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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 KDelphi, September 20, 2008 at 10:32 am Link to this comment

Leisure Suit Larry—Yeah, I guess youre right. Peopel who got no loan at all, whose houses are now devalued 20%—its still their fault. While production for the Am. worker has never been higher,—they are totally to blame for all the FTA’s that they protested. Yeah, even people who were out in the streets protesting this so-called war, are totally to blame for its failure, death and expense.

People are indeed responsible for whom they vote for—but only to a limited extent, given the “choices” we have.

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By omop, September 20, 2008 at 8:48 am Link to this comment

Forewarning is a dangerous activity when it concerns a bankers cabal that covers, New York, London, Paris, Amsterdam, Tel Aviv and DC.

For consideration the following synopsis of events in mid February 2008.

NY governor warns of ‘financial tsunami’
Thu Feb 14, 6:43 PM ET

WASHINGTON (AFP) - New York state governor Eliot Spitzer warned Thursday that bond and credit woes afflicting Wall Street and global markets could turn into a more damaging “financial tsunami.”

In testimony to the US Congress, Spitzer urged lawmakers and regulators to urgently address the bond and credit problems roiling the financial industry which have forced some big firms to writeoff billions of dollars in troubled securities.

“If we do not take effective action, this could be a financial tsunami that causes substantial damage throughout our economy,” Spitzer said, according to a transcript.

He said the financial difficulties of bond insurance companies could have a widespread effect because they insure a broad range of bonds and securities such as municipal bonds, college loans and even relate to museum budgets.

Spitzer cautioned that individual investors who own bond portfolios could also sustain losses if the industry faces further losses and writedowns.

The trillion-dollar bond insurance industry has been shaken by a lingering housing market slump which has triggered a widespread credit crunch and spilled over the bond market and stock markets.

By early March 2008, Governor Spitzer became known as Client #9 of an international prostitution conglomorate operating in the same named cities above. By the end of March 2008 New York state had a new governor.

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.

further proof tha he who risks nothing gains nothing and he who risks something may lose everything.

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By Dr. Knowitall, PhD, PhD, September 20, 2008 at 8:45 am Link to this comment

PRESIDENT PALIN.

Think about that.

PRESIDENT PALIN.

PRESIDENT PALIN.

PRESIDENT PALIN AND FIRST DUDE.

PRESIDENT PALIN AND FIRST DUDE.

Gawd Bless these Younited States of Imerrika!

If this happens, we won’t care about the Wall Street Meltdown.

Call your friends, your enemies, the police and fire departments, the ER.  Call everyone.  This can’t happen.

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By Leisure Suit Larry, September 20, 2008 at 6:32 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

One of the issues which brought us to GWB WJC and the outsourcing/importing economy which now is teetering on the brink of the Soviet style meltdown is the tendency of the liberal oligarchy to refer to our elected employees as “leaders”, or “rulers” thereby suggesting (to impressionable minds) that the power is theirs, or that they somehow control (absolutely) our destiny. Nothing could be further from the truth UNLESS our society has become lazy whining cry-babies always looking for someone to blame for their failures.

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By samosamo, September 20, 2008 at 6:26 am Link to this comment

Yeah, I wish there was a jesus and he came back and gave all the money changers their just desserts.
Read it and weep suckers, $700,000,000,000.00 to bail out the mortgage crisis and not one single criminal, crook or thief will be held accountable.
This has to at least be a part of the criminal presidency’s licking the pot clean.
Goddamn them to hell!

BREAKING NEWS: Bush administration asks Congress for $700 billion in ‘toxic mortgage’ bailout

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By Fahrenheit 451, September 20, 2008 at 5:09 am Link to this comment

Okay, problem solved, throw more money at it!  So, who’s out there with a catchers mitt?  Just everybody who’s caused this problem in the first place!
We’re being suckered again, hello?  There’s still meat on the bone; “they” haven’t got everything yet so here’s one more chance to clean the skeleton white.  My opinion is; without a real reckoning; there is no real solution.
This huge amount of money being thrown at the banking system will get lost and there will be no accounting.  I mean, look at Iraq for gawds sake!  The robber barons will finish their rape and we’ll be left with no hope of recovery.  Welcome to the real world; our wealth has been stolen completely.

