December 2005


The Man will continue to consolidate his hold on the American regular person.

Media Man will keep on parroting Corporate, Political, and Military Man’s “facts,” dutifully reporting “both sides” of a given issue, even if one is demonstrably absurd.

Abramoff will only bring down 2 or 3 Congresspeople in about 2009, and Rove will walk like OJ.  Religious faithful everywhere will forget that Karl will get his in The End, just like they do with people who are gay or get abortions.

The fact that the top advisors to the POTUS and the VP are in serious legal trouble, and have been historically housed inside their respective bosses asses for decades, will escape Average Joe’s attention, because Joe is still too busy trying to figure out how to scratch by a living and take care of the family in the face of the overwhelming complexity that The Man has brought to Joe’s life.  Even Joe’s electricity bill will remain indecipherable to Joe, except for how much Joe owes.

Joe, knowing that he doesn’t make many international calls or e-mails, will shrug at the POTUS’ potential law breaking and actualized grab at Executive Power, and the issue will die on the vine.  The GOP spin machine will chew up the legal complexity, and spit it back at Joe by telling him he’s a traitor and pussy for questioning The Man.  Media Man will dutifully keep score on the “game” that is Big Money and Big Influence, of which Media Man is a big power, continue to allow the Party of Kings their day in the sun, and continue to anesthetize Joe with “he said, she said” reporting, even if he or she is caught in bed on video with someone they shouldn’t be of minor age, plying crack to the youngster. 

The tax code and the accounting rules will continue to be so complex it takes half-decades to put the serious, money-is-no-object-in-general-but-especially-in-terms-of-my-defense-fund victims of “politics” like Ken Lay and Tom Delay in jail, further alienating Joe, who knows it wouldn’t be quite so “complicated” if Joe was bilking millions of dollars from people.

Because of the gerrymandering the Dems so gleefully participated in during their 40 years of power, they will fail to win back either the House or Senate.  Bush’s power will remain uncontrolled for the duration of his Adminstration.  Abuses will mount, but Joe will remain unperturbed, since “politics” is a sport presented by Media Man that doesn’t interest Joe so much, at least not when compared to Survivor or football.

The Democrats will continue to flounder for a voice.  They’re The Man, too, though temporarily, they’re sure, out of power.  There will be no hue and cry from the Dem leadership as a unified voice, because they like that money and those perks, too.  Just not as much, they’ll tacitly argue.  Joe will laugh at them.

Hillary Clinton, because of her spectacular advantage in the mother’s milk of politics, money, will solidify her position as the presumptive nominee of the Democratic Party in ’08, and she’ll lose if she gets the nod.  People that Kerry merely bored will actively spew anti-Hillary.  Even if she wins, she’ll start out in such a polarization hole that nothing substantive would change under her watch. 

The rich will continue to get richer, and the poor will contiue to get fucked, only with a slightly larger and more painful marital aid.  This is capitalism, after all. 

Iraq will get rid of enough American troops in time for the Congressional elections to start their own turf battles.  Good news here; it won’t turn in to full-blown civil war until we’re substantially out, well past our own election.  Repubilcan Man and Murcoch Man will successfully, or just successfully enough, keep the game at about 55-45.  Too close to call.  Makes for good TV when the game is close.  They know with the gerrymandering that’s good enough. 

The “experts” will say there are maybe 20-25 House seats in play, out of 435, in perhaps as polarized an electorate as modern times have given us.  Since Media Man and Political Man and Corporate and Military Man certainly aren’t going to declare this worrisome, Joe will fail to connect the dots.  Joe is being told what to do at microscopic levels of Joe’s life, is powerless in the face of the Ruling Class, and Joe knows it, and Joe has to remember to bother to vote in midterms, and often doesn’t.  Just like The Man wants it.  The Man is, after all, taking care of Joe.  Those tax cuts to Joe’s boss’s boss’s boss’s boss will trickle down any time now, and Joe’s chances of being killed by a terrorist have sunk from one in a million to one in ten million.

Corporate Man will lay off 10’s of thousands, in the face of “increased foreigh and domestic competition.”

The stock market will be stagnant again, but The Man will continue to thrive financially, since The Man knows how to play the “rules” in a stagnant market, and also has the resources to pay for those who help with said rules.  If The Man experiences serious trouble, like say, Judy Miller, it equates to a “retirement” package worth enough to keep a dozen average Joe’s secure financially for lifetimes.

