The Party of Noh (and Kabuki)

The Fortnightly Rant for January 29, 2011, from The New Hampshire Gazette, Volume 255, No. 9, posted on Tuesday, April 12, 2011. Friday, January 28, 2011 — The gavel that symbolizes control of the House of Representatives passed from the Democratic Party to the Republicans earlier this month, when the 112th Congress was sworn in — a thing that has happened only five times over the past century. The historical nature of this event made us wonder what a little research might reveal. Recent history, though, such as Newt Gingrich’s takeover in the 1990s, shed no light. Our answers came from a long time ago, …

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I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change

The Fortnightly Rant for January 14, 2011, from The New Hampshire Gazette, Volume 255, No. 8, posted on Monday, February 1, 2011. Finally, all the obstacles have been cleared away. Last year’s mid-term elections are history. The old Congress has disbanded. The new 112th Congress has been sworn in, and it has already begun doing the peoples’s business — or, perhaps, giving the people the business. Whoops! One slight kerfuffle marred the start of the session. As the swearing-in ceremony got underway on the House floor January 5th, two Republican members were AWOL. Pete Sessions (TX) and Mike Fitzpatrick (PA) were celebrating with constituents in …

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Democracy’s Death Knell?

The Fortnightly Rant for December 31, 2010, from The New Hampshire Gazette, Volume 255, No. 7, posted on Sunday, January 16, 2011. Nothing lasts forever — including, mercifully, the year 2010. A single dismal occurrence can well represent a whole host of others that would be too depressing to list: Last January, our First Congressional District seat was occupied by the best Representative it has had in living memory. A few days from now, that post will be filled by a man who was already under an ethical cloud even before he won the Republican primary election. A more abrupt descent from the sublime to …

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Such a Deal

The Fortnightly Rant for December 17, 2010, from The New Hampshire Gazette, Volume 255, No. 6, posted on Saturday, January 15, 2011. Recently President Obama struck a tentative deal with leading Republicans to resolve, for now, the contentious issues of tax cuts and unemployment benefits. At mid-week, the final depravities were still being negotiated. In broad terms, it appears that the Republicans will get most of what they wanted, namely, two years worth of tax cuts for everybody, according to their proper station in life, of course: big tax cuts for those with big incomes, and small tax cuts for those with small incomes. Republicans …

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The Hammer Gets The Hammer

The Fortnightly Rant for December 3, 2010, from The New Hampshire Gazette, Volume 255, No. 5, posted on Saturday, January 15, 2011. Minutes after a Texas jury convicted him of money laundering and conspiracy to commit money laundering, former Republican Majority Leader Tom “The Hammer” DeLay granted an audience for television news cameras. With the first words out of his mouth he tried to establish that not even the prospect of life behind bars could shake his faith. “I praise the Lord for what’s going on here, Number One,” he said. DeLay no doubt expects people to believe that it is his Lord in whom …

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Assault on Reality

The Fortnightly Rant for November 19, 2010, from The New Hampshire Gazette, Volume 255, No. 4, posted on Saturday, January 15, 2011. Having won a resounding victory over a confused and demoralized Democratic Party, leaders of the GOP will now take on an adversary that could prove to be far more challenging: reality. Their most obvious handicap in the looming struggle will be their nearly-complete lack of familiarity with the subject. Republicans can hardly be blamed for their habitual avoidance of reality. Grappling with the basic building blocks of human existence has always been a fairly grim business; and the more success the Republicans have …

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