Sunday, January 31, 2010

Standing aside or speaking up?

From Socialist Worker

Sherry Wolf, author of Sexuality and Socialism: History, Politics and Theory of LGBT Liberation, weighs in on the debate about the military's "don't ask, don't tell" ban.

Taking a stand at the National Equality March in Washington, D.C. (Lauren Miller)

AS HE did on the eve of the 200,000-strong National Equality March in October, President Barack Obama called in his State of the Union speech for lifting the ban on gays, lesbians and bisexuals serving openly in the U.S. military.

It appears that Obama will eventually get around to lifting the "don't ask, don't tell" ban that was established by President Bill Clinton in a 1993 executive order. After all, with expanding wars and occupations amid economic misery, boots on the ground are needed, and dismissing highly trained personnel is costly.

Given our opposition to U.S. wars and occupations, how should socialists and other radicals view this step?

Many leftists express ambivalence or even hostility to the call for lifting "don't ask, don't tell." Why should opponents of U.S. imperialism, they ask, advocate or even care about ending a ban on LGBT people serving openly in the military?

Two left-wing activists and academics in Chicago, Therese Quinn and Erica Meiners--whom I know and respect--co-authored an article that ran in the Windy City Times, titled "Queer Eyes on What Prize? Ending Don't Ask Don't Tell." They argue that a call to lift the ban is "an attempt to remap what our social justice goals, as queers, should be--not the right to privacy and the right to public life, and certainly not the right to live lives free from our nation's ever-present militarism and never-ending wars." Demanding an end to don't ask, don't tell, they write, will "constrict our vision and dreams."

Let me be blunt: As a longtime revolutionary socialist, I would not have selected the battles for equal marriage or lifting don't ask, don't tell as my preferred demands in a newly revived LGBT movement.

As with most social struggles, however, radicals are not consulted before people take to the streets. But hit the streets they have, in the hundreds of thousands, and the question for leftists is, as always: Which side are you on?

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

THE DEPARTMENT of Defense employs more than 3 million people in the U.S. and an estimated 66,000 LGBT people are currently serving in the military. At least 600 military personnel have been discharged for homosexuality since Obama came to office--and thousands more since the policy went into effect in 1993. Untold number have been killed and wounded since the start of the current wars and occupations--none of their partners receive death or other benefits that heterosexual partners receive.

First, it cannot be a matter of indifference to leftists whether the federal government places its imprimatur on discrimination against LGBT people, any more than it was during the Second World War, when Blacks and whites served in segregated armed forces. Radicals should both call for an end to discriminatory practices in the nation's largest workforce and oppose in action and words everything that the U.S. military undertakes. Demanding the right to serve is not equivalent to advocating military service.

If activists force the government to concede equal rights to LGBT service members, it would be yet another chink in the system's ideological armor, which only aids the further erosion of reactionary statutes and social norms.

Second, radicals must reject this false contradiction between the fight for reforms and the struggle for revolution. In Rosa Luxemburg's famous pamphlet Reform or Revolution, she does not actually call for socialists to reject reforms, but reformism--that is, the strategy of tweaking the system from above as opposed to transforming it by building movements from below.

Luxemburg had the temerity to write that revolutionaries actually make the best fighters for reforms. Socialists advocate organizing among ordinary people, as opposed to relying on politicians, and we link immediate demands to broader questions of social and economic justice. These methods both strengthen working-class people's confidence and organization.

That remains the potential in this continuing social movement. Thousands who initially took to the streets over equal marriage rights being reversed in California are now demanding full federal equality in all matters of civil law in all 50 states. Many of those same LGBT activists, from San Diego to Gainesville, Fla., are marching in solidarity with immigrants and labor to demand justice in their struggles.

For that matter, the new movement has led thousands of new and experienced activists alike to attend my talks on "Sexuality and Socialism," where capitalist myths are debunked, and gender and sexuality norms are debated, along with strategies for sexual liberation.

Today, more than one year after the new LGBT movement exploded onto the scene, it is demonstrably false to say that its vision has narrowed and its demands have been neutered.

The movement has its hesitations and conservative currents, to be sure, but its future is far from decided. Hundreds of small groups across the country continue to take action on a whole range of issues--from this week's Houston protest of 120 people against the killing of a transgender woman, to a planned action February 4 against the exporting of anti-LGBT hate to Uganda, called for Washington, D.C.

