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The Impeachment of George W. Bush

The Impeachment of George W. Bush

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Economic Meltdown: Don’t Say We Weren’t Forewarned

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Posted on Sep 19, 2008
Wall Street crisis
AP photo / Richard Drew

Specialist Henry Becker, left, directs trading on Tuesday at the post that handles AIG on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.

By Robert Scheer

Editor’s Note: This article is a reprint of Robert Scheer’s column, “Bush Overplays the Terror Card,” that originally ran in the Los Angeles Times on June 25, 2002.

Has the war on terrorism become the modern equivalent of the Roman Circus, drawing the people’s attention away from the failures of those who rule them? Corporate America is a shambles because deregulation, the mantra of our president and his party, has proved to be a license to steal. Yet to question our leaders’ stewardship of the economy has been made to seem unpatriotic.

Although combating terrorism is of compelling importance—and should have been before Sept. 11—one is likely to be branded a nut for daring to suggest that the administration might be using current security threats as a smoke screen to obscure our floundering economy.

Yet, after the miserable performance of the stock market these past five weeks, the forced resignations and indictments of corporate titans (not to mention the conviction of a top accounting firm), the humbling of the dollar and a rise in the trade gap, isn’t it time to ask whether the war on terrorism isn’t being milked as a convenient distraction?

The question seems particularly relevant when our man in the White House has had close personal and financial ties to the company—Enron—whose demise is the most glaring symbol of the broad moral disarray of the nation’s corporate culture.

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Is there any doubt that the chicanery of Enron executives and that of a growing Who’s Who of top CEOs has done more long-term damage to the U.S. economy than the efforts of anti-American terrorists? And while sending in the Marines to clean up the boardrooms is not feasible, we ought to wake up to the reality that business greed is subverting the American way of life—and hurting the image of American capitalism and democracy—more effectively than the ploys of any foreign enemy.

When even Martha Stewart is ethically suspect and her company’s stock has plummeted—though not quite to the depths of Enron, Global Crossing, Tyco, Dynergy, Wal-Mart and Rite Aid—it is time to return to the wisdom of Franklin Delano Roosevelt, the Depression-era president who saved capitalism from itself.

Wealthy from birth, FDR had a healthy awareness of the tendency of the upper classes to destabilize society and even destroy themselves with their greed and hubris. Unlike Karl Marx, however, he believed the unraveling of capitalism was not inevitable if these excesses could somehow be corralled. Thus was born the idea of government regulation as the vital support structure for the powerful, fertile but unstable free market.

Unfortunately, greedy people and institutions don’t like being monitored, and they have the means to corrupt governments and skirt laws.

Since the so-called Reagan Revolution, powerful corporate interests have succeeded in profoundly damaging the foundation of a properly regulated economy. Company auditors, for example, have become accomplices to deceptions of the public that should be considered criminal but that often do not violate statutes written by corporate lobbyists.

Enron provides a startling illustration of a company jumping through loopholes that its D.C. lobbyists have created. In fact, the Enron scams made possible by deregulation in the first Bush administration are still being revealed, such as last week’s reports that the company hid billions in income during the California energy crisis while publicly denying it was profiting excessively.

Yet former Enron officials continue to play an important role under Bush the younger. The Bush family, in fact, has never been seriously confronted by the media or Congress as to its questionable ties to former Enron Chief Executive Kenneth Lay, a close family friend and top contributor to Bush family presidential campaigns.

To be fair, the corporate corruption of our political system has long been bipartisan. The Clinton White House, for example, sponsored major deregulation acts, including the Financial Services Modernization Act, which reversed consumer protections enacted under Roosevelt, and the Telecommunications Act of 1996, which effectively ended all public accountability for the communications industry and has permitted a few media giants to gobble up vast markets.

Clearly, the problem is bipartisan when a Democrat-controlled Senate moves so hesitantly to confront the myriad examples of sickness in our economy and corporate culture.

The politicians hesitate to act because candidates of both parties are lavishly financed by the very people who are conning a gullible public.

Click here to check out Robert Scheer’s book,
“The Great American Stickup: How Reagan Republicans and Clinton Democrats Enriched Wall Street While Mugging Main Street.”


Keep up with Robert Scheer’s latest columns, interviews, tour dates and more at www.truthdig.com/robert_scheer.



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By Dr. Tirath Garg, October 21, 2008 at 6:58 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Economic hara-kiri and terrorism are inter related which can not be denied. Political leaders world over are playing this card according to their own convenience. As an example to read the Indian perspective kindly refer to following link
http://tirathgarg.sulekha.com/blog/post/2008/10/economic-meltdown-simple-reason-simple-solution.htm

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By Folktruther, September 26, 2008 at 9:21 am Link to this comment

Tony Wicher- How would an Israeli attack on the USS Liberty start an American war against Egypt, or the Middle East?  I ask because the motivation for this attack is still obscure, and many commenters, including myself, are puzzled by it.

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By Anarcissie, September 26, 2008 at 8:03 am Link to this comment

KDelphi: ’... We had “military advisers” there, as early as 1950(it may have seemed like a “minor” thing to us—to the Viet. peasants, it was prob not). ...’

I doubt if many Vietnamese peasants were affected by the MAAG mission under Eisenhower.  I think the maximum number reached was 1100, and they were really advisors.  Under Kennedy, the U.S. started training regular combat troops for service against guerrilla forces in a rural, densely forested tropical environment; it’s not hard to figure out what was being planned.

I have read that these plans were first composed in the 1950s at the instigation of Richard Nixon and Cardinal Spellman, but Eisenhower was too smart to put them into operation.  He was one of those people who perceived that an ill-defined war on the Asian land mass was not a good idea.  In any case, the insertion and use of regular large-scale combat units occurred on Kennedy’s watch, and I think he should be given credit for starting the war—the U.S. chapter of the war, that is.

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By KDelphi, September 24, 2008 at 9:32 am Link to this comment

I did not, in any way, say that Johnson was blameless, nor, even, less blameless than JFK. I just get tired of the idolization of JFK, like he was a “prince of peace”. When JFK took office, we had 800 “military advisers” in SE Asia. By the time he was assassinated, we had 16,300 troops. JFK, it is said (NYT) hoped that the S. Vietnamese military could soon “step up to the plate”. (Sounds familiar, eh?) And I am NOT targeting Dems for this. The US has been a very reckless nilitary invader for a very long time.

We had “military advisers” there, as early as 1950(it may have seemed like a “minor” thing to us—to the Viet. peasants, it was prob not). In 1965, JFK declared, after meeting with Khrushchev in Vienna, that"Now we have a problem in making our power credible and Vietnam looks like the place”. (NYT)

Westmoreland was a war criminal (I’m sure you saw “The Fog of War”). He advised the escalation (surge?) in 1964, to 21,000 troops.In 1969, it was increased to 553,000. We were joined by Korea, Austrailia, New Zealand, Thailand and the phillipines. In 1968, Nixon won the the nomination /election with the fake “Peace with Honor” plan (of which, you prob know by now—he had none)

After the Gulf of Tonkin, Congress voted LBJ the power to “conduct military operations w/out a declaration of war” (sounds familiar again, eh?)

Reagan decided to fight out the “Cold War’ in Afghanistan (Thats what I think, anyway)When asked if he should be makign deals with a “terrorist” (binLaden), he replied “One man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter”. We did not defeat USSR. They were running out of money. If we had worked with Gorbachev a little more, under both Reagan and Clinton, I dont think we would have had the steamy relationship we have today. Bush made it worse, of course. He made everything worse.

The Gulf of Tonkin was almost certainly a fabrication (although, to this day, I’m sure that peole involved would say that they thought it was a real threat)

I guess that my point is, that to count on either party to “get us out of” (or keep us out of) further conflicts and invasions, as long as we claim to have this “moral authority” in the world, is useless. We spend way too much money on it, and , I think that most politicians just find it irresistable to use after awhile. (You remember Rummy—why have it if you dont use it, and moving from Afghanistan to Iraq because there were “not enough good targets”. That’s what Shock and Awe was)

I said that I did not believe the propagnda on the JFK assasssination. I meant, by that, the Oswald threory. But,  unless I see evidence to the contrary (and i am open to taht), I think it is unfair to blame LBJ.

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By Tony Wicher, September 24, 2008 at 8:34 am Link to this comment

By KDelphi, September 23 at 1:11 pm #


Tony—There is no way that LBJ “manufactured the Vietnam war”. Eisenhower had some troops in, Kennedy escalated it, and LBJ continued it. I dont care for LBJ for alot of reasons.But to act like all the other Dems were innocent on Vietnam is to simoply be mistaken.
——————————————————————————-
All the other Dems were not innocent. Robert MacNamara is about as guilty as it is possible to be.

The Vietnam war was a minor conflict under Kennedy and Eisenhower. All the U.S. had at the time were “advisors.” At the time Kennedy was assassinated we had lost virutally no troops. Johnson escalated it to a major war, and he did so by manufacturing the Gulf of Tonkin incident, as all historians now admit. Of course most other Democrats did go along with it, were RIGHTLY tagged as responsible for the war by the American People. This is what destroyed the Democratic party, and that is why they have been out of power for most of the last 40 years. This is about to be reversed, as the American people hold Republicans responsible for the Iraq war. Let’s hope they don’t forget or forgive for another 40 years. 

What about the U.S.S. Liberty? Think that was just an accident? I don’t. I think Johnson was trying to manufacture another war to justify invading the Middle East, Egypt in this case. The Russians’ fortuitous appearance was the only thing that stopped it. The survivors of the Liberty are unanimous that this was a deliberate attack, not an accident.

The assassination of Kennedy? Does anybody in the 21st century still believe it was Lee Harvey Oswald acting alone? Who had connections with the Mafia in Dallas? Johnson. Who else could have covered it up but Johnson? 

The Kennedy

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By Leefeller, September 24, 2008 at 7:54 am Link to this comment

Fear, a reliable and very useful tool used by religions, Politics and extortionists.

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By Anarcissie, September 24, 2008 at 7:50 am Link to this comment

Tony Wicher:
Turns out my last post was behind the curve. Now McCain is out there saying that we can’t just give a trillion dollars or 700 billion or whatever to Paulsen to do with as he sees fit, no questions asked or askable. I swear that is the exact opposite of what he said yesterday!

The politicians are getting the word from back home.

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By cyrena, September 23, 2008 at 2:12 pm Link to this comment

hat really surprises me is that normally enlightened people can see the political hack style politics (outlined by Cyrena below) of Obama (voting for a bill he intends to dismantle if elected) and fit this into a “change” mentality…
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Da Bronx,

I’m not so sure that the FISA vote could be fit into a ‘change’ mentality. I wasn’t suggesting that myself, though we could certainly ‘fit’ it however we might choose to. Therein lies the problem in my own opinion.

The FISA thing wasn’t ‘change’ unless someone wants to conceive it that way. *I* personally call it *reality* though there is another academic sort of term for it; ‘real politick’ (which is supposed to be italicized, except that I can’t do it). Another word is pragmatism. Ideologues balk at that word pragmatism and reality, because I suppose the ‘idealist’ is the preferred cerebral choice. Makes sense.

But the bottom line on FISA is that Obama couldn’t have swayed that vote. That’s the reality of the process that we’ve been using since the beginning. They vote to change up the percentages of what takes what to pass or veto something from time to time, but that’s still the system. And when the system is hijacked, *from the INSIDE* as it has been by people from both parties, but one cannot blame the most destructive of the stuff on anyone other than the cabal that highjacked us ALL in the Coup of 2000, this is what happens.

The saddest part of the FISA vote, (which has been missed by the majority of the population) is that ANY Democrats voted for it!! At least that is my own opinion. But, they did. And that’s the reality. It really doesn’t have anything to do with whether or not Obama plans to revise it after he’s elected. It doesn’t even have to be ‘him’ that does it. It can be easily repaired in Congress, and I doubt he’d have any problems signing off on it. There really was only one loophole that needed to be addressed in the old one. (I think I have it tagged somewhere around here). But that’s just *me* throwing that in. I can’t speak for what Obama was considering for the future, and that may or may not have had any bearing on his thinking.

No, the REALITY part of it, was that the FISA thing was gonna pass, regardless of his vote. For me, had he voted against it (like Hillary did *THIS TIME* since this was taking place in FEBRUARY 2008, hint, hint) I would have seen it as some sort of a cheap trick, just like I perceived Hillary’s lame ass vote. (she’d intentionally avoided voting twice before – same issue). I think Purple Girl said it best, and I paraphrase…when you take a shot in the gut, and wind up with a gapping wound, and all you’ve got is a dirty, rotten, rag, you use it. (to stop the bleeding so you survive). And then, you go after the bastards that shot ya.

Anyway, that’s the reality, and we’ve come far from it, in all of the rhetoric and linguistic misuse. He’s been accused of ‘supporting’ the violation of out rights, and ‘encouraging’ a police state, and blah, blah, blah. But the reality is that he doesn’t like it any better than many of us do, and he’s already said that. He said it up front, when apparently nobody was listening. He said, “I DON’T LIKE it. It’s not what I wanted….” But, it didn’t matter, because enough other people were gonna pass it, and they did. So, he (and the rest of us) took one in the gut.

