My New Year’s resolution is no more stories about Fox News. Oh, oh, wait, but there’s one more thing… The Crank’s view, as always, suspiciously resembles Fox’s and can be summed up thusly: socialism = bad, cutting spending = good. Very helpful—well, not really—not when this all-or-Fox thinking threatens to block any meaningful fiscal reform. Here’s what we should be taking away from this year in politics: some Advil.
The Economy: In an earlier post I said to watch England. Never trust a country that claims they are really into beer and then has all their pubs close by eleven. They are trying to make up their deficit through 80% spending cuts and 20% tax hikes (a harsh recipe). They are, of course, tearing themselves apart, right on cue (mostly due to the early pub hours).
If you recall, I recommended something around 60/40—AKA, long range progress toward deficit reduction without as many deaths as Republicans are opting for. Originally, I thought conservatives were opting to reduce the deficit through 100% spending cuts, but that’s actually wrong. They strive to be even less realistic about shit. It’s their way. Since we’re borrowing money from China to help people like Richard Branson buy another spaceship, we’re actually looking at more like 105% spending cuts and no tax hikes. Hey, let’s start nation building in Yemen, extend the Bush tax cuts indefinitely for all, and then vote against raising the debt ceiling! …welcome to the 112th congress.
Sooo, when are you people getting back on your meds?
Long term we can all agree cutting spending is a good thing, and everything should be fair game, but if they start that 105% cutting shit tomorrow we’d be plunged into a depression. Every economist outside of the neococoon understands this. I’m not going to go over why returning to ‘90s level tax cuts for the super rich is necessary in the face of a 14 trillion dollar deficit, but the majority of Americans understand this, and the rest watch Fox.
If you come to Washington on a “just cuts” or a “just tax hikes” platform, you’re perpetuating the stupid. There certainly are libs on the left who haven’t gotten the “we’re broke” message and need to go, but Obama’s Debt Commission put together a deficit proposal that contained both difficult spending cuts as well as some necessary tax hikes…er, like the Mick “I-don’t-know-shit-about-economics” Zano model. And, since I really don’t know shit, the need for me to comment on this subject remains astounding.
Circa 2006 I stopped using my credit card and paid only cash for my booze and hookers. Did my balance disappear? Did my rash disappear? No, I needed to increase my payments to Visa and decrease the spending. And Obamacare better kick-in soon before this rash gets any worse. Meanwhile, Republicans have about a 1% plan to actually cut spending. Ahh, where’s the other 104% coming from…Narnia? Speaking of witch, we should probably pull our troops out of there as well.
Just saying that spending = bad is less than helpful. Sorry, but we’re not dismantling all of our institutions tomorrow. Not hap’nen. Of course, thanks to your due diligence, they may well fall apart of their own accord. Fiscal conservatives will likely block any plausible course corrections until it’s too late, proving the old adage a penny saved is a country burned.
Socialism: Huh? What are you people smoking? If the difference between the haves and the have-nots is reaching record proportions in recent years, Obama must be a pretty lousy socialist. Does socialism mean a shift in wealth toward the rich? Oh, I had no idea you changed the meaning of socialism…I get it. Sorry, but Obama will go down in history as a pragmatist. He could have nationalized our failing banks but chose not to. I think when the Fed begs you to nationalize all of our banks and you refuse, that’s an epic fail for socialism. Obama loaned cash to the auto industry and it worked far better than most imagined and, sorry, but trying to insure more Americans does not make him Karl Marx.
The Tea Party: If all your movement can muster is to rebrand our country’s biggest crooks in the name of freedom, ahhh, good luck with that. You needed to be a new emerging third party choice for America—a group truly distanced from both parties. AKA, you have failed …already. Do I think you will have a huge impact, yes, but will it be positive? I’m going to go out on a limb here…No.
Republicans: They have a two step plan 1.) cause the great recession, and 2.) sabotage the recovery. Great plan. Very patriotic. What annoys me the most about these “patriots” is the fact they continually focus on short-term economic gains, nothing more. That would be OK, I suppose—or not without some merit at this particular juncture in history—if they didn’t happen to suck at it. Foxeteers are like people who spend their whole life studying the mating ritual of the lemur and still don’t know dick about lemurs, or their dicking-about behaviors. In reality (sorry Cranky), Libs have a variety of views, a variety of positions, and a variety of ideas: some good, some bad, some ugly. They rarely agree on anything. On the other side, Fox is all one unanimous very bad idea—which is no coincidence, as we will soon see.
Oxymoron Watch: Hey, but watching Fox finally paid off for me this week! The O’Reilly Factor staff voted on their smartest comments of the year. I watched this segment in a similar manner to the closing sequence of Blazing Saddles, rolling around the living room carpet and slamming my hands on the floor. First out of the gate, for these ‘Fox precious moments’, they offered several mosque debate quotes…I repeat, several mosque debate quotes. Ahhh, that was fiction. They pumped the energy into this non-story to resonate with the asses. Then they praised themselves on their coverage cleverness as if this was somehow the cherry on their journalistic shit sundae. It was so nihilistic that Camus probably isn’t bothering to roll over in his grave. Next up was a Palin quote, which admittedly was a string of words that formed what one might describe—in certain remedial English classes—as a complete sentence (sometimes on cable news that’s enough). Then, not to be outdone, Brit Hume batted cleanup. The best quote from The O’Reilly Factor staff for 2010 was Mr. Hume rambling on about how amazed he is that other news networks aren’t emulating their powerful station’s successful formula.
