Wednesday, March 18, 2009

March On The Pentagon March 21, 2009: A March For All Reasons And All Seasons.



Saturday’s March will determine either the validity of the Anti-War Movement or it’s vanquishing as an impotent ignored component of the counter culture of America.  It will demonstrate whether we are merely talking to ourselves, whether we are a viable force for opinion formation and effective change agents, or that we have become, in the eyes of others, “Fair Weather Spring Weekend Social Warriors” easily tolerated and ignored as a momentary nuisance incapable of impacting the established daily order of things in such a way as to cause meaningful disruptions that cannot be ignored.  We will know whether we are a movement of activists or merely players in curious street theater.


The causes, the ills of this nation and the world are such that they must be addressed.  The only questions that remain to be answered is that of: “What will it take to make a difference, and are we prepared to change ourselves if that is the message that Saturday brings?”


The answers for the movement may be as difficult as the answers to and the solution of the challenges that confront this generation.  Words and walking may not be enough!


March On The Pentagon


Indict And Prosecute The Bush Administration



Britain showing signs of heading towards 1930s-style depression, says Bank



Britain Is Showing Signs Of Sliding Towards A 1930s-Style Depression, The Bank Of England Says Today For The First Time.


By Edmund Conway, Economics Editor |
Last Updated: 8:23AM GMT 16 Mar 2009


The country is displaying early symptoms of being trapped in a so-called “debt deflation trap” where families find themselves pushed further and further into the red every month, according to a Bank report published today.


The stark warning will cause serious concerns, since it was this combination of falling prices and soaring debt burdens that plagued the US in the 1930s.


The Bank is using its Quarterly Bulletin to highlight the threat posed to the economy by deflation – where prices fall each year rather than rise.


Although inflation is currently in positive territory, it is expected to become negative in the coming months.


The Bank is worried that this may combine with high levels of indebtedness to squeeze families further.


It says that families with high debts could fall prey to the debt deflation trap. This means that the cost of their debts, which are fixed, would rise compared to average prices throughout the economy. While inflation erodes debts, deflation makes them relatively higher.


The Bank’s paper suggests that Britain is particularly at risk because there is a high proportion of families with significant levels of debt, and many of them are on fixed mortgage rate, which means they will not benefit from rate cuts.


Britons’ total personal debt – the amount owed on mortgages, loans and credit cards – is, at £1.46 trillion, more than the value of what the country produces in a year.


Total personal debt has risen by 165 per cent since 1997 and each household now owes an average of about £60,000.


The Conservatives claim this is the highest personal debt level in the world.


The Bank’s paper also says that consumers were suffering as banks keep the cost of borrowing high, despite Government attempts to get them lending again.


Alistair Darling, the Chancellor, and fellow finance ministers used their pre-G20 meeting this weekend to warn that more drastic action was necessary to help bring the world economy back from the brink of a possible repeat of the 1930s.


The Bank’s report puts pressure on Gordon Brown, who this weekend faced further calls to apologise for the recession, to secure agreement on an effective international rescue strategy when he hosts the G20 leaders at a summit in London at the start of April.


It comes as figures this week are expected to show the number of people unemployed will reach the two million mark.


The Bank’s report says: “This configuration of falling asset prices and depressed economic conditions in the face of an adverse demand shock is consistent with recent and prospective macroeconomic developments in the United Kingdom and internationally”.


It helps explain why it took such dramatic action earlier this month to pump extra cash into the economy.


The bank slashed interest rates to just above zero and pledged to create £150 billion worth of cash with which to buy up government and corporate debt.


This so-called quantitative easing is regarded as a radical measure to help prevent a repeat of the conditions associated with the Great Depression.


Many experts believe that the US authorities’ initial reluctance in the 1930s even to cut interest rates was partly responsible for causing the worst economic slump in Western history.


The Chancellor acknowledged at the G20 meeting that the economic situation was “grave” but pledged not to allow a repeat of the Depression years. The ministers promised to pump more cash into their economies if necessary in the next few months.


However, some have expressed concern that the meeting failed in its aspiration to reach a specific agreement on the amount of cash countries need to spend in the coming year. Others have warned that it does not set a clear enough agenda for the much-anticipated full G20 summit on April 2.


Some speculate that the Prime Minister may use the G20 as a justification for a series of further tax cuts and spending increases in the Budget next month, though many economists have warned that despite the scale of the recession faced by the UK the Treasury has little capacity to borrow more.


Mr Darling has signalled that the meeting must not be allowed to mirror a 1933 summit in London which failed to halt the Great Depression. He said failure to agree co-ordinated action then meant that the Depression continued for years when it “need not have done so”.


