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And, yes, I DO take it personally: 09/21/2008 - 09/28/2008
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And, yes, I DO take it personally

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Dear Senator: "If you vote for this bill, you will not get my vote in the next election"

it's not very often i urge people to phone, email, write or fax anybody, but, after sending off three sets of emails and two sets of faxes to my senators, reid and ensign, wherein i threatened to withdraw my support for them in perpetuity if they supported and voted for the bailout bill, i read this on mish's global economic trend analysis and was moved to put up a post...
Sample Fax

Dear Senator/Congressional Leader

The Paulson plan is not workable. It is a sellout to corporate America at taxpayer expense.

Nouriel Roubini: "Paulson Plan is a Disgrace"

On Friday, Nouriel Roubini, the most widely respected economist in the country stated...

"The Treasury plan is a disgrace: a bailout of reckless bankers, lenders and investors that provides little direct debt relief to borrowers and financially stressed households and that will come at a very high cost to the US taxpayer. And the plan does nothing to resolve the severe stress in money markets and interbank markets that are now close to a systemic meltdown."

Former FDIC Chairman Weighs In

"Bailout Plan Will Not 'Work' in Current Form"

Mad Rush To Financial Judgment

On Friday we heard president Bush and Paulson, preach the same set of lies they have preached before.
  • There can be no delay.
  • Sweeping new Powers for the Fed are needed.
  • The Treasury needs $700 billion dollars.
  • There is no time to study alternatives.
In your heart you know all of the above are lies. It was the very same mad rush to judgment that started the Iraq War. We do not need and cannot afford a financial mad rush to judgment.

Thee odds of failure on the Paulson plan are 100%. The Paulson plan will not create any jobs or help homeowners pay their bills. Instead it diverts $700 billion of taxpayer funds to failed banks that took excessive risks. The sheer size of the bailout will cause interest rates to rise, further adding to taxpayer woes.

Long term interest rates are already up a half point on news of this bill. They will rise more if it passes. How is that supposed to help homeowners?

Robbing taxpayers to pay failed banks cannot possibly work!

Printing money and giving it away cannot work either. If it did work, Zimbabwe would be the most prosperous nation in the world.

190+ Economists Slam Bailout

Over 190 top economists in the country have slammed this bailout on grounds of fairness, ambiguity, and long term effects.

Paul O'Neil Is Against The Plan

Former Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill said today that our nation's leaders -- especially President Bush -- are "in a panic" and haven't thought through the $700 billion bailout plan in a rush to pass it by the end of the week.

"I don't think he understands or knows much about any of this and it shows. It is possible to re-liquefy the credit system without 'We the People' owning $700 billion worth of homes," he said.

BB&T Corp. Chief Executive Officer John Allison critiques the plan

Treasury "is totally dominated by Wall Street investment bankers" and "cannot be relied on to objectively assess" the impact of government policy on the financial industry, Allison wrote in a Sept. 23 letter to Congress.

The letter was verified by Bob Denham, a spokesman for BB&T, North Carolina's third-largest bank.
  • What is it that Paulson knows that 190+ economists don't?

  • What is it that Paulson knows that William Isaac, former chairman of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. does not know?

  • What is it that Paulson knows that former Treasury Secretary O'Neil does not know?

  • What is it that Paulson knows that small bank CEOs who avoided this mess do not know?

  • What is it that Paulson knows that Roubini does not know?

Remember it was Paulson who was telling us all how safe the US Banking system was just a few weeks ago.

Roubini: "It is a disgrace that no professional economist was consulted by Congress or invited to present his/her views at the Congressional hearings on the Treasury rescue plan."

Block This Bill

Our prayers are with you that you have the courage to stand up do what you know you must do: Block This Bill.

I cannot and will not vote for any member of Congress who votes for this bill in its current form or anything remotely close to the current form.

This insane rush to push something through, is wrong. If you vote for this bill, you will not get my vote in the next election. It is as simple as that.

It is time to scrap the Paulson Plan and start all over. Doing nothing is far better than wasting $700 billion in a Wall Street Bailout Boondoggle that puts an already stressed taxpayer in further jeopardy.

Your Name
Your Phone Number

Please fax everyone on this list.

