Help end wealth's control of our democracy. Our weapons are democracy, information, and the INITIATIVE
fight corporate Media Liars
Home  Website    Corruption Updates    Database    Archives    Link Clusters    Why    Help    Contact  RSS FEED

Corruption Disasters




budget crisis






china's poison trade

china's us backed police state


Our Lost Rights

Illegal war

illegal Searches



US attorney

Big Oil runs govt

money buys laws

corporate media


Our Dictators

saudi arabia




Bush&congress must be Impeached and replaced

Impeach bush II


Serious threats to our rights

reporter subpoenaed for exposing bush CIA crimes, nyt, 2-1-08

Harmon's "Homegrown Terror" resolution is an extreme threat to our rights, 4-19-07


American Political Corruption affects the Whole World

Earth From Space

Top of Page

our corruption has changed how nature appears

in front of us,

It's Me! Carson Range

and behind us

Behind Me, Carson Range


As an individual, an individual human, you are designed to reflect.

The reality you reflect defines the center and extent of your life.

recent pages: 175 174  172 171 162 161 160 159 158 157  156  155  154   153  152 

Make Real Political Change. Join the NextRevolution.Org

create community based on honest democracy

first posting: thursday, May 1, 2008 4:50 pm, pst


first posted: May 1, 2008, Draft edition

Previous Page: Page 172       All Archives       Next page: Page 174


Contact Us:

1) The Articles linked below were Abstracted from the sources cited. After the abstract there's analysis and commentary, links to related articles, and a link to the database with suggested search terms.


Message Machine

Behind TV Analysts, Pentagon’s Hidden Hand


nyt, April 20, 2008


In the summer of 2005, the Bush administration confronted a fresh wave of criticism over Guantánamo Bay. The detention center had just been branded “the gulag of our times” by Amnesty International, there were new allegations of abuse from United Nations human rights experts and calls were mounting for its closure.

The administration’s communications experts responded swiftly. Early one Friday morning, they put a group of retired military officers on one of the jets normally used by Vice President Dick Cheney and flew them to Cuba for a carefully orchestrated tour of Guantánamo.

To the public, these men are members of a familiar fraternity, presented tens of thousands of times on television and radio as “military analysts” whose long service has equipped them to give authoritative and unfettered judgments about the most pressing issues of the post-Sept. 11 world.

Hidden behind that appearance of objectivity, though, is a Pentagon information apparatus that has used those analysts in a campaign to generate favorable news coverage of the administration’s wartime performance, an examination by The New York Times has found.

The effort, which began with the buildup to the Iraq war and continues to this day, has sought to exploit ideological and military allegiances, and also a powerful financial dynamic: Most of the analysts have ties to military contractors vested in the very war policies they are asked to assess on air.

Those business relationships are hardly ever disclosed to the viewers, and sometimes not even to the networks themselves. But collectively, the men on the plane and several dozen other military analysts represent more than 150 military contractors either as lobbyists, senior executives, board members or consultants. The companies include defense heavyweights, but also scores of smaller companies, all part of a vast assemblage of contractors scrambling for hundreds of billions in military business generated by the administration’s war on terror. It is a furious competition, one in which inside information and easy access to senior officials are highly prized.

Records and interviews show how the Bush administration has used its control over access and information in an effort to transform the analysts into a kind of media Trojan horse — an instrument intended to shape terrorism coverage from inside the major TV and radio networks.

Analysts have been wooed in hundreds of private briefings with senior military leaders, including officials with significant influence over contracting and budget matters, records show. They have been taken on tours of Iraq and given access to classified intelligence. They have been briefed by officials from the White House, State Department and Justice Department, including Mr. Cheney, Alberto R. Gonzales and Stephen J. Hadley.

In turn, members of this group have echoed administration talking points, sometimes even when they suspected the information was false or inflated. Some analysts acknowledge they suppressed doubts because they feared jeopardizing their access.

A few expressed regret for participating in what they regarded as an effort to dupe the American public with propaganda dressed as independent military analysis.

“It was them saying, ‘We need to stick our hands up your back and move your mouth for you,’ ” Robert S. Bevelacqua, a retired Green Beret and former Fox News analyst, said.

Kenneth Allard, a former NBC military analyst who has taught information warfare at the National Defense University, said the campaign amounted to a sophisticated information operation. “This was a coherent, active policy,” he said.

As conditions in Iraq deteriorated, Mr. Allard recalled, he saw a yawning gap between what analysts were told in private briefings and what subsequent inquiries and books later revealed.

“Night and day,” Mr. Allard said, “I felt we’d been hosed.”


Five years into the Iraq war, most details of the architecture and execution of the Pentagon’s campaign have never been disclosed. But The Times successfully sued the Defense Department to gain access to 8,000 pages of e-mail messages, transcripts and records describing years of private briefings, trips to Iraq and Guantánamo and an extensive Pentagon talking points operation.

These records reveal a symbiotic relationship where the usual dividing lines between government and journalism have been obliterated.

Internal Pentagon documents repeatedly refer to the military analysts as “message force multipliers” or “surrogates” who could be counted on to deliver administration “themes and messages” to millions of Americans “in the form of their own opinions.”

Though many analysts are paid network consultants, making $500 to $1,000 per appearance, in Pentagon meetings they sometimes spoke as if they were operating behind enemy lines, interviews and transcripts show. Some offered the Pentagon tips on how to outmaneuver the networks, or as one analyst put it to Donald H. Rumsfeld, then the defense secretary, “the Chris Matthewses and the Wolf Blitzers of the world.” Some warned of planned stories or sent the Pentagon copies of their correspondence with network news executives. Many — although certainly not all — faithfully echoed talking points intended to counter critics.

“Good work,” Thomas G. McInerney, a retired Air Force general, consultant and Fox News analyst, wrote to the Pentagon after receiving fresh talking points in late 2006. “We will use it.”


The documents released by the Pentagon do not show any quid pro quo between commentary and contracts. But some analysts said they had used the special access as a marketing and networking opportunity or as a window into future business possibilities.

John C. Garrett is a retired Marine colonel and unpaid analyst for Fox News TV and radio. He is also a lobbyist at Patton Boggs who helps firms win Pentagon contracts, including in Iraq. In promotional materials, he states that as a military analyst he “is privy to weekly access and briefings with the secretary of defense, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and other high level policy makers in the administration.” One client told investors that Mr. Garrett’s special access and decades of experience helped him “to know in advance — and in detail — how best to meet the needs” of the Defense Department and other agencies.


At the same time, in e-mail messages to the Pentagon, Mr. Garrett displayed an eagerness to be supportive with his television and radio commentary. “Please let me know if you have any specific points you want covered or that you would prefer to downplay,” he wrote in January 2007, before President Bush went on TV to describe the surge strategy in Iraq.

Conversely, the administration has demonstrated that there is a price for sustained criticism, many analysts said. “You’ll lose all access,” Dr. McCausland said.


Charting the Campaign

By early 2002, detailed planning for a possible Iraq invasion was under way, yet an obstacle loomed. Many Americans, polls showed, were uneasy about invading a country with no clear connection to the Sept. 11 attacks. Pentagon and White House officials believed the military analysts could play a crucial role in helping overcome this resistance.

Torie Clarke, the former public relations executive who oversaw the Pentagon’s dealings with the analysts as assistant secretary of defense for public affairs, had come to her job with distinct ideas about achieving what she called “information dominance.” In a spin-saturated news culture, she argued, opinion is swayed most by voices perceived as authoritative and utterly independent.

And so even before Sept. 11, she built a system within the Pentagon to recruit “key influentials” — movers and shakers from all walks who with the proper ministrations might be counted on to generate support for Mr. Rumsfeld’s priorities.


