Bil Browning

Olbermann Rips Debt Ceiling Deal

Filed By Bil Browning | August 02, 2011 7:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Politics
Tags: credit crisis, debt ceiling, Keith Olbermann, President Obama, special comment

I've mostly stayed away from the debt ceiling controversy on the site because a) it's so damn complicated that I don't feel qualified to write about it and b) I've been trying to keep the site more LGBT-focused instead of just political. Keith Olbermann's screed last night during his "Special Comment," however, is worthy of lifting up for everyone to watch.

My favorite part? "Those who defend it call it a credit to a pragmatic President who wins some sort of political points because having stood for almost nothing here, he gave away almost nothing for which he stood."

That about sums it up for me too. Preach it, Keith. Preach it.

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Brad Bailey | August 2, 2011 11:44 PM

Amen, Brother Olberman! Thank you for speaking truth to power when nobody in the mainstream media will.

Rick Elliott | August 3, 2011 2:19 AM

AMEN! I am thoroughly disgusted with government today--we're the laughingstock of the world because of our gullibility. We swallowed the transition from Bin Laden to Hussein, venting our righteous anger on Iraqi and Afghan civilians for 9/11. There's something wrong when 90% of casualties are civilian noncombatants.
I believe our only hope is for someone like Eugene McCarthy to rise up to begin to unveil the lie of the wars we're engaged in. No one actually believes there were WMD or that Afghans should be held accountable for foreigners and the terror they inflict.
We Americans are too preccupied with the "graven images"--better translated as manufactured items--that we think we can't do without.

While I adore Keith Olberman, and find a visceral thrill in his ability to draw mass quantities of blood in rants like this - there are a couple of things I'd like to point out. One is that pointing the finger of blame for our New Depression at Dubya isn't quite accurate. If you want the root of the rethuglican financial idiocy/fascism, you have to step back a few years to the (oh, Gods help me not to barf...) Reagan administration where we first began our tour de farce in voodoo economics. "Trickle Down" theory was a piss-poor joke and a bald faced lie from the first. As my much-missed grandfather put it, "The only thing 'trickling' here is you peeing on my shoes and telling me it's raining.'" Gods, how I miss that man.
Second - do you really think that the fat, stupid, self-obsessed, and narcissistic American public has the will power - let alone the stamina - to get off there collective fat butts, put down the remote, turn off The Real HoBags of (insert city name here), pull their snouts out of the Fox Media slop-trough and DO SOMETHING?! Not bloody likely says I. Oh, we'll bitch and whine some... maybe one or two will loose their honest rage only to be made fools of in the Faux Moooz media circus - sorry, Keith my dear. Much as I would love to see it - even to participate in it - the day when the American public could think for themselves, vote responsibly for responsible representatives, and would actually force them to listen and do what was right has been gone for a very long time.
The "stupidification/stultification" of the U.S. Citizenry began the day this nation was founded, ramped up via the propaganda machinery during each of our innumerable and unending wars, spewed forth from the pulpits, and taught as "history" in our classrooms. Anybody here remember McCarthyism and the "Red Menace" - welcome back! The only change is that the poor, disabled, and disadvantaged are the new "commies".
Until our Constitution and the laws of this land limit the terms in office of ALL elected representatives, and allow them to be held personally responsible and liable for the laws they pass while in office you will never see a government in this nation "of the people, for the people, and by the people."
Until the media are held to the same accreditation standards as any college student submitting a paper for their classes, and are required by law to present ONLY the news - and not allowed to pass off their opinions AS the "news" you will never see an unbiased, professional, responsible media.
Call me a cynic - I will proudly say, "damned right!" And I have over 200 years of history to prove my point.

Thank you Bil for posting this, and thank you Mr. Olbermann for the hard hitting honest outrage at the co-opting of govt. "Of the people,By the people, for the people!" I am so impressed, Mr. Olbermann calls us to hit the streets and do it now, because if we don't. If we blink, any opportunity to regain OUR govt. will be lost. It will be owned and run by the corporations who have the 'politicians' in their backpocket.
I for one, am "Mad as Hell" and I want my Govt. back!!

