Thursday, March 4, 2010

How could I stop being the greedy, myopic scumbag they elected me to be?

My Constituents Care Way More About Political Gamesmanship Than Jobs, Health Care, And The Economy
By House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-OH) March 2, 2010 Issue 46•09

It is my responsibility as an elected official to look out for the people back home, the voters who sent me to Washington. So, after 20 years representing Ohio's 8th District, I know what the good citizens of Montgomery, Preble, and Butler counties really want: someone who engages in the kind of calculated political gamesmanship that increases his standing in the Republican party while simultaneously hindering our country's legislative process at every conceivable turn.

I assure you, the last thing my voters need is some well intended, do-all-I-possibly-can-to-help-the-little-guy congressman running around Washington, working across the aisle, and fighting tooth and nail for jobs, health care, and financial reform to ensure their tax dollars never end up in the hands of banks capable of holding our entire economy hostage.

No, sir. My constituents deserve better.

They deserve a leader willing to roll up his sleeves and play the types of twisted, greedy political games that, by their very nature, tear apart the fabric of our democracy for the sake of assuring reelection. They deserve someone on their side who will ask the tough questions, such as how will painting Democrats as radical ideologues play in, say, Arkansas? Can we vote "no" on the health care bill and still make it look like we give two craps about the welfare of ordinary Americans? How can we twist positive news about the GDP into a negative for the Obama administration?

Trust me: If you talk to an unemployed, uninsured mother of two in Greenville, she'll tell you that jobs and reliable medical coverage come a distant second to the crafting of meticulous talking points that deftly omit the facts and reduce what should be honest discourse about our country's future to a series of contrived, easy-to-digest sound bites designed to sway crucial independent voters.

My sister gave me a Kindle for Christmas, and it's great. You can be on a bus in the middle of nowhere and browse the NY Times best seller list, get many many book samples as you want delivered to you instantly, read them, choose your favorite, and order it for $10. I've found that it extends my range of reading choices, especially nonfictionwise. Lately I've read Supreme Conflict: The Inside Story of the Struggle for Control of the United States Supreme Court, by Jan Crawford Greenburg, On the Brink: Inside the Race to Stop the Collapse of the Global Financial System by Hank Paulson, and Clean: The Revolutionary Program to Restore the Body's Natural Ability to Heal Itself by Alejandro Junger. I'm in the middle of an amazingly chilling book called Confessions of an Economic Hit Man by John Perkins. Here's an exerpt:

That is what we EHMs do best: we build a global empire. We are an elite group of men and women who utilize international financial organizations to foment conditions that make other nations subservient to the corporatocracy running our biggest corporations, our government, and our banks. Like our counterparts in the Mafia, EHMs provide favors. These take the form of loans to develop infrastructure —electric generating plants, highways, ports, airports, or industrial parks. A condition of such loans is that engineering and construction companies from our own country must build all these projects. In essence, most of the money never leaves the United States; it is simply transferred from banking offices in Washington to engineering offices in New York, Houston, or San Francisco.

Despite the fact that the money is returned almost immediately to corporations that are members of the corporatocracy (the creditor), the recipient country is required to pay it all back, principal plus interest. If an EHM is completely successful, the loans are so large that the debtor is forced to default on its payments after a few years. When this happens, then like the Mafia we demand our pound of flesh. This often includes one or more of the following: control over United Nations votes, the installation of military bases, or access to precious resources such as oil or the Panama Canal. Of course, the debtor still owes us the money—and another country is added to our global empire.


Anonymous said...

Typical good stuff from the Onion. It's funny because it's true. Of course if he had a "D" after his name, I doubt it would have been featured on this chess blog.

Steve H said...

The Onion article is a hoot. Unfortunately the vast majority of our elected representatives fall into 'the politics first - good public policy last' category so as a nation we keep stumbling along and lurching from one crisis to another.

Anonymous said...

stop f---ing voting for them

an ordinary chessplayer said...

Agreed, The Onion piece is hysterical. Actually, Ohio voters are hysterical too.

From The Economist: "However much Americans say they want a small government, they seem wedded to the expensive benefits of the big one they actually have, such as Social Security, health care for the elderly and a strong national defence." (2010.02.20, p.26)

I predict left-right tacking for many election cycles to come.

an ordinary chessplayer said...

Despite the fact that the money is returned almost immediately to corporations that are members of the corporatocracy (the creditor), the recipient country is required to pay it all back, principal plus interest.

This "analysis" completely overlooks that the loan went towards -- "electric generating plants, highways, ports, airports, or industrial parks".

Then the "analysis" of default completely overlooks that the debtors were high-risk, and the creditor assumed that risk. In many cases, loans are restructured. In other cases, defaults are forgiven. But in any case, the borrower got useful infrastructure.

Of course there is an element of self-service to these loans, but I thought that was the whole point? There is good and bad done in the name of capitalism, but it is not all bad.

Anonymous said...

Right now I'm embarrassed to have gone to college in Dayton.

Elizabeth Vicary said...

"But in any case, the borrower got useful infrastructure."

The book argues that they mainly built things like oil pipelines that ended up benefiting US companies plus a few very rich families and did nothing for 99% of the countries population.

It's a chilling read and I highly recommend it.