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Boston Tea Party, 2008

Posted on Sep 30, 2008
AP photo / Henny Ray Abrams

A statue of George Washington on the steps of Federal Hall overlooks the New York Stock Exchange.

How dare you throw that tea into Boston Harbor! Such is the anti-democratic arrogance of the fear-mongering pundits and politicians who tell us if we taxpayers don’t instantly give the Wall Street banking bandits a $700-billion bailout, we are destroying America. Instead of applauding representatives from both parties who, for once, heeded the public rather than the fat cats, the established pundits blasted those who dared get out of line.

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It was a time for some of the best commentators to fail and, as much as I hate to admit it, for Lou Dobbs, and even Newt Gingrich, to shine. Dobbs called it correctly: The sky is not falling, there is time for reasoned debate, and why isn’t the public being listened to? Gingrich put it best when he said short-circuiting serious congressional oversight over an enormous transfer of taxpayer dollars to an industry is “un-American.” Others, with whom I typically am in far greater agreement, just rolled over to give the bankers what they demanded.

“When Madmen Reign” was the headline on a column by Bob Herbert in The New York Times that absolves the Democrats from any responsibility for the crisis despite a willingness of their party’s leadership in the past to vote for key legislation proposed by what Herbert condemns as the “anti-regulation, free market zealots” of the Republican Party. Both parties betrayed the principles of a true free market—remember Adam Smith’s invisible hand, under which no market player could unilaterally set price?—in favor of the concentrated power of oligopoly to control everything.

Those Republicans who dared to vote, this time, against the demands of the Wall Street power brokers were derided by New York Times conservative columnist David Brooks as engaging in the “Revolt of the Nihilists.” While suddenly embracing President Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal as the positive alternative to nihilistic behavior, Brooks ignored Roosevelt’s main achievement, which was to put the public interest before that of the Wall Street titans.

Wasn’t it nihilistic when Congress, led by Republicans but supported by key Democrats, including then-President Bill Clinton, shredded the protections put into place by Roosevelt to control an ever-avaricious banking industry?


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Anyone who has bothered to study that history knows that Sen. John McCain was deeply involved in the push for rampant deregulation, and his choice of former Senate Banking Committee Chairman Phil Gramm, the principal author of the decisive deregulation legislation, to co-chair the McCain presidential campaign mocks McCain’s attempt to blame the crisis on everyone but himself.

The Democrats, however, also are culpable, and it was sickening to watch Clinton on “The Daily Show” getting away with blaming a crisis he helped create on overexcited home purchasers. I don’t blame “Daily Show” host Jon Stewart for not knowing enough about the subject to challenge Clinton on his own fervent support of deregulation, but it is disappointing that Paul Krugman, an economist and one of the nation’s sharpest commentators, should also miss that point. Indeed, in his column for The New York Times castigating McCain for his connection to Gramm, Krugman said voters should be reassured that Barack Obama has Clinton’s treasury secretary, Robert Rubin, to turn to for advice on how to handle this mess.

Rubin, the former head of Goldman Sachs, worked as hard as Gramm to pass the legislation his Wall Street buddies wanted. Rubin then returned to Wall Street as a honcho at Citigroup, the first company to successfully exploit the new legislation’s nefarious loopholes. As for his insight, it was as recently as January of this year that Rubin termed the financial meltdown a normal phase of the business cycle.

Back in the spring, two months after Rubin’s “what, me worry?” silliness on the economy, Obama gave a brilliant speech on Wall Street’s problems at the same venue, Manhattan’s Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art, in which he singled out as central to the problem the legislation that Rubin had gotten Clinton to sign.

Obama should stick with the wisdom of a community organizer from the tough side of Chicago: Fight the bankers who swindle unsuspecting homeowners, and restore the bailout provision that Democratic leaders had proposed but then abandoned—stopping the home foreclosures by empowering bankruptcy court judges to force a renegotiation of terms.

Any bailout worthy of support should put endangered homeowners first, not the bankers who swindled them.
Robert Scheer is the editor in chief of Truthdig and author of a new book, “The Pornography of Power: How Defense Hawks Hijacked 9/11 and Weakened America.”

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By KDelphi, October 4, 2008 at 8:04 pm Link to this comment

Folk—I am afraid that you are correct.

As long as the US govt has everyone stil buying into the Reagan “trickle down theory” (ie piss on the poor), everyeon will keep waiting for “manna from heaven”. (Or, “You’ll get your reward in heaven. The meek shall inherit the earth”)

We should get used to saying, “Are you finished with that? Will you give me the crumbs when you are done?”

And “Is there anything I can do for you, sir? Anything at all? Really. Anything.”

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By Folktruther, October 4, 2008 at 6:33 pm Link to this comment

Foosh, KDelfi, they could have given the money to the homeowners in trouble instead of the bankers, as Paul Craig Roberts and other economists have stated.  This is not going to cure anything, and an indication of that is that the stock market went DOWN when the swindle was legalized.  Once one raid on the treasury is successful, why not try another one.  Who is going to stop them, the Dems?

Mar, I don’t know what Rudmin smokes but I know he is an honest and courageous truther, a Canadian who tries to warn people against predation.  That is why he is teaching in the Artic, Kronse in Norway.  The next step is putting him in a boat in the Artic sea.

He documents everything he says carefully.  I don’t like his truths casually dismissed by know nothings without examining them.  It is the same way 9/11 truthers are dismissed by people afraid to think outside the conventions of the mainstream truth.

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By Ted Swart, October 4, 2008 at 5:13 pm Link to this comment

Fair enough MAR but it doesn’t seem to me that a real meltdown has been avoided. Certainly there is no guarantee of this.
The trouble is that greed has been allowed free reign for so long and the reckless practice of living off unsustainable credit—at both national and individual level—has been growing and growing for just as long so that there is no end in sight.  Things are so bad that the bail out legislation can do no more than paper over the cracks—absent a more radical rectification of an utterly flawed system.
I suppose the US stands a better chance going the next mile under Obama than McCain but I don’t have a strong sense that Obama really gets it. He has played the system as it is in a masterful manner but he is about as deeply immersed in it as it is possible to be. We are not within a million miles of seeing a US president who has anything other than massive wealth at his or her disposal—with all the encumbrances tha that entails. . 
And here in Canada I think Harper is too sanguine about our financial prospects but I wouldn’t wish an NDP Federal government or even an official NDP opposition on anyone.

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By KDelphi, October 4, 2008 at 4:48 pm Link to this comment

MAR—I will give you that. You could be exactly correct. We will just never know, though.

I just wish that they had done it some other way. The Swedish model of 1989 was a good one. They certainly seem to have recovered.

I’m not sure we will do as well, if we cannot convince the govt to abandon this reckless, unregulated laissez-faire capitalism

Thanks for reply.

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By MAR, October 4, 2008 at 4:39 pm Link to this comment


It is a quastion of what is needed from an economic view for me, but I understand how the average American must feel,  arip-off of the ordinary taxpayer. But i do believe the possible consequences of a real meltdown would have been much worse - unimaginable for most Americans today..

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By KDelphi, October 4, 2008 at 11:35 am Link to this comment

MRA and Ted—Well, there seems to be some disagreement among our Canadian friends about the US WS Bailout. I guess it all really depends on where you are standing—what type of stand you will take.

To my mind, Congress took an extremely cowardly stand. The first time it was announced, I thought, “NO WAY! W is just doing this to drain the Treasury for the next Administration. Let them fall!” (In principle, I still feel that way—but, when people are hurting, you have to weigh the consequences) I guess Congress thinks that they did. I do not.

Th day after the announcement, I emailed and talked to family and friends who have IRAs—many were in tears (none are rich), and, some even said, “Hell, have then do ANYTHING!”. (The problem with that is, I’m not sure at all that this will help long term, and it does nothing to resolve the situation that caused it.)

There were many suggestions and Amendments offered by one Socialiost and several Democrats. (To progressives touting GOP faux populism,. please check the rest of their voting record before you decide that the only vote they ever made, that matters to you, was about this.)

That being said, the GOP probably did it—for the defense of Friedman style , unregulated capiatalist “free” markets. They are terrified that they will be seen for what they are. Win at any price, take any unfair advantage, lie to people, steal—whatever. It all works out, because the “market knows best”. (They ignore the fact that alot of them—and alot of Dems—would never be where they are, if there was a truly level playing field) The Dems may be a LITTLE better (although most of them have not shown themselves to be so, as of late), and wil give you another tax rebate, to buy a nicer tent with.

I am not saying all GOP feel that way—but, it has been the Gold Standard of their party since Reagan. It is now showing how it “works”. Oh, yes—make no mistake—this , in their minds, has worked. It’s a simple “market correction”. “The poor wil always be among us” and other absurdities.

Congress couldve taken up ideas from Sen. Sanders, Reps. Kucinich, Kaptur, Sherman, DeFazio and others. Instead, they put in another $150 billion in TAX BREAKS! (We NEED some revenue, folks! And the poor just dont have any money!) This just made it all worse.

To the average person it seems like a big rip-off, because it is. I guess they had to do something (I’m thinking of my sister and some friends, here—plus the intl. ramifications)). But, I believe that this wil only be a Band-aid, and , when the problem inevitably reccurs, what wil they do? Suggest more tax cuts? What wil happen to the social safety net we need so badly? What will happen to the people who are out of their houses (we just do not have enough decent affordable housing here).

I also, still think that this sure came at a opportunistic time for Bush and McCain. We’ve been through these “panics” with W before, yet, the neo-cons always make the stakes so high (“We’re All gonna die at the hands of Muslim terrorists, if we dont invade a totaly unrelated country!!” or “We cannot get into New Orleans to help! If peopel had just evacuated…blah. blah!!”), that it is akin to ransom!

Now it’s “We wil take down the world economy if you dont give us what ittle money you may have left!!” Leave it in a brown bad , under the bridge, all 100s , in unmarked bills.

Like I said, if they were gonna f**k us, they shouldve taken us to dinner and a movie, at least.

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By Ted Swart, October 4, 2008 at 9:09 am Link to this comment

Thank you MAR. For those of you who are not familiar with Canada I would like to say as a much newer Canadian (with roots going back to 1652 South Africa)that everything he says about Canada is accurate and helpful. 
There is no resl two party system in Canada which is in some ways a plus but our Senate is even worse than yours in the US.  It is simply a patronage based excrescence.  We do share one major thing in common with the US. In an extremely fast moving world governments ought to be and need to be nimble on their feet. But it is just as difficult to change and improve our government structure as it is in the US. 
MAR is totally correct when he says that with a majority government our prime minister is far more powerful than the US president. He makes appointments to the supreme court and the senate.  And in very truth we live in a kind of serial dictatorship which makes it awkward but not impossible to change the government. 
We do have a Charter of Rights and freedoms but I regret to have to say that freedom takes a bck seat to an absolute obsession with rights (at the expense of freedoms) and our human rights commissions have gone completely off the rails. 

As an outsider I think it is a crying shame that the bailout bill went through in the US. It does nothing to correct the real cause or causes of the financial debacle and neither Obama nor McCain had the guts to align themselves with the NO voters. The sheer size and thus unworkability of the bill is nothing short of an utter disgrace.
Both the Obama camp and the McCain camp are talking about change and—whilst some changes will occur—I do not see the kind of real change which is needed in the offing. A Ralph Nader or even a Ross Perot would indeed be able—with much effort—to bring about real change but the two party system and electoral college nonsense kills any such hope.

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By leilah, October 4, 2008 at 7:08 am Link to this comment

By moineau, October 3 at 11:02 am #

well, i certainly called that one wrong. blumenauer: no. wu: yea. i apologize to blumenauer. wu gets an angry letter.

I think they stuck their finger in the air and took cover.  Wu fell on his sword, and Blumenauer, looking like he’d be bonged, declared that his vote was still No, knowing full well that the bill was going to pass anyway.
The chatter on C-SPAN tells me the political operatives have come together and have a story line that Barney Frank and Bill Clinton and all the poor (read black) people in the US conspired to undo the free market.
I still say vote third party, send a message.  With BO it looks like where not going to get what this country needs anyway so swing for the fences.

