Sunday, April 17, 2011

Let America Be America Again, Langston Hughes

For his campaign slogan, Rick Santorum stole the phrase, "Fighting To Make America America Again," from Langston Hughes. Well, I'm stealing it back. Here's the original, from, which seems to capture current popular sentiment, sentiment provoked by Mr. Santorum and his ilk:
Let America Be America Again  
by Langston Hughes

Let America be America again.
Let it be the dream it used to be.
Let it be the pioneer on the plain
Seeking a home where he himself is free.

(America never was America to me.)

Let America be the dream the dreamers dreamed--
Let it be that great strong land of love
Where never kings connive nor tyrants scheme
That any man be crushed by one above.

(It never was America to me.)

O, let my land be a land where Liberty
Is crowned with no false patriotic wreath,
But opportunity is real, and life is free,
Equality is in the air we breathe.

(There's never been equality for me,
Nor freedom in this "homeland of the free.")

Say, who are you that mumbles in the dark? 
And who are you that draws your veil across the stars?

I am the poor white, fooled and pushed apart,
I am the Negro bearing slavery's scars.
I am the red man driven from the land,
I am the immigrant clutching the hope I seek--
And finding only the same old stupid plan
Of dog eat dog, of mighty crush the weak.

I am the young man, full of strength and hope,
Tangled in that ancient endless chain
Of profit, power, gain, of grab the land!
Of grab the gold! Of grab the ways of satisfying need!
Of work the men! Of take the pay!
Of owning everything for one's own greed!

I am the farmer, bondsman to the soil.
I am the worker sold to the machine.
I am the Negro, servant to you all.
I am the people, humble, hungry, mean--
Hungry yet today despite the dream.
Beaten yet today--O, Pioneers!
I am the man who never got ahead,
The poorest worker bartered through the years.

Yet I'm the one who dreamt our basic dream
In the Old World while still a serf of kings,
Who dreamt a dream so strong, so brave, so true,
That even yet its mighty daring sings
In every brick and stone, in every furrow turned
That's made America the land it has become.
O, I'm the man who sailed those early seas
In search of what I meant to be my home--
For I'm the one who left dark Ireland's shore,
And Poland's plain, and England's grassy lea,
And torn from Black Africa's strand I came
To build a "homeland of the free."

The free?

Who said the free?  Not me?
Surely not me?  The millions on relief today?
The millions shot down when we strike?
The millions who have nothing for our pay?
For all the dreams we've dreamed
And all the songs we've sung
And all the hopes we've held
And all the flags we've hung,
The millions who have nothing for our pay--
Except the dream that's almost dead today.

O, let America be America again--
The land that never has been yet--
And yet must be--the land where every man is free.
The land that's mine--the poor man's, Indian's, Negro's, ME--
Who made America,
Whose sweat and blood, whose faith and pain,
Whose hand at the foundry, whose plow in the rain,
Must bring back our mighty dream again.

Sure, call me any ugly name you choose--
The steel of freedom does not stain.
From those who live like leeches on the people's lives,
We must take back our land again,

O, yes,
I say it plain,
America never was America to me,
And yet I swear this oath--
America will be!

Out of the rack and ruin of our gangster death,
The rape and rot of graft, and stealth, and lies,
We, the people, must redeem
The land, the mines, the plants, the rivers.
The mountains and the endless plain--
All, all the stretch of these great green states--
And make America again!
 (BTW, April is National Poetry Month. Let's honor known and unknown poets everywhere by reading a few poems for our mutual edification;)

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Iago Embodied

UPDATE 24-JUN-11: Budget Talks Near Collapse as G.O.P. Leader Quits, NY Times

(AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
The press reports that Rep. Eric Cantor (R-VA) spontaneously "quit," or "walked out" of budget negotiations in exchange for an extension of the debt ceiling. The extension is required to prevent a government default August 2. Ostensibly, Cantor walked out after Biden and other Democrats insisted that tax loopholes for oil companies be eliminated. Cantor called terminating these loopholes a tax increase, and like the good corporate lapdog he is, he abandoned the country in favor of his back room shareholders.

