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Michael Winship: Franklin Roosevelt, A Nation Turns Its Lonely Eyes to You

(Photo by Robin Holland)

Below is an article by JOURNAL senior writer Michael Winship. We welcome your comments below.

Franklin Roosevelt, A Nation Turns Its Lonely Eyes to You
By Michael Winship

We thirst for leadership, vision, someone who can speak to us in a way that refuses to avert its eyes from the crisis but shines a light of truth upon the problem, then offers hope and possible solutions.

If this is indeed an economic 9/11, as some have suggested, we need that voice now. Right now. And so far it has yet to be heard. Not from McCain, or Obama, or President Bush.
After September 11, 2001, the President stood on a pile of debris with a megaphone and said that the whole world could hear the rescue workers and shared their grief. Soon, words of sorrow degenerated into bumper sticker rhetoric: Axis of Evil, Wanted Dead or Alive, Mission Accomplished. Nor, at a time when people were ready to do whatever needed to be done, was there a call for national sacrifice. Instead, the President invoked not poets or statesman past but variations on a tee-shirt slogan: when the going gets tough, the tough go shopping.

Over the last two weeks, he has been seen infrequently and when he has spoken his words have rung false. This Harvard MBA speaks Economics as though he were phonetically reading a foreign language.

The President has seemed under-informed, disconnected and not, you should excuse the word, invested. In his address to the nation Wednesday evening, he said that the government was blameless for the financial crisis; it had done what it was supposed to do but had been victimized by overseas lenders, greedy banks and Americans taking on more credit than they could carry. And as he has done too often before, he tried to make us afraid.

“The government's top economic experts warn that without immediate action by Congress, America could slip into a financial panic, and a distressing scenario would unfold.” President Bush said. “More banks could fail, including some in your community. The stock market would drop even more, which would reduce the value of your retirement account. The value of your home could plummet. Foreclosures would rise dramatically. And if you own a business or a farm, you would find it harder and more expensive to get credit. More businesses would close their doors, and millions of Americans could lose their jobs.”

Contrast what he had to say with President Franklin Delano Roosevelt when he was sworn into office for the first time, in 1933, during the Great Depression . Rather than foster anxiety and panic, FDR proclaimed, “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself,” despite the fact that 13 million were unemployed, nine million had lost their savings and a quarter of the banks had closed. Wages had plummeted 60 percent.

“The only thing we have to fear is fear itself” is the phrase that everyone remembers, but here’s a little more of what FDR had to say:

“This is preeminently the time to speak the truth, the whole truth, frankly and boldly. Nor need we shrink from honestly facing conditions in our country today. This great Nation will endure, as it has endured, will revive and will prosper…

“In such a spirit on my part and on yours we face our common difficulties. They concern, thank God, only material things. Values have shrunk to fantastic levels; taxes have risen; our ability to pay has fallen; government of all kinds is faced by serious curtailment of income... More important, a host of unemployed citizens face the grim problem of existence and an equally great number toil with little return. Only a foolish optimist can deny the dark realities of the moment…

“The money changers have fled from their high seats in the temple of our civilization. We may now restore that temple to the ancient truths. The measure of that restoration lies in the extent to which we apply social values more noble than mere monetary profit…If I read the temper of our people correctly, we now realize, as we have never realized before, our interdependence on each other; that we can not merely take, but we must give as well.”

Idealism and truth-telling intersected in FDR’s speech. There was no equivocation, no pass-the-buck. But as decades passed, the belief in government as an instrument to advance the common good was rejected. Ronald Reagan became President, proclaimed that government was not the solution but the problem, and joked that, “The 10 most dangerous words in the English language are, “Hi, I’m from the Government, and I’m here to help.”
Now, like a last-minute, battlefield conversion, the White House has rediscovered the value of government as backstop -- not to relieve the misery of the people but the agonized indigestion of financial institutions suffering morbid obesity because they ate too much at the big shot banquet.

In these bailouts, there is no altruism but cynicism, the same attitude that scorns the Constitution and tramples civil liberties, that uses national tragedy to advance an unrelated global agenda, that doesn’t give a damn as it tries to game and subvert the electoral process because deep down it fundamentally disdains democracy. Winning isn’t everything; it’s the only thing.

We need solutions, not sound bites or pandering. We need inspiration and hope, not spin or cant. The way things are going we may have to find it within ourselves. But in the next five weeks, if one of the candidates can discover how to articulate that hope without pandering, can define our national trauma and tell us how to try to make it better without terrifying us, can give us something to believe in without false expectations, he will be our next President.

Please note that the views and opinions expressed by Michael Winship are not necessarily the views and opinions held by Bill Moyers or BILL MOYERS JOURNAL.


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Comments

Bill Moyer put up a film clip of FDR's second Bill of Rights (I was 9 years old). I would TREASURE having a copy of that to read to my grandchildren. I thought I could download it tonight but no luck. Can you guide me, please.

Grady, you're right. Everything John suggests is doable because they won't cost much money. Revaluing the currency is an unpleasant idea, and we should consider the effects on other people first (e.g., the major banks of Europe might fail).

However, the more I think about it, the more I see this "crisis" and attendant "bailout" as a scam. The post-depression structures are in place to make sure there is no depression, so we're mostly looking at a recession--which is to be expected under the circumstances.

I suspect brinkmanship on the part of the financial companies is being used to suck money out of the treasury and finance further industry consolidation. Does Naomi Klien's Shock Doctrine sound familiar?

However, a new, sustainable economy with an emphasis on humanity and justice is needed, and we do need to retire the current greed-based economy--soon.

PS. I have nothing whatsoever to do with the other Mumia who got in trouble with the law.

Mumia W. (I doubt you shot that cop.) Betsy is correct in concept, just simpleminded. A new regime could revalue money and debt in a different way. I can't believe humanity would be so immersed in a Monopoly game that they'd allow millions or billions to be starved or murdered just to preserve Mumia's retirement account.
In case you are too blind to notice John is discussing JUSTICE, a commodity that has been increasingly undervalued for some time. I suggest you contact your broker and pick up some shares.
You can't eat, drink, breathe, and most normal people can't have sex with money, so Mumia, what're you gonna do when you come in my store and I say,"Your money's no good here." I predict a new currency based upon the value of labor. Dead presidents won't be worth a continental.(I am a member of the Time Dollar Institute: All humanitarians are welcome.)

@Betsy Whitfill and John,

A New Deal is pretty much out of the question now that the U.S. government is in debt and the economy has cratered. America wasn't in debt when FDR created his New Deal, so the government had the flexibility to spend money to improve people's lives. Now the government has a monster budget deficit and a gargantuan debt--at the same time government tax income will be slashed due to a deep recession.

In a worse case scenario, Obama will have no flexibility to deal with any problems by spending government money since the government will likely only have enough to pay the interest on the national debt. Additionally, there will be no money for Social Security payments, Medicare payments, the War on Terror, or domestic law enforcement.

Some Republicans complain that John McCain isn't acting like he wants to win this election because McCain isn't lying enough, but why would he want to win?

Oh and Betsy, I seriously doubt that your spiritual leader, Maitreya, will have either the credibility or skills to put America back on track.

Apparently we, the citizens of the USA are buying the mortgages of Freddie Mac & Fannie Mae as well as funding the additional mortgage investment bank bail-outs that are inevitable, at what amounts to fire sale prices. This I understand possibly amounts to ½ of all residential mortgages. This could possibly be a previously unseen opportunity to create a solution to the liquidity of Social Security. The two economic hygienes that are commonly known to be a part of “The American Dream” are housing & providing for one’s retirement. Both needs could be met while providing the rescue to Wall Street that it seams to want.

A radical change in the way Social Security is funded is needed; I propose to create a profit center for Social Security different from the current system of taxation only.

 Place the newly acquired mortgage assets into a new cabinet level Department of Social Security
 The assets become the joint assets of the people of the United States
 Separate the Social Security assets from the General Fund
 Department of SS operates mortgage lenders
o Limit of 1 concurrent mortgage per tax paying contributor assures private competition
o Residential arm resells REOs to buyers in the program
o Profits are rolled back into Social Security assets
 Department of Social Security provides for the Retirement and disability of its share holders, the citizens.

FDR... Rescue US, again!

"The WPA (Work Projects Administration) provided jobs, [training, education] and income to the unemployed [under-employed] during the Great Depression in the United States. The program built many public buildings, projects [bridges, retaining walls, dams, reservoirs] and roads and operated large arts, drama, media and literacy projects. It fed women and children [elderly, disabled] and redistributed food, clothing and housing."

Public Work Projects (Infrastructure), both physical and human are THE issues.

The Physical Infrastructure that supports a society, such as roads, bridges, water supply, waste water, power grids, flood management, communications, etc.

The Human Infrastructure that supports and makes possible the American Way of Life... The Middle Class, The Working Class, The Middle Income!

Who will give US a NEW DEAL to:

1) Stop job outsourcing?

2) Bring outsourced jobs back?

3) Make quality education available to all citizens?

4) Make quality health care available to all citizens?

5) Promote, support and protect small business growth?

6) Protect consumers from banking, lending and credit bureau abuse?

7) Protect the Constitutional rights of all citizens?

FDR... Rescue US, again!

The Presidential debate with Uncle Tom Brokaw was shallow and dishonest. The new reality of a broke treasury and a Depression was ignored.
Obama looked credible only because McCain (Denny Crane?) seemed more senile than Reagan. Capitalism has imploded, and juggling tax breaks won't fix it. Not even the third party candidates or the so-called experts have any answers. We are outside our envelope now. The debate was a terrible infomercial.

Has Obama had his good night's sleep yet?
Where is his New Deal? He is supporting bail out of the usual suspects. Where is his change? By voting for this bailout, he ensures there will be no money for change, just for continued feeding of the commercialism beast.
http://therealnews.com/t/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=31&Itemid=74&jumival=2477

When it all comes down for good, maybe in the Spring, perhaps we will be ready for real and substantial change. Watch and wait.

In my Post entitled "Karping" I discuss Walter Karp's stunning 1988 essays on the political history of both Carter's and Reagan's presidencies. It was 'Tip' O'Neill, Speaker of a hugely Democratic House, who became more obsessed with gutting Jimmy Carter's initiatives than in riding herd on the government through oversight, and developed PACs to ensure reliable sources of cash by promising corporations that their PAC money would buy them whatever they wanted on the Hill. And by the time Reagan came along, O'Neill and much of the Democratic membership was too deeply ensnared to do anything but 'go along', calling it 'bipartisanship'. It goes a long way to explaining not only Reagan's 'teflon' shield from serious Congressional opposition but also the corporate-leaning Congressional obeisance that led to the current mess.

I am not a "Naderite" but I have no problem voting for Nader, lose though he may. Anyone who blames Nader for 2000 is being foolish. The primary source of loss for Gore was MASSIVE VOTE FRAUD in Florida in particular. More votes were stolen from Blacks in Florida than were cast for Nader.

