Dr. Bernanke Puts U.S. Economy on Terminal Life Support Ahead of Fiscal Cliff

» Frontline airs its traditional "The Choice" today. They usually put together an interesting, intimate portrait of the candidates ..

Kyptonite.. including an informative look into their formative roots (.. something I always find fascinating).

I have not yet watched it (perhaps later this evening) so I can't comment.

But I *did* however, catch some of last week's debate in Denver (on Oct 3rd).

And it seemed like Mitt definitely had the mojo working for him ..

.. and that Obama [ surprisingly ] could not buy a line .. to save his life .. as tho all his points fell flat.

Did not resonate. At all. As tho Romney carried in his pocket a concealed ingot of debating kryptonite.

Even the shout-out that Barack started out by saying to his wife .. that was not something that should have been voiced over national TV .. certainly not at that time.

The situation and circumstances warranted a more serious and focused demeanor. Far more. His "Toodles, honey. Catch ya back at the ranch" made it seem like he does not take seriously the problems plaguing our nation.

"You can greet your wife later, dude." Cuz right now, most Americans are watching their nation continue to circle itself in the giant porcelain pooper you call the Economy.

» Romney Admits the Debt is a MORAL Issue

I especially liked the way that Romney said (at the very beginning of Part 2) that the DEBT was a MORAL issue.

And he used the phrase "MY generation" .. as tho taking personal responsibility, when he said:

"Good. I'm glad you raised that. It's a critical issue. I think it's not just an economic issue. I think it's a MORAL issue.

I think it's frankly NOT moral for MY generation to keep spending massively more than we take in ..

.. knowing those burdens are going to be passed on to the next generation ..

Obama after debating with Romney in Denver.. and they're going to be paying the interest and the principal all their lives."

The word "my" really stuck out to/with me. And he phrased his response in such a way that made him seem believable.

Today's entry however, seems somewhat ironic, seeing that Frontline is part of PBS ..

.. which, along with Sesame Street and Nova, Romney promised to defund. PBS is not where our budgetary problems lie.

"Focus on the real problem, Mitt. You dont want to defund an award winning program called the American Experience .. or the folks responsible for producing the comparative portrait that helps get you elected."

I would have liked to hear Obama respond with a statement that said something like..

.. "I agree with the Governor that our national debt represents a moral issue for our children's generation." But alas, he did not.

If I were the moderator, I would have asked him point-blank ..

.. "Mr. President, do you agree with Governor Romney that our national debt represents a MORAL issue for our nation and our children's generation?"

Everybody knows that politicians will say whatever they have to .. in order to get elected ..

.. and that, once in office they quickly develop a nasty case of campaign amnesia. But I cannot help but feel encouraged by these beautiful lies they tell us.

Update May, 2013 » We have one more prominent Washington politician who is willing to admit that the debt is a MORAL ISSUE. Hear for yourself House majority leader Eric Cantor say this very thing » HERE (at t-3:10). </update>

» The Real Difference

The main difference (as I see it) between Obama and Romney is not skin color or party affiliation .. but rather that » Romney grew up with a big DAD who loved him .. and Obama's dad was nowhere to be found ..

.. which, of course, is in NO WAY his fault. You have to give him credit .. for not being on drugs (any more). That must a hard thing to deal with. Seems like it would put an unusually large burden on his wife. No?

Obama half-black and half-white» Half-Black, Half-White

Since Obama is half-black and half-white .. I think his FIRST term .. was about governing as a white man .. using his black half.

But I feel his SECOND term (if re-elected) .. will represent that of a black man (.. using his white half).

In other words, it will be about the black man .. standing up to the white man.

Should be entertaining. (Makes me wanna put on some some Marvin Gaye and holla.) The Secret Service will certainly earn their keep if he is re-elected ..

.. because the idea of a black man occupying the White House for EIGHT YEARS might represent one of those things that try the souls of certain men. Might be more than some can handle.

With that in mind, it can help to couch the election in terms of the Vice Presidential race .. Biden vs Ryan. Very clear contrast there .. and even sharper when you substitute the values of Ayn Rand in place of Paul Ryan.

Whichever side you prefer, both sides will admit that the contrast is sharpest (and therefore clearest) there .. because contrast brings clarity.

I find the best imagery when contrasting Ryan's philosophy vs Obama .. cuz then the black/white thing comes into play .. along with all the others.

If Romney loses, that will be the end of the era of Rich Old White Guys .. as we know it. The party of Ozzie & Harriet breathes its last. Probably for a long time.

Cuz you know that #Hillary2016 is coming .. to a theater near you. The word 'historic' comes to mind. Anybody wanna talk about 'qualifications'?

