Friday, February 27, 2009

The Obama Budget: A Return to Equality

by Doug Drenkow

Stoked by the changes going on in DC, I just had to share with you, below, a few excerpts from today's most-e-mailed article in the New York Times online. And remember: This isn't about "class warfare" -- even though that is what you'll continue to hear from those on the Right who, as the article reports, for some 30 years have been effectively looting the national treasury and all the other wealth created by the hard-working, anything-but-rich people of this great nation.

No, this is simply about restoring fairness and wisdom to our economic policies. Why, even the rich will ultimately be enriched if the poor and middle class have more money, since it is the "anything but ordinary" Americans (as Obama so wonderfully put it) who buy most of the goods and services sold by the companies the rich are invested in. There's a word for that phenomenon: It's called "progress."

Our nation, plundered by greed, will be restored by hard work and common sense. And I don't know anything more American than that.

A Bold Plan Sweeps Away Reagan Ideas

By David Leonhardt

The budget that President Obama proposed on Thursday is nothing less than an attempt to end a three-decade era of economic policy dominated by the ideas of Ronald Reagan and his supporters. ...

More than anything else, the proposals seek to reverse the rapid increase in economic inequality over the last 30 years. They do so first by rewriting the tax code and, over the longer term, by trying to solve some big causes of the middle-class income slowdown, like high medical costs and slowing educational
gains. ...

[T]he average post-tax income of the top 1 percent of households has jumped by roughly $1 million since 1979, adjusted for inflation, to $1.4 million. Pay for most families has risen only slightly faster than inflation.

Before becoming Mr. Obama’s top economic adviser, Lawrence H. Summers liked
to tell a hypothetical story to distill the trend. The increase in inequality, Mr. Summers would say, meant that each family in the bottom 80 percent of the income distribution was effectively sending a $10,000 check, every year, to the top 1 percent of earners. [emphasis mine]

Mr. Obama’s budget reflects that sensibility. Budget experts were still sorting through the details on Thursday, but it appeared that various tax cuts and credits aimed at the middle class and the poor would increase the take-home pay of the median household by roughly $800.

The tax increases on the top 1 percent, meanwhile, will most likely cost them $100,000 a year. ...

And if the economy remains weak into next year, as many forecasters expect, Congressional Republicans will try to pin the blame on the looming tax increases on the affluent.

It was Chris Matthews (or perhaps his likewise great MSNBC colleagues Keith Olbermann or Rachel Maddow) pointed out, can you even imagine a U.S. politician on the national scene, let alone in an address to a joint session of Congress, unabashedly calling for higher taxes on the wealthy even just a couple years ago?

It's horrific that it took a financial crisis that has us not just "on the brink" but actually going over -- The GDP shrunk by 6% last quarter! -- but finally it seems like some common sense has finally been pounded into the American psyche. 69% of the public thinks Obama's doing the right things on the economy; and after watching the Obama speech, over 80% think the economy will get better.

But like any wounded animal, the Right is now more dangerous than ever. And you and I know they are capable of anything to keep their power. However, what they don't seem to realize is that the people at large -- the everyday households whose consumption accounts for two-thirds of the GDP and whose votes put the hands on the levers of constitutional power -- are the real "powers that be" ... as long as we are properly informed and not misled.

And that is precisely why I am surely stoked by the events ongoing. We have an extraordinary leader in Mr. Obama -- Damn my slowness in finishing my Web site / portolio; I need to apply for a job with his administration! -- and in this economic crisis unlike any we've ever seen -- comparisons to the Great Depression may even be inadequate if things continue unabated -- eyes and minds are being opened, unlike I've ever witnessed before. As Obama says, we have great challenges but also a great opportunity to do a lot of good.

But just remember, it was 30 years of lower taxes on the rich -- and fewer regulations on their financial shenanigans -- that got us into this mess in the first place. The only thing that will get us out of it will be tax breaks targeted to and investments in the things that help the other 95% of the population. As the song says, This Land Is Your Land!


Media Conglomerates, Mergers, Concentration of Ownership, Global Issues, Updated: January 02, 2009

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Soylent Red, White and Blue

By Ed Encho
Every normal man must be tempted at times to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin to slit throats.

--H. L. Mencken


I: Republican Ratfucker Dead-Enders

“May you live in interesting times”
goes the familiar and eerily relevant Chinese curse and America circa 2009 is an eerie example of what whomever came up with that one had in mind. The economic collapse is gaining in momentum with the fraudulent markets in freefall, the ripple effects of the implosion of the FIRE economy now spreading into the real economy and the system desperately trying to save itself even if it must destroy the country itself in order to do so.

In a land gripped by growing madness the dead-enders of the fascist Republican party become more angry, irrational and outright seditious with each passing day. The latest outrage this week is the ugly public tantrums of several Republican governors who are shamelessly and publicly balking at accepting funds for some programs from the diluted economic stimulus package that was signed into law last week by President Barack Obama. It is once again political party before country for these miscreant thugs, the whores of the oligarchy and their religion of tax cuts for the wealthy, an endless fountain of corporate welfare and a dumbed-down and desperate populace that is more easily controlled.

A bitter and recalcitrant bunch led by a red state rat pack including career scoundrel and now the overly corpulent governor Mississippi Haley Barbour. The cornerstone of peckerwood nation that Barbour reigns over deserves recognition as the 2008 winner of the dubious honor of being the fattest state in America that is Mississippi, their third title in a row. Just think of the 1970’s Pittsburgh Steelers and Joe Montana era San Francisco 49ers in terms of NFL football dynasties and you get an idea at exactly where Mississippi (answer to the joke: what has four eyes and can’t see?) ranks in the obesity hall of fame. With leadership like Barbour, the Magnolia State may yet see a Bill Russell era Boston Celtics decade long stranglehold on the title were it not for the economic decay that threatens to bring widespread hunger to the Homeland. Along with Barber were Gov’s Mark Sanford of South Carolina (who did offer to pray for the people needing the aid), the oily Rick Perry of Texas and GOP rising star Bobby Jindal of Louisiana, a glad-handing little twerp of a deceitful charlatan who looks like he could be a rug merchant in the Mumbai slums.

After B.J.'s embarassing response to Obama's rousing speech on Tueday night perhaps he should consider whether or not such a career change is in order, there is nothing like being butt-fucked live on national television that is the kiss of death for political aspirations, other than that there is always American Idol or Dancing With the Stars. He reminded me of a talking Pinocchio style puppet version of Bob Denver, only with a much better tan and without Gilligan's trademark hat.

