Essentials 2012   American Gothic   Racism   Prince Was Right   Christians & Islam   Trayvon Martin   THE FISCAL CLIFF   Lincoln   Flight   Love, Whitney

Most Americans simply do not feel the actual dread of America’s financial state.
This is why we’re so comfortable channel surfing while politicians play games with America’s very existence. The entire nation is being harmed by Old Rich White Men whose agenda is to mortally wound the president before his second term even begins. When I hear grumpy, rich white men spewing their racist dog whistles about blacks enjoying “gifts” from the government, I wonder “What gifts? Where’s my gift? Tens of millions of blacks pay into a system that sends whites a check every month. But this is what racists do: assume I’m taking money from them, when it is, in fact, just the opposite. Where’s my gift?

Not About Rice

Back when I was married, my wife stopped speaking to me for nearly a week because of a fight we had over where our baby would go when she was released from the hospital. She had a family tradition of the daughters bringing their newborns to the family home for the first few weeks so their mother could teach them how to care for the baby. The husband was usually relegated to the guest room. I said, that’s a nice tradition, but not with my kid. I’d already been through Newborn Baby Boot Camp with my niece. If anything, I could certainly show her anything she needed to know about what to do. So we had this big fight and we stopped speaking to each other, as if not speaking actually fixes or changes anything.

The most absurd thing about the fight: she wasn’t pregnant. We weren’t expecting. It was a hypothetical argument about a hypothetical baby. And here we were, beating each other up over a baby that did not exist.

This is precisely the silliness Old Rich White Men John McCain and Lindsey Graham are doing: picking a fight with the president over the hypothetical nomination of U.N. ambassadors Susan Rice to become the next Secretary of State. There is no nomination. But, they argue, just I case there *might* be, we oppose it. This got the president’s back up and hardened the battle lines between Republicans and Democrats, which was the obvious goal of this lunacy. At a time of dire national crisis, these foolish, selfish, and, yes, evil men have chosen, yet again, to play politics instead of concentrating on what’s important. If they opposed Rice’s nomination, why not wait until she’s actually been nominated? Typically, if there was an objection to a potential nominee, that objection would be communicated to the white House through back channels, not through political bluster at a press conference. This was a baldly offensive political move intended to gin up political warfare with the president in the midst of the time crunch over the Fiscal Cliff. It’s a lot like fussing with your neighbor about his dog’s incessant barking while your house is on fire. And the fight has nothing to do with Rice, whether these Old Rich white Men truthfully oppose her or not. The fight is about the Fiscal Cliff. It is a broadside intended to harden the battle lines for that fight, not the Secretary of State gig. It is a manifestly evil and selfish thing to do, play these stupid games, while the Dow Jones tanks every day these morons drag their heels.

This fight isn’t about Susan Rice. It’s about Scott Brown, the first Republican senator elected in the state of Massachusetts in 40 years. Brown was elected in a major upset after Senator Ted Kennedy’s death in 2009, but lost his 2012 reelection bid to a Democrat. The Republicans want that seat back, and they’re throwing stink on Susan Rice to publicly dissuade the president from nominating her for Secretary of State in the hopes Obama will then turn to Massachusetts Senator John Kerry, opening up the seat of a special election which they hope Scott Brown will win.

A Transparently Phony Fight: In the face of economic collapse, McCain picks a fight over a nomination the president has not yet made. Now we're wasting time with this foolishness.

Keeping Score

This is what this battle is about: Old Rich White Men. This is who’s causing the crisis: Old Rich White Men. This is the reason Republicans deliberately prolonged the recession, causing millions more to lose homes and jobs: Old Rich White Men. Virtually everything the Republicans blamed the president for—the overlong recovery, the credit rating reduction, the unemployment rate—was actually caused by Old Rich White Men. None of this is about or has much to do with anyone under 50. The struggle, the reasons the Republicans draw out the misery and suffering of tens of millions of families and, even now, continue to drag America to the brink, is all about a relative handful of Old Rich White Men. I doubt we’re talking about a thousand people in a country of 300 million. And these legislators—senators and congressmen who are, themselves, Old Rich White Men—have been holding the nation hostage for the majority of this president’s term not out of concern for the American People but for the top 2% of the richest families in America if not the world. The entire nation’s business held up so these Republicans—and, yes, it’s the Republicans—can look out for the interests of a handful of Old Rich White Men, to keep extending tax breaks to Old Rich White Men.

Nobody’s raising taxes on these Old Rich White Men; the president is merely ending the tax cut these Old Rich White Men have enjoyed for a decade. Having enough money to live ten lifetimes over is not enough, and the fact virtually none of these Old Rich White Men’s lifestyle will be affected one iota by the expiration of their tax breaks is an argument that falls on deaf ears to the Old Rich White Men in Congress who keep telling that “job creator” lie. These guys have had this tax break for a decade now; they’ve created no jobs. These Old Rich White Men, whose needless tax cuts the Old Rich White Men in Congress are willing to sell the entire country out for, merely stuff their pockets with cash. The so-called “job creators” are sitting on an estimated $1.5 trillion of cash. They’re not hiring. They haven’t been hiring, even with their tax break. They won’t be hiring if the president extends it. The president and the nation has absolutely no reason to believe mega-millionaires and huge corporations will hire anybody at all if those tax cuts are extended. So why bother extending them?

This is what Old Rich White Men Do: live life in the abstract. Their net worth is how they keep score in the game. Their main motivation for insisting, at all costs, that the rich continue to receive a tax break they neither asked for nor need is the game bored, rich people fill their lives with: What’s My Net Worth? They have more money than they could possibly spend in a dozen lifetimes, but they continue to wreak economic havoc with this nation simply out of pure greed and the lunatic mindset that takes hold once you’re no longer concerned with things like food and shelter. This is their world. This is what they do. Old Rich White politicians—the Old Guard—are further threatened by the idea of their being displaced from political power by the next generation, a more enlightened, better-informed, browner, gayer, more gender-balanced generation that no longer believes the world is flat. The America rattling around inside their heads doesn’t exist anymore. Barack Obama’s very existence as U.S. president embodies that fear, that Florida Senator Marco Rubio will move from being a token of diversity to being just another of dozens of Latino and black and female legislators. Old Rich White Men have seen the future, and they are hell-bent on preventing it.   CONTINUED

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Essentials 2012   American Gothic   Racism   Prince Was Right   Christians & Islam   Trayvon Martin   THE FISCAL CLIFF   Lincoln   Flight   Love, Whitney