“If voting achieved anything, they would make it illegal,” the rebel and anarchist Emma Goldman, who knew something about freedom and liberty (having been deprived of both a few times), once sardonically remarked.
Well, Emma, on June 23rd, 2016, Brexit, the shorthand for the British referendum to leave the European Union, by a stunning vote of 52% to 48%, achieved something important, historic: the first breach in the EU prison walls. Cheers, Britain! Hip! Hip! Hooray!
Like the Soviet bloc of countries who high-tailed it to freedom when the Berlin Wall collapsed overnight in 1989, many of the other 27 EU member countries may (indeed, should) soon take their cue and flee this political and economic prison.
The “United States of Europe” aka the European Union, was an immaculate misconception, a unicorn, a blue sky daydream become a nightmare. The original European kumbaya idea was open borders, free flowing trade, finance, goods & services, eventually a common currency and no more European wars. Welcome to Paradise.
This politico-economic union consisted of 6 original founding signees in 1960 (trivia quiz: name them*). Since the demise of the Soviet Union it had become a bubbling gumbo of 28 countries (trivia quiz 2: name them**) with different cultures, histories, languages and currencies (at least until the Euro was instituted in 1999). What could possibly go wrong among that happy family of nations?
Brussels, the capital of bland, became the bureaucratic ground zero of this continental concoction, along with the accompanying sense that national sovereignty and identity was silently slipping away from the member countries as Brussels technocrats and commissioners, for the benefit of private corporate and financial interests, engineered a continent-wide deindustrialization and jobs drought. Whatever era of good feeling there still was lasted until the Euro gobbled up the national currencies in 1999 and the insatiable economic monster neoliberal Globalization began to debt bomb the entire world.
The EU, in effect, has morphed over the years into the European branch of the international criminal enterprise of banksters, corporate cannibals, aiding and abetting bureaucrats and crooked politicians that represent the true nature and essence of Globalization. Gluttonous greed!
In addition to moving European manufacturing to the poverty lands of the Far East, throwing homegrown workers to the wolves and essentially breaking the historic Social Contract, the EU Brigands - the sociopathic European banksters of Frankfurt, Paris and primarily the City of London (not to mention Wall Street!) - peddled their poisoned financial products freely across Europe while a reunified powerhouse Germany not surprisingly threw its considerable financial and industrial weight around refighting World War 2 by checkbook across Europe and this time getting a different result.
“Shut up and drink your dose of austerity! You owe us money!” EU elites nobody elected, the IMF, ECB, Deutsche Bank and the gnomes of Brussels (with Goldman Sachs, Chase, B of A and their pals lurking in the wings), declared from on high after their debt bombs exploded across Europe in the 2008 economic crash they helped cause.
Consequently, the gen pop of the member nations have become nothing more than collateral damage in the war of the 1% against taxes, labor, living wages, pensions, health and human services, infrastructure maintenance, education, a functioning and fair manufacturing and industrial base and the commonwealth in general.
An unintended consequence of this piracy was a wave of migration across those open borders from the poorer member countries of the southern and eastern tiers to the bright lights and big cities of the richer members, Britain, France, Germany and Holland. The disgruntled Brits referred to it as the invasion of the Polish plumbers!
(More recently, the EU has experienced a tidal wave of migrants and desperate refugees from the deadly destructive wars unleashed on the Islamic world by Rogue Nation USA and its NATO sidekicks. NATO being another essentially European organization, dancing to America’s militaristic tunes and dedicated to weapons-buying and war-mongering, whose sell-by date has long expired and should be nixed, or rather, Nexited.)
Turns out that Welcome to Paradise was merely a tantalizing sales pitch and cover story for what has become the massive looting of the European continent’s national identities, assets and treasures. And it’s not against the law because the plunderers themselves wrote the laws.
Of all the EU member countries, Britain had enough financial common sense to retain the pound sterling and was never in the chokehold the banksters had on the Euro countries when the 2008 financial crash occurred. However, the Brits were not spared the thin gruel of austerity.
One of the prime movers and architects of this grotesque and heartless neoliberal economic philosophy was UK Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. Another UK PM, who sold out to Globalization, was the repulsive and rapacious huckster Tony Blair. The ruling Tory Party and Prime Minister David Cameron, the Oxford twit, instituted their own crushing austerity program on national industries and community services in 2009. Indeed, the very idea of a Brexit referendum was a cynical political ploy of Cameron, who imagined it would be a slam dunk victory for remaining in the EU. He resigned in tears the day after his humiliating defeat.
So what now?
For the moment there is the inevitable sore loser lamenting by the have mores in the UK that their golden goose has been cooked by the British have nots and the nostalgic little Englanders, whose Brexit votes carried the day.
There is also a bit of buyers’ remorse from some Brexit voters susceptible to the “It’s The End Of The World” fear campaign immediately mounted by the Brussels Brigade.
It should also not be forgotten that just last year, the cadaver formerly known as Greece, voted 3-1 against the evil austerity program imposed on it by Brussels and the European finance ministers and banksters for its failure to repay the impossible debts these same banksters had hamstrung the Greek people with. In cruel revenge for this popular NO vote (“OXI”), the EU Capos, led by the smug and censorious German PM, Angela Merkel, simply ignored the referendum vote, knee-capped Alexei Tsipras, the Greek Prime Minster, and slammed the hapless country with an even more crippling austerity masquerading as a financial bailout, which was, in fact, merely the banksters paying themselves back from one account to another for their dirty business.
There is no doubt the Eurocrats will fight to maintain their diabolical dictatorial grip on the power and purse of Europe, the world’s largest single market. Their business plan of plunder, looting, thievery and fraud is deeply embedded like deathwatch beetles in the EU structure. They and their co-conspirators around the world still own the propaganda megaphone and the rigged wheel of fortune. But despite what the greedheads of Globalization believe, “too much is never enough” is not a law of nature.
Speaking during the first Battle of Britain, Winston Churchill declared: “Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few.” He was not referring to a handful of debt-collecting greedy banksters and bureaucrats.
The Brexit Batallions have won the current Battle of Britain. It remains to be seen who will emerge as their Churchill.
Trivia Quiz Answers:
*Belgium, France, West Germany, Italy, Luxembourg and the Netherlands
** Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, United Kingdom (!)
Just like Louis XVI, the French aristocracy and the royal hangers-on in 1789, our corrupt, 2-headed political Establishment never saw it coming.
Over the past 40 years or so, a multi-billion dollar boondoggle and political con game called the “Presidential Election” has been created. Under the star-spangled banner of “Democracy” the American electorate has been trickerated, lied to, manipulated and bamboozled every 4 years into believing they have democratically elected a President. But the joke’s on us.
Our Presidents from Nixon to Obama have essentially been variations of reverse Darwinism. While the political Establishment, donkeys and elephants, has basically “devolved” over the years into a perverse assortment of thieves, liars, sociopaths, mountebanks, money grubbers, war mongers, bigots and racists. A crucial element of the Wall Street/War Street/Washington DC Axis of Evil.
2016 was expected to be no different than decades past except with many more billion$ sloshing through the system among a handful of gazillionaires and their renta-candidates, a slick and slimey cadre of consultants, advisers, pollsters, pitchmen and political pimps and a too-eager- to-bend-over-for-the-money media.
In the amnesia of history, that is to say last year, yet another genetic mutant from the Bush family, Jeb!, was hoovering in million$ on the sure thing bet that he would romp over the 16 other delusional pygmies fantasizing about being the GOP candidate for President.
On the donkey side, Hillary Clinton, the Queen of You Owe Me, had already cajoled or bought off the major “machers” of the Democratic Money Party in preparation for her coronation as Queen/Presidentess by unanimous acclamation when voting time came around.
Enter Donald J. Trump! New York City real estate tycoon and reality TV celebrity. Also a puffy, pink-faced, narcissistic, cotton-candy-haired blowhard. And, it turns out, to the shock and awe of the elephant party, a world class political disruptor. Whodathunkit??
Mexican rapists are coming! Trump trumpeted! Beware of ISIS! Trump bellowed. Muslims go home! Trump commanded. I’m gonna build a yuuuuge beautiful wall to keep everybody we don’t like out! Trump promised. Abort abortion! Jail women! Trump threatened. I hate who you hate! Vote for me! Trump basically bumper-stickered. And that was just for openers.
(He has also subsequently said, less noisily, that he saw no problem with single payer health care or increasing taxes on hedge fund hooligans’ “carried interest” accounting flimflams. He dismissed as dirty deals TPP and the other assorted international pro-corporations trade agreements. He wondered who, at great cost to America, our military is protecting Japan and Germany from 70 years after World War 2 ended? And he declared to Jeb!’s face that the Iraq War was an unmitigated disaster based on his brother’s lies.)
The GOP Establishment had instant agita followed by a rolling nervous breakdown. OMG! For years they had been dog whistling racism, bigotry, guns, God and down with gays to their sloping-foreheaded, low information, couch potato, white-is-right base to fire them up to vote against their own best interests. Indeed, the yowling Tea Party was created by the GOP when the “Kenyan” Obama was elected to give plausible deniability to the GOP Establishment’s energized race-mongering and congressional obstruction. Now, here was Trump talking straight at that sour angry base in their own, unaldulterated, mean-spirited, common folk language. And their responsive cheers were deafening and frightening to the GOP professional puppeteers.
