Thursday, November 4, 2010

Cui Bono? Yep, Well All Righty Then. We Won't Call It "Impeachment," Just "Answering Questions" - It Was No "Year of the Woman"

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I believe that is Ben Franklin in the above caricature. You remember the story:

Outside Independence Hall when the Constitutional Convention of 1787 ended, Mrs. Powell of Philadelphia asked Benjamin Franklin,"Well, Doctor, what have we got, a republic or a monarchy?" With no hesitation whatsoever, Franklin responded,"A republic, if you can keep it."
My first question whenever any big financial move in the U.S. is announced is: Cui bono? (Who benefits?) Still a pretty good one. And you thought folks on Wall Street were mad at the Obama Administration. Right? (P.S. Where do you think all that bonus moolah came from?) Coyote Prime provides the following insight (emphasis marks and some editing inserted - Ed.):

Federal Reserve Rains Money On Corporate America - But Main Street Left High And Dry

Thursday, November 4, 2010 “Bill Gross will be one of the few to benefit from the Federal Reserve's announcement this afternoon. The legendary money manager, who oversees more than $1.2 trillion at Pacific Investment Management Co., stands to profit off the plan hatched by the nation's central bank.

The Fed announced that it will buy between $850 to $900 billion of U.S. government debt, also known as Treasuries, through June to spur the recovery.

Over the coming months, the Fed will then communicate its specific plans well ahead of any such purchases, allowing wealthy investors and firms a chance to buy those assets first so they can sell it back to the Fed at a profit.

Folks like Gross will be the biggest beneficiaries. When it comes to helping Wall Street and corporate America, the Federal Reserve spares no expense. It expanded its authority and bailed out securities and insurance firms. It tethered the main interest rate to zero. It more than doubled its balance sheet to $2.3 trillion by purchasing mortgage-linked securities and U.S. government debt.

To arrest the free-falling economy and jolt it back to life, the nation's central bank has engaged in an unprecedented campaign to ensure banks have cash and corporations access to credit.

That part of the Fed's plan has worked. The economy is progressing through a slow, though not entirely visible, recovery. Employers are gradually adding workers to their payrolls. Industrial production is rising, as is personal consumption. The economy is slowly growing.The problem is that the Fed's actions have served to help just a small, but powerful, constituency: Wall Street, and the firms that do the most business on it.

The rising tide the Fed ushered in with hopes that it would lift all boats hasn't materialized. Now, on the verge of another round of asset purchases and other steps in order to further bring down the cost of credit, questions are being raised over just who, exactly, the Fed would help.

Asked Thursday how he did "so well in the past 18 months," Gross, who runs PIMCO's $252.2 billion Total Return Fund, told Bloomberg Television that in addition to a variety of other investments he's made money "from mortgages, yes, in terms of buying them in front of the Fed and selling them to the Fed over the six- to 12-month period of time."

Translation: the man who runs the world's biggest bond fund is profiting from buying securities he knows the Fed will eventually want, and then selling them to the Fed at a premium.

Meanwhile, families are being devastated by historic unemployment and record home foreclosure rates. Households and small businesses can't get credit. A quarter of homeowners with a mortgage owe more on that debt than the home is worth. Borrowers are declaring bankruptcy in near-record numbers.

"In my darkest moments, I have begun to wonder if the monetary accommodation we have already engineered might even be working in the wrong places," Richard W. Fisher, president of the Fed bank of Dallas, said last month before a gathering of economists in New York.” The rest of this (long) article is here, if you can keep from vomiting . . . .

