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Obama’s Toxic Advisers

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Posted on Mar 24, 2009
Obama, Gensler and Tarullo
AP photo / Gerald Herbert

Gensler again?: Gary Gensler, center, Barack Obama’s pick for Commodity Futures Trading Commission chairman, looks on as the president-elect shakes hands with Federal Reserve Gov. Daniel Tarullo at a news conference in Chicago in December.

By Robert Scheer

Bernie Sanders, the senator from Vermont who is independent in spirit as well as party label, has placed a hold on President Obama’s nomination of Gary Gensler to head the Commodity Futures Trading Commission. Sounds like a minor issue to get worked up about, but the senator is right. Like most Americans, I am eager for Barack Obama to succeed, but I see this appointment as further evidence that the president has entrusted his economic policy to the wrong people.
   
Gensler helped create this financial crisis when he was in the Treasury Department back in the Clinton era, when bipartisan cooperation with Wall Street lobbyists was all the rage. Sanders gets right to the point: “Mr. Gensler worked with Sen. Phil Gramm and Alan Greenspan to exempt credit default swaps from regulation, which led to the collapse of AIG and has resulted in the largest taxpayer bailout in U.S. history.”

Sanders’ hold will not stop the Gensler nomination, because Congress and the president, recognizing the nation’s mood, want to give Wall Street whatever it wants to make the stock market go up. And Gensler is a reassuring figure to the moguls of finance; he was a partner at Goldman Sachs before being brought by Goldman honcho Robert Rubin to the Clinton Treasury Department. 

After Rubin left to take a $20-million-a-year job at Citigroup, which he helped run into the ground, Lawrence Summers, his protégé and replacement at Treasury, elevated Gensler to be an undersecretary. Gensler then performed as Summers’ point man in advocating for deregulation legislation that enabled the current debacle.

The explosion of toxic assets is a direct result of the laws pushed through by Rubin and his followers, and in the decade since, we have had a 20-fold increase, to more than $530 trillion, in the value of those newfangled financial instruments, which Warren Buffett in February 2003 correctly termed “financial weapons of mass destruction.”

Yet when one member of the Clinton administration, Brooksley Born, then head of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, attempted to sound a warning, she was treated by the rest of Clinton’s economic team as the enemy. 

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In response to Born’s warning, they drove her from government and pushed through the Commodity Futures Modernization Act, which summarily exempted from regulation the derivatives that now haunt us. The claim at the time by Summers, now top economic adviser in the Obama White House, was that “[t]his legislation promotes innovation and competition in the U.S. financial markets and may help to reduce systemic risk.” Of course now we know, as Born predicted, that it did quite the opposite. What irony that Gensler is being rewarded with Born’s old job for getting it wrong.

In congressional testimony supporting the radical deregulation of the financial derivatives market, Gensler had insisted with great enthusiasm that “OTC derivatives directly and indirectly support higher investment and growth in living standards in the United States and around the world.” As to the many trillions of dollars in credit swaps that now afflict the world economy, Gensler specifically called for freeing swaps of this kind from existing government regulation in the Commodity Exchange Act, which regulated other futures such as wheat sales. He said, “ … [S]wap transactions should not be regulated under the CEA. … ”

His key argument, and that of Summers as well, was that even raising the prospect of regulating what have proved to be toxic derivatives would deny these financial instruments the “legal certainty” they needed to thrive. What a loss that would be, warned Summers, who called the financial derivatives market “a powerful symbol of the kind of innovation and technology that has made the American financial system as strong as it is today.”

So “they”—Summers, Gensler, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and their über mentor, Rubin—were as wrong as anyone could be. Perhaps such error is human, but aren’t there folks out there with a better prospect of getting it right that Obama can rely on?

A great deal is at stake, and we are being asked to support the president’s plans as a matter of trust in a hopeful new leader. But the latest administration plan, announced by Geithner on Monday, seems to be more of the same. We taxpayers are being asked to buy back from the banks the very toxic assets that the members of Obama’s economic team once celebrated as an unmitigated blessing. Only this time, instead of trusting the banks, we will turn over control, but little risk, to hedge funds that are totally unregulated. Here we go again. 


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By KDelphi, April 5, 2009 at 12:46 pm Link to this comment

Sepharad—thanks. This bug tends to ‘hang on” though. Its been about a week…not to get into chili recipes or colds (LOL—i recognize my own guilt)

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By Inherit The Wind, April 5, 2009 at 7:44 am Link to this comment

BTW, DB—your wanting to “get” that other board shows for all your sky-pilot holy-rolling, you have not one shred of personal decency.

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By Inherit The Wind, April 5, 2009 at 7:42 am Link to this comment

DWIGHTBAKER, April 5 at 9:54 am #

MR/ MS Inherit the Wind

Will you publish where you moderate a non-religious apolitical program?
***************************************

Absolutely not! 

I will not have that board infected with your irrelevant nonsense.  I KNEW you’d pull a shitty little stunt like this—it’s just your style.  That’s why I won’t even tell you what that family-oriented activity is.  We maintain a strict policy of no advertising, no politics, no religion, and no personal attacks.  My handle on that board is totally unrelated to “Inherit The Wind” (BTW, that’s a Biblical and literary reference you ought to “research”—as you call your searches for supporting sites.)

Not everything in life deserves to be spoiled with discussions of “True Christianity”, marxist-leninism, or discussions of why Zionism is akin to fascism. 

Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar, and sometimes simple family activities need to be left as just that.

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By Inherit The Wind, April 5, 2009 at 6:37 am Link to this comment

BTW, DwightBaker, I’m a moderator on another forum, a non-political, non-religious one for people interested in a particular popular family activity.  I can assure you that ANYONE posting advertisements like you do would have been banned a long time ago—by either myself, any of my fellow moderators, or by the site owner.  You’d be warned after the first post, suspended after the second post, and banned after the third—no matter WHAT you are advertising!

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By Inherit The Wind, April 5, 2009 at 6:31 am Link to this comment

The fact that you are cross-posting to other threads this advertisement for your site proves, once again, DwightBaker, that you are intent on STEALING free advertising from TruthDig rather than paying for it like the honest advertisers do.

What is is about cross-posters that they are SO stupid they think posting the same thing on multiple threads actually ACHIEVES anything other than wasting space and annoying the $#it out of others?

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By Sepharad, April 5, 2009 at 2:21 am Link to this comment

jackpine savage—Am looking forward to the continuation of your upclose look at (as KDelphi put it) neo-mess Russia. I never underestimated the babushka-to-oligarch connections and yes, I can imagine GoldmanSachs putting an ugly face on things and having rivals blown apart. In fact, the corporate/gangster line is not all that clear here anymore, and I’m not sure it’s all that clear between Putin and gangster, or as gangster.

What I don’t understand is why Ivan puts up with everything. He put up with serfdom under the tsar, dying 20million strong in WWII only to become a serf again or go to Stalin’s Siberia, and now apparently is not even restive, as bad as things are. That’s unfair, though: it’s hard, I guess, to organize any effective social protest while you’re starving in a -30-degree police state. Am looking forward to your “continued”.

What an experience that must have been. If you haven’t written a book, you ought to.

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By Sepharad, April 5, 2009 at 2:01 am Link to this comment

KDelphi—Don’t worry about being so blunt. I think Dwight can take it. Myself, I can’t comment on anything too weighty when bug-ridden—feel a bit light-headed and not in context. (You asked a good question that requires a long and thoughtful answer on another thread which I am postponing answering till I feel more organized or brighter or something.

Horse will be OK. Riding away from home one night we arranged to leave our 2 at a local vet’s. (He didn’t tell us he was leaving for 9 days.) There were a couple largish paddocks and we turned our two girls into them as they are pasturemates and get along. It was after dark. Next a.m. arrived to pick them up and found my mare limping, gashed from pastern half-way up cannon bone, and bite and kick marks in various other places, some open and bloody. Then noticed a big mean-looking horse in other paddock. Figured owner didn’t notice (pitchdark) there were other horses in the paddock and turned this one into ours. My mare is little but feisty and probably got all protective, and the big horse beat her up (while husband’s larger more prudent mare huddled elsewhere; she’s totally unmarked). Had to drive 3 hours to find a vet. Got lucky, tendon was not cut but only missed by a fraction of an inch. Lots of dressing changes, shots, all the way back home. She’s much better though still a bit cranky. Hope she learned a lesson but I doubt it.

Had to have a horse put down once—long bout with cancer and had told vet to let us know when he couldn’t keep her out of pain because she still enjoyed sunshine, brushing, apples—and it is hard to do. Understand why you slept on the mattress with yours the whole time.

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By Sepharad, April 5, 2009 at 1:30 am Link to this comment

DwightBaker—Hardly know how to respond to your statements. *Said christian96 sounds sincere and he does. *I’m not in the least pitiful—have a bug and am tired—still—from trailering 1500 miles and frequently stopping to check a horse who has a few mild leg injuries. *I’m a secular Jew and leftwing zionist with relatives in Israel, which is a source of constant criticism by many on this site, and for anyone overly sensitive to criticism, this isn’t a good place to be. (Inherit the Wind is right: you are definitely the first person on this site to accuse me of not being a Jew.)

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By KDelphi, April 3, 2009 at 11:36 am Link to this comment

Folk—Yes! Or into Lake Erie or the Cuyahoga Ruiver! Honestly, I find it a little hard to swallow rational peoples agnosticism on this and other moral issues, too. But, I do have a GREAT chili recipe if anyone wants it?! Jezzes!! It is no wonder that the “left” cant accom plish anything~!

I am not trying to be cruel, but, wtf is wrong with you guys?! Dont you hasve some neighbors to excahnge recipes with or something??

This is why the neo-liberal, former “left” of the 60s and 70s felt that they had to help their kids campaign for Pres. Obama—guilt. Because all they can leave them is a hugely broken, war-mongering country and a fricking chili recipe!

Go eat something—

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By Inherit The Wind, April 3, 2009 at 4:21 am Link to this comment

christian96, April 3 at 1:48 am #

By christian96, April 3 at 1:16 am #


Outraged—-Thanks for the chili receipe.  I love chili.  I am relatively new to computers and don’t
know how to print only one page but there aren’t many
posts so I’ll just print them all to get the receipe.

********************************************

What?!!??!  Are Betty Crocker and Martha Stewart meeting up with William Shatner to have an Iron Chef cook-off???  Sheeeeeeesh!

Report this

By Inherit The Wind, April 3, 2009 at 4:18 am Link to this comment

Folktruther, April 3 at 1:23 am #

On the other hand, Inherit, you must admit that Christian has a point about you being the Spawn Of Satan.  Religious language takes polemic out of the realm of the prosaic and gives it real bite.  Your fancy city ways won’t do you much good when you stand before the White Throne of Judgement.  Or your ass is tossed into the Lake of Fire.
*************************************

I dunno.  Think about “The Bucket List”...“If I’m wrong, I win!”  If the 10 Commandments were a pop quiz I’d get at least 70-80%—I’d lose on the God stuff at the beginning, but we all know 65% is a passing grade.  I mean, I still take care of my mom, I haven’t murdered anyone since breakfast…(Spencer Tracy’s great line from…..“Inherit The Wind”..)  I don’t covet my neighbor’s ass, nor his wife’s pretty ass, and I only make up shit about YOU when I’m bored….I think I’m doing OK on the Decalogue.

Besides, I thought to be the spawn of Satan, the Evil One had to be male?  However, there was this great-grandmother back there a few generations….nah…she was just stupid, ignorant old country.

**************************************
I don’t see how you can be an agnostic about these things.  Are you an agnostic about the tooth fairy and Little Red Riding Hood? 
***************************************

Kids’ fairy tales!  Me, I’m waiting on The Great Pumpkin!

*****************************************
Reason is one thing, poetry another.  But your mind is doublessly still diseased by the aftertaste of Alyce Rosenbaum.
*****************************************

Physician, heal thyself!  You can’t even get that rotted brain to figure out how to spell “Alice”...Hell, you don’t even HAVE to spell it—just cut and paste it…or has the Oldtimers’ Disease gone beyond the point of no return?

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By christian96, April 2, 2009 at 10:48 pm Link to this comment

By christian96, April 3 at 1:16 am #


Outraged—-Thanks for the chili receipe.  I love chili.  I am relatively new to computers and don’t
know how to print only one page but there aren’t many
posts so I’ll just print them all to get the receipe.

Blogdog—-What is a “Left Gatekeeper?”

FOR WHOEVER CARES:  The way I see things developing
we need to be concerned about the following:

(1)  An electromagnetic bomb which will knock out anything associated with electricity.

(2)  A plague which will probably come about because our transportation advances.

(3) Asteroids.  The Bible mentions more than once
about “stars falling from Heaven” producing great
tribulation.  Chicken little was right.

(4) Continued erratic weather patterns.  I just bought a condo near the Atlantic Ocean.  Should have known better.  Here come the HURRICANES and I’m not talking about the football team.

(5) Earthquakes.  Look out HOLLYWOOD.  You wouldn’t
listen.  You keep right on corrupting minds throughout the world, especially those of children.

(6) Nuclear war.  There hasn’t been a weapon developed yet that hasn’t been used.  Could be accidental or intentional.  It doesn’t matter.  It
will bring about great tribulation such as never been seen on earth.

(7)  Last but not least, THE MARK OF THE BEAST. The
foundation is being laid presently in the meetings
in Europe.  A one world government with a one world
economy.  All currency will be done away with.  You
will receive some sort of MARK to buy or sell.  Don’t
take it. You will be cast into a lake of fire, perhaps the nuclear war mentioned previously.

