Mike Gravel rates Democrat opponents (video; transcript)

Dandelion Salad

TheRealNews

More at http://therealnews.com/c.php?c=070926YT
Gravel: All three leading Democrats are politics as usual

Tuesday January 8th, 2008

ICH

Transcript:

PAUL JAY, SENIOR EDITOR: Do you distinguish between the three leading candidates coming out of Iowa and going into New Hampshire, in terms of the polling? You know, Obama and Edwards and Clinton. Do you distinguish between them in any way?

MIKE GRAVEL: No. I think that they’re the product of the celebrity nature of American communication. And that’s the sadness of it all. You know. They have the same level of celebrity attention as Britney Spears has.

JAY: When you get down to the policy level, there are some differences between them. Are they significant differences?

GRAVEL: No, not at all. They’re not significant. All three of them want the health care paid for through business enterprise, which cripples business enterprise. What’s the difference? And as far as education, they’re all three endorsed by the NEA [National Education Association]. You’re not going to see any changes in our educational system. What else? Education, health care. Two vital ones. The rest is just rinky-dinking around.

JAY: Edwards has certainly been talking more aggressively about taking on corporate America.

GRAVEL: Oh, yeah. Tell me how you’re going to do that. No. I mean, how do you do that? I don’t know how to do that. I know, if I can empower the American people, that they can sustain some policies, that I would do that.

JAY: Certainly there are laws Congress could pass. I mean, a president working with Congress—.

GRAVEL: Oh, Congress could do a good job, theoretically, but it can’t. Why? Its owned lock, stock, and barrel by corporate America. So you think you’re going to become president and you’re going to turn to the Congress and say, “Let’s really straighten out corporate America.” This is foolishness. It’s fantasy. But it sounds good on the stump. I could make that kind of speech. Oh, man. Just listen to me. What am I going to do to corporate America? You can’t believe. And I know a lot about corporate personhood and POCLAD and all of that. But so what?

JAY: But in a campaign like this, if someone has the potential of winning and makes some kind of promises, in theory they can mean something.

GRAVEL: In theory what it means is you’re a hypocrite. That’s what it means in theory, because if you’re smart enough to know you can’t deliver, and you tell them you can deliver, what are you doing? You’re raising expectations and you’re lying to the people. Or you’re too dumb to know you’re lying to the people.

JAY: Do you distinguish between the leading Democrats and the leading Republicans?

GRAVEL: Oh, the leading Republicans, in my point of view, are nutty as loons. They really are. I mean, they’re warmongers. I mean, the Democrats at least—here, I’ll give you this example. The Republicans and Bush. Lump them together. You’ve got boiling water. You take a frog, you throw him in the water, and the frog jumps out. You get the Democrats. You get tepid water. You put the frog in the water, and you turn the heat up slowly, and you cook the frog, and nobody knows the difference.

JAY: Okay, but that’s an argument for saying there isn’t significant differences between the Republicans and the Democrats.

GRAVEL: Where are the Democrats raising all their money right now? Wall Street.

JAY: No, wait. Hold on. When I asked you first, you said they’re nutty as loons. That kind of implies the others aren’t nutty as loons.

GRAVEL: Well, they’re not as bad, no, they’re not as bad. Well, no, they’re not as bad. Far from it. They’re not as bad. But they’re pretty bad. Here. The Democrats are raising more money from Wall Street than the Republicans are right now, from the same people who own the Republican Party.

JAY: So, then, what do you make of Obama’s promise of change and all the rhetoric that’s been going along with his campaign?

GRAVEL: It’s foolish. Foolish. Dangerous. Dangerous, because he doesn’t even recognize that he can’t deliver. That’s dangerous. I would rather – Hillary. At least she knows what she’s talking about. He doesn’t.

JAY: Edwards?

GRAVEL: Edwards? He probably knows better, what he’s talking about, than Obama. Obama of the three is the most dangerous, because he raises greater expectations of the youth and can’t deliver. And the worst thing a leader can do is raise expectations, and they don’t happen. You create a whole new generation of cynics. And that’s what he’s doing. And he’s used the line [inaudible] reason out what he’s saying. You know, the statement I like that I’ve heard from young people: there’s no ‘there’ there. And listen to the words. Make a speech and use the word change ten times—what specifically are you going to change? You’re going to change the health care system? Not really. You’re going to change the military-industrial complex? Not really. He wants another hundred thousand more troops. Are you going to change anything about your relationship with Iran? Not really. Nukes are on the table. Are you going to change anything with respect to Israel? Not really. He’s supported by AIPAC. Are you going to change anything for education? He’s on the education committee. He’s supported by the NEA. Where’s change? I don’t see any change. But he doesn’t say any of those things. He lets you figure out what the change is. So it’s like an actor. What does an actor do? He gives you a scene, and you read into it what the scene means to you. And that’s what he’s doing. It’s terrible, because what you read into it isn’t what’s going to happen, ’cause he’s going to have the reality. The simplest one of all is we have a $50 to $70 trillion fiscal gap. There’s no money to do anything, never mind this imperialism, which is why there’s no money to do anything. Here. You recall that Hillary, Edwards, and Obama all said, when asked by Tim Russert, would you have the troops out of Iraq by the end of 2013? And all three of them equivocated, weren’t sure that they could do it. And then you heard just last night, oh, yeah; I’m going to start withdrawing them immediately. What are they talking about? Say one thing; say another thing. You know, withdrawing immediately, what does that mean? We’ll withdraw ten this month, and then I’m going to change my mind next month? It’s gross hypocrisy – is really what it is. It’s politics as usual, and that’s sad, because we’re at a turning point in ’08. If we continue with American imperialism, we’re done as a nation. Truly are. And two things coming at us. We’re going to be irrelevant in the world. You see this in foreign affairs when you see all these other countries making arrangements by themselves; don’t even invite us to the meeting. Why? We come to a meeting; we think we know it all. We’re the superpower—you’ve got to listen to us.

JAY: Which meeting do you have in mind?

GRAVEL: Oh, they have meetings between China and India, between India and Malaysia, between Pakistan and India. You name it. There’s meetings going on all over the world, and we’re not invited.

DISCLAIMER:

Please note that TRNN transcripts are typed from a recording of the program; The Real News Network cannot guarantee their complete accuracy.

FAIR USE NOTICE: This blog may contain copyrighted material. Such material is made available for educational purposes, to advance understanding of human rights, democracy, scientific, moral, ethical, and social justice issues, etc. This constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Title 17 U.S.C. section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond ‘fair use’, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

see

2008 presidential charade promises deepening of government criminality and expansion of war by Larry Chin

Vote for Change? Atrocity-Linked US Officials Advising Dem, GOP Pres Frontrunners (videos)

Advertisements

The “Good War” Is A Bad War By John Pilger

Dandelion Salad

By John Pilger

10/01/08 “ICH

In his latest article for the New Statesman, John Pilger describes how the invasion of Afghanistan, which was widely supported in the West as a ‘good war’ and justifiable response to 9/11, was actually planned months before 9/11 and is the latest instalment of ‘a great game’.

“To me, I confess, [countries] are pieces on a chessboard upon which is being played out a game for dominion of the world.”
Lord Curzon, viceroy of India, speaking about Afghanistan, 1898

I had suggested to Marina that we meet in the safety of the Intercontinental Hotel, where foreigners stay in Kabul, but she said no. She had been there once and government agents, suspecting she was Rawa, had arrested her. We met instead at a safe house, reached through contours of bombed rubble that was once streets, where people live like earthquake victims awaiting rescue.

Rawa is the Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan, which since 1977 has alerted the world to the suffering of women and girls in that country. There is no organisation on earth like it. It is the high bar of feminism, home of the bravest of the brave. Year after year, Rawa agents have travelled secretly through Afghanistan, teaching at clandestine girls’ schools, ministering to isolated and brutalised women, recording outrages on cameras concealed beneath their burqas. They were the Taliban regime’s implacable foes when the word Taliban was barely heard in the west: when the Clinton administration was secretly courting the mullahs so that the oil company Unocal could build a pipeline across Afghanistan from the Caspian.

