So last Tuesday a FEW of us (relatively speaking -- 24%) in NYC went to the polls to vote. (I went to vote for the Green candidates.)
It was an off-year election including for mayor and mayoral candidate Bill de Blasio of the Democratic Party with a 50 point lead was a sure thing.
Not you, Corrente. You know who.
Well it seems this continuing debacle every 3 months has ceased, for now. However, I really can't get over this pathetic celebration over the really low bar involved with regard to avoiding what I call a political default on the public debt. This is the same embarrassing type of celebration that ensued in 2011. We need to get real. Despite the government being opened up again, there's nothing to celebrate. We've already lost. After all, the debt ceiling was a precious gift Obama bestowed onto John Boehner in the 2010 tax deal as he put his full faith in Speaker John Boehner hands, as he took the full faith and credit of the United States hostage.
Of course, it was a deal struck between both of them to put who they called the "extremists" of both their parties in check, for a grand bargain like in 1983 when Tip O'Neil and Ronald Reagan cut social security. President Obama and Speaker Boehner weren't fooling everyone, though. Just those involved in their hyper deluded, hyper partisan, claptrap. To some of us, this was entirely predictable and preventable. Now people are suffering because some people, blinded by their hyper-loyal partisan illusions, couldn't or didn't want to see what was there. Maybe their lack of sight reveals they don't really care? It doesn't matter though. This will continue to be what we go through when some of this crap continues again in 4 months in February, regardless.
This austerity government will reopen at sequester levels of funding; a sequester I predicted would be born out by the stupid Super Committee from the super austerity Budget Control Act of 2011, which I saw was inevitable since the 2010 tax deal led to the first, now ongoing, debt ceiling debacle; a miniature crisis to crisis government with no plans to invest in its citizens' future. Anything else is possible though, from government shutdowns over the false prospect of defunding Obamacare, to any austerian Senator or Congressman using the threat of default for whatever demands they want.
We, the so called professional left as the White House derisively called us, warned about this. Anyone who denied this can either apologize now or forever restrain from speaking about matters regarding politics, civics, political deals, and the debt ceiling. We told all of you back in 2011 around this same time when that debacle was coming to its end — until this one and the next one 4 months down the line — that this was no victory. Read below the fold...
Disclaimer: This forum rules like the moderator. I'm talking about a different one that tends to skew towards Obots in an orange way.
And here we are again! It started in 2010. The Bush tax cuts were about to expire. There was leverage to negotiate a debt ceiling raise or to just let them expire. How do I know there was leverage? I know Republicans like tax cuts for the rich, and there was a deal for the purpose of extending them with Republican votes. It passed with those Republican votes, which led to this whole thing because there was no debt ceiling raise included.
Maybe others are unaware of this? I don't know. It doesn't matter though; the uninformed shouldn't dictate fantasy as reality in a reality based community. This is the actual reality and why we are worried about a global financial calamity with regard to a possible political default on the public debt, which is a choice and otherwise impossible for a sovereign currency issuer.
Q Mr. President, thank you. How do these negotiations affect negotiations or talks with Republicans about raising the debt limit? Because it would seem that they have a significant amount of leverage over the White House now, going in. Was there ever any attempt by the White House to include raising the debt limit as a part of this package?
THE PRESIDENT: When you say it would seem they’ll have a significant amount of leverage over the White House, what do you mean?
Q Just in the sense that they’ll say essentially we’re not going to raise the — we’re not going to agree to it unless the White House is able to or willing to agree to significant spending cuts across the board that probably go deeper and further than what you’re willing to do. I mean, what leverage would you have –
THE PRESIDENT: [silence].... Look, here’s my expectation — and I’ll take John Boehner at his word — that nobody, Democrat or Republican, is willing to see the full faith and credit of the United States government collapse, that that would not be a good thing to happen. And so I think that there will be significant discussions about the debt limit vote. That’s something that nobody ever likes to vote on. But once John Boehner is sworn in as Speaker, then he’s going to have responsibilities to govern. You can’t just stand on the sidelines and be a bomb thrower.
You know, we on the left knew what this would lead to. You don't trust John Boehner with the full faith in credit of the United States unless one is completely clueless or an economic nihilist. The resulting signs we are starting to see of a financial panic in response to the prospects of a default on top of the ongoing depression, the jobs crisis, the continuing climate and ecological crisis all converging into one huge Epochal crisis, point to a special kind of disdain for the public that all our elected leaders have for us. I mean, we have enough problems without adding to them through a self induced global financial then economic crisis caused by the President's pursuit of a deficit terrorist grand bargain whether through incompetence or outright corruption. Read below the fold...
Effective regulation, and on that note, it is a positive thing that the Summers of our discontent can finally be laid to rest. After all the damage Larry Summers has caused in being one of the architects of this crisis, from boxing in Brooksley Born and ignoring her warnings with regard to derivatives which brought down Long Term Capital Management during the Clinton administration, to his sexism among everything else. He has now thankfully taken himself out consideration for the job.
