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Monday: Blink!

Bethany Beach, DE

huh, did the Republicans blink yesterday over the debt ceiling?  I was forced to watch a lot of talking heads shows on Sunday.  Well, it was better than another Casey Anthony rant fest with Nancy Grace and her vorpal bangs.  The big news yesterday is that Boehner took $2 trillion of the $4 trillion spending cuts the Democrats offered (hey!  that’s the Social Security trust fund you wankers!) off the table because Biden’s offer came with strings: Boehner and the Republicans were going to have to agree to revenue increases.  Taxes, oil, that is, Texas Tea.  Well, the first think ya’ know, Boehner moved away from there.

So, the global economic hostage crisis is on with the Republicans screeching like Banshees on the morning shows about the deficit.  If we bring down spending, businesses will create new jobs.  It sounded too good to be true.  “Oh!”, the average Jane says, scratching her dirty hair, “Is that what does it?  You mean, if we stop spending on government, and let everyone keep their money instead of giving it to the tax collector, I will get my job back making cancer drugs?  How does that happen?”  And the Republican says, “Don’t worry your pretty little head about it.  It’s special Republican fairy dust.  We just sprinkle it on you and the jobs will just fly to you.  No networking involved.  Presto change-O!”

What do these jerks take us for, Cindy-lou Who?

Meanwhile, down at the Delaware beach (nice beaches in Delaware, highly recommended, very clean), I monitored the news on my ipad while the tribe played Password beneath the umbrella tent.  “You’ll never guess what the Obama administration is offering to the Republicans.”


“He’s offering to slash Medicare and Social Security.  The average Social Security beneficiary will lose up to $18,000 in income over the course of his/her retirement”

“LOLOLOLOLOL!  Which Democrats?  They’d have to be SUICIDAL”

“Oh, probably all of them.  They got rid of Weiner last month after all.  Steny’s counting his votes and Weiner probably got in the way”


“Why are you laughing?  They’re serious.”

“LOLOLOLOLOL!  They can’t possibly be serious”

“Stop laughing!  No, I mean it!, they really want to do it”

“LOLOLOLOLOL!  They would NEVER go along with that.  Anyone who would go along with that would have to be CRAZY.”

I had a sudden flashback to September 11, 2001.  My colleague Yi stood at my desk as we watched the WTC disaster unfold.

“You know why they did that”, she said, “It’s because they think the US is a *indecipherable*”  She grinned a little mockingly.

“What does *indecipherable* mean?  Jeez, I wish I had taken Mandarin and not four years of Spanish that I never had a chance to use.”

“It means”, Yi slowed down, “they think you are like paper with a scary face.”

“A paper tiger?”, I asked, in disbelief, “They think we are all words and no bite?”

I looked at Yi, straight on and made a prediction, sort of like one of those Sybyl types that sit over a crack in the earth that pours forth an intoxicating LD50-ish level of ethylene gas: “Let me tell you, Yi, whoever did this to us has no idea what they’re screwing with.  Americans are born and raised to think of this country as No 1.  No one messes with us and gets away with it.  There is going to be an outpouring of patriotism and flag-waving like you have never seen before.  It will be ferocious.  It will be powerful.  You wait and see.  Before you get home tonight, it will have started.  We are NOT a paper tiger.  We are the greatest military force this world has ever seen and god help the country that poked this sleeping tiger with a stick.  If we’re not careful, we could turn that country into a smoking ember.  Brace yourself because when the tiger is unleashed, it’s going to go a little nuts.”

And it did.

We still think of ourselves as No 1, no matter what the Masters of the Universe think.  Obama and Steny have a long way to go to dislodge that notion.  And dislodging that notion does not make for a very uplifting campaign narrative.  “We’re number 57!” does not go well with the voting public.  Neither does Tim Geithner’s little bit of crepe hanging:

This is still a very tough economy. For a lot of people, it’s going to feel very hard — harder than anything they’ve experienced in a lifetime now — for some time to come.

Yes, why don’t we tell the future cancer patients who can’t get new treatments that it’s going to get very bad now because Obama and Geithner couldn’t figure out a way of jump starting the economy or fix the pharmaceutical industry.  That’s why so many R&D types were laid off with no way to fund expensive new companies that might have discovered ways to save them.  Or we can tell the piano teacher that’s why she is getting fewer students.  Or we can tell the high school student that her school dropped *the entire language department* because it is going to feel very hard for her lifetime.

The harder it feels, the angrier we’re all going to get.

And it happened on Obama’s watch with the Democrats’ help.

The sunbathers are right, it is laughable.

In other news:

Lambert scored a gig on Virtually Speaking with Avedon Carol yesterday.  Well, there were some technical difficulties but take a listen anyway.