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

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]

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,

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]