America will be more disrespected and hated than we have been for 240 years.  America, not being an avid history buff, will fail to notice that one thing that all Empires Who Blew It have in common is the disrespect and hate of huge swaths of the world they once controlled.  Modern historians will start to write about how the re-election of George W. Bush marked the beginning of the end of American pre-eminence. 

It will be quite clear to those informed that the following list is factually difficult to debate, but Media Man will not frame the debate in these terms.  From a bunch of Presidential historians:

  • He has taken the country into an unwinnable war and alienated friend and foe alike in the process;
  • He is bankrupting the country with a combination of aggressive military spending and reduced taxation of the rich;
  • He has deliberately and dangerously attacked separation of church and state; He has repeatedly “misled,” to use a kind word, the American people on affairs domestic and foreign;
  • He has proved to be incompetent in affairs domestic (New Orleans) and foreign (Iraq  and the battle against al-Qaida);
  • He has sacrificed American employment (including the toleration of pension and benefit elimination) to increase overall productivity;
  • He is ignorantly hostile to science and technological progress;
  • He has tolerated or ignored one of the republic’s oldest problems, corporate cheating in supplying the military in wartime.
  • And, finally, I will be happy for my “distinguished” age, more so than ever before.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

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    …for his top people.

    “Bush grants pardons less than predecessors.”

    …especially if you’re the guy under the microscope.  This does not appear to be a good case for killing someone, and I’m pro-death penalty, provided I get to make all the decisions.

    …in the 2006 elections.  These guys are so much on the take it is embarrassing.  But will they pay?  Maybe half, I predict.  I have to admit Abramoff deserves credit for hedging his bets about 2-1.  The Democrats built the “pay for play” system, but the Republicans really mastered it.

    Abramoff in chart form.  Easy to follow; horrifying to understand.  Word on the street is that as many as 20 Congresspeople will suffer; I say five at most on the OJ principle of good attorneys equal lots of innocent verdicts.

    Her “presumptive nominee” status, largely built on cash, could keep the Dems in the dark for another 4 years, at least in terms of the WH.

    Hillary is another divider, her late and awkward lurch to the middle notwithstanding.  Everyone sees it…her problem is that nothing she does seems authentic.  This will not sell in post 9-11 America. 

    The people who couldn’t vote for Kerry because he was so boring and dispassionate will not vote for Hillary for more emotional reasons.  Mostly, they actually actively hate her.

    We will be running on 16 straight years of a POTUS half the country deeply despises, and that is good for nobody, should Hillary get the nod and actually win.  (Personally, I think the only way she can win is total GOP meltdown in the form of a goofily-right nominee of their own, which is possible but not likely.)

    We may have already reached the point of partisan no return; if Hillary gets elected POTUS, there will be no denying it.

    She is a bad candidate because of Bill.  Too much, “more of the same.”  Two Bush’s and two Clinton’s within 4 elections?  That’s just plain weird.

    She doesn’t stand much of a chance in the South, though I have no doubt she’ll be photo’d shooting geese before too long.

    She is a bad candidate for more global reasons, too.  There are serious issues at hand, lots of them, domestic and foreign, and people who perceive an inauthentic and/or calculated approach to these matters will lose X% of the vote relative to a candidate who will stake out an issue and live or die on their opinion on it.  People want decisiveness, and I know Hillary has it, but too many red-staters do not.  Hillary is nothing if not calculated.  This is not a perjorative observation.  Life is too complicated to exclude calculated from decisiveness as if they cannot exist in tandem.

    She is smart, qualified, experienced, and well-funded.  She’s just the wrong candidate for the times.

     

     

     

    I have survived and thrived in Corporate America for the past 22 years. 

    Trust me, if you knew me well enough, you would understand what an accomplishment this is.

    Contrary to many people’s beliefs, C.A. is STOCKED, absolutely BRIMMING with decent-to-better individual human beings.  But the overall ethic is only partly (and definitely encouraged appropriately) concerned for the plight of the Multiplying HaveNots.  My corporation is involved actively in a number of terrific causes, and should be commended for it, but as always one must consider the larger picture.

    There’s something disquieting about it all.  It is by definition designed to be a good profit concept, marketed smoothly on TV (We’re the “XXX,” a marketing genius catchphrase most of you are familiar with), from whom The Gospel Comes.  It is not purely selfless, which is where true Godliness is born.