In the months since then, Trump the disruptor sucked up all the political oxygen thanks to the media’s drooling eagerness to bank on his entertainment value while he has demolished every GOP pretender with his free-wheeling snark and bellicosity.
After desperately denying reality and clinging to one failed fallback fantasy after another in the hope of sabotaging, obstructing and halting this unexpected and unpredictable political phenomenon, the sclerotic GOP Establishment is now on life support praying for mouth-to-mouth resuscitation from none other than Donald J. Trump, the presumptive GOP Nominee!
But that’s only the half of it. One side of that corrupt 2-headed coin.
The Democratic Money Party also finds itself fighting for its very existence. But unlike the hysterical, hypocritical GOP who have been desperately trying to destroy their own front-running candidate, The Donald, because they hate and fear him, the imploding Democratic Money Party has been just as desperately propping up their tomato can, the increasingly unpopular, smug, political shape-shifting, presumptuous, entitled front-runner, Hillary Clinton, of whom, MSNBC host/commentator Lawrence O’Donnell, has accurately pointed out: “Her numbers NEVER go up, they only go down.”
To the Money Party’s surprise and chagrin, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, an unfashionably dishevelled, scraggily white-haired, 74-year- old self described Democratic Socialist (eeek!) is their bogeyman. Like Trump, he seemed to come out of nowhere. But not being a Brand Name and with less entertainment value than that media magnet, it was easier for the political/money/media Establishment’s propaganda delivery devices to pretend he didn’t exist.
Until thousands of supporters began showing up at his political rallies to hear and cheer the genuine, unfocus-grouped political and economic philosophy he has been preaching for 40 years: America’s Middle, Working and Out-Of-Work Classes have been robbed blind and screwed royally for too long by an increasingly corrupt cannibal capitalism system. The too-big-to-jail banks should be broken up and the crooked banksters brought to heel. Universal health care is a right not just another consumer product to be hustled by cruel, greedy insurance companies and pill pushers. Single payer health care for all! A public college education should be free not a debt trap. Social Security benefits should be expanded not pimped off to the grasping clutches of Wall Street. America and its government is not the private property of the millionaires and billionaires. And the Iraq War was an unmitigated disaster based on lies that Bernie Sanders voted against.
To the Democratic Money Party and their Queen-in-waiting, this was more threatening than Occupy Wall Street. That ragtag rebellion had represented a brief shining moment of clarity (the 99% vs the 1%) but the Occupiers were quickly and easily scattered, their heads bashed in by up-armored police forces around the country. Bernie Sanders was talking about a Movement, a Revolution. And winning primaries.
Hillary and the Democratic Money Party’s knee-jerk response to Bernie’s progressive proposals has been a predictable parody of Obama’s election campaign bumper sticker: No, we can’t! Meaning: No single payer health care. No higher taxes on Wall Street. No bank breakups. No free college. More war. How dare that old Commie coot challenge the latest Hillary-for-Queen juggernaut!
Once upon a time the Democratic Party was the people’s party, the party of FDR, JFK and LBJ before he went Vietnam crazy (“Never steal ALL the money; leave some for the people,” LBJ once wisely if cynically advised his party cronies). With the election of Bill (and Hillary) Clinton a quarter of a century ago (!), the Democratic Party became the National Money Party, selling out formerly bedrock principles for political contributions from the werewolves of Wall Street; eventually, after the world-wrecking financial frauds of the recent past, giving their bankster buddies get-out-of-jail-free cards and $17 trillion in free taxpayers’ money to keep their rigged wheel of fortune spinning.
It comes as no surprise, therefore, that the deeply corrupt and dishonest Democratic Money Party would be all-in behind Hillary for Queen of Empire in 2016. They clearly know (and trust) a world class political conniver, crook and liar when they see one (or two).
Sounding much like the brainwashed POWs in “The Manchurian Candidate” spouting their hypno mantra: “Raymond Shaw is the kindest, bravest, warmest, most wonderful human being I’ve ever known in my life”, Queen-to-be Hillary’s courtiers, acolytes and surrogate stooges recite their rote talking points: “Hillary is the most qualified candidate ever to run for the White House. She gets things done.” Huh?
During their 2 White House terms full of sturm und drang, Bill bent over backwards for his bankster buddies’ get-richer schemes, bashed welfare “as we know it”, boosted America’s prison population astronomically and behaved like a billy goat in the oval office. Hillary thoroughly botched her universal health care assignment. She got Bill impeached by shipping his enamored young WH intern, “that woman” Monica Lewinsky, off to the Pentagon and inadvertently into the arms of the demonic Linda Tripp (and the actual rightwing conspiracy). Hillary then played her favorite role – victim - and saved Bill’s bacon from Senate conviction and ouster from office. Henceforth, Bill owed her. And so, it seems, did the rest of us.
Since leaving the White House to the pretend president George W in 2000, Bill and Hillary have become the Bonnie & Clyde of American politics, combining their talents in a double act of selfishness, hypocrisy and greed. He, a consummate smile-and-a-shoeshine sociopathic con man/seducer. She, a shameless, manipulative, profoundly dishonest, power slut.
“We were dead broke when we left the White House,” Hillary has preposterously alibied for their last 16 years of money grubbing among the world’s millionaires and billionaires. Unlike any ex-President and First Lady who ever lived they have amassed a fortune reportedly in excess of $250 million, between their tax-free Bill & Hillary & Chelsea Clinton “charitable” foundation and their $20 million dining-for-dollars personal fund-raising operations. When asked why she accepted $675,000 from Goldman Sachs to speechify at 3 of the Vampire Squid’s executive lunches, Hillary tone deafly replied, “That’s what they offered.”
While the charming rogue, Slick Willy, worked the boardrooms and play rooms of the too-rich, the voraciously ambitious Hillary was carpetbagged into Congress in 2001 as New York’s Junior Senator for Wall Street and, after 9/11, a cheerleader for the Iraq War. In 2008 she mounted a clumsy juggernaut of a campaign for President only to be trounced by the more deft and dynamic (not to mention Wall Street-backed) Barack Hussein Obama. His 1st African American President card trumping her 1st Female President card in spades. Her consolation prize was Secretary Of State.
Madame Secretary’s dubious “achievements” in that lofty resumé-padding post included:
She ram-rodded the disastrous NATO bombing campaign of Libya during the time of the Arab Spring, effectively destroying that oil-rich North African country as a functioning society. “We came, we saw, he died,” she cackled after the rebel gang murder of Libya’s longtime president/dictator Muammar Gadaffi. She vigorously encouraged a massive American troop increase in Afghanistan to pointlessly continue a war in that historic “graveyard of empires” that we have been losing for 14 years. She urged major American military entanglements in Syria to “regime change” President Bashar Al-Assad in favor of “moderate” rebels, who didn’t exist, and to provoke Russia (continuing to belligerantly bang on that tin war drum to this day). Likewise lambasting Iran for one reason or another or no reason.
In conjunction with her general diplomatic globe-trotting, Madame Secretary (and calculating future entitled Presidential candidate) signed off on multi-billion dollar arms deals for the repressive and repulsive Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, “coincidentally”, it has been alleged, raising funds for the Clinton Foundation from them and countless other countries with State Department dealings.
And in a kind of Nixonesque deviousness/paranoia, she installed a private internet server in her Chappaqua, NY garage in order to bypass the State Department system (and the law?) and keep all her email communications secret. The FBI is currently on that case…
As our absurd primary elections system crawls on its belly toward national Party Convention time, the never-say-die faction of the GOP Establishment in full zombie mode, continues doomed-to-fail rearguard smear/sabotage operations on their new champion Trump. While the Reps and lapdogs of the Democratic Money Party, willfully deaf, dumb and blind to the country’s woeful present economic state and its dubious future prospects, continue to believe their lying eyes in their determination, through machinations and trickerations, to drag Hillary, the Candidate of Yesteryear, across the finish line victorious.
To date, buttressing her bought off total of “Super Delegates” (mostly lobbyists and corrupted politicos), the clunky, muscle-bound Hillary “juggernaut” has run up her primary vote count primarily among the over-60 crowd of African Americans, who voted 99% for Obama, seem to think Bill & Hillary marched with Martin Luther King and remain loyal to the Democratic party no matter what; and white women of a certain age, who recall fervently and nostalgically fighting for feminism in the 60s and 70s and want to see a woman president in their lifetime, no matter who.
The Bernie Rebellion has so far chalked up 20 primary victories, overwhelmingly winning the 50 and under voters, that is to say…the future.
Polls and prognostications of who will eventually be elected 45th President of the United States (Grover Cleveland who won, lost, then won again is counted twice) is a mug’s game at this point. Miracles and Mysteries of the Universe cannot be ruled out. America did, after all, elect the “New” Nixon twice, though we knew better and chucked him out; Jimmy Carter, the well meaning but earnestly humorless Georgia peanut farmer; Ronnie (call me Al-zheimer) Reagan, a clapped-out B movie star, professional pitchman for baking soda and 2-term catastrophic Governor of California; George HW Bush, the GOP’s all-resumé equivalent of convertible garden furniture; the above-mentioned charming scoundrel Bill; George W, the congenial idiot the Supreme Court actually elected; and the current holder, Barack (Barry) Obama, who promised change but delivered chump change.