And, that takes us back to the saddest part. Why are more American’s not asking why their own representatives voted to pass that legislation? Why did it get through the House, and wind up at the Senate, with little more than the revision that Obama tacked on to eliminate the immunity for the telecoms? It didn’t pass by a paltry margin. It passed by a substantial majority. So, what’s up with that? I’d say that there are several million American’s who aren’t doing their own part. In fact, I *know that*.

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By KDelphi, September 23, 2008 at 2:11 pm Link to this comment

Tony—There is no way that LBJ “manufactured the Vietnam war”. Eisenhower had some troops in, Kennedy escalated it, and LBJ continued it. I dont care for LBJ for alot of reasons.But to act like all the other Dems were innocent on Vietnam is to simoply be mistaken.

He passed Medicaid, and tried to pass alot of the “Great Society” laws. He also signed the Voting Rights Act, (which I’m sure youve been told by now, it is ‘racist” even to mention LBJ and the VRA in the same sentence—its not)

He admitted that, by signing it, he would be ‘giving away the south to the GOP for the rest of his lifetime”. And he did.But, he says he thought that it was the right thing to do. He may have had poitical reasons, also, but so does every damn president we’ve had. And, if you think Obama is not political, well…I dont know>

I dont like alot of things he did (bombing Cambodia is certaily the worst), but this idolization of JFK, and demonization of LBJ , is a littel silly. If you THINK he killed JFK, then, that is your opinion. I suppose RFK adn MLKJ, too. I dont necessarily go along with the propaganda theories, but I just find the idea that, just becauwse they didnt get along, LBJ just participated in his murder. I’d have to see more than an opinion.

If you like Clinton’s messing arond—you wouldve loved JFKs!! He never even got in any trouble for it. I dont really give a damn, but, there it is.

What JFK did in the Bay of Pigs fiasco, to the Cuban peasants, who were merely trying to get rid of capitalist dictator Baptista, was an extreme over-reaction. Castro came to Kennedy for help first. The continuing blockade is nonsense.

JFK did some good things, of course. To my mind, the entire american presidency is an “over-reaction”. We put way too much power, hopes, adn angers into this one person. No one can live up to these expectations, and half the country wil always be unhappy about who wins. We need proportional representation, a prime minister, parliament (that can question the pM), etc. But, that is just my opinion.

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By Tony Wicher, September 23, 2008 at 1:42 pm Link to this comment

By Da Bronx, September 23 at 5:03 am #

It’s quite sad really. If the Democrats had run a real candidate (instead of getting all PC with gender and race) they would have won this thing in a landslide al la LBJ in ‘64. 

(1) LBJ was the biggest snake in the history of the United States, at least until Bush. Besides the Vietnam war which he engineered with the Gulf of Tonkin incident, and the U.S.S. Liberty which looks like a similar effort to justify an invasion of the Middle East that barely failed, there is also the assassination of JFK, for which I believe he is ultimately responsible.

(2) Obama is a real candidate, the most progressive since Roosevelt, your cheap cynicism notwithstanding. He represents the progressive wing of the Democratic Party, the Howard Dean wing, and not the DLC-corporate wing represented by Clinton. His victory within the Democratic party was historic and has united the party and made it more progressive. His election will represent the realization of Martin Luther King’s dream. You call that “PC”? If you are right it will be because there are enough cheap cynics like you.

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By Tony Wicher, September 23, 2008 at 1:29 pm Link to this comment

Re Folktruther, September 22 at 7:07 pm

If Republicans steal this election and Obama calls them on it, you will see more that 500,000 march on Washington and I will be one of them.

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By folktruther, September 23, 2008 at 10:52 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Frank Cajon- I’ve said explicitly that I can understand people voting for Obaden as an alternative to the Gop candidates.  Try to pay attention.  But Obaden will most likely serve the third term of Bush, continuing America down the path of barbarism.

My approach is the exact opposite of Cyren’s, cann4ing and others- threating the power system from the outside rather than being coopted by the corruption inside.  Then when the collapse comes historically , the population will be mobilized to provide an alternative.

I think McKinney is the best of bad choices in this regard to lead us a little forward.  But I am unsophisticated about pratical politics, although not to the point of believing in the traditional American power delusions.  But others may have better tactical ideas.  The Dems are not one of them.

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By Bill Blackolive, September 23, 2008 at 9:13 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Bob,yes,and you do know.  Till we get to discussing the 911 coverup on corporate news all we will have is flapdoodle.

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By Da Bronx, September 23, 2008 at 6:03 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

What really surprises me is that normally enlightened people can see the political hack style politics (outlined by Cyrena below) of Obama (voting for a bill he intends to dismantle if elected) and fit this into a “change” mentality…

Well the truth remains that few folks (outside the partisan confine of “DEMOCRAT”) buy the Rezco/South Chi-town politics of an Obama presidency as a new way of doing business. 

It’s quite sad really. If the Democrats had run a real candidate (instead of getting all PC with gender and race) they would have won this thing in a landslide al la LBJ in ‘64. 

Now, it is my opinion they will lose.. Too bad for all of us.

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By cyrena, September 23, 2008 at 1:05 am Link to this comment

1 of 2 re: Folktruther, September 22 at 7:07 pm
Cyrena, the point of Obama’s voting for lawless spying is:

1. “He promise his supporters he would OPPOSE it and not only broke his promise to progressives but voted against the filibuster for it.”

•  ~Admittedly I’m done with the issue on the FISA bill. I was thoroughly disgusted that ANY democrats voted for it, and the big ta-do about Obama voting for it is just so much wasted air to me. I’ve said this before, and I’ll say it again: There *are* in fact larger issues where Obama makes me downright nervous, but this isn’t one of them. I managed to ‘follow’ it while it was going down, and as much as some folks might wanna make it about Obama, it just ain’t. There reality of the parliamentary process and real politick all speaks for itself. So, I’m not wasting anymore time on this particular subject. The stuff is easily enough rewritten under a new Congress, and that’s what I expect to happen. I don’t beat dead horses. There’s also been nothing that verifies that he voted against a filibuster for it. I know that he wrote a revision to it (which was his OPPOSITION to the telecom immunity) and while that did go to a vote, it didn’t pass. I’ve not been aware of any vote to filibuster. Must’ve missed that part.

2.  “He is comfortable with police state measures in the US, and will support our bipartisan decline into a police state to be president despite his identificatiion with Constitutional law.”

•  Same here. I’m obviously aware of the increased police state measures that have been going on for EIGHT LONG ASS YEARS, but I’ve not heard Obama say anything that would indicates that he supports it or is otherwise ‘comfortable’ with that. That kind of language makes me nervous as well. “Comfortable” with? I dunno folktruther. Actually, I do know. I’m not buying that.

Think up some other stuff to black ball him on. (no pun intended). This is all nothing more than a pimple on a gnats ass when one is inclined to recognize what’s REALLY happened to us. And, I hate even THINKING about how much time I’ve spent yelling about the police state, and the encroaching collapse, without anybody ever seeming to be all that concerned before. And even now, most folks, (there are exceptions here – like progressives dems who really ARE progressive dems, and have been working hard WITH OTHER progressive dems in the PDA) don’t seem to get their own responsibilities on the local levels, to put the right people in the Congress.

Oh yeah, we’ve had some sins committed in this respect right here in my own lovely state. (maybe we’re too big and should consider secession – I’m for it) but overall, we’ve been able to work around most of the traitors and the leach-elitists, and actually get some good people elected here and there, and at some point in the near future, we’ll get rid of the criminals and the bums, at least from my own state.

But, we aren’t responsible for what this criminal cabal noted as the bush administration has destroyed in the past 8 years, and nobody can say I didn’t tell you so, or try to blame THAT on Obama too. The reality says *he* ‘didn’t do it.’ The irony is that if Dick Bush hadn’t fucked us up SOOOO badly, and if some of us hadn’t been able to see this getting worse and worse, waaayyyy back when, Barack Obama probably wouldn’t have run for the office this time around.

Seriously. I mentioned this right about the time he decided to run, and I’ve been thinking it ever since. If any of this was about Obama, he wouldn’t be running. It isn’t a ‘political’ thing, at least for *him*, because he’s a young guy. And as you said, is a politically talented and intelligent man, though I don’t believe it’s his job to serve a ‘useful purpose’ as a black person. Sorry. That’s not why he’s running.

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By cyrena, September 23, 2008 at 1:04 am Link to this comment

2 of 2 re: By Folktruther, September 22 at 7:07 pm

In fact, in running, he knows as well as any other intelligent person does, that he’s open to assassination on any given day of the week, at any given time of the day. That’s a reality he knew going in, and again…if it was about him, he didn’t have to run now. He could have hung out for another 8 years, and kept on doing whatever he was doing, enjoying his family, blessing his students, and becoming a progressive power-ball in the Senate. It’s not like the prez job pays all that much. (I think it’s still $300,000 a year) and look at all the work involved?

So, him being black is of limited relevance except of course in the large proportions of racists still hanging about, and concentrated largely on main st usa. If he’s ‘useful’ it’s because he’s a good thinker, a talented politician, an intelligent and educated politician, and genuinely has the interests of the USA (that’s us) as his highest priority. NOT because he’s black. In fact, the only ones who pay attention to his race aren’t the ones likely to think him ‘useful’ for anything. Besides, slavery has been outlawed for well over a century. So the bottom line is that he really doesn’t ‘have’ to be ‘useful’ to anybody other than himself and his family.

Still, SOMEBODY has to STOP the carnage; here, there and everywhere, and there wasn’t another person running, besides Kucinich that would have done it. And, I’m not so sure that Kucinich *could* have done it, because he’s another purist, and he hasn’t really made the right kind of ‘connections’. It’s probably not his ‘fault’ per se, but that’s just the way it worked out. Nader would have been another option if he wasn’t such an obstinate renegade, determined to be the “anti-politician”, politician. What a perennial paradox. 

As for your unsubstantiated suggestion that Obama’s military and corporate policies are similar to bush, I’m certain you and I don’t process the same information (judging by what he’s ‘done’ so far) in the same manner. He hasn’t ‘done’ much of anything lately, except campaign. That’s the American tradition. Every 4 years, we do this. The only other thing candidates ‘do’ during this time every 4 years, is their current job duties, which of course we know are often left to the general attendance of a staff under these circumstances.

So, for you to say what he’s done so far, really doesn’t give us anything to work with, in agreement OR disagreement. We could agree or disagree with what he’s SAID he will do, based on real-time circumstances and situations, but that’s about all. You can look to what he’s done or failed to do as a Senator, but I don’t think that’s gonna do much for your case.

So you say that this election isn’t going to ‘solve’ anything. Actually, it will. It will STOP the DESTRUCTION!!! It will halt the ongoing destruction of the past 8 years. In other words, we can at least begin to work at putting the fire out, instead of continuing to feed it with that toxic brand of Dick Bush oxygen. And it will do a lot more if there is a significant changeover in the both chambers of Congress as well. MOST of the repugs and the corporate dems have to go, and be replaced with a few dozen more of the Bernie Sanders lineage.

So yes, I believe this election CAN solve *some* things. Not everything, and not immediately, because the destruction has been so huge that the worst of it will take decades to repair. I’m under no illusions about that. No train can stop on a dime. That’s why we have train wrecks.

So, whether it DOES resolve anything more than putting out the fire remains to be seen. It CAN happen in a way that gives us at the minimum, a survival option, and that would be an Obama administration. Or, we could jack this up too, and just end it all in a final collapse of what little is actually still standing.

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By Frank Cajon, September 22, 2008 at 8:57 pm Link to this comment

Folktruther: Though your post wasn’t directed at me, it does make me curious. I am not thrilled by Obama either. Is your point that McCain is a preferable choice? I disagree.
McCain=Bush, which for all of his shortcomings, and there are several, Obama isn’t. All the blogging in the world isn’t going to change that. Just what is your proposal re: the POTUS election or are you going to sit it out? Do you have a candidate?

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By Folktruther, September 22, 2008 at 8:07 pm Link to this comment

Cyrena, the point of Obama’s voting for lawless spying is:

1. He promise his supporters he would OPPOSE it and not only broke his promise to progressives but voted against the filibuster for it.

2.  He is comfortable with police state measures in the US, and will support our bipartisan decline into a police state to be president despite his identificatiion with Constitutional law.

He also appointed a Zionist war monger as VP who innitiated a law adding a hundred thousand police to the US.  He is for more American gunmen both abroad and in the US.

In addition to being a militarist, he is corporate Dem.  He was the major force behind the credit card corps gutting the old bankrupcy bill.  In addition, Obama has all the old Clintonites as advisers and would be cabinet members, including Rubin who was strongly againsst regulation of Wall street.

Obama is politially talented, intelligent, and seves a useful purpose in serving as a black president, but the military and corporate policies are similar to Bush and McCain.  He is going to continue them, judged by what he has done so far.

I can understand voting for him as an alternative to the joke Gop candidates, but the election will not solve anything.  It will be more of the same, possibly better managed.  And the historical trajectory is downward to more war and economic collapse.

