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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-30-09 11:54 PM
Original message
President Obama and the Powers Behind the Throne
I was very interested to read 27inCalis recent DU post, Someone needs to say it, because this is a subject that I have thought and written about a great deal, especially in a post I titled The GAME.

The main theme of Someone needs to say it is that our country is largely controlled by powerful shadowy figures:

Obama doesn't really have the power to do a lot of the things we wish (and I'm sure he wishes) he could. He had to kiss a lot of rings to even get permission to run for President, let alone be ALLOWED to win. The President doesn't run this country, international banks and a handful of super-rich families do. We have to realize that our Democracy is fucked up to the point that the President really can't change the big injustices inherent in the system. The last one that tried got his head blown off in front of his wife in Texas.

In my post I said some similar things in different words, and I titled it The GAME to emphasize the fact that one of the main strategies of the powers in charge is to create an alternate reality for the American people to believe in. That is necessary because, as 27inCali put it, these people cant simply say to us, Hey! I want to rule the world, kneel before me! Instead, in order to get us to accept the status quo, they need to fool us into accepting a story line that differs considerably from reality.


Questions

I have a lot more questions than answers about this subject, many which I posed in my previous post: What is the purpose of the GAME? When did it start? What are its rules and boundaries, and how have they changed over time? Who makes the rules? Who enforces the rules? How do they enforce the rules? Who are the insiders who know more about it than anyone else? What does the U.S. Congress know about it? What have our Presidents known about it?

The more important question with respect to this post is, What is President Obamas relationship the shadowy powers that we speak of? Has he actually negotiated with them? Have they made it clear to him that his continuance in office depends on his satisfying their demands? Have they threatened him? I cant answer any of those questions, and I very much doubt that there are many who could. But it certainly seems that he has done a lot to placate some very powerful people. Lets take look at some of those things:


Some powerful interests that President Obama seems unwilling to challenge

The Bush administration war criminals
Prosecution of a U.S. President for war crimes or crimes against humanity would be a terrible thing for those with a great interest in maintaining the status quo. It would qualify as an admission that there are grave faults in American society, and it could spur Americans to think about how we reached that state of affairs.

For the rest of us, failure to prosecute a President and those in his administration who committed grave crimes would greatly facilitate the dissolution of our democracy. Democracy cannot exist in a nation when those in power are allowed to commit crimes with impunity. Such a nation is more akin to a monarchy or other type of dictatorship than it is to a democracy.

That is now the state of our nation. The Bush administration waged an aggressive war under false pretenses, routinely tortured its prisoners, and abolished the writ of habeas corpus. All of these things violated our national and international laws and our Constitution. They constitute the same kind of crimes for which we led the prosecution of Nazis in the Nuremberg Trials following World War II.

Yet, President Obama has thus far refused to take any steps towards prosecuting or investigating these crimes. Jonathan Turley puts this matter in perspective:

You know, some people say, what do you need, a film? We actually had films of us torturing people. So this would be the shortest investigation in history. You have Bush officials who have said that we tortured people. We have interrogators who have said we tortured people. The Red Cross has said it. A host of international organizations have said it. What is President Obama waiting for? And Im afraid the answer is a convenient moment.

The Military Industrial Complex
President Obamas latest plans for withdrawal from Iraq call for all combat troops to withdraw by August 31, 2010 (about 19 months after taking office), but leaving about 35,000 to 50,000 non-combat troops in Iraq. That plan is a little more hawkish than what Obama proposed during the campaign, which was withdrawal from Iraq within 16 months of taking office, while leaving some residual troops in place.

But why should it take 19 months to withdraw from Iraq? I have no special expertise in military matters, but for comparison purposes lets take a look at the timeline for withdrawal from Vietnam, once the decision was made to leave:

January 27, 1973: The Paris Peace Accords are signed by all parties, officially ending U.S. involvement in the war.
January 27, 1973: The last American soldier dies in combat in Vietnam
March 29, 1973: The last remaining American troops withdraw from Vietnam

That plan was a whole lot swifter and more complete than President Obamas plan for ending the war in Iraq. I dont claim to know for certain that there is no legitimate reason, other than appeasement of the MIC, for our occupation of Iraq to be prolonged that long. But what legitimate reason could there be? All were told is that thats how long it will take to safely withdraw from Iraq. Forty U.S. soldiers and unknown numbers of Iraqi civilians have died in 2009. What is our purpose in Iraq, now that we have decided to leave (except for 35,000 to 50,000 non-combat troops)?

Failing banks
All of the economists that I respect the most have the same opinion of the Obama administrations plan to pay hundreds of billions of additional taxpayer dollars into the continuing effort to bail out failing banks. What kind of economists do I respect? I respect those who explain things in a way that I can understand and who seek economic results that benefit all Americans rather than just Wall Street, in the hope (or not) that those benefits will trickle down to the rest of us. Here is what those economists had to say about the Geithner bailout plan:

Paul Krugman:
This isn't really about letting markets work. It's just an indirect, disguised way to subsidize purchases of bad assets. If this plan fails as it almost surely will it's unlikely that he'll (Obama) be able to persuade Congress to come up with more funds to do what he should have done in the first place.

Joseph Stiglitz:
The U.S. government plan to rid banks of toxic assets will rob American taxpayers by exposing them to too much risk and is unlikely to work as long as the economy remains weak. Quite frankly, this amounts to robbery of the American people.

Robert Reich:
In truth, the plan assumes trillions more from the Fed The idea is to lure private investors into buying up the banks' toxic assets, by having the Fed limit their downside risks. If private investors pay too much, the Fed picks up the tab. If the trillions of dollars the Fed has already committed and the trillions more it's about to commit can't be recouped, the federal debt explodes and you and I and other taxpayers are left holding the bag.

James Galbraith:
The plan is yet another massive, ineffective gift to banks and Wall Street. Taxpayers, of course, will take the hit The banks don't want to take their share of those losses because doing so will wipe them out. So they, and Geithner, are doing everything they can to pawn the losses off on the taxpayer. In Geithner's plan, this debt won't disappear. It will just be passed from banks to taxpayers

Dean Baker:
Treasury secretary Timothy Geithner's latest bank bailout plan is another Rube Goldberg contraption intended to funnel taxpayer dollars to bankrupt banks, without being overly transparent about the process.

The private health insurance industry
During the presidential campaign, candidate Obama promised a national health care plan in which the government would provide good quality health insurance to the American people.

But recently, Obama met with a group of right wing Republican U.S. Senators, who expressed concern over the damage to the health insurance industry that the Obama health care plan would likely cause:

Forcing free market plans to compete with these government-run programs would create an un-level playing field and inevitably doom true competition. Ultimately, we would be left with a single government-run program controlling all of the market.

In response, Obama assured the senators that he understood and would take seriously their concerns:

I recognize that private insurance plans might end up feeling overwhelmed. So I recognize that there's that concern. I think it's a serious one and a real one. And we'll make sure that it gets addressed

We dont know for sure yet which way the President will go with this, but rescinding his promise to offer government sponsored health insurance to the American people, and subsidizing private health insurance companies instead will do grave damage to his health care plan. It will mean inferior health care for the American people, and it will have the effect of pouring vast sums of taxpayer money into the coffers of private insurance companies.

Presidential prerogatives in the War on Terror
Obamas continuation of several Bush War on Terror policies is difficult to fathom. President Obama is continuing Bush policies on using the state secrets to shield criminals from criminal or civil law suits, abolishing the right to habeas corpus, and blurring the checks and balances of our Constitution regarding the separation of powers. David Cole discusses this in an article titled Bush Law Continued in The Nation:

Disturbingly, the Obama administration has continued the Bush administration's attempts to shield illegal exercises of executive authority from judicial review

The bottom line is that executive wrongdoing in connection with the conflict with Al Qaeda should be shielded from judicial scrutiny. because they involve "state secrets." On this theory, the executive can avoid any judicial review of criminal and unconstitutional wrongdoing simply by declaring its wrongs a secret.

The Obama administration has also adhered to the Bush administration's contention that the right of habeas corpus does not extend to detainees at Bagram Air Force Base in Afghanistan. Should the executive branch be permitted to avoid accountability for its detentions simply by incarcerating them in Afghanistan rather than in Cuba?

And in a case seeking damages for torture and other abuse at Guantnamo, the Obama administration has argued that Guantnamo detainees have no constitutional rights to due process, so that even if they were tortured, no constitutional rights were violated. The Supreme Court's ruling last year that the constitutional right of habeas corpus extends to Guantnamo rested on its determination that there is nothing impracticable about extending such rights there. The same reasoning would fully support the extension of due process rights yet the administration simply says no.

In the same lawsuit, the administration argues further that even if due process protects Guantnamo detainees, suits for damages against federal officials for violating detainees' rights should be dismissed because the suits involve matters of national security and foreign policy that are the "exclusive prerogative" of the political branches as if the Supreme Court had not already decided three cases directly challenging the legality of Guantnamo detentions.


Ambivalent feelings towards Barack Obama

Many of us (including me) have a lot of ambivalent feelings towards Barack Obama. 27inCali expressed those ambivalent feeling like this:

You can like Obama as a person and still realize that he doesn't have the POWER, even if he'd like to As much as you may love Obama, just realize that he is mostly a figure head, he can only do so much, the rest is up to us. We also aren't doing anyone any favors if we channel our anger and distrust at him as opposed to the assholes who are really in charge.

I share many of those same feelings. But if its true, as 27inCali suggests, that Obama is mostly a figurehead, then is he doing us or our country any good by acting in that capacity? Perhaps. Maybe hes waiting for an opening before making his big move.

William Greider seems to have many of the same feelings. On the one hand, he says Im a big fan of this President. But then he goes on to discuss the folly of handing over hundreds of billions of dollars to failing banks, how our country has long favored the powerful over the powerless, and how if we continue down that road we will become a corporate (i.e. fascist) state. He reaches that conclusion reluctantly but firmly:

The handing out of government guarantees and capital to hedge funds financial institutions founded on secrecy They don't even pretend to be transparent. We want reform, but we want it done right. And we want it done for the public interest, not for the old order. And everybody knows in this country that this has now been, for some years mainly a top down society.

And this will sound extreme to some people, but I came to it reluctantly. I fear what they're doing, not intentionally, but in their design is setting the crown for a corporate state. And by that I mean a rather small but very powerful circle of financial institutions the old Wall Street banks, famous names. But also some industrial corporations Too big to fail. Yes, watched closely by the Federal Reserve and others in government, but also protected by them The leading banks and corporations are sort of at the trough, ahead of everybody else in Washington, they will have the means to monopolize democracy. And I mean that literally. Some of my friends would say, hey, that already happened. The corporate state is here. The fact is, if the Congress goes down the road I see them going down, they will institutionalize the corporate state in a way that will be severely damaging to any possibility of restoring democracy.


So what can we do?

Ultimately, we can react only to what our elected leaders do not to what we think of them as persons. In that regard, it doesnt matter whether we love Barack Obama or hate him. If we disagree with his policies, then we have every right, even the obligation to make our opinions known regardless what we think of him as a person. William Greider goes further than that:

And I want people to grab their pitch forks, yes, and be unruly. Get in the streets. Be as noisy and as nonviolently provocative as you can be. And stop the politicians from going down that road. And let me add a lot of politicians need that to be able to stand up. Our President needs that to be able to stand up.

Bill Moyers, in his interview with Greider, asks him:

You describe President Obama as quote "trapped between the governing elites who decide things and the people who are governed." When does he finally have to choose sides?

Greider answered by making an analogy to FDRs handling of the Great Depression:

Here's my take on the New Deal and the history of what actually happened People in the streets or churches or wherever found their voice and made it happen by agitating and informing the higher authorities. In the early '30s, Franklin Roosevelt had a set of things he thought he could do to right the ship of the Depression. Meanwhile, organized labor, others, were all over the country lighting bonfires for bigger changes. Social security came out of that. Labor rights, the first attempt to give people the right to organize their own voices in a company came out of that. A whole bunch of other reforms that we now take for granted. And Roosevelt didn't stand athwart and try to stop them. But he let them roll him. And what I hope for now. That people of every stripe will stand up and say, we love you Mr. President, but you don't have it right yet. And we're going to bang on your door until you get it right.


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MarjorieG Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-31-09 12:34 AM
Response to Original message
1. Comprehensive, but I believe much of the crisis is worse than we can know, want to know.
Problems global, with world blaming us for creating this, and want help this country doesn't want to provide.

I'm certain that Obama's motives are for a healthy economy to serve us all, and the rest flows from there. Solutions are beyond complicated.
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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-31-09 08:41 AM
Response to Reply #1
14. I don't doubt that the crisis is worse than we know
I'm not imputing bad motives to Obama. I don't know what his motives are. I very much want to believe that they are the best -- but I'm not going to just assume that to be the case.

Anyhow, whatever his motives are, I find many of his decisions to be disturbing and frightening. I wish we had better explanations for some of them.
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Mermaid7 Donating Member (156 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-31-09 08:44 PM
Response to Reply #14
85. Me too
Believe me I do, and want to love him, but I'm feeling really concerned. Is he, strong? Is he who when I voted, I hoped he would be?

Or is he owned?

Please tell me it's not so.

I've heard about unrealistic exceptions, the messiah complex.

But if I am too be completely honest, I was hoping, as I am sure many were, that this was true.

