The Elite: It's a Big Club and You're Not in it

Leitmotif

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Hope the democrat party fails massively. They are the biggest and most corrupt pieces of shit ever, starting with hillary and the sellout of sanders. I was perusing hillarys twitter account today and every single post is full of people talking trash about her ans her partt.
 

Rambo

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https://theintercept.com/2016/08/16...to-pay-corporate-tax-rate-because-its-unfair/


CEO Tim Cook Decides Apple Doesn’t Have to Pay Corporate Tax Rate Because It’s “Unfair”


WOULDN’T IT BE great if you could refuse to pay your taxes until you decided your tax rate was “fair”?

That is, of course, not the way it works. Unless you’re Apple.

Apple is currently holding $181 billion overseas, largely thanks to arbitrarily deciding that its most valuable intellectual property seems to live exclusively in low tax countries. For instance, at one time Apple’s subsidiaries in Ireland — a country with 4.6 million people — “earned” over one-third of all Apple’s worldwide revenue.

And due to a very business-friendly quirk in U.S. tax law, Apple doesn’t have to pay any U.S. taxes on its overseas profits until it “brings them back” to America.

Here’s what Apple CEO Tim Cook had to say about it in a long interviewpublished this weekend in the Washington Post:

We’ve said at 40 percent, we’re not going to bring it back until there’s a fair rate. There’s no debate about it. Is that legal to do or not legal to do? It is legal to do. It is the current tax law. It’s not a matter of being patriotic or not patriotic. It doesn’t go that the more you pay, the more patriotic you are.

Cook simultaneously wants us to know he is not a bad “traditional CEO” who just cares about money. No, to the contrary, he feels an “incredible responsibility” to “the communities and the countries that the company operates in” and “the whole ecosystem of the company.”

Therefore, because Cook cares so little about money and so much about communities, Apple won’t be paying its taxes. That’s just fair.

And more fairness is just around the corner, Cook thinks. “I’m optimistic that, in 2017, there will be some sort of corporate tax reform,” he said. “The U.S. needs to invest more in infrastructure — so what would be great is if they take the tax proceeds of a corporate tax reform and invest it in infrastructure and roads and bridges and airports.”

Translated into plainer English, this means Cook believes that Corporate America’s longterm plan to hold the U.S. for ransom will in fact come to fruition next year.

U.S. corporations have by now stashed over $2.1 trillion in profits overseas (including Apple’s $181 billion), thereby starving the U.S. of revenue we could use to repair our collapsing infrastructure. What they want is for Americans to get so desperate that Congress is willing to deeply slash the corporate tax rate for “repatriated” money.

This will deliver a one-time jolt of tax revenue, at the cost of sending the message that everyone who possibly can should use tax avoidance schemes like Apple’s in the future.

Cook is right to be optimistic: Hillary Clinton has hinted that she’ll push for exactly this in her first 100 days in office, while Donald Trump has said explicitly that he wants to make it happen. Moreover, in the interview Cook also notes he’s gotten advice on how to handle this issue from both Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein and Bill Clinton.

So get ready for a tsunami of fairness, headed your way next year.

(“It doesn’t go that the more you pay, the more patriotic you are” has a nice ring to it. You should definitely tell that to the IRS.)
 

Rambo

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http://babylonbee.com/news/vacation...tes-18th-hole-birdie-louisiana-flood-victims/

Vacationing President Obama Dedicates 18th-Hole Birdie To Louisiana Flood Victims
August 20, 2016

OAK BLUFFS, MA—Carrying a 47-over-par performance to the 18th tee at Farm Neck Golf Club during his vacation on the island of Martha’s Vineyard Thursday, President Obama told golfing buddy Larry David that he was determined to “get one back,” sources reported.

After utilizing his 10th and final mulligan on an errant slice, the commander-in-chief hit a solid drive down the fairway from the red tees on the 435-yard par 5, leaving approximately 275 yards left to the front of the green. Then “the best couple of 3-woods [he has] ever hit,” along with a very lucky bounce, put him in a situation the leader of the free world has not seen in quite some time: a mere eight feet away from recording a birdie.

Recognizing the magnitude of the moment, David asked for permission to hole out his five-footer in order to set the stage for Obama’s birdie attempt, which the President granted.

“This one’s for all the poor folks down in the great state of Louisiana,” Obama reportedly said to David, before addressing the ball. The lefty then flawlessly executed his trademark outside-to-inside, wrist-heavy putting stroke, sending his customized Titleist skipping smoothly—right into the center of the cup.

