Wednesday, 7 December 2011


Last night's big Economy Speech sure sounded nice, didn't it? It must have hit the right notes, because the punditocracy is gushing about it today and it just about drove Glenn Beck to go full R. Budd Dwyer on us this morning.

It was a selection of just the right series of bromides to launch an Obama reelection attempt. Given the nighmarish, radioactive cannibal clown orgy that is the Republican field, he might even pull it off. Meanwhile, a woman in Texas shot her two children and then herself after being repeatedly denied food stamps, but worry not, peasant: President Obama met with Lady Gaga (I guess the title is official now?) to discuss the urgent issue of school bullying.

A funny little detail about last night's speech jumped out at me, incidentally. In what pundits on networks ranging from CNN to MSNBC to ABC to FOX are portraying as either Marxist Class Warfare (guess who) or a big nod to #OccupyWallSt, Obama calmly intoned:

Ever since [the financial crisis began], there has been a raging debate over the best way to restore growth and prosperity; balance and fairness. Throughout the country, it has sparked protests and political movements - from the Tea Party to the people who have been occupying the streets of New York and other cities.

I was trying to think of a cute way to point it out, but after some consideration I think it's best just to state that I find it remarkable that Obama not only staffs his administration with Goldman Sachs alumni and raises ungodly sums of money from Wall Street firms - he can't even bring himself to mention #OccupyWallSt by name!

As a matter of fact, Obama's tone throughout the speech was critical in vague generalities of the excesses of late-stage capitalism, but mighty thin on specific indictments of banks, Wall Street firms, the whole gang of economic vampires. One of the most consistently infuriating things about media coverage and political treatment of the entire financial debacle from the get-go has been this faux-bewilderment, a disingenuous, head-scratching "gee whiz" bafflement, as though such a complex latticework of fraud and malfeasance just happened, without any blame to be laid specifically at anyone's doorway.

Anyhow. In local news, it's cold as the Dickens, and the air is foul and on its way to fouler. What better weather for an evening of climate-related public affairs?

There is a public hearing tonight regarding plans to strip mine for coal an area near Bryce Canyon Park. The meeting will convene at 6:00 PM MST tonight (come early) at the Salt Lake City Public Library, 210 E 400 S, Salt Lake City. I'll see you there!

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