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A Fox to Protect the Henhouse?

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Posted on Sep 23, 2008
Paulson
AP photo / J. Scott Applewhite

Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson briefs reporters on the economy earlier this month at the White House.

By Robert Scheer

Does it really matter which party is in charge when it comes to bailing out the Wall Street hustlers whose shenanigans have bankrupted so many ordinary folks? Not if the Democrats roll over and cede power to the former head of Goldman Sachs, the investment bank at the center of our economic meltdown.

What arrogance for Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson—who the year before President Bush appointed him treasury secretary was paid $16.4 million for heading the company that did as much as any to engineer this financial travesty—to now insist we must blindly trust him to solve the problem. Paulson is demanding the power to act with “absolute impunity,” said Sen. Christopher Dodd, D-Conn., who admonished the treasury chief: “After reading this proposal, it is not only our economy that is at risk, Mr. Secretary, but our Constitution as well.”

Clearly, it’s a vast improvement to have Dodd in the chairman’s seat of the Senate Banking Committee, asking the right questions, rather than his predecessor, Texas Republican Phil Gramm, who presided over the committee in the years when the American economy, long the envy of the world, was viciously sabotaged by radical deregulation legislation.

Gramm, whom Sen. John McCain backed for president in 1996, pushed through the financial market deregulation that has brought the American economy to its knees. Maybe this time Congress won’t give the financial moguls everything they want, including a bailout for foreign-owned banks like Swiss-based UBS, where Gramm now hangs out as a very well paid executive when he’s not advising the presidential campaign of McCain, his old buddy and partner in crime. Oops, sorry, no crimes were committed because the deregulation laws Gramm pursued and McCain faithfully supported decriminalized the financial scams that have proved so costly.

Just check out the language of Gramm’s pet projects, the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act of 1999 and the Commodity Futures Modernization Act of 2000. By preventing mergers between the various branches of Wall Street, the former act reversed basic Depression-era legislation passed to prevent the sort of collapse we are now experiencing. The latter legitimized the “swap agreements” and other “hybrid instruments” that are at the core of the crisis.

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The legislation’s “Legal Certainty for Bank Products Act of 2000,” Title IV of the law—a law that Gramm snuck in without hearings hours before the Christmas recess—provided Wall Street with an unbridled license to steal. It made certain that financiers could legally get away with a whole new array of financial rip-off schemes. 

One of those provisions, summarized by the heading of Title III, ensured the “Legal Certainty for Swap Agreements,” which successfully divorced the granters of subprime mortgage loans from any obligation to ever collect on them. That provision of Gramm’s law is at the very heart of the problem. But the law went even further, prohibiting regulation of any of the new financial instruments permitted after the financial industry mergers: “No provision of the Commodity Exchange Act shall apply to, and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission shall not exercise regulatory authority with respect to, an identified banking product which had not been commonly offered, entered into, or provided in the United States by any bank on or before December 5, 2000. …”

Even some Republicans on the Senate committee expressed exasperation Monday with the swindles that they had voted for with such enthusiasm in the past, as well as with giving Wall Street yet another blank check. Sen. Jim Bunning, R-Ky., condemned Paulson’s proposal as an effort to “take Wall Street’s pain and spread it to the taxpayers.” He added, “It’s financial socialism and it’s un-American.”

He’s wrong on that last point, for what is proposed is not the nationalization of private corporations but rather a corporate takeover of government. The marriage of highly concentrated corporate power with an authoritarian state that services the politico-economic elite at the expense of the people is more accurately referred to as “financial fascism.” After all, even Hitler never nationalized the Mercedes-Benz company but rather entered into a very profitable partnership with the current car company’s corporate ancestor, which made out quite well until Hitler’s bubble burst.

Smell a rat if Congress approves the Paulson plan without severely curtailing CEO pay and putting a freeze on the mortgage foreclosures that are threatening to destroy the homes of millions of Americans.


Robert Scheer is author of a new book, “The Pornography of Power: How Defense Hawks Hijacked 9/11 and Weakened America.”

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


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



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By yacovm, September 28, 2008 at 3:06 pm Link to this comment

we must take to the streets
we are borrowing 700 billion to give the mob just so they can lend it back to us
does that make sense except the the mob?

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By Anarcissie, September 28, 2008 at 7:22 am Link to this comment

PatrickHenry: ’... Paying back $700 Billion will be a bitch. ...’

They’re not going to pay in back in the usual sense.  The present plan is to reinflate the housing and stock markets, which will almost certainly be followed by a general inflation of the prices of real goods and services.  In other words, the value of the bailout will come out of those whose incomes and assets are more or less fixed to cash, such as wage-earners, people with savings, and those with fixed incomes and entitlements—the not-so-rich—and it will be transferred to the gamblers, plungers and con men who brought about the present crisis.  This inevitably raises the question of whether the Chinese and other foreigners will continue to buy increasingly worthless U.S. debt and if not, what will happen then.

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By Frances, September 28, 2008 at 4:23 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

And to think I was a Democrat all my life.  I can no longer support them.  I could never devolve to support the Republicans.  The only out is a third party.  Getting involved might be the only way to ease the pain, to get through this.  General Tommy Franks said after seeing the plans for this country after 911 was that he would not want to be alive in that environment.  It’s going to be a harsh existence.
I would urge anyone to select a third party candidate and support him or her.  At least send a message.  Gain a set!  Stand up for what you worked for all your life. 
The Northeast is already a Police State.  Local police are shooting and killing citizens in what seems like record levels.  Blatant police brutality captured on film is escaping punishment in the courts. In NYC they tasered a mentally ill man standing nude on a 4th floor ledge of a window. He fell to his death.  No charges against the cop were filed.  No investigation.  In Lynn, MA, the state police killed a mentally ill man who was off his meds.  Peabody police shot and killed a man in a husband and wife dispute.  And the stories go on.
I read the headlines of an agreement for the impoverishment of the American people.  The middle class has been declared null and void.  The Democracy has been surrendered.  This migh all be karma.  God bless our souls!

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By JUSTSAYING, September 27, 2008 at 9:29 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

As arrogant as this latest caper by the criminals in charge is, it is not really all that surprising. Paulson exhibits the bush regime kind of arrogance in the way he delivered his ransom note. He simply gave the spineless and “anxious to please” congress a 2-page demand for 700 billion dollars or else the whole economy would crash. Why not question what happened to get the economy to the point of collapse when he was supposed to be in charge of the treasury? Instead of this the congress goes into immediate panic mode and insist that the bush cabal must be given whatever ransom amount it demands because the alternative is so much worse. No questions, no investigations and no indictments. This is just a continuation of what happens when the supposed congressional leaders, who are supposed to be a co-equal branch of government, are all too ready to bend over and be sodomized with the Enron stick whenever its necessary to carry out the crimes of the regime. After all, its only the people who will suffer if we are wrong in caving in. Hasn’t the disastrous and illegal war been enough to let these so-called leaders know that this script has been used over and over again to wreck the economy, waste lives and destroy whatever shreds of a reputation this country had left after these years of allowing flat-out gangsters to take control? Where is the outrage?

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By Folktruther, September 27, 2008 at 11:37 am Link to this comment

Rush/Bush—Rosa Luxembourg stated that the major enemy is always at home.  She was murdered along with Karl Liebknecht by the police under the Social Democrats in 1919, they serving the interests of their ruling class the way the Dems are doing now in the US.

This is especially relevant now when the major enemy of the predatory US ruling class is now the American population. The fraudulent War on Terrorism is essentially a racket to drive the American people into the ground, foreign policy always been driven by domestic policy.

But you want to conceal this from the American people, don’t you Rus/Bush, which is why you infiltrate progressive commentary.  You obviously don’t have enough to do at the White House-Cheney won’t let you touch anything- so you have plenty of time to distract normal truthers.

Fess up, Rus/Bush.  Laura put you up to this, didn’t she.  She didn’t want you hanging around the house all day.  All right, I suppose we have to put up with it, just another piece of grit in the vaseline.
Just so you know that we’re on to you.

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By Anarcissie, September 27, 2008 at 9:42 am Link to this comment

Rus7355:
‘I have and will continue speaking negatively about many thing the U.S. does and has done in the past. But I will say again that most regulars on this Web site almost always blames America First. It’s their default position. It’s the position most often taken before all the facts are out.’

That is fairly reasonable since the United States is, or was until recently, the most powerful state on the planet, and it is unquestionably the most aggressive and the only one actively seeking world domination at the moment.  It is also appropriate because most of the participants here appear to be Americans, and the United States is and should be their primary concern.  In addition, Americans as a community have a deep problem of exceptionalism—when we do it, it’s good, when other people do it, it’s bad—which is very tedious and exacerbates any disagreement or antipathy to the U.S. and its doings greatly.

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By jackpine savage, September 27, 2008 at 8:58 am Link to this comment

I believe the United States IS, today, a great nation. She is a driving force for the rule of law and individual freedoms. I believe the American population, proven time and time again, gives more of ourselves to help others than any single nation on earth. I believe its simple and narrow to think Iran dislikes only the Bush White House. Not after almost thirty exhaustively documented years of open hostility between our two nations.

I also believe the United States rarely wages war for little or no reason. Right or wrong the perception has almost always been in self defense. Saddam Hussein included! ~Rus

Oh lord, “real history and context”? You’ve got to be kidding me. The US is not, currently, a great nation. It is the leading cause of instability in the world; it is a dangerously unhinged failing superpower.

The US always has “reasons” for going to war, just not generally very good ones. The reasons are all about US hegemony and nothing else.

Supporting freedom is an admirable thing to do, but then why do we not support “freedom” in Saudi Arabia or China or a whole long list of other places.  I refer you to real history and context.

I don’t disbelieve you when you say that you have long thought of yourself as holding a “liberal view”, but neither do i care nor does it excuse anything. The “liberal view” has caused as much mayhem and carnage as the “conservative view” does today.

And i should note that you prefaced most of your statements with “I believe…”; belief is what we cling to when we can’t prove something.

P.S. “rule of law and individual freedom”? Have you been under a rock for the last eight years?

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By Leefeller, September 26, 2008 at 4:41 pm Link to this comment

“A full blown “truth commission” would be best.” Ah! truth, something that has not seen daylight for a long time. I will donate to build the guillotine, it would be nice to see my money being used properly.

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By PatrickHenry, September 26, 2008 at 3:34 pm Link to this comment

The “Bush” name has transended politics and become a state of mind.  Much like Homer Simpson, however Homer has a much kinder heart.

Several special prosecuters are warranted to investigate the past 8 years of financial and war crimes of this past administration. 

A full blown “truth commission” would be best.

The next president will have to play “whack a mole” on corporate givaway, MIC bases (761), war gear and contractors, foreign givaways and fund a alternate energy revolution.

Paying back $700 Billion will be a bitch.

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By Dr. Knowitall, PhD, PhD, September 26, 2008 at 2:54 pm Link to this comment

I think Russ is a machine.  Really a programmed machine like the kind that call you on your phone and don’t say hello.  Your responses, Russ, remind me of one of those 8 balls that show a generic answer in a little window.

