Since I changed my email service, I have been receiving annoying messages with no relationship to my emails. But then it dawned on me that a savvy Washington insider was communicating in code what was really going on in the budget debate, particularly about the "sequestration" of federal spending for the next ten years. I think I can now decode them and thereby enlighten everyone about national politics.
"Sorry, an error occurred."
This is very clear. In 2011, when President Obama suggested in conference with House Speaker John Boehner automatic spending cuts in domestic and defense programs, he didn't really mean it. "It was all a mistake!" Now he warns us about the dire consequences of permitting those cuts that were his idea in the first place from going into effect.
"Please validate your information and try your request again."
The President thought that cuts in domestic programs — the ones he's highlighting now with useful human props standing behind him — were avoidable since congressional Republicans would surely not allow defense cuts to go through. But he's finding out that they are standing by the original "information."
"The message you attempted to send was determined to be spam."
The President keeps saying over and over again that cuts in vital programs are the issue but his claims are suspect in view of the fact that they are cuts in planned increases over a ten-year period and not as catastrophic as he insists. In other words, the cuts are mostly on paper.
"Your email contains the following invalid email addresses."
President Obama keeps sending messages to the American people about the legions of government workers who will be furloughed and employees of contracting firms scheduled to be laid off, but those messages are not getting through to Congressional Republicans who are remembering his obstinacy over "tax cuts for the one percent" at the end of 2012.
"Please select at least one message to delete."
This one's a no-brainer. That's the message that the federal government lacks enough revenue to pay its bills when its real problem is spending money it doesn't have. The national debt increased by $6 trillion during Obama's first term to $16 trillion, a direct consequence of annual deficits averaging more than $1 trillion.
"These messages may have been deleted or moved to another folder."
The main deleted message would be the long-abandoned promise to implement the recommendations of the Simpson-Bowles Commission that called for spending cuts as well as tax increases to balance the federal budget. Another is the promise that middle class taxes would not be raised.
This obviously refers to the endless sob stories that the President tells about millions of victims of federal spending cuts eagerly awaited by rascally Republicans who want dirty air, no medical care for autistic children, cutting off social security, etc.
This is a real stumbling block for the President. Predictions of billions of dollars in spending cuts and thousands of people losing their jobs are made up regularly to terrify the public into believing that the Apocalypse is near. That story has been told too many times to be believed. Where is the administration plan for targeted cuts in federal agencies rather than meat-axe approaches?
"We are temporarily unable to perform your request. Please try again later."
This is a polite way of saying that the fear-mongering and doom-saying are not working well. Having got "the rich to pay their fair share," Obama's calls for "balance" just don't resonate like they used to.
You might wonder why I was given all these coded messages. The way I figure it, people resort to code when their messages are blocked in the otherwise open channels. There is no official censorship of our nation's news coverage, but we have considerable self-censorship by our so-called "mainstream media."
The leading media tell a story of a President bravely trying to save the millions of Americans who have been or stand to be victimized by Republican stinginess, controlled as they are by the "fat cats" who continue to rule our society.
Even though Obama was re-elected, the number of "victims" seems to grow faster by the day. The more people are receiving food stamps, collecting unemployment insurance or disability assistance, receiving subsidies in failed businesses and working at "shovel-ready" jobs, the more vibrant and robust our commerce and trade will be. Right. Thanks to people sending coded messages, we know that's not true.