As the stock markets around the globe plummet due to the downgrading of US credit rating, president Obama steps up to the podium today in a special address to the nation. I thought I'd listen in...

The president begins with an explanation that even though the US credit rating was downgraded from AAA, it is not so much that the agency doubts our ability to pay our debt, but, rather, they doubt our political system's ability to act. The markets think our credit rating is AAA. Warren Buffet, a man who knows something about the market, would give the US a AAAA rating if possible, or so the president says.

In other words, pay no attention to the reality of our current credit rating - pay attention to the IDEA of our credit rating. As an insider in the Bush White House said not so many years ago, "we're an empire now, so we create our own reality" and the reality the president wants you to believe in is that our credit rating is not what it actually is. He repeats that we are a AAA country.

He follows with, "we need a balanced long term approach to deficit reduction". One certainly can't argue with that. He mentions that gridlock in Washington has not been constructive and that the threat of default was used as a bargaining chip and slowed the pace of recovery.

This certainly seems to be the case, however, isn't that what happens when pathological people seek out and retain positions of power? The underlying message here is, "now look what you've done". One gets the distinct impression that the downgrade in credit rating is a slap on the wrist from the system, or is it a coordinated move to ensure that things progress as currently planned?

Back to the speech, since we're in "look what you've done" mode, now comes the remedy - or is it the hostage demand? The president states that two new steps need to be taken. There needs to be a tax reform, asking those who can afford it to pay their fair share and a 'modest' Medicare reform.

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The wealthy, and corporations, should have already been paying commensurate taxes and the elderly and infirm need more help than they are currently getting. It seems a bit of a mixed bag, actually - but - it's okay, don't get too frustrated because this is ALL theater and even those most strongly dug into the side of this slippery slope on which US is sliding will soon be swept away. No matter how much you think and believe that the US credit rating is AAA, it is still AA+, and the thing about slippery slopes is that the bottom is always a lot further away than you think when you first start to slide. Just ask those who have been out of work for over two years.

Regarding those who 'can afford it', we'll have to wait and see if they ever actually "pay their fair share". At this point in US history, that seems like quite the fantasy - but then again, so is our AA+ credit rating.

The president continues with the idea that it's not a lack of plans or policies, it's a lack of political will in Washington and the insistence on drawing lines in the sand instead of putting what's best for the country ahead of ideology and party. He states that his hope is that Friday's news will give a renewed sense of urgency. Again, the tone of a man punishing those who do not agree with him, and if you think he, or anyone in the upper echelon of the US government, was surprised by this credit downgrade, you've taken your eye off the ball. All of this is by design.

He addresses the need to create jobs and extend the payroll tax cut so companies will hire and retain workers. He follows with, "markets may rise or fall but this is the United States of America and no matter what an agency might say we'll always be a AAA country". Believe in the idea of our credit rating, just like you believe in the idea of your freedom and the idea of our role in the world as the 'good guys', because just like our credit rating, none of that is based on reality either.

As if on cue, no matter how ultimately unrelated, he ends this brief speech with mention of those killed over the weekend in Afghanistan and how military men and women embody what is best about America and that we will press on until we succeed in making sure that Afghanistan is not a safe haven for terrorists.

What speech to a drowning country would be complete without a hat tip to those most mired in the illusion and a mention of the invisible enemy that keeps us frightened and believing in the idea that anything at all is as we are told it is.