July 25, 2010

GDAE Podcast Episode 32

Common Interests on the Left & Right - Part III

  • Left & Right Populists: The American Populist movement of the 1800s with Jim Hightower (Bill Moyer's Journal).
  • Left & Right United: The Tenth Amendment with Michael Boldin (Mother Jones Magazine).
  • Green Economy: Energy efficiency and jobs (Demand Side Podcast).
  • MUSIC: Brazilita, a sweet little version of the song Brazil.

Play Episode 32 from this page:

Click to Download Episode 32.

Listen to Part II in the series, Episode 31:

Listen to Part I in the series, Episode 30, (20-minute abridged version):

Previous Episodes & 60-Sec Promo:
GDAE Podcast 60-Second Promo

GDAE Podcast Episode 30 April 30, 2010 - Common Interests on the Right & Left
GDAE Podcast Episode 29 March 31, 2010 - Right Left Populist Unity?
GDAE Podcast Episode 28 March 7, 2010
GDAE Podcast Episode 27 February 21, 2010
GDAE Podcast Episode 26 February 7, 2010
GDAE Podcast Episode 25 January 19, 2010
GDAE Podcast Episode 24 December 31, 2009
GDAE Podcast Episode 23 November 29, 2009
GDAE Podcast Episode 22 November 11, 2009
GDAE Podcast Episode 21 October 18, 2009
GDAE Podcast Episode 20 October 9, 2009
GDAE Podcast Episode 19 September 27, 2009
GDAE Podcast Episode 18 September 16, 2009
GDAE Podcast Episode 17 August 31, 2009
GDAE Podcast Episode 16 July 30, 2009
GDAE Podcast Episode 15 June 17, 2009
GDAE Podcast Episode 14 June 10, 2009
GDAE Podcast Episode 13 May 22, 2009
GDAE Podcast Episode 12May 5, 2009
GDAE Podcast Episode 11 April 24, 2009
GDAE Podcast Episode 10 April 9, 2009
GDAE Podcast Episode 9March 28, 2009
GDAE Podcast Episode 8 March 15, 2009
GDAE Podcast Episode 7 March 1, 2009
GDAE Podcast Episode 6 February 17, 2009
GDAE Podcast Episode 5 February 6, 2009
GDAE Podcast Episode 4 January 24, 2009

July 22, 2010

Sense of Desperation

As we hear that the Obama Justice Department reached settlement with Goldman Sachs there are many reactions. My reaction is that the establishment is feeling desperate, fearful of a teetering capitalist system that cannot tolerate the implications of an honest judgment.

Goldman Sachs designed an investment package of subprime mortgage loans that was highly likely to fail, invested in its failure, but sold it to others as a good investment. They get caught, and by most accounts by analysts who understand these things, the record Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) penalty of $550 million is well below the $1 Billion that was expected as a baseline for settling this fraud case. But you don't have to take the word of the analysts, the reaction of Wall Street was a sigh of relief expressed in terms of a rise in Goldman's market value that greatly exceeded the penalty amount.

This is just one example of many in which the establishment's fear of a teetering economic system has led to tepid, dishonest policy. The inability for the Washington establishment to consider a single-payer system is another example. We're told that there simply wasn't the political will, and that the insurance and other health related industries were "too strong." I suspect the real reason is that the capitalist economic system is too weak to endure a transition from the current inefficient, paper-pushing health care system to a more efficient one.

I'm sure there are many other examples.

For Your Convenience:Sources:


July 19, 2010

Fitzgerald "Irony" or "poke-in-the-eye"?

Back in late 2008, the most popular question posed on President-Elect Obama's Change-dot-Gov web-Question Box, in 'round 2, came from Bob Fertik, of New York City, which read:

Will you appoint a Special Prosecutor (ideally Patrick Fitzgerald) to independently investigate the gravest crimes of the Bush Administration, including torture and warrantless wiretapping?

