Shut Down, Not Meltdown: Keep Japan Nuclear-Free! — June 22

japan nuclear free

A coalition of groups – calling for a closure of California nuclear power plants – will target the Japanese Embassy in downtown Los Angeles Friday (June 22) to protest the re-opening of the nuclear power reactors in Japan.

The Dog That Didn’t Bark: Obama on JP Morgan

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Robert Reich: Obama can can take on Romney and the system that allows private-equity managers to continue to make huge profits at the expense of average Americans.

Greece Economy 2012: Why U.S. Politicians Are Quiet About Europe’s Meltdown

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Shamus Cooke: Working people in the U.S. need to learn to speak Greek, and adopt an increasingly popular slogan that rejects austerity measures: Tax the Rich!

JP Morgan’s $2 Billion Case for Breaking Up Big Banks

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Robert Reich: Let’s also stop hoping Wall Street will mend itself. What just happened at J.P. Morgan reveals how fragile and opaque the banking system continues to be.

Why S&P Has No Business Downgrading the U.S.

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Robert Reich: S&P’s intrusion into American politics is also ironic because, as I pointed out recently, much of our current debt is directly or indirectly due to S&P’s failures (along with the failures of the two other major credit-rating agencies — Fitch and Moody’s) to do their jobs before the financial meltdown.

Politics, Reality Show Style

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Tina Dupuy: For the last two and a half years politics has been trash television. We’ve had right-wing stars staying relevant through mudslinging and shamelessness. The tea party wouldn’t be satisfied with just one Snooki. We’ve had fake stings by phony pimps and ideology-driven hoaxes. Astroturf is being sold as organic outrage.

Wall Street: Oliver Stone’s Das Kapital-ist

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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.

Jan Brewer Showcases Empty Anti-Immigrant Rhetoric in Gubernatorial Debate

Seth Hoy: While Governor Brewer’s opening remarks meltdown is at least understandable, her inability/refusal to defend controversial anti-immigrant statements—which has become the centerpiece of her re-election platform—is not.

After Massachusetts: What Is to Be Done?

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Jules Siegel: Rahm Emanuel must make an accommodation with Dean. Otherwise, 2010 is going to be a repeat of Massachusetts, and Barack Hussein Obama will probably be a one-term president. The most troubling aspect of Massachusetts is that the GOP now has a viable presidential candidate and his name is Scott Brown. This is not Sarah Palin. This is a very astute politician who looks like a Ken Doll and can talk like a sane person when he wants to.

2009: The Year Wall Street Bounced Back and Main Street Got Shafted

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Robert Reich: As long as income and wealth keep concentrating at the top, and the great divide between America’s have-mores and have-lesses continues to widen, the Great Recession won’t end — at least not in the real economy.

Too Big to Fail: Why the White House and Congress Won’t Break up the Big Banks

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The right idea is to break up the giant banks. I don’t often agree with Alan Greenspan but he was right when he said last week that “[i]f they’re too big to fail, they’re too big.”

Progressives Mobilize to Save Obama, Democratic Party

Clockwise from top: Nancy Pelosi, Jed Lewison, Howard Dean and Jane Hamsher.

Republicans thought the “just say no” strategy that killed the Clinton plan would also work in 2009. But they forgot that this strategy now lacks the element of surprise, and that the Internet now prevents the corporate media from entirely controlling the debate.

Does the Obama Plan for Reforming Wall Street Measure Up?

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In a word: No. The plan doesn’t stop stop bankers from making huge, risky bets with other peoples’ money. It does increase capital requirements and oversight, but it doesn’t require bankers to take their pay in long-term stock options or warrants, and it doesn’t even hint that banks should go back to being partnerships instead [...]

The Three Essentials of Financial Reform

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As the White House unveils its long-awaited proposals to prevent another Wall Street meltdown in the future, keep a lookout for three essentials. Without them the Street will revert to its old ways as soon as the coast clears. In fact, now that the government has bailed out the Street, the biggest banks will take [...]

How the U.S. Empire Contributed to the Economic Crisis

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A few—and only a few—prescient commentators have questioned whether the U.S. can sustain its informal global empire in the wake of the most severe economic crisis since World War II. And the simultaneous quagmires in Iraq and Afghanistan are leading more and more opinion leaders and taxpayers to this question. But the U.S. Empire helped [...]

What Should Be Done With The Next $350 Billion of Taxpayer Bailout Money: Criteria for TARP II

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It’s difficult to make the case that the first $350 billion bailout of Wall Street — so-called “TARP I” — fulfilled its goals, unless one argues that the Street would have imploded without it, which is pretty much what Hank Paulson is saying these days. And since it’s impossible to prove a counter-factual, especially when [...]

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

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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.

Are We Courting a Populist Backlash?

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by Robert Reich – The government is doing a lousy job helping distressed homeowners. And according to John Dugan, the Comptroller of the Currency, the little that’s been done has had surprisingly little effect. Nearly 36 percent of homeowners holding mortgages whose terms were adjusted to give them more leeway defaulted on payments within three [...]

Shall We Call It a Depression Now?

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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.

Holiday Gloom in Silicon Valley

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by Carl Bloice – A couple of days before Thanksgiving one of my downstairs neighbors matter of factly told me he had lost his job. He’d been abruptly laid off by a local information technology startup company. “They let go so many people I don’t know how they are going to get the work done,” [...]

Of Financial Capital and Human Capital: Why We’re Bailing Out Wall Street While Allowing Our Schools to Get Clobbered

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by Robert Reich – Our preoccupation with the immediate crisis of financial capital is causing us to overlook the bigger crisis in America’s human capital. While we commit hundreds of billions of taxpayer dollars to Wall Street, we’re slashing our outlays for public education.

Is Henry Paulson Channelling Chairman Mao?

by Charley James – One of Chairman Mao Tse Tung’s “sayings” immortalized in his Little Red Book deals with stealth in politics and war. “Make a noise in the east,” the Great Helmsman wrote, “and strike in the west.”

Paulson, Bernanke, Try Hustling Congress

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Here we go again. As the Bush administration did with the Patriot Act and Iraq War resolution, Henry Paulson and Ben Bernanke spent today trying to hustle Congress into new territory using the familiar administration tactic of hysteria. Fortunately, this time it looks as if more than a few members have read the fine print [...]

Iraq to IGMFU: A McCain Meltdown?

Barack Obama with Troops

By Mary Lyon — Is John McCain in a meltdown? Can this campaign be saved? Can the dots remain unconnected? I don’t know about the first two, other than just observing from the sidelines. But the third one I can take a crack at. I’ll try to be brief. After all, neither you nor I [...]

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