Well, after those happy comments, please excuse me.  I am going to bed.  Tomorrow, I will try the chili receipe kindly offered by Outraged.

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By Outraged, April 3 at 12:33 am #


Alright.  I think everyone needs to chill a bit, regroup and renourish.

I found this recipe the other day.  I cooked it up.  It was good. (a little less italian seasoning, I say, but otherwise, really good.)  Easy to make too, that’s always a plus…. you know what I mean.

From allrecipes.com, check it out:

Lentil Quiche (submitted by wonder79)

INGREDIENTS (Nutrition)
1 cup chopped onion
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup dried lentils
2 cups water
2 cups broccoli florets
1 cup chopped fresh tomatoes
4 eggs, beaten
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon salt
ground black pepper to taste
2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
1/2 cup shredded Cheddar cheese (optional)

DIRECTIONS

1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Place the onion and olive oil into a 9 inch deep-dish pie plate. Bake for about 15 minutes, or until onion is tender.

2. Place the lentils and water into a saucepan, and bring to a boil. Cook for about 20 minutes, or until lentils are tender. Drain most of the water off, then place the broccoli florets on top of the lentils. Cover and cook for about 5 minutes. This will dry the lentils, and cook the broccoli.

3. Transfer the lentils, broccoli and tomatoes to the pie plate with the onions, and stir to evenly distribute each item. Stir in cheese at this time if using. In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, salt, pepper, and Italian seasoning. Pour over the ingredients in the pie plate.

4. Bake for 45 minutes in the preheated oven, or until the center is firm when the quiche is jiggled. Cool for a few minutes before slicing and serving.

http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Lentil-Quiche/Detail.aspx

Works for breakfast, lunch or supper.  In the words of Rachel Ray (my 10 yr. old son’s “person of signifigance”), “How cool is that?”

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By blogdog, April 2 at 8:08 pm #

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By Outraged, April 2, 2009 at 10:41 pm Link to this comment

Re: DWIGHTBAKER

Your comment: “it is up to them to ride herd over the likes of you and those like you , not mine never was. I have much more to do than continue to dialog in these manners.”

I’m sorry to see that “saving” only the souls YOU “deem worthy” worth the effort…. but alas, such is the way of the world, is it not?

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By Folktruther, April 2, 2009 at 10:23 pm Link to this comment

On the other hand, Inherit, you must admit that Christian has a point about you being the Spawn Of Satan.  Religious language takes polemic out of the realm of the prosaic and gives it real bite.  Your fancy city ways won’t do you much good when you stand before the White Throne of Judgement.  Or your ass is tossed into the Lake of Fire.

I don’t see how you can be an agnostic about these things.  Are you an agnostic about the tooth fairy and Little Red Riding Hood?  Reason is one thing, poetry another.  But your mind is doublessly still diseased by the aftertaste of Alyce Rosenbaum.

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By christian96, April 2, 2009 at 9:23 pm Link to this comment

To Dwight Baker—-I hope you don’t leave.  I’m not
going to.  It is just part of my make-up to try to
rationally answer people honestly searching for answers.  Our problem is that we don’t have all the
answers.  As the Bible says, “We now see through a
glass darkly.”(1st Cor. 13:12 There are a percentage
of people on this site who gain pleasure in ridiculing Christians.  I don’t pay attention to them.  Didn’t Jesus himself say, “If they persecute
me, they will also persecute you.”  As you said
previously, “Just shake the dust off your feet and
move on.”  I do believe there exist a certain percentage of people who are sincerely seeking answers on this site.  It is those people I respect
and try to offer insight as much as I can.  We never
know what effect our words might have on someone. We
can only sow the seed.  I am going to have to stop
staying up late at night reading and answering issues
on this site.  I am trying to do some private writing
and must donate more time to that endeavor, especially since Passover is rapidly approaching.  On
Passover, I have going to seriously spend time trying
to complete the book I am writing for youngsters about how the Bible relates to their everyday lives.
Then, I’ll have to deal with getting it published but
I’ll cross that bridge when I reach it.  If God wants
the book published, he will open the door. DON’T GIVE
UP!

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By christian96, April 2, 2009 at 8:59 pm Link to this comment

Inherit the Wind—-You wrote “Christian, if you think
because I disagree with you Satan must have POISIONED
MY MIND, that makes you a hate-monger.”  I didn’t use
the word “POISIONED” but that could be somewhat
accurate according to 2nd Corinthians 4:4, “In whom
the god(little “g” indicating Satan) of this world has BLINDED the minds of them which believe not, lest
the light of the gloious gospel of Christ, who is the
image of God, should shine unto them.”  My suggestion, if you are sincere about understanding
the Bible, would be to get alone and just talk to
God(prayer).  God already knows your thoughts, behaviors, and life.  Just talk to him.  Tell him I
would sincerely like to understand you better and to
please(it is necessary to be humble)  use your Holy
Spirit to guide me in my quest to understand you so
I can love you, others and use my life to do your will.  Just see what happens.  Some people have an
immediate transformation others(like myself) take
years and I still haven’t come close to being what
God wants me to be.  There are many reasonable questions being asked on this site.  I try my best to
ask them as well as I can.  Sometimes I have to seek
out the advice of others to try to understand things.
When I attended college I use to hate it when a professor would pretend to know the answer when they
didn’t.  I swore I wouldn’t be that type of teacher.
When a student ask a question I didn’t have an answer
for I would honestly respond, “I don’t have the answer to that question but I promise you I will search for it.”  I think my students respected me for
my honesty.

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By KDelphi, April 2, 2009 at 8:45 pm Link to this comment

Separad—I have a bug too. Hope your horse is ok. I had a horse that foundered alot and one that coliced all the time, so I know what agony a sick horse can be! I kept one in the garage , on a matress for 6 mos when I was a teen to sleep with it!! We still had to put it down, but I loved it soo much. It ruined the garage…

I hate to be so blunt about it, as I feel kindve bad for DWIGHT but, he really needs to figure out what is going on with himself. There is something really wrong here. And I usually dont say things like that…its just so wierd.

I disagree with almost everything christian says, but, yes, I do think that he/she means every word of it. DWIGHT on the other hand…

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By Inherit The Wind, April 2, 2009 at 8:25 pm Link to this comment

DWIGHTBAKER, April 2 at 11:15 pm #

SEPHARAD

And to whom it must concern

During the times of NAZIS GERMANY making their move to exterminate the JEWS.  A man came to the forefront to set the stage with propaganda.  His name was Julius Streicher to buy the book ISBN 0-8128-2834-8.

Now judging from your need to lie about the simplest things——-I don’t trust a thing that you have to say. One on TRUTHDIG SITE you said you were so pitiful and must go to rest and the other TRUTHDIG SITE in near record time you wrote a novel.

So my take is that you are not the one to come and proclaim that your social Internet group is OK for you are not.  And if the truth was known which I do not want to know——you are not JEWISH at all.

And for you to be the one to set in JUDGMENT OF Christian is a hoax of jokes.

Thus the ones that contacted you to come to their aid and explain that there postings of derision and chide remarks was OK you failed miserably to do.

I don’t hide behind an AKA like many do.
***************************************************

Instead you make stuff up and invent it.  You may be he ONLY person to accuse Sepharad of not being a Jew, and it’s based on, based on….Just what the heck IS it based on????

Certainly nothing logical.  See, at least Christian96 had the DECENCY to realize he went too far.  You, sir, never do.  But you keep goin’ for that free advertising…when even the religious HONEST people pay for it (see the Bible CD ad on the upper right of this article.)

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By Inherit The Wind, April 2, 2009 at 7:57 pm Link to this comment

DWIGHTBAKER, April 1 at 12:07 pm #

OUTRAGED

I am gone and I hope Christian is too. I reported these comments to the Editor of TRUTHDIG now it is up to them to ride herd over the likes of you and those like you , not mine never was. I have much more to do than continue to dialog in these manners.
*********************************************

Funny thing, I am confident that the right thing will happen, and yet I have no faith.  Instead, Logic is my ally.
See, if Truthdig agrees with me, maybe they’ll tell you to pay for the advertising they are giving you.

And if they agree with you, and ban me, then they really aren’t a place for a bare-knuckled exchange of ideas. 

After all, they didn’t ban me for pointing out some harsh truths about other posters, much, MUCH harsher than anything I’ve said about you.

Heck, compared to the things I’ve said about Folktruther and and the things he’s said about me,  you, boy, are still skiing on the “Bunny Slope”!

BTW, DwightBaker….Where’s all that “Christian forgiveness” and “turn the other cheek” stuff I’ve heard about?  Or is that the side of Jesus you prefer to ignore and pretend he didn’t say? Or did you skip over that part of the NT?

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By Sepharad, April 2, 2009 at 6:26 pm Link to this comment

KDelphi—LOL is right; I’ve been off net for so long that hearing from a new commenter wouldn’t surprise me. Not even “Tremble.”

You’re probably right, in that there’s “...a little more going on than religion,” at least for some of the more commercial-sounding stuff, though I think that christian96 is quite sincere.

There’s an old spiritual people where I grew up along the Mississippi used to sing. A couple of my friends in the high school senior choir once in awhile would bring me to their church to hear real gospel music (or maybe to save my unreliable Jewish soul; they were after all friends), and I remember a couple of lines to a song being “Were you there when they crucified my lord? Sometimes it causes me to tremble, tremble, tremble…” So Tremble seemed apt in the current context. (Am not exactly running on all usual cylinders—3 days of long long trailering of slightly injured horse and coming down with some bug myself—so should refrain from making any but brief comments. Also completely freaked out by what is coming out of Israel these days; can’t support it.)

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By KDelphi, April 2, 2009 at 3:05 pm Link to this comment

Religion, the great conundrum….I meant “Tremble” that youre going to be “reported”...lol. Sorry.

It think that maybe some have a little more going on than “religion”, dont you?

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By Sepharad, April 2, 2009 at 2:45 pm Link to this comment

KDelphi—I don’t know whether people can express their full opinion without mentioning their religion is that is what led them to form their opinion, but it’s hard to draw any such lines. Anyway, I hope the website editor will read what Inherit and Tremble said because there’s nothing there that merits reporting, let alone cutting off. If people, religious or otherwise, are too sensitive to handle what is said to them, they shouldn’t be posting in the first place. Sticks and stones and all that ....

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By KDelphi, April 2, 2009 at 2:28 pm Link to this comment

Separad-“If religion is part of the problems of the world including our country, and it is (in my opinion), the religious who try to join the conversation deserve should be engaged like anyone else. (On the other hand, religious website people who want to advertise their views here should pay like any other advertiser.)”

Yes, but who gets to decide where to draw the line? Cant people express their views without bringing up their religion?

DWIGHT—Good. Go. Yesterday. Oh no! He reported ITW! Tremble! For what??!!

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By Sepharad, April 2, 2009 at 12:47 pm Link to this comment

if everyone were as rational and civil as Inherit the Wind, it might be possible to hear from people who disagree with TD’s basic conventional wisdom without making them feel there are neither bases nor merits to their opinions unless they precisely conform with our own. If religion is part of the problems of the world including our country, and it is (in my opinion), the religious who try to join the conversation deserve should be engaged like anyone else. (On the other hand, religious website people who want to advertise their views here should pay like any other advertiser.)

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By Inherit The Wind, April 1, 2009 at 11:23 am Link to this comment

Christian:

If you think because I disagree with you Satan must have poisoned my mind, that makes you a hate-monger.  Because that means NO argument I make can or will be evaluated on its merits, but will be dismissed as “Oh, Satan’s gotten hold of your mind.”  Then I’m, to you, like a rabid dog and we all know there’s only one action to take with a rabid dog.

If, however, on reflection, you realize that maybe people CAN honestly disagree with you on the BIG issues without being satanicly infected then I will withdraw the hate-monger charge.

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Outraged's avatar

By Outraged, April 1, 2009 at 8:39 am Link to this comment

Re: DWIGHTBAKER

Again you sidestep.  To address your comment:

As I stated earlier with out being converted, as was Peter on the day of Pentecost and millions since Jesus, as King Now seems to make no sense whatsoever. And if you do not understand who HE is or what HE does now then it is impossible for you to know of HIS KINGDOM or any who labor in it.”

You haven’t any basis nor authority (if you believe the bible) to make such a claim.  By who’s authority….. yours…? your interpretation of the bible…? .....your translation of the bible…?  your specific religion’s interpretation of the bible…?  your specific religion’s translation of the bible? ....the pope…?  Who…?

Also, I have not been venomous in any fashion.  Good try though, but remember that is a false accusation which highlights the true intent of your own words:

“does that mean right here in America we have a sub-culture that has the techniques figured out——how to push their agenda on the Internet to try and sell their ways of [thinking?] by the use of baseless and tasteless nonsense language contrived behind the scenes in like sales boiler rooms.  If that be so OH NO.”

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By christian96, April 1, 2009 at 6:01 am Link to this comment

Inherit The Wind—-As a Christian, I was out of line
concerning the comment about Satan having control of
your mind.  Forgive me.  I was raised in a coal mining town in West Virginia where my father worked
40 years in the mines.  Part of my conditioning
during my early years included “fist-fighting.” 
Even though I don’t like it now I still carry a residue of that desire to strike out and fight, which
is definitely not the Christian way.  It reflects
poorly upon Jesus when I act that way.  I don’t
understand why you refer to me as a “hate-monger.”
Could you please explain because if that is the way
people perceive me I want to change it.  I hate the
way Satan has destroyed people throughout the years
and continues to do so but basically I am a loving
person with a great deal of compassion for people,
especially children.  I hate the abuse and neglect
of children I see taking place.  I try to watch the
Nancy Grace program on CNN.  She loves children and
is trying to help them.  I tried to contact her with
some information but was unsuccessful.  She probably
receives a lot of corresspondence.

