Bank Profits, Banker Pay and Other Banker Tricks

Cowboy hat By Jim Hightower - Wed., 4/29/09
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I'd like nothing more than to give the bailout scandal a rest — but the bankers won't let me! They just keep coming at us with ever-more-clever inventions of greed and deceit.

Their latest bit of hocus-pocus, accompanied by big puffs of smoke, is a dazzling show of profits. Yes, Goldman Sachs, Citigroup, Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase and other financial giants that only yesterday were insolvent basket cases now report that — poof! — in the first quarter of this year, they magically produced blockbuster profits. Absolutely A-mazing!

What's Up With the Governor of Texas?

Cowboy hat By Jim Hightower - Wed., 4/22/09
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Texas politics has long been a source of great amusement for the people of our state, but it's often a source of bafflement for people beyond our borders. So, sometimes there's a need to explain what's going on here, and this is one of those times. In this case, the explanation is simple: Our governor is a goober.

Look Out for the Blimp That Doesn't Blink

Cowboy hat By Jim Hightower - Wed., 4/15/09
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I've always wondered: What was the guy who invented bagpipes really trying to make?

Well, at least that wheezing, whining invention turned out to be merely irritating, not actually dangerous. Leave it to the Dr. Strangelovian schemers at the Pentagon, however, to come up with an invention that is both irritating and truly dangerous, as well as being a galloping rip-off of us taxpayers.

Pusillanimity Plus Stupidity Equals More Wall Street Greed

Cowboy hat By Jim Hightower - Wed., 4/8/09
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Once again, we are faced with the question that has long bedeviled political analysts and barstool pundits everywhere: Is the pusillanimity of Democrats worse than the stupidity of Republicans?

The question arises because of a curious vote last week in the House of Representatives to restrict the bonus money going to those nimble-fingered financial whizzes at Wall Street firms being bailed out by you and me.

"Too Big to Fail" Is Too Big -- Period

Cowboy hat By Jim Hightower - Wed., 4/1/09
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As skiers and backcountry hikers know, a whiteout is a blizzard that's so intense that those caught in it can't even see the blizzard.

That's how I think of the Wall Street bailout now swirling around us. So many trillions of our tax dollars are being blown at the financial giants that we're blinded by the density of it, unable to see where we are or know what direction we're headed.

Obama's Triple Surge Into Afghanistan

Cowboy hat By Jim Hightower - Thu., 3/26/09
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Hi-ho, hi-ho, it's off to war we go!

As President Barack Obama begins winding down the Bush war in Iraq, he is building up his own war farther east. We're told that it will be a new, expanded, extra-special American adventure in Afghanistan, involving a vigorous surge strategy to "stabilize" this perpetually unstable land.

Wall Street Arrogance Meets Washington Meekness

Cowboy hat By Jim Hightower - Thu., 3/19/09
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Citigroup, once the world's largest financial conglomerate, has fallen so far down that you can buy a share of its stock today for less than it costs to use one of its ATM machines.

Fighting Back in America's 30-Year Class War

Cowboy hat By Jim Hightower - Wed., 3/11/09
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David Brooks was upset. You can tell when this conservative and rather-professorial columnist for The New York Times gets upset, because his words almost sag with disappointment -- you can practically hear the tsk-tsks and the heavy sighs in each paragraph. When most commentators on the right see things that offend them, they get snarling mad; Brooks gets sad.

Ending the Culture of Executive Entitlement

Cowboy hat By Jim Hightower - Wed., 2/18/09
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I don't mind losing when we lose, but I hate losing when we win.

One big reason that Barack Obama now occupies the big chair in the Oval Office is that he embraced the public's rising indignation at the blatant greed of Wall Street bankers, striking the proper populist tone in last year's presidential election. After all, these slick financial elites crashed our economy, yet they kept enriching and pampering themselves, even as taxpayers were being forced to throw hundreds of billions of dollars at their failing institutions.

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