Cantor is a crass, smirking, frat boy weasel. No one should  take him seriously. Yet the press does...while the country burns to ashes. These "budget negotiations" are nothing more than extortion by avaricious corporations who smell blood in the fetid lagoon of Congress; blood spilled during the staged melee over the debt ceiling extension. (Which by the way has been extended every year since 2001 when we started, once again, running deficits under yet another profligate Republican administration intent on creating a crisis they can exploit in the interest of their Starve the Beast tactic.)

Cantor's melodramatic prancing about is the sorriest, saddest, most duplicitous, and ridiculous illusion of leadership theatre I have seen since...I don't know...say, Richard Nixon. Tricky Dick. The schmuck should be recalled. And President Obama should tell Boehner and Cantor to go to hell, which if such a place exists, sooner or later they surely will anyway.

If you read Shakespeare's Othello, and wonder what Iago, the perfect evil antagonist would look like, I give you Iago embodied:

Here is Iago describing himself...and Paul Ryan, and John Boehner, and Kevin McCarthy, Mitch McConnell, Jim DeMint, James Inhofe...
O, sir, content you;
I follow him to serve my turn upon him:
We cannot all be masters, nor all masters
Cannot be truly follow'd. You shall mark
Many a duteous and knee-crooking knave,
That, doting on his own obsequious bondage,
Wears out his time, much like his master's ass,
For nought but provender, and when he's old, cashier'd:
Whip me such honest knaves. Others there are
Who, trimm'd in forms and visages of duty,
Keep yet their hearts attending on themselves,
And, throwing but shows of service on their lords,
Do well thrive by them and when they have lined
their coats
Do themselves homage: these fellows have some soul;
And such a one do I profess myself. For, sir,
It is as sure as you are Roderigo,
Were I the Moor, I would not be Iago:
In following him, I follow but myself;
Heaven is my judge, not I for love and duty,
But seeming so, for my peculiar end:
For when my outward action doth demonstrate
The native act and figure of my heart
In compliment extern, 'tis not long after
But I will wear my heart upon my sleeve
For daws to peck at: I am not what I am.

Here is the President's speech Representative Ryan refers to: 

Here is  an OMB assessment of Paul Ryan's Path to Prosperity: Congressional Budget Office. Letter to Rep. Paul Ryan. 5 Apr 2011.

And, here is an assessment of President Obama's speech by

Friday, April 15, 2011

American Poverty: A Simple Solution

Republican lawmakers are considering a bill in the House of Representatives, called “Remaking the Majority Act,” that would repeal the 13th Amendment to the Constitution. The 13th Amendment abolished slavery. The repeal initiative was inspired by a report that concludes 25% of American children live in households with an income below the poverty threshold.

One longstanding Republican legislator commented, “We tried lowering that so-called poverty threshold. That would have gotten a lot of folks out of poverty right away, and at no cost to taxpayers. Right now, they have that threshold set at $22,350. We tried for $15,000. Now, for a family of four, that’s poverty. But, $22,350? C’mon, that’s not so bad.”

The purpose of the repeal initiative, according to key Republican lawmakers involved in drafting the bill, is to level income disparities and put an end to the “divisive class warfare” that has tormented the best citizens of our nation, our most successful entrepreneurs and executives who earn more than $1 million a year. This highly productive top 1% of US earners holds in excess of 90% of our nation’s wealth, which leaves the remaining 10% faced with dire economic circumstances. To compassionately alleviate this troubling condition, Conservative authors of the repeal bill suggest that any able-bodied head of household or single person who is unemployed or earns less than the defined poverty threshold should be freed from the burden of wage-earning. Imposed by a new government bureau, binding contracts would require persons deemed incapable of securing adequate income be rendered into servitude.

Rather than be subjected to the vicissitudes of a fickle labor market that many are incapable of navigating, these unfortunate souls would answer to designated corporate work-holders. In return for ongoing labor, the work-holders would provide the indigent and their dependents with all of the requirements of a healthy and fulfilling existence: food, shelter, education, health care, recreation, and cremation. By way of extending hope for those bound into servitude, if the bound servant’s performance proved exceptional as judged by the work-holder, the work-holder could then take the role of “angel,” release the bound person from servitude, and provide them with a grant to establish them in corporate, wage-earning society. Once established with wages deemed adequate by their employer, the worker could purchase the freedom of their spouse and offspring (on layaway if they like). And from there, of course, the sky is the limit.