The analysts, they noticed, often got more airtime than network reporters, and they were not merely explaining the capabilities of Apache helicopters. They were framing how viewers ought to interpret events. What is more, while the analysts were in the news media, they were not of the news media. They were military men, many of them ideologically in sync with the administration’s neoconservative brain trust, many of them important players in a military industry anticipating large budget increases to pay for an Iraq war.


Don Meyer, an aide to Ms. Clarke, said a strategic decision was made in 2002 to make the analysts the main focus of the public relations push to construct a case for war. Journalists were secondary. “We didn’t want to rely on them to be our primary vehicle to get information out,” Mr. Meyer said.

The Pentagon’s regular press office would be kept separate from the military analysts. The analysts would instead be catered to by a small group of political appointees, with the point person being Brent T. Krueger, another senior aide to Ms. Clarke. The decision recalled other administration tactics that subverted traditional journalism. Federal agencies, for example, have paid columnists to write favorably about the administration. They have distributed to local TV stations hundreds of fake news segments with fawning accounts of administration accomplishments. The Pentagon itself has made covert payments to Iraqi newspapers to publish coalition propaganda.

Rather than complain about the “media filter,” each of these techniques simply converted the filter into an amplifier. This time, Mr. Krueger said, the military analysts would in effect be “writing the op-ed” for the war.

Assembling the Team

From the start, interviews show, the White House took a keen interest in which analysts had been identified by the Pentagon, requesting lists of potential recruits, and suggesting names. Ms. Clarke’s team wrote summaries describing their backgrounds, business affiliations and where they stood on the war.

“Rumsfeld ultimately cleared off on all invitees,” said Mr. Krueger, who left the Pentagon in 2004. (Through a spokesman, Mr. Rumsfeld declined to comment for this article.)

Over time, the Pentagon recruited more than 75 retired officers, although some participated only briefly or sporadically. The largest contingent was affiliated with Fox News, followed by NBC and CNN, the other networks with 24-hour cable outlets. But analysts from CBS and ABC were included, too. Some recruits, though not on any network payroll, were influential in other ways — either because they were sought out by radio hosts, or because they often published op-ed articles or were quoted in magazines, Web sites and newspapers. At least nine of them have written op-ed articles for The Times.

The group was heavily represented by men involved in the business of helping companies win military contracts. Several held senior positions with contractors that gave them direct responsibility for winning new Pentagon business. James Marks, a retired Army general and analyst for CNN from 2004 to 2007, pursued military and intelligence contracts as a senior executive with McNeil Technologies. Still others held board positions with military firms that gave them responsibility for government business. General McInerney, the Fox analyst, for example, sits on the boards of several military contractors, including Nortel Government Solutions, a supplier of communication networks.

Several were defense industry lobbyists, such as Dr. McCausland, who works at Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney, a major lobbying firm where he is director of a national security team that represents several military contractors. “We offer clients access to key decision makers,” Dr. McCausland’s team promised on the firm’s Web site.


There were also ideological ties.

Two of NBC’s most prominent analysts, Barry R. McCaffrey and the late Wayne A. Downing, were on the advisory board of the Committee for the Liberation of Iraq, an advocacy group created with White House encouragement in 2002 to help make the case for ousting Saddam Hussein. Both men also had their own consulting firms and sat on the boards of major military contractors.

Many also shared with Mr. Bush’s national security team a belief that pessimistic war coverage broke the nation’s will to win in Vietnam, and there was a mutual resolve not to let that happen with this war.



The Selling of the War

From their earliest sessions with the military analysts, Mr. Rumsfeld and his aides spoke as if they were all part of the same team.

In interviews, participants described a powerfully seductive environment — the uniformed escorts to Mr. Rumsfeld’s private conference room, the best government china laid out, the embossed name cards, the blizzard of PowerPoints, the solicitations of advice and counsel, the appeals to duty and country, the warm thank you notes from the secretary himself.

“Oh, you have no idea,” Mr. Allard said, describing the effect. “You’re back. They listen to you. They listen to what you say on TV.” It was, he said, “psyops on steroids” — a nuanced exercise in influence through flattery and proximity. “It’s not like it’s, ‘We’ll pay you $500 to get our story out,’ ” he said. “It’s more subtle.”

The access came with a condition. Participants were instructed not to quote their briefers directly or otherwise describe their contacts with the Pentagon.

In the fall and winter leading up to the invasion, the Pentagon armed its analysts with talking points portraying Iraq as an urgent threat. The basic case became a familiar mantra: Iraq possessed chemical and biological weapons, was developing nuclear weapons, and might one day slip some to Al Qaeda; an invasion would be a relatively quick and inexpensive “war of liberation.”

At the Pentagon, members of Ms. Clarke’s staff marveled at the way the analysts seamlessly incorporated material from talking points and briefings as if it was their own.

“You could see that they were messaging,” Mr. Krueger said. “You could see they were taking verbatim what the secretary was saying or what the technical specialists were saying. And they were saying it over and over and over.” Some days, he added, “We were able to click on every single station and every one of our folks were up there delivering our message. You’d look at them and say, ‘This is working.’ ”


By summer, though, the first signs of the insurgency had emerged. Reports from journalists based in Baghdad were increasingly suffused with the imagery of mayhem.

The Pentagon did not have to search far for a counterweight.

It was time, an internal Pentagon strategy memorandum urged, to “re-energize surrogates and message-force multipliers,” starting with the military analysts.

The memorandum led to a proposal to take analysts on a tour of Iraq in September 2003, timed to help overcome the sticker shock from Mr. Bush’s request for $87 billion in emergency war financing.

The group included four analysts from Fox News, one each from CNN and ABC, and several research-group luminaries whose opinion articles appear regularly in the nation’s op-ed pages.

The trip invitation promised a look at “the real situation on the ground in Iraq.”

The situation, as described in scores of books, was deteriorating. L. Paul Bremer III, then the American viceroy in Iraq, wrote in his memoir, “My Year in Iraq,” that he had privately warned the White House that the United States had “about half the number of soldiers we needed here.”

“We’re up against a growing and sophisticated threat,” Mr. Bremer recalled telling the president during a private White House dinner.

That dinner took place on Sept. 24, while the analysts were touring Iraq.

Yet these harsh realities were elided, or flatly contradicted, during the official presentations for the analysts, records show. The itinerary, scripted to the minute, featured brief visits to a model school, a few refurbished government buildings, a center for women’s rights, a mass grave and even the gardens of Babylon.

Mostly the analysts attended briefings. These sessions, records show, spooled out an alternative narrative, depicting an Iraq bursting with political and economic energy, its security forces blossoming. On the crucial question of troop levels, the briefings echoed the White House line: No reinforcements were needed. The “growing and sophisticated threat” described by Mr. Bremer was instead depicted as degraded, isolated and on the run.

“We’re winning,” a briefing document proclaimed.


But if the trip pounded the message of progress, it also represented a business opportunity: direct access to the most senior civilian and military leaders in Iraq and Kuwait, including many with a say in how the president’s $87 billion would be spent.



Access and Influence

Inside the Pentagon and at the White House, the trip was viewed as a masterpiece in the management of perceptions, not least because it gave fuel to complaints that “mainstream” journalists were ignoring the good news in Iraq.

“We’re hitting a home run on this trip,” a senior Pentagon official wrote in an e-mail message to Richard B. Myers and Peter Pace, then chairman and vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Its success only intensified the Pentagon’s campaign. The pace of briefings accelerated. More trips were organized. Eventually the effort involved officials from Washington to Baghdad to Kabul to Guantánamo and back to Tampa, Fla., the headquarters of United States Central Command.

