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Wall Street Robber Barons Ride Again

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Posted on Jan 13, 2009
Geithner and Summers
AP photo / Lawrence Jackson

Treasury Secretary-designate Timothy Geithner, left, and National Economic Council Director-designate Lawrence Summers listen to President-elect Barack Obama’s speech on the American economy last week at George Mason University in Fairfax, Va.

By Robert Scheer

Why rush to throw another $350 billion of taxpayer money at the Wall Street bandits and their political cronies who created the biggest financial mess since the Great Depression? And why should we taxpayers be expected to double our debt exposure when the 10 still-secret bailout contracts made in the first round are being kept from the public?

We don’t have time, President-elect Barack Obama’s key economic adviser, Lawrence Summers, insisted in a letter to Congress on Monday, promising that the new infusion would not be squandered as was the first installment. But given that Summers is personally as responsible for this meltdown as anyone, why should we trust him on this? Yes, it sounds wonderfully bipartisan that Obama is backing President Bush’s request for spending the money now, short-circuiting congressional inquiry, but it was just that sort of bipartisan politics that created this nightmare.

How insulting that we must now accept Summers’ assurance that the Obama administration will “move quickly to reform a weak and outdated regulatory system to better protect consumers, investors and businesses.” This from the guy who, as President Bill Clinton’s treasury secretary, pushed the deregulation legislation making the subsequent financial crimes of Wall Street legal. The “toxic derivatives” that we taxpayers are now forced to purchase from the Wall Street hustlers were deliberately shielded from all government regulation, thanks to the Commodity Futures Modernization Act, which Summers got Congress to pass in the closing days of the Clinton administration with the same urgency that he now pushes for the new Wall Street handout.

Back then, Summers was a disciple of Robert Rubin, who just last week resigned from his director’s position at Citigroup, the financial conglomerate that grew to unmanageable and corrupt proportions thanks to the empowering legislation that Rubin initiated when he was Clinton’s first treasury secretary. Rubin has been paid more than $115 million plus stock options at Citigroup, and despite his horrid record is a close Obama adviser. It is one of the great swindles of U.S. financial history that Citigroup was bailed out with $45 billion in a deal that could eventually cost taxpayers an additional $269 billion to guarantee those toxic assets that would have been illegal if not for the legislation backed by Rubin and Summers.

How did Obama allow himself to become ensnared with the very same folks who are the most culpable? His treasury secretary nominee, Timothy Geithner, is another Rubin protégé, who, as head of the New York Fed, worked tirelessly with Rubin to concoct the Citigroup bailout. When candidate Obama gave his major economic address back on March 27, he couldn’t have been clearer in condemning the deregulation that Rubin and Summers had engineered:

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“Unfortunately, instead of establishing a 21st century regulatory framework, we simply dismantled the old one—aided by a legal but corrupt bargain in which campaign money all too often shaped policy and watered down oversight. In doing so, we encouraged a winner-take-all, anything-goes environment that helped foster devastating dislocations in our economy.”

He was referring to the deregulation legislation that Summers hailed on the day that Clinton signed it into law as “a major step forward to the 21st century.” Now Obama is relying on Summers to reverse a disaster of his own creation. It’s like returning to the same surgeon who almost killed the patient in the first operation to once again cut open the body to repair the damage.

What we need is a second opinion.

Where is the openness and accountability that Obama promised? Why not pause for a few weeks for congressional hearings on how to spend the new money? We don’t even know where the last batch went. On Monday, the Treasury Department finally agreed, and only after a subpoena threat, to turn over to Sen. Carl Levin and his Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations the 10 secret contracts that it signed with top Wall Street firms in the first round of the bailout. Unfortunately, the subcommittee has no plans to make those contracts public, according to a Levin aide quoted in The New York Times.

That is outrageous. This is our money we’re talking about. Why don’t we get to read the fine print in what will end up being trillions of dollars in taxpayer obligations? Because we are suckers, that’s why, and the folks who swindled us into this disaster can count on it.

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


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



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By Conservative Yankee, January 25, 2009 at 8:25 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Xtian

“Sorry to hear about the cut in your
medicaid AGAIN!  I believe the average Joe The
Plummer has no idea what a severe crisis confronts
our society.  Personally, I have been on disability
since 1992”

Now I see what people here are all about… doesn’t anyone work for a living anymore? 

I’ve got news for people, financial disaster arrives when 90% of people are sitting on their asses collecting checks, while 10% of the people work to support them.

Charity is a poor idea.

Report this

By christian96, January 24, 2009 at 1:16 am Link to this comment

KDelphi—-Why did you have to give up your Gov’t
pension?  Are you refering to Social Security?
I only get $277 a month from Social Security but I
have to pay taxes on it.  Obama said he is going to
pass a bill that people making less than $50,000 a
year will not have to pay taxes on Social Security.
I’ll believe it when I see it.  I am not a money
person probably because I never had any.  My formative years were spent in a coal mining town in
West Virginia.  Our family didn’t have money.  Of
course 99% of the people in town were in the same
boat.  We didn’t know we were poor.  We lived in a
hugh house that at one time belonged to the coal company.  It was divided in half so that two families
could live in it.  The coal company would not pay the
miners money; they would pay them “script,” which
could only be spent at The Company Store.  If you
remember the song from the 1950’s by Tenneesse Ernie
Ford titled, “Sixteen Tons,” you might remember the
line “St. Peter I can’t go; I owe my soul to the
company store.”  It’s sad that you can’t find anything about the abuse of people in coal mining
towns in American History books.  I’m considering
writing a book titled “Coal Miner’s Son” as a takeoff
on Lorretta Lynn’s book “Coal Miner’s Daughter.”

Report this

By KDelphi, January 23, 2009 at 5:54 pm Link to this comment

christian—cool site!! I went to some seminars they had back in the 90’s…very good people…

I had said that I love Thomas Szasz. I dont always agree with him, but he has some very good points…thanks.

my pc is SO slow tonite…sigh

Report this

By KDelphi, January 23, 2009 at 5:50 pm Link to this comment

christian—what happened to my post?? i think they had problems here…anyway, I am sorry to hear you are so sick. Ohio social services suck, and, I had to give up my govt pension just to get this crappy medicaid…all of it! It wouldnt have been a full pension, but it wouldve been better than I get on SSI—

I will check out the video later—-my pc is very old and tend to only be able to do one thing at a time.

I cant remember all I said…lol, oh well…

Report this

By christian96, January 23, 2009 at 11:53 am Link to this comment

To—KDelphi——I forgot to mention on my previous
post a DVD you might find interesting. It is titled
“Thing Psychiatry Has Nothing To Do With You? Think
again!”  It can be found at http://www.cchr.org/documentary.
Beside being in Education I have also been in the
mental health field.  I once read a book “The Myth
of Mental Illness” by Thomas Schaz in which he ask,
“Have you ever met a person who went to a psychiatrist and was labeled normal?”

Report this

By christian96, January 23, 2009 at 11:26 am Link to this comment

To Kdelphi——-Sorry to hear about the cut in your
medicaid AGAIN!  I believe the average Joe The
Plummer has no idea what a severe crisis confronts
our society.  Personally, I have been on disability
since 1992 and have not had to pay state income tax
in Ohio.  Now, I have recently been notified by the
Dept. of Taxation in Columbus that because I have
reached retirement AGE my disability converts to
retirement and I now have to pay state income tax.
This appears to be discrimination because of AGE.
I was disabled before and after retirement AGE.  The
only thing that has changed is my AGE.  I can’t afford a lawyer to try to pursue a discrimination
case.  Each year I pay $2000 for medication alone.
I am usually hospitalized twice a year.  This past
year it was three times.  I have to pay thousands
of dollars a year to doctors and hospitals for those
hospitalizations.  I guess the state of Ohio is going
to force me to move to another state where I won’t
be required to pay a state income tax.  Which means
all the money I have been spending in Ohio will now
be sent in another state.  I am 68 years old and
don’t look forward to packing and moving.

Report this

By KDelphi, January 23, 2009 at 10:56 am Link to this comment

christian—any chance your church could provide charity care? He probably doesnt have health insurace..and they just cut my medicaid again. I have had the same family dr for my entire lifetime,. I have to find a new one.

we need to be talking about more impt things

Report this

By christian96, January 22, 2009 at 11:46 am Link to this comment

To Leisure Suit Larry——-If you are sick, I
suggest you see a physician.

Report this

By KDelphi, January 22, 2009 at 8:50 am Link to this comment

christian—Do NOT think to psycho-analyze me! I wont do it to you—it is too unprofessional..I dont think you should be online diagnosing other TD either.

I am not trying to be harsh—but i see people all over the net trying to tell people what they think their psycholgocal problems are, and, it cheeses my butt.

