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  1. #61
    no clinkz 'til brooklyn Nocapszy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Antisocial one View Post
    People think that McCain would be an excellent supreme commander.

    Any thoughts about this?
    Honestly Id rather have a supreme pizza.

  2. #62
    Order Now! pure_mercury's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Magic Poriferan View Post
    My post contained this line: No one other than Obama and McCain stand a chance to win.
    If Michael Bloomberg entered the race this time last year, he would have had a pretty good shot. I wouldn't vote for him, but it would be nice to see. Ross Perot got nearly 20% of the popular vote. In 1980, John Anderson (Independent) got 6,000,000 votes, and Ed Clark (Libertarian) got almost 1,000,000.
    Who wants to try a bottle of merc's "Extroversion Olive Oil?"

  3. #63
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    If the cataclysmic events in the financial markets over the past week have revealed anything, it is the complete subservience of every branch of the US government and both major political parties to the banks and the biggest capitalist interests. Behind the façade of American democracy lies a dictatorship of finance capital that, under conditions of crisis, exerts its power directly and nakedly. In the course of two weeks, the Federal government has doled out hundreds of billions of dollars in taxpayer money in bailouts and loans for failing financial institutions. It has carried out the unprecedented nationalization of the insurance giant American International Group (AIG) with what is widely seen as a down payment of $85 billion. The firm holds nearly half a trillion dollars worth of questionable credit derivatives on its books. Not a single vote was taken in either house of the US Congress on these measures, much less by the American people. Rather, the bailouts of Bear Stearns and Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, like the takeover of AIG, have all been negotiated behind closed doors between Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, Federal Reserve Board Chairman Ben Bernanke and Wall Street executives. The Washington Post reported that congressional leaders were hastily informed of the deal to bail out AIG only after it had been struck. "Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle expressed concern yesterday that they have had no control over when and how federal money has been used to curb the panic on Wall Street," the Post reported. "While many have been convinced that the moves so far have been necessary to prevent a wider financial meltdown, they said they felt confined to the sidelines as power to make momentous decisions has been concentrated in very few hands."

    Obama and the Democrats are full partners in this system. Behind all of the Democratic candidate's rhetoric about Wall Street not "minding the store" and how "CEOs got greedy," his campaign enjoys ample support from finance capital, and his administration would, no less than the Republicans, represent its fundamental interests. The Obama campaign has raised close to $10 million from the Wall Street investment houses, nearly 50% more than the amount they have given to Republican McCain. 3 senior executives at the now bankrupt Lehman Brothers raised more than $1.5 million for the Democrat. The Center for Responsive Politics, which tracks campaign contributions, listed Goldman Sachs as the top source of campaign funds for the Obama campaign. The watchdog group added that Wall Street's stake in the Democratic candidate is probably even larger. "Since his campaign has ignored repeated requests... to disclose his bundlers' employers and occupations," it pointed out, "these figures are probably undercounts." In addition to Wall Street, the Obama campaign has raised some $13.4 million from the finance, insurance and real estate sector and $2 million from the commercial banks, again outstripping McCain. Given this financial banking, Obama's posturing as a champion "Main Street" and the scourge of "special interests" is just as absurd as McCain's vow to fight "greed" on Wall Street. Equally dishonest is the Democratic candidate's repeated assertion that the present crisis is the outcome of policies pursued simply over the past 8 years. Conveniently ignored is the fact that the frontal assault on the working class that lay the foundations for the present economic setup in America was initiated under the Democratic Carter administration 30 years ago and that the most sweeping deregulation of the financial markets was carried out under the Democrat Clinton. The results of this process, which has seen the increasing deindustrialization of the US economy, the ever growing weight of financial parasitism and the unprecedented widening of social inequality, will not be cured by the modest increase in regulation being proposed by some Democrats.

