When Congressional subcommittees or committee-committees chew you out, it doesn’t mean anything. It’s only PR masquerading as a consequence when nothing bad is really going to happen to you. Bad things don’t happen to the Big People, they happen to the Little People.
For instance, the American auto execs were chewed out for flushing their businesses (and lots and lots of jobs) down the national toilet. The chewing-out did not stop the same execs from taking private planes to their meetings (hadn’t they heard of carpooling?) or from standing up the President of the United States. One executive head rolled, but only one. Not that bad.
The heads of Banks Too Big To Fail might have squirmed a little when they were introduced to a new orifice courtesy of a committee hearing, but nothing happened to them either. They continued to collect vast bonuses and so did their underlings. We could probably balance the budgets of several states using the money they doled out to themselves. OK, so Ken Lewis might get a little hand slapping for not talking about the problems with Merill Lynch’s balance sheet, but then again maybe not. Lewis has already portrayed himself as a patriot doing his civic duty, as not having a choice because Hank Paulson said so.
Fast-forward to Tony Hayward’s testimony before yet another freakin’ committee looking for air time so its members can emote righteously and pretend that it means something. Because it doesn’t. There isn’t going to be any meaningful regulation on the oil industry any more than there were regulations sicked like rabid dogs on the bankers, who were then free to do everything they did before the recession, which will bring our economy land in even more do-do. Nope, most if not all of our politicians are basking in the well-lined pocket of industry, like tanning addicts bake in the sun, no matter what that industry’s name. BP has been and/ or will be penalized, but the industry itself will keep on chuggin’ like the little engine that could. I mean, a Federal district judge just lifted the President’s moratorium on drilling because the administration hadn’t proven that all of the new offshore rigs in question were bound to fail as BP’s Deepwater Horizon did because of a faulty assumption. The thing is, I’m not sure it can be proven that any or all of the rigs are not bound to fail. The point is that it’s more important to secure the oceans and shores from spills extending for months, and perhaps years if the relief wells don’t work, than it is to generate oil. The environment depends on it; our people’s livelihoods depend on it. What we can’t depend on are the courts, the oil companies, and the politicians to make sure it never happens again.
So, now that I’ve gotten that out of the way, what should happen to McChrystal after the disaster that is the snarktastic Rolling Stone article? The same thing that happens to everyone else–a little public humiliation, then back to work for the sucker.*
* I don’t really care about McChrystal. He was ineffably stupid to be that free and easy around a journalist, but I don’t really care. But as a rule I am against war. I’m against the Afghan War on that principle as well as on the grounds that we can’t win. Trying to win in Afghanistan bankrupted the Soviets. Then their government crashed and burned. Who is to say we’ll be any different? (Hint: it takes a big helping of hubris to assume we won’t be.) So as far as I’m truly concerned, we can just end the war and bug out while out soldiers still have an intact country to go back to. No matter how many millions of dollars in minerals we succeed in letting corporations dig up, prolonging this war just isn’t worth the cost.
I don’t know if anybody besides Wall Street Watchers have noticed that the Stock Market dropped for three days in a row and that “marked its worst single-session percentage drop in more than two months. ” Well, maybe that’s not precisely true. President Obama and the Congressional Democrats have probably noticed. Whether they will quiver and moan or foam at the mouth is anybody’s guess. Judging from their past behavior and the fear they exhibit upon viewing their own shadows, they may fold again and beg forgiveness from the All Powerful.
(No, not the Deity. Wall Street.)
I’d like to address all the Democrats for a moment:
You knew this was coming. And if you didn’t, you aren’t the brightest bulbs on the porch. Wall Streeters are attempting blackmail. They want your panties in a twist, they want to see you shivering in your penny loafers because A) they’ve paid you good money, which implies they own you; B) if they made you–and they think they did–they can break you; C) they’ve convinced you that the market runs the entire economy.
