Sunday, February 28, 2010

Short Selling Restrictions "A Great Indicator of Imminent Market Crashes" (Mish)

So the next market crash is "imminent," news compliments of Mish at Global Economic Analysis. Believe me when I whisper to you that there is no reason to doubt that it will be soon. Too many signs point to that fact when you realize how screwy the political climate has gotten lately (see the latest health care bill reconciliation wrangle, not to mention the financial bill(s) that just cannot seem to get the necessary Democrats to sign on and pass them with 51 votes). They all know that something bad is right ahead, and whether it happens next month or several months in the future, they have pretty much thrown up their hands and gotten out of town (how high is that number again?). Lots of dull but important market news from the Republican (almost) "progressive" "Mish" dead ahead. (Emphasis marks added - Ed.)

Short Selling Restrictions "A Great Indicator of Imminent Market Crashes

Inquiring minds are investigating Fannie Mae's stunning $72 billion loss for 2009 as well as new short selling curbs. The two are actually related. Let's take a look.

Please consider Fannie Posts $72 Billion Loss for '09.

Fannie Mae reported a staggering $72 billion net loss for 2009, underscoring the challenges that still face the nation's largest mortgage financier and offering more grim news for taxpayers who may ultimately pick up the bill.

The Washington-based company posted a $15.2 billion fourth-quarter loss and said it asked the U.S. Treasury for another $15.3 billion to stay afloat, bringing its total bailout tab past $76 billion. The quarterly results were an improvement from the year-ago period, when Fannie reported a $25.2 billion loss, but the annual loss surpassed the year-earlier loss of $58.7 billion.

While some analysts warn that efforts to modify loans are simply postponing foreclosures and delaying losses, Fannie Chief Executive Michael Williams said the company remained committed to preventing foreclosures. "Our overriding objective is keeping people in their homes whenever possible," he said in a statement.

The government took over Fannie and Freddie nearly 18 months ago as rising loan defaults burned big holes in the companies' balance sheets. The government has agreed to absorb unlimited losses for the next three years and up to $400 billion after that. So far, the companies have taken a combined $127 billion in Treasury support, making this bailout one of the most expensive from the financial crisis.

Short Selling Limits Yet Again

Proving that the SEC has learned nothing from history (I have a nice Fannie Mae example to prove it), the S.E.C. Moves to Put Limits on Short-Selling

The Securities and Exchange Commission voted on Wednesday to limit short-selling of stocks that are falling rapidly in price, The New York Times’s Floyd Norris reports. The rule was adopted on a 3-to-2 vote, with the two Republican members saying that no case had been made to justify any further action against short-selling.

The limits would apply to any stock whose price has fallen at least 10 percent during a day’s session. After that, short-selling would still be legal but not unless the sale was at a price higher than the best bid price then available.

The S.E.C. chairwoman, Mary L. Schapiro, said the rule would force short sellers to stand in the back of the line, unable to sell shares until all actual owners who wanted to sell had been able to do so.“The reason this rule makes sense is because it recognizes that short-selling can potentially have both a beneficial and a harmful impact on the market,” she said in a statement.

The rule makes no more sense than putting buy restrictions on stocks that advance 10 percent. How many variations of this silly rule are we going to see anyway?

In July 2008, they put short selling restrictions on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. How well did that work out? Inquiring minds can tune into this real time play by play call.Flashback Tuesday, July 15, 2008: SEC Panic - Shorting Curbs Placed on GSE Stocks

The panic at the Fed, the SEC, and the Treasury department continues.

In an emergency action the SEC Curbs Shorting of GSE Stocks, Considers Limits for Wider Market . . . . Shorting Curbs Can't Help

Shorting curbs cannot possibly help when the problem is solvency not liquidity. In spite of the announcement, shares of Fannie and Freddie are down another 19% each as of 1:40 PM Central.

If the SEC intended to cause a short covering rally in the GSEs, it sure failed miserably. Indeed, the market response shows just how futile the actions of the SEC, the Treasury Department, and the Fed are.

When that action failed, the SEC restricted more financial short selling.

Flashback Wednesday, July 16, 2008: SEC Restricts Shorting 19 Financial Stocks

Big brother has now decided to step in and force the price of all financial stocks up with this SEC short sale order.

So now the SEC is issuing short sale restrictions on financials because Bernanke says it's important for them to rise.

I have news for Bernanke and the SEC. This won't work. China had short sale restrictions on and it did not stop the Shanghai index from falling over 50%. Insolvency cannot be cured by short sale restrictions and many of those companies are insolvent.

All these short sale restrictions are going to do is create a vacuum. Once the shorts are driven out these shares will plunge. And who wants to buy a bond or provide capital knowing or even thinking share prices were artificially inflated.

That action finally triggered a short squeeze. It continued for a week or so. I commented on it a couple days later.

Flashback Friday, July 18, 2008: Short Squeeze In Financials Continues

Fannie Mae is up another 25% today to $13.66 in the wake of Selective Enforcement of Regulation SHO and Bernanke's statement: "It's important for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac bonds and stocks to rise so they can keep raising capital and aid the mortgage market."

This move in financials is going to fail spectacularly once the panic buying ends, but for now the bulls are having a bit of fun.

Wow. I forgot that utterly stupid comment by Bernanke "It's important for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac bonds and stocks to rise so they can keep raising capital and aid the mortgage market."

Fannie Mae never did raise any more capital. That short squeeze was the beginning of a violent end. Taxpayers have now bailed out Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to the tune of $127 billion dollars. Recently Congress upped the taxpayer liability to infinity. Taxpayers are now on the hook for every penny of future losses.

How well did those short selling curbs work? History will be the judge.

. . . As I said on July 16, 2008 ....All these short sale restrictions are going to do is create a vacuum. Once the shorts are driven out these shares will plunge.

Interestingly, my friend "HB" pinged me earlier today with a very similar, but even more ominous comment."Short selling restrictions are a great indicator of imminent market crashes. The biggest market declines in history all happened shortly after short selling restrictions were introduced." Hello Brevard County Florida: 23,000 expected to lose jobs after space shuttle retirement; Local Unemployment Will Skyrocket

Brevard County Florida, 35 miles east of Orlando, is about to get smacked with a loss of 23,000 jobs on news of Space Shuttle Retirement.

Revised projections now show that about 23,000 workers at and around Kennedy Space Center will lose their jobs because of the shuttles' retirement and the new proposal to cancel the development of new rockets and spacecraft.

