There really ought to have been more incredulity that, four years after an economic meltdown caused primarily by the financial titans of the great Wall Street casino, we would be presented with a nominee for president that hailed from the very same industry, and made his money in some of the very same ways. That on the heels of yet another loosening of the rules attempting to keep money from thoroughly overwhelming the political process, the richest man in the race would win his primary easily, hands down, while benefiting from expensive ad campaigns targeted at picking off each of his opponents in turn. That those ad campaigns would be, in turn, financed by some of the very hedge fund managers and other financial gurus whose industry wrecked things so efficiently that they are still wrecked, even now. And that the primary policy battles of this election would be, indeed, whether or not our tax structures were sufficiently kowtowing to those financial titans.
It has only been four years or so. That really isn't much time. Unemployment is still rampant?yes, rampant, four years ago the current level of unemployment was considered the worse case scenario, four years later it is considered the new normal, hardly even mentioned. The bank scandals have continued unabated, this time with the new suggestion that the titans of finance had been rigging the whole game from the outset. Two competing populist movements have sprung up: the tea partiers to object to taxing the rich, and the Occupy movement to demand accountability from them.
All of that has happened, and here we are. One of the two candidates for the presidency of the United States is a fabulously wealthy Wall Street financier, from a company whose success was based in large part on financial scheming at the expense of endangered companies, and on offshoring jobs, wildly supported by other Wall Street financiers, and is demanding, one, less regulation of financial institutions, and two, tax cuts for the rich that make the previous tax cuts for the rich look like chicken feed.
If Hunter S. Thompson was alive today, I do believe he would be going off the deep end right about now.
The current political riff over whether or not Barack Obama does or does not loathe businessmen and wish to do them harm is yet another in a long line of examples in which the narrative is, in variation after variation, centered on the titans of finance and what we can do for them. If the economy is suffering, it is because we have not appeased the titans properly. If there are no jobs to be had, it is because the titans are still too unsure of our intentions towards them. If there are still crooks on Wall Street, it is because entirely too many things have been declared to be illegal. Whether or not people have money to buy the things the titans are selling never comes up; it is implicit, in every debate, that the titans will decide whether we will buy things or not. When the economy crashed and things needed propping up, it was Wall Street that got propped up first. When the economy recovered, it was Wall Street that gained the largest share of the profits. According to current narrative, the entire world economy can be neatly encapsulated by the considering the desires and requirements of the top one percent of the top one percent; everyone else on the planet is a footnote.
The central banks all express alarm at unemployment; the central banks all do not a damn thing to combat it. The governments all express alarm at the behavior of the titans; the governments all do hardly a thing to forcibly reform them. And, in politics, we are trapped. The titans finance the elections, the titans underwrite the people who write the rules, the government looks to the ranks of the titans when seeking officials to lead the economic decision-making process. All of this four years after their recession. Their crash. Their failures. All of it just the same as during the four years before the collapse, or worse.
So now the current challenger for the presidency is a Wall Street financier, one who made his money by closing factories and shipping the jobs to cheaper places, or by taking control of companies, loading them with debt in order to pay his own company handsomely from that debt, and departing again?the kind of money-making that the titans think of as the most clever of all, because it extracts money from nothingness, but the kind that nearly everyone else points to as economic parasitism of the highest order. Gordon Gekko has come back to town, and by God and the titans, he's been heralded as a diplomat, and a patriot, and a generally fine fellow.
Blast from the Past. At Daily Kos on this date in 2004:
Downing Street secured vital changes to the Butler Report before its publication, watering down an explicit criticism of Tony Blair and the way he made the case for war in the House of Commons.
The Telegraph has established that the disagreement between No 10 and Lord Butler's inquiry team centred on a passage in an original draft of the report about Mr Blair's statement to MPs in September 2002. The original passage drew a much clearer contrast than the final version of the Butler Report between the strong case for war made by Mr Blair and the weakness of the intelligence the Prime Minister received about Iraqi weapons of mass destruction.
The changes secured by No 10 diluted the criticism of Mr Blair and helped Downing Street to mount its main defence - that the report showed that the Prime Minister was acting in good faith.
It doesn't sound any better when average Americans read Mitt Romney's excuses. Open thread below...
OK, let?s have at this again, people?