The scale reflected strong support from the top. When officials in Iraq were slow to organize another trip for analysts, a Pentagon official fired off an e-mail message warning that the trips “have the highest levels of visibility” at the White House and urging them to get moving before Lawrence Di Rita, one of Mr. Rumsfeld’s closest aides, “picks up the phone and starts calling the 4-stars.”

Mr. Di Rita, no longer at the Defense Department, said in an interview that a “conscious decision” was made to rely on the military analysts to counteract “the increasingly negative view of the war” coming from journalists in Iraq.

For analysts with military industry ties, the attention brought access to a widening circle of influential officials beyond the contacts they had accumulated over the course of their careers.


Some Pentagon officials said they were well aware that some analysts viewed their special access as a business advantage. “Of course we realized that,” Mr. Krueger said. “We weren’t naïve about that.”

They also understood the financial relationship between the networks and their analysts. Many analysts were being paid by the “hit,” the number of times they appeared on TV. The more an analyst could boast of fresh inside information from high-level Pentagon “sources,” the more hits he could expect. The more hits, the greater his potential influence in the military marketplace, where several analysts prominently advertised their network roles.

“They have taken lobbying and the search for contracts to a far higher level,” Mr. Krueger said. “This has been highly honed.”


Like several other analysts, Mr. Eads said he had at times held his tongue on television for fear that “some four-star could call up and say, ‘Kill that contract.’ ” For example, he believed Pentagon officials misled the analysts about the progress of Iraq’s security forces. “I know a snow job when I see one,” he said. He did not share this on TV.


Mr. Bevelacqua, then a Fox analyst, was among those invited to a briefing in early 2003 about Iraq’s purported stockpiles of illicit weapons. He recalled asking the briefer whether the United States had “smoking gun” proof.

“ ‘We don’t have any hard evidence,’ ” Mr. Bevelacqua recalled the briefer replying. He said he and other analysts were alarmed by this concession. “We are looking at ourselves saying, ‘What are we doing?’ ”

Another analyst, Robert L. Maginnis, a retired Army lieutenant colonel who works in the Pentagon for a military contractor, attended the same briefing and recalled feeling “very disappointed” after being shown satellite photographs purporting to show bunkers associated with a hidden weapons program. Mr. Maginnis said he concluded that the analysts were being “manipulated” to convey a false sense of certainty about the evidence of the weapons. Yet he and Mr. Bevelacqua and the other analysts who attended the briefing did not share any misgivings with the American public.

Mr. Bevelacqua and another Fox analyst, Mr. Cowan, had formed the wvc3 Group, and hoped to win military and national security contracts.

“There’s no way I was going to go down that road and get completely torn apart,” Mr. Bevelacqua said. “You’re talking about fighting a huge machine.”


Still, even the mildest of criticism could draw a challenge. Several analysts told of fielding telephone calls from displeased defense officials only minutes after being on the air.

On Aug. 3, 2005, 14 marines died in Iraq. That day, Mr. Cowan, who said he had grown increasingly uncomfortable with the “twisted version of reality” being pushed on analysts in briefings, called the Pentagon to give “a heads-up” that some of his comments on Fox “may not all be friendly,” Pentagon records show. Mr. Rumsfeld’s senior aides quickly arranged a private briefing for him, yet when he told Bill O’Reilly that the United States was “not on a good glide path right now” in Iraq, the repercussions were swift.

Mr. Cowan said he was “precipitously fired from the analysts group” for this appearance. The Pentagon, he wrote in an e-mail message, “simply didn’t like the fact that I wasn’t carrying their water.” The next day James T. Conway, then director of operations for the Joint Chiefs, presided over another conference call with analysts. He urged them, a transcript shows, not to let the marines’ deaths further erode support for the war.


The Generals’ Revolt

The full dimensions of this mutual embrace were perhaps never clearer than in April 2006, after several of Mr. Rumsfeld’s former generals — none of them network military analysts — went public with devastating critiques of his wartime performance. Some called for his resignation.

On Friday, April 14, with what came to be called the “Generals’ Revolt” dominating headlines, Mr. Rumsfeld instructed aides to summon military analysts to a meeting with him early the next week, records show. When an aide urged a short delay to “give our big guys on the West Coast a little more time to buy a ticket and get here,” Mr. Rumsfeld’s office insisted that “the boss” wanted the meeting fast “for impact on the current story.”

That same day, Pentagon officials helped two Fox analysts, General McInerney and General Vallely, write an opinion article for The Wall Street Journal defending Mr. Rumsfeld.

“Starting to write it now,” General Vallely wrote to the Pentagon that afternoon. “Any input for the article,” he added a little later, “will be much appreciated.” Mr. Rumsfeld’s office quickly forwarded talking points and statistics to rebut the notion of a spreading revolt.

“Vallely is going to use the numbers,” a Pentagon official reported that afternoon.

The standard secrecy notwithstanding, plans for this session leaked, producing a front-page story in The Times that Sunday. In damage-control mode, Pentagon officials scrambled to present the meeting as routine and directed that communications with analysts be kept “very formal,” records show. “This is very, very sensitive now,” a Pentagon official warned subordinates.

On Tuesday, April 18, some 17 analysts assembled at the Pentagon with Mr. Rumsfeld and General Pace, then the chairman of the Joint Chiefs.

A transcript of that session, never before disclosed, shows a shared determination to marginalize war critics and revive public support for the war.

“I’m an old intel guy,” said one analyst. (The transcript omits speakers’ names.) “And I can sum all of this up, unfortunately, with one word. That is Psyops. Now most people may hear that and they think, ‘Oh my God, they’re trying to brainwash.’ ”

“What are you, some kind of a nut?” Mr. Rumsfeld cut in, drawing laughter. “You don’t believe in the Constitution?”

There was little discussion about the actual criticism pouring forth from Mr. Rumsfeld’s former generals. Analysts argued that opposition to the war was rooted in perceptions fed by the news media, not reality. The administration’s overall war strategy, they counseled, was “brilliant” and “very successful.”

“Frankly,” one participant said, “from a military point of view, the penalty, 2,400 brave Americans whom we lost, 3,000 in an hour and 15 minutes, is relative.”

An analyst said at another point: “This is a wider war. And whether we have democracy in Iraq or not, it doesn’t mean a tinker’s damn if we end up with the result we want, which is a regime over there that’s not a threat to us.”

“Yeah,” Mr. Rumsfeld said, taking notes.


Much of the session was devoted to ways that Mr. Rumsfeld could reverse the “political tide.” One analyst urged Mr. Rumsfeld to “just crush these people,” and assured him that “most of the gentlemen at the table” would enthusiastically support him if he did.

“You are the leader,” the analyst told Mr. Rumsfeld. “You are our guy.”


But if Mr. Rumsfeld found the session instructive, at least one participant, General Nash, the ABC analyst, was repulsed.

“I walked away from that session having total disrespect for my fellow commentators, with perhaps one or two exceptions,” he said.


View From the Networks

Still, almost weekly the Pentagon continues to conduct briefings with selected military analysts. Many analysts said network officials were only dimly aware of these interactions. The networks, they said, have little grasp of how often they meet with senior officials, or what is discussed.

“I don’t think NBC was even aware we were participating,” said Rick Francona, a longtime military analyst for the network.

Some networks publish biographies on their Web sites that describe their analysts’ military backgrounds and, in some cases, give at least limited information about their business ties. But many analysts also said the networks asked few questions about their outside business interests, the nature of their work or the potential for that work to create conflicts of interest. “None of that ever happened,” said Mr. Allard, an NBC analyst until 2006.

“The worst conflict of interest was no interest.”

