Here is the concluding paragraph of Frank Rich’s extraordinarily pessimistic op-ed column today: “And yet here we are, slouching toward yet another 9/11 anniversary, still waiting for a correction, with even our president, an eloquent Iraq war opponent, slipping into denial. Of all the pro forma passages in Obama’s speech, perhaps the most jarring was his entreaty that Iraq’s leaders “move forward with a sense of urgency to form an inclusive government that is just, representative and accountable.” He might as well have been talking about the poisonous political deadlock in Washington. At that moment, there was no escaping the tragic fact that instead of bringing American-style democracy and freedom to Iraq, the costly war we fought there has, if anything, brought the bitter taste of Iraq’s dysfunction to America.”

Sadly it looks as though Obama, as able as he is, has been overwhelmed by the range of crises that he inherited from the Republicans — an economic disaster close to the great depression that faced FDR, two hopeless wars, a labor shortage induced by the fact that we are now living in a global economy where other nations compete to mistreat their workers to keep prices so low that Americans now buy at discount houses rather than American made products. The Republican suggestions that we privatize social security and cut Medicare rather than reforming abuses of it by greedy doctors will lead our nation down an even more disastrous financial path leading to a cliff to nowhere but the deaths of even more than our current suicides, murders, and medical treatment delays that turn a treatable illness into a deadly one. If you have not done so, read the full Rich op-ed. It tells things as they have horribly developed with worse to come. If American voters let themselves be conned by putting Republican budget cutters into office, they will be signing their own and their children’s death warrants. Will they wake up in time? Probably not with the stresses facing all but the super rich 2% who can exit to one of their alternative homes and draw upon their (hidden) Swiss monies.

And so we go — to hell?

— “A war is just if there is no alternative, and the resort to arms is legitimate if they represent your last hope.” (Livy cited by Machiavelli)

— Ed Kent [blind copies]

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