“Sequestration” went into effect in America this week, reducing U.S. government spending by $85 billion.
What does it mean? It means that the United States has accepted “Austerity.”
It’s not the end of the world. The vast majority of U.S. government spending will continue as usual. The government will not grind to a halt, at least not because of sequestration. It’s still possible that Congress could force a shut-down of government sometime in the future, but not likely this year.
Failure of Government Decision-making
Most interestingly, Austerity was NOT imposed by the normal processes of legislative or executive action.Continue reading →
U.S. 2012 ELECTION RESULTS, BLUE STATES FOR OBAMA, RED STATES FOR ROMNEY. FLORIDA, THE LAST STATE TO BE DECIDED, WENT BLUE. (Map via Wikipedia)
“This is the America that Obama will govern in his second term: A place divided not only by ideology, race and class but also by the very perception of reality. . . . The president who spoke ambitiously at his first inauguration about uniting America instead arrives at his second with the country further divided.”
– Eli Saslow, The Washington Post, Jan. 20, 2013
I’ve been reading about the Civil War the past few weeks. Bad timing.
Divided by ideology, race and class.
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)
That sums up America in the decade leading up to the Civil War, as described in “Team Of Rivals,” Doris Kearns Goodwin’s history of Abraham Lincoln and the politicians, abolitionists, generals, and ordinary people of his era.
The similarities between the present time and the decade before theCivil War are striking and frightening.
What a bizarre spectacle of irresponsible brinkmanship! The ultimate House and Senate votes may have narrowly averted immediate fiscal crisis and tax increases, but they do not restore one iota of confidence in the legislative branch of American government.
President Barack Obama, after failing to exert the leadership the American people hoped for, immediately boarded Air Force One to resume a Hawaiian vacation with his family. What can he be thinking?
ELECTION DAY 2012, 11:48 p.m. It was as cold as expected in Maryland today. I was wearing Obama T-shirt over my winter jacket (layering is key in cold weather). This is supposed to be a conservative precinct. Almost no minorities. Not many men, either, I guess. Women, esp. young women, voting in much higher numbers than men. (I can’t explain it.) Young women and young men — many first-time voters — voting in surprisingly high numbers. I didn’t know we had so many women under 25 here. Lots of them signaling a quick thumbs-up. Obama wins this precinct, unless my eyes deceive me. Ohio has been called. Looks like Obama will be a two-term pres. Health care wins. Women win. I hope Obama wins the popular vote too, or it may be a long four years. – John
ELECTION DAY – November cold and gray in Maryland. Must be bitter cold across the northern states. I’m working at the school from 2 p.m. to closing time. Done it many times before, from early morning opening to past closing time in the darkness. No more all-day shifts for me now. It’s mainly a matter of being present in warm clothes, standing silent witness for Obama and Democratic principals. Polls open until 8 p.m. in Maryland. Results from early voting will be announced shortly after 8. A long day and night. I can predict the results in MD (if you want to know, call my cell phone); who knows how it will end nationally. – John
A GOOD DAY TO VOTE – Nothing I write here, or say or do, is going to change the course of Sandy, whether she be a hurricane or a tropical storm. Meanwhile, early voting begins today in Maryland. I’m going over to Berlin (our early voting location in this corner of the state) and say hello to my friends in the parking lot. Then I’ll go inside and vote for my president, Barack Obama, my vice president, Joe Biden, and my U.S. senator, Ben Cardin. And I’ll write in the name of John LaFerla, the official Democratic candidatefor Congress. By so doing I’ll also be voting for Peace, Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and health care for all. – John
Did anyone notice the color of the carpet on the debate stage? It was an almost blinding shade of bright red? Unusual color to see anyplace but on a fire truck. Don’t believe I’ve ever seen a carpet of that color before.
The logical explanation is that the debate planners didn’t want you to see the blood on the floor.
Yes, I recused myself from criticizing the debate performance of President Barack Obama and Gov. Mitt Romney. But I have to say I’m appalled by the state of American political discourse in general. Maybe we should skip the debates and select the next president by mixed martial arts in a cage. Or if that’s over the top, maybe an old-fashioned fist fight with civilized rules and a referee.
I hereby recuse myself from analyzing the debate performance of President Barack Obama, Gov. Mitt Romney, and moderator Candy Crowley. I reserve the right to criticize the performance of the cable TV commentators. Their constant analysis of the debates in the past few weeks has been over the top. – John
“Where was Obama tonight? He should watch — well, not just ‘Hardball,’ Rachel [Maddow], he should watch you, he should watch the Reverend Al [Sharpton], he should watch Lawrence [O'Donnell], he would learn something about this debate. There’s a hot debate going on in this country. Do you know where it’s being held? Here on this network is where we’re having the debate. We have our knives out. We go after the people and the facts. What was he doing tonight? He went in there disarmed.”
That was Chris Matthews on the MSNBC post-game party after the Obama-Romney debate Wednesday night. Continue reading →
AFTER THE FIRST DEBATE: ”Never mind.” The election goes down to the wire. Probably it will be close. The pundits on MSNBC were bitterly disappointed in President Obama’s performance. Mitt Romney took two weeks off to rest and prepare, and it paid off. He denied repeatedly that he’d cut taxes for the wealthy. He pounded the president on investments in green energy. He accused the president of cutting Medicare funding. All Romney had to do was stand on the same stage and look like a plausible candidate. Mission accomplished. – John
BEFORE THE FIRST DEBATE: After tonight’s domestic-policy debate between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney, the outcome of the November election will be settled. That’s what I’m thinking. Romney’s ace has always been the economy, but a growing consensus says things are improving. If Mr. Romney can’t find a way to break that mildly optimistic economic consensus tonight, he’s done. – John