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By Inherit The Wind, April 1, 2009 at 4:19 am Link to this comment

christian96, April 1 at 3:06 am #

If you think you know more about the Bible that I
do, I must humbly suggest that Satan controls your
thoughts.  If you know so much about the Bible, you
would be familiar with Revelation 12:9, “And the
great dragon was cast out(of Heaven), that old
SERPENT, called the DEVIL, and SATAN, which deceiveth
the whole world:  He was cast out into the earth and
his angels were cast out with him.”
You keep repeating that people make choices based
on their VALUES!  How are VALUES developed in the
human mind?  Your reference to Flip Wilson’s comment,
“The Devil made me do it” is not quite accurate.  The
devil may put thoughts and values in your mind but
it’s your CHOICE to act upon those thoughts.  Therefore, YOU MADE YOU DO IT!

********************************************

The final argument of every religious torturer from the Arian Heresy through Tomas de Torquemada (Spanish Inquistion) to Salem to Jerry Fallwell:

“If you DARE disagree with me, SATAN must have taken hold of you!” 

(and, of course, the punishment for that was torture, death on the rack, death by fire, death by hanging—and with it all seizure of property.)

If Satan did exist in the world, he would glory in hate-mongers like you who close their minds and close their hands into fists, and fill their hearts with rage at anyone who challenges their evil superstitions that they proudly and loudly proclaim to the world.  More evil and harm has been done in this world by close-minded people CLAIMING to follow Jesus than all the others put together, as hard as that may be to believe.

May the God you worship forgive you!

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By christian96, April 1, 2009 at 12:06 am Link to this comment

If you think you know more about the Bible that I
do, I must humbly suggest that Satan controls your
thoughts.  If you know so much about the Bible, you
would be familiar with Revelation 12:9, “And the
great dragon was cast out(of Heaven), that old
SERPENT, called the DEVIL, and SATAN, which deceiveth
the whole world:  He was cast out into the earth and
his angels were cast out with him.”
You keep repeating that people make choices based
on their VALUES!  How are VALUES developed in the
human mind?  Your reference to Flip Wilson’s comment,
“The Devil made me do it” is not quite accurate.  The
devil may put thoughts and values in your mind but
it’s your CHOICE to act upon those thoughts.  Therefore, YOU MADE YOU DO IT!

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By truedigger3, April 1, 2009 at 12:00 am Link to this comment

DWIGHTBAKER wrote:
“in all your unscrupulously low caste demeanor I have not read one word that made a bit of sense, about how to rid the wrongs and uplifts the rights that is needed today in saving our great and wonderful people in our rich and abundant nation of America”
__________________________________________________

DWIGHTBAKER,

I didn’t say anything about “our rich and abundant
nation of America”.
I all what I said was directed against YOU and your
drivel and rantings. Don’t try to divert attention!
Something is really seriously wrong with you. You need professional attention and real fast before you
hurt someone

Report this
Outraged's avatar

By Outraged, March 31, 2009 at 11:14 pm Link to this comment

Re: DwightBaker

I post again my earlier post, since to my way of thinking you have TOTALLY sidestepped its premise.  I realize one can be sidetracked with other issues, and possibly this has happened for you also.  I know it happens to me.  In this context…. I would be interested in your predispostition in the matter.  How do you consolidate your position with Jesus’ assertion?

My original post to your claim.(with enhancements)
Re: DWIGHTBAKER

Your comments: “I live my life dedicated to the service unto my KING the LORD JESUS CHRIST and it is unto HIM I serve as a BONDSERVANT. 

Therefore I know the truth and the truth has set me free and it is to that end that I wanted to give back to all at my age of 64 the benefits of my life in knowing how to garnering enough support for us as a people to take the VESTED VOICES OF THE PEOPLE WITH THEIR VOTES to Capitol Hill in an legal organized manner and get things changed for the good—- so all would have their rights to life.

Now saying that is an apolitical and non-religious view of mankind and that is exactly what my KING wants done.”

False.  Jesus NEVER advocated intermingling with the politics of the day.  Quite the opposite.  He said (according to the bible at least):

At John 18:36:

King James Version: “Jesus answered, My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence.”

American Standard Version: “Jesus answered, My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence.”

Wycliff New Testament: “Jesus answered, My kingdom is not of this world; if my kingdom were of this world, my ministers would strive, that I should not be taken to the Jews; but now my kingdom is not here [now forsooth my kingdom is not of hence].”

New Living Translation: “Jesus answered, “My Kingdom is not an earthly kingdom. If it were, my followers would fight to keep me from being handed over to the Jewish leaders. But my Kingdom is not of this world.”

Realistically, if one “FOLLOWS THE TEACHINGS OF CHRIST”, one cannot be “of this world”.  Additionally, when one follows Christ, one does NOT put their FAITH in the workings of THIS world.  To claim that involving themselves POLITICALLY has any measure of validity concerning the teachings of the bible is pure poppycock, as Christ himself (if you believe) TAUGHT.  That is…at least, if one claims to BELIEVE in Christ’s teachings as they are recorded in the bible.

If your assertion were legit in any manner of biblical thought, you would not be striving for political kudos in an arena CONTRARY to the one Christ endorsed but also distained.

And this IS…. the CRUX of the matter.  If a person were to translate this to the MANY “false prophets” we see in the political arena… why..it would be an OUTRAGE to Christ and his teachings

Your assumption that “to take the VESTED VOICES OF THE PEOPLE WITH THEIR VOTES to Capitol Hill” would be seen as an abomination to Christ.  There’s NO TWO WAYS ABOUT…..IF you BELIEVE.

Christ NEVER, EVER, EVER, EVER….CLAIMED his kingdom to be a part of this world OR its politics.  NEVER.”

The underlying and screaming for acknowledgement premise here is THIS, are you putting your faith in Christ OR the tenets of your specific religion?  In OTHER WORDS, what YOUR RELIGION says..... IS IT….at least as regards the biblical representation….. FAITHFULLY… what Christ actually admonished his followers to do?

At this conjuncture, we would ABSOLUTELY have to address the bible itself.  Is it a book of FAITH, or a book of FACTS…?

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By Inherit The Wind, March 31, 2009 at 8:37 pm Link to this comment

I hate when I, a non-religious, non-believer, know more than a preachin’ got-the-call type of proselytizer.

It wasn’t SATAN in the Garden of Eden, it was the serpent.  It was later mis-interpretations that made the serpent into Satan.  God (in the myth) punishes the serpent by taking away his legs (“Upon thy belly thou shalt go”)

Choices are made by YOUR VALUES! How hard is that to understand?  Remember Flip Wilson’s Geraldine? “The Devil made me do it!” “The Devil made me buy this dress!”.  The Devil, Satan, Lucifer, “The Morning Star” is nuthin’ but an EXCUSE for people making the choices they do, based on the values they truly hold dear.

See somebody drop a $20 bill.  Is your first instinct to tap him/her on the shoulder and say “You dropped this” or is it to snatch it up and say “Finders’ keepers!”?  That’s a measure of your values.  Your values determine your reactions, your emotions, and WHO YOU ARE!

If you hate who you are, examine your values and you’ll probably find out EXACTLY why you hate yourself—it’s when what you value is what you KNOW is despicable.

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By christian96, March 31, 2009 at 8:10 pm Link to this comment

Inherit The Wind—-Having no fear of death is not a
boast.  Jesus said, “Fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul:  But rather
fear God who is able to destroy both soul and body
in Hell.”(Matthew 10:28)  I am sorry to learn of your
father and friend.  I think my father died a non-
believer but I’m not sure.  No one was with him when
he died early in the morning in the hospital.  He
could have had a death-bed conversion.  He use to tell me that religion was invented to control people.
Regardless, I put my faith in Acts 16:31, “Believe
on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shall be saved
and thy family.”  I believe my paternal grandmother’s
and my faith saved my father.  I know most Christians
disagree with me but Jesus spoke extensively about
Satan getting into the thoughts of our family members
in an attempt to steal our faith.  You are correct
about “evil” being the consequences of our choices
but what influences our choices?  Our THOUGHTS!  There are plenty of examples in the Bible of Satan
influencing our thoughts beginning with Eve in the
Garden of Eden.

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By Inherit The Wind, March 31, 2009 at 6:43 pm Link to this comment

Now if any of you can justify that all the evil done on earth today is by happenstance and tomfoolery by some just perverse folks—- think you might just be wrong?  Those folks that kill maim, rape, plunder, steal, kill, commit the most gross crimes against all of mankind are called the BEAST of mankind and it unto ...blah, blah blah
************************************************

“unto”?  “UNTO”?  “UNTO”?!?!?  How many kinds of pompous ass are you? “Unto” is a late 16th/early 17th century word the religious fanatic dolts like you use when you want to sound “deep” and “meaningful” when all it is is the common language of Shakespeare’s time…“But Soft! What light through yonder window breaks?”

I never said evil is the result of happenstance, that it just happens. It simply cannot be anthropomorphized into some invisible fantasy demon.  Here’s what I ACTUALLY said if you had bothered to read it, instead of getting your panties all in a twist:

“Evil” is the consequence of a series of choices that injures another human being, and then continuing those choices because your VALUE system is such that you value whatever it is more than Life.

It is the logical outcome of choices made based on certain values.

“Thus, the enginer is hoist on his own petard.” 

(for those of you who aren’t up on “Hamlet” and King James’s time, “enginer” is the KJB form of the modern “engineer”)

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By truedigger3, March 31, 2009 at 3:45 pm Link to this comment

DWIGHTBAKER & christian96,

I am tempted to tell you to take your religious nonsense and preching somewhere else, but on the other hand both of you give us a good laugh once in while.  Keep it coming!!

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By Inherit The Wind, March 31, 2009 at 2:13 pm Link to this comment

You don’t fear death?  That’s quite a boast.  I guess you don’t want to test it, do you?  (please don’t)

The only two people I ever knew who didn’t fear death were both dying.  My dad was an Agnostic but didn’t fear death saying “Life is finite. No one gets out of here alive.  I’m not afraid of dying—I’m only afraid of it hurting on the way!”  The other friend was 47 or 48 and dying of cancer.

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By Inherit The Wind, March 31, 2009 at 2:09 pm Link to this comment

I don’t accept that evil is due to some imaginary angel who fell due to his own jealousy—that’s just illogical. If he was jealous, then that jealous was evil before he was, whether it’s Lucifer become Satan, or Melkor become Morgoth, and Azmodius or Sauron following him.

“Evil” is the consequence of a series of choices that injures another human being, and then continuing those choices because your VALUE system is such that you value whatever it is more than Life.

BTW, Whales and Elephants both take longer raising their children than humans do and it takes them longer to grow up.  The Great Apes take nearly as long to mature as their human cousins and live nearly as long.  For them that don’t believe in Evolution, that’s another fact that doesn’t make sense without Darwin.

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By KDelphi, March 31, 2009 at 12:43 pm Link to this comment

Why not talk about yur religion at one of the many, valuable, I’m sure, religious sites?

Does anyone know of anyone—I mean anyone—who has read some crap on a website, and, said, “Wow! Now I see the light! Tell me more!”?? Does that EVER happen to you?

Because, I really just dont want to hear it. You have a right to sady it. But, taking up an entire website by posting the same crap we can read in the christisn bible—post a link and save us the space!

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By christian96, March 31, 2009 at 12:21 pm Link to this comment

By christian96, March 31 at 3:06 pm #


Shenonymous——We are all searching for truth or we
wouldn’t be on this site having discussions.  Don’t
read things into my comments.  I didn’t say “Jesus
talks to me directly.”  I said I am proud to respresent the truths I have learned from Jesus while
studying his teachings.  From 32 years of indepth
study, I am positive that Jesus was the Son of God,
came to earth to defeat Satan, give us guidelines for
which to live our lives, and demonstrated that we can
overcome death.  I have no fear of dying.  Therefore,
I can boldly express the truths taught by Jesus without worrying what anyone thinks or does.  There
are designs by God that can be understood.  Scientists have made many discoveries over the past
decades.  If you look at the way humans have been
designed you can discover a significant truth which
one day will lead us to world peace.  Humans are
designed to be infants before they become adults.
That is a significant design because, as infants,
humans are helpless.  In fact, the human infant is
helpless longer than any other animal species.  Since
the human infant is helpless, it must depend upon
someone else to provide it’s survival conditions (food, water, safety, language, etc.).  So just by
the way we are designed, humans depend upon one
another.  As we become adults, we like to think we are independent but we aren’t.  We still depend upon
others to provide our food, water, safety, language,
entertainment, etc.)  After Cain killed his brother,
he ask God, “Am I my brother’s Keeper?”  The answer
is a resounding YES!  We are each others brothers and
sisters keepers.  Then, why do we destroy one another?  1st John 3:12 gives us the answer, “Cain,
WHO WAS OF THAT WICKED ONE, slew his brother!”  The
serpent is that wicked one, also known as Lucifer,
Satan, Dragon, etc.  As I said in my previous post,
Satan influenced Eve to disobey the commandments of
God.  Satan did this through influencing the cognitions of Eve.  Satan influenced 1/3 of the angels to follow him in his rebellion.  They go about
seeking to destroy people by influencing their cognitions.  Jesus taught us that everyday our
cognitions will be attacked by evil forces.  It is
our responsibility to understand when our thoughts
are constructive or destructive.

I am relatively new at computers but I think I just
copied and pasted my comments from another article,
“Jesus, the man, and the myth”  If this prints it will be a suprise to me.  If so, I help it helps you
folks searching for the truth.