Indeed, Rawa’s understanding of the designs and hypocrisy of western governments informs a truth about Afghanistan excluded from news, now reduced to a drama of British squaddies besieged by a demonic enemy in a “good war”. When we met, Marina was veiled to conceal her identity. Marina is her nom de guerre. She said: “We, the women of Afghanistan, only became a cause in the west following 11 September 2001, when the Taliban suddenly became the official enemy of America. Yes, they persecuted women, but they were not unique, and we have resented the silence in the west over the atrocious nature of the western-backed warlords, who are no different. They rape and kidnap and terrorise, yet they hold seats in [Hamid] Karzai’s government. In some ways, we were more secure under the Taliban. You could cross Afghanistan by road and feel secure. Now, you take your life into your hands.”

The reason the United States gave for invading Afghanistan in October 2001 was “to destroy the infrastructure of al-Qaeda, the perpetrators of 9/11”. The women of Rawa say this is false. In a rare statement on 4 December that went unreported in Britain, they said: “By experience, [we have found] that the US does not want to defeat the Taliban and al-Qaeda, because then they will have no excuse to stay in Afghanistan and work towards the realisation of their economic, political and strategic interests in the region.”

The truth about the “good war” is to be found in compelling evidence that the 2001 invasion, widely supported in the west as a justifiable response to the 11 September attacks, was actually planned two months prior to 9/11 and that the most pressing problem for Washington was not the Taliban’s links with Osama Bin Laden, but the prospect of the Taliban mullahs losing control of Afghanistan to less reliable mujahedin factions, led by warlords who had been funded and armed by the CIA to fight America’s proxy war against the Soviet occupiers in the 1980s. Known as the Northern Alliance, these mujahedin had been largely a creation of Washington, which believed the “jihadi card” could be used to bring down the Soviet Union. The Taliban were a product of this and, during the Clinton years, they were admired for their “discipline”. Or, as the Wall Street Journal put it, “[the Taliban] are the players most capable of achieving peace in Afghanistan at this moment in history”.

The “moment in history” was a secret memorandum of understanding the mullahs had signed with the Clinton administration on the pipeline deal. However, by the late 1990s, the Northern Alliance had encroached further and further on territory controlled by the Taliban, whom, as a result, were deemed in Washington to lack the “stability” required of such an important client. It was the consistency of this client relationship that had been a prerequisite of US support, regardless of the Taliban’s aversion to human rights. (Asked about this, a state department briefer had predicted that “the Taliban will develop like the Saudis did”, with a pro-American economy, no democracy and “lots of sharia law”, which meant the legalised persecution of women. “We can live with that,” he said.)

By early 2001, convinced it was the presence of Osama Bin Laden that was souring their relationship with Washington, the Taliban tried to get rid of him. Under a deal negotiated by the leaders of Pakistan’s two Islamic parties, Bin Laden was to be held under house arrest in Peshawar. A tribunal of clerics would then hear evidence against him and decide whether to try him or hand him over to the Americans. Whether or not this would have happened, Pakistan’s Pervez Musharraf vetoed the plan. According to the then Pakistani foreign minister, Niaz Naik, a senior US diplomat told him on 21 July 2001 that it had been decided to dispense with the Taliban “under a carpet of bombs”.

Acclaimed as the first “victory” in the “war on terror”, the attack on Afghanistan in October 2001 and its ripple effect caused the deaths of thousands of civilians who, even more than Iraqis, remain invisible to western eyes. The family of Gulam Rasul is typical. It was 7.45am on 21 October. The headmaster of a school in the town of Khair Khana, Rasul had just finished eating breakfast with his family and had walked outside to chat to a neighbour. Inside the house were his wife, Shiekra, his four sons, aged three to ten, his brother and his wife, his sister and her husband. He looked up to see an aircraft weaving in the sky, then his house exploded in a fireball behind him. Nine people died in this attack by a US F-16 dropping a 500lb bomb. The only survivor was his nine-year-old son, Ahmad Bilal. “Most of the people killed in this war are not Taliban; they are innocents,” Gulam Rasul told me. “Was the killing of my family a mistake? No, it was not. They fly their planes and look down on us, the mere Afghan people, who have no planes, and they bomb us for our birthright, and with all contempt.”

There was the wedding party in the village of Niazi Qala, 100km south of Kabul, to celebrate the marriage of the son of a respected farmer. By all accounts it was a wonderfully boisterous affair, with music and singing. The roar of aircraft started when everyone was asleep, at about three in the morning. According to a United Nations report, the bombing lasted two hours and killed 52 people: 17 men, ten women and 25 children, many of whom were found blown to bits where they had desperately sought refuge, in a dried-up pond. Such slaughter is not uncommon, and these days the dead are described as “Taliban”; or, if they are children, they are said to be “partly to blame for being at a site used by militants” – according to the BBC, speaking to a US military spokesman.

The British military have played an important part in this violence, having stepped up high-altitude bombing by up to 30 per cent since they took over command of Nato forces in Afghanistan in May 2006. This translated to more than 6,200 Afghan deaths last year. In December, a contrived news event was the “fall” of a “Taliban stronghold”, Musa Qala, in southern Afghanistan. Puppet government forces were allowed to “liberate” rubble left by American B-52s.

What justifies this? Various fables have been spun – “building democracy” is one. “The war on drugs” is the most perverse. When the Americans invaded Afghanistan in 2001 they had one striking success. They brought to an abrupt end a historic ban on opium production that the Taliban regime had achieved. A UN official in Kabul described the ban to me as “a modern miracle”. The miracle was quickly rescinded. As a reward for supporting the Karzai “democracy”, the Americans allowed Northern Alliance warlords to replant the country’s entire opium crop in 2002. Twenty-eight out of the 32 provinces instantly went under cultivation. Today, 90 per cent of world trade in opium originates in Afghanistan. In 2005, a British government report estimated that 35,000 children in this country were using heroin. While the British taxpayer pays for a £1bn military super-base in Helmand Province and the second-biggest British embassy in the world, in Kabul, peanuts are spent on drug rehabilitation at home.

Tony Blair once said memorably: “To the Afghan people, we make this commitment. We will not walk away . . . [We will offer] some way out of the poverty that is your miserable existence.” I thought about this as I watched children play in a destroyed cinema. They were illiterate and so could not read the poster warning that unexploded cluster bombs lay in the debris.

“After five years of engagement,” reported James Fergusson in the London Independent on 16 December, “the [UK] Department for International Development had spent just £390m on Afghan projects.” Unusually, Fergusson has had meetings with Taliban who are fighting the British. “They remained charming and courteous throughout,” he wrote of one visit in February. “This is the beauty of malmastia, the Pashtun tradition of hospitality towards strangers. So long as he comes unarmed, even a mortal enemy can rely on a kind reception. The opportunity for dialogue that malmastia affords is unique.”

This “opportunity for dialogue” is a far cry from the surrender-or-else offers made by the government of Gordon Brown. What Brown and his Foreign Office advisers wilfully fail to understand is that the tactical victory in Afghanistan in 2001, achieved with bombs, has become a strategic disaster in south Asia. Exacerbated by the assassination of Benazir Bhutto, the current turmoil in Pakistan has its contemporary roots in a Washington-contrived war in neighbouring Afghanistan that has alienated the Pashtuns who inhabit much of the long border area between the two countries. This is also true of most Pakistanis, who, according to opinion polls, want their government to negotiate a regional peace, rather than play a prescribed part in a rerun of Lord Curzon’s Great Game.

www.johnpilger.com

FAIR USE NOTICE: This blog may contain copyrighted material. Such material is made available for educational purposes, to advance understanding of human rights, democracy, scientific, moral, ethical, and social justice issues, etc. This constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Title 17 U.S.C. section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond ‘fair use’, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

Olbermann: Rudy’s “Noise” + Reality On The Ground + Worst + Bushed! (videos)

Dandelion Salad

Ryokibin

Jan. 10, 2008

Rudy’s “Noise”

Keith shows Rudy’s new commercial. He then makes a new commercial for Rudy to show. I think Keith’s commercial for Rudy fits better.

