"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) -

Saturday, September 6, 2008

What Is Wrong With The People Of This Nation?

The Streets Of St. Paul Should Be Filled With An Enraged Citizenry.

With The Nomination Of Sarah Palin What Was Once An Election Corroded With Racism Has Now Become A Cl0se Call With Christian Right Wing Fanatic Fascists Finally Having A Candidate True To Their Cause Of Values Imposition On America.

And Finally, Like Everything Else As Of Late The United States Is Sinking Quietly Into Total Financial Collapse, A New Depression, With Everyone Simply Going Their Way With The Faith That

“It Can’t Happen Again”.

We Have “Activist Liberals And Organizations” That Are Led By Ego Driven, Cyber Spouting, Microphone And Bull Horn Hogs Who As Soon As They See A Police Baton Retreat To The Rear Calling For You To Act With More Words And Money And Hold Back Those Ready To Attack The Police Lines Babbling Peace And Ghandi.

They Might As Well Pick Up A Can Of Pepper Spray And Join The Other Side. They Are All Talk And No Action. They Nitpick Words In Proposed Ads As Being Inflammatory And Scuttle The Process. They Are Of No Real Use. They Are Cowards, Cave-ins And Collaborating Egomaniacs Given To Posturing And Theater And Little Else. They Are The Root Of Failure.

They Betray Sam Adams, Patrick Henry, Thomas Jefferson, Martin Luther King And Every American Who Has Ever Given Their Life In The Hope That The American Dream And True Liberty And Justice May Yet Be A Reality In This Nation. They May Feel Free To List Their Names With Those Of Benedict Arnold, Judas And Every Other Coward And Traitor Who Has Ever Walked This Earth.

What Is Wrong With The People Of This Nation?

RNC 8 Charged as Terrorists Under State Patriot Act
Wednesday, September 03 2008 @ 06:15 PM CDTContributed by: AdminViews: 2,458

In what appears to be the first use of criminal charges under the 2002 Minnesota version of the Federal Patriot Act, Ramsey County Prosecutors have formally charged 8 alleged leaders of the RNC Welcoming Committee with Conspiracy to Riot in Furtherance of Terrorism. Monica Bicking, Eryn Trimmer, Luce Guillen Givins, Erik Oseland, Nathanael Secor, Robert Czernik, Garrett Fitzgerald, and Max Spector, face up to 7 1/2 years in prison under the terrorism enhancement charge which allows for a 50% increase in the maximum penalty.

Ramsey County Charges RNC 8 Under State Patriot Act, Alleges Acts of Terrorism
In what appears to be the first use of criminal charges under the 2002 Minnesota version of the Federal Patriot Act, Ramsey County Prosecutors have formally charged 8 alleged leaders of the RNC Welcoming Committee with Conspiracy to Riot in Furtherance of Terrorism. Monica Bicking, Eryn Trimmer, Luce Guillen Givins, Erik Oseland, Nathanael Secor, Robert Czernik, Garrett Fitzgerald, and Max Spector, face up to 7 1/2 years in prison under the terrorism enhancement charge which allows for a 50%increase in the maximum penalty.

Affidavits released by law enforcement which were filed in support of the search warrants used in raids over the weekend, and used to support probable cause for the arrest warrants, are based on paid, confidential informants who infiltrated the RNCWC on behalf of law enforcement. They allege that members of the group sought to kidnap delegates to the RNC, assault police officers with firebombs and explosives, and sabotage airports in St. Paul. Evidence released to date does not corroborate these allegations with physical evidence or provide any other evidence for these allegations than the claims of the informants.

Based on past abuses of such informants by law enforcement, the National Lawyers Guild is concerned that such police informants have incentives to lie and exaggerate threats of violence and to also act as provocateurs in raising and urging support for acts of violence.

"These charges are an effort to equate publicly stated plans to blockade traffic and disrupt the RNC as being the same as acts of terrorism. This both trivializes real violence and attempts to place the stated political views of the Defendants on trial," said Bruce Nestor, President of the Minnesota Chapter of the National Lawyers Guild. "The charges represent an abuse of the criminal justice system and seek to intimidate any person organizing large scale public demonstrations potentially involving civil disobedience, he said."

