The Hightower Report

The economy has 'improved' … so why aren't you smiling? And meet Macedonia, our 'anti-terror' ally.


What's wrong with you people? Don't you know that the economy is humming, that our very own president has declared "mission accomplished" on his promise of prosperity, that the stock market is up by 40% over last year, that jobs are cropping up like crabgrass, that the bluebird of happiness is officially singing everywhere across our land, and that you should be grateful, for God's sake?

Republican politicians, corporate economists, and the media barons are totally befuddled these days, because their economic statistics tell them that the economy is in great shape – yet you, you wretches, are still grumpy, even giving Bush the lowest marks of his presidency for his economic stewardship. George himself has gone into one of his high-pitched whines, chastising those who "can't see the sunshine."

He's sounding a whole lot like his daddy did back in '92 – like he's just another rich son-of-a-Bush who is totally oblivious to the realities of America's workaday majority. He's looking at rosy economic indicators handed to him by his political operatives rather than looking at such real-life pocketbook indicators as jobs that only pay poverty wages, gasoline topping $2 a gallon, milk at $4.43 a gallon, health care costs rising three times faster than wages, and 401(k)s being shrunk to 1(k)s.

Also with their heads in the clouds are such media powers as The New York Times, which recently bemoaned the public's economic gloom, referring to it as a "mood." A mood? Your job's being downsized or offshored, your kids can't afford to go to college, Bush is trying to cut your Social Security benefits and raise your retirement age to 70 – and they think you're moody?

Meanwhile, a clueless Republican senator, Jim Talent of Missouri, blithely says that prosperity is everywhere, but "it just takes a while longer for that to filter through to folks."

Filter this, Senator: We'll believe the economy is humming when we are.


War is not only hell – it's insane.

We've seen the insanity in George W.'s war of lies in Iraq – WMD that aren't there, perverted PR stunts about "Mission Accomplished," the White House effort to redefine "torture" as being OK, the transfer of "democratic power" to a handpicked Iraqi regime that isn't democratic and won't really wield power, etc.

But our own leaders are not the only ones acting insane. The tiny nation of Macedonia has now learned that its leaders have also been caught up in the hellish insanity and depravity of Bush's self-declared, unlimited war on the world's "evil-doers." In an effort to curry favor with Bush, the top officials in the right-wing government of this Balkan country plotted in late 2001 to show their commitment to George's war on terror.

Macedonian police commanders were dispatched to lure seven impoverished Muslim immigrants from Pakistan into their country. Believing they were on their way to jobs in Greece, the seven immigrants were taken in a minivan to a farm outside Macedonia's capital city. The van parked, the driver opened his door and fled, and a special terrorist unit of the police command opened fire, slaughtering all seven of the immigrants.

Shortly after the ambush, Macedonia's top government officials announced that these seven had been al Qaeda holy warriors, and that the police authorities had heroically thwarted their plan to conduct a terrorist attack on the U.S. embassy.

The Bushites and U.S. media loudly hailed Macedonia's government as heroes in George's global terrorist war, totally ignoring the pleas of the families of the seven immigrants that their sons had zero connections to terrorists – unless you counted the insane cowards who had them murdered.

Macedonia's cowardly leaders would've gotten away with their monstrous fabrication except that they subsequently lost an election, and the new government revealed the truth. There's been no comment from Bush.

For more information on Jim Hightower's work – and to subscribe to his award-winning monthly newsletter, The Hightower Lowdown – visit You can hear his radio commentaries on KOOP Radio, 91.7FM, weekdays at 10:58am and 12:58pm.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

More The Hightower Report
The Hightower Report
The Hightower Report
The Donald Show

Jim Hightower, July 10, 2015

The Hightower Report
The Hightower Report
The damning nuttiness of the GOP's "Hell No" faction

Jim Hightower, Aug. 15, 2014


economy, George W. Bush, The New York Times, Jim Talent, war, war on terror, Macedonia

One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

New recipes and food news delivered Mondays

Eric Goodman's Austin FC column, other soccer news

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle