Will the Republican Party Evolve or Dissolve?

In the several months since the Republicans suffered a resounding defeat in the presidential election and lost seats in both the House and the Senate, there have been innumerable articles addressing why they lost and what they must do moving forward in order to avoid similar defeats in the future. Most of these articles emphasize the need for change by citing demographic statistics illustrating, quite convincingly, that trying to build the future of the GOP almost exclusively around the Caucasian portion of the electorate is not only a recipe for short-term failure, but a path towards irrelevancy and eventual extinction.… [Read more]

Still, It’s Easier Than Dealing With Republicans

After months of frustrating negotiations, I finally came to a deal with my dogs last week that allows them to crap on the living room rug as much as they like.

It was a bipartisan deal, the product of weeks of strenuous back-and-forth.

Considering how far apart we were at the onset, frankly, I’m amazed we made the deal at all.… [Read more]

Ask Mrs. Vera: Sequestered Spending Cuts Explained

Question: Dear Mrs. Vera,

Can you explain the phrase, ‘sequestered spending cuts’?

Regards, Confused in Cincinnati

Mrs. Vera NewmanSan Francisco, California

Answer: Dear Confused In Cincinatti,

Most people mistakenly take West McMicken Avenue thinking they will reach route 127, but the easier way to connect to Interstate 71 is to bypass Gilbert avenue entirely and stay on East 9th, then through the Jo Ann Worley Cloverleaf exchange merging into the far inside lane that becomes route 22 South to the 71 starboard — not port — on-ramp, then floor it.… [Read more]

Stuff you didn’t know was included in the fiscal cliff deal

Yes, by now many of you have heard that a fiscal cliff deal was passed late last night in the House of Representatives. Neither side of the political aisle is completely happy with the final deal; those who wanted more spending cuts are dismayed that so-called entitlement programs were taken off the table, and those who sought more revenues are not happy that President Obama received only half of the revenues – about $600 billion – requested from an increase in taxes currently paid by the wealthiest Americans.… [Read more]

Adios, 2012. We’ll Still Have Congress.

“We’ll always have Paris.” – Humphrey Bogart, Casablanca, 1942

It’s New Year’s Day, and we all noted that Congress managed to do nothing on New Year’s Eve. At least they are being consistent.  What’s the objective? Single-digit public approval? As in a beach  limbo, “How low can you go?”

There’s a standing tradition for columnists to record, and often lampoon, a “year in review” piece.… [Read more]

Things that made 2012 interesting: A look back.

Many of us are thrilled to see 2012 leave but, that doesn’t mean that 2012 didn’t provide us with some interesting moments. As is typical of this time of year, where being reflective. From the funny to the absurd, the happy moments to the sad, and the moments in between that made us scratch our heads or shake our heads in shame, 2012 will be one for the history books.… [Read more]

Fecal Cliff Crisis Put Off One More Day

After strenuous negotiations with the lower intestines, the Body finally passed a continuing “Moist Driftwood” resolution that allowed for the continued order and function of its digestive system for one more day. Thus, the daily “Fecal Cliff” crisis has been pushed back for another 24 hours.

“It’s frustrating to have to go through this every day,” said Bill Schmalfeldt’s brain, nominal chief executive and operating officer of the Body.… [Read more]

Congressional Raises and Budget Games

Attached here is the “EXECUTIVE ORDER: ADJUSTMENTS OF CERTAIN RATES OF PAY” signed by President Obama on Friday. The Order ends the 2010 federal employees’ pay freeze, at which time the White House estimated that a salary freeze would save $2 billion for the remainder of fiscal year 2011 and approximately $28 billion over the next five years.… [Read more]

Ask Mrs. Vera: Dealing with the Fiscal Cliff

Question: Dear Mrs. Vera, How would you suggest the Congress deal with what they call the Fiscal Cliff?

Answer: Dear Cliff,

Mrs. Vera Newman, San Francisco

Try not to buy into the media hype regarding the fiscal cliff.  I for one am completely unworried at the prospect of hurtling off THAT particular ledge. Most Americans’ finances these days are so drained and depleted that the gravity of the situation will barely affect them.… [Read more]

What does violence against women have in common with dairy products?

Take a guess. If you guessed congressional inaction then you guessed correctly. The common denominator for all of the issues is obstruction in the matter of doing something about them. In April 2012 the Violence Against Women Act was up for renewal but it was vehemently opposed by conservative Republicans who objected to extending the Act’s protections to same-sex couples.… [Read more]

Thelma and Louise (a.k.a., Boehner and McConnell)

“Don’t stop, keep on going!”

