I don't often have a chance to watch TRMS, but I caught last night's show and have to register at least a little disappointment. http://www.msnbc.msn.com/...
She was all energized about how the Obama administration has created this nationwide electoral-victory social network in TwitterFaceSpace, and is now continuing to use its creation to "encourage" our legislators to support Obama's position on GrandBargainFiscalCliffistication.
Lots of slams on the Reds for being so hypocritically whiny as to complain that Obama is continuing to use the electoral machine that brought him victory to try to build momentum for his plays, and pressure the Red Lectroid Legislators.
BUT: --- but, not a word on the substance of what Obama is trying to sell. Which if I have it right, is the notion that there really is a OOOHSCARYDEFICIT "fiscal cliff," a Fright Wig that Paul Krugman, among others, has set on fire repeatedly, apparently without illuminating anything much for way too many of the rest of us. http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/... And that "we" should willingly, happily, and wisely because we trust the Administration that has done essentially NOTHING to fix the underlying financialization horror (Wall Street, derivatives, Big Banks, et too much cetera,) still has Bradley Manning in the cooler (latest justification: because, you know, somebody else in Leavenworth custody, like, committed suicide!, http://www.myfoxdfw.com/...), willingly and happily and wisely support Our President in giving away big parts of our safety net by demanding that our legislators do the Grand Bargain with him.
If you are all cool with that, no need to read any further. Too bad for you, and the rest us who are not ensconced in the rich folks' blimps and private jets, flying around overhead, connected to the ground of this nation only by siphons that suck up ever more of the resource values and real wealth we all need to live. And too bad for all those progressive people-years and efforts to protect and expand the safety net, to fight the inequitizing and wealth concentration and corporatization of our country and the planet. And now, what's left, a rear-guard action to keep our Progressive President from joining in the execution of that long, slow, terrible death of a thousand cuts?
The net-net of what seems to me, a registered cynic, to be another round of Obamascamma, seems to be that a few Top Dogs in our financialized food chain might face a 6 or 7% reduction in their annual income via a small increase in their tax burden (assuming they can't find "people" to creatively-account a way out of even that puny Revenue Enhancement), as part of a strategy to "continue the Bush Tax Cuts" (which progressives used to kind of understand were Stupidity Writ Large and ought to have long since been killed, along with the imperial wars and unconstrained enormous MIC fraud racket that we simply and largely ignore) for us "middle classers and lower." And we are supposed to call our Congresscritters and plaster their walls and Twits with threats and demands in support of Obama on this?
Rachel is all excited about this public initiative, as supposedly bringing the smelly shit that is going on inside the inside part of the Beltway a little further into the light of day, and giving the rest of us our little say in the sausage-making process. A "say," by the way, that seems limited to saying "whatever Obama says." The Obama administration, by the way, is still very much committed to "getting a deal done" by 12/31/12, and working away in the "smoke-filled rooms," generating a nice December Surprise. Which apparently involves "entitlement cuts" of various sorts, including upping the Medicare eligibility age, and "doing something" about the Big Lie that Social Security Needs Saving -- the same lie that Rachel knocks Bush for peddling in his early National Tour efforts to peddle the privatizing of SS way back when.
Bernie Sanders wants Obama to get out in the sticks and start talking WITH people. What Our President is continuing to do is to talk AT us, or TO us, to talk us into going along with the warm flow'n'glow of the recent re-election and "support" HIM. It is not at all clear, given all the little bits of the whole mosaic of Obama "policies," that he supports US. It looks all too much that the Grand Master of Eleven-Dimensional Chess, might be playing US, since his closest friends and advisers continue to be the people who helped run the train off the tracks the last time. And now "we," the resilient and driven little folks, are a long way toward doing our usual, necessary, self-preserving good deed of repairing the damage, refilling the economy's coffers, and setting the train back on the rails. All ready for the next round of greed-crazed "engineers" to send it 'round the bend into the gorge, and steal whatever's left in the cars when it wrecks again.
All I got to say is to bring in the words of Yves Smith, one of the relatively few with the intelligence, diligence and courage to keep hammering away at that seemingly invulnerable Pillsbury Doughboy/Michelin Man of a kleptocratic oligarchy:
OBAMA CALLS ON CITIZENS TO ASK CONGRESS TO SLIT [OUR] THROATS
Posted: 28 Nov 2012 03:59 PM PST
If this weren’t so terrible, it would be funny.
The Administration is worried that there won’t be a fiscal cliff deal by year end. Per Bloomberg:
The co-chairman of President Barack Obama’s 2010 fiscal commission said it’s unlikely the president and Congress will reach a deal by the end of this year to avert the so-called fiscal cliff.
Erskine Bowles, also a former chief of staff to President Bill Clinton, estimated there is a one-third probability the sides will strike a deal by the end of this year. Speaking today at a breakfast in Washington sponsored by the Christian Science Monitor, he said there’s another one-third chance that all sides will reach a deal early in 2013.
“I’m really worried,” Bowles told reporters. “I believe the probability is we’re going over the cliff.”
