September 22, 2008 archive

Lenin’s Chickens Roost in Paulson’s Attic

Another reason why the omnipotence of “wealth” is more certain in a democratic republic is that it does not depend on defects in the political machinery or on the faulty political shell of capitalism. A democratic republic is the best possible political shell for capitalism, and, therefore, once capital has gained possession of this very best shell…, it establishes its power so securely, so firmly, that no change of persons, institutions or parties in the bourgeois-democratic republic can shake it. — Lenin, State and Revolution

The cascade of financial failures on Wall Street — the sure result of a decade or more of unregulated, unrestrained capitalist speculation — has shaken the world capitalist system with a sudden, shuddering spasm  of fear. But with fear comes opportunity, and the ruling elite now sees an opportunity to cast off the shackles of messy public oversight and control entirely.

If one were looking for the utmost in financial irresponsibility, allowing the system to implode/explode, paving the way for socialist revolution (or failing that, a fall into post-Roman-Empire-like darkness), then you’d put Bush and his cronies, like Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, in charge of a supposed “bailout” plan for Wall Street. That’s because the Bush-Paulson plan, by turning over unrestricted control of nearly a trillion dollars of a running tab, while handing the gargantuan bill over to an already deficit-weary taxpayer, will totally eviscerate the public sector of the economy, and pave the way for the complete impoverishment of the wide spectrum of the society. (Naomi Klein has described this process accurately in her widely-read book, The Shock Doctrine.)

Wall Street Meltdown and a melting globe

Global Warming, it is said, offers perhaps both the greatest challenge humanity has ever faced and perhaps the greatest opportunity we’ve ever had. Either we will figure out how to transform society, to a prosperous and sustainable path, or we will fail to do so with dire consequences.

When it comes to Global Warming and moving forward, one of the greatest challenges has been from those fearful, dismissive, disdainful of “large” government. Yet, to deal with Global Warming will require not just individual action, not just local communities, not just ‘business’ and market activity, but serious government engagement as well — policy, financing, research support, and otherwise.

So, a question that has to be faced: Is Wall Street’s meltdown going to worsen or improve the prospects for navigating the Perfect Storm of Peak Oil and Global Warming? And, the answer is likely: both. It is both challenge and opportunity.

Greetings From Oregon…

Greetings from the Great Green State of Oregon, where I’ve decided to take a few minutes on this damp Sunday here in Portland to collect the latest goings-on here in our US Senate race – where our excellent candidate Jeff Merkley is going to retire Senator Weasel (he of The Great Fake Outrage), in just a few weeks.

Three recent polls (links and numbers below the fold) make it very clear that this is a top-tier race, and a few more news items are included below the fold.

269-269: The Nightmare Scenarios

All right, Chicken Littles.  You wanna play “the sky is falling?”  Okay, I’ll bite.  How ’bout these possible outcomes?:

Cheney becomes Temporary President in January, 2009…or… casts a tie-breaking vote in Senate balloting to determine who will be Succeeder to the Decider…or…Obama is elected President, but is saddled with Cariboucuda as his Vice President…

All this misery – and more! – can be yours, for the simple price of an Electoral College vote of 269-269.  Join me, if you will, in the Cave of the Moonbat, where tonight’s theme is “The Implausible and its Potentially Apocalyptic Consequences upon Humankind.”  The subject is the ticking time bomb represented by the Twelfth Amendment – and just for fun, let’s look at some best- and worst-case scenarios it might spawn in the event of an Electoral tie.  The suggested headgear for the evening is a tinfoil hat; umbrellas might also be helpful, since everyone knows that the sky can’t be falling if you can’t see it headed toward you.  

Bush Finally Unites Americans – in Outrage!

The top of the volcano is starting to come off. Here’s some a’a and pahoehoe (actually, it’s more of a pyroclastic flow):

Naomi Klein


Boston Sunday Globe

NYT on Foreign Banks bellying up

Agence France-Presse

Wall-to-wall on HuffPo

I got this in my mailbox from – a call for Bush/Cheney/Paulson to resign:

You may want to take about one minute or so to go add your name to the petition. Send it along to friends and family to sign up, too.