Otherwise, if the individual failed to evidence sufficient initiative, they would remain bound to the work-holder for perpetuity, as would their dependents.

Republican lawmakers involved in drafting the “Remaking the Majority Act” were quick to assert that the bill is not rooted in any bigoted, or racist predilections. Although the bill has been called a sanction for slavery, the authors note that historically slavery was tinged with a racial component, and their bill is not. This absence of a racial component along with consistent reliance on earning metrics for determining program eligibility -- the equal opportunity nature of their bill, as enthusiastic lawmakers call it -- is a key distinction. Further, their bill is intended to provide essential economic assistance at a time of vital need. Finally, their bill would alleviate much of the troubling burden of political tension between the poor majority and the wealthy micro-minority, tension which threatens to undermine the sacred Constitutional freedoms of our most productive citizens, the wealthiest one percent.

The “Remaking the Majority Act,” Republican lawmakers say, would re-define the earning majority in this nation as a more prosperous subset of citizens with closely aligned economic interests. To accomplish this, the bill would remove from published income statistics those who are “less eager to work for a living,” those who earn the minimum wage (which this bill would abolish), and thus drag our median income statistic down. Finally, the bill would spare the misguided, who fail to share the beliefs and earning potential of the new prosperous majority, from the encumbrance of voting for local, state, and federal representatives.

As one lawmaker put it, “These folks don’t want to be troubled with voting. Most of them have never voted in their lives. Now, they won’t have to worry about it. And they won’t have to worry about feeding their kids or keeping a roof over their heads. We’ll do that for them, too. All we ask is that they do the work they are asked to do, when they are asked to do it. It’s a win-win situation for the work-holder, and the worker.”

When asked whether the “Remaking the Majority Act” does in fact replace freedom with slavery, and what the consequences are for failure to comply, the lawmaker replied, “Well, of course there will be those radical lefties who want to call this slavery, who say the bill tramples Constitutional freedoms, but that’s just not so. These insolvent people created their own misfortune. Yes, folks who don’t comply with the wishes of their designated work-holders might get knocked around a little, but they’re free to go at any time. They’re free to go to one of the new, privately operated debtor’s prisons, that is, away from their wives and kids, who’ll end up panhandling on a street corner somewhere. But that’s their choice. And that’s what freedom is: alternatives. So, I’m not buying that loss of freedom argument. Who’s really free, anyway?”

The “Remaking the Majority Act” would provide the economic certainty our great corporations need to prosper and yield ever-growing dividends to their affluent, capitalized shareholders. Most importantly, the lawmakers say, it would provide a lifetime of security to malcontented legions incapable of pulling their own weight in a democratic, Darwinian, free-market society.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Bankster Gangs -- A Rap 4 Blankfein

Big banks...too-big-to-fail-banks...banks that have eaten our lunch for the last thirty years (that is, us un-capitalized folks who work for a living). Eminem could not have done this better. No one could have.

Watch the charts carefully. They will break your heart. But then you can get up a head of steam and fight the injustice. And fight we must. Or, capitulate to impoverished lives.

Let 'er rip, Juliet Capulet --

President Obama Terrifies Grover Norquist

Today, in the Daily Beast, Grover Norquist suggests in a short article that Mr. Obama is terrified of Representative Paul Ryan (R-VA), and his benighted attempt at Medicare "reform."
The president's highly anticipated budget presentation was a mulligan, not the work of a competent White House, says Grover Norquist. And it revealed just how worried Obama is about Rep. Paul Ryan’s proposal.
This is nonsense. It just shows that the terrified see terror everywhere. I would guess, if anything, President Obama is unsettled by the seemingly unstoppable demagoguery of the corporate-funded Tea Party and its elected acolytes. As the President surely knows, these dull-minded fools will drive us to wrack and ruin if given the chance, and with a Republican dominated Congress, it seems they have the chance. There are no lies too egregious for these Republican lawmakers. No wage earner brought so low that they won't ask them for more handouts to feed their overfed, affluent political patrons.

Here is my comment (with a couple of tweaks) on Mr. Norquist's mean-spirited dispatch:
Grover Norquist is a bloviating gasbag who despises anyone, including President Obama, who would do the responsible thing and raise taxes to pay for programs that a civilized society requires. Oliver Wendell Holmes said, “No, young fellow, I like paying taxes, with them I buy civilization.” He was right. And Mr. Norquist is wrong. And has been for more than thirty years. He has sung the praises of tax cuts since the previous deficit fiasco during the Reagan years. After which George HW Bush raised taxes.

