May 21 2009
President Obama spoke today about new directions in fighting terrorism. He rejected Bush administration policies and reiterated his plans to close the Guantánamo Bay detention center. He vowed to prosecute detainees in federal courts and restated his intention to transfer some detainees to secure prisons within U.S. borders. He also nuanced the hell out of what he hopes to see happen in the criminal justice realms regarding our very own war criminals, George Bush, Dick Cheney, and their web of co-conspirators.
Lars Thorwald, an attorney with the DOJ, gave me permission to publish his impression of what he heard this morning (which he originally posted at Daily Kos), with the following disclaimer:
My views are not the views of the Department. I write merely as a private citizen who works as a trial attorney with the Department. I have only public knowledge about the OPR investigation, and this diary should not be construed as revelation of confidential information, because there ain’t none there. That is all, carry on.
And now, a legal analysis of Obama’s War Crimes speech:
May 20 2009
Part I — The People Who Lost their Country
I maintain that it is entirely possible to destroy, beyond repair, the economy of a centuries-old nation in just eight years of criminal mismanagement. Certainly the nation was fragile at the end of the Twentieth Century, for it had never recovered from the mortal wound it was dealt forty years earlier by our terrible defeat in Vietnam.
It was an insidious defeat, because the United States was physically untouched by the deadly conflict. At the same time, the ugly events of that war broke the American people.
They never recovered. Never again could they control their government. Never again would they trust it. Their hope for the future — their sons — had been taken away and murdered by the US government. As a result, families and communities, Republicans and Democrats, lost their way and lost their country. To this day, they cannot find it again.
Mar 05 2009
That’s right, Senator. You know who you are. Everyone who matters knows who you are. Your worst nightmare is about to come true.
Whistle blowers and witness? Step forward, patriots. It’s time.
President Barack Obama said on Wednesday the U.S. government was paying too much for things it did not need and ordered a crackdown on spending “plagued by massive cost overruns and outright fraud.”
The Democrat, under fire from Republicans for the $3.5 trillion price tag for his 2010 budget plan, also took aim at predecessor George W. Bush and noted the cost of government contracts had doubled to more than half a trillion dollars over the past eight years.
“The days of giving defense contractors a blank check are over,” Obama told reporters in a briefing on his reforms.
“Far too often spending is plagued by massive cost overruns, outright fraud and the absence of oversight and accountability,” said Obama, who campaigned on promises of sweeping change and greater accountability in Washington.
Feb 27 2009
Everything you need to know about the world’s financial markets is depicted in the short film, below. Where did all the irrational exuberance go? No one seems to be having much fun anymore.
Like all good foreign films, it’s subtitled, so the transcript is built right in to the presentation.
Grab a hankie, this one is a real tear jerker:
It gets worse.
Feb 03 2009
Franklin D. Roosevelt was the first President to use radio addresses, which he called Fireside Chats, in order to speak directly to the American People. His goal was to turn listeners into a unified nation of active citizens. He would remind the people that only they could ultimately bring about the desired results.
Franklin Roosevelt presented his first Fireside Chat in 1929, while he was the Governor of New York.
Roosevelt faced a conservative Republican legislature so during each legislative session he would occasionally address the citizens of New York directly in the camelback room. He appealed to them for help getting his agenda passed. Letters would pour in following each of these “chats,” which helped pressure legislators to pass measures Roosevelt had proposed.
After he became President of the United States, during the Great Depression, Roosevelt again began speaking directly to the people. And they would gather together by their radios and listen….
Mar 26 2008
UPDATE — A Bulletin Alert from the Trends Research Institute (You find it posted at the end of this article.)
The buzz on all the cable money channels is today’s headline in The Wall Street Journal. And, boy are the pundits depressed. Grab a box of Kleenex and check out CNBC.
Stocks Tarnished By ‘Lost Decade’
U.S. Shares in Longest Funk Since 1970s;
Credit Crunch Could Prolong Weakness
Over the past 200 years, the stock market’s steady upward march occasionally has been disrupted for long stretches, most recently during the Great Depression and the inflation-plagued 1970s. The current market turmoil suggests that we may be in another lost decade.
The stock market is trading right where it was nine years ago. Stocks, long touted as the best investment for the long term, have been one of the worst investments over the nine-year period, trounced even by lowly Treasury bonds.
Do you know how much this sucks? If you have a retirement account, you probably do.
