Friday, January 27, 2012

"Republicans or Democrats - We Can Do Better"

Well, our resident “chameleon” in the White House did not fail to disappoint those of us who still hold out faint hope that a real leader lurks somewhere within that human form. Not to worry; just more of the same. Yes, we got a lofty and inspiring speech. Yes, we got the usual dose of double-speak that sent mixed messages in order to assuage the opposition. We did get a bit more bluster rather akin to little more than the sounds of a terrified child shouting into the darkness hoping it will scare away the boogey men lurking in the shadows. But, that too, is old hat. He is either just naturally disingenuous, or he lacks the courage to be a real leader and a person of the people.

Barack is no more a real Democrat than Bill Clinton. They are political opportunists and elitist in the game for what will, ultimately, benefit them. Once Monica Lewinsky was history, Bill Clinton jumped into bed with Phil Gramm, Robert Rubin, Larry Summers and others of like ilk, and facilitated the complete deregulation of the financial industries. Their collective efforts laid the groundwork for the financial collapse of 2008 and beyond. Barack Obama was no sooner declared the winner of the election than he became the shadow president for Bill Clinton and all of the unsavory characters that enabled Clinton to become a very wealthy man. Obama imported every scheming character from Clinton’s Administration to serve as his chief advisors and surrogates, thereby ensuring a continuation of the Clinton agenda for another four and, hopefully, eight years. That army of corporate thugs was, in turn, augmented by bringing the very ones who helped to cause the financial crisis in as advisors or trusted members of the White House Staff.

Morality, as a tenet by which to live, fell out of vogue a very long time ago. One need only survey the landscape of Washington, D.C., its Virginia suburbs and Wall Street in order to draw that conclusion. To all of those who own the institutions of government and great wealth, morality is the stuff of fools. A cursory examination of the schism between the “haves” and “have-nots” proves the truth of that contrast.

Obama was convincing in his demonstration that he did, indeed, have a set of gonads. But, if one listened carefully, he threw out assurances to the opposition that he was still looking out for their interests with the casual mention of his intent to still “reform” Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. That was echoed by his lengthy exhortation regarding his intent to open all of the oil reserves in the United States for exploration to ensure our energy independence for years to come. “Hey, all you oligarchs and energy barons (wink, wink), I am still looking out for your interests.” The broader social welfare and the environment be damned.

Permit me to list but a few of his promises having to do with more transparency and restoring democracy to our system of government:

• Reinstatement of Glass-Steagall and regulation of the financial industries. How many big banks have been broken up? How many big banks have been investigated for criminal conduct? How many bank executives have been prosecuted and are now serving time? Where is the resurrected Glass-Steagall Act? Where are the consumer protection programs? Where are the remedies for the home mortgage crisis?

• Where are the improvements to our health care system? I am not convinced that “Obama Care” is all that it is cracked up to be. The jury is still out on that one. Only time will tell. But, what is the outcome of his staunch support for a “public option?” Where is the requirement that drug companies must negotiate with the government on prices? Where is the regulation of the health insurance companies?

• What happened to his commitment to reassess the fairness of the free trade agreements codified in NAFTA and CAFTA on American industries and workers?

• What happened to his commitment to do away with warrantless wiretapping and the closure of Guantanamo Bay?

• What happened to assigning responsibility for the Gulf oil crisis and the culpability of British Petroleum? Where are the remedies promised to all of the residents and businesses in that area?

• What happened to ending the Bush tax cuts?

• What happened to the prosecution of members of the Bush Administration who are culpable for the deception and war crimes leading up to and the prosecution of the so-called “War on Terror?”

• What happened to a meaningful and effective economic stimulus program that would have given our economy the thrust it needed and still desperately needs?

• Why are those who commit the crimes the very ones whose counsel is sought in drafting the remedies needed to prevent future crimes?

• Why does this country (ostensibly the “most powerful” one in the world) have to have a massive Department of Homeland Security that is draining our economy of hundreds of billions of dollars far beyond a threat the magnitude of which may not exist? Why are we one of but a handful of countries resorting to such measures?