We have tax-cut this country into banana republic status, and still we have the embittered mobs who can not figure out who is picking their pockets and continue to vote for Republican corporate lap dogs. No wonder Mr. Norquist will not go away. And now we are supposed to follow Mr. Ryan off a cliff and price senior citizens out of the health care market. And then what? Standard Republican answer of course: kick 'em to the curb. And cut taxes. For rich people. For whom health care is a negligible fraction of their income. And yet, under Ryan's plan, according to a CBO report a typical senior citizen will pay 61% of their medical bills instead of 27% under current Medicare rules, by 2030 that figure jumps to 68%.

Grover Norquist and Paul Ryan are all about the same tactic: create a phony budget crisis, and then cut social benefit programs that rich folks don't like to pay for. But never, ever, ever cut defense, a fat, white-collar-welfare, 50% of the US budget. It's called starve the beast, and it is the only tactic the Republicans know that guarantees them a gold-plated, revolving-door exit from Congress. And it is a disaster for the country.


Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Senator Stabenow, D - MI, Sells Out the Planet

Senator Debbie Stabenow (D - MI) sponsored an amendment, S. 493 -- "SBIR/STTR Reauthorization Act of 2011," that would preclude the EPA from regulating greenhouse gas emissions for two years from any stationary source, including coal-powered power plants and CAFO's (confined animal feeding operation); motor vehicles will be exempted until 2017.

Senator Stabenow sold out the environment and a healthy, prosperous future in exchange for campaign contributions from fossil energy firms, corrupt investment banks, private equity hatchet men (Vestar), toxic corporate farms, and the sclerotic automotive industry. She sold out for money, and her own grasp on power, and that is truly shameful, and a big disappointment. She lost my vote. I'm going with the Green Party, even if that means some Republican nut job will take her place instead. At least my conscience will be clear. And, I'll know the terms of engagement with the opposition. The Green Party is the only hope for a Congress that is not bought and paid for by corporations.

Here's a rundown of the folks who bought Senator Stabenow as of 2010, courtesy of

Top 20 Contributors to Campaign Cmte. and Leadership PAC

1EMILY's List$189,375$189,375$0
2Blue Cross/Blue Shield$90,332$46,700$43,632
3Vestar Capital Partners$70,950$50,950$20,000
4JPMorgan Chase & Co$65,950$37,950$28,000
5General Motors$62,800$24,800$38,000
6University of Michigan$55,900$55,900$0
7Henry Ford Health System$48,950$44,200$4,750
8Ford Motor Co$48,375$25,375$23,000
9DaVita Inc$47,850$17,850$30,000
10Teamsters Union$45,000$0$45,000
11DTE Energy$44,400$23,900$20,500
12United Auto Workers$42,800$2,800$40,000
13Sheet Metal Workers Union$40,000$0$40,000
14American Assn for Justice$39,500$1,000$38,500
15Next Generation$39,403$38,650$753
16Mylan Inc$38,000$2,000$36,000
17Manor Care Inc$37,300$17,300$20,000
18Robins, Kaplan et al$35,600$28,600$7,000
19Eisenberg & Bogas$35,300$35,300$0
20United Steelworkers$35,000$0$35,000

And here is Senator Stabenow's amendment SA 265:
SA 265. Ms. STABENOW submitted an amendment intended to be proposed by her to the bill S. 493, to reauthorize and improve the SBIR and STTR programs, and for other purposes; which was ordered to lie on the table; as follows:

