I have no qualms with any of the things Barack Obama had to say in his State of the Union Address–I just don’t see much of it ever coming to pass unless the nation is smart enough to vote out as many Republicans and Teapublicans as possible in the 2014 midterms. I’ll leave analysis of the president’s words to the pundits who’re paid to blather on about such things. But clearly Obama is in an untenable situation dealing with the worst and most dysfunctional congress in living memory.
The only thing that will ever save the sanity of America will be the total undoing of the Republican Party as it currently defines itself. (Providing they know how they define themselves.) It’s not that there shouldn’t be an opposing party. And it doesn’t matter if the opposing party calls themselves Republicans or some other name–it just doesn’t do anyone any good if the opposing party more accurately resembles an intestinal obstruction than some other more constructive “movement.”
America needs jobs. America needs infrastructure repair. We need sensible trade agreements that don’t further injure American workers. We need immigration reform. We need full equitable rights for women and minorities–but none of those things have any place in the fractured Republican agenda. The Republican party is in such a state of chaos that they were unable to present one unified response to Obama’s State of the Union Address. It took four disparate and odd individuals presenting a jumble of exhausted and hollow words that can no longer be categorized as ideas–because the Republican Party has NO IDEAS. I have ONE message to convey in this post–and ONE message alone: Show up at the voting booth in the midterms this year to avoid a repeat of the colossal mess that happened in the 2010 midterms when “stupid” became the new “smart.” If intelligent people do not put our collective interests in the forefront in the next election, this country will never move forward, and we will devolve into a second rate world power beholden to all the stupidity money can buy.
– Disassociated Press, 2/29/2014
The pediment above my front door.
I’ve lived through many a harsh winter and I don’t normally complain about it. But I’m disliking this winter with a passion. (Note to self: We’re barely one third of the way through.) The harshest winters I’ve ever known were when I lived in Upstate New York off Lake Ontario. The difference is, they know how to deal with ice and snow up in that part of the country–you have to in order to survive. But I’m living in Philadelphia now where the mere threat of flurries can bring the entire city to a grinding halt, schools and city offices close and trash pick-up is prematurely cancelled. Snow removal in Philly is a bunch of dumb-asses driving around salting the earth prior to the storm and then ignoring the ensuing slush and drifts that eventually turn into dangerous glare ice. They don’t quite get it in this town.
A view of my backyard.
Philadelphia isn’t accustomed to brutally cold storms, and I have a lovely purple hematoma on my right hip to prove it. Winnie was pulling to sniff at an all-important patch of yellow snow while I was trying to keep my balance on an icy stretch of neglected sidewalk, when just the slightest tug from her on the leash was enough to topple me to the ground. Winnie is definitely a Philadelphia dog. She doesn’t care to do her business outside when the temperatures are this far below freezing, so she’s taken to leaving me little surprises all around the house. Winnie has never been the best behaved dog I’ve ever had. Don’t get me wrong, I love her to pieces, but she’s a complete catastrophe. In fact she’s a little like living with the young Helen Keller, only Winnie can both see and hear–she just isn’t receptive to training. The entire world is her toilet. And if I turn my back on my dinner, she’ll jump up on the dining table and polish-off my food in the blink of an eye. No disrespect meant by the way to the late Ms. Keller. She was much more easily housebroken.
As if the ice and snow weren’t enough, we have the Winter Olympics in Russia to help keep us warm. Truth to tell I’m so done with cold weather that there’s nothing remotely appealing about watching snow sports. What could be more entertaining than sitting slack-jawed in front of the television watching Olympiads “hurling” a ten ton brick of Haggis around with ice brooms? Clearly, the real story on the upcoming Olympics will be the blatant human rights violations and anti-gay bigotry being fostered by Russia’s top closet queen, Vladimir Putin. Buck-up, because winter isn’t going away for another two months or more, and unfortunately Vladimir Putin isn’t going anywhere either. So we all might as well slip some vodka in our mugs of hot coco and pass out in front of the boob-tube while the Winter Olympics bore us to death. (Or is that Boris to death?)
Disassociated Press, 1/27/2014
Chris Christie is the only one buying the bridge traffic survey story, (but is he really?). For a blustering bully who doesn’t mind denigrating anyone publicly–and has a reputation for micromanagement, it’s difficult to swallow the idea that the governor of New Jersey had no idea about the origins of the bridge traffic scandal that looks suspiciously like political payback to his non-supporters.
One would think that an astute politician like Chris Christie “might” be smart enough to avoid this kind of scandal in the first place–but power does stupid things to otherwise smart people. I’ve never trusted Christie. And while I applauded his performance following Hurricane Sandy, the vast majority of his other managerial decisions have been (in my opinion) suspect. From failures to take sorely needed Federal money for everything from construction job projects to education funding, this is a man who has very odd priorities. Hurricane Sandy however served as a very useful political distraction technique for a man with a particular gift for alienating people.
All that aside, it’s more than suspicious when a control freak like Governor Christie has no idea what his top aides and government appointees are up to. Point of fact it doesn’t add up–either he’s lying and trying to tap dance his way through a cover-up–or he’s incompetent when it comes to selecting and managing his staff. Neither are particularly flattering scenarios.
During Christie’s marathon press conference where he wore-down the press until no one else had any questions, I had the uncomfortable feeling that “the lady doth protest too much.” I did on the other hand notice that he’d lost weight. The true test of whether or not he’s lying will come if we see him gain it all back again. That’s when you’ll know how much this story has damaged his credibility and his chances of being the GOP presidential candidate in 2016. New Jersey politics, like politics in general, are a corrupt and constipated mess. And Chris Christie, like almost all other politicians has an enormous appetite for power and control. Generally speaking, seeking excessive power and control is the first warning sign of a megalomaniac with a gigantic personality disorder. What was particularly interesting, was watching recently “resigned” Christie appointee, David Wildstein repeatedly pleading the fifth on seemingly softball questions like “where were you most recently employed.” It’ll be interesting to see how Christie (ahem) chokes back this bridge too far.
– Disassociated Press, 1/10/2014