. . . The updated numbers also include the cancellation of Project Constellation and other initiatives as outlined in the president's 2011 budget, Rice said."Our unemployment rate is going to skyrocket," she warned Thursday during a five-hour Brevard County Commission space workshop. Much conversation centered on the future of human space launches from KSC, and attendees heaped criticism on Obama's strategy.

Mark Nappi is vice president of launch and recovery systems for United Space Alliance, NASA's prime contractor for shuttle operations. As things stand today, he predicted that more than 4,500 of the company's 5,500 Florida workers will lose their jobs.

. . . "The market will drive where space vehicles are launched from," Nappi said. "And if we believe in Florida that we have the birthright to spaceflight operations, we're going to be the Pittsburgh of the steel industry and the Detroit of the car industry."

No Birthright To Spaceflight Operations

One can debate all day whether there are better programs to cut, but Nappi has it correct. Birthright beliefs helped sink Detroit and Pittsburgh.

.I send best wishes to those affected, but there is no birthright to government spending. The sooner we get away from that mentality the better.

Voters Madder Than Ever; 63% Say Better If Congress Not Reelected; Can Republicans Retake The House?

Here are a few polls from Rasmussen in January and February that many will find interesting.

75% Are Angry At Government’s Current Policies

Voters are madder than ever at the current policies of the federal government.

A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey shows that 75% of likely voters now say they are at least somewhat angry at the government’s current policies, up four points from late November and up nine points since September. The overall figures include 45% who are Very Angry, also a nine-point increase since September.

Just 19% now say they’re not very or not at all angry at the government’s policies, down eight points from the previous survey and down 11 from September. That 19% includes only eight percent (8%) who say they’re not angry at all and 11% who are not very angry.

A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 63% of likely voters believe, generally speaking, that it would be better for the country if most incumbents in Congress were defeated this November.

Just 19% disagree and say it would be better if most congressional incumbents were reelected. Another 18% aren’t sure.

59% Say Cut Taxes to Create Jobs, 14% Expect Congress to Listen

Only 21% Say U.S. Government Has Consent of the Governed

Seventy-one percent (71%) of all voters now view the federal government as a special interest group, and 70% believe that the government and big business typically work together in ways that hurt consumers and investors.

45% Say Random Group From Phone Book Better Than Current Congress

More voters have greater confidence in the telephone book these days than in the current Congress, and most think their national legislators are paid too much to boot.

A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey shows that 45% of likely U.S. voters now think a group of people selected at random from the phone book would do a better job addressing the nation’s problems than the current Congress. That’s up 12 points from October 2008, just before the last congressional elections. Thirty-six percent (36%) disagree, and another 19% are not sure.

Sixty percent (60%) of voters continue to believe those in Congress are paid too much. This is virtually identical to findings last August. but in October 2008, only 49% felt that way.

Can Republicans Retake The House?

In light of the above surveys, many are wondering if Republicans can retake the House of Representatives.

Please consider Republican Renaissance?: GOP Will Gain Significantly, But Probably Remain in House Minority

Click above for the Rethuglican wet dream of future elections. Suzan _____________

Friday, February 26, 2010

Dims or Dum(b)s? (Thomas Frank (WSJ Free!) - Tea Partyers Exposed) & The Return of the Grifters - Abandonment of Poor

The Truth About the Dims. Frightening but undoubtedly true. And as a political scientist myself, I can only add my voice to this clarion call (as the sole "liberal" article by the sole "liberal" columnist employed by the Wall Street Journal) for attention needing to be paid, reminiscent of that called for in "Death of a Salesman." Otherwise, we have lost. And the loss was long ago - witness the rise of the "stoopids" on the right who are taken as its serious leaders (h/t to Driftglass's artistry) with serious philosophies and serious dialogue.

Read the article I have typed out of the subscriber's edition of the Wall Street Journal from this last Wednesday, February 24, 2010, for your added elucidation and weep. And then take action. (Emphasis marks added - Ed.) (Extra! Added! Attraction!) (This site desperately needs your donation.) (The Rich Still Have Jobs. The Poor Don't. (More than worth a look))

What's the Matter With Democrats? The party embraced globalization while its union allies were cut down.

Thomas Frank Wall Steet Journal It's no secret that the tea party faithful regard the Obama administration as a Constitution-shredding tyranny. But in a profile of the movement published last week, the New York Times reported the surprising news that many of the protesters have come to this view as a result of their experiences in the recession: "Their families upended by lost jobs, foreclosed homes and depleted retirement funds, they said they wanted to know why it happened and whom to blame."

An account of a conservative uprising published a few days later by the Washington Post under the headline, "Appalachia is slipping from grip of Democrats," told the story of a hard-bitten congressional district in western Virginia where the response to the recession has been a dramatic swerve to the right.

The free-market system blunders into recession; its victims flock to the free-market banner. And here we go again.

The backlash against liberalism has been going on for more than 40 years. It is as immediate as this morning's newspaper but as old as those "Silent Majority" buttons you find at antique stores. Since the days of George Wallace, conservatives have been leading rebellions against hippies, against busing, against Hollywood, against property taxes, against welfare, against evolution, against whatever.

The formula is familiar beyond the point of tedium: Middle-American righteousness, resentment of literal "elites," weepy fantasies of persecution set to a country-music melody. Yet its power never wears off. Today conservatives are giddily anticipating another electoral disaster for the "Party of the People."

For the moment, let's leave aside the question of whether the conservative rebels can credibly claim that, by raising their voices for tax cuts and deregulation, they are striking a brave blow against the powers-that-be.

Instead, let us pause to contemplate what appears to be the epic dimwittedness on the other side of the battlefield - the years of folly that have allowed the Democrats to wander blithely into the same old snare again and again. The laissez-faire system has just finished giving us a convincing demonstration of its viciousness, but the party of Franklin Roosevelt can't get out in front of the resulting anger. Working-class Massachusetts and even Appalachia are turning away from it in disgust, but the party of the political scientists doesn't seem to have noticed.

The answer to the riddle is as plain as the caviar on a lobbyist's spoon. Democrats don't speak to angry, working-class people because a lot of them can't speak to angry, working-class people. They don't know how. Many of the party's resident geniuses gave up on that constituency long ago, preferring instead to remodel their organization as the vanguard of enlightened professionals and the shrine of purest globaloney. They worked hard to convince Wall Street that new-style Democrats could be trusted. They accepted, for the most part, the deregulatory agenda of the Reagan administration; in fact, in some fields - banking, telecommunications, free trade - they went farther than Ronald Reagan dared.

