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Ear to the Ground

Fed Chief: Pass a Bailout or Else

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Posted on Sep 23, 2008
White House / Joyce N. Boghosian

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke stands by the president.

How’s this for not mincing words? “I believe if the credit markets are not functioning, that jobs will be lost, that our credit rate will rise, more houses will be foreclosed upon, GDP will contract, that the economy will just not be able to recover in a normal, healthy way.” So sayeth Ben Bernanke on Tuesday, in a dire warning to Congress.


AP via Google:

“The financial markets are in quite fragile condition and I think absent a plan they will get worse,” Bernanke said.

Ominously, he added, “I believe if the credit markets are not functioning, that jobs will be lost, that our credit rate will rise, more houses will be foreclosed upon, GDP will contract, that the economy will just not be able to recover in a normal, healthy way.”

[... Sen. Chris] Dodd later spoke disparagingly of the administration’s proposal. “What they have sent us is not acceptable,” he told reporters after presiding over a lengthy Senate Banking Committee hearing at which Bernanke and Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson urged swift action by Congress.

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By cyrena, September 24, 2008 at 5:16 pm Link to this comment

RE Purple Girl

“...In fact lets conserve energy- skip all those sitting on death row- and substitute this admin and their Corp accomplices instead.
one of my favorite lines in the Godfather goes something like this..“Either your signature or your Brains will be on this piece of paper when we leave” ..

~~~~

I love it. My sentiments EXACTLY!!! Either your signature or your brains…however you want it.

And this…

“Don’t ever threaten US Bernie- You Ain’t Shit!!!”

Triple ditto, I actually laughed out loud.

I’m semi-tempted to use what I’d love to say to these folks, and would if I could:

~WE (the people) don’t *negotiate* with TERRORISTS!! (Dick Cheney et al, AKA ‘the administration’)

Now that’s what I’d like to tell Bernie and the others. Or, mackTN said it pretty well too…old school style…Kiss my b…. .ss!

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By Purple Girl, September 24, 2008 at 3:50 pm Link to this comment

How’d you like your entire Private Banking Conglomerate called paradoxically the ‘Federal Reserve’ - FIRED and Shut down!
And self anointed King Henry can experience the French Revolution First hand (or head).
We are no longer content to hold Brick and Mortar resposnsible for this Well Foreseen Catastrophe- we want some People to Hold Accountable- keep talking You are getting Our undivided Attention!
How’d your buddies like it if WE took out that Trillion Dollar Loan and decided to dispense checks to the Citizens of this Country and let your Gambling casino’s and their Mob Bosses handle their Own Creditors!Seems you all have no problem putting our kids futures on the global Auction Block, Wanna Switch places?
I gotta take my hat off to China- one Greedy move by their Export minister and Thoop! off goes his head, within days!
funny how a guy who they have no DNA,Finger prints or other evidence against in a cop Killing in GA, is eligible for the Death Sentence but Gamblers who not only lose their investors money, but devastate an entire economy get a ‘Golden parachute’, an dpossilby a promotion! Shit Phil Gramm,Rick Davis and Carly Fiorna get to become Mac’s advisors.
In fact lets conserve energy- skip all those sitting on death row- and substitute this admin and their Corp accomplices instead.
one of my favorite lines in the Godfather goes something like this..“Either your signature or your Brains will be on this piece of paper when we leave” .
So go find all those cohorts of yours who were making a Killing when the Stock market was up and tell them Pay Up or we’ll get it our of them some other way! What’s Young blonde Ex socialites go for now on the Asian Market?
Don’t ever threaten US Bernie- You Ain’t Shit!!!

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By Blackspeare, September 24, 2008 at 1:56 pm Link to this comment

This whole “Bailout” business reminds of a movie line; “the search for more money.”

We all know it’s gonna happen, the TPTB will get the $0.7 trillion——we can only hope that someone will be watching the kitty.  When bad times are perceived to lie ahead those with the power will make as much as they can as fast as they can so that they can ride out the doldrums.

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By David White, September 24, 2008 at 12:52 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The current FED/FANNIE/FREDDIE/BANKS/INSURANCE-COMPANIES is probably the biggest DECOITY ever.  The money is literally snatched from billions and handed over to a select few.  It seems that Americans are the biggest brainwashed nation, that is why there is no physical protest or people on the road protesting.  Imagine the worst form of slavery for your children as a result.  SPEAK now or NEVER.

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By Crimes of the State Blog, September 24, 2008 at 11:06 am Link to this comment

Taxpayers, Americans, rational people, I have a modest proposal. Instead of spending $700 Billion to buy bad debt from the bank shark fraudsters, let us spend merely 1/2 of $1 Billion to build a new SuperDuper Prison(TM), and round up all the organized crime figures who are attempting to defraud the People of the United States of multiple generations’ worth of wealth.

Continues

http://crimesofthestate.blogspot.com/2008/09/better-than-any-bailout.html

