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Open Thread: Cancelled Elections, 2004?

April 28, 2004

Read the orginial post, © Copyright 2003, Maureen Farrell atPittsburgh Indy Media : Your comments Welcome at the end.

On Dec. 31, 2003, New York Times columnist and former Nixon speech writer William Safire offered his standard New Year’s predictions. This time, however, one item stood out. In addition to speculating on everything from which country would next "feel the force of U.S. liberation" to who would win the best picture Oscar, Safire predicted that "the 'October surprise' affecting the U.S. election" would be "a major terror attack in the United States." [Salt Lake Tribune]

While such speculation is hardly worth a trip to the duct tape store, when combined with repeated assaults to our democratic process and troublesome assertions from noteworthy sources, it warrants further investigation.

In Nov. 2003, you might recall, Gen. Tommy Franks told Cigar Aficionado magazine that a major terrorist attack (even one that occurred elsewhere in the Western world), would likely result in a suspension of the U.S. Constitution and the installation of a military form of government. "[A] terrorist, massive, casualty-producing event somewhere in the Western world -- it may be in the United States of America -- [would cause] our population to question our own Constitution and to begin to militarize our country in order to avoid a repeat of another mass, casualty-producing event," he said. [NewsMax.com]

Right around the same time, former Clinton administration official David Rothkopf made similarly distressing observations. In a Washington Post op-ed entitled, "Terrorist Logic: Disrupt the 2004 Election," he described a meeting in which nearly 75 percent of the professional participants (characterized as "serious people, not prone to hysteria or panic") also foresaw another terrorist attack occurring on American soil before the next election. "Recently, I co-chaired a meeting hosted by CNBC of more than 200 senior business and government executives, many of whom are specialists in security and terrorism related issues," he wrote. "Almost three-quarters of them said it was likely the United States would see a major terrorist strike before the end of 2004." [Washington Post]

Saying that "history suggests that striking during major elections is an effective tool for terrorist groups," Rothkopf explained why terrorists will most likely target us soon. And though he and Safire made these observations months before terrorists changed Spain’s political landscape, they were not alone in thinking along such lines. "Even before the bombings in Madrid, White House officials were worrying that terrorists might strike the United States before the November elections," USA Today reported, before commenting on how terrorists could "try the same tactics in the United States to create fear and chaos." [USA Today]

The New York Times also reported on the possibility that Al Qaeda would try to "influence the outcome of the election" by striking U.S. oil refineries. "The Federal Bureau of Investigation has warned the Texas oil industry of potential attacks by Al Qaeda on pipelines and refineries near the time of the November presidential election," the Times reported. [New York Times]

MSNBC, CNN and other news organizations also chimed in, raising concerns about this summer's political conventions. "In the wake of what happened in Madrid, we have to be concerned about the possibility of terrorists attempting to influence elections in the United States by committing a terrorist act," FBI Director Robert Mueller told CNN. "Quite clearly, there will be substantial preparations for each of the conventions." [CNN]

Right-wing columnists and pundits have since (surprise, surprise) tried to capitalize on such fears. "If a terrorist group attacked the U.S. three days before an election, does anyone doubt that the American electorate would rally behind the president or at least the most aggressively antiterror party?" David Brooks opined in the New York Times on March 16, [Libertypost.org] before Richard Clarke revealed that the Clinton administration was actually more "aggressively anti-terror" than the bumbling Bushes. (Could that be why the Bush administration refuses to turn over thousands of pages of the nearly 11,000 files on the Clinton administration’s antiterrorism efforts?)

Sean Hannity twisted things further. "If we are attacked before our election like Spain was, I am not so sure that we should go ahead with the election," he reportedly said. "We had better make plans now because it’s going to happen."

And, of course, what usurpation of democracy would be complete without Rush Limbaugh weighing in? "Do [the terrorists] bide their time and wait, or do they try to replicate their success in Spain here in America before our election?" Limbaugh asked, before revealing how "titans of industry," and "international business people (who do not outsource, by the way)" were "very, very, very concerned" that one true party forever rule the Fatherland.

