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Who Will Take On the Banks?

Posted on Jan 22, 2008
Democrats in SC
AP photo / Mary Ann Chastain

And then (again) there were three: Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama and John Edwards, the three Democratic candidates most likely to be invited to presidential debates, take the stage in Myrtle Beach, S.C., on Monday.

By Robert Scheer

It was smart of the top Democrats to cut presidential candidate Rep. Dennis Kucinich out of that South Carolina debate, where they lamely attempted to deal with the dire consequences of the banking meltdown without confronting the banks. They made all the proper concerned noises about millions of folks losing their retirement savings and homes, but none was willing to say what Kucinich would have said: Bankers are crooks who will steal from the public unless the government holds them accountable.

How do I know Kucinich would have said that? Because I interviewed him for the Los Angeles Times back when he was mayor of Cleveland and the banks foreclosed on his city after he refused to sell the public power plant. Others can talk a populist line, but Kucinich lived it. He was forced out of office that time, but voters realized 10 years later that Kucinich had been right. Thanks to the public power alternative that Kucinich refused to sacrifice, Cleveland had cheap power, and he was elected to the Ohio Legislature and then to Congress as his reward.

I bring this up now not to push a Kucinich presidential candidacy, which seems quite forlorn given the power of big money and big media to set the stage for permissible political debate, but rather to hold out a yardstick for measuring the “progressivism” of the top three Democrats. Sure, they all would be preferable to their likely Republican alternatives, although Sen. John McCain has been far better than all three Democrats on both campaign-finance reform and taking on the defense contractors who have been bleeding us dry since 9/11. I got a little worried when Sen. Hillary Clinton said she could do the best job in confronting McCain on national security; she is shameless in throwing money at war profiteers, while McCain has held the line on some of the more egregiously wasteful military expenditures.

With a military budget that has more than doubled since 9/11, soaking up trillions of dollars in obligations for future generations, it is stupid to argue about whether the Democrats or Republicans would spend more on needed domestic programs, because the money for those programs will not be available. Kucinich was the one candidate on the Democratic side willing to do what Rep. Ron Paul has in the Republican debates—challenge the phony patriotism of ripping off the taxpayers for war-fighting expenditures in Iraq and elsewhere, leaving us less secure.

While Paul is very good, indeed the best candidate, on the waste of taxpayer dollars on foreign military ventures, as is expected from a libertarian, he is hostile to the need for government regulation to control the excesses of the marketplace. And it is those excesses that are at the root of the financial chaos we have visited upon the world. As with the Enron scandal, which was the direct result of the bipartisan-supported deregulation of the energy industry, so too the subprime mortgage and easy-credit scandals now upon us. For decades, banking lobbyists have pushed through legislation freeing them to wreak havoc on our lives while they profit from lucrative personal bailouts even as their own companies suffer.


Square, Site wide

Deregulation became the mantra covering corporate theft in both Republican and Democratic administrations, and it is amazing that not one of her interlocutors at the South Carolina debate asked Sen. Clinton about her husband’s signing of the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act of 1999, which permitted banks, stockbrokers and insurance companies to merge, overturning one of the major regulatory achievements of the New Deal. More important, both political parties have refused to place any serious restraints on the interest charged by banks and think it perfectly normal, indeed healthful, for the economy that folks are given home loans or credit cards at unrealistically low interest rates calculated to soar after an introductory phase. What a sorry scene to see the top Democratic contenders unable to agree that some interest rates below 30 percent may rise to the level of usury.

For those unfamiliar with the moral crime of usury, believing it’s only a legal crime if loan sharks threaten your knee caps, let me quote from Ezekiel 22:12 of the King James Bible: ” ... Thou hast taken usury and increase, and thou hast greedily gained of thy neighbours by extortion, and hast forgotten me, saith the Lord God.” Not being overly familiar with Scripture, I am grateful to Kucinich, a product of a stern Catholic upbringing, for having informed me, more than a quarter of a century ago, that the bankers, and the politicians who service them, are courting the wrath of God—even if they fool the voters.

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By Vash the Stampede, January 28, 2008 at 10:50 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Wrong. Listen to Left, Right, and Center on KCRW. Sheer has said multiple times that he thinks Hillary could make a good president but let’s face it-she’s been around longer and has more skeletons in her closet.

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By Vash the Stampede, January 28, 2008 at 10:46 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Sheer is an atheist. He was being facetious.

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By Shenonymous, January 27, 2008 at 12:17 pm Link to this comment

It is a self-deception to think that there is such as thing as a wrath of god.  It is humankind’s morals that have been diluted by their unceasing quest for the holy grail of money.  To wait on a supernatural to right side up the world in any way for anything would be like one waiting for an odd perfect number to materialize.  Since immorality is not a crime, it is irrelevant point that the excessive charging of interest rates is only degenerately made a crime through deregulation allowing the money moguls to slip through every possible crack by those who are running our government.  We are the ones that must make changes happen, not a god.  Reviewing and changing our codes of morality and fine-tuning what is or is not a crime are the only ways to effect any civilized worldwide change.  But most are too lazy to engage and self-reflect on the virtue of their own morality let alone the culture of humankind’s and would rather whine and complain rather than do anything constructive.

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By cyrena, January 27, 2008 at 12:11 am Link to this comment


This is VERY helpful. I appreciate the links as well.

I’m still curious about why Edith Conrad doesn’t think that Obama is a progressive. Even Hillary CALLS herself a ‘progressive’, though I personally find that very questionable. So far though, I’ve missed anything that would suggest that Obama was NOT.

So, maybe it depends on what we call ‘progressive’.

I dunno…

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By Hammo, January 26, 2008 at 3:11 pm Link to this comment

Who will take on the banks and other interests exploiting the American people? Not Hillary, not Obama ... only Edwards has made the promise that he will seriously take on the special interests mistreating the American public.

See the article “Democrats risk self-sabotage in presidential race ... again” on the Web site of the Populist Party of America at: otage_in_presidential_race_again

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By eamon, January 26, 2008 at 9:30 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

You hit the proverbial nail. Yes, free ads to anyone running for anything anywhere in the US. Even though some would yell about being inundated by nuts wanting free media, I say let the citizens sort them out. That’s what we are: tax-paying citizens.

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By cyrena, January 25, 2008 at 7:34 pm Link to this comment


This was a needed clarification, because even at the time, (Iowa) most bloggers DID NOT GET IT. One who will remain unnamed even whined that Dennis was ‘telling us who to vote for’. The American public doesn’t pay attention, because they’re only about their own little petty selfish perceptions.