I was implying that you keep telling me things that you should know that I woudl already know, as I have told you , I have had to give the tests…

Please stop schooling me about iQ tests—-they are boring, I now all about the tests, ok? I just think that they are crap. I also dont know any other way to get funding (as I have said), but, that doesnt make them any more valid. They were your living—I found them to be very biased as to race, income level, schooling (if it is indeed intellectual capacity and not learning we are measuring why do people score so differently after teaching?—and they do)

Hopefully, we will see a better funding yardstick in our lifetime..

I have seen lives ruined by these low validity tests, and poor performing testers. Maybe if Congress would fund special ed at more than 17%, it wouldnt be such a problem.

I was being sarcastic about social workers—-I think that it shoudl pay better. I got an MS rather than a PhD, because I knew that if I got a PhD, I would be relegated to the “worried well”, who have good health care coverage, or, to giving tests I did not want to do either.

I had a fellowship for either one—I looked into the programs. I decided I wanted more hands on work with people who really needed the help. I could not have done testing for so many years, so my hat is off to you. But, I did do alot of work with the people you were used to testing. I find it far more interesting, I know that you probably got to work with kidss, too. Why not talk about that more?

People are so much more interesting than tests dont you agree?.

Report this

By Leisure Suit Larry, January 22, 2009 at 7:59 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Christians 1 through 100 make me sick!

Report this

By christian96, January 22, 2009 at 2:27 am Link to this comment

To Kdelphi—-I do not think you have low IQ.  I am
concerned about your self-image according to some
comments you have made.  Many School Psychologists
question the validity and reliability of the Stanford
Binet and WISC-R, which are the primary IQ tests
used by School Psychologists.  They have no choice
since they are the primary ones used.  The Stanford
Binet is too verbally oriented and the IQ score is
questionable for students with low verbal skills.
If I had the time I would try to develop an IQ
test but I am busy at the moment writing a book for
children(between the ages of 10 and 18) about how
things in the world influence their attitudes and
behaviors. I think you are a kind and loving person,
especially towards children.  That is to be very
commendable especially since there are so many suffering children in the world.  PEACE!

Report this

By KDelphi, January 22, 2009 at 12:01 am Link to this comment

christian—I submit the IQ is not necessarily even a predictor of real intelligence.

After we looked at all the tests, we had to do individual assessments. I realize that they are a legal necessity in some cases. Otherwise , except in extremes,(as I said), they are pretty useless. They are more highly correlated with family income than anything else. Unless you think that finanacial achievement should be the only measure of success, which i suspect that you dont, or you wouldnt have been a school psychologist! (pays better than a Medical Social Worker, though)

For example, you dont think I am very intelligent , do you? Because you keep saying the same things over and over. I stil remember that you gave IQ tests and were a school psychologist, ok?

Maybe I have a problem with psychologists who think that tests are extremely important. It is not personal for me, ok? Maybe its a “turf” thing,,,I dunno. peace.

Report this

By vico, January 21, 2009 at 8:02 am Link to this comment

I would not have given these guys one cent! If we had to, I would do like warren buffet did buy a share in the company and demand change. No more seven or eight figure salary/benefits. Stop laying off the little guy;greater over-site. What to lazzia faire capitalism?
We have what Nader once said lemon socialism for the wealthy and capitalism for the small employer and employee.

Report this

By christian96, January 20, 2009 at 11:35 pm Link to this comment

KDelphi——I am not obsessing about IQ tests.  I was
merely trying to explain that state Dept. of Educations, because of federal legislation, have
mandated that IQ tests be used in placing students
in special education classes.  If you have a better
method for placing students in special education
programs, I would suggest you share it with your
state senator.  Also, I am not focusing on my IQ.
I mentioned it once to “outraged” to make the point
that I am intelligent but could not understand her
comments.  In my last comment to “outraged” I ask her
to explain her definition of “academic capacity.”
Since she did not respond, I can only assume she
doesn’t know the definition.  I never said IQ score
could be an indicator of happiness in life, success
in social life, etc.  To pursue those issues a person
would have to contact a counseling psychologist,
minister, etc.  You made the statement, “most” people
are not impressed with IQ tests.  How do you know
what “most” people are impressed with?

Report this

By KDelphi, January 20, 2009 at 4:49 pm Link to this comment

christian—Maybe you should stop obssessing about IQ’s!

What you do not seem to get , is that most people are less than impresed with how valuable IQ tests are, ok? I dont CARE what your IQ is, and, you would do better for yurself if you stopped focusing onti!

My dad had to give them for school kids in our district when I was very young (he was consulting). So, I knew mine very young. zzzz….

You already know that there is enormous disagreement about how much they mean. I KNOW the levels considered developmentally disabled, how they are funded—I worked with kids getting them for years!

I think what is meant by “academic” (what I meant by it) is that while IQ seems to be a FAIR (only fair) predictor of academic (school ) performance, it is not a good indicator of personal understanding nor, happiness in life, success in social life, success with money, friends, etc.

NO one is reallysure what we are measuring with IQ—some think that it is only test-taking ability. I have already said that , with extremes (1 SD, I said—that would be < 85, > 115, as you know), it can HELP, but you have to know the person—not just test.

I had 13 clients, all with “
IQs” UNDER 35—6 were “under 15”. None were supposed to be able to talk, perform tasks, or even learn to be toilet trained. After two years, all but one were.

I dont value it. It is often pointless, with autistic or Asberger’s syndrome, people with ADD, people from different cultural backgrounds, people who “freak out” with tests, or those that have become institutionalized.

As far as “Quintiles”, etc, have you seen the “test” you take for MENSA?? If you can do that, and, be considered “high IQ”—what can it really mean?

As to the 100s of millions, outrage did NOT say “Americans”—she meant the world, I assume. Yes, I think that there would be. Especialy as people become more educated. (Education and learning at home influences “IQ” hugel;y, as does wealth)

The military still uses it—if you wonder if you “qualify” these days—guess no more! Almost everyone does!

Report this

By christian96, January 20, 2009 at 4:29 pm Link to this comment

KDelphi——As a School Psychologist I had to administer an IQ test along with a battery of
achievement tests to a student referred to me
because of academic difficulties.  The results of
the tests were used in conjunction with other
variables(inputs from teachers, social worker,
speech therapist,etc.) in an attempt to determine
if the student qualified for placement in a Special
Education program(Learning Disability, Developmentally Handicapped—use to be Mentally
Retarded—-etc.)  I worked in a state where the IQ
score had to be below 80 before a student could be
considered for placement in a Devel. Handicapped program.  I worked in another state where the IQ had
to be below 75 for the same placement.  These guidelines were established by the state Dept. of
Education.

To Outraged——Do you mean there are a 100 million
people in America who have IQ scores in the Superior
range?  I am not sure what you mean by “Academic
Capacity.”  Could you please give me a definition?
Thank you.

Report this

By KDelphi, January 20, 2009 at 3:42 pm Link to this comment

Outraged—My point exzctly.

christian—yeah, I’m sure that was just to show her that you must have it right. I guess if I had given IQ test for a living (I had to give them , for awhile, I found them to be “less than helpful”, shall we say), I would have to believe in them too.

Want to know my iQ? NO…I dont like to brag..it is very bad form

peacenik1—There is a site that is listing what has been spent—-http://bailoutsleuth.com

It has a cool “monopoly bailout” game, too at http://bailoutgame.us

I hope I got those right. The first one is “NO fun”., the second is pretty fun. If your “car” slows down, people with pitchforks and torches chase you and catch up! (too bad the USAns dont have the balls for it!)

Report this
Outraged's avatar

By Outraged, January 19, 2009 at 11:50 pm Link to this comment

Re: christian96

Your comment: “To Outraged——On three different IQ tests, I have
scored an average IQ of 142, which is in the 98th
percentile and labeled “superior.”  I don’t mention
that to brag but to state a fact.  Yet, with an IQ
score in the “superior” range, I don’t have the
slightest idea what you are talking about. Can you
be a little more specific?”

Well…let me be the first to “welcome” you to the “club”, although truthfully about a hundred million others could do this as well.  You can BANK on that.  That aside, your comment (specifically) “Yet, with an IQ
score in the “superior” range, I don’t have the
slightest idea what you are talking about.

Well….that sums it up for me.  So again, I will leave you with one of my earlier comments or rather an introspective question.

What does “academic capacity” MEAN…?

Report this

By peacenik1, January 19, 2009 at 9:41 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Regarding the multi-billion bailout, the American people should demand STRICT accountability and oversight.  There should be a website where we could check to see how our money is being disbursed and how the banks are spending it.

How about it, Treasury Department?

Report this

By KDelphi, January 19, 2009 at 4:07 pm Link to this comment

If you want more tax cuts for big business (which has just worked great so far!)Summers is your guy!

I dont buy this “more from the guy that broke it”. I agree with Bill Maher—those who created the mess may have “knowledge of it”—like a fox has knowledge of hens! Even if they have “knowledge”, they obviously dont have the morality!

It is silly to think that the markets are not manipulated by men. They are an invention of men.It wasnt like “first there were markets, then there were fish, then there were men”. Unless you believe some kind of Friedman-esque junk.

