Friday, December 31, 2010

Goodbye to 2010

Like a gut-shot caribou, the Year 2010 staggers out bleeding, making way for what I hope will be a better 2011.

Not holding out much hope, though...

We all know who the really big winners were this year. Those people who own places like this:

Somehow the wealthiest 2% of the nation managed to keep the ridiculous Bush tax giveaways for at LEAST another two years; which will obviously be permanent, because there's no way Congress will ever fail to renew it.

It still staggers my imagination that we spent the entire 1990s at the old tax rate and our nation managed to thrive and prosper; yet during the ten years of Bush's tax cuts, we shed jobs and opportunity to a level not seen since the Great Depression. Everyone who fought against the repeal said we'd lose millions of jobs if we went back to the old rate.

How does that possibly make any sense?

This year's losers:

Middle class Americans. Like these people, who apparently just stepped out of a time machine from the 1950s.

We got the shittiest possible health care reform; nothing to show for the bank bailouts (unless you happen to be a teller in one of the banks, then you're possibly still employed), minimal help from the stimulus package, and no promise of things getting better any time soon.

But, it pays to be famous. Some people are still laughing all the way to the bank:

UPDATE: Once again, I made it through the entire year without making a single mistake writing the date. That's about 6 out the last 10 years that I managed to get it perfect! Today was my last chance to screw up (filling out the release form at the Bridgeport Shooting Range) and as I wrote 12/31/2010, I knew I'd accomplished something absolutely meaningless!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

KISSmas card

So, it happens that a regular reader here (Lakezoarian) took my very tasteful and season-appropriate holiday photo card and gave it the "Gene Simmons" treatment via Photoshop.

I don't think I've ever seen anything so horrific in my entire life!

I'm sure you'll agree.

UPDATE: I have to say, the most disturbing thing about this picture is the way I look like I have "crazy eyes"! It's really weird and unsettling. I'll never open my eyes wide like that for a photo again.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Christmas card

Because so many of you little boys and girls have been naughty this year, here ya go:

Thursday, December 09, 2010

Xmas vacation

I need a vacation. I'm taking a break from political blogging for a bit.

Other than maybe posting an occasional observation here, I'll likely be back in January.

Have a great holiday season!

Monday, December 06, 2010

Embarrassed to be a Democrat

(image via Toothpaste For Dinner)

Today everything I feared about our party has turned out to be true.

From the AP:
Brushing past Democratic opposition, President Barack Obama announced agreement with Republicans Monday night on a plan to extend expiring income tax cuts for all Americans, renew jobless benefits for the long-term unemployed and grant a one-year reduction in Social Security taxes.
So, we get those toxic tax cuts, the very ones that managed to drive us into this awful recession over the last 10 years, for another two years. Due in large part to our President. You can pretty much count on it being a permanent tax break for the wealthy, because by the time it comes up again, we'll have some GOP dingbat like Sarah Palin fouling the Oval Office. Then, it'll NEVER go away!

At this point, I'm starting to doubt that it's possible to change our party from the inside. What's the point of being a Democrat if we insist on behaving exactly like the fucking Republicans? I'm seriously considering quitting the party altogether. Maybe it's time I apply for free agency, like a fifth-year NFL running back.

We lost, which is bad enough; but we did it to ourselves, which is infinitely worse.

Congrats to the UConn football team

(Bettina Hansen/Hartford Courant)

Salvaging what was looking like a lost season after opening with a 3-4 record, the UConn Huskies came back strong, winning five in a row to get the Big East title and earning a place in a BCS bowl for the first time in school history.

I watched the game Saturday night, and it was a real nail-biter. With seconds left on the clock, UConn kicker Dave Teggart made a 52-yard field goal to break a 16-16 tie and win the game!

AP #25 pick UConn will face #9 Oklahoma in the Fiesta Bowl prime-time (8:30PM) on New Year's Day.

Friday, December 03, 2010

Outrage Fatigue

(this totally sums up my feelings right about now - article reposted from CT Blue by permission of John W. - go read his blog because it seriously rocks)

Another post at (Daily) Kos, as at so many of our left leaning blogs, documenting yet another “outrageous” act by a Republican, this time the fact that John Kyl is holding up the Start Treaty in order to get a tax cut for the rich.

I must confess that I am not outraged by this, nor am I outraged at any of the other outrageous acts in which Republicans have engaged lately. I will admit that the acts of the Republicans are objectively outrageous, but I no longer find them emotionally outrageous. At this point, it is just Republicans being Republicans. It is what they do. Worth noting and cataloging to be sure, but not worth an increase in one’s blood pressure. After all, so far as the Republicans are concerned, I can take comfort in the fact that I am in no way responsible for their push to establish a plutocracy. I didn’t vote for them, contribute money to them, or support them in any other way.