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By Leefeller, September 26, 2008 at 2:28 pm Link to this comment

Events could suggest that McCain is throwing the election on purpose, he likes being in the Senate, and if people in Az or stupid enough to reelect him that is his comfort zone. Now I hear he wants to do something with Social Security, because it has social in the name. Taking on the helm of a sinking or already sunk ship is not something most people would want to do.

The next president will be taking over a trashed by Bush USA, if this money handout passes, their will be nothing left for infrastructure, which seems to suite certain people in government and a ongoing plan.  The rest of us are left to flounder for ourselves with the Constitution trashed, education handicapped, roads and public projects incomplete, need I mention a certin bridge?

If, and this is a big if, Obama wins, he will need help and not from the Washington elite and their cronies.

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By cyrena, September 26, 2008 at 2:00 pm Link to this comment

Patrick Henry, I can see why you’d think this:

•  “I suspect Rus7355 is actually George Bush.”

He certainly sounds like him in print. But, I don’t know. I don’t think little Georgie can come up with more than four letter words in his vocabulary, and he probably doesn’t know how to work from a template, which is what Rus7355 uses. Here’s an example:

From Rus numbers

•  “I take solice in the fact that people who think as you do are the minuscule minority.”

Now Rus numbers has used this template before, as has his other personality, JBlack. But, he switched it around this time, just by a word or two, which we can tell he did on his own, because he misspelled solace. But the rest is the same. He sees EVERYBODY else (collectively) as the ‘minority’, and himself (and his other personas) as the majority. How delusional is that?

So in that respect, he’s definitely George Bush, but George Bush doesn’t know how to use the internet or a computer.

Leefeller,

I think you must have fallen for a tall tale from Rus numbers. He must have told you that he’s been accepted at some educational institution, as a freshman. There’s no way. No high school or college would admit rus numbers…not even in the 21st Century, unless it’s at Liberty University. (that’s Pat Robertson’s unaccredited law school. That’s where georgies staff and the INjustice dept staff all come from).

Anywhere else, he just isn’t ‘freshman’ material.

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By Folktruther, September 26, 2008 at 1:56 pm Link to this comment

Rus numbers/Bush—Most of the world thinks the US is the major danger in the world power arena.  And Patrick Henry is obvously correct.  You are really Dubya Bush.

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By PatrickHenry, September 26, 2008 at 1:32 pm Link to this comment

By Rus7355, September 26 at 5:21 am #

By Rus7355, September 26 at 5:32 am #

I suspect Rus7355 is actually George Bush.

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By troublesum, September 26, 2008 at 1:06 pm Link to this comment

Various polls are showing that 30% of the public say that they have no understanding of this issue as well as no interest in it.  Not surprising that they try to impose these schemes on us.

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By Leefeller, September 26, 2008 at 12:57 pm Link to this comment

Rus,

Thanks for your feedback. Next semester as a freshman, don’t be surprised by the mother of all wedgie’s the seniors will be giving you after you tell them to “love it or leave it”.

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By noscetepsum_, September 26, 2008 at 12:34 pm Link to this comment

RUS 7355,

Being part of a solution is not possible without accurate, unadulterated information.
So informed people, thinkers, are generally a little cynical-
why?
Because the truth is often times not pretty.

Who do YOU turn to for your information?

Also,

What would you suggest the SOLUTION is?
Is the problem open dialogue?
This is what this website is about. For better or worse, it is an open forum, and a place to exchange ideas and thoughts.

And I love my country.
But I am angry with the people in charge, and people that blindly support them, mislead by false pretenses.

I am not blind, and so I do get angry and you should to dude———

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By Folktruther, September 26, 2008 at 11:10 am Link to this comment

I certainly don’t blame America first, Rus numbers, since I am often late in commenting.  I am for blaming American MOST, since it is by far the most dangerous anti-people polity in the world arena.  the US not only leads the world in the prevention of solving climate warming, and class inequality both between and within nations, it is on an historical trajectory to creating a thermonuclear war.

the owners of the banks and corporations have taken over the US government and are driving the American people and trying to drive the world’s people into the ground.  Although the poisonous drivel you spew does not noticably increase global warming, it does warm the cockels of the hearts of fellow flagwaggers who support torture and mass murder, as well the impoverishment of the population by the rich.

And much worse, you do serve to orient the discourse and consensus toward your obvous value perversions and routine falsehood, allowing the support of oppression to masquerade as progressivism.  That is the most important function of your inane discourse.

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By Blackspeare, September 26, 2008 at 9:47 am Link to this comment

The eventual bailout legislation will have a lasting effect on the next administration.  It will simply handcuff the treasury for a long time to come. When the funds transfers are complete, be it in installments or one spectacular $700 billion tranche, there will be virtually no new social spending possible. There will be no way to lower taxes on the middle class or anyone for that matter.  There will be no way to enact health care reform. There will be no means for the federal government to effectively run many existing programs, which will lend luster to the Republican calls for privatization of Social Security.  All of the potential good that could come from finally jettisoning the anti-New Deal Party (because, let’s face it, that’s all the Republican platforms have amounted to from Goldwater to Reagan to Gingrich to Bush!) will be lost in the tranches of capital diverted to those who need it least. Tranche Warfare—the elite vs. everyone else. That is the Plan. Bush is playing his cards, whether by choice or chance, so we won’t notice that his final stroke in office will be to make the Republican Revolution permanent and impossible to reverse for decades to come.

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By Leefeller, September 26, 2008 at 9:23 am Link to this comment

We see the USA wave the flag mental midgets, support sending our troops off to wars killing innocent people in the Middle East with no remorse, why would not the same people feel any more different of the same thing happening to their fellow Americans? For, the us and them mentality supports nothing but divisiveness propagated by many instituions from religion to politics.  This mental premise supposes anyone different then you is not worthy of support or compassion, demonizing makes it more palatable.  Even between the political parties, we see the same divisive techniques.

Fallout of indifference apparent from Katrina and toward the institution of war seems non existant.  Blind faith supporting an imperialist mental mercenary make up, promoted and prompted by propaganda.  In effect, we only have to just wave the flag.

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By noscetepsum_, September 26, 2008 at 8:32 am Link to this comment

This is probably one of the final, damning acts in a long series of ones like it that put more and more power into corporate hands.
Government and corporation are one in the same already. they work closely. obviously. This bailout scheme is also obvious. they do not care if the American people suffer because they are so far removed from reality and suffer no consequences, atleast for the time being (one of my comforts in life is believing that their day will come). They are cold, feasting lizards of destruction, callous, narrow minded, not altogether intelligent all the time, but dangerous, especially as a collective entity. They rob, pillage, and murder, crimes still inexcusable even if committed indirectly. It seems that it is too late to fight in the case of this bailout scheme.  The deal is already done, nothing we can do to stop it.  Depressing, yes, but true because this train has gathered too much momentum to be stopped this late in its journey. I say don’t panic, they want us to panic, be scared, offer up freedoms and individuality in the name of “safety”.  Thank God there are a few politicians who oppose this takeover, but it would take much more than a few “squeeky wheels” to stop this thing. It would take mass opposition, and that could only be created by directly offending the people en mass, with hostile affront. The piecemeal deprivation of our rights, privacy, etc. has been a long process-so as not to arouse the sleeping beast that could be the taxpayers if they realized what was really happenng to them. It will take a direct, forceful removal of The People’s way of life. I knew someone once that said as long as we keep getting layed and entertained we won’t do shit about the systematic removal of EVERYTHING THAT IS GOOD.

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By Leefeller, September 26, 2008 at 8:14 am Link to this comment

Rus said:

“Oops…I am an advocate for the United States when most regulars on this site ARE not.”

Ignorance is bliss Rus and you are full of bliss. Sadly you get to vote with that brain, that is ,if you are over 12 years old.

Yes, I hate you Rus, and I am a bigot Rus, and hope you feel better now.  Did you get enough attention indulging us with your personal fetishes.

Actually I really do not hate you, but you remind me of a Vietnam fly, annoying in a special way.

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By Anarcissie, September 26, 2008 at 7:43 am Link to this comment

Rus7355:

Oops…I am an advocate for the United States when most regulars on this site ARE not.

Learning about real and verifiable history is not that difficult. Being lead around by the partisan nose is the easiest thing in the world.

This is one of the most bigoted Web Sites I visit. I only wish some of you could see that clearly.

More accurately, you are an advocate for one branch of the propaganda ministry of the U.S. ruling class—the “my country right or wrong” branch, which is considered too crude in manner for the Wall Street Journal or the New York Times, but is good enough for most of the media and the folk in general.

If you believe history can be learned, then you should display some of the learning you have achieved by mentioning facts unfavorable to your great leaders and their institutions.

As for bigoted, I think you’ve got it backwards.  There is quite a variety of opinion here.  Thinking people do not fall into lockstep because someone starts waving a flag.  If you want to proselytize among the heathen, you need to at least come up to their standards.

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By Tony Wicher, September 26, 2008 at 7:41 am Link to this comment

Oh, I forgot that ridiculous grandstand play when Carter tried to rescue the hostages. That was Carter’s only mistake, and it cost him the election.

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By Tony Wicher, September 26, 2008 at 7:39 am Link to this comment

By Rus7355, September 26 at 1:51 am #

That’s my entire point. Ahmadinejad has a great deal in common with most TruthDig regulars. It’s not worth thinking about unless you Blame America First!
—————————————————————————-
What have the Iranians ever done to us since the hostage crisis, which, by the way, both the Iranians and Jimmy Carter get credit for resolving without the loss of a single life? Nothing, is what.

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By Dr. Knowitall, PhD, PhD, September 26, 2008 at 4:50 am Link to this comment

Cyrena, I agree that Bush is probably the most dangerous person in the world.

Russ, you’re a wonderful advocate for the US Government.  I’ll bet there would be a place for you in the State Department, someday, if you play your cards right.  Maybe in your Palin administration. I’m dashing an e-mail off to her people in Alaska.

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By PatrickHenry, September 26, 2008 at 3:55 am Link to this comment

By Rus7355, September 26 at 1:51 am #

What about 138 UN Resolutions against Israel?

http://www.mediamonitors.net/michaelsladah&suleimaniajlouni1;.html

It sounds like you get you talking points (rhetoric) from the Jeruselum Post.

Rus, if your so fired up about Ahmadinejad, get on a plane go there and tell him.  Your arguement that he is the boogyman in a neighborhood full of boogymen doesn’t carry much weight.

We have more pressing matters here in the U.S. if this post’s topic hasn’t clued you in.

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By Outraged, September 25, 2008 at 10:06 pm Link to this comment

Silly me.. Rus7355, I’ll give you that.. in my haste, I discounted other factors of YOUR BELIEFS.  Thanks to the wonder of modern science though…, I can still do that.  So in addition, I offer Rus7355’s additional BELIEFS:

I believe the American population, proven time and time again, gives more of ourselves to help others than any single nation on earth.