Mr. Allard and other analysts said their network handlers also raised no objections when the Defense Department began paying their commercial airfare for Pentagon-sponsored trips to Iraq — a clear ethical violation for most news organizations.

Top of Page

What's Really Going on Here??


Alex Wierbinski, Berkeley, Ca., May 1, 2008

The New York times led the corporate media's efforts to promote Bush's illegal war in 2002 and 2003.

Since 911, from the failures of the iraqi and afghan wars, the formation of the government's national illegal searching program, to the development of a global kidnapping, detention and torture system, the corporate media in the US has whitewashed all of the crimes this criminal government has committed in the US and around the world.

Americans are viewing their country, and the world, through the warped lens of a corporate controlled media dedicated to promoting and protecting the corporate control of our political, economic and military policies.

Until the citizens of our country can gather enough courage to end the domination of politics by corporate bribery, we will continue to suffer under a corporate dominated media and their regime of brutality and lies.

Top of Page


Corruption Updates 58, "War-torn Iraq 'facing collapse'"

Corruption Updates 67, 1st article on the page, "'03 Iraq reports warned Bush: Bush is an Irresponsible Idiot"

Corruption Updates 79, 1st article on page, "Iraq Ranks No. 2 of Failed States"

Corruption Updates 91, 5th article on the page, Iraq: CIA Reports Instability "Irreversible"

Corruption Updates 97, 5th article on the page, Oxfam Reports Growing Humanitarian Crisis in Iraq: Failed War-Failed State


The Generals: Links

iraq war: links

The Corruption Database


iraq war




Does this tick you off? Make you happy? Want to do something about it? You can speak your mind, or join us to curb bribery at our political reform site:

Blog it

("blog it" opens a blog text box on NextRevolution.Org. Soon, it will drag over the article link and title, and be linkable from here. Anyone a PHP expert?)



All Archives

Top of Page

2) The Article linked below was Abstracted from the source cited.

Asia fears rising poverty, social unrest from soaring food prices

by Daniel Silva

afp, May 4, 5:17 PM ET




Soaring food prices could push millions of people in Asia back into poverty and lead to social unrest, regional leaders warned Sunday at the Asian Development Bank's annual meeting in Spain.

"The recent hike in the price of rice will hit Asian countries particularly hard. The ones who are most affected are the poorest segment of the population including the urban poor," Japanese Finance Minister Fukushiro Nukaga said.

"It will have a negative impact on the living standards and also affect their nutrition. Such a situation may lead to social untrust and unrest and therefore safety nets addressing the immediate needs of the poorest are needed," he added.

Prices for the benchmark Thai variety of rice, a food stable across much of Asia, are at about 1,000 dollars a tonne, up threefold from the last ADB annual meeting held in Japan one year ago.

Meat prices have risen by 60 percent in Bangladesh in the year ending in March, and by 45 percent in Cambodia and 30 percent in the Philippines, according to a report issued Saturday by the ADB.

The rise in global food prices has sparked riots last month in Egypt and Haiti, protests in other countries and restrictions on food exports in Brazil, Vietnam, India and Egypt.

Indian Finance Secretary Subba Rao said a 20 percent rise in food prices could force 100 million people into extreme poverty.

"In many countries, including in Asia, that will mean the undoing of gains in poverty reduction achieved during the past years of growth," he said.

The Indian government, which is facing a general election by May 2009, has implemented a raft of measures, such as banning the export of staple foods like rice and lentils and cutting customs duties on other items, to try to ease price pressures.

It spends the equivalent of about 2.0 percent of gross domestic product per year on subsidies for food, fertilizer and energy to help offset the impact of rising prices on the poor, Rao said.

But Nukaga warned that export restrictions lead to higher prices while food subsidies to help the poor deal with surging prices could place a tremendous burden on state budgets.

"Export restrictions will not only distort the proper functioning of markets in price formation but further exacerbate the price hikes in international markets," he said.

"Subsidies that are intended to keep food prices under control have the risk of becoming a significant burden to budgets and are not sustainable over time," he added.

Food subsidies in Bangladesh, one of the poorest nations in Asia, are estimated to double in the current fiscal year and reach over 1.5 billion dollars (973 million euros) in the current fiscal year.

The ADB estimates one billion people in Asia are seriously affected by soaring food prices.

It announced Saturday on the opening day of its four-day annual meeting in Madrid that it would provide a sizeable amount in soft loans to help Asian countries subsidise the price of food staples for the poor.

It will also provide two billion dollars in 2008 and 2009 in loans to finance agriculture infrastructure projects such as irrigation systems and rural roads aimed at boosting farm output in the region.

Rising use of biofuels, trade restrictions, increased demand from Asia to serve changing diets, poor harvests and increasing transport costs have all been blamed for the price rise.

Top of Page

What's Really Going on Here??

Alex Wierbinski, Berkeley, Ca., April, 2008
A series of human inputs that have been coursing through the different aspects of the earth's ecosystem are converging and reinforcing each other. The effect of this confluence has been the shattering of our traditional weather patterns.

The subsequent shifts have changed the character of the seasons across the whole northern hemisphere. This, in turn, has affected ocean currents and crop yields. These changes in ocean fertility and plant budding and flowering times have devastated bird populations.

The primary engine driving the profound ecological changes we are experiencing is the massive increase in global population. The ecological damage wrought by our outrageous growth is being powerfully magnified by the spread of industrial development, especially across india and china.

We here in the united states, especially here in every-expanding california, are at the central hub that is driving this ever-expanding global web of production and consumption.  We are in fact driving the world towards catastrophe, not prosperity, and california and its program of endless irresponsible growth should be designated as the poster child for promoting the irresponsible growth that is driving us towards an impending ecological meltdown.

Before even addressing the production of CO2, and our disastrous growth beyond our water supplies, the breakdown in our social infrastructure, and the loss of our democracy, maybe we should first address the fundamental reason why our pollution has overwhelmed our environment: our policy of endless irresponsible demographic growth. There are twice as many people in California as we can fit sustainably and responsibly within our ecological limitations.

Stopping the destruction of our environment, and preserving what fragments of our traditional seasons and weather patterns that still remain requires that we stop all population growth in California. Now.

Only then will our feeble attempts to offset and reduce our CO2 production have any effect at all. First things first.

Top of Page


UN see global food crisis, impending famine, lat, 4-1-08

Asian Food Crisis, five articles, 4-6-08

WHO sees impending global food crisis, who, 4-7-08


what's really going on here? An Impending Global Famine, committee, 4-6-08


impending famine link list


The Corruption Database




Does this tick you off? Make you happy? Want to do something about it? You can speak your mind, or join us to curb bribery at our political reform site:

Blog it

("blog it" opens a blog text box on NextRevolution.Org. Soon, it will drag over the article link and title, and be linkable from here. Anyone a PHP expert?)



All Archives

Top of Page

3) The Article linked below was Abstracted from the source cited.

Dan Walters: California faces huge upheaval

By Dan Walters -
Published 12:00 am PDT Sunday, May 4, 2008

If demography is destiny, as 19th-century French philosopher Auguste Comte first proposed, California is destined to soon experience an economic and cultural tsunami of monumental proportions.

This is the year the oldest of the post-World War II baby boomers turn 62 and can begin drawing Social Security benefits. That's expected to touch off a mass exodus from the state's labor force over the next two decades.

About 500 Californians celebrate their 60th birthdays every day. The 2000 census counted 4.7 million Californians 60 years and older. This number is expected to increase to 6.4 million by 2010, then zoom to 8.7 million by 2020 and 11 million by 2030, according to the state Department of Aging.

Despite the current recession, California employers see shortages in skilled and professional workers. As the baby boomers exit, these shortages in mechanics, electricians, nurses, teachers and other fields will become more acute.

