First, some words of wisdom from Abraham Lincoln, on January 11, 1837 ~ “It is an old maxim and a very sound one, that he that dances should always pay the fiddler. Now, sir, in the present case, if any gentlemen, whose money is a burden to them, choose to lead off a dance, I am decidedly opposed to the people’s money being used to pay the fiddler… all this to settle a question in which the people have no interest, and about which they care nothing. These capitalists generally act harmoniously, and in concert, to fleece the people, and now that they have got into a quarrel with themselves, we are called upon to appropriate the people’s money to settle the quarrel.”
And a recent, succinct summation of our current economic conundrum from Common Dreams forum member “matti” ~ “Criminal financial enterprises lent out money they didn’t have, then expected you to work and slave to pay back that “debt” (that they made by magic into an asset – for them) with REAL money. When you couldn’t do it, they had you kicked to the curb. And now, when too many of us have been screwed over in this way for them to pretend that these debts are really assets, they demand that YOUR Government use YOUR Treasury funds to bail them out!”
Make no mistake: we are not merely screwed; we are so far beyond that, the tram would have to come to a complete halt and wait while we stand up, turn around, crane our necks, and squint our eyes just to see the back of the You Are Leaving Upper Screwedsville sign. We have entered the unmapped territory beyond, where No Flimflam Man Has Gone Before. Even THEY are at a loss as to what to do…. all that The Entitled Ones know is that *they* don’t want to be the ones who will suffer the consequences of their own, irresponsible actions. (Heh, so what else is new?)
As Chris Floyd and Mike Whitney make perfectly clear, the avarice-driven wheelers-and-dealers in $2k suits have gamed this unregulated, backed-by-nothing, built-on-shifting-sand, “confidence-game”-based system to the point that the entire banking system itself is now hanging in tatters — just barely. Reality is hitting the fan, as Reality is wont to do from time-to-time.
Gee, who could have foreseen THAT??? :::rolling-eyes:::
All of the Free Market shills — DINOs and Reptiles alike — declared that regulation was no longer needed because, if/when anything went wrong, the market would “correct itself.” But now — when it’s THEIR wallets, portfolios, and offshore bank accounts that are threatened by just such a correction — the situation has been declared Some Big Freakin’ Emergency™. “Mommy, Mommy, help me!” You see, those oh-so-evil “welfare” and “socialism” concepts are suddenly okie-dokey-fine as long as The Entitled Ones are the only recipients. The rest of us can go pound (some of that now-worthless, ever-shifting) sand, as far as they’re concerned. We’re expected to do the bootstraps thing, even after they made off with our boots.
This *is* going to get ugly. VERY ugly. Most likely early-1930s-type ugly. The only overarching question that really remains at this point: in which direction will the majority of the fiscal schrapnel fly from those spinning fan blades, rightfully striking hardest the fiends who have created the situation (along with their unfortunate, most innocent victims — honest businesspeople, those with obliterated retirement accounts, et al.); or shredding the life out of ALL of us muddled masses, our children and our grandchildren for decades to come, with the nation’s infrastructure crumbling and Life As We Know It morphing into an indentured-servitude, neotheofascist state that’s totally unrecognizable as the (former) Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave?
With this latest attempted $700b bailout, our government of, by, and for the bankers — in their crusade to “privatize the profits and socialize the losses” — hopes to embezzle what little remains in the U.S. Treasury. One last Hurrah! donchaknow. One last gi-freakin-gantic swindle in a long string of same, with Rudy Ghouliani’s firm already gearing up to advise the greedy on how to best game this new, unaccountable, Paulsonian hand-out for the greatest fun and profit.
Why not set aside some of that $700bil to bail out the VICTIMS of these rat-bastards’ schemes? With retraining and jobs programs to develop energy-efficient transportation systems and rebuild cities’ infrastructures in order to lessen our dependence on foreign non-renewables? Re-establishment of hard-earned retirement accounts? Mortgages at REASONABLE, i.e. non-loan-shark rates? A bonafide, single-payer healthcare system so the elderly won’t have to choose between food, heat and medicine or take long bus rides to Canada for the drugs they need? You know, actual CURES for our ills, rather than evermore ways for The Entitled Ones to profit from human suffering?!!
