I have to admit, it was nice to relax for a few days, and let the waves of desperation and hope wash over me. Then from out of the blue, one of my conservative friends – YES, I have them! – sent me this, spurring me to action.
“I know it’s probably crazy for me to suggest a topic for your blog, but I heard some news that made me think of you and made me furious at the same time…
“American Express is now considered a bank holding company!”
“Here is quick link that summarizes the info: http://www.cnbc.com//id/27675720”
“With this new status, it allows AMEX to borrow money from the Fed to continue its operations. It’s a travesty and a scam. They cut their card holders off at the knees and then want to borrow money at a discounted rate from the Fed which is funded by tax payers which are their card members! The absurd has become real….”
Considering my recent experience with the company whose name rhymes with Contrarian Sex Dress, my friend’s missive was just the tonic I needed to swing back into the saddle.
Although I’m a Democrat, from a long line of Democrats – well, I think my black sheep brother may have been won over to the other side, now that he’s successful and married into a Texas family with ties to the “erl bidness” – I don’t see this as just a Republican problem. Though I love Bill Clinton, he was not exactly a bastion of virtue in the area of regulation, or in any number of other areas dear to my heart. But it’s like Bush & Co. were just waiting for the opportunity to push the regulatory rollercoaster over the top, plunging headlong into the depths of deregulation hell.
Oops. There are some missing rail sections down below – I guess the war cut into the maintenance budget – and we’re going to fly screaming into the depths of Lucifer’s kingdom for fiscal idiots, because of someone’s screwed up visiton of how this country is supposed to work and who it’s supposed to work for.
Watching this financial meltdown is like watching a sadomasochistic version of the Keystone Kops robbing the Federal banking system. You hear about something like the American Express story my friend spoke of, and I really, truly and sincerely wonder:
Where is Hunter S. Thompson when we need him?
I love Thomas Freedman and I’m currently reading Thomas Frank’s The Wrecking Crew. but somehow the world just seems hollow without the primeval howl of Thompson baying at the various emperors and czars tiptoeing around in their latest finery, confident we won’t see their flacid, bloodless flesh on display along with healthy doses of hubris.
The sad thing is, a signficant percentage of our population doesn’t see through the facade. The phrase, “Thank you, sir, may I have another?” and visions of pledge hazing flash through my mind. There are actually people who’d vote for Bush again. Gluttons for punishment, aren’t they?
When are our leaders going to wake up to the blindingly obvious fact that you cannot hand money unfettered to these corrupted Brahmins? Lack of restraint and the absence of accountability is what got us here.
So, while my friend was angered by this revelation about American Express, I can say I’m not surprised in the least. Disgusted, yes. Outraged, yes. Offended? Highly. But not angered nor surpised. I expect no less, and that’s sort of what Thomas Frank gets around to in his book. Either the neocon agenda is to so undermine peoples’ faith in government, or else we’ve got a bunch of ideolog babboons who think they’re speaking to God in the White House.
What difference does it make?
I am buoyed to see the rising confidence in Obama, and that people think we’ll be better off in four years. Because with houses dropping 30-50%, with gasoline approaching the lowest prices we’ve seen in years, it’s clear that so much of the debacle gripping us now is what Roosevelt warned us of: the fear of fear itself
And if those people at the Contrarian Sex Dress company think I’ll forget what they did to me and millions of other cardmembers – a nice phrase for indentured servants – they don’t know who they’re dealing with.
As my friend Taylor Bledsoe would say, “Never underestimate the power of an ornery critter”. I can be pretty ornery when I put my mind to it.
Contrarian Sex Dress Co., consider yourself warned.
May the Higher Power of your choice watch over you and your loved ones – and your stock portfolio and 401k – in the days to come.