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NO BAILOUT Petition by Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders Tops 40,000 Signers - Sign Off for NO BAILOUT

Wall Street Bailout -- 09/26/2008

There is little public support for President Bush's $700 billion bailout. Just 30 percent support Bush's package, according to an Associated Press poll released Friday. More than 4,000 of you have taken our survey, and those results are even more remarkable. Are you confident that taxpayers would be treated fairly if Congress and the Bush administration agree on a bailout? You aren’t. Do you think a bailout would help the economy? No. Do you favor a surtax on individuals who make more than $500,000 a year and couples earning more than $1 million to pay for a Wall Street bailout? More than 91 percent agree with the proposal by Senator Bernie Sanders. What’s more, as of late Friday, more than 40,000 (as of late Friday) of you co-signed Bernie’s letter to Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson suggesting a tax on the very wealthy.

Alabama's Senator Shelby Rejects Paulson's Treasury Raid

Senator Richard C. Shelby, ranking Republican on the U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs, issued the following statement:

“Last Saturday Secretary Paulson presented Congress with draft legislation that would grant him sweeping authority to spend up to $700 billion in taxpayer money to buy illiquid securities. The stated goal of this scheme is to return confidence and liquidity to our credit markets.

“I do not believe this is the right approach. We did not get into this situation in a matters of days, and we are not going to fix it in a matter of days.

Bailout Bums: Libertarian-Minded Republicans Are Caught With Their Pants Down As Wall Street Panics The Capital City

Bailout Bums
Libertarian-minded Republicans are caught with their pants down as Wall Street panics the Capital City
by David Weigel | ReasonOnline.com

To understand how Washington, D.C.’s fiscally conservative and libertarian-leaning Republicans are handling Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson's proposed $700 billion bailout of the financial services sector, think of a child who’s just learned that there is no Easter Bunny. Better yet, think of a guy who sunk his portfolio into Lehman Brothers or Bear Sterns and watched everything he was taught to believe about his investments declared moot, wrong, meaningless, at the mercy of the state. 

Democrats, Republicans Conspire To Remove Wall Street Bailout From Election Debate

Democrats, Republicans conspire to remove Wall Street bailout from election debate
By Patrick Martin | WSWS.org

Closed-door talks continued throughout the day Friday between congressional Democratic and Republican leaders and the Bush administration, with all sides pledging to reach agreement on terms of a $700 billion bailout package for the US financial system before the Asian stock markets open Monday morning—Sunday afternoon in the US.

Both parties agree on one fundamental principle: The American people will have no say whatsoever in an arrangement that will compel them to pay for the losses of bankers and speculators who created the financial disaster. That is the content of the demand on all sides that “politics” be kept out of the bailout talks.

Defense Contractor Claims Immunity in Iraq Torture

Defense contractor claims immunity in Iraq torture
Defense contractor CACI is claiming immunity from an Abu Ghraib torture lawsuit because it was doing the government's work by supplying interrogators to the U.S.-run prison in Iraq, according to court documents.
By David Dishneau | SeattleTimes.com

Defense contractor CACI is claiming immunity from an Abu Ghraib torture lawsuit because it was doing the government's work by supplying interrogators to the U.S.-run prison in Iraq, according to court documents.

Once in a Century Rip-Off

Once in a century rip-off

Producer: Carlo Basilone | TheRealNews.com

GEORGE W. BUSH, US PRESIDENT: I want to thank the leaders of the House and the Senate for coming. I appreciate our presidential candidates for being here as well.

CARLO BASILONE, TRNN (VOICEOVER): President George Bush pushed for a multi-billion dollar Wall Street bailout plan in an historic meeting attended by the two men fighting to succeed him. But at the end of the meeting, the top Republican on the Senate Banking Committee said that no agreement on the deal had been made.

SEN. RICHARD SHELBY (R-AL), RANKING MEMBER, SENATE BANKING COMMITTEE: We haven't got an agreement. There's still a lot of different opinions. Mine is it's flawed from the beginning. I said that the other day at the banking committee. Secretary Paulson and Chairman Bernanke, had they considered other alternatives? Some of you recall a silence—they hadn't. But they should.

Socialist Bailout of the Criminal Investment Banks: Are We On The Verge of The Deluge?

Are We On The Verge of The Deluge?
New Questions as the Bailout Sparks A War
by Danny Schechter | CommonDreams.org

New York - The Hank and Ben Show was doing so well in the ratings. They crafted a plan -- ok, only 3 pages but still a prodigious effort in an era when so few can agree on the need for heat on a freezing day. But now the great unraveling has begun. Remember Karl Marx's lesson on the dialectic: thesis leads to anithesis resulting in synthesis. Maybe.

They sold the Democrats on the need for a bailout. They made it big so the rest of the world would notice and be impressed. They started out unreasonably demanding total power knowing they would have to compromise and so allow all sides to win something and hence come aboard.

