All Together Now - Recession
- Mr Reality Check
...the president is some kind of cheap, knock-off of dear old dad and
the crippled American dollar will be the death knell for this one-term
Freshly returned from our nations capitol where it was far easier
to locate a urine-free bus than it was to get someone to say the word
recession out loud. Sure, theyll mumble it in the pubs or back-office
restrooms or cheap apartment elevators. Cabbies will mention it, or
maybe someone on the radio might use it in an ad campaign, but no one
culling a check in the political realm dare utter the word, least of
all Republicans, who are so frightened about losing the House right
now it is unnervingly palpable.
Reportedly, House leader, Dick Armey spent nearly 72 hours locked in
his office with several key members of the Security and Exchange Commission
struggling to produce contrary evidence to growing rumors that every
major accounting firm bankrolling current Republican campaigns has a
50% crook rate. The three-day summit allegedly produced over 300 names
of corporate attorneys currently under indictment for some kind of fraud.
Surprisingly, Democrat trepidations far outweigh GOP concerns.
Scheduled speeches by Al Gore has rendered the party dumbfounded on
how to stop this maniac from creeping from the 2000 wreckage to somehow
claim defacto victory again and begin to surge the electorate back into
the notion that somehow a reversal of fate means a reversal of fortune.
No Democrat analyst worth a damn wants Gore screwing up this free ride
to election bliss when the bottom has fallen out of the Bush honeymoon.
Actually "fear" may not be the right word to describe the
atmosphere in Washington D.C. these days. The overall mood is best described
with the phrase "grave doom". And it is an Edgar Allen Poe
type of doom, with ravens and corpses and women in black veils, a cocaine
nightmare worthy of 19th century gothic horror. Painful whispers abound
that the evil black cat is out of the bag and the big business lawyers
hold all the cards and the president is some kind of cheap, knock-off
of dear old dad and the crippled American dollar will be the death knell
for this one-term hell.
Believe me when I report that there is not a person within a ten mile
radius of Capitol Hill with an ounce of responsibility willing to face
anything involving the corporate lunacy that comes pouring in daily.
It is a city in suspended animation. Not even the papers report anything
worthy any longer. The Washington Post has been neutered by international
wireless dealerships and Sam Donaldson is whipping up support for a
major lawsuit against ABC News.
The emergence of something called the Corporate Fraud Task Force raised
some eyebrows, but they mostly belonged to the Homeland Security dissenters
who choose to view this latest government spend spree as tantamount
to placing the odd band-aid on a gaping wound. Two days before the announcement
a crazed executive at AOL/ Time Warner began leaking news that the partnership
Meanwhile the unemployment rate is soaring, the stock market in farcical
at best and the national debt continues to escalate by the millisecond.
No one wants to admit that there is a massive pink elephant sitting
on the White House lawn. Yet there it is. And it is a veracious beast
willing to stomp and pillage for any kind of recognition.
We shall call the elephant Recession, because that is what you call
it when the above-mentioned areas of economic pertinence begin to waver
like a weakly constructed shack in the wind. And the elephant is a fitting
metaphor for what the present Republican government has wrought on this
Strike that. The federal government has very little to do with a weak
and insecure economy. But thats not what voters think, and in
Washington, that is all that matters now. It is too close to Labor Day
to believe that anything will change drastically enough to convince
the populace that this present government has not crippled this country,
nor will they have a clue how to fix it.
Forget comparing this abortion to the Clinton years when phony tech
stocks and blathering foreign business men with a cadre of hookers and
pound of grade A smack could earn an evening in the Lincoln bedroom
with Bobby De Niro and Babs Streisand to help toast the best economy
in the history of this republic. Yeah, that doesnt count, because
it was Newt Gingrich and the Republican congress of 94 that saved
Although that bullshit doesnt hold water anymore, because we still
have a Republican congress and another fucking Bush dingus on Pennsylvania
Avenue and, guess what, junior? We have another recession.
Not to worry, because no one is calling it that. Not Allen Greenspan
or Paul ONeill. No way. Not them. The Secretary of Treasury makes
an appearance on national television to report that all is well, while
his colleagues in the administration call him names in an Alexandria
Last week, Bushs economic advisor, Lawrence Lindsey was seen twice
trashing ONeill on the campus of GW University. The hilarious
series of outbursts bore the oft-quoted phrases "Lost in a sea
of Pollyanna" and "Hasnt been to Wall Street since 1989".
This prompted Glenn Hubbard, Bushs big gun on the Council of Economic
Advisers to call Newsweek with a statement on Lindsey they still refuse
to run because "It borders on slander." The minute Congress
passed the Corporate Responsibility bill, following a barrage of calls
to the White House derisively commenting on Bushs veiled attempt
at a speech to bolster confidence in the trade market, Hubbard was seen
stumbling out of a private mens club in Logan Circle stammering
something about having been cursed by a jade monkey.
To ward off the evil spirit of Herbert Hoover, the administration announced
an economic forum to be hosted by the president in mid-August. Unfortunately
the location will be Waco, Texas, a place that has enough unstable spirits
to fill a Dickens novel twice over.
History is important to the large players inside the Beltway. This is
why the panic strikes deep across party lines.
Aside from his rousing series of "evil doers" speeches in
the wake of 9/11, Bush has had about as inauspicious first two years
as his predecessor, who managed to swing wide the doors of the Republican
Revolution. And no one in the party wants to even broach the way George
Bush sr. ignored the signs of a sagging economy basking in the glory
of his gaudy Desert Storm popularity numbers.
Just because the guys in the expensive suits refuse to address this
wounded economy with the word recession, doesnt mean it doesnt
exist. One thing that does exist is the very real possibility that whatever
its called could effectively murder two Bush presidencies.
© James Campion August 2nd 2002
Mid-Summer's Standoff in the Bare Knuckle Jungle
Campion in Washington
'The same people who managed 9/11 bankroll Hammas. They run the deal
over there. Weve known that for some time'.
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