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By Stephen Smoliar, September 24, 2008 at 10:03 am Link to this comment

Mud, perhaps our elected representatives really DO represent what is most important to us, which is our unquenchable addiction to debt:

http://therehearsalstudio.blogspot.com/2008/09/maxed-out.html

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By samosamo, September 24, 2008 at 9:58 am Link to this comment

The federal reserve is not an american business. It is a private business that is run and controlled by the super super rich from all over the world. A business set up to control our country by economic manipulation. As a matter of fact or according to Daniel Eustulin’s book, ‘The Bilderburg Group’, the fed is controlled by these elite criminals. What will happen is if and when the bailout goes through, the ‘federal reserve’ will loan the U.SofA. the money at what ever interest rate the heads of the ‘fed’ designates, which puts the USofA even deeper in debt.
So, all this will be is laundrying money around to not just let the irresponsible greedy crooks that got us into this mess still get paid for their criminal actions but will most likely let them off the hook by not going after them in investigations or congressional oversight. And if anyone doubts the existance or the influence of a group such as the bilderbergs, just start impeachment proceedings against the heads of the federal reserve and try to shut is evil institution down. You and everyone will have an eye-opening experience.
The best plan is NO bailout. Paulson should be fired and probably investigated for his incompetence. So should Bernanke. The federal reserve truly needs to be shut down in this country as it is a major source of the economic problems in not just this country but the world.
See, ever since the clever crooks figured out how to steal money in a seemingly legal and legitimate way with the creation and use of money laundrying houses such as the federal reserve, the World Bank, IMF and others to so call ‘handle the money’, it creates the illusion that this is needed. People will believe this and look to these people(which are just a few running all of these organizations)for help and direction for maintaining strong economic systems in their countries. Sad, because these are the very people and organizations that are creating the economic misery.
It has taken the Milton Friedman(read klein’s ‘the shock doctrine) disaster economics and the hell it has created on this planet for people to realize that that is the problem and now instead of looking to IMF, the World Bank and now the federal reserve, for answers, the countries that have been dragged through the mud are rejecting these organizations and are starting to pull their countries out of the destitution and improving their economic lot.
That is what america needs to do to the fed. Shut it down and get it off of our soil. It is nothing but a big trap to keep this country in a spiraling debt for the benefit of these ‘elite’ charlatans at our expense. Truly a house of cards that needed to be knocked down ages ago.
Of course, it would help to get the number of humans on this planet down to a level where it is not a strain to support the species.

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By Stephen Smoliar, September 24, 2008 at 9:01 am Link to this comment

I decided to focus my own blogging this morning over troublesum’s wait-and-see-if-the-sky-falls suggestion:

http://therehearsalstudio.blogspot.com/2008/09/will-sky-fall.html

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By Mud, September 24, 2008 at 7:43 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

to see so many getting it. Good question. Why is there no pole on this? Does it take more time to set such a pole up, run it and publish the results?

Even if we did give these well respected banker gangsters the extortion money they are demanding, it would not change a thing for the financial situation of the country. Americans probably have no chance of avoiding a time of serious and protracted pain that has all been created by their own (supposed) representatives.  Democrats and Republicans have cooperated with each other to bring this mess down on the backs of the American people.

Not a dimes worth of difference between the parties. But if it makes us feel better to twist our brains into believing there is, we deserve what we get.

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By Christian, September 24, 2008 at 12:28 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

There is no campaigning within 100 feet (yards maybe?) of polling positions. And, in Michigan, the GOP is working to get people who have lost their homes to foreclosure off of poll lists. Becuase they don’t have a valid address. Shouldn’t actually work, but that’s who is behind it, and if you read the article in the Macomb daily, they’ve admitted it.

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By cyrena, September 24, 2008 at 12:01 am Link to this comment

By Outraged, September 23 at 7:30 pm

•  Dean Baker @ TPM has an article explaining aspects of the situation, so it can be clearly understood and also what we can do about it. (an excerpt)

I just wanted to add that the Truthdig article with yesterday’s Democracy Now! Also has an excellent video of an interview with him, where he reiterates this stuff.

This one is with Dean Baker, Bernie Sanders, and Robert Scheer.

http://www.democracynow.org/2008/9/22/sen_bernie_sanders_robert_scheer_and

It was only up here at TD for a couple of days at the most, and another poster commented on the fact that TD only keeps those left, right and center segments up for a day or two at most.

