Is Homeland Security Preparing for the Next Wall Street Collapse?

street-riot-355

Ellen Brown: The exploitative financial scheme responsible for turning millions out of their jobs and their homes has reached the end of the line. Crisis in the current scheme means opportunity for those more sustainable solutions waiting in the wings.

Paul Krugman Heading to White House Job?

paul krugman

Charley James: Reports surfaced today that Nobel Prize Winning economist Dr. Paul Krugman will be offered the job of chairman for the White House Council of Economic Advisors.

The Romney Campaign’s Situational Demagoguery

dubya romney

Joseph Palermo: Worse than Swift Boating, worse than Willie Horton, Mitt Romney is running the most craven, dishonest, and hypocritical campaign we’ve seen in contemporary American politics.

Don’t Bain on Me

romney shark

Ted Vaill: Why on earth would the American voter elect someone as its next President who is the poster child for the Wall Street excesses that almost drove the country into another Depression just four years ago? Are memories that short?

Vulture Capitalism: Both Parties Want to Stay on Wall Street’s Good Side

cory booker

Joseph Palermo: The evidence is mounting that the 1 percent controls both of our major political parties. And now the corporate wing of the Democratic Party is getting pissy about the “tone” that its standard bearer is showing toward vulture capitalism?

Trigger Deficit Cuts When Unemployment Drops to 5 Percent

supercommittee

Robert Reich: So the best of all worlds is to have a big jobs plan now, and also commit to automatic cuts triggered when unemployment falls to 5 percent.

Out of Ideas? Call for a ‘Simple Solution’

Senator Jon Kyl

Tina Dupuy: It’s condescension when politicians can’t have a reasonable discussion about real issues without bleating out some melba toast bromides.

Wall Street: Oliver Stone’s Das Kapital-ist

oliver stone

Ed Rampell: Oliver Stone’s Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps is a bold, visually stunning movie and the best critique of the capitalist system and its 2008 financial meltdown since Michael Moore’s Capitalism: A Love Story.

Friday Feedback: Media Consolidation’s Long Tail

Friday Feedback: It’s hard for the public interest to compete with the special interests and their huge campaign contributions. Perhaps the way to go is to try to revive and enforce some of the regulations that the FCC used to have with regard to minority ownership, the Fairness Doctrine, the Equal Time Rule, a minimum number of hours of news and public affairs and children’s programming, etc.

Yes on Prop 15: One Small Step for Democracy

Jesse Unruh and Willie Brown, former Democratic Speakers of the California Assembly

Michael Sigman: Californians can do something about time-consuming fundraising, nefarious corporate influence, and obscene personal spending in American politics on Tuesday, June 8. A victory for Proposition 15, the California Fair Elections Act, will mean that the race for the Golden State’s Secretary of State will be a “clean money election” in 2014 and 2018. A small step, but a necessary one.

Glenn Beck: “Historian” for a Troubled America

glenn beck water on moon

Joseph Palermo: The wide dissemination of Beck’s views wouldn’t matter much if the United States were in better shape today. But the status quo that is emerging cannot help but create a highly volatile electorate for years to come. Class lines are hardening, mobility is stifled, unemployment will remain near double digits for many years, there is a sea of angry voters who are susceptible to jingoistic appeals and conspiracy theories (like the ones Beck promotes). The ongoing fiscal crisis at the local, state, and federal levels has led to the heartless rollback of public institutions at exactly the time when they are needed the most.

Financial Reform Too Small to Succeed

wall street reform

Joseph Palermo: The financial reform legislation currently winding its way through the Congress is a step in the right direction but it retains too much of the status quo that brought down the economy in the first place. The key problem, as many economists have been telling us, is that the top financial institutions remain “too big to fail.” Congress can enact all the regulations it wishes but even the best written rules won’t be enough to prevent another financial meltdown.

The Rebirth of Regulation

Regulation

Robert Reich: What do oil giant BP, the mining company Massey Energy, and Goldman Sachs have in common? They’re all big firms involved in massive plunder. BP’s oil spill is already one of the biggest and most damaging in American history. Massey’s mine disaster, claiming the lives of 29 miners, is one of the worst in recent history. Goldman’s alleged fraud is but a part of the largest financial meltdown in 75 years.

Time to Cut Goldman Sachs and Pals Down to Size

Joseph Palermo: In 13 Bankers: The Wall Street Takeover and the Next Financial Meltdown , Simon Johnson and James Kwak point out that in September 2008 the high-flying masters of the universe were at their weakest point and had no choice but to do whatever the government demanded of them. Never mind the supreme irony of Wall Street bankers who claimed government had no place interfering in the miracles of the market begging the government to save them, it was at that time when we should have cut them down to size.

Can Progressives Get Coffee to the Tea Party People?

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Lycia Howell: To be blunt, all but a couple of Tea Party people were unable to express why they are angry in any specific terms.They voice sentiments along the lines that “Obama is ruining the country” or that immigrants are hurting us and some referred to a nasty rap song, “Press One For English,” but they could offer no specifics to back their feelings.

