This Would Be the Laugh of the Day if It Weren’t So Aggravating: Pious Rationalizations About “Morality in the Marketplace” from Our Buddies at Goldman Sachs

~~By InsightAnalytical-GRL

Gee whiz, we’re supposed to feel sorry for the health insurance industry if there’s a public option for healthcare and Lord knows, allowing that Bush tax cut which benefits the top 2% income bracket to expire is positively horrific.

And the people at FOX “News” and Rush Limbaugh keep weeping over all this, but do they ever express similar angst over THIS?   NAH!!!

Goldman Sachs’s Griffiths Says Inequality Helps All

A Goldman Sachs International adviser defended compensation in the finance industry as his company plans a near-record year for pay, saying the spending will help boost the economy.

“We have to tolerate the inequality as a way to achieve greater prosperity and opportunity for all,” Brian Griffiths, who was a special adviser to former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, said yesterday at a panel discussion at St. Paul’s Cathedral in London. The panel’s discussion topic was, “What is the place of morality in the marketplace?”

Goldman Sachs Group Inc., based in New York, set aside $16.7 billion for compensation and benefits in the first nine months of 2009, up 46 percent from a year earlier and enough to pay each worker $527,192 for the period. The amount set aside this year is just shy of the all-time high $16.9 billion allocated in the first three quarters of 2007. Goldman Sachs spokesman Michael DuVally in New York declined to comment.

Hey, isn’t some of that money from US, the despised little people who’ve been funding this financial feast?

But I guess “tolerating” all that “inequality” must be one helluva burden to bear, indeed.  And exactly how much are we are boosting the economy?

Of course, this kind of rationalization by a former Thatcherite just goes to show how the “Goldman Grip” extends outside U.S. borders.

More claptrap follows…notice the emphasis on “giving” to improve business reputations:

Griffiths, 67, called on bankers to boost their charitable giving to help improve the financial industry’s reputation following a worldwide crisis.

‘Much Is Expected’

“To whom much is given much is expected,” he said. “There is a sense that if you make money you are expected to give.”

And Griffiths rambles on:

Griffiths said that banks should hire and promote people based on criteria beyond how much money they could or did make.

“It was the failed moral compass of bankers which was primarily responsible for why we had this crisis,” he said. “The question is: what can we do in the culture of institutions to make them behave in a more socially responsible way?”

What can you do?  Well, why not stop offering the huge, friggin’ packages for a start!!  Of course, all you hear is the the constant drumbeat about how it’s impossible to get the “best talent” without these huge compensation deals…

Give me a break!!

About Sarah Palin…

~~By InsightAnalytical-GRL

I was at the gym on the Wave when I saw the news about Sarah Palin’s resignation. My first reaction was “Oh, this is bad!  They’ll call her “a quitter.” I listened patiently to the patter on FOX and later at home and, of course, the term “quitter” was brought up, as well as speculation about her not having a thick enough skin,” her family concerns, and maybe how having a Downs child demands more time than she originally thought.  Or maybe she she was just “fed up.” I was informed that she had been acting “bizarre.” I heard the radio news playing back the Katie Couric interview about what Palin read. (Frankly, she said she read everything, which sounds just about like how I would answer on the fly…I’m sure if she had specified at the time, people would have criticized her even for that!)

I can only speak for myself but as I heard more of what she actually said today, especially the part about working for Americans in the future, I actually began to feel good about all this. I love that she focused on the political climate in Alaska. I loved that she didn’t consult with the Congressional delegation.

The “elite” have been out to get her since Day 1 and the Letterman crap didn’t arouse much passionate defense. (The late comments by NOW were just that–late and rather pro forma to save their image after they got an earful, most likely.)  Frankly, the Republicans don’t seem to want her either.

You know what? I would love it if she left the Republican Party and traveled around speaking, pointedly, about the political climate in this country. I’d love if she began saying point blank that the media is garbage.  I would love it if she mused out loud about the criticism about her “stupidity” and lack of “experience” and compare that to this fraud in the White House’s experience and his need for a teleprompter. I would love it if she starting hanging around with a Ron Paul or some of those Democratic reps who don’t approve of a lot of the Obama Adminstration’s crap, the GOP and the demise of this country.

