Time Goes By Update
Over 50 and Out of Work

Some Impressions About Our World

category_bug_politics.gif As I am sure it true for you too, it's getting busy around here. Lots of planning, ordering, shopping and cleaning for the Thanksgiving feast at my place next week (how come my turkey baster is nowhere to be found?) along with some dinner guests – friends from Texas - on Tuesday too.

And I'm scrambling to meet some other obligations. Even so, I spend too much of my day, as is my wont, trying to keep up with Washington politics and commentary which seems to change, sometimes, by the minute.

So today, some stray thoughts and short impressions on the state of our union (if that's not too high falutin' a phrase) which may be of interest – or not - but without links or much explanation (I'm too busy to be careful about citations today).

The Republicans in Congress have gone all austerity on us by pledging to outlaw earmarks – you know, those billions of dollars for state projects, often as flimsy as a can opener museum, that get tacked on to serious congression bills. Well, all Republicans except for Representative Michele Bachmann who says her state, Minnesota, should be exempt from the ban.

People in the reality-based world know that earmarks make up less than one percent of the federal budget so that eliminating them will have next to zero affect – and that's even if you believe deficit reduction is important right now.

It's not that I necessarily support earmarks, although some are of value. But I don't want Republicans taking credit for budget cutting with this move. How stupid do they think the American public is? (Don't answer that.)

When President Obama tried to hold a long-announced bipartisan dinner at the White House this week - just a dinner together - the Republican Congressional leadership refused the invitation which is a pretty good indication of how they intend to govern in the 112th Congress.

If the president still believes bipartisanship legislation is possible, he is living in fantasyland. If it couldn't be done with an all-Democratic Congress during the past two years, it won't happen now with a Republican House, especially with 80 new members most of whom owe their allegiance to the rabid Tea Party.

I join the chorus from some quarters that the president doesn't know his own power or is unwilling to use it. Unless he finds his inner Lyndon Johnson, we'll have two years of gridlock.

Nearly all our legislators – Republican and Democrat - are running around in Washington flapping their arms yelling, “Cut spending,” “Reduce the deficit,” But on 11 November when a CBS News/New York Times poll (okay, one link) asked what Congress should concentrate on in January, 4 percent – that's FOUR PERCENT or the equivalent of NONE – chose “budget deficit.”

At the top of list with 56 percent is “economy/jobs.” DUH!

The single thing the president could do to jump start the economy and, incidentally, recoup a lot of his mojo would be to create some New Deal-style job programs which would also begin to repair the country's rusting infrastructure.

If that's all he did in the first couple of months of 2011, the Congressional switchboard and email servers would be buried in an avalanche of phone calls, emails, letters and petitions demanding that they pass the legislation.

Okay, no one who can do anything is listening to me, but I'm far from the first person to say this and no one – no one - in Washington, least of all the president, responds.

You didn't think she isn't running, did you?

”I know that a hurdle I would have to cross, that some other potential candidates wouldn't have to cross right out of the chute, is proving my record. That's the most frustrating thing for me - the warped and perverted description of my record and what I've accomplished over the last two decades.

“It's been much more perplexing to me than where the lamestream media has wanted to go about my personal life. And other candidates haven't faced these criticisms the way I have...”

That's from next Sunday's cover story in The New York Times Magazine which may be online by the time you read this. (Well, two links.)

God help us, two more years of all Sarah all the time. As of today, if the Republicans nominated her, she hasn't a chance, but there's no telling how things change in two years and that is terrifying.

I had more on my list, but I need to get moving and you've probably had enough anyway. Let's all take a Washington break until after what has always been my favorite holiday – lots of food, friends and family.

At The Elder Storytelling Place today, Steve Kemp: LONG LOST NEWS: Chicken Soup Balm For Asian Markets?


I think Palin is proving her record by having her daughter advance in Dancing With the Stars he he! Not optimistic about cutting budget. For all the shouting, I am convinced that nobody of any political persuasion wants to bite any bullets, no matter what the flavor. The American people want a balanced budget, a reduced deficit, and NO personal sacrifice.

Please don't dignify the tea party with capital letters. They aren't a Party...they're simply a crowd of misguided citizens. They need help...

Amen to taking a break from Washington!

Yup, we are all tired of Washington. Let's move on to serious stuff like where seniors are having Thanksgiving. What us elders are doing for the other holidays.

What worries me about the balance of power issue is that we WON'T have gridlock--we'll have Obama chasing after the Republicans, becoming ever more Republican himself in his desire to prove that bipartisan-ness can work. It seems he needs to take another look at the first syllable of that word--it takes two to play, it's not a game he can play by himself, as he's been trying to do.

