we got a forward from our buddy dan tucker re: an action in Chicago and all over the US.

Spread the word.

---------- Forwarded message ----------

The Wall-Street blank check bail-out, driven by corporate greed, is still moving ahead in Congress, so far without the enforceable commitments that JwJ and allies have insisted are needed to Save The
Economy, Pronto. Several national groups and economists agree that we can and must push for a better deal for Main Street.

On September 30, Congress is scheduled to go home to face constituents, during their election cycle break. JwJ is counting on YOU to hit the streets on Wednesday, October 1st to make sure Congress
serves Main Street before Wall Street. We will do this Day of Action whether the Wall Street Bail-out bill has passed by then or not!!

Jobs with Justice members know that Congress needs to act strongly (but not in a panic) to address the immediate financial crisis, but we also need a deeper, long-term restructuring of our economy so it works for everyone.

Our Demands:
Make the people that got rich while creating the crisis pay for the clean-up Restructure the banking system

Short-term: public ownership for public assistance (i.e. equity stake for public cash)
Long-term: re-regulate private finance and expand public and community-owned alternatives
Solve the housing and foreclosure crisis
Commit to fast-tracking a true recovery plan that addresses jobs, infrastructure, pensions, etc.

Local JwJ coalitions are organizing actions across the country. Find your local JwJ coalition and call or email them to find out what they are planning. We are gathering information about what coalitions have planned, and will post a list early next week.

Live in an area where there is no local JwJ coalition? Plan your own action! Send an email to jwjnational@jwj.org and let us know what you're doing!

Here are some ideas:
Rally at Congressional offices
Deliver 'trash for cash' to your federal reserve office
Picket the banks that are asking for handouts without giving Main Street anything in return
Hold a bake sale, and sell junk food to pay for Wall Street junk bonds
Conduct a public survey asking working people what they need a bail-out for
Now that we taxpayers have paid for your local bank, have a party there
Invite the media to hear from people that need a "Main Street" bail-out

Take Action!


Click here to write, ( http://www.unionvoice.org/campaign/step_up ) and call your Representative and Senator through the Capitol Hill switchboard - (202) 224-3121.

Find a local coalition near you and find out what they are planning for October 1st

Plan your own action for October 1st and let us know what you're planning at jwjnational@jwj.org.

What's At Stake:

Over the past 30 years, conservatives successfully gutted regulation and preached 'smaller government' while millions of Americans lost good jobs and Wall Street and corporate America made record profits. Wall Street invented new, more complicated ways to make money off other people's money.

Now that the party's over, Bush & Co. want to plunder the rest of us to pay the bill for Wall Street's greedy rampage.

Tell Congress: Stop the Bail-out; Pass a recovery plan, instead.


Nice quotes

10 Zen Monkeys has compiled a good set of quotes about the Wall Street Bailout :
No 'cash for trash.' -- Dennis Kucinich, proposing Americans should also take partial ownership of any institutions receiving bailout money.

This is scare tactics to try to do something that's in the private but not the public interest. It's terrible. -- Allan Meltzer, former economic adviser to President Reagan and Carnegie Mellon professor of political economy, quoted in the New York Times

Watching Washington rush to throw taxpayer money at Wall Street has been sobering and a little frightening. -- Newt Gingrich

Some Longer Quotes

It's pretty scary actually how little anyone knows about what is going on.

And now...
Some wonderful quotes..

Financial-market wise guys, who had been seized with fear, are suddenly drunk with hope. They are rallying explosively because they think they have successfully stampeded Washington into accepting the Wall Street Journal solution to the crisis: dump it all on the taxpayers. That is the meaning of the massive bailout Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson has shopped around Congress. It would relieve the major banks and investment firms of their mountainous rotten assets and make the public swallow their losses - many hundreds of billions, maybe much more. What's not to like if you are a financial titan threatened with extinction?
- William Greider


“Decisions by the Secretary pursuant to the authority of this Act are non-reviewable and committed to agency discretion, and may not be reviewed by any court of law or any administrative agency.”
-- Language from Section 8 Treasury Financial Bail-out Proposal


What nobody in the corporate media is mentioning amid all the blather about the $700-billion Paulson bailout proposal is the impact it will have on the US dollar.

