Archive for September 29th, 2008

The Government According To Glenn

Glennzilla points out that the financial bailout legislation falls into the same pattern as all the other heinous legislation that the Republicans have passed with the Democrats’ willing cooperation, if not downright facilitation.

Of course, it didn’t end up passing, but that’s probably because it wasn’t quite heinous enough for the Republican caucus.  I have every confidence that the Democratic Congress will pass a bill that’s even worse, and that Steny Hoyer and Harry Reid will graciously usher it through.

Glenn’s ten defining characteristics of how our government works are still uncannily accurate, though:

(1) Incredibly complex and consequential new laws are negotiated in secret and then enacted immediately, with no hearings, no real debate, no transparency….

(2) Those who created the crisis, were wrong about everything, drive the process. Experts who dissent from the prevailing Washington orthodoxy, particularly ones who were presciently warning about what was happening, are simply ignored — systematically excluded from the process….

(3) Public opinion is largely ignored, as always, and public anger is placated through illusory, symbolic and largely meaningless concessions….

(4) The Government begins with demands for absolute power so brazen and absurd that anything, by comparison, seems reasonable….

(5) Wall Street, large corporations and their lobbyists own the Federal Government and both parties, and (therefore) they always win….

(6) The people who run the Washington Establishment are drowning in conflicts of interest….

Congressional leaders are, with very few exceptions, all vested heavily in Wall St. As but one example, Nancy Pelosi’s tens of millions of dollars are invested (.pdf) in firms such as AIG, AT&T and others. It only stands to reason — as always — that if Wall St. is both owning the Government and running it, it will prevail over the proverbial “Main Street” every time. And it does, and just did again.

(7) For all the anger over what Wall St. has done, the Government — as it bails them out — isn’t doing anything to rein in their practices. Nancy Pelosi today said: “We sent a message to Wall Street — the party is over,” but to the extent that’s true, the Government has done nothing to bring it to an end. To the contrary, by announcing — yet again — that there are never any consequences for recklessness and real corruption on the part of the ruling class, that behavior is only being further incentivized….

(8) When the Government wants greater and greater power and wants to engage in pure corruption, it need only put the population in extreme fear and it gets its way in every case. Establishment mavens rush forth to assure the public that they have no choice but to submit to what the Government is demanding. The anger and impotence level of the citizenry increases further, further alienating them from their Government and ensuring even greater levels of submission in the future, grounded in an accurate perception of futility.

(9) On the most consequential and fundamental questions that define the country, the establishment/leadership of both political parties are in full agreement, and insulate themselves from any political ramifications by acting jointly. Democrats in particular jump eagerly into line when told they must cooperate with the White House to avert whatever the Disaster du Jour is (and in this case, House Republicans were most impressive in defying these orders until they, too, were basically whipped into line), but ultimately, the differences between the parties at the level of their leadership are impossible to detect.

(10) Whenever you think that the Government has done things so extreme that it can’t top itself — torture, theories of presidential lawbreaking, a six-year war justified by blatantly false pretenses — it always tops itself….

I think Glenn has it just about covered.  Depressing, ain’t it.

September 29th, 2008 at 08:23pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Corruption/Cronyism,Democrats,Economy,Politics,Republicans

Monday Media Blogging – Song & Dance Edition

One of my favorite singers, at the top of his game.

Mr. T dancing!  If I could include a Mr. T video in every MMB, I would.

Dancing raccoons.  I have no idea what is actually going on here.

September 29th, 2008 at 11:25am Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Monday Media Blogging

Not Going So Well For McCain

As Doc Slammy points out, McCain’s phony “I’m-suspending-my-campaign-so-I-can-rush-to-Washington-to-save-the-economy” stunt probably didn’t fool anyone and was a spectacular failure, to boot, and Tina Fey was once again lampooned as an airheaded moron on SNL.

Not to mention that the clumsy way McCain handled his stunt, blowing off David Letterman, has apparently made Letterman his enemy for life.  So that’s two late-night cultural icons who will be actively working against him.  And I suspect Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert probably won’t be doing him any favors either.

But it’s not just late-night entertainment media – McCain’s losing right-wing editorial boards too, even ones that haven’t endorsed a Democrat since 1936.

McCain’s greatest asset has become a liability.

September 29th, 2008 at 07:25am Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Elections,McCain,Media,Palin,Politics,Republicans

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