Bowles isn’t involved in the budget negotiations, though he said he met with Obama yesterday.
Yves here. Given the Bowles visit with Obama, this means (as we’ve indicated from the get go) that Obama really has his ego invested in getting a deal done by year end.
In fact, NOT getting a deal done is far better for everyone except the uber rich. As Paul Krugman has stressed, going into 2013 with no deal in place is not a dramatic event, and would substantially weaken the Republican’s bargaining position as far as preserving tax breaks for the wealthy are concerned. And if the Administration wanted to preserve middle cut tax relief, like lower payroll taxes, it can make that retroactive to the start of 2013.
Letting the negotiations go into 2013 also increases the odds of preserving Social Security and Medicare in their current form, since they will not be affected at all by the automatic budget cuts that would kick in in the absence of a deal.
But Obama, through folks like Bowles who have media access, is putting out panic signals to pressure Congresscritters to get a deal, any deal, done by December 31. And he’s also trying to rally the middle class to petition Congress to implement austerity, when the experiments in Ireland, Latvia, Portugal, Spain, and Greece all have shown that it makes debt to GDP worse and increases unemployment while shredding social safety nets. In other words, as Lambert has put it, we are all supposed to demand Congress to have one kidney removed.
From the Financial Times:
Mr Obama sought to increase pressure on Republicans to give ground by launching a new social media campaign.
The move by Mr Obama heightened the political theatre surrounding the US budgetary stand-off, with little more than a month left before the American economy is hit by a mix of spending cuts and tax increases that could tip it back into recession.
“I’m asking Americans all across the country to make your voice heard,” Mr Obama said, suggesting emails, phone calls and the use of social media such as Facebook and a new Twitter hashtag called #My2k, a reference to the $2,000 tax increase per family that would occur if the US plunged over the fiscal cliff.
“I want to make sure everybody understands this debate is not just about numbers. It’s a set of major decisions that are going to affect millions of families all across this country in very significant ways,” Mr Obama said.
No kidding, except the options that Obama is allowing to be considered range from utterly dreadful to merely awful. And the part the officialdom is failing to acknowledge is that the immediate hazard of hitting the fiscal cliff tripwire is on the impact on confidence. Obama’s scaremongering to sell the deal is damaging confidence now, while telling the truth, that any impact of the fiscal cliff would be gradual and in any event could be reversed (for instance, via making tax changes retroactive to the beginning of 2013, or catch-up payments) would alleviate the increasing nervousness among businessmen (also flagged in the FT article cited above, based on the latest Fed beige book).
So I urge all NC readers to go mess with Obama’s messaging:
Use #My2k and Facebook to tell everyone that we need to run deficits when the economy is slack and unemployment is high, and the deficit hysteria is being promoted by Wall Street and big businesses to get their tax levels lowered at the expense of the middle class, particularly by cutting Medicare and Social Security
Call your senators and representative and give them a piece of your mind
Obama won’t change course, but Congrescritters are a different story. If the powers that be insist on engaging in economic malpractice, they need to be reminded that the public is overwhelmingly opposed to cutting Social Security and Medicare.
Yeah, yeah, it's all just Chicken Little stuff, I know -- once again, we are to Trust Obama to Do The Right Thing By Us, and tell ourselves that whatever comes out of the Deal Suite is a Sweet Deal that we ought to be happy is "the best that could have been gotten bearing in mind the political realities." Seems to me that I've heard that line before, even from people who you would think might know better.
Yeah, "we" little folks can struggle to peer through the Washington Fog to try to figure out what the fait-accompli will look like. We can try like Moses to part, or swim our way across, the river of Beltway Bullshit that floods out every minute of every day, which is what we get in exchange for our "votes" and our freakin' WEALTH. the REAL wealth that us lower orders create, to fund all the special deals and special interest take-aways, and of course the whole insane imperial dead-end foolish global military fraud of a Global Networked Interoperable Battlespace. We can accept a National Energy Policy that is so "moderate" that it continues to push coal and oil consumption and short-change alternatives. We can continue to suffer the idiocies of Notagainistan wars all over the place, drone killings, the steady erosions of civil liberties here at home too.
Maybe there is NOTHING TO BE DONE. Maybe even Bernie Sanders, http://beforeitsnews.com/... and Elizabeth Warren won't be able (or willing, once securely inside the Key Bridge Gates) to try to plug up the holes and bandage all the wounds. I don't know. but I do know that it looks like yet another massive con game, leading to that point that old Man-Tan Boner tells us we little folks need to accept, where our "expectations" of what Washington can do for us WITH OUR OWN MONEY, just HAVE to be "scaled down. And I, for one little voice, sure find a huge irony and contemptuous smirk all over the face of that #MY2K invitation to "support Obama in the budget negotiations."
Because, after all,
FISCAL CLIFF! GRAND BARGAIN! UNREALISTIC EXPECTATIONS ABOUT GETTING BACK WHAT WE HAVE ALREADY PAID FOR!