9/11, Financial Crisis, Church Sex Scandal? Imagine That!

Paranoia

Michael Sigman: Isn’t it precisely the job of political, financial and religious leaders to imagine disasters and then prepare for them? (Plausible ones, that is, as opposed to, say, anti-asteroid Republican Congressman Dana Rohrabacher’s crusade for funds to combat “objects coming from space that could cause colossal loss of lives on our planet.”) And if their imaginations fail them, and us, shouldn’t they be held accountable — morally and, when appropriate, criminally?

Name That Decade: the ’00s, the Whatever Decade

Hopelessness

Great pessimism during economic busts is as characteristically American as great optimism during boom times. The oh-ohs’ whateverism is less fleeting and thus more dangerous. A culture of denial, disengagement, dissociation is dysfunctional. We need a culture of engagement and responsibility, even with all our traumas, distractions and high-tech toys.

Winograd to Harman: Why Did You Vote NO on Mortgage Relief?

It behooves everyone in Congress to demand that big banks, the overnight recipients of billion-dollar bail-outs, renegotiate loans in bankruptcy court. After all, we must remember these banks, the ones we bailed out, caused the financial meltdown with predatory sub-prime lending.

So Much Happening in Washington and So Little to Show for It, So Far

Politics Elephant cartoon

The public doesn’t know what’s going on because the national media would rather report on the sexual escapades of famous people or social trends or high finance (a recent Pew study of economic reporting shows the vast majority of stories about the Great Recession have focused on Wall Street rather than Main Street).

What Passes for “Populism” These Days Is Laughable

peoples-party

The Populist experience offers a rich resource for grappling with the current crisis. To make use of it, however, means setting aside nonsense about “sharpened pitchforks,” and learning from a vital historical movement of citizen education and political mobilization.

Sorry Folks: Happy Days Are Not Here Again

stressed-banks

“Demonizing the bankers as if they and they alone created the financial meltdown is both inaccurate and short-sighted,” Citigroup chairman Richard Parsons told reporters recently. “Everybody participated in pumping up this balloon and now that the balloon has deflated, everybody has some part in the blame.” Oh no we don’t. Talk about dissembling. The truth [...]

Reader Feedback: Behaving Like a Human Being, Complete with Foibles

Weekly the LA Progressive features a comment that was particularly noteworthy. This week we are featuring a comment submitted by Stephanie, commenting on His First 100 Days. Stephanie writers: “I think Obama has been behaving like a human being, complete with foibles. For the time being, it is just such a relief to be able [...]

Guns and Butter (Again)

sinking-uncle-sam

When you stop to think about it, people measure how well their lives are going not by their absolute state of being but by their situation relative to their expectations. For example, a poor person in a developing country may be ecstatic about getting a pair of shoes for the first time; in contrast, a [...]

Dem Bones Connected to De Debt Bone

rich-government

It is an understatement to say we are experiencing an unprecedented financial crisis along with our worldwide environmental crisis. Neither crisis needs an Austrian economist to explain it. We live in a consumer society and consumers “use things up.” In recent history, this useless, toxic “stuff” comes from China, and this sad state of affairs [...]

Obama Can Learn From Jimmy Carter, Too

jimmy_carter

Jimmy Carter was the last president to ask the nation for collective sacrifice. Barack Obama ought to do the same. How should he do so? He should ask Congress to approve an economic stimulus plan and then specifically outline the sacrifices Americans will have to make over the next four years to achieve the national [...]

The Debate to Come over Wall Street, Autos, and Everything Else: Cyclical or Structural?

problem

by Robert Reich – First prediction for 2009: A widening gap between the public’s view of the bailouts of Wall Street and Detroit, and the views of the direct beneficiaries. The public believes the bailouts will permanently change these industries, but industry insiders don’t really want to change.

The Economy: Do We Have Any Idea What We’re Doing?

lightning-stock-market

by John Peeler – It is a commonplace these days to argue that the Bush administration helped to bring on the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression by clinging blindly to the dogma of the free, unregulated market as the solution to every problem. That is certainly an accurate accusation. At virtually every opportunity [...]

States’ Budget Crises: Share the Pain, Share the Dough

sanjose-football

by Carl Bloice – It’s probable that by the time this is read, officials in San Jose, California, will have eliminated athletic programs from all 11 of the city’s high schools. It might not seem like much to some, given the declining economic situation in the country and the kinds of budget cuts being made [...]

Shall We Call It a Depression Now?

economy

by Robert Reich – Friday’s employment report, showing that employers cut 533,000 jobs in November, 320,000 in October, and 403,000 in September — for a total of over 1.2 million over the last three months — begs the question of whether the meltdown we’re experiencing should be called a Depression.

Bail Out the Big Three and Revitalize the Economy

1947_cadillac_series_62_convertible

by John Paul Rossi – The other week, the appeal of the Big Three’’s executives for a $25 billion taxpayer bailout for their desperately ailing firms failed. Neither the fractious lame duck Congress, nor the Bush administration were willing to help.

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