    Nobody is to blame.  We live in an openly capitalistic culture, and everyone understands that Best Commercial Wins. 

    But sales numbers have been morally equated with politics now, and TV, too, and sports, which is to say the overarching cultural question becomes, “Who’s winning?”  That is the measure by which Truth is evaluated.  That is how the news is delivered these days.  Facts?  Well, that just depends on who you talk to.

    This is not healthy democracy, and that’s why you need to check in with your Reps once in a while.

    Anyway, C.A. has you by the nuts, because they have the money to buy influence.  This is not necessarily bad, again.  Most people are generally decently motivated, and I know at least in my company people try to do the right things.  There is also no denying that this effort does not always succeed.  Still, I swear, we try.  Enough?  Not up for me to decide…

    The problem lies in what Eisenhower, crazed liberal D-Day commander Republican once termed, the “military-industrial” complex.  Some of you may find this oddly familiar, if you give enought of a shit.

    “Throughout America’s adventure in free government, our basic purposes have been to keep the peace; to foster progress in human achievement, and to enhance liberty, dignity and integrity among people and among nations. To strive for less would be unworthy of a free and religious people. Any failure traceable to arrogance, or our lack of comprehension or readiness to sacrifice would inflict upon us grievous hurt both at home and abroad.

    Progress toward these noble goals is persistently threatened by the conflict now engulfing the world. It commands our whole attention, absorbs our very beings. We face a hostile ideology — global in scope, atheistic in character, ruthless in purpose, and insidious in method. Unhappily the danger is poses promises to be of indefinite duration. To meet it successfully, there is called for, not so much the emotional and transitory sacrifices of crisis, but rather those which enable us to carry forward steadily, surely, and without complaint the burdens of a prolonged and complex struggle — with liberty the stake. Only thus shall we remain, despite every provocation, on our charted course toward permanent peace and human betterment.

    Crises there will continue to be. In meeting them, whether foreign or domestic, great or small, there is a recurring temptation to feel that some spectacular and costly action could become the miraculous solution to all current difficulties. A huge increase in newer elements of our defense; development of unrealistic programs to cure every ill in agriculture; a dramatic expansion in basic and applied research — these and many other possibilities, each possibly promising in itself, may be suggested as the only way to the road we wish to travel.

    But each proposal must be weighed in the light of a broader consideration: the need to maintain balance in and among national programs — balance between the private and the public economy, balance between cost and hoped for advantage — balance between the clearly necessary and the comfortably desirable; balance between our essential requirements as a nation and the duties imposed by the nation upon the individual; balance between actions of the moment and the national welfare of the future. Good judgment seeks balance and progress; lack of it eventually finds imbalance and frustration.

    The record of many decades stands as proof that our people and their government have, in the main, understood these truths and have responded to them well, in the face of stress and threat. But threats, new in kind or degree, constantly arise. I mention two only.

    IV.

    A vital element in keeping the peace is our military establishment. Our arms must be mighty, ready for instant action, so that no potential aggressor may be tempted to risk his own destruction.

    Our military organization today bears little relation to that known by any of my predecessors in peacetime, or indeed by the fighting men of World War II or Korea.

    Until the latest of our world conflicts, the United States had no armaments industry. American makers of plowshares could, with time and as required, make swords as well. But now we can no longer risk emergency improvisation of national defense; we have been compelled to create a permanent armaments industry of vast proportions. Added to this, three and a half million men and women are directly engaged in the defense establishment. We annually spend on military security more than the net income of all United States corporations.

    This conjunction of an immense military establishment and a large arms industry is new in the American experience. The total influence — economic, political, even spiritual — is felt in every city, every State house, every office of the Federal government. We recognize the imperative need for this development. Yet we must not fail to comprehend its grave implications. Our toil, resources and livelihood are all involved; so is the very structure of our society.

    In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the militaryindustrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.

    We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted. Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together.”

    *snip*  You can get it in its entirety, here.

    Ike lived before the information age, so had no way to say, “corporo-info-military-industrial” complex, but they’re here, and they are out of control.  I have publishable (I think) examples of Man Run Amok, and they’re all Corporate.

    But lots of good people work there, I’m not kidding.

     

     

    so why aren’t we arresting them?  Could it be because these folks’ big crime is a political disagreement or two?

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