Reality On The Ground

Keith talks with Thomas Ricks, of the Washington Post.

Worst

Worse: Bill Cunningham

Worse: Bill O!

Worst: Rush Limbaugh

Keeping Tabs

Sir Edmund Hillary

Shank Shot

Merv Griffen

Bushed!

No Bid-Gate

Waterboarding-Gate

Wiretap-Gate

see

FBI Wiretaps Dropped Due to Unpaid Bills  h/t: ICH

Ron Paul @ Fox Debate 1-10-08 (videos) (updated)

Note to my friends who “borrow” my blog posts, be polite and say where you got them from. Thanks.

Here is the full debate: Republican Presidential Candidates Debate 1-10-08 (videos) ~ Lo

Dandelion Salad

ScaningTheWaves

Going Towards A Recession?

see

Ron Paul’s Shocking Statements On CNN (videos)

The 16 minutes edited out of Fox’s debate replay (videos)

On The Issues: Dennis Kucinich and Ron Paul by Lo

Paul-Ron

01.09.08 Uncensored News Reports From Across The Middle East (video; over 18 only)

Dandelion Salad

Warning
.
This video may contain images depicting the reality and horror of war and should only be viewed by a mature audience.

Selected Episode

Jan. 9, 2008

linktv

For more: http://linktv.org/originalseries
“Bush Makes Historic Visit to Jerusalem,” IBA TV, Israel
“Peace Activists Demonstrate Near Israeli Settlements,” Al Jazeera English, Qatar
“Devastating Israeli Attacks on Gaza,” Al Aqsa, Gaza
“Arab Countries Must Increase Pressure on Syria,” Al Arabiya TV, UAE
“Sudan Celebrates Third Anniversary of Peace Agreement,” Al Jazeera TV, Qatar
“Concrete Barriers Removed in Baghdad,” Alsumaria TV, Iraq
“Mixed Reactions to Bush’s Visit,” Dubai TV, UAE
Produced for Link TV by Jamal Dajani.

Kucinich Asks for New Hampshire Recount in the Interest of Election Integrity

Dandelion Salad

by Dennis Kucinich
January 10, 2008 07:25 PM ET
DETROIT

Democratic Presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich, the most outspoken advocate in the Presidential field and in Congress for election integrity, paper-ballot elections, and campaign finance reform, has sent a letter to the New Hampshire Secretary of State asking for a recount of Tuesdays election because of unexplained disparities between hand-counted ballots and machine-counted ballots.

I am not making this request in the expectation that a recount will significantly affect the number of votes that were cast on my behalf, Kucinich stressed in a letter to Secretary of State William M. Gardner. But, Serious and credible reports, allegations, and rumors have surfaced in the past few daysIt is imperative that these questions be addressed in the interest of public confidence in the integrity of the election process and the election machinery not just in New Hampshire, but in every other state that conducts a primary election.

He added, Ever since the 2000 election and even before the American people have been losing faith in the belief that their votes were actually counted. This recount isnt about who won 39% of 36% or even 1%. Its about establishing whether 100% of the voters had 100% of their votes counted exactly the way they cast them.

Kucinich, who drew about 1.4% of the New Hampshire Democratic primary vote, wrote, This is not about my candidacy or any other individual candidacy. It is about the integrity of the election process. No other Democratic candidate, he noted, has stepped forward to question or pursue the claims being made.

New Hampshire is in the unique position to address and, if so determined, rectify these issues before they escalate into a massive, nationwide suspicion of the process by which Americans elect their President. Based on the controversies surrounding the Presidential elections in 2004 and 2000, New Hampshire is in a prime position to investigate possible irregularities and to issue findings for the benefit of the entire nation, Kucinich wrote in his letter.

Without an official recount, the voters of New Hampshire and the rest of the nation will never know whether there are flaws in our electoral system that need to be identified and addressed at this relatively early point in the Presidential nominating process, said Kucinich, who is campaigning in Michigan this week in advance of next Tuesdays Presidential primary in that state.

Contacts
National Campaign HQ:
Andy Juniewicz, 216-409-8992
ajuniewicz@aol.com
or
Washington, D.C.:
Sharon Manitta, 202-506-6683
Sharon.manitta@kucinich.us
or
National Press Officer:
Tom Staudter, 914-419-5221
staudter@verizon.net
or
Website: www.dennis4president.comKucinich for President 2008, Inc.

FAIR USE NOTICE: This blog may contain copyrighted material. Such material is made available for educational purposes, to advance understanding of human rights, democracy, scientific, moral, ethical, and social justice issues, etc. This constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Title 17 U.S.C. section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond ‘fair use’, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

see

Dennis Kucinich on Election Protection (video)

Kucinich v.s Obama & Clinton + The Ballad of Dennis Kucinich (videos)

New Hampshire Election Fraud by Ron Corvus

Alarms Should Go Off Whenever the Discrepancies Between the “Official” Results and the Polls Can’t Be Explained by andi novick (2006)

Kucinich-Dennis

No Escape from War & Unemployment By Paul Craig Roberts

Dandelion Salad

By Paul Craig Roberts
January 09, 2008

New Hampshire voters have chosen warmonger clones of Bush/Cheney for their party’s presidential candidates. The only candidates not in Israel’s pocket are Kucinich, Paul, and Gravel, who have no chance for their party’s nomination.

Obama, who provided some hope for change, undercut his support on the eve of the New Hampshire primary by declaring that he would invade Pakistan in order to protect America. It is a mystery why Obama thought this message would motivate those inclined to support his candidacy.

This means change is unlikely. Neocon think tanks, media, evangelical preachers, President Bush, Vice President Cheney, and many other members of the government have succeeded in turning a majority of Americans into scared Islamophobes and in denying Americans any reliable information about the cause of the conflict.

Unfolding economic events during 2008 are likely to increase fear among the US population–the fear that comes from recession and indebtedness.

As the German National Socialists said, a fearful population welcomes a savior. The Bush Regime has put into place all the necessary pieces for rule by the executive.

The Greenspan Fed created money and low interest rates to hide the effect on the US economy of job loss from offshoring. The low prices, achieved by substituting low-cost Asian labor for American labor, masked the inflationary impact of the Fed’s monetary policy.

The low interest rates created artificial increases in home prices by reducing the carrying costs of mortgages. Most people buy according to monthly payment, not purchase price of the home.

Many homeowners refinanced to capture and spend the rise in home equity produced by the low interest rates. This spending and the construction boom misled people about the strength of the economy.

So did US productivity and GDP statistics. As Susan Houseman has shown, US statistics have not been adjusted for offshoring and include in US productivity and GDP growth both the lower labor costs and the real output of offshored goods that are in fact part of Asian GDP.

Performance-driven executives at financial institutions were suckered into purchasing subprime derivatives, which have crashed, leaving the financial system with serious problems.

Bailouts require yet more liquidity, but the exchange value of the US dollar has been reeling from US budget and trade deficits. Creating more dollars makes holding existing dollar assets even less attractive to the foreigners who finance US deficits.

The dollar has retained its reserve currency role despite its loss of value, because there is no clear alternative. The euro is a currency without a country, and might be adversely affected by differential interest rates arising within the EU membership. The UK economy is comparatively small and faces similar problems to the US. The rising Asian economies are not ready to assume the role.

As I have documented repeatedly, job growth in the US has been confined to domestic nontradable services. The US is now far more dependent on imported manufactured goods than it is on imported energy. Offshoring makes it impossible for the US to balance its trade as offshoring turns US GDP into imports.

Offshoring is now reaching beyond manufacturing into high-end service jobs. Princeton University economist Alan Blinder, a former vice chairman of the Federal Reserve, estimates that there are as many as 30 million US service jobs filled by college graduates that are susceptible to offshoring.

