Thursday, August 16, 2012

“The New Number Two”

[Note:  That title is an allusion to the terrific British TV show, “The Prisoner”.
For a video of our hero, No. 6, running for the job of No. 2, click here:  ]

Normally it’s a snoozer when the President-presumptive selects a running-mate -- the Vice-Presidency being notoriously (according to a former occupant of that office) “not worth a bucket of warm spit”.

[We pause to allow the imagery to sink in.]

The choice of Sarah Palin may have been key to changing this public perception.

True, there have been other selections that turned out to be much more important -- first and foremost, Teddy Roosevelt.   After President McKinley was shot, TDR strode the narrow world like a colossus;  we forget that his insertion into the #2 slot had been engineered by his enemies (like Boss Pratt of New York), who figured they were thereby “sending Teddy off to a nunnery”.   Next:  LBJ -- a giant of the Senate before he languished in obscurity beneath the shadow of that glitzier trinomial JFK, until, again, an assassin’s bullet  changed the history of the world …

So now we have Ryan.  A nobody, really; not even a ticket-balancer.    But in this climate, his presence is noticed, for better and for worse.

We shall make use of this spot to notice the soap-opera as it unfolds…

This one is intended to be a fairly factual and sober post.
For off-the-wall/over-the-top satire  at the expense of the would-be Veep, click here:

A [thought-]provoking article from a surprising source:  David Stockman.
Yet, that David Stockman, who famously diagnosed his boss’s nostrums as “voodoo economics”:
Adjusted for inflation, today’s national security budget is nearly double Eisenhower’s when he left office in 1961 (about $400 billion in today’s dollars) — a level Ike deemed sufficient to contain the very real Soviet nuclear threat in the era just after Sputnik. By contrast, the Romney-Ryan version of shrinking Big Government is to increase our already outlandish warfare-state budget and risk even more spending by saber-rattling at a benighted but irrelevant Iran.
Similarly, there can be no hope of a return to vibrant capitalism unless there is a sweeping housecleaning at the Federal Reserve and a thorough renunciation of its interest-rate fixing, bond buying and recurring bailouts of Wall Street speculators. The Greenspan-Bernanke campaigns to repress interest rates have crushed savers, mocked thrift and fueled enormous overconsumption and trade deficits.
The greatest regulatory problem — far more urgent that the environmental marginalia Mitt Romney has fumed about — is that the giant Wall Street banks remain dangerous quasi-wards of the state and are inexorably prone to speculative abuse of taxpayer-insured deposits and the Fed’s cheap money. Forget about “too big to fail.” These banks are too big to exist

You go, guy!

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