Report this

By flow, January 19, 2009 at 3:47 pm Link to this comment

The absence of transparency is a cancer upon market dynamics, a corrosive agent, certain to further intoxicate the market place. Should we expect the “hidden hand” of the market to optimize the market’s response when the left hand’s dealings are hidden from the right hand? Such policy is an absolute abomination to the proper functioning of markets. In the absence of properly functioning market dynamics driving the economy, the question arises, what kind of an economy do we have? Are decisions being made by markets or by men? If by men, then ought we not call this a command economy and ask the question: what separates our economy from the economy of the former Soviet Union?

As it concerns employing Summers to lead the team responsible for diffusing the monster Washington has wrought, perhaps there is some wisdom in employing in “Dr. Frankstein” to perform surgery on the beast he created. The question is: what motivation lurks in the heart of the good Dr.? if he is determined to kill the beast, he may be the best suited surgeon available for the job. If he is bent on more grand larceny…

Report this

By christian96, January 19, 2009 at 2:19 pm Link to this comment

To Outraged——On three different IQ tests, I have
scored an average IQ of 142, which is in the 98th
percentile and labeled “superior.”  I don’t mention
that to brag but to state a fact.  Yet, with an IQ
score in the “superior” range, I don’t have the
slightest idea what you are talking about. Can you
be a little more specific?  Thank you.

Report this
Outraged's avatar

By Outraged, January 19, 2009 at 1:24 am Link to this comment

Re: christian96

Your comment (directed at Kdelphi): “There is considerable disagreement about
the validity and reliability of IQ tests but until
someone develops a better objective instrument, an
IQ score is a better predictor of academic success
than any other instrument we have.

While this may or may NOT be accurate, still…IQ tests do NOT address the “integrity” factor.  Could it be plausible that “intelligent” students would FAIL, purposefully…?  Is it realistic to aver that the “intelligent” would REFUSE to endorse inaccuracies, questionable premises’ or downright LIES?

Having an “extra” capacity, or what is generally deemed “academic capacity” and or more inappropriately “knowledge”, means…...what?  This person is willing to ingest whatever they are FED…. facts not withstanding…?

What does “academic capacity” MEAN…?

That said, (and hopefully TAO Walker doesn’t mind) I leave you with his words (emphasized, of course)

Mature Human Beings, however, know these expectations for the desperately childish wishful-thinking they are.  We also know our tame Sisters and Brothers have been purposely arrested in their Human “development” by the perpetrators of a process meant to do just that….among many other equally destructive things.

Continuing to waste precious attention on the superfluous symptoms of their predicament, like “money” and “politics” and “american”-ism, among many other equally false and degrading distractions, will not accomplish anything but the drastic worsening of their already near-terminal “situation.”  Everything anybody truly NEEDS, to get through these trying times, is already present right where they live….and the currently most essential part of that is to be found only in each other.”

Report this

By KDelphi, January 17, 2009 at 4:17 pm Link to this comment

christian—Yes! And how many end up unable to work, then, costs taxpayers more, causes them immeasureable suffering, and, the neo-cons will blame them for “not getting a job”!

Reps Conyers aND Kucinich (and others) are proposing HR 676—Medicare for All. It is basically,a universal, single payer, with some options left for those who want (and can afford) private coverage.

Here is the link!
http://www.hr676.org/

Also, here is the link for physicians for a Natl Health Plan—they are great!

http://www.pnhp.org/news/categories/Quote of the Day/

To me, this is a real opportunity for Dems to declare that they stand for the rights of the average person, and, that human rights are basic to s civil society. I hope that they do—-thanks.

Report this

By christian96, January 17, 2009 at 4:05 pm Link to this comment

To KDelphi——I went through a similiar situation
with my father in West Virginia.  I talked to both
doctors who said the leg had to come off.  I said,
“Before you ampute his leg let me have the x-rays.”
I took them to The Cleveland Clinic and ask to speak
with the department chairmen.  He was a fine knowledgeable man.  When he looked at the x-rays
he said,  “They didn’t do the test right in West
Virginia.  The 14 in the lower right corner means
they waited 14 seconds after inserting the dye to
take the x-ray.  They should have waited longer.”
I went back to West Virginia and drove dad to The
Cleveland Clinic.  They readministered the test,
operated on dad and saved his leg.  The Lord only
knows how many legs have been cut off in West Virginia when they didn’t need to be.  Sorry about
your experience with Medicaid in Ohio.  Perhaps,
the new administration will do something about it.

Report this

By KDelphi, January 17, 2009 at 3:12 pm Link to this comment

christian—I was “helicoptered” to CCF, as the hospital here wanted to amputate my leg! It was in 72 pieces! They ‘saved” it with a piece from the bone bank…it was a long road, but, I have been walking again for years. As I approach middle age, it is beginning to get sore… I need to be somewhere where I can readily swim and free dive every day. I sure cannot do it here in Ohio!

I can longer go there for medical care, as Ohio Medicaid makes me go to “indigent” doctors, even though my surgeon only wanted to see me a couple of times a year—it was not very expensive. But, that is US “health” care—penny wise and pound foolish!

.

TAO—I was trying to figure out of you were on the “Turtle Island” I am thinking of—a beautiful, unspoiled preserve, founded by (well, I dont know who you are, so, I’d better not say )...I wish I was there…considering that I’ve just about had it—-maybe I will apply for an internship—-it cant hurt to try, right?

It is 1 degree , and, my leg is “in a knot”...sigh.

Report this

By christian96, January 17, 2009 at 2:57 pm Link to this comment

To KDelphi——I wasn’t implying that low IQ causes
people to be overweight.  People with very low IQ
scores usually have difficulty reading and may not
be familiar with what constitutes a healthy diet.
However, people who have difficulty reading can still
learn through other means such as visual.  Perhaps,
I should contact Dr. Oz at the Cleveland Clinic about
producing a DVD which would help people who have
difficulty reading to learn about nutrition.  I have
been in The Cleveland Clinic so much my friends tell
me the clinic should name a wing after me.  I am
sorry to hear you were in a wheel chair for 18 months.  What happened?  I fell last April and was
injured to the point it disrupted my exercise activities.  I was operated on at the Cleveland
Clinic.  I am recovered now and just joined a gym to
restart working out.  I weigh 190 pounds and should
weigh about 165.  The weight won’t come off rapidly.
I have to be patient.  Our society needs to do a better job educating people about nutrition.  People
need to learn to “eat to live” rather than “living
to eat.”

Report this

By TAO Walker, January 17, 2009 at 2:49 pm Link to this comment

KDelphi might be glad to learn that the entirety of the Land s/he has probably been CONned into calling “northamerica” is in-fact Turtle Island.  “america”  as-such doesn’t even exist except as a figment of the fevered captive imaginations of domesticated peoples here and “abroad”....and in the make-believe ideological, institutional, and electro-mechanical excrescences of that illness.  Our Sister Continent up-south is HummingBird Island.

Us Natives’ve always had the “advantage” over our allamerican invader/occupiers of knowing not only exactly WHERE we are, but exactly WHEN, as well.  That’s why we’re still very much at-home here, while they are even now “....slip-sliding away.”  Of course everyone living here is free to exchange their false american IDentity for belonging in our Turtle Island nations.  Granted throwing-off life-long habits of belief and behavior is not as easy as simply changing-clothes….but it IS there to do for those who’ll take part in the Living Ceremonies we have for it.

What, really, do any americans have left to lose now, anyhow?

Hokahey!

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By KDelphi, January 17, 2009 at 1:41 pm Link to this comment

TAO—Turtle Island, off North Carolina??

I would love to go there…although I dont know that much about it.Do you live there full-time?

This is all none of my business, and, you , of course, do not have to tell me. I am just interested…

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By KDelphi, January 17, 2009 at 1:33 pm Link to this comment

Yes, I was trying to refer to , what, I think, is the erreoneous allegation that “low IQ causes overweight”. I was trying to point out that mis-education is one cause, as well as our “Merkin way of agri-business. The hormones in “live"stock has girls reaching puberty younger and younger, and causes early death of people, and much suffering of animals..

I am not “skinny”, but I am very far from clinically obese, although I had problems with adding fat when I was in a wheelchair (l8 mos) Which goes to show, again, that a sedentary lifestyle is another problem. (It mostly came off when I started swimming again)

To make assumptions about the lives of people whom you meet in a grocery (or, online), is being pretty judgemental for a christian…

TAO—“civilization”, as you say…to the extent that I am informed (not very) I agree..

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By TAO Walker, January 17, 2009 at 1:14 pm Link to this comment

christian96 jumps to some pretty-far-off-the-mark conclusions about this old Indian, who at 6’2” and 165 lbs. is not anywhere near “overweight”....nor, as a Turtle Island Native, any kind of “american” at all.  S/he carefully avoids, as well, any examination of the CONtext in which all the “obesity” he/she bemoans here is actually occurring….insisting that hapless half-baked “individuals” must take-the-rap for the intended effects of their being trapped-at-birth inside the now world-wide “....heart-attack machine” that goes by the name of “civilization.”

