Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy freakin' New year!

Actually, your curmudgeon is in an uncharacterisically good mood here in the last hours of the year and decade.
The fact that 2009 and this decade are actually, finally, ending has something to do with it.
Foolishly, I always expect the next year to be better.
Well, sometimes it is, just enough times for me to keep up the expectation. But really, I'm getting to the age where any year in which I am still alive is pretty much a good year.
I had all my children here for Christmas. (Seems funny to call them children, they are all in their thirties)
Also my son-in-law and his mother, a delightful woman. Her husband is a doctor and had emergency room duty all Christmas, so she came up here rather than sit home alone. We all had a good time and ate copious amounts of food, most of which son-in-law Jerome and children cooked. There were presents exchanged, but that was the least part, nice as it was, of the holiday.
There was a very nice Christmas eve candle light service at the church, and this past Sunday we had our 45th annual Messiah Sing. Getting this thing on is one of my biggest responsibilities of the year. I put in some sweat and worry, but it seems to all work out. I have people who love to come to be soloists, a good organist, a great conductor/friend, and a lovely woman who takes care of refreshments for the crowd afterwards. All chorus and orchestra are volunteers, many who come year after year for this. When the music starts I am just about as happy as I get.
Here is a little video my daughter shot of the "For unto us" chorus.

I love this piece. It's nice to have a remembrance of the performance.

I wish a happier and more satisfying new year to both my readers, and hope they find something more constructive to do than read my meandering wailings. And a happy and better new year to all those out there who are struggling with disease, joblessness, and worry; and to all those making an effort to make this world a better place than it is.
God bless everyone—with no exceptions.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Year-end Round-up

I’ve let this go quite a while.
It’s a combination of being busy, being tired and being ill. Ill on two levels: one is the common cold, and a cough that wouldn’t give up for three freakin’ weeks. Thank God for codeine and brandy.
The other level of illness is the behavior of Congress over the health care bill.
Boy, I’m sick of this.
I’m sick of feckless Democrats not having the fortitude to use reconciliation to get that damn bill passed WITH the public option.
And why hasn’t Obama been out there kicking ass?
I’m beginning to think he’s just too nice a guy. To be president.
But he’s still better than McCain so I better shut up.

This end of the year time is a time for lists and awards, so here’s mine:

Top weasels of the year—
Joe Lieberman. He is the most top weasel, the weasel extraordinaire, the weasel nonpareil. He leads the country this year in hypocrisy, perfidy, ego-tripping at the expense of Americans, and probably corruption, tho I have no proof of that.
This is a guy who in the 90’s co-sponsored a bill to GET RID OF the filibuster. He had all kinds of mean, nasty things to say about the filibuster back then. But NOW—now he uses it as a threat to get all the things out of the health bill he doesn’t like. Which just happens to be things which would help the common American (as opposed to the political and health insurer type Americans) like the public option and the medicare buy-in. The medicare buy-in which he favored just months ago. I really think the insurance companies have their hooks into him. How else could he be like this? Like Mitch McConnell, it looks like corruption, whether monetary or spiritual, has just taken over his bearing and appearance. They are pod people—health insurer pod people.
A pox on you, Joe Lieberman.

Weasels in no particular order of malefaction—
the aforementioned Mitch McConnell, DeMint, Stupid Stupak and all “just say no for the sake of saying no no matter who it hurts” Republicans.
These guys represent the big business, insurance company and medical equipment companies, not the people of their districts.

It’s possible that someone could make a principled case against health care reform, tho I can’t imagine what it would be. But I’ll concede the possibility. But these guys, and gals, lets not leave out the women of the GOP, did not do that. They supported the lies put out by the radical right and the insurance providers, the “death panels” the equating of Obama with Hitler etc. There were no principles on exhibit amongst the Republicans this year.

Idiots of the year:
This is a crowded field. For simplicity I’ll divide the honors:
Political idiocy—
the Republicans of course, but even more so—
the tea-baggers with their phony populism (supported by health insurers and Dick Armey’s lobbying organization), their signs with Obama wearing a Hitler mustache. The fools who adopted a name with a sexual connotation we don’t want to discuss here.
Rolling up in third place—feckless Democrats who just wouldn’t roll up their sleeves and do what needed to be done. Where are the “Damn the torpedoes” guys?
Everyone was worrying about bi-partisanship and sixty votes no matter what the cost.

Sexual idiocy—
Governor Sanford of South Carolina (South Carolina was the gift that just kept giving this year) with his Argentine mistress and his coining of a new euphemism for marital infidelity— “hiking in Appalachia.” Thanks, gov, for that one. He also gave an object lesson in how NOT to do a press conference.
Runner up— John Ensign. Not only did he cheat, he put his mistress’s husband and son on the Republican Party payroll. And he got his Mom and Dad to put out $96,000 to the mistress and her hubby, as consolation perhaps. Nice parents!
There were others, but, you know, it gets hard to keep track of them all. Funny how so many of them belong to those “family values” religious sects.

Professional Liars of the year award to:
Fox News. Not only did they create the news, as in starting the “teabagging” protests, they also exhibited a remarkably traitorous attitude to this country and its president. Sample of that, and also their stupidity—their delight at the Olympics going to Rio de Janiero not Chicago. They saw it as a personal failing of the Pres, didn’t care about the dollars it would bring to this country, and just wallowed in their hate. I don’t know who the foolish woman was that I saw in a clip from their station, but she was saying how nice a city Rio was. Apparently she hadn’t visited the gangster-run favelas or met any of the police assassination squads. I hope she gets a REAL look at the city on her next visit.

Professional Idiot “News” man of the year:
Glenn “Mr. Tears” Beck. May your tear ducts dry up.
Traitor of the Year Award:
Rush Limbaugh, who wants Obama to fail. May you trip in your studio, Rush, and end up with a boom mike up your butt.

Religious wackos of the year award— to the “C” Street “Family,” whose “power theology” would have Jesus spinning in his grave, if He hadn’t been resurrected. This is the group supporting John Ensign and other miscreants who actually live there on the premises. These guys are also supporting the Ugandan “kill the gays” legislation which is pending in that country. Good work, guys. I hope there really is a hell so you can rot in it.

Hey, it’s not all bad, there are some heroes.
The “not afraid to speak out award” goes to Barney Frank, who told that wingnut libertarian with the “Obama as Hitler” poster that arguing with her is like arguing with a dining room table. The Democrat with the most balls is the openly gay one.
I originally said "Bernie Sanders," who tho he didn't make that remark, is also a principled member of congress and fighter for the right.

The “I ain’t taking any of this shit anymore” award goes to Jenny Sanford, who, unlike other wives of political adulterers, did not stand by her hubby as he made his public confessions and apologies. She wasn’t playing by the old “political wife” rules, and rightly so. I hear she’s recently filed for divorce. Take him for all he’s worth dear, but leave him a little for giving us the “hiking in Appalachia” thing.

The “Exhibiting Real Class” award goes to—Michelle Obama. For everything. The Curmudgeon loves her.

Anybody knows of any other heroes of 2009, or any of the oughts, let me know. I’ll be glad to celebrate deserving people.
I’ll turn over a new leaf for 2010—optimism and joy, that’s the ticket.

Should last a week or two, just like other resolutions.

Anyhoo, I sincerely wish both of my regular readers a happy holiday season and new year, whatever your beliefs or lack thereof.