Thursday, March 4, 2010

Political Meat Puppets

Greetings good citizen,

Where is our ‘Hero’? Who is poised to spring into action and thwart the evil plans of those who would conspire to throw the beautiful ingenue under the train?

Didn’t we elect a ‘savior’ last November, putting an end to the reign of the evil (albeit clueless) Meat Puppet?

I mean the new guy had a good head on his shoulders…so WTF happened? Did somebody whack him between the eyes with a baseball bat, knocking him silly…or was it all just an act?

Perhaps we need to back up a few steps here and have a good, hard look at what this poor slob ‘inherited’.

The nation WAS badly broken, even then. You could even make a solid case that it’s been broken since the Gipper turned over the reins to his faithful Indian companion…George. (Who, like the current incumbent, will also fail to win re-election…talk about your massive coincidences.)

Given the ‘icy slope’ Worldwide Capitalism is sliding down and the yawning chasm lined with jagged rocks at the bottom, questions as to whether or not our current situation is ‘salvageable’ are rendered ‘moot’.

It’s no longer a question of ‘is this going to hurt’? It’s a question of ‘how bad’…or what, if anything, will come out the other end.

Survival is NOT assured. If things go badly we could indeed be staring at an extinction level event. While this is not likely, it is still a possibility. Weirdly, some don’t care…but that’s a whole other ‘can of worms’.

Maybe its just a sign of the times and maybe it’s part of maintaining what little credibility you have left…but tonight’s offering is NOT the product of the GOP or their de-ranged outriders, the Tea Partiers! This story is, in fact, from today’s Alternet.

Obama Adopts Bush Plan to Hide Outsourced Job Data

The U.S. is hemorrhaging jobs thanks to terrible trade policies. Instead of fixing the problem, Obama wants to hide the data.

March 4, 2010 |

The Bush administration had a nasty penchant for trying to bury bad economic news - a nasty penchant that I was intimately familiar with when working on the House Appropriations Committee. One of the most egregious examples of this came in 2003. Here's the Washington Post on 1/2/03:

U.S. Drops Report On Mass Layoffs;
Data Helped States Track Patterns of Industrial Demise

By Kirstin Downey
Washington Post Staff Writer
January 2, 2003

Citing a shortage of money, the Bureau of Labor Statistics will stop publishing information about factory closings across the country, a decision that some state officials and labor leaders are protesting.

The monthly Labor Department analysis, known as the Mass Layoffs Statistics report, detailed where workplaces with more than 50 employees closed and what kinds of workers were affected.

Luckily, because of progressive pressure and public outcry, this Bush move was overturned by Congress. But now, the same kind of thing is back. According to today's Washington Post, it looks like the Obama administration is reprising the same scheme:

Obama administration plans to close International Labor Comparisons office

By Alec MacGillis
Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Like a scorekeeper for the world, a tiny unit within the Bureau of Labor Statistics tracks globalization's winners and losers, and the results are not always pretty for the United States. Manufacturing jobs here, for example, have fallen faster since 1979 than in Canada, Germany or Japan. Compensation for those jobs dropped here in 2008 but jumped in South Korea and Australia. Soon, however, Americans may be spared the demoralization in these numbers: The White House wants to shutter the unit that produces them.

In his State of the Union address, of course, Obama called for a massive expansion of the NAFTA trade model into Colombia, South Korea and Panama. So you can bet this announcement by the White House is no accident - it's preemptive.

Apparently, no matter which party is in power, when bad news hits, the response is bury the news - don't address the actual problem.

So, it has become apparent that Mr. ‘Let’s Hope for some Change’ was yanking our crank the whole time. It is obvious that he doesn’t (and never did) ‘get it’.

Naturally, this brings us back to what might be called this week’s ‘theme’…does any of this matter ‘in the long run’?

Well, from the perspective of giving the criminals from the previous administration a ‘fair trial’, that’s sort of screwed…not the trial part…or the justice part…just the ‘fair/impartial’ part.

Will these wretches ‘get theirs’? It will be a miracle if they don’t…the only possible way they won’t ‘reap what they have sown’ will be for them to die…soon.

Mr. Audacious on the other hand is unlikely to be so lucky. The tide of popular opinion continues to ebb as far as he’s concerned.

Small comfort to think things would not likely be much different had we been graced with the first female president. Perhaps most damning aspect is the fact that both of them passed the party’s ‘sniff test’ to receive its endorsement.

What does this tell us about those letters following a politician’s name…albeit, the ‘D’ (for the moment) doesn’t stand for ‘De-ranged’, a word more commonly associated with the ‘R’ designation these days.

Push come to shove good citizen, there isn’t a nickel’s difference between the two…and that is damn disturbing!

Thanks for letting me inside your head,


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