Monday, August 01, 2011

A Federal Debt Ceiling Agreement Appears To Have Been Made!

After this blog gets posted sometime (early) this morning, we might learn that a so-called debt ceiling agreement has fallen apart, but as of now, we're led to believe that an agreement (of some kind) has been made.

Serious business, folks. It looks like some people are in danger of being seriously screwed. Like senior citizens who played by the rules and paid for things like Social Security and Medicare. The (mostly GOP) Tea Party crowd has been demanding draconian spending cuts and no tax increases, but no mention has been made about wars that have had a serious effect on our current economic situation.

I know. Details, details. If you want to keep your heads in the sand like the creatures you seem to relate to most (ostriches), it's easy to ignore things like expensive wars that include off the charts medical costs and the fact that the Bush tax cuts have resulted in NO "jobs creation". None, zip, Nada. In fact, this tired argument about lower taxes leading to economic growth is something that has absolutely nothing to do with the truth. Economic growth comes into play when a variety of things happen, things that occur right after taxes have gone up or taxes have gone down.

Again...Details, details.

Trust me, folks. I don't want higher taxes. But even a dumb guy like me can figure out if we're involved in wars, we gotta pay for 'em. I mean, these (in my view) stupid wars we've been involved in and continue to be involved in are wars that have lasted....what? 10-years? Longer?

I've said it before and I'll say it again. Please, please, PLEASE bring back the "military draft". You think we'd still be in Iraq and Afghanistan if the "draft" was in play. Do you think we would have even gone to Iraq? Afghanistan? In Afghanistan's case, I think the answer would have been "Yes!" because of what appeared to be a direct connection to 9/11 involving where Osama bin Laden was reportedly hiding. And because the vast majority of 9/11 murdering hijackers were from Saudi Arabia, an argument could have been made for us to go to war in that country.

THE OVERALL "TEA PARTY" RADICAL EFFECT AND THE GROVER NORQUIST "PLEDGE PUPPETS"

When we first started hearing about the Tea Party crowd, I was pleased. I'm all for people who get involved in our political process as opposed to bending over and accepting what is foisted upon us.

But some of this Tea Party crowd has become scary. I mean, big time scary. I think Michele Bachmann and her husband are scary. I don't doubt for one minute that both of those people are smart and I'll even go so far as to say that (unlike Sarah Palin) when Michele Bachmann spouts off something that isn't even close to being true, I think she knows it isn't true, but what it is, is great speech material. But upon close examination, we note the hypocrisy associated with the Bachmans, too. Like being against government handouts and we discover that the Bachmann family has had no trouble at all accepting government handouts. And this position they take regarding the gay community? Look, I know that a lot of the "radical" Tea Party crowd would like us to be like they thought we were in the 50's, but here's a newsflash, Bachmann family; It's 2011! Deal with it or go back to your (I think now former) hate mongering pastor, your efforts to get a pardon for a ponzi schemer and your conversations with....Well, they're conversations we'll just simply have to take your word for, won't we?

Speaking of scary and hypocritical, have you heard about Republican Congressman, Joe Walsh who has been ranting and raving about us (America) needing severe spending cuts because he's worried about his children having to pay for all the spending we've been doing. Upon first glance, that's a reasonable argument until...ooops...We learn that Congressman Walsh is more than $117,000 behind in his child support payments and is showing no signs of rectifying his hypocritical position.

And then there's Grover Norquist. A lobbyist who has never been elected to anything. A lobbyist who has gotten all but six of the current 240 Republican members of the House and all but seven of the 47 Republican Senators to sign a "no-tax pledge". (thanks to Time Magazine's Joe Klein for this info) What's going on? Are you Republican office holding officials POLITICAL PUPPETS?!? I mean, what happens if something serious happens? Something that's even more serious than this "debt ceiling" business? (Yes, sarcasm intended.) Because you've signed this "no-tax pledge" that means you have to abide by that pledge no matter what?!?

Look, I know you people like to keep things simple. And it looks like you've gotten simple-tons to be your water carriers.

Speaking of simpletons....Rupert Murdoch and Fox News.

Murdoch has been keeping things simple for many years and he got very rich doing that. But he recently became a news maker when charges of possible criminal behavior reared it's ugly head.