I believe its simple and narrow to think Iran dislikes only the Bush White House.

I believe in taking sides. I believe America is obliged.

Thank Rus7355, I couldn’t have illuminated that more concisely than you.  You definitely have me beat there.  Ciao.

P.S.  Rus7355, I love you… as you love me.

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By Tony Wicher, September 25, 2008 at 9:19 pm Link to this comment

By cyrena, September 25 at 7:51 pm #


rus numbers writes:

• “But, again, the Iranian government is an open and sworn enemy of the United States. In fact Iran has professed it’s intentions many times for decades. And every U.S. President since President Carter has talked of Iran in exactly the terms I am writing today.”

——————————————————————————
No, the actual fact is that the United States is the open and sworn enemy of Iran, not the other way around. The United States could make peace with Iran, and could have done so any time in the last twenty years and more. It has not done so because it does not want to and it covets Iran’s oil.

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By Outraged, September 25, 2008 at 9:13 pm Link to this comment

Re: Rus7355

You have definitely laid claim to the fact that you “believe”, I offer, your assertions:

“I believe the United States IS, today, a great nation.”

“I also believe the United States rarely wages war for little or no reason.”

“I believe in interfering when tens of thousands loose their lives.”

So… I guess it is here where we get to the crux of the matter.  YOUR BELIEFS, my dear friend, expose you.  What else is it YOU are willing to divulge of YOUR BELIEFS?  Be candid… remember, I love you… as you love me.

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By cyrena, September 25, 2008 at 8:51 pm Link to this comment

rus numbers writes:

•  “But, again, the Iranian government is an open and sworn enemy of the United States. In fact Iran has professed it’s intentions many times for decades. And every U.S. President since President Carter has talked of Iran in exactly the terms I am writing today.”

So, uh….never mind about that Regan thing, Iran Contra. That doesn’t count.

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/amex/reagan/peopleevents/pande08.html


Then we’ve got this little ditty as well: Regan and Genada…SOOOOO illegal:


http://www.commondreams.org/scriptfiles/views03/1027-06.htm


http://www.democracynow.org/2004/6/10/remembering_reagans_invasion_of_grenada

Then of course, back to Iran, never mind that the CIA (doing what they do best, and always at the direction of the President, whomever that happens to be) overthrew the democratically elected Mossadeq

http://www.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/NSAEBB/NSAEBB28/

And, while we’re in that time period anyway, why not bring up that event in Korea, that took the lives of two of my uncles, and the left my stepfather permanently disabled, minus a limb. I mean, since rus here is claiming that:

•  “…I also believe the United States rarely wages war for little or no reason. Right or wrong the perception has almost always been in self defense. Saddam Hussein included!

Perception my ass. What was the “Perception” in Korea, or Vietnam, or the Philippines, or Bosnia, or Grenada, or Iraq, and on and on, and on? The only ‘perception’ is GLOBAL HEGEMONY by US Military Force. And it became written and codified POLICY under the Bush Doctrine of Pre-Emptive War!!!

http://www.thenation.com/doc/20020715/falk/print

In fact, there’s been no ‘reason’ or validated ‘perception’ for ANY of the wars the US has initiated since WWII.

And what about all of the other governments that the US/CIA has overthrown? Peru, when they installed the US puppet Fujimori, or Chile, what they put one of the cruelest dictators know to history, Augusto Pinochet in charge? What about all of the Latin American countries where the US has both trained and backed horrible regimes, and continues to do so in places like Salvador and Columbia?

What about the military ‘help’ from the Pentagon in the Rwandan Genocide? What about the on going ‘war on terror’ that allows the US to go anywhere they want (like Somalia) and bomb civilians in their homes under the guise of ‘catching terrorists’?

What about all of the torture apparatus set up at Bragam and Abu Ghraib?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bagram_torture_and_prisoner_abuse

http://www.motherjones.com/news/feature/2005/03/03_2005_Bazelon.html

Was there a ‘good reason’ for violating the highest priority law of the International Community, like TORTURE? WIDE SPREAD TORTURE????

You say we shouldn’t ‘blame America’. Well, *I’M* NOT blaming America. I’m blaming Richard B Cheney and his secret staff, and his puppets like GW Bush; at least for the past 8 years of the most heinous crimes against humanity in the history of the world.

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By Outraged, September 25, 2008 at 8:11 pm Link to this comment

Re: Rus7355

I see you’re begging for attention again, ...OK…I love you too… Rus7355

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By Outraged, September 25, 2008 at 8:08 pm Link to this comment

In addition, I just went to the other thread and “troublesum” had posted this link. (Thanks troublesum)

This is what I mean…

http://www.commondreams.org/view/2008/09/25-7

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By Outraged, September 25, 2008 at 7:44 pm Link to this comment

Thinking about this whole thing leads one to consider the bigger picture.  While it might be in “their” favor to be bailed out, collect the money and bankrupt our goverment, how does this fit into the larger scheme of things.

It seems odd that the verbiage which would have given Paulson incredible overreaching authority was put in this Act.  I’ve read that the original act Paulson introduced was four pages long.  Does it seem plausible that this verbiage granting him undue authority would have gone unnoticed?  Something smells…  It seems purposeful.

So what really is the game..?  Suddenly, McCain was grandstanding during this whole charade.  First he was going to cancel the debate to deal with this urgent matter, then he came out totally lambasting the outline and the amount of money involved.  After that, in the story I caught, it claimed several “conservative” republicans were holding up the consensus.  Since they claimed, it “went against the market”.

At the same time, we have another group attempting to get a handout.  Socialism/facsism…???  Something is up.  These things do not jive.  In the middle of all this we have Goldman Sachs people everywhere.  What’s the connection?

Go back to Reagan, breaking unions and deregulation.  Wages drop, safety suffers.  Clinton puts 100,000 extra officers on the street via Biden.  Obama chooses Biden.  Obama chooses Rubin, Clinton’s guy.  I’m not a P.I., so what’s the connection?  They had a plan, we know that… but we DON’T know the whole plan, and I’m sure very few do, so what’s the connection..?

With lower wages and insecure employment, people won’t qualify for loans.  So the “rules” are relaxed, homes sell.  We have a supposed “good economy” our budget goes into the black.  Then war, it drains the coffers.  Fundamentalism makes a surge, but it had already been stewing.  Now, a supposed economic collapse. What’s the accurate accounting of of the bigger picture?  It’s hard to see the forest through the trees.

I came across this article it makes some good points, I’d read this.  An excerpt:

But would the bailout really fix the system? Obviously, for it to do so, it would have to address and correct the cause.

So what is the cause? According to Paulson, the cause is “defaults on mortgages.” Senator Schumer agreed that ,“It’s been mortgages that have brought the financial system to its knees.

It continues:
And that is the crux of the problem, which explains why Paulson’s proposal may keep the financial system alive but won’t help anyone who was hurt by the housing bubble in the first place. Senator Dodd agreed with Paulson that, “the proposal will not help a single family save their home.” And even though he said the plan should “put an end to foreclosures and defaults,” it won’t.

Then:
The committee never addressed the issue of why the bankers would oppose homeowner relief. Could it be that they actually favor foreclosures? Could it be that a situation where millions of foreclosed homes across America can be bought today for dimes on the dollar is somehow to their advantage? Or to the advantage of other investors who are now working the U.S. foreclosure markets, such as foreign sovereign equity funds? These questions did not come up at the Banking Committee’s hearing, though they should have.

Nor did anyone talk about why the housing bubble arose in the first place, though the fact is that the Bush administration and Federal Reserve combined to generate it to get the nation out of the 2000-2001 recession.” (emph.mine)

http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=10322

Remember in the aftermath of Katrina, the criminals rushed in and attempted to buy up prime locations for pennies on a dollar. Blackwater moves in to “restore order”.  Something is up…. I don’t think it’s what we think it is… I could be wrong, but this puzzle’s pieces just aren’t matching up.

Anyone..?

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By troublesum, September 25, 2008 at 6:37 pm Link to this comment

Obama has taken $22 million in campaign contributions from wall street while McCain has raked in $23 million.  No other candidates in history have taken so much cash from wall street as these two.

There is only one party now.  Only the blind cannot see this.

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By jackpine savage, September 25, 2008 at 5:07 pm Link to this comment

Rus,

The difference between Ahmadinejad and Truthdig posters (aside from his fundamentalist religion…as Dr. Knowitall pointed out) is that every time America does something stupid/evil it helps him stay in power, so he actually likes America this way.  While most Truthdig posters want to see America act like a member of the community of nations.

Here’s a little news flash for you: we are a great nation only when we behave like a great nation.  We cannot be a free nation at home that supports tyranny abroad (and we have/do just that).  We cannot tell the world to live in peace when we wage war for no good reason.  We cannot expect the world to uphold human rights when our conception of them is relative to who’s doing what and if it helps us.  We cannot tell the world to fight terrorism when we foment it.  We cannot expect the world to think about its future and freedom when we care little for our own.  We cannot teach the world democracy when we neglect it.

The world at large doesn’t hate America; it hates American hypocrisy…and through all that very rarely hates individual Americans.  It is not the world that has a problem with “America”, it is America that has a problem with the world.

Sorry if there isn’t enough flag waving here for you.

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By cyrena, September 25, 2008 at 4:50 pm Link to this comment

By Dr. Knowitall, PhD, PhD, September 25 at 3:33 am #

Cyrena, North Korea has restarted its Nuke and Ahmadinejad stood before the UN and ran up one side of the US and down the other.  Look for Bully Boy Bush to hit someone—soon.

