what it is: a constitutional amendment w/o ratification

(11 am. – promoted by ek hornbeck)

My gut reaction to everything I’ve read about this financial markets crash up to the now infamous Paulson Plan has me soooooooooooooooo angry that I just don’t know what to do with myself.

Reading the provisions of this Paulson Plan produced yet another assault of shock and awe from BushCo. And the fucking Democrats? In on it. Fuck!!!!!!!!!

Jay Elias, in his essay, Why All Americans Need To Oppose the Bailout As Currently Proposed points gets right to the heart of this dark plan:

The various merits and demerits of the proposal to create a fund for the acquisition of toxic securities and derivatives by the Federal government compose a huge list.  But one of the key provisions of the bill as currently proposed makes it unpalatable for any reason:

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.

Is this insane? Are they insane? Are the American people, wholesale, so depleted, scared, unable to think that they are going to buy this crap?

I kept thinking that FUCK they’re amending the constitution without any ratification. And without any muscle from Democrats opposing.

Well, all I can tell you is started screaming when I read this fabulous and important analysis by Stirling Newberry over at GOS. nocatz recommended it and I highly recommend:

The Way Forward

I’m thinking to myself that everything I’ve read about thisGovernments then have a basic mandate to enact the good, they have mechanisms to effect that mandate, one of which is money, and they have a relationship to the people which constitutes the meaning of government. The Paulson Proposal is, in effect, an amendment to the Constitution, which states that the executive, in its sole discretion, has a mandate to prop up the financial sector at whatever cost, without review. It states that it has the mechanism of unlimited and unfettered spending power. It asserts a meaning which is foreign to virtually every part of the political spectrum, libertarians, conservatives, centrists, liberals, and socialists alike have balked at this vast grab of power which violates separation of powers, accountability, and virtually every other principle advanced for the protection of a Democracy. This much is obvious, and is obvious to millions of people. The Paulson Proposal is a demand for economic servitude.

Seriously. How do we stop this? We need to do something. Really. This has nothing to do with electing more and better Democrats. Really. Are we getting this yet? Just what the fuck is happening?

And please, don’t be fooled by pretend e-mails that express Democratic outrage. It’s a scheme to keep us on the string.

First and foremost: i’ve e-mailed everybody in my address book about this. Now let’s follow it up. What do we do from here? How do we stop this?

How do we all file for tax extensions? Change the number of exemptions on our salaries to the highest allowed. Stop the flow of tax money in any way we can.

What the fuck do we do?


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    • pfiore8 on September 22, 2008 at 6:15 pm

    i may yet exceed it. except i have to go to my second level dutch lessons starting tonight. twice a week through December.

    and yet i think… how far do i go living a life that is a shadow of something swallowed whole by these monsters?

    • Edger on September 22, 2008 at 6:55 pm

    and may not be reviewed by any court of law or any administrative agency“?

    I suspect “administrative agency” in this context mean “Congress”.

    David Swanson this morning

    The last time the Democrats all started bleating “No blank check – No blank check” it meant only one thing. They were signing a check and scribbling a bunch of nonsense in the memo line.

    If history is any guide, we can expect a bill to come out of Congress requiring that the Secretary of the Treasury make a report to Congress within three months on all areas covered by the legislation, with the exception of those he chooses not to report on.

    In particular, he will be required, if he chooses, to report on the progress being made toward compelling families that have lost their homes to pay for their own foreclosures. Fair is fair, and the Iraqis are going to start paying for their own occupation someday very soon.

    The Treasury Secretary will be required to report, if he chooses, on key benchmarks, including equitable sharing among all plutocrats of our Social Security savings. This is a question of fair and equitable distribution of resources and might serve as a model for the still badly needed Iraq hydro-carbon law, which is also purely about fairness. The same goes for Medicare and the money raised from selling off our schools.

    At least that’s the pessimistic prediction. On the other hand, there is an important variable that has been altered in this case. We are talking about throwing a trillion dollars of our grandchildren’s money at people who do not need it, but this time we’re proposing to do it for something other than war. There are no flags waving or war music playing for this one. As a result, it’s possible to see things like an article on CNN that begins:

    “NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) — ‘NO NO NO. Not just no, but HELL NO,’ writes Richard, a reader from Anchorage, Alaska. ‘This is robbery pure and simple,’ Anna from Denver posted on CNNMoney.com’s TalkBack blog this weekend. ‘It’s our money! Let these companies die,’ added Claudio from Plainville, Conn.”

    Similar comments on wars are simply not published by CNN in the heat of an invasion. Will our so-called representatives notice the difference? I wouldn’t count on it. The smart investment right now is in a moving van pointed toward Canada.


