Category Archives: Financial Collapse
– Janwillem van de Wetering
Money doesn’t talk, it swears
As the cancer that is looter capitalism continues to devour America in order to perpetuate it’s necessity to show continuous growth as we now enter the final monopoly stages it would be wise to realize that none of this were to have happened had our society not glorified the rich, condemned the poor and become damned by greed and lack of compassion. The zero sum game that is big time American capitalism (which is not to be confused with free enterprise) the decades of pillage and conquer abroad not nearly enough to feed the insatiable rapacious monster which is fueled by pure greed has come home to roost. I am often reminded of that old Stephen King story Survivor Type where the dude is marooned on a barren and deserted island with nothing but a gargantuan amount of heroin and has to amputate parts of his body to eat in order to survive. This is the late stage of capitalism, the one that those foul devils Karl Marx and Vlad Lenin as well as every influential thinker with any common sense warned about. This is the continuation of the vaunted ownership society….they own your ass!
Forget the mass hallucination that was George W. Bush’s ownership society, the miraculous run up in home prices where the average shmoe could dream of becoming a real live real estate kingpin like the noxious Donald Trump by flipping houses just like the big boys. With the glorious magic of ever increasing property values Americans could just take out huge home equity lines of credit and live beyond their wildest means, filling their McMansions with shit that they couldn’t afford using money that they didn’t have, all of which debt was then being packaged off into derivitives, what the exalted high priest of the temple of American mammon Warren Buffett aka the Oracle of Omaha once himself called financial weapons of mass destruction. The big banks couldn’t lend money fast enough, with shoddier standards or any foresight of what might happen were the party to stop, largely because the loans were being pureed and repackaged into mortgage backed paper (more like toilet paper) that was immediately sold to investors while the con artists who created it were also using credit default swaps to bet against it. The pigs were gorging themselves in an unprecedented orgy of greed, corporations were getting fat while using the relatively new practice of offshoring to divest themselves of jobs for Americans in favor of lower paid workers in India and other locales and manufacturing was being systematically dismantled in favor of using plants in China. All of it was great until the waning days of the Bush administration when the shit hit the fan and the whole thing blew up.
While phony conservative pundits foist off the blame for the economic collapse on the usual bogeyman black people for taking out loans that they couldn’t afford to pay back, a fake narrative that the racist white trash teabaggers gobbled up like frosted bullshit biscuits it was just another big lie. It would be far more accurate to point the finger at the pasty white social climbers who turned into wheeler dealers as they churned housing, taking out risky loans (which the Wall Street temples of avarice pumped out with full knowledge of their toxicity) to plunk down on skyrocketing properties which they briefly held before selling to the next schmuck. It was only a matter of time until the music stopped and a good many of the greedy bitches and bastards were left without chairs, any sane person could see that it wasn’t real. Then there were the TV addled dopes, the Boobus Americanus who actually bought their dream homes, mini-mansions in exurbia with polished marble countertops, more rooms that they needed and had to be furnished by maxing out the plastic and the two and three car garages in which they could park their SUVs. It was of course a massive disaster waiting to happen and when it all came crashing down former Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson (also former CEO of Goldman Sachs) went on bended knee to Congress to get a one of those nice taxpayer funded bailouts for all of his criminal buddies on Wall Street. Then came TARP (interesting acronym for something used to cover up a massive swindle) which both Bush and Obama signed off on and in layman’s terms dry-fucked millions of Americans in the ass so that the banksters could continue to get their bonuses and the revolving door between Washington and Wall Street could keep spinning. Matt Taibbi has done a great job of muckraking journalism on the gross plunder and pillage that Wall Street, especially Goldman Sachs (or as I refer to them, the Great Satan) engaged in for Rolling Stone magazine. Taibbi’s work is must reading for those seeking to understand how viciously the anal rape of America by the big banks has been, see The Great American Bubble Machine or the book Griftopia for his writing on the crime of the century.
For awhile though it actually looked like there could be systemic change, had Obama had any balls he would have ordered the nationalization of the big banks, the liquidation of all derivatives and appointed a Wall Street crime czar with endless resources, subpoena power and a mandate to thoroughly cleanse the system. Back in early 2009 the financial racketeers were on the ropes, AIG executives were besieged by protesters at their homes, CNBC con-artist Jim “Mad Money” Cramer was being publicly pilloried and left-gatekeeper Bill Maher went on HBO and suggested that hanging two randomly picked bankers by the big board at the New York Stock Exchange with their balls in their mouth would set a good example. Then something happened, the tide turned in favor of the big banking racketeers who had bamboozled Americans by the millions to buy their yachts, only in America could something this obscene happen, a land where cunning hatchetman CEO’s are treated as gods and decades of incessant propaganda have effectively brainwashed a population that while incapable of understanding the most basic concepts of incremental losing into actually thinking that one day they too can be rich!
