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The NYE Fiscal Cliff is a Buffalo Jump. Is your herd going to fall for it?

DENVER, COLORADO- The DC Kabuki Divas are amping up their New Years cliffhanger, the so-called Fiscal Cliff, to inaugurate domestic austerity measures meant to cement the widening income gap between the rich and everybody else. If it's a cliff, it's a buffalo jump off which the easily panicked are stampeded to their death. Fiscal Cliff even shares the same initials with the last economic extortion ploy, the Financial Crisis which intro'd President Obama's preceding term.

So-called Fiscal Cliff is a Buffalo Jump

Remember the "Financial Crisis" from out of nowhere when Obama first came to office? Now it's Bank Heist, the Sequel, branded most assuredly with the assistance of Madison Avenue as a "Fiscal Cliff", shall we call it FC2? This time instead of extorting a so-called "bank bailout", the oligarchs want austerity concessions. Having looted the public treasury, they're after the public wealth we call government's primary social benefit to which the public thought it was "entitled". So our herders are crying FISCAL CLIFF hoping to divert the public beast to a real cliff, another Buffalo Jump, in urban terms, a shakedown.

Gandhi possessions safe from defilement

The iconic personal possessions of Mahatma Gandhi were auctioned this week, and will remain in India. Gandhi's poverty may have been largely symbolic, but his bowl and sandals remain unimpeachable representations of his ideals. If there's an upside to the banking collapse, it's that some Wall Street or London financier was not able to purchase Mohandas' bowl for the sole purpose of taking a shit in it.

Economic pie in the sky

Eric and I had fun in Costa Rica playing with a rainbow in the hills outside Santa Elena. We traveled down a narrow bumpy road until the bright double rainbow appeared to end in the backyard of the only house in sight. An inspiring illusion to be sure, but still only an illusion. Rainbows are like that, aren't they? Manipulable to a point; there, but not, depending on your vantage point; seen by all, fully comprehended by few. As kids we dreamed of finding the promised pot of leprechaun gold, but we never could quite get there. The promise forever remained only a promise. Chasing rainbows has become our financial pastime of late. Golden parachutes, speculation, valuation, debt forgiveness, creative accounting, off-book transactions, suspense accounts, slush funds, contra accounts, accruals, clean opinions, full disclosure, extraordinary items, going concerns, immateriality -- I could go on for hours. We have a financial system that's impossible to discern, is largely illusory and widely un-understood. Even by its makers. The fractional reserve system, patently illegal not so long ago, means that our money isn't a paper representation of what actually is, it is only what they say it is, which is whatever it is, I suppose. I'm told it's lost 50% of its value in the past decade which means, I guess, that it's now something other than what it was. And who knows what it will be tomorrow? It would seem that printing off billions more crisp banknotes to give to soulless corporate people, whose paper assets and liabilities can be altered with the stroke of a pen, means little to anyone except the publicly-traded rich. Is it any wonder that no one - which includes everyone - can get their arms around this mess? We don't understand what's really going on so we keep doing what we do, which is whatever that is, on any given day. Today Obama is coming to Denver to sign his economic stimulus plan into law -- 1588 pages of freshly-printed unread paper that will solve our economic crisis and put us back on the road to financial prosperity. I can't recall where the momentous event is to take place, but I imagine it's somewhere over the rainbow.

Apres nous, le Depression

If it matters what to call this financial crisis, what is it? Is America in a recession? When does a deep recession approach a depression? When is an economic crash revealed to be a collapse? Before we can rename the Great Depression, as we did the Great War (WWI), in deference to this latest, we would do better to address the cataclysm which left this depression. It was not a meteor, not the foot of Godzilla, nor a collapsed salt mine. The scorched earth we see about us, this rapidly degrading economy, is the destruction wrought by a Norman raid; a blitz of rape and pillage with brutal indifference. It wouldn't matter what you call it except that the raiders are still among us. If your valuables are still intact, it's because they haven't yet been sacked. If you still have your house, it's not because the tethers aren't attached, it's that they haven't started towing it off. When you can see this robbery for what it is, you'll know that history can tell us that the barbarians do not leave even gold fillings unmolested. Do you doubt a viking analogy? Look at the economic news today. Over half a million jobs lost in January, over three million jobs lost already. On the same day, the stock market rallies upward. While you are losing your livelihood, those who invested in the long ships are heartened by the projected success of this raid.

