Happy New Year! It’s that annual time of year for reflection and resolutions. As we all plan to finally drop those last five pounds or call Mom more, let’s add an even larger resolution to our list. Let’s all be our own hope makers. Let’s inspire and see hope in each other. Let’s remember that when we work together, we can hold our leaders accountable. Yes, it sounds daunting, but really it only takes a change in our frame of minds. We must all look at the next person as a participant in our shared human narrative. We all live the same story. We all suffer from broken government and impending climate crisis. When the islanders of Manhattan can relate to the suffering of the islanders of Tuvalu, we will be on the road to progress. When it becomes more important to fight for the future of our world than our respective nations, we would have made progress. When the word austerity strikes fear in the hearts of the richest of our nations, and not just the poorest, we will indeed know progress. Let’s return dignity to the human condition. Let’s make how a person lived their lives more impressive than how much money they amassed and couldn’t take to the grave with them. So, my New Year’s resolutions: Yes, drop those last five pounds, call my mother more often, and open my eyes, ears, mind and heart to all the peoples of the world. Wishing everyone a happy and progressive New Year!
The saddest thing that has come out of this tax the poor to pay the rich debacle is the Democrats lack of political focus. Yes, we are all pissed that President Obama (yeah, I’m to mad to call him Barry) has cut a deal we all hate. Instead of carping on that, we need to remind the American people who the real culprits are in this situation. The fact that the Republicans have put the country in this position should be screaming from the headlines. To be honest, I have to say I feel a hint of respect for the position President Obama (still mad) took. He knew he would hear it from the Left (and rightly so), but he actually put the American citizens ahead of politics. Sort of…. It’s easy for pundits and our millionaire Congress to say let’s fight it out. We can back pay the unemployment benefits to those who lose out while we argue. You can not pay the rent with promises of unemployment checks. You can not feed your children with back pay. Promises will not make your car payment. My problem is that President Obama (really angry here, people) should have gotten a better deal. If you are going to play chicken with my grandchildren’s financial future, you need to at least get the unemployment benefits extension to match the length of the unnecessary tax cuts. Thirteen months versus two years? Honey you are part African, you can haggle better than that! Giving tax relief to the dead and losing tax cuts for the working poor? Do they have dirty pictures from your college years? Yes, it is a blow to the Democratic agenda. No, we do not need to be putting all the blame on President Obama (yep, still pissed). We need to remember, and remind the country, that this situation has stemmed from one thing: the Republicans trying to keep themselves from becoming an unemployment statistic. No tax cuts for the rich, no campaign funds, no jobs. It’s up to us as Democrats to remind the public of who is really at fault, and come 2012, make the Republicans regret that unemployment was only extended thirteen months.