Friday, May 05, 2017

1792 We Are Venezuela or Maybe Turkey

1792 We Are Venezuela or Maybe Turkey
There are some things even Chavez couldn’t screw up.

Or almost.  What are Venezuela and Turkey?  Small beautiful countries run by lunatic dictators racing down highways that end in unguarded cliffs.   It’s a long way down, and there’s no net.

Now wait, you say.  Venezuela and Turkey are tiny countries with limited resources and little impact on the rest of the world.  And we are the Great and Powerful Oz.

Right. And that makes it all the worse.

Turkey has two assets. It’s the gateway to Syria, the current darling of warriors of all stripe.  And it’s America’s supposed “ally” in the region.

Venezuela has one asset, oil.  And no one’s buying oil. Previous lunatic dictator Hugo Chavez put all his energy into oil a crapshoot with no limits. He manufactured instant temporary prosperity which now has lost almost all its value.

People are waiting on line for toothpaste.  It’s like the food lines in postwar Russia.  And tempers are growing short. Violence appears on the upswing. And president Nicolas Maduro is busily rewriting the constitution to the satisfaction of no one except  himself.

In Turkey, they staged a fake coup which was designed to fail and did, allowing their Boss of All Bosses to take over everything.

I can hear you chuckling about these comparisons.  “We don’t have just one  basic industry,” you’ll say. We have dozens.

No, we don’t.  We have three.  Cars, retail and banking. All the rest of it depends on these.

And now we have our own lunatic dictator, he just hasn’t reached full steam yet.  Wait awhile.

But, but, but… we have tradition. We have checks and balances. We have freedom. We have that can-do spirit.

Notice how there’s less of each each passing day.  Congress is trying to assert its independence from the White House but in a way that completely defangs itself.

The Supreme Court is the tool of our industrial troika, the enablers of erosion.

And the president of the United States, elected on a technicality has no grasp of anything more complex than whatever notion his Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder flits through his walnut-size brain and is filtered by his toxic narcissism.

The cleanup after Hurricane Hugo will be a long time in finishing -- if the damage can be undone at all.  The cleanup after Hurricane Erdogan will turn Turkey into Saudi Arabia with better weather and less money.

And us?  The forecast is for heavy rain and high wind. The computer forecasting models haven’t yet converged on top wind speeds, rainfall or landfall.  But they will.

--The house approved “health care” bill is a boon for two categories of people: the rich who get a tax break and the funeral industry.  There’s no telling how much each of these will do.  But “well” is likely unless the Senate turns it down.

--Democrats should not celebrate future election wins just yet.  There’s no limit to the number of Americans who will vote against their own interests.  That’s why we have the congress and president we have.

I’m Wes Richards. My opinions are my own but you’re welcome to them. ®
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© WJR 2017

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