Surreality

How surreal it all is:

♦ First, there was teapartier Sen. Jim DeMint’s announcement of his new gig as president of the Heritage Foundation, a right-wing think tank. That’s “think” tank. You know, where real thinking is supposed to happen. DeMint, though, first publicly explained his new thinking job on Rush Limbaugh’s show, where thinking goes to die.

♦ Then there was Sen. Mitch McConnell, who tried to embarrass Democrats by proposing a vote—an up or down vote without a filibuster—on legislation that would allow President Obama to extend the debt limit all by himself, without first getting congressional approval. McConnell obviously thought Harry Reid would nix the idea. But Reid embraced it, which caused the creepy McConnell to have to essentially filibuster his own bill. Yes. He proposed something and then said he would filibuster his own proposal.

♦ All of which caused Missouri’s Claire McCaskill, who at the time was acting as Presiding Officer over the floor exchange between McConnell and Reid, to let slip from her astonished mouth: “Got whiplash!

♦ And speaking of Claire McCaskill, now it turns out that her election opponent, Todd Akin, actually received secret last-minute cash—$760,000—from the National Republican Senatorial Committee, which had publicly pledged not to support the evangelical pseudo-gynecologist.

♦ Then there is the prospect that a Democratic administration, one led by a man who conservative Republicans have determined is a wildly radical leftist, is, in the words of The New York Times:

considering plans for legal action against Colorado and Washington that could undermine voter-approved initiatives to legalize the recreational use of marijuana in those states, according to several people familiar with the deliberations.

Yes, President Obama, Choomer-in-Chief, might actually put the kibosh on cannabis lovers.

♦ Then there was the distasteful Ann Coulter explaining to the even more distasteful Sean Hannity that Republicans lost the election and they should let taxes on the rich go up.

♦ Then, just when we thought Republicans were coming around to the idea that the rich would have to cough up more dough, The New York Times tells us that a significant number of rich folks will still be able to avoid them.

♦ Then there is today’s jobs report. While most experts expected the number of jobs created last month to be restrained, mainly due to Superstorm Sandy, the jobs were actually up. Up enough to drop the unemployment rate to 7.7%, its lowest mark in four years. There were 146,000 jobs added.

♦ In the mean time, right in the middle of all the muddle about fiscal cliff-diving, Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Krugman says there is no “fiscal crisis,” only a “job crisis.” He says we should spend more not less:

So why aren’t we helping the unemployed? It’s not because we can’t afford it. Given those ultralow borrowing costs, plus the damage unemployment is doing to our economy and hence to the tax base, you can make a pretty good case that spending more to create jobs now would actually improve our long-run fiscal position.

♦ Finally, the guy who killed Florida teenager Trayvon Martin is, uh, suing NBC. George Zimmerman alleges,

NBC News saw the death of Trayvon Martin not as a tragedy but as an opportunity to increase ratings, and so set about to create the myth that George Zimmerman was a racist and predatory villain.

In the mean time, Trayvon Martin doesn’t get to sue anybody.

4 Comments

  1. I thoroughly enjoyed reading your post here, Duane. The winds of change swirling in the wake of the presidential election are fascinating. I found the ABC News item about Barack Obama’s teen pot-smoking especially interesting. Given his background as a bi-racial kid with no father at home it is a testimony not only to the values of his mother and grandmother but to the power of random genetics, in my opinion, that he turned out to be the intelligent, even-tempered man he is. It should give us all hope that the antics of youth that we often disparage can be just a phase in the passage to maturity.

    As for DeMint, that guy is scary. We haven’t seen the last of him for sure.

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    • Thanks, Jim.

      Wasn’t that story on O pretty bizarre? I really like your point about “random genetics,” the degree of influence of which remains a mystery. Perhaps it will always remain a mystery and should we want it any other way? Something to ponder, I suppose.

      In any case, you are so right that youthful antics aren’t necessarily predictors of future outcomes. We do, though, tend to label kids way too early. If I remember right, there was a theory of deviance I once learned in Sociology class about labeling, but I’ve forgotten who it was that developed it. Oh, but wait. This is the Internet age! It turns out it was Howard Becker! As in:

      The theory is concerned with how the self-identity and behavior of individuals may be determined or influenced by the terms used to describe or classify them.

      That saved me from getting out my almost 30-year-old Sociology book! What times we live in!

      Duane

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  2. Rae Yearnd

     /  December 12, 2012

    When the administration begins to understand where jobs might come from then and only then will there be any kind of recovery. There needs to be 300,000 to 400,000 jobs added per month for a year or two just to get started. Celebrating the hire of more government workers combined with thousands who have dropped off the rolls of the counted doesn’t really excite me. Maybe a report from the dept. of labor that starts with the total number of people working payroll jobs and paying payroll taxes might give me something to sink my teeth into. A new 50 billion stimulus to keep mostly blue state public sector jobs going through the midterms don’t do much for me either personally. This is a managed winding down of our private economy as discouraged sectors , energy , defense , will continue to shrink and the public sectors will continue to be supported as they return the favor to their union bosses and their elected benefactors. No word on # of jobs “saved” yet.

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