Breadlines and Battlecries

30 09 2008

Scoble Blames You

Valleywag picked up a FriendFeed discussion between a few of us yesterday regarding the bailout bill within which Scoble blames “people like [me]” for the coming “breadlines”.  It rings a little hollow considering where I’ve been on all this and where he’s been (i.e. nowhere), but it brings a much more important issue to the fore.

To the thread in particular, I realize how acerbic my tone can be when discussing such things and try to be cognizant of that every time I write.  Sometimes my frustration – the result of a bit too much anguish about our national slumber – gets the best of me.  But Americans sat mostly silent as international and domestic crimes were perpetrated in their names and their economy was wrecked – choosing to glide along as if they had far more important things to think about.

Robert is right to describe the financial mess as the result of our collective idiocy.  The bill for one or two generations of stupidity has now come due and our remaining credit cards have been declined.  And for the moment, the social media characters participating in the specific tendril of web masturbation that is Robert’s “what to do” post have come up substantially empty.  So, I’ll see what I can come up with.

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From Iraq to our Pocketbooks

21 09 2008

I can’t help but notice some chilling similarities between the Bush Administration’s approach on the financial crisis and the Iraqi War Resolution.  I literally sat awake until almost 5:00 this morning fretting about this.
Let’s look at a few of them:

  • We were told that calamity was imminent, and a failure to act and do exactly what Bush asked of us would result in a disaster;
  • Congress was strongarmed into doing something big and something fast, without time for proper analysis;
  • We were conned into spending hundreds of billions of our hard-earned dollars (much for the benefit of corporate malfeasants) – only to take a giant step backward;
  • We handed legal immunity and absolute control to the very authorities who demanded the actions;
  • We were lied to every step of the way.

And eventually the majority came around to see it as a colossal blunder.  So, I think Congress would serve itself and the People well if it took a much more measured approach to this, or even refused the bailout.  I know, I’m asking for cajones of steel here, but I can dream.

If this goes through, it will be the swindle of the century.

I’ll close with a few words from President Franklin Delano Roosevelt:

“The liberty of a democracy is not safe if the people tolerate the growth of private power to a point where it becomes stronger than their democratic state itself. That is fascism; ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power.”

How did we get here?  Is it too late to stop it?



Andrew Bacevich on the American Empire

22 08 2008

Every American should sit through (and actually digest) this interview in its entirety [Part 1] | [Part 2].  Whether you watch or listen, please take the time to do so with open ears and an open mind.  It is probably the most powerful and sobering assessment of the American condition I have heard in years.


Bacevich’s 2007 op ed in the Washington Post provides some sad but interesting background.  His new book is here.



McClellan Tells Us What We Already Knew

27 05 2008

A few months ago when excerpts of his book proposal had leaked, GW professor Jonathan Turley had some harsh words about the conspiracy surrounding Valerie Plame, and the subsequent cover-up.

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President Quit Golf in “Solidarity” With Iraq Troops

14 05 2008

Shucks, sir, you shouldn’t have.  And we wonder why he couldn’t ask most Americans to sacrifice a goddamn thing.



Reminder: People Are Stupid

4 04 2008

Whenever I hear about a poll telling me what a group of Americans think, I generally write it off. Now, folks, I don’t think everyone is stupid – I just think the average American is too distracted or preoccupied or apathetic to pay attention to the stuff that some of us feel is important.

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The War Card: Hundreds of Lies

23 01 2008

The Center for Public Integrity has assembled an impressive dossier illustrating the lies bandied about by the Bush Administration leading up to the attack on Iraq.  The Center’s War Card project documents nearly 1,000 verifiably false statements.  Spend some time there, and while doing so, reflect on the civilian, military, and diplomatic damage caused by these lies.



The Two Trillion Dollar Fiasco

17 11 2007

No, not Iraq, the other multi-trillion dollar fiasco.  Yesterday, Goldman Sachs’ economic team said that’s what they think the markets are swimming in for credit-crunch losses.



The Latest Olbermann Bits

5 09 2007

“Mr. Bush, our presence in Iraq must end.  Even if it means your resignation, even if it means your impeachment, even if it means a different Republican to serve out your term, even if it means a Democratic congress and those true patriots among the Republicans standing up and denying you another penny for Iraq other than for the safety and safe conduct home of our troops.  This country cannot run the risk of what you can still do to this country over the next 500 days.”



Iraq War Timeline

25 08 2007

Here’s a good timeline of our Iraq misadventure.