Along the way, these new-style Democrats did little as their allies in organized labor were scythed down by organized money; last year they watched as the percentage of unionized workers in the private sector sank lower than any point in the 20th century. The fatuity of it all is surely plain to Democrats by now: They have permitted nothing less than the decimation of their own grass-roots social movement. As a result, in large parts of America, there is no liberal presence at all, no economic narrative to counterbalance the wisdom of Rush Limbaugh.

President Barak Obama might have helped in this regard, using the biggest megaphone in the land to tell us, in the Times' words, "why it happened and whom to blame." He might have explained to us how financial regulation was systematically undermined by his predecessors, how the prospect of quick profits bred conflicts of interest throughout the system, and how a delusional free-market superstition blinded the nation to the unsoundness of the financial structure.

He might, in other words, have contested the right's monopoly on the word "elite." He might have reached out to working-class voters in the only way Democrats can.

But that would have been divisive. That would have disturbed the confidence of the markets.

Watching the victory of 2008 appear to slip through the Democrats' fingers is disheartening, but not because it is a story of opportunism and selling out. After all, if Democrats were opportunists, they would be pushing the still-popular "public option" in the health-care debate. Something might yet be salvaged.

No, the Democrats' problems arise from their convictions, from the botched centrist faith to which so many of their leaders still cling. They do what they do because they believe that those hearty fellows on the Sunday talk shows really know the answer; that the truth really resides in the dusty globalization cliches of the '90s.

Write to

(Thomas Frank wrote What's the Matter with Kansas and The Wrecking Crew. He's one of the foremost experts on how the culture war has wrecked America.
Frank writes, “Fantastic misgovernment of the kind we have seen is not an accident, nor is it the work of a few bad individuals. It is the consequence of triumph by a particular philosophy of government, by a movement that understands the liberal state as a perversion and considers the market the ideal nexus of human society. This movement is friendly to industry not just by force of campaign contributions but by conviction.”)
Balloon Juice provides more heavy history lifting. Thanks to Dennis G.
There are more connections as well in the list of names behind the resurgence of the converative movement. Some of these grifters go back to the sixties, some the seventies, some the eighties, nineties and some come from the zeros. Regardless where they come from, the Tea Party movement is becoming a full employment movement for the Republican grifters who drove up the debt, stole from tax payers and got rich during the Gingrich/DeLay/Bush era actively destroying the Government of the United States. To call the movement these grifters are promoting "grassroots” is an insult to astroturf.
Are you really surprised at the corruption brigades behind the Tea Party organizers? I'm not (considering the players).

The Return of the Grifters

One thing that is predictable about the modern conservative movement is that a grifter can always return and can always get a job.

For example, let’s take a look at the real people behind the Tea Party movement and the mad libs rescramble of platitudes also known as the “Mt. Vernon Statement“.

A few weeks ago the Washington Post took a look at the people in DC that are actually doing the work to drive the Tea Party Movement.

Not surprisingly, it was a list of grifters. Because of my years researching Jack Abramoff and his activities since 1978 quite a few of these names jumped out at me. They also caught the eye of another scholar of the modern conservative movement, Thomas Frank. Tom is the author of “What’s the Matter with Kansas” and more recently, “The Wrecking Crew“. It was in the Wrecking Crew that Tom took a deep dive into the long history of conservative corruption. In 2008 Tom excerpted The Wrecking Crew in Harper’s Magazine and it is an important tutorial for anybody who wants to understand how corruption works in Washington.

These days Tom writes a weekly column in the Wall Street Journal (of all places) and it should be on your list of weekly reads. This week he took a look at the names mentioned in the WaPo article and explained some aspects of their grifter past:

What struck me about the Post’s story was the familiarity of it all. In particular, I kept being reminded of that ultimate conservative insider, the now-imprisoned superlobbyist Jack Abramoff, and the work he did on behalf of the Northern Marianas Islands, where garment factories churned out “Made in the USA” clothing under re-education camp conditions.

. . . Today, as Washington conservatives scramble to stay atop the growing grass-roots right, the cast of characters is remarkably similar. For example, the “Team Abramoff” lobbyist who ran the Marianas trips program in the 1990s, Patrick Pizzella, is reported by the Post to be the “only paid staff member” of the Conservative Action Project. According to the Washington Times, Mr. Pizzella has also been “involved” in the drafting of the Mount Vernon Statement, a conservative manifesto that is meant to rally the tea-partying base.

Grover Norquist of Americans for Tax Reform (ATR) also makes an appearance in the Post story, as ATR sponsored the first round of tea parties a year ago and as Mr. Norquist’s famous Wednesday morning meetings for conservative power brokers have provided a fertile medium for the movement’s networking.

. . . And then there is Dick Armey . . . as you may recall, Mr. Armey was once one of Congress’s staunchest defenders of the Marianas way. Several of his aides traveled to the free-market paradise, and in 1997 Mr. Armey even wrote a letter jointly with former Rep. Tom DeLay in which he praised the islands’ dedication to “the principles of free markets, enterprise, education choice, tax reform and other innovative approaches to governance.”

Behold your Third Great Awakening, America. Lobbyists, sweatshops, and the junkets designed by lobbyists to make sweatshops seem like liberty are, presumably, the sort of things tea partiers should have trouble with. Will the grass-roots nation call these gentlemen to account for their freedom flimflamming of the past?

I wouldn’t count on it. There are many other names on the list with connections to Abramoff as well. Take Matt Kibbe, the President of Dick Armey’s FreedomWorks - he was one of Abramoff’s junketeers to Saipan and a reliable think tank defender of sweatshops and human trafficking upon his return.

Or then there is the reliable grifter-for-hire, Brent Bozell, who runs the Media Research Center - a conservative PR spin shop designed to extrude press releases and commentary on command. Bozell was another traveler to the Marianas Islands and a reliable media voice to defend the abuse ever since. And the there is Horace Cooper who has been indicted in the Abramoff scandal and is awaiting trial for his crimes. Cooper is a former long-time Dick Armey staffer who connects Dick to Jack in a tight and dirty way.

There are more connections as well in the list of names behind the resurgence of the converative movement. Some of these grifters go back to the sixties, some the seventies, some the eighties, nineties and some come from the zeros. Regardless where they come from, the Tea Party movement is becoming a full employment movement for the Republican grifters who drove up the debt, stole from tax payers and got rich during the Gingrich/DeLay/Bush era actively destroying the Government of the United States. To call the movement these grifters are promoting “grassroots” is an insult to astroturf.