Wait, I was wrong. It is still here.

http://www.truthdig.com/avbooth/item/20080922_democracy_now_sanders_scheer_on_the_bailout_boondoggle/?ln

Meantime, I’m with ProUnionProLabor. Been in a recession/depression now for nearly 8 years. It’s just worse now than it was when it started. But, Pro is right that the rest of the world is only just now hearing/talking about it since it’s become to affect some of their own.

As long as it was ‘just us’ the heist could continue unabated and unquestioned. This has been the longest, sustained armed robbery in the history of the world. Obviously the biggest in terms of value..more than has ever been stolen in any kleptocracy in the history of the world, or even any wars. This is worse than the long ago rape of the Congo, and so many other parts of Africa that were stripped of their natural resources. Oh yeah, this is worse than that even.

It’s even bigger/worse than what they’ve done to Iraq, if only in terms of numbers, and the breadth of the destruction. This does in the global market as well.

So…at the beginning, it was a recession, because it was ‘just us’ households. Now, it’s damn near everybody, INCLUDING the new Wall Street gang, (lots more average citizens had begun to hold stock in ways that average Americans just didn’t do back in the first part of the 20th Century. I 2 or 3 decades back, the working class and even the middle class didn’t mess with gambling in the market, aside from the housing market. And, it was relatively stable under regulation.

This other stuff is relatively new to the middle and working classes, who’ve now lost everything, along with the rest of us who didn’t do any risky gambling, because we didn’t have anything the gamble with from the beginning. And, it’s been planned for us to pick up the tab on all of it. We can’t let that happen.

This is the chance, (and Dean Baker says it in different words) to turn a crisis into an advantage for the majority of the population. It’s time to ram a super deal down their throats, when they have no options. They don’t. They have NO other alternatives. They didn’t all get out of dodge fast enough, and now, despite the bluster and arrogance from Bernake or Paulson, their own gooses are cooked.

They should be forced to give it all back to the US taxpayers. Let US hold this bad paper so that when it supposedly improves, (since that’s what the $700B is supposedly for) then we’ll get some return on our investment, instead of just picking up the debt, (and yet another risk) without getting any benefit from it, if things ever improve.

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By Bubba Brownley, September 23, 2008 at 11:53 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I am relatively young when it comes to being engaged in discussion and the bantering that comes along with politics, and I must say that this is the most concerned I have ever been for our country.  I am literally unable to sleep for worrying about the fallout from these “adjustments” as GW put it in the financial market.  The taxpayers (through some funding method that I am not clear on) have already agreed to bail out and prop up several failing financial firms because of the worries of the impending doom their failures would cause to our market. 

As a left-leaning independent (kind of like Arianna Huffington but without the good looks), at first I found myself somewhat jubilant, proffering to myself that finally the hard core capitalists are realizing that our system needs at least some regulation and government insight.  However, the more I think about this issue, I am saddened to find out that whatever actions we take now are probably too late to little. 

I attempted to sleep once again, but my mind was sent racing with the deliciously tempting thoughts of what great things could be accomplished spending almost a trillion dollars in some other way than making sure that investment firms, their shareholders, investors, and irresponsible lenders don’t lose their value.  I thought well what about alternative energy funding, medical research, supporting and promoting mass transit, healthcare, homeless and veteran care, improvements in infrastructure.  Oh the positive impact, especially if spent right here in America, creating jobs and investing in our economic future, those funds could have. 

I am a teacher with an eye for education policy, and have always dreamed of waving a magic wand to fix the woes of public education.  The school where I teach is fifth-grade a magnet school, and we have class sizes of 10-12 students.  I contrast that with my friends and colleagues that each at other public schools where the class sizes are between 25 and 30 students for fifth grade.  I firmly believe that cutting class sizes down to a more manageable size would dramatically improve the quality of our education system, but have always been told it is impossible due to lack of funding. 

However, I learned through the past month and indeed this entire deficit-tolerant administration that inadequate funding is never a bar to action, as long as you are spending it where the administration, legally independent agencies, and elected officials consider it important.  Could you imagine the response President George W. Bush and educational secretary Margaret Spellings would have received if they proposed a $700 billion bailout of our failing educational system?  How then does it seem like an inevitability that we are about to give Secretary Paulson and Ben Bernanke an additional $700 billion to fix an economy they have refused to acknowledge even needed assistance.  Perhaps if they had been doing their jobs and being more honest with the American public this crisis would have not blindsided us as it has done. 

