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AP disinfo hypes as fiscal slope yawns

4:55 am in Uncategorized by fairleft

AP: Voter disdain spreads as ‘fiscal cliff’ looms

No, voter disdain is not spreading. What we have here is a baldfaced lie to promote a sense of impending crisis and doom, and all for that grand goal, so the rich and the President get their cuts to Medicare.

The AP propagandist, Steve Peoples, echoes the headline with this:

Evidence of Congress’ plummeting popularity is everywhere.

Well, no, that sure ain’t apparent in the opinion polls. In fact Peoples is forced to contradict himself, when he finally feels obliged to give us the actual numbers:

A recent Associated Press-GfK poll found that 74 percent of Americans disapprove of the way Congress is handling its job; just 23 percent approve. The figures are virtually unchanged from June and slightly above Congress’ recent low point of 12 percent approval during the debt ceiling debate in August 2011.

How does “The figures are virtually unchanged from June …” equal “Evidence of Congress’ plummeting popularity is everywhere.”?? What the hey? And in fact the figures are virtually unchanged since August, 2011.

Well, at least he allows these reassuring words from the real world: “… most people say they’re not following the daily developments that consume Washington.”

And this was nice too (!):

John Baker, 65, a Denver psychologist, said … “It’s a typical Washington, ‘Let’s hit the panic button and keep people scared so they will let us do what we want to do,’” Baker said in a downtown Denver Starbucks. “Ultimately, it will be fixed but not until a lot of pockets are lined.”

Peoples somehow interprets the preceding as support for “let’s make a deal before the ‘deadline’.” Sounds more like cynicism about the real intentions of Congress, the President, and the fingers-all-over-the-panic-button corporate media. And anyone’s who’s been following this knows he’s exactly right:

If history is any guide, the ever-accommodating Obama could still portray an increase in the Medicare eligibility age as a quid pro quo–the unavoidable tradeoff–for the Republicans allowing taxes on the rich to increase…even though the Republicans can’t prevent increases in taxes on the rich if the Democrats don’t make a deal!

Fiscal crisis class war fantasy or unemployment crisis reality?

5:44 am in Uncategorized by fairleft

Pennies

Image: Davidd / Flickr

There is a U.S. unemployment crisis that no one is doing anything about that. There is no fiscal crisis …

… but the Republicans and Democrats are using that lie, that fantasy, to continue high and higher unemployment, to pillage Social Security and Medicare, and to pursue their main goal, the prime directive of the upper class: redistribute the economy’s wealth to the 1%.

Read Dean Baker and once again weep. How can the Washington Post write the following, in its lead editorial:

“THE BIGGEST CHALLENGE for the next president will be putting the nation’s long-term finances on sounder footing. The failure to do so is the biggest shortcoming of President Obama’s first term.” [capitalization in original]

All-caps, yeah right. This is a class warfare editorial of the most obvious and aggressive sort. Baker responds with faux naivete:

people who had access to data on the labor market would have to believe that the fact that tens of millions of people are still unemployed or underemployed in the biggest failure of President Obama’s first term. These people and their families are seeing their lives ruined.

The worst part is that the devastation they are suffering is not due to their own failings. Its due to the incompetence of people with names like Alan Greenspan, Ben Bernanke and Robert Rubin and the people who have the opportunity to express themselves in major media outlets like the Washington Post. This disaster would have been 100 percent preventable, if anyone in a position of authority had been able to recognize an $8 trillion housing bubble and understand that its collapse would have a devastating impact on the economy.

Which gets us back to the layers of tragedy. Not only is the real economic crisis ignored and class warfare fantasy put in its place, but no one is allowed to point that out in a major news source. A further layer is that both major political parties are selling the fantasy and ignoring the real economic crisis. As Serge Halimi writes,

Once again, with a political system operating for the benefit of two parties falling over each other to grant favours to the business community, millions of Americans disenchanted with Obama’s weakness will still be forced to vote for him. So they will resign themselves and make the usual choice offered in the US, that between bad and worse.