And she will bring Bill. (You know he will stay alive for *that* shit.) And people who don't like Obama [.. for one reason or another ] still like Bill.

And the GOP will have no demographics to work with. There *is* a downside to exclusivity, it seems.

It will be too easy. The will call it the "Cake Walk 2016". And no one will want to talk about Hilary's qualifications. Name for me a presidential candidate who was more qualified. The nation needs somebody with a more-worldly, less-myopic perspective.

If Romney loses, the heartbreak will be crushing. Immediately enter into all-5 stages of the grieving process. The kind where loss = death. Cuz that's what it will be .. for the GOP.

The subtext here would be » the country NO LONGER belongs to rich, old white guys. That realization will likely be tough to swallow. I would expect some degree of denial (.. which would lead to ugly political realities) ..

GOP dinosaur.. along with some form of economic retaliation .. since that is where their strength lies. You use what you got, right? [ Money. ]

The nation's *wealth* may still belong to them (ROWG) .. but no longer the country ..

.. which, of course, would probably make them fearful (perhaps even paranoid) ..

.. that their wealth will be targeted next. (Perhaps time to move it offshore .. if it's not there already.)

And to the degree that paranoia is an irrational psychological dysfunction .. you could expect crazy shit. =)

••• today's entry continues here below •••

The Debt Ceiling [ control over ] is what gives the Republican party its power. So I would not expect them to extend the Debt Ceiling for more than 10 minutes at a time.

The power to initiate Financial Armageddon .. on a global scale. Will they press the RED button? Do they have the balls? You won't catch me daring them. No, sir.

The notion of politicians holding the economy hostage is nothing new. "If *I* go down, we ALL go down." [ You can only say that with a Jack Nickolson here's-johnny gleam in your eye. ]

You thought 2008 was bad? Watch what happens if the United States defaults on its debt .. the mere *thought* of which is too terrible to consider. The end of the world as we know it.

So the question would become » are they willing to shoot themselves in the foot (.. politically) .. or order to do what they perceive as self-defense? Especially when that is all they have left.

Do not underestimate the power of fear as a motivator. Prudence here would dictate preparing for the worst .. if history is any example.

Gotta draw your line and make a stand somewhere. This looks like as good a place as any.

UPDATE - 05 Dec 2012 » Here is a telling quote from Obama on this very issue (1st paragraph of Page 2):

"Everybody here is concerned about uncertainty. There's no uncertainty like the prospect that the United States of America, the largest economy that holds the world's reserve currency, potentially defaults on its debts."

Good that they are at least conscious of the threat / possibility. </update>

Take a moment before moving on to the next section  .. and note that .. it is DEBT that represents our Achilles' heel .. and how one could argue .. that this DEBT is immoral. Generational immorality. Coincidence? Connection?

Our greatest strength seems to have become our greatest vulnerability .. our biggest liability.

Under the Banner of Heaven by Jon Krakauer» Mormons Lovely People

It might be worth mentioning here .. that I do not know a single Mormon who is is not a very nice person. And some of them have even been very nice to my son ..

.. who would often watch TV at night with a childless Mormon couple, who lived right next door (.. back before they moved) .. which naturally buys a LOT, in my book. (If the Bug likes 'em, then *I* like 'em.)

[ Or maybe they were Jehovah's Witnesses. I get those two mixed up, sometimes, cuz they both knock on your door.

Update - Yes, they were Jehovah's Witnesses. I checked some of the literature they gave me. (Prolly 10 pounds worth.) I hope they are not offended that I confused them with Mormons.

A friend said I shoulda known better .. cuz there IS no such thing .. as a childless Mormon couple.

Tho it seems JW's can be wacko, too. No one is immune. ]

Now, people tell me that they've met shitty Mormons .. but I've never met any myself. Tho I *have* read this book .. which is about Mormonism.


[ I originally bought the book cuz I thought it was about Mountain Climbing (.. notice the picture-of-mountain-range-on-cover) .. like Krakauer's other novel .. that I absolutely loved. Wasnt until I got home that I realized what the book was really about ..

.. which sheds light into how much I enjoyed Into Thin Air. "Oh, look! A Krakuer book with a picture of mountains on the cover. I'll take it!"

Yes, I felt tricked by the picture of mountains, but glad I was tricked. Cuz it was a very interesting book.

Krakauer's thematic similarity - in case you were wondering, like I was - common to both titles is » Exploring Extremes. He ventures out to the end of the proverbial Bell curve and reports what he sees.

In other words, the summit of mount Everest has things in common with Mormonism. =) ]

Kyptonite » Concealed Debating Kryptonite

I am not taking political sides here. [ You and Madonna can make up your own minds. ] I am merely sharing my thoughts regarding what I observed.