The criminal complaints filed by the Ramsey County Attorney do not allege that any of the defendants personally have engaged in any act of violence or damage to property.

The complaints list all of alleged violations of law during the last few days of the RNC -- other than violations of human rights carried out by law enforcement -- and seeks to hold the 8 defendants responsible for acts committed by other individuals. None ofthe defendants have any prior criminal history involving acts of violence.

Searches conducted in connection with the raids failed to turn up any physical evidence to support the allegations of organized attacks on law enforcement. Although claiming probable cause to believe that gunpowder, acids, and assembled incendiary devices would be found, no such items were seized by police. As a result, police sought to claim that the seizure of common household items such as glass bottles, charcoal lighter, nails, a rusty machete, and two hatchets, supported the allegations of the confidential informants. "Police found what they claim was a single plastic shield, a rusty machete, and two hatchets used in Minnesota to split wood.

This doesn't amount to evidence of an organized insurrection, particularly when over 3,500 police are present in the Twin Cities, armed with assault rifles, concussion grenades, chemical weapons and full riotgear," said Nestor. In addition, the National Lawyers Guild has previously pointed out how law enforcement has fabricated evidence such as the claims that urine was seized which demonstrators intended to throw at police.

The last time such charges were brought under Minnesota law was in 1918,when Matt Moilen and others organizing labor unions for the Industrial Workers of the World on the Iron Range were charged with "criminal syndicalism." The convictions, based on allegations that workers had advocated or taught acts of violence, including acts only damaging to property, were upheld by the Minnesota Supreme Court.

In the light of history, these convictions are widely seen as unjust and a product of political trials. The National Lawyers Guild condemns the charges filed in this case against the above 8 defendants and urges the Ramsey County Attorney to drop all charges of conspiracy in this matter.Bruce Nestor, President Minnesota Chapter of National Lawyers Guild3547 Cedar Avenue South Minneapolis, MN 55407

ANDOVER CONFERENCE for the Impeachment of War Criminals

How to Make a Citizen's Arrest of a War Criminal

See Ralph Lopez' Daily Kos 2014). Please!

By Mary MacElveenProtester Who Interrupted McCain's Speech Is An Iraq War VeteranLittle did they know or John McCain know that this protester actually served over in Iraq and according to Iraq Veterans Against the War, his name is, Adam Kokesh who is an IVAW board member. He held up a sign stating, "McCain Votes Against Vets." Surge nothing, this patriotic American actually put on the uniform, served his country deserved some respect coming from McCain and those Republicans gathered at the convention.

George Lakoff argues that the Republican choice of Palin makes total sense if you truly understand the strategy of the Republicans in this election.

The Palin ChoiceThe Reality of the Political Mindby George Lakoff This election matters because of realities-the realities of global warming, the economy, the Middle East, nuclear proliferation, civil liberties, species extinction, poverty here and around the world, and on and on. Such realities are what make this election so very crucial, and how to deal with them is the substance of the Democratic platform http://www.demconvention.com/assets/downloads/2008-Democratic-Platform-by-Cmte-08-13-08.pdf .Election campaigns matter because who gets elected can change reality.

But election campaigns are primarily about the realities of voters' minds, which depend on how the candidates and the external realities are cognitively framed. They can be framed honestly or deceptively, effectively or clumsily. And they are always framed from the perspective of a worldview.The Obama campaign has learned this.

The Republicans have long known it, and the choice of Sarah Palin as their Vice-Presidential candidate reflects their expert understanding of the political mind and political marketing. Democrats who simply belittle the Palin choice are courting disaster. It must be t aken with the utmost seriousness.

The Democratic responses so far reflect external realities: she is inexperienced, knowing little or nothing about foreign policy or national issues; she is really an anti-feminist, wanting the government to enter women's lives to block abortion, but not wanting the government to guarantee equal pay for equal work, or provide adequate child health coverage, or child care, or early childhood education; she shills for the oil and gas industry on drilling; she denies the scientific truths of global warming and evolution; she misuses her political authority; she opposes sex education and her daughter is pregnant; and, rather than being a maverick, she is on the whole a radical right-wing ideologue.

All true, so far as we can tell.But such truths may nonetheless be largely irrelevant to this campaign.