Redistributing the Wealth - National Protests Erupt Over Bailout Plan

National Protests Erupt Over Bailout Plan
by Haider Rizvi | InterPressService

NEW YORK - The George W. Bush administration's plan to spend hundreds of billions of dollars to rescue giant Wall Street firms from their current financial meltdown has unleashed a spontaneous wave of protests across the United States.

Protesters said they want the Congress to protect millions of U.S. citizens who are on the verge of losing their homes due to bad lending practices of creditors instead of doling out public money to big investment firms responsible for ruining the economy.

"People are up in arms about this," Matt Holland of the TrueMajority.org, an advocacy group comprising 700,000 members that played a major role in organising the protests, told IPS. "Our members are livid. They're hitting the streets."

Finally, the Story of the Whistleblower Who Tried to Prevent the Iraq War

Finally, the Story of the Whistleblower Who Tried to Prevent the Iraq War
by Norman Solomon | CommonDreams.org

Of course Katharine Gun was free to have a conscience, as long as it didn't interfere with her work at a British intelligence agency. To the authorities, practically speaking, a conscience was apt to be less tangible than a pixel on a computer screen. But suddenly -- one routine morning, while she was scrolling through e-mail at her desk -- conscience struck. It changed Katharine Gun's life, and it changed history.

How Wall Street Can Bail Itself Out Without Destroying The Dollar

How Wall Street Can Bail Itself Out Without Destroying The Dollar
by Thom Hartmann | CommonDreams.org

For Grover "Drown Government In The Bathtub" Norquist, this bailout deal will work out very well. At a proposed cost of $4,780 per taxpayer, it'll further the David Stockman strategy of so indebting us that the next president won't have the luxury of even thinking of new social spending (expanding health care, social security, education, infrastructure, etc.); taxes will even have to be raised just to pay for the bailout. It'll debase our currency, driving up commodity prices and interest rates, which will benefit the Investor Class while further impoverishing the pesky Middle Class, rendering them less prone to protest (because they're so busy working trying to pay off their debt). It'll create stagflation for at least the next half decade, which can be blamed on Democrats who currently control Congress and, should Obama be elected, be blamed on him.

Kucinich Introduces “Voter Foreclosure” Bill

Kucinich introduces “voter foreclosure” bill
By Jonathan E. Kaplan | ColoradoIndependent.com

Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio) introduced legislation today to bar political parties from challenging the eligibility of voters whose homes have been foreclosed.

Kucinich, who ran losing presidential bids in 2004 and 2008 and faced a stiff primary challenge earlier this year, drafted the legislation following a report in the Michigan Messenger that a Macomb County Republican Party official said he planned to gather lists of foreclosed homeowners to challenge their eligibility.

The Obama campaign and the Democratic National Committee have since filed a lawsuit in federal court over the reported plans.

Robert Fisk: Six Years in Guantanamo

Robert Fisk: Six years in Guantanamo
The Independent

Sami al-Haj, an Al Jazeera cameraman, was beaten, abused and humiliated in the name of the war on terror. He tells our correspondent about his struggle to rebuild a shattered life

Sami al-Haj walks with pain on his steel crutch; almost six years in the nightmare of Guantanamo have taken their toll on the Al Jazeera journalist and, now in the safety of a hotel in the small Norwegian town of Lillehammer, he is a figure of both dignity and shame. The Americans told him they were sorry when they eventually freed him this year – after the beatings he says he suffered, and the force-feeding, the humiliations and interrogations by British, American and Canadian intelligence officers – and now he hopes one day he'll be able to walk without his stick.

The TV cameraman, 38, was never charged with any crime, nor was he put on trial; his testimony makes it clear that he was held in three prisons for six-and-a-half years – repeatedly beaten and force-fed – not because he was a suspected "terrorist" but because he refused to become an American spy. From the moment Sami al-Haj arrived at Guantanamo, flown there from the brutal US prison camp at Kandahar, his captors demanded that he work for them. The cruelty visited upon him – constantly interrupted by American admissions of his innocence – seemed designed to turnal-Haj into a US intelligence "asset".

IRAQ: The Biggest Hospitals Become Sick

IRAQ: The Biggest Hospitals Become Sick
By Arkan Hamed and Dahr Jamail | Inter Press Service

Not even the elevators work now at Baghdad Medical City, built once as the centre for some of the best medical care.

One of the ten elevators still does, and the priority for this is patients who have lost their legs -- and there are many of them. The rest, the doctors, patients and students at the four specialised teaching hospitals within the building complex, just take the stairs, sometimes to the 18th floor.

This is in a city that had been given dreams of great development five years back, around the time of the U.S.-led invasion. And much of the corporate-led media in the U.S. and Europe still insists that the situation in Baghdad has "improved".

