Monday, January 14, 2013

The Coin Is Dead, Long Live the Coins

Was  your whole weekend  ruined by the weekend news dump that the Obama Administration had nixed the trillion dollar platinum coin and is opting instead for more Debt Ceiling Crisis drama? Don't despair. While you're waiting for Austerity to kick in, the president wants you to go on a spending spree on the off-chance that you still have any actual money to burn.  Just go ahead and plunk it down on a set of three Obama Coins. You heard it right. Although the Treasury declared that minting a coin to stave off national default is illegal, unethical, unfathomable and undoable even though it's constitutional, the president has minted a whole mint of gold, silver and bronze coins to help defray the cost of his second inauguration.

Okay, so they're pretend coins. But they do have value. They will pay for somebody else, not you, to attend one of the Gala Inaugural Balls  Or maybe they will pay for the tons of lobster and bison destined for a thousand slavering maws at the Congressional Inaugural Luncheon. My own senator, Chuck Schumer, is in charge of the menu, which includes pie made of apples from my very own Hudson Valley. He invited a New York Times food critic, not you or me, for a food-tasting binge to decide the ultimate party fare:

"I was hopeful of having Long Island duck, but unfortunately the tasters and I said the dish doesn’t quite work — where the bison was wow,” Mr. Schumer said, hastening to add that “the duck was not at fault,” but rather the preparation.
At 10:30 in the morning, the senator was sampling and praising the Tierce 2009 Finger Lakes Dry Riesling, to be served with the first course of lobster with clam chowder sauce, as well as the award-winning Bedell Cellars 2009 merlot from Long Island that will be served with bison. By 10:45, he declared that the lobster would be his lunch, with a few bites of the bison, a few sips of the Bedell and a sampling of dessert, a pie made with Hudson Valley apples.
Go ahead. You know you want to. Buy the freaking coin set so Chuckie and the gang can have more than a few bites of bison. Let them devour the near-extinct national animal that is no longer even on the nickel before they nickel-and-dime the rest of us to death. It is called Sharing the Sacrifice. It is called Economic Patriotism.

And by the way, where in the Constitution does it state that the Senate may provide itself with official food tasters? Of course, it is understandable that elected officials with a 9% public approval rating might find a food taster necessary to vet their victuals. Even Obama has been known to bring along his own personal food tasters to dangerous plutocratic fund-raisers and on official trips. Leaders of Empire can never be too austere when it comes to budgeting for the personal protection of their palates.

Meanwhile, take another close look at those coins. They look like they were inspired by the Little Orphan Annie comics. Obama's eyes are vacant circles! They forgot to etch in any pupils! And get a load of Biden in profile. He looks like the "before" image in a Lifestyle Lift commercial, what with the double chin and the sagging jowls. I think that $7,500 price tag is way too steep if they can't even idealize our politicians. As Annie would say, "Gee Whiskers!"


James F Traynor said...

Either that or they've rolled up into his head.

Robert Knight said...

Recently received this Obama inaugural promo:

The following is a paid advertisement by the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, sent to you by AlterNet.


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Passes to a private reception with all the new Democratic senators

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Zee said...


Personally, I think that it's entirely appropriate to depict the Prez and Veep with vacant, unseeing eyes.

This symbolizes both their brain-power and concern for the American people quite well, don't you think?

But much as I would love to have this splendid coin set further cluttering up my "junk drawer," I'm afraid it's just a bit too steep for me, and, probably, for most of us.

Still, there's the $75 "hoodie" available for men, and the $50 sterling silver "charm" for the gals.

Such a deal! Don't miss out!

Denis Neville said...

"Leapin' lizards!"

Just maybe those coins really were inspired by the Little Orphan Annie comics, Hooverism in the funnies.

Harold Gray, Little Orphan Annie’s creator, was a fierce critic of Franklin Roosevelt and the New Deal and he made sure his comic strip readers knew it, although he never named FDR in Annie. “I have despised Roosevelt and his socialist, or creeping communist, policies since 1932, and said so in my stuff,” Gray once wrote. Its opposition to the New Deal made Little Orphan Annie very popular.

When FDR was nominated for a fourth term, Gray's anti-New Deal "Little Orphan Annie" killed off Daddy Warbucks. "Some have called me a dirty capitalist, but I've merely used the imagination and common sense and energy that kind of providence gave me. Now? Well, Annie, times have changed, and I'm old and tired. I guess it's time to go!" said Warbucks, protesting that he shouldn't have to apologize for being successful, on his deathbed in 1944. After FDR’s death, Daddy Warbucks arose from the dead, “Somehow I feel that the climate here has changed since I went away.”

Pro-Warbucks conservatives saw him as a successful, hardworking financial tycoon. Richard Marshall, America’s Great Comic Strip Artists, writes that “Annie’s homilies and examples of self-reliance and realistic optimism struck a chord with millions of readers who formed a fanatical and loyal corps of followers,” including Ronald Reagan, thus reshaping American conservatism.

Recall that back in 2008 Barack Obama shocked many progressives by praising Ronald Reagan as someone who brought America a “sense of dynamism and entrepreneurship that had been missing.” Obama bought the right-wing smears against Roosevelt. The self-deluding Obats did not find this troubling and said it was ridiculous to think that Obama was a captive of right-wing mythology.

Obama's eyes are vacant circles! He still holds the Reagan myth!

4Runner said...

I'm thinking this coin set would fit in nicely with my presidential memorabilia collection. Which consists so far of a Richard Nixon "I Am Not a Crook" wristwatch, an autographed copy of the book "My 7 Years As Astrologer to Ronald Reagan" and my favorite collectible, a Dubya Bobblehead.

James F Traynor said...

We're getting closer to the Roman Empire all the time. The executive may be constrained by monotheism from naming the executive a god, but there still is exaltation by coinage. I had hoped that science, in its ultimate rationality, would rename Homo sapiens to Australopithecus hubris, but that just won't happen. I do think they could drop 'sapiens' in favor of the more descriptive 'hubris' though.