The DC Folly Trolley – 06/17/12

McConnell meeting with President Barack Obama.

A man sworn to destroy the other’s presidency.


Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell whined the other day about efforts by a number of Democrats to force PAC donors to reveal their identity. As always, he had the president’s remarks in his sights.

McConnell has done more to harm the middle class than anyone since Newt Gingrich. And, like all conservatives, he’s proud of it.

Payola got him where he is and it will keep him there and his message to the American people is they have no right to know where the cash is coming from.

Sadly for Obama and the Democrats, in a time of crisis, raising payola is their greatest challenge.

***

Well, guess what? Some Republicans are starting to brag about the unemployment rate during the Bush regime’s tenure.

That rate, it is true, hovered between five and six per cent and Republicans are beginning to puff out their chests and bluster.   

The figure issued by the BLS, however, has been a rigged number for years, mostly because it doesn’t count everyone whose unemployed. Go figure.

And, as we should all know by now, the Bush years get an “F” in job creation for the dubious distinction of creating the least number of jobs since the Great Depression. And of those created, many were of the minimum wage variety.

The only saving grace for Bush was that employment remained high in the construction and real estate industries – propped up mainly by the housing bubble which burst with horrible consequences during his second term.

Republicans have nothing to cheer about as far as employment is concerned during the Bush years. Except for the bubble, it remained stagnant throughout.

***

Jeb’s got himself in a pickle.  He made a heretical statement about taxes and compromise and he could be banished from the party.  

Not to worry though.  He was never on the short list for the VP nod because he might overshadow Romney and the Republican nominee would never allow that to happen.

File:George W. Bush and family.jpg

The Bush family, hoping 2016 is Jeb’s year.

My guess is that the Bushes are hoping for a Romney defeat. A loss for Mitt would open the door to a Jeb nomination and run in 2016.

The younger Bush is already pushing a more moderate GOP agenda, what you might call “compassionate conservatism”. Woe betide the country, for sure.

***

We have to add Bill Clinton – a president I voted for twice – to the long list of culprits who played a large role in the economic demise of so many Americans. His signature on deregulation legislation led directly to the current depression.

***

The chart below compares overhead costs for the largest health insurers.

Health Insurance Company Overhead Costs
Aetna 22.1%
Humana 18.3%
Wellpoint 17.9%
United Healthcare 18.6%
Cigna 22.7%
Medicare 1.3%

Physicians for a National Health Program www.pnhp.org

Looks like a no-brainer to me. The best company for your investment dollars is Wellpoint.

Medicare of course is a non-profit, government managed program that’s been screwing up the marketplace with unparalleled efficiency for over forty years now. How did we ever allow that to happen. Guess we’ll never learn.

The faster we get that program converted to a profit voucher system the sooner we end all the fuss about affordable healthcare. And it will be converted – to the benefit of Wall Street of course – regardless of who the next president is.

***

Bev Perdue, the Democratic governor of North Carolina, has battled a Republican legislature for her entire term in office. The GOP has overridden several of her vetoes. Of course, the Republicans needed the help of five backstabbing Democrats to do so.

English: Official photo of Governor Beverly Pe...

Bev Perdue, a much maligned lady in a state turning sharply to the right.

Perdue’s record would have been commendable had she had the support of a Democratic legislature.

The blame for any mismanagement of affairs rests with this assemblage of right wing politicians. It is this body that rules NC.

***

The vagina challenged, Republican controlled Virginia legislature showing “concern” for women’s safety reaches a level of hypocrisy not realized by the GOP since, well, since last week when Mitt Romney tiptoed around an element of the immigration controversy by saying the “status of young people who come here through no fault of their own is an important matter” and we need to figure out a way to help these kids.

Actually, the Vagina legislature’s attempt to force abortion clinics to place drinking fountains in waiting rooms isn’t such a bad idea. I’ve been in waiting rooms where you could die of thirst waiting.

There, ya see ladies, the GOP is looking out for your safety after all.

***

Mitt Romney, the expositor of the “self-deport” proposal, needs to figure out a way to keep his foot out of his mouth and figure out a position on immigration.