Nader is badgered for saying there is no difference between the major parties - people say "but the Democrats are better, I have to stop the Republicans from getting in, don't I?" Nader is proven right by the flow of events: you're NOT going to get your civil liberties back from the Democrats. You're NOT going to see Bush and his officials sent to jail for War Crimes. You're NOT going to see any genuine reform of our economic system, and with a brownshirt hit squad ever ready, you'll NEVER see single-payer healthcare or anything else the people could REALLY USE. Obama runs with the SAME LIES the Republicans INVENTED FOR US: IRAN IS NO THREAT TO US WHATSOEVER, but try to get the truth from either major party and you won't: the SCRIPT has been written for you that you will hear for more years how we have to ARM and DEFEND ourselves against yet another nothing-nation that has no across-the-water intentions. And within 4 or 8 or 12 years at most, the Republicans will be BACK with EVEN MORE LIES. You either get to be boiled to death at medium speed with the Democrats or at high speed with the Republicans, but trading between Strychnine and Cyanide is a losing proposition any way you play it.

We could do far worse than Nader, or McKinney, or even Mike Gravel. We can keep voting for the same Tweedle-dee/dum parties that cheat the public day in day out year after year. If we do that, the Republicans will give us genuine FASCISM within my lifetime and we will have to pick up the guns again just like we did against King George and Herr Hitler, combined.

Try this thought experiment on for size: make the next election the "some other party" election. Everyone votes for a third party and lets the Republicans and Democrats sit it out for a change. Then you might see something useful happen in this country: people paying attention to their self-government, because their EFFORTS ARE REWARDED. Chase the crooks and scoundrels out. Shame on Nancy Pelosi with "Impeachment is off the table." Shame on the Democrats for failing to end the war when they HAD THE CHANCE, instead of watching them kow-tow to Neocon Jingoist Propaganda one micron thin that the least honesty on the part of our media could penetrate. Shame on our media for lying to us 100% of the time now, for never telling us useful things like that Sarah Palin is an outright liar or that Obama fled being a liberal faster than any Kenyan when required to do so to be allowed to run for office. We live in a right-wing corporate propaganda state: in any 5 days of the News Hour on PBS you will have fifteen guests from the Cato Institute, the Heritage Foundation, and American Enterprise Institute, without anyone ever explaining who these people represent, exactly, and why we hear their opinions EVERY SINGLE DAY but people like Kucinich or Nader or Barbara Lee are never given the time of day.

You hear two slightly different flavors of rhetoric both pointing in the same direction: increased loss of Democracy to accommodate Milton Friedman's version of globalization. But both major parties have sold you out. We may even owe thanks to G W Bush that in his boorish haste he "outed" the neofascist agenda and thus helped us inoculate ourselves against it. But that lesson is already lost in the "wind" of Obama's "change" - we are asked to forget what happened to us as recently as TWO YEARS AGO. A people with no memory can never fight a predator with a long-term agenda.

The SUPREME COURT, specifically FIVE OF NINE members, violated their oaths of office to AWARD Bush the Presidency in 2000. The Republicans have shamefully nearly openly stolen elections in Florida, Ohio and other states (Saxby Chambliss did NOT beat Max Cleland, for example.) More than 60% of New York City residents thought THE BUSH ADMINISTRATION did 9/11 - NOT the "terrorists". We have the Reichstag fire again - these people doing this to us proceed on the idea that they're GOING to GET AWAY WITH IT - thanks to the near-zero attention span of the American Voter. THIS TIME we should WIN. THIS TIME we're going to make the system work to do the investigations to prove that people within the Bush administration were COMPLICIT in 9/11 and SEE THEM GO TO JAIL (or execute them in Texas, if you like.) THIS TIME when the American People learn that Neocon Republicans saw fit to have 3000 people killed to pretend the "terrorists" did it so they could lauch multiple wars for resource conquest, they put the Republican Party OUT OF ITS MISERY INTO THE DUSTBIN OF HISTORY WHERE IT BELONGS, and the Democrats can become the new "corporations shall rule" party as they've been a steadfast apprentice to the Republicans for EIGHT YEARS now. THIS TIME when we tell our elected representatives that we want single-payer, WE'RE GOING TO GET IT OR SEND THEM PACKING MIDTERM. THIS TIME let's have a victory for the average hardworking person in this country to see the liars and ideologues Thrown Into The Street. THIS TIME we'll go back to the American People and say: if you want to try Socialism - then WE'LL TRY SOCIALISM, we'll QUIT LYING about how "bad" it is - how "bad" can it be compared to Authoritarian Monopoly Capitalism? And the rich mofos who think they own the world will have to pick up shovels just like the rest of us. THIS TIME: JUSTICE.

@ Eric Dynamic and the other Republican Naderites: I remember the 2000 election and how Ralph Nader sold out to make sure Bush and his cronies were put into power by undermining the Democrats. He will never have my trust again. Are the Repulicans so desperate they are trying that ploy again?

Back on topic: McCain's wife owns a corporation that deals heavily on Wall Street - are we surprised he wants to cut Corporate taxes and bail them out?

The poor will show the middle class how to survive - we know too well the American Dream is dead but for the few. We don't need a re-enactment of the New Deal - we need a New America........ Now!

In the heat of a modern media presidential campaign when every phrase is quoted out of context there is little advantage to speaking truths that the collective consciousness is not ready to hear. Think how careful Gwen Ifill and Bill Moyers are to avoid being quotably partisan.

Wait until President-elect Obama has had a good night's sleep and you will see him put this country and our cooperative leadership in the international community back on track.

Barack has the highest IQ and the steadiest leadership style of any president since George Washington. He has the best first lady since Eleanor Roosevelt.He has the biggest citizen activist organization ever assembled - one that didn't wait for him to storm Congress in activist indignation over the blank-check approach to bail-out.

If you want inspiration wait till after the election.

Having just listened to Ralph Nader speak in Oakland last night, I would say the problem with our "national discourse" is that we aren't allowed to hear from people like Nader. He said it was good that the bailout was defeated, and specifically mentioned imposing a firewall between the speculative businesses (which need no redemption) and the sober rest of the financial system.

There is a leader to listen to, who has been working for the American People for FORTY YEARS, consider what the man has done for us: safer cars, clean air, clean water, (some) corporate accountability. Here's someone who won't go to war because they "feel like it", and who won't hedge (as does Obama) at giving the people back their RIGHTS that the authoritarians in this country have seized from us. You have such a leader on the scene NOW. So frankly, quit wondering where such a leader is: he's in front of your nose. "They" just won't let us hear from him. When you understand that "they" comprises both Republicans and Democrats, it becomes even more important to get Nader heard.

You wrote of poets. Well, here it goes. And all the pragmatic steps to be taken are contained - as in the alchemist's vas-hermeticum - in it.
"Perhaps"
Perhaps we all knew,
What it was we needed to know.
Perhaps we were right all along.
Perhaps the words were what it was,
Separating the two from The One.
For aren't the eyes the window of the soul,
Something in the eyes?
Does a Lover need words to call them home,
Back to thier Lovers side?
In an instant it is, the two are made One,
With a meeting of the eyes.

Peace,
Damon M. Heneger

Those of us who read Share International magazine were not at all surprised when there were no WMDs found in Iraq, when the invasion turned into opening Pandora's Box, when the world's financial system started tanking and we watch the myriad other "shocks" and democratic disappointments which have described life in the US for the last 8 years.

You say we need a leader with wisdom and knowledge, yet when I tell you that there is, at hand, such a leader, and that he is fully prepared and ready to present his credentials in response to a serious invitation to come forward, you will no doubt turn up your nose. That would be, in my view, a mistake and would mean the loss of what may be the only opportunity we will have to save ourselves. This man would be FDR's leader. I have read his ideas for 24 years now, and can honestly say that they are the way forward which I would like to see implemented. He will advise a complete change of economic consciousness, from competition to cooperation, from consumerism to sufficiency, from materialism to spirituality. He says that all else has been tried and failed. If there were a call for an interview on a major US television show, he could introduce his wholesome and productive ideas and the people could assess them for themselves.

He sees people as individuals, yet all subjectively One, having the same needs and desires, and requiring the same basic necessities of life: wholesome food, adequate shelter, healthcare and all the education they can use. These simple needs should be a matter of human rights for all people. Lack of the justice which would provide these is, he says, the cause of terrorism and in this nuclear world, we can no longer afford that risk. His economic plans are based on the simple principle of sharing resources which, he says, is true justice.
Have a look at share-international.org and see if you can't see a brighter future. The time is right. All we need is leadership.

A question I think needs to be asked out loud right now....

"Faced with this economic situation, ... What would the Greatest Generation" do"?

what do you think they would encourage their sons and daughters to do if they could?

why do we fear just taking the "hit" here and getting it over with.....instead of these hopeful remedies?

Folks need to talk about this, about courage, about national courage to adapt in the face of "real" danger.

Where is our courage, as citizens, ......if its been lost? where and how did that happen?...

When? ...Where?, as a nation,... did we lose our ability to collectively weather a storm?

(literally, figurativly and/or morally)

Open the conversation, please

Thank you

God bless,protect and inspire a Free Press

Craig Ackermann


Mr Winship said, "We thirst for leadership, vision, someone who can speak to us in a way...[that] shines a light of truth upon the problem, then offers hope and possible solutions."

There is an important, but relatively unknown man of such wisdom. He is not a religious leader but a Spiritual teacher. His name is Maitreya, the World Teacher. And we will all see him soon.

Look for a man who speaks of sharing and cooperation, of brotherhood, trust and justice. He comes with a plan that will lead to providing all with the basic necessities of life: food, clothing, housing, medical care,and necessary social services, and the right to security in the event of unemployment,
sickness, disability, old age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances
beyond their control.

The time has come for an economic system based on the principles
of sharing and cooperation rather than greed and competition. We must see humanity as One.

Freedom and Justice are essential to all, everywhere, without exception, and can only be achieved by trust. Only sharing can create that trust and set humanity on the right path. www.share-international.org

Mr Winship said, "We thirst for leadership, vision, someone
who can speak to us in a way...[that] shines a light of truth
upon the problem, then offers hope and possible solutions."

There is an important, but relatively unknown man of such wisdom.
He is not a religious leader but a Spiritual teacher. His name is
Maitreya, the World Teacher. And we will all see him soon.

Look for a man who speaks of sharing and cooperation, of brotherhood,
trust and justice. He comes with a plan to provide all with the basic
necessities of life: food, clothing, housing, medial care,and necessary
social services, and the right to security in the event of unemployment,
sickness, disability, old age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances
beyond their control.

The time has come for an economic system based on the principles
of sharing and cooperation rather than greed and competition.
We must see humanity as One.

