Where to begin...
Well, lets begin with my favorite topic. Me.
I've been in San Francisco a lot, have a book deal signed, maybe another on the way, but most important to the cause of bettering my life, a possible job at an amazing radio station. Hopefully it turns my way. If it doesn't I will surely survive.
Now on to topics people other than me care about.
I want to start off with a special holiday season, with extra umph, "Go Fuck Yourself, Republicans!" That's the cheer I'm spreading.
First we have the possible Health Care unraveling. It was only a matter of time before the this happened, and by this I mean that the monied interests in the country would push some fringe fuck to do everything possible to challenge the legality of the Health Care Bill. Lucky for us, they found a judge, recently appointed by George W. Bush, willing to work his magic.
What's going to happen? Well, it's going to be hung up in the courts for a long while, and I predict now, just before the bill is going to go into effect the Supreme Court will be forced to hear the case because it will be viewed as a sort of "State of Emergency" situation. What I mean by that is the political chorus will grow so loud in 2 years, just before the law is enacted, in the middle of a presidential election, blah blah blah, and they will act.
Maybe, just maybe, a circuit court will shoot them down, but it will still rise to the top. The cream always seems to, except of course, if you're referring to Clarence Thomas. He's not the cream. For he just fondles women.
Thank goodness for WHITE SENATORS helping out the black man...
Going out on a limb here, but I'm sensing a 5-4 decision on this here case.
Wait, what's that? You're wondering maybe we can pass another Health Care law to replace this one? As Clarence Thomas might say to Obama, "Niggah please!"
This is the only one which will pass for YEARS, so if it doesn't stick, say goodbye to a little something I like to call, "Doing What is Right for America."
Well, it was fun to dream about Health Care for all citizens of America, but did you really think it was going to pass? I seriously always thought this would inevitably happen, one way or another, because America is based on greed and capitalism, and those who benefit from this the most will never stop spending, and never quit, until this law is NOT passed. That's the REAL America.
Sticking with this thread, yesterday I read in the NYTIMES a little story about how full time hiring has faltered, and more temporary jobs are coming into play.
Despite a surge this year in short-term hiring, many American businesses are still skittish about making those jobs permanent, raising concerns among workers and some labor experts that temporary employees will become a larger, more entrenched part of the work force.Sweet.
This is bad news for the nation’s workers, who are already facing one of the bleakest labor markets in recent history. Temporary employees generally receive fewer benefits or none at all, and have virtually no job security. It is harder for them to save. And it is much more difficult for them to develop a career arc while hopping from boss to boss.
So while more Americans won't be able to afford Health Care, and Republicans are cutting taxes for those who do not need tax cuts, we're doing our bestest to make sure the Health Care Law is repealed.
The revolt is going to be so epic in this country, and I'm really hopeful Glen Beck's children get raped in the process when it does happen, especially any boys he may have.
If we had a health care bill, insuring all Americans, having temporary jobs (the future of American jobs) wouldn't be so bad. How come this argument isn't front and center?
And who can forget the tax cut of 10 years ago. I remember when it happened the first time around telling myself how there was no way it would be repealed.
The Tax Cutters are just awesome at mental gymnastics. When times are bad, you need to cut taxes to spur growth. When times are good, you need to keep the tax cuts which helped the economy grow, and you want to avoid slowing it down. It's really one of those win/win situations where in the end everyone just...well...loses.
I think it's important to read David Leonhardt's column from last week wherein he really lays out how wrong Republicans usually are, but more importantly to me, how no one notices.
“We are against forcing all citizens, regardless of need, into a compulsory government program,” said one prominent critic of the new health care law. It is socialized medicine, he argued. If it stands, he said, “one of these days, you and I are going to spend our sunset years telling our children, and our children’s children, what it once was like in America when men were free.” - Actor, Ronald ReaganI could go on, but is there a point?
Leonhardt's piece really capture it all.