Sen. Richard Shelby (R) 202-224-3416 or 202-224-5137 (try both not sure which is correct)
Sen. Harry Reid (D) 202-224-7327
Sen. Jim DeMint (R) 202-228-5143
Sen. John Ensign (R) 202-228-2193
Sen. Jim Bunning (R) 202-228-1373
Sen. Chuck Grassley (R) 202-224-6020
Sen John McCain (R) 202-228-2862

Sen. Barack Obama 202-228-4260
Sen. John D. Rockefeller 202-224-7665
Sen. Dianne Feinstein 202-228-3954
Sen. Ron Wyden 202-228-2717
Sen. Evan Bayh 202-228-1377
Sen. Barbara Mikulski 202-224-8858
Sen. Bill Nelson 202-228-2183
Sen. John Kerry 202-224-8525
Sen. Daniel Inouye 202-224-6747
Sen. Hillary Clinton 202-228-0282

Those inclined should also fax their own senators as well.

they're meeting as we speak, so get to faxin', people...

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No, I didn't watch it

i debated with myself about watching it for a while before it started, but when the time rolled around i thought, "nah..." i generally find it very painful to watch those things and instead usually read about it via live-blogging and news reports... so, this morning after reading the overnights, i'm just as glad i didn't watch... (btw, i would experience nearly identical pain watching american idol...)

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Friday, September 26, 2008

Three cheers for Paraguay's new president

Fernando Lugo

yes, there's definitely something to applaud here...
Paraguay President Fernando Lugo, while attending both the UN General Assembly meetings and the Clinton Global Initiative, shared with friends over dinner some of the other meetings he had been having in New York.

After enumerating the various heads of state he'd met with, the room went silent and then laughed a bit when he confided that he was approached about meeting with GOP Vice Presidential candidate and Alaska Governor Sarah Palin.

President Lugo said he turned the meeting down.

but, lemme tell ya, it was THIS that got me choked up...
The 57-year-old left-leaning former Catholic bishop known locally as "bishop of the poor," was elected to office in April. His swearing in marked the first time in Paraguay's history since the country gained independence that an opposition party turned over power peacefully to a candidate elected from the other party.

Lugo has also refused his presidential salary, saying it "belongs to more humble people." He joined the priesthood in 1977 and was ordained a bishop in 1994 before resigning in 2006 to run for office.

O.M.G...! a man of the PEOPLE...!?!? a PUBLIC SERVANT...!?!? what's this world coming to...!?!?

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The Bailout Scheme


(many thanks to vern at ooibc...)

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Thursday, September 25, 2008

WaMu goes down

wamu is a really big card and i don't think its fall is going to help those who are pushing for the bailout...

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Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Naomi Wolf weighs in on Sarah Palin, "FrankenBarbie"

i think naomi wolf is a truth-teller, one of the few people who, when i hear her speak or read what she has written, i respond to it immediately and intuitively as truth... in this article that first appeared in the huffington post and then in today's alternet, she takes a somewhat different view of sarah palin than i did with my "deck chair on the titanic" snark below... sadly, i don't disagree with her...

it's a somewhat lengthy article but well worth the time spent reading it... here's a teaser...

I believe the Rove-Cheney cabal is using Sarah Palin as a stalking horse, an Evita figure, to put a popular, populist face on the coming police state and be the talk show hostess for the end of elections as we know them. If McCain-Palin get in, this will be the last true American election. She will be working for Halliburton, KBR, Rove and Cheney into the foreseeable future -- for a decade perhaps -- a puppet "president" for the same people who have plundered our treasure, are now holding the US economy hostage and who murdered four thousand brave young men and women in a way of choice and lies.

not many people out there are capable of grasping the big picture, much less articulating it... naomi wolf is one of them...

