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Thursday, June 11, 2009

The Real Depression

One of my dearest readers emailed that I write of depressing things. And while I have highest respect for her intellectual capabilities, the idea of the Obama's administration backsliding on its promises is not as depressing as the idea that at least half of the country seems to have lost sight of the essential beliefs that put him into office.
First, three years ago we were promised by the demorats that we would disengage from Iraq where we are spending more than 10 billion dollars a month and wasting precious lives. I was and am convinced that we did not belong there in the first place, that the evidence of Iraqi complicity in the tragedy of 9/11 was not convincing enough to commit troops to the area, or that Hussein had the wherewithal to have any sophisticated weapons. Yet, we went, forgetting that Vietnam, another horrendous waste of capital and life, was justified by contrived reports intended only to give the American people some grist on which to build some hate for the Vietnamese and to open the door for the politicians and military-industrial complex to keep on doing what they do best: lying and making money off violence. We learned nothing from the Vietnam War, the tar-pit of corruption, military ignorance, and civilian angst into which we descended. Despite all we now know about the disingenuous of the Bush administration, we remain in Iraq, and we should have been long gone. It will be destabilized as soon as we leave regardless of when we leave, and they will continue to bomb and hack at each other until the most powerful get what they want. Screw them; let them have at each other. We should not spend one more minute, dollar, or life there. The demorats swore up and down that if elected they would extricate us from the Iraqi tar-pit. The folks who put that particular bunch of liars in office should be on the phone and on the emails everyday demanding that we get out, as promised. ( And forget all that Afghanistan rhetoric, too. We should have been there from the beginning and we might have been successful if more troops had been assigned; it is too late now; our politicians screwed that one up too, and we might as well come home before we learn as the Russians did: that ain't a good place to try to win the hearts and minds of the people.)
Second, Obama feigned anger at the audacity of some of the bonuses and wastefulness of the banking industry. For those who were impressed, consider what he just finagled with the largest banks who provide credit cards and have applied exponential increases in interest rates and fees and penalties. Obama said he would put an end to that. That's what he said, but what he did was give the banks 9 months to rake all the blood it could out of middle class Americans before the freezes and regulations take effect. Therefore, the very institutions that we lent billions to so that they could keep folks employed and keep credit flowing and keep their businesses rolling are now practicing usurious proctology on everyone of us. I say shame on the demorats for pretending to be for the middle class and conniving in the interest of big business. At least I know the repuklicans want to screw us to the benefit of the very wealthy. But, in the end, getting screwed is getting screwed, and we are, at every opportunity the politician can scheme up.
And that we should know better is most depressing. We would rather argue over whether we are queer or gay, whether we will be forced to drive an ugly car, whether some person is going to get an extra fifty cents in a WIC check, whether we should teach religion of creation instead of science of creation, whether a Latina judge is racist, or whether the press is liberal. We are so involved with trivial events and customs that we cannot see that the truly horrible, most corrupt, nasty, wasteful, and insincere people in this country are the people that we elect to govern. Our politicians are the major cause of depression in American citizens. And you can take that to the bank.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Obama, Slip-Sliding Away from His Promises

Politics is junk piled on lies piled on wasted hope. So the failure of the newest administration to accomplish much more than press and photo-ops is pretty much aligned with all of the politics that I have had the displeasure to observe since the sixth grade when good ol' Ms. Wingate got us to engage in a debate about who was better, Stevenson or Eisenhower. That debate instilled in me a general distrust of politicians and of the people who put them in office. While I am not ready to succumb to the racist nonsense and purposeful lies of FOX news nor to Rust Limbaugh and his mindless attempt to control public sentiment through open racism and fear, I have to note that, not surprisingly, the Obama administration has stooped to using sound bites and much hype to camouflage some serious failures to move in directions that it promised during the election and during its first 100 days of operation. I do want to complain about two points, of many, where the Obama administration is clearly beginning to look like all its predecessors: job production and bank regulation.

