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    • The Well Meaning American Oligarchy Are SO Misunderstood
      Just saw a case of the argument that “the people who have been enriching themselves by fucking everyone else for four decades are misunderstood, they’re just following the incentives, and suggesting that the people killing and impoverishing you are bad is polarizing.” Lovely. Everyone is well-meaning, and it’s all just a misunderstanding. They don’t mean […] […]
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Friday: Krugman harshes Obama’s mellow

The Shrill One offers some advice to Obama in the Jan. 22 edition of Rolling Stone, available to us 6 days in advance through the miracle of technology.  It remains to be seen whether PEBO will actually take him up on any of this.  After all, Krugman had his chance to speak to Obama when he gave marching orders to the other members of the so-called “liberal” press and Krugman chose not to attend.  (But Naomi Wolf was probably there!)

Krugman offers the same liberal, FDR type solutions that were engaged for the last Depression soiree.  You know, nationalizing the banks, demanding that taxpayers get something for their money, using federal money to put people back to work, new social safety net programs, yadayadayada.  The Grover Norquists of the country are popping carotids left and right like they always do when Krugman opens his mouth.  Krugman apparently wants to drag the government out of the bathtub and commence rescue breathing right away.  He says that the legacy of the FDR programs caused something called “The Great Compression” where the income disparities between rich and poor were minimized and this lead to one of the most productive periods of American history in terms of growth and innovation.  Frickin’ liberal.  Doesn’t he know that relentless hardship builds character and that we’re all post partisan now?   All he wants to do is protect labor, improve wages, strengthen the social safety net.   But we always hear this same kind of thing from Krugman.

What I *hadn’t* heard from Krugman and what strikes me as a damn good idea is his proposal for a Truth and Reconciliation Commission:

There is, however, one area where I feel the need to break discipline. I’m an economist, but I’m also an American citizen — and like many citizens, I spent the past eight years watching in horror as the Bush administration betrayed the nation’s ideals. And I don’t believe we can put those terrible years behind us unless we have a full accounting of what really happened. I know that most of the inside-the-Beltway crowd is urging you to let bygones be bygones, just as they urged Bill Clinton to let the truth about scandals from the Reagan-Bush years, in particular the Iran-Contra affair, remain hidden. But we know how that turned out: The same people who abused power in the name of national security 20 years ago returned as part of the team that, under the second George Bush, did it all over again, on a much larger scale. It was an object lesson in the truth of George Santayana’s dictum: Those who refuse to learn from the past are condemned to repeat it.

That’s why this time we need a full accounting. Not a witch hunt, maybe not even prosecutions, but something like the Truth and Reconciliation Commission that helped South Africa come to terms with what happened under apartheid. We need to know how America ended up fighting a war to eliminate nonexistent weapons, how torture became a routine instrument of U.S. policy, how the Justice Department became an instrument of political persecution, how brazen corruption flourished not only in Iraq, but throughout Congress and the administration. We know that these evils were not, whatever the apologists say, the result of honest error or a few bad apples: The White House created a climate in which abuse became commonplace, and in many cases probably took the lead in instigating these abuses. But it’s not enough to leave this reality in the realm of things “everybody knows” — because soon enough they’ll be denied or forgotten, and the cycle of abuse will begin again. The whole sordid tale needs to be brought out into the sunlight.

It’s probably best if Congress takes the lead in investigations of the Bush years, but your administration can do its part, both by not using its influence to discourage the investigations and by bringing an end to the Bush administration’s stonewalling. Let Congress have access to records and witnesses, and let the truth be told.

“Full faith and credit of the United States” needs to mean something to the world or it will stop lending to us and trade in our dollars.  When there is no accountability, there can be no trust.  And with no trust, there can be no negotiation in good faith.  What we end up with are nations and people who will be constantly looking over their shoulder worried that they’re about to be stabbed in the back.  I suspect the reasons that the banks aren’t lending to each other or anyone else right now is because it takes a cheating bastard to know one.  In this kind of environment, the worms that lie in the mud have to be forced to hatch out so we can see what we’re dealing with, learn from it and make sure the people responsible never have a chance to operate in positions of power ever again.  Their lawless behavior is going to result in chaos and hardship for many citizens for years to come.  There has to be accountability or a country of laws mean nothing and our money and our word become worthless.

Of course, we’re talking about Obama here so don’t hold your breath.  The guy got the nomination by theft.  (Don’t you stupid Obots go off about how Hillary ran a bad campaign.  Save your breath.  We know who actually ran a bad campaign because he required the RBC hearing to overturn primary results in order to barely eek out a win.  Deal with it, guys.  You elected the weakest link.)  The country was so desperate to get rid of Republicans that they had no alternative but to vote for Obama.  Now, they *expect* Obama to deliver.  There is no use trying to dampen expectations.  Even the least he can do is going to be a monumental challenge for one so unaccustomed to the real business of governing.  But he must do it.  We know it is beyond his capabilities right now but he really doesn’t have any choice and we expect him to burn himself out trying.  He wanted this job, he bought off enough superdelegates to get it, he destroyed a more worthy candidate’s career by waving around his penis and won it.  But you can’t govern using a penis and accusations of racism.  That’s going to get old really fast when an ever increasing number of people are losing their jobs and health insurance.  He needs to implement a Truth and Reconciliation Commission as quickly as possible and ferret out the Easter Eggs left in the executive branch by his predecessor and his Monica Goodling type personnel managers.  Give us the satisfaction of nailing the bastards.

Yeah, he’ll probably dance with the ones that brung him, the very same people who need to be brought to account.  But you can be damn sure I’ll be out here every day of the next four years stirring up enough noise about it.  My expectations are high.  There’s no handicap for a beginner.  He wanted the job.  He’s got it.

Now deliver.