Be a Freedom Writer – Take Action: Open the Debates

Dandelion Salad

The Nader Team

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Your Soapbox — Announcing Freedom Writers

Were you disgusted by the sound bite debate you had to endure last night? Did you wish there was someone on stage who was actually addressing substantive issues instead of trading resumes and platitudes? Outraged by the fact that third parties are deliberately and systematically excluded from public discourse and that millions of Americans consequently don’t know that they can vote for real reform?

If you are, sign up to join Freedom Writers, the Nader campaign to end media bigotry by demanding that radio, television and newspaper stations cover third party candidates. We need you to help us break through the media blockade and bring real issues and solutions to the people!

Join Freedom Writers today.

Onward.

The Nader Team

***

The media organizations you can write to are displayed below:

Mr. Alan Fram
Associated Press
Mr. Anderson Cooper
CNN
All Things Considered
NPR
Ms. Betsy Fischer
NBC
Mr. Charlie Rose
PBS
Mr. Chris Licht
MSNBC
Mr. David Doss
CNN
Mr. Leonard Downie Jr.
Washington Post
Mr. Dave Wilson
Miami Herald
Mr. Eric Sherling
CNN
Mr. Bill Keller
New York Times
Ms. Fiona Luis
Boston Globe
Mr. Chris Wallace
FOX
Ms. Carin Pratt
CBS
Mr. John Reiss
MSNBC
Ms. Izzy Povich
MSNBC
Ms. Janelle Rodriguez
CNN
Mr. Jeff Rosetti
CNN
Mr. James Mallory
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Mr. John Arthur
LA Times
Mr. Bill Moyers
PBS
Ms. Rachel Maddow
MSNBC
Mr. Robert Blau
Baltimore Sun
Mr. Robert Thomson
Wall Street Journal
Mr. John Schlander
St. Petersburg Times
Ms. Katherine O’Hearn
ABC
Mr. Terry Irving
CNN
Here’s the message:

Dear Editor,

I write to you out of a deep sense of alarm about the declining state of our political dialogue and to remind you of the pivotal role that you, the media, can play in our democracy.

There are a variety of substantial candidates running for president this year, including two former members of Congress and consumer advocate Ralph Nader, yet their voices on vital issues of public interest have been silenced.  How? They are being excluded from the presidential debates. Only two candidates—the Democratic and Republican nominees—have been invited to participate in the televised debates, which will reach 60 million or more Americans.

Recent polls show that many of the third-party and independent candidates have significant voter support, reflecting millions of citizens who are eager for choices beyond the two major party candidates. Too many Americans don’t know about these other candidates or wonder why they are rarely mentioned by the media. Moreover, most Americans don’t know the source of this discrimination: the debates’ sponsor, the Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD), a corporation created by the two major parties themselves.

Despite the CPD’s claim that its purpose is to “provide the best possible information to viewers and listeners,” its real purpose is to prevent other legitimate candidates from participating in the debates and presenting their case to the American people.

Walter Cronkite called the CPD debates an “unconscionable fraud.” New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg calls them a “mockery.” The League of Women Voters called them “campaign-trail charades devoid of substance…” A genuinely nonpartisan, civic organization, the League previously sponsored the debates, but in 1988 quit in disgust, saying: “The League has no intention of becoming an accessory to the hoodwinking of the American public.”

It is time for the media to report on this charade and call for authentic open debates that includes all legitimate candidates.

In a 2004 Zogby poll, 57 percent of Americans said that third parties should be included in the debates.

The Nader/Gonzalez campaign is on the ballot in 45 states, is polling at 6 percent nationally and at 6 to 8 percent in various states.

We are in an era of unprecedented national distress. An economic meltdown, massive home foreclosures, two wars, the loss of health care for millions of Americans, a deteriorating infrastructure, the crumbling of America’s standing in the world—these are all issues of profound concern to American voters. Why are only two candidates allowed to talk about them? Why are the candidates from the two parties that have governed us into this mess the only ones whose solutions we are allowed to hear?