The bankster pushback actually started with CNBC’s greasy little pimp Rick Santelli went off on camera in the much hyped rant on the floor of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange that effectively co-opted the former libertarian tea party movement and brought it under Republican/Koch Brothers control. That would have serious implications later on with the mass counterattack by big business as they had in the blink of an eye with a big assist from FOX an army of angry, ignorant, racist fatties to mobilize as brownshirts against any sort of serious reform efforts. It has always amazed me (but not really) how so many could be so easily duped into action against their own economic self-interests, in a historical sense the Tea Party (just a rebranding of the die hard haters of the GOP base post-Bush) is on the side of the British Monarchy although rich in irony it is far beyond their comprehension. The next step of the bankster’s Battle of the Bulge was the ‘leaked’ internal memo by Citi’s Vikram ‘the bandit’ Pandit that things really aren’t that bad after all which put a floor on the stock market plunge. Then came the 60 Minutes appearance of Ben Bernanke, Obama’s re-appointed Bush holdover Fed Chairman that there were marvelous “GREEN SHOOTS” of an economic recovery already popping up, Bernanke’s jacking off of the public was followed by Tim Geithner’s obviously rigged stress tests of the banks. Lost in all of the hype and propaganda was another critical part of the effort to deceive the sheep into lining up for another shearing at the Wall Street casino tables, the Financial Standards Accounting Board (FASB) quietly changed the mark-to-market rules so that the worthless toilet paper mortgage backed securities could now be valued at whatever the pit bosses desired. The hustle had been pulled off, soon the media was focusing on the staged Tea Party bund rallies against Obamacare (really a massive giveaway to the insurance parasites) and Bernanke was crowned as Time’s Man of the Year (now changed to person of the year thanks to the political correctness Nazis).The greedheads got bailed out, the taxpayers got the shaft and the looting spree was back on. To borrow a great analogy from gadfly Webster Tarpley (which I paraphrase) in reference to the bailout – when Dracula is sucking the blood out of a victim the thing to do is to pull him off and drive a stake through his heart but the Obama administration is trying to save the victim by giving Dracula a blood transfusion and hoping that it would flow back into the victim or something along those lines, I don’t have the exact wording.
Now two years after the Santelli dog and pony show, the Citi memo and GREEN SHOOTS the economy is still a disaster, the dollar is in freefall, Bernanke has the printing presses set on ramming speed and there are widespread flareups of unrest largely thanks to food prices sent into the stratosphere by pigs who speculate in commodities. Look for matters to only get worse too, it’s now obvious that the Japanese government has been lying about the massive humanitarian catastrophe thanks to TEPCO’s Fukashima radioactive meltdown which I strongly suspect is motivated by the need to keep the global derivatives casino open for business and there is austerity coming to America along with a failed political system that has neither the will nor the desire to treat the rapidly metastasizing capitalist cancer. Food prices are about to explode her in Der Heimat thanks to gas prices well on the way to 4 bucks a gallon and yet another ruinous and expensive war. As Hunter S. Thompson once wrote: “In a nation run by swine, all pigs are upward-mobile and the rest of us are fucked until we can put our acts together: Not necessarily to Win, but mainly to keep from Losing Completely”.
There will be no help for anybody but the pigs at Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan Chase coming from the Obama administration, face it people, the only change that the Pope of Hope really ever stood for was left cover for the gargantuan redistribution of wealth upwards. Obama is quite obviously even worse than Bush as the wars continue and mount in number (under the malarkey guise of humanitarian interventions), the torture never stops, the constitution continues to be disemboweled and the airports are filled with dooling thugs in TSA uniforms with the full blessing of the U.S. government to feel up prepubescent little boys and girls. Hell, Bush never could have gotten away with that one and when it comes to economic relief, Le Enfant Terrible did actually send people checks for $600. I always got a sardonic little kick out of the silly liberals who only made excuses for Obama (and still do) in that he was the chess master, or Michael Jordan just studying the opposing team’s defense and ready to explode at any moment into a whirling dervish of athletic daredeviltry as he broke down the formidable defense of the Bad Boys for the championship hardware. The truth, and it is as dark as the proverbial black steer’s tookus on a moonless prairie night is that Obama is the chess master, it’s checkmate for the working class and he is just like Michael Jordan, a greedy, amoral, selfish multimillionaire prick who once commented “Republicans buy sneakers too” rather than doing the right thing in using his global celebrity to promote progressive social change.For some reason Jordan’s famous quote conjures up one of Obama’s, the one where he proclaimed that if Americans were being denied their right to collectively bargain that he would put on his own pair of comfortable shoes and join them on the picket lines. This alas like so many other things (wars,closing Gitmo, renegotiating trade pacts etc) was just more of the same bullshit about hope and change marketed by Wall Street’s soon to be new bagman at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.
America is the wealthiest nation on Earth, but its people are mainly poor, and poor Americans are urged to hate themselves. To quote the American journalist Kin Hubbard “It ain’t no disgrace to be poor, but it might as well be.” It is in fact a crime for an American to be poor, even though America is a nation of poor. Every other nation has folk traditions of men who were poor but extremely wise and virtuous, and therefore more estimable than anyone with power and gold. No such tales are told by the American poor. They mock themselves and glorify their betters. The meanest eating or drinking establishment, owned by a man who is himself poor, is very likely to have a sign on its wall asking this cruel question: “If you’re so smart, why ain’t you rich?” There will also be an American flag no larger than a child’s hand glued to a lollipop stick and flying fom the cash register.
Americans, like human beings everywhere believe that many things are obviously untrue. Their most destructive untruth is that it is very easy for any American to make money. They will not acknowledge how in fact hard money is to come by, and therefore those who have no money blame and blame and blame themselves. This inward blame has been a treasure for the rich and powerful, who have had to do less for their poor, publicly and privately, than any other ruling class since, say Napoleanic times. Many novelties have come from America. The most startling of these, a thing without precedent, is a mass of undignified poor. They do not love one another because they do not love themselves.