I’m afraid that at this point my emotional outrage is reserved solely for the Democrats, from Obama on down, for whom I do have some responsibility, although in my defense, I didn’t have a lot of choices. I know objectively that spineless retreat and ineffectual public communication is what the Democrats do (in the latter category, and somewhat mysteriously, only after they get elected, see e.g., Obama’s campaign in contrast to Obama’s presidency), but I confess that I can’t accept this with the equanimity with which I can accept Republican outrageousness. It is outrageous that the Republicans will hold the government hostage to get their tax cut; it is even more outrageous that the Democrats will cave. It is outrageous that the Republicans are out to destroy the middle class, it is even more outrageous that the Democrats will let them do it. It is outrageous that the Republicans manipulate the middle class, working class, and stupid class with misleading frames; it is even more outrageous that the Democrats make no attempt to counter those frames by effectively packaging the truth. It is outrageous that the Republicans accuse Obama of failing to reach across the aisle, it is even more outrageous when, in the teeth of 2 years of evidence to the contrary, Obama agrees with them.

In the single case of the tax cuts, it would have been easy- it would still be easy- to brand the Republicans as lackeys of the rich, the servants of the folks who are living off of our bailouts. I am 100% certain that if given the choice, most people would prefer no action on taxes over giving yet another tax cut to the rich. But that’s not going to happen. The best we can hope for is a “temporary” extension that will be made permanent later, either by another Democratic capitulation, or by the Republican president elected in 2012 due to the Democrats demonstrated weakness. Meanwhile, the Republicans will, out of feigned concern about the deficits they created with their tax cuts, demand cuts in programs that benefit the lower 98%, to which demands the Democrats will cravenly accede, since they won’t want the pundits and the Republicans to think they can’t make “tough choices”.

CTBob comments: my only observation is that taking "no action on taxes" would equal the expiration of the Bush tax cuts, and I personally would be willing to take that hit on my own middle class tax burden if it means the wealthy have to jump off that gravy train they've been riding for the last ten years.

Because that's a large reason why we're in this budget mess in the first place. I consider it the sort of required sacrifice (although on a much more modest level) that our parents and grandparents made during WWII to ensure our nation's survival.

We should stop behaving like spoiled children being denied a pony on their birthday. I can absolutely survive without a new car every 36 months, a McMansion, or a 62" flat screen for a few more years if it means a chance for economic stability.

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Republicans vote to starve children!

The new 2011 GOP strategy of destroying everything good and pure had begun!

From the good ol' AP:
House Republicans have temporarily blocked legislation to feed school meals to thousands more hungry children. Republicans used a procedural maneuver Wednesday to try to amend the $4.5 billion bill, which would give more needy children the opportunity to eat free lunches at school and make those lunches healthier. First lady Michelle Obama has lobbied for the bill as part of her "Let's Move" campaign to combat childhood obesity.

House Democrats said the GOP amendment, which would have required background checks for child care workers, was an effort to kill the bill and delayed a final vote on the legislation rather than vote on the amendment.

Because the nutrition bill is identical to legislation passed by the Senate in August, passage would send it to the White House for President Barack Obama's signature. If the bill were amended, it would be sent back to the Senate with little time left in the legislative session.

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md. said the House would hold separate votes on Thursday on the amendment and the bill.
Give it up, kids! Your nutrition isn't a concern of the New GOP Ruling Class!

Either hurry up and die, or learn to eat dirt!

Counting down until the Democrats fold

Excuse me if I've become overly cynical.

I've simply lowered the bar on my expectations.

Which means basically I don't expect anything good to get accomplished by the Senate Democratic majority, for the rest of this year, or even the next two years.

Today the Senate Republican leadership, led by always ornery Kentucky senator Mitch McConnell, has vowed to stand together and use their 42-vote block to filibuster every single bit of legislation during the December "lame duck session" (boy, if there was ever a more appropriate phrase!) unless Democrats introduce a bill that extends the ridiculously huge Bush tax cuts for several more years.

From the AP via Yahoo! News:
Senate Republicans threatened Wednesday to block virtually all legislation until expiring tax cuts are extended and a bill is passed to fund the federal government, vastly complicating Democratic attempts to leave their own stamp on the final days of the post-election Congress.


The Democratic to-do list also includes extending the expiring tax cuts — although they and Republicans differ on particulars, as well as a measure to keep the government in operation. But the rest of their agenda marks an attempt to court voters Democrats need in 2012 to recapture the majority, including Hispanics, gay-rights activists and organized labor.

Call it lame-duck politics.
Here's what's gonna happen: The GOP will block so-called social legislation (like the DADT repeal) until they make enough deals with pseudo-Democrats like Joe Lieberman and Ben Nelson to support the tax cut extension, and it'll come up for a vote right before they break for Xmas.

And it'll pass. Of course.

As far as I'm concerned, I'm quitting the middle class. It's just not that cost-effective an economic strata anymore.

Starting tomorrow, I've decided I'm going to be super-wealthy. Yes, I know it won't be easy. But there are so many obvious advantages to being super-wealthy that I'd have to be a fool not to become a member of their ranks.

So it's gonna be huge amounts of personal wealth at ridiculously low tax rates for me from now on!

See you on Easy Street, suckers!