Well, go figure, Mitt. You’re running for president fer chrissakes.

On the other hand, maybe he should keep putting his foot in his mouth. It’s becoming his modus operandi, that is, making contravening statements simultaneously. People come to expect it. Soon nobody cares anymore.

Congressman Poe and Governor Mitt Romney

Mighty Mitt strikes again.  Where will the next blow fall?  Not even the Mittster knows the answer to that question.

His methods may well become the new way to win elective office in America. Say something, flip flop with impunity and you’re on the record as supporting both sides of the same issue.

Mighty Mitt, of course, is reluctant to discuss the immigration issue. If he supports a lenient policy, he loses a lot of white votes. If he favors deportation the Latino vote becomes hopelessly lost.

***

A former Obama law school professor declared that he no longer supports the president and the chief executive must be defeated in November.

The professor has a point when he expresses dismay at Obama’s record in office and makes a cogent argument for the president’s defeat. One in particular stands out: Obama’s empty appeal to tax justice. I would add empty headed appeal since fewer and fewer of his supporters believe or trust the words the president mouths. His rhetoric is as empty as his appeals and his so-called attempt to triangulate yet another issue has fooled no one.

So if Obama goes down in November, so be it. Despite a long record of small accomplishments, the president has not earned a second term.

Sure, Romney will be worse. But can anyone say with certainty that another four years for Obama will be better than the failure of the first four. Can the country afford a second meek performance? Would reelection simply reinforce the president’s determination to continue on his ill-fated course?

A liberal and loyal Democrat (those who still revere FDR’s New Deal) cannot in good conscience vote for the likes of Romney. The man is as unscrupulous and unprincipled a politician to receive a party’s nomination since, well, since George W. Bush. But a similar case can be made against Obama. (See The Mendacity of Hope by Roger D. Hodge for a brutally honest evaluation of the policies of the Obama administration).

The real question is how did a great nation come to such a disastrous fork in the road? The words quandary and dilemma come to mind. Is a puzzlement.

File:Yul Brynner and Gertrude Lawrence in stage musical The King and I.jpg

Yul Brynner and Gertrude Lawrence in a photo from the Broadway play The King and I. In the play and later the movie, the king expressed his dismay and confusion about the politics of the time in the solo Is A Puzzlement.

***

No doubt the Republicans have done everything in their power to sabotage Obama’s presidency, including prolonging the suffering of those Americans most impacted by the Great Recession.

My complaint about Obama is that he did not go to bat for the people who gave him their wholehearted support. He abandoned millions when they needed him most and left them to their own devices.

If he had put up a fight and lost, I could give him credit for willingness to do battle with an intransigent GOP and lend him my support him. But his effort has been lukewarm at best and now so is my support his reelection.

For the first time in my voting life, I’m seriously considering leaving the presidential field on the ballot blank.

Recall Rahm Emanuel’s snide remark about liberals, to wit “where else can they go”. The answer of course is “nowhere at all”. If you cannot agree with the policies of a candidate and are repelled by some of his views, it makes no sense to vote for him.

Now when I’m stabbed in the back, it will be through no fault of my own. “Fool me once….”

***

It looks like Obama is hanging on to Simpson/Bowles for dear life. I guess the campaign cash flows through that nefarious plan.

In a nutshell, Simpson/Bowles advocates sharp cuts in social safety net programs and tax reform which reads increases for the middle class and cuts for the wealthy. The increases remain unspecified but the mortgage interest deduction appears to be on the chopping block.

Wall Street Patsy (also Secretary of the Treasury) Tim Geithner stated that the president is still considering an austerity plan along the lines of Simpson/Bowles.

***

It appears as though the White House strong armed Nancy Pelosi into supporting Simpson/Bowles by threatening to have the former Speaker removed from her leadership position. That would leave Obama water boy and right wing Democrat Steny Hoyer in line for the Speakership should the Dems win the House in November.

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2 Comments to “The DC Folly Trolley – 06/17/12”

  1. Another week of depressing political and economic news neatly summed up. Sigh… One day I may have to swear off the news altogether.

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