"They all were seeking from me reassurance that the White House was safe this year, that John Kerry would not win," Limbaugh said. "Who do you think the terrorists would rather have in office in this country -- socialists like those in Spain as personified by John Kerry and his friends in the Democratic Party, or George W. Bush?"

Saying that a pre-election terrorist attack is not a question of "if" but "when," Limbaugh concluded that should anyone but Bush occupy the White House, the terrorists will have won. [RushLimbaugh.com]

Given the bizarre mind-melding between the government and media and the Soviet-style propagandizing that's been taking place, one has to wonder: Is there is any significance in the fact that Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity and David Brooks are all beating the same tom-tom? As former White House insider Richard Clarke recently told Jon Stewart, "[There are] dozens of people, in the White House. . . writing talking points, calling up conservative columnists, calling up talk radio hosts, telling them what to say. It’s interesting. All the talk radio people, the right wing talk radio people across the country, saying the exact same thing, exactly the same words."

Stewart noted that a 24-hour news network was also making observations that were "remarkably similar to what the White House was saying."

Even though Andrew Card admitted that "from a marketing point of view, you don't introduce new products in August," in May, 2002, Wayne Madsen and John Stanton revealed that the government’s marketing preparations for the war were already underway, with U.S. Air Force scientists consulting with CNN "to figure out how to gather and disseminate information." [CounterPunch.org]

In an article entitled, "When the War Hits Home: U.S. Plans for Martial Law, Tele-Governance and the Suspension of Elections," Madsen and Stanton delved into the more frightening aspects of what might be in store. "One incident, one aircraft hijacked, a 'dirty nuke' set off in a small town, may well prompt the Bush regime, let's say during the election campaign of 2003-2004, to suspend national elections for a year while his government ensures stability," they wrote. "Many closed door meetings have been held on these subjects and the notices for these meetings have been closely monitored by the definitive http://www.cryptome.org."

To make matters worse, if martial law is imposed, Air Force General Ralph E. Eberhart will be able to blast through Posse Comitatus and deploy troops to America’s streets. Gen. Eberhart, you might recall, is the former Commander of NORAD, which was in charge of protecting America’s skies on Sept. 11. But instead of being scrutinized for NORAD’s massive failures, he was promoted and now heads the Pentagon's Northern Command. And, as military analyst William M. Arkin explained, "It is only in the case of 'extraordinary' domestic operations that would enable Gen. Eberhart to bring in "intelligence collectors, special operators and even full combat troops" to bear. What kind of situation would have to occur to grant Eberhart "the far-reaching authority that goes with 'extraordinary operations’"? Nothing. He already has that authority. [Los Angeles Times]

Which brings us to the inevitable (and most important) question. How primed is the American public to accept suspended elections, martial law, or whatever else the White House decides to "market"?

Consider, for a moment, what an invaluable propaganda conduit the media was during the lead up to war in Iraq -- and just how weird things have become since. Howard Stern insists he was targeted by Clear Channel and the FCC after speaking out against George Bush [BuzzFlash.com]; former White House Aide Anna Perez (who worked under Condoleezza Rice and served as former first lady Barbara Bush’s press secretary) is slated to become chief communications executive for NBC; and MSNBC featured a story entitled, "White House: Bush Misstated Report on Iraq" on its Web site only to have it disappear down the Memory Hole in the course of a few hours. [TheMemoryHole.org]

Moreover, last year’s Clear Channel sponsorship of pro-war/pro-Bush rallies was so Orwellian, that former Federal Communications Commissioner Glen Robinson remarked, "I can't say that this violates any of a broadcaster's obligations, but it sounds like borderline manufacturing of the news." [Chicago Tribune] Meanwhile, the mysterious Karen Ryan (of "In Washington, I'm Karen Ryan reporting" fakery fame [Journalism.NYU.edu]) was featured in the New York Times. "Federal investigators are scrutinizing television segments in which the Bush administration paid people to pose as journalists, praising the benefits of the new Medicare law. . . , " the Times reported.

