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Archives from September 2008
The NY Yankees and the U.S. Economy
BILL MOYERS And MICHAEL WINSHIP
From our offices in Manhattan, we look out on the tall, gleaming skyscrapers that are cathedrals of wealth and power – the Olympus ruled by the gods of finance, the temples of the mighty, the holy of holies, whose priests guard the sacred texts of salvation &nd...
Sarah Palin: Venus in Furs
Dr. SUSAN BLOCK
Sarah Palin isn’t the only woman running for Vice President in this season’s U.S. Presidential sweepstakes. There is another candidate for the office on Number One Observatory Circle who also happens to have a vagina, and that candidate happens to be...
The Wall Street Model: Unintelligent Design
PAM MARTENS
Wall Street is collapsing not because of bad mortgage debt or lack of capital or over-leverage.  Those are merely symptoms.  Wall Street is collapsing because it deserves to collapse; it needs to collapse in order for America to survive.  The economist...
Impalement
MISSY COMLEY BEATTIE
A few political pundits have suggested that Barack Obama must remember he is running against John McCain, not Sarah Palin. But this isn’t the case. John McCain is obsolete, breathing near-dead breath into every microphone near his face. It is Sarah Palin who ha...
Freddie, Fannie, Daddy, Nanny
NIRANJAN RAMAKRISHNAN
"He showed us the working man’ s home, all optimism and simple trust, believing every word he read in the papers about Ocean Breeze’s form; depriving his wife and children of food in order to back the brute; going without beer so as to be...
Leaving Every Child Behind
JOHN GOEKLER
As we head deeper into the “silly season” of an election year, all the old position papers on education are being recycled. John McCain touts market forces for school improvement. Barack Obama endorses more accountability and higher standards. School boar...
When We Notice the Homeless
HOWARD LISNOFF
As Hurricane Ike raced through the Gulf of Mexico and into Texas the issue of homelessness was given no attention in the mass media.  Three years before, as Hurricane Katrina ripped through New Orleans, the national media could not escape paying at least passing...
Leave Josh Howard Alone
DAVE ZIRIN
Dallas Mavericks All-Star Josh Howard has been raked over the coals of public opinion this week for daring to say what more than a few athletes think. He was caught on someone’s cell phone camera saying that he doesn’t stand for the national anthem becaus...
Hung Up on Route 36
HEIDI WALTERS
Co-Editor’s note: California’s Route 36 connects Highway 101 south of Fortuna with Interstate 5 at Red Bluff, 140 miles to the east. It’s a narrow, endlessly twisting, two-lane, mostly mountain road running through the Yolla Bollies, spa...
A Bailout to Nowhere
RICHARD RHAMES
“…The capital we thought was there is gone. A lot of it was actually translated over the years into Hamptons villas, Gulfstream jets, and other playthings that will now go up on Ebay or some equivalent as we turn into Yard Sale Nation in a gen...
Attack of the Angry Fetus
SUSIE DAY
The City of New York, still reeling from falling cranes, broken water mains, and the Republican presidential ticket, was forced to cope with yet another hard-hitting reality last Tuesday, as a giant human fetus of indeterminate sex and race suddenly appeared out of n...
Holden Caulfield, Rest in Peace
CHARLES R. LARSON
Holden Caulfield, 74, patron of the ducks in Central Park, died September 9, after a ten-year battle with emphysema.  He was a resident of the Bellington Hotel in Manhattan, though for nearly twenty years, he had lived in a shack and subsequently in a tent near ...
Republicans and Subpoenas
ROBERT FANTINA
Can anyone still doubt that the Republican Party writes its own rules, making them up as they go along?  The fact that they may be in complete defiance of the rule of law is a trifling matter to the likes of those who surround President George Bush, the master o...
Imprisoned Voters and the Elections
ANTHONY PAPA
A coalition of concerned citizens in Alabama is shaking up the GOP with their goal of registering voters in the most unlikely of places — state prisons. A voter registration drive led this week by Rev. Kenny Glasgow, began registering prisoners to vote, a right...
Living in Sarah Palin’s America
DAVID MICHAEL GREEN
I can’t tell you how despondent I’ve grown in the last weeks. Is there really no hope for this country, after all?  It now appears so. In January of 2003, John Le Carre wrote that, “America has entered one of its periods of histor...
The Making of Recent U.S. Middle East Policies
BILL And KATHLEEN CHRISTISON
Stephen J. Sniegoski, The Transparent Cabal: The Neoconservative Agenda, War in the Mi...
Too Big for His Birches
TIM MATSON
I was walking my woodlot the other day with a logger, planning a softwood harvest. I figured the cut would go  the same way it’s gone over the thirty five years I’ve lived on this Vermont sidehill. Choose logger, select trees, cut and truck. It was a...