The raw cynicism of the fascist RNC in trotting out whatever minority mouthpiece of the week (before Jindal it was Michael Steele) as a counter to Obama is as transparent and ridiculous as them trying to put lipstick on the pig of the McCain campaign by seeking to tap into the bitter PUMA demographic by pimping that wolf murdering moron Sarah Palin. Jindal is just the latest in a long and storied line of Louisiana flam flam-men in the tradition of Edwin Edwards but the stench of desperation is as palpable as it is fetid. Personally I would have far more respect for the fascist rump party of dead enders had they rolled out another Louisianan of note, David Duke as their official spokesman. At least he actually believes in something and no matter how vile that it may be he is genuine and that makes him unlike the gravy train riding flea-market bargains like Bobby J. and Ichabod Cantor. Just peer beneath the surface of every one of these preening and preaching Republican ass-clowns and there is the leering visage of that philandering little fascist dwarf Newt Gingrich and his fellow anti-American right-wing jihadists.

Now goaded on by the oligarchs, the bankers and the blood barters, the paid shills and stooges are increasingly turning to some old bread and butter tactics like red baiting (so much of an anachronism in 2009 that it would be piss in your pants funny were so many of the knuckle dragging lumpen-Republikkkans not buying it) and an increasing virulent form of blatant racism as was evident with last week’s Ruppert Murdoch owned New York Post’s kill the monkey cartoon. How comical is it when a Wall Street subsidized punk like CNBC's Rick Santelli can get up and demagogue about a ridiculous Chicago Tea Party protest over an Obama administration plan to help homeowners and not the criminal scum bankers that he works for. The Santelli's of this world have a lot riding on continuing to carry water for the robbers and banksters - their fucking jobs!

The hew and cry against the dreaded nationalization of the insolvent banks by the keening carnival barkers like Santelli and the insipid, screaming lunatic Jim Cramer (who more appropriately belongs outside the geek tent pimping a feces eating contest or better yet in a padded cell at his local insane asylum) and the legions of other paid shills is only guaranteed to grow louder and in some cases, as I am going to mention, much more dangerous as the grand scale financial crooks look to lock in their gains and escape with nary a consequence for their thievery.

The gumption of the reactionary fascist bloc is indicative of a savage and rabid cornered rat, still stinging over the massive public rejection of last November the red-ass party is now unified in opposing the impending nationalization of the failed banking system. I say impending because despite lobbyist pressure, a vast media propaganda apparatus, right-wing think tanks that pop up like incurable herpes genital warts and a frothing at the mouth underclass looking for scapegoats because the chain reaction has already been set off and nothing is going to stop the collapse of the Ponzi economy.

Game’s up jack, it ain’t ever comin’ back and the planet killer asteroid that are the derivatives aren’t even on the radar screen yet. The derivatives are the doomsday machine coming home like the prodigal son of looter capitalism turned Hannibal Lecter and with Oedipal revenge on the mind to fuck mommy up the ass and whack daddy into McNugget sized snack treats for later on when watching The O'Reilly Factor on TIVO.

The derivatives are the insanely complicated hedges, side bets, grand scale financial chicanery that should be illegal so dangerous are they. The wizards and masters of the universe like their scientific madman geniuses who build machines that could create an Earth destroying black hole have in their greed, arrogance and the smugness that could only come from having the entire political and judicial system in their pockets along with the trump card of a bought and paid for media built what capitalist hero Warren Buffett once called financial weapons of mass destruction. We aren’t even hearing about these fuckers yet and that my friends should scare the shit out of everyone.

As the muckraker Upton Sinclair once remarked “It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends upon his not understanding it.”, and the derivatives monster albeit insanely complex and convoluted will no sooner be addressed by the “experts” and “many economists” that you regularly see mentioned in financial news than the fact that the house of cards of the Ponzi economy was in the crosshairs of a category five shitstorm. Always remember that these same “experts” and “economists” failed to acknowledge the problem in the first place, choosing to mock the experts like Nouriel Roubini who dared to call bullshit and earned the nickname Dr. Doom as a result of his heresy. It was as recently as nine or so months ago that the carnival barkers and shit salesmen were saying that the economy was still “fundamentally sound”.

There will of course always be distractions and the suckers in ample supply as always will continue to bite. In the great 1980's Bruce Willis movie Die Hard an international group of thugs invade and take over Nakatomi Plaza, holding hostages and all under the pretense of terrorism. The real truth is that the terrorist ploy was designed to provide cover for a massive robbery and in the end all the hostages would be marched up to the roof of the building which mined with C4 explosives would be blown up, killing all of the hostages and allowing the perps to escape to their beaches of choice where they could bask in the sun collecting interest on their plundered loot. What is going on now with the terrified oligarchy and the manufactured distractions from their propaganda parrots is reminiscent of exactly that.

II: Games Without Frontiers, War Without Tears

The fascist controllers are in full recognition of the rising tide of anger that is the result of economic despair brought on by a rotted and failed system. I would suggest that any who may have some degree of doubt about the coming reaping of the whirlwind her in Der Homeland only take a look around them for signs. In a couple of recent articles that I personally find relevant, Michael Klare’s A Planet On The Brink and Chris Hedges’ Bad News From America’s Top Spy. The observation that the political unrest that is currently occurring outside our little flag draped cocoon of ignorance and denial will soon be coming to America. An additional reading assignment is this article from The Guardian entitled Summer of Rage.

Hedges’ piece is particularly disturbing in that he speaks of the Obama administration’s newly minted Director of National Intelligence (DNI) Dennis Blair. During testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee Blair spoke gravely of the repercussions of the financial meltdown that could lead to domestic riots, mass protests and widespread civil disobedience. Blair, a man with a bit of a history of disregard for human rights (note his involvement in East Timor attrocities) as well as the monstrous, ever intrusive police state apparatus at his disposal. The latter surveillance and repression complex that still operates with total impunity and is not subject to any form of legitimate oversight or accountability despite the change in management at the Washington whorehouse.

Mr. Hedges in his aforementioned piece also links to a U.S. Army War College report entitled Known Unknowns: Unconventional “Strategic Shocks” in Defense Strategy Development that specifically recommends that the military be prepared to respond within U.S. borders against American citizens for the coming backlash as the economic deterioration quickens and the rising tide of anger reaches the boiling point. The big boys know that the cataclysm is coming and are ready to respond to it with extreme prejudice.

In layman’s terms, the state is soon going to be weaponized by the very parasites who have sucked the country dry and sold us all out for chump change and are going to make damned sure that the rabble is put down like rabid dogs when the time comes. Now that Posse Comitatus has been rendered irrelevant and the new programs that grew out of the shadow government’s prototype REX 84, Cable Splicer and Garden Plot martial law plans are ready to be implemented. The trap is about to slam shut just at the time that a growing number of the general public is finally starting to get the point that the late, great George Carlin articulated so greatly in his epic rant about who really owns America:

Forget the politicians. They're irrelevant. The politicians are put there to give you the idea that you have freedom of choice. You don't. You have no choice. You have owners. They own you. They own everything. They own all the important land. They own and control the corporations. They've long since bought and paid for the Senate, the Congress, the state houses, the city halls. They've got the judges in their back pockets. They own all the big media companies so they control just about all of the news and information you get to hear. They got you by the balls!

