• on a comment on Primary Obama: Jim Webb? Naahhh over 3 years ago

    To tell the truth, in my humble opinion the only viable primary challenger against Obama (at this point, who knows how bad the economy will go downhill from here) would be an African-American or maybe a Latino, probably someone in Congress or a governor.

    The first-step list constructed on myfdl was done very openly, as brainstorming stages should be. It of course is not a proposal.

  • comment on a post Not just top 1%; raise taxes on richest 10% over 3 years ago

    Why's it so hard?

  • on a comment on Primary Obama: Jim Webb? Naahhh over 3 years ago

    I agree with and support the direction you're taking.

    BTW, to find a candidate who combines major name recognition with anti-corporate, definitely populist credentials, progressives might have to look in unconventional places. Compared to the Republicans progressives have never been big on searching for candidates among TV, movie or rock stars, but we'd be smart to start thinking in those sorts of unconventional directions.

  • Guess I'm out of it, but who is Charles? Just from looking at their website, the Green New Deal seems mainly the handiwork of Dave Schwab.

    Posting stuff here is much more complicated technically than it is at any other similar place. If there's a decline in use of the site by 'people like me', I think that's the reason.

  • Here's the news story on that. Go here for latest developments.

  • comment on a post Helen Thomas: Her Anti-Jewish Bigotry over 4 years ago

    Three core anti-Jewish themes:

    • Jews as alien intruders

    This is silly. The Israelis who illegally settle in the occupied territories are under international law illegal immigrants, and are in fact intruders into land that they have no legal right to be on. Facts are facts.

    • Jews not having the rights of others (i.e., choice of where to live)

    This is silly. No one, including Jews, has a right to settle on land conquered and illegally occupied (i.e., the occupied Palestinian Territories). In fact, Israel's contention is that Israeli Jews have rights that others do not: they can choose to live in illegally occupied land.

    • Trivializing the Holocaust (why else mention Poland and Germany?)

    Paranoia. What Thomas said was wrong here, and she should have and did apologize. However, don't you think a more likely reason than yours that she mentioned Poland and Germany is that many Israeli Jews are originally from there?

    I agree with Jonathan Cook:

    Undoubtedly, Ms Thomas’ opinions, as she expressed them in an unguarded moment, were inappropriate and required an apology. It is true, as she says, that Palestine was occupied and the land taken from the Palestinians by Jewish immigrants with no right to it barring a Biblical title deed. But 62 years on from Israel’s creation, most Jewish citizens have no home to go to in Poland and Germany -- or in Iraq and Yemen, for that matter. There is also an uncomfortable echo in her words of the chauvinism underpinning demands from some Jews -- and many Israelis -- that Palestinians should “go home to the 22 Arab states”.

    But Ms Thomas did apologise and, after that, a line ought to have been drawn under the affair -- as it surely would have been had she made any other kind of faux pas. . . .

     

     

     

  • They are organizing their own counter-parade. But in a 'public forum' like a civil rights parade people should have free speech. Folks on the sidewalk can boo or cheer as they see fit. That's how free speech in a functioning democratic society should work: one parade, every point of view that wants to participate involved. But, 'democracy' in the the U.S. and Canada ain't what it used to be.

  • on a comment on Labor's Victory in Arkansas over 4 years ago

    The diarist was trashing the mainstream punditocracy's propaganda/'analysis' that the primary challenge to Lincoln was a failure. I didn't see Lincoln herself being trashed, and accurate description of her weak record on organized labor is essential to the analysis.

  • but it would've taken a miraculously ungluttonous financial sector telling Obama, "Forget what you owe us, just take care of the greater good."

    I think the main positive is that China still wants the dollar as the world reserve currency, and will still try its best to eat our paper. But not on this scale, the amounts of money/debt/funny paper just seems absurdly out of control. Just focusing on the real economy, letting the financial institutions go through normal, FDIC, bankruptcy processes, we could've done that.

    Enough whining then, let's go out and collect firewood and so on.

  • comment on a post Another Groundhog Day w/Geithner and Bernanke over 5 years ago

    The distrust will grow for Obama, who may become the Democrats' Hoover unless he does something soon, like fire all the commanding heights guys with direct connections to the fat cats the government is bailing out.

    An important weapon in the FDR federal government's arsenal was that people trusted him, and trusted his rescue plans were real and on the up and up, and that he wasn't playing 'rescue plan' while really just doing crony capitalism. Which is what many suspected Hoover of doing, which damaged economic optimism, which is a key component of economic recovery. I look at the Obama administration's financial bailouts and plans for more and just don't trust the people pushing them sincerely believe they will create economic recovery (despite their astronomical price tags); your diary gives further support for that intuition.

    While Obama is learning economics (hopefully not from Larry Summers) he may also want to just read a history of the Hoover administration's four long and troubled years.