Educate yourself tonight or first thing tomorrow. Take the time to read the bill. It’s incumbent on you as a citizen to be self-informed. This proposed bill is a total give-away with no accountability whatever for any decisions made. No oversight. No redress. Pure Bush/Cheney. This is the Patriot Act stampede all over again – and we know where that got us.

I don’t know about the rest of you but I’m on the phone first thing tomorrow to my CC Bill Delahunt and Sen Teddy and Sen Diebolded. I want blood – and I’m a peaceful man. I intend to raise my voice in anger. No more Mr. Nice Guy polite BS. I’ve been through that with Delahunt on impeachment to no avail. Gloves are off now.

No bum’s rush to judgement on this one. It took the assholes eight years to screw things up this badly. They can wait eight weeks to get a better thought-out fix. We’re about to get the hosing of all human history if this goes through as is.

For our sake and for the sake of the coming generations, we need to stop the madness NOW! This is one bridge to oblivion too far. It’s time to stop the billionaire welfare. We need to start taking care of our own.

It’s time to hit the streets, people. The conservatives – the real ones – will be right there with us. Bush has finally united all of us in a way that he could never have foreseen. There comes a point in time when you have to say Enough! You can lie down and let them walk over you or you can stand up and start to act like a free people with basic rights and simple human dignity.

We need a Shock and Awe campaign by the taxpayers and for the taxpayers. Get on the phones Monday: federal and state politicians; newspapers; local TV stations; radio stations; pound out those LTEs to every paper you can name. We need a nation-wide firestorm of public outrage in time for the 6:00 news shows.

Get on it. Stay on it. Don’t stop. Let it all out. Hold no outrage back. Raise your voices. Let them feel the anger and outrage. Make it visceral. Scare them. Make them feel fear. Make them tremble. Let them know we’re mad as hell and we’re not going to take it anymore.

Tomorrow, September 22, is the Equinox. It’s a powerful day for change. Make it happen!


From the Puget Sound Dahlia Society garden in Seattle’s Volunteer Park. Courtesy of a closed conservatory, which led me to wandering, camera in hand — and a beautiful Sunday evening.

There is a song the bosses fear.

There is a song that makes them quake in their boots.  It is not a song about the glories of capitalism.  Quite the contrary: It’s a song which was born out of the Paris Commune.  Henry Paulson would faint if he walke onto the trading floor of the NYSE and the traders all started to sing it.  W would flee in terror if one of his stage managed crowds beagan to sing it.  Obama would, out of fear, try to stop the crowds from singing if they started.  It’s that type of song.

How Many Barricades Have You Stormed Today?

Seriously, how much have you stuck it to the Man, man? How many gates have you crashed? How exactly have you put your money where your big, fat, opinionated mouth is? How much scratch (that you don’t have) have you freely given away to the corporate-whore candidate of your choice? How many low-to-no-information voters have you registered? How much have you phone-banked? How much have you driven a wedge into some poor bastard’s life, interrupting their self-important bliss with your do-gooder enthusiasm? How much have you reviewed the legislative track record, or current issue positions, of the candidate of your choice? Have you even, like, chosen a candidate, man? Don’t you know that this is the most important election, like, ever? Even more so than the last most important election ever?

Enjoying The Last of My Days

Daughter and I set out for a three hour trail ride on a perfect fall day.  I on my steed and her ponying the one year old philly.  I had stuff I should be doing, stuff I needed to be doing but a few hours with the horses, nature and the farm does so much for my troubled soul these days.

