Jul 10, 2011

The Week in Review: The Sunday Comics

Obama has offered 'a deal' on the debt. He's got a deal for you. It's a "Bold" deficit-reduction plan that reportedly includes significant cuts to Social Security and Medicare, and could end a months-long standoff with Republicans over a hike to the debt ceiling. There's a tax increase in there too, but it's hiding in the details section and probably won't be figured out until the re-election heats up. But meanwhile, the pressure to hit the debt default is in August. Don't expect the Republicans to just hand this to Obama. But also, I don't see the Democrats rolling over on this one either. Stay tuned, it's only just begun.

Oh, and here's a great quote I found on the issue...
“The fact that we are here today to debate raising America’s debt limit is a sign of leadership failure. It is a sign that the US Government can not pay its own bills. It is a sign that we now depend on ongoing financial assistance from foreign countries to finance our Government’s reckless fiscal policies. Increasing America’s debt weakens us domestically and internationally. Leadership means that ‘the buck stops here.' Instead, Washington is shifting the burden of bad choices today onto the backs of our children and grandchildren. America has a debt problem and a failure of leadership. Americans deserve better."
~Senator Barack H. Obama 2006
Casey Anthony walks. The very high-profile trial of Casey Anthony, a Florida mother accused of killing her 2-year-old daughter, ended with not guilty on all but four counts of lying to the cops. And from what I gathered, lying included making people up. The Worst Mommy will be released, outraging many who had judged her guilty in the court of public opinion. If it makes you feel better, America, Blago is about to get sentenced? And, as this is no consolation - justice was served because the prosecution's case was just terrible and did leave a pretty big reasonable doubt to the whole thing. I feel honored that I didn't follow this at all until after the verdict, and only then did I understand that this whole situation is, well, it's typical Florida. The saddest part of the story is that there's still a dead 2 year old girl at the end.

Speaking of Florida - The Space Shuttle Atlantis lifted off for the last time. Four government astronauts blasted off on Atlantis which was NASA's last ever space shuttle voyage. They're off to museums after this. I've been pretty angry that the Shuttle was going away, but looking at the 1.4 billion dollar price tag per launch with a success rate of 135 to 2, I got over it. The argument could be made that the Shuttle actually kept America, and humanity, stalled in low earth orbit for 30 years. I'm not worried about Man in Space - there's going to be a lot more activity since there's still a commercial and military need, and now there isn't a government monopoly on the industry. Still, it's like seeing your postman of 30 years retire.
The issue isn't the end of Man in Space -- but really, which Men? It's much more likely the world will see a new Space Race, but it'll be the Indians and Chinese. The old fat American fart sitting in their beat up lounge chairs saying, "been there, done that," as the Chinese Astronaut rolls up the US flag at the Sea of Tranquility.

Dominique Strauss-Kahn's political prospects brighten up. The man has dodged bullets. The credibility of the hotel maid who accused former IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn of rape have New York prosecutors preparing to drop sexual assault charges. Can Kahn comeback to challenge Nicolas Sarkozy for the French presidency? Kaaaahhhhnnnn!

Derek Jeter (rhymes with cheater) hit 3000 - and no one outside NY gives a flying rip.

News of the World Shutters. The British tabloid News of the World, owned by good old Rupert Murdoch's News International, is now closed. The controversy they sparked was over their chronic voicemail hacking, of celebs and regular folks too. The scandal is expected to lead to several arrests, has tarnished the reputation of Prime Minister David Cameron, and could do lasting damage to Murdoch's massive media empire... maybe. Not that anyone in the States seems to understand that Rupert's people were illegally wiretapping people - and may have completely botched more than one murder investigation while doing it. Yes. It's a big deal.

And speaking of unemployment - the jobs picture got worse this week. America's economy continues to be a yucky, sucky, wet crap sandwich. The unemployment rate rose from 9.1 to 9.2 percent in June, and only 18,000 jobs were created. But the chipper White House economists argue that the $821 billion stimulus package created or saved millions of jobs! (I still don't know how you can quantify a 'saved' job.) Their 2009 Porkulus has come under a new round of criticism from it's enemies. Shovel ready, wasn't ready, so said the President the other day. So, it really was just a bacon slush fund for the Pelosi Democrats, wasn't it? Hey, how about after they raise the debt ceiling we just do another one of those

Oh, and I learned that the sarcasm or irony mark is a reversed question mark. It's expressed like this:

If we make it to the end of next week, let's all try to meet up again.

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