• Why have we yet to see any meaningful brakes put on the military-industrial complex in order to reign in the gargantuan excesses that deprive our citizens of the help they desperately need, and that will solve the real problems of this country for the all the people of this country?

• Why has our entire civilian law enforcement establishment turned against peaceful demonstrators while protecting the interests of those who are guilty of the very infractions against which the protests are directed? Why are military grade weapons being used in order to subdue a peaceful civilian population?

Enough said. I think I have made my point. But, I have to confess I am utterly mystified as to why we, the aggrieved, allow those we elect to serve us to enjoy privileges, perquisites and the licentious freedoms that we deny ourselves? Why do we defer to political minds and dismiss authoritative minds? For example, global warming and climate change, and the efficacy and need for ever more sophisticated military hardware.

Our academic institutions are replete with people who have made it their life’s passion to acquire the knowledge and expertise necessary to accurately and critically assess all the ramifications of those issues, based on objective and solid evidence. Yet, we dismiss the advice of those very minds and readily accept and acquiesce to what others only think they know. One need only reflect on Dodd-Frank vs. the combined expertise of the finest collection of economic minds in the world that are resident in our colleges and universities.

What happened to the concept of “conflict of interest?” and its relevance to a law-abiding society?

We can play the blame game all we want, but in the final analysis we are where we are because we have brought it on ourselves. The Legislative, Executive and Judicial branches of government are hopelessly corrupt and self-serving because we have allowed them to engage in such behavior within the conduct of their offices. The more licenses we have allowed them the more blatant they have become in exploiting that trust for their own personal gain. When we no longer have standards to which we hold ourselves, how can we hold anyone else to any meaningful standards? Complacency is, by definition, the abdication of respect for and adherence to those standards.

Is it not now the time for us to take seriously the need to get money out of politics, take back our government and clean up the corruption in order to fairly and justly meet the needs of everyone in this country, and reclaim the revered and trusted place for the United States of America on the world stage in the 21st Century?

Has not the time come to call out the Democratic and Republican parties for what they are? They all feed on the same largesse derived from those who seek to use them in the service of exploiting the people they are supposed to serve. Let’s stop the demagoguery and the charade by those who seek to destroy what so many have worked and died for, all for the sake of their rapacious and insatiable greed. Has not the time come to take control of our own destiny, re-establish honesty in leadership and politics for a nation of people rather than a collection of fragmented and vested interests who don’t give one hoot in hell about those who labor in their service? Has not the time come to simply say “the jig is up,” and go back to a real democracy? We sure as hell can’t stray much further before we sink into the mire of history as just another failed civilization consigned to the history books.

The appetite of the parasite is never satisfied until the host is dead. The acrid stench of decay is in the air.

Cowboy Bob
January 27, 2012

Thursday, January 26, 2012

"No Great Surprise"

For those of you who are concerned about what our government and the two major political parties have done and are doing to us, I strongly recommend you read both of the following articles. They say it ever so much better than I ever could, and they are short and to the point.

'HOW LARRY SUMMERS' MEMO HOBBLED OBAMA'S STIMULUS PLAN" The Obama administration's economic blueprint was fatally flawed: it led to a weak stimulus and premature deficit reduction, by Dean Baker - published on on January 25, 2012

'OBAMA'S FAUX POPULISM SOUNDS LIKE BILL CLINTON" by Robert Scheer - published on on January 26, 2012

Now there is a rumor floating around that Obama wants to appoint Larry Summers to head the World Bank. Now, I ask you, just how more incestuous can the relationship between Obama, Wall Street, Bill Clinton and all of his former cronies be?

We are being screwed without benefit of kiss, big time, folks. If ever there was a need for a new political party that is the real deal, it is now. Keep an eye on Rocky Anderson and his fledgling new political party, aptly named THE JUSTICE PARTY. Therein just might be our last and best hope.

Except for Dylan Ratigan and Martin Bashir, we can't count on anything but one endless stream of adoration and adulation for Obama by the other mainstream pundits on MSNBC, no matter what he does to us.

Keep well and keep informed.

Cowboy Bob
January 26, 2012