So, to reiterate, Dennis has specifically NOT endorsed any one candidate, and he DOES need money to stay in Congress, and if he doesn’t stay in Congress, the end is at hand. (which it probably is anyway, since the few others who are committed to the original idea have already been booted out..Cynthia McKinney comes to mind, but there have been a handful of others).

We actually do have less than a handful of others with the same level of courage and integrity that Dennis has displayed, and I’m proud to count them (Maxine Waters, Barbara Lee) from among my own constituency. But, they are such a few, in such deep waters. So, we ALL desperately need for Dennis to stay in the loop, at least to the extent that he can speak for so many of us, and not just Ohioans. If the COMMON GOOD cannot find a way to prevail, then we’re already over the cliff.

I’ll send him what I can, which is next to nothing. But, that’s how Obama got much of his money. Little bits DO add up.

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By treehugger, January 25, 2008 at 12:56 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Elizabeth, I believe you are ill-informed.  Dennis did NOT endorse Obama, he simply asked his supporters to go with the Obama camp if he did not get the 15% mark in Iowa.  When he left the campaign today he did NOT endorse anyone.  He exposed John Edwards involvement in the hedge funds, and was unwilling to ask his supporters to go with Edwards as second choice in Iowa; that is all.  I am a Kucinich supporter until the end of time because I support the one with integrity unlike anyone else.  Dennis needs to win his election in Ohio in order to stay in Congress, and I ask everyone else who supports Dennis’s courage and integrity to send his campaign as much money today as they can.  If he is out of Congress, God help our nation.

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By Elmer, January 25, 2008 at 10:56 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

It should be obvious to everyone that we are in dire financial trouble. The Fed, along with all the banks and financial institutions are too terrified of the loses to make public announcements and implement painful, but necessary policies. They are watching for their interests.

There is a rumor on Wall Street that the combined losses from the CDO’s, SIVs and other such “investments” are as much as $3 trillion (yes trillion), and that the institutions are essentialy insolvent.

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By Outraged, January 25, 2008 at 12:01 am Link to this comment

Re: Edith M. Conrad, January 24

For Edwards to “grow” within the short timespan of a couple of years is questionable.  This is not an uninformed, uneducated person.  Time and time again Edwards has proven he has more than enough moxie to get the job done.  To claim a “sudden change of heart” is suspect, especially as a politician.  Feingold is absolutely correct in pointing this out.  I think what may have put a thorn in Feingold’s side was the fact that “suddenly” Edwards’ comments perfectly match Feingold’s voting record. Edwards was in the senate, and if he truly agreed with the positions he now claims as his own why did he not vote that way? Feingold’s comment on the issue:

“The one that is the most problematic is Edwards, who voted for the Patriot Act, campaigns against it. Voted for No Child Left Behind, campaigns against it. Voted for the China trade deal, campaigns against it. Voted for the Iraq war … He uses my voting record exactly as his platform, even though he had the opposite voting record.

When you had the opportunity to vote a certain way in the Senate and you didn’t, and obviously there are times when you make a mistake, the notion that you sort of vote one way when you’re playing the game in Washington and another way when you’re running for president, there’s some of that going on.”


Also Feingold does support progressive candidates, another site which might help put this in perspective:


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By cyrena, January 24, 2008 at 11:05 pm Link to this comment

Damn CJ, you just said it all!!! I mean…THIS IS IT!

Now this is the part that I’ve been waiting for…or watching it come….

“Until shit really hits fan such that voters are forced, as a matter of survival,....”

Now, it SEEMS to me, that the shit has already hit the fan, and the reaction so far, has just been more and more fighting at the bottom, while the bankers and the preachers, and the polls continue to steal or otherwise bullshit the ones who actually think they “have” something. So, I’m just wondering how much worse it has to get, before they wise up..

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By Paolo, January 24, 2008 at 7:55 pm Link to this comment

Blue Eagle:

Three cheers! Well put!

The Federal Reserve is just a club of looters who manipulate credit and money for their own benefit.

The answer, as Ron Paul says, is a free market in money. If all legal tender laws were overturned, and people were allowed to use whatever they wanted as a medium of exchange, they would have a choice between accepting real money (probably gold and silver coins or currency backed 100 percent by gold and silver), or accepting government funny money that inevitably loses value over time.

With free market money, Gresham’s law reverses itself: good money drives out bad. People get rid of their worthless paper dollars as soon as they can exchange them for something of lasting value.

This is why the Federal Police Gestapo swooped down so quickly on the firm that coined Ron Paul silver dollars: the government cannot for one moment tolerate people producing real, valuable money to compete against its rapidly devaluing paper. If such were allowed, the Federal Reserve’s piracy would come to an end.

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By DennisD, January 24, 2008 at 6:59 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Everyone that’s still running with the exception of Ron Paul.

If you want more of the same - keep voting that way.

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By cyrena, January 24, 2008 at 5:09 pm Link to this comment

Ms. Conrad,

I’m curious as to why you suspect that Obama is not a progressive? You may have good reasons, and so if you can, as another progressive, I’d like very much to hear them. (I could obviously be missing something).

I agree that one can indeed change, (and hopefully continue their growth until they die) so I’m disappointed myself, that Sen Feingold would say such a thing. (Kind of makes ya think they’ve all gone a little screwy in the head, eh?)

As for Dennis Kucinich, I don’t feel particularly disappointed on his comments, but I am thoroughly disappointed that he’s decided to drop his bid for the office. On the other hand, I can’t blame him for it, under the reality of the circumstances.

Meantime, I am still curious about whatever Obama may have said or otherwise indicated, that would lead you to believe that he is not a progressive.

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By Mudwollow, January 24, 2008 at 2:35 pm Link to this comment

Because Dennis Kucinich and Mike Gravel and Ron Paul have been removed from the debates and removed from TV news and removed from Election coverage news, we can all just get our sorry asses back in line, shut the hell up and vote for the corporate approved stooges as we are told to do.

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By Edith M. Conrad, January 24, 2008 at 12:16 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I am writing this as a progressive fan of Sen. Russ Feingold and Congressman Dennis Kuchinch—a disappointed fan.

The congressman is supposed to be fighting for our progressive values, but only if he can see himself as the lone warriar.  He not only choses to support Sen. Obama, a fine man but not progressive, but attacks Sen. Edwards who is the progressive candidate other than Kucinch.  How are ever going to make any progress this way?

Sen. Feingold complains that Edwards was not this progressive when he was in the senate. Should we not have hope that politicians can grow in our direction?  Feingold further complains that the Edwards platform is what his would be if he were running.  This is his second reason for not supporting Sen. Edwards.  Heavens—how could he ever support someone with these ideas who is not Sen. Feingold.

