May 01, 2009

This Week in Al-Obama©

I mean, I'd like to copyright that but Google would surely name me as a defendant in its "reverse class action" and declare itself the owner of Al-Obama© and that would be that.  So for the nonce, as the old-timey wordsmiths used to say, I'll declare it my own.

Other than the continuing Depression II and the near-term bankruptcy of Social Security, Medicare and the federal government, Al-Obama is holding up well, I think.  These are all problems which Barack indicated in his last press conference can be "handled."  I actually like his sunny optimism and can-do attitude.  Occasionally his answers betray an underlying grasp of the intractable nature of the problems he's dealing with, but this is in reality a good thing. For example, in Missouri (which he was careful to pronounce Missoura - he's a natural crowd pleaser), Barry copped to the coming insufficiency of current FICA payors to support the lazy-ass Baby Boomers who are beginning to retire in droves.  That small surplus paid in since the reforms (FICA tax hike) of the early 1980's created a delusional "trust fund" which Congress was quick to steal and spend on hi-tech weapon systems, replacing the looted cash with "government obligations," meaning T-bonds which the government promises to pay itself.  That is to say - Congress replaced the $2 plus trillion with nothing at all.  The trust fund does not exist.  It does not mean anything to use the term "trust fund" when there is no fund and there is no basis for trust.

What this means is that beginning in about 5 or 6 years, depending on how long the Depression lasts, the Social Security fund will go negative, and instead of a situation in which FICA receipts are a source of largesse for Congress to use in pleasing arms manufacturers in districts where races are tight, they will become the biggest of all drags - another debt.  Well, so what - Barack says it can be handled.  It can't, but that kind of thing doesn't matter anymore.

I did think that O did a better job both with his unscreened audience in Missoura and in his press conference of making the case that Bush left him the equivalent of a flaming bag of dog doo on the desk in the Oval Office.  Since the media-addled attention span of his subjects can't remember last week, let alone a year ago, this sort of proactive self-defense can't be used too often.  Just keep repeating that he inherited a government in financial ruin and an economy on life support, and blame it on Bush.  Otherwise, it won't be long before everyone begins arguing that the problems in Al-Obama© began on January 20, 2009.

A good case could actually be made that our descent accelerated in January, 1993, when Clinton took office.  Between 1993 and 2006, you won't necessarily be surprised to learn, the accumulation in wealth in the United States was allocated this way: 50% to the richest 1% of the populace, and 50% to the other 99%.  With money comes power, of course.  I do note that now that the Democrats are firmly in control of both Houses of Congress (although Harry Mumbles Reid claims, as always, that he just doesn't have the control he needs to do anything), they seem less inclined to pass laws of a populist nature.  Defeating the bankruptcy reform bill with its "cramdown" provision yesterday is a vivid case in point.  Suddenly, from the halls of the legislature, we hear cries about the "sanctity of contract" and the Contract Clause in the Constitution.  Article 1, Section 10 does forbid the "States" from passing laws which impair contractual obligations, but the clause has been interpreted loosely, like most things in the Constitution, to permit whatever the hell government needs to do in a specific situation, such as the 1934 Supreme Court case of Home Building & Loan Association v. Blaisdell 290 U.S. 398, which, during the Great Depression, allowed the courts to suspend foreclosures In fact, bankruptcy courts, in Chapter 11 cases, order "cramdowns" (reduction in the principal of a contractual obligation) all the time, every day, 24/7.  It's nothing new.  So when the Democratic Senators who work for Wall Street banks proclaim their devotion to the Contract Clause, it's completely bogus.

Bringing us back to the observations of Our Man From Russia, Dmitry Orlov, who has told us for years that the United States has two Center Right political parties, not a "right" and "left" party. The reduction of the "righter" of the two, the Republicans to a kind of freak sideshow has actually made it easier for the remaining viable party, the Democrats, to fill in the conservative vacuum, which they're anxious to do because that's where the money is.  So if ShittyGroup or BankstersofAmerica need work done by their Senators, they call on the Dems like Chris Dodd and Chuck Schumer, because the Republicans are frankly embarrassing to deal with at this point.  In yesterday's vote on the cramdown amendment, Schumer and Dodd could vote with the pro-little guy faction because they knew the amendment would lose, thanks to "liberal" Democrats like Nelson, Tester, Landrieu, Pryor and Our Newest Democrat, Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania.

It only makes sense that as money becomes increasingly vital to sustaining oneself in Congress that the conservative agenda of the donors with the most money (that upper crust 1%) would exert greater and greater control.  Political phenoms like Prez O are somewhat immune, since Obama can raise money directly from that large group called "American citizens," but he has to work with a thoroughly corrupt Congress, most of whom are about as charismatic as a bowl of oatmeal left out in the rain for a couple of weeks.

All things considered, I think Barack is about as good a President as we could possibly hope for in this country, which is why I favor a Constitutional Amendment changing our name to Al-Obama. He's conservative, really, he can't act boldly enough to actually deal with the dire problems we face, such as global warming and insolvency and mass unemployment, because the Washington Establishment would rather see a mass die-off in the United States than any reform which will negatively affect their Big Business paymasters.  But he's as good as it gets - rational, sane, adaptable, and doggone it - people really like him.

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