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Fleecing What’s Left of the Treasury

Posted on Sep 21, 2008
AP photo / Susan Walsh

Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson

By Chris Hedges

The lobbyists and corporate lawyers, the heads of financial firms and the crooks who control Wall Street, all those who spent the last three decades assuring us that government was part of the problem and should get out of the way, are now busy looting the U.S. treasury. They are also working feverishly inside the Democratic and Republican parties to blunt any effective regulatory reform as they pass on their distressed assets to us. The process is stunning in its hubris and mendacity, and two of the most potent enablers of this unprecedented act of corporate welfare are John McCain and Barack Obama.

  The federal government, reeling backward from the meltdown of financial markets, is now considering taking responsibility for the bad assets of numerous financial companies. But if that intervention does not include robust new mechanisms of regulation, accountability and control we will see nothing more than a massive taxpayer-funded bailout of stockholders and the financial industry.

  The rhetoric of the two presidential candidates about the crisis has been filled with pious outrage about the abuses of Wall Street and short on actual solutions. John McCain and Barack Obama know, after all, who funds their campaigns. The financial industry has given $22.5 million in the current election cycle to Obama and $19.6 million to McCain, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. And the financial industry has come around to collect. Two of the biggest financial groups in Washington, the Financial Services Roundtable and the Mortgage Bankers Association, have been holding meetings with McCain and Obama’s economic advisers. They are working with the campaigns to protect the unregulated power of financial industries and at the same time to shift bad debt to taxpayers. The Wall Street Journal reported that the Financial Services Roundtable, made up of the very banks and firms that got us into this mess, has developed draft legislation. The Roundtable has called a meeting this week with the chief executives of more than 50 banks, brokerages and insurers. The three-day meeting includes private, closed-door sessions on Thursday with Obama economic adviser Ian Soloman and McCain adviser Ike Brannon. Those hovering around Obama—economists like Paul Volcker, Robert Rubin, Lawrence Summers and Laura Tyson—bear as much responsibility for the dismantling of government regulation as those advising McCain.

If the financial-services industry is able to suck us dry, our assets, from our homes to our retirement investments, will continue to tumble. Taxes will go up. Jobs will be lost.  The grim economic indicators will get worse. The dollar, which has already lost about a third of its value against the euro, will continue to plummet. The rate of foreclosures, one in every 416 U.S. households in August, will skyrocket. Consumer spending, the engine of the U.S. economy, will continue to decline. Industrial production, which has fallen for three consecutive quarters, will fall further. Unemployment, which shot up to 6.1 percent in August from 5.7 percent in July, will get worse. These tremors presage an earthquake.

Ralph Nader, who has spent his adult life battling corporations, understands more about the rise of the corporate state and the steady fleecing of American citizens by corporations than anyone else in the country. The core of his message is that Republicans and Democrats are hostage to corporate power.


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Nader warned in a letter to Congress on July 23 that the federal government’s bank insurance fund may be insufficient to handle the developing crisis in the banking industry. The letter was, at the time, greeted with indifference and ridicule. Rep. Spencer Bachus, R-Ala., at a congressional hearing, mentioned the letter and assured those present that “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.”

Two months later our federal bank insurance fund, which insures our bank deposits, is being swiftly emptied. The collapse of a huge commercial bank, such as Bank of America, which has assumed control of Merrill Lynch’s losses with no real idea of how extensive these losses are, could see ordinary depositors wiped out.

Nader warned eight years ago that the Federal National Mortgage Association (Fannie Mae) and the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (Freddie Mac) were about to tank like the savings and loan industry of the 1980s and ’90s. Because his warnings were ignored, taxpayers today face losing billions of dollars to cover these bad debts. 

Nader, in a letter to Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Christopher Cox in 2006, criticized the exorbitant salaries of government-sponsored enterprise executives Jamie Gorelick, Daniel Mudd, Robert J. Levin and Timothy Howard. He noted in his letter that their financial incentives were in direct conflict with consumer financial security. A grave moral hazard was created by the accounting manipulations they sanctioned, Nader said. These manipulations benefited their personal wealth, yet there was no penalty for being caught.

Nader has called for an immediate halt to the increase in the national debt. He demands an end to corporate subsidies and unconditional taxpayer bailouts of corporations. And he has called for aggressive prosecution of corporate criminals.

“Given the contrast between the ‘free market’ ideology of the Republicans and the corporate or state socialism that is their increasing practice, the time is ripe for full congressional hearings next year on the organized power, greed and lack of regulation that is shaking the foundations of Wall Street,” Nader said in prepared remarks delivered to editors at The New York Times’ Washington bureau.

Wages of Rebellion: The Moral Imperative of Revolt, By Chris Hedges, Truthdig Columnist and Winner of the Pulitzer Prize -- Get Your Autographed Copy Today Also Available! Truthdig Exclusive DVD of Chris Hedges' Wages of Rebellion Lecture The World As It Is: 
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By troublesum, September 25, 2008 at 7:41 pm Link to this comment

The concept of “spoiler” does not exist in any other democracy in the world.  Most healthy democracies have a half dozen major parties.  Only England, following the lead of the US has narrowed the political process down to two parties because it allows the elites to manage the government in their interests.  How is it possible that the democratic party can represent the views and interests of everyone who is not a republican or vice versa.  This is simply a mechanism for those who control the country to maintain that control.  A spoiler is someone who is a threat to those in control.  When democrats lose elections because they could not persuade enough people to vote for them, they need someone to blame rather than face the simple truth about their lack of support.  Gore was his own worst enemy in 2000.  When asked in the first debate if he thought W was qualified to be president, he lied and said “yes.”  The race may have been over at that point.

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By Bill Jones, September 25, 2008 at 3:07 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Since the federal reserve act was passed in 1913 the U.S. has had central planning of the money supply. Since FDR stole Americans gold in 1934 money has consisted only of scraps of worthless Government mandated paper. Since the rest of the “new deal” was perpetrated the entire economic system has been that ungodly marriage of government and corporatism known as fascism. it was the government that created the sub-prime market in 1977 with the Comunity Reinvestment Act” that forced banks to lend to deadbeats. It was the Government appointed Alan Greenspan who flooded the US with artificially low rates and massively inflated growth in the money supply and the government created Fannie and Freddie (headed by a corrupt bunch of opportunistic political looters) who set the rest.

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By mike in memphis, September 25, 2008 at 1:49 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I get tired of all the whiners complaining about Nader spoiling the 2000 election. 1) Gore “lost” Florida by appx 550 votes, yet there were at least 6 other candidates who drew that many votes. Nader being one of em. 2) Gore could not even win HIS OWN state, nor Clintons 3) Gore won the popular vote.

Ralph Nader will get my vote and I voted for Bush.

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By Sodium, September 25, 2008 at 1:45 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

For those who are interested in knowing how exactly the the presidential election of 2004 was stolen from John Kerry,I strongly suggest reading the following well documented book:

Mark Miller

In fact,Ralph Nader was not even a factor in the 2004
presidential election since the total number of votes he could get was less than a million votes because most of his supporters,including me,were eager to get rid of baby Bush and Uncle Cheney;and hence they voted for John Kerry.

Again,blaming Nader for the loss of the election by John Kerry does not hold water.I believe that John Kerry gave up too early about Ohio where the big big
theft took place,in addition to other places.

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By Sodium, September 25, 2008 at 11:48 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Subject:Who Defeated Al Gore in 2000 Election was the
American Muslim Bloc Vote,NOT RALPH NADER.

I am going to vote for Obama,not Ralph Nader.But I feel
that I must set the historic records straight as I know
it,to be just fair to the transparent and pure Ralph Nader.

The following quote is taken from an article published in the January/February issue of 2001 of the Washington Report On Middle East Affairs magazine.The article was written by Paul Findley,a former Congressman from Illinois,for more than 20 years:


“American Muslims Demonstrate Unity,Influence With Historic Bloc Vote” by Paul Findley.

George W. Bush should thank Florida Muslims for opening his way to to the White House.Responding to a national campaign,they discarded normal Democratic Party allegiance and voted as a bloc for the Republican from Texas,providing him with a statewide net gain of more than 64,000 votes.

Had they not voted as a bloc,vice president Al Gore would have emerged as the clear winner shortly after the polls closed on Nov.7.There would have been no records,no long divisive wrangling in state and federal courts.Even with dimpled ballots left uncounted,Gore’s Florida total would have substantially topped the majority of the nation’s electoral votes and quick certification as president-elect.

A June poll showed a slight national Muslim preference for Gore,but an intense campaign that began on Sept.3 transformed Muslim sympathies into a nine-to-one landslide for Bush when votes were counted,in Florida,the state that proved pivotal in the ultimate certification of the president-elect,
Bush’s Muslims margin was even greater.

The importance of Muslim bloc voting arises from its
magnitude,as well as its focus.Best estimates put the national Muslim population at seven million,70 as the
percentage of those eligible to vote,and 65 as the percentage of those eligible who actually voted.This means that the turnout of Muslims on Nov.7 came to
2.3 million.


In the rest of the article,Mr. Findley mentioned that the reason for the shift of Muslim voters from Gore to Bush was due to the fact that Gore canceled a meeting with their representatives,while Bush met with them and listened to their concerns.

To read the rest of the article(extremely interesting),please Google:

Paul Findley’s article in the Washington Report on Middle East Affairs magazine issue of January/February 2001.

Then roll the thread to “The Bloc Vote and the 2000 Election”.Click number 25,article entitled “American Muslims Demonstrate Unity,Influence With Historic Bloc Vote” by Paul Findley.

Therefore,it seems to me it really does NOT make sense to blame Ralph Nader for Al Gore and his party’s failure in allowing themselves to be captive by certain forces of special interest for which they ignored the American Muslim voters.

