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Who Are The Pawns?

If one admires the bold avarice of corporate raiders of the 1970’s and 1980’s in their coldly resolute ability to acquire, crush and dismantle corporations ripe for the picking one has to admire the calm, charming even colorful, deadliness that the Obama small business plan unfolds with and displays.
Even sparsely attractive in a desert sort of way it’s disguised to look like the lean, and unadorned plans one would typically expect to see from Republicans.

What is the move? The gameplay is to characterize Republicans as stick-in-the mud ne’er-do-wells (“No, no, no, no no no no”)…, when in fact they may be the last bastion of hope between the government’s steady encroachment upon business and successful free-enterprise business itself.

Why is Obama’s plan so brilliant…. mockingly abusive, and diabolical? (Not to mention bloodsucking). It is so because it gains control over businesses by providing them with loans, and it uses their own money to do it, steadily coercing them to spend their money on government plans, government agendas, with a very liberally driven quid-pro-quo for the tax credits. (They are not ‘no-strings attached tax cuts’.)

It’s one of the most dangerous and dictatorial moves yet. A chessmaster move that one would expect of a successful warlord, quietly musing over his opponent’s sense of self-fulfilled glee at seeming gains, but in any warlord’s conquests there are always –pawns, so who are the pawns? Are you out of work, or working with a reduced work week, or reduced pay? Go look in the mirror.
The plan is insidious in that it casts a wide net of control over the small businesses of the nation by this mechanism: They will get some of their own tax money back if they do certain things. If they hire people who have been unemployed for x number of months, they get a credit, if they buy certain types of equipment, they get x number of credits. Never mind whether that person is the person the business really needs in order to prosper, or whether the equipment is the sort that is best suited to that businesses ventures. Obama sarcastically chides the Republicans in much the same way a person full of the party chides a quieter more sober companion who has been saying, “Sir, haven’t you imbibed enough…”
He replies loudly and to an audience, “I’ll be the one to decide when I’ve had enough to spend!!! You’re just a killjoy! No, no, no no, no…. That’s all that ever comes out of your mouth… and I’m not giving you the keys to the car.”

The Republicans have soberly responded to the President’s plan by saying,
’Look, Mr. President, stop trying to run the small businesses. Just let them keep the Bush tax cuts they already have, and let them spend their own money how they best see fit.”
Obama’s chiding tries to characterize the Republicans as wanting to hurt small businesses. Very clever, artful, a desert chameleon disguising his own plan as Republican-esque, he only lies in wait to strike at a stray unwary Republican, positing an almost appealing, seemingly innocuous, but controlling plan in the mind in the same way that the desert wasp deposits an egg in the brain of the desert tarantula…. or worse, to capture the young or unschooled voter who knows not the difference between a tax-cut and a tax-credit, or the difference between the firefly and the cannibalistic Photuris Firefly mimic.

Meanwhile, the sitting president continues to raise the specter of that dangerous Bush, and present his own new ways as a refuge, in much the same way that the deadly carnivorous hydra disguises itself as a safe haven from the patrolling dolphin.
While we are forced to consider the insidious, the carnivorous, and of course, president Bush, the patrolling dolphin, none of this is inscrutably diabolical, none of this is quintessentially evil. We have, as a nation, been through worse, and this would be a good moment to remember 9/11, and the many victims, both living and dead. This would be a good moment to commemorate, and think about what happened on 9/11, exactly 9 years ago.

As we commemorate 9/11 and the horrible tragedy that occurred on that day, I began to think about what preceded the tragedy. There had been a memo by Jamie Gorelick, Deputy Attorney General during the Clinton years, to Louis Freeh, director of the FBI and several other individuals. The memo was an exhortation from the Justice department to Intelligence Gathering Branches in the United States Government which essentially placed walls of separation between branches, and resulted in the curtailing of information sharing between agencies and Counterintelligence Teams. Attorney General Ashcroft’s Office later referred to the resultant unfortunate process as:
‘the wall that segregated criminal investigators and intelligence agents’ .

The provision in the memo was an odd one and it actually may have prevented the FBI, who had gathered much information on the 9/11 hijackers prior to the attack, from connecting the dots with other Federal Intelligence Agencies, who had gathered similar information. Arguably, 9/11 might never have occurred if the two agencies could have talked to each other and shared the information. The failing was actually not a failing of our intelligence gathering community, but was more a result of it being internally under attack by our Clinton era justice department.
What I find interesting in all of this is that, during the entire Bush Presidency, President Bush himself never once pointed the finger of blame, not even by manner of innuendo at President Clinton, though he might well have.
Regarded by many as a sort of a rube, George Bush was, in his bearing and his resolve, both in what to do and equally in what not to do, certainly the man for that season. By contrast, I can’t help but to be amused at how incessantly the current callow leadership of the nation points the finger of blame towards President Bush for the state of the economy.
It is no secret that the economy, from airline travels to hotel bookings, to Broadway Productions went into a tailspin after 9/11. While no one would have dared to have blamed president Bush at the time for the state of the economy, and the state that ensued as Democrats took control of both houses for the last four years of President Bush’s presidency, it has not occurred to President Barack Obama to do otherwise. He has artfully discovered how to continue to blame Bush even 20 months into his presidency. He does so by continually ‘discovering’ that things were much worse than he originally thought. Though the keys to the shop were actually given to him a full 20 months ago, prior to the planning of the stimulus, he somehow keeps discovering more ways in which it was worse than he originally thought, and reasons why the stimulus just isn’t quite yet working. Why the Democrats who have been in control of the House and the Senate for the past 6 years didn’t share this information with him, is, of course, a mystery. (maybe it has something to do with the memo).
Remember, the last 2 years of the ‘Bush decade’ as President Obama likes to call it, were actually under the presidency of President Obama. He does well, however, to conclude his presidency under the nomenclature of ‘the Bush decade’ for he has done nothing different in the ‘spending department’ other than to do lots more of it than the previous president did. The only thing he has done differently, of course, is to blame the previous president.

Copyright September 11th, 2010 by Juan Zapatero

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