The left-sounding argument that demands for lifting don't ask, don't tell--or repealing the Defense of Marriage Act that prohibits same-sex marriage--are mere attempts to reform bourgeois institutions is falsely posed.

Of course, the military and marriage are bourgeois institutions. But so is the workplace. Demands for unionization or ending employment discrimination--which virtually no radical dismisses--are also about reforming bourgeois institutions. Ending workplace discrimination or gaining union representation are significant reforms, but they are just that--reforms of exploitative bourgeois institutions.

Standing outside of developing movements and critiquing the reformist nature of demands coming from thousands of people who are becoming active isn't radical--it's cynical, and it can even engender passivity.

In fact, the more some experienced leftists dismiss genuine protest movements, the more likely new movement activists will slide back into the arms of corporate-backed lobbying groups, with their electoral focus that has been a decades-long disaster.

Politics is a contact sport. Leftists need to get in the game.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

US firm kicked out of Peru mining group for pollution

From Raw Story


LIMA (AFP) Peru's mining, oil and energy association (SNMPE) said Saturday it has expelled US mining company Doe Run from its roster for not cleaning up its pollution problems, which environmentalists say are among the worst in the world.

"It has not shown... any willingness to comply with its environmental commitments and its obligations to the country, its workers, the La Oroya population and its creditors," SNMPE said in a statement.

Doe Run in 1997 took over La Oroya mining complex and the Cobriza copper mine in Peru's central Andean mountain region, where it mines for lead, copper, zinc, silver, gold and a series of byproducts including sulfuric acid.

The US company's La Oroya mining operation was listed in 2007 by the international environmental group Blacksmith Institute as the sixth worst polluted site in the world.
Story continues below...

SNMPE said expelling Doe Run from the association would not affect its mining business, but noted that the company was presently in "a serious financial crisis."

The association said Doe Run had notified Peruvian authorities it would be unable to comply with an environmental clean-up program it assumed when it began working in Peru.

The Energy and Mining Ministry said Doe Run had only complied with 52 percent of the 2006 PAMA environmental program in La Oroya and needed another 160 million dollar investment to complete it according to plan.

SNMPE said Doe Run's "lack of interest in completing PAMA violates the association's ethical principles and code of conduct," earning it its expulsion.

The US mining company had already been suspended from SNPE in late June.

Single Payer Docs Arrested Outside Baltimore Hotel While Obama Speaking to Republicans

Dr. Margaret Flowers and Dr. Carol Paris, two physicians who have worked tirelessly for a single-payer/Medicare-for-All health care plan, were arrested yesterday outside a Baltimore hotel where President Obama was meeting with republicans.

During his State of the Union address, Obama claimed he is eager to hear from people who have a better approach to health care reform that will "bring down premiums, bring down the deficit, cover the uninsured, strengthen Medicare for seniors and stop insurance company abuses."

Medicare-for-All health care, which the majority of doctors and citizens want, would more than meet those requirements, but when Dr. Flowers attempted to deliver the details of a Medicare-for-All plan to the White House on Thursday, she was turned away at the gate, and told that her open letter to Obama on health care reform could not be delivered to him. You can view the video here.

On Friday, Dr. Flowers and Dr. Paris were arrested outside the Renaissance Baltimore Harborplace Hotel, where President Obama was scheduled to speak to a retreat of House Republicans, while attempting once more to deliver the letter. The video of their arrest is here.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Salt Lake GOP cancels scheduled O'Keefe keynote

Source: Salt Lake Tribune

Salt Lake County Republicans are scrambling to line up a new keynote fundraising speaker after the arrest Tuesday of their scheduled first choice, filmmaker James O'Keefe, on charges of attempting to tamper with the phone system of a U.S. Senator.

"The allegations and arrest today certainly changes our plans," county GOP Chairman Thomas Wright said in a telephone interview with The Tribune . "We'll be announcing a new speaker shortly."

As of Tuesday night, the party's Web site,, still advertised O'Keefe as the guest speaker for the party's Feb. 4 Lincoln Day Dinner. His topic was to be "his national exposé of ACORN's unethical behavior, his changes in Congress and (how he will) inspire our Party's passion for a grassroots comeback."