After a nanosecond of solemn silence to honor the worst domestic natural disaster in four years, the President celebrated his birdie by dropping his putter and thrusting both fists into the air, whooping loudly, as nearby Secret Service agents applauded.

Waving to everyone who had witnessed the magical moment, Obama called out loudly, “That was for Louisiana!”

“Ask Larry—I even said it before I putted!” he added.

John Lee Pettimore III John Lee Pettimore III this one seems up your alley
 

John Lee Pettimore III

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http://babylonbee.com/news/vacation...tes-18th-hole-birdie-louisiana-flood-victims/

Vacationing President Obama Dedicates 18th-Hole Birdie To Louisiana Flood Victims
August 20, 2016

OAK BLUFFS, MA—Carrying a 47-over-par performance to the 18th tee at Farm Neck Golf Club during his vacation on the island of Martha’s Vineyard Thursday, President Obama told golfing buddy Larry David that he was determined to “get one back,” sources reported.

After utilizing his 10th and final mulligan on an errant slice, the commander-in-chief hit a solid drive down the fairway from the red tees on the 435-yard par 5, leaving approximately 275 yards left to the front of the green. Then “the best couple of 3-woods [he has] ever hit,” along with a very lucky bounce, put him in a situation the leader of the free world has not seen in quite some time: a mere eight feet away from recording a birdie.

Recognizing the magnitude of the moment, David asked for permission to hole out his five-footer in order to set the stage for Obama’s birdie attempt, which the President granted.

“This one’s for all the poor folks down in the great state of Louisiana,” Obama reportedly said to David, before addressing the ball. The lefty then flawlessly executed his trademark outside-to-inside, wrist-heavy putting stroke, sending his customized Titleist skipping smoothly—right into the center of the cup.

After a nanosecond of solemn silence to honor the worst domestic natural disaster in four years, the President celebrated his birdie by dropping his putter and thrusting both fists into the air, whooping loudly, as nearby Secret Service agents applauded.

Waving to everyone who had witnessed the magical moment, Obama called out loudly, “That was for Louisiana!”

“Ask Larry—I even said it before I putted!” he added.

John Lee Pettimore III John Lee Pettimore III this one seems up your alley
I'm not entirely sure that's satire.
 

John Lee Pettimore III

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https://theintercept.com/2016/08/16/ceo-tim-cook-decides-apple-doesnt-have-to-pay-corporate-tax-rate-because-its-unfair
CEO Tim Cook Decides Apple Doesn’t Have to Pay Corporate Tax Rate Because It’s “Unfair”

WOULDN’T IT BE great if you could refuse to pay your taxes until you decided your tax rate was “fair”?

That is, of course, not the way it works. Unless you’re Apple.

Apple is currently holding $181 billion overseas, largely thanks to arbitrarily deciding that its most valuable intellectual property seems to live exclusively in low tax countries. For instance, at one time Apple’s subsidiaries in Ireland — a ...o the IRS.)
Imagine if the Koch Brothers or Wal-Mart or McDonald's tried that shit. The meltdown would be epic.
 

viaattovannucci

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Imagine if the Koch Brothers or Wal-Mart or McDonald's tried that shit. The meltdown would be epic.
But they are not 1337 disr3pt0rz!!1

By the way, is there anyone in this country (the US) who think that their tax rate is fair? I am yet to meet this person. On a more serious note, this sort of tax avoidance scheme is part of global business strategy and I would be genuinely surprised if McDonalds does not have the same exact arrangement in place. Burger King's recent takeover of Tim Horton's was rumored to be motivated by a similar plan.
 
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sirloin

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By the way, is there anyone in this country (the US) who think that their tax rate is fair? I am yet to meet this person.
In my scandinavian Bernie paradise, 80%+ are happy to pay our high taxes. At the same time, we are frequently praised as being the happiest in the world. I am not saying there is a direct correlation between those two. But you never know..
 

Rambo

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http://www.msn.com/en-us/money/comp...rbitration/ar-AAk0oL0?li=BBnbfcN&ocid=U142DHP

One man's $100,000 journey through arbitration


“It keeps getting dragged out,” the Arizona businessman said of his six-year-long dispute with Citibank over a checking account. “What I’ve learned is that I’m really bad at estimating what it will cost.”