Ralph Nader has full right to run for the sole purpose of calling the attention of the public to the short-comings and deficiencies of the two major parties,just as Dennis Kucinich had done in the primary,Ron Paul and Bob Barr have chosen to do currently in the national election.And I will vote,as an Idependent,for Barack Obama on November4,2008.So will my wife,in spite of our admiration for Ralph’s
transparency,purity and personal integrity in hands and deeds

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By Doug, September 25, 2008 at 10:19 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Shepard, how is it possible that you can blame Nader for Bush winning the last two elections? That notion is just obsurd. The people that should be blamed for the last 8 years should be the very people that voted for Bush. First off, Gore won, plan and simple, Gore won the election, so dont blame Nader for the tuck-tail and run actions of Gore and the Democrats when the election was stole from them.  Second, if you go back and look at the total number of votes cast in each state during the 2000 & 2004 elections, there is not one state where the electoral votes would have changed had all the Nader supporters voted for Gore or Kerry. (This assumption that all Nader supporters would have voted for either one of these candidates had Nader not been running is naive. I can personally speak for myself and my father that they would not have gotten our votes). And finally, Nader was not even a factor in the 2004 elections because a lot of people were so outraged from Bush’s first four years in office that they were scared, and voted for the lesser of two evils. The only people whom voted for Nader were the people who actually stuck to their convictions and morals and voted for the best candidate.  So all in all, all of you so called liberals need to stop blaming Nader for the current situation and start putting the blame where it belongs, the right-wing neo-con religous zealot conservatives. And if Democrats really want our support, they need to start shifting their interests away from corporate america and start fighting for the people, until this happens they will never get my vote.

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By Sepharad, September 24, 2008 at 11:28 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Lots of interesting ideas here, esp. Frank, KDelphi, Fahrenheit 451, troublesum. I DO blame Nader for the Democrats losing the last couple of elections, but he is what he is and he can’t change because he admires his own purity even more than Hedges and some of you do.

In this election, though, I’d blame anyone who voted for him even more.

Obama is far from my first or even comfortable choice—according to the NYT, he gets even more funding from the financial industry than McCain does. But if McCain/Palin wins, it will be a nightmare, our country led by a crazy, irrational old man (and that’s being optimistic: we could be stuck with Sarah, a crazy but alas young woman). Hard though it may be to believe, things WILL get much worse with another Republican administration. (Not that McCain and Palin would be able to attack Iran: with what’s left of the national treasury, they’d be lucky to muster a few pea-shooters.) Instead of Cheney shaking his fist at Iran, we’ll have Palin in Alaska looking across the melting ice at Russia, trying to remember what Kissinger told her.

Obama has a decent heath program, is interested in investing in research, education, and alternative energy technologies that at least will put a few million people to work.

Noah, leaving the country would be a satisfying gesture, but likely not be much use—U.S. economic traumas are going to damage of those countries you might prefer to live in.

Cyrnea and Frank are right. We have to do the deal, preferably with provisions for how taxpayers may get something for their money that they want for a change. The people responsible for this should be tried and punished for what they did. Prison time is too easy: they’d just write their memoirs. Why not give them the approximate amount of money a laid-off worker has to take care of his family and let them scramble to get through the next day, the next week, 20-30 years. And no cheating.

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By cyrena, September 24, 2008 at 7:33 pm Link to this comment

By Frank Cajon, September 24 at 3:00 pm

Frank Cajon,

Just wanted to thank you for the superb post. Yes, they can and should do the deal, and that’s what we should get out of it. They should be lucky to escape with their lives, and that’s only because I don’t really believe in the death penalty.

But first, do the deal. Then, we lock them up.

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By KDelphi, September 24, 2008 at 5:44 pm Link to this comment

That is alot of the problem—the rules have changed!!

I read some of the “subprime mortgage” deals that they sold to old people, disabled, minorities. They were nearly impossible to understand. The part where the ‘bank” checks a box that says that they can “sel your loan to whomever they want” was particularly confusing.

But, everyoen kept saying “Oh I’d never be that stupid”. Well, now the value of everyone’s house is crap.

Why dose it always have to hit the RICH before anyone in DC will DO ANYTHING!! Never mind…

They knew—all they had to do was drive aroudn an urban neighborhood. For years.

And, now that they might be hurt, they want us to take out a big bill, so that they can HONESTLY say that they “cant afford any social programs”. They have to “privitize social security”. They cannot afford SCHIP!

Well, like Sepharad—I say fu*k ‘em! As articulatley as possible!

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By Sepharad, September 24, 2008 at 5:17 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I didn’t think there was anything anyone could say to encapsulate the overall arrogant disgustingness of this bailout request, but Paulson, I think did it. In the NYTimes story today, angry (finally!!!) congressmen said that if they did anything at all they would only do it if the government gets to take warrants (i.e. equity) for the taxpayer bucks the megabucks masters of the universe are asking for. Paulson had the bloody nerve to say he thought that if the proviso of warrants was presented, some of the failing banks and investment houses would choose to not participate. I was reading this aloud to my husband, and spontaneously we both said “Well then f—- ‘em.”  Not terribly articulate but the only possible rejoider. I hope.

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By Frank Cajon, September 24, 2008 at 4:00 pm Link to this comment

We sit and watch, as they scurry, cockroaches in a kitchen that suddenly has had the lights turned on. While the various corporate mouthpieces churn out 24 hour ‘news reports’, the Chancellor prepares to make a Big Brother speech, and both criminal parties play cover ass in DC while in the back room deals are made to pass a heist of the American dream with full complicity, so that they can appear to have plausible deniability if it goes tits up.
The bottom line has not changed. The banks are broke, and the government has shot its load in Iraq, having coopted every dime of our resouces to Bourgeoisie gluttons for 8 years while paying for a trillion dollar war with tax cuts for the wealthy ruling class and bleeding the working class of this country dry. Now, the new ruler Paulsen has stepped from his role in the shadows of influence peddling and proposes that the workers of America fork over every dime of a trillion dollar buyout for Wall St and Main St.

Fine. Do the deal, but nothing is free and there are conditions: Paulsen, every CEO on Wall St, and every negligent Fed in the SEC gets indicted for conspiracy to commit securities fraud and held on $1,000,000 bail. Bush, Cheney, and the cabal behind them should be tried by Congress for high crimes and imprisoned after conviction. All bonuses and golden umbrellas paid to the corporate execs failing to profit come back and are put into a fund for relief of stressed mortgages belonging to the working class. If there is a government buyout, it must be for stock and the dividends go to the workers and citizens. All future decisions about economic bailouts must have participation by a committee of organized labor and will be transparent, with full accountability for peforming under centralized, nationwide economic planning with the good of the working class and country as a whole as the prime indicator rather than shareholder profits. Congress members will not be permitted to own stock in Wall Street companies and make decisions that direct the resources of capital belonging to working class members to rescue Bourgeoisie leeches-there will be no more of this serving two masters. This is our money now our means of production, our capital. The Proletariat is being told that it must finance a Socialist economic revamp; the price is a Socialist New Deal. Let it collapse and see if they don’t come to us again, too late. The Bourgeousie are cunning but have grown fat and lazy from the easy life, the workers have not had it this hard in 75 years and we can tough it out if necessary.

Full employment, now. Full health care, now. Living wage, now. Centralized economic planning, now. End NAFTA, now. End foreign wars of aggression/occupation and arming Israel and Islam, now. Save the planet, now. Educate all, with emphasis on the principles of the new socialist paradigm, now. End prayer in schools and other violations of separation of church and state, now. End lobbying by rich phamaceuticals and corporate leeches, now. Cap personal income above $2 million per year, with all excess to the government funds for better lives for the working class, now. One man one vote, end the electoral college and gerrymandered congressional districts, now. End the ‘Patriot’ Act, now. The time has come for the dictatorship of the Proletariat and it is now.

Maybe the time has come for these suits to find out that, for a change, they can’t get something for nothing and that the price for $1 trillion is for the working class to get its birthright back.

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By KDelphi, September 24, 2008 at 3:42 pm Link to this comment

NABNYC—Isnt; Hedges’ “Am. Facists” good? I kindve avoided him ( I had read “War is a Force That Gives Us Meaning”—it was VERY heavy), know ing he went to divinity schools and all.

I have noticed that, for all their religious bloviating, the GOP simply does not punish those among them, who have “questionable sexual experiences” the way the Dems do. Think about it. Gingrich, Giuliani, Craig, Vitter, Reed, Delay, etc. They are still working “hard” for neo-con causes.

But, let a Dem do something really dumb ( granted, it is horrible what some of these guys do to their families—that is NOT my business), and the “wrath of god” comes down. I think we make a mistake in being so judgemental. We begin to sounds like—“neo-somethings”!

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By Don Vaughn-Foerster, September 24, 2008 at 3:06 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

This column by Chris Hedges on Ralph Nader’s 10 market reforms needed immediately is the only thing I have heard or read during the last week that has any real merit.  It’s high time the citizens of the U.S. were given the consideration these 10 market reforms provide.

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By NABNYC, September 24, 2008 at 11:23 am Link to this comment

Remember those illegal wiretaps?  Bush demanded Congress grant immunity—nobody can ever find out exactly whose beds they were snooping in?  My money is on Elliot Spitzer, the man who was more successful than any other in going after the Wall Street boys, seeing through their fraudulent transactions, and making them pay for their crimes.  Wall Street hated him and the criminals in the white house feared him. 

So they followed him, found his personal weakness—sex, of course, like all the Democrats apparently—and they set him up.  The story they claimed was that some minimum wage clerk in a bank just happened to notice Spitzer withdrew $4000 in cash?  Spitzer is a rich man, he probably spends that for tipping his dog walker.  No, he was set up, to get him out of the way, before this last act of these criminals designed to wipe out the rest of the U.S., steal all our money.

And remember Gates and Buffet and their so-called “private” charities where they stuff all their money, tax-free, and keep all of it under their own control, subject only to a requirement that they pay out 5%/year (they probably earn 7, so do the math—the pot keeps growing).  Anyway, they have now avoided paying taxes so our country has even less money, but they’ve got big pots of money they can use to come in and buy up all the distressed real estate or other assets once their vulture friends on Wall Street have set up the con. 

We need criminal prosecutions.  We need every insider’s assets seized—all of them.  If they can’t remember where they put their money (presumably flown out of the country on their fleet of private jets) then they can go sit in Attica and wait until their recollection is refreshed. 

Let’s put Elliot Spitzer in charge of a court proceeding to sort this out—he understands them, and he undoubtedly would be “motivated,” as they say, to see these cowardly thieves brought to justice.

Every politician, all political parties at any level, should be ordered to pay into a special court-administered fund every penny they have received over the past 8 years from any financial institution or its employees.  No exceptions. 