It's a good thing he did. Rather than fighting for something or someone that helps people suffering from this economic crisis, President Obama strongly recommended and fought for Larry Summers to be Chairman of the Federal Reserve, a guy who lost a billion dollars as President of Harvard betting on interest rates. Yeah, let that sink in for awhile.
It's really not OK. This is why making excuses for everything the President does, as too many Democrats do without thinking of the damage, is dangerous, immoral, and unprincipled. Now it looks like the front runner to replace Ben Bernanke as Chairman of the Federal Reserve is going to be Vice Chairwoman of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System and once President and Chief Executive Officer of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, Janet Yellin. Unlike Larry Summers, she at least saw the crisis coming as early as 2005.
Ralph Nader believes it is time to put U.S. global corporations on the DEFENSIVE! He declares that would be “the first step for the resurgence of the people so that corporations become our servants and do not remain our masters.”
In “Patriotic Yardsticks for Unpatriotic Giant Corporations” he calls out US Global Corporations for BETRAYING America -- betraying the American citizen taxpayers that have enabled them to become so incredibly successful. Nader spells it out: Read below the fold...
Here are some “realpolitik” excerpted takes on Obama’s State of the Union Address from Glen Ford, Norman Solomon, Barry Grey, Pepe Escobar, Matthew Rothschild:
Glen Ford of BAR in “Obama’s State of the Corporate Union”:
It was an impassioned performance by a cynical politician who offers little but corporate tax incentives and continued austerity. Barack Obama peppered his State of the Union address with up-tempo buzzwords about illusory “progress,” but the president’s substantive message was that he is determined to complete the austerity bargain he struck with the Republicans in 2011. ...
Obama’s jobs program is almost entirely a corporate tax incentive scheme, to bribe corporations to send home the jobs they sent offshore, where they have also hidden tens of trillions from taxation – a subject not deemed worthy of mention in a national discussion of shared sacrifice and patriotic obligations.
Obama is now promising jobs to American workers. But there is a COLOSSAL catch. Savaged wages and benefits.
Exactly what the one percenters have been lusting after and now enjoy coming to fruition from a DEMOCRATIC President, of all creatures, who has managed to hoodwink the American citizenry into not seriously noticing. You put the rhetorical emphasis on JOBS .... yadda yadda yadda ... then who seeks more reality-troubling negative details as to how this will come about. Who seriously applies individual critical thinking in this hysterical climate of political gamesmanship and mass corporate disinformation?
Apparently our Democratic president thinks he can keep up the big lie beyond his election in November. Sadly, I wouldn't make book against that. Read below the fold...
Someone asked me back at the end of 2008, shortly after the meltdown, what I would do to address the current economic crisis. Since then I have put out a list once or twice a year on the subject. Here are some of the gifts I would like to see under our national Christmas tree, gift wrapping optional.
Force banks to prove they are financially sound and not bankrupt.
1. Evaluate assets and solvency on mark to market basis
2. Remove discredited executive leadership
3. Enforce Prompt Corrective Action to place financial institutions into bankruptcy or receivership regardless of size
4. Initiate forensic audits of financial institutions, investigate and prosecute fraud at all levels (both fraud in lending and control fraud); RICO malefactors Read below the fold...
A comment from Numerian at Economic Populist:
"The immediate next stage for the Republicans will be to demand a tax amnesty. There are so many noble corporations out there who have kept their revenue offshore due to our "unfair" tax system, and they are just dying to bring this money home in order to create jobs! Sen. Mike Crapo (R.,Idaho) make this very argument this morning on television. I didn't think they'd be on this so quickly, but they are on a roll so why not go for everything in their playbook.Read below the fold...
According to financial economist and historian Dr. Michael Hudson:
It’s a good cop-bad cop charade. The Republicans are playing the role of the bad cop. Their script says: “You cannot raise taxes on anybody. No progressive income tax, no closing of tax loopholes for special interests, not even prosecutions for tax fraud. And we can get a lot of money back into the economy if we give a tax holiday to the companies and individuals that have been keeping their money offshore. Let’s free the wealthy from taxes to help us recover.’Read below the fold...
For what it might be worth, this is what hard times has taught me:
Get on food stamps. What little money you have will go farther. If you do not qualify for food stamps, learn where the local food pantries are; same principle, your money will go farther. Also, places with food sometimes have used clothing.
Craigslist is your friend, especially the free section. Even if you are comfortably circumstanced, get to know Craigslist. You can get whatever it is for less with the satisfaction of knowing that your hard earned dollars are going to someone who needs them.
Get on Medicaid if you can. You really have to be poor for this, but at least it is some medical care. Read below the fold...