They spend billions of dollars every year lobbying. Lobbying to get what they want. Well, we know what they want. They want more for themselves and less for everybody else. But I'll tell you what they don't want. They don't want a population of citizens capable of critical thinking. They don't well-informed, well-educated people capable of critical thinking. They're not interested in that. That doesn't help them. That's against their interest. That's right.

You know something? They don't want people who are smart enough sitting around the kitchen table to figure out they're getting fucked by a system that threw them overboard thirty fucking years ago. They don't want that. You know what they want? They want obedient workers. Obedient workers. People who are just smart enough to run the machines and do the paper work, and just dumb enough to passively accept all these increasingly shittier jobs with the lower pay, the longer hours, the reduced benefits, the end of overtime and the vanishing pension that disappears the minute you go to collect it.

And now they're coming for your Social Security money. They want your fucking retirement money. They want it back, so they can give it to their criminal friends on Wall Street. And you know something? They'll get it. They'll get it all from you sooner or later. Because they own this fucking place. It's a big club... and you ain't in it. You and I are not in the big club.

By the way, it's the same big club they use to beat you over the head with all day long when they tell you what to believe. All day long, beating you over the head in their media telling you what to believe, what to think and what to buy.

The table is tilted folks. The game is rigged. And nobody seems to notice. Nobody seems to care. Good, honest, hard working people. Blue collar, white collar, doesn't matter what color shirt you have on. Good honest hard working people continue... these are people of modest means... continue to elect these rich cocksuckers who don't give a fuck about them. They don't give a fuck about you. They don't give a fuck about you. They don't care about you. At all. At all. At all. And nobody seems to notice. And nobody seems to care.

That's what the owners count on, the fact that Americans will remain wilfully ignorant about the big red, white and blue dick that is being shoved up their ass every day. Because the owners know the truth. It's called the American Dream because you have to be asleep to believe it.
Of course the ownership society always meant one thing and one thing only, they own our asses, the game is rigged alright and the oligarchy is going to ensure that it stays rigged even if they have to call in the jackbooted thug paramilitary types, the militarized police and even the fucking military itself to protect the looters.

Anyone who has read Naomi Klein’s brilliant and seminal book The Shock Doctrine knows how the game works. The oligarchy could always count on massive public ignorance as long as the lemmings watched T.V. and went shopping, then there was the element of constant fear implemented post 9/11 by the Republican neo-Nazi thugs and their tool George W. Bush (himself the grandson of a Nazi enabler). Now though with the cataclysm still only in the early innings the zeitgeist is starting to turn on the pirates of plunder. This stunning ‘joke’ by comedian Bill Maher on HBO’s Real Time With Bill Maher series is as viciously audacious as it is dangerous to those who have presided over the biggest robbery in history:
Now I am saying...I don't think we should put all the bankers to death, just two. I mean maybe it's not technically legal but let's look at the upside - if we killed two random greedy pigs...I mean KILLED - like blew them up at halftime of next year's Super Bowl or left them hanging on the big board of the New York Stock Exchange with their balls in their mouths - I think it would really make everyone else sit up and take notice.
I can guarantee you that the ruling class is taking notice and is putting their protectors on notice, the horrifying little National Guard urban warfare training exercise in Arcadia, Iowa is an example of what is really going on, largely in a cone of media enforced silence, you don’t want the cattle to know that when they reach the end of the chute that the pneumatic air-hammer is going to smash their brains into jelly prior to the slaughter.

The creation of NORTHCOM and the now infamous Army Times story about battle hardened troops being brought home from Iraq are puzzle pieces that are falling into place. Rob Kall, editor of the great website Op Ed News did a piece earlier this week called Coming Soon – Riots in America?, in which he speaks of many of the same things that I am addressing in this posting but this is the truly ominous piece from Mr. Kall:
I just spoke to a friend who knows someone who is trying to get out of the military because they are training returning troops for riot control to take over US cities and he doesn't want to be a soldier dealing with US citizens. On top of that, these returning Iraq vets are burned out and "fried" with PTSD and exhaustion. And he doesn't want to pick up arms against his own country.

This same source says the military is setting up a separate communication system. In the military, securing or taking out communications is one of the first steps. If you are an invader, you need to bring your own communication system because you have to assume that the existing system will be destroyed or compromised.

The future, as Leonard Cohen once put it, is murder. The Army War College study that I referenced earlier is reminiscent of a British Ministry of Defense report from back in 2007 that was written about in the London Article with the title: Revolution, Flash Mobs and Brain Chips and among many other extremely troubling predictions this one particularly seems to be of an increased degree of relevance given the current breakdown in the global social order:

Marxism

"The middle classes could become a revolutionary class, taking the role envisaged for the proletariat by Marx," says the report. The thesis is based on a growing gap between the middle classes and the super-rich on one hand and an urban under-class threatening social order: "The world's middle classes might unite, using access to knowledge, resources and skills to shape transnational processes in their own class interest". Marxism could also be revived, it says, because of global inequality. An increased trend towards moral relativism and pragmatic values will encourage people to seek the "sanctuary provided by more rigid belief systems, including religious orthodoxy and doctrinaire political ideologies, such as popularism and Marxism".

Pressures leading to social unrest

By 2010 more than 50% of the world's population will be living in urban rather than rural environments, leading to social deprivation and "new instability risks", and the growth of shanty towns. By 2035, that figure will rise to 60%. Migration will increase. Globalisation may lead to levels of international integration that effectively bring inter-state warfare to an end. But it may lead to "inter-communal conflict" - communities with shared interests transcending national boundaries and resorting to the use of violence.

The article is subtitled A Grim Vision of the Future, that is the future for those who happen to be on the receiving end of the grand ass-fucking of globalization. Note that the MOD report ties the social upheaval due to the anger of those robbed by the globalists to that old devil Karl Marx whose writings have provide so much ideological cover in the past to those seeking to strip mine the planet.

It is especially notable that any progressive or leftist attempts to take over the power structure are always painted up like the fake devil Marx when it comes to having to justify the systematic use of torture, murder and illegal internment that is the basis for fascist capitalism. We have seen this game before, we have seen it in Latin America, Africa, across Europe and the Asian continents, we have seen it in the Arab world and now it is being used to put down the citizens of the Anglo-American empire itself who are now victims of this corrupt system of institutionalized rape and thievery. Imperialism is nothing more than murder and slavery, it has always been that way.

III: The Summer of Rage - Hijacking the Revolution

Divide and conquer is the oldest tactic in the book. This strategy is playing out right now as the guardians of the oligarchy use their bought and paid for corporate media pulpits to propagandize and deceive. Notable is FOX News' involvement in fomenting violence and seeking to splinter and confuse the victims of the grand Ponzi scheme into attacking each other rather than the real cause of their misery. Glenn Greenwald addressed this in his recent piece entitled Fox News "war games" the coming civil war.

