelock is one of the world’s foremost environmental scientists and founder of the Gaia Hypothesis, which describes the planet as a living organism, a complex system in which the components of the biosphere and atmosphere interact to regulate and sustain life.
    Although his ideas often feed controversy, Lovelock has wide-ranging scientific credentials. As an inventor, he holds more than 50 patents, including the first devices for detecting the presence of ozone-depleting CFCs (chlorofluorocarbons) and pesticide residues in the environment.
    He is also the author of many books. The most recent, “The Vanishing Face of Gaia: A Final Warning”, was published in April. Lovelock spoke with Tierramérica’s Stephen Leahy in Toronto.
    TIERRAMÉRICA: Why are you critical of the IPCC?
    JAMES LOVELOCK: There are many excellent scientists working with the IPCC but their computer climate models cannot model the biosphere’s response to increasing temperatures from global warming. The models do not include forest or ocean response to rising carbon dioxide levels. They cannot model a self-regulating Earth as yet. That is why the IPCC projections are so far off the mark.
    Observational evidence shows sea level rise has been much higher and the melting of the Arctic is happening far more quickly than IPCC predictions. Climate change is happening much faster than most realise.
    TIERRAMÉRICA: Has the Earth already passed a climate tipping point?
    JL: Yes, I think it has. The Earth is already moving towards a hotter state in response to the changes we’ve made in transforming much of the surface of the planet and adding CO2 into the atmosphere.
    Let’s not forget that the Earth was once nearly entirely forested and those forests were a major part of a living planet’s regulatory system.
    Based on Gaia theory at some point in the future there will be a sudden shift to a new global climate that may be 5 or 6 degrees Celsius warmer on average than today. I have no idea when that shift might happen but my guess is that we may have 20 years to prepare.
    TIERRAMÉRICA: What will this new climate be like?
    JL: The tropical and subtropical zones of the Earth will be too hot and dry to grow food or support human life. People will be forced to migrate towards the poles to places like Canada. There will be less than one billion people by the end of the century. My hope is that we will stay civilised and those in the North will give refuge to the unimaginably large numbers of climate refugees.
    TIERRAMÉRICA: You paint a grim view of the future. Is there no hope?
    JL: My main point is that we humans need to adapt and survive on this new hotter planet. Humans survived the last interglacial age, when ice covered much of North America and Europe and sea levels were 120 metres higher than today. The first step is to stop thinking blindly that all we have to do is reduce our carbon footprint, and begin preparations to adapt to what is coming.
    TIERRAMÉRICA: Are you saying we shouldn’t try to reduce carbon emissions?
    JL: I’m not saying there is nothing we can do. I am saying that many of the “green” alternatives like wind energy are at best tokens. Germany is a world leader (second to the United States) in wind energy, and its carbon emissions have increased.
    It is so difficult to make significant cuts in carbon emissions. And the real problem is that the total human footprint from nearly seven billion people is far more than the planet can support under current conditions.
    What we should be doing is protecting all remaining forests, return much of our farmland into its natural state and utilise the oceans to sequester carbon and get our food from some form of biosynthesis.
    TIERRAMÉRICA: Is nuclear energy a better alternative to wind or solar?
    JL: The only practical, low-carbon energy source is nuclear energy. Opposition to nuclear by environmentalists is just foolish. Nuclear energy is safer than other forms of energy and concerns over waste are unfounded. The high-level waste generated each year from a large nuclear reactor would fit inside a car.
    In France, 25 to 30 years of such waste are contained inside a large well-shielded area about the size of a small concert hall. Carbon dioxide is far more dangerous, as we are beginning to learn.
    TIERRAMÉRICA: What about geo-engineering, manipulating the Earth’s climate to counteract the effects of global warming?
    JL: I think it’s worth looking into proposals like injecting sulphur aerosols into the stratosphere to reflect some of the sun’s heat back into space as a way to cool the planet. Such proposals, if they work, could buy us some time, but they won’t solve the problem.
    TIERRAMÉRICA: How did we end up in such a difficult position, in which the human species is at risk?
    JL: It’s like the pre-World War II calm in Britain when I was a young man. No one did anything until bombs began to fall. We really don’t notice climate change; it seems theoretical to most of us. When the first great climate disaster strikes, I hope we will all pull together just as if our nation was being invaded.
    This climate change bill and what Lovelock wrote and it’s not just Lovelock that understands this doesn’t make sense. It’s not even third grade thinking from who?