When elevating the moneychangers to revered figures Americans have bought the disinformation funded by the plutocrats decades long spending spree on think tank ‘experts’, news manipulation and balls out bribery of public officials to rig the game for the rich. In a decomposing corpse of a once vibrant economy it is only natural that the biggest maggots eat the best. Donald Trump is a shining example, more visible than the rank and file crooks and robbers who don’t happen to be household names like Lloyd Blankfein, Dick Fuld, Ken Lewis and Jamie Dimon the mouthiest multi-millionaire in America is the one who is king. For all of his millions one would figure that a pathologically vain egomaniac like ‘The Donald’ could at least afford a decent rug to put on his head, so much for the beautiful rich. And now Trump is ready to make a presidential bid in 2012, he is already invoking the Birther bullshit to appeal to the peckerwoods and if he has any serious political sense soon will start dropping his g’s to appeal to the dumber than dogshit red state fascists. He will need someone with clout for V.P. though, likely the moonbat Michelle Bachman who can mobilize brigades of the fucked over by the system but too ignorant to blame it on anyone but the niggers and A-rabs of teabaggers. Sarah Palin has for the most part been kicked to the curb like yesterday’s garbage after her idiotic “blood libel” response to the Tuscon shooting where she portrayed herself as the real victim, not Congresswoman Gibson, a federal judge and a handful of others including a nine-year old girl who were murdered. Just imagine President Trump, Vice President Bachmann now that would be something for it would once and forever strip the veil of legitimacy from the gangster fascist state that is America and it’s population of fear-filled, overfed and undereducated nitwits, it would be there for the entire world to see.
I often reference the work of Chris Hedges, a man who I feel is the moral beacon of these heinous times. His latest piece, The Collapse of Globalization truly sums up the hopeless mess that is America in terminal decline and I excerpt the following below::
We are seduced by this childish happy talk. Who wants to hear that we are advancing not toward a paradise of happy consumption and personal prosperity but a disaster? Who wants to confront a future in which the rapacious and greedy appetites of our global elite, who have failed to protect the planet, threaten to produce widespread anarchy, famine, environmental catastrophe, nuclear terrorism and wars for diminishing resources? Who wants to shatter the myth that the human race is evolving morally, that it can continue its giddy plundering of non-renewable resources and its profligate levels of consumption, that capitalist expansion is eternal and will never cease?Dying civilizations often prefer hope, even absurd hope, to truth. It makes life easier to bear. It lets them turn away from the hard choices ahead to bask in a comforting certitude that God or science or the market will be their salvation. This is why these apologists for globalism continue to find a following. And their systems of propaganda have built a vast, global Potemkin village to entertain us. The tens of millions of impoverished Americans, whose lives and struggles rarely make it onto television, are invisible. So are most of the world’s billions of poor, crowded into fetid slums. We do not see those who die from drinking contaminated water or being unable to afford medical care. We do not see those being foreclosed from their homes. We do not see the children who go to bed hungry. We busy ourselves with the absurd. We invest our emotional life in reality shows that celebrate excess, hedonism and wealth. We are tempted by the opulent life enjoyed by the American oligarchy, 1 percent of whom control more wealth than the bottom 90 percent combined.The celebrities and reality television stars whose foibles we know intimately live indolent, self-centered lives in sprawling mansions or exclusive Manhattan apartments. They parade their sculpted and surgically enhanced bodies before us in designer clothes. They devote their lives to self-promotion and personal advancement, consumption, parties and the making of money. They celebrate the cult of the self. And when they have meltdowns we watch with gruesome fascination. This empty existence is the one we are taught to admire and emulate. This is the life, we are told, we can all have. The perversion of values has created a landscape where corporate management by sleazy figures like Donald Trump is confused with leadership and where the ability to accumulate vast sums of money is confused with intelligence. And when we do glimpse the poor or working class on our screens, they are ridiculed and taunted. They are objects of contempt, whether on “The Jerry Springer Show” or “Jersey Shore.”The incessant chasing after status, personal advancement and wealth has plunged most of the country into unmanageable debt. Families, whose real wages have dropped over the past three decades, live in oversized houses financed by mortgages they often cannot repay. They seek identity through products. They occupy their leisure time in malls buying things they do not need. Those of working age spend their weekdays in little cubicles, if they still have steady jobs, under the heels of corporations that have disempowered American workers and taken control of the state and can lay them off on a whim. It is a desperate scramble. No one wants to be left behind.
Democracy is a pathetic belief in the collective wisdom of individual ignorance.
H. L. Mencken
By now it should be painfully apparent to all but the most befuddled, celebrity worshipping O-Bots and their asinine counterparts in the malodorous and fraudulent Tea Party movement that there is really very little actual difference between the regimes of President Barack Obama and those of his predecessors. While I admit that the Bush-Cheney regime and the neocon ghouls that filled it has a special place in historical infamy and while there is little substantive policy difference Obama is an improvement over that confederacy of dunces, he has slid very easily into the suit of the American Emperor. Some of my more cynical friends on the far left called it as it was and I regret alienating them during the primary process. If I could take back my words on Hillary Rodham Clinton as being the “Joan of Arc of the dry pussy demographic” and other nasty comments I would do so today. Not that Mrs. Rodham-Clinton isn’t a corporatist warmonger of the highest order but at least there is some semblence of being qualified while Mr. Obama is clearly not up to the task. Fortuately for him the real power in the US of A rests with the financial oligarchy, the big energy cartels and the uber rich and of course the state of Israel and it’s hordes of fifth-columnists in the Pentagon, Christian churches and most importantly the U.S. mainstream media.