    Obama has given his backing to the bailouts carried out to date, while remaining silent on plans for a government takeover of mortgage-related investments. The Democratic candidate has said nothing about holding accountable those who profited off of this unfolding calamity, much less proposing that their profits be seized. In his speech Wednesday in Nevada, Obama declared that the tumultuous events on Wall Street represented a "final verdict" on the "economic philosophy" of McCain and the Republicans, while proclaiming his conviction that "our free market has been the engine of America's great progress. It's a market that has created a prosperity that is the envy of the world." What "free market" is he talking about? It is "free" only in the sense that society exercises no control over its predatory and socially destructive misallocation and misappropriation of the wealth created by the working class. In a serious crisis, all talk about the evils of "big government" and the virtues of "self-reliance" and "private initiative" is dropped and a vast expansion of government power is carried out to intervene in the "free market" in order to rescue the financial aristocracy, with the American people footing the bill. As for American prosperity being the "envy of the world," people around the globe are watching with horror and disbelief as millions of Americans are kicked out of their homes, poverty and unemployment worsen, and the country's infrastructure collapses — while corporate CEOs rake in 8-figure salaries. The devastating crisis that is gripping Wall Street and the world's financial markets is a verdict on this "free market." The capitalist system, based on private ownership of the productive forces, production for profit and the subordination of all social needs to the accumulation of private wealth, is threatening to unleash a catastrophe upon the working class in the US and around the world. One thing is certain, the plans to rescue Wall Street that are now being prepared with Democratic support will be paid for by working people, through the destruction of their jobs and living standards and the gutting of Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and what little else remains of social benefits in America. A new social catastrophe even greater than the Great Depression can be averted only through a break with the Democratic Party, not only with the Republican one.

  4. #64
    Senior Member reason's Avatar
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    copula3,

    Watch out!

    Get under a table!

    THE SKY IS FALLING!!!




    ... Just kidding.

    Though I had you for a moment, didn't I?

    You can admit it, that's okay.
    A criticism that can be brought against everything ought not to be brought against anything.

  5. #65
    ^He pronks, too! Magic Poriferan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pure_mercury View Post
    If Michael Bloomberg entered the race this time last year, he would have had a pretty good shot. I wouldn't vote for him, but it would be nice to see. Ross Perot got nearly 20% of the popular vote. In 1980, John Anderson (Independent) got 6,000,000 votes, and Ed Clark (Libertarian) got almost 1,000,000.
    When 20% is the grand and rare exception, you're in trouble. Actually, I believe Teddy Roosevelt gave the best performance of a third party ever, when he ran as a progressive "bull moose", but I don't think that really counts since he was a Republican president for years. That was also a hundred years ago.
    Go to sleep, iguana.


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  6. #66
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    If Perot hadn't gone squirrelly and dropped out, then back into the race the first time around, he would have done considerably better. That was a politically incomprehensible move, and I still can't figure out what prompted it.

  7. #67
    Senior Member LostInNerSpace's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by copula3 View Post
    Obama and the Democrats are full partners in this system.
    I would hope so. You really have no idea what you are talking about. If you want to argue finance, I'm happy to do that. But would you understand it?

    Quote Originally Posted by copula3 View Post
    Obama has given his backing to the bailouts carried out to date, while remaining silent on plans for a government takeover of mortgage-related investments. The Democratic candidate has said nothing about holding accountable those who profited off of this unfolding calamity, much less proposing that their profits be seized.
    Actually it's the democrats who are trying to exert forced restrictions over the bailout package to make sure the people responsible are not laughing all the way to the bank. Bush does not want any restrictions because he thinks they will limit the effectiveness of the bailout.

    Quote Originally Posted by copula3 View Post
    What "free market" is he talking about? It is "free" only in the sense that society exercises no control over its predatory and socially destructive misallocation and misappropriation of the wealth created by the working class. In a serious crisis, all talk about the evils of "big government" and the virtues of "self-reliance" and "private initiative" is dropped and a vast expansion of government power is carried out to intervene in the "free market" in order to rescue the financial aristocracy, with the American people footing the bill.
    So remind me again why you are bashing Obama? First, "Free Market" means anyone can buy or sell. Rich, poor, old, young. Ideally from any country. The Republican's are all for completely free markets, which appears to be what you are complaining about. The Democrats are in favor or regulation and even some intervention to prevent competitors like China and India taking too big a slice of the pie from the American worker.