As I said I am so disappointed in these two egos—I might not ever support them again since they choose not to support we fellow progressives.

Edith Conrad
Asheville, NC

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By AngryJed, January 24, 2008 at 11:11 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

That was great stuff. Although I don’t think Kusinich would ever stand a chance to be president, I would love to see him take on the banks in some other form, perhaps even be a cabinet member. But I just don’t see it happening…alot of people are making money off the status quo - just not us!

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By cann4ing, January 24, 2008 at 9:24 am Link to this comment

Excellent post!

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By G.Anderson, January 24, 2008 at 9:17 am Link to this comment

One more thought…I watch the local nightly news each night with my daughter. Last night there were no stories on the Stock market, the War in Iraq, the War in Afghanistan, or Bush’s missing e-mails.

But, as has become their nightly habit, the news broke away for a special segment from Las Vegas, there were women in Bikini’s in a hot tub and a segment showing the news anchor having her body sprayed with make up by the same women who had sprayed Lindsey Lohan…

Obviously Keeping Las Vegas profitable is much more important than all those other stories.

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By G.Anderson, January 24, 2008 at 9:10 am Link to this comment

In theory that’s true, but in reality, you need the mind control of a Zen Monk to resist.

Day, in and day out 24 hours a day, the corporations give is the message to consume without thought, to be mindless consumers.

They employee psychologists and psychiatrists to develop sophisticated psychological techniques and
tactics in deliviering this message.

We are all brainwashed constantly not only by them, but by the peer pressure of the other consumers who we live with and who surround us.

Keeping up with the Joneses, has morphed into keeping up with your Joneses. There is product placment in schools, on your cell phone, everywhere you turn, even T.V. at the gas pump.

We are enocuraged to not think about things at all just to act on our impulses, it makes them more money.

Add to that the destruction of the educational system, and the dumbing down of the middle and working classes, and you have a populace never satisfied, who will spend their entire lifetime consuming as they are told to.

Those with free will, are on the fringe of this society. Considered to be kooks, and nut jobs, and that’s just the way they like it.

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By truthdweller, January 24, 2008 at 7:53 am Link to this comment

Thanks outraged…I just wonder what would happen if in fact we ALL actually voted our conscience. Now I’ve already done that, because of my absentee voting status here in my own home state. It just means that I can mail in my ballot prior to Super Tuesday, (not to be confused with Fat Tuesday, which used to happen in certain parts of Louisiana as the last day of Mardi Gras, before Katrina wiped them out) and I’ve done exactly that.

Now it would sure be a wonderful miracle, if a whole bunch of others did the same. Wouldn’t it be delightful if Kuncinich actually got the support he needs, (and we deserve) DESPITE who ‘they’ve’ already chosen for us.

I’d love it.

Cyrena, (now aka truthdweller)

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By Dr. Knowitall, PhD, PhD, January 24, 2008 at 7:36 am Link to this comment

Sitting here listening to that evil Soviet violinist, David Oistrach play the Dvorak violin concerto, I thought, perhaps the Bush Money Store should just cut out the middle man, I mean class, and send my $800 directly to the rich.  That would cut down on the cost of distribution (1% versus 99) and conform to the solid, consistent, responsible fiscal policy the Bush administration has practiced the last 7 years.

Couldn’t the Fed simply send several pallets of hundreds directly to Chase, Bof(effin)A and Citi
for them to deposit to their biggest customers?

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By truthdweller, January 24, 2008 at 6:10 am Link to this comment

Ernest, (all)

Cyrena here again, (aka truthdweller now) I’ve just tuned into the link for Amy’s interview, and will hopefully have a chance to get it all before the next planned outage on our internet communications system here. (it’s been a problem for weeks now).

But, before I ‘sign-off’ (or get signed-off) I thought I’d add yet another piece, this time from the Chalmers Johnson at the TomDispatch site. It’s lengthy, but surely seems pertinent to the discussion. We’re definitely in deep shit. Of course we’ve been in that for a while, but now some of those dwelling in the alternative realities and parallel universes might actually begin to perk-up…or come out of their comas.

Going Bankrupt: Why the Debt Crisis Is Now the Greatest Threat to the American Republic
  By Chalmers Johnson
  Tuesday 22 January 2008
  The military adventurers of the Bush administration have much in common with the corporate leaders of the defunct energy company Enron. Both groups of men thought that they were the “smartest guys in the room,” the title of Alex Gibney’s prize-winning film on what went wrong at Enron. The neoconservatives in the White House and the Pentagon outsmarted themselves. They failed even to address the problem of how to finance their schemes of imperialist wars and global domination.

Continued at the link…

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By Expat, January 24, 2008 at 5:42 am Link to this comment

By counselor, January 23 at 9:04 am #
(Unregistered commenter)

While it is easy to…......

Yes, personal responsibility, both societal and fiscal, wow what a concept.  The lack thereof is why I’m so pessimistic about any meaningful change in our society….great post.

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By Expat, January 24, 2008 at 5:37 am Link to this comment

By jackpine savage, January 23 at 8:22 am #
(69 comments total)

feeling your pain

Yeah, I just burst sometimes.  We’ve been gang raped by the best and I just don’t get how we can be so passive.  I howl at the moon and cry myself to sleep.  If I was still in the U.S. I couldn’t bear it.  Thanks for the support.

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By Expat, January 24, 2008 at 5:08 am Link to this comment

I’m entitled to my opinions as are you.  Angst?  Why aren’t you showing any?  The situation certainly warrants it.

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By Douglas Chalmers, January 24, 2008 at 2:24 am Link to this comment

By Outraged, January 24: “Would you choose a spouse from the lessor of three evils…”

Why not have TWO vice-presidents - one for the banks and one for AIPAC (ps - note Michel’s scowl while listening to an Arab speaker- 2nd pic!).

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By Outraged, January 24, 2008 at 1:42 am Link to this comment

Would you choose a spouse from the lessor of three evils, if there was an available one that was great?

Would you choose from three questionable medicines that hopefully won’t hurt you too much, when there’s a perfect match available that won’t hurt you?

Would you choose from three people known to be aligned with shady business interests to deposit $10,000 in cash for you, when you have a known honest person available?

That is exactly what you will be doing by choosing the lessor of the three evils of the top three democratic candidates and all of the republican candidates.  Yet still, everyone talks and talks about their “choice”.  If you vote for those who do not have you and the country’s best interests in mind you are cutting your own throat, pure and simple.