Tom Frank is an entertaining fellow. As I drove into work this morning I was pleasantly surprised to here him on C-Span this morning. It is a fun segment and you can find a link to it here.

The Republican Tea Party movement is blatantly embracing the corruptionists who have done so much damage over the last thirty years. This is good new for Abramoff as he can be sure that he will always have a job with the Tea Party movement when he gets out of jail in a few years. After all, his BFF Grover is basically running the scam.

And there is hope in Ecuador!
Ecuador’s current administration seems to have it’s head screwed on straight, where the United States has completely lost it’s way. Almost everywhere you look you see schools and roads being built; You hear about money being spent on infrastructure, and you hear about the government trying wholeheartedly to raise the standard of living for typical Ecuadorans. Though I have no doubt that there are interests that would prefer things they way they were - the way things have become in the United States - the current administration seems dedicated to fighting those interests. By contrast, the United States government hasn’t just surrendered to such interests, they are a fully invested partner in helping corporations financially rape the citizens.
We must continue to follow these events carefully as the MSM tries to drown out our cognitive abilities in noise about mistresses gone wild and money-making madness abounding. Suzan __________

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Dennis K Says "Retire at 60!" (Inside Bankster News) Wall Street Was Given a "License to Steal" (Thus, the Bonuses & Next Crash Planned)

I want to give a shout out to my friend-in-arms Danny Schechter. Danny is always out in front of the words mob with the economic news that we all need in order to make good choices for the future. Dennis Kucinich is no slouch either - see his video below for why we should change retirement age to 60, create a million job openings and allow these people to be included in the Social Security system (and do it with the TARP money - it's only fair!). Simon Johnson, one of the most intelligent, informed economists in the world today, reveals to us (as the banksters are already well aware of it) The Doomsday Cycle. As if we hadn't guessed. (Emphasis marks added - Ed.)

Over the last three decades, the US financial system has tripled in size, as measured by total credit relative to GDP. Each time the system runs into problems, the Federal Reserve quickly lowers interest rates to revive it. These crises appear to be getting worse and worse – and their impact is increasingly global. Not only are interest rates near zero around the world, but many countries are on fiscal trajectories that require major changes to avoid eventual financial collapse.

What will happen when the next shock hits? We believe we may be nearing the stage where the answer will be – just as it was in the Great Depression – a calamitous global collapse. The root problem is that we have let a ‘doomsday cycle’ infiltrate our economic system.

Robert Scheer reports in No Banker Left Behind (emphasis marks added - Ed.)

They do have a license to steal. There is no other way to read Tuesday’s report from the New York state comptroller that bonuses for Wall Street financiers rose 17 percent to $20.3 billion in 2009. Of course that is less than the $32.9 billion for bonus rewards back in 2007, when those hotshots could still pretend that they were running sound businesses.

The economy is anything but sound, but you would hardly know that from looking at the balance sheets of the big investment banks. The broker-dealer firms on Wall Street made a record profit, estimated at greater than $55 billion by the comptroller, and the only thing holding back even more grotesque bonuses was concern over criticism from a public that was hardly doing as well.

The enormous rewards last year come not from their having righted the ship of finance by lowering the rate of mortgage foreclosures for ordinary folks, one of four who are now “underwater” on their loans. Consumer confidence this month is the lowest in 27 years, and unemployment is expected to hover near 10 percent for the next two years. No, they get bonuses because the Federal Reserve, backed by the Treasury, bought the toxic mortgage securitization packages that Wall Street banks were left holding. They, and they alone, were made whole.

The way the scam worked is that the Treasury deposited taxpayer dollars with the Federal Reserve, which in turn purchased a whopping $1.25 trillion in toxic mortgages. That’s the figure after the Treasury on Tuesday committed to depositing $200 billion more with the Fed to increase spending on this program—one that was ostensibly designed to increase credit availability to small businesses and others but has hardly accomplished that goal. Credit is still very tight because the big financiers have used the low-cost cash they received from those charitable government programs to solidify their own positions through acquisitions and the like.. [More here →]

Dennis Kucinich, man of the hour, any hour for me, states assuredly that a:

"Good Use For the TARP Funds — Create 1,000,000 job openings by lowering Social Security Age to 60." Listen to Dennis' common sense for the common citizen below (as the MSNBC talking head tries to confuse the audience).

Hundreds of Banks Could Go Under FDIC’s ‘Problem Bank’ List Grows “More than 700 banks, or nearly one out of every 11, are at risk of going under, according to a government report.” James Kwak offers an explanation on “Sheila Bair blames the large banks: “Bair said that the vast majority of the decline was the result of lending cutbacks by the largest banks, which have tightened qualification standards and increased the proportion of money that they hold in reserve against unexpected losses.”

Undoubtedly many small banks are cutting back on lending because losses are eating into their capital and forcing them to contract. But I think what frustrates Bair is that the larger banks — which are more profitable (in part by charging higher fees) and which enjoyed more government support — are also cutting back.” In other words, the big banks took care of themselves with TARP money – and the rest of the industry and the economy be damned. Jesse’s Cafe American Blog: Stealth Bailout In The Works By Federal Reserve.


The Final Scenes of the Death of US Capitalism - Warren Buffett's long-time partner, Charlie Munger says "It's Over" for America. Yes, "o-v-e-r," America's in decline, at the end-of-days, coming to "financial ruin.

Optimism has always been the enduring spirit that made us a great nation, brought us back from overwhelming challenges and impossible odds -- WW II, the Civil War, the 1776 Revolution. Yes, that spirit still burns in our soul, says the poll.

But we also know, as we said earlier in "The Death of the Soul of Capitalism," that over the long-term, through many centuries, historians give nations an average of about 200 years before they burn out. Why? Because the "blind optimism" that makes a nation great in the early years of its rise to power and glory becomes, paradoxically, its worst enemy in the end-days.

Their arrogance traps them in a self-sabotaging cycle that weakens their resolve, makes them vulnerable to new, unpredictable challenges, ultimately destroying them from within. That happens over and over throughout history, even as their optimistic brains tell them they're still the greatest.