Freedom and Justice are essential to all, everywhere, without exception,
and can only be achieved by trust. Only sharing can create that trust and
set humanity on the right path. www.share-international.org

Look for a man who speaks of sharing and cooperation, of brotherhood,
trust and justice. He comes with a plan to provide all with the basic
necessities of life: food, clothing, housing, medial care,and necessary social
services, and the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness,
disability, old age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond their control

The time has come for an economic system based on principles of sharing
and cooperation rather than greed and unwise competition. We must see
humanity as One.

Freedom and Justice are essential to all, everywhere, without exception,
and can only be achieved by trust. Only sharing can create that trust and set
humanity on the right path. Find out more at www.share-international.org

Judith A., aged 55 and never had a credit card, caught my eye. "How will the bailout affect me?" asks Judith. She is a poor artist who must still pay taxes.

Well, Judith, if you had some meager investments your new tax obligation would most probably outweigh the return (in the best of cases) or maybe even the principle. 150 million citizens are officially employed so your share of a 700 billion outlay is about $5,000. Worse than that they've already advanced at least a trillion to banks without Congressional say-so. Add about $7,500. If Judith makes $25 thousand we are already approaching the amount of her net pay after Social Security, FICA, state and local taxes, don't forget the self-emplyment surcharge for dopey artists, so it will be a drag on her income. If she doesn't live with a friend or relative, making it becomes a mystery.

Worst of all, these bailouts hollow out the potential of the federal government to do anything that might help Judith. Money is shrinking in value as Bernanke pumps in billions of fiat (created out of thin air) dollars for so-called liquidity, so Judith's Big Mac may double in price soon so that she can't afford "fries with that."

It may seem useless now that I ask Judith to cast an early absentee ballot for Barack Obama, and for any non-incumbent not fixated on tax cut rhetoric, victory of empire or hatred of Mexican refugees. I ask you to vote early, if you can, Judith because the lines may be long, challenges delaying or the machines broken. You may discover you've been disqualified or labeled a felon, especially if you are in a poor minority precinct. So if you try to vote early, and find out, maybe you can appeal.

Why Obama? He's done a shitty job this week critiqueing the bailout because the Bush administration and the big operators have out privates in an extortion vice. But take a chance anyway, since we can't get honesty or better candidates in this money-oriented election system. You truly have nothing to lose. Well, you might get a $1000 tax cut or stimulus you could save for an emergency, and he might ask high earners to pay more out of patriotism. We can hope he gets health care reformed, or at least works on it. He will run up less of a defense bill than McCain no matter how you cut it. And if Obama dies or is shot, a superstitious nut will not assume office, just a blustery hack with lots of experience.

You say you don't care what happens after you die, Judith. That's a piss poor attitude. There will always be starry-eyed creative people like you. Would you want them to suffer oppression under the fascist Supreme Court McCain (or Palin) might appoint? Anyway you may live a long time. You'll have a better chance of keeping a SS check with Obama. McCain could privatize and flush the whole program.

Anyway Judith, Moyers and I can't save you. You have to get unstuck from your studio floor and raise hell for your own interests. I'd like to meet you and walk hand in hand at the Inauguration Rally protest in Washington January 2009. My wife and I are poor, and about your age, and we're definitely going. Maybe you could recruit more people. It will take only about 10 million in person with 30 million supporting at home to push Obama away from the lobbyists for the wealthy interests. Obama has even said that if we had good sex education and treated women and children better we could almost end elective abortions. Anyone who can't support that has deep emotional problems. Can you walk, Judith. Yes you can!

Mr. Winship: You complain that the president has been only seen infrequently. How frequently is the president supposed to be seen? He's not an actor working in a daytime soap opera. The president was "under-informed, disconnected and not invested" years ago--back when he was letting his vice president run his administration. The new, post 2006-midterm-elections president is more involved and informed than ever.

The president was not lying about the condition of our financial markets: WaMu--a bank in my community--just failed. Housing values have been plummeting for almost a year; the conventional wisdom is that the economy will not rebound until housing values rebound.

You compare the president's speech to FDR's speech. FDR gave his speech during the Great Depression--not before. Bush was simply trying to explain why he thinks that a federal government rescue of Wall St. financial firms is necessary. If the rescue plan works, it may shorten (or make less severe) the recession we're facing. The rescue plan will not prevent a recession. Bush's speech and FDR's speech are different speeches given at different times for different reasons; they should be different. Bush's speech was an argument; FDR's speech was palliative.

I'll agree that George W. Bush is hardly 1/10th the president that FDR was, but I still think your criticisms of the president's actions in this crisis are unfair.

I wonder upon reading this article and some of the comments by Andrew Bacevich ... are they listening to Obama on Fox News? The Obama that I hear is doing his best given the constraints of the media to apeak to these issues. At the forum at Columbia University, one of the few places he came close to being able to articulate anything, he spoke of his vision of service, of participation in government by the people thus bringing about change. What happens to a country when you get a community organizer in the Exective? An imperial president or something we perhaps haven't seen yet. I get daily e-mails keeping me informed -- though designed to get him elected, he seems to be telling the truth. I guess we'll see. An any president is limited in what they can do, and now that the crises is hitting everyone's pocketbook, perhaps the recognition that who's in Washington DC does make a huge difference. Seeking out information is not that difficult, being informed is necessary. Bill said in the interview, "we are a mature democracy", we're not, we're an adolescent democracy. A lot has happened in the past 60 years, and we can't underestimate the wounds we endured. I do hope that Obama continues on in the way he has educating people about issues and his suggestions for solutions a la FDR fireside chats.

When I listen to Obama I hear someone who inspires people to action, involvement, who believes precisely in what our founders had in mind, and has a vision of a country inclusive of all the people. He clearly understands our interdependency and moves from that place. When he says "This isn't about me, it's about you." I don't hear rhetoric, I hear that he gets it. When I receive e-mails assisting me in getting out to talk with my neighbors about this election, the issues at stake, with links within his site explaining his positions, I know he values education, communication, and community empowerment at a level never seen before. Like I said, I don't know who the author is talking about when he says it isn't coming from Obama.

Do you think communism may come back in vogue?
The rampage, corruption, theft, stealing, Earmarks funds by the dysfunctional government, Senate,
Congress, States County etc. has been ongoing. It started when the dollar was taken
from the “GOLD STANDARD”!
The fact is, the stock market is an instrument to deceive the people and still their funds!
The institution, the government, the Congress and the Senate new what was going on for
more than two years and turn blind eye. As late as March, 2008 The WA-MU, the Lehman... was selling bonds to raise funds when in fact they new they had no funds to pay the interest.
The Congress and the Senate were more interested in appropriate earmark funds for pet projects
than to take care of the people.
The spirit of Karl Marx is alive! It was no good when it called for the “workers of the WORLD to
UNITE! But now that powerful have been enriching themselves with no end in site the spirit
of Karl Marx is good! It depends who is benefiting from it!
There are many retired people like me, who did invest in a “short term bonds” from 6 months to
one year, to get a point or two, over the interest banks were paying, to supplement their fix income,
find themselves with big loses. And the Congress and Senate are asking for 700 billion bail out
to come as an additional sacrifice for enrichment of the powerful and institution!
Communism – Socialism confiscation by taxation, deception, theft, stealing has been here for
some time. As Mr. Nader said, “You violate the law you go to jail, the rich, the wealthy violate the
law, they go to Washington”!

"I've never met him before, but I've been hearing about his Senate speeches since I was in, like, second grade."

No, that's not someone criticizing Senator McCain. Amazingly, it's Senator McCain's clueless running mate criticizing Senator Biden. Check out the whole ridiculous exchange: http://rawstory.com/news/2008/Palin_explains_comment_about_Bidens_age_0930.html

What in the world is Palin thinking?? This proves that Palin, shall we say, lacks more than a little seasoning. No way is she ready to lead us as President of the United States.

This proves Palin's dumb comment about Russia wasn't a coincidence. As a reminder, Palin was asked by Couric how Palin could say Alaska's proximity to the Russian Far East, which is even more remote than Siberia by the way, could possibly by itself give Palin significant foreign policy experience. Instead of backing off her idiotic statement, Palin responded, well Russia's really close and we have trade missions. We later found out no such trade missions even exist - it was another lie like her lie that she killed the bridge to nowhere that she keeps repeating well after it's been debunked.

Here's what Biden has to do at the debate. Back off. Don't shoot the fish in the barrel. Treat her just like Couric. When your opponent is on self-destruct the last thing you want to do is get in the way.

I don't blame Palin for this. I blame McCain. He never should have picked her. He didn't vet her to see whether she would be so out of her league. It's his fault. He was reckless. He shot from the hip and he lost. Maybe Palin will improve over time - but that will take a several years, not three months.

What is the gosh darn problem? If failed financial institutions are necessary for the health of the nation, nationalize them. In this case, capitalism has currently failed. Nationalization protects taxpayers by respecting the capitalistic principle that if you pay for it, you own it. It boosts leveraged lending capability.

Here we go again..... Another Washington fear tactic designed to loot the American taxpayers.Im referring to the 700 billion dollar bailout. Crony capitalism at its finest.I say, " let the golden towers of high finance burn !" Greed is god nowadays, these companies want reward for failure and are trying to convince us we need them intact to survive. I disagree, Give the 700 billion back to the taxpayers and the economy will surge. New business will flourish and washington could actually change the rules to prevent future catastrophe. Sadly it will never happen.

Here we go again..... Another Washington fear tactic designed to loot the American taxpayers.Im referring to the 700 billion dollar bailout. Crony capitalism at its finest.I say, " let the golden towers of high finance burn !" Greed is god nowadays, these companies want reward for failure and are trying to convince us we need them intact to survive. I disagree, Give the 700 billion back to the taxpayers and the economy will surge. New business will flourish and washington could actually change the rules to prevent future catastrophe. Sadly it will never happen.

Here we go again..... Another Washington fear tactic designed to loot the American taxpayers.Im referring to the 700 billion dollar bailout. Crony capitalism at its finest.I say, " let the golden towers of high finance burn !" Greed is god nowadays, these companies want reward for failure and are trying to convince us we need them intact to survive. I disagree, Give the 700 billion back to the taxpayers and the economy will surge. New business will flourish and washington could actually change the rules to prevent future catastrophe. Sadly it will never happen.

Here we go again..... Another Washington fear tactic designed to loot the American taxpayers.Im referring to the 700 billion dollar bailout. Crony capitalism at its finest.I say, " let the golden towers of high finance burn !" Greed is god nowadays, these companies want reward for failure and are trying to convince us we need them intact to survive. I disagree, Give the 700 billion back to the taxpayers and the economy will surge. New business will flourish and washington could actually change the rules to prevent future catastrophe. Sadly it will never happen.

I am a member of the working poor. I guess I, too, live on Main Street. I have never owned a credit card, nor taken out a bank loan for anything. I don't own a home and I am 55 years old and have no health insurance. I have always just bought what I could afford. With cash. I enjoy life, am an artist, don't care what happens to my stuff after death. But I really hate paying taxes. So what does the big bail-out mean to me? Just getting screwed more by the super rich. I like to keep up with trends, though. Do you think communism may come back in vogue?