Use your head.  It’s no accident Kucinich isn’t getting airtime. Give up and just vote for who they have “endorsed”.  And the “powers that be” HAVE endorsed these three or they wouldn’t be there.  Dodd is better than these three and so is Gravel. What happened when NBC aka GE went to “their” judge?  Kucinich was sidelined.  Ask yourself, why did they work so hard to sideline Kucinich?  Why NOT let him speak?  They know why, they ABSOLUTELY KNOW WHY.

Don’t be stupid.  Vote for who’s in YOUR best interests.  Read.  Investigate.  Like laisse-faire capitalism?  Well..that’s pretty much what we’ve got.  Are you happy?  Has it been working out well?  Wake up America, where’s your guts?

I will vote my conscience mainly because it would be unconscionable not to.  What will happen if we don’t?

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By CJ, January 23, 2008 at 11:23 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Scheer is mostly right here, given reality that is absurdity termed, “capitalist democracy,” oxymoron if ever there was one. Deregulation mantra really began with Reagan, still the worst president ever. (The apotheosis of Ronnie on his demise remains the single most disgusting bit of propaganda I’ve ever witnessed in mass media.) Per Obama, as though “change,” outside context means a damn thing, anymore than does “freedom” outside context. Far as I know, the British are not planning another attempt to take back the colonies. They, as Chalmers Johnson has noted, having made the relatively intelligent decision that some kind of democracy is preferable to pursuit and maintenance of empire.)

When Kucinich was denied access, by MSNBC first—a week or so ago—I wrote his Clintonite party (and MSNBC) that I’d sooner vote for McCain than for Clinton or Obama. Though McCain’s ongoing delusion regarding the war on Iraq is beyond the pale. Scheer is quite right too about Ron Paul, representative of one seriously confused political party. Aside from Paul’s propounding of extremely regressive flat-tax scheme, consistent as that might be with Libertarian’s unabashed love for deregulated capital.

I appreciate Scheer’s quoting of Ezekiel via Kucinich. Sometime ago Marx wrote—still controversially—“On the Jewish Question.” He did NOT have in mind anti-Semitism [of which he could hardly have been charged], but the fact Christendom deemed usury exploitative. (And so, Jews got a bad name, labeled “shylocks” when their religion made possible the maturation of mercantilism into finance capitalism. Christendom, for it’s part, took full advantage while attempting to maintain “ethical” appearances, fraudulently enough, not too different than now. And bearing in mind that Marx lauded capitalism as a serious advance on Feudalism, to which corporate types and pols who shuffle back and forth (a la the Dickster) between Congress and/or White House and corporate boardrooms, seem hell-bent on returning: vast majority of us in role of serfs, minute minority of them in role of lords—of land AND finance.

I take issue with Scheer on the matter of bankers and pols fooling the voters, whether or not they’re also courting the wrath of God. What media refuses to say right out is that voters are for the most part willful know-nothings, who as such deserve in return for their ignorance—often termed “common sense,” which is anything but sensible, though all too common—what results.

At bottom lies ideology of individualism (that aids and abets bankers), which, among other things, has resulted—ironically no doubt—in voters who in their lazy cynicism born of excess of good life and sheer (not Scheer) unwillingness to find out a damn thing as to the nature of political-economic reality, are then led to the slaughter by means of primary and caucus, regardless of party affiliation.

Easy enough to blame media for exclusionary practice, especially AFTER the fact. Media is finally a reflection of ourselves, and nothing much more. Until each and every is willing to take the time to find out, to assume role of citizen interested in socio-economic justice (indeed also out of self-interest, Smith made note of), so long will masses (as opposed to citizens) of the world be subject to preachers, banker con-artists and pols who promise pie in the sky while serving only their own CLASS interest. Until shit really hits fan such that voters are forced, as a matter of survival, finally to pay attention to more than the best-looking or black or female or white or old or young or anything but one who might DO something on behalf of all, for now within the context of “capitalist democracy” (which is already first and fundamentally a system of exploitation; denial of authentic freedom essential to its working), NO CHANGE, people! Talk about willing slaves to masters so much admired, proof in pudding consisting of poll and primary/caucus results thus far.

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By BlueEagle, January 23, 2008 at 6:22 pm Link to this comment

Scheer you’ve taken the first step. Are you ready to take the next step? Let’s see these three headlines on Truthdig:

1. What is The Federal Reserve Bank?
2. The Richest Man in America - David Rockefeller
3. The Bilderberg Group and their Agenda

Google “Money as Debt”, “Fiat Empire”, and “The Money Masters” to learn more.

The problem isn’t “The Banks” per say, but the Federal Reserve Banking System and the New York Branch in specific. Mike was the only one that said it. Probably because those that wish to abolish the Fed might face the fate of our dear J.F.K.

Ron Paul is the only candidate that has publicly stated that he wants to abolish the Federal Reserve, effectively cutting the head off the snake. The House of Rothschild owns the majority of the Federal Reserve and the Rockefellers, Morgans, Warburgs and others have minority stakes.

Ron Paul is right the free markets always win out. The problem is we do not have free markets. We need the government to break monopolies into little pieces. The laws were in place to restrain corporations, but laws were rewritten or broken to benefit the large corporations. We need less mergers and acquisitions and more divestitures and spin-outs.

I leave you with this quote:
“Central banking is perhaps the most brilliant scam ever perpetrated, and the U.S. Federal Reserve stands as the most successful of all central banks in history. The Fed is able to transfer wealth away from the people who earned it, and into the hands of the Federal Government and member banks, relentlessly, stealthily, year after year, and all the while maintaining the preposterous claim of social benefit in the form of “managing the economy.” The method of this theft is sophisticated and disguised enough as to escape the attention of most, and when combined with propaganda, leads most people to the conclusion that we’d be in trouble without it. Yet I wish to show here that central banking can be well understood by most people for exactly what it is: ­ the fraudulent theft of trillions of dollars via the monopolization of money.”
—Johnny Silver Bear
“The Fed”, 15 Jul 2004

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By cann4ing, January 23, 2008 at 5:47 pm Link to this comment

While corporate media works tirelessly to evade addressing how a return to pre-FDR economics and the removal of New Deal controls is leading this nation and the world to where it had been in 1929, the topic has been addressed at length during Amy Goodman’s Jan. 23 interview of Robert Kuttner and Robert Weissman, which I would highly recommend to all.

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By sando, January 23, 2008 at 5:01 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

We have a financial system that has as of 30 years ago ceased to have any regulation thanks to the free market mantra the GOP and their counterpart Dems have been extolling. Do your homework before you start crying FDR and fascism. The Nazis got their financial support from the Bush family not the Roosevelts.