We are told that this huge gift to the financial sector—the assumption, at top dollar, of all the bad debt they’ve piled up--will be at taxpayer expense, but that’s only the half of it. (Really only the quarter of it because since the US government is technically bankrupt already, spending more than it takes in each year, all that money will be borrowed, and will be added to the national debt, meaning that just as the real cost of the $500-billion Iraq War is closer to $2 trillion, the real cost of the $700 billion bailout will be more like $1.5-2.5 trillion.)

But besides the direct bill handed to taxpayers for this gigantic con, there is the fact that adding that much to the national debt is also going to drive the dollar down precipitously against foreign currencies. We’re already seeing that happen, even while they’re just talking about the bailout. The dollar is falling against all major currencies—the Euro, the Yen, the Renminbi and the British pound. And it will continue to fall as the details of the bailout come out.


" Look, here is a window of opportunity for increasing popular control over this mess:

“Congress will respond to the financial markets crisis by taking action this week in a bipartisan manner that will protect the taxpayers’ interests,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said. She added that the administration’s proposal did “not include the necessary safeguards. Democrats believe a responsible solution should include independent oversight, protections for homeowners and constraints on excessive executive compensation.”
From today's New York Times"
- posted by Admiral Pip.


Hope walks arm in arm with fear, and so naturally enough Candidate Barack Obama is now reminding us, a la Roosevelt, that we have nothing to fear but fear itself and we must all pull together in a spirit of bipartisanship. Wrong. We have many identifiable things to be frightened of, starting with a bailout program designed to bail out the thieves running our financial system, and stick middle America with the pricetag – heftier than you can imagine. Why pull together with the licensed thug who just stole your money with the pledge that he would be doing it again to your kids?
_ Alexander Cockburn


Today recession is only a small part of the threat that we face. Financial deregulation, Alan Greenspan’s low interest rates, and the belief that the market was the best regulator of risks, have created a highly leveraged pyramid of risk without adequate capital or collateral to back the risk. Consequently, a wide variety of financial institutions are threatened with insolvency, threatening a collapse comparable to the bank failures that shrank the supply of money and credit and produced the Great Depression.


U.S. troops returning from duty in Iraq will be carrying out homeland patrols in America from October 1st in complete violation of Posse Comitatus for the purposes of helping with “civil unrest and crowd control” - which could include dealing with unruly Americans after a complete economic collapse.


"A kleptocratic class has taken over the economy to replace industrial capitalism. Franklin Roosevelt’s term “banksters” says it all in a nutshell. The economy has been captured – by an alien power, but not the usual suspects. Not socialism, workers or “big government,” nor by
industrial monopolists or even by the great banking families. Certainly not by Freemasons and Illuminati. (It would be wonderful if there were indeed some group operating with centuries of wisdom behind them, so at least someone had a plan.) Rather, the banksters have made a compact with an alien power –not Communists, Russians, Asians or Arabs. Not humans at all. The group’s cadre is a new breed of machine. It may sound like the Terminator movies, but computerized Machines have indeed taken over the world – at least, the White House’s world."
- sorry I lost this source...


Whatever the events of this week mean, nobody should believe the overblown claims that the market crisis signals the death of "free market" ideology. Free market ideology has always been a servant to the interests of capital, and its presence ebbs and flows depending on its usefulness to those interests.

During boom times, it's profitable to preach laissez faire, because an absentee government allows speculative bubbles to inflate. When those bubbles burst, the ideology becomes a hindrance, and it goes dormant while big government rides to the rescue. But rest assured: the ideology will come roaring back when the bailouts are done. The massive debts the public is accumulating to bail out the speculators will then become part of a global budget crisis that will be the rationalization for deep cuts to social programs, and for a renewed push to privatize what is left of the public sector. We will also be told that our hopes for a green future are, sadly, too costly.
- Naomi Klein


A Fox to Protect the Henhouse?
By Robert Scheer —

Does it really matter which party is in charge when it comes to bailing out the Wall Street hustlers whose shenanigans have bankrupted so many ordinary folks? Not if the Democrats roll over and cede power to the former head of Goldman Sachs, the investment bank at the center of our economic meltdown.


Talk type soon.

Is This the Stake Through Neoliberalism's Heart? It Should Be, But ...