I thought of my career ending date of Sept 30 and pondered if the company knows economic D-day is here and they knowingly offered the incentive of a pension from Enron.  The brilliant thing about all of this designed economic crash is that one year from now as if by magic the salvation will come under the banner of the North American Union.…

Also currently 47 million 400 thousand Google hits.…

We have also emancipated our family from the spectre of my mother and her soon to be non-existant stock market portfolio.  A significant portion of my upcoming book will be devoted to this issue fully illustrating why my Russian boss says, “This is the second socialist country I have lived in”.  The general plan was for me to take her in once she got to old to fend for herself and my father in their house.  Now the big business Medco Globocorp gets to suck years of that money up.  Bankers and lawyers in this country have long pointed a shotgun at the heads of the elderly and they are going to take all the assets of the parents and the children of the baby boomers (me included).

I thought about the title for the book.  3M6B struck me going along with my theme 300 million 6 billion world or possibly Potemkin Nation was another one, toss up.…

Either way I’ll take the word of multiple “conspiracy” sites over 5 seconds of mainstream propaganda as I wait for the arrival of my very own black helicopters.  A horse ride on a perfect day or the smiling face of a two year made all of it worth living.

I don’t think the horse is ready though, to enter the particular location the company picked for the retirement dinner.  Never trained him to do stairs.

2010 scenarios – Which country do you want first?

From our managing editor at THE ENVIRONMENTALIST, four scenarios of what 2010 will look like, depending upon who is elected (starts out a bit tongue in cheek, then gets serious.  First scenario copied here, link here for the rest):

“It is 2010. President McCain has fired the head of the SEC, FEC, FCC, SIPC (note spelling)… and has formed the M.F.I. Commission to study the collapsed economy under Treasury Secretary Phil Gramm, while Saudi Arabia and Dubai (where Dick Cheney is living out his retirement) have matched China, India and Iraq in owning our over thirty-three trillion dollar national debt.

We’re in proxy wars with Russia and in a bomb, bomb, bomb war with Iran.

Out-of-work parents say goodbye to their enlisted sons and daughters.

President McCain adds more cars to the thirteen(?) he currently owns.

Ditto on the houses.

A safe education is available only for the home-schooled or vouchered.

Health care becomes more out of reach to those who can’t afford it.

Drilling is everywhere but Anwr and, yet, oil is over $200 a barrel.

Alternative fuels legislation receives lip-service but little effective support.

There are no salmon.

Tucker Bounds becomes Press Secretary. Doug Holtz-Eakin is the new CEO of Blackberry.

Questions about policies are met with blame and obfuscation.

Sound far-fetched? Perhaps.

But what if it’s not?”

Link to the other three scenarios (one more about McCain, followed by Palin – wait till you read that — and then a stunningly clear presentation of Obama’s policies).

Obama: “NO”?

Speaking in North Carolina earlier today, Obama said “no blank check when American taxpayers are on the hook for this much money”

Obama: No blank check for Wall St

The Swamp, September 21, 2008

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – In his first comments about a $700 billion government bailout package meant to help stabilize Wall Street, Sen. Barack Obama on Sunday stopped short of saying whether he supports the proposal, as he laid out some broad economic goals he believes such a plan should include.

“As of now, the Bush Administration has only offered a concept with a staggering price tag, not a plan,” Obama said. “Even if the U.S. Treasury recovers some or most of its investments over time, this initial outlay of up to $700 billion is sobering. In return for their support, the American people must be assured that the deal reflects the basic principles of transparency, fairness, and reform.”

Over the weekend, aides said Obama has spoken to congressional leaders about the proposal, as well as both Bill and Hillary Clinton.

As he addressed a crowd here that his campaign said totaled more than 25,000, the Illinois Democrat repeatedly criticized the White House and his Republican rival, Sen. John McCain.

“The radical idea that government has no role to play in protecting ordinary Americans has wreaked havoc on our economy,” he said.

Obama charged that Republicans have run the economy “into the ground,” as he outlined some broad concepts for reform of the financial industry.

“First, there must be no blank check when American taxpayers are on the hook for this much money,” Obama said. “Second, taxpayers shouldn’t be spending a dime to reward CEOs on Wall Street while they’re going out the door.”

h/t to Jeralyn at Talkleft – “You can read the full text of Obama’s remarks here.”

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