Lots has happened since I last posted, so let’s look at the popular stories.
The Debt Ceiling has to be first on the list since it’s all the rage with the news organizations and the Repugnicrats are having a field day with it.
The Debt Ceiling is a non-issue. The U.S.A. is required to pay its debts by Constitutional decree. But it has become yet one more way for Boner and McGoo to hold the government hostage. They see it as an opportunity to force draconian cuts on the most vulnerable in society by holding a simple matter of bookkeeping over everyone’s heads, with potential for serious damage.
Personally, when interest goes up, my home mortgage payment can quickly double. That’s only one of the many bits of fallout possible from a default or even a near-default.
But the Debt Ceiling should not exist. It has no power over the actual spending of the Fed as proven by current spending being higher than the debt ceiling. So what is its purpose? There isn’t any. Saint Reagan had no problem with raising the Debt Ceiling 18 times during his Presidency.
Obama has been playing his part well. He poses as the sensible voice in the room, though every word that comes out of his mouth is no more than political rhetoric. For a real picture of the Debt Ceiling and what it means, the appeal of the clear-speaking Senator Al Franken is far better fare. You can find his several-months-old speech here.
The Right wants to eliminate entitlements entirely, since they’re so annoying to the powers-that-be who wish to steal them fair and square as they’ve stolen the rest of the money of the United States. The Left seems to be thinking that entitlements must be “fixed” so that they can remain solvent. While every other cost goes up, the cost of medicines, health care, aid to the poor are expected to go down. For some reason, the definition of entitlements seems to escape all parties involved.
Moving on . . .
Oslo, Norway, has a new villain. That one man can do such an amazing amount of damage is unbelievable, that he’s a right-wing Christian who has a hero complex is not. Ideology once again shows its murderous side.
Record summer heat blankets much of the U.S., though we are enjoying moderate temperatures here in Idaho at the moment. That could change. Idaho weather can always change.
Whalesong tears my heart. The fate of the whales is extinction. They are one of the few intelligent species we’ve met, and exterminating them Dalek style seems to be how we deal with such things. With all the sci-fi movies about aliens coming to earth to steal our resources or use us for food, it’s really us, isn’t it, who steal. Here’s a beautiful mix of whalesong and music from Paul Winter, courtesy of PZ Myers.
On the bright side, unemployment claims have fallen. Good right?
On the dark side, that’s only 400,000 new people who have lost their jobs and many more who can no longer claim benefits. I’ve spoken about jobs before, and I’m thinking that the administration, neither side, cares to say much about the subject. On the Rethug side, their policies have been in force for three decades, feeding lots of tax-exempt money to the ultra-wealthy; on the Democratic side, the administration has plugged the leak in the dike, but there are countless other leaks that continue to flood the inhabitants of the lowlands.
And no one in government seems to see the simple solutions, and in fact cannot see them because of the pervasive, pretty-sounding free market capitalism. That brings up a topic for a future post, to do with the myth that crises in economy are unwanted. Cui bono?
I’ve spoken about this in previous posts but it’s time for an update.