Tuesday, September 30, 2008

House Resolution 3997

The U.S. House of Representatives defeated H.R.3997 on Monday, 29 Sept. 2008 by a vote of 205-228 under Roll Call 674. The (claimed-to-be "bipartisan") resolution would have pumped $700 billion of citizen's money to those same bankers and financiers who caused the ongoing credit crunch.

Looking into the actual text of the bill, what did I find? The cagey politicians threw a basket of bric-a-brac around the guts of their proposal. Citizens might be surprised to read the first lines: "BILL TITLE: To amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to provide earnings assistance and tax relief to members of the uniformed services, volunteer firefighters, and Peace Corps volunteers, and for other purposes" What the hell is this?

The Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008, as far as I can see, was thrown together with a bunch of other gunk. While seeking to spend a huge amount of taxpayer money to bailout the banks, officially they voted on the "Defenders of Freedom Tax Relief Act of 2007." Couldn't such a momentous effort have been better managed? This is a very shady Congress and not forthright.

From the Congressional Record Daily Digest for 29th September:
"Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008: The House failed to agree to the Senate amendment to the House amendment to the Senate amendment with an amendment made in order by the rule and printed in H. Rept. 110–903, to H.R. 3997, to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to provide earnings assistance and tax relief to members of the uniformed services, volunteer firefighters, and Peace Corps volunteers, by a recorded vote of 205 ayes to 228 noes, Roll No. 674."
Pages H10334–35, H10337–H10411

Yes (no?), that is: "...failed to agree to the Senate amendment to the House amendment to the Senate amendment with an amendment made in order by the rule...to amend..." Of course a typical person would just love to throw these bums out.

Reading the Congressional Record (which ain't easy) and as far as I can tell: Rep. Gohmert tried to adjourn the House at about 9:10 AM, it went to a vote and was defeated 8-394 (three Reps. after voting for holiday changed their votes to no; see page H10336). This was followed by reading H.R.3997 which talked of Peace Corps benefits, leaky underground storage tanks (SEC. 6430), parity in application of certain limits to mental health benefits, and by the way, a $700 billion subsidy to financiers (about $2000 per citizen). Nearly five hours of discussions followed, with highlights including Rep. Broun (R-Georgia): "this is a huge cow patty with a piece of marshmallow stuck in the middle of it, and I'm not going to eat that cow patty." After using all time for debate, an effort was made to declare the motion passed ("the Speaker pro tempore announced that the ayes appeared to have it...). But when a proper vote was demanded, the count was 205-228 and the bill was defeated.

Since the start of his administration nearly eight years ago, President Bush and his VP Cheney have sought to hamstring Congress and other checks on their executive authority, consistently treating all with contempt. The Treasury Secretary echoed this attitude with his original demands for huge rescue funding, which he himself would administer without oversight. Though there were great efforts (notably by Rep. Barney Frank) toward adjusting the demands of the President and his financiers, and toward increased transparency, the bill still failed. Now the real fireworks begin...

Sunday, September 28, 2008

More Myku by Genki

Contempt of Congress!
Both parties ignore our pain
Riches fall to friends

No re-election!
Your bailout hocks our future
Corruption's reward

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Myku by Genki

Heap Big Meltdown Fall
Pale Money-Men Eating Crow

glued to our keyboards
we fund master's large return
wipe away my tears...

no fundamentals
built on threat and warfare's bones
unseen greenbacked chains

they've learned nothing new
"industrial leadership"
merely how to con


young 72 ?
the makeup on John McCain
Elderly tinsel

Friday, September 26, 2008

To Market To Market

--- by Genki

To Market To Market
They chant to the Earth
They'd persist with their chant
But it hurts their net worth

Now they ask for a bailout
(Well in fact, they demand !)
Else destruction is promised
We could never withstand

They've demanded grand fortunes
They'll distribute to chums
While my town and our schools
Are transformed into slums

Section 8 of their wishlist
Bans all legal review
Other agencies' oversight
Would be off-limits too

"To maximize shareholder value..."
Our Republic now shoulders the cost
But profit is private & sacrosanct
To hesitate is to be lost

Our elected officials are cozy
On the great wealth of Wall Street they fawn
They told us the future was rosy
As they slyly deliver the con

The rats scramble up on the gravy train
Some foreign weasels ride too
A feeding frenzy – don’t complain
Big capital’s snafu

When Leaders are Looters...
My God who'd we elect?
When my own bills come due
They'll contrive to collect

Just call me a donkey
An innocent fool
Social Darwinist garbage
Misdirected misrule

It seems dumb I should subsidize
Those So Wrong & So Rich
Yet I'm urged to obey...
Golly - "Ain't life a bitch!"