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A brief intermission

as some of you may have noticed, i'm no longer breathlessly and obsessively blogging the daily stream of bad news altho', lord knows, there's still plenty of it out there... our overlords and their minions in the media are still trying their best to paralyze us with fear, but endless speculation on the horrors of a mccain/palin administration or whether or not obama has arab blood seems to me as obscene in its way as the cosmic-scale felony grand theft being proposed by our masters and getting solemn nods of approval from our elected but not at all representative leaders...

i find myself increasingly frustrated and impatient with the blogosphere as a whole and with the so-called progressive, liberal side of it in particular... i was especially annoyed with poll-obsessed, crisis-denier, sports-trivia freak markos' orgy of self-congratulation on palin's fall in the polls (here, here and here), justifying his site's obsession with her every facial tic as being in large part responsible for her recent deline in popularity and trumpeting that it was a chapter right out of his new book... well, woo-hoo... trust me, i couldn't be happier to see sarah palin on a luge run to the bottom but, with the very foundations of our country under desperate assault and the endgame playing out before our very eyes, sarah palin is little more than a deck chair on the titanic... (and to be fair, it's not just daily kos... americablog, think progress, and emptywheel, among others, are just as bad...)

yes, i have devoted some time and space recently to the continuing financial meltdown, but i'm trying to only focus on the biggest and most-noteworthy developments, developments that i believe are leading to a major transformation of the world as we know it... it seems to me that things are building to some sort of indeterminate (1) but inevitable (2) climax (3) that i personally have been waiting for, first unconsciously, and then both intuitively and consciously, all of my life... as things continue to evolve, and when i see things that strike me as particularly relevant in the lead-up to that climax, i will offer the occasional post... in between times, i will be here, watching and waiting...·de·ter·mi·nate
\ˌin-di-ˈtərm-nət, -ˈtər-mə-\
Function: adjective
Etymology: Middle English indeterminat, from Late Latin indeterminatus, from Latin in- + determinatus, past participle of determinare to determine
Date: 14th century

1 a: not definitely or precisely determined or fixed : vague b: not known in advance c: not leading to a definite end or result
2: having an infinite number of solutions
3: being one of the seven undefined mathematical expressions

2. in·ev·i·ta·ble
Pronunciation: \i-ˈne-və-tə-bəl\
Function: adjective
Etymology: Middle English, from Latin inevitabilis, from in- + evitabilis evitable
Date: 14th century

: incapable of being avoided or evaded

3. cli·max
Pronunciation: \ˈklī-ˌmaks\
Function: noun
Etymology: Late Latin, from Greek klimax, literally, ladder, from klinein to lean
Date: circa 1550

1: a figure of speech in which a series of phrases or sentences is arranged in ascending order of rhetorical forcefulness
2 a: the highest point : culmination b: the point of highest dramatic tension or a major turning point in the action (as of a play) c: orgasm d: menopause

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Monday, September 22, 2008

Noam Chomsky

Quite possibly the most honest, insightful man alive today.

I wish there were a million more like him.


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"Every market is just out of control right now." So, how's that bailout workin' for ya, eh...?

if this obscene bailout goes through, our government is going to have a revolt on its hands... i don't see how it can be avoided... anybody who's paying the slightest bit of attention can't fail to miss that this is robbery, pure and simple... i think the fall in stocks, the rise in oil prices and the fall of the dollar is testament to the fact that there's a hell of a lot of people out there who not only think the bailout is a bad idea and may not pass but also that things stand to get considerably worse...
Stocks fell sharply and oil prices suddenly spiked on Monday as investors anxiously waited for Washington lawmakers to hash out the details of the biggest government bailout in history — a politically fraught process that will create a new slate of winners and losers on Wall Street.

That uncertainty, about a shaken financial system still in flux, appeared to spook investors away from assets tied directly to the health of the American government. The dollar dropped sharply against the euro, and oil prices jumped, closing up more than $16 a barrel.

The Dow Jones industrials closed down 372 points after spending the day deep in negative territory. The broader Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index finished down 3.8 percent.

“What can I say? Every market is just out of control right now,” said Tom Bentz, an energy analyst at BNP Paribas.

ferchrissake, let's let the house of cards fall down already...

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A Call To Action

This message needs to be spread.

Almost everyone has heard, or read about, some of the traitorous and treasonous things Hanoi Johnny did while he was a SOB POW in Hanoi. Articles by Phillip Butler, and others that were POWs at the same time as McCain are troubling, to say the least.

This is the latest, dug up by AlterNet.

Republicans Allege McCain Covered Up His Collaboration with the North Vietnamese While a POW

By Steven Rosenfeld, AlterNet. Posted September 21, 2008.