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By Pablo, January 23, 2008 at 4:51 pm Link to this comment

You mean the same guys that give me free checking and waive the ATM fees are crooks?!

Nah. Can’t be.

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By loveinatub, January 23, 2008 at 2:48 pm Link to this comment

So why the hell do you bother coming to truthdig??

Take your angst and deposit it on some other blog!

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By chabuka, January 23, 2008 at 2:42 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The corporations will soon get “rid of” John Edwards, too..he made the mistake of “going after” the corporations and included the corporate news media as one of the corporations who must be held accountable. What amazes me is that even though (I THINK) most people know that the corporations own there ever thought, ever dollar they spend, the gas prices, their insurance, medications and health care, the wages they are paid, the pensions they have lost, etc….the people will still swallow ever lie and ever piece of regurgitated crap, and vote against their own best interests…by, yet again, voting for a war-mongering, profiteering, corporate crony such as Clinton, Obama, McCain, Romney or Giuliani

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By Shorey Chapman, January 23, 2008 at 2:33 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

As for Scripture and the “wrath of God,” just a simple question: are we talking about an omnipotent God?  If we are, one must assume that God is REWARDING “these crooks” rather handsomely.  If God os not “ominipotent,” what’s the point? As the son and grandson of fundamentalist ministers (in recovery) I have always been confused by a God who rewards and punishes in some hypothetical afterlife, while evil prospers here in the real world.

Just one other facet of this: starting with the late nineteenth century (think railroad monopolies), then early in the twentieth century (Upton Sinclair’s novel “Oil,” supposedly the inspiration for the new movie “There Will Be Blood,” is actually an expose of oilworker exploitation and the Teapot Dome Scandal) and now in the twenty-first century (the Iraq war is merely a symptom of the Reagan Devolution), the economic elite have very efficiently used PRIVATIZATION (a euphemism for institutionalized white collar crime) to transfer our common wealth into the hands of greedy oligarchs. Deregulation was and is but a means to that end.

And, as most of these comments corrrectly note, expecting any relief from our so-called “representatvies” is the real “fairy tale.”  As for campaign finance “reform”: I don’t want my money contributing to media profits.  It was, predictably, not well reported here (I wonder why?), but Mexico recently passed a law making it a prison offence to buy or sell commercial advertising during a political campaign.  Does anyone here know about the Greek Sophists, who ruined the first democracy in Greece with their clever machinations?  Just wondering.

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By Bill Jones, January 23, 2008 at 2:15 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

What is this drivel about the “excesses of the marketplace”. Since FDR’s imposition of the new deal the economic system of the US has essentially be Fascist. We have a financial system, imposed by govt and regulated by govt. specifically designed to enrich the bankers at the expense of every-one else on the planet qnd govt. regulation is the root cause of it.

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By Rogelio, January 23, 2008 at 2:07 pm Link to this comment

Scheer is absolutely correct in blaming the banks for the economies current problems. It is the banks that lent the money to people that were ill-prepared to own a home. What more needs to be said? The dime a dozen loans created the whole housing crisis and the banks loved every minute of it. Now our nation is suffering the consequences.

My speculation is that “w” and his cronies allowed the banks to engage in such rediculous behavior as a way to make it look like our economy was strong and shift focus from the disasterous “conflict” in Iraq. The housing boom gave Americans a false sense of security.

Shame on the banks! Thanks for reporting the truth Scheer.

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By Louise, January 23, 2008 at 1:02 pm Link to this comment

“It’s essential that pay is still there or you’re going to lose really good people.”

well duh ... wink

It also softens the shock [somewhat] when employees show up and see the note on the door that says:

“Closed till further notice, cant meet payroll”

Cant happen? Can happen. Happened when the first Bush was president!

Maybe it’s not a good idea to keep electing people with the same name?

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By KISS, January 23, 2008 at 12:16 pm Link to this comment

In support this is from Huffington report: by Bob Borosage: ” Robert L. Borosage: Keep Dancing, Chuck Now the top five Wall Street banks—three of which racked up record losses—have announced that they are paying their employees a record $39 billion in year end bonuses”. Yes Ol’ Billy-Bob did it and the gleeful repugs are forever thankful, they even made him a member of the zagillian club. 20 mill here 30 mill there..pretty soon a siting member.
And now a word about good old Credit Unions…oh oh they now are juct like banks..kindered souls.
Regulation? We don’t want no stinkin’ regulation.
The mattress never looked so safe.

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By lodipete, January 23, 2008 at 11:53 am Link to this comment

Gull durn it. How come those pinko,socialistic commies are agin merit pay for teachers and other parasites? Just look at what it’s done in the private sector, especially banking.

Citibank CEO Prince departed with a reported $68 million goodbye package. Stanley O’Neal, who led Merrill Lynch to write off a record $9.9 billion in last quarter, departed with a $161million severance package.

Now the top five Wall Street banks—three of which racked up record losses—have announced that they are paying their employees a record $39 billion in year end bonuses. Hemorrhaging losses, Morgan Stanley, Merrill Lynch and Bear Sterns had to increase the percentage of revenue they devote to employee pay to ladle out these bonuses. So much for pay for performance.

Bank spokesman were not exactly lining up to justify this but Jeanne Branthover, managing director of a global search firm, helpfully explained: “It’s essential that pay is still there or you’re going to lose really good people.”

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By TrevorAlan, January 23, 2008 at 11:35 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

First, as much as the President could give moral leadership on this, we need legislators in both houses and parties willing to stand up for the real interests of their citizens, and remind people that what is best for Citibank is NOT necessarily best for Citi’s customers.

But there would be a few changes that enatail very few lines of actual change to the nation’s lawbooks, perhaps could even be snuck in as one of those infamous riders on some omnibus bill—make credit card debt erasable in bankruptcy again, cap certain fees banks charge (often the poorest customers get hit the hardest with them), eliminate universal default provisions. We can’t eliminate all debt traps out there, but we can preserve paths out.

But this is another area where Republicans win the war of words so well they talk Democrats out of progressive positions.  We need bold, pro-consumer policies stated concisely in a way that sounds more appealing than the call to entirely “Free: markets.