It’s nearly down to torch-and-pitchfork time, folks. In the reclaiming-our-country department, it’s now or never. My lil evul-librul heart soared when I heard that more than 500 people recently marched in front of the flag-draped NY Shock Exchange chanting, “You broke it, you bought it!” AMEN! Accountability — whuttuh concept. We The Peons have screamed, “NO!” We have had ENOUGH already!!! Let this damnable house-of-cards fall where it must. We need to bulldoze K Street and *start over*. We’re in for a period of agony, anyway… let it BE for something! (Why let the perpetrators escape unscathed and happily fly off to Dubai or Paraguay in their Gulfstreams?!)
I screamed when I heard that it was *Republicans* in the House that defeated the bailout bill yesterday…. only 90-some genuine Democrats opposed it, while 140-some Wall Street ass-kissing pseudo-Dems voted FOR it. For all practical purposes, there is virtually no one left on our side but *US*!
They will, of course, be attempting to pass another incarnation of the bailout bill when Congress reconvenes, so if we snooze, we looze. Another demonstration is planned for Thursday, October 2nd, beginning at 10 a.m., at Independence and New Jersey Ave. SE, south side of the Capitol Building in D.C., organized by VoteNoBailout.org, ANSWER Coalition, and ImpeachBush.org.
It’s time for us to reclaim our nation’s government as one that is OF, BY, and FOR *We The People*!
UPDATE 10-01-08: The Senate will be voting on a bailout bill *TODAY*! I’ve read that so many people are sending emails, they’ve started refusing to accept any more, to prevent overloading of their server. You can call the Capitol switchboard at 800-473-6711 or 202-224-3121 and ask to be transferred to the offices of the senators from your state.
Another update, from a just-received democrats.com email:
(1) The Senate will vote at 9 pm ET today, so call your two Senators first and say “Filibuster the Bailout!” We need only one populist Senator like Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Russ Feingold (D-WI), Ron Wyden (D-OR), Jon Tester (D-MT), or Jim Webb (D-VA). Use the Capitol switchboard at 800-473-6711 or 800-828-0498 or 202-224-3121 or dial direct using the instant phone lookup on the right side of http://usalone.com
But call your Representative too because (s)he will have to vote again on Friday. Our chances of defeating the bailout are much better in the House because everyone is up for re-election on November 4, compared to only 1/3 of the Senate. Also most Senators are millionaires who care about Wall Street, not Main Street. Finally the House already defeated the bill once, so a second defeat is easier.
Before you call your House Representative, check how (s)he voted on Monday:
If (s)he voted NO, say “Thank you for helping stop the Bailout on Monday. Don’t betray us now by voting YES on Friday, or I will vote NO against you on Election Day.”
If (s)he voted YES, say “I’m outraged that you supported the Bailout on Monday, and I will remember on Election Day. If you want my vote on Election Day, you must vote NO on Friday.”
For inspiration, watch this great video from Agit-Pop:
Find more information and comment here:
UPDATE 10-02-08: Well, the Armani clad, Bruno Magli sporting, Beemer driving, double-latte sipping, oh-so-special Entitled Ones in the U.S. Senate *did* pass another version of this abominable bill, bless their pointy little Dilbert-bossian heads. I guess they thought throwing in a tax cut would pacify the rabble. :-P (In your dreams, phools!)
I thoroughly enjoyed Michael D. Rectenwald, Ph.D.’s gloriously righteous rant at Citizens for Legitimate Government…
“…The Democratic Party has proven definitively (again) that it is not the lesser of two evils, let alone the advocate for the working class. Unable to think, unable to understand, or else merely duped by the mystification of financiers and their economic dissemblers, they have proven that they are either unwilling or unable to imagine another way-a way forward that is equitable, that is based on real economic need, and that has nothing to do with paying off the gambling debts of high-rolling thieves on Wall Street. To the latter, I simply point you to a sign that expresses my sentiments exactly.”