Barack’s 1/2 measures, 1/4 measures, 1/8 measures and… his new health care ‘reform’

Obama signs bill for kids health care program. But look again! Like Obama's 'withdrawal' from Iraq, his 'renouncement of torture,' now his new health care measure is a fraud too! Everything about Barack Obama is a fraud! Here is the gist of his public pretense regarding giving kids health coverage. Obama is going to leave 4,000,000 children uncovered, even 5 years down the road! Sure, this is better than worsening the situation as the Bush murderers did, but why such a 1/2 measure. Wait! It's not even that, is it? These parents need coverage, too. What happened? This is not even a 1/4 measure! Might we have a 1/8 measure being announced by Obama then? When it came to bailing out the gigantic fraudulently operating Bug Guys out, Barack Obama is not for any 1/2 measures, 1/4 measures, nor 1/8 measures or less. He goes all out at throwing public tax monies their ways. Can't let the Big Guys suffer, he says. But he feels a little different about the poor kids, does he not? They can wait! That's the Barack Obama con game in full measure. Shame on you, Democrats!

The shipping news

The whining and hang-wringing about the "credit crunch" is getting on my nerves. It was this supposed crisis that led to the $700 billion bailout and we're told every day that it must be solved quickly, no matter the cost, or we're toast. But why? How many of us are actively seeking credit right now? Surely the developers and retailers want us to have lots and lots of it so we can keep hyper-consuming their goods; the bankers want us to have it so they can collect their interest and fees but, seriously, is free-flowing credit what the American public needs right now? Living beyond our means is what caused the credit meltdown in the first place! Here's a meaty statistic: the Baltic Dry Index, which measures the demand for global shipping capacity, dropped from 11,793 last May to, get this, an inconceivable zero. The complexity of the BDI is beyond the scope of this post but, suffice it to say, there are lots of cargo ships sitting at anchor today. The collapse of the BDI augurs a rapidly evaporating demand for foreign goods. Combine this with the massive deterioration in domestic consumption during the fourth quarter of 2008, and wager a guess as to the meaning of it all. We're not buying anything and the world is following suit! So tell me, Wall Street wizards, why the continued hyperbole about a credit crunch? How could our purchasing habits change so dramatically overnight? Currently, Americans own an estimated 250 million personal computers and 175 million iPods. There are 9 million mobile homes within our borders, approximately 102-130 million single-family homes, and countless million apartments. One could safely assert that there's a home, an mp3 player and a personal computer for every man, woman and child in the United States. I'll go on. Everyone has a television, a cell phone. Nearly everyone owns a car. Most have closets full of clothes they never wear, and we all have too many shoes. So when Barack Obama, Ben Bernanke or anyone else talks about freeing up the flow of credit, we should ask ourselves why. Recently, through the dense economic fog came a thin ray of revelation: I may actually have enough stuff. Perhaps, just maybe, I can stop buying new stuff for awhile. I can keep my slightly dented iPod for yet another year. My Toyota with 90,000 miles is probably good for another road trip or two. I won't move to a bigger house just yet, or buy the 52" flatscreen Santa forgot to leave under the tree. I may have to forego the spring sales and make do with last summer's tank tops, wrong color though they may be. I don't mean to minimize the hardship of doing without, but we are a nation of excess inventory. Somewhere in our stuffed dressers and overfull garages, there is room to accommodate a changed perspective. Wall Street is telling us that all will soon be well. If we just give them hundreds of billions,

Who is the economy calling stupid?

