We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
I have never enjoyed inaugurations, whether I voted for the guy or not. They have always seemed too much like coronations to me, neither fitting the role nor the country. We build 'em up to superhuman size...and then we tear 'em down. Our founders rightly feared that human nature would try to turn Presidents into kings. Yes, it is kinda cool that we elected a young black guy, but just to say that is not only racist but also rather adolescent.
Soon after Jefferson came to power, he, like Adams, developed doubts about the unbounded liberty of the press. Printers, Jefferson complained, just days after his election, “live by the zeal they can kindle, and the schisms they can create.” In his second Inaugural Address, Jefferson ranted against printers who had assaulted him with “the artillery of the press,” warning that he had given some thought to prosecuting them. During his beleaguered second term, Jefferson suggested that newspapers ought to be divided into four sections: Truths, Probabilities, Possibilities, and Lies. What Jefferson wanted for the nation under his governance was a “union of opinion.” But that, of course, can never be the aspiration of a democracy—a point that newspapers have been very good at making over the two centuries since.
By 1939 Roosevelt's own Treasury secretary, Henry Morgenthau, had realized that the New Deal economic policies had failed. "We have tried spending money," Morgenthau wrote in his diary. "We are spending more than we have ever spent before and it does not work. . . . After eight years of this Administration we have just as much unemployment as when we started. . . . And an enormous debt to boot!"
The problem was that neither Roosevelt nor President Herbert Hoover before him grasped the essential nature of the crisis, which was not the stock-market crash, but global deflation. At the end of the roaring '20s, an overhang of intergovernmental war debt from World War I, coupled with falling commodity prices and a currency crisis, had started the decline. Weak credit structures and European banks hurt by wartime inflation worsened it. When the Austrian Creditanstalt Bank failed, it ignited a global banking crisis that slashed across the international financial system cutting down everything in its path. Deflation went into full howl.
The same perils are now confronting President-elect Barack Obama, as the risk of deflation casts a long shadow over the economy. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke and Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson have been correctly focused on shoring up financial institutions to prevent a collapse of the financial system, and stave off a severe decline in the general price level. If that were to occur, the unspoken fear has been that the U.S. and global economy could go into a deflationary death spiral that would cause the collapse of the international financial system.
I'm with you News Junkie. We're spending in excess of 170 million, for a guy who thinks he is a black version of Lincoln.
I'm going to set up an investment company, and call it Confused and Dysfunctional Investments LLC. The money will go to blogger's who need money for plowing their driveways and stuff like hats and mittens. I want to be like Bernie!
Slept real good last nite. Wife said I was snoring and talking in my sleep. She lies!! Back to the rock pile. I mean truck. Will someone please examine my head. I think I have frost bite of the brain. : )
I've never heard that story about Morgenthau although the conclusions he reached are too obvious to dispute.
I took an entire semester history class on FDR - I came away despising the man and his refusal to accept the failure of government intervention in the economy. His refusal to see the obvious can only be attributed to ideological blinders, a hunger for power, distain for freedom and the Constitution, and typical liberal disregard for unpleasant facts. Now we have an incoming administration so blind, they think the New Deal failed because it so too small.
Extra credit for the most disgusting display of Obamamessiahmania. Here is my entry, fresh from the androgynous pages of Women's Wear Daily:
At noon today, when Barack Obama takes the oath of office as the 44th President of the United States, he assumes the mantle of Leader of the Free World, a double-sided distinction coined (sort of) by John F. Kennedy during the nascent days of the Cold War. But in this particular presidential ascent, “free” is but an option, as one could easily substitute another adjective to suit his or her particular fascination with this most intriguing man. In the United States, Obama is perceived variously as the leader of the informed world, the worldly world, the articulate world, the Internet-savvy world, the self-starter world, the upwardly mobile world, the two-parent home world, the one-parent home world, the no-excuses world, the yes-we-can world. Around the globe, Bush-weary allies consider him the guy to right the ship of a long-wayward friend. Put it all together, and that, by Miller’s definition, is one major trans-human aura, political glamour personified. (President and Mme. Sarkozy, take a step or two off to the right, if you will.)
It gets worse... Might want to pull out the Helly Hansen's before reading the rest.