The Price We Pay For Being Played As Fools

For almost 8 years now, Americans have been played for fools — having civil rights and freedoms destroyed in the name of “keeping us safe,” a felonious “global war on terror,” illegally started wars in the Middle East, a Department of Homeland Security that claims to protect Americans while actually endangering them more, numerous deceptive “national security” claims used to cover up massive crimes committed against humanity, a fraudulent bailout used to pay executives on Wall Street whose greed has led to a financial meltdown and depression, etc. — and the cost to Joe the Taxpayer courtesy of the ongoing extortion in Washington is rising at a staggering rate.

As President George W. Bush prepares to hand over his kingdom to President-elect Barack Obama, the secrecy surrounding some of Bush’s decisions and his claims of ‘National Security’ are finally being questioned. Leaders of the Bush administration and George W. Bush himself, who conspired to violate U.S. law and the Geneva Convention could be in for some rude awakenings and some deep trouble because of all the illegal acts committed under the guise of illegally gained Presidential powers. The list of crimes committed against humanity are quite extensive and Joe Every Day American is paying a heavy price courtesy of the corrupt, incompetent leadership thrust upon us since 2000. Unfortunately, most if not all levels of government have been permeated by Bush cronies and it could take years to root them out.

With a little over two months to go before George W. Bush leaves office, hasty preperations are reportedly being made to change rules and regulations on the environment, civil liberties and abortion rights, among others — if his previous history is any indication, few changes will be for the good — and it could take months or years to identify and undo all the damage. The New York Times took a look at a few of the parting gifts they’re afraid President Bush is planning before he departs since he hasn’t done enough damage already. ABC News has more information too. Congress could intervene and prevent some of the damage, but given their track record with the Bush administration, it would be foolish to expect much from them.

Recently it was reported that the Bush administration had secretly authorized military raids against up to 20 countries without any declarations of war or explicit Congressional authorization for armed action. Attacks were made under an order issued by then-Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and approved by President Bush in the spring of 2004 that gave the U.S. military’s Special Operations forces license to attack alleged al Qaeda targets “anywhere in the world.” After everything our military has been subject to, one would think they would be appreciated by the government they’re fighting for, but one would be wrong.

The Bush administration is reportedly rejecting FBI pleas for more agents to investigate crimes that helped trigger the global financial meltdown. Apparently, about 2,400 agents were shifted from traditional crime-fighting squads to counterterrorism units and at least 1,700 of those shifted haven’t been replaced. It’s easy to see why the Bush administration wouldn’t want the FBI investigating the crimes that led to the financial meltdown.

Congress Doesn’t Feel Your Financial Pain

While the rest of America sits back and watches their 401(k)s get sucked dry due to the economic crisis created by those in Washington, it’s hard to find comfort in the fact that members of Congress get a defined-benefit pension plan backed by the U.S. Treasury, and according to the Associated Press, are mostly safe from the craziness on Wall Street. Their pension plans are safe but ours are not.

Defined-benefit plans are plans where the employer pays money into an account and bases the benefits on years served, salary and other factors. Congress also gets a government version of a 401(k) plan that has lost value during the economic meltdown. American citizens have been raped and plundered by the Federal government, and only time will tell the full extent of the damage, but there is no way Congress can say they feel our pain.

Despite the fantasy that ACORN nearly single-handedly caused the world’s financial crisis, it was ACORN who sounded the alarm about the exploitative lending practices that have led to the current financial meltdown.

The economy didn’t melt down on its own. The economy was taken down, as noted by AlterNet, by the unbridled greed of economic elites, willingly enabled by their political courtesans in Washington. As noted by Rolling Stone, the Wall Street bailout looks a lot like Iraq — a “free-fraud zone” where private contractors cash in on the mess they helped create. As noted by Unknown News, the housing price bubble was deliberately engineered by the finance, insurance and real estate (FIRE) sector of the economy and has produced a tremendous windfall of profits for the engineers, who are hypocritically receiving bailout money while continuing to put families out on the street by pursuing foreclosure. In other words, the public gets screwed twice.

In the meantime, repercussions from the fraudulent bailout continue growing as more deception comes to light and the greedy and corrupted bureaucrats who caused the economic crisis continue raiding the Treasury at our expense. Little if anything has been done to help the taxpayers who are hurting the most, and getting stuck with the bill. Putting crooked cronies in charge of bailing out crooked cronies has long been one of the many illicit policies of the Bush administration.

Cost of The Bailout: $5 Trillion and Counting

Of course, since they’re being so generous with taxpayer money, lobbyists are reportedly swarming the Treasury for a piece of the bailout pie. AIG continues getting more and more billions courtesy of the taxpayers. AIG was again busted trying to keep an Executive ‘junket’ secret since taxpayer money is again paying for their lavish parties. Goldman Sachs, Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson’s previous employer, continues getting preferential treatment from Paulson.

