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Life Begins When You Stand Up to Casino Capitalists

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What’s most important to note as we take in the fact that the Senate just passed a bailout bill that the media is telling us was “loaded with extra goodies” to get members of the House to vote for it is that Barack Obama uttered these words while on the Senate floor:

It is conceivable -- it's possible that, if we did nothing, everything would turn out OK. It's -- there's a possibility that that's true. And there's no doubt that there may be other plans out there that, had we had two or three or six months to develop, might be even more refined and might serve our purposes better.

But we don't have that kind of time. And we can't afford to take a risk that the economy of the United States of America and, as a consequence, the worldwide economy could be plunged into a very, very deep hole.

Obama hints that waiting could be acceptable. We could wait to pass this  "cash for trash" bailout bill and hold hearings. He acknowledges that this bill the Senate is trying to pass is no good.

But, he quickly does an about-face and indicates that this possibility really doesn’t exist by making a statement that one would expect to hear come from the mouth of George W. Bush.

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Obama ends that bit by using fear to alleviate any ideas we might have that we could wait and put together a better bill to better solve this crisis.

Here is an excerpt from Dennis Kucinich’s statement on the Senate’s passage of the bailout bill:

 "True American values of fairness, frugality and faith are being sacrificed to greed. The Senate took a dreadful bill that failed on the House floor, made no substantive changes to help homeowners or enact substantive regulatory protections for investors, and instead attached tax provisions that have absolutely nothing to do with the underlying financial crisis. The legislative process is devolving into fraud."

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"Among the tax credits are tax credits for banks. Keep in mind the government will have to borrow $700 billion from banks at interest, to give banks a $700 billion bailout, and in return the taxpayers get $700 billion in toxic debt. The Senate "improves" on the bailout by giving banks even more money. It is the height of cynicism to tell homeowners in foreclosure that we are going to help them by giving them a tax break! The problem is that they can't pay the mortgage and their homes are in danger, not that they need foreclosure tax breaks.”

Many Americans are scared out of their mind. But, Americans must realize that this is a crisis we will be experiencing no matter what we do. There’s no quick fix to right all wrongs before this election is over or before the next president is inaugurated.

We are in a systemic crisis. Standing up against such a systemic crisis may result in instances like what was seen on Wall Street on Monday. But, it’s important to think of what can happen if we stand strong.

This whole instance in history reminds me of a story from Dennis Kucinich’s bio. This story is one of the reasons I truly admire Dennis Kucinich:

In 1978, Cleveland's banks demanded that he sell the city's 70 year-old municipally-owned electric system to its private competitor (in which the banks had a financial interest) as a precondition of extending credit to city government.

When Mayor Kucinich refused to sell Muny Light, the banks took the unprecedented step of refusing to roll over the city’s debt, as is customary. Instead, they pushed the city into default. It turned out the banks were thoroughly interlocked with the private utility, CEI, which would have acquired monopoly status by taking over Muny Light. Five of the six banks held almost 1.8 million shares of CEI stock; of the 11 directors of CEI, eight were also directors of four of the six banks involved.

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By holding to his promise and putting principle above politics, Kucinich lost his re-election bid and his political career was temporarily derailed. But today, Kucinich stands vindicated for having confronted the Enron of his day, and for saving the municipal power company. "There is little debate," wrote Cleveland Magazine in May 1996, "over the value of Muny Light today. Now Cleveland Public Power, it is a proven asset to the city that between 1985 and 1995 saved its customers $195,148,520 over what they would have paid CEI." He also preserved hundreds of union jobs.

Cleveland was in economic crisis, but the way out was not to bend to corporations, which would ultimately cost the taxpayers more money. The way out was to stand up to the banks and stand tall for the people.

Now, we could use Kucinich’s story as a template. We could say in 2008 Bush, Paulson, Bernanke, McCain, and Obama came to Congress with the banks’ support to ask Congress to pass a bailout. The House said “no” and the banks went into a frenzy, which led to one of the worst days on Wall Street in the history of America. Many Americans lost a lot of money. But…

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Kevin Gosztola is managing editor of Shadowproof Press. He also produces and co-hosts the weekly podcast, "Unauthorized Disclosure." He was an editor for
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