Have you heard the latest (lies)? The Rethugs have no plans to impeach Obama! No. Not at all. Just a few hundred questions. And he better have the right answers. Oh, but not to worry. They've got some questions for the Bush Administration too. So we can rest easy. Because they were always more than accountable whenever anyone wanted information from them. And Issa says he wants to make Obama a "success." (Emphasis marks added - Ed.)
Darrell Issa: Obama Must Answer 'Several Hundred' Inquiries

03 Nov 2010 07:15 PM PDT

Click here to view this media. The Republican set to lead an important committee that will have jurisdiction over many government operations said Wednesday that he expects the White House to respond to "several hundred" letters. As chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, Darrell Issa (R-CA) will wield subpoena power but in an interview with MSNBC, he wouldn't say exactly how he would use it. "I don't have any subpoenas to the White House," Issa said. "I have several hundred letters, most of which have not been responded to that I'll ask the White House to dust off and answer our questions. Some of them are obsolete but most of them are still important."

"Undoubtedly, there will be mistakes made by the president. I have been a critic of how they score jobs created or saved under the stimulus but at the same time I want to start working with this administration to make things work better," Issa continued.

"I will be asking the president to give subpoena authority to all 74 inspector generals. I'll offer a bill this coming or two weeks from now to do just that because I think it's the government employees, the I.G.s that are so important that they do their job so this administration can be better and I look forward to strengthening those internal controls," he said.

But it's not just Obama that will be under the microscope. Issa expects his investigations to go back to the Bush administration.

"A lot of chairman in your position of the other party have used the position to annoy and harass and, frankly, score political points on the president," noted MSNBC's Savannah Guthrie. "Will you resolve not to do that and what's your internal gut check? Will you ask yourself before you conduct an investigation, 'Would I be doing this if this were a president of my own party?'" she asked.

"I'm going to be investigating a president of my own party because many of the issues we're working on began on President Bush or even before and haven't been solved," replied Issa.

"Certainly, when we look at the failures of Freddie and Fannie, the Countrywide scandal, those all began during President Bush's time. When we look at the ultimate failure in the Gulf, that began years before," he said.

In a Wednesday morning conference call, Issa said that his main goal was not to destroy the Obama administration.

"I want to prove the pundits wrong. My job is not to bring down the president. My job is to make the president a success," Issa told reporters.

Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX) is set to be Chairman of the Judiciary Committee and he has been more specific about where he will begin investigating the Obama administration.

Talking Points Memo's Ryan J. Reilly and Johanna Barr made predictions Wednesday about where Issa and Smith will begin their investigations.

In a column for Fox News, Smith hinted that he may investigate the Justice Department because they dropped a voter intimidation case against the New Black Panther Party.

Smith and Issa have called for an investigation to an alleged job offer made by the White House to Rep. Joe Sestak in exchange for him dropping out of the Senate race in Pennsylvania.

Issa's spokesman has also indicated that he may looking into the organization that was once known as ACORN.

As Issa told MSNBC Wednesday, the BP oil spill is another investigation that will be on his plate.

"And it's been suggested that Issa has a leg to stand on when it comes to this issue," noted Talking Points Memo. "He has blown the whistle on the Interior Department's Minerals Management Service in recent years, an agency whose lax regulation may have helped contribute to the spill."

Well, as long as we're all on the same team.

I'm not feeling that positive myself and then I read a very nice election wrap-up from my buddy Terry at Urantian Sojourn (emphasis marks added - Ed.):

The survival of a democracy like ours is wholly dependent on successful representative government.

Anybody out there honestly think our representative government could be called “successful” the past ten years? That’s right. It sucks. Big time.

And the main reason our government has sucked for years, sucks right now, and will continue to suck for the indefinite, foreseeable future is this.

We do not elect to public office individuals who are technically trained, intellectually competent, socially loyal, and morally fit.

We elect people like George Bush and Dick Cheney, war criminals and thugs. We elect people like Sarah Palin, who quits in the middle of her first term to whine in the big munnys. We elect people like Michele Bachmann, so plastic and dazed, Chris Matthews thinks she’s been hypnotized; we elect people like John Boner, a country club Republican who spends so much time being a phony-phuque, even his genuine tan looks artificial. We elect people like David Vitter, who lies to his wife and cavorts with prostitutes. Well. By now you should know all the other untrained, intellectually incompetent, socially disloyal and morally unfit sonzabitches I’m talking about.