    Quote Originally Posted by copula3 View Post
    As for American prosperity being the "envy of the world," people around the globe are watching with horror and disbelief as millions of Americans are kicked out of their homes, poverty and unemployment worsen, and the country's infrastructure collapses — while corporate CEOs rake in 8-figure salaries. The devastating crisis that is gripping Wall Street and the world's financial markets is a verdict on this "free market." The capitalist system, based on private ownership of the productive forces, production for profit and the subordination of all social needs to the accumulation of private wealth, is threatening to unleash a catastrophe upon the working class in the US and around the world. One thing is certain, the plans to rescue Wall Street that are now being prepared with Democratic support will be paid for by working people, through the destruction of their jobs and living standards and the gutting of Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and what little else remains of social benefits in America. A new social catastrophe even greater than the Great Depression can be averted only through a break with the Democratic Party, not only with the Republican one.
    Again, remind me again why you are bashing Obama. Are you even following the politics closely?
    Last edited by LostInNerSpace; 09-25-2008 at 10:20 PM.

  8. #68
    Order Now! pure_mercury's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LostInNerSpace View Post
    So remind me again why you are bashing Obama? First of all free market means anyone can buy or sell. Rich, poor, old, young. Ideally from any country. The Republican's are all for completely free markets, which appears to be what you are complaining about. The democrats are in favor or regulation and even some intervention to prevent competitors like China and India taking too big a slice of the pie from the American worker.
    :yim_rolling_on_the_

    You cannot be serious.
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  9. #69
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    What the Republicans are for, it seems to me, is a market in which the big players have massive advantages over the small ones, and the government assumes most risk.

    Which isn't a free market by any stretch.

    The Democrats favor a similar system, except all the favored companies have affirmative-action CEOs and green business plans.

  10. #70
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    Default Dirty Secret Of The Bailout: Thirty-Two Words That None Dare Utter

    A critical - and radical - component of the bailout package proposed by the Bush administration has thus far failed to garner the serious attention of anyone in the press. Section 8 (which ironically reminds one of the popular name of the portion of the 1937 Housing Act that paved the way for subsidized affordable housing ) of this legislation is just a single sentence of thirty-two words, but it represents a significant consolidation of power and an abdication of oversight authority that's so flat-out astounding that it ought to set one's hair on fire. It reads, in its entirety:

    Decisions by the Secretary pursuant to the authority of this Act are non-reviewable and committed to agency discretion, and may not be reviewed by any court of law or any administrative agency.
    In short, the so-called "mother of all bailouts," which will transfer $700 billion taxpayer dollars to purchase the distressed assets of several failed financial institutions, will be conducted in a manner unchallengeable by courts and ungovernable by the People's duly sworn representatives. All decision-making power will be consolidated into the Executive Branch -- who, we remind you, will have the incentive to act upon this privilege as quickly as possible, before they leave office. The measure will run up the budget deficit by a significant amount, with no guarantee of recouping the outlay, and no fundamental means of holding those who fail to do so accountable. Is this starting to sound familiar? Robert Kuttner cuts through much of the gloss in an article in today's American Prospect:

    The deal proposed by Paulson is nothing short of outrageous. It includes no oversight of his own closed-door operations. It merely gives congressional blessing and funding to what he has already been doing, ad hoc. He plans to retain Wall Street firms as advisors to decide just how to cut deals to value and mop up Wall Street's dubious paper. There are to be no limits on executive compensation for the firms that get relief, and no equity share for the government in exchange for this massive infusion of capital. Both Obama and McCain have opposed the provision denying any judicial review of decisions made by Paulson -- a provision that evokes the Bush administration's suspension of normal constitutional safeguards in its conduct of foreign policy and national security. [...]