Then let’s have the Bernie Sanders 10% surtax on people who earn over $1.0 million, which he says would take care of the whole problem without taking a dime of taxpayer’s money.

The solution being shoved through is that “either” the public takes over all the crushing debt of these criminals, “or” they will blow up the whole country.  (“Give me a million dollars or the country dies.” 

I think we can easily come up with other alternatives.  Let’s tax the rich people.  Just for one example.

And Chris Hedges:  I’ve finally started reading American Fascists, and it is an astonishingly brilliant book.

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By troublesum, September 24, 2008 at 4:20 am Link to this comment

Folktruter 8:57 AM #
You and some others who post here may not have noticed but it says “Add your COMMENT”, not post your column or article.  If you want to do a column you should contact Mr Sheer.  I never read entirely the “comments” here that are more than 100 words and I try to keep my comments brief.  Who has time to read everyone’s diatribes?

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By Frank Cajon, September 24, 2008 at 12:38 am Link to this comment

Crimes were committed. Those guilty have been served bonuses instead of indictments by the fascist ruling class that now turns to a socialist solution to rescue the architects of its greed meltdown, too late. Put them in prison, every one that got a performance bonus for a company being bailed out, for securities fraud, conspiracy, and bank fraud.
We need to re-evaluate our economic and political system and it is gut-check time. Many of us are not broke, but our greedy Bourgeoisie class is and we working class members are being told to pay their tab: it is only going to happen if we eliminate that class and restore the Proletariat to its rightful place in the class structure by wresting control of the capital-now, we are the ones that possess it as well.
The paradigm shift will mean that the Repugs and Demos are going to fade into the past and we will need a new Worker’s Party. The Democrats sold their souls long ago to the corporate satan and a new, unified front is needed after taking the executive branch away from the war criminals who have robbed the workers for eight years and now want us to pay for the future. No more war. No more foreign trade agreements, no more racketeering and price fixing to break unions. We have to make up for our own failures to elect a leadership with a spine, that would rid itelf of a fascist junta. Wealth redistribution, one man one vote, no electoral college, no lobbyists, no campaign donations, no V8 engines, no prayer in schools, no foreign occupations, and no arms to the middle East. We as a class need to clean up our own act and stop living above our means but our government has been stealing from us a class making many of us fight to survive while the rich man, paying nothing, wallows in luxury as oil companies and arms dealers rack up record profits while individual income plummets. No longer. The Socialist New Deal will not happen over night, but it is likely to start in the next four years when the second great depression descends upon the tattered stinking ruin of capitalist dreams. Karl Marx was a visionary and we need to get it right, and take this opportunity to shift the responsibility for the equal right to pursue happiness for all workers and citizens to a government that is planned, centralized, regulatory, with sufficient revenue to guarantee full employment, health, and educational opportunities for all. There will be no future breakdown of the system, when the violators this time are made an example of and central economic planning restored to committees with worker representation; all of the proposed bailouts will only occur if the companies saved disperse dividends on future earnings to workers whose taxes are paying for this central planning move and the ones up the line. Soon all large companies will be owned by the people and not rich stockholders who do nothing but live off of capital earnings.
This is a time of change. I have been waiting for a revolution like this for my whole life. I hope to see the birth of the new age of a Socialist worker movement in this country in my lifetime and am certain that my children will be standard bearers in the cause.

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By Outraged, September 23, 2008 at 11:18 pm Link to this comment

Another great article concerning the REALITIES of this mess.  This one from “The Nation”, by Thomas Ferguson & Robert Johnson.

“Thus far Paulson and Bernanke’s plan does not even pay lip service to reforms. It is also well to remember that as the crisis hit, Paulson was at work on a preposterous scheme calling for more deregulation on grounds that New York faced competition from foreign financial markets. It is obvious where the former Goldman Sachs CEO’s heart lies.”

It continues:  “Congressional Options

It is fine for Democrats to hold out for mortgage relief and for another stimulus package. The best way to do the first, probably, is by reviving something like the Home Owners Loan Corporation that worked so well in the New Deal. That bought mortgages from people who were in danger of losing their houses and converted them into obligations that they could afford to repay. This sort of bailout has the wonderful property of directing public money to the public, rather than Wall Street. But it would still bail out Wall Street, since reviving housing and stopping mortgage defaults feeds directly through to mortgage bonds values and derivatives based on them.

But no one should be fooled by Democratic talk about mortgage relief and economic stimulus. The main focus of the design of the bailout must be the bailout itself. That is the rat hole down which $700 billion and probably plenty more will soon start disappearing if Congressman Barney Frank, Senator Dodd and, of course, Senator Obama do not walk the walk instead of just talking the talk.

The situation is dire, but it is not hopeless. A flurry of discussions with other central banks and governments may soon produce claims that international agreements hem in legislators here. Congress has a straightforward counter to this and any manipulative threats of economic collapse: Turn the gun around. Move every bit as speedily as Paulson and Bernanke demand, but pass a bill that anyone can see protects the public far better than the Men in Black’s proposal.”

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By floydw, September 23, 2008 at 4:02 pm Link to this comment

The biggest myth of all is that it can’t be allowed to fail! The truth is there is no chance for its survival. What we are seeing is not only the demise of free-markets but capitalism in its death throes. The central principle that governs all of nature is Impermanence. No thing, including socio-economic systems, survive forever. Nothing is exempt from the Law of Impermanence. This too shall pass. Change is the only constant. Only Logos endures, and Logos is no “thing.” Each form conforms to an essential tripartite pattern of existence: emergence, apogee and decay. The hysteria and fanaticism currently manifesting at the centers of powers represent the initial phase of the grieving cycle: denial. It will be followed shortly by anger, eventually, as we internalize the reality of the “tragedy”, we will move to grief. Finally, following our catharsis, reason will again reach ascendancy and we will respond proactively to produce conditions sufficient to our survival.  The good news is: that which emerges from our current crisis will be the very thing required and equipped to preserve us in our new environment. I will hazard a guess and predict that the new socio-economic system will be social-ecology, it will be predicated on cooperation rather than competition, its prevailing paradigm will be abundance rather than scarcity, and its orientation will be ecological and global, its measure of wealth will be well-being rather than good-fortune. The only real question remaining is what degree of catastrophe will be required to catalyze change? How much crisis must we endure before we abandon the antiquated, anachronistic system currently wreaking havoc on the planet and our global community? and move into a system resonate with the new reality?

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By cyrena, September 23, 2008 at 3:37 pm Link to this comment

By Inherit The Wind, September 23 at 12:28 pm

ITW, you’re right again.

What else can I say? Great minds…?? All of that stuff?

Or is it just the willingness to see reality? That’s my own inclination. Why keep covering up all the rot and disease, and dysfunction, instead of just calling it what it is, and calling out those that did it?

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By Inherit The Wind, September 23, 2008 at 1:46 pm Link to this comment

Sorry. Hedges, not Sheer.

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By Inherit The Wind, September 23, 2008 at 1:28 pm Link to this comment

Here we go again:  There is NOTHING here but the culmination of Reaganomics.  It’s not the Democrats’ fault. It’s not Barack Obama’s fault.  It IS Ronald Reagan’s fault and the fault of every person who supported him and said “Yeah!” with their fist in the air when he said government isn’t the solution, it’s the problem.

If we had no laws, people could rob, rape and kill each other with impunity. It would be not simply anarchy, but chaos.

However, when we did EXACTLY THAT in financial field it was touted as “free enterprise” and “capitalism”.  No. It was anarchy and chaos.

You can blame each and every Republican for the last 28 years.  And you can blame the “Blue Dog Democrats”, the “Reagan Democrats” who helped him in the House against Tip O’Neil. 

Our uncontrolled experiment has now been proven to be a total unmitigated disaster.

Meanwhile, Sheer, with his usual mis-placed radicalism, is blaming Repubs and Dems equally, and, of course, giving credence to that spoiler who made damn sure this happened: Ralph Nader.  Had Al Gore become president we wouldn’t be facing this catastrophe and yet another demand for fascist powers for Bush.

Hey, Ralph!  Are you happy NOW????

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By Frank Cajon, September 23, 2008 at 12:48 pm Link to this comment

Okay, Nader apologists, (I was a Green Party member in 2000, BTW, but didn’t vote for him)let’s run a few numbers and keep it simple. In 2000, Bush took the EC by carrying Florida, where Nader had over 97,000 votes and the ‘official’ results had Gore down by about 750 statewide. Correct me if I am wrong. Ignore the self=serving ‘exit polls’ and let’s be adult about it and admit that his his arrogant escapade probably took at least 60% of its base from potential Dem voters. Absent Ralph the crusader, if 70% of those voters went to the polls, the state goes to Gore by over 10,000 votes and no fix in the world overcomes it. New Hampshire went to the Fuhrer by 7200 votes, with Ralphie snagging over 22,000 and giving the GOP the 4 EC votes that would have made Florida not even matter. Sure, a few of these voters were former Nader Raiders; figure there were nearly 100,000 in Florida of all places-and even if they were, picture them voting for an anti-environment pig like Bush? No chance.
Nader has of course washed his hands of this. Easy to do for a dude worth $5 million, who glorifies in his own celebrity. He is making another run this year and with it a tossup, he is nothing but a shill, an ace up the Repug sleeve, a hole card to slice votes away from the opposition and put another Bush in the big chair. He is an old hand at it.

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By folktruther, September 23, 2008 at 12:40 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

KDelphi, this deterioration is happening all over the country.  There have been increasing power outages in Southern Calif where we live.  The train my wife rides on to work recently crashed into a freight train killing at least 25 people and probably many more.  The engeneer had been on duty for twelve hours on a split shift.  They are stalling on an investigation.

F Savage has suggested that the American power system is preparing the US with the Russian Solution, turning the US into a third world country and shocking and awing the US with a disaster of some kind.  This would require martial law and a full police state.  There is nothing to stop them.

Oh, I forgot the Dems, they’ll certainly fight for us, heh, heh, heh.

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By cyrena, September 23, 2008 at 12:26 pm Link to this comment

By EasyAccess, September 22 at 2:31 pm

“But with each presidential election, I grow increasingly convinced that Nader has let us and himself down by abandoning his true base and assuming a political base that doesnn’t exist.”