Please don't tell us all, it was a deal, and he is beholden to the dark force.

I don't think I could take this.

That it was a trade deal,...we let you in...but you behave as we prescipt...

Lord help us, if this is remotely true.

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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-31-09 09:39 PM
Response to Reply #85
102. Well, there are many different possible interpretations
It's possible, for example, that he had to make some deals, but that he believes that once he gets his foot solidly in the door he can make improvements for our country that nobody could otherwise make. Or something to that effect. Like I said earlier, I have a lot more questions than answers. Hopefully, the human race will continue to improve over time, and eventually we will have the kind of society that we can be very proud of. But as it is right now, I think we have a long way to go.
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JDPriestly Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-01-09 01:22 AM
Response to Reply #102
132. It's also possible that he is afraid.
Iraq could very well fall apart once we step back. There is still a lot of violence there.

We have a huge problem with our trade imbalance. Our debts to other countries make us beholden to them.

The American people are used to a very high living standard that is no longer sustainable. Obama has to get enough votes to take actions. The Republicans in the Senate and in the south are an impediment to his more progressive plans.

The environment is in far more danger than any of of us comprehend.

Organizing the American people, even just informing the American people is virtually impossible today. People talk to other people in churches, in schools, in their workplaces, maybe at a ball game or a cultural event. But, for the most part, we live in a lonely society in which people go home, watch TV, communicate via the internet. The corporate media has taken the place of one-on-one communication of political ideas.

You can talk to your family and your neighbors, but that is about it. How do you organize in a society like ours? I really don't know. We don't have the same kind of opportunities to reach people that we had in the Roosevelt era.
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KakistocracyHater Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-31-09 11:25 PM
Response to Reply #85
123. Eisenhower mentioned the mic
& see the film Dogs of War for a quickie peek; the fact theat weapons companies are private & therefore their sole aim is to make money. This is why I have tried to put outthe idea of daisy cutter bombs take out the lethal shrapnal & put in fire retardent foam/gel.

The weapons MUST develop PEACETIME uses.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cremation_of_care

Camps

There are also sleeping quarters, or "camps" scattered throughout the grove, of which it is reported there were a total of 118 as of 2007. These camps, which are frequently patrilineal, are the principal means through which high-level business and political contacts and friendships are formed.<2>

The pre-eminent camps are:<9><2><10>

* Hill Billies (Big Business/Banking/Politics/Universities/Media);
* Mandalay (Big Business/Defense Contractors/Politics/U.S. Presidents);
* Cave Man (Think Tanks/Oil Companies/Banking/Defense Contractors/Universities/Media);
* Stowaway (Rockefeller Family Members/Oil Companies/Banking/Think Tanks);
* Uplifters (Corporate Executives/Big Business);
* Owls Nest (U.S. Presidents/Military/Defense Contractors);
* Hideaway (Foundations/Military/Defense Contractors);
* Isle of Aves (Military/Defense Contractors);
* Lost Angels (Banking/Defense Contractors/Media);
* Silverado squatters (Big Business/Defense Contractors);
* Sempervirens (Californian-based Corporations);
* Hillside (Military Joint Chiefs of Staff);
* Idlewild (California-based Corporations)


See anything here that rings a bell?
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JackRiddler Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-01-09 12:47 PM
Response to Reply #1
146. Please speak for yourself. Small-d democrats want to know.
Otherwise we can just make even the identity of the president or the written law into national security secrets and go out to till the fields for our feudal lords. Democracy is knowledge. Power is knowledge. No knowledge is slavery.
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slipslidingaway Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-31-09 12:45 AM
Response to Original message
2. Wonderful summary across various problems...to the greatest
thanks.

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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-31-09 01:27 PM
Response to Reply #2
24. Thank you
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leftstreet Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-31-09 01:09 AM
Response to Original message
3. "we're going to bang on your door until you get it right"
THAT is how we support Obama

:thumbsup:

K&R
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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-31-09 08:38 PM
Response to Reply #3
83. Absolutely -- That can be the most productive kind of support
:thumbsup:
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ddeclue Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-31-09 01:11 AM
Response to Original message
4. Tin Foil Hat Much???
:crazy:
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Peace Patriot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-31-09 05:34 AM
Response to Reply #4
10. I've had it with this phrase "Tin Foil Hat" being used to try to shut down debate.
If you have something to say about the OP, say it. You don't agree with it? You have some other explanation for Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld's apparent immunity from prosecution, or for the continued War on Iraq, or for the other points raised, regarding the quite visible limits on Obama's power? Say it. Give your perspective. But don't put down someone else's thoughtful post with this all-purpose "shut the fuck up" phrase. Please. You don't think there's any kind of conspiracy, and it's just accident and coincidence that a few rich people are being given trillions of dollars of future taxpayers' money with virtually no strings attached? You think the continued occupation of Iraq is not a major breach of contract between Obama and the American people, requiring a better explanation than he has given? You think these things were not planned by anybody, and that Obama's apparent powerlessness to undo them are not worthy of notice or discussion? Okay. I can argue with you--and so could Time for Change--on those points. But calling it "Tin Foil Hat" and then running away, is kind of like a kid throwing rock. It's the way Rush Limbaugh argues. Throw the rock, and cut off any callers who might disagree.
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radiclib Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-31-09 06:51 AM
Response to Reply #10
12. Damn!
I wish I'd said that :applause:
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shadowknows69 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-31-09 08:57 AM
Response to Reply #12
15. Me too, Bravo!
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OwnedByFerrets Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-31-09 05:23 PM
Response to Reply #12
48. Me Too!!
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Hannah Bell Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-31-09 07:09 AM
Response to Reply #10
13. ditto. sick of the folks who go for name calling to shut down & divert the discussion.
or sideline it into flame war.
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chill_wind Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-31-09 10:47 AM
Response to Reply #10
20. Beautifully said. Thank you.
:thumbsup:
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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-31-09 11:47 AM
Response to Reply #10
21. Thank you Peace Patriot -- As you say, using phrases like that do indeed serve to cut off
meaningful discussion.

That's exactly what TPTB want. Nobody uses that phrase more than them and their followers. They use it precisely for the purpose of cutting off discussion and marginalizing those who pose a threat to them through independent thought. Independent thought is enemy # 1 for those who seek to maintain their ill-gotten power.
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G_j Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-31-09 06:58 PM
Response to Reply #21
61. I've always felt the word "bash" worked like that
there are many ways to say "shut up".
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SammyWinstonJack Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-31-09 01:29 PM
Response to Reply #10
25. .
:thumbsup:
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datasuspect Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-31-09 02:21 PM
Response to Reply #10
32. you're right, it's the stock-in-trade of intellectually bankrupt
sophists.
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FiveGoodMen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-31-09 02:51 PM
Response to Reply #10
37. :applause: :applause: :applause: :applause:
:applause: :applause: :applause: :applause: :applause:
:applause: :applause: :applause: :applause: :applause:
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Prometheus Bound Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-31-09 03:34 PM
Response to Reply #10
40. Yup.
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fascisthunter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-31-09 04:13 PM
Response to Reply #10
42. about time someone says it
Edited on Tue Mar-31-09 04:13 PM by fascisthunter
good on ya Peace Patriot
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Kaleko Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-31-09 05:12 PM
Response to Reply #10
45. Only in America
do large swaths of the under-eductated population believe that conspiracies never happen in big business and government dealings. Everybody else knows full well that conspiring to do one thing while proclaiming another is the usual routine.

Time to expose this canard as part of a decades-long and very successful CIA disinformation campaign.
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DireStrike Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-31-09 05:24 PM
Response to Reply #10
49. Right-the hell-on!
Absurd. I don't know how this sort of mindset gets any traction here.
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bvar22 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-31-09 07:03 PM
Response to Reply #10
62. !
Well said.
:thumbsup:

Much better than the "Fuck You AND your Stupid Horse" that I was going to post.
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flyarm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-31-09 10:01 PM
Response to Reply #10
107. Thank you Time for change, excellent post and thank you also Peace Patriot
you both nailed it!! Although for differing reasons!!

fly
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Brucie Kibbutz Donating Member (704 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-31-09 01:55 PM
Response to Reply #4
28. see post #10
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hootinholler Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-31-09 05:19 PM
Response to Reply #28
46. In the same context...
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Brucie Kibbutz Donating Member (704 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-31-09 05:49 PM
Response to Reply #46
52. you wish
Go play with your toys.

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Jim Sagle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-31-09 08:56 PM
Response to Reply #4
91. Evan Bayh, is that you?
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glitch Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-31-09 09:38 PM
Response to Reply #4
101. Your posts are usually more intelligent than this.
Or am I thinking of someone else?
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HCE SuiGeneris Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-31-09 09:49 PM
Response to Reply #4
105. Monster fail.


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jemma Donating Member (43 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-31-09 10:04 PM
Response to Reply #4
108. What are ya ddeclue?
One of those "Coincidence Theorists"?

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liberalsince1968 Donating Member (245 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-01-09 06:49 PM
Response to Reply #4
155. Head in the sand much???
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Mithreal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-31-09 01:12 AM
Response to Original message
5. K&R eom
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No.23 Donating Member (517 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-31-09 01:14 AM
Response to Original message
6. The litmus test for determining if you are leashed or not...
Edited on Tue Mar-31-09 01:15 AM by No.23
is not how successful They are at getting you to avoid the need for change.

Rather, it's how successful They are at getting you to buy into a false one.

Thus far, it seems that They have been very successful.

With a critical mass of the population.
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FrenchieCat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-31-09 01:17 AM
Response to Original message
7. I'm finding myself saying this over and over again.....
Edited on Tue Mar-31-09 01:30 AM by FrenchieCat
Calling the game in a middle of a play is a foul.


BANKS


Wagoner's exit puts BofA CEO Lewis in hotseat

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Bank of America Corp Chief Executive Kenneth Lewis may be the next corporate boss to feel the heat after the administration forced General Motors Corp Chief Executive Rick Wagoner to resign in return for further government assistance.

The second-largest U.S. bank has received $45 billion from the government, making it one of the biggest recipients of government bailout money in the banking system.

Big shareholders have been calling for Lewis to step down since Bank of America announced in January it took a $20 billion government bailout to secure the acquisition of troubled Merrill Lynch & Co, which lost almost $16 billion in the last quarter of 2008.

The government may now add to the pressure from shareholders, analysts said. The sudden departure of Wagoner after nine years in the top job at GM signals the Obama administration is looking for management changes at bailed-out companies.

"His longevity in the job is probably very much in question," said Keith Wirtz, chief investment officer of Fifth Third Asset Management and a former CIO at a Bank of America subsidiary. Fifth Third holds shares in the bank.

more
http://www.reuters.com/article/newsOne/idUSTRE52T6DP200...

--------------------------------------------------

Proposed outline of regulatory framework:


On taking over institutions:

"Depending on the circumstances, the FDIC and the Treasury would place the firm into conservatorship with the aim of returning it to private hands or a receivership that would manage the process of winding down the firm. The trustee of the conservatorship or receivership would have broad powers, including to sell or transfer the assets or liabilities of the institution in question, to renegotiate or repudiate the institution's contracts (including with its employees), and to deal with a derivatives book. A conservator would also have the power to restructure the institution by, for example, replacing its board of directors and its senior officers. None of these actions would be subject to the approval of the institution's creditors or other stakeholders." (Among other things, the trustee can step in, sell or keep whatever he or she felt was best for the company, completely replace the BoD, eliminate any necessary executives, void contracts and do so without stock or debt holder approval.)

Hedge funds -(This has been a long time coming):
"U.S. law generally does not require hedge funds or other private pools of capital to register with a federal financial regulator, although some funds that trade commodity derivatives must register with the Commodity Futures Trading Commission and many funds register voluntarily with the Securities and Exchange Commission. As a result, there are no reliable, comprehensive data available to assess whether such funds individually or collectively pose a threat to financial stability. The Madoff episode is just one more reminder that, in order to protect investors, we must close gaps and weaknesses in the regulation and enforcement of broker-dealers, investment advisors and the funds they manage."

ivatives and swaps:
"In our proposed regulatory framework, the government will regulate the markets for credit default swaps and over-the-counter derivatives for the first time."

(This is just the first part of the proposals for the swaps, the others are well worth reading.)

http://www.treas.gov/press/releases/tg72.htm

--------------------------------
problem with Krugman, et al and their theories.....

When economists don't address the issue of how world investors would react to the largest capitalistic country on Earth nationalizing its financial institutions (which in themselves represent capitalism) as Krugman has recommended, it makes their theories extremely narrow and blind to large uncontrolled variables that play into our markets, and our economy daily.

I would hope and do believe that Krugman does understand that countries like China and others who hold our debt do so in part because of the stability the American political system and all that it entails. America was built on capitalism, and to suddently having it change course as drastically as Krugman suggests, would send a signal of panic, and one would see investors with hair on fire cashing out of government bonds as quickly as you can say Boo, and the market crash would be so severe, I'm not sure this country would recover.

Does Krugman ever discuss his bet on the reaction of investors, which because the US is in such large deficits, could result in the US becoming a 3rd world nation? I'm curious on this.

An overt act of nationalization such as Krugman suggest, as opposed to the covert one which is what the Obama administration are signaling (by virtue of the power they are asking from congress), in reference to one of our largest institutions such as BoA or Citi would have unintended consequences.