Allegations resurface that McCain made propaganda statements and tried to keep Viet Cong records about him classified.

1992 video featuring a Republican senator, Republican congressman and top Capitol Hill staffers who worked on Vietnam prisoner of war and missing in action issues say John McCain collaborated with North Vietnamese while a POW, and then covered up that involvement to the detriment of POW/MIA families seeking access to classified Pentagon records about their own family members.

The video raises probing questions about the 2008 Republican presidential nominee's war record, especially after McCain made his captivity a major part of his qualifications for the presidency at the Republican National Convention. In 2004, the GOP focused on Democratic nominee John Kerry's war record to criticize his candidacy.

To date, the video has been posted on a handful of blogs but has been ignored by the mainstream media. While it features Republican stalwarts on POW/MIA issues, it also suggests that McCain's war records at the Pentagon and in North Vietnam would reveal potentially very controversial details about the GOP's presidential candidate.

Watch the video.

It is imperative that we all spread this message to as many as possible. Post it on your Blog or Website, send a link of this post, or the following URL link to everyone in your address book, and tell everyone you talk to about it.

We need to demand to see these records, or have him explain why we shouldn't see them. By spreading this message far and wide, it will apply pressure on the MSM to get to the bottom of this. The only thing the MSM hates as much as losing advertising revenue, is the public perception that the bloggers have 'scooped' them on a story.

Do it now!

Cross-posted at the Blog of Revelation.

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View from the UK: energy, hope, light gravitates to Obama; McCain/Palin is a ticket to another cave of hell

i read an article in the sf chronicle yesterday which clicked with me and i forwarded it on to a friend in the uk...

first, here's the essence of the article...

I've heard from far too many enormously smart, wise, spiritually attuned people who've been intuitively blown away by Obama's presence - not speeches, not policies, but sheer presence - to say it's just a clever marketing ploy, a slick gambit carefully orchestrated by hotshot campaign organizers who, once Obama gets into office, will suddenly turn from perky optimists to vile soul-sucking lobbyist whores, with Obama as their suddenly evil, cackling overlord.

Here's where it gets gooey. Many spiritually advanced people I know (not coweringly religious, mind you, but deeply spiritual) identify Obama as a Lightworker, that rare kind of attuned being who has the ability to lead us not merely to new foreign policies or health care plans or whatnot, but who can actually help usher in a new way of being on the planet, of relating and connecting and engaging with this bizarre earthly experiment. These kinds of people actually help us evolve. They are philosophers and peacemakers of a very high order, and they speak not just to reason or emotion, but to the soul.

i usually only identify myself as a deeply spiritual person to those who i believe will accept it in like-minded fashion, and almost never in a public forum like this one, even tho', for all intents and purposes, this is MY forum... however, i was both pleased and amazed to see a discussion that's been on-going in a number of electronic venues i frequent finally emerging in the mainstream and, after forwarding it on to a good friend in the uk with whom i have had many deeply spiritual discussions, after receiving his reply, decided to put it up as a blog post... for, you see, my friend, as is his wont, immediately seized on the following two sentences that, given my incorrigible habit of article-skimming, had overlooked, two sentences that nicely sum up some of my very own feelings...
As one reader put it to me, in a way, it's not even about Obama, per se. There's a vast amount of positive energy swirling about that's been held back by the armies of BushCo darkness, and this energy has now found a conduit, a lightning rod, is now effortlessly self-organizing around Obama's candidacy.

i couldn't agree more... whether or not obama's the real deal, he is speaking to something in me that i have long had to severely repress in this cruel, social darwinian world that has been so carefully crafted by our current masters...

here's the perspective from my uk friend...

This is how I'm seeing it. That it's more about the energy, hope, and light gravitating towards Obama's candidacy. I remain unconvinced that Obama himself is the real deal, but with all this energy around him, I think he is well positioned to come very close to being the real deal. The McCain/Palin ticket gives me shivers. Its a ticket to another cave of Hell as far as I'm concerned.

i really, really like the way mark morford ends his column...
Don't buy any of it? Think that's all a bunch of tofu-sucking New Agey bulls--- and Obama is really a dangerously elitist political salesman whose inexperience will lead us further into darkness because, when you're talking national politics, nothing, really, ever changes? I understand. I get it. I often believe it myself.