This is off subject.  I can understand Ahmadinejad’s resolve vis a vis Bush, but I have never listened to so much “God” bullshit come from one mouth in so little time as I heard from him at the UN.  No wonder ordinary people in the world are at such risk of annihilation.

~~~~~

Dr. Knowitall,

Yep, I noted yesterday that NK was re-starting their nuke program. And, it ain’t about God for them.

And, despite Imadinnerjacket’s rhetoric, (which I’ve been following from the time he was elected) I don’t think that they are nearly as ‘dangerous’ as many are likely to think. In fact, I find GW Bush far more dangerous than I find Mamoud Ahmadinejad, because he really DOES have control of the buttons.

Despite all of the shit that Mamoud might talk, Iran has been in compliance with the rules of the NPT, and hasn’t (yet) decided to withdraw from the treaty. As we can see, there are no such concerns for NK.

I’m not sure if you remember back during the lead-up to the Iraq war, when NK was threatening nuclear action all over the place, and the Bush Cabal was basically ignoring them, because they were so focused on getting Saddam out of the way, to get to the OIL.

that’s ALWAYS the bottom line. These thugs in DC don’t care about nuclear dangers.(aside from Obama and a handful of other die-hards like me and my group of anti-nuclear peace activists, who want to destroy ALL nuclear weapons, and not let ANYBODY have them, including us)

An interesting ‘parallel’ event to this, is how McCain railed against Hugo Chavez in that interview that he had with the Latin American correspondent last week. It’s equally interesting how McCain, (and people like rus numbers) rail against Hugo Chavez and Ahmadinejad in the same context. WHY??? Because they’ve both chosen to nationalize their oil. I read a piece yesterday, (though I can’t remember where now, but I could find it) that Hugo Chavez has just signed a deal to provide China with LOTS of OIL. (this makes the DC terrorists crazy). According to the piece, he was then headed to Russia.

Meantime, Iran switched to the Yen and the Euro for ALL of their oil trade business, at least a year ago, if not longer. (Saddam had been planning the same thing…dumping the $USD for such purposes) That’s why HE had to go.

So, I said that to say that we could hear the raw hatred/bitterness in gramps McCain’s voice when he spoke of Chavez, pairing it with how we needed to reduce our dependence on ‘foreign’ oil. What he really means, is that these “foreigner’s” have kicked the US cabal/thieves out of their countries, even though Cheney finally DID get what he wanted from Iraq. 

That’s not to say that I’m ignoring the colorful rhetoric from Imadinnerjacket, and I admit that he does lay in on really thick. However, I’ve had an opportunity to consult (at length) with many ordinary Persians or Iranians, and the general sense is that his election happened largely as a response to the Bush Cabal take over of the US. You know GW starting talking PLENTY of shit even before the Iranians elected Ahmadinejad.

Why? Well, it can probably be chalked up to the standard response of most societies when they are under attack by a foreign power. They choose the big, bad, conservative/nationalist type shit talker, to counter the same from the offenders. (in this case, the US). The other thing is that even those Iranians who didn’t or don’t particularly like Ahmadinejad, are VERY protective of their civilian nuclear program, and the Cheney Cabal has made it clear from day one, that they want to use THAT as an excuse to take over the Iranian oil. (Just like the non-existent WMD were used to invade Iraq).

so…there we are

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By PatrickHenry, September 25, 2008 at 4:16 pm Link to this comment

By Rus7355, September 25 at 11:07 am #

Actually he is hostile to the regime occuping power in the U.S. government and Israel, so am I. 

Hopefully I think we can change that real soon.

I thought those rich, stereotypical jewish bankers that populate wall street were suppose to be smart, what happened?  I guess they can always flee to Israel if the going gets too tough, a la Mark Rich.

They are more of a national problem to Americans than Ahmadinejad.

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By cyrena, September 25, 2008 at 3:59 pm Link to this comment

“…It’s a little dumb trying to make this a purely Republican or Bush issue.

This is a Democrap controlled congress, and nothing can happen without Democrats getting on board the heist.  That is not a debatable point….”
~~~~~~~~
Actually COS, It IS a debatable point, and from a number of perspectives. You are generally pretty much on spot with your posts, but here, you miss an important historical context, as well as the reality of real politick. There is also a linguistic issue here.

First the linguistic issue, which is tied to the real politick: The Congress may (NOW) have a *majority* of Democrats, (51% or more in either chamber) but that does NOT mean that they are ‘in control.’ The amount of ‘control’ that any party has in Congress has everything to do with how the rules are set at the beginning of each new Congressional session, to determine what percentage of anything is required to pass or block any given legislation. Some things continue to remain the same, ie…the confirmation of any nominee to the Supreme Court. Only the Senate votes on those confirmations, and that’s when we see party lines most clearly. I think 4 democrats crossed party lines to confirm Alito. More for Roberts. But much of the legislation for anything else originating in House, (which is where it starts) requires a 2/3 majority of the entire body, to pass on to the next chamber.

Meantime, the CURRENENT Congress has a very SMALL democrat majority in both chambers. And that’s where the historical context comes in. Until this 110th Congress created in 2005, to commence in 2006, the REPUBLICANS have CONTROLLED the Congress for the pervious 14 years. (give or take, I’d have to go back over the numbers). And my point is that ALL of the shit that is hitting the fan NOW, was incorporated by and for a republican majority in the Congress for well over a decade. That’s just the way it is, and that’s not debatable. We can agree that during the Clinton Era, when he was ALWAYS saddled with a republican congress, he DID sign on to many of these republican measures, and so he certainly can be held responsible for it. On the other hand, that too, is real politick. I don’t know the numbers involved in some of the worst of this legislation, but certainly there have been laws that he could have vetoed, and didn’t.

Having said that, this largest part of the CRASH, is very much republican, and very much Dick Bush. (I hate that we call this a bush administration, because it’s actually a Cheney Administration, and Cheney has been pulling MOST of the strings for a least 2 decades if not longer, and ALL of them since 2000) He was only out of commission for a portion of the Clinton Era, which is when he took over Halliburton with the intent of incorporating it into the government, following The Coup of 2000.
Speaking of which…there is sort of a ‘given’ in the legal community (been this way for over a decade now) that all BAD LAW originates in Texas. It’s true. We can trace the majority of the theft to corporate entities that were either headquartered in Texas, (Halliburton, Enron, and at least a third of the OIL industry) or to the legislation introduced by TEXANS in Congress, such as Phil Graham, and Richard Cheney. There are others, like Tom Delay, who have been very instrumental in the heist as well. So again, this is VERY MUCH a republican blame.

It’s also totally ludicrous to suggest that Obama has raked in more contributions from Wall Street than anyone is history. That’s simply STUPID. If you wanna know who the historical ‘Wall Street’ winners are, look at the OIL industry, and the INSURANCE industry, and the Pharmaceutical Industry, and that very helpful chronology of ALL the bailouts of the past 2 decades, and you’ll see who the ‘winners’ and the heisters have actually been.

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By Dr. Knowitall, PhD, PhD, September 25, 2008 at 3:06 pm Link to this comment

Thanks to P. Henry and others citing Marcy Kaptur’s speech in the House. 

There’s a patriot.

If you haven’t watched it, please do.  I’m copying the link here for your convenience:

http://bloggerinterrupted.com/2008/09/video-marcy-kapt ur-an-ohio-congresswoman-puts-a-beatdown-on-bush-bailout

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By Crimes of the State Blog, September 25, 2008 at 1:39 pm Link to this comment

Is this the beginning of an uprising?  The whole internet is buzzing with disgust and outrage.  Here we see that the Congress does not represent the interests of the PEOPLE of the USA.

Except for a few, such as that congress woman from Ohio, who actually want to enforce the law and PROSECUTE the guilty for CRIMES.

It’a little dumb trying to make this a purely Republican or Bush issue. 

Obama has raked in more bribes—I mean campaign contributions —from Wall Street than anyone else (in history?).  Is it any wonder he’s not opposing this rape and plunder?

This is a Democrap controlled congress, and nothing can happen without Democrats getting on board the heist.  That is not a debatable point.

http://crimesofthestate.blogspot.com/

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

Before they got to that point there was a “get rich quick” craze going on and everybody and his brother became an overnight realtor by “flip that house.” or two or three or four, renting them or just fixing them up, and profiting by the fast rising house prices caused by the craze. 
  We can argue who is to blame, apparently both the home buyer and the lender is at fault. The lender acted recklessly and lent and lent and competed to lend. Mortgage and title companies were popping up all over leading the owners like sheep before the slaughter.
  The balance of fault lies on the degree of greed. Could you blame the average Joe that wanted to get rich quick or the banks who should have had more sense. 
  Now we know how we got there lets propose how to get out. Giving 700 million to the same banks who got us here, paid for by the average Joe’s taxes and not only that but, Joe must barrow the money with interest just to give it to the ones who lent Joe the money for the house that he is now foreclosed on. That’s like Joe borrowing money to give to heroin dealers in order to make sure they have a steady supply of heroin that he could sell him.
  We have another option but of course it will not be considered because the government thinks it is in their best interest to help the banks thinking it will save Wall Street. We have to let the air out of the balloon by getting the prices of home closer to the year 2000. The way we can do that is instead of giving the money directly to the banks; give it to the notes that are over priced. Let’s start with Joe’s house and his only house for now. If he paid let’s say $200,000 and he is in foreclosure, reset the value to the year 2003. That means rewriting the note. The year used adjusting the house value would be determined on until the 700 billion is allocated to first every homeowner that will occupy that house. This will in no doubt cause values to come down all over. This plan could be implemented to the relevance of importance. The homeless first then to the struggling families aiming at the outrageously over priced homes, this will hurt the rich and humble undeserving. There are Joe’s out there that flipped houses until he bestowed on half a million dollar house with an income that can’t support it. He should eventually be included in this bill.
  It all comes down to the basics, supply & demand. Now the supply is high. By slashing prices will create gamut of demand. New loans, transparency and credit will flow like neighborhoods at a block-party. This is the way to bailout Main Street & Wall Street.

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By yacovm, September 25, 2008 at 10:08 am Link to this comment

This is another way to bail us out
          By James Messina
 

First let’s go back to the beginning starting at bubble, although I’d rather refer it to a balloon. In the year 2000 just after post doomsday Y2K the balloon was just placed on stem of the tank of air. During that year a house let’s say in Holiday Florida would average at $50-60k. During that same year there were many types of easy loans such as HUD and Veteran (it wasn’t necessary to actually be a Vet one just got a little better rate) which made it very easy for the average individual with $500 and job to obtain approval. Section 8 had a role in this also. If they had 20% of the price of the home they didn’t even need a job. Actually they did, but what was referred to as a “no doc” all they had to do is just say they had an income.
  Now here is where the air valve just barley inflates the balloon. Keep in mind that Holiday Florida is just a reference point and places like California and Miami holds the same principle just different prices. These loans usually carried an ARM which meant 5 years down the road Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac would be tacking on another 2.5-3% interest. These easy loans owners had to put their signatures to selling their souls sort of speak, compounded by falling prices.

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By Folktruther, September 25, 2008 at 8:52 am Link to this comment

Scheer asks, ‘does it matter which party is in charge…?  Not if the Dems rollover…’

The Dems didn’t roll over. They are helping to LEAD the bailout.  They have DRAFTED the legislation for the bipartisan bailout.  Had their aides stay up all night to do it.  It has to be done fast before the population understands the implications of what this swindle entails, which is why Bush and the media are stampeding the population with the ususual fear tactics.  THE WHOLE ECONOMY IS IN DANGER!  Unless we let the rich raid the treasury.

And a large fraction of the population still identify with the Dems, progressives like Kucinich.  This is not simply a matter of voting for them, which is undeerstandable given the alternatives, but expecting that they might provide a solution.  That voting for anyone in an obsolete and rigged electoral system will provide a solution.

Nothing demonstrates the emptiness of US’s fake Democracy than this bailout for the rich, a huge swindle of the population, just before a presidential election.  The population has no power at all, is disconnected from the US power system.  Progressives are neutalized by the Dems, who support the rich and powerful under the guise of promoting the interests of the ‘middle class’  (there is no ‘working class’ in the American mainstream truth.) 

So now the Dems must persuade the population to accept cuts in welfare and infrastructure, because
there just isn’t any money!  No Dem has suggested cutting the military budget, because the power strucure will need the military to use against the Amererican population.  Thar divisions to do so are now based in Colorado in schematic form, waiting for reinforcements when martial law is declared. 