With a third of California's high school students dropping out without diplomas, much less receiving post-high school education or training, will the workers be there when the jobs fall vacant? Will an educational renaissance produce a new generation of trained, or at least trainable, workers? Will potential retirees be enticed to remain on the job by extra pay and benefits? Will desperate employers lure workers from other states? Or will those employers, when able, decamp for other locales?

The baby boomer/retiree phenomenon obviously is not confined to California, and its population is actually a bit younger than the nation's as a whole, largely because of young immigrants and a high birth rate.

But immigration generates another demographic trend – California's evolution into a society with dozens, even hundreds, of ethnic, cultural and linguistic backgrounds. The Census Bureau reported last week that 20.9 million Californians are nonwhite and that with its 57 percent "minority" population, the state trails only Hawaii, the District of Columbia and New Mexico.

Immigration, especially illegal immigration, is a hot political topic. Clearly, many Californians resent and resist the cultural change that immigration is creating, manifested in passage of ballot measures against illegal immigration, bilingual education and affirmative action by what has remained an overwhelmingly white electorate.

Resented or accepted, however, massive cultural change is an inescapable and unstoppable fact of California life. We are destined to become a state with both a diminishing, rapidly aging white population and a growing, much younger nonwhite population. One of the fascinating questions that arises out of that change is how it will affect the state's politics.

As noted earlier, the declining white population has been politically dominant, typically accounting for 70-plus percent of voters, who also tend to be substantially older and more affluent than the population as a whole. And the gap between voters and younger, mostly nonwhite, nonvoting adults has been a continuing headache for politicians because the two groups' priorities are markedly different.

Political pros, pundits and academics constantly mull over the possibilities of a surge of political involvement by the uninvolved – whether it would turn the state to the left, for example.

In a report released last week by a consortium of immigration-related foundations, Chicago-based demographic researcher Rob Paral contends that with 49 percent of California's adolescents having at least one immigrant parent, there's strong potential for a dramatic change in the makeup of voters during the next decade.

"It's jaw-dropping," Paral said.

If demography is destiny, California's future will be, to put it mildly, a fascinating tableau of change.


All Archives

Top of Page

4) The Article linked below was Abstracted from the source cited.

High percentage of kids with immigrant parents could transform California electorate, report says

By Susan Ferriss -

Published 5:55 am PDT Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Forty-nine percent of California's children between 12 and 17 have at least one immigrant parent, a phenomenon that could dramatically change the composition of the state's electorate within several years, according to a report released Tuesday.

Of these 1.2 million kids, 84 percent are U.S. citizens, either because they were born here or were naturalized, said Rob Paral, a Chicago-based demographic researcher who prepared the report, "Integration Potential of California's Immigrants and their Children."

The report predicts that as these children turn 18, they could help fuel a rise in immigrant voters by 2012.

About 6.5 million immigrants in California are already U.S. citizens or could be, according to the report. By 2012, these adults and citizen children who have become adults could total 7.7 million "potential future voters," or 29 percent of the electorate if they register.

"It's jaw-dropping," Paral said of the number of California kids who are close to "the immigrant experience."

Paral estimated that Latinos, who form the largest legal immigrant group in California, are two-thirds of the kids between 12 and 17 in immigrant families.

Paral also found that 93 percent of Asian children in California have at least one immigrant parent.

"Having grown up in an immigrant family," the report predicts, "these future voters are likely to be sympathetic toward policies that promote immigrant integration."

Paral's findings are based on data from the U.S. Census Bureau and the bureau's 2006 American Community Survey, as well as figures from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service.

Paral will present his findings at a 10 a.m. legislative briefing today in Sacramento.

Paral said his report breaks new ground, with estimates detailed county by county, and by legislative district.

The California Endowment and the Silicon Valley Community Foundation helped sponsor Paral's study.

Top of Page

What's Really Going on Here??

brief essay: Stop all Growth Now

brief essay: We've been Robbed


Top of Page


california's population swells to 38 million, bay area 7.3 million, sf chron, 5-2-08

california faces water crisis, endless irresponsible growth brings on ecological crisis, sf chron, 5-2-08

Unholy alliance: crimigrants, traitor politicians, abusive corporations, lat, 4-30-08

california is out of money, water, low on energy, but full of political scumbags and crimigrants: Don Perata (and Fabian Nunez), sf chron, 4-23-08


Corruption Updates 36, 7th article on the page, "CORPORATE-DEMOCRAT IMMIGRATION POLICY SUCCESSFUL:Poverty"


Corruption Updates 45, 8th article on the page, "Income Gap Is Widening, Data Shows: US Main Products Poverty and Luxury"


Corruption Updates 63, 8th article on the page, "Hispanic Groups Reconsider Their Support for Gonzales"


Corruption Updates 65, 5th article on the page, "U.S. Data Show Rapid Minority Growth in School Rolls"

Corruption Updates 41 , 1st article on the page, "Study: Schools need billions, CALIFORNIA SCHOOLS IN A DEATH SPRIAL"

Corruption Updates 83, 3rd article on the page, "Schools: Illegals drain Public Services while Enriching Private Interests"

Corruption Updates 85, 8th article on the page, "Immigrant licenses off table; Let's fight Global Warming with Autos for Every Crimigrant"

Corruption Updates 112, 7th article on the page, Rascism in SF Schools

Corruption Updates 112, 8ath article on the page, Mexican leader criticized for comment on blacks

Corruption Updates 112, 9th article on the page, Criminal alien' cases provoke national debate

The Corruption Database



Does this tick you off? Make you happy? Want to do something about it? You can speak your mind, or join us to curb bribery at our political reform site:

Blog it

("blog it" opens a blog text box on NextRevolution.Org. Soon, it will drag over the article link and title, and be linkable from here. Anyone a PHP expert?)


All Archives

Top of Page

5) The Article linked below was Abstracted from the source cited.

Perata accused of using state workers in Denham recall campaign

bee, 4-20-08

Senate President Pro Tem Don Perata illegally used state employees and resources in his attempt to recall Sen. Jeff Denham, the targeted lawmaker's campaign charged Saturday, citing an e-mail and a letter as evidence.

The Democratic leader is trying to unseat Denham, R-Atwater, who angered Perata during last year's 53-day state budget stalemate when he joined his GOP colleagues in voting against the spending plan.

Denham's campaign said Perata's political consulting firm asked an interpreter for the state Senate to translate a telephone bank campaign script.

Perata also sent a letter to several senators, making it clear he expected their chiefs of staff to engage in campaign activity.

Denham spokesman Kevin Spillane said the actions are "worthy of a (civil) action and even a criminal complaint," adding the campaign may request that the Sacramento County District Attorney's Office and state attorney general's office look into the matter.

Perata spokesman Jason Kinney said "any insinuation" Perata violated state law "is wrong and, frankly, sounds like the last desperate plea of a political dead man."

"If I were Jeff Denham, I'd spend a lot more time paying attention to his constituents and less time attacking his colleague and campaign staff," Kinney said.

Fortuna Clark, who serves as an interpreter in the Senate, sent an e-mail Friday to Denham's receptionist, telling her that Renee Sankus from Polka Consulting requested Clark translate a telephone bank campaign script.

Polka Consulting is owned by Sandi Polka, Perata's political consultant, and received $300,000 from committees associated with Perata to gather signatures to place the recall on the ballot.

"You know, I can't make any translations dealing with the campaign since it may constitute a conflict of interest," wrote Clark, who included the script as an attachment.

Kevin Spillane, Denham's campaign spokesman, said Denham's receptionist asked Clark to send her the script after receiving a phone call from Clark, who mistakenly believed Denham's office had asked her to do the translation.