I would love it if she spearheaded a third party.  Basically, I’d love it if she essentially started campaigning against Obama by going after the creeps around him, some of whom have been going after her in Alaska. She can also talk about the Republicans who join in the game.  She can without any problems call out the elites in D.C.  I think the harsh attacks on Palin belie a great deal of fear…She has nothing to lose, so I would love to see her really unleashed on her own terms.

However, if she chooses not to, that’s OK…because I don’t want to see her go down in a small plane “accident”…

Right now the punditry and the elite are rather shocked, it seems. Well, screw them!  We’ve been inspired by the women of Iran recently and maybe here in the U.S., we can be inspired by a woman who isn’t afraid to go out there and be herself and speak her mind.

Whatever she does, it will be interesting.

For now, I’m hoping she goes on every damned talk show and simply unloads.  I hope she gives Obama and the rest of the Villagers some nervous moments.

And maybe she can provide the spark that gets this country to wake up…

Just a couple of days ago she let this drop:

Palin says she’d beat Obama in long run

ANCHORAGE, Alaska — Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin said she’d come out ahead if she went one-on-one with fellow jogger President Barack Obama in a long run, according to an interview published online Tuesday.

“I betcha I’d have more endurance,” she told Runner’s World magazine.

snip

“Sweat is my sanity,” Palin told the magazine.

Somehow, I don’t think Palin is a quitter. She’s playing the game her way.  Whatever her plan is, I say:

GO, SARAH!!


Russia-China Proposals; “Rebalancing” Global Currency Reserves: Why the U.S. Can’t Take Anything for Granted Re: the Dollar

~~By InsightAnalytical-GRL

Nothing like tuning into Turner Classic Movies to find the 1936 film “Things to Come,” a version of the H.G. Wells’ novel about a post-World War collapse of Western civilization and rebuilding efforts through that year.

Not very cheery…and neither is the following…

We touched on Timothy Geithner’s “slip” about the dollar, but this article for yesterday’s Guardian details how the proposal China has put forth for a new role for the IMF (International Monetary Fund) is gaining ground.  And the RIA Novosti news outlet (government run), is reporting that Russia wants a conference that will remove the dollar as the world’s reserve currency.

From The Guardian:

Thursday 26 March 2009 14.42 GMT

Global currency flies with push from Russia and slip from Timothy Geithner

The dollar drops back as China’s proposal for an IMF alternative gains ground

Russia plans to hold an international conference to discuss the creation of a global currency to replace the dollar.

According to the RIA news agency, Andrei Denisov, Russia’s first deputy foreign minister, said: “This proposal is aimed at a practical realisation of the idea about a new global accounting unit or a new global currency. It is a question that should be discussed to create a consensus.”

Denisov’s comments came only hours after the US treasury secretary, Timothy Geithner, shocked the markets by saying Washington was open to the idea, though he later qualified his remarks.

The debate about a global reserve currency run by the International Monetary Fund was sparked by a proposal from China this week.

snip

China’s bold proposal has been made before by independent economists, but it has until now met with resistance from the US and other countries with large dollar holdings. Zhou has acknowledged that such a shift could take a long time.

Zhou says it could “take a long time” but if you heard Peter Schiff last night on the Jerry Doyle show, you would have heard him say that China alone can do the job.  They’ve already expressed doubts about U.S. Treasury bonds and we reported a couple of days ago that they are not going to be purchasing any more.

Just yesterday a talking head on FOX’s Shepherd Smith show predicted that the dollar wouldn’t be replaced as the world’s currency at the G-20 meeting, but the agenda of that meeting on April 1-2 sounds an awful lot like what’s coming out of China and Russia.  See our prior posts for details (below).

We also covered the Steve Clemons’/New America Foundation-sponsored Economic Policy Symposium held yesterday in D.C. which featured Laura Tyson and George Soros. Unfortunately, every browser I tried crashed repeatedly as I tried to listen and also when I tied to click through the link below to see the agenda.

I guess we have to be satisfied for now with a summary of sorts by someone I know nothing about, a certain Douglas Rediker,  which was posted yesterday after the forum was over. But I still would love to be able to read/listen to whatever is on the site, without it crashing!