    The first step is to stop thinking blindly that all we have to do is reduce our carbon footprint, and begin preparations to adapt to what is coming.

    There will be less than one billion people by the end of the century.

    I wonder who will be the billion? There are a few places on this planet that will see major effects first. One big one is China. In the States California and mid west. Energy equals mass times the speed of light squared. I still think a people of Earth speech and go for it and this climate change bill and the problems we face is nonsense pure unadulterated bullshit.

    Don

  10. Roxan said on June 25th, 2009 at 1:06am #

    Our people thought it was kind of a “Non event?” You’ve got to be kidding me….Why aren’t these hucksters in prison with Madoff?

  11. Roxan said on June 25th, 2009 at 1:12am #

    Since the climate bill was mentioned, I wonder why neither HAARP or chem trails for weather manupulation purposes are ever mentioned?

    While we’re at it on the subject of the environment, shouldn’t the use Depleted uranium/white phosphorous from our perpetual wars be mentioned? Along with GM terminator seeds or fluoridated water? How about those ill from: Agent Orange, Gulf War Syndrome or MCS (multiple chemical sensitivity)?

    Yea, these “environmentalists,” Green Peace, the Earth Justice/Day/Hour people, Al Gore, the Rockellers & their Club of Rome sure care a lot about the environment. They just won’t ever mention anything off this list, I bet.

    You should probably learn about the AGENDA 21 and United Nations connection while you’re at it. I don’t think you’ll like it.

  12. m said on June 25th, 2009 at 2:48am #

    We keep electing them.

    We deserve what we get.

  13. m said on June 25th, 2009 at 2:54am #

    I think there’s been a mixup of article and comments. The article I read is about corrupt senators and bankers.

    Or is the corrupttion of senators and bankers so institutionalized we don’t notice it anymore?

  14. Nicolae said on June 25th, 2009 at 3:28am #

    In 1492, Chemor, chief Rabbi of Spain, wrote to the Grand Sanhedrin, which had its seat in Constantinople, for advice, when a Spanish law threatened expulsion.2 This was the reply:

    ” Beloved brethren in Moses, we have received your letter in which you tell us of the anxieties and misfortunes which you are enduring. We are pierced by as great pain to hear it as yourselves.

    The advice of the Grand Satraps and Rabbis is the following:

    1. As for what you say that the King of Spain obliges you to become Christians: do it, since you cannot do otherwise.

    2. As for what you say about the command to despoil you of your property: make your sons merchants that they may despoil, little by little, the Christians of theirs.

    3. As for what you say about making attempts on your lives: make your sons doctors and apothecaries, that they may take away Christians’ lives.

    4. As for what you say of their destroying your synagogues: make your sons canons and clerics in order that they may destroy their churches. [Emphasis mine]

    5. As for the many other vexations you complain of: arrange that your sons become advocates and lawyers, and see that they always mix in affairs of State, that by putting Christians under your yoke you may dominate the world and be avenged on them.

    6. Do not swerve from this order that we give you, because you will find by experience that, humiliated as you are, you will reach the actuality of power.

    (Signed) PRINCE OF THE JEWS OF CONSTANTINOPLE.”

    2. The reply is found in the sixteenth century Spanish book, La Silva Curiosa, by Julio-Iniguez de Medrano (Paris, Orry, 1608), on pages 156 and 157, with the following explanation: “This letter following was found in the archives of Toledo by the Hermit of Salamanca, (while) searching the ancient records of the kingdoms of Spain; and, as it is expressive and remarkable, I wish to write it here.” — vide, photostat facing page 80.