    On page 116, after line 24, add the following:
    (a) Defined Term.--In this section, the term ``greenhouse gas'' means--
    (1) water vapor;
    (2) carbon dioxide;
    (3) methane;
    (4) nitrous oxide;
    (5) sulfur hexafluoride;
    (6) hydrofluorocarbons;
    (7) perfluorocarbons; and
    (8) any other substance subject to, or proposed to be subject to, any regulation, action, or consideration under the Clean Air Act (42 U.S.C. 7401 et seq.) to address climate change.
    (b) In General.--Except as provided in subsection (d), and notwithstanding any provision of the Clean Air Act (42 U.S.C. 7401 et seq.), any requirement, restriction, or limitation under such Act relating to a greenhouse gas that is designed to address climate change, including any permitting requirement or requirement under section 111 of such Act (42 U.S.C. 7411), shall not be legally effective during the 2-year period beginning on the date of the enactment of this Act.
    (c) Treatment.--Notwithstanding any other provision of law, any action by the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency before the end of the 2-year period described in subsection (b) that attempts to classify a greenhouse gas as a pollutant subject to regulation under the Clean Air Act (42 U.S.C. 7401 et seq.), except for purposes other than addressing climate change, for any source other than a new motor vehicle or a new motor vehicle engine (as described in section 202(a) of such Act (42 U.S.C. 7521(a)) shall not be legally effective during such period.
    (d) Exceptions.--Subsections (b) and (c) shall not apply to--
    (1) the implementation and enforcement of the rule entitled ``Light-Duty Vehicle Greenhouse Gas Emission Standards and Corporate Average Fuel Economy Standards'' (75 Fed. Reg. 25324 (May 7, 2010) and without further revision); or
    (2) the finalization, implementation, enforcement, and revision of the proposed rule entitled ``Greenhouse Gas Emissions Standards and Fuel Efficiency Standards for Medium- and Heavy-Duty Engines and Vehicles'' published at 75 Fed. Reg. 74152 (November 30, 2010).
    (a) Preserving One National Standard for Automobiles.--Section 209(b) of the Clean Air Act (42 U.S.C. 7543) is amended by adding at the end the following:
    ``(4) With respect to standards for emissions of greenhouse gases (as defined in section 330) for model year 2017 or any subsequent model year for new motor vehicles and new motor vehicle engines--
    ``(A) the Administrator may not waive application of subsection (a); and
    ``(B) no waiver granted prior to the date of enactment of this paragraph may be considered to waive the application of subsection (a).''.
    (b) Agricultural Sources.--In calculating the emissions or potential emissions of a source or facility, emissions of greenhouse gases that are subject to regulation under title III of the Clean Air Act (42 U.S.C. 7601 et seq.) solely on the basis of the effect of the gases on global climate change shall be excluded if the emissions are from--
    (1) direct or indirect changes in land use;
    (2) the growing of commodities, biomass, fruits, vegetables, or other crops;
    (3) the raising of stock, dairy, poultry, or fur-bearing animals; or
    (4) farms, forests, plantations, ranches, nurseries, ranges, orchards, greenhouses, or other similar structures used primarily for the raising of agricultural or horticultural commodities.
    (a) Short Title.--This section may be cited as the ``Security in Energy and Manufacturing Act of 2011'' or the ``SEAM Act of 2011''.
    (b) Extension of the Advanced Energy Project Credit.--
    (1) IN GENERAL.--Subsection (d) of section 48C of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 is amended by adding at the end the following new paragraph:
    ``(A) IN GENERAL.--Not later than 180 days after the date of the enactment of this paragraph, the Secretary, in consultation with the Secretary of Energy, shall establish a program to consider and award certifications for qualified investments eligible for credits under this section to qualifying advanced energy project sponsors with respect to applications received on or after the date of the enactment of this paragraph.
    ``(B) LIMITATION.--The total amount of credits that may be allocated under the program described in subparagraph (A) shall not exceed the 2011 allocation amount reduced by so much of the 2011 allocation amount as is taken into account as an increase in the limitation described in paragraph (1)(B).
    ``(C) APPLICATION OF CERTAIN RULES.--Rules similar to the rules of paragraphs (2), (3), (4), and (5) shall apply for purposes of the program described in subparagraph (A), except that--
    ``(i) CERTIFICATION.--Applicants shall have 2 years from the date that the Secretary establishes such program to submit applications.
    ``(ii) SELECTION CRITERIA.--For purposes of paragraph (3)(B)(i), the term `domestic job creation (both direct and indirect)' means the creation of direct jobs in the United States producing the property manufactured at the manufacturing facility described under subsection (c)(1)(A)(i), and the creation of indirect jobs in the manufacturing supply chain for such property in the United States.
    ``(iii) REVIEW AND REDISTRIBUTION.--The Secretary shall conduct a separate review and redistribution under paragraph (5) with respect to such program not later than 4 years after the date of the enactment of this paragraph.
    ``(D) 2011 ALLOCATION AMOUNT.--For purposes of this subsection, the term `2011 allocation amount' means $5,000,000,000.
    ``(E) DIRECT PAYMENTS.--In lieu of any qualifying advanced energy project credit which would otherwise be determined under this section with respect to an allocation to a taxpayer under this paragraph, the Secretary shall, upon the election of the taxpayer, make a grant to the taxpayer in the amount of such credit as so determined. Rules similar to the rules of section 50 shall apply with respect to any grant made under this subparagraph.''.
    (2) PORTION OF 2011 ALLOCATION ALLOCATED TOWARD PENDING APPLICATIONS UNDER ORIGINAL PROGRAM.--Subparagraph (B) of section 48C(d)(1) of such Code is amended by inserting ``(increased by so much of the 2011 allocation amount (not in excess of $1,500,000,000) as the Secretary determines necessary to make allocations to qualified investments with respect to which qualifying applications were submitted before the date of the enactment of paragraph (6))'' after ``$2,300,000,000''.
    (3) CONFORMING AMENDMENT.--Paragraph (2) of section 1324(b) of title 31, United States Code, is amended by inserting ``48C(d)(6)(E),'' after ``36C,''.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Toxic Tar Sand Oil Kills

