Americans Have Little To Be Proud Of

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By Joel S. Hirschhorn

30/09/08 “ICH” – - Nations come and go, rise and fall as elites and the wealthy make victims of most citizens and plutocracies prevail. Current dogma is that we live in the greatest nation on Earth. Perhaps in terms of ideals there is some truth to that. But with another trillion dollars that we now must borrow at higher costs because of the meltdown of the financial sector, solidifying our position as the greatest debtor nation, Americans have little to be proud of. Our government and politicians as well as the corporate state have failed us. What do our young people and future generations have to look forward to? (more…)

 

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

Failing banks? Endless war? Call Homeland Security.

“Raw capitalism is dead.” — Henry Paulson, U.S. Treasury secretary”Can’t we just all go out and say things are OK?” — President Bush, to congressional leaders during bailout negotiations

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

By Kevin Connolly
BBC News, Washington


There were a few moments between the casting of the final vote in Congress and the announcement that the $700bn (£380bn) bail-out had been rejected when the world of American politics appeared to be frozen.

US Capitol

Many members of Congress were worried about losing their seats

Votes in the House of Representatives are not official until the Speaker’s gavel is lowered and – for what felt like an eternity – the speaker’s gavel remained suspended above the desk.

News services waited for several minutes before calling the result – a rare enough occurrence in a world of instant information.

Rumours began to circulate that attempts were being made to change the minds of some of the members who had voted “no”.

Stunned

It would be an extraordinary step in a democracy to ask a member of a legislature to simply reverse a vote on an issue vital to the national interest without any extra revision or debate, and the rumours may not be true.

But it captures something of the mood of stunned apprehension in the House that they were believed even for a moment.

In that moment, the House appeared to be absorbing, very slowly, the sheer magnitude of what it had done. (more…)

Join our Meetup 
 
Location

Linda’s Tavern

707 East Pine St Capitol Hill Seattle, WA 98121

 

Come join us for an evening of cheap beer and good cheer. Linda’s Tavern (located 1 block down from the Egyptian Theater) has a great outdoors area, $7.50 microbrew pitchers, $3 sliders (better than White Castle’s), and a welcoming atmosphere. Expect to meet freedom-loving, informed, and active individuals who enjoy both deep political discussions and “normal” conversation. We’ll also use this opportunity to discuss plans for the 11th of the month TruthAction and other future events.

What more could you ask for?

Bring friends. All are welcome.

Weather permitting, we’ll be meeting in the outdoor patio. Look for those wearing typical “truth” gear, though we’ll generally keep it low key. I’ve usually found street parking in the area, but if needed there is a $4 parking lot right across the street.

We’re going to make this a monthly event, on the first Wednesday so mark your calendars! 

09/29/2008 10:14 AM

By: NY1 News

Congress has abandoned legislation to provide billions of dollars in health care for September 11th recovery workers.The program would have provided long term care for workers who were at the World Trade Center on or shortly after September 11, 2001 at an estimated cost of at least $5 billion.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg strongly objected to a part of the bill that would have forced the city to pay for 10 percent of the program, saying it would place an undue burden on city taxpayers.

In addition, the legislation would have reopened the federal September 11th Victim Compensation Fund, adding around $6 billion to the plan.

The legislation had the backing of several New York congressmen but was overshadowed by negotiations surrounding the financial bailout.

 

(Reporting by David Lawder; Editing by Lincoln Feast)

Tue Sep 16, 2008 11:07pm EDT

 (Reuters) – The U.S. Federal Reserve stepped in to rescue insurance giant American International Group from bankruptcy with an $85 billion loan on Tuesday, the latest in a series of bailouts and loans for the financial and housing sectors.

The action brings the total tab for government rescues and special loan facilities this year to more than $900 billion.

Following are details of actions and amounts.

* $200 billion for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The Treasury will inject up to $100 billion into each institution by purchasing preferred stock to shore up their capital as needed. The deal puts the two housing finance firms under government control. (more…)

D. H. WilliamsDaily NewscasterSeptember 28, 2008Rep. Michael Burgess (R-TX) reports from the floor of the House that the Republicans have been cut out of the process and called unpatriotic for not blindly supporting the fraudulent bailout. He says the only debate has been about what talking points to use on the American people.The most ominous revelation is when he claims the Speaker has declared martial law.“I have been thrown out of more meetings in this capital in the last 24 hours than I ever thought possible, as a duly elected representative of 825,000 citizens of north Texas.” Said Congressman Burgess.Burgess asks the Speaker of the House to post the bailout bill on the internet for at least 24 hours instead of passing the largest piece of legislation in US financial history in the “dark of night.”The most frightening part of Rep. Burgess’ one-minute floor speech is when he says, “Mr. Speaker I understand we are under Martial Law as declared by the speaker last night.” EDITOR’S NOTE: Since this information first came out we have learned the following:“the term “martial law” when used in the context of debate within the House is a misnomer for “gag order” on debate, it is not “martial law” in the sense of military rule over the country.”We sincerely apologize if we frightened anyone unduly but this is NOT the big bad ML we’ve all been waiting for – as for the future, who knows.