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By Gary Rosenblum, January 23, 2008 at 11:11 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Everyone misses the obvious. Yes, who is a “serious” candidate is all about how much money they can raise. And yes, corporate media greedily suck the windfall profits gleaned from controlling the public’s access to candidates.  They decide who’s electable based entirely on the candidate’s ability to pay “tribute” of a sufficient size to the media “gods.” Yes, that’s all obvious, and any attempts to reign in the “giving side” of the equation, ie buying politicians through “political contributions” are ultimately doomed to failure. (Supreme Court to US: “money equals speech”)But back to the obvious fix to this death of democracy. Simply change the “spending side” of the equation.  REQUIRE THE MEDIA TO PROVIDE FREE AIR TIME ON PUBLIC AIRWAVES TO CANDIDATES AS A CONDITION TO BE ALLOWED TO TRANSMIT THEIR FOR PROFIT PROGRAMMING AND MAKE PROFITS OFF THE PUBLIC AIRWAVES.  PERIOD. Once this principle is established, there are hundreds of ways to make the amount of time, and the markets including cable and satellite services provide the candidates access to the public fair and reasonable for the size and scope of all elections.  But REQUIRING FREE AIR TIME TO BE DELIVERED TO CANDIDATES immediately disconnects the candidates, money and the media and makes the need to reform contributions less essential.  Who wins in this paradigm?  The American Public.  Who loses? Corporate media.  Anyone care?

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By srelf, January 23, 2008 at 11:02 am Link to this comment

farmertx and jackpinesavage:
Right on! I am thinking of Margaret Mead’s oft-quoted statement: “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”

expat: We are listening! I don’t know if that helps… I remember Howard Zinn talk about how historically in social struggles against oppression and injustice how people struggle for so long with no sign that things will turn, then all of a sudden for no obvious reason all the work comes to fruition. I guess this time is no different!

Truthdig members: With a little creativity and extra effort large institutions like banks can be influenced by ordinary citizens. We can’t leave it to the one person that holds the office of president. We just have to make sure that no extremely dangerous people get in, then do OUR stuff.

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By cann4ing, January 23, 2008 at 10:56 am Link to this comment

It isn’t just the Kucinich candidacy but the future of this nation which is doomed by the power of media and money.  The following is an article by yours truly published in the Ventura County Star on Jan. 13:

So long as elections, and most of what the public sees, hears and reads, are under the control of the six major media conglomerates and the PR industry, campaign finance reform will be like the weather.  Everyone talks about it.  No one does anything about it.  Where campaigns in European democracies are conducted over a span of weeks, the U.S. has adopted a permanent electoral cycle as elected “representatives” spend less time at the task of governing and more time trolling for the corporate dollars needed to purchase deceptive, 30-second ads that exalt image over substance—deception driven by a corporate media’s substance deficit disorder, which limits “coverage” to poll numbers, so-called viability and the dollars the favored candidates have raised, as the disfavored are marginalized.

The Telecommunications Act of 1996 and the FCC under the Bush regime have gutted the core purpose of the Federal Communications Act of 1934, which had sought, in the words of Bill Moyers, to protect the “public interest” by preventing “a monopoly of commercial values from overwhelming democratic values: to insure that the official view of reality—commercial and government—was not the only view of reality that reached the people.”  The result has been what Prof. Noam Chomsky refers to as the “democracy deficit”—the significant gap between the policy positions of our elected representatives and the electorate.

An intriguing “blind poll” released last August underscored the democracy deficit.  It listed the actual policy positions of the candidates but did not list candidate names.  One candidate, Dennis Kucinich, received a whopping 53% of the vote as compared to less than 5% each for Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama.  Startling?  Not really.  The corporate media permit the favored candidates to speak in vague generalities, such as “hope” and “change.”  Listen to their post-Iowa and post-New Hampshire speeches, for example, and you come away with the distinct impression that these media-favored candidates are champions of those unable to afford healthcare insurance.  Yet, Clinton and Obama, both recipients of massive campaign contributions from the healthcare insurance lobbies, offer insurance subsidy schemes that are strikingly similar to the one Richard Nixon advanced in 1970 to counter the single-payer plan then advocated by Sen. Kennedy.

From single-payer, to repealing NAFTA and the WTO (devices used by the wealthy elites to outsource America’s manufacturing base in an endless search for the $2/day laborer), to ending the war in Iraq, to media reform that would include not only a restoration of the Fairness Doctrine and an expansion of public broadcasting but a requirement that networks provide substantial free air time for candidates and parties during elections, Kucinich stands head and shoulders above the rest in terms of advancing policies that are in the interests of the vast majority of the electorate—the middle and working classes.

But since image trumps substance in 21st century America, there is little chance that a guy who looks like one of Santa’s helpers will ever be recognized for his substantive superiority—certainly not when that substance could cost the conglomerated corporate media billions of dollars in future campaign ad revenues.

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By Buzz Wilms, January 23, 2008 at 10:42 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The earlier debates that included Kucinich flashed excitement about the issues that I care about.  And,  the caucuses in Iowa gave us an intimate look at the candidates.  But with Kucinich gone the process has become depressing and cynical.  Candidates can say whatever they want and the only thing the press seems interested in is the personal conflict between them.  The Clintons are shameful.  Maybe that’s all that’s left.

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By S Erik Brombrg, January 23, 2008 at 10:28 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Robert Scheer’s article on banking gets right to the point about their fine reputation for hijacking goverment. Please consider for a moment that the mortgage meltdown is only a fragment of the tip of the iceberg. VIRTUAL BANKING IS HERE. It would be very easy for a consortium of Western banks to siphion off trillions of dollars and hide the short fall in an elaborate computer game. In theory, since the banks have unlimited funds to draw on they can buy governments at will anywhere in the world. There is a potential clue here that this is going on. It took some banks four months to state whether they had lost a billion ten billion dollars. When a business carries two sets of books the virtual set of books can be so complex that it takes time to derive the accounting figures. In an elaborate banking scam this understandablywould take months to derve information from a virtual set of books. The real set of books would immedately show the losses but those numbers could not be made public. Talk to a forensic accountant to explain the tell tale signs of fraud in accounting using two sets of books.