Seeking Alpha, How Far Is US From Becoming Another Greece? DEBT DYNAMITE DOMINOES: THE COMING FINANCIAL CATASTROPHE The current crisis is not merely a failure of the US housing bubble, that is but a symptom of a much wider and far-reaching problem. The nations of the world are mired in exorbitant debt loads, as the sovereign debt crisis spreads across the globe, entire economies will crumble, and currencies will collapse while the banks consolidate and grow. The result will be to properly implement and construct the apparatus of a global government structure. A central facet of this is the formation of a global central bank and a global currency. The people of the world have been lulled into a false sense of security and complacency, living under the illusion of an economic recovery. The fact remains: it is only an illusion, and eventually, it will come tumbling down. The people have been conned into handing their governments over to the banks, and the banks have been looting and pillaging the treasuries and wealth of nations, and all the while, and making the people pay for it. THE DRIVE TO ELIMINATE SOCIAL SECURITY IN AMERICA MARTIN WEISS CALLS THE INTERNATIONAL DEBT CRISIS “ARMAGEDDON” QUICKLY AND WITHOUT WARNING: ECONOMIST NIALL FERGUSON SPEAKS ABOUT THE SUDDEN COLLAPSE OF EMPIRES In an article for the March/April issue of Foreign Affairs, “Complexity and Collapse: Empires on the Edge of Chaos,” due out later this week, author and historian Niall Ferguson posits that the life cycles of great powers might not follow the long-accepted pattern of gradual rise and fall. Rather, he says, “it is possible that this whole conceptual framework is, in fact, flawed,” and that empires fall quickly and without warning. With that in mind, Ferguson explores what it might mean for the geopolitical status quo.

Confidence Falls Again

AP: NEW YORK – A monthly poll showed consumers’ confidence took a surprisingly sharp fall in February amid rising job worries. The decline ends three straight months of improvement and raises concerns about the economic recovery.

The Conference Board said Tuesday its Consumer Confidence Index fell almost 11 points to 46 in February, down from a revised 56.5 in January. Analysts were expecting only a slight decrease to 55.

So, take heed my friends. Suzan _________________

Monday, February 22, 2010

Unveiled - The Truth, "Bank Runs" and The Financial Coup d’Etat (How Do We Get the Money BACK?)

Remember when your friends used to look at you (and you at them) asking "How much more do the wealthy need to feel wealthy enough?" I do. It was like yesterday (Hell! It was yesterday!), and yes, it's official, there will be "bank runs" (early notice courtesy of an inadvertent email from Citicorp in Texas). Read on for the story of how the "fix" has been in since Hank Paulson (as new Chairman/CEO of Goldman Sachs, after Watergate brought disaster for his boss, John Ehrlichman (who went to prison and was later sprung by the NeoCon Xians)) lobbied the SEC to remove the "net capital rule," which allowed the now-Government Sachs unfettered access to billions of OPM* (Other People's (ultimately taxpayer's) Money*) for unremitting casino-style ("insider") betting while visiting China 70 times in order to plan the job outsourcing.

It's quite a story (and how many of you haven't noticed most of these unreported details?). I guarantee that something in it will leave you with your mouth on the floor anew. (And you thought that Watergate ended the influence of those people (excepting Cheney and Rummy and Haig and . . .).) (Frontline** (with an Ayn Rand appearance) exposes them all (finally) and details the devaluation of Brooksley Born's "Warning" (during the Clinton administration) as she tried to alert the U.S. citizens of the "threat" to the financial system and what was coming on like a steam locomotive (and how she was made an enemy combatant by the Greenspan mythmakers - and why she was a much-hated and feared enemy of the rich "in" crowd).) (Watch this with a bucket handy because you will be gagging shortly.)

The image of banks locking their doors to keep customers from making withdrawals during a bank run is what immediately came to mind when we heard that Citigroup was telling customers it has the right to prevent any withdrawals from checking accounts for seven days. “Effective April 1, 2010, we reserve the right to require (7) days advance notice before permitting a withdrawal from all checking accounts. While we do not currently exercise this right and have not exercised it in the past, we are required by law to notify you of this change,” Citigroup said on statements received by customers all over the country.

Follow the link for the details, but don't be too amazed. We've had lots of signals already that the "financial shocks" were being readied for start up bigtime. White Noise Insanity reminds us that “House Republicans have voted to cut over $1 TRILLION from Medicare since 1991″ and they've only begun anew under Obama to finish the job.
If you think voting for a republican this year is a good thing and will save your Medicare or Social Security, think again. The republicans don’t give a shit about you. All they care about is their lobbyists who work hard for Wall Street, okay? They would love nothing more for Medicare and Social Security right now to be in the hands of the private sector, you know, no different than how the current health insurance companies are acting: RAISING YOUR RATES BY 30-40% A YEAR AND GIVING YOU LESS AND LESS ALL TO IMPRESS THE INVESTORS OF THESE COMPANIES!
Bryan at Why Now has a precise way of looking at today's political reality with which you might agree:
We have a President who thinks that the people who nearly caused a melt-down of the global economy are entitled to millions of dollars in compensation, but he has to form a commission to recommend screwing over people who have followed the rules and paid their dues for decades, because they aren’t entitled to any returns on their investment.
NTodd at Dohiyi Mir provides us with all the statistics we will ever need to clear up our anxieties about how "we" dug our own holes as the R'thugs are starting to say without remission on their MSM.
Paul Buchheit, from DePaul University, revealed, "From 1980 to 2006 the richest 1% of America tripled their after-tax percentage of our nation's total income, while the bottom 90% have seen their share drop over 20%." Robert Freeman added, "Between 2002 and 2006, it was even worse: an astounding three-quarters of all the economy's growth was captured by the top 1%."
Stop reading now if your heart isn't strong enough to take the truth. Yes, the truth that you've been lied to brazenly for the whole eight years of the Bush administration, and most of the Clinton administration before that, and all of the Obama administration so far - not that there still isn't a small chance they could stop and try to correct this pro-revolutionary situation (but somehow the owners never do, do they?). Also notice in the essay below how Rahm Emanuel's move to investment banking after his Congressional "career" paralled Hank Paulson's earlier move to Goldman Sachs after his disastrous political decisions, i.e., working for Ehrlichman during Watergate. Nice work, boys. This is Part 4 of the essay "The Financial Coup d’Etat — The Economic Elite Vs. The People of the United States of America." I dare you to read it and not be stoke-level outraged. I am. (Emphasis marks added - Ed.)
Although most of the Economic Elite live and operate inside the US, they are not concerned for our future. To them, the entire world is theirs and they work intimately with other elites throughout the world against the interests of the US public. Ever since the days of Henry Ford, the Economic Elite have needed a thriving US middle class to increase growth and profits, but now, in the global economy, they view the US middle class as obsolete. They increasingly look globally for profits and they would rather pay cheap labor in countries like China and India. On top of the millions of jobs they have already shipped overseas to increase profits at our expense, they are planning to ship an additional 25% of current US jobs overseas as well. They now see us as the biggest obstacle to their continued consolidation of wealth and resources. This is why they have stepped up their attack on us.

