This week I want to revisit the FED policies, the coming bond market crash, and how the media is painting Obama and his Presidency as we head to the Presidential Election. I spoke at length about how the FED conspired against the American people to deliberately create these financial/economic boom and bust cycles to move wealth from American citizens and government treasuries----and impoverish the American people.
The Federal Reserve will meet in October and December and media is building the suspense as to whether the FED will raise interest rates----while the world already knows the FED and Obama with Clinton neo-liberals in Congress super-heated the US bond market by subpriming it and selling bonds world-wide as they did subprime mortgage loans----JUST SO THE BOND MARKET WOULD CRASH. The FED is not trying to avoid this crash----it worked hard to see it happen as with the 2008 subprime mortgage fraud economic crash.
I will look at the stats and data the FED is giving to show how this conspiracy is playing out. The key for this criminal cartel is have the right people in place in 2016 so that austerity and privatization of all US government assets to global corporations takes place. This means President, governors, and mayors----all Executive positions with the power to make austerity happen as Wall Street wants it!
'Some 49 institutions have paid out $190 billion in fines, restitutions and lawsuits' for tens of trillions of dollars in fraud.
Obama legacy includes banker impunity
Darrell Delamaide, Special for USA TODAY 5:02 p.m. EDT August 19, 2015(Photo: Pablo Martinez Monsivais, AP)
WASHINGTON – While it may continue to baffle us how no bankers went to jail in the wake of the financial crisis even as banks paid tens of billions of dollars in fines for wrongdoing, there is very little mystery to it.
The three government officials most responsible for the failure to bring any top banker to trial for widespread fraud – former Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, former Attorney General Eric Holder, and former DOJ official Lanny Breuer – are all now making millions of dollars a year in Wall Street-related jobs.
Is it really that simple? Sadly, yes.
There has been a lot of talk about how fragile the system was in 2008 and how an indictment might have tipped the public into full-fledged panic – the argument that came to be known as "too big to jail" – but that is really just so much talk.
Those who resist the reality of Washington's revolving door don't want to think that for all its size and sophistication, this country still has much in common with a banana republic – a country where money buys political clout and puts people above the law.
As President Barack Obama burnishes his political legacy and lays the plans for a billion-dollar monument to himself, it is important to remember some of the administration's failures, and this is one of them. Ultimately, the responsibility for this dereliction of duty lies with him.
The legacy of this failure is a gigantic moral hazard. Bankers used to take it on faith that they were immune to prosecution. Now they know it is a fact, and that will embolden them in the future to once again violate the law with impunity.
Whatever benefit might come from the Dodd-Frank financial reform in forcing banks to retrench and downsize pales when compared to this ongoing risk.
Some of the bank executives who presided over the wholesale fleecing of their customers are still in office. JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon still acts as though he is the country's top banker even though his institution has paid billions to settle investigations into wrongdoing.
Other top executives who regulators or shareholders would no longer allow to stay in office nonetheless went on to comfortable retirements in their mansions and yachts with the millions in excessive compensation they had already collected.
William Cohan, a former JPMorgan managing director who has become a persistent bank critic, recently noted that the window for bringing bankers to account for the fraudulent actions that led to the financial crisis has just about closed, but Holder's successor, Loretta Lynch, seems more interested in pursuing soccer officials in Switzerland than bankers on Wall Street.
"It seems an apt time to ask," Cohan wrote in the current issue of The Atlantic, "in the biggest picture, what justice has been achieved?"
Some 49 institutions have paid out $190 billion in fines, restitutions and lawsuits, he notes, but this money comes from the banks' shareholders, not the bankers themselves.
Only one individual banker, a senior trader at Credit Suisse, was sentenced to jail for inflating the value of mortgage bonds in his trading portfolio, Cohan says. After the savings and loan crisis in the 1980s, he adds, more than a thousand bankers were put in jail.
Cohan traces this lack of action back to a memo written by Holder in 1999, when he was deputy attorney general in the Clinton administration.
The memo, which set out what came to be known as the Holder Doctrine, warned of the danger of prosecuting big banks because of possible "collateral consequences." (Holder went on to work for the corporate law firm of Covington & Burling in 2001 and now has returned there.)
In 2012, Lanny Breuer, then head of the DOJ's criminal division, echoed this doctrine when he said he felt obliged to consider the health of the company and the financial markets overall in deciding whether to pursue criminal indictments. (Breuer worked at Covington & Burling prior to his stint in public service and now has returned to the firm as vice chairman.)