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By KDelphi, March 31, 2009 at 11:40 am Link to this comment

DWIGHT and Outraged, yes, in fact, to the contrary!

If I recall my catechism correctly (and recalling the essence is more important than quoting or rote memorization—that is what I was taught), Jesus was very angry about “money being in his father’s house”! (ie faith based initiatives)

I’m sure that it is considered blasphemy here, but, mayb e if the churches would PAY TAXES, we would have more money for social programs, and, less need of charity. Charity is never the answer, over the long haul.

DWIGHT, you sound like a robot, not a true “chtristian”, whatever that means, as of today.

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By Inherit The Wind, March 31, 2009 at 9:29 am Link to this comment

Now saying that is an apolitical and non-religious view of mankind and that is exactly what my KING wants done.  He said take HIS GOSPEL—-the new birth] [born again] [becoming one like HIM a second Adam] to all peoples in all nations and that has not been done. That message was for those that he chose to work in HIS KINGDOM as I have committed to do. Most think and believe that they have a sure shot at knowing all about GOD—JESUS—and what is in HIS plans but through heresy in teachings and the wayward past of the Empires that has used HIS name to prop up their evil agendas—- much of HIS message of the GOSPEL has been racked with pillages of all kinds. Thus I cannot name you one organized religion in America today that has NOT got it all wrong. And the waywardness of it all began when the use of HIS name and some of HIS words became known as connected to the HOLY ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH.

And frankly what you heard from someone, somewhere and sometime doesn’t prove a thing in this forum for good and lively discussion.

***************************************

Thankyou, DwightBaker.  You’ve proven, far more eloquently than I could have, your arrogant hypocrisy in claiming YOUR religion is so perfect that it’s not a religion.  I tried to convey that this was how you think, but you did it SO much better than me….and you make my point self-evident!

I think if you want to advertise your web site and party you should PAY Truthdig for ad space, rather than pretending you are making a discussion when all you are doing is grabbing free advertising space.

Truthdig will catch on sooner or later.

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Outraged's avatar

By Outraged, March 30, 2009 at 10:22 pm Link to this comment

Re: DWIGHTBAKER

Your comments: “I live my life dedicated to the service unto my KING the LORD JESUS CHRIST and it is unto HIM I serve as a BONDSERVANT. 

Therefore I know the truth and the truth has set me free and it is to that end that I wanted to give back to all at my age of 64 the benefits of my life in knowing how to garnering enough support for us as a people to take the VESTED VOICES OF THE PEOPLE WITH THEIR VOTES to Capitol Hill in an legal organized manner and get things changed for the good—- so all would have their rights to life.

Now saying that is an apolitical and non-religious view of mankind and that is exactly what my KING wants done.”

False.  Jesus NEVER advocated intermingling with the politics of the day.  Quite the opposite.  He said (according to the bible at least):

At John 18:36:

King James Version: “Jesus answered, My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence.”

American Standard Version: “Jesus answered, My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence.”

Wycliff New Testament: “Jesus answered, My kingdom is not of this world; if my kingdom were of this world, my ministers would strive, that I should not be taken to the Jews; but now my kingdom is not here [now forsooth my kingdom is not of hence].”

New Living Translation: “Jesus answered, “My Kingdom is not an earthly kingdom. If it were, my followers would fight to keep me from being handed over to the Jewish leaders. But my Kingdom is not of this world.

Realistically, if one “FOLLOWS THE TEACHINGS OF CHRIST”, one cannot be “of this world”.  Additionally, when one follows Christ, one does NOT put their FAITH in the workings of THIS world.  To claim that involving themselves POLITICALLY has any measure of validity concerning the teachings of the bible is pure poppycock, as Christ himself (if you believe) TAUGHT.  That is…at least, if one claims to BELIEVE in Christ’s teachings as they are recorded in the bible.

If your assertion were legit in any manner of biblical thought, you would not be striving for political kudos in an arena CONTRARY to the one Christ endorsed but also distained.

And this IS…. the CRUX of the matter.  If a person were to translate this to the MANY “false prophets” we see in the political arena… why..it would be an OUTRAGE to Christ and his teachings

Your assumption that “to take the VESTED VOICES OF THE PEOPLE WITH THEIR VOTES to Capitol Hill” would be seen as an abomination to Christ.  There’s NO TWO WAYS ABOUT…..IF you BELIEVE.

Christ NEVER, EVER, EVER, EVER….CLAIMED his kingdom to be a part of this world OR its politics.  NEVER.

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By Inherit The Wind, March 30, 2009 at 7:54 pm Link to this comment

KDelphi, March 30 at 8:36 pm #

Dwight—You are saying you are “non-religious” after some fo the stuff youve posted?? How can that be??
***********************************

It’s one of those weird arguments born-agains make:

“I don’t have any religion. I’m not religious.  I just believe in Christ Jeeeesus and the Bible.  All the religions out there are false because Christ Jesus is The Truth.”

I first heard this argument from an Assembly of God dead-head in 1977 and I hear it pop up from time to time again—but they KNOW they’ll be ridiculed for its total fallacious quality and they usually keep it to themselves.

But don’t be surprised. It’s consistent.  DwightBaker is stealing free advertising for his site from TruthDig, advertising other HONEST FOLK pay for, all the while claiming to be a “Christian”.

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By KDelphi, March 30, 2009 at 5:36 pm Link to this comment

Dwight—You are saying you are “non-religious” after some fo the stuff youve posted?? How can that be??

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By KDelphi, March 30, 2009 at 4:46 pm Link to this comment

truedigger3—Yes, but he does it in such an elegant manner!

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By truedigger3, March 30, 2009 at 3:58 pm Link to this comment

It is glaringly obvious that Obama is exactly a continuation of W Bush. He might talks differently
but he walks exactly the same walk and in the same direction. He is following exactly Bush’s policies
with minor cosmetic modfications around the edges.
Obama is a dear friend and defender of Wall St. banksters.
I can see fewer and fewer of Obama admirers are defending him here.

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By TAO Walker, March 30, 2009 at 2:03 pm Link to this comment

This “ailing eCONomy” has sure brought all the modern-day witch-doctors crawling out of the woodwork….including brand-new enchanter-in-chief Barack Obama and his “toxic” allamericandream"team” taken-to-task here by Robert Scheer.  They’re all HOPE!-fully treating us to incessant official and papered-professional incantations over the increasingly moribund ‘corpus decrepti,’ frantic ‘consults’ among the G7/8/12/20/??/???, massive injections of funny “money,” monotonous invocations of the false idols “Banking” and “Commerce,” piteous prayers to the demi-gods of “derivatives” and “default-swaps,” and so much more of similar ilk.  It is all eerily reminiscent of those hackneyed old Hollywood “tributes” to “manifest destiny,” depicting clueless fright-wigged “savages” trying uselessly to drive-out devilish diseases (usually European imports) with nothing but screechy wails and scary faces and tomtoms and foul-tasting brews and madcap hopping-about.

Then, in THE END, only another of Lula daSilva’s “blue-eyed white men” could possibly ‘heal’ the “chief’s” sick child or injured wife, with some miraculous new drug or revolutionary surgical technique.  It’s still good for a few laughs here in Indian Country, down at the “senior center” on snowy afternoons.

You might think, watching all this pressurized juvenile nonsense, that the make-believe “global” CONfidence scheme is in-essence just some weird gene-spliced CONfabulation of Tinkerbell and a Dog Patch “schmoo.”  If only everybody will clap their hands and BELIEVE!, the poor deformed damned ‘thing’ will soon start spewing-out again rivers of ‘milk’ and buckets of ‘honey’....enough to lift all these paper-canoes out of this incipient “depression” they’re afoul-in, here on the upper reaches of Shit Creek.

Imagine, then, the delicious irony, the perfect justice, now that THE Medicine for what’s killing our domesticated Human Relations will be found only amongst us surviving Primitives.  In a certain specific Way it IS us Primitives.  Of course this Natural Fact is unfortunately making it that much harder for them even to recognize the remedy….nevermind bringing their o-so-sophisticated “selfs” to actually swallow it.

So their LOST “leaders” go on chanting the gibbering mantras of “credit” and corporatism and CONcupiscence, etc., etc.  Their captive “audience” go on dying to be kept CONvinced the hair-of-the-dog tearing their throats out is the only thing that might somehow “heal” the ravages this self-same monster has wreaked upon their very Humanity.

High priests of “finance capitalism” preach that only taking-on even more crushing debt-loads will “cure” the pandemic of social and spiritual impoverishment afflicting them.  Gurus of “the GROSS national product” guarantee the efficacy of getting back to the business of bingeing on toxic industrial waste-products.  Pandering politicos cater to their bases’ basest self-glorifying impulses.  Frenzied MADmen flog the tired cliches of CONspicuous CONsumption harder than ever….in vain hopes of drowning-out the din of inequity filling their materialist den-of-iniquity, as it caves-in atop them. 

It’s sort of a ‘horse-race’ now, to see whether our tame Sisters and Brothers will wake-up from their feverdreams of empire before they burn-up in one more delerious orgy of “self”-gratification and collective abuse.  Our tormentors and their two-leged tools have of course bet what’s left of their own miserable half-lives on the latter.

It might surprise ALL of ‘em to learn it is us free wild Native Peoples who are prepared to cover that bet….and any others fools might wish to place, too.

HokaHey!

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By Kaelieh, March 30, 2009 at 12:57 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Prior to this year I had never even heard of Goldman Sachs and now smack into the name at every twist and turn. We do need election reform and an easier way to get people out of office. Like Bush had a 19% approval rating for months and we couldn’t do anything about getting him out of office, it was up to Congress to impeach him and they weren’t about to do that.

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By christian96, March 29, 2009 at 8:47 pm Link to this comment

DRKLassen——I agree wholdheartedly that we need some
form of election reform but what I haven’t taken time
to study.  I know the days of a poor man running for
president are over unless than poor man joins one of
the existing parties and to do that he/she would have
to support their platform.  Take myself for example.
I was raised in a coal mining community where my father worked 40 years in a coal mines.  My grandfather worked 50.  Even though I have a doctoral
degree, taught at several major universities, and
consider myself intelligent, I could never run for
President.  No one knows me.  I have no way of getting my ideas to the people.  I could write a book
but my book would probably alienate people because I
would be telling what I consider to be the truth.
If election reform is going to take place it better
get started.  2012 will be here before you know it.

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By Bboy57, March 29, 2009 at 5:02 pm Link to this comment

The President has turned into another elitist lap dog. It’s truely sorry to behold. How many of these Goldman Sachs Finance guru’s do we have to tolerate?
They now control much of the federal reserve and key posts in the administration within finance. It doesn’t bode well. Too many chefs from the same school of thought. Not the change we were promised, Mr. President. We need stronger leadership than this!

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By drklassen, March 29, 2009 at 2:36 pm Link to this comment

@christian96
Instant Run-Off:  Each voter does their own ranking.  For example, in 2000 one could have put Nader as 1, Gore and 2 and not put any ranking on Bush and Robertson.  So when votes are tallied, only everyone’s #1 is counted.  So in this example Nader would get this person’s vote.  But if no candidate has over 50% of the votes, you drop the lowest vote getter and look at those ballots’ #2.

Let’s say Robertson got the least amount of #1 votes so he’s out so look at all the those ballots and let’s say that 15% of them had no #2, 10% of them had Nader as #2 and the rest had Bush as #2. So now Bush and Nader add these votes to their totals.  If he now has more than 50% of all votes cast, he wins.  If not, we, again, drop the lowest vote getter and reassign those ballots.

If Nader has the fewest we look at all those ballots—-those who had Nader as #1, we look at the #2 and those that had Nader as #2 we look at the #3 and reassign.

It’s really not as complicated as it may read from my example; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Instant-runoff_voting has another one and it may be better.

Education: I’d sign onto the specific examples you stated.

Lobbying: Again, it’s just not as simple as it may sound.  Lobbyists are people, people have a 1st amendment right to give to candidates so you can’t just bar them.  You *could* say that lobbying *firms* have no 1st amendment rights to contribute to any candidate or party—-but that requires stripping corporations of their SCOTUS granted personhood.  I’d be glad for that!

The only way to level the playing field is to say that ALL elections should be publicly funded ONLY.  But then you give incumbents an advantage—-they have offices with budgets to produce literature to keep their constituents informed which basically gives them a leg up in campaigning.

It’s a mess and more money will always talk louder than less money no matter what you do.

NASA: Add up all the money we ever spent on NASA since its founding.  Now add up all the economic gain we have due to things like transistors (just to pick one spin-off technology).  The latter is MORE than the former.  Pocket calculators and PC’s exist only because NASA needed miniaturization (business didn’t—-they could devote rooms to a computer so had no incentive to go smaller).  Supersonic flight is due to NASA.  Most of the advancements in even regular planes or aerodynamics are due to NASA.  Without NASA weather forecasting would be stuck to inferring from sparse data collected at individual ground stations.  Heck, even pens that write upside-down are due to NASA.

Sure, we *could* have still done all this without NASA, but NASA provided the impetus—-there was no “market” for most of this stuff so nobody was going to pay to develop it for no reason.

But aside from that, the study of “pure” science—-that which won’t lead to life-aiding technology directly—-is necessary.  Understanding Mars, for example, helps us understand Earth.  Understanding other solar systems helps us understand ours.  Some of this may lead to actionable work (e.g. global climate change) but much of it won’t.  But it does let us, as a species, try to figure out our place in the universe.

