Obama by a Knockout

George Will said on ABC that last night’s debate was the best he has seen in his lifetime and I agree. He also said Obama won–and I agree. Determined to erase the memory of his poor performance two weeks ago, the President turned the first question of the night (on jobs) into a good right jab to Romney’s chin–”when Governor Romney said we should let Detroit go Bankrupt”–and never let up for the rest of the night.

The coup de grace came in the final exchange. Just like in a great prize fight I could see in slow motion that Romney had left himself open to a knockout when he began his final statement by saying, “I care about 100% of the people.” I said to the people in the room I was watching with ,”here comes the 47%”, and Obama did not disappoint.

I believe Governor Romney is a good man. Loves his family, cares about his faith. But I also believe that when he said behind closed doors that 47 percent of the country considered themselves victims who refuse personal responsibility, think about who he was talking about.

Folks on Social Security who’ve worked all their lives. Veterans who’ve sacrificed for this country. Students who are out there trying to hopefully advance their own dreams, but also this country’s dreams. Soldiers who are overseas fighting for us right now. People who are working hard every day, paying payroll tax, gas taxes, but don’t make enough income.

And I want to fight for them. That’s what I’ve been doing for the last four years. Because if they succeed, I believe the country succeeds.

When my grandfather fought in World War II and he came back and he got a G.I. Bill and that allowed him to go to college, that wasn’t a handout. That was something that advanced the entire country. And I want to make sure that the next generation has those same opportunities. That’s why I’m asking for your vote and that’s why I’m asking for another four years.

That was the closing line of the debate. Romney was on the canvas. The Governor had tried to work the ref all night, but in the end he was outclassed. This was the comparison I had been waiting for. This is still going to be a very tight race, but I’m pretty sure Obama has stopped Romney’s move up. The instant polls all showed Obama winning the night, but Karl Rove and company are about to unleash a tsunami of advertising in the swing states. My guess is that the number of undecideds (who are these people?) is very small, so that November 6 will be all about enthusiasm and turnout. In that game, Obama just fired up his troops.

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41 Responses to Obama by a Knockout

  1. doug newhouse says:

    I would say neither won my vote as each was unwilling to admit that we need to both raise taxes AND cut entitlements– also neither was honest about how we got into the mess we are in nor did they offer logical plans to guide us going forward– each seemed to pander to their base and would not come through with honesty about the mountain we as a nation have to climb– ugh

  2. len says:

    There are dark, clench jawed faces on the Republicans today in MIC-Land. They look like Captain Ahab’s bound for hell and waving at the rest of us to follow.

    Scary.

    Lord, don’t let this be a repeat of Bush-Gore with a too close to call election given to the Supremes to decide. That could be very bad.

  3. Alex Bowles says:

    @len

    Turns out they have every right to be scared. Thanks to the sequestration bill that came out of last year’s debt ceiling fiasco, a victory for Obama will directly to the most serious military cutback since…well, has there ever been a serious military cutback?

    This is uncharted territory.

  4. Alex Bowles says:

    (Edit: Will lead directly to.)

  5. Roman says:

    Mr. A does it AGAIN!

    Although there was no clear winner, the general consensus gave it to Barry by virtue of his ‘strong performance’. Although Mitt didn’t blow it, he also didn’t wow anyone. His most flattering review? He’s an ‘acceptable alternative’ to Mr. Obama because he retained his ‘presidential appearance’.

    It’s important to recall the underlying goal for these reality TV spots, er, I mean, Presidential Debates; engage your base while repressing the other guys. On this score, Obama walked away with it last night. He was engaging, lucid, and upbeat. He replaced his round 1 morbidness with a certain kind of ‘Viagraness’. Yes, Barry definitely found his last night. Mitt? He was his usual self.

    And this is how most pundit’s scored it, long ‘appearances’ and ‘tone’, short policy ‘merits’, and certainly no ‘hard truths’ as Doug notes above. But Joe & Jane didn’t tune in to see Barry’s ‘coolitude’, or to hear the ‘hard truths’, they wanted a little ‘political MMA’ if you will, and to see who still had ‘em. Barry did not disappoint.

    Yes, Mr. A scored again. Dems are fired up (well, luke warm, maybe), while Reps are…befuddled. They want Barry gone in the worst way, but instead of Reagan leading them to the “shining city on the hill”, they’re stuck with Mitt, who’s an ‘acceptable alternative’ because he maintained his ‘presidential appearance’…This can’t be over fast enough.

  6. len says:

    Although there was no clear winner

    Only in an alternative universe humor skit. It’s clear enough. Where I am, the republicans are rather funked today. As the commenter said, “It must suck to be a Republican this morning.” Probably the only more depressed person in America is Lance Armstrong.