    ~ The above was quoted from Waters Flowing Eastward by Paquita de Shishmareff, pp. 73-74

  15. Laurie said on June 25th, 2009 at 6:47am #

    I am so very tired of the leaders of this planet being criminally insane…they have created the mess on this planet and then sit back and blame the citizens…turning the citizen’s life upside down with no rules and laws that would not be necessary if they would STOP WEATHER MODIFICATION and HAARP….since the USA declared they would OWN the weather by 2025 these insane leaders have wrecked havoc on our atmosphere daily…chem trials, since they started this sht our weather patterns have been destroyed….

    It is not the consumer causing global warming…billions spent on weather modification is what is destroying our planet…along with the other destruction they have planned….war, GM Food, Aspartame, Flouride in drinking water, chem trails, HAARP, Weather Modifiction, vacinnes, new man made diseases the past 30 years, BIOdesigns being set free with no after thoughts, NANOtechnology untested for safety these criminally insane leaders don’t know anything but destruction…all they live for is to inslave and depopulate their citizens in every toxic way possible…

    We all live by the rules we have allowed and it is time to change some rules around here or we won’t have a planet to come to…I need to see these criminals in Armanai suits spend eternity in hell for they worship Satan…

    from what I have seen happen Satan Worshippers don’t make great leaders…a good place to start reining in these Satanic criminals would be going after the Illumanati and the Bilderberg Group.

  16. nader paul kucinich gravel said on June 25th, 2009 at 7:51am #

    oil
    spy
    leak
    theft
    aipac
    dance
    goyim
    opium
    profits
    the fed
    mossad
    neocons
    911 liars
    art students
    chickenhawk
    whistleblowers
    moving company
    propaganda media

    The chosen the superior
    Extortion blackmail bribery
    By deception ye shall wage war
    AIPAC’s Israel-first dual-nationals
    2-3% of the U.S. population controls
    For-profit NotFederal NoReserve scam

  17. Doc Charles said on June 25th, 2009 at 11:23am #

    Actually we haven’t elected our leaders. The voting process is broken. Even after the man that fixed the Ohio elections testifies of such, the authorities just go aha, aha, thanks for the testimony…. next.

    Our right to redress our grievances is not broken they just don’t listen anymore. I was able to attend a very informal meeting with my state senator, there was about 20 of us. I asked with force vaccinations looming on the horizon are they going to force the issue or let doctors and patients decided for themselves. And I got the run around and this was eye ball to eye ball. His response was disgusting, like most politicians.

    So we don’t have fair elections, the courts are rigged, the police are being “fused” at the fusion centers, demonstrations need permits and wired cages. Good god, people how much more are we going to take? Hmmm, the bible said there would be apathy in the last days…

    Find some like minded folks, stock up and get ready to meet the neighbors…

  18. Orison Whipple Hungerford Jr. said on June 25th, 2009 at 11:56am #

    Has this world has gone insane? Globalist have us on a direct course of self distruction and nobody is doing a dam thing to alter it. They are building more distructive bombs where we can now destroy all life on earth– five times over. We are being controled by a handfull of selfseeking, insane, money printers, who are brain dead from their greed for world control. We, the anglo- saxions that discovered and built this land for the survival of man’s freedoms dedicated it to our Creator God. We have all but lost our nation to selfserving globalists who are using our boys, our government, and our power to intimidate and control the world populations. These self-seeking, sub-humans hold no allegence to our nation or our creator God, They seek only world power, while giving no thought to the results of their ignorance. The globalists are stupid to think we are not aware that their using our boys, all over the world to protect their globlaist oil interests.–Globalist are destroying the planet with greed, culling populations, releasing deadly disease’s, creating starvation with weather control. How stupid, to think mankind is going to sit by and watch their world destroyed by selfseeking bankers who print their wealth out of thin air. We are a Christain Nation and our God will inspire our masses to throw out the money changers again and restore gold behind our monitary system. Doom and gloom is the future for any nation that egnores the basic law of ” do unto others as you would have them do unto you”.

  19. Dave said on June 25th, 2009 at 1:00pm #

    In American the general public is so under educated that you my as well
    talk to the wall.
    This is why they get away with it.

  20. Don Hawkins said on June 25th, 2009 at 1:36pm #

    THEY are not getting away with anything as they are now in control of an out of control system and I hope they know how to grow there own food.