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By christian96, March 29, 2009 at 2:00 pm Link to this comment

DRKLlassen——Who does the ranking of the candidates?
What if the voters don’t their last place votes going
to the second place candidate?  Maybe the want their
vote going to the 3rd or 4th place candidate!
Candidates do publish their platforms but they are
too vague.  I will say that Obama was specific when
he said people making less than P,000 a year would
not pay income tax on their social security.  I’m
still waiting for the fullfillment of that promise.
A better idea would be to eliminate ALL taxes for
individuals making less than $50,000.  That would
help stimulate the economy.
By “no lobbying” I meant no passing of money by
lobbists to the greedy hands of OUR representatives.
If it was law then those doing it under the table,
both giver and receiver, could be prosecuted.
About educational curriculum meeting currents needs:
(1) REQUIRING Child Development and Family Relations
courses in an attempt to lower divorces, child abuse,
and child neglect, (2) pragmatic math course to teach
how interest is calculated on credit cards, bank loans, family budget, etc., (3) pass a federal law
limiting the number of students in kindergarten
through third grade to 15 students to a classroom.
Teachers would have time to give students more one-
on-one attention thus building a strong foundation
for the students to grow on.
As for the money spent on NASA please be a little
more specific about “spin-offs that it more than
pays for itself.”

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By zhong, March 29, 2009 at 6:14 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The American political system is hopeless.  Obama is a stooge of the people surrounding him now.  He can do nothing and will do nothing because that is the deal from the very start!  That is why John McCain was not elected. He has guts and not easy to control, while Obama has only rhetorics.  Look at his stupid wife: planting a silly vegetable garden in the expense of a patch of beautiful grass.  And she is from Harvard.

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By drklassen, March 29, 2009 at 4:31 am Link to this comment

@christian96:
Instant Run-off voting has several forms, but the most common is one where, instead of voting for a candidate, you rank them: first choice, second choice, etc.  Then all the first choices are tallied and if no candidate has won a majority of the votes (i.e. greater than 50%; or a higher value if you’d like) you drop the lowest vote getter, and assign those ballots to their second choice.  Keep going until you have a winner.

This means folks could really start voting for issues instead of just the Dem/Repub who *everyone* says are the only ones that can win.  No more would “a vote for Nader be a vote for Bush” because those Nader voters would have had Gore as their second choice.

This would have to paired with a law that says parties get automatic ballot placement based on first round votes ONLY (which could be very interesting if Dem/Rebpub start winning only through second choice votes…)

As for your other comments:
Parties do publish their ideas for governance, candidates do publish their positions—-we already do that.  But they are not contracts and I really don’t think they should be.  Having them come up with a list of key advisers they will appoint would be nice.

Saying “no lobbying” is a nice idea on the face of it, but untenable.  Do you write your Rep/Sen/Pres?  That’s lobbying.  What is needed is a way to stop money from giving some lobbyists more access than others but even that is going to be difficult.  Capping giving to candidates was a good start; capping giving to a party would also help but folks with money are always going to be able to spread it around for their own benefit.  Which is why we need to have higher tax brackets: 50% at $1M, 75% at $5M, and 90% at $10M.

Education & Science:
Define “what we need at present”.  If you are suggesting that education should simply be job training, I have to vehemently disagree.  Art and music and literature make life worth living.  Education is for teaching kids how to be learners—-how to go out and find answers to questions they may have.  College is about expanding ones mind as far as you can (along with learning “usable” skills for a profession).

And, yes, although you may not care about the inner workings of the universe, the fact that we, as a people, do, is again that desire for knowledge and understanding of our world around us that makes life “worth it”.  If life is ONLY about eat/sleep/work, what’s the point?!  And NASA specifically has given us so many spin-offs that it MORE than pays for itself.

The argument that “fix things here first then think about space” is a false dilemma.  It assumes that we, as a people, don’t have enough money to do both.  We do.  See my tax comment above.

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By Outraged, March 28, 2009 at 11:41 pm Link to this comment

Re: DWIGHTBAKER

Your comment: “The first flight of faulted fancy for many comes when their ears are tickled about this and that and they have not a clue what any of it means but it sure sounds good, because they are a WANT TO BE BEAST of mankind, patterning their lives after the one telling the tale.”

You do understand that your statement applies equally as well to yourself as anyone….. don’t you?  In this regard what you are eschewing is PAINFULLY apparent and openly suspect given the current conundrum.

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By wildflower, March 28, 2009 at 9:50 pm Link to this comment

RE Christian96: “I think our country would be best served if polices advocated by candidates would be available specifically to the voters in writing months prior to the elections.  They could be placed on the internet.”

Bill Moyers recently interviewed Robert Kaiser, who is the author of “So Damn Much Money,” and asked him what steps the public could take to achieve more transparency in government. I like Kaiser’s idea - it has possibilities:

ROBERT KAISER: I have an idea that would be fun, and I think very significant. If you required every official in the government to report, which we can do now, technologically, on the internet, at the end of the business day, every day. “Here are the lobbyists I met with today. And here’s what we talked about.

BILL MOYERS: Ah.

ROBERT KAISER: Just a daily file of, you know, real transparency. That would have a huge impact.

http://www.pbs.org/moyers/journal/02202009/profile.html

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By christian96, March 28, 2009 at 5:41 pm Link to this comment

To:  DRKLassen—-What do you mean by “Instant Run-
Off Voting(IRV)?  I think our country would be best
served if polices advocated by candidates would be
available specifically to the voters in writing months prior to the elections.  They could be placed
on the internet.  The only problem there is the many
of the masses have access to internet they use it for
personal entertainment rather than rational inquiry
into issues affecting the nations.  They have been
distracted to place their attention on movies, sports, etc.  I also believe our government leaders
should take steps to diversify the ownership of our
mass media.  A handful of prejudiced ignorant people
controlling the thoughts and behaviors of the masses
has been a signifcant variable in the problems we
presently are facing.  Lobbying should outlawed
completely.  Educational curriculum should be reformed to reflect the needs of the present.  We
also need to establish priorities in spending.  Do
we really need to spend the money and brain power
on NASA when there are more important prioities at
hand.  Personally, I don’t really care if there is
life on another planet or care to understand the
nature of the “Big Bang”, if there is one!  We need
to make use of the intellectuals in our country to
devise a system to support all people not a hand
full of self-centered igotistical idots.

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By drklassen, March 28, 2009 at 5:00 am Link to this comment

@wildflower re Why Obama Can’t Satisfy the Left:
This is exactly why we need election reform to break the stranglehold of the two-party system.  If we make all elections Instant Run-Off Voting (IRV) then smaller parties will have a chance since you can vote for them without fear of “wasting” your vote, or worse, “voting for the other guy”.  Of course, real election reform just ain’t gonna happen since it involves those in power actually weakening themselves.  There are no more George Washingtons.

@KDelphi:
I think progressive need to get out the message that we deserve the exact same medical *care* that our government servants (Reps, Sens, Pres, etc.) get—-nothing less will do!  Framing it that way is what needs to be done; how can anyone fight that argument?  You don’t see McCain using private insurance do you?  So clearly government run health care must work pretty well.

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By wildflower, March 27, 2009 at 9:43 pm Link to this comment

This New York Times matrix of Wall Street Chiefs and private-equity bosses along with their personal political contributions in “Where Wall Street Trades On Political Currency,” is very interesting and informative:

“. . . Congress pushed and prodded with rules and regulations, and Wall Street pushed back. But lawmakers also gave tax breaks and eased some rules, allowing the money crowd more room to run. Behind the scenes, financiers sought support on Capitol Hill — usually with a campaign contribution in hand.

With sweeping reforms coming, the Wall Street-Washington connection may be more important than ever, and political connections may be the new currency for deal makers.

Below is a matrix of Wall Street chiefs and private-equity bosses, as well as their personal contributions to politicians in 2007 and 2008, as recorded by the Center for Responsive Politics. The list, which gives politicians’ titles at the time, also illustrates the political action committee money given by each chief’s firm and its employees. . . “

http://dealbook.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/03/26/where-wall-street-trades-in-political-currency/

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By christian96, March 27, 2009 at 7:50 pm Link to this comment

Dwight Baker——You are a good person.  There are a
few of us left.  I like your “precedent in Texas”
defense!  I just finished watching Robert Fisk on
Link TV discussing “The Age of the Warrior.”  He’s
a good person.  Our world needs more good bold
knowledgeable persons to help enlighten the masses
about the corrupt ones among us.  Wish I could speak
with him.  Warriors, regardless of their country and
location, are primarily IGNORANT.  Someone waves a
flag and incentive in front of them(from 72 virgins
in Heaven to ‘for old glory’) and off the ignorant
brute beasts go killing some other poor human they
happen to be sharing the planet with.  Years ago,
while teaching at a major university, I told my class
about a story(from Margaret Meade, I think) about two
very primative tribes living just over the mountain
from each other.  One tribe believed to satisfy their
God they had to travel accross the mountain and kill
one member from the other trible(man, woman, child,
it didn’t matter.)  Then, the other tribe to appease
their God had to travel across the mountain and kill
one member of the other tribe.  The answer to peace
for this rather primative(excuse the pun) example
was that one tribe had to FORGIVE the other tribe.
I wish I could claim insight into this noble answer
but a man much greater than myself(Jesus of Nazareth)
deserves the credit!  WHATEVER HAPPENED TO LOVE AND
FORGIVENESS!  Sure would have saved a lot of lives,
families, and children!

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By jackpine savage, March 27, 2009 at 6:35 pm Link to this comment

Part I

When the USSR gave up the ghost, and Clinton’s BFF - Yeltsin - took power…hold on, no matter how many times Clinton said “triumph of democracy”, Yeltsin was anything but.  He was a crooked, venal drunk that stood on the shoulders of babushkas (you laugh, but they’re a fearsome creature in their native habitat) and quickly came around to sending tanks against democracy with nary a whimper from the crooked, venal sex addict in D.C.

Anyway, there was a big debate about whether the transition to a market economy would be made gradually or in a “great leap”.  Clinton’s neo-liberal economic team (you know the names, they’ve been tasked with saving you from themselves) was dispatched to press the case for the latter.  At least for Yeltsin, their argument won the day…as is par for the course in these situations, the people weren’t really consulted.  Great Leap it was.

All sorts of silly plans were cooked up to privatize the assets owned by the state.  One was to give shares in the firm to the employees, keeping up the appearance of collective ownership.  It probably wasn’t a bad idea except that nobody bothered to really explain the concept to people for whom the concept was utterly alien.  Ivan (i.e. common Russian) didn’t have it so good before things fell apart; he had concerns more pressing than his portfolio…you know, like eating.  So Ivan was apt to trade those shares for tangible assets…like vodka.  You’ll never guess who got those shares in the trades, never, ok maybe you will.  The people connected to the privatization schemes.

Then there were the auctions for state owned enterprises, generally announced a few hours before they were to commence and sparsely attended.  The SOE would be sold for kopeks on the ruble.

Through slick operations like these (and others), a handful of people came to completely dominate the wealth of the nation.  Many of the privatized SOE’s were then liquidated…but of course not the money makers like natural resources and media.  Those were gutted for quick profits and political control.  Russian media could be (and was) turned into campaign staff for the guy who made it possible.

Not that Russians have ever been much for believing their media; the only thing they really trust is an unscheduled broadcast of Swan Lake on every channel.  So elections needed to be rigged so that democracy would triumph.

Of course there were also the IMF/WB loans that needed to be serviced by a state that had sold all of its assets for a pittance.  But some people became fabulously wealthy.  They moved as much of the money out of the country as they could, putting it into Western markets and buying premier league football teams and estates on the Spanish Med.  Hedge fund guys just loved Russian oligarchs.

Ivan got “chut-chut” (very little) except pensions still calculated on Soviet life but needing to operate in the glorious free market, and mostly he didn’t get those in a timely fashion…timely being as long as 9 months without payment.

The floor ladies in my dorm (i wasn’t a “college kid” when i went, but i studied there so i lived in a dorm) made $25/month, most of them were pensioners who couldn’t survive on the pension that they didn’t get.  Yeah, a dollar went pretty damned far, but it didn’t go that far.  It allowed for a very Soviet existence.

But those rubles were not very stable.  Exchanges were everywhere, because as soon as people got rubles they changed to dollars and then rechanged to rubles when they needed to spend.  It was the only means to protect themselves, but they obviously lost at least all the service charges…even if they managed to get their timing right.

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By jackpine savage, March 27, 2009 at 6:33 pm Link to this comment

Part II

The black market had done fine for itself during the Communist era; it simply came right out into the open during the Yeltsin years.  Most Russian shopping occurred in markets and the kiosks clustered around metro stations.  Great for people becoming small business owners…except that the mafia controlled most of it. 

If there was a line between organized crime and business, i could never discern it.  Bizness men were bizness men, and they were successful enough to ride in armored Mercedes with armored Land Rovers in convoy.

There were also a lot of ex-military/intelligence who either went into business or bizness or protecting both.  And it was all about power, money, and connections.

Picture the boys from Goldman Sachs not putting a pretty face on things; hanging out with the Sopranos cast; and openly employing ex-CIA to plant magnetic car bombs on a rival’s vehicle during rush hour on the main street in the city. (that actually happened while i was there, and the average was one high profile political/business assassination/month in St. Petersburg during my time there)

And all the while, the vast majority of citizens are living in what just about any American would call “abject poverty”.  They were lucky though, since they’d never owned the apartment that they lived in they didn’t get booted out.  I grew up in Detroit, and my first reaction to a block of Russian apartment buildings was, “Damn, it’s the fucking projects.”  Of course, they might have had to deal with communal toilets and living in overcrowded conditions, but it was a roof.  The heat never got turned off because there never was a bill for it. 

