Monday, November 16, 2015

Good News, Bad News

The good news: Bernie Sanders (with some pretty, pretty, pretty good help from Martin O'Malley) beat Hillary Clinton handily in Saturday night's debate.

The bad news: Nobody saw him beat Hillary Clinton on Saturday night. Okay, so eight million of the already converted watched him beat Hillary Clinton. Otherwise, they were busy doing normal things on a Saturday night, such as watching college football players pummel each other into permanent organic brain damage and premature death. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, autocratic head of the Undemocratic Party, has pummeled the citizenry and enabled Hillary Clinton by scheduling very few debates at very inconvenient times. Bernie should have pounced in the very first debate when he had the chance and the audience. He coulda been a contendah.

The good news: The New York Times broke away from its terror coverage just long enough to write a scathing editorial against Hillary's cynical manipulation of terror to justify her allegiance to Wall Street. To their discredit, however, the editorial board seemed more miffed at her "failure to fake" and feel your pain than they were enraged that Clintonian neoliberalism has caused a whole heap of suffering to a whole bunch of people.
Middle-class Americans associate Wall Street with the 2008 meltdown of the economy that cost so many their homes and savings. In the debate Mrs. Clinton repeatedly referred to her plan for reining in banks, but offered precious few specifics. This is what happens when Hillary Clinton the candidate gets complacent. The debate moderator, Mr. Dickerson, had even tipped her off before a commercial break that the next topic was Wall Street.
Her effort to tug on Americans’ heartstrings instead of explaining her Wall Street ties — on a day that the scars of 9/11 were exposed anew — was at best botched rhetoric. At worst it was the type of cynical move that Mrs. Clinton would have condemned in Republicans.
She should make a fast, thorough effort to explain herself by providing a detailed plan for how she would promote measures protecting middle-class Americans from another financial crisis.
In other words, the Empress-in-Waiting blew it and let down the One Percent big-time by failing to pander to the Left/middle class in public while delivering to the Right/wealthy in private. Besides altering the theme of the debate at the last minute to foreign policy (her over-hyped bailiwick) to give her a perceived advantage, the debate moderator even gave her a heads-up on the Wall Street questions. The Beltway bent over backwards for their designated winner, and this is how she treats them? Oh, the elite humanity!

The bad news: The media-political nexus has decreed that all talk of the economic terror constantly being unleashed against ordinary citizens by the capitalist extremists beholden to the Market God must be "off the table" for the duration of the "official" terror hysteria outbreak/official mourning period.

 Climate change? Fuggedaboudit. What are mass extinctions compared to the latest, greatest threat to exceptional American Value$ that ever threatened? 

Vox's Brad Plumer, to name just one media hack, hysterically rails against Bernie Sanders for even bringing up the actual climate during this designated time of International Grief and Fear. Plumer says it is so "off-base" to directly link drought to violence. After all, if you're that hot, hungry, tired and thirsty, civil war should be the last thing on your mind, Plumer punditocratically pontificates from the comfort of an actual building. Apparently, jihad and strife only break out during balmy boom times and bubbles-a-plenty.

  It has been deemed disrespectful to bring up foreclosures, stagnating wages, unemployment and political corruption at a time when the important people are so busily milking terror for all it's worth. And in terms of advertising revenue and lobbyist dollars for them, and enhanced profits for the war industry, Terror is worth a yuuuuuge bundle. You gotta Keep Fear Alive. "Terrorism, Not Taxes!"  is the new campaign theme, shrilled another Times article:
The assault on Paris has thrust national security to the heart of the presidential race, forcing candidates to scramble and possibly prompting voters to reconsider their flirtations with unconventional candidates and to take a more sober measure of who is prepared to serve as commander in chief.
They just cancelled out their own "Hillary So, So Disappointed Us!" op-ed. From making fun of his accent and his hair, now they're claiming that Bernie is a bad boyfriend for not wallowing in fear and jingoism on our flirtatious Saturday night date.

The good news: Hillary Clinton was beautifully blindsided by rude boy Bernie Sanders, who went off the pre-approved "all terror, all the time"  debate script, and reduced her to bragging that her billions in Wall Street speaking fees and donations have been offset by the fact that 60 percent of her "small donors" are women. She brought her shallow, cynical identity politics into glaring high relief, and it was not a pretty sight. Nor were her lame excuses for helping destabilize the entire Middle East.

The bad news: Hillary is still ahead in the polls. Money still rules politics. The whole system is probably corrupt beyond all redemption. Bill Clinton is now openly appearing with her at campaign rallies, to much applause. Make no mistake, this is an attempted third term, a Clinton restoration, another co-presidency, another chance to cut the social safety net.

The good news: Bill Clinton is probably too old and decrepit to resume chasing after White House interns and female staffers. The Clinton restoration probably does not apply to his entire anatomy. His quadruple bypass probably precludes the ingestion of Viagra.