The major parties make lots of arguments to justify excluding third-party and independent candidates. One of the most ridiculous is that more candidates crowd the field and confuse voters. This is an insult to the intelligence of American voters, and it stifles democracy. Few mentioned this during the primaries when 8 to 10 people shared the debate stage. The American people don’t need the CPD to decide for them who and what they will hear.

I urge you to challenge the CPD’s undemocratic debates.

I invite you to ask candidates Obama and McCain why they refused to participate in two exciting alternative debates, one organized by Google/YouTube and the City of New Orleans for Sept. 18,[ http://www.neworleansdebate.org/ and http://www.ballot-access.org/2008/07/05/new-orleansgoogleyoutube-presidential-debate/%5D another by the Military Spouses for Change for August 11, 2008  in Ft. Hood, Texas [http://www.militaryspousesforchange.com/].

I encourage you to ask the League of Women Voters[http://www.lwv.org/AM/Template.cfm?Section=Election_2008&template=/CM/HTMLDisplay.cfm&ContentID=11965] if it is reconsidering its decision, made exactly 20 years ago this Oct. 3, and will once again sponsor open, nonpartisan debates.

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

Matt Gonzalez: Bailout of the Two Party System

Ralph Nader on Bill Maher + Sarah Palin? She’s a BIMBO! BIM-BO!

Nader: Who Lost? Peace Activists, Consumers, Workers

Hypocrisy or democracy? Ralph Nader on Russia Today

The Daily Show Takes on the Bailout

Ralph Nader: Why Is There Need for a Bailout? + Today’s Protests

The Daily Show Takes on the Bailout

Tell Congress: No to Bailout! (Action alerts)

The Economy Sucks and or Collapse

Nader for President 2008

www.votenader.org/

The Termi-Nader

Ralph Nader Posts & Videos

Dennis Kucinich: And This Is The System We’re Saving!

Dandelion Salad

CSPANJUNKIEdotORG

http://cspanjunkie.org/
September 27, 2008 C-SPAN

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Ron Paul: You Can Not Place Value Into Assets That Are Worthless!

Trouble in Banktopia By Mike Whitney

Stand Against the Bailout Scam!

Tell Congress: No to Bailout! (Action alerts)

Understanding the Bailout by Josh Sidman

Want to stop the banksters’ bailout? by The Other Katherine Harris

Kucinich’s Main Street Recovery Plan

The Economy Sucks and or Collapse

Ron Paul: You Can Not Place Value Into Assets That Are Worthless!

Dandelion Salad

VOTERSTHINKdotORG

http://cspanjunkie.org/
September 27, 2008 News Corp

Vodpod videos no longer available.

more about “Ron Paul: You Can Not Place Value Int…“, posted with vodpod

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Trouble in Banktopia By Mike Whitney

Stand Against the Bailout Scam!

Tell Congress: No to Bailout! (Action alerts)

Understanding the Bailout by Josh Sidman

Want to stop the banksters’ bailout? by The Other Katherine Harris

Marc Faber: Let the crisis burn itself out

The Economy Sucks and or Collapse

Trouble in Banktopia By Mike Whitney

Dandelion Salad

By Mike Whitney
09/27/08 “ICH”

The financial system is blowing up. Don’t listen to the experts; just look at the numbers. Last week, according to Reuters, “U.S. banks borrowed a record amount from the Federal Reserve nearly $188 billion a day on average, showing the central bank went to extremes to keep the banking system afloat amid the biggest financial crisis since the Great Depression.” The Fed opened the various “auction facilities” to create the appearance that insolvent banks were thriving businesses, but they are not. They’re dead; their liabilities exceed their assets. Now the Fed is desperate because the hundreds of billions of dollars of mortgage-backed securities (MBS) in the banks vaults have bankrupt the entire system and the Fed’s balance sheet is ballooning by the day. The market for MBS will not bounce back in the foreseeable future and the banks are unable to roll-over their short term debt. Game over. The Federal Reserve itself is in danger. So, it’s on to Plan B; which is to dump all the toxic sludge on the taxpayer before he realizes that the whole system is cratering and his life is about to change forever. It’s called the Paulson Plan, a $700 billion boondoggle which has already been disparaged by every economist of merit in the country.

