ALL TOGETHER NOW...RECESSION!!
Freshly returned from our nation’s capitol where it was far easier to
locate a urine-free bus than it was to get someone to say the word recession out
loud. Sure, they’ll mumble it in the pubs or back-office restrooms or cheap
apartment elevators. Cabbies will mention it, or maybe someone on the radio
might use it in an ad campaign, but no one culling a check in the political
realm dare utter the word, least of all Republicans, who are so frightened about
losing the House right now it is unnervingly palpable.
Reportedly, House leader, Dick Armey spent nearly 72 hours locked in his
office with several key members of the Security and Exchange Commission
struggling to produce contrary evidence to growing rumors that every major
accounting firm bankrolling current Republican campaigns has a 50% crook rate.
The three-day summit allegedly produced over 300 names of corporate attorneys
currently under indictment for some kind of fraud.
Surprisingly, Democrat trepidations far outweigh GOP concerns. Scheduled
speeches by Al Gore has rendered the party dumbfounded on how to stop this
maniac from creeping from the 2000 wreckage to somehow claim defacto victory
again and begin to surge the electorate back into the notion that somehow a
reversal of fate means a reversal of fortune. No Dem annalist worth a damn wants
Gore screwing up this free ride to election bliss when the bottom has fallen out
of the Bush honeymoon.
Actually "fear" may not be the right word to describe the atmosphere in
Washington D.C. these days. The overall mood is best described with the phrase
"grave doom". And it is an Edgar Allen Poe type of doom, with ravens and corpses
and women in black veils, a cocaine nightmare worthy of 19th century gothic
horror. Painful whispers abound that the evil black cat is out of the bag and
the big business lawyers hold all the cards and the president is some kind of
cheap, knock-off of dear old dad and the crippled American dollar will be the
death knell for this one-term hell.
Believe me when I report that there is not a person within a ten mile
radius of Capitol Hill with an ounce of responsibility willing to face anything
involving the corporate lunacy that comes pouring in daily. It is a city in
suspended animation. Not even the papers report anything worthy any longer. The
Washington Post has been neutered by international wireless dealerships and Sam
Donaldson is whipping up support for a major lawsuit against ABC News.
The emergence of something called the Corporate Fraud Task Force raised
some eyebrows, but they mostly belonged to the Homeland Security dissenters who
choose to view this latest government spend spree as tantamount to placing the
odd band-aid on a gaping wound. Two days before the announcement a crazed
executive at AOL/ Time Warner began leaking news that the partnership was
Meanwhile the unemployment rate is soaring, the stock market is farcical at
best and the national debt continues to escalate by the millisecond. No one
wants to admit that there is a massive pink elephant sitting on the White House
lawn. Yet there it is. And it is a veracious beast willing to stomp and pillage
for any kind of recognition.
We shall call the elephant Recession, because that is what you call it when
the above-mentioned areas of economic pertinence begin to waver like a weakly
constructed shack in the wind. And the elephant is a fitting metaphor for what
the present Republican government has wrought on this economy.
Strike that. The federal government has very little to do with a weak and
insecure economy. But that’s not what voters think, and in Washington, that is
all that matters now. It is too close to Labor Day to believe that anything will
change drastically enough to convince the populace that this present government
has not crippled this country, nor will they have a clue how to fix it.
Forget comparing this abortion to the Clinton years when phony tech stocks
and blathering foreign business men with a cadre of hookers and pound of grade A
smack could earn an evening in the Lincoln bedroom with Bobby De Niro and Babs
Streisand to help toast the best economy in the history of this republic. Yeah,
that doesn’t count, because it was Newt Gingrich and the Republican congress of
’94 that saved the decade. Although that bullshit doesn’t hold water anymore,
because we still have a Republican congress and another fucking Bush dingus on
Pennsylvania Avenue and, guess what, junior? We have another recession.
Not to worry, because no one is calling it that. Not Allen Greenspan or
Paul O’Neill. No way. Not them. The Secretary of Treasury makes an appearance on
national television to report that all is well, while his colleagues in the
administration call him names in an Alexandria weekly.
Last week, Bush’s economic advisor, Lawrence Lindsey was seen twice
trashing O’Neill on the campus of GW University. The hilarious series of
outbursts bore the oft-quoted phrases "Lost in a sea of Pollyanna" and "Hasn’t
been to Wall Street since 1989". This prompted Glenn Hubbard, Bush’s big gun on
the Council of Economic Advisers to call Newsweek with a statement on Lindsey
they still refuse to run because "It borders on slander."
The minute Congress passed the Corporate Responsibility bill, following a
barrage of calls to the White House derisively commenting on Bush’s veiled
attempt at a speech to bolster confidence in the trade market, Hubbard was seen
stumbling out of a private men’s club in Logan Circle stammering something about
having been cursed by a jade monkey.
To ward off the evil spirit of Herbert Hoover, the administration announced
an economic forum to be hosted by the president in mid-August. Unfortunately the
location will be Waco, Texas, a place that has enough unstable spirits to fill a
Dickens novel twice over.
History is important to the large players inside the Beltway. This is why
the panic strikes deep across party lines.
Aside from his rousing series of "evil doers" speeches in the wake of 9/11,
Bush has had about as inauspicious first two years as his predecessor, who
managed to swing wide the doors of the Republican Revolution. And no one in the
party wants to even broach the way George Bush sr. ignored the signs of a
sagging economy basking in the glory of his gaudy Desert Storm popularity
Just because the guys in the expensive suits refuse to address this wounded
economy with the word recession, doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. One thing that
does exist is the very real possibility that whatever it’s called could
effectively murder two Bush presidencies.
Oh, I thought this was a discussion of Dave's hairline [img]smile.gif[/img] Just kidding...I couldn't resist.
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