I am a member of the working poor. I guess I, too, live on Main Street. I have never owned a credit card, nor taken out a bank loan for anything. I don't own a home and I am 55 years old and have no health insurance. I have always just bought what I could afford. With cash. I enjoy life, am an artist, don't care what happens to my stuff after death. But I really hate paying taxes. So what does the big bail-out mean to me? Just getting screwed more by the super rich. I like to keep up with trends, though. Do you think communism may come back in vougue?

If you think Sarah Palin means well we could let Congress appropriate her a Quadrillion dollars (1 thousand trillion) to spend on whatever she wants. Treat her like an Ahmeerikan I-dull. She might hire 300 make-up artists or drill for oil under Russia from Alaska, but I fear we might get our fill of Pentecostal exorcisms and pregnancy only sex education. Always remember the VP commands the president, is not part of any of the 3 counter-veiling branches, is secreted in an undisclosed bunker and everthing she does is top secret. Records may indicate a new brain pacemaker implant. Have you heard of a high altitude electromagnetic detonation? She can shoot it down like a moose. Who's that behind those Foster Grants?

This evening, after seeing the latest on the economic crisis, I turned to my computer to see if someone, ANYONE, was offering alternatives to the $700 billion dollar bailout/morass. But then I asked myself: "Who can cut through all the bull? Who can I trust?" I immediately thought of Bill Moyers, his excellent TV show, and discovered this blog. Some intriguing ideas posited by the respondents...

Please, Bill, sic your crack team upon this problem and let’s hear some well-thought-out alternatives ASAP!


Richard Saunders’ Alternative to the Bailout


The current crisis is that the banks won't handle commercial paper because someone "broke the buck"- meaning they lost money on commercial paper. This commercial paper works like a lubricant in the engine of commerce. It's really not the fuel-or the spark- but is needed to keep the engine from seizing up.

The current plan is for the US to invest in bundled bad mortgages and hope that banks will provide liquidity. It is presented as the “only” option. This is an expensive and rushed potential solution to a bad problem, and risky in four senses:

(1) It is very expensive, even in the best of scenarios
(2) It might not work
(3) It puts all of our eggs in one basket.
(4) It does not address the critical problem.

1. There are those who think we might get some of our money back; and staging the bailout in three phases might limit the cost. On the other hand, it still is an enormous initial outlay.

2. It might not work because it doesn't address the critical problem. It is a bit like telling a diabetic going into a coma they need a radical and expensive change in diet. In fact, while fixing the diet is important, in the short run they need a quick infusion of sugar.

3. It is unlikely that this is the only option. To present it as such creates the appearance of a rush to judgment.

4. The critical problem is the shortage of commercial paper. This current plan deals with what is one of the plausible antecedent causes of this shortage, but there are likely to be others. But the solution actually does not supply commercial paper, but deal with the plausible antecedent.

5. Richard Saunder’s Solution:


We should create a federal entity (“C-Fed”) to provide the lubricant for the engine of commerce. The C-Fed could issue short term “commercial paper” ("C-notes"). The C-Fed could charge for this service, and rates could be adjusted by the C-Fed just as the Fed adjusts the rates on T bills. The maximum cost to the taxpayers would be modest, the equivalent of the maximum outlay for a given day. The C-Fed could charge different rates based on how willing different users are to abide to certain rules. For example, one could give more favorable rates to smaller firms, or to domestic firms, or to firms that hire US workers, etc.

Under this plan, the involvement of the US government could float. For example, in good times, the entity could retract, letting Wall Street handle commercial paper. In bad times, such as the current crisis, the C-Fed would open the gates and let more flow. The key point is that the flow is more like a tide- in and out- rather than an "investment".

Advantages over the current proposal
1.: it is a nearly-zero-sum game. This is the function of an ideal friction-less lubricant. The C-fed isn't really trying to make money on the deal. It works more like the postmaster-making enough to pay for itself. It can't get too powerful because Wall Street can always use normal commericial paper if it wants to, and it is available. There is huge outlay.

2 It addresses the liquidity problem directly.

3. It could be adjusted to allow "monetary policy" to be implemented.

3) It isn't necessarily the only solution. Congress could decide to purchase some bad bundles, if it wanted to help "Wall Street". Or it could try a variety of tricks, none of which are all-or-nothing.

Comments:

No-one is "bailed out". Banks that were stupid pay for their stupidity, but the widget makers don't have to pay for that stupidity. No-one will be rewarded for greed, or stupidity.

There are certain problems with won't address. For example, investors whose life savings are tied up bad bundles, will still suffer. But that can be handled separately, through other governmental programs, if necessary.
Political advantages. We can get away from the term "bail-out". We can avoid a huge and obviously bad investment that will cripple the budget in the short term and might not even work in the long run. We avoid "nationalization". We keep a pile of money out of the hands of the executive branch. Instead of a huge one-time thing, we allow Congress or a C-Fed to make adjustments as needed. Philosophically, it is "merely" a modification of the cash system which no-one, seems to complain about. The C-Fed addresses the critical problem directly, rather than trying indirectly to solve the problem by solving a different problem. It thus is more transparent to everyone. Since there are no actual purchases of property, we don't have to wonder whose pockets are being lined in the process (???). We could have the chairman of the C-Fed be different from the chairman of the T-Fed, so power is better distributed.

Other advantages: it seems both "old" (in the sense of being an extension of the cash system, or of the Fed), and "new" (in the sense of not being on the table at present). It might allow Congress to use it to gain points on all sides.

Some liberals complain this doesn’t deal with the root causes of the problem. Surely it does not. Again, that is like saying that supplying sugar at the right time to a diabetic doesn’t deal with the root cause of diabetes. It does solve the critical problem of insufficient sugar in the brain. Some conservatives complain that this solution will nationalize a process properly given over to private enterprise. That is not identical to, but similar to, saying the federal government should not issue cash or T-bills. However, it should be emphasized that Saunder’s solution is a fix to a crisis, and should prevent similar crises in the future. Most importantly, no bank is nationalized.

The Bailout failed - back to the drawing board. Oh My - is Wall Street feeling the pain the average American has already felt/is feeling?

They want a bail-out..... let all those billionaires who profit bail them out. Or add it to the Nov ballot and let the taxpayers decide if that's the way they want their money spent.

Or even - if we're nationalizing banking why not nationalize health care so the People truly benefit?

**********Begin Divider****
Republican no votes were rooted less in analysis or principle than in political posturing and ideological rigidity. The House minority leader, John Boehner, conceded as much: “While we were able to move the bill drastically to the right, it wasn’t good enough for our members.”

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/09/30/opinion/30tue1.html?ref=opinion
******End Divider*********

So the representatives of the most ideologically rigid of the ruling elite continue to toy with the well-being of our citizens. Please note: I am NOT saying that the bailout is "people-friendly"....far from it. I am not so naive as to think that these public and private-sector parasites EVER do anything for the good of the public interest! I am merely pointing out that,within the ranks of the ruling elite, there are more stridently right-wing factions and there are more urbane, surface-level "progressive" factions. When it comes to ANY threat to the power and money interest of the elite, however, then they close ranks and bleed the population dry.

Watch what happens now. The circus of blame by the 2 reprehensible "political parties" against one another will continue. It's just an act. They are partners! NOTHING resembling a genuine solution that reduces the real pain of the citizenry will be enacted.

The pain of the people will INCREASE! By DESIGN! With PREMEDITATION! After all, a populace that is in fear, in pain, and in confusion is rendered far more easily manipulable. My fellow American citizens....get ready for more pain and suffering. The wealthy elite are not done with us yet. They're just getting STARTED.

Well finally the people seem to understand that elites own and operate the economy for their own benefit. Therefore the congressional representatives of both parties who voted down the bailout are to at least be commended for having enough native intelligence to understand that their own political futures are at stake.

Incidentally, regarding all of these so-called "debates", they are a total sham! Jim Lehrer is a joke. A REAL debate would last 4-6 hours. Each candidate would be given 30-45 uninterrupted minutes to calmly and intelligently state his/her position on issues of great importance to the citizenry and the nation. THEN each candidate would be given 30-45 minutes of uninterrupted time to offer a coherent rebuttal of his/her opponent's position, point by point. THEN each candidate would be allowed 30-45 minutes of uninterrupted time to respond to the opponent's rebuttal.
THEN each candidate would be given 30-45 minutes of uninterrupted time to put questions to his/her opponent. THEN each candidate would be given 30-45 minutes to RESPOND to those questions! THEN each candidate would be allowed 30-45 minutes of uninterrupted time to give a closing statement. The candidates would have pen and pad to write things down during the debate!

Imagine the wonderful education in civic responsibility that such a format would afford to the American electorate!

Imagine the edifying effect such a process would have upon society every 4 years!

Imagine the tremendous benefit such a process would provide to our nation’s children!

Instead, we get this scripted sham format with a "moderator" asking pre-approved questions. We get candidates interrupting one another on the air.

What?

The candidates are too STUPID to formulate their own positions?
They need Jim Lehrer?
The electorate is too stupid to care about a genuine debate that discusses things in depth?

The glaringly obvious reality is that the media and the corporate structure do not WANT an informed, intelligent, politically literate, socially aware electorate.

The corporate structure wants obedient, unthinking, uncritical, self-absorbed, confused, manipulable, obsequious, xenophobic, fearful, docile CONSUMERS.

The pain and suffering will INCREASE, no matter which "political party" is in office. That's because the REAL powers-that-be are the corporate structure.

The pain and suffering will INCREASE, because neither "political party" is capable or willing to challenge that structure on behalf of the citizenry. Both parties are owned by that structure.

The pain and suffering will INCREASE, because all the safeguards erected under the FDR Administration have been severely eroded at best, or totally destroyed at worst...leaving the population totally unprotected against the very worst corporate abuses.

The pain and suffering will INCREASE, because the economy is owned, operated and controlled by a very wealthy elite who do not CARE about the citizenry.

The pain and suffering will INCREASE, because all 3 branches of the government are servile tools of the wealthy elite. Please remember how our illustrious Supreme Court gaveled into office the current occupant of the White House. Please remember how our illustrious Supreme Court arbitrarily halted the recount in the election of 2000.


The pain and suffering will INCREASE, because the population has been deliberately denied access to the fruits of the wealth of the nation: advanced education, universal health care, safe food and water supply, safe roads and transportation systems, productive and meaningful employment, affordable housing, and many other “benefits”.

Consider this: that enormous “greatest surplus in our nation’s history” that we had in 1999-2000 got totally squandered by the current administration. Worse than that, it got transformed into the “largest deficit in our nation’s history”. On top of this chicanery, the elite are now asking the population to bail out the financial institutions (owned, staffed, managed and operated by that same elite) with $700 billion of our tax money!