...(A)...letter, dated Thursday with Perata's name printed at the bottom, the Democratic leader admonished senators whose chiefs of staff did not attend a planning meeting for the upcoming legislative races.

The letter said that "the campaign staff reviewed the 'demand list' of services needed between now and June 3rd."

It told the senators to ask their chiefs of staff to contact one of Perata's legislative aides "ASAP," adding "this is not an optional activity."

While legislative aides routinely work on political campaigns on their own time, state law bars government workers from doing so while on the job or using state resources.

"There's nothing wrong with asking someone to volunteer on a campaign," Spillane said. "But Perata's letter to the senators goes beyond that in that it uses the terminology 'list of demands' and also says this is not an option."

Kinney acknowledged the letter was sent by Perata, but said he does not comment on internal Democratic Caucus correspondence.

Spillane said Perata's letter "crossed the line" and demonstrated state employees are being "coerced" into working on political campaigns.

If Denham is recalled in the June 3 election, Democrats would move to within one member of being able to pass a budget and raise taxes without needing a vote from a Republican. They currently hold a 25-15 advantage in the Senate.


All Archives

Top of Page

6) The Article linked below was Abstracted from the source cited.

Perata's Dirty Politics Draws Backlash:

Atwater lawmaker targeted in recall draws wide support

After Republican Jeff Denham refused to vote for the state budget, Democrats began a campaign to unseat him. But the move has brought sympathizers to his defense.
By Patrick McGreevy
Los Angeles Times Staff Writer

May 5, 2008,0,3098512.story

MODESTO -- — Donald Benart runs a business in Rialto, hundreds of miles from the Central California district of state Sen. Jeff Denham, and has never met the Republican lawmaker who represents this farming area.

But Benart recently wrote a $100 check to help save Denham's political career. So did Russell Alston of West Covina and Jeffrey Skinner of Northridge and Jay Garacochea of Santa Monica, none of whom lives within 200 miles of Denham's district.

The decision by state Democratic leaders to bankroll a recall campaign against Denham, after he refused a request to vote for the state budget to break a prolonged stalemate last summer, has galvanized Republican activists throughout California.


"I don't know the gentleman, but I felt what they are doing to him is unfair," said Benart, who has a manufacturing firm in San Bernardino County.

Denham's Senate seat is in the cross hairs of Don Perata, the powerful Democratic leader of the state Senate from Oakland, who believes taking it back for his party will head off embarrassing budget stalemates like the one last year that had voters from San Diego to Yreka heaping scorn on state lawmakers.


Denham's refusal infuriated Perata, who was already upset with him for voting against a flood-control bond the Senate chief had crafted. A campaign committee flush with cash raised by Perata and headed by his political advisor, Sandi Polka, soon began hiring people to circulate recall petitions.


Perata said he merely wanted to avoid a divisive and lengthy battle over the budget this year, and has been given an opportunity because the latest voter registration figures show that Democrats now have a 12% edge in Denham's district.


But San Joaquin Valley Democrats are more conservative than their brethren in Perata's Bay Area, and bristle at interference from the north.

"I'm very disappointed in those power brokers in Sacramento for trying to tell us who we can and cannot have as our representative here," said Turlock Mayor John Lazar, a Democrat, at a rally in Modesto.

Turlock City Councilman Ted Howze, another Democrat, added: "This recall effort has been mounted because [Denham] told the voters of California the truth: that our budget is a mess."

Denham has raised $1.1 million to fight the recall. Major contributions include $50,000 from the Los Angeles Casinos Political Action Committee and $25,000 from the Pechanga Band of Mission Indians, which has a casino in Temecula. Smaller donations have come from farming interests, healthcare groups and individuals.

The campaign to oust Denham has raised $500,000, of which $360,000 came from the Democratic State Central Committee of California.

The recall campaign's most talked-about attack is a television commercial showing an actor portraying Denham snoring on a couch, as a narrator says the senator is too tired to do his job in Sacramento because he has been using his campaign funds to fly to resorts including Las Vegas. Denham, like most state lawmakers, has used political accounts to travel to conferences on state issues.

Top of Page

What's Really Going on Here??

Dirty Don

Alex Wierbinski, Berkeley, Ca., April, 2008

Top of Page


Living Large

How state Senator Don Perata uses campaign cash to finance his lavish lifestyle. First of two parts, East Bay Express, May 23, 2007.


My Fair Lady, perata and polka's reign of corruption, east bay express, 4-30-07


Corruption Updates 2, 2nd article on the page, "Perata Takes a HALF-Mil to Sell Out:..half-mil to kill bills"
Corruption Updates 4, 5th article on the page, "Perata Pretends to Revive his Honor w/ revival of Flood Bills;Both attempts Fail"


Donors poured millions into state parties, Nunez and Perata live like Kings, bee, 10-3-07

New rules to Curb Nunez-Perata life of corporate funded luxury, bee, 12-4-07

The Corruption Database

perata (36 abstracts)

Does this tick you off? Make you happy? Want to do something about it? You can speak your mind, or join us to curb bribery at our political reform site:

Blog it

("blog it" opens a blog text box on NextRevolution.Org. Soon, it will drag over the article link and title, and be linkable from here. Anyone a PHP expert?)


All Archives

Top of Page

7) The Article linked below was Abstracted from the source cited.

Bernanke pushes government help to curb foreclosures

The Fed chairman says failure to act could destabilize communities, reduce property values and lower tax revenues.

By Peter G. Gosselin, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
May 6, 2008,0,5830243.story

WASHINGTON -- As the House prepared to take aggressive steps to stem the wave of home foreclosures, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke on Monday night endorsed the need for government intervention, saying that letting markets take their own course could "destabilize communities, reduce the property values of nearby homes and lower municipal tax revenues."

In a speech in New York, the central bank chairman reiterated his controversial call for lenders and mortgage service companies to consider cutting the principal of some customers' loans to prevent foreclosure.

"When the source of the problem is a decline of the value of the home well below the mortgage's principal balance, the best solution may be a write-down, perhaps combined with" a government-orchestrated refinancing, Bernanke told a Columbia Business School audience.

Bernanke stopped short of endorsing a bill introduced by Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.), chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, that would allow the Depression-era Federal Housing Administration to guarantee repayment of up to $300 billion in mortgages in return for lenders' making steep cuts in mortgage holders' loan balances.


But coming just as Congress was about to take up the foreclosure issue, the central banker's remarks appeared designed to answer critics of intervention who argue that the two steps run the risk of rewarding financial bad behavior by borrowers and would involve trampling the legal sanctity of contracts.

Though the bulk of Americans continue to make their mortgage payments on time, Bernanke's argument goes, late payments and foreclosures have become so widespread that they pose threats that go well beyond individual borrowers and lenders.

"High rates of delinquency and foreclosure can have substantial spillover effects on the housing market, the financial markets and the broader economy," he said. "Therefore, doing what we can to avoid preventable foreclosures is not just in the interest of lenders and borrowers. It's in everybody's interest."


Now, he said, a new and very different force is "playing an increasing role in many markets: declines in home values, which reduce homeowners' equity and may consequently affect their ability or incentive to make the financial sacrifices necessary to stay in their homes."

He presented what he described as "heat maps" that traced, county by county, both home price declines and mortgage delinquencies. Price declines have been strikingly concentrated in the three-state region of California, Nevada and Arizona, as well as in Florida and Michigan, and mortgage delinquencies have followed a nearly identical pattern, the maps show.


"A widespread decline in home prices, by contrast, is a relatively novel phenomenon," he said, "and lenders and servicers will have to develop new . . . strategies to deal with this issue."


Top of Page

What's Really Going on Here??