Okay, I've had enough of our readiness to believe, about the economy, that nobody knows what's going on. Nobody will tell you what's going on, is what's going on. Even my deepest thinking friend tells me, "Eric, they really don't know" (The game theorists, the would-be global axis shifters, don't know.) He may be right, but that's not who we're talking about. Between those guys, and you and I, who have no clue about where the economy is going, is a hand-basket courier. That composite abstraction at the handlebars knows the destination, he's being paid cost-plus for the delivery, and he knows enough to collect his fee in advance. We thought "it's the economy, stupid" was directed at George Bush the Senior. Who is/was stupid? I'm finding the syncronicity of Alanis Morissette's Jagged Little Pill song "Isn't it ironic?" superlatively ironic. The era when a mass audience un-learned the meaning of irony, was when the joke was really on us. Today the accepted theme to describe the economy is: nobody knows. I recently heard the governor of Colorado speak to the need for budget cuts in these hard times. He introduced the subject of the economic downturn by explaining, almost as a throwaway foregone conclusion, "Nobody saw this coming." I thought, really? This is what Americans are satisfied to expect for leadership? Elected authority figures return our system to us, broken, with not a mea culpa, but mea confuso. And we buy it. For me, this no-comprendo motif doesn't play well in Adagio. Today DC's new lawmakers want to know what's become of the first half of the TARP bailout money, and the good-enough-for-primetime answer is "nobody knows." Don't you just want to stand up and beg your fellow audience members for a collective show of incredulity? "NOBODY KNOWS?!" Whoever pocketed the 350 Billion, KNOWS. From explanations of the graft in Iraq, we the television public KNOW that just one million dollars in t-bills weighs more than you can get past surveillance cameras. From nighttime video of the economic collapse in Argentina, documentary footage viewers know it takes a continuous train of armored trucks to do a run on the banks before the public gets there. By the way, I'm certain Billion is always capitalized, out of respect for its size. "Nobody knows" where went the 350 Billion? No. Nobody who knows, intends to tell us. Either way, we don't get to know, but the distinction makes a difference, don't you think? The excuse we're given for not dwelling on this incongruity, nudge nudge wink wink, is that all misdirection is for the sake of consumer confidence. To look behind the green curtain is to become dis-illusioned. If you explain the slight of hand, instead of building confidence, you throw fuel on consumer doubt. The better economists opposed the bailout. Hundreds of them signed a petition to tell us what's going on is a heist. Under George Bush, bankers have been making off with the US treasury. What they couldn't spend pay themselves

Did Bush cause the financial crisis?

Did Bush cause the financial crisis? is the question that the BBC's North America Business Correspondent in New York, Greg Wood briefly explores and his conclusion is not surprising. Here is a summation of his argument. 'Deregulation started long before President Bush came to power, and it was enthusiastically pursued by both Democratic and Republican administrations. ' 'So the image of Mr Bush as the arch deregulator and the Democratic Party as the champion of stricter rules for business does not quite tally with the evidence.' Why is it that so many liberals are deluded into thinking that one man caused the problems our country is now facing and that one man is going to fix them? It is hard to not think of the Democratic Party voting liberals as being as much the real problem as its solution. After all, they consistently vote for a now majority group of the problem makers, the Democratic Party politicians, and these liberals have not an ounce of desire to do anything more than this it seems. Most of the 'voters' simply do nothing more than 'vote' for their one person solution, once every four years. Or perhaps to be fair, they 'vote' for subordinates too to their supposed Saviours, usually a time or two in the mean time between presidential elections. They are quite simply as deluded and lazy lot when you look at them rationally, rather than through their own rose-tinged sun glasses of CHANGE that ain't. So when you liberals begin to lose your jobs, houses, and your families begin to fall apart from the ensuing chaos, look in the mirror, will you? You voted for the problem instead of trying to change things for the better. Your acceptance of this single See-Saw American Political Corporatized System of 'voting' is what caused the financial crisis. Don't just blame Bush alone, you are the problem.

