August 26, 2008

leaves turn color all day long

Barry Nemett, Couple, 1971

* Clusterfuck Nation:

"As the political conventions descend like the soggy forces of nature they have become -- the tropical depressions of politics -- the Republican party will be seen, with growing clarity, as the party that wrecked America. So many shoes are about to drop, and so many dominoes lined up to fall 'out there' on the financial landscape that the thump and clatter of crashing institutions will sound like the percussion section of the renowned USC marching band as the nation tramps toward the general election.

"In a classic calm-before-the-storm moment, last week's momentous Jackson Hole monetary conference played out like Sherlock Holmes's 'dog that didn't bark in the night.' The poobahs of global banking turned out in the Grand Tetons to compare Gulfstream jets and show off their concho belts, and that was about it. For all the massive turmoil in the banking system, almost no real news leaked out of the conference, and one was inclined to come to the unsettling conclusion that nothing came out because absolutely nothing happened there -- because absolutely nothing can be done about the gathering calamity of capital.

"At the moment, two of the biggest elephants in the room, so to speak, are going tits-up with X's where their eyes used to be. These would be the "affordable housing" enablers Fannie and Freddie, who managed during the past decade to make housing virtually unaffordable for any normal, responsible person unwilling to game the system -- with the additional consequence that not only the housing market but the general credit-and-lending apparatus of the US has entered a state of morbid failure. These two corporations are now dead, incurring a legacy of obligation that will add five trillion dollars to the national debt at one stroke. Nobody knows what the exact results of this debacle may be -- and the current silence about it is deafening -- but odds are the effect will range somewhere between destroying the currency and bankrupting the United States altogether.
"Meanwhile, reports coming out of Denver that Hillary's Harpies say they would rather vote for John McCain than Barack Obama simply boggle the mind. How fucking crazy are these women? And what have they made of their movement to advance political equality -- a mere campaign of revenge? Is that what their country needs right now?

"Speaking of John McCain, my friends, we can return to the general theme of this essay, which is that his party will come to be regarded as the party that wrecked America, and therefore, despite the poll numbers zinging around the news-o-sphere lately, he really doesn't have snowball's chance in hell of winning this election -- assuming it will go ahead as a contest between himself and Obama. Returning also to the theme of impotence among the leaders in the finance sector -- Mr. Bernanke, Mr. Paulson, et al, as displayed in Jackson Hole -- I'm rather convinced that the carnage on the money scene will be so extreme this fall that the nation will seem to have been transformed from a superpower to a basketcase before November 4th, and that the blame for this state of affairs will be blindingly obvious: the people in charge for the past eight years looted the treasury, destroyed the currency, and left the machinery of capital a smoking wreckage.

"And so, with the fucking nonsense of the Beijing olympics being over, let the real games begin."

* Tom Frank drives around the DC-area to help prove the argument in his new book that The Wrecking Crew. Complete with a Michael Moore moment.

* "Certain rights can never be granted to the government but must be kept in the hands of the people...a right is not something that somebody gives you; it is something that nobody can take away" -- Eleanor Roosevelt


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