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Bloomberg, bad optics and symbols

Let’s see what we have here with the raid of Zuccotti Park last night:

– The raid happens in the middle of the night by “jack booted thugs” disguised as New York’s finest with helicopters circling overhead.  It’s the right’s worst nightmare.

– They use LRAD devices that cause intense ear pain

– The media is banned from covering it; some reporters are roughed up and arrested

– The onsite free library of 5,000 books was destroyed as were the books

– Personal property was destroyed, loaded into dump trucks and can only be retrieved with proper identification, IFF you can identify your broken personal belongings

– The occupiers are still banned from the park despite a court order so, apparently, Bloomberg and his 1% feel they are above the law

– The Mayor is a member of the 1%.  No, I take that back.  He is a member of the .1%

– The Mayor is using the field tested words “clean”, “health” and “safety” but no cases of typhoid, cholera or other contagious diseases have been reported.

– There is a bigger difference between the words “clean” and “cleanse” than two letters.  Cleansing has been the excuse that all the bad governments on earth have used to remove troublemakers and inconvenient people from their midst.

– Mayors from Oakland, Portland and Denver have also “cleansed” their parks.  It looks like a coordinated effort.  Who are they taking orders from?  Homeland Security?  On what grounds?  Was it the 1%?  What government died and made them gods?  And why did Mayor Jean Quan’s legal council and deputy mayor quit yesterday saying they supported the Occupiers?

I would be very careful about how I used the cleaning words and metaphors because people aren’t stupid. Well, some right wing conservative gullible people who watch Fox News are have acquired stupidity syndrome (ASS) but the rest of America knows when something doesn’t feel right.

And it doesn’t feel right after this “Cleansing of the Occupiers”

This is not the beginning of the end, it is the end of the beginning.

Update from Occupy Wall Street:  The mass action that was planned for Thursday, November 17 is still on.  I’m still waiting to hear whether union leaders and religious clergy who are meeting with the Occupiers are going call for action today or whether they will be able to hold it off until Thursday.

Marsha reports that Occupy the London Stock Exchange is rallying in solidarity of Occupy Wall Street, Portland, Oakland and Denver:

We will gather with Americans at the US Embassy as they demand entry to question their Ambassador why the US will condemn repression of peaceful protest in Egypt and Syria while the NYPD, Oakland PD, Denver, PD, and others beat and gas peaceful protesters in the US to suppress dissent.

And this comment from the NYTimes frontpage article on the raid goes right to the heart of what’s wrong with this picture:

“If only they enforced bank regulations like they do park rules, we wouldn’t be in this mess.”

Yes, when was the last time we raided Goldman-Sachs or JP Morgan Chase, dragged them out of their offices, beat and peppersprayed them for being menaces to society? Bloomberg really stuck his foot in it. The comments are overwhelmingly against him. Now, all eyes are fixed on the people he’s protecting from a bunch of committed protestors running an open air salon. The message doesn’t get any clearer.

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Zuccotti Park cleared of Occupiers

Update: People around the world are sending the displaced occupiers food. If you are in the Foley Square area, you can get breakfast there. To order breakfast for the occupiers, you can call Pete at Cortez Cafe at (212)7663200. There is a minimum $5 donation. A local church as opened its doors for sanctuary. There is an impromptu process going on right now. There will be a GA at 7am. It sounds like occupiers are going to Foley Square. They are having a brief moment of silence to appreciate the morning and sticking together through the night. Wahoo-Dorus!

You can follow the action at www.globalrevolution.tv

If you want to register your protest, you can call the NYPD and tell them to stop. Here’s the number: (212)334-0611

Um, I *might* have to head up to Foley Square today to do on the spot reporting. Does anyone want to put up bail for me in the unlikely event that I am arrested? I have papers to read. I can do that as easily in Foley Square as anywhere else.

By the way, to get to Foley Square, see this handy google map.

Update2: There will be a group meeting at 6th Ave and Canal Street at 9:00am.

There are Occupy the Highway marchers headed for DC. Their goal is to arrive in DC on Nov. 23, the day the supercommittee is supposed to present their deficit reduction cuts to Congress. They were in Philadelphia yesterday. If you’re interested, you can catch up with them between Philly and Wilmington, Delaware today. See this page for further details. Occupy the Highway also has a wordpress site here. Dear Paul Krugman, there’s a student named Whitney Blodgett who is giving Princeton a bad name. Could you please administer a strong dope-slap to the back of the head? It’s embarrassing.