  21. bozh said on June 25th, 2009 at 3:46pm #

    dave,
    amers are, as far as i know, educated to be efficient producers and prolific [ab]users/wasters.
    in most others aspects of life they appear more disinformed than any other people on this planet.
    the culprits in this miseducation are clergy, constitution, schools, media, entertainment industry, much of political discourse, etc.
    tnx

  22. Melissa said on June 25th, 2009 at 7:11pm #

    My US rep took his swearing-in oath upon a copy of Thomas Jefferson’s Koran. He voted for the massive give-away to the banks.

    My progressive hot-bed of a city is so tickled that we have a Muslim “representing” us. I was too, initially. I thought it reflected well upon us. My friend was his Imam. Ellison wears Islam as an auspicious front, but is not sincere, I am told by his ex-Imam.

    His vote shows he truly is not cognizant of the message of usury within the Koran (or it was inconvenient to have principles), and he’s totally clueless about what Thomas Jefferson said about same and banks/monetary system. He is a dolt, and he was re-elected by a very wide margin.

    Yes, as posters everywhere like to point out, there’s tons of disinfo and that mythology about our American identity and infancy. But worse than that is never asking any questions or making any connections. Edward Bernays (sp?) would be so proud to see this astounding psychological operation . . . makes me wish I had a magic mirror to assess myself without the veils, the cultural influence, the isms . . .

    Seems significant to me, anyway.

    Melissa

  23. Melissa said on June 25th, 2009 at 7:13pm #

    Oh yes, and he won’t support HR 1207. A one page bill to audit the “Federal” (not) “Reserve”.

  24. Ron Branson - Naional J.A.I.L. CIC said on June 26th, 2009 at 5:47pm #

    Federal Judicial Accountability & Integrity Legislation

    (a) Preamble. The House of Representatives and Senate Assembled find: that an inordinate and ever-growing number of complaints for willful misconduct have been lodged with Congress involving federal judges across this nation; that the current Title 28 U.S.C. §372(c) (Judicial Misconduct and Disability Act) is in many cases inadequate due to conflicts of interest of judges judging themselves; that judicial integrity is of major importance which affects all areas of our American society. Be it therefore resolved that the House of Representatives and Senate Assembled hereby enact the following legislation which shall be known as the “Judicial Accountability and Integrity Legislation.”
    (b) Definitions. For purposes of this statute:
    1. The term “blocking” shall mean any act that impedes the lawful conclusion of a case, to include unreasonable delay and willful rendering of a void judgment or order.
    2. The term “federal judge” or “judge” shall mean any federal justice, judge, magistrate, commissioner, or any person shielded by judicial immunity.
    3. The term “Juror” shall mean a Special Federal Grand Juror.
    4. The term “strike” shall mean an adverse immunity decision based upon bad behavior as set forth by paragraph (c), or a criminal conviction as set forth in paragraph (r).
    Where appropriate, the singular shall include the plural, and the plural the singular.
    (c) Immunity. Notwithstanding common law or any other provision to the contrary, no immunities shall be extended to any federal judge except as is specifically set forth in this statute. Preserving the purpose of protecting judges from frivolous and harassing actions, no immunity shielding a federal judge shall be construed to extend to any deliberate violation of law, fraud or conspiracy, intentional violation of due process of law, deliberate disregard of material facts, judicial acts without jurisdiction, blocking of a lawful conclusion of a case, or any deliberate violation of the Constitution of these United States, all violations of which shall constitute bad behavior.
    (d) Special Federal Grand Jury. There is hereby created within the District of Columbia a twenty-five member Special Federal Grand Jury with full federal geographical jurisdiction having power to judge on both law and fact. Their responsibility shall be limited to determining, on an objective standard, whether a civil suit against a federal judge would be frivolous and harassing, or fall within the exclusions of immunity as set forth herein, and whether there is probable cause of criminal conduct by the federal judge complained of.
    (e) Professional Counsel. The Special Federal Grand Jury shall have exclusive power to retain non-governmental advisors, special prosecutors, and investigators, as needed, who shall serve no longer than two years, after which term said officers shall be ineligible. However, with permission of the Special Federal Grand Jury, a special prosecutor may prosecute their current cases through all appeals and any applicable complaints to the Special Federal Grand Jury.
    (f) Establishment of a Special Federal Grand Jury Seat. A Special Federal Grand Jury seat is hereby created, which seat shall be located in excess of one mile of any federal judicial body.