Time to use the word DEPRESSION again

One of the most ridiculous of the utterly false and phony positive thinking talking points used by the US's Right Wing corporate daily press and the talking heads of their TV stations is their constant babble about whether we have entered into a 'recession' or not? The correct word to be used is depression, it 's an ECONOMIC DEPRESSION we have been entered into worldwide, and there is nothing left to debate about it either. It's here. End of discussion. Go take a hike, Clowns@! Today, stocks fell almost 7% and that now is a drop of about 25% from the DOW all time high just 2 years ago. That is a depression. Further, this Friday morning Japanese stocks have already fallen 11% of their value in just a few minutes of trading. That is an economic depression. Let's cut to the quick on this. Bush and his clown clones are through. They are out of here. This presidential election will turn out to be a rout of McCain/ Palin, because they are more of the same, and The Same just flushed itself down the toilet via a whole shitload of corruption finally coming home to roost. But there is yet more here than the rout of the neocon corruptionists that will occur. If we in America are fed up with this crew, the rest of the world is even more so. Yes, the rest of the world is going down the drain with us and our stupid economy where thieves rule the rest of us. They are going to hate the US for the misery we have delivered them into. In fact, they already do. Afghanistan to Iraq to Somalia to Pakistan and flush, flush, flush. They can put it together, even if your dumb Republican neighbors can't. It's time to use the word depression once again, because we alhough we all thought the thought that 'communism' self destructs, we had all but forgotten that capitalism does just that in an even much worse way. We have been entered into a worldwide economic depression by all those that fed us the total line of crap that it was all running so very smoothly. Pompous stupid, arrogant twits they were, and now the world has once again had its eyes opened to the dangers that capitalism constantly puts the human race into. The unemployment to come will soon see to that. The rich everywhere will say that The Treasury has no money to stop it. You can bet your 401K retirement funds on it! And the whole world will correctly blame the US government, AND the stupid American people themselves, for what is being done to them. Get used to really being

How a ‘credit crunch’ can help kick an economic depression into place

In a system...where the entire continuity of the...process rests upon credit, a crisis must obviously occur -- a tremendous rush for means of payment -- when credit suddenly ceases and only cash payments have validity. At first glance, therefore, the whole crisis seems to be merely a credit and money crisis. And in fact it is only a question of the convertibility of bills of exchange into money. But the majority of these bills represent actual sales and purchases, whose extension far beyond the needs of society is, after all, the basis of the whole crisis. At the same time, an enormous quantity of these bills of exchange represents plain swindle, which now reaches the light of day and collapses; furthermore, unsuccessful speculation with the capital of other people; finally, commodity-capital which has depreciated or is completely unsaleable, or returns that can never more be realized again. The entire artificial system of forced expansion of the [ecomony] cannot, of course, be remedied by having some bank, like the [Federal Reserve], give to all the swindlers the deficient capital by means of its paper and having it buy up all the depreciated commodities at their old nominal values. Incidentally, everything here appears distorted, since in this paper world, the real price and its real basis appear nowhere, but only bullion, metal coin, notes, bills of exchange, securities. Particularly in centers where the entire money business of the country is concentrated, like London [or New York]...the entire process becomes incomprehensible.