So the population must be mobilized against it.  How this can be done when the corporations have destroyed the unions, the universities are their captives, and the chruches are loony is something that has to be worked out.  This will not be done by voting for Obama, or anyone for that matter.  If voting actually changed anything it would be illegal.

We have to get to the point where instead of 5 housand protesters at the RNC, there are five hundred thousand.  It can be done historically as people realize that the corporations have taken control of the government and they are driving the American people, and the people of the world, into the ground.  It is our task to moralize the
American people, and the election is to a large extent a distraction from this task.

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By Tony Wicher, September 22, 2008 at 7:16 pm Link to this comment

Turns out my last post was behind the curve. Now McCain is out there saying that we can’t just give a trillion dollars or 700 billion or whatever to Paulsen to do with as he sees fit, no questions asked or askable. I swear that is the exact opposite of what he said yesterday!

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By Outraged, September 22, 2008 at 6:19 pm Link to this comment

Re: Cyrena

Your comment: “Actually, that’s EXACTLY who you go to,”

>> I disagree.  It is obvious you’re attempting to paint this as some inside, really intelligent thing to do.

It won’t fly.  Using that type of reasoning, maybe Obama should choose GW as VP, or McCain.  Hell… let’s put Manson in charge of the prison system too.  How about Jeffrey Dahmer in charge of missing persons…?

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By Tony Wicher, September 22, 2008 at 6:02 pm Link to this comment

I hear voices saying the bailout is a big power grab which the administration is trying to stampede through. Pelosi and the Democrats, together with Obama, seem to be digging in their heels. McCain is out there saying that “we can’t wait for Senator Obama’s input” and we have to give Paulsen and the administration a blank check for some 700 billion, no questions asked. This is going to be good! I’m off to watch the Rachel Maddow Show!

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By Purple Girl, September 22, 2008 at 4:07 pm Link to this comment

The Corporationist ( In inudstry and In POLITICS) have been trying to tear down all safety measures which were installed in this country since the Great depression- 80 yrs ago!
Reagan was the first to make head way- Privatizing and deregulating everything he could get away with.Clinton sold the Store out from under US (NAFTA)- We were beginning a downslide at the end of the ‘90s.
9/11 was not an Unforeseeable event Either. Iran Hostage/ Highjackings/WTC ‘93…..Fill in the other numerous events that apply. We knew we Wanted OUT of the M.E. In the ‘70’s - We wanted Off their Oil (and their YoYo hoarding) and We wanted to sever any other ties -esp economically. Now who do we owe our children’s and Grandchildrens future to?
These Oil Corps and the Immoral Financial Gamblers ‘Danced with the Devil’ and THEY, PERSONALLY, SHOULD PAY THE PRICE!
So now we have to add another Trillion for their Good Time on OUR Bill! Freeze their personal and Co assets, Seize all their Capital and ship their asses aver to Saudi Arabia, or China for the Remaining Balance Due!If they are dead and gone- seize the kids stuff they have received from this ‘Blood Money’
there is as much Blood on the hands of the “Trickle Downers”, the Oil, Auto and Financial industries in this country as Osama Bin Ladens! THOSE ARE WHO’S ‘CHICKENS HAVE COME HOME TO ROOST’ Let’s Cook ‘em Up for Dinner!

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By cyrena, September 22, 2008 at 3:18 pm Link to this comment

Outraged:
I’m well aware that Obama got much support from “voters” to vote no on the FISA legislation. I was one of them. I realized at the time, that I should have sent it to the other 68 Senators who voted for it as well, but I didn’t. So, it wasn’t enough for the ‘voters’ to support ONE Senator to vote no. Maybe the voters should have targeted their own senators to vote no. How did yours vote? In the current system, (been set up this way for close to three hundred years now) those people voting in the House and the Senate –ARE- the ‘voters’, and 68 of them (including Obama) passed the bill. That’s still the reality, whether you wanna accept it or not. They needed 51 either way. Sorry, your reality is off the numbers.
And yeah, I got the message from Obama’s vote as well, but I didn’t just use his vote to get the message. I looked at everything else, and we’ve gone through this before. For you, it’s about ‘symbolism’. I’ve yet to find a way to use symbols to pay for groceries, or to squeeze blood from a turnip, or really for much of anything at all. The message I got was that after 3 years of wrangling with these jackasses, it was time to move on. Obama made the point on gridlock, and I happen to have first hand experience in what gridlock does NOT accomplish. One can stand in the road beating a dead horse, or one can start walking. I generally choose to start walking when I can.

•  “To turn things around, (and that may not be a plausible option) you don’t go to the crooks who helped create the situation!  As you know, liberal economics IS the free-market ideology.”
Actually, that’s EXACTLY who you go to, IN ADDITION to others.

Thanks for the quotes from Furman. I really didn’t know anything about him, and this gives me more.

As for free market ideology, it is what it is, and Obama damn sure didn’t invent it. Neither did his advisers.

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By Outraged, September 22, 2008 at 2:37 pm Link to this comment

Re: Cyrena

Your comment: “Here’s the ‘overwhelming support you mentioned. Reality strikes again!”

He had overwhelming support from VOTERS.  That is the overwhelming support I spoke of, but you’re well aware of that aren’t you.  In addition, voting FOR this legislation sent a message, I received it. 

About Furman:

“During a Tuesday conference call with reporters, Furman was peppered with questions about Rubin’s influence by Tom Edsall, a long-time Washington Post writer who is now political editor at the liberal Huffington Post.

Stammering at first, Furman said his appointment was “no reflection at all” on Rubin’s influence before suggesting that the advice of Rubin, who is now chairman of Citigroup’s executive committee, would be balanced by more labor-oriented economists.

“Before taking this job,” he continued, “I spoke regularly to folks like Jared Bernstien (of the liberal Economic Policy Institute) and since taking it I’ll speak to them even more often, and I’ll certainly speak to Bob Rubin and (former Treasury Secretary) Larry Summers and James Galbraith, (a liberal University of Texas economist) “as well….” 

“....So I think I personally have a pretty wide range of people that I like to talk to about the economy, and learn from, and that is certainly where Sen. Obama is,” Furman continued. “And I don’t think this has anything to do with, with my own personal views.  They’re not relevant for a staff person on the campaign.”

Later in the call, Edsall asserted that Furman comes from a school of economics that is “more free-market oriented” than Obama’s tone during the run-up to the Ohio primary when the Illinois Democrat was outspoken about his pledge not only to aid workers displaced by trade but also to renegotiate the NAFTA agreement which is already on the books with Mexico and Canada….

“....“I think he had a choice,” Sirota said of Obama’s Furman pick, “he could bring someone in with a worker’s perspective, or a Wall Street perspective, and he chose someone who, at least starts, in Wall Street’s camp, and I think that’s a troubling signal…”

http://blogs.abcnews.com/politicalradar/2008/06/obama-economic.html

Your comment: “I don’t know why he ALLOWED Madeline Albright to drift from the Hillary camp over to his. I don’t know how or why Rubin became involved either. Same with Furman. Maybe Furman knows something we don’t, and Rubin sure knows how the shit got jacked-up to begin with.

As for Biden, I don’t have any particular issues with him…at least nothing serious. He could have probably selected someone else, but something makes me think you wouldn’t have approved of them either.

>> But Obama didn’t select someone else, he choose this group.  For this reason I will not vote for Obama.  It is apparent, that you are comfortable with or support his choices.  I don’t.  Rubin and Furman are of the “free-market ideology”.  That’s why were in the mess we’re in.  Obviously, “free market” is just a useful more palatible term for “screw the little guy”. 

I’m quite POSITIVE Furman and Rubin “know things” we don’t.  To turn things around, (and that may not be a plausible option) you don’t go to the crooks who helped create the situation!  As you know, liberal economics IS the free-market ideology.

They call it “free-market”, I call it criminal.
You call it narrow-minded, I call it critical reasoning.

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By Frank Cajon, September 22, 2008 at 2:23 pm Link to this comment

We have to start somewhere. As a class we can sit in boards like this pointing the finger at the two inept, corrupt major parties who are both to blame or get off our ass and take a short term proactive step to get our country back from the thieves. Bottom line: like it or not, there is an election in six weeks and only one of two men has a chance to win POTUS. The choice is not good: Bush III, with metastatic brain cancer and an idiot hick VP who couldn’t teach high school civics, on the one hand. On the other, a minor-league speech-maker surrounded by old-school stiffs whose GOP-lite boss left sperm stains on the oval office floor. After eight years of being bled dry, I am sick at this choice but will vote, and not throw it away on some straw dog like Ron Paul, loudmouth like McKinney, or egomaniac like Nader. I am going to have no choice but to hold my nose and vote for Obama and resume my activities trying to get people to wake up and demonstrate for worker’s rights.
We need to take a hard look at what this country has become. We are the country club of the world, and its meth capital. We love our guns, our prescription drugs, and our full-size pickups, our fantasy football leagues and baseball players that make as much to play a game as Babe Ruth did to play a season. We have let the thieves run amok for eight years, blatantly, and for over 20 without any reigns, and though they have robbed us before, we never stopped them from doing it again.
There should be no one in this country with personal income above $1 million that is not subject to flat, 98% income tax. Corporate taxes on windfall profits should be similar; profit levels should be planned and coordinated to comply with other economic goals after full employment of all at substantially higher living wages and health benefits are realized, and other social goals are realized for the working class. Society should be the common shareholders in major corporations which should be centrally planned and run by committees of working class members. It is wrong for members of a society to wallow in luxury while contributing nothing while other, constitutionally equal members of the society are working themselves to death to avoid destitution and sickness, or failing in that effort. If the Secretary of the Treasury can make law and make my life savings be risked to save bankers who stole from this society, we need to start by change at the top. The first change is going to be small, but it will be a change to end the Bush/Cheney Reichstag. It is not a vote of confidence for the Democratic, capitalist thieves, but the cold equations. I will vote, and for Obama. Long live the worker revolution and the Socialist New Deal.

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By PatrickHenry, September 22, 2008 at 2:07 pm Link to this comment

One of the best articles I’ve read on this.

http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=10279

The government shouldn’t be willing to rush in.  The market will sort itself out and many will loose the fortunes they made getting into this mess.

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By cyrena, September 22, 2008 at 1:06 pm Link to this comment

•  “…In addition, I am not holding Obama SOLELY responsible as you infer.  Obama is one of the current presidential candidates, so it MATTERS MORE.  For that reason, with the overwhelming support he had from his voting block AND outside of it, he should have voted it down….but he didn’t.  Why…?”

Outraged,

Here’s the ‘overwhelming support you mentioned. Reality strikes again!

U.S. Senate Roll Call Votes 110th Congress - 2nd Session

As compiled through Senate LIS by the Senate Bill Clerk under the direction of the Secretary of the Senate
Vote Summary
Question:On Passage of the Bill (S.2248 as Amended )

Vote Number:    20   Vote Date:    February 12, 2008, 05:30 PM
Required For Majority:    1/2   Vote Result:    Bill Passed
Measure Number:    S. 2248 (FISA Amendments Act of 2007 )

Measure Title:    An original bill to amend the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978, to modernize and streamline the provisions of that Act, and for other purposes.

Vote Counts:  YEAs   68
  NAYs   29
  Not Voting   3

http://www.senate.gov/legislative/LIS/roll_call_lists/roll_call_vote_cfm.cfm?congress=110&session=2&vote=00020

Why didn’t he ‘vote it down’? He couldn’t. (vote it “down” that is.) He could have voted no though. And if he had, it would THEN have passed 67 to 30. Gee. What is it about that, that you don’t get?

“What’s with choosing Robert Rubin, Madeline Albright, and Jason Furman as advisors?  What in the world made him decide to choose Biden as VP?  Why is he endorsing the funding of faith-based groups?  In fact, he’s expanding them. Why is NAFTA, only symbolic..?  These issues have to do with more than just some voting block.”

I don’t know why he ALLOWED Madeline Albright to drift from the Hillary camp over to his. I don’t know how or why Rubin became involved either. Same with Furman. Maybe Furman knows something we don’t, and Rubin sure knows how the shit got jacked-up to begin with.

As for Biden, I don’t have any particular issues with him…at least nothing serious. He could have probably selected someone else, but something makes me think you wouldn’t have approved of them either.

•  “To add insult to injury, Obama TAUGHT constitutional law, yet these are the people he’s choosing and this is his platform…!?  If that DOESN’T scare you nothing will. “

I don’t know why you are so narrowly imbued as to suggest that ‘this’ (whatever THIS is) is his ‘platform’. Tell me again what his ‘platform’ is. Do you REALLY think his ‘platform’ is about faith-based incentive groups? Do you really think that his platform, (which you’ve failed to explain, other than to say ‘this is his platform’) is based on 3 individuals that you don’t like, (I don’t like Albright, and I don’t know enough about Furman to like him or not like him…so how do you?) and a proposal to fund non-governmental groups, some of whom have religious affiliations is what is platform is ALL about?

No, THAT scares me Outraged. It scares the shit out of me every time I encounter such a narrow view, and I say that as a comparative law scholar myself. (yes, that includes a thorough study of Constitutional Law…a full 2 years worth of that alone). That’s how I know there’s more than one section of the Constitution, and more than one amendment, and how jurisprudence connects them. My guess is that you don’t.

