The author is reporting from a bunker, surrounded by brilliant gold.
The confusion over the past week is understandable, as President Obama suddenly emerged as a Reagan-right-winger. Even this column was proved utterly wrong; none could have guessed that our president was indeed a trickle-down-your-leg traitor.Elected as a liberal until being declared a Socialist by Republicans whose version of traveling abroad is crossing the county line, Obama made a deal this week that shook more than heads. Costing $850 billion and confounding poor folks who hate the rich people who employ them, Obama's gamble to continue unemployment claims for millions included the outsized ante of more tax breaks for America's elite. Get this: 3 percent of all beneficiaries will receive 38 percent of the breaks in the present legislation. Sounds fair to me, if only I had a job or an estate.
"If you let these tax cuts expire, which they will in 20 days, it will be a serious blow to the economy," warned Austan "Awesome Name" Goolsbee, Chairman of the White House Council of Economic Advisors, adding, "I don't think the tax cuts for high-end earners work. Period. They don't make economic sense."
Democrats balked at the plan, with Bernie "TMI" Sanders (I-VT) filibustering for nearly nine hours. How to counter a somewhat respected official playing Mr. Smith Goes to Washington? Brilliantly, the president took the podium and told us how he's been studying the economy hours each day and this deal is best for America - but it was the wrong president. Obama had to attend a party so he handed the mic over to Bill "DH/DP" Clinton, quashing media coverage of Sanders and somewhat restoring the Democratic base.
One definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over but expecting a different outcome, and eight years of Bush-Cheney giveaways has resulted an era best described by Ronald Brownstein in The National Journal as an "unprecedented decade-long record of futility." However richer the rich will remain, optimism is high. GDP predictions for 2011 were doubled and the unemployment rate ideally dropping by over 1 percent.
Said incoming Budget Committee Chairman Paul "Ouch" Ryan (R-WS), "No, we're not interested in changing this deal. We're interested in passing it through." Yep, you heard the GOP's latest deficit dove correct: The right-wing of America actually likes this bill (thus Obama, briefly), as opposed to saying "No!" to everything Obama proposed in the past two years. House Speaker-to-be John "Weeper" Boehner (R-OH) can't stop crying, so proud of all the average Americans he's helping. Finally our leaders have found something they agree on, let everyone eat cake as our country collapses.
Also collapsing is 'ObamaCare,' as a Virginia federal judge on Tuesday ruled the involuntary health care mandate "unconstitutional" despite two previous courts finding in its favor. Federal judge Henry "Not the Sailor" Hudson also ruled that the Dutch abandon colonization in favor of weed legalization, but said Americans can't be forced to buy insurance we will indeed use (unlike auto, flood and suicide that insurers indiscriminately deny or void).
So, as Republicans have done all they can to undermine this president, former-Republican Michael Bloomberg (and mayor of NYC, perhaps the one politician with any credibility today) stated what needs to be echoed: "This president has to succeed. His success is the country's success."
Given six more soldiers dying in Afghanistan in a single day and Sweden suffering its first suicide bombing (Swedes are notoriously polite, and the bomber warned everyone hours before) success is highly subjective.
Rich American royalty is hardly so honored. Mark Madoff hung himself with a dog leash last Saturday, dead at 46 on the 2nd anniversary of his dad Bernie's arrest. His wife had to change her and the kids' surname from Madoff yet even death won't end speculation or lawsuits about the $90 million Mark personally gained from his felon father Bernie's $49 billion Ponzi scheme.
Dread not, there may be hope. England has granted WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange bail, though a secret grand jury was held in Virginia to try to trump up more charges against him, in addition to having consensual sex and a condom breaking. Even the Holy See (the Vatican's latest alias) is chiming in, instructing the public to read WikiLeaks disclosures with "great prudence" because they "reflect the perceptions and opinions of the people who wrote them and cannot be considered as expressions of the Holy See itself." Referring to diplomatic cables depicting the Vatican as obstructionist during investigations into priest abuse, it is ironic that an organization based on the Bible (a book more edited and aggrandized than Sarah "Overexposed" Palin's image) is telling anyone to question any writings.
The world is indeed a mess. Yet we'll have to clean-up without the heroic help of Richard Holbrooke, superstar Democratic diplomat since JFK. Dead at 69, Holbrooke waged peace in Vietnam, Bosnia, Pakistan and Afghanistan, yet his heart exploded when he realized that the world will soon mirror "Mad Max." Rest, Richard, your work on this Earth is done.
As for the rest of us, enjoy that unemployment check and tax cut while you can. The rich are buying gold and building a bunker; they already own our elected officials yet will soon run out of meat. Feed your children well, the plumper the more valuable.