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By rplantz, October 3, 2008 at 8:25 pm Link to this comment

I am a retired university professor. One of the few downsides of retirement is having more time to follow the machinations of our “leaders.” I look at what our business/political leaders have done to our economy, what our religious leaders are trying to do with our personal lives (e.g., Prop. 8 here in California), and how our academic administrators pervert the concept of education. It is very clear that the vast majority of them are sociopaths.

Moving to Alaska and becoming a hermit seemed like a good option. Then they sprung Sarah Palin on us!

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By KDelphi, October 3, 2008 at 7:14 pm Link to this comment

Sabagio—Canada , in general, is a Constitutioanl Monarchy.

If you think that the US is “free’ from that—think again. There seems to be some type of genetic pre-disposition towards “followship”.

They have the Queen (who is a figurehead), but we have THE BUSHES and the CLINTONS and the KENNEDYS.

The encumbancy rate in both Houses is ridiculous. (we need term limits)

And, as it stands, anyone who is not a millionaire, has not a chance of a snowbal in hell of ever reaching the White House.

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By MAR, October 3, 2008 at 5:55 pm Link to this comment

Nope, she is just an archaic holdover because moving to a republic still means a head of state and still maintain a parliamentary House of Commons and Senate to maintain the British model of democracy. The Canadian Senate is even more useless, an unelected body of old farts and fartesses drawing high pay for next to nothing. There have been movements to abolish it or make it elected. 

And tyhe Queen doesn’t sign anything now, the Governor General, who is just as useless and powerless figurehead does it on her behalf. They can’t refuse to sign so they are powerless.
What kind of head of state should we have? A President - that has a veto? Neither the Queen nor her rep,  the Governor General have a veto.  They are archaic just as the Electoral College is an archaic provision meant for 1800.

After getrting Bush instead of Al Gore, I am sure there are many who would like the Electoral College provision to be washed out of the Constitution. That is one problem with written Constitutions, hard to change without near unanimity.

So the Quuen and the Governor General have no veto but just do what they are told.  The only benefit of the present GG is that she is kind of cute. But a figurehead is just that.  It bugs a lot of us, particularly those who don’t come from a Brit background, and there have been cries to do away with it. But everything like this means opening up the constitution which is loaded (remember when Quebec threatened to separate? - dormant but not dead. Few take the Queen seriously except a few monmarchists, mostly from Brit land and crusty old dames equivalent to the DAR. 

In fact, with a majority government the Prime Minister has more power than your Pres; in a minority situation he (or she) has to mind her Ps and Qs.

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By Sabagio, October 3, 2008 at 2:17 pm Link to this comment

Democracy and Canada

Democracy and Canada

Ah, American Democracy! Isn’t it fun that we can still criticize the government, make fun of the leadership on late-night talk shows and for the most part, get away with it? We can blame it all on the Athenian Greeks. Their democracy didn’t call for elected representatives .  Citizens didn’t elect friends or rich people, in hopes that they’d be voting in the best interests of all the people. Nope, no surrogates. Citizens HAD to all vote on legislation and executive bills as individuals. Every time something needed to be voted on, about 1000 citizens were rounded up by a process that looked like a lottery held by the old- time local Army draft board. Athens operated on a slave-based economy, so the voting body came from a very small group. An oligarchy? The unique thing about this bunch was it was made up of people, citizens, from all economic classes. And just like today’s late night standup comedy routines of Leno and Letterman, et. al., Athenian voters were   influenced by the political satire performed by the comic poets at the Greek theaters. Slaves, foreigner and especially women didn’t have a vote. Maybe that’s why this rotating voting block made Socrates drink poison. He wasn’t very funny; no sense of humor.  Free speech protection wasn’t on the list of this direct democracy’s daily list of things to do. Athenian democracy didn’t last very long either.  Once the local professional pols found the loopholes in the system, they took over and the rest is history.

And there is Canada, where the grass is greener,  where they play a funny kind of American football, and everything, all the time is Cool.  It doesn’t take a brain surgeon to know that this is True.  Just go to Niagara Falls and see how the American side differs from the Canadian. But every so often I have reservations about Canadian democracy as being the standard of “best practices” by a sovereign democratic nation.  How can I when every official government proclamation and law signed off on by a Prime Minister, has to end with “Elizabeth the Second, by the Grace of God, Queen of Australia and of Her other Realms and Territories, Head of the Commonwealth?”  Elizabeth Two seems to be a nice enough woman, though something of a fuddy-duddy.  Despite all these grandiose titles and accolades, isn’t she still just an accident of birth, and nothing else?  Does the Commonwealth membership just keep her around in case something Really bad happens, so she can be served up as Chief Scapegoat, to go along with all her other titles?

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By Mike Varady, October 3, 2008 at 2:04 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

A little sidebar: The Boston Tea Party occurred on Dec. 16, 1773, and ignited the Revolution—yet we have no national holiday for it.  Too many other holidays, perhaps—Christmas, shopping, baking, drinking, and then New Year’s, partying, drinking, etc.—

    Why not hake a quiet, reflective moment on that date and brew yourself a cup of bee balm (or monarda, bergamot, two other names for the beautiful perennial flower—easy to grow, too.)
This was the plant our forefathers brewed—we received it and its use from the Native Americans—in place of the tea being imported and overtaxed by the British and the East India Trading Company trying to blockade and close down our harbors to independent and Dutch tea importers.

    It’s more exclusively an American moment than Christmas or New Year, which were celebrated long before our nation came into being. We should have such a holiday, but—

    Bee balm tastes a little like lemon, and like mint.  And it’s good, and you deserve a restful moment.

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By MAR, October 3, 2008 at 1:26 pm Link to this comment

Not relevant to the meltdown etc but of record one of our PMs did effect two or three MAJOR constitutional changes. The first was the patriation of the constitution from Britain. As you know, we were once a colony with the usual constraints but because of the American Revolution Britain decided to gradually let the four major colonies grow up - by that I mean Canada, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa. In 1931 the Statute of Westminster declared all to be self-governing indepedent countries But each had the Crown as its head and all as members of the British Coimmonwealth of Nations. Since then Ireland, South Africa and India have left the Commonwealth, which is largely a cooperative tie. Any of them could have submerged, even Britain itself, and the Crown would still be viable. If you like, constitutionally we are a monarchy but Elizabeth is Queen of Canada quite independently of Britain. So there was left this funny anachronism that our highest court was still the British House of Lords (they usually did as directed) and constitutional changes required the rubber stamp of the Brit House of Parliament. Stupid, and they too did what they were asked. Trudeau brought the amendment of our constitution under the sole control of the Canadian people (provincial and federal). Then he led the feds and the provinces in a radical but overdue imbedded constitutional revision called the Charter of Rights and Freedoms (probably inspired by the US Bill of Rights). Matters are decided by our Supreme Court but ther is not the same concept of balance of powers as in the US.  So in those respects we have very strong individual freedoms but when a government has a majority it can do what it likes within the constitution.

Canadians are like Americans? To a degree. My own roots go back to Neu Amsterdam in 1623 and Massachussets Bay Colony near Boston and to Connecticut a little later in 1639 but some of my ancestors disagreed with the Revolution and came north as loyalists. They were supplemented by others from Scotland and England.

Sorry for my remark about SUVs.  “You” is not necessarily you. For myself, I have been driving Toyota Corollas for 16 years - no repairs, great milage, relatively inexpensive and totally reliable. Three hundred thousand kilos on on and going strong on the third. In the meantime SUVs and the like have been creating a huge carbon footprint. How many fourwheelers actually ever go off the road?

Someone else remarked about oil. We do not have shale oil. We have a fair amount of the normal stuff and huge reserves of tar sands which are being developed largely by American companies. When I referred to Saudi Arabia supplying the West I meant the Western World. Canada used to get most of its oil from Venezuela, but now it is a mixed bag depending on transportation costs.

It will be interesting to see now what the US politicos have learned from the abandonment of regulation.
Cheers. Meet you on another thread sometime.

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By moineau, October 3, 2008 at 12:41 pm Link to this comment

put yourself in a room with like-minded sheep, add george bush and hank paulson. add pork. outside the door, economists with good deas and people like you and me. add foreclosures. add grocery bills. take a picture with your brain. this one will not be forgotten.

why, david, why? there were so many other ways to go…

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By moineau, October 3, 2008 at 12:02 pm Link to this comment

well, i certainly called that one wrong. blumenauer: no. wu: yea. i apologize to blumenauer. wu gets an angry letter.

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By KDelphi, October 3, 2008 at 11:22 am Link to this comment

MAR—if you think that the US is a good system, you could move here, and I could move to Canada.LOL

Just kidding, of course.

The way the US system is set up, about 50% of the country is unhappy with the current leadership at any one time. (alot more than that with W of course—since they voted him back in—maybe)

I know that, some of the US ideas about Canada being a “big, happy family” are not necessarily applicable, lately. But, I stil think that it is a more fair and just system, that promotes egalitarianism, at least more so than our “electoral college” approach.

Its even a dumbbass name.

But, you would certainly know better than I would. I havent been there in years.

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By MAR, October 3, 2008 at 11:08 am Link to this comment

So I guess that’s the end of this thread, the House having done the right thing.

Someone mentioned that Canada had proportional rep. No way. First past the post in all jurisdictions, I think. There will be a referendum on a form of PR next year in one province. It failed the first time around. But minor parties have a role. The New Democratic Party )NDP) in Canada is a strong left=leaning semi-socialoist party. It has never been in power nationally (but provincially) and it was so close at the end of WWII that many of its policies were co-opted by the then Liberal government. But it has a parliamentry system modeled after Great Britain.  PR is the call from the little patrties who never get a look in. But if you want the mess that was Italy after WWII that’s what you get. In my mind the real problem over there is the electoral college concept now way out of date.

In addition the the founding peoples (British and French) we are a very diverse multicultural country with many of the same ethnicities as the US - but fewer of Hispanic heritage and fewer of African heritage - but some of the latter who are descended from the few slaves the Brits had in Nova Scotia, quite a few more descended from those who escaped American slavery, and even more immigrated from the West Indies. We have strong German, Ukrainian, Polish, Italian and Scandanavian descendancies, as well as those from India, Pakistan and the Middle East. Then of course we have had Chinese since the early days of the railway, and now in Vancouver sufficient that it is facetiously called “Hongcouver” by some. And we have the native populations who term themselves “First Nations” But we are all Canadians even though some still carry grudges from their native lands.

Anyway, the bill is passed and preseumably will be Bushed. Nest Problem?

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By KDelphi, October 3, 2008 at 10:00 am Link to this comment

MAR—If you expect to be treated as a diverse population, please be considerate enough to do the same for us.

I’ve never owned an SUV (or any new car) in my life.I have been to Canada many times, and I liek it very much. (Esp. Vancouver, as Folk said).I usually think, what , I believe a Canadian pm said, “If you cant get along with Canadians, who can yu get along with?”.

You may have as diverse a population (i’m not really sure about that), but, I see Canada as more “multi-cultural”, rather than “melting pot”, that the neo-cons here keep pushing. I think that making everyone speak the same language (and no second language), and belittling other cultures than Anglo-Saxon, leads to strife among races, and , ultimately, among classes. (The capitalsits love that!)

The US is a “multi-natl corporate state”. It is rotten to the core. I dont think, that we should do “nothing”. There ae many other models that have been presented, but our “dis-loyal opposition” of Dems. will have none of it. To give such sway to corporations, is to promote fascism.

If they cannot take into account the many suggestions and amendments offered, then, I dont see why we should just bail out the people that caused it. We could take the money and put it in peoples’ IRAs. We could freeze ARMs. We could freeze the prime rate. We could nationalize the banks.

It is election time, and the duopoly is pulling out its October surprise. Yes, it is REAL. But, to further punish the people that are already hurt, and, reward the people who caused it, will just promote further criminality.

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By MAR, October 3, 2008 at 9:37 am Link to this comment

I can’t answer all the points buT

1. To the degree that stockholders in the US own stuff all over the world, and that there is a heavy US corporate presence in Canada, you are right. There is also significant Canadian ownership of some companies in the US. This does not mitigate the fact that we are a free and democratic country to the degree that any can be so.  And are you going to march across the border. Come on, most Americans don’t even know the way. They think Mexico when the word border is mentioned.