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By samosamo, September 20, 2008 at 1:09 am Link to this comment

***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.***

This, believe it or not, is still the ‘unfettered free market’ at work. Only now it is in the maintain the life of the privatized public companies part of milton friedman’s grand plan of grand larceny.  ‘Roman Circus’, how true. Think of how stupid we must look to the rest of the world by acting as if bailing out these entities that have sent our economy into the toilet will correct the dive by plugging up the toilet so that it will overflow again. All we are allowing is that the money that was stolen, that we the taxpayer are going to have to pay back to keep these worthless companies/corporate blackholes in business, is just a doubling of the amount they stole in the first place.
No, these companies, insurance comp., freddies, fannies, money changers, money laundering and elitist money holders all should be investigated, put under the oversight of congress, indict-try-convict-imprison the ‘masterminds ’  of this huge theft of the american economy and then those financial institutions be sent the way of the dodo. To not to do this will further insure the grandness of the ‘Roman Circus’ that the rest of the world sees as the american economy. How does the american dollar buying just .6909 of a euro sound for now. How long before a wheelbarrow of dollars is what will buy a loaf of bread?
The USA has been turned into a mass mental basket case made to believe that the major threat to us will be a bunch of arab/muslim terrorists that are wave after wave trying to sneak into this country to blow it up. And this gives those assholes in the white house and the complicit boot lickers in congress the impetus to keep up the facade of the out side terrorists as the main threat to our national security when it is those that are breaking sweat to bail out all their buddies that are turning belly up in an economy that doesn’t work anymore for the good of the people that are the real threat to our national security. Still the old ‘get as much as you can while the gittin is good’ thief mentality at work. So if the people don’t demand the NON-bailing out of these companies, then we all need to just go look in the mirror to see the real cause of this meltdown. And for those that think the dow jones is the true indicator of our economy, just keep checking it and see how long our double dose of money will last before we find ourselves another trillion dollars in debt.
Believe it or not, shutting down the federal reserve will end a bunch of this robbery right away. At the least, it will get rid of the part that just keeps shoveling our money into a bigger and bigger disaster down the road. Oh, how inconvenient that will be for us poor, poor americans.
Link to value of dollar vs. euro:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/6291090.stm

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By oldhip, September 19, 2008 at 11:56 pm Link to this comment

Please forgive this second posting, but talk about ‘forewarned’...
Check out what John Stauber and Sheldon Rampton had to say
back in 2005/2006, if you haven’t seen it yet. . .

“The Best War Ever”

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By oldhip, September 19, 2008 at 11:08 pm Link to this comment

Mr. Scheer’s article is originally dated from 2002 - I had ‘long ago’ also posted…
“Can’t Say We Weren’t Warned…”

Now there is a seriously excellent political tool available, to help anyone who still cares, for which I’ve posted a short how-to-use posting on understanding how deeply shared the boards of directors are of the corporatists that now control what is left of “our” Constitutional Demoracy…
“An Excellent Site:  If You Doubt They Share Boards of Directors, Then Link To. . .  They Rule…”

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By KDelphi, September 19, 2008 at 10:58 pm Link to this comment

Gawd, Frank, I never knew we agreed on so much.

trouble—I keep noticing the old, rich white guys in the article’s pic too. It’s not very pleasant. So much for the “egalitarian mkt”.

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By troublesum, September 19, 2008 at 10:41 pm Link to this comment

Paulsen’s solution to the crisis may be unconstitutional on the basis of the first amendment’s separation of church and state clause.  There is no religion in America like the religion of the stock exchange.  The market is our god and we are all supposed to bow down, but government sponsorship of religion is unconstitutional.