So before placing any bets on Trump, Hillary or Bernie, consider: Unreality is our new reality. Entertainment is our national addiction. As the Ship of State sails erratically into uncharted political waters, remember the Titanic had an orchestra on deck for entertainment before it hit the iceberg. Faites vos jeux!
Greece gave the world Democracy. Germany gave the world Blitzkreig and the Holocaust. Who ya gonna root for in the current fight-to-the-death, hellbound-for-disaster European Union financial cage match?
Ever since the European Union launched the Euro as their common currency in 1999 and particularly since the globalized robber baron banksters nearly crashed the world’s economy with their monumental cons, frauds and trickerations in 2007/8, the German dumpling, Der Führeress…uh… Chancellor Angela Merkel, and her Deutsche Bank, IMF, ECB and EC financial storm troopers have been re-fighting World War II across Europe and so far getting a different result as they politically pulverize and economically povertize Spain, Portugal, Ireland, Italy and now Greece in pursuit of every last Euro rolling across the ground.
This is the Shock Doctrine On Steroids…On Steroids! An economic/financial war crime in progress!
The EU was misconceived from the start. In a sense it was a unicorn, a fantasy, based on a world that existed in 1959. But that world barely survived ’til the mid-60s. By the 21st century it was lost in the amnesia of history.
As for the Euro, it was always a scam by which the re-united powerhouse Germany and the gnomes/Eichmanns of Berlin, Frankfurt and Brussels could financially hamstring, drown in debt and loot the rest of Europe. Austerity was the main feature of this diabolical concoction not a bug. It was designed to be the WMD (weapon of massive debt) to be “debtonated” across Europe. Followed by the helter-skelter plundering of those debt-blasted countries’ assets by the cannibal capitalist cabal. Ka-Boom!
In order to join the Eurozone in 2001, the right wing Greek government paid the financial world’s giant vampire squid, Goldman Sachs, around $730 million to cook Greece’s fiscal books. Using the financial alchemy of concocted securities and dodgy currency swaps, they made it look like Greek debt was less than it actually was.
Once officially in the EU club, the bandit banksters of Frankfurt, Brussels, Paris and Wall Street, ostensibly “loaned” Greece $billions to buy a heap of born-to-lose toxic derivatives and other poisonous securities and bonds, all ticking debt bombs, being peddled around the globe promising interest rates too good to be true.
By the time these WMDs “debtonated” on Greece in 2010, the hapless country was $340 billion in debt to the international loan sharks, who were demanding repayment in full even as the real world was facing financial chaos.
Of course, it wasn’t the Greek people, the working stiffs, shop keepers, teachers, tour guides, policemen and bazouki taverni waitresses who borrowed all that moolah. It was the Greek millionaires, oligarchs, tax cheats, media moguls, shipping magnates and corrupt government officials, not to mention all the banks who padded their books with fake profits and the global hedge funds betting with the house’s money..
While the wolves of Wall Street were being saved from the catastrophe of their own rapacious and criminal devising with a massive injection of $17 trillion in free taxpayers’ money, the European financial cabal proposed to bail out Greece (they were performing the same slight-of-hand trickeration on Ireland, Spain and Portugal). In fact, it was a con that would make the most villainous old time Mafia loan shark blush with embarrassment (or jealousy).
The criminal cohort of unprincipled European finance ministers, unscrupulous banksters, bellowing bond traders and hedge fund hooligans ponied up the money to pay themselves back on Greece’s account (essentially a giant bank-to-bank money laundering scheme with hardly even a wooden nickel for the Greek people) in exchange for Greek economic and political “reforms” that would essentially throw the country into a 1930s depression - massive unemployment, increasing poverty, severely reduced pensions, busted labor unions, greatly diminished public services like health care and education and a firesale selloff (to themselves and their international investor cronies) of every valuable state asset from the port of Piraeus, the Post Office and (probably) the Parthenon to state industries, infrastructure and the Aegean/Mediterranean shoreline. Old time plunder, pillage, poverty and slavery renamed Austerity.
In early July this year the European financial vampires were demanding yet more blood from Greece’s nearly drained cadaver. Alexei Tsipras, the 41-year-old Greek Prime Minister and leader of SYRIZA, a sort of social democratic political party that had booted out the old thieving, tax-dodging conservative oligarch politicians in January, defaulted on a $1.6 billion debt payment due and called a surprise referendum. The Greek people would have a vote on whether they wanted to continue to be economically mauled and blackmailed by Brussels and Berlin.
The result was a big fat Greek vote of “OXI”. NO! 61% to 39%.
Democracy in action! Eeeek!
The banksters went berserk!
The IMF, ECB and EC (the Terrible Troika) put the stressed and almost insolvent Greek banks in a chokehold and declared the end of the world for Greece was nigh. The German Finance Minister bloviating with venomous condescension and the Big Dumpling herself armored with the haughty smugness of self-righteous moral superiority suggested international suicide for the deadbeat country: Grexit. Greece abandoning the Euro and leaving the EU. If only…
After a week of sturm und drang, breathless consultations and an alarmist and inflammatory media propaganda campaign by the Troika and their co-conspirators, Prime Minister Tsipras turned out to be rather less heroic than Achilles but no less vulnerable. He agreed to an extended bailout “deal” even worse than the one the Greek referendum resoundingly rejected. Greece could remain in the Eurozone and the EU but strapped into an even tighter debt straightjacket and obliged to gulp down an even bigger cup of the poisonous hemlock of Austerity. A modern Greek tragedy.
This is inevitably what happens when the vast bulk of the world’s economy is not based on serving or benefiting the public welfare nor on the production of anything useful to society – food, clothing, housing, sound infrastructure, industrial production, construction, manufacturing and accompanying services – but instead is based on harvesting money through massive frauds, deception, thievery, cooked books & crooked accounting, tax dodging, bribery, extortion, rigged markets, insider trading, blackmail, flim-flam propaganda, financial conspiracies and death by debt.
It was, perhaps, a forlorn hope that Greece could give the world another lesson in Democracy. Alas, it may now take surviving a financial $iege of $talingrad to reach a turning point against the Panzer onslaught of this brutal, arrogant, greedy and pathologically corrupt cabal of vulture banksters and cannibal capitalists.
Until then…En Garde, France!!!
With the midterm elections massacre of the Democrats, Barack Obama has just about succeeded in delivering America, bound and gagged, into the craven and corrupt clutches of full-on Shock Doctrine corporate cannibal fascism: Utopia for the rich. Dystopia for the rest of us.
To anyone paying attention, this should not be breaking news.
Almost from the moment of his election in 2008 on a tidal wave of high hopes for a change from the Bush-Cheney villainy, this allegedly Democratic President has consistently betrayed the hopes and desires of the constituency that had overwhelmingly elected him.
The artful and astute troubadour still known as Bob Dylan once wrote "There's no success like failure/And failure's no success at all."
President Pusillanimous' rap sheet of successful failures is astounding and ongoing.
He succeeded in failing to drive a stake through the cold heart of the lunatic GOP, who were as good as dead after 2008; and instead, thanks to his consistent dissing and betrayal of his base, gave this zombie party the kiss of life in the 2010 midterm elections, resurrecting them to full frothing craziness.
He has also succeeded hugely, we now see for certain, in utterly failing to challenge or fight back against the ceaseless, crypto-treasonous legislative obstruction of this undead Congressional crazy party. He has also succeeded over and over in failing to directly confront their poisonous actions by name, rather than by his vague weasely wet noodle references to "some folks".
In the name of justice for all, Obama has succeeded in failing to prosecute and jail any of the fraudster banksters, whose infinite greed, shameless arrogance and sociopathic dishonesty crashed the world's economy; and in fact rewarded them with more than $17 trillion of taxpayers' money to cover their massive" gambling" losses and keep their rigged wheel of fortune spinning.
With ObamaCare, his signature Rube Goldberg contraption, he succeeded in failing to present (or even discuss) a practical universal single-payer health care program that would drive out of our current malfunctioning system the ghoulish and rapacious hellth insurance companies who skim off and pocket 30% of every premium dollar that passes through their grasping paws and have never even given anyone a single aspirin! Hellth Insurance Care is not health care.
He has succeeded too well in failing to rein in the old Bush-Cheney regime's criminal frenzy of war-mongering, fear-stoking, Constitution-shredding, international death-squading and massive global NSA peeping tomism in the name of the concocted war on terrorism.
Likewise, he has succeeded in failing to root out the neocon stay-behinds and sleeper agents embedded in his administration, especially the Defense, State and Justice Departments, who have recently cooked up a coup d'etat in Ukraine to provoke Putin and plunder that hapless country and are banging the war drums loudly for a deadly mulligan in Eye-raq and military escalation in Syria, the latest graveyard of empire.
