Monday, September 22, 2008

Mark Crispin Miller (emptywheel) NO! to bailout + urls + Alex Cockburn etc

How many people think that Cheney and Bush are distressed by the devolution of our financial system and are seriously trying to make it right? They are just as distressed by the thousands of dead young people who have already come home in bodybags -- perhaps the smallest symbol of the ongoing horror.
OK, I see you're all with me on this one.
Fewer I suspect agree with me that the reason that they are chortling while we piss our pants is because they actively want to destroy the possibility of civil life everywhere, in order to exercise their power of destruction. What's the use of having nuclear weapons unless you're going to use them? Their agenda of permanent war is the vehicle for their goals.
Let's examine one piece of evidence. A couple of months before Eliot Spitzer's career blew up in scandal, he testified before Congress regarding his initiative and that of one or two other governors to rein in some of the burgeoning abuses of the home mortgage system in their states. Spitzer testified that the Cheney-Bush administration used their power to stop him and the others from putting an end to some of the abuses. .
Now why would Bush and Cheney do that?

Here's a brief piece circulated by Mark Crispin's Miller and see his links below to more strong pieces.


By: emptywheel
September 20, 2008

CR has posted the "bailout plan," as it currently stands.
Glenn Greenwald has an important response, as does gjohnsit over at DKos.

But here's all you need to know. Hank Paulson is asking for $700,000,000,000. That's $2,333 from every man, woman, and child in the United States.
In exchange for that money, Paulson is unwilling to accept any demands to make markets more transparent, limit executive compensation, or assist homeowners fighting foreclosure. The sole purpose of that $700,000,000,000 is to bail out Wall Street and only Wall Street, but not to fix it, or our larger economy.
He is asking to be absolutely unbound by any law when he spends that money.
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.
The only "string" attached is a semi-annual Congressional report--one in which they would have zero leverage to influence his choices.
Within three months of the first exercise of the authority granted in section 2(a), and semiannually thereafter, the Secretary shall report to the Committees on the Budget, Financial Services, and Ways and Means of the House of Representatives and the Committees on the Budget, Finance, and Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs of the Senate with respect to the authorities exercised under this Act and the considerations required by section 3.
Paulson didn't even have the class to call this a "review"--which underscores the degree to which he wants to be unbound by any and all review, legal, congressional, or anything else.
Hank Paulson--one of the CEOs who got us into this mess--is asking each and every American to give him $2,333 to do with as he sees fit, with absolutely no strings attached.
For more News From Underground, visit

Glenn Greenwald at Salon:

James Moore at HuffPost:

gjohnsit at DailyKos:

William Greider in The Nation:

Here's Alex Cockburn's take, in less than a sentence, on what they're doing to us:
"... a bailout program designed to bail out the thieves running our financial system, and stick middle America with the pricetag – heftier than you can imagine"

And Cockburn's recommendations for further reading.
For the practicalities and implications of the thievery on Wall Street I highly recommend the pieces on our site this weekend by Michael Hudson, Pam Martens and our other writers

See also Democracy Now last week for the segment with Michael Hudson who explained very clearly that indeed we're bailing out the thieves as well as carrying the economic destruction forward. --RB


Ronald said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ronald said...

N began by quoting from my blog:
> writes:
>Fewer I suspect agree with me that the reason that they are chortling while
>we piss our pants is because they actively want to destroy the possibility
>civil life everywhere, in order to exercise their power of destruction.
> You are right, Ron, I don't agree. Do you really think that they are
>jumping up and down with glee that they have destroyed the world's premiere
>financial system? Maybe if they were Marxist revolutionaries. . . Personally,
>think they are driven by the more dangerous fantasy that they are doing their
>civic duty to help and protect the people.
> Anyhow, do you happen to have an URL for your Spitzer reference? --N

Ronald replied:

Thanks, N. Yes, I believe that they opportunistically now and previously
intended the destruction of the economy from day one with their outrageous tax cuts
which everybody knew at the time would harm (devastate?) the economy.
Revolutionary? Yes, (Marxist, no)
Is there any doubt that they are revolutionary? I like to use the term exceptional;
in the sense that no other US administration has meant to destroy civil society
as their primary goal. Pol Pot comes to mind as a not too politically incorrect
example from last century as does Radovan Karadzic.
Here's the beginning of the Spitzer op ed and a url.

Predatory Lenders' Partner in Crime
By Eliot Spitzer
The Washington Post

Thursday 14 February 2008

How the Bush administration stopped the states from stepping in to help consumers.
Several years ago, state attorneys general and others involved in consumer protection
began to notice a marked increase in a range of predatory lending practices by mortgage
lenders. Some were misrepresenting the terms of loans, making loans without regard
to consumers' ability to repay, making loans with deceptive "teaser"
rates that later ballooned astronomically, packing loans with undisclosed charges
and fees, or even paying illegal kickbacks. These and other practices, we noticed,
were having a devastating effect on home buyers. In addition, the widespread nature
of these practices, if left unchecked, threatened our financial markets.

Even though predatory lending was becoming a national problem, the Bush administration
looked the other way and did nothing to protect American homeowners. In fact, the
government chose instead to align itself with the banks that were victimizing consumers.
[read more: see url above]

September 22, 2008