A nationwide probe belatedly launched that same year, after the statute of limitations for criminal prosecutions had passed, largely served the purpose of gathering information for the big headline fines of institutions, Cohan says.
In one case at least, JPMorgan's $13 billion settlement with the DOJ in 2013, the deal included suppression of a whistleblower's deposition that did indeed point to individuals within the bank, he says.
The modus operandi was similar in actions against Citigroup, Bank of America and other Wall Street firms, he says. As Wall Street critic Matt Taibbi of Rolling Stone recently noted, these back room agreements were concluded in secret without any judge signing off on them.
"Without holding real people on Wall Street accountable for their wrongdoing in the years leading up to the financial crisis, the message that their behavior was unacceptable goes undelivered," Cohan concludes. "Instead a very different message is being sent: for financiers, justice is just a check someone else has to write."
Mystery solved. Let the legacy begin.
The one thing most important left from this assessment is Obama's use of Executive Order----like no other-----suspended enforcement of Federal law and Constitutional rights never seen----and set the stage for a future where the US Congress can be circumvented for all public policy. That is setting the stage for Trans Pacific Trade Pact which says just this will happen. For those who say Executive Order has been used throughout history-----Executive Order has until the last few Presidency only been used for policy more ceremonial than routine public policy. Clinton and Bush increasingly promoted this idea and Obama ran with it. Remember, the goal of neo-liberal global corporate tribunal policy is having only this global tribunal and court empowered to make policy and legal rulings making a nation's Congress and Federal courts useless. That is what Obama did these terms. Below you see how bad these policies were for the working class and poor----many of whom are black.
When we look at FED policy under Obama we want to keep in mind this long-term scheme to send all money to the top and to break down US sovereignty and move all governing power to this global tribunal.
The Obama Legacy, Pt 1 of Many: Top Ten Things Black America Will Have To Show For 8 Years of President Obama
Submitted by Bruce A. Dixon on Wed, 04/24/2013 - 16:21
by BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon
When Barack Obama leaves the White House in January 2017, what will black America, his earliest and most consistent supporters, have to show for making his political career possible. We'll have the T-shirts and buttons and posters, the souvenirs. That will be the good news. The bad news is what else we'll have.... and not.
The Obama Legacy, Pt 1: Top Ten Things Black America Will Have To Show For 8 Years of President Obama
by BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon
To hear our black political class tell it, the election of the first black US president was its ultimate achievement to date, a giant step toward fulfillment of a previous generation's insurgent agenda for social transformation. Is that real? Has the career of Barack Hussein Obama really advanced any of the historic goals of the Freedom Movement? Is the question even fair?
With corporate media already speculating about next year's midterm elections, and the presidential contest of 2016, it's entirely appropriate to discuss the president's legacy. And fair is fair --- the black political class doesn't want its meager achievements compared to the agenda of those who fought for our freedom a half century ago, it probably ought to abandon its ceaseless self-promotion as the inheritors of that tradition.
It was the overwhelming black and brown vote, along with the utter, unwavering and uncritical support of African America which made President Obama's career possible. When he leaves office in January 2017, what will be the top ten things we can say black America gained or lost from his two terms in the White House?
We'll still have Obamacare, the cynically misnamed “Affordable Care Act”.
The problem is that Obamacare was written by a health insurance company lobbyist to prolong his employer's parasitic business model, not to make health care available or affordable. A third of the health care dollar goes to advertising, profits, fat executive salaries, lobbying and the paperwork occasioned by thousands of insurers who make more money denying care than providing it, instead of a single payer, like Canada, Medicare, or social security. As Physicians for a National Health Plan point out, Obamacare will not curb medical costs or stem the tide of bankruptcies caused by health care bills. It won't force most employers who now don't offer affordable coverage to offer it in the future, because the administration is allowing employers to write its enforcement regulations, and it will leave millions more, all poor and disproportionately people of color, uncovered altogether.
Worst of all, Obamacare's 2016 effective date reveals it as a promise the administration never intended to keep. Back in 1965, when computers with less power than today's laptops were the size of boxcars, the Johnson administration passed Medicare and put it into effect the same year. That's the real comparison between the achievement of Obamacare and the effective results of a previous generation's struggle.
We'll probably have reductions in social security proposed and enacted by a Democrat, something no Republican could have initiated, that sets the stage for further reductions in benefit by either party.
