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Saturday, January 24, 2015

Pope Francis’s U.S. tour will set off economic fireworks

Congress, U.N. will get zapped with anticapitalist, pro-climate agenda
Reuters. Pope Francis waves as he arrives to lead his weekly general audience in Saint Peter's Square at the Vatican in November.

by Paul B. Farrell, Market Watch, January 23, 2015

Pope Francis headlines are hard-hitting, targeted, staccato twitters, you get the whole truth in a series of blastings. First, starting with: “Pope Francis Has Declared War on Climate Deniers,” New Republic. Then, at the Week we read: “Republican Party’s war with Pope Francis has finally started.” Yes, 2015 is now a war zone: GOP conservatives at war with the Vatican.

Then the Federalist, a conservative website, waves a red flag warning: “Don’t Pick Political Fights With Pope Francis.” Why? “Conservatives have everything to lose and nothing to gain from getting mad at Pope Francis for his public comments on homosexuality, global warming, free speech, and more.”

Yes, conservatives warning Republicans: Don’t go to war with Pope Francis, you will lose. He’s got an army of 1.2 billion faithful worldwide including 78 million American Catholics. Francis will win.

A huge army. More important, Francis has a direct link to a heavenly power source. As the 266th descendent of the first leader of Christians, St. Peter, the pontiff will be touring America this fall. First stop, Philadelphia. Ring the Liberty Bell.

Yes, Francis is actually on a campaign tour, selling his new economic mandate. And watch out. 

Behind that sweet smile and happy demeanor, this former boxer is attacking everything conservatives, capitalists, Big Oil, energy billionaires and Republicans love, cherish and believe as gospel. And they can’t defend their agenda nor counterpunch him directly.

From Philly, the pontiff’s campaign march heads for New York City where he’ll address the United Nations General Assembly, pushing his anticapitalist, anti-inequality, anti-the-superrich, anti-global warming, pro-climate-change, pro-the poor, pro-do-the-right-thing moral agenda.

Then Francis will jet to Washington and our nation’s capitol, where a grumbling John Boehner and stoic Mitch McConnell have no choice but to invite Pope Francis to address a joint session of Congress. They may wish Pope Francis would quietly disappear. But that just isn’t going to happen, not after six million just attended his mass in the Philippines. He’s a seasoned campaigner, selling a powerful new economic agenda.

When the head of 1.2 billion Catholics — many living below the poverty line — addresses a joint session of the Republican controlled Congress in late 2015, all of the GOP’s 300 elected climate-science-deniers will be forced to sit and listen to Pope Francis deliver what conservatives totally despise as hard-core socialism, as we summarized from his opening manifesto back in late 2013. He loaded it heavily with harsh anti-capitalist edicts like:

“Inequality is the root of social ills ... As long as the problems of the poor are not radically resolved by rejecting the absolute autonomy of markets and financial speculation, and by attacking the structural causes of inequality, no solution will be found for the world’s problems or, for that matter, to any problems.”

Get it? Capitalism is not the solution, capitalism is the enemy, A cursory reading of Pope Francis’s 10-point anticapitalism agenda leaves little doubt regarding what conservatives, the GOP, Big Oil and energy billionaires will be forced to sit and listen to when Francis speaks in Washington to a joint session of Congress, and before that, to the UN General Assembly, a message that will be translated in many languages and broadcast to all 7.3 billion people across the world in almost two hundred nations. Conservatives fear he’ll succeed.

Once in Congress later this year, poker-faced Republicans like Boehner, who could never smile at an Obama joke, let alone stand and clap at his social program proposals, will obviously have to show a bit more deferential respect when Pope Francis tells Congress about the same kind of social programs that conservatives hate. The scene should be fascinating, watching their faces on conservative-vs-progressive split-screen TV.

Imagine Francis broadcasting his new economics, loaded with these anticapitalist edicts in his own words: “Never trust the Invisible Hand” ... “New tyranny is born, an inequality gap” ... “Free-market trickle-down economics deadens society” ... “Today’s economics promotes inordinate consumption, damages the social fabric, increases violence and serious conflicts” ... “with capitalist competition, the powerful feed upon the powerless” ... “Behind capitalist economics lurks a rejection of ethics and God, debasing humans.” Oh yes, this is real war.

It’s easy to see why conservatives Republicans hate what the Pope is certain to say while addressing Congress and the United Nations. And why 2015 is destined to become a historic turning-point, the world’s already buzzing.

Pope Francis’s trip to America will come shortly after he publishes his already highly controversial papal encyclical on global warming and climate change. Around Easter, a rare announcement that not only carries the pope’s moral authority ... but many will also see it as a new commandment against sinful behavior ... definitely with more authority than any legislation enacted by the GOP Congress ... and yes, far more impact than even the decades of studies by the 2,500 scientists UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

Yes, Pope Francis is already on record, says Daily Kos, “calling on his fellow Christians to become ‘Custodians of Creation’ ... issuing a dire warning about the potentially catastrophic effects of global climate change” As Francis put it, “If we destroy Creation, Creation will destroy us.” He has even warned that “humanity’s destruction of the planet is a sinful act.”

The fact is, GOP leaders are at war with the Pope’s position even before his new encyclical is posted. Listen: “Pope Francis Says Humans Cause Climate Change. These Catholic Members Disagree” says ClimateProgress, listing 10 Catholics among the 300 GOP members in Congress — all hardened science deniers, including John Boehner, Paul Ryan, Marco Rubio and Peter King. Sadly, later Francis’s war on global warming will make them look like 19th century obstructionist Luddites, exposing them as mere pawns of Big Oil money.

Bottom line, the Catholic Pope is turning 2015 America into a war zone fought between his new economy and capitalism. No wonder every conservative, every capitalist, every GOP politician and their friends all feel threatened: “Pope Francis Terrifies Republicans By Wanting To Address U.S. Congress” warns Politicus USA.

And yet, oddly, the GOP just keeps digging the hole deeper for conservatives, capitalists and energy billionaires, a deep sinkhole in that no-win conflict the Federalist warned them about.

Yes, everything to lose ... and still, they seem deaf and blind to the warnings ... seemingly driven by an irrational death wish, they charge headlong into a war zone and a losing battle ... against good advice of fellow conservatives ... refusing to lead ... lacking a new generation of Reagans doing what’s best for the whole country ... not just for their myopic one-percenters ... instead they act like grade-school kids in play forts, charging into losing battles, playing for Big Oil money.

Meanwhile, we know all this must and will change soon. The GOP’s creepy climate-science denialism will soon make them all look profoundly foolish. As Mark Hertsgaard put it in his BusinessWeek editorial: “Exxon Mobil’s approach to carbon pricing was revealed” recently in the Yale Environment 360.

Get it? ExxonMobil is already doing what the GOP is denying. So “if pricing carbon is good enough for Exxon Mobil, Microsoft, and many of the world’s most profitable companies, how long can climate-change deniers keep a straight face while blocking it for the nation as a whole?”

So wake up, tell the GOP to drop the stoic faces. Smile. Do what’s right. Reclaim your lost moral compass, before you self-destruct your party, your capitalist ideology, handicap the future of the American economy, and destroy Planet Earth with your misguided belief that global warming are a “hoax.”

Even Exxon Mobil doesn’t believe that myth anymore. So go tell GOP Senator James Inhofe that Pope Francis’s new economy has a higher, moral authority driving it for America.

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