Not this time.

ultimately, it comes down to what kind of belief system do we want to adopt, because, after all, it is our choice... do we put our energy toward the dark or the light...? will obama be our savior...? of course not... anyone who still harbors the savior theory of leadership had better think again... but can someone like obama be truly empowered by a critical mass of people who are yearning for the light...? yes, i think he can, and that is what i am choosing to believe...

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Sunday, September 21, 2008

More bullshit maneuvering by the Fed PLUS now EVERBODY wants access to the federal tit

good god almighty... can it get more obscene...? sadly, the answer probably is yes, absolutely, it is going to get a LOT more obscene...
In one of the biggest changes to Wall Street in decades, Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley, the last two independent investment banks, will become bank holding companies, the Federal Reserve said Sunday night.

The move fundamentally changes one of the mainstays of modern Wall Street. It heralds new regulations and supervisions of previously lightly regulated investment banks.

The move comes after the bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers and the near-collapses of Bear Stearns and Merrill Lynch.

Being a bank holding company would give Morgan and Goldman access to the discount window of the Federal Reserve. While they have had access to Fed lending facilities in recent months, regulators had planned to take away discount window access in January.

The regulation by the Federal Reserve brings a host of accounting rule changes that should benefit the two banks in the current environment.

the rules ain't workin' for ya...? no sweat... change them goddam, pesky rules...

as if that weren't enough to gag a maggot, ALL the piggies want a place at the trough...

Even as policy makers worked on details of a $700 billion bailout of the financial industry, Wall Street began looking for ways to profit from it.

Financial firms were lobbying to have all manner of troubled investments covered, not just those related to mortgages.

At the same time, investment firms were jockeying to oversee all the assets that Treasury plans to take off the books of financial institutions, a role that could earn them hundreds of millions of dollars a year in fees.

Nobody wants to be left out of Treasury’s proposal to buy up bad assets of financial institutions.

“The definition of Financial Institution should be as broad as possible,” the Financial Services Roundtable, which represents big financial services companies, wrote in an e-mail message to members on Sunday.

The group said a wide variety of institutions as varied as mortgage lenders and insurance companies should be able to take advantage of the bailout, and that these companies should be able to sell off any investments linked to mortgages.

The scope of the bailout grew over the weekend. As recently as Saturday morning, the Bush administration’s proposal called for Treasury to buy residential or commercial mortgages and related securities. By that evening, the proposal was broadened to give Treasury discretion to buy “any other financial instrument.”

call and write your senators... call and write your congressman... call or write your newspaper... scream bloody murder... this shit has got to stop... NOW...!!

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Just say "NO" to a $700B blank check with no administrative oversight and no legal or legislative review

total obscenity... my indignation knows no bounds...
Unveiling its plan to rescue the nation's financial system from near-paralysis, the Bush administration is asking Congress for the authority to spend $700 billion and for powers to intervene in the economy so sweeping that they have virtually no precedent in U.S. history.


The dollar figure alone is remarkable, amounting to 5% of the nation's gross domestic product. But the most distinctive -- and potentially most controversial -- element of the plan is the extent to which it would allow Treasury to act unilaterally: Its decisions could not be reviewed by any court or administrative body and, once the emergency legislation was approved, the administration could raise the $700 billion through government borrowing and would not be subject to Congress' traditional power of the purse.

"Nothing quite of this scale has happened since the early years of the country when Alexander Hamilton wrote the Treasury act to give him the power to borrow and intervene in markets," said New York University financial historian Richard Sylla. And in Hamilton's case, Congress quickly clipped his wings, and no successor -- not even under President Franklin D. Roosevelt at the height of the Depression -- exercised quite such unfettered power again.

"It essentially creates an economic czar with no administrative oversight, no legal review, no legislative review. And it gives one man $700 billion to disperse as he needs fit," said Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), referring to Treasury Secretary Henry M. Paulson.

"He will have complete, unbridled authority subject to no law," she said.

like i've said so many times i've lost count, it's all about money and power and insuring that the average united states citizen has neither...

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