2014.11.07 quite a banquet

The past week brought us the theatrical production of the “midterms”, quite an expensive production, apparently. I read one item saying that something like 4 billion dollars was shoveled into the spectacle, to elect people to a body (Congress) with an “approval rating” of somewhere around 10 percent, whatever that means.

That right there is part of the absurdity. We keep hearing about “approval ratings”, with lots of chattering about the stats and what it means, while never really getting to grips with the fundamental problem, which is that simply allowing people to select “approve/disaprove” doesn’t tell anybody anything, really.

Taking a listen to a short midday news summary brings a whole list of items, and the nature of these kinds of “the news headlines in just a few minutes” unfortunately brings a rapid fire list of items that makes it hard to not turn, look at the radio, and shout “bullshit!” about every ten seconds.

Just one of these was a blurb about the president meeting with “both parties” of congressional leadership (there’s an oxymoron of a term, right there), complete with a sound-bite of Obama mouthing some vacuous nonsense about a desire to work with the new Congress to, how did he put it, something about a wish to continue our economic recovery and make it better, or something like that. Another item shortly thereafter belched out nonsense about how the employment/unemployment figures are getting better (according to whom?), and on it goes.

That follows what was apparently another blip of the Wall Street phantasms, that reportedly saw the Dow Jones Industrial Average zip up to, you guessed it, another new record high, presumably because somebody thinks that Republican party taking control of Congress in a couple of months means “economic good news”. Why, exactly, is a mystery, but, then, the scene around us is a grand feast of delusions and hallucinations and just good old fashioned plain lying.

 

It was certainly worth noting that one of the news items was a report that more remains of dead people from the crash of Malaysia Airlines MH17 in eastern Ukraine were found.

Have you noticed that there has been nothing in the usual news sources here in the US about the crash investigation, and there has been nothing for some time? There has been virtually nothing and it’s no random coincidence that when you go digging, it’s evident that while there is still some mystery, it’s clear that the story we were fed, practically as soon as the crash was reported, was complete fabricated bullshit feeding the neocon cult’s narratives, about Russia as a threat to Europe and peace and freedom, and trying to distract attention from the US-backed overthrow of an elected government in Ukraine by coup d’etat.

The barrage of noisy nonsense about the election results here in the US continues. Flipping through cable TV channels, a few seconds of the festival of bullshit that packs the evening hours on Fox News brought a glimpse on screen of text saying something about how the election results meant “VOTERS REJECT DEM’S IDEOLOGY”, never mind anything about “ideology”, and the more plausible assessment of reality being more like the simple problem of people just fed up to the gills and finding themselves unable to do anything except keep flipping a switch back and forth between D and R.

I didn’t stop long enough to waste any time listening to whatever specious nonsense was pouring out of the mouths of the Fox talking head of the hour and whatever guest they had there, but I’m confident, no, sure, that there was plenty being dished out about things and what it all means, that has little relationship to reality.

One item that is one of the many things that escapes the usual US news is the matter of the proposed Trans Pacific Partnership agreement.

Look up the TPP and keep reading about it. It’s something that you’ll find has quite a few people rather alarmed, for good reasons. In all the chatter about what might be what in the new relationship between President Obama and a Republican party controlled Congress, you probably won’t hear and read a lot, at least without going beyond the usual joke of what we get for news here, about either the TPP and what it’s all about (in reality, not the cheerful propaganda), or the way that Obama is likely to do what he essentially has done. That is, contrary to what Fox News, Republican party members, and even “Obama supporters” say, to effectively be another Republican president, a tool, a puppet figurehead, in virtually anything that matters being an extension of the Bush/Cheney regime.

This takes us right back into something I know this is really difficult to get across to some people, maybe most. It doesn’t feed the standard narratives flying around at all, so I’m guessing that a large portion of Americans think this idea is just downright weird.

That could be said as a suggestion that now, with coming Republican party control of all of Congress, we are likely, almost guaranteed, to see two years of President Barack Obama, Republican president. With a Republican party majority control of both chambers of Congress, there, no doubt, will be vague rhetorical noises about “cooperation” and “working with Republicans” and “bipartisanship to get…” whatever… and so on, with party controlled marching in both chambers spewing out legislation and resolutions and Obama dutifully signing things, with accompanying noises making some ridicuous show of rationalizing it all and telling everybody what to think.