But if his piece doesn't work for you maybe you'd be better served reading Larry David's
THERE is a God! It passed! The Bush tax cuts have been extended two years for the upper bracketeers, of which I am a proud member, thank you very much. I’m the last person in the world I’d want to be beside, but I am beside myself! This is a life changer, I tell you. A life changer!
The one thing I will say about Tax cuts, and the bullshit rhetoric attached to it every time some wealthy White Senator wants to enact one, is that while they do put a lot of money in peoples' pockets, they don't actually create IDEAS. And that's the fucking problem.
Yes, I said "fucking." Again. And Again...and again...
What I mean by that is there's this bullshit cockamamey concept you often hear that "tax cuts ignite the economy", and while this might be true in some regard, it's certainly not true that these tax cuts will in any way help the economy.
Here are the reasons why, the way I see it.
This tax cut bill extends the cuts for 2 years, and really benefits some rich people. The Estate Tax portion is really the biggest joke, but if you want to look into that battle this is a good start. How "Giving Up" that battle is the way to go. You can't really defeat the rich when they're buying congressmen.
So...the tax cuts go for 2 more years, but the benefits to the unemployed, and not-well-off people only go for 1. Isn't that nice? In one year's time the economy won't be fixed, and these people still won't have jobs. If they do, they'll be temporary, and as far as health insurance, well...we discussed this.
When you cut taxes for really wealthy people in a bad economy they don't go out and start building warehouses, buildings, and randomly investing in new businesses. They don't do this because it would be illogical if they did. If really wealthy people saw an opportunity to make money, to invest in some business, etc., then they would do so regardless of whether someone handed them MORE money. It's not like some rich person is sitting around thinking, "Okay, well, I have $38 million in the bank right now, and i really do want to invest in Steve's awesome internet idea. Man, oh man. If I just had an extra $4 million, then I could do it! I never like my account to go below $40 million... Sorry Steve, I'm going to pass on your awesome idea which will certainly make me even more money. Talk to me after the tax cut gets extended, and maybe I'll be more willing..."
If there is an idea for a business, or a chance to make money, people with money will go out there and take those risks. But if there are no ideas, and no areas to make money, people will put their money in a real safe place, or take few risks. Giving extremely wealthy people tax cuts at a time when they are seemingly sitting on the sideline already isn't going to do jack shit.
If the idea is they will go out and spend money on cars and luxury items, which in turn will help the economy grow, well that's just about the dumbest fucken thing I've ever heard.
However, the people who will do that are the ones who need food, toilet paper, cars repaired, clothing for their children, and on and on and on. Rich people who are not spending will not start spending because of a tax cut. That's a fact.
This tax cut is merely a Republican give back so when the elections come back around they can say, "Hey, pal, remember who gave you all that money? Yeah, I did. So give some back to me so I can keep doing that!"
So that's that.
In the end, as the economy suffers, unemployment benefits extend for a year, and the rich get richer, what will happen is States and the Federal government will reign in spending elsewhere, and in turn this will sap any benefit President Obama believed he was giving to those out of work.
It's a zero-sum game for those who need it the most, and a windfall for those who do not.
As for Obama himself, he's really the clown in this mess, and he's more so running for the next election than he is worrying about fixing the country now.
When he came into office with his big ideas, he went right after them hard, and in many ways this damaged him tremendously.
Pushing the Health Care bill, and basically deferring to Congress and creating a shit bill crushed him. He also did little about the wars, even if we're supposedly out of Iraq. Afghanistan has been no different, maybe worse (we'll get to that), and has done nothing on alternative energy and stuff of this nature.
I will give him credit for staving off a much worse economy because his spending plans to help fix the nation's infrastructure have created many jobs, short term, or not, and helped us fix what needed to be fixed, which is a benefit for when things do turn around.
Those who suggest the economy is bad. It would be a lot worse, that's for sure.
