Senate to Middle Class – “Drop Dead”

Senate to Middle Class: Drop Dead
From Michael Moore

Friday, December 12th, 2008

Friends,

They could have given the loan on the condition that the automakers start building only cars and mass transit that reduce our dependency on oil.

They could have given the loan on the condition that the automakers build cars that reduce global warming.

They could have given the loan on the condition that the automakers withdraw their many lawsuits against state governments in their attempts to not comply with our environmental laws.

They could have given the loan on the condition that the management team which drove these once-great manufacturers into the ground resign and be replaced with a team who understands the transportation needs of the 21st century.

Yes, they could have given the loan for any of these reasons because, in the end, to lose our manufacturing infrastructure and throw 3 million people out of work would be a catastrophe.

But instead, the Senate said, we’ll give you the loan only if the factory workers take a $20 an hour cut in wages, pension and health care. That’s right. After giving BILLIONS to Wall Street hucksters and criminal investment bankers — billions with no strings attached and, as we have since learned, no oversight whatsoever — the Senate decided it is more important to break a union, more important to throw middle class wage earners into the ranks of the working poor than to prevent the total collapse of industrial America.

We have a little more than a month to go of this madness. As I sit here in Michigan today, tens of thousands of hard working, honest, decent Americans do not believe they can make it to January 20th. The malaise here is astounding. Why must they suffer because of the mistakes of every CEO from Roger Smith to Rick Wagoner? Make management and the boards of directors and the shareholders pay for this.

Of course that is heresy to the 31 Republicans who decided to blame the poor, miserable autoworkers for this mess. And our wonderful media complied with their spin on the morning news shows: “UAW Refuses to Give Concessions Killing Auto Bailout Bill.” In fact the UAW has given concession after concession, reduced their benefits, agreed to get rid of the Jobs Bank and agreed to make it harder for their retirees to live from week to week. Yes! That’s what we need to do! It’s the Jobs Bank and the old people who have led the nation to economic ruin!

But even doing all that wasn’t enough to satisfy the bastard Republicans. These Senate vampires wanted blood. Blue collar blood. You see, they weren’t opposed to the bailout because they believed in the free market or capitalism. No, they were opposed to the bailout because they’re opposed to workers making a decent wage. In their rage, they were driven to destroy the backbone of this country, not because the UAW hadn’t given back enough, but because the UAW hadn’t given up.

It appears that the sitting President has been looking for a way to end his reign by one magnanimous act, just like a warlord on his feast day. He will put his finger in the dyke, and the fragile mess of an auto industry will eke through the next few months.

That will give the Senate enough time to demand that the bankers and investment sharks who’ve already swiped nearly half of the $700 billion gift a chance to make the offer of cutting their pay.

Fat chance.

Credit Cards Got You?

Oil – Haven’t we been here before?

Didn’t we do this in the 70’s?

Again with high gas prices and proposed little supply. The oil companies again playing games and the Corporate-backing Congressmembers speaking for them. So they want to open all sources of off-shore drilling:

WASHINGTON — With gasoline prices soaring past the $4-a-gallon mark, Congress is again wrestling with proposals to open the eastern Gulf of Mexico’s outer continental shelf to oil and gas drilling.

The latest skirmish occurred today when a House subcommittee rejected a proposal to lift the drilling moratorium off the Florida Gulf Coast on a straight party line vote.

The proposal by Rep. John Peterson, R-Pa., would have lifted the current ban on oil and gas exploration in the Eastern Gulf beyond 50 miles from the Florida coastline.

“By opening up the OCS, we will reduce our growing dependence on oil imports and send OPEC and the world energy markets a message that vast amounts of our own oil and natural gas are now in play,” Peterson told the House Appropriations subcommittee on the Interior.

The great outcome that has occurred is that, where possible, folks are using mass transit more. Of course in California, where oil and tire companies participated in the funding of the freeway system, we’re in a pickle with no mass transit to speak of.

Since we’ve been here before and had time to do something, why don’t we just do something now and stop these knee-jerk corporate-backed behaviors of old. Let’s build up a Green mass transit system, and demand immediate action for car manufacturers to move to all hybrid cars as a start. They basically had over thirty years to do that. Why give them another 15 years to increase fuel economy? Why even worry about fuel economy anymore. We need to move onto another source and stop flapping our lips about it.

South Korea doesn’t want our beef – Europe doesn’t want our chemicals

This past week in South Korea saw tens of thousands of citizens protesting the government’s move to begin US beef imports. The Seattle Times reported:

President Lee Myung-bak suggested Tuesday that South Korea will seek to ban imports of U.S. beef from older cattle amid a public backlash against his government over fears of mad cow disease.

Agriculture Minister Chung Woon-chun said earlier Tuesday that Seoul had asked the U.S. to refrain from exporting any beef from cattle 30 months of age and older, considered at greater risk of the illness.

Presidential spokesman Lee Dong-kwan said the president told a weekly Cabinet meeting that “it is natural not to bring in meat from cattle 30 months of age and older as long as the people do not want it.”

The spokesman also expressed hope that the United States would respect South Korea’s position following large-scale anti-government protests over the weekend.