Currently we have the luxury of effectively nationalizing private debt through the issuance of government debt at very low rates (The principal amount of debt is less relevant than cost of carrying it). We get these low rates, because many foreign buyers of treasuries believe things are worse where they are than where we are. The nationalization of a major American banking institution, no matter how justified, would be a public acknowledgement that our system is broken to a point of no return. This would shake the confidence of our international investors who hold our debt. There could be a a run on not only the banks, but our government by the debt holders. There is a possibility that this wouldn't happen, but that is not a bet anyone would want to risk because if compared to the cost of bailing the banks out through giving them a gift of shadow capital, nationalization reaction could be a tragic disaster for this country.

I think that the administration understand this well, which is why they are doing what they are doing, as opposed to what Krugman is calling for.

----------------------------------

Right now, Obama's got a job to do, regardless of the rings and the kisses.....
and that is save the global economy.



The fact that the counterparties are overseas means that out of the three options: bailout, bankruptcy, or nationalization none are satisfactory.

A bailout means that the government makes good on the value of the securities, including the derivatives which are tied to the collapse of the U.S. economy. That means the worse things get, the more money flows out of the country. Not politically acceptable.

Letting insolvent banks go bankrupt is the option being pushed by some politicians, including John McCain. In some ways it would be the cleanest solution, allowing the bankruptcy courts and the FDIC to do the tough job of allocating the losses from the toxic securities.

The problem, though, is that they tried the bankruptcy option with Lehman, and they nearly broke the global financial system in the process. The Lehman bankruptcy backfired, creating new panic around the world. This reflects how much money many foreign investors had put into the U.S., and how many worried about losing it when Lehman went under.

Nationalization creates a political problem. Once the government buys a company, it is financially and morally responsible for its debts. It puts the U.S. government in the position of either using taxpayer money to bailout foreign investors, or telling foreign investors, no, the richest country in the world is not going to pay its debts.

Whats the solution?

Conclusion:

Sometime later this year we will have a massive global conference aimed at simultaneously resolving the banking crises in the major developed countries. The goal will be a political negotiation of the value of the toxic assets, and a clearing of the books.

If the conference succeeds, then it will be possible to fix the financial system relatively easily. But if it fails, then things get dicey.

http://www.businessweek.com/the_thread/economicsunbound...



folks are asking for an awful lot, and yet have only given this President very few days. To attempt to come to a conclusion in reference to a tin hat theory after 70 days of a presidency, pointing out what hasn't been done yet is....well, I call foul!

--------------------------------------

As for the MIC, give it a minute, cause ain't nobody said shit about this while sitting in the seat of the presidency since Eisenhower! But maybe there's hope! :)

Gates readies big cuts in weapons
Battle looms with Congress

Boston Globe

WASHINGTON -
snip
The United States "cannot expect to eliminate national security risks through higher defense budgets, to do everything and buy everything," Gates said. The next defense secretary, he warned, would have to eliminate some costly hardware and invest in new tools for fighting insurgents.

What Gates didn't know was that he would be that successor.

Now, as the only Bush Cabinet member to remain under President Obama, Gates is preparing the most far-reaching changes in the Pentagon's weapons portfolio since the end of the Cold War, according to aides.

Two defense officials who were not authorized to speak publicly said Gates will announce up to a half-dozen major weapons cancellations later this month. Candidates include a new Navy destroyer, the Air Force's F-22 fighter jet, and Army ground-combat vehicles, the offi cials said.

More cuts are planned for later this year after a review that could lead to reductions in programs such as aircraft carriers and nuclear arms, the officials said.

As a former CIA director with strong Republican credentials, Gates is prepared to use his credibility to help Obama overcome the expected outcry from conservatives. And after a lifetime in the national security arena, working in eight administrations, the 65-year-old Gates is also ready to counter the defense companies and throngs of retired generals and other lobbyists who are gearing up to protect their pet projects.

"He has earned a great deal of credibility over the past two years, both inside and outside the Pentagon, and now he is prepared to use it to lead the department in a new direction and bring about the changes he believes are necessary to protect the nation's security," said Geoff Morrell, the Pentagon press secretary.
http://www.boston.com/news/nation/washington/articles/2... /








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Peace Patriot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-31-09 05:13 AM
Response to Reply #7
9. Yeah, but how about the UNFRIGGINGBELIEVABLE crimes of the Bush Junta, Frenchie Cat?
Your "crying foul" might have more credibility if we were talking about ONLY ONE THING--such as the bailouts...

"folks are asking for an awful lot, and yet have only given this President very few days. To attempt to come to a conclusion in reference to a tin hat theory after 70 days of a presidency, pointing out what hasn't been done yet is....well, I call foul!

But Time for Change has mentioned SEVERAL critically important issues on which Barack Obama's hands seem to be tied--including ending the Iraq War, universal health care, bailing out of the banks and not the people, and turning his back entirely on investigation/prosecution of the worst criminal gang ever to seize control of a powerful nation--a fascist junta utterly without precedent in the United States, with a list of MAJOR crimes long enough to circle the earth.

That--and the 'TRADE SECRET' code voting systems fast-tracked all over the country during the 2002 to 2004 period, with the code owned and controlled by rightwing Bushite corporations, and with virtually no audit/recount controls--are what lead me to agree with Time For Change that Barack Obama, a) was permitted to win the election, and b) is under severe constraints on several vital issues, including restoring the rule of law, ending the Forever War, and curtailing the power of global corporations.

Where I may differ with Time For Change is that I think "pitchforks" (i.e., big street protests, or mass campaigns of any sort) have been rendered obsolete and ineffective by the corpo/fascist 'news' monopolies and police state tactics, but most of all--the absolutely critical part--by corporate privatization of the voting system. We could put a million people in the streets--and in fact did so on the Iraq War--and it is simply irrelevant. Those who rule over us are DEAF to our protests. In Feb 03, just before the invasion of Iraq, nearly 60% of the American people opposed that war (all polls). They were ignored. How could this be? The answer is that Bush/Cheney were guaranteed 're-election' in 2004 by Diebold & brethren, and therefore had no reason to give a fuck what the American people thought. That secret, undemocratic power over the voting system, which was instigated by Congress in the same month as the Iraq War Resolution (Oct 02), is the key to everything: the Iraq War, the torture of prisoners, the spying, the unfriggingbelievable looting, the massive lawlessness and malfeasance, and the total lack of accountability and the apparent immunity of these criminals for any of their unfriggingbelievable crimes.

And it is the key to the constraints on Barack Obama, whose statement that he "wants to look forward, not backward," as to accountability for this gang of master criminals, is just lame, and requires explanation. What the heck is that all about? He's a Constitutional scholar. He's knows what the issues are. He knows how important the laws are that they wantonly broke. This weak, almost brainless statement of his doesn't make sense--because he is NOT brainless. If Bush, Cheney or Rumsfeld had said it, I wouldn't blink. I expect lies, twisted logic and idiocy from them. Not from Obama. And I think Obama is telling a lie of omission when he makes such a stupid statement. He is not telling us WHY they are immune from prosecution. It's sort of like the banks: they are too powerful to fail. They are beyond the law. How, specifically, they were immunized is a matter of speculation--and something I have speculated about*--but the FACT of their immunity is plain to see. They are NOT going to be pursued, any more than the Iraq War is ever going to be over--because what the U.S. troops are there for is to protect the oil contracts, and that job will never be done. And the two are connected: the hijacking of the U.S. military for a corporate resource war, and their immunity for any of the crimes that were committed in the course of that war. And both the war and their immunity are intimately connected to how they stayed in power in 2004.

And how they stayed in power in 2004 is still in place. The voting system is nearly 100% NON-TRANSPARENT. There is hardly a public official in this country who can prove that he or she was actually elected--and that includes Barack Obama. I believe that Obama was elected--based on external evidence--but I can't prove it either. The proof is not there. Our elections are NOT verifiable. And so, what does this mean? It means that the rightwing Bushwhack corporations that control the voting system with 'TRADE SECRET' code can easily--EASILY!--deny Obama re-election in 2012 (and re-install a fascist junta). So, he is much more beholden to the fascist fucks who are running things than he is to us--to we, the people.

And I am not exaggerating when I say "fascist fucks." One of the three major PRIVATE corporations that has control of the PRIVATE, 'TRADE SECRET,' PROPRIETARY code in the voting system is ES&S, whose initial investor and major funder is the reclusive, far rightwing billionaire, Howard Ahmanson, who also gave one million dollars to the extremist 'christian' Chalcedon foundation, which touts the death penalty for homosexuals (among other things). And the two other PRIVATE corporations that own and control the 'TRADE SECRET' code are not much better. THAT is who controls the vote counting, with a ZERO audit in half the voting systems in the country, and a miserably inadequate 1% audit in the rest. Completely unverified, and unverifiable, elections.

A president elected in conditions like this has only very limited powers to change things. It is not his fault. In fact, I think that whatever compromises he has made, and whatever secret deals he has made or agreed to, in order to be permitted into the White House, have all been done in good faith, and in the hope that he can do some good for our democracy and our people, in whatever limited ways he can. I have no ill feelings about Obama whatsoever. I think he is extremely intelligent, and potentially a great leader. But I think it is foolish not to see the obvious: for instance, that he cannot prosecute Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld. It is not a choice--and his lame statement about it indicates just how little of a choice it is. It is a condition of his presidency that he cannot go after them.

This has grave consequences for us and our democracy, but Obama does not have the power to change this. We may ultimately have that power--depending on how we proceed, as a people--but he does not have it. And here I think I agree with you: It is time to stop expecting him to change this, when he cannot, and start creating the conditions for the return of the rule of law ourselves. THE NUMBER ONE CONDITION FOR THE RULE OF LAW IS TRANSPARENT ELECTIONS!

And THAT is still a matter between you and me and other Americans, and our state/local election officials, who still have the power to choose the voting system.

--------------------

*(My guess is that a 'white hat'/'gray hat' group of powerful insiders--including top military brass and intelligence officials, and some top corpo/politicos--a group or coalition which I think included both Bush Sr, and Leon Panetta, who was a member of Bush Sr's Iraq Study Group, and--my guess--long been a top player in the CIA--took action to prevent Cheney/Rumsfeld from nuking Iran and declaring martial law here, and bargained with them, using immunity from impeachment/future prosecution as the bargaining chip. Circa 2006. The visible effects were Rumsfeld's resignation, and Nancy Pelosi's strange announcement that "impeachment is off the table." And, of course, no nuking, bombing or invasion of Iran--which seemed so imminent at the time. Somehow that got put "off the table" as well. Probably the military figured they would be facing Chinese or Russian military action in defense of Iran. The risks of escalation were great--up to and including planetary armageddon. In short, Cheney/Rumsfeld had gone too far, and they had to be curtailed, and convinced to leave peacefully when the time came. This is just a guess, of course, but it makes sense. How did both Iran and impeachment get "taken off the table"? WHAT 'table'?)

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KoKo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-31-09 10:00 AM
Response to Reply #9
17. Bush II and the Corporate State (Military-Industial) went too far...
and the "PTB" were afraid the peasant revolt would be overwhelming...so the bargain was made with the Clintons and Obama that some changes would be allowed, around the margins that would appease the people for a little while. The "kid" (as Poppy called his little evil spawn)screwed up and exposed too much of the structure (PTB) and so the "change" would be promoted and the voting machines would be relaxed if it looked like "change" was catching on and when it turned out to be the first African-American President...it was so much the better because it would take the heat off the criminals who program these machines and shoot down the efforts at verified paper ballots and audits that had been pushed for by tireless activits since "Stolen Election 2000." If Hillary and Bill (who had already made the bargain with the "PTB") had managed to overturn the Obama charisma then they would have governed probably much like Obama is doing. The bargain was made and in hindsight it gets easier for many of us who've been in the trenches since the mid-90's and earlier to see how it's all been carefully orchestrated.

When we saw Dems cave (under Daschle when had the one vote majority) to the early appointments of an "installed President" many of us had suspicious. When we watched the Republicans pull every trick or parliamentary procedure on the books to push through Bush/Cheney/Neo-Con policies and were told there was nothing Dems could do we worked harder to try to get more Dems in there. And, yet after 2006 elections when were our Dems ever able to use the same tricks and parliamentary maneuvers that the Repugs used and still threaten sending our Dems cowering and spewing frustration, making excuses about the dreaded filibuster hanging over their heads. We were promised voting reform after 2000, 2002 and yet we were never able to get it through the House & Senate. Why would that be? Why was that not the Democrats first action in '06. That's another sign that Dems were told to back off and keep stringing us along. So many other issues we were told would be addressed by Congress actually were voted for but died in the Senate. Always thwarted with amendments and even sentences (supposedly inserted by anonymous staffers) in laws passed in the night that change a law from it's original language. We don't find out about this until long after the damage is done.

I agree that Obama is the very best we could hope for in a Democratic President at this time. But, like you, the OP and others here who've been working for change these many years, it seems obvious that it will be up to us to keep after Obama and support the fragile new groups who are working so hard to overthrow the "PTB"...the Think Tanks and Corporations who have dominated us since the end of WWII.

We have to be hopeful that having Obama in there for four years will give us a chance to build on what has been started in a "New Movement." It will be a breather, but I don't expect real reforms until many years from now. As Obama said: "This isn't just turning a speed boat around in the water.."

What he and the fragile new coalitions are up against is so entrenched that it has taken the collapse of everything we believed in to expose it. It will have to get much worse before the whole population of this country can understand what some of us out here already know from having tried to fight against it.