This in the face of $Trillions in tax monies already squandered in Iraq so that this same corporate elite can “control” that nation’s oil reserves. All the while the American population is paying more money at the gas pumps. Hmmm! How interesting! Yes, my fellow citizens, the pain and suffering will INCREASE until and unless our democratic instincts are aroused sufficiently to begin exercising our citizenship in a vigorous and sustained effort to truly impact decision makers at the highest levels. Until then, the pain and suffering will INCREASE!

All references to "liberals" and "conservatives" are superfluous under the conditions in which we find ourselves here in the USA in 2008. Since the end of WWII, the power of the "military-industrial complex" (and the wealthy elite that owns, operates and controls it)has grown astronomically, REGARDLESS of which party is in the White House or which party "controls" Congress. The Supreme Court, at one point in our history (1886)declared a corporation has the same rights, privileges and protection under the law that a person has.

Divider*************Internet Research
Excerpted:
Business

Before 1886: States and local communities had laws to protect and nurture entrepreneurs and local businesses, and to keep out companies that had been convicted of crimes.

After 1886: Multi-state corporations claimed such laws were "discrimination" under the 14th Amendment (passed to free the slaves) and got such laws struck down; local communities can no longer stop a predatory corporation.

War

Before 1886: Government, elected by and for "We, The People," made decisions about how armies would be equipped and, based on the will of the general populace, if and when we would go to war. Prior to WWII there were no permanent military manufacturing companies of significant size.

After 1886: Military contractors grew to enormous size as a result of WWII and a permanent arms industry came into being, what Dwight Eisenhower called "the military/industrial complex." It now lobbies government to buy its products and use them in wars around the world.

Regulation

Before 1886: Corporations had to submit to the scrutiny of the representatives of "We, The People," our elected government.

After 1886: Corporations have claimed 4th Amendment human right to privacy and used it to keep out OSHA, EPA, and to hide crimes.

Purpose

Before 1886: Corporations were chartered for a single purpose, had to also serve the public good, and had fixed/limited life spans.

After 1886: Corporations lobbied states to change corporate charter laws to eliminate "public good" provisions from charters, to allow multiple purposes, and to exist forever.

Ownership

Before 1886: Just as human persons couldn't own other persons, corporations couldn't own the stock of other corporations (mergers and acquisitions were banned).

After 1886: Corporations claim the human right to economic activity free of regulatory restraint, and the still-banned-for-humans right to own others of their own kind.

http://www.niemanwatchdog.org/index.cfm?fuseaction=ask_this.view&askthisid=126


End Divider**********Internet Research

From that time to this, the corporate elite have partially and/or totally monopolized:

*the resources(both natural and human) of our nation
*the most crucial decisions regarding domestic and foreign policy
*the economy of our nation
*the infrastructure of our nation
*all the machinery of government power

How can anyone who has read USA history NOT see that "liberal" and "conservative" are meaningless labels?

In order of importance and financial magnitude, here are the primary mechanisms of the current financial meltdown:

1. Derivatives: Unregulated, unsanctioned gambling of principle players in the financial community, and as Warren Buffet says, they are heterogeneous transactions that are non-classifiable, that by drawing on credit, artificial money velocity, and the updraft of capital, amount to the minting of electronic currency (presently poorly understood, often based on complex computer programs, and unregulated). A longstanding similar speculation is currency exchange (“the carry trade”) and there is also a large bubble of potential debt in this sector.

2. Hedging: Betting upon negative outcomes and their timing in order to offset unrealized increases in value. (Presently unregulated) They are especially prevalent as ancillaries to commodities trading.

3. Credit Default Swaps: This is an insurance scheme in which primary players in the financial system guarantee the repayment of one another’s credit instruments. I suspect that they have even guaranteed the pay-off of one another’s derivatives. Credit default swaps amount to the minting of unregulated and unsanctioned money by creating renegade debt. They go far beyond customary mortgage insurance.

4. Inflationary Dependent Mortgage Writing: Since #1, #2 and #3 are the gargantuan writing of electronic money (the largest inflationary engines ever created), they totally skew the distribution of wealth and credit, so that money value is funneled upward to fewer and fewer holders. When this reaches its ultimate potential, credit freezes up, inflation ends, and the value of everything drops. The result is the classic and inevitable inability to maintain the pyramid scheme of mortgage writing. Inflationary increases in real estate value could never have been expected to sustain such a gargantuan morass of wagering, but when prices began to moderate and fall the debacle was unveiled. A depression ostensibly initiated by stalled mortgage lending and foreclosure is actually a far larger and more dangerous business monster. (Legal but ill advised and poorly regulated) Greed far outweighed the mild effort to make low income citizens homeowners, in fact, the foreclosure and resale of property in inflationary times is profitable in itself and was only undermined by overarching speculation. Fees and commissions in a poorly regulated milieu accelerated the overextension of credit and liability. The mortgage market was maintained as an easy target for the unscrupulous because it was a little gold milling plant for the elite who hold almost all the wealth. Even had it been well managed and regulated a debt bubble would have been caused elsewhere by the speculative behavior of those holding large blocks of idle money they were desperate to wager. So, while mortgages are at the base of the debt bubble and legitimize it by the threat of general and widespread foreclosure, they do not represent a large portion of the debt bubble in this financial crisis.

Summary

By the turn of the 21st Century money value had been accrued into so few hands that new instruments of speculation had to be created in order to keep capital circulating. The wealthy class demanded phenomenal returns but wanted their increasing risks underwritten by the general public through the government. A political move to undermine government social supports and move to a purely laissez faire milieu was also afoot and coincided with the deregulation necessary to keep the wealth updraft operating. Derivatives are purely speculative transactions often based upon extraneous outcomes such as birthrates or weather events. Hedging is more market based and uses negative economic outcomes as a hedge against increased values. It is entirely possible that there are other classes of speculative contracting that have not yet been classified, revealed or described to the general public.

The insuring of loans is a garden-variety procedure of modern finance. In a home mortgage the buyer is paying a fee to an insurance underwriter for protection of the mortgage holder. Insurers have been collapsed not only by defaults in mortgage portfolios, but also by bundled home mortgages, by commercial mortgages and by the innovation of insurance on the new instruments of risk described above. While the home mortgage load is estimated in the hundreds of billions, the commercial mortgage load may be much greater and the speculation load a magnitude above that. So you see, that while home mortgages are the most readily visible part, and the leading edge of this debacle, they represent only a tiny slice of the potential default pie.

When this almost inconceivable reality is admitted it makes one wonder how a paltry bailout of 700 billion dollars can be of any help to such a polarized system of obligations. The wealthiest players hold almost all of the liquid assets as well as the debt obligations. These parties, mostly insensible corporate entities, have shown almost nil charity and common sense, but continue to demand payment from a working and commercial world they have brought to utter prostration. The world is unable to repay in a rigged game and now has lessened potential for playing due to limited assets and frozen credit. September 19, 2008 was the day the game ground to a halt and the winners began to hold the populace hostage and demand even harsher rules.

The way out is to first admit what has happened. This rigged game has resulted in an escalating black hole of money debt. My 57 years of experience on Earth, along with reading, studying and conferring with others, leads me to believe that capitalism, once it reaches a superhuman scale, as enabled by corporate law, will always result in an unsustainable rigged game (partially because of the nature of power and because of the human tendency to cronyism and collusion) with the resultant hazards of fascism and mass murder. It was ironic that the fear of proton collision experiments at the CERN facility in Switzerland,
that they might result in our subatomic demise, arose just as this crisis became undeniable. Maybe human consciousness, as a hedge against collective anxiety, transferred real economic fears into improbable scientific ones. No amount of mass can satisfy or negate a black hole but can only contribute to its intensity. This is a sound and rational analogy. The more money value and debt creation we pour into the financial debacle the worse the human situation on Earth will become. We must “starve the beast” just as corporatarian politicians schemed to do to our government. Corporate and executive welfare must not only be cut off but reversed into tax and penalty extraction from the wealthy class for the use of working people and to maintain those unable to work in humble but dignified security. That is “the plan” because nothing else can work now. A Depression with safeguards for human welfare and economic reforms and reorganization is a lesser evil than the cruekl faschistic alternative.

I have been traveling and talking to people about the bailout the House has rejected:

I contend these conditions:

1. The 700 billion dollar bailout bill is tiny when compared to the unsecured debt load generated by financial institutions and related operators. It will have no lasting effect. A scary precedent is being set by the commitment of future tax receipts to pay off an issue which benefits private businesses and the wealthiest sector of the U.S. population. Expect subsequent extortions from the American public.
2. Power is disproportionate between the 99% majority and the 1% minority of elite investors. The 1% elite has most of the power because they possess more than 99% of the wealth and receive most of the income. This is no chance outcome because the power of money has always been more effective than the power of the populace. Revolutionary overthrows occur almost exclusively during a dire economic crisis when the elite have accumulated excessive debt. Even then the cream of the elite flee with sizable fortunes. These conditions not being an adequate safeguard for the power of wealth the United States has adopted a Constitution that tends to sacrilize property and to favor wealthier citizens. And if this were not enough the Supreme Court has recognized corporations, the financial shield against accountability designed by wealthy interests, as persons that by nature and preferential treatment have extraordinary rights beyond those of living citizens. True, they cannot vote or hold office directly but their dollar power enables them to choose office holders and fashion legislation. Even more, the Supreme Court has brazenly equated great wealth with preferred free speech by allowing unlimited political spending by billionaires on their own campaigns and issues, and by failing to limit disseminations by corporate interests even when misleading or untrue. This culture has promoted a psychology of wealth worship among the populace precisely because of their disempowerment and hopeless situation.
3. The current extortion (Sept. 29, 2008) distorts real conditions and brings the public to fear that the economics of everyday life may collapse into chaos if the first installment of ransom is not paid in a timely manner. Questions about relative interests and who stands to benefit are not being adequately examined. There is a veil of financial privacy covering corporate and elite interests that does not extend to the business of the general public. It is hard to see how this protection can be overcome under current law and customs. Maybe by examining daily life during a time when credit is said to be catastrophically frozen we can begin to refute this dire pronouncement. Sadly, all that I’m able to offer here are my observations and hearsay gathered during recent days as I traveled the Mid-Atlantic states. At every gas station and retail outlet people freely use their debit, but mostly credit, cards. Overbuilt houses and condos are for sale and financing for them is advertised. Car dealers scream on TV about complicated discount and rebate schemes. They continue selling vehicles, mostly on credit. The cumulative load of many small daily credit purchases may add up to amounts rivaling unpaid mortgages. Because creditors continue expecting interest returns from this credit they continue to extend their usury. I am suspicious and strongly doubt credit is frozen in any way.
4. The alternative explanation is that the minority wealthy interests have withdrawn their capital from particular risks (banks, investment houses, schemes and funds) in order to avoid losses. They refuse to participate in the engines that have provided their wealth until the people guarantee them a riskless profit. The “run on the bank” and the “loss of confidence” have already occurred because the minority who hold almost all the money have withdrawn it until a more favorable time. How can the people prudently expect to underwrite an underregulated and corrupt system when the elite minority has revealed what the real hidden conditions are by the knowing nature of their behavior.