During the first year and a half of the Obama administration, the Pope of Hope has presided over the largest and most obscene taxpayer funded bailout of Wall Street criminals, hedge fund hyenas and the degenerate gamblers who have detroyed the global economy with their derivatives. There is nothing that Obama could have possibly done, short of beheading small children on the front lawn of the White House that could even remotely top the gross criminality of the Wall Street swindler bailout. Granted that it began in the final months of the Bush administration under Henry Paulson, another of the Goldman Sachs financial predators who are allowed to regularly slither into the halls of government power no matter who the president or party in control is but it was Obama’s ongoing failure to hold any of the thieves accountable. Not that accountability is very big with any U.S. leader, were this a sane and moral country Richard B. Cheney would currently be rotting in a prison cell, Clinton would have never allowed the Iran-Contra traitors to get off of the hook to save the ass of Poppy Bush and Ford would have never pardoned Nixon. But this is not any sane (not even remotely so) or decent society rooted in any sort of a moral value system. That being said, prepare for the screws to continue to be put to the average American schmuck by the likes of Wall Street moles like Timothy Geithner and Helicopter Ben Bernanke.
By William Cormier (featured with our good friend Bill’s permission – Just Another Coverup)
In a speech that will not surprise anyone, Timothy Geithner, while on a two-day visit to India, pledged that our government would “not (to) harm India’s IT outsourcing sector as it battles to create jobs at home in the worst labour market since the Great Depression of the 1930s.” He went on to state that “protectionist measures to prevent jobs from migrating outside the country would do more harm to the US than good.” As he rambled on, placing international relations and Wall Street profits ahead of millions of unemployed American workers, Geithner dug in his heels and stated:
“protectionist measures to prevent jobs from migrating outside the country would not seek to curb the investments of US companies overseas as “our fortunes are tied with the world”.”
“We are not going to go down that path,” promised Mr Geithner. “We know that it would make us weaker, not stronger.” LINK
“would not seek to curb the investments of US companies overseas as “our fortunes are tied with the world”.
Who exactly is Timothy Geithner speaking for when he states that “We know that it would make us weaker, not stronger?” We need to press the White House and Mr. “Globalist Geithner” to explain exactly who he is referring to when speaking about “us.” We also need to know how and why it would make the United States weaker if we quit outsourcing American jobs and pay our citizens decent wages rather than supporting the economies of other nations throughout the world.
It is obvious the us Mr. Geithner is speaking of is Corporate America and Wall Street investors, not millions of highly qualified American workers that have had their livelihoods stripped from them by greedy corporations who have placed profit above the health and welfare of the American people. The Obama Administration’s acquiescence to corporate profits and power is nauseating and directly conflicts with his campaign promises. This is the most outrageous and misleading statement that Geithner has made to date, IMO, and we must challenge this need of President Obama to support Corporate America while stating that his administration is doing their best to prop-up our jobs market. You can’t do both Mr. President; our work force is competent and to pull us out of this “jobless recovery,” we have to create more high-tech jobs and quit outsourcing our economy and future to other countries.
How much has corporate greed aided other nations while helping to destroy our own economy? Just in India, the article referred to herein states:
IT outsourcing, which is heavily dependent on business from the US, is one of India’s flagship economic sectors. Companies such as Tata Consultancy Services, Infosys and Genpact helped propel the economy to growth rates of 9 per cent before the global financial crisis and was responsible for creating 45 per cent of new jobs over the past 10 years.
I haven’t seen these statements circulated in our Mainstream News Media, and as usual, they are reporting upon anything and everything other than what concerns the welfare of our own country. We need to spread the word that President Obama is selling out American workers and pledging to support other economies rather than our own, and this is absolutely unacceptable!
Editor’s Note – The story referenced from the Financial Times requires registration, for those who cannot afford to subscribe to this most important economic news in this time of national crisis I am posting the article below:
Geithner vows to block protectionism
By James Lamont in New Delhi
Published: April 7 2010 10:39 Last updated: April 7 2010 17:31
The US government has vowed not to harm India’s IT outsourcing sector as it battles to create jobs at home in the worst labour market since the Great Depression of the 1930s.
Tim Geithner, US Treasury secretary, said during a two-day visit to India that protectionist measures to prevent jobs from migrating outside the country would do more harm to the US than good.
“We are not going to go down that path,” promised Mr Geithner. “We know that it would make us weaker, not stronger.”
He also said that the administration of Barack Obama, president, would not seek to curb the investments of US companies overseas as “our fortunes are tied with the world”. There have been proposals to trim the tax privileges of US companies that operate internationally.
“American companies are long in the world,” Mr Geithner told Indian business leaders at a discussion hosted by the Confederation of Indian Industry.
“They are good at what much of the world needs. A huge part of the basic economic challenge we face is to give stronger in- centive for private investment, help support innovation and try to make sure there is more investment and stronger exports globally.”
Mr Geithner said Mr Obama was “deeply committed” to trying to build a consensus among Americans for more open trade to support the recovery.