The American people do not understand that if 5 million angry Americans met in Washington, that the economy would miraculously recover without the need of a bailout.  Getting five million there is a bigger problem, but Americans don’t understand yet how we can exert power. It is not that we are afraid to demonstrate, we are afraid to THINK about demonstrated.

But there is no end to this raiding.  Once they succeed, and there is money still left in the treasury, they will do it again and again.  Unless the population prevents them.  And this must be done in the face of the Gops calling them names and the Dems pleading with them to be Responsible and Rational.

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By A. Gurfinkle, September 25, 2008 at 8:38 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Almost forgot .... this little video is hot .... DeFazio from Oregon…....for five minutes ....

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ANGsBNMY1_c

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By A. Gurfinkle, September 25, 2008 at 8:35 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The problem is that housing prices should come down and Paulson is trying to keep them up ...... yep, I was right ..... at least I found someone who knows more about it than I do that agrees with this POV ...

Michael Hudson on Counterpunch ...

http://www.counterpunch.com/

“The pretense is that not to pay them off would threaten “the economy.” The reality is that it only would stop their predatory behavior. Worse than that, for the economy at large a government take-over of these bad loans would prevent the debt write-down that the economy needs!”

...... Hudson continues at length ....

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By Powerless, September 25, 2008 at 7:38 am Link to this comment

Right on! Can you imagine if a Democratic President proposed this? The mad dogs of the Republican crime family would be foaming at the mouth. Here is a Republican proposal for a blank check, no oversight, having taxpayors buying junk at par value, they want us to pay 100 cents on the dollar for stuff trading at 20-30 cents in the free market? The buildup to sell this turkey sounds just like the buildup to sell the Iraq war, make us fearful and afraid for the economy now, the country before. This is bull****! Where is leadership instead of crybabies?

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By Leefeller, September 25, 2008 at 7:13 am Link to this comment

Patrick Henery,

Great Link, everyone should listen to her, finally a politician who makes sense of nonsense. Hell, I would vote for her as president.

Do you know what the rest of Congress did with her speech?  After cleaning their finger nails? Timing of this whole mess is suspicious, as she addressed and very relevant.Deadbeats in congress better appreciate it, in fact we should be watching them a lot closer.

Ramming this through or even doing it at all seems so suspicious as she stated. More people need to be aware of the crap we have been fed by Colonel Klink as an insider from day one, this bail out after bail out needs to stop.

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By Mike Nobel, September 25, 2008 at 6:57 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

In 2006 this s.o.b. made ONE HUNDRED AND SIXTY-THREE MILLION DOLLARS from Goldman-Sachs!!!! Here is the low down from abc news:
http://abcnews.go.com/Business/Economy/story?id=5876413

If your brain is tired from reading, here’s the whole deal in a song: “WE’RE GONNA HAVE A SCARY HALLOWEEN!”
http://soundclick.com/share?songid=5896354

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By Dr. Knowitall, PhD, PhD, September 25, 2008 at 6:36 am Link to this comment

Russ7355,

Apparently you weren’t listening, especially to the opening bullshit of his speech.  Absolutely everything he said he based on his religious beliefs and no one I’ve read on TD does that, at least not the rational commenters, whether or not they believe in a deity. 

Ahmadinejad is a religious zealot, which negates, in my mind, anything he says and makes him a very dangerous person to be in power.

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By Fahrenheit 451, September 25, 2008 at 5:21 am Link to this comment

@ Dr. Knowitall, PhD, PhD;

Listen to Palin on a video at her church.

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By Dr. Knowitall, PhD, PhD, September 25, 2008 at 4:33 am Link to this comment

Cyrena, North Korea has restarted its Nuke and Ahmadinejad stood before the UN and ran up one side of the US and down the other.  Look for Bully Boy Bush to hit someone—soon. 

This is off subject.  I can understand Ahmadinejad’s resolve vis a vis Bush, but I have never listened to so much “God” bullshit come from one mouth in so little time as I heard from him at the UN.  No wonder ordinary people in the world are at such risk of annihilation.

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By RdV, September 25, 2008 at 4:13 am Link to this comment

Paulson looks like the typical caricature of a Nazi from Hollywood central casting all the way day to the bent pinky. I noticed his voice was firm, but his hands were shaking.
  The mere fact that they have been setting this up for some time, but now claim urgency is a dead giveaway that they are trying to ram it through. The usual modus operandi to prevent opportunity for any growing opposition. Problem is so many Dems were complicit in setting up the scenario they can’t really mount any outrage when they are trying to cover their own backside and want a massive bailout rather than continuing to let the dominos falling one after the next. Why is consolidation of these finicial giants continuing considering the “too big to fail” line? And if lack of credit is the problem, well wasn’t too ready credit the problem? And finally, since they aren’t apply the necessary regulatory fixes to prevent this from continuing to occur—how can anyone justify continuing to fund them at our expense?
  Why doesn’t anyone ask?

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By Fahrenheit 451, September 25, 2008 at 4:06 am Link to this comment

@ PatrickHenry;

Thanks for that gem.  Marcy Kapt hit every point; she’s awesome.  Now, will “we” listen?

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By PatrickHenry, September 25, 2008 at 3:40 am Link to this comment

Finally a congresswoman worth her weight.

Well worth the watch.

http://bloggerinterrupted.com/2008/09/video-marcy-kaptur-an-ohio-congresswoman-puts-a-beatdown-on-bush-bailout

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By PatrickHenry, September 25, 2008 at 3:25 am Link to this comment

“To big to fail”  sounds like anti-trust action is warranted.

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By Frank, September 25, 2008 at 3:24 am Link to this comment

BlueEagle’s post continued


17. The FEMA concentration camps will be opened

18. And a partridge in a pear tree

You really should avoid the Prison Planet website for awhile.

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By Frank, September 25, 2008 at 3:21 am Link to this comment

A Bailout We Don’t Need
By James K. Galbraith
Washington Post
Thursday, September 25, 2008; A19

Now that all five big investment banks—Bear Stearns, Merrill Lynch, Lehman Brothers, Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley—have disappeared or morphed into regular banks, a question arises.

Is this bailout still necessary?

The point of the bailout is to buy assets that are illiquid but not worthless. But regular banks hold assets like that all the time. They’re called “loans.”

With banks, runs occur only when depositors panic, because they fear the loan book is bad. Deposit insurance takes care of that. So why not eliminate the pointless $100,000 cap on federal deposit insurance and go take inventory? If a bank is solvent, money market funds would flow in, eliminating the need to insure those separately. If it isn’t, the FDIC has the bridge bank facility to take care of that.

Next, put half a trillion dollars into the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. fund—a cosmetic gesture—and as much money into that agency and the FBI as is needed for examiners, auditors and investigators. Keep $200 billion or more in reserve, so the Treasury can recapitalize banks by buying preferred shares if necessary—as Warren Buffett did this week with Goldman Sachs. Review the situation in three months, when Congress comes back. Hedge funds should be left on their own. You can’t save everyone, and those investors aren’t poor.

With this solution, the systemic financial threat should go away. Does that mean the economy would quickly recover? No. Sadly, it does not. Two vast economic problems will confront the next president immediately. First, the underlying housing crisis: There are too many houses out there, too many vacant or unsold, too many homeowners underwater. Credit will not start to flow, as some suggest, simply because the crisis is contained. There have to be borrowers, and there has to be collateral. There won’t be enough.

In Texas, recovery from the 1980s oil bust took seven years and the pull of strong national economic growth. The present slump is national, and it can’t be cured that way. But it could be resolved in three years, rather than 10, by a new Home Owners Loan Corp., which would rewrite mortgages, manage rental conversions and decide when vacant, degraded properties should be demolished. Set it up like a draft board in each community, under federal guidelines, and get to work.

The second great crisis is in state and local government. Just Tuesday, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced $1.5 billion in public spending cuts. The scenario is playing out everywhere: Schools, fire departments, police stations, parks, libraries and water projects are getting the ax, while essential maintenance gets deferred and important capital projects don’t get built. This is pernicious when unemployment is rising and when we have all the real resources we need to preserve services and expand public investment. It’s also unnecessary.

What to do? Reenact Richard Nixon’s great idea: federal revenue sharing. States and localities should get the funds to plug their revenue gaps and maintain real public spending, per capita, for the next three to five years. Also, enact the National Infrastructure Bank, making bond revenue available in a revolving fund for capital improvements. There is work to do. There are people to do it. Bring them together. What could be easier or more sensible?

Here’s another problem: the wealth loss to near-retirees and the elderly from a declining stock market as things shake out. How about taking care of this, with rough justice, through a supplement to Social Security? If you need a revenue source, impose a turnover tax on stocks.


(continued)

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/09/24/AR2008092403033_pf.html

James K. Galbraith is the author of “The Predator State: How Conservatives Abandoned the Free Market and Why Liberals Should Too.”

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By Fahrenheit 451, September 25, 2008 at 2:15 am Link to this comment

Answering my own question: Yes, fear mongering still works. 

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Democratic Rep. Barney Frank said on Wednesday Democrats had reached an agreement to stem one of the worst U.S. financial disasters in decades, and that there would be enough votes to pass the measure and send it to President George W. Bush to sign into law.

We’re such good little soldiers.  God bless America.

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By yellowbird2525, September 25, 2008 at 2:11 am Link to this comment

Mr Risk goes to Washington Businessweek 2006: see http://www.democracynow.org; for the story: it is found under “shock doctrine”; THIS is the SAME MAN being “presented” to the USA people as being the “savior” who is going to solve the problem that he himself was instrumental in creating folks: he raised Golden Sacs from $20b to $100b; read the book folks re Wall St called “license to steal” they took their lessons from Capital Hill;***questions to ask yourselves: why does the USA have the highest level of wealthy to poor in the world? why does the USA have more baby fatalies than any other country in the world? (oops it is #2 presently); and it is NOT due to “bad formula” from China; why does the USA NOT have the same benefits for it’s people as Iceland, Norway, Sweden, Denmark etc?”??? Why did the Indians NEVER get what the Policians promised them? Why if there is so “bad” blah blah blah is our Gov giving all kinds of $ to illegals when not supplying medical equipment & medical supplies to vets? Why has our Gov never kept it’s words to the Vets? Why does McCain have a huge pension & so do the Pentagon parasites who work with the same contractors to “lose” billions of $ of equipment (its on paperwork only folks like the down payments on homes deveopers use: no equipment is ever sent & no $ put down); they almost bankrupted the VA on loans not so many years ago with this same old ploy; why are the “specialists” to China actively involved in the Corps there? the ones to the Pres; Why do the illegals all get free tuition to college that is denied to the vets? Why did our country try & overthrow heads of countries in S America (US ambassadors kicked out) when the ambassadors claim they were “trying to end poverty” in those countries when in reality they are working to put more folks in poverty HERE? Why are the Corps NOT paying taxes just like Reagan said they should not THIS year & putting the whole burden onto the people of the USA? Why is there Agent Orange being put into the genetic seeds? Why is there Formaldehyde one of the most toxic chemicals on earth inside of asparteme which was sent thru the FDA by Donald Rumsfeld (yep the Head of Defense); why is it agressively used in everything even baby shampoo? Why are our homes full of chemicals which are banned from use in janitorial places? Why do the Pharma’s get to bill 600,000 x’s the cost of meds? Why do criminal interest rates & addtional fees get to be passed to the people of the USA when the usury laws are ignored? Why do we have lawless lawmakers who are in fact lawbreakers and who are you gonna call? The Dept of Justice who are assigned to them? The Judges who are appointed to them? Why do the citizens of the USA think they are “free” when every other country in the world knows the system in the USA known as democracy is in fact a dictatorship & the people are enslaved to Corp greed?

