For those of you keeping track, it was last year. This year the truth has become all too painfully obvious. Joel Pett, political cartoonist for the Lexington Herald-Leader, sums it up neatly.
We are locked down, locked into a system which, wherever we look, gives rights and money to the rich, the powerful, and the corporate - often the same group - and at the same time takes them away from us. And it doesn't seem to matter to anyone that this only makes things worse and worse. Believing that giving the rich control of the society will lead to economic prosperity for everyone is now dogma for the religion of $$$, also known as Molochianism. Like the Catholic notion of the Virgin Birth, there's no evidence whatever that it was or even could be true and plenty of evidence that it isn't but we've decided to take it on faith anyway. Because the rich told us to.
"Faith", of any sort, is a dicey concept laced with risk. In this case, faith in the ultimate benevolence of the powerful, misplaced at best, destructive at worst, has led to such Alice-in-Wonderland priority reversals as BeePee spending money to truck in sand from clean beaches to cover up oil on others (via Norwegianity) rather than spend that same money to actually, you know, clean the spoiled beaches, while at the same time taking money that should be cleaning the Gulf and using it on lawyers to protect themselves from the inevitable lawsuits - lawsuits that might not even happen if they cleaned the spill in the first place.
In the immediate aftermath of the Deepwater Horizon disaster, BP publicly touted its expert oil clean-up response, but it quietly girded for a legal fight that could soon embroil hundreds of attorneys, span five states and last more than a decade.
BP swiftly signed up experts who otherwise would work for plaintiffs. It shopped for top-notch legal teams. It presented volunteers, fishermen and potential workers with waivers, hoping they would sign away some of their right to sue.
Recently, BP announced it would create a $20 billion victim-assistance fund, which could reduce court challenges.
Robert J. McKee, an attorney with the Fort Lauderdale firm of Krupnick Campbell Malone, was surprised by how quickly BP hired scientists and laboratories specializing in the collection and analysis of air, sea, marsh and beach samples - evidence that's crucial to proving damages in pollution cases.
Five days after the April 20 blowout, McKee said, he tried to hire a scientist who's assisted him in an ongoing 16-year environmental lawsuit in Ecuador involving Dupont.
"It was too late. He'd already been hired by the other side," McKee said. "If you aren't fast enough, you get beat to the punch."
When it's an article of faith rather than a recognition of reality, they can even get away with pretending that the country isn't in a Depression, and if it is in a Depression they didn't do it, and if they did do it, it wasn't their fault. (Via Avedon)
The trillions of dollars spent attempting to bail out the banks weren't just wasted, by keeping zombie banks alive they made the situation worse. Further by not wiping out the wealth of banks and those rich folks who made foolish investments which wrecked the world economy, they created a political problem: to whit, as Durbin said-the banks still own Congress. (Along with the military industrial complex, pharma and various other monied interests). Because monied interests still own Congress, they have made it impossible to fix America's structural problems.
Which pretty much leaves us right where Joel's cartoon says we are. In the Corporate States of America, there isn't much point in celebrating the 4th of July unless you're a CEO. I'm not, so I didn't. It ain't my country any more. Yours either, unless you're Lloyd Blankfein. Hell, Tony Hayward now owns more of my country than I do and he isn't even American.
Now I know how Alice felt.
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