Senators give Paulson keys to treasury

The Senate has signed Paulson's blank check for the Wall Street ransom payment. Band of Thieves, Murder of Crows, Goddamn Jerk of Senators!   Overheard on the radio about Obama/McCain: "It's amazing such similar solutions for the economic crisis can be coming from such vastly different candidates." Not so amazing if you consider you've only assumed the red and blue are opposites. Both candidates colluding with the Banking oligarchs could be a tipoff that both parties represent the same interests. Time to wonder how the American people's interest might have been represented by an alternative third [sic] party? How well are you reconciling Barack Obama's theme of "change" as he stumped for the Wall Street money grab. Obama likened the crisis to your neighbor's house being on fire. Besides the implication that no one would want to be uncharitable, you might also deign to pitch in for the selfish motive of keeping your neighbor's fire from spreading to your house. That was Obama's clever pitch, but is that what the failing investments represent? The bankers' homes? Hardly. I can't even think of an analogy to represent what the jeopardized assets represent to the hierarchy of needs of the super wealthy. Assuming they are your neighbors. Would it be their twelfth snow-machine that's on fire? Their son's floozy's uncle's twelfth snowmobile on fire and threatening your house. You need to what, pay him to buy another so that the burning one can be safely drenched without pissing him off, since the thrill he gets from that snowmobile is to keep it ablaze for the thrill of endangering you and your family. Try that one on us Obama. UPDATE FROM MICHAEL MOORE: Tonight, the Senate passed an even worse "bailout" bill than the one the House defeated on Monday night. Only 25 Senators (and most of them for the wrong reasons) voted "No." It now moves to the House for a vote, possibly on Friday. Why did Obama and Biden vote for it? I think we all know the answer. Let's keep our eye on the ball of removing the Republicans from the White House, but let tonight be our first reminder that our work is not finished on November 4th when Obama wins. The struggle between what is best for the people and what is best in order to line the pockets of Wall Street will continue. 150 million Americans combined can't even match the wealth of the richest 400 Americans. All we have is our vote. And there will always be more of us than them. We will all need to become more politically active if we are going to get our democracy back.

Credit crunch is a symptom of US economic malaise, not the cause of it

Taxpayers gifting the rich with $7,000,000,000 will not stop the coming capitalist depression at all, because it simply does not address the root causes of anything. We have been told that this crisis is merely the fault of toxic debts piling up from an American 'housing bubble', which happened due the crookedness of a few bad apples. Yes, its true, they add a few more details to this sob story but that is essentially all there is to the story line, with none of the American corporate 'leadership' class taking any personal or political responsibility at all. That is not too surprising about these moralizing immoralists at all. It is par for their course. But the root cause of the capitalist downturn is about much more than a credit crunch cause or a real estate mortgages beginning the collapse. It is actually about the deficit military spending that corporate America has led us into with their stupid and asinine wars against shadows of their own making. Despite the destruction caused on that fateful day termed '9/11', it could have been nothing more than a temporary and unfortunate side show for our country, but instead it was seized on by the military, policing, and corporate communities to justify skyrocketing their budgets, incomes, and profits. They went on a borrowing spree using foreign credit! They did not buy anything of real value or substance though, and they progressively bankrupted the bulk of Americans by doing their borrowing, all the time while waving Old Glory and talking of American pride and national security, which they were busy undermining. 'USA, USA, USA' became the cry of the dunces they had marching behind them. They tortured not only Pentagon held POWs, but the American soul itself. The big guys total control over political life is what got us down into the pit. Now, the only economic 'security' left for Americans is in the seeming ability to drag others down economically with us. Since we were such fat consumers here in the land of milk and honey, many depended on supplying us. However that market is about to collapse. Add to that that the whole world is left holding much of the valueless paper that our ruling class force fed to them at guns length. And, of course, we still have the biggest arsenal around. That almost makes our Federal Government just like any insane neighbor with an insanely huge gun collection, but barely living while dependent on food stamps to eat some fast food Chinese once and a while. Sarah and Dick to go hunting with perhaps? Look around? The American auto industry just asked and got close to $30 billion in 'bailout' loot, too. It's about to sink. And the biggest economic sink

Stop the Senate of would-be thieves!