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By Mainesongwriter, September 22, 2008 at 12:32 pm Link to this comment

WE’RE GONNA HAVE A SCARY HALLOWEEN!” A musical forewarning on this same theme. Mp3/Lyrics:

http://soundclick.com/share?songid=5896354

Mr. Scheer, you were phenomenal on Democracy Now. Thank you. Let’s hope your comments and insights will “go viral” starting today.

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By libertarian, September 22, 2008 at 11:48 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

This bailout plan is a looming nightmare.
World economies are bootstrapped. “Fixing” the present fix only sets a terrible example and guarantees mass unhappiness in world markets (and economies) in the near future. Since I like to pretend I have answers, here are my two conclusive answers: 1) all major currencies agree to link to a gold or silver reference value, even if an actual gold-standard is too hard for the puppets to accept, and 2) financial criminals who damage people by the millions will be equivalent to murderers and sim. felons under the criminal codes.

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By Tony Wicher, September 22, 2008 at 9:24 am Link to this comment

re cyrena and jackpine:

“A return to the draft *now*, such as existed in the 60’s and 70’s of the Vietnam Era, would have prevented these “Adventures of Dick Bush” times to even happen. Iraq what not have been allowed if a draft had been operating at the time. I’m convinced of that. The ‘then’ ‘middle-class’ would not have allowed it. “Not my child”. Cynical? Maybe. But, that’s how it’s been, and that’s what was planned and expected.”
===================================================
I totally agree with both of you. The so-called “volunteer” army we have now is essentially a mercenary army of poor people, for whom going into the army is the only way to get a foot on the economic ladder up in a society which has ceased to offer other forms of equal opportunity such as a good education, while the rest of us follow Bush’s suggestion and go shopping. They are goven all sorts of phoney honors but they are just being used. I am for bringing back the draft, and also for expanding it so that every young person is required to do two years of public service whether in peace or war. I would hope that the most of such work would be of the peace corps variety. Young people could learn all sorts of job skills that way, a work ethic and a sense of public service. I think something like that might be just the thing to pry a lot of Gen X and Y slackers out of their parent’s house and get them on the road to being contributing members of society.

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By jake3988, September 22, 2008 at 8:56 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

For all we are in debt, and mostly to foreign markets *cough* China *cough*... you’d think it’d be worse.

75 TRILLION in social security and medicare debt because we use the surplus to pay off interest to the national debt.  Nearly 5 trillion in debt to foreign markets.  And nearly a trillion in account deficit just this year alone (this is inc the war).

Add up deregulation, sleezy business practices, 2 trillion in bailouts, Greenspan’s horrible interest lowering decision, skyrocketing gas prices, skyrocketing health care costs, collapsing housing market, and skyrocketing tuition… and you have your self one hell of a bad time.

And if we hadn’t had a president in Clinton that actually bothered to get a surplus this would be even worse.

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By Jim Ryan, September 22, 2008 at 6:35 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

It seems this gov believes that our nation of service providers can compete with economies that produce all the manufacturing we built this nation on.

It seems they think we can compete with nations that use soverign wealth funds to invest or buy-up the best money making parts of other nations.

Looks like our so called leaders are just riding the ship down, while standing on the backs of Americans, to form their one world government.

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By Outraged, September 21, 2008 at 11:36 pm Link to this comment

Re: Cyrena

Your comment: “I’m still hoping you’ll explain to me how Obama was responsible for the FISA bill.”

>> I have gone there.  Again, there wasn’t any reason to vote for the FISA legislation.  Obama did.  Why…?  Wouldn’t it have been IN HIS INTERESTS as a candidate to vote against it?  So, why did he vote FOR it…?  He had overwhelming support to vote against it.  So why..?  Think about that in terms of how, when, what and why Obama choose to do that?

In addition, I am not holding Obama SOLELY responsible as you infer.  Obama is one of the current presidential candidates, so it MATTERS MORE.  For that reason, with the overwhelming support he had from his voting block AND outside of it, he should have voted it down….but he didn’t.  Why…?  This is what we need to understand, at least concerning FISA.  But there are other issues here as well.  Many of them David Sirota points out in his article.  And he’s correct.  We cannot ignore these things, well…I suppose we can, but at our own peril.

What’s with choosing Robert Rubin, Madeline Albright, and Jason Furman as advisors?  What in the world made him decide to choose Biden as VP?  Why is he endorsing the funding of faith-based groups?  In fact, he’s expanding them. Why is NAFTA, only symbolic..?  These issues have to do with more than just some voting block.

To add insult to injury, Obama TAUGHT constitutional law, yet these are the people he’s choosing and this is his platform…!?  If that DOESN’T scare you nothing will.

McCain is terrible for THE PEOPLE also.  Gramm is McCain’s economic advisor, his mentor, Robert Rubin is Obama’s.  Both worked for Goldman-Sachs while this whole mess ensued!  I will not vote for McCain and I will not vote for Obama.  You have to HAVE a breaking point, I agree with Nader on that.

You can trust me on this.  There will NEVER be “a good time” to vote outside the two-parties, THEY’LL MAKE SURE OF THAT.  I will not vote out of fear or intimidation.  I KNOW what that is. And I ALSO KNOW where succumbing to it will get you.

Do what you will, but I will vote for Nader.  I can trust Nader to stand up and to fight for what he says he believes is right.

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By cyrena, September 21, 2008 at 10:38 pm Link to this comment

OK, I got curious about the draft/conscription thing, so I started checking around. I still haven’t answered my own question.

Be that as it may, this is very interesting, if only because this is from 2004. (the last time we did this presidential election exercise)

~~~

~” 530634, KERRY’S NO-DRAFT PLAN vs. BUSH SPENDING $28 MIL to reactivate DRAFT!

Posted by Dems Will Win on Wed May-19-04 04:18 PM
This summer Bush is reducing DRAFT ACTIVATION time by having the SSS conduct NATIONWIDE EXERCISES to test the whole system, even to the point of filling all DRAFT BOARD vacancies and gearing up the Alternative Service for COs for the first time in three decades. With the current reactivation plan due to go into effect in a few weeks, the SSS must report to the Director on March 31, 2005 they are tuned up and ready to conscript within 75 days of reauthorization from Congress (just a trigger resolution is needed, no new law). The first lottery for 20 year-olds could be June 15, 2005.

http://www.sss.gov/perfplan_fy2004.html

That’s what Bush is doing. Quietly oiling up the DRAFT Machinery for Spring 2005.

Before 130 College Paper Editors in April, Kerry when asked about the draft said “NO. NO DRAFT.”

Kerry’s NO-DRAFT plan to raise 40,000 additional troops and avoid reinstatement of the draft is added up this way (my synthesis):

1. Move some paper-pushers to combat (lots of potential there in nearly a million non-active-duty)
2. Increase enlistment with real scholarships and pay raises
3. Let troops know Special Ops will hunt al-Queda, no more invasions needed, so Guard/Reserve re-up rate goes up. “Primarily a law enforcement effort, not a full military effort”, say JK on MTP last Sunday.
4. Start a “Civilian Stability Corps” that would help in reconstructing Afghanistan and Iraq and relieve military pressure.
5. GET FOREIGN TROOPS TO COME INTO INSTEAD OF LEAVE IRAQ!!

http://www.candidatemap.com

“...I propose that we enlist thousands of them in a Civilian Stability Corps, a reserve organization of volunteers ready to help win the peace in troubled places. Like military reservists, they will have peacetime jobs; but in times of national need, they will be called into service to restore roads, renovate schools, open hospitals, repair power systems, draft a constitution, or build a police force. A Civilian Stability Corps can bring the best of America to the worst of the world—and reduce pressure on the military.”

< Source: Kerry, John. “Protecting Our Military Families in Times of War: A Military Family Bill of Rights.”

March 17, 2004. http://johnkerry.com/pressroom/speeches/spc_2004_0317.html >

With this NO-DRAFT PLAN, Kerry will not have to resort to conscription, even after Bush screwed the whole thing up.


From STOPTHEDRAFT.COM

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.php?az=view_all&address=132x530634

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By cyrena, September 21, 2008 at 10:13 pm Link to this comment

By jackpine savage, September 21 at 6:55 pm

•  “But there is some sense to a draft in that it does a better job of spreading the burden of war across socio-economic lines. …..A major reason why the adventures in Afghanistan and Iraq have gotten so little sustained resistance is because they can be ignored by the “middle class”.  The suburban kids don’t have to make a decision to fight, resist, or run…so their parents don’t have to confront the issue either. “
~~~~~~

EXACTLY!!!!

That’s what I’ve been saying for years now, but nobody was ‘getting’ it. Or, at least it didn’t seem like it. Because, like you said…the middle class (what’s left of it) can ‘ignore it’ and…. they do. That’s just the truth of it.

That’s also why I ‘got it’ when Rangle first introduced it, along with another guy I can’t remember. He said it then, that without a draft, we were gonna wind up with a mostly black and brown army, with poor white people filling it in.

It was bound to develop that way, as long as there was no fear of a draft. A return to the draft *now*, such as existed in the 60’s and 70’s of the Vietnam Era, would have prevented these “Adventures of Dick Bush” times to even happen. Iraq what not have been allowed if a draft had been operating at the time. I’m convinced of that. The ‘then’ ‘middle-class’ would not have allowed it. “Not my child”. Cynical? Maybe. But, that’s how it’s been, and that’s what was planned and expected.

Nobody ever expected such an idea to get anywhere in the Congress. (it might be worth a trivia sort of research, to actually find out if, with all of this so-called ‘draft talk’, is there anything actually in the ‘system’ right now to indicate that? I mean like some sort of legislation?

That was over 6 years ago when Rangle and the other guy made such a proposal, which obviously died before it went anywhere. And, I don’t see any citations to specific legislation reinstate the draft. 

That stuff does still have to happen. Nobody can just zap the draft right into place again. I mean, it’s ALMOST that bad, but there’s still SOME tiny measure of pretense that we’re trying to follow here. I mean, we’re at least pretending to have a Congress, because they keep passing or approving a lot of *bad* Law!! It’s not even bad law, it’s something far worse.

Still, I don’t see a draft happening without the approval of Congress. Unless…Cheney uses his Unitary Executive status as world chief, to call for it himself. Far as I know, only the Prez (that would be Cheney in this case) can call for the conscription thing. Am I wrong?

Somebody can advise on that, one way or another. I can’t remember if the decision to abandon it after Vietnam, (or whenever it was) was just a “Presidential” decision, (as in Executive Order) or if something like that needed to be introduced in both Houses of Congress. I don’t know if I ever knew (to remember). Just seems like it was something that happened in the Clinton era. My history could be way off.

Well, I got way side-tracked as well. I was just agreeing with why the draft does make sense, if folks really wanna be fair about it.

They don’t. That’s what I figured out a long time ago. smile

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By cyrena, September 21, 2008 at 8:14 pm Link to this comment