From Reuters:

“Borrowings by primary dealers via the Primary Dealer Credit Facility, and through another facility created on Sunday for Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, and Merrill Lynch, and their London-based subsidiaries, totaled $105.66 billion as of Wednesday, the Fed said.”

See what I mean; they’re all broke. The Fed’s rotating loans are just a way to perpetuate the myth that the banks aren’t flat-lining already. Bernanke has tied strings to the various body parts and jerks them every so often to make it look like they’re alive. But the Wall Street model is broken and the bailout is pointless.

Last week, there was a digital run on the banks that most people never even heard about; a “real time” crash. An article in the New York Post by Michael Gray gave a blow by blow description of how events unfolded. Here’s a clip from Gray’s “Almost Armageddon”:

“The market was 500 trades away from Armageddon on Thursday…Had the Treasury and Fed not quickly stepped into the fray that morning with a quick $105 billion injection of liquidity, the Dow could have collapsed to the 8,300-level – a 22 percent decline! – while the clang of the opening bell was still echoing around the cavernous exchange floor. According to traders, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, money market funds were inundated with $500 billion in sell orders prior to the opening. The total money-market capitalization was roughly $4 trillion that morning.

The panicked selling was directly linked to the seizing up of the credit markets – including a $52 billion constriction in commercial paper – and the rumors of additional money market funds “breaking the buck,” or dropping below $1 net asset value.”

The Fed’s dramatic $105 billion liquidity injection on Thursday (pre-market) was just enough to keep key institutional accounts from following through on the sell orders and starting a stampede of cash that could have brought large tracts of the US economy to a halt.” (New York Post)

Commercial paper is the lubricant that keeps the financial markets functioning. When confidence vanishes (because the stewards of the system in Washington are buffoons), investors withdraw their money, normal business operations become impossible, and the markets collapse. End of story. So, rather than restore the public’s confidence by strong leadership and behavior designed to reassure investors; President Bush decided to give a major prime-time speech stating that if Paulson’s emergency bailout package was not passed immediately, the nation’s economy would vaporize into the ether. Go figure?

Last week, the commercial paper market, (much of which is backed by mortgage-backed securities) shrunk by a whopping $61. billion to $1.702 trillion, the lowest level since early 2006. So, Paulson’s bailout will effectively underwrite CP as well as the whole alphabet soup of mortgage-backed derivatives for which there is currently no market. The US taxpayer is not only getting into the plummeting real estate market, he is also backstopping the entire financial system including defaulting car loan securities, waning student loan securities, flailing home equity loan securities and faltering credit card securities. The whole mountainous pile of horsecrap-debt is about to be stacked on the back of the maxed-out taxpayer and the ever-shriveling greenback. Paulson assures us that its a “good deal”. Booyah, Hank!

PAULSON’S $700 BILLION BOONDOGGLE

How did Treasury Secretary Paulson figure out that recapitalizing the banking system would cost $700 billion? Or did he just estimate the amount of money that could be loaded on the back of the Treasury’s flatbed truck when it sputters off to shower his buddies at G-Sax with freshly minted greenbacks? The point is, that Paulson’s calculations were not assisted by any economists at all, and they cannot be trusted. It is a purely arbitrary, “back of the envelope” type figuring. According to Bloomberg: Swiss investor Marc Faber, known for a long track record of good calls, believes the damage may come to $5 trillion:

“Marc Faber, managing director of Marc Faber Ltd. in Hong Kong, said the U.S. government’s rescue package for the financial system may require as much as $5 trillion, seven times the amount Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson has requested….

