Economics (Justice,Greed,Tax) Nazism, Fascism

Do We Not Want to Know -Where Do They Send the Money??

Our highly reputable (not) Bush Administration wants $700 BILLION (take my word for it – that’s a lot of bucks) to hand out when and if it pleases to whomever it pleases without accountability either now or in the future.

Are you kidding me?

Nope. Not kidding. Just like with massive tax cuts early in Bush’s tenure, “No Child Left Behind” (very inappropriately named), weapons of mass destruction that didn’t exist, the invasion of Iraq, FISA overhaul… One after another astronomical and unjustified commitment of American resources and prestige has been sold to Congress, Republicans AND Democrats, with the only rationale being FEAR. And we are stuck holding the bag.

Bush says, in effect, “Be afraid. Be VERY afraid.”

Last time around, FDR took just the opposite tack.

So, first of all, let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself — nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror…

Over and over and over Bush gets exactly or very nearly what he asks. They trust him. They surrender to his “analysis” of situations. That, as I recall, is a common definition of insanity. Do the same thing over and over and expect different results. Remember Lucy and Charlie Brown and the football?

But my point here is that, although many attentive and intelligent observers saw a major financial crisis coming, the media in general and the public in general apparently did not even want to talk about it; or at least the media didn’t.

This is from Media Matters. They did a study of the recent Presidential primary debate series. There were a lot of debates – Republican candidates against Republican candidates and Democratic candidates against Democratic candidates.

Out of a total of 2,300 questions asked in 31 debates,

* Only six touched on the growing crisis in the mortgage industry.
* Only three mentioned the minimum wage.
* Only two touched on the issue of declining wages.

“Only six”!!! out of 2,300!!!

Am I surprised? Not at all.[click_to_tweet tweet=”My own kids and grandkids and great grandkids may well suffer more intensely and a lot longer. And there’s NO REASON for it!” quote=”My own kids and grandkids and great grandkids may well suffer more intensely and a lot longer. And there’s NO REASON for it!”]

But I am offended. I may shuffle off this mortal coil in the next 30 years or so. I will suffer from our neglect and irresponsibility. But a whole lot of people, including my own kids and grandkids and great grandkids may well suffer more intensely and a lot longer. And there’s NO REASON for it! We are a smart and energetic people. We could have been facing and handling these things as – or before – they developed.

There were dozens of questions about oil prices, but only three questions about conservation and renewable energy. There was only one question about warrantless wiretapping, and only two questions about the prison at Guantanamo.

Candidates facing each other and answering questions in real time COULD be a good way for us to learn about them. But only if they are asked things that matter.

Simply put, the primary debates were a disaster. With a few exceptions, the media figures who moderated the debates focused on endless rehashes of campaign gaffes, pointless dissections of political tactics, and issues of personality. As a result, critical issues were pushed aside. In fact, the vast majority of questions had little or nothing to do with the challenges facing the country and our next president.

Of course, they do that because people aren’t interested, right? Or maybe people don’t follow the discussions because the discussions are so often meaningless. I suppose that’s possible.

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  • I meant to post this in but our server went out. From this blog (a good one –

    Ilargi: Today, I look out over what will soon be an entire continent of ruins, and I got to tell you, I get physically sick watching in my mind’s eye what I see unfold. I’ll open today with a clip from Dave Letterman’s show last night. Yeah, that’s right, on the heels of Daily Show’s John Oliver quipping that the out-of-hand superfast-growing-spreading Shrubs-on-steroids who’ve killed all other vegetation in this land don’t just want American children to eat roadkill, they want them to fight over it, I get back to comedy once more.

    It’s sick and sad that the only real information I get from the media is through comedy shows. Why do you think Jon Stewart is the man these days? “Serious” newsmakers are not allowed to vent their anger at what goes on, no matter how justified. So we turn to humor to understand what happens. We also do so because we need to laugh in the face of impending disaster. I don’t think even one in a million has a conscious clue how grave it will be, but I do think many have nagging neurons whose activity gets ever harder to deny. Yet, denial is what we do best.

    And that’s why we need to laugh. But don’t for a moment think it will be you who has the last laugh.