And we still haven’t learned our lesson.

Speaking of "cavorting with prostitutes" - I'm reminded that cable snooze's latest gambit is a serious bit of punditry that pairs the fraudulent unbiased commentator Kathleen Parker (who was awarded a Pulitzer for reporting only because she said (out loud) that Sarah Palin was unqualified for Vice President) with Eliot ("but I'm the only one who got caught") Spitzer.

Happy TV watching, campers!

Professor David Michael Green didn't make his well-deserved academic reputation by doing something questionable like calling people "brownshirts," no matter how much they deserved it. He's changed his modus operandi a bit recently though as he now thinks differently (and he wrote this essay before the election). Is this the "historical linchpin juncture?" (Emphasis marks added - Ed.)

. . . there are . . . three good reasons to do just that.

One is that people sometimes do act like Nazis. In fact, a lot of them. Especially lately.The second is that if you wait too long to point that out, it won't much matter anymore.

And the third is that if you wait too long to point that out, you won't be able to anyhow. Indeed, you probably won't even be. Period.

And so, with appropriate reluctance, I feel compelled to note that the wheels are coming of the wagon in America right now, and it does indeed smell all too much like a Germany-in-the-1930s kinda moment.

American politics have been driven to a fever pitch, even though no one is talking about the real problems the country faces. The radical right has induced those problems with their kleptocratic policies. They have then demonized as un-American anyone who would dare offer even the most tepid (non-)solutions to those problems.

They have captured control of the legislative and executive branches of government by means of purchasing politicians wholesale. Those politicians have, in turn, appointed justices to the federal bench, such that the regressives own that institution, as well.

The Supreme Court has recently handed down decisions that set aflame even the tattered legal shreds once remaining between corporate money and government power. They are doing the same at the state level. The Court even ruled that judges receiving campaign contributions from litigants appearing before their bench did not need to recuse themselves from the case. In America today it's bought legislation, bought (non-)regulation, bought (non-)justice.

. . . Like decent Germans of the 1930s – let alone progressive ones – no doubt did, I have spent the better part of the last decade repeatedly wondering where the bottom of the barrel of stupidity, laziness, greed and criminality can be found amongst the tribe called the the American public. Each time I think, “This is it – it can’t possibly get worse”, I am rudely reminded again of my foolishness.

It’s a legitimate question to ask why I continue to be so naive, but there’s actually a very good answer. It’s not naivete at all. It’s just that I grew up in the foreign country known as mid-twentieth century America. For all its faults – and it had plenty – it was never like this. It’s therefore not naive to think it could be that way again.

And it wasn’t naive to think, two years ago, that perhaps we were headed back toward some form of basic decency, definitely a repudiation of the evils of regressivism, and maybe even a new progressive era.

Now we have instead the worst imaginable scenario. We have a society in which near-dead regressivism has been revived, only in a more virulent form. And we have a society in which progressivism, which never even remotely took the stage, has been reviled for its supposed failings.

Each election cycle just brings uglier politics and greater transgressions, rapidly approaching the fail-safe point, beyond which any democracy is unsustainable.

Now comes the tea party movement, the nastiest thing to happen to America since... well, the Bush administration.

This is the crossroads. This is the moment of truth, folks. This is the test. The destructive dogs of regressivism are baying outside our door. Many of them are inside already. They will not rest until they have looted the public of every last shekel to be had, and until they have ground into submission every last avenue for the little guy to seek even a modicum of justice.

To do that, it will also be required that all pretense of democracy and civil liberty will have to be destroyed as well. It may additionally be required that wars will have to be launched, in order to simultaneously divert public attention, crush domestic opposition, steal from the weak, and stimulate the moribund economy that the kleptocracy’s policies have already created.