Of course christian96 has plenty of company in that misery and CONfusion, including the author of this article, Robert Scheer.  It’s hard to see one’s Way clear of a CONtraption designed and built to cut-off access-to and hide the very existence-of anything real and worthwhile outside the carefully CONtrolled CONfines of the apparatus itself.

Maybe the hope of the “Calvary” swooping down out of the sky to their rescue makes these CONditions temporarily tolerable for all these their-days-are-numbered christians….just as the always-seven-years-down-the-road “promise” some last-minute miraculous electro-mechanical “fix” seems to do for hard-core technophiles.  Mature Human Beings, however, know these expectations for the desperately childish wishful-thinking they are.  We also know our tame Sisters and Brothers have been purposely arrested in their Human “development” by the perpetrators of a process meant to do just that….among many other equally destructive things.

Continuing to waste precious attention on the superfluous symptoms of their predicament, like “money” and “politics” and “american”-ism, among many other equally false and degrading distractions, will not accomplish anything but the drastic worsening of their already near-terminal “situation.”  Everything anybody truly NEEDS, to get through these trying times, is already present right where they live….and the currently most essential part of that is to be found only in each other.

That may not be “theamericanway,” but it’s sure-as-hell the Tiyoshpaye Way.  You can bet your sweet lives on that.


HokaHey!

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By KDelphi, January 17, 2009 at 5:07 am Link to this comment

christian—i wouldnt disagree with most of what you say, but, you did say “academic success”—that is true. as long as other factors are taken into consideration…i just meant that, as more than one standard deviation above or below the median, it has predictive value (that would be below 85 and above 115, as you know). as you know, it is much less predictive of success in life, and, as you know, it is sometimes misused that way…we used to use WISC and SB as “party games”!

The boy with the “90” was better off mainstreamed, if possible, I agree.

yes, limit class size in ALL grades! what do you think of No Child Left Behind? (as far as charter schools, etc)

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By christian96, January 17, 2009 at 2:53 am Link to this comment

To KDelphi——There is considerble disagreement about
the validity and reliability of IQ tests but until
someone develops a better objective instrument, an
IQ score is a better predictor of academic success
than any other instrument we have.  Of course, a
public school placement committee considers many
other variables when trying to assist students, race,
economic background, etc.  It is not nature versus
nuture.  It is nature AND nuture.  I admit IQ scores,
at times, have been used abused.  In our school system, the placement committee once placed a boy
with an IQ of 92 into a developmentally disabled
program(average IQ scores usually ranges from 90 to
110) but state guidelines specifically state an IQ
score must be below 80 for placement into a developmentally disabled program. I disagreed with
the placement committee’s decision and wrote a letter expressing my disagreement and placed it in the student’s academic records.  I wasn’t very
popular with some teachers and administrators but I
didn’t become a School Psychologist to please teachers and administrators.  Considering the boy’s
low academic scores, he should have been placed in
a learning disability class for certain subjects.  It was obivious the boy needed more one-on-one help
which he wasn’t receiving in a class of approx. 30
students.  If Obama wants to help education, he could begin by passing a law limiting the number of
students in kindergarten through third grade classrooms to 15 which would allow teachers to give
more one-on-one assistance.  I have been in kindergarten programs with 30 students in the class.
With that high of a teacher-student ratio some students are doomed before they begin their academic
career.

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By M.B.S.S., January 16, 2009 at 7:55 pm Link to this comment

ok gentlemen.  try to stay focused on wall st.  we’ll save the monsanto and high fructose corn syrup for a different article.

tom f’n vilsack for dept of ag.  that guy is big ag’s bitch.  obama is shit.

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By KDelphi, January 16, 2009 at 5:08 pm Link to this comment

christian—“IQ” has very little to do with whether one knows how to eat healthfully. It is a matter of education.

“IQ”, as a predictive concept, has fallen into disfavor, as it should. No one is really certain what , exactly, it refers to,(except, as to what your score is on an IQ test) and, there are so many intervening factors that contribute to results, as to make IQ practically useless, as a predictor of future success—in school, yes, but, mostly in life.

For example, all of our presidents (in this lifetime) had very “high IQ’s”.

My father used to test kids for grade school, and, while it is still used in some schools, and, as military study, I think, that, except at extremes (like, > one SD above or below the Median), it means little. I also worked with autistic adults, mentally disabled and autistic kids, etc, and found IQ to be a very poor predictor of preformance—-past treatment, upbringing, etc was much more predictive.(I guess I am arguing for nurture over nature on this one)

It is certainly not related to weight…not in any study I know of. Unless it is related to low education.

Some people do not have money to buy fresh produce, and, with all the obesity we have now, I believe that there may be something about the way we are raising food (especially agri-business raised meat, with hormones and the lifestock so hugely fat,that they have to use artificial insemination to mate). A vegetarian diet , with occasional fish or soy for protein, would serve our children better. But, try getting that through to school lunches, with agri-business with its open hand out.

I am not trying to be confrontational, I just think that “IQ” is thrown around too much, and, can be used to “diagnose” people who we have never seen, nor evaluated. I had to learn to give such tests, but, their use in diagnosis is limited—perhaps you wouldnt agree…

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By Iowa Vet, January 16, 2009 at 12:33 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Article 1 Section 9 of our tattered Constitution calls for ALL money taken from the treasury to be periodically published. Demand from your rep in Washington to either follow the Constitution that was sworn to be upheld and publish who/where/what this money has gone too, or contact your state leaders/AG with his/her denial reply and demand impeachment/removal be started. Hold them to the fire citizens.

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By msgmi, January 16, 2009 at 10:47 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The Wall Street Barons and their hubris have nothing to fear, no prosecutions, no jail time and TARP money to spread around the bonuses within the inner circle. White collar crime rules while Main Street dollars bail out the listing financial institutions.

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By Mon, January 16, 2009 at 2:19 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Please read this entry by Sergio Toporek

Israel vs. Palestine. Who’s right?

http://shop.toporek.com/blogs/toporek-blog/664502-israel-vs-palestine-whos-right

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By christian96, January 16, 2009 at 1:07 am Link to this comment

To—-Tao Walker——It’s sounds like you are Native
American and perhaps overweight.  I am also part
Cherokee and Commanche.  If my comments made you feel
self conscious, I am sorry.  I hope you get help
losing weight.  Excess weight is a killer.  Ask anyone in the medical profession.  I had a friend,
Bernie, who weighed nearly 500 pounds.  About a year
ago Bernie and another friend, John, and I went out
to eat.  After we dropped Bernie off, I told John,
“If Bernie doesn’t lose weight he is going to die.”
In less than 3 months, Bernie was dead. Please lose
weight.  I have wished a 100 times I would have said,
“Bernie why do you eat so much junk food?”  But, I
didn’‘t want to hurt his feelings.  Perhaps, if I
would have hurt his feelings, it would have been an
incentive for him to lose weight. I’ll never know.
Some people overeat because of emotional baggage
they have been carrying around for years.  Please
don’t rationalize your weight with a thought like,
“I am carrying around excess weight to help in lean
times.”  See a counseling psychologist and try to
discover why you are overweight.  There may be a
physical cause.  If so, you need medical assistance.

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By blog dog, January 16, 2009 at 12:48 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

How did Obama allow himself to become ensnared with the very same folks who are the most culpable?

Robert, you can’t be serious. They own him. He’s Trilateral/CFR/Bilderberg property - a rich asset.

As you heard in March, you will hear, over and over and over, the rhetoric of a peace-loving populist, while the agenda of the New World Oligarchy advances surely and steadily behind Barky’s “Left Liberal Cover.”

Of course you don’t want to believe it, having made a career of interviewing every president since, but the Republic was fatally assaulted when the Dulles brothers called in the hit on JFK, and it’s been a rolling coup ever since.

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By Clash, January 15, 2009 at 10:31 pm Link to this comment

The end of the empire is at hand, after watching and listening to the new puppets paraded before the senate and realizing that they all had real fear in their eyes, the fear of knowing. Not one veered off script, the hidden hand controlling all. They are here to take all back to their masters and have no reason or desire to reveal were the treasure is going as they believe it belongs to them already. Slavery is the future for those who will submit for survivals sake.

It would be wise to heed TAO Walkers words, we are all related and our survival will depend on all us children.

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By jackpine savage, January 15, 2009 at 6:56 pm Link to this comment

TAO Walker, you need a blog.  I’d be there every day.

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By PatrickHenry, January 15, 2009 at 4:54 pm Link to this comment

For all you crystal ball gazers who know what Obamas going to do, please visit:

http://www.weeklyworldnews.com/

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By katiebegood, January 15, 2009 at 4:46 pm Link to this comment

I am getting really sick and tired of all you arm-chair quarterbacks who just know what Obama is going to do.  Why don’t you let him become President and actually make a decision worth criticizing?

Sometimes I think that Democrats are their own worst enemies.