“We have got the worst labour market since the Great Depression,” the Treasury secretary said. “Most Americans are still going through an incredibly difficult economic series of challenges and yet we’ve been very successful in working to keep our markets open under all that pressure.”
IT outsourcing, which is heavily dependent on business from the US, is one of India’s flagship economic sectors. Companies such as Tata Consultancy Services, Infosys and Genpact helped propel the economy to growth rates of 9 per cent before the global financial crisis and was responsible for creating 45 per cent of new jobs over the past 10 years.
Last year the global IT outsourcing market was estimated to be worth as much as $250bn (€187bn, £164bn).
“Some of the sounds coming out of the US have caused concerns here,” said Tarun Das, the president of the Aspen Institute in India. Local businesses were wondering whether “the authors of globalisation are turning to protectionism”.
Senior policymakers say that the Indian economy is fast becoming more export-oriented and more vulnerable to protectionist action by other large economies.
“If we want to get to 9-10 per cent growth it’s in our interest that the US should get back to growing as soon as possible,” said Montek Singh Ahluwalia, deputy chairman of India’s powerful planning commission.
“It’s also [important] that [the] market remain open.”
Despite some wonderful rhetoric in a major speech given in the a police state in total lockdown last week when he visited Cairo newly crowned President Barack Obama is by the nature of his position of figure head of the American Empire a major disappointment to this point. The Cairo speech was astonishing in that an American President actually went into the heart of the Muslim world, admitted U.S. culpability in the 1953 CIA coup to overthrow democratically elected Iranian leader Mohammad Mosaddeq. Now of course, in the age of the internet (prior to the coming Chinese style censoring of it) the Iranian coup and the installation of the blood drinking puppet the Shah of Iran and his savage torture regime there is really no sense in denying this anymore, it was a hell of a gesture and he deserves credit for it, especially since it puts a gigantic bug up the asses of the dark forces and their nearly half-century reign of malevolence on behalf of big U.S. corporations and the financial oligarchs.
Obama also dared to speak harshly of our very ’special friend’ Israel which is refreshing given the long history of their involvement in propagandizing America, shaping foreign policy through their vicious, take no prisoners intimidation tactics of a vast lobby here in The Homeland. The agents of Israel have long been engaging in spying on Americans, buying and blackmailing the Congress to ensure that they retain the upper hand and that the Palestinians are treated as sub-humans and terrorists in the U.S. media. The tough talk with Israel (let’s see some action instead of words now) is welcome and very ballsy and Obama is now going to face the withering attack of the fascist Republican neocons, the dead-ender brownshirts of their knuckle-dragging Rapture death cult base and the knives of the bought and paid for Democrats in a Congress that arch-conservative pundit Pat Buchanan referred to as “Israeli occupied territory”. With enemies like these diseased pigs I would certainly hope that Mr. Obama has some pretty damned good (and loyal) security. With the Newt Gingrich-Rush Limbaugh angry army being whipped into a foaming at the mouth frenzy the assassination plots will grow exponentially as the extremists grapple for the right conditions for their return to power in 2010 or 2012.
The speeches aside, as of this day it is beginning to look increasingly apparent that once again Americans have been suckered, duped, swindled and bent over at the ballot box. The grand campaign trail rhetoric of CHANGE is just another empty slogan as Mr. Obama continues to not only flip-flop like an oxygen starved carp on the shore of the sewage collection facility known as Washington D.C. but to slyly reinforce some of the worst transgressions of the more openly fascist Bush-Cheney Axis of Evil. Despite the promises of CHANGE we still live in a high-tech police state that has not been reigned in an inch, the Obama administration is still down with illegal domestic spying and is even going to the extreme in pushing for the ability to shut down the internet, the framework for an authoritarian system of oppression beyond anything ever dreamed of in America is not only being kept but it is being augmented with twisted Stalinist legal mechanisms like preventative detention. He reneged on the release of the torture photos (they reputedly include graphic images of the rape of children) under pressure from fascist elements in a contradiction (LIE) that his government would be open. The wars of course go on, only the venues change, drones are blasting civilians on a near daily basis and with the ruthless assassination specialist General Stanley McChrystal taking command in Afghanistan it looks like the Phoenix Program has been resurrected and of course the big lie of Al Qaeda as global villians invoked to justify the ongoing imperialism. The restarting of military tribunals is also a stab in the back.
Of course Obama screwed us all by saving the Wall Street looters, the presence of some of the most notorious fixers on the planet Tim Geithner and Larry Summers among others should never have been confirmed due to their conflicts of interest to the financial oligarchs. The price that you are now paying at the pump is a direct result of Obama’s refusal to close the casino window and instead of nationalizing the crooked banks, cleaning them up and then returning them to private hands they were allowed to survive. The ballyhooed stress tests were a fraud and the recent Lazarus style rise of the markets is more attributable to a ‘The Surge is Working’ style of propaganda campaign as well as the chaning of the mark to market accounting rules that allowed derivatives with the worth of used toilet paper to be booked at whatever value that the Wall Street jackals happened to pull out of their asses to show phantom profitability. Now the oil speculators are back in business and 4 bucks a gallon is on the way. With a great fix like that for the economy (the real collapse is still coming) one has scant hopes that any sort of a legitimate first world style national healthcare system is coming, it is a certainty that the insurance industry leeches will still be attached to our backs.