Here’s an excerpt from Rediker’s short post…I suggest reading the whole thing because it has some hard numbers of interest. He takes a different view than Schiff does on what China can do or will do, but the warning is clear (my bolding):

http://www.thewashingtonnote.com/archives/2009/03/rebalancing_glo/

Rebalancing Global Currency Reserves

Thursday, Mar 26 2009, 2:05PM

At this morning’s superb economic event at the New America Foundation and in testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee yesterday, there was a lot of discussion about China’s recent proposal to consider a move away from the US dollar and towards the use of a new “super-sovereign reserve currency.” The intention according to China’s central bank governor, Zhou Xiaochuan, would be to ultimately “create an international reserve currency that is disconnected from individual nations and is able to remain stable in the long run.”

SNIP

…The short term risk is not that China is about to dump its dollar holdings. Rather, it is the trading floors and fund managers around the world, whose job it is to be ahead of the curve, who may well start to re-weight their holdings on the marginally increased probability that this re-weighting might actually occur in the future. As the numbers above suggest, even a relatively small shift could represent a meaningful shift of capital and resulting impact on the dollar’s value.

There are, of course, multiple forces at work in foreign exchange markets and, among the sure-fire ways to lose money in this world are: 1) to play currency markets and 2) to bet against the US and the US dollar. Nevertheless, the fact that this is now likely to be a discussion topic on the agenda for the London Summit, suggests that the US should not take for granted that the US dollar will retain its current role in the world forever. Currencies are traditionally viewed as a reflection of a country’s economic strength. The US cannot lose sight of the crucial role that the “exorbitant privilege” to print the world’s currency provides and do what it can to ensure that this privilege is not lost. We can’t take anything for granted.

Feeling better now? I’m not…

***

Related Posts:

The Scanner–International Edition, March 24, 2009: Say Goodbye to the Dollar? China, Russia Proposing a New World Currency for “Non-Credit” Based Economies, Echo G-20 Agenda of Expanding IMF; China Will “Consider” Buying IMF Bonds; 10th China Develpment Forum Underway (UPDATE 1X–Geithner Supports China Proposal??)

The Scanner-Politics: March 25, 2009 (G-20; Glenn Beck’s “The One Thing” Segment on the Dollar [Video]; “The Big Takeover”; Al Gore Releasing New Book on Election Day 11/3/2009; Augie the Dog Sends a Deposit to the U.S. Treasury)

A Reminder: Live Streaming of the First “Bernard L. Schwartz Economic Policy Symposium” Today (3/26) With a Rather Interesting Group & Agenda (To End “Fumbling” on Economic Policy)

The Scanner-Politics: March 25, 2009 (G-20; Glenn Beck’s “The One Thing” Segment on the Dollar [Video]; “The Big Takeover”; Al Gore Releasing New Book on Election Day 11/3/2009; Augie the Dog Sends a Deposit to the U.S. Treasury)

~~By InsightAnalytical-GRL

We looked at the upcoming G-20 meeting in yesterday’s post (See: The Scanner–International Edition, March 24, 2009: Say Goodbye to the Dollar? China, Russia Proposing a New World Currency for “Non-Credit” Based Economies, Echo G-20 Agenda of Expanding IMF; China Will “Consider” Buying IMF Bonds; 10th China Develpment Forum Underway), and lo and behold, a few times during the day, I began picking up some items on the TV discussing the meeting, which will be held in London April 1-2.

I caught a few moments of Shepherd Smith on FOX during the afternoon, interviewing a woman who ticked off all the reasons why the dollar wouldn’t be replaced as the world’s reserve currency at the meeting. The discussion was in the context of how it would affect the U.S. economy and how complicated it was, and that’s why it wouldn’t happen. China’s worries about its investments in U.S. Treasury bonds was mentioned and their desire for the dollar to be dropped as the reserve, but the EU was supporting the U.S. There was absolutely no mention of Russia and its release suggesting what China suggested.

Apparently, Glenn Beck wasn’t so circumspect during his morning radio show or his FOX TV show later in the afternoon.  I didn’t hear either but my mother said he sounded EXACTLY like what we had written in our post yesterday.  Since I had printed it out for her to read, she knew what was in it.