Bernake says prime mortgages inverted

how we got here, how we crawl out of here

Alex Wierbinski, Berkeley, Ca., April 6, 2008

Bernanke's warning about prime mortgage inversion is a little late, but I'm glad someone has finally accurately described the nature of economic crisis we face. (see Bernanke statements, above) Unfortunately, Bernanke does not describe how we got here, or what it will really take to get us out of this mess, and what we need to do to avoid falling into this speculative trap, this trap constructed our of our own greed and corruption, in the future.

how we got here

During the last 30 years US economic policy has been to drive every aspect of massive growth forward, with no regard for paying the social expenses, no regard for the damages to our natural resources and environment, and no regard for the consequences of using foreigners to move all of America's wealth and political power to the top of society.

The basic assumption behind this policy of massive expansion is that endless growth in population, consumption, profits and values is possible, and good. It has proved to be neither.

The main engine of America's growth and concentration of corporate profits, besides the greed of our corporations and their politicians, has been the massive expansion of the population. The fuel for this engine of growth has been crimigration.

An expanding illegal population has been the perfect tool for our business class to steal the wealth and political power of our country. Our massive irresponsible expansion in population has shortened the supply of everything, while simultaneously increasing the demand for everything. Thus prices and profits have been moving steadily upward throughout the expansion. But it gets even better.

The massive expansion of population also unbalanced the domestic labor market. The rapid growth of cheap labor quickly undercut the ability of American labor to maintain American wage and benefit standards, which were quickly replaced by mexican standards. The press and politicians quickly covered up this rip-off by crowing about how mexicans were doing jobs Americans will not do, when in fact Americans will not work for the slave wages that mexicans accepted.

This difference between American and mexican wages and benefits standards were quickly converted into profits, and put into the pockets of our corporations and their politicians. The corporate press and politicians crowed about how illegal mexican labor increase profits, and, according to the corporate perspective, that makes them good for the economy.

Did you notice that the unions have been destroyed during the last 30 years? At the same time that our population growth has driven food, energy, and housing prices through the roof, the wages and the relative share of wealth that the middle and laboring classes hold in the US has plunged to third world levels. That too, has increased profits, and according to the corporate perspective, is good for the economy.

The result is that the American middle and laboring classes have been experiencing a severe economic recession since 1970, when the massive influx of cheap labor into the western US began to seriously alter the distribution of wealth and political power in the US.

The American working class has seen their wages race towards poverty, as their social lifelines, our public schools, our free colleges, and our medical and social programs have been intentionally collapsed to subsidize the very same illegal cheap labor that destroyed their wages.

In the meantime, it was not just the wealth of America that moved to the top of society. Political power, like our wealth, was also stolen and concentrated at the top of society. The stolen wealth of the newly impoverished American middle-class is, right now, being liberally distributed by our corporate aristocracy to both of the political parties, and virtually all of their politicians, where it has been effectively deployed to completely purchase both the parties, lock, stock, and barrel.

The wealth of our working classes is being showered upon the presidential candidates right now. These bribes assure that no matter which tool is elected, the winner will be obliged to do nothing to alter the corporate control of our economic, political, social, and media institutions by corporate wealth.

Once the corporate rich used illegals and irresponsible growth to move the money to the top, they still needed to maintain consumption in the middle and laboring classes. So they loaned our money back to the struggling middle and laboring classes they stole it from, through 20% credit cards, variable mortgages, and liberal credit terms on everything from big screen TVs to SUVs. The things we once bought with cash are now purchased on credit.

What this means is that our corporate profiteers on wall street made their vast financial profits by draining and seriously damaging our whole economy. Our national economy has funded these outrageous corporate profits by going into deeper and deeper in debt to the whole world, all to maintain wall street's outrageous profits.

The radical increase in corporate profits and the incredible expansion in the share of our national wealth held at the top of society has transformed our country during the last 30 years from a tattered democratic republic to a corporate fascist state.

Our nation's transformation, and the irresponsible growth that fueled it, would not have been possible without a massive expansion of crimigrants, who's desperation made them willing to do no more than obey and consume. The bulk of the "profits" our corporation have made during the last 30 years have been generated by nothing more productive than stripping our natural and social infrastructures, ripping off our middle class, and putting the educational, medical, retirement and incarceration costs of this massive increase in population onto the public. All of the bills for the last 30 years of irresponsibly growth are now coming due.

Bernanke has finally publicly acknowledged that prime mortgages have inverted. Bernanke admitted that the housing market has inverted, only nine months after I identified the fact that the housing market had inverted, in august of '07. Between august last and now, Bernanke has been busy.

During the time between then and now, as the number of sub-primes getting foreclosed snowballed, and the inversion of the primes was deepening, Bernanke and the fed were busy bailing out the big wall street idiots who piloted us into this mess. The corporate press and politicians cheered as they saved the bacon of one of the real villains and architects of the sub prime crisis, Bear Sterns.

This was a big mistake. The credit crisis began in housing, and will only end when housing stabilizes. Rather than addressing and fixing the credit crisis at the only place it can be fixed, where it began in the housing market, Bernanke spent the last nine months giving away billions of dollars to the biggest players on wall street to assure that their bad investments, irresponsible speculations, and unethical profits would be covered by the taxpayers. In the meantime, the real source of the problem, housing, continued to fester.

Investors, buoyed by the Fed bailout of Bear Sterns, checked the market decline. The big Wall Street players, now armed with the knowledge that their previous sins have been forgiven by the Fed, have been using the Fed overnight window to cover their bad paper, and have been nervously standing around waiting for the endless growth of profits and values to restart. That's not going to happen.

As I said in aug of '07,

The only thing that will save the mortgage securities is for housing prices to continue rising in value. That's not going to happen. The Fed's infusions of cash and lowering of the discount rate will do nothing to restore the speculative bubble in housing, nor will it give clarity as to the actual values of the mortgage securities.

Only the real estate market can determine the value of the mortgage securities. This is causing a rather dramatic market effect from the different speeds at which the two markets operate.

The real estate bubble has the same chances of restarting now as it had last august: none. The housing bubble will not restart no matter how much money Bernanke pours into the private and public banks. The housing bubble will not restart even if Bernanke performs the miracle of stopping variable-rate loans from resetting. The housing bubble will continue to implode, even if Bernanke parts the red sea.

Here's what's going to happen: the housing market is going to drop to the level that the damaged purchasing power of the masses of middle and working class people of our country can support. That's why Bernanke was wasting his time bailing out the Wall Street players. The value of all the mortgage assets they hold is tied to the price of housing, which is directly dependent on the number of people willing and capable purchasing housing.

Unfortunately for us, as I pointed out above, our economic policy of stripping the middle class of their share of our nation's wealth through a massive crimigration, and plunging them into very deep debt to maintain their lifestyles, has put the price level where enough of our middle-class buy homes and restart the housing market based on their real earnings at a very low point.

The misdistribution of wealth in our country means that the housing market will find the sustainable prices and the market volume necessary to stabilize credit markets at a price point below the lowest prices the extreme leveraging of the banks can withstand.

If Bernanke would have focused the last nine months of his time, and those billions of dollars he wasted on the big Wall Street banks, on stimulating the housing market, the resulting price supports for housing would have worked to keep the primes from inverting. By throwing money at Wall Street without first checking the housing decline Bernanke was, and is, throwing good money after bad. Our good money.

Understand that Bernanke's statements make it clear that he has finally figured out that his original priority, to repair and restore Wall Street, was a mistake. He finally figured out that the internal bleeding of the big Wall Street bank's mortgage securities cannot be stopped until the housing market decline hits bottom. Unfortunately, Bernanke did not figure this out until after he allowed the housing decline to get completely out of control.