Now I did not actually *see* any glowing, green kryptonite on stage .. but I certainly saw its effects.

In other words .. I was surprised, very surprised .. at/by how well the silver-spooned college-bully did / seemed / looked / sounded. Mr. 47% himself.

But I was even more surprised at how flat Obama sounded .. as tho nothing he said resonated ( .. at all). Because he is normally very articulate.

I do not know what all this means. But if Obama can't find and dislodge that bar of kryptonite that Romney is carrying into the debates .. it doesnt look good for the home team's electoral chances.

» Dr. Bernanke Places U.S. Economy on Terminal Life Support

Speaking of things economic .. have you noticed that, last month (on Sept 13, Thursday), Dr. Bernanke placed the U.S. Economy on Terminal Life Support [ TLS ] .. called QE 3 or QE Infinity?

Dr. Bernanke places U.S. economy on terminal life supportNo matter how you might feel about the effects of this economic stimulus ad infinitum .. it can't possibly be viewed as a good omen.

I mean, how would you feel if your doctor said:

"I know you've been very sick for several years now .. maybe the sickest you've ever been .. and I know that we've already prescribed several expensive courses of treatment ..

.. but, beginning today, I want you to start taking one of these special new pills. They contain strong medicine, which cost a fortune. And KEEP taking them .. unless you hear from me otherwise .. for as long as you're still able to swallow."

That's what I call TLS. Never an encouraging sign for the patient. Doctors don't break out the morphine unless the 'situation' is dire. And pretty much every economist who can spell the word 'desperate' agrees that the latest Fed action is "extraordinary".

Won't be long 'til Ben will be smearing your chest with electrode jelly .. right before Tim shouts, "Clear!"

Our government is dysfunctional and the state of our economy is the result.

The head of the IMF, for example, was recently quoted [ in this article ] as saying that today's Global Financial System is "not much safer than it was in 2008, when the collapse of Lehman Brothers triggered a global meltdown."

Think she might know?

And what of Europe? Does the Northern half continue to pay for the Southern half? Or do they cut it loose? Twenty-two Trillion (with-a-tee) is a LOT of broccoli. And Japan?

» The Fiscal Cliff is Really About Values

The rapidly approaching Fiscal Cliff , which has been called a "doomsday budget package" .. might seem to be about money, but it is really about » VALUES .. values which encompass far more than mere economics.

The Fiscal CliffThat's why it will be WAR. (War amid growing uncertainty.)

[ Update » the term ' arms race ' has been thrown out there. </update> ]

Don't forget that we will debate the DEBT CEILING again .. come February. Three months away.

And I neednt remind you how nasty things got during the last debt-ceiling debate.

What has changed since? Nothing that I can see. Nada. Zilch.

That's why the *real* shit begins the day AFTER the election. That's when the fun starts.

As an aside .. do you not find it curious .. that people are starting to refer to Bernanke's 'Fiscal Cliff' .. as a 'Fiscal Slope'? Cuz I do.

» Our Very Own Abraham Lincoln Moment

There is much tension in America right now. More severe than normal. Much more. As tho the nation were being torn apart.

You can feel it. In the air. In your bones. For a long time now. A few decades. And things appear to be worsening, no?

I feel as tho .. I try hard at, and do a good job at » being able to STAND IN THE SHOES of *BOTH* sides of an issue / argument / position / debate ..

.. without adopting a judgemental position .. one way or the other .. for the express purpose of clarity-of-vision .. unhindered by the emotional distortion that often comes from adopting judgmental positions ..

Abraham Lincoln | 16th President of the United States.. because too many people cannot even SEE the other side of the political spectrum ..

.. of our political divide .. because they have villified the other side.

And I must say » it is an REMARKABLY ENORMOUS DISTANCE .. from one side of our political spectrum ..


.. to the other. </echo>

Wow. From conservative Republican to liberal Democrat .. a mind-torquing distance.

How two sides can be SO FAR APART .. on any particular issue .. is a mystery. Very interesting question, indeed.

[ Regardless your political affilation or preferences .. you know exactly what I'm talking about. Lots of black-n-white (.. red-n-blue) .. with precious little gray (purple) in-between. ]

Do you not feel like our nation is headed (straight) for our own Abraham Lincoln moment? (Make or break.) I do.

I suspect Spielberg also senses this tearing .. which is why he chose to release his Lincoln biopic during the week of the election (.. regardless of who wins).

He could have made a picture about ANYTHING. [ Heck, he's Spielberg. Funding is no problem. ]

Slavery .. which Lincoln dealt with (.. if you think about it) .. is a form of » ECONOMIC exploitation (.. against the black man).