image: Climate Change -- Foreign Policy Blogs

The odds are clearly in favour of the oil sands coalition, which holds enormous political influence and has won major legislative victories on several fronts. But the green coalition, especially with Barack Obama in power, has more clout than its limited resources might suggest.  
This policy war rages as North Americans grow increasingly aware of the huge environmental impacts associated with Canada's oil sands. Those include strip-mined Boreal forests, mass duck graves and sprawling toxic lakes. But most importantly, from a global perspective, are the massive levels of greenhouse gases released each year. Extracting and refining crude oil from the oil sands requires much more energy than conventional operations, generally releasing many times more emissions. Despite recent technological advances, the industry has become Canada's fastest growing source of greenhouse gases. It's also now America's number one source of petroleum, far surpassing Saudi Arabia. Major oil sands expansions -- those planned and underway -- appear set to assure that dependence for decades.
That is a quote from Tyee, "In America's Capital, a Fierce Fight over Oil Sands" -- a story very much worth your time.

While opposition to tar sand oil grows, with so much money flowing into Congressional campaign coffers from the oil industry, the war might be lost, and citizens might need to bow to corporate greed one more time.

Call or e-mail your representatives. Tell them, "No toxic tar sand oil, thanks."

Find your representative here:

Give the Fed a break?

Before we cry, "Off with their heads!" maybe we should take a deep breath and review the numbers:
The week before Lehman Brothers went down, on September 11, 2008, the Fed's assets were about $925 billion. Two months later, the balance sheet had swollen to more than $2 trillion. By the time President Obama entered office in January 2009, the balance sheet stood at $2.041 trillion. That included $350 billion in commercial paper that the Fed was guaranteeing, $416 billion in term auction credit extended to banks, nearly $40 billion in credit extended to AIG, $505 billion in Treasury securities, and a smidgen of mortgage-backed securities ($5.8 billion).
A year later, in January 2010, the Fed's balance sheet was about 10 percent larger, at $2.255 trillion. Yes, the Fed had largely executed its effort to buy $1.25 trillion in mortgage-backed securities. (The balance of MBS stood at $970 billion). But other components of the balance sheet had shrunk: Commercial paper on the Fed's books fell from $350 billion to $14 billion. The amount of term auction credit outstanding stood at $38.5 billion, down from $416 billion the year before. (As this data set shows, term auction peaked at $493 billion in March 2009 and disappeared entirely by April 7, 2010.)
Here is a sober assessment of security purchases, and other debt held by the Federal Reserve (from which the above quote is drawn):
"QE2? More Like QE1.5 -- The Fed’s Balance Shrinks Even As It Expands"

So, maybe the Fed is doing a decent job, and maybe Mr. Bernanke is not the devil incarnate as Republicans would have you believe. And maybe the sky is not falling as a result of QE1&2. QE is short for Quantitative Easing, by the way, and is explained here: Wikipedia --  Quantitative Easing