As long as China continues its currency peg to the dollar, lower prices from a continuation of offshoring can hide the new round of Fed money creation. But can a new round of money creation create enough new consumer spending by over-indebted consumers to mask the jobs lost to offshoring with more employment for waitresses and bartenders, or will the new liquidity be used up in saving the troubled financial institutions? Access to more credit does not help people who are maxed out and cannot pay their bills, especially when they are losing their jobs.

Studies by economists with the Economics Policy Institute report that as of 2006, the most recent data, the typical American family’s income remained $1,000 below its peak in 2000. Six years of “economic recovery” were unable to put the real median family income back to its previous peak. The combination of massive indebtedness, offshoring job loss, and recession is likely to produce further decline in US living standards.

Last month (December 2007) the Congressional Budget Office released its report on household incomes.[PDF] The CBO data show that 80% of Americans have experienced a falling share of US income, and that the top 1% of the income distribution has received almost the entire income gain of the top 20% of Americans. Keep in mind that some of this measured income gain is in reality phantom income according to the research of Susan Houseman.

An economy that concentrates its income gains at the very top while wiping out high value-added jobs by sending them abroad, thus dismantling the ladders of upward mobility, is an economy headed for serious troubles even without subprime derivative and currency problems.

All of the presidential candidates currently in the running have authoritarian personalities. America’s next president is likely to seize upon rising domestic economic hardship and growing resistance abroad to US hegemony to complete the dismantling of America’s constitutional system.

COPYRIGHT CREATORS SYNDICATE, INC.

Paul Craig Roberts [email him] was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury in the Reagan Administration. He is the author of Supply-Side Revolution : An Insider’s Account of Policymaking in Washington; Alienation and the Soviet Economy and Meltdown: Inside the Soviet Economy, and is the co-author with Lawrence M. Stratton of The Tyranny of Good Intentions : How Prosecutors and Bureaucrats Are Trampling the Constitution in the Name of Justice. Click here for Peter Brimelow’s Forbes Magazine interview with Roberts about the recent epidemic of prosecutorial misconduct.

FAIR USE NOTICE: This blog may contain copyrighted material. Such material is made available for educational purposes, to advance understanding of human rights, democracy, scientific, moral, ethical, and social justice issues, etc. This constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Title 17 U.S.C. section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond ‘fair use’, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

see

2008 presidential charade promises deepening of government criminality and expansion of war by Larry Chin

The Deflation Time-bomb By Mike Whitney

Ron Paul’s Shocking Statements On CNN (videos)

Dandelion Salad

ScaningTheWaves

January 10, 2008

see

NAACP President: Ron Paul Is Not A Racist

Ron Paul @ Fox Debate 1-10-08 (videos)

Don’t Be a Sucker (must-see videos; fascism)

Why Ron Paul’s left-wing champions are wrong by Elizabeth Schulte

Tucker: Ron Paul Revealed (videos) + Paul’s Response

On The Issues: Dennis Kucinich and Ron Paul by Lo

Paul-Ron

2008 presidential charade promises deepening of government criminality and expansion of war by Larry Chin

Dandelion Saladby Larry Chin

Global Research, January 10, 2008

Online Journal

Every election in modern US history has been a criminal manipulation, choreographed and rigged by political elites and performed by hand-picked elite puppets, each backed by their teams of corrupt war criminals, intelligence/security “advisors” and think tank assets. The 2008 affair will be no different.

It is time once again to dispel the mass insanity and unfounded hopes as another fresh election hell ensues. There will be no savior, no end to the continuing world crisis, and absolutely no “change.”

The monsters behind each candidate

As the American public once again gets swept up into another beyond, ridiculous carnival over which “presidential personality” is most “likeable,” which preselected puppet makes a better speech, etc., there is little or no attention paid to the individuals behind each candidate; the forces that are pulling the strings, and actually setting the geopolitical agenda.

The Washington Post has provided a complete list of each puppet’s respective “masters,” which must be studied line by line:

The War Over The Wonks: A list of national security and foreign policy advisors to the leading presidential candidates from both parties

This list holds the key to the central issue: war.

As the names reveal, every major candidate (the favored puppets with any real chance of being selected) fronts for agendas set by current and former neoconservative and neoliberal “security” officers and politicos, members of the Bilderberg Group, the Trilateral Commission and the Council on Foreign Relations, and apparatuses such as the Heritage Foundation, the Center for Strategic and International Studies, the Brookings Institution, AIPAC, the Hoover Institution, the American Enterprise Institute, and others.

Some of the most nightmarish individuals who walk the earth today can be found behind the candidates, as follows:

John McCain

  • Henry Kissinger
  • Richard Armitage, former deputy secretary of state, covert operative and lifelong Bush ally
  • Robert “Bud” McFarlane, Reagan/Bush national security adviser, Iran, Contra
  • William Kristol, editor of The Weekly Standard (neocon)
  • Alexander Haig, Reagan/Bush secretary of state
  • George Shultz, Reagan/Bush secretary of state, Hoover Institution, Bechtel
  • Brent Scowcroft, Ford, George H.W. Bush national security adviser
  • James Woolsey, former CIA director
  • Lawrence Eagleburger, George H.W. Bush secretary of state
  • William Ball, Reagan administration Navy secretary
  • Colin Powell

Barack Obama

  • Zbigniew Brzezinski
  • Anthony Lake, Clinton administration national security adviser
  • Sarah Sewall, Clinton administration deputy secretary of defense, counter, insurgency czar
  • Richard Clarke, Clinton and Bush administration counter, terrorism czar
  • Susan Rice, Clinton administration Africa specialist and NSC member, Brookings
  • Bruce Riedel, former CIA officer, NSC Near East and Asian affairs, Brookings

Hillary Clinton

  • Bill Clinton
  • Madeline Albright, Clinton administration secretary of state
  • Sandy Berger, Clinton administration national security adviser
  • Richard Holbrooke, Clinton administration UN ambassador
  • Gen. Wesley Clark, Clinton era Kosovo commander
  • Leslie Gelb, Council on Foreign Relations, former State and Defense Department official
  • Martin Indyk, Clinton administration Israel ambassador, Brookings
  • Strobe Talbott, Clinton administration deputy secretary of state, co, creator of Caspian oil “6+2” group, Brookings
  • Jeffrey Smith, former CIA general counsel

Rudy Giuliani

  • Kim Holmes, former George W. Bush assistant secretary of state, Heritage Foundation
  • Louis Freeh, former FBI director
  • Stephen Yates, former deputy assistant to Dick Cheney
  • Norman Podhoretz, Hudson Institute (neocon)
  • Kenneth Weinstein, Hudson Institute
  • Numerous individuals connected to the neocon Hoover Institution and Heritage Foundation

Mike Huckabee

Huckabee has been secretive about his team. Among the names floated so far:

  • Ed Rollins, Republican operative
  • Frank Gaffney, neocon
  • John Bolton, George W. Bush U.N. ambassador (as of this writing, Bolton’s participation is a strong rumor)

John Edwards

Edwards boasts a large team of career military/intelligence officers, most of whom are “rank and file.” Among the more notable names:

  • Barry Blechman, Jimmy Carter assistant director of US Arms Control and Disarmament Agency, founder and chairman of the Henry L. Stimson Center
  • Irving Blickstein, former assistant deputy chief of Naval operations, RAND Corporation

Mitt Romney

  • Cofer Black, former CIA and George W. Bush state department counter, terrorism officer, vice president of Blackwater USA
  • Alberto Cardenas, lobbyist and former chairman of Florida Republican party
  • Roger Noriega, George W. Bush assistant secretary for Western hemisphere affairs
  • Rep. Pete Hoekstra (R, Mich.), ranking member, House Intelligence Committee

The choice of the puppet masters

As noted by Daniel Estulin in The True Story of the Bilderberg Group, the masters of “one world government,” whose members manipulate all elections, seek the following main objectives: 1) one international identity, or “internationalism,” 2) centralized control of people, 3) a zero growth, post industrial society, 3) a state of perpetual world imbalance, 4) centralized control of all foreign and domestic policies, 5) empowerment of the United Nations and NATO, and 6) Anglo, American, controlled trading bloc.