“The $700 billion is really nothing,” Faber said in a television interview. “The treasury is just giving out this figure when the end figure may be $5 trillion.” (Bloomberg News)

Most people who follow these matters would trust Faber’s assessment way over Paulson’s. In his latest blog entry, economist Nouriel Roubini said that “no professional economist was consulted by Congress or invited to present his/her views at the Congressional hearings on the Treasury rescue plan.” Roubini added:

“The Treasury plan is a disgrace: a bailout of reckless bankers, lenders and investors that provides little direct debt relief to borrowers and financially stressed households and that will come at a very high cost to the US taxpayer. And the plan does nothing to resolve the severe stress in money markets and interbank markets that are now close to a systemic meltdown.”

Roubini is right on all counts. So far, more than a 190 prominent economists have urged Congress not to pass the $700 bailout bill. There is growing consensus that the so-called “rescue package” does not address the central economic issues and has the potential to make a bad situation even worse.

BANKER’S COUP?

Financial industry rep. Paulson is the ringleader in a banker’s coup the results of which will decide America’s economic and political future for years to come. The coup leaders have drained tens of billions of dollars of liquidity from the already-strained banking system to trigger a freeze in interbank lending and hasten a stock market crash. This, they believe, will force Congress to pass Paulson’s $770 billion bailout package without further congressional resistance. It’s blackmail.

As yet, no one knows whether the coup-backers will succeed and further consolidate their political power via a massive economic shock to the system, but their plan continues to move jauntily forward while the economy follows its inexorable slide to disaster.

The bailout has galvanized grassroots movements which have flooded congressional FAXs and phone lines. Callers are overwhelmingly opposed to any bailout for banks that are buckling under their own toxic mortgage-backed assets. One analyst said that the calls to Congress are 50 percent “No” and 50 percent “Hell, No”. There is virtually no popular support for the bill.

From Bloomberg News:

“Erik Brynjolfsson, of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Sloan School, said his main objection “is the breathtaking amount of unchecked discretion it gives to the Secretary of the Treasury. It is unprecedented in a modern democracy.”

“I suspect that part of what we’re seeing in the freezing up of lending markets is strategic behavior on the part of big financial players who stand to benefit from the bailout,” said David K. Levine, an economist at Washington University in St. Louis, who studies liquidity constraints and game theory.” (Mish’s Global Economic Trend Analysis)

Brynjolfsson’s suspicions are well-founded. “Market Ticker’s” Karl Denninger confirms that the Fed has been draining the banking system of liquidity in order to blackmail Congress into passing the new legislation. Here’s Denninger:

“The Effective Fed Funds rate has been trading 50 basis points or more below the 2% target for five straight days now, and for the last two days, it has traded 75 basis points under. The IRX is demanding an immediate rate cut. The Slosh has been intentionally drained by over $125 billion in the last week and lowering the water in the swamp exposed one dead body – Washington Mutual – which was immediately raided on a no-notice basis by JP Morgan. Not even WaMu’s CEO knew about the raid until it was done….The Fed claims to be an “independent central bank.” They are nothing of the kind; they are now acting as an arsonist. The Fed and Treasury have claimed this is a “liquidity crisis”; it is not. It is an insolvency crisis that The Fed, Treasury and the other regulatory organs of our government have intentionally allowed to occur.”

Bingo. This is a banker’s coup cooked up and facilitated by the deep-money guys who operate stealthily behind the political sideshow. The only time they emerge from their stinkholes is when they’re flushed out by a crisis that threatens their continued dominance. Grassroots resistance, spearheaded by Internet bloggers (like Mish, Roubini and Denninger) are demonstrating that they can mobilize tens of thousands of “peasants with pitchforks” and be a factor in political decision making. It also helps to have elected officials, like Senator Richard Shelby, who stand firm on principle and don’t faint at the first whiff of grapeshot (like his weak-kneed Democratic counterparts) Shelby has shouldered the full-weight of executive pressure which has descended on him like a Appalachian rockslide. As a result, there’s still a slight chance that the bill will have to be shelved and the industry reps will have to go back to Square 1.