Re: Cyrena
Most likely you MISSED this portion of the article, dated June 25, 2002.
~~~~~~
Nope, I didn’t miss it Outraged. In fact, I even REPEATED (as in copied and pasted)it, in one of my own posts right here. So, maybe you missed that. (and it’s not important enough for me to go looking for at this point).

So yeah, I read it. I read it when it was published in the LA Times, and I read it when it was published here, and I agree..it is what it is. You’re basically only repeating what I said in the earlier post.

But, just for the hell of it, I’m willing to repeat a portion of it here. The problems that we see in the financial collapse now DID start long before little bush. They began with Regan’s Era of trickle down (NOT) and side supply economics. Regan’s Era was the start of massive deregulation that hasn’t stopped since. The airline industry was among the first to be DEREGULATED, and it became a survival of the fittest, with the ‘successors’ violating anti-trust laws everywhere a bear can shit. We’re talking dog eat dog. Remember PATCO? That was Regan…union busting Regan.

And yes, I agree that the Clinton’s had a part in it. I’ve never been inclined to give Clinton a pass. EVER. Yes, he DID sign-off on NAFTA. His wife, (as far as I’m concerned) *IS* the original Miss Wal-Mart. SHE was a Goldwater Girl. And yes, Slick Willey DID sign off on NAFTA. No, He didn’t come up with NAFTA, because that was long before his time. But yeah, he did follow it through and sign-off on it.

Again, I REPOSTED this very thing in my earlier comment….
•  ”To be fair, the corporate corruption of our political system has long been bipartisan. The Clinton White House, for example, sponsored major deregulation acts, including the Financial Services Modernization Act, which reversed consumer protections enacted under Roosevelt, and the Telecommunications Act of 1996, which effectively ended all public accountability for the communications industry and has permitted a few media giants to gobble up vast markets.

I even CAPITALIZED the ‘to be fair’ because I still haven’t figured out how to do bold and italics for postings. So it would appear that your complaint is my mention of the 8 year Kleptocracy, which has actually been ON TOP of the standard corporate corruption of the political system that has LONG BEEN BIPARTISAN. And, I personally don’t have a problem ‘qualifying’ that at all, since I can point to several ‘sources’ that turned it all into a full fledged KELPTOCRACY since the COUP of 2000. Oh yeah, I can qualify it very clearly. My guess is that even a moron could manage that, when we know that we weren’t spending a BILLIONS a week on wars prior to the Coup. And, that’s been only one of the new mechanisms of the Kleptocracy.

So, if you want to argue about something really substantial, (instead of picking at semantics) I’m still hoping you’ll explain to me how Obama was responsible for the FISA bill. But, you don’t seem to wanna go there, other than to say that he voted for it. You just keep repeating that over and over again, like if he was the sole ‘decider’ and his one vote is the reason it passed, and would have otherwise failed if he hadn’t voted yes on that portion of it. (you’ve also failed to acknowledge that he added language to the senate version that would have prevented the immunity for telecoms, but that it failed, because again…he wasn’t the only one voting).

Now I love to argue about things that we can all gain from, but bullshit semantics isn’t helpful. If you want it to be a 30 or 40 year Kleptocracy, I’m good with that. Call it whatever you want.

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By Leefeller, September 21, 2008 at 8:02 pm Link to this comment

Bush got a blank check for his Iraq War, are we going do the same on this bail out?  Accountability please, regulations please. Where has all the money gone? Seems like the old trickle up theory?

“Another fine mess you got us into Ollie!

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By jackpine savage, September 21, 2008 at 7:55 pm Link to this comment

But there is some sense to a draft in that it does a better job of spreading the burden of war across socio-economic lines.

A major reason why the adventures in Afghanistan and Iraq have gotten so little sustained resistance is because they can be ignored by the “middle class”.  The suburban kids don’t have to make a decision to fight, resist, or run…so their parents don’t have to confront the issue either.

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By omop, September 21, 2008 at 5:26 pm Link to this comment

What seems to be happening is that what Paulson has announced is that he will establish a Federal agency to buy up what will amount to trillions of dollars of bad debt. The debt will become the liability of the US taxpayer. The bankers will get off scot free.

But make no mistake, as far as the financial system is concerned, this will achieve nothing, other than delay the inevitable once again.

Paulsen’s bankers friends will be throwing him a great big party as soon as the servile Congress passes his proposed legislation. Several of them have stashed away the billion dollars of bonuses they received last Christmas as reported in Forbes Magazine.

So much for the government of the people, by the people and for the people. From now on it should read Government of the Bankers, by the Bankers for the Bankers.

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By Outraged, September 21, 2008 at 4:29 pm Link to this comment

Re: Tony Wicher

Your comment: “In 1993 bin Laden declared war on the U.S.
In the 1998 U.S. Embassy bombings (August 7, 1998), hundreds of people were killed in simultaneous car bomb explosions at the United States embassies in the East African capital cities of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania and Nairobi, Kenya. Clinton’s subsequent actions and his speech was a response to these actions. There was also the U.S.S. Cole afterwards. Are you saying these things didn’t happen?”

>>  NONE of these things warranted the fear mongering they were given.  Bombing and murdering INNOCENT civilians, won’t stop these types of attacks.  Rounding up “insurgents” won’t do it.  As for “Clinton’s speech being a response to these actions” is a ridiculous assertion.  Clinton’s speech was an EXCUSE, to take the actions he took.  A “selling point” if you will.

Consider this Tony, if “Clinton’s actions” were an appropriate way to handle the situation…, Why do we now have the SAME problem….only worse?

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By Folktruther, September 21, 2008 at 4:23 pm Link to this comment

KDelphi- both Obama and McCain came out for a draft on their nice get together on 9/11.  The media buried it of course.  Kennedy is also proposing a National Security service bill, whose details are hazy, focused on college students.  Rangel has been proposing draft bills for years in the House.  More Equal, don’t you see.  They are going to need more cannon fodder if they are going to make Pakistan the center front of the War on Terrorism.

The power function of the Dems is to serve the interests of the ruling class under a vague people- oriented rhetoric.  So they have gotten the hard chores of making war and drafts historically.

Wilson, after winning the 1916 election by the issue that he kept us out of war, committed the US to the war after he was elected and enacted a draft.

Roosevelt in 1940, after promising not to send our sons to “foreign’ wars, manipulated a Japanese attack on the US, and enacted a draft.  (Gore Vidal of the truthdiggers opposed it.)

Truman enacted the first peace time draft after WW2, well in time to fight the Korean war.

Johnson, after claiming that Godwater would get us into war…well you get the idea.

With the use of mercenaries after the Vietnam war, the Gops took over.  But now it appears to be the Dems turn again.  Obama-Biden’s function is to bring us together to support anther endless war.

Incidentally, there is nothing the US can win geo-strategically in Afghan-Pakistan. That war is lost, for the same reasons the Soviets lost it.  But the idea is fight this meaningless war as long as possible to keep from losing, and destroying the US leadership position in NATO.  The idea, as it was in Vietnam at the end, is not to win but to delay losing.  A ‘decent internval’ it was called then.  Nation building is what it is called now, after turning Afghanistan into a narco-state.

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By Outraged, September 21, 2008 at 4:18 pm Link to this comment

Re: Folktruther

Your comment: “But if you think of it as a planned adventure, it was executed brilliantly, with Dem complicity.  It served the interests of selected corps financially, Zionism geo-strategically, and the Gop party electorally.  What it did NOT serve was not only the interests of the American population, but, astonishingly, the long term interests of the American power system.”

I agree.  This is why big business began to ensnare the democrats with “campaign contributions” under the guise that in this way “they could compete with the repubs”.  But it was a scam, meant only to ensnare them, all part of a “bigger picture”.  The endgame.

Sure the dems are “somewhat” different…. but they’ve been bought and paid for.  This is why Obama voted for the FISA bill.  Each step had to executed, “insured” if you will.  So Clinton, signed NAFTA…etc.  Another interesting tidbit is the fact that it was during Clinton’s administration that 100,000 more cops were put out on the street.  The sponsor of this legislation…..JOE BIDEN.  And Joe, is so concerned for “our safety”, he called for another 50,000 more officers in 2007.  This keeps being billed as “keeping us safer”.  Do you feel “safer” now…?  Check it out.

(Chicago Tribune, quote:)
“He has proven to be a reliable moderate on crime issues—particularly where narcotics are concerned—and was a principal author of the 1994 crime bill which sought to put 100,000 more police officers on the streets through a federal grant program. That bill also expanded the reach of the federal death penalty….”

(Stop the Drug War, responds)
“....So no, Joe Biden is not a “moderate” when it comes to crime issues. His hard-line authoritarian record speaks for itself, runs out of breath, and then speaks for itself some more. To call him a “moderate” is just ignorant and wrong, to the point of utterly trivializing the word and conjuring a wretched spectacle of what it would take to earn a more fitting description of his extensive jail-mongering credentials.”

http://stopthedrugwar.org/speakeasy_main/2008/aug/25/biden_is_a_moderate_on_crime_iss

Biden’s web site touts this “accomplishment”.

“As a long-standing member and former Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Senator Biden is a strong leader on crime and drug policy and has been instrumental in crafting almost every major piece of crime legislation over the past two decades. His Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994 - also known as the Biden Crime Bill - put more than 100,000 cops on America’s streets and increased dramatically federal support for innovative criminal justice prevention and rehabilitation.

The 2007 Biden Crime Bill goes further by addressing the 21st century crime problems such as computer hacking, on-line child exploitation and teenage prescription drug abuse. As the Co-Chairman of the International Narcotics Control Caucus, Senator Biden was the first in Congress to propose a “Drug Czar,” a cabinet level office to coordinate all federal agencies responsible for drug-related programs and devise a strategy to combat illegal drug use and trafficking in America.”

http://www.demconvention.com/joe-biden-bio

In response:

“An international protest against undue surveillance is being held next month on the 11th of October.

“....The manifold agenda of security sector reform encompasses the convergence of police, intelligence agencies and the military, threatening to melt down the division and balance of powers. Using methods of mass surveillance, the borderless cooperation of the military, intelligence services and police authorities is leading towards the construction of “Fortresses” in Europe and on other continents, directed against refugees and different-looking people but also affecting, for example, political activists, the poor and under-priviledged, and sports fans.” 

http://www.boingboing.net/2008/09/06/international-day-of-1.html

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By KDelphi, September 21, 2008 at 4:18 pm Link to this comment

Patrick—I dont think that it is fair to say that “karma” killed all those civilians in the WTC. I’m not excusing the USs killing of civiians.

If the highjackers of 9/11 wanted to convince me that it was revenge for US military policies, they shoudl have attacked only military installations.(and WH, Pentagon, etc.)

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By Tony Wicher, September 21, 2008 at 4:08 pm Link to this comment

By Outraged, September 20 at 11:41 pm #

Outraged,

In 1993 bin Laden declared war on the U.S.
In the 1998 U.S. Embassy bombings (August 7, 1998), hundreds of people were killed in simultaneous car bomb explosions at the United States embassies in the East African capital cities of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania and Nairobi, Kenya. Clinton’s subsequent actions and his speech was a response to these actions. There was also the U.S.S. Cole afterwards. Are you saying these things didn’t happen?

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By PatrickHenry, September 21, 2008 at 3:15 pm Link to this comment

By troublesum, September 21 at 2:03 pm #

If you believe in karma, i.e. the irony of life, you will see all events surrounding the 9/11 attack which were based on bullshit come back around and bite those responsible on the ass.

For one I would welcome non-intervention by the US government, after all doesn’t this money have to be appropriated by the house and senate?  If our (your) congresspeople vote for it, it should be the litnus test of whether or not they get reelected.

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By troublesum, September 21, 2008 at 3:03 pm Link to this comment

Patrickhenry,
If only it were as simple as Jewish bankers and their Zionist plots.  Do you really think this explains it.

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By PatrickHenry, September 21, 2008 at 2:04 pm Link to this comment

Just more fruit from the poisonous tree.

http://www.rense.com/general83/bdc.htm

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By KDelphi, September 21, 2008 at 12:07 pm Link to this comment

troublesum—You can call him Boner to his face now. He is too drunk to notice.

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By xyzaffair, September 21, 2008 at 11:54 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I saw Treasury Secretary Paulson interviewed by George Stephanoupolos this morning.  At one point, Paulson referred to Stephanoupolos as “Buddy.”  I think he caught himself and didn’t say it again, but I think it reveals the mentality of the Bush Cabinet:  “I’ll straighten you out.”

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By troublesum, September 21, 2008 at 11:46 am Link to this comment

Boner says trying to help people save their homes is just “playng games.”  The federal treasury is petty cash for those at the top - you know, the responsible people who know how to handle money.  Market realities are for little people.

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By GW=MCHammered, September 21, 2008 at 11:28 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

What Wall Street Should Do To Get Its Blank Check
By Robert Reich - September 21, 2008

http://tpmcafe.talkingpointsmemo.com/2008/09/21/what_wall_street_should_do_to/index.php

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By KDelphi, September 21, 2008 at 11:16 am Link to this comment

treoublesum—That is just unreal. WTF do they think this bailout for the rich is?? Egalitarianism??

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By Leefeller, September 21, 2008 at 10:52 am Link to this comment

From the hot dog vender’s at the Roman Circus to the people renting window space during the inquisition and now watching, as the stomach turns, so many ways of making money.

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By Virginia777, September 21, 2008 at 10:28 am Link to this comment

Shock Jocks and the Roman Circus

The phenomena of the “shock jock” has often been ignored by the Left and the Media, for the level of danger as a tool of the Right (via the Media) they pose. Sarah Palin, as an astute political observer, knew this. That is why she openly appeared on the Alaskan version of the Howard Stern show, “The Bob and Mark Show”. [see Bob’s sexually-graphic self-written bio: http://www.bobandmark.com/user/33 ]

The internet has been proven to, a lot more quickly access buried, inner (even forgotten) prejudices. It does this by the nature of the extreme privacy it offers. So of course, the right-wing propaganda masters, saw this as the Golden Opportunity of a Lifetime (i.e. unregulated media!). It had the potential to be their “Roman Circus” as indeed, it truly became.

A prominent feature of the Roman Circus’ were, blood baths as entertainment. This was where Christians (and plenty of other subgroups) really did get thrown into an arena, surrounded by the deafening cheers of the spectators. The house was always packed, and people were eating and often brought their kids. The Christian/subgroup person, was forced into the arena, where they fought a starving lion, often by hand.

The crowd was not there to cheer that Christian on, no way. The crowd was there to relish in the gore.

Nigel B. Crowther wrote of the Roman Circus, in his book Sport in Ancient Times:
“The circus became a political tool for the emperor to gratify his citizens… By supplying…the games to the large mass of unemployed people, the emperor hoped to control them by directing their emotions into the circus and away from their daily problems.”

What better method of directing their emotions away from their daily problems, than via the shock jock, your very own “circus clown”, who carries a message of hate. War-mongering, could also fall into this category. Hate-groups as well.

Hence the gaining prominence of legions of “Bob’s”. “Bob” works! and Sarah Palin knows it.

Because “hate” as an emotion, is the equivalent of the gore-watchers. It filled - or more often, created - a base need. It is the emotion that allowed the spectators of the Roman Circus to cheer. This is why Hate is wrong. It is also why the Right tries to stoke it.

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By troublesum, September 21, 2008 at 10:10 am Link to this comment

“Let’s not get crazy and include little people who don’t matter in the deal, that would be socialism.”
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2008/09/21/paulson-resisting-democra_n_128035.html

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By KDelphi, September 21, 2008 at 9:47 am Link to this comment

folktruther—I just have to ask. Are yu saying that Obama or Biden is calling for a return to a nilitary draft? I’ve heard that it was true, but, then heard that it was McCain’s idea. Is it both?

Informative posts, all.

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By 1twenty1, September 21, 2008 at 9:43 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