In 2011, he inadvertently failed to succeed in failing to protect Social Security and Medicare, the longtime lodestars of the Democratic Party. He actually (and unforgivably) offered that human sacrifice to the GOP loons in a so-called "Grand Bargain" sell-out for some deficit chump change. Luckily for America in that instance, the GOP proved to be so bat guano insane and hated Obama's guts so much, they actually rejected his gift, despite their deepest wet dream for decades being the destruction of these twin towers of American society. The new crazy Congress will doubtless give him a chance to re-gift them.
As the first African-American President in our history, he has, unfortunately, succeeded in failing to energetically and directly call out the blatant and ugly race-baiting by the tea-bagging GOP and their too-easily and eagerly riled up white wing base of fearful ignoramuses, as well as the civil rights law-maiming, racial vote-rigging and voter-suppressing decisions of their 5 Stooges on the Supreme Court.
The professorial Obama has succeeded in failing to support and defend our national public education system and its teachers against an onslaught of corrupt schemes and falsehoods intended to destroy public schools in favor of privatized charter schools, thus enabling Wall Street moneymen to loot federal and state education budgets of $billions in the name of that greedy drooling wolf in sheep's clothing, education "reform".
Further, this ersatz Democrat, has successfully failed to even utter the words "labor union" or "collective bargaining" when making his mellifluous but vapid speeches on income inequality, jobs and the minimum wage, while bragging on the increase in the rising number of low-wage hamburger flippers and WalMart wage slaves.
Despite constant GOP bellyaching that Obama ("the Kenyan Commie") has failed to deter a massive invasion of black and brown illegal immigrants into God's country, the Obama
administration has in fact deported more undocumented immigrants than any other administration ever. Whether that is a success or a failure depends upon whose side of that border you're on.
Ironically, with the crazy party now in almost total control of Congress, Ground Zero of our ginormously corrupt political system (not to mention a majority of Koch-addicted state governments - google ALEC), the Obama Legacy of successful failures may yet include the destruction of the Democratic Party as we know it. The Obama Presidency: From the White House to the Outhouse.
This sad twist of fate, however, would not be entirely Obama's fault, despite all his successful failures and too frequent displays of disdain for his own Party and its supporters. The death of the Democrats would more accurately be called an assisted suicide, as the Party has too often reflected Obama's own excessive Rodney (Can't we all get along?)King gene, pandering and pimping for their piddling share of the Citizens United dark money, the gusher of corporate "campaign contributions" and the "baksheesh" of the .00001%.
And so, as the victorious GOP Congressional crazies turn their attention to 2016 and their collection of tomato cans eager to complete the sweep and run for President, they might consider supporting the most successful Republican President they have had since, oh, Richard Nixon. The man who led them to their undeserved triumphs. The gift that keeps on giving. Barack Hussein Obama. It's a thought. Just sayin'...
Matt Taibbi got it a bit wrong. The "great vampire squid wrapped around the face of humanity, relentlessly jamming its blood funnel into anything that smells like money" isn't just Goldman Sachs. It's the gigantic criminal enterprise that includes the entire Wall Street/Washington DC Axis of Evil and their International Bankster/Corporate co-conspirators. It is sucking the world dry and strangulating it into submission.
Empire is not enough. The satanic concept has been described in euphemistic jargon as Full Spectrum Dominance or The Shock Doctrine on Steroids. It is driven by shameless immorality, limitless greed, almost-cosmic corruption, breathtaking arrogance combined with astonishing ignorance, a collective malevolent uncontrollable psychopathy and lunatic lust for power, not to mention hate, paranoia and racism. Its terrible tools include massively destructive violence and brutality, terror, torture, murder, brain-numbing propaganda, almost pornographically intrusive surveillance, a Mt. Everest of lies and dishonesties, and every imaginable manner of fraud, thievery, trickeration and con. American Exceptionalism, indeed!
Tootling tunes of "Yankee doodle dandy","freedom" and "democracy" like a 4th of July fife & drum corps, the chest-pounding American Gigantasaurus big-foots across the globe leaving a trail of tears and collateral damage almost everywhere.
If you are keeping score at home, since World War 2, the last real war America actually won (with more than a helping hand from the Soviet Union), the good ole US of A has attempted to overthrow the governments of more than 50 countries; meddled in the elections of over two dozen; covertly or clandestinely infiltrated numerous nations around the globe; loudly and brazenly invaded others; bombed civilian populations and infrastructures with all manner of deadly explosives including chemical and biological WMDs (and a couple of nukes!); concocted or supported coups against at least a dozen legitimate governments; tried to assassinate a number of foreign leaders and succeeded more than a few times; trained and turned loose death squads on virtually every continent; and trashed and looted the economies of sovereign states all over the world. You can add the never ending "war on terror" and the new old Cold War to the diabolical dance card.
Lately, however, the chickens have begun coming home to roost from the monstrous war crime that was the "Lie-raq War". Pimped, pumped up and promoted to a fare-thee-well after 9/11 by the Bush-Cheney regime of unindicted co-conspirators as a righteous "cake-walk" campaign to preserve "our freedoms and way of life" from Islamist fiends and the WMDs they didn't have, the Bush-Cheney Lie-raq War utterly destroyed that hapless country, its infrastructure and functioning society. More than 4,500 US dupes...uh...troops were killed and over 32,000 wounded (both mentally and physically) for no legitimate reason. They stopped counting Iraqi casualties after 200,000. Four million Iraqis were made refugees. And maybe $1 trillion (who's counting?) was war profiteered out of Iraq's hellish misery and our own gullible citizens’ constantly propagandized fear that "Al-Qaeda is coming! Al-Qaeda is coming!"
Mission Accomplished. Not exactly.
In a stunning bit of regional blowback from that 8-year-long Iraq war crime and the current brutal 3-years-and-still-going-strong Syrian Civil War against the creepy dictator Bashar Al-Assad (150,000+ dead so far), in which the US has remained primarily a dazed and confused spectator, a largely unheard of gang of Allah-crazed and Saudi-created and -funded Sunni Islamist jihadis, who had been battling Syrian Army forces and other assorted jihadi fighters in this particularly grisly multi-sided Middle East death-match, suddenly stormed across the Syria-Iraq border into Iraq's heavily Sunni-populated Anbar province. They called themselves the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS).
ISIS, it was breathlessly reported, was baaaaad. How baaaaad? Even Al-Qaeda kicked them out of the Crazy-for-Allah Club for being too crazy. And now, to everyone’s and no one's surprise, ISIS was going for the gold. And for the ultimate Islamist wet dream/US nightmare, the creation of a new global "Caliphate".
In a kind of blitzkreig not seen since Hitler's Panzers rolled into Poland in 1939, about 1,000 of these blood-thirsty Islamic militants in their matching black uniforms and shiny white armored-up Hyundai SUVs and Land Cruisers, overwhelmed this huge chunk of Iraqi territory quicker than you could say "Show me the money!" In a matter of days, they had captured Mosul, the country's 2nd largest city (pop: 2 million) and Tikrit (Saddam's hometown). In their continuing onslaught they have executed any Shi'ite men, women and children who crossed their path; wrecked Shi'ite mosques and monuments; taken over Iraq's largest oil refinery; reportedly robbed the Mosul branch of the Bank of Iraq of $250 million and set their sights on Baghdad, 220 miles away. The Iraqi Army (American-trained to the tune of $25 billion!) skedaddled at the first whiff of grapeshot and their corrupt and cowardly officers ran away even faster.
After the first shock and awe at the speed of the near-collapse of one-third of that Allah-forsaken country we had looted and ruined for eight years and left to its own discombobulated devices three years ago, the Bush Administration perps, who had originally lied us into this war crime, rose up on their hind legs and began to yowl: We won that war! We never should have left Eye-raq! We need to go back immediately and bomb bomb bomb Eye-ran...uh…Eye-raq! ISIS is coming! ISIS is coming! Eeek! It's all Obama's fault! As for the current Administration, Secretary of Botox John Kerry, predictably blustered and bloviated nonsensically. Obama, for his part, reverted to his natural Rodney (Can't we all get along!) King gene and hoped for a change... of subject.
Enter, once again, from stage left (or right) Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Ever since the Obamacons and the old gang of unreconstructed Cold Warriors in Washington financed and orchestrated the February 22nd crypto-Nazi/fascist/oligarch coup d'etat against the corrupt but democratically elected Ukraine Government in Kiev, Uncle Sam has been pimping and promoting a bigger and better war crime. A new hot Cold War. Or better yet, World War X, the long wished-for looting and destruction of Russia. The once-upon-a-time Evil Empire. The big bad bear. The eternal boogeyman. Wolfish Western Banksters and Vulture Capitalists are standing by, salivating at the $zillions to be devoured from that corpse.
