Wednesday, January 16, 2013

The Truth About the Obama Pre-Fiscal Cliff Cave-In: Money Power's Point Man? (At Long Last! Congress Ensures Post Office Is Toast and NC Privatizes Already-Crap Water)

I was just beginning to write about Norman Solomon's latest exposé of the greedies when I saw a very fine essay on the same subject at Avedon Carol's place:

It's A Scandal

We all know by now that Obama isn't on our side and that every "negotiation" involves him allegedly "compromising" to give the GOP what they want, but what's been particularly disturbing is how Congress - including the Progressive Caucus - supports him in the end.

Norman Solomon: "A sad pattern of folding in the final round has continued. When historic votes come to the House floor, party functionaries are able to whip the Progressive Caucus into compliance. The endgame ends with the vast majority of the caucus members doing what Obama wants. That's what happened on the first day of this year, when the 'bipartisan' fiscal deal came down. Widely denounced by progressive analysts, the bill passed on the House floor by a margin of 44 votes - with the Progressive Caucus providing the margin. Out of 75 caucus members, only seven voted against it."

I'm pretty sure the administration must be using some pretty heavy threats to keep them in line, and we all saw Dennis Kucinich, with visible reluctance, finally back down on his promise not to support the health insurance bill if it didn't contain at least a public option (and Markos Moulitsas announcing on television that Kucinich should be primaried if he didn't vote for it anyway). But, you know, there are 72 (seventy-two) members of the Progressive Caucus, and if they all stood together and made a public stink about this stuff, this might not be so easy.

It's up to the rest of us to call their offices, write letters to them and to the press, and generally scream bloody murder about the fact that this is a big issue and it's not being covered. Personally, I'd like to see Rachel Maddow deluged with letters asking for illumination on the process of shutting down the PC's objections to Obama's agenda and forcing them to fold.

Steve Lendman is always hot, and as usual I'm just as hot about his favorite issues, and this one in particular.

At issue isn’t deficit cutting. It’s destroying America’s social contract. It prioritizes what bankers, other corporate favorites, and super-rich elites want most.

It’s third-worldizing America. Neo-serfdom is planned. Most Americans haven’t a clue. Dark forces take full advantage.

Obama’s their point man. He’s got four more years to finish what his first term began. Worse than ever times loom. They’ve been happening gradually for decades.

They’re planned incrementally. It’s like boiling a frog. Eliminating America’s social contract is on the menu. It’ll be dinner when served.

America already isn’t fit to live in. Imagine how much worse ahead is planned.

Due to the regular evil machinations of the Republicans in Congress, our U.S. Post Office is now officially toast if they don't rescind the rules about pre-paying the pension funds, a killer-condition for utilities that benefit the public that no other federal agencies have to follow.

Since 2006, the postal service has been required - unlike any federal agency - to pre-fund its retirement and healthcare benefits to workers. This costs it about $5.5bn a year. Currently, the post office has paid in $330bn for benefits, but the Office of Personnel Management recently told Williams that it will need $394bn to satisfy the legal requirement.

At the same time, it has been unable to raise postal rates enough, because they are pegged to inflation, and inflation is low. (A long-awaited rise is coming on January 27, moving postal rates up by 2.75%).

Now the brilliant new North Carolina Koch-funded Rethuglican Legislature want to privatize all of North Carolina's already low-quality water (due to past privatization) utilities?

YUK. I don't know anyone who drinks the water in central North Carolina. We are prisoners of the bottled water industry while paying extremely high rates for public water utilities. (Whose pockets are being lined?) And when exactly did North Carolina stop being a "progressive" souhern state? Oh yes, Jesse Helms still reigns - I keep forgetting his craven presence digging in here for so long. And now they want to name buildings and highways (and put his ugly visage on Mt. Rushmore probably) for him. Curse them!

North Carolina residents are already suffering the results of a private water utility taking over and supplying low-quality water at jacked-up prices. Now the state wants to take control of municipal water supplies, and many people suspect it has something to do with providing water to a controversial development project that a water company backs.

That's the same water company that so many citizens are already complaining about. And if they can just transfer control of local water to the regional authority, people want to know, what's to stop them from transferring it to Aqua NC? NC residents might want to know there's a petition to try to stop the transfer.


The New York Crank said...

The USPS has been a dead man walking for more than two decades. Its only (partial) salvation – like an insufficient IV drip, or a heart-lung machine connected to an intermittent power supply – is the junk mail industry. And vast amounts of former junk mail efforts are now going electronic.

I think the intent of Congress is to drown the USPS in a bath tub filled with North Carolina water. They say they want to "privatize" it, but then they saddle it with requirements that no private corporation could survive.

Interestingly, the Postmaster General used to be a cabinet post, and the postal service was among the first services instituted by the founding fathers, who knew that reliable and frequent mail delivery was key to good government and commerce.

So much for "original intent." Right wing crazies will cite original intent when you're discussing the right to bear murder weapons or the right of corporations to drown out the speech of others. And then the same "original intentists" set out to destroy the USPS.

Hypocrites, damn hypocrites, all of them!

Very crankily yours,
The New York Crank

Suzan said...

Hear! Hear!

But it's only been a dead man walking since it's funding was screwed up by privatization yokels (corrupt, sophisticated yokels, but yokels still - driving the U.S. over the cliff one tax cut/break at a time).

Long live Reaguns!

Love ya, baby!