I agree with C.I. in the snapshot, Harry Reid needs to get honest. Pretending that the US won't be spending ont he Iraq War after the end of the year is lying.
The whole thing has become an even bigger joke and that just demonstrates how little any one is taking it.
Fine by me but don't start lecturing us again, Barack. No one needs to hear your tired ass.
"TV: The unexamined (American) lives" (Ava and C.I., The Third Estate Sunday Review):
Barack Obama is worried about the debt ceiling, if you missed it. He wasn't worried about it when he was a senator. As NPR's Mara Liasson (All Things Considered) noted at the start of the month, "President Obama, when he was in the Senate, voted against raising the debt ceiling because, he said, it was a symbol of a failure of leadership on the Republican president."
And he didn't spend the year worrying about it. But he sure did create a crisis out of it, didn't he? One he is manipulating to gut Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid.
In all of the talk of the 'crisis,' we find no one pointing out the obvious: Does the president of the United States acting so alarmist not influence creditors?
If we're all so gosh darn worried about our credit rating and what might happen if the debt ceiling (an artificial creation started to justify war spending in WWI) is reached, should the president be all over the TV insisting doom, doom, doom is upon us?
Or might that sort of Chicken Little behavior actually hurt the country?
It's a valid question and, you'll note, it's one that's gone unasked.
The president is supposed to set a tone. Even when it comes to a ceremonial task, Barack's a failure. He's played alarmist and petulant bully throughout the so-called crisis to the point that the number of people who take him seriously continues to dwindle.
Another question rarely covered is how many other country's have debt ceilings? None that we know of. Again, the debt ceiling was created in the US to justify WWI spending. Liberty Bonds were sold and fears that the whole venture wouldn't bankrupt the country were calmed with the creation of the debt ceiling. Economist James K Galbraith explained that at The Huffington Post and he explained:
What fiscal crisis? The great unasked question in this summer of sound-and-fury is "why?" The United States has many problems at the moment: a high-and-stubborn unemployment rate, a foreclosure catastrophe, a slowing economy that has not recovered and will not recover from the Great Crisis, and the ongoing challenges of infrastructure, energy and climate change. Fiscal crisis? The entire thing is a figment, made up of wise-men's warnings repeated endlessly and linked to the projections of technicians at the Congressional Budget Office and elsewhere.
The projections, as I've written here, are made up of two economically impossible arguments. One is that there will be a big economic rebound, restoring near-full employment by 2013 or so. We're already off that track, as some of us warned from the beginning. Of course, a recovery would reduce the deficit even if nothing were done. But CBO then recreates the exploding debt by assumptions, which include steady growth and low inflation, but sharply higher health care costs and much higher short-term interest rates. These lead the projected debt to compound skyward, soon surpassing all previous records in relation to GDP.
Is this possible? No it is not. The Federal Reserve would never raise the short-term interest rate, as CBO projects, without a prior increase of inflation, which CBO assumes will not occur. If they did, the economy would collapse! And if they don't, the debt does not compound out of control. I have presented these simple numbers here. For what it's worth, if you believe the capital markets signal anything, they signal their disbelief in doomsday forecasts, in the long-term interest rate on U.S. government bonds, every single day.
Yet it's treated as real and legitimate and Barack uses it to scare people in an attempt to enact the recommendations of his Cat Food Commission while left outlets remain silent over and over. Amy Goodman, ZNet, all the whores that put Barack into the White House work overtime to screw over the people today.
Last week, with ten hours of broadcast time to fill, Amy Goodman repeatedly distracted American viewers by focusing on a British scandal. The real scandal is that she got away without offering serious explorations of what's taking place right now in DC. If Barack is successful and manages to gut the safety net, that's going to have more impact on American lives than any other story in 2011. Which is why the silence on this issue is all the more appalling.
That says all that needs to be said and then some.
"Iraq snapshot" (The Common Ills):