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By PatrickHenry, January 15, 2009 at 4:12 pm Link to this comment

Bernie Madoff should be in a jumpsuit in Jail, with every tangible asset here and abroad seized. 

Madoff’s s family, employees and enriched trading partners for the last 5 years should have their assets audited and subjected to Judgement ruling.

If Obama is going to hire government employees then he should start by adding investigators the SEC, GAO and other oversight and regulatory agencies.

Actions are necessary to protect and ensure that publically held companies with CEO’s like Bernie Madoff will not go undetected.

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By TAO Walker, January 15, 2009 at 3:24 pm Link to this comment

It is not unusual, and certainly NOT any kind of “moral” failing for Humans to store-up “fat” in anticipation of even-now-hard-upon-us extremely LEAN times.  Maybe christian96 could exemplify for us some of the “charity” his fella-‘n’-gal believers are supposed to practice, by being a lot less judgemental about those among us who’re responding instinctively to “material” conditions that are deteriorating as rapidly as they are drastically.

If anything, christian96 might have some compassion for those whose “lot” it is to suffer the consequences of having to pack-around so much “excess” weight on-behalf of those who can still afford the dubious “luxury” of the latest designer “diet.”  Of course “individuals” CONfined to the captivity of their domestication are unfortunately unable to “access” the much larger Hoop of our Mother Earth’s Natural Living Arrangement, and so mostly cannot see beyond the highly circumscribed “domain” of their own self-satisfaction.

Even this instinctive response to life-threatening conditions, however, will likely prove insufficient to the need this time, especially given the extraordinary level of man-made toxins that are so prevalent in the “foods” from which people must make “fat” here in these latter days.  That is yet another factor in this old Indian’s constant counsel here to our tame Sisters and Brothers.  As half-living artificial “individuals” you are your selfs ALL dead-meat.  As Persons belonging to Living Tiyoshpayes you have at least a GhostDancers’ chance of getting through these trying times together.

To those who share christian96’s notion that all this is being visited upon us by some “(self-?)righteous “god,” as “punishment” for our “sins,” us surviving Savages suggest you try to examine our “situation,” and “the record” (however garbled and abbreviated in transmission and translation, as noted by Folktruther here) of its “genesis,” without all the moralistic clap-trap.  “Guilt” is an absolutely ALIEN CONstruct here in the Song ‘n’ Dance of Life Herownself….one introduced to already CONfused and CONfined Humans to make them blame themselves for what self-proclaimed “higher” beings were doing to them.

And the great “CON” CONtinues today, as professional schemers and their bought-and-paid-for political hacks try desperately to “restore the public’s CONfidence” in their “global” pyramid scam.  The thing is, that old saw about “Fool me once….” is not just idle folk-lore.  At this late date, the domesticated peoples bear a heavy responsibility for the deplorable condition their “condition” is in.

The “upside” of that is, as we’re reminded by the Ancients; “What has been spoiled by Humanity’s ignorance, abuse, and neglect can be made whole again by Humanity’s conscientious efforts to restore balance and harmony….among Human Beings, and between Human Beings and the Living Earth.”  If all this were really nothing but a bunch of “divine” brats working-out their internecine blood-lust using hapless Two-leggeds as surrogates….well, doesn’t that, too, pretty much take-away any aspect of “good-vs.-evil,” at least so far as us Heathen Savages are concerned.

Better all-around, maybe, to keep everything in the familiar “sphere” of plain old BIOLOGY.  After all, us Children of Earth are truly ALL RELATED!

HokaHey!

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By christian96, January 15, 2009 at 1:27 pm Link to this comment

To—-Moralabyss, Jan. 14th, 12:11 p.m.
Sadly, I agree with your comments.  We are rapidly
approaching what the Bible refers to as THE GREAT
TRIBULATION.  My heart goes out to people, especially
children.  Yesterday, while shopping for groceries,
I couldn’t help but notice the number of grossly
obese people.  A lady in front of me looked to be
about 200 pounds overweight.  With her was a child
who appeared to be around 10 years old who was at
least 50 pounds overweight.  Obviously, the child
is eating what mommy eats.  Personally, I think this
is a form of child abuse.  Perhaps the mother has a
below average IQ and doesn’t realize what constitutes
a healthy diet.  These people usually eat what TASTES
good.  That is the way the food industry wants it.
Try to find a cereal product that doesn’t contain
sugar.  We get upset, as we should, when children
die in wars because the cause and effect happens in
a short amount of time.  A bomb is dropped.  Children
die instantly.  What about the millions of children
who are being killed SLOWLY OVER A LONG PERIOD OF
TIME because of what they eat daily?  People in the
food industry are SLOWLY killing our children.  Why
doesn’t our government do something about it?  It
most likely has something to do with GREED!  I believe junior high students should be required to
take Child Development and Family Relations courses.
Those courses should include lessons about a healthy
diet, along with lessons on how the media influences
their thoughts and behaviors.

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By Shift, January 15, 2009 at 12:36 pm Link to this comment

Is anyone else here growing weary of Zionist Bankers running the American economic system?  Aparently Obama is not!

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By Shift, January 15, 2009 at 12:30 pm Link to this comment

HippyPam: “Am I the ONLY PERSON wondering WHY/HOW “

Pam, Madoff’s why/how model is the Social Security System.  It uses the funds collected currently to pay those who are retired. 

Congress instead of investing Social Security funds decided to use them and create a governmental ponzi scheme.  Madoff is a piker!

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By Eric L. Prentis, January 15, 2009 at 10:04 am Link to this comment

Fed Chairman Bernanke uses trillions of dollars of taxpayer money and the Treasury uses billions of dollars of TARP money to save the stock and bond holders of failed banks, thereby weakening the ability of the US economy to quickly bounce back from this recession because failure is rewarded rather than success. Bernanke’s futile attempt to prove that Milton Friedman’s monetarism theory is practical hasn’t worked because failed banks will continue their wayward policies as long as the taxpayers are making good their losses. Dr. Bernanke, the ivory tower academician, is acting like a megalomaniac who needs to be stopped before he dooms the American economy to the Japanese disease of a lost decade of economic growth. Using the tried-and-true Swedish model now is imperative.

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By Skruff, January 15, 2009 at 8:06 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

greystone,

What we owe China, and for that matter everyone, is small potatoes when compared to the cost of bailing out banks and insurance companies if 50% of their hinky chits crap out. e are talking about 53 TRILLION is bundled insured mortgage notes.

Citi Bank - Gone
B.O.A. - Much smaller
Chase, Morgan Stanley, Solomon Bros, - who knows, but if all these financial institutions, and the others involved, liquidated all their assetts, stiffed the stock holders, sold their Manhattan realestate, we would not recover .001 cent on the dollar, and even this would mean the CEO’s leaving with nothing but their underware…and we know that ain’t gonna happen!

That’s what Joe bullshit Biden meant when he said that the financial situation is “much worse” then previously believed.

Some “IN-THE-KNOW” people say “terminal.

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By hippy pam, January 15, 2009 at 6:44 am Link to this comment

Am I the ONLY PERSON wondering WHY/HOW
Bernard Madoff is still running around LOOSE????Why he is allowed to give his property away[hide it with friends]?

Should"t his property have been SEIZED-Confiscated-To be SOLD and the monies used to reimburse those he RUINED????

WHAT ABOUT THIS JUDGE?What PERKS is this JUDGE getting?Is HE DIRTY?

It just SMELLS like DEAD FISH to me….....

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By greystone, January 15, 2009 at 6:44 am Link to this comment

just how much do we owe China as we speak? we’ve borrowed for our current wars, borrowed for bailouts 1 and 2 and going for more to further stimulate our selves.  does that make China a loan shark and we suckers? what is pray tell the interest rate for all this mullah?

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By marcus medler, January 15, 2009 at 6:22 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I agree that what is needed is a second opinion. Was that not what the last election was about, a new way of doing business? The three weakest prospective appointments of the new administration, treasury, state and justice reflect the old order. It is in these positions that the early test of Obama is brewing. I think the country needs to be alarmed and vocal and urge a change of dress. What is showing is more than a slip; it is out dated ideas and modes of operation. The new president must remember, it was not the “Clintionites” that helped him win, it was the failures now haunting us, of ALL past administrations.

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By Allan Krueger, January 15, 2009 at 5:53 am Link to this comment

Well, let’s put another auto company exec on the skewer, while we hand ten times as much money to the crooks and liars who created this debacle - no questions asked! Destroy the remaining manufacturing base in our country… More money for the paper shuffling scammers! Population: ZZZZZZZZ

Remember, it is none of our business what they did with the first 350B! There should be buses of these slime whisked away in FEMA trailers, heading to to Guantanamo! Use some of those “enhanced” interrogation techniques to determine the crimes they have committed.

The government of this country makes me want to puke! Happy New Year - same shit, different year!

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By KDelphi, January 15, 2009 at 1:17 am Link to this comment

“We don’t have time, President-elect Barack Obama’s key economic adviser, Lawrence Summers, insisted in a letter to Congress on Monday, promising that the new infusion would not be squandered as was the first installment.”

