Saturday, November 20, 2010

November News Roundup

Here we are, ripping through November like Cher goes through costume changes at her concerts, and I haven't posted in a couple of weeks. It's been a busy month but let's look at what's been happening.

Those ugly midterm elections are history and we've certainly heard way too much about how the new crop of Repugnantans are descending on Washington like dimwitted locusts with bad haircuts. Right off the bat they are thumping their chests and setting their sites on undoing the health care reform bill passed earlier this year. They might find that a little more difficult than they think, because they have the illusory, overblown courage of someone who is putting way too much confidence in their own talents. The Republicans are going to find out all those Tea Party candidates who got swept into office like a gigantic toilet backing up are not going to just kowtow to everything that new Speaker of the House John Boner, I mean Boehner, spits out at them. Same with Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell, who looks like a huge, bulgy-eyed catfish who was yanked out the the water and is gasping for air. Sweet Jesus, those Republicans are some of the most gawd-awful fugly bastards I've ever seen.

But what is shaping up to be a real battle is the extension of the Bush-era tax cuts for the wealthy. Set to expire at year's end, it would mean every taxpayer would be on the hook for higher taxes. The Democrats and the Obama administration want to keep the tax cuts for workers who make less than $250,000 a year but eliminate them for those who make more. Naturally the Republicans are apoplectic at the prospect of their wealthy overlords paying a penny more tax than they do now, and have vowed to hold a defense appropriations bill hostage until they get what they want. And just recently, the Republicans killed a bill which would have extended unemployment benefits for the millions of people still out of work.

Now let's think about this for a second, shall we? The Republicans want to extend tax breaks to the wealthiest 2% of our population, which would mean the whopping sum of $700 billion over 10 years would not fill the coffers of the Treasury, in this era of soaring deficits and recession-induced tax shortfalls. That is okay to them, but they don't want to extend benefits to all the unemployed people who have to do things like pay mortgages and buy food and pay utilities and send their kids to college. I can't think of anything else that has happened recently which more starkly points out the fact that the Republicans only serve the wealthiest Americans, and couldn't give a rat's ass about the people that actually do meaningful work in this country. After seeing this, it's impossible for me to understand how any middle- or lower-class voter could even think of voting Republican. This is what the Republicans do to people who are not wealthy - they take everything away from the middle class and shower it upon the rich and well-to-do, who already have much more money than they need. Why don't people comprehend this? It's not that difficult - Republicans only care about the rich. It is indeed that simple.

The Obama administration, still smarting from their ass-kicking at the polls, are flip-flopping all over the place and have all but sent up a flare indicating they are in the mood to compromise. The Republicans feel they have the momentum on their side, and they very well might. But if Obama caves to the Republicans and extends the tax breaks for the richest people, I am done with him. He can go directly to hell if he lets the Republicans have their way. It would be political suicide for him to do so, his liberal and progressive base would never forgive him. He would certainly lose my support. Instead of rolling over and playing dead for the Republicans, he needs to spit in their faces and tell them if you want a fight, you're going to get one, and then go to the mat on the tax break extensions, defense appropriations be damned. They need to find out what "party of NO" really means. Bipartisanship is dead, if it ever existed at all, and it's time for Obama and the Democrats to grow a pair and fight the Republicans with their own tactics.

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