Well, what he opined wasn’t EXACTLY what we wrote about, but he touched a whole bunch of bases in giving a general “history” of how we have gotten to where we are today.  It’s like “From Biggest Lender to Biggest Borrower 101.”  Apparently Glenn Beck and IA are on the same page, at least on this one topic.  That’s a bit weird for us, since I think Beck is pretty insufferable, to say the least, but I think the “The One Thing” segment he did yesterday evening was pretty darned clear. This is a very short segment, so do watch it all! (Note: I had trouble inserting the video from the FOX site, so I found it on YouTube. The “title” comes from FOX, however.)

The One Thing

By Glenn Beck

The incredible shrinking dollar: Where’s the outrage?

***

A big hat tip to Uppity Woman who posted about the story by Matt Taibbi in Rolling Stone which actually comes out and talks about the “revolution” that is underway courtesy the big insiders.  Go to Uppity Woman to catch some of the excerpts of note.

And here’s the direct link to the piece:

The Big Takeover

The global economic crisis isn’t about money – it’s about power. How Wall Street insiders are using the bailout to stage a revolution

***

Well,  just in time for the 2009 election is…Al Gore, who issued a press release yesterday about a follow-up book to An Inconvenient Truth.  I loved the film and got a copy of the book as “payment” for my efforts in the not-so-long-distant past at a certain Chicago-based website that went crazy last May.

From the blog, Al Gore:

Our Choice March 24, 2009 : 1:07 PM

From the Press Release:

Today Vice President Gore announced that his next book, Our Choice, will be published by Rodale in the US and by other publishers internationally on November 3, 2009. Picking up where An Inconvenient Truth left off, Our Choice utilizes Mr. Gore’s forty years of experience as a student, policymaker, author, filmmaker, entrepreneur and activist to comprehensively describe the real solutions to global warming. A co-recipient of the Nobel Peace prize in 2007 for his environmental work, Mr. Gore continues to make sense of the pressing issues we face and Our Choice will unquestionably inspire and rally those ready to fight for solutions that were deemed impossible only a short time ago.

I was really ticked when the guy who delivered those stirring speeches about the press and the Constitution during the Bush years turned around and chose to endorse Obama instead of remaining a statesman for the world by staying neutral–the same Obama who took all that money from Exelon and rewrote a nuclear safety bill to please his donors and the Republicans.

So now, Gore will inject himself into the 2009 elections as all the PR push for his book in the period leading up to its Election Day release.  He’s been pretty quiet since the Inauguration and hasn’t talked about energy policy at all, although he’s supposed to be some sort of adviser to the Obama Administraiton.  Elections for governor will be held in Virginia (where Terry MacAuliffe is currently running for the Democratic nomination) and New Jersey (where Democrat Jon Corzine may be facing re-election troubles).  Frankly, I view this “book business” as manipulative and cheesy. And so damned obvious…

***

Finally, on a lighter note…

Augie the Dog and his owner make a statement of sorts about money.  I think it’s appropriate that the bag displayed near the end of the video will be going to the Treasury…Follow this  link and enjoy!


A Giant White Rabbit in Britain Reminds Us How “Logic and proportion have fallen sloppy dead”…

~~By InsightAnalytical-GRL

I did not watch Obama’s gig last night before Congress, but the TV was on in the other room for a few moments and I heard lots of applause coming in waves.  As I walked through the room I caught a glimpse of Biden and Pelosi sitting like self-satisfied fat cats and saw Mr. Hopey Dopey up there orating, sans the stern, serious scowl.  Pundits seem to be saying that Bill Clinton must have convinced The One to stop the gloom and doom and it seemed like Obama was bouncing around and pumping out a sales pitch that one panel member on Hannity’s Great American Panel called “Reaganesque.”

It bugs the hell out of me to see Clinton all over the tube lately coaching the guy who supposedly had all the answers and the “best” campaign evah!

I have to say that the ultimate for me was seeing Jared Osmond, a lesser Osmond singer, opining on Hannity’s Great American Panel.  Where did they dig him up? And Caroline Heldman of Obama’s Occidental College, who seems to be around a lot today on FOX these days, says that all this spending is not a “socialist move” (nobody had even brought that suggestion up, why was she so defensive?).  Later she said that the speech would improve consumer confidence and that she hopes that “people who have good jobs will go out and eat twice a week instead of once a week”—doesn’t that sound like SPEND SPEND SPEND a la George W. Bush??