    @alex: Not exactly. The money changers are preparing. On the other hand, unless you are working close to the skin head military folk, a minority but bigger than I like, you aren’t seeing the actual and for real scary ones. They are fulminating. I’ve been pointing it out in a humorous vein talking about the orcs. Up close, it isn’t that amusing. Again, imagine a repeat of 2004. We have to make sure that those lines we saw at Chick Fil A are twice as big and then some by a goodly amount. This is going to be about who shows up. Get Out The Vote.

  7. Alex Bowles says:

    This’ll help.

    Right now the opposition’s resort to voter suppression in so many states is not receiving as much attention as it deserves. I believe that all of us, of whatever views, should be opposing these anti-voter, anti-citizen efforts.

    Bruce Springsteen

    He’ll be playing for the campaign in Ohio and Iowa. And I hope he’ll be repeating this message loudly. Because you’re right, len. These guys are too ruthless and have too much to loose for anyone to expect that they’ll bow out gracefully.

  8. Rick Turner says:

    “Entitlements”? You mean those funds into which I’ve been paying for decades? Damned right we’re entitled to that money. Get us the hell out of the Middle East before you start talking about our “entitlements”. I’m entitled to what I’ve paid for, and I’d rather not have the MIC deciding to appropriate those funds. I’ll vote for Obama, but neither he nor Mutt seem ready to call it like it is…the big money suck is war.

  9. len says:

    It’s a classic. Management gives itself bonuses, promotes tweety birds, snakes and squirrels, bungles some very much needed contracts and slides toward failure. They hire a person who is smart, capable and focused to come in and clean up the mess. This isn’t a turnaround; it is management restructuring and an overhaul of marketing and proposals ensuring that goals are pragmatic and can be achieved through prudent risk management. Jumping at every opportunity is stopped. What can’t be demoed isn’t bid. A few years later, the sun is shining again.

    But during that time, bonuses and commissions for marketing were reduced.

    A whisper campaign by the sna,es starts at the golf course and the tweety birds repeat it at the kaffeeklatsch. The squirrels catch wind and begin to hide their nuts. The rabbits push their noses out of their hutches and whiffle. Soon there is a perception of problems where none exist but work is slowed while the gossiping wastes time and initiative. A case is made to the head squirrel with the suggestion that it is time for a change. The rabbits all come out of their hutches, stand on their hind legs and wiggle their tails,

    A good man who has done the job is asked to consider moving on and being a pragmatic man who knows he can’t fight a whisper campaign does move on. A new shiny snake takes his place. He announces that Now Next and AfterNext will restore their fortunes. Bonuses and commissions are restored. The habit of bidding anything for a win without regard to the practical matter of doing the work reemerges. For a few years the company prospers on inflated earnings and the savings managed by the practical man. The squirrels quit hiding their nuts. The tweety birds tweet their rumors of nothing important. oblivious to the he snakes eating their eggs. The rabbits rush to keep the new snake warm at night.

    Then the chickens come home to roost. And the man who could is working at a more succeesful competing farm.

    Our next Boss may be chosen by men who are snakes, children who tweet, college students who can’t find their nuts, and women with the brains of rabbits. The chickens will stay home.

  10. Rick Turner says:

    By the way, I absolutely understand that because of how Social Security was set up in the very beginning, that this generation of worker’s SSI taxes are going to the past generation of now-retirees. At some point we have to get off of that paradigm and simply accept that someone who has paid in for 40 or 45 years has an absolute right to receive benefits to which they are absolutely “entitled”. SSI isn’t welfare, folks. It’s not a free ride. It’s not money for nothing and chicks for free. It’s a retirement plan with medical benefits, and if the dollars don’t work, then fix that by A) cutting fraud and waste, B) slowly raising the age at which one starts to receive benefits paid for, and C) raising the cut-off income cap to $200,000.00 a year. And, perhaps, D) reducing or cutting off SSI benefits (but not MediCare) to folks who, after retirement, continue to earn or receive above $100,000.00 a year.

  11. Alex Bowles says:

    Nice one, len. Wondering if this cycle’s drivers can prompt widespread synchronization of its phases. If so, are we approaching a moment of peak idiocy? I suspect that the number of people who feel their organizations are in good hands is at an all time low, while the number of displaced or discounted practical people is alarmingly high. I imagine this relationship is both a cause and an effect of extraordinary income disparity.

  12. len says:

    Yeah, that’s what I’m afraid of, Alex. The TJMaxx shoppers and the lunatics are marching in lockstep. As I said, it’s a referendum on the intelligence of the American electorate.