Americans have always had differences of opinion. But it's this genuine HATRED (.. to the point of nastiness) .. that seems new and surprising. Very surprising. And personal.

The word 'vitriol' comes to mind. Wait a sec .. let me go check its definition. Uh, yep .. that's it. =)

The kind that says .. "I would eat your heart right here-n-now .. if I only had a bourbon chaser to wash it down."

I don't know what this vast gulf bodes for the our future .. as a nation. But I can't see how it could possibly be a good thing.

Some politicians suggest that we [ the American people ] are "not as divided as our politics suggest." I respectfully disagree.

And everybody knows what they say about » a nation divided. One half seems to genuinely despise the other. And all this ten$ion is about » VALUE$.

It's about determining whose values will pilot our titanic economy (seemingly unsinkable) .. at a time when things only seem to be working well for the wealthy and the Super Rich.

This shameless political capture makes the average John Q. Citizen feel unimportant, unappreciated, and duped .. since about this time of year back in 2008.

Meanwhile, the national economy remains on a clearly unsustainable path. Surprisingly enough .. this is the one thing that everybody seems to agree upon. Perhaps because it is so obvious.

Changes Next Exit Road SignAnd the reason that we are "able" to continue on our unsustainable path for so long .. is because ..

.. we are loading the bill onto our kids credit card. [ "Thanks. kids." ]

They might not know it yet .. but they will. Soon enough.

Do they have a moral obligation to pay an enormous debt that came to them thru immoral means? Would YOU pay such a debt

What kind of person runs up an enormous tab .. knowing that his kids will be stuck with the bill?

And, as Herb says » "If something cannot go on forever, it will stop."

Some folks feel that Old Man Economy is so weak and tired and "fragile" and strung-out from years of stimulus & deficit drugs .. that, if he *does* go down .. he might not able to get back up on his feet again ..

.. no matter how much Accommodative meds Dr. Ben might prescribe.

Old Man Economy is robbing an entire GENERATION of a quite-literally inconceivable $_amount .. and STILL barely sputtering along.

If you really want to convince me that the recovery is for real, then balance-the-budget .. to eliminate deficit spending and let the Fed zero its balance sheet. THEN I'll buy your "recovery".

Some economists make it sound like we don't really have a serious problem .. that we will only have a problem .. in the FUTURE .. IF .. we don't adjust our fiscal course accordingly.

But .. we have Trillion dollar deficits .. right here-n-now. Today. And we've had them for several years now. And I see no sign of them improving any time soon. Do you?

And every day we continue on our current unsustainable fiscal trajectory .. it makes it THAT MUCH HARDER for us to resolve the problem .. in the future.

Meanwhile the über-rich are still trying to decide which one of their yachts to waterski behind.

Cuz, if you take away the Trillion dollars that our KIDS are chipping in (.. every year) .. then we HAVE no recovery. Everybody knows that.

Do the math. Three minus one equals [ = ] two. Two is less than [ < ] three. "Less" is not [ ! ] more. Cuz nobody likes LE$$ of a thing they perceive as good [ :( ] .

Not very difficult to figure it out .. when your choices fluctuate (rapidly) between bad and worse.

Go down or continue to stick it to our kids .. on a scale makes Sandusky look provincial.

Americans hope (and some pray) for honor to return to Washington .. currently overrun by an army of Greeduskys .. the only invaders to enter a city marching upon red carpets .. spread far and wide .. with pockets full of green.

Maybe that is why it's called 'political capture'.

lightning bolt strikes empire state bldg nycEvery day is Christmas in Washington. Red and green everywhere.

» Crossing the Line

Where does the line fall? .. the one that separates a healthy desire to better ones circumstances and lot in life ..

.. from the disgusting distaste that we associate with insatiable greed? (.. the third of the seven deadly sins).

Ask around yourself and you will get many interesting answers. Folks far-n-wide may debate the answer .. and give their reasons and rationale for the interesting positions they adopt.

But NOBODY will argue that .. the man who STEALS FROM KIDS .. has crossed the line. Long ago.

If you folks really can't help yourself .. from being an enabler for those sick fucks who would strip-mine our children's future .. for their own greedy ends .. then you should just go home.

Thank-you for your service. We'll continue to send you a fat check .. every month .. until the cows come home (.. on our kids' dime, of course) .. and cover all your medical expenses .. until your dying day.

Anything else you might need? Be sure to let us know.

Sure, it may get expensive, but in the long run, it will be a bargain for us .. having you out of the way, where you can do no more harm. 

Meanwhile, we (obviously) need to » modify the SY$TEM .. so that PEOPLE are more important than MONEY. Where's Gene when you need him? ■

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