Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Being Margaret Thatcher

Barack Obama opened his oversized vintage 80s handbag this morning and dumped the entire contents on a sleepy unsuspecting public. No cash -- just a pile of IOUs payable to the Wall Street elites, to be drawn from our Social Security trust fund to go straight to their trillion-dollar tax-free offshore bank accounts and CEO pay packages.

The only shocker is that there are still a few hold-outs who are still shocked by the Great Betrayal. Happily, most New York Times reader-commenters are up in arms, with one woman (Renee of Manhattan) even suggesting that Barack be dragged bodily from the White House. I hope she does not receive a visit from the Secret Soyvice! Here is my comment:

Mr. Obama will dine with a dozen Republicans tonight, feasting on gourmet goodies as they discuss imposing a diet of cat food on a nation of struggling retirees, veterans, widowed parents and orphans, and the disabled.
Despite what the president says, his is not a balanced approach. Economist Dean Baker has crunched the numbers, and the upshot of Chained CPI will be that poorer people will be contributing at three times the rate as those making over $450,000. And those pesky tax loopholes? They'll be closed temporarily, and then lobbyists bearing scissors will descend upon Congress to let the snipping open begin anew.
But the cuts to our safety net would be permanent, and Obama's proposals represent a sneaky backdoor way to eventual privatization.
More than 80% of Americans polled do not want Social Security, which has added not one dime to the deficit, touched. If anything, we should scrap the cap on FICA contributions to ensure the program's solvency into perpetuity. In this time of chronic unemployment and underemployment, with one in five Americans living in poverty, we should actually be lowering the retirement age and raising benefits.
That a Democratic president is doing the cruel bidding of Wall Street and the deficit hawks instead of doing the bidding of the people who re-elected him is proof positive that lesser evilism is still pretty darned rotten. I hope he's ready for a fight -- because he'll be getting a big one.
I usually don't sign petitions, (they're just hooks for endless fund-raising appeals) but I made an exception this week, and for the hell of it added my name to 2 million other signatures delivered yesterday to the White House by Sen. Bernie Sanders and a while contingent of demonstrators. As you can tell by the contents spewing out of his Thatcher carry-all today, Obama must have cackled gleefully if he even deigned to give it a glance. Of course, when people like Sanders and the other sundry inhabitants of the veal pen preface their protests with "I am a big supporter of the president, but....", who wouldn't burst out guffawing? Also humorous are the hordes who continue to insist that the president is being "forced" to cut the safety net by all those nasty Republicans. 

But if you like gallows humor as I do, what could be more laugh-out-loud hilarious than Obama sending his new Treasury Secretary to Europe to lecture them on the dangers of austerity?  As Yves Smith writes today, it must be getting awfully hard out there for an Obamabot.


Denis Neville said...

Thatcher’s America

The elites and the politicians who work for them – Barry and his poodles and the Rethugs; ALEC and their state level minions - have no fear at all of the citizens of this once great nation; not even a hint of embarrassment at what they are doing to us.

It’s all a grand – winners take all - game for them. How many more outrages will they be able to get away with before the rioting begins?

Since Homeland Security and our growing police state exist to guarantee that riots never really get started, the games continue at an accelerating pace.

The Vichy Left are the professional cheerleaders.

James F Traynor said...

There must be a shunt in their brains, the Obamabots. When I voted for Obama, here in Florida, it was with the certain knowledge that he was the lesser of two evils. I thought, and still do, that it would buy time, but not that Obama would change his spots, stripes or whatever. That he chose, unnecessarily, to attack S.S. and Medicare reveals to me that it is not guts he lacks, but any respect at all for his base. Immediately after the election I changed my registration from Democrat to Green and, from the look of things, I'll stay that way. I have vastly diminished hopes for significant change within the party.

Suzan said...

Not hard enough it seems.

"getting hard to be an Obamabot"

Karen, we've got to be in the forefront of the new American movement, that is, the movement to bring about a new America for the 99%.

I've finally gotten a group of liberals here in NC to understand (yeah, it was quite a struggle before his budget was leaked) that Obama, Biden, Hillary, etc., are going to do nothing for us - that we have to choose new leaders if we want real change.

How long will it take before these groups are formed everywhere?

Thanks for your stellar reporting!


Denis Neville said...

Adversarial watchdog journalist Tom Brokaw, the ever useful idiot:

“Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan were the Katherine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy of world politics: stars in their own right, yet more powerful in partnership.”

On the economics of the middle class, Brokaw, who owns a 5,000-acre ranch near Yellowstone Park in Montana, once explained that wealthy people should be counted as middle class too:

“A lot of people don't realize in large urban and suburban areas of America, $250,000 doesn't make you rich. You have got two kids in college at $60,000. If you're a boomer, you may have a dependent parent of some kind you're spending another $20,000 or $25,000 on.”

Brokaw is a dim bulb whose perceived ego thinks he is still relevant; a self-satisfied nonentity in the service of wealth and power.

