Sunday, April 15, 2012

Money Talks

Another reminder, as if you needed one, heading into yet another interminable election season, that Saint Barry O is not your friend. The most charitable thing you can say about the man is that he seriously seems to think that punting on first down is a valid negotiation tactic.

Not to insinuate that maybe Obama's energies are better spent elsewhere than on griefing potheads, but sweet Jebus, time and again he insists on letting the animals who already nuked the economic system once prepare to do it all over again. This JOBS Act, with its stupid (even by gubmint standards) recursive acronym, is being billed as a boon to "startups"; what it will more likely do is create more Instagram IPOs. Because it's been a good long time since we had a tech bubble, n'est-ce pas?

Come June, odds are that the administration's sole domestic "accomplishment", the fatally-flawed-from-inception Affordable Care Act, a pork-laden industry-written boondoggle that should never have gotten as far as it did in the first place, will be flipped by the Supreme Court, thanks to the self-serving antics of Swingin' Tony Kennedy, who apparently never met a fence he couldn't ride until splinters shoot out of his ass. So that leaves killing bin Laden, which is enough reason to give Obama the nod again, but only just.

Again, it is a fine thing to nobly take it upon oneself to "change the system from within", as it were, to accept and even embrace the inherent perfidies of our flawed system, and "vote" accordingly, invoking the usual pronunciamentos of serving as the final bulwark of reason against the barbarian asshole horde.

Of course, this is twaddle, and we all know it, even the folks who truck in such tendentious jabber. It is Chomsky's evil of two lessers, over and over and over again, an endless, perpetual Groundhog Day campaign cycle culminating in a same-as-it-ever-was denouement. Some will tell themselves and each other -- and ankle-bite any doubting Thomases with their bien pensant horseshit -- that once Barry gets his second term, why, that's when the real change will begin, just you watch, pally.

Friends 'n' neighbors, cash in your IRAs and 401(k)s and such like, and bet heavy on this here prognostication: Obama will win (suitably close for popular consumption and media horse-race profiteering), but nothing will change. Not a goddamn thing. The SEC will not suddenly grow teeth, Obama will not have a change of heart and bring Paul Volcker back into the fold. Not one Goldman Sachs swindler will ever be frog-marched off to a cell next to Bernie Madoff. Not one industry or CEO will so much as pay an extra percentage point in taxes for outsourcing hundreds of thousands of American jobs to Asian sweatshops, and pocketing the difference. Not one Democrat will be truly emboldened by an Obama victory. They'll make the requisite mouth noises, they always do. But they won't actually commit to anything. They are already bought and sold to the highest bidder, and they are always thinking of the next election.

That's not to say you shouldn't at least participate in the collective charade, cast your pebble into the entropic void, if for no other reason than that you have convinced yourself of the simple nobility of that act, that it is the price one must pay if one is to be permitted to complain. Go for it. Just keep in mind that so long as the benchmark remains so low as "just be less of a toxic asshole than Mitt Romney", then the Democrats will do the bare minimum to meet that benchmark and nothing more. They'll work just hard enough to keep from getting fired.

And then they'll turn right back around and do what they've been doing, because to try to force them to do anything even a bit different or better gets characterized as Savonarola-level apostasy. The popular notion in recent years was that the Republicans treated the Democrats the way Lucy treated Charlie Brown when she held (and inevitably pulled) the football. I submit that while the essence of the metaphor is entirely correct, the correct application of it is in how both parties treat any and all Americans who happen to not be lucky enough to reside within the donor class.

But I'm sure that this quadrennial tilt at gutless incrementalism will be much more effective than the last one, or the one before that.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Our Dumb Media

Whether or by accident or by design, because it's impossible to tell anymore, the cheap, disingenuous re-interpretation of Hilary Rosen's poorly-phrased remarks about Ann Romney gained traction where none should have been had, creating the typical unforced error for the usual circular Democrat firing squad. It is ever and always thus, a vested interest for The Party, its largely artifical divisions, and most importantly for the perpetual campaign industry, to keep "the race" "close".