    They are looking at their bills and forgetting to blame the oil companies. OTOH, I do wonder if the polls are being skewed by those who have decided who they will vote for but opting out of the process in every other way. IOW, they are sick of the pollsters, sick of the talking heads and sick of the facebook postings. They want this thing to be over.

    But hereabouts in the not necessarily sharpest tool rack, they are saying they want a change. The meme is “we gave him a job and he failed. Let’s try the other guy.” And that is the hardest trick of the next few weeks: overcoming that well-laid lie/perception that Obama has failed. As the story alludes, they made him clean the stables they shat in, and now they will put their man in and claim credit as the economy turns up. They know the Dems will not replicate their obstructionism, memories are short and they avoid their worst nightmare, which is four years of success and then potentially eight more of the Democrats during which their games will pass out of favor. They need to get back in charge of the spending.

    And that will be bad for us. Romney is not a “good man”. He is a vulture capitalist and so are his friends. But whoever wins, it better be convincing and a solid win or things may not just turn to the dark side, they will do so handily.

  13. Alex Bowles says:

    @len

    But whoever wins, it better be convincing and a solid win or things may not just turn to the dark side, they will do so handily.

    The speed and irreversibility with which events will move one way or the other is at the center of the story by Jonathan Chait I linked to above.

    http://nymag.com/news/politics/elections-2012/obama-romney-economic-plans-2012-10/

    I don’t want to say that the stakes are higher than 2008, since goodness only knows how much damage McCain and Palin would have done, especially when their party was concluding that the electorate would stand for anything up to and including the crashing of the entire global economy. That said, the 2008 contest didn’t have the same end-game feeling about it. As Chait notes

    The economic crisis and Obama’s presidency pried open the economic gulf between the two parties, which had been slowly widening since Ronald Reagan, into an unbridgeable chasm. Mitt Romney’s secretly recorded remarks attacked the Democratic view of government responsibility—he practically spit out the words “they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you name it”—with a visceral passion he cannot feign in public. (It’s as if they want living wages for their work! -ed.) Obama’s abhorrence of the moral premises of the Republican budget is equally genuine.

    The war has been waged with escalating bitterness for more than two decades. Bill Clinton set out to restore the possibility of effective and activist government by bringing the deficit down through a mix of spending restraint and a tax hike on the richest Americans. George W. Bush destroyed the Clinton project, and left behind a government bleeding red ink and starved of revenue. Obama completed the welfare state by finally establishing access to health insurance as a basic right of citizenship.

    In essence, the main domestic work of the past three presidents—Clinton, Bush, and Obama—is all on the ballot this November. Whichever party wins will have within its grasp the power to break the back of the other’s political-economic macro-strategy. Obama and Romney may like to say they can work their will through agreement and reconciliation with the other party. But the tools that will be at their disposal are too blunt even to ­acknowledge.

    Helmets on.

  14. rhbee says:

    Watchers and Doers ;;;;;;;;;;;;;. That’s what we are. Ready to Do ers.
    Our watcherness hungry to see more and more Faces
    Traces of doing whatever . . .

    Spectator ville. See the President really point his finger.

    Hear the Challenger’s wish to hurt.

    And in the background where are the cheering bar patrons, beers in hand and the real reaction shots of those in the debate room trying not to react for the cameras.

    Can we get some background images to fill in our spaces, scrawl,
    and some action shots . . . ?

    This lack of honesty in our news may drive us crazy but there is an old saying that goes sometimes you need the burning.

  15. Rick Turner says:

    Obama HAS failed. He’s just not as likely to fail us in the extreme in the next four years as Romney is/would be likely to do. It may just take an extreme rightward swing of the pendulum to make the Kardashian and Snooki-addled WalMart shoppers who vote get it that they are the screwees and Rummy and pals are the screwers. So far there has been enough Lidocaine in the Vaseline that many in the electorate don’t yet feel how they’re being violated. Wait ’til all those folks in their 40s and 50s see what could happen to their still-alive parents… Compassionate conservativism means administering a tranquilizer and an anesthetic before strangling or applying the plastic bag to the head. At least the libs are kind of honest about it only taking one bullet…

  16. Jim / Colo says:

    Well, jet setters into Aspen, he is something to muse on:
    John Paulson, # 5 on the Aspen 50 buys
    Saudi Prince’ Bandars Pitkin County Palace
    for $ 49 mil.
    The Aspen Society writer keenly notes its value was written down to $ 15 million.
    No kidding; google Aspen 50 & billiOnaries.
    Wait, the assessor in Pitkin County went with that.
    What.
    My my .
    Sir John P has had a bad time of late, his reputed
    $ 3 billion in hedge fund losses.
    So, Obama by a knock out.
    The polls show Mitt leading in FL.
    How is your chad counts
    Yeah, don’t forget:
    Dick Cheney noted;
    ” Reagan taught us deficits don’t matter”
    Mitt keeps saying it is immoral for one generation to pass on giant debts to future generations.
    Amazing, you counted Lear jets in Aspen: 80.
    Move the Big Ideas to Jackson Hole, then
    Jim

  17. Rick Turner says:

    Here’s the basic problem: The Dems try to appeal to intellectuals; the Repugs appeal to the lizard brained, emotionally driven paranoids.