Call your Band of Thieving Senators now to tell them you don't want to give $700 Billion --more honestly likely to be $5 Trillion-- to the robber bankers of Wall Street! Telephone Colorado Senators Ken Salazar at 202.224.5852 and Wayne Allard at 202.224.5941 NOW. Why not call OBAMA too! (phone: 202-224-2854) Tell them you want them to consult with at least ONE economist of repute! At least one analyst not on the corporate payroll. As he promised yesterday, Michael Moore suggests a 10 PART PLAN, only IF pressure can be brought to bear right now to stop the Senate bill. Friends, The richest 400 Americans -- that's right, just four hundred people -- own MORE than the bottom 150 million Americans combined. 400 rich Americans have got more stashed away than half the entire country! Their combined net worth is $1.6 trillion. During the eight years of the Bush Administration, their wealth has increased by nearly $700 billion -- the same amount that they are now demanding we give to them for the "bailout." Why don't they just spend the money they made under Bush to bail themselves out? They'd still have nearly a trillion dollars left over to spread amongst themselves! Of course, they are not going to do that -- at least not voluntarily. George W. Bush was handed a $127 billion surplus when Bill Clinton left office. Because that money was OUR money and not his, he did what the rich prefer to do -- spend it and never look back. Now we have a $9.5 trillion debt. Why on earth would we even think of giving these robber barons any more of our money? I would like to propose my own bailout plan. My suggestions, listed below, are predicated on the singular and simple belief that the rich must pull themselves up by their own platinum bootstraps. Sorry, fellows, but you drilled it into our heads one too many times: There... is... no... free... lunch. And thank you for encouraging us to hate people on welfare! So, there will be no handouts from us to you. The Senate, tonight, is going to try to rush their version of a "bailout" bill to a vote. They must be stopped. We did it on Monday with the House, and we can do it again today with the Senate. It is clear, though, that we cannot simply keep protesting without proposing exactly what it is we think Congress should do. So, after consulting with a number of people smarter than Phil Gramm, here is my proposal, now known as "Mike's Rescue Plan." It has 10 simple, straightforward points. They are: 1. APPOINT A SPECIAL PROSECUTOR TO CRIMINALLY INDICT ANYONE ON WALL STREET WHO KNOWINGLY CONTRIBUTED TO THIS COLLAPSE. Before any new money is expended, Congress must commit, by resolution, to criminally prosecute anyone who had anything to do with the attempted sacking of our economy. This means that anyone who committed insider trading, securities fraud or any action that helped bring about this collapse

Who not to blame for failed bailout

COLORADO SPRINGS- We held posters that read SEIZE THE FED, JAIL NOT BAIL-OUT, FORECLOSE ON WALLSTREET, NO REWARD FOR HIGH RISK, and of course NO BUSH BAILOUT. When we got rebuttals, it went like this: "Why do you bring Bush into this? Bush doesn't have anything to do with the bailout." We needed to complain to Barack, apparently. Bush supporters come in either the biggest pickup trucks or the rustiest. There's probably no socio-economic divide between the voters who wanted Bush for a drinking buddy. A Vectra Bank representative came outside to ask us if we could move from under their sign, so as not to give the false impression we were protesting their bank, particularly at a time when depositors might easily be spooked into a run on the bank. We moved nearer the Wachovia Bank, perhaps a better juxtaposition anyway. We were prepared for the inevitable, can you suggest something better? From Karl Denninger at Market Ticker, who credits Janet Tavakoli: 1--Force all off-balance sheet "assets" back onto the balance sheet, and force the valuation models and identification of individual assets out of Level 3 and into 10Qs and 10Ks. Do it now. : (In other words, no more Enron-type accounting mumbo-jumbo and no more allowing the banks assign their own "values" to dodgy assets) 2--Force all OTC derivatives onto a regulated exchange similar to that used by listed options in the equity markets. This permanently defuses the derivatives time bomb. Give market participants 90 days; any that are not listed in 90 days are declared void; let the participants sue each other if they can't prove capital adequacy. (If trading derivatives contracts can damage the "regulated" system, than that trading must take place under strict government regulations) 3--Force leverage by all institutions to no more than 12:1. The SEC intentionally dropped broker/dealer leverage limits in 2004; prior to that date 12:1 was the limit. Every firm that has failed had double or more the leverage of that former 12:1 limit. Enact this with a six month time limit and require 1/6th of the excess taken down monthly. (Ed: The collapse in the "structured finance" model is mainly due to too much leverage. For example, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac had $80 of debt for every $1 dollar of capital reserves when they were taken into government conservatorship.)

