FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

It’s the Manipulated Economy, Stupid

by MICHAEL DONNELLY

The first Fall rains arrive. Leaves begin to turn color. Species begin migrations. The airwaves buzz with vacuous political ads. Various pro-Democrat/Neo-liberal progressive groups are once again giddy anticipating the end of Neo-con iron fist control of the nation. Election season is upon us.

Ben Tripp threw cold water all over the hopes of the naïve pwogs the other day. Tripp predicted a Republican sweep, or, at least, the Republicans maintaining their grip on DC. Aside from the time-dishonored tactic of Election Fraud, the failure of the Peace Movement and others to hold anyone accountable –R or D –for votes supporting the Iraq war/occupation, incessant Terror Alerts, etc.; the bottom line ace in the hole for BushCo is manipulating the economy.

Could it be any more obvious? It doesn’t take a genius–Rovian or otherwise–to notice how things are aligning. Gas prices are headed to their lowest level in two years. On Thursday, September 21st, USA Today ran an article showing that “When it comes to President Bush’s approval rating –the number that measures his political health –one factor seems more powerful than any Oval Office address or legislative initiative.”

And what is that measure? The article cites a statistical analysis by the Left Business Observer’s Doug Henwood, which found “an ‘uncanny’ 78% of the movement in Bush’s ratings could be correlated with changes in gas prices.”

Using his research and recent gas price drops as a guide, Henwood accurately predicted last Thursday that it “wouldn’t be surprising to see his approval numbers rise into the mid-40s.” Polls over the weekend showed Bush’s approval climbing all the way to 44%, his highest in a year.

Continuing its usual election year pattern when Republicans control the White House, the Federal Reserve Board hasn’t raised interest rates since the end of June, when the Fed set the rate at 5.25%. (The rate was raised to 6.5% for 2000’s stolen election. Quickly, it was dropped to a mere 1.75% for 2002 and 2004.) Now, after raising the rate steadily since then, the increase was capped in June. The Stock Market has responded and we’ll be seeing all sorts of blather about the Dow “reaching its all-time high”–11,722.98–by November 7th. (The Dow is at 11,611.67 as I write this.)

Just what have the American public been told equals a “robust, thriving economy?” Most folks, and especially the press, are conditioned to look to two indicators–gas prices and the Dow Jones Average. Who isn’t happy when gas prices drop? Other than the EXXON/MOBILEs of the world, that is. Big Oil is smarting at having to give Cheney a mere two-month price reprieve–the oily EXXON cartel alone has been pocketing $1 billion per week in profits so far this year.

So, as you enjoy the spectacle of yet another Diebold election, do as my buddy Steve Spahr and wait to fill your heating oil tank until early November; fill up the old Chevy and take a scenic drive through the corporate industrial E. coli farms, feedlots, clearcuts and mined-off mountaintops of rural America; cuz, by Rove, we won’t be seeing gas prices and interest rates this low or stocks this high for, uh, let me guess, two years.

MICHAEL DONNELLY drives a beat-up 1996 Ford Ranger pick-up with a rack for hauling recycled lumber. It’ll be in steady use until the post-election, post-Iran assault gas price escalation. He can be reached at pahtoo@aol.com

 

 

MICHAEL DONNELLY has been an environmental activist since before that first Earth Day. He was in the thick of the Pacific Northwest Ancient Forest Campaign; garnering some collective victories and lamenting numerous defeats. He can be reached at pahtoo@aol.com

May 05, 2016
David L. Glotzer
Welcome to Fortified Europe: the Militarization of Europe’s Borders
Adam Szetela
Beyoncé’s “Formation” and the Boutique Activism of the Left
Bruce Lerro
Lost at Sea: Left Liberals Have No Party
Paul Cochrane
Hot Air in the Saudi Desert: a Kingdom in Descent?
Brian Terrell
My Visit to a Las Vegas Jail
Judith Deutsch
The Military’s “Securitization” of Climate Change
Phyllis Bennis
Kunduz Bombing: Proof the Pentagon Should Not Be Allowed to Investigate Itself for War Crimes
Chad Nelson
When Compassion is Terrorism: Animal Rights in a Post-911 World
Dan Arel
Making Sanders’ Dream a Reality Through Political Activism
Kent Paterson
Ten Years Later: Reflections on the Legacies of Immigrant Spring
Serge Halimi
Why Firefighters are Against Free Trade
Andrew Stewart
Green Bernie or Green Party Machine?
Binoy Kampmark
Yuri Gagarin in Space: the Politics of Cosmic Discovery
Hayes Rowan
This Naming of Things
May 04, 2016
Kshama Sawant
It’s Not About Bernie: Why We Can’t Let Our Revolution Die in Philadelphia
Conn Hallinan
Baiting the Bear: Russia and NATO
Joshua Frank
Hanford’s Leaky Nuke Tanks and Sick Workers, A Never-Ending Saga
Paul Craig Roberts
TIPP: Advancing American Imperialism
Ted Rall
Hillary to Bernie Supporters: Don’t Vote for Me!
Eric Draitser
Hillary Clinton and Wall Street’s Neoliberal War on Latin America
Leslie Scott
The Story of Jill Stein: Putting People, Peace and the Planet Before Profits
Ann Garrison
Building the Greens Into a Mass Party: Interview with Bruce Dixon
Tom Clifford
Crying Rape: Trump’s China-Bashing
Lawrence Davidson
Getting Rid of Bad Examples: Andrew Jackson & Woodrow Wilson
Ellen Brown
Bank of North Dakota Soars Despite Oil Bust: A Blueprint for California?
Nelson Valdes
Is Fidel Castro Outside or Part of Mainstream Thinking? A Selection of Quotes
Jesse Jackson
Don’t Send Flint Down the Drain: Fix It!
Nathan Riley
Help Bernie Keep His Halo
Rivera Sun
Remembering Nonviolent History: Freedom Rides
Clancy Sigal
Rachel and the Isolationists: How Maddow Blew It
Laura Finley
Changing the Conversation About “The Woman Card”
CJ Hopkins
Coming this Summer … Revenge of the Bride of Sophie’s Choice
May 03, 2016
Gary Leupp
Hillary Clinton’s Foreign Policy Resumé: What the Record Shows
Michèle Brand – Arun Gupta
What is the “Nuit Debout”?
Chuck Churchill
The Failures of Capitalism, Donald Trump and Right Wing Terror
Dave Marsh
Bernie and the Greens
John Wight
Zionism Should be on Trial, Not Ken Livingstone
Rev. John Dear
A Dweller in Peace: the Life and Times of Daniel Berrigan
Patrick Cockburn
Saudi Arabia’s Great Leap Forward: What Would Mao Think?
Doug Johnson Hatlem
Electoral Votes Matter: Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders vs Donald Trump
Chris Gilbert
Venezuela Today: This Must Be Progress
Pepe Escobar
The Calm Before the Coming Global Storm
Ruth Fowler
Intersecting with the Identity Police (Or Why I Stopped Writing Op-Eds)
Victor Lasa
The Battle Rages on in Spain: the Country Prepares for Repeat Elections in June
Jack Rasmus
Is the US Economy Heading for Recession?
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail