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Category: 2010

Nationalize the Big Banks?

Nationalize the Big Banks?

Politicians in Washington are mesmerized by Wall Street campaign dollars and terrified by being branded “socialists”. That seems to be the most likely explanation for the failure of the Congress to pass a second stimulus bill despite continuing high levels of unemployment -especially long-term unemployment – that are absolutely catastrophic for millions of families. In fact, politicians are leaning in the other direction. Instead of a jobs bill, they are promoting deficit reduction. Instead of promoting stimulation of the economy…

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Will We Ever Leave Afghanistan?

Will We Ever Leave Afghanistan?

American military forces have been fighting in Afghanistan since 2001 under the congressional authorization to destroy Al Qaeda for its role in training the 19 criminals who attacked the World Trade buildings in New York City and the Pentagon in Washington D.C. on September 11, 2001, a date that will live in infamy. US military leaders now say that Osama bin Laden and Al Qaeda are no longer in Afghanistan but probably in Pakistan. The enemy has become the Taliban,…

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Jobs or Derivatives?

Jobs or Derivatives?

The United States needs another stimulus package to increase domestic economic activity which will generate more jobs and eliminate the remnants of the “Great Recession.” However, the Congress hesitates to pass the necessary legislation because the members are spooked by the rise of a competing worry, the federal deficit, now at $12.3 trillion and increasing by over $1 trillion for this year and the next. These are not unimportant numbers but they should be placed in context: the accumulated deficit…

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Breaking Up the Super Banks

Breaking Up the Super Banks

SATURDAY, JUNE 12, 2010 What made this recession a “great recession” isn’t only its depth and duration. Most importantly, it has forced changes in the role of government in the economy, in rules for finance and banking. In addition, and just as far-reaching, it has changed American attitudes toward spending and thrift, retirement and homeownership, as well as finance and government. Public attitudes toward the super-banks may have changed the most. “Bailout” has become a nasty word describing the incestuous…

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Maintaining US Hegemony

Maintaining US Hegemony

Robert M. Gates, US Secretary of Defense, wrote in Foreign Affairs, “The United States is unlikely to repeat a mission on the scale of those in Afghanistan or Iraq any time soon – that is, forced regime change followed by nation building under fire.” This statement is close to admitting that the invasions were mistakes, that the dangers they were designed to suppress were not commensurate with the cost of suppression. One might then ask, why not bring the troops…

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The Expansion of Presidential Power

The Expansion of Presidential Power

Presidential power is one of the mysteries of the American political system, certainly not justified or suggested in the United States Constitution. The last thing the framers of the Constitution wanted was a king, an American George III, with the power to tax, to levy armies, to initiate wars. Yet that is our current system and presidential power is growing as the democratic spirit weakens under the pressures of maintaining world-wide hegemony. The ultimate presidential power: only the president can…

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Saving Obama and the Democrats

Saving Obama and the Democrats

Here is the problem for liberals: we need to protect the Democrats from the anger their policies have generated while pushing them to implement the promises they made to win the 2008 election. The most unfortunate outcome in the November 2010 elections would be significant political gains by the movement led by Sarah Palin and the Tea Party reactionaries. A close second negative would be the takeover of Congress by the Republican Party committed to downsizing and disempowering government from…

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Bailing Out the Gambling Financiers

Bailing Out the Gambling Financiers

Why shouldn’t banks be limited to a certain size that would not pose a threat to the entire economy? Why shouldn’t they be restricted to specific activities that support personal savings and the financial needs of real businesses? Why shouldn’t banks be forbidden to gamble with depositors’ cash, also known as other peoples’ money? It doesn’t happen because the government is addicted to the tax revenues from the financial services and doesn’t want the banks to go overseas. Let them…

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Abortion and the Health Reform Bill

Abortion and the Health Reform Bill

The advocates of a woman’s legal right to abortion under the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision were enthusiastic supporters of the Democratic Health Care Reform Bill. But they were appalled at the deal President Obama made with 13 US Representatives to obtain their votes in exchange for an Executive Order that weakens the rights of women for legal abortions. With little fanfare, with no glaring lights or TV cameras, no East Room speeches, without a photo or a handshake,…

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No More Bailouts

No More Bailouts

Americans have had enough of the nightmare of irresponsible big institutions getting bailed out by the US government using their tax dollars. The average citizen on Main Street should not pay for the risky and reckless behavior of corporate giants on Wall Street. Bailout is the most unpopular word in the language today. In Texas, the Republican nomination for governor was decided when the heavy favorite, Kay Bailey Hutchinson, was derided as “Kay Bailout,” for her vote in the U.S….

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