Wednesday, February 4, 2009

I've Been (Extreme) Right So Far...

Last month, in my sagely post entitled "Great firsts in American History" I predicted that the Obama regime was going to be one of, if not the most corrupt presidencies in our country's history. Only a few short weeks into his tenure, let's take a quick look to see how my forecast is doing:

Let's start at the beginning, in fact, even before his presidential term had begun, we found ourselves whipped by the political gusts coming out of the Windy City as Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich was charged with trying to sell Obama's vacated Senate seat. Blagojevich is likely headed to jail in the near term for his actions. Now, even I can't blame Obama for this little criminal fiasco; however, I think it makes a nice backdrop to frame the political environment that Obama comes from. He may not be culpable, but it goes a long way to show us what sort of people he's accustomed to working with.

And so we skip a head a few weeks to the nomination process of Obama's cabinet appointees. I quote columnist Cal Thomas here:
[Tom] Daschle's problems are more than a 'speed bump,' as one of his defenders called it. They constitute a large and growing sinkhole for this administration. Most presidents encounter difficulties with possibly one cabinet nominee or other high-level official, but Obama has had three in less than a month. Daschle could have been confirmed, given the Senate's Democratic majority, but it appears someone showed him the door rather than add to Obama's difficulties in cleaning up Washington.

Three cabinet appointees in less than a month went down in flames.
  • New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson, withdrew when his confirmation appeared headed toward complications because of a grand jury investigation over how state contracts were issued to political donors.
  • Nancy Killefer, nominated to be Chief Performance Officer, withdrew herself from consideration due to tax problems.
  • Former Sen. Tom Daschle, nominated for Secretary of Health & Human Services, withdrew himsef from consideration due to tax problems and conflicts of interest.
  • Timothy Geithner was confirmed as treasury secretary, but only after days of controversy over the fact that he had only belatedly paid $34,000 in income taxes.

This little snippet I found in a number of news sources made me chuckle:

Obama took no questions Tuesday after announcing his choice of Sen. Judd Gregg to be commerce secretary. He left the White House lectern ignoring a shouted question about why so many of his nominees have tax problems.

Now, while you're there bringing up whatever cases you may remember akin to these that occurred during the Bush administration, let me remind you that Obama has only been in office a mere three weeks. And while the Democrats rightly decried any hint of corruption in Bush's administration, they've described the lying and cheating that Tom Daschle was involved in as "sad and unfortunate."

Sad. Very sad.



cemeteryconsort said...

I agree. While I would say that if you are going to compare who Obama hangs out with, politically, I would say that anyone who hangs out with CONGRESS is hanging out with the worst group of thieves, scoundrels, pedophiles, whore mongers and liars that the nation has ever put together. But that's just an oversimplification. I think if you took a group of any TV ministers, you could probably come up with the same thing. It must be that 'power corrupts' thing.
I am however incredible disappointing in what has gone on in the Obama administration in just the last few weeks. Did Obama hire the person who vetted Palin to do his vetting? I mean, come on. And to start out with all these high standards for his administration and immediately start shredding them to accommodate the choices he's made? It doesn't bode well, I'm sorry to say.
You know your political entries get far fewer replies than you fantasy entries. Does that tell you something. (I'm your #1 fan by the way!)

Gleno said...

You truly are!

I wish more people would read just so we'd have a wider ranging conversation on whatever the topic is.

More and more, I feel like I need to run for office. The problem is that I feel like I'm reaching for the proverbial bucket of warm piss*. Why do I want to do this to myself? Besides, as bad as an election likely is, I can only imagine being a Congressman as being that much worse.


AsterixChaos said...

IMHO, with the econ... no...
IMHO, with the administr... no, not that...
IMHO, with the peak o... not that, either....

IMHO, with everything that's going on right now, reaching into politics wouldn't do much good right now. With things coming down in shambles around our ears, it seems that simply waiting for the bottom to fall out, then being a survivor with a good head on your shoulders will be more than enough to thrust oneself not merely into politics--but into community leadership. That's where the real needs and the real rewards are.

I think, given the climate right now, that Heinlein is correct: "Waiting is." In times like these, actively choosing not to act IS an action, and that action is one of preparedness and initiative at the correct moment. Bide your time, Sir. Soon, you'll have more politics than you can image.

