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This Is What Democracy Looks Like

Today's Note From a Madman

January 28, 2008


One More "Surge"

As I sit down to watch and listen to President Bush's final (thank God!) State of the Union address tonight, I am being informed (more like warned) that his speech will focus on the economy and it's "improvement". As I think about how the President is going to spin the economy tonight, I'm struck with the realization of the similarities between the different issues and events in which Bush has preformed during his tenure in Washington.

There can be no doubt that we are going to be "Surged" tonight. Much in the same way our political lexicon has changed over the past seven years with terms such as "Swiftboating", this new term, "Surge" comes to mind. Mr. Bush will tell us that his tax rebate will be the stimulus package which will bring our already "Surging" economy out of the doldrums that has kept many of our boats from rising with the tide which has lifted the boats of his "base" of "haves and have mores".

And although President Bush wouldn't dare use that same word "surge" to describe the shot in the arm which should have come to the aid of the middle class some seven years ago, he would certainly love to use it tonight. After all, this president has absolutely no problem telling us all how well his Iraq "Surge" is working, even in the face of the facts, which include his own estimation that US troops could stay there for fifty years; Senator McCain's belief that if our troops were to stay there for "one hundred years", he would be "just fine with him"; that each and every day at least one American soldier loses his, or her, life there (weekends included); and that by the middle of this month, we had already lost more soldiers than we did in the whole month of December, 2007.

This new economic "Surge", a.k.a. the economic stimulus package, will certainly put more dollars into the economy. Of course, those dollars are put into the US treasury by the same people who are targeted by this package, but it's still a good, albeit, small thing. Many of us will use this money to fix our homes, or as a down payment on a new or used car, or in some other similar manner. But many of us, perhaps most of us, will use this money to pay down our credit card debt. After all, this economy - the Bush economy - has made the dollar as weak as its been in quite some time, while destroying the middle class, and has cost the American people billions in late fees, bank fees and outrageous credit card interests (upwards of forty percent!). Hopefully the American people are smart enough to spend their tax rebates to fix their own issues before fixing the Bush mess, a.k.a. the Bush Economy.

And here's the kicker: even as we pay own our personal debt, guess who's going to reap the benefits? None other than our new collective boss, China. Check out this Washington Post headline:

"Weak Dollar Fuels China's Buying Spree Of U.S. Firms"
-Ariana Eunjung Cha writing in the Washington Post

As our home grown, or European allied-owned bank corporations attempt to dig themselves out of their sub-prime lender hole known as the US housing bust, China (among other foreign nations who now own our economy) is coming to the rescue. And they're doing so with our very own US dollars which have gone halfway around the globe because former US manufacturers wanted to save a dollar at the expense of the American people. And the Bushies have been complicit in these tactics by allowing this "free trade" to go unperturbed by the encumbrances of real duties on the goods coming in, or forcing those corporations to pay their fair share of taxes where they are making their fortunes - right here in the USA.

"The U.S. dollar is getting weaker and weaker, and many medium to small U.S. companies are in economic crisis. So they need investments from China. It is very good timing,"
-Yu Dan, a representative for the state of Pennsylvania in China

That's right - we're looking for China to bring some of our American dollars back to the US, by selling them pieces of us. Weren't they the bad guys not too long ago?

And it doesn't stop in China. Those already making huge profits on the backs of Americans in the middle east are buying up our financial institutions as well.

"Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal is once again coming to Citigroup's rescue. Canada's Toronto-Dominion Bank is buying an $8.5 billion share of Commerce Bancorp. Singapore's state-run Temasek Holdings purchased a stake in Merrill Lynch valued between $4.4 billion and $5 billion. And the sovereign wealth fund that invests the Chinese government's hard currency is injecting $5 billion into Morgan Stanley, while Citic Securities, a private Chinese firm, is investing $1 billion in Bear Stearns."
-The Washington Post article

And all we need is a "Surge", right President Bush?

Somewhere, somehow, if President Bush and the NeoCons who are running our nation into the Third Word are ever to admit the failings of their government (which they took over in good standing) and have since brought down, one would have to believe that they would spin the takeover of our economy by those who might be our enemies as a "good thing". And it isn't.

We have seen Bush's "Surges" previously, and although they haven't been called such, they have been presented as such by the use of other terms. "Economic stimulus package" is just the newest term. When Bush had a net job loss after his first four years in office, the job picture had nowhere to go but up. Then he told us all that the economy is creating jobs and the economy is strong. It was his "jobs' surge". When gas prices skyrockets to over three dollars per gallon, then drops a nickel for a day or two, the Bushies tell us things like gas prices are stabilizing. Call it their "Gas Surge". The worse things get, the better the Bushies appear to like it. After all, it makes it that much easier to take credit for the "Surge of the moment".

And tonight's state of the union is going to be just another insult to us, the US middle class.

-Noah Greenberg

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-Noah Greenberg