Update3: Mike Bloomberg’s statement says something to the effect that protestors were preventing the general public from enjoying the use of the park.  {{rolling eyes}}  Is that the best he can come up with?  Because I never saw anyone prevented from entering or using the park when I was there.  Of course, there were those creepy looking dudes that Karl Rove and Fox News probably hired to scare the tourists away but other than that, no one was prevented from enjoying the park.  In fact, the NYPD was sending the homeless, mentally ill and aggressive indigent down to Zuccotti Park even though some of them were disruptive and potentially dangerous to the people in the park.  Earth to Mike Bloomberg, no one is going to believe that crap.

Update4: Bloomberg is having a press conference at City Hall but the occupiers are not allowed to get into the City Hall.  So the occupiers are going to try to prevent any of the media or press from getting into the building to attend the conference.   Soooo, let’s get this straight, the people who are the subject of the press conference are prevented from attending the public press conference to hear the reason why their protest was silenced.  Ok, occupiers have been alerted by a member of the press that there is an alternative entrance.  They are linking arms to prevent the press from getting in the building.

Occupiers barring the entrance to City Hall

Meanwhile, the younguns have gotten the distinct impression that they were used by Obama in 2008 and aren’t in the mood to help him next year.

Occupiers are now marching to meet with union and religious leaders.

Update5:  Someone just announced that a judge ruled that Bloomberg can’t evict protestors from Zuccotti Park.  Looking for confirmation…

Here is the ruling from Judge Lucy Giddings.  A temporary restraining order was issued at 6:30am.  The injunction is in effect until 11:30am.  Another hearing is scheduled today in an attempt to make the injunction permanent.

Amy Goodman at Democracy Now was on the scene when the eviction happened.  Her report is on http://www.globalrevolution.tv now.

Ok, I can hear Bloomberg in the background.  He calls the arrests, beatings, pepperspraying and the destruction of personal property as “cleaning”.  I’m going to take a guess that the word “clean” was focus group tested. Bloomberg knows what gets to the conservative viewer.  There’s nothing they like more than cleanness and orderliness. Occupiers’ personal belongings were loaded into dump trucks and carted away.  It sounds like the Mayor is going to ignore the judge’s injunction and that Zucotti Park will remain closed until the situation is clarified.

Occupiers can pick up their personal belongings at the sanitation department parking lot tomorrow.  They must provide proper identification. But as Amy Goodman panned across the area where sanitation workers were loading the destroyed remnants of Zuccotti park protestors stuff, it’s hard to believe that anyone is going to find something worth recovering much less identifying as their own.

*************************

Maybe we should have known something was up yesterday when the legal council for Mayor Jean Quan in Oakland quit in disgust and threw his support behind Occupy Oakland. The deputy mayor soon followed.

Or maybe it was the fact that Oakland, Portland and Denver were evicted all at once.

Or maybe it was Mayer Nutter in Philadelphia, newly reelected, who was making noises about OccupyPhilly overstaying its welcome.

Whatever it was, we should have seen it coming.

Details are sketchy because the police aren’t letting journalists near the scene but it looks like the bastards moved in at 2:00am to clear Zuccotti Park. The livestream at GlobalRevolution says that “The police are destroying Zuccotti Park, many arrests, many injured, the police are pushing the press away from the scene. Police are tearing apart library. Broadway and Liberty- arrest teams headed there (Police Scanner)”

You can watch the sanitation workers cleaning the park at globalrevolution.tv.  (They’ve moved on to other things by now)

And here’s a picture that says it all.  NYPD’s finest.

Basically, the police moved in to the park in the dead of night when they thought no one would be looking and destroyed everything, used batons and pepperspray against occupiers and did the bidding of the 1%.

It’s not going to work. They will be back. The genie is out of the bottle. The 1% will never be able to rest easily again because the 99% are all around them. There will be more infiltrations. In fact, the infiltrators are already in place. You can fire the ones you have but a new set of infiltrators will take their place. How are you going to know the difference?

The occupiers in Zuccotti Park were only the ones you could see.

You better be nice because the Zuccotti Park occupiers were models of non-violent resistance. They have no control over what desperate people will do when they’re pushed too far.

OccupyWallStreet: Bloomberg postpones the “cleaning”

Please note that I am not at the park at the present time.  I’m just following the livestream.  See URLs below.

