Sarah Palin: Wink, wink; nudge, nudge

I’m not saying anything that isn’t well-known and in the public record (see Thomas Frank, Andrew Bacevich, etc.). So Karl, don’t even try. All of this has been well documented. Americans don’t care that the FCC has given away their airwaves, that every day $1.93 billion is added to our national debt and that John McCain is a shadow of his former self, sort of. We know we don’t have the money to carry on two wars simultaneously and prepare a build-up for a third. We know that there is no morality in denying citizens and guests (those with documentation and those without) the same hospitality we’d give most folks who came into our homes. Not to mention, our godforsaken soldiers. We don’t want to ask about torture and the complicated questions about rushing to throw out the Geneva Conventions endangering Americans and American soldiers around the world.

We know that, without this debt, our schools wouldn’t be teaching to the test (under the Every Child Left Behind Act) and ensuring that future generations can’t and don’t ask questions. We know that the health care issue would be solved fast and permanently. We know that student debt could be eliminated in a heartbeat. But Americans don’t care. And that’s the point. So far. Americans are exhausted, demoralized and broke. Financially and morally. Thank you, Milton Friedman, Phil Gramm and Ronald Reagan. Things haven’t gotten bad enough. That’s right folks, it’s got to get worse.

That’s why John McCain is doing so well in the polls. And I’m not even referring to the Doomsdayers in the Administration who hope to get Jesus a faster train to Clarksville. McCain picked up steam by (finally but not surprisingly) lurching to lick the shoes of right-wing evangelicals. Palin, though, is what’s put him over the edge. There is no other effective tool to whitewash the issues than a lot of lipstick, high heels and babies. Ask Angelina Jolie, Madonna or Nicholas Sarkozy.

Nobody notices that, while Palin is lauded for completing her Downs syndrome pregnancy, she intends to deny that choice to every other female. Nobody notices that if we’re focused on her qualifications based on running an Alaskan town of 9,000 with her high school bandmates, no one asks questions about the largest transfer of wealth in human history (well, almost nobody, right Karl?).

Can we imagine a world where someone of Sarah Palin’s qualifications said, No thanks?
What if John McCain invited her to be on the Republican ticket and she said: You know, John? I’m honored but not just yet. I’m not trained, I don’t know enough. The times call for too much.
What if Charlie Gibson asked her: Well, you know what the Bush Doctrine on Preemptive War is, don’t you? And she answered: No, no Chuck I don’t.

And he asked: Well, you know that per acre of land, subsidized wind energy can earn over $871,000 pure profit per year while creating sustainable, green jobs while petrol earns a finite and much lower amount?

And she said: No, no John, I have never heard that. I am the energy expert. Let me do some research and study. Let me get a bit more of this governing stuff under my belt and we’ll see about the future.

No, this cannot be imagined. Not today. Our presidential elections are about winning. It is never about what is good for our country.

And what if Katie Couric asked her about Supreme Court cases and she answered, I haven’t really thought about it. I don’t have any cases, well, the big one for me is Roe v. Wade. But, I’ll have to get back to ya on the others. What if she told Katie, Look I don’t read the papers. I get up at 530 a.m. to get on the plane, I’m in debate prep six hours a day. When, when am I supposed to read newspapers? I’ve got five kids! Katie, you don’t know how it is?! I try and try; it’s so depressing.

But Sarah and her handlers are winking at us and nudging each other. The folks backing the Bush Administration are not going to give up free and easy access to the US Treasury, or what’s left of it, without a fight. And it looks like they won’t have to.

We’ve gone from massive government surpluses in 2000 to devastating government and consumer debt in just eight years. And, in spite of what the Administration would have you believe, it’s not hard to understand how.

In conjunction with incredibly irresponsible – but mostly well-intentioned – consumers believing what even more irresponsible and unregulated lenders racking up $2.6 trillion in debt told them. There just isn’t enough actual money to service the interest on all of that consumer and government debt. Most of our money is being sucked out of our economy and into the pockets of those who lent us the money: the Chinese and Saudis. There’s a reason the Bushes get in bed with the Saudis. I have no idea why they don’t with Chinese investors.  25% of US debt is held by foreign entities; 44% by us, the rest by a mélange of debt-holders. Sounds better, right? We still owe almost half of our debt to ourselves. But, not so fast. We had to ask foreign banks, governments and investors to take an additional load off – to the tune of 66% of our 44%. This means we actually only owe ourselves about 15%. Now you should be getting nervous. A lot of those loans and mortgages became tied to financial products that acted, unregulated, like securities. And guess who bought the securities so that they could be there holding the note on D-Day, I mean, due day. Our friends to the East, they of the toxic toys and fungicidal furniture. Smart cookies. Unfortunately, (thank you Ronald Reagan, Phil Gramm, Joe Biden, Bill Clinton and Bush/Cheney) all of these transactions were even more unregulated than your typical stocks and bonds. Wait, there’s more…!

On top of government and consumer debt, hedge fund managers and others got their debts insured by the now nationalized American International Group (AIG) and the like. Then, when the foreclosures avalanched those mortgage lenders, hedge fund managers and bank managers made claims (much as you may do if you’re lucky enough to have health care) on their losses. The business of insurance companies is to bet that they’ll take in more premiums than they’ll ever have to pay out in policy claims. Well, when it came to these security-like policies insuring grossly engorged equity loans (40:1, 60:1!) it all began to collapse.

And, with all the money servicing the debt, there just isn’t enough in the economy to go around. That’s where the big tide pool you could walk through becomes the stinking hip-high cesspool that is now the global economy. But, no, it’s too complicated for the average Joe six-pack. But Sarah’s on it – in fact today she’s out hunting a respected professor who was a member of the Weather ground in the 1960s. She isn’t remotely concerned that John McCain was one of the Keating Five. No, honor isn’t Sarah’s thing. If she’s only been at national politics for six weeks, she’s set some sort of record for sliminess.

In fact, while the Administration and its lapdogs have facilitated the largest transfer of wealth in history, aided and applauded by 50% of American voters, they’ve just now facilitated the transfer of their trillion-dollar debt to 100% of us. The Good Ol’ Boys have just shat on our grandkids and pulled themselves up by your bootstraps. Their latest knuckle punch and smokescreen, though, came painted with lipstick, five kids and a lot of goodnight winks. The fundamentals of the economy are strong but not for you and me. Goodbye democracy, hello depression. It’s a new morning in America but there’s a nasty diaper to be changed.

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~ by Thom on October 8, 2008.

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