Miss Sasha casually mentioned North Dakota was enjoying a blizzard yesterday, so it should come as no surprise that last night the power went out in the tiny New Jersey town just as I started dinner. I made dinner, then called Miss Sasha to tell her the depth of sympathy, which was insufficient. Panky had just tossed his dinner on the floor.
Here at Poor Impulse Control, who the hell knows if we have our priorities straight. Let’s review:
Adorable grandchildren -
Learning about food preserving -
Potatoes, still without a glass bottom potato boat -
Cat blankets -
And on Monday, Pete and I start a three-day motorcycle safety course that either ends with our getting licenses or drastically rethinking the next thirty years of our futuristic and stylish lives.
We have a houseguest. Tawk amongst yasselves.
Understand what we have here. There’s a fiscal commission operating partially in secret, without transcripts or recordings, planning to drop recommendations on Congress in the middle of a lame-duck session, with each leader in the House and Senate promising a vote on the recommendations. Unlike the Conrad-Gregg commission upon which this was modeled, the executive order on the fiscal commission does not mandate a super-majority requirement in each chamber of Congress for passage. It does mandate the need for agreement from 14 of the 18 commission members for passage of any recommendation, but the commission is stacked with people who want to target entitlement spending rather than any balanced proposal.
Even those supposedly defending bedrock programs like Social Security and Medicare on the commission, like the SEIU’s Andy Stern, have expressed a desire to at least open the retirement program to add-on private stock accounts:
“I agree with many Commissioners who have said that all entitlement programs should be on the table. We should include tax entitlements in that conversation… This Commission should examine our country’s entire retirement security system, private and public. Taxpayer dollars are spent in a multitude of ways, not just on Social Security, with the aim of producing retirement security. Yet, many Americans retire with anything but security. We should include as part of our agenda ideas for strengthening the private parts of the retirement security system, reviewing both the adequacy and the solvency of the Social Security system, and the possibility of universal add-on retirement accounts.
Add-on private accounts are an idea direct from the DLC in the late 1990s, when Bruce Reed, who co-wrote a domestic policy book with Rahm Emanuel, was involved with the group.
We have a commission pre-disposed to those types of ideas, operating partially in secret, foisting recommendations on Congress in December, without a super-majority obstacle to overcome in the House or the Senate (although the filibuster would presumably still be in play should a Democrat actually want to protect people from safety net cuts).
An House aide told me that the commission is deliberately trying to “keep the public from weighing in until the last possible moment.” They aren’t delivering public hearings outside of Washington, claiming that they don’t have a budget, but that could be deliberate as well, because it allows them to have billionaire hedge fund manager Pete Peterson provide the commission with staff and fold the conversation into his deficit mania “America Speaks” tour. It’s quite a public/private partnership going on.
Privatization of Social Security and Medicare – or trusting Wall Street with healthcare and pensions -is as brilliant an idea as trusting Halliburton and BP with an entire coastline. How stupid do you have to be not to get that?
Pete and I cleaned and scoured and vacuumed and mopped and laundered for a week before Miss Sasha, Mr. Sasha and Panky arrived for a sleep over. The cats made themselves scarce. Five people, one of whom has not developed an inside voice, put up a racket. Every so often Sweetpea would slink down the stairs, catch a glimpse of Panky, say, “What the hell is THAT?” and flee. Miss Sasha left in the morning with Dad’s tiny baking forms, one of Dad’s working notebooks and one of Pete’s authoritative pastry books. Mr. Sasha left with ideas for container gardening in North Dakota. Panky left needing a nap and better alibis.
They were at our house for a total of 17 hours and three days later I’m still falling asleep in my V8 Juice.
Panky visited my house, pushed over my washboard a couple of times and sat on the stairs in time out. At 27 months, he is already trying out impossible alibis. For instance, when we saw him knock down the baby gate, he blamed it on Sweetpea. Miss Sasha said, “I now understand why you could always tell when I was lying.”
Too exhausted to declare myself crosseyed. I’ll work up to it tomorrow.
Panky and his parents came to our house for dinner Sunday night. Panky laps around the dining room while his parents held still and ate london broil, grilled peppers, sweet potato puree, broccoli florets, corn on the cob, apple pie, frozen yogurt and strawberry compote, and groaned that they were too full to move.
As humans go, Panky is large enough to make a giant mess but small enough to swing around and burble, “Vrooom.” It is a good size: almost big enough to be two, but still one. “But!” he says, “But!” I am still waiting for him to pick a name for me.
Maybe I’m being a big silly but that little guy over there is an absolute mess – and I LOVE IT! He throws things everywhere. He’s often covered with doggy snacks just when I want a treat. Oh, who am I kidding? I always want a treat! The cats and I were talking about him and we think he’s just delicious, though they’re holding out for herring. Anyway anyway anyway, we were all talking and we’d just like you to know that though right now he’s eating a lot of macaroni we see progress. For instance, he’s finally walking now. That took forever. I mean, I was born and started walking but with this guy it’s different, but so he’s walking now FINALLY. We think he might scoot a little faster if you feed him more Snausages. And rawhide treats. We all think so. Don’t you agree?