With guest, Louder Than a Bomb poet Nate Marshall

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

New Year's resolution: Ban the term, 'fiscal cliff'

"No matter what happens, let’s agree never again to call anything a 'fiscal cliff.'' -- Gail Collins

Here's where I was at as we headed into 2012. I'm still there as we head into 2013.

Last year on New Year's eve, Obama was busy signing a $662 billion Defense Bill, while at the same time, complaining about certain provisions that supposedly regulated the "detention, interrogation, and prosecution of suspected terrorists."

The news that we intoxicated masses received last night was that we're not going over the fabricated fiscal cliff. Once again, I was not fazed. Did anyone really believe that the Pentagon was going to take a $20 billion hit while the pols played back-room beat-the-clock with the nation's economy? Once again, the "herd of rabid ferrets", as Collins calls them, saved Obama from himself (giving away Social Security) by settling for a $450,000 tax-increase floor (at least for now). The deal fails to bring in enough revenue to avoid major cuts to education and other badly-needed federally-funded social services (entitlements???) in the year ahead.

Even the ferrets knew that a same-time attack on Social Security, Medicare and another tax break for the rich was too risky. So they lived to fight another day. The deal gives them a way out. As ferret Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) moaned, "“I’ll probably be a ‘yes’ vote, even though I don’t like it. “I don’t like the idea of raising tax rates [on billionaires], I don’t think it’s good for the economy, but it’s better than going over the cliff.”

Horray for bi-partisanship. Let's see what happens in the House.

It was also a year ago yesterday that D.C. school district's human capital (Uggh!) chief Jason Kamras claimed he wanted  “to make great teachers rich” so long as they stood by silently while schools were closed and hundreds of their colleagues were pink-slipped. Well it's 2013. Any of you rich yet? I didn't think so.

"Throughout my career I’ve lived by the principle that we should use every crisis to mobilize the public and demand change." -- Rahm Emanuel
Finally, I awoke this New Year's morning in a sea of black coffee and ibuprofen, only to read one of the great pieces of political bullshit ever to grace the pages of the Sun-Times (and there have been many). It's was a commentary by our cow-pie-tossing mayor in which he tries to explain his new-found courage in supporting "sensible" gun policies as Chicago gun-death toll streaked past the 500 mark for 2012.

Writes Rahm:
During my two decades in national politics, there has been a commonly held belief that sensible gun policies are the third rail of politics. Many of our elected leaders simply hide behind this empty mantra to avoid an honest discussion about an issue that ends thousands of innocent lives each year.
Are you kidding me? This from the man who almost single-handedly, killed the administration's meager gun-control efforts while he was Obama's chief-of-staff. Remember, it was he who told Attorney General Holder to "shut the fuck up" on gun control legislation.

Hiding behind empty mantras, indeed.


  1. "Horray for bi-partisanship. Let's see what happens in the House."

    You are right as rain as usual Prof. Klonsky. The "ferrets" will never let this bill fly in the House. They know Obama can be squeezed for more.

  2. Well, Anon.

    Never is a long time. The bill did indeed "fly in the House." The wealthy rich will pay a little more in taxes while those making between $200K-450K won't. I'm glad that unemployment insurance was extended. Big win for Obama and Boehner over the Tea Party "ferrets". But once again, we the people are left as spectators with our fingers crossed as back room deals are cut that will deeply affect our lives and our children's lives.

    Now that the phony "cliff" has been averted, Obama and the Dems have committed themselves to making cuts in so-called "entitlements" like Medicare and Social Security.

    Buckle up.


Agree? Disagree? Let me hear from you.