The Joke’s on Us, as Long as We Allow It by The Other Katherine Harris

The Other Katherine Harris

by The Other Katherine Harris
Featured writer
Dandelion Salad

The Other Katherine Harris’s blog
April 2, 2008

As ever, mischief’s afoot on this April Fools’ Day. Did you get the e-mail from Code Pink saying John Conyers found a place on the table for impeachment, or maybe the one from The Daily Reckoning that features Bubbles Greenspan apologizing for the financial mess we’re in and a bevy of CEOs returning grillions in undeserved gains to their shareholders?

The gravity of those issues makes it far less fun to be fooled than when kids switch the sugar and salt or shriek, “There’s a bug on your head!” About equally serious subjects, tricks are now being played IN DEAD EARNEST. I speak of two in particular: a recent massing of US forces near Iran and The Paulson Plan.

With respect to the former, our media have grown so corrupt that it took news out of MOSCOW via the blogosphere to let Americans know about it. (That the Russian press is now more reliable than ours is a separate story, horrific on its own.)

With respect to the latter, although views of foes are also cited, The New York Times today supplied dutiful quotes of endorsement for a proposal that even Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson has admitted was never meant to address our present economic troubles – although he managed with a straight face to claim we didn’t reach these gates of doom from want of regulation. His plan (for distracting us from what honestly needs to be done) is recycled stuff, as Ian Welsh’s blog points out: a compendium of changes the Wall Street titans have long craved. At the heart of it is a pitch to hand all oversight of our financial markets to private entities (the Fed, which is owned by the banks, and industry associations). Quite a timely prank, if one favors heavily ironic humor.

This is like the film Groundhog Day, except it’s April Fools’ Day that keeps replaying. And day after day, as we wake again and again to their foolery, we’re the butt of the joke.

Are we really going to let Shrub and Darth, our self-styled impersonators, compound their foolishness in Iraq by doing exactly the same thing to Iran?

Are we really going to let Wall Street’s self-styled wizards compound the foolishness of securitizing housing debt – routinely raising the risk of millions into billions, on the chance of making a lucky guess – by doing exactly the same thing with convoluted derivative bets on further forms of debt and a myriad of other intangibles? That’s what crafted the crisis we’re in and they’re gleefully repeating it every day on deals now related to alternate energy, bankruptcy paper and even the weather!

Let’s face it: We’re dealing with addicts, completely unprincipled slaves to greed and power. How long before we make it clear that they can’t fool us anymore?


A Third American War Crime in the Making By Paul Craig Roberts

Bush’s Legacy Leads to Iran By Heather Wokusch

Paulson’s Fixit Plan for Wall Street – If It’s Not Dead on Arrival, Someone Should Shoot It Quick

April Fools: The Fox To Guard The Banking Henhouse

U.S. Treasury Regulatory Reform Proposals: Hapless, Helpless, Hopeless

Why the Paulson Plan is DOA + US proposes broad reform of market oversight

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