I have to admit that I’m surprised. The way Congress has been behaving for the last year, I thought for sure that they would just go ahead and let the payroll tax cut expire—but apparently John Boehner decided that he didn’t want to see his approval rating slip from an already dismal 9% into negative numbers, if such a thing is even possible.
Now we have another two months’ worth of bickering and bullshit to look forward to. Our esteemed leaders could have just passed a clean bill and extended the cut for another year, but … well … the Republican-controlled Congress wanted to tack a lot of extra crap from their own agenda on there. Finally—finally—the DFL has managed a win, which translates to a win for the American people.
Furthermore, the Justice Department has blocked a South Carolina law that would have required people to show photo identification before being allowed to vote. South Carolina, along with certain other states, are required by the 1965 Voting Rights Act to seek approval from the Justice Department or the federal courts before making such changes. Why, you ask? Because these states have a history of committing voter fraud and implementing discriminatory policies.
More good news: the war in Iraq is over and the last of our troops have come home, all of them in time to be with their families for Christmas. It’s hard to believe that the outrage I felt in 2003 gave way to little more than a numb indifference as the years wore on—a state of complacency that until now has left me unable to muster enough interest to even mention Iraq.
Yes, today’s headlines are full of smiles for a change. For instance, I got a kick out of reading Ron Paul’s opinions on certain key issues. I agree with Paul on just a couple of things—end drug prohibition, end the Fed—but everything else the man says makes him look like a raving nut. If Ron Paul had his way, the U.S. would be de-regulated to the point where the whole goddamned country would burn down in a matter of weeks.
Well … whatever. Ron Paul is such a screwball that I’m frankly shocked that the GOP hasn’t had him killed. He might win Iowa, but then he’ll take his place with Tim Pawlenty and Herman Cain. Who will be the nominee? I don’t know. Looking at the field, I can’t help but wonder if the Republicans will simply throw up their hands and admit defeat without ever bothering to nominate someone.
In other news, Matt Damon has called the president a useless tool. I don’t put much stock in what Hollywood stars say—and I have almost no use for Matt Damon whatsoever—but in this case, I believe he’s right. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Butterfingers Obama’s performance since being elected has been more disappointing than watching Striptease on network television; furthermore, he’s alienated and made fools of all the people who worked so hard to get him into the White House in the first place.
“I’ve talked to a lot of people who worked for Obama at the grassroots level. One of them said to me, ‘Never again. I will never be fooled again by a politician,’” Damon said. “You know, a one-term president with some balls who actually got stuff done would have been, in the long run of the country, much better.”
Damon then added, “If the Democrats think that they didn’t have a mandate—people are literally without any focus or leadership, just wandering out into the streets to yell right now because they are so pissed off. Imagine if they had a leader.”
Right. If Obama was actually the man who he pretended to be a few years ago, he wouldn’t even have a global revolution to ignore.
Finally, George Michael nearly died from pneumonia, Robert De Niro is a father again at 68, and 77% of Americans believe in angels. It is unclear how many people—excluding children—believe in Santa Claus.
I doubt that I or any member of our staff will post anything before Monday; therefore, use this time to get drunk, catch up on our older stories while avoiding your family, and enjoy the digital snow on your screen (since there is none, at least here in Minnesota).
Welcome to the weekend … and Merry Christmas.
Here’s your wisdom:
John T. Schmitz is the editor & publisher of Secret Laboratory; he is the founder of Maple Hills Press and has also freelanced as a writer and photographer, contributing to various local and international publications. Mr. Schmitz lives in Minnesota with his wife, Megan, and their two children; he is the author of four books.
E-mail Mr. Schmitz at email@example.com.