Peace Activists Go To Trial in DC for "Ghosts of War" Action in Senate Gallery

Peace Activists Go To Trial in DC for "Ghosts of War" Action in Senate Gallery By Joy First

Ten activists will be tried at the Superior Court of the District of Columbia in Washington, DC beginning September 29, 2008. They are being charged with “Unlawful Conduct” and face a possible sentence of up to six months in jail if they are found guilty.

On March 12, 2008, the defendants went to the Senate gallery, put a piece of cloth over their heads to dramatize the suffering and death resulting from the war and occupation of Iraq, and called on the Senators to end the funding for the war. “The right to peacefully and nonviolently petition the government is a cornerstone of democracy,” said Eve Tetaz, a 77-year-old activist who is a former teacher and was arrested during the action. All of the activists participating have had training in nonviolent civil resistance, and have participated in actions calling for an end to the war since 2003. This action was organized by the National Campaign for Nonviolent Resistance.

Financial Terrorism

Financial Terrorism
By Darrell Koerner

George Bush should be immediately impeached for practicing Financial Terrorism. His rape of the American people and the US Treasury proves that we are now living in a fascist nation. Over the last eight years We the People have been repeatedly lied to, our Constitution ignored and trampled on, and our treasure squandered in the protection and pursuit of corporate profits. Bush and his team of war criminals and terrorists in the White House should be impeached by Congress and then tried in The Hague for war crimes.

Obama's Main Issue: The Economy Stolen By Bush. Obama Must Call For Impeachment!

Obama's Main Issue: The Economy Stolen By Bush. Obama Must Call For Impeachment!
By Buzz Davis, Chair, WI Impeachment/Bring Our Troops Home Coalition and member, Veterans for Peace Impeachment Committee, Chapter 25 and the National VFP Impeachment Committee

Obama was going to use the economy to cruise to victory. He has set aside the issues of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, never picked up the issue of impeachment and now Mr. Bush (and probably Karl Rove) have take the issue of the bad economy away from him - just like an adult taking a ball away from a young child.

Bush says we are in crisis and instant action must be taken, he (the decider) has decided and Congress must follow or be blamed for a worsening economic crisis by both Bush and McCain.

Congress Has 43,457,362 Reasons to Help Goldman Sachs

Congress Has 43,457,362 Reasons to Help Goldman Sachs
Embattled Firm and Its Employees Spread Millions Around Washington in Donations and Lobbying Expenses
By AVNI PATEL and BRIAN ROSS | ABCNews.com

Not all their money has gone for mansions and Ferraris.

The embattled Goldman Sachs investment banking firm and its employees have spent more than $43 million dollars on lobbying and campaign contributions to cultivate friends and buy influence in Washington, D.C. since 1989, according to an ABC News analysis of campaign finance records compiled by the Center for Responsive Politics.

As a group, Goldman Sachs bankers have been the country's top political campaign contributors this year and have given $29.5 million in contributions since 1989, according to the Center.

The Fed Is Lifeblood to the Root of Evil


Preamble:

“It is well enough that the people of the nation do not understand our banking and monetary system for, if they did, I believe there would be a revolution before tomorrow morning.” — Henry Ford

"Capital must protect itself in every possible manner by combination and legislation. Debts must be collected, bonds and mortgages must be foreclosed as rapidly as possible. When, through a process of law, the common people lose their homes they will become more docile and more easily governed through the influence of the strong arm of government, applied by a central power of wealth under control of leading financiers. This truth is well known among our principal men now engaged in forming an imperialism of Capital to govern the world. By dividing the voters through the political party system, we can get them to expend their energies in fighting over questions of no importance. Thus by discreet action we can secure for ourselves what has been so well planned and so successfully accomplished." USA Banker's Magazine, August 25 1924

Welcome to the United Socialist States of America

Welcome to the United Socialist States of America | Free Market Fairy Tales

It is said that the events of 9-11 will define American foreign policy for a generation. Well why not put your feet you, pour yourself a gentleman’s measure of single malt, spark up a smoko & consider this; the events of 9-15 will define American domestic policy & how it relates to a formerly free market for a generation & possibly forever.

Well-Run Banks Balk at Paulson Plan; Should Be Included in Negotiations

Paulson Plan Aimed at Helping `Poorly Run' Banks, Allison Says
By David Mildenberg |
Bloomberg.com

Sept. 25 (Bloomberg) -- U.S. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson's proposed $700 billion bank rescue aims to help ``poorly run'' companies and the primary beneficiaries would be Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Morgan Stanley, said BB&T Corp. Chief Executive Officer John Allison in a critique of the plan.

