Tuesday, September 23, 2008


By Ivan G. Goldman

Only a thief demands a license to steal. What am I referring to? Here’s a sentence from the legislation demanded by Treasury Secretary Paulson:

Decisions by the Secretary [of the Treasury] pursuant to the authority of this Act are non-reviewable and committed to agency discretion, and may not be reviewed by any court of law or any administrative agency.

That gives Paulson the right to buy up paper from his Wall Street pals for $1.50 on the dollar and sell it back to them for 2 cents on the dollar, and we couldn’t touch him for it. He demands at least as much deference as the Vatican pays to the Pope. He’s telling us he wants a check for 700 billion, no questions asked, have it by Tuesday or the world comes to an end.

Think Katrina. Think Cheney, who dreams up a war, then hands out the contracts for that war to his own firm. The firm gets caught stealing --- blatantly making up services and merchandise it didn’t provide and sticking it on the invoices. And the firm retains the contracts. And nobody lays a glove on Cheney, who’s busily destroying evidence as we speak and preparing a wall around the evidence he can’t get rid of that will last into perpetuity.

This administration is dedicated to the proposition that the rich can’t get rich enough and everyone else can go screw themselves. Paulson’s incredible demands are a part of that program. In fact, it's their best scam yet, born of ineptitude, unwarranted conceit, and their thieving hearts.

When he went before a skeptical congressional committee today Paulson said he never intended to escape oversight. Then why did he invent an escape clause? It’s only a two-page piece of legislation. Are we supposed to believe he skipped that sentence? An honest broker could never dream up a sentence like that. Paulson, Bush, and their ilk think they have a divine right to steal. They'd pass any lie detector test when they proclaim innocence because they're so crazy they believe it.

When Congress is skeptical of legalized skulduggery, we should pay attention because no one in the world knows more about legalized skulduggery than our members of Congress. Alaska Sen. Ted Stevens, who convinced building contractors to do hundreds of thousands of dollars in free work on his property, then handed out government contracts to those same companies, now claims he did nothing wrong. And you know what? He probably believes it. He’s been pulling this crap so long he’s convinced himself the laws don’t apply to him. He’s mostly right. Only some of them do. And now Paulson and his pals want to cut themselves in for a bigger piece.

I guarantee you when the dust clears on this bailout legislation Congress will have cut itself a generous tributary from the new gravy train, one of the biggest ever. Congressional oversight means the profiteers will have to pay Congress to stay in business.

Let’s face it. We’re stuck. The American people refused to impeach and remove Bush and Cheney for their high crimes and misdemeanors, so we’re still dealing with these larcenous nitwits now that one of their many deregulation scams disintegrated into mush. So barring a wave of sanity that removes them from office, we’ll be putting up with their Treasury secretary another four months, only it will seem much longer. And they may be succeeded by the equally grotesque McCain-Palin duo, or, to hear her tell it, Palin-McCain. Meanwhile the watchdogs over Administration chicanery will be beak-wetting Congressional members.

We’ll have to keep watch on all this ourselves because it’s unlikely the big media’s pretty faces will do it for us.

I know a car dealer in Orange County, California who sold 137 cars in August 2007 and 7 in August 2008. There's a big shitstorm of a recession coming in after the Wall Street collapse. We need to help real people with needs, do what we can to curtail the thievery, and work to earn outselves a President Obama, who just might get something done to counter the corruption and endless war of our government -- a government that continues to make war on 99.5 percent of its citizens.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hey Ivan,

Glad I'm on the notification list for your new blog entries. This one (like others I've read) is well said. I felt a little better when I heard Chris Dodd (any relation to Jimmy?) refer specifically to the "non-reviewable" clause, and make clear (albeit in a soft-spoken way) that it won't stand as is. Still....past history leaves me less than 100% confident that the Dems won't ultimately cave, but I'm keeping my fingers crossed....Mark Drabkin