Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Indignant Republicans

Listening to the Republicans rant about how Mr. Romney is going to return our nation to fiscal sanity, after the Obama 4-year misfortune seems a bit like watching a Disney fantasy film. Their chosen strategy to gain power is always the same. You create a train wreck; then you will the train wreck to the Democrats; then you blame all the resulting wreckage on the hapless Dems.
Electing Romney, a 0.1%'er from the world of finance that delivered this particular train wreck of an economy to the nation and, in fact, to the world, is going to put us back on track. What are they smoking?
It is especially galling to listen to them prattle on about their fiscal bonafides. Excuse me??? George W. Bush and his republican horde tried to run two wars, one of which was clearly illegal, with no money, after having given the biggest tax return to the wealthiest in the nation's history, with the net result of the largest deficits in our history. Not only did they give us the largest deficits, but they then set about to prevent--actively sabotage--any effort by Obama to correct the disastrous course they charted. Remember Mitch McConnell . . . the guy who declared that his sole objective was defeating Obama, apparently by any means possible?  The best thing you can say about the republicans is that, they do their masters' bidding. When their wealthy overlords speak, they sit up and listen.
So, Chris Christy promises us that, if we only elect Mr. Romney, he will deliver jobs and prosperity to the American people.
People, if you believe that line, have I got a bridge to sell you in Brooklyn . . .

Monday, August 13, 2012


So, I understand that Mr. Ryan is a great fan of Ayn Rand. I know that really the entire fascist wing of the Republican party--aka the teabaggers--loves Rand.  So, I was thinking that, as long as Mr. Ryan loves post-apocalyptic fantasy literature, maybe he should look into Mad Max and the Road Warrior as a guide to his visionary thinking processes. Perhaps Mr. Ryan sees himself as a Mel Gibson wannabe. I mean, the resemblance is striking.
But on the issue of budgeting, it does seem to me that, while fantasy literature might be ok for the VP to engage in to help give him a personality, perhaps a fifth grade math education might be a better preparation for his role as the ticket's fiscal conservative, especially since his budgets don't exactly add up to a balanced budget. Maybe he never learned "old peoples' math", and is too hung up on "new math", you know, the kind nobody really understands, unless they're fifth graders.
So, moving right along, Paul, let's hear you say it again:
"Let'm eat cake"
Hey, your Wife's name isn't Marie, is it???

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Eliminating Medicare & SSA

So, Paul Ryan it is. And what is he best known for-- Elimination of Medicare. Now, see, he denies that. He says that he is simply attempting to open the program to “competition” in order to reduce its cost. Because we know that competition has worked out so well in the health insurance business.  I wonder whether Mr. Ryan is also going to include an identical voucher program for Congressional health insurance?  No, hmmm, isn’t that a surprise? I’m guessing that he also isn’t interested in capping/reducing the salary and retirement benefits for incumbent Congress-people to approximate, say, teachers.

Mainly, from what I can see, Mr. Ryan simply wishes to eliminate Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security in order to focus on his top priority--supporting the wishes of his owners. The first step is to replace the programs with “vouchers”, forcing people onto the prospective rolls of private insurers, who may or may not elect to insure them (remember pre-existing conditions??).  I’m not sure what he plans to do with Social Security. One thing republicans always like to propose is to “means-test” social security. See, that’s step 1 to eliminating it. First, you make it a program for the “less-well off.” Then you label it welfare. Then you refuse to increase the benefits to track cost of living. Then you place it in the care of someone like Michelle Bachman. Then you simply let it dry up on the vine.
So, Mr. Ryan is also now suggesting that Dems and the Prez refuse to do anything about the huge deficits created as a result of the republican tax cuts for the wealthy, the republican wars, and the republican-inspired recession that now resembles the one that occurred under Mr. Hoover, another standout republican.  I wonder whether Mr. Ryan voted for or against the Bush tax cuts? And I wonder whether Mr. Ryan voted for or against that war in Iraq—remember Iraq??? The war that Shrub didn’t have to start, but did, and that Obama ended?? That war?? And I wonder how Mr. Ryan reacted to all the gutting of the nation’s regulatory structure? And I wonder whether Mr. Ryan believes in global warming and its man-made origins—love to hear his conversations with the Koch bro’s on that one.
This will make a more interesting race than I had thought. A man of the rich party allied with a man who overwhelmingly supports the party of the rich. So, if Mr. Romney is, say, in the 0.1% group, maybe Mr. Ryan aspires to the 1% group. And we could call them the 1.1%’ers.  And for the rest, or maybe what’s left of the middle class and the lower classes . . .
“let’m eat cake”

Monday, August 6, 2012

Losing People

During the mid-1970s, my wife and I felt besieged. We had managed to surround ourselves with a nice group of friends in Suburban DC. We entertained them and they entertained us frequently. Dinner parties were common and great fun. We actually enjoyed one another and talk was fast and furious. Then, the world began to change. Maybe it was a hangover from the 60’s, maybe it was the ongoing war. Maybe it was just the 70’s. But one by one, we began losing our friends to divorce. One couple after another suddenly decided that they were not going to remain together. Sometimes they had found someone else. But mostly, they just decided that they didn’t want to be together any longer. Mostly, the divorcing couples had no kids, but a few did.  We felt like we were under attack. We continued to love and cherish one another, but this blizzard of divorces always seemed a threat.

Well, we survived. The broken couples all moved on and mostly we lost contact.

Now, fast forward to the present. We are older now, much older. And now, we are once again losing people, this time because they are dying.  I know, I know. Dying is one of those things that happen eventually to everyone.  Still, it feels threatening, in ways that exceed that which occurred during our friends-divorcing phase of life.
No one quite prepares you for this kind of thing.
But one of the things I am discovering is that, whereas I seem to suffer from compassion fatigue, my wife of now 57 years, seems to get stronger with this phenomenon. Her compassion seems to be growing in amazing ways. She calls people—the afflicted and the survivors-- daily, often more frequently. She offers them advice, solace, warmth, love. They respond in kind.
Perhaps this is one of those defining characteristics, in which women are simply better than men.  All I know is that I remain quite in awe at this endless capacity she displays for spreading warmth and love to people at or near the end of their lives. I know that not everyone can do such things, not all women and certainly not all men. I don’t know if she is unique in this regard, but it does seem so.  And the world is a better place because of her capacity and her willingness to spread this love and warmth to others at a time of need.
Quite beautiful.