Archive for » September, 2008 «

September 30th, 2008 | Author:

I had the opportunity to watch some of the debate on c-span yesterday, and was pleasantly surprised by what I saw. Yes, there was the old-boy’s-corporate-network, declaring that the sky is falling and we have to save our friends on Wall St. And there were the government-interventionists, who saw this as their golden opportunity to gain more power and control, to redistribute the wealth of our nation as they see fit. And I’m sure there were some political whores who have no position at all, and just want to get re-elected next month.

But in the middle of all that, I saw a few who recognize that maybe Washington doesn’t know everything; that maybe their own meddling in the markets is what caused the problem in the first place; that maybe, just maybe, if government gets out of the way and allows our decisions to be followed by their natural consequences – then maybe we’ll learn to make better decisions.

First among them, of course, was the gentleman from Texas, Dr. Ron Paul, who said that pumping in another $700 billion will destroy the dollar.

And then there’s the fiery gentleman from Ohio, Mr. Dennis Kucinich, who suggested, among other things, that we end the manipulation by the Federal Reserve.

Another that struck me was the gentleman from Florida, Mr. Jeff Miller. For some reason, I was unable to embed the clip, but here are some of his remarks from the congressional record.

Madam Speaker, almost 2 weeks ago, Secretary Henry Paulson came to this Congress requesting $700 billion of taxpayer money for his friends and former colleagues on Wall Street. The former chairman of the investment bank of Goldman Sachs also asked this Congress to pass a law ensuring that his actions “are nonreviewable and committed to agency discretion, and may not be reviewed by any court of law or any administrative agency.”

The Founders of this great Nation set up an ingenious system of government to ensure that power was not disproportionately given to any one individual. The goal was to avoid tyranny, to avoid tyranny at all costs. But Secretary Paulson most likely skipped class that day and was hoping that we had as well. Many wonder how such a poorly constructed piece of legislation could even come to the Congress in the first place. And I wonder how our President approved this as well.

By demanding this bailout money, the administration attempted to circumvent the legislative process. Moreover, the administration continues to insist that their way is the only way to avoid an imminent crisis.

And perhaps most stunning is that the administration officials that are responsible for protecting American taxpayers and our free-market system were asleep at the switch. Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Chris Cox recently admitted his culpability in this matter and amazingly, the Secretary of the Treasury recently admitted he had seen this crisis coming for almost a year and just now has come to our Congress.

This is an historic battle playing out before us, one that will determine the direction of our nation for decades to come. Maybe we should watch a little more c-span, and a little less reality TV.


Plays, farces, spectacles, gladiators, strange beasts, medals, pictures, and other such opiates, these were for ancient peoples the bait toward slavery, the price of their liberty, the instruments of tyranny.

A people enslaves itself, cuts its own throat, when, having a choice between being vassals and being free men, it deserts its liberties and takes on the yoke, gives consent to its own misery, or rather, apparently, welcomes it.

The Politics of Obedience: The Discourse of Voluntary Servitude
Etienne de la Boetie, 1530-1563

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September 29th, 2008 | Author:

Ayes:

Gary Ackerman D
Michael Arcuri D
Tim Bishop D
Yvette D. Clarke D
Joseph Crowley D
Eliot L Engel D
Vito Fossella R
John Hall D
Brian Higgins D
Steve Israel D
Peter T. King R
Nita Lowey D
Carolyn B Maloney D
Carolyn McCarthy D
John M McHugh R
Michael R McNulty D
Gregory W. Meeks D
Jerrold Nadler D
Charles B Rangel D
Tom Reynolds R
Louise McIntosh Slaughter D
Ed Towns D
Nydia Velazquez D
Jim Walsh R
Anthony D. Weiner D

Noes:

Jose Serrano D
Kirsten Gillibrand D
Maurice Hinchey D
Randy Kuhl R

[compiled from the roll call and a list of 110th US Congress members]

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September 29th, 2008 | Author:

The House voted down the bailout.
I am pleasantly stunned.
I didn’t think they had it in ‘em.

I’m sure the battle isn’t over yet,
but at least there’s a ray of light
shining in the darkness.

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Category: abuse of power, bailout, economics  | Comments off
September 29th, 2008 | Author:

“poorly run” companies – and the primary beneficiaries would be Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Morgan Stanley

So says John Allison, as reported at Bloomberg.com. He continues in a 9/23 letter to Congress:

Treasury “is totally dominated by Wall Street investment bankers” and “cannot be relied on to objectively assess” the impact of government policy on the financial industry.

So who is this Allison, who dares to throw darts at Paulsen (“coincidentally” former chairman and CEO of Goldman Sachs) and his cohorts? He’s the CEO of BB&T, North Carolina’s third- largest bank, and in my view, a much more credible witness.

Under Allison, BB&T avoided the subprime mortgage market, whose collapse led to the credit crisis. BB&T has risen 26 percent this year, the best showing in the 24-company KBW Bank Index.

And isn’t it another amazing “coincidence” that billionaire Warren Buffet, who compared this financial crisis to Pearl Harbor and told congress we faced the biggest financial meltdown in American history if they did not act, recently invested $5 billion in Goldman Sachs?

Hmmm. It seems to me that all those “conspiracy nuts” are sounding more like prophets.

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Category: abuse of power, bailout, economics  | Comments off
September 28th, 2008 | Author:

That’s $11 trillion, 300 billion, and a whole lot of zeroes, according to the Washington Post. I do have trouble with such big numbers, but I’m gonna give this a shot. I figure somebody out there will tell me if I get it wrong.

According to the US Census Bureau Population Clock, there are 305,284,223 people in the United States (and counting.) So if we divide the people number into the debt number, it turns out that every man, woman, and child in this great country of ours will be $37,014.69 in debt.

Forget about your mortgage or your car payments – this could get serious.

Debt is the fatal disease of republics,
the first thing and the mightiest
to undermine governments
and corrupt the people.

Wendell Phillips 1811-1884

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Category: abuse of power, bailout, libertarian  | Comments off