In the tradition of Democrat Bill Clinton, who did what Republicans tried and failed to do, “ending welfare as we know it” in the 1990s, Barack Obama has promised Wall Street that he would curb “entitlements” the code word for cutting Medicare, Medicaid and social security.
With poverty at record levels, the ending of many defined benefit pension plans and the broken promise of retirement security from 401K plans looming black seniors will still be more dependent on social security than anybody, and the value of real benefits will be declining, if Barack's first negotiating offer to Republicans is any indication of his stance on this issue.
We'll have solidly in place a new tradition of bailing out banksters and speculators, and lots more immunity from prosecution for corporate scofflaws.
The so-called “Bush bailout” was only accomplished when George W. Bush in the last weeks of his presidency, and opposed by Democratic majorities in both houses of Congress called candidate Barack Obama to Washington to persuade reluctant Democrats to vote for it. After failing to pass the first time, Obama swung half the black caucus and enough Democrats overall to secure the passage of the $3 trillion Bush bailout. Once Obama assumed office, the $3 trillion became $16 trillion, with a free pass for the Federal Reserve to shovel more public money at Wall Street at will.
And for corporate lawbreakers, whether you were Goldman Sachs, knowingly peddling worthless securities to pension funds, or Bank of America, which foreclosing and evicting tens of thousands in cases where it couldn't prove actual ownership, a phone, cable or internet provider handing over access to billions of calls and emails, or British Petroleum, murdering its Gulf Coast ecosystems, livelihoods and its own workers, the Obama administration's Justice Department has come up with infinitesimal fines and immunity from prosecution for past and future crimes as the answer.
When Obama leaves office, we'll still have gentrification as the only model of urban economic development.
To be fair, this isn't the exclusive failure of President Obama, it's the failure of vision of the entire black misleadership class, stretching over decades. But as the most powerful actor in the land, the man whose career is the crowning achievement so far of the black political class, Obama absolutely deserves to wear the jacket for leaving things as bad as or worse than the day he assumed office.
The day Barack Obama leaves the White House we'll still have the world's biggest prison state, with three quarters of its inmates black and brown, the insane 40 years War On Drugs, and a black person murdered by police, private security or vigilantes every day or so.
The best the Obama administration and its allies in Congress could do to address the 100 to 1 cocaine to crack penalty disparity was cutting it to 18 to 1 without changing the sentence of a single person already serving unjust time. Hundreds of thousands of black and brown youth are still doing years for mere grams of crack or minute scraps of marijuana. The police and prison state will, as before, remain the nation's preferred means to address poverty, homelessness, mental illness, immigration and many other social, economic and medical conditions.
We'll have US troops in more than thirty African countries enforcing Western land grabs and the corporate neoliberal order, and keeping Africa barefoot, sick, hungry and afraid, but well-armed. And we'll have an even larger overall military budget with more troops and more overseas bases than under George Bush.
During the Clinton and second Bush administrations, the US bankrolled, trained and supplied the armies of 52 out of 54 African nations to ensure that the continent remained the poorest and most war-torn on earth. Under its first black president, the US has stepped up the game with actual deployments of drones, mercenaries, special forces and other US military units in more than thirty African countries to enforce the neoliberal order in which Africa's wealth is diverted from its people into the economies and overseas bank accounts of the West and a handful of native kleptocrats.
Martin Luther King told us decades ago that the number one purveyor of violence on this planet was the US government. Barack Obama, who many fancifully associate with King, hasn't changed that one iota.
When Obama leaves office, it will be legal and acceptable for US presidents to unilaterally murder with or without announcement of cause anybody, anyplace on the planet within the reach of US drones, special operators and mercenaries.
When Obama assumed office the US was secretly imprisoning and torturing thousands in at least a dozen countries around the world. We are told now that torture and secret jails are used less often now, that the preferred expedient being simple murder via special ops team or drone.
The Obama administration will have closed and privatized more public schools than at any time in US history.
This is already an accomplished fact. Under President Obama, the US Department of Education has extended the authority to certify school systems to private agencies controlled by champions of privatization like the Gates, Walton Family, and Eli Broad Foundations, and allowed the same actors to write its Race To The Top program, which allocates federal education dollars to the school systems that disband, privatize, and hand over their assets to private actors the quickest.
