Archive for October, 2008

The Republican Message In The West (And South) (October 27, 2008)

Posted in Gay Politics, Guns, Political Parties on October 27, 2008 by

The Republican’s Western strategy is built on the motto:  “Guns, Gays and God.”  The message is simple:  vote for us or you will be castrated, raped, and abandoned alone in the world.

The Democrats met in Denver to take back the West.  They may not understand the elemental fears and anxieties of many members of the populace.  The Democrats offer vision and hope.  That is virtuous; that alone is not productive in the polling booth.  The Republicans offer fear and loathing and anxiety.  The Gun is the iron penis; take it away and you castrate a man.  Gays, the logic goes, and their cohorts the Democrats want to rape you.  You may come into the world alone and leave the world alone, but you are not alone if you subscribe to God while you are here.  The code words this year are “Socialist,” “Terrorist,” “Muslim,” “Arab” and “Hussein.”

The “Blue States” subsidize the “Red States” in America.  The populations in the Red States rely primarily on social security for their retirement.  The populations in the Red States resort to the Bankruptcy Code for relief more often than the populations in other states.  The populations in the Red States use the Bankruptcy Code as a form of socialized medicine.  At core, however, the differences are related to education, region and religion rather than state boundaries, yet the electoral college focuses the analysis on state boundaries.

The populace may vote its pocketbook, but only if its elemental fears and anxieties are not summoned.  Enough members of their populace are so terrified that they do not even have enough personal security to vote their pocketbooks.

A random survey of yard signs in a purple neighborhood:  Obama. McCain, Obama, McCain, Obama. McCain, Obama, McCain, Obama. McCain, Obama, McCain, Obama. McCain, Obama, McCain, . . . Obama

Bumper stickers of the week:

Fear and loathing on the campaign trail ’08

Hope over Fear?

Contemporary American Political Parties 101 (October 20, 2008)

Posted in Political Parties, Politics on October 20, 2008 by

A “brand” is a story.  Promoters of products seek to “brand” them and concoct a story to attract the target customers/clients/viewers/fans/constituents/voters.  Some political commentators suggest that the two political parties tend to gravitate to the center to attract the widest swath of voters.  In America, however, the two political parties offer fundamentally different visions of the present and future that have remained consistent over the last few decades.  The two “brands” cannot be distinguished by analyzing their political platforms on jay walking or school uniforms or the like; the analysis must be more elemental.

At core, the “Republican Franchise” proclaims that “Government is big and does not work” and then sets out both to expand government and to make government not work while rewarding their friends with federal largesse.  The Republican Franchise has fooled enough of the populace for decades into believing that the Party is against spending and taxes and that deficits do not matter.  Deficits are taxes; on the unborn.

Democrats are war veterans (McGovern; Gore; Kerry; Cleland; Webb); Republicans are draft dodgers (Bush; Cheney; Giuliani; Ashcroft).  Democrats don’t like going to war unless necessary; Republicans don’t like going to war themselves but like to send others to war.

At core, the Republicans market fear; the Democrats offer hope.

True Tenets/Characteristics of contemporary Franchise Republicanism:

  1. Threaten fear over hope and market anxiety to anesthetize and dispirit the public while hinting that those who vote with the “Republican Franchise” can delude themselves into believing that they are part of the Beautiful People for a few moments on election day;
  2. Support free trade for their friends most of the time;
  3. Oppose almost everything else;
  4. Promote big government and massive federal expenditures–large armies and weapons systems and massive prison complexes (to kill others and to enslave the population);
  5. Engage in reckless spending and spending and spending and spending and spending;
  6. Spend Other People’s Money (OPM) to benefit themselves;
  7. Pursue unnecessary wars to maintain and expand the American Empire;
  8. Sport shallow “White Bling-Bling” such as jewelry with the American flag on their lapels but refuse to allow others to display their own flags and symbols in their own way;
  9. Circle the wagons to protect the Republican Franchise even if that means allowing an ideological infidel into the inner circle;
  10. Win.