In a flaming Fox News extravaganza, bursting at the seams with more than the usual fascist bullshit dime store demagogue Glenn Beck (the former local Tampa Bay hack who used to specialize in staging ‘big eater’ runs prior to being called up to the hatemongering big leagues) spoke of a coming civil war. The GOP Gladio (the reference is to a famous fascist WW II stay behind operation) will be led by get this – “bubba” militias aka the dregs of WASP society out to get some payback against that Commie, Muslim ‘nigger’ in the White House, armed to the teeth and jacked up on a mixture of Jesus juice, horny goat weed and home brewed methamphetamine. The really slick and Rovian shrewdness of this dastardly black propaganda operation is the intent to fragment the growing resistance movement by attempting to peel off the anti-imperialist, anti-globalist, anti-Federal Reserve types that have most recently found a haven in the Ron Paul libertarian camp. The same sort of folks that Herr Beck had previously decried as kooks, dangerous extremists, terrorist sympathizers and anarchists back when the Bushreich was still in power.

Now Beck, the cheapjack opportunist that he is sees a golden opportunity to appease his war-freak masters and catapult the already bloated, putrescent and rotting carcass of Rush Limbaugh into a primo position as field marshal of the angry white army. It’s like the copy machine salesman turned conqueror General Bethlehem in the movie The Postman only with the moon-faced one being the fucking lunatic in this one. Beck has designs on grabbing a ride on the gravy train of think tank subsidized fascism with his national cable soapbox being the perch from which he can deliver his strident and inflammatory rhetoric and seduce the ignorant fucking bastards who are too goddamned dumb to realize WHO has really fucked them over into joining his dead-ender, zombie remnants of the armies of 16, all that remains of Republican power after a three and a half year train wreck that began at Terri Schiavo’s hospice, spilled over into a seedy hotel where Pastor Ted was smoking dicks, took a turn for the worst in the horrendous national fuckup that was the Bush administration’s response to Hurricane Katrina, stalled further when Satan finally had an opening spot to call Jerry Falwell’s fat ass home and was splattered across the deflector shields with the insane, paranoid babbling of Mr. 9/11 Rudy Giuliani, the somnolent Fred Thompson and the disastrously botched McCain-Palin campaign.

The opportunity is there for a new face, and the jackboots are a very good fit on Beck, Rush is about ready to pick up his golden briefcase and spend the rest of his years stalking child prostitutes in the Dominican Republic and feeding his Oxycontin jones - the facists have grabbed that big fucker by his man tits and milked him dry. Glenn Beck is the future.

FOX’s War Games project has in addition to Beck recruited a veritable rogues gallery of racists, operatives and military industrial complex information warriors like the ‘former’ CIA agent and Osama bin Laden groupie Michael ‘kill ‘em all’Scheuer, on call Pentagon pimp Tim Strong and a gaggle of other so-called ‘experts’ who wear their fascism on their sleeves. Fox also cannily offers airtime to Congressman Paul along with trends forecasting guru and self proclaimed "political atheist" Gerald Celente (who I happen to be a big fan of) in order to launder their disinfo through a cheesecloth thin guise of semi-legitimacy. Make no mistake though, these people are the modern day heirs to the same fascist traitors who once tried to overthrow Roosevelt by recruiting former Marine Corps General Smedley D. Butler to lead a coup d'etat (known as the Business Plot) against the legitimately elected government of the United States. Butler, a loyal American played coy, gathered intel and then ratted those disloyal scum out as the enemies within that they were then and their legacy remains to this day.

Glenn Beck is nothing more than a descendant to the sort of fascist pocket propagandist of which the prototype was a vicious demagogue named Father Charles Coughlin who was bought off during an economic crisis to foment violence, support the system of exploitation and lead an angry army that in all likelihood included the grandfathers and great-grandfathers of the modern day dittoheads. Now as history repeats itself in a slightly different manner as it is wont to do the economic royalists are using the same old methodology in the creation of a counter-progressive movement loyal to the oligarchy and the forces of American fascism. I excerpt the following from a 1939 pamphlet by Joseph Hansen -Father Coughlin: Fascist Demagogue:

Fascism is a combination of two things.

First, it is a wide mass movement of farmers and small businessmen who face bankruptcy, of youth denied a future under capitalism, of sections of the unemployed. All these layers of the oppressed who are seeking desperately to put their hands on the surrounding plenty become hypnotized by the silver-plated promises of a demagogue who regiments them into blindly obedient shock troops.

Secondly, it is financed and controlled by the very capitalists who above all are anxious to keep the revolutionary violence of the masses from turning against them. In America – the DuPonts, the Morgans, the Rockefellers – the Sixty Families.

To the rank and file followers of fascism, at first it seems a genuine revolutionary way out of their misery. They discover the truth too late.

The capitalists provide the money. The dictator provides the powerful slogans, the stirring names, the demagogic program, the organization, the lieutenants and the oratory.
That the fascist Republican rat-fuckers are unified in opposing the reforms of President Barack Obama, a man whose chief shortcoming is in failing to as yet realize the doomed naïve futility of a bi-partisan peace with those whose goal is the further destruction of the American working classes is likely to make him a one term wonder – if that long given the recent uptick in racism and violent threats coming from the extreme right. Charisma will only take a man so far as John F. Kennedy so brutally learned as a large chunk of his skull was blown off by the bullets of assassins, especially true when facing a relentless and driven enemy, a monolithic and ruthless conspiracy of fascist fifth columnists.

The goal of the Republican neo-Nazis is nothing other than an aborted or otherwise botched Obama presidency which will then give way to a resurgence of their new dictator, this time they won’t choose a fool like George W. Bush and the full powers of a police state that the star-crossed Democrats are failing to dismantle at his or her disposal with which to utilize in a god-kissed, flag-wrapped version of a final solution. The deranged apple pie authoritarians are now plotting their resurrection, the failure to act now and with an iron will to destroy them will only result in a misery and suffering unheard of in this once great land of plenty.

The dupes who are recruited as shocktroops are always the last ones to get it and with these dopes it will be no different, they won't realize that they have been played until they are broken and eventually targeted by those who had used them for being too dangerous - permanent revolution is not what the fascist pricks are looking for and these useful idiots will be expendable as history shows that they always have been.

With reliable fascist tools like Beck and FOX revving up the shock troops, Admiral Blair openly musing about using the military in putting down the rabble and the job losses mounting could it be long before the four flushing looter capitalist oligarchs who run this shithouse put two and two together and realize that dissidents could be very easily converted into Sweeney Todd meat pies? Hell, the prototype for a pilot program already exists in China, the land of goons where greedy and amoral transnational corporations go to beta test their products for the day that they will be rolled out in Der Heimat. The gruesome and macabre Death Van story comes to mind, could it be long before these are painted up in red, white and blue, affixed with a big yellow smiley face and sent to pick YOU up?

