Posted by: mutantpoodle | November 12, 2007

Is it 2008 yet?

Usually, when I am unable to post on this humble blog, it’s not because there’s nothing to write about, but it’s too tough to choose. There are times when I look around and wonder if the universe can stick to just one or two annoyances at a time.

Now is such a time.

Let’s see what we’ve gotten in the past week, shall we?

  • The Senate Judiciary Committee decides that a nuanced view of torture in the United States Attorney General is ok, and pushes Judge Michael Mukasey out to the floor for a vote, where he is confirmed as what we hope will be the last Republican-appointed AG for at least 9 years.
  • The Writers Guild of America strikes the producers, who have acted, through their lead spokesman, like 5 year olds at recess. Apparently, the sight of writers picketing so completely flummoxes Nicholas Counter that the mere concept of negotiating now is out of the question, as evidenced by this exchange last week:

      Mr. Counter: At some point we’ll be back at the negotiating table, but it won’t be for quite a while….

      TVWeek: What’s the advantage in waiting?

      Mr. Counter: We’re not waiting for anything. They’re on strike. It’s up to them. We’re not on strike.

      TVWeek: So are you saying they have to stop striking to go back to the table?

      Mr. Counter: It’s up to them, however they want to handle it. They’re on strike.

  • Just one more thought on this – because it is usually the union which initiates a strike, the psychology seems to be that it’s the union’s fault that there is one. (Even when workers are locked out, as was the case when Los Angeles Grocery Workers struck Safeway stores and were locked out of Ralph’s and Albertson’s, or when the NBA locked out its players in 1998 and the several times Major League Baseball has locked out its players, the workers invariably shoulder the blame.) But this one’s on the AMPT, and I am happy to see that a huge majority of my fellow Angelenos agree. Also, just for fun, check out this summation of the strike, in Simpsons form

  • Barack Obama seems to think that being responsible on Social Security means acknowledging a crisis that, how can I put this – DOESN’T EXIST. Here’s the primer – the Social Security Trust Fund will start paying out more than it takes in come 2017 or so, and maybe, in 33-40 years, be depleted (economic growth being the variable that has the most impact on those numbers). But any time you have a program that is solidly funded for 30 years, that program is not in crisis. The problem is with the regular federal budget, which is well into deficit (thanks to the Bush tax cuts and this little war we’ve found our way into) and which uses the Social Security surplus – which is supposed to fund the Social Security trust fund, after all – to make the deficit look smaller. Josh Marshall is much better on this than me, but every time I start to warm back up to Obama, he says dumb shit like this. So please, please, stop.

Finally, today we celebrate Veteran’s day which, by the way, used to be called Armistice Day. I am all for celebrating veterans, and the sacrifices they make for us are incalculable and, in many ways, cannot be repaid. (However, making sure that their health care is second to none, and that their combat-related stress is taken seriously would be a start.) But remembering and honoring the end of hostilities might be worth considering as well. To those veterans who have given, in Lincoln’s phrase, the “last full measure of devotion,” rest in peace. To those in service now, stay safe.


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