    I don’t think Letterman understands the economy; neither do I think it’s easy to get him angry. But last night he was. And then he’s at his best. It’s a pity that he wasn’t over the past decade, that it took people like him and Jon Stewart all the way till September 2008 to get to the point. It’s not fair, I know, to put the conscience of a continent in the hands of a handful of guys whose only wish is to be funny, but at the same time, that’s where it is, whether they like it or not.

    Paul Krugman, professor and New York Times columnist, is not an angry man either. And while he has critical views, nobody in their right mind would label him a doomer. But Krugman is as angry as Letterman. It’s a shame that he feels the need to veil his anger behind polite words. Krugman knows what’s going on, but he still can’t bring himself to say it. Instead, he says:

    But there’s another possible explanation, which I find terrifyingly plausible: the plan came first, and all this stuff about price discovery is an after-the-fact rationalization, invented when people started asking questions.

    But I will say it. It’s clear by now that the Paulson plan, the $700 billion one that will cost $7 trillion, was not hastily put together. It had been on the shelf for a long time, waiting for the right time to hit the stage lights, much like a lurking killer influenza virus. The right time is the one, today, when the economy is at its weakest, when people are filled with fear about something they do not understand. They’re not trying to save the economy, they’re trying to liquidate it, and take it over.

    This is the time the US political system has chosen to unleash the tried tactic of Shock and Awe upon its own people. This is what Naomi Klein calls disaster capitalism. Pick up a copy of her Shock Doctrine. The same thing has been played out by the US, the IMF, the World Bank and all their accomplices throughout the planet, for decades. It’s not the Shrub cabal that’s behind it, this has been going on under Democratic rule just as much. And now it will be tested at home.

    Word this morning is that the plan is about to be signed. Word is also that the FDIC needs hundreds of billions of dollars. Which are not included in the plan. Hence, once the plan is signed and sealed, and Paulson is appointed by his peers as the crisis dictator of the world economy, he will come back to Congress with the next trillion dollar emergency that must be solved within a timeframe that leaves no space for due diligence.

    The underlying message for the public eye is that the housing market must be stabilized. But that is impossible at present price levels. At these levels, not nearly enough homes can be sold. Not now, and not ten years from now. Yet, if prices come down to affordable levels, perhaps as much as 50 million American home owners will own as much as 5 times more on their mortgages than their homes are worth. That means debt servitude, which means poverty and misery and mass foreclosures as well as mass unemployment. And that in turn will turn America into a land of hoovervilles and tent cities, into Shantyland.

    Because of the Paulson plan, and the upcoming FDIC bail-out, and whatever comes next, all they had left will be gone too.

    Note: On September 30, a walloping amount of US corporate debt needs to be refinanced. The Friends of Hank will start robbing the corpses of their jewelry and golden teeth October 1st.

    Note 2: To assess the health of US banks, this might be useful: Bill Gross at Pimco, the no 1 US bondtrader, says he was offered: “We were offered a sizeable piece of a six month Morgan Stanley obligation at a yield of 25 percent.”

    Got that? A 25% return on one of the sole two remaining Wall Street banks. How comfortable are you feeling right now?

    China banks told to halt lending to US banks

    Chinese regulators have told domestic banks to stop interbank lending to U.S. financial institutions to prevent possible losses during the financial crisis, the South China Morning Post reported on Thursday.

    The Hong Kong newspaper cited unidentified industry sources as saying the instruction from the China Banking Regulatory Commission (CBRC) applied to interbank lending of all currencies to U.S. banks but not to banks from other countries.

    “The decree appears to be Beijing’s first attempt to erect defences against the deepening U.S. financial meltdown after the mainland’s major lenders reported billions of U.S. dollars in exposure to the credit crisis,” the SCMP said.


    John McCain Cancels Letterman: ‘This doesn’t smell right’

    “In the middle of the taping Dave got word that McCain was, in fact just down the street being interviewed by Katie Couric. Dave even cut over to the live video of the interview, and said, “Hey Senator, can I give you a ride home?”

    Earlier in the show, Dave kept saying, “You don’t suspend your campaign. This doesn’t smell right. This isn’t the way a tested hero behaves.” And he joked: “I think someone’s putting something in his metamucil.”

    “He can’t run the campaign because the economy is cratering? Fine, put in your second string quarterback, Sarah Palin. Where is she?”