The right hasn’t got the slightest plan for solving the country’s problems. That’s because they haven’t got the slightest interest in doing so. That is not their function, and has not remotely been their function for thirty years now.

They are here to rape the maiden called America and steal from her everything of value. Once they have done so, they will leave her body in the gutter, damaged, defiled and degraded.

Erik Prince has shown the path for others to follow. His mercenary company, Blackwater Worldwide, which has grown unbelievably rich helping the Bush and Obama administrations fight two wars while avoiding a draft, is for sale and its former top managers are facing criminal charges. The appropriately-named Prince himself has left the United States and moved to Abu Dhabi. Noted a friend of his, “He needs a break from America”. Yeah. Just like a chronic thief needs a break from courtrooms.

But governing in the absence of actual solutions to satisfy an angry electorate will fast prove problematic for the GOP, just as it did for them in 2008. This will be the most dangerous moment for the country, the historical linchpin juncture. The public will still be clamoring for solutions, and will be ready once again to turn out the Republicans for lacking same, just as it did two years ago, and just as it’s doing now to the pathetic Democrats.

This cannot be tolerated by the oligarchs, of course, and a decision will have to be made whether they are bold enough to double down and burn the Reichstag, eliminating the pesky albatross of elections once and for all.

Bold enough? The folks who brought you Election 2000? The Iraq War? Legalized looting by Wall Street? A filibuster-crazed Senate?

This scenario is all possible, of course, because of the complete and utter failure – in every sense of the word – of the Democrats these last two years. That assessment assumes, though, that Democrats were somehow more sincere about wanting to serve the public than are Republicans. With a few rare exceptions, I don’t harbor that illusion about any of them.

However, I will confess that I expected them to at least seek to protect themselves and therefore do enough to get reelected. Not only have they not, they have succeeded in achieving what seemed like a miraculously improbable possibility only just a year or two ago. They have revived an opposition party that was utterly loathed and lying on death’s door.

Skillful political maneuvering, combined with moderately contemporary communications strategy and even the slightest accidental wisp of intestinal fortitude would have been enough to push that party over the cliff and end its ugly reign for a couple of generations, if not forever. And, yes, that could even have been done without necessarily solving the problem of the recession right away.

Just ask Franklin Roosevelt, who won four terms as president without really fixing the Great Depression. Ask FDR, that is, if he hasn’t picked up his corpse and moved to Canada by now, out of sheer disgust for his country of birth and, especially, the party his efforts invigorated for half a century.

But instead of Roosevelt, we have this other guy. This Neville Chamberlain dude. I regret to say that I think history will show the crimes of Barack Obama to be of incalculable damage.

Most astonishingly, they persist even still. I’ve given up expecting the guy to ever grow a pair of balls. But how about just some basic sentient consciousness? You would think that after the last two years, and with the humiliating drubbing he’s going to take on Tuesday, that he would at least awake enough to realize what is happening here. But no. This week I saw video clips of Obama, Joe Biden and Harry Reid – three walking corpses if ever there were such – talking about how hopeful they are that Republicans will grow more cooperative following this election. Say what?!?! Are these guys insane?!?! Are they on drugs?!?!

Please read it all if you need any more nightmares as Halloween is now safely in the past.

Cindy Sheehan surprises us not at all when she quotes Gene McCarthy:

"The two-party system has given this country the war of Lyndon Johnson, the Watergate of Nixon and the incompetence of Carter. Saying we should keep the two-party system simply because it is working is like saying the Titanic voyage was a success because a few people survived on life rafts."

—Eugene J. McCarthy, 1978

She continues on to compare what we prolly would have experienced had John McCain won the Presidency (and I'll bet you'll have some trouble differing with her too), and it is not really eye opening, but there again (emphasis marks added - Ed.) . . . .

If John McCain were president, we can never be exactly sure what would be happening, but I think we can make some educated speculations.

First of all, the "banksters" would be receiving their carte blanche bailouts and Ben Bernanke would have been re-appointed as Chairman of the Federal Reserve.