    (g) Filing Fees. Attorneys representing a client filing a civil complaint or answer before the Special Federal Grand Jury, shall at the time of filing pay a fee equal to the filing fee due in a civil appeal to the United States Supreme Court. Individuals filing a civil complaint or answer before the Special Federal Grand Jury in their own behalf as a matter of right, shall, at the time of filing, post a fee of one hundred dollars, or file a declaration, which shall remain confidential, stating they are impoverished and unable to pay and/or object to such fee.
    (h) Annual Funding. Should this statute lack sufficient funding through its filing fees under paragraph (g), and fines imposed under paragraph (q), which amount shall be deposited regularly into the exclusive trust account created by this statute in paragraph (j) for its operational expenses, Congress shall impose appropriate surcharges upon the civil court filing fees of corporate litigants as necessary to make this statute self-supporting, or they may appropriate any and all the necessary funds for the full implementation of this statute by legislation.
    (i) Compensation of Jurors. Each Juror shall receive a salary commensurate to fifty percent of a federal district judge prorated according to the number of days actually served.
    (j) Annual Budget. The Special Federal Grand Jury shall have an annual operational budget commensurate to twenty times the combined salaries of the twenty-five Jurors serving full time, which sum shall be initially deposited by Congress into an exclusive trust account to be annually administered by the Controller. Should the trust balance, within any budget year, drop to less than an amount equivalent to the annual gross salaries of fifty federal district judges, the Controller shall so notify Congress which shall replenish the account, prorated based on the actual average expenditures during the budget year. Should the trust balance in any subsequent year exceed the annual operational budget at the beginning of a new budget year, the Controller shall return such excess to the United States Treasury.
    (k) Jurisdiction. The Special Federal Grand Jury shall have exclusive power to establish rules assuring their attendance, to provide internal discipline, and to remove any of its members on grounds of misconduct. The Special Federal Grand Jury shall immediately assign a docket number to each complaint brought before it. Except as provided in paragraph (r), no complaint of judicial misconduct shall be considered by the Special Federal Grand Jury unless the complainant shall have first attempted to exhaust all judicial remedies available in the federal courts within the immediately preceding six-month period. Such six-month period, however, shall not commence in complaints of prior fraud or blocking of a lawful conclusion until after the date the Special Federal Grand Jury becomes functional. This provision is intended to apply remedially and retroactively.
    (l) Qualifications of Jurors. A Juror shall have attained to the age of thirty years, and have been nine years a citizen of the United States, and an inhabitant of Washington, D.C. Those not eligible for Special Federal Grand Jury service shall include elected and appointed officials, members of the Bar, judges (active or retired), judicial, prosecutorial and law enforcement personnel, without other exclusion except previous adjudication of mental incapacity, imprisonment, or parole from a conviction of a felonious crime against persons.
    (m) Selection of Jurors. The Jurors shall serve without compulsion and shall be drawn by public lot by the Secretary of State from names on the voters rolls and any citizen submitting his/her name to the Secretary of State for such drawing.
    (n) Service of Jurors. Excluding the establishment of the initial Special Federal Grand Jury, each Juror shall serve one year. No Juror shall serve more than once. On the first day of each month, two persons shall be rotated off the Special Federal Grand Jury and new Citizens seated, except in January it shall be three. Vacancies shall be filled on the first of the following month in addition to the Jurors regularly rotated, and the Juror chosen to fill a vacancy shall complete only the remainder of the term of the Juror replaced.