While it is still too early to ascertain the final choice of the leading world-shaping groups (Bilderberg, Trilateral Commission, Council on Foreign Relations, etc.), it is clear, from the above lists, that the approved White House puppets are already the “front runners.”

While true representatives of “change” such as Dennis Kucinich, Cynthia McKinney and Ron Paul, stand no chance (and whose “votes” would be systematically erased in any case), the only remaining puppets, and their respective teams, are proven supplicants of the existing war and industrial elite.

It goes without saying that the Republican candidates, particularly John McCain, is deeply connected to the worst elements, most prominently, Henry Kissinger. Barack Obama’s elite connection speaks for itself: Zbigniew Brzezinski.

McCain’s participation in the 1980s savings and loan scandal, as a member of the infamous Keating Five, is a matter of historical fact.

Also a matter of record are McCain’s brutal views on war and killing, which are best exemplified by his 2001 op, ed, War is Hell. Now Let’s Get On With It.

There is no better crystallization of McCain than his own blood, soaked words.

It is well known that both of the Clintons are long time members of Bilderberg. As noted by Daniel Estulin, John Edwards, who currently postures as a “populist,” was handpicked by Henry Kissinger (who now works behind John McCain) to be John Kerry’s vice presidential candidate in 2004. Now, four years later, his connections must have certainly increased.

Here comes the “even more aggressive ‘war on terrorism’”

It’s clear from the chosen “candidates,” there will be no end to the war, or the continuing decline of the American empire.

The “war on terrorism” will not only continue but likely intensify and expand under “new management.” The only question is whether the bias will be towards a neoliberal brand, , , the “more nuanced” multinational New World Order, a “bipartisan consensus” in Washington, more orderly economic and political declines, etc. . . . .or a continuation of the open brutality and criminality of Bush-Cheney.

Violent events, including the assassination of Bhutto in Pakistan, and other such “9/11s,” stack the deck towards the latter . . . McCain and Giuliani.

The Republican candidates have uniformly and consistently echoed the Bush/Cheney/neocon war agenda and 9/11/“terrorism” lies. Huckabee, the bizarre dark horse of the Republican side, has voiced criticism of some Bush-Cheney policies, but not the “war on terrorism” in general.

The Democratic candidates have each declared themselves the champion “anti-terrorist,” or the “real” anti-terrorist that George W. Bush is not.

Obama’s murderous views on war are well documented, and similar to those of Bush-Cheney. In addition to war on Iran, Obama has declared that he would attack Pakistan if his administration possessed “actionable intelligence” that Osama bin Laden was hiding in Pakistan, and the government there did not act.

Edwards, who squealed during his 2004 vice presidential debate with Dick Cheney that he would “kill the terrorists,” recently reiterated: “If I, as president, know where Osama bin Laden is, I would go get him.”

Clinton went even further into details about her particular war fantasy: “At some point, probably when the missiles have launched, the Pakistani government has to know they are on the way.”

In the end, McCain’s War is Hell. Now Let’s Get On With It is the voice of the consensus . . . the 9/11 lie exemplified.

The vote count and other illusions

As noted repeatedly in this publication, every aspect of the American vote has been, and continues to be, manipulated.

It is still a fact is that corporations (primarily connected to the Republican political apparatus) control the American vote, and with increasing technological sophistication: Diebold, ESS, Sequoia, and SAIC. In fact, new generations of their machines will be used in 2008.

Beyond the courageous whistle-blowing and activism by the likes of Black Box Voting and others, the same democracy destroying criminal juggernaut that has been in place for generations remains in control.

The winner of the 2008 election: crime

As Mike Ruppert wrote in Crossing The Rubicon: “That profits of crime and war, which are destructive of human life, of labor, of happy, healthy neighborhoods (whether in the US or in Afghanistan, Africa and Iraq) are in effect a keystone of the global economy and a determinant of the success in a ruthless competition, is a compass needle for human civilization. One cannot expect to follow the recipe for roadkill stew and produce a crème brulee.”

Criminals do not obey laws. Criminals do not believe in “democracy.”

Criminals do not “permit” elections.

They will not permit an election in 2008. They will impose another one.

Larry Chin is a frequent contributor to Global Research. Global Research Articles by Larry Chin

www.globalresearch.ca contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available to our readers under the provisions of “fair use” in an effort to advance a better understanding of political, economic and social issues. The material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving it for research and educational purposes. If you wish to use copyrighted material for purposes other than “fair use” you must request permission from the copyright owner.

For media inquiries: crgeditor@yahoo.com
© Copyright Larry Chin, Online Journal, 2008
The url address of this article is: www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=7766

see

Vote for Change? Atrocity-Linked US Officials Advising Dem, GOP Pres Frontrunners (videos)

The Bilderberg Group: Rulers of the World (must listen audio link; Daniel Estulin)

The Integrity of Hillary Clinton by Jennifer

If You Vote For Hillary… by Josh Sidman

Alarms Should Go Off Whenever the Discrepancies Between the “Official” Results and the Polls Can’t Be Explained by andi novick (2006)

Silvestro the cat & the NH election (video; voter fraud) + Polls Wildly Different Than Results

The Deflation Time-bomb By Mike Whitney

Dandelion Salad

By Mike Whitney
10/01/08 “ICH

“Is there anyone who still does not understand that talk of ‘inflation’ by officialdom is just a red herring intended to distract us from the far more dangerous dragon of deflation?” Mike Shedlock; Mish’s Global Economic Trend Analysis

We are to about see how much George Bush really believes the “supply side” mumbo-jumbo he’s been spouting for the last 7 years. Last week’s Labor Department report confirmed that unemployment is on the rise (5%) and that corrective action will be required to avoid a long and painful recession. There’s a good chance that the Chameleon in Chief will jettison his “trickle down” doctrine for more conventional Keynesian remedies like slashing interest rates, government programs, and tax relief to middle and low income people. On Monday Bush announced that his team of economic advisors was patching together an “Economic Stimulus Package” that will be unveiled later this month in the State of the Union Speech. The goal is to rev-up sagging consumer spending and slow down business contraction. Ironically, the UK Telegraph dubbed the stimulus plan Bush’s “New Deal”. It’s a shocking about-face for a president that has been clobbering the middle class since he took office and who balks at even providing temporary shelter for disaster victims. Now Bush is going to have to give away the farm just to keep the economy from crashing. Good luck. Clearly, the prospect of a system-wide meltdown in banking, real estate and equities has become a “Road to Damascus” moment for lame-duck George.

The uptick in unemployment is just the final part of an otherwise bleak economic picture. Manufacturing is hurting too. Last Wednesday, the December ISM Manufacturing Index plunged to 47.7, its lowest level in five years. The news put the stock market into a 200-plus nosedive and sent gold soaring over $800 per ounce. Since then, the news has gotten progressively worse. The market fell another 200-plus points on the Labor Dept’s report on Friday, followed by 238 point jolt on Tuesday on rumors of (potential) bankruptcy at mortgage lending giant, Countrywide Financial, and a 2.6% plunge in pending housing sales from the National Association of Realtors. By the time ATT announced its fears of “reduced consumer spending” the market was already barrel-rolling towards earth in a sheet of flames.

The Dow Jones is now 10% off its yearly high, the official sign of a correction. More important, equities blew through their support levels indicating a basic change in the market’s trajectory. Its a primary bear market now and any rebound will be temporary. There’s still a lot of fat to be trimmed before overvalued stocks return to the mean. No wonder Bush is nervous.