CounterPunch Diary


Hope walks arm in arm with fear, and so naturally enough Candidate Barack Obama is now reminding us, a la Roosevelt, that we have nothing to fear but fear itself and we must all pull together in a spirit of bipartisanship. Wrong. We have many identifiable things to be frightened of, starting with a bailout program designed to bail out the thieves running our financial system, and stick middle America with the pricetag – heftier than you can imagine. Why pull together with the licensed thug who just stole your money with the pledge that he would be doing it again to your kids?

For the practicalities and implications of the thievery on Wall Street I highly recommend the pieces on our site this weekend by Michael Hudson, Pam Martens and our other writers. I also press upon our readers the reminder, which CounterPunchers surely don’t need, that when it comes to fingering the perpetrators this crisis is indeed truly bipartisan. What exploded last week was an economic credo that has been rolling along since the early 1970s: neoliberalism.

By all rights, this last crisis has brought us to the crossroads where neoliberalism should be buried with a stake through its heart.
We’ve had thirty years worth of deregulation – the loosening of government supervision. This has been the neoliberal mantra preached by both major parties, the whole of the establishment press and almost every university economics department in the country. It is central to the current disasters. And if you want to identify symbolic figures in the legislated career of deregulation, there are no more resplendent culprits than the man at McCain’s elbow, Phil Gramm, and the man standing at Obama’s elbow at his press conference, Robert Rubin.

Take Gramm first.

In 1999 John McCain’s friend and now his closest economic counselor, then a senator from Texas, was the prime Republican force pushing through the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act. It repealed the old Glass-Steagall Act, passed in the Great Depression, which prohibited a commercial bank from being in the investment and insurance business. President Bill Clinton cheerfully signed it into law.

A year later Gramm, chairman of the Senate Banking Committee, attached a 262-page amendment to an omnibus appropriations bill, voted on by Congress right before a recess. The amendment received no scrutiny and duly became the Commodity Futures Modernization Act which okayed deregulation of investment banks, exempting most over the counter derivatives, credit derivatives, credit defaults, and swaps from regulatory scrutiny. Thus were born the scams that produced the debacle of Enron, a company on whose board sat Gramm’s wife Wendy. She had served on the Commodity Futures Trading Commission from 1983 to 1993 and devised many of the rules coded into law by her husband in 2000.

Somewhat stained by the Enron debacle Gramm quit the senate in 2002 and began to enjoy the fruits of his own deregulatory efforts. He became a vice chairman of the giant Swiss bank UBS’ new investment arm in the US, lobbying Congress, the Federal Reserve and the Treasury Department about banking and mortgage issues in 2005 and 2006, urging Congress to roll back strong state rules trying to crimp the predatory tactics of the subprime mortgage industry. UBS took a bath of about $20 billion in write offs from bad real estate loans this year.

Long acknowledged as one of the most mean-spirited men ever to reach Congress, utterly charmless, (he managed to win only eight delegates in a hugely expensive bid for the Republican nomination in 1996) Gramm kept close contacts with the man dubbed McNasty when he was at the Naval College in Annapolis. Aside from their affinities in viciousness of character Gramm had access to big campaign funders in Texas, necessary from McCain’s 2008 bid. He became McCain’s campaign chairman and chief economic advisor.

Gramm is a prime exhibit in any list of the architects of the current economic mess. At the behest of the banking industry he wrote the laws that enabled the huge balloons of funny money debt that exploded this year. The deregulatory statutes bearing his name prompted Wall Street’s looting orgy in the subprime thievery.

But is he Exhibit A? No. That honor should surely go to Robert Rubin and to the economic course he set for his boss, the eagerly complicit Bill Clinton. Gramm has been the hireling of the banking industry. Rubin is at the beating heart of Wall Street finance, and he and Lawrence Summers at Clinton’s Treasury, were the guiding forces for financial deregulation.

Obviously the Republicans hoped that the roof wouldn’t fall in on their watch, and the crisis could be deferred to 2008 and then blamed on the Democrats. But their insurance policy was that if the roof did cave, as it has now, the rescue policy would be identical in both cases. That’s why Obama has collected more money than McCain from the big Wall Street houses.

The gang that successfully got out of Dodge in time was the Clinton-Rubin-Summers gang, just before the last bubble -–the stock market bubble -- burst in March of 2001. They knew what was coming.

I urge CounterPunchers to pull off the shelf Robert Pollin’s invaluable economic history of the Clinton years, Contours of Descent.

