The Department Of Pointing Out The Obvious (DOPOTO) is back on the job after the holidays and is happy to report that 2009 has a familiar feel to it. Israel and Palestine have thoughtfully provided the world with a heaping helping of what they do best; hating and making war on one another. President Bush The Younger, even with only two weeks to go on a job poorly done, seems to be working overtime for a change, still screwing the pooch. There are cozy political corruption scandals in Illinois and New Mexico, and best of all, the economic disasters of late last year are widening and deepening and still making headlines that scare the crap out of everyone. A fellow named Bernard Madoff has even managed to set a world’s record for thievery with his $50 billion pyramid scheme. As they say, hallelujah.

We here at DOPOTO are relieved that the much-anticipated era of Hope And Change promised by the election of Barack OBama to the presidency hasn’t yet materialized. Abrupt change is often traumatic, especially to a bureaucracy like DOPOTO. Gradual transition is less of a challenge to an organization like ours dedicated to pointing out the obvious. When things change too quickly it’s hard to tell what’s what and that’s what we are supposed to do: point out exactly what’s what. Which is why it is reassuring to scan the globe at the dawn of 2009 and see the same old, same old when it comes to warfare, poverty, starvation, corruption and deceit. Not that the Department condones such a state of affairs, it’s just that it’s easier to get our bearings in a new year when change is gradual to non-existent.

Pointing out the readily apparent isn’t as easy as it seems. You would be amazed at the letters and e-mails crossing the Department’s desk from people who are completely deceived by what they see even though it’s as plain as day. Take the economic meltdown and the ensuing government bailout of banks, insurance companies and mortgage lenders. Many people think the bailout is on the level, even though the guy who designed it is a colleague of the thieves and con men who are eligible for the gift of billions and billions of tax dollars. Go figure. That would be Secretary of The Treasury Henry Paulson, who handed the money to his pals with no documentation and no strings attached and they are earnestly blowing the dough in the exact same ways that got them into trouble in the first place. 

In other words, it was not a bailout at all but a sneaky way to continue the vast transfer of wealth from the middle class to the super wealthy that was one of the Bush The Younger administration’s only successes, and quite possibly their only goal from the get-go. This late in the game of a failed and corrupt administration, the thinking on the Great Wealth Transfer (code for theft) is that they might as well do it out in the open. It has reached the point where less than one percent of the population now owns well over 90% of America’s wealth, an astoundingly obvious confirmation of the old saying: “The rich get richer and the poor get poorer.” 

If the economic recession makes that wealth worth somewhat less than last year, well, when the economy inevitably bounces back it will be worth that much more and not only that, the wealthy will line up to further drain the treasury for additional “bailouts” of our money, tipping the scales of wealth ownership for the tiny elite minority even higher. Which is a good thing for them since Obama plans to shut down the Iraq war, for the past 6 years a huge cash cow for Big Oil and the administration’s corporate buddies. Gone will be the hundreds of billions of dollars worth of no-bid contracts awarded to insiders to rebuild Iraq, who then proceed to not rebuild Iraq (“Rebuilding Iraq” is corporate code for pocketing the money.).

So 2009 is starting out very comfortably for DOPOTO, with all the usual suspects up to their usual shenanigans. The sweeping changes promised by the new administration will happen gradually, allowing the Department to slowly adjust to the new realities and give our corporations ample time to learn how to make an honest buck again, actually producing quality products and services and operating on normal profit margins. It won’t be easy, but then again, it was never supposed to be. Getting rich quick was more an unusual occurrence than the norm until recent years, and like anything else that seems too good to be true, it was, even though many people refused to recognize that blatantly obvious fact of life (See where we come in, now?).

The Robber Baron class will miss the easy money days when they had their own people running the government and industriously shoveling everybody else’s money into their pockets. George Bush The Elder put their dreams into words the other day when he reminded the world that he has another son that he’d like to become president too; his boy Jeb, the former Governor of Florida. The Department has run a feasibility study on that and has found that Jeb Bush is about as likely to become president as is Governor Blagojevich. The nation’s super wealthy will just have to be content with their memories. And the mountainous piles of cash they stole from the rest of us, of course. 

This has been the first report of 2009 from the Department Of Pointing Out The Obvious. So far far, so good (That’s DOPOTO code for “brace yourselves!”).

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