The constant rate cuts and geopolitical jitters have sent gold skyrocketing. Since August 2006, gold has gone from $650 per ounce to $887; a whopping $237 in just 5 months. If that is not a indictment of the Federal Reserve and their “loosey-goosey” monetary policy; then what is? According to the Wall Street Journal “gold and oil have run almost in perfect tandem. The price of gold has risen 239% since 2001, while the price of oil has risen 267%. That means if the dollar had remained as ‘good as gold’ since 2001, oil today would be selling at about $30 a barrel, not $99.” (WSJ; 1-4-08)

That’s right; the price of gas today is attributable to war, tax cuts and the relentless expansion of credit by the Federal Reserve—NOT OIL SHORTAGES!

Escalating energy prices are increasing the cost of food production which creates a self-reinforcing inflationary cycle. Additional rate cuts will only weaken the dollar further and put an even greater burden on maxed-out consumers.

Before he left on his “Victory Tour” of the Middle East, Bush said:

“When Congress comes back, I look forward to working with them, to deal with the economic realities of the moment and to assure the American people that we will do everything we can to make sure we remain a prosperous country.”

The economic realities that Bush will be facing are the anticipated “hard landing” from a nationwide housing slump coupled with a credit crunch that is strangling the banking and financial industries. The country is lurching recklessly into a deflationary death-spiral while Bush makes a pointless junket to the scene of his biggest foreign policy flop. What a joke. When he returns, Bush will find that he is constrained in his “stimulus” plan due to massive fiscal deficits which are the result of the enormous tax cuts and gluttonous military budget.

“This isn’t like 2000 when the US was running a large fiscal surplus of $300 billion or 2.5% GDP,” said economist Nouriel Roubini. “Now that all the fiscal stimulus bullets have been spent on the most reckless and unsustainable tax cuts in history—the administration is left with very little room (to maneuver) in bad times…We are now stuck in a situation where the room for any meaningful fiscal stimulus…is gone….We did indeed waste all our macro policy bullets in 2001-2004 in “the best recovery that money can buy” and now we are left with relatively limited room for monetary and fiscal policy stimulus. This is one of the main reasons why the recession of 2008 will be more severe and protracted than the mild 2001 recession.” (Nouriel Roubini’s Global EconoMonitor)

Still, there will be a stimulus package–however meager–and there’ll also be more rate cuts by the Fed. That means that gold and oil will continue to soar and the dollar will continue to get hammered. Bernanke’s options are limited; as are Bush’s. The system is grinding to a halt and the Fed chief will have to use the tools at his disposal to try to stimulate economic activity. It won’t be easy. Presently, he faces a number of challenges. Home prices are falling, retail spending is off, commercial real estate is in a sharp downturn, and many of the major investment banks are capital impaired from their poor investments in mortgage-backed bonds. If the Fed’s “low interest” smelling salts don’t revive the comatose American consumer—and get the cash registers at Target and Billy McHales ringing again—the world will face a global slowdown. That’s why the Fed Funds rate will probably get hacked by 50 basis points by month’s end and Comrade Bush’s economic team will concoct a fiscal bailout plan worthy of Fidel Castro.

ARE WE THERE, YET?

A growing number of market analysts believe we’re already in recession. David Rosenberg of Merrill Lynch put it like this:

“According to our analysis, this [recession] isn’t even a forecast any more but is a present day reality.” Rosenberg argues that a weakening employment picture and declining retail sales signal the economy has tipped into its first month of recession….Mr Rosenberg points to a whole batch of negative data to support his analysis, including the four key barometers used by the National Bureau of Economic Research (NEBR) – employment, real personal income, industrial production, and real sales activity in retail and manufacturing.” (UK Telegraph)

Whether one chooses to call it a recession or not is irrelevant. When the two behemoth asset-classes—real estate and securities—begin to cave in, there’s bound to be some ugly fallout. Housing stayed strong during the dot.com bust. Not this time. No way. The whole system is keeling over and it could take the bond market along with it. As the two gigantic equity bubbles lose gas; consumer spending will stall, business activity will slow, more workers will get laid off, and prices will tumble. Equities and commodities will be hit hard (even gold) and housing prices will dive to new lows as the pool of potential buyers grows smaller and smaller.

These problems will be further aggravated by the lack of personal savings and the huge debt-load which will push increasing numbers of homeowners, credit card customers, even student loan recipients into default. By 2009, bankruptcy will be the fastest growing fad in American pop-culture.

HOUSING DOOM

Many experts are now predicting that home prices will dip 30% by the end of 2008. That means that nearly 20 million homeowners will be “upside-down”, that is, they will owe more on their mortgage than the current value of the house. (Imagine owing $400,000 on a home that is currently worth $325,000!) 40% of all homeowners in the US will be upside-down by the end of next year. This is a grave systemic problem that will have widespread implications. Experts already know that when mortgage holders have “negative equity” they are much more inclined to put their keys in the mailbox and skip town. Hence, the name for this increasingly common practice—“jingle mail”. Secretary of the Treasury Henry Paulson is desperately trying to put together a national “rate freeze” to avoid, what could be, the most devastating surge of foreclosures the world has ever seen. Paulson’s rate freeze does not offer “New Hope” as promised but, rather, a lifetime of servitude paying off an asset of ever-decreasing value. Underwater homeowners are better off taking the hit to their credit and letting the bank repo the house. Let the bank worry about it. They created this mess.

The housing bubble is deflating faster than anyone had anticipated. Overall sales have slipped more than 40% from their peak in 2005 whereas, prices have gone down a mere 6.5%. Prices, which are a lagging indicator, have a lot further to drop before they touch bottom. Robert Schiller, Professor of Economics at Yale University and author of “Irrational Exuberance” “predicted that there was a very real possibility that the US would be plunged into a Japan-style slump, with house prices declining for years.

Professor Shiller, co-founder of the respected S&P Case/Shiller house-price index, said: “American real estate values have already lost around $1 trillion [£503 billion]. That could easily increase threefold over the next few years. This is a much bigger issue than sub-prime. We are talking trillions of dollars’ worth of losses.” (Times Online)

Schiller’s on the right track, but his estimates are way too conservative. After all, in 2002, the median price of a single-family home in Los Angeles was $270,000. But, by 2006, the cost of that same house had doubled, to $540,000 — “pushed by unbridled speculation fueled by unparalleled access to mortgage capital.” (LA Times) The problem was cheap credit that was readily available to anyone who could fog a mirror. All that has changed. The banks have tightened up their lending standards, and jumbo loans (loans over $417,000) are nearly impossible to get. So, why doesn’t Schiller believe that prices will return to 2002 levels? They will. And they’ll go even lower; much lower. In fact, real estate is quickly becoming the leper at the birthday party; everyone is staying away. That means that prices will fall—and more rapidly than anyone imagined. The word is out on housing and it’s not good. The blood is in the water. Get out before the pool of mortgage applicants dries up entirely.

BANKING TSUNAMI

The US banking industry has never faced greater challenges than it does today. Many of America’s largest and most prestigious investment banks are seriously under-capitalized and buried beneath hundreds of billions of dollars in complex, structured investments that are being downgraded on a weekly basis. On top of that, many of the banks main sources of revenue have vanished as investor interest in sophisticated mortgage-backed bonds and derivatives has disappeared altogether. For example, the sales of collateralized debt obligations (CDOs) “plunged 85% to $15.69 billion in the fourth quarter”. Also, “The value of Alt-A mortgages…issued in the third quarter fell 64% to $39.3 billion from the second quarter’s record high of $109.5 billion …. S&P said the dramatic drop is the result of ‘unprecedented credit and liquidity disruptions’ for both borrowers and lenders” (Dow Jones) These are steep declines and represent a serious loss of revenue from the banks’ bottom line.

Many of the banks are simply in “survival mode” trying to conceal the magnitude of their losses from their shareholders while attempting to attract capital from overseas investors to shore up their sagging collateral. (via Sovereign Wealth Funds)

The banks are now struggling to fulfill their function as the main conduit for providing credit to consumers and businesses. They have curtailed their lending as their capital base has steadily eroded through persistent downgrading. The Federal Reserve has tried to resolve this issue by opening a Temporary Auction Facility (TAF) which allows the banks to secretly borrow billions from the Fed without the embarrassment of disclosing the transaction to the public. The banks are also free to use Mortgage-backed securities (MBS) and commercial paper (CP) as collateral for securing the Fed repos. It’s a sweetheart deal and more than 100 financial institutions have already taken advantage of the Fed’s largesse.