Market Ticker has provided charts from the Federal Reserve that prove that Bernanke has withdrawn $125 billion from the banking system in the last 4 days alone to create a crisis situation that will incite credit market mayhem and increase the likelihood of passing the bill. This is coercion of the worst kind. http://market-ticker.denninger.net/archives/2008/09/24.html

The country’s economic predicament is steadily deteriorating. Orders for manufactured durable goods were off 4.5 percent last month while inventories continued to rise. Unemployment is soaring and the housing crash continues to accelerate. Credit Suisse now expects 10.3 million foreclosures (total) in the next few years. Numbers like that are not accidental, but part of a larger scheme to use monetary policy as a way to shift wealth from one class to another while degrading the nation’s overall economic well-being. More alarming, the country’s primary creditors are now staging a rebellion that is likely to cut off the flow of capital to US markets sending the dollar plummeting and triggering a deflationary credit collapse. This is from Reuters:

“Chinese regulators have asked domestic banks to stop lending to U.S. financial institutions in the interbank money markets to prevent possible losses during the financial crisis, the South China Morning Post reported Thursday. The China Banking Regulatory Commission’s ban on interbank lending of all currencies applied to U.S. banks, but not to lenders from other countries, the report added.”

Bloomberg News reports that Dallas Federal Reserve Bank President Richard Fisher has broken with tradition and lambasted the proposed bailout saying that it “would plunge the U.S. government deeper into a fiscal abyss.”

From Bloomberg:

“The plan by Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson to buy troubled assets from financial institutions would put ‘one more straw on the back of the frightfully encumbered camel that is the federal government ledger,’ Fisher said today in the text of a speech in New York. ‘We are deeply submerged in a vast fiscal chasm.’…The seizures and convulsions we have experienced in the debt and equity markets have been the consequences of a sustained orgy of excess and reckless behavior, not a too-tight monetary policy,” Fisher said to the New York University Money Marketeers Club.” (Bloomberg)

Surely, the cure for hyperbolic “credit excesses and reckless behavior” cannot be “more of the same.” In fact, Paulson’s bailout does not even address the core issues which have been obscured by demagoguery and threats. The worthless assets must be written-down, insolvent banks must be allowed to go bust, and the crooks and criminals who engineered this financial blitz on the nation’s coffers must be held to account.

The carnage from Greenspan’s low interest rate, “easy money” binge is now visible everywhere. Inflated home and stock values are crashing as the gas continues to escape from the massive equity bubble. The FDIC will have to be recapitalized–perhaps, $500 billion–to account for the anticipated loss of deposits from failing banks caught in the cross-hairs of asset-deflation and steadily contracting credit. Recession is coming, but economic collapse can still be avoided if Paulson’s misguided plan is abandoned and corrective action is taken to put the country on solid financial footing. Market Ticker lays out framework for a workable solution to the crisis, but they must be acted on swiftly to rebuild confidence that major systemic changes are underway:

1–Force all off-balance sheet “assets” back onto the balance sheet, and force the valuation models and identification of individual assets out of Level 3 and into 10Qs and 10Ks. Do it now. (Editor: In other words, no more Enron-type accounting mumbo-jumbo and no more allowing the banks assign their own “values” to dodgy assets)

2–Force all OTC derivatives onto a regulated exchange similar to that used by listed options in the equity markets. This permanently defuses the derivatives time bomb. Give market participants 90 days; any that are not listed in 90 days are declared void; let the participants sue each other if they can’t prove capital adequacy.(Ed: If trading derivatives contracts can damage the “regulated” system, than that trading must take place under strict government regulations)

3–Force leverage by all institutions to no more than 12:1. The SEC intentionally dropped broker/dealer leverage limits in 2004; prior to that date 12:1 was the limit. Every firm that has failed had double or more the leverage of that former 12:1 limit. Enact this with a six month time limit and require 1/6th of the excess taken down monthly. (Ed: The collapse in the “structured finance” model is mainly due to too much leverage. For example, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac had $80 of debt for every $1 dollar od capital reserves when they were taken into government conservatorship)

If there’s going to be a bailout, let’s get it right. Paulson’s $700 billion bill does nothing to fix the deep structural problems in the financial markets; it merely pushes the day of reckoning a little further into the future while shifting the burden of payment for toxic assets onto the taxpayer. It’s a real turkey. The entire system needs transformational change so that the activities of Wall Street mesh with the broader objectives of the society it’s supposed to serve. Paulson’s business-model is busted; it does no one any good to try to glue it back together.

