Perhaps "extending and pretending" is better than the alternative.
Snakes on a Plane: Congress took another step towards the far right's dream of endless low taxes, slashing the government's income and eradicating health care for the masses – through passage of the “Airport and Airway Extension Act.” The Democrats get a chance to repeal Don't Ask, Don't Tell, swear in a couple of new judges, and may get to approve the new START treaty. In return, the Republicans get to gut next year's budget.
Quoted: "The only practical effect of adding $858 billion to the deficit will be to put more pressure on Democrats to reduce non-defense spending of all sorts, including Social Security and Medicare, as well as education and infrastructure. It is nothing short of Ronald Reagan’s 'starve the beast' strategy." Robert Reich.
Christmastime: US missiles killed 54 people in Pakistan yesterday. Finished your shopping yet?
There's Something Happening Here... The Obama presidency gets worse by the day. Its affinity for Bush-era totalitarianism seems unquenchable. The wars go on – and the lies about progress are flimsier than those made during Vietnam. Guantanamo is still open – awaiting Julian Assange. Bradley Manning has been disappeared. Obama maintains he can do the same to any one of us – or simply kill us if we are out of the country. Freedom of the press seems on its way to being a memory. And Obama was the good guy.
A Rose... Despite repeated refutation by reality, Republicans cling to the rubric that tax cuts will cure all evils and that deficits do not matter. Never mind that there is lots of evidence to the contrary, they just keep repeating the mantra. But to no effect in the real world, where repeating a lie does not change it into truth.
Planning to Plan: The U.S. no longer has a permanent tax code. Every major tax Americans pay - income taxes, taxes on capital gains, interest and dividends, the Social Security tax and others - is now a temporary measure subject to revision or abolishment by Congress in a year or two.
And To All a Good Night!: Wall Street is about to report its best 4th quarter ever— Merry Christmas, Ebenezer.
Yclept: Bloomberg was correct in proclaiming 'It’s a Great Time to Be Rich,' pointing out that taxes on incomes and investments remain at historic lows and fortunes can be passed on at the lowest rates in a lifetime.
Essay Assignment: In a few well chosen words describe what it feels like to be in your 98th week of unemployment just before Christmas. Then describe what it will be like when three, six, and eventually fifteen million long-term unemployed Americans no longer have any income at all except food stamps. Explain how you explain to them that there's nothing more we can do. Explain to their children why it was more important to give the rich even more money while ignoring the plight of the economy's casualties. Describe how the budget-cutting, tax cutting Republicans will mitigate the pain and suffering of the long term unemployed.
Enjoy the season.