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Elections & Voting Last Updated: Oct 3rd, 2008 - 00:46:02

Dumb and Dumber: An economic-political sequel
By Ben Tanosborn
Online Journal Contributing Writer

Oct 3, 2008, 00:12

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Just as Jim (Carrey) and Jeff (Daniels) made America laugh with their classic comedy back in 1994, �John and Barack� are also making us laugh as they act this 2008 drama in comedic fashion.

Here is the nation falling apart economically, and here we have two senators contending for the highest office in the land who, instead of charging forward on white stallions ready to joust, show up riding sidesaddle on decrepit mules. McCain totally clueless about the economy . . . ditto for his rival Obama. We truly have reached what could be termed as �bottom of the barrel� politics, with a duet of dumb and dumber politicians claiming leadership when they should be claiming ignorance.

We need to be clear here. By dumb we don�t mean to categorize these two senators as stupid, dense, dim, thick, obtuse or unintelligent. Certainly not Barack Obama! No, we are not so much thinking this time around in terms of intellectual acuity; that�s not what we have in mind. Our aim is targeted instead to those other acceptions of being silent or inarticulate to the problems, to the true reality of America; of late, to the economic thievery that has scuttled the promise that this nation has always been, whether in truth or in hopeful fantasy. And certainly, neither one of them is addressing true reform, from the core out.

The worst thing that could be happening to America hasn�t happened; at least not yet! And that will be going through with a bailout . . . Congress giving the green light to the commander-in-thief for the continuing criminal sacking of Main Street by that red light district which has always beamed with whorish activity: Wall Street -- specifically, its financial sector. That sector which for years has held Congress members of both parties hostage by paying a goodly share of their reelection campaigns� cost.

Wednesday, the Senate succumbed to Bush just as it had six years before, and by an almost identical vote (77-23 then and 74-25 now) and it did it in all its glory, adding no less than $150 billion in pork. And if all that weren�t significant enough, the roll call of the �yeas� included three senators, one or two soon to figure prominently in the future of America inheriting two wars and an inevitable major economic depression: Biden, McCain and Obama. Now capitulation is left in the hands of the House.

Here was the greatest opportunity to exercise political leadership for Obama or for any other politician with sufficient gumption to tell America the unmasked economic truth; but apparently we don�t seem to have any truth-tellers or junior paladins in this vast land of ours; not within this corrupt political duopoly that rules our lives. Instead of having a comprehensive, redemption-worthy plan restructuring and regulating both banking and the markets, one that would instill public confidence, Obama showed an advocacy not much different from that which McCain supports.

It would have been so easy at this time to outline a plan to overhaul the entire system ,which has Corporate America in charge of our destiny, to outlaw predatory practices. Even if such a plan were presented as preliminary, a work-in-progress, and not in final form; the objective: to gain the confidence and support of Main Street America.

We, in America, have been both perpetrators and victims of our own Ponzi scheme with total assistance from self-serving industries that produce little in the way of services, yet derive inordinate, undeserved wealth for themselves (unscrupulous players associated with real estate hooliganism); a robin-hood in reverse government headed by Bush; and a Fed operating against the public�s welfare. By 2006, America had self-injected its economy with more than 6 trillion dollars of �make believe� wealth, which had its genesis in overpriced real estate (housing) and which soon permeated everything else, including the financial markets. Two years later, only half of the air of that over-pressured balloon has been let out, and there remains at least 3 to 4 trillion dollars yet to be deflated from the economy before normalcy is reached, and the tulips have wilted. And that may take much longer than our patience will support.

No politician is going to tell her/his constituents that they�ve been living for sometime way beyond their means, their contribution-productivity to society, and that from this point on the standard of living for Americans overall must in fact have to slide down by 20 to 30 percent -- affluentcrats, of course, will fare better -- with millions losing their jobs, including the tenth of a million baristas serving Starbucks� overpriced lattes. Rest assured that no politician is about to commit hara-kiri; that lies will overwhelm truth.

McCain and Obama both offer change. But change is already here . . . without them. Of course, we are referring to economic change. In our denial, we continue to say that we are going through an economic crisis, when what we are starting to experience now is a slow descent to economic reality. Most crises, if properly handled, can often be resolved; reality, however, must be accepted for what it is.

As for change in foreign policy, that won�t occur no matter who�s elected. We are well aware, and McCain has already made his feelings well known, that his trigger-happy finger will press that nuclear button fast and often as necessary to obliterate any Muslim nation in the Middle East, or for that matter, Russia or anyone else, so as to teach them a lesson. And to reinforce his tough guy image, he maintains that �if it had been up to him� he would have dropped many more nuclear bombs on Japan back in 1945!

Unfortunately, Obama�s handlers feel that, if in a more humane way, he still must echo some of the same sentiments as McCain. And to comply, he has used his oratory in harsh denunciations of Iran, Pakistan and Russia. In our incestuous and imperialistic politics, a candidate talks tough or he won�t get elected. McCain needs not convince us of his inhumane and warmongering traits, we believe him; but one hopes that Obama�s unnecessary saber-rattling ceases the day he�s sworn in as president of the United States; assuming sanity prevails at the polls on November 4 and his margin of victory is sufficiently large so that the US Supreme Court is not involved in the outcome.

But for now, we must consider this static duo of Obama and McCain as . . . dumb and dumber on the economy; and dumb and dumber on foreign policy as well.

� 2008 Ben Tanosborn

Ben Tanosborn, columnist, poet and writer, resides in Vancouver, Washington (USA), where he is principal of a business consulting firm. Contact him at

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