Bush's Legacy Leads to
by Heather Wokusch / March 31st, 2008
The lack of oversight
characterizing both the Bush administration and crony capitalism have
Take the Fed's recent $30 billion bailout of Bear Sterns. Why throw taxpayer dollars at a company with massive amounts of "toxic waste" on its books, created largely through reckless behavior chasing short-term profits?
Reigning in Wall Street would make more sense. Force investment banks to disclose off-balance-sheet risks and put aside substantial reserves, at minimum.
But no, the Fed instead hands Wall Street taxpayer dollars. Moral hazard be damned.
Bear Sterns won't be the only bailout — the precedent has been set. We are looking at the start of a wealth transfer from normal Americans to large and unaccountable financial institutions.
And the cancer is spreading. In the same way that subprime mortgages have become toxic for major investment banks, the U.S. dollar has become toxic for overseas creditors.
The greenback has been falling against the euro and other currencies since 2002 and is widely expected to plummet further this year.
Doesn't help that the Fed stopped releasing M3 money supply data in March 2006, making it impossible to tell how many dollars are being dumped on the global market.
The Bush administration's
irresponsible fiscal policies have led central banks abroad to see
"coupling" with the
It's no surprise that, for
Bottom line, the
And that leaves just one area of influence for this administration:
war, war and more war.
All roads lead to
In the past two weeks, the
White House approach to
Maybe they're playing good cop/bad cop. Or else Cheney's taking matters into his own hands.
Jerusalem-based site DEBKA reported that "at the last minute" before
Cheney's recent visit, the White House asked
DEBKA also noted: "The
vice president's choice of capitals for his tour is a pointer to the fact that
the military option, off since December, may be on again.
Intriguingly, Cheney's visit
to the Middle East coincided with a
nuclear submarine crossing the Suez
Canal to join the massive Navy fleet already stationed in the
As the Russian news service,
RIA Novosti, reported this wee
saying: "The latest military
intelligence data point to heightened
Here we go again
True to form, Cheney made
numerous unfounded allegations against
coincidence that the Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni just wrapped up a
In a phone call to Barack Obama, for example, Livni stressed that "there is a direct connection
between terror and
Just last week General David
Petraeus claimed that
We've been down this road of trumped up allegations before.
So what happens after November 2008?
It's obvious that McCain
would be a foreign policy disaster. His "Bomb Bomb
Bomb, Bomb Bomb
He's also dangerously
uninformed. Just weeks ago, McCain told reporters that Iranian operatives were
"taking al-Qaeda into
Small problem: Shia
say: "I'm sorry, the Iranians are training extremists, not al-Qaeda."
McCain will keep the
So why, for the first time in 14 years, are defense contractors throwing their money behind the Democrats? Since 2000, for example, they've given roughly 63% of their election contributions to Republicans, but in the 2008 election cycle, a full 52% of defense industry funding has gone to the Dems.
Maybe it's because Clinton
and Obama can also be expected to keep defense
contractors happy. Both speak of peace but have repeatedly voted to fund war.
Both have plans for limited troop withdrawal once in office but neither has
strongly argued against keeping tens of thousands of US troops in
Perhaps more importantly,
both Clinton and Obama have said that all options
(code language for nuclear weapons) must be on the table for dealing with
Shadow economy, shadow government
So who would profit from
broader-based war? Weapons manufacturers for one. In
fiscal 2006 alone the Pentagon was involved in arms sales agreements of $21
billion. And from 2001 to 2005, the
Of course, taxpayers fund the bulk of many of these weapons agreements, through direct corporate subsidies or foreign military aid linked to weapons purchases. Yet defense industry profits remain private. Another wealth transfer.
Having apparently done quite
The Republicans would clearly benefit from a wider war come November.
McCain could flash his
military credentials and emphasis would be ta
While the American people have no stomach for further conflict, it's debatable if their opinion even matters any more. In the same way that Wall Street's shadow economy is now sticking US taxpayers for billions in bailouts, the shadow government is setting us up for war.
No one really knows, for
example, what Cheney is cooking up or what new justification for an attack on
False flag perhaps?
In his 1961 farewell address, President Dwight D. Eisenhower warned Americans against "the potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power" from the military-industrial complex. Eisenhower said: "Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals so that security and liberty may prosper together."
Now is the time for an alert and knowledgeable citizenry to take action.
Now is the time to dump the hero worship and ask very tough questions of our presidential candidates. Some basics include:
- Will you commit to never
using the so-called bunker-buster or any other kind of nuclear weapon against
- Will you insist on a full
briefing to the
- When will you stop funding
the war in
- When will you bring all troops home? Will you commit to removing Blackwater and other private security companies too?
Now is also the time to ask a very tough question of ourselves. If there is some kind of attack on US interests and the administration insists Iran did it, yet supplies little in the way of viable proof, will we take action? If so, why wait?
1. Have Fallon testify before Congress
Admiral William Fallon, head
of the US Central Command, left his job recently over differences with the
White House regarding an attack on
Call Senator Biden (202-224-4651) or email the Foreign Relations Committee today to urge them to have Fallon testify.
2. Learn more about Iraq Town Halls and make your voice heard.
Democrats.com has an
important initiative called Iraq Town Halls: "In April, Congress will vote
to give George Bush another $102 billion blank check for
3. Impeach Cheney
Do you think Cheney should be impeached? The People's Email Network has made it easy for you to take action. The one-click form on their site "will send your personal message to all your members of Congress, with your vote on the question `Should Vice President Cheney be impeached?' At the same time it will send your personal comments only as a letter to the editor of your nearest local daily newspaper, if that option is selected below."
While you're at The People's Email Network site, consider creating your own issue action petition. It costs nothing and enables you to start your own movement using their dedicated submission server.
4. Find out if there are WMD facilities in your area
Weapons manufacturers have had a bonanza under Bush, and often the public isn't aware that a domestic WMD lab is nearby.
Curious about where the nation's nuclear weapons plants are located?
Then check out the Federation of American Scientists at: "Where the Bombs Are"
Is a university or military facility in your area involved in biological weapons research? One resource to help you locate biodefense projects is Project Sunshine's "Map of High Containment and Other Facilities of the US Biodefense Program," under "Biodefense" on the Project Sunshine site.
If your group would like to conduct its own PR-generating "inspection"
of a domestic WMD facility, check out the Citizen Weapons Inspection Teams site for materials, pointers and a 5-page Citizen Inspection Team Event Checklist, covering everything from budgeting resources to issuing a declaration.
5. Put the media to work
Progressive Democrats of America has put together a terrific resource to help you contact the media with your comments, complaints and suggestions.
Heather Wokusch is the author of The Progressives' Handbook: Get the Facts and Make a Difference Now' which went to #1 on Amazon's political activism charts in December 2007