The fundraising announcement said donations of from $4,000 to $7,500 would entitle contributing groups to have access to elected Republican officials and the guest speaker at a VIP reception. Wright said the web site and other promotions would be altered soon to reflect a change. "We're disappointed," he said of O'Keefe's arrest on felony charges. "He doesn't necessarily represent the Republican Party."

Read more:

Thursday, January 21, 2010

The Republic of The United States fell to a Coup Today

Today ultra right wing activist judges appointed by the Republican puppets of the Corporate over lords, the true cabal that runs everything over threw the government of the people and by the people that has been the rule of law in the United States for 234 years.

It has been nearly that many years that the rich corporate elite have been waging class war against the working men and women of this nation.

They abuse us at work by eliminating safety measures, paid holidays, sick leave, vacation and job security. You might better put your retirement money on the line in Vegas than trust a corporate pension.

Democrats are no better and liberals are some of the worst when it comes to grabbing guns and supporting turning this nation into a police state. I might be a left wing anarchist dyke but I trust some of those right wingers from the gun shows with watching my back more than I trust some of the Armani wearing liberal corporate shills with their glib tongues and thieving ways.

Who was behind 9/11? Do you actually think 18 suspicious looking mother fuckers from the Middle East were all able to sneak weapons past airport security when grand fathers get nailed for having a tiny Swiss Army Knife?

Left and right we all know something is wrong when this country has more people in prison than China and no matter what color they are most of them are poor.

Remember when Walmart's big selling point was "Made in America!"? Good luck finding an American made product on the shelves of Wally World these days?

How come the kids going off to Raq and the Stan's are all poor no matter what color they are?

We used to build things here in the days before NAFTA/CAFTA and the GAT, the Bilderbergs and IMF.

What the fuck is wrong with a little economic nationalism? How come all the locally run radio stations have been taken over by Clear Channel.

Do you actually think the bank that will evict you from the house that represents your largest asset if you should some how lose your fragile grasp on employment could actually produce the deed and papers or are they just another bunch of suit wearing thieves?

You've got Alex Jones and lefties saying the same basic stuff. Maybe we all aren't conspiracy nuts?

When they kick down your door looking for contraband do you think it matters that your thinking something is wrong with this country is coming from the left or from the right?

They will be wearing the same SWAT armor and carrying the same black rifles.

And the guys flying the black helicopters may well be Xe or Blackwater just as easily as the BATF.

By the way how come ammo all of a sudden costs so damned much?

I may be a left wing anarchist but I still read Tom Paine and Thomas Jefferson as well as Ethan Allen and I believe in what they say.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

The Right Testicle of Hell: History of a Haitian Holocaust

E-mail from Greg Palast
Blackwater before drinking water

by Greg Palast for The Huffington Post
Sunday 17 January 2010

long way 1. Bless the President for having rescue teams in the air almost immediately. That was President Olafur Grimsson of Iceland. On Wednesday, the AP reported that the President of the United States promised, "The initial contingent of 2,000 Marines could be deployed to the quake-ravaged country within the next few days." "In a few days," Mr. Obama?

2. There's no such thing as a 'natural' disaster. 200,000 Haitians have been slaughtered by slum housing and IMF "austerity" plans.

3. A friend of mine called. Do I know a journalist who could get medicine to her father? And she added, trying to hold her voice together, "My sister, she's under the rubble. Is anyone going who can help, anyone?" Should I tell her, "Obama will have Marines there in 'a few days'"?

4. China deployed rescuers with sniffer dogs within 48 hours. China, Mr. President. China: 8,000 miles distant. Miami: 700 miles close. US bases in Puerto Rico: right there.

5. Obama's Defense Secretary Robert Gates said, "I don't know how this government could have responded faster or more comprehensively than it has." We know Gates doesn't know.

6. >From my own work in the field, I know that FEMA has access to ready-to-go potable water, generators, mobile medical equipment and more for hurricane relief on the Gulf Coast. It's all still there. Army Lt. Gen. Russel Honoré, who served as the task force commander for emergency response after Hurricane Katrina, told the Christian Science Monitor, "I thought we had learned that from Katrina, take food and water and start evacuating people." Maybe we learned but, apparently, Gates and the Defense Department missed school that day.

7. Send in the Marines. That's America's response. That's what we're good at. The aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson finally showed up after three days. With what? It was dramatically deployed — without any emergency relief supplies. It has sidewinder missiles and 19 helicopters.

