The Talking Dog

July 28, 2011, Voice of the people

Once again, just about the only voice of reason coming out of Congress in the face of the present debt ceiling kerfuffle... a clearly manufactured kabuki crisis designed to create desperate conditions during which terrible legislation damaging to the nation can be passed... is Michele Bachmann, she noting that the debt ceiling crisis just isn't a real crisis. Of course, her remedy is that she's going to vote against any raising of the debt ceiling.

To paraphrase Otter (or is it Boon)... Michele is right. Psychotic. But right.

The kabuki rolls on. Hold on to your social security checks, folks... because that's what this one's about. Trillions for Blackwater and Goldman Sachs. Not one red cent for the miserable rubes who pay for the government.

July 25, 2011, Republicans just no like Sheriff Bart

You could try to ascertain exactly why debt ceiling negotiations appear to be going nowhere, but the dueling Obama/Boehner speeches probably won't help. And yes, fundamentally, this is all ultimately nothing more than a kabuki-- a manufactured crisis that permits an alleged "liberal Democrat" to be be the one with the fingerprints on the weapon that killed Social Security, Medicare, et al... [Remember America's First Black President, Bill "Sistuh Soljuh Moment" Clinton, whose crowning achievement was ending welfare as we know it?]

Alrightie then. Still and has to admit that there seems an awful lot of really passionate overacting on the part of uncompromising House Speaker Nicole "Snooki" Pollizzi John Boehner and the rest of the Republicans... clearly not the herbal tea party. No, they are the party whose members take their cues and talking points from corporate America, and of course, psychopathic human cesspools. Alrightie then... just maybe... they're overacting their part of "the unreasonable but passionate fiscal conservatives" for reasons beyond simply being captive tools of financial oligarchy.

That said... I think this analysis ("a financial lynching") happens to be spot on.
Brother Mel, of course, showed us of the specifics of this dynamic nearly four decades ago:

July 21, 2011, Keep your damned government hands off my social security

I would give some cognizance to former Senator Judd Gregg's statement that a weekend (or two?) without Social Security checks going out will be necessary before the House Republicans yield on raising that old debt ceiling, not because of his old job (Chairman of the Senate Budget Committee) but because of his new one... senior advisor to Goldman Sachs.

I agree with Gregg's assessment-- better than 50-50 there will not be a "debt ceiling deal" by August 2nd; we are up to July 21 now, with no particular end of this "crisis" apparent. He believes that a few days of frantic calls from older constituents wondering why their Social Security checks haven't materialized will move "the Tea Party"... I think that too, plus/minus a 5, maybe 10% overnight crash in stock market prices. Just to make it "dramatic".

Look: it's part of the kabuki. Yes, actual morons like Michele Bachmann may believe they are doing something "principled" with their economic suicide pacts... but there's a larger script at work here (kind of like how old Rupert probably hired someone to almost hit him with shaving-cream-on-a-paper-plate to bury the lede).

Alrightie then. Nothing to see here folks: move along.

July 18, 2011, Numerology? Astrology? Scatology?

S&P, it seems, has concluded there is risk of U.S. sovereign default even if the debt ceiling is raised by Congressional action. Of course, on the debt ceiling issue, most people, according to polls, blame the Republicans.

What does any of this mean? Damned if I know. Precious metals... probably. Canned goods, bottled water, secure farm land, useful social relationships, bicycle parts... for sure. Ammunition? Maybe we've come that far. Let's hope not.

We appear to have a political process that has become a suicide watch... and, because we have a media that is itself dominated by a criminal enterprise, even while it presents us with bread and circuses (and incompetent circuses at that)... it sure does look that way.

OK then. Italy's financial system could be about to blow. Greece, Ireland and Portugal are already zombies... but Italy, the EU's third largest economy, blows the rest away... and Spain, at 12% of the EU's economy, is also in deep trouble... even without the United States, where we have a right-wing Democratic President struggling to slash entitlements and social benefits faster than the Republicans can think of even more right-wing things (but heavens if we cut the military, reduce corporate welfare, or even "increase revenues" a little... as it seems, we have a bipartisan suicide pact... I know what you're thinking-- "the Republicans are worse"... Really? Please tell me, then, why it was so important for Obama to grant the Republicans their wet-dream of extending the Bush tax cuts last year, or retaining Bernanke (not to mention Sec Def Bob Gates and the ever expanding imperial wars) if he weren't really on the same pageas his Republican counterparts?

In short... this "debt ceiling thing" is just another kabuki, like everything else in Washington (home of quite a few cherry trees, another gift from Japan). Just as the threat of financial armageddon three years ago was used as an excuse for the most massive wealth transfer (up... to the financial class) in human history, otherwise known as "the financial bail out", the present "crisis" will be used as a "gun to the head" excuse to do what Obama has wanted to do since he came to office brandishing the "cat food commission"... and, as Bill Clinton "ended welfare as we know it" (and was rewarded with over $100 million in post-presidential emoluments)... that being to slash and burn both the New Deal and the Great Society in one-fell-swoop, all while leaving the military industrial complex fully in place. Just think of the speaking fees and hedge fund deals!

The problem with this Onion piece... is it's not really funny. Is it? Of course, it assumes even a little relevance on the part of my old college classmate Barack... and that may be too much right there.

Crazy times... but don't think that even amidst the [mass suicidal] lunacy... it won't be "bid'ness as usual."

July 7, 2011, Of third rails

As the debt ceiling chicken game gets closer to the wire (four weeks from... today?), the Obama Administration now proposes significant reforms (read "cuts") to Medicare and Social Security. And even Eric Cantor seems to have "gone crazy" by considering closing tax loopholes. Desperate times/measures?

Rather than jump on the President for selling out once again, on this one, let's acknowledge that his all-compromisy "third way" may be the only way to deal with the "third rail"... as critical as I have been of the President (largely but not exclusively because he sold me out-- and many of his supporters-- on "Guantanamo" and all of the imperial police state issues related thereto, and because Team Rubin/Summers/Geithner/Bernanke are fully responsible for the economic destruction of the modern world via unregulated "derivatives" and unlimited debt expansion) and the economically naive Obama kept them on), Medicare and Social Security need reform... contrary to what we are told, Social Security is insolvent now... the so-called trust fund is, indeed, an accounting fraud.

Well then... we needn't worry too much about "the future" where only two workers must support each retiree... Social Security is insolvent now. General tax revenues subsidize the retirement program right now. Those crazies in the Tea Party, who sense "something must be done"... are right... just as, alarmingly, the only major politician (at least running for President) who happened to be right on the '08 bailout is... Michele Bachmann.

Like it or not, Social Security is going to have to be means-tested, and otherwise carefully rationed, because it is presently not sustainable. Not even close. And Medicare (and its means-tested cousin, Medicaid) will have to change.

Of course, on that, American "health care" will have to change, in a systemically integrated way, starting with miserably low quality food (which is only nominally inexpensive... it's insanely expensive counting its consequences, health, environmental, etc.), and our car-dependent life-style that, aside from its adverse environmental consequences, is also killing us. I'd like to know how our prescription drug addiction (something like 100,000 people die each year from taking prescription drugs as directed) compares to other countries... because I think the whole "micro" approach to medicine is driving the "macro" costs... and we have to consider radical change. But as with so many things, the implication that we can engage in any irresponsible lifestyle we like and then have pharmaceuticals bail us out is not only killing us, it is bankrupting our country... seems as psychically embedded as needing a car, even though that is mostly in our heads.

The President has suggested he wants to do "big things"... like it or not, restructuring (or even dramatically reducing) the signature social programs of presidents past may well be one of those "big things"... it doesn't look like there's much choice.