America’s Own Kleptocracy
MICHAEL HUDSON
Nobody expected industrial capitalism to end up like this. Nobody even saw it evolving in this direction. I’m afraid this failing is not unusual among futurists: The natural tendency is to think about how economies can best grow and evolve, not how it can be un...
Germany’s Lost Organs: When Bigger was Better
DAVID YEARSLEY
The greatest musical casualties of World War II were Germany’s historic organs. To leaf through books on German organ builders can be a depressing pursuit. Black and white photos of massive, three-story instruments with thousands of pipes and ornamented with el...
Grasping at Straws
MIKE WHITNEY
On Friday morning, Senator Christopher Dodd, the head of the Senate Banking Committee, was interviewed on ABC’s “Good Morning America.” Dodd revealed that just hours earlier at an emergency meeting convened by Secretary of the Treasury Henry Paulson...
A Bailout to Nowhere
RICHARD RHAMES
“…The capital we thought was there is gone. A lot of it was actually translated over the years into Hamptons villas, Gulfstream jets, and other playthings that will now go up on Ebay or some equivalent as we turn into Yard Sale Nation in a gen...
Is This the Stake Through Neoliberalism’s Heart? It Should Be, But …
ALEXANDER COCKBURN
Hope walks arm in arm with fear, and so naturally enough Candidate Barack Obama is now reminding us, a la Roosevelt, that we have nothing to fear but fear itself and we must all pull together in a spirit of bipartisanship. Wrong. We have many identifiable things to b...
Putting Lipstick on an AIG
LILA RAJIVA
Hockey moms aren’t the only ones wearing Maybelline. Pigs come in cherry gloss too. Like the porkers at Wall Street lining up with their lips in a pucker behind Washington’s plush behind. Having pigged out at the public trough for years, they now w...
Hang On to Your Wallets!
DAVE LINDORFF
When the financial markets started coming undone earlier this week, the Treasury Secretary and the Federal Reserve stepped in, and with $85 billion of our money (actually our children’s money, since they borrowed it from China and Saudi Arabia), bought founderi...
Shattering the Glass-Steagall Act
WILLIAM KAUFMAN
If you’re looking for a major cause of the current banking meltdown, you need seek no farther than the 1999 repeal of the Glass-Steagall Act. The Glass-Steagall Act, passed in 1933, mandated the separation of commercial and investment banking in order t...
The Dow Jones’ Wonderfully Cheesy Addition
MICHAEL HUDSON
The bailout of AIG to enable derivatives traders and other gamblers collect on their computer-driven bets is so enormous that it will take another article to describe. But in the meantime there is a development so wonderfully appropriate, almost poetic as a metaphor,...
McCain’s Passion Play
STEVEN T. BANKO
Am I the only one to think that John McCain trivializes both his sacrifice as a POW and the determination of a wide range of specially challenged Americans to lead productive lives? I’m referring to McCain’s repetition of his POW status as a wild card to ...
Blowback for Black Mesa
BRENDA NORRELL
A delegation of Navajo, Hopi and Lakota warned Lehman Brothers stockholders of the dire consequences of their actions in 2001. In a rare move, censored by most media, the Navajo, Hopi and Lakota delegation warned Lehman Brothers, after it acquired the financial inter...
Cleaning Up the Bull Ring
CLIFTON ROSS
The bull, among the Persian Zoroastrians as well as the Huichol people of Mexico, represents the sun which comes to earth and bleeds to give life to the earth. This powerful creature is a symbol, therefore, of divine power which is willing to bleed for the good of hu...
Let’s Hand It All Over to the Democrats
MICHAEL DONNELLY
I know I’ll get e-mails accusing me of starry-eyed romanticism, at minimum. Nope. I’m no fan of the Democrats. Let me begin by noting that I loathe what the Democratic Party has become. Wanna know why Nancy Pelosi put "Impeachment off the t...
The Point of No Return
MIKE WHITNEY
Following another erratic day of trading on the stock market, Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson and Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke convened an emergency meeting of the Senate Banking Committee and other congressional leaders to request fast-track auth...
The New Rhetoric of Racism
KEEANGA-YAMATTA TAYLOR
In recent days, John McCain has been lambasted for telling outright lies in his campaign ads–from the claim that Barack Obama called Sarah Palin a pig to the absurd charge that Obama insisted on sex education for kindergarteners. The media and the pundit...
Seize the Time!
CYNTHIA McKINNEY
We the people must now seize the time! We have always had the capability of determining our own destiny, but for various reasons, the people failed to elect the leaders who provided the correct political will. There was always some corporate or private special intere...