8. But don't worry, the International Search and Rescue Team, fully equipped and self-sufficient for up to seven days in the field, deployed immediately with ten metric tons of tools and equipment, three tons of water, tents, advanced communication equipment and water purifying capability. They're from Iceland.

9. Gates wouldn't send in food and water because, he said, there was no "structure ... to provide security." For Gates, appointed by Bush and allowed to hang around by Obama, it's security first. That was his lesson from Hurricane Katrina. Blackwater before drinking water.

10. Previous US presidents have acted far more swiftly in getting troops on the ground on that island. Haiti is the right half of the island of Hispaniola. It's treated like the right testicle of Hell. The Dominican Republic the left. In 1965, when Dominicans demanded the return of Juan Bosch, their elected President, deposed by a junta, Lyndon Johnson reacted to this crisis rapidly, landing 45,000 US Marines on the beaches to prevent the return of the elected president.

11. How did Haiti end up so economically weakened, with infrastructure, from hospitals to water systems, busted or non-existent - there are two fire stations in the entire nation - and infrastructure so frail that the nation was simply waiting for "nature" to finish it off?

Don't blame Mother Nature for all this death and destruction. That dishonor goes to Papa Doc and Baby Doc, the Duvalier dictatorship, which looted the nation for 28 years. Papa and his Baby put an estimated 80% of world aid into their own pockets - with the complicity of the US government happy to have the Duvaliers and their voodoo militia, Tonton Macoutes, as allies in the Cold War. (The war was easily won: the Duvaliers' death squads murdered as many as 60,000 opponents of the regime.)

12. What Papa and Baby didn't run off with, the IMF finished off through its "austerity" plans. An austerity plan is a form of voodoo orchestrated by economists zomby-fied by an irrational belief that cutting government services will somehow help a nation prosper.

13. In 1991, five years after the murderous Baby fled, Haitians elected a priest, Jean-Bertrand Aristide, who resisted the IMF's austerity diktats. Within months, the military, to the applause of Papa George HW Bush, deposed him. History repeats itself, first as tragedy, then as farce. The farce was George W. Bush. In 2004, after the priest Aristide was re-elected President, he was kidnapped and removed again, to the applause of Baby Bush.

14. Haiti was once a wealthy nation, the wealthiest in the hemisphere, worth more, wrote Voltaire in the 18th century, than that rocky, cold colony known as New England. Haiti's wealth was in black gold: slaves. But then the slaves rebelled - and have been paying for it ever since.

>From 1825 to 1947, France forced Haiti to pay an annual fee to reimburse the profits lost by French slaveholders caused by their slaves' successful uprising. Rather than enslave individual Haitians, France thought it more efficient to simply enslave the entire nation.

15. Secretary Gates tells us, "There are just some certain facts of life that affect how quickly you can do some of these things." The Navy's hospital boat will be there in, oh, a week or so. Heckuva job, Brownie!

16. Note just received from my friend. Her sister was found, dead; and her other sister had to bury her. Her father needs his anti-seizure medicines. That's a fact of life too, Mr. President.

Through our journalism network, we are trying to get my friend's medicines to her father. If any reader does have someone getting into or near Port-au-Prince, please contact immediately.
Urgently recommended reading - The Black Jacobins: Toussaint L'Ouverture and the San Domingo Revolution, the history of the successful slave uprising in Hispaniola by the brilliant CLR James.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Eco -Terrorist Japanese Whale Murderers Sink the Ady Gil

It is time to stop calling environmental activist groups be they Green Peace or even Earth Liberation Front by the corporate criminal generated slur of "Eco-Terrorist".

There are real Eco-Terrorists out their.

Real Eco-terrorists chop the tops off mountains and fill the valleys with poisonous waste in their lust for the profits from coal which in turn is destroying our planet by adding to the excess of carbon dioxide.

Real Eco-Terrorists clear cut old growth forests.

Japanese Eco-Terrorists murder whales and ram the boats of those trying to protect the gentle giants of the ocean.

The Following Story is from Sea Shepard

Japanese Whalers Ram Sea Shepherd Ship Ady Gil

Famed trimaran is sinking in the Southern Ocean

Six crewmembers Rescued by the Sea Shepherd Ship Bob Barker

Ady Gil rammedIn an unprovoked attack captured on film, the Japanese security ship Shonan Maru No. 2 deliberately rammed and caused catastrophic damage to the Sea Shepherd trimaran Ady Gil.

