Archive for December, 2008

same old same old

I’ve been catching a lot of flack for not having written anything about the election. I am a busy man, so I have prepared five hundred words of Christmas cheer for you in near sound-bite form.

I gather that Obama won, but I don’t particularly care. I preferred him over McCain by the slimmest of margins: he’s a better orator (he’s so articulate!) and inasmuch as I care about international opinion, which is rather little, he is likely to improve it. The Republicans got the thrashing they deserved; as a party, they haven’t acted like Republicans for at least two decades. Not that either is acting in any way even approximating the national interest.

When it comes to actual policy about issues that matter, however, I don’t expect we’ll be able to distinguish Obama from McCain, or indeed Bush, even with the aid of powerful microscopes. It is going to be a pretty rough year for the Obamaphiles, I predict, joy turning to ashes in their mouths, jaws slack with na├»ve incredulity.

Indeed, we don’t even need to wait for the inauguration. In naming Geithner and Summers as economic leaders he’s placed the very same foxes, chins still slick with blood, back in charge of the henhouse. I forecast more Keynsian garbage that’s utterly indistinguishable from Bush and Paulson.

When even The Nation is slamming your new Democratic president, you know he’s fucked up.

Of course, now the disasters will come at an even more fevered clip, spurred by a Democratic majority in both houses. Thankfully we don’t have to contend with a supermajority, except on matters over which a bipartisan idiocy can preside. We seem to have dodged the auto-bailout bullet but, to go along with the trillions that we’ve already wasted, I suspect it’s but a brief respite. As I was saying. Here we have the President, with the President-elect’s support, ignoring the will of the legislature and diverting funds appropriated for another purpose.

I guess Kucinich can expand his list of impeachable offences for Congress to ignore. Will he be keeping as diligent a list for President Obama?

OK, I better wrap this up:

Hopes for sensible drug policy are not looking good, but he’s been backpedaling on that one for a while. I expect eight more years of exactly the same policy: unconstitutional, directly against the expressed will of the people, and a failure by any measure.

You and I know what “end the war in Iraq” means, but to politicians, apparently including the President-elect, it means the continued presence of tens of thousands of troops, indefinitely. About as much change as I could credibly believe in.

Finally, more stimulus is asinine. The country is bankrupt. Our economy has been one debt-fueled asset bubble after another, a nation-sized Ponzi scheme, for decades. The sooner they stop trying to reinflate another bubble, stop diverting money from the few remaining productive sectors of the economy to the insolvent, the sooner the (painful) recovery can get underway.

Merry Christmas.

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there are no easy buckets in this court

I think a lot of people, not unreasonably, believe that the United States Supreme Court has a monopoly on idiotic and tortured legal reasoning, in which the law is merely a complex sudoku en route to their predetermined conclusion.

Last week, however, it was Australia that was blazing new and extremely dubious legal trails in ruling that officers of the court may serve binding court notices via your Facebook wall.

This follows on the heels of the New South Wales high court ruling that cartoon drawings are people, too.

It makes me feel right at home.

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