It’s incredibly hard to get anybody to break free of all the stuff we’re told we’re supposed to think about the whole circus of American politics and governance, and see what’s actually right there in front of us in actual reality over the past five and a half years or so. What we’ve had, as I’ve already said quite a few times, is a president who is neither what’s presented by the Republican party and Fox News et al, the fictional cartoon villain Obama (insert all the cliché nonsense about what he supposedly is, according to that mob), nor what Brand D loyalist “Obama supporters” have liked to tell themselves and each other about what they want to think he is, because it’s what they wanted to believe he is.

It’s like some grand trick on an astonishing scale, committed in plain sight, and, as I said already, possibly because it has been in such plain sight, it makes it seem even more incredible, just weird, impossible, to even suggest it. There was a clue back in the 2008 election circus, when there were occasional reports in the infotainment news about Obama gathering more money in campaign contributions from “Wall Street” as a general entity than the Republican party candidate, who, conventional wisdom has it, would be the natural ally of that crowd.

It might have started to become clear when the response to “the Financial Crisis” included making Wall Street player Tim Geithner the Secretary of the Treasury, doing another installment of “the bank bailout” TARP money shuffle to the massive Wall Street banks that had blown up banking and finance and every fucking thing in the world involving money, while the rest of us, including people doing honest business involving actual value, were left hanging… and when, as more and more time passed, nobody involved in the grand schemes that blew up everything was held responsible for anything. It should have been blindingly clear when there was no sign of reinstating even the general basics of the Glass-Steagall Banking Act of 1933, despite bills introduced in both chambers of Congress to do just that (which have been completely ignored). Instead we got the pointless dog and pony show theater of supposed “financial reform” of the Dodd-Frank thing.

On it goes.

All that is just one portion of the array of items, but to get back to the point, what we’ve had is an image of Obama presented, starting in 2007, of Obama as this, that, and the other thing (I won’t rehash it all), with some of the fiction served up by the general Brand R crowd, to paint him as the evil villain threatening America, unless, of course, you give money to and vote for Brand R. At the same time, Brand D was sold on an image, somebody they could think of as Our Hero, Our Guy, with all they imagined that to be. Obama was elected, the Brand R bunch actually got what they wanted, really, when you sweep aside all the bullshit, while Brand D people kept telling themselves and each other that, well, you know, he’s our guy, our hero, but, darn it, he’s doing the best he can with all the obstruction and trouble from those darned R characters.

This isn’t even getting to the whole subject of the neocon militaristic lunacy and quest for world domination, presented in the disguise of “defense” and “defending freedom” and the oxymoronic “War on Terror” and all that. This includes the interesting phenomenon of the Nobel Peace Prize winning president who has probably set some records for “most places and people bombed by a Nobel Peace Prize winner”, I suspect.

In a new development, setting this aside and doing a bit of web browsing turned up a Facebook “photo share” with a photo of a lonely looking Obama facing away from the camera looking out a window, with the big bold text: “DEMOCRATS LOST THE ELECTION WHEN THEY TURNED THEIR BACKS ON THE PRESIDENT WHO TURNED THE ECONOMY AROUND IN THE FACE OF UNPRECEDENTED OBSTRUCTION BORDERING ON SABOTAGE FROM THE OPPOSING PARTY.”.

This could not be much better as an example of part of what I’m talking about.

Turned the economy around? Really? What does this even mean? When you come across this sort of thing, you’re probably finding the usual stuff; that the unemployment figure, or the official unemployment figure, is below X percent, regardless of the reality of the statistical cooking of the books that has less and less relationship to reality; that the stock market is “booming”, new record highs, ignoring the reality of the phantasms of trading games fueled by near zero interest theoretical money with the theoretical “gains” being sucked into accounts with theoretical numbers of a small select set of players, and so on. In other words, an “economic recovery” that’s pure bullshit. It’s just amazing and astounding to me that every now and then, fairly regularly, really, there we be some news story presenting a segment about how, despite all the “economic good news” about “recovery”, that “Main Street”, us peasants, are some form of skeptical and uneasy and whatever about the state of the economy. In this kind of recurring narrative, somebody expresses wonder and bewilderment at what they see as some baffling mystery… why are so many Americans thinking the economy is not so good, no matter how often we tell them it’s great?

