Deja Poo. We've all seen this shit before. During the last Depression we had Father Coughlin, a radio commentator who believed that he was a part of the Roosevelt administration who got petulant when FDR didn't listen to him. Coughlin declared himself the voice of the people. Who does this remind you of? I'll give you a hint; his initials are Rush Limpdick. Yup, St. Blowtoad himself. Ole Rush declared himself the titular head of the GOP and has made anyone who crossed him apologize and backtrack on what they said. Poor Rush. His fifteen minutes of fame are over and he doesn't get it. Let him keep spewing his vile crap. He'll hoist himself by his own petard and fade from the public spotlight. He's just part of a cycle that happens every so often in this country. His latest is trying to defend the bonuses paid by AIG. This from the same cat who was howling about auto workers pay and benefit packages only a few weeks ago. As though we're going to lose democracy if these fatcats don't get their big bucks for flushing the company they work for down the tubes! Run that by me one more time. Rush actually believes these incompetent skifozzos deserve these bonuses???? Is this Bizarro World??? They should be having to forfeit any money they made while they were driving the economy off the cliff. But that's how far gone Rush, Ann "The Man" Coulter & Glenn "Crying Game" Beck are, that they would defend AIG paying out bonuses. Time to ban them to the lunatic fringe...
Sarah Palin was back in the news deriding Obama for his Special Olympic remark on the "Tonight Show". This from the governor who wants to return stimulus money to the federal government because thirty million dollars of it is earmarked for special education! What's the bigger insult?
Back to the AIG thing. If these companies want to give out the bonuses--fine. Just return all of the TARP funds and we'll call it a day. There are even banks that are saying they want to return the money because there are too many strings attached. By all means, please do. It does make you wonder if all of this economic hubbub is a hoax. If they are so willing to return the money, then what the hell is going on? Is this just some elaborate ploy to take the taxpayers for a ride? It reeks of extortion. If you don't give us this money we're going to collapse the economy. Like they got a gun to our heads. As though it's our obligation to pay for their mistakes.
With the revelation of the bonus payouts at AIG, everyone in Congress was rushing to lay blame on anyone in sight. What a bunch of clowns! All they have to do is look in the mirror to see who is to blame. It's them. When they rushed in to do the original bailout they didn't take the time to investigate whether or not it was really needed. They just got their panties in a knot, bought everything Paulson was telling them and gave him carte blanche to dispose of the money as he saw fit. Well he did. And this is the result. Remember it is the job of the Senate to be a deliberative body--to take their time when passing legislation in order to protect the interests of all of us. Congress did not do their job. And in my mind they continue not to do their job. None of them. Democrats and Republicans. They're of the same mindset as the buffoons who are insisting that they deserve the bonuses. Congress just can't seem to get its collective head out of its ass. Why?
Look at how much money the financial institutions have poured into congressional campaigns: 5 billion dollars! Is it any wonder we can't get realistic resolutions that are plaguing the economy. These clowns in Congress are too afraid to upset their contributors! Just like the guys who cling to their bonuses, Congress believes that they can do a piss poor job and we the public will just have to take it. And they will get away with it if people don't hold them to the fire. If you don't think they are doing a good job, if you don't think they are protecting your interests by all means call them up! Visit their nearest office! When they come home on break make them hold public meetings and let them know where you stand! Give them a public perfomance evaluation and tell them that you will remember in November--and it doesn't matter what November of what year. The next time they are up for re-election make up your mind to remember what they did at this critical juncture. Whose side were they on???
Yup, it's Deja Poo all over again. Go to the library look up some of the books by Upton Sinclair and Sinclair Lewis. Read them. Particularly "Babbitt" and "The Jungle". You'll be amazed how much things have not changed. It's the same old crap piled higher and deeper. And we are left holding the bag.
I see a lot of newspapers are going belly up. A sad sign of the times. But in some ways they brought it on themselves. Instead of reporting the news they became cheerleaders of whatever programs they thought were popular at the time. Look at how they handled themselves on the run up to the War in Iraq. Did they bother to do any real investigative journalism? Did they do a fact check before they bought the administration's line? They took it hook, line and sinker and ran with it! They kowtowed to the Right when they were screaming that the media had a liberal bias. They castrated themselves in order to curry favor with the Right. They became another branch of the government when they chose to become boosters of propaganda rather than independent, objective journalists. They did it for Bush and they are doing it again with Obama. They act more like gushing schoolboys rather than hard-nosed journalists of old. Where the hell are the Jack Anderson's of today?!!? We ain't got any! The thinking goes that if they piss off whatever administration they won't be able to land interviews with these yahoos and of course they don't want to upset their advertisers. So instead of newspapers what we have reads more like a newsletter from the booster club from your local high school. Complete with photos of the coolest cheerleaders---Look at the photo coverage they gave Sarah Palin and now Michele Obama....Cut the feelgood crapola and give us the real news! Publish or perish....A side note: If they all fail, I for one will not miss Rupert Murdoch telling me what to think...
Oh yeah! And we had the brouhaha with Jon Stewart and Jim Cramer of MSNBC. Stewart took them to task because of the above mentioned cheerleading that Cramer and his crowd did for Wall Street. Stewart was right. All the way down the line. These yahoos toadied up to the CEO's of all these financial institutions and never bothered to fact check what these fat cats were telling them. Reported what they said as though they were divine proclamations! And when Stewart called them on the carpet they cried that he wasn't playing fair! What they were really crying about was that Stewart was doing their job! And he was doing it a lot better than they ever did! How pathetic that we have to get our information from a comedy satire of a news program! How lucky we are to have someone like Jon Stewart (and Bill Mahrer for that matter) who will expose these yahoos for the frauds they are and not let them off the hook or try to make nice with them.
The sad fact is that I like newspapers. I like being able to sit down with a cup of coffee and a cigarette and leisurely peruse the pages. I like being able to drift from one subject to the other at my pace. I used to like it when they had indepth reporting. I was a big fan of Jack Anderson and Molly Ivins and I miss not seeing anyone take their place. I like being able to catch up on sports, read the comics and if I have the time, sit and do the crossword puzzle. I like reading the newspaper in a public place because every now and then it will encourage a fellow patron to start a conversation. Once the newspapers are gone, I will lose that and so will you. That opportunity to start a dialog with a total stranger. That opportunity to say to someone: "You gotta read this!"
That's it. That's whats on my mind. Think I'll go sit out on the back porch, listen to the birds and hope that maybe old Jack and Molly will send us all a message from the great beyond.