In delusional and dishonorable pursuit of that mad objective, Washington has engineered and been encouraging what has turned into a Ukrainian Civil War between our stooges in Kiev and the Russian-speaking population of eastern Ukraine, who reject the Kiev coup government. Officials in Kiev, eager to play their ghoulish part, refer to the eastern Ukrainians as "terrorists", "pro-Russian rebels", “insects” to be exterminated. Never as fellow-Ukrainians. A former Prime Minister, Yulia Tymoshenko (jailed for corruption in 2011 but released in time for the coup) actually expressed the wish that the Kiev government would nuke eastern Ukraine and all its ethnic Russians. Charming! To that end, the Ukraine military and its neo-Nazi militia accomplices have been bombarding eastern Ukraine and, in one terrible case in Odessa, burning at least 40 Russian-speaking Odessans alive after they had been locked inside a torched government building. While ever since their coup succeeded, the Obamacons and their fellow travelers have been feeding an endless stream of lies and propagandist tripe about Putin, the Russians and the eastern Ukraine population, to an over-enthusiastic but breathtakingly ill-informed and uncritical western Media that laps it up and spreads it thick to an ignorant but too easily manipulated public as if it were 2002 again. The mushroom cloud/smoking gun revisited?
Last week a Malaysian Airlines commercial jet was shot out of the sky over eastern Ukraine by a surface-to-air-missile, killing all aboard. The yelping, alibing and lying began immediately (if not sooner) on all sides. Nobody really knows who did it. Except, of course, the villains who did it and they're not saying. But every one of the players in this months-long murderous farce knows for sure that the other guys are guilty. American surveillance systems and spy satellites over eastern Ukraine might know the truth. But US Intelligence has had little credibility since being hoisted by its own petard over the known unknowns and unknown knowns of 9/11 and Lie-raq. (Can you say: “Curveball”) Seizing with unseemly speed on the tragic event, the Obamacons declared with straight faced theatrical outrage that they are dead certain Putin did it, even if he didn’t. And the Media has been breathlessly delivering that hoo-haa at fever pitch.
The Greek dramatist Aeschylus is believed to have wisely remarked 2,500 years ago that the first casualty of war is truth. That appears to be an accurate observation on most if not all the wars provoked by the American Empire in recent memory. Can you say: Gulf of Tonkin. Kuwaiti baby incubators. WMDs. It's not about the oil. You can now add to that daisy chain of dishonesty: What coup d’etat? The Kiev government is legitimate. Putin invaded Crimea. Putin shot down the Malaysian airline. Putin’s the real killer….no…wait…that was OJ.
Just as the Bush-Cheney political opportunists quickly climbed over the victims of 9/11 to provoke their long and too-much desired smackdown of Iraq with all its accompanying highly profitable destruction and chaos, the Obamacons and their Kiev puppets are crying crocodile tears and excitedly waving the bloody shirt over this tragic airline incident hoping to paint Putin as the patsy, the fall guy, for the new hot Cold War they hope to ignite.
It is actually not surprising to see President Pusillanimous (the Nobel Peace Prize winner!) rush to the front of this anti-Russia parade. For the past six years, continually lambasted and obstructed by the GOP loons and Teabaglicans, he has been largely feckless and ineffective on the home front except when it comes to handing out get-out-of-jail-free cards to felonious banksters and delivering Obamacare to the health insurance companies despite their pre-existing condition of greed. On the National Security dark side, however, he has been enthusiastically all in on droning to death real and imagined terrorists from Afghanistan to Yemen (including several American citizens!), supporting not-even-the-sky’s-the-limit global surveillance, cheerleading a war on whistleblowers and keeping the Military/Industrial Complex cash registers ka-chinging.
Of course, National Security and foreign affairs have often been the fallback default position of American Presidents sinking in the polls or considered weak. As the Wall Street/Washington DC Axis of Evil knows full well, “Shock and Awe” worked better on the Homeland than it ever did on Baghdad or Hanoi. And having wars is even better bu$ine$$ than winning them…
The Olympics are over and the Russians won. Let the games begin.
Judging from the howling headlines and breathless blatherings of the Western media and the harrumphing of politicians from Washington to Warsaw in recent days, we are on the verge of World War III (or IV or V if you count Iraq and Afghanistan). But who do you root for in a war between the old Bolsheviks and the new Nazis?? And should we even care?
In the words of the late great Marvin Gaye: What's goin' on? What's goin' on?
Ukraine, orphaned in Eastern Europe by the collapse of the Soviet Union two decades ago, corruption-encrusted and now dead broke, has suddenly become the dry tinder firing up the old Cold War. Or maybe it is just the most recent floundering sovereign state ripe for a big time Shock Doctrine looting?
On February 22nd (a date that was once George Washington's birthday) ongoing protest demonstrations in Kiev's Maidan (Eurosquare), mimicking Tahrir Square and the Arab Spring, but spearheaded by armed and hooded thugs from Ukrainian neo-Nazi organizations and not so secretly egged on by the European Union, the IMF and the Washington/Wall Street Axis of Evil, ran the elected Ukraine President Viktor Yanukovych, longtime Russian ally, out of Kiev. He was last seen heading for the Russian border. "Revolution", "Democracy" and "Freedom" became the fluffy buzzwords bandied about by its perpetrators to misdescribe this coup d'état-by-crowd.
In fact this latest international version of “regime change” was provoked and stoked by the West, the EU, its bankster cronies and the Obamacons in the White House.
Hapless Ukraine has always been ethnically, culturally and linguistically schizophrenic. Most of the people in the eastern half speak Russian and look to Russia as the old Mother Country. The western half gazes longingly at Europe from its back porch. Despite being politically corrupt and deeply in debt, Ukraine has historically been the "breadbasket" of Russia and is criss-crossed with pipelines pumping vital Russian natural gas to Europe.
Late last year, with the West’s bankster bandits and cannibal capitalists drooling to get their greedy paws on Ukraine’s potential financial assets and its unenlightened, unrepentant Cold Warriors looking to push their political influence right up to the Russian border and drive Putin nuts, the EU dangled an offer to Ukraine of some distant future membership in their Community along with the usual Shock Doctrine debt relief “reforms”. Reduce subsidies and increase gas prices. Cut workers’ pay and pensions. Eliminate tariffs, restrictions and red tape to enable foreign “investments” in agricultural land and infrastructure. Devalue the currency. Privatize industries. In short: Say goodbye to Russia. Say hello to the New Greece.
Washington’s smudgy fingerprints were likewise all over this connivance. The neocon cult of war worshipers, who lied us into the Iraq debacle, hope to keep us in Afghanistan/Vietnamistan until the last dog dies, loved hating the old Soviet Union and still wet-dream about those good old days, quietly cooked up this coup attempt when nobody was looking. Front organizations like the so-called National Endowment for Democracy and USAID greased the skids to the tune of at least $5 billion. But who’s counting?
When President Yanukovych rejected the EU deal he had originally okayed and instead accepted (no doubt under heavy Putin pressure) an $18 billion “bailout” from Russia, the Western coup-mongers turned up the heat on the slow-boiling frog.
In early February a Russian wiretap surfaced (take that, NSA!) revealing a telling conversation between Victoria Nuland, Assistant Secretary of State, and Geoffrey Pyatt, US Ambassador to Ukraine, both longtime neocon fellow travelers. "(Eff) the EU," Nuland told the Ambassador, obviously annoyed that misplayed card had failed to win the pot of gold. She also advised Ambassador Pyatt on which of the Ukrainian political stooges waiting in the wings was best cast to perform leading roles in the ensuing government-as-puppet-theater once the old regime was toppled.
One can easily imagine, judging by the YouTube version of that extraordinary conversation, the high-fiving in the White House and the State Department the night three weeks later Yanukovych hightailed it out of town.
But within a week what had looked like a cakewalk, quickly turned into something more like a pie-in-the face. Revolution as slapstick. Bring on the bear!
The new Ukraine "government" of political opportunists and neo-Nazis nobody elected had barely been assembled for their close-ups when the big bad bear on the border growled: "Not on my watch you don't!! Nyet!!"
Russian President-for-life (?) Vladimir Putin, no Pooty-Poot (W's childish nickname) where Russia's deepest national interests are concerned and when his manly bare-chested tough guy image is challenged (can you say: Pussy Riot?), sent Russian troops and hired goons across the border into the Crimea region of Ukraine. No one should have been surprised.
Never mind the artificially concocted international borders of Ukraine. Crimea is Russia and has been since the days of Catherine the Great. It was the scene of the fateful Charge of the Light Brigade into the mouth of the Russian guns in the Crimean War 160 years ago. It endured the brutal Nazi siege of its port city Sevastopol for 6 bloody months in World War II. Today Sevastopol is the most important city of the Ukraine Crimean region and home port for Russia’s Black Sea Naval Fleet. Indeed, Crimea is the most valuable part of Ukraine and the gateway to Russia. To Putin, the Kiev coup d’etat was a flagrant foul by the other side in the long-running East-West Great Game.
After suffering a momentary dose of the vapors, the Kiev government-without-trousers issued a series of loud but laughable diktats and edicts. “Putin’s a war criminal! Bring him to the Hague!” The perpetually war-mongering old coot John McCain and his faithful sidekick Lyndsey Graham saddled up their pantomime horse and galloped to the teevee cameras. “Bomb bomb bomb Iran…uh…the Russkies,” McCain yelped. “Benghazi! Benghazi!” squealed Graham. Secretary of State John Kerry scurried off to Kiev for a photo op and a blustery Churchill impersonation. “This unprecedented invasion based on lies will not stand!” he bellowed. Did somebody say WMD? Gulf of Tonkin? While Field Marshal Obama, America’s usually most accommodating Commander-in-Chief drew yet another line in the sand. “The Ukrainian people deserve the opportunity to determine their own future…There will be costs for violating international law,” he droned, without a trace of irony.