    (o) Procedures. The Special Federal Grand Jury shall serve a copy of the filed complaint upon the subject judge and notice to the complainant of such service. The judge shall have thirty days to serve and file an answer. The complainant shall have twenty days to reply to the judge’s answer. (Upon timely request, the Special Federal Grand Jury may provide for extensions for good cause.) In criminal matters, the Special Federal Grand Jury shall have power to subpoena witnesses, documents, and other tangible evidence, and to examine witnesses under oath. The Special Federal Grand Jury shall determine the causes properly before it with their reasoned findings in writing within one hundred twenty (120) calendar days, serving on all parties their decision on whether immunity shall be barred as a defense to any civil action that may thereafter be pursued against the federal judge. A rehearing may be requested of the Special Federal Grand Jury within twenty days with service upon the opposition. Twenty days shall be allowed to reply thereto. Thereafter, the Special Federal Grand Jury shall render final determination within thirty days. All allegations of the complaint shall be liberally construed in favor of the complainant. The Jurors shall keep in mind, in making their decisions, that they are entrusted by the people of these United States with the duty of restoring a perception of justice and accountability of the federal judiciary, and are not to be swayed by artful presentation by the federal judge. They shall avoid all influence by judicial and government entities. The statute of limitations on any civil suit brought pursuant to this statute against a federal judge shall not commence until the rendering of a final decision by the Special Federal Grand Jury. Special Federal Grand Jury files shall always remain public record following their final determination. A majority of thirteen shall determine any matter.
    (p) Removal. Whenever any federal judge shall have received more than three strikes, the federal judge shall automatically be brought up on charges before Congress for Articles of Impeachment by the Special Federal Grand Jury through its special prosecutor for bad behavior and willful misconduct. Congress thereafter shall commence to a vote on such Articles of Impeachment. Upon a conviction, the federal judge shall be permanently removed from office. He may also be held liable under any other appropriate criminal or civil proceeding.
    (q) Indictment. Should the Special Federal Grand Jury also find probable cause of criminal conduct on the part of any federal judge against whom a complaint is docketed, it shall have the power to indict such federal judge except where double jeopardy attaches. The Special Federal Grand Jury shall, without voir dire beyond personal impartiality, relationship, or linguistics, cause to be impaneled special trial jurors, plus alternates, which trial jurors shall be instructed that they have power to judge both law and fact. The Special Federal Grand Jury shall also select a non-governmental special prosecutor and a federal judge with no more than four years on the bench from a state other than that of the defendant judge, (or outside of the District of Columbia, if the case so be). The trial jury shall be selected from the same pool of jury candidates as any regular federal jury. The special prosecutor shall thereafter prosecute the cause to a conclusion, having all the powers of any other prosecutor within these United States. Upon conviction, the special trial jury shall have exclusive power of sentencing (limited to incarceration, fines and/or community service), which shall be derived by an average of the sentences of the trial jurors.
    (r) Criminal Procedures. In addition to any other provisions of this statute, a complaint for criminal conduct of a federal judge may be brought directly to the Special Federal Grand Jury upon all the following prerequisites: (1) an affidavit of criminal conduct has been lodged with the appropriate prosecutorial entity within ninety (90) days of the commission of the alleged conduct; (2) the prosecutor declines to prosecute, or one hundred twenty (120) days has passed following the lodging of such affidavit and prosecution has not commenced; (3) an indictment, if sought, has not been specifically declined on the merits by a Grand Jury; and (4) the criminal statute of limitations has not run. Any criminal conviction (including a plea bargain) under any judicial process shall constitute a strike.
    (s) Public Indemnification. No federal judge complained of, or sued civilly by a complainant pursuant to this statute shall be defended at public expense or by any elected or appointed public counsel, nor shall any federal judge be reimbursed from public funds for any losses sustained under this statute.
    (t) Redress. The provisions of this statute are in addition to other redress that may exist and are not mutually exclusive.
    (u) Preeminence. Preeminence shall be given to this statute in any case of conflicts with any other federal statutes, case law, or common law to the contrary. The foreperson of the Special Federal Grand Jury shall read, or cause to be read, this statute to the respective Jurors semi-annually during the first week of business in January and July.

    * * *

    Filed In Library of Congress
    AUTHORED BY: Ron Branson
    P.O. Box 207
    North Hollywood, California 91603
    gro.segduj4liajnull@ASUyrotciV