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Kaleko Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-31-09 07:13 PM
Response to Reply #17
63. When you look at what has been done,
rather than what the public has been told, there is no escape from the conclusions you, the OP and Peace Patriot have drawn. One of the best threads ever on DU.

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Jim Sagle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-31-09 09:10 PM
Response to Reply #9
96. Your asterisked note is highly speculative - as it would necessarily have to be.
But it makes more sense than anything else I've read or thought. The sense of wanton physical threat that emanated like a poison gas from our Resident may be just my imagination, but I doubt it. Does anything but raw perosnal fear explain how such a vastly unpopular misleader could somehow get nearly everything he demanded from a compliant congress even AFTER a crushing electoral defeat in 2006?
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Kalun D Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-01-09 01:30 AM
Response to Reply #9
133. Good
Post!
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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-31-09 06:47 AM
Response to Reply #7
11. Calling the game in the middle of a play is a foul?
I'm not sure what you mean by that. Those of us who criticize some of Obama's policies are not "calling the game". We're voicing our concern over what we believe are bad decisions. This has nothing to do with how much time he's been in office. We are not complaining that he hasn't found a solution to the recession yet. We're concerned about some of the decisions that he's making.

Whenever a nation's citizens disagree with their government's decisions it is perfectly reasonable that they would object to them and criticize them. To adopt any other attitude is to shut off debate. It's almost like saying that it's foul to protest against a war -- any war -- because until it's over the war is always "in the middle of a play".

With regard to your discussion of the harm that refusing to bail out the banks will do to the confidence of investors and China, I don't see a link there. Is that your own opinion, or are you quoting an article?

In any event, it doesn't ring true to me. Any discussion of the issue that emphasizes the reactions of investors without mentioning the dire economic straits of so many millions of our nation's citizens, I am very suspicious of. It reminds me very much of trickle down economics -- Take care of those on top first, and everyone will benefit.

The big talking point behind the dire necessity of bailing out the banks is that we have to get them lending again in order to revive the economy. Yet we pour in hundreds of billions of dollars with no strings attached, and it doesn't make a dent in their lending. If lending is the problem, why does the government have to pour massive sums of money into banks? Why doesn't it just lend directly to the people who need it most? James Galbraith addresses this issue (from my link in the OP):

The economy is in trouble because American consumers and businesses took on way too much debt and are now collapsing under the weight of it... The banks, meanwhile, are lending. They just aren't lending as much as they used to... The banks aren't lending (much) because they have decided to stop making loans to people and companies who can't pay them back... Consumers don't have room to take on more debt, even if the banks are willing to give it to them.


So, if massive debt is the main problem, rather than a stall in lending (which makes a lot more sense to me), then how will pouring hundreds of billions or trillions of dollars into failing banks solve the problem? It will just add massively to our debt.



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datasuspect Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-31-09 02:24 PM
Response to Reply #11
33. you have to be very careful of the propangandist imperative inherent in a phrase like "calling the
Edited on Tue Mar-31-09 02:24 PM by datasuspect
game."

it's a marketing-driven rhetorical gambit perfected by our owners and most often used by right-wing elements.

all it does is cheapen the meaning of complex issues by encapsulating it in a sound-bite friendly way so that enough people repeat it often enough to seem real.

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DireStrike Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-31-09 05:31 PM
Response to Reply #33
50. Whoever perfected it, everyone uses it.
Edited on Tue Mar-31-09 05:31 PM by DireStrike
Figuratively speaking.

To call it propagandist imperative goes right up to the line of implying that the guy is in league, or of a mind with, right-wing elements as you say. It's not fair to do that to the guy, unless you've seen a trend in his posts or something, for simply using a rhetorical device. Many people have learned ways to control debates. There's no correlation with... I'm not sure what you're correlating his post with.

I don't even know if it's fair to criticize his mindset. It's a widely used rhetorical tactic. People even pick it up from those who use it maliciously.
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bvar22 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-31-09 07:21 PM
Response to Reply #7
67. However, calling a FOUL in the middle of a play....
...is entirely appropriate.
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certainot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-31-09 04:38 AM
Response to Original message
8. biggest obstruction enabler is the talk radio monopoly with 1000 local stations
that blast the countryside with anti democratic lies and distortions 24/7 like some king of giant Paul Revere in reverse and are completely ignored by progressives/liberals/dems.

until that monopoly is broken up obama and democracy-loving americans will have to keep playing a lot of catch up.
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mod mom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-31-09 01:49 PM
Response to Reply #8
27. Yep the Money Party took care of that w the Telecom Act of '96. Look who were the experts
on the economy today:

on the Today show: Erin Burnett and Jim Cramer

on Good Morning America: Bill O'Reilly (discussing what Obama has to do at the G-20, his area of expertise)

on CBS show: Republican idiot Senator Bob Corker

:mad:
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JDPriestly Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-01-09 02:36 AM
Response to Reply #27
136. I don't watch American news shows any more.
Edited on Wed Apr-01-09 02:48 AM by JDPriestly
It's worth learning a couple of foreign languages just to have access of real information.

In support of the OP, this is an interesting read:

Tim Geithners new nominee for number two at the Treasury Department, Neal Wolin, played a key role in drafting legislation in the late 1990s deregulating the banking system, a former Treasury Department official confirms to us.

The law that Wolin helped draft has been blamed by some critics, many of them Democrats, for easing up regulatory pressure on huge financial institutions, tangentially helping create todays mess and his role drafting it could come under questioning at his upcoming confirmation hearings.

. . . . .

Wolin who was picked after several other candidates passed on the slot did the legal work under then-Treasury Secretary Larry Summers, who is now Obamas head of the National Economic Council. The difference here is that Summers post, unlike Wolins, is a non-confirmable one, so he hasnt been pressed publicly on Gramm-Leach-Bliley. The question now is whether Wolin will come under sharp questioning over his role in creating it.

http://theplumline.whorunsgov.com/economy/nominee-for-t... /

So, Obama is appointing more of the same-old-same-old. Is this Naomi Klein's Shock Doctrine come to life or isn't it? I say, tighten your seat-belts.

If Obama or anyone else tries to cut Social Security, there will be a serious problem. Senior citizens are something to contend with when they become angry. They get a lot of sympathy from the public, cannot be viewed as posing a credible threat of violence to anyone, have a lot of time, no employment opportunities and generally get by on a minimal amount of money in any event, so if their incomes are cut to the extent that they react, it's time for politicians to sit up and take notice. The one crowd the government cannot afford to ire in the U.S. is senior citizens. That is especially true now that the 60s generation is moving into its senior years. nformation.
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BeFree Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-31-09 09:10 AM
Response to Original message
16. Obama told us...
....that he needed us to make the change we need happen.

He said so himself!

I'd like to hear him say it again. He needs to let us in on some of the things that he now knows are opposing the change he sees needs to happen, and then inform us as to how we can effect that change.

He is our leader, he needs to lead us. If we the people don't get with it and get it done, it won't happen! But if we don't know just what it is that needs to be done, we are where we are today - scattered and fighting amongst ourselves.

Many of us got together and changed the course of how our votes are counted, see Peace Patriots post above, and while we haven't finished that action, we did turn it around against great opposition. It was the people who made that change happen then, it will only be the people who make it happen tomorrow.

President Obama, take a minute and tell us what to do!
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KoKo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-31-09 10:25 AM
Response to Reply #16
19. Possibly, we just can't depend on him to tell us.
Edited on Tue Mar-31-09 10:27 AM by KoKo
We just need to keep working on what has been exposed and support the groups that are working to expose more and fight for solutions. What many of us here have been working on all along: voting reform, restoring Banking regulations, working to get health care for all and supporting groups who will work to prosecute those who tortured innocents and invaded a country for ideology and profit... So much more.

Things are so bad that many folks who had their heads in the sand are now finding there's no place to hide from this tsunami of destruction that is here. Electing a Dem President and Congress isn't enough.
We have to have a movement for reform that can bring results and we must take back the media for the people. We will have many recruits as folks wake up and realize we have to save ourselves by joining together. There are so many groups still working for reform and perhaps they will come together in the the coming years. The fighting going on now could be seen as frustration felt by so many of us from so many years of dealing with this mess since Nixon and ...folks worn out with it all and now living on the edge as the consequences. And, the agitators from the Right are always out there doing their dirty work of disruption with flaming rhetoric, disinformation and obfuscation.

We need to be hopeful that the "Change" is out here....it has to come from the people from ground up...not top down or it won't really be the "change we can believe in." I think that's what Obama told us. I think it's what he believes.
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BeFree Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-31-09 02:40 PM
Response to Reply #19
35. Sure he believes it
I see the president as the coach of a team. The coach calls the plays. Obama needs to call the plays.

If Obama says: Do this, we will respond. He told the Congress the other day to pass the budget, he needs to tell us peon supporters a specific action that we can all take to get us working together.

As it is, it's like we're all playing sand lot ball and no one's in charge.
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KoKo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-31-09 07:19 PM
Response to Reply #35
64. Our "anger" will cause us to group together in the way a "Community Activist" like Obama
knows will, in the long run, be more effective. That's how I see him, right now. I'm willing to give him some time to see how things sort out with his philosophy which is so different from the few Dem Presidents in recent history who have come before him.

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BeFree Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-31-09 07:55 PM
Response to Reply #64
77. Nice idea
But the reality is that most of our fellow country men thought invading Iraq was the best way to get revenge for 9/11.

They were manipulated then, they'll be manipulated tomorrow.

Obama, if he is to succeed in our behalf, has to get ahead of the pubbies manipulation with his own. And quick.

Heck, we know it's all a con game and that the best cons win in the end. Obama could con the the spots off a cat, if he wanted too. What he needs to do is con the sheep into moving our way. Fauxnews is conning them into their corner, eh?
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KoKo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-31-09 08:57 PM
Response to Reply #77
92. Oh, I understand what you say...
Edited on Tue Mar-31-09 08:58 PM by KoKo
I'm willing to give him until November...then I'm going to get really pissed. For now...I can see some logic to his actions even if I disagree. He did say he'd "Make Mistakes" ...I worry that his mistakes may be made and it will be too late to correct them..as with his selection of Geithner and Summers.

The rest of the stuff I can wait on to see if he really has the strategy that I hope he has. (Hoping that his Justice Department quietly works on holding the Bushies accountable for atrocities, criminal acts against detainees and Invasion of Sovereign Country for their own and cronies gain). He had to dance with those that "brung him." I'm hoping he knows when to "cut out of the party and ditch the crowd he came with." It may take him some time to do that. And, I hope for all our sakes and our failing economy that both Geithner and Summers realize when it's time for them to "gracefully retreat" before they do more damage. That's the worrysome twosome who can do the most early damage to any policies for Dem Reforms for Health Care and Labor...that we may never see if he doesn't curb them. :-(
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Fiendish Thingy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-31-09 10:15 AM
Response to Original message
18. Sadly true- k&r n/t
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KharmaTrain Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-31-09 12:01 PM
Response to Original message
22. Withdrawl From Vietnam Began In 1969
The US military peaked at over 500,000 troops when Nixon took office...he withdrew 100,000 troops over his first year and, under Congressional pressure, continued to draw down under the "Vietnamization" scheme. By the time the Paris Peace accords were signed, the US military presence in the country was less than 100,000...far fewer than the 150,000 plus the 100,000 additional contractors that are still in Iraq. And that doesn't acount for the residual forces that did remain in South Vietnam...watching over the military bases and other US interests that fell in 1975...when our military had to dump billions of planes, helicopters and other military hardware into the South China sea and make a hasty retreat.
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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-31-09 12:21 PM
Response to Reply #22
23. Nixon made a big show of "withdrawing" from Vietnam through much of his presidency
He campaigned on it in 1968 and 1972. He would periodically withdraw troops from Vietnam, as part of a show to pretend that he intended to get out of Vietnam through much of his presidency, and those withdrawals were often accompanied by large increases in aerial bombing. None of that detracts from the fact that no firm decision was made to withdraw from Vietnam until the Paris Peace Accords in 1973.

I don't see why the fact that we have 250,000 combined troops in Iraq now, as compared to 100,000 in Vietnam when the decision was made to get out, should mean the difference between 2 months and 19 months.

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KharmaTrain Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-31-09 02:09 PM
Response to Reply #23
30. You Forgot A Peace Treaty...
The Paris accords gave the US cover to withdrawl its forces and still several thousand "advisors" remained...who would have to be evacuated in 1975.

All we have in Iraq is a "status of forces" agreement that is nothing like the assurances we had in Vietnam. Can Malaki assure that our troops can withdraw safely? He barely is keeping the peace among two forces that can't wait for us to bug out to restart a century's old feud. Trying to compare withdrawls is unfair as different wars in different times and circumstances.

I want our troops home ASAP, but I want them back safe and able to integrate back into "normal society"...be it 16 months or 19 months, as long as the draw down has begun matters.
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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-31-09 07:33 PM
Response to Reply #30
70. The Obama plan would leave 35 to 50 K troops in Iraq
In that respect it seems even easier than the Vietnam withdrawal, which left a lot less.

