The NEW Illustrated Guide to Mendacity and Folly in the 21st Century.
Posted on | September 21, 2009 | No Comments(PANAMA CITY, PANAMA) A curious beast was found this weekend on the beach of Panama. Four teenagers first saw it and when the beast appeared to charge them, threw stones at it until it died. Resembling the Montauk Monster or a space alien, the creature had markings that amazingly seemed to spell out the word “REFORM”. “Of course, that is merely an illusion,” Professor Noitall said. “It seems to be some kind of stillborn animal fetus,” he continued in contradiction to the teenagers’ story. While some have suggested that it was the product of a sloth, Professor Noitall opined that it actually came from north of Panama, possibly the United States. “I’ve heard Reform is still-born up there,” he joked.
But it’s no joke for us. President Obama’s change we can believe in appears to be limited to four quarters on a dollar, since a dollar is about all the average citizen has seen from the bank bailout. “We’re going to close the loopholes,” the president said. And as Jon Stewart (congratulations on the two new Emmys) said, “You gave away 700 billion dollars BEFORE you closed the loopholes???” Steve Keen wrote a searching criticism of the bank bailout whose rationale could be summed up as “If the banks have the money to lend, more people will take out loans.” What people? The Unemployed or Underemployed? Fat chance, they only need the money to stay alive, not to run some risky investment scheme, they’ll never get a loan approved. The up-to-their-ears-in-debt middle class? They’re all cutting coupons out of the papers–the last debt they’re going to incur for some time was the New SUV they bought that gets 4 mpg better than the old one so they could take advantage of Cash for Clunkers. And the banks have already started back into the risky portfolios–didn’t Bernanke say that the recession was over? Partay, PAR-TAY! You get a bonus, You get a Bonus–it’s almost like Oprah was giving out new cars!
And what about that new Health Care Plan that Senator Bilkus–I mean Baucus–lobbed at us like a chimpanzee in a zoo? The Republicans don’t like it, the Progressives don’t like it, the only people who DO like it are the Blue Dog Democrats and the Insurance Companies that pay them. Real Reform–i.e., single payer–has been off the table so long it’s growing mold and Baucus even managed to substitute the unworkable cooperative for the best compromise public option–which the White House is still willing to give up for Republican support that it will never get.
I see a different analogy to the Great Depression. Bush wasn’t Hoover–he was Calvin Coolidge, the guy who said and did nothing and so allowed the Depression to get started. Hoover was the one who stayed with the “tried and true” to fix the economy–the things that didn’t work. And after four years, we elected someone who was willing to propose change–and had the balls to carry it out. You talked the talk, Barry–now walk the walk or you may find yourself walking in another 3-1/2 years–away from the White House.