Update 8:06am: Live coverage back at Zuccotti and financial district.  The white shirts are back.  This is looking very tense.  The cops now have their guns out.  Crowd dispersing.  Some rumor that the police are going to take the park.  New rumor: They closed the Brooklyn Bridge??

Update: 7:43am: Livestream down again.  The last shot of the bull statue had a few policemen guarding it.  There are thousands of people pouring into the streets there.  So far, the atmosphere seems festive.  Police look a bit overwhelmed.  Arrests are being made.  The police are getting rough.

To me it looks like the police have lost this battle.  Too many people in the street right now.  This is what I thought might happen.  NYC has a huge population, today is Friday, expect the crowds to get bigger as the day goes on.  As long as the crowd stays non-violent and arrests are few, this could be quite a day for a party in NYC.

Update 7:32am:  Crowd estimate in Zuccotti park 5K.  The occupiers are marching in the street.  Police have arrived.  It’s looking tense.  Police appear to be gently escorting protestors back onto the sidewalk.  Not sure that’s going to work.  There are a LOT of people down there.

Holy S^&*!  It looks like the city is pouring into the street.

Cue the music!  Street bank striking up.  Lots of horns honking.  It’s a frickin’ party down there.  They’ve made it to the bull.  How much you want to bet someone(s) climb up on that thing?  I hope the photographers are ready to capture the moment.

6:30am: The cavalry unions are arriving.  The crowds at the park look huge.  CNN is reporting that Bloomberg has postponed the “cleaning” of Zuccotti Park.  Looking for link.  So far unconfirmed.  The livestream shows that there is something going on at the park that they refer to as a “situation”.  I think the rumor of a partial victory has gone to their heads and it’s a bit chaotic.  They were doing a mic check a few minutes to take a straw poll as to whether to take on the barricade at Wall Street.  Sounds like they’re going to go for it.  You can follow the action here:

http://www.livestream.com/globalrevolution

http://www.livestream.com/occupywallstnyc (covering street protest)

http://www.livestream.com/avaazwallstreet (this one is working)

Follow them on twitter at #occupywallstreet

They sometimes lose their livefeed.  Not sure what’s up with that.  They’re using generators and last night, one of their streaming computers died because it wasn’t charging.

Most recent shot of the crowd shows that the people of NYC turned up at 7:00am this morning as requested.  There are many people over 30 in the crowd right now.  Zuccotti park looks full.  It looks like the pre-march shots I got from last week but bigger.  The park is wall to wall people.  There are thousands and thousands of people there.  More than 2 thousand?  Looks like it to me.

Tomorrow at 5pm, there will be an Occupy Times Square.  Not sure how that’s going to work out but the cool thing about Times Square is that there’s a bleacher type structure smack dab in the middle of it.  When the lights go on in Times Square, it’s like daylight there and the view from the bleachers can’t be beat.  Times Square is super busy on Saturday night to begin with.  Will it be like New Year’s Eve in October?  Hard to say.  Probably not the best night to be visiting New York City if you’re from out of town.  On the other hand, it would be hard to not be caught up in a Times Square Occupation.  There will be other activities on Saturday.  Check the schedule at occupywallst.org

The situation is less promising at OccupyDenver where the occupation has been under siege.  It was raided at 3:00am this morning.

URGENT: OccupyWallStreet to be evicted from Zuccotti Park on Friday. Action needed

Update:  There is a rumor that the AFL-CIO is coming at midnight to show solidarity with OWS.  I just checked my email and this rumor is confirmed.  There was an email sent out at about 8:00pm tonight asking people to go to Zuccotti Park tonight and tomorrow morning by 7:00am.  The occupiers expect thousands of people in the morning when the police use the excuse of cleaning the park to move them out.  Here’s the concept: flood the area with so many people that the police can’t arrest them all.  At that point, they’ll have to use other tactics or let the protest be what it’s going to be- non-violently, of course.

If you go and get arrested, call legal aid resources at (212)6796018.

*************************************************************************************************************

Here is the latest news from OccupyWallSt.org (copied shamelessly).  You can follow the action live on the following livestream http://www.livestream.com/occupywallstnyc.  Live blog in the comments.