Can you say deja vu?

Purple Girl—My friends that supported the Bailout, wish that they had not…it has helped them, not at all.

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By mud, January 15, 2009 at 12:26 am Link to this comment

Max on Bankers


http://karmabanqueradio.com/

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By cruxpuppy, January 14, 2009 at 10:42 pm Link to this comment

No problem, mike112769. You seem like a good Joe, a man of the people. Me, too. I guess my irony was way too dry as Quinty said. The way these people think is scary as hell….

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By M.B.S.S., January 14, 2009 at 9:58 pm Link to this comment

this may seem off topic to a certain extent but there is a connection.  for an inside look at the corruption of the subprime industry read: “confessions of a subprime lender,” by richard bitner. 
this will give you a little peep inside the machinations of our banking/regulatory/real estate/finance industries.

ol timmy forgot to pay his taxes huh?

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By Chris, January 14, 2009 at 8:39 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I stopped voting for Democrats and Republicans all together. I didn’t vote for Obama or McCain either. I would vote for a viable third party were it to emerge and considering how ticked off the American public is at Wall Street and Wall Street’s cronies (e.g. Secretary Geithner) it may not be a long wait.

I can’t recall who but CNBC had a guest who cited the fact that Summers, Geithner, and co. have no experience in actually running a business (e.g administering payroll, hiring people) so how are they going to create these “new jobs” and “new industries” that Obama speaks of. Summers, Geithner , and co. are just academics who haven’t been “in the trenches”.

I’m really chomping at the bit as to what new jobs are going to come into existence to get the unemployed employed.

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By Bilejones, January 14, 2009 at 8:25 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I wonder whether the knicker wetters have realized yet that Obama means an acceleration of Bush’s trajectory not a deviation from it.

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By Skwid, January 14, 2009 at 7:45 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Why hate on the Wall Street? They have done the biggest bank job in the world’s history. AND THEY DIDN’T USE A SINGLE FIREARM!! Just sent Bernanke into congress and said, “Keys to the National Reserve, NOW, or things will be bad.” Come on guys, give credit where credit is due!

Yes. This is a joke. Kinda

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By Norm Lowry, January 14, 2009 at 6:10 pm Link to this comment

Contrary to the popular opinion of our citizenry, the US is going down…our lights will soon go off (literally), with no fast recovery.  For his last eight years as Comptroller of the US, David Walker was on a CRUSADE to convince us that we were nearing the point of total fiscal failure (GAO spreadsheets have always been openly available to the public).  Mr Walker retired last year but recently told our National leaders that we have past the point of no return, owing in excess of $59 Trillion dollars more than all of our assets cover (he says that these figures are way low, especially when factoring in the rape of our financial system, by Wall Street).  To top all of this off, our Treasury extends nearly $200 Billion per day, just to keep our banking system afloat (that’s more than $50 Trillion per year more).

Here’s the kicker:  The US imports over 2/3 of it’s oil…mostly on credit.  How long do you think our debt-buyers are going to continue to extend credit, especially since President Bush announced to the world (in December) that we will no longer be paying interest on our debt (since we are insolvent)?  Everything in our world depends on oil.  What do you think will happen, very soon, when 2/3 of our oil supply disappears? 

Most citizens are not aware President Bush has declared Inauguration Day as a National Emergency, ordering in excess of 20,000 US military troops to help with security.  What this means is the transfer all command, control and communications to the Secret Service; even the military. Is it coincidence that this past Monday President Bush also warned of another 9/11-type event?  Vice President Cheney was in charge of our “emergency” that day.  Guess who will likely be in charge, next Tuesday?  Be scared…

Hold your precious ones near! 

Blessings…

Norm Lowry (former christian neocon, now dissident)
.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
Lancaster PA USA

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By PatrickHenry, January 14, 2009 at 5:15 pm Link to this comment

I hope these bankers and investors who recieve this money are the most audited people in America.

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By mike112769, January 14, 2009 at 5:04 pm Link to this comment

ron hansing: You are right. It was all legal. Unfortunately, legal and moral are all too often very different things.

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By mike112769, January 14, 2009 at 5:00 pm Link to this comment

cruxpuppy: My apologies. I’ve seen people say this kind of stuff before, and figured you meant it. Sad to say, there are a lot of people who think that way. Once again, my apologies to you!

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By cruxpuppy, January 14, 2009 at 4:54 pm Link to this comment

Lots of people are sure Obama is just Bush-Lite and a Zionist lapdog, and who knows? But just look at the great photo of Geithner and Summers Scheer uses for this article. They don’t look too happy sitting in Obama’s audience. In fact it looks like they’re having the same thought: “This nigger better not try any funny business on our plantation!”

If people like Geithner & Summers were to actually speak their view of the world publicly, they would say something very much like I said in an earlier post, as I thought I was being ironic and making fun of these bastards. In fact, they used to openly talk like that back in the 19th Century. “Baron” is the operative term in “robber baron”. These are representatives of the global neo-aristocracy and they believe they are ontologically superior to you. To prove it to themselves they must keep you in debt-servitude.

Geithner & Summers didn’t like the idea of putting a black man in the presidency and they grumbled about it and abou having to work with him, but they do what they’re told. You can see the grim resolve & distaste in their stony faces and dead eyes.

Keeping the rabble in line is a never-ending struggle. There are billions of the rabble and just a few million of the chosen ones whom God and cleverness has chosen to rule over the rest. A black man in the White House is a nice populist touch, a real coup de theatre.

So, nigger, you better not try any funny business.

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By bigdaddyvike, January 14, 2009 at 3:27 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

TARP is a great term. It’s the thing that covers (and hides)

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By Ed, January 14, 2009 at 2:13 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I wouldn’t trade my rifle and fishing gear for all the stock and money in the world. Since the beginning I’ve been told that money is the root of all evil. I’ve also been told that an investor must be prepared to lose everything invested in the stock market (and, thus, I prefer investing my meager spare change in community and durable, useful goods).

Watching money-obsessed fools pursue wealth is a never-ending source of entertainment and drama. Money/stocks, like the U.S. Constitution, is just paper. It’s best to steer clear of it. It’s apt to get you killed or put in prison. In my mind, puting your life on the line for paper is crazy.

So ... how are the Amish doing? They seem content in my neck of the woods.

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By Folktruther, January 14, 2009 at 2:03 pm Link to this comment

Cyrena—You don’t know how Obaama got ensnared by the neolibs?  Let me explain.  Obama is a political lightweight who came from nowhere with no significant achievement by:


1. Being mentored by Zbig as an undergraduate at Columbia.

2. Undergoing a year of training in an CIA business corporation front after graduation.

3.  Being funded and media’d by Zionists to support Israe, neoliberalism, and American imperialism.

Progressives voted for him because he was more inteeligent and stable then McClain, and because it was a great idea to elect a African-American president.  But what they got was a Zionist, imperialist neoliberal.

Obama is now putting a black face on the policies of Rich White Men.  The neolibs have been grinding the american population into the ground the past thirty years, and the Bushite counter revolution transformed the political structure to support the enormous economic class inequality.

Obama’s function is to consolidate the Bushite counter revolution, which is why he uses progressive rhetoric to prmote conserative policies.  The Bush-Obama bailiout swindle will be paid for partially by cutting social secruity and medicare.  What will not be cut is the military, which Obama is going to EXPAND. As he will the Afghan war and apparently now the Israeli-Palestein war.

And he will do it with Zionist neolibs, like Rubin, Summers, Geither, etc.  Just working for the bosses who put him in power.

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By TAO Walker, January 14, 2009 at 1:25 pm Link to this comment

Here, from an old Medicine Man, is the “second opinion” Robert Scheer asks for.  He and every americantaxpayer are on the hook for these burgeoning “trillions” because they’ve fatally mistaken such foolish mirages as “comfort” and “convenience,” “wealth” and “security” for the be-all and end-all (well….the latter may be about to prove true) of their miserable “individual” half-lives.  They’re in this pickle because they prefer pretty much en masse the “safe” padded-cell/kennel of coddled inmates/pets to the healthy rigors of life as free wild natural Human Beings sustaining the organic integrity necessary to fulfilling their given organic function within the Living Arrangement of our Mother Earth.

Here once again Scheer, a self-CONfessed “sucker” for all the pretty horseshit illusions and deadly institutionalized DElusions of “power” politics and allamerican “exceptionalism,” points fingers at other perpetual adolescents and bemoans their having played-the-(zero-sum)-game of money-grubbing so much better than he has.  If he and other similarly self-afflicted “individuals” really want free of the “global” CONtraption now crushing them so methodically and remorselessly, here’s some of how to go-about it.