IV: Revolutionary Moi

When the shit really doe shit the fan you can count me in with the folks who are smarter than the ones who are duped by the tinpot despots, their drooling demagogues and the ‘bubba’ militias who will be out there targeting libruls as the new Juden. Hell, bring the cocksuckers on, they will get a twelve-gauge enema form me and many others who are not too stupid to be suckered by the rulers of chumpland. Count me in with the people who pumped their fists in the air over Bill Maher’s ‘joke’ about killing two bankers. But as a sworn enemy of tyranny, fascist oppression and the looting bastard parasites that Thomas Jefferson warned of:

"If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issuance of their currency, first by inflation and then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around them will deprive the people of all their property until their children will wake up homeless on the continent their fathers conquered."

And I might say…why only two?

Were George Washington, Jefferson and the rest of the revolutionary patriots who founded this country in casting off the yoke of slavery of the king and his paper merchants still around there wouldn’t be enough lampposts and trees to hang these fuckers from. Hell, let’s have a full-blown, storm the Bastille French style REVOLUTION!! Eat the rich, roll out the guillotines and let the fun begin. We can even ‘invite’ Glenn Beck, Rick Santelli and the other fascist stooges to help with the testing process. I mean, don’t we want to get the guillotine settings just right in regards to calibrating the blade drop for maximum efficiency before we get to the filthy looters themselves? Shit, why not ‘invite’ ALL of the mouthpieces for the four-flushing bastards who have destroyed this country and now are trying to implement their police state to ‘blow the roof’ while they slither off to Dubai or some other refuge with no extradition treaty? They hanged Julius Steicher at Nuremberg didn’t they? Did he really ever personally kill any Jews or did his propaganda rag Der Stürmer only make him an accomplice to the mass murders? Shit, Charles Manson killed fewer people than George W. Bush and one is on spending his fourth decade on death row while the other is already racking up future appearances on the speaking circuit.

What the fuck?

I will close now with this, I am not exactly sure of where exactly where it came from but I really like it:

There are four boxes to be used in defense of liberty:
  1. SOAP
  2. BALLLOT
  3. JURY
  4. AMMO
Please Use in that order

(editor's note, be sure to stockpile #4)

This is a revolution call, a call to arms and the scourging of the fascists, the conniving banksters and the oligarchy that has declared war on US, the American people. Heed this call and we can reclaim our legacy as a free people as well as our cherished birthright –

LIBERTY

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Wednesday, February 25, 2009

What Happened to the American Media?

by Sadbuttrue

Earlier today I was reading THIS POST at Ice Station Tango and it brought to mind a documentary I saw a couple of years ago on CBC's excellent news magazine The Fifth Estate. I couldn't remember what it was called, but it wasn't hard to find. It's called Sticks and Stones. In short, it's an examination of the 'left-wing bias' exhibited by the US media, focusing on FOX "news", Bill O'Reilly and Ann Coulter. I didn't know that it was available for viewing on line or I would have posted it long ago. Now that questions are being asked about the role of FAUX, CNN, and others in manipulating the American public into supporting policies that have damn near destroyed the country, it is not only still relevant, it is MORE relevant than ever. YOU MUST WATCH THIS!!

What happened to the American Media? After Nixon's demise, the right wing of the Republican party decided that they could no longer afford to allow the free dissemination of information to the US public. The simple solution? Have their friends buy up the major networks, newspaper chains and magazines, so they could be controlled from the top on the corporate level. The Left's Media Miscalculation was to stand by and watch them do it.
"The American Fascist would prefer not to use violence. His method is to poison the channels of public information. With a fascist the problem is never how best to present the truth to the public but how best to use the news to deceive the public into giving the fascist and his group more money or more power."

-- Henry A. Wallace, Vice President to FDR, 1944 --
The Danger of American Fascism
Having wrested control over the channels of public information, they went on to remove any impediment to their injecting their poisons into the public dialogue. The first step was to get rid of the fairness doctrine.
Under FCC Chairman Mark S. Fowler the FCC began to repeal parts of the Fairness Doctrine, announcing in 1985 that the doctrine hurt the public interest and violated the First Amendment.

In 1986 the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit upheld a loose interpretation by the FCC of an aspect of the Fairness Doctrine, ruling that Congress had "never made the doctrine a binding requirement." In August 1987, the Commission abolished the doctrine by a 4-0 vote, in its Syracuse Peace Council decision. The FCC insisted that the doctrine had grown to inhibit rather than enhance debate and suggested that, due to the many media voices in the marketplace at the time, the doctrine was perceived to be unconstitutional.

In the spring of 1987 Congress attempted to contest the FCC vote and restore the Doctrine (S. 742, 100th Cong., 1st Sess. (1987)), but the legislation was vetoed by President Reagan. Another attempt to resurrect the doctrine in 1991 ran out of steam when President George H.W. Bush threatened another veto. (Wikipedia)
The next step was to further remove any requirement that a "news" show tell the truth. FOX and a number of other "news" organizations took it to court in an elaborate and complicated case that began in 1996 with an investigative report into the effects of a Monsanto product given to dairy cows called BGH. Jane Akre and her husband, Steve Wilson were reporters at FOX affiliate WTVT in Tampa Bay, Florida. They produced a story that, while true, was not exactly friendly to Monsanto.
"The station was initially very excited about the series. But within a week, Fox executives and their attorneys wanted the reporters to use statements from Monsanto representatives that the reporters knew were false and to make other revisions to the story that were in direct conflict with the facts. Fox editors then tried to force Akre and Wilson to continue to produce the distorted story. When they refused and threatened to report Fox's actions to the FCC, they were both fired."
A wrongful dismissal lawsuit was filed by Akre, which she won.The jury unanimously ruled that she was only doing her job as a journalist by refusing to air “a false, distorted or slanted story.” FOX appealed, and the result was stunning. "During their appeal, FOX asserted that there are no written rules against distorting news in the media. They argued that, under the First Amendment, broadcasters have the right to lie or deliberately distort news reports on public airwaves."
On February 14, 2003 the Florida Second District Court of Appeals unanimously overturned the settlement awarded to Akre. The Court held that Akre’s threat to report the station’s actions to the FCC did not deserve protection under Florida’s whistle blower statute, because Florida’s whistle blower law states that an employer must violate an adopted “law, rule, or regulation." In a stunningly narrow interpretation of FCC rules, the Florida Appeals court claimed that the FCC policy against falsification of the news does not rise to the level of a "law, rule, or regulation," it was simply a "policy." Therefore, it is up to the station whether or not it wants to report honestly.
Well, not wanting to resort to such an obvious pun, I am unable to avoid it. 'It is up to the station' sounds to me way too much like putting the FOX in charge of the hen house. [insert groan here]

Having got the media under their control, and the law out of the way, the right wing media bandits were and are well equipped to launch whatever attack on the truth they pleased. Looks like they've done pretty well so far. This recent Glenn Greenwald piece is a case in point. Calls to Investigate Media's Pre-War Behavior - yeah, getting the country to agree to an unjustified, unnecessary, and extremely expensive war is, I would say, a pretty good shakedown of the system's effectiveness. Now they're probably trying to change the rules so that calling a tail a leg really makes it a leg. Then we'll really be in trouble.