2. We have had provincial (state) experiments with socialist governments. The problem is that socialists have no idea how wealth is created but do know how to spend. Their various attempts at enterprise have been disasters. Unfortunately, so-called “free enterprise” parties know how to create wealth but in the process forget who helped create that wealth. It is a constant tug from right to left. As a consequence we have a mixed economy, universal health care, a higher tax rate to pay for social democracy which is also present in many forms.

2. I don’t know who your psychologist friend is but the only war we have had was actually between the British and the US during which native Canadians played a significant part. And it was 1812, not 1912. As to 1935, I’d cheeck what your friend is smoking.

3. Yes we are in the US economic sphere - so what? I am sure Bush and his friends were angered when we didn’t support you on IRAQ II just as Johnston was angered when we didn’t support you on Viet Nam. But note that we are part of the NATO/UN contingent in Afghanistan and our people are not too happy about that because it has no promise of permanenmce and our guys are dying in proportion to yours. It is like building sand castles on the beach - when the tide goes out you will never know the West has been there, wiped out by Islamicism.

4. Despite the elephant/mouse metaphor, Americans and Canadians are good friends, but you may make the mistake that “we are just like you.”  We are not. We are sometimes not sure who we are. Lately we have become a diverse, multicultural country with two founding peoples - French and English-speaking. I say that because there were a lot of Scottish and Irish too. and since many other peoples from every corner of the earth, all Canadians now.

But the record is clear that while we live next door and have common interests, we are not slaves to the US. Sure you could run over us in a few days and wouldn’t that make you feel proud?  We also get together and tackle the same problems often, (Even though you were three years late in 1914 and two years late in 1939. That’s because we have differences too.

Anyway, my pitch as I said is economics, not the politics of the bailout. I hope I am wrong if some remedy is not done - the Federal Reserve has some tools without Congress, as you may know. If not I suspect we are all in for dark days and you won’t be worried about your SUV because it will have assumed scrap value.

Cheers, Tally Ho and all that.

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By KDelphi, October 3, 2008 at 8:45 am Link to this comment

Sabagio—I agree with almost everything you say. But,dont worry! The Congress wil “get around to it”—after you re-elect them! Right…

But, Hoover?? Churchill?? Sorry.

We are not a democracy. To even approach that, we would need to elect by popular vote,greatly expand the number of viable parties, have proportional representation, etc.

Have a nice R&R;!

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By Sabagio, October 3, 2008 at 8:35 am Link to this comment

Toss those bastards’ asses in jail. Members of Congress today are Cowards of the First Order and Masters of Pussy Footing. What else could they be, since they spend probably 90 % of their time asking money from the same people who caused the Mess they are voting on? If Congress would put forth a “plan” that not only offers realistic remedies for resolving the Current Credit Concerns and Catastrophes, that was balanced with legislation dealing with the underlying root causes of the Why this has happened, then and only then would I have some faith in its Judgment.  But so far they haven’t. Tip O’Neil said, “All politics is local.”  If we don’t want to see current events reoccur in the next year or two, some folks need to go to jail; those predatory lenders from Peachtree Street to Wall Street have to be held accountable, debarred from working in the finance industry again. Doctors and Lawyers and chronic DUI offenders have their licenses lifted, so too should these “captains of Industry.” They made loans to people they knew from the gitgo couldn’t make their payments after the ARM kicked in; they practice “flipping” expensive homes, to make illegal profits from inflated listings, they misrepresented the stability and veracity of their management practices and whatever, to get more people to invest in their stocks , companies, investment plans. All this exploitation of the lack of will to enforce even laws on the books, and invisible ethics began on “Main Street” but was endorsed and supported by those who saw an easy way to satisfy the basic tenant “Greed Is Good.”  White collar criminals should be subject to the RICO Act just as other members of organized criminal organizations. Today’s Tale of Woe was and is nothing more than a Criminal Conspiracy. Congress should acknowledge as much, and pass legislation that puts these folks in prison for a very very long time. 

Yes, Sir Winston did say: “It has been said that democracy is the worst form of government except all the others that have been tried.”

If you seek a more insightful and relevant to the times quote, look again to Herbert Hoover:” No public man can be just a little crooked. “

Sabagio Mauraeno, on the way to Peachtree Street for a little R&R;.

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By leilah, October 3, 2008 at 8:01 am Link to this comment

Half the $700 Bn goes to the Saudis and the Chinese. 
Read Amy Goodman’s piece about the Sea Smurfs.  They are prepping for martial law. 

Just Remember!

The phone calls in favor were coing from Wall Street employees.  See Brad Sherman’s address to C-SPAN. 

Congress is saying loudly, “Screw you!”
Just Remember!

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By Folktruther, October 3, 2008 at 7:56 am Link to this comment

I am sorry to inform you, Mar, that Canada, which contains my favorite city in the world, Vancouver, is not a free and independant country.  It is largely, but not entirely, a chattel of the US which owns most of its industry.  It’s leaders largely do what the US leaders tell them to because of the military and economic threats it holds over them.

The US has threatened to invade Canada many times, the first time causing the War of 1912.  It is so innocuosly titled to obscure the reason for the war, and our Progressive and Conservative historians go along with the concealment. 

A psychologist in ARtic Norway, a Canadian who I correspond with, detailed how this invasion was planned in 1935.  His name is Rudmin and his pieces are published by Coundterpunch. And not published in whole by the mainstream media.

On the other hand, the institutions and atmosphere is so much better in Canada.  Pretty young girls, with backpacks, hitch hike BY THEMSLEVES, in isolated places near Vancouver, secure in the knowldege that they are safe.  People don’t lock their doors, and walk howe at night in the dark without fear. 

There are, incidentially, more guns per capita in Canada than in the US, but the people don’t use them to shoot each other or themselves.  A wonderful country. But not free and independent.

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By moineau, October 3, 2008 at 6:18 am Link to this comment

i live in oregon, blumenauer was always like that and is a perfect example of the peter principle. i love my congressional rep, david wu. he signed on to impeachment discovery. i am on my knees that he hold firm.

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By Leisure Suit Larry, October 3, 2008 at 6:15 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

By MAR, October 2 at 6:05 pm #

Obviously you are not close enough.

1.) despite the rhetoric, the USA is NOT a Democracy. If it were, we would be seeing the final days of an Al Gore administration. Demoracies have no “Electorical College” no Gerrymandering, and no K Street finanicing. I have done several papers on the idea of democratic government, and I find it hard to reconcile democracy and a capitalist economic system. How can equality exist when some people have Billions of dollars, and others have nothing but a cardboard box sitting over a heat grate?  A final point on democracy, if it existed here (in the USA) at all, the bail out would NEVER pass as an overwhelming majority of us citizens oppose it.

2.) Maybe Canada gets most of its foregin oil from Saudi Arabia, BUT since 2003, the USA gets most of its non-domestic oil from….hum…. Canada. Your western shale oil mined (not drilled) in the Yukon supplies us with a full 64% of our imported oil. I expect this to end soon, as China has offered to build Canada a pipeline to the coast so the profit margine can increase as of today, Canada has only one market for this oil as there is only one pipeline…to the US.

3.) I disagree vehemently with your take on the “bail-out” there is no guarentee that 700 Billion dollars will change the direction of the economy. Back in 1928 when Hoover saw the depression comming his government did several things which made matters worse, They were in a hurry, and didn’t think things through before acting…just like our chicken-littles in Washington now. How about this?  Insure the toxic loans,(instead of buying them) and make the banks pay the premiums on the basis of their past record on extending borrowing to worthy customers? sounds like a better plan to me. Let them who broke it pay for it.

I don’t remember the banks sharing their profits with us when the market went from 3K to 11 k in the 90s.

get a better pair of binoculars, you’re missing a clear view.

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By leilah, October 3, 2008 at 5:49 am Link to this comment

The new bailout bill sweetens the pot to $850 bn.  Part of it is a tax write-off for bicycles, the Blumenauer bribe.  Take a closer look at Blumenauer.  He was gaga in the presence of Karl Rove and Frank Lundt 2 years ago when they were trying to tutor him on the language to use in the campaign to privatize water.  One of the first legislative moves was to outlaw the collection of rain water by private citizens.

The could have bribed Blumenauer with a bag of chips.

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By KDelphi, October 2, 2008 at 9:06 pm Link to this comment

MAR—Gawd. I just typed a long post to answer some of your questions.

I have an old pc, and it just goes “whoosh! sometimes. Oh well. Too late to re=type it.

Suffice it to say that I think the House needs to take into account some of the protections and regulations proposed by Kucincih, Kaptur, DeFazio, Shewrman and Sanders. Rather than adding more tax cuts.

I like and admire Canada very much.  I wish we had your system. It is proportional and more representative.

I think that this is the Shock Doctrine again, and, the stock mkt is NOT “free” and wil do as it will, in any case.

The US is not a democaracy. The Dems have won two electionns in a row that they wouldnt fight to claim.

The Dems in the Senate just addded more tax cuts. We needa alot less of that. We are drowning in debt.

I honestly thought you were from the EU—I know it is hard to emigrate there.

In any case, where money is involved, it always passees inthe US anyway. All the Senators saying it is “the msot important vote of their careers”. I wish they had taken the Iraq War resolutins so seriosulsy. If you want to get Americans attention it takes dollars—or , maybe Euros, soon.

It should also effect the rich quite a bit. Until that happens, nothing gets done..

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By Frank Cajon, October 2, 2008 at 8:28 pm Link to this comment

Our president a dictator, our Senate a cluster of silverback fuckups. The ‘Recovery Bill’ passed yesterday only made it because the bastards threw in over $100 billion of pet pork bordering on the ridiculous, and folks, that is being paid for by workers’ sweat and toil. Now it is a done deal that even the reactionaries in our House will likely pass a bill tomorrow that will sell us all out to give the banks our money, with no health care, no full employment, or any other social programs that we are owed in return.

No deal. No bailout. Let Wall St fall. Learn to live without credit card debt. Quit buying SUVs. Quit buying consumer goods except essentials. Quit smoking and drinking. Car pool. Become active in your union. Write letters, make phone calls to your legislators, but keep the rhetoric tame, since the Repugs will turn the letters over to the secret police. This deal will not be the salvation of capitalism. It is already done. A European, socialist model is necessary, and 100 more bank failures into the future, when the Federal Reserve can no longer back a dollar or guarantee a savings account, it will buckle and adopt the kind of system necessary.

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By MAR, October 2, 2008 at 7:05 pm Link to this comment


I must confess, close enough for us both to visit and peek in the windows. Here in Canada we have often done dumb things - like going to war against Hitler in 1939 and Japan the day after Pearl Harbour, having spent four years in 1914-8 losing a proportionately huge chunk of our manhood to the war and mud.

And we lost soldiers, sailors and airmen disproportionate to our small population in WWII as well. We were in Korea and I was proud to serve voluntarily as part of that, another UN operation where the US was the big player. But we refused to go along with Viet Nam, probably because it was a unilateral act by the US which made no sense. We went along with Iraq I because it was a clear violation of a neighbour’s territory which could have carried on into Saudi Arabia. Although not a place I admire, it is the source of the majority of our Western oil, the basis of our economies. Also it was a joint effort under the UN, despite that the US carried the major burden. On the other hand we did not go along with Iraq II because the evidence for WMD was not open or convincing and it was another unilateral act by the US, despite the few others that went along.

Our hearts bled for the loss of so many, including 26 of our own in 9/11, and in the emergency we found a safe spot for hundreds of planes to land.  Many of our Maritime folk welcomed your people in, fed them, and found beds for them until they could take off. 

My point is that we are a free, independent democracy which lives close enough for us to visit and admire, but sometimes too overpoweringly close because of the many foilbles which go against our national grain. As one of our prime ministers said, the US is the elephant and we are the mouse. When the elephant rolls over we have to watch our step.

