Friday, October 24, 2008

The GOP may concede the election

The GOP is already pulling the financial plug on the McCain campaign, cutting its losses, abandoning McCain, perhaps hoping to re-group for the 'future'. It's not only GOP honchos who seem inclined to cut their losses. The McCain campaign itself is 'pulling' ads in Minnesota, Colorado, Maine, Wisconsin and New Hampshire. McCain's campaign is in recession.

If these reports are true, it means that Obama's lead is substantial and widespread, perhaps beyond the ability of GOP hackers to 'steal' without tripping alarm bells. Some 'insiders' may have already concluded that Obama's lead is so well established that the election cannot be stolen 'safely'.
So far today, the polling numbers are grim reading for McCain’s campaign:
  • Zogby has Obama at +12 points; 52-40
  • Research 2000 has Obama up 51-41
  • The stable Rasmussen poll has expanded to a seven-point Obama lead; 52-45
  • Gallup has contracted a bit to a six-point Obama lead; 51-45
  • Hotline/Diageo is at a five-point Obama lead; 48-43
  • GWU/Battleground has moved from a one-point Obama lead two days ago to a four-point lead, 49-45, today, representing Obama’s strength at the end of its three-day polling cycle
Perhaps worse for McCain are some stunning results from Ohio, where McCain simply must win. Quinnipac gives Obama an astounding, 14-point, 52-38 Ohio lead and the University of Wisconsin puts the Obama lead there at 12 points, 53-41. The University of Wisconsin also shows Obama with a 10-point lead in Indiana, another state McCain must have, 51-41.

--Scholars and Rogues
With any luck, this election could represent a sea-change in American attitudes, many of which can be traced back to the immediate post WWII era, historically, the most egalitarian period in American history. Thanks to enlightened tax policies, the richest one percent most certainly did not own over 90 percent of all wealth --as is the case today. In fact, the US was at its most egalitarian throughout WWII and the post war era. Things did not change dramatically until the rise of Ronald Reagan and 'Reagonomics', the polite word given to the spreading of wealth upward to those already rich and elite.

The rise of Ronald Reagan brought with it a spreading of wealth upward to the upper classes and Wall Street insiders, in fact, an increasingly tiny elite of just one percent of the nation but own more than 90 percent of its wealth. The result is factually documented by the government's own agency. Income inequality measured by what economists call the GINI index.

Income inequality in the United States compared to other rich countries

Notice that the GINI index is highest in the United States, indicating that the growing disparities between the rich and poor are greater here than in any other country on the chart. This will prove to be the catalyst that creates a 'Third World America'.

McCain has abandoned the straight-talk express for the bullshit bandwagon that advocates the spreading of wealth upward to those who don't need it and will not reinvest it. We are talking about the richest one percent of the total population, that tiny elite that does not need nor does it deserve a tax cut of any sort. Worse than 'spreading wealth around', McCain wants to suck it up or flush it down a black hole from which it never, ever re-emerges.

McCain has abandoned his opposition to the Bush-era tax cuts and has taken up the demagogic call—in the midst of recession and Wall Street calamity, with looming crises in Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid—for more tax cuts. Bush’s expire in 2011. If McCain, as he has proposed, cuts taxes for corporations and estates, the benefits once more would go disproportionately to the wealthy.

--The Choice, The New Yorker
Sellouts by Mssrs Reagan, Bush and Bush, the US has now shares a most important economic barometer with third world nations --income inequality. The US, the most unequal, has caught the contagion best described in a recent UN report.
Halfway to the 2015 deadline for achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDG) to lift people out of poverty, a United Nations MDG 2007 Report points to the widening economic disparities and underscores the need for political leaders to take urgent and concerted action. It projects that climate change will have serious and social impacts which will impede progress towards the MDGs.

The collective record is "mixed" in the "midpoint" report. While Asia has made dramatic progress in the eradication of extreme poverty and hunger, halving the proportion of people living on the equivalent of a $ a day, there is evidence to suggest that benefits of economic growth are not being shared across different parts of the continent.

--Economic Disparities on the Rise: U.N. report, [PDF]
Not only wealth was transferred upward --spread around among the tiny elite of Bush kiss ups -- the incomes of the rich and famous increased exponentially during the administrations of Ronald Reagan/Bush Sr and again under George W. Bush who revived the corpse of 'supply side economics' in order to pay off what he called his 'base', an increasingly rich and elitist one percent of the total population.
The divide between rich and poor was much less apparent before Reagan helped the nouveau riche move to absurd and pretentious suburbs. The 'Bedford Falls' of "It's a Wonderful Life" or the "Grover's Corner" of "Our Town" no longer exist. And it is a pity. The great paintings of Norman Rockwell seem to us to be relics of a simpler, better time.

The spreading of wealth upward to the GOP elite is achieved two ways.
Strategy of disguised redistribution of national resources from the bottom to the top is carried out by a combination of:
  • drastic hikes in the Pentagon budget
  • equally drastic tax cuts for the wealthy.

--COUNTERPUNCH
Before the Reagan/Bush/Bush [RBB] apocalypse, the US had viable industries. "General Motors' did not 'outsource' the making of cars; it actually made them in Detroit, a city that is but a shadow of its former glory, a city better known for the Detroit Lions. Manufacturing jobs paid well and American cars often competed with those made in Europe. The US made Corvette was a sensation. For a bit less money, an ambitious young man could drive a very cool, shiny red Mustang with a stick shift, hold down a part time job and still have enough money to go to college. Today --fuhgetaboutit!

Thanks to the Four Horsemen of GOP Apocalypse, going to college is strictly out of the question for millions who were born too late. Going to college with a car is out of the question for those who can afford neither. Millions are stuck in declining neighborhoods and increasing crime. It is against that reality that Pain-McCain poke fun at 'spreading the wealth around' even as they defend 'spreading it upward' to those who don't need it and don't deserve it and do nothing productive with it when they've gotten it EXCEPT to spread it around from various bank accounts, short-selling, speculative margin 'investment's and dubious ponzi schemes!

The rich are parasites, leeches who live off the value that is always created by the act of doing real work. By the way, the Four Horsemen of the GOP apocalypse are unemployment, declining wages, recession, and a weak dollar!

The older citizens of Rome --under Augustus specifically --may have recalled with fondness a simpler time, before the assassination of Julius Caesar, a time in which Roman coins were still worth something, a time in which a craftsman could still make a living and yeoman farmers had not yet lost their little farms to Roman nobility and slick money changers.

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