Related Links:
"You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you can not fool all of the people all of the time."

-- Abraham Lincoln

"I am a firm believer in the people. If given the truth, they can be depended upon to meet any national crises. The great point is to bring them the real facts."

-- Abraham Lincoln

"How many legs does a dog have if you call the tail a leg? Four. Calling a tail a leg doesn't make it a leg."

-- Abraham Lincoln


Media Conglomerates, Mergers, Concentration of Ownership, Global Issues, Updated: January 02, 2009

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Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Israel: Neocon Welfare State in Denial

by Omyma

Israel, America's sacred cow, can do no wrong. This creates a certain ethical difficulty, because Israel is in fact doing almost everything wrong.

If Our Sacred Cow needs money, the Treasury's coffers are always open, such as back in July 2008:

While almost all federally financed programs were denied any funding increase for the coming year, aid to Israel from the United States will increase thanks to a legislative loophole and some deft maneuvering by pro-Israel lobbyists.

Congress bypassed the normal appropriation process on June 26 when it approved a $170 million raise in military aid to Israel, as part of a larger supplemental spending bill. The increase contrasts with the standstill in budgeting for almost all other government programs.
In August of 2007,
Jerusalem and Washington signed an agreement that should direct $30 billion to Israel over 10 years.
Nancy Pelosi, for one, gave increased aid to Israel her foot on the gas pedal.

The first indication of the special maneuvers came at the annual conference of Aipac, when House Speaker Nancy Pelosi took the podium.
“I don’t know if Harry or John Boehner told you this earlier,” Pelosi said in her June 4 address, referring to Senate majority leader Harry Reid and House Minority leader John Boehner, “but the first installment of this increase, $170 million, will be in the supplemental appropriation bill the House will consider soon, in fact, that we are considering now, so we can expedite this.”
It was no loopholes barred for Israel. And it is always that way.
On June 19, (2008), Aipac’s director of legislative policy and strategy briefed congressional staffers and explained the need for increasing foreign aid to Israel, stressing that the Jewish state’s expenses on security are higher than any other country in the industrialized world because of the threats it faces.

Bipartisan support for bypassing legislative hurdles was apparent in the June 27 Senate vote, which tallied 92 supporters and only six senators opposing the bill. Aid to Jordan and Mexico are the two other foreign military assistance items included in the bill.

The $170 million raise to Israel will bring the overall military funding to $2.38 billion — the highest of any such package.

The new aid to Israel is part of a larger deal which includes multi-billion-dollar arms deals with Saudi Arabia and Gulf countries, all aimed at strengthening nations seen as crucial in curbing Iran’s influence in the region. That package is an arms deal and does not require the appropriation of any funds.
The Gaza Operation alone cost about NIS 3 Billion, or about $722,705,186.19 in US funds. Yes, that's almost 723 million bucks! Your taxpayer dollars paying to slaughter an unarmed largely civilian population by a heavily-armed sophisticated military operation.

Oh, and every little attempt by Palestinians in their own defense - the horror! - against the Israeli war machine (and home-bulldozing operation), such as the Intifada, is used by Israel as part of their propaganda and lobbying program to obtain even more aid, especially military aid, from the U.S.
The Israeli treasury would prefer to raise money by taking advantage of the rest of the $9 billion in guarantees granted to Israel by the United States in 2003, during the second intifada.

That gave Israel the right to issue $9 billion worth of bonds on the U.S. market, repayment of which is guaranteed by Washington. American backing for the bonds means that the interest Israelis have to pay on the bonds is as low as possible - just a hair above the rates on comparable bond issues backed by the Federal Reserve. Israel has used only $4.4 billion of the guarantees. The last time the state issued bonds in the United States backed by the guarantees was in 2004.
Aside from that purely military package, aid to Israel is huge - "Annual U.S. Aid to Israel Is Double Entire United Nations Budget":
The annual $3.5 billion in U.S. grants and additional $2 billion in U.S. loan guarantees for Israel amount to more than $1,000 per Israeli . That helps explain why Israel's per capita gross domestic product now is somewhere between Spain's and Britain's, and far above anything recorded in the developing world. Yet no Western European country receives U.S. foreign aid, and no developing country receives anything remotely approaching total U.S. aid to Israel.
Another statistic puts the figure per Israeli more conservatively,
The $3 billion or so per year that Israel receives from the U.S. amounts to about $500 per Israeli.
Were one to crunch the numbers for Jewish Israelis, who mostly benefit from that aid, the number would be even higher. And note the above statistic is for direct aid, not including side benefits (which were accounted for in the higher stat).

Some in Congress, however, are reviewing this, a point not lost in Israel:
Rep. Brian Baird, a Democrat from Washington state, visited Gaza last week with fellow Democratic Rep. Keith Ellison of Minnesota and was struck by "the level of destruction, the scope of it, specifically the civilian targets - schools, hospitals, industry."

Baird also said Israel had "apparently willfully destroyed any capacity of the Palestinians to rebuild their own infrastructure."
Baird called for President Obama to re-evaluate U.S. aid to Israel. But is there even a chance of that? Senator John Kerry, who also visited Israel, has made no such re-evaluation calls. He is taking what has always been the U.S.'s No Questions Asked Stance when it comes to Israel. He strongly defended Israel's right to defend itself against the rocket attacks, affirmed that the U.S.'s stance against Hamas remains firmly unchanged, and put the onus of stopping the violence squarely on the head of Hamas - and by implication, the Gazans and the Palestinians.

Kerry represents the status quo, and those who dare to speak or even hint at any change in attitude towards Israel to something more, shall we say, critical, or requiring some kind of responsibility or accountability on the part of Israel... this is blasphemy. It's beyond unpatriotic. It's heresy. Israel is our sacred cow, our holy grail. It is not a nation, it's a cause. And the cause is Zionism.

Without going into what Zionism is or is not, or arguing about its merits or lack thereof, the net result is the creation of Israel as a welfare client of the United States. Without U.S. aid, Israel would be in deep trouble. Even its GDP is all tied up in that aid. In reviewing the figures below, bear in mind the huge difference in size between Israel and the United States. Israel's population is about 7,337,000, of whom about 5,542,000 are Jews. That latter statistic is important, because Arabs are second-class citizens in Israel, and U.S. aid is not really directed at them, and they are generally harassed by the government. Compare that with New York City, which has over 8 million people.