BINGO EasyAccess…

...assuming a political base that DOESN’T EXIST!!!

But, thinking more on it from the ‘prompt’ that you provide here, I’m not sure that there ever was a true base. Nader is the anti-politic guy. He would like to be apolitical, in a political system. One of his book titles says it all. CRASHING the Party. He means CRASHING the political system for which he has shown his true disdain, by telling US ALL, that there is no difference between them.

It’s like he’s been taking lessons in how to insult a huge portion of the voting population, by telling millions of dems or repugs that they are ‘the same’. Just like folktruther/conservative yankee telling us that Obama’s military policies are the same as GW’s. I don’t know if the intent is malicious or born of ignorance. I just know that it’s cynical. I don’t know if he’s really an egomaniac, but I certainly see how he is perceived as such.

It’s like spitting in the face of dedicated public servants like Bernie Sanders, Ted Kennedy, Dennis Kucinich, Barbara Lee, Henry Waxman, and I could go on. He looks down his nose at any and all efforts that we make, and tries to destroy the system from the outside, instead of signing on to fix it from the inside. Then he shows up every 4 years to say he’s the only one who knows how to do anything about it.

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By KDelphi, September 23, 2008 at 11:55 am Link to this comment

troublesum—the electin in Ohio was stolen, all right. And the briefs that Tubbs Jones (RIP) and Boxer filed are still “not avaialble” (if anyone can find them—please link)

What crossed my mind yesterday—teh power went out in this part of Ohio again (there are still 35,000 households without power and schools are closed—we found out tha the raise that DPL took to do “maintenance of trees and power lines” was just abosorbed as profit.) They seem to have no problem at all with taking two weeks time , with schools and daycares closed and no running hot water.

If this continues (now they say, some “older homes are just not wired well enough”—well they didnt fricking say thaT before!!), I wonder if the urban areas wil have “power” on voting day.

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By folktruter, September 23, 2008 at 9:57 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Hang in there, Outraged and trobllesum (paragraphs, troublesum, paragraphs.)  The Dem sleaze against Nader is what always happens when a currupt party is confronted by an honest man.

Not that the power system could be changed even in the unlikely event that Nader were elected.  It can’t be changed by voting; the vote count is simply an indication of the relative balance of forces.  Getting inside the system is exactly the wrong thing to do to change it.  It must be threatened from the outside.

Nsder is too old, White, individualistic, and male to provide much of a credible threat.
But he is honest, which drves the Dems crazy.  That’s something.  I prefer McKinney, but to each her own.

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By iska, September 23, 2008 at 1:36 am Link to this comment

I’m so happy to be able to hear Chris Hedges weekly. He’s the moral depositor of our country’s real and forgotten values.

Speak on, Chris we are listening.

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By troublesum, September 23, 2008 at 1:20 am Link to this comment

We now know that the election in Ohio was stolen in 2004 and that Kerry would have been president if he had demanded a recount and challanged the election fraud that the Ohio secretary of state had engaged in.  He didn’t want the job enough to do that.  Blame Nader.

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By troublesum, September 23, 2008 at 1:09 am Link to this comment

Gore did not even win his home state of Tennesee in 2000.  Blame Nader.  We now know that Gore won Florida and would have been president if the supreme court had not stopped the recount.  Blame Nader.

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By bsgroup, September 23, 2008 at 12:20 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I wish you could write for the NY Times or Wa Post.  You are spot on.

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By Outraged, September 22, 2008 at 10:26 pm Link to this comment

Re: Rude Bellman

Your comment: “Whatever respect I had for Ralph Nader evaporated when he refused to step aside in Florida and allowed George W. Bush to become President.  His contention that there is NO difference between the two parties is disingenuous and we have paid dearly for his arrogance and folly.”

>> It was not Nader’s fault Bush stole the election.  In fact Bush did it twice, that’s why he’s labeled the “un-president”.

In you investigate the matter and don’t concern yourself with hype and lies, you will find that your assertions are simply untrue.  We didn’t PAY because of Nader, but because of Bush and his cronies.  What kind of ASS blames someone else for another’s transgressions?

Maybe, everything that’s wrong in this country is YOUR fault, since YOU are the one voting regarding BS, instead of facts.  And apparently you don’t feel it important enough to take the time to discern fact from fiction.  I can refute everything you are claiming, using facts.

I don’t care who you vote for, that is your right.  However, misinformation with malicious intent is suspect.

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By samosamo, September 22, 2008 at 10:20 pm Link to this comment

Lot of heavy stuff here, the comments that is. A lot said just to say grand larceny. But it will not stop until at least a transfer of power happens on 1.20.2009. IF and when it happens these criminals will leave the entire treasury empty which will most likely mean social security and medicare, nothing left for anybody or should I say the ones that would legitimately benefit from that money that was originally meant for them.
And now that some facade of oversight and regulation being negotiated into the theft, what appears to be the right thing to institute these regulations and oversight will actually be wording to give all the criminals free passes for their share of the loot. Curious but I would bet that those people will be the 20% that believe w & dick are doing a great job and have benefitted mightily by years of earmarks and pork barrel funding.
If this doesn’t open people’s eyes, nothing will and everyone will get just what the blind and criminals give the rest.

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By The Rude Bellman, September 22, 2008 at 9:28 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Whatever respect I had for Ralph Nader evaporated when he refused to step aside in Florida and allowed George W. Bush to become President.  His contention that there is NO difference between the two parties is disingenuous and we have paid dearly for his arrogance and folly.

He may be right in this case.  I saw this disaster coming from the housing market two years ago and I work in a hotel.  All the guys I work with were marveling at the stupidity of home prices and wondered when the bubble would burst.  We knew it was coming but we just didn’t know when or the full extent of it.

When I think of the villains of the past eight years Ralph Nader comes in somewhere behind the Administration, the Supreme Court but before Al Qaeda in who has caused the most damaged to America.  Without Nader, we wouldn’t have a Bush Administration, a Supreme Court swung hard to the right and maybe not 9/11.  Actually, maybe Ralph Nader is the biggest villain because he allowed it to happen.

I just hope he doesn’t do it again.

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By Outraged, September 22, 2008 at 9:04 pm Link to this comment

Re: CJ

Thank you.  And in the words of the immortal Forrest Gump, “That’s all I have to say about that.”

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By CJ, September 22, 2008 at 7:19 pm Link to this comment

Once again Hedges has it straight, as does Nader, also again. What exactly is it going to take to get the attention of Americans? Other than whatever percentage is all set for The Rapture? But are the beliefs held by all other Americans any more realistic?

Ah…not hardly. Arguably since Nixon, certainly since the delusional reactionary, Ronald Reagan, Americans have believed there really is such a thing as a free lunch. Reagan—still held in the highest esteem by conservatives and liberals alike—carried on as though all one needed to do was homestead somewhere near Santa Barbara (long as not his ranch, of course). No need for all that FDR stuff according to erstwhile host of “Death Valley Days” and monkey movies. (Never mind government underwent unprecedented expansion under his supervision. Mostly due to giveaways to defense contractors.) Bush 41 followed along. Then came Bill, who after being told how things work, sold out his set of campaign promises to Wall Street. Clinton was that contradiction we know of as a Democratic “fiscal conservative.” That is, a Republican.

Not that these guys weren’t elected (ostensibly). For the three decades Hedges mentions, we’ve each lusted to be the next Buffett, Gates, even Trump, who was just shooting off his kisser again the other day. (The Donald also knew. He told friends NOT to invest in real estate! And then just recently picked up a nice “club” of some kind for what sounded like pennies, in Florida if I recall.)

At some point over the last three or four decades, Americans came to belief (irrationally) even more ardently—far more ardently than any evangelical in the Book of Revelation—in the rewards to be realized right here on planet earth via the “free” market—unconstrained by burdensome, not to mention tedious and boring, regulations that were put in place for reasons long forgotten; namely, because unregulated or deregulated capitalism tends to appeal to the very worst in human psychology, thereby brining ruin to all but the few. (Yes, human beings are given both to good and bad behaviors, by most reasonably argued moral accounts.)

Easy credit became available not just to Wall Streeters but also to ordinary citizens of a lower orders (according to members of the investor class. Indeed, they knew how to get their bread buttered: offer easy credit to the lower orders).

Fantasy capitalism would be apt description for latest manifestation. Beyond finance capitalism. “Leaders” have learned how to preach out of both sides of their mouths. A pity debts can’t be paid with cheap chatter.

Revolution would be preferable to reforms of any kind, but since the former isn’t in the offing, of course Nader’s reforms are essential if America is to save itself from and for itself, under circumstances of capitalist yoke. I’d throw in as #11, closing down all 700+ military bases serving empiric ends.

To paraphrase something McCain recently said with reference to Georgia, “We’re all socialists now.” Aren’t we? It’s not whether or not the bailout is necessary. It is, and yes it does matter the form it takes. Alas, form it takes is up to political (and business) leaders bought and paid for by grossest of offenders—investment bankers.

Anyway, the proclamation of the demise of socialism was—evidently—exaggerated. As was the announcement of the end of history, along with corollary claiming that capitalism had triumphed for eternity. Forgive if we long-time socialists crow a little when it’s turned out that socialism—founded in material humanism, out of concern for social justice according to the moral best inherent in reason—is once again bailing out tired, creaky capitalism, already antique by the time Marx penned Das Kapital. Capitalism was a flash in the historical pan for a century, maybe two. Since then, it’s been a disaster of apocalyptic proportions for 99.99% of humanity ever since.

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By Outraged, September 22, 2008 at 5:43 pm Link to this comment

Re: Frank Cajon

Your comments are nonsense.  You haven’t qualified ANY of your comments with an ounce of PROOF.  If you want to scream over the reality that many WILL NOT VOTE FOR OBAMA, maybe you should take that up with Obama and his campaign.

Obama HAD my vote until he began to align himself with crooks and liars and decided to endorse legislation which harms the American people, including me.

Claiming Nader to be a GOP shill is outlandish.  I suppose that is why he exposes corporate crime?  And endorses regulation, and safety, and labor, and green technologies, and consumer safety….etc.  Frank….did you quit the green party…or did they kick you out…?