JUST SAY NO to the WS Bailout Bandits

MEET -AFTER WORK- TUESDAY at the corner of SMITH BARNEY and MORGAN STANLEY, where DAIN RAUSCHER meets BOOZ ALLEN HAMILTON at the Plaza of the Rockies Building. That's where Colorado Springs needs to voice its objections to a bailout for the Wall Street extortionists. Don't hand over America's wealth to the money traders! Scribble your sentiments on the back of whatever poster-board is lying around your office and meet at TEJON & COLORADO from 4:30-5:30PM. Bring determination to tell them NO! (You can RSVP with TrueMajority.) Some poster suggestions from ML: Eat the Rich Eat the Oligarchs Eat the Plutocracy No Corporate Welfare Socialism for the Rich Bailout is a Sellout Fight them on Wall Street so we don't have to fight them on Main Street Scrape the GOP off the Treasury No welfare surge for the rich Are you better off than you were 4 years ago? Let the Banks Burn Jail (arrest) Paulson FEDup USA Give bankers bail-not Bailout Rescue Main Street not Wall Street Back-STABilization Private Debt=Private Liability $1 Trillion Bailout = 20% Inflation No cash for crooks! Don't blame me- I voted for Kucinich Leverage This Bailout: The Audacity of DOPES No Cash for Trash You Broke it- You Bought It

Seven hundred times N,OOO,OOO,OOO!

Is the strategy to pay this ransom, then have the robbers intercepted as they make their escape? What other excuse will Democrats Pelosi and Reid offer for coming home with a bag full of 140,000,000,000 wooden nickels? That money's gone if we don't STOP THEM! STOP THEM NOW! We hear pundits say the bailout sum is beyond comprehension. Nonsense. It's our prosperity, our health, the pursuit of happiness we offer our children and take for granted. Gone. Unless there is still time to shout down the miscreants in Washington. As we see the politicians of every stripe complicit in this heist, and insufficient outcry in the streets, isn't it hard not to conclude Americans are getting what they deserve? If you have any gut feeling that you DO NOT WANT TO STAND IDLY BY, listen to Michael Moore: (although the DC email/phone connection appears to have been pulled.) Friends, Let me cut to the chase. The biggest robbery in the history of this country is taking place as you read this. Though no guns are being used, 300 million hostages are being taken. Make no mistake about it: After stealing a half trillion dollars to line the pockets of their war-profiteering backers for the past five years, after lining the pockets of their fellow oilmen to the tune of over a hundred billion dollars in just the last two years, Bush and his cronies -- who must soon vacate the White House -- are looting the U.S. Treasury of every dollar they can grab. They are swiping as much of the silverware as they can on their way out the door. No matter what they say, no matter how many scare words they use, they are up to their old tricks of creating fear and confusion in order to make and keep themselves and the upper one percent filthy rich. Just read the first four paragraphs of the lead story in last Monday's New York Times and you can see what the real deal is: "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." Unbelievable. Wall Street and its backers created this mess and now they are going to clean up like bandits. Even Rudy Giuliani is lobbying for his firm to be hired (and paid) to "consult" in the bailout. The problem is, nobody truly knows what this "collapse" is all about. Even Treasury Secretary Paulson admitted he doesn't know the

This American Life -live it in fear

Did New York City based NPR need to hype fears of an economic collapse to Main Street USA, who's so far not spooked by the bogeyman in Wall Street's closet? NYC called in help from partners in the Chicago, the radio program THIS AMERICAN LIFE. Together they fashioned a monster to scare the heartland. TAL Reporter Alex Blumberg collaborated with NPR in creating a story defining "commercial paper," the money market, and the cryptically un-ominous "Breaking the Buck" to an audience who might not otherwise be standing on their chairs. They interviewed a treasurer in Arizona who had been trembling in the privacy of his office at the prospect of a Wall Street meltdown. He was monitoring the signs as they crossed his computer screen in the form of zillions of numbers. We were made to imagine a Matrix-like cascade into which, if you peered closely, perhaps with eyes unfocused, you could hear Godzilla's heartbeat outside your door. They even referred to the looming danger as a monster. Was this a reflection of American life, or a projection?