Writing in The Sunday Telegraph George Osborne, the Shadow Chancellor, said Mr Brown must use the G20 as “the moment to send the clearest of signals that, unlike in the 1930s, this banking crisis will not send the world spinning into a protectionist spiral.”


He said that “ministerial promises” had failed to deliver any real benefits to struggling home owners or desperate businesses.


AIG chief asks for bonuses back
BBC News - UK
US lawmakers are considering several different responses to the controversy and the House of Representatives Judiciary Committee on Wednesday approved ...



AIG Discloses Counterparties to CDS, GIA and Securities Lending Transactions 

(List of Counterparties

AIG: Is the Risk Systemic?

Setting the Record Straight 

Fed Reserve Website

Investor Information

Newsroom on 


News From Underground: Two petitions re: A.I.G.’s bonuses

Tell Congress: Support a "Bonus Tax"


Cheney, Rove, and Fleischer and the Importance of Net Neutrality
Huffington Post - New York,NY,USA


Obama Defends Budget Proposal


The White House has begun a full frontal assault to get President Obama’s first budget through Congress. During an appearance on Tuesday at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building, Mr. Obama took a swipe at Republican critics of his $3.6 trillion budget and its agenda for health care, energy, taxes and economic recovery.


“If there are members of Congress who object to specific policies and proposals in this budget, then I ask them to be ready and willing to propose constructive, alternative solutions,” Mr. Obama said. “ ‘Just say no’ is the right advice to give your teenagers about drugs. It is not an acceptable response to whatever economic policy is proposed by the other party.”


The strong words were the latest in a push that has come to resemble elements of the two-year-long presidential campaign. Mr. Obama may hold his second prime-time news conference as president, perhaps as early as next week, to talk up the budget.


On Wednesday and Thursday, he is taking his budget show on the road to California, where he will hold two town-hall-style meetings and will even try to talk about the economy on Thursday on “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.”


Supporters of Mr. Obama’s presidential campaign have been receiving a barrage of e-mail urging them to call their Congressional representatives to voice support of Mr. Obama’s economic recovery plans., the influential liberal advocacy group, has been urging its members to send scripted e-mail messages to their friends about Mr. Obama’s “ambitious, amazing and unapologetically progressive” budget.


The Democratic National Committee has been putting up advertising on Web sites rebutting Republican criticism of the budget. And Mr. Obama’s advisers have been coordinating with interest groups to rally support for his agenda.


Last week, Mr. Obama’s campaign manager, David Plouffe, e-mailed millions of Mr. Obama’s campaign supporters, similar to the e-mail that sought support during the presidential campaign.


“In the next few weeks, we’ll be asking you to do some of the same things we asked of you during the campaign — talking directly to people in your communities about the president’s ideas for long-term prosperity,” Mr. Plouffe wrote.


Mr. Obama’s advisers have made no secret of their plan to use the huge campaign apparatus assembled over two years, along with the millions of names and e-mail addresses acquired, to mobilize his supporters during his presidency.


The idea is centered on the premise that the traditional ways of communicating with voters and motivating them are giving way to new channels such as Facebook built around social networking.


Mr. Obama met Tuesday morning at the White House with the chairmen of the House and Senate Budget Committees, Representative John M. Spratt Jr. of South Carolina and Senator Kent Conrad of North Dakota, to discuss how to proceed.


Congressional and administration officials said the chairmen assured Mr. Obama that they would deliver a spending plan that reflected his priorities on health care, energy, education and fiscal discipline but that it would require some adjustments from his original plan.


Senator Harry Reid of Nevada, the majority leader, said Tuesday that he expected the House and Senate Budget Committees to draft and debate their proposals next week before votes by the full House and Senate the following week. A final budget would then have to be negotiated between the chambers in April.


Mr. Reid also encouraged his colleagues to “choose sound policy over sound bites.”


“We may not agree on everything,” he said, “but I know that we can agree that after eight long years of irresponsibility, we must pass a budget that puts the American people first.”


Opponents of the plan were unleashing their own concerted attack on the budget Tuesday, with Senate Republicans criticizing the tax elements and saying that the energy proposals would drive up costs for all consumers.


“Even though the president talks about only taxing the wealthy and giving everybody else a tax cut, the reality is that his budget proposals will vastly increase the burden on American families,” said Senator Jon Kyl of Arizona, the No. 2 Republican in the Senate.


Senator Judd Gregg of New Hampshire, the senior Republican on the Budget Committee, warned Democrats against using procedural tactics that could bar filibusters against budget-driven proposals on health care and energy. Mr. Gregg said using such tactics would undermine the nature of the Senate.


“You’re talking about running over the minority, putting them in cement and throwing them into the Chicago River,” said Mr. Gregg, referring to the waterway in Mr. Obama’s (and Al Capone’s) hometown.







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