The Dog Days are upon us, spelling all manner of catastrophe and general misery. Or, so the ancients cheerfully believed. Not like us moderns, who live under the false impression that the Dog Days have something to do with panting dogs lying around in the heat because it's too hot to move. That is what they want you to think, because in America, we must always look toward the cruel, big, bright sun with the happy face as we sweat and weep and gnash our teeth. That twinkling little dead dawn-star named after a dog? You can wish upon it all you want, but contrary to what Jiminy Cricket sang in Pinocchio, it absolutely does make a difference who you are in whether your dreams come true in the 21st century.
Therefore, I leave you with a fair and balanced Panglossian approach today -- equal parts joy and misery.
First, the cheer. One of the pillars of Barack Obama's presidency has developed a possibly lethal crack, as the latest round of Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations broke down last night. Reps for the American plutocracy apparently had a hard time convincing such nations as Chile and Australia that sky-high drug prices to replace reasonable ones was a good idea, in the best interests of sick people. This is really strange, since they were doing the deal-making in mellow Maui. I guess either the Maui Wowie was cheap skunk, or the negotiators refused to smoke it, because they also balked at jeopardizing such nationalistic munchables as sugar, rice and cheese. And this, after the Obama administration promised to protect sea turtles as well as protecting the Malaysian slave trade!
Obama should take heart, though, because there is still misery aplenty in Precariatland. As the New York Times' Gretchen Morgenson lays out, the HAMP program designed to protect homeowners from foreclosure has ended up protecting the big bank predators instead. The banks have thrown 72% of distressed homeowners requesting loan modifications under the bus, and then they have the nerve to blame their "irresponsible" victims for having the poor taste to get old, lose a job, or become disabled.More than six years after the economic meltdown caused by the Too Big To Fails, the Obama administration is still foaming the runway for the Too Big To Jails. Tiny Tim is still telling Citigroup and Bank of America: "Mammon Bless Us Everyone!"
But here's some good news, Evictees of America. Big Poultry is removing antibiotics from the feed it gives the chickens it crams into those filthy, inhumane cages. The birds will now have the Freedom to spread their diseases to you while Perdue and Chick Fil-A and their partners in pharmaceutical crime insist that overpriced, patent-protected meds to treat those diseases are no longer strain-resistant! Of course, this altruism will give drug companies an excuse to charge consumers even more. They still have to feather their own nests, y'know.
|We Are So Clucked|
Since the Dog Days are upon us, Prime Minister David Cameron is literally calling out the dogs to prevent African and Middle Eastern refugees from tunneling their way over from France to his blessed plot, his earth, his realm, his England. No word yet as to his breed of choice, but I would assume that pit bulls are about to be drafted into the Royal Canine Corps. After all, since Cameron's whole neoliberal governing philosophy (austerity) is both bull and the pits, why not put some teeth in it?
|Austirius Rises: "Give Me Your Tired, Your Poor, Your Tunneled Masses."|