Throw-off the insane creeds of “individualism,” “americanism,” “private property,” “progress,” “growth,” etc., etc., ad nauseum.  Get out from under your “taxes” by getting together with people where you live-and-breathe to limit your “income” to levels lower than taxable minimums.  Repudiate, on behalf of your GreatGrandchildren, ALL these “debts” you meant self-servingly to saddle them with in-any-case.  Find, if you can, some of the courage of what you claim are your true convictions….social and environmental RESPONSIBILITY, for example.  Quit looking to “leaders” as lost as your own selfs to get you out of the mess you’ve all-but-pissed-away your very Humanity to make.

There will be pain….lots of it.  There will be real sacrifice….not the make-believe kind politicians are hinting-at.  There will be real CHANGE!....not the mere window-dressing variety you seem still to hope against all good sense will somehow suffice.

This is not “a test,” tame Sisters and Brothers.  This is the ACTUAL EMERGENCY!

Your only Way out of the mess is to get together, right where you call “home” right now, in the FORM of what our Lakotah Cousins call Tiyoshpayes, and CLEAN IT UP!  Otherwise you’d best get ready to “de-train” at that whistle-stop in the Paha Sapa named “Oblivion.”

HokaHey!

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By moralabyss, January 14, 2009 at 1:11 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The stripmining of the middle class will go on un-abated during the Obama Administration.  There will be no substantive CHANGE.  The name and backgrounds of the individuals our president-elect has nominated for positions of trust regarding our Justice Department and our Treasury are the same crew that have been systematically raiding the henhouse for twenty years.  The corrosive components of corporate greed and the politicians empty rhetoric are unlikely to change with Obama’s “Team of Rivals”.

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By ZombieNation, January 14, 2009 at 12:58 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

As someone once said; “Change you can ZEROX”.

Good luck to Obama but I will beleive it when I see & feel it. Voted for him because he was the best of the worst.

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By psickmind fraud, January 14, 2009 at 12:45 pm Link to this comment

this country definitely needs recall elections, and we need one before Tuesday! 
Obama is quoted here as saying “Unfortunately, instead of establishing a 21st century regulatory framework, we simply dismantled the old one—aided by a legal but corrupt bargain in which campaign money all too often shaped policy and watered down oversight. In doing so, we encouraged a winner-take-all, anything-goes environment that helped foster devastating dislocations in our economy.”

When I checked OpenSecrets.org in October or early November, Obama had accepted over $20mil in contributions from the financial sector.  So his immediate pandering to that sector should be no surprise.  Next, since he cozied up to AIPAC upon claiming the nomination, we can expect him to praise Israel and condemn Gaza.  Maybe he’ll send Israel a bailout, too.

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By ron hansing, January 14, 2009 at 11:43 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Who are the robber barons? Everything the wall streeters did was perfectly legal. When will we face the facts, congress made it legal and are the robber barons. And this applies to BOTH parties.

And now we will have a tax cheat in charge of the Treasury Department. So, much for transparency.

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By Can O Whoopass, January 14, 2009 at 11:18 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Just give the republicans every penny America has…

then deport them to Haiti and let Americans start over.

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By greatdogs, January 14, 2009 at 11:10 am Link to this comment

The first sentence of my post should read: It seems as though some people have…....... My apologies for whatever mistake I have made.

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By greatdogs, January 14, 2009 at 11:07 am Link to this comment

taken Cruxpuppy’s advise.  Omnicom gave CEO John Wren 1 million stock options as a Christmas present just 13 days after he laid off 3,500 employees at his agencies. Afterall, what would the great unwashed do with the money anyway? Probably just pay bills and buy food and such.  This kind of nonsense in both the private and public sector will continue until enough people say enough already.  But I guess we are not close to that scenario yet. 

One other point; there was a story that 50,000 New Yorkers have exhausted their unemployment benefits as of this month. This not only means they get no money, but they are no longer counted in the unemployment numbers.  Keep this in mind when the new numbers come out so there is not an illusion of jobs numbers getting better.

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By christian96, January 14, 2009 at 11:04 am Link to this comment

I know very little about business and politics.  I
am thankful for people like Robert Scheer and Amy
Goodman who are knowledgeable.  As a psychologist,
I do know something about people.  They behave
according to their cognitive structures(thoughts).
Somehow we need to become aware of the thoughts of
the people mentioned in this article.  That should
be the business of the media, such as Meet The Press,
Larry King, etc. but I have read the media is controlled by multi-national corporations responsible
for the mess we are in.  What is the answer?  I don’t
know and from what I have seen so far I don’t believe
President Obama is the answer.  Personally, President
Obama said he would eliminate income tax on social
security for people making less than $50,000 a year.
That’s me.  I’ll wait and see if he follows through
on his promise.  I won’t hold my breath.

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By Maxim, January 14, 2009 at 11:04 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

by Maxim: Brussels 14th January 2008
This(true) story borders on absolute swindle but a well-organized one, for the profit of a happy few who miraculously float on the surface of this outsized financial dismantling: by the way, dealing a dramatic blow to the image of the United States abroad. If we add to this the unreserved support to the Gaza disaster and the ammo delivered by the U.S. army in a hurry to Tsahal, phosphorus shells, dense metal explosives and other dubious military gimmicks, we must not wonder if our influence is no longer taken seriously, especially after the glorious Bush’s presidency.
Maxim

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By Philip Marquez, January 14, 2009 at 10:51 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Add a little corporate spice, and so called stimulus checks and you have a socialist country.

Since when did we sell our souls this way. It’s extremely discouraging as a young american to witness the implosion of our culture and country at the height of my life. My country tells me, I can buy stuff cheap, but I’ll have to work sixty hours at Wal-Mart, indentured to corporate america, to afford it.

And when on god’s earth did these idiots fall asleep at the wheel? The U.S government treats the american people the way those fat cats treat their spoiled children… by throwing money at them.

Well here’s a lesson learned in the greatest drama facing our generation. Throwing money at a problem, and calling it a bail out, doesn’t work for spoiled children, in fact, it makes them worse. They grow up forgetting the importance of sacrifice, and slowly destroy our once proud heritage of heros who knew that the only way we could make a difference is through our faith in each other, and ourselves… through compassion and sacrifice. You get what you give, and yet, they don’t give us anything but more grief.

It’s a shame, when our once proud country, whose ancestors once halted its economy to save the world… forgets that we did that by standing true to our ideals, our faith in a greater good. Ideals that are being lost in a society corrupted by poor leadership determined to change those laws to support their corporate greed, the aristocracy, and not the people.

The aristocracy has alienated themselves from the american people, from their roots, and they pillage and burn the people that made them who they are. I’m losing faith in our leaders, and in our way of life. How much longer before we are forced to take action ourselves?

Here’s a lesson from history. When a society becomes too polarized, the seeds of revolution are planted. It doesn’t have to be violent. It could be conscious, and I stand on that side. As far as I’m concerned, these fat cats and their cronies in congress have committed treason against the american people. This should be a witch hunt, NOT, a watering hole.

The greatest failure of the purely capitalist system is that it makes it okay for one person to succeed on the suffering of many. I’m sure I’m not the only one who believes it’s going too far…

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Eric L. Prentis's avatar

By Eric L. Prentis, January 14, 2009 at 10:51 am Link to this comment

Hurray for Robert Scheer’s analysis of the government’s criminal response to the financial crisis, Geithner/Summers/Bernanke must step down.  $350 billion dollars of Treasury TARP funds and the massive $2.5 trillion dollar intrusion into the economy by the Federal Reserve has done no good, the plutocracy is just legally stealing the US taxpayer’s money. When times were good, the financial ruling class, in league with the politicians, made unconscionable amounts of money by selling dodgy derivatives to trusting customers and now when times are bad the plutocracy is looting the treasury to save themselves. The NYT’s Steven Pearlstein, the banker’s stooge, today says, “I don’t see how it’s possible to rescue the banking system without rescuing banks.” BULL!! Why throw $350 billon more TARP funds at the managers who bankrupted their banks, instead, let’s use the tested and true Swedish model to reorganize failed banks so that the crooks are held accountable and the US economy can bounce back quickly.

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By Thomas Mc, January 14, 2009 at 10:34 am Link to this comment

Obama = Bush-lite

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By Quinty, January 14, 2009 at 10:27 am Link to this comment

The irony, Cruxpuppy, was pretty dry. And with the likes of Sarah Palin, James Inhoff, and Rush Limbough (sp?) running around it’s easy to take some of this stuff seriously. Or, rather, that it was meant seriously.

So I thought that with this second 350 billion transparency, close accounting, and aid to mortgage holders would be included. At least that is my understanding from listening to Barney Frank who favors releasing the money. His point being that if Bush misspent the first installment that’s no reason to belive Obama will do the same. We hope, after all, that Obama will be more competent, don’t we?

As for that first 350 bil which went to Paulson I suppose we can regard that as a parting gift from Bush to the banks and financial institutions. As well as all those seasoned government officials who will now take their places in the corporations they once had oversight over.

But Robert Scheer’s point is well made, and a good reminder of recent history. Somehow, though, I don’t believe Obama will contribute to the thievery. But we’ll see.

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By purplewolf, January 14, 2009 at 10:22 am Link to this comment

Another trickle down theory that has failed, as usual.