Those people on the floor of the stock exchange look like evangelicals at a revival meeting running the gamut of emotions.

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By Frank Cajon, September 19, 2008 at 10:28 pm Link to this comment

This is only the beginning. The fascist Bush regime has been stealing from the workers of this country to feed the wealthy, laundering money to oil profiteers, arms dealers, war contractors, utility giants, and pharmaceuticals while riding the backs of the working class of America for eight years. Meanwhile, in their black glass sewer of a city, the suits have been screwing the consumers and shrinking middle class because of no oversight, using the corruption tricks perfected under the demented bastard who let them pillage the savings and loans twenty years ago.
Herr Chancellor Bush miscalculated on how long this mascarade could continue before it collapsed into the smoke and mirrors it was built from, and it burned even the thieves who were collecting $50 million bonuses six months ago for losing money-his brothers in arms. So, where does this reactionary turn? To the workers, the ones who have financed his military fiasco while he eliminated taxes for the rich to the tune of over $1 trillion, he pisses on the real working heroes of the country with $600 and Sarah Palin.
The time has come, NOW, for a New Deal. A New Socialist Deal. Not a bullshit temporary, pretend lip service to regulation of finance and banking: a mobilization of the resources of this country to the people. We need more regulation, of everything, and with it government responsibility-for employment of every able-bodied citizen, health care for all, paid pensions for all, guaranteed living wage, withdrawl of all troops from foreign occupation and drastic reduction in defense spending, increased government involvement to renew our crumbling infrastructure, and accountability for failures like the one we face and now are being forced to endure the risk from, even though it was none of our doing.
For all the platitudes, both major political parties are at fault and are virtually identical in that they are as corrupt as the system that has now crumbled under the weight of its own greed. As a country we need a strong socialist movement, at the grass roots level, and soon. The time for class struggle is now, and a New Socialist Deal is already being begun, to place the means of production and governmental power back in the hands of the workers of America, where it belongs. Part of this will involve change, and not the change that these ‘candidates’ talk about. We need a paradigm shift to one in which there are no billionaires, no multimillion dollar political campaigns, no paid lobbyists, and no oil companies and pharmaceutical monopolies price-fixing astronomical profits. No bailouts of high-end Wall Street banks when there are tent cities of homeless in our streets. Everyone in this country will have a job and will pay taxes equally in the society we need, and in return for their contribution will be guaranteed safety, health, well-being, education, and freedom-as it is written in the Constitution, not some law passed by fascists wanting to keep their party in power and funnel more cash to their wealthy cabal of backers. This sound like a Utopia? It is already happening in several countries, and is inevitable here. The writing is on the wall, if we don’t read it and take action to change this country, it may be too late. The failure of the communist experiment in the Soviet bloc 20 years ago should be a solemn reminder that radical change happens, and quickly, when corruption spreads through an inherently flawed political and economic system and we are seeing the beginning of the end for the government by the rich, for the rich, at the expense of the working class. There will be, in our children’s lifetimes, if we act now, an America, with one class: the workers, working as one in a revolutionary Socialist New Deal. The first step is oust the ruling junta from power, and get a new order in office, and send an unmistakable message from the streets in a general strike.

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By GW=MCHammered, September 19, 2008 at 10:27 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

New World Order skid marks all over it.

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By kath cantarella, September 19, 2008 at 10:12 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

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

So, two things…how do you stop or limit that financing?

And how do you inform and educate the ‘gullible’ public?

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By KDelphi, September 19, 2008 at 9:57 pm Link to this comment

Like my dad used to say when he worked at WPAFB—if there is a collapse or a nuclear explosion, pray to be gone in the first round. You dont want to be one of the last two people fighting over the last potato.

On the other hand—we could split it.

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Misfiteye's avatar

By Misfiteye, September 19, 2008 at 9:45 pm Link to this comment

Big B said, “It may finally be time. Pull all that money out of your already anemic 401K and stock up on canned food and shotguns!”