Here’s the call to action:

***************************************************************************************************************

EMERGENCY CALL TO ACTION: Keep Bloomberg and Kelly From Evicting #OWS

Posted Oct. 13, 2011, 2:14 p.m. EST by 

EMERGENCY #OWS EVICTION DEFENSE:
Prevent the forcible closure of Occupy Wall Street

Tell Bloomberg: Don’t Foreclose the Occupation.
NEED MASS TURN-OUT: 6AM FRIDAY EVICTION DEFENSE
**SHOW UP AT MIDNIGHT**

This is an emergency situation. Please take a minute to read this, and please take action and spread the word far and wide.

Occupy Wall Street is gaining momentum, with occupation actions now happening in cities across the world.

But last night Mayor Bloomberg and the NYPD notified Occupy Wall Street participants about plans to “clean the park”—the site of the Wall Street protests—tomorrow starting at 7am. “Cleaning” was used as a pretext to shut down “Bloombergville” a few months back, and to shut down peaceful occupations elsewhere.

Bloomberg says that the park will be open for public usage following the cleaning, but with a notable caveat: Occupy Wall Street participants must follow the “rules”.

NYPD Police Commissioner Ray Kelly has said that they will move in to clear us and we will not be allowed to take sleeping bags, tarps, personal items or gear back into the park.

This is it—this is their attempt to shut down #OWS for good.


PLEASE TAKE ACTION:

1) Call 311 (or 212-NEW-YORK if you’re out of town) and tell Bloomberg to support our right to assemble and to not interfere with #OWS.

2) Come to #OWS TONIGHT AT MIDNIGHT to defend the occupation from eviction.

For those of you who plan to help us hold our ground—which we hope will be all of you—make sure you understand the possible consequences. Be prepared to not get much sleep. Be prepared for possible arrest. Make sure your items are together and ready to go (or already out of the park.) We are pursuing all possible strategies; this is a message of solidarity.

Click here to learn nonviolent tactics for holding ground.

Occupy Wall Street is committed to keeping the park clean and safe — we even have a Sanitation Working Group whose purpose this is. We are organizing major cleaning operations today and will do so regularly.

If Bloomberg truly cares about sanitation here he should support the installation of portopans and dumpsters. #OWS allies have been working to secure these things to support our efforts.

We know where the real dirt is: on Wall Street. Billionaire Bloomberg is beholden to bankers.

We won’t allow Bloomberg and the NYPD to foreclose our occupation. This is an occupation, not a permitted picnic.

********************************************************************************************************************************

I was planning to rejoin the occupation on a daytrip to Manhattan tomorrow or Sunday.  I would be there tonight at midnight if it weren’t for the fact that I have a 15 year old to look after and no other responsible adult in town at the present time to keep her from freaking out if I am beaten and arrested.  So, I will try to get there tomorrow morning to check things out.

But if you can go, and you have quick remedies for pepper spray (and maybe goggles), I urge you to get down to Zuccotti Park tonight and help them.  All you have to do is show up and be a witness.  Getting there from NJ is tough if you are planning to take the train around midnight.  I usually drive to Newark and take the PATH to WTC.  Check the schedule because the northeast corridor train and the PATH trains are few and far between after about 10pm.  You may be able to pick up the PATH in Hoboken.

And to the occupiers, keep calm, don’t resist the police.  Continue to maintain your non-violent protest.  This is an opportunity to show the country that you mean business but are not out to cause trouble.  You guys are doing a really wonderful job.  Naomi Klein said last week that there would be a move to repress us and it will get harder.  But have courage, stick together and know that we are all watching and want you to succeed.

Election Night Blogging II: Christie is NJ’s New Governor

Well, it looks like this is not a good night for the Democrats or the current occupant of the White House.  Republicans have won the governor’s mansion in VA, Gracie Mansion in NYC and it looks like they are going to pick up Drumthwackit in New Jersey as well. (It’s official,  Christie won.  No, I’m not thrilled.)

Corzine’s loss should have Obama peeing his pants right now,  Those of us who voted for Corzine in 2005 thought we were voting for a financially savvy, socially liberal Democrat who would fix New Jersey’s egregious property tax system.  Corzine came to office blessed with a Democratic Assembly.  And yet, he did virtually nothing about the property tax issue.  He shuffled some things around and made incremental changes.  Then, he walked away from the issue early in his term and has spent the last four years coasting on the fact that he’s a Democrat.

But it is the glacial incrementalism that is doing him in.  He was elected with the same expectation of hope and change that swept Obama into office.  And what we got instead was the status quo and a placeholder.  New Jerseyans are really struggling to pay these taxes and if Corzine can’t be bothered to do something, he’ll be replaced by the Republican who at least promises to not raise them.