I don't have a problem at all with any administration that wants to help stimulate PERMANENT jobs in the United States (we all know, really, I hope, that there are FEW jobs for blue collar workers in this country); however, I have a huge problem with an administration that employs bull shit talking points to offer proof of success. The current statements by Demorats about 600K jobs created or saved is as spurious a statement as Regan's Trickle Down economic theory. Obama's spin is as insidious as Regan's for it pre-assumes that folks are generally stupid and incapable of posing a simple question: How does the government prove that a job has been saved? Furthermore, how can that administration prove the stimulus monies were the exact monies that "saved" the job? It can't and it irks hell out of me that the Obama Bunch thinks I am stupid enough to swallow the bait. Furthermore, they think I am dumb enough not to get it that in their spin they combine two data points that are impossible to separate: We have created or saved 600,000 jobs! What horse waste. First, 600K of anything that is being calculated in the millions and billions and trillions is a laugh, but the combination of the two is an insult to my common sense not comedy. Obama should just quit with stupid attempts to prove that he is accomplishing until he actually does accomplish.

The second failure of Obama is how his administration is slowly creeping away from its responsibility to explain the crookedness of the American banks, to make sure bank regulations are enforced, and to make sure executives who broke the laws are punished. The very banks that we bailed out have now formed a consortium or coalition that pays monster bucks to lobby the White House and Congress to keep regulations minimal and to allow them to continue trading in derivatives away from the light of a free market. These bank executives and boards have become sordidly rich trading in this clandestine, false equity. In the meantime, the stock owners, employees, and the tax payers have literally been abused. Yet, the Obama administration is reneging (I know, I know) on its promises of fair and open government and is slowly turning as gutless and as self-interested and as secretive as any deplorable Repuklican management that I can remember.

Every presidency since Nixon has failed the public by being deceitful. Obama and his group would be wise to report the truth and then, without bs-ing us, tell us really how we are going get people back to work. Moreover, it is past time for him to disclose just how crooked the banks are, how worthless some are, how the banks are using taxpayer money to lobby against good financial sense, and bring bank crooks to justice, quickly. Of course if he really illustrates just how hopeless creating private jobs is and really cleans up the lawless financial industry, he won't get reelected. But by living up to his promises, a unique adventure for an American politician, would be doing a good thing for us.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Why Am I All Mixed-Up?

I have been back from Germany barely a week,and I find myself sinking once again into a state of constant confusion on all sorts of topics. I mean, jeez, is there anyway, except liquor, that I can shut off those little clusters of brain cells which just won't leave me alone?
There's that little tad of cells that insist that I award the BITMA to Russ Limbaugh, but he would win it all the time and besides one brick isn't enough for all that mouth. And writing about what a fool he is is very much like getting a squirrel to eat from a bird feeder: way too easy. But the cells are persistent; how in the world did such a fool get into a position to make all that money and why in the world would anyone listen to him in the first place, seeing that his criteria for "reporting" are volume, quantity, distortion, meanness, outright lying, and stupidity.
Those Limbaugh cells are connected to the "conservative cells" (ain't Limbutt a conservative?) and are triggered each morning by another buffoon, Joe Scarborough, who whines for three hours every morning ( I guess it is three; I can only stand it for a couple of minutes anymore) about fixing everything from federal debt to auto styles by adhering to conservative politics. What Scarborough fails to admit is that, since Lyndon Johnson's term, only Repuklican president Nixon maintained a growth in GDP that was higher than the national debt, only Nixon, imagine that. Johnson did, Cater did, Clinton did, both Bushes DID NOT. Regan, the conservatives' touchstone, didn't come close, and he remains the grossest myth of politics since the explosion in the Gulf of Tonkin. And if one checks when the Repuklicans were in congressional office, put there by folks who wanted conservatism to reign as a political policy, the numbers are worse. Look it up, you conservatives; use some data once in a while in your arguments; use some non-distorted, non-spun history, and report the truth. The only folks who make out when so called conservatives are in office are oil, defense, and government services (check out Haliburton's profits while our conservative, don't spend tax payers' monies, lying, Dick Cheney was in office).
Really, I am confused because I like the idea of conserving, love the idea of surplus, admire paying-off our debt to China, and appreciate any law that does not intrude on my rights to be OK. I just can't see the conservatives doing much but spreading fear, hate, bigotry, and lying just to stay in office or on the air. I am pretty sure that there are conservatives somewhere that make sense; they are not, however, in office. Disclaimer: the Demorats are not any better. All of the confusion is caused by officials who want laws, wars, battleships, Head Starts, Medicare,etc.,etc., but refuse to enforce or to pay for them
I am positive that I will stay in the state of confusion because I can't afford to move. My wants are simple: local and federal officials who spend wisely and not for reelection, law officials who apply laws regardless of a person's income, color, or personal persuasions, and a community that doesn't care what other person get unless that getting would abridges its Constitutional rights. Not a chance at "de-confusing" me like this: it would be democratic.

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