Monday, May 14, 2012

Weren't you paying attention?


If I gave you the impression last week that the Republicans were losing the battle for oligarchy, I apologize, they are far from defeated. That is if we let them get away with it. Their efforts to undermine the economy and destroy civilization continue full ahead. Over the weekend a quarter million people that were formerly receiving long term unemployment benefits were cast into poverty with little hope. The corporate media is reporting this as resulting from the declining unemployment rate in certain states, but really this comes from the Republicans in Congress insisting on the number of weeks of eligibility being reduced sharply while they complain about the lack of jobs under Obama.

Nearly half of these unfortunate souls live in California, a state that faces a ballooning crisis brought on by a right-wing scam that has allowed rich Californians to avoid paying taxes for the past 30 years. Only a super majority in the state legislature can fix the problem and so far Republicans have been able to hang onto a third of the seats to keep the fiscal treason going.

In the US Senate the routine renewal of the Import - Export Bank authorization bill has been held up by Republicans who are intent on crippling economy before the election. So egregious is this move to block a bill that even passed the Republican controlled House of Representatives, that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is reported to be “visibly agitated”, he is normally be so passive as to be mistaken for one of marble statues that line the Senate hallways.

If this bill doesn’t pass, at least 300,000 manufacturing jobs will disappear overnight with the end of the export/import bank loan guarantees at the end of May. The Import - Export Bank is a kind of subsidy for the big companies like Boeing and the major defense contractors, so it normally receives a rubber stamp. Republicans call it a waste of tax payer money, even though it is actually self funded by fees and no tax money is required.

Greece seems unable to form a new government following parliamentary elections because of the refusal to co-operate by socialists on the left and Nazis on the right. I didn’t mean figuratively “Nazis“, they call themselves Nazis. (what’s old is new again) This will force new elections and the likely emergence of a government that will leave the Euro behind. This is a dangerous road, but the only one that makes any sense.
Even in Germany, where they haven’t really suffered from the austerity insanity, the locals are starting to rebel with Chancellor Angela Merkel’s minority government losing a large number seats in local elections. They join the French people who realize that their nations are under threat from the bankers. Americans are much slower to catch on.

The big new talking point on the Sunday talking head shows is that Obama is mischaracterizing Republicans because they are really completely in favor of regulation and always have been. This comes in the wake of a multi-billion dollar loss in trading activity by JP Morgan Chase, the largest bank in the US. They were by the way risking depositors’ money while doing this, and this activity would be banned under the Dodd-Frank Act, if Republicans would allow it to go into effect.

The right-wing talking heads weren’t quite ready for this complete reversal of their stand on regulation. Up until Friday they didn’t want regulation of any kind, and they couldn’t keep straight that they shouldn‘t backup their new pro-regulation talking points by saying how bad regulation of any kind really is. If the banks don’t collapse this week, then by Sunday they’ll be back to the same crap. If the banks do collapse it will be Obama’s fault for not regulating them. Weren’t you paying attention?  www.prairie2.com

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