“Educated” does not necessarily mean having a degree. I know men and women that had little or no formal schooling but who were educated in the real sense of the word - they had learned how to think, ask the right questions, weigh values, search for the right answers and then put their money where their mouth was. They did not blame others for systemic problems but sought to find those with solutions, people with integrity, honesty and wisdom to represent them. They paid no attention to hoopla or casual promises crafted to buy the vote but looked at how those who offered themselves performed throughout life as they had to live it.

Bush may be educated in the sense of degrees, but his performance clearly shows him to be a shallow, stupid man. An educated fool, if you like. A virtual puppet of those behind the scenes. 

We are, like you,  just now going to the polls on Oct 14 to select a party to form the government and lead us wisely. We have a different system. Sometimes I admire the US Constitution because of its balance of powers and personal guarantees. But when the people get fed up with the government you have to wait,short of impeachment.  If it is bad enough our representatives can turf out the government if they have enough support of individual members of parliament. The party system tends to allow those with overwhelming support to serve their usual full term of four to five years.  There are dolts and asses among the bunch but we will see. Our people tend to forget the crap and vote their mind and conscience.

Democracy is very inefficient but as Churchill said, “It is the best of all the bad options. Or something like that.

But please don’t let your anger at what has gone on
make you unable to find a solution. Another contrary vote in the House would be very bad - never mind the rich, but for you, for us and for all the world. 
There are those of mind to show the bastards but it would be a Phyrric victory. Everybody loses.

We will see.

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By leilah, October 2, 2008 at 5:11 pm Link to this comment

Anybody out there watch C-SPAN.  Rep Sherman of CA said it.  50% of $700 bn goes to foreign investors.  Saudis, Chinese…..

This cannot pass.

I wish Capuano could be replaced by Sherman. I am voting for AR (any Republican) in November for Congress and Senate.  Unless, of course, there’s a 3rd party candidate.
These people are toxic.

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By leilah, October 2, 2008 at 4:25 pm Link to this comment


Great poem.  I have felt the mood that that poem describes.

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By moineau, October 2, 2008 at 4:16 pm Link to this comment

i second the sanders speech. he really gave it to them about all the banking lobbyists running roughshod through the building, by name! so much for the anti-lobbyist speak.

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By moineau, October 2, 2008 at 4:10 pm Link to this comment

“Actually, I’m positive that we really need you as a VA claims adjudicator NOW, and that’s likely to be the case for years to come. We’ll find a way for you to work from home. (I have to, you might as well too.):)”

thanks for your response, cyrena; truly appreciated it.

i do work from home, volunteer style, on va stuff. on the social side, i work on line with vets who were sexually assaulted in the military, on a group with men and individually with women the organization hooks me up with. i help with their claims if incomplete (most are as they have been mistreated by both the military and the va) and provide support with daily living issues. to be honest, they help me just as much.

i’m also active in an art group called presimulationist art which is looking at and creating art that reflects how our world is becoming more and more virtual. i get a lot of intellectual stimulation as well as good companionship there. after several years of quiet, i’m writing poetry again. anyone interested, i’m at poetry under “posts”, songs from poems under “video”.

and then i occasionally blog when an article strikes a nerve and the discussion draws me in. there are great minds on these blogs, and i learn a lot and try to offer the little i know. i really enjoy truthdig readers.

me voilà in some of my glory. value and happiness is about so much more than money, n’est-ce pas? i have enough. ~laura

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By Leefeller, October 2, 2008 at 3:24 pm Link to this comment


Bernie Sanders makes the most sense of the nonsense. FYI: His speech why he was voting no.

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By angiee79, October 2, 2008 at 3:07 pm Link to this comment

The house hasn’t voted again YET, and we need to be louder than ever in letting our rep’s know that we don’t put them in office to carry out the President’s agenda or to tell us what they think is best. We put them in office (supposedly) to carry out the will of the majority. The majority has spoken loud and clear - THIS BAILOUT IS NOT WHAT WE WANT OR WHATS BEST FOR US! History has shown us that a debt-based society is destined to collapse - how will creating more debt save us?

Bernie Sanders has the most rational plan I’ve read yet. It may not be perfect, but it comes much closer to actually addressing the roots of this problem than anything else Washington has come up with. You can read and sign his petition here:

Call your reps if you haven’t already, and call them again if you have!

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By Sabagio, October 2, 2008 at 3:05 pm Link to this comment

Voting for GWB…twice.


First, throughout our history, Americans usually voted for men who were mediocre.  A few times, very few, we lucked out and voted for a Washington, a Jefferson, Lincoln and FDR.  So voting for GWB is par for the historical course.

The first time GW became President, Al Gore actually won, but the Supreme Court didn’t see it that way. (Speaking of Al Gore, why aren’t the Democrats using him in the campaign? He’s about the only believable politician around these days, documented.)

The second time, we were still suffering for the 9/ll Shitless Mode, and were in denial that someone else besides Bush and his Buddies could keep us safe.

Voting for the wrong leader doesn’t have anything to do about being “educated.”  Neville Chamberlain the British Prime Minister before Churchill, an educated man, sold out to Hitler.  The German People of the 1930’s were thought to be the most civilized and scientific of cultures, but they bought Nazi Science on the “master race” and racial purity” via a national policy of ethnic cleansing, and Hitler political ideology about “lebensraum ”  and the Ukraine was Germany’s for the taking because Germans could make better use of it.

Believe it or not, Herbert Hoover, our President at the start of the last Great Depression, had a wonderful insight about this political phenomenon.

“Every collectivist revolution rides in on a Trojan horse of ‘emergency’.
It was the tactic of Lenin, Hitler, and Mussolini. In the collectivist
sweep over a dozen minor countries of Europe, it was the cry of men
striving to get on horseback. And ‘emergency’ became the justification
of the subsequent steps. This technique of creating emergency is the
greatest achievement that demagoguery attains.

Hoover also said:

“Economic depression cannot be cured by legislative action or executive pronouncement. “


Desperate peoples do desperate things, often very bad things, or, very dumb things, in the belief that they will survive, live on, out last.

And that’s the way it is.

Sabagio Mauraeno, in Decatur Georgia with a sore arm from a recent flu shot.

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By troublesum, October 2, 2008 at 3:03 pm Link to this comment

Sorry, that should be

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By troublesum, October 2, 2008 at 3:01 pm Link to this comment


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By troublesum, October 2, 2008 at 2:59 pm Link to this comment

For Tony and cyrena who have argued all summer that third parties serve no purpose in American politics todays democracynow broadcast makes the case much better than I and several others have done here.
hppt:// Spin it if you can.

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By Folktruther, October 2, 2008 at 2:18 pm Link to this comment

You asked, Mar, how a well-educated country like the US can elect an intellectually deficient president.  I’m glad you asked, that’s how you learn.

We do it precisely because we are well Educated. Education consists of both specialist truths, which are largely true, intermixed with ideological truths, which largely aren’t.  The latter gibberish we are indoctrinated with inculcates the American power delusions that the Educated classes hold instead of the simple truth about historical reality.

We beleive for example, that the US is a Democracy even though all knowledgeable truthers know that historically the major power decisions are made by a capitalist plutocracy.  They fund and support in the media the poltical leaders and we get to choose which one will rip us off.  As the ruling class has gotten richer and more united while the population has remained fragmented and queiesent, they can put in whoever they like.

Such as Dubya Bush, a highly Educated man. He has degrees from the most prestigous universities in the US, and a Higher degree from Harvard university.  Harvard has over thrtyfive billion dollars in assets in its endowment, Mar.  You just don’t get more Educated than that. 

Oh, sure, Bush is an idiot, but he is an Educated idiot.  We insist on that in our leaders; especially the rich.  They can steal more that way.

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By Dr. Knowitall, PhD, PhD, October 2, 2008 at 2:11 pm Link to this comment

@ Fahrenheit451

You and your wife are richer than any of those plastic people on Wall Street.

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By ron hansing, October 2, 2008 at 1:44 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Great review of both political parties involvement in the 700 billion dollar bailout.

There is this tendency to blame republicans for the repeal of the glass seagall act of 1933.

Both parties were equally responsible for this, the final vote for the repeal was 90-8 in the senate, and 362-57 in the house.

I don’t understand why the issue that “It’s Congress, stupid” is not discussed in the MSM and by both candidates.

The big issue today, is to cancel the “mark to market” accounting rule in valuing assets. This rule says that assets must represent true value, not the price paid for the assets.

Again, the financial lobbyists are busy buying off both parties, and now we have a strong push to eliminate this rule. Thus, creating the trifecta of blunders by congress: the savings and loan debacle, the subprime debacle, and the third that will result by the elimination of this rule.

ron hansing

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By leilah, October 2, 2008 at 1:41 pm Link to this comment

Everyone seems perplexed by the goings on lately.  The Bailout bill pushed by the Democrats, the war in Iraq and Afghanistan, the threat to Iran and on and on.
I think to start to solve any of this you have to place the blame squarely where it belongs, the Bush Administration.  To counteract any of it you have to understand the Bush Administration. 
I have to go back to my childhood to find an appropriate analogy.  When I was in the first grade, school assemblies used to be called for some reason or another and they were held in the Auditorium/Gymnasium.  The janitors would set up the rows of folding chairs.  One day I stayed behind and when everyone was back in class, the teachers let in this group of students, they called them the ungraded then.  These kids were bigger than the rest of us.  They would run through the Gym knocking over the chairs until the room looked like a bomb hit it.  They would then pick up the chairs and return them to the carts.  The teachers would then round them up and escort them to their classroom on the other side of the building.
Well, that’s who the Bush Administration is.  They’re wreckers.  They know that someone will have to pick up the mess or leave it be.  It doesn’t matter to them.  They just know how to Wreck.

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By MAR, October 2, 2008 at 12:51 pm Link to this comment

No sweat.

If the shoe fits I guess one must wear it, otherwise ignore it.

Incidentally the ones I refer to think the world is 6000 years old, not 60000 as I typed. Pardon my finger trouble. And we have had universal health care for many years about 50, more or less. Depends whether you are talking about hospital care or doctor’s fees.

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By KDelphi, October 2, 2008 at 12:45 pm Link to this comment

MA-what country are you from? I sure hope it wasnt one of those western democracies that went along with all the stupid Bush ideas.

I think that, for people who did everything humanly possible to stop Bush, your self-righteous indignation is ill-placed.

I would love to get out of the uS. But, countries like yours probably wont accept any emigration , unless they have alot of money.

People here, who are not wealthy , have no safety net whatsoever. I dont think taht asking for a ‘bone” is too much to ask.

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By Leefeller, October 2, 2008 at 12:39 pm Link to this comment


I agreed with your comment, seems it may have been the semantics I had a problem with. 

Right and left is really in my opinion a tool used to create division, the eternal us and them.

When someone says “you” on a post, I do not take it personal, but I may call attention to them,  as I did with yours, for I can potentially perceive myself as the “you”.

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By MAR, October 2, 2008 at 12:21 pm Link to this comment

Leerfeller: Sorry buddy, I am not allowed to vote in your elections and the Bush tribe would not even be on my list if I did. Because of the dominant two-party system in your country it is currently a choice of what??

And as to Palin, since when was a journalism major education?

No, I guess if I were a citizen of your country with a vote I would vote for departure. I could not stay in a country where such a huge percentage are ignorant right-wing fundamentalists who believe the world is 60000 years old (as does Palin, I read) nutcrackers, quiet racists and greedy guses. And you are right about the overwhelming influence of the very rich who buy your governments.

No, while my views may seem to be right-wing, actually I believe in universal health care (we have it) and social democracy generally. While we may seem blah we mainly hew to the centre, which in our view is somewhat to the left of the Democratic Party.

My comments on the bailout are based on economics, not politics. Thank you for responding.

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By leilah, October 2, 2008 at 12:06 pm Link to this comment

New World Order

Congress/Supreme Court

In time the President will be subsumed into the Business/Finance tier.  Congress will pass such things as laws to control the eaters who threaten to overpopulate and the Supreme Court will strike down Women’s rights and socially progressive legislation.
Eaters just consume fight in police actions here and abroad.

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By rplantz, October 2, 2008 at 11:58 am Link to this comment

KDelphi, you are very welcome.

For an overview of how corporations have stolen our democracy from us, read the timeline available on It lists when persons have gained/lost rights and power on the left, and corporations on the right.

