Maxine Waters Lays the Smack-Down to the Robbing Bankers

Now watch this snippet from the Congressional hearing with the Captains of the Universe yesterday and their snide attitudes and you can certainly understand why Rep. Waters (D-CA), Financial Services Subcommittee Chair was just a little peevish. Take note: this is what an advocate for the disenfranchised taxpayer does. 
Will we ever see Obama get gully? Not likely. The extremely compromised stimulus bill pending is the equivalent of using one square of tissue to try to stem a bloody nose. I’m glad the Robber Barons were made to squirm even though they won’t be giving the money back anytime soon. Now they claim to have not needed government assistance (corporate welfare) in the first place. Funny how that didn’t stop them from taking it plus the extra $70B Shrub handed out as a parting gift. They should all be in prison.

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Preoccupied By Economic Manipulation & Political Theatrics We Might Miss WWIII

This is a scene out of a Spaghetti Western. The firing squad has formed and is closing in on its target. Ready. Aim. You know the rest.

As the USA spirals downward lets just say a few world leaders are probably snickering under their breath and wondering why it took so long. If Osama bin Laden was the real culprit behind the 9/11 collapse, he may have fired the shot, but we (I should say they) stood in front of the bullet. Cuz I didn’t have anything to do with this mess. I didn’t vote for Bush and I have written many scathing letters of condemnation to the Democrats who’ve enabled and actively supported his policies. This is not a summer blockbuster where Will Smith saves the day – unless he’s playing a newly elected Obama (wink) empowered by non-warmongering politicians in the House and Senate. We can hope!! Ding Dong the Wicked Witch Is Dead!! Indeed.
The 63rd General Assembly of the United Nations met last week in New York. I highly recommend people take a few moments to read through the speeches and I believe there’s video posted on Youtube as well. How prescient that Heads of State were here to witness the Fall of the Empire. This is a plot straight out of Star Wars II: Attack of the Clones and a revisiting of past historical events.

Observers believe that Palpatine’s rise to power is very similar to that of Adolf Hitler in Nazi Germany; as Chancellor of Germany, the latter was granted “emergency powers”, as was Chancellor Palpatine. Comparisons have been made to Octavian — who became Augustus, the first emperor of Rome — and to Napoleon Bonaparte, who rose to power in France from 1796 to 1799. Octavian was responsible for the deaths of several hundred political opponents well before he was granted tribunician powers; Bonaparte was appointed First Consul for life (and later Emperor) by the French Consulate after a failed attempt on his life and the subsequent coup of 18 Brumaire in 1799. Some have drawn parallels to the American Civil War, likening the Separatists to the Confederate States of America; the official name of the Separatist group is the “Confederacy of Independent Systems”. The name of the government Army, the “Grand Army of the Republic”, is the same in both Star Wars and the American Civil War, and both Palpatine and Lincoln took extensive warmaking powers and suspended many civil rights. 

But hold up!!! How does this apply to what’s going on today? Aside from the Patriot Act and FISA shredding our all-hallowed but selectively followed Constitution? Well the US has been planning for has a naval blockade of Iran. Congress barely defeated HCR 362 with the intention of slowing the Bush Neo-Con doctrine of annihilation – phew. (Update 10/8 I got it wrong I thought it has passed). Without UN approval such an action would be viewed as an unofficial declaration of war. 
Here’s the kicker:

Congress “demands that the President initiate an international effort to immediately and dramatically increase the economic, political, and diplomatic pressure on Iran to verifiably suspend its nuclear enrichment activities by . . . prohibiting the export to Iran of all refined petroleum products; imposing stringent inspection requirements on all persons, vehicles, ships, planes, trains, and cargo entering or departing Iran; and prohibiting the international movement of all Iranian officials not involved in negotiating the suspension of Iran’s nuclear program . . .”