That is the lesson Democrats must learn. They must learn the reality of the political mind.

The Obama campaign has done this very well so far.

The convention events and speeches were orchestrated both to cast light on external realities, traditional political themes, and to focus on values at once classically American and progressive: empathy, responsibility both for oneself and others, and aspiration to make things better both for oneself and the world.

Obama did all this masterfully in his nomination speech, while replying to, and undercutting, the main Republican attacks.But the Palin nomination changes the game. The initial response has been to try to keep the focus on external realities, the "issues," and differences on the issues. But the Palin nomination is not basically about external realities and what Democrats call "issues," but about the symbolic mechanisms of the political mind-the worldviews, frames, metaphors, cultural narratives, and stereotypes.

The Republicans can't win on realities.

Her job is to speak the language of conservatism, activate the conservative view of the world, and use the advantages that conservatives have in dominating political discourse.

Our national political dialogue is fundamentally metaphorical, with family values at the center of our discourse.

There is a reason why Obama and Biden spoke so much about the family, the nurturing family, with caring fathers and the family values that Obama put front and center in his Father's day speech: empathy, responsibility and aspiration.

Obama's reference in the nomination speech to "The American Family" was hardly accidental, nor were the references to the Obama and Biden families as living and fulfilling the American Dream. Real nurturance requires strength and toughness, which Obama displayed in body language and voice in his responses to McCain. The strength of the Obama campaign has been the seamless marriage of reality and symbolic thought.

The Republican strength has been mostly symbolic. The McCain campaign is well aware of how Reagan and W won-running on character: values, communicatio n, (apparent) authenticity, trust, and identity - not issues and policies. That is how campaigns work, and symbolism is central.

Conservative family values are strict and apply via metaphorical thought to the nation: good vs. evil, authority, the use of force, toughness and discipline, individual (versus social) responsibility, and tough love.

Hence, social programs are immoral because they violate discipline and individual responsibility.

Guns and the military show force and discipline. Man is above nature; hence no serious environmentalism.

The market is the ultimate financial authority, requiring market discipline.

In foreign policy, strength is use of the force.

In fundamentalist religion, the Bible is the ultimate authority; hence no gay marriage.

Such values are at the heart of radical conservatism. This is how John McCain was raised and how he plans to govern. And it is what he shares with Sarah Palin. Palin is the mom in the strict father family, upholding conservative values.

Palin is tough: she shoots, skins, and eats caribou. She is disciplined: raising five kids with a major career. She lives her values: she has a Downs-syndrome baby that she refused to abort. She has the image of the ideal conservative mom: pretty, perky, feminine, Bible-toting, and fitting into the ideal conservative family.

And she fits the stereotype of America as small-town America. It is Reagan's morning-in-America image.

Where Obama thought of capturing the West, she is running for Sweetheart of the West.

And Palin, a member of Feminists For Life, is at the heart of the conservative feminist movement, which Ronee Schreiber has written about in her recent book, Righting Feminism.

It is a powerful and growing movement that Democrats have barely paid attention to.

At the same time, Palin is masterful at the Republican game of taking the Democrats' language and reframing it-putting conservative frames to progressive words: Reform, prosperity, peace.

She is also masterful at using the progressive narratives: she's from the working class, working her way up from hockey mom and the PTA to Mayor, Governor, and VP candidate. Her husband is a union member. She can say to the conservative populists that she is one of them-all the things that Obama and Biden have been saying.

Bottom-up, not top-down.Yes, the McCain-Palin ticket is weak on the major realities. But it is strong on the symbolic dimension of politics that Republicans are so good at marketing. Just arguing the realities, the issues, the hard truths should be enough in times this bad, but the political mind and its response to symbolism cannot be ignored.

The initial Democratic response to Palin - the response based on realities alone - indicates that many Democrats have not learned the lessons of the Reagan and Bush years.

They have not learned the nature of conservative populism. A great many working-class folks are what I call "bi-conceptual," that is, they are split between conservative and progressive modes of thought.

Conservative on patriotism and certain social and family issues, which they have been led to see as "moral", progressive in loving the land, living in communities of care, and practical kitchen table issues like mortgages, health care, wages, retirement, and so on.