"The second major component of Clinton administration policy in this area was supporting the successful repeal of the Depression-era Glass-Steagall framework of financial regulation through the 1999 Financial Services Modernization Act, otherwise known as Gramm-Leach-Bliley Dismantlement of Glass-Steagall, de facto and de jure, had been long in the making. Innovative financial market players were easily circumventing this old regulatory apparatus, with its focus on creating firewalls between segments of the financial services industry, and preventing commercial banks from operating in more than one state. But the point is that an alternative to both Glass-Steagall and complete deregulation could have been devised, through some combination of policies such as taxing speculative financial transactions and establishing lower reserve requirements for loans that finance productive, as against speculative, investments. But the Clinton administration never considered such an approach. Quite the contrary. The 2001 Economic Report of the President, the last one written under Clinton, was unequivocal in dismissing Glass-Steagall and touting the virtues of financial deregulation:

“‘Given the massive financial instability of the 1930s, narrowing the range of banks' activities was arguably important for that day and age. But those rules are not needed today, and the easing of interstate banking rules, along with the passage of the Financial Services Modernization Act of 1999 have removed them, while maintaining appropriate safeguards. These steps allow consolidation in the financial sector that will result in efficiency gains and provide new services for consumers.’

“Moreover, Robert Rubin, a major Clinton administration force behind Glass-Steagall repeal, was also among the first to benefit personally from it, in moving from his Treasury position to co-direct the newly merged investment/commercial banking conglomerate Citigroup. Under any reasonable interpretation of Glass-Steagall, the former commercial bank Citicorp and the former investment banking firm Travelers would not have been permitted to merge."

Amid the embers of last weekend’s meltdown on Wall Street -- one of the most devastating in the nation’s history as Lehman went broke, Merrill Lynch was swallowed up by Bank of America and AIG tottered to the Fed, begging bowl in hand -- John McCain insisted that "the fundamentals of our economy are strong."

This was eerily reminiscent of the House of Morgan’s Thomas Lamont and his famous understatement to journalists including my father, standing on Wall Street on Black Thursday, October 24, 1929. As my father describes it in his memoirs:

It was like the manner of the man who comes on the stage of a burning theater and urges everyone to keep perfectly cool, stating there is no cause for alarm. Lamont made soft, soothing gesticulations with his pince-nez as softly, gently, almost stammeringly, he deprecated anything in the nature of sensationalism. His first sentence has been aptly described as one of the most remarkable understatements of all time.

‘There has been a little distress selling on the stock exchange,’ he said, ‘and we have held a meeting of the heads of several finan­cial institutions to discuss the situation. We have found that there are no houses in difficulty and the reports from brokers indicate that margins are being maintained satisfactorily.’

The pince-nez gently waved away ill-informed rumors of the disaster. Nothing fundamental, he said, had changed. There was nothing basically wrong with the country’s economy. What had occurred was due simply to “a technical condition of the market.’”

It was at that point that my father released the full profundity of the all-important journalistic rule: “believe nothing until it has been officially denied.”

Eighty years after the Great Crash we’ve moved to a less genteel rhetoric of crisis. Lamont’s descendants bellow loudly that yes, the roof is falling in, right now. Official wisdom back then said Don’t throw money at the problem. Instructed by the Great Depression, official wisdom now says Throw everything you’ve got. Three and a half years after Black Thursday, 1929, Roosevelt’s job was to bail out capitalism, which he did, with his advisors borrowing policies from Europe, both from Italian fascism and the socialist tradition.

If Obama becomes president what advisors will he recruit? Will he keep Rubin at his side along with his passel of Chicago School economists? His left supporters hope that he has a secret plan under wraps, that a populist T-shirt lies under the decorous mask of bipartisanship. I doubt it. Caution and respectability seem integral to Obama’s political persona. His core political task has been to assure the big-money funders of his campaign that as concerns maintenance of the present system his are a safe pair of hands. “Secret plan” theorists have some notion of “the real Obama” ripping off his mask on Inauguration Day. It doesn’t work like that. The political system is designed to ensure that the mask becomes the man.

Over the past quarter century the US manufacturing economy went offshore. Lately the so-called New Economy of the “Information Age” has been moving offshore too. Free trade has left millions without decent jobs or prospects of ever getting one above the $15 an hour tier.