Why would any member of Congress (or Senate) give Bush the benefit of the doubt about ANYTHING is behind my grasp of reality. Doesn’t Dr. Phil say the greatest indicator of future behavior is looking at past behavior? And he’s a tv hack pop psycho(logist)! He has a point here though. Not since the Cuban Missile Crisis has the US engaged in a blockade of a sovereign nation. We know how well that turned out! 
Here’s Bob Woodward’s take on Iran in a discussion last Friday with Bill Maher.
The corporate media is not discussing it – surprise surprise. Israeli newspapers are busting a nut over this and ready to go, though so expect this to come up again. Hopefully an Obama administration will bring a truly concerted effort at peace. If McCain gets in by hook or by crook all bets are off. Israel is allowed to have as many nukes as they want without question. Why can’t other countries? I wonder how different the world would be today had Cuba gotten its nuclear weapons from Russia? I bet the US would’ve been a whole lot nicer! 
What’s good for the goose is good for the gander. Both govt’s are being heavily influenced by a few power-mad individuals who want to be rid of anyone who doesn’t agree with their agenda. Meanwhile the people (you know us) want peace. Don’t cut off people’s water supply or bulldoze them. Maybe the next person won’t feel so desperate that they have to blow themselves up and take as many ‘enemies’ with them as they can. In case anyone’s still falling for the Georgia is a victim of Russia okey doke know this: their airfields will be used in a strike against Iran. Fun times for all, huh? 

I have never understood how a person who’s been violated would turn around and treat other people just as horribly, but we can find many examples of the walking wounded who are willing to harm some in retaliation for things another person did to them. Certain Black men in this country see fit to prey on Black women and children without batting an eye for example. These individuals usually aren’t able to form gov’ts and receive billions in financial and military aid, however. Sometimes they are allowed to have a platform in the media though to wage a cultural war instead. We can no longer make excuses for such a violation.
I am all for doing internal work on our mindsets and motivations. We should confront our traumas and take personal responsibility for future choices. This is an ongoing effort we can utilize and maintain. We’ve got some serious, dangerous and expensive actions going on right now that our gov’t is doing behind our backs but in plain sight for those of us willing to do a little digging
Who benefits from this? Does starting a war with Iran (0r Venezuela) mean you and I will be safer – or does it mean a reign of fire of contempt will flow freely from the rest of the world? Is China going to loan the gov’t money for this? How does the McCain plan for an additional $400B in Corporate Welfare help put our economy back together? This country is BROKE. BROKEDY-BROKE!! Will the dollar be worth 10 cents by the year 2012? Do you think I’m joking about this? 

I’d much rather write about my day in the park with my dog or how great a deal I got on the copper cookware I received while in France but I may never get to do those things if these violence obsessed greedy liars take over the world and all of our freedom with it.
And in case you think that is bad enough I’d like to know why Bush has recalled combat troops from Iraq to patrol the US with a pending election to be held in November? Was this how the Bailout got passed? Do you think this will be covered in the Presidential debate tonight? It should be!!! 
I still believe in the power of good over evil, but knowledge is power.

While You Were Sleeping More Financial Institutes Went Bust!

**Update 1130am Washington Mututal CEO gets the axe…but still has a golden parachute.
While we’re all being intentionally distracted by the latest celebrity scandals, disasters and bogus political intrigues there have been a record number of banks and finance companies gone kaplooey. We’re not just talking about Bear Stearns and Countrywide, but upwards of 100 institutions are being bailed out by the Feds. Now we can add Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to the list. The banks have tended to be smaller institutions servicing local areas, but make no mistake the national banks are on very shaky ground as well. They’re just trying to hide it, partially to prevent a panic and mostly to keep people in the dark about how bad things really are. 

Can you imagine how many people would be taking it to the streets but for misinformation and willful ignorance? Do you think people would be sitting by discussing the parenting choices of an inferior candidate if the lead story on the news covered the things that really affect us? Depending on whether the Dems or Repubs win this election certain things will continue to be withheld until after the current administration is out. Then it’s all gonna come out, people will be mad and expect pixie dust to fall from the sky to wave away all that has gone wrong. If Obama does win do NOT expect a quick solution to problems that have been festering for years. Just like in the X Files, the truth is out there. The solutions are available but that will require certain sacrifices from people. Why should my nieces’ and nephew’s generation and their future children have to pay for our mistakes and our debts? 