Need more proof that something is amiss? As of Feb. 5, 2004, CBS News was still reporting that one of the hijackers' passports was "found on the street minutes after the plane he was aboard crashed into the north tower of the World Trade Center," [CBS] and for far too long, pundits have taken to spreading White House rumors without checking facts --while denying any White House connection once these rumors prove false.

And most baffling of all, whenever anyone does tell the truth, a bevy of Stepford Citizens reveal that they’d rather hear lies. After Richard Clarke spilled the Bush beans on 60 Minutes, for example, the mail was overwhelmingly negative -- with some writing that Clarke should be tried for treason and others asking CBS, "Why can’t you be 'fair and balanced’ like FOX?" (Perhaps those viewers are denizens of the Free Republic Web site, where posters actually pondered the question: "Should the US have elections if attacked?" [FreeRepublic.com])

The most bizarre example of the White House’s dysfunctional domination of the media, however, occurred last week -- with the surreal controversy involving David Letterman and CNN. In case you missed it, on Monday, Letterman showed a video clip which featured a bored, fidgety kid standing behind George W. Bush, who was giving a speech in Orlando. The next day, CNN also ran that clip, but anchor Daryn Kagan returned from commercial break to inform viewers, "We're being told by the White House that the kid, as funny as he was, was edited into that video." Later, a second CNN anchor said that the boy was at the rally, but wasn't necessarily standing behind George W. Bush.

"That is an out and out 100 percent absolute lie. The kid absolutely was there, and he absolutely was doing everything we pictured via the videotape," Letterman said on Tuesday.

"Explanations continued through Wednesday and Thursday, with Letterman referring to "indisputable" and "very high-placed source" who told him that the White House had, in fact, called CNN. "This is where it gets a little hinky," Letterman said on Thursday, rehashing the back and forth nonsense that played like a bad SNL sketch. "We were told that the White House didn’t call CNN. That was the development the other day. So I’m upset because I smell a conspiracy. I think something’s gone haywire. I see this as the end of democracy as we know it; another one of them Watergate kind of deals. And so, I’m shooting my mouth off and right in the middle of the show, I’m handed a note that says 'No no no no, the White House did not contact CNN. The White House did NOT call CNN.’ So now I feel like "Oh, I guess I’m gonna do heavy time.’

"Ok, so now it gets a little confusing. So, the next day I’m told, 'Oh, No. The White House DID contact CNN. . . . They WERE contacted by the White House. They were trying to SHUT CNN up because they didn’t want to make these people look ridiculous because they were big Republican fund raisers and you know, I’m going to disappear mysteriously. In about eight months, they’ll find my body in the trunk of a rental car.

"So now, we’re told, despite what everyone says. . . that this high-ranking, high placed unidentified source says, "No No The White House did call them."

Although he displayed his customary wit and joked throughout his explanation, unless Letterman's acting skills extend far beyond those displayed in Cabin Boy, there's no doubt that Letterman was serious when he asserted that "despite what everyone says" the White House was involved in this fiasco.

Meanwhile, CNN apologized and accepted the blame, letting the White House off the hook.

While the Letterman episode is a lesson in abject absurdity, nearly two years ago, Madsen and Stanton warned that following a major terrorist attack, seditious web sites would be blocked (something that is already happening to howardstern.com) and "the broadcast media would similarly be required to air only that which has been approved by government censors." (How will we know the difference?)

Though it seems surreal that people are actually wagering that another terrorist attack will occur on our soil by November (and it’s even more bizarre that on-air personalities are calling for the suspension of elections), the fact that this un-elected gang who barreled into power and forever changed the course of a nation, is so completely untrustworthy makes the situation even more disturbing. On Sept 11, 2003, William Bunch of the Philadelphia Daily News asked, "Why don’t we have the answers to these 9/11 questions?" [The Philadelphia Daily News] before addressing a variety of concerns, which, thanks to the 9/11 commission, are finally making their way into our national consciousness. And now that another whistle blower, FBI translator Sibel Edmonds, has come forward, saying, "'I saw papers that show US knew al-Qaeda would attack cities with airplanes," [The Independent] it’s clear we’ve been under attack for quite some time. [BuzzFlash.com]

But before the Madrid bombings; before Richard Clarke’s revelations; before more whistleblowers peeked out from under the muck, David Rothkopf made everything oh-so-clear. Writing about the "military officers, policymakers, scientists, researchers and others who have studied [terrorism] for a long time," he explained how the majority of experts he spoke to not only predicted that the pre-election assaults would "be greater than those of 9/11," but that any act of terrorism would work in the President's favor. "It was the sense of the group that such an attack was likely to generate additional support for President Bush," he wrote.