This is a bad sign. It indicates that the banks are seriously overextended, “capital impaired” and need a handout from the Central Bank to keep from defaulting. It means that the vaults are stuffed with worthless mortgage-backed slop that they are deliberately hiding from their shareholders and depositors. If there was adequate regulation then the banks would never have been allowed to dabble in such risky debt-instruments as subprime loans and toxic CDOs. The whole catastrophe could have been avoided. Instead, hundreds of billions of dollars will be wiped out, a number of banks will fail, and public confidence in their institutions will be shattered.

This week, the Federal Reserve announced that it “will increase the size of two scheduled auctions of emergency loans by 50 percent to $30 billion as part of a global attempt by central bankers to restore faith in the money markets”. (AP) In other words, the Fed will provide an even bigger begging bowl to prop up the banks to maintain the appearance of solvency. It is an utter sham.

INFLATION vs. DEFLATION

The size and scale of the approaching recession is impossible to forecast. The real estate and stock markets will undoubtedly see trillions of dollars in losses, but what about the estimated $300 trillion dollars of derivatives, credit default swaps and other abstruse counterparty options? Will the global economy freeze up when that ocean of cyber-capital suddenly evaporates? Will that virtual wealth simply vanish into the ether when the underlying assets (CDOs, MBSs, ABCP) are downgraded to pennies on the dollar, or when the number of home foreclosures catapults into the millions, or when the dollar slips to a fraction of its current value? No one really knows.

But Atlanta Fed President Dennis Lockhart summarized what we can expect in a speech he gave last week titled “The Economy in 2008”. He said:

“A sober assessment of risks must take account of the possibility of protracted financial market instability together with weakening housing prices, volatile and high energy prices, continued dollar depreciation, and elevated inflation.”

Amen.

What the upcoming recession “will look like” has been the topic of a fierce debate on the Internet. Everyone seems to agree that this is not a typical economic downturn resulting from overproduction, under-consumption or malinvestment. Rather, it is the crashing of humongous equity bubbles that were generated by the Fed’s abusive expansion of credit and the unprecedented proliferation of opaque structured-debt instruments. Many believe that the unwinding of these bubbles will trigger a round of hyper-inflation which is already evident in soaring food, energy and health care costs. These prices are bound to increase substantially as the Fed continues to cut rates and further undermine the dollar.

But the real issue (it seems to me) is the unfathomable loss of market capitalization, the growing insolvency of maxed-out consumers, and the inability of the banks to freely extend credit to responsible loan applicants. These three things are likely to drag down all asset-classes, slow business activity to a crawl, and compel consumers to hoard rather than spend. The dollar will strengthen in an deflationary environment. (if that is any consolation?)

Paul L. Kasriel, Sr. V.P. and Director of Economic Research at The Northern Trust Company answers some typical questions about deflation in a recent interview with economic guru Mike Shedlock (Mish): .

Mish: Would you say that consumer debt in the US as opposed to the lack of consumer debt in Japan increases the deflationary pressures on the US economy?

Kasriel: Yes, absolutely. The latest figures that I have show that banks’ exposure to the mortgage market is at 62% of their total earnings assets, an all time high. If a prolonged housing bust ensues, banks could be in big trouble.

Mish: What if Bernanke cuts interest rates to 1 percent?

Kasriel: In a sustained housing bust that causes banks to take a big hit to their capital it simply will not matter. This is essentially what happened recently in Japan and also in the US during the great depression.

Mish: Can you elaborate?

Kasriel: Most people are not aware of actions the Fed took during the great depression. Bernanke claims that the Fed did not act strong enough during the Great Depression. This is simply not true. The Fed slashed interest rates and injected huge sums of base money but it did no good. More recently, Japan did the same thing. It also did no good. If default rates get high enough, banks will simply be unwilling to lend which will severely limit money and credit creation.

Mish: How does inflation start and end?

Kasriel: Inflation starts with expansion of money and credit.  Inflation ends when the central bank is no longer able or willing to extend credit and/or when consumers and businesses are no longer willing to borrow because further expansion and /or speculation no longer makes any economic sense.

Mish: So when does it all end?

Kasriel: That is extremely difficult to project. If the current housing recession were to turn into a housing depression, leading to massive mortgage defaults, it could end. Alternatively, if there were a run on the dollar in the foreign exchange market, price inflation could spike up and the Fed would have no choice but to raise interest rates aggressively. Given the record leverage in the U.S. economy, the rise in interest rates would prompt large scale bankruptcies. These are the two “checkmate” scenarios that come to mind. (read the whole interview at http://globaleconomicanalysis.blogspot.com/2006/12/interview-with-paul-kasriel.html)

Summary: When banks don’t lend and consumers don’t borrow; the economy crashes. End of story. The whole system is predicated on the prudent use of credit. That system is now in terminal distress. Everyone to the bunkers.

Perhaps the whole “inflation-deflation” debate is academic. The real issue is the length and severity of the impending recession. That’s what we really want to know. And how many people will needlessly suffer.

 

FAIR USE NOTICE: This blog may contain copyrighted material. Such material is made available for educational purposes, to advance understanding of human rights, democracy, scientific, moral, ethical, and social justice issues, etc. This constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Title 17 U.S.C. section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond ‘fair use’, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

Flight 93 – RARE Footage – Not seen since 9/11 (video)

Dandelion Salad

setfree69

Had this Video sent to me that shows a different take on the official story of Flight 93. This is one of those news items that although was broadcast to the World has since disappeared and not been re-shown. NO evidence of the plane crashing intact into the ground.

In light of the BBC claiming they had LOST all their footage of 911, it is interesting to see that some people can keep an archive themselves on a budget when the corporations with their Billions cannot.

Added: January 09, 2008

The Integrity of Hillary Clinton by Jennifer

Jennifer Wants Justice and Peace

by Jennifer
featured writer
Dandelion Salad

Jennifer’s blog
Justice and Peace
Jan. 10, 2008

Integrity

 

Inּtegּri|ty n. 3. the quality or state of being of sound moral principle; uprightness, honesty, and sincerity

 

The meaning and definition of the word integrity seems simple and straightforward, but in the world of American Politics, it is perhaps the most misused, abused, and elusive word spoken. However, the majority of Americans believe, that among desirable personality characteristics in those running for and holding political office, it is by far the most desired.

If there is one particular trait missing from the Hillary Clinton campaign, it is indeed, integrity. On both national and international issues, Clinton is simply one more piece to the Bush/Clinton political sandwich that has destroyed the majority of American ideals. Clearly calculating and career driven, Clinton is obviously not the candidate who will restore America’s reputation in the world as the beacon of freedom, humanity, and all that is right but will rather lead this nation down its continued path to Imperialism through Corporatism.

For any American genuinely concerned about these issues to hear support for the Clinton campaign based on Clinton’s sex is truly concerning. In spite of her voting record, continued elusive language in terms of the occupation of Iraq, the shrinking middle class, the value of the dollar, increasing power for corporations, illegal detention and torture of detainees, repeated violations of the Constitution, and her position on energy independence, she continues to enjoy broad support among some in the Progressive Movement. One only need look closely at Clinton’s choice of language to determine that she continues to address these issues in a rather superficial way, lacking the integrity that America so badly needs.

Immediately before the primaries in New Hampshire, American media outlets focused the world’s attention on the fact that Clinton showed some emotion during a question and answer period.