Six crew crewmembers, four from New Zealand, one from Australia, and one from the Netherlands were immediately rescued by the crew of the Sea Shepherd ship Bob Barker. None of the crew Ady Gil crew were injured.

The Ady Gil is believed to be sinking and chances of salvage are very grim.

According to eyewitness Captain Chuck Swift on the Bob Barker, the attack happened while the vessels were dead in the water. The Shonan Maru No. 2 suddenly started up and deliberately rammed the Ady Gil ripping eight feet of the bow of the vessel completely off. According to Captain Swift, the vessel does not look like it will be saved.

“The Japanese whalers have now escalated this conflict very violently,” said Captain Paul Watson. “If they think that our remaining two ships will retreat from the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary in the face of their extremism, they will be mistaken. We now have a real whale war on our hands now and we have no intention of retreating.”

Captain Paul Watson onboard the Steve Irwin is racing towards the area at 16 knots but still remains some five hundred miles to the north. The Bob Barker has temporarily stopped the pursuit of the Nisshin Maru to rescue the crew of the Ady Gil. The Japanese ships initially refused to acknowledge the May Day distress of the Ady Gil, but ultimately did acknowledge the call. Despite acknowledging the call, they did not offer to assist the Ady Gil or the Bob Barker in any way.

The incident took place at 64 Degrees and 03 Minutes South and 143 Degrees and 09 Minutes East

Ady Gil rammedUntil this morning the Japanese were completely unaware of the existence of the Bob Barker. This newest addition to the Sea Shepherd fleet left Mauritius off the coast of Africa on December 18th and was able to advance along the ice edge from the West as the Japanese were busy worrying about the advance of the Steve Irwin from the North.

“This is a substantial loss for our organization,” said Captain Watson. “The Ady Gil, the former Earthrace, represents a loss of almost two million dollars. However the loss of a single whale is of more importance to us and we will not lose the Ady Gil in vain. This blow simply strengthens our resolve, it does not weaken our spirit.”

The Sea Shepherd Conservation Society is requesting that the Australian government send a naval vessel to restore the peace in the waters of the Australian Antarctic Territory. We have 77 crew from 16 nations on three vessels, six of them were on the Ady Gil. Of these, 21 are Australian citizens: 16 Australians on the Steve Irwin and five on the Bob Barker. Sea Shepherd believes that the Australian government has a responsibility to protect the lives of Australian citizens working to defend whales from illegal Japanese whaling activities.

“Australia needs to send a naval vessel down here as soon as possible to protect both the whales and the Australian citizens working to defend these whales,” said Steve Irwin Chief Cook Laura Dakin of Canberra. “This is Australian Antarctic Territorial waters and I see the Japanese whalers doing whatever they want with impunity down here without a single Australian government vessel anywhere to be found. Peter Garrett, I have one question for you: Where the bloody hell are you?”

Ady Gil rammed

Ady Gil rammed

Ady Gil rammed

Ady Gil rammed

Ady Gil rammed

photos: JoAnne McArthur / Sea Shepherd

Friday, January 1, 2010

$ 14,400,000,000,000 and counting . . .

From an e-mail
It wasn't going to be just a $700Billion Fix-it-all patch at the end of 2008 which Bush&Buckshot handed over to the Wall $treet Criminals who caused the Global Meltdown.
Nope, that was just the trial run. These Wall $treet MasterCons had much bigger plans in the works once they learned how to run their scams of US Taxpayers.
Now a year later, the total is up to $14.4 TRILLION, going to the same Wall $treet Criminals, plus still more to their Insurance buddies in the Healthcare Mafia.
Not one single Corporate Fascist who caused the Greatest Bank Heist in history has gone to jail, tho everyone knows who they are.
Question is: why do YOU do business with any of these criminals? For 2010, take your money out of Big Banks and move your accounts to member-owned Credit Unions, including your new, one (1) lower-cost credit card (that you will pay off each month).
To wrap up this Wall $treet RipOff, below is where your $14.4 TRILLION has gone.
Who's going to pay for this? Do you have to ask?
The Real Size of the Bail-Out
A guide to the abbreviations, acronyms, and obscure programs
that make up the
$14.4 TRILLION federal Bailout of Wall $treet