This house of cards is already imploding. Bernanke's call for Congress to violate the Constitution, and alter valid contracts, is a sign of just how deep his desperation really is. The reason Bernanke is calling for Congressional intervention is that he's trying as hard as he can to hold off the day of financial reckoning that knows is coming.

It is clear that the un payable debts in the housing and credit markets are so much larger than the assets and collateral the banks are holding that both the housing and banking markets will totally collapse when investors, homeowners, and the markets get a true picture of their asset values minus their liabilities.

Thus Bernanke is treading water, looking backward, working to limit the damages that the bad mortgages can do to the big wall street players, rather than concentrating on resolving the problem in the present context, which would require that Bernanke force the big wall street player to take their lumps, pay their bills. and resolve their outstanding liabilities. That would clarify the credit markets, and allow the billions he is giving to the banks to be used to support the price of housing, rather than the cost of credit.

The second stage of our recovery will require rebuilding the housing market by rebuilding the actual earning power of the middle and laboring classes.  That's not going to happen as long as the bribes of wall street fund the candidates and campaigns of both political parties.

Independent of Bernanke stalling, we are going to take our lumps, and it appears that the housing market is going to go back to last century's prices. The real question is how far back? I put the likely level of housing, when all the smoke clears, somewhere around 1992.

On august 17, '07 I said,

The fed's hands are effectively tied. If the fed raises rates, the dollar will proportionally stabilize, but the housing speculators will scream in pain. If the fed drops rates, the dollar will plunge, and our domestic party will continue for a bit longer, as the world burns dollars around us.

The fed is damned if they do, and damned if they don't, raise rates.

At this time two things are clear: Housing will continue to fall for 18 months to 2 years, and the credit crisis will deepen in response to the fall in value of both housing and the dollar.

At this point no amount of Fed intervention will prevent the various markets from falling precipitously. The failures of the housing, auto, credit markets and the collapse of the dollar will eventually pull the Dow down to between 6800 and 7200. I see this as the market level that our actual economic activity will support. I see us hitting this low by June of 2008.

American economic weakness presents a significant risk of bringing down unstable foreign economies, such as China, and likewise, economic disruptions in China could cause even greater disruptions in our housing, credit, and currency markets that would make our present imbalances seem insignificant.


This day of reckoning is fast approaching. But before the day of reckoning arrives, Bernanke is determined to give wall street billions and billions of our tax dollars to protect them from the consequences of their greed, irresponsibility, and dishonesty. And we will pay to limit the bank's and wall street's losses, just as we were ripped off to provide their profits.

next in econ essay series:

The Solution: draft essay, alex, 7-13-08

Top of Page



Markets ready to Kill Economy, committee, August 4, 2007

Feds Bailing Out Greedy Speculators, committee, August 17, 2007


The impending meltdown, 1-14-08


death of the new economy, get ready for the big sell off, 3-14-08


economic or ethical crisis? 3-29-08

death of bubble psychology , 4-7-08

economic/market update: Last week's historic run-up: Perception Vs. Reality, 4-7-08




All Links


The Corruption Database


Does this tick you off? Make you happy? Want to do something about it? You can speak your mind, or join us to curb bribery at our political reform site:

Blog it

("blog it" opens a blog text box on NextRevolution.Org. Soon, it will drag over the article link and title, and be linkable from here. Anyone a PHP expert?)



All Archives

Top of Page

8) The Article linked below was Abstracted from the source cited.


California Assembly speaker proposes ethics plan as rival initiative is filed

By Jim Sanders -

Published 12:19 am PDT Wednesday, May 7, 2008


Assembly Speaker Fabian Núñez proposed a ballot measure targeting legislative ethics Tuesday, hours before backers of a rival measure filed voter signatures to qualify for the November ballot.


The two developments sparked questions about whether Núñez is grandstanding or attempting to confuse voters and derail the competing measure, championed by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.


"I think he knows very well that the train has left the station," said Jeannine English of AARP, a leader of the rival initiative, when asked if the group plans to negotiate with Núñez.

Núñez's package would alter legislative term limits, restrict fundraising and alter the way political districts are drawn, while only the latter is targeted by Schwarzenegger's initiative.


Key elements of Núñez's proposals include:


• Term limits: Reduce the maximum time a legislator could serve from 14 to 12 years, but allow all to be served in one house. The measure would apply only to future legislators, not incumbents.


• Fundraising: Ban campaign contributions to legislators and the governor from May 15 until a state budget is enacted.


• Redistricting: Strip the Legislature of authority to draw districts for state Senate, Assembly and Board of Equalization, but not for Congress.


Núñez proposes to create a 17-member redistricting commission, consisting of seven Democrats, seven Republicans and three independents or members of minor parties.


Eight of the commission members would be selected by legislative leaders; the other nine members would be chosen randomly from pools of candidates created by a panel of judges, with the governor able to strike six names.


Núñez's package would alter legislative term limits, restrict fundraising and alter the way political districts are drawn, while only the latter is targeted by Schwarzenegger's initiative.


Key elements of Núñez's proposals include:


• Term limits: Reduce the maximum time a legislator could serve from 14 to 12 years, but allow all to be served in one house. The measure would apply only to future legislators, not incumbents.


• Fundraising: Ban campaign contributions to legislators and the governor from May 15 until a state budget is enacted.


• Redistricting: Strip the Legislature of authority to draw districts for state Senate, Assembly and Board of Equalization, but not for Congress.


Núñez proposes to create a 17-member redistricting commission, consisting of seven Democrats, seven Republicans and three independents or members of minor parties.


Eight of the commission members would be selected by legislative leaders; the other nine members would be chosen randomly from pools of candidates created by a panel of judges, with the governor able to strike six names.

Top of Page


Dan Walters: What's behind rival California redistricting plans?
By Dan Walters -

Published 12:00 am PDT Wednesday, May 7, 2008


Top of Page

What's Really Going on Here??


Alex Wierbinski, Berkeley, Ca., April, 2008

Top of Page



The Corruption Database

Does this tick you off? Make you happy? Want to do something about it? You can speak your mind, or join us to curb bribery at our political reform site:

Blog it

("blog it" opens a blog text box on NextRevolution.Org. Soon, it will drag over the article link and title, and be linkable from here. Anyone a PHP expert?)



All Archives

Top of Page

9) The Article linked below was Abstracted from the source cited.


Top of Page

What's Really Going on Here??


Alex Wierbinski, Berkeley, Ca., April, 2008

Top of Page



The Corruption Database

Does this tick you off? Make you happy? Want to do something about it? You can speak your mind, or join us to curb bribery at our political reform site:

Blog it

("blog it" opens a blog text box on NextRevolution.Org. Soon, it will drag over the article link and title, and be linkable from here. Anyone a PHP expert?)



All Archives

Top of Page

10) The Article linked below was Abstracted from the source cited.


Top of Page

What's Really Going on Here??


Alex Wierbinski, Berkeley, Ca., April, 2008


Top of Page



The Corruption Database

Does this tick you off? Make you happy? Want to do something about it?

You can speak your mind, or join us to curb bribery at our political reform site:

Blog it

("blog it" opens a blog text box on NextRevolution.Org. Soon, it will drag over the article link and title, and be linkable from here. Anyone a PHP expert?)


Previous page: Page 172                      Next page: Page 174

Contact Us:


All Archives

Top of Page

news on this page


1] Pentagon propaganda machine leads corporate media by the nose


2] Asian govts fear consequences of rising specter of famine

3] Dan Walters: California faces huge upheaval

4] High percentage of kids with immigrant parents could transform California

5] Perata accused of using state workers in Denham recall campaign

6] targeted in recall, Denham draws wide support


7] Fed asks for national bailout: The big bubble has finally popped.