Reminiscent of the absurd question asked during the Democratic debate in Nevada, where a young college student inquired as to whether Hillary preferred pearls or diamonds, a woman in New Hampshire asked, “As a woman, I know it’s hard to get out of the house and to get ready… and my question is very personal: how do you do it? How do you keep upbeat and so wonderful?” To this, Clinton answered, “It’s not easy, and I could not do it if I just didn’t passionately believe it was the right thing to do…I have had so many opportunities from this country – I just don’t want us to fall back. This is very personal for me … it is not just political… I see what’s happening… we have to reverse it.”

Sadly missing from any emotion Clinton has ever shown are tears for fallen soldiers or their families, the destruction of the entire society and nation of Iraq, which has killed thousands, and made millions homeless and impoverished, and the continued assault on American civil liberties.

In fact, it is on these very important issues that Clinton continues to lead the American people towards the Bush doctrine. This is evidenced by her support of Imperialistic Bush policies to date, including the Iraq War, a possible attack on Iran and The Patriot Act. Even those who approve of Clinton’s stance on these issues or those finding themselves forgiving of her apparent Bushesque blunderings, an alarm should sound at the clear contradiction between her words and actions.

In her victory speech, Clinton showed a real lack of integrity when she spoke of all that ails America, “The oil companies, the drug companies, the health insurance companies, the predatory student loan companies have had seven years of a president who stands up for them. It’s time we had a president who stands up for all of you. I intend to be that president, to be a president who puts you first, your lives, your families, your children, your futures.”

Nowhere, does Clinton acknowledge that the very corporations she criticizes here are funding her campaign. A short list includes; 18.36 million (representing the largest contributions) from the financial sector, 14.3 million from lawyers and lobbyists representing oil, insurance, pharmaceutical, and lending companies, over 8 hundred thousand from the energy industry, and close to 2.2 million from the military industrial complex and construction companies combined, many of whom are currently operating in Iraq.

If the staggering numbers alone are not sounding the alarm bells enough for Americans to realize Clinton plans on using her power to enrich the elite in this country further, perhaps a look at Clinton’s funding in comparison to other presidential hopefuls will. Clinton willingly accepts funds from the defense industry where only John McCain outranks her. In the Oil and Gas industry, Clinton enjoys another cool second place, from lobbyists however; she takes first place leaving all other candidates behind with second in line taking close to half of the funds she has received to date.

Clearly, Clinton’s actions and words do not match, leaving this writer to wonder how any one who wishes the direction of this country to change does not recognize these obvious warning signs. Perhaps the last seven years have left Americans so desperate and dumbfounded; they have decided lies from the mouth of a woman are perhaps easier to swallow, especially if they are followed by a shot of tears.

see

If You Vote For Hillary… by Josh Sidman

Grasping at Straws: Hillary on the Ropes by Josh Sidman

It’s Too Dangerous to Give Hillary Clinton Another Shot (video)

Kucinich v.s Obama & Clinton + The Ballad of Dennis Kucinich (videos)

Hillary Clinton’s Donors

Exclusive: Blair takes on money spin by Trevor Murphy

by Trevor Murphy
Guest Writer
Dandelion Salad
Jan. 10, 2008

Tony Blair has announced today that he will take a part time advisers job on Wall Street with JP Morgan to provide political and strategic advice and take part in client events (AKA insider trading).

Teflon refused to disclose his earning from the position but did say it was just one of a number of positions he would be filling in the private sector.

It is obviously not too far off into the future when the war monger/genocidal megalomaniac/peace envoy will be needed to officially run world bank or IMF to take over the Wolfowitz line.

JP Morgan are running short of market manipulators these days and it fits in well with Blairs standard career path to date to chase the money (no pun intended) and put the needs of his pocket before any human rights pretensions he may exude in his current role as Saint Anthony of the middle east. His old buddy Brown also sold the British gold reserves to the Rothchilds when the gold market was at an all time low losing some £2 billions for the British Tax payer and it saddles up well with the JP Morgan Chase old turf of manipulating the Gold market like that of 2003 which resulted in the anti trust law suit that was filed in New Orleans which accused them of conspiring with Barrick Gold Corp, Toronto (Canada’s largest gold producer) to actively manipulate the price of gold at the expense of individual investors and making $2 billion (US) profits in the process. The claim was brought by Blanchard and Co. of New Orleans representing its clients who bought gold bullion.

According to CBC news, Blanchard alleged that “Barrack and J.P. Morgan injected millions of additional ounces of gold into the market so that the companies made $2-billion US in short-selling profits “by suppressing the price of gold at the expense of individual investors.”

“Since the end of 1987, when the collaboration between Barrick and J.P. Morgan began, the growth of global income and wealth would have lifted the gold price to approximately $740 US if the price had been able to respond to the normal laws of supply and demand,” Blanchard chief executive Donald Doyle said in a statement. “If gold had kept pace with inflation, the price today would be approximately $760 US,” Doyle said. Gold was quoted at $342.70 US that week, up $4.70 US. Pattern emerging here.

Ironically though when Brown, then Chancellor under Teflon Tony, decided to inform only a select handful of Britains top gold traders of his decision to flog off half the British Gold reserves at a knock down price back in May 1999 in the Bank of England’s meeting rooms, Brown himself did not attend. However Martin Stokes, former vice-president at JP Morgan, who WAS present, said: “I was surprised they had chosen the auction method. It indicated they did not have a real understanding of the gold market.” according to the Times April 15 2007. Although Peter Fava head of precious metal dealing at the HSBC said “the timing of the decision was ludicrous. We told them you’re going to push the price of gold down before you sell. We thought it was a disastrous decision. We couldn’t understand it”

Even though they warned at the time that gold moved in decade long cycles and at that point in time the value was at a decade low and was due to increase in value anyway, Brown refused to heed the advice. They warned that if they announced the timing and the amounts the gold price would plunge. Bank of England officials at the time also said that Brown appeared “uninterested in their expert advice” and it was a decision reached by Brown and his “inner circle”.

JP Morgan must have known then they could be on to a good thing with Blair for the future. Only two years earlier he pranced through the doors of number 10 for the first time to the tune “things can only get better” and for him they certainly did.

Since then the price of gold has trebled.

Smacks of insider trading, doesn’t it?

It won’t be long till The North American Union kicks in and the Amero currency is forced on the people of the union and with such obviously individually patriotic entities as Blair/Brown, JP Morgan, The Rothchilds and Canadas Barrick gold, et al, all combined one wonders who is looking out for the interests of the common people of the respective countries of the union.

It now only remains to pull Mexico’s Carlos Slim Helu now the world’s richest man into the club, which will probably be another job for Saint Blair.

Slim made his fortune as a monopoly holder on the Mexican land-line telephone market. One wonders how this one will fit into the elites social club.

When asked what it was like to be (at the time) the worlds second richest man, Slim famously said while comparing himself to Warren Buffet, the tycoon who at that time pledged US $1.5 billion dollars a year to the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation that Slim overtook to become the number two.

“Our concept is more to accomplish and solve things, rather than giving-that is not going around like Santa Claus … poverty isn’t solved with donations.”

Well there it is then, Common theology already. He’ll fit in just fine with the rest of the planetary manipulators who have the gall to call themselves our representatives.

Good luck with your new job Tony, and that is meant with all the same sincerity you felt for the 1.5 million innocent men women and children of Iraqi spread across the mass graves of the once beautiful Mesopotamian landscape in your quest for your place in the history books, of which I can assure you, in the same footpath as other such philanthropists as Hitler, Stalin, Pol Pot, et al you have deservedly achieved already.

see

Blair’s chameleonic path to divinity by Trevor Murphy

Dennis Kucinich on Election Protection (video)

Dandelion Salad

ldthompson

In an interview a fundraiser in Los Angeles Dennis Kucinich confirms what many already know, that the 2000 and 2004 elections were stolen elections.

Added: January 10, 2008

see

Kucinich v.s Obama & Clinton + The Ballad of Dennis Kucinich (videos)

New Hampshire Election Fraud by Ron Corvus

Alarms Should Go Off Whenever the Discrepancies Between the “Official” Results and the Polls Can’t Be Explained by andi novick (2006)

Kucinich-Dennis