“The very idea that I can be seriously discussed as a terrorist, when I’m sitting under Big Ben in the British Parliament, and touring the United States… doesn’t that strike people in Canada as just crazy?” – George Galloway.
by Joe Kishore, WSWS
President Barack Obama’s speech on the auto industry Monday was nothing less than a declaration of war against the working class. In a statement dripping with class arrogance and cynicism, he rejected the cost-cutting proposals of General Motors and Chrysler as insufficient and demanded more concessions from auto workers.
No one could be unaware of the blatant double standard that has governed the administration’s response to the economic crisis. Up to $10 trillion has been handed over to the giant banks and hedge funds. These sums have been turned over, with no restrictions, to institutions whose reckless speculation was a critical factor in creating the economic crisis.
by Stephen Webster, Raw Story
Even as Merrill Lynch & Co. bled money and warily eyed a merger with Bank of America, company executives were preparing for a windfall.
Following the federal government’s promise of $10 billion in TARP funds to buoy the ailing firm through it’s roll-up, Merrill paid out $3.6 billion in bonuses: a package 22 times larger than compensation given by AIG, said Congressman Dennis Kucinich’s offices in a Monday release.
The congressman’s staff sent letters to Ken Lewis, CEO of Bank of America, Ben Bernanke, Chairman of the Federal Reserve, and Neel Kashkari, Interim Assistant Director of Financial Stability, requesting documents related to communications on Merrill Lynch compensation packages.
Bank of America, which absorbed Merrill in 2008, received an additional $25 billion from the government to facilitate the merger.
by Paul Craig Roberts, ICH
Obama and his public relations team have made it appear that his trillion dollars in higher taxes will fall only on “the rich.” Obama stresses that his tax increase is only for the richest 5 percent of Americans while the other 95 percent receive a tax cut.
The fact of the matter is that the income differences within the top
5% are far wider than the differences between the lower tax brackets and the “rich” American in the 96th percentile.
For Obama, being “rich” begins with $250,000 in annual income, the bottom rung of the top 5 percent. Compare this “rich” income to that of, for example, Hank Paulson, President George W. Bush’s Treasury Secretary when he was the head of Goldman Sachs.
by Uri Blau, Haaretz
The office at the Adiv fabric-printing shop in south Tel Aviv handles a constant stream of customers, many of them soldiers in uniform, who come to order custom clothing featuring their unit’s insignia, usually accompanied by a slogan and drawing of their choosing. Elsewhere on the premises, the sketches are turned into plates used for imprinting the ordered items, mainly T-shirts and baseball caps, but also hoodies, fleece jackets and pants. A young Arab man from Jaffa supervises the workers who imprint the words and pictures, and afterward hands over the finished product.
Dead babies, mothers weeping on their children’s graves, a gun aimed at a child and bombed-out mosques – these are a few examples of the images Israel Defense Forces soldiers design these days to print on shirts they order to mark the end of training, or of field duty. The slogans accompanying the drawings are not exactly anemic either: A T-shirt for infantry snipers bears the inscription “Better use Durex,” next to a picture of a dead Palestinian baby, with his weeping mother and a teddy bear beside him. A sharpshooter’s T-shirt from the Givati Brigade’s Shaked battalion shows a pregnant Palestinian woman with a bull’s-eye superimposed on her belly, with the slogan, in English, “1 shot, 2 kills.” A “graduation” shirt for those who have completed another snipers course depicts a Palestinian baby, who grows into a combative boy and then an armed adult, with the inscription, “No matter how it begins, we’ll put an end to it.”
by Scott Creighton
Two days after President Barack Obama hosted a “very pleasant” meeting in our White House for 13 banking and financial sector CEOs and more banking lobbyists, he is announcing the pending death of the U.S. auto industry. In this article from MSNBC, they wait till the very end of the 2 page article, the very last line, to tell us why.
“… GM and Chrysler are pushing the United Auto Workers to accept shares of stock in exchange for half of the payments into a union-run trust fund for retiree health care. They also want labor costs from the union to be competitive with Japanese automakers with U.S. operations.
Little progress has been made between the companies and the union.” MSNBC
The workers didn’t give up enough of their personal standards of living, they didn’t “sacrifice” enough, as Obama puts it, for the treasury department to invest 13 billion dollars of our money to help keep it afloat. They didn’t give up enough for the Clinton/NAFTA globalization plan to work.
Already trillions in the hole to bailout the thieves who colluded with the previous administration (and the current one!) and congress to put us in this situation, with another trillion on the way, but the Obama administration can’t fork over enough to keep auto industry jobs in the U.S. if the workers don’t accept slave wages and reduced health care benefits.
But, Obamas aides want you to note that Obama inherited this situation from George W. Bush, just so you guys know that, ok? It’s not Obama’s fault.
by Scott Creighton
Perhaps this will make it a little clearer what I am proposing….
I believe that conventional materials commonly used in the demolition business were used to pulverized the lightweight concrete used in the floors as well as destroy the trusses and the interiors of the offices (furniture, file cabinets, ect.) and I am proposing a way to prove it.