(Mother Jones magazine, Dec. 21) -- The price tag for the Wall Street Bailout is often put at $700 billion -- the size of the Troubled Assets Relief Program (TARP). But TARP is just the best known program in an array of more than 30 overseen by the Treasury Department and Federal Reserve that have paid out or put aside money to bail out financial firms and inject money into (free) markets. (Free is the operational word.) Below is a guide to many pieces of the puzzle:
Treasury Department bail-out programs

Money Market Mutual Fund: In September 2008, the Treasury announced that it would insure the holdings of publicly offered money market mutual funds. According to the "special inspector general" for the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP), these guarantees could have potentially cost the federal government more than $3 trillion.

Public-Private Investment Fund: This joint Treasury-Federal Reserve program bought toxic assets from banks and brokerages -- as much as $5 billion of assets per firm. According to the TARP special inspector general, the government's potential exposure from this fund is between $500 million and $1 trillion.

TARP: As part of the Troubled Asset Relief Program, the Treasury has made loans to or investments more than 750 banks and financial institutions. $650 billion has been paid out (not including HAMP; see below). As of December 21, 2009, $117.5 billion of that has been re-paid.

Government-sponsored enterprise (GSE) stock purchase: The Treasury has bought $200 million in preferred stock from Fannie Mae and another $200 million from Freddie Mac to show that they "will remain viable entities critical to the functioning of the housing and mortgage markets."

GSE mortgage-backed securities purchase: Under the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008, the Treasury may buy mortgage-backed securities from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. According to the TARP special inspector general, these purchases could cost as much as $314 billion.

Citigroup asset guarantee: In this joint Treasury, Federal Reserve, and FDIC program, the government agreed to cover potential losses to a Citigroup asset pool worth $301 billion.

T-bill auctions to fund the Fed: In November 2008, the Treasury announced that it would borrow $260 billion to fund the Supplementary Financing Program, whose proceeds were deposited with the Federal Reserve.

TARP overpayment: This June, the Congressional Budget Office estimated that the federal government would lose $159 billion from its TARP loans and investments due to changes in their market value. (So far, Treasury has earned $14.4 billion in dividends from TARP.)

Bank of America asset guarantee: In this joint Treasury-Federal Reserve-FDIC program, the government agreed to cover potential losses to a Bank of America asset pool worth $118 billion. Bank of America has withdrawn from the program and has paid the government $425 million in compensation.

Potential international fund liabilities: In April, the United States committed up to $100 billion to fund the International Monetary Fund's lending and ensure that it "has adequate resources to play its central role in resolving and preventing the spread of international economic and financial crises."

The Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) offers financial incentives to lenders to modify home loans. $75 billion in federal funds has been committed; $50 billion of that comes from TARP, and is set aside to modify mortgages not owned or guaranteed by Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac or other government-sponsored entities.

Treasury exchange stabilization fund: A temporary program to insure the holdings of publicly offered money market mutual funds.

GSE credit facility program: Additional credit made available to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Expires December 31, 2009.

Federal Reserve bail-out programs

Commercial Paper Funding Facility: With the support from the Treasury, the Fed established the CPFF in October 2008 to increase the availability of short-term debt (commercial paper) funding. Up to $1.8 trillion was earmarked for the program.

Mortgage-backed securities purchase: In 2009, the Fed earmarked up to $1.25 trillion to buy investments based on home loans.

Term Asset-Backed Securities Loan Facility: TALF provides financing to investors who are buying asset-backed securities. In February 2009, the Fed and Treasury announced an expansion of the program to generate up to $1 trillion in new lending.

Foreign Central Bank Currency Liquidity Swaps: The Fed has provided $755 billion for currency liquidity swaps with foreign central banks.

Money Market Investor Funding Facility: The MMIF was established in October 2008 to provide loans for investors buying certificates of deposit and commercial paper. According to the TARP special inspector general, $600 billion was allocated for the program.

Treasury Purchase Program: In March 2009, the Fed was authorized to purchase up to $300 billion of Treasury securities.

GSE Program: In March 2009, the Fed increased its purchases of debt from government-sponsored enterprises (Fannie Mae and Freddy Mac) from $100 billion to $200 billion.

Primary Dealer Credit Facility: The PDCF provides overnight loans to primary dealers (financial firms that can engage in direct transactions with the federal government). The Fed allocated $147.7 billion for it in 2009.