Note: This is a preamble and a companion piece to analysis by Jack Martin which will follow above.

I'm not sure I understand your theory here. Are you suggesting that the United States should embark on another "New Deal"?

And are you proposing that because you think that the original "New Deal" under FDR was "successful"?

I think most high school history classes will tell you that the original New Deal was indeed NOT a success and that what propelled America out of the Great Depression was in fact, our entrance into World War 2.

The New Deal may have been many things but it clearly was not a solution to the economic problems of the United States.

Michael Winship: I very much agree with your article, we need FDR's approach to the problem.

Fortunately there is a PLAN B and someone who understands what needs to be done. Resolutions for key component, a HBPA (Homeowners and Bank Protection Act), has been introduced and passed in many cities and state legislatures and the resolutions forwarded to Congress. A few congressmen have have gotten behind this plan which would save us, not the speculators. The money guys who control both parties don't want to hear about this, it save us and end their game.

There IS a Plan B!

September 27 2008 (LPAC) -- The trillion dollar taxpayers bailout scheme, being peddled by Hank Paulson, Barney Frank, Chris Dodd, et al. is doomed to fail. "If the bailout is passed, this will not solve anything. It will trigger Weimar hyperinflation immediately, will bring down the whole banking system, and, contrary to Gordon Brown's fantasies, will not save the hopelessly bankrupt British banking system." says Lyndon LaRouche.

"However, as many people inside Washington and on Wall Street perfectly well know, there is a Plan B. Plan B is my three-step solution, which begins with bankruptcy reorganization, rather than hyperinflationary bailout. First, pass my Homeowners and Bank Protection Act (HBPA). This viable proposal has been out there since Sept. 2007, and everyone serious, who has studied it, knows it will work. Had Congress shown the guts to pass my HBPA in 2007, this crisis would have been averted, and we would have already been on the road to a new, viable international financial order.

"Second, Congress, in coordination with the Fed, must establish a two-tiered credit system. The Fed must immediately increase short-term rates to 4 percent, to send a clear signal that the U.S. government is behind a strong dollar. At the same time, Congress, using its Constitutional authority, must issue trillions of dollars in low-interest credit for earmarked infrastructure projects, in the vital interest of the nation. We need high-speed rail and maglev, nuclear power, water management, new hospitals, repairs on our bridges and roads. These kinds of projects should be financed through capital budgeting, authorized by Congress at 1-2 percent interest."

"And at the same time, the United States, Russia, China and India must take the lead in convening a treaty conference to establish a new international financial system, based on fixed exchange rates, along the conceptual lines of what Franklin Roosevelt did in 1944 with the original Bretton Woods System. We can and must put the bankrupt current international financial system through bankruptcy reorganization, and launch, on a global scale, what I have proposed with the domestic capital investment in massive infrastructure."

Prominent Italian officials have voiced their support for the convening of such a New Bretton Woods conference, and Russian leaders, including President Medvedev and Prime Minister Putin, have voiced similar support, particularly if the United States takes the lead.

"So no one in good faith can honestly claim that the current bailout scheme on the table of Paulson, Frank and Dodd is the only option. It is not the only option. It is the option of a dark age for civilization. My Plan B is available, is viable, and can and must be acted upon now. This week."

http://larouchepac.com/news/2008/09/27/larouche-there-plan-b.html

I would like to see this discussed on this week's program. I hope the economy is lasts that long so that we can avert a global collapse.

You can contact LaRouche at asklarouche@larouchpac.com.

Thank you.

Ann Willis Smith: Your secondhand email sounds plausible until you realize the math is wrong. 225 billion dollars would give one million to only 225,000 people or $1000 apiece to the 225million adults. It would require 225 trillion dollars to give all the adults each a million. Our GDP, as inflated as the figures are at present, is less than 15 trillion, so it would take our whole economy about 15 years to turnover the required amount. I do not doubt the worldwide elite wealthy class possesses such an amount collectively, but good luck conscripting it.
At its root money is a convenient fiction for purposes of exchange, only a figment of the social contract. A person's inherent worth, or even their potential usefulness to others, is mostly outside economic scoring and is unrelated to net worth. Are you worth anything, Ms. Smith, or are you just the typical American obsessed with money wealth?

Several days ago I received this amazing email from several people, so it must have been making the rounds. I think it's wonderful and hope you do, too. It was written by a Christopher Cooper who lives in Maine.

(by) Christopher Cooper:
I can't help it. I have to trouble you all again. This makes too much
sense not to disseminate the message. Think about it. We're only five
minutes into the presidential debate and already they've both said we
must get together and ship whatever Wall Street needs in a spirit of
bipartisan cooperation.

Somebody doesn't understand this issue. Them or us?

I'm against the $700,000,000,000 bailout of the architects of America's
economic collapse.

Instead of rewarding the thieves and greed mongers, why not take a
fraction of that amount, $225 billion dollars, and just once, give each
American citizen over 18 years of age $1,000,000?
To make the math simple, our population is about 300,000,000. About 25%
of these are under eighteen leaving 225 million eligible recipients of
this one time, "One Million Dollar Citizen's Dividend".
Of course, it would NOT be tax free. Assuming a 30% tax rate, every
individual 18+ has to pay $300,000 in taxes.
That sends $67,500,000,000 right back to Uncle Sam and saves the
government 573 billion dollars over the current bailout plan.
What this means is that every adult 18+ has $700,000 in their pocket. A
husband and wife has $1.4 million.
What would you do with $700,000 to $1,400,000 in your family?
Pay off your mortgage – housing crisis solved.
Repay college loans – what a great boost to new grads
Put away money for your kid's college – it'll be there
Save in a bank – create money to loan to entrepreneurs.
Buy new energy efficient cars – save the American automotive industry
Invest in the market – capital drives growth
Pay for your parent's medical insurance – health care improves
Start a new business - secure your children's financial future
Finally give generously to the charity of your choice
If we're going to re-distribute wealth let's really do it...let's change
lives for the better and in doing so, make our country and our economy
stronger. If we're going to do a bailout, let's bail out every adult U S
Citizen 18+!
As for companies that caused this debacle? – liquidate them. Sieze
their assets. Sell off their parts. Sell off the real estate. Make them
pay. Let the private sector bargain hunters cut it up and clean it up.
As for the Federal Reserve, FEDERALIZE it!

Take it out of the hands of the same private bankers that engineered
this mess!
The one time, "One Million Dollar Citizen's Dividend" would do more to
stimulate America's economy and improve every American life than would
continuing to line the pockets of the a@@holes who continue to rip us
off. It's this simple. We deserve it and the greed-driven money changers
don't. It is time we demand our fair share!


Dr.Bacevich lifted my concerns, and my words out of my heart. His very serious demeanor permits us to integrate and come to face with our nation's greatest gaps.

Here we stand, 5 decades without historic persepective from our leadership, mania after "Nam" for acquisition of goods without paying for them, total disregard for the that which our forefathers strove to provide for us (simply, "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness"), and our desperate need to find a god in our titular heads of state (i.e. presidency) while we permitted our nation to erode.

I ask you this, compare Dr.Bacevich to any one in our present national leadershipnow, and tell me who would have Dr. Bacevich's presence, purposefulness, intellectual honesty, forethought, and courage to become our next president. We are not there, yet - our nation is in trouble, if we do not stop this immediately.

"Beware the leader who
bangs the drum of war
in order to whip the citizenry into a patriotic fervor.
For patriotism is indeed
a double-edged sword.
It both emboldens the blood, just as it narrows the mind."
— Julius Caesar

I have copied the contents of the MySpace post over to my own website, for those of you who find MySpace annoying.

With regards to some other posts here extolling regulation of private operations, that I have many problems with that approach:

1. It has always in a lurching manner of over-regulating after a crisis and under-regulating when that crisis becomes a moderately distant memory;

2. Regulators are like generals, always fighting the last war and losing the current one; and

3. Regulators only have intermittent knowledge of the operations of a private entity.

It is far better to take that functionality that requires a boring bureaucrat who "plays it by the book" and have the government run that directly. In the current situation, mortgage administration and setting up CMOs is that kind of functionality.

BATE AT 8 , OH WAIT ,

IF YOU ASK ME , IM SAVING TAX PAYERS ,

NATURALLY , FROM OLD FREEDOM FEE ,

SO IF YOUR NOT , FOR THE PEOPLE FREE ,

DONT VOTE ,NATURALLY ,

YOUR MIRACLE FREE ,IN TIME BE ,

FREEDOMFREE ,

IF YOU ASK ME , STOP SPENDING TIME ,

WITH WORDS SEE , IF YOUR LOOKING ,

FOR A PLAN , USING WORDS SEE ,

ANOTHER MAN , TOTALLY FREE ,

WORDS IS NOT FREEDOM , FREEDOM IS FREE ,

JUST ASK THE TROOPS , INJURED FREE ,

BY THE WAY , I MUST SAY ,

AMERICAN PEOPLE , ARE FIRST TODAY ,

ARE YOU OK?? THE ONLY WAY FREE ,

IS TO POWER THE PEOPLE ,

NATURALLY , PICK UP A PEN ,

WRITE FREEDOM AGAIN , CALL YOUR FREIND ,

LET THE POWER BEGIN , BEFORE THE END ,

OF THE HOUR SEND , THIS NOTE AGAIN ,

WRITE TO WIN , A SAFER TREND ,

OF LIBERTY , TO CALL YOUR FRIEND ,

ITS TIME TO WIN , THE RIGHT TO BE FREE ,

AGAIN HISTORY , REPEATS WHEN ,

SAFTEY , WINS AGAIN ,

HUMANITY , THE NEWER FRIEND .

Just in - Bailout agreed
to pending votes. Why was
this done "behind closed doors" instead of with the transparency the American people deserved; and is there any provision to prevent the recipient Wall St. firms from "kicking back" some campaign donations to politicians
running for office? Remember the D'Crats let the Telecom companies "off the hook" (sorry), then received massive donations
to their Denver convention,
and everyone was carrying around "AT&T" tote bags!

I am hoping that I can break through the media wall that keeps good ideas from ordinary citizens from getting through. Here is a link to one of my posts on this subject:

http://blog.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=blog.view&friendID=62151019&blogID=436821895

The gist of what I am proposing is twofold:

1. We need to have a Third Bank of the United States, run as a part of the executive branch and staffed entirely with civil service employees, with no profit motive whatsoever in the administration of mortgages and in making investments available to the U. S. Treasury and state governments; and

2. The existing mortgages can be made stable, both now and in the future, by converting them into what I call Adjustable Equity Mortgages (AEMs). These would fairly allocate the losses from declines in housing prices and provide the opportunity to recoup the losses in the future, should housing prices increase.