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By yellowbird2525, September 25, 2008 at 2:11 am Link to this comment

Mr Risk goes to Washington Businessweek 2006: see http://www.democracynow.org; for the story: it is found under “shock doctrine”; THIS is the SAME MAN being “presented” to the USA people as being the “savior” who is going to solve the problem that he himself was instrumental in creating folks: he raised Golden Sacs from $20b to $100b; read the book folks re Wall St called “license to steal” they took their lessons from Capital Hill;***questions to ask yourselves: why does the USA have the highest level of wealthy to poor in the world? why does the USA have more baby fatalies than any other country in the world? (oops it is #2 presently); and it is NOT due to “bad formula” from China; why does the USA NOT have the same benefits for it’s people as Iceland, Norway, Sweden, Denmark etc?”??? Why did the Indians NEVER get what the Policians promised them? Why if there is so “bad” blah blah blah is our Gov giving all kinds of $ to illegals when not supplying medical equipment & medical supplies to vets? Why has our Gov never kept it’s words to the Vets? Why does McCain have a huge pension & so do the Pentagon parasites who work with the same contractors to “lose” billions of $ of equipment (its on paperwork only folks like the down payments on homes deveopers use: no equipment is ever sent & no $ put down); they almost bankrupted the VA on loans not so many years ago with this same old ploy; why are the “specialists” to China actively involved in the Corps there? the ones to the Pres; Why do the illegals all get free tuition to college that is denied to the vets? Why did our country try & overthrow heads of countries in S America (US ambassadors kicked out) when the ambassadors claim they were “trying to end poverty” in those countries when in reality they are working to put more folks in poverty HERE? Why are the Corps NOT paying taxes just like Reagan said they should not THIS year & putting the whole burden onto the people of the USA? Why is there Agent Orange being put into the genetic seeds? Why is there Formaldehyde one of the most toxic chemicals on earth inside of asparteme which was sent thru the FDA by Donald Rumsfeld (yep the Head of Defense); why is it agressively used in everything even baby shampoo? Why are our homes full of chemicals which are banned from use in janitorial places? Why do the Pharma’s get to bill 600,000 x’s the cost of meds? Why do criminal interest rates & addtional fees get to be passed to the people of the USA when the usury laws are ignored? Why do we have lawless lawmakers who are in fact lawbreakers and who are you gonna call? The Dept of Justice who are assigned to them? The Judges who are appointed to them? Why do the citizens of the USA think they are “free” when every other country in the world knows the system in the USA known as democracy is in fact a dictatorship & the people are enslaved to Corp greed?

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By BlueEagle, September 25, 2008 at 1:45 am Link to this comment

1. The government will “bailout” every financial institution that is “to big to fail”. The $700 billion bailout will go through.

2. The Federal Reserve will just print their way out of this mess.

3. The Federal Reserve Note (FRN) aka US dollar will hyperinflate.

4. US Treasury securities will be downgraded from AAA.

5. The FRN will lose its reserve currency status.

6. During hyperinflation, there will be pandemonium in the streets.

7. Martial Law will be declared nationwide.

8. There will be food shortages and rationing.

9. True unemployment will reach 30%+.

10. The US/Israel will bomb/invade Iran (already invaded Pakistan)

11. The US will engage Russia with more proxy wars.

12. The North American Union (NAU) will be created consisting of the US, Mexico and Canada.

13. The Amero will be introduced as the currency of the NAU, after the FRN reaches its intrinsic value.

14. We may witness gun and gold confiscation just like New Orleans.

15. Elections in November are 50-50.

16. Another 9/11 style False Flag is highly likely.

Prepare for the New World Order.

The Constitutional Republic of the USA was just a short lived experiment.

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By yellowbird2525, September 25, 2008 at 1:01 am Link to this comment

funniest thing: demonstration sponsered by our Gov who’s been busy with no $ for vets or their disability pay has been actively & agressively teaching everyone what to say & how to say it (shades of ex military with contacts with Pentagon & contracters) done way before 9/11 re the “iraq war”; must be psychics?? and that 1/2 of them were gone; & the overspenders were outside practicing what to do if a plane should ever fly into the Pentagon!: watching Mexican channel “liberty & justice for all!’ demand illegals; with politicians clapping at the immigrants getting “justice” and sworn in for citizenship; millions got their paperwork without following the path: and guess what folks: FREE COLLEGE for THEM: lots of $, brand new cars, trucks, etc; all job preferences go to them; BECAUSE: Bill Clinton went down & bribed THEIR Pres & the Corps went & took THEIR water & THEIR land; so the CITIZENS get took; & the immigrants get it! they ARE following the Bible after all; the citizens are set up as the wicked (YOU are the CAUSE!) and the Gov who of course NEVER does any wrong: gets it all to do with what THEY want to; stay divided; dem/rep; pro choice/against choice: the WHOLE WORLD knows that the USA is a dictatorship; and the Pres will never be “embarrassed” by his wrong doing; he is after all following in the foot steps of Hitler; along with the REST of the politicians & Pentagon in the USA. WHY do you think all of this was SET UP for all the missing Americans to go? “just walking away from their homes” well, guess if no one lives there anymore no one will be paying the bill huh.

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By Frank, September 25, 2008 at 12:33 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Hope everyone is ready for Martial Law? Get off your asses and look at whats happening to our country!

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By thebeerdoctor, September 25, 2008 at 12:31 am Link to this comment

“Yeah, we’ve spent a lot of money. The money, the money we’ve spent, you know, we’ve found things we like to do. It’s nice to have a lot of money, but you don’t want to keep it around forever. I prefer buying things. Otherwise, it’s a little like saving up sex for your old age (Laughs). At some point you’ve got to use it (Laughter).”

Warren Buffett, from a CNBC interview, concerning his firm, Berkshire Hathaway’s $5 billion investment in Goldman Sachs.

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By yacovm, September 24, 2008 at 11:34 pm Link to this comment

WE MUST PROTEST THIS BAILOUT
THAT’S WHY THEY WANT TO PUSH IT SO FAST

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By oldhip, September 24, 2008 at 11:26 pm Link to this comment

Dirty Secret Of The Bailout: Thirty-Two Words That None Dare Utter…

The 32 Words…

“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.”

If you do not understand the import of those 32 words, then follow the link.

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By Fahrenheit 451, September 24, 2008 at 11:04 pm Link to this comment

I was listening to commentary on BBC News about Bushes speech last night regarding the economy/bailout and the commentator noted the fear mongering by Bush.

Will the fear shtick still work?

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By KDelphi, September 24, 2008 at 10:38 pm Link to this comment

This is definitely Bush’s last hurrah to the “haves and the have-mores” that he calls his “base”.

These basterds are all invested in intl., and wont be taking the hit that the DC crowd woudl have us believe. They are the ones buying up the real estate at bargian prices. Trump on MSNBC the other night—“yeah, I got a place in Dubai for a song—its terrible. The whoole world thinks America is a laughing stock”. Yeah!! Thanks to asshoes like him!!

AUGH!!!!!Jack Welch (that the only way I know how to describe how much I hate him, without cursing my ass off), said, ‘I want this done now! I want this today! ”

WTF do these people think that they are?! Theyve had it made their entire life, if they ever had to compete on a level playing field ( a REAL one) they would die in the streets.

Let’s take their salaries, pay off “non flipper” mortgages with it and put them in jail. Knowing that that will not happen, I guess Sanders or Kucinich’s ideas are the best out there that have a chance.

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By remoran, September 24, 2008 at 9:21 pm Link to this comment

The real power here is the Fed with Paulson as cheerleader. Kill the Fed and the IRS and you have a start in rectifying what is wrong with America. Oh, I forgot, we have militerism, congress and the ba to factor in. With that crew, nothing will be done and we are screwed. He who controls the gold, makes the rules and the Fed has been doing that since 1913. Do the research and you will see this info is correct. Going from there, one can see how this mess started with Greenspan and the dissolution of the Glass-Stegall act. After that, it was only a matter of time. I fear for this country because the bailout does not matter given just how dire this situation is.

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By Fahrenheit 451, September 24, 2008 at 8:40 pm Link to this comment

It seems we’re dealing with the WMD mindset.  Very dangerous.  Nomi Prins on The Real News says the real problem is that none of our politicians know the correct thing to do…...mind numbing…..

Here’s a link to her interview;

http://therealnews.com/t/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=31&Itemid=74&jumival=2393&updaterx=2008-09-24+20:42:51

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By Frank Cajon, September 24, 2008 at 8:27 pm Link to this comment

KDelphi: I am retired; no harm, no foul.
I as a rule never watch the Chancellor but expected the kind of shit he shoveled tonight and was not disappointed. The little fascist has gas-giant sized balls to fifty words in lay this at the feet of ‘borrowers who took out excessive loans’ and NOT the greedy bankers who gave them money in full knowledge that the little guy would be left homeless if the bubble burst. But this is what we have come to expect in eight years of a military coup that has suspended civil rights, robbed our working class to feed the highest eschelon of idle wealth, and stolen elections in the name of a new McCarthyism called the War on Terror. The sniveling fool didn’t get his blank check and looked like he just got a bad bag of coke back in the TANG. We call this shallow thief our Commander in Chief. Make me puke.

I have always been a strong believer of worker’s rights and that will not stop while I am alive. This Bush Recession has graduated and we stand on the threshold of a world financial collapse; if that has to happen to facilitate a Socialist movement to free this country from the limitations of capitalist greed, I am willing to tough it out. What we need to be very careful of is a grab for our capital without our consent by the Wall Street mob, who are now scheming to go into the government business and are sure to screw it up with the greed that they have everything else. Write your legislators, and make yourself heard. The switchboards should never stop lighting up with the people expressing outrage, and the streets should be full of demonstrators right now.

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By Dr. Knowitall, PhD, PhD, September 24, 2008 at 7:23 pm Link to this comment

The homebuyer is taking a great deal of the rap here.  I have not heard anyone ask the question “why was the economy such that a homeowner who found he couldn’t any longer make his payments couldn’t then put it on the market and sell it in a couple months time, getting everyone off the hook?  The market had already tanked.

Seems to me that, had Bully Boy Bush and congress been doing their jobs for our economy, that could have happened.  But, blame it on the homeowner.
Bit off more than he could chew on his minimum wage job.  It’s certainly not American auto maker’s fault.  All they did was mismanage themselves out of sales and thousands of high paying jobs, many employees of whom lost their homes.  Big Three’ll soon be asking for taxpayer money to retool.  HAH!!