Still, little old ladies do not stand outside a metro station at 11pm in temperatures of -30C selling plastic shopping bags for half a cent just because it’s fun.  They don’t set up a “stand” that consists of a raggedy piece of plywood perched on a cardboard box to display one dried fish, an hard-boiled egg, and two pickles because they’re on the fast track to riches.  And 7am vodka is not the breakfast of champions.

To Be Continued

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By wildflower, March 27, 2009 at 5:30 pm Link to this comment

Re Kdelphi: “Good article”

I found the statistical breakdowns especially interesting. Explains why you and I see some of these issues so differently:

“. . . The bottom line is that, compared to Republicans, Democrats are operating with a much more diverse electoral coalition-and one in which the party’s ideological vanguard plays a smaller role. That’s one reason why in a Pew post-election survey, nearly three-fifths of Democrats said they wanted the party to move in a more moderate (rather than liberal) direction, while three-fifths of Republicans said they wanted the party to move right. The parties “have a difference in our bases,” says Jim Kessler, vice president of Third Way, a group that works with centrist Democratic Senators. “Certainly the most loyal part of the Democratic base is going to be self-identified liberals, but numerically moderates are a bigger portion of the coalition, so there is going to be some tension.”

[Why Obama Can’t satisfy The Left by Ronald Brownstein] http://politics.theatlantic.com/2009/03/why_doesnt_he_get_it.php

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By christian96, March 27, 2009 at 4:15 pm Link to this comment

Outraged——They have been teaching history in public
schools and universities for YEARS but obviously we
haven’t learned a thing.  I’m sorry.  We did learn
something.  PEOPLE DON’T LEARN FROM HISTORY!

It’s been nice conversing with you folks but I think
I’m on my way to jail.  Yesterday, on Interstate 95
I was following a bus load of politicians.  The
driver fell asleep and the bus turned upside down.
I rushed up to the bus and buried all the politicans.
This morning a police officer knocked on my door and
ask if anyone was alive of all the politicans I
buried.  I replied, “Well, a couple said they were
but you know how politicians LIE!

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By tropicgirl, March 27, 2009 at 2:17 pm Link to this comment

I got my new payroll witholding table today from the stimulus, in which withholdings were supposed to go down?  Well, they went UP for single people taking home under $700.

He really SOCKED-IT to the poorest.

I was disgusted. I guess Obammy is just double talk after all. OR he has no idea what his staff are doing.

Anyone else notice the same?

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By KDelphi, March 27, 2009 at 1:59 pm Link to this comment

wildflower—good article. I waws very aware of Sen. Obama’s voting record , both in DC and Chicago, so I am not really surprised. But, I DID think that he might throw us a bone on a couple of appointees…I am just amazed at Summers, Gensler and Geithner! They arent even moderate, to my mind!

Sen Baucus’ milquetoast, non-commital stance on health care reform is totally amazing, and stupid. If he says “We’re ‘Merkins!” and “We’re different!” (in what way genetically ,Baus-ASSS, in that we ondt need the same care as Europeans?) or “Go West young man!” (wtf?!) I am going to SCREAM!

He almost had me in tears today, trying to listen to his “campaign contributions” shuffle! The panel after were Norm Ornstein of the AEI (???), Karen Tumulty of Time, who , apparently wrote an artilce , and, Paul Begalla (sp?) (wtf??) When a dr there, who had quit her practice to campaing for sinlge payer, asked a question about why we are planning to continue the for-profit only heatlh insurance industry system (my words), she was brushed off.

When Begalla and Baucus echoed the “campaign season ” the reform should fall under,they said that
“theyd have to pass it before 2010 or 2012”, I pracitally threw up. Dont they know how BAD that sounds? Dont they know that it puts profits above human life?? 20-80,000 will DIE this year alone. Many more will be needlesly permanently disabled..

I am on Medicaid and worked as a Social Worker. Those are two reason I focus on health care so much. It is also because I think it reflects a general attitude in the US about what is more important than profits—its turns out nothing is.

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By wildflower, March 27, 2009 at 11:53 am Link to this comment

A good question:

“Kessler asks the right question: “Is this going to be two years of a brief what might have been [for Democrats] or the beginning of a long progressive era? I think the way the liberals and the centrists in the party relate to each other is going to go a long way in determining the answer.”

[Why Obama Can’t satisfy The Left by Ronald Brownstein]
http://politics.theatlantic.com/2009/03/why_doesnt_he_get_it.php

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By samosamo, March 27, 2009 at 11:40 am Link to this comment

By jackpine savage, March 27 at 8:11 am
“”“Check this spot later tonight.  I’ll jot down some things about those dark days (and probably reveal why i hate Larry Summers and Bill Clinton with an unquenchable passion).”“”

Well, hurry up, cause I want to see if you hate them as much as I do. Most notable to me was billie signing the nafta treaty.

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By psickmind fraud, March 27, 2009 at 7:53 am Link to this comment

Shaft, I love your idea, but I’d suggest sprinkling Alum in the water at the podium before they speak. 

I just read a transcript of what our Halffrican-American prez said this morning about Afghanistan and had to take a few minutes to wretch violently.  Basically it was “be afraid, be very afraid”.  What he didn’t tell us was that we should be afraid of him, his cabinet, Congress, and the corporations that own them all.  Costa Rica is sounding better and better to me.

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By jackpine savage, March 27, 2009 at 5:11 am Link to this comment

Check this spot later tonight.  I’ll jot down some things about those dark days (and probably reveal why i hate Larry Summers and Bill Clinton with an unquenchable passion).

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By Outraged, March 27, 2009 at 12:10 am Link to this comment

Re: christian96

Your comment: “I HAVE A DREAM THAT ONE DAY OUR CHILDREN WILL UNDERSTAND THEMSELVES AND OTHERS THEY SHARE THE PLANET WITH.  I HAVE A DREAM
THAT THROUGH KNOWLEDGE OUR CHILDREN WILL RISE UP TO
OVERCOME IGNORANT SELFISH PEOPLE WHO WOULD DESTROY
THEM AND OUR PLANET.  I HAVE A DREAM THAT ONE DAY
OUR CHILDREN WILL JOIN HANDS ACROSS THE WORLD AND
MAKE EARTH A BETTER PLACE FOR ALL PEOPLE. I HAVE A
DREAM!”

If this is your true concern christian96, then specifically you would want HISTORY in its entirety not morals, TAUGHT (exempt from the lies of omission).  This would then naturally become morality using the facts and NOT the opinions of various political factions (in this I include the religions of history as a exception and not a rule of morality).

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By christian96, March 26, 2009 at 11:38 pm Link to this comment

“WE THE PEOPLE…...”  What a joke!  It wasn’t written by WE THE PEOPLE!  It was written by a few
WEALTHY LANDOWNING MEN!  They didn’t speak for the
people anymore than I speak for people in outer space.  If we are going to have a true democracy we
need an educated people who understand issues and
parameters associated with those issues.  Who’s going
to educate them?  Hollywood?  I don’t think so!
Hollywood is part of the problem not the solution.
Who’s going to educate them?  The mass media?  Not
as long as it’s controlled by the people creating
the problems!  Who’s going to educate them?  Our
educational system?  Now, there is a possibility
but it would take a massive overhaul of the system.
Throw out the irrelavant courses that bore students
to death and replace them with courses that relate
to their everyday lives.  Courses that teach them
how to raise children and relate to people.  Courses
that teach them the deceptive commericals that influence their thoughts and behaviors.  Courses that
teach them how to develop a family budget and understand the interest structure on credit cards.
Courses that teach them how big business uses Hollywood movies, television programs, and the print
media to influence their buying habits.  Courses that teach morals.  I HAVE A DREAM THAT ONE DAY OUR CHILDREN WILL UNDERSTAND THEMSELVES AND OTHERS THEY SHARE THE PLANET WITH.  I HAVE A DREAM
THAT THROUGH KNOWLEDGE OUR CHILDREN WILL RISE UP TO
OVERCOME IGNORANT SELFISH PEOPLE WHO WOULD DESTROY
THEM AND OUR PLANET.  I HAVE A DREAM THAT ONE DAY
OUR CHILDREN WILL JOIN HANDS ACROSS THE WORLD AND
MAKE EARTH A BETTER PLACE FOR ALL PEOPLE. I HAVE A
DREAM!

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By Sepharad, March 26, 2009 at 11:16 pm Link to this comment

jackpine, as KDelphi said tell us more about the neoliberals and Russia. (At least one of the oligarchs with his hand in the cookie jar has been in jail for a long time and likely to stay there.) I’ve always had an interest in Russian history—partly because my mom was a commie till the nonaggression pact whereupon she tore up her card but later was a socialist firebrand—and partly because I like their writers, Tolstoy, Turgenev, Chekhov, and the astonishing Isaac Babel, particularly his stories about the Red Cavalry (which he actually rode with). But my attention was elsewhere during the breakup and moneygrabbing years, only snapped back to focus when a former spy was murdered as well as the female journalist who took up his and many other causes and one of the primo U.S. business/financial editors. Obviously I need to read a few books to get a grip again. Any suggestion?

Outraged—Thanks much for the Matt Taibbi article.
The first exerpt was particularly frightening; gave me a different way to look at the whole thing.

Robert Reich is at UCBerkeley and presumably still available. On another thread Inherit the Wind said Reich is a too old-timey socialist to be very helpful though his analysis of the situation’s outcome (much worse before it gets better—but it will get better). Given the gathered team, however, even an old-timey socialist would be an improvement. I don’t understand why Obama chose to rely on Paulsen for anything, considering that his decision to let Lehman go under and trigger a domino disaster suddenly changed when Goldman Sachs asked for and got precisely what Lehman requested. To let a catastrophe develop just to give your rival the shaft and your own people a leg up is so petty and criminal and just plain wrong I can’t imagine Obama giving him a pass—and power.

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By Shift, March 26, 2009 at 10:19 pm Link to this comment

Sometimes solutions to issues come from unexpected places.  We need to think more creatively.  Example: As in the movie Mars Attacks, country music is played over loud speakers to kill the aliens.  Has anyone tried this on Wall Street or Pennsylvania Avenue?  Nothing else has worked, so let’s get strangely creative.  They may be thieving maggots but we can still have some fun at their expense.  Finely ground pepper is great for ending lying speeches.  A little pepper sprinkled on a mike and the fun begins.

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By TAO Walker, March 26, 2009 at 3:52 pm Link to this comment

This old Indian offered a comment on Eugene Robinson’s “Geithner” article below that could as well go here.  If anyone wonders about the “speed” with which ‘the real Barack Obama’ is getting revealed to a supposed-to-be-adoring public, it might be an indication of just how very close to “....the final end….” our tormentors and their two-legged tools think ‘things’ are. 

That their original plot had today’s CONditions still a decade or two away yet, might explain the degree of rampant ineptitude (on the part of the “best-and-brightest”) on-display everywhere….such antics, all to keep peoples’ precious attention riveted to TV, rather than on each another where they live-and-breathe, where it will be so much more wisely and beneficially “invested.”  The entire “global” pyramid scam is going into what a ‘Nam-Vet grandson calls “the shitter”....where it belongs.

Look to one another, tame Sisters and Brothers.  Your tormentors and their two-legged tools have nothing for you but more misery….and that you can sure Live without.

HokaHey!

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By johanB, March 26, 2009 at 3:45 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

For a few years, a low of true Democrats have fought to make the CHANGE that President Obama was promoting, happen. And we did get him elected. But more and more I (we) feel cheated in a big way. President Obama is NOT the man he was during the elections. More and more his cabinet positions and other very important posts are taken over by the Ex-Clinton pro Wall Street crowd. The same people who were mainly responsible for the financial mess we are in today. I wonder who the hell put them in this place and why has Congress approved them.  These Obama “Brownie’s” are only interested in getting the Wall Street czars happy again and make sure that any penny they lost will be paid back double by the government / tax payers. Someone in the Presidents close circle has to talk some sense back. The problems are enormous, but try to solve them this way? It is like putting the wolfs back in the hen-house.                        Why, for an CHANGE listen to people who saw this problem coming years and years ago and pointed out all the risks.
Of course the typical defense is: they don’t see the bigger picture. One person who sees the bigger picture is a thousand times better suited, then anyone from Wall Street.
Wasn’t President Obama, not one of the very few who was against the war in Iraq??? And isn’t that the main reason he is now in power.

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By KDelphi, March 26, 2009 at 3:04 pm Link to this comment

jackpine savage—really…i have alwaasy wondered what that neo-mess in Russia looked like on the ground, not from reporters…do you have anything “out” about it? You should. Inquiring minds want to know…

Praise be to you

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By elizabethe, March 26, 2009 at 1:55 pm Link to this comment

Comment to Eric Prentis re the “is there something about the White House waters that transforms the Presidents into “more ugly”? than before the election, I gather you are saying, and the content of the ugly is against the public interest, actual smarts of accomplishment proven, and leadership with proper values in place to lay solid ground for the present and the future?  That they seem to get re-entrenched in the bad that was supposed to go with the new election, and seem even worse than their predecessors, to me, it is not really a difference, they are who they said BEFORE the election and there is no White House waters that transform them.

Obama said all his horrorific proposals of increased ugly military upfront in his book for the campaign, this audience should read it and take the editor, Robert Sheer to task on everything, Obama is ugly and was ugly and will be ugly unless he is stopped.

Does anyone here think a “commander in chief” who wants to increase the army troops by 65,000 troops and the marines by 27,000 troops and who obviously has no intentions of standing in the front lines…does anyone think amounts to a hill of beans-if he does not stand before his army?  He was ugly in advance and is upfront about it.