Fixed Markets, Dirty Insiders

Wall Street spin-meister scum tell lapdog reporters the monster bailout is good for us. Few believe the tall tales; many people are tired of being lied to; most understand America is being looted by the privileged few.

We await a vocal political leader who'll speak strongly against subsidizing big business. Sadly, too many politicians are cozy with the big money players.

The world won't end without this bailout. Why demand prior immunity? -- because this flimflam will unravel. Financial wizards fashioned this crisis; they should lose their jobs, and disgorge accumulated ill-gotten wealth. Hasty decisionmaking rewards the worst people. The Bush government's failed regulatory policies and regressive tax system are also hugely to blame. It's time for change.

Make noise!

Keep government from mortgaging our future to the already rich.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Give Up the Keys, George!

A foolish boy and his nutty friends commandeer a car and drive wildly around. As time goes by, their roughshod ways cause the car to slow & stink - "it's not as nice as before." They want to design & build a new car for themselves & their friends. They demand that others pay, and quickly, or the world will end.

Don't let Congress waste our money on such people!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Emboldened Looters - Major Ripoff

Bush's Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, formerly CEO of Goldman Sachs, is preparing to loot the US Treasury. He wants US$700 billion to spend as he sees fit, without oversight.

The money could be distributed overseas, to prop up anything.

Paulson divested himself of a personal half-billion dollars stake in Goldman Sachs stock when taking his present government job. Bloomberg reported "He was exempted from paying capital gains tax on the sale of those stakes under a rule meant to avoid penalizing wealthy people who take government jobs and are forced to sell assets." The Treasury Secretary job itself pays $191,300 (or $478,250 over his expected 30 month term), but there were thus hundreds of millions of dollars of benefits. Sweet!

Of course, those $100 millions of capital gains taxes thus don't go to the Treasury, but instead are in Paulson's pocket.

Today, wonder of wonders, Paulson's reportedly got a new friend:
"Berkshire Hathaway, the company owned by US investment guru Warren Buffett, has bought ... $5bn of Goldman Sachs preferred stock bearing a 10% annual interest rate. It could increase its holding of Goldman shares as under the terms of the deal, it has the option of buying $5bn of common stock for $115 per share at any time in the next five years." Sweet deal!

Available for Financiers Only!

Beware especially the bailout's proposed Section 8 -- almost unbelievable: "Decisions by the Secretary pursuant to the authority of this Act are non-reviewable and committed to agency discretion, and may not be reviewed by any court of law or any administrative agency. " Wow! Looters Seek Prior-Immunity. Very bold. But it's a 'big bucks' play...

Monday, September 22, 2008

Double Whammy !

Speculation & lies have driven US finance firms to the brink of disaster. The "financial leaders" and "statesmen" who forced us into the morass are now begging for bailout by common working citizens.

What are these losers (most still in their high-paying jobs) now doing while Bush talks of a bailout costing $800 billion (don't trust low-figure Bush arithmetic)...

The financiers certainly now are doing what they do best -- jigging the system. Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley decide to change their legal status and become commercial banks -- the regulators accept their proposal the same day (21 Sept 2008); on a Sunday no less!

Be sure that the weasels are positioning their businesses and themselves personally to gorge maximally from the carnage they devised. Bailout costs are already rising; of course nobody wants to pay, now or ever. We must require any firm accepting public funds to purge all top management and make such failed managers liable to disgorge salaries and benefits already taken.

The big loser = the average mensch. It just ain't right!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Business as Usual = A Bad Business

The increasingly globalized world is always changing. We continuously need to adapt to survive.

Last week our US President suddenly became interventionist in business affairs, with friendly bail-out of major finance, banking and insurance businesses.

This is bad policy for many reasons. First, in most cases the same or wholly similar dipshits will continue to run those businesses. Careless & overpaid executives and regulators whose policies led to systemic problems haven't learned any lessons -- only that the taxpayer can bail them out. They should be forced personally to disgorge salaries, bonuses & profits.

