The Rational Middle has, for some weeks now, been quite literally under water. (My basement had four feet of the stuff in it, and there I was with all of my swimsuits still in mothballs.) I have endeavored to write, but the task has been beyond my grasp…when faced with a mess of this size, where does one start? For the next few days, I will work through the following subjects that have attracted my attention, peaked my curiosity, or just ticked me off.
- Benghazi– Now and forever known as the “worst disaster” in Dick Cheney’s lifetime (his words), in any other time (or with a Republican in the White House) it would have been just a normal, if tragic, cost of doing business. The United States believes in an international presence, a presence that asks us to routinely deploy good people in dangerous places. Dozens (yes conservative friends, dozens) of diplomatic targets have been attacked by various forces regardless of the party affiliation of the White House during the last three decades. Many of these diplomatic targets were CIA fronts which demanded both secrecy and deniability. So where again is the scandal?
- IRSGate– When it is a person with an appearance that speaks to a Middle Eastern decent, and that person is hand-searched at the airport, it is useful and moral profiling. When it is the agency tasked with collecting all of the taxes which are legally and morally due, and they are targeting groups that openly state their intention to avoid said taxes, it is a massive scandal. (These “scandals” really are Republican’s following the Rambo Doctrine…fire enough bullets at a target and you will eventually find the mark…even with Hollywood bullets.) PS…President Obama’s statement condemning this action represents one of the great caves of all time, and a terrible tactical blunder.
- Corporate Welfare (NFL-style)– When lawmakers refused to vote on a tax which would have set aside hundreds of millions of dollars to renovate the Miami Dolphins’ (the private, for-profit Miami Dolphins) stadium, Commissioner Roger Goodell issued a back-handed threat; “We want the Dolphins to stay in Miami.” Why wouldn’t they? Better question; why don’t the various states pass laws in parallel banning the use of any public funding for private sports franchises?
- Jumping The Shark (NFL-style)– NFL.com has officially replaced all reporting with editorializing.
- Tebow– The story that won’t die, fueled by the single most ridiculous argument in the history of sports; that Tebow’s religion is a cause for teams to “blackball” him (as if most coaches on most teams don’t pray before games, and the Fellowship of Christian Athletes isn’t the most ubiquitous player organization not called the NFLPA.)
- Falling deficits, job-challenged recoveries, and the nonsense of fiscal austerity– Six years after the economy started to unravel, the United States of America is more committed than ever to reaching the goal of returning our education and commercial infrastructure to Third World status. Apparently, the “job-creators” demand the freedoms that lucky entrepreneurs in business havens like Mexico and Somalia enjoy.
Tune in for these stories and more, coming soon to The Rational Middle.