Dempsey estimates he has spent about $100,000 so far in arbitrating his case with Citibank, a sum that has caused him and his fiancée, Elizabeth Wiseman, to delay their wedding from this fall until 2017. While he recently received a ruling in his favor from the arbitrator, who found that Citibank “willfully violated” the Fair Credit Reporting Act in its dealings with Dempsey, Citibank has appealed the decision. Dempsey said he believes he’s likely to face thousands more in legal fees because as the case is moving into round two.

The original amount of the dispute? Less than $150 in fees.

The financial services industry bills arbitration as a “prompt and inexpensive means of resolving issues.” Yet for consumers who go through the process, it can end up far more expensive and time-consuming than one would expect from that description. The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, a self-regulatory agency, said arbitration cases this year through September have had a turnaround time of 15 months. A majority of cases don’t complete the arbitration proceedings. FINRA noted that about six out of 10 cases are settled, while another 9 percent are withdrawn.

“There is no evidence that arbitration gives you better outcomes than going to court for individual cases,” said Thaddeus King, officer with The Pew Charitable Trusts’ consumer banking project, which has studied arbitration issues. “It’s difficult to find people involved in arbitration. Arbitration keeps these cases from existing in the first place.”

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) earlier this year proposed new rules that would prohibit mandatory arbitration clauses, which it called “contact gotchas.” Its proposals include barring arbitration clauses that prevent class actions, which King said would give consumers a better option for pursuing legal recourse.

That’s because consumers typically are disputing small-dollar amounts, such as late fees, which makes it less likely they would hire an attorney to pursue a case, King said. He added, “You have to have a way to allow consumers to go to court when their disputes are small, and class action is really the only way.”

Arbitration isn’t an issue just in the financial services industry. Ride-hailing company Uber is currently fighting challenges to its provisions that block its drivers from joining class actions. And Airbnb, the home-rental service, recently was handed a victory when a judge upheld its mandatory arbitration clause.

Dempsey’s fight with Citibank started small. His dispute concerned an overdraft line of credit that was supposed to transfer money into his checking account if it became overdrawn. The bank allegedly waited until his balance was withdrawn by more than $25 to transfer the money, prompting several late fees in 2010.

Citibank also reported Dempsey late on his payments, leading to his credit score to drop from about 700, a level viewed as good, into the 500s, or the subprime range.

“What I was after was to fix my credit. That’s all I wanted,” Dempsey said. “I wasn’t interested in being a crusader against Citibank.”

Most consumers are unaware that they’ve signed what are called pre-dispute (or mandatory) arbitration agreements with their financial institutions. The clause is called “pre-dispute” because consumers are agreeing to go into arbitration before any dispute arises, effectively giving up their day in court.

Arbitration clauses are now the norm in financial services agreements. The Pew Charitable Trusts found that 72 percent of banks now include mandatory arbitration clauses, up from 59 percent in 2013.

© Provided by CBS Interactive Inc. pewarbchart.png
When the initial dispute arose, Dempsey proved to be ahead of the curve because he noticed what’s called a “small claims carve-out” in his Citibank agreement. “I thought it would be quick” to resolve the issue in small claims court, he said.

The small claims carve-out is fairly common in arbitration clauses, the CFPB found in a 2015 report. It noted that credit card issuers were “significantly more likely to sue consumers than the other way around” in small claims court.

Dempsey said he never got his day in court, however. “Citibank motioned to move it to a higher court. They also demanded arbitration,” he said. “They proved their contract to be lie. I never had a right to small claims court.”

Then arbitration process started, and the fees began to pile up. Dempsey said Citibank objected to four arbitrators in a row, requiring seven months to settle on an arbitrator. “They constantly filed motions to dismiss,” he said. “Every time Citibank filed something, we had to respond, and that’s not cheap.”

Dempsey hired legal counsel as well as expert witnesses, who he said charged between $200 to $300 an hour. To keep costs down, Dempsey said he pitched in on the case. “It sounds exaggerated, but I’ve spent 1,000 hours over the last six years,” he said. “It’s time stolen from my family, my businesses. And I don’t get compensated for it.”

© Provided by CBS Interactive Inc. pewarbchart2.png
Citibank said it tried “very early in the process to resolve the dispute and avoid arbitration or further proceedings by offering Mr. Dempsey an amount in excess of the fees in question which he declined.” The bank also said Dempsey “made repeated filings to avoid arbitration which generated attendant costs and once the case moved to arbitration, he filed motions to postpone at least twice as he changed counsel.”