We can cherish the memory of 8 years of watching that pretty brown family in that big White House, along with unprecedented black unemployment, declining real wages, and the most drastic shrinkage of black family wealth since we began tracking and comparing black and white wealth.
Who needs economic progress when millions can take down those old pictures of Martin, and the Kennedy boys, and replace them with the likeness of Barack and Michelle.
After 8 years of Barack Obama, black leadership and black America will have decisively lost and forgotten the habit, the inclination, even the example of standing against unjust and abusive power, and our former reputation around the world as a people of struggle.
The height of the black Freedom Movement was only about 8 or 10 years, but it left an example of what it was to stand for justice and righteousness against bad laws and bad governance that inspired us and the rest of the world. Black youth who will reach maturity in the middle of this decade have no examples of struggle to look up to, only accommodations to power and excuses for inaction and ineffectiveness on every front.
All in all, it's not an inspiring legacy. For Latinos, the Obama era will mark historic broken promises on a path to citizenship for the undocumented, and the largest number of deportations by far of any administration in history. For labor, the biggest single broken promises are the failure to push through laws that would make the organization of unions easier, or the renegotiation of NAFTA. For media activists, there are the broken promises on network neutrality and freedom of the internet.
White America gets its card stamped as officially anti-racist ---- there are black CEOs, black admirals and generals, 40-some blacks in Congress and there's been a black president, after all. When the accounting is done, and Obama leaves the White House, everybody gets something.
Remember when Dick Cheney famously said it does not matter how much debt the US took on? He was of course in the process of sending trillions of dollars to his Halliburton and global military contracting corporations building NSA and drones. If you look at the goal of Clinton neo-liberals and Bush neo-conservatives in moving nations around the world to a global corporate tribunal rule and court----you see why loading the nation with debt positioned Congress to pretend to have to use austerity and privatize at Federal, state, and local levels. IT WAS PLANNED AND DELIBERATE. So, Bush Administration loads up on US Treasury bond debt but in comes Obama and makes what Bush/Cheney did to bond debt look like child's play. For those thinking this all needed to be done because of the economic collapse----Obama and Congressional neo-liberals could have paid down the entire national debt simply recovering the low-hanging corporate fraud----easy peasy. The Wall Street frauds against the Federal government is the largest part of our national debt----these US Treasury bond deals are next.
This article was written Obama's first term----since then these numbers soared. Keep in mind----at the same time the US Treasury was hyper-inflating the US Treasury bond market----so too was the FED. All of the money lost to the US economy in corporate fraud---now becomes hidden under a pretend 'economic recovery' that is simply bond debt and leverage from bond debt. Know that famous FED statistic that has GDP in the US growing these several years and now at 2-3%? CONGRESS PASSED A LAW THAT ALLOWS SALE OF BOND DEBT BE CONSIDERED A 'PRODUCT' UNDER CALCULATIONS OF GDP. All of that news on growing GDP was simply all of this Treasury bond debt on Federal, state, and local level.......and the sale of US real estate to foreign investors---THAT'S ALL THE GDP REPRESENTED AND THAT IS WHY ALL MONEY EARNED DURING OBAMA'S TERMS WENT TO THE 1%.
US debt: how big is it and who owns it? Who owns US debt around the world - and how big is it? Find out how China got to own over $1.4 trillion - and see how it's changed in Obama's first term
Tuesday 2 October 2012 11.30 EDT Last modified on Tuesday 13 January 2015 10.46 EST
Simon Rogers The Guardian
US federal debt is still a record high. This week it passed a milestone: the fourth straight year the deficit has passed the $1tn mark. As of today, the national debt stands at $16,066,241,407,385.80 (just over $16 trillion).
It's an issue that's sure to come up in the first presidential debate this Wednesday.
So, how does the US borrow money? Treasury bonds are how the US - and all governments for that matter - borrow hard cash: they issue government securities, which other countries and institutions buy. So, the US national debt is owned mostly in the US - but the $5.4tn foreign-owned debt is owned predominantly by Asian economies.
Under President Obama's first term, that figure has gone up from $3tn, a rise of 74.1%. Under George W Bush, it went up too - by 85% over the whole two terms - and 64% in his second term alone.
The US Treasury releases the figures on this every quarter - we have made them more useable. So, who has the most?
The key findings are:
• As of July this year, US Treasury bonds owned overseas accounted for $5.4tn of the national debt - up 14.6% on last year. That's not everything - the US now owes over $16tn.