And, for the record, I would totally vote for you. =Þ

Gleno said...

I appreciate the "vote" of confidence, sir.

Personally, I don't want to wait until we're salvaging what we can after a disaster, I'd like to think there is still hope of fixing this.

Frankly, I think no matter what happens, we're going to find ourselves artificially propped up by other states around the world because the economics of the world are such that everyone has become interdependent upon everyone else.

As much as we are despised, we're also heavily involved in the economies of other countries. Those states either are owed money by the US, receive money from the US, or export goods to the US. If we go down, a whole lot of other states will go down with us.

So, given the fact the the US isn't going anywhere any time soon, I think it behooves us to seize power and put our country back on the right road. It's going to be very painful for everyone if we don't.

AsterixChaos said...

That's part of my big worries, and part of why I've gone into "smoke 'em if y'got'em" mode. The countries that would be able to prop us up: France, England, Iceland, Switzerland--are all up to their eyes in their own problems. In Paris, there are riots and more and more people living off of scrounging food from the dumpsters and fields. England is almost constantly days away from a complete collapse. Iceland is bankrupt and no longer that boom economy that others can invest in. Switzerland is hunkering down and looking to weather the storm.

The countries that HAVE been propping us up are already on their knees. China has been neutered economically, and is bleeding jobs at a rate of millions per month... months ago. They're having more and more wide scale riots and their rates of unemployment are accelerating. Japan's current manufacturing and employment figures are all worse than the United States' ever were during the Great Depression. Even Russia, to whom we could (in theory) beg for help has lost so much of what SEEMED to be a comeback this summer due to the tanking of oil prices a couple of months back.

During Ronald Reagan's Barry Goldwater speech, he related a story in which two American gentlemen were having a conversation with a recent refugee from Cuba. After the Cuban related to them how bad life had been under the Communist regime, one of the Americans exclaimed, "How lucky we are to be here!" The Cuban's response was an incredulous look, and words that carry the full weight of what was truth then--and what's so important to recognize right now. He said, "How lucky you are? How lucky I am--I at least had somewhere to run away to"

While things are looking ugly here--this is it. We ARE the last stand. America is still the top dog on this pile, and there's not anything left to prop us up.

For the last century our economy, and subsequently, the world economy, has been built upon debt. We've reached a tipping point where people simply cannot abide even more debt. Entire nations are defaulting on what they owe, and so other countries aren't touching them. This is evident in so many different places. International shipping has tanked--it cost about $200k/day to charter a big tanker ship six months ago. Now it's to $2k/day. The ports on the west coast are full--FULL--of merchandise that's been shipped, but no one is there to receive it. Money simply isn't moving around the globe like it used to.

In order to find the solution and the right course of action, we must evaluate what's gotten us where we were. The world has been living in a bubble economy for decades. Almost everything, all over, has been overvalued for years and years. Even if it IS possible to prop everything up, we're holding things up at artificially high prices, and not valuing things realistically. Without giving the global market the opportunity to revalue itself more in line with reality, we will continue to see this unraveling and painful decoupling of currency from... well... everything. If we could, or even DO find a way to prop things back up, we're simply playing back into the same ponzi scheme and delaying the day when things finally do revalue.

I'm terrified, to the depths of my soul, of facing a post-crash world with the world that we have right now but when I step back and view things on a larger scale, it's what needs to happen. Our world is like the strung out junky grunge guitarist; living beyond their means, but doing so in good faith, because they're going to "make it" soon. Our world culture is one where we embrace infinite growth, but we do so on a planet with finite resources and finite space. We're tapped out, used up. If we keep pushing it, we WILL consume to a point that recovery will become impossible. The wise thing is to scale back while we still have the option of a second chance.

And... I know I've made a handful of somewhat radical claims here--I'll gladly provide reference material on request.

And fianlly:

ousbutau: n The clear recollection of a given sound or set of sounds, as triggered by one's sense of smell.

AsterixChaos said...

To tag on to what I was talking about earlier, take a look at this youtube clip. It helps to bring some measure of scale to what we're facing right now.