Tuesday, January 27, 2009

A Letter to America

Dear America,

We felt it was about time that we told you exactly what we think of you. We believe you are just too stupid to be trusted. We tried to tell you who to vote for in 2004, but did you listen? No. Instead you re-elected George W. Bush, who is worse than Hitler and Rush Limbaugh combined. We tried our very best to show you how your troops could never win in Iraq. We tried to warn you that if George W. Bush was re-elected your body would no longer be your own. We tried to make clear to you that if you re-elected George Bush then there would be a war with Iran, a draft, and further eroding of your civil rights. We did all this in the hopes that we could educate you about the danger George W. Bush posed. We tried our best to tell you how stupid, ignorant, and uncultured he was, but you were too busy worrying about “issues” to listen.

Following Bush/Hitlers re-election, we decided that you could no longer be trusted to pick the next president. We decided it was time for more qualified people to decide who should be the next president. It was clear that in order for this to be a success we could no longer rely on our standard level of influence in order to make sure that our pick won. We decided to abandon the few remaining vestiges of objectivity we clung to like so many fig leaves. We weren't about to rely on Hope for the Change we wanted.

Some of the more bold reporting we made could be seen on MSNBC and NBC where our foot soldiers for change slowly built the hype around our pick until his persona became that of hybrid rock star who could captivate crowds with nothing more than warm words like Hope and Change. All he had to do was stick to the script and we would do the rest. With our help there would be no question that this storybook tale would have a happy ending. With support that stretched from Chris Mathews to Oprah and the New York Times to Newsweek, it was clear that we were leaving nothing to chance. Unfortunately we were forced to cannibalize one of our own, in order to make our dream a reality.

The way in which we consistently undercut Hillary's campaign as “negative,” while concealing the early negativity of the Obama campaign, was especially effective. We tried to make clear to her that the decision had already been made, but some lessons have to be learned the hard way. If our treatment of one of our own was any clue, the Republicans should have been aware of what they could expect. We weren't about to subject one of our own to the “Republican treatment” and then spare their nominee. They thought that by picking a moderate we would be less inclined to play favorites. They were wrong.

With our guiding hands we were able to lead you down the path of change. Finally we will be able to point to our president and tell ourselves how progressive and enlightened we are, while we continue to see diversity through the prism of race rather than ideas. We will have dinner with our European friends and seek their favor by pointing out our efforts to make sure our nation made the correct “choice.” Alas, our mission is not complete.

Having our golden child elected was just the first step. The risk of failure is too great for us to stop now. We have moved on to the next phase. If our golden child were to fail, it would be on our hands. He was our pick after all. His failure would be our failure. Luckily we have the power to make sure that never happens. Regardless of the decisions he makes, he will remain the bright shining hope for a better tomorrow. The praise for success will be his, while the scorn for failure will be placed squarely upon the shoulders of George W. Bush.

A new day has dawned in America. We are now in the drivers seat. And deep down, we think you like it this way. As mere shadows of your forefathers, it's easier if you continue to listen to us from now on. Regardless of how things actually turn out, we will make you feel good about your “choice.” And honestly, isn't that what matters most?

The Press

Saturday, January 10, 2009

We're Turning Japanese? Yes, I think so

First of all, the current economic decline is a natural correction resulting from the bursting of the bubble economy in the housing market. Instead of this being a short and severe correction, it will be a long and drawn out one. This is because we did not allow market forces to correct the situation by permitting bad banks to go under and be taken over by solid banks with good lending practices. This is no different that what happened in Japan in the late 1980's and 1990's, except that we have the advantage of crippling every other nation with our bruised economy.

The single greatest action the Federal Government could have take to restore confidence in the system would have been to freeze spending on all government programs, while making strategic cuts to wasteful programs. By reforming the benefit system for social security, establishing a plan to gradually increase the retirement age, reducing the liability burdens on health care providers, and reforming the accounting practices in the Pentagon, the projected Federal deficit would have been significantly reduced. This would have demonstrated to the rest of the world that we were serious about making corrections to our reckless spending and that, in turn, would have restored the confidence of international investors in the American system. They would have then looked to the US as the responsible place to invest their money in these challenging economic times. An increase in capital investment would have resulted. The increase in capital investment would have triggered an increase in jobs and consumer confidence. That would have been the most efficient plan for a quick and responsible recovery.

Sadly the powers that be chose to go a different way and as a result they will all but guarantee a long and painful recession. The best we can hope to do now is to stop flushing money away through pointless bailouts, forget the failed policy of tax credits, and reform social security in order to prevent an even more painful situation in the coming decades. All of this is unlikely with a President Obama, since reforming social security would be the first courageous move ever taken in his life.

The people will likely demand further government action to relieve their pain in these times. The country is best served if this relief comes in the form of infrastructure projects that will benefit our economic future for decades to come. While government spending programs are, in general, a bad idea, the least offensive of these are public works projects. At the very least, all citizens will benefit from improved roads, more efficient communication lines and an updated energy grid, by reducing the costs of the private sector. Infrastructure projects, unlike welfare and other progressive social programs, actually benefit all citizens. The private sector is far more efficient than government bureaucracy and we would all be best served by competitive bidding that wasn't influenced by political considerations (yes, I'm looking at the union bosses). A consolation prize of sorts for America is that Obama's proposed stimulus plan isn't a complete waste.

Obama's plan does have a couple of good public works projects. Sadly, a couple public works projects are the only good things in the entire 700 billion plus proposal. What's worse is that Obama's plan will likely end up being even more of a pork riddled orgy of union handouts, cash to pay off credit cards, and green technology that will do little to help the economy. But, it will satisfy political interests on the left and give the perception that he cares. And really, isn't that all that matters.

The current economic crisis, in all its glory, was not anticipated by many. But, that is no excuse for the ignorance so many in power demonstrated in their subsequent responses. Some talking heads have now come around to the reality that the current crisis we are facing is quite similar to the one Japan faced (I so called it in my blog on that other site before you talking head bastards). Unfortunately, the talking heads have little to no understanding of why that recession dragged on for a decade and they are now recommending many of the actions that kept Japan in the recession. Japan could not, for cultural reasons, make the tough choices to allow some institutions to go under and for unemployment to rise in the short term. We, for political reasons, also seem to be incapable of making the tough choices that need to be made.

The connections of key members of the Bush administration to large financial entities that were involved in the market meltdown are largely to blame for the poor response to the crisis created by the democrats and their friends in the housing and mortgage industries. Until these ties are broken (and they won't be) there will not be the kind of reform that needed to take place months ago. In short, you're in for a long painful recession America. But on the plus side you now have something to discuss with your Japanese friends, besides the fine points of Bukkake.