    All you have to do to figure out why the Repugs are doing so well is to understand that the American public is really more interested in Kim Kardashian and Snooki than in Tilda Swinton and Helen Mirren.

    This election is not about reason, it’s about fear.

  18. Alex Bowles says:

    At the moment, reason looks like it’s ahead of fear (by a whisper) and gaining slightly.

    http://fivethirtyeight.blogs.nytimes.com/

  19. len says:

    Keep pounding the pavement and social media. The lizard brains aren’t done snapping their whips. The next debate is tough because it has the most fear filled topic.

    Note: home values are up. Gas prices are falling. The Repugs are relying on a burning trash ideas for steam. It’s been working because fear and racism are a degree apart in the brain so one covers for the other. Sing a song of confidence, joy and a future where we are safer, stronger and optimistic. The truth is, that’s not wrong if we stay on the course we’ve been on.

    It won’t be a cheap victory. Even my own family is hunting my head at this point. It will be ugly this Thanksgiving no matter how this goes. It’s 1865 in the Southern states.

  20. Rick Turner says:

    Sometimes I think that “social media” = “social disease”

    Our society needs a massive dose of the moral equivalent of penicillin.

  21. len says:

    Or a full disk scan and a virus vault in safe mode.

    There is a funny skit in there somewhere.

  22. Hugo St. Victor says:

    HI LEN. SORRY TO HAVE BEEN INCOMMUNICADO FOR SO LONG. I’D APPRECIATE ANYONE’S COMMENTS ON THE PREVIOUS STRING, RE “OBAMA’S DEBATE CHALLENGE”. THAT PIECE OF JON’S IS AGAIN RELEVANT, THIS DAY.

  23. len says:

    Hi Hugo: Long time no speak.

    Obama has a tough needle to thread. Romney knows what his business contacts tell him and/or what has been leaked to him. Obama has good intel but a lot of it he shouldn’t use as you know. If Romney takes the tack of challenging Obama’s accomplishments, he risks tearing into the achievements of the operations folk who have done a credible job. If he keeps pounding on benghazi, he may stray into his own ignorance of the role of the state department in covert ops. IOW, Romney can SAY anything but can’t back it up. Obama can back it up but has to be very careful what he says.

    As I’ve said before, Romney is a hobbyist and it shows when the realness of the situation gets real. It is one thing to lie to a bunch of employees about to be sold out. It is another to sell out a country and lie about that.

    It’s hard to tell what matters. It has come down to a few votes and voters. Anyone who hasn’t actually decided at this point is not too capable of deciding anything. The rants about the economy and “secrets” people whisper down here mask a boatload of not well hidden racism and class status insecurity. If Obama can get past that to enough single mothers and other mothers that he does have their backs, he will squeak this one out.

    The danger is a terrified elite who fear their forty plus year game of peddling fear and the city on the hill while robbing the piggy banks and using the courts to cement their hegemonies and oligarchies may be about to fall apart. The door was open long enough for a lot of us to finally understand what they’ve been doing and no matter who wins, we will be looking to change this. In short, “hell no, we ain’t fergettin’”.

  24. len says:

    Sam Walton died in 1992. Maybe he knows something.

  25. Hugo St. Victor says:

    I MEANT: TO CONTINUE COMMENTING FROM MY SO FAR FINAL COMMENT I MADE ON THE PREVIOUS STILL MORE POINTEDLY, MORE INSTANTLY, TONIGHT, RELEVANT THREAD. Also, my two-cent comment explains my return to Jon’s forum and to the company of you thoughtful people…

  26. JTMcPhee says:

    @len
    Home prices are up in Florida, but guess what? Most nobody here can afford them. Onaccounta that graph that gets displayed every so often, showing the Great Divergence starting what, 40 years ago, when the sneaky kleptocratic dudes who have stolen all(most all) the real wealth really ramped up The Taking of Productivity 1-2-3 and outsourcing the rest to “elsewhere.” Median house, 140K. Median wage for family, 43K. And if I read my tea leaves aright, it looks like the popularity of “Flip This House” is seducing the Greedheads among us, and all those one-a-minute suckers, back into blowing bubbles up the asses of the rest of us.