I’d also like to know why FOX chose to repeat the speech after Hannity and crew got off the air.  Seems so UN-Foxlike, doesn’t it?

And I was pretty peeved when I heard that the pilot who got that plane down safely in the Hudson River,  Chesley B. Sullenburger III, was trotted out.  OK, I know that he’s on the cover of People Magazine and was chatting with a committee on Capitol Hill yesterday.and has been in the spotlight…but, this guy trained for years and was a fighter pilot  and to see Sullenburger  used (and apparently liking it) by Obama the fraud, who has no real accomplishments and a hidden past, really ticked me off (this contrast was discussed in piece at  The Confluence at the time of the incident compared the pilot’s experience to Obama’s “flash to fame” based on zip and not in a nice way).

Frankly, so many people are so blinded by this con artist, courtesy of the media and the Obama PR machine (which Bill Clinton is now part of) that it is mind boggling.  It amazes me, but it shouldn’t since the setup has been so complete and the media has been so complicit.

I happened to find this story from Britain just after listening to this drivel and it got the “association” center of my brain rolling immediately.

Two police officers given run-around by giant white rabbit

Two police officers were given the run-around for 20 minutes in a low-speed pursuit of a giant white rabbit on the loose in a town centre.

By Richard Edwards, Crime Correspondent
WHITE RABBIT

Two police officers were given the run-around for 20 minutes in a low-speed pursuit of a giant white rabbit on the loose in a town centre.

Pcs Matt Jackson and Yasmin Mossadegh, of Kent Police, came across the two-foot long, 20lbs animal – the size of a small dog – hopping along a road in Canterbury at 2.20am on Sunday.

They admitted that at first it seemed like “something out of Alice in Wonderland”. But detaining the albino rabbit before it caused an accident proved to be more of a handful than they first thought.

MORE

The sight of that huge white rabbit and the reference to “Alice in Wonderland” lead me to the inevitable:

White Rabbit – Jefferson Airplane

One pill makes you larger
And one pill makes you small
And the ones that mother gives you
Don’t do anything at all
Go ask Alice
When she’s ten feet tall

And if you go chasing rabbits
And you know you’re going to fall
Tell ’em a hookah smoking caterpillar
Has given you the call
Recall Alice
When she was just small

When men on the chessboard
Get up and tell you where to go
And you’ve just had some kind of mushroom
And your mind is moving slow
Go ask Alice
I think she’ll know

When logic and proportion
Have fallen sloppy dead
And the White Knight is talking backwards
And the Red Queen’s “off with her head!”
Remember what the dormouse said;
“FEED YOUR HEAD”

Logic and proportion have fallen sloppy dead”

Can’t say it any better…

The Scanner-Politics 11/10/08 (FOX Self-Censoring?; OBAMA DAY???; An Upside-Down Flag in My Town)

~~Posted by InsightAnalytical

We’re mourning the retirement of Pagan (Pagan Power)…but Pagan has something else brewing, so we won’t say goodbye–just au revoir!

***

Via GRAIL GUARDIAN

Is Fox News self-censoring themselves in an attempt to curry favor with the incoming Obama administration? H/T to Days of Change for this link. Radio Equalizer says:

Fox News boss Roger Ailes doesn’t want to spoil Barack Obama’s political honeymoon, we hear. A source says Ailes has told prime-time hosts Bill O’Reilly, Sean Hannity and Greta Van Susteren to lay off the President-elect – at least for a while. “We’re not going to have any personal attacks on Obama,” a network insider says. “The public has spoken – we must treat him with respect.”

For those of you that have missed Megyn Kelly’s brilliant salvos at Bill Burton from the Obama campaign, Burton has been singling out Fox for being unfair in their coverage of Obama, a trend that Obama himself started at the Al Smith dinner and continued throughout the end of the campaign by Burton.

The piece goes on to claim that the marching orders came directly from News Corporation owner Rupert Murdoch.

The reason? News Corporation is bracing for potentially-vindictive actions by Obama’s incoming thugocracy, especially regarding dual station / newspaper ownership rules and apparently seeks to placate the Dear Leader, hoping he will be merciful.

