July 31, 2011

“It is an unfortunate human failing that a full pocketbook often groans more loudly than an empty stomach.”
Franklin Delano Roosevelt

(Illustration found here).

Early Sunday and deep, wet fog here on California’s north coast, but unlike a lot of other shit going on right now, my natural environment will get better, much better: The fog will burn off in a couple of hours revealing a sunshine-bright environment — even our Alaska-bred wind, usually twirling up cold and sharp in the afternoon, has been the last few days most agreeable, friendly and warm.
A nice, possibly-good day coming.

Not so for a whole-lot of other stuff.
Especially for this most-ridiculous, but yet apparently most-Titanic-the-ship situation in US financial history, the debt ceiling.
Despite what’s been considered a near-mundane point of economic government — this same item done some 78 times since 1960 (49 times under Republican presidents), President Obama himself has already raised the debt ceiling three times, the last in February 2010, and absolutely no nasty shit-storm about none of it.
This time, however, there’s the insanely-strong influence off people-full-of shit — the so-called Tea Party.
From The Australian posted online down yonder, where right now it’s already tomorrow:

With Barack Obama facing the greatest crisis of his presidency, the Republican Party torn asunder and the US on the verge of its first default, a small group of novice congressmen was celebrating a stunning political coup at the weekend.

What most of the world sees as a deadlock and a crisis, the Tea Party sees as victory, its members having done exactly what they had said they would do when they were voted in at the mid-term elections.
“Last November I told my constituents (in Minnesota) that I’m a numbers guy,” explained Republican congressman Chip Cravaack, after voting against his own party’s bill on Friday night.
“I gave them my promise that if the numbers don’t add up, I’m not voting for it.”

Since then, they have become increasingly unco-operative, leading some to refer to them as the “Tea Party Taliban”. Over the past few days they have left the leadership of both parties reeling at their readiness to play brinkmanship with the country’s credit rating.
“There’s an old JFK line: those who ride the back of the tiger often end up inside it,” said veteran Democratic strategist Bob Shrum.
“What we’re seeing is one-fifth of the House of Representatives trying to run the country.
It’s a constitutional coup d’etat.”
Mark Meckler, national co-ordinator for the Tea Party Patriots, hailed their action as a success. “The Tea Party is already victorious,” Meckler said.
“What we were looking to do was change the terms of national debate and we’ve completely changed it.”

Yeah right.

Along with all that bullshit, stir in the long-time creep, conservative strategist Grover Norquist and his half-crazed tax pledges, and you’ve got a recipe of pure disaster not yet seen by US peoples, who are in for a bad-ass, shit-kicking, slap-in-the-face.

One thing for sure: We as a peoples are wading around in a living, breathing train wreck.
A poll from CNN last week found that not only do 84 percent of Americans feel the economy is bad, a majority 59 percent are gloomy about the country’s economic future: “That’s a very significant, and very discouraging change in public attitudes toward the economy,” CNN Polling Director Keating Holland said. “It’s unclear what caused this newfound pessimism. The length of the current economic downturn and concerns over the chances that the debt ceiling will go unresolved are probably contributing factors.”

And since then, the whole DC/economic scenario has gotten worse.
Just on Friday, a report the US is not only not gaining any recovery traction, the whole ‘Great Recession‘ shebang was/is more severe that first thought: To adopt the president’s favorite metaphor of the ditch and the driver: The ditch was a 33 percent deeper than we thought. And we’re driving 33 percent slower than we hoped.

Paul Krugman waxing on the terrible ‘no light at the end of this tunnel‘ routine this morning on ABC News (via Raw Story):

“From the perspective of a rational person, we shouldn’t even be talking about spending cuts at all now,” Krugman told ABC’s Christiane Amanpour.
“We have nine percent unemployment.
These spending cuts are going to worsen unemployment… If you have a situation in which you are permanently going to raise the unemployment rate — which is what this is going to do — that’s actually going to reduce future revenues.”
“These spending cuts are even going to hurt the long-run fiscal position, let alone cause lots of misery. Then on top of that, we’ve got these budget cuts, which are entirely — basically the Republicans [saying], ‘We’ll blow up the world economy unless you give us exactly what you want’ and the president said, ‘Okay.’ That’s what happened.”
“We used to talk about the Japanese and their lost decade.
We’re going to look to them as a role model.
They did better than we’re doing,” he added.
“There is no light at the end of this tunnel.
We’re having a debate in Washington which is all about, ‘Gee, we’re going to make this economy worse, but are we going to make it worse on 90 percent the Republicans’ terms or 100 percent the Republicans’ terms?’ The answer is 100 percent.”

And real reality of this debt ceiling drama is it created an open showcase for US peoples to witness the screwed-up mess of government as it strangles itself and dies.

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