Please, please present these ideas to our government. All I get when I try to witness to a public official or a candidate at the federal level is a sermon, a plea to fill the collection plate or both.

I think we would be better off intervening in the energy sector than in the financial sector. Read my suggestion:

http://solveclimate.com/blog/20080922/take-over-exxonmobil-instead

The time is long past ripe for some intervention in the energy sector. Read my suggestion--
http://solveclimate.com/blog/20080922/take-over-exxonmobil-instead

Bailouts. After seeing a series of these, I am reminded of Charles Lambs "Essay on a Roast Pig" Who's licking grease off their fingers now?

Has anyone done a financial
background check on our
elected representatives
to see "who profits" from
this bailout and from all
Iraq War procurements - a lot of them own defense
contractor's stocks...

I'd like to propose a harebrained and ridiculous amendment to Article Two of our Constitution, that (at least) the two presidential nominees should hold that office jointly.

At least since 1960, this nation has lurched from one set of one set of ideological principles to the opposite, reflecting a new kind of spoils system in which at least half of the electorate regrets either its choices in representation or its marriage to boneheads on the opposite side of the aisle.

If interactive media represents a significant change in the way this nation does business, perhaps the way to facilitate change is by demanding a shared Oval Office in which (unlike the first nominees' debate) reform, repair and transparency is hammered out between our floundering fathers.

By putting the wellbeing of America first, (prioritized above private ambition, the incivility, recrimination and bickering that presently characterize all political interaction) perhaps we'll, all of us, come to see that we're all on the same page, stuck togeher, indivisibly, and oversighted by equally and admirably valid opposition; because four or eight years of one man's fixations was more than enough. Yes we can effect productive and necessary change. Let's start at the head, working upward to the grassroots.

To: Michael Winship - Your article - Franklin Roosevelt, a Nation Turns It's Lonely Eyes to You. was absolutely superb - I have read it over and over and am forwarding it far and wide - Thank you so much

To: Michael Winship - Your article - Franklin Roosevelt, a Nation Turns It's Lonely Eyes to You. was absolutely superb - I have read it over and over and am forwarding it far and wide - Thank you so much

"We need solutions, not sound bites or pandering. We need inspiration and hope, not spin or cant. The way things are going we may have to find it within ourselves. But in the next five weeks, if one of the candidates can discover how to articulate that hope without pandering, can define our national trauma and tell us how to try to make it better without terrifying us, can give us something to believe in without false expectations, he will be our next President."

Yeah, right.

Reagan set the train in motion, replacing the "commie" label for cheap ad hominem with "liberal" and "leftist," and the Reaganomic economists added "socialist" to the list of four letter words.

McCain makes the claim all the time that Obama is the most liberal person in Congress. In the debate McCain got in "liberal" and "left": "Senator Obama has the most liberal voting record in the United States Senate. It's hard to reach across the aisle from that far to the left." And I'm sure that McCain wasn't seeking to make the point that Obama uses the positive meaning of liberal, to think and act rationally based on facts and reason.

Obama's rather unambitious healthcare program doesn't go as far as Mitt Romney's Massachusetts plan, and like Romney's plan relies on insurance to provide health care coverage. But in the debate, McCain said: "Well, I want to make sure we're not handing the health care system over to the federal government which is basically what would ultimately happen with Senator Obama's health care plan. I want the families to make decisions between themselves and their doctors. Not the federal government." McCain's own health care is by McCain's own logic government run, and I doubt that McCain wants his health care and that of all other government workers and veterans ended.

From reading Audacity of Hope recently and listening to Obama's words a year or more ago, he is clearly seeking the path to hopeful inspiration and common quest for an honest understanding of our problems and for solutions.

But the political discourse today prevents that form of debate, and for political reasons, Obama must descend to that level of unreasoned discourse. I'm not sure that McCain can debate at an honest level, but it seems that he has concluded that the ends justify the means, and he will compromise principle to win.

I wonder whether Obama's election will free him to speak as honestly as FDR could.

Out of the Mouths of Babes:

President Bush, in his speech to the American people outlining the economic disaster we’re currently facing, repeated a familiar shibboleth held dear by all proponents of “privatization” when it inevitably all goes wrong : “the markets aren’t working the way they’re supposed to.”
Wrong. The markets worked exactly they way they were supposed to…our current economic disaster is a “market correction” and a classic demonstration that unchecked, unregulated capitalism is a bloody stupid idea! Just ask all the parents in China whose infants died from contaminated milk powder.
Adam Smith’s famous “self-regulating marketplace” is based on a fatal flaw: it assumes an economy based on continually expanding resources and propelled by “enlightened self-interest” which functions to the greater good of all. Real markets include piracy, slavery, unrestrained greed and pure foolishness. Leaving them unregulated and unrestrained is an act of touching faith in human nature…and succeeds about as well as the famous tissue-paper dog chasing the asbestos cat through Hell.
Resources, markets and people are all limited, and need to be treated with respect. You can’t base your economy on the model of “rape and run.” Remove regulation, as the Republicans have done in the name of “free” market capitalism, and surprise, the economy falls victim to yet another bout of unrestrained greed and foolishness masquerading as wisdom. “Dispersed risk” my Aunt Fanny!
“Sub-prime” mortgages are the folly of an industry that forgot you can’t shear the sheep down to the bone, and expect wool and mutton dinners next week. They read “all the market will bear” and translated that into “all the market will let them get away with.” And never mind the folly of today’s economists, who created an index to judge the health of an economy…and failed to include the cost of food and fuel as a primary economic indicator!
Perhaps it’s time we all re-read Charles’s Mackay’s classic, Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds, with particular attention to the chapters on the South-Sea Bubble and the Tulipomania. It’s far from the first time that a “free market” has bitten the hand that fed it.
In England, in the 1700s, “The next consideration of the legislature, after the punishment of the directors, was to restore public credit…but it was a long time before public credit was thoroughly restored. Enterprise, like Icarus, had soared too high and melted the wax of her wings; like Icarus, she had fallen into the sea, and learned, while floundering in its waves, that her proper element was the solid ground…In times of great commercial prosperity there has been a tendency to over-speculation on several occasions since then…Popular imitativeness will always, in a trading nation, seize hold of such successes, and drag a community too anxious for profits into an abyss from which extrication is difficult. Bubble companies, of a kind similar to those engendered by the South-Sea project, lived their little day in the famous year of the panic, 1825. On that occasion, as in 1720, knavery gathered a rich harvest from cupidity, but both suffered when the day of reckoning came.” (pp.87-88 of Mackay)
And then there’s the sterling example of the Dutch response to the economic disaster of tulipomania and the subsequent collapse of both tulip market and economy. “The matter was finally referred to the Provincial Council at the Hague, and it was confidently expected that the wisdom of that body would invent some measure by which credit should be restored. Expectation was on the stretch for its decision, but it never came…There the matter rested. To find a remedy was beyond the power of the government…those who made profits were allowed to keep them; but the commerce of the country suffered a severe shock, from which it was many years ere it recovered.” (pp.96-97 of Mackay) Those idiots in Congress had better get a move on, or this might be our own sorry epitaph.
But what else should America have expected? The legislature spent years rewriting the banking laws-not to protect the consumer, not to protect the economy upon which we all depend-but to remove all restraints and regulations to create a truly “free” market. End result: market collapse. You don’t remove the governors, run the engine as hot as it will go, and then act surprised when you crack the engine block!
You cannot worship at the altar of unrestrained market capitalism without paying the price: unmanaged, unregulated economies collapse. And they take both Wall Street and Main Street down together when they go. So now we have to bail ‘em out, or we’ll all drown in this economic dam burst.
But maybe this time, we and our legislative representatives can learn something bloody obvious. The private sector cannot be left to its own devices without pulling the entire country down in its mire. It manifestly does not and cannot regulate itself. How many more bailouts must we go through to learn this simple lesson? How many more “crashes” can America afford before it enacts seat-belt laws to restrain our wayward economy?
So, yeah, put the economy back together again, fellas, but…leave the safety on this time, o.k.?

This is the Surprise of All Octobers, isn't it? The upside is, it's death to Reaganomics. Still, we should all be taking a look at what responsibility we may bear for this crisis.

If we don't teach history, we're doomed to repeat it. If we don't hold our lawmakers' toes to the fire every day, if we constrain the free press, live beyond our means on credit and teach our children that it's ok to do the same, if we don't vote, if we don't teach our kids some basic civics and economics, then what else do we expect?

We can learn from this. We have seen an era when--the conservatives were right--too much government aid was stifling incentive. Progressives learned 20 years ago that it's better to give folks a hand up, rather than a hand out. But conservatives never noticed the change in focus and still vilify the left.

Now we see that capitalism unchecked will tend toward corruption. Money corrupts. The guys who created this usurious system have a huge vested interest in making sure Republicans win. The timing of their announcement--just coincidentally--will make it difficult or impossible for law makers to go home and defend their seats. Wouldn't it be nice for them if they could get a majority again?

McCain's solution is to give the corporations further tax cuts. Since when has that guaranteed that they would give the jobs to Americans? Obama's idea to give incentives to companies that keep their jobs here makes much more sense.

Confront these trickle-down thinkers. Ask them if it's tricklin' down yet!?!

Dear Mr. Winship,
What America needs today is what mankind needs today. We need a revolution again to set ourselves free. Free of government as once our forefathers had to do as they came upon this new shore. Pursued by the King and his men it took a revolution to free ourselves from the past corruption of tyranny. It took the power of truth from men like Jefferson and Adams to define equality and set ourselves free. Now is not the time to throw debt on top of debt, to pad the pockets of the departing administration, to bailout a sunken ship rotted away by greed. And now is it the time for change as both presidential candidates proclaim. Now is the time to start anew government, anew ship to carry our future, our children, our planet, our health and our prosperity, now is the time to begin again. It has been done before, and we must rebuild it again.
America was built on the single truth of equality and by the strength of just or righteous good men. But unfortunately as our new government grew, the truth, equality, good, what was almost right, slipped away. It is time to begin again, with a new foundation built more truly and more perfectly than before.
I will be so strong and place the first stone in this new world we must build, for our own as well as the planets own survival. The first stone is the truest of all truths. The foundation must be built on the equality of everything, the power of the Lion, that all things are truly One. Nothing less and nothing more. It will take this truest equality, not of only mankind as our forefathers had built before, but more truly the equality of all things, to set the world free. The simple truth of nature’s equality is the unity of Oneness, and only that truth will set the lion free.
I place the first stone, who will place the second?
=
MJA

During Bush’s speech the other night one could see the face of a beaten and worn man. He was a far cry from the man who stood on that pile of rubble in New York after 9/11. With his days as President drawing ever so rapidly to an end combined with the fact that he has lead this Country to near economic ruin, one can easily understand why he lost his vigor. Much in the same way as King Nebuchadnezzar was dealt with, the LORD is able to abase those who walk in pride. Now with regard to those famous words that FDR spoke in 1933, one must take in to account that he was new to office and still possessed a zeal to lead our Country from the depths of despair, not to mention he was a much better orator than Bush. But ultimately it would require billions in government spending and eventually a World War for our Country to regain economic stability. Yes, as FDR was quoted to say “the moneychangers have fled from their high seats in the temple” but it would appear that their offspring have returned with a vengeance and are playing their same old game, only this time for much higher stakes.