Anyhow, can you explain why it would take 19 months to bring an occupying force home? I have never heard an explanation of any sort for that, other than the simple assertion that time is needed to provide for the safety of our troops. Do you leave that less American troops will die if we take 19 months to bring them home than if we do it a lot quicker?
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KharmaTrain Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-31-09 07:49 PM
Response to Reply #70
76. Iraq Is A Far Bigger Mess
The shame of our corporate media who has totally ignored what has gone on inside Iraq. It created a lot of misinformation in the run-up and the first couple years of the invasion and now have given some a false sense that things there have pacified or "gotten better". It's easy to say that when we really know so little of the internal politics that are happening.

At best, we'll leave an Iraq that Joseph Biden all but got chastized for several years ago...partisianed between Sunni, Kurds and Shiites. Baghdad was pacified by walling off sections of the city...a Beirut in the offing...with all parties awash in arms and revenge. This is the Iraq we deal with today...and one where a quick withdrawl is sure to trigger a power scramble. Now that war can happen while we're there or after we're out. The quicker we pull troops, the sooner that ultimate battle begins. A slower pull-out would give cover to the Central government and in turn keep all the factions in check, making a withdrawl possible.

Lastly, there's the famous Colin Powell Pottery Barn rule. We broke it, we've bought it. This country has a responsibility to try to leave in a far more humane and professional manner than we barged in. Our military has been hung out to dry by this illegal invasion and a bug out would give fodder to the wingnuts who used Vietnam to demonize Democrats and turn the military into a wingnut incubator. Right now what good would it be to bring back all the troops along with the mercenaries and turn them loose in an economy in its worst shape in 70 years?

Now we can just give each soldier an airplane ticket home...but there's other things that need to come home as well. Do we leave all the hardware we've poured in over the years? And if so...who gets it? Or do we just let 'em fight for it?

There are no easy answers here. Again...my greatest regret was that this nightmare happened in the first place.

Cheers...
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KoKo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-31-09 09:11 PM
Response to Reply #76
99. We can't afford all this war and the pillage of our treasury, though.
Edited on Tue Mar-31-09 09:15 PM by KoKo
It's been a "boondoggle" for the Military-Industrial Complex and wreaked havoc on that country. Many of us don't believe in the PNAC Doctrine of Nation Building across the Globe.

However, bringing those troops home to an economy where there's not much hope of employment for most of them is more dangerous. What's sad is that we can't bring them home to a country that's ravished of jobs in economic decline and we can't afford to keep them there. So we finally consilidate and move them to Afghanistan or maybe we start another war so they never have to come home at all.

If that sounds OTT...then tell me another alternative. Those who profiteered off that war have their evil gotten gains and probably it's offshored into a safe place that even the Madoff/Stanford and Swiss Banking Investigations will never find it. CIA probably has offshore places we'd never ever find out about. And, who is left holding the bag? All those troops who are over there who have little hope of jobs here...who might end up mercenary soldiers for "XE" for the rest of their lives, the maimed and disabled who will require health services for the rest of their lives, and the few who will end up like Colin Polin and the rest of them who rise to the "Joint Chief of Staff" where they will be honored and showered with favors in the wars for the future. The rest will come back and work at Mickey D's...if it still exists. This is what "endless war" does for a country. It depletes, ravages and demoralizes those who support it, participate in it and perpetuate it.
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blindpig Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-31-09 01:46 PM
Response to Original message
26. The business of America IS business.

That's it in a nutshell. Don't need no man behind the curtain when ya got the boys in the boardroom.

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Karenina Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-31-09 02:00 PM
Response to Original message
29. Rec, kick quickly...
Read s-l-o-w-l-y and thoroughly. TIA for weighing in on this. I've been waiting for it! :loveya:
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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-31-09 08:51 PM
Response to Reply #29
89. Thank you Karenina
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Karenina Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-31-09 02:14 PM
Response to Original message
31. Correct me if I'm in error TfC, but did Obama not say
"You'll have to push me."

I understood that to mean with GREATER FORCE than TPTB. Not ATTACK, but PUSH and DEMAND. Americans don't have the good sense of, let's say, Venezuelans, who had the moxy as the CIA attempted its coup, to PUSH BACK.
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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-31-09 03:06 PM
Response to Reply #31
38. I don't know
I just looked for it on Google and Alltheweb, and couldn't find it. Maybe he said something very similar to that. I'm pretty sure that he said something to the effect that he will need help from the grassroots.

But if you heard something to that effect, that's a very good point. It could be a signal to the American people, making the point that you state. I like the distinction you make between "attack" vs. "push and demand". There is indeed a big difference, which is lost on some people -- although there are also all sorts of gradations in between.

I do understand that FDR told activists "I agree with you, I want to do it, now make me do it."
http://www.politicalcortex.com/story/2008/11/8/02944/63...


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bvar22 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-31-09 07:19 PM
Response to Reply #38
65. Obama may need "help" from the grass roots....
...but if he is planning to give out more Trickle Down Bailouts to Wall Street, or sending more troops to the Middle East Wars, or increasing the Military Budget, or subsidizing the Health Insurance Industry.....

I'm NOT helping.
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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-31-09 09:11 PM
Response to Reply #31
98. Here it is
A story from Ms Liberty, down below on this thread:

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...

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robertpaulsen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-31-09 02:37 PM
Response to Original message
34. I've been bookmarking many of your recent posts. This is one of my favorites.
Thank you for caring, Time for change. I appreciate your research and insight. And I completely agree with you that William Greider is right on the money with his analysis.

Here's his most recent contribution:

Trust Your Guts by William Greider
http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...

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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-31-09 08:45 PM
Response to Reply #34
86. Thank you, that's nice to hear
Another excellent book by Greider is "Who Will Tell the People".
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Echo In Light Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-31-09 02:41 PM
Response to Original message
36. Even Olbermann on CD last night repeated that the Obama admin is covering for the Bushies ..
...a la international war crimes. I usually don't bother with cable "news," but was surprised to hear that ugly fact repeated.
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KoKo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-31-09 07:20 PM
Response to Reply #36
66. What Dem President hasn't covered for the SINS of the Repug President before them?
Name me One in the 20th Century. :-(

Dems are the "clean up crew...the garbage collectors the recycle trucks. It's what we do best...it's how we get elected.
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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-31-09 07:31 PM
Response to Reply #66
69. I think that FDR, JKF, and Carter may fall into that category to one degree or another
I don't know. They could have covered for them to some degree, but I think that they largely pursued their own agenda -- at least JFK did after the Bay of Pigs.
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Echo In Light Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-31-09 11:33 PM
Response to Reply #66
126. That sidesteps the issue. And I see the "clean up crew" as more of a necessary component of a larger
...ruse

So we'll have to agree to disagree on that one.
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inna Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-31-09 03:31 PM
Response to Original message
39. brilliant post, as always. thanks! rec #41, nt
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jwirr Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-31-09 03:56 PM
Response to Original message
41. Thank you. What we fear the most is here. If we fail to stand up we
are going to lose everything. We have two choices: stand up and be counted or sit around waiting for oil depletion to act for us. If we wait it could be some very rocky roads between here and there.
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RedCloud Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-31-09 04:51 PM
Response to Original message
43. Important to get the word out so the masses understand...
You did a nice job here.

What sometimes happens is that the power abusers benefit because the victims have no comprehensible input as to what is happening to them.
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The Leveller Donating Member (49 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-31-09 04:54 PM
Response to Original message
44. Obama is a company man
Barack Obama received from the following:

Goldman Sachs $421,763 Ubs Ag $296,670 Lehman Brothers $250,630 National Amusements Inc $245,843 JP Morgan Chase & Co $243,848 Sidley Austin LLP $226,491 Citigroup Inc $221,578 Exelon Corp $221,517 Skadden, Arps Et Al $196,420 Jones Day $181,996 Harvard University $172,324 Citadel Investment Group $171,798 Time Warner $155,383 Morgan Stanley $155,196 Google Inc $152,802 University of California $143,029 Jenner & Block $136,565 Kirkland & Ellis $134,738 Wilmerhale Llp $119,245 Credit Suisse Group $118,250

We hear it all the time: Republicans are the party of big business and Democrats are the party of the people. Any clear thinking person knows this to be a lie. Court rulings have even endorsed the idea that spending cash in support of candidates is free speech. There sure is a ton of money being spent for something that is "free."

For more than 20 years now, polls of the American people repeatedly have shown that a majority of Americans believe their government is controlled by special interests. Can anyone honestly assert that there is no connection between campaign cash and the policies of the US Government? Does anyone truly believe this?

Obama is a company man. He knows the language, the subtle and overt signals, and emits them like a beacon. Ruling circles have gotten the message, and that is why corporate media have made him a contender, and corporate billfolds have financed him.

But then, Obama would never have risen so quickly and remarkably to his current position and national prominence if he was anything like the egalitarian and democratic progressive that some liberals and leftists imagine. In the corporate-crafted and money-dominated swamp that passes for representative democracy in the U.S., concentrated economic and imperial power open and close doors in ways that preemptively suffocate populist potential. Big money is not in the business of promoting genuine social justice or democracy activists.

When politicians offer nothing, and the people demand nothing, then the powers-that-be are free to continue doing whatever they choose. The death knell of participatory politics can often be a very noisy, celebratory affair - such as we have witnessed in the call-and-response ritual of "Change!" "Hope!" and other exuberant but insubstantial campaign exercises.
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Profprileasn Donating Member (127 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-31-09 05:49 PM
Response to Reply #44
53. Try www.ourcaucus.com
Very informative.
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OwnedByFerrets Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-31-09 05:22 PM
Response to Original message
47. WOW, Just WOW!!!!
Edited on Tue Mar-31-09 05:50 PM by OwnedByFerrets
Absolutely fabulous piece. Huge Kudo's.

There is a rumor thats been floating around for years. I can't find ANY attribution to it, so take it for what its worth. But, the story goes that right after the inauguration of President Bill Clinton, he was taken aside and told the following. "We all appreciate all those wonderful things you promised on the campaign trail. Now, let us tell you how things are really going to be."
I don't know that it really happened, but one can certainly imagine that it did. And, I can certainly believe something similar has happened to our current president.
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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-31-09 08:49 PM
Response to Reply #47
88. Thank you -- Yes, it is easy to imagine -- in both cases
It reminds me of this quote from the comedian Bill Hicks:

It's just a handful of people that run everythingNo matter what promises you make on the campaign trail - blah, blah, blah - when you win, you go into this smoky room with the twelve industrialist, capitalist scumfucks that got you in there, and this little screen comes down... and it's a shot of the Kennedy assassination from an angle you've never seen before, which looks suspiciously off the grassy knoll.... And then the screen comes up, the lights come on, and they say to the new president, 'Any questions?'

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babsbunny Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-31-09 05:37 PM
Response to Original message
51. My Glimmer Of Hope Has Now Been Extinguished
:eyes: :eyes: :eyes: :eyes: :eyes: :eyes: :eyes: :eyes: :eyes: :eyes: :eyes: :eyes: :eyes: :eyes:
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kaygore Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-31-09 06:04 PM
Response to Original message
54. Thank you--such a well conceived piece of writing!
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bajamary Donating Member (427 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-31-09 06:34 PM
Response to Original message
55. The Secrets of the Temple by William Greider
Thank you for the excellent detailed post.

After watching William Greider on the Bill Moyers show, I got a copy of Greider's history of the Federal Reserve "The Secrets of the Temple". From my early reading of this nearly 800 page paperback, I can see that this book will be another "eye opener" for me. Perhaps you should check it out.

Amen to Greider's words..."what I hope for now. That people of every stripe will stand up and say, we love you Mr. President, but you don't have it right yet. And we're going to bang on your door until you get it right."

We The People must stand for nothing less than "getting it right".


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Jakes Progress Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-31-09 07:38 PM
Response to Reply #55
72. Greider's words should be DU's direction.
Getting it right should be our goal, not our hope.
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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-31-09 08:53 PM
Response to Reply #55
90. Yes, Greider is terrific
One of the best books I've ever read is his "Who Will Tell the People?"
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Occam Bandage Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-31-09 06:41 PM
Response to Original message
56. With all those puppetmasters, you'd think their strings would get tangled up. nt
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bertman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-31-09 06:47 PM
Response to Original message
57. Highest possible recommendation. This OP explains the crux of the matter. Now it's up to those
of us who have read this and who agree with it to get off our asses and start doing something about it--if we already are not. It's not going to happen if we sit around typing on our computer keyboards and do nothing to support and help those stalwarts who have already begun to PUSH our new President.

It takes MONEY and SHOES ON THE GROUND and PHONE CALLS and EMAILS and HARD WORK to get people out to protest or to even get people to write or call or email their governmental representatives.

As a long-time Democrat who has supported the party through my contributions and my vote I CRAVE a way to influence the party and our leaders. I attended a local organizing meeting of staunch Obama supporters who wanted to do things like distribute canvas grocery bags and provide financial and material help to a local union group, but who blanched at the very mention of pushing for an investigation of BushCo. I was so bummed out that I could not regain my desire to join a Democratic organizing group. Not that I don't think distributing canvas grocery bags or helping support union workers is a good cause--I do and I practice both methodologies--but there are bigger fish to fry and so many of us cannot see that reality.

This is going to be a short whine, then I'll get back on track. Today I got very frustrated with three friends who are really good people and who all were big Obama supporters. One was the "I can't deal with this kind of political stuff" maven. Another was the "I have so much going on that I don't have time to do anything about this political stuff" refuser. And the other was the "clueless and uninterested in politics" type. They're all bitching about the trillions of $$$ being given to the Wall Street Thieves, so I asked if any of them had made a phone call or sent an email or done anything at all to inform their representatives of their thoughts on ANY political issues. Only one had done so--but only once, and she had been calling on behalf of repealing Prop 8. I said to them, "this is our government that is doing this. We are a democracy. Democracy REQUIRES citizen participation. If you do not stay aware and express your desires to your congressional representatives, nothing will change. It's just not going to happen no matter who the President is."

