On the third of July, the dog days of summer, 40 days of especially hot and humid weather with little rainfall, officially began. The name comes from the ancient Greeks who believed that Sirius, the “dog star,” which rose with the sun at that time, was adding to the sun’s heat. They also believed that the weather made dogs go mad. The Romans tried to appease Sirius by sacrificing a brown dog at the start of the dog days.
Oh, how I long for the time when politicians lied to get elected. When a Democrat could run as a hawk and govern as a dove. When a Republican would run as a conservative and it meant they were cautious to change and represented traditional values, not the values of a mob. Oh, for the days when we knew the contract with America was not worth the paper it was printed on.
When getting things done was the goal of both parties and compromise was seen as a victory for each…
Neither one is available to explain so I will never know what possessed my parents to send me to summer camp in August of 1960. Our family lived in River Bend, Alabama, during that time, at my dad’s old home place. Situated in an old farm house built in the approximate center of eighty acres, we were in little boy paradise.
Any land that wasn’t cultivated was natural. There were creatures galore residing in thick hardwood habitats bordered by a couple of crystal clear creeks and the Cahaba River. Our world offered so many varied and interesting places and things we could have spent decades there and never stirred up the same trouble twice.
Neil Young was only 25 when he recorded “Old Man,” but it hardly mattered. The mood of his song gently provided a window to the years most of us hope to experience, especially as youthful determination gives way to gratitude for simply being around. Even Peter Townshend will tell you that “I hope I die before I get old” doesn’t have to be taken literally. After all, some people get old way too early in life, without the tell-tale signs expected with aging. But addressing the matter most succinctly was Forrest Rogers, a friend to many in Atlanta’s rock community, when he lamented shortly before passing away, “I hate to miss stuff.”
This is my public comment made 7/6/11 to the GA. Public Service Commission on the occasion of their consideration of Georgia Power’s request for yet another raid on the public treasury in the form of rate hikes to cover anticipated cost over-runs for their nuclear fantasies. They already were granted rate hikes to cover building the new reactors and an additional amount to cover the loss in credit ratings due to pursuing dangerous nuclear technology. You have to hand it to them, they’ve got gall.
Mulling over what to say for this meeting it occurred to me that the creators of this Commission did not choose GPC – Georgia Power Commission. Words have meaning so I was happy to notice what PSC stands for until I remembered George Orwell and how political bodies sometimes engage a practice that has come to be dubbed Orwellian.
Evidence that a person is well on his way to becoming an icon can be found in his name being used, as an aside, to validate otherwise spurious theories by the likes of Stephen Stanley – sitting up in Stamford, Connecticut writing for Market Watch that Keynesian economic policies are (ought to be) about to be replaced.
I don’t question that Warren Stephens, the billionaire banker and Lord of Little Rock, likely agrees with Stanley. He said as much in an interview with the Wall Street Journal – simply referring to Stephens in a caption of an illustration to an opinion piece, is to elevate him to the status of icon as is so often done with Ronald Reagan.
Almost nine years ago, my once and future business partner, the effervescent (that is certainly the nicest thing anyone, his dear departed mother included, has ever called him) talk show host, Mike Malloy, called to inform me of two things. One, in spite of his surprisingly high ratings, he had just been fired from WLS, the 50,000 watt, clear-channel ABC owned and operated AM radio station in Chicago, and two, I was about to get a call from some well-heeled listeners who wanted to put him on the air nationally.
Democrats and Republicans will only agree to changes in the tax codes if forced to by their caucus or in exchange for tax contributions. The debt default is looming, so let’s strike a deal.
- A deal that requires no passage of a debt extension – now, or ever again.
- A deal that protects social programs while creating incentives to make them more efficient.
- A deal that allows a Democrat in the White House and a Democrat majority in the Senate to pass a series of core Republican initiatives – how’s that for reaching across the aisle?
- A deal that will make the business lobby happy and create millions of new jobs for unemployed and under-employed Americans.
This will be my 68th Fourth of July and I am indeed thankful for each one of them. As I get older, I am becoming more sentimental and thankful, for I realize more and more the incredible blessings that we enjoy as Americans.
I have my grandchildren this weekend, which is not an infrequent occurrence, and we decided, at their request, to watch the Chronicles of Narnia Series. The story starts with the evacuation of children from London as the Nazi bombing starts during WWII. It made me realize just how blessed we are in that we never had to send our children away to keep them safe. God forbid that it should ever happen.
Gilda Radner’s 65th birthday was a few days ago. She was born the same year as my late wife Lilian. Both had terrific senses of humor and both were taken from us way too soon. As Gilda wrote in her autobiography: “It is so hard for us little human beings to accept this deal that we get. It’s really crazy, isn’t it? We get to live, then we have to die. What we put into every moment is all we have… What spirit human beings have! It is a pretty cheesy deal – all the pleasures of life, and then death.”
The single greatest dish to come out of Canada is the Butter Tart (sometimes called Taffy Tarts – or maybe just Husband calls them that?). Now, if you know how much I lovvvvve Poutine you will know how serious of a declaration is it for me to make, but Butter Tarts are the awesomest.
Butter Tarts are sort of like miniature pecan pies without the pecans. You make small, very shallow crusts with ultra flaky pie crust dough using about 900 muffin tins. Then you fill them up with a syrupy, buttery filling and bake them.
The public strategy seems straightforward – the minority party holds the national debt hostage in an attempt to force the majority party to voluntarily undo three generations of their own progressive policy. On face value, it seems brilliant.
The Republicans, after all, are largely responsible for deficit and the worst depression since Prozac. When they took power under Bush, there was a $235 billion surplus. When Bush left office, the national debt stood at $10.6 trillion and deficits, based on Bush/Republican approved spending, were projected to increase by $9 trillion in the next 10 years. Of course, those estimates didn’t include 9% unemployment continuing to depress tax collections and increasing unemployment benefits…
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