Who is the real “transformation” of mythology that is not and never was the truth of any candidate
BEFORE they entered the White House waters…..is it the voters, is it the party tyranny against merits for money, and the refusal to allow good guys any say or play…or is it the media…I have accused the media…corporate corrupt…when they would not allow FOUR outside challengers to have the proper DEBATE for DEMOCRACY AND A REAL CONTEST TO PROVE HONEST AGENDA…THE MEDIA REFUSED AND INSISTED ON TWO PARTY INCUMBENT CORRUPTION AS IF WE WANTED IT.

DID THE MAJORITY REALLY WANT NO CHOICE BUT INCUMBENTS AS IF THE COUNTRY WANTED STUCK IN MONEY AND CORRUPTION? 

WHAT DOES IT TAKE TO FORCE DEMOCRACY?  THE REAL DEBATE OF SIX NOT TWO? The public let the media rule against sanity and democracy and the U.S. CONSTITUTION.

“we already have a hole in the sky and a thinning ozone layer” and A YOUNG CLERK said of Obama’s star wars, “how much will it cost?” as if the red ink was bound to happen, if Obama wants it…I say no, and the red ink is not for the global picture, it belongs to Obama, let him get in the front lines in Afghanistan where he can either get bombed with 4 of his troops that he puts there, or shot in the back of the head by the Bush soldiers who just might be beginning to see the truth of our incompetent offensives as not how to prove leadership or peace or global law and order or U.S. Constitutional freedom to have a real government.

Obama wants the world to pay for his idiocy but the real deal is that he is sleeze politics personified.

I think it is the law under the President’s oath, to be the Commander In Chief THAT DOES MEAN OUT IN FRONT AS A GENUINE LEADER OF MILITARY WHEN CONGRESS CHOSES WAR…he wanted 17,000 troops and wants more, it is in writing, and he has no limits to his offensive threats to the planet and the galaxy…how much will it cost?  Why vote for unwanted candidates at a majority level.  I HATE OBAMA. HE EARNED NOTHING, ESPECIALLY VOTES.  Why did Sheer vote for him. 

This is what the majority voted for with the corporate corruption of railroaded politics which is what Obama is a Master of…Houdini, transforming hype words of what is wanted into ugly actions not wanted, because the public is both gullible and lazy.  They are not as evil as he is.

It is in his book, and I accuse Biden of shared complicity as is very obvious.  Two party corruption against a non-partisan registered majority outside the two parties.  How did THAT transformation of SIX become a “guaranteed two only as viable?”  The media, the public, or the campaigns, OF COURSE the candidates are not transformed, they are themselves.

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By Eric L. Prentis, March 26, 2009 at 12:27 pm Link to this comment

Is there something in the White House water that magically transforms Republican presidents into troglodytes, and Democratic presidents into Republicans.

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By california dreamer, March 26, 2009 at 12:07 pm Link to this comment

and today’s news is that the banks will be allowed to put a pricetag on their own assets which then the taxpayer will pay for and then someone like the Countrywide ex-CEO will buy the securities from the government for pennies and sell them for a profit.  I don’t know what Obama is thinking, but I guess he is convinced that those who find all this intolerable don’t amount to a hill of beans.  We shall see how many beans can vote.

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By thebeerdoctor, March 26, 2009 at 7:34 am Link to this comment

re: drklassen

As someone who actually did vote for President Obama, my criticism is not that I want him to fail, I simply question the wisdom of the people he chooses to be involved with. As Joan Vennochi of the Bostom Globe wrote: “The president has made it clear Geithner is his guy. What he has never made clear to the American public is why.”
Take for example his income tax ‘misunderstanding’. If you check out the Barlett and Steele investigation into this matter, you’ll find it is not exactly so. When the IMF, whom Geithner was working for at the time, cut him a check to cover his income taxes, he did not pay what he owed until several years later, when the perceptions need for future employment required that he cough it up.
The same can be said about the double talk concerning his ignorance of the AIG bonuses, which he claims he was not aware of, until it was revealed by Senator Dodd, slipping out from underneath his rock, that it was the Treasury Department applying the pressure to get the bonus exemption slipped into the bill.
So no, I do not blame Obama for the economic mess, which was and is, a bipartisan effort to make sure the ownership class have their way, no matter what. But what I do hold President Obama accountable for is the kind of dogs he is bringing to the posse party.

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By tp, March 26, 2009 at 5:46 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Wilberforce said about Obama:
“Now he doesn’t use neo liberal policy to get us out of this mess, as he should after having swiping the Clinton agenda during the campaign. Instead, he puts forward a hog fest, keynesian stimulus that won’t fix a thing. He refuses to nationalize banks we already own, refuses to put in competent managers, doesn’t bother with new regulation, and wants another few trillion with no strings just like the Bush administration.”

This statement in his comment is exactly right.

I wonder why we don’t hear the names Joseph Cassano or Phil Gram mentioned in as the culprits to the mess. They are genie’s’ who deregulated and sold the CDO’s (collateralized debt operations) and CDS’s (credit default swaps)after gutting the regulations(The Glass-Steagall Act) which kept insurance companies out of the banking business since it was enacted during the great depression. Phil Gram wrote the bill “Commodity Futures Modernization Act” which basically set afire all the regulations we had keeping these huge JP Morgan mafia type bankers loose on the world.
Why have these regulations not been fixed since the melt down? Why are we talking about mere Millions when Trillions are being given to these giant banking loan sharks?
We are still getting the Bushit policies rammed down our throat by Obama. “Don’t pay attention to the man behind the curtain” said the man behind the curtain! 
What is worrisome now, since they have already taken their economical steps right or wrong, is the new farce about the drug wars on our southern borders. Soon, we will have all kinds of military action going on these borders in the name of drugs just like in Columbia. If you paid attention to what they said we our job is going to be is going after the weapons which are being supplied to the Drug lords from the USA. I’m wondering just exactly is the military going to do to keep the weapons from being sold to them? I know almost every Texan has several guns. I’m thinking gun control is about to be enforced big time. 
We are all under surveillance thanks to the previous 8 years. Not because of the drug war, or because there is a terrorist problem coming from mid east, as they want the public to think, but because our country is bankrupt and soon there will be riots in the street by mobs of protesters of this system which is obviously not going to come up with a different answer other than the SOS. In the mean time they want us to be distracted with the menial shit like the tiny million dollar bonus’ compared to the trillions being dolt out to the aristocratic bankers who feel they are our betters.
tp

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By jackpine savage, March 26, 2009 at 5:03 am Link to this comment

A little background on Taibbi:

He’s seen these kinds of shenanigans before; he cut his teeth writing in Russia during the reign of the oligarchs and the neo-liberal experiment in Russia.  Some of the names from that time, like Summers who’s a good buddy of a fair number of the Russian oligarchs, have reappeared in the Obama administration.

Others who were there and watching carefully have commented that what’s happening here makes what the oligarchs did look like shoplifting.

As one who was in Russia for the “things fall apart” stage, i can tell you that it is neither fun nor pretty…and certainly not filled with with hope or change for the better.

Of course, the ones with their hands in the cookie jars became fabulously wealthy but that was a pretty thin slice of the population.  For everyone else the going was as rough as it gets.

But if you ask Larry Summers, the whole thing was a great success for free-market economics.

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By drklassen, March 26, 2009 at 4:07 am Link to this comment

@thebeerdoctor
“The real question is, and this should apply to those who prostrate themselves on the Obama altar, did you really elect a president who wants to restore this system, that he and his cohorts still think is so wonderful?”

Decrying a vote for Obama because of this mess is, at best, misleading and disingenuous since, A) he got this mess dumped on him from 30 years of previous stupidity, B) he didn’t create the bailout program [although, granted, he didn’t fight its creation], and C) there was no other viable choice—-to decry his election one would have to assume McCain would have been different and/or better, and if you believe that, I’ve got some Credit Default Swaps you can invest in.

It is fair to decry his appointments and his handling of what he was given, but let’s not pretend anyone else on the ballot in November was any better.

@christian96 Re: March 25 at 10:07 pm
You’ve got some great ideas here.  I would expand on them by claiming our election systems have been corrupted and offer the following:
1) Outlaw electronic-only voting machines—-optical scan of paper ballots should be the only e-method
2) *All* elections should be done via instant run-off voting—-you order the candidates you want instead of simply voting for one.  This would mean better chances for 3rd party candidates.
3) Lower the barriers for 3rd party candidates on the ballot—-or if you want to keep the barriers high, make them apply to the R’s and D’s too.  And when counting “percentage of votes garnered” to measure eligibility for the next ballot, ONLY first round choices (of IRV ballots) count.  This would *break* the stranglehold of the 2 party system.
4) For presidential elections, make a law that any state which uses votes to assign electors MUST assign them by voting district with only the “left-over” 2 assigned by state-wide majority.  Of course, for this to work we need…
5) After each census, and ONLY then, congressional districts are to be drawn up by independent, non- (or rather, multi-) partisan committees and not state legislatures.  At the very least, mandate that districts must be “compact” and “contiguous”—-not more gerrymanders.

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By Andrew Mendes, March 26, 2009 at 1:58 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Take a moment to write to Senator Sanders if you approve. Our representative don’t know we’re behind them unless we tell them. Simple, I know, but so few people take the time.

Then write your own Congressmen and tell them what you think. This is how to bring about change.

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By thebeerdoctor, March 25, 2009 at 11:47 pm Link to this comment

Well, it is pretty obvious on this thread that there are plenty of people who are ticked off. The Matt Taibbi article which has been linked and re-linked because of its in-depth analysis, continues to astound. I saw him on Democracy Now! with Amy Goodman, where he pointed out that the latest cake from America’s top baker, Timothy Geithner, creates the world’s largest hedge fund with the Federal government footing the bill. Privatize the possible profits, socialize the costs on to the American people… that entity that Treasury’s top pastry chef claims to be so concerned about.
The economic greed driven machine has been a long time coming. Corporations such as General Motors and General Electric, saw long ago the advantage of setting up their financial divisions, where they could create lucrative abstract financial products, as opposed to the “old school” limited margin, real products their brand names were famous for. The same could be said of the banks, who didn’t find fixed rate 30-year loans to be sexy enough; in the go-go climate of 21st economics, instruments became a euphemism for new fangled, unintelligible schemes, that were considered fine and dandy, just as long as the incoming cash continued to flow.

The real question is, and this should apply to those who prostrate themselves on the Obama altar, did you really elect a president who wants to restore this system, that he and his cohorts still think is so wonderful? But of course, like the big time successful politician that he is, President Obama has certainly benefited from the money and advice offered and accepted by his campaign from the likes of Goldman Sachs and such. He most certainly has a soft spot for these bastards, because after all, he is a made man, when it comes to the Wall Street club.
But those of his voters who still have a conscience, who refuse to turn away from the incredible inequity imposed on the people by the ownership class, maybe it is time you attempt to hold President Barry to a higher standard.

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By Sepharad, March 25, 2009 at 10:32 pm Link to this comment

samosamo, Exceptional post and analysis. Maybe someone should give you a McArthur grant to go to D.C. to reorient and reorganize those advisers wandering in the wilderness.

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By samosamo, March 25, 2009 at 9:53 pm Link to this comment

Alright, so maybe, just maybe, thinking money is not the way to look at the crisis. And as discussed on the link to bill moyers the talk was of the actual dire need for the return of transparency and regulation, albeit a little late, but none the less an essential part of any kind of recovery which I very much doubt that there will be an end to the resession by the end of the year as some such as bernanke are proclaiming. And both knuttner and donaldson had something to say about the real economy which I understood it to be anything that was not something involving hedge funds with all the derivaties but, the talk was still such to make more than too many people think the stock market is the key to a strong economy which would be the ‘real’ economy these guys talked about where the hedge funds are the gambling casinos and the false economy.

But I say, how real is our economy when we really don’t have the manfacturing base that we allowed to go off shore? Jobs gone. And, these guys didn’t even bat an eye about the federal reserve and its contribution to the crisis when the fed just dumps more money into our country under the pretext of trying to fix the economy when in reality they are magnifying the problem because every dollar they ‘loan out’ to the US is done so at interest and it is paid back by the taxpayers. I would say that even if the $10,000,000,000,000.00 figure as the cost of this financial crisis is even close, just how and when will that be paid back. Strongest reason for me to see why the federal reserve needs to go bye-bye.

Then we have to consider the natural resources. How can the same amount of growth continue as was before for all these big corporations to keep their outlandish profit margins that benefits hardly any one but those few ‘best and bright’ of a corporation when there is reported evidence that those natural resources have now peaked and actually there is now about a 20% overshoot on those resources?(that would be taking 20% more than can be replaced by the planet)

And another key point that no matter who you are and no matter how much anyone really does about ‘long term planning’, just what is to be done about the overblown growth of the human population that must be the highest priority to be taken care of at the expense of natural resources? Science won’t be able to cope with this.

Truly a most critical vector approaching of many forces and events that will make a definitive mark on the planet and the life here when it all converges. Crap, don’t forget the unpredictable unstable climate.

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By elizabethe, March 25, 2009 at 8:42 pm Link to this comment

End the entire corruption and restore democracy.