A. Freakin. Men.
Rep. Brad Sherman (D, CA 27th): “Many of us were told in private conversations that if we voted against this bill on Monday, that the sky would fall, the Market would drop two or three thousand points the first day – another couple thousand the second day – and a few members were even told that there would be martial law in America if we voted no. …”
Fearmongering and threats: the New AmeriKKKan Way! We don’t need no steenkin’ democursy.
Some of the recently mentioned “improvements” to the bill are actually pet-project pork promised to sway the holdouts on the Hill.
Let’s Make a Deal! “I’ll take Door #2, Monty.”
Papa Paulson’s plan also includes billion$ in potential bailouts to foreign investors, including the Chinese.
Mike Whitney: “For nearly a year, we have been asking ourselves why the investors and foreign banks that bought up hundreds of billions of dollars of worthless mortgage-backed securities (MBS) from US investment banks have not taken legal action against these same banks or initiated a boycott of US financial products to prevent more people from getting ripped off?
Now we know the answer. It’s because, behind the scenes, Henry Paulson and Co. were working out a deal to dump the whole trillion dollar mess on the US taxpayer. …“
Nice to know that even the communist Entitled Ones won’t end up losing their shirts and living in their cars or tent cities, as so many of our own peons have/will. (Priorities!)
And perhaps my favorite tidbit of related news (so far)…
Less than TWO WEEKS after the guv’mint gave AIG a huge ol’ emergency loan – 85 billion bucks, to be exact – to stave off financial collapse, execs from their American General insurance subsidiary were already back to schmoozifying in swanky digs like nuthin’ happened.
Sure glad we “rescued” these poor, put-upon souls – and that they’ve decided to start acting responsibly… aren’t you? (We *know* Nanny Pelosi is, since she has somewhere between a quarter and half a mil’s worth of AIG stock sitting in her and her hubby’s portfolio.)
Is it time for us to empty out our pillows, grab buckets, and head for La Brea yet?
UPDATE 10-04-08: Of course, they passed the sucker this time. Long live U.S.A. Inc., the up-and-coming Largest Banana Republic Ever, with (as always) a tiny banking/warring elite at the top, raking it all in and partying like it’s 1929, even as We The Peons begin to stumble and rattle along dusty roads and crumbling bridges, pitching tents along the way, forlornly searching for ways to shelter and feed our cold, hungry families.
But have no fear, fellow peons! As Babs the Battle-Ax, mother of the Deluded Decider, would say: this desperate situation will “work out very well” for us since they had the “foresight” [ahem…] to build all of those camps for us. They will, of course, become Enterprise Zone work camps — for “the good of the country” donchaknow — and we, our children, and grandchildren will enjoy participating in the Ownership Society’s “perfect petri dish of capitalism,” honored to live and die in service to The Entitled Ones. Just as God intended™. [:::gag:::]
As always, Chris Floyd nails the sad truth of it all right to the wall…
“… Every reputable economic expert says that the plan is unworkable; it will not solve the problems at the root of the current economic crisis, but will only make them worse. It entrenches many of the fraudulent practices that led to the meltdown in the first place, and rewards the perpetrators for their misdeeds with a gargantuan amount of public money, which they can now use to carry on largely as before, albeit with a few new toothless ‘oversight’ mechanisms operated by their own Wall Street cronies, and their bribed-and-bought hirelings on Capitol Hill. …
… enacting one of the largest single redistributions of wealth since the Bolsheviks seized power in Russia in 1917. …
… Why have they done this? Why would they do such a thing? Why would they commit such an egregious offense against their own people, when they could have very easily NOT done it, and had the near-unanimous support of the American electorate in standing up to the Bush plan and choosing some other completely mainstream alternative?
You already know the answer. It’s because they do not serve the American people. They serve a very small yet brutally powerful ruling class. …”
And so do we.