David Talbot in “JFK Assassination: CIA and New York Times are Still Lying To Us” sums up our (but not OUR) media’s recent sentimental and titillating but shallow and manipulative coverage of the circumstances surrounding the assassination of John F. Kennedy in Dallas 50 years ago. Read below the fold...
This six-part series is a reply to the President's glossing over the options open to him apart from playing “chicken” with the Republicans over the debt ceiling. Part I, presented the President's explanation, a summary of the kinds of difficulties characterizing it, and discussed two of seven options, selective default, and the exploding option, the President has to deal with it, apart from the way he seems to have chosen. Part II will discuss his platinum coin, 14th amendment, and consols.
Platinum Coins, the 14th amendment, and Consols
3. Using the authority of a 1996 law to mint proof platinum coins with arbitrary face values in the trillions of dollars to fill the Treasury General Account (TGA) with enough money to cease issuing debt instruments, and even enough to pay off the existing debt. This option, originating with beowulf (Carlos Mucha) in its Trillion Dollar Coin (TDC) form has gotten a lot of attention. But a variation of it in its High Value Platinum Coin Seigniorage (HVPCS) form, requiring except in my own writing.
The difference in the TDC and HVPCS variations in their political implications are great. The TDC looks like a temporary expedient to get around debt ceiling problems, whose use can be repeated when needed. But, it doesn't quickly remove the political problem of “the national debt” from consciousness as one of our most serious political problems. On the other hand, minting a $60 T coin would change the background of politics by providing for relatively rapid payoff of the debt subject to the limit without balanced budget-creating recessions. Read below the fold...
This is, of course, coming from the administration that won advertising prizes for their first campaign:
"Coming soon to your favorite TV shows: plot lines about the Affordable Care Act. Read below the fold...
The media and politicians in both parties are still largely echoing the Administration's framing of the fiscal situation and absolving the President of his share of the blame for the debt limit crisis. They're reinforcing his message They're also preparing the way for a compromise, that will, almost certainly, result in hurtful cuts to Government spending including renewed consideration of "the Great Betrayal," also known as “the Grand Bargain,” including passage of the chained CPI cuts to Social Security over the objections of a large majority of the American people.
The mainstream news outlets still haven't seriously questioned the President's claims that There Is No Alternative (TINA) to just facing down the Republican's shutdown and debt ceiling related threats without giving in or resorting to any options to de-fang the debt ceiling threat. They have begun to mention other options, but in a way that is largely supportive of the President's reluctance to use them. In reinforcing TINA, the mainstream is allowing the President to escape from responsibility and obligation, while, ironically, allowing him to characterize himself as “the adult in the room.”
When it comes to our repeated and unwelcome debt ceiling crises, President Obama is like the person who says he has a problem, but when confronted with a variety of options for alleviating or even solving the problem, comes up with some rationalization about why each will not work. After awhile, it becomes obvious that the person with the problem doesn't want any help help solving it, but actually loves having it, and is fixated on a single objective having little to do with solving the problem (“the Great Betrayal”), that is very difficult to get, and wants to claim that there is no alternative, because, as the problem produces more and more negative effects he/she will be able to push through that objective. Read below the fold...
MSNBC continues on with its campaign to cast the Tea Party Republicans in the role of principal villains in the imminent Government budget/ government shutdown crisis and the likely coming debt ceiling crisis. The teabots, you see, are using the Republican majority in the House to demand more austerity in government and defunding of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Read below the fold...
MSM slowly catching on to the main purpose of ACA -- privatizing Medicare and Medicaid (in addition to sending everyone else into the jaws of private insurance co's.) In the event, we have Krugman's piece in the NYT about Arkansas insisting on making Medicaid go through private ensurers (as if that isn't Obama's wet dream).
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.
Did anyone else notice the beautiful play the Obama Admin. pulled on the Senate Intelligence Committee? It was one of the most beautiful political cons I can remember ever witnessing. Releasing the OLC determinations to the Committee just prior to the Brennan hearing completely neutered the Committee’s ability ask any substantive questions. Here’s how the con went down… Read below the fold...
Have we as a citizenry ever gotten a good answer on why the U.S. went after Iraq when a whopping 15 of the 19 Al Qaeda hijackers in the 9/11 attacks (according to wikipedia) were citizens of Saudi Arabia? (The four others were from Egypt, Lebanon and the UAE.)
Have we ever gotten a good answer as to why negative focus has never been directed by U.S. administrations or corporate media against the despotic monarchy of Saudi Arabia (our main weapons customer) while it oppresses its own people and enables other despotisms to oppress theirs? Read below the fold...
Mirah Riben has a provocative article on dissident voice entitled “Statistics, Politics and Solutions in the Gun Discussion.” The following is a listing of many of Riben's enlightening facts and revelations.
1. FBI statistics for homicides in 2011:
Total homicides: 12,664
Firearm homicides: 8,583
Hammer and Club homicides: 496
Knife and other blade homicides: 1,694
2. "2009 findings for homicides by the UN Office on Drugs and Crimes state that 66.9% of all homicides in the U.S. were from using firearms."
3. "More than a million Americans have been killed by guns since 1968 – more than in the Revolutionary War, the Civil War, World Wars I and II, Korea, Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan and various smaller conflicts, combined."
4. "More than half of all gun deaths in the U.S. are suicides and not included in numbrers above. Nor are accidental fatalities by guns of all kinds included." Re report from National Research Council and the Institute of Medicine, January 2013.
5. “The United States suffers far more violent deaths than any other wealthy nation, due in part to the widespread possession of firearms and the practice of storing them at home in a place that is often unlocked, according to a report released Wednesday by two of the nation’s leading health research institutions.” Re report from National Research Council and the Institute of Medicine, January 2013. Read below the fold...
Business Roundtable CEOs announce their proposal to
impose Austerity "fix the debt." This is grotesque.
(1) push eligibility age to 70 (SSI and Medicare)
(2) chained CPI
(3) some vague "means testing" for "some people"
(4) a goody for private health insurers (not again!): they get to compete with Medicare. Read below the fold...