Citing how "assaults before major votes have [traditionally] benefited candidates who were seen as tougher on terrorists," Rothkopf catalogued events in Israel, Russia, Turkey and Sri Lanka before explaining the symbiotic relationship between terrorists and hardliners. "So why would [terrorists] want to help [hardliners] win?" he asked. "Perhaps because terrorists see the attacks as a win-win. They can lash out against their perceived enemies and empower the hard-liners, who in turn empower them as terrorists. How? Hard-liners strike back more broadly, making it easier for terrorists as they attempt to justify their causes and their methods."

William Safire’s and David Rothkopf's and three out of four experts' speculations aside, there are those who believe that the Bible predicts the ultimate battle between good and evil and that George Bush is doing God’s work. But then again, the Bible also says that "the truth will make you free."

And according to Bible Code author Michael Drosnin, there is another, more mystical way to look at Biblical text, and he contends that the Bible also predicts, you guessed it, that there will be another terrorist attack in America in 2004.

Personally, I don’t give much credence to predictions, but when this many people peer into the crystal ball and see Al Qaeda gearing up for our presidential election, I take note -- especially given what’s transpired since the last stolen election. [EricBlumrich.com]

So, what the heck. If others can do it, I can, too. So I’ll go out on a limb a make a prediction of my own: If the truth continues to seep out about the way the Bush administration has failed us, suspending the election may be the only way Bush can win.
My darkest fear is that G.W.'s handlers believe this, too.

* * *

BuzzFlash Note: We're not sure what to make of this, but a BuzzFlash Reader who works for the U.S. Government recently sent us this note: "When I attempted to purchase a [BuzzFlash] premium on-line, I have received the message from our 'computer police' that this site is considered a HATE site and I am not allowed to purchase this material online using government computers." Go figure. If anyone can verify this information, we'd be exceptionally grateful.


BACK TO TOP

Maureen Farrell is a writer and media consultant who specializes in helping other writers get television and radio exposure.

© Copyright 2003, Maureen Farrell

Posted by manystrom at 11:52 PM | Comments (50)

Global economy set for best years in decade, IMF says

April 22, 2004

Editor's note: What is such a bullish news article doing on such a bearish website? Normally I would throw this up for a balancing view on the news page, but this is so contrary to what I believe the near future will hold that I want it here on the site, to serve as future reference, right or wrong. Add your comments at the end.

Michael

http://business.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,8209-1083212,00.html



THE world economy is on course for its best two years of expansion for more than a decade, the International Monetary Fund said yesterday.

The Fund’s bullish view came as Alan Greenspan, the Federal Reserve Chairman, stepped up his campaign to prepare markets for a rise in American interest rates, delivering his second signal in two days that an increase is on the cards by autumn.

In its bi-annual World Economic Outlook, the IMF said accelerating world growth meant that it was time for higher interest rates in most large economies.

The Fund raised its forecast for world growth to a buoyant 4.6 per cent, and projected growth of 4.4 per cent in 2005.

Raghuram Rajan, the IMF chief economist, said: “The tentative buds of recovery we observed six months ago are now blooming in many parts of the world.”

But as the IMF highlighted a series of risks to recovery, it stepped up pressure on Mr Greenspan to raise US rates soon. “The ground should continue to be prepared for future monetary tightening,” it said.

The IMF said that, if rates were kept low across Western economies, markets could become over-valued and potentially volatile when rates did rise.

Mr Rajan issued a call for leading economies to use the recovery to strengthen public finances and build ammunition to deal with future economic shocks.

The IMF also reinforced calls for the US to curb its budget deficit and highlighted risks from rising oil prices and terrorism.

