Saturday, December 22, 2007

Paranoia Politics

Americans have come to hate and distrust their government as perhaps never before in their nation's history. From AlterNet:

"Scripps Howard News Service and Ohio University released a little-noticed study showing that one-third of Americans now "believe in a broad smorgasbord of conspiracy theories" revolving around government complicity in everything from the 9/11 attacks to the Kennedy assassination. The same survey last year found that "anger against the federal government is at record levels."

...the feelings are not motivated merely by a fear of the next bogeyman around the corner. The sentiments are symptoms of a deep crisis of confidence in our public institutions -- a crisis that is a predictable reaction to a government that now all but admits it breaks laws, hides information and disregards the public.

We have seen troops sent to war based on manipulated intelligence. We have discovered phones wiretapped without warrants. Just last week, we found out the CIA destroyed tapes of potentially illegal torture sessions. So many scandals now plague the government, it is hard to remember them all. And they have all happened with almost no consequences for the perpetrators.

Industries essentially bribe politicians with campaign contributions. Government employees regularly move into six-figure jobs lobbying for the industries they once regulated. Presidential candidates of both parties take time off from their small-town stump speeches about the middle class to hold big corporate fundraisers in New York penthouses and D.C. law firms. All of it is legal and treated as ho-hum by the media.

When [media] lobbyists recently pushed the government to relax ownership regulations and allow for further media consolidation, FCC chairman Kevin Martin provided just one week's notice for a required public hearing on the issue. Officially, the FCC held the hearing to consider public input about the proposed rule change. But Martin later told Congress that before the hearing ever happened he was already putting the finishing touches on his New York Times op-ed formally endorsing the media consolidation plan. And surprise! This week, the FCC officially ratified Martin's deregulation scheme, making it the law of the land.
Like so much of our government's behavior these days, it was kabuki theater at its most obscene -- an obscure yet powerful agency getting caught leaking profit-making secrets to lobbyists, and then telling the public its hearings are all a put-on, taking place well after the corrupt deals have already been cut."

This is possibly George w. Bush's greatest accomplishment, completing the corporatization of his nation's government. Halliburton has taken over much of the military's role on a massive-profit basis, routinely fleeces the government on its billings and then shelters all that revenue in offshore tax havens. Defence spending has returned to the levels of the height of the Cold War with no rival superpower worthy of the name. Tax dollars are pumped, by the truckload, into shoring up mortgages for predatory lenders who would otherwise have to bear the losses of their greed even as those tax dollars come increasingly from the working class whose children will also pay for the deficits now racked up year after year by a tax cut and spend like mad government.

Bush may be America's Battista. No wonder he's so admired by our own Furious Leader, Stevie Harper. No wonder Stevie is such an adherent to paranoia politics.

Republicans talk of "class war" as some despicable tactic exploited by politicians seeking to enrage the masses, the great unwashed. Some day, rank-and-file, average Americans may wake up and realize they've been on the receiving war of a very real, very powerful and very destructive class war that their alleged president has been waging against them, almost from the first day he took office.


Oldschool said...

Lots of lefty talking-points here . . . but even thouth Bush's approval rating is in the low 30's . . . the crazy Nancy led Democratic Congress approval rating is in the low 20's . . . . they are spending more in earmarks each month than the war in Iraq costs!!!
The US economy is doing quite well, 4% growth last quarter, exports up, unemployment still below 5%, in spite of the poor housing sector.
This of course will all change if Shillary gets elected, tax increases, socialized medicine, and other crazy ponzi scheems . . .

The Mound of Sound said...

Oldschool, your 'facts' are hilarious. Oh yes, the US economy is doing 'quite well.' Even with a tanking greenback they can't get out of their balance of trade deficit. Add enormous government deficit to that and you have a really magnificent economy - if you're a total idiot. And if you're looking for ponzi schemes, try Halliburton or KBR. The Americans have a definite problem with earmarks - on both sides of the house - but to compare that with a totally ginned up war without end illustrates the very logic of your claims. Do yourself a favour. Stay away from books. You get all the reality you can handle from NewsMax and Rush.

Oldschool said...

