Sunday, January 21, 2018

Year Zero

"If everyone always knows what they're doing and acts in a perfectly rational way, how did most of world history happen?" -- M.R. Carey, The Boy on the Bridge, p. 108

So at the one-year mark since the investiture of one F. Von Clownstick, perhaps a brief recap is in order.

Foreign Policy
  • Cozied up to nearly every scumbag butcher this misbegotten planet has to offer.
  • The main tyrants Clownstick hasn't snuggled with -- Kim Jong Un and the Iranian mullahs -- he seems to be trying to start wars with.
  • Alienated most of our Western European allies, both with his obnoxious buffoonery and trying to shake them down for NATO dues, as if they were delinquent Maga Lardo members. This deficit of friends should quickly be filled by the nascent fascist regimes taking hold in Poland, Hungary, et al. They love him -- birds of a feather and all.
  • Endless squawking about "fixing" NAFTA, without proposing any actual ideas, nor the realization that Canada and Mexico are two of our biggest trading partners, and are pursuing greener pastures in the broader world that Mister Man wisely decided to flip off.

The most dangerous feature of the current foreign policy as it stands is that it shows no capacity for even medium-range thinking, much less long-range. There is no ten or twenty years down the road for these people, no realization that this is going to be an Asian century, that the center of power is in the long process of shifting, and that their bumptious nonsense is accelerating that process. So much winning, so much maga.

Domestic Policy
Hell, do we really even need to bother enumerating the list? It all boils down to two major tactics:
  • Appoint Cabinet secretaries who are expressly there to dismantle and/or monetize the department they've been put in charge of. Betsy DeVos is there to turn the entire education system into a profit center, while killing the teachers' union once and for all. Ryan Zinke is there to ensure that the extraction industry can work their magic in every nation park, from sea to oil-slicked sea. Ben Carson is there to pretend that no one gave him a hand when he was being brought up in public housing.
  • Telling those people to go fuck themselves.
And remember, none of this would have been possible without the media and their fucking Cletus safaris, their need for clickbait and their slavish insistence on both-siding every goddamned thing, even when there really isn't another side. Bokay? Jeffrey Dahmer did not have a "side," at least not one that deserved to be aired as a mere "opinions differ" comparison.

The Russian word "grozny" has been famously mistranslated in referring to that country's most notorious historical tyrant. The word does not mean "terrible" in the sense of wreaking terror and violence; it is closer to "awesome" in the sense of inspiring awe (rather than greatness).

In that spirit, I have to say that this administration has really impressed me so far. For more than thirty years, Fuckface Von Clownstick was synonymous with "failed blowhard" in my mind, a ridiculous person saying ridiculous things, and our ridiculous mediots always there to give him a platform to spout his nonsense. But he truly is dumber than I had thought, even more of an asshole than I had supposed. And that's impressive, because again, I had felt that way about this clown for decades, well before he cast his piss-colored cotton candy weave into the political arena.

And it's impressive to see someone so willing to "lead" by appealing solely to his ~30% cult of personality (or lack of personality). If you thought Dick Cheney was a supreme asshole for his practice of taking a microscopic victory and assuming a 100% mandate, you can rightly chastise yourself for having a failure of imagination.

It can always get worse; all it takes is someone completely unencumbered by anything resembling a moral compass, and an entire political party to enable him, because they know they can control him. After all, they both have the same central teleological faith that the best thing is to make other people pay for your high-on-the-hog lifestyle, all while lecturing the peons about personal responsibility.

I never saw his stupid show, so all I knew about it was the stupid catch-phrase, which of course made it incredibly ironic that there were sentient beings out there who figured that their best chance for more and better jobs was a fake tycoon who never paid his bills, and was most famous for firing people. A sucker born every minute? Please. There are hundreds of suckers born every minute, and they all happily vote against their own interest every goddamned time.

But let's talk about that a bit, the fact that the major economic indicators are "good" in the usual, conventional assessment right now. The Dow is over 26,000 and unemployment is hovering at about 4.1%. GDP was just over 3% for Q2 and Q3 adjustments.

Obviously, for one, these are lagging indicators, especially GDP and unemployment. The Dow, however, is a poor rule of thumb to use for assessing or forecasting economic stability or future health. In fact, not only does the Dow reading not benefit the majority of people who have no stocks, but its volatility as of late is beginning to smell a lot like the Bitcoin bubble. It is entirely due to the billionaire class licking its collective chops at the prospect of massive tax cuts, which of course everyone else will pay for in a myriad of ways.