I suggest the best way to read it is to begin with the Notes at the end. They give an overview. For example,

As one looks at the timeline, it is apparent that people get their rights primarily by constitutional amendment (the Bill of Rights being the first 10 amendments) and corporations get rights by Supreme Court rulings. This relates directly to the issue of democracy. Judge-made law (even though we sometimes like their rulings) is not democracy.

I first became aware of this by reading “Unequal Protection” by Thom Hartmann.

It absolutely stuns me. I realized back in 1969 that “they” were lying to me. I was in the process of coming out as gay. It dawned on me that my sexual orientation is not my problem; the people who even care about it are the ones who are screwed up.

But it’s only been recently that I have learned how deeply the lies go and how much they are used to control our lives. As I’ve said elsewhere, I truly believe that almost all our “leaders” are sociopaths.

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By Leefeller, October 2, 2008 at 11:45 am Link to this comment

We get back to the three musketeers two party system. “One for all and all for one”. Works quite well for easier control and overseeing the manipulations as they are needed. Containment of ideas are so very well taken care of.  Agendas are planned and provided for as token gestures of being involved in the decision making as voters, when real choices are never available. We only get to choose between selected agendas. 

A solid third or forth party, would upset the pork barrel.

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By Leefeller, October 2, 2008 at 11:35 am Link to this comment


“How is that a well-educated country like the US can twice elect a intellectually deficient president who is nothing more than a puppet? The government you have had is the result of who you voted in”.

When you say you, did you vote Bush in?

As for the well-educated country, Palin is a prime example of an alleged Journalism major, who cannot name a Journal. 

No, the government we have is the result of you who voted it in not I.

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By KDelphi, October 2, 2008 at 11:32 am Link to this comment

MAR I dont think that ther is no"credit crunch’. Maybe people need to stop borrowing. You cant run an economy on that, long term. It will just go up and down, up and down.

If businesses cannot meet their payroll, without a loan, they will probably fail anyway. Why not take some of that money, and give it directly to the people who would be laid off?

This has been going on for decades (greatly heightened by the GOP being incharge for 6 yrs). But, the Dems have done nothing to stop it.

Some urban neighborhoods look like ghost towns.

The .least the Dems could have done, would have been to allow amendments. The working class neighborhoods are nOT asking for much.

What in the world makes you think that an $850 billion infusion of capital will stop this meltdown? We’ve already bailed out Fannie mae/Freddie Mac, Bear Stearns. etc. But, it just keeps getting worse.

To throw money at Wall St. and expect them to do the right thing, is foolish.

I campaigned against Bush as much as I possibly could. The Dems were not much help. Gore should never have given up as quickly as he did, nor Kerry.

People are tired of DC ignoring their very legitimate conplaints aobut inequality, Wall St., K St. etc.

Where do you think this money will come from? Why shouldnt the elites have to clean up their own mess for a change? I would take all of their assets and pay off loans. Do you have any idea what we could do with, just the bonuses these guys got?

It is unjust, and people know it.

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By MAR, October 2, 2008 at 11:08 am Link to this comment

What a lot of nonsense on this thread! For example, one poster quoting mortgage interest rates and saying there isn’t a credit crunch. What is at risk is the FUTURE, not the present. By the time a number has become a statistic it is irrelevant to this discussion. The question of supporting existing paper is not a question of the past or present, but of the near future.

The anger is on this thread is understandable and the trepidation of representatives as they all face election is also understandable. But without facing reality they are dead in the water anyway and will face an even more angry electorate when their failure to act in the House becomes evident. The question is not about Bush or how the Republicans since Reagan have unleashed the controls that would havce prevented this fiasco, but how to get out of it. Nor is the issue that some wealthy companies might get bailed out.  It is about the probable results of a failure in confidence in the US, not just in the stock markets, but in trust and confidence in the general economy. The problem is that in a ship of fools, who gets to steer?  If it is the collection of neo-Marxists and Nilhists and uninformed who represent some on this thread, then I have a great deal of difficulty seeing how you can avoid a serious downturn. The economy isn’t just the rich guys, it is everybody not only in the US but across the world.

How is that a well-educated country like the US can twice elect a intellectually deficient president who is nothing more than a puppet? The government you have had is the result of who you voted in.

As wrong as Bush and his buddies have been, this is not about saving him or the Republicans, but the staving off a serious risk to the economy of the western world.

I hope the members of the House stop shaking in their shoes at the uninformed but real reaction from their constituents and vote for what must be done, not their own seats and salaries.

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By KDelphi, October 2, 2008 at 9:58 am Link to this comment

Wow. Thanks, meow.

I knew that the “corp. as person”, crap came from a Supreme Court decision (an extremely self serving one).

But I had no idea where it originated. I thought they just “made it up”, like the “Equal Protection Clause”, misued in the deciosn to innaugerate King George.

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By rplantz, October 2, 2008 at 9:50 am Link to this comment

From what I have read our Founding Fathers tried to prevent what we are seeing today. E.g., see Ted Nace’s “Gangs of America: The Rise of Corporate Power and the Disabling of Democracy” available for free download at under “Corporations.”

Their efforts began to crumble as the railroad barons screwed us in the 19th century. Tom Scott started the corporate takeover process by inventing the holding company. The deal was pretty much sealed by an error made by the court reporter, J. C. Bancroft Davis, when writing the headnotes for the U.S. Supreme Court case Santa Clara v. Southern Pacific Railroad. That error essentially conferred the status of personhood upon corporations.

The sole purpose of a corporation is to make money. It is legally required to make as much money as possible, but it has no conscience to guide its actions. And this error in writing about a court decision protects the corporation as though it were acting with the conscience of a person. We the people have lost control of this thing that we have created.

I have no hope that the next Congress will take any action to restore our control over these corporations that we have created.

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By P. T., October 2, 2008 at 9:44 am Link to this comment

Michael Moore’s bailout plan:

“The richest 400 Americans—that’s right, just four hundred people—own MORE than the bottom 150 million Americans combined. 400 rich Americans have got more stashed away than half the entire country! Their combined net worth is $1.6 trillion. During the eight years of the Bush Administration, their wealth has increased by nearly $700 billion—the same amount that they are now demanding we give to them for the “bailout.” Why don’t they just spend the money they made under Bush to bail themselves out? They’d still have nearly a trillion dollars left over to spread amongst themselves!”

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By KDelphi, October 2, 2008 at 9:39 am Link to this comment

On “patriotism”

It should be to the PEOPLE, not the govt.

I dont diagree with anything you said, cyrena. Thanks for the ellaboration.

ex-pat—I understand what you are saying. But, ther are many people here who do NOT have mcMansions (or even houses), dont buy a bunch of gadgets, took out loans to pay for bills they shouldnt evn hav e to pay. etc. Germany has a fine social safety net. Alot of people here have nothing. If we ignore them, there is very little for them to fall back on.

A tent under a bridge in New Orleans? For shame, America!

You can love your country and question your govt. To not be able to, jsut breeds resentment. .

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By Fahrenheit 451, October 2, 2008 at 5:30 am Link to this comment

@ Dr. Knowitall, PhD, PhD;

You are a prophet; in fact the democrats just raised it to 810 billion.  Truly, God Bless America!  Where every one is rich, all children are beautiful, and we all live forever in blissful bliss (sorry Garrison).  For myself; my lovely wife and I live on nothing but love.

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By Sabagio, October 2, 2008 at 5:14 am Link to this comment

Summarizing the US health care system….

If you don’t have the money, you are supposed to endure pain and suffering BEFORE you die. If you are a child under the age of 18, or a “golden ager” over 55, the American Economic Gurus type-cast you as either non-productive economic units or worn-out , obsolete machines that maxed out their depreciation value. If you are a child living with your family in Nebraska, you may luck out and have your parent(s) leave you on the steps of the local hospital.

Before you do that, you spend yourself broke ( the current standard is not more than $3,500 in the bank or under the mattress ), begging for pharmaceutical samples from your primary care physician to keep from spending out your cash reserves on meds that drug companies keep at hyper-inflated prices for the American Market. Then after all that, you go on Medicaid if you aren’t on Medicare, and spend the rest of your days in the emergency room of the local public hospital.(if you try to stop in at any other kind of health facility NOT supported by the public tax dollar, you are given a bus ticket to move on.) If you suffer from any kind of mental illness, keep your mouth shut.  Public asylums ain’t no fun and may be hazardous to your health.

That’s it in a nutshell.  May all those CEO’s getting a golden parachute during Bailout Time, fall flat on their faces.
Sabagio Mauraeno, at home in Decatur Georgia, on the way to the Public Health Department to get a flu shot.

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By Dr. Knowitall, PhD, PhD, October 2, 2008 at 5:13 am Link to this comment

There’s a lot of rhetoric to this and people are obviously angry.

I would like to suggest, out of a deep sense of patriotism and the recognition that one segment of our beloved country is in deep trouble that we change the Bailout—no, wait, let’s call it THE PATRIOTS’ DUTY CONTRIBUTION.  Bailout just doesn’t have the proper ring to it—I’d like to suggest we RAISE the CONTRIBUTION to $800,000,000,000.  Bush needs our help.  If 7 is good, 8 should put it over the top.

My prediction is the money will evaporate, things will change over the time of this “correction,” the stock will be back at the 13000 level in a couple months if not sooner,  no one will be made to answer for the theft, there’ll be no controls instituted, congress will pat itself on the back for doing the right thing, workers will be the poorer, more people will lose their jobs and homes, and life will go on.  It’s only money.  God Bless America.

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By thebeerdoctor, October 2, 2008 at 4:53 am Link to this comment

It just goes to show that no ideology has a monopoly on wisdom. During the Senate debate over the bailout, it was Alabama Senator Richard Shelby who offered the most compelling reasons to not support this ridiculous package. Senator Shelby as been on the Senate Banking Committee for over two decades, who by the way, did not support the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act, pointed out that it took over ten years and several hundred billion dollars to fix the Savings and Loan mess back in the 1980’s.
Remarkable that on this matter, Senator Shelby and Senator Sanders, were on the same page.

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By Fahrenheit 451, October 2, 2008 at 3:03 am Link to this comment

One more time Americans cave to fear; get some spine damnit! 
Anyway for the three people who might be interested; a New York Times article on Nouriel Roubini’s economic views.

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By expat in germany, October 2, 2008 at 3:00 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

As an American living abroad, I read the news with both interest and detachment. Interest, because I am always curious what new mess humans have found themselves in, and detachment, because our lives on this planet are short and of no real consequence. One thing I haven’t seen too much of in the comments here is any sense of personal responsibility. None of us can immediately overhaul the current, entrenched system, but we can live our lives in accordance with the vision of the world we would like to live in. Anyone can cut up a credit card and live within a budget. Anyone can trade in a huge gas-guzzler for a smaller vehicle, and many of us can avoid owning a car. No one’s home needs to be a McMansion. Pointless store-browsing can be replaced with rewarding community service. The best revenge is being happy, which I believe starts with being content with what one already has. There is always another new electronic gadget to buy, or another cool pair of shoes. Start with what you are comfortable with. For example, and I am no saint, I wash out my plastic bags to avoid sending them to a landfill, and I no longer rush out to replace a chipped plate with a new set. I could do more, but everyone must find his or her own comfort zone.

I am only suggesting that hysteria is not a reasonable response now. Some of you are old enough to remember the 60s slogan “The personal is political.” I think we should embrace that concept and educate ourselves, quickly, about how we can tread more lightly and take better care of each other. Taxes here in Germany are very high, but seniors have meals and medicine delivered to them at home if necessary, and the quality of life is very high. The many rules and regulations are in place because Germans understand that people don’t always do the right thing. American individualism shouldn’t be synonymous with unregulated greed and “anything goes” behavior. I was born American, but that accident of birth doesn’t define who I am. Some of us can move, yes, but the problem is philosophical, and cuts to the heart of what it means to be human, and to occupy a blink of time. Can long-range dreams trump short-term interests?

We need to dream together.