This pop stand we call the USA is rotten to the core and nothing will save it.  Collapse is inevitable.  Learn Mandarin.  Get your family out.  Go adapt the ways of the natives of an isolated Pacific Isle, if they will have you.  Get a life.  Life here is an illusion, a tightrope with no safety net.  The mindless, media-manipulated, Bible-thumping, working class deserve every swallow of the cup they must now drink from.  Their unkempt vine of democracy now imprisons them financially and threatens world stability.  They deserve every nanosecond in their masters’ serfdom.  The only thing they own is their self-imposed imprisonment in a corrupt, Satin’s delight, fascist monster.

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By ecc, September 21, 2008 at 9:20 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The Paulson plan is a no-bid back-door giveaway to cronies same as the “global war on terror” was a no-bid back-door giveaway to Halliburton and Blackwater.

Predictions of a “financial mushroom cloud” are hysterical threats designed to produce panic and blind reaction. The loudest cries come from financial industry lobbyists and compaign contributors to the Republican Party, who have already spent weeks crafting legislation tailor-made to stuff their pockets at taxpayers’ expense.

Democrats must loudly declare they are not persuaded. They must refuse to be stampeded into enacting any legislation before November. Any legislation must protect innocent bystanders, force badly-run Wall Street firms to own-up to their losses, and avoid any possibility of creating a 700 billion dollar “Slush Fund To Nowhere” for an incoming McCain cabal.

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By Folktruther, September 21, 2008 at 9:20 am Link to this comment

Cyrena and I occasionally disagree about almost everything, but she has real insights into the nature of American power.  Our descent into barbarism WAS PLANNED before the COUP in 2000 and the false flag 9/11-anthrax homicide.  It had to be.  And an indication that it was was the Gop impeaching Clinton for sexual misdemeanors when what they really objected to was his refusal to resort to systematic violence.

It is quite true that the Bushite excesses were prefigured by previous strands of corruption and repression.  But it is qualitatiavely different, principled violence and brutality replacing economic imperalism of a bourgeois Democracy.  And it has succeeded in permanently changing the US power system.  Trying to change the US back to a lawful Democracy is like trying to change Roman Emperialism back into a republic.  Those days are gone and they are planned to be gone.

But this form of violent police state cannot last for a long period of historical time, and both the neocons, like PNAC,  and the Dem neo-libs, who follow Brzezenski, know it.  This irresponsible and limitless exercise of power was a planned political adventure, which cannot last for a long historical time, for precisely the reasons that occurred, the contempt and hatred of the world’s people, especially the American people,  for American power which eventually is echoed by the world’s power systems.

But if you think of it as a planned adventure, it was executed brilliantly, with Dem complicity.  It served the interests of selected corps financially, Zionism geo-strategically, and the Gop party electorally.  What it did NOT serve was not only the interests of the American population, but, astonishingly, the long term interests of the American power system. 

The leaders were shortsighted, as Anarcissie commented, but this was a PRINCIPLED SHORTSIGHTEDNESS.  Policy was subordinated to the corp balance sheet RIGHT NOW, the NEXT election, the CURRENT imperialism of Israel.  Such a program could not last historically and, both Cyrena and I were astonished by their public comments that in the long term we are all dead.  So the long range implications don’t matter. 

This was translated for the religious loonies, which form half of the Gop voters, manipulated by the rich and their agents,  that we are in the End Days so it doesn’t matter what happens on earth, what with the Rapture and all.  Bush played to that in his speeches, with allusions not to the bible generally but to LEFT BEHIND novels, over 60 MILLION copies sold in various forms according to Kevin Phillips.

We’ve been neoconned.  And if Obaden wins the comming election, we will be neolibbed.  Obama is to the RIGHT of Clinton, because the Elite political consensus has gone to the right.  He appointed a Zionist warmonger as Vp, a counterpart to Cheney, and voted, against his explicit promise, for lawless spying on the population.  He explicitly stated he is going escalate the wars and institute a military draft to get the cannon fodder.  As Dems have done historially. 

He is going to INCREASE military expenditures, which will be funded by increased debt.  There will be little money left for the population.  The militarization of the police must therefore continue as class inequality increases, and people begin to see through the political scam of the War on Terrorism.

When you have a tiger by the tail, all you can do is hold on.  That is Obaden’s function in the comming period, to brutalize and oppress non-White populations most and do so with a black face.  The political fables of the Dems are the counterpart of the religious fables of the Gops, and they can only be upheld by American gunmen. 

For a while.  Until the population realizes that American power has been playing out a planned endgame.

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By Counselor1, September 21, 2008 at 9:17 am Link to this comment

Taxpayers don’t have to lose any money permanently in the bailout. A properly structured financial transaction tax (“Tobin tax”) with a big reward for turning in evaders, could reduce short term speculative trading. It could recover to the Treasury up to $150 billion per year from the very financial corporations that created the market crash, while not being unduly burdensome to millions of small investors. The recovered money could be used to reduce or eliminate or reimburse taxpayers bailout funds. Inclusion of a Tobin tax should be required in bailout legislation.

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By Leefeller, September 21, 2008 at 9:07 am Link to this comment

Sheer says:

“isn’t it time to ask whether the war on terrorism isn’t being milked as a convenient distraction?”

Distraction is all part of the grand plan.  Slight of hand if you will, focuses on created events or even events made to order for opportunists.  Accountability and integrity are nonsense, war on terror is just so damn easy to force feed the masses like tainted milk to babies. Lemmings again.

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By GW=MCHammered, September 21, 2008 at 9:03 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

All this talk of doom-n-gloom is sooo boring. All I wanna know is, will FOX NEWS and CNN begin coverage of the 2012 campaigns in January ‘09? Oh, please tell me it’s true, please!
<NOT>

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By KDelphi, September 21, 2008 at 8:54 am Link to this comment

Howard-I think that what Congress, and other, failed to see was that it was the inequities in pay/employment that caused the people effected not to be able to buy homes—not a “lack of liars loans” and subprime qarbage (which teh MSM quickly began referring to as ‘subprime people”.)

From “not being able to stand up to the lobbyists”—I think that shoudl read—UNWILLING. Several of these Senators got very impressive loans rates from , none other than, Countrywide.

And , many , are rushing to privatize low-income housing! Affordable housing is almost impossibel to find in many urban areas. This leads to “class areas”, gated communities, white flight and urban death. “Clanishness” is not good in a democracy.

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By KDelphi, September 21, 2008 at 8:43 am Link to this comment

http://www.commondreams.org/headlines05/0312-03.htm

And here is the bankruptcy bill, and how senators voted on it.

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By KDelphi, September 21, 2008 at 8:40 am Link to this comment

Troublesum—Interest rates will go up. Credit card rates will go up. Alot of people who were afraid of equity loans, put medical bills on credit cards. THanks to the horrible bankruoptcy bill, if these people cant pay their credit cards and have to file bankruptcy, they lose their home,. And the cycle starts all over again.

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By Fahrenheit 451, September 21, 2008 at 8:39 am Link to this comment

Oh, this is encouraging; Yahoo is reporting foreign banks will be eligible for a bailout as well.  Gee, maybe we really are the masters of the universe.  But, what about the poor Americans scheistered into their loans?

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By troublesum, September 21, 2008 at 8:16 am Link to this comment

Dreamland.  They have lost their senses:
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/26808498

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By Howard, September 21, 2008 at 6:01 am Link to this comment

Forewarned is right.  It could not have happened, would not have happened if Washington and the previous 3 Presidents and Bush and congress had not enabled and encouraged Fannie Mai and Freddie Mac to extend credit to those who could not pay their mortages.

The banks of the country with their risky loans just laid them off to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Bing, bing.  Like one of us going to the casino and all profits would be ours, but if we would lose the gov’t will pick up the losses.  Imagine.  And any Congressman who inquired about it for the last 15 years could not stand up against the banking lobby.

And the managers of Freddie and Fannie, who knew better, received 6 million dollars payroll for each of the last 7 years and walked off with a severance pay in addition of $125 million.  Stunning, eh?

Now we taxpayers are going to be stuck but good.

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By jackpine savage, September 21, 2008 at 5:18 am Link to this comment

Both parties are the problem and neither will fix a damned thing until they have no other choice, because they both win in the current structure.

Greed is a huge problem, but let’s fact it: greed is as old as humanity.  No political or economic system is going to “fix” greed.  The larger problem in our financial system is that it has been decoupled from making anything tangible.  Or, you could express it as the difference between money and wealth; we have confused the two…and compounded our problem by further confusing debt with money (and hence wealth).

Both the great industrialists and Marx understood that the key was in adding value.  Marx complained that the proletariat added value and the capitalists took that added value for themselves.  His issue was how to distribute the added value.

Financing doesn’t add value, it only shifts it around.  And like other, historical great powers/empires we have moved from being a place where things are made to a place that shuffles money around.

To continue our lifestyle without producing much of value, we’ve turned to raising debt to finance a consumer/service economy.  When McCain/Republicans talk about the “fundamentals” they are referring to how we’re still out spending money.  But that isn’t the fundamental nature of our economy.  Borrowing money is the most fundamental aspect of our economy, because it precedes the spending.

All the systemic problems have been around for a while now, swept under the rug…and our leaders are able to do this because the people have fully confused money with wealth by using the words interchangeably.  They are not synonyms.  Our political leaders have avoided dealing with systemic issues just like average households have, by believing that more money will make up for a lack of wealth.

It now looks like we’ll have to find a way to live without either.  Welcome to the third world.

The only plus i see to Obama is that his former students have described him as a “ruthless pragmatist”.  At this point we need that far more than we need the ideology of the left or the right.

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By Fahrenheit 451, September 21, 2008 at 2:40 am Link to this comment

It seems likely we’ll modify our economic model to something like dirigisme.  It seems to work for the Europeans.

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By Outraged, September 21, 2008 at 12:41 am Link to this comment

Re: Tony Wicher

Your comment: “disappointed by Clinton’s caving on NAFTA and other matters which is why I backed Obama this time. I consider him more progressive and principled than Clinton. “

>> Obama has surrounded himself with those of Bill Clinton’s administration.  Are you set to be “disappointed” again?

Let’s be clear.  This “supposed” clear and present danger is grossly exaggerated to fit the MIC “budget”.  A few excerpts from Bill Clinton’s speech 8-20-98. Remember, Obama is CHOOSING these SAME “advisors/entrepreneurs”

Our target was terror. Our mission was clear—to strike at the network of radical groups affiliated with and funded by Osama bin Laden, perhaps the preeminent organizer and financier of international terrorism in the world today….”

“....The groups associated with him come from diverse places, but share a hatred for democracy, a fanatical glorification of violence, and a horrible distortion of their religion to justify the murder of innocents. They have made the United States their adversary precisely because of what we stand for and what we stand against....(sound familiar…?)

“With compelling evidence that the bin Laden network of terrorist groups was planning to mount further attacks against Americans and other freedom-loving people....(is it getting any MORE familiar….?)

“....Our forces also attacked a factory in Sudan associated with the bin Laden network. The factory was involved in the production of materials for chemical weapons….(emphasis mine, of course)

“....America is and will remain a target of terrorists precisely because we are leaders; because we act to advance peace, democracy and basic human values;...(with this type of rhetoric, we certainly WILL remain a target)

“The United States wants peace, not conflict. We want to lift lives around the world, not take them. (We certainly have a funny way of showing this don’t we…?)

>> Notice how “perhaps” is switched to “compelling evidence”...? Hmmm.  Is it “perhaps”, “compelling evidence” or outright fantasy!  By the verbiage contained in this speech, the fundamentalist Palin is DEFINITELY a terrorist, since fundamentalists do NOT endorse democracy.  They PRAY for theocracy.

http://clinton6.nara.gov/1998/08/1998-08-20-president-address-to-the-nation.html

Remember, this was 8-20-98.  What’s the “most pressing situation” now…?  Well…the republican candidate wants to bomb, Iran (can anyone say OIL), and the dems want to bomb, Pakistan.  What am I saying… Bush has already engaged that potential heroic.  Not to worry, the dems/Obama can pick up where he left off.  Can anyone say PIPELINE..?

Hmmm…and where were those “hijackers” from…?  Not the OPEC capital of the world(Saudi Arabia), our leaders’ “best buddies”, no…that couldn’t have ANYTHING to do with ANYTHING.

Obama caved, McCain never gave a damn in the first place.  It is what it is.

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By Tony Wicher, September 20, 2008 at 11:42 pm Link to this comment

Outraged, September 20 at 8:56 pm #


Re: Tony Wicher

Again, it appears we are required to “believe”.  Just ignore the facts, and “believe”.

Your comment: “Republicans and democrats have spent forty years undermining regulations put in place during the Great Depression that saved capitalism. They have also gotten rid of a tax structure that performs the absolutely necessary task of redistributing income and ameliorating the extremes of wealth and poverty that unregulated capitalism creates (as Marx rightly observed). The result was totally predictable to anybody with a memory.”

Who signed off on NAFTA?
Who destroyed the safety net?
Who “introduced” “the terrorist threat”?

Yep. That was good ol’ DEMOCRATIC Clinton.  And who has Obama hired as his “advisors”..... Clinton lackeys.
Don’t get me wrong, as a group, the REPUBLICANS are CROOKS.  Sadly, so are the DEMOCRATS.
——————————————————————————-
I was disappointed by Clinton’s caving on NAFTA and other matters, which is why I backed Obama this time. I consider him more progressive and principled than Clinton. Sure Democrats are crooks too but everything is a matter of degree and the Republicans make the Democrats look like pikers. In spite of his caving on many issues, the Republicans still hated both him and Hillary like poison and went to great lengths to destroy his presidency. 

As to his “introducing the terror threat”, I don’t know what you might mean. Al Qaeda formed during his presidency but I don’t see how you can blame him for it.

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By Outraged, September 20, 2008 at 11:27 pm Link to this comment

Re: Cyrena

Most likely you MISSED this portion of the article, dated June 25, 2002.

To be fair, the corporate corruption of our political system has long been bipartisan. The Clinton White House, for example, sponsored major deregulation acts, including the Financial Services Modernization Act, which reversed consumer protections enacted under Roosevelt, and the Telecommunications Act of 1996, which effectively ended all public accountability for the communications industry and has permitted a few media giants to gobble up vast markets.

Clearly, the problem is bipartisan when a Democrat-controlled Senate moves so hesitantly to confront the myriad examples of sickness in our economy and corporate culture.

The politicians hesitate to act because candidates of both parties are lavishly financed by the very people who are conning a gullible public.”

So, it’s hard to qualify your comment,

“but those who have been on the looting side of this 8 year long KLEPTOCRACY still don’t see any issues.

The “issues” happened LONG before the simple Bush Administration.  In fact, by fact-checking, it is easy to see that it was before Clinton also.  But let’s not let Clinton off the hook, he played his part, did his “duty” and was a necessary cog. And so it was with both Bushs and Reagan.

Obama/McCain the corporate “ticket” to MORE of McSame.

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By cyrena, September 20, 2008 at 10:54 pm Link to this comment

This won’t end, I meen the lies, the looting and the killing, untill They(the entitled) have it all.  Until our social and economic structure is so caotic that even They can’t take any more.
You’ll know it has happened when the lights go out, the oil stops flowing, you have to dig into that stash of canned beans and the scoundrels(Them) will have fled the country with their(our) $billions$.
I just hope that we don’t have to resort to that shot gun to defend the stash.  It’s happened in other countries.
Now that’s a little over the top I know and I’m not suggesting that it will happen any time soon, but that’s the dirrection we’re heading and civilization does seem to go through a colapse and renewal every 300 years or so.  We’ve about had our run.
~~~~~~~