[another viewpoint image after the break]
by Paul Street, ZNET
“It’s time to put our differences aside. Will you be part of the solution?“
- Nightly Chevron commercial at the end of “The News Hour” on the “Public” Broadcasting System, March 12-March 25, 2009
Many on what passes for a left in the United States have been led to believe that Barack Obama is a “Mr. Smith-goes- to-Washington” character eager and ready to struggle against entrenched corporate and financial interests. A considerable number of so-called “left liberals” make curious bedfellows with right-wing noisemakers (including dangerous reactionary nut-jobs like Sean Hannity, Rush Limbaugh, and Bernard Goldberg) in fantasizing that a leftist has taken up residence in the White House. But, as Harper’s Magazine president John R. MacArthur notes, this “is an absurd reading of Obama,” who MacArthur rightly describes as “a moderate with far too much respect for the global financial class” and as “surely the unleft, unradical, president.” 
(Remember all the anger and frustration we progressive liberals felt, while for years our “Change” was put on the back burner, one issue after the other, by the block voting of those damn “Blue-Dog”/DLC democrats in congress? The Blue-Dogs and the DLC are all part of what the Clintons created called “The New Democrats”. They were the corporatist sell-out version of the democratic party; the continuation of Reaganomics by a different name. Well, it’s now official, Barack Obama has finally admitted that he himself is a “New Democrat”. This explains his stuffing his administration with Clinton administration retreads (and Clintons) and of course his record since even before the election of putting big business/bankers first. Obama is a sham. You elected a Blue-Dog dem in Nov. and wept as you did it. The same type of sellout bastard you cursed for 3 years before the election for betraying not only our party, but the entire country.)
by Bruce Dixon, Black Agenda Report
Despite the labels hung on him from all sides, Barack Obama has been, either determinedly reluctant, or notoriously slippery about defining himself. But early this month, according to a story in Politico, in a relaxed meeting with right wing congressional Democrats, the president let slip his mask, if only for an unscripted moment. “I am a New Democrat,” declared President Obama, firmly identifying himself with the brand and philosophy, though not necessarily with the organization of the Democratic Leadership Council.
Ok. Let’s get this straight; this is NOT the way the towers were built (if you want to see how they were built, go here)! This is a pre-vis of a mock up of 3 floors. The trusses are the same as the construction of the towers, as are the concrete floors, the floor pans, and the exterior columns, but the interior columns (large ones near the staircase) are NOT like those of the core (though they are the right placement and size)… there were 47 of varying sizes in the core of the towers. This is JUST an idea that I had, and I am sharing the progress of the drawings with you guys.
[see the rear isometric after the break]
by Joe Kishore, WSWS
US President Barack Obama met behind closed doors for more than an hour and a half with the chief executives of the largest American banks on Friday, reassuring the titans of finance that his administration has their best interests at heart.
According to White House press secretary Robert Gibbs, the meeting’s agenda included the Obama administration’s “toxic asset” purchase program, proposals for regulation of the finance industry, and executive compensation.
Every aspect of the administration’s economic policy caters to the interests of the financial elite, of which the president is merely a mouthpiece.
✔ War on Afghanistan: Despite Talk of “Exit Strategy,” Plan Will Further Increase Presence: Obama declared that the Taliban “must be stopped,” and that Americans must also accept that Pakistan “needs our help.”
✔ Global War on Terror: President says U.S. must ‘disrupt, defeat and dismantle’ al-Qaida: “… turn up the heat on terrorists that he said are plotting new attacks against Americans. The plan…” (hmmm, “plots and plans”. Where have we heard THAT before?)
✔ War in Iraq: “They will be called advisory and assistance brigades,” said Gates. “They won’t be called combat brigades.”: Let’s just call them “re-decorators” and be done with it. Or better still, let’s pretend they are Iraqis and then they can stay as long as Obama likes….
✔ The War on Drugs: She also promised extra money for more helicopters than already negotiated in a $700m (£479m) training and technology package under the Bush administration.
✔ War on the Middle Class: “Everybody is going to have to give a little bit — shareholders, workers, creditors,…” Everybody but the bankers and Wall Street execs, ain’t that right, Barack? They get to keep all their stolen loot, and they stripped millions of people of their retirement accounts and mortgages… while those shameful autoworker bastards just built cars and increased their productivity over the past 5 years while taking one pay cut-back after the other.
So Now it “Is” Treason? So Now it “Is” a Coup? Should’ve Listened Then, and You Should Definately Listen Now
by Scott Creighton
No he’s not a “regulator”, he’s part of a coup. And the sooner you know that, the better off we will all be.
Even though team Obama has spoon-fed him the lines, Timothy Geithner is not going to reinstate the Glass-Steagall Act of 1933 or the Bank Holding Company Act (repealed in part in 1994 (under Clinton) and then also in 1999 (under Clinton), nor is he going to impose tougher regulations on the banking and finance industry. Let’s get that straight right off the bat. He said just yesterday when talking to that other well known champion of the “free-markets”, Ron Paul, that he isn’t a “regulator” and he believes that more regulations will not solve this problem.
I would just want to correct one thing. I’ve never been a regulator, for better or worse. And I think you’re right to say that we have to be very skeptical that regulations can solve all of these problems.
We have postured our system, which are overwhelmed by regulations. Overwhelmed by regulations. Geithner
No he’s not a regulator, he is part of the Summers/Rubin/Greenspan school of economic banking zealotry that helped create NAFTA and the Gramm/Leach/Bliley Act of 1994, not to mention the Riegle-Neal Interstate Banking and Branching Efficiency Act of 1994, which ended all restrictions on interstate banking creating massive take-overs and huge banking conglomerates.
But this is nothing new. They have done it before.