pouring concrete down our elevator sharts

It’s all stuff we’ve talked about here before, but I like how author Naomi Klein equates what Bush, Paulson and company just did to us with what the Portuguese did in Mozambique in the mid-70’s. I think it’s an analogy worth repeating. Here’s a clip:

…When European colonialists realized that they had no choice but to hand over power to the indigenous citizens, they would often turn their attention to stripping the local treasury of its gold and grabbing valuable livestock. If they were really nasty, like the Portuguese in Mozambique in the mid-1970s, they poured concrete down the elevator shafts.

Nothing so barbaric for the Bush gang. Rather than open plunder, it prefers bureaucratic instruments, such as “distressed asset” auctions and the “equity purchase program”. But make no mistake: the goal is the same as it was for the defeated Portuguese – a final, frantic looting of the public wealth before they hand over the keys to the safe…

The good news is, it may not be too late to stop it. Klein continues:

…There is a glimmer of hope… (T)he Treasury is indeed having trouble dispersing the bailout funds. So far it has requested about $350bn of the $700bn, but most of this hasn’t yet made it out the door. Meanwhile, every day it becomes clearer that the bailout was sold to the public on false pretences. Clearly, it was never really about getting loans flowing. It was always about doing what it is doing: turning the state into a giant insurance agency for Wall Street, a safety net for the people who need it least, subsidized by the people who will most need state protections in the economic storms ahead.

This duplicity is a political opportunity. Whoever wins on November 4 will have enormous moral authority. It should be used to call for a freeze on the dispersal of bailout funds, not after the inauguration but right away. All deals should be renegotiated, this time with the public getting the guarantees.

It is risky, of course, to interrupt the bailout process. Nothing could be riskier, however, than allowing the Bush gang their parting gift to big business – the gift that will keep on taking.

If you agree, and if you haven’t written to your member of Congress yet, now might be a good time to do so. You can find their contact information here.

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  1. Brackache
    Posted November 3, 2008 at 12:13 am | Permalink

    Ooooooookay Naomi. I watched the bailout debates on cspan, and I guess that means Barny Frank, Dingell, Levin, Pelosi, and Obama are all part of the “Bush Gang” now, not to mention the rest of the Democratically controlled congress. Fucking petty bullshit to blame this on your enemy party when your party were the ones who had the majority and PUSHED it through, despite MASSIVE opposition.

    I am in no way letting anybody get away with THAT shit.

    Those big bailout recipients donated to big wigs in BOTH parties. Look it up.

    This is trans-party corrupt oligarchy bullshit, just like the Iraq war and the Patriot Act; don’t let them misdirect you with the false dilemma of the illusory two party system. Fucking mutually-beneficial power grabbing bullshit.


  2. Brackache
    Posted November 3, 2008 at 12:23 am | Permalink

    Oh wait, I’m sorry, that cwafty Bush must’ve twicked them! They twusted the Pwesident and he twicked them!!! They only wanted what was good fow the countwy, and acted with honest integwity! That waskal.

  3. mark
    Posted November 3, 2008 at 12:25 am | Permalink

    I think for the most part people were scared into it. Maybe campaign contributions factor in somewhere, but, for the most part, I think folks in Congress were scared shitless. They had industry analysts, Fortune 500 CEOs, lobbyists, and everyone else telling them that, if they didn’t pass something, there would be martial law and another great depression. I still hold Congress responsible for doing it in this way, but I don’t think it’s as though they were all “in on it”. Weak, timid, fearful of losing power, maybe. But, for the most part, I don’t think they were in on it.

  4. Robert
    Posted November 3, 2008 at 10:59 am | Permalink

    I once had an irate girlfriend pour concrete down my sharts. It was quick setting too. Fortunately, I know this artist that works in those sorts of materials, and now the resulting cast sits on display at the Smithsonian.

  5. Curt Waugh
    Posted November 3, 2008 at 11:31 am | Permalink

    Sweet! Now that we know the truth, this shit will end IMMEDIATELY. Just like the way we got out of Iraq the second we learned we went there under false pretenses. This is a great day for our little country.

  6. Robert
    Posted November 3, 2008 at 11:49 am | Permalink

    The last eight years has been nothing but a series of cons, and I suspect even those of you who fiercely resist admitting it to yourselves have some growing sense of it.

  7. Brackache
    Posted November 3, 2008 at 12:14 pm | Permalink

    Oh, I see.

    So the Democrat leadership, including Obama, are incorrigible unprincipled cowards who can’t read, craft laws properly, or otherwise do their fucking jobs… unlike the people who did do their jobs properly by voting against the bailout and giving speeches before the vote that predicted what would happen.

    Got it.

    Anyone else here watch the bailout debates on cspan as they happened (starring Barny Frank as principle pusher of the legislation), and had an uncannilly accurate negative opinion on the bailout since day one?


  8. Posted November 3, 2008 at 12:28 pm | Permalink

    “I am in no way letting anybody get away with THAT shit.”

    Thank God that Brackache is here to protect us.

  9. Brackache
    Posted November 3, 2008 at 12:32 pm | Permalink

    Anyone wonder why so many people only changed their votes AFTER the Senate added free money for THEIR pals too?

    Does that sound like fear-mongering to you?

    Or bribery and corruption?

    They weren’t scared stupid, they just wanted a piece of the pie. They knew what they were doing. O my left foot for a youtube video of Dingell’s speech supporting the bailout! He blatantly made sure the auto industry would get free shit too, and that was his ONLY concern.

    You’re putting misplaced and unrealistic faith in your political messiahs contrary to reality, and it’s going to bite you in the ass one day. I understand; been there.

  10. Paw
    Posted November 3, 2008 at 12:33 pm | Permalink

    Why aren’t all of these banking execs being hounded by the press? Why aren’t they all over the TV explaining why we the American people are paying them bonuses when we’re losing our jobs? It’s absolutely criminal. The press has learned nothing at all from how they covered the war in Iraq.

  11. Robert
    Posted November 3, 2008 at 12:39 pm | Permalink


    Yes, Brackache, I think there were a lot of us who were always against this deal. That’s why it had to be rushed. Most of the public was against it.

    Personally, I don’t trust anything anybody tries to rush past the public. Many Democrats were in on it or taken by it. But it was the administration that presented it as a do or die situation though. If not for them, the Democrats could have been stalled by public pressure.

  12. Brackache
    Posted November 3, 2008 at 2:10 pm | Permalink

    Do you guys really believe the Democrats haven’t learned from the Iraq War and both Patriot Acts not to let Bush rush them into stuff?




    the fucking


  13. Brackache
    Posted November 3, 2008 at 2:53 pm | Permalink

    I should say, too, that I don’t expect you to get over your intellectual blindspots regarding your own party leadership at this stage in the game. You’re too afraid of the other guys to risk them having a chance at winning again. That’s why people voted for Bush. That’s how the two parties can keep violating the Constitution and take turns advancing the ball towards tyranny in increments of four years and get away with it.

    So really, I guess I’m just setting up some well-intentioned I-told-you-so’s, and hoping it’ll sink in in a few years. Also I’m trying to keep the record straight regarding what actuially happened with the bailout vote, because rewriting history for political gain sucks.

  14. Posted November 3, 2008 at 3:13 pm | Permalink

    Brackache is going to vote for Barney and hope for the best.

  15. kjc
    Posted November 3, 2008 at 3:29 pm | Permalink

    i can say i always thought the bailout was a terrible idea. kucinich told me so from the beginning.

  16. Brackache
    Posted November 3, 2008 at 6:29 pm | Permalink

    Kucinich was right, and has a pair.

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