Congress is playing the snuff videographer role-- in the most horrific reality show imaginable.There was a local network video cameraman, a number of years ago. My memory is a bit fuzzy, but it goes something like this: There was a scene where violence was occurring. The cameraman kept the camera rolling as a person was dying, instead of putting down the camera and calling for or offering help. He had to be thinking that this footage would win him an award or promotion. Afterwards, some, not all, questioned his priorities and judgment.
Today, we have a congress-- 540 legislators-- doing something very similar-- doing what they think they need to do to hold onto their jobs, while they watch a victim suffering from horrible injuries and do nothing. Only the victim is America-- the millions hit by the crashing economy, the subprime mortgage crisis, the 47 million without health insurance, the hundreds of thousand of troops coming home with head injuries or PTSD... and the members of congress watch, playing it safe, shamelessly failing to act, to take principled stands, instead, protecting their asses, saving their jobs.
Americans are awakening to the real threats to America and terrorism and the Iraq occupation are not at the top of the list.
The big questions are; What will happen to my retirement IRA or 401K? How will I pay my exploding mortgage payment? Do I have to stockpile food and water. Should I start a vegetable garden so I can survive this?
Jeanne, a local fellow activist friend, forwarded this to me:
Quoted from Atrios today: ROTFL
To paraphrase a commenter over at Firedoglake:
How's that plan for putting social security into the hands of Citibank, Merrill Lynch and the other financial 'wizards' as President Bush had so strongly urged looking now?
The threat America faces is not from Muslim terrorists. That is and has always been a distraction from the real threat-- a predatory, right wing supported administration working to destroy government and the laws and regulations which require that corporations hew to laws and decency, justice and fairness in the treatment of people and society. For seven years, that destruction has been eating away at the protections former administration put in place. The Democratic candidates know they will have a massive job of healing, repair and rebuilding, when they take office next year. But this year, we face a perfect storm of new and worse threats, as the deregulation, the sabotage at the federal agency level bears rotten fruit for the transnational corporations that now hold no loyalty to the USA.
Yesterday, we missed a major economic bullet. Or should I say that Bernanke used an economic weapon of enormous power-- the most powerful rate cut in 24 years-- to reduce the damage. And Bernanke deserves credit. His strategy worked.
The question is, if Bernacke used such a powerful tool/weapon yesterday, what does he have left, because this economic mess is far from over. According to a U.S.News and World Report article, In Private, Bernanke Tells Horror Stories,
"...in private he has expressed growing pessimism about the economy. Whispers has learned that has told people in recent weeks that the economic situation some see falling into recession will be much worse than he has admitted to publicly.
We're told by those who've heard him that he says the first six months of this year will be "bad," an adjective that some interpret this as signaling there is better than a 50-50 chance for a recession. Even worse, the former Princeton prof believes the ensuing recovery will be "weak" because of persistent problems in the housing market that will result in subdued consumer spending."
But today, we must give him credit. Electronic futures trading had foreshadowed a 500 point drop, and when the stock exchange opened, the DOW dropped 400 points. The announcement of the 75 basis point drop in the bank borrowing rate stemmed an ugly tide... effectively, cutting the drop to just a tad over 25% of what had been feared and making the US stock market's reaction to the previous day's international crash much milder.
Unfortunately, the question arises, how many times can massive rate cuts be applied, before there are diminishing returns?
A few days ago, I wrote that all Bernanke has is an up-down switch for moving the prime rate. I was wrong. He had another trick up his sleeve, and it worked.
The Wall Street Journal has reported that the manipulation of the prime rate is becoming less and less effective in influencing the economy, because there are so many additional global factors which also influence the economy. It would be nice if the nation's leadership-- congress or the Whitehouse-- could flip a switch and correct the problems we face. But that doesn't happen in reality USA. Doesn't happen with Petraeus in Iraq, doesn't happen with the housing crisis, the subprime mortgage crisis, the impending credit-tightening crisis, health care and so many more.
Yesterday, Bush and off the table Pelosi and do nothing Reid got together to discuss the size of the bandaids to be used on the massively hemorrhaging economy.
The solution to these kinds of problems is simple-- inspired, visionary, courageous leadership that supports strong government and enforcement of regulations already in place to police abusive corporate behaviors.
Easy to say, not so easy to find. This kind of solution does not fend well with 15 second sound bytes or smarmy, know it all TV political commentators. Serious, earnest, visionary leaders are laughed at and mocked by the mainstream media, maybe because the solutions these leaders offer threaten the uber corporate owners of the corpstream media.