[I’ll take a brief moment on this Veteran’s Day to acknowledge the sacrifices of America’s servicemen and women, which have been great indeed in recent years. To be clear (and consistent): I see very little morality or intelligence in the policies of the Military Industrial Complex (MIC) — but that critical assessment does not reflect my view of the majority of individuals who have enlisted. In fact, in the wake of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, it was members of the U.S. military who, in many, many instances, fought the Bush/Cheney assault on human rights and the rule of law most vigorously, at GITMO (where one chief prosecutor after another QUIT in protest) and in the rest of the world, opposing: institutionalized torture, undemocratic/politicized tribunals, and even the ethnosectarian cleansing of Baghdad’s Sunnis euphemistically known as “The Surge.” I would like to acknowledge the countless individuals who have honorably represented the United States of America and exemplified the best values of our nation. Thank you for your service.]
Okay, I’ve just decided to let Cenk Uygur (of The Young Turks) do a lot of the talking for me today. I’ve been working on this blog for a couple of days now, roughing out a few paragraphs and reading and archiving articles and perspectives that best explain (for my money) the folly of the so-called “Grand Bargain” that’s looming, but in my opinion Cenk’s latest column gets it exactly right — so today I’m recommending that you read someone else’s work before my own… even if you leave my website right now, before you read another… word.
(Still there? Or, better yet, are you back? Excellent.)
I’m taking this unusual step (directing my readers elsewhere today) because I believe that Cenk Uygur’s “Why the Grand Bargain is One-Sided and Totally Unfair” can do some real good in America right now — THE MORE PEOPLE WHO READ IT, THE BETTER. This column provides a superb (concise and elegant) explanation of what the politicians are about to do to us in the upcoming lame-duck session of Congress (in short, to put it in my own words, they’re going to take the first truly significant step toward bringing European-style austerity to America, dealing our economy a crippling blow and locking in the permanent contraction of our middle class).
But again, Cenk says it best. Read his piece. Share it. Link it on Facebook. Tweet about it. Nag your friends and family with it and e-mail it to your congressional representatives… and tell them they’d better start thinking about balancing the budget some other way if they’d like to be reelected!
Liberalism just won BIG on Election Day, with: 1) a three-million vote advantage (and growing, as the ballots continue being counted) for President Obama; 2) a more than twelve-million vote (collective) advantage for all of the Democratic candidates for the U.S. Senate; and 3) a half-million vote (collective) advantage for all of the Democratic candidates for the House (a House that would be under Democratic control right now, if the side with the most votes won — which they would have, many analysts have offered, had Republicans not so thoroughly gerrymandered their districts two years ago).
Even so, thanks to the (near-total) corruption of our political system, Liberalism is about to suffer a historic defeat… unless we act NOW.
* * *
Finally, here are some of the links I was preparing for use in this blog — before I decided to make it the “Wow, check out what Cenk Uygur is saying” edition (you real wonks and readers will enjoy some of the facts and perspectives below, but my advice is to read Cenk first).
1. “The U.S. Austerity Fight Cometh” by John Buell (including austerity’s catastrophic failures in Europe and the fact that it was bailing out the financial giants that jeopardized the struggling European economies in the first place): http://www.commondreams.org/view/2012/11/07-10?print
2. “Wall Street Urges Obama to Commit the Great Betrayal” by William Black (on the “Grand Bargain,” which he terms the “Great Betrayal”; also flagging “Third Way” as the austerity-shilling, fake-liberals they are and enumerating austerity’s dismal track record in Europe): http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2012/11/bill-black-wall-street-urges-obama-to-commit-the-great-betrayal.html
3. “Let’s Not Make a Deal” by Paul Krugman (brilliantly explaining how the “fiscal cliff” is no such thing; noting that the President has a strong mandate to protect entitlements; and arguing that Obama must be willing to let the Bush tax cuts expire if the ritual hostage-taking of the U.S. economy is ever going to stop): http://www.nytimes.com/2012/11/09/opinion/krugman-lets-not-make-a-deal.html?pagewanted=printv
4. “Voters Didn’t Ask for Bi-Partisanship, They Demanded Good Policies” by Richard Eskew (wherein the author takes issue with the MSM’s preferred, austerity-supporting, narrative and explains what Americans tried to tell our broken establishment last Tuesday: “Protect entitlements and tax the rich!”): http://www.commondreams.org/view/2012/11/08-4?print
5. “10 Filthy-Rich, Tax-Dodging Hypocrites Pushing Disastrous Austerity on America: The Fix the Debt coalition is using the so-called ‘fiscal cliff’ to push the same old corporate agenda of more tax breaks while shifting the burden on to the rest of us.” by Sarah Anderson and Scott Klinger (well worth the read, especially for fans of chutzpah): http://www.commondreams.org/view/2012/10/29-7?print