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By Frank Cajon, September 22, 2008 at 4:54 pm Link to this comment

End the debate. Ralph Nader is, put simply, a megalomaniac who realizes that periodically putting up the filing fee in various states to appear on the POTUS ballot heats up his book sales. This enabled the Florida fix and assured the electoral votes of Florida and New Hampshire for Chancellor. End of story. The bastard has never done a thing for this country except make a big deal out of seat belts, and I quit the Green party because he never got out and did any real campaigning. He is a GOP schill, a doppelganger to draw discontented Demos away from the weak candidates of their party to enable GOP candidates and does this one function fabulously. Now the SOB is going signing up for more of the same to get McPalin across the line by swiping a few uhappy Clintonites away from Obama who might think that a vote for him isn’t a GOP reichstag sellout. Big mistake if they do.

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By Outraged, September 22, 2008 at 4:27 pm Link to this comment

Re: Purple girl

Your comment: “So why blame Obama for a economic situation which was so Aptly summed up by Perot in ‘00….“That Sucking Sound”. Why blame him for the Economic policies which began in Reagans era with ‘Trickle Down’. Why blame him for the Appeasement by the Clintons to the Corps with NAFTA!!!”

>> This isn’t about “blaming Obama” because we are now in this predicament.  This is about the fact that he has surrounding himself with THE VERY PEOPLE who instigated and played a major part of creating this mess.

This is something Obama CHOSE to do, and this is why people are questioning his claimed positions.  We didn’t “do” anything to Obama.  He did something to all his supporters by CHOOSING to align himself with these crooks and liars.  He has definitely veered from his original positions.  McCain is worse than that yet.

Vote Nader/Gonzales

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By Outraged, September 22, 2008 at 4:05 pm Link to this comment

This article from Mother Jones, gives a short list of the legislative crooks who helped create this mess. It also cites the fact that only NINE senators stood against it.

“Phil Gramm, then a Republican senator from Texas, and recently an economic advisor to the McCain campaign, took the lead in undoing Glass-Steagall, a move the financial services industry had been lobbying for since at least the 1980s. (James Leach, a former Republican congressman from Iowa, introduced the House version of the bill. He is now a leader of Republicans for Obama.) Bill Clinton was also an enthusiastic supporter of banking deregulation. And it was Clinton Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin who brokered the compromise that allowed the legislation to move forward in Congress—shortly before he left the administration to join Citigroup. (In November 1999, Mother Jones published a piece on the dangerous implications of Gramm-Leach-Bliley, under the headline “Robert Rubin Rewrites the Rules.”)

How Democrats in Congress dealt with Gramm-Leach-Bliley has now become a subject of debate. The final version of the legislation won nearly universal bipartisan support and passed by a wide margin in both houses of Congress in November 1998. The Senate’s 90 yea votes included those of such prominent Democrats as Ted Kennedy, Chris Dodd, Chuck Schumer, and Harry Reid, along with VP nominee Joe Biden.

Some, by way of trying to absolve Democrats of responsibility for passing this measure, have argued that the vote on the earlier Senate version of the bill (before the final conference version) was 54 to 44, divided along partisan lines, with all of the above Dems voting against it. This is true—though at the time most Democrats’ objections had nothing to do with preserving the Glass-Steagall firewall. In the end, only nine senators, including Russ Feingold, Tom Harkin, Barbara Mikulski, and Paul Wellstone, along with Independent Bernie Sanders, refused to lend their names to the final bill, regardless of how inevitable its passage was.” (emphasis mine)

>> The article links to another MJ article from 11-09-99, concerning Robert Rubin, it’s intro:

“News: Former Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin gets cozy with the banking industry while helping push through a bill freeing financial institutions to merge into ever larger megacorporations while largely absolving them of much of their legal obligation to invest in the communities in which they do business…”

>> It ends with this ominous thought. (Remember, this was written in 1999)

“Robert Rubin helped deliver this ticking time bomb of a bill to Wall Street, first while in Treasury and then while in negotiations to land a top spot at the finance industry’s largest and highest-profile company. He may well escape unscathed yet again, but it is sure to blow up on the rest of us.”

>> Good Article.

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By Purple Girl, September 22, 2008 at 3:35 pm Link to this comment

If you see some maniac driving reckelssly down the street and he hits a kid on the bike- do you also blame the bystander who helps get medical attention…NO!
So why blame Obama for a economic situation which was so Aptly summed up by Perot in ‘00….“That Sucking Sound”. Why blame him for the Economic policies which began in Reagans era with ‘Trickle Down’. Why blame him for the Appeasement by the Clintons to the Corps with NAFTA!!!Abandoning Oversight has been th ename of the game- they targeted every safegaurd put in place in the ‘30, and have finally Conquered all their barriers to unbridled wealth and power!
Being just a few years Younger that Sen Obama- I will not take responsilbity for the Collision Course Political Corp Whores have been on since I was in HS!
The steady dismantling of Our economic security brought about after the First Depression has been par for the Course for nearly 3 decades!So Now that we are finally hitting the WELL FORESEEABLE BOTTOM, you want to lay the Blame on him as equally as you are on McCain. You mean Mr’Keating 5’- the only one of those SOB’s who is still sitting his Pampered ass in the Senate?
How Dare you equate the Two! McCain has been betraying this country for Decades- Did he Collaborate with the Vietcong, it won’t be a surprise after watching him F*ck the average American for the last 26! Is not his choice of Sarah Palin enough to finally convince you McCain doesn’t give a shit about this Country?????
So Don’t blame the guy who only has a bandaid at his disposal to hold back the Hemmorrage from the gunshot wounded inflicted by this Modern Day Benedict Arnold and his Sponsors/Puppetmasters!
You want to go after someone- not just to blame but Hold Legally responsible, get ahold of Mac’s current ‘advisors’ and his Address book!Don’t blame the guy who was about 7 when Cheney slithered out into the Oval office during Nixons era. He and his buddies and their proteges have been trying to topple US for Decades, and Now he’s found his Perfected Manchurian Candidate- a perfect combo of all those who proceeded him- Crazy as Nixon, Senile as Reagan, a Pussyboy Like HW, out of control Hormone like Bill and a Dumbass like W.!! Only desent men we have had in 40 yrs were Ford and Carter- and Cheney et al did a hell of a job Politically assasinating them, didn’t they!
So Bit your Tongue trying to lay blame on Sen Obama for this corrosive economic doctrine which has been pushed upon the American People and the indentured Slavery it was intended to cause!

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By EasyAccess, September 22, 2008 at 3:31 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Getting beyond feeling angry at Ralph Nader for the part he played - real or perceived - in giving us the Bush years has not been easy. But with each presidential election, I grow increasingly convinced that Nader has let us and himself down by abandoning his true base and assuming a political base that doesnn’t exist. As a consumer advocate and an extremely perceptive observer of the American political process, he was in a much better position to affect outcomes in a powerful meaningful way than he has been as a presidential candidate without a chance. The 2000 election is a weight he may never be able to shed, and I wish that his ten market reforms were not coming from Nader the candidate. There are much more effective ways to feel empowered than by voting for Ralph Nader again.

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By MaynardGK, September 22, 2008 at 3:26 pm Link to this comment 
<== This page is a must-read to study the paulson proposals. 

Firstly we should tar, feather, and hang out those “masters of the Universe” who have been muttering platitudes and who have exacerbated the problem - mostly to be drawn from sorted salary list of Goldman Sachs.  And get guys like Denninger, Nader, Sanders, Kucinich, on the solution.  Obama, its ok to admit less than perfect knowledge but you have to let these guys into your counsel, step outside your bubble.  McCain, Shut up and give the nomination to Ron Paul, at least he has a notion.

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By Outraged, September 22, 2008 at 3:11 pm Link to this comment

Putting a face on this disaster.  Of course, these aren’t the only ones, we know McCain supported deregulation.  And didn’t just about everyone else since….OMG, I don’t know where to begin, but definitely since Reagan.

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By cyrena, September 22, 2008 at 1:56 pm Link to this comment

By Fahrenheit 451, September 22 at 12:35 am

“Apparently there was not one other human in this country who could see the coming train wreck and actively tried to stop it.”

Wrong Fahrenheit,

Lots of us saw it coming, and LIKE NADER, could do nothing to stop it, because we have not been inside the system. Anyone smart enough to ‘see it coming’ should also have been smart enough to understand that they would have to GET INSIDE to fix it. Standing outside a burning building whistling dixie isn’t gonna put the fire out.

Nader has never been willing to get into the system, or otherwise get his hands dirty. He’s ONLY been willing to put himself on the presidential tickets for the past 4 elections, and this will make 5. It’s the only ‘job’ in the government that he thinks is good enough for him. He’s done a lot of work for Congress, but only on HIS terms…couldn’t be so bothered to run for Congress himself, because of his disdain for the political system that exists. By remaining outside the system, (instead of trying to work within it) he can join all the rest of us in saying ‘I told you so.’ Many of us have been saying it long before he has.

So, he’s NOT the ‘single most qualified’ for the job. He’s not any more qualified than I or several million others would be. We just aren’t running.

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By Virginia777, September 22, 2008 at 1:23 pm Link to this comment

ok, lets watch the “bold, italics” please

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By Avenger, September 22, 2008 at 1:18 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The “bail out” is really just that, a bail out. It’s just that it isn’t to benefit the citizens of the U.S.  Section 3. which says that In exercising the authorities granted in this Act, the Secretary shall take into consideration means for—(1) providing stability or preventing disruption to the financial markets or banking system; and (2) protecting the taxpayer. Notice that we are in second place, and not by chance.

Under Section 2 (b) Necessary Actions, it says that The Secretary is authorized to take such actions as the Secretary deems necessary to carry out the authorities in this Act, including, without limitation:
1) appointing such employees as may be required to carry out the authorities in this Act and defining their duties (of course, the Fed will be appointing people that aren’t cronies, right?

2) entering into contracts, including contracts for services authorized by section 3109 of title 5, United States Code, without regard to any other provision of law regarding public contracts. Its just unthinkable that that the Secretary would have to do something based on the law, right?