All I got was sheepish grins. From three very bright, professionals with children, who are too busy to be well-informed, active particpants in democracy.

So, I'm really bummed out right now.

BUT, I'm asking for some guidance so I can get involved with a group that advocates PUSHING PRESIDENT OBAMA. I just saw there is a new group formed by Jane Hamsher (Firedoglake) and others. Is this a worthwhile group to join? I know that David Swanson's After Downing Street group is doing some good things.

I want to help, but I feel helpless. Can someone please offer some options?

Thank you, Time for change, for a great thread.

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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-31-09 07:44 PM
Response to Reply #57
74. Thank you bertman
I have a lot of respect for both Jane Hamsher and David Swanson.

I have plans, through Amnesty International, to meet with my Congressman in two weeks to push for some sort of truth commission to investigate the Bush crimes. I know that many, perhaps most DUers disagree with that idea (so I almost hesitate to mention it) because they believe it will decrease the likelihood that prosecutions will occur. But I don't see prosecutions happening at this time, so I have the opposite take on it -- I believe that it is more likely to increase the likelihood of prosecutions.
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Hannah Bell Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-31-09 09:33 PM
Response to Reply #57
100. how about getting together with some folks in your own area in addition?
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bertman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-31-09 10:56 PM
Response to Reply #100
118. Yes, Hannah, that's what I was doing when I went to the Obama Democrats meeting. It
did not go well because there seems to be this prevailing attitude that issues of constitutionality, lawbreaking by the executive branch, the unitary executive, voting machine irregularities were low on the priorities list.

But you're right. I need to find some other like-minded radical Democrats to bond with and help push the PUSH OBAMA meme along.

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Hannah Bell Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-01-09 04:07 AM
Response to Reply #118
137. yeah, i guess i was thinking along the lines of outside regular party channels.
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bertman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-01-09 09:11 AM
Response to Reply #137
140. Judging from the attitude among the entrenched party leaders in N.C. (where I am),
the Democratic party is just fine with things the way they are. Not to mention that Kay Hagan, our newly elected Senator, has come out as a New Dem.

We've got our work cut out for us.

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reprehensor Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-31-09 06:53 PM
Response to Original message
58. Indeed.
Nice summary.
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G_j Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-31-09 06:53 PM
Response to Original message
59. I hope many more people read this
you rock!
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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-31-09 10:17 PM
Response to Reply #59
112. Thank you
It looks like there are a lot of people reading it. :)
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MasonJar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-31-09 06:56 PM
Response to Original message
60. What an insightful compilation of problems we must rise to solve.
Obama needs us to push him and Congress. If the people speak long and loud enough, the corporations will lose. Otherwise we have another 4 or 8 long years of government handouts to big business. As Bill Greider intimates, by then it may be too late for change. Obama won by promising change. NOW HE NEEDS TO DELIVER ON THAT PROMISE111111111
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bvar22 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-31-09 07:25 PM
Response to Original message
68. You've got skills!
:patriot:

K&R

Saving for future reference.
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totodeinhere Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-31-09 07:35 PM
Response to Original message
71. You seem to say that the same people who killed JFK are the ones who are now controlling Obama?
This is 46 years after 1963. Wouldn't most of them be dead by now? And if these shadowy figures really do control everything as you suggest, why did they even let Obama win in the first place? Why not just let McCain win? His policies would have have been a lot closer to what these people seem to want, right?

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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-31-09 07:47 PM
Response to Reply #71
75. No they're not the same people
But I don't doubt that they have many linkages over time.

Take the KKK, for example. One could say that it has been a malignant force in our country for over a century. That doesn't mean that the same people who belong to it now belonged to it in the 19th century, does it?
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BeFree Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-31-09 08:47 PM
Response to Reply #71
87. We call it Bushco
Bushco was alive in FDR's time, and was fathered by Prescott Bush. Unfortunately, Bushco is still alive and kicking.

Why let Obama win? Because they knew he'd drag us into complacency at least for a bit. Imagine McCain in there? We'd be raising holy hell and the electronic voting machines would have been highly questioned. It is quite on the home front, eh?

They saw Obama would win, so they let him know, in private, what they wanted him to do, or else. Another 9/11 style hijacked airplane crashing into the WH is not out of the question, you do know.

And here we are. And there Bushco is running free as if they never did one bad thing. They have us right where they want us. A most perfect plan. Bushco is sharp. Deadly and sharp. Give them some credit!
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Kalun D Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-31-09 11:42 PM
Response to Reply #71
127. Since the dawn of time
"This is 46 years after 1963. Wouldn't most of them be dead by now?"

George Bush sr. was in Dallas in '63 and was in the CIA at the time. Besides these people always pass the torch.

"why did they even let Obama win in the first place?"

Because he portrays a better image to appease everyone that was enraged by the bush boy. Good cop bad cop?

"His policies would have have been a lot closer to what these people seem to want, right?"

are we sure just exactly what Obama's policies really are? After all he's done very little of what he promised. The main thing I remember was "raise taxes on the rich" that's the first thing that got canceled.

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mod mom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-01-09 08:08 AM
Response to Reply #71
139. add the coup against FDR to that. Not the same exact people, but same group of elitists.
Weird the number of connections to horrible events in history and the bu$h family, isn't it?


1934: The Plot Against America
DEPARTMENT No Comment
BY Scott Horton
PUBLISHED July 28, 2007

Im back from the land of heather and thistles, not to mention wee drams and lukewarm ale, but on my way out a friend at the BBC alerted me to this, a not-to-miss program on the BBC this morning, accessible over the next several days by internet. Its the story of the Plot Against America. I dont mean the Philip Roth novel, nor even the Sinclair Lewis book, It Cant Happen Here, but rather the historical events upon which these two works of fiction were based.

In November 1934, federal investigators uncovered an amazing plot involving some two dozen senior businessmen, a good many of them Wall Street financiers, to topple the government of the United States and install a fascist dictatorship. Roths novel is developed from several strands of this factual account; he assumed the plot is actually carried out, whereas in fact an alert FDR shut it down but stopped short of retaliatory measures against the plotters. A key element of the plot involved a retired prominent general who was to have raised a private army of 500,000 men from unemployed veterans and who blew the whistle when he learned more of what the plot entailed. The plot was heavily funded and well developed and had strong links with fascist forces abroad. A story in the New York Times and several other newspapers reported on it, and a special Congressional committee was created to conduct an investigation. The records of this committee were scrubbed and sealed away in the National Archives, where they have only recently been made available.

The Congressional committee kept the names of many of the participants under wraps and no criminal action was ever brought against them. But a few names have leaked out. And one is Prescott Bush, the grandfather of the incumbent president. Prescott Bush was of course deep into the business of the Hamburg-America Lines, and had tight relations throughout this period with the new Government that had come to power in Germany a year earlier under Chancellor Aldoph Hitler. It appears that Bush was to have formed a key liaison for the group with the new German government.

Prescott Bush, of course, went on to service as a U.S. Senator from Connecticut, and his son, George H.W. Bush emerged from World War II as a hero.

-snip

http://www.harpers.org/archive/2007/07/hbc-90000651




The Whitehouse Coup
Monday 23 July 2007



The coup was aimed at toppling President Franklin D Roosevelt with the help of half-a-million war veterans. The plotters, who were alleged to involve some of the most famous families in America, (owners of Heinz, Birds Eye, Goodtea, Maxwell Hse & George Bushs Grandfather, Prescott) believed that their country should adopt the policies of Hitler and Mussolini to beat the great depression.

Mike Thomson investigates why so little is known about this biggest ever peacetime threat to American democracy.




http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio4/history/document/document_2...
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bvar22 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-01-09 11:39 AM
Response to Reply #71
144. Why let Obama win?
To keep up the appearance of a democracy.
To keep the populace believing that they have a choice.
It was time to change the Party dominance and let the Democrats shovel money to the Corporate Elite and MIC, and to keep the WARS going for the next 8 years.

Ever notice that some things NEVER CHANGE no matter which Party is in charge?

Our "elections" give the appearance of an evenly divided nation (Conservatives vs Liberals).
However, when the citizens are polled on the issues,the MAJORITY of Americans (Democrats and Republicans) are shockingly LIBERAL.
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bagrman Donating Member (889 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-31-09 07:40 PM
Response to Original message
73. Even in this bastion of , mmm not freedon of speech, must be the thought police again. Never mind.
Edited on Tue Mar-31-09 07:41 PM by bagrman
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gristy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-31-09 08:17 PM
Response to Original message
78. Your "The GAME" post is the only post from any blog I had ever put in my browser toolbar
:thumbsup:
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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-31-09 08:36 PM
Response to Reply #78
82. That's nice to hear -- Thank you
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november3rd Donating Member (653 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-31-09 08:31 PM
Response to Original message
79. Great post, TFC.
No wonder the newspapers are folding. They can't offer their readers this. Its only blogs and journals -- the commercial media can't handle the truth.
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glitch Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-31-09 09:42 PM
Response to Reply #79
103. That's interesting isn't it, that "for profit" fails on such a fundamental level as "Truth".
There's a lesson in that.
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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-31-09 10:16 PM
Response to Reply #79
110. Thank you november3 -- They've failed us because they put profits above the truth and doing what
a free press is supposed to do in order to help us maintain democracy.
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ms liberty Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-31-09 08:35 PM
Response to Original message
80. K&R. Your last quote from Greider echoes something I was thinking about....
Just yesterday I was thinking about this story:

A. Philip Randolph was a legendary labor organizer and civil rights leader. He organized the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters, the men who tended to the overnight guests on the sleeper cars that Pullman built. While the porter positions were better-paying than many jobs available to African Americans at the time, there were still injustices and indignities. The common practice, for example, was to call the porters "George," regardless of their real name, after the owner of the company, George Pullman. Thousands of porters sought improvements through collective bargaining. (Ironically, after Pullman's death in 1897, the Pullman Co. was run by Abe Lincoln's only surviving son, Robert Todd Lincoln, until the mid-1920s.) Randolph's organizing struggle took 12 years, starting in 1925 and going through the economic collapse of 1929 and into the Franklin Delano Roosevelt administration.
Harry Belafonte recalled in an interview with Tavis Smiley recently a story he was told by Eleanor Roosevelt. She related a public event when her husband, FDR, introduced Randolph and asked him, Belafonte recalled, "what he thought of the nation, what he thought of the plight of the Negro people and what did he think ... where the nation was headed." Continuing the story, Belafonte recounted what FDR replied upon hearing Randolph's remarks: "You know, Mr. Randolph, I've heard everything you've said tonight, and I couldn't agree with you more. I agree with everything that you've said, including my capacity to be able to right many of these wrongs and to use my power and the bully pulpit. ... But I would ask one thing of you, Mr. Randolph, and that is go out and make me do it."
This story was retold by Obama at a campaign fundraiser in Montclair, N.J., more than a year ago. It was in response to a person asking Obama about finding a just solution to the Israeli/Palestinian conflict. After recounting the Randolph story, Obama said he was just one person, that he couldn't do it alone. Obama's final answer: "Make me do it."
http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2009/0...


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scarletwoman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-31-09 09:05 PM
Response to Reply #80
94. "Make me do it." That is the heart of the matter. (nt)
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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-31-09 09:06 PM
Response to Reply #80
95. Very nice story
One has to wonder whether Obama's statement was something akin to a real call for help -- or whether he just casually mentioned it. There is so much we don't know, isn't there?
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Karenina Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-01-09 10:31 AM
Response to Reply #95
142. I do believe it was intended for those with ears to hear.
:tinfoilhat: ;-)
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ms liberty Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-01-09 06:45 PM
Response to Reply #95
154. I like to think...
that it is his way of telling us what we needed to do in order to make the changes we were asking for.
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EndElectoral Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-31-09 08:35 PM
Response to Original message
81. I must admit, the issues you've posted are important to me. Especially health care.
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zeemike Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-31-09 08:43 PM
Response to Original message
84. Whew that is really way to much for us to deal with.
And yet it is all true and accurate Annalise's+ of the situation that we are in.
It tends to make the individual feel hopless...but that is also an accurate feeling because for the individual it is hopeless.
Our only strength is in our unity because in any system that is controlled by an oligarchy the little people way outnumber the oligarchs and they are well aware of that.
That is why the way to conquest and control is through division. And in the last 30 years or so they have refined it to an art form.
Are your for or against the bailout?
Do you thing Obama is a good guy or a bad guy?
Let's choose up sides and fight it out while the ones in control snicker and do what they want.

The key to changing it all is in unity of purpose and we have none of that right now...except the hope that Obama is on our side and is smart enough to foil the oligarchs little plot.
But the real truth is that he will never be able to do it without our unity of purpose and our actions to help him...and you have pointed that out when you mentioned Roosevelt and the 30s.
But things are different now...the oligarchy controls the media and the media is how we communicate with the average person. That was not the case in the 30s.

