With less than a week before the New Year, I wanted to share with you three pitfalls we face in 2013.
But first let me brag: I am batting 1,000 as a prognosticator regarding the end of the world.
Two years ago this week, I wrote What Would You Resolve To Do If The World Were To End In 2012?.
In it, I said: “I don’t give a whole lot of weight to the Mayans and their calendar, even if they did build a great empire. If they really had a crystal ball you would think they would have been forewarned that the Spaniards were bringing smallpox to the Yucatán in the 16th Century and they wouldn’t have let themselves be enslaved to relatively few soldiers wearing funny hats and riding strange animals.”
I felt the odds were on my side since people have been predicting the end of the world long before Michel de Nostradamus started writing his prophecies in 1550. Besides, if I was wrong and the world had ended last week, who would be left to give me a hard time? It was a good bet.
As for my three predictions regarding what is going to happen in 2013, I think they are almost as assured.
No. 1: Gridlock
The Nation seems as divided today as it was during the Vietnam War.
This was hit upon two weeks ago by retiring Senator Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.), who used his final Senate floor speech to urge Congress to put partisan rancor aside to break Washington’s gridlock.
“It requires reaching across the aisle and finding partners from the opposite party,” said the Democrat-turned-independent, who was Al Gore’s running mate in 2000. “That is what is desperately needed in Washington now.”
After 24 years in the Senate, Lieberman said he wished Washington could erase gridlock because it stands as “the greatest obstacle” to finding compromises to the Nation’s problems.
Lieberman might has well have said that he wishes there really were a Santa Claus and an Easter Bunny.
Just ask the editors of Newsday who ran an opinion piece last month titled “How Barack Obama benefits from gridlock in Washington,” which stated:” Every lobbyist in Washington knows that whoever can advocate that the government do nothing or defer a matter until later has the advantage.”
The fight in Washington next year will be about money. It is a war of attrition, much as World War I was. Neither sides of the aisle are going to do anything other than hang on until a real transformative President is elected (hopefully from the GOP). That means there will be scant compromise by the people we have elected who are supposed to oversee what is best for the Nation and not what is best for them.
No. 2: Greed
The investment scams being orchestrated by Wall Street institutions, especially investment banks, are of the magnitude of which the robber baron industrialists of a century ago could not have dreamed.
Washington is so afraid to let the other shoe drop in the ongoing recession that they have given big banks carte blanche permission for them to continue their reckless lending and investment practices regardless of the long-term consequences to the Nation.
Last week, The Economic Times put the following headline on a story by The Associated Press: “Too big to jail? HSBC executives avoid money laundering charges.”
The AP reported:
When the Justice Department announced its record $1.9 billion settlement against British bank HSBC last week, prosecutors called it a powerful blow to a dysfunctional institution accused of laundering money for Iran, Libya and Mexico’s murderous drug cartels.
But to some former federal prosecutors, it was only the latest case of the government stopping short of bringing criminal money laundering charges against a big bank or its executives, at least in part on the rationale that such prosecutions could be devastating enough to cause such banks to fail.
They say it sounds a lot like the “too big to fail” meme that kept big but sickly banks alive with the support of taxpayer-funded bailouts. In these cases, they call it, “Too big to jail.”
The AP reported that Senator Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) wrote a letter to U.S. Attorney Eric Holder following the HSBC settlement, in which he wrote that the government “appears to have firmly set the precedent that no bank, bank employee, or bank executive can be prosecuted even for serious criminal actions if that bank is a large, systemically important financial institution.”
This stems from the Federal government’s dread of ruffling any feathers of big banks for fear that there will be a Wall Street sell-off of the banks’ stocks, which would lead to a domino of failures such as happened in 2008 when Lehman Brothers collapsed. Washington knows it does not have the financial wherewithal to initiate another massive bank bailout.
No. 3: Guns
In the wake of the tragedy at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., on Dec. 14, supporters of the 2nd Amendment are being asked: “Do you want to see this kind of violence continue?”
It is ridiculous presumption, but it is being made every day.
Last week, in TownHall.com, Susan Brown wrote:
Before Americans were able to corporately exhale upon hearing the news about the Connecticut shooting, liberals hopped on the gun control bandwagon. One of MSNBC’s many loose cannons, Ed Schultz, went on a rant saying, “Hiding behind the Second Amendment doesn’t cut it anymore,” and described our founders as slave-owning bigots. It’s real hard to wrap your hands around the hypocrisy of those who cry giant crocodile tears over the loss of these 20 precious children (and they should), but care little about millions of children who will never see the light of day due to abortion.
And here we go again; Progressives are manipulating the Sandy Hook massacre as a way to strike down the Second Amendment. Truth is, gun control is like putting a bandage on a gaping wound.
Brown hit the nail square on. In 2013, we can expect a lot more urging from the liberal media and Democrats in 2013 to limit our 2nd Amendment right.
The good news is that the world won’t end in 2013, and America will carry forward.
I want to leave you with these words from one of the greatest men of the 20th Century, Winston Churchill: “Americans can always be counted on to do the right thing, after they have exhausted all other possibilities.”
We must be patient while our opposition exhausts wrong-minded policies.
Wishing you all the best in the coming New Year,
Editor, Myers’ Energy & Gold Report