Conservative theorists won them over in two ways: Inventing and promulgating the idea of "liberal elite" and focusing campaigns on social and family issues. They have been doing this for many years and have changed a lot of brains through repetition.

Palin will appeal strongly to conservative populists, attacking Obama and Biden as pointy-headed, tax-and-spend, latte liberals. The tactic is to divert attention from difficult realities to powerful symbolism.What Democrats have shied away from is a frontal attack on radical conservatism itself as an un-American and harmful ideology.

I think Obama is right when he says that America is based on people caring about each other and working together for a better future-empathy, responsibility (both personal and social), and aspiration. These lead to a concept of government based on protection (environmental, consumer, worker, health care, and retirement protection) and empowerment (through infrastructure, public education, the banking system, the stock market, and the courts).

Nobody can achieve the American Dream or live an American lifestyle without protection and empowerment by the government.20The alternative, as Obama said in his nomination speech, is being on your own, with no one caring for anybody else, with force as a first resort in foreign affairs, with threatened civil liberties and a right-wing government making your most important decisions for you.

That is not what American democracy has ever been about.

What is at stake in this election are our ideals and our view of the future, as well as current realities.

The Palin choice brings both front and center. Democrats, being Democrats, will mostly talk about the realities nonstop without paying attention to the dimensions of values and symbolism.

Democrats, in addition, need to call an extremist an extremist: to shine a light on the shared anti-democratic ideology of McCain and Palin, the same ideology shared by Bush and Cheney.

They share values antithetical to our democracy.

That needs to be said loud and clear, if not by the Obama campaign itself, then by the rest of us who share democratic American values.Our job is to bring external realities together with the reality of the political mind.

Don't ignore the cognitive dimension. It is through cultural narratives, metaphors, and frames that we understand and express our ideals.

George Lakoff is the author of The Political Mind: Why You Can't Understand 20th Century Politics With an 18th Century Brain

By Rob KallIs McCain Campaign Interfering In Alaska Troopergate Investigation Of Palin?It looks like supporters of John McCain are taking aggressive actions to kill an investigation of his running mate Sarah Palin, to prevent an October Surprise-- adverse findings that would cast a negative light on her character and leadership

By Jim FetzerJohn McCain: Morally, Mentally, And Emotionally UnfitJohn McCain's 5 ½ years of torture have to have left him emotionally and mentally scarred. Over his entire life, he has repeatedly shown he is out of touch with reality, impulsive and reckless in his judgment, and intellectually lazy and lacking in curiosity. His choice of a completely unqualified "trophy" running mate clearly demonstrates McCain at his worst, incapable of making rational decisions.

Librarians Against Sarah Palin In The News

By Judy SwindlerLIBRARIANS AGAINST SARAH PALIN FOUNDER A MYSTERYThe identify of the founder of LASP is still unknown. Is the new LASP site a blog, a grassroots effort, the latest 527 group on the political scene or part of growing movement that may cost Sarah Palin the election come November if this group of librarians do what they have set out to do?

By Jane StillwaterJock-Shock: Has Rush Limbaugh Just Become The RNC's New Speech-writer?Judging from last week's speeches at the Republican convention, all I can assume is that Rush Limbaugh wrote most of the material. The speeches were filled with such folksy half-truths, slurs & inuendoes that it appears Rush is becoming the RNC's new speech-writer. Wait a minute. Did I just say HALF-lies?

Government may soon back troubled mortgage giants _ The government is expected to take over Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac as soon as this weekend in a monumental unprecedented move designed to protect the mortgage market from the failure of the two companies, which together hold or guarantee half of the nation's mortgage debt.

The foreclosure crisis, generally considered the worst since the Great Depression of the 1930s, began in late 2006 with a surge in defaults on subprime loans, those to people with weak credit records. As falling real-estate prices have left more people owing more than the current value of their homes, defaults have gradually spread to include more prime loans. Among the most troubled prime loans are option adjustable-rate mortgages, which let borrowers start out with very low monthly payments and pose much bigger ones after a few years.

Fannie, Freddie Fall as Treasury May Be Close to Deal (Update1)
By Emma Moody and Dawn Kopecki

Sept. 5 (Bloomberg) -- Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac dropped in after hours trading on concern any rescue plan devised by U.S. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson will wipe out shareholders.