Below a thin upper crust of the richest people in the history of the planet there’s the rest of America which in varying degrees of desperation, can barely get by. Millions are so close to the edge an extra 25 cents a gallon of fuel is a household budget-breaker.

Wages have stagnated. Decade after decade the bargaining power of workers has dwindled. We’ve had the macabre spectacle of American=based workers ordered to train their overseas replacements before being fired.

Bipartisan ruses like the Clinton-inspired exclusion of energy and food costs from the measures of “core inflation” ensure that social security payments don’t keep up with real inflation, which – if you take in the soaring costs of groceries and fuel for heat and transport – is double the official rate, the same way real employment – now officially just above 6 per cent – is actually around 12 per cent.

The system is in dire crisis, nowhere more balefully manifest that in present and scheduled Pentagon spending, barely mentioned in these days of crisis. Stick it to the imprudent home buyers, not to the arms manufacturers and their gigantic pigsty, seeping its sewage across the planet.

But then, as the cranky German in the British Museum liked to point out, the capitalist system is always in crisis. Crisis is integral to the system. In too many ways, over the past twenty years, brooding on its own crises, the left has forgotten that and in the low contour of radical ideas and of radical political organization in this electoral cycle we are suffering the consequences.

And Between the Crisis and the Catastrophe?

Crisis has certainly helped Obama. The question of whether or not Sarah Palin vetoed the Bridge to Nowhere recedes in importance as people ponder which candidate might ensure a safer bridge to financial stability. You want an unsparing survey of Candidate McCain? There’s nowhere better to start than our current newsletter, with probes into his past, his character, his violence, his instability, his lies, by Douglas Valentine, Jeffrey St Clair and myself.

So subscribe now to the newsletter. Read about McCain and read David Price’s savage investigation of the case of a scholar, Nicolas Flattes, whom the government is tying to blackmail into being a spook. Click here and subscribe.

Alexander Cockburn can be reached at alexandercockburn@asis.com


Who's Consensus?

From Counterpunch

September 22, 2008
Who's Consensus?
Lost in the Rhetoric of Crisis


The New York Times did its best on Sunday to render this economic crisis
not so much understandable as human. A charming piece on the men behind
the $700 billion bailout set up two characters – Mr. Paulson, the
hard-talking Wall Street alum, and Mr. Bernanke, the Ivy League theorist
– united to save America’s economy from imminent disaster.

These are men we can recognize, the whimsical professor and the
pragmatic businessman, and we can almost chuckle at the sitcom-ready
oddity of their working together – until of course we remember that this
union of chalk and cheese is a measure of the moment’s gravity. But we
can take comfort that the specialists have arrived ensconced in
recognizable adjectives, complete with their alchemical knowledge of
that mystifying chaos of forces suddenly cannibalizing us from within,
the economy.

Suddenly we’re deep in the rhetoric of crisis. Even the media waxes
poetic: the abyss is upon us and banks are languishing bloodied. All too
sadly, we know what Cassandra-ing means for our ability to think as a

So we don’t learn about the causes and effects, or even the projected
consequences of this odd couple’s plan. We learn about the specialists;
that they’re working hard around the clock to craft their remedies; how
many hours of sleep they’re getting, what sodas they respectively drink
to stay awake, and – Heaven be praised for their cultural capital - that
they’re managing to bond (well, “in part”) over baseball. The message,
if not unproblematic, is clear: these good American men are facing a
crisis, and doing their best for their country. We must build our trust
on these shared symbols – baseball, Diet Coke, and institutional
affiliation (Princeton, Goldman) – and hope for the best.
I was struck by a passing quote (Bernanke’s): “There are no atheists in
foxholes and no ideologues in financial crises.”

So, we must set ideology aside, and believe. Sound familiar?

A caveat: I’m no economist, and I have no intricate knowledge of this
mysterious beast’s workings. That’s sort of the point. What I’m getting
at here is the confusion that I think I share with other Americans, and
that I believe is supposed to be assuaged first by the humanizing of our
newfound economic architects, and more profoundly by the paternal
discourse that calls on us to stop asking questions in times of crisis.