I’ve been raising and canning my own food for some time now and I’m thinking real hard about that shot gun.

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.

So keep the old skills alive and garden like your life depends on it.

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By troublesum, September 19, 2008 at 8:40 pm Link to this comment

The solution to the crisis means that government no longer exists for the common good; it exists only for the support of finance capitalism which is the definition of facism.  There isn’t any money left for anything else anyway (starve the beast). 

Once the economic foundation of facism has been established can the social implications of facism be far behind?  I dont think you can have a smoothly functioning facist state with a left wing press that questions everything.  I expect that what there is of a leftist press, especially on the internet, will be shut down quicker than Amy Goodman was arrested in Denver.

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By chuck, September 19, 2008 at 8:30 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Pundits on CNN, CNBC, and local stations are all spouting the same garbage: Its the low income borrowers fault who fail to pay their mortgage which precipitated this meltdown. Meanwhile the price of gold has increased and gun dealers are having a fire sale. The last eight years has been the years of the robber barons, no bid contracts, massive deregulation. The message seems clear enough: We got it and we are not giving back. The Civil War was about money and freedom of the slave was icing on the cake.

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By GW=MCHammered, September 19, 2008 at 8:26 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

HTTP 404 ERROR:

Whoopsie! The Free Market Democracy called USA Cannot Be Found - It May No Longer Exist! Desperately Seeking Non-Alcoholic Candidates Currently On Anti-Psychotics AND Mood Stabilizers.

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By Big B, September 19, 2008 at 6:31 pm Link to this comment

It may finally be time. Pull all that money out of your already anemic 401K and stock up on canned food and shotguns!

The end may truly be near!

Does any one out there think McCain or Barry are up to the challenge, the gauntlet that will be the next fours years?

Yea, I thought not.

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By David White, September 19, 2008 at 5:44 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

my 2 cents on the timing of alqaeda video to divert our attention from the real issues at home:

I think power hungry maniacs divert public attention from the main issues at home by fabricating these kind of videos.

Here is the pattern of extremist republicans for the past 8 years:

1. Create a crisis
2. Shock the nation
3. Divert attention
4. Rip off common people of their earnings by giving them a false sense of security.

This gives these power hungry maniacs a perfect opportunity to do the looting abroad as well in the shape of war venture.

Go ahead maniacs, maximize profit.  But never forget that this money is blood money and is heavily cursed by the victims.

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By Marc Schlee, September 19, 2008 at 5:21 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

By 2002 the mainstream business media were SHRIEKING that meltdown was imminent in the mortgage market.

There’s no excuse for allowing the collapse of the U.S. economy to happen.

No amnesty, no pardons.

Pursue the Bush administration beyond January 20 until they are brought to justice.

FREE AMERICA

REVOLUTIONARY (DIRECT) DEMOCRACY

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By yellowbird2525, September 19, 2008 at 5:12 pm Link to this comment

Not to worry folks: our less than honest criminals in the Congress who are supposedly lawmakers who have been operating outside the law for some time now have lots of $ hidden in the “new” money: amero; and yes: Reagan actually said part of what is being done today: it is a 1 party system with both agreeing; the only one decevied is the public; America the deceived: NOT democracy: dictatorship; as stated by Woodrow Wilson in WW1: we are no longer the land of the free: GET THAT FOLKS? nor even the land of majority vote: rather under the rules & dictates of a few dominant men. SO: WHY do the folks in Iceland live longer & live better? and in Sweden, Denmark, Norway, England, etc? cuz they have a RESPONSIBLE GOVERNMENT that is FOR THE COUNTRY & FOR THE PEOPLE; golly gee willikers! NOT for Corp Criminals who had all laws regarding THEM removed & changed so THEY (the folks running them) can never be held responsible nor the folks profitting them them; so: WHY is floride still in the water supply here? WHY is your home full of toxic waste chemicals? WHY is even the dryer sheets full of chemicals all designed to HARM you to the nth degree so that the Pharmas can get 600,000 xs the cost of the drugs they PAY the docs to fill prescriptions? WHY were guns held in the face of folks selling vitamin C years ago? WHY do the PEOPLE of this country have NOTHING when all other civilized countries have all kinds of benefits & even (gasp) Reagan went to Germany for cancer treatment & lived 17 more years but it is denied here in USA? $ for the wealthy folks: crooks & criminals running the show: bought & paid for Corps long ago; all other countries SEE the folks of the USA ENSLAVED with no nothing to show for their tax $; & WE are running around the globe to FORCE this enslavement on everyone else; haven’t you figured out yet that this country is not & never has been CIVILIAN RUN nor RUN for the BEST of the country or the PEOPLE? all going according to THEIR agenda: which is NEVER for the benefit of the land or the people.

