Politics

"Give Them All Pitchforks!"

program date: 
Sun, 03/22/2009

Today's Well-read Red, Laurie Mercier, says, "Thanks to the outrage over the AIG bailouts and  bonuses,  it is no longer cool to be rich.  There is a new populist resentment brewing, and the left must seize the opportunity to build movements to constructively direct that anger into building a new system that provides for all, not the rich few." More on this here, here<

8:34 minutes (4.91 MB)

Locus Focus

Program: 
Locus Focus
Air date: 
Wed, 03/25/2009 - 8:00am - 9:00am
Short Description: 
In the past week there has been intense outrage over AIG executive bonuses and other manifestations

In the past week there has been intense outrage over AIG executive bonuses and other manifestations of corporate greed. How do we go beyond the angry mob mentality? Guest Rob Johnson, who co-wrote "Too Big to Bail: The 'Paulson Put,' Presidential Politics, and the Global Financial Meltdown" with Thomas Ferguson, provides a larger context for understanding the current financial crisis and analyzing the knee-jerk responses that currently rule in the mass media.

Robert Johnson was formerly a managing director at Soros Funds Management and chief economist of the Senate Banking Committee.You can read a recenty article by Johnson and Ferguson at http://www.thenation.com/doc/20090309/ferguson_johnson?rel=hp_picks

Bail OUT!!! Socialism for the Rich, Democracy for the Not-So-Rich...

program date: 
Mon, 03/23/2009

 Abe and Joe dive into Tim Geithner's bank bailout plan, the ongoing looting of the Treasury, and the perks of membership in the ruling class.  

56:58 minutes (26.08 MB)

Krugman lays it down

The bank bailout plan is a stinker, sez Paul Krugman:

 

Over the weekend The Times and other newspapers reported leaked details about the Obama administration’s bank rescue plan, which is to be officially released this week. If the reports are correct, Tim Geithner, the Treasury secretary, has persuaded President Obama to recycle Bush administration policy — specifically, the “cash for trash” plan proposed, then abandoned, six months ago by then-Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson.

This is more than disappointing. In fact, it fills me with a sense of despair.

After all, we’ve just been through the firestorm over the A.I.G. bonuses, during which administration officials claimed that they knew nothing, couldn’t do anything, and anyway it was someone else’s fault. Meanwhile, the administration has failed to quell the public’s doubts about what banks are doing with taxpayer money.

And now Mr. Obama has apparently settled on a financial plan that, in essence, assumes that banks are fundamentally sound and that bankers know what they’re doing.

It’s as if the president were determined to confirm the growing perception that he and his economic team are out of touch, that their economic vision is clouded by excessively close ties to Wall Street. And by the time Mr. Obama realizes that he needs to change course, his political capital may be gone.

I think the operative phrase is "clouded by excessively close ties to Wall Street." Both Tim Geithner and Ben Bernanke are creatures of the massive entitlement culture that spawned the erstwhile Masters of the Universe. Basically, instead of following the "nationalization" plan of seizing the banks and placing them in receivership until their assets are rehabilitated -- a model that served us well during the last Bush-era financial brouhaha, the savings and loan scandal of the late 1980s, and a model that rescued the Swedish economy -- Geithner wants to purchase the "toxic" mortgage-derivative assets held by the banks at a far higher price than that at which the allegedly infallible free market values them. And he's willing to give them subsidies in order to do so.

Once again -- privatizing the profits, socializing the losses. Damn it feels good to be a banksta.

-A

 

 

Meet the new boss

 Part of the problem inherent in the many-armed bailout of the financial sector is that it hasn't been clear exactly who's in charge. Prior to and during last fall's financial meltdown, it was clear that the money men were calling the shots -- and the grim aftermath of that orgy is apparent to everyone.

President Obama was catapulted into office largely on the hope that it would be he -- and, by extension, us -- who was now in charge. But it seems that the bankers are still calling the tune. Obama's apparent impotence in the face of the AIG bonus scandal, for example, seems to speak to the pervasive influence that the financial sector still weilds over the legislative process.

And now, as the next stage in Obama's bank rescue plan goes forward, the banksters are still acting as if they didn't torpedo the whole economy, as if they are still somehow entitled to the largesse they took for granted. From the NY Times:

 

But some executives at private equity firms and hedge funds, who were briefed on the plan Sunday afternoon, are anxious about the recent uproar over millions of dollars in bonus payments made to executives of the American International Group.

 

Some of them have told administration officials that they would participate only if the government guaranteed that it would not set compensation limits on the firms, according to people briefed on the conversations. The executives also expressed worries about whether disclosure and governance rules could be added retroactively to the program by Congress, these people said.

I went into the wrong line of work. Shoulda been a banksta.

-A

H/T Atrios

The Abe and Joe Talk Radio Show on 03/24/09

Air date: 
Tue, 03/24/2009 - 8:00am - 9:00am
Short Description: 
Abe and Joe dive into Tim Geithner's bank bailout plan

 Abe and Joe dive into Tim Geithner's bank bailout plan, the ongoing looting of the Treasury, and the perks of membership in the ruling class.

Out Loud on 03/23/09

Program: 
Out Loud
Air date: 
Mon, 03/23/2009 - 6:00pm - 7:00pm
Short Description: 
Local organizers making an impact on our queer community

On KBOO community radio station (90.7fm), every Tuesday from 6 to 7pm  is affectionately known as the Homo Hour, when you'll hear programs relating to the LGBTQ community. Tonight on Out Loud, tune in to hear from local organizers on how they are impacting our community.

Guests include Danielle from Portland Lesbain Network. We'll hear about how the group got started, what types of events are happening today, and plans for the future. We'll also hear from Courtney Eck, who will discuss work she's doing with new queer media in Portland. During the second half hour, Glenn Goodfellow, from the Q Center, will let us know what's been happening lately at Portland's queer community center.

Health and Health Care Forum

program: 
Radiozine
program date: 
Sun, 03/22/2009

 

"Four Health Care Advocates Talk about the Oregon State Legislature." 

 

28:11 minutes (25.81 MB)

If You Love This Planet on 03/23/09

Air date: 
Mon, 03/23/2009 - 10:15am - 11:00am

Host Dr. Helen Caldicott speaks with Mary Olson, Southeast Regional Coordinator for the Nuclear Information and Resource Service (NIRS) talks about the nuclear 'renaissance' in the United States, including the push for the flawed Generation IV reactors.

Political Perspectives on 03/31/09

Air date: 
Tue, 03/31/2009 - 9:00am - 9:30am

Host Per Fagereng speaks with Avigail Abarbanel, a former Israeli soldier who now lives in Australia. She says her army experience turned her into a pacifist. She is the Canberra director of Deir Yassin Remembered. She is a psychotherapist in Canberra.

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