The Republican Party is the party of the "bust out" economic policy, the party of racking up debt and breaking programs, so that they can then claim that the programs are broken and defund them accordingly. Sell off the parts and pocket the proceeds. That's what made hectomillionaires out of animals like Clownstick and Willard "Mitt" Romney.

There is a shutdown because Mitch McConnell and John Kelly want a shutdown. Schumer was actually ready to compromise with the orange turd, even giving him money for that fucking wall that Mexico was supposedly going to pay for (and that, of course, we don't need in the first place). But the Republitard "leadership," sensing that the brewing "blue tsunami" might actually be real, understand that their best gambit to mitigate that damage is to try to fool enough people into thinking that a shutdown is due solely to Dummycrat intransigence.

Think about that for a second:  the Republicans want the shutdown. Clownstick just wants to "make a deal," and by now it should be apparent to even the die-hards that he makes deals like old people (such as himself) fuck. This doddering old fool couldn't sell one-cent water to people dying of thirst.

Perhaps the most impressive part of this clusterfuck of an administration so far is how well it's revealed people and institutions and things for what they really are. Now, it's easy to pick on the Cletus class and their economic anxieties, but the fact is that there are economic issues that they are and should be concerned with. Sure, there's an unmistakable vein of racism and sexism baked into their bullshit, but still they, like their idol Clownstick, are simply symptoms not the disease.

The disease is chronic and increasing wealth and income disparity, worldwide and here in the good ol' USA. One percent of the people in this country own forty percent of the assets. Eight individuals, six of them American, own as much as half of the entire human race. The six Walton heirs, all whom merely married or were born into their great luck, and did not lift a finger to build their own wealth, are worth $160 billion as of last count, and that will of course go up with the tax cuts.

Six people, one hundred and sixty billion dollars. None of them worked for a dime of it. Tell me more about this meritocracy of personal responsibility. Tell me what Barack Obama did to alleviate it, what Hillary Clinton would have done to help. The bottom 90% of the population carry 73% of the debt. Remember, no matter who you are, no matter what you do for a living, and no matter how you incurred your debt, your debt is always by definition someone else's equity. This is the key element to the whole problem.

The surest way to reduce this criminal disparity is to institute some sort of debt jubilee. People who are not stuck paying usury for their whole existence on this planet have more money to -- get this -- put into the actual economy, as opposed to the shadow economy of shylocks and paper collectors who produce nothing but desperation and compound debt.

Debt relief, even partial relief, for the peons would do untold good for hundreds of millions of people, without severely impacting the folks who already have more money than they could spend in a dozen lifetimes. It wouldn't even require higher taxes; you could even peg it to yet another tax cut if need be.

But they don't want that. All the distractions -- the bullying of immigrants, the constant shameless lying, the dopey nicknames, the paid-off porn stars, the countless boorish idiocies of these people and their figurehead -- they are merely there to distract from what this really is:  the endgame of a thirty-year war the top .01% have been waging on the rest of us. They won, by the way; anyone who hasn't figured that out yet is never going to. They own the means of disseminating information -- and more importantly, disinformation. They saw those rural suckers coming up the dirt road.

So yeah, the Cletuses suck balls, no doubt about it. And their propensity to be gulled into cutting their own throats over and over again is instrumental in the one-percenters' continued dominance. That's not politics, that's math -- the fortunate few cannot keep winning without the assistance of the proles and their imaginary grievances.

But these motherfuckers are the real problem, these pampered cyborgs with their bleach and botox and collagen and real fur. Anyone who would pay a hundred grand or two hundred grand a year to hang out at a tacky golf club with other tacky swells clearly did not work hard enough for that money, or they'd have more fucking respect for it.

I don't know what the fuck those assholes are smiling at; those are the faces of people who are condemned to accumulate and never be satisfied. They may have had all the fat sucked out of their asses and spare tires and put into their lips and cheeks, but their souls are morbidly obese. They already have more than enough for themselves, for their kids and grandkids, but their life's pursuit is more, more, more. And it comes out of everyone else's hides.

The saddest, sickest part about it is the rubes who, when they finally come to realize that they elected Charlie Sheen, minus the drugs, talent, and intelligence, they'll vote for him again, simply because he hates the same people they do. They'll go to their graves -- that much sooner thanks to their electoral choices -- not getting it, not even wanting it.

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