Obama has also slagged the so-called radical left (actually they are anything but in fascist USA) elements of his base by failing to implement liberal/progressive policies. The feckless shoot down of ‘don’t ask don’t tell’ being the latest. Being a veteran myself and having served with gays (who were closeted out of necessity) I must say that they served with honor and that I would share a foxhole with a gay soldier any day rather than with a dickless, cringing Republican chickenhawk. The corporatist Democrats treat the base the same way that the fascist Republicans do the Jesus juicing ‘Christian’ base, they fire them up and then once elected throw them under the bus. I voted for Obama, it was the threat of Sarah Palin being a heartbeat away from the presidency that made that choice for me, I kept seeing pictures of Hitler and Hindenberg in my mind. Now I wish that I had only done the right thing and voted for Nader or Cynthia McKinney, at least my dignity would be intact.
Anyway, if I were to spend much time on putting together a laundry list of Obama’s lies, half truths and prevarications it would take me just too long and it’s off to the salt mine time. I will however post this delicious piece from Ted Rall in it’s entirety:
Desperate and Afraid, People Trust Leader
WASHINGTON, NORTH AMERICAN PROTECTORATE, GREATER GERMAN REICH–From Honolulu to Portland, Maine, North American citizens of the Greater German Reich gathered on June 6th to celebrate the 65th anniversary of the victory of Axis forces at D-Day, the battle that decided World War II. Fallen heroes of the Wehrmacht and SS were commemorated at solemn ceremonies and Party rallies throughout the Reich, but the day held special meaning in Washington, which until 1945 was the capital of the former United States.
Speaking at the Supreme Kommandatur, which was built at the site of the former American presidential palace, Chancellor Adolf Hitler III said the war against the Western Allies paved the way for the years of peace and prosperity that followed. “It was unknowable then, but so much of the progress that would define the 20th century, on both sides of the Atlantic, came down to the battle for a slice of beach only six miles long and two miles wide,” he said.
Recollections of the National Socialist triumph at Normandy were clouded by several developments–a severe recession, a war with no apparent end in sight, and continuing concerns over human rights abuses.
Hitler III swept into power last November with a slogan–“change you can believe in”–that charmed members of the Reichstag across the political spectrum from far right to extreme right. Since that time, however, changes have proven either incremental or non-existent. For example, Hitler III promised during the campaign to help national comrades in danger of losing their homes–but instead spent trillions of marks to bail out feckless banks. He promised to withdraw from the Eastern Front, but has extended the pullout timeline by a year, is leaving tens of thousands of troops in place, and even plans to open a new front in South Asia.
Finally, he declared his intent to close Auschwitz (“Germany does not ‘do’ genocide,” he said) only to move the remaining inmates to other camps, which are being expanded.
Despite the lack of action, most people continue to support the charismatic new Leader. “He has a lot on his plate,” says Kristof Mathewsohn, the cable TV commentator. “Give the guy time.”
Indeed, five months into his chancellorship, the Leader remains the most trusted figure in North American politics. A new poll of homeless, recently dispossessed workers found that 72 percent trust Hitler III “to do the right thing.”
“In watching and listening to Hitler III’s press conferences, it’s easy to appreciate why people trust him,” said a man who preferred to remain anonymous because, as a Jew, he could be arrested and murdered by the state. “Sure, I wish he’d shut down the gas chambers and the ovens, but he has a lot of other problems to fix first. I’m sure he’ll get around to investigating the guys in the previous administration for their role in the Holocaust–nothing drastic, maybe a truth and reconciliation commission or something.”
Members of the media remain in thrall to the Leader’s suave persona, which is magnified by the glamour his statuesque wife and adorable daughters have brought to Germania (formerly Berlin). “Finally–parties we can believe in!” quipped a reporter as he slipped into a sold-out Wagner performance where Hitler III and his family appeared for a long-promised “date night.”
Few have forgotten that Hitler III offered the best alternative. “We live in a one-party system,” pointed out Rachel Maddoff, host of “The Rachel Maddoff Show.” “Can you imagine how much worse it would have been had Hitler III lost?”
We will be left with nothing but our mouths to laugh with due to the failures of this latest political administration of charlatans. Not that it wasn’t predictable given the vast amounts of Clinton era toxic waste that has been pumped back into Washington. The laughing may soon stop though as the Obama administration policies continue to totally alienate progressives and liberals by the thousands with each and every betrayal – hell, they seem to come every fucking day don’t they? The fascist Republican hydra is now in full regeneration mode, the blast furnaces of the hatred of the fucked, failed and doomed provide the fuel for the engine of this doomsday machine. Wanna think of something even worse than Obama’s Fozzie Bear Fascism? Imagine a return to power of a full blown fanatic party, boiled down to the purest and most potent form, like black tar heroin returning to power starting next November when progressives and liberals decide that they are finished having the big red, white and blue dick rammed up their poop chutes with a nice jellied red hot habanero pepper sauce for lube.
And the torture state apparatus is only being strengthened and institutionalized every day that Lord Obama and the Vichy Democrats allow it to exist.
The history of the last century shows, as we shall see later, that the advice given to governments by bankers, like the advice they gave to industrialists, was consistently good for bankers, but was often disastrous for governments, businessmen, and the people generally.