I thought Daggett was great candidate.  He was impressive in debate, had some realistic plans for reforming government that demonstrated a comprehensive knowledge of how our state works and he had a sunny, optimistic personality.  What he didn’t have was a major party or party identification that would give him a fair ballot position.  If you want to see how bad his ballot position was and how the odds were stacked against him, check out this page of county by county ballots.   The New York Times barely mentioned him in their campaign coverage and major polls rarely included him.  It was almost as if he wasn’t there.  Yet he was the only third party candidate who qualified for public funds.  I just hope that he doesn’t get discouraged by his numbers.  I’d vote for him again in a heartbeat.  Run, Daggett, Run!

And all you Obots out there?  Be afraid.  Be very afraid.  Bwahahahahahaha!!!!!

NJ Governor’s race is a referendum on Obama

Taffeta, darling.  It wrinkles so easily.

"Taffeta, darling. It wrinkles so easily."

I’ve been a little quiet lately, mostly because just about all I needed to say about Obama and what a disaster he was going to be to the party was said last year.  It’s nice to see that the rest of the blogosphere is finally coming to the same place that the PUMAs were in back in 2008.  (See here and here)  We’re all old, postmenopausal, uneducated, working class racists now, even Kos.  Welcome to the club, buddy!  We’ll put your white sheet and estrogen replacement therapy starter pack in the mail.

But the scorched earth Obama primary campaign of 2008 continues to have collateral damage in other not so obvious ways.  Take the governor’s race in NJ, for example.  Jon Corzine is still trailing Chris Christie, in some polls by 10% or more.  Bloomberg now says that this off-year election race is a referendum on the Obama presidency:

The elections offer a test of whether the electricity Obama generated with voters during his campaign will power other Democrats.

Obama has been campaigning for both Governor Jon Corzine, 62, of New Jersey and Creigh Deeds, 51, a state senator running for governor in Virginia. The president’s push for health-care legislation and unprecedented federal spending on the worst financial crisis in 70 years has created headaches for his fellow Democrats, who both trail their opponents in the polls.

“The political bounce on everything that’s happened this summer has made people much more cautious, much more conservative and fearful of change,” said Ross Baker, a professor of political science at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, New Jersey.

Support for Obama and his policies has eroded over the summer. The percentage of Americans who disapprove of his handling of health care has jumped to 50 percent from 29 percent in April, an ABC News/Washington Post poll conducted Aug. 13 to 17 found.

There’s a reason why support for Obama and his policies have eroded over the summer.  He didn’t start out of the gate with the hope and change he promised, didn’t protect taxpayers from the bankers and didn’t present a strong health care policy that takes the profit out of insuring people’s health.  He didn’t do those things because he’s never really been much of a Democrat, much less a liberal one.  He has no core Democratic principles, something Jane Hamsher, Chris Bowers and Markos Moulitsas didn’t think was so important last year.  Well, that was before they became racists.

The problem is that a little more than half of the Democratic base didn’t vote for Obama in the primaries last year.  They voted for the other guy.  After 8 years of Bush, patiently waiting for 8 F&*%ing years, they wanted the most Democratic president they could get.  But the party shoved Obama down our throats instead in a frenzy of money lust and as a teachable moment on race.  (as if teachable moments on gender were not very important, but I digress.)

This is the situation we have in NJ as well, where we voted for Clinton by more than 10 points but saw Corzine give every one od our delegates to Obama at the convention.  You know, if I were Corzine, I’d be regretting that decision right about now because he’s been trailing Christie by about 10% all election season.  Primary voters usually are party loyalists.  Messing with them was a really baaaad idea. It doesn’t help that, like Obama, Corzine really isn’t much of a Democrat.  In spite of the fact that the state Assembly is in Democratic hands, he has done nothing about restructuring the tax system here in NJ, which funds EVERYTHING on the backs of homeowners.  You redstaters out there who think you have it bad with taxes should see the tax bill I have on my modest little townhouse.  Corzine didn’t take that issue seriously, just like Obama isn’t taking health care seriously or the financial crisis seriously or Afghanistan seriously.