Dempsey disagrees with Citibank’s characterization of the case. “I wrote to them for 18 months before I filed in small claims court, and they didn’t do anything,” he said. “They refused to acknowledge my letters. If anyone tried to resolve it, it was me.”

He added that settlement discussions with Citibank were fruitless since the bank was offering far less than what he had spent so far. “If I had spent $5,000, they offered me $200 or $300. It never made sense,” he said.

The arbitrator chided Citibank for its failure to respond to Dempsey in his initial attempts to fix his credit score. “Despite multiple attempts by claimant to get respondent’s mistakes corrected, including proper reporting to the credit bureaus, respondent did nothing,” the arbitrator’s interim judgement noted.

While the arbitrator sided with Dempsey, the ruling proved to be something of a Pyrrhic victory. The decision awarded Dempsey more than $20,500 in actual and punitive damages, as well as $30,000 in attorney fees, or about one-third of Dempsey’s legal costs. Since Citibank has appealed the ruling, Dempsey is now preparing for another round.

“We assert that all fees and charges assessed were proper,” the bank said in a statement.

One of Dempsey’s attorneys, Ryan McBride, said the victory was a validation. But he added, “I was disappointed with the numbers. I don’t think they were comparable to what would have been fair in this case.”

Dempsey may be unusual because he opted to fight Citibank rather than settle. Amanda Werner of Americans for Financial Reform, a nonprofit that advocates for financial reform, said many consumers decide against pursuing arbitration.

Said Werner: “The moment they see the cost, the amount it would take, the hours they would have to take off from work, a lot of people would give up at that point.”
 

Rambo

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http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2017...alism-great-top-5-disaster-everyone-else.html

25 Years of Neocon-Neoliberalism: Great for the Top 5%, A Disaster for Everyone Else
Posted on January 20, 2017 by Charles Hugh Smith
One unexamined narrative I keep hearing is: “OK, so neocon-neoliberalism was less than ideal, but Trump could be much worse.” Let’s start by asking: would Syrian civilians agree with this assessment? The basic idea in the “OK, so neocon-neoliberalism was less than ideal, but Trump could be much worse” narrative is that the modest problems created by neocon-neoliberalism will pale next to what Trump will do, implying jackbooted Waffen SS troops will soon be marching through America on Trump’s orders.

This narrative is yet another example of American parochialism: since neocon-neoliberalism didn’t cause American cities to be bombed and its institutions demolished, it’s really not that bad.

Try telling that to the Iraqis, Libyans and Syrians who have been on the receiving end of neocon-neoliberalism policies. The reality is very unpleasant: for those targeted by America’s neocon-neoliberalism, nothing worse is imaginable, because the worst has already happened.

The cold reality is America’s 25 years of neocon-neoliberalism has been great for the top 5% and an unmitigated disaster for everyone else in the U.S. and the nations it has targeted for intervention.

Those defending the Democratic Party’s 16 years of neocon-neoliberalism (Clinton and Obama) and the Republican Party’s 8 years of neocon-neoliberalism (Bush) are defending a system that benefited the few at the expense of the many.

Rather than admit the past 25 years have been catastrophic for the bottom 95%, the apologists speak darkly of fantastical visions of a Nazi America as a diversion to the grim truth that they have blindly supported an evil Empire that has stripmined the bottom 95% in America and laid waste to entire nations abroad.

Neoconservatism’s malignant spores hatched in the Reagan years, and spread quickly after the collapse of the Soviet Union. Stripped to its essence, Neoconservatism is American Exceptionalism turned into a global entitlement: it’s our right to intervene anywhere in the world we choose to defend what we perceive as our interests, and it’s our right to impose our version of democracy and a market economy on other peoples.

Self-interest melds seamlessly with moral superiority in neocon-neoliberalism.The moral justification is: since ours is the best possible system, we’re doing you a favor by tearing down your institutions and imposing our system on you. The self-interest is: garsh, the “market” we imposed extracts your resources and benefits our banks and corporations. Amazing, isn’t it, how “free markets” benefit everyone?

But not equally. The claim of neoliberalism is: everything is transformed for the better when it is turned into a market. Once buyers and sellers can meet in a transparent marketplace, everybody prospers and everything becomes more efficient.

