Friday, December 21, 2012

Winter solstice potpourri

Solstice.  Winter solstice.  The dead part of the year. 

The National Rifle Association holds a press conference today, promising “to offer meaningful contributions” to the national debate in the wake of the horror that occurred in Newtown, Connecticut.  Let us hope.

Yesterday evening, the Republican caucus in the US House of Representatives had a very public meltdown.  Speaker Boehner was forced to pull his "Plan B" initiative for the nation's future tax policies.  He formulated the plan as a way to demonstrate Republican solidarity in the face of the Obama steamroller.  Instead, it laid bare the rift within.  The matter-of-fact release from the Speaker's office last night as Congress suddenly and unexpectedly recessed for the Christmas holiday without voting:  "The House did not take up the tax measure today because it did not have sufficient support from our members to pass. Now it is up to the president to work with [Senate Majority Leader] Reid on legislation to avert the fiscal cliff. The Senate must now act."  Who could have known that the Bush tax cuts, passed a full decade ago, would become the undoing of the Republican party?

Sister Mia made me aware of a band called "The Staves."  Beautiful vocal harmonies backed by open-tuned guitar.  Very reminiscent of Joni Mitchell in her heyday.  Check it out:

The Mayan calendar ended yesterday, and as my friend Jaime pointed out, zombies didn't rise up and kill us all.  So we haven't yet reached the nadir that Cormac McCarthy envisions.

If I may offer some advice for the weekend.  Brew yourself up some tea, sit down in a comfy chair, put in your earbuds, and set your Pandora to the Classic Christmas station.  Just for 15 minutes.  You'll thank me when it's over.

Winter solstice.

Darkness take us on down into the dead of the year. 

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