My cousin Ronny died last week. Ronny had been sick for a while, but his death still came as a surprise. He was the oldest of 11 cousins, all of us within 7 years of each other in age, which made us unusually close.
My cousins all live in Minnesota, but I’m in California. I called Delta Airlines, which has a virtual monopoly on flights from LA to Minneapolis, to book a flight to Minneapolis. The price: $901 for a round-trip ticket. I’d heard of ticket discounting for emergency flights for deaths in the family, so I asked the agent about it. She informed me that yes indeed, there is a discount; a whopping 5% off! Also, you need to fill out a form which requires the funeral director’s signature.
I decided to forego Delta’s generous discount, and proceeded to purchase my ticket online. After putting in my credit card information, I got my confirmation for the ticket. I wasn’t surprised to see I was assigned a middle seat in the second-to-last row. Fortunately, there was a “change seats” option offered, so I went to that page. The diagram showed many seats available, both aisle and window seats, and even other middle seats. However, each of them cost an additional $29, even the middle seats.
The final insult came when I went to print out my boarding pass. If I wanted to bring any luggage on my trip, I had to pay an extra $25 per bag. Since I usually change some of my clothes every day, I paid it.
Delta, you’re such a nice person.
Justice Kennedy, the author of the Court’s opinion.
Thanks to the Supreme Court’s decision in the Citizen’s United case, we can look forward to the ugliest election in recent history. By interpreting the First Amendment through a convoluted argument, the court has decided that money equals speech.
How did the court decide that allowing unlimited and unsourced money to be spent on behalf of candidates will be a good thing?
We’ve seen a preview of the law’s effect in the Iowa Republican primary race, but I believe the Presidential race will be even worse. I shudder to think what the anti-Obama ads will be like.
The net effect of the law will be to reduce the public’s esteem for politicians and our government to an all-time low.
Democrats always have a problem defining issues clearly. For instance, I constantly hear pundits (without being corrected by Dems) talking about the Obama tax plan as applying to “millionaires” and “billionaires.” Not true. A millionaire has traditionally been defined as someone who has assets of a million or more. The president’s tax plans apply to those who have taxable earnings of a million or a billion dollars or more a year. I don’t know anyone who makes that much, and I live in Pasadena! I do have a screenwriter friend who maybe makes more than a million a year, but he would never admit it. Who can even imagine making a billion a year? These people have issues more serious than paying taxes. If you’re making a billion a year, think of the time spent with accountants and lawyers.
As you can see from the illustration above, it’s a very small, rich bunch of people who fit in the category of million-dollar earners. Only 1 % . That makes it 99 to one in our favor. Unlike all the other wars we’re engaged in, this one we can probably win.
The thing that I’ve never understood is how many middle-class Republicans and Tea-Partiers who make less than $250,000 a year that support these fat-cats at the top. I guess they will also be our enemy in the new Class War.
Why? Do they all worry that soon they will be making more than a million a year and then will have to pay extra taxes?
Poor John Boehner. Twenty years of hard work and some tears along the way to becoming the Leader of the House of Representatives. He really does seem like a decent man, the kind of man who should be in Congress, although I’m suspicious of the tears.
Nowadays, he must feel like the antithetical Jim Jones. That is, the leader whose followers went insane. Unlike the Peoples Temple group, as far as I know the Tea Party has not asked him to move to Jonestown yet.
I’ve never seen such an angry speech given by a House Leader who has just passed his own bill. Of course, to say it is his bill is a joke. It’s the bill he had to pass, for reasons of his own, not the people’s.
The bill he and the other sane members of his party would have passed was the deal President Obama presented him with and he agreed to a month ago. A bill that people like me were unhappy with, but could live with.
But, like Jim Jones, there are many things the Tea Party cannot live with. Let’s hope they meet their own sad end and get voted out of our cherished and dysfunctional Congress.
Nancy Pelosi doesn’t cry, and she is happy when she passes a bill.