U.S. Ambassador Alexander Vershbow said Washington saw no need to renegotiate an April agreement for South Korea to resume beef imports.

He said the deal is “based on international science and there is no scientific justification to postpone implementation.”

South Korea agreed in April to reopen its market to U.S. beef after it was blocked for most of the past four and a half years after the first case of the brain-wasting cattle disease was found in the U.S. in late 2003.

However, after tens of thousands of people rallied over the weekend and a request from the ruling party, the government said Monday it was delaying implementation of the agreement.

The government decided on the delay to “humbly accept the people’s will,” Chung said. read more

Now the European Union wants to block our products over chemical contents. They feel the chemicals cause cancer and other health problems. From the Washington Post:

Adamantly opposed by the U.S. chemical industry and the Bush administration, the E.U. laws will be phased in over the next decade. It is difficult to know exactly how the changes will affect products sold in the United States. But American manufacturers are already searching for safer alternatives to chemicals used to make thousands of consumer goods, from bike helmets to shower curtains.

From its crackdown on antitrust practices in the computer industry to its rigorous protection of consumer privacy, the European Union has adopted a regulatory philosophy that emphasizes the consumer. Its approach to managing chemical risks, which started with a trickle of individual bans and has swelled into a wave, is part of a European focus on caution when it comes to health and the environment.

“There’s a strong sense in Europe and the world at large that America is letting the market have a free ride,” said Sheila Jasanoff, professor of science and technology studies at Harvard University‘s John F. Kennedy School of Government. “The Europeans believe . . . that being a good global citizen in an era of sustainability means you don’t just charge ahead and destroy the planet without concern for what you’re doing.” read more

George Bush’s current trip to Europe is being marketed as his farewell tour. However I believe he’s on another begging mission. Judging by his previously failed mission to the Middle East begging for oil, he will again not be well received. While Bush’s strong support for corporate interests over consumers does not justify impeachable offenses, examining the world opinion of our nation at this point in time, as a reaction to standard Bush policies, should cause Congress to take another look at the impeachment issue. If they care about our economy, even our ability to export anything of value, they will need to address the administration of George Bush to restore our standing in the Global arena. Our economy depends on this.

George Bush needs to go and the faster the better. Call your local Congressmember. In the 24th district California, that individual is Elton Gallegly.

Meltdown of U.S. Dollar Underway as China Dumps the Currency

China dumps $1.4 Trillion in reserves, switching to the Euro and Canadian dollar, causing the US Federal Reserve Fiat paper dollars to plunge in all world markets to new all-time lows. China is also the worlds largest holder of US Treasury Bonds and securities, for which they are nervously awaiting a buyer. Japan, is the 2nd largest nervous holder read more

read more | digg story

the article is two weeks old, but worthy of reading.

Bush suggests economy doing OK at the Economic Club of New York

by James Hossack from Yahoo:

NEW YORK (AFP) – President George W. Bush acknowledged Friday that the US economy was going through a tough period but avoided talk of recession, as he sought to reassure voters that better times lay ahead.

Speaking in New York, Bush insisted that despite a weak dollar and soaring oil prices, the US economy remained fundamentally sound and said the biggest challenge was for the US Congress not to overcompensate.

“In a free market there’s going to be good times and bad times. That’s how markets work. There’ll be ups and downs,” Bush told business leaders at the Economic Club of New York.

This sounds more like “Mission Accomplished”. During the C-Span televised event, Bush also made remarks such as the ‘housing crisis is not occurring in all areas of the US’, and the economy ‘will recover and be stronger in the future’.

His statement indicating that the crisis is not occurring everywhere appears he is trying to lessen the appearance of the devastation by localizing it. CNN found that of the 100 largest cities in the US, 86 are facing higher foreclosure rates. Of those, topping the list are Stockton, CA, Detroit, MI, and Las Vegas, NV. States hardest hit include Michigan, Ohio, California, Florida, and Nevada. California and Florida are experiencing record low home prices.

His statement indicating that the economy will recover and be stronger in the future is interesting due to the fact that in less than a year, he will no longer be in office, unless he is impeached before that time. Is Bush showing confidence or hope  that the next president will be able to fix the monumental mess he has created?

RealtyTrac offers the following graph which shows the foreclosure rate increase when compared to the same time in 2007:

foreclosures_chart.gif

RealtyTrac reports that the foreclosure rate, overall, is up 60% when compared to the same time last year.

In response to a recent report from RealtyTrac on the housing crisis: The report suggests that efforts from government and consumer groups to combat the rising number of foreclosures have not had a significant impact, according to Jared Bernstein, a senior economist at the Economic Policy Institute.

“I don’t see evidence that any of the interventions we’ve been implementing are having any effect,” he said. The report “doesn’t show that measures have failed but it’s pretty clear that nothing we’ve undertaken is slowing foreclosures.”

bush-thinking.jpg This all begs the question…Where is Mr. Bush getting his information?

U.S. Has Slid Into Recession, Economist Survey Says

The U.S. has finally slid into recession, according to the majority of economists in the latest Wall Street Journal economic-forecasting survey, a view that was reinforced by new data showing a sharp drop in retail sales last month…

Glad someone finally said the “R” word. Now we can start to face reality.

read more | digg story