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By counselor, January 23, 2008 at 10:04 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

While it is easy to blame the banks (who do make money off of peoples ignorance of the system), the individual must accept responsibility for their financial decisions.  The bank is not your friend and they are in business to make money. 
I have worked with many people who think nothing of financing everything and then are confused and bewildered as to why they can’t save anything…but they have the luxury car, hot fashion trends, and go out for expensive dinners and buy Starbucks everyday for their coffee fix and put it on a credit or a debit card. 
There is an easy solution that I know from personal experience works.  DON"T BUY WHAT YOU CAN"T AFFORD!!!  Pay cash whenever possible (no matter what VISA and MasterCard want you to believe with the commercials).  Pay off credit cards each month (on time) to avoid finance charges (use of credit cards is helpful to develop a credit rating which is needed for the purchase of a home). Save up for the things you cannot afford to buy right now.  What an unusual concept!
The only long term debt someone should have is a home…which is is incredibly stupid to get an ARM for unless you are sure you are not keeping it long. 
You are not entitled to have something just because retailers and the banks (credit and equity accounts) try to brainwash you into it.  Most people have the ability to use common sense.  So use it and stop complaining when it bites you on the behind when you don’t.
This is probably the most realistic way to show banks that you will not be held captive to their “evil money” ways.  No politician will be able to do anything about it because despite what the public may think, the individual politician does not have the power.  And so far, they have shown that they have a difficult time working together.

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By bc41, January 23, 2008 at 9:35 am Link to this comment

Not an expert here but was it not the banks overspeculating with loans that caused the Great Depression?  Banks did not keep enough cash on hand and there was a rush on the banks to withdrawal money.  Since then the government insures savings and requires a percentage of assets be cash.  Is that anti-free market?  Getting a little tired of this jingoism of free market myself, not perfect, prone to frenzied investing that brings down other people with it fails.  Seams like the candidates go along with this idea that government can’t act measurably because it would anger people.  Health care incrimental, simple, everybody buy insurance.  Just another bill, $300/mo says legislative anaylist Elizibeth Hill speaking on California’s proposed plan (sf chronicle jan 23).  What about the Wisconsin plan talked about in this editorial:

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By loneagle, January 23, 2008 at 9:32 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

After 9-11 and the anthrax attacks came the Partiot Act, several hundred pages all ready to go. In it were provisions to identify, deal with and quell the outrage that was sure to come when it dawned on the public what the plan was. The designers of the coup have been both surprised and emboldened by how easy it was. They expected rebellion to aggregate earlier on. It’s to the point now where they can blame us for not stopping them.

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By jackpine savage, January 23, 2008 at 9:27 am Link to this comment

The only ones who will take on the banks is us.  But we won’t do it until they take everything away from us.  And then it will be too late.

Expecting politicians to take on the banks is like trying to sleep soundly after you put your pet fox on guard of the hen house.

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By jackpine savage, January 23, 2008 at 9:22 am Link to this comment

I’m addressing you.
Are you going to let our emotional life be run by Time Magazine?
“I’m obsessed by Time Magazine.
I read it every week.
Its cover stares at me every time I slink past the corner candystore.
I read it in the basement of the Berkeley Public Library.
It’s always telling me about responsibility. Businessmen are serious. Movie
producers are serious. Everybody’s serious but me.
It occurs to me that I am America.
I am talking to myself again.” ~Allen Ginsberg

It’s not going to make you feel any better, but the rest of the poem is here:

No one is listening to our drivel except us, but if that drivel makes us think then its worth it.  For myself, i don’t come here so much for the articles (though some are quite good) as for the intelligence of the posters…but i’m not very important.

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By Louise, January 23, 2008 at 9:12 am Link to this comment

Excellent point, and I agree. But does anyone think for one minute mainstreammedia will allow this to happen? They are after all the primary beneficiaries of the current cash flow! Plus they have an iron grip on the controls ... debates, political comment and accepting the outcome, no matter how skewed.

We can write our congressaurs. Nothing happens. We can write letters to the editors. Nothing happens. Or, we can begin a nation wide boycott of all major media and their advertisers.

If we could all co-operate long enough to get on the same page, something would happen! But that probably wont happen. We have decided, next to our cell phone our TV is the main reason we live!

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By Mike, January 23, 2008 at 9:09 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Didn’t J.F.K. take on the Federal Reserve (which is really a private cartel) and start the government printing its own money. Which Johnson immediately stopped apon Kennedys’ death.

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By farmertx, January 23, 2008 at 8:20 am Link to this comment

Everybody complains about the unfairness of the political system, especially in financing a campaign.
Kucinch and others like him would stand a real chance if we, the people, demanded a complete overhaul of campaign finance laws.
No one should be able to donate money to a candidate that they aren’t eligible to vote for. And then donations should be capped at $2000 per person.
How many folks can afford to give away $10,000 and more? No one that I am acquainted with can afford such a gesture. Heck, folks I know would have a hard time coming up with $100.
But that is the point. Take elections out of the hands of the monied folks. Unions, Corporations, PAC’s and 527’s would no longer be able to dish out big bucks to aid a candidate. They could put that money to use helping their Union Members, Stockholder’s or Civic Groups.
And we could get some candidates that were interested in doing the right thing, instead of selling their vote to the highest bidder as is the case now.
In this day of the Internet and mass communications, politician’s don’t need massive amounts of money.
Think of fewer TV and radio ads, politician’s having to debate the issues rather than smear one another, having candidates that are willing to do the right things for America without having to be bribed.
Say what you will, but the current system is legalized bribery.
I’m told that this (reform) can never happen. No, it can’t, as long as folks refuse to try.
It will be a long drawn out fight, one that is decades past due. But when the future of our Country hangs in the balance, it seems a worthy objective.

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By Louise, January 23, 2008 at 8:16 am Link to this comment

“Deregulation became the mantra covering corporate theft in both Republican and Democratic administrations, and it is amazing that not one of her interlocutors at the South Carolina debate asked Sen. Clinton about her husband’s signing of the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act of 1999, which permitted banks, stockbrokers and insurance companies to merge, overturning one of the major regulatory achievements of the New Deal. More important, both political parties have refused to place any serious restraints on the interest charged by banks and think it perfectly normal, indeed healthful, for the economy that folks are given home loans or credit cards at unrealistically low interest rates calculated to soar after an introductory phase. What a sorry scene to see the top Democratic contenders unable to agree that some interest rates below 30 percent may rise to the level of usury.”


I hope that insightful observation doesn’t go unnoticed. The powers that have placed us in the mess we’re in today wear both blue and red. And both have spoken out calling for elimination of the rest of the safety nets Roosevelt put in place to pull us out of the Great Depression.

Well, in their eagerness to please the banks, they have very nearly succeeded in pushing us into another great depression. Thank goodness they have not yet eliminated Social Security and Unemployment Compensation and Food Stamps! Even though they have all tried!

The day may not be far off when we will all be standing in line to get a bit of those benefits!

Unless of course a miracle happens and we actually get a president wise enough to understand what went wrong. And courageous enough to take on the culprits who have led the war on the people.