The old Cold War playbook had been hauled out of mothballs and the wall-to-wall media campaign of double-think, propaganda and lies (fine-tuned during the runup to the Iraq War a decade ago) was once again cranked up to speed. The Kiev coup d’état, the casus belli, was flushed down the memory hole and the public noisily prodded to beware of the Commies, the defiers and deniers of “democracy”. It is the Orwellian 1984 dystopian nightmare thirty years on: We have always been at war with Eurasia.
The Russians are now threatening to re-annex Crimea. The West is threatening sanctions on the Russians. Will anyone be surprised when the price of natural gas skyrockets and the Defense Department budget is soon increased by $100 billion? And by the way, whatever happened to the never-ending War On Terror?
To paraphrase philosopher/poet George Santyana: “Those who cannot remember (or refuse to forget) the past are condemned to repeat it.”
We are currently knee deep in another monstrous Wall Street/Washington DC Axis of Evil farcedy. We are the mugs in this mugging. The gullible fools in this deceptive and dishonest pre-scripted trickeration and shameless charade. This double-whammy puppet theater of cooked up crises. The government shutdown and the debt ceiling deadline. The sky is falling! The sky is falling! Pure Shock Doctrine. OMG! Not again!
The interlocking criminal enterprise of finance fraudsters and political poltroons has been successfully running variations of this pernicious public hoodwinking over and over for years. This is the 3rd time since 2011 this particular double-whammy con has been played on us. It is psychological terrorism. Bamboozle and scare the wits out of the public with the noisy and hysterical threat of a ticking financial or political time bomb that will end the world as we know it. Unless we cough up our rights, our freedom, liberty, property, privacy and, most important, our hard-earned money to these greedy and malevolent crooks and scoundrels.
The original script for this sort of Shock Doctrine lawlessness was written by the Hunchback of San Clemente, Richard Nixon, and his partner in crime, the odious Henry Kissinger. It was first performed successfully in Chile in 1973. Make the economy scream and democracy will surrender to dictatorship and oligarchy.
To paraphrase a certain philosopher/chimp: Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice...he he he...we CAN be fooled again. And again. And again.
In the current con, the first ticking time bomb is the government shutdown showdown. By the start of every fiscal year (October 1st), Congress must pass appropriation legislation to continue funding government obligations, or else the government will not have the means to operate and pay its bills. Over the years this has been subject to a certain amount of monkey business by conniving congressmen.
In 1995, the reptilian Speaker Newt Gingrich, under some egotistical pretext, forced a government shutdown for 21 days (during which time, as an unintended consequence, Pres. Horn Dog with time on his hands began his Oval Office canoodling with Monica Lewinsky).
This year, the Tea Party knotheads (the twisted tail that now wags the GOP mangy dog) refused to vote for the funding legislation unless the Affordable Care Act (aka: Obamacare) was defunded, that is to say killed in the cradle. ((Putting aside the fact Obamacare is a lousy law, it is the law and the Teabaggers were using it merely to obstruct and make as much noise as possible)). In a media manufactured High Noon moment, there was no vote and the "shutdown" began. OMG! The sky is falling! It is the end of the world as we know it!
So far, though, the shutdown itself is a devious con trick. In a real government shutdown, you would think our overextended troops in Afghanistan would be loaded up on transport planes and flown straight home. No money. No war. Our countless overseas military bases and diplomatic missions would be closed. The Pentagon would be a ghost town. The military/industrial complex would grind to a halt. The NSA, CIA and their private contractor co-conspirators, would have to stop spying on everyone in the world. Wall Street would not be receiving its $85 billion of free money every month. Slave plantations like Wal Mart would not get their IRS tax breaks. Police and firefighters would all be at home watching daytime TV. But noooo!
It seems the only people being shutdown and not getting paid are (drum roll, here) poor people, sick people, hungry people, unemployed and barely employed people, old people and, of course, children. National parks are also closed (have mercy!) Mission Accomplished (so far). On to Act Two, the next ticking time bomb.
It has taken about one news cycle for the shutdown hysteria to morph into the debt ceiling drop deadline. The debt ceiling, of course, is another legislative mechanism (dating from 1917!) that has been recently phonied up into a political and financial WMD (remember the dreaded "Fiscal Cliff" and the "Sequestration" of just 8 months ago?).
Unlike the government shutdown, failing to raise the debt ceiling (currently topping out at $16.699 trillion) is really serious. So they say. The sky will really fall! It is really the end of the world as we know it. Really! No kidding! OMG! Proof of the dead seriousness of the debt ceiling drop deadline is the sudden chorus of yelping, caterwauling and doom-crying by the world's biggest get-out-jail-free unindicted criminal conspirators, the banksters. Every GotBucks CEO from Deutsche Bank to BNP Parisbas to Chase to the IMF has declared the Eve of Destruction is nigh if the ceiling isn't raised.
Of course, they would say that. The operative word in debt ceiling is debt. These are the immoral and unscrupulous villains who have buried the whole world in debt over the last 3 decades. Worse than the worst street corner loan sharks, if these thugs don't get paid back by the biggest debtor on the planet, the USA of IOU, they will kneecap the entire world. Again.
What is to be done? Who will save us from this fate worse than debt?
Why, it's Captain Catastrophe, waiting in the West Wing to leap onto center stage and save the day for the banksters and politicians with his signature magic trick. The Grand Bargain. Again. Whodda thunk it?
Deceptively named to suggest some majestically purposed endeavor, The Grand Bargain should more aptly be called The Grand Guignol. A graphic amoral horror entertainment. It is designed to begin the sell-out of Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. The Shock Doctrine's Final Solution for America. Wall Street's 80-year-long wet dream come true. And perhaps the real reason a certain obscure, inexperienced, but silver-tongued Illinois State Senator was recruited for the White House by these Masters of the Universe and malefactors of great wealth.
This smart, cocky and ambitious (not to mention bi-racial) political novice, they figured, could perform "the trick wot nobody cannot do." Step on and defuse the 3rd rail of American politics. The sock puppet George W. tried to do it but even his goofy constituency of true believers wouldn't go along. The GOP's own Saint, the popular and amiable ham actor Ronald Reagan, wouldn't even dream of doing it. "Are you crazy?" he allegedly replied to his handlers, "these are the people who vote for us!" A Democrat would not dare to do it. It is the cardinal sin of the Democratic Party. Yet Obama seems almost too eager to commit it.
He has been blithely dancing with this devil since the days when he auditioned for the part of Prez before the big bankrollers in the corporate inner sanctums of New York and Chicago. He slyly revealed his heretical intentions during the 2008 campaign but nobody much noticed in the bright blinding (false?) glow of his Hope & Change candidacy. During the 2011 double whammy showdown he eagerly offered up this human sacrifice of Social Security and Medicare to the loopy GOP in exchange for virtually nothing of value. But the GOP turned out to be so howling-at-the-moon nuts, they actually rejected the gift. He has been angling to give the kiss of life to his Grand Betrayal...er..um...Bargain at every opportunity since then. Always referring to it in the crazy party's false lingo as "entitlement reform".
The current Perils of Pauline end-of-the-world-as we-know-it spellbinder provides the best chance so far to commit this unforgivable political sin disguised as a brilliant negotiating gesture. Just a teeeeny tiiiiny cost of living "adjustment" (lower forever) to your Social Security check and the chump change (multi-billion$) redirection of some Medicare moolah. In exchange for a pack of empty promises from the GOP outlaws. No big deal for such a BIG deal. Stop the clock! Stop the presses! Peace is at hand!
It is, of course, a dangerous and unsettled game all these bad actors are playing. The crazy chorus with its combustible mix of treason, sedition, rampant racism and pig ignorance may actually be pushing the farther shores of political insanity even more than they already appear to be and refuse, again, to take Yes! for an answer. On the other hand, the corrupted but perhaps not yet morally corroded Democrats may suddenly relocate their historic FDR, JFK, LBJ and Give 'em hell Harry guts and stand up for the rest of us instead of wussying at the last moment yet again. Or President Obamacare may miraculously in the nick of time drop his treacherous gambit, realizing that pursuing his Grand Bargain heresy will not establish his legacy as the new Lincoln but instead destroy the Democratic Party along with his presidency and his name will be Mudd.
Don't bank on it. That really would be the end of the world, as we know it! OMG!
The masks are off. Barack Obama is George W. Bush in blackface. John Kerry is Colin Powell in whiteface. And Susan Rice, Secretary of State wannabe, national security advisor and Barack's BFF, is, well, Condoleezza Rice in ghost face scream mask whistling up once again the mushroom cloud on the horizon. Eeek!
America has become in the 21st century the world's #1 Rogue nation. The Wall Street-Washington DC Axis of Evil and its insatiable greed-/power-driven military/industrial/ intelligence/surveillance/corporate cronies is a giant criminal enterprise, a confederacy of outlaws. And the American people (and much of the rest of the world) are merely collateral damage in a helter-skelter mad dash to a war-mongering, world-crushing Shock Doctrine corporate fascist totalitarianism otherwise known as "the status quo".