Apparently, while threatening financial ruin to pass the fraudulent bailout bill, Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson was busy engineering what the Washington Post described as “a quiet windfall for U.S. banks.” The Treasury decided to change an obscure tax provision that benefited banks to the tune of well over $100 billion. The crooks responsible for this mess continue getting rewarded while the American people continue getting screwed. Now Paulson has changed course with the bailout and is asking for the people to “trust” him. Sorry dude, it’s a little late for that, and it appears that the bailout — not that it’s any surprise — is illegal.

Not only are banks receiving taxpayer money to bail them out, some are beginning to boost customer fees to record highs. That’s gratitude for you. There is something majorly wrong with this picture.

The bailout could easily end up being a deal that taxpayers could live to regret. Now the Federal Reserve says that American Express can call itself a bank so they can receive money from the bailout too. American Express Co. is reportedly seeking $3.5 billion in funds since the government plans to directly invest in financial firms. Apparently, since General Electric owns many members of Congress and other political fixtures in Washington, they’re receiving $140 billion in bailout money for their financial interests too. More on the bailout is also available from The Nation.

Bloomberg News reported that The Federal Reserve is refusing to identify the recipients of almost $2 trillion of emergency loans from American taxpayers for the troubled assets the central bank is accepting as collateral. Several billions have been set aside by many on Wall Street so they can receive their bonuses for causing the financial crisis, although they claim that the money set aside is not part of the bailout. Even more disturbing though is the fact that the fraudulent bailout — according to CreditSights, a research firm in New York and London, the U.S. government has reportedly spent $5 trillion so far — is bailing out the financial industry, but doing virtually nothing for the American citizen who is paying for it in more ways than one. Not even a kiss or vaseline for the screwing Americans are receiving. Political corruption in Washington is playing a supporting role in bankrupting this country.

It’s Not ok For Politicians To Break The Law

Mother Jones has a report on where to begin to fix the some of the long-festering problems, including the seven major shortfalls the Bush administration is responsible for and is leaving behind: The Values Deficit, The Climate Deficit, The Equality Deficit, The Accountability Deficit, The Trade Deficit, The Budget Deficit and The Investment Deficit.

As noted by AlterNet, this years election provided more proof that Millions of Americans live in a non-reality-based belief system and are easily fooled by lies and propaganda. Alaska was one of a few states whose elections reek of illegallity. Thousands of ballots were reportedly “found” — almost one third of the total ballots cast in the state — and originally, Senator Ted Stevens, a convicted felon, was projected as winning re-election. Now that more ballots have been “found,” he appears to have lost.

Speaking of lies and propaganda, the head of the CIA now says Osama bin Laden is isolated and fighting to survive. The CIA continues playing the find bin Laden game despite the fact that he’s been declared dead for years by many sources, including FOX News. Bin Laden has long been the excuse for the vast majority of the atrocities committed by the Bush administration so the U.S. would never admit to bin Laden’s death. They’ll keep producing poorly photoshopped counterfeit tapes instead to justify their atrocities.

It’s time to hold the perpetrators accountable for their actions, regardless of who they are. If President-elect Obama decides not to punish Bush and his cronies who have so brazenly and openly committed multiple felonies and acts of treason, it will send the signal that it’s ok for politicians to break the law, and that’s not okay. Bush and all his cronies, who have intentionally caused the deaths of thousands of innocent Americans need to spend some time in Guantanamo themselves.

Playing Us For Fools

The Bush administration, with the help of House Speaker Pelosi and other “leaders” in Congress, have gotten away with too many crimes already. Our country wouldn’t be in the position it’s in if the vast majority of politicians in Washington weren’t so corrupt and hadn’t been bought off by large corporations at our expense. The past 8 years of the most dangerous, delusional presidential administration in history has done major damage to what was once the greatest country in the world. It’s time to make it right and it’s time for it to stop.

Anyone foolish enough to believe that there will be much change under President-elect Barack Obama needs to think again, and will be sadly mistaken. While the overall criminality won’t be as evident or rampant, the policies regarding the bailout and the way this country is run will be eerily similar to more of the same. Don’t believe me? Read this article from Bloomberg News about some of the 17 people Obama has chosen for his Transition Economic Advisory Board. Some of them are partially responsible for the economic meltdown.

If it takes the people demanding an article V convention to put an end to all the corruption in Washington, then the people should demand an article V convention. That’s the only way to make things right and to hold those responsible for the destruction accountable for their actions. The people we send to Washington keep playing us for fools. They may be right — we are fools because we keep sending them back. We’ll be paying a heavy price for generations to come unless we do the right things, hold them accountable and demand justice.

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