#27, Lou Barletta(Two bonus selections: Boren and Ross)
#28, Paul Broun
#29, Mary Bono Mack
#30, David Dreier
#31, Marsha Blackburn (including backgrounder)
?so I now give you #26 on my list of Repug U.S. House numbskulls opposing health care reform, and that would be Hal (?I Thought Pizza Was A Vegetable?) Rogers of Kentucky, as K.O. noted below (more here, and more odious stuff involving Rogers and health care is here)?
Our regular featured content-On This Day In History July 18 by TheMomCatPunting the Pundits by TheMomCatThese featured articles-HSBC: Money Laundering for Drug Dealers & Terrorists] by TheMomCatConsequences of the War on Terror by TheMomCatThese special[...]
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Rounding up the day's news. Happy Birthday Mandela.[...]
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Title: Demon's EyeArtist: Deep Purple
Deep Purple keyboardist John Lord died Monday at 71. Globe and Mail's Russell Smith has written a nice piece on Lord and his music. If you don't feel like reading, this video showcases how well the man rocked.
Last Wednesday the Presidential campaign began for real. Next Wednesday it will take a two week break as the whole planet watches the London Olympics. Romney is trying to sell himself as a seasoned business executive who knows how to take tough decisions in a crisis situation. He now has seven days to turn his campaign around before the narrative defined by Team Obama sticks.Team Romney was...
Tonight, George Zimmerman — who is currently facing second degree murder charges for killing Trayvon Martin — participated in a highly unusual interview on Fox News with Sean Hannity.
Hannity asked Zimmerman if he regretted getting out of his car to follow Trayvon, carrying a gun, or anything at all about the night he killed Trayvon Martin. Zimmerman said he regretted nothing because he believed “it was all God’s plan.” He also said there isn’t anything he would do differently in retrospect.
Earlier, Zimmerman did reiterate his apology to Martin’s family, which he first made during his first bail hearing. He added he would like an apology from Spike Lee and other critics, stating “if I did something wrong I would apologize.”
At the very end of the interview, Zimmerman goes back and to the question and says “I do wish there was something, anything I could have done that would have put me in the position where I didn’t have to take his life. And I do want to tell everyone…that I’m sorry that this happened.”
Trayvon’s father responds:
Zimmerman said “it was god’s plan”. Trayvon’s father: “We must worship a diff god bc no way that MY God would hv wanted GZ to kill my son.”
— Matt Gutman (@mattgutmanABC) July 19, 2012
I think this is the conservatives' latest and most virulent effort at "extreme vetting," in which the candidate either survives the right's gauntlet with a disclosure that turns out to be a non-event (and thus potentially harmful to Democrats for hinting[...]
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It's always nice to be in Washington D.C. and close to the folks calling the shots in these divided states of America. Shout out to David Honig and the MMTC folks for bringing me down. David always brings in the big boys from AT&T, Verizon, Comcast, and Sprint; not to mention a Commissioner or two from the FCC, and he does a hell of a job of making them accountable. You Negroes in America better start paying attention to where the deals are cut, or you will forever be on the outside looking in. These big companies have a lot of money to buy all the influence that they need here in Washington. If folks like David and the rest of the gang at MMTC weren't paying attention for you, it would probably be a lot worse than it already is.
Anyway, here in D.C. both political gangs have been digging in, and it hasn't been pretty.
Of course with all this money and bad blood flowing out there, we knew that it would get ugly really fast.
Mitt in particular has been in a very bad mood. He is fighting mad at those Chicago boys for going old school on him. Mitt is used to being the HWMIC and he doesn't like being questioned.
He has brought in Rush and the Brietbart crew to help him get personal, and we can expect wingnut guns to keep blazing for the rest of the summer. Drug use? Commie ties? Citizenship? Oh my! Just how low can we go? And all because we want to see his tax returns. (BTW, the fact that O used drugs as a youngster is probably exactly why he should be president.)
Finally, I would like to thank Sheriff Arpaio for his service to this country. Thank you for all of your hard work in exposing President Obama's "forged' birth certificate there Sheriff, we could not have gotten to the bottom of this without you. Of course, some folks might think that you have a bone to pick with your President.
"America's self-proclaimed toughest sheriff finds himself entangled these days in his own thorny legal troubles: a federal grand jury probe over alleged abuse of power, Justice Department accusations of racial profiling and mistreatment of Hispanics and revelations that his department didn't adequately investigate hundreds of Arizona sex-crime cases."
The good sheriff is a little thin skinned. But, just think, if what he is alleging is true, he will go down as one of the greatest investigators in American history.
Stay cool folks, it is hot out there.
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