In his latest hint at an impending rate rise, Mr Greenspan dropped his use of the word “patient” to describe the Fed’s stance and said rates “must rise at some point”.

Most economists now expect a move in August. But markets were rattled by what they saw as a hawkish stance from the Fed chairman.

The dollar jumped while shares on Wall Street were flat. The dollar’s gains pushed the euro to a five-month low of $1.1823.

Sterling slumped 2.5 cents to a four-month low.

Mr Rajan also sounded a warning that the global economy will be undermined if politicians in the US or other countries succumb to demands to throw up barriers to competition for foreign goods and services.

Mr Rajan reinforced his plea with a swipe at the climate of fear in many leading Western economies over the emergence of China as a potent force in world trade.

Posted by manystrom at 07:54 PM | Comments (109)

My Life as a Deadbeat American

April 15, 2004

Editors Note: This is a reprint from our friend at Halfpast Human. Please visit the site, and the original post at: http://www.halfpasthuman.com/HPHBASTARD.htm. Add your comments at the end.

By Frmr Sftwr Engnr
------------------

It all began with the bastard from Bombay, India that is, and actually they call it M’umbai, now, but that sure didn’t stop the fellow from cursing up a storm in a flat, mid-western, American accent.

He had called me to try collect on my credit card debt. The irony of him calling me on the low cost, high-bandwidth telephony service that I helped to engineer in the early 80’s was not lost on me as I detected the slightest hint of Hindu accent in his speech. However, the fellow from M’umbai did not take kindly to my pointing out the irony of the situation…me, a long term unemployed telephony and other software engineer, being hounded for debts by a fellow halfway round the planet and ONLY because 20 years ago I worked my ass off with hundreds of other engineers to provide a signal switching network that allows for the low cost long distance we enjoy today.

“…and it let’s you work in M’umbai for American based companies where you hound Americans over our own cheap phone lines.” I pointed out.

“You are just another DEADBEAT AMERICAN” he screamed back at me, and then continued on with his scare tactics approach.

“Hey, wait a minute,” I responded, getting a bit touchy here. “You can’t say certain things here while trying to collect debt. We have this law…”

“Yes,” he shouted, “ I know all about the Fair Collections Law you have. But DO I CARE? NO! YOU DEADBEAT AMERICAN! I AM IN INDIA! YOU MUST PAY ME NOW! I KNOW ABOUT YOU NOW. YOU MUST PAY ME!”

“What? What was that? What is it you know about me?” I asked, starting to get really ticked off. This was NOT the usual collection call I had received.

“YOU ARE DEADBEAT AMERICAN. I am trained about you.” He shouts into my ear on crystal clear phone lines from the other side of the planet. “ALL YOU AMERICANS LIVE BEYOND YOUR MEANS. YOU ALL LAZY. YOU ARE NOT WILLING TO WORK, ONLY TO SPEND. YOUR WHOLE COUNTRY LIVES ON THE BACK OF THE WORLD. YOU ARE A DEADBEAT AMERICAN!” he shouted with genuine anger.

Actually, prior to this call, I had been pleasantly surprised to discover how civilized the collection process actually had become. It had been decades ago, as a poor student, when I had last had a brush with collections, and the landscape has really changed since then. True, the portion of our debt that went into arrears was (at that time) only credit card based, as I had wisely decided, after the layoff, that the mortgage and health insurance came first. So when the last of the savings went, I simply stopped making credit card payments.

“Just until I get a job.” I had thought at the time. I even went so far as to send a note to that effect with each of the last payments to the various card companies. I explained in the letter that unemployment did not even cover the mortgage and health insurance costs, to say nothing of such incidentals as food and energy, so credit card payments had to take a back seat.

Now, like most Americans, the wife and I had had several credit cards ‘active’ while I was working, and while living from paycheck to paycheck was not pleasant, at least the debt service was manageable and we felt like we had a chance to get ahead.

Then came the Bush Boom (my guess for the title to be given to this period by historians) and there went my job. The real problem was that the Bush Boom also took whatever replacement job had been out there waiting. No one needed software engineers, at least not anywhere near as many of us.

