Friday, September 26, 2008

What's the Rush?

"The situation may get urgent, but it's not urgent right now. Right now it's a financial sector problem.''

That is what 150 economists say about the proposed $700 billion bailout/giveaway to Wall Street. They outlined their concerns in a letter to Congressional leaders and warned them not to be stampeded into doing further harm to the economy.

In this week's Black Agenda Report I expressed my fears that the give away is the first step in stealing from the national treasury. We will be told that social security, the only safety net Americans have, must be privatized or that spending on non-defense related programs has to go.

One of the signatories of the letter, David K. Levine of Washington University, had a more disturbing observation about recent market activity or rather inactivity. "I suspect that part of what we're seeing in the freezing up of lending markets is strategic behavior on the part of big financial players who stand to benefit from the bailout."

Hat tip goes to Arthur Silber, who as always makes the point that the ruling class are doing what they always do. They are ruling the rest of us. Just assume the position, like politicians tell you to do. Barack Obama says that ". . . issues like bankruptcy reform, which are very important to Democrats, is probably something that we shouldn't try to do in this piece of legislation." Of course not, that would mean answering to working people instead of the corporate masters who control both political parties.

Michael Hudson points out that the only way for the give away plot to work is for another bubble to be created. It isn't possible to make money for Wall Street while also helping Americans facing foreclosure. "In order for the existing junk mortgages to be “made good,” real estate prices must be raised further above the ability to pay for this year’s five million homeowners in arrears and facing default."

That is really not very shocking. It is just the ruling class doing what they always do. Nothing to see here. Move along.
Ahmadinejad on Larry King

I used to sneer at Larry King. He is king of the puff piece interview, whether his subject is a presidential candidate or a celebrity promoting a tell all memoir.

You can imagine my surprise when I turned on the tube last Tuesday and saw King interviewing Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad for the full hour of his program.

King wasn't much better than he usually is, but so what. Ahmadinejad was allowed to speak for himself and tell the American people what they ought to know but don't.

"Now for eight years, Saddam was supported against us. He bombarded Iranian cities and towns. He used chemical weapons against us. And in the meantime, the American government was giving support to Saddam. And then the U.S. government went and overthrew Saddam. Well, perhaps in the first instance, we might have been happy. But when we realized that the U.S. government is more interested in staying in Iraq and to dominate, through its presence in Iraq, the region, we -- I ask you, would you have been happy if you were in our shoes watching this?"

"The largest number of inspections in the history of the IAEA has been done with the country of Iran. We have offered the IAEA the largest number of documents in its history. No country in the world has cooperated with the agency as much as Iran has done. And that's verified. But I'd like to ask you, at the same, that there are countries who have nuclear weapons arsenals and are actually developing a new age nuclear warfare. Should they not be inspected, as well? Don't you think that their activities should be brought to an end, as well? Who exactly is the threat?"

"Perhaps as a journalist who has years of experience,(ouch!) you must be aware of what goes on in the Middle East, the extent of the calamity, in other words. For over 60 years, more than five million Palestinian have been displaced -- people who were forced out of their homes.And those who have stayed are being bombarded every day militarily. They are being killed in their homes at times. Women and children at times are besieged. And medicine, water and food does not always reach them sufficiently. Children lose their lives, as do women, as a result, at times. Sometimes women die giving birth. Palestinian figures are assassinated and it goes to such extent that it's actually announced beforehand.Three big wars started by the Zionist regime, the last of which was in 2006, when they attacked Lebanon.S o when will this calamity -- this catastrophe end?"

"I think that every government that comes to power in the United States must address two sort of agenda items. The first is that it must limit the circle of the interventions of the United States abroad because these interventions and interferences bring about heavy cost to the American people, both materially and both in terms of the level of dignity of a people. The dignity of the American people around the world has been hard when you -- other people, other nations do not have a good image of American people anymore. And materially, you can tell for yourself what it has done to the American economy. I heard this recently, that 700 billion dollars are to be infused to the financial institutions. Where is it being paid from? The pocket of American people."

We depend on stand up comedians like David Letterman and John Stewart to give us the news and now we depend on Larry King to give access to an important world leader when supposedly superior news people won't. Viva Larry!

The interview is on Youtube in six parts. Once again there is a problem posting Youtube on to blogger so I can only give the link.

Monday, September 01, 2008

Baby Mama Drama

Alaska governor Sarah Palin didn't deny the rumors that her infant son is actually her daughter's child. She did announce that her 17 year old daughter is pregnant now and will be getting married. Okey dokey.

I'm still unconvinced. Just look at this, the Sarah Palin's Pregnancy Decision Map. Maybe it just proves that she is dumb, but I like my scandal and I'm ging to stick with it.

I am also going to stick with saying that this is a relevant campaign issue. Governor Abstinence Only has a pregnant teenager. Every study has shown that abstinence only is a failure and there is no reason to dance around the issue. Also, Palin could have chosen to save her pregnant daughter this scrutiny, but like other narcissists, i.e. politicians, she chose to grab the spotlight.

I think more shoes are going to drop on Palin and it is too late for McCain to choose someone else. They must be nominated this week. He is stuck with her and if he wins, we will be too. We are just so screwed.