Fannie fell 20 percent and Freddie slumped 17 percent at 6:53 p.m. in New York trading as Paulson met today with Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke, Fannie Chief Executive Officer Daniel Mudd, Freddie CEO Richard Syron and Federal Housing Finance Agency director James Lockhart in Washington.

Paulson may be close to completing a plan that may involve a ``creative use'' of the Treasury's new authority to pump capital into Fannie and Freddie as well as changes to their senior management, the Wall Street Journal reported on its Web site today, citing a person it didn't name. The companies, which own or guarantee about $5 trillion of the $12 trillion in U.S. home loan debt, have been battered by record delinquencies.

``The market prices of these stocks are going down on the notion that the Treasury is going to do something,'' said Charles Lemonides, the chief investment officer at Valueworks LLC in New York. ``There is reason to be concerned if they do something that hurts investors.''

The meetings come a month after the Treasury hired Morgan Stanley to advise on any potential use of taxpayer funds to recapitalize the beleaguered mortgage-finance companies. Investors have pressed for clarity on how intervention may work.

``We are making progress on our work with Morgan Stanley, FHFA and the Fed,'' Treasury spokeswoman Brookly Mclaughlin said. She declined to comment on the contents of the Journal article.

Jump in the Pool

Paulson on July 13 said he would seek authority to buy unlimited stakes in Fannie and Freddie stock and bonds if needed as investors fled amid concern the companies lack sufficient capital to offset losses. Congress approved the Treasury's request in less than three weeks as Paulson assured lawmakers he didn't anticipate having to actually act on that authority.

``They have to open their wallet,'' said Bill Gross, manager of the world's biggest bond fund at Pacific Investment Management Co. in Newport Beach, California. ``They need to not only dip their toe in the water, they need to get in there waist high.''

The shares have slid since Paulson's announcement to the lowest levels in almost two decades as investors speculated that the deteriorating conditions of Fannie and Freddie would leave Paulson with no choice but to follow through on his plan, which would most likely sacrifice common and preferred shareholders.

Treasury Powers

Bernanke participated in today's meetings because the central bank was given a consultative role in overseeing Fannie's and Freddie's capital under the July legislation. The Fed chief said July 15 that Paulson would have the right to make changes in the two companies' management.

Mudd and Syron must approve of any government intervention, unless FHFA declares that either firm has insufficient capital.

FHFA spokeswoman Stefanie Mullin declined to comment, as did Mark Lake at Morgan Stanley.

Mudd was accompanied to the meeting by Fannie General Counsel Beth Wilkinson and Chairman Stephen Ashley in his visit to FHFA this afternoon.

``There's probably a 95 percent chance that the moment that something will happen is Sunday or Saturday,'' Gross said.


Washington-based Fannie was created as part of Franklin D. Roosevelt's New Deal in the 1930s, a time when the U.S. economy was struggling to emerge from a stock market crash, industrial production had tumbled 50 percent and the unemployment rate reached 30 percent. McLean, Virginia-based Freddie was started in 1970 primarily as competition for Fannie.

They make money by buying home loans and mortgage securities, profiting on the difference between their borrowing cost and the yield on the debt. They also guarantee and package loans as securities, charging a fee.

The companies have reported $14.9 billion in net losses for the past four quarters as loan delinquencies rose. Freddie as of June 30 was about $2.7 billion away from breaching capital requirements set by its regulator because of those losses and a delayed equity sale. Fannie had a cushion of about $9.5 billion. Missing the targets would lead to tighter government controls.

Fannie has raised $14.4 billion in new capital since December to offset credit losses. Freddie, which sold $6 billion in preferred stock in November, is struggling to raise the $5.5 billion more that the company said in May it planned to sell.

Freddie's $1.1 billion of 5.57 percent preferred stock dropped about 47 percent in July and August, pushing the yield to as much as 20.2 percent on Aug. 20 from less than 8 percent at the end of June. The shares today fell 5 cents to $9.15, yielding 15.7 percent.

Fannie's $7 billion of 8.25 percent perpetual preferred stock fell 37 percent in July and August, yielding as much as 19.9 percent last month. The stock climbed 5 cents today to $14, to yield 15.2 percent.