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By Quinty, September 19, 2008 at 4:04 pm Link to this comment

“The modern conservative is engaged in one of man’s oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness.”

John Kenneth Galbraith

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By KDelphi, September 19, 2008 at 3:56 pm Link to this comment

diamond—You are correct that Bush & Co. have greatly worsened the de-regulation problem. But, it actually began in ernest with Reagan, who soft-shoed and poor-stage-acted his way into the hearts of working class people.

We are the most de-regulated country in the “old western alliance” and we also have the most poor people.

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By diamond, September 19, 2008 at 3:44 pm Link to this comment

After the Depression FDR changed the rules so that banks could either be investment bank or lending banks but not both. This rule was changed by the free market, de-regulation nut jobs who have always ruled the Republican party about six years ago. It only took six years for the banks, now freed of regulation and allowed to both lend and speculate to once again plunge the world into financial chaos. The Chinese have $400 billion invested in Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac which is why the free market maniacs couldn’t let it go down. The bad news is that there are banks so big the US government CAN’T bail them out - only the Chinese government can.

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By Aaron, September 19, 2008 at 3:40 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Bush appeared on the tv three times since Saturday morning.  In all three he read prepared remarks to absolutely no one, except the person holding the camera.  They tried to mask it with extraneous noises.  On one they had the sound of a UPI/AP teletype machine.  On yesterday’s on C-SPAN, one of his neutered aide’s asked a question and camera lens was caught in the C-SPAN camera as it panned George walking back inside.

How bad can you get?

To rewrite a WWII song,
Karl Rove has only one ball.
Cheney has two but they are very small.
Rumsfeld had something sim’lar, and
poor old Georgie has no balls at all.

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By kath cantarella, September 19, 2008 at 3:38 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

How can Obama even get elected in your insane current system without currying favour with the public enemy? After the election, if the citizens do their job properly, his populism can win out. If the citizens do their job. In a real democracy, the citizens’ job is Obama’s job.
yeah, i’m keeping it simple for my own sake.

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By KDelphi, September 19, 2008 at 3:16 pm Link to this comment

The failure of the so-called “party of the people” to speak up until now, will eventually make socialism inevitable.

The only thing stopping it now is the “upper class liberal well-intentioned blues”. Give them another chance! All you have to lose is your life.

Even FDR (who was called a “class traitor” by his fellow elites) made certain to preserve the capitalist system. The rich should have LOVED him! But too much is never enough for them.

Both candidates took more than is sanely ascceptable from Wal Street. Now, they want us to bail out Wall St., with “minimal” regulation.If we do not take advantage of this situation and DEMAND that the people who purpetrated the assault on the middle class, and, continuing war on the poor,  we are doomed.ASnd, so is capitalism. Which woudl be OK with me, if so many peopel wouldnt have to freeze and starve in the process.

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By cyrena, September 19, 2008 at 3:06 pm Link to this comment

Ah Folktruther,

My favorite partisan hack…so accomplished at selective spin and the best cherrypicker since rus numbers.