 

By Zachary Roth – September 26, 2008, 2:00PM

Murray Waas reports on the website of the Atlantic that Alberto Gonzales is now telling investigators that he was being personally directed by President Bush when, as White House counsel, Gonzales made a much-discussed late-night visit in 2004 to the hospital room of then Attorney General John Ashcroft, in order to get Ashcroft to certify that the Bush administration’s warrantless wiretapping program was legal.

During Congressional testimony last year, Gonzales repeatedly refused to answer persistent questioning from Sen. Chuck Schumer as to whether the president, or Vice President Cheney, had directed him to seek out Ashcroft in the hospital. (more…)

ABC News
Lehman Brothers Execs Tell Congress They Didn’t Keep Documents

By RHONDA SCHWARTZ
September 26, 2008

While the country waits anxiously for Congress and the White House to agree on a plan to prevent economic collapse, others on the hill are already searching for whom to blame.

oversight

House Oversight Committee Democrat Henry Waxman, who has already summoned the former chief of Lehman…

House Oversight Committee Democrat Henry Waxman, who has already summoned the former chief of Lehman Brothers to testify under oath before his committee next week, publicly blasted the former Wall Street titans Friday for not cooperating with requests for documents and emails. Collapse

(ABC News)

 

House Oversight Committee Democrat Henry Waxman, who has already summoned the former chief of Lehman.

House Oversight Committee Democrat Henry Waxman, who has already summoned the former chief of Lehman Brothers to testify under oath before his committee next week, publicly blasted the former Wall Street titans Friday for not cooperating with requests for documents and emails.

House Oversight Committee Democrat Henry Waxman has already summoned the former chief of Lehman Brothers, the failed investment bank whose collapse stunned the nation last week, to testify under oath before his committee next week.

And late today, Waxman publicly blasted the former Wall Street titans for not cooperating with requests for documents and emails, saying Lehman’s counsel has told the committee “although these documents did exist at one time, they were typically “discarded.”"

“It is difficult to understand how Lehman Brothers is unable to produce a single internal document that went to or from the CEO’s office over the past six months,” the letter stated. “It is also difficult to understand why there is no log, file, or other record documenting where these internal documents went.”

 

By Joshua Holland, AlterNet.

Posted September 26, 2008.

On Wednesday, the House passed a mammoth defense bill by a 392-39 vote. It’s expected to clear the Senate with little difficulty next week.

It was part of a trillion-dollar stop-gap measure to keep programs running through next March, allowing lawmakers to skip town without passing a final budget. The Associated Press reports, “The legislation came together in a remarkably secret process that concentrated decision-making power in the hands of a few lawmakers.”

In keeping with the tradition of recent years, Bush held a gun to his own head and threatened to pull the trigger if his demands weren’t met. According to the AP, “To earn President Bush’s signature rather than a veto, House and Senate negotiators dropped several provisions he opposed. They include a ban on private interrogators in U.S. military detention facilities and what would have amounted to congressional veto power over a security pact with Iraq.”
(more…)

Telegraph.co.uk

By Jeff Randall

Last Updated: 10:01pm BST 25/09/2008

“To preserve their [the people's] independence, we must not let our rulers load us with perpetual debt. We must make our selection between economy and liberty, or profusion and servitude” – Thomas Jefferson

 

George W Bush

There was a time, early in America’s history, when its leaders believed in financial discipline. No more. Perpetual debt, which Jefferson feared would enslave future generations, is clamped on Uncle Sam’s undercarriage like a ball and chain. US public borrowing is $9.8 trillion – and rising.

Jefferson, America’s third president (1801-09), is widely regarded as the White House’s most intellectually gifted occupant. He believed that “banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies”, and that “the principle of spending money to be paid by posterity … is but swindling futurity on a large scale.”

If Congress approves the Treasury Secretary’s $700 billion bail-out of dysfunctional banks, it would be hard to invent a better example of what Jefferson foresaw: authorised “swindling”. Tomorrow’s Americans and those who come after them will pay and pay for the grotesque excesses and self-indulgence of today’s flim-flam merchants.

As Jefferson put it: “If we run into such debt, as we must be taxed in our meat and in our drink, in our necessaries and our comforts … [we will have] no means of calling our mis-managers to account but be glad to obtain subsistence by hiring ourselves to rivet their chains on the necks of our fellow sufferers.” (more…)

house  

By JULIE HIRSCHFELD DAVIS and DAVID ESPO, Associated Press Writers Fri Sep 26, 7:54 PM ET

WASHINGTON – House Democrats say the idea of letting judges rewrite mortgages to help bankrupt homeowners avoid foreclosure won’t be a part of the $700 billion financial industry bailout.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., told Democrats at a closed-door meeting Friday evening the provision would be a deal-breaker for Republicans who she has said must deliver substantial votes for the rescue plan. That’s according to several lawmakers who attended the session.

Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama had said earlier that the measure didn’t belong in the bailout.

The concession came as staff aides to key Democrats and Republicans worked into the evening searching for compromise on the rescue bill.

Trouble in Banktopia

Mike Whitney
Infowars
September 27, 2008

Greed kills
This is a banker’s coup cooked up and facilitated by the deep-money guys who operate stealthily behind the political sideshow. The only time they emerge from their stinkholes is when they’re flushed out by a crisis that threatens their continued dominance. Photo by Jeremy Scahill, from the bailout protest in New York, September 25, 2008.

The financial system is blowing up. Don’t listen to the experts; just look at the numbers. Last week, according to Reuters, “U.S. banks borrowed a record amount from the Federal Reserve nearly $188 billion a day on average, showing the central bank went to extremes to keep the banking system afloat amid the biggest financial crisis since the Great Depression.” The Fed opened the various “auction facilities” to create the appearance that insolvent banks were thriving businesses, but they are not. They’re dead; their liabilities exceed their assets. Now the Fed is desperate because the hundreds of billions of dollars of mortgage-backed securities (MBS) in the banks vaults have bankrupt the entire system and the Fed’s balance sheet is ballooning by the day. The market for MBS will not bounce back in the foreseeable future and the banks are unable to roll-over their short term debt. Game over. The Federal Reserve itself is in danger. So, it’s on to Plan B; which is to dump all the toxic sludge on the taxpayer before he realizes that the whole system is cratering and his life is about to change forever. It’s called the Paulson Plan, a $700 billion boondoggle which has already been disparaged by every economist of merit in the country. (more…)

Alex Jones talks to David Ray Griffin about the current state of the 9/11 truth movement, how far we’ve come and how far we have to go taking the message mainstream.

Listen Here

bizjournals.cpm

As Congress considers a $700 billion bailout for Wall Street and the banking sector, there are calls to restrict the pay and severance packages for CEOs at investment houses, banks and mortgage lenders poised to be benefit from the plan put forward by U.S. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson and Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke.

Executives from some of the major investment and commercial banks involved in the financial upheaval and bailout earned hefty paychecks last year, according to proxy statements outlining their salaries, bonuses and stock options:

  • Seattle-based Washington Mutual (NYSE: WAMU) will pay its new CEO, Alan Fishman, a salary and incentive package worth more than $20 million through 2009 for taking the helm of the battered bank, according to the Puget Sound Business Journal.
  • Lehman Brothers Chairman and CEO Richard Fuld Jr. made $34 million in 2007. Lehman (OTC: LEHMQ) filed for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy protection earlier this month.
  • Goldman Sachs (NYSE: GS), which Sunday gained Federal Reserve Bank approval to become a bank holding company, paid its chairman and CEO, Lloyd Blankfein, $70 million last year. Co-Chief Operating Officers Gary Cohn and Jon Winkereid were paid $72.5 million and $71 million, respectively.
  • American International Group’s chief executive, Martin Sullivan, got a $14 million compensation package in 2007. He was ousted in June. The insurance giant (NYSE:AIG) is on the receiving end of an $85 billion federal bailout. Edward Liddy took over as AIG’s chief executive earlier this month.
  • Morgan Stanley Chairman John Mack earned $1.6 million. Chief Financial Officer Colin Kelleher got a $21 million paycheck in 2007. Morgan Stanley (NYSE: MS) also received approval to become a banking holding company, a shift that allows Morgan and Goldman to bring in bank deposit assets which offer more-solid financial footing.

(more…)

market-ticket.denninger.net

You have to love this.  Here is the story as originally posted on Bloomberg:

“Sept. 25 (Bloomberg) — Dallas Federal Reserve Bank President Richard Fisher said the proposed $700 billion rescue of financial institutions backed by Fed Chairman Ben S. Bernanke would plunge the U.S. government deeper into a fiscal abyss.

The plan by Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson to buy troubled assets from financial institutions would put “one more straw on the back of the frightfully encumbered camel that is the federal government ledger,” Fisher said today in the text of a speech in New York. “We are deeply submerged in a vast fiscal chasm.”

Now here is how it reads after “Update 1″

“Sept. 25 (Bloomberg) — Dallas Federal Reserve Bank President Richard Fisher said the U.S. Treasury’s proposed $700 billion rescue of financial institutions would be “a critical first step” toward calming markets even while adding to the U.S. government’s fiscal burden.

The plan by Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson to buy troubled assets from financial institutions “is an incremental addition to the federal government ledger,” Fisher said today in a speech in New York. Existing federal obligations in Medicare and Social Security mean “we are deeply submerged in a vast fiscal chasm,” he said. “

Hmmm.

The actual speech is here; this is what it says:

(more…)