Once laid off, I discovered many of my fellow software and computer co-workers over the last decade were in similar straits. I had sort of gotten a feel for this as there were a number of calls from former co-workers, while I was still working, asking about any work I could through their way. Soon, I found myself on the other side of those conversations.

Every call to every prospect, or former co-worker, or former client, or friend, always ended the same, “…no work here. How about so-and-so?” they would always ask.

Then I would say that old so-and-so was also unemployed and looking. Then another few minutes of commiseration, and off the line, and onto the next call.

None of it did any good. No work here. Notice that we are not conversing about jobs. ALL of us ‘long term unemployed’ know that there are no jobs, except perhaps in the imagination of labor-statistic bureaucrats, and the dreams of politicians. No, we just speak of work. “Got any work? A few hours? Some device driver tweaking maybe?”, we ask our employed friends, but never about jobs. Those don’t really exist any more in America.

At the time I lost my job (early March of 2003), there were 1041 jobs advertised in the local paper for work in the Southern Puget Sound area, most under 32 hours a week, and in the health care area. Now, a year and a month and a day later, there are 513 jobs advertised in the local paper, most under 32 hours a week, and in the health care field.

No software engineering jobs at all. No software maintenance, installation, no anything. Gone, poof. So, as a good citizen, wishing to be productive again, you go to your local contact at the Unemployment office where you are informed that as an old, bald, hard-working, innovative, sharp-brained software engineer, you have two choices: one, move to India or China (I don’t speak either Hindi or Chinese, and as an American, foreigners scare me so option one is out), or two, get retrained.

Of course, no one in government has ever given a thought to the issue of trying to retrain older tech workers to become caring, health care workers. In my personal case, it won’t happen. I am your typical engineer, I can’t stand myself most days, let alone anyone else. And, if I had been gifted with even average people-skills, would I really have chosen to spend my working life glued to a screen and keyboard for nearly 20 hours a day? Probably not, is my guess. But they don’t ask me, after all, I don’t count.

You see, once you reach ‘exhaustion’ and by that the government means you have used all the unemployment benefits you will get, you ‘fall off the back end’ of the unemployment-industry rolls, and quite simply don’t count any longer. And are mostly not counted.

Except, in India, where at least I still am counted, if only as a debt with some unknown level of potential for recovery. Or in the case of the Indian collection firms, I am at least counted as an ‘active account’ for which, presumably, some American based company whose infrastructure my taxes helped to provide, is now billed.

And at least someone has work.

Yes, it finally sunk in, during that phone call. I am as he declared, just and accurately, though as near as I can tell, not through any fault of my own. I know I am a deadbeat American because I have been told so by that bastard from Bombay.

---

Original post at: http://www.halfpasthuman.com/HPHBASTARD.htm

Posted by manystrom at 09:34 AM | Comments (33)

Kudlow & Cramer - The Show Stinks

April 02, 2004

Presented by Jeff Kassel for your reading pleasure: A couple of emails to Jim Cramer about his show, and a couple of responses.

MESSAGE 1.

From: Jeff Kassel
Sent: Friday, March 26, 2004 11:58 PM
To: Kudlow & Cramer
Subject: The show stinks


I liked Kudlow better when he was using Coke. Viewers turn this show off. I see it, I turn it off after a few minutes.....after listening to one or two laughable lies. Both of these guys have nothing to contribute. They are both obvious hacks and need to be replaced with people that are serious. CNBC has some serious staff people that do make some sense.....but not these guys. You're losing the viewer. Maybe CNBC doesn't care about the time slot. But it's prime time. You should be running something good. Why not do a roundtable with serious people. Mix it up with people that see problems........I mean running one optimist after another is not exactly balanced.

In the last few weeks we are hearing about Social Security running out of money and needing restructuring as well as medicare.........does this suggest our economy is well run. Interest rates at historical lows that are causing the dollar to drop like a rock. What about 520 billion dollar deficits that are really more like 700 billion dollar deficits. What about China and Japan buying 250 billion of our debt. This means they have us by the balls. If they stop buying treasuries........interest rates rise and choke off this recovery.