The Financial Re-Regulatory Agenda
ROBERT WEISSMAN
As the Federal Reserve and Treasury Department careen from one financial meltdown to another, desperately trying to hold together the financial system — and with it, the U.S. and global economy — there are few voices denying that Wall Street has suffered ...
American and China
DAVE LINDORFF
With the government now having spent over $800 billion in less than a year shoring up tottering financial companies that had become little more than casinos (and rigged ones at that), America is looking increasingly like China, a country where the state ...
The Machine Gun and the Meeting Table
BENJAMIN DANGL
On Monday, September 15, Bolivian President Evo Morales arrived in Santiago, Chile for an emergency meeting of Latin American leaders that convened to seek a resolution to the recent conflict in Bolivia. Upon his arrival, Morales said, "I have come here to expla...
Washington’s False Logic of Torture
RON JACOBS
Logic is a process whereby one makes an argument based on a premise.  If the premise is false, the process of logic can still prove it, albeit possibly not as easily or convincingly as a true premise.  Law follows the process of logic in decidi...
Damning the Dealers
BINOY KAMPMARK
Damien Hirst specializes in gnomic incantations about his work.  He produces what art critic Robert Hughes has termed ‘absurd’ and ‘tacky commodities.’  Take his The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone...
The Senate’s Drill, Drill, Drill Scam
HARVEY WASSERMAN
The McCain/Palin push for endless oil drilling is being used as a smokescreen to gouge a half-trillion or more taxpayer dollars in subsidies and loan guarantees to build new atomic reactors. The mega-theft could be approved by the US Senate this week. Green activists...
Biden and Israel
SUSAN ABULHAWA
John McCain eclipsed the democratic convention buzz, gained women voters, simultaneously reassured middle to far right conservatives and may have positioned a female presidential candidate for the Republican ticket for future elections. It makes sense. On the other h...
Why Obama is Wrong
WILLIAM S. LIND
A few weeks ago I wrote a column explaining why Senator John McCain is wrong on Iraq.  In contrast, Senator Barack Obama is largely right on Iraq.  Whether he would follow through on his plan for withdrawing U.S. troops is another question.  The Democr...
The Poverty of 21st Century Progressivism
COREY D. B. WALKER
“The West is living through an economic and social crisis so unprecedented in its tempo, so complex in its effects, that there are many who do not know that it is taking place.” Michael Harrington, The Next Left (1987)...
How the U.S. Auto Industry Wrecked Itself
RALPH NADER
The Big Three are in big trouble, and they have themselves to thank for it. Ford and General Motors have reported substantial losses in the second quarter amounting to $15.5 billion, and $8.7 billion, respectively, while Chrysler, which was bought off last yea...
The End of the Blue Chip Economy
DAVE LINDORFF
AIG, the quintessential blue-chip, one of the 30 companies that compose the Dow Jones Industrial Average, a company that in 2000 boasted a market capitalization of $217 billion, making it the largest financial institution in the world, is teetering on the brink of co...
Petraeus Leaves Iraq
PATRICK COCKBURN
General David Petraeus, whose 15 months in command of US troops in Iraq has seen a dramatic fall in violence in the country, stepped aside yesterday to be replaced by General Ray Odierno, previously his second in command. General Petraeus was notably modest ab...
Rambling David Foster Wallace
DOUGLAS VALENTINE
I hadn’t heard of David Foster Wallace prior to his suicide. I had never read anything he wrote, though among the many recent obits I read, I saw that he had written a book titled Infinite Jest. When I saw that I thought, “Ah so! A man after my own heart....
Reactionary Rampage
FORREST HYLTON
Bolivian President Evo Morales’ expulsion of US Ambassador Phillip Goldberg on September 10 for alleged coup plotting sparked the latest diplomatic crisis in the Americas. But the diplomatic fallout has overshadowed the internal dynamics that led to the massacr...
The Damage Deepens
PETER MORICI
Today, the Commerce Department reported the second quarter current account deficit was $183.1 billion. This was caused largely by a $216.3 billion deficit on trade in goods. The current account is the broadest measure of the U.S. trade balance. In addition to...
Palin and the Politics of Big Oil
STEPHEN CONN
Like a Dickens novel, these are, “the best of times and the worst of times” for Alaska and Alaskans. It is no coincidence that just when Alaska was taking control of its oil field destiny, acting like an owner state, the political game was changed by forc...
The Gang’s All Here
PAM MARTENS
The vetting of Sarah Palin for the McCain campaign by an Iran-Contra alumnus brought an epiphany. (See “The Man Who Vetted Palin,” CounterPunch, September 8, 2008.)  The American people’s inability to control ...