Monday, June 18, 2012

In 1814 we took a little trip, along with Col Jackson down the mighty Mississipi

The cradle of democracy held an election Sunday. The people lost, and the banks won, so much for democracy. Even the corporate media here in the US while hailing this as a great victory, admitted it didn’t fix any of Greece’s underlying economic problems. Spain which in terms of unemployment and deflation of asset values is in even worse shape than Greece, had its bond rates jump sharply. What is the Spanish word for Armageddon? 

Another big winner in the Greek elections was the Nazi party, not people we would call Nazis, but people who are proud to call themselves Nazis. Physical attacks against women and Communist party members seem to be the trademark of this ghost of Hitler’s past. 

Not mentioned in the corporate media were the elections in France where Socialists swept to control of both legislative bodies. They recently took the Presidency and now control the 2nd largest country in Europe. Their agenda: undo all of the measures of austerity that have been killing the economy, among other things they will raise the minimum wage. US Rep Jesse Jackson is introducing a bill in Congress to raise the minimum wage here to $10/hour.  This is only $3/hour less than it was in 1938 (adjusted for inflation) when in the midst of the last Republican Great Depression it was set at 25 cents/hour. Your didn’t hear about that on the Corporate media either.  

Banking god Jamie Diamon appeared before Congress last week to explain how it was okay for a government insured bank to lose $5 billion dollars betting against the Euro. Actually they don’t even admit any of those things, and it could really be much worse. Republicans lined up to kiss his ring like a bunch of pedophile priests seeking a cover-up (I mean absolution) from the Pope. Pope Diamon might not save their souls, but he’s their biggest campaign donor, and their best hope for a multi-million dollar retirement package. 

Obama hit Mitt hard with a change in policy covering young un-documented immigrants. It took the wind out of a proposed Rubio VP bid based on a Romney version of the  “Dream Act”. Romney is on tape promising to veto the Dream Act that Democrats have been trying to pass for more than a decade. The Republicans are screaming about Obama’s unconstitutional executive order. It’s none of those things of course, the executive branch has wide authority to decide who gets to stay in the country based on the expected benefit to the nation. 

The only people eligible for this program are either working on a four year college degree (without government aid), or who are honorably discharged from the military. Far better potential citizens than the trailer trash that vote Republican. This is of course Obama making another decisive chess move while Romney continues to toss nickels against the curb.

Have you noticed the Republican prediction of $8/gallon gas by mid June is not getting much attention these days. Maybe because gas is under $3 in many states and falling. The commercials about Obama destroying the economy by not approving the Keystone pipeline just don’t seem to have that punch anymore.  

On this day in history the United States declared war on the British Empire. Supposedly is was over the bullying of American ships at sea that the British boarded at will, but Congress had done nothing about this for years. It had everything to do with rightwing dreams of conquering Canada while Britain was busy losing the Napoleonic Wars. That didn’t exactly work out. The US might still have gotten away with it except that State Militias refused to cross the border into Canada. The only actual American victory was engineered by Liberal icon Andrew Jackson in the Battle of New Orleans, two weeks after a peace treaty was signed. We got an national anthem, and a cute country western song by Johnny Horton out of it. We didn’t really learn much otherwise.


Marc McDonald said...

I always get a bit queasy when I read references to the European "Far Right" in the U.S. media. These politicians may indeed be "Far Right" by European standards. But in the U.S., they'd would simply be your typical Republicans. From what I've seen, "Far Right" politicians in France and most other Euro nations, are actually way to the left of Democrats in the U.S. on many issues.

For example, many of Europe's "Far Right" parties are in favor of things keeping the universal health care systems, and many other welfare state provisions, in place (positions that are way to the left of what most U.S. Democrats would ever support).

And despicable as they are, at least the Euro "Far Right" isn't contemptuous of science the way U.S. Republicans are. You won't find Climate Change-denying crazies among the Far Right in Europe. But here in the U.S., it's hard to find ANY Republican who accepts Climate Change science.

True, a lot of Europe's "Far Right" parties are openly contemptuous of immigrants and minorities. But really, they're just being more honest and upfront about their views than the Republicans I talk to here in the U.S. (many of whom despise African-Americans, but are smart enough not to use the "N" word in public).

In short, your typical Republican in the U.S. scares me a hell of a lot more than your typical "Far Right" politician in Europe.

In any case, in some ways, I've always had more respect for the likes of a KKK member than I have for a typical Republican. KKK members may be bigots---but they're upfront and honest about their bigotry. On the other hand, many Republicans are just as bigoted---but they deny their bigotry. Some of the most virulently, African-American-hating Republicans I've ever known tend to get defensive and angry if you accuse them of being the bigots that they are, or if you call them out on their racist behavior.

I once had a Republican colleague who openly wished for Obama's death and hoped he "would choke on a watermelon seed." But when I confronted him and said he was making racist remarks, he became extremely defensive and angrily denied that he was in the slightest bit a racist. I've encountered similar situations with many other Republicans.

One other difference between the Far Right in Europe and Republicans in the U.S. is this: most ordinary Europeans regard the Far Right as clowns and buffoons. I don't think a Far Right party has any chance of controlling the real levers of power in any European nation.

On the other hand, here in the U.S., Republicans DO have vast power to get whatever they want done. In theory, the Democrats should be a check and balance on their power. But in reality, of course, the Dems are a bunch of f*cking wimps and they always fold like a cheap card table.

Frankly, the political situation here in the U.S. scares me a hell of a lot more than anything that is going on in Europe.