But how do we get people together when each group has a demand that is not negotiable and they want it now?
That is the question that needs to be answered...and I suspect that things will have to get much worse before we wise up and learn that first we must come together and change the fundamentals and agree to work on the specifics after that.
Leadership is what is lacking
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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-31-09 09:00 PM
Response to Reply #84
93. You've got it right -- Nobody can do it alone
We have to have unity of purpose to defeat them.

They may have control of the traditional news media, but we have the Internet -- and that's a big plus. More and more people are getting their news through the Internet. That's the next thing they're going after, and we can't let them get away with it.
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zeemike Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-31-09 09:59 PM
Response to Reply #93
106. Which raises another question or two
Just how easy is it for them to shut down the internet? If they do we will be isolated.
And secondly what will we do if they do?
Without leadership and communications we will have only pitchforks and torches.
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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-31-09 10:14 PM
Response to Reply #106
109. We need to fight for net neutrality
I don't think they can shut us down as long as we have that.
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scarletwoman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-31-09 09:10 PM
Response to Original message
97. I rec'd your post yesterday, because you always post high quality work. I finally read it all the
way through tonight, along with every single post on this thread. I can't think of anything to add just now, I just want to thank you for your always excellent work, and for initiating a great discussion.

:yourock:
sw
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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-31-09 09:45 PM
Response to Reply #97
104. Thank you sw
That's very nice of you to say.

Yes, there's been a lot of great discussion on this thread.
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scarletwoman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-31-09 10:24 PM
Response to Reply #104
115. What's interesting is that all day long yesterday I was thinking about the very same phenomenon.
I spent the day trying to compose something in my head so that I could post it once I got home from work. Once home and online, I worked my way through a bunch of other stuff, and then saw that you had posted something very much along the same lines that I had been thinking about.

I eventually posted my own version anyway, but yours is much more comprehensive. You have my sincere admiration always.

sw
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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-31-09 10:32 PM
Response to Reply #115
116. Thank you sw. Well, I guess we're thinking on the same wave length
I've never had a forum for expressing my thoughts like I have on DU. I've always thought a lot about stuff like this, but most people aren't very interested or are upset by the kinds of thoughts that I have. Other than to my wife, DU is the only place I can express them and get positive feedback. :)
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scarletwoman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-31-09 10:38 PM
Response to Reply #116
117. Your posts here are outstanding. DU is extraordinarily lucky to have you.
I've been here since fall of 2001, and I can tell you in all honesty that yours is one of the most powerful voices that's ever appeared here.

I hope you'll keep giving the gift of your thoughts here.

Many thanks,
sw
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bigtree Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-31-09 10:17 PM
Response to Original message
111. exactly
the answer is vigilance and activism

Well done, TFC! :hi:
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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-31-09 11:16 PM
Response to Reply #111
122. Thank you bigtree
:hi:
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jemma Donating Member (43 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-31-09 10:19 PM
Response to Original message
113. 
"I was very interested to read 27inCalis recent DU post, Someone needs to say it,..."

Would someone be kind enough to point me to that post?
Thank you.
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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-31-09 11:15 PM
Response to Reply #113
119. Here it is
I meant to post a link to it on my OP, but I inadvertantly left it out:
http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...
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jemma Donating Member (43 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-31-09 11:58 PM
Response to Reply #119
129. Thank you so much Time for change
Appreciate it.
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Kaleko Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-31-09 11:15 PM
Response to Reply #113
120. Here is the post "Someone needs to say it" - by 27inCali
http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...

These are the conversations we need to have right now. Everybody I talk to is aware of "the powers behind the throne" even if they have no clear understanding of the details yet.

This is our chance. We've got the net. We ARE the roots that go so deep, they're not touched by the frost.

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jemma Donating Member (43 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-01-09 12:00 AM
Response to Reply #120
130. Thank you for the link Kaleko
And totally agree with your comments. "The powers behind the throne" have been there for decades and it's well past time for Americans to acknowledge them.
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jemma Donating Member (43 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-31-09 10:22 PM
Response to Original message
114. An unwelcome truth
"The last one that tried got his head blown off in front of his wife in Texas."

This is the most unwelcome truth in the USA.
Stating this one fact (that President Kennedy was murdered in a coup for daring to be a populist President) will generate more hostility than all the other inconvenient truths put together.

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Karenina Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-02-09 11:07 AM
Response to Reply #114
163. Depends on whom you talk to.
;-)
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omega minimo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-31-09 11:15 PM
Response to Original message
121. ty tfc
:yourock:
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cliffordu Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-31-09 11:28 PM
Response to Original message
124. Excellent piece...except for one thing.
A timeline.

he's been in office under 100 days....

He's had to sell a massive bailout package, fill a cabinet,

Now the budget gets fought out and once that passes he will be able to turn his FULL TIME attention to these other things....


Understand that controlling the message is as important as any part of what you listed from his perspective - Clinton lost the message to the repubs with the DNDT fuckup because that was all the media would talk about...And he necer got it back...The right understands message control is the game....although they've been flummoxed by the world heavyweight champ of message control that is Our President.

The reason Obama has been on television talking to us directly more than any other Pres. is to DOMINATE the message...He cannot have the media endlessly speculating and bloviating on prosecution of Cheney when he's trying to shame the senate into actually acting like part of the Congress and passing his budget....

He moved slow and steady on each piece he presented to the public. He presented the stimulus three times in public in large televised forums. And it (mostly) passed


When the budget passes he'll have three and half years to resolve the rest of your list....

And I believe we'll see him moving slowly, presenting the evidence in pressers and then getting the job done.


Dominate the message, talk directly to the people, get stuff done.

He is nobody's tool.



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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-01-09 03:39 PM
Response to Reply #124
150. I don't think that the time he's been in office is highly relevant to what I'm trying to say here
When a president (or any elected official) makes decisions with which we disagree, I think that it's reasonable for us to voice our disagreement -- no matter how short a time they've been in office. Admittedly, the longer they've been in office the more we have to judge their policies by. But nevertheless, the issues that I describe in this post are issues on which I disagree with our President. I don't see anything wrong with expressing that.

Some decisions that are made in the near future may have irreversably bad consequences. Advocating against those decisions could prevent that from happening.

President Obama faces a great deal of pressure from the right to initiate right wing policies. If we on the left remain silent when he expresses intentions of moving in that direction, then we're just ceding ground to the right wing IMO.
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lonestarnot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-31-09 11:32 PM
Response to Original message
125. K & R!
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truedelphi Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-31-09 11:57 PM
Response to Original message
128. K & R for reading later. n/t
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Kalun D Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-01-09 01:11 AM
Response to Original message
131. Questions and Answers
Good post, glad to see some progressives with their eyes open... you just don't see that with the repugs.

""The main theme....is that our country is largely controlled by powerful shadowy figures""

and has been since the Federal Reserve was established, when they got control of the country's money, they got control of the country. Kennedy tried to reverse this by putting us on the gold standard, one of the main reasons they killed him.

Kennedy was pretty compliant before gaining office, he led the PTB to believe he would go along, but when he got into office he took his own direction, but he went too far too fast.

""one of the main strategies of the powers in charge is to create an alternate reality for the American people to believe in.""

Orwell was prescient, and he was close on the year. They've consolidated the TV down to 5 owners thanks to the Telecommunications Act etc. TV is the tool they use, turn your TV off. The very fact that Obama got favorable TV coverage makes him suspicious because the monied elite own the TV.

""What is the purpose of the GAME?""

world domination through financial domination

""When did it start?""

some of the same bloodlines have ruled since the time of the Pharaohs.

""Who makes the rules? Who enforces the rules? How do they enforce the rules? Who are the insiders who know more about it than anyone else?""

Well, it's a long read but worth it. Lays it out in detail...

Police State Road Map

or if you prefer video try

Zeitgeist Movie

or for a better story of historic rulers, very interesting, like isn't it funny that a father and son would be pres? and what's with Obama being relatives with Cheney? Try...

Secret Rulers of the World

""What is President Obamas relationship the shadowy powers that we speak of? Has he actually negotiated with them?""

don't doubt it for a second. I feel the PTB concentrates on the presidency because it's just one person. I feel this is also why there was a big push with the bush admin to swing more power towards the presidency.

"" Have they made it clear to him that his continuance in office depends on his satisfying their demands? Have they threatened him?""

It's conspiracy theory but what was that bill that Obama was going to vote against bush then his campaign plane deployed the emergency chute during flight? and the next day he reversed his position on the bill. Working in Boeing land, those chutes don't just deploy by themselves, there's overlapping redundant systems. Besides the bush crime family is known as specialists in "plane accidents".

Remember when Pelosi suddenly said impeachment was off the table? She got "the horses head in the bed". Or "the offer you can't refuse".

""Such a nation is more akin to a monarchy""

like a father / son "presidency"

""for all combat troops to withdraw by August 31, 2010 (about 19 months after taking office)...a little more hawkish than what Obama proposed during the campaign, which was withdrawal from Iraq within 16 months""

I thought early on Obama was saying 6 months? Also thought it was up to 23 months now.

""But why should it take 19 months to withdraw from Iraq?""

How fast did they move in? 2-3 months? should be similar going out. Don't give me the story of how we care about the political situation or the people, that lie is laid waste by the devastated infrastructure and how many we killed. The Iraq war was about the oil, not necessarily stealing it, although they've done that, but the control of the flow. Witness the $$45 BIL annual record profits, and tell me the oil companies didn't get exactly what they wanted.

""...the Obama administrations plan to pay hundreds of billions of additional taxpayer dollars into the continuing effort to bail out failing banks.""

the most troubling thing about Obama, his fealty to the bankers.

This banking "crisis" was created, just like the crash of '29. Unregulated derivatives. Very basically it's the Federal Reserve creating money on computer, (not even bothering to print it anymore). Loaning it to the big banks, and the big banks doing derivatives of the original loan at a 50 to 1 rate. In other words the Fed loans $1.00 and the banks loan $50.00 off that $1.00. It's the biggest scam in history, and it's an intentional house of cards to scam more money to keep propping it up. It's also an attempt to bankrupt the US in order to assimilate it into a NWO.

It's an even bigger scam when you ask for another $700 BILLION to "bailout" something that's already a scam. And there's no real money to do it, the entire amount is borrowed. Although unreported in the MS media, the $700 BIL bailout was one of the most protested bills of all time. The congress phones were LIT UP. the people were against it something like 9 to 1, And repugs and dems alike went against the wishes of the people.

""The private health insurance industry...Obama met with a group of right wing Republican U.S. Senators, who expressed concern over the damage to the health insurance industry""

It was Jesse Ventura who said the dems and the repugs at the national level are like the WWF. Behind the scenes they're on the same side. It's one of the weak areas of democracy in this country, just 2 parties, 5 or 6 would be way better. It's a duopoly with just 2. And the healthcare/insurance industry is HUGE, huge dollars buying politicians.

""Presidential prerogatives in the War on Terror"

It's a contrived exaggerated faux enemy, ever since the Russians folded the MIC has been looking for a boogie man. It's perfect, not even a specific country because no-one can fight for that long. War against an idea, just pin the name on the next victim, it could go on indefinitely. It's more flexible too, "Al-Ciaduhh" is everywhere, so where ever there's a need for corporate empire just claim "Al-Ciaduhh".

Once again Orwell was prescient. BTW that movie is available in it's entirety online. It's all about controlling the message, the only reason there's hope is the internet.

""Ambivalent feelings towards Barack Obama""

I wouldn't expect too much directly from him. There is some hope that the image of his ideals rub off on people in general and it works at lower levels. But at the top there's too much at stake for the monied to give him free reign. I really don't think any pres since Kennedy has strayed very far off the reservation, can you blame them?

""So what can we do?""

become educated, spread the word, educate. Resist through intelligence.
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RonPaulFan Donating Member (3 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-01-09 02:33 AM
Response to Reply #131
135. First time poster here at DU -- registered just to comment on this extraordinary thread
Edited on Wed Apr-01-09 02:34 AM by RonPaulFan
I've lurked at DU for a while but this is my first post. I registered specifically to comment on this fascinating thread.

A little background -- I voted for Clinton twice, Nader in 2000, no one in 2004, and strongly supported Ron Paul in 2008 (drifted libertarian since 2000ish).

Over the past two or three years I started to make many of the connections the OP has made about our world and the systems and individuals who really run it. It has been a shocking, magnificent, unpleasant, alienating, invigorating experience to begin to understand the power structures behind the curtain. Like the OP and others on here, I'm not sure of all the specifics, but the general contours are coming into clearer and clearer focus. I sense this is the case for millions of others around the world who are on a similar intellectual journey -- and needless to say, I'm enormously grateful for this internet thing that has made it all possible.

I don't know how taboo this is here but I'll bring it up because Post #10 on this thread beautifully rebutted those who would shout others down with the "tinfoil hat" label: in 2007 I was prodded by a few people I respect to look into 9/11, and was stunned to find that the conspiracy theorists are right: it wasn't at all what they said it was.

Since then I've read dozens of books, read hundreds of articles, and viewed countless videos on all manner of subjects related to this hidden world of power. Standouts include John Perkins' #1 NYT bestseller "Confessions of an Economic Hit Man," the internet movie "Zeitgeist," and "The Creature From Jekyll Island," Griffin's book on the history of the Federal Reserve.

I also learned an incredible amount about this world from participating in the Ron Paul campaign. I understand there are philosophical differences between most here and Ron Paul, but I think we can find common ground on exposing the central banks for what they are: the biggest scam in human history, literally.