When programs such as Ryan White and ADAP funding are being slashed;

when Planned Parenthood is being shut down so that low-income women don't have contraception services;

when Medicare is being reduced so that lesbians need to fear whether they will get high quality breast cancer prevention, detection and treatment care;

when HIV/AIDS prevention education programs get unfunded;

when there are no federal agents available to investigate the hate crimes we campaigned so hard and long to get into federal law;

when HIV/AIDS burns through the Black and Latino communities like a brushfire; when Black men have an unemployment rate twice that of white and Asian men of the same age, and their unemployment benefits are exhausted and not being renewed;

when single mothers have no way to go to work and have child care for their children at the same time; when Black children only get decent meals during the nine months when school is in session;

when top quality primary and secondary education only takes place in white, affluent neighborhoods;

when college students, including the highly gifted and very motivated LGBT sutdents have trouble getting their Pell grants; when LGBT lawyers, many of whom plan to specialize in LGBT law issues, come out of law school with up to $50,000 or more in student loans;

when there are no government funds to get our homeless LGBT youth off the street, or off drugs; when the same can be said of our homeless and/or destitute LGBT elderly as well;

when transpeople have to fly to Malaysia to get Sex Reassignment Surgery they can afford;

when the cities begin denying our Gay Pride Parade permits, claiming that there are not enough police officers available to control our crowds ...

... maybe we ought to look twice at whether general federal policies, including spending, revenues (taxes), the deficit, and the national debt are LGBT issues.

Yes, these issues are complicated -- but they are complicated for everyone -- I am no expert, I am just as likely to make an ass out of myself online as the next person is -- but we need to grab these issues and do the best we can learning and figuring things out, because the people who currently run the show -- the Wall Street financiers,the corporate businessesmen with their bulging portfolios of stock options, the plutocrats and the politicians they can influence, bribe, or buy outright -- obviously do not have our best interests at heart and will make serfs and sharecroppers out of the vast majority of us if we sit back and shake our heads, muttering "This is too complicated."

We are all citizens, and we are all qualified enough to enter the debate. What we have at stake is what qualifies us.

P.S. We have heavyweight LGBT spokespersons, but most of them are in journalism -- Maddow, Anderson AC/DC (OK, you're not out "officially"), Andrew Sullivan, Keith Boykin, Don Lemon, Jonathan Capehart, and others I may have missed -- but not anyone with credentials in economics and/or public policy (Kevin Jennings, Midge Costanza, Donna Shalala, retired gay military men, where are you?) ... Perhaps we as an LGBT community ought to establish a few scholarships targeted directly toward PhD's in Economics and Public Policy so that we can have influential voices in these areas in just a few years. Or maybe we should put together a serious LGBT Washington think tank (No, HRC, you are anything but that!) We have no shortage of bright young LGBT people, our shortages are in money, vision, and will.

It's time to organize to take back our government from the combined forces of the Christianist Dominionists, the "Tea Party" nutters and their corporate puppetmasters, the Military-Industrial Complex, Big Oil, the multinational corporations and financial institutions, and the Republican/Democratic Party, which, despite having some minor differences, seems to be a single right-wing corporatist entity pretending to be a "two party system."

Right off the bat, we need more butter and less guns. We have virtually bankrupted the nation because of the post-9/11 paranoia and military jingoism.

I think that it may be possible to partially wean the Military-Industrial complex onto SPS (solar power satellite) development and building power distribution infrastrcuture worldwide. Create a system to provide 6 million years' worth of energy that is generated at zero cost - all we have to do is collect it in space and beam it down in low intensity microwaves to receiving stations in rugged mountain and desert areas around the planet, and then distribute it to everywhere where energy is needed in the form of electricity.

As to the rest, cheap power will create a worldwide post-industrial revolution and allow for technological improvements to bring the world's poor into better health, with better food, better education, and better living conditions. In the US we can have universal health care and stop wasting precious petroleum, which we need to preserve for rocket fuel until we can build equatorial magnetic slingshots and a couple space elevators.

I've raned on this before - but this latest "compromise" is virtually all downside and is likely to create a double-dip recession. It does nothing to cut guns, and cutting butter is insanity.

Yes, there is a core of Democrats who are on the right path - but they are too few. Then there are the Greens, also too few. There are even "tea party" people who are just misinformed and really can be redirected. But the US is a country where more than 50% of the electorate literally believes in creationism. In this country, unless and until those people can be educated away from their superstition (religion is one thing, but literalist fundamentalism is dangerous), there is little hope. People of good will can get "mad as hell" but we still have to deal with those who are too stupid to understand that their best interests are not with their corporate masters.