I truly hope for the best.  I feel deeply for the Americans that have lost their homes and the equity in their homes.  I feel as though my hands are tied, and there is no way I can help, other than to pay higher taxes next year and in the coming years when that interest capitalizes on these huge unfunded expenditures we are about to take on.  I believe that our government providing the tax payer-funded pillow for these corporations to softly land upon is probably a stop gap measure that is only postponing the inevitable adjustment that the market will make to correct the poor decisions corporations have made over leveraging themselves.  It makes me more stalwart than ever in my belief that a strong education system is essential in providing an educated public to make good decisions about our leaders and to hold them accountable. 

Bubba

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By purplewolf, September 23, 2008 at 11:47 pm Link to this comment

HOW MANY TIMES HAS THIS ADMINISTRATION CRYED WOLF IN THE PAST?

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By purplewolf, September 23, 2008 at 11:44 pm Link to this comment

Nick:I love your idea,this would be a better way to dispense the money.If the money is given to these crooks,who is to say they will not just squander it away into their deep pockets and not do with it what they are supposed to do.

Cyrena:So if you go to the polls wearing something political and they bitch about it I have the perfect solution-take the offending item off,if you are ambitious,turn it inside out and if you are of the braver persuasion,regardless of gender don’t put it back on.
As to the voting and the house foreclosure item. First the offending repug said he was only joking, then I heard total denial of him saying it and now the paper that first exposed his comment had to retract the story and said they made a mistake.I know Michigan Repukelicans and this is just the sort of crap that do.They started it worse this year by demanding picture IDs-never wanted my voting card in the past and I have voted regular since the 1980’s. So I showed them my picture ID of my CCW.Yeah,I know,kind of rednecky,but I couldn’t help myself. Anything to screw with the voters.

Outraged:I have heard it said that banks like UBS and others out of the country have been included in the list of bailouts.WTF!

All those who helped this happen should have all their assets where ever they have them stashed confiscated and turned over into a “general fund” to help pay this mess they made.They can learn to live in what the majority of Americans live in,a regular family sized house,not houses or mansions,drive a car a few years old shop with coupons,buy their kids clothes from yard sales and learn how to live within their means,just like the average Americans have had to do.

Perhaps if Georgie had not given all those rich buddies of his a free pass on their taxes, and taxed big corporations as they should have,over 2/3 or 67% plus paid no taxes at all last year according to our latest government reporting less than 3 weeks ago, we would not be in the mess we see now.How stupid of the repugs to think that you can cut taxes and ring up big unnecessary bills,like illegal wars and expanded spying on every aspect of everything every American does in this country and to others abroad and not find yourself in a hole that they are now?

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By Outraged, September 23, 2008 at 10:16 pm Link to this comment

An excellent article and interview by Glenn Greenwald @ Salon.  Greenwald’s interview with Professor of Finance, Richard Sheehan,

“Professor Sheehan speaking:
Unfortunately, Mr. Paulson was among those that were creating the problem, rather than warning about the problem. In his role as CEO of Goldman Sachs, Goldman—under his watch—created a whole lot of CDOs [collateralized debt obligations] that now are under the heading of “toxic waste.” So it’s amusing in a twisted way to look at him now as the one who is going to save us from imminent financial collapse, when it was at least in part brought on by the actions of Goldman, in terms of being so liberal in their willingness to create new and improved CDOs.

http://www.salon.com/opinion/greenwald/radio/2008/09/23/sheehan/index.html

Greenwald’s article includes updates AND a video clip (approx. 5min) of Rep. Marcy Kaptur D-Ohio statement on the House floor, a must see. (scroll to bottom)

Marcy Kaptur quote: “This member isn’t voting for a penny of it.  Those who created and profited from this game of games, must be brought to justice.  The assets they stole must be returned to the American taxpayers right down to the to the tires on their Mercedes.  Mr. Speaker, I ask my colleagues to join me in co-sponsoring my bill to create an independent commission to investigate these well-heeled wrongdoers. Real reform now, or nothing.

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By desertdude, September 23, 2008 at 9:17 pm Link to this comment

Well let’s see how many Republicans really believe in the Free Market System. They don’t like welfare for people but boy they sure want welfare for the Rich. NO BAILOUT.

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By Philemon, September 23, 2008 at 9:01 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Paulson, Bernanke, and their cohorts on Wall Street and of the Federal Reserve System are the robbers of our people.

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By ProUnionProLabor, September 23, 2008 at 8:34 pm Link to this comment

