Ball-less in the Summertime…

2009 July 27

by Roy W. Bakos

Summer has been, to paraphrase Hunter S. Thompson, getting weird and the pigs are feeding heartily in spite of the bad economy.  The past few weeks have seen the fucked-up meter spike all over houses of government and finance from Albany to Anchorage and on to New York and D.C.

In Albany, the New York State Senate held up months of legislation when a group of Senators, in the name of “reform” that were financed by the richest man outside of New York City (Tom Golisano) in a move organized by the ultimate New York political insider (Upstate NY’s own Lee Atwater : G. Steven Pigeon), convinced one Democrat to switch parties and hold the legislative session hostage in a leadership struggle.  This “reformers coup” held up billions of dollars of funding for roads and education, debate on a gay-marriage bill, judicial appointments, and the general work of government for over thirty days.  The end result: shared money between the majority and minority members for discretionary off-budget spending in their districts so they can continue to buy re-election…Rich and Powerful Incumbents : 1; Reform and Law : 0; Citizenry : did not compete.

In Anchorage, the Governor of Alaska and TV Hockey-Mom extraordinaire Sarah Palin, resigned from office so she did not have to be burdened with serving out the “lame-duck” portion of the term that she ran for and won.  The only thing lamer than this reason to resign was the claim by many of her supporters that this was exactly the “no-nonsense” approach to leadership that America needs at this time.  Quit when you know you are a lame duck…great family values lesson for the kids.

In New York, the finance masters at Goldman Sachs decided that they would be able to pay out 6.6 Billion dollars in bonuses to the same managers that helped to bring down the economy and get the national unemployment rate up to 11 percent.  Lets see, if I cause my boss to lose money and the entire local economy around my place of employment to break down and then make sure that others that work around me are either laid off or have their income severely cut while I made record profits in the years that I was doing this, all that I have to do to get a bigger bonus of cash after everything has broken down is take a loan from my customers and pay it back with money that I made off of my customers’ misery.  From here, that is what looks like what happened at Goldman…along with the complicity of two Executive Administrations and the Reserve System that was put in place to “protect” the public from the kind of economic fluctuations that led to the current meltdown in the first place.  How do I get this job and how is this not illegal?  Another victory for those that can buy their way out of responsibility for their actions.

Finally, in the District, Health Insurance companies led by mega-giant United Healthcare have bought enough influence in both parties to have a better than 50/50 chance at driving a “public option” out of Heath Care reform legislation in spite of the support of 73% of all Americans and over 50% of Republicans for exactly this type of plan.  If there is one Congressman or Senator out there that really believes that public health-care is so bad, make them give up the single-payer government run plan that they have as employees of the United States.  Imagine a blue-dog Democrat or a Republican having to tell his/her constituents that public health care is so bad for the country that we are going to take it away from the members of the military and the police that protect us every day…if it is bad for us it must be bad for them too, right?  How many millions of people and billions of dollars have to be abused and wasted before we call bullshit and demand that our legislators listen to us?

Heads used to literally roll over these kinds of things.  At one time, groups of people would actually get together and demand that they be listened to and that their interests be supported just as much as the interests of the Rich and Powerful.  How sad that in the month of the Anniversary of our Independence from foreign tyranny that our complacency regarding tyranny and lies in our modern society is exposed so openly.  Where our our collective balls?

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