Here’s what Scheer writes first:

•  “Since the so-called Reagan Revolution, powerful corporate interests have succeeded in profoundly damaging the foundation of a properly regulated economy.”

Now of course anyone over the age of 40 remembers the so-called Regan Revolution, which we called Reganomics. Many didn’t survive. And let’s face it, that was the beginning of the end. Seems like I remember Regan being a repiglican.

THEN Scheer writes:

•  ’TO BE FAIR (caps mine) 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.

And, to be fair, this is true. I always did say Clinton was the best REPUBLICAN president we ever had, and I even voted for him, twice. (didn’t know any better I guess).

So, therein lies the problem with racist and partisan hacks like yourself. You’ll live the delusion in your own minds, and wrongly assign blame where your bias chooses to put it. That’s how we keep the destruction going. It isn’t a whole lot different than a misdiagnosis of anything. When you blame your feet for the fact that your head hurts, you cut off your feet, and then can’t understand why your head still hurts.

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By yellowbird2525, September 19, 2008 at 2:30 pm Link to this comment

the leaders of this nation have stole from the people for years: not ONE promise did they keep to ANY Indian tribe: one tribe they claim they “lost” $100m; another has yet to be paid a CENT for all the oil on their land: http://www.democracynow.org; repeatedly thru out history: a book by the way titled License to steal was about Wall Street to took lessons from the criminals on Capitol Hill; http://www.pbs.com; bill moyers journal; capitol crimes; Why do people in Iceland live better, live longer? asks the commercial: GOOD QUESTION americans! why do people there, in Norway, Sweden, Demark, England, Austailia etc live SO MUCH BETTER & longer than here in USA? WHY are there 3rd world countries in the world today? Since Grandpa’s day, to my daughters: one tax for “aid” to a country; sometimes 2 for Mexican “ag workers” then for their schools: REPEATEDLY on top of all the taxes NEVER meant to be paid for by the people but by PROFITS from BIG BUSINESSES! Instead, the PEOPLE are taxed, & now paying the Corps taxes & this nation is RUN by Corps who are exempt from being held responsible for ANYTHING! and then the Supreme Court of the land ALWAYS is on hand to say: this is to much! or NO WAY will THEY be held responsible; the 2 parties are agreed on everything: & it is always AGAINST the people of the USA & for the Corps & the wealthy. YOU are NOT the “free” you are the DECEIVED! and now our nation is using the men/women to promote enforced slavery to Corps globally. The Iraqi’s said: WE THOUGHT IT WAS FREEDOM! It is NOT. It is DICTATORSHIP hundreds of times WORSE than under Saddam Hussain! (WHY do you thing the MEDIA is so silent & REFUSES to allow pictures of the rioting there?) the “insurgents” are nothing more than Iraqi’s wanting to be free from slavery to Corps like the people in USA are; the WHOLE WORLD knows it; isn’t it TIME the people did?

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By Folktruther, September 19, 2008 at 1:44 pm Link to this comment

Scheer reports that the repeal of Roosevelt’s regulation-welfare reforms began with Clinton.  The Dems were largely silent while the regulation-welfare aspect of government was gutted, and the repressive military-pollice aspect swollen.

Now its time agaain to vote for the Dems, since Dem progressives appear to enjoy being shit on by their leaders.

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By AGS8838, September 19, 2008 at 1:42 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Being in the public health and health policy field, I would simply like to comment that the $85 billion the US govt. gave to AIG after less than two day’s thought (and no public or congressional debate) could have funded health insurance for 10 years for the nation’s 44 million uninsured individuals. 

Instead, the Administration chose to prop up a private sector company, probably in violation of the law, certainly in violation of free market principles.  Sure, AIG has a lot of customers, but there are a thousand smaller companies that would have jumped at the chance to provide services to these customers. 

Didn’t Milton Friedman say that if a company is perceived as too big to fail then it probably should be broken up.  What does the anti-trust division of the Justice Department have to say about any of this?