EAT THE RICH!

My favorite visual from Thursday's Wall Street action: EAT THE RICH, invoking Peter Richardson's Class War cult classic. The bastards are making a grab for $700 BILLION in this salvo. Which proposition is the more preposterous?   What's with the Wall Street building garbed in the Stars and Stripes? Odd enough that the architecture impersonates a courthouse or mausoleum. Is the stock market a federal agency? Draped in Red, White and Blue it looks like the command center of the Capitalist empire.

No blank-check bailout for Wall Street

COLORADO SPRINGS, CO - Organizations in Southern Colorado will participate in a National Day of Action in opposition to the no-strings attached, $700 billion corporate bailout plan advanced by President Bush and Treasury Secretary Paulson. A press conference will take place 2PM on Thursday, Sept. 25 in front of the Department of Human Services Sand Creek Office at 1635 South Murray Blvd., Colorado Springs. From the LOCAL PRESS RELEASE: "We believe the bailout is wrong headed - it's low-wage working families struggling to make ends meet, who will most suffer the consequences of this kind of bad economic policy," said Dennis Apuan, community leader and Democratic candidate for Statehouse, District 17. "We must press on our elected officials to ensure that families do not have to make impossible choices between feeding their children, heating their homes and filling their prescriptions. We need leaders who know how to respond to the growing need in our communities - lost jobs, threatened homes, and surging food and energy prices," Apuan added. The National Day of Action will feature more than 75 press conferences, demonstrations and other public events throughout the United States. Some of the events are being held by local and national organizations; others will be citizen-organized, involving taxpayers angered by the proposed corporate bailout, as introduced in Congress. The local event will include a voter registration drive and sign-up opportunities to volunteer in community civic engagement. "With so many of the citizens and residents of House District 17 suffering from the downturn in the economy, it is important that they have a voice in these ill-advised corporate bailouts," said Rosemary Harris, President of the Colorado Springs Branch NAACP. "This is a diverse community, with people from all racial, social and economic backgrounds. Our lives matter. Our voices matter. And our vote is our true voice. Registering voters who will determine the future policies and future leaders of this House District, this state, and this country is perhaps the best way to respond to the actions of those in Washington," Harris added. Among the leaders of the national organizing effort are TrueMajority.org, US Action Education Fund, ACORN, Campaign For America's Future, Coalition on Human Needs, Military Spouses For Change, National Priorities Project and many others. From the INDYPENDENT's Arun Gupta, the ORIGINAL EMAIL CALL-OUT: NO BAILOUT FOR WALL STREET Protest on Wall Street this Thursday at 4pm! Call to Self-Organize This week the White House is going to try to push through the biggest robbery in world history with nary a stitch of debate to bail out the Wall Street bastards who created this economic apocalypse in the first place. This is the financial equivalent of September 11. They think, just like with the Patriot Act, they can use the shock to force through the “therapy,” and we’ll just

The Stop the Foreclosures and Evictions Movement arises

People are losing the houses they live in, the jobs they depend on to pay the rents and mortgages, and the retirement pensions they thought secure. Michigan and Florida are especially hit hard, as well as the Gulf Coast areas hit by tropical storms and left half way abandoned by Federal relief agencies. The formation of Michigan's Coalition to Stop Foreclosures & Evictions is a clear sign of our times, and we shall see coalitions like this one now begin to form in area after area almost everywhere around the US. You can bet on it.

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