Thursday, July 12, 2012

A Pipe Dream

Progressive Nirvana: in which both presidential candidates implode and sink into a morass of corruption just in time for the conventions later this summer, just in time for the Republican Party to die of its own self-inflicted wounds, just in time for Russ Feingold to grab the Democratic nomination by default to battle the Green Party's Jill Stein for the highest office in the land. Moderate liberal vs. European-style socialist.

It's looking bad for Mitt. At best, he evaded paying taxes on at least a quarter-billion in offshore accounts, at worst he lied to the SEC about not being in charge of Bain Capital when other documents during the same era listed him as CEO. Even the right-leaning Politico is intimating the Mittster may have broken a federal law or two. Will Mitt open his acceptance speech in Tampa with the words "I am not a crook" or better yet, "I shall not seek, nor will I accept my party's nomination for a first term as president of the United States"?

It's looking kind of bad for Barry, too, now that Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner is getting caught up in the Libor scandal. It is pretty obvious that Timmy knew that a massively sleazy version of price-fixing was going on under his N.Y. Fed watch, and that he knew it a long time ago. He was either too weak to stop it, too cowardly to report it, or too complicit to give a damn about it. There are an awful lot of municipalities out there, cash-strapped and crumbling, who wouldn't mind getting some of those stolen trillions in pension plans and such back from the banking mafia. The lawyers are salivating.

Of course, what I consider bad, and what the Plutocracy running things considers bad, are two different things. So what if Mitt lied through his teeth? It shows what a great American he is. It is patriotic to be savvy enough to game the system. And do you really expect Eric Holder to convene a grand jury seeking a Mitt-dictment? Remember, the motto of the Obama Administration is "Forward". If they won't prosecute the Bush war criminals or the Wall Street banksters, they are definitely not going after small-potatoes Mitt. To the contrary. In the interest of bipartisanship, Barry would probably offer him a cabinet position, or at least a seat on the White House Council on Jobs and Competitiveness. It specializes in outsourcing and offshoring and regulation-killing, after all.

And Timmy Geithner? He's leaving anyway. The fact that the unindicted Jon Corzine was able to "lose" millions of investor dollars when his scam went bankrupt and yet is still listed as a top Obama bundler shows us that corruption is not only acceptable-- it's desirable. If absolute power corrupts absolutely, then the unlimited money in politics is corrupting the corruption.  

Like I said -- pipe dream. Just when you think politics can't make you any sicker, you start feeling nauseous all over again.


James F Traynor said...

Oh, c'mn Karen, that's all in the past, more than a year ago. And when you think of it, almost all offenses are committed in the past. We have to look forward, like the Oboe says.

Denis Neville said...

It may be looking bad for both Mittens and Obomber, but nobody who counts is going to care. After all, they’re the ones with the free money bazookas. It works for them! It’s a game they play. We’re the ones without tickets. Moral hazard is only for us little people who don't count.

“Tyger! Tyger! burning bright
In the forests of the night,
What immortal hand or eye,
Dare frame thy fearful symmetry?”

@ James – It is a warning. The Tyger, in its fierceness and beauty, can be thought to represent the ruthless ferocity of political revolution. Blake was quite preoccupied with the French Revolution. The French Revolution was the deserving death knell for the old system of monarchy in Europe. Unfortunately, …

...'Twas in truth an hour
Of universal ferment; mildest men
Were agitated; and commotions, strife
Of passion and opinion fill'd the walls
Of peaceful houses with unquiet sounds.
The soil of common life was at that time
Too hot to tread upon; oft said I then,
And not then only, 'what a mockery this
Of history; the past and that to come!
Now do I feel how I have been deceived,
Reading of Nations and their works, in faith,
Faith given to vanity and emptiness;
Oh! laughter for the Page that would reflect
To future times the face of what now is!'
- William Wordsworth, The Prelude

James F Traynor said...

I have a solution. A statute of limitations of one minute
on all white collar crime of one million or more.

Kat said...

Did anyone catch the story about the 12 year old dying when an infection devolved into septic shock. This is not to minimize the parents' grief, but I was horrified when they posted a link to the ER doctor who treated the boy's faculty page. Is this really permissible? Emergency rooms are the poor stepcousins of hospitals and I have nlittle doubt the physician was overburdened as usual and at any rate, sepsis criteria for adults may not be applied to children. The real issue seemed to be the lack of communication from the lab when the blood cultures and alarming WBC numbers came back.
I just could not help thinking once again, accountability is for the little people. That the paper of Judith Miller and Tom "Suck. On. This" was calling out an individual doctor was infuriating to me.
And of course, those guilty of financial crimes are still allowed a voice on their op-ed page.

mac gordon said...

I was surprised at the whole tone of the article. And, I certainly don't think it appropriate to have identified the treating physician.
There were many responses from ER doctors, explaining the difficulty in identifying 'sepsis' in a child.
It was notable that the author of the article, Jim Dwyer, felt the need to reply, very defensively, to these comments.
The downward path of the NYT continues.

Karen Garcia said...

Kat and Mac,
The reporter who wrote the article is a friend of the victim's family. Another telling aspect is that the victim's family is well-to-do and obviously well-insured. The kid is photographed at the controls of an airplane. This was not some Medicaid kid from a housing project -- highly doubt the NYT would have been interested if a poor kid died of an infection, because that is kind of expected. It is so shocking and unacceptable to be treated so shabbily by the greatest health care system in the world when you have money and status. My God, that this could actually happen to the upper middle class Times readership demographic!

Denis Neville said...

What happened is tragic.

James Reason, in his book "Human Error," explains that in complex systems there are numerous "latent errors," errors that are waiting to happen.

Physicians are not infallible. The practice of medicine is not neat. Despite all the technological and scientific advancements, it is a fundamentally human endeavor. To err is human. We all make mistakes. While most doctors really are good, they are also ordinary and fallible. Most mistakes are not the result of negligence. Experience matters. The ER physician looks quite young. Learning will involve mistakes along her way. This is a horrible, horrible experience for her and now the source of her own private anguish.

Addendum: Reading Karen’s explanation answers my question, “How did the parents do it?” (their response, i.e. the elaborate website, news coverage, etc.), comparing it to my own overwhelming experience when my youngest son died in the emergency room.

“I measure every Grief I meet
With narrow, probing, eyes –
I wonder if It weighs like Mine –
Or has an Easier size.”
- Emily Dickinson

I agree. Neither the NYT nor other news outlets are ever interested when poor kids die, which happens all the time.

Still, there is nothing worse than the loss of a child for parents.

Karl said...

So, what kind of medication are you on, and where can I get some?

The VA just tells me to keep taking my generic Zoloft (Sertraline) and be happy.

Zee said...

I did not see a link provided to the story about the 12-year-old who died of sepsis, so, for those who are interested, here is one to a New York Times article, probably the one under discussion:

The story is indeed tragic, but, as @mac gordon and @denis said, doctors are not infallible.

Though perhaps the rich think they have the right to expect infallibility for their money.

I don't know if this article will ruin careers, but the physicians involved will have to live with the unwarranted stigma for a long time to come.