Meanwhile, thanks to Brand R and their “big win”, the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee is probably going to be taken over by Senator Inhofe, a bonehead of epic scale who, in general, seems to find any kind of rational scientific grasp of physical reality to be politically inconvenient, and specifically, makes it quite a point of principle to constantly claim that large macroscopic changes in the climate and weather of planet Earth are not real and a direct consequence of what humans have been doing over the past century and a half or so, but, rather, are some Liberal conspiracy hoax committed by people who just hate America, freedom, prosperity, and God knows what.

As it looks, a good sign of how things are likely to be as dysfunctional in Washington as ever, but now a little worse, is what appears to be typical tempest in a teapot idiotic squabbling about the future of “immigration reform” and whether Obama will now be bound and gagged somehow in “immigration reform”, whatever that might be, and from there whether or not he will use presidential executive orders, with Fox News and Brand R barking that this presumed future not yet and maybe never event is or would be some outrageous abuse of power by the awful tyrant Obama. That’s probably a pretty good sign of what the circus will be performing in coming months, while pressing matters continue to be ignored, or obscured by idiocy and lying.

A week or two ago I saw a link posted online to an article that was a nice little piece of cheerleading for the president that was a good example of all kinds of problems regarding politics and energy matters: In One Fell Swoop Obama Announces Solar Jobs For 50,000 Veterans and Takes On Climate Change. Hooray!

For a start, it wasn’t 50,000 jobs, for anybody. It turns out, upon reading this, that it’s an announcement about a program that, over coming years, is intended to provide some sort of job training, for military veterans (forget anybody else, but that’s another topic), in installing “solar energy” equipment, not being specific about what. (“Solar energy” actually covers a bit of territory.) This isn’t a job. It’s training to install stuff.

And, of course, how, exactly, having some number of people now knowing how to install some equipment is “taking on climate change” is quite a topic all its own. Take that, climate change! I know how to install photovoltaic panels and associated equipment now! So there!

Naturally, having said all that, there’s no presumption in being sure that, from the Brand R political tribe, there will be squawking about “green energy scams” upon hearing any news like this.

In the meantime, people really wanting to believe that Omaba is our guy, and a great visionary leader dealing with stuff, will take that article as a shining endorsement, some real action.

Between these two crowds, sucking up all the air in the room, it’s hard to tell how many people are really getting the realistic picture. I know that many people do, and are getting a little bit more focused on the real thing rather than the noisy political propaganda, but, it’s still a small minority.

Now that we have this coming new Republican party dominated Congress, it might very likely be that a new “cooperation” will see a rapid scramble of Brand R to shove through the proposed Keystone XL pipeline, just one of many items, “issues”, that attract loads of noisy and angry chatter in the political theater, while missing a lot. This note is getting a little long, so I’ll get back to this.

 

 

If it happened there: How would we cover the midterm elections if they happened in another country?

oftwominds-Charles Hugh Smith: If You Really Think It Matters Which Party Controls the Senate, Answer These Questions

The Illusion of Democracy

Obama & McConnell Pledge Cooperation; Will Fast-Tracking Secretive TPP Trade Deal Top Their Agenda?

Obama Pushes Secretive TPP Trade Pact

Obama Faces Backlash Over New Corporate Powers In Secret Trade Deal

#TPP: Fast Tracking a Corporate Agenda by Karen Hansen-Kuhn + Action Alerts

The Free-Trade Regime: Oligarchy in Action

President Flim-Flam Leads Dems to Midterm Massacre

 

The Mystery of Ray McGovern’s Arrest

Western News-Suppression about the Downing of MH-17 Malaysian Jet

Obama’s Last Chance

4 Ways the New Top Environment Senator Disagrees With Science

 

US Destroying Syria’s Oil Infrastructure Under Guise of Fighting The Islamic State (ISIS)

When the Shale Runs Dry: A Look at the Future of Fracking

The Oil Crash: it is happening now!

Drilling Deeper: A Reality Check on U.S. Government Forecasts for a Lasting Tight Oil & Shale Gas Boom

Museletter 270: How to Shrink the Economy without Crashing It | Richard Heinberg

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