I don’t know about you, Mr. Bernanke, but my household has been in recession for some time now. So has everyone I know and most of what’s left of the Middle Class. The only reason the Fed and the Treasury care is because these meltdowns are starting to get into the Fat Cats pocket a little bit.
This plan of Paulson’s gives him unaccountable control of these funds. Last time Congress passed some legislation without reading it we got the Patriot Act. And Darth Vader? Stay off the hill. Congress don’t need your bullying tactics any longer. Get back to your “undisclosed location”.

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By Outraged, September 23, 2008 at 8:30 pm Link to this comment

Dean Baker @ TPM has an article explaining aspects of the situation, so it can be clearly understood and also what we can do about it. (an excerpt)

“Principles to Guide the Bailout

1) Financial institutions should be forced to endure the bulk of the losses with taxpayer funds only used where absolutely necessary to sustain the orderly operation of the financial system.
2) The bailout must be designed to minimize the opportunity for gaming.
3) The bailout should be designed to minimize moral hazard.
4) In the case of delinquent mortgages that come into the government’s possession, there should be an effort to work out an arrangement that allows the homeowner to remain in her house as owner. If this proves impossible, then former homeowners should be allowed to remain in their homes as renters paying the market rent. This should be done even if it leads to losses to the government.
5) There should be serious efforts to severely restrict executive compensation at any companies that directly benefit from the bailout.”

http://tpmcafe.talkingpointsmemo.com/2008/09/20/progressive_conditions_for_a_b/

Another of Dean Baker’s articles.
The financial picture is changing by the hour. Remember way back to this morning when Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson said that if Congress didn’t immediately give him a $700 billion blank check the financial system would collapse? He became upset because the Democrats didn’t believe him and decided to include conditions like restrictions on CEO pay.

It turns out that the Democrats aren’t the only ones who don’t believe Paulson. According to the NYT, the financial industry doesn’t believe him either. That is why they are seeking to expand the bailout to include a wide range of assets in addition to mortgage backed securities.

In addition to calling into question Paulson’s threat, this points out another important problem with the bailout.

If the bailout were properly structured, firms would not be lining up to get in. It should be a last resort that involves selling most of the firm to the government, as happened with AIG. If banks are lining up to get in, then the people who designed the bailout should be chased out of town.”
http://tpmcafe.talkingpointsmemo.com/2008/09/21/no_one_believes_henry_paulson_1/

Who’s Dean Baker…check it out: “Dean Baker is co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research in Washington, DC. He previously worked as a senior economist at the Economic Policy Institute and an assistant professor at Bucknell University. His blog, Beat the Press, features commentary on economic reporting. He received his Ph.D in economics from the University of Michigan. He has written numerous books and articles, including The United States Since 1980, Cambridge University Press, March 2007; The Conservative Nanny State: How the Wealthy Use the Government to Stay Rich and Get Richer, Center for Economic and Policy Research, 2006; Social Security: The Phony Crisis (with Mark Weisbrot), University of Chicago Press, 1999”........it goes on and on…...interesting.
(also recently on Democracy Now w/Robert Scheer)
http://tpmcafe.talkingpointsmemo.com/profile/Dean Baker

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By cyrena, September 23, 2008 at 7:56 pm Link to this comment

RE: skulz fontaine, September 23 at 5:28 pm

•  “This is fascism at it’s very worst. Wake the freaking hell up Amerika, you’ve not very much time. This is as odious an assault on America as has EVER been devised. Hitler in his supreme height of evil couldn’t have envisioned a plan so heinous as the one proposed by Bushco. Congress will after all, go along with the Bush rape of the Amerikan taxpayer and thus endeth the ‘grand experiment in democracy’ once created by America’s founding fathers…”

Skulz fontaine,

I’ve written nearly identical sentiments several times these past few days. It is literally, THE WORST EVER!!! And yes, I put it in terms of Hitler as well. The comparisons continue to mount, but even Hitler wouldn’t have tried this. (then again, I don’t know).

Most recently, mine was in response to a chain email/brainwashing exercise: This is what is circulating,

“..Please, please, please advise everyone you know that they absolutely can NOT go to the polls wearing any Obama (or whoever you are voting for) shirts, pins, hats, etc.  It is AGAINST THE LAW and will be grounds to have the polling officials to turn you away.  This is considered campaigning and no one can campaign within X amount of feet of the polls.  They are banking on us being overly excited and not being aware of this long standing law that you can bet will be ENFORCED THIS YEAR!!!!!

They are banking that if you are turned away, you will not go home and change your clothes and return to the polls to vote.  Please just don’t wear ANY gear of any sorts to the polls!  Please share this information with as many people as you can.  If you are already aware of this, please don’t take it as insulting your intelligence. 

Have a great day and see you at the polls on November 4th.  Please forward to your email circle of friends.

