"The action I am taking is no more than a radical measure to hasten the explosion of truth and justice. I have but one passion: to enlighten those who have been kept in the dark, in the name of humanity which has suffered so much and is entitled to happiness. My fiery protest is simply the cry of my very soul. Let them dare, then, to bring me before a court of law and let the enquiry take place in broad daylight!" - Emile Zola, J'accuse! (1898) -

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Impeachment, Filling A Request, Featuring Sasha Under Cover, Back To The Bail Out And Searching For The Truth.

Join The Phone Blockade For Impeachment

America First by Merle Haggard (Filling A Request)

The war will end. The Republicans will lose the election. Why am I so sure?
Merle Haggard -- yes I said Merle Haggard has this song.

Here are the lyrics. I am tempted to add emphasis to the words "Let's get out of Iraq and get back on the track And let's rebuild America first" but the whole song kicks ass.

Why don't we liberate these United States
We're the ones who need it the worst
Let the rest of the world help us for a change
And let's rebuild America first

Our highways and bridges are falling apart
Who's blessed and who has been cursed
There's things to be done all over the world
But let's rebuild America first

Who's on the hill and who's watching the valley
Who's in charge of it all
God bless the Army and God bless our liberty
Dadgum the rest of it all

Yeah, men in position but backing away
Freedom is stuck in reverse
Let's get out of Iraq and get back on the track
And let's rebuild America first

Why don't we liberate these United States
We're the ones who need it the most
You think I'm blowing smoke
Boys it ain't no joke
I make twenty trips a year from coast to coast

Did I mention that this is by Merle Haggard?

Back To The Bail Out!

A Resounding Bottom Up NO On The Bailout-- From The Entire Progressive World
By Rob KallThe voices are unanimous on the left, rejecting the Paulson bailout. Before the start of the Iraq war, there were millions of Americans who KNEW the WMD claims were false and the war was a terrible idea. But the Dems in congress didn't listen. Let's force them to listen this time. And let's hope Obama hears us too and makes the right choice this time too.

THROW Them Out Don't Bail Them Out
By Dave JohnsonEverything I have read about this massive bailout proposal sounds like they're going to try to treat the symptoms of a sick and failed system instead of the causes and instead of reforming or replacing the failed system itself. Nothing I have heard addresses the CAUSES of the problems! I say THROW the system out and start building one that WORKS for US, don't bail the failed, corrupt system out.

The Point Of No Return
By Mike WhitneyPaulson's emergency session of Congress last night was characterized by lawmakers who attended as "chilling". The situation is much worse than government officials have let on so far. Ironically, the very people who created this mess, are the ones who will decide how to resolve it; the Federal Reserve and the US Treasury. Where else, but Washington would such massive failure be rewarded with more power and authority

The Big Bailout: A Win-Win For Speculators, Risk Takers

If We Share The Responsibility Shouldn’t We Share the Wealth?

The bailout is corporate-government on display -- the corporate representatives (the Fed is the banking and finance system) go in the back room to meet with the congressional leadership of both parties -- all of whom are funded and put in office by the corporations -- they come out all smiles and the stock market goes up -- big finance is happy. The capital-economy is being saved on the back of taxpayers.

"What is more intrinsically corrupt than allowing people to engage in high-reward/no-risk capitalism -- where they reap tens of millions of dollars and more every year while their reckless gambles are paying off only to then have the Government shift their losses to the citizenry at large once their schemes collapse?

We've retroactively created a win-only system where the wealthiest corporations and their shareholders are free to gamble for as long as they win and then force others who have no upside to pay for their losses. Watching Wall St. erupt with an orgy of celebration on Friday after it became clear the Government (i.e., you) would pay for their disaster was literally nauseating, as the very people who wreaked this havoc are now being rewarded." See http://www.salon.com/opinion/greenwald/.

Essentially the same people who made the mess, profited from the mess are now profiting from the bailout. The wealth-class profited immensely over recent decades, expanding while the middle class was stagnate. At the bottom of the income distribution, the wages of low-skilled workers, the "working poor," have been stagnant or falling through the past three decades. And at the very top, the share of income going to the richest 1 percent of Americans has nearly doubled from about 8 percent in the late '70s to about 15 percent today and that does not even count capital gains profits. To visualize the gap see the L Curve: http://www.lcurve.org.

What is the bailout going to cost? Before the proposed $700 billion package this weekend, the government had put already put down $900 billion of taxpayer money http://www.reuters.com/article/bondsNews/idUSN16126320080917.

With the proposed $700 billion the government is suggesting be used to buy toxic mortgages, that brings the total government bailout in the last several months to 1.6 trillion or $16,000 each for every American taxpayer. And, this is all borrowed money so there will be interest to pay on top of the $1.6 trillion.

We're not seeing a tax on the wealth-class that profited from the last decade to pay for it despite their hoarded wealth, we're seeing it carried on the backs of the shrinking middle class and their children. If the Congress represented the people rather than the wealth class there would be legislation to pay for this bailout and shrink the wealth divide:

- A Tobin Tax on the purchase of wealth instruments, i.e.stocks, bonds, securities and derivatives. A micro tax of .1% (1/10th of 1%) would raise $1.2 trillion.