If you’re going to act like a Republican anyway, as well as being permanently associated with Goldman Sachs, does it matter if we vote for you?  There are choices, by the way.  We don’t have to vote for Chris Christie.  I know Corzine would like everyone to believe that Christie is his only competition.  Corzine even tried to move the debate from the beginning of October to the end  so no one would know there was a third candidate.   Corzine can’t afford to lose any more ground to any other candidate.

The Star-Ledger says Daggett speaks in coherent sentences!

The Star-Ledger says Daggett speaks in coherent sentences!

But Independent Chris Daggett, who’s going to be at that debate,  just got an endorsement from the Sierra Club so I’m taking a second look at him.  Plus, he’s got some ideas about education and lifetime tenure of new teachers that I find interesting, especially since this has the potential of improving the preparation of teachers in NJ schools in the area of Math and Science. Daggett could pick up a lot of support in the growing Asian community if he emphasized a math and science component of his education plan.  And those of you who have had enough of Bush’s and now Obama’s rambling speeches and non-sequitors will appreciate this comment from our local Star-Ledger:

Daggett stands to be the most articulate of the three as well. Christie piles on the platitudes like a pie-man piles on the pizza toppings. Corzine tends to get lost in the funhouse of his own thoughts. Daggett speaks in coherent sentences….So this race promises to be a real roller-coaster ride. Fasten your seat belt.

That’s a good sign.  It means that Daggett’s at least engaged his mind before he’s opened his mouth.  He’s pretty reasonable on social issues as well.

As for Corzine, what goes around, comes around.   Maybe he can get a job in his old pal, Barack Obama’s administration, for what ever is left of his term.

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Did Hank Paulson Use TARP as a “Ruse” to Rescue Citigroup?

TheScream

Be sure you’re sitting down before you read this, Okay? Barry Rithholtz speculates in his forthcoming book, Bailout Nation that the entire multi-trillion dollar boondoggle was

a giant ruse, a Hank Paulson engineered scam to cover up the simple fact that CitiGroup (C) was teetering on the brink of implosion. A loan just to Citi alone would have been problematic, went this line of brilliant reasoning, so instead, we gave money to all the big banks.

51yqsB8PvXL__SL500_AA240_

From the book:

As of October 2008, the other banks, while somewhat worse for wear, neither wanted nor needed the capital injection. None of them were in the same trouble as Citi. Even Bank of America’s problems via Merrill Lynch wouldn’t become acute until December 2008. Washington Mutual, the most troubled on the list, had already been put into FDIC receivership the month before.26 JPMorgan bought WaMu from the FDIC for under $2 billion, and Wachovia was swept up by Wells Fargo for about $15 billion. Thanks to a change in the tax law, Wells Fargo got to shelter $74 billion in profits from taxation. Instead of the FDIC absorbing a few billion in losses from Wachovia’s bad assets, the taxpayers lost 35 times that amount.

According to Rithholtz, today’s news that ten banks are going to pay back the TARP funds provides support for his thesis:

The hurry to repay this cheap cash confirms that the fix was in. If these banks were really in the bad shape Paulson suggested, they would hold onto this cheap source of credit. Instead, they want to throw the yoke of government monies off as soon as possible. The desire to return to their old compensation packages for executives cannot be the only factor . . .

In other words (or as President Obama would say, “Let us be clear”) our government spent $2.25 trillion and put our social safety net and maybe even the future of our country in jeopardy in order to rescue one huge bank that should have just been allowed to go bankrupt. I think I’m going to scream now.

Rithholtz went into more detail in an interview with Bloomberg Radio yesterday. You can listen to it here. In the interview, he makes the argument that huge corporate bailouts always seem to happen in election years. {{Sob!}} There’s a little good news in the broadcast, I guess; since Rithholtz says that while things are still getting worse, it isn’t happening as quickly as before. He thinks maybe we are going to pull out of this without falling all the way into another Great Depression.

Oh goody. But I’d feel a whole lot better about that prediction if I could see any sign that the government cares even a tiny bit about jobs and health care and such mundane needs of ordinary people as opposed to protecting banksters from their own stupidity and greed.

(See also Dakinikat’s post from earlier today.)

UPDATE: The Wall Street Journal has a new article in which they argue that Citigroup should be broken up.

Resolving Citi — by either forcing it into a strategic partnership, if anyone will have it, or selling off its assets and breaking it up — wouldn’t be cheap, but it would have a number of benefits. It would remove the leading candidate for zombie-bankdom from the financial system. It would also, finally, put an end to the slow bleeding of taxpayer money into the bank.

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