  • comment on a post bailout frenzy / economy crash pre-post-mortem over 5 years ago

    over at fsz:

    we have a very strong mass communications system (0.00 / 0)

    designed to make and keep us idiotic. The only time we (briefly) wake up is during deep economic crises. But I don't know if we will wake up this time, no matter how bad it gets. People just seem stupider than ever, and the mass propaganda system seems stronger, friendlier,  and more seemless than ever.

    But hell I'm a semi-geezer and talking at the nadir of American civilization, so pessimism is only natural. Them young'uns with their positive spirits are probably the ones to get something positive going, a sit down strike outside the NY Federal Reserve Bank or wtf.

    by: fairleft @ Wed Mar 04, 2009 at 10:35:00 AM CST

    http://www.freespeechzoneblog.com/showCo mment.do?commentId=67023

  • comment on a post "Heckuva job, Timmy..." over 5 years ago

    It's all about the huge and impossible to ever solve (unless the govt just declares them illegal, null and void) CDS problem. The key to understanding why taxpayers are handing AIG so much bailout money is that it will send that most of that money on to the very well-connected CDS players it has insured (emphasis added):

    AIG is one of the largest players in the global, unregulated market (estimated at $62 trillion) in credit default swaps-i.e., private contracts under which companies like AIG guarantee the debt, including mortgage-backed bonds, held by banks and other companies. Although it was allegedly an insurance company, AIG joined the speculative frenzy on Wall Street and paid vast sums to its top executives. When the housing bubble burst, financial institutions began demanding coverage for their losses. It quickly became clear that AIG could not pay.
    "Essentially," Justin Fox,Time 's business and economics columnist wrote, "AIG got into the business of insuring much of the world's financial system against the consequences of a global financial meltdown. It turned out to be incapable of delivering on that insurance-no private company could deliver on it, which is one reason why AIG's business of selling credit default swaps was a scam. And so government has stepped in as the ultimate insurer."

    Now, the company has turned into a financial black hole. Much of the government bailout money is channeled into other financial institutions and corporations that purchased AIG insurance, and AIG comes back looking for more.

    Fed Chairman Bernanke and then-Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, engineered the first bailout of AIG last September, pointing to the potentially "catastrophic" implications for the world financial system if the insurer failed. Goldman Sachs Group Inc.-which Paulson used to run-Société Générale SA, Deutsche Bank AG and Merrill Lynch & Co. were among the largest banks that bought swaps from AIG, according to insiders. The insurer reportedly handed over about $18.7 billion to financial firms in the three weeks after the September bailout.

    http://www.wsws.org/articles/2009/mar200 9/aig-m03.shtml

  • This explains a lot about the possible motivations for this never-ending bailout. AIG gets the bailout money and then sends it on to the CDS players it has insured:

    AIG is one of the largest players in the global, unregulated market (estimated at $62 trillion) in credit default swaps--i.e., private contracts under which companies like AIG guarantee the debt, including mortgage-backed bonds, held by banks and other companies. Although it was allegedly an insurance company, AIG joined the speculative frenzy on Wall Street and paid vast sums to its top executives. When the housing bubble burst, financial institutions began demanding coverage for their losses. It quickly became clear that AIG could not pay.

    "Essentially," Justin Fox,Time 's business and economics columnist wrote, "AIG got into the business of insuring much of the world's financial system against the consequences of a global financial meltdown. It turned out to be incapable of delivering on that insurance--no private company could deliver on it, which is one reason why AIG's business of selling credit default swaps was a scam. And so government has stepped in as the ultimate insurer."

    Now, the company has turned into a financial black hole. Much of the government bailout money is channeled into other financial institutions and corporations that purchased AIG insurance, and AIG comes back looking for more.

    Fed Chairman Bernanke and then-Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, engineered the first bailout of AIG last September, pointing to the potentially "catastrophic" implications for the world financial system if the insurer failed. Goldman Sachs Group Inc.--which Paulson used to run--Société Générale SA, Deutsche Bank AG and Merrill Lynch & Co. were among the largest banks that bought swaps from AIG, according to insiders. The insurer reportedly handed over about $18.7 billion to financial firms in the three weeks after the September bailout.

    http://www.wsws.org/articles/2009/mar200 9/aig-m03.shtml

  • comment on a post There is not a military solution in Afghanistan over 5 years ago

    and other rebel groups is the only thing that makes any sense and it seems to be (beginning to be) in the works. It was effective in Iraq and it's the only way the U.S. gets out of Afghanistan without its tail between its legs. The key is to call whoever we compromise and call truces with 'not the Taliban'. Just a matter of semantics. ;)

  • it was a 'too big money influence on government (election campaigns)' to fail scenario. Similar but times ten or 100 for the present financial sector crisis. The financial regulatory elite aren't stupid, they know what ponzi schemes look like, they know that 'freedom plus bailout' is a stupid way to run/ruin an economy.

    The everything but officially bankrupt entities are so politically influential that their will simply must be done, sad to say, unless and until the crisis deepens so severely that, to win the next election, the Democrats have to 'learn' the obvious. We're not there yet.

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