According to the July/August 2010 Mother Jones magazine, Fitzgerald has been assigned to investigate the CIA and torture. Unfortunately, the investigation is targeted not at the torturers, but at human rights investigators whose trails led them to CIA operatives.

You see, if, as a human rights attorney, your trail leads you to CIA personnel, and you put pictures of them in photo line-ups for your torture-victim clients to identify... then maybe you're exposing the identity CIA personnel even if you don't expose the person's name. Yes, as predicted by George Orwell and others, it's a wicked web that has been woven by the powers-that-be.

But it strikes me... is this simply irony that Fitzgerald would be given this assignment, or is it a poke-in-the-eye of the people calling for a full investigation of the US torture activities?


Mother Jones Magazine, July/Aug. 2010.


Establishment Shudders when Left & Right Unite

I've been exploring the potential for the left & right to unite on common interests. Imagine the gravity of an informed populace discovering that the labels of "left" and "right" are a barrier to people power.

This is more than a hypothetical. I've included several real-world examples of this in the past two episodes of GDAE Podcast (GDAE Podcast: May 2010 Episode and June 2010 Episode).

Today, I've posted yet another example on my Challenge the Establishment blog, entitled, "The Right, the Left and the 10th Amendment."


Mother Jones, July/August 2010.


July 18, 2010

Glenn Beck & Goldline's Tag-Team Scam

I bought gold bullion at 600$ / oz.... it's now around $1,100. It's just a hedge against paper money going bust. Nothing wrong with that.

BUT... some unprincipled elements in the right-wing are exploiting fear and pushing bad gold purchases. Glenn Beck and Goldline International have been exposed in a Mother Jones article entitled Glenn Beck's Golden Fleece.

In short, Beck is pushing Goldline, and Goldline is hard-selling old 90% gold coins that have a buy-back value that is about 30% - 35% less than what they sell for (regular gold bullion buy-back spread is about 5%). They argue that it's "safer" to buy "antique" coins, because the U.S. Government is less likely to confiscate them (grain of truth alert).

It's a scam, plain and simple. Ironically, it's the Glenn Beck followers who are getting screwed.


Mother Jones, Glenn Beck's Golden Fleece, May/June 2010.


July 17, 2010

"Breaking up the Banks" becoming Mainstream?

A member of the Federal Reserve Bank, Richard Fisher, has said

A truly effective restructuring of our regulatory regime will have to neutralize what I consider to be the greatest threat to our financial system's stability -- the so-called too-big-to-fail [banks].

So, if anyone ever poo poos the intent to "break up the banks," inform them that a president of the Dallas, Texas Federal Reserve proposes doing just that. Referring to a more desirable international agreement to limit bank size, Fisher goes as far as to say

If we have to do this unilaterally, we should.

For Your Convenience:Sources:

Jim Hightower, Progressive Populist, May 1, 2010.


July 7, 2010

The Reader

Saw the movie, "The Reader" last night. I was struck by the suffering of the less fortunate people in wake of the war-makers. I couldn't help but transfer that to the anguish for so many people today that has been caused by Bush's wars, now owned by Obama.

Post-WWII Germany: Nearly a decade after his affair with an older woman, law student Michael Berg re-encounters his former lover...

Kate Winslet won the Oscar for best actress in a leading role. Ralph Fiennes plays the older Michael Berg, David Kross plays the younger.

Add it to your list if you've not seen it.


July 6, 2010

Israeli Settlements: Two Thoughts

Two thoughts on the Yahoo! News headline, "Israeli settlements cover 42 percent of West Bank." First, by Israel allowing, dare I say "promoting," these settlements they are making a two-state solution nearly impossible; there can't be two states if all the people are blended together. Israel is almost guaranteeing a path to a one-state solution.

Second, what's up with this story even being in the mainstream media?


Associated Press, "Israeli settlements cover 42 percent of West Bank.", AMY TEIBEL, July 6, 2010.