Fox News: First off, Mr. Hume, one cable news network is following your lead; it’s called MSNBC. They pulled one from your playbook, which is precisely why they have sunk to new lows. Second, most of your station’s “success” can be attributed to a combination of our failing educational system and cognitive-age-decline. Third, ahhh…how do I put this delicately…you’re an embarrassment, sir. You and your ilk are the story within the story of our time.
Neococoon Watch: Here’s a recent study out of the University of Maryland on propaganda in the media. I originally found this on the dailydish.com. The PDF file is a good read. It’s not news…well, not to me. Fox, of course, ranked number one on the misinformation scale (by a mile). They are responsible for a long list of falsehoods that their viewers now hold as gospel. For a review of these, see any Crank feature. And, no surprise, MSNBC has moved to a distant second.
“But what’s interesting in the study is how it shows that Fox News, more than any other source, distorted the truth and created a false reality, for all its viewers, Democrats and Republicans—Let’s be clear about this. One alleged news network fed its audience a diet of lies, while contributing financially to the party that benefited from those lies.”
Or, as they like to call it, fair, balanced, and unafraid. Andrew is now where I was a couple of years ago and the Foxeteers are right where we left them: misinformed and marching toward the nearest cliff. But fear not fair reader, some of the millions of lemmings will be saved by using their copy of the Constitution as a crude parachute.
Fox’s supreme use of propaganda would be almost funny, if it hadn’t gotten Bush re-elected. We all know how that turned out…actually, about half of you don’t. But at least the studies are finally catching up with the Zanos. And the Cranks…well, they are the study.
And for yet another Nostradamian style prediction:
To their credit, the Cranks and the Pernicks of the world know way more about economics than I do. The Crank can rattle off any number of potentially savvy economic moves, many of which I even agree with (no, really, I do). But will the people they help elect implement any of them? That’s the big joke…on them. Somehow with all this “knowledge” they invariably mistake the forest for the sleaze.
Bottom line, will the Crank or Pernick agree with the above graph? Hell no! Is it pretty much how things will play out? Hell yes! Megatrends are lost in the details, because those details were, for the most part, placed in their brains by crooks and schnooks. While we collapsed under Bush, these savvy Fox business types were saying, “All is well, there’s nothing to see here” and, as we stabilized under Obama, they all whined, “The sky is falling!” When the Republicans return to power, they will initially return to their “All is well” stance. Then they’ll switch to “We were too late to change Obama’s policies.” Ahhh, the fact remains: you broke it, he stabilized it (albeit barely), and now you will finish us off in 2012. Hey, maybe the Mayans were trying to warn us about Mitch McConnell. I believe Quetzalcoatl translates roughly to “obstructionist asshole” in Mayan.
You know what has negatively impacted businesses more than anything the libs have done? Perpetuating this lie that everything is worse under Obama. We are amidst a fragile recovery, and you are purposefully adding to the uncertainty of our business community? Were business owners really comfortable under Bush with their increasing inability to insure their own employees? with the unsustainability of the Bush tax cuts from any graph or pie chart known to mankind? with a country waging numerous wars, at least one unnecessarily, totally on our collective credit cards? Really? Business leaders are that dumb? Well, maybe.
Sure, cutting spending = good, but cutting it before you have any viable plan to do so is another Fox precious moment. Shifting all of the wealth of the country to about a dozen or so moguls while calling it socialism is another neat stunt, but, in the Republican’s defense, Branson’s new spaceship is pretty awesome. Hey, those super rich are supposed to give us jobs, right? Can I work on your spaceship, Mr. Branson? I’ve watched every Star Trek episode and I know how to curse in Klingon. Oh, and I can also wear my pajamas for weeks at a time (a prerequisite for anyone serious about space travel). And, for your information Mr. Crank, my parents did tell me when they were moving out. They just forbid me to move back upstairs or touch their stuff. I am actually defiantly writing this from my father’s study as we speak, because I’m a bit of a rebel at hea—oh shit, the beer made a ring stain in the wood.
Solutions: The Crank says I’m not solution oriented, yet I recommended a ratio of tax hikes and spending cuts similar to Obama’s deficit commission (which was blocked by the ideologues on both sides). If you were really serious about cutting something, wouldn’t following the commission’s recommendations have been a better compromise than the recent spend fest? The only thing the right is serious about is fucking things up, their singular strength.
And, I’ve always said a gas tax would level the playing field and move the country toward a responsible energy policy. Do I want to walk to work? Hell no. Is it better than what’s coming economically and possibly ecosystemly? Hell yes. Fox believes all our healing juice will spring forth from capitalism. Sorry, in this case, capitalism needs a nudge and Wall Street needs a leash. Also, I have been touting the importance of a more integral based media to end the talking heads currently derailing the truth. I was on the vanguard of those attacking the media. Now, lo and behold, people are talking about it and studies are supporting it.
But, most importantly, it has been said that a sane world starts with sane citizens. I actually have been pretty clear on a solution, although it’s not a solution that will resonate with most Americans: meditate. Take on the self-experiential-experiment (SEE) of the contemplatives. Work on yourself and things will fall into place for you, regardless of your bank account. Study after study shows your economic wealth has no correlation with your happiness. I realize that this is sacrilege to the vultures over at Fox, but only a truly sick group of people can follow some of the twisted logic of our country’s policies. Our current path is a form of collective suicide, perpetuated by the left and right (er,…mostly the right). And again, to be clear, I’m not hoping for our financial institutions and political structures to collapse, it’s going to happen regardless, but it doesn’t have to be the end of America. I told you you would need that Advil.