Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Glenn Beck and Elites

Glenn Beck talks about Jimmy Stewart & Bedford Falls, and elites, saying that George Soros represents the elites.  But in fact Fox is the spokesman for the elites, which are big corporations and banks.  George Soros is part of it, but the rich Republican establishment, represented today particularly by the Chamber of Commerce, is an even larger part of it.  Beck doesn't mention them, the Koch brothers, for example.

His participation in the Fox News disinformation campaign to claim that Obama's Indiq trip will cost $200 million per day is also despicable. The claim is based on an incorrect statement by some low ranking Indian local official. It's just the Communist big lie.  

Saturday, November 06, 2010

The Economist on the Elections

The Economist magazine has some good points about the Republican landslide, the best being:
Only four years after the voters sent them packing, handing both chambers of Congress to the Democrats at the 2006 mid-terms, the Republicans are back. Voters then (and again in 2008) decided that Republican policies had blown up the deficit with unaffordable tax cuts, let the banks run wild, dragged America into two costly wars and produced a wretched harvest of stagnant wages, rising job insecurity and soaring health-care costs. Now they seem to have decided that they like Barack Obama and the Democrats even less.
I don't get it. The Republicans created huge deficits, a financial crisis, two worthless but expensive wars, destroyed the middle class, and seriously damaged the our system of medical care by giving the health insurance companies huge profits and greater control over patients. Then, since Obama didn't solve all these problems in two years, America voted the Republicans back in.

Obama's image of the Republicans as the people who drove the car into the ditch, seems perfectly logical to me. Why would America ask them to drive again? But people laughed at that simple comparison.

The first test will probably be the vote to raise the debt ceiling. Will the Republicans shut down the government again as they did under Newt Gingrich? The next will probably be what to do about the Bush tax cuts. The safest thing is probably to extend all the cuts for a year or two, although that is a defeat for the Democrats. Unfortunately, the Republicans are like a crazy man with gun; you can't risk trying to reason with them. It doesn't bother them if thousands of people go hungry, are cold, get poor medical care, but it bothers Democrats.

Friday, November 05, 2010

US Stimulus Goes Overseas

The other morning, Erin Burnett of CNBC said on "Morning Joe" that Bernanke and the Fed had generated about 20% of additional cash, but the economy had grown only about 2%. The implication is that the quantitative easing is not working. So where did the money go?

Businessweek last week said:
Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke has tried everything to feed the U.S. economy the liquidity it needs to revive. In the process, he has conjured up more than $1 trillion of fresh monetary stimulus out of thin air. Inevitably, much of it has ventured overseas in search of yield. The big beneficiaries have been the stock markets of the emerging-market economies.
So while Bernanke is pumping out cash, the main beneficiaries are sending that cash overseas to emerging markets. That is a problem with a concentration of wealth. The very rich, who are the main recipients of the cash, are not investing or spending in America. They are investing overseas. This tends to drive down the dollar, which offends the other countries, whose currencies are driven up, thus making their exports more expensive and harder to sell, etc. It will be an issue at the upcoming G-20 meeting.

If the rich were loyal Americans, like those running corporations for a generation after World War II, Bernanke's largess would stay in the US and benefit Americans, not Chinese, Indians and Brazilians.

Deja Vu

This 1994 Republican Congress redux is hard for me to take.

In 1994 or 1995 I was at the American Embassy in Warsaw, Poland, supposedly running a science cooperation program between Polish and American scientists. The Republicans cut off the funding although the United States had signed an agreement promising to participate for two or three more years. I was accused of being dishonest by the Polish foreign ministry. Polish scientists who lost their government funding because of the overthrow of Communism got no help from the US. Poland is now doing well, but thanks to the EU, not the US. The people who took Reagan's advice to "tear down this wall" got punched in the nose by his hard-hearted, mean-spirited Republican successors.

Then the State Department asked me to go to the embassy in Rome. As my wife and I were about to leave Warsaw, with our car packed, including two dogs, the Republicans shut down the government. Rome called and said, "Don't come." But we had nowhere to live in Warsaw, and it was cold. Eventually got Rome to agree that I could come, but I will never forgive the United States for putting me and my wife out on the street in Warsaw when I was moving because the government had reassigned me. Clearly the Republicans have no idea of what it is like to run a business and meet a payroll.

Then, when I got t9 Rome, where I had been assigned because Italy had just assumed the presidency of the European Union, one of my main jobs was to beg the Europeans for more money to meet the terms of the nuclear agreement that we had signed with North Korea, because the Republican Congress would not appropriate the funds for the agreement. The Republicans apparently decided that the North Koreans were going to violate the terms of the agreement, so the Republicans wanted to violate it first.

Republicans have no honor. Their promise means nothing. To them the word of the United States is garbage. They will sell America's honor for filthy lucre.

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Swift Boaters Still Around

As a Vietnam veteran, the most unpatriotic group I know of is the group that sponsored the Swift boat ads against John Kerry. Whether Kerry was a hero or not, he went to Vietnam, and he should not have been attacked for serving his country.

The people who funded the Swift boat ads are scurrilous cowards who represent the very worst of America. While they had front men who actually served in Vietnam, I think the front men were used by the cowardly millionaires. I doubt the people funding the ad actually served, or if they did, they served in some very safe capacity.

The idea that they are now behind the flood of attack ads for the 2010 election is almost more than I can stand. The worst is that it worked. Now we will have a bunch of mean-spirited morons trying to govern the country, while it is fighting two worthless wars that they started and dealing with an economic and financial crisis that they created through their greed and incompetence. This is clearly not the greatest generation; this is a generation of draft dodgers and people who have no conception of what it means to serve their country and their fellowman. Steven Pearlstein has an excellent article in the Washington Post about what it means to serve in Congress, but I don't think they will pay any attention to it. They are too stupid and selfish, but for sure Big Brother (Fox and American Crossroads) will make sure that their friends get rich at Ameica's expense.