I’m still a proud sanctimonius liberal. In fact, I wish that someone would start making buttons and monogramed hats and bumper stickers. I’d wear them all proudly--probably the bumper sticker, too.
The sense of liberal outrage doesn’t go away, does it? My outrage rebounded particularly strongly when Democratic Majority leader Harry Reid’s attempt in the Senate to repeal DADT was defeated (57-40). [Here] Two moderate Republicans, Murkowski of Alaska and Scott Brown of Massachusetts changed their minds and voted against the measure. Joe Manchun, Democrat of West Virginia, voted with the Republicans, too, against cloture. Blanche Lincoln didn’t show up to vote. (Will anyone miss her next January when her current term expires?) Susan Collins voted for repeal, but only after it was clear the measure would be defeated. (growl)
Back to the White House tax "deal." Here is a summary for us of Obama’s proposal from the superb economist Robert Reich:
The deal the President struck with Republican leaders is an abomination.
It will cost $900 billion over the next two years - larger than the bailout of Wall Street, GM and Chrysler put together, larger than the stimulus package, larger than anything that's come out of Washington in years.
It makes a mockery of deficit reduction. Worse, the lion's share of that $900 billion will go to the very rich. Families with incomes of over $1 million will reap an average of about $70,000, while middle-class families earning $50,000 a year will get an average of around $1,500. In addition, the deal just about eviscerates the estate tax - yanking the exemption up to $5 million per person and a maximum rate of 35 percent.
And for what?
Wealthy families won't spend nearly as large a share of what they get out of this deal as will middle-class and working-class families, so it doesn't do much to stimulate the economy.
The deal further concentrates income and wealth in America - when it's already more concentrated than at any time in the last 80 years...
Thank heaven an enraged Democratic House caucus has squashed the deal and so far they have been successful.
Wouldn’t it be splendid if this were the only idiocy that we have to worry and fret about? But, sorry to report, it isn’t.
Remember Fred Phelps, pastor of the Westboro Baptist Church of Topeka, Kansas? [Here] Phelps heads the church that is mostly composed of his huge family. (At last count, the congregation numbered 71 members.) They’ve taken it upon themselves to picket and protest at the funerals of American soldiers. Phelps is fixated on the "depravity" of homosexuality and blames the federal government for condoning it. The Phelps gang has now announced that it will picket the funeral on Saturday of that splendid woman, Elizabeth Edwards. [Here] The WBC pickets funerals in the name of anti-homosexuality, but the only thing that they accomplish is to increase the sorrow and anguish of the grieving surviving family and friends of the deceased.
Why they have chosen to picket Elizabeth Edwards’s funeral in North Carolina is beyond comprehension. They have not announced the reason on their website, but I think that we can conclude that they simply love an occasion to demonstrate their deranged hatred and are fully rewarded by completely free media attention.
It’s good to be reminded that the Westboro Baptist Church has no affiliations with other Baptist, Christian or religious organizations.
We hope that the good people and police of Raleigh, North Carolina will protect the Edwards family, particularly the younger children, from seeing these hate-filled folks.
When will civility and comity return to our public and private lives?
We are waiting...