My confusion goes something like this: hang on a minute. Doesn’t
government intervention stamp muddy boots all over our deification of
the free market? Doesn’t that ideology underpin not only Republican
economics, but more fundamentally America’s crowing valorization of
individual hard work, boot-straps pulled up, and so on? So what
precedent is this enormous intervention setting for our country, both
financially and ideologically? Putting aside all prognostications of
America’s imminent relegation to Third World-dom – ranging in tone from
the self-righteously gleeful to the China-obsessed apocalyptic - can we
ask if this is a shift towards…socialism? A hybrid free market
paternalism? Crisis capitalism? What can we even call it?? And why has
debate been restricted to content, and not the structural dynamics of
the event? The answer to this latter, in my mind, is America’s knee-jerk
assumption that changes in economic policy might acknowledge a flaw in
its pristine exemplification of free market capitalism. Can this really
be as trite as protecting a petulant national ego, one that takes silent
pride in being the referent of the Washington Consensus?

It’s been a nagging concern of mine, watching the sweeping changes
enacted by the Bush administration, that new government powers are put
into place in the name of a crisis without a murmur of what it means for
the future of this country, one whose leaders after all can stake
political legitimacy on precedent. So without a doubt we should be
asking, very pragmatically, what this bailout means as a function of the
(at best) quixotic tax calculations that we will someday have to pay.
But we shouldn’t let our very justified fears of a tax bill prevent us
from asking why, once again, the American people is being infantilized
by crisis rhetoric, patted on the head by CNN specials about minimizing
our individual risks, and assured that even if we don’t know what is
actually going on in our economy, we can comfort ourselves that, at
least, the guys fixing it like baseball.

Anne-Marie McManus can be reached at: anne-marie.mcmanus@yale.edu


Kucinich on Protecting the public interest in any economic "bailout"

Dear Friend,
The U.S. government has been turned into an engine that accelerates the wealth upwards into the hands of a few. The Wall Street bailout, the Iraq War, military spending, tax cuts to the rich, and a for-profit health care system are all about the acceleration of wealth upwards. And now, the American people are about to pay the price of the collapse of the $513 trillion Ponzi scheme of derivatives. Yes, that’s half a quadrillion dollars. Our first trillion dollar compression bandage will hardly stem the hemorrhaging of an unsustainable Ponzi scheme built on debt "de-leverages."

Does anyone seriously think that our public and private debts of some $45 trillion will be paid? That the administration's growth of the federal debt from $5.6 trillion to $9.8 trillion while borrowing another trillion dollars from Social Security has nothing to do with this? Does anyone not see that when we spend nearly $16,000 for every family of four in our society for the military each year that we are heading over the cliff? This is a debt crisis, not a credit crisis. Just as FDR had to save capitalism after Wall Street excesses, we have to re-invigorate our economy with real - not imaginary - growth. It does not address the never-ending war on the middle class. The same corporate interests that profited from the closing of U.S. factories, the movement of millions of jobs out of America, the off-shoring of profits, the out-sourcing of workers, the crushing of pension funds, the knocking down of wages, the cancellation of health care benefits, the sub-prime lending are now rushing to Washington to get money to protect themselves. The double standard is stunning: their profits are their profits, but their losses are our losses. This bailout will not bring real jobs back to America. It will not bring back jobs that make things. It does not rebuild our schools, streets, neighborhoods, parks or bridges. The major product of this financial economy is now debt. Industrial capitalism has been destroyed.

In the next few days I will push for a plan that includes equity for every American in any taxpayer investment in this so-called bail-out plan. Since the bailout will cost each and every American about $2,300, I have proposed the creation of a United States Mutual Trust Fund, which will take control of $700 billion in stock assets, convert those assets to shares, and distribute $2,300 worth of shares to new individual savings accounts in the name of each and every American.

I will also insist that all of the following issues be considered in whatever Congress passes:
Reinstatement of the provisions of Glass-Steagall, which forbade speculation
Re-regulation of the finance, insurance, and real estate industries
Accountability on the part of those who took the companies down:
a) resignations of management
b) givebacks of executive compensation packages
c) limitations on executive compensation
d) admission by CEO's of what went wrong and how, prior to any government bailout Demands for transparencey
a) with respect to analyzing the transactions which took the companies down
b) with respect to Treasury's dealings with the companies pre and post-bailout
An equity position for the taxpayers
a) some form of ownership of assets

Some credible formula for evaluating the price of the assets that the government is buying.
A sunset clause on the legislation

Full public disclosure by members of Congress of assets held, with possible conflicts put in blind trust.

