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Obama, Panetta, Petraeus

Announcing the latest change you can believe in (TM), President Obama announced that General Petraeus, following his great success in Afghanistan, is being bumped up to head of the CIA.  At the same moment, Leon Panetta is being switched from head of the CIA to Defense Secretary.   Through this deft maneuver, our imperial endeavors are allegedly to shift gears a bit, with our military foreign meddling now spearheaded by “intelligence” and our alleged intelligence militarized.  Gung Ho!    Shuffling the deck of bureaucratic survivors and military heroes (?),  we are to swoon in wonder that the changes you could believe in are so unbelievably unchangeable.  Over in another sector of the sinking ship the head of the Fed, Mr. Bernanke pontificated from behind a walnut desk in a first-ever news conference.  He spoke little of unemployment and much of inflation.

[As a Member of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System on February 20, 2004, Bernanke gave a speech: The Great Moderation, where he postulated that we are in a new era, where modern macroeconomic policy has decreased the volatility of the business cycle to the point that it should no longer be a central issue in economics.] (And we should listen to this guy!)

Meantime in the heart of Nascar country, a test was being carried out by Mother Nature, in which our Bible belt must decide whether they are being punished for unknown moral transgressions (of which there are doubtless trillions to pick from) or whether perhaps the computer projections of scientific pin-heads claiming that such visitations are the probable work of global warming, and that the “new normal” is likely to include the leveling of all trailer house parks, Wall-Marts and other driven-by-economics-only architectural monuments.  These are times that test the souls of men, and the current Wizard of Oz seems not so kindly as Frank Baum’s.

Home sweet home, Alabama

In this season of our discontent, as the American fantasy unravels and the piper is at the door, the landscape is littered with all the portents of disaster.  Americans, so the pundits say, are unhappy and they ask why?  Living where they do it all seems if not the greatest, at least looking better – the stock market is up, CEO’s are taking in record bonuses, corporations are showing better figures.  Inflation is under control.  And so on.  But most Americans, looking over the horizon, seem to see no Yellow Brick Road, and instead an ominous cloud like those which materialized over northern Alabama the last days.

Trickster in Chief

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