Robert Stein 1924-2014

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Sunday, October 06, 2013

Doomsday Liar's Poker in DC

Maureen Dowd offers a Planet of the Apes scenario for 2084 America, while Gail Collins goes the other way in a Frankenstein revival with Ted Cruz as you-know-what.

All well and good for reason-strapped observers, but future and past parodies can’t match what the Shutdown is doing now. In South Dakota at Mt. Rushmore, those huge stone heads of Presidents past are averting their eyes as cones are placed on the highway below to keep tourists from stopping to ogle them. Only a Black Hills blizzard gets the National Park Service to take them down temporarily.

No news about the nearby historic saloon in Deadwood where Wild Bill Hickok was killed holding those famous aces and eights.

Back in Washington, nobody has a winning hand, but John Boehner refuses to fold, raising the ante with yet another threat of default if the President doesn’t throw in his cards.

Call it Doomsday Liar’s Poker, the ultimate version of insanity in Michael Lewis’ 1989 book portraying how greedy, reckless Wall Street morons were inflating the stock market and heading it toward ruin. Only this time the game is being played in Washington, and the stakes are the nation’s economy.

Even some of the players are the same. The New York Times describes how Tea Party plotters planned the current impasse with Reagan’s Attorney General Edwin Meese III leading the way. Meese was a bad apple even back then, who resigned his post after involvement in the Wedtech scandal, a bid-rigging scheme was uncovered by an independent prosecutor. Now Meese is a “Conservative” icon.

The infamous Koch brothers are back too, with a group linked to them disbursing over $200 million dollars for the anti-Obamacare campaign.

Stakes are enormous now, but at bottom, it’s still the same old Liar’s Poker Game. Except that this time it will be American taxpayers paying the tab for generations to come.

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