It's not that I don't follow the news -- I do -- it's that I don't have as much time to blog about it as I do (what with all the Jonathan Franzen reviewing and Buffalo-Bill-fun-making I do).
But even with that kind of demanding schedule, when the Republicans decide to practically steal Christmas -- and then to nuke it -- even I take notice.
That's what Mitch McConnell and the rest of the ilk are threatening to do, as 42% of the Senate promises to let nothing happen until a threatened 3% increase on income over $250,000 is averted-- legislative logjamming that would block extensions of unemployment benefits and a START treaty that would reduce nuclear arms.
How far offbase are McConnell & Co? The START treaty is recommended by other Republicans:
...former Republican secretaries of state and national-security advisers, including Brent Scowcroft, Henry Kissinger, James Baker, and on Wednesday Colin Powell, have gone to the White House to endorse the deal.
(Source.) It won't matter, much, if proliferation of weapons means that they're more easily accessible to countries that hate us -- most people will starve or die of exposure before that when they're thrown out of their houses:
Republicans blocked an effort to extend the benefits for more than six months in Congress Tuesday, saying that they didn't want to add to the deficit. Without a Congress-approved extension, more than two million Americans will lose their only steady source of income in a time where jobs are scarce. More than 800,000 who have been out of work for six months will be cut off Wednesday.
The average weekly benefit for those two million people? About $302. So that's about $604,000,000 per week that the unemployment costs -- or, over 52 weeks, say, $31,408,000,000. Put in newspaper numbers: $31 billion.
The GOP has other plans for that $31 billion, though -- like giving 20 times that amount to the rich: The GOP is demanding continued tax breaks for the rich, tax breaks which would add $670 billion to the deficit.
There's the choice you made, America: You selected a party which wants to give $670 billion to the rich rather than $31 billion to the unemployed poor -- and which is willing to give nukes to terrorists to accomplish that goal.
YAY for you!