    The “debate” is on, on many MSM channels versus RAW. I kind of think the Redneck Roarin’ Rasslin’ has more substance than the bullshit moves and fake punches that will be traded on the faux-bloodstained canvas of the Big TV WW Ring. And I wonder what Nielsen will tell us about which Great Titanic Struggle will draw a bigger share…

    And here in FL, and there in Ohio, and over in PA and other “Swing States,” the Reds show and don’t tell once again why evil beats good (whatever is left of that — I see Worgon has reared up its horned visage once again, and it’s time for that Libertariany guy to re-insert about now), on organization, drive, dedication, concentration and will to power and money and a lot more practical skill at manipulating the effectual symbols than all these Really Smart Liberal-educated People. And in FL, where there’s a flat majority of registerd Dem voters, the old farts who run the party with little fingers raised from Limoges teacups, protect their little well-off perks and positions, unable to put up any kind of fight for the supposedly “decent side,” while the Good Old Boys, having switched paint jobs, continue to run the place into the sand.

    To be brief, he took the materials, of which he made a compound, mixing them all and boiling them a good while until it seemed to him they had come to perfection. He then asked for some vial to pour it into, and as there was not one in the inn, he decided on putting it into a tin oil-bottle or flask of which the host made him a free gift; and over the flask he repeated more than eighty paternosters and as many more ave-marias, salves, and credos, accompanying each word with a cross by way of benediction, at all which there were present Sancho, the innkeeper, and the cuadrillero; for the carrier was now peacefully engaged in attending to the comfort of his mules.

    This being accomplished, he felt anxious to make trial himself, on the spot, of the virtue of this precious balsam, as he considered it, and so he drank near a quart of what could not be put into the flask and remained in the pigskin in which it had been boiled; but scarcely had he done drinking when he began to vomit in such a way that nothing was left in his stomach, and with the pangs and spasms of vomiting he broke into a profuse sweat, on account of which he bade them cover him up and leave him alone. They did so, and he lay sleeping more than three hours, at the end of which he awoke and felt very great bodily relief and so much ease from his bruises that he thought himself quite cured, and verily believed he had hit upon the balsam of Fierabras; and that with this remedy he might thenceforward, without any fear, face any kind of destruction, battle, or combat, however perilous it might be.

    Sancho Panza, who also regarded the amendment of his master as miraculous, begged him to give him what was left in the pigskin, which was no small quantity. Don Quixote consented, and he, taking it with both hands, in good faith and with a better will, gulped down and drained off very little less than his master. But the fact is, that the stomach of poor Sancho was of necessity not so delicate as that of his master, and so, before vomiting, he was seized with such gripings and retchings, and such sweats and faintness, that verily and truly be believed his last hour had come, and finding himself so racked and tormented he cursed the balsam and the thief that had given it to him.

    Don Quixote seeing him in this state said, “It is my belief, Sancho, that this mischief comes of thy not being dubbed a knight, for I am persuaded this liquor cannot be good for those who are not so.”

    “If your worship knew that,” returned Sancho- “woe betide me and all my kindred!- why did you let me taste it?”

    At this moment the draught took effect, and the poor squire began to discharge both ways at such a rate that the rush mat on which he had thrown himself and the canvas blanket he had covering him were fit for nothing afterwards. He sweated and perspired with such paroxysms and convulsions that not only he himself but all present thought his end had come. This tempest and tribulation lasted about two hours, at the end of which he was left, not like his master, but so weak and exhausted that he could not stand.

    http://www.spanisharts.com/books/quijote/chapter17.htm

    What does it matter, “after tea and cakes and ices,” anyway? I’m kind of lusting in my heart for the collapse, in whatever form it comes, and what comes after. Not that the dumbfucks who make it all possible by not being discerning enough to vomit out the toxic shit that they are being fed by the PTB. There’s no living energy left in the “American Dream.” And there’s a shitload of methane in the muck of the Arctic…

    Hello, Hugo. Too long time, no hear…

  27. JTMcPhee says:

    @len
    “full disk scan and a virus vault in safe mode”

    Is that a cybersex act involving a condom?