You are to be commended for writing a good blog with company coming and the holiday feast being held at your house.

I am cutting way back on keeping up with politics. I find it so depressing that someone like Sarah Palin would be considered as a candidate for the presidency of this great nation that I just can't cope with it anymore.

Ignorance, sheer stupidity and intolerance seem to be acceptable now. I may have selective memory because I know that the McCarthy era, Amy Semple McPherson, etc. produced their share of nitwits, but it seems to be so much more prevalent now.

I truly fear for the country that my granddaughters are inheriting.

It's truly scary, we seem to be taking the crumbling path that Rome did complete with bread and circuses.

Sago at:


...asked, "If you were a paid member of a university group promising its members a currently interesting lecture series, lectures of particular value to people 55 and over, but also ones that would help any university graduate keep somewhat up to date in the modern world--what subjects would you like to find on syllabus for the coming year."

She got some really good replies, and in the following entry made a request for more. In these times of economic collapse and political focus, I answered that we needed a regular refreshing on the arts:

"The Ats. Time and Newsweek used to give us regular updates on the latest in Art trends. No more. The arts are given second shrift in this time of shredded economics, yet artists are still producing. Writers are still putting words in computers. Potters are still throwing, sculptors are still building, and weavers are still weaving. Yet there is no major source of updated information.

I'd really like that."

"the lamestream media"?
How creative!
Unfortunately I have no idea what she's talking about but then neither does dear Sarah

Your words about the bipartisanship fantasy are actually kind. Your words about Palin are indeed much too kind. It looks like we are in for two more years of having to hear about the scary woman from Alaska.

Palin obviously refudiates the lamestream.
We should all do likewise.
Long, long ago I predicted her winning in 2012. Still do.
I also think Mr. Obama is a puppet for Big Corp.
I would love if he would prove me wrong by just doing something apart from chasing after the Repugs to the point of exhaustion and approving DADT and not holding the Roe vs Wade as a sop to Big Church.
Who do you think has put him up to this?
Feeling more than my normal cynical today. I posted my own dismal outlook earlier on.

I just want them to go away - the Palin women, that is. I blame John McCain for bringing us this nonsense.

The bipartisanship fantasy that you mention is one reason I think I like to take refuge in the period of my writing, the period of the last Great Depression (before this one). Roosevelt had no illusions about who his real allies were and were not.

If Sarah's so worried about the media's reporting of her record then perhaps she could tell us....in plain English.......just what she did accomplish in her brief & interrupted term as governor of Alaska. And we should take McCain to court for thrusting her on the public. :)Actually, I'm really scared about the future of our wonderful country. Dee

If the world is destined to "end" in Dec 2012....Palin will never see the office...LOL

If Palin should somehow get elected, the rest of the world will do much worse than the trade center, me thinks. We would probably *wish* it would all end by the Mayan prophesy. "Just kill me now." would surely become part of the Pledge of Allegiance to large part of the population...such is the muddle we sort through in seeking out something to be Thankful for...and, still... there is plenty.

The budget puzzle at the NY Times http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2010/11/13/weekinreview/deficits-graphic.html is interesting to play with. Cutting earmarks completely, for instance, would save 14 Billion dollars, a mere drop in the bucket of the deficit.

Six years ago I said if GW got in again I'd move to Europe or Belize. I wimped out and stayed put and hated all four years of his and Dick's -- well the words aren't "nice" -- But if Sarah were President I DEFINITELY would have to move somewhere else, preferably somewhere with no public media whatsoever. Like a cave in the Himalayas.

I agree with everything that everyone says. (I do so love your readers!) This is my favorite time of the year and I love every frantic minute of it. I refudiate the notion that Candidate Barbie can intrude on my happiness. Husband has been making that LBJ point for months now, too. It's all out of our control anyhow, so I'm with you, Ronni..... no politics til after the New Year.

Oh, and thanks for the links :)

I would prefer if someone else replace her.

Earmarks: The Dems have already passed laws to reform them: no more "secret" earmarks and cut them by half. Banning them would not affect the deficit because the federal money is already appropriated and this just changes the decision process. Who knows best? Your representative in Congress or a person behind a desk in Washington?

Has anyone tried the NY Times Budget Puzzle yet? It's an interactive online way to try your hand at balancing the budget with spending cuts and tax increases. Really fun!
Try it at:

I'll sure drink to taking a break from DC politics.
How about a break from local and state politics too. I have to admit I am a political junkie but I am going through a burn out phrase.

Throw the bums out..all of them.

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