Feb 21: Political Salon

Join us at DOC Bar on Tuesday the 21st to discuss the 2012 election and our myriad plots for state overthrow. We’ll discuss Obama’s chances heading into the fall, the economy and which way it’s headed, the likelihood of an Occupy Wall Street resurgence as the weather warms up, possible war with Iran or Syria, and the effect of all these things on the election.

As the papers daily remind us, there is an ongoing Republican primary. Romney has slipped up a bit this week and some on the right are even imagining a deadlocked convention. But that seems unlikely to me. Though unloved, Mitt will duke it out and be the candidate. I think other, more popular Republicans – Christie, Daniels – stayed out of the race sensing an inevitable Obama victory. At this point, though, they may be thinking they should have gone for it. Obama looks vulnerable in this economy.

So naturally he’s been happy to see halfway decent job numbers for several months in a row. If that kind of thing continues, he will be tough to unseat. There has just been a small uptick in Obama’s approval ratings, to 46%, which may or may not be a historically significant level.

Meanwhile, the banks have just signed what looks to me like a speeding fine with a bit of community service. For their warehouses full of fraudulent documents, robo-signed by the thousands at ten dollars an hour, the five big boys mentioned will give up a total of about $5 billion in cash. The rest will be in principal writedowns that will cost not the banks, but the big money they got to invest in mortgage backed securities, namely the mutual funds, pensions and IRAs, i.e., us. To top it off, it would seem that those who have been diligent in paying their bills and lucky enough to keep their jobs will get nothing from this deal, while those who have been wrongly foreclosed on will get about one month’s rent. Will America buy Obama’s story on this? What will the Republican line be?

Does anyone think it’s a bad idea that “someone” is assassinating civilian nuclear scientists in Iran? (The Junta knows one person who thinks it’s a very good idea, indeed). I have to agree with Glenn Greenwald that these are clearly acts of terrorism, so we can get into that if you want. (And check out this very interesting angle on both Rudy Giuliani’s and Howard Dean’s active material support for “terrorism”.) I don’t like the increasing media drumbeat I’m seeing about how Iran is a mortal threat. Syria is also a potential target for those with the war itch, as al-Assad is gunning people down. Clearly it’d be better if he left, but that doesn’t mean clandestinely supplying arms through Turkey is a good idea.

All of these things and more will be part of the discussion, and the wine will flow. Meet us in the back room.

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