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December 06, 2010


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obama: "extend unemployment, extend tax cut up to 250k."

gop: "no"

obama: "extend unemployment, extend tax cut up to $1 mil."

gop: "no"

obama: "extend unemployment, extend tax cut for all, even weathy."

gop: "no"

obama: "extend unemployment, extend tax cut for everyone, plus I'll raise estate tax exemption to $5 mil."

gop: "well, ...............ok."

Obama: "ya baby, high five, negotiated the crap out of those yokels."

gop: "yup, you sure took advantage of us. But you're in the majority, so you had us in the corner."

obama: "ya, well don't forget it."

Michelle Obama (slapping Obama hard, behind the head) "idiot, you gave up everything and they gave up squat."

Obama: "I know, but now they'll like me right??"

The End.

You are not wrong azrebel...

I liken the situation to basic classroom management. A teacher's worst situation is losing control of a class. Once that happens there is no getting it back. The best solution is to simply pack it up and let someone else bring the D (as in Discipline).

Here of course the unruly children are our fellow republicans and teabag shout-a-louts. They've ransacked the classroom commons: Teacher you lie! They've swept themselves into power by shouting, obstructing, and bullying. They've derailed needed reform by every trick in the parliamentarian's book. They've even thrown their binders at an essential treaty that no one seriously questions...

They are in control of the classroom and the weak teacher at the front of the class is now as un-hip as he is hapless. And just like a class spinning out of control the naughty students only feel more emboldened by their successful behavioral tactics...

Krugman has called it the "incredible shrinking presidency" and got sarcastic the other day about Mr. Obama's love of "teachable moments." Obviously I now share that scorn. There can be no teachable moments when you lose control of your classroom. You might as well pack it in and go home son...

Sad to say all those people that scoffed at Mr. Obama's experience as a community organizer got it right. Sitting around a round table was "poor" preparation for what the Democratic party "richly" needed from their standard bearer. And too, what the country desperately needed. As such, the question I expect the pundits to gradually pick up on is this one:

Has Mr. Obama done more to sink his party's standing than any other president in recent history?

But that really misses the real issue here. Barack Obama was the last best hope for America's future. It is gone now. Our democracy won't even acknowledge global warming, much less do anything about it. As for the rich getting richer and the middle class getting poorer, that's a done deal for as far as the eye can cry.

As Jon suggests by his title: the choice here was between death and taxes. Death proved the path of least resistance for an overfed and undereducated electorate. Which is all to say: It was a great empire while it lasted...

(Side note: I think Octavia Butler's Parables sci-fi series captures the future best. The dislocations of global warming will fall like a bludgeon on the poor. It is going to be a brutal mess that will quickly degenerate into a right wing "christian" dictatorship that first walls the poor off, then enslaves them the old fashioned biblical way. Not getting a kidney you need is just the first trick of that mean and ugly endgame.)

My next-door neighbor lives on long-term disability. His wife is a public school teacher. What does he hate more than anything? "SOCIALISM!!!"

I'm not sure if Obama would be a more effective president if this nation were actually sane. Because we're deluded, because we believe patent nonsense and stunningly cynical propaganda, Republicans can scream on behalf of tax cuts for the rich while jeering at the unemployed and pay no political price whatsoever. And because Obama confuses "omnidirectional placation" with leadership, Republicans get to set the agenda on behalf of this nation's plutocracy. As my next-door neighbor puts it, a rich guy might give you a job.

I'm at the point where the surreality of our political discourse has virtually relieved me of caring. I halfway hope they take away the neighbor's disability checks. I hope the Teabaggers on their mobility scooters get their SS cut so they can personally enjoy the Randian dystopia they wish on the rest of us. And I hope Obama apologizes to Fox Nation for having the temerity to think an upper marginal tax rate of 39.5% isn't Communist.

I just helped another neighbor move. Lydia lost her job as a project manager and then fell behind on her mortgage. She ended up losing $200K on a short sale. Most of my other neighbors are fairly comfortable. One makes $150K/year as a health-care executive. Many others are retired while those that are working are mostly in financial services, nursing, media, and government. Lydia, however, was a "producer". She worked in that part of the economy that makes these other sectors possible. She's virtually broke now and can't find a job.

I look around my neighborhood and everything seems normal. I am not deceived, however. This nation is failing.

koreyel: Side note: I think Octavia Butler's Parables sci-fi series captures the future best.

