1. It’s Tuesday, September 29, 2015.
2. It’s supposed to be National Coffee Day.
Why? When you don’t drink coffee, as I don’t, every freakin’ day is National Coffee Day.
There’s coffee everywhere. Ninety percent of what’s available in workplace break rooms has something to do with coffee. When you go to a diner, the first thing they’re ready to do is pour you coffee.
If you go through life not drinking coffee, the world around you seems unforgiving. Everyone else seems to bond offer coffee, over whether it’s good or bad, too expensive and overrated at Starbucks, nasty at the deli down the street.
It’s what they serve at PTA meetings and town board meetings and any event I’ve ever covered. Kids aren’t supposed to drink it but, magically, when they turn 18, they are expected to drink it.
I’m through venting. For now. Enjoy your coffee.
3. The departure of House Speaker John Boehner has led to this theme in the past few days: The Republican Party isn’t interested in governing.
The constant shutdown threats over the past 20 years – this all started when Newt Gingrich took control in the 1990s – usually boil down to Republicans believing they need to stand for some principle of non-government.
It’s what makes the dynamic of our system so weird. Does any other major political party anywhere in the world trash the idea of actually being in charge of a nation’s government the way the Republicans do?
And because of that, the Democrats have a dilemma. Should they let people see the incredible stupidity of the Republican notion of government as the enemy? Or do they act like grownups, realize that this whole country depends on a functioning national government and take the steps to keep things going that Republicans will then use to vilify them?
I imagine the world is totally exasperated with this. It’s a wonder President Obama doesn’t run from the White House screaming. I’ll bet there are times, like now, when he can’t wait for Jan. 20, 2017.
I don’t know the solution. I keep hoping that it has something to do with demographics, with the civilizing influence of people from other countries where they don’t take what we have for granted. But, right now, I’m not optimistic sanity will prevail.
5. Another manifestation of the Republican fantasy of a utopian world with no government comes in the tax cut proposals of the leading candidates.
Yesterday, it was Donny Trump with his plan to cut the tax rate for those with the highest incomes to just 15% from the current 39%. He would also cut taxes for lower income groups, though not at nearly the same clip or with the same impact.
The problem, of course, is that when Trump and Republicans propose this nonsense, they’re basically making sure there’s less for actually operating the government. But that’s part of the idea, along with their fantasy that their proposals would stimulate economic growth to levels approaching developing, rather than developed, nations.
I’m sure the mindless who support Trump, the ones with the “I love America, it’s the government I hate” bumper stickers, will love his idea. Again, the Democrats have a dilemma – debunking this crap, or showing how a Trumpian world is a dystopian world. Neither of those options seems ideal.