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By cyrena, October 2, 2008 at 2:59 am Link to this comment

“...The only reason we dont have single-payer is the money in politics…”


I think it’s far more complicated than just the ‘money in politics’ though that certainly has a great deal to do with it. But I think we have to break it down a little better to understand. It’s only ‘money in politics’ to the extent that the lobbyists for the corporations work the politicians to come up with favorable legislation that will allow the corporations to reap obscene profits. That’s how all of the deregulation began, because it hasn’t ONLY been the banking industry that has reaped benefits from deregulation, but nearly every single other industry as well.

That is separate and different from the “DC crowd” that doesn’t want to pay taxes. NONE of these ultra rich republicans want to pay their fair share of taxes, and there have been multiple loopholes that allow them to avoid it. But, it’s not a ‘DC’ thing.

An example is what has been an on-going financial catastrophe here in California. The State legislative body can’t come up with a budget that the asshole Governor will sign, because part of the problem with us here, is that there are so many wealthy Californians who AVOID paying taxes, and Arnold wants to continue to protect them. Their yacht ownership is one of the many loopholes. They just split for half or more of the year, (cruise the world) and avoid paying state income tax. There are dozens of those loopholes.

So those who don’t want to pay taxes aren’t the ‘DC crowd’ necessarily, but those who already have more money than they can ever spend, and have no worries about health care or anything else for themselves, and they don’t want to pay for it for anyone else.

THAT’S what makes the US so different from the countries in Europe that DO provide this, and are willing to pay the taxes to support such a system.

We don’t see that in the much smaller European nations, because they don’t HAVE such a huge number of multi-jillionaires, and there isn’t the huge disparity between those who have and those who don’t.

For instance they don’t have a CEO that makes 500 times more than the lowest paid worker in the company. Some professionals make more than others, but the difference isn’t so huge, and the mentality isn’t so greedy.

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By Leefeller, October 2, 2008 at 1:30 am Link to this comment

Since the Senate has decided to go with a pork barrel of goodies as the news calls it, Cyrena’s comment on who voted yea and nea, and her question of what were the subjective differences in these peoples reasons?  Reelection? Concern for the people? Donations from Wall Street?  Accountability? Integrity? or my favorite, business as usual?  Noticed I slipped in, concern for the people?

Between the two sections of Congress, the house is supposed to be and in my opinion more likely to have an inclination as representives of the people then the Senate.  The media spin cycle keep any who are like Kucinich on the edge well hidden. Hide the real meat and potatoes politicians, instead we are so lucky to have 6 pack Palin in the show.  The House is the peoples last gasp, so shall be.  I am not holding me breath.

We seem to be a nation of morons, lead by serial opportunists who show clearly an empathy equal to that of criminals. Again we get to see a classic encore chicken little routine, touted by a renown imbecile, who happens to be a lame duck. Morons never quite catch on, do Lemmings?

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By KDelphi, October 1, 2008 at 11:45 pm Link to this comment

It is significant that, in the latest Pew pol , here in Ohio (not exacrly a bastion of liberal thought), 67% of those polled said that they would support universal health care EVEN if it meant higher taxes.

The US will never see progress as long as the DC crowd has tax phobia.

Nationally, it is even higher, I suspect.

In the EU, Canada, etc., people overwhelm ingly say that, despiote the higher taxes, they would never want to go back to the alternative. (In the UK,. they were actually marhcing in the streets with signs saying, “No US style health care”.

The politicians seem to have no shame about this.

The only reason we dont have single-payer is the money in politics.

We need public finanaicng and term limits.

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By cyrena, October 1, 2008 at 11:14 pm Link to this comment

I was just chatting with a neighbor who is from Sweden. She was saying that during the past week or so, she’s been wondering off and on if she should go back, even though she’s well involved in her studies here.

We started talking politics, and she was telling me about the Swedish system for health care and education, and how it’s all available to all citizens. Now before you think about rushing right over, it’s NOT so easy to emigrate to Sweden, at least not from the US. From other parts of Europe, yes…but not from the US.

Anyway, their health care and educational systems are in fact ‘free’ to every citizen, BECAUSE they pay HIGH TAXES. For them, (as it would be for any nation with common sense and common concerns) it is well WORTH it!! (the high taxes that is).

So, when the rest of us wonder why the US doesn’t have such a system, it’s because of those high taxes that nobody wants to pay, but specifically republicans. It’s the typical, “I’ve got mine, who cares about you” American mentality.

So, that led me to consider a comment by Max Shields on a different thread, (or maybe this one) in response to Virginia 777, as she wondered about so many republican politicians who were also against the bailout. Who would have thought they’d go against their ‘leadership’? Well, Max mentioned the upcoming election, and the fact that different people voted for or against things for different reasons. Then Outraged posted a list of who voted how, among the Senate.

For someone with some time on their hands, it would be worth checking into the constituencies of the yea’s and the nay’s. Are they average working citizens who will NOT lose so much in the Wall Street meltdown, because they’ve never been invested in it to begin with? I ask because in much earlier decades, only wealthy people invested in the stock market. The rest of the ‘paycheck crowd’ couldn’t afford to tie up money that way. That of course has changed in the last 15 or 20 years, and got to be ‘the thing’ for even the middle class to indulge in, and now they’ve become losers in this as well. But for the rest of us, the crash of Wall Street doesn’t spell any personal IMMEDIATE loss. We wouldn’t see it until later, in the loss of jobs, and the trickle down that would happen from up the line, when so many of these companies can no longer provide the services that we utilize. (like when a pound of ground beef is $23.00, IF it’s even available, and a can of tuna is $12.00).

So is seems like just maybe, the yea’s in the vote may represent the wealthier constituencies that have far more to lose, and the nay’s more representative of the rest of us, who would have to plan on our grandchildrens’ grandchildren paying all of this back.

That’s just a thought, because…like Max said, people are in favor of or against things for different reasons.

My neighbor also reminded me of the European response to this catastrophe, and found it as ironic as I have, that we could seem at all ‘surprised’. She wondered how WE didn’t see it coming, when the WHOLE WORLD has been watching the decline for years now. She said that Europeans were AMAZED when the US elected Bush for another term. They thought we were all suicidal. Well…here we are.

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By cyrena, October 1, 2008 at 10:54 pm Link to this comment

Will Wall Street’s Meltdown Turn America Into a Police State?

By Scott Thill, AlterNet. Posted September 30, 2008.

Failing banks? Endless war? Call Homeland Security.

“Raw capitalism is dead.”—Henry Paulson, U.S. Treasury secretary

“Can’t we just all go out and say things are OK?”—President Bush, to congressional leaders during bailout negotiations

•  “I’m not much of an Army Times reader, but after reading that a brigade was shipping from Iraq in October to serve as “an on-call federal response force for natural or manmade emergencies and disasters, including terrorist attacks” in the homeland right before the election, my antennae perked up. Same as they did when I read that an electoral college doomsday scenario exists in which Dick Cheney casts the deciding vote that gives McCain-Palin the White House.”

I think Leefeller already posted the title to this piece, but I thought I’d post it again on this thread, with the link that you can hopefully just click on. Amy Goodman addressed this on Democracy Now last week, and it’s something to be very much aware of.

I’ve noticed SUCH an increased police presence in my own community, in addition to massive construction that basically limits the number of paths/routes OUT of the community. (we could easily all be trapped like rats). Seriously, the construction has managed to move in these huge bulldozers that are all over the place, and quite frankly, it makes me paranoid. (same way I felt nearly 30 years ago when several hundred thousand of us were marching on DC to demand that MLK’s birthday be designated as a national holiday). I remember looking around and remarking to a friend that if somebody wanted to wipe out large portion of the black population, there we were.

Anyway, something to consider here.

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By floydw, October 1, 2008 at 10:07 pm Link to this comment

Pay close attention to the sales job — better snow job — the U.S.  Senate is pushing on Americans.

Suddenly, this isn’t about burying toxic waste in the U.S. Treasury, and decontaminating Wall St. balance sheets.  It is no longer about removing the excrement of greed-doped speculators or rectifying unintended consequences or removing the decaying remains of the latest inventions of the magi of high finance.

Suddenly, this is about protecting innocent grandmas and family farmers.  The spin-doctors have marshaled all their resources, brought out the hired guns. Now even respectable lobbying firms are championing the cause, and preaching the wisdom of saving the U.S. taxpayers from ourselves.

Suddenly, U.S. taxpayers have come to their senses, the tides of opinion have dramatically shifted and we are all running scared, praying for the Senators to hear the anguished cries of “ordinary” American and demanding $700,000,000,000 more dollars be added to our national debt. One 700 billion dollar magic bullet into the heart of the beast! Ya, right.

We can’t get through on the phones or email because they don’t want to hear from US, their vote is already sold.

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By KDelphi, October 1, 2008 at 10:04 pm Link to this comment

They nationalized the major banks in UK and EU, almost on the spot.

Does anybody really think that they are “less free” for it?

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By rplantz, October 1, 2008 at 9:44 pm Link to this comment

Don Stivers,

Okay, I understand what you meant. One of the problems for me is that I’m gay and unable to get married. So I am forced to open accounts at several places rather than use different permutations of two names. Just another example of how these people are screwing us.

Now that I’m retired, I have more time to read and think about these things. (Work is a great escape.) A few months ago it dawned on my that I could not think of a single world “leader”—in politics, business, or religion—who I truly admired. And a good many of them remind me of Clarence Darrow’s quote, “I have never killed a man, but I have read a great many obituaries with great pleasure.”

Almost all of them are sociopaths, with some being downright psychotic. I wish there were a way to lock them away so the rest of us could live together in harmony.

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By cyrena, October 1, 2008 at 9:24 pm Link to this comment


Me too, on this:

•  “i’m retired and disabled, living on a fixed income. i hear your problem. but do you hear mine? let’s stop the generalizations and work toward common cause.”

Thank you for saying that. I don’t think they DO hear. It’s all about a me, me, me, world, and far too many very narrow world views are expressed in terms of generalizations. In other words, ‘this is/ has been MY experience, so that must be everyone else’s experience as well.”

On THIS though…

•  “woohoo! now i’m fairly “useless” to most of what the world calls “value”. but the world needs poets, don’t they? :>>))”

Don’t sell yourself short, because the times are going to require that we so-called ‘useless’ folks carry another huge load. Yeah, yeah, we THOUGHT we could call ourselves ‘retired’ just because we’re disabled from being ‘USED UP” as opposed to ‘useless’. (you sure weren’t useless when you were an VA Claims adjudicator or a teacher). But, you’ve still got all of that knowledge in your brain, even if the body is used up. Don’t think ‘they’ aren’t gonna bleed that from us as well. A woman’s work never ends….

Actually, I’m positive that we really need you as a VA claims adjudicator NOW, and that’s likely to be the case for years to come. We’ll find a way for you to work from home. (I have to, you might as well too.):)

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By Folktruther, October 1, 2008 at 9:17 pm Link to this comment

Why has noone suggested NATIONALIZING THE BANKS.  China has nationalized the banks and is growing four times faster than the US.  Europe has nationalized the banks off and on for the past half century.

Unless you threaten the bankers and financials with alternatives, what do they have to lose by stealing? The Gop-Dem coalition has changed the US power system over the past 8 years.  Alright, let’s continue changing it, but to the interests of the people instead of the powerful.

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By cyrena, October 1, 2008 at 8:42 pm Link to this comment

By jackpine savage, October 1 at 4:45 pm #

We’re all stuck on this ship of fools together, whether we like it or not. I would suggest dusting off that passport and hitting the road, but i’m not so sure that that will help right now. A serious nosedive by the US economy will send shockwaves everywhere.


Jackpine, you took the thought right out of my mind. I’ve long considered ditching this place, at least for a while. But now, I have even more concerns than I did before, about those loved ones I would leave here. (like my very elderly parents - I expect the kids to fend for themselves fairly well).

Of course there is the presumption that all of the rest of the world will be equally devastated by the crash of the US financial system, and a bailout help that. But, I’m less convinced that all will be equally affected. There are probably still a few self-contained economies around, that don’t rely entirely on US, and that’s worth looking into. In fact, I already began that some months ago. Mexico is looking better and better, even though it’s not as inexpensive as it used to be either.