Stripped to its essence, neoliberalism is: the markets we set up are rigged to favor those at the top. All that talk about free markets is just public-relations cover to mask an intrinsically rigged quasi-market that has features of “real” markets while beneath the surface, it’s rigged to the advantage of big players at the top of the wealth-power pyramid.

Neoconservatism and neoliberalism are both inherently global, and so globalization is the necessary outcome. There is no market that cannot be skimmed for outsized profits once it has been globalized, and so once bat guano becomes a global tradeable commodity, Goldman Sachs establishes a bat guano trading desk. (This is a spoof, but you get the point.)

Neoconservatism entitles the U.S. to have an “interest” (as in profitable interest) in every nook and cranny of the planet. Policy changes in Lower Slobovia? It’s in our “interest” to monitor those changes and intervene if the policies are “not in our interests.”

Neocon-neoliberalism is brilliantly evil because it masks its true objectives behind such warm and fuzzy PR. Those looking for enemies of the people will find them not on the streets of America in cartoonish display but in the corridors of financial and policy power.

Dear apologists of the status quo: do you understand you’re defending this?


Notice how the wealth of the bottom 90% nosedived once neocon-neoliberalism became the de facto policy of Democrats and Republicans alike.No wonder Obama’s two terms seemed like Bush terms 3 and 4–in terms of a continuation of neocon-neoliberalism, they were.


Yes, profound changes in technology, automation, and geopolitics have influenced finance and wealth, but it cannot be merely coincidental that the incomes and wealth of the top 5% have pulled away from the stagnating 95% in the 25 years dominated by neocon-neoliberalism:

 

viaattovannucci

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This happened under broad daylight and under the supervision of the AU and its army. In other words, it was actually part of the deal worked out for him to make a peaceful exit. It is a shame, but a prolonged and possibly violent transition (or, for that matter, a non-transition) would probably have cost the country much more.
 
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Rambo

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Marissa Mayer Set to Receive $186 Million for Failing Because This Is How Corporate America Works

Image: Getty

Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer continues to stack up piles of cash, despite her veritable failure to rescue the company from a pile of its own rot. After numerous setbacks, including two massive security breaches and dwindling ad revenue, Mayer is set to make about $186 million as a result of the company’s sale to Verizon, new SEC documents show.


This enormous sum of money—the actual transfer of which is contingent upon shareholder approval, a move the New York Times described as “widely expected”— includes shares she already owned, outstanding share options, a $23 million “golden parachute,” cash payments, and medical benefits, according to the documents.

The sum does not include Mayer’s salary or bonuses over the past five years, which reportedly add up to more than $200 million alone. Shareholders will vote on the company’s sale and Mayer’s new compensation package in June. (We’ve reached out to Yahoo for comment on the deal, and we’ll update if we hear back.)


Mayer’s $186 million payout is much higher than her initially reported golden parachute of $23 million. It’s all the more absurd when one considers the missteps Yahoo has made under Mayer’s watch—the company, for example, disclosed it suffered two separate cyber attacks in 2013 and 2014. The Justice Department later alleged that the second attack, which affected more than 500 million users, was linked to the Russian intelligence agency FSB. The disclosures led to a drop in the Verizon deal price, from $4.8 billion to $4.5 billion. Then there was Mayer’s penchant for overspending, and the slow, sad decline of Yahoo’s core business. (While she didn’t exactly cause the latter slide, she didn’t do much to stem it, either.)

Of course, we’ll always have her Zamboni ride, as well as an absurdly extravagant and incredibly tone-deaf roaring ‘20s themed holiday party. Here’s hoping the next person who fucks up this badly isn’t rewarded with a nearly two hundred million dollar payout.
 

OfficePants

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Props to brother LelandJ LelandJ for this video. It's subtitled so you have to be intellectually elite to get thru it, but this Dutchman spills the beans. There are between 8000 and 8500 people that run the world if you lackeys can get to 1/2 way.

While whistleblowing, this man is as clear an example of the banality of evil that you will find, he's that 2nd tier piece of shit specializing in the facilitation the elite. A very valuable asset to them, and in return they give him enough fuck you money to do it.

 
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mrapp89

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Elite is good and liberalism is evil. Government by and for the People is at best paint by numbers, at worst the loudest asshole wins. Evil is the exception of most dynasties, but its the common denominator of all democracies. Power belongs to one sovereign, divine right emperor, king, or queen.
 
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