I personally believe that Fox has been soft on Obama, and it looks like things are going to get even worse in the days to come. Guess we’d better all get used to submitting to the will of Dear Leader…

***

Via Grail Guardian

National Obama Day?

There is, believe it or not, a movement to establish a national holiday honoring Barack Obama. The Topeka Capital-Journal is calling for Inauguration Day to honor a man who has done nothing yet except win an election!

The goals are to secure a national holiday in Obama’s honor, to organize celebrations around his inauguration and to celebrate the 200th birthday of President Abraham Lincoln, who was born on Feb. 12 1809. (IA-GRL adds from the article: “Yes We Can” planning rallies will be at 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. every Tuesday at the downtown McDonald’s restaurant, 1100 Kansas Ave., until Jan. 13.)

At 7:30 a.m. on Inauguration Day, Obama Cake will be served at the downtown McDonald’s, and a celebration is scheduled for 8 p.m. to midnight Jan. 20 at the Ramada Hotel and Convention Center, 420 S.E. 6th.

My only possible response is to suggest a nation-wide boycott of McDonalds on January 20th in protest for supporting this travesty! First off, as one commenter points out, we generally don’t create holidays named after famous people who aren’t dead yet. Secondly, what if this were to actually happen and then Barack Obama were to turn out to be the worst President we’ve ever had? (I know that thought never even occurred to these people, but it not only occurs to me, but strikes me as a strong possibility.)

If you are worried that the Hopium intoxicated masses might just pull this off, you might want the contact information to give these people a reality check:

For more information, contact Sonny Scroggins, (785) 232-3761, 845-6148 or at biasbustersofkansas@yahoo.com; Lamont Lassiter, McDonald’s general manager, 608-2739; Ava Chander-Beard, (785) 234-9138, ava.beard@sbcglobal.net; or Rhoda Carr, (785) 220-5883.

***

Finally, in this fair burg I call home, a vet hung the flag upside down following the election (Thanks to GG for sending it to me…it was actually in the paper, but I don’t really pay too much attention to it, it’s such a rag.)

Las Cruces veteran upends flag to protest Obama

LAS CRUCES — If you happened to drive by Las Crucen Lou Schrader’s house Wednesday, you probably saw his American flag flying upside-down on a pole in the front yard.

It wasn’t by accident.

Schrader, 59, flew the flag upside-down for a day in protest of the election of Barack Obama as president. He’s calling the move a political statement against Obama’s platform.

Schrader, who lives on Ethel Avenue, said he also flew his flag upside-down both times Bill Clinton was elected.

“We have descended into a one-political-party nation,” he said. “The Democrats have taken over everything. We’re going to be taxed out of existence.”

Schrader assures his action was not racially motivated.

“It’s not that I’m a racist; I just don’t like this guy as an individual,” he said. “Some of the things Barack Obama said during his campaign has scared me to death, (such as) “let’s spread the wealth.’ Excuse me, that’s socialism.”

Schrader, a former member of the Navy, said he’s concerned Obama “hates the military.”

The flag wasn’t flying Thursday. Schrader said he only flies it on federal holidays and in protest of certain presidents winning office.

Schrader lives across the street from three Obama supporters, who happen to be black.

Neighbor Dimitris Kollaros, 32, seemed to be taking Schrader’s action with a grain of salt.”We were laughing about it all day long,” said Kollaros, interviewed Wednesday evening. “Now that there’s an African-American president, he’s protesting the U.S., and I think it’s funny because, if you love your country, you love it no matter what.”

(SNIP)

According to U.S. Code, which contains laws about handling the American flag, the flag shouldn’t be displayed upside-down “except as a signal of dire distress in instances of extreme danger to life or property.”

Las Cruces police showed up at Schrader’s home Wednesday to check whether the flag was a distress signal.

According to http://www.ushistory.org, there aren’t penalties for violating the flag code, and the U.S. Supreme Court “has ruled that politically motivated violations of the flag code are protected by the First Amendment.”

As you can see, the neighbors immediately brought up race…first on their list of why it Schrader shouldn’t have hung the flag upside down. No mention of what the black neighbors thought, from what I can infer. And I have to wonder, who called the cops? Or did they just pass by?

