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This Is What Democracy Looks Like

Today's Note From a Madman

April 2, 2008


The Economy Stinks

Here we go again. The Administration of Diminished Responsibility is again speaking out of both sides of its mouth. Just as President Bush tells us that the economy - His Economy - is on the rise Federal Reserve Chairman - His Federal Reserve Chairman - Ben Bernake is telling us all that a Recession is possible. Here's just a few ditties which President Bush has said in relation to his economy:

"The U.S. economy is structurally strong,"
-President Bush, to the Economic Club in New York, March 14, 2008

Economic growth is expected to continue in 2008... The inherent resilience of our economy has enabled it to absorb multiple shocks in recent years, but the President does not take this growth for granted,"
-From the Economic Report of the President, February 11, 2008

"President Bush recognized the initial signs of slowdown and acted decisively."
-From WhiteHouse.gov, January 18, 2008

And here's what Bernake had to say today:

"a recession is possible"
"Clearly, the U.S. economy is going through a very difficult period,"
"It now appears likely that gross domestic product (GDP) will not grow much, if at all, over the first half of 2008 and could even contract slightly,"
-Bernake to the US Senate

I think that if you look around, Mr. Bernake, you'd have to say that a recession, if not already here, is just around the corner; and if we aren't careful, a depression, the likes of which we haven't seen since the last American Nero was in office (Herbert Hoover), is possible.

Even those who have supported President Bush's misguided or intentional economic mishandlings have jumped in to look at the glass as now nine-tenths empty instead of one-tenth full:

"The suggestion that the Fed's taken action but nothing else has been done I think is a little bit misleading,"
-Senator John Sununu (Republican-NH)

Of course Sununu, a Bush rubber-stamp for the past few years, is up for re-election this year so telling the truth in a swing state such as New Hampshire becomes more of a necessity than before.

And how does John McCain, possibly the third side of the talking mouth expect to help the economy if he becomes president?

"Cut The Corporate Tax Rate From 35 To 25 Percent"
"Ban New Cell Phone Taxes"
"Ban Internet Taxes"
"provide all individuals with a $2,500 tax credit ($5,000 for families)" for health care

President Bush's budget for 2008 is $2.9 trillion (yes, I said TRILLION!), and that doesn't even include the $100 billion (yes, I said BILLION) or so in discretional spending on President Bush's War in Iraq and the under-funded and undermanned war in Afghanistan. McCain, like his would-be predecessor Bush, would expand his economy by some $700 billion *yes, I said BILLION) each and every year.

So as President Bush touts his economy and John McCain plans to continue in a "Stay the Course" way, we look for the truth and realize that the words "strength" and "decisiveness" are still more code words for the "Yo-Yo" (You're-On-Your-Own) policies which have put us on a Third World course with disaster.

The Fed knows the difference. WE know the difference. How can THEY not?

-Noah Greenberg

In response to, "Closing the Barn Door," Rhian writes:

I am quite sure that if every leader of every nation, assistants, congress, command, yes men, lobbyists, appointed heads of bureaucracies, presidential candidates, imams, corporate CEO's, etc, all died of heart attacks simultaneously, things could only get better.

In response to, "I seriously think something is wrong with any viewer who finds a show about a serial killer ("Dexter") great TV. It matters not if he's taking out the bad guys. He's enjoying it way too much, and that's just not acceptable," Victoria Brownworth responds:

First, my thanks for the fact that you generally enjoy my columns. It makes watching a lot of drek so you don't have to that much easier to take. Second, I suggest trying "Dexter" out. The premise is not so much to make Dexter a sympathetic character as a character who is a product of the society in which he lives. After all, his father was a cop and a good cop--who basically trained Dexter to channel his serial killing into vigilantism because the legal system does not always catch the bad guys. So the good guys are complicitous in the bad stuff, too. Just like in real life.

I don't "approve" of Dexter, but I do think this is a show where the violence is not gratuitous but complex and the viewer is meant to see it as absolutely horrifying and repugnant. We don't cheer Dexter on so much as understand him. Compared with a show like "Criminal Minds" where the victims are almost always young women who are tortured indiscriminately on-screen, "Dexter" presents much more clarification about where violence takes people--to a very dark place.

And I would add that "The Sopranos" did the same thing. And no one complained about Tony Soprano the way they do about Dexter.

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-Noah Greenberg