As the conventional wisdom goes, the stock market is predicated on trust and as a crusty old uncle of mine once said to a young and impressionable teenager with zero knowledge of the way that the world really worked: “trust me is just another two letter word that means the same as fuck you.” Old Uncle Harvey’s words of wisdom came home to roost on this Monday morning in America when the finance oligarchs were able to use their inside juice to pull off the grandest and most audacious heist yet in this season of sleazy swindles. Obama Treasury Secretary and Wall Street fixer Timothy Geithner delivered the bacon for the bankers, gave the crack ho stock market a wonderful and intoxicating fix that sent the Dow screaming up by nearly 7 percent in a matter of hours and locked in the losses for the great grandchildren of every poor schmuck with the misfortune to be living through this period of plunder and wealth consolidation.
In phase two of the ongoing SPLURGE (any similarity to the con-game called the surge that allowed us to become winners in Iraq is fully intentioned), on Tuesday night, our very own national Teflon coated bullshit salesman, President Barack Obama, the banker’s gofer and shill for the new generation began to sell it to the saps and a marvelous job he is doing. This man my friends is no new Roosevelt, he is the devil in disguise and he (as many progressives had warned) is in the bag for the establishment. What we really have is a by proxy continuation of the Clinton administration, of course Hillary was to have been the one but in the waning days of the ruinous Bush-Cheney neocon war on America it was just too tough to pimp another dynasty so the crooks who run the system found another pitchman. I cannot possibly articulate the sense of disgust and betrayal that I am experiencing as I write this, it is very difficult to restrain my gag reflex and keep from vomiting on my keyboard because once again the scum wins again and Americans have been played for chumps. Nobel Prize winning economist Paul Krugman(another Nobel Prize winner Joseph Stiglitz decried its “perverse incentives”) and columnist for the damned liberal New York Times put it best in his Monday column Financial Policy Despair:
Over the weekend The Times and other newspapers reported leaked details about the Obama administration’s bank rescue plan, which is to be officially released this week. If the reports are correct, Tim Geithner, the Treasury secretary, has persuaded President Obama to recycle Bush administration policy — specifically, the “cash for trash” plan proposed, then abandoned, six months ago by then-Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson.
This is more than disappointing. In fact, it fills me with a sense of despair.
But the Geithner scheme would offer a one-way bet: if asset values go up, the investors profit, but if they go down, the investors can walk away from their debt. So this isn’t really about letting markets work. It’s just an indirect, disguised way to subsidize purchases of bad assets.
The likely cost to taxpayers aside, there’s something strange going on here. By my count, this is the third time Obama administration officials have floated a scheme that is essentially a rehash of the Paulson plan, each time adding a new set of bells and whistles and claiming that they’re doing something completely different. This is starting to look obsessive.
But the real problem with this plan is that it won’t work. Yes, troubled assets may be somewhat undervalued. But the fact is that financial executives literally bet their banks on the belief that there was no housing bubble, and the related belief that unprecedented levels of household debt were no problem. They lost that bet. And no amount of financial hocus-pocus — for that is what the Geithner plan amounts to — will change that fact.
You might say, why not try the plan and see what happens? One answer is that time is wasting: every month that we fail to come to grips with the economic crisis another 600,000 jobs are lost.
Even more important, however, is the way Mr. Obama is squandering his credibility. If this plan fails — as it almost surely will — it’s unlikely that he’ll be able to persuade Congress to come up with more funds to do what he should have done in the first place.
This isn’t likely to win Krugman any friends in the Obama White House, especially with a sleazy little political gangster like Rahm Emanuel who I predict will eventually make even the Great Satan Karl Rove look like an amateur running the show and protecting the interests of his investment banker buddies. While Barack Obama may be the friendly Fozzie Bear face of this latest hostile takeover of the White House the real example of how things are really done is in this incredible NYT piece from back in January:
Early this month, Barack Obama was meeting with the House speaker, Nancy Pelosi, and other lawmakers when Rahm Emanuel, his chief of staff, began nervously cracking a knuckle.
Mr. Obama then turned to complain to Mr. Emanuel about his noisy habit.
At which point, Mr. Emanuel held the offending knuckle up to Mr. Obama’s left ear and, like an annoying little brother, snapped off a few special cracks.
The venomous cobra that is Emanuel is of course Mr. Obama’s minder and handler, note that he was the first announced member of the new administration, the first of a reoccupation of Washington by Clintonistas. The promised change, at least to this point has been strictly cosmetic, the wars still continue, more troops are headed to Afghanistan, the graveyard of empires past, Gitmo is still open, the new administration is engaging in Clintonian language manipulation regarding ‘torture’ that invokes memories of “it depends on what the meaning of is is”, the military is getting ready to be sent to the Mexican border and there has been no serious discussion of reigning in the run amok police state and the Stasi style high tech domestic spying operations. Yep, change has come to America alright, just like “the check’s in the mail”, “this won’t hurt a bit”, “I love you” and “I promise not to come in your mouth”…and it was all wrapped up in a big bundle of stinking dogshit with a $ sign on it and parked on the doorsteps of Americans and set afire by the Geithner-Bernanke-Paulson triad with the unarguable message that you are either cops or little people. Webster Tarpley had a good one that I heard that saving the banks is like trying to save one of Count Dracula’s victims by giving the blood transfusion to the victim through the vampire when the real remedy is to just pull him off and drive a stake through his heart.