The Asset-Backed Commercial Paper (ABCP) Money Market Mutual Fund (MMMF) Liquidity Facility provides loans to financial institutions purchasing commercial paper from money market mutual funds. According to the TARP special inspector general, the Fed allocated $145.9 billion in 2009.

JPMorgan Chase/Lehman Brothers: In September 2008, the Fed gave JPMorgan Chase $148 billion in help the near-bankrupt Lehman Brothers.

Open Market Operations: In September 2008, the Fed injected $125 billion into the market by purchasing securities and re-purchase agreements (or repos), in which primary dealers borrow cash from the Fed.

Tri-Party Repurchase Agreements: The Fed provided $124.6 billion for this type of repo in 2009.

Primary Credit: The Fed provided $112 billion to offer loans at a discounted rate to eligible institutions in 2009.

Temporary Reserves: Between August and September 2007, the Fed made $93 billion of temporary reserves available for loans to financial firms.

Single-Tranche Repurchase Agreements: In 2009, the Fed offered a total of $80 billion for short-term loans to holders of mortgage-backed securities.

Term Auction Facility: Under TAF, the Fed auctions short-term loans to financial institutions. The amount of loans offered has varied widely; between December 2009 and January 2010, $75 billion in loans will be available.

AIG preferred stock interests, credit, and loan: The Fed provided $53 billion to the struggling AIG in various forms between 2008 and 2009.

AIG Securities Lending Facility: In October 2008, the Fed authorized the Federal Reserve Bank of New York to borrow up to $37.8 billion in securities from AIG.

Maiden Lane II and III (AIG): In 2008, the Fed authorized its New York branch to form three limited liability companies: Maiden Lane, Maiden Lane II, and Maiden Lane III. It provided $52.5 billion to Maiden Lane II and III to assist AIG.

Maiden Lane I (Bear Stearns): The Fed provided $29.8 billion to Maiden Lane I to acquire Bear Stearns' assets and facilitate its merger with JPMorgan Chase.

TSLF: The Term Securities Lending Facility offers Treasury collateral to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York so it can auction weekly loans to financial institutions. $25 billion in loans will be available between November 2009 and January 2010.

TOP: The TSLF Options Program allowed primary dealers to get TSLF loans in exchange for collateral. At the time of the program's termination in June 2009, $50 billion loans had been offered.

Expansion of system open market account securities lending: In July 2009, the Fed increased its limit for loans of securities to brokers from $3 billion to $5 billion, for a total of $36 billion in new lending.

JPMC/Bear Stearns Loan: The Fed provided a $12.9 billion bridge loan to JPMorgan Chase during its acquisition of Bear Stearns.

To get a sense of the relative sizes of the $14.4 TRILLION Bailout Components, see this chart:

NOT INCLUDED: More MULTI-TRILLION DOLLAR costs: for escalating the AfganWar; for slowing catastrophic loses from Climate Change; for slowing the murder and torture of Americans by the Healthcare Mafia; for previous debt run up by Republican Presidents since Reagan; AND for the day-to-day cost of running the Government, not including the INTEREST on all of this debt.
Welcome to the greatest Wall $treet Entitlement Program ever invented.
Back when the World as we knew it was almost collapsed by greedy Wall $treet Bankers, when we were told this would cost us Taxpayers an unbelievable $700,000 BILLION-- and might conceivably reach the then astronomical figure of ONE TRILLION DOLLARS -- I sat down to calculate how tall was a stack of a TRILLION One Dollar Bills. You can read about it here: How can you visualize a trillion dollars?
A stack of 1,000,000,000,000 greenbacks, in round numbers, is 63,000 miles high.
That was for TARP in 2008. The 2009 stack of $14.4 TRILLION Dollar Bills would reach to the Moon almost 4 times, or there-and-back twice.
That's just the Wall $treet RipOff for 2009, with no other outstanding bills included.
Here's the kicker: This could be reduced significantly by a 50% tax on the net worth of the richest 10% of Americans, who lay claim to most of the wealth in America.
Click on Statistically Speaking from Too Much: An online weekly on excess and inequality.
They'd never miss it. And it's only fair: the top 10% got what they have by stealing it from the rest of us ordinary folks.
"Take it back!" would be a great Resolution for the New Year!
© 2009 Gene Messick, wordsmith

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