Ifamericansknew has some statistics on this, giving a total (for all time) conservative estimate on U.S. aid to Israel at about $114 Billion.
It must be emphasized that this analysis is a conservative, defensible accounting of U.S. direct aid to Israel, NOT of Israel’s cost to the U.S. or the American taxpayer, nor of the benefits to Israel of U.S. aid. The distinction is important, because the indirect or consequential costs suffered by the U.S. as a result of its blind support for Israel exceed by many times the substantial amount of direct aid to Israel. (See, for example, the late Thomas R. Stauffer’s article in the June 2003 Washington Report, “The Costs to American Taxpayers of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict: $3 Trillion.”)
A case can be made that among the "incidental" costs of U.S. support for Israel is in the Iraq War, which is considered in the Arab world to have been waged largely at Israel's behest, protests and explanations to the contrary notwithstanding. I personally think oil had something to do with it, not to mention Haliburton. But indeed Israel fits into the U.S. picture of power in the world, using Israel as a military "hitman", a perennial excuse and threat to weild against the Muslim and Arab world.

And there are still more "costs":
Among the real benefits to Israel that are not direct costs to the U.S. taxpayer are the early cash transfer of economic and military aid, in-country spending of a portion of military aid, and loan guarantees. The U.S. gives Israel all of its economic and military aid directly in cash during the first month of the fiscal year, with no accounting required of how the funds are used. Also, in contrast with other countries receiving military aid, who must purchase through the DOD, Israel deals directly with the U.S. companies, with no DOD review. Furthermore, Israel is allowed to spend 26.3 percent of each year’s military aid in Israel (no other recipient of U.S. military aid gets this benefit), which has resulted in an increasingly sophisticated Israeli defense industry. As a result, Israel has become a major world arms exporter; the Congressional Research Service (CRS) reports that in 2006 Israel was the world’s ninth leading supplier of arms worldwide, earning $4.4 billion from defense sales.
In other words, the U.S. is subsidizing a substantial part of Israel's GDP. The tangled web of U.S.-Israeli financial relations is difficult to determine, since much of it is undocumented or intertwined with the secret, black Pentagon "budget". But the more you look, the more you wonder if the U.S. is really a government for the U.S. people or, perhaps, the Israeli people.
Before 1998, Israel received annually $1.8 billion in military grants and $1.2 billion in economic grants. Then, beginning in FY ‘99, the two countries agreed to reduce economic grants to Israel by $120 million and increase military grants by $60 million annually over 10 years. FY ’08 is the last year of that agreement, with military grants reaching $2.4 billion (reduced by an across-the-board rescission), and zero economic grants. Then, in August 2007, U.S. and Israeli officials signed a memorandum of understanding for a new 10-year, $30 billion aid package whereby FMF will gradually increase, beginning with $2.55 billion in FY ’09, and average $3 billion per year over the 10-year period.
That was Bush's gift to Israel - the creation of a permanent welfare state in the Middle East. What, they worry? No wonder they can mow down Palestinians with impunity. They're our little spoiled child. Or better yet, our little spoiled fetus. After all, they're still fighting for this arcane notion of "right to exist". Something like the right to life. Even though Israel is a recognized state with its own military, economy, government, etc., etc., yet their number one priority is always sucking from that umbilical cord. And the U.S. staunchly refuses to come to term, literally.

The right to exist, in fact, is not to be confused to recognition. Hamas has agreed to recognize Israel formally. It's the "right to exist" clause that they, and more moderate Palestinians refuse. Because it means the right to exist as a Jewish state. That gives them the right to expel thousands of Israeli Arabs now living in Israel. And this is not empty talk.

Here's what Yisrael Beiteinu said:
“We’ll move the border. We won’t have to pay for their [i.e. Israeli Palestinians'] unemployment, or health, or education. We won’t have to subsidise them any longer.”

“When there is a contradiction between democratic and Jewish values, the Jewish and Zionist values are more important.”

“If it were up to me I would notify the Palestinian Authority that tomorrow at 10 in the morning we would bomb all their places of business in Ramallah.”
Israel is a nationalist state based on racism. That's especially sad in light of its inception being as a response to the Holocaust and the atrocities committed against the Jews. That such a nation, such a hope, should end up as a right-wing security state whose existence is based on race supremacy above all, subsidized heavily by the U.S., is something of which Israelis and Americans are both in a state of supreme denial.

Gaza woke some people up. But in Israel, politics is swinging even farther to the right. Patriotism, nationalism, militancy are everything in Israeli politics.

What about the Palestinians' rights? Well, it's not about human rights or cooperation or even peace. It's about power and money. It's a spoiled fetus who always gets its own way, protected by a nation now under stress of economic doom.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Right Wing 'Shock Doctrine', Idiocy and Evil Intentions Come Home to Roost

by Len Hart, The Existentialist Cowboy

Shortly before his death, the late Hunter Thompson wrote that '....the American nation is in the worst condition I can remember in my lifetime'. He said that our prospects for the future were even worse. Indeed, we are poised on the brink of a financial collapse that may yet make the crash of '29 and the subsequent Great Depression look like a walks in the park.

The difference is that in 1929, the US still had industries and small farmers many of whom survived the depression very well. As youngster, I recall talking to some of these people and listening in awe. Some of them actually lived off the land like pioneers. For some, 'polk salad' was a staple. Others lived off ' 'Possum'. Still others waged war on the 'game warden' who might have prevented their living off the land. A great Uncle wrapped up a 'Game Warden' in a cow hide, hoisted him over a high limb in the Texas 'Big Thicket'. He left him there --swinging in the high branches. They were inventive, resourceful and ruthlessly determined to survive. The 'man' would not deprive them of a right to survive.

Thompson wrote that he was 'surprised and embarrassed to be a part of the first American generation to leave the country in far worse shape than it was when we first came into it. As I have written on this blog, the US has exported its industries, primarily to China. We have Nixon and the Bushes to thank for that.

Even before the US entry into WWII, Adolph Hitler and his 'inner circle' often ridiculed American automobiles and highways --or lack thereof. Germany had the autobahn. Albert Speer, in his "Inside the Third Reich" recalled an auto 'trip' he took with Hitler. They were overtaken that evening by someone in an American made auto. The Nazis would not be outdone. As I recall, Hitler, himself, was behind the wheel in a Mercedes. In a burst of testesterone, Herr Hitler put his 'pedal to metal', overtook the American car and left it 'in the dust'. Speer recalls that they all had a good laugh. At our expense.
It could be argued that the way in which Thompson wrote a lot of his work is attributed to the New Journalism movement during the 1960's, led mainly by Tom Wolfe. New journalism aimed to revolutionize and break all the rules of traditional journalism, including features like writing as if you are inside the head of a character or documenting everyday events and details. Thompson has adopted many of the features that are deemed to be part of this movement, but he has made a positive contribution and a significant impact on it by taking these features to a new level and putting his own spin on them. Thus publicizing an original branch to this wave of new styles, although what he writes about is largely non-fiction he relies on satirical devices to drive his point's home.

--Hunter S. Thompson's World of Fear and Loathing
As Thompson pointed out:
Our highway system is crumbling, our police are crooked, our children are poor, our vaunted Social Security, once the envy of the world, has been looted and neglected and destroyed by the same gang of ignorant greed-crazed bastards who brought us Vietnam...
Hitler and Goring must be laughing in their graves. The American GOP has achieved in the US almost everything Hitler might have dreamed about except the extermination of Jews, Gypsies other 'untermenschen'. The GOP with key and strategic Democratic sellouts here and there betrayed the people and subverted the Constitution

Thompson called 'disastrous' US defeats all over the world. The 'Gonzo' also predicted that the 'stock market' would never come back.