The giant government propaganda Wurlitzer keeps pumping out lies. A month or so ago it was "We don't spy on American citizens. We only eavesdrop on terrorist conference calls." Then it was "OMG! OMG! Al-Qaeda is coming! We have to close all the US embassies in the Middle East for four days!" When nobody believed any of that hoo-haa, this hapless Obomba administration for the last two weeks has been trumpeting a cooked up chemical warfare jamboree out of a terrible two-year-long Syrian civil war killfest.
The Syrian civil war is just the latest iteration of what was once considered the hopeful Arab Spring that was more a mirage than the dawn of democracy and is now, in fact, turning into the First Islamic World War since the great schism between Sunni and Shiite in the 7th century.
Our perpetual boogeyman, the hysterically noisy and nuclear weapons-seeking Shiite Islamic Republic of Iran, is supporting its longtime partner in crime the creepy chinless scoundrel President Bashar Al-Assad, son and heir of the longtime Syrian psycho dictator the late and unlamented Hafez Al-Assad. Russia, the surviving remnant of our old Soviet Union Cold War rival, is strongly allied with Bashar too.
Saudi Arabia, one the most repressive regimes on the planet, bent on peddling worldwide Wahhabbism , its own home-grown brand of tyrannical Sunni Islam, and scared witless that a revolutionary whirlwind will sooner rather than later sweep across their oil-rich sandbox and blow their cartoon royalty off their golden toilet seats, is backing the Syrian "rebels", the long-oppressed Syrian citizens, who originally rose up, so far unsuccessfully, against the villainous regime, now being back-stopped by a ragtag gang of assorted rogues, thugs, criminals and jumped-up jihadis.
To date, over 100,000 Syrians have been killed and several millions scattered to the neighboring lands of Jordan, Iraq, Lebanon, Iran and Turkey, with not much more than the sound of crickets coming from us.
Now suddenly, waving the bloody shirt, crying crocodile tears over the latest presumed death toll (pick a number from 57 to 1,429) of innocent men, women and children from an apparent sarin gas attack ordered by Bashar himself, the latest Middle Eastern Hitler (so our intelligence know-it-alls have "assessed", not exactly proven, from some tapped phone calls and a collection of YouTube videos!), we have been threatening the usual military cakewalk - pin-point, surgical cruise missile bombing attacks on somebody.
By butting in at this point and waving our weapons in everyone's face, we are on the verge of turning this unending Syrian tragedy into a farcedy. Ironically, Vladimir Putin, the ex-KGB bull and current scourge of Pussy Riot and the Russian gay community, has quickly and cleverly snatched up a bumbling blunder by the bellowing John Kerry about Bashar surrendering his chemical weapons stash and forced Bashar to go along with the ploy thereby blunting for the moment Obomba's sabre rattling. But a somewhat befuddled Barack (perhaps only half-believing his own twisted sales pitch), whose popularity is sinking fast like a rock in a well, still wants the Congress, currently even less popular than bladder cancer, to approve new warmongering legislation that is totally opposed by 85% of the American people. Democracy in action. Our tax dollars at work. USA! USA!
If the administration so eagerly wants to bomb something, let them bomb the unfortunate Syrian refugees with food and blankets. That would be a good deed indeed.
However, while wars are always all about bu$ine$$, this war is really none of our business. After more than a decade of big-footing across the Muslim world to disastrous effect, stirring up hornets' nests, droning wedding parties, squandering trillion$ of our national trea$ury and sacrificing way too many of the young troops in our never victorious army, while screaming Al-Qaeda is coming! Al-Qaeda is coming! it is about time to include ourselves out, take a seat in the bleachers, buy some hot dogs and beer (hummus & kebabs?) and just STFU! Wait for this massive upheaval of clans, tribes, religious factions and assorted troublemakers to do their worst to each other. It is what they will do in any case. We have no influence. Everybody hates us. And in a decade or so, the entire map of the Middle East will have been totally redrawn to finally and more accurately reflect the real demographics of this long-suffering region (can you say: Kurdistan is coming!).
Now the “Fiscal Cliff” charade has proven to be nothing more than a Fiscal Bungee Jump, what is the next Shock Doctrine scam being cooked up to scare the public witless and steal our national treasure? It’s the “Debt Bomb”. The New WMD. Be very afraid! Tick! Tick! Boom!
The question is: will it be a “nuculer” (kudos GW Bush) bomb, a neutron bomb, a suicide bomb or just a stink bomb?
President Pushover, as ever the world’s worst political negotiator (or perhaps the world’s best “fake” negotiator?), continued to stand on his quicksand principles during the recent Perils of Pauline escapade. In his pantomime horse-trading over tax hikes and spending cuts with the perpetually pickled House GOP Majority Weeper John Boehner and the turtle-faced Senate GOP Minority Critter Mitch McChinless, he traded away more cake for the millionaires, billionaires and gazillionaires in exchange for crumbs for the middle and working (and out-of-work) classes. There will now be piddling tax hikes for annual household incomes over $450,000 , stock dividends, hedge fund “carried interest” and the estates of dead millionaires and billionaires (which the usual accountants' alchemy will disappear into the Cayman Islands, Switzerland or any branch of HSBC). All that and more, in exchange for a one-year extension of unemployment benefits (which is not to be confused with actual employment!) and some other superficial and fleeting tax breaks for the 99%.
After some dancing in the end zone by the Obama alibiers that he didn’t sell out Social Security and Medicare in the Bungee Jump deal and some grumbling by the GOP zombies that he should have; and before the befuddled public could return to their default couch potato state, the Wall Street/Washington DC Axis of Evil sounded the debt bomb scare alert.
Hitting the Debt Ceiling in the next few months, they screeched, is guaranteed to be the worst disaster ever to befall the American economy since, oh, the last worst economic disaster in American history. Way worse than falling off the Fiscal Cliff. Eeek!
Concocted by Congress in 1917 to help pay the bills for World War I, the so-called debt ceiling (no relation to Michelangelo's magnificent Sistine Chapel ceiling) authorizes the US Government to spend money up to a certain borrowing point. It is, in fact, nothing more than a concoction and as government spending (and borrowing) has inevitably increased in the past 96 years, the debt ceiling has had to be raised over and over to provide a "cover" for Congressional budget appropriations. Since 1962 it has been raised 74 times with almost no one noticing (18 times during the ham actor Reagan's presidency, 8 times under Clinton, 7 under W and every year so far by Pres. Pipsqueak). So why the ticking bomb now?
The current debt ceiling is about $16.4 trillion (coincidently just about the amount of free money Washington gave Wall Street to save the criminal banksters' bacon after they crashed the economy in 2008 - and who's even counting the $3-4 trillion that disappeared into Iraq and Afghanistan so far?). The GOP zombies and teabaglicans acting as the cat's paw for the Shock Doctrine, have, since 2011, decided to use the debt ceiling "crisis" as the perfect improvised explosive device (IED) to blow up the American economy on behalf of Al-Qaeda of Wall Street and their Corporate Cannibal Cohorts, enabling them to finally loot the US Treasury of every last nickel they have not already stolen.
Failure to raise the ceiling, their ransom note goes, will mean the end of the economic world as we know it (never heard that one before, have we?). The US would have to default on its debt for the first time in history. The bond rating agencies (who blissfully gave Wall Street's poisonous and fraudulently created derivatives triple-A ratings!) would lower the US credit rating. The US Government would go into mini-shutdown. The rest of the world would look at America as some sort of penniless vagrant never to be trusted again. The rigged wheel of fortune that is the Stock Market would start spinning in reverse. And the bellowing bond traders and stock swindlers of Al-Qaeda of Wall Street would have to take a cue ball haircut. O-M-G. Heaven Forbid.
These economic terrorists would put the pin back in the grenade, if only BO, The Great Conciliator/Negotiator (who was de-bagged during the 2011 debt ceiling "crisis") would agree to begin the beheading of Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid (also public education, infrastructure repair, disaster relief, what's left of welfare and just about every government function with the exception of feeding the insatiable Pentagon Beast). In essence, they would not kill the hostage (the Amurrrican people), if Obama would only do it for them. The Grand Bargain.
But Whoa! Howdy...didn't President Pusillanimous forthrightly declare just after the Bungee Cord on the Fiscal Cliff had bounced back, “While I will negotiate over many things, I will not have another debate with this Congress over whether or not they should pay the bills that they’ve already racked up through the laws that they passed.” (apparent translation: "I will not negotiate over the debt ceiling!"). If past is prologue, don't stop paying your flood insurance premium based on that sunny forecast.
It seems the Wall Street/ Washington DC Axis of Evil, our homegrown economic terrorists, may have learned a thing or two from the Taliban and our former Iraqi enemies after all. The most devastating IED or suicide bomb is not always the first one that goes off. The real catastrophe often occurs with the detonation of a second bomb buried amidst the crowd of rescuers and rubber-neckers, who have rushed to the scene of the first explosion.
Ticking right along with the Debt Bomb is the "Sequestration" Bomb. This clunkily-named device could only have been conceived by a feckless, wreckless and idiotic Congress such as ours. Or maybe the Marx Brothers. It is a kind of suicide bomb the Congress strapped to itself last year in order to hold itself hostage. Hail! Hail! Freedonia!
