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Off to A Fresh - But Very Bad - Start

the GOP's myths, incompetence, and steep decline endangers the nation

This is Dark Cloud on Wednesday, January 02, 2013.

As I write this, the Dow Jones is up 270 points this morning, it's first market day of 2013. That is, indirectly, a sign that whoever programs the computers that buy and sell stock in bulk are relieved the GOP has caved and acted more or less responsibly. The crumbling along a broad political front continues. Of course, the US has also reached the debt ceiling on New Year's Eve, and Treasury officials are deep in accounting machinations to keep things legal till Congress addresses all that. Godot? Is that you?

Congress, both House and Senate, becomes a little more Blue about the time Obama starts his second term this month. Ironically, that might work out better for the victims of Hurricane Sandy for whom Congress was supposed to pass needed legislation in 2012, but could not. That has infuriated New York and New Jersey politicians, most of whom have been publicly grateful for the fast action of the Obama administration in getting them emergency aid. Not a few of them, like New Jersey Governor Christie, cannot but be infuriated by the Congressional incompetence of their own party, especially Speaker Boehner and Whip Cantor. By the time you hear this, you'll have heard from them.

Among the most infuriated is New York Congressman Peter King, one of the GOP's Bombastes Furioso on his calm days, but absolutely meshugganah this morning talking about his party, his speaker, and the future of both, because they are on very different sides of a discussion on how to govern. He made the good point that Republican politicos know where New York is when they need money for their campaigns, but they seem to have forgotten her when she needs serious help.

Among the Republicans voting against the compromise in the House was recent Romney VP candidate Paul Ryan, along with Cantor and the predictable Tea Party mouth breathers, a few of whom just made their last vote in Congress, having been defeated in Obama's victory.

The GOP has begun to resemble an entire season of The Simpsons, with House Speaker John Boehner - who closely resembles Principal Skinner - in convoluted combat with the GOP Legislative Whip Congressman Eric Cantor, a dead ringer for an adult Milhouse Van Houten. I've found it makes more sense in trying to explain what's going on if we reference them as Skinner and Milhouse. So. Milhouse wants to be Speaker, Skinner's scared of losing his job, and that's the entire focus of both during a national crisis. The election of the Speaker is January 3d, tomorrow. I'll fix popcorn. How many want salt? Butter or margarine?

I wish - I really wish - I could enjoy the meltdown of the GOP as its various hypocrisies and incompetencies ignite, at least more than the already considerable amount that I am, but for all the carnival stupidity and blather, Congress periodically concerns itself with things that matter, and under that category I continue to put the Full Faith and Credit of the United States, the issue involved with the debt ceiling, still on the table for action. We should know that raising the debt ceiling is the definition of shutting the stable door and waving to a distant cloud of receding dust, because the ceiling is only raised to cover what we've already spent. Not to raise the ceiling puts us in default. We are arguably in default right now, which is why the Treasury Department is busy with its books today.

In short, a bloody mess, a train wreck, Satan eating crackers for an hour in front of the last episode of Jersey Shore. An unimposing sight, a disgrace, a horror, an abortion, and all of it well deserved. Normally, you could say there's been incompetence and face plants in both parties, and while that is still true, the Republicans have retired the trophy for irresponsible governance in 2012, and they're off to a bad start again.

To run an economy upon which the world allows itself to be based, you need calm, quiet, understandable, and beneficial control by adults not motivated by messiahs, or end times, or fear of education, knowledge, and occult magic like arithmetic. It's quite dangerous to simplify real life to the level of simple minded children. Of late, under conservative Republican control, the calliope music from the House of Representatives has begun to disturb and scare our neighbors, and the expense of cleaning up after incontinent elephants and apes emote for the ages burdens the taxpayer.