Tycoon bailout without oversight is bad business, too similar to the mistake made by Pres. Ford in pardoning Richard Nixon, drawing a veil over Watergate. As a nation of laws, the full debacle should be presented in open court, with public evidence on record. Otherwise the same errors will reemerge again & again.

Bush & his cronies have fiddled the system from the top, and have driven our nation to near ruin (to justify bailout, they now admit financial ruin is near).

Irresponsible appointments have focused on ideologues, often with bankrupt options. 'Creative accounting' led to poor performance, perhaps inevitably.

Hurricane Katrina's infamous "Brownie" became Undersecretary in the Dept. of Homeland Security after presiding over the decline of the Intl. Arabian Horse Assn. Smashing!

Enron's Thomas E. White became Secretary of the Army (previous CEO of Enron Operations Corp. & Vice Chair of Enron Energy Services). White's responsibility for the Army didn't last two years, but he was in charge during 9/11 and the deadly anthrax attacks. (It's now believed the anthrax poisoner operated from within Fort Detrick, a US Army facility). Lovely...


Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Govt. Flim-Flam Unravels

The Bush Republican government has been marked by buffoonery & catering to special interests. Assorted chauvinistic crusades around the globe cost untold lives & huge amounts of money, leaving a trail of enmity and destruction.

Lies and foolishness became systematic duplicity: "Brownie, you're doing a heck of a job!" as some 1,836 people died, invalids drowned in their hospital beds, etc. Few Americans know that the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina saw over 70 nations send disaster relief teams & aid donations to help New Orleans recover. In some cases the Bush regime first declined help, yet backtracked soon after to beg for assistance. Pitiful hubris.

Deregulation and patronage have led to grand mistrust of government - one more Republican goal achieved.

Priority spending areas = militarism & secrecy.

Now the financial markets are in turmoil, the cost of basic commodities is obscenely high, and most Americans feel less secure than when they elected (and reelected!) George W. Bush and his cronies.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

God's Plan for His Church?

The Roman Catholic Church shuns women as leaders, claiming (in a misdirecting defense) that "the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven are not the ministers but the saints." (Inter Insigniores, 1976; reconfirmed in Ordinatio Sacerdotalis, 1994: 'On Reserving Priestly Ordination to Men Alone'). But why is female ordination banned? Are women truly incapable of ministering to a congregation or providing pastoral services? Is this proper tradition, ancient lore, or chauvinistic foolishness?

Should non-believers interfere? If reform is rejected here, what of other cases where religion or culture seem to conflict with healthy human lives? For example, what of circumcision? Is it reasonable? (when a child cannot reasonably make a choice). What of female circumcision - otherwise termed genetic mutilation... should cultural tradition trump law and reason? Such arguments could condone human sacrifice!

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Hawaii's 1st Jewish Governor on Palin

3 Sept 2008; Haaretz (Israel)
Hawaii's 1st Jewish Governor: Palin More Experienced than Obama
by Natasha Mozgovaya
"Lingle says she has never discussed Israel-related issues with Palin. "But Senator McCain's commitment to Israel is strong and well-known, and I assure your readers that he would not put someone on that ticket who did not have the same feelings. Certainly he has discussed those issues. Governor Palin is a very religious person, and the religious Christians are the greatest supporters of Israel."

According to Lingle, the Republican Party is likely to attract growing numbers of Jewish voters because "the Republicans have a much stronger position on Israel than the Democrats, and that's why I think more people will be seen on the Republican side."

Recent Wars: Vietnam & Elsewhere

In the USA many feel it is injudicious, even treasonous, to criticize the wars now being waged by our brave uniformed men & women. But 35 years ago the USA was engaged in a distant intervention in Southeast Asia. Was the Vietnam war a grave mistake? Don't look to John McCain for a clear answer: he was a war victim, but also an active aggressor (dutifully piloted 23 bombing missions). His father served as Commander-in-Chief, Pacific Command (CINCPAC), in charge of unified US & South Vietnam (RVN) forces; the person responsible operationally for waging the war from 1968-1972. Was the US war in Vietnam a grave mistake? Was it fundamentally wrong? ... a criminal enterprise? Powerful Americans avoid the nasty facts (millions killed directly, continued crippling from landmines & dioxin pollution); if not citing US heroism, they'd like to forget about that war.