• China is the biggest owner of US Treasury bonds - over $1.14tn. But it's down 12.6% on last year, backing up reports that China is selling off its US treasury bonds
• Bonds bought in the UK (mainly private investors and pension funds) make it the eighth country on the list at $140.9bn - up 13.5% on January 2009 when Obama took over
It reflects a US national debt which has grown starkly, from $7.8tn in 2005 to busting through the US debt ceiling of $14.294tn last year - according to these day by day figures.
Bad as that number is, using the bald total figure is not as representative as using a measure which compares the debt to the size of the economy. That is, debt as a percentage of gross domestic product - GDP. And, looking at that figure up to the end of 2010 (using OECD data), Britain is actually worse off than the US.
We know Greenspan allowed this massive subprime mortgage fraud continue regardless of years of shouting from state attorney's general that the market was systemically fraudulent. This was to move all of US real estate into the hands of Wall Street. It was also used to move the national debt to unsustainable levels. In comes Bernanke----and he installed part two of this long-range scheme----imploding Federal, state, and local government with debt from bond market collapse.
The FED now has $4 trillion in mortgage-backed bond securities which is basically all the most toxic of subprime mortgage loans taken from Big Bank ledgers and moved to a Federal agency. That $4 trillion right there represents the easiest of fraud to be proven----and recovery right then would have gone well in righting the national debt. Instead, the FED 'bought it' and allowed these banks to say they were recapitalized. IT WAS ALL ILLEGAL AND IT WAS DONE CONGRESS PASSING THE LAWS NEEDED TO ALLOW THE FED TO ACT IN WAYS THIS AGENCY IS NOT ALLOWED TO ACT. This is what Republicans called 'crony FED actions' and they are right only Bush did just as much in this regard. The FED has never been allowed to act as a bank----and that $4 trillion super-heated the US bond market to the point of collapse.
The FED has as a mission to provide economic stability and full employment and we are poised to go into a Great Depression level economic crash from FED actions with unemployment already at 20% growing to 30-40% and more after this coming crash.
THINK ABOUT THE GOAL OF THESE WALL STREET POLICIES AS IT FITS TO MOVING ALL WEALTH TO THE TOP AND SENDING THE US TO A GLOBAL CORPORATE TRIBUNAL CONTROL. THAT IS WHAT ALL THIS DEBT AND UNEMPLOYMENT IS ABOUT.
Because the FED is acting illegally, it has had to juke its stats for these several years to make it seem as though its actions were actually doing something when in fact the economy and unemployment are far worse.
The Federal Reserve Has Failed Its Economic Mission
Mar. 29, 2009 5:20 AM ET | Includes: DIA, KBE, QQQ, SPY, UDN, UUP, XLF by: Steven Hansen
Mission statements have been around for many years and define the purpose of a company and its goals. Now the U.S. Treasury and the Federal Reserve have jointly issued a mission statement for their cooperation during this economic crisis. The key elements are:
- Since the Treasury does not have enough tools in this crisis, the Fed will use theirs (of course in close cooperation with the Treasury) to make credit flow, to prevent any systemic failures to the financial system, and fix what is wrong.
- Federal Reserve is the lender of last resort. They are to do whatever is necessary to make credit flow in all areas.
- The Federal Reserve needs more power and will go to Congress to get more.
- The Treasury will take the Maiden Lane assets (the toxic Bear Stearns “assets”) from the Fed. I thought toxic assets were profitable if you would hold to maturity (satire).
Federal Reserve Act
Section 2A. Monetary policy objectives The Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System and the Federal Open Market Committee shall maintain long run growth of the monetary and credit aggregates commensurate with the economy's long run potential to increase production, so as to promote effectively the goals of maximum employment, stable prices, and moderate long-term interest rates.
[12 USC 225a. As added by act of November 16, 1977 (91 Stat. 1387) and amended by acts of October 27, 1978 (92 Stat. 1897); Aug. 23, 1988 (102 Stat. 1375); and Dec. 27, 2000 (114 Stat. 3028).]