I've been reading this thread and have posted it to several forums I frequent around the web. It's fascinating to watch the scales fall from others' eyes about the true nature of our political system, the way they started to fall from my own eyes just 2 short years ago.

My summary of world history is this: a small number of humans are born psychopathic, with no controlling emotions of shame, empathy, guilt, etc. that keep the rest of us in line. Over the millennia these people have used this advantage to climb and build entire hierarchies that are psychopathic, such as armies, religions, and governments. They have used these networks to twist and take of advantage of the good nature that 95%+ of humanity has and bend it to their own amoral ends.

The internet has given the 95%+ of use who are good a weapon to organize and fight back against the psychopaths. The next 5 or 10 or 15 years, I predict, will be just that process: the many good people of the world taking power away from the few psychopaths, and changing our world to suit our moral goals instead of their psychopathic ones.

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BeFree Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-01-09 08:04 AM
Response to Reply #135
138. Welcome to the nightmare
It's too bad Paul does a lot of things that seem to go against what the mass of people want from government. Nobody is perfect, eh?

Did you know we have a 9/11 forum here? We lovingly call it the dungeon where all good CT's end up and the dungeon masters get to whip everybody into believing the Official Conspiracy Theory - the OCT.

The internet is the people's weapon of choice for defeating the Royal psychopaths. It's as if each of us now has our own printing press.

So what do you think about President Obama? You think he's gonna help us take back our country?
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No.23 Donating Member (517 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-01-09 09:28 AM
Response to Reply #135
141. I agree with your observation of a common ground.
"I think we can find common ground on exposing the central banks for what they are: the biggest scam in human history, literally"

Ralph thinks so too:

http://vids.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=vids.indiv...

Welcome!

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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-01-09 12:43 PM
Response to Reply #135
145. Thank you RP Fan -- and welcome to DU
Edited on Wed Apr-01-09 12:43 PM by Time for change
:toast:

I agree with your insight about the psychopaths. We have to find a way to control them.

Edited to add: And I'm very happy to hear that you've spread this around to other sites.
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EOTE Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-01-09 01:11 PM
Response to Reply #135
149. Welcome to DU, RonPaulfan.
I hope you stay quite a while. I'll warn you that your username might provoke a few rash replies, but try to brush it off. One thing you wrote sticks out in my mind as being pretty damn scary, but as I've learned over the past few years, almost definitely true:

My summary of world history is this: a small number of humans are born psychopathic, with no controlling emotions of shame, empathy, guilt, etc. that keep the rest of us in line. Over the millennia these people have used this advantage to climb and build entire hierarchies that are psychopathic, such as armies, religions, and governments. They have used these networks to twist and take of advantage of the good nature that 95%+ of humanity has and bend it to their own amoral ends.


I'd like to think that these psychopaths actually comprise less than 1% of the population, but it hardly matters. As you say, they've used their lack of a moral compass in order to get where they are and they won't be handing it over peacefully no matter what. Like you, I believe that the internet for them is a Pandora's box that they're trying desperately to close. However, with it, perhaps there's a chance that a critical mass of people will finally learn the true nature of the game and start rebelling against these thugs. I can only hope that this really does start happening within the next 15 years. Progress seems to move awfully slow sometimes.
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RonPaulFan Donating Member (3 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-01-09 04:54 PM
Response to Reply #149
151. The Psychopaths Among Us
Edited on Wed Apr-01-09 05:07 PM by RonPaulFan
Thanks for the replies. I'm a Dennis Kucinich fan, too, if that helps (I don't see the role of government the same way he does, but he is not corrupt, and it is corruption and corruptibility that is our common enemy).

@EOTE: Psychopaths are only about 1% of the population, that's true. A book which helped me to understand the role of psychopaths in shaping our world was Prof. Robert Hare's "Without Conscience" (and also his "Snakes in Suits," which focuses on psychopaths in the workplace, and how their lack of shame, regret, etc. gives them a substantial advantage in scaling the greasy ladder of business and political hierarchies). Hare, a retired Canadian professor of psychology who spent most of his career at Berkeley, is one of the world's experts in psychopathic personality disorders. I find it difficult to look at many of our political elites on TV now without seeing the traits in them of the psychopath -- and guess what, according to Hare, are the two fields psychopaths most often seek careers in? Politics and finance. Completely un-shocking, isn't it?

@Be Free: It's hard to know about Obama. I suspect JFK was, as another poster posited upthread, a flawed but essentially good person who was going to try to change the system from within and got whacked for it. Obama may be the same way, or maybe he rationalizes his participation in an evil system by saying "better me than someone else; I'll produce as much change on the margins as I can in this system." Difficult to say, but what is more clear to me is that one person, even at the top, can't do this alone. There has to be widespread understanding and outrage at these evil institutions (central banks, the military-industrial complex, crony capitalism) before we can get rid of them and replace them with something humane and rational.

PS -- here is an excellent essay by Prof. Kevin Barrett called "Twilight of the Psychopaths" that makes these points cogently.

http://www.agoracosmopolitan.com/home/Frontpage/2008/01...

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BeFree Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-01-09 06:33 PM
Response to Reply #151
153. Yeah, JFK
So what about Paul? What is it about him that you like that most here wouldn't? I like him on some things and abhor some of his ideas.
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RonPaulFan Donating Member (3 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-01-09 08:29 PM
Response to Reply #153
158. @ BeFree: I Don't want to threadjack...
...this into a debate on libertarianism, so I'll just respond to your question by saying that I believe the goals of the left are moral and noble, and I share them, but I've come to the conclusion that they can be achieved only via libertarianism.
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No.23 Donating Member (517 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-02-09 11:13 AM
Response to Reply #153
164. Since you asked...
here's how Dennis feels about Ron Paul:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=py8cXlLyX18&eurl=http%3A...

I respect Dennis' judgment.

Do you?
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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-01-09 12:48 PM
Response to Reply #131
147. Thank you for all those comments/answers
I'll have to review in more depth later.
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democracy1st Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-01-09 02:29 AM
Response to Original message
134. great post Time for change thanks
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MinM Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-01-09 10:50 AM
Response to Original message
143. K & R
:kick: & R
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leftofthedial Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-01-09 12:54 PM
Response to Original message
148. Hmmm. Notice the complete absence of
the usual brick-throwing, slobbering pro-Obama crowd on this thread?
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scarletwoman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-01-09 06:00 PM
Response to Reply #148
152. We need to build a sense of common purpose.
This thread represents an excellent opportunity to educate rather than alienate.

Peace,
sw
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leftofthedial Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-02-09 12:13 AM
Response to Reply #152
161. that it is.
amazing how much better education goes when it is undisrupted.
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cap Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-01-09 07:06 PM
Response to Original message
156. Obama has a real problem prosecuting people: Bush appointed the DOJ's head of criminal investigatio
right before he left. The man has 2 years to serve. If Obama can't get rid of him soon, he's stuck and can't buck the system.
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MetaTrope Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-01-09 07:09 PM
Response to Original message
157. Amazing how people didn't notice the media pushing Obama and Clinton
while marginalizing the progressives.
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scarletwoman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-01-09 09:25 PM
Response to Reply #157
159. That's certainly NOT true for DU. Plenty of us noticed and commented on it profusely.
Hell, we've been discussing that particular phenomenon for YEARS.
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Sheila Casey Donating Member (5 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-01-09 10:28 PM
Response to Original message
160. watching the scales fall from all of your eyes is painful...
...because I fear it is coming too late. I did all I could prior to the election to wake people up to who and what Obama really is. It was so dismaying to see so many otherwise intelligent people fall for the ruse. Even here, with much intelligent and insightful commentary, it is clear that many are still under a spell that has been coldly calculated to effect you in just the way that it is.

27incall is quoted as saying, about Obama: "You can like him as a person..." What does she mean by this? That he laughs at her jokes? That he listens patiently to her troubles? That he always inquires about her ill mother? Of course not.

In fact, neither she nor most of us here know a single thing about Obama "as a person." All we know is what we are shown by the media. If he has warts, they can airbrush them out. They can choose to publish only his most flattering photos. For the brief moments each day that they are in the public eye, both he and Michelle can be well groomed, laughing, loving parents.

They can give you the impression that you know him as a person, when in fact you do not. It's no different than Tom Cruise always appearing taller than all his leading ladies, when in fact he very short. When you control the camera, the makeup, the editing, the lighting -- you can control what people believe about anyone.

My post from October 3 read (links at original):

If McCain was hoping to win this November, Sarah Palin was a strange pick for VP. She is the quintessential laughingstock. Everything about her cries out wrong, wrong, wrong for someone who is going to be put under a microscope.

Tis a puzzlement--unless you realize that McCain is NOT planning or even hoping to win. The families that run this country (the same families that own the Federal Reserve, by the way) have already privately crowned Prince Obama. The election is a sham, 100% rigged, and the outcome is pre-determined.

Obama's entrance onto the world stage would raise eyebrows if the details were not hidden by the complicit mainstream media.
As I wrote on September 3:

O'bummer has apparently already been anointed by the Powers That Be as the next POTUS. They spotted his potential as a state legislator in Illinois (1997-2004), scooped him up and virtually deposited him in the US Senate in 2005.

How was this accomplished? His Republican opponent was destroyed by an unprecedented action engineered by the Chicago media and the Obama campaign.

Obama's opponent, Jack Ryan, was forced to withdraw from the Senate race three months after winning the Republican primary, after The Chicago Tribune sued to have sealed custody documents released. Against the wishes of both Ryan and his ex-wife Jeri, the legal files pertaining to Jack and Jeri's custody battle over their young child were made public on June 22, 2004.

In the documents, Jeri alleged that Jack took her to sex clubs in numerous cities so they could have sex in public, and that the marriage ended when she refused to cooperate. These allegations ended his Senate campaign and his political ambitions.

The New York Times stated:
The decision to release these files generated much controversy because it went against both parents' direct request, and because it reversed the earlier decision to seal the papers in the best interest of the child.

Jim Oberweis, Ryan's defeated GOP opponent, commented that "these are allegations made in a divorce hearing, and we all know people tend to say things that aren't necessarily true in divorce proceedings when there is money involved and custody of children involved."

Jack Ryan's campaign ended a week after the custody documents were released, and he formally withdrew from the Senate campaign on July 29, 2004.

With just 86 days to go before the election, Alan Keyes, who had never lived in Illinois, was drafted to replace Ryan in the contest against Obama. Keyes stated that he felt a moral obligation to run after being asked to by the state GOP, saying:

You are doing what you believe to be required by your respect for God's will, and I think that that's what I'm doing in Illinois.

Obama easily defeated Keyes, winning 70% of the vote vs. Keyes 27%.

Keyes has since left the Republican party, tried and failed to win a presidential nomination through the Constitution Party, and has formed a new third party, America's Independent Party.

After just two years in the U.S. Senate, Obama announced his candidacy for president in early 2007. Given highly favorable treatment by the CIA controlled mainstream media, indeed, hailed as "the Messiah," he triumphed over longtime political insider, NY Senator and former first wife Hillary Clinton and, all obstacles cleared from his path, is on the road to the White House.

Still, a certain flimsy veil of pretense must remain to keep the 80% of America who give these things only a passing glance fooled into thinking that their vote means something and we still have a republic. They can proudly put their "I voted!" sticker on their lapel and feel they've done their civic duty, as fascism grows up around them like well-watered weeds.

To keep this pretense in place, it should seem plausible when a charismatic black man takes over the highest office in a racist land. Enter, Sarah Palin.

Given that the banksters have already decided that Obama is the one, they were free to choose anyone they liked to enter the national stage last month. To get the most bang for the buck, they wanted someone who would absorb enormous amounts of newsprint and airtime--newsprint and airtime that will not be devoted to the massive robbery of the American people by those same banksters, under the guise of a Wall Street bailout. Nor will much media time be devoted to untangling the FBI's absurd framing of Bruce Ivins for Amerithrax.

With all eyes riveted on the shapely figure and faux pas of Sarah Palin, the banksters can more easily rob us blind and get away with murder.

Looks like another Mission Accomplished!


I hope it is not too late. Like Ron Paul Fan, I had my wake up in 2007, when I investigated 9/11 and found out that it was indeed an inside job. The April issue of The Rock Creek Free Press contains my story about the new research that proves that the official story about the attack on the Pentagon is a fairy tale. That story is posted here.

I especially appreciated the post of Kalun D, #131. I agree Kalun D! Investigate, educate, help people wake up! Only when vast, vast numbers realize the degree to which we live in a matrix, the degree to which the real world diverges from the fantasy we are told, can we have a prayer of change.

The hour is late, but it's not over till it's over. There are many more of us than them. But they have banking, the media, the government, the military. We have the internet and we must fight to keep it.

Others who woke up much, much earlier than I, believed it was too late long ago. Carroll Quigley (historian and author of Tragedy and Hope) said it was too late in the 60s. William Cooper (author of Behold a Pale Horse) said it was too late in the early 90s. So maybe it really is too late. But as Winston Churchill said:

"If you will not fight for right when you can easily win without bloodshed--

If you will not fight when your victory will be sure and not too costly--

You may come to the moment when you have to fight with all the odds against you and only a precarious chance of survival.

There may be even a worse fate. You may have to fight when there is no hope of victory, because it is better to perish than to live as slaves."

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Zhade Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-02-09 12:14 AM
Response to Original message
162. If he's not even willing to try, then fuck him.
NT!

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