Treasury ``is totally dominated by Wall Street investment bankers'' and ``cannot be relied on to objectively assess'' the impact of government policy on the financial industry, Allison wrote in a Sept. 23 letter to Congress. The letter was verified by Bob Denham, a spokesman for BB&T, North Carolina's third- largest bank.

China's Banks Limit Interest-Rate Swaps With Overseas

China's Banks Limit Interest-Rate Swaps With Overseas (Update1)
By Belinda Cao | Bloomberg.com

Sept. 25 (Bloomberg) -- Chinese banks said they've cut approvals for traders to enter into interest-rate swap agreements with international finance companies to avoid losses as credit markets collapse.

China Citic Bank Corp. introduced tighter limits for swaps with overseas banks after the failure of Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc., according to Guan Jiaying, the bank's interest-rate swap analyst in Beijing. Traders are favoring domestic counterparties for the contracts, which involve swapping fixed for floating rates, said Ye Yuzhang at Industrial Bank Co. in Shanghai.

Gates Defends Operations Inside Pakistan

Gates defends operations inside Pakistan
By Demetri Sevastopulo | Financial Times

Robert Gates, US defence secretary, yesterday suggested the US was justified under international law in conducting unilateral military operations inside Pakistan to protect American troops. The US has recently stepped up drone-fired missile attacks in Pakistan and US commandos have conducted a covert operation inside Pakistan to combat extremists' attacks against US forces inside Afghanistan.

Mr Gates said Pakistan probably did not agree that international law permitted unilateral action, but he said the Pentagon had an obligation to protect US troops.

Journalists: Ask Tough Questions About the Bailout

Ask tough questions about the bailout
By DAVID CAY JOHNSTON | Poynter.org

(Johnson is the NYTimes reporter who has exposed many financial scandals)

In covering the proposed $700 billion bailout of Wall Street don't repeat the failed lapdog practices that so damaged our reputations in the rush to war in Iraq and the adoption of the Patriot Act. Don't assume that Congress must act instantly, as so many news stories state as if it was an immutable fact. Don't assume there is a case just because officials say there is.

The coverage of the Paulson plan focuses on the edges, on the details. The focus should be on the premise. And be skeptical of what gullible Congressional leaders, most of them up before the voters in a few weeks, say after being given a closed-door meeting on supposed horrors.

YouTube's Cutest Animals

WARNING: CONTAINS GRAPHIC IMAGES

US Military Combat & Non-Combat Casualty Report for Week Ending Sept. 23, 2008

US Military Combat & Non-Combat Casualty Report for Week Ending Sept. 23, 2008
Compiled by Michael Munk | www.michaelmunk.com

US military occupation forces in Iraq suffered 20 combat casualties casualties in the week ending September 23 as the official casualty total climbed to at least 68,363. It includes 34,039 dead and wounded by what the Pentagon classifies as "hostile" causes and more than 34,324 dead and medically evacuated (as of August 2) from "non-hostile" causes.

The actual total is over 88,000 because the Pentagon chooses not to count as "Iraq casualties" the more than 20,000 veterans whose injuries-mainly brain trauma from explosions--were diagnosed only after they had left Iraq.

"The Whole World is Watching" - Prosecuting High-level Americans for War Crimes

Prosecuting High-level Americans for War Crimes

JURIST Guest Columnist Benjamin Davis of the University of Toledo College of Law says "the whole world is watching" efforts in the United States - highlighted at a recent conference at Andover - to bring U.S. high-level civilians and/or generals to justice for crimes committed in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars....

On September 13-14, 2008, over two hundred people from the United States and abroad gathered in Andover. Massachusetts for the Justice Robert Jackson Conference on the Planning for Prosecution of High Level American War Criminals sponsored by the Massachusetts School of Law. Video of the two day conference and the program are available here. As a participant, I'm providing this note to JURIST as an aide-memoire for those concerned about war crimes perpetrated by US officials that have gone unpunished over the past eight years.

Impeachment of Bush-Cheney

Notwithstanding Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi's statement that impeachment of the most senior member of the Administration is off the table, the impeachment of President George W. Bush and Vice-President Dick Cheney was very much on the table at the conference. In particular, it was noted that the time remaining for the Bush-Cheney administration is about the same time as it took for the impeachment of President Clinton.

Ron Paul Commentary: Bailouts Will Lead to Rugh Economic Ride

Ron Paul Commentary: Bailouts will lead to rough economic ride

Many Americans today are asking themselves how the economy got to be in such a bad spot.

For years they thought the economy was booming, growth was up, job numbers and productivity were increasing. Yet now we find ourselves in what is shaping up to be one of the most severe economic downturns since the Great Depression.

Unfortunately, the government's preferred solution to the crisis is the very thing that got us into this mess in the first place: government intervention.

Ever since the 1930s, the federal government has involved itself deeply in housing policy and developed numerous programs to encourage homebuilding and homeownership.

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