A ban on political campaign contributions from officers of corporations receiving bailouts

A requirement that 2008 cycle candidates return political contributions to officers and representatives of corporations receiving bailouts

And, most importantly, some mechanism for direct assistance to homeowners saddled with unreasonable or unmanageable mortgages, as well as protection for renters who have lived up to their obligation but fall victim to financial tragedy when the property they live in undergoes foreclosure. These are just some thoughts on the run. You will hear more from me tomorrow.

Dennis J Kucinich
216-252-9000 877-933-6647

Shock Doctrine is used on US Economy

Nice video (poor production perhaps) with Naomi Klein.
She uses her Shock doctrine theory in examining what is happening to us right now.
(thanks to renay)



A Breathtaking Insult to the Constitution
Bail Out on This Bailout

Are we witnessing the death of the republic? Sound hysterical? Look at how Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson proposes to govern the $700 billion — some $2,000 for every man, woman and child in America — that he wants to bail out the banks.



Bush Brings WMD to Wall Street

Remember how President Bush got Condoleezza Rice and Colin Powell to run around warning about Saddam Hussein's nuclear bombs? This phony scare tactic got Congress to give him the authorization he needed to start the Iraq war.



Henry Paulson and the New Yazoo Land Scandal


Present discussions of the mortgage mess are lapsing into an unreal world. Advocates of the $700 bailout are now rounding up a choir of voices to proclaim that the problem is simply a lack of liquidity. This kind of problem, we are told, can be solved “cleanly” (that is, with no Congressional add-ons to protect anyone except the major Bush Administration campaign contributors) by the Federal reserve “pumping credit” into the system by buying securities that have no market when “liquidity dries up.”

What is wrong with this picture? The reality is that there is much too much liquidity in the system. That is why the yield on U.S. Treasury bills has fallen to just 0.16 percent – just one sixth of one percent! This is what happens when there is a flight to safety. By liquid investors. Many of which are now fleeing abroad, as shown by the dollar’s 3% plunge against the euro yesterday (Monday, Sept. 22).



On the Social Benefits of Creative Destruction
Let It Collapse!


So the tax-payer hand-out will “save” Wall Street from its own predations. Any reasonable man, of course, would wish the pig-fuckers to fry in their own feces. Let the free market carry out their corpses to the gutter. And mine too, perhaps, for as a magazine writer I depend on the thoughtlessness and blind-mole cupidity of credit-card consumerism – the credit system now imploding – to feed the ad-market that feeds the magazines that pay my bills. Without dumb blondes buying Manohlo Blahniks and metrosexuals fawning over prawns in overpriced restaurants, my paycheck turns to dust.



A Bailout to Nowhere
“...The capital we thought was there is gone. A lot of it was actually translated over the years into Hamptons villas, Gulfstream jets, and other playthings that will now go up on Ebay or some equivalent as we turn into Yard Sale Nation in a general liquidation of remaining assets....Everything is for sale and nobody has any money.”
-- James H. Kunstler, 9/15/08

The tremors come faster now. Candidate McCain mimics Herbert Hoover asserting that the economic “fundamentals” are sound, even as Wall Street asset Hank Paulson announces the latest lofting of US Treasury life preservers. The fiscal flotation devices will allow Hank’s cohorts a “soft landing” in more comfortable climes than await the majority here in America the Deflating.

Even the corporate media, reflexively dedicated to promoting “consumer confidence” and keeping the gullible in their seats long enough for the swag-toting executive larcenists to make for the exits, murmur about a new 1929.

With the usual misdirection, the press reports plummeting Wall Street stock prices as if they mattered to ordinary people. In fact, as economist Dean Baker has repeatedly pointed out, “[T]he stock market is not a good barometer of the economy’s health. It can be driven up as a result of a redistribution from wages to profits, or simply as a result of irrational exuberance. Neither is good for the economy as a whole, although anything that pushes up stock prices is obviously good news for the small minority of people who own substantial amounts of stock.”



The $700 Billion Questions
Using the shock doctrine, Wall Street and Washington’s wrecking crew aim to get the most expensive free lunch in American history



Bailout redux

The floodgates of looting are opening even wider in these final days of the Bush era fascism. Bush is rewarding all of his longtime supporters and it also looks like we will receive more of the same form both Obama or McCain. Both candidates financial advisors are part of the gang that architected the state of deregulated affairs..