So, we shall see. While this ‘crash’ and it’s effects may be ‘new’ to many, some of us learned to survive these kinds of conditions long ago. Those of us who didn’t have any money to begin with, have had little to lose. Just means there will be that many more of us scratching for fewer crumbs.

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By P. T., October 1, 2008 at 8:19 pm Link to this comment

What Credit “Squeeze”?

From economist Dean Baker of the Center for Economic and Policy Research:

“The interest rates on most categories of loans are far below their averages over recent decades. According to the Mortgage Bankers Association, the average interest rate on 30-year fixed rate mortgages was 6.07 percent last week (down from 6.08 percent the prior week). Back in the early 90s, the average interest rate on 30-year mortgages was over 9.0 percent. State and local governments are complaining about having to pay interest rates of 5.0 percent, but back in the early 90s, they were paying more than 6.0 percent. The same applies to loans for large and small businesses.”

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By Don Stivers, October 1, 2008 at 7:29 pm Link to this comment

The Senate just passed their version of the bailout bill.  I do not know who sucks harder, our Representatives in Congress or the people they are bailing out and I think most people know what I mean.


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By Outraged, October 1, 2008 at 7:27 pm Link to this comment

How did your senator vote:


Alphabetical by Senator Name Akaka (D-HI), Yea
Alexander (R-TN), Yea
Allard (R-CO), Nay
Barrasso (R-WY), Nay
Baucus (D-MT), Yea
Bayh (D-IN), Yea
Bennett (R-UT), Yea
Biden (D-DE), Yea
Bingaman (D-NM), Yea
Bond (R-MO), Yea
Boxer (D-CA), Yea
Brown (D-OH), Yea
Brownback (R-KS), Nay
Bunning (R-KY), Nay
Burr (R-NC), Yea
Byrd (D-WV), Yea
Cantwell (D-WA), Nay
Cardin (D-MD), Yea
Carper (D-DE), Yea
Casey (D-PA), Yea
Chambliss (R-GA), Yea
Clinton (D-NY), Yea
Coburn (R-OK), Yea
Cochran (R-MS), Nay
Coleman (R-MN), Yea
Collins (R-ME), Yea
Conrad (D-ND), Yea
Corker (R-TN), Yea
Cornyn (R-TX), Yea
Craig (R-ID), Yea
Crapo (R-ID), Nay
DeMint (R-SC), Nay
Dodd (D-CT), Yea
Dole (R-NC), Nay
Domenici (R-NM), Yea
Dorgan (D-ND), Nay
Durbin (D-IL), Yea
Ensign (R-NV), Yea
Enzi (R-WY), Nay
Feingold (D-WI), Nay
Feinstein (D-CA), Yea
Graham (R-SC), Yea
Grassley (R-IA), Yea
Gregg (R-NH), Yea
Hagel (R-NE), Yea
Harkin (D-IA), Yea
Hatch (R-UT), Yea
Hutchison (R-TX), Yea
Inhofe (R-OK), Nay
Inouye (D-HI), Yea
Isakson (R-GA), Yea
Johnson (D-SD), Nay
Kennedy (D-MA), Not Voting
Kerry (D-MA), Yea
Klobuchar (D-MN), Yea
Kohl (D-WI), Yea
Kyl (R-AZ), Yea
Landrieu (D-LA), Nay
Lautenberg (D-NJ), Yea
Leahy (D-VT), Yea
Levin (D-MI), Yea
Lieberman (ID-CT), Yea
Lincoln (D-AR), Yea
Lugar (R-IN), Yea
Martinez (R-FL), Yea
McCain (R-AZ), Yea
McCaskill (D-MO), Yea
McConnell (R-KY), Yea
Menendez (D-NJ), Yea
Mikulski (D-MD), Yea
Murkowski (R-AK), Yea
Murray (D-WA), Yea
Nelson (D-FL), Nay
Nelson (D-NE), Yea
Obama (D-IL), Yea
Pryor (D-AR), Yea
Reed (D-RI), Yea
Reid (D-NV), Yea
Roberts (R-KS), Nay
Rockefeller (D-WV), Yea
Salazar (D-CO), Yea
Sanders (I-VT), Nay
Schumer (D-NY), Yea
Sessions (R-AL), Nay
Shelby (R-AL), Nay
Smith (R-OR), Yea
Snowe (R-ME), Yea
Specter (R-PA), Yea
Stabenow (D-MI), Nay
Stevens (R-AK), Yea
Sununu (R-NH), Yea
Tester (D-MT), Nay
Thune (R-SD), Yea
Vitter (R-LA), Nay
Voinovich (R-OH), Yea
Warner (R-VA), Yea
Webb (D-VA), Yea
Whitehouse (D-RI), Yea
Wicker (R-MS), Nay
Wyden (D-OR), Nay

Let your senators know how you feel about their vote, and re-contact your House members since it now goes back to the house.  Is anyone having deja vu…?  This is the same way they played the FISA vote…. CROOKS.

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By Don Stivers, October 1, 2008 at 7:20 pm Link to this comment

I’m with you.  But open more than one account.  Adding a $250,000 guarantee does not bail a little guy out going bankrupt because of a medical bill or a lost job.

Liquidity should be given to those banks who have not robbed us blind and want more.  Those banks in turn should only be allowed to make 2% above prime.  Enforce usury laws and keep interest at 6 or 8%.  I, too pay my bills, have no credit card dept and own a small business which I have managed to keep going for 33 years with 2 to 8 employees.

Life will not be made easy for me.  I played by the rules I thought society called fair. 

My point is…you and I are getting screwed.  And these assholes could care less.  They have already heard the outrage and they think by increasing the burden on “Main Street” it is going to make everyone happy. 

Their mantra of saying “Something has got to be done and done now” is sh-t.  Slow down.  Why do the big guys get money for fucking up?  Let the money flow up.  Let the credit unions and small local banks do their job.  They know the people in town and who is qualified. 

These guys are crying wolf and it is tooooo fucking late.  And I could care less if they are Republican or Democrat.  Most of our Congress men and women are corrupt beyond our wildest imaginations.

And I hope and pray that those responsible for crimes against the tax payer are put into jail.

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By JoeJ, October 1, 2008 at 7:03 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Mr Scheer’s column, many comments above, all those “anti-bailout” messages to House members and the House vote on Tuesday demonstrate why a sound government structure requires safety brakes - like the more responsible Senate, where they can see beyond the two-year limited vision of House members and look toward the good of the nation. The ignorance of economics manifested by Mr Scheer, Lou Dobbs, those dissenting House members and so many commenters above made them blind to the harm that would/will be done - if a plan much like the one voted down Tuesday is not quickly enacted - to all those “Main Street” folks, those small business operators, those farmers, indeed all who depend daily on the flow of credit in our economic system. Sure, there were abuses in extending mortgages, in “securetizing” the bundled mortgages for purchase by various financial institutions and in the valuing of those securitized assets and the complex financial devices derived (“derivatives”) from them. And there will be a need, and a time, to address those abuses. But to deliver a smack in the face to almost every American who waits for a paycheck from an employer who depends on short-term financing, and to every business operator who depends on short-term financing to keep the business going while waiting for their customers to pay them, is a classic example of cutting off our noses to spite our faces.

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By KDelphi, October 1, 2008 at 6:41 pm Link to this comment

A plague on both their houses.

They could have taken amendments.

I will never vote for a Democrat again.

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By Sabagio, October 1, 2008 at 6:39 pm Link to this comment

In other words

To Neo-Shakespeare,
you are much too kind,  Will, today, would have this in mind:

“Changing times need new and drastic kinds of words , so here therefore are some you’ve never heard:

To those eeevil men and women who brought us to these debacles,  A pox on you, open sores, scores of pus-filled carbuncles:

Thou puking shrill-gorged nut-hooks!

Thou froward ill-nurtured maggot-pies!

Thou roguish rump-fed younkers!

Thou peevish motley-minded ratsbanes!

Thou clouted pinch-spotted pignuts!

Thou droning dog-hearted malignancies!

Thou errant sheep-biting foot-lickers!

Thou queasy fly-bitten moldwarps!

Thou roynish idle-headed strumpets!

Thou knavish hedge-born egg-shells!”
Sabagio Mauraeno, in Decatur, Georgia , home alone , reminiscing about those good old days of charming ways, before subprime loans and predatory lending clones.

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By KDelphi, October 1, 2008 at 6:12 pm Link to this comment

meow—I understand how you must feel. My sisters both lost most of their URAs. But, as I said before, if the uS had a decent retirement system, pensions werent allowed to be cancelled and social security funded, we would not need these economic instruments of roller coaster.

I feel worse that my PERS (Public Employees Retirement System) had to be “given back to the state”, so that I could get health care. I sure didnt have any $100,000, but I expected to survive.

This bailout wil become the reason d’atare for not diong anyting to set up a social safety net.

The Senate could have put more regualtion into it. They could have, at least, voted on Sanders amendment.

This is just a giant ass kiss to Wall St.

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By rplantz, October 1, 2008 at 5:58 pm Link to this comment

Don Stivers, I have well over $100k in CDs and money market accounts. It is a large portion of my retirement money. I have never trusted Wall Street, but I really don’t want that much cash around my house.

I also resisted the temptation to buy a larger house, preferring to pay off my mortgage. I pay cash for everything. I simply do not participate in the credit system.

I realize that there are fundamental problems in our money system, and I would like to see them fixed. I would even give up much of my savings if I was assured of the social care for the elderly taken for granted in more civilized nations, like tax-supported health care. But I am not at all hopeful that I will ever see these things.

If there is going to be any kind of rescue—and we all know that Washington will do something—I believe that those of us who tried our best not to contribute to this house of cards deserve to be covered.

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By jackpine savage, October 1, 2008 at 5:45 pm Link to this comment

We’re all stuck on this ship of fools together, whether we like it or not. I would suggest dusting off that passport and hitting the road, but i’m not so sure that that will help right now. A serious nosedive by the US economy will send shockwaves everywhere.

There was an article in the China Daily (official government mouthpiece) about how on the one hand it was kind of nice to see the US taking some lumps. But on the other hand, is the rest of the world actually ready to be multipolar?

That’s where all of this leads, that’s the crux of the biscuit. Try as they might, the world could not decouple from America fast enough…so now the negative possibilities of globalization must be considered. And clearly the world is not - as much as many inhabitants of it might wish - ready to shoulder the responsibilities of a multi-polar world. At least not one that comes into being from having the rug yanked out from beneath the old order.

The legendary UofM football coach, Bo Schembechler used to say, “There’s three things that can happen when you throw the ball…and two of them are bad.” We’re quickly approaching the point where the only option will be to throw deep, but that doesn’t mean that interceptions and incompletions can’t happen.

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Paolo's avatar

By Paolo, October 1, 2008 at 5:40 pm Link to this comment

A very thought provoking article by Scheer, and many excellent comments. Here’s another libertarian perspective:

The fundamental problem with our financial system is philosophical: our system of money and credit is fundamentally dishonest. I submit that you cannot give any human being or group of human beings the power to create money out of thin air, and not have them abuse that power.

The Federal Reserve is the central hive of villains in our dishonest money system. One of their fundamental tasks is (laughably) to “maintain the value of the currency.” To say they have failed in this is to engage in gargantuan understatement: the dollar has lost well over ninety-five percent of its value since the Federal Reserve was created in the early 20th century.

The only stable unit of value is honest money; that is, gold and silver coin. Establish sound, honest money, and most importantly, get rid of the banks’ privilege of “fractional reserve lending” (called “counterfeiting” if you or I did it), and events like our current crisis could not occur.

Ron Paul seems to be the only politician around who has any understanding of the issue whatsoever.

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By Don Stivers, October 1, 2008 at 5:37 pm Link to this comment

Oh wow !!!

They are upping the limit on guaranteeing our savings accounts.  I am sooooo happy.  How many of you, who have written your opinion here, have even the $100,000 that the government will cover in a bank closure??  How many have the $250,000???  Or is it $200,000??  Oh, that sweetens the pie now.  If Congress does not think we are stupid, they ARE stupid…or frickin’ crooks.  I think they are frickin’ crooks.  Both stupid AND crooks.

Let’s all throw up together.  Get the pukes out of our system.