(3) designating financial institutions as financial agents of the Government, and they shall perform all such reasonable duties related to this Act as financial agents of the Government as may be required of them.  I think that its clear that the reason for this paragraph is to provide sovereign immunity to what are private businesses.  The Federal Tort Claims Act and the Tucker Act are not as broad waivers of sovereign immunity as they might appear, as there are a number of statutory exceptions and judicially fashioned limiting doctrines applicable to both. Title 28 U.S.C. § 1331 confers federal question jurisdiction on district courts, but this statute has been held not to be a blanket waiver of sovereign immunity on the part of the federal government.

And the proposed coup de gras is Section 8 which says that decisions by the Secretary pursuant to the authority of this Act are non-reviewable and committed to agency discretion, and may not be reviewed by any court of law or any administrative agency. Black and white- no one gets to tell Paulson what to do and no court has any authority to authorize it.

And on and on an on….this is a very cleverly written document designed to protect those that have got theirs from any sort of liability and with the Fed now suspending rules that prohibit banks from using deposits to fund their investment banking subsidiaries, it provides an enormous cache of money to the commercial banks such as Goldman Sachs which right now has 20 billion US in deposits and Morgan Stanley which has 36 billion in deposits; they are now also eligible to tap into the $700 billion that the Secretary of the Treasury (Paulson) has to give away with no oversight and no one to be held accountable to.

Unfortuntely, I fear that there is nothing short of a true revolution will stem these abuses because the legislative branch are fellow conspirators.

Alea iacta est!

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By lastdaywatchers, September 22, 2008 at 1:00 pm Link to this comment

This article “Fleecing What’s Left of the Treasury” is more proof of the 100% accuracy of the MAY 15th PROPHECY particularly with regard to the true colors of George W Bush

Here is a excerpt

“Did not the May 15th prophecy tell you the Bush Administration would lie at all cost to the very end (See:The Stomping Beast and the Prospering Lie)?

Remember at the beginning of the year when the Pawn of Satan was boastfully lying to you about the economy being strong and there was no recession?

Getting you to believe in his pipe dream of the success of the stimulus checks?

Did not the May 15th Prophecy tell you back then that you were being lied to?

And that there was more then a denial of a recession to worries about, but there would be a depression?
(See: The May 15th Prophecy More To Come)

Stock market endures worst day since 9/11
By Patrick Rizzo and Joe Bel Bruno Associated Press

“The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost more than 500 points — more than 4 percent — its steepest point drop since the day the stock market reopened after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.”

“About $700 billion evaporated from retirement plans, government pension funds and other investment portfolios.”

“The carnage capped a tumultuous 24 hours that redrew U.S. finance. Lehman Brothers, an investment bank that predates the Civil War and weathered the Great Depression”

“filed the largest bankruptcy in American history. A second storied bank, Merrill Lynch, fled into the arms of Bank of America.”


Wall Street as we know it is kaput.

“It’s not just that Merrill Lynch (nyse: MER - news - people ) agreed to be purchased by Bank of America (nyse: BAC - news - people ),”

“or that the legendary investment bank Lehman Brothers (nyse: LEH - news - people ) filed for bankruptcy, or that the insurance giant AIG (nyse: AIG - news - people ) is receiving an $85 billion bailout from the Federal Reserve.”

“It’s not even that these events followed the failure of the investment bank Bear Stearns or the government’s takeover of Fannie Mae (nyse: FNM - news - people ) and Freddie Mac (nyse: FRE - news - people ), the largest mortgage lenders.”

“What’s really happened is that Wall Street’s business model has collapsed.”
Was the May 15th Prophecy correct or not in telling you back then! that bank after bank would fail? Yes or No?,

Didn’t the May 15th Prophecy tell you the Lying pawn of Satan was lying about the economy being “sound” and “healthy” after the “shot in the arm”?

Did not the May 15th Prophecy tell you that the U.S. Government in the mist of this failure led by the Bush Administration would bail out the Rich as a shadow of the fulfillment of the Black Horse of Revelation 6:5?.
(See:The Defining Moment and The Economic Collapse Prophecy)

“You will see bank after bank fail, and city after city will go bankrupt; “and see thou hurt not the oil and the wine”


But everybody else “A whole day’s wages for a loaf of bread” a whole day wages for three barley cakes” and “wheat at a dollar a quart”

Now see if the May 15th Prophecy was right

Bush said Tuesday’s AIG takeover was necessary

“Bush said Tuesday’s AIG takeover was necessary to prevent “a severe disruption in our financial markets and threatened other sectors of the economy.”

“He also said the federal takeover of two mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac was necessary to “help promote market stability and to ensure they can continue to play a role in helping our housing market recover.”

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By KDelphi, September 22, 2008 at 12:48 pm Link to this comment

I am not a capitalist, but, being that we live in a so-called capitalit economy—let ‘em go

When I first heard this latest one, I thought of all the pension plans invested, etc. But the price tag just keeps getting higher, and GOP are signaling that they will just not vote for it or veto it, if it contains any regulations or help for those screwed. (Sen. Sanders of Vt. has some good ideas—they are on his website)

felicity—I was thinking the same thing. The secretive “energy policy” meetings. Now, secret banking industry meetings.

Noah—It’s good that you have the money to leave. (Alot of peopel dont). But, we need to think seriously about how well we would be received as capitalist, war-mongering “Merkins. If you have money, you wil probaly be OK. But, even Canada has been deporting soldiers seeking asylum. Sympathy for the US has evaporated.(That is so depressing—we had a chance to turn this ship around)

writeon—I think that Paulsen is just another cog in the wheel of he pyramid or Ponzi scheme.

I , too, am interested, but not eager, to see how US citizens will respond under THIS latest crisis. We don’t have alot of choices. But, those in power need to think very carefully about what they ask of a population already in debt, without homes, without health care, and with nothing to lose.

The results could be a revolution or reformation. Or Blackwater Intl. could just shoot us all down inthe street. I feel that, even more so than during Vietnam, the bulk of the military is on our side. We need to keep it that way, and avoid insulting people who were forced into “kill or be killed”, whether by draft, or financial circumstaNces.

“..there’s room at the top, they are telling you stil..but first you must learn how to smile as you kill…if you want to be like the folks on the hill…a working class hero is soemthing to be…keep them doped on religion and sex and tv..and you think youre so clever and classles and free..but youre still fi**ing peasanmts, as far as I can see”.

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By Hammo, September 22, 2008 at 12:36 pm Link to this comment

Are Americans being suckered again? The article noted below may be of interest.

“Let’s bail out the greedy, the crooks, the suckers”
September 22, 2008

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By JS, September 22, 2008 at 12:28 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I’m glad Nader is getting some attention. Although nowhere near what he should be getting. It’s so obvious why there is a media blackout. Corporations would not profit from this man which is why you hear all the derogatory names attached to him from the Corporate/TV propagandists and the empty vessel robots that call themselves citizens who perpetuate it. The people of America would benefit from this man being elected. That’s why we need to throw our collective weight behind the only candidate that will stand up for the people. One of the things I like about Nader is the fact that he doesn’t need to read from a teleprompter when he gives his speeches. He knows the issues better than ANYONE else and will look you in the eye and tell you what the problems are and what we can do to fix them. It’s funny that people still call him an “egomaniac” even after the over glorified DNC and RNC. WTF??? Nader should be called what he really is; a true American Hero and he has earned my vote.

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By Henrietta Burns, September 22, 2008 at 12:26 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Old Henrietta wonders what the problem is when there are decent people like Nadar, Ron Paul, and Kirsinch out there.  I think maybe they’re not quite flashy or arrogant enough for the American diet. 
Oh I know, you don’t want to put that precious vote at risk.  It’s funny how it started out as a symbol of integrety but turned into a stretigic
chip.  The hypocrisy is staggering

And What is the attraction to Psychotic hillbillies, Henrietta often wonders.

Henrietta Burns

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By Big B, September 22, 2008 at 11:09 am Link to this comment


It’s the old golden rule, that is, whoever has the gold makes the rules.


Face it, unregulated capitalism has fallen down and gone boom! The best thing now would be to let it collapse. We deserve it. And it will be the only way to rid ourselves of this mess, and have a new clean slate. Putting sweet, tasty icing on this rancid cake will not keep it from killing us.

Remember the phrase from the 1960’s “What is a bigger crime, to rob a bank, or to own one?” Well, we sure as hell have found out that you can indeed steal more money with a pen than with a pistol.

Anyone else find it ironic that our small government, repug white house has now spent more money than any other 4 administrations combined?

Either you are a capitalist or your not! If we are indeed, capitalists, LET IT FAIL! Because no matter what we do now, a 700 billion dollar bailout will still not make a 10 trillion dollar deficit disappear. We cannot borrow our way out of this one kiddies. Because the bank is closed.

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By yellowbird2525, September 22, 2008 at 10:46 am Link to this comment

tao walker: you are so right! the scales need to fall of their eyes & their ears to hear the TRUTH: and be able to PERCEIVE that what they have been bombarded with all their lives are NOTHING more than LIES from the SAME forked tongues who NEVER kept a word to the Indians: or the VETS; wonder why they send a memo round to the Pentagon saying “stay away from prostitutes” during election: they USE no protection, cuz they KNOW that even tho they dip their oil stick in well used places THEY won’t get sick with aids; huh; Europe’s had cars getting 70 MPH for YEARS; Germany’s had cancer treatments they go to but not for HERE! no no no; to much CHEMICALS being put in all things including dryer sheets to HARM the people: for their pockets in the Pharma side; making out it is all LIES listen to THEM: when in reality the reason for high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity, all comes from what is put into YOUR foods, YOUR homes, deoderants, soaps, laundry soaps, dish soaps, shampoos: EVERYTHING poison & geared to HARM you so they get $ for their sister Pharma; and the Corps who sue get to KEEP 2/3s for themselves & the balance not paid out; and the babies death rate in the USA is higher than any other country; #2 finally; LOOK to your lawless leaders: to see WHO harms the vets: while giving $, new cars, trucks, gas vouchers, monies to folks from OTHER countries while telling YOU they are “broke”; giving job preferences to THEM over citizens; huh; yep, we “had it all”; so damn stupid can’t even SEE that you have NEVER in fact been free. Now they are going to other countries to FORCE them into “compliance” and you readily go along thinking erroniously that YOU are “spreading” freedom.