Part 3–Independent Thinking: STRANGE BEDFELLOWS

Editor’s Note: This post concludes a three-part series. For previous posts see Part 1–Independent Thinking: PARTISAN NO MORE and Part 2–Independent Thinking: THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY/LATRINE NEEDS THE TY-D-BOL MAN .

Strange Bedfellows

~~By Grail Guardian

I met some great new friends the other day over at Uppity Woman’s place, courtesy of Hang Right Politics. Republicans. Republicans that think PUMAs are brave and patriotic. Many of them came to Uppity’s site and commented about our struggle of country before party, and it started me thinking about how much things have changed over the past political season.

I live in a rather conservative area of upstate NY, and frequently find myself at odds with many neighbors, co-workers, and family members when it comes to politics. This year, for the first time in, well, ever, I find myself having comfortable, agreeable conversations with these former opposites. I can sit in a restaurant and actually discuss the election and the economy without getting into a heated argument (just getting heated up in anger). I even watched the VP debate with my father, a long-time Republican who cringed when I registered as a Democrat in my 20’s.

Conversely, I find myself at odds (and often holding my tongue) with friends and associates I used to agree with almost all of the time. We used to mock conservatives and blame George W. Bush for just about everything. We believed in the same things, or so I thought, until this year. I find I risk a friendship here, a working relationship there by being honest about how I feel, yet these people who I had so much in common with have not the slightest compunction about offending me or even calling me a racist. Me! Can you believe it? Me, who has always had minority friends; me, who has always been tolerant of everyone, no matter how off the wall; me, who has defended the rights of others at my own expense and fought to make those who felt outcast welcomed and loved.

But I’ve also been noticing that I’m not the only one experiencing this phenomenon. The world has gone topsy-turvy with no real explanation. People blog that they’ve lost lifelong friends over this election. Twenty, thirty, even forty year Democrats have left the party and registered as Independents or even Republicans. People that had diaries on Daily KOS and other liberal sites long before I’d ever visited a blog were thrown off for stating the most innocuous of truths. The media I’d depended on for my entire lifetime for news suddenly offered nothing but commentary and opinions. Places like NBC, CBS, ABC, and CNN became mouthpieces for a single candidate long before it was prudent to do so, and I found myself unable to trust anything they reported. I was basically raised on broadcast media, and now I barely even watch TV or listen to radio other than music. (I lunge for the station buttons in my car whenever a DJ starts to speak, because I know they cannot avoid discussing politics.) I found myself reading Lyndon Larouche and agreeing with some of what I read. The Fox network became the least partisan news on TV. Conservative web sites featured stories I agreed with and often quoted.

Then the unthinkable happened. It became crystal clear that the Democratic Party had sold the country for a few shekels and didn’t want my vote anymore. They violated the rules (and I felt the law) on May 31, 2008 and didn’t care that their constituents didn’t like it. They bulldozed over Hillary Clinton like she was an unqualified poseur, and started to sound like Republicans of old when they attacked her and demanded she quit the race. Then on one life-altering day in early June, Hillary abandoned me and 18 million of my closest friends and quit. Worse still, she began to actually campaign for the evil she had sworn to defeat, namely Barack Hussein Obama. Well, I guess she had to keep her promise to campaign for him, but I can always count on the Big Dawg, right? Holy crap! Is that Bill Clinton, the man Barack Obama labeled a racist for the rest of his life, campaigning for this sham of a Democrat too? WTF? Wait, the next thing you’ll tell me is that Karl Rove is giving advice to Obama. Aw, come on now! This can’t be real! What’s that you say? The Republicans have selected a female Vice Presidential candidate that’s got more experience than the Democrat’s Presidential candidate? The Republicans are going to put the first woman in the White House? Huh? Wait, what do you mean the Democrats are calling her a C#$%???? Well at least we can count on the Republicans to launch all kinds of nasty 527 ads, right? What do you mean there aren’t any? But good old Bill O’Reilly will tear Obama to shreds, right? Right? What? O’Reilly shilling for Obama, McCain saying there’s nothing to fear with an Obama presidency??? What now, Democrats rigging the elections like the Republicans did in 2000 and 2004? What?? Who the hell is ACORN, anyway?

