Winter, Death and Compromise


Winter is here. 

The ice in the air is strong, the winds are beyond brisk, and every breath visible to the naked eye.  Just like it is supposed to be.  The cold is supposed to be strong, cold is not weak, and is not for the weak.  The cold is nature reminding us that all things, like the beauty of long spring days, the ripening crops of summer, and the beautiful colors of the leaves in autumn, come to an end.  The howl of the cold wind is the voice of mother nature, reminding us that she is a stern master, strong and unforgiving, because she can be.

But even within that howl, the bark of  frozen winds that bite and sting, there is true beauty.   The ice holding onto tree branches and the snow on the grasses and lanes hold a deep and abiding elegance.  The long, dark nights are the mirror that shows the austere and exquisite soul of the world.

Winter is here.  Joy to the world!

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Richard Holbrooke is dead. He died earlier this evening after suffering a rupture to his aorta and going through 20 hours of surgery to repair it on Saturday.  He was 69 years of age.  No commentary necessary.  When great men die, the tale is told not by others, but by their actions.  The Dayton agreement signed in 1995 in Paris speaks more precisely the greatness and strength of this man than any words I can write. 

Viddy of the Day:  an interview with Richard Holbrooke, by Rachel Maddow, from June this year.

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The controlled chaos is one way to get creativity. The intensity of it, the physical rush, the intimacy created the kind of dialogue that leads to synergy … The U.N. by contrast is sterile, overly concerned with protocol, overly formal, filled with set-piece speeches. This is what the U.N. in theory is supposed to be but can’t.

Richard Holbrooke

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A thought on the tax cut compromise.

The tax cut test vote has gotten through the Senate, cloture has been bypassed.  83-15.  But that doesn’t mean it will pass, it has to go back to the House of Representatives, where a number of extremely vocal Democrats are very much opposed to the tax deal.  They could possibly broker a better deal.  That doesn’t mean it would pass the Senate upon it’s return, which it would have to do in order to get to the President for signing.

Doing that would put the brakes on several pieces of important legislation that are pending in the Senate. A great deal beyond the tax cuts are at stake here.

Losing here is not something the President wants to be seen doing.  The Republicans would eat him for lunch if he lets this fall through.  The right wing media machine would love hanging President Obama for increasing taxes. 

If this falls through, the next congress, a more Republican congress than anything in the last 4 years, will understand that it must do something in order to keep things functioning. They will pass it, The President, the Republican house, and weakened Democratic Senate will pass a tax cut, one more pleasing to the right than this one, and the Republicans will take credit.  And the right wing propaganda machine being what it is, that message will stick.

Dems lose, America loses, Republicans who don’t know how to create jobs would win.

Do we really want that? To put that kind of power in the hands of those on the other side of the political fence, the defenders of the wealthy?  Do we really want to give them additional ammunition? Dammit, I hate the the upper class tax cut, but the price of a $900,000,000,000 increase in the deficit seems to be, curiously, a politically feasible concept.  Economically?  No, but politically this actually works.  Because not passing this ugly, stupid billionaire tax cut has a greater political cost than passing it.

Dammit, that sucks.

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That’s it for tonight, America.  Have a good one.

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