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By Shell Rowe, September 22, 2008 at 10:30 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Jim how is it ego of Mr NAder when after being ridiculed repeatedly he has continued to fight for the common people. He never marketed the items that he was largely responsible for like seatbelts, the lemon law, ect.
Its a fact that namecalling in of itself is resorted to when there’s no basis of validity.

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By yellowbird2525, September 22, 2008 at 10:25 am Link to this comment

the TAXPAYERS will be “handed” the burden: while in reality the ones going off scott free: will be raking in millions of $ & properties for little or NOTHING. Remember Agent Orange? well, the MAKER of it is behind the “genetic seeds”; which are so bad every other country has banned or makes be labeled so that the people KNOW: we the people objected strenuously for it being used on wheat fields: so, they slip it in with genetic seeds: THIS is the way the USA is run & has been for years: the ONLY reason the people exist is for THEM to get wealthy & rich: THEY have not yet decided whether blacks or browns will get the roofing jobs: per Gerald Rivera on Jay Leno show promoting Hispanic: the citizens have been taxed since Grandpa’s day down to now: for “aide” to other countries so that there should not even BE any 3rd world countries; the reason there is: is simply because THEY kept the $ for themselves: and gave to India “cheese”; & chicken legs to Russia; etc: they have kept ALL $ owed to the Indian tribes; they have “shell” offices who NEVER do a thing: but syphon $ thru it to be “laundered” back to THEMSELVES! so: Land of the DECEIVED & OPPRESSED beyond measure: LOOK to other countries: and SAY: why do you say aren’t you glad we aren’t like Russia: WITH why do we NOT have in your land the BENEFITS of other countries like: Denmark, Norway, Sweden, & mulitple others who ALWAYS have had freedom & far better than in the USA? Our Gov is NOT dysfunctional, it is DICTATORSHIP, worse than under Saddam Hussain: in fact the Iraqi’s were EXCITED to see us; they had HEARD of “freedom”; but now UNDERSTAND it is DICTATORSHIP: NOT “freedom” at all; the $ taken from those at the “top” far surpasses what he took; their oil always in abundant supply & only 5 cents a gallon is NOW “supposedly” in “short” supply creating long lines; they are being TAXED which they never have been in their long past, the folks at the top & their friends & family & of course the BIG CORPS take it all: and the people have NOTHING. “Free” only means absolute FREEDOM from all prosecution to do whatever you want in every way you can to harm the people of the USA. You have not even got a clue folks; how many ways they have deliberately overbilled you intentionally.

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By TAO Walker, September 22, 2008 at 10:18 am Link to this comment


Maybe Bob Dylan again got it best:  “You’ve been blown and shown pity in the Federal City, leading you onto the brink….with no time to think!”

This old Injun will say it once more, tame two-legged Sisters and Brothers.  The entire “global” contraption is a “confidence” scheme….all make-believe.

Those looking for a way out will find it in the Tiyoshpaye Way….and not anywhere else.


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By yellowbird2525, September 22, 2008 at 10:13 am Link to this comment

1st of all: this is TIMED just for the American who have unrealistically believed they were “free”; there is oodles of $ at both Fed, St, County & city: all preserved in the “amero”: THIS is the reason for all the agression of hostility against the people of the USA as outlined in Lou Dobbs book: war on the American dream; license to steal revealed what goes on at Wall St: who of course got the nod & approval from Capitol Hill;; bill moyers journal; crimes on Capitol Hill; BOTH parties are AGREED on everything: they make it SEEM as tho they are not to FOOL you into believing that it is NOT a dictatorship run by the same folks who ran the large plantations; heard this AM: “leader of the FREE world”; the ONLY folks who MAY THINK we are “free” is the people in the USA because they have been TOLD so repeatedly. Every other country KNOWS the truth: we are enslaved by large Corps; who sit down & PLOT ways to get YOUR $ from YOUR wallet; Chemical companies who agressively use Formaldehyde & every other chemical they can find to take YOUR health: and your wealth by the “Pharma” who charges 600,000 x’s the COST & the docs get $ for meeting prescription costs & your “foods” are loaded with things to HARM you: and the LAWS are ALL for the Corps: who of course, can simply declare “bankruptcy” and NEVER be charged: because the JUDGES & SYSTEM is set up that way. Remember cigarettes? 599 added things to “tobacco”; formaldehyde, rat poison, etc: but the PUBLIC is told: you can’t prove that when confronted with the “additives” created to HARM the people. Same thing was done in the financial world: and of course, no one will get “retirement” and any “health benefits”: you don’t NEED criminals when criminals are the lawmakers do you?

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By felicity, September 22, 2008 at 10:13 am Link to this comment

Whoever said that the people who control a nation’s wealth control a nation’s laws was one brilliant guy.

The way this economic meltdown is being ‘handled’ is eerily like the 2001 ‘handling’ of the energy issue. Remember the Energy Task Force, a precursor to the “National Energy Policy Development Group” - both headed by Cheney?  The consultants to the task force were the likes of Exxon-Mobil, Royal Dutch Shell, the American subsidiary of BP…and of course the inimitable Ken Lay and his fellow mountebanks in the energy racket.

That giant criminal cabal left us with a business-as-usual energy non-policy.  Got to wonder what the crinimal cabal presently ‘setting’ banking and other financial practices will sack us with.

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By troublesum, September 22, 2008 at 10:04 am Link to this comment

I don’t like the odds on how the bastards who got us here will react if they don’t get their way.  Like the average american hasn’t been faced with difficulty for the past thirty years?

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By Virginia777, September 22, 2008 at 9:57 am Link to this comment

This is a great point by Jackpine savage:

“I don’t like the odds on how the average American will behave when faced with serious difficulty.”

Americans have been the most pampered citizens in the World. The increasing softness of their politics over the past 20 years, has been alarming. They are now extremely vulnerable to right-wing Demigods who promise relief.

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By mike, September 22, 2008 at 9:51 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

yeah Nader is an egomaniac, yeah he doesn’t give a rats ass about our country. unbelievable.  he’s been called a nutjob since the 60’s and yet he remains tireless and committed.  If we had just 10 people like him in Congress, most of our problems would be solved.

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By Noah, September 22, 2008 at 9:40 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

As far as myself and my family and more sane relatives go, we’ll be leaving the country if this continues for more than a few more months - because we have enough money and resources to do so.  We’re not poor, we’re actually upper middle class, and if our government keeps stealing from us and giving to the super-rich, you’ll see many middle and upper middle class families leave America, due to increasing taxes and other financial dangers.  And as our government continues to fleece us, more and more upper middle class and middle class people will be leaving, and eventually, the lower middle class will also pack their bags and leave, due to the unbearable financial burdens forced upon them by our government.

The end goal of our government is to create a two-class system: the super-rich, all-powerful elite, and slaves.  When our government taxes us heavily and gives to the super-rich (who in effect pay no taxes due to their influence and off-shore accounts), our country is a corporate fascist state.  And this enormous fleecing of the American populace for the purpose of giving to the super-rich elite marks the beginning of the corporate fascist state.  The corporate fascist state is ALREADY HERE. 


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By Matt, September 22, 2008 at 9:36 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The fact is that libertarian/conservative platitudes about allowing “private” failures to happen ignore the very public consequences of “private” failure on this scale.

In the libertarians’ imaginary universe, people are little isolated islands of financial success or failure. You might fail, but if you do, that’s never my problem. This is idiotically simplistic. When “private” entities like these collapse, they fall on the rest of us, wiping out potentially an entire economy. This is why these very large financial concerns must be tightly regulated all along - so that they don’t collapse like this and threaten to wipe out everyone else. This is why banking deregulation was wrong, and it’s why libertarians and other “free market” fundamentalists are full crap.

This is the lesson of the 1930s, which Republican/libertarian/right-wing propaganda has striven mightily, and successfully, to erase from the American memory, allowing it to happen all over again.

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By Fahrenheit 451, September 22, 2008 at 9:03 am Link to this comment

Ya’ll think you get it; but you don’t.  The economy has gone far beyond any individual’s comprehension.  Ya’ll need to be looking out for yourselves; because nobody else is!  Forget nationalism, patriotism, and collectivism; because it’s every person for themselves!  You can rely on no-one but yourselves.  Look to other countries as possible places of refuge.  It’s a big world out there and one needs to take care of ones-self first!  There are countries that one can have a quality of life for as little as $1,000 USD per month.  Good quality health care is available for less than $15 USD per month!  Jobs are available; life can be good!  Anxiety can disappear and relaxation realized.  Truly!

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By Howard, September 22, 2008 at 8:32 am Link to this comment

Your comments are right on !  Well explained.  No shame to some of these guys in Congress who certainly knew better and are the root cause of todays problems in the financial world.  Same with the managers of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac who enabled shamelessly taking in most of the the subprime loans so we the taxpayers would end up paying. Imagine

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By Fahrenheit 451, September 22, 2008 at 8:22 am Link to this comment

@ Mainesongwriter,

Wonderful; I didn’t listen at first, but the song is right on.  Thanks for the entertainment.

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By Fahrenheit 451, September 22, 2008 at 8:15 am Link to this comment

@ Mainesongwriter;

Yeah, we’re going to have a scary Halloween!  Why; because, we the people, are looking for the second coming!  Well folks; it ain’t coming!  You need to realize that you need to clean up your own mess!!

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By Kashilinus, September 22, 2008 at 7:54 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

No one is going to jail, Jim Yell. There just aren’t enough cells. I think a wall of shame would be appropriate, confident that everyone who has been screwed by the perpetrators of this disaster would contribute. Let them spend the rest of their lives seeking redemption, else their names remain carved in stone for an eternity. Well, that’s just a visceral feeling. These guys will be buying indulgences, so they’ll be okay with the next world, maybe even make it to Sarah Palin’s Alaskan rapture.

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By Mainesongwriter, September 22, 2008 at 7:29 am Link to this comment

WE’RE GONNA HAVE A SCARY HALLOWEEN!” For the befuddled layperson, this song offers a succinct, terrifying presentation of what’s just around the bend:

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By G.Anderson, September 22, 2008 at 7:19 am Link to this comment

500 hundred trades from Armageddon…

“The market was 500 trades away from Armageddon on Thursday, traders inside two large custodial banks tell The Post.”