Congress designed the Sequestration Bomb in order to force itself to begin dismantling the social safety net of Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid and trigger an automatic funding cut on the Pentagon Beast. It is a totally phony deficit reduction trick, supposedly a dud WMD, which, if there is any justice in this world, would blow up in their faces.
While the rest of us have barely heard of it and probably wouldn't comprehend it if we had, ironically, the Sequestration Bomb alert is the one that actually scares the pants off the Wall Street/Washington DC Axis of Evil. If it is allowed to detonate it could well blow a huge hole in the trough their greedy snouts have so long been burrowed in.
In a twisted "Hurt Locker" moment, this is the money bomb our Dear Leader and great delusional post-partisan negotiator/conciliator will attempt to defuse. Armored in the protective padding of his recent 52% re-election victory, Boom Boom Obama will stride forth at the last minute, unstrap that suicide bomb from the body of Congress, defuse the Pentagon explosive part and throw the rest of it, the so-called "entitlement" cuts, straight at the American people. Ka-Boom! Mission Accomplished. At least until the next end-of-the-world-as-we-know-it scare alert...
Egypt, ancient land of the Pharaohs, Pyramids and the Sphinx, has always been part museum part madhouse. Just two years ago, the longtime oppressed and povertized but always amazingly good-natured (been down so long it looked like up to them) people of Egypt rose up in a roar of revolution.
Hundreds of thousands of Egyptians from up and down the Nile turned Tahrir Square in the center of Cairo into the Bastille. Demanding "Kefaya!"- Enough! Enough of the modern pharaoh Hosni Mubarak's 30-year reign of terror, intimidation, corruption and ruin. Enough of the big fat nothing that had so long been their lot in life.
At long last defiant in the face of official tyranny, brutality, thievery and humiliation, they quickly succeeded. Much to the surprise, shock and awe of the 82-year-old villain and his cronies, the Middle East's coterie of tinpot generals, fake monarchs and assorted presidents-for-life, the US government, Mubarak's longtime bankroller and enabler, and, indeed, the new revolutionaries themselves.
But revolutions too often are not the glorious end of big bad history. If you doubt that, ask the French, the Russians, the Iranians. Revolution sooner or later revolves into the next revolution.
After two years of political camel trading, it's seems as if what's gone around is coming around again. Say hello to the new Pharaoh same as the old Pharaoh.
Islamism, a political cabal masquerading as a "gimme that old time religion" movement, has long been an open wound in Middle Eastern countries.
The Society of Muslim Brothers (aka-The Muslim Brotherhood), is the oldest Islamist movement, founded in Egypt 85 years ago. El-Qaeda, which has morphed into a kind of Islamist franchise operation is the newest (and possibly the nuttiest if not necessarily the most troublesome). Ayatollah Khomeini inspired the most successful Islamist movement, running the Shah out of Iran. And Saudi Arabia, landlord of Mecca and Medina, and perhaps the most repressive regime on the planet, finances the most far-reaching Islamist movement, its own home-grown brand, "Wahabbism".
When Freedom's Caravan suddenly arrived in Tahrir Square in 2011 (after a successful stop in Tunisia), The Muslim Brotherhood, though the most organized Egyptian opposition group, was slow to join the parade. Long hated, hounded and jailed by Mubarak (and by his predecessor Anwar Sadat - who was ultimately assassinated by sympathizers of the Brotherhood), they stood cautiously (and calculatingly) on the sidelines. When it looked like the determined, fearless, internet-wired, mostly young non-Islamist protesters were going to win, the Brotherhood opportunistically leaped to the front of the parade. Hi-jacking the Revolution that others had made.
Experienced conspirators and community organizers, the Brotherhood leaders then outmaneuvered the powerful Egyptian Military High Command (who had actually bum-rushed Mubarak out the door in the hope they would direct the future from behind their iron curtain). In the ensuing elections, they rounded up their corps of hard-core true believers under the Brotherhood's slogan: Islam is the solution! and won a Parliament majority (which the Judiciary subsequently abolished) and in June of this year, Muhamed Morsi, a Brotherhood Capo, who had "resigned" from the party, became Egypt's first "democratically" elected President.
But now, after almost 6 months of haggling and finagling in the Egyptian political bazaar between the Brotherhood, the Military place-holders and the Revolutionary remnants, the only-recently-donned gossamer veil (so to speak) of freedom, justice and democracy appears to have fallen from the face of President Morsi and his Islamist cohorts. To be replaced by the scowl of crypto-fascism and hard-core Islamism.
Last month, Israel and Hamas, the ruling Islamist thugs of Gaza, duked it out for 8 days over that God-forsaken gravel-pit of a territory. The West instantly reverted to its old Israel vs Palestinians default position. Heavy breathing and crocodile tears all around. The newly re-elected Obama administration, always a bit behind the Middle East curve, enlisted President Morsi to nursemaid a cease fire. It worked. Morsi took a big bow on the international stage.
Within days, flush with success, Morsi sprung the counter-revolution trap. He announced a decree granting for himself virtually absolute power over all branches of the Egyptian government. No law or decision taken by him could be questioned, overturned or revoked by any other government body. Also no authority (except, of course, him) could dissolve the Shura Council (the Upper Chamber of Parliament packed with Islamist and Brotherhood supporters) or the Constituent Assembly (another full house of Brotherhood backers - the non-Islamists in the Assembly had earlier walked out in protest), which had been concocting a new post-revolution Constitution.
Their Constitution, suddenly completed within days of Morsi’s decree and scheduled for a lightning-fast referendum vote before most people could even read or discuss the thing, was loaded up with Islamist and undemocratic features:
Shariah would essentially be the law of the land. Women were given the brush-off. Human rights and civil liberties were placed in jeopardy. Freedom of expression curtailed. In a devil’s bargain between the Brotherhood and the military, the military's political and financial privileges were largely preserved, including the military trial of civilians (a Mubarak-era practice long despised by the general population). The universally loathed old Mubarak emergency laws were reworked and dressed up to achieve the same old results. Ambiguous clauses and amendments were included that seemed designed to create a "Morality Police" and finger as "enemies of the state" whoever might not go along with the new program.
Cries of "No to tyranny!!", "No to the new pharaoh!!!", "The people want to bring down the regime!" immediately resounded through the streets as thousands of angry and disillusioned Egyptians rallied again in Tahrir Square and marched on Brotherhood offices (setting fire to a few of them). In the following days thousands of anti-Islamist protesters have marched on the Presidential Palace (as the new Pharaoh Morsi reportedly scooted out a back door) and clashed continuously with the Brotherhood’s base of zealots for “Allah”.
Again, as in 2011, the huge crowds of demonstrators have been met by the same old thuggery and tear gas. But this time at the order of the new Pharaoh, who cited the same old straw men as justification: outside agitators, counter revolutionaries, terrorists, enemies of democracy and now also enemies of God.
Nobody can say for sure yet how this confrontation - the Egyptian Revolution Part II - will ultimately play out between the new power-grabbing Pharaoh (and his security apparatus and Islamist supporters) and the people once again and so soon in righteous riotous assembly.
The French Revolution went through nearly a decade of the twists and turns of the Jacobins, Robespierre and the Reign of Terror (think: the guillotine) until the "little corporal" Napoleon Bonaparte (for whom the Napoleon Complex was named) arrived on the scene to settle things down with a mixture of totalitarianism and serious civil reform (the same Napoleon, who, rumor has it, made a permanent mark on the face of Egypt in 1798 when the artillery of his invading army blew the nose off the Sphinx).
The Russian Revolution of 1917, a political earthquake that "shook the world", was ultimately captured and catastrophically misdirected by the Georgian psycho Stalin.
The Khomeini Revolution quickly devoured many of its own makers and has over the past 35 years devolved into a repressive and paranoid regime of Islamist elitists supported and protected by a thuggish ring of villains and religious zealots.
The promising and politically refreshing Arab Spring of two years ago looks at the moment like turning into the Arab Winter. Tunisians are once again rioting against the clique of Islamists who captured their revolution. Bahrain, Saudi Arabia's next door puppet princedom, has largely crushed its popular opposition. Yemen is still a mess. Iraq is a bigger mess. Libya, freed from the loony tune dictator Muammer Qaddafi, is little more than a mèlange of competing militias. Syria, whose promising uprising against 4 decades of murderous rule by the Assad family, has turned into a tragic and calamitous civil war with 40,000 dead so far.
The 2011 Tahrir Square Revolution is really still evolving in its struggling and defining infancy. The Brotherhood and the Military seem determined to retard (if not entirely crush) its development. Perhaps aided and abetted by the real "outside agitators", the international bankster community, the world's weapons peddlars, the Western status quoers, the Middle East's wider Islamist brethren and fellow travellers.
The crude and hasty power grab by the Pharaoh Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood is both cynical and obvious, yet it may carry the day. But the good guys who made the Tahrir Square Revolution are no longer afraid of their government. Their government is afraid of them. The “djinn” (genie) of freedom, equality and democracy was released from the magic lantern two years ago. It will not be forced back in…