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Thursday, December 1, 2011

"A Club of Liars, Demagogues and Ignoramuses"

Long post but still a fluid read...

When I want news on events in the US, particularly when it comes to finance, markets and politics,  I seek out newspapers written abroad, particularly in Europe.  Its not so much that their journalism is "better" then the US (Rupert Murdoch's "News of the World" scandal is testament to that).  But foreign newspapers do not posses the rah-rah 'We're #1' bias which permeates American papers and thus prevents such publications (as well as visual news media) from being genuinely critical of the nation, its policies and/or its politicians.

After covering this ongoing financial crisis for three years, I've witnessed how often the American media pulls its punches and cozies to & coddles corporations, banks, the Federal Reserve and our nation's leaders.  Its as if the print and visual media feel a duty to avoid inciting panic, rage or any kind of impassioned public reaction at the expense of truth; to refuse methodically and candidly to report how deep and cavernous our economic and social woes have become...

Don't want to upset the viewers or advertisers..

Foreign news does not have such hangups concerning the US.

Here's an example of a commentary you'd be hard pressed to find in a US paper unless it was biased to the left: the German newspaper Spiegel Online wrote about the field of Republican candidates jostling to be the 'One' who faces President Obama in November.  Its quite informative and accurate; it doesn't mince words.

Before I proceed, let me state I am not a Democrat.  Not a Republican either.  I've voted many times in past for candidates of Both parties over the years and Both have disappointed me with equal thoroughness and disgust.  Both parties are beholden to Wall Street and the needs of the global investor, and thus not representative of my needs as a citizen.  I also believe every candidate for 2012 including the President is truly horrid and have no grasp how to fix the economy nor any interest in helping the bottom 99% unless its via Wall St and all push the same stale Lie for prosperity known as 'trickle down' economics.

1992 Time Magazine issue-- Shame its not from 2011...

So.. That being disclosed, onto the Spiegel Online article found here:

 http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/0,1518,800850,00.html

 You may agree or disagree with the content; feel joyful or repulsed, but that's what any good journalism does-- elicit reactions from its readers while pulling no punches.  Its quite long so I post only portions while not editing the content of the op ed piece. The rest of this posting (in blue font) is from the article and not written by yours truly...
_________

A Club of Liars, Demagogues and Ignoramuses


Welcome to the wonderful world of the US Republicans... They lie. They cheat. They exaggerate. They bluster. They say one idiotic, ignorant, outrageous thing after another. They've shown such stark lack of knowledge -- political, economic, geographic, historical -- that they make George W. Bush look like Einstein and even cause their fellow Republicans to cringe...


That may be the most appropriate description.


Tough times demand tough and smart minds. But all these dopes have to offer are ramblings that insult the intelligence of all Americans -- no matter if they are Democrats, Republicans or neither of the above. Yet just like any freakshow, this one would be unthinkable without a stage (in this case, the media, strangling itself with all its misunderstood "political correctness" and "objectivity") and an audience (the party base, which this year seems to have suffered a political lobotomy)...


Take Herman Cain, "businessman." He sat out the first wave of sexual harassment claims against him by offering a peculiar argument: Most ladies he had encountered in his life, he said, had not complained. In the most recent twist, a woman accused Cain of having carried on a 13-year affair with her. That, too, he tried to casually wave off, but now, under pressure, he says he wants to "reassess" his campaign..


As CEO of the "Godfather's" pizza chain, Cain killed jobs -- but now poses as the job-creator-in-chief. Meanwhile, he seems to lack basic economic know-how, let alone a rudimentary grasp of politics or geography. Libya confounds him. He does not believe that China is a nuclear power. And all other, slightly more complicated questions get a stock answer: "Nine-nine-nine!" Remember? That's Cain's tax reduction plan that would actually raise taxes for 84 percent of Americans...


Then there's Newt Gingrich, the current favorite. He's a political dinosaur, dishonored and discredited. Or so we thought. Yet just because he studied history and speaks in more complex sentences than his rivals, the US media now reflexively hails him as a "Man of Ideas" (The Washington Post) -- even though most of these ideas are lousy if not downright offensive, such as firing unionized school janitors, so poor children could do their jobs...


Gingrich claims moral authority on issues such as the "sanctity of marriage," yet he's been divorced twice. He sprang the divorce on his first wife while she was sick with cancer. (His supporters' excuse: It's been 31 years, and she's still alive.) He cheated on his second wife just as he was pressing ahead with Bill Clinton's impeachment during the Monica Lewinsky affair, unaware of the irony. The woman he cheated with, by the way, was one of his House aides and 23 years his junior -- and is now his perpetually smiling third wife.


Americans have a short memory. They forget, too, that Gingrich was driven out of Congress in disgrace, the first speaker of the house to be disciplined for ethical wrongdoing... Or that he enjoyed a $500,000 credit line at Tiffany's just as his campaign was financially in the toilet and he ranted about the national debt. Chutzpah, indeed.


"I think he's doing well just because he's thinking," former President Clinton told the conservative online magazine NewsMax. "People are hungry for ideas that make some sense." Sense? Apparently it's not just the Republicans who have lost their minds here...


Mitt Romney, the eternal flip-flopper and runner-up, is almost guaranteed to clinch the nomination, even though no one in his party seems to like or want him... As an investor, Romney once raked in millions and, like Cain, killed jobs along the way. So now he says he's the economy's savior...


So the US elections are a reality show after all, a pseudo-political counterpart to the Paris Hiltons, Kim Kardashians and all the "American Idol" and "X Factor" contestants littering today's TV. The cruder, the dumber, the more bizarre and outlandish -- the more lucrative...


Maybe that's the solution: Just ignore it all, until election day. Good luck with that -- 


**Once again, the full Spiegel Online article here:

 http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/0,1518,800850,00.html