However, right now, this compromise with Republicans on taxes is a joke. If he was the man I hoped he'd be he would fight it tooth and nail. The poor and unemployed are suffering as is, and this bill won't change too much. Worst case scenario if you didn't extend benefits you would push people to the brink, who in turn might force the nation to recognize how bad things are. Placing a band-aid over it will not help. People have to suffer in this country for real change to occur, and papering over this fact only kicks the can down the road.
Obama should have said "NO DEAL", and risked his presidency on this tax cut. If he loses in 2 years because the country suffered, so be it. At some point people would see the real writing on the wall, and years later he'd be championed for having done the right thing. After all, the only positive about George W. Bush is how "we'll see one day how right he was." That's what people say about Bush now! They're willing to wait to prove us wrong some day in the future, that the wars were correct. I mean, it's a fucking joke of a rationale, but it is said all the time.
Obama should have drawn a line in the sand, and run the country now, not an election in 2012, which he'll certainly lose anyway because of this (unless the economy miraculously turns).
It's upsetting to see this pass, and to witness how a Democrat in office, with the Senate on his side, still manages to lose, even at a time when Republicans still don't have numbers.
Finally, the war in Afghanistan. What a fucking disaster.
The other day I read about our "new strategy"
There are so many places to go with this one, but I'll try to keep it short.
The new strategy blows. It's different from old strategies, but at the same time we will reach the inevitable place of having accomplished nothing.
It blows because the new strategy is based on training Afghanistan forces to stand on their own, so we can eventually draw down. Like that's going to work? No, it won't work.
Any troops we train, or are even seemingly a part of the coalition will be targets of militia groups forever. Right now there are 100,000 trained Afghani troops, and I'd be willing to bet less than half are capable without our help, and that's being nice. The people in Afghanistan who hate the United States will forever attack us, and by extension, these troops. Any troop who signs on to be a solider, to fight the religious groups, will be targeted FOREVER, as will their families.
When the United States does pull out, and we will, these soldiers are royally fucked. So don't expect any loyalty on that end, nor should you expect a real army who can defend the nation. 100,000 troops? Really? 100,000 well trained American troops couldn't even put a dent in the place, and we had billions of dollars supporting us. Afghani troops? Come on.
Just yesterday there was an article about how the Sadrists are already making political moves, and becoming a major factor again.
Now, the winds are shifting again, and the area has become a stage for Mr. Sadr’s remarkable political resurgence in Iraq after years of schism, military defeats and Mr. Sadr’s own flight to Iran.So not only are the militant groups making strides, but our forces don't even have to leave the country before the Afghani forces are attacked, as was the case yesterday.
Mr. Sadr’s followers are pushing for control of the governor’s seat here in Maysan Province again, one of several positions they hope to gain as rewards for joining the political coalition that will keep their onetime enemy, Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki, in office after the months of wrangling that followed March’s inconclusive elections.
That the party, still Iraq’s most fiercely populist and anti-American bloc, has come this far is a reflection of the Sadrists’ efforts in recent years to recast themselves as maturing politicians who can actually govern and deliver badly needed services.
What will the US do in the long run? Not much.
We'll provide assistance, and attack Afghanis with drones. But we'll stop getting our soldiers killed. And drones are awful because they kill without any of our soldiers risking a life. They inflict untold damage, which in turn creates enemies, while being operated far away from the harm. We don't even recognize, or see first hand, the misery we can cause, so we don't have a real grasp on the hatred as it grows.
This will be our future involvement.
When we finally do draw down, do you think we're going to provide money, arms, assistance to Afghanistan? No chance. We didn't do it when we helped them fight the Russians, and we're certainly not going to do it when a civil war is going on.
If we cannot find a tangible benefit in Afghanistan, and we can't, the money will dry up.
This is a fact.
This war will have been for nothing, so there's no reason not to just pull out now, and deal with whatever consequences are going to come anyway.
Problem is, this President doesn't have the balls to do that yet. However, he'll do it in about a year when he realizes the consequences cannot get bad enough before his reelection campaign.
That's enough for today.
(not editing, of course)