If you want further proof of this, all one needs to do is study the Wall Street bailout. The entire bailout is strategically designed to eliminate the US middle class. Every time you hear the word “bailout,” you should think “coup d’état.” Here is the definition of coup d’état:

“A coup d’état or coup for short, is the sudden unconstitutional deposition of a government, usually by a small group of the existing state establishment . . . to replace the deposed government with another . . . . A coup d’état succeeds when the usurpers establish their legitimacy if the attacked government fail to thwart them, by allowing their (strategic, tactical, political) consolidation and then receiving the deposed government’s surrender; or the acquiescence of the populace and the non-participant military forces.

Typically, a coup d’état uses the extant government’s power to assume political control of the country. In Coup d’État: A Practical Handbook, military historian Edward Luttwak says: ‘A coup consists of the infiltration of a small, but critical, segment of the state apparatus, which is then used to displace the government from its control of the remainder’, thus, armed force (either military or paramilitary) is not a defining feature of a coup d’état.”

The bailout was a financial coup, an intelligence operation to seize control of the US economy and tax system. It is similar to what the Economic Elite have done through the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in many other countries throughout the world. It is clearly a case of economic imperialism. When financial coups are carried out in other countries, they call it a Structural Adjustment Program (SAP). The end result is the theft of working class wealth, the privatization of public functions and resources, rising unemployment, the elimination of the middle class and increasing taxation and debt that turns the overwhelming majority of the nation into a peasant class.

This is exactly the track we are on now. Just look at how they have already done this in many other countries, and then look at the “bailout.”

The success of the coup is clear by the control of the US Treasury by Goldman Sachs criminal masterminds Hank Paulson and Tim Geithner, and the continued control of the Federal Reserve by Ben Bernanke.

In 1970, Hank Paulson began his career in the Pentagon working for Secretary of Defense Melvin Laird. In 1972, he then moved to the White House, where he worked for the Nixon Administration. He was “the assistant to John Ehrlichman during the events of the Watergate scandal for which Ehrlichman was convicted, and sentenced to prison.” After Paulson’s disgraced exit from the political world, he joined Goldman Sachs in 1974, eventually becoming CEO in 1999 when he led an effort to force out Goldman’s previous CEO John Corzine. While leading Goldman, Paulson developed very intimate relations with members of the Chinese elite, visiting the country over 70 times. In 2004, during his time as Chairman and CEO of Goldman Sachs, Paulson personally led a successful effort to get the SEC to remove the “ net capital rule,” which was a “requirement that their brokerages hold reserve capital that limited their leverage and risk exposure.” This was the biggest reason why the economic crisis happened. With the “net capital rule” out of the way, Goldman Sachs and other major Wall Street firms with over $5 billion in assets were free to engage in high risk/high reward behavior.

This led to the housing bubble with the creation of high risk speculation, essentially rigged Ponzi-style scams like “mortgage-backed securities, credit derivatives, and credit default swaps. . . and other exotic structured finance instruments that only highly-trained mathematicians understand, based on models that are beyond the comprehension of most traders.”

After making over $700 million on these shady high risk activities that created a ticking time bomb in our economy, Paulson left Goldman Sachs to run the US Treasury.

Shortly after that, the speculative trading scams blew up, and there was the man who played the most pivotal role in causing the economy to crash now running the US Treasury and in charge of “maneuvering” trillions of dollars in national wealth to “fix” the economy.

It was time for Paulson, along with his close confidant Tim Geithner, then heading the NY Federal Reserve Bank, and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, to engineer the greatest theft of wealth in history with the “bailout.”

Paulson quickly brought in several former Goldman Sachs partners to help him engineer the coup.

A pivotal Paulson asset was former Goldman executive Dan Jester, who Paulson quickly hired as a “contractor.” As Robert E. Prasch recently reported, “Jester was never appointed by Congress or otherwise vetted before taking up his role as the Treasury’s de facto central player in the crucial decisions that marked that fall’s bailout of Wall Street.”

Paulson’s most publicized move was the $700 billion Troubled Assets Relief Program (TARP). This was a blatant no-strings attached giveaway of taxpayer money, handed directly to Wall Street’s biggest players. To oversee the TARP operation, Paulson brought in Goldman Sachs Vice President Neel Kashkari.

Another egregious unilateral move by Paulson was installing Edward Liddy, one of his former board members at Goldman Sachs, as CEO of AIG. Liddy was the Chairman of Goldman’s Audit Committee, making him the most knowledgeable person regarding Goldman’s collateralized debt obligations (CDOs).

Paulson knew these CDOs would go bust because they were based on fraudulent activities, essentially a massive Ponzi scheme. So Paulson and Goldman Sachs covered their risk by insuring them through AIG, making it pivotal to save AIG and have one of his most trusted allies run the company.

With Liddy in place, billions of taxpayer dollars were secretly funneled by the Geithner-led NY Federal Reserve through AIG to Goldman Sachs and several other Wall Street elite counterparties. Without the AIG bailout, Goldman Sachs would have collapsed as a result of their own Ponzi scheme.

The assassinations of Goldman rivals Bear Stearns and Lehman Brothers, and the forced Bank of America acquisition of Merrill Lynch were all equally scandalous actions as well. The hidden hand of the Bernanke-led Federal Reserve’s secret “black magic” tactics — which created and distributed trillions of dollars — turned Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs into bank holding companies overnight, which gave them access to trillions of dollars to further manipulate the market and create record setting profits.

Every step of the way, the economic terrorist organization led by Paulson, Geithner and Bernanke held our economy hostage by declaring that all their demands must be met or the entire economy would be destroyed, as a result of the very actions the players being rewarded had taken. (I don’t use the words “economic terrorists” as hyperbole. The threat posed by them and the amount of death, destruction and misery they have already caused the United States is much greater than that caused by Bin Laden and Al-Qaeda - it’s not even close.)

Through the crisis, the fundamental structure of the stock market has been proven to be a scam. The Ponzi scheme activities, outright market manipulation and massive worldwide fraud perpetrated by Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan, Morgan Stanley, Citigroup, AIG, the three major ratings agencies and several other Wall Street elite firms are blatant. Just in the housing and oil futures markets alone, the criminal activity and economic theft is in the multi-trillions.