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

Statement on Auto Industry Bailouts by Ralph Nader

Stand Against the Bailout Scam!

Tell Congress: No to Bailout! (Action alerts)

Understanding the Bailout by Josh Sidman

Want to stop the banksters’ bailout? by The Other Katherine Harris

Marc Faber: Let the crisis burn itself out

Marc Faber about Lehman Brothers bankruptcy

The Economy Sucks and or Collapse

Matt Gonzalez: Bailout of the Two Party System

Dandelion Salad

votenader08

Matt Gonzalez Vice Presidential running mate of Ralph Nader critiques the first Presidential “debate” of 08 from The Bill Maher show at HBO. Who won who lost? The people lost and the corporate power structure won. Open the debates!

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more about “Matt Gonzalez: Bailout of the Two Par…“, posted with vodpod

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Ralph Nader on Bill Maher + Sarah Palin? She’s a BIMBO! BIM-BO!

Nader: Who Lost? Peace Activists, Consumers, Workers

Hypocrisy or democracy? Ralph Nader on Russia Today

The Daily Show Takes on the Bailout

Barack Obama and John McCain Presidential Debate 09.26.08

Pop-up Double Talk: Ole Miss Debate

Ralph Nader: Why Is There Need for a Bailout? + Today’s Protests

The Daily Show Takes on the Bailout

Tell Congress: No to Bailout! (Action alerts)

The Economy Sucks and or Collapse

Nader for President 2008

www.votenader.org/

The Termi-Nader

Ralph Nader Posts & Videos

Statement on Auto Industry Bailouts by Ralph Nader

Dandelion Salad

by Ralph Nader
Wednesday, September 17. 2008

Statement on Auto Industry Bailouts – The Nader Page

The Big Three are in big trouble, and they have themselves to thank for it.

Ford and General Motors have reported substantial losses in the second quarter amounting to $15.5 billion, and $8.7 billion, respectively, while Chrysler, which was bought off last year by a private equity firm, Cerberus, refuses to reveal its financial standing.

It is no wonder why their lobbyists were spotted schmoozing with members of Congress at the Democratic and Republican National Conventions, liquoring up in their plush suites and private parties while they made their case for direct government loans which, if approved, would likely add to our federal deficit.

Last December, Congress approved a $25 billion loan to automakers and their suppliers under the Energy Independence and Security Act, though it has yet to be funded. That bill includes a modest requirement for automakers to increase their average vehicle fuel efficiency to 35 mpg — a benchmark we should have set decades ago, and would allow the companies to have their way with virtually no oversight or accountability.

This corporate Congress cannot be expected to issue serious demands, set tough conditions, or impose strict rules on the auto companies to ensure their workers receive fair pay and benefits, and prevent their fat-cat executives from making off big while leaving their companies in shambles.

Such blatant giveaways have become the norm in Washington since the corporate stranglehold of Congress and the White House have smothered the forces seeking worker, consumer and environmental justice.

But this recent example should not discount our long history of dealing with corporate failures in more public and effective ways than just ponying up billions on demand at any big corporation’s whim.

In 1979 when Chrysler was on the verge of bankruptcy, the automaker came crying to Congress for a bailout, which they eventually got, but Congress wasn’t as much of a pushover.

Back then, at least the corporate chieftains were grilled by Congress and had to agree to give something back for Uncle Sam bailing them out — good jobs and pensions for their workers, and more efficient cars to reduce reliance on foreign oil and reduce prices at the pump.

Now the CEOs don’t even have to leave Detroit and they get much more money for almost no return commitment to America, while they outsource jobs and pollute our environment.

During discussion on a proposed loan bill to bailout Chrysler in October 1979, Senator William Proxmire (D-WI) who chaired the Senate Banking Committee issued his opposition to Chrysler’s request and noted: “We let 7,000 companies fail last year — we didn’t bail them out. Now we are being told that if a company is big enough… we can’t let it go under.” He went on to call the proposed deal “a terrible precedent.”

