Thursday, December 27, 2012

Observations from the Road 12.27

I never did get back to my emotional response to guns but I still plan on doing it at some point. That doesn't mean it will ever happen, my head is full of posts I plan on getting back to but never do. This is more like a mid-week post Christmas edition of Sunday Observations which is going to seem more like an economics lesson.

I hope you had a good Christmas because it seems Congress has a very special New Years celebration planned this year.

And so I give you this fiscal cliff thing, something I'm totally tired of hearing about. Here is the fiscal cliff in a nutshell; Congress can't seem to do anything, with over 200 votes Congress passes a draconian law that automatically does its job for it, Congress figures it will have to do something before its own law takes effect. Now, and this is the surprising part, Congress can't force itself to do anything to stop what Congress itself has created. Is it any wonder said Congress has an approval rating slightly lower than the Communist Party's? I didn't know the Communist party still existed.

Meanwhile the government will once again hit the debt ceiling on New Years Eve, something else to add to the cliff. I agree with former President Bill Clinton on this one. President Obama should just raise the debt limit by executive order and let the republicans take him to court if they want to. As Clinton said why should Congress be allowed to vote on expenditures they already passed? It's like you went out and bought a Christmas present on credit and than when the bill came decided not to pay it. What makes this even crazier is that the government currently pays 1% interest on new loans so borrowing now to pay for projects is probably the best investment they can make. The Treasury department says they can put off the ceiling for a few months by using accounting methods, I think I'll try that when it's income tax time.

A quick note on White House petitions. Some people have been complaining that 'joke' petitions are taking away from serious politics in this country. It is beyond me how that is possible given the state of Congress but that's what they say. Anyway there are some serious petitions to look at. One would have the President "Legally recognize Westboro Baptist Church as a hate group." It was started by a member of the hacker group Anonymous after the WBC announced it was going to protest at the funerals of the Newtown shooting victims. As of now it has 263,000 signatures so will get an official response which should be interesting. You can read it here.

Also there was a good but sad article about the complete disconnect between those who fight our wars and the rest of the country in Christmas day's edition of The New York Times. The article, "With a Parent Off Again at War, a Holiday of Pride and Isolation," included this line; "No one really cares,” Tyisha Smith, a 19-year-old senior, said of the outside world."

I'm sure Congress will get to Afghanistan after it gets past its Thelma and Louise moment.

Finally, and once again, where have you gone NHL?

12/28 update - I just read a Reuters article about the Westboro petition and it said 475,000 people has signed it. I was thinking 200,000 more signatures can't be possible in one day so I checked it out. Seems there are three petitions; the main one has 287,000, another to investigate Westboro's tax exempt status has 69,500 signatures, and a third to revoke its tax exempt status and label it a hate group has 63,000 signatures.


  1. I love that article. So hard to be apart from my brother on Christmas, but at least I got a phone call, and that's more than some. Also, everything about the WBC skeeves me out. It's hard for me to believe people could be so horrible, no matter what their motivation.

    1. A lot of the horror in history has been committed in the name of religion. Don't get me started.

      Glad you read it. I saw the woman who wrote it on some show or the other and she told a story that wasn't in the article. A girl graduated from high school and enrolled in Louisville. When she got there she met other students that not only didn't know we were still at war but didn't even realize Fort Campbell, or any other base, was in Kentucky. Wtf? Fort Knox is like right down the road from Louisville.

  2. People are pretty unaware of what goes on outside their bubble, and I think that's true for me too. It's just weird to think that in all the history and government classes, kids aren't aware of what's going on right now. Maybe reading the paper needs to become homework ;)

    1. Sounds like a new years resolution to me ;)