Let’s look at some charts:
Mar 05 2008
I’m going to pull this essay in a bit, so you may not want to comment.
(But you might want to tip me so I can keep my TU status — not 😉
Because it’s some election night or something, I just wanted to make you smile, just in case things didn’t turn out the way you wanted.
Jan 31 2008
There’s a lot of market manipulation going on these days, with the Feds slashing rates, so-called rebates for consumers, and Bush talking up the economy day after day. It’s doesn’t matter much, however, because none of the economic fundamentals change. In fact, they get worse, since the “rebates” are really just more loans from Japan — going to the people instead of Halliburton. These loans are off-budget red ink that you’ll have to pay back, in the end.
Thus, nations around the world are stuck with US dollars that can only be spent in the US — buying up what few valuable and growing assets we have left, before the dollar devalues further — real estate, natural resources, and sucessful corporations. The other day, I ran across this gem of article at the Washington Post. It has a human-interest/cultural-clash spin that I really enjoyed. You might, as well.
Washington Post, January 28, 2008 — “In 2007, acquisitions in the United States by foreign ventures hit $407 billion, up 93 percent from the previous year, according to Thomson Financial. The top countries investing were Canada, Britain and Germany; the Middle East and Asia — especially China — are quickly catching up.
“The biggest deals in recent months have involved Wall Street firms hit by losses from exposure to mortgage-related investment vehicles…. The sovereign wealth fund that invests the Chinese government’s hard currency is injecting $5 billion into Morgan Stanley, while Citic Securities, a private Chinese firm, is investing $1 billion in Bear Stearns.”
Jan 22 2008
Did you know that some of the greatest wealth has been grown during times of recession? There are some really smart ways to adjust your economic “thinking” so that you can trust your investment instincts. There are also some smart things you can “do.”
The number one smartest thing you can do is ask questions in a economic-topic Essay. Don’t be intimidated because you don’t know what the writer is talking about. Tell your story. Ask for advice. Get people to argue about your situation. Keep the conversation going and bring the economic gurus down to your level.
Some of very knowledgeable economic watchers participate here. You can tell they are pros, because they never, ever give investment advice.
I, on the other hand — well, you just can’t shut me up. Thus, it’s risky to read on past here.
Jan 12 2008
What follows are some random snippets from the dozens of private newsletters I receive everyday in the course doing buisness. They are in no particular order, just fragments that jumped out at me that I wanted to share with you guys. Each snippet comes from a different source. Of course, I have my own opinions, but why don’t we listen to the buzz amongst the investment pros, for now:
Lower interest rate cuts don’t revive the DOW anymore. Indeed, the anticipation of rate cuts causes giddy hysteria which, when the actual cuts are discussed, turns sour as investors realize that this nostrum won’t nos or strum…. I also speculate that the rate cuts by the Fed this last 4 months is directly feeding the gold bubble. This is very much like the economy before Volker and Carter forced interest rates up and up and up until it killed inflation and the gold bubble.
The author goes on to note that only Carter (and a few courageous Presidents before him) had a clue about the bigger picture, and bascially saved the American economy from serious harm by taking uncomfortable measures during his own term.
Dec 29 2007
The Republicans can feel our pain! Finally, we have something emotional to share with them. Something that can bring us together as a nation. [They still don’t care about all the Iraqi citizens we killed by invading their nation; nor do they care much about the beautiful and ancient country that we destroyed.]
But they DO care about themselves and their pocketbooks. Hey, it’s a start.
And right on schedule. I predicted, starting in January and enduring throughout 2008, the Economy and its little sisters: Health Care, Wages, and Inflation will become the topic of the year for everyday Americans. And not just for the middle class (who are now the “new poor,” of course). The pain will be felt most sharply by the upper-middle class, who are likely to tumble faster and further. This one transcends political affiliation.
I am not predicting an economic collapse in 2008. Believe me, there is much manipulation going on among the world’s central banks to keep the overall US economy stable — at least at the asset-value level (sans homeowner-type real estate). The plunge of the Dollar may actually level out a bit, despite the dismal reality-based fundamentals. And that will happen by design. The Plutocrats have some control over the economic buoyancy of the US — and they’ve got all their fingers in the dyke, standing firm to gain Republican electoral traction until after November 2008. Meanwhile, they continue to move all of their wealth offshore as fast as they can. But more on that another time…