Thursday, January 22, 2015

State of the Union, and Other Matters

Wow, there seems to be a lot of stuff going on this week.  First, the President rolled out a bunch of policy initiatives that have a snowball's chance in Hell of passing.  I didn't actually listen to the speech, as the bromides about American Exceptionalism, the War on Terror, entrepreneurship and the essential goodness of the American citizen, along with all those standing ovations, really wear on me.  It blows me away how Obama's weak sauce tax increases make Republicans totally lose their shit.  Don't they remember that Saint Ronnie's tax reform taxed capital gains at 28%, which was equivalent to the top earned income tax rate in the Raygun system.  And dividends were always taxed as regular income until George Bush the Incompetent got them special tax status.  It wouldn't seem like changes to give greater respect to earned income would be a non-starter for a party whose rural base rarely collects dividends and capital gains.  But I would be wrong.

Second, the European Union seems to be coming apart at the seams, and may see the rise of right-wing parties that make Republicans look like sensible world citizens.  Many of the economic problems over there are driven by the Germans' seemingly pathological fear of debt and inflation.  They seem to have no understanding of the made up nature of money, and want fiscal and monetary policy based on a sense of morality that just doesn't work out in a federal fiat system.  Throw on top of that a massive wave of Islamophobia and you've got a mess of massive proportions.

Third, my Congressman, the august Speaker of the House, has gone and invited a foreign Prime Minister, who hates our President, and wants to undermine our foreign policy because it just isn't quite to his liking, to speak to a joint session of Congress.  This is after some of the supposedly "Constitutional Conservative" members of the Speaker's party didn't want to invite Obama to give the State of the Union speech.  Maybe it's just me, but that seems ironic, since the State of the Union speech is one of the few parts of the job of the President that is explicitly laid out in the Constitution.  It also seems ironic that a party which is very quick to label others as traitors is so interested in promoting the interests of a foreign country ahead of the interests of the United States.

But not everything is bleak.  The weather here has been pretty mild for the heart of winter, which is a nice reminder that spring is on the way.  Also, I dropped my crazy bull off at Bovine University, where he will pursue an advanced degree in Food Science. Besides that, all is quiet at home.  Strangely enough, it seems like the outside world is even crazier than life here in the heart of middle America.

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