  28. Rick Turner says:

    The common wisdom in Maine where I just spent some time…as well as around here on the West Coast is that distressed properties are being bought up cheap by fat cats whose pals in the banking industry approve loans for them. Meanwhile, ordinary folks may be able to afford down payments and monthly payments on low interest loans, but the bankers won’t loan out the dough. I don’t know the truth of it, but that’s the buzz “on the street”, and it ain’t pretty. Might wind up being the half percent vs. the ninety nine and a half…

  29. Hugo St. Victor says:

    “Lusting for the collapse”, JTM? Where have you been during this intensifying maelstrom Obama’s appointees continue to call an “economy” “experiencing” a “downturn”? Where, whilst three lies are told in these three words? First, there is no economy, no remnant of structured forces and no plan, just gambling debt and ass-covering Make Believe, from Bernanke, Treasury, Commerce, the Council of Economic Advisors, Obama and his Animal House of snide sophomores–the last hundred people on Earth who find David Letterman witty if not drop-dead hilarious, and NYU fresher-class Irony fit for the President’s fleet of Lear teleprompters, his media buys and fatuous email dunnings. It’s not an “economy” JTM, it’s a fucking spinebending total wipeout. Or haven’t you noticed the growing number of missing teeth from the strip malls we pass by every day? Consider the blighted lives, the lost homes and nest eggs, the hawked cars, the stillborn college educations, the forced retirements to rustic trailer parks, the pissed-away retirement funds an Benefits Packages and indeed Health Care coverage–all cashiered to make mortgages, rent, car payments for another month or two of Payroll, or career retraining to nowhere: consider what those black holes at the strip malls spell for family-owned businesses and franchises wiped out by the triple whammy of tight money, greedhead commercial landlords and runaway over-regulators…

    And that’s just in the past four years, concealed by the demonically surreal reality of the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. So what, after this wipeout, are you looking forward to, JTM, and why?

    Whichever candidate is elected or reelected, he’d better hit the ground running, Innauguration Day, or else come February the USA is going to lead the world straight into an unprecedented development, the horrific confluence of Recession, Depression and hyper-inflation, each working against one another until the one gives up.

    So pray, what’s worth waiting for? Get your rocks off now, while you can. Laugh, before it’s too late.

  30. Alex Bowles says:

    Tonight was a good night. Romney had his hat handed to him, deservedly. The guy can’t even find Iran on a map and he thinks the US Navy peaked in 1916. He’s a catastrophe in waiting and I’m confident that the Obama campaign will spend the next two weeks making that clear.

    In four debates, climate change wasn’t mentioned once, so the world’s biggest problem remains conspicuously unaddressed, but if this election blocks the looming consolidation of the hard right’s power and sends them into turnaround instead, the possibility of dealing with our real issues remains open.

    Assuming we avoid the pollution, austerity, and belligerence of Republican rule, drive a hard bargain on taxation with the sequestration stick, and secure the sanity of the Supreme Court for the next 20 years, we may actually emerge from the long shadow of the Reagan / Thatcher era in shape good enough to deal with the enormous challenges we’re up against.

    Alternately, Romney could win, and hand the last laugh to the Mayans.

  31. Fentex says:

    The common wisdom in Maine where I just spent some time…as well as around here on the West Coast is that distressed properties are being bought up cheap by fat cats whose pals in the banking industry approve loans for them

    That’s quite likely. It’s typical of the lulls following bubbles for the wealthy to capitalise on their, well, capital, at the expense of the non-wealthy.

    It’s especially a problem in economies with fractional banking for that empowers bankers with control of national cash movements to particularly exploit the troubles of the impoverished.

  32. JTMcPhee says:

    @Hugo St. Victor
    Here we go again!

    I was imagining a different kind of collapse than the relatively slow-motion (on a human lifespan scale) Henry Potter Wealth Concentration Increase And Improvement Act that you so artfully limn. Maybe the kind where Necessity and Starvation, beyond the railing in that economists’ zoological garden, cause a well-armed populace to start doing a lot more idiot undirected feels-good violence, likely including more stealing from each others’ hard-rations and a “pivot” (LOVE those Beltwayphorisms) to armed, walled villages or apocalypso wandering robber bands. Rather than less brute efforts to establish something like a homeostatic structure, which maybe as you’ve read from me is an impossibility, given the reality of the Weird Science of the limbic-structureprefrontal cortex physiology. Since the ones who stole all the good stuff will be ensconced in their secure enclaves, able to live out their lives (even if science provides a way to shut off apoptosis for the Very Special Few, to elongate their self-pleasing ) in comfort, knowing that there’s no consequences, no morals, no ethics, no Divine Order, no retribution, no need for forgiveness even of the purchased-indulgence variety. In short, as the Wall Streeters are alleged to say, “I’ll be gone, you’ll be gone.” As a classicist, maybe you have run across this “meme:” http://tradicionclasica.blogspot.com/2006/01/expression-aprs-moi-le-dluge-and-its.html Or as F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote it,

    “They were careless people, Tom and Daisy–they smashed up things and creatures and then retreated back into their money of their vast carelessness, or whatever it was that kept them together, and let other people clean up the mess they had made.”