Robert Gates would probably still be the secretary of defence and Sarah Palin would be offering late night comedians endless fodder for their monologues. If John McCain happened to be the one infesting the Oval Office at this time, single-payer health care would surely be "off the table". I am confident that a health care "reform" bill probably would have contained massive giveaways to the insurance and big pharmaceutical industries, with no "robust" public option.

We citizens would, I’m sure, have been forced to purchase insurance from the very same insurance companies that spread out a largess of nearly $170m lobbying dollars to Congress in 2009. If we are one of the "lucky ones" that happen to already have coverage, we would have been taxed for the benefit.

Without a doubt, McCain’s Justice Department would be protecting war criminals - like John Yoo - of the preceding administration and the McCain Department of Justice (DOJ) would probably be vigorously defending the discriminatory practise of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell for the military.

More than likely, under this nightmarish scenario, McCain’s Federal Bureau of Investigation would be committing home invasion break-ins designated as "legal raids") to intimidate activists.

McCain probably would have given himself the power to be judge and jury over any American citizen that didn’t approve of his foreign policy. There is not even a shadow of doubt that McCain would be feigning strictness with Israel, while turning a blind eye to the continued expansions of Israeli settlements in the West Bank and the completely immoral and destructive blockade of Gaza.

If the unthinkable occurred and McCain beat Obama in 2008, official unemployment would be hovering around 10 per cent (unofficial around 20 per cent). And one in every five homes would be in danger of being foreclosed upon. We might even be experiencing the widest income disparity between the rich and poor that we have seen since before the stock market crash of 1929!

McCain, being the "brave" military man, may have tripled troop deployments to Afghanistan and the needless deaths of US troops and Afghan civilians would probably have increased dramatically. I am sure that McCain would have given huge contracts to the US war machine for drones, mercenaries, airplanes and other military hardware.

Being a loyal Bushite, McCain would probably be conscientiously following the Status of Forces Agreement for the slow withdrawal from Iraq that was negotiated between the Bush government, and the puppet regime in Iraq.

. . . If McCain were president, there would be an active "anti-war" movement. However - as during the Bush years - the "movement" wouldn’t be so much antiwar, but anti-war waged by the Republicans. The anti-Republican movement wants no systemic change, it just wants Democrats in office.

Read on for much more of this dissection of our recent past and insight into the nonsense we know to be upcoming. I don't quote from CNN anymore as I think they are just as corrupt as the other MSM now, but there was an interesting opinion piece done by a woman professor of government at American University (with a questionable name) that I felt may have actually been worth anyone's time who is concerned about the future of women's rights in this country. (Emphasis marks added - Ed.)
It Was No 'Year of the Woman'

Jennifer Lawless, Special to CNN Editor's note: Jennifer L. Lawless is associate professor of government at American University, where she is also the Director of the Women & Politics Institute. She is co-author (with Richard L. Fox) of "It Still Takes a Candidate: Why Women Don't Run for Office" (Cambridge University Press 2010). She ran in the 2006 Democratic primary for the U.S. House of Representatives in Rhode Island's 2nd congressional district.

Over the past few months, newspapers, websites and cable news programs have implied 2010 would be a year of remarkable progress for women in politics.

With a record number of women running for the U.S. House (138) and U.S. Senate (15), pundits, pollsters and politicians assumed it was the dawn of a new day, one in which Democrats and Republicans understood the importance of electing women.

High-profile female candidates, many with interesting personal stories and personality traits, fostered the speculation that 2010 might very well be another "Year of the Woman."

But it wasn't.

In fact, Wednesday morning's headlines did not even mention women. Obviously, Democratic losses and Republican's ascent correctly took center stage. But some important points about women in politics slipped through the cracks.

