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Decline and Fall ... (Maybe) Dec 20

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Hold the presses! Congress actually did something positive this year. They repealed the anti-gay Don't Ask Don't Tell policy for gays in the military. Undeterred by that positive act, the Congress and White House continued their assault on the nation, the middle class in particular. It's their way of saying, "Happy Holidays!"

Marie Antoinette

We're on our own.  It's official. The House of Representatives completed what the Senate began (which seems like the wrong way around). The giveaway to millionaires, also known as the Obama-Republican tax bill, is now law. The grand total is now $900 billion in tax cuts, a large sum of which comes from the Social Security Trust Fund.  Shameless politicians have created an open wound in the Social Security that they say is "temporary." They lie so consistently, there is no reason to believe that the payroll tax will ever be restored; certainly not in the next two legislative seasons with a super majority of Republicans in the House of Representatives.  (Image)

There was no real debate, hence no public awareness, of the crime committed. But when the word gets out over the next few months, there should be an awful reckoning when the people wake up to this theft. Those who voted for this proposal didn't just touch the third rail of American politics, they sat down on it.

There were some winners out of all this:

"A bonanza of new and extended tax benefits could make it as easy as ever for the rich to stay that way." Bloomberg Businessweek

The financial collapse could have been avoided. One of the best documents to emerge from the latest Wikileaks files is the following shocker. Six months before the financial collapse of late 2008, the governor of the Bank of England recognized the problem that banks faced in the largest economies.  Mervyn King, the prescient banker, even had a solution that would have likely saved much of the pain in this recent crisis.  But Mr. King's advice was too good and timely to be accepted by the people who brought us the current financial troubles.  Wikileaks and other raw material free press organizations allow us to see history as it was most recently, rather than wait until the records are "declassified" a few decades later.

Ban on gays in military finally lifted. The Senate repealed the military's Don't ask, don't tell policy. This will remove the major barrier allowing gay citizens to serve in the United States armed forces.  It's about time and it's just in time.  Some historians are lauding this as a great Congress, which is more a comment on the historians than Congress.  But this is a major change for the better, one of the very few to come from capitol hill over the past year.

Delusional History - the Minority Report from the Financial Crisis Commission. Four Republican members of the Financial Crisis Commission studying the depression that began with the 2008 Wall Street meltdown filed their own version of history. The words "Wall Street" and "shadow banking" were not allowed.  They blamed it all on the liberal lending policies through 2004 atv Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae.  Of course, those two lenders stopped underwriting the real estate bubble in 2004, with Wall Street picking up the slack through 2007 by funding all sorts of shaky loans. We're living in a fantasy land where history is rewritten in a way that approaches delusional thinking.


The Money Party

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