This video from 2009 is great. It tells the story of a FED and US Treasury policy that sought only to move what was massive Wall Street debt from last decade's frauds off of Big Bank ledgers and on to the American people who are the US Treasury. This analyst says over and over----the bond market bubble has reached its peak----why are there still sales of US Treasury bonds? The answer is----the FED and US Treasury were imploding American Treasuries with unwarrented debt at a time when everyone knew the bond market was going to crash. THIS WAS 2009. The FED had to manipulate all of the stats to make it look like it was doing something useful----when in fact it was acting to implode the US economy and steal all of the US Treasury assets. Remember, Bush terms in office had record amounts of revenue coming in albeit from massive fraud. The US Treasury should have been flush with revenue as too the state and local coffers.....but, as we have heard from 2008----the Treasury's are empty.
The world's rich today are mostly those people from other countries that laundered all of these frauds----from subprime mortgage fraud to this bond market fraud. The FED has simply used manipulated inflation and interest rates to stall this bond bubble collapse and as with the subprime mortgage fraud that saw subpriming soar in the last two years before the 2008 crash----so too have these few years seen the same soaring of bond debt. Look at Maryland and Baltimore with just the $1 billion tied to school building-----all knowing the bond market crash was coming. As I have stated before----the FED always manipulates the timing of these economic crashes to that of a Presidential race----ergo, this 2016 timing. The FED will use the raising of the FED interest rates to send the bond market into the crash mode. That is why we know all this talk from the FED as to economic reasons for all these decisions is a load of bunk. Also, all of this has nothing to do with China and its economy as this 2009 analysis shows.
Please take a second to Google this You Tube video----it really shows what the FED, Obama, and your Congressional Clinton neo-liberal knew in 2009......
Congress in 2009 with a super-majority of Clinton neo-liberals passed laws that allowed this bond market be super-heated to hasten and deepen the crash.
Treasury Bonds, Interest Rates, The Dollar, and Stock Market
Stock Traders Daily 56 4,429
Start at: Uploaded on Nov 15, 2009This video describes the recent Treasury Bubble, and explains why that bubble will soon burst.
Think the corporatization and privatization of K-12 is something to support for the private JOBS, JOBS, JOBS. Neo-liberalism and neo-conservatism is leading to a global corporate tribunal rule by a very few of the world's rich and since Reagan/Clinton the US has been headed towards this global far-right Libertarianism on steroids. Only the rich have access to Rule of Law and only a few are allowed to become rich. If universities were filled with tenured academics like Cornel West free to hold power accountable----if public K-12 teachers and classrooms were free to teach broadly on topics of public policy---they would be shouting-----THIS IS FASCISM FOLKS. NO ONE DOES WELL IN FASCISM EXCEPT THE VERY RICH!
Below you see a movie made by Dr Seuss soon after Hitler's WW 2 in which he uses metaphor to describe what fascism is like. Fascism does not have to be one leader----it can be a corporate group like this global corporate tribunal Clinton and Obama have worked hard with Bush to install with neo-liberal economies around the world----and right now-----EUROPE, US, AND UK ARE THE TARGETS. THAT IS WHAT ALL OF THESE SUSPENDED RULE OF LAW, CORPORATE FRAUD AND GOVERNMENT CORRUPTION LOOTING OUR US, STATE, AND LOCAL TREASURIES IS ABOUT---TRANSFERRING ALL WEALTH TO THE TOP. This film is great to watch with a high school child you are wanting to teach democracy and political science to because schools are not doing it.
Think of the symbolism----and think how it is relevant to what is happening now. Everyone doing the same thing and that thing is selected by the man having all the money. The boy is trying to tell the plumber something bad is happening to the children being brought to the institute----that his mother who is faithfully promoting Dr T is mind-controlled, misled by propaganda-----the plumber is great as labor who when plied with good drink, a good cigar, and time-and-a-half praises the fascist dictator and refuses to see the bad. The institute police ready to throw any dissenters into the dungeon! THIS IS EXACTLY WHAT IS HAPPENING TODAY IN THE US. THIS IS WHY RACE TO THE TOP DISMANTLES AND ATTACKS OUR PUBLIC SCHOOLS AND TEACHERS AND MAKES STEM THE CENTRAL FOCUS TO THE EXCLUSION OF HUMANITIES AND LIBERAL ARTS WHERE CONVERSATIONS OVER PUBLIC POLICY AND DISSENT START. Take a look at this film from this vantage point meant by Dr Seuss----and educate your children because teachers are now not able to!
ALL THE YOUNG BOY NEEDED TO DO WAS CAPTURE ALL OF THE PROPAGANDA INTO A BOX AND THE CHILDREN AT THE PIANO WENT WILD WITH FREE EXPRESSION!