    The missing-teeth image is a good one too. And it extends to the jaws of a huge number of your fellow incipient serfs and their whelps. Thanks to the ability of “insurance”-think peddlers to make a killing off sucking the rest of us schmos into the idea that dental (and health) actual care is naturally a for-profit deal, rather than an exchange of labor in the bouillabaisse of relationships that “economists” have suckered us, on another wavefront, into seeing only through a narrow-pass polarized filter.

    Have you peeked into Graeber’s “Debt: The First 5,000 Years”? He kind of tails off toward the end of the exercise, but there’s so much well-supported stuff in the blood-test-and x-ray diagnostic first half of the book that explains how the panderers to the Few Who Know How To Accumulate Power And Extract Wealth from the people who just put shoulder to wheel every day and night that the treatments for what ails us should differentially diagnose themselves for anyone with half a brain.

    Another fun read for the Futilitarian is Tuchman’s “The March of Folly,” which of course has lots of observations on the apparent infinite series of failures known variously as “government” and “history.”

    We “zombie consumers” are “menacing the world,” in case you want to know what’s really causing all this uncomfortable trouble in the financial markets… http://www.equitymaster.com/dailyreckoning/detail.asp?date=06/20/2011&story=1&title=What-the-world-is-beginning-to-realise

    Who’s the painting by Vermeer or somebody, showing the old Sultan on his deathbed, surrounded by the bled-out carotid-slashed bodies of his concubines and dogs and probably children, wanting to make sure that none live beyond him to take his stuff and get to play with it?

  33. len says:

    JTMcPhee :@len “full disk scan and a virus vault in safe mode”
    Is that a cybersex act involving a condom?

    Defensively, yes. It pays to know regedit. :)

  34. len says:

    No time for long.

    Mitt lost. Big. Dems 3. Repugs 1. In any fair contest, Mitt would be on the bus home wherever that is. As t’is, the spinners say he did what he set out to do… whatever that was.

    If Mitt doesn’t know the map of the Mideast, I don’t think he qualifies to lead an assault there. As I’ve said, the scary thing is half of the country doesn’t know that and in my opinion, THAT lack of fundamental intelligence is the greatest threat to national security.

    We’re dumb as rocks. If we elect Mitt, we deserve this.

  35. JTMcPhee says:

    @len
    Why, one asks, do the few who perceive and care and are doing what they can, “deserve” to have the same di1do, laden with the same virobacterial social disease organisms and santorum (http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=santorum) applied to them as the one used on the Rocks? I guess “we” could move to Canada, except I hear the Canucks are deploying their military and state-security people all along the border and at all entry points, with orders to shoot to kill any of us “zombies” who want to do what all those people did who fled to “America” looking for escape from kleptoautocracy in the Old World or the places where our rulers installed kleptoautocrats in the New?

    As to the intelligence of Pet Rocks,

    Morris Berman quotes survey results that show currently some 20% of the USA population believe that the sun goes around the Earth (geocentricism) rather than the Earth goes around the sun (heliocentricism), while a further 9% claimed not to know.[40] Polls conducted by Gallup in the 1990s found that 16% of Germans, 18% of Americans and 19% of Britons hold that the Sun revolves around the Earth.[41] A study done in 2005 by Dr. Jon D. Miller of Northwestern University, an expert in the public understanding of science and technology,[42] found that one adult American in five (about 20%) thinks the Sun revolves around the Earth.[43] According to 2011 VTSIOM poll, 32% of Russians agree that the Sun revolves around the Earth.[44]

    And is it just me or is “government” these days mostly a weird form of participatory, run publicly on the results of “scientific polls?”

    I used to teach Sunday School, and one the teenagers, educated in a rich North Shore Chicago suburb with supposedly excellent schools, offered with a straight face, apparently after seeing “Journey to the Center of the Earth” or what-everrrr, that we all live on the inside skin of a great hollow sphere… Must give equal time to responsible opposing viewpoints… Do not smack forehead with heel of hand… She was among those who thought we the parish ought to hire on a smarmy divisive Jesuit of a pastor, because of his pale skin and Yale haircut and black Van Dyke and his piercing blue acquisitive eyes “looked just like Jesus…”

    Jesus.