Do not pay attention to the Little Men Behind The Curtain. Go ahead and resurrect the Glass-Steagall Act, or bring to life something even better. Yes, Republicans and Blue Dogs will call you Frankenstein and your baby a monster, but you know better. Really, you do. You can’t allow Wall Street to hold you hostage to its evil plan; you can’t let Wall Street keep making the same mistakes that plunged our economy into ruin. And you most certainly won’t win any more votes from Main Street by doing the Little Men any more favors.
Do yourselves a favor, do us all a favor: find the people who played with derivatives and default credit swaps and what all else, take away their toys for good. Then prosecute the bastards who broke the law, who defrauded plain ol’ Americans and pounded them into the ground with rubber mallets labeled “Death. by Debt.” Remember The Guy In Orange? Remember the folks who own and run World Savings? Or who used to be Countrywide? Yup, them, their buddies, and the horses they rode in on. Take wooden stakes, preferably some with nasty thorns, to the blood suckers.
But don’t let Wall Street scare you. The Streeters may have more money, but we have more votes.
P.S. Please do not assume that the economy is the only reason Scott Brown got elected. There are way too many groups here under the bus for the voters’ wrath to be all about that.
Yeah, I know. I’ve been gone a long time.
There are limits to my patience. I could not watch the Obama administration mishandling the progressive agenda by abandoning most promises made during the campaign without wanting to rant and hiss and scream. That doesn’t make for good blogging, now does it. (Not really a question. Hence, the lack of usually appropriate punctuation.)
Well, today I’m back for a quickie. I’d like to say that Evan Bayh* is
a carping dumbass fool inane if he imagines that Coakley lost in Massachusetts because the Democrats’ agenda is too progressive.
Progressive? Where? Show me progressive, Evan, you idiot.
Lemme see, Dems kowtowed to Olympia Snowe and heeded the growls of Blue Dogs in crafting the health care bill, which is now a tremendous flop, a giveaway to Insurance and Big Pharma because of some deal Obama made with those industries behind closed doors, and looks to get even worse. Witness: allowing Catholic bishops to influence legislation with respect to abortion. Now Barney Frank admits the bills deserves to be in the crapper, but still wants to work with Snowe & Friends. Mmmmm, that tastes progressive! ( My ass, it is.)
Bush II gave tons of taxpayer money away and Obama let the same jerks (and their friends) who ran this country into ruin by repealing necessary bank regulations continue to wreak havoc and ruin. Just you wait. It’ll happen. The Dems let the banks continue to make the same mistakes and pay vast bonuses in the wake of the country’s economic disaster just to show voters on Main Street that we don’t matter. Obama’s only response to the banks’ largesse, sheerly political in nature and kinda dumb for a smart guy, was taxing the banks to allegedly pay back the American people when anyone with half a brain knows the banks will pass the expense on to consumers. (Thankssoverymuch, Barack. You’re a chump peach.)
Naturally, Cosmo poster boy Scott Brown is such a narcissist he thinks his win is B I G G E R than a slap in the face to Obama and progressives, while progressive polls show that voters who backed Obama are still behind the reforms, but don’t believe the Democratic party can stand and deliver. Ya think? It’s Massachusetts, Brownie. That’s where liberals go to die.
Obviously, Evan didn’t know. Or he wouldn’t have been so stupid and let it go to print. Same with Barney, who used to be a liberal. Goddess knows what happened to him. (Head injury?) And our fave poster boy, Scotty Brown. I thought you had to be smart to get into law school. Maybe not.
So who’s the biggest idiot? Well, the day is young yet.
* Just Google “Evan Bayh is an idiot” and you’ll see what I mean.
- Afghan War
- Arab world
- Bush administration
- Executive branch
- Federal Reserve
- Foreign policy
- fuel efficient cars
- Geneva Conventions
- Health Care
- human rights
- Iraq War
- Obama administration
- political parties in the US
- social theories
- US Constitution