Wouldn't have even noticed that this was end of the three day Columbus Day weekend if the news hadn't noted that there is no mail delivery and there is a parade today. Actually, I have no emotional investment in the day. Italian is one of the few European nationalities to which I have no claim. Oh, another reminder--we just had a commercial for a car dealer's Columbus Day sale. But my irritation meter went up a notch when the news said that Macy's is going to open at 8pm on Thanksgiving Day. Phooey!!!! Is there a holiday out there that hasn't been commercialized? I can't think of one. Last week I saw a headline which said that Hanukkah falls right with Thanksgiving and some retailers are trying to mash them together as Thanksgivinukkah. Or some such crap.
I heard a comment on a discussion last night of the failure of the political idiots to reach any kind of agreement on the debt and budget. The talking brainless head said that the only way out of the impass was for the parties to each "give" up something. He mentioned specifically that the Damnocrats would have to yield up Social Security and Medicare. THEY won't have to "give up" anything. WE will be stiffed on the benefits many of us depend on and have contributed to for most of our lives. Let's please be clear on who is being fleeced here.
Various international and foreign voices have chimed in on the impasse. Here is one from China that proposes the international community start building a "de-Americanized" world. I wondered yesterday about the results of states taking financial responsibility for the "national" parks and monuments. But no one in our media or among our politicians about what the shutdown means for the U.S. dollar as the world's "reserve" currency. China has been in the middle of a move among very dissatisfied countries to get away from the dollar in their bilateral trade and to establish their alternative to the World Bank. I wonder how far the ripples of this self-inflicted crisis will go.
And the Chinese aren't the only ones wanting a "de-Americanized" world. Various organizations involved in the operation and governing of the internet also want a divorce from the U.S. government.
The old cliche says: to err is human, to really f--- up you need a computer. While one computer glitch prevented food stamp recipients from seventeen states from using their cards, recipients in two Louisiana towns had cards without limits. Some in the news media (especially shills for the corporate or financial powers like CNBC) have magnified every glitch of the roll out of ACA enrollment. Isn't technology wonderful. There is another old saying: complicated systems are likely to foul up and (MaryContrary's corollary) the more complicated the more likely it is foul up spectacularly to everyone's detriment.
Well, the news says that Social Security recipients will get an increase of 1.5% next January--God willing and Congress doesn't f--- up. They didn't say how much the Medicare B will go up. One hand gives and the other takes away. And you all know that what we have to buy has gone up by more than 1.5% so we will probably loose on the deal.
This is hardly a surprise--The Repthuglicans made sure they could keep the government shut down. If you can't win the vote, make sure there isn't a vote.