By looking the other way, the SEC, Congress and Presidents Bush and Obama are complicit. An analysis of actions taken, or most often not taken, by the leaders of both the Republican and Democratic parties prove that they are now accomplices. They have not only let it happen; they continue to look the other way and have been stonewalling laws, investigations and prosecutions in what is clearly criminal activity.

If we had a nation of law, none of these things would have happened. This proves to anyone who cares to look that we now live in a Banana Republic. Our democracy has clearly become a farce.

The overwhelming majority of our politicians are now on the Economic Elite payroll. This financial coup started under Hank Paulson in the Bush Administration and has been carried through, without even the slightest hitch, under Geithner in the Obama Administration, and all along Ben Bernanke has been leading the Federal Reserve.

Bernanke’s reconfirmation shows you who the co-conspirators are - just look at the members of Congress who voted for it.

All three branches of our government are now complicit in what is literally the greatest theft of wealth in history, along with a mainstream “news” media that keeps going about their “reporting,” as if this wasn’t a crime, business as usual. Nothing to see here . . . .

Obama’s Role

As hard as it is for many Americans to admit, after a year in office it is now obvious, to those who study policy decisions, that Obama’s rhetoric is very far from the reality of his actions. Outside of the tough talk Obama gives concerning “Wall Street Bankers,” all evidence clearly demonstrates that he is their puppet. The list of decisions that he has made to support the Economic Elite at our expense is already extensive.

As mentioned before, the fact that the bailout started under Bush and went straight through without a hitch under Obama is proof enough. On top of this, Obama’s campaign was heavily financed by Goldman Sachs, and prior to the election Obama often spoke with Paulson. An analysis of phone records shows that Obama and Paulson engaged in 26 direct calls prior to the election. “Paulson placed more than twice as many individual outgoing calls to [candidate] Obama (14) as to President Bush (6).”

As soon as Obama was elected, he got rid of all the economic advisors he had during his campaign and replaced them with Wall Street insiders who were committed to “turning the bailout into an all-out giveaway.” He took the main players that caused the economic crisis to begin with, and put them in charge of economic policy.

Right from the start he appointed Tim Geithner, Paulson’s right-hand man, to run the US Treasury. Mark Patterson, a former Goldman Sachs lobbyist, then became Geithner’s Chief of Staff with the direct approval of Obama. Geithner has surrounded himself with many aides that formerly worked for Goldman Sachs, none of whom faced Senate confirmation.” Obama also allowed Adam Storch, a Goldman Sachs VP, to become “the first chief operating officer of the Securities and Exchange Commission’s enforcement division.”

Obama even “nominated Goldman Sachs executive Gary Gensler to head the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, which regulates futures markets.” Gensler was “a high-level Treasury official in a 2000,” when he helped create a “law that exempted the $58 trillion credit default swap market from oversight.” Another major player in the economic collapse was Larry Summers, who Obama quickly appointed as White House National Economic Council Director.

All of this is, in essence, the final stage of a coup d’état, with Obama now serving as their puppet.

Obama clearly has not held the thieves accountable. He has emboldened them in ways that led to record setting profits and bonuses - bonuses that are 100% a direct result of our tax money. He let them take the money, keep the money, and now he lets them continue to make even more money.

Even now, with all his new anti-Wall Street talk, his proposals are extremely misguided and weak. Obama always deceptively frames the bailout discussion in relation to the $700 billion TARP program. He, along with the mainstream media, always seems to gloss over the fact that the bailout is much more than just the TARP program. TARP is a mere 2% of this multifaceted scam.

His proposal of a tax on Wall Street firms to get some of our tax money back is estimated to bring in $90 billion over the next ten years. That works out to $9 billion a year, compare that to the $150 billion in bonuses handed out by these same firms… just in the past year! The top Wall Street firms would no longer even exist if we didn’t bail them out.

Their profits are a direct result of our tax money. If Obama is serious about getting our money back, 100% of the record-breaking bonus money that these thieves gave themselves should be going back into the tax system that it came from to pay down our national debt, lower our tax rates and create jobs.

The $150 billion in bonuses handed out this year cost you $500 of your hard-earned money. For a family of four, that’s $2000 that was taken from you and your family just this year and given directly to Wall Street bonuses. Think about that… Your personal money was taken from you and your family, and given directly to Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein. In fact, your direct gift to Wall Street is much more than that; the $2000 your family lost was just for this year’s bonuses, much more of your money was given away in the bailout. The real size of the bailout is estimated to be $14 trillion, which works out to be $46,662 for every man, woman and child in America.

On top of being bailed out with our tax money, Goldman Sachs, which just had its most profitable quarter in its 140-year history, only paid 1% in taxes in 2008!

And now that Obama has given trillions of our dollars to Wall Street, he is all of a sudden so concerned about our national deficit. That is disgraceful! When it came to the Economic Elite he could give away trillions, but when it comes to the social infrastructure of the American public and creating job programs, we all of a sudden have to be tight with our tax money and make “painful choices.” When looking at Obama’s latest $100 billion jobs program, again, compare that to the $150 billion in bonuses. If you want to know if Obama is serious about creating jobs, just look at where he gave his big “ Jobs Speech” - at the Business Roundtable affiliated Brookings Institution. Thus again, confirming where his true loyalties lie.

Obama’s sudden change of heart after the Massachusetts Senate election defeat is still more empty rhetoric. His new found support for Paul Volcker, and his proposals to bring back Glass-Steagall type laws to prevent another economic catastrophe sound great on the surface, but then you find out that Wall Street firms have already figured out ways around these proposed laws. While it would be great to have Volcker creating the rules over the Goldman Sachs-led team at the Treasury now, he is himself a former Federal Reserve Chairman who represents JP Morgan Chase interests. Jamie Dimon, current JP Morgan Chase CEO and Business Roundtable member, is considered by Obama to be a possible replacement for Geithner at the Treasury. Replacing Goldman Sachs interests with JP Morgan interests is hardly change for the 99% of Americans who have seen their interests ignored thus far. JP Morgan and Goldman Sachs are two heads of the same monster.

An analysis of the “Volcker Rules” shows you the essence of what Obama is all about. The “Volcker Rules” are just more propaganda. First off, the rules do not go far enough. Simon Johnson testified before the Senate Banking Committee and summed them up by saying: “while the principles behind these proposed rules are exactly on target . . . the specific rule changes would need to be much tougher if they are to have any effect.” Johnson earlier exposed the “Volcker Rules” to merely be a “marketing slogan.”

