…resurrection of austere debt the reveller, command performance…

Only in the USA.

The Farce continues – debt, deficit, fiscal cliff, Grand Bargain, sequester… As the famous Yogi Berra would say, ‘It’s déjà vu, all over again’…

And not just the curmudgeon will be unimpressed with acting as poor as the play is weak, and just as predictable in its obvious guile. Without any further ado, and we just happen to have, as Woody Allen would say in Annie Hall, right here the exposure of the charade being perpetrated against a majority of USans sedated into malleable ignorance. What do we have?

The debt thing is a joke, a poorly disguised distraction. Other than the usual mass of disadvantaged, one high profile casualty would be team Reinhart-Rogoff who had, or allowed to be, misused their non-peer reviewed or double checked, GITD, damaging their reputations in the process.

We then have The Grand Bargain, (the Great Betrayal  according to William K. Black) by a US President who had conceded even more than had been requested. Fortunately for the voiceless, the surfeit of concessions had been rejected by an unhinged fringe group of hysterical opponents with a scorched earth policy, and one bent on a return to some mythical US of the past. In essence, though, the rhetoric between the indistinguishable exalted leaders of the corporate duopoly darkly comic and cynical, as greater self-enrichment is one result of their corporate sponsors profiting from their legislative endeavours.

A curmudgeon’s brief guide to the charade. And the only prerequisite needed is just a modicum of critical thinking. For starters, the destructive impact of the ‘Great Recession’ insufficiently slowed, yet there is the sound of the ‘dog whistle’ to ‘pivot’ (always a sport or military metaphor) to debt reduction, and a President ever eager to lead the attack – if the ‘polls’ or ‘media’ indicate possible political advantage.

In 2009 the fair blog identifies The Deficit Distraction

Although Obama says he “make[s] no apologies for having acted short-term to deal with our recession,” he appears to have bowed somewhat to budget-balancing pressure, claiming sleeplessness over the deficit (Washington Post, 6/23/09), and declaring his intention to create a deficit-neutral healthcare bill (New York Times, 6/26/09).

The date of the article? September 2009. Quickly to 2011. We have the question, Has the Media Totally Forgotten About the Unemployed? And here the latter day peers of Incitatus would make him look wiser than Solomon.

On Capitol Hill, any trace of job-oriented stimulus has melted with the winter snow. Instead, the city’s hot for deficit reduction, and the press has caught the fever.


Which persuades one of the appropriateness of that work of Vance Packard, A Nation of Sheep – only now with  smartphones. In sharp contrast, in countries, from Latin America to Europe, people in their tens of thousands have protested their sudden lot, and done so in the face of strong, even militarised, police ‘presence’. The ‘world’s greatest’ democracy in action or out of action?

William K. Black exposes at year end 2012, the fraudulence of the agreement that was not to be and saved many more from further economic disadvantage and even impoverishment with, Let’s Celebrate the Failure of the July 2011Great Betrayal as he provides evidence of one, like Lloyd C Blankfein, ‘doing God’s work’, where God is really Mammon. Black’s first paragraph sets the tone:

In July 2011, President Obama and Speaker Boehner reached an agreement in principle on a deal crafted to inflict $4 trillion in austerity by raising taxes modestly, slashing social spending, and beginning to unravel the safety net.  The deal would have been a disaster for America.  Unemployment was 9.1%.  The deal would have thrown us back into a recession and caused unemployment to surge.  Recessions and increased unemployment cause tax revenues to fall and increase demand for social services (e.g., for unemployment compensation) – they produce large deficits.  Austerity kills jobs and frequently increases deficits.  The Eurozone is the latest demonstration of this fact.

Black then exposes the deception of the ‘sequester’, Why Obama Refuses to Kill the Sequester First two paragraphs, yet all are also worth the investment of time.

We are in the midst of the blame game about the “Sequester.”  I wrote last year about the fact that President Obama had twice blocked Republican efforts to remove the Sequester.  President Obama went so far as to issue a veto threat to block the second effort.  I found contemporaneous reportage on the President’s efforts to preserve the Sequester – and the articles were not critical of those efforts.  I found no contemporaneous rebuttal by the administration of these reports.

In fairness, the Republicans did “start it” by threatening to cause the U.S. to default on its debts in 2011.  Their actions were grotesquely irresponsible and anti-American.  It is also true that the Republicans often supported the Sequester.

Date of Black’s blog post? February 2013.

And in September and October of 2013 the establishment MSM bores the world via cable news with the ever ‘surprising’, ‘urgent’ news of long recognised governance failure in an increasingly Potemkin democracy, real only on tv with obligatory tv props. The curtain is set to fall on The Theatre of the Absurd.

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