I agree with the other posters that Senator McCain lost the debate. There's more to the story. Obama trounced McCain. It wasn't even close.

The media, which is stuck in he said she said mode, misreported the debate as a draw. Foreign policy was supposed to be McCain's strong suit, yet he got crushed in this debate.

It's no surprise that our media continues not to report the obvious facts in front of their face. This is the same media which dutifully reported Bush's false claims before the Iraq war that Sadaam had WMD and ties to al Qaeda. Since then our media has failed to hold this Administration accountable for a record that rivals the very worst in American history.

This election will not even be close. And a side story to Obama's landslide victory is that it will be yet another indictment of our failed media.

Here is how McCain got crushed. There were two major issues in this debate.

1. The economy. Obama said that our economic crisis "is a final verdict on eight years of failed economic policies -- promoted by George Bush, supported by Senator McCain -- a theory that basically says that we can shred regulations and consumer protections and give more and more to the most, and somehow prosperity will trickle down . . . It hasn't worked."

Obama said Americans need change. Obama said ordinary Americans in the middle class need a break. America's middle class, not America's richest, are the ones who need a tax cut, said Obama. The middle class needs help with healthcare, he asserted.

In contrast, McCain offered no explanation why with great fanfare over the past two days he had just "suspended" and restarted his campaign over the economic crisis, or what he had achieved by doing so. Just two weeks ago McCain declared that the fundamentals of our economy are sound. McCain did not explain why this economic crisis blindsided him.

Instead of offering any realistic solutions, McCain kept railing about $18 billion dollars of tax cuts in the face of a $700 billion economic crisis and a $300 budget shortfall projected in McCain's budget. He could not defend his proposal to continue Bush's tax cuts for America's richest people and large corporations.

McCain claimed to provide a tax cut for the middle class. McCain's tax break for the middle class is a trick. McCain would take all that money and then some right back by taxing employer-provided health care. Regardless of whether that giant health care tax is directly on the employer or the worker, the middle class ultimately will bear it.

McCain's plan for healthcare is to tax employer-provided health insurance and thereby level the playing field in the market for health insurance. McCain's undue reliance on raw free market forces to fix healthcare is unwise; we are now seeing that the market can fail in times of crises.

2. Foreign policy. Obama also handily won this part of the debate by offering a broad vision for America's foreign policy. Obama reaffirmed his commitment to end the war in Iraq responsibly, focus on defeating al Qaeda and the Taliban, and to thereby restore America's standing in the world after eight years of decline.

McCain presented no vision for America's foreign policy. McCain has a narrow focus on Iraq. McCain would continue the present course of occupying Iraq at great expense to the taxpayer, while, as McCain put it a few years ago, "muddling through" in Afghanistan. McCain offered no explanation as to how America can afford the cost of the indefinite occupation coupled added to his tax cuts and now the financial bailout.

In response to McCain questioning Obama's judgment for opposing the escalations in Iraq, Obama took the focus back to the bigger story in Iraq that McCain is unable to acknowledge or address:

"And so John likes -- John, you like to pretend like the war started in 2007. You talk about the surge. The war started in 2003, and at the time when the war started, you said it was going to be quick and easy. You said we knew where the weapons of mass destruction were. You were wrong. You said that we were going to be greeted as liberators. You were wrong. You said that there was no history of violence between Shiite and Sunni. And you were wrong."

For those who missed the debate, here is the transcript: http://www.cnn.com/2008/POLITICS/09/26/debate.mississippi.transcript/

After the debate Joe Biden, Obama's running mate, gave post debate interviews. John McCain told his running mate Palin that she could not appear in post-debate interviews. This raises serious questions about Palin's fitness to assume the job of stepping in for the President.

The concern regarding Palin's lack of readiness is heightened by McCain's 73 years of age and his multiple bouts with cancer. At least one respected conservative commentator, Kathleen Parker, has just called for Palin to step down after Palin gave a series of disastrous interviews demonstrating her unfitness to be President. http://article.nationalreview.com/?q=MDZiMDhjYTU1NmI5Y2MwZjg2MWNiMWMyYTUxZDkwNTE=

"Finally, Palin’s narrative is fun, inspiring and all-American in that frontier way we seem to admire. When Palin first emerged as John McCain’s running mate, I confess I was delighted. She was the antithesis and nemesis of the hirsute, Birkenstock-wearing sisterhood — a refreshing feminist of a different order who personified the modern successful working mother.

Palin didn’t make a mess cracking the glass ceiling. She simply glided through it.

It was fun while it lasted.

Palin’s recent interviews with Charles Gibson, Sean Hannity, and now Katie Couric have all revealed an attractive, earnest, confident candidate. Who Is Clearly Out Of Her League.

No one hates saying that more than I do. Like so many women, I’ve been pulling for Palin, wishing her the best, hoping she will perform brilliantly. I’ve also noticed that I watch her interviews with the held breath of an anxious parent, my finger poised over the mute button in case it gets too painful. Unfortunately, it often does. My cringe reflex is exhausted." (see above link for more)

Strongly suggested reading:
The Journal:
Are Financial Bailouts a Good Idea?

Post by S. Stromsdorfere, Sept. 25, 08 4:55PM

Quoting former Atty General of NY.

WOW!

Billy Bob, Florida

The Dems have gotten themselves into another jam. They'll pull the Bushites' asses out of the fire, after which, when the plan implodes - and with money amounts as huge as this, and the solutions proposed so amorphous, it'll have to - they'll have a lot of 'splainin' to do, Lucy.
Then, the Repubs will trumpet that they hung tough, and the pussy-ass Dems caved to Wall Street.
No matter that the Repubs (with the notable exception of Ron Paul, Walter Jones and the rest of the fiscally responsible crowd) have been shameless lackeys of Wall Street for decades.
No matter that the Wall street pirates who brought us this mess will be ultimately in charge of handling the money, and a Republican administration gave them the power.
History will remember that when the plan fails, the Dems did it.
I, personally, do not see the big rush to this. It was almost as if the plan were already written, and, suddenly, it's hurry-up, hurry-up sign, sign.
If I were in Congress now, on the Democrat side of the aisle, I'd have to side with the Republican rebellion. So what if they're posturing - and they are. Prudence, ladies & gents, prudence.
The Dems that are vocal adherents of the plan are the same old corporate fat cats who always vote centrist anyway - Pelosi, Reid, Shumer, Dodd... Their pockets are lined by the firms requesting the bailout.

We need to hear more from Mr Bacevich. He needs to turn the screws harder on American politics as now we are facing this huge bail-out.

I have a solution. Mr Bush said last week that this is Democractic Capitalism in action. If his philosophy is true and it turned out that Paulson crys out that it pains him...let those billionaires & millionaires who support this philosophy put their money where their mouth is and help in this crises. Not so much with expert advice, but from their pockets and bank accounts where they made the millions & millions with their deals with Wall St & making money in their deals with private firms in Iraq. They made their money and if they have any conscious in their philosophy lets see some action.

The Soviet Union went through this and they suffered... and they came through it. Perhaps, the U.S. needs the same lesson as far as their philosophy on capitalism. Do not burden the ordinary folk with this debt.

I watch Bill Moyers' Journal on Denver's KRMA, channel 6. Tonight, Sept. 26, I was disappointed to find KRMA chose to air something else; some pretend analysis about the debate. I taped it, (haven't watched it yet) but know it's drivel, because PBS has gone to the dark side of commercial, corporate schlock that no longer even tries to pass for news or, god forbid, analysis and investigative journalism. Bill Moyers is my hero, along with Amy Goodman. (and Stewart and Colbert) My question is whether there was, indeed, a Bill Moyers Journal broadcast on tonight for Sept. 26, 2008. And did KRMA choose something OVER Moyers' Journal? This is scandalous. Mr. Moyers is the best person on tv. Nothing and no one is better, and KRMA should know this. I plan to call KRMA Monday and complain. I'd also like to suggest to Mr. Moyers' staff, that you all consider allowing the other, less well financed public tv channel in Denver, KBDI, channel 12, to play your show. They deserve you, Mr. Moyers, more than ch.6, KRMA, which has sold out. You are the best thing to happen to this country, maybe ever! I'm a huge fan. Thank you for all your hard work; thanks to Mr Winship, Mrs. Moyers, all those who help you.
-Sally Miles in Ft. Collins, Colorado

Casey,
You can get a sense of the fact that we were substantially on a war footing well before Pearl Harbor from the fact that there were very few if any 1940 or 1941 model American cars.

Amen, brother, amen. My maternal grandfather was a Georgia farmer who felt that Roosevelt's politicies put him out of business. However, I like your essay. So again, amen.

This country needs a forceful and determined leader like FDR.

It is my understanding that the Supreme Court, at that time, decided that FDR's New Deal efforts were unconstitutional and ruthlessly limited his abilities to expand his goals.

With $700 Billion in the hands of working Americans we can pay our own mortgages, start business's, revitalize our comunities, take back our independance and unify as we have in the past. We can do this because when another great leader stated he want to land a man on the moon we made it happen. At the beginning of World War II we were not yet geared for war, however once we were in it we had to get ready quickly and we did. We were attack by both Germany and Japan, but our leaders showed unshaken confidence which inspired this nation and we moved forward an won.

Although those wars did help the New Deal was the first step to prove we are a can do country, not to be forced into dispare.

Now is the time for our country to truly rebuild itself. To escape dependency on oil, the lobbyists, for all to have hope and share in a dream again.

700 billion - think what that would do if placed in the hands of those who seek alternative energy. The jobs created, the hope inspired - which would give us new industries and new markets. New jobs, new Hope.

But no - the $700 billion will go to keep the status quo, and the poor stay poor, the jobs still go over seas, hope is still lost - and our country is still at the mercy of Oil Barons. *sighs*

FDR implemented programs that gave hope and provided a safety net for some. It is my understanding that the depression really ended due to the run-up to WWII when we put industry to work in a very serious way in war production.

US industry is needed to produce our way out of this mess. The auto industry is a powerful part of this. We need innovative cars that could truly will solve the global warming problem by cutting use of oil for personal transportation by 80% to 90%. The first requirement here is an innovative spirit, where real needs are examined and open minded engineering is demanded. Traditional approaches should not be favored.

Then the financial community could get busy financing a revitalized industry.

And then jobs would be created so people could repay their mortgage loans.

Yes we need an FDR to put us on this track with the kind of enthusiasm that was demonstrated by WWII production.

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