Jeff Madrick, writing for the Roosevelt Institute, rightly questioned if Obama’s economists even did their homework when putting together the rule. “What is disturbing is how poorly the Volcker rule has been thought through. When first announced, it sounded like a worthy and needed step in the right direction, and a suggestion the Obama team was waking up to reality. But I also expected more sophisticated details to come. So far, there are none . . . it looks like they didn’t give it much thought before announcing the plan. This is a critical error in judgment.” Even if the flawed laws make it to the Senate floor, the Banking Committee has come out strongly against them as being too little, too late. To sum this all up, this is another case of Obama trying to make it look like he’s doing something, when in reality, he isn’t doing anything.

This is similar to Obama’s $75 billion taxpayer funded foreclosure-prevention program that has been a spectacular failure in stemming the foreclosure crisis. The Obama Administration knew the program wasn’t working from the start, but they just sat back and let it continue to fail, wasting billions of taxpayer dollars in the process.

Even Neil Barofsky, the special inspector general for the TARP program, said the following in his January 30th report to Congress: “It is hard to see how any of the fundamental problems in the [financial] system have been addressed to date . . . . Even if TARP saved our financial system from driving off a cliff back in 2008, absent meaningful reform, we are still driving on the same winding mountain road, but this time in a faster car.” Now that the “Too Big to Fail” Wall Street elite know that the government will come in to bail them out, they are engaging in even riskier behavior than before.

As President Theodore Roosevelt once declared in a situation much like our current crisis, “Corporation cunning has developed faster than the law of nation or state. Corporations have found ways to steal long before we have found that they were susceptible to punishment for theft. But sooner or later, unless there is a season of readjustment, there will come a riotous, wicked, murderous day of atonement . . . . These fools on Wall Street think that they can go on forever! They can’t!”

It is hard to face the fact that we have been so taken advantage of and abandoned by the very people we supported and had put our hope and faith into. Americans need to understand that Obama, along with most of the Democrats and Republicans are not looking out for our best interests. Part V: “Overcoming the Divide and Conquer Strategy” will be posted on Tuesday. To be notified via email, subscribe to our newsletter here.

And who were the political and their media-pal demons bringing us to this time of terror? Driftglass has it all documented at his site (and I know I'm quoting waaaaayyy toooo muuuuccchh but he's the man of the hour on this topic). Go there.
This was the moment when the violent but often scatter-shot fascist impulses of the Conservative Movement made another massive leap into darkness and atavism: when Newt Gingrich -- at the time the de facto leader of Republican Party -- made the calculated decision to systematically deploy the most divisive, hateful and inflammatory language imaginable into the everyday, conversational drinking water of the GOP.

These days, a very famous Conservative Apostate named Andrew Sullivan makes a fine living wondering Very Loudly where all these crazy Palinites that are destroying Saint Ronald Reagan's Beautiful Movement are coming from.

They are, of course, rolling off an assembly line that Gingrich and other of Sullivan's fellow Conservatives built for them long, long ago.These days, another a very famous Conservative Apostate named David Brooks makes a fine living whining Very Loudly about the catastrophic loss of comity and courtesy and trust in our political discourse.

David Brooks prattles on about "Watergate and Vietnam...", but somehow always fails to mention that the frightening trend he sees unfolding before him is nothing more than the blossoming of a terrible harvest which Gingrich and other of Brooks' fellow Conservatives planted long, long ago.

The reason both the Conservative Mr. Brooks and the Conservative Mr. Sullivan spend so much effort strenuously ignoring large swaths of Conservative history and bending their own past into horrid little origami renderings of Ronald Reagan is simple: Mr. Brooks' and Mr. Sullivan's continued economic and professional viability depends entirely on maintaining the absurd and destructive fiction that, sometime between 2004 and 2005, a Pure and Noble Conservatism to which they have devoted their entire adult lives was suddenly hijacked by Dick Cheney.

But of course, that's all bullshit.

The problems that the Conservative Mr. Brooks and the Conservative Mr. Sullivan now decry at 120 decibels were caused, not by some easily dismissible "fringe" group, but by the leaders of the very Movement to which Mr. Brooks and Mr. Sullivan have lent their unstinting and enthusiastic supporting for decades, and to which they both entirely owe with professional success and prosperity.

And the moment they are forced to face that fact is the moment their 20-year-long ride on the Conservative Public Intellectual gravy train comes to a screeching halt and they both have to go out and get honest jobs.

So don't hold your breath.

And lastly, despite the fact that Newt Gingrich is a frequent and respected guest at the Sunday Morning Mouse Circus, the reason you will also never hear a single soul challenge him on his squalid, bomb-throwing past -- or a single a word of this discussed in the Mainstream Media generally -- is that there is absolutely no way to look at the political events of the 1990s and pretend that the responsibility for the spread of this virulently hateful political culture belonged to anyone other than the Republican Party. In the 1990s, there simply was no "Liberal" Gingrich (or Falwell, or DeLay, or Robertson, or Limbaugh, or Murdoch, or Koch Family, or Richard Mellon Scaife, or American Spectator Magazine, or Ralph E. Reed, or Grover Norquist, or, well, you get the idea) on the Left inflicting the kind of brutal, grievous, long-term damage to the American body politic that the scumbags like Newt was gleefully meting out every single fucking day.

This was one side -- the Republican Party -- and one man -- Newt Gingrich -- making the conscious, premeditated and utterly despicable decision to abandon Abraham Lincoln once and for all and throw in his his lot with Joseph Goebbels.

And if the last 20 years has proven anything, it is that the Mainstream Media will absolutely never under any circumstances report on any serious and systemic political problem if they cannot somehow figure out a way to allocate at least 51% of the blame to the Dirty Fucking Hippies.

The most disappointing part of the whole late 20th-century history of the grand old United States of America is how success after the World War II victory created the greed syndrome among the venal in power that guaranteed a very short world reign.

And the financial devastation of the people at the bottom of the pyramid who brought it all about who had had untold faith in its leadership integrity.

Today "Only 21% Say U.S. Government Has Consent of the Governed." This number seems high to me. And people are "Dropping Like Flies" according to Danny Schechter.

Oh yes. According to the latest underground whispers (see your latest MSM daily headlines), "Social Security Will Fall To Obama Before The Taliban Do.'

When do the trials begin? Suzan

*If you could spare a small contribution to this blog for the expenses incurred in bringing its contents to you, it will be immensely appreciated. ** ___________________