    The differences between this proposed bailout and the three closest historical equivalents are immense. When the Reconstruction Finance Corporation of the 1930s pumped a total of $35 billion into U.S. corporations and financial institutions, there was close government supervision and quid pro quos at every step of the way. Much of the time, the RFC became a preferred shareholder, and often appointed board members. The Home Owners Loan Corporation, which eventually refinanced one in five mortgage loans, did not operate to bail out banks but to save homeowners. And the Resolution Trust Corporation of the 1980s, created to mop up the damage of the first speculative mortgage meltdown, the S&L collapse, did not pump in money to rescue bad investments; it sorted out good assets from bad after the fact, and made sure to purge bad executives as well as bad loans. And all three of these historic cases of public recapitalization were done without suspending judicial review.
    Kuttner's opposition here is perhaps the strongest language I've seen used, pushing back on this piece of legislation, in any publication of repute, and even here, Section 8 is not cited by name or by content. McClatchy Newspapers also alludes to Section 8 with concern, citing the "unfettered authority" that Paulson would be granted, and noting that the "law also would preclude court review of steps Paulson might take, something Joshua Rosner, managing director of economic researcher Graham Fisher & Co. in New York, said could be used to mask previous illegal activity." Jack Balkin also gives the matter the sort of attention it deserves on his blog, Balkinization. But elsewhere, the conversation is muted. The debate over whether Congress is going to pass the Paulson bailout package, or pass the Paulson bailout package really hard seems to have boiled down to a discussion of time and concessions. The White House has made it clear that they want this package passed yesterday. Congressional Democrats seem to be of different minds on the matter, with some pushing back hard, and others content to demand a small dollop of turd polish to make the package seem more aesthetically pleasing, at which point, they'll likely roll over and pass the bill. Neither candidate, John McCain or Barack Obama, seem all that amenable toward the bailout, but neither have either demonstrated that they are willing to risk their candidacies to do much more than exploit the issue for electoral purposes.

    Sunday morning came and went, with Paulson traipsing dutifully from studio to studio, facing nary a question on Section 8. Front page articles in the New York Times, Washington Post, and the Wall Street Journal detail the wranglings, but make no mention of this section of the legislation. On TV, cable news networks are stuck in the fog of the ongoing presidential campaign. Throughout the coverage, one catches a whiff of what seems like substantive pushback on this power grab, but it largely amounts to a facsimile of journalistic diligence. Most note, in general terms, that the bailout represents a set of "broad powers" that will be granted to the Department of the Treasury. Yet the coverage offsets these concerns through the constant hyping of the White House's overall message of "urgency." But one cannot overstate this: Section 8 is a singularly transformative sentence of economic policy. It transfers a significant amount of power to the Executive Branch, while walling off any avenue for oversight, and offering no guarantees in return. And if the Democrats end up content with winning a few slight concessions, they risk not putting a stop-payment on the real "blank check" -- the one in which they allow the erosion of their own powers.

    Over in the Senate, Christopher Dodd has proposed a bailout legislation of his own, which critically calls for "an oversight board that not only includes the chairman of the Federal Reserve and the SEC, but congressionally appointed, non-governmental officials" and would require the President to appoint an "independent inspector general to investigate the Treasury asset program." In Dodd's legislation, Section 8 is effectively stripped from the bill. Nevertheless, the fact that Section 8 of the Paulson plan seems to strike few as a de facto dealbreaker can and should astound. The failure of Congress to hold the line on this point would be truly embarrassing. But if we make it through this week with nobody in the press specifically informing the public about the implications of this single sentence - in the middle of a complicated bill, in the middle of a complicated time - then right there, you have the single largest media failure of this year.

    Dirty Secret Of The Bailout: Thirty-Two Words That None Dare Utter

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