Yea Mound . . . better to be BMW, Mercedes . . . or even Honda/Toyota . . . how does there stuff stack up to the new reality of the US buck???
It was said a couple of years ago that the US dollar war overvalued, now it is lower . . . so what!!!
The Canuck buck is better, Canucks flock to the US to spend their money.
The Euro is now the "Overvalued" currency . . . the economies of France, Germany and others just ain't that great . . . euro govts have huge social(ist) burdens.
The war in Iraq is going well . . . haven't you heard . . . oh, I forgot you watch the CBC!!!
You buy into the GW crap without any facts, so why would I think you knew anything about economies.
Your leftist talking points are as usual without merit.

Oldschool said...

Here's a quote from someone you admire I am sure . . .

The reason we went to war with Iraq is because there were clear links between Saddam Hussein, terror, and the 9/11 attack. Some of us will not let our nation (and the world) forget that on December 16, 1998, two years before George W. Bush became president, and while the current president William Jefferson Clinton had authorized air strikes against Iraq, you, a member of the House Intelligence Committee, issued a statement that in part read.

"As a member of the House Intelligence Committee, I am keenly aware that the proliferation of chemical and biological weapons is an issue of grave importance to all nations. Saddam Hussein has been engaged in the development of weapons of mass destruction technology which is a threat to countries in the region and he has made a mockery of the weapons inspection process. The responsibility of the United States in this conflict is to eliminate weapons of mass destruction, to minimize the danger to our troops and to diminish the suffering of the Iraqi people. The citizens of Iraq have suffered the most for Saddam Hussein's activities; sadly, those same citizens now stand to suffer more. I have supported efforts to ease the humanitarian situation in Iraq and my thoughts and prayers are with the innocent Iraqi civilians, as well as with the families of U.S. troops participating in the current action. I believe in negotiated solutions to international conflict. This is, unfortunately, not going to be the case in this situation where Saddam Hussein has been a repeat offender, ignoring the international community's requirement that he come clean with his weapons program. While I support the President, I hope and pray that this conflict can be resolved quickly and that the international community can find a lasting solution through diplomatic means."

I only present your words because many of your supporters today say that President Bush concocted the whole notion of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq as a reason to go to war. Again, George W. Bush was the governor of Texas at the time. YOU were a member of the House Intelligence Committee. YOU had "intelligence" in 1998 that you seemed comfortable enough with at that time. You never told President Clinton to "calm down". You never said about President Clinton what you told the press about Republicans today. "We thought that they shared the view of so many people in our country that we needed a new direction in Iraq. But the Republicans have made it very clear that this is not just George Bush's war. This is the war of the Republicans in Congress." You never referred to President Clinton's long distance, cruise missile strikes as "his" war. Let's not forget, as you seem to have, we did not start this war. There was a link between Iraq and 9/11. As a former member of the House Intelligence Committee, you should have known that the previously "waterboarded" Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, called the "mastermind" of the 9/11 and other terror attacks worldwide, was actually an Iraqi intelligence agent. He could not, and would not, take action without the approval and blessing of Saddam Hussein. Is that not a link, Madame Speaker?

Why do you suppose so many lefties can't remember recent history??
They have gone from rewriting the history of decades past to rewriting history of weeks past . . . I guess they assume the population all has alzheimers!!

I can supply you with similar quotes by Algore, both Klintons and Madeline Albright . . . back in 98, saying exactly the same thing . . . did you forget???

The Mound of Sound said...

Oldschool, what is your core problem? The person I was listening to well before US troops began shipping out to the Middle East wasn't named Clinton. It was a guy named Blix. This gentleman, who had teams on the ground in Iraq, was telling anyone who would listen - including you - that there were no WMDs to be found. His inspectors went to every site US intelligence wanted checked, every one and - nothing.

So, my incurious chum, your inane quotes are good typing practice (you really do get more accurate on the longer items) but are utterly irrelevant. Bush was the one spreading the ginned intelligence around, with the help of Blair. Bush, as I recall, was the president in the three years leading up to the invasion and no one else. That all those others believed this loser's fabrications is lamentable, but that's about all.

And, as for the main point, America's economy is anything but sound. When you're awash in debt, with a credit crunch, a plummeting dollar and grossly dependent on foreign oil that's reaching record prices - you're in a world of trouble. Yes, exports are up - somewhat, but that's more than offset by spiralling costs of imports upon which the US is dependent. Think things through before you spew out this nonsense, eh?