Misfiteye,

Excellent advice. And, sadly, you really aren’t being at all over the top. It may seem like that to the millions who are looking for anyone other than themselves to blame, specifically couched in partisan terms, but the reality is that this has been coming for a long time now, and more than a few of us have been sounding the warnings. For me, it’s been since 2000, but nobody was ‘getting it’. Back then, the old mentality applied, just as it does now. That is to say, “When the neighbor loses his/her job, house, etc, it’s a ‘recession’. When WE lost our job/house/etc, it becomes a depression. Since that continues to apply, it just means that more of us now know that we’re in a depression, but those who have been on the looting side of this 8 year long KLEPTOCRACY still don’t see any issues.

But then, this is exactly what they expected, because they *planned* it, so none of this is a surprise to those who’ve planned and orchestrated such a massive heist. This is what we must understand, before we can get to the next step. THIS HAS BEEN A PLANNED OPERATION, from start (at *least* a decade ago) to finish (now). I’m not even so sure that they miscalculated, as another poster here has suggested. I think they may have planned it almost perfectly. There are only 3 months left, just enough time to finish packing the rest of the loot, and then escape to already determined get-away destinations.

Omop wonders this:

•  “Wonder if any of the main participants will end up like Conrad Black, or move to Georgia[the one next to the Ukraine], the South of France, Tel Aviv or Abu Dhabi. Globalization like golf includes bunkers and fairways.”

This is already a given. Dubai was a patch of dirt 6 years ago. Has anybody seen what it is now? Why did Cheney move Halliburton to the newly built paradise over 2 years ago? GW has purchased thousands of acres of Paraguay, and will work a water angle from there, same as he’s done with oil all of his life.

Meantime, yes…keep up the gardening like our lives depend on it. They do.

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By Outraged, September 20, 2008 at 9:56 pm Link to this comment

Re: Tony Wicher

Again, it appears we are required to “believe”.  Just ignore the facts, and “believe”.

Your comment: “Republicans and democrats have spent forty years undermining regulations put in place during the Great Depression that saved capitalism. They have also gotten rid of a tax structure that performs the absolutely necessary task of redistributing income and ameliorating the extremes of wealth and poverty that unregulated capitalism creates (as Marx rightly observed). The result was totally predictable to anybody with a memory.”

>>  You “forgot” a couple of words.  I’ve added two.  NOW, it’s more legit….no?

Who signed off on NAFTA?
Who destroyed the safety net?
Who “introduced” “the terrorist threat”?

Yep. That was good ol’ DEMOCRATIC Clinton.  And who has Obama hired as his “advisors”..... Clinton lackeys.

Don’t get me wrong, as a group, the REPUBLICANS are CROOKS.  Sadly, so are the DEMOCRATS.

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By Folktruther, September 20, 2008 at 9:45 pm Link to this comment

Both Tony and Frank are going to turn around our current system by boring from within,  Like tapeworms.  Tony is going to do it by voting Democratic.  And if you believe that I’ve got a great deal on a used bridge you might be interested in.

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By KDelphi, September 20, 2008 at 9:36 pm Link to this comment

Tony—please explain to me what it is about FDR that you see in Obama’s policies. Both parties have been fleeing from FDR’s New Deal since WW II. It’s just been so bad, down looks like up.

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By Tony Wicher, September 20, 2008 at 9:16 pm Link to this comment

By Frank Cajon, September 20 at 7:01 pm #


KDelphi: We have crossed paths elsewhere, disagreeing. I have made the point there, and make it again, that I am committed to the cause of changing our system from the inside and believe that socialism is the answer as I always have.
——————————————————————————
Hey, me too! I have been “boring from within” for forty years. But I have come to understand that “socialism” is nothing but capitalism well-regulated by an honest, democratic government than answers to the people. There is no other socialism and never will be. Capitalism is the engine of economic production; socialism consists in democratic controls to ensure that what this engine produces serves society as a whole and not just the owners. The problem is not capitalism, but laissez-faire capitalism. Republicans have spent forty years undermining regulations put in place during the Great Depression that saved capitalism. They have also gotten rid of a tax structure that performs the absolutely necessary task of redistributing income and ameliorating the extremes of wealth and poverty that unregulated capitalism creates (as Marx rightly observed). The result was totally predictable to anybody with a memory.

Obama is the new Roosevelt. He is going to save capitalism by making it socialist. Just watch.

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By kath cantarella, September 20, 2008 at 8:58 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The economic meltdown and the ‘war on terrorism’ are inextricably intertwined.
Avoiding the economic bust was part of the rationale for going to Iraq. It is also natural justice. The war has bankrupted the country in so many different ways.
And yeah, war is always a handy distraction. You can use it to kill anyone you don’t like, to destroy civil rights, to oppress anyone you think you’re above, to make yourself incredibly rich, to destroy your own country and someone else’s, to ignore ethics and laws and to make your own rules, to wreck your own constitution, to extol patriarchy and send women back to the kitchens and the maternity wards in droves, to destroy the middle-class and enhance the population of poor to fill your mediocre jobs…the uses of war: the list is limitless.
And so is the price. Brace yourselves, because here it comes.

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By Frank Cajon, September 20, 2008 at 8:01 pm Link to this comment

KDelphi: We have crossed paths elsewhere, disagreeing. I have made the point there, and make it again, that I am committed to the cause of changing our system from the inside and believe that socialism is the answer as I always have. The worm has turned, and now even our overseers in this fascist hell have seen the light, though they will try to water it down and call it something else. We need to come together, on boards like this and recognize common ground, move forward to break out of the stranglehold that the reactionaries and their spineless dupes of both party stripes have on us and realize that we are the ones that can shut this country down, or make it a success. As workers, we have the power, we need only to realize that it can’t be denied us anymore when it is our money at stake, not the rich man’s. The time of the rich man is past.

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By Frank Cajon, September 20, 2008 at 7:40 pm Link to this comment

One thing that is painfully obvious about this whole mess is that while it is clearly the largest, most widespread case of fraud, theft, and security violation in the history of mankind no one is being charged with so much as a traffic ticket. Greed is a disease and America is sick. We as a country need to recognize it and clean our house fast for the sake of future generations. Corporate America needs to serve society and not suck it dry as it has in a casino stock market that suddenly has crapped out after being played with monopoly money for eight years. The complicit, corrupt policy makers of both parties are equally to blame in this SNAFU, and it is time for some new faces and new policies. If our money is to be frozen in banks, its safety should be guaranteed by the government and regulated in a centrally planned socialist system with no waste, no profiteering, and full accountability. If our fascist leadership is going to steal our money to back crooked bankers, he owes the workers of this nation a national health insurance plan, full and represented employment, and drastic reduction in his pet wars which have drained the workers’ resources to an extent that most of us are much poorer than we were 8 years ago-except those who are members of the corporate cabal that pay nothing, and put the bastards in power in the fixed election of 2000 so that they could pillage the nation and destroy the unions.
The ineffective ‘opposition’ ran a gigolo in 2004 against the tyrant and now runs an idealistic cypher. It is time for an uprising of workers, taking the power that only they have as a class. We can stop this country in its tracks if we take the power back and unite for our rights to a Socialist New Deal, a contract that returns the means of production and full rights and benefits of being an American to the working class, that does all of the work in this country and made it what it is today. Rise up.

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By Dr. Knowitall, PhD, PhD, September 20, 2008 at 5:42 pm Link to this comment

“I still believe that the fundamentals of the American economy are sound.”

Now I know what “the fundamentals” of the American economy are.

It’s the printing press.  And sound?  It’s squeaking from heat stress.  Someone, quick!  Get the oil can!

Used to be, if you had a house and got behind in your payments, you put it on the market. Often it sold in 45-60 days and everyone was off the hook. 

Thanks, neocons.  You really made Ronnie proud. And Miltie.  And shame on the Dems, too, for allowing them to do this.

I couldn’t care less about anyone but the people for whom this will probably be their only chance at home ownership.  Shame on Washington! 

Like many, I’m on a public pension.  Before I retired, I asked the board how sure could I be that they’d be there for me in 20 years.  The answer: 99.99%.  Then I find out that they too have invested in funds containing the sub-prime virus. I wonder if it’s still 99.99%.

Whoever made up the “death and taxes” thing was a visionary. Good luck, everyone.

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By KDelphi, September 20, 2008 at 5:41 pm Link to this comment

ocjim—I read that article. Some of it is true. But, Obama has actualy gone DOWN in the polls.(If yu look back to right after he was nominated) Did alot of people just ‘become” racist and decide against voting for an Af.Am? Of could it be the issues?

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By ocjim, September 20, 2008 at 5:35 pm Link to this comment

With the economic crisis it is obvious that the Repugs have screwed up things big time. Even if you don’t know about McCain’s views and record, it should be obvious to any person with perception that his pronouncements about the economy reveal not only an ignorance about the economy but also a readiness to do or say anything to aggrandize himself. Add to that the choice of a radical right female whose views aren’t close to the majority and who lies with impunity, and one wonders how McCain-Palin could even be close in the polling.

My only conclusion is that too many voters are racists and wouldn’t vote for a superior candidate because he is black.

See the current poll results:
http://news.yahoo.com/election/2008/dashboard

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By troublesum, September 20, 2008 at 5:01 pm Link to this comment

They’re not telling us the most important thing - when may we expect our first dividend checks from AIG and Fannie Mae?

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By Outraged, September 20, 2008 at 4:57 pm Link to this comment

In a letter to Congress on July 23, 2008, Ralph Nader warned that the federal government’s bank insurance fund may be insufficient to handle the developing crisis in the banking industry.

The day after Ralph sent out his warning, he was ridiculed in Congress.

One member, Spencer Bachus, at a Congressional hearing, mentioned Ralph’s letter and said point blank “Our banks are well capitalized, our deposit insurance fund is sound. There’s absolutely no factual basis for saying that there’s not money there to pay.”

Fast forward to September 17, 2008, today, less than two months after Ralph sent his letter.

