Today marks the Church’s new year, the Indiction.
O Creator of the Universe,
You appointed times by Your own power;
bless the crown of this year with Your goodness, O Lord!
Preserve in safety Your rulers and Your cities:
and through the intercessions of the Theotokos, save us!
O Creator and Master of time and the ages,
Triune and Merciful God of all:
grant blessings for the course of this year,
and in Your boundless mercy save those who worship You and cry out in fear:
“O Savior, grant blessings to all mankind!”
A man makes a $250 million fortune loading up companies with debt and then extracting million-dollar fees from those same companies, in exchange for the generous service of telling them who needs to be fired in order to finance the debt payments he saddled them with in the first place. That same man then runs for president riding an image of children roasting on flames of debt, choosing as his running mate perhaps the only politician in America more pompous and self-righteous on the subject of the evils of borrowed money than the candidate himself. If Romney pulls off this whopper, you’ll have to tip your hat to him: No one in history has ever successfully run for president riding this big of a lie. It’s almost enough to make you think he really is qualified for the White House.
If Taibbi’s piece becomes the standard vehicle to understand Romney’s business success, the GOP is in trouble. Probably they should find someone to write a rebuttal. At a fancy golf club last month, someone suggested to me that Romney needs to take out ads showing that private equity firms are absolutely critical for the pension funds of labor unions and municipalities. Somehow I don’t think this will do the trick.
It may not do the trick because of Taibbi’s cachet and his prodigious polemical skill, which is more than enough to carry the day in a sound bite culture. But Taibbi’s hatchet job certainly is not rigorous or even internally consistent. He uncritically, for instance, follows allegations that Bain Capital made obscene profits with scornful dismissal that it could have made as much investing in index funds without all the cloak-and-dagger stuff. Are we to condemn Mitt as a Robber Baron or despise him for not being very good at Robber Baronhood?
Mitt Romney is the poster-boy of the destructive financialization of our economy and of “creative destruction.” I would not expect any reduction in crony capitalism, any effort to break up too-big-to-fail, or any other leveling of the playing field under him.
The major party alternative, Barack Obama, is the poster-boy of the statist takeover of all our public space, pushing aside (if not oppressing) churches, charities and other mediating structures that won’t play the tune the government’s calling — the latest incident being his abandonment of the ultimate mediating structure, the natural family. And he’s never met an abortion he didn’t like.
If I vote for either of them, I’ll hate myself in the morning.
TV-18 reports that a private “Sportmans Club” in the county south of me may have to close because its 77-year-old dam needs $400,000 of repairs.
I’m sorry. It’s going to be exceedingly hard for 115 members to pull that off. But if you’ve read David McCullough’s The Johnstown Flood, you’ll probably say it needs to be done, even if these 115 members aren’t (and I have no reason to think they are) calloused Plutocrats like those upstream from Johnstown (where I go every few years to visit my Bishop).
Heard on BBC Evening News Friday: “The arts are the R&D Department of humanity.”
* * * * *