Felicity: It is time to take the fattened hogs to the slaughter house.

When the first bailout went to the unworthy, there should have been “ropes” attached to it as to how it was to be used. First the people who caused this mess should have to use their own personal monies toward their bailouts and be made to sell off excessive luxuries. They only need 1 house in which to live and certainly not the same number of houses or cars like the John McCains of the world. All over paid wages be cut to a reasonable wage-no more than say $200,000.00 a year, reduced benefits, no bonuses, no trips, no gifts, no off shore secret bank accounts, no multiple cars, boats or houses, no stock options and any other perks should have been cut to the bone and not allowed in order to qualify for the bailout money,  which should have been a loan to begin with as was done to GM, with a 3 month turn around period of time and just to qualify for this money, then repayment to start immediately. To give these crooks the rest of this unaccounted for monies is pure insanity. It will not go to what it was designed to do. Rather this money should be sent to all those who owe on mortgages and charge cards in a voucher form, then as the little people use these to pay off their debts to these very same banks, it will allow the banks to receive their owed debts and also lets the already socked to it taxpayers to pay off their loans. By not allowing this, the taxpayers are paying for these debts twice and not once, first by the original debt and second by adding the bailout debt on top of that to these very same taxpayers. The bankers get paid twice and we are stuck with the bills.

Used to be when a business received money, something was given back in return for that money, like services rendered for various things including, utilities, food, clothing and shelter. With this rip off scam, the fat cats take and take and give nothing back in return.

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By Dan M Nalven, January 14, 2009 at 9:52 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

An interesting connection that the bulk of the population has yet to make (though is on the verge) is that the current western implementation of capitalism is, and has been since at least the founding of the Bank of England, nothing but a pyramid scheme.

Karl Marx was right.

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By cruxpuppy, January 14, 2009 at 9:38 am Link to this comment

mike112769,  do you know what “irony” is. Apparently not!
  I am a card carrying Populist, you dummy!

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Ed Harges's avatar

By Ed Harges, January 14, 2009 at 9:37 am Link to this comment

Are these people insisting that the rest of the bailout money be shelled out right away, before Obama takes office?

If so, isn’t it obvious that they’re afraid Obama and a heavily Democratic Congress will attach more strings to the money, like insisting that it be used in certain ways, and that the use of it be open to public scrutiny?

So they’re saying among themselves, “Let’s get the money while Bush is still in office and we can take the loot while promising nothing and answering no questions!”

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By john, January 14, 2009 at 9:33 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Wow. cruxpuppy is a sick one at that…..

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By cyrena, January 14, 2009 at 9:17 am Link to this comment

“Now Obama is relying on Summers to reverse a disaster of his own creation. It’s like returning to the same surgeon who almost killed the patient in the first operation to once again cut open the body to repair the damage…”

You’ve got an undeniable point here Scheer, and I don’t KNOW how Obama got himself ensnared with these culprits.

Like Purple Girl, I do see a limited value in having the bomb-makers with you when you attempt to defuse the bomb..a little like having Frankenstein in the loop as you try to figure out how to diffuse his monster. But like Frankenstein’s monster, it’s already too late for that.

It isn’t too late to repair the legislation and set up a new regulatory system, which is what needs to happen. I guess it goes without saying that we don’t need these guys in the room with us to tell us how to do that.

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By Blackspeare, January 14, 2009 at 9:11 am Link to this comment

Let me see if I got this straight.  The guy selected to head the Treasury Department, of which a division is assigned to collect taxes, has himself failed to pay his taxes——you just can’t make this stuff up!

It seems that whenever a high profile individual is caught owing back taxes its always an honest mistake.  Me thinks he was trying to pull a fast one and maybe it would fall through the cracks——trying to keep $32,000 is not chump change!  And when caught he claims, “Oops sorry!”  I know I’ve done it several times—-was caught a couple of times, but still ahead.  It’s just a game!!!!

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By mike112769, January 14, 2009 at 9:05 am Link to this comment

Cruxpuppy: You must be out of your mind. The “rabble” you are denigrating are the backbone of this country. Remember you said this when the stupid people have had enough of arrogant asses such as yourself.

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By cruxpuppy, January 14, 2009 at 8:52 am Link to this comment

Hey, Robert,
don’t you know this is a private financial system we’ve got? Private means private. It is a measure of its graciousness that it will share information with an unlettered individual like Carl Levin and other yahoos in Congress. They should be grateful and they should shut up.

This system is overseen by well-meaning individuals from within the money trust for the benefit of all. These people have the public good in mind.

For you to suggest that the American public be involved in such complex and difficult financial decisions shows a naive populist mob mentality. The American people are simply too stupid to understand what is going on. That’s a hard fact of life, and rather than criticizing noble men like Summers, Rubin, Geithner, et. al., you should be using your influence to teach the American people about the necessity of promoting the private financial system and the financial class itself. After all, it is the rich who finance the poor and keep the economy going. The American rabble are crybabies and anarchists and they need to be kept in line and in the dark.

And keep this in mind, Mr. Scheer: there but for the grace of God do you go.

No, that’s not a threat. It’s just a truism.

So, grow up, Robert!

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Paul_GA's avatar

By Paul_GA, January 14, 2009 at 8:32 am Link to this comment

Just remember, friends, the system we live under is *not* real capitalism (of the laissez-faire type). If I may quote Ron Paul:

“Capitalism should not be condemned, since we haven’t had capitalism. A system of capitalism presumes sound money, not fiat money manipulated by a central bank. Capitalism cherishes voluntary contracts and interest rates that are determined by savings, not credit creation by a central bank. It’s not capitalism when the system is plagued with incomprehensible rules regarding mergers, acquisitions, and stock sales, along with wage controls, price controls, protectionism, corporate subsidies, international management of trade, complex and punishing corporate taxes, privileged government contracts to the military-industrial complex, and a foreign policy controlled by corporate interests and overseas investments. Add to this centralized federal mismanagement of farming, education, medicine, insurance, banking and welfare. This is not capitalism!”

The country’s economic problems are due to ultra-loose monetary policy, semi-socialistic central economic planning, and the parasitic expenses of the State (especially the Afghan and Iraq wars and funding Israel’s atrocity against Gaza).

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By RdV, January 14, 2009 at 8:25 am Link to this comment

Bookmarked.

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By felicity, January 14, 2009 at 8:00 am Link to this comment

Looks like the same hogs - forget political party affiliation - are back feeding at the same trough.  Hogs, especially overstuffed ones generate a lot of shit and guess who has to keep cleaning it up - let alone live with its stink.

(Remember that $20 billion we ‘gave’ to Citigroup? Could have bought the whole bloody outfit at the time - instead, we got 7.8% of the equity.)

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By Allan Gurfinkle, January 14, 2009 at 7:14 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Why, why, why?  Everything is a mystery to Scheer. Sheer’s job is to feign outrage, not to investigate the causes. This article is a rehash of everything we have been reading for the last month.  We by now know who Summers and Geitner are, and their records.  Is this the best Scheer can do?  Express bewilderment, and then on to the next topic? The time has come for more penetrating analysis.  The banking industry has been beneath the radar for many years, it’s time to shine a little light on it.  Sheer needs to work harder.

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By hippy pam, January 14, 2009 at 6:52 am Link to this comment

Wall Street gets an OPEN WALLET while our ability to BUILD PRODUCTS for our own purchase and sales to other countries gets a 3 MONTH LOAN??????

And then I get a letter from CHASE saying they are RAISING MY INTEREST on my C.C by 4 points…...I call and am told CHASE is doing this to everyone???
I told them I was not going to be penalized because some IDIOT BANK MANAGER allowed many someones to mortgage their home for more than it’s worth..
Nor for for the people issued cards allowing them to live beyond their means…I asked what happened to $350.billion dollars earmarked to help people continue to purchase so the DEPRESSION we are in doesn’t continue to escalate….

Then I said"DUH….AIG- et al- went on great vacations….to the spa…got big bonuses…new homes….new cars….put money in offshore accounts….treated their friends to big catered buffets”.....

I did get it REDUCED back to my original interest rate…After 45 minutes and another phone call to a “person in a position of authority”....I also INSISTED on receiving a “letter of confirmation” stating that there will be no changes…

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By Shift, January 14, 2009 at 6:13 am Link to this comment

Obama is avoiding real change by attempting to prop up the old system instead of thinking more deeply, as the Europeans are doing, and changing the economic system to something more sustainable and equitable.  His insistence on having it his way belies his stated belief in the people and his theme of change.  I encourage Congress to avoid the bum’s rush this time and take time for due diligence.  Why should we trust a new untested President with the spending of 350 billion dollars, absent Congressional input?  We did not elect a dictator, we elected a President.  Despite his cool demeanor, Obama appears to be panicking.  No thanks.

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By mike112769, January 14, 2009 at 5:56 am Link to this comment

Purple Girl: Your motion is seconded. Shall the taxpayers put it to a vote?

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