Nov 14, 2008
Interview with Joel Magnuson author of “Mindful Economics: How the U.S. Economy Works, Why It Matters, and How It Could Be Different” given November 9, 2008 on Mind Over Matters, KEXP 90.3 FM Seattle.
by John Kirch, D.C. Politics Examiner
November 21, 3:53 PM
The following is the transcript of an e-mail interview between Examiner.com and Noam Chomsky.
Examiner.com: As someone who has advocated, written about and worked for progressive causes for many years, what was your reaction to Obama’s victory on Election Day?
Chomsky: I was pleased that he won. A McCain victory could, I think, have been extremely dangerous, and the fact that a Black family will be in the White House is a matter of considerable significance.
Examiner.com: In what ways do you believe an Obama presidency will help and/or hurt progressive causes in the United States?
Chomsky: I presume that some of the harsher edges of recent policies will be smoothed, as has already happened to an extent during the second Bush administration, in the international arena at least.
November 20 2008
Peter Schiff: Fast Money
by Michael Hudson
Nov. 22, 2008
Locking in the Loot at the Reagan Library
On Thursday, November 20, Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson presented, even by his own lamentably low standards, an amazingly deceptive speech at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California. In its false framing of Washington’s financial giveaway to Wall Street it rivaled some of the outstanding fables created by the Master Imagineer himself, for whom the library is named.
What prompted the speech seems have been Congressional criticism of Mr. Paulson’s bait-and-switch transfer of public funds to Wall Street, and the Federal Reserve’s transfer of an amount twice as high as Congress’s $700 billion. His most urgent aim was to ward off accusations that the Treasury and Federal Reserve have acted illegally. “Federal law, and in particular the Anti-Deficiency Act, prohibits Treasury from spending money, lending money, and guaranteeing or buying assets without Congressional approval. The Federal Reserve can and does lend on a secured basis, but only if it expects not to realize losses.” (Italics added.)
Crossposted on Foreign Policy Journal
There’s been no shortage of controversy surrounding what has been termed the Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) between the governments of the United States and Iraq. After battling away for most of the year at what the terms of the agreement should be, the text was at last finalized this month.
The terms of the agreement effectively allow the U.S. to continue to control billions of dollars of proceeds from the sale of exported Iraqi oil held in the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. It also contains numerous loopholes that could allow the continuing long-term presence of U.S. military forces and would effectively maintain U.S. jurisdiction over crimes committed by American soldiers.
Iraq’s cabinet approved the agreement a week ago with 27 members voting in favor, out of 28 ministers who were present, with nine ministers absent. It is now being debated in the Parliament.
Abdul Qadir al-Obaidi, Iraq’s minister of defense, issued a dire warning that without the agreement and continued presence of U.S. forces, “then what happened in the Gulf of Aden will happen in the Arabian Gulf too. Pirates will start in these ports in a way you can’t even imagine.”
Governments often use fear tactics to push through controversial legislation. Before the U.S. invasion, members of the Congress were told that if they didn’t authorize the President to use military force against Iraq, Saddam Hussein might attack the east coast of the United States with biological weapons from unmanned aerial vehicles, for example. More recently, members of Congress were warned that if they did not pass the highly unpopular bill taking taxpayers’ dollars to bail out banking and investment corporations, there would be martial law in America.
And now for something completely different. ~ DS
http://www.ted.com At Serious Play 2008, astrophysicist George Smoot shows stunning new images from deep-space surveys, and prods us to ponder how the cosmos — with its giant webs of dark matter and mysterious gaping voids — got built this way.
Updated: Nov 27, 2008 added another video
On Saturday, Nov. 22, 2008, an “End the Fed” rally was held in Washington, D.C., across the street from the Federal Reserve, at 20th St. and Constitution Ave. Kevin Zeese was one of the speakers at the event. He is an attorney and the Executive Director, and co-founder of the Campaign for Fresh Air and Clean Politics, whose projects include the Prosperity Agenda, VotersforPeace, Climate Security and TrueVote. For background, please see: http://breakthebailout.com/ and http://freshaircleanpolitics.net/.
Mr. Zeese is also a leader in the Break the Bailout Coalition. He said: “The Fed is not a government agency. It’s a disguise…The Fed is not of, by and for the people. It is of, by and for the banksters…End the Fed!”
“End the Fed” rallies were also being held in 39 other cities around the country. Adam Kokesh, a former U.S. Marine and Iraq War veteran, served as the Master of Ceremonies for the lively event. For background, and more details on the sponsoring group, speakers and its endorsing parties, please go to: http://endthefed.us/.