He and I took entirely different paths when we departed the same home town in South Dakota.

Karen Garcia said...

I read the first paragraph of the Brokaw piece before quitting in disgust and moving on to the priceless one by Russell Brand, also in the Guardian (in my blog roll, take shortchut thru Glenn Greenwald if you like). Brand made fun of Obama'a accolade to Maggie's breaking through the glass ceiling by saying (paraphrasing here) that maybe so, but the shards of glass that fell as a result maimed a whole boatload of people.

Pearl said...

Bold Progressives sent me a video of the recent demonstration in front of the White House against cuts to Social Security and Medicare in response to my signing their petition. They were there to present 2 million signatures to President Obama with strong, inspiring speeches by many people representing unions, progressive organizations including Bernie Sanders among others. They emphasized the coming together of many progressive groups to push for preventing the kind of deals Obama is involved in. Their e-mail also listed many progressives running for office and asking for donations to help out.

Very inspiring, but nowhere in the N.Y.Times or possibly other mainstream media have I seen anything about this event.

Karen Garcia said...


The only msm coverage I saw was a snarky piece in the Washington Post by Dana Milbank, who referred to Bernie Sanders and his protesters as Obama's "intransigent back-benchers" in danger of succumbing to crazed apoplexy and therefore strengthening Barry's bargaining position with the GOP. More of the lefties being as nuts as the Tea Party trope, which the Obamabots/punditocracy are now retrieving from their dusty fusty arsenals. Stayed tuned for a massive outbreak of hippie-punching from what Denis refers to as the Vichy Left.

Kat said...

Dim bulb is the perfect description of Tom Brokaw.

Jay - Ottawa said...

Vichy is so apt an epithet for our home-grown collaborators, although many Americans may not understand the reference at first. Still, we should encourage the repeated use of it until the whole 99% get it.

With the patience described by Suzan, we who struggle against the new Vichy must multiply our number and refine our tactics until we deserve to be called The Resistance. Nothing less than an unbreakable resistance will rid us of our own Vichy softies and the hard class they serve.

Karen Garcia said...

Here is my response to a NYT editorial decrying chained CPI at the same time it tries to justify the method in Obama's madness:

"... no one will be able to accuse Mr. Obama of refusing to touch entitlements, and no one can credit Republicans for being at all serious about a deficit-reduction compromise."

And here lies the twisted rub. Since this editorial fails to define "no one", let's roll out the Somebodies.

First, there is Oligarch Pete Peterson, whose Third Way propaganda tank was hilariously called "left-of-center" by the Times. He's already spent half a billion of his own fortune in a crusade to cut the benefits of retirees, wounded veterans, widows and orphans and disabled people. He was instrumental in getting Simpson & Bowles appointed to Obama's defunct Catfood Commission, but is continuing their zombie reanimation in the Fix the Debt astroturf group. He also bankrolls the Clinton Global Initiative University, trying to convince kids that the geezers are greedily sucking up all that Medicare and their future Social Security benefits. The best college essay on the fake dangers of the debt-- being judged by Bowles, Simpson, Chelsea Clinton, and ABC's George Stephanopoulos -- will get a $10,000 grand prize.

Which brings us to the Somebodies of the corporate media, who swallow and regurgitate the gospel of austerity each and every day -- because their jobs and cachet depend upon their maintenance of willful ignorance.

The real Nobodies -- ourselves, our friends, our families -- are being ignored. But I have a feeling this state of affairs will be coming to a blessed halt, very soon.

Denis Neville said...

Give her another Oscar!

No! Not Meryl Streep.

Glenda Jackson!!!

James F Traynor said...

Thank you, Denis, for that link to You Tube and Glenda Jackson. Magnificent speech on her part, but what I thought almost as interesting was the response of the Speaker to the Tory's complaint about her comments as being a breach of House rules. The Speaker's point, and pointed it was, being that the purpose of the moment was the consideration of the motion for at tribute to Thatcher. He put, in a very small nutshell, Glenn Greenwald's well argued points on the matter. They had come to bury Caesar, not to praise him.

Also, I'd forgotten about Glenda Jackson. A shame. She was such a good actor.

Jay - Ottawa said...

Great link, Denis, but hell, only an Oscar? She isn't acting; she's for real.

Glenda Jackson for Congress! –– where she could unmask the Vichy collaborators on this side of the pond and filibuster the bad actors.

She's not a citizen? No problem. Bernie Sanders marries her, and the doors now closed will be opened.

Still more technical problems? Indulge me. Let me dream about Glenda Jackson making big waves against the cesspool tide in Washington.

Pearl said...

What a speech from Glenda Jackson. It was not just the exposure of the
woman, Baroness Thatcher, but the facsimiles of her persona and truly evil deeds mirrored in so many others who drain our lives. It is also an example of how to speak truth to power for others to emulate.

Hopefully it could be as catching as the swine flu (an apt description).