“Had the Treasury and Fed not quickly stepped into the fray that morning with a quick $105 billion injection of liquidity, the Dow could have collapsed to the 8,300-level - a 22 percent decline! - while the clang of the opening bell was still echoing around the cavernous exchange floor.”

“According to traders, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, money market funds were inundated with $500 billion in sell orders prior to the opening. The total money-market capitalization was roughly $4 trillion that morning.”

“The panicked selling was directly linked to the seizing up of the credit markets - including a $52 billion constriction in commercial paper - and the rumors of additional money market funds “breaking the buck,” or dropping below $1 net asset value. “

Paulson and Bernake have been trying to hold back the tide since at least last spring, each time they rescue a financial entity, or a bank collapses, it’s just more evidence how deep this rabbit hole goes..

But it doesn’t take much to guess what will happen to this country when the dow hits 8,000… when not if..

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By writeon, September 22, 2008 at 7:09 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Giving Paulsen so much power over the economy is disturbing, considering his background and tenure at Godmund-Sachs. It has profound political and economic implications too. What we are seeing is the creation of someone who could easily rival the importance of the President, but who is unelected.

The current black hole of debt, which has already sucked whole banks into its maw, could theoretically swallow much, much, more, if we’re unlucky or imprudent. I’m talking about the dollar and the rest of the real economy. This is because one is now trying to plug the black hole with dollars from the rest of the economy, when no one really has an idea of exactly how big the hold is.

This is a very risky undertaking indeed and seems like desparation, which doesn’t really inspire confidence, and if this latest injection of a trillion dollars doesn’t have the desired effect, what then?

I usually define a trillion dollars and multiples of trillions, as ‘generational debt’, numbers so big they don’t just effect one generation, but the next one too.

Nadar’s suggestions seem emminently sensible to me. There’s nothing remotely ‘left-wing’ about them, unless one thinks that scrutinizing and pursuing corporate criminals is especially ‘left-wing’! Why is it anyway that so-called conservatives are so soft on corportate crime anyway, surely it can’t have anything to do with the class-nature of certain types of crime as opposed to other form of crime?

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By troublesum, September 22, 2008 at 6:56 am Link to this comment


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By troublesum, September 22, 2008 at 6:54 am Link to this comment

“Get this done quickly” before people find out about things like this:

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By troublesum, September 22, 2008 at 6:27 am Link to this comment

I just checked Amazon - you can buy a new copy of CRRASHING THE PARTY for 81 cents.  The subtitle of the book is, “Taking on Corporate Government in an Age of Surrender”.  Does that sound timely or what?

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By Liesure Suit Larry, September 22, 2008 at 6:21 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

A “treasury” implies a “store of money”

This bailout is to be done with a credit card the bill due to our great grandchildren….if the USA still exists.

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By Jim Yell, September 22, 2008 at 6:08 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The only thing that is wrong with Nader is his persistence in being a spoiler for the very thing he wants. That doesn’t mean in what he is concerned about that he is wrong, but what he has done has looked like EGO.

As far as the economic mess the flood of outside capital that should probably been invested at point of origin was sucked up by the United States and embolded the carelessness of investment. A Game without rules is a formless knock down drag out. Deregulation was clearly a fake solution to prosperity and should have been seen as building to disaster. After all hasn’t anyone heard of “The Savings and Loan” Disaster.

If help is given without rules, without consequence to the fat cats that created this mess by corrupting the system than the country will fall and civil society will collapse. This is past the time that the Bush/Cheney administration should be punished. I am not saying it is too late I am saying this should have been done several years ago. Now it is ever more necessary that the rule of law be re-established and these people should be punished and so should the economic sector that paid for the bribery that brought us de-regulation.

No public bail out without proper punishment and seizure of ill gotten gains. Put them in jail.

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By troublesum, September 22, 2008 at 6:08 am Link to this comment

Nader’s book, CRASHING THE PARTY, is one of the best political books I’ve ever read.  The idea that he’s an egomaniac was a line put out by the corporate media and repeated over and over.

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By Sam7, September 22, 2008 at 6:07 am Link to this comment

Paolo couldn’t have said it better.

I’m voting third party this election. Voting for the lesser of two evils is still voting for evil. If more Americans woke up and realized this, we would have a pretty decent candidate for President. Instead we guilt trip ourselves into voting for the lesser of two evils….but they end up being just as evil in the end!

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By troublesum, September 22, 2008 at 5:55 am Link to this comment

Someone said that the dollar is now the only currency in the world backed by home mortgages.  That should make us all feel secure.  I like Nader’s 10 reforms especially #‘s 2,3, and 4.  It will be interesting to see how quickly democrats cave on reforms.  Paulson, Boner, and Bush are all saying that there will be time later for reforms.  “We need to get this done quickly.”  Remember when they told us we had to get the 2000 election in Florida settled quickly because it was hurting the markets?
Here again we have a case where the criminals are telling us what needs to be done to slove the crime - and make it snappy!

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By Paolo, September 22, 2008 at 5:30 am Link to this comment

This is a fine article, as far as it goes.

Chris Hedges makes an earnest, well-intentioned attempt to figure out how this all happened. But he doesn’t bring up the single most important fraud behind the whole rotten structure: The Federal Reserve, which is expected to “bail out” any multi-billionaires or politically-connected corporations who make incredibly stupid decisions. How do they pull off this impossible task? By forcing funny money into the system, and forcing us to take it (this is called a “legal tender” law—you have to take the government’s paper, whether it has value or not).

You can be assured that no Federal Reserve representative will try to “bail out” YOU whenever you make bad decisions (run up too much debt, quit your job, etc.). For more evidence of the actual nature of this system, study Mussolini, Corporatism, and Fascism.

As with most problems, the issue with the Federal Reserve is philosophical. That is, no human being or group of human beings can be entrusted with the power to create money and credit out of thin air, and not abuse the power. This is true, even if their intentions are good.

The only candidates who understand this are Ron Paul, Ralph Nader, Cynthia McKinney, and Chuck Baldwin. But these are the candidates who are EXCLUDED from the presidential debates. They recently signed a mutual pledge that included investigating the Fed. Observe also, by the way, that this is not a “left versus right” phenomenon. The “left” and the “right” of BOTH major parties come together every time to screw the rest of us.

If anything, Ron Paul and Chuck Baldwin are conservatives or libertarians. Ralph Nader and Cynthia McKinney are liberals or socialists. But they all agree on the guilt of the Fed. Check it out at

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By jackpine savage, September 22, 2008 at 4:55 am Link to this comment

I’m having a terrible sense of deja vu.  This whole mess is starting to feel a little too much like Russia in the 90’s.  By that i mean after the euphoria of “freedom” ended and a small group of men literally looted the wealth of a whole nation.

My time there was certainly insulated; after all, i am American so i had money.  But what i saw around me all day, every day were people with no money scrambling to survive.  The Russians, however, were a much harder lot than my soft, American compatriots.  There was no surprise that they, the population, got the sort end of the stick.  They didn’t expect a responsive government.

I don’t like the odds on how the average American will behave when faced with serious difficulty.

And i think that we should keep in mind the fact the “continuance of government” legislation is written to cover any “emergency” that the president sees as dire.  All along we thought that it would be another terrorist attack…surprise!

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By Louise Fleming, September 22, 2008 at 4:43 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

After death is RE-birth. Maybe that is what’s needed.
But the system and old ways have to indeed DIE, first. What other alternatives are there? The majority of congress & the house have essentially been enablers.

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By eileen fleming, September 22, 2008 at 4:35 am Link to this comment

The Time is Ripe for Revolution

“We hold these truths to be self-evident: That all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights [and] that, to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed; and, whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it.” -July 4, 1776. The Declaration of Independence

We the people keep getting screwed by a government that is in bed in with corporate interests and lobbyists.

Dissent is what keeps democracies healthy and the healthiest democracies are those where the politicians are afraid of the people -in totalitarian regimes the people are afraid of the govt.

Do something today-phone the candidates and put the fear of God into them- and the one thing ALL politicians fear is loosing power.

Call any Senator:

Call any Representative

Email any Senator:

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By realist, September 22, 2008 at 4:16 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Finally some good sense is being shown, even though I don’t think it’s strong enough or goes nearly far enough. This problem should have been stopped back in 1913 with those who created the FED. It should have been busted and caged at every opportunity.

If Americans don’t stand up NOW they will loose everything they own, including the country, as if it hasn’t been done already by forced creation of credit. This will also facilitate the loosing of rest of North America and put 98% of people on this whole continent back into slavery or even death.

What is most surprising is the complacency and stupidity of Americans for not seeing this coming and not doing anything about it. So much for your “right to bear arms”. Too bad you don’t have the smarts to use them as intended.

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By jack, September 22, 2008 at 2:52 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Nader has been erroneously maligned by many so-called progressives everywhere, even calling him incapable of leading - clearly he has thought through regulatory measures using existing institutions in ways neither of the “puppet” candidates could ever do.

As for others; several others who are also roundly maligned in nearly all quarters have precisely predicted this “meltdown.” Webster Tarpley has been predicting it for several years. His former colleague Lyndon LaRouche has also.

Mainstream sheeple will dismiss anything they don’t understand or perceive as too off-beat to be “cool.” Jon Stuart is just off-beat enough to be “cool.” Bill Mahar is “cool” as well.  Neither, however, could stand up for 1 minute in a discussion of serious geopolitical, economic or military logistical dynamics with any of the above sited career experts.

Scholarship, genuine research, artistry or any measure of sophisticated reasoning, analysis and/or creativity is in no way wanted or appreciated by the American public. They only need celebrities. And, the media conspires to keep it that way.

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By Fahrenheit 451, September 22, 2008 at 1:35 am Link to this comment

I find it remarkable that whenever Nader’s name is mentioned on this site; he is attacked as an egomaniac and criticized for other personality quirks; all of which pale in comparison to his inherent, deep knowledge of the workings of “our” governmental bureaucracy.  Apparently there was not one other human in this country who could see the coming train wreck and actively tried to stop it.  Nader’s integrity is beyond reproach and he’s probably the single most qualified person for the upcoming job opening.  The other two candidates are a joke; one especially.  The rampant mediocrity ruling our citizens is just overwhelming and it will be the death of us.

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