Post #471: Random Thoughts
The world has gone mad today
And good's bad today
And black's white today
And day's night today
Here are a handful of miscellaneous observations that have come to mind lately. I have a lot of time on my hands, I know.
1. THE IMPLOSION RESUMES
3. The Next Pope
Benedict the Sixteenth is within hours of stepping down - the first time in about six-hundred years that something like this has happened. Speaking as a Catholic (wayward though I may be at times) the Catholic Church is in DESPERATE need of a major transformation. How 'bout a black pope? Better still, an African American pope! That would most definitely transform the Church of Rome. It would also give all of those racist Catholics (there are a lot of them, trust me ) something to ponder. Just a thought.
A black pope. Can you imagine? Yo, baby!
4. What's the Matter with Chris?
I've gotta tell you that Chris Christie is growing on me. I still think the people of New Jersey made a mistake by electing him - but it's not one/tenth the error I originally presumed it to be.
The Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) won't be inviting him to speak at their upcoming convention. Genuine headcases like Sarah Palin, Rick Santorum and Alan West will be speaking - but not Chris Christie. Why? He's too "liberal". Of course he is not a progressive by any stretch of the imagination, but by the standards of today's right wing, he's just a half-step down from being compared to the anti-Christ. That's how weird things have gotten. Having shown respect to Barack Obama when he visited New Jersey in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy didn't do him much good with that party's "base" either.
CPAC is not affiliated with the GOP- but let's be honest - that's the party they identify with. If the Republicans are smart, Governor Christie will be their standard bearer in 2016. Of course that's never gonna happen.
5. Welcome to Sequester City
The long-dreaded "sequester" is supposed to kick into effect on Friday. Some are predicting economic catastrophe in its wake; others are implying that the fear is much ado about not much. Whatever the results, the debate leading up to this has been an illuminating window into Washington's complete and utter dysfunction. There is a lot of blame that that can be distributed between the two parties - not excluding the Obama White House. But the bulk of the blame belongs with the conservatives. Their stated goal is to sabotage this president's agenda by any means possible; that includes ideas they previously supported. Are you surprised that we are the laughingstock of western civilization? You shouldn't be. You really shouldn't.
|Uber-dingbat Ted Cruz|
It would seem to me that freshman Texas senator Ted Cruz has got a Joe McCarthy complex. He even resembles McCarthy in the way he hunches over the microphone. His behavior during Chuck Hagel's confirmation hearing was something else. He actually questioned Hagel's patriotism. Since arriving in DC in January, he has reflexively voted against every proposal and nominee put forward by this administration. Keep your eye on Ted Cruz. He's probably going to be around for some time. Given the retarded political climate of the state of Texas, I imagine there will still be enough people around in 2018 who will cheerfully reelect this clown. That's okay by me. He's such fun to watch.
7. SHEILA BAIR ON THE MOUNTAINTOP
"This is not a situation that any freethinking Republican should accept. Skewing income toward the upper, upper class hurts our economy because the rich tend to sit on their money — unlike lower- and middle-income people, who spend a large share of their paychecks, and hence stimulate economic activity.
"But more fundamentally, it cuts against everything our country and my party stand for. Government’s role should not be to rig the game in favor of “the haves” but to make sure “the have-nots” are given a fair shot."
8. VOTING RIGHTS
As I write these words, the Supreme Court is deciding whether or not to repeal Section Five of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. There are those who are arguing that it no longer has a purpose. This at a time when voter suppression in this country is out of control. Can you believe that? How much do you want to bet that Clarence Thomas (of all people) will vote to end it?
9. AND IN CONCLUSION....
Expect more obstruction from the crazies in the House of Reprehensibles in the next two years. President Obama's only real chance to move this country forward will be after 2014 and only if that body is Democratically controlled. Otherwise fasten your seat belts for the downward spiral.
And that's the way it is, Wednesday, February 26, 2013. Cheerio! Pip! Pip!
SUGGESTED READING & LISTENING:
Jacqueline Kennedy: Historic Conversations on Life with JFK
In March of 1964, four months after John F. Kennedy's death, his widow, Jackie, sat down with historian Arthur Schlesinger, Jr. for a marathon series of interviews that were not supposed to be made public until seventy-five years after her death. Fortunately daughter Caroline made the decision that history shouldn't wait that long. A rigorously private and tight-lipped woman with the public for most of her life, these interviews are a revelation. The book comes with eight CD's that cover the entire session. If you're into history this one is essential. Highly recommended.
Special thanks to my dear friend, Nancy Karlovich, for reminding me what a treasure this one is.