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Friday, September 19, 2008

The Wall Street Party and the Piper's Bill: we get to clean up the mess, again, but at least Great Depression II, the sequel, has been averted, for now
Well, the party's over and the bill's in the mail. The piper has played, he and his friends have fallen down drunk on debt, misplaced tax cuts and bad policies, soiled themselves, the furniture, the carpets and the floor, puked all over the place, stolen your car and wallet, robbed the bank, burned down your house, raped your wife and murdered your children.  And your neighbors' too.  So, now, (god bless 'em!) they're sending us the bill for the cleanup.  Its in the mail, though the blanks after the dollar sign haven't quite been filled in yet, but you're gonna love it.  And your children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren will, too. 
This is how all the great empires of history passed into oblivion.
Considering that the piper's song was played for the benefit of only a very, very few, and only they got to taste the wine, caviar and cigars, the bill's gonna be awfully, awfully big.  Really, really, REALLY big--like a $$$Trillion Dollar$$$ just for the Wall Street mess.  That's NINE zeros worth, added to $$$3Trillion$$$ for the Iraqi fiasco and a mounting national debt figure with another nine zeros.  But now that the bill's in the mail, we shouldn't be surprised.  That's the name of the game--has been since Nixon.  Like Rumsfeld says, "stuff" happens.  And McCain's pal, top economic advisor and compatriot in the fight against government oversight of any kind (maybe he'll get the nod for next Teasury Secretary), Phil Gramm (whose wife sat on Enron's board) is right:  stop whining.  What did you expect?  Everybody knows it's messy and expensive living in a whorehouse! 
Heads they win, tails we lose.
Of course, we could refuse to pay the bill.  But is the alternative any better?: meltdown of the international monetary and economic system.  In case you hadn't noticed, Russia had to close down its stock market (after a 57% decline) for several days this week . China, the rest of Asia and Europe were all gazing into the abyss, too.  That's the New World Order.  No, the WTO couldn't help.  It came down to some frantic calls between capitals and the obvious need to act in concert before the barn burned down completely--forget about the horse.  After more than a year of denial and dithering, with bloody toes dangling over the precipice, Bernanke and Paulson blinked and backed away from financial suicide while Bush just mumbled to himself about everything being OK, the economy is "sound."  And, just like the war in Iraq, you and I were lied to the whole way.  Just be sure to send in the money, if not blood.  If some of the malefactors walk away with multi-million$$$, that's just the magic of the market at work.  Not to worry. 
And, of course, McCain, who has been vigorously anti-regulation his entire political life, and was famously one of the prime recipients of largesse from one of the Keating Five bank robbery perps (wasn't that an awful lot like what's happening now?), to say nothing of Bush Brother Neil's Diablo Savings and Loan heist, is now calling for a "study" and--incredbly for him--"regulation" of the markets, whatever that might mean under a really, really laissez faire McCain administration. Right.  What's that term Republicans love so much--"flip-flopper?"  Especially if lying wins votes.  BTW, contrary to his campaign speech lies, McCain got TEN times as much money from Fannie and Freddie as Obama.  So much for his often touted military code of "honor."  Lies are so much better than the truth when you're running for President, especially if you have McCain's voting record.
Meanwhile, Bush is hiding under the bed, hoping it will all simply go away so he can go back to playing "war president."
Ever notice that all this turmoil happens when the Republicans are in charge?  Remember how Nixon gave us a "secret strategy" that prolonged the Viet Nam war for five years (yes, it was Johnson's war), wage and price controls (don't you just love the hypocrisy of these "free-market" Republicans when their policies go bad?), a recession and the first oil shock--the oil embargo of '73-74.  I remember it well:  unemployment, inflation and gas lines.  Reagan gave us another, really serious recession and the 23%-in-one-day stock market drop in October '87, Irangate (he sent the Iranians--yes, the Iranians--weapons in exchange for funding his illegal war on Nicaragua, remember?), plus some really hideous budget deficits. Reagan and Bush I teamed up to give us another recession, more monster deficits and the Savings and Loan bailout debacle of the late 80's/early90's.  Sound familiar?  Then Bush I gave weapons to Iraq so his buddy Saddam could bleed the Iranians (that's really smart--give weapons to BOTH sides), then went to war with his Iraqi friends and gave us another recession.  And more deficits.  And now W has given us even more monstrously gross deficits, another war in Iraq, Abu Ghraib, waterboarding--funny, but our friends in the Middle East don't seem to like us any more, can't imagine why not--Karl Rove politics, Alberto Gonzlez' politicized Justice Dept., Don Rumsfeld, the K Street project, Jack Abramoff, a diet of non-stop lies and the meltdown of '08, to mention just a few. 
And McCain has been right there with W the whole way, "maverick" grandstanding not withstanding.
Could it be something in their economic and political philosphy?  I thought Republicans were supposed to be war-averse and financially "responsible."  No?  Oh, well.  I guess they just love disaster, eh?  Especially if they and their buddies can profit from it.
You say you're worried you might lose your job and your house, to say nothing of your retirement, healthcare and all the money you put into your 401K?  Poor baby.  A little economic disaster from time to time is good for you.  Builds character.  Don't worry, your money's been going to your betters.  After all, as Cheney says, its their due.
At least we haven't gone to war with the Iranians and Russians.  Yet.  Of course, W still has until January--its only September, dontcha know.  Hang on to your hats because October is traditionally the month of the really, really big debacle.  Still time for another Surprise.  At least they didn't get away with their attempt to gut Social Security and Medicare.  Yet.  But don't you fret--that's just the job for McCain.  W is such a wimp.
Rigging the game is kids' stuff.  The hoi polloi never guesses what's going on until the bill's in the mail.  The "little people" (to quote Barbara Bush) are so "pathetic."
Am I a democrat?  Yes.  Of course.  And a Democrat, too.  Given the alternatives, what else is there?  Not perfect, but a damn site better.
Don't forget to vote in November.  Enough is enough.
And stop whining--we've had our "free" lunch.
12:16 pm pdt

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