The 5,000 Fingers of Dr. T., In Which Dr. Seuss’s Brain Blows Up
July 15, 2015 · by Supreme Being · in Active Observation, I Like to Watch. ·
The only movie Dr. Seuss ever wrote, The 5,000 Fingers of Dr. T. is exactly as surreal as you’d expect, too surreal, as it turned out, for audiences in ’53, not at all prepared for what we might call a whimsical, avant garde take on the horrors of fascism. Famously, people walked out of its premiere. It did not fare well at the box office. Dr. Seuss himself disowned it, called it a “debaculous fiasco,” and didn’t even mention it in his memoir.
Too bad for Seuss. The 5,000 Fingers of Dr. T. is all kinds of wonderful, a movie ahead of its time, a movie time has yet to catch up with. Its weirdness cannot be overstated. Nowadays it’s got a cult following, as well it should. Would that every kids’ movie could be this loony.
It began, the story goes, as a 1200 page screenplay, which is too long by a factor of ten. One must suppose Seuss was made ever unhappier as his work was shortened and shortened. Yet he stuck with it throughout, writing not only the script but the song lyrics, too. Because of course it’s a musical, with music by Frederick Hollander. Though by the time of release, half of the songs were cut. Another shame, that, because the music is great, and the movie could have used a few more songs to balance it out.
The production design, by Rudolth Sternad, is all Seuss-based, with exteriors alternately daffy and imposing, and musical sets, as Joe Dante once put it, “…that looked like Salvador Dalí had been commissioned to make a children’s film in the style of The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari.” Whereas Seuss’s jaunty drawings are nothing but fun on the page, realized in three dimensions they’re imposing and unnerving, especially when representing the castle of the evil, piano-mad fascist, Dr. T, and shot to mimic nothing less than Triumph of The Will.
Seuss’s original story was a much more detailed and pointed attack on fascism as it played out in WWII, but what remains isn’t subtle. It’s just, perhaps, a little more kid friendly. It’s not the obvious slams at Hitler that turned off audiences (although then again, maybe, in ’53, it was still a bit soon to be reminded of the war in a kid’s musical), it’s the outright strangeness that did it.
Bartholomew, mom, and plumber
Most of The 5,000 Fingers of Dr. T. is the tortured dream of young Batholomew Collins (Tommy Rettig, who literally looks like Dr. Seuss drew him), forced to practice piano by his evil instructor, Dr. Terwilliker (Hans Conried), who pre-dream comes off not as a Hitlerish dictator but as a mean, pretentious, effete, piano-obsessed snob, with eyes for Bart’s mom, Heloise (Mary Healy). Bart’s dad is dead, but we’re never told how. The other man in Bart’s life is local plumber August Zabladowski (Peter Lind Hayes), a nice guy, but one frustratingly uninterested in Bart’s lovely mom. Heloise, unfortunately, seems to like Terwilliker, and is all for Bart practicing the piano until he’s fit for the concert hall or loses his mind. Practicing, while at the same time breaking the 4th wall to chat with we viewers, Bart dozes off.
Scary elevator ride with Dr. T
What plays out in Bart’s dream is, psychologically speaking, a battle between two men vying to be his father. Politically, it’s all about fascism. In the dream, Terwilliker is fancy-dressing madman with floppy hair and wild eyes. He’s shrill and wild-eyed and insanely dressed and obsessed with his one dream: To enslave 500 young boys and force them to play his enormous, winding piano. Five thousand little happy fingers playing at once!
The Happy Finger Institute is not a happy place. Bart and the other boys wear little blue beanies with yellow Seuss hands wriggling atop them, i.e. a kid-friendly fascist emblem. Terwilliker’s henchmen all dress in blue/yellow uniforms and carry giant hands when marching in formation. Also in the employ of Terwilliker: twin brothers on rollerskates conjoined by their long beard.
Climbing up to number 1 and number 2
In his dreamworld, Bart’s mom is Terwilliker’s number two evil-doer, but only because she’s been hypnotized. Zabladowski is still the plumber. His job? To install enough sinks before opening night of the 5,000 fingers piano performance. Can’t very well have a functioning Institute without enough working sinks, now can you? Bart escapes the clutches of the henchman and implores Zab to free his mother from her hypnotic spell, but Zab doesn’t care about any of that business. He just wants to do his work and get paid and ignore whatever else might be going on. Sinks, that’s his business, nothing more.
The Seuss Dance
But Bart convinces him, leading to an early showdown between Zab and Terwilliker in which they leap and dance around each other, wiggling their fingers and bulging their eyes, trying to put whammies on each other (“Where’d you study?” asks Terwilliker afterwards. “Oh, I just picked it up.”). One can’t help but wonder at the state of one’s sanity watching this mysterious battle. It’s not quite like anything I’ve ever seen anyone ever do in a movie, or anywhere else, for that matter. It’s not outrageously weird, no, it’s just very particularly and uniquely odd. In context it makes perfect sense. Which actually adds to the oddness.
The Mystic Knights of–err, that is, the dungeon dance
What is outrageously odd is the musical number set in the dungeon, where Terwilliker keeps musicians who play, as he puts it, “scratchy violins, screechy piccolos, neauseating trumpets,” and anything else that isn’t a piano. Musicians and dancers, dressed up in sickly green leotards, proceed to play bizarre Seussian instruments to a score that bounces around stylistically like a rubber ball for what seems like a very, very long time. I was reminded of the music and visual style of Oingo Boingo watching this scene. It is completely bonkers, everything about it, visually and musically and dramatically. It’s hard to believe this was made in ’53, and increasingly easy to believe why no one at the time knew what in the hell they were watching.
Zabladowski is at first taken in by Terwilliker, who plies him with smooth talk, endless cigars, delicious pastries, and a shot of pure pickle juice. Serious stuff. Bart has to beg him to change his mind and help. Slowly but surely, Zab comes around. He’s an everyman, a man of the people, you might say. He knows about fishing and sinks and baseball, and eventually he even notices what a beauty Heloise is.
Bart alone at the piano
With Zab’s help, Bart is able to build a sound-sucking device (the “sound-fix”) from the variety of objects in his pockets he and Zab grind into a pasty liquid with a dinosaur bone. How does it work, Bart wonders? “It’s atomic.” Ah. Yes. Naturally it’s atomic.
Meanwhile, Terwilliker prepares for he grand concert by getting dressed, which scene, a musical number, is glorious in its lunacy. What, exactly, Terwilliker is supposed to be wearing is beyond my powers to describe, but lucky for us he explains it all in song, with verses such as:
I want my undulating undies with the maribou frills!
I want my beautiful bolero with the porcupine quills!
I want my purple nylon girdle with the orange blossom buds
Cause I’m going doe-me-doe-ing in my doe-me-doe duds!
I want my lavender spats and in addition to them
I want my honey-colored gosset with the herring bone hem
I want my softest little jacket made of watermelon suede
And my long persimmon placket with the platinum braid
I want my leg of mutton sleeves and in addition to those
I want my cutie chamois booties with the leopard skin bows
I want my pink brocaded bodice with the floofy fuzzy ruffs
And my gorgeous bright blue bloomers with the monkey feather cuffs
I want my organdy snood and in addition to that
I want my chiffon Mother Hubbard lined with Hudson Bay rat!
So come and dress me in the blossoms of a million pink trees!
Come on and dress me up in liverwurst and camembert cheese!
Come on and dress me up in pretzels, dress me up in bock beer suds!
Cause I’m going doe-me-doe-ing in my doe-me-doe duds!
No doubt you’re now able to imagine what he looks like.
Five hundred boys are bussed into the Institute, their suitcases opened and rummaged through by Terwilliker’s henchman in a scene not at all accidentally meant to remind one of concentration camp victims being divested of their belongings.
Dr. T in his fancy duds
With all 5,000 fingers in place, Terwilliker begins his concert. But what’s this? Where’s the sound?! The sound-fix is eating it up! “Is it…atomic?” asks Dr. T, terrified. “Yes, sir!” says Bart. “Very atomic!”
And then it blows up.
I mean everyone escapes first! Jeez, this is a kid’s movie.
A kid’s movie for the demented kid in, well, not in all of us, I’m afraid, but some of us. The 5,000 Fingers of Dr. T. is the bizarre kids’ movie I’ve been dreaming of. It’s beautiful, imaginative, original, and there’s even some theremin on the soundtrack. Mind you, it’s not perfect. You can tell it’s been meddled with, you can tell the studio did all they could to cram Seuss’s freakshow into a form-fitting box. But, thanks to the movie consisting of nothing but Seussian crazy-time wacko-bananas, they failed. They may have shaved off its edges, but what remains is a classic of weird.