- An Income Tax Surcharge Rate on Incomes Over $5 Million. The 50,000 households with annual incomes over $5 million are the biggest winners from twenty-five years of Wall Street deregulation and the Bush tax cuts. A 50% tax rate surcharge on incomes over $5 million and a 70 percent rate on incomes over $10 million would generate $105 billion a year.

- Eliminate the Tax Preference for Capital Gains. Taxing wealth and work at the same rates would generate $95 billion a year in revenue.

- Progressive Inheritance Taxes. A progressive estate tax, effecting only extreme inheritance, could generate $50 billion a year in the short term, but much more in outlying decades.

- Eliminate Taxpayer Subsidies for Excessive CEO Pay. These loopholes include eliminating offshore deferred compensation, capping the tax deductibility of excessive pay and eliminating double standards for stock option accounting. Closing these tax loopholes would generate $20 billion a year. (Read more about this in this recent report from the Institute for Policy Studies and United for a Fair Economy.)

- Close Offshore Corporate Tax Havens. Congress should prevent corporations from playing games by claiming expenses in the United States and profits in countries that don't collect taxes. According to the Government Accountability Office, two-thirds of US corporations paid no corporate income tax between 1998 and 2005. Closing this loophole would generate over $100 billion.

(Thanks to independent reporter Chris Bush of Baltimore for some of these ideas.)

The duopoly candidates, McCain and Obama, have surrounded themselves with Wall Street economic advisors, so don't expect to hear any of these ideas from them.

The Bailout Proposal that will go to Congress on Monday includes a provision preventing any review of the decisions in open court: "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." See http://calculatedrisk.blogspot.com/2008/09/bailout-proposal.html.

Whatever happened to checks and balances? The Democrats seem to be giving the authority to the Bush administration spend hundreds of billions without congressional or judicial oversight.

Have they not learned anything in the last eight years? Or, is this more evidence the Dems are part of the team?

William Greider describes the bailout as a "historic swindle" where the government is still failing to oversee the banks and financial institutions. See http://www.thenation.com/doc/20081006/greider.

He predicts this bailout could launch "a tidal wave of righteous anger and popular rebellion" that "has the potential to bring down one or both political parties." Or as Greenwald writes: "If there is any 'pitchfork moment' -- an episode that understandably would send people into the streets in mass outrage -- it would be this." (MY, MY! Ed.)

No doubt a bailout was necessary - bank runs, unemployment, a complete financial meltdown and a worldwide depression was at risk -- but shouldn't those who profited and took the risks pay for it? They have the money -- decades of wealth transfer, escalating in the last decade to obscenity. If they are going to use our money shouldn't they share the wealth?

Searching For The Truth!

Tonight On The Emmy Awards Tommy Smothers, (Alive, Well and all of his marbles racing around on the right {left track} said: “Truth is what you get others to believe.”

Think About it! So Let’s shed some light on “The Truth”!

A study of the Pentagon's satellite imagery concludes that ethnic cleansing -- not last year's surge of U.S. military forces -- is the main factor in the reduction of violence in Iraq.
The report's conclusion about the surge's ineffectiveness are supported by many Iraq experts and international organizations who credit a population shift with the decline of sectarian violence, especially in Baghdad, Reuters reported.

Conducted by the University of California, the study analyzed the use of nighttime light across Baghdad and how it changed before, during and after the surge. It's findings show only some neighborhoods have higher levels of output, suggesting the others had been ethnically cleansed before the surge.

"By the launch of the surge, many of the targets of conflict had either been killed or fled the country, and they turned off the lights when they left," geography professor John Agnew of the University of California Los Angeles, who led the study, said in a statement.

"Essentially, our interpretation is that violence has declined in Baghdad because of intercommunal violence that reached a climax as the surge was beginning," said Agnew, who studies ethnic conflict.

In other words, ethnic violence did the job before American soldiers got the chance.
Sectarian violence between Baghdad's neighborhoods has been documented by an independent commission that correlates with much of the report's findings.

But FP Passport, a foreign policy blog, offered several caveats to its conclusion. For example, the blog asks why there were also security improvements outside the capital in places such as Anbar province?

Republican presidential nominee John McCain has long criticized his opponent Sen. Barack Obama for not having backed the surge, which McCain boasts as the single factor in the reduction of violence.

"...[B]oth the Democrats and the Republicans have been overemphasizing the surge. If it was just about the surge, the violence would be back up again because the surge is over."
In a speech last July, McCain said, "It is precisely the success of the surge in Iraq that shows us the way to succeed in Afghanistan," but one country has very little to do with the other, Slate.com reported.

A recent military analysis posits that a surge of troops in Afghanistan, where rising violence has drawn the attention of U.S. forces, will not succeed. The article contends U.S. military leaders do not adequately understand the country's situation.

Which is exactly what the study of ethnic cleansing suggested about commanders in Iraq.
The first sentence of the University of California's summary, written by co-author Thomas Gillespie, says this:

"Geographers and social scientists find it increasingly difficult to intervene in debates about vital matters of public interest, such as the Iraq war, because of the ideological polarization and lack of respect for empirical analysis that have afflicted US politics in recent years." Emphasis added.
Read the entirety of the report here.