Suddenly there was a crisis on Wall Street. Isn’t this the one Hillary was talking about months ago? The one John McCain tried to fix years ago? Well that won’t go well, since we all know Bush caused the crisis, right? What? It was the Democrats that sank the economy and caused the sub-prime problems? And Hillary was tanking her own solution to the housing crisis just because McCain used it? Exactly what is going on here?

But I truly began to realize that I had somehow been transported from Kansas to Oz when I started to look at my former candidate (and current Senator) Hillary Clinton. Ok, at first I understood her fulfilling her campaign promises to “work my heart out” for the Democratic nominee. Heck, I even defended her. All any one had to do was watch her body language and read between the lines to see she was just doing her duty. But damn, does she have to keep doing it? She raised money for him; she stopped the roll call vote at the convention (which really pissed me off) to keep her own name out of nomination, and appeared wherever he asked her to go. Why is she still pushing for him? Why can’t she just support the down-ticket candidates? I agonized day after day, wanting to be loyal to the woman I felt was the most qualified Presidential candidate in years (if not decades), but she certainly wasn’t making it easy on me. Or any other PUMAs.

On Not Your Sweetie commenter Diana said:

What is Hillary doing? McCain gave her credit for the plan. She’s going to start chasing her own supporters off with this kind of stuff. Out and out lying for Obama? I can understand her having to campaign for Obama, I know she’s afraid of loosing her seat in the Senate, but this? Her supporters all know this was her plan. Most of us have seen the video.

Which caused Lee M. to note:

This is not the Hillary that I knew and loved.

And Cookiegramma observed:

It may not be the Hillary you knew and loved lee M., but it is now typical of the Democratic party that I am glad I quit.

Back at Uppity Woman, Typewriterstreaming said:

…After watching Hillary Clinton, (a women I have held in the utmost esteem) this morning on Fox TV stoop lower than ever and lecture PUMAS on the great qualities of Obama and to go further and say she is “disappointed” in Dems. who refuse to back the One,(she’s disappointed????)this post was really needed. I worked hard for Hillary’s campaign and after this morning will not vote for her next Senate bid. It is about Country first and I am shocked to see how far the Clinton’s can put themselves before everything. I am sorry to the people on this post that are Hillary supporters. I mean no offense to anyone. But I am stunned and outraged at what flies for the good of this country in Clinton land.

snip

And the nail in the coffin came from Deadenders:

Hillary Clinton has done the 18 Million that voted for her a great disservice. This is a disgusting display of party before country.

She was lying in the primaries or lying now. Take you pick either way she is supporting a fraud and trying to get him elected.

I’m sick of fellow pumas trying to decipher body language and vocal tenor to say that she is just acting. Well the casual political observer doesn’t see that, and believes only what they hear in the past 5 mins.
They hear Hillary saying he’s the one, and will vote for the bastard because of it.

Hillary has failed us.

Hillary has failed us. Wow. Now I was starting to hear the self-reproaching words of people like Kathy from Hang Right Politics:

Because today, I’m taking myself to the woodshed. I’m kicking my @$$. Why? For being foolish, for getting distracted, for forgetting that my country comes first.

And our own Kenosha Marge

Partisanship forces people to hang onto the most outrageous nonsense in an effort to avoid admitting they’re wrong. Some will refuse to see what is indisputable simply because they don’t want to see.

As much as I don’t want to believe it, I have to start questioning Senator Clinton’s motivations here. She started a movement, and then refused to leave the Democratic Party to lead the millions that gathered in her name. She promised to fight for us, and she did for a while, but then she didn’t anymore. Not even for me, a resident of New York (she voted for the Wall Street bailout fiasco, even though she knew it wasn’t the right solution). She fought misogyny in the primaries, and while she refused to be Obama’s attack dog on Sarah Palin simply because McCain selected a woman, did she really do enough to denounce the treatment her own beloved party gave to Governor Palin? The party she loved more than me and my 18 million friends?

This is a difficult call for me. I’ve supported Hillary vigorously since she was First Lady. I was thrilled when she came to New York for her Senate run. I defended her voraciously throughout the campaign, despite personal attacks and being called a racist until the word lost its meaning. But the words of Deadenders keep echoing in my head. “She was lying in the primaries or lying now.”

So here’s the million-dollar question: Can I vote for Hillary Clinton again?

I can only think of one answer: Country before personal loyalties.