The bad news: As loathsome as the Clintons are, they are easily beatable by the Republicans, who probably already have a scandalous October Surprise or twelve up their sleeves. Also, before we rejoice that Clinton the Horn Dog has lost his horniness, we must remember that it was only the Lewinsky affair and impeachment distractions that prevented his planned cuts to Social Security and Medicare during those bubble-icious deregulatory 90s boom-times. Therefore, impotence can have its upside when it serves the potentates. The septuagenarian specter of the Clinton Restoration is a huge aphrodisiac for the richest of the rich.

The good news: There is a whole year to go before Election Day.


Pearl said...

Karen: I had just finished my final comment on your Paris column when up came your 'good news bad news' one, following along some of my thoughts. After listening to a conversation on CNN and reading your latest great offering, I will continue some further thoughts along these lines.

When Bernie was criticized for not discussing foreign policy issues after such a massacre in Paris, I thought to myself, he is too smart to avoid giving us his analysis but didn't because I truly believe it would have involved getting the Hell out of Iraq, Afghanistan, not sending 'help' and the likes into Syria, etc.and would have given Hillary at that hysterical moment the ability to clobber him personally and finally with shades of unpatriotism, wimpishness, etc. He therefore attacked her where it revealed her true supporters and political history along with help from Martin O'Malley. It was a good judgement call and has opened up the possibility for more of the same in future.

I certainly hope it is awakening more interest in the truth about terrorism and how it is developed.It is now up to Hillary to tread carefully in which direction she would go and how it will resound with the citizenry - even the 60% women who support her. Also my comment about the beginning of a political revolution in the universities is an important part of how America will lean in future.

Your mention of Bernie trying to show the connection between global warming and its effects on people's actions which was drowned out might have made some interesting points and was not a silly remark at this time of hysteria. Hope he brings it up again. He has lots of ammunition to use and hope he does it wisely.

I think Bernie and Martin's strong attacks against Hillary may bear some edible fruit and encourage more out of the box thinking among the electorate. The next debate should be even more provocative. Another great column Karen, connecting the dots.

Meredith NYC said...

Karen..... thanks for your great sum up. Should be in the Times.

Guess HC didn’t have much time after the Paris tragedy to plan her response properly. Wall St and 9/11. Much criticized.

Re Krugman’s column.... I guess his headline ‘Fearing Fear Itself’ is supposed to remind us of FDR.

Here’s my comment--

Obama might have called climate change the greatest fate we face. But the more relevant quote right now should be from Bernie Sanders. At the Democratic debate the other night, he related it to the terrorist threat, due to the instability, lack of resources, and migration of peoples that climate change will cause.

At the debate, Dickerson asked Sanders if after the Paris attacks--- does he still believe climate change is the greatest threat to national security?

“Absolutely. In fact, climate change is directly related to the growth of terrorism. And if we do not get our act together and listen to what the scientists say you're gonna see countries all over the world-- this is what the C.I.A. says, they're gonna be struggling over limited amounts of water, limited amounts of land to grow their crops. And you're gonna see all kinds of international conflict.”

I’m puzzled why Paul Krugman couldn’t at least mention that and give Sanders just a bit of the attention he deserves for his intelligent and realistic proposals on that and on other issues, where I’d think they’d agree.

Our next president mentioned Krugman to the nation in the debate.
I commented to his blog:

Congratulations on Hillary using your name on national TV to buttress her point in the debate.

So good luck in your new job in Pres Hillary’s cabinet. Can we hope for Change? You could influence her to reduce the dominance of Wall St in our politics and economy. Or is that unrealistic? A sort of financial terrorism has been plaguing the land, rendering the majority quite powerless.

You could try to influence President Hillary to reverse her husband's repeal of financial regulations--laws that protected the country from crashes from 1930s to 1999, during which our middle class expanded greatly, as an example to the world.

Hope you do decide after all that Glass Steagall is worth reinstating. Even if it isn’t the whole solution it’s a big part. Reinstating it will send an important signal, like its repeal sent one--but the opposite message to our financial elites.

Meanwhile it’s a good column topic, pro/con, with readers weighing in. Let's get it into the discussion and force it on the candidates in the next debate. That’s how democracy is supposed to operate—clash of ideas.

Patricia M. said...

No doubt, when considering the following, there's yet-to-come news, too:

- Increased terrorism, especially our unique and most devastating brand.
- Consideration by France to amend its constitution and its "call to arms"
- CIA Director John Brennan's denouncement of “hand-wringing” over government spying, and the difficulties to intelligence gathering caused by "leaks."
- Greater police/military presence all over the world.
- Ever-increasing global capitalist imperialism, pitting the world-wide 99% of us against each other.

Maybe there's more to all this than meets the eye . . . . a greater - darker side.

And maybe a hint of this can be seen in the photo of President Obama and King Salman of Saudi Arabia taken at the G-20 Summit on 11/15/15.

I would liked to have simply sent the photo but couldn't . . . .

A picture is worth a thousand words.

richard said...

I don't like calling women whorees simlply because they are women

Karen Garcia said...


I had missed that comment so thanks for the heads-up. I agree with you that the word should not be used if directed against a specific female, and therefore removed it. I think I've been guilty of using the term "political whores" myself on occasion, but only as directed at a generic class, not at an individual woman. Readers: Call Clinton a liar, a cheat, a fake, whatever, but please refrain from misogynistic epithets. Thank you.