How can we pull off that miracle? I have no idea. But I know for sure, the so-called front runners in this presidential competition do not have the smarts or the balls or the independence to do it. And that includes Paul, who would eliminate the few safety nets we still have in place!

Who Will Take On the Banks? None of the Above!

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By mary, January 23, 2008 at 7:21 am Link to this comment

Eventhough Rep Kucinich will not be elected President, he has made a very big contribution to our Democracy, that’s why we’re still talking about him.  He may never be crowned, however, if we manage to survive, his fight could be the strength for another generation.  A generation not fooled by MSM or crooked politicians or out of control corporations or freaks in military garb pretending to be soldiers.  Maybe your children should be reading world history books instead of the bible.  Americans are so uninformed we have become easy prey for the corruption that sickens us.  I hope Rep Kucinich is never silenced…..

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By Expat, January 23, 2008 at 6:38 am Link to this comment

^this whole truthdig thing is really starting to wear thin.  I feel like Scheer and the other “authors” are chumming the waters to keep us going.  I’ve said this before and I feel it becomes increasingly clear this is the whole point.  So many of the articles are just fluff.  Here we are, striking right, left, up, down, everywhich way; scrambling to be the firstest with the mostest to what end?  With no end in sight; with no meaninful response from anybody except other posters (sorry, no offence meant); what’s the point?  Who the hell, of any importance is listening to my/your drivel?  Who should listen?  That’s probably the real question.  Ahhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!! (screaming)

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By hettie, January 23, 2008 at 5:44 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Why do you always name Clinton but not Obama and Edward when you are commenting on something you think all three are guilty of? I admire you, Mr. Scheer, but I have come to the conclusion that no matter what Clinton does or says you will come down hard on her because she is a woman. You find her guilty of every wrong you think her husband committed in office. This happens to most women every day because people don’t want to confront a man they pick on the nearest woman. The sexism that hits us in the face every time we read an article or watch news on TV is the reason why women are supporting Hillary. And I know you probably don’t even know what I’m talking about, most men are clueless.

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By kath cantarella, January 23, 2008 at 3:43 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

‘Alas Kucinich is a man of substance who will fade into the woodwork.  He has good ideas that I hope Clinton or Obama might adopt.  He might even get an ambassadorship for his effort.’ 

Amen. Kucinich is the real deal on hope and change.

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By Expat, January 23, 2008 at 3:21 am Link to this comment

Scheer concludes:
“Not being overly familiar with Scripture, I am grateful to Kucinich, a product of a stern Catholic upbringing, for having informed me, more than a quarter of a century ago, that the bankers, and the politicians who service them, are courting the wrath of God—even if they fool the voters.”


God????  Surely you jest!

I’m almost lost for words…but not quite.  Oh, what’s the use; write, write, write, blog, blog, blog, blah, blah, blah, who the hell is listening?  Next year; different year same crap!

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By cyrena, January 23, 2008 at 2:48 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

You’ve said it all G.Anderson, and I too, appreciate the article. I’m not surprised that Mr. Scheer wrote it, but I am glad, simply because too many Americans don’t even know who the ‘enemy’ is.

They know they’re getting screwed, but they don’t know by whom. I think it matters to know. Kind of hard to fight back against an invisible enemy, and even worse when you’re blaming the wrong one.

And, if American’s don’t recognize WHO the ‘enemy’ is, like where those guns are coming from, or the fact that the insurance companies, to whom they pay their premiums, are choosing death for their children with the stroke of their pens, or the banks who are stealing their homes, etc, then they don’t know who the ‘enemy’ is.

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By Joe, January 23, 2008 at 2:25 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Kucinich’s steadfastness to principle both back in Ohio and now, will not be forgotten. Both he and Senator Gravel were excluded from the debates for their insistence on integrity in the Democrat Party. Since my candidates, Paul, Kucinich, Gravel, Nader never take the big prizes, I can hope at least that the Democrats actually win an election and that they manage to perform two functions: bring hope to the country through the discipline of right-action and allow the world to see us as partners in a global enterprise. Failing to succeed in these two basics will merely accelerate the continued slipping of America into the obscurity of time.

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By Bangkok Expatriate, January 23, 2008 at 1:59 am Link to this comment

Also I live in Thailand, I have been following this election carefully and I try to watch the debates when they’re broadcasted.  Unfortunately since the time of Bush 1’s reign, election debates lack substance.  It’s all a media show with politicians trying trying to demonstrate one-upmanship and ability to memorize sound bites as opposed to talking to the people about real issues and their visions.  As in all politics, the closer to the General Election, speeches become even more vague and less committal. Alas Kucinich is a man of substance who will fade into the woodwork.  He has good ideas that I hope Clinton or Obama might adopt.  He might even get an ambassadorship for his effort. 

It seems our country is destined to be led by lowest common denominator who pays close attention to appearances and easy answers to complex problems.

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By P. T., January 23, 2008 at 1:35 am Link to this comment

Although not from Ohio, I used to like to follow the young Dennis Kucinich’s fights with the bankers when he was Cleveland’s mayor—back when he was called Dennis the Menace.  It was entertaining.

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By Gabir, January 23, 2008 at 1:33 am Link to this comment

Who will take on the banks , Mr. Scheer asks . Will it be Mama($100,000,000.00 Campaign Warchest) Clinton , John (Man of the $400.00 Trim) Edwards or Barack (The Vague One ) Obama . Once again Robert Scheer has me on the edge of my seat .
    Windows is now shutting down .

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By G.Anderson, January 22, 2008 at 11:50 pm Link to this comment

I was actually shocked to read this article, because I believe it took a lot of courage to say it. It’s the root of all of America’s problems.

America is being dismantled slowly but surely by bankers, and corporations who have already enslaved almost 99% of the country, in financial schemes and laws they bought and paid for. Laws and debt which have laid waste to this land with as little mercy as an invading army of terrorists.

The depth of their destruction of our society and people is everywhere felt and seen, in the struggles of all of us. Every time a mother mourns the loss of a son due to violence in South Central, or a Child Dies due to the denial of a transplant in the Valley. There is a corporate entity responsible. From those that make cheap guns for export, knowing they’ll soon be back across the border, to those that stall and deny treatment knowing that soon the child awaiting transplant will be dead.

The poisoning of our Air, Water, Food, Medicine, the denial of health care, Inner City Violence, and Illicit drug trade flooding into our country, all have the same source. Those same “genius business leaders” who have bankrupted the country and who now are getting millions of dollars in bonuses.

Of course they wouldn’t want Mr. Kucinich to speak he’s their number one enemy.

Yes there are corporations who are responsible, and they are constantly attacked and harrased by the others.

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