Paul Krugman asks what Mitt is hiding besides the gray in his hair. There have been some recent disturbing revelations and allegations about his secret financial history, such as how in the world did he end up with as much as $100 million in his IRA? Why does this potential president not release all his tax returns and why does he have the need to hide money overseas? I rhetorically ask (my comment is number two in "Oldest") why the hell the Obama Justice Department doesn't investigate him if he is as crooked as the campaign is making him sound?
Meanwhile, here's a preview of Biennial Bush Tax Cut Extension Kabuki, in which President Obama pretends to bravely buck his own party by calling right now this very minute for a one-year extension of cuts for poor people earning less than $250,000. It's a theatrically bold slap in the face to Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer, starring as millionaire Democrats who think that anyone earning $999,999 is just plain struggling folks in the middle class. Barry plays Errol Flynn throwing down the gauntlet to the piratical GOPers, who don't believe gazillionaires should pay a penny more, ever and into perpetuity. Arrrrgh.
The Libor hearings continue in the U.K. I think another reason why this scandal is not getting much attention in the American press is that Barclay's CEO Bob Diamond got his grilling on our national Fourth of July holiday and the merikun pundits were not working to provide it for us on the telly. Plus, the name sounds like one of those British minority parties -- a Cockney cross between liberal and labor. Yawn. I did watch a snippet last week, and the first thing I noticed was what a smarmy arrogant jerk this Diamond was, calling members of Parliament by their first names. Even Jamie Dimon has the good taste to not call his U.S. senator "Chuckie". The Brits sensibly consider Diamond to be a proper annoying twit. Meanwhile, Bank of England honcho Paul Tucker gets his turn today. What did he pretend not to know and why does he not know it, etc.
Tom Junod scathingly examines The Lethal Presidency of Barack Obama in Esquire, concentrating on the murder of a 16-year-old American boy by drone strike. An excerpt from the piece, written in the form of a letter to the president:
This is not to say that the American people don't know about the Lethal Presidency, and that they don't support its aims. They do. They know about the killing because you have celebrated — with appropriate sobriety — the most notable kills, specifically those of Osama bin Laden and Anwar al-Awlaki; they support it because you have asked for their trust as a good and honorable man surrounded by good and honorable men and women and they have given it to you. In so doing, you have changed a technological capability into a moral imperative and have convinced your countrymen to see the necessity without seeing the downside. Politically, there is no downside. Historically, there is only the irony of the upside — that you, of all presidents, have become the lethal one; that you, of all people, have turned out to be a man of proven integrity whose foreign and domestic policies are less popular than your proven willingness to kill, in defense of your country, even your own countrymen ... indeed, to kill even a sixteen-year-old American boy accused of no crime at all.We are a nation of the willfully blind, which is probably why fully two-thirds of Americans polled say they are just fine with the targeted killings of Americans and all manner of unknown victims far, far away. As Chris Hedges points out in his latest essay, we have forgotten how to even think.
And where in the world is Occupy in all this? Alexander Cockburn has a depressing take.
Welcome to the Wonderful World of Monday.