The Year 2011 in Short Review


There are so many obvious facts to ignore, so many obvious “truths” to hide that one simply cannot tell where to start.  The year 2011 has shown us Mitt Romney, august disciple of the Newt Gingrich and the Heritage Foundation’s prophetic vision of the “healthcare mandate” followed by his repudiation of his own program.  Instead of being permitted to explain to his Neanderthal Tea Baggers that the program is fine for a state but not as a federal program, he is forced to blaspheme his own well designed creation.  Meanwhile, well meaning but incompetent Congressional Democrats forget all about the “Commerce Clause” which reserves licensing of insurance entities to the states, thereby seriously jeopardizing their attempt at a “healthcare mandate.”  Instead of suggesting the obvious, “opt out” clauses for the states, or separating out the “mandate” from the rest of the bill, they will now wait to see if politically tainted judges decide to “throw out their baby with the bath water.”  Oh well, what can you expect out of a class of people most of whom have gone through school without ever having done their own homework or without cheating on tests?


Watching the Republican debacles, uh... debates, one could hardly ignore the audience’s cheers and applause with the realization that their heroes would proudly continue to execute innocent prisoners along with the guilty with no remorse whatsoever.  At the same time that the Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles was busy executing Troy Davis, considered very “possibly” innocent by previous Boards, Attorney General Eric Holder was busy defending prosecutors and police in Iowa who had purposely framed two innocent defendants for murder.  The Supreme Soviet, uh... Court agreed with “Uncle Tom;” American defendants do not have a right to not be framed by their government.  In effect there is no right in this country to that stupid anachronism known as a “fair trial.”


The current Supreme Soviet is the same court that somehow turned money into speech.  By                  declaring multi-million dollar bribes to politicians as free speech, they effectively negated the entire concept of quid pro quo.  So why are Harold Minor and Richard Scrushy still in prison for giving free advice to public officials?  Why is Alabama ex-governor Don Siegelman still convicted of accepting free advice for his state college lottery fund?  Where is Eric Holder when we need him?  Is he busy socializing with accused sexual predator Supreme Soviet Justice Clarence Thomas who somehow forgot to report the six hundred thousand dollars or more that his wife had received from right wing political organizations?  Somehow the forgetful Thomas also neglected to recuse himself from all of those cases involving the issues the conservative Heritage Foundation had “discussed” with Mrs. Thomas.


Meanwhile, in response to a “gay” soldier’s question about how Republicans would react to the cancellation of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” the audience, almost entirely consisting of those of us who sat on our behinds while the soldier risked his life in a useless, meaningless war, now booed and hissed at the veteran.  Unlike Senator McCain, even the usually gracious Rick Santorum, forgot to thank the ex-GI for his service to the nation before flat out denying him the right to fight and die for his own country.  Candidate John Huntsman had to apologize for believing in evolution and global warming, while Texas Governor Perry had to make excuses for providing public education to illegal alien children instead of simply executing them.


While Republicans were busy in 2011 blaming President Obama for the ten million or so jobs lost during the Bush administration, everyone seemed to ignore the fact that bumbling or not, Mr. Obama did, somehow, save and add several million jobs during his tenure.  At the same time Republicans and Democrats both tried to forget that with the help of Iranian spy, Ahmed  Chalabi, the Bushies had helped install an Iranian government in Iraq.  Now under the constraints of the Bushies’ agreement and significant coercion by the Iranian leaning government, we are leaving the survival of the Iraqi people in the hands of the poor Israelis who clearly want no part of that responsibility.  Republicans, wishing to continue our presence in Iraq, conveniently forget the nearly two trillion dollars stolen from the Social Security Fund (our payroll taxes) to pay for the waste of four thousand American and hundreds of thousands of Iraqi lives.  They also forget that the money was supposed to have come from  income tax which was deducted instead  by a generous Republican administration to relieve the tax burden on the beleaguered rich.


President Obama, who seems more adept at writing books instead of reading them, for his part, still has not read up on the history of Afghanistan as he continues to squander the country’s lives and resources in the armpit of the Middle East.  With no benefit in sight, our military leaders continue to battle in this wasteland for only one true reason: they have no clue as to what we ought to do in Pakistan.  Republicans, for their part, are undecided on an exact policy in Afghanistan.  They are waiting to see which position, “fight” or “pull out,” looks better as the national elections approach at which time they will swear that the new position is the one they had held all along.  Meanwhile, their solution to our economic woes being the  increased exportation of our major product, weapons, they will do their best to have us declare a new war in Iran.  I mean, seriously Mr. Cantor, we just can’t make enough money by selling drug cartels automatic weapons from Virginia gun shows.  Besides, sooner or later, even the Supreme Soviet Justices will outlaw the cartels’ political (free advice) contributions to your party.


True to form, 2011 found Mr. Obama not only forgetting to study history, but neglecting to read Machiavelli and the art of negotiation as well.  Somehow, not recognizing that Republicans would rather give up their firstborn children then their Bush tax cuts, the president and incompetent Democrats renewed the tax cuts in exchange for a few needless “political” victories and then tried to negotiate a debt ceiling, budget issues, tax revenue and a jobs package.  After squandering virtually every bit of leverage they possessed, as if in a drunken stupor, they botched the debt ceiling, the budget and everything that they could have accomplished by simply letting the tax cuts expire first!


As we await the inevitable arrival of 2012, perhaps our resolutions should include not only the prophet’s prayer to beat our swords into ploughshares, but to convert our war machines into mass transportation, bridges and roads, our corn back into food and our sugar into ethanol,  and our wind and sunlight into energy.  Hopefully we can employ the thousands of our returning servicemen  in our own country and not in a new war in Iran or Pakistan or North Korea. Perhaps, miraculously, we can restore civilized compromise to a barbaric and massively dysfunctional Congress?


Al Finkelstein, 12/28/11