Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Egypt, Ronald Reagan, Neanderthals, and Jackson Pollock

It's Tuesday morning and I've got a chance to sit here and review the week that was. And what a week it was. "Democracy is sweeping every Middle Eastern country Bush didn't invade," said Andy Borowitz, a comedian whose political radar is spot on.

Now that protests are spreading from country to country in the Middle East and after listening to Republican talking heads on the news lately, their position appears to be that the US should be for democracy in Egypt and the Middle East but that no Muslims should be involved. I'm not sure they've quite thought that through. They are, apparently, for freedom and democracy only in certain circumstances.

When the Iranian government pretended to support Egypt's protest movement, Iranian opposition leaders tried to get permits to march in solidarity with Egyptians; they were, of course, denied permission. But marching they are! Update: Iran is brutally cracking down on those supporters of Egypt's dreams for democracy.

In another revolution: Mahatma Gandhi was asked by an English journalist what he thought of Western Civilization. Gandhi replied, "Ahhh, that would be a very good idea."

On the celebration of Ronald Reagan's 100th -- Why is Ronald Reagan's legacy so fondly misremembered by Republicans - he negotiated with terrorists, he raised taxes in 7 of the 8 years of his presidency while simultaneously tripling the national debt, gave amnesty to 3 million illegal immigrants, increased the social security tax in order to save the program for future retirees, and reduced our nuclear arsenal. It might be the paucity of Republicans who can be lifted up as heroes leads them to reach back and create a mythological Reagan. GWB, no. Bush, Sr., no. Nixon, no. Eisenhower, maybe, except for the military-industrial complex warning. Hoover, no. etc. They have to go all the way back to Lincoln. And Lincoln would be a Democrat today. Democrats have a few more options - Bill Clinton, John F. Kennedy, Truman, FDR. And these days from Joe the Plumber to Sarah Palin to a whole new slew of Tea Partiers like Rand Paul..........Republicans are frantically creating their Warholian 15 minutes of fame Republican icons hoping something sticks.

The University of Iowa may sell its Jackson Pollock valued at $140 million. If anybody needs an 8 foot by 20 foot genuine Pollock replica action painting mural like this one, I can do it for less than the $140 million this older one is appraised for.

Republican scatterbrain Sarah Palin called Republican Neanderthal Rick Santorum a Neanderthal. Neanderthals lived half a million years ago which is interesting given the number of Sarah Palin supporters and Tea Partiers who think the earth was created 6,000 years ago. Or perhaps Sarah Palin just didn't know what she was talking about..........nah, it couldn't have been that. And have you ever noticed that Republicans who denounce evolution often embrace "survival of the fittest" as the foundation for their social policies. Hmmmmmmm...........

On the difficulity of balancing the budget: On one side are the Democrats and on the Republican side you've got the Koch Brothers, the Supreme Court, and all that new corporate cash from the military/industrial/banking/financial/plutocrat complex flooding and corrupting our political system, a political ethos that says first try to distort your opponent's record and if that doesn't work, then just lie about it, coupled with a Ruppert Murdoch/Roger Ailes media "Big Lie" propaganda system unchecked by any semblance of even minimal standards of journalism, and an electorate suffering from short term memory loss and a shrinking attention span -- other than that, it should be easy......

Provisions of The Government can Wiretap Anybody Anytime without a Warrant Bill, otherwise known as the Patriot Act, were up for renewal and enough Tea Party Libertarians sided with enough Democrats and voted against it which stalled it for a week. It has since been revoted upon and passed in the House. The Republicans are so good at naming things. The We Love the Constitution Crowd who made such a show of reading portions of their beloved document on the first day of the new Congress just voted to suspend the 1st and 4th amendments. With the complicity of a large number of Democrats and President Obama, I am sad to add.

Like Kurt Vonngegut used to say, "so it goes."



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