Please please try to evaluate the enormity of what these shit heads are doing. This is not an accident.. This was planned. This was warned about for years.. Why are we giving all the richest people in America a $700 billion bail out on a minutes notice and not using $700 billion to bailout you or me. Do you really want to pay some shit head a $15-30 million golden parachute for running their banks and investment firms like shit?

Think about how hard it is to get $500 when you are unemployed or on welfare.. By the end of this week they are gong to bail these fuckers out.

If anyone is planning or wants to plan some actions here in Chicago to display your disgust and opposition to yet ANOTHER handout to the corporados please let us know.

This is a perfect moment to mobilize.

I found a few articles worth reading.. Please send us what you know or are reading..

Sen. Bernie Sanders, Robert Scheer and Dean Baker on the Proposed $700 Billion Bailout of Wall Street, the Largest Government Bailout of Private Industry in US History

It’s being described as the largest government intervention in private markets since the Great Depression. The Bush administration has asked Congress to swiftly approve a massive $700 billion package to rescue the crippled financial institutions on Wall Street. Some analysts say the final cost to taxpayers could top one trillion dollars. Over the weekend, the size of the proposed bailout grew as the Bush administration said foreign banks, including Barclays and UBS, should be eligible for the bailout. [includes rush transcript]


Fleecing What’s Left of the Treasury
By Chris Hedges

"The lobbyists and corporate lawyers, the heads of financial firms and the crooks who control Wall Street, all those who spent the last three decades assuring us that government was part of the problem and should get out of the way, are now busy looting the U.S. treasury. They are also working feverishly inside the Democratic and Republican parties to blunt any effective regulatory reform as they pass on their distressed assets to us. The process is stunning in its hubris and mendacity, and two of the most potent enablers of this unprecedented act of corporate welfare are John McCain and Barack Obama.?

William Greider | Paulson Bailout Plan a Historic Swindle

William Greider, The Nation: "Financial-market wise guys, who had been seized with fear, are suddenly drunk with hope. They are rallying explosively because they think they have successfully stampeded Washington into accepting the Wall Street Journal solution to the crisis: dump it all on the taxpayers. That is the meaning of the massive bailout Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson has shopped around Congress. It would relieve the major banks and investment firms of their mountainous rotten assets and make the public swallow their losses - many hundreds of billions, maybe much more. What's not to like if you are a financial titan threatened with extinction?"


Seven Hundred Billion Dollars Sought for Wall Street in Vast Bailout

David M. Herszenhorn, The New York Times: "The Bush administration on Saturday formally proposed a vast bailout of financial institutions in the United States, requesting unfettered authority for the Treasury Department to buy up to $700 billion in distressed mortgage-related assets from the private firms. The proposal, not quite three pages long, was stunning for its stark simplicity. It would raise the national debt ceiling to $11.3 trillion. And it would place no restrictions on the administration other than requiring semiannual reports to Congress, granting the Treasury secretary unprecedented power to buy and resell mortgage debt.

Amy Goodman’s New Column: “Wall Street Socialists”

The financial crisis gripping the U.S. has the largest banks and insurance companies begging for massive government bailouts. The banking, investment, finance and insurance industries, long the foes of taxation, now need money from working-class taxpayers to stay alive. Taxpayers should be in the driver’s seat now. Instead, decisions that will cost people for decades are being made behind closed doors, by the wealthy, by the regulators and by those they have failed to regulate.


not change we can believe in

John McCain is Dr. Strangelove

John McCain vs. John McCain

almost 6 million views


Proximity #2 Release Party Friday Sept 5, 2008

September 5, 2008: 10PM

Release Party for Proximity magazine number 2
The Co-Prosperity Sphere • 3219 S Morgan Street • Chicago IL 60608

We are releasing issue # 2 of our fantastic new art magazine, Proximity. Join us for an extra special art party and get a copy of Proximity hot off the presses. It's 208 pages of goodness. We hope you can make it down to get a copy, check out the amazing performances and see the 5 by 3 foot soap painting of the White House.

With special guest performances by:
Bobby Conn
Bird Names
Magical Beautiful

$10 donation, please.

Proximity:: http://proximitymagazine.blogspot.com


The Bridgeport All Stars Show will be open for viewing

Pics of the art located here:
http://www.flickr.com/ photos/versionfest/sets/72157606883629921/