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Archive for June 17th, 2009

The other day I was watching Hardball and Chris Matthews introduced one of his regular panels composed of that hairless former McCain staffer and the sad-eyed “Democratic strategist” Steve McMahon. Matthews ballyhooed that the panel would be debating healthcare and, remarkably, that McMahon has “clients involved in the healthcare debate.”

Clients in the healthcare debate, eh? Okay, that could mean anything. McMahon owns a media consulting firm and he used to work for Al Gore, Howard Dean and Senator Kennedy, so he could be one of us and therefore he might use this panel to debunk some of the ridiculous lies floating around the president’s public option plan.

He didn’t.

McMahon not only came out against passing a government-run public health insurance option, but claimed that the president should go for 80 votes in the Senate with a “compromise” healthcare bill. It gets worse. McMahon implied that the public option is a “controversial” idea from the left, so 80 votes and no public option, he claimed, would make “everyone happy.”

That’s rich. Everyone happy, McMahon?

More on “making everyone happy” presently, but first I want to address this line about how the public option is a controversial, left-wing measure. Naturally, the Republicans, along with private health insurers and the cowardly Blue Dogs agree with McMahon — they want scare you and your representatives into believing that the public option is some sort of wicked controversial third rail. It’ll be, as McMahon called it, “a great big fight” so it ought to be avoided. Ballsy! They’re trying to pass this off as somehow a left-wing moonbat idea totally divorced from the mainstream. You know the trick: if they can marginalize it, they can kill it.

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Chris Hedges | Truthdig | June 14, 2009

This week marks the end of the dollar’s reign as the world’s reserve currency. It marks the start of a terrible period of economic and political decline in the United States. And it signals the last gasp of the American imperium. That’s over. It is not coming back. And what is to come will be very, very painful.

Barack Obama, and the criminal class on Wall Street, aided by a corporate media that continues to peddle fatuous gossip and trash talk as news while we endure the greatest economic crisis in our history, may have fooled us, but the rest of the world knows we are bankrupt. And these nations are damned if they are going to continue to prop up an inflated dollar and sustain the massive federal budget deficits, swollen to over $2 trillion, which fund America’s imperial expansion in Eurasia and our system of casino capitalism. They have us by the throat. They are about to squeeze.

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Obama’s Economic Misfits Finally Get It

AP_summers_geithner_awshucks3

Robert Scheer | Truthdig | June 17, 2009

Now they tell us.

On Monday, two men with considerable responsibility for enabling the banking meltdown confronted the error of their ways. Not directly, of course, for accountability is hardly the mark of either Lawrence Summers, the top White House economic adviser, or Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner.

Their careers have long been fueled by error. Summers was one of the leading prophets of radical financial deregulation in the Clinton administration. And Geithner, as head of the New York Fed, looked the other way during Wall Street’s collapse and then responded by opening wide the spigot of taxpayer dollars to resuscitate Citigroup and AIG.

What they wrote this week in a joint Op-Ed article in The Washington Post is a condemnation of the Wall Street shenanigans they once abetted and celebrated. I hope their apparent sudden conversion to common sense indicates the seriousness of the banking regulation plan that President Obama will present to Congress today.

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Suspected Sept. 11 organizer Khalid Sheikh Mohammed told U.S. military officials he gave false information to the CIA even after undergoing…

By Julian E. Barnes and Greg Miller |  The Seattle Times, June 16, 2009

Tribune Washington Bureau

Sept. 11 suspect Khalid Sheikh Mohammed

Sept. 11 suspect Khalid Sheikh Mohammed

WASHINGTON — Suspected Sept. 11 organizer Khalid Sheikh Mohammed told U.S. military officials he gave false information to the CIA even after undergoing punishing bouts of interrogation, according to documents made public Monday, a claim likely to intensify the debate over the Bush administration’s use of harsh techniques to gain information from terrorism suspects.

Mohammed made the assertion during hearings held at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, where the militant leader was transferred in 2006 after being held at secret CIA sites since his capture in 2003.

“I make up stories,” Mohammed said, describing in broken English an interrogation likely administered by the CIA concerning the location of al-Qaida chief Osama bin Laden.

“Where is he? I don’t know. Then, he torture me,” Mohammed said. “Then I said, ‘Yes, he is in this area.’ ”

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