Raising the government’s demand for performance standards, President Carter’s Treasury Secretary William Miller told Chrysler officials, “it’s going to be so awful, you’ll wish you never brought the whole thing up.”

Today, we rarely hear such candid opposition to corporate orders shouted at their congressional servants who lack the fortitude to put serious restraints and conditions on mismanaged, reckless big business and their overpaid CEOs seeking tax-payer salvation.

As a part of the Chrysler deal in the late Seventies, the government took out preferred stock warrants and after the company turned itself around and repaid its loan seven years early, the government ended up cashing out, receiving $400 million in the appreciated stock.

And Congress made clear to Chrysler that it had specific conditions the company had to meet before receiving the loan guarantee. It forced the company to contribute $162,500,000 into an employee stock ownership trust fund geared to benefit at least 90 percent of its employees, design more fuel efficient autos to help reduce consumption of foreign oil, and prohibit wages and benefits from falling below a level set three months before the legislation was passed.

Today, congressional actions to grant multi-billion dollar loans to the corporations lack the reciprocity some in Congress demanded 30 years ago. Before Congress irresponsibly dips into the public piggy bank, this time it would be wise to look back at how the government once dealt with Chrysler’s dilemma, require clear benchmarks to deliver on the next generation of green collar jobs, improved fuel efficiency and gain a substantial return on its investment, not just in monetary value, but in the longterm viability of the domestic motor vehicle fleet.

Congress needs to call on the auto industry to innovate their way out of this morass into which they’ve engineered themselves into. A sensible strategy would be to issue stock warrants to the government, like in the 70s, which would create an incentive for Congress to keep pressure on the auto industry to improve. Public Congressional hearings are a must.

Will Congress echo its actions of 30 years ago when it scrutinized corporate demands, grilled company executives, and imposed conditions to ensure fair compensation and safety for workers? Or will Congress continue down the road of corporate servitude, refusing to stand up for workers, consumers, taxpayers and the environment in its session-ending stampede and flight away from auto industry accountabilities?

see

Ralph Nader: Why Is There Need for a Bailout? + Today’s Protests

Ralph Nader on Bill Maher + Sarah Palin? She’s a BIMBO! BIM-BO!

The Daily Show Takes on the Bailout

Tell Congress: No to Bailout! (Action alerts)

The Economy Sucks and or Collapse

Nader for President 2008

www.votenader.org/

The Termi-Nader

Ralph Nader Posts & Videos

Mosaic News – 9/26/08: World News from the Middle East

Dandelion Salad

Warning

.

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

linktv

Headlines coming soon!

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Ralph Nader on Bill Maher + Sarah Palin? She’s a BIMBO! BIM-BO! + Chris Rock

Dandelion Salad

replaced video Feb. 16, 2013

upshot13·Sep 27, 2008

September 26, 2008 HBO Real Time with Bill Maher

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Sarah Palin? She’s is a BIMBO! BIM-BO! Bill Maher

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Obama’s headed into The Mother of ALL Quagmiers! Ralph Nader

Obama’s acting like the Vote Count Matters! Chris Rock

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Nader: Who Lost? Peace Activists, Consumers, Workers

Hypocrisy or democracy? Ralph Nader on Russia Today

Sarah Palin Interview with Katie Couric + Cafferty: Palin Should Scare the Hell Out of You

The Obama Girl and Ralph Nader Show! Let the People Decide!

Stand Against the Bailout Scam!

Americans will not take it to the streets until they can no longer afford to go to the Mall

Our Own Agenda: 10 Policies For a Better America

Ralph Nader: Why Is There Need for a Bailout? + Today’s Protests

Barack Obama and John McCain Presidential Debate 09.26.08

Pop-up Double Talk: Ole Miss Debate

Bomb blast rocks Syrian capital Damascus

Dandelion Salad

Al Jazeera English on Sep 27, 2008

A huge car bomb rocked buildings in the southern suburbs of the capital Damascus a few hours ago.

