Wednesday, October 9, 2013

A Pile of Hemorrhoidal Dog Poop Crawling With Fungus and Cockroaches

Somewhere in America, a claque of merry pollsters stuck in preadolescent boy mode is getting paid to think up the most disgusting objects in the universe with which to compare Congress. Last time around, they made annoying dinnertime phone calls to unsuspecting people to find out whether they preferred a root canal or a Congress Critter. Guess who won? At least with a root canal, you get anesthetized.

It's getting harder and harder to come up with new lists of horribles, but the PeePeePee outfit really outdid itself this year. With an unbelievably high approval rating of 8 percent, Congress was unfavorably compared with toenail fungus, cockroaches, dog poop and hemorrhoids.

But there is faint hope for the critters. Americans still like Congress better than they like Honey Boo Boo and Charles Manson.

Meanwhile, over at the New York Times, Tom Friedman still thinks there's such a thing as mainstream Republicans. And that they really need to get their act together to reform their party, the same way Clinton reformed the Democrats and gave us mainstream Republicans. My response:
So-called mainstream Republicans have lost the right to call themselves mainstream. Their flow of ideas and policies for the common good dried up long ago. And John Boehner looks like he just needs to dry out.
A party only deserves to call itself mainstream when it has the capacity to either swamp, or cut off completely, those occasional renegade rivulets that branch off into crazy directions every now and again. The mighty GOP has spawned a cascade of toxic tea, and its so-called leaders have neither the will nor the way to dam (or damn) it.
And you can't call them conservatives, either, when they are so complicit in wanton destruction.
I'm happy that the president seems to be standing firm against what amounts to an internal coup d'état by a small group of reactionary usurpers. I'm unhappy that he still feels it necessary to hold out to the economic terrorists in our midst the carrot of deficit reduction and "entitlement reform" at a time where income disparity is at record levels and more and more people are sliding into poverty. I'm happy that he's giving more interviews and press conferences. I'm unhappy that he's ruled out invoking the 14th Amendment, minting a platinum coin, or even going so far as to call for the abolishment of the debt limit itself. After all, it doesn't actually exist.
The only limit we have to fear is the limited morality of the usurpers. So let's just go with the flow, and flush them out in 2014 (if they don't resign in disgrace first.)
Although a Grand Bargain of austerity for the masses and prosperity for the rentiers was the obvious endgame for both sides of the Money Party, I'm not as confident as I was even a couple of days ago that they will be able to accomplish their sleight of hand before default actually occurs. It is looking more and more like the imaginary ceiling will be breached after all, and that we're in for a whole heap of dog poop. Faced with the reality of a politically-manufactured Great Depression, I suppose the plan is that we'll feel abjectly grateful when the political donor class of the Charitable Industrial Complex provides a soup kitchen in every city to make up for the lack of jobs and the cutting of Social Security, food stamps and Medicare. This time around, there is nothing even close to a socialist left flank to protect us from incipient Hooverism.

Congressman Alan Grayson of Florida tried, though. And he got gaveled into silence when he cited the dog poop poll to illustrate how the "dignity of the House" has been called into question during the debate for a clean debt ceiling vote. Clip here.

The continuing immiseration of common people caused by a cabal of fringe right wingers and complicit deficit hawk Democrats and the fun poll questions answered by disgusted populace reminds me of the ending of an Anton Chekhov story called "Small Fry."

A depressed wage slave, stuck in his bleak surroundings while the rich people gambol about town, ponders the hopelessness of his life as his kerosene runs out and a lone cockroach scurries around on his desk:
Ah... running about here, you devil!" With the palm of his hand, he spitefully swatted the cockroach, which had had the misfortune of catching his eye. "What vileness!"
The cockroach fell on its back and desperately waved its legs... Nevyrazimov took it by one leg and threw it into the lamp. The lamp flared and crackled...
And Nevyrazimov felt better.


annenigma said...

Stringy snot and anal leakage would be preferable to those douchbags who are deliberately bringing our country to ruins to achieve the goals of their masters. I include most members of both major political parties in that group.

Disaster Capitalists can only succeed in their goal of privatizing government assets for their profits if they create enough of a crisis that it demands that solution. They must affect people's lives (although not their own) to effect this demand. We see this playing out with the shutdown. Everything is hunky dory as usual for them while the little people are being directly hurt. Score one for the big guys. When it comes to the impending debt limit crisis though, I really don't expect THEIR government to put THEM at risk unless it is calculated in advance to benefit them, i.e. Privatization. They are 'the Economy' after all.