But, remember, “The Fundamentals of our economy are basically strong.”  These people are a bunch of high school kids who think we’re grade schoolers.

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By Folktruther, September 24, 2008 at 7:12 pm Link to this comment

The bailout is not just theft pure and simple, although it is that.  The banks are taking over the assets of the government.  This is not just one bailout; they can do it again and again.  The legislation so far is that he can only give out 7 hundred billion AT ONE TIME.  And no court or gvoernment agency can oversee how Paulson does it.

Both Dem and Gop leaders are for it. The American people don’t understand yet that the Gop leaders will sellout the Gop rank and file and the Dem leaders will sellout the Dem rank and file.  The election is mostly a fraud.  This bailout is done within two months of a national election and leaders don’t care.

Why should they.  With a trillion dollars to spread around to the banks and campaign contributions, or in make work jobs afterward, all a leader has to fear is opposing it and being on the outside when this is passed.  And Americans still identify with the heritage of their parents and are devided into Dems and Gops. 

And I was complaining just a few months ago that they were stealing tens of billions of dollars.

But since they got away with that, why not try for more. They can always raise the pay of the army, police and contractors.

I thought htis would be put off for a few years but I guess not.  Americans are still in denial; they don’t want to believe this is happening.

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By bc41, September 24, 2008 at 7:07 pm Link to this comment

Enlightening to read these facts that Mr. Scheer is so adept at providing and commenting on.  I have to believe that these companies were not stupid, in a frenzy, or unaware that their business would reach this stage of a government bailout.  They knew.  I recall two years ago when the nation was talking of a coming recession and all of a sudden the economy took off again.  Two years would match the time line where the deceptive loans began I suspect.  We know the rest.  I think it was a scheme to get rich when normally business would be slow—as the free market would have dictated normally—and lending companies expected to get reimbursed by the government to make it work.  The odd comment by President Bush of a “Time Horizon” weeks ago followed by retorts of his business education invites one to imagine what his crowd really had planned ahead.

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By cyrena, September 24, 2008 at 7:03 pm Link to this comment

Dr. Knowitall, I knew you were doing the tongue in cheek thing. But, I still think it was close enough to what to expect from Bully Boy Bush. I mean, just yesterday, he actually WAS regurgitating very similar verbiage at the UN General Assembly. He was still into his ‘tara, tara, everywhere’ while only his Secret Service and the well mannered dignitaries from the rest of the world prevented his ass from being served to the wood chipper.

There is another piece here on TD that links to an excellent chart on all of the bail-outs of the past 3 decades or so. I’m sure that most truthdiggers can relate a personal experience to one or more of them. Each and every time, the overall condition of the middle/working class declined another few feet.

This is the time to get our stuff back.

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By KDelphi, September 24, 2008 at 6:45 pm Link to this comment

Frank—I agree with everything in your post. Let’s just agree to disagree with that “issue” (I had some bad experiences working under PhDs and shrinks who mistreated my clients.)

Did you just HEAR the “speech”?? HOW can this arrogant basterd start out with the “people took out mortgagse for houses they couldnt afford”. Yeah, that’s is the main problem, George!! People having the AUDACITY to think that they could afford a place to live.!

I know that some people built McMansions (it ruined what was left of teh green areas in my formerly rural conty). But THEY are not, in general , the problem. (Everyone knows the legislatin that was passed to allwo this, basically, illegtal, stuff. The neo-cons seem to have invented the “contract that only hold one party accountable”)

Capitalism (moneyism) is the probglem! It can never be the solution.

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By jackpine savage, September 24, 2008 at 6:38 pm Link to this comment

Ok, if you don’t really understand the underlying mess that all of this swirls around, then go here:

No, you can’t go here, because it seems that Truthdig blacklists FireDogLake.  So try here: http://agonist.org/stirling_newberry/20080924/shoot_this_turkey and you can link through from Stirling’s diary.

It isn’t short, but if you digest it you’ll probably know more than the Senator or Representative that you’re writing to.

On the other hand, maybe you don’t want to know how badly you’ve been screwed.  Don’t click the link if that’s the case.

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By GB, September 24, 2008 at 6:09 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Bernie Sanders, one of the few destinguished and sane Senators in DC and orator from Vermont Is 100% correct.

“IF IT’S TOO BIG TO FAIL IT’S TOO BIG TO EXIST”

I say let them go belly up and I would bet all my money (what’s left anyway) that the market would get a good wake up call and correct itself a lot faster.
We would also see a lot less whining CEOs and a little more legit accounting practices.

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By Marc Schlee, September 24, 2008 at 6:06 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

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

No amnesty, no pardons.

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

FREE AMERICA

REVOLUTIONARY (DIRECT) DEMOCRACY

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By Frank Cajon, September 24, 2008 at 5:57 pm Link to this comment

This is a critical time. The majority of the people in the country have acted against their own interests by re-electing the fascists four years ago and are trodding down that path again, with the indistingishable Demos as the only alternative, seduced by the vapidity of a bumpkin beauty queen. The Fuhrer, acting on orders from his mastermind bunker mate, is a proven trickster who has lied 400,000 to their deaths already and directly swindled $5 trillion of national debt from the working class in eight years. Now, unfettered, he sees the opportunity to bankroll a rescue for his Bourgeoisie Wall St backers on the backs of the workers of this country, who will get nothing in return as he turns the government over to the mismanagement of suits who jet set to mansions and country clubs while working class families scrape under the oppression.

We have a duty to make the fools we pretend represent us know that this will not be accepted. We need a socialist solution in this country, but one that makes the people, the workers, the owners of the power and the means of production-as well as the capital, which now has dried up, except for that which the Reichstag is trying to steal. In return for our capital, we must be given a stake in the government.

Wall St must be dismantled. Common stocks must be redistributed as well as wealth, bailouts must only be tolerated that give the taxpaying worker the ownership of the capital and shares of future capital earnings. Individual income must be capped. All of the thieves who have stolen from the working class must be rounded up, arrested, and charged with security fraud and conspiracy. All bonuses and parachutes rescinded and paid back. The Fuhrer, seeing that his rich corporate pals could not pillage enough to last them until he got out of DC, is making one last grab for all we have left, and turning to socialism as a guise to get it. We need socialism, but pure socialism, not Wall St socialism. Not Bush’s socialism. We need Marx’ socialism. It must be the price for any rescue of any Bourgeoisie banks.

I have written 8 letters and made 14 phone calls to my Senator and Congressman’s office since this began, and cc’d my state Senator and Congressman. I have pulled literature from my Socialist Worker organization experience and incorporated it on this board and two others. We need grass-roots action to begin a Socialist New Deal, to protect our rights as a class and it must begin before the thieves steal everything else they haven’t already.

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By Anarcissie, September 24, 2008 at 5:47 pm Link to this comment

Allan Gurfinkle: ‘As I understand it, the housing bubble is the root source of the problem…. it seems to me that the goal, at least, should be to reduce housing prices, not maintain them.’

The problem is broader than that.  Back in 1987, when the stock market was folding up, the Federal government told the specialists (people who make markets in stocks) that they could have as much money as they wanted as long as they kept stock prices up.  This changed the capitalism game fundamentally: although an individual could lose, the class of investors couldn’t lose, or at least not too much.  The money did not come out of taxes, nor was it borrowed; it wasn’t even printed.  It was credit.  Since that time, and especially in the recent past, the government has been inflating that credit, mostly with artificially low interest rates, with the effect noticed in the housing markets and in the prices of stocks and collectibles (and other things the rich buy).

If the present bailout proposal is carried through, it will simply be more of the same, and it will come to the same kind of end, only a worse one, because it will have been made much larger.

If capitalism were actually unrestricted, the present gobblers of the government’s funny credit would now crash and burn—they would be wiped out financially, as they deserve to be according to their own lights—and housing prices would return to a normal relationship with everything else.  But I don’t think that’s going to be allowed to happen because our capitalism fans don’t really believe in capitalism; they believe in theft.

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By KDelphi, September 24, 2008 at 5:09 pm Link to this comment

No. Knowitall, it is not difficult. But both parties act like they would have to “totally sell out” or something, just to please the majority of the US population.

I dont think that this is a “false flag” as some might say, but, Dubya is becoming known for the shock doctrine. They keep screaming about what wil happen—but they dont say what.(Imean, we hear that the “mkts would crash”—they already are; the poor wil lose out—they already have)I dont want to see a bunch of people lose their pensions—but since when do the neo-cons give as damn about that??

Somwething is rotten here, and it aint in Denmark (actually, things are alot better there!)

I am starting to wonder if the Bush is draining what little might be ingering int he Treasury, to keep the next pres. and Congress form spending it on any programs they have been promoting.

Look how fast they spent up Clinton’s surplus? ( I know that there is alot of discussion on how big that really was).

Gore’s “locked box” doesnt sound so ridiculous now, does it?

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By Dr. Knowitall, PhD, PhD, September 24, 2008 at 4:38 pm Link to this comment

I remeind myself of Colombo on TV several years ago.  He always came back with one more thing to say, and I apologize to those of you who are fed up with me.

There’s one criterion, one test, it seems to me, that should be applied to every legislative action taken by congress and that is, “Is it good for the middle class?”  If you can answer “yes,” approve it, if “no,” don’t.  It’s that simple.  Want to know what’s good for the middle class?  Head about 180 from where you are and have been for the last several decades.  Find the balance needed to have both a vibrant economy and benefit the middle class at the same time.  It can be done.  The middle class isn’t greedy.  They don’t need much.  You can work with them.  Just be fair.

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By TAO Walker, September 24, 2008 at 4:12 pm Link to this comment

Robert Scheer is being disingenous here.  He knows very well that “the fox” owns the henhouse, the nest eggs, and the all the chickens.  Are we looking at the “national emergency” that will provide the pretense for martial law and the “continuity of government” that’ll keep the “cronies” on top of the dungheap?

This old Indian has noticed in theamericanpeople and their “leaders” a tendency to mislay the courage of their oft-touted convictions whenever the expansion or salvaging of their “sacred” fortunes is the “crisis” du jour.  There’s no reason to expect the “bail-out” won’t be the latest in a long line of such failures….though it could quite conceivably be the LAST.

It’s no trouble keeping to lofty ideals when “the livin’ is easy.”  The real test of a people’s commitment is when sticking with those is certain to cause a great deal of real pain.  None of their so-called “leaders,” including wannabe money czar Paulson, seems to feel theamericanpeople are up to a real stress-test, here in these latter days.

Good thing the brand new TV season is getting under-way.  That hand in your pockets, tame two-legged Sisters and Brothers, isn’t reaching only for what little is left of your money.  This time they’re going for a strangle-hold on your very flesh-and-blood.  You going to stand still for it?

Hokahey!