~~~~~

Notice the ‘they’ and the authoritarian terminology like ‘polling officials’ and how it’s just sort of mindlessly passed along, like the poison kool-aide that has been passed around in various flavors for the past 8 years. This was also written in escalatingly large font, with parts in red.

I read this and immediately had visions of the horrific photos I’ve seen from the Hitler crimes, as so many Jews, gypsies, and others walk orderly and (seemingly) dumbly to their own demise. And then I think of the armbands that they had to wear to distinguish themselves in the run up. I don’t see this as all that different, especially after just reviewing a course text entitled “Hitler’s Black Victims” (my sense tells me this is written for a mostly black audience).

In Michigan, the voters are being told (presumably the media is putting this out) that anyone who has lost their home or is in foreclosure now will be unable to vote, and ‘they’ are allegedly planning to post the lists of foreclosed properties at the respective precincts.

WTF????? This is voter intimidation all over the place. It’s worse than Jim Crow days.

And of course this bail out is the coup de grâce. (then again, I’ve been pre-declaring that since the original coup d’ état. It just keeps getting worse).

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By troublesum, September 23, 2008 at 7:41 pm Link to this comment

Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont has proposed that the Bush tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans be repealed in order to pay for the $700 billion bailout.  In addition they would pay another 10% surcharge on their taxes.  In this way the wealthiest people who benefited from the Wall Street schemes would pay for the bailout instead of having people in the middle and the bottom pay for it.  This sounds like the only fair way to do it if there is to be a bailout.  Why aren’t democrats getting on board this proposal?

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By kdnc, September 23, 2008 at 7:33 pm Link to this comment

Fed chief removes all doubt he should never have been given the job he has. He and others like him are like irresponsible teenagers who went over their credit limit and cry to Mom and Dad, “pay my credit card off NOW.” Ridiculous! There should not be one cent given to these companies that are failing because of their own bad business practices. Businesses fail and better ones will replace them. Let it happen and consumers will be better off in the long run. Or keep propping up idiots who take money from people who don’t know better, ruin their own companies in the process, and then cry to Uncle Sam, pay off my debt now OR ELSE? These bailouts will further destroy the dollar and when it is worthless who will bail out this whole country?