There were other 'harbingers', prophets warning of impending disasters. In his 'Confessions of an Economic Hit Man' of 2004, John Perkins gave us an insider's account the 'neo-colonist' exploitation of the Third World by what Perkins called a cabal of corporations, banks, and the US government.

It was done against the backdrop of 'economic hitmen' laughing it up, toasting the greatest transfer of wealth from the bottom up that the world had ever seen. As a counter-point, Naomi Klein’s Shock Doctrine seemed to be working according to plan.


Naomi Klein: Shock Doctrine


The book and film argue that free market policies of Milton Friedman and the Chicago School of Economics rose to prominence in Chile under Pinochet, Russia under Yeltsin and in the US under George Bush. The Katrina disaster is the most recent example. The 'privatization of Iraq's economy' under the Coalition Provisional Authority was not popular and was not Democratic. The citizens of Iraq were, in fact, in a state of shock. The US even boasted of its campaign of 'Shock and Awe'. As I have written myself --short a revolution, we are fucked!

Two big factors have already made the US a THIRD WORLD nation

  • Reagan's tax cut of 1982 which began a trend in which wealth trickled up to the top one percent. The trend, reversed in Clinton's second term, resumed with Bush Jr. Today--as a direct result of unfair REGRESSIVE taxation --the nation's elite of about 1 percent of the populations owns MORE than about 90 percent of the rest of the population combined.
    Nearly three decades that Reaganomics has been allowed to survive, if not thrive, have been enough to allow the trickle-down theory to come to fruition. Unfortunately, it is debt -- and not wealth --that has been trickling [down].Reagan's economic target was to drown government in a cocktail of lowered government spending, deregulation and reduced tax rates. However, in order to shrink government to bathtub size, the role of private business had to expand to fill basic needs, which was totally fine with Republicans.
    But another consequence of Reaganomics, one that doesn't jive so much with traditional Republican values, is the reduction of states' powers. Local governments are beginning to see the real meaning of trickle-down economics: dwindling federal funds make it harder for states and cities to meet annual budget requirements. While the U.S. government can live on credit, many local budgets are required by law to be balanced. So the largest tax cuts to date were bound to trickle down to local governing structures, and now many governors and mayors are responding in an uncharacteristically Reaganistic fashion.
    Take Obama's home territory, for example. Chicago, under the firm grip of Democratic Mayor Richard M. Daley, is deeply committed to privatization. Not because it's a popular idea, mind you, but because the city is desperate for funds.

    Still, they don't call it the Chicago school of economics for nothing.
    --Local and State Governments are Selling Off Public Property and Services
  • Deals cut by R. Nixon, Ronald Reagan primarily have resulted in the outsourcing of a) jobs; b) entire industries. As a result --the CIA lists the US as leading the entire world with by far the BIGGEST BALANCE OF TRADE DEFICIT! In stark terms, one is hard pressed to name a single industry in which the US still leads the world! Yet --we OWE the world for having picked up and carried our debt.

    The US simply cannot continue to survive as a nation, let alone a world power. And for all of this we owe the GOP for having been its architect and the Democratic party for having caved on crucial issues.

    Supply-side economics is not a 'hands off' policy at all. It is, in fact, an active, deliberate distribution of wealth upward to an increasingly tiny elite. It is pseudo-economics touted to justify big tax breaks for the upper ten percent of the nation's income recipients and wealth-holders. Reagan's own budget director, David Stockman, called 'supply-side economics', a trojan horse advocated by what he called a 'noisy faction of Republicans'.

    If the US should slide off into another great depression, it will be because consumers of all classes and primarily the middle and lower classes do not have money to spend. Another great depression will result for two basic reasons:
    • the investor classes have exported their tax cut windfalls offshore causing net declines --not increases --in jobs;
    • The productive (working) class is taxed disproportionately, effectively robbing them of their purchasing power which alone drives the economy.
    It is easy to understand, then, why economies contract. A contracting economy is an economy that is in depression. GOP supply-siders have a stake in promoting the simplistic 'theory' that the great 'Stock Market Crash of 1929' was the primary cause of the Great Depression.

    As class warfare propaganda, this myth is matched only by 'supply side (trickle down) economics. Indeed, many believe that the crash of Black Tuesday, October 29, 1929 is one and the same with the Great Depression. In fact, there were many causes for the Great Depression which was, in fact, the contraction of the money supply among those who were most likely to spend it.

    Nevertheless, the crash is significant. Stockholders lost more than $40 billion dollars within two months of the crash. The market had regained some of its losses by the end of 1930 --not enough to prevent the nation from entering the Great Depression.
  • Bank Failures

    More significant, is the fact that millions lost their 'savings'. People save in order to spend. It is spending that might have kept a viable economy afloat. In the 1930s, over 9,000 banks failed at a time when bank deposits were uninsured. Surviving banks stopped making new loans, reducing total amount of money in circulation. That's called a 'contraction'; the other word for 'contraction' is 'depression' as in 'Great Depression'. The same thing happened recently, when those favored by Reaganesque 'tax cuts' exported their monies to offshore tax havens. Another 'contraction' occurred! It is often called Reagan's recession. Others, recalling that it was the deepest, longest 'contraction' since Hoover's 'Great Depression' of the 30s will call it what it was in fact! Depression!

    As a result of the '29 crash, fears, and bad news, millions of all classes just stopped buying, leading to sharp reductions in production and jobs. As unemployment increased, people fell behind in their installment payments; homes and items were repossessed. Inventories increased, sat idle, and could not be sold. Meanwhile, the unemployment rate rose above 25%.

    American Economic Policy with Europe


  • As businesses failed, it was hoped that the Hawley-Smoot Tariff of 1930 would protect American companies. The act charged a high tax for imports causing a reduction in US-foreign trade.

    Drought Conditions.

    While not a direct cause of the Great Depression, the drought that occurred in the Mississippi Valley in 1930 was of such proportions that many could not pay their taxes or other debts. They were forced to sell their farms for no profit to themselves.

    This was the topic of John Steinbeck's The Grapes of Wrath. GOP policies are clearly responsible for the income and wealth disparities that are at the root of every GOP recession/depression since 1900. Ronald Reagan's GOP tax cut of 1982 is the easiest target. Several points should be made about this improvident move. One --if 'tax cuts', the GOP panacea for every evil, were in any way effective against depression, then why did a depression of two years follow the Reagan tax cut?

    Instead of making peace with the GOP, the Democrats should have waged JIHAD! By bending over and taking it, by capitulating to the robber barons, the US has been sold down the river.

    It's all over folks. This US may not come back in our lifetimes.