If you notice trends in mergers it has a lot to do with consolidating shrinking revenues. The days of Wall Street are over. Or are they? Those smaller banks are often the only banks in a convenient vicinity to the areas they serve. If you live in a small town and your local bank goes under – even if it’s FDIC insured and you only have $5 in your checking account because you’re living paycheck to paycheck where will you go for your banking needs? What if you don’t have direct deposit and need to cash a check? Those other places charge you a 3% fee – or three times that if it’s a personal check. 
My sister has a position working with an elderly population. Some of them lived through the Great Depression. Some have expressed their concerns for the immediate future as they feel a sense of recurring history and looming collapse. It is why some of them, who may have been staunch Republicans in their younger years plan to vote for the Democratic ticket this time around. They don’t trust their political party has their best interests in mind anymore or a plan to stem the financial hemorrhaging. I imagine a lot of people feel as they do lately. It’s a sad irony how Fannie Mae, a shining example of the Roosevelt’s New Deal, has been laid to waste.

As horrible as it must have been, the Great Depression was an equalizer of sorts where the formerly wealthy shared a similar plight with those who had had less. So everyone had an vested interest in restoring balance and hopefully prosperity to the citizens of this nation. There was no pretense about the situation. There was no borrowing money and encouragement to go shopping. When some complain about “illegal aliens” they fail to understand trade policies and lack of oversight for companies that can lead to wiping out the economy of a village, town, city, state or country. I’m fairly certain a lot of people would prefer to stay in their country of origin if not for the lack of food, safety and opportunity to survive and thrive. 

When your farm has been wiped out due to the NAFTA or similar agreement it’s not really fair trade. Another farmer in another country gets paid a flat fee to grow a crop whether they meet their minimum or have a surplus and can flood the market without impunity. The leader of another country that refuses to sign such an agreement is labeled uncooperative, not willing to negotiate or worse a dictator unless they agree to do what the other country wants. Hmmm, sounds like such a leader may be in fact looking out for their citizens. 

When you live in a ‘developing’ country isn’t that just a nice way of saying your land had been occupied by a more powerful country and isn’t anymore? They took everything they could get their hands on and left it barren – or you managed to fight them off long enough that they retreat. Only they’re just biding their time to fund an opposition party with people they’re paying off to bring ‘independence’ to the people. Or you’ve negotiated a ‘fee’ to pay them, but it’s so high they’re planning on keeping you in debt so you can’t rebuild or feed your people. Then more fighting starts and the cycle never ends. The World Bank and the IMF are your frenemies. Only this isn’t a quirky little tv show about four women of privilege. 

Even in the US it’s not all about a McMansion, Hummer and partying like a rock star. Housing prices far outstrip income. There is no bigger population without places to live that exists today. Salaries do not rise with inflation. We have the privilege of ‘choice’ according to one political party. Yes, but too often it’s a ‘choice’ to eat or pay for medicine, to work when you’re sick or lose your job, to not feel safe enough to walk down a street where a group of men congregate when you’re a young woman or to hope it’s all been a crazy dream that you will certainly wake from. We’d be much more content with less materialistic pursuits by the way. 

One glaring omission from the Republican convention was any mention of George Bush, his administration’s mistakes and McCain’s policy agendas for resolving them. See not mentioning this is akin to sticking your head in the sand. Saying you’ll be forceful and use your personality to affect change is equal to sticking your finger in the air and waiting for wind. Not to mention how his own record of voting against the GI Bill, equal pay and health care for children is all I need to know why he is NOT FIT FOR POTUS! Now if Bloomberg had run that’d be another story. 

Those that believe candidate Obama to be lacking in experience clearly haven’t bothered to check his voting records for they’d find he has in fact sponsored hundreds of bills related to easing poverty, negotiating with foreign countries, funding education and lots and lots of things we like. Just to recap: he’s a politician not a civil rights leader. 

McCain urged us to put country first. Let’s really try to look past wedge issues and personal agendas. Don’t fund companies that break the law. Send a message to the political party whose agendas caused more harm than good as well as the individual politicians from both parties that rubber stamped them.   

The most important thing we can do is become engaged politically, improve the conditions of our neighborhoods and affect policy change. 

I really think our best option for taking McCain’s advice is to not vote for him. He can’t be a maverick when he’s compromised his positions so thoroughly.  He can’t be a change agent by co-opting his opponent’s message either.

It’s our choice and I sincerely hope there are enough of us who will come together to bring about real change.