First and foremost, for the first time in 30 years, the number of women serving in the U.S. House of Representatives will likely decrease. A few contests remain too close to call. Democratic incumbents Melissa Bean and Gabrielle Giffords are fighting to hold onto their seats. Republican challengers Ann Buerkle and Ruth McClung are trailing by only a few thousand votes to the male incumbents they hope to unseat.

But only if women win all of these races (an unlikely scenario) will the total number of women serving in the House hold steady at 73. The story in the U.S. Senate is similar. Depending on the outcome of Lisa Murkowski's write-in bid in Alaska, women will either continue to occupy 17 seats or they will drop to 16.

Therefore, the best-case scenario for women's overall representation is they will continue to comprise 17 percent of Congress. Second, a net loss of women in Congress was a likely outcome heading into election night. We just did not seem to talk much about it. In an election cycle in which women competed for fewer than one-third of the 435 seats at stake in the House and only 15 seats in the Senate, substantial or even incremental gains for women were almost impossible.

And because 77 percent of the women in the House and Senate were Democrats, women were in a particularly precarious position as they faced an anti-Democratic, anti-establishment electorate.

The election results are consistent with what the political landscape portended. In the House, at least nine female Democratic incumbents lost their races. That number may climb to 11 when the votes are fully tallied. Only one out of 28 female Democratic challengers knocked off a Republican incumbent. And six of the nine Democratic women running in open seats lost their bids.

Democratic women held four of their five seats in the Senate, although no female Democratic challengers or open-seat candidates won. Importantly, Democratic women fared no worse than their male Democratic counterparts; of course, their male Democratic counterparts did not fare well.

The only way to compensate for these losses would have been with substantial increases of women in the House and Senate on the Republican side of the aisle. That did not happen. The National Republican Congressional Committee ran women in only three of the 30 races that presented the best opportunities to gain seats.

So even though all 15 female Republican incumbents who sought re-election won and even with victories by six Republican women challengers and two Republican women competing in open-seat contests, the opportunity for gains was minimal.

Republican women will continue to comprise just 9 percent of their caucus in the new Congress.

Third, the loss of Democratic control in the House is especially detrimental for women because opportunities for leadership positions are based on seniority. Not only will Nancy Pelosi no longer be speaker of the House, but Louise Slaughter, Nydia Velazquez and Zoe Lofgren will also no longer serve as committee chairs. Early reports of the new Republican leadership include no women's names.

I do not want to minimize that last night's elections resulted in an increase of the total number of Republican women in Congress. And I have no interest in detracting attention from the successes several women saw last night.

Nikki Haley, for instance, became South Carolina's first female governor. Susana Martinez's win in the New Mexico gubernatorial race means that she will be the first Latina ever to occupy a governor's mansion.

Cases such as these, however, are few and far between.

Focusing on those wins obscures the reality that 2010 did not represent another "Year of the Woman." It likely moved us backward on the path to gender parity.

Bill Moyers has some words of wisdom for us after the election. Click here for the full video.
We learned long ago that power and privilege never give up anything without a struggle. Money fights hard, and it fights dirty. Think Rove. The Chamber. The Kochs. We may lose. It all may be impossible. But it's OK if it's impossible. Hear the former farmworker and labor organizer Baldema Valesquez on this. The members of his Farm Labor Organizing Committee are a long way from the world of K Street lobbyists. But they took on the Campbell Soup Company - and won.

They took on North Carolina growers - and won, using transnational organizing tacts that helped win Valasquez a "genius" award from the MacArthur Foundation. And now they're taking on no less than R. J. Reynolds Tobacco and one of its principal financial sponsors, JPMorgan-Chase.

Some people question the wisdom of taking on such powerful interests, but here's what Valasquez says:

"It's OK if it's impossible; it's OK! Now I'm going to speak to you as organizers. Listen carefully. The object is not to win. That's not the objective. The object is to do the right and good thing. If you decide not to do anything, because it's too hard or too impossible, then nothing will be done, and when you're on your death bed, you're gonna say, "I wish I had done something. But if you go and do the right thing NOW, and you do it long enough "good things will happen - something's gonna happen."

