Monday, December 20, 2010

Politics, Frank Zappa, Happy Dogs, and Me

Thoughts at the end of 2010. Dec. 21 is my 60th birthday and it is no accident that for first time 456 years, if not ever, my 60th birthday and the Winter Solstice coincide with a full eclipse of the moon. I share this birthday with Jane Fonda, Joe Paterno, Joseph Stalin, Phil Donahue, and Frank Zappa, to name a few. This coincidence has to have significance not only to me, but to humanity! And I'm not even going to mention the Dec. 21, 2012 Mayan calendar Nostrodaman apocalyptic end of the world scenarios on the same day I become eligible for early retirement under Social Security.........stay tuned for more on that later.

That I and the above were all born on the shortest day of the year, the first day of winter, the winter Solstice, with all its ancient and Druidic, pagan, and festival notions, always struck me as a nice coincidence. All these associations give it a special flavor -- I'm sure that somewhere in the distant past, various vicious tortures and sacrificial killings of goats, dogs, snakes, servants, and slaves all made this such a special day. Now it all blends in with the various religious traditions and holidays, Christmas, Hannukuh, Kwanzaa, and Walmart Day.

I appreciate the notes and cards from my family and friends reminding me of the cruel and relentless passage of time.

For some reason I like sharing this day with Frank Zappa and Jane Fonda the most. Joe Paterno and Joseph Stalin are more of a curiosity. I'm pretty neutral about Phil Donahue. Frank Zappa's band does a nice version of Ravel's Bolero, by the way.

A few thoughts on the politics of 2010 moving into 2011. After obstructing/stalling/filibustering most of the year, Republicans are now complaining that there isn't enough time to complete the work of Congress and so they want a longer Christmas vacation. The Republicans/Tea Party continue its majority in the Supreme Court and, beginning in 2011, The House of Representative giving them the power to continue to move their corporate agendas. The John Roberts/Walmart Supreme Court will continue is activist coporate agenda while the newly elected Koch Brothers/Wall Street House of Representatives continue its Big Lie strategy of depending on the misinformed ill-informed Faux News viewers fueled by the lunatic Glen Beck/Sean Hannity/Bill O'Reilly propoganda arm of the Republican/Tea Party secessionist fringe to be stirred up to rally to their causes - the complete and continuing corporate takeover of America among them...... I'm reminded of an old Huey Long quotation: "When Fascism comes to America it will be wrapped in an American Flag carrying a cross." awarded the Republicans the Lie of the Year Award for its branding The Health Insurance Reform Act of 2010 as a "government takeover." I predict the Republican tactics of lies will continue. It worked in 2010, so why not give it a try in 2011? "Death Panels" had to be a close second. "Keep Government out of my Medicare" comes in third for sure. Oxymoron Award of the Year is given to Republicans for appointing Michele Bachmann to the House Intelligence Committee. Are you kidding me?

Sarah Palin's perpetual Alaska vacation hunting trip will continue on The Learning Channel. They need to change the name of the show from "Sarah Palin's Alaska" to "Alaska's Sarah Palin." I've watched it a couple of times just to see what it was and it is mostly Sarah shooting guns and killing stuff. And she'll continue to hoodwink the Lamestream media into covering her ridiculous and inane Twitters and Facebook postings as though they are newsworthy. John McCain, for whom we can thank for bringing attention to Sarah Palin, and making her rich, continues his slide into irrelevancy and grouchy small minded hypocrisy.

Tea Partiers with Republicans will continue their attempts to meddle with the Constitution. The Republicans will continue to succeed in shrinking the middle class and increasing the wealth of the wealthiest micropercent of Americans to record levels. And the investigations! Oh, let the investigations begin: every minute detail of President Obama's last two years in office will be poked and prodded, Matthew 7:3, King James Bible, And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Peter King from New York will have a wonderful time investigating Islam....... Just this last week Republicans voted against their own bill and their own earmarks, all the while criticizing President Obama. And Republicans, after wrapping themselves in the 9-11 Flag for the last nine years, just filibustered a bill to provide health benefits to 9-11 responders who are now dying from the toxic soups to which they were exposed during their rescues. Maybe it'll come up again this week. The hypocrisy levels, already high, will rise to new heights, I suspect, in 2011.

On the plus side, we still have a President Obama working to pass the things he ran for President on. Health Reform and the repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell were two major things he accomplished that even the magic of President Clinton couldn't get done. And the continuation of the tax cuts for the middle class is a good thing on balance, I think. There may be enough stimulative effect in the various componenets of the Tax legislation to help the economy along in spite of Republican efforts to keep the economy in its current state to gain electoral advantage. We Democrats need to remember Voltaire's comment, "Le mieux est l'ennemi du bien." The perfect is the enemy of the good. I've been trying to decide whether President Obama capitulates too easily or is crazy smart. I keep going back and forth. I'm still hoping he's crazy smart.

So there you go. Merry Christmas and a Happy Dog New Year.

Bud C


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