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By martin weiss, September 23, 2008 at 6:51 pm Link to this comment

give Bush reciprocity. For his gifts to us, an equal return.
He had budgets cut for children, veterans’ and pregnant mothers’ health and nutrition—He said no to health care for kids. No to levee maintenance.
He said we can’t afford to have medical care for our children? And now he needs money for banks?
Yes to tax cuts for oil companies and millionaires.
He violated our laws and international standards of basic humanity.
Nothing for Bush. Nothing for BushCo. A hundred thousand veterans sleep in the streets. Let Bush sleep in the streets. Hundreds of Secret Service must protect him for the rest of his rich boy life.
He ran on ‘accountability’—now he runs from accountability. Zilch for Bush.

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By troublesum, September 23, 2008 at 6:49 pm Link to this comment

Congress should call their bluff and see if the sky falls in the next few days.

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By troublesum, September 23, 2008 at 6:39 pm Link to this comment

They’re trying to rush it through because they know that the public is entirely against it.  It is surprising how everybody seems to be on the same page for once on a political issue.  Why aren’t there any polls on this issue?  They are polling every day of the week on other issues but not this one.  They don’t want to know the truth.

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By skulz fontaine, September 23, 2008 at 6:28 pm Link to this comment

Bernanke needs a slap upside his head with a two by four. Then Bush, then Cheney, then Congress, then the Wall Street fops, then mainstream media, and then Paulson the traitorous scum. The “bailout” is BULLSHIT! Plain and crudely simple. This is fascism at it’s very worst. Wake the freaking hell up Amerika, you’ve not very much time. This is as odious an assault on America as has EVER been devised. Hitler in his supreme height of evil couldn’t have envisioned a plan so heinous as the one proposed by Bushco. Congress will after all, go along with the Bush rape of the Amerikan taxpayer and thus endeth the ‘grand experiment in democracy’ once created by America’s founding fathers. If Americans aren’t foaming furious about this crap, we are TRULY done as a nation! Time to take it to the streets for some serious political ass kicking!!! START THE REVOLUTION- THE TIME IS NOW!!!!!

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By mackTN, September 23, 2008 at 5:37 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I, too, have written my senators to protest this wall street bailout.  The timing of this is awfully fishy.  How can a stage 5 cancer spring forth overnight, so deadly that it has to be fixed immediately?  Did Bush sit on this so he could continue to raise billions for Iraq?  I have yet to hear the story of how this happened and I don’t plan to be conned into giving Bush anything. 

I think citizens ought to take this into their own hands and march down to their local courthouses and demand bankruptcy and then amnesty for it.  If, as McCain says, the worker is the only strong fundamental in this equation, then the worker needs the bailout, not friends of Paulson.

Lobbyists writing the bailout bill?  Are these the same lobbyists that wrote the comprehensive immigration reform bill to give free illegal labor to corporations? 

I think we ought to revolt.  I say we organize a workers march on Washington and present a petition for the arrest of the George Bush and his entire administration.  I’ll set up a web site for this purpose this evening.  Will you join me?

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By Dr. Knowitall, PhD, PhD, September 23, 2008 at 5:19 pm Link to this comment

Bush is a bully.  I’ve written both my senators and asked them to tell Bush to go to Hell.

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By Frank, September 23, 2008 at 4:33 pm Link to this comment

$700 billion divided by roughly 130 million federal taxpayers is over $5,300 each. That is the cost, per taxpayer, of this bailout.  And Bush’s man and the industry lobbyists pushing for it want us to rush it through without any restrictions on the multi-million dollar bonuses of the corporate executives behind it all.

I’m pretty sure the democrats in congress won’t let that happen, but it somehow does happen, we see will probably a popular uprising on a scale not seen in a very long time in this country, and rightfully so.

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By cyrena, September 23, 2008 at 4:14 pm Link to this comment

From the article:
“Paulson repeatedly fielded questions from committee members asking why taxpayers should accept the burdens of a bailout…
“You worry about taxpayers being on the hook?” he replied at one point. “Guess what — they’re already on the hook.” Paulson suggested that the fallout from the credit crisis would hit everyone’s pocketbook unless forceful action was taken. Moreover, a flawed and outdated regulatory system, which didn’t catch abuses, needed to be overhauled, he said.”
~~~~

Oh Yeah…we KNOW we’re already on the hook you dirty bastards. We’ve had it stuck through our guts and have been hanging here hemorrhaging for years now.  And I can’t believe he’s actually claiming that an ‘outdated’ regulatory system, ‘didn’t *catch* abuses, when we know damn well that the regulatory system was INTENTIONALLY DESTROYED by the very gang he’s representing!!