It’s over — we’re officially, royally fucked. No empire can survive being rendered a permanent laughingstock, which is what happened as of a few weeks ago, when the buffoons who have been running things in this country finally went one step too far. It happened when Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner was forced to admit that he was once again going to have to stuff billions of taxpayer dollars into a dying insurance giant called AIG, itself a profound symbol of our national decline — a corporation that got rich insuring the concrete and steel of American industry in the country’s heyday, only to destroy itself chasing phantom fortunes at the Wall Street card tables, like a dissolute nobleman gambling away the family estate in the waning days of the British Empire.
People are pissed off about this financial crisis, and about this bailout, but they’re not pissed off enough. The reality is that the worldwide economic meltdown and the bailout that followed were together a kind of revolution, a coup d’état. They cemented and formalized a political trend that has been snowballing for decades: the gradual takeover of the government by a small class of connected insiders, who used money to control elections, buy influence and systematically weaken financial regulations.
The crisis was the coup de grâce: Given virtually free rein over the economy, these same insiders first wrecked the financial world, then cunningly granted themselves nearly unlimited emergency powers to clean up their own mess. And so the gambling-addict leaders of companies like AIG end up not penniless and in jail, but with an Alien-style death grip on the Treasury and the Federal Reserve — “our partners in the government,” as Liddy put it with a shockingly casual matter-of-factness after the most recent bailout.
The mistake most people make in looking at the financial crisis is thinking of it in terms of money, a habit that might lead you to look at the unfolding mess as a huge bonus-killing downer for the Wall Street class. But if you look at it in purely Machiavellian terms, what you see is a colossal power grab that threatens to turn the federal government into a kind of giant Enron — a huge, impenetrable black box filled with self-dealing insiders whose scheme is the securing of individual profits at the expense of an ocean of unwitting involuntary shareholders, previously known as taxpayers.
There are plenty of people who have noticed, in recent years, that when they lost their homes to foreclosure or were forced into bankruptcy because of crippling credit-card debt, no one in the government was there to rescue them. But when Goldman Sachs — a company whose average employee still made more than $350,000 last year, even in the midst of a depression — was suddenly faced with the possibility of losing money on the unregulated insurance deals it bought for its insane housing bets, the government was there in an instant to patch the hole. That’s the essence of the bailout: rich bankers bailing out rich bankers, using the taxpayers’ credit card.
The people who have spent their lives cloistered in this Wall Street community aren’t much for sharing information with the great unwashed. Because all of this shit is complicated, because most of us mortals don’t know what the hell LIBOR is or how a REIT works or how to use the word “zero coupon bond” in a sentence without sounding stupid — well, then, the people who do speak this idiotic language cannot under any circumstances be bothered to explain it to us and instead spend a lot of time rolling their eyes and asking us to trust them.
That roll of the eyes is a key part of the psychology of Paulsonism. The state is now being asked not just to call off its regulators or give tax breaks or funnel a few contracts to connected companies; it is intervening directly in the economy, for the sole purpose of preserving the influence of the megafirms. In essence, Paulson used the bailout to transform the government into a giant bureaucracy of entitled assholedom, one that would socialize “toxic” risks but keep both the profits and the management of the bailed-out firms in private hands. Moreover, this whole process would be done in secret, away from the prying eyes of NASCAR dads, broke-ass liberals who read translations of French novels, subprime mortgage holders and other such financial losers.
The most likely scenario, should the Geithner plan go through, is a combination of looting, fraud, and a renewed speculation in volatile commodity markets such as oil. Ultimately the losses fall on the public anyway, since deposits are largely insured. There is no chance that the banks will simply resume normal long-term lending. To whom would they lend? For what? Against what collateral? And if banks are recapitalized without changing their management, why should we expect them to change the behavior that caused the insolvency in the first place?
The oddest thing about the Geithner program is its failure to act as though the financial crisis is a true crisis—an integrated, long-term economic threat—rather than merely a couple of related but temporary problems, one in banking and the other in jobs. In banking, the dominant metaphor is of plumbing: there is a blockage to be cleared. Take a plunger to the toxic assets, it is said, and credit conditions will return to normal. This, then, will make the recession essentially normal, validating the stimulus package. Solve these two problems, and the crisis will end. That’s the thinking.
Rome eventually understood that its imperial frontiers exceeded its resources and pulled back. This realization has yet to dawn on Washington.
More budget savings could come from a different approach to the financial crisis. The entire question of bailing out private financial institutions needs rethinking. The probability is that the bailouts are not over. The commercial real estate defaults are yet to present themselves.
Would it be cheaper for government to buy the shares of the banks and AIG at the current low prices than to pour trillions of taxpayers’ dollars into them in an effort to drive up private share prices with public money? The Bush/Paulson bailout plan of approximately $800 billion has been followed a few months later by the Obama/Geithner stimulus-bailout plan of another approximately $800 billion. Together it adds to $1.6 trillion in new Treasury debt, much of which might have to be monetized.
Could this massive debt issue be avoided if the government took over the banks and netted out the losses between the constituent parts? A staid socialized financial sector run by civil servants is preferable to the gambling casino of greed-driven, innovative, unregulated capitalism operated by banksters who have caused crisis throughout the world.
Perhaps the Federal Reserve should be socialized as well. The notion of an independent, privately-owned Federal Reserve system was never more than a ruse to get a national bank into place. Once the central bank is part of the state-owned banking system, the government can create money without having to accumulate a massive public debt that saddles taxpayers’ and future budgets with hundreds of billions of dollars in annual interest payments.