To the extent that a former shill for the dinosaur music mafia ventriloquizes the sentiments of corporatist limo-libs, what Rosen meant should have been clear enough to anyone. But the game is to be drawn into the weeds by a contrived "debate", a hollow controversy to distract from that which is not controversial in the least.

Saying that Ann Romney has never worked a day in her life is obviously not the point -- the point is that Ann Romney has never had to work a day in her life; that is, she (and of course her husband) has never not had the luxury of financial self-determination. She has never had to hold on for dear life to a job she detested, just to pay bills or retain something resembling health insurance. Never known the glory of getting a 5% annual bump at work, like it'll offset the 10-15% increases in food and fuel prices.

She has never had to put something back at the supermarket because she just couldn't afford it. She's never had to live paycheck to paycheck, to know the ineluctable frisson of understanding that you're just a paycheck or two, quite literally, from the street, from utter destitution. How many hard-workin' mommas had hard-workin' husbands who got their fuckin' jobs outsourced by Mittford and his Bain Capital buddies? Nothin' controversial 'bout that, right? Just bidness, son.

None of this makes Ann Romney a bad person, any more than her experience at being a parent and grandparent automatically fast-track her for sainthood. Rosen's point was and is, and will remain, exactly the same as the point used to be about George W. Bush -- that a person who has never had to worry about their financial future is manifestly unqualified even to speculate, much less authoritatively comment, on the realities that the average 'murkin faces every time they try to pay bills and remain solvent.

And no one should expect anything contrary to what they've heard this past week along this line, not from the Romneys and the GOP establishment, nor the Obamas and the Dem establishment, and certainly not from the refs. The first group has no shame nor scruples, the second no guts or backbone, about even the most uncontroversial points. Obama would rather make a career busting pot growers and drone-bombing villages than stand up even for a second against his professional calumniators. I'm not sure what's sadder, that simple fact, or as bad as he is, he's still light-years better than anything on the other "side".

Six more months of this bullshit. It's almost enough to make one miss the comedic stylings of the rest of the Republitards that have been tossed by the wayside. Where's Rick Perry when you could use a good laugh?

Friday, April 06, 2012

Just Asking

You think Santorum's foamy asshole ever gets sore from all the bullshit he pulls straight out of it? Of course, one would expect nothing less from a Joe Pa U alumnus (Go Fightin' ShowerFuckers!). But Jesus H. Christ, this guy doesn't even fucking try to conceal the fact that he invents things to suit his narrative. And he'll never retract or correct himself, because he's never wrong about anything. Which is a pretty neat trick.

On the one hand, it is gratifying to watch Santorum not only twist in the electoral wind, the math dangling ever provocatively just out of his reach, but willing to monkeyfuck his party's already dwindling chances in, ahem, Tampa (apparently Branson had an Andy Williams convention going when the GOP wanted to have its convention). On the other, it is enormously annoying to realize that, due to the limitless supply of butthurt stupidity in this nation, Santorum will no doubt land squarely on his cloven hooves smack dab in the middle of K Street.

In the meantime, if it encourages the louche, hypocritical "fruits 'n' nuts" reflexive California haters out in Real 'murka, I would like to humbly offer this demurral: Yes. You're sooo right. It sucks out here. That's why one in every eight Americans lives here. It's just awful. Whatever you do, don't fucking come out here. Just don't risk it. There's barbecuing in January. Barbecuing in November. Summers without 95% humidity. Winters without eight feet of snow and people frozen inside their homes. The largest, most diverse agricultural breadbasket on the planet, locally grown food of all types within an hour's drive. Stuff to do and see, and people who are actually conversant about books and movies and teevee shows that don't have Kardashians in them.

It's terrible. Run for your lives. Stay in Alabama and marry your cousin. Take Rick Santorum's every word as divinely ordained gospel.