You know how we Democrats are always accusing the Republicans of using inane ploys like Bill Ayers and lipstick on pigs to distract voters from the "really important issues?" Well, here's a newsflash, guys: the Masters of the Universe are using the 2008 presidential election as a distraction, to deflect the U.S. population from the realization that life as we know it is about to come crashing to a stupendous end. Think the Twin Towers every day for the next ten years.
And the cause? The economy, stupid.
When you wake up on November 5th, prepare yourself for a very short celebration. I know Barack Obama is. That brave man with his warm, confident smile is painfully aware that he is fighting for the right to preside over the greatest man-made disaster the world has ever faced.
I live out in the rural high desert -- a place where a majority of the intelligentsia are proud to say they don't own a TV. They get their news from NPR or the web. Friends and relatives around the country are still addicted to some form of boob-tube-ism. But nearly everyone of them is fixated on the election. Admittedly, it's been the most thrilling, outrageous and entertaining presidential race in our lifetime.
That's why it's been so easy to fly this particular catastrophe -- a stealth bomber armed with a gigantic nuclear payload -- under the radar. Of course, as my favorite modern philosopher, the late Terrance McKenna, used to say, "For some, the Apocalypse has already come." The millions of Americans who have lost their jobs with no hope of future employment. The multitudes of homeowners who have faced the horror of home foreclosure and are scrambling to find shelter for their families. The small business owners who've had to close up shop. The iconic chains that have either drastically cut the number of their stores, or shut their doors entirely. Empty malls that look like something out of Night of the Living Dead.
But this is the proverbial tip of the iceberg.
You really need to turn on your plasma TVs to CNBC this week. Watch the world-wide China Syndrome taking place before your eyes in high definition living color. See the panic on the faces of the normally sanguine, smirking commentators, pundits and policy-makers who suddenly find themselves out to sea, dripping blood, swimming with a school of great whites.
You'll see the likes of ex-Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan looking like a whipped puppy, apologizing for wrecking the world economy. You'll learn that Bush appointee, now "King Henry" Paulson, has handed over the keys to the U.S. Treasury to a thirty-five-year-old fellow Goldman Sachs alumnus. You'll see whole countries -- Iceland -- going bankrupt. The American auto industry going bust. CEOs still jumping from their private jets with platinum parachutes. Nations like Germany, Brazil, Indonesia, Japan and Russia who have had to shut down their stock markets for days at a time or risk total panic and collapse. Banks and insurance companies that have been infused with tens of billions of our tax dollars hoarding the money (instead of putting it back into the economy) to protect against their own future losses. And really terrifying: money set aside for the "Green Revolution" and our attempts to halt global warming going down the tubes.
It's amazing to watch on Morning Cal, Fast Money and Closing Bell those considered the best and brightest in the field sitting shell-shocked and gape-mouthed as the Dow plunges 777 points in one session, gold surges $80 in a few hours one day, only to plummet nearly $300 the following week, or the price of a barrel of crude oil halved in the twinkling of an eye. I can't count the number of times I've heard them saying "I just don't know. I've never seen anything like this before. The conventional wisdom no longer holds. All bets are off."
Most alarming are the predictions. The mind-numbing figures on jobs still to be lost. The massive foreclosures still to come. More businesses going bust. Thousands of bank failures. No bottom in sight for the housing market. Major countries tanking. The Dow dropping another 1,000-1,500 points this week alone. Food shortages. Martial law. A State of Emergency declared by you-know-who... and the election called off!
It's been a popular thing during the appalling eight years of W to occasionally go on a "news fast" in order to keep our brains from exploding. But those times are over. Some have called America "a nation of sheep." I call it "a nation of ostriches." We cannot afford to live in this boneheaded state of denial anymore. We need to pull our collective heads out of the sand and educate ourselves about what's really happening in the world, because sooner than later this economic behemoth we've allowed to grow unchecked for the last twenty years is about to rear up and take a big bite out of our collective asses. None of us will be exempt.
I'm not a religious person, but these days I'm praying there will be an election and that Barack Obama wins on November 4th. He can't save us from what's ahead, but I like to think it'll be him steering the Ship of State through the thousand foot waves of the coming Perfect Storm.
So hold onto your underpants, kids. It's going to be a wild ride.
If you want to get the skinny on the truly nefarious manipulation of the global markets from on high, go online to GATA, Le Metropole Cafe and Angry Bear. These folks used to be considered conspiracy theorists. Now they're the Oracles at Delphi. Or for the opinions of a scarily prescient, hardened realist who had this crisis pegged two years ago, see David Hirst here.