To contact the reporter on this story: Emma Moody at emoody@bloomberg.net; Dawn Kopecki in Washington at dkopecki@bloomberg.net.

Video Below:

Word all over after the market close is that Treasury is finalizing its Fannie/Freddie bailout/backstop plans. The plans allegedly include changing senior management -- you think? maybe? gosh -- as well as putting taxpayers on the hook for a few deci-billion more dollars.

More broadly, this isn't a big surprise, but the timing of this coming after Bill Gross's missive yesterday really rankles. Does everyone have to hop every time Gross complains? Is he the bond market incarnate, or just channeling its animal spirits?

[Update] The WSJ now has out a story on it. Not much more detail, other than the reminder that Treasury had a series of high-level meetings today, something may come this weekend, and that Morgan Stanley remains one architect of the plan. We all know nothing would ever leak from a classy shop like Morgan Stanley (MS) back into the market. No-ooooo.

[Update^2] When asked on CNBC after the close whether he had been approached about buying preferred stock or debt in any bailout deal, Pimco's Bill Gross declined to comment. Take that as a "yes", which makes yesterday's note from Gross even more Treasury bludgeoning. To spend the first half of the interview spitting watermelon seeds and pretending not to know much, only to demur on answering that crucial question at the end is ... well, remarkable TV.

[Update^3] Bloomberg says Hank Paulson, Ben Bernanke, Fannie Mae CEO Daniel Mudd, Freddie Mac CEO Richard Syron and Federal Housing Finance Agency director James Lockhart met today in Washington. More importantly, perhaps, it says Morgan Stanley and Mudd et al., are continue to meet at the FHFA, with catered food scheduled for delivery all weekend. And as we all know, bailout plans run on their stomachs.

[Update^4] The Washington Post has more detail, with a conservatorship -- essentially, a government takeover -- in Fannie/Freddie's future, as well as complete management team and board wipeouts in both companies. The preceding was mostly as expected, but it is disconcerting to read that while common shares will be diluted, and preferred shares and debt will be protected, the common will not be wiped out. Granted, people who hung on through a near doubling since August 23rd are now in for a pounding, but they should be zapped entirely.

The government has no business using my money to bail out lottery ticket holders with my money, which is what FRE/FNM shareholders are at this point.


Is the Freddie/Fannie bailout plan being underplayed? News late today that Treasury plans are likely to be announced imminently strikes many people, myself included, as one of the biggest financial events in modern memory, and yet it feels underplayed.

Why do I say that? Well, until recently, it was the second story on the front page of the WSJ this afternoon, and it hadn't even made the front page of the NY Times site last I looked. Marketplace on NPR, which I listen to most afternoons, shrugged it off in a 15-second drive-by comment as some late-breaking news that the market may have noticed.

Remarkable stuff. Here is the Federal Government backstopping a massive financial services organization; okay, two of them; okay, the whole frickin' financial services industry plus the stock market, with China and the rest of the world watching nervously, and it's being treated as just another day in those nutty ol' markets.

But it isn't just another day in the markets. This is set to be epochal, a true "Where were you when..." moment, a before/after sort of of thing. You can't make these kinds of massive financial commitments -- more than a trillion dollars, at least in notional terms -- with so many contingencies, without imagining the kinds of consequences, financial and political, that come with it. After all, the current U.S. administration desperately wanted to punt this past November elections, and it now seems clear that it can't.

The underlined point in the prior paragraph is important to understand. As much as the Treasury and the Bush Administration didn't want to get saddled with this bailout baggage at all, put that to the umpteenth power and you'll get how desperate they were to move this past election day in November. Bush, Paulson, et al., wanted it to be the next Administration's problem, not theirs; and they didn't want it to be fodder in the current electoral cycle. They failed on both counts, which tells you fast and out-of-control this apple cart is.

So, how much will the total liability be? Any upside will be sold hard, but will there ever be a chance to exercise whatever convertible paper Treasury (i.e., you and me) end up holding? Where does it go from here, and who else -- I'm looking at you, Wachovia (WB) and you, Washington Mutual (WM) -- is deemed too big to fail? What happens to the dollar with the Fed working overtime to print money? What happens to treasuries? To the dollar? Inflation? Stay tuned.