  36. Hugo St. Victor says:

    I know what you meant, McPhee. I always dig what you’re saying, man. You’ve taught me a good deal in recent years, in patient conversation, and I’ll always remember you that way. Jeez, I’m not that rusty! Frankly I just abused your privilege and besmirched your name partly just for old times’ sake but also because I’m just daily more aggrieved by the microeconomic Neutron Bomb out here in the wealthy White Flight heart of suburban Atlanta, this particular house being the House that Newt Built. It’s devastation even here JTM, and this precise neighborhood was planned and built for insularity, as Metro Atlanta’s third bunker against blood contamination of the last remaining Georgian Confederate grandees and their pom pom MILFs, every one of them a requisite Cheer Queen or Homecoming princess from one of the cerebral football schools of which the Southeast is so justifiably proud to boast of their many Nobelists, MacArthur Grant recipients, pioneers of Medicine and Jurisprudence, distinguished philosophers and statesmen, and massive library holdings, vast and modern laboratory floorspace, brilliant contemporary architecture and enviable leaders of cutting-edge Higher Education, to say nothing of football stadiums so large as to constitute their own meteorologic microclimates recognized by NOOA, the Greenwich Weather Station and even the Aboriginal Elders Down Under. I give you Clemson, the Pride of East Cobb County. Four of my occupations, those as field reporter, chaplain, education designer and planner, and cultural philanthropist, all take me daily into the streets of this two-mile square crux of politico-economic Georgia at its wealthiest and worst. And still I can scarcely keep from weeping for so many of my bankrupt neighbors. Truly the taller they are the harder they splat from the jump plane. Daily more deep, there’s more human pulp on these streets than ever was washed down the sewers beneath Beijing University and Tiananmen Square.

    So I confess I wasn’t arguing with you at all. Was Howl-ing at Molloch!!! The windows of these ROBOT APARTMENTS! are blackening by the floorful every evening. That’s Mr. Axelrod’s Obama Recovery for you. And given that he ihimself is a kind, foresighted and–as far as he knows–largely truthful, mature patriot, you can just imagine how Leon and Petraeus feel in Cabinet meetings about the full house of Barry’s callow smartass West Wing/Ivy League sophomores lining the walls, their spurious talking points, bullshit memoranda and idiotic white papers at the ready beneath their Leatherette, Presidential Seal-embossed scrawled furiously with half-learned penmanship adorned with Beardsley curlicues and Tom Wolfe punctuation. Christ! No wonder Cisneros refused to come back. Surely only Hillary could lure him once again into the Cabinet Room. I’m just surprised but grateful that Leon would consent to putting up with the punks, and with Holder’s weekly wars on the Cliff Notes: U.S. Constitution, Sibelius’s psychotic ramblings about e.g. her plan to “end global warming” by Innauguration Day, &tc. ad sanitorium…

    JTM I figured you’d put up with me again, Old Sport. However, believe me, this is The New Hugo, Tanned Rested & Ready, and I am not a crook! If you want to see where I’m really coming from, read my Gonzo Augustinian thing at the end of the previous string, or else I’ll republish it on Jon’s next plating of hors d’ouvres.

    You’ll remember Jimmy Carter’s proud Prime Time announcement of his wunderpow the ingenius Neutron Bomb. It was, he said, humanely developed to kill people but “leave buildings intact”. As it now happens, for the landlords, realtors and bankers…

    …and nor can I more await the Hopeful Change that the death of this Aministration shall bring.

    yr. (New) Hugo

  37. JTMcPhee says:

    @Hugo St. Victor
    I read your Illuminati-ing piece, and as we lapsed Episcopalians say, “learned and inwardly digested it.”

    If the Obamanauts fall away, I shall weep once more for that once and future place called “America.” Is it just me, or does hardly anyone refer to “America,” as opposed to the iTransmogrification “U.S.?” Please don’t heap hope on the apotheosis of the Romnites. These guys, these Cheney retreads, seem to me to pose a huger threat to my grandchildren’s lives and future than the other shits do. But who knows? In a world of Factoids, Futility, Fungibility and Foolishness, how can any of us, of the seven very odd billion of us, know anything? or see anything? or recognize anything? of value or danger?

    Snoopy has it right: A full food dish, lots of dog kisses, and Dance!

  38. len says:

    Why, one asks, do the few who perceive and care and are doing what they can, “deserve” to have the same di1do, laden with the same virobacterial social disease organisms and santorum

    Because they were born?

    I have two children and they are crazy about each other. I am one of eleven and only one of the others is still making like family and even he is disgusted with my affiliations with that “socialist”. Of the first, that was hard but pleasant work and holding together the marriage. Of the second, that was a litany of mistakes made before I was born and then holding together the last marriage. We do inherit the sins of our fathers but also the love. And it seems that even with a lot of work, pleasant or not, we cannot get far from the street where we were born and only half a chromosome from the blood.

    I am most proud of the fact that my boy and my girl love each other. I think even great wealth or social status cannot equal that as an inheritance or a legacy. That they both love their parents, that’s as good as it gets.

    And my dog agrees which is why he dances when any of us come home. Snoopy is right.

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