    For neocons, this was an easy decision. When you control the media, and your opponents are Democrats, there’s almost no way for you to lose. So why wouldn’t you propose borrowing a trillion dollars to hand out to your friends?

    Of course, in theory, the Democrats could stop saying “No blank check” and start saying “No +&*^%!# check!” but I’m not going to hold my breath until they do.

    • pfiore8 on September 22, 2008 at 7:03 pm

    For neocons, this was an easy decision. When you control the media, and your opponents are Democrats, there’s almost no way for you to lose. So why wouldn’t you propose borrowing a trillion dollars to hand out to your friends?

    you know, now that i think of it, do the Dems in Washington have a secret crush on the Rethugs there? do you think Dems secretly want to be rethugs?

    what the fuck, Edger? cause i don’t get it… even when i get it, i don’t get it.

  1. …what makes it different from a Constitutional Amendment is that just because Congress says no court can review it doesn’t mean no court can review it.  The MCA, for example, took away judicial review for military commissions, but the courts still ended up taking up the cases.

    However, what makes it dangerous is the Supreme Court standard on judicial review as established in Youngstown v. Sawyer, which grants a higher level of deference to the inherent authority of the President when Congress has confirmed that power.  All of this is in flux, however, as Youngstown will be the precedent at issue when the SCOTUS takes up the Al-Marri case (the declaration as an enemy combatant of a person captured in the United States) in the coming term.

    • robodd on September 22, 2008 at 8:18 pm

    But the $700 bill will be gone before the supreme court ever rules on it.

    I’m coming to the opinion that these companies simply need to declare bankruptcy.  

    BTW, my suspicion is that the derivatives are worthless and we will be left holding a bag of crap if we buy these.

  2. that has a real handle on the whole situation:

    The $700 Billion Bailout: One More Weapon of Mass Deception

    Not since the Bush administration’s lies about Iraq’s “weapons of mass destruction” have the American people been so despicably misled.

    The Bush administration’s proposal to buy, with taxpayers’ money, $700 billion of toxic liabilities from the corporate financial titans of Wall Street is a fraud. It is by no means necessary, as Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson claims in the agency’s Fact Sheet, “to promote market stability, and help protect American families and the U.S. economy.” . . . .

    These financial corporations lobbied ferociously to be free of government regulation. Had they not succeeded, they could not have done what they did next: They created and leveraged trillions of dollars of complex “derivatives” — mortgage-backed securities, collateralized debt obligations and credit default swaps — all riding on an unprecedented real estate bubble stimulated by their frenzy of creative finance. When the bubble burst, as bubbles do, many of these financial titans faced bankruptcy, their obligations far exceeding their assets.

    The $700 billion of taxpayers’ money, in the plan suggested by Paulson, will buy enough of the toxic obligations to allow the companies to avoid bankruptcy. Not coincidentally, a major beneficiary of the scheme will be the investment bank Goldman Sachs. Paulson resigned as CEO of Goldman Sachs to become the Treasury secretary in 2006, having amassed a personal net worth of $700 million during his 32-year tenure at the bank (on average, $21.9 million per year). . . . .

    For the good of the American economy, Paulson is correct that credit needs to flow and the distressed assets need to be removed. He is not correct that credit needs to flow from Goldman Sachs and other Wall Street financial houses. And the distressed assets do not have to be assumed by the taxpayers.

    There are other, far more equitable and justified ways to accomplish both.

    The distressed assets — that is, the losses — can and should be absorbed by the executives, directors and stockholders of the corporate banks and other institutions that propagated the financial firestorm. They can and should, as the dictates of the free market insist, stand accountable for their actions and accept bankruptcy. It is not the responsibility of the American taxpayers to shield them. . . . .

    Read more here

  3. about the whole bush bailout blackmail scheme.  I even called them & (ever so politely) ranted on about it.  The staffers are going to pass along my concerns (sure they are).  

    One of them has a statement about how she’s working on getting a “bailout of mainstreet”, blah, blah. They think they can get us to swallow this crock of crap if they offer us some penny ante bribes, apparently.  Hope some much more eloquent and powerful people step up & slap ’em around a bit–reminding them about how they’ve already been suckered by PT bush (more than once) including the biggest con of all–the traveling Powell WMD show at the UN and how they’re about to be suckered again.

  4. just said on the MSNBC that they are going to pass this financial Patriot Act by the end of the week. I really don’t think the American people have any say. Were just the suckers who pay both coming and going. Dire predictions of the collapse of the world still seem to work. Jeez like the choice is do this or you’ll all die.  

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