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By Dr. Knowitall, PhD, PhD, September 24, 2008 at 4:04 pm Link to this comment

Cyrena, actually, I didn’t write that very well.  I liken the bundling of bad loans and sending them out into world financial markets to what hackers do to the WWW with viruses.  I, tongue in cheek,thought that we can next expect Bully Boy Bush to say there’s reason to suspect that there are al Qaida operatives that have infiltrated Wall Street and they’re responsible for sending the bad paper out into the financial world since the financial world hardly skipped a beat on 9/12/01.

And speaking of Bully Boy Bush, if there ever was a time that we need to take things slowly and do it right, that time is now.  The neocons are stopping at nothing to get this deal done by Fri. and I’m glad to see there are some, like Dodd, who are putting on the brakes. 

Hammo, it does remind one of an infomercial where you’re told “so you don’t forget, call now.  This offer can’t last.  Not available in stores.  Be one of the first to call and we’ll double your offer!”

Here’s the thing:  If you’re told you have to act now, because we’re in a crisis, you know that that’s a red flag.  “So you don’t forget,” Call your rep and Senator now and tell them to tell the Bush Administration to go to Hell.  I did. 

Wall Street has finally done itself in.  Yippee!!  Now it’s time to bring some reasonability to our economy.  Whaddathey think?  That this could go on forever?  Assholes!

It delights me to see so many commenters on TD up in arms against this BS.  Zeus, it makes me so happy!

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By thebeerdoctor, September 24, 2008 at 3:11 pm Link to this comment

Will this crummy deal be made? That is now in question. Strangely, it is the Republican caucus that is the great stumbling block. Part of this is political and part of it is cultural. Resentment of Wall Street paper players crosses bipartisan lines. Suddenly the ear marks thrown out to the constituent districts seems like a pittance, compared to this attempt at national looting. The elected deny this at their own peril: there really is blood in the water. The idea of being President to preside over all of this, does not seem very glamorous, or even all that desirable.

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By cyrena, September 24, 2008 at 3:06 pm Link to this comment

al QaidaIslamofascistmuslimrightwingradicalextremists ...
Look for Bully Boy Bush to assert or aver that Wall Street has become infiltrated by IFMRWRE Operatives whose intent it is sabotage world financial markets by concocting toxins, like computer viruses, and spreading them throughout the world on the WWW.

~~~~~~

Good One Dr. Knowitall!!!

IFMRWRE…MEMORIZE IT FOLKS!! That’s gonna be one of the questions when Bully Boy Bush orders a sweep of your neighborhood. Know what it means, or…be damned to eternal hell.

BTW, I’ve already received my first virus warning…supposedly I’m to watch out for anything titled ‘Osama bin Laden is hung’ (or maybe it’s Osama bin hung) After that, the instructions are the same as they’ve always been..do not open, will burn your hard drive, blah, blah, blah.

Same ole shit. I’ll tell what’s already BURNED…ME!!

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By Dr. Knowitall, PhD, PhD, September 24, 2008 at 2:29 pm Link to this comment

For ordinary Americans, this is a Perfect Storm, a presidential election and a meltdown of disaster capitalism happening at the same time.

They said this is a once in a century occurrence.  Little did they know why it should be called that. 
Not just because Wall St.‘s in a dither.  We have the chance to make over this country, government and society and that happens maybe once in an eon.

As voters and citizens, we’ve screwed up royally, time and again, and now we get another chance.  Make some calls and write some letters before it’s too late again.  The pendulum may be swinging in our favor.  Now, get off this website and do your patriotic duty.  Oh, Zeus, I am so excited!!!!! I have to run to the bathroom.

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By Mud, September 24, 2008 at 2:28 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

has it right this time. Jail is the only appropriate outcome. Prison is the only way to send a message and protect ourselves from corporate and government criminals. Unfortunately, thanks to scum like the Democrats choice for VP, the only people who will do jail time are impoverished kids busted by swat teams for smoking a joint. That is the message being sent loud and clear. We are untouchable. You are surfs to do with as we please.

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By jobart, September 24, 2008 at 2:08 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Now McSame wants to “shelve” the debate in favor of getting into the “thick of things” re: the “necesary” bailout for the “ultra rich” in D.C.
Hmmm. Could he, and his neocon campaign, be feeling that “losing feeling”? It brings me back to that great Righteous Brothers tune. Those were the days, huh?
Now is the time that the Demos need to get into the “mindset” of “take no prisoners”. This election is, if you care to sincerely anlylize it, WAR !!!
In WAR, you’ve got to forget your basic principles, and fight to win, at all/any cost. This, folks, are where we are as a nation. Fight to win, and, even if you lose, you can at least say that you tried. And did so with all of the available arguments/resources at your disposal. To do less, or nothing at all, takes that ability away from you. All that will be left to you, as your suffering and/or disenchantment with the “state” of things are realized, is that the chance you had to try and “fix what is broken” and you let get away.
So, if you’re not willing to stand up for what’s right for your country, so be it. But, then again, you’ll have to face that non-action, as things degrade in America. And, hopefully not (because you MAY intercede), have to “live” with your actions/inactions, if things turn as “shitty” as is in the see-able future.

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By BobZ, September 24, 2008 at 1:59 pm Link to this comment

Obama came across as a future president. McCain as just another opportunist trying to throw Obama off his game, once the polls came out this morning.

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By KDelphi, September 24, 2008 at 1:58 pm Link to this comment

Maybe its “way back ” in the posts , but what is the “fallout plan”?

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By floydw, September 24, 2008 at 1:51 pm Link to this comment

Granted, there is solid evidence that the US financial system is in turmoil and facing dire straights. Further the implications and ramifications are indeed global. The fiction is that a bailout will solve the problem; no one can say with certainty that it will even improve the circumstances. No one, as yet, has made a compelling case that the virtues and benefits of Paulson’s bailout exceed, or are preferable to, the consequences of fallout.

Under the Fallout Plan, the market distributes consequences in degrees perfectly corresponding to culpability.  The prime virtue of fallout in contrasted with bailout is: fallout ensures that the consequences of the unwise decisions accrue directly to the responsible parties. In other words, firms, executives, shareholders, taxpayers, voters, consumers, and politicians, etc. ALL receive their just deserts in due measure.  The Paulson plan is a pass-the-buck duck-and-run plan.  It unjustly distributes the consequences to all taxpayers, and in doing so smears many innocent people, bearing zero responsibility or culpability, with the excrement from the current fiasco.

The Fallout plan ensures that whether our involvement stems from ignorance, intention, complicity or otherwise, everyone is treated justly, even in the “worst case scenario”.

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By Blackspeare, September 24, 2008 at 1:44 pm Link to this comment

Just heard over the wire that McCain has asked Obama to join him in postponing or more likely to eliminate this Friday’s debate so that they may join their fellow congressman in hammering out the “Bailout legislation.”  If there’s one guy you want to keep away from DC at this time——it’s McCain.

McCain may have pulled a fast one here——sort of puts Obama on the spot.  It will take a cleverly devised retort by Obama to parry this initiative and proceed with the debate.

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By Leefeller, September 24, 2008 at 1:23 pm Link to this comment

Not sure who I feel sorry for?

“Corporate India is in shock after a mob of workers bludgeoned to death the chief executive who sacked them from a factory in a suburb of Delhi.”

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By Allan Krueger, September 24, 2008 at 1:16 pm Link to this comment

GRAMM, isn’t he the c*cksucker who was McPAINs adviser regarding economic policy - calling the people now doing the bailing, a bunch of whiners! F*CK HIM!

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By yacovm, September 24, 2008 at 1:01 pm Link to this comment

This plan only helps the wealthy. I understand by giving them money the banks in return will be able to keep those loans. How about the other way around? Give the people the money to pay these loans and homes? Or, chop i.e. the price of a $450,000 house to its original value before the bubble to somewhere about $200,000 only if it is his or hers sole residence and only if the income can suffice that loan. We need to address the root of this and that is housing. This problem was created by the banks and the Feds on interest and the whole loaning industry. I realize it will be like ripping off a band aide fast and the wound will still bleed, Wall Street will take a dive, big banks and their executives would skater, but these are the ones this bailout is intended. No matter if we do this proposed bailout or we don’t someone will suffer. So lets bailout the people not the banks. Cut the home prices, let the people move in and this will cause a massive decline in home prices many people who depend on their equity to get them through, and will cause millions refuting second mortgaging and the business that need loans to start or continue production. Each and every one of these loans through transparently and scrutiny, allow to be funded with this bailout money.
“We have to jump start the economy” “We need to give (bailout) the financial institutions so we can have business as usual” “You need to pass this 700 billion dollar plan and pass it now” lets OK a plan but not the one you propose Mr. Paulson, the one we propose “let them eat cake” free the oppressed from this crisis caused by greedy investors. If you want to displace taxpayers’ money, money that they don’t even have, Its money that you intend to barrow from foreign countries with interest Mr. Paulson, then displace it from the bottom up.
All the rest of houses left that were foreclosed that were owned by investors will take a hit also. The idea here is to take an organic approach not a synthetic one

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By yacovm, September 24, 2008 at 12:58 pm Link to this comment

This plan only helps the wealthy. I understand by giving them money the banks in return will be able to keep those loans. How about the other way around? Give the people the money to pay these loans and homes? Or, chop i.e. the price of a $450,000 house to its original value before the bubble to somewhere about $200,000 only if it is his or hers sole residence and only if the income can suffice that loan. We need to address the root of this and that is housing. This problem was created by the banks and the Feds on interest and the whole loaning industry. I realize it will be like ripping off a band aide fast and the wound will still bleed, Wall Street will take a dive, big banks and their executives would skater, but these are the ones this bailout is intended. No matter if we do this proposed bailout or we don’t someone will suffer. So lets bailout the people not the banks. Cut the home prices, let the people move in and this will cause a massive decline in home prices many people who depend on their equity to get them through, and will cause millions refuting second mortgaging and the business that need loans to start or continue production. Each and every one of these loans through transparently and scrutiny, allow to be funded with this bailout money.
“We have to jump start the economy” “We need to give (bailout) the financial institutions so we can have business as usual” “You need to pass this 700 billion dollar plan and pass it now” lets OK a plan but not the one you propose Mr. Paulson, the one we propose “let them eat cake” free the oppressed from this crisis caused by greedy investors. If you want to displace taxpayers’ money, money that they don’t even have. Its money that you intend to barrow from foreign countries with interest Mr Paulson, then displace it from the bottom up.
all the reat of houses left that were foreclosed that were owned by investors will take a hit also. The idea here is to take an organic approach not a synthetic one

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By BobZ, September 24, 2008 at 12:58 pm Link to this comment

Now we have John McCain pretending to come to the rescue of America by suspending his campaing. Any coincidence that he is dropping like a rock in the polls and now want to act like he is above the fray. This is a guy acting like he doesn’t want to play politics playing politics. It is disgusting to watch this guy in action. What is also happening is that the Republican leadership has so little credibility, McCain wants to salvage his own candidacy by trying to rally his own Republican party. What a sad spectacle this has become. Obama should call his bluff and continue the campaign. It is possible to walk and chew gum at the same time.

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