“What do ya mean?”

“Go!”

“You sure?

“Yeah.”

These are the last words of Thelma and Louise in the 1991 movie “Thelma and Louise” as they drove off a cliff rather than being caught by the police. The leaders of the GOP in the US Congress both Rep. John Boehner and Senator Mitch McConnell have the Tea Party Republicans breathing down their necks just like the cop in the movie, and Boehner and McConnell have no way out except to keep on going off the fiscal cliff.… [Read more]

Holiday Cheer for Boehner, Jeers for Us

Air Force One has landed; President Obama cut short his family vacation. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid  addressed the nation and legislators…of one party. Yes, it’s still holiday time in the nation’s capital as it is elsewhere so celebrations and relaxation are expected. But when you have a nation to run, and the taxpayers business to manage, it behooves you to drag your tired arse back to work to do the job the citizens elected you to do.… [Read more]

No Fiscal Cliff Decision: When No News Could Be Good News

Bah Humbug. There’s nothing like financial uncertainty during the holiday season — and that’s what this nation is facing. Political leaders are on vacation but holidays in the nation’s capital don’t feel different from any other time of year ; not much of anything gets accomplished.  Our dysfunctional system is one in which the only time gridlock ever ceases is when there’s no activity at all.… [Read more]

People Get Ready

The late, great Curtis Mayfield sang (preached!) “People Get Ready”. The song seems very appropriate for this week’s Say It In Song choice. With all of the changes this country is experiencing, the unfounded anxiety over a 12/21/12 Mayan-inspired armageddon, thoughts of falling off a (fiscal) cliff, and the horrible mayhem of the past week, we feel that all we can do is steady ourselves and prepare for a ‘shift’.… [Read more]

The House G.O.P.’s Monty Pythonian Strategy: “Run Away!”

In a Friday morning of “press conferences” (sans press questions), House Speaker John Boehner shot himself in the foot. Bullseye!

As for the inept amateur standup comedy act called John Boehner, he appeared to try to explain why his inadequate “Plan B[umbling]” flopped in his own caucus. Our Cat Herder from Cincinnati narrowly survived being made to walk the plank Thursday night after failing to sell his scheme to unruly, tea drunk, über-conservative Republican cast members of Mutiny on the Top 1% Bounty. … [Read more]

Boehner “Fiscal Cliff” Blunders Continue

To swipe a line coined by MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow, House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) really isn’t very good at his job.

Republicans are still fumbling in disarray after Queen Ann’s “destiny” for Mitt (“Mitt, WHO?”) Romney’s ascent to the White house didn’t quite pan out as planned. One would think, forty days hence, reality might sink in.… [Read more]

Greetings From The End Of The World

If what all those unscrupulous “new age” authors and their acid-casualty devotees say is true, we are only a week away from the end of the world as we know it. As much as I want to believe that this nightmare known as civilization is about to get put out if its misery, I can’t quite convince myself of it.… [Read more]

Democrats…Stand Up and Say No to a ‘Grand Bargain’

Say! Whaddaya mean “everything is on the table”? Whose side are you on? Remember what side you’re supposed to be on: neither left nor right — but, rather, the side of the majority of taxpayers who agree that all of us should be paying our fair share in taxes.

If you’re like many of us, hearing the words “fiscal cliff” is cringe-inducing.… [Read more]

Republicans: “Trust us”

As Jon Stewart noted, ” . . . [B]are bones competence and middle school maturity” is all that’s needed to get over this economic hump (which I will studiously refrain from calling the “fiscal cliff,” a phrase simultaneously stupid and meaningless) come January.

Big bar, there. Look who the Democrats are dealing with: Republicans, who believe ACORN (defunct now for years) stole the 2012 election for President Obama, that anti-choice laws can be passed off as “regulations,” and the UN is engaging in mind control.… [Read more]

Peering over the “fiscal cliff” without vertigo

So now, in Federal Follies, we have the looming breakers denoting the “fiscal cliff”, which The Party of No tried to steer a campaign with to naught. This isn’t exactly Preikestolen, a picturesque, actual cliff, 604 meters (1,800 ft.) over a fjord. In Norway.

In a recent San Francisco Bay exercise of American Exceptionalism, billionaire Oracle software honcho Larry Ellison was several million bucks lighter after his latest multi-hull America’s Cup racing yacht flipped and tried turning into a submarine.… [Read more]