I have wondered if Kudlow and Cramer or organizations are buying the time slot....kind of like Sue Orman....another hack.

You guys have some obligation to the viewing public. It would be nice to see wrap-ups that are more than happy talk and propaganda.

Do something about this. The show stinks. It has always stunk.

Jeff Kassel


CRAMER'S 1st RESPONSE.

From: Cramer, Jim (NBC, CNBC)
To: 'Jeff Kassel'
Sent: Monday, March 29, 2004 2:10 PM
Subject: RE: The show stinks


for you to say that about larry is so horrifying that i cant begin to think what kind of animal you are
jjc


MESSAGE 2.

To: Cramer, Jim (NBC, CNBC)
Cc: JeffKassel
Sent: Monday, March 29, 2004 9:49 PM
Subject: Cramer..one more thing


Jim Cramer,

I seem to have your attention. Four years ago I liked you as a guest on CNBC in the morning. You were a breath of fresh air. You were a nice counterpoint to the polished styles of the regular anchors. And you had something to say....it was a message that was delivered in an authentic style that was often funny and usually pretty interesting. I particularly remember your complaints about Microsoft not taking the Justice Department lawyers seriously as the anti-trust activity started. Even though you were wrong, but it was fun to listen to you. You should have been right but Microsoft won that round...they weren't so lucky in Europe. Actually, as corporate gangsterism goes, Microsoft was a junior high school player. We got into college with Enron and Adelphia and Worldcom and all the other Wall Street criminals.

But, Jim, there is a big difference between being a guest once a week for an hour, and a host every night. Plus there is the Kudlow problem. Kudlow is a smart guy...just like you...but Larry Kudlow is a mindless supplysider/propagandist who has been predicting great things for the stock market whenever there's a TV camera around. I'd love to see an accurate history of his investments because if he invests the way he suggests other invest, from 2000 to 2002 he would have lost a ton of money. Finally in 2003 Kudlow was finally right and the market did rise, but you and I both know there are all kinds of problems with an economy that's running on the interest rate cocaine promoted by the Fed.

Savers and retired people in this country are being severely punished with artificially low interest rates so government can bail out corporations that have misallocated capital. This was once a country that saved and produced things. Now we have economic engineers who think we can borrow our way to prosperity as millions of jobs are exported to police states like China. When the Japanese and Chinese decide to stop buying treasuries, you will see what will happen Kudlow's utopian, ever-expanding economy, fueled by tax cuts for millionaires and capital gains reductions.

Because I watched you in the mornings, I had high hopes for your show and I was really disappointed. I am not alone. Serious viewers are not so very impressed with shameless self-promotion and investment puffery. We used to pay our bills in this country and Republicans used to promote balanced budgets. Kudlow is a member of the "New Republican" cadre who believes that deficits approaching a trillion dollars a year represent good government policy. Maybe his mind has been twisted with all that ass kissing he and everybody else does when the words, Allen Greenspan are uttered. Greenspan....one of the worst fed governors in history who choked when it came time to take his foot off the gas. Someone should take him out behind the Federal Reserve building and give him the beating of his life for trying to wreck the world.

I'm not as smooth and sycophantic as Kudlow, nor do I share his cockeyed optimism. For most of my unremarkable life I've paid my bills, saved for retirement and worried about excessive spending for government programs that are unaffordable. Looking back on it, I suppose that makes me an idiot because you and your partner are on TV and I am not. But if I was on TV, I would not be hawking companies that are selling for 50 times earnings as national bankruptcy looms on the horizon.

Do yourself a favor and do some tough interviews on your show...give me a call when you decide to take apart some happy talking sector analyst so that after 30 seconds, sh** is running down both of their legs. People are kind of tired of bs.....aren't you?

Jeff Kassel

CRAMER'S 2nd RESPONSE.

From: Cramer, Jim (NBC, CNBC)
To: 'Jeff Kassel'
Sent: Monday, March 29, 2004 2:09 PM
Subject: RE: The show stinks


jeff you are really funny, especially when you beat your children
jjc


Posted by rlancaster at 10:58 PM | Comments (24)
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