    “What are you going to do if you’re elected and things get tough? Suspend being president? We’ve got a guy like that now!”

  • Bush has cried wolf one too many times. He’s used propaganda and fear to control.

    “Once a government resorts to terror against its own population to get what it wants, it must keep using terror against its own population to get what it wants. A government that terrorizes its own people can never stop. If such a government ever lets the fear subside and rational thought return to the populace, that government is finished.”—Michael Rivero.

    McCain’s antics to suspend the campaign are pathetic while Palin’s interview with Couric is laughable and comic. I’m very excited about Obama’s stand and that he keeps pressing on. We really need to keep lifting him up in prayer now and that God give him wisdom.

  • Larry, thanks for this post.

    You´re right, it´s insane.

    And if there´s so much as one other Christian website dedicating itself to this outrage, that´s news to me (Did they all get raptured? Just kidding. I guess it´s too late for a “pre-tribulation rapture” for the half of the world who have been swindled, pillaged and enslaved to debt to serve as the next Ponzi victims in the finance racketeering chain, particularly Iraq…)

    So. All I have are of course secular sources to add as links here…

    From this site (

    Sept 24, 2008

    Bailout Games
    What an amazing spectacle to watch the Senate hearings on C-Span last night with Treasury Sec’y Hank Paulson, Fed Chief Ben Bernanke, and SEC chairman Chris Cox.
    Most conspicuous was Paulson’s tortured squirming as he avoided the outstanding question at issue, which is whether holders of securitized debt of dubious value can simply dump them on the US Treasury in exchange for “real money?” Paulson wants the holders of these things (called “assets” but which are really liabilities) to be able to exchange them for whatever price they say they are worth. This bypasses the fundamental process of markets establishing the price of a security (otherwise known as “mark-to-market”).
    Notice that this is essentially a swindle.
    Notice that many of the holders of this paper are the same people (and companies) that created it.
    Notice that the company headed until recently by Treasury Sec’y Paulson (former CEO of Goldman Sachs), was not only in the forefront of engineering these debt securities, but that an office within Goldman Sachs was shorting the very securities that they were creating and selling to other banks, pension funds, and municipal investment funds?
    The US Senate and Congress are being squeezed very hard to pass desperate enabling legislation that would allow the dumping of all this worthless paper. Their desperation may overcome even the wrath of their constituents, who are catching on to this scam. However, I’m not convinced that anything they pass will, in fact, stabilize the collapse of this house-of-cards. Many additional horrors are waiting in the wings to work their own hoodoo, including the fiasco of credit default swaps (another swindle class of investment paper), and the debacle of credit card default along with automobile re-pos. Meanwhile nothing prevents the continued slide of house prices back to (and probably beyond) parity with incomes — not to mention the gathering losses of incomes (i.e. jobs) that will wring more solvency out of the American public.

    Sept 9, 2008

    The Party That Wrecked America

    It’s official: John McCain and Sarah Palin are up in the latest polls now that the conventions are over. This is a positive development. It will give the Obama-Biden campaign incentive to get serious. It would have been a disaster for Obama-Biden to come out of this past week ahead. It might have prompted them to kick back and be complacent.
    McCain-Palin have nowhere to go now but down, and I will tell you exactly how this will happen. They can run away from President Bush, but they can’t run away from the Republican Party. The Republicans will be regarded from now on as “the party that wrecked America.” Over the weeks ahead, as carnage in the economy and the financial markets ramps up, it will become increasingly clear. It is important that this meme be spread through the internet. I urge all commentators who read this blog to adopt and spread the idea that the Republicans are “the party that wrecked America.” It will work because it is the truth. Use it freely. Don’t bother attributing it to me. Just spread the word. Get the meme going.

    Quote of the day: Mike Morgan on bad debt contagion in the financials:

    “This is a virus, with a 100% kill rate. This is a pandemic, the likes of which we have never seen. This is only something that can be fixed after we kill all the players that carry the virus, because the virus only dies when the host is dead. The hosts are the sick financial institutions being run by crooked executives, regulated by incompetent regulators, appointed by blissfully ignorant politicians and at the end of the line is a judicial system that is without power to do anything.”