December 21st, 2011 ~ Despicable. That's the ONLY word to describe the House GOP's refusal to even ALLOW a floor vote on the Senate's overwhelmingly bipartisan bill to extend the payroll tax holiday and unemployment insurance payments for two months; allowing Democrats and Republicans time to hammer out a longer extension when they return to Washington after the holidays. They adamantly refuse to allow any tax increase for their Billionaires and Corporations (sorry, "people"), but Grover Norquist & Co. have NO PROBLEM allowing tax increases for 99% of Americans.
I wish there was a stronger word than hypocrite to describe such craven duplicity and sociopathic disregard for most Americans. I think my Grandmother had a wonderful term for such people. "Chromium-plated turd" seems an absolutely appropriate description. Too cheap and petty to be silver or gold plated. Something shiney, but ultimately worthless and foul smelling. That's the Congressional GOP.
Too harsh? Watch this...
December 16th, 2011 ~ Our world is a little bit darker today. Christopher Hithchens, one of the great lights of contemporary thought, is dead at age 62.
His laser-like intellect left few flim-flam artists of either the political or religious world intact. Yet, he was ALWAYS respectful of those who struggled honestly to live their lives according to the tenets of their faiths. He spoke ONLY for himself and that alone earned him the rancor of those who presumed to speak for others; especially those who presumed to speak for God. The one man most agree who could speak for Christopher without presumption is his brother, Peter. Here, Peter memorializes his brother on the Daily Mail website.
I'll leave you to your own remembrances of this brilliant Humanist and critical thinker with a video of his interview with Tony Jones on Australia's ABC Fora TV.
If you wish to see more such videos, you can visit the "Hitchens Channel" on YouTube.
December 15th, 2011 ~ An accurate history of past events and those who participated in those events is an invaluable asset for any people. The importance of such a history is reflected in the adage, "Those who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it". But even so well known an adage can have its own questionable lineage. Some assign the origin to George Santayana; others to Marcus Tullius Cicero. In a similar vein, authorship for the expression, "Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result" has been attributed to Albert Einstein, Ben Franklin, and even an ancient Chinese proverb.
So, even with verities pertaining directly to history, questions of provenance can still arise. How important are these questions? In the case of these two gems, not very. But when a political aspirant comes along who is the incarnation of the caveats expressed in these two sayings, it is critically important we ALL have an accurate and unbiased history. Accepting at face value ANYTHING said by self-professed "Historian" and GOP presidential candidate, Newton LeRoy Gingrich, or about him by his supporters is at best an act of willful amnesia and at worst, outright insanity.
We can completely side-step this consummate grifter's personal life and still have a treasure trove of cautionary episodes to look back on. His continued advocacy for the "trickle down" economic model of the "job creators" is one such fire bell. If that was EVER a serious method of stimulating middle class jobs and our economy, wouldn't we have seen evidence of that during nearly a decade of Bush/Cheney policies? Speaker Gingrich's 1997 reprimand by the House Ethics Committee, which fell far short of the censure and criminal prosecution he deserved, is another.
Like the rest of the GOP hopefuls, Gingrich leaps over nearly a DECADE of treason and profligacy by the Bush/Cheney administration (with the help of their flying monkeys Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, Miers, Ashcroft, Gonzales, Yoo, and Paulson), which drove America to the brink of destruction, to focus solely on the Obama Presidency, starting in 2009, as the root of all America's problems. Rewriting history as only a sociopathic "Historian" can.
Yet, from failed economic policies, to a pitiless disdain for our child labor laws, to a truly chilling set of foreign policy objectives, "Historian" Gingrich embraces a cynical, cruel, and divisive platform which he presents as "bold and new". Bold? Perhaps in Newt's enthusiasm to machinegun from his yacht, the few still floating pieces of our ship of state we desperately cling to in a storm-tossed sea of uncertainty. New? Only if we allow him to pretend the NeoCon coup of 2001 to 2008 never happened. His entire platform is a clever regurgitation of other people's poisonous ideas, rebottled as "Dr. Gingrich's Elixir of Life".
The fact that Gingrich is currently the front-runner of the GOP field, says volumes about the stench of panic-sweat currently wafting through the corridors of Republican power. Delta Charlie insiders, who know Newton better than anyone, are appalled by his ascension to the "top of the charts with a bullet", yet have no viably electable alternative to offer. There's the Mormon, the Ayn Rand supplicant, the crazy eyes, the Google search joke, the other Mormon and... I'm sorry, I can't remember the last one. Oops! Which to choose... which to choose?
December 6th, 2011 ~ Last night, in the last few minutes of Chris Matthews' "Hard Ball", Howard Fineman raised the very point I've been making for months and David Corn of "Mother Jones" picked up on Fineman's lead; expanding his point brilliantly. There was a bit of a lull in the discussion of the ludicrous situation of Donald Trump moderating a debate of the GOP presidential hopefuls when Fineman asked: "What are they trying to do? Trump is a 'parody' of an old-style 'King-Maker'. It's as though they want to debase government in general and the electoral process in particular."
David Corn then added his own observations that this is EXACTLY what the GOP is trying to do; to delegitimize our system of government by making a mockery of it and thereby eradicate it. And then... the segment stopped. Just when it was getting REALLY interesting, Chris HAD to go to a commercial. No "Can you guys come back tomorrow night to continue this critically important discussion about the political future of our nation?" Not even a summation of the GOP's strategy to usurp the only leverage we have to stand toe-to-toe with "The 1%". It just ended. Oh, but Chris had PLENTY of time to tell us where he was going to be hawking his JFK book. That's the most important thing isn't it? Telling us how America WAS instead of helping us make America what it CAN BE?