We did not have an election, we had corporate corruption of the media’s favorites forced against sanity and proper best possible leadership for real change…we had four, amongst them Ralph Nader was still offering to fix our politics to honest and real ideals that have a track and can have a future.
We have over 100 million “unaffiliated” non-partisan registered voters against 62 million in the combined two parties.  We are not split between the two corrupt parties.  We are a majority OUTSIDE at a non-partisan level entitled to CHOOSE THE BEST AT A MAJORITY RULE level and expect the BEST to WIN at least a majority, maybe a landslide.  Obama was not a choice, he was an offense to democracy and real change against incumbent corruption of military offenses.
With Obama there is nothing but the most awful in sight VIOLATIONS of everything ever cherished… (already done by Bush and Rice, and current by Obama and Hillary Clinton the most awful Secretary of State who MUST BE in violation of international law for her refusal to apologize to a non-nuclear nation, Iran, for her unconscionable statement that if Iran attacked Israel, if she were president the U.S. would have the ability to obliterate Iran.”  That is Hillary, that is NOT America.  It is Obama and Hillary and his cabinet and his economics…all offensives against all proper public policy.  All bad nothing but bad, such was hand picked to match the pretender who seems a Houdini working with the corporate corrupt media, it is indeed how he got into office, denial ofthe truth of his ugly intentions, and the media’s denial of SIX candidates.  Right now the U.S. Constitution has no commander in chief, it has a pretender who won no contest and took the politics of corruption for his villains trophy and is allowing the media to hype his takeover of an unrecognizeable country, that cannot be called Constitutional.  Coward in Chief is not legal.  Increased no limit military without real courage in front, danger not honor, no peace no diplomacy tendered, just corrupt red ink military upfront pp.116-122 (His campaign book, upfront hypocrisy of anathema proposed.)The public must remove him and demand honest politics.  Budget in the black and policies on track was offered by Ralph Nader and some fascimile of that was offered by the other three, all of whom should be given the opportunity to take the two corrupt political greedy powermongers to task for their ugly agendas of hypocrisy Oreo Cookie style, non meritorious style—corruption is NOT the goal of politics.

Obama and Hillary have NEVER accomplished anything in the public interest and they do not intend to.  They only offer ugliness, military affronts against sanity against peace against honor.

Mr. Sheer, check out Obama’s campaign INTENTIONS, all are ugly, all are Oreo Cookie lies of heinous affronts to sanity, start with your pretended cuts, see how increases fit the pretense of cuts…
Or admit, no government exists until unless the truth is allowed by the media.  Obama is no President and there was no election. Cynicism is not offering ideals nor reality.  Threatening the skies, land, and sea globally, that is OBAMA’S PLATFORM IN HIS BOOK “Rebuilding Americas Leadership” is only ugliness not leadership, military increases is all he understands, and of course, he does not understand that…he has to be in front, and likely should and can be shot, tomorrow, it is not soon enough.  HE EXPECTS, OF COURSE TO SURVIVE IN THE UNCLE TOMS CABIN (aka The White House) WHILE THE SOLDIERS ALL DIE EN MASSE.  (Obama bombed our own troops in Afghanistan)I suggest what is necessary is STOP OBAMA. His cabinet matches him very well, not a surprise, all ugly all failing the people at one hundred percent as well as the proper use of taxes for honest government for people not corporate warmongering against the world!

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By Outraged, March 25, 2009 at 8:02 pm Link to this comment

An article that is a must read by Matt Taibbi, @ RollingStone.  Unbelievable.

A couple of excerts:
The mistake most people make in looking at the financial crisis is thinking of it in terms of money, a habit that might lead you to look at the unfolding mess as a huge bonus-killing downer for the Wall Street class. But if you look at it in purely Machiavellian terms, what you see is a colossal power grab that threatens to turn the federal government into a kind of giant Enron - a huge, impenetrable black box filled with self-dealing insiders whose scheme is the securing of individual profits at the expense of an ocean of unwitting involuntary shareholders, previously known as taxpayers. (pg. 1)

And:
“If you look at the weekly H4 reports going back to the summer of 2007, you start to notice something alarming. At the start of the credit crunch, around August of that year, you see the Fed buying a few more Repos than usual - $33 billion or so. By November, as private-bank reserves were dwindling to alarmingly low levels, the Fed started injecting even more cash than usual into the economy: $48 billion. By late December, the number was up to $58 billion; by the following March, around the time of the Bear Stearns rescue, the Repo number had jumped to $77 billion. In the week of May 1st, 2008, the number was $115 billion - “out of control now,” according to one congressional aide. For the rest of 2008, the numbers remained similarly in the stratosphere, the Fed pumping as much as $125 billion of these short-term loans into the economy - until suddenly, at the start of this year, the number drops to nothing. Zero. (pg. 7)

If this doesn’t perk your interest nothing will.

http://www.alternet.org/workplace/132859/the_big_takeover:_how_wall_street_insiders_are_using_the_bailout_to_stage_a_revolution/?page=1

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By wildflower, March 25, 2009 at 7:32 pm Link to this comment

Re:NYCartist: “I like what Bernie Sanders said . . . very few people understand all this . . . (the derivatives) and he implied that there’s something wrong . . .”

Sanders is not alone. Former Chair of the Securities and Exchange Commission, William Donaldson, also thought there was something wrong them: 

WILLIAM DONALDSON: . . . we’ve created a number of instruments . . . in particular derivative. . . instruments . . . not necessarily understood in their entirety.

BILL MOYERS: Let me tell you, I don’t understand them.

WILLIAM DONALDSON: Well I’m not sure that many of the people that buy them understand them. I have a feeling that somewhere there’s an institution that’s just bought a derivative and they don’t understand what they bought.

ROBERT KUTTNER: You know, the problem is that in the old days when a bank examiner went to a bank and looked at . . .  loans, the examiner could tell which of the loans were performing. . . Which ones weren’t . . . And the examiner could direct the bank to reserve assets against the risk of a loan default.

Well, today it’s a kind of a regulatory black box. The regulators are relying on the banks’ own so-called stress models, which make certain assumptions about human behavior. And we just had a full field test of this in the sub-prime mortgage meltdown. The models didn’t work. Behavior wasn’t supposed to occur along these lines.

And a lot of this turned out to be junk. And a lot of innocent people got hurt. And the only reason the economy didn’t crash was the Fed. .  . opened the spigots. And so even though the sub-prime sector is a complete mess, the stock market . .  . hit new highs.

Why? Because the more alarmed the Fed is about the economy, the more the Fed is gonna lower money. And that’s good for the stock market.

ROBERT KUTTNER: I mean Alan Greenspan, is one of the revered public figures of our time. I think he made one huge mistake — he did not use a lot of the regulatory power that he had. Every time there was a credit crunch, he would race to the rescue.

BILL MOYERS: By putting in cheap money?

ROBERT KUTTNER: Yeah. So it seems to me, if you’re gonna bail out—problems after the fact, you have an obligation to prevent some of them before they start. And for 13 years, Greenspan’s Fed and now Bernanke’s Fed has had not just the authority but the mandate from Congress to look at mortgage loan origination standards. Had they issued regulations under that authority, you never would have had a sub-prime crisis because they would have gone in and noticed that loans were being made that people couldn’t possibly pay off. And the only reason they were being made was that somebody at the end of the daisy chain was willing to buy the paper.

http://www.pbs.org/moyers/journal/10122007/watch.html

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By christian96, March 25, 2009 at 7:07 pm Link to this comment

To: Bogglesthemind-“Have we jumped out of the pot
into the fire?”  YES! YES! YES! Is our electoral
process somewhat out of date? YES! YES! YES! Why don’t we ask the candidates to name who they would
appoint to positions BEFORE THE ELECTIONS!  Then,
have those appointees describe specific plans in
writing how they would correct problems confronting
our nation. Then, we could be voting on plans instead of personalities for President!  It would
also be wise to divide the country into a number of
sections and ask intellectuals(educated or not) within those sections
to submitt ideas to a panel in that section of ideas
for correcting or preventing problems facing our nation. The independent panels in each section could
be composed of university professors, small business
persons, labor leaders, common people, etc. The ideas
from each section would be placed online and submitted to a national panel which would meet in a
different location each year. The national panel could submitt the best suggestions to each political
party who would choose their platform from the choices and place them online and other independent
media from which the electorate could make choices.
IT’S TIME TO VOTE ON IDEAS NOT PERSONALITIES! Come
on folks we are living in the 21st century. Let’s
start acting like it!
for correcting the nation’s problems

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By drklassen, March 25, 2009 at 6:08 pm Link to this comment

@Sepharad: I can suggest a few names—-Paul Krugman, Joseph Stiglitz, or even George Soros.

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By bogglesthemind, March 25, 2009 at 5:30 pm Link to this comment

“Summers, Gensler, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and their über mentor, Rubin”

Have we jumped out of the pot and into the fire?

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By Sepharad, March 25, 2009 at 5:20 pm Link to this comment

Robert Scheer, you ask a good question: “Aren’t there better folks out there..?” I don’t know. Are there? Who would you suggest? (Robert Reich, now at UC-Berkeley?) We all seem to agree on who we don’t want, but no one is suggesting who would do a better job. Maybe someone should ask Bernie Sanders for a few names. What about Paul Krugman for oversight and choices?

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By samosamo, March 25, 2009 at 5:19 pm Link to this comment

Obama has, what, a little over a month until the first 100 days are finished? Well, he has just about made me think that he is the wrong person for president. I did not vote for him due to his bowing low for corporate america and the izraelis. And more and more obama is proving he is the corporate man. The only tid bit of ‘feel good’ is that mccain was did not get elected. Everything obama claims to do is nothing but corporate agendas and further enrichment of the ‘elite’.

And obama still thinks he will fix the economy with this idea of selecting another cause of the problems of today and it stinks like a rotting corpse. It is a veritable slap in face of the american people as just about anyone in clinton’s administration is a bluedog, meaning that corporate agendas first and the people absolutely last.

So, for me the big crack in this little charade is the ‘urgent need to get the stock market to go up’. I must have missed that day when it is determined that the stock market is the best indicator of how strong our economy really is, though I do remember the last occupant of the white house was just plain giddy about how strong our economy was because the market was doing so well. Well, look at us now, nowhere because the stock market only benefits those who can afford to get in the market and that is in essense helping the investors who are not the average citizen, especially not now.


I truly believe that we are past the point of a recovery and that the only say of some type of recovery is that the whole debt the last 40 year of incompetent government leadership and action be erased, poof, gone. Then shut down the federal reserve and go after those teasonous greedy traitors to the United States and make the reimburse this country and put them in jail for a long long time.

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By TC, March 25, 2009 at 4:10 pm Link to this comment

The President of the Incorporated Estates of Earth got along with everyone, as if he wanted to. I found this odd, him odd, which is no matter. I’m not the president and could never be. I am too opinionated. Too impatient. Too blunt, in my own mind if no way else. I am the Official Sloganeer of the IEE.

The topic the President wished to discuss: the rebel insurgency deep in the heart of the Incorporated Estates of Earth.

Typically we ignore the rebels, the best strategy: First you ignore them, then you blast them, then you agree with them if need be – or plausibly pretend to agree – what cost a bit of rhetoric? – then you win. Again.

What I found most distressing and yet daunting and daring about the President is that he does not seem interested in winning. He assumes it. He is a winner. He wins. He gets along with everyone, not least those who fund him into power. This strikes me as terribly indiscriminate. He is willing to get along with anyone, even the rebels so long as playing nice does not cost him his job, or his funders – the banks and the incorporated estates, the class of the IEE – their power.

So the President plays nice and wins and called me in to deal with the rebels. He tells me it is my job to play nice with the rebels. Not in so many words, but I get it. He wants me to give the rebels the velvet glove covering the iron fist, via the brilliant tongue. He wants me to cut the rebels to size as if making love to them with a rock. First you ignore them, then you blast them, then you pretend to agree with them (if need be), then you win. “Do you understand?”

“I understand, sir.”

“The rebels are IEEans like us. Only poorer, or disenchanted, or just cantankerous. We need them to love the IEE. They need to love the IEE. For their own good. For our own good. For the good. You see?”

“I think I know exactly what you mean, sir.”

“I need a speech. Soon. I plan to address the rebels personally, visit their camp. I need real face-to-face words. Words that go beyond the teleprompter. Words that are easy to memorize. Easy to take deep into the heart. From my heart to their heart? Can you write that for me? I know you can. Yes, you can.”

“You write it now for me, sir. You have a knack, that gift. You touch their hearts. You solace the vassals of the IEE.”

http://apracticalpolicy.org/2009/03/22/lesson-fifteen-first-you-ignore-them/

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By marcus medler, March 25, 2009 at 3:58 pm Link to this comment
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It seems that the white house,the capitol,the supreme court are mortgaged to citibank and fellow gangs. Now the country by malfeasance of washington office holders is too. The answer is to spend nothing, borrow nothing and ready the tar and feathers.

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By KH Marz, March 25, 2009 at 3:52 pm Link to this comment
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Wildflower: “Why is Sanders the only one on Capital Hill expressing a concern about “conflicts of interest” and the repeal of the Glass-Steagall Act?”

Because he is the only one who is not a part of the Republicrat Oligarchy Club. American citizens are going to have to form an alliance to create a 3rd Party to challenge the current system.  Otherwise we can all wave goodbye to what remains of the USA.  Does anyone still doubt that we are becoming the Union of Corporate Capitalist Republics?  Socialism for the rich, 21st feudalism for the middle & working class.  It’s way beyond time for a change.

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By Ribald, March 25, 2009 at 3:15 pm Link to this comment
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It’s like the movie Independence Day, except the president’s advisors are aliens who recommend pillaging the Earth so that their ships have enough fuel to leave. Who is he supposed to trust? The populists that savagely demand that the aliens be held responsible? Don’t worry: once they have enough fuel to leave, we’ll put a big sign in space that will prevent future invasions. It will read:

  “Trespassers will face capital bombardment”

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