The American Empire was built on lies we told ourselves.
Made In America: In bailing out Wall Street somehow the fed gave the most money to two European banks - Deutsche Bank got $29o billion and Credit Suisse got $287 billion. The Fed shoveled more money into foreign banks via currency swaps with foreign central banks who passed the money on to their banks. And non-banks made out pretty well, including Caterpillar, General Electric, Harley Davidson, McDonald’s, Toyota and Verizon.
Context: On Thursday, President Obama hosted a White House meeting on bipartisanship, after which every Republican Senator signed a 'contract' pledging to kill every piece of legislation until they get their way on giving tax breaks to the rich.
Emperor/Clothes: “When I got into economics, I expected evidence to matter more than it does.” Paul Krugman
Trojans Horse: Mr. Assange of WikiLeaks fame is being pursued with a fervor usually reserved for those accused of genocide, war crimes and terrorism, although the charges against him are somewhat less. Tow women allege that during consensual sex, Assange's condom ruptured. They claim they asked him to cease and desist and he did not. His view is somewhat different. Our view is that this is a trumped up charge concocted to ensnare Assange in the arms of the law so he can be delivered to
Guantanamo the United States for prosecution.
Birds of a Feather: Obama applied a full court press to Spain to dissuade it from pursuing torture prosecutions against Bush administration miscreants. And we know why, too.
Speed Kills: The main concern of those gathered in Cancun is not 'how can we keep global warming to a possibly tolerable 2ºC but how fast are we going to get to 4ºC or higher. The faster the temperature rises, the less opportunity ecosystems (and civilization) will have to adjust and adapt. The goal should be to do as much as possible now to make the rise in temperatures as small and as slow as possible. This will require planning and sacrifice, neither of which seems likely to occur.
Jobs First: A nip here, a tuck there, a few inches off the top – that's what the deficit commission is doing. But none of the nips, tucks and cuts create a single job, thus they will not succeed. At least half the problem is the economy, the lack of jobs. Throwing more people into the street will generate nothing but suffering.
Schedule: Citigroup's chief economist expects Portugal will need a rescue from EU/IMF before the New Year and that Spain will follow “soon after.” He then sees all of the debts of Greece, Cyprus, Italy, Spain, Portugal, and Ireland rolled into German debt with a single treasury to control spending and the issuance of euro-bonds. Oh, good, we won't be bored.
Perspective: The Deficit Commission was set up to devise ways to trim the US budget deficit. As you evaluate their recommendations, keep in mind that the deficit is primarily caused by: The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Bush's 2001 and 2003 tax cuts for the rich. Medicare, and the economic downturn caused by greedy, short sighted Wall Street bankers. So naturally the commission's suggested cure is to cut Social Security.
Diplunacy: If the US does not get its way at the Cancun climate talks, it is likely to walk out. It works for the Republicans.
Be There Now: "This is what a dumbed-down, morally bankrupt, completely broken society looks like, and this is how it behaves. No outrage over the bankers raping them, no outrage over their gutted industry, no outrage over their plundered dollar. Just blind, wanton stupidity. J ust bread and circuses." Watch the video and remember, this is the public – they vote.
Porn O'Graph: Importing debt.