a year after the Great Giddy Swarming of the Obamians last November,
some of the revelers are waking up with one booger of a hangover. And
they are asking themselves, "What were we thinking when we had that 10th
drink of Democratic Party Kool-Aid?" It was a clear cut case of
seduction and date rape. The spike in the drink was of course, hope.
Poor pathetic American liberals. Forever doomed to be naive freshmen at
the senior beer bash.
We try to take comfort in that we won't have to listen to or look at John McCain or Sarah Palin for four years, except in the American Legion Magazine and in Palin's case, as a centerfold, in the next issue of Middle Aged Skin. OK,
we really are grateful. But could the pathetic McCain-Palin clown act
possibly have created much more havoc than what we are seeing?
in point: I got up this morning to the headline: "Social Security
Checks to Shrink." Surely this makes a slew of generation Xers cackle
with glee. But some of us are trying to stay drunk on that check until
our date with a heart attack or one of those death panels the
Republicans are yammering about. Since January I've been telling my
wife we could expect Social Security to start shrinking. Ever the
concerned citizen, she replies "Cant you find another jag to get on?
Eight months for god sake!"
be honest though, I wasn't sure just how the Social security scam would
be run on us. All I knew was that the steady stream of payments into
Social Security represents the last big hog still running the woods.
Sooner or later corporate interests would gut it.
interests? Yup. It's like this. Congress and the president hands the
public treasury to elite financial corporations, via bailouts, special
tax breaks and cash stuffed aircraft carriers bound for their fortified
French20villas. Then Congress and the
administration go looking for some new scheme to the pay for the
Congressional Country Club out there in Bethesda, MD, the White House
heating bill and money to keep Air Force One in toilet paper and
armengnac marinated quail breasts.
newest Social Security shell game is quite a bit slicker than the
previous one. The old one consisted of simply ripping the money out of
the SS fund, and replacing it with bad paper -- IOUs repayable in up to
100 years. Since our Social Security checks cannot be cut by law, the
boys on the Hill had a problem. The solution was to raise the Medicare
prescription drug premium deducted from SS payments. Now I ask you,
could the old zombie war hero and the semi-slutty Alaskan have come up
with anything like that? I doubt it. It takes a Harvard degree in
constitutional law and a devil on your shoulder named Tim Geithenr
whispering the game plays in your ear.
poster on AlterNet named monkeywrench observed that Obama couldn't have
handed the corporate owners of this country more if he had been a
Trojan Horse candidate. So prescient was the poster that I have
highjacked his chain of thought herein. Could Obama be a Trojan horse?
Maybe, but it would be a waste of time and effort. Trojan hoses are not
necessary in a country that has only one political party anyway -- Big
Business. You don't need a Trojan Horse when Troy is your home. The
Republicans vs. Democrats mock combat are mere bread and circuses for
the clamoring crowd. Personally, I have no problem with that. I fully
understand I was born under a corpocracy. But I do wish our masters
grasped the importance of free alcohol in the suspension of disbelief.
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the traditional honeymoon, Obama marriage to the people did not start
on a good note. The checking account and all the credit cards were
solely in the groom's name. Consequently we had the direct cash handout
to Wall Street (smootch, smootch " Married one month and already the
guy has another dame!). We howled when Bush did the same on the way
out. But when Obama did Bush one better, or actually many times better,
we all prayed he knew what he was doing in doing. Which was CPR on
expiring bankers. But who knew? Perhaps pumping money into the bloated
carcass of klepto-capitalism might revive the old trollop, eliciting
those watery coughs and glazed blinks seen in drowning victims. So
imagine our surprise when the ailing patient got up and kicked the hell
out of the rescuers. "Whadda ya mean help out mortgage victims with
some of this dough? Their job is to pay the friggin freight, stay in
debt, not get out of it." Just down the beach the stock exchange lay,
also flattened by the exploding housing bubble. Aroused by the smell of
money, the market sits up for a moment, manages a weak smile, then
plops out again. Then sits up, then buckles ... sits " buckles " sits "
buckles. This is what you get for 8.5 trillion samolians?
Holmes, an economics professor at our local University, a fellow much
given to driving caps and whiskey sours, tells me: "The economy will
fire up next year, we will see a recovery."
"Why?" I ask.
"At the right times there will be new kinds of stimulus money."
"So it's like squirting starter fluid into the carburetor?"
"What if there isn't any gas in the tank?"
"Then it will be a limited recovery."
this you must study eight or ten years? Now I know why I like garage
mechanics better than economists. Mechanics assume the goal is to get
down the road more than a mile or so.
the much anticipated and loudly ballyhooed healthcare reform bill is on
the stretcher and suffering a definite code blue. Not only has someone
hidden the defibrillator, but packs of orchestrated brownshirts beat on
the body as it is wheeled through Town Hall. Folks like monkeywrench
are somewhat suspicious of the weak fight Obama has put up against the
brownshirts. Millions of us watching the healthcare fight from the
cheap seats have been yelling to Obama, "Punch back for christ's sake!
We know you can dance like a butterfly. Now sting like a goddamned
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Joe Bageant is the author of a forthcoming book from Random House Crown about working class America, scheduled for Spring 2007 release. A complete archive of his online work, along with the thoughts of many working Americans on the subject of class (more...