As you long time blog readers know, I don't publish comments from readers at the end of my blog like most other writers do. From time to time, I will print comments from readers in the main part of this blog. I have had friendly debates regarding something I've written from a good number of readers. And yes, people who read these musings are people from different parts of the country (in some cases, the world) who agree and disagree with thing they read here. One of our long time readers is a guy who (maybe) agrees with 10% of what I write, but he is constantly sending me information that is greatly appreciated along with his opinions. Hello, Patrick Gallagher. Pat sent me an early story about Murdoch's current situation and included his thoughts about how people (like maybe me) might approach this regarding Fox News regarding their "fair and balanced" political slant, etc. He wrote this on July 17 and I responded immediately.

Hi Pat,

As far as Murdoch and the way he does business goes, I hearken back to something said by someone much smarter than me when he said, "If it looks like a duck, swims like a duck and quacks like a duck, it's probably a duck."

That has always made a lot of sense to me and heavy thinking is not required in this case.

When I finally get around to writing a new blog, among other things, I will point out four people that Fox's Sean Hannity has "hitched his wagon" to. Sean "Mr Principles" Hannity worships at the alter of a guy who, back in the day would have been a firing squad candidate for being involved in the "cover blowing" of a CIA agent, a family values hypocrite who has cheated on multiple wives, a convicted federal lawbreaker who needed a pardon to "escape" and a homophobic presidential candidate who has a husband who redefines the description of being "interesting".

Quack, quack.

OTHER STUFF:

If you're looking for ideas about spending cuts, here's one. How about all the wasted money we've spent on "The Drug Wars". Multi billions of dollars have been wasted.

Have you heard about this new political party, "Americans Elect", that is trying to get going? What is making them particularly interesting is the fact that no one seems to know who's financing "Americans Elect".

Details, details

A lot of stuff about political figures in this blog, so I'm going to share with you a story about a possible political figure who didn't become one.

Me.

Back in the 70's when I was working as a radio host in St. Louis, I was approached by a representative of a big union who was offering me serious financial support if I would be interested in running for the office of U.S. Senator from Missouri.

I never talked about it on the radio while I was considering their offer, but after a long conversation I had with the son of the then Mayor of St. Louis (who I was friends with), I decided to decline their offer. There were complicated reasons associated with my decision that had to do with things that wouldn't matter (for example) NOW! I'm reminded of this because of some of things that have been written about in this blog. During my discussions with the union officials, among other things, the subject of the party I'd be representing was discussed. When they said something about me running as a Democrat, I quickly told them that I was a lifetime Republican. Their response? "Scott, we don't care what you ARE, but what you're going to RUN as, is a DEMOCRAT! After you get there, you can do what you want or need to do."

The height of cynicism? Perhaps, but I've never forgotten that moment and I believe that stuff like that probably goes on all the time.

And speaking of that, do you know what else I believe? That in the recesses of his soul, Barack Obama is a moderate Republican.

ENTERTAINMENT STUFF:

Because this is the first blog I've written in a month or so, I'm not going to deal with specifics regarding the many films I've seen in the last month.

Keeping it simple, I'll tell you that if you get Encore, HBO, STARZ and Showtime, you know that there are a lot of good films you can watch.

I'm going to mention two films I saw on cable and one film that is relatively new.

"The Kids are all Right". This film got Annette Bening an Oscar nomination and it also featured very fine performances from Julianne Moore and Mark Ruffalo. I liked it.

"Burlesque". This stars Cher, Christina Aguilera and a terrific supporting cast. The reviews for "Burlesque" were not good and the film didn't do well at the box office. I was prepared to watch a few minutes of it and then look for something else. Instead, I was pleasantly surprised. Cher isn't in the movie much, but she does more with silent expressions than most actors do with thirty pages of dialogue. To me, "Burlesque" is a very underrated film. Check it out!

"Friends with Benefits". Wow, wow, wow, wow-wow!!! I absolutely LOVED this film!!! Justin Timberlake is becoming a major movie star and so is Mila Kunis. I thought Kunis deserved an Oscar nomination for "Black Swan" and I thought Timberlake deserved an Oscar nomination for "Social Network". In "Friends with Benefits", the chemistry between Timberlake and Kunis is off the charts charming and they are assisted by an "A"-group of supporting players.

THOUGHTS AND OR COMMENTS? Please write to me at scottstjames@sbcglobal.net and I will respond to you ASAP. Don't write to the blog because there's no way for me to know your email address which means there would be no way for me to respond to you. Everyone who writes to me directly is responded to by me. All "Anonymous" emails are ignored.

THE NEXT BLOG? Hopefully, a week or so from now. I've had a number of computer problems recently, problems that seem to have been eliminated (knock on wood) thanks to great help from my mother, Kevin Gershan and John Clemens.

Meanwhile, I hope that all of you have a great week and that things get better for all of us, jobs-wise and otherwise.

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