True Tenets/Characteristics of contemporary Democrats:

  1. Offer hope over fear and inspire the public even if the public instinctively responds to fear and encourage a “big tent” but often pitch it awkwardly;
  2. Support some protectionist trade policies;
  3. Favor a wide variety of policies and proposals that are frequently inconsistent, anomalous, antinomic and occasionally fuzzy headed;
  4. Promote efficient government even though every institution—public and private—involves much inevitable waste, fraud, and mismanagement;
  5. Engage in pay-as-you-go legislation and yet privately desire to spend even more money;
  6. Spend Other People’s Money (OPM) to benefit others;
  7. Debate the use of force and use it when necessary to promote the nation’s security and well being;
  8. Prefer substance over fluff and allow others to display their own flags and symbols in their own way;
  9. Burn the wagons or drive them into the ditch if someone disagrees with them on any proposition thereby snatching defeat from the jaws of victory at every opportunity;
  10. Lose.

In the end, however, fear almost always trumps and triumphs over hope.  Thus, the outcome in elections in the last 30 years is not surprising.  The Republicans have circled the wagons; the Democrats have also circled their wagons after some missteps.  Could 2008 be different?

Bumper sticker of the week:

Wag more

Bark less

The Building Tsunami (October 13, 2008)

Posted in Economics, Federal Reserve, Housing on October 13, 2008 by

Things are collapsing.  The mortgage/house is no longer an ATM (Automatic Teller Machine).  Mortgages were given to individuals who could not pay.  At least with a mortgage there was a structure providing some collateral to support the loan.

The populace is still spending beyond their means.  The staggering amount of credit card debt is another Great Tsunami.  Credit cards are being given if not shoved down the throats of individuals who cannot pay.  These Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) are plastic explosives delivered daily by the United States Postal Service.  They will all explode within the next year.  And then the Congress, the Fed. (Federal Reserves system), and the business and economic press will express surprise, display panic and engender fear.

The geopolitical concerns are overlooked or disregarded.  The rest of the world is now taking over the US by “investment not invasion” as American becomes a “second world former superpower.”  More later.

Bumper sticker of the week:

Déjà vu all over again?

A Bleak Day: The Trillion Dollar Tragedy (October 6, 2008)

Posted in Bailout/Bribe, Bush, Debt/Deficits, Economics, Federal Reserve, Greenspan, USA PATRIOT Act on October 6, 2008 by

Congress failed.  Again.  The Bailout Bill will accelerate the Meltdown by misallocating funds and burning day light needed to address the underlying problems.

A three page travesty delivered by Bush became a 451 page travesty cum pork adopted by Congress.  These votes may rank with the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution, the Iraq war resolution, and the USA PATRIOT Act vote.

The public saw a 1.1 Trillion dollar drop in the value of their investments/401(k) IRAs last Monday and seemed to believe that a 700+ Billion bribe was worth the gamble.  The Bailout Bill will cost at least 1 Trillion to administer directly and will cause Trillions more in losses and damage.  Bribing the big players not to pull the plug until after the election is over is almost criminal if not treasonous.

Few note that the current crisis will be made worse by this bailout/bribe.  Beyond concerns about “moral hazard” and “bailouts for billionaires,” the problem is that the bailout is creating an even great credit crunch for the country.  There is way too much money in the economic system in the wrong hands.  The new money is being funneled into the wrong vessel, into a bowl not a colander.  The money will be hoarded.  The money is being not made available to the public.

Raising the deposit amount insured by the FDIC from $100,000 to $250,000 appears to offer something to the public, yet it also discourages the individual investor from monitoring his or her financial institution.  Individuals are deluded into believing that everything is ducky.  Individuals not just the government must act as regulators.  Banks that will soon be taken over by the FDIC are offering much higher interest rates to gobble up as much money as possible before the collapse.

Consumer confidence has never been higher.  Consumers are confident that the entire economic and political system is broken.

Business confidence has never been higher.  Businesspersons know that they are lying and, of greater import, that all other businesspersons are lying.  Reading between the lines of the economic reports is a challenge.  Reading between the lies is vexing.

So many fought to declare and establish independence for this country.  Last Friday, Congress voted to establish and fund a czar/dictator/central planner.  Two hundred thirty-two years later, we have a King of Finance.  Emperor Paulson.  One of the individuals who created the problem has been crowned to deepen it.

Fear once again triumphed over hope and reason.

Bumper stickers of the week:

Those who repeat history are doomed to repeat history.

If you think 401(k) is your mother-in-law’s bra size, then you might be a redneck.

—–Jeff Foxworthy