While things are actually working out fine for the 1% so far during this crisis, the 'folks' are really feeling the heat - which appears to be the point. Not only are our lives and jobs being disrupted and benefits threatened, but some of us are actually being arrested and charged with federal crimes for simply trying to access our own public lands during this shutdown.

Surprisingly or maybe not, it's almost as if both parties want 'The American People' to realize that the government owns too much, controls too much, and costs too much and can't effectively manage the country in any way, shape, or form. Is this the desired intent or only a stupidly overlooked side effect? Politicians would have to be totally blinded by the Washington bubble to not realize the depth of disgust at Washington throughout the land. That disgust will likely lead people to start demanding that government get out of the picture entirely. Coincidentally or not, that happens to work out perfectly for the Privatization Agenda of the 1%. In other words, because government screws up everything it touches, we might as well let private industry run things. Or alternatively, simply let the Republican extremists have their turn. Either way promises to be a big gift for the profiteering capitalist juggernaut.

Only these carefully crafted manufactured crises can give the 1% the opportunity to crack open the public vault, by hook or by crook, and Republican and Democratic crooks are more than willing to help them. Genius Obama must recognize that, or maybe not. He's been so self-absorbed in playing the political game to make himself look like The Winner, even when he loses, that he seems oblivious to the condition of the people in this country. We can only hope that the pursuit of his precious legacy inadvertently benefits the country. I'm not counting on it.

Fred Drumlevitch said...

@annenigma said: "Disaster Capitalists can only succeed in their goal of privatizing government assets for their profits if they create enough of a crisis that it demands that solution."

Yes and no.

I would note that in recent decades, the reigning narrative has grown increasingly faulty and destructive (permitting a "boiling-the-frog" destruction of social services). And occasionally, as with the attempt to get us into a war with Syria, "crises" have not worked.

I think that we also must consider the context of modern long term societal propaganda and the resulting popular derangement, not just the acute mood spikes that flows from (the contrived) crises. The "crises" do indeed often push the popular mood towards panicked approval of ill-examined, dangerous actions, Reichstag-fire style, but I don't think that such manipulation could succeed were the bulk of the people not so ignorant of both history and contemporary affairs, and were they not so (to put it diplomatically) "unpracticed" in their critical abilities. I make this negative appraisal of the populace not in order to blame them (which I think is strategically counterproductive when strongly applied to large segments that have been fooled), just as a statement of fact regarding a condition that requires serious political work from progressives.

Karen (and commenters) referenced long-term popular derangement back in April,

but I think it's relevant to think about again here.

Many times, I've talked politics with store clerks in the "big-box" department and home-improvement stores. These people frequently believe — accurately — that contemporary government does not serve their interests, and that there is something fundamentally wrong with current conditions. Many times they will be surprisingly open about terrible things that have happened to them (i.e. being downsized or outsourced in middle age by previous employers, loss of homes or other financial problems from serious family medical crises, etc).

Yet more often than not, their so-called "analyses" of the causes and their prescriptions for a cure are not just wrong, but actually diametrically opposite to what rationality and morality says should be the case. Despite how badly they have been screwed by the system, all too often they still laud unfettered capitalism and the "job creators", still denounce the supposed 47% "lazy" "takers", sometimes even bring up distractions such as so-called "chemtrails" as somehow relevant. Anything but a willingness to lay the blame where it should properly be placed, that is, on a worse-than-Social-Darwinistic economic system that disproportionately rewards those at the top while treating the rest of the populace as garbage, and a political class that serves the corporations and the rich rather than the nation and the people.

Of course, it never seems to occur to them to ask why the government would need "chemtrails" to control the populace, when it has the inculcation of a modern version of Social Darwinism through the educational system, the mainstream media, right-wing talk radio, and the two main political parties.

Pearl said...

On CNN today, a detailed discussion ensued of how veterans who depend on
government benefits to survive, are faring in this current shut down.
What was shocking were the numbers mentioned of how many are involved (I
don't know how many wars are included but probably any surviving veterans were in the countdown). The vast amount of money required to sustain such veterans often for the rest of their lives - the vast numbers of men and women who survive but are the victims of war was beyond
overwhelming. I think when the cost of a particular war (such as Karen's remark about $10 million dollars an hour for Afghanistan) is mentioned, the huge endless additional costs of sustaining wounded soldiers is not included in the tally.
These figures are shocking as well as the damaged faces and bodies
represented behind them.
It was also mentioned in the discussion that the current dilemma of many veterans to sustain themselves financially includes general lack of adequate
health care in areas covering mental health coverage, sustained physical
recuperation, support for housing, jobs, ad infinitum. All of this sorrow created by leaders and lawmakers who find it a simple remedy for national problems to maintain a war footing around the globe and sell their snake oil to the masses.