Officials said that 17 people were killed, and a similar number wounded.

The attack happened close to a main road to Damascus airport.

Syria’s interior minister has called it a “terrorist” act and said all the victims were civilian.

Continue reading

Nader: Who Lost? Peace Activists, Consumers, Workers

Dandelion Salad

Obama McCain LA Debate- Nader Rebuttal

Dutchoven08

2008 Presidential Candidate, Ralph Nader offers his insights to the loser and winner of tonight’s Two-Party-Only National Presidential Debates!

Continue reading

Hypocrisy or democracy? Ralph Nader on Russia Today

Dandelion Salad

RussiaToday

While millions of people around the world watched Barack Obama and fellow U.S. presidential candidate John McCain debate each other, another man running for the high office was ignored. Independent Ralph Nader is not allowed to debate McCain and Obama because officials say he doesn’t qualify. However, Nader’s influence on the tight election may be greater than he’s being given credit for.

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Cuba at UN: The very existence of the human species is at risk

Dandelion Salad

Climate and Capitalism
September 26, 2008

Speech by the head of the Cuban delegation to the general debate of the 63rd session of the United Nations General Assembly, New York, September 2008

Mr. President:

We are living a decisive moment in the history of humankind. The threats looming over the world put the very existence of the human species at risk.

The promotion of peace, solidarity, social justice and sustainable development is the only way to ensure the future. The prevailing world order, unjust and unsustainable, must be replaced by a new system that is truly democratic and equitable, based on respect for International Law and on the principles of solidarity and justice, putting an end to the inequalities and exclusion to which the great majorities of the population of our planet have been condemned.

[…]

Cuba at UN: “The very existence of the human species is at risk” : Climate and Capitalism.

The Daily Show Takes on the Bailout

Dandelion Salad

by quebb

Tearing into the bailout plan, and Henry Paulson’s delusions of regency in particular, Jon Stewart reminds us that he may be the last bastion of honest journalism, even if he keeps professing not to be a news program. You can’t write this stuff. That’s what makes the show so brilliant. They just grasp the manifest. It’s so sad it’s funny. Yet horrible.

Keep working to stop this bailout. It is a threat to everything we claim to be as a nation of people. Damn this is funny.

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Anthrax suspect said he solved case

Dandelion Salad

Sept. 25, 2008

WASHINGTON, Sept. 25 UPI — Suspected Washington anthrax killer Bruce Ivins claimed to have solved the case in an e-mail message to himself, newly released court documents say.

The unsealing of hundreds of pages of material, including search warrants against the man FBI agents believed to be the sole culprit in the 2001 anthrax-by-mail attacks that killed five people, gave a clearer picture of Ivins’ behavior, The Washington Post NYSE:WPO said Thursday.

Anthrax suspect said he solved case – UPI.com.

h/t: CLG

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see

The FBI’s selective release of documents in the anthrax case by Glenn Greenwald

Double Standards in the Global War on Terror By Tom Engelhardt

Congressional Hearing Federal Bureau of Investigation Oversight

“The Neocons Are Dying to Nuke Iran” An interview with Dr. Paul Craig Roberts

Definitions: The Intelligentsia By Gaither Stewart

Gaither Stewart

by Gaither Stewart
featured writer
Dandelion Salad

Sept 27, 2008

Simulposted with bestcyrano.org/THOMASPAINE and The Greanville Journal (lots of photos at either sites)

The “Intelligentsia” And Its Revolutionary Mission

“Things as they are don’t seem to me satisfactory…. The world as it is, is unbearable.”

(Albert Camus, Caligula, act 1, scene IV)

“What is so bewildering is the conviction—and it is becoming more and more general—that in all the perils that confront us the direction of affairs is given over to a way of thinking that no longer has any understanding of itself. It is like being in a carriage, descending an increasingly precipitous slope, and suddenly realizing there is no coachman on the box.”

(The Russian diplomat- poet Fyodor Tyuchev (1803-1873) in a letter to his wife about the dangerous road ahead toward revolution)

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