Seconded. I love Butler, but I just can't read Parable of the Sower anymore. It used to be a frighteningly plausible apocalyptic scenario; now it makes me seriously consider buying a gun and growing opium poppies in my backyard so I'll have access to a valuable commodity after the breakdown of civilization.

Where does this affinity for sitting between all chairs come from? President Hoobama reminds me of the scene in Star Wars where they're trapped in a garbage compressor and the walls are closing in from both sides, except they now seem to say 'I like it here!'.

What if the economy continues to inch toward recovery and looks pretty good to the "overfed and undereducated" masses? What if we get a little smarter and actually begin to detach from Afghanistan?
What if the gradual exodus from Iraq improves our financial picture? Am I Alice in Wonderland's crazy old uncle?

If you watch Jon Kyl pontificate outside his area of expertise (corporate law and lobbying), you might wonder why the senator is so exercised about the arcana of an arms control treaty, START. I think the answer became clear this morning. Holding START hostage to tax policy favorable to the plutocracy was always his real aim. Republican poodle Condi Rice has now stepped forward with remarkably congruent set of concerns in a Wall Street Journal op-ed piece. What stands out are quibbles elevated to dealbreakers but resolved by punctilios, which outline the terms of a deal. Extended-to-eternity tax cuts for the rich have now satisfied our GOP nuclear weapons "experts".

WASHINGTON (The Borowitz Report) – In his latest effort to find common ground with Republicans in Congress, President Barack Obama said today that he was willing to agree that he is a Muslim.

Differences over his religious orientation have been a sore point between the President and his Republican foes for the past two years, but in agreeing that he is a Muslim Mr. Obama is sending a clear signal that he is trying to find consensus.

“The American people do not want to see us fighting in Washington,” Mr. Obama told reporters at the White House. “They want to see us working together to improve their lives, and Allah willing, we will.”

But Mr. Obama’s willingness to back down on his claim of being a Christian does not seem to have satisfied his Republican opposition, as GOP leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) today insisted that the President must also agree that he was born in Kenya.

While Mr. Obama did not immediately agree to Rep. Bohener’s demand, he hinted that yet another compromise might be in the offing: “My place of birth has been, and will always be, negotiable.”

White House sources indicated today that the President might be willing to meet the GOP halfway on his birthplace and say that he was born in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean.

Elsewhere, moments after his capture in London, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange said, “I knew I shouldn’t have signed up for Foursquare.”

And in other news:

President Obama's proposed high-speed train system will be replaced with a fleet of buses that will rocket along highways at speeds up to 165 mph.

Let's see if the Democrats stand their ground and refuse to pass this thing.

As for the NYTimes column, there is one journalistic mishap reported: Mr. Felix did not die due to being denied a transplant, nor did his family have to "scrambled to raise the needed $200,000."

Nor did this occur: "When the money did not come through, the liver went to someone else on the transplant list."

Mr. Felix was undergoing chemotherapy in order to receive his transplant. He did not survive the chemo necessary prior to the transplant. The money was there (donated by a private citizen). What a horribly inaccurate column.

This cut from AHCCCS is a travesty. Money could have been diverted from other sources in order to save this necessary program and others like it. But tax cuts seem like a better idea for the benefit of a very few rich people.

Thanks for the laughs, gentlemen. Humor is much better palliate than Sci-Fi.

I'll try to finish "Parable of the Sower", but it'll be a tough slough; the writing is terrible. It's almost as bad as Kunstler's fiction!

JHK, what do you mean by a "tough slough?" I know slough is the removal of dead tissue or the shedding(s) of dead endometrium...but I'm not sure how you are applying it in this context.

I'm also wondering why it is so difficult to institute a progressive taxation on income in the U.S. I agree that the middle class should have tax cuts extended but why not, for instance, tax single individuals making $100,000 slightly above nothing, couples making $200,000 more, at $400,000 slightly more, at $600,000 slightly more, and...

Seems like it would allow those less rich to save a little more to "expand" their small businesses (or their wallets)? Does someone (Tea Partyer) making $30,000 or a family (Tea Partyers) making $60,000 really care that much about those making 4 times as much?

Do they really think allowing the rich to keep an insignificant amount really contribute to society, nation building (infrastructure) and the economy?


1. an area of soft, muddy ground; swamp or swamplike region.
2. a hole full of mire, as in a road.
3. Also, slew, slue. Northern U.S. and Canadian . a marshy or reedy pool, pond, inlet, backwater, or the like.
4. a condition of degradation, despair, or helplessness

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