Early December is a great time of year for me, despite the cold of the winter wasteland I now call home. Football is in full swing, baseball’s hot stove season is roiling, and the world of politics typically reaches its messy and convoluted pinnacle. This year has not been a disappointment. The time referred to as silly season by NASCAR fans is living up to its billing as the lines between politics, reality TV, and sports blur ever more.
President Obama appointed a commission to examine our national debt and annual deficits (allegedly), and they have rendered their verdict: kill Social Security by a thousand cuts. The causes of the debt are no more mysterious than the real reasons for the conclusions of the Deficit Commission; the Rational Middle has explored them many times, as has economist Dean Baker. Our accelerating medical costs, the wars in the Middle East, and the tax shortfalls of the recession are the reasons for the debt. Wall Street’s desire to get its greedy hands on an additional $2 trillion annually (which it will use to generate billions of dollars in fees, regardless of actual performance) is the reason for the so-called deficit hawks; killing Social Security accomplishes that Wall Street goal. Any who question the motives should ask this question; why would a deficit reduction commission propose more tax cuts? The technical term for that kind of a move is ass-backwards.
The Hasselhoff family is getting a “reality” TV show. That is all.
Once again we have arrived at the “bowl season” where college football excellence is redefined as mediocrity. There is NO NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP at the highest level of college football…there never has been one either. We were told, many years ago, that no playoff could exist because it would require too many games; Oregon has played 12 games and Auburn 13…college teams used to play 11 before the bowl games. Speaking of bowl games, there are 35 this year, meaning that 70 of 120 or so teams are playing in the “postseason”. Speaking of mediocrity, Auburn’s Cam Newton was ruled eligible to play (as a student-athlete) because he is only a serial cheater in the classroom…his Dad is the NCAA’s principle villain for acting as Newton’s agent (allegedly). Phew…that was close; just so long as the kid didn’t get paid for playing ball; those pesky academics are really besides the point.
In a world of Hasselhoff TV and the NCAA Junior NFL, the Rational Middle is listening…