And now you know why I've been "in love" with Bill for decades. David G at Dangerous Creation informs us that:
Friends, on Information Clearing House today, there is an excellent article by Charles Sullivan called “Welcome to OZ.” It is well worth reading. To whet your appetite I include the following few excerpts.
“The Supreme Court, like all of the other branches of government that are supposed to provide checks and balances to limit abuses of power, is awash in corporate money. It, too, is owned and operated by the wealthy and their multi-national corporations.

In its infinite wisdom the Supreme Court has declared that corporate donors may now purchase outright the candidates of their choice and that money is free speech. There will be no paper trail to trace which corporation bought which public servant.

We the people are irrelevant. We are not part of the equation anymore, if we ever were. Those in power permit us to vote in elections that provide nothing more substantive than the illusion of choice.

The people are allowed to choose from a small field of war-mongering corporate fascists and capitalists whose sole purpose is to increase the wealth and power of the ruling elite at the expense of the working class.

It is a game of predator and prey designed and operated by sociopaths. The super-rich have no empathy for the people whose lives they destroy. Annihilation is a sadistic form of amusement to them.

Capitalism is a game that only the privileged are permitted to play. Workers are no more than plastic chips in a game of chance. The people are never permitted to deal the cards.”


They don't even own them anymore.

Suzan _____________


Liberality said...

So Obama should do just as Bush did when Congress attempted to provide even the smallest bit of oversite--NOTHING, and then claim it's a matter of national security why he won't answer. Ha! Then I hope their itty bitty heads explode.

Suzan said...

He's been well trained.

And is really good with apologies.

Thanks for dropping by, girl, it's always good to be treated to some of your wisdom.

Love that head exploding metaphor.

Although . . . .

It is kind of creepy knowing all the CIA types who have been trained to do exactly that to Presidents who get in their way.

I love your blog!


Liberality said...

suzan: you always highlight hard hitting articles and I truly appreciate that! you may be more left wing than I am even, which is saying something :-)

Suzan said...

Thanks so much, Lib!

And that may not be true, but I have to admit I'm prolly more leftist (if that's a category that even makes sense to use in the States anymore) than almost anyone that I know (personally, anyway).

(Chime in - anybody!)

The difference between me and most of them is that I'm pretty well traveled and have met people from many countries outside the U.S. who question the very premise our government has held dear the last 30 years (i.e, that the U.S. is "empowered" (somehow) to do anything it thinks needed to secure the "blessings of liberty" for its citizens only (meaning: corporations who want to exploit the rest of the world - and presently even its own citizens!).

As a Poli Sci/Int'l Studies graduate who studied many other cultures, this rang true with me tellingly - and has informed my political judgments since.

And, yep, it's been 30 years since I first traveled outside the U.S., and since then I've met many people in this country who have come here for jobs/a life free of exploitation because they had no choice after the wreckage we left of their countries.

What we just saw in the last two elections was a final nail in the coffin of any fiction that the U.S. is a country of the lower classes, and the beginning of the end of our (honorable) political hegemony worldwide. (And don't tell me that you're still denying that the people who funded Obama's election were a part of this scheme, i.e., Goldman Sachs, Morgan Chase, etc.)

Yes, it will take a good 10-20 years before everyone will notice it, but the people at the top of the wealth pyramid who have benefitted from this rightwing junta will not be around to reap the whirlwind that will then emanate from those no longer able to drink or entertain themselves out of true political knowledge.

They'll be gone.

If they haven't left (or moved their financial interests out of the country) already.

At that point the anarchists/'thugs in charge of whatever "Parties" dictate elections will have their fondest wish.

They'll get to rebuild the U.S. in a new image.

And it won't be pretty.

I think we had our moment in the sun.

(Although, of course, if I could believe in miracles (h/t Jefferson Starship) . . . .

Keep up the good work, girl!