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By G.Anderson, September 19, 2008 at 1:32 pm Link to this comment

Panem et Circes…. or something like that my Latin is a little rusty..

There is no doubt in my mind that Greenspan, pumped up the housing market, as a way of supporting American Deluions in Iraq.

It is unlikely that a county in recession would have been happy about spending billons far from our shores.

So the economy was kept pumped up, higher and higher, for those not left out of the Market, it was good times, and for those at the top of the market good times will continue, rest assured.

Those who perpetuated this debt will be absolved of their sins, for our own good, and go on to reap cash reward from the sale of their respective derivative ponzi schemes, to someone else foolish enough to buy them.

We will be told again and again, to look at Chrysler, we bailed them out and made a profit in the process. Disregard the fact that Chysler is failing again, and sold to Mercedes Benz, then back to the company of the same name, as the Dog that Guards the Gates of Hell.

God only knows if the Tax payer will be asked to bail them out yet again, because it seems that Cerubus, no longer guards the gates of hell, but is in the process of going under itself.

And the Big three are asking for more money, from you the taxpayer.

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By cruxpuppy, September 19, 2008 at 1:25 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Progressive critics regularly denounce corporate greed and government malfeasance which is not surprising since we are captives of a corporate oligarchy that calls itself a “democracy”.

But never does any progressive critic address the real cause of all this corruption, and that is surprising since it is so obvious.

That root cause is the private financial system, the so-called Federal Reserve System with all its member banks throughout the nation. It is a private financial system that is unaccountable to the people of the nation it serves.

Where did Enron get all the credit to perpetrate its huge fraud? Where do all the hot shot derivative junkies in red suspenders get all the credit they need to gamble away the substance of the American banking system?

They get it by means of the cronyism practiced by the private owners of the financial system. The first in this network of cronyism was Allan Greenspan (and is Ben Bernanke today ), but the Fed chief is just the most visible, the first among insiders, as it were.

No progressive confronts this elephant in the room. They all make up a chorus of complaint about the symptoms, but none seems to recognize the cause that drops huge piles of steaming manure on the floor.

It is a lack of intelligence, or a lack of courage? Who knows? Give us a strong leader like FDR, they cry! And if we hearken back to the fight FDR waged against the cronyism of the private owners of capital, we may recall that his administration faced opposition the likes of which one finds only in banana republics. An attempted coup, a fascist coup by some titans of industry, for example.

You don’t mess with the privately owned financial system, you don’t mess with the FED if you’re a Democrat or a Republican. You make deals with it, like you do the devil.

So we might conclude that the failure to confront the cause of the problem is a lack of courage, because people like Robert Scheer are not stupid.

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By TAO Walker, September 19, 2008 at 11:46 am Link to this comment

This old Indian wonders what Robert Scheer might have to say about the fatal flaws in the allamerican character that has rendered theamericanpeople such easy pickings for the ruthless predators presently sopping-up the very last of the “liquidity” left in the hands of their slap-happy prey.  Until tame Two-leggeds here look to their own sorry “selves” as the real source of their problems, the privateering classes will continue to have their rapacious and murderous way with them.

“War” has always been a smokescreen for the most egregious forms of profiteering….and things much worse.  It is their own self-serving attitudes and most cherished beliefs that has made theamericanpeople such suckers for the “easy money” salespitch, and got them altogether into this mostly self-inflicted predicament.  So how come neither of the “CHANGE” candidates seems to see any need for changing those things?

If americans really want out of this mess, the ONLY way is for them to get together and clean it up!  The place to start is with the terminal stupidity of their own behavior as the inevitable natural consequence of their artificially induced allamerican “self-image.” 

The global gangbangers’ve named their poison, and have now taken a lethal dose.  The rest of you, Sisters and Brothers, could use a good dose of organic functional integrity. Us surviving free wild natural Peoples have been saving that for you.  Come and get it!

HokaHey!

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