And now we have an Associated Press story, featured prominently right now on the Drudge Report, with the headline “Federal bank insurance fund dwindling.”

http://www.votenader.org/blog/2008/09/17/ridiculing-ralph/

And this:

“We and others have been telling members of Congress, government regulators and members of the media about the structural and operational problems of Fannie and Freddie for years. I have written many columns about the lack of proper regulation of Fannie and Freddie. I testified before Congress about the need to focus Fannie and Freddie and my long-time associates Jonathan Brown and Jake Lewis have spent countless hours advocating that federal regulators push Fannie and Freddie to meet housing goals that would benefit under-served populations.

In 1991, lawyer Tom Stanton, a former colleague, warned about the risks and non-regulation of Fannie and Freddie in his prophetic book—A State of Risk (Harper Business).

In May of 1998, we even held a conference dedicated to Fannie and Freddie. In my welcoming statement to the conference participants, I noted that we would be discussing the adequacy of capital required of Fannie and Freddie and the efficacy of regulation of the two GSEs. I noted that both corporations had been enjoying good times. And, I cautioned that one of the unintended consequences of fat profits over a long period is the tendency of governments and private corporations to start believing in fantasies about living happily ever after in the glory of ever-rising profits.

My statement asserted that, “Taxpayers have learned that contingent liabilities such as those inherent in the GSE structure do, at times, become quite costly. It wasn’t long ago—in the high interest rate period in the late 1970s and early 1980s – that Fannie Mae was having serious financial troubles. And the Farm Credit System, another GSE, required a bail out of approximately $5 billion in the 1980s when the agricultural industry had a severe downturn….”

“....The Fannie and Freddie bosses created another guarantee. They hired top appointees from both Republican and Democratic Administrations (such as Deputy Attorney General Jamie Gorelick) and lathered them with tens of millions of dollars in executive compensation. In this way, they kept federal supervision at a minimum and held off efforts in Congress to toughen regulation.

So here we are. On Monday September 8, 2008, the value of common Fannie and Freddie stock dropped to under one dollar – just one day after Secretary of the Treasury announced the government takeover.”

http://www.votenader.org/blog/2008/09/10/bailing-out-fannie-and-freddie/

And what are our two CORPORATE CANDIDATES doing….?  They are BOTH hiring industry insiders as their economic advisors and holding private meetings with other business interests.  But let’s just keep voting them in…no matter what they do….no matter how many felons they protect….no matter how much tax money they dole out to their cronies…..no matter how many of their buds walk away stinking rich off YOUR dollar….sure, let’s do it the “smart” way and keep on doing what we’ve been doing and expecting a different outcome.

Open the debates.

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By KDelphi, September 20, 2008 at 4:56 pm Link to this comment

Some of the Dems—Kucinich, Feingold, Sanders—(I), Brown,—Congress and Senate—cant think of anyone else offhand. Even some fair GOP—Specter [not on everything!}

But, I still say that both parties are to blame, and, that if we dont make them “shift” they will not—they have no reason to. They will be fine. Alot of us will not, and the people in the streets will just die.

Some of the Blue Dogs , are actually more conservative when it comes to gun control, the death penalty, offshore driling. I dont know if they are “better than gop” or not.

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By Christopher Robin, September 20, 2008 at 4:15 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Ayn Rand’s “philosophy” is nearly perfect in its immorality, which makes the size of her audience all the more ominous and symptomatic as we enter a curious new phase in our society. Moral values are in flux. The muddy depths are being stirred by new monsters and witches from the deep. Trolls walk the American night. Caesars are stirring in the Forum. There are storm warnings ahead.

-Gore Vidal July 1961


“Hail and Farewell: the End of the American Empire “

excerpt:

“For the admiring Teutons he holds up an imaginary globe. “Now watch,” he says, as the emperor dissolves his empire. “Look, all of you, once more upon this tinted globe, this dream of a great empire, floating in space, driven by the slightest breath of my lips, yes, look once more upon the far-flung lands encircling the blue sea with its dancing dolphins, these rich provinces golden with wheat, these teeming cities overflowing with life, yes, the empire was once a sun, warming mankind, but at its zenith it scorched the world.  Now it is a harmless bubble, and in the hands of the emperor it dissolves into nothing. And, thus, the throne of blood is overturned!” “

-Gore Vidal April 2007

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By Virginia777, September 20, 2008 at 3:16 pm Link to this comment

yes, China has been seriously “bashed” - by “paid for”  forces, no less! They have the entire staffs of “human-rights” groups like Reporters Without Borders (that have been proven unethical), feeding the Media news feeds on a daily basis, the feeds contain “information” that bashes China and was especially prepared, for the Olympics. See here: http://www.rsf.org/article.php3?id_article=25234

I wrote about this here:

http://blog.chinationreport.com/2008/08/28/questioning-media-coverage-of-the-beijing-olympics/#comment-236

And also, to add to my previous comment, I intentionally left off “Democrats” from the list. I do believe many of these people have been working hard throughout these crazy times, trying to do “good”. It would be wrong to say that “everyone” in the political world of the 2000’s, has been greedy. Plenty of people have been selfless.

Its just that the Right, got too strong in our country.

And it got too little opposition, from the Liberals.

I wrote about my disappointment with the New Yorker, here: http://pasadenanewprogressive.blogspot.com/2008/09/world-wise.html

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By nobozos, September 20, 2008 at 3:05 pm Link to this comment

The stocks left to me by my late husband have declined in value by 30%. I’m far from wealthy, but if my loss helps Obama win in November, I’ll gladly take the loss.

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By Folktruther, September 20, 2008 at 2:53 pm Link to this comment

The problem is, that the taxpayers buting up the bad debt of the banks is only a temporary solution.  The US trade balance is still bad and the world owns trilliions of dollars of US debt.  The US must borrow still more to pay the banks what will likely be this new trillion + debt, whose interests payments must be paid in the US national budget.

Meanwhile the Dem-Gop coalition are going to INCREASE the US military, increasing the trade deficit and overall debt.  Since both parties are the tools of the ruling class, they cannot regulate their corporations in the future.  There is no way of developing centralized power in the US to restrict the unregulated plundering of the corporations.

Foreign governements and corps who buy US debt know this.  Since there are perhaps ten trillions of US debt outstanding, sooner or later there will be a run on the US dollar, everyone wanting to get into a safer currency.  China has already suggested publically a few days ago that goverments should start thinking about a world currency (the eartho?)

But in the near term historically, the American population is in a bad position.  We have lost all control of the US power system, which is lawless and unaccountable.  And militarily dangerous.  And constructing a police state to rule us. 

Somehow the US population has to be mobilized BEFORE the collapse occurs if we are not to go through an extended period of aimless violence, barbarism and conflict.  The election between the Dems and Gops merely distracts attention from this historical possibility, since their policies are similar masked by different rhetoric and personages.

This at a time when the corporations have destroyed the unions, the religions are lost in mass delusions, and the universities have sold their souls for corporate and military money.  It doesn’t look good.

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By SteveL, September 20, 2008 at 2:52 pm Link to this comment

On Left Right and Center Tony made reference to congress being the blame for banks making bad loans.  Wells Fargo and some others seem to have resisted this and had policy of not getting involved in bad loans.

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By KDelphi, September 20, 2008 at 1:57 pm Link to this comment

ocjim—How do you figure that Bernanke and Paulson are ‘handling it”?? Theyre not. WE are. And we will be for the rest of our lives. There is no excuse for either party to have not intervened sooner. Saw it coming? So did everyone else. They just hoped it woud be after the election.

Virginia777—I really belive you have something ther about China. Weapons of mass distraction, eh? I wondered why everyone was so focused on that little girl.

GW-MC and Frank Cajon—I could not agree more.

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By Tom Herz, September 20, 2008 at 1:50 pm Link to this comment

So are there any leading Democrats who have the guts to call the political hacks and Wall Street on the fact that this proves that deregulation failed and that what we have in this country is not capitalism but socialism for the rich?  that profits are privatized and losses get eaten by ordinary Americans or more aptly—we get soaked. 

Time to trade in this bankrupt system and acknowledge that if the big boys can bail out the fat cats “for the good of the country” then it is time to socialize other things—like medicine and get single payer health care for all.  Same thing with media and telecommunications and the fairness doctrine, which is why the corporate media was so quick to kill Howard Dean’s candidacy.  And that is just for starters…...

Kill the idea of privatizing Social Security.  That would have been a disaster if we had fallen for the Bush/McCain scheme.

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By Virginia777, September 20, 2008 at 1:33 pm Link to this comment

The war on terrorism has become the modern equivalent of the Roman Circus, for the Republicans and the Right, but the Liberals and the Left are also guilty.

For them, the “Circus” was the Darfur and Human Rights Abuse in China issues. Both performed the identical function: to draw people’s attention away from the failures of those who rule them.

No better case in point: the September 15th issue of the New Yorker which contains not one word on the impending financial crisis, instead has yet another critical article on China and the Olympics.

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By Frank Cajon, September 20, 2008 at 1:30 pm Link to this comment

Get used to it. Free market capitalism is over, failed. It was doomed from the start by inherent corruption over the means of production and exploitation of the proletariat. The ruling class in this country has walked off with the spoils of war for 65 years since we were united by the New Deal by a common purpose to rise from the last ruins of capitalist excess on a scale 1/100 this large. Even the most reactionary, fascist leader in the history of the world has resorted to centralized government economic planning to try and save his rich pal’s mansions, it isn’t going to be enough and only scratches the surface.
We need to make some changes in our own ways as a class. There is $1 trillion in credit card debt in this country owed to legal loan sharks that prey on workers living below the poverty line. There are nearly 8% unemployed and twice that underemployed in California, my state, which fucked around for 10 weeks and still has no budget. TV is financed by ads for SUVs, expensive name-brand pharmaceuticals, and beer ads when we cannot afford gas, pharmaceutical companies pay for DC, and alcohol is the number one cause of dementia and liver disease in the country. Banks making bad loans are being rescued, but workers’ retirement accounts, if they are among the lucky few to have one, are going to disappear; the bad loans made to those eager to buy a home were not approved by the buyers but bankers who knew they were getting their cut, damn the risk. The middle class has evaporated under the Fourth Reichstag and must realize that this is collapse has been coming, and it is the time for new age. The bourgeoisie have had their time and they have lived the good life while the workers have struggled to scrape out a living as our standard in the world has plunged under this free, corrupt market. We need to rise up in civil disobedience, take to the streets and make our voices heard that we demand a New Socialist Deal that guarantees every American worker the same access to a good life for their family.

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By ocjim, September 20, 2008 at 1:21 pm Link to this comment

Long ago scandalously punched out of the global ring, like a rope-a-dope boxer, Bush is trotted out by his handlers.

He is the free world’s champion, in name only, but that carries the obligation of appearing at critical times. What is more critical than the economic well being of the United States, albeit the world?

Never mind that his profligate reign, intentionally shrouded by a messianic facade, helped lead to the global economic turmoil, he must stagger out in front of a disinterested public, speaking like a brain-addled boxer.

Bush and Congress are like bystanders as Ben Bernanke, the Federal Reserve Chairman and Henry Paulson, Bush’s Secretary of Treasury plot a critical rescue course.

Unlike a majority of Bush’s appointments to important federal posts, two of Bush’s appointments, Paulson and Bernanke, have so far proven to be competent enough to handle the crisis.

No praise is warranted for un-impeached, disgraced president who always put politics, an autocratic ideology, and raw power above everything else.

Counting on the success of the Paulson and Bernanke plan, one can only hope that it will engineer some sanity with the triumph of what appears to be responsible and intelligent leadership in Obama, and the rejection of cynical and negative Bush policy adherents: Bush’s Mini-Me, Sarah Palin, and a cynical protégé neocon successor, John McCain.

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By Glendon Wayne, September 20, 2008 at 12:13 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The Enron Nation Runs Aground        

Just taking a cruise on the Enron nation
as It floats in misfortune on the sea of despair
buoyed up on the blue but leaking red
First class is knowing what’s not been said

For we’re the Enron nation
on uncharted New American Century seas
and we have a heavy load these days
like payloads called ‘freedom’ delivered by stealth
a short sold pay day for the empires’ health

Our course is set by back room bankers boys and such
who scheme up skirmish as a starter for a better mulch
like victims for soil, for our life blood is oil
Oil that is gushing out like avarice on the shores of need,
while the Enron nation like a predator plunder tanker…...
runs aground.

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By GW=MCHammered, September 20, 2008 at 10:52 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Sure doesn’t pay to work and contribute anymore, eh? No accountability at the top, license to steal and all that.

I want next-President accountability and separation of the parties:

“To pay for the obviously orchestrated GOP disaster, I will impose a 20% retroactive tax on the total income of all corporations and lobbyists doing business in the United States the past 8 years and any voter that voted twice for Gdubya. Those that voted GOP a third time will pay double. And in 2012, five parties will have equal time in the media. Not just the conjoined Siamese Twins.”

If the neocons get into office again, they’ll go after Social Security and their corporate buddies will finish off private retirements. Organized crime by any other name.

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By John Q Democrat, September 20, 2008 at 10:44 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Let’s recap Bush’s record:  Arbusto - failed.  Saved by Spectrum 7.  Spectrum 7 - failed.  Saved by Harkin.  United States financial markets - failing.  Saved by taxpayer money.

Why are we surprised?  Should have seen this coming.

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