Ahhhhh…...feels much better now.

What?  I was dreaming?

Oh, GAWD !!!!!

Hey!!! Even if they DO pass something, that stupid crook George Bush and Cronies will just make it even worse with a signing statement.

Dennis Kucinich has been the only presidential candidate to have spoken the truth and STILL does.

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By Frank Cajon, October 1, 2008 at 5:28 pm Link to this comment

The problem is so huge that a new mindset and a new model is needed. The ‘plan’ is treating a cancer with a band-aid at the cost of a hospital.

Why aren’t the Congress discussing options like the European model? Why are banks being saved instead of nationalized? Why is Wall St being given-not loaned-money from taxpayers when the defense department budget is five times what it should be? Why haven’t deregulation laws been rescinded and new ones put into the Plan, and a Centralized agency to oversee the Treasury Department, outside of the Executive branch, established? Why is Paulson still around, along with Bernanke?

The Chancellor’s speech, an instant replay of the ‘Iraq mission accomplished’ speech in 2003 justifying the Occupation after Hussein’s fall, blames this on workers ‘taking out loans for money they couldn’t afford to pay back’. Bull Shit. Sure, the subprime loan mess is a big part of the banking mess, but every loan is approved by the banker, living on top of capitalist hill, not worker, living in the projects trying to eke out a living. There would be no alarms sounding if the Reichstag had not burned up $1 trillion in a war that has accomplished nothing except to depose Hussein, bring about five years of anarchy, embolden Iran, and kill hundreds of thousands, including many Americans. The fools did it while printing monopoly money enough to increase our national debt by 55%, most of it to foreign investors and placed most of the burden for its cost on workers. The discreet charm of the Wall St Bourgeiosie has not protected them from having their pretend wealth burst; now, they want to take us all into the gutter with them.

I say let them be poor. Let them go bust. The government should take over everything, or forget about saving the rich few at the cost of the working class. This is a tough call to make, but after the Depression hits with its full force, the government will be the only thing left anyway and will then be faced with the real knowledge that it acted too late.

Maybe next year, we won’t spend $620 billion on bombs and bullets while our infant mortality rate is the higher than 42 other countries. Maybe we will not only have to get out of our cluster fuck of a war in Iraq but withdraw most of the rest of the 400,000 troops we have stationed in 135 foreign countries. Maybe we don’t need to build two new aircraft carriers when no other country on earth has more than 2 and the rest of the world combined has less than we do.

Bailing out Wall St? As proposed, a bad idea. As a first step to a new Socialist model, a New Deal, an opportunity.

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By moineau, October 1, 2008 at 4:30 pm Link to this comment

whatever, some say one thing, some another. we’ll just have to agree to disagree on what we think we heard. no problem on this side.

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By KDelphi, October 1, 2008 at 4:25 pm Link to this comment

moineau—Other people are saying he was a flipper, too. Thats certianly what he sounded like to me.

Anyone that can finance 8 houses. needs to take their losses.It wasnt some kind of humanitarian low income housing or something, wa s it?? Why should everyone else finance these peoples’ speculation?

Hey, you guys all hate socialism, right? You believe in the “free fricking market economy’, right??

If not, why not consider something more fair? Should the working classes have to buy thsee eight houses from him? If so, why?? They are already hurting enough. And, it wil be a grand excuse to NOT enaact any social programs for the rest of our lives. We will become Third World.

Capitalism kills.

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By moineau, October 1, 2008 at 4:07 pm Link to this comment

kdelphi, just for the record, he said he build eight houses, and now they are worth less than he paid to build them. not a huge issue, you are right: people are and will be homeless, and many could die. just saying that people have all kinds of jobs. mine is to write letters, write poetry, and take care of disabled body. i used to be a va claims adjudicator; i’m sure some would say that that was a dangerous and/or useless position. before that an educator at public television: woohoo! now i’m fairly “useless” to most of what the world calls “value”. but the world needs poets, don’t they? :>>))

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By lichen, October 1, 2008 at 4:06 pm Link to this comment

I agree with you, KDelphi.  I do not sympathize with someone who owns 8 houses (and no, he was not a builder—he said he bought the houses to sell at a profit, he did not build them) and is sorry that now the grossly inflated housing prices are now lowering perhaps to the point where more people could actually afford to own their own home.  Housing is a human per the UN declaration, and those who were engaging in the speculative scam of the housing market these past years—americans trying to make a living by selling their houses to each other instead of doing real work—can certainly cut their losses and move on.  Everyone deserves housing, affordable, subsidized, and guaranteed; not record profits that price people out of the areas their jobs are and sends them into the streets.

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By KDelphi, October 1, 2008 at 4:02 pm Link to this comment

There are seven of them, at The Nation.  (Oct. 16th issue)

I like the one by Thea M. Lee. But, any of them would be better than this one that just adds more tax cuts.

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By cyrena, October 1, 2008 at 3:58 pm Link to this comment

Here’s a Better Bailout Plan
By Joseph Stiglitz, Posted October 1, 2008.

There are four fundamental problems with our financial system. The Paulson plan addresses only one

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By KDelphi, October 1, 2008 at 3:47 pm Link to this comment

Louise—boy, I guess I need to back off—everyone seems very concerned about the guy with eight houses. He certainly did not give the impression that he was a builder or contractor. He sounded like a “flipper” to me. That IS a BIG part of the problem. If someone listened to the rest, please correct me.

I’m a little more concerned about somone who has NO houses. The govt sure dosent seem to give a rat’s ass.

I already said that I did not listen to the entire thing. I couldnt. If a guy owns eight finished houses, tough. Sell them at a loss. Most people could never afford eight houses. And, nobody should. Some people wil never be able to afford a house at all.

Youre allowed to refinance if it is your second, third, etc. house. Why doesnt “he” do that? I wasnt aware the entire housing development industry was so touchy these days. Must be broke. Well, I have been for a long time.

I’m not going to explain how I feel about Obama again. He just keeps doing things that make him seem worse, to me.

If the Congress that is supporting this crappy bill, wants US citiZenry to support it, give them somethign for their money.That is the “concept I understand”.?  How about a loan to Wall St. at 39%? Or a ARM loan.

BTW—I am proudly not a capitalist.

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By moineau, October 1, 2008 at 3:38 pm Link to this comment

i too defended the guy with the eight houses; afterall, he’s a homebuilder trying to make a living. but to say “Maybe to many folks who manage to make it to the blogs aren’t out there working to survive” is another generalization. i’m retired and disabled, living on a fixed income. i hear your problem. but do you hear mine? let’s stop the generalizations and work toward common cause.

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By Louise, October 1, 2008 at 3:30 pm Link to this comment

Maybe to many folks who manage to make it to the blogs aren’t out there working to survive.

“One guy from Alabama was com-plaining that “of all the eight houses he bought, none was worth what he paid for them now”. ?! Does he have no conception that he is part of the problem?”

Is he? Without all the facts nobody knows, right? Maybe he’s a builder sitting on houses somebody [who qualified] ordered. But now they cant get financing, because there’s no money in the credit chain. But he still has to pay the construction loans.

My working project was going to be the income to pay my property taxes, cover my bills for the rest of the year, fill the pantry and give the grandkids a Christmas present. Instead, I’m trying to figure out how to come up with my property taxes and still make just THIS month’s house payment.

The builder who commissioned me cant get enough capital to finish the project. The project is necessary, so the people waiting for completion are on hold to. Worse still, the builder has employees with kids to support. And they may be getting laid off. Add to that hundreds of subcontracters who, if the project doesn’t go forward will lose their counted on income and lay off their employees.

And why? Because they cant get the operating capital they need to keep on keepen on. Because there’s a freeze on credit because of a shortage of money.

And if that analogy is too hard to understand, replace builder with farmer, or car dealer, or grocery store owner, or your favorite machine shop. If they cant credit, they cant get parts and they cant fix your whatever. They cant meet payroll, and that lays off their employees, and stops the deliveries, which lays off a whole ‘nother bunch of employees. The possibilities are endless, because everything you do, or buy is related in some way to the small business owner who will go under without operating capital.

Press, pundits and political leaders have done an incredible disservice to the working American, because almost to a person, they not only DO NOT understand the problem, but keep on explaining it wrong. And of course the champion misunderstander is our very own prez. He does the only thing he knows how to do ... scare people. Which might be a good reason to make damn sure you don’t put his clone in office come November.

While no one is going to make the statement that Obama knows it all, at least it’s safe to say he doesn’t PRETEND to know it all. The wise man will reach out to citizens and experts alike to come to a decision that will work best for the greatest number.

Only a fool jumps center stage to pretend his wisdom requires no input, but automatically leads the way to the right decision.

This morning, McCain pledged his first step to lead to recovery, would be to freeze all Federal spending. [Except the Defense Department of course.] Only a fool would think freezing the income of several million people would help! That would be the final bomb that blows up everything! He wisely states the deficit is out of control, then in typical repub fashion blames the “tax and spend” liberals. Standing next to the burning barn with an empty gas can and burned out match he exclaims, “I didn’t do it!”

Ending the Iraq war. Followed by a thorough and complete examination of the budget, identifying areas of waste, duplicity and mismanagement, and then eliminating that which is unnecessary would make more sense. And while McCain was throwing bombs, that is exactly what Obama was saying.

Think things are bad now? Imagine an administration run by someone who’s actually more detached, more arrogant and even more ignorant of real-life problems than Bush! Because if we end up following squirrely McCain and his six-pack, gun toten running mate, things will get lots badder. Not four more years of Bush/Cheney, but four years of EVEN WORSE than Bush/Cheney!

If that doesn’t scare you into finding out what’s really going on, you need to check your pulse. wink

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By MAR, October 1, 2008 at 3:26 pm Link to this comment

Max Shields. Oct 1, 12PM

My understanding is that the paper represented by the sub-prime mortgages is used as collateral (traded, discounted, retraded etc) all over the world. The crisis isn’t just with US mortgages but the pervasive influence that holding them has on credit internationally.  One bank in Canada has an exposure of $700 million worth of this stuff. While their size would allow them to write it off (but not without pain) it would not affect other than their commercial customers at first.

A word on banking - Canada and some other countries, unlike the US, have highly regulated branch banking systems - a few very large banks. The only other bank-like institutions are credit unions and similar small outfits and even these have been amalgamating for mutual sterngth. Because of the huge size of these banks and the branch system, none failed in the GD. Notwithstanding the country was very hard hit from the world wide effect of what happened in the US.
The basis of my thinking isn’t just childhood experience in the Great Depression.  I may have slept through a lot of my postgraduate exposure to Money, Banking and International Trade and I may be an old fart out of the business. The real issue is what happens to credit granting (mainly to productive companies, small businesses and so on which rely on short term credit to conduct business.) I read where GM has NO credit left and must operate on revenues only. If that principle were extended to all those who do business there would be instant layoffs which would cascade in a domino effect - no, not a repeat of 1930, but a brand new 2008.  Moreover, since international trade depends on credit as well, it could shrink drastically closing more out productive capacity with loss of employment, savings and confidence.

The money markets and the stock markets with these airy fairy ideas such as derivatives as are other confidence items (house prices obscenely high and out of whack with real value and real income)are just poised for a fall-off - perhaps at first corrective, but possibly ultimately chicken little magnitude.

This is no time for second-hand Marxism, either, as I see hidden in many of the comments herein.

Of course nobody can see the future, but many of us have forseen that the elastic band of the economy has been stretched very much - but who knows if it would break?  As long as the US pursues fiscal and monetary policies in such wide contravention to what was learned once before, I believe we are riding for a fall.   

Another factor - who of us have not bought ridiculously inexpensive products from China? Wal Mart take note. What are Chinese holdings of US dollars and US debt??

As your Obama said, get on with it.

The election is not sufficient cause to pander. If you have a seat, you are part of the problem and should become part of the solution.

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By KDelphi, October 1, 2008 at 3:17 pm Link to this comment

moineau—I hear you. It is kindve sad, even though I cant stand him. He has a brain tumor , I think—seriously. That is why he is retiring (thank gawd). Or Alzheimer’s. Not sure.

I wish the entire fricking Senates would retire. We need term limits.

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