~~~~

Stephen, you’re right. Thanks for the link/prompt

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By nick, September 23, 2008 at 4:10 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

My Bailout Plan:

The federal government takes the 800 billion dollar bailout fund and divides it evenly amongst the individuals who filed income tax returns for 2007.

Your individual debt repayment stimulus credit would be reserved in an account held by the US Treasury and come along with the following
restrictions:

1)  It must be used to repay a legal debt secured by a note and incurred prior to September 11, 2008.

2)  The debt can be one you personally owe, or a debt owed by any other citizen or US corporation.

3)  The full amount of the credit must be consumed by debt repayment.


There would also be brief listing of priority debts that should be repaid first including past due mortgage amounts, student loans, child support, and back taxes.  Some kind of incentive would flow to you if you repay a “priority debt.”

The individual accounting for the plan would require a brief section of the 2008 federal income tax instruction booklet- hopefully with comprehensive forms included. Among other things the booklet would include forms for recording the amount of each payment or partial payment to be made from your individual account along with the name and address of the intended receiver, and a copy of the note memorializing the debt.

Individuals not owing any debts (or less debt than their allotted credit) can decide whose debts to repay and would also receive an incentive for repaying “priority debts.”

That is all.

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By yours truly, September 23, 2008 at 4:10 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

If Ben Bernake thinks that his warning that the economy will go belly-up unless Congress comes up with this trillion dollar giveaway is supposed to stampede Congress, he shouldn’t count on it.  Why not, after all didn’t 9/11 allow President George to bamboozle Congress into giving hime the Patriot Act, the better to shred the Constitution?  Except 9/ll presented us with an immediate existential threat, whereas, this financial meltdown, though ominous, doesn’t right away trigger a fight or flight reaction.  Does this mean that reason will prevail and Congress will come up with a bailout plan that serves the public interest rather than private interests?  It just might.  How?  One way would be for Senator Barack Obama to propose a plan that captures the imagination of the American people, such that, from Vermont to San Diego as well as from Seattle to Key West, “yes we can, yes we can, yes we can.”

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By Stephen Smoliar, September 23, 2008 at 3:34 pm Link to this comment

Notice how all of the language is about what may happen if this “solution” (scare quotes intended) is not implemented.  We do not hear any language about the consequences of implementing the solution itself (aside from the supposedly reasonable conjecture that “things will get better”).  I tried to explore some of the other possible (but not so rosy) consequences at:

http://therehearsalstudio.blogspot.com/2008/09/watching-senate-banking-committee.html

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By Big B, September 23, 2008 at 3:28 pm Link to this comment

Back on the old “Flip Wilson Show”, Flip did a skit as a baptist preacher trying desperatly to get his flock to donate more money to the parsonage.

The rev Ike shouted, “before this church can walk, it must first learn to crawl!”
the congregation shouted in reply, “make it crawl, reverend, make it crawl!”
“But before we can run, we must first learn to walk!”
“let it walk rev, let it walk!”
“Before we learn to fly, we must first learn to run!”
“Make it run rev, make it run!”
“However, before we can fly we must fill the offering plate!”
The congregation answered, “let it crawl rev, let it crawl!”

That’s how many people feel about the economy now, Let it crawl, let it crawl!

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By BobZ, September 23, 2008 at 3:27 pm Link to this comment

The Democrats are not going to be pressured by another “tryanny of the urgency” response like they were faced with on the Iraq war resolution and the Patriot act. If this bailout passes, it will have some pretty tough measures in it to not reward CEO’s who weren’t watching the store while all this was going on, and yet pocketing big bucks. If we’re only talking about a recession, I would be inclined to let these idiots go under and let free market capitalism work the way these Republican’s want it to work. Only they don’t like free market captitalism when it costs them money. Once again we have a massive display of hipocracy at work with Wall Street and Washington. FDR would feel right at home with this current mess Wall Street has gotten itself into. Once again the Democrats may have to save the capitalists from themselves.

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