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. It happens. As a real submarine veteran, even I buried both bows and pitchpoled my freshly bought from the 1981 Prindle 16 Nationals catamaran off Honolulu. It was embarrassing and wet. Ship handlers know the perils of “Constant Bearing, Decreasing Range”, and the laden barge towed by a tug boat in my direction probably couldn’t stop on a dime. Fortunately, frantic righting of my catamaran saved the day. I didn’t have Ellison’s bank account. A collision at sea ruins one’s whole day.

Many of us were frightened at first by the Halloween genre of horror flicks, before some of us in testosterone-charged years started watching for a rumored topless Jamie Lee Curtis scene.  Fewer Japanese fear Godzilla.

The sky is not falling. The Koch Brothers will not be hijacking their own private Gulfstream  jet to Havana. President Obama will not have a “Kenyan Muslim” moment and blab the nuclear launch codes to al Queda if they promise to target Glenn Beck’s fantasy Oval Office replica. However, this is America, where we have a penchant for Cecil B. de Mille grand productions.

Politically, solidarity on holding higher taxes on the 98% of the Rest Of Us hostage to protect the rich “job creators” continued easy ride this close to Christmas is a non-starter. Weeper of the House John Boehner (R-Oh.) tried to put the Affordable Care Act “on the table” akin to a persistent lush pining for another cocktail well past last call.

No quick deal is worth a bad deal. Even if the tax cuts expire, however briefly, who is going to vote against the bill reauthorizing them for the less-than-rich in a New Yawk Minute?  Sen. James Imhofe (R-Okla.) was sanctioned by the FAA on his lapse in airmanship, landing on a closed runway with workers on it, but it doesn’t mean he’s taken up Kamikaze lessons brushed in Kanji.

Grover Norquist is finding out the shaky permanence of old promises from politicians.  I recall a nautical novelty plaque at a marine supply store which read: “All marriages performed by the Captain are valid for the duration of the voyage only.” There’s more promise in one of Newt Gingrich’s wedding vows.

Defectors are already abandoning the leaky Good Ship Norquist, as once faithful Republican “true believers” get antsy over letting the tea-drunk newbie backbencher drivers play “chicken” with the family stationwagon too near Arizona’s Grand Canyon.

Norquist’s remaining days on stage are rather limited. In the post election Republican purge, it appears that the anti-tax doyenne is being sent off to what Mitt has been trying to convince Queen Ann as their nouveau luxury Mormon fantasy planet.

The rest of us call it Siberia.

Oh, and the gorgeous cliff pictured here. Preikestolen. Closed for the winter.  Norwegians are smart enough not to dangle over the picturesque abyss in December, even with national health care coverage. There’s a lesson to be learned here.



  1. Edwin A. Patterson says

    Bravo Charlie…I can always count on you to tell it like it is. Excellent job sir!