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Karen Kwiatkowski: A Crack Team in Washington

For the moment, there is no hope for a rational and rapid contraction of the metastasizing U.S. empire. There is no hope for a serious reduction in debt accumulation, pointless and costly military spending, or any kind of fiscal sanity in Washington. Eighteen months from another big presidential election, in which Obama has declared himself a candidate and shifted smoothly into electoral mode, we are witnessing the final days of the empire – but all signs indicate it will not go gracefully. Instead of wisdom, rationality and grace in Washington in this time of substantial governmental and constitutional crisis, these two appointments tell us exactly what we the people should expect from the political elite over the next few years. We can look forward to an increased police state at home, and a new wave of Washington-generated media implemented fear-fests (hysteria levels and color-coding to be determined). We can expect an increasingly nationally-directed economy, where public welfare crushes private production, driving the smart and lucky ones overseas or to Galt’s Gulch, and everyone else into the ground. The only acknowledged "good" jobs will remain in public education, or in one of the military, law enforcement, and prison industrial complexes. Wars and occupations, current and future will continue to consume our domestic wealth and our international credibility. Inflationary pressures will cause the people to rise up and demand a new kind of "Hope," and "Change" they can believe in. And, shortly before the election, as a sign of this hope and change, Panetta and Petraeus will be thrown under the Obama bus. It will seem audacious, assertive, finally a real sign that things will get better. The news cycle will consume and digest the significance for the useful idiots, while the political elite sucks the last bits of depleted marrow...

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