Buffoons, Souls and a New Year

Republican_Vaudeville-Poster Boehner - McConnell    :   http://mariopiperi.com/

Jon Huntsman still remains one of the few remaining rational Republicans out there willing to call out the emperor for wearing no clothes.

“The party right now is a holding company that’s devoid of a soul and it will be filled up with ideas over time and leaders will take their proper place. We can’t be known as a party that’s fear-based and doesn’t believe in math.”

With the fiscal cliff deadline a few hours away, it appears that Republicans are ending the year in the same manner they started each of the last four – creating needless crisis after crisis as they cater to the ridiculous and irresponsible elements of their party. Unfortunately, Huntsman’s words will fall on deaf ears as the GOP is determined to carry their vaudeville act into the new year.


I couldn’t end the year without posting for an entire week. I’d like to say I’ve been relaxing and enjoying the break away from politics and blogging but the truth is I’ve been ill for the last while. Not a great way to end the year but, hey, it is what it is. I’ll soon recover and regular programming will continue on this site.

Here’s wishing each and every one of you a wonderful, prosperous and healthy New Year. Thank you for supporting this site as you do and I look forward to another year of illustrations and sharing political thought with all of you.

Be safe.


The Boehner and McConnell source photographs are Creative Commons licensed images from photographer Gage Skidmore.

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18 thoughts on “Buffoons, Souls and a New Year

  1. Hoping you feel better soon Mario, and to you and all my fellow posters…..wishing you all a healthy, happy New Year!

  2. I was afraid you had been sick when you dropped off the radar. I hope you can leave all of that behind with 2012!

    I am personally worn out with all of this political wrangling and posturing — the GOP seems to have no legitimate concern for the real life consequences we Americans will be facing when the fiscal cliff deadline passes with no fair resolution. At least one of them has some common sense — which is exactly why Jon Huntsman will never make it big in the Republican party. I hope this ridiculous sideshow the Republicans are putting on comes back to bite them in the ass in 2014.

  3. Mario,
    I was concerned, as you hadn’t posted in a while. I am glad to hear from you.

    Jon Huntsman is an exception to the rule as a Republican. He’s like Colin Powell in that way. I do believe if the GOP had not listened to the Tea Party voices out there and instead nominated Jon Huntsman, we’d be looking at a President Huntsman next year.

    I wish all of you a Happy New Year! I also pray all of you have a very prosperous and healthy year.


  4. I’m sorry you’ve been sick, Mario. Seems many are suffering flu, colds, respiratory infections. Me too. I see the Dr next week. I don’t trust any GOP politician, including Huntsman.
    I hope you are better soon! Miss you here. Take care of yourself.
    Happy New Year, and may everyone here, have a blessed 2013.

  5. Glad to have you back! Have a wonderful, prosperous New Year with lots of extra time snuggle time spent with that little darling, Leena!

    Looks like there may be a deal tonight. Just came across this post with the details. Now we have to wait and see if enough Republicans in the House step up…if Boehner agrees to even bring it to the floor with his “majority of the majority” nonsense.

    murphthesurf3 2 hours ago (11:34 PM)
    6611 Fans Become a fan Follow

    The GOP did not want to raise income taxes on anyone.
    The GOP wanted to tie deep spending cuts into any deal.
    The GOP did not want to see extensions in key Democratic favored programs.
    It did not get what it wanted.

    It did get $150,000 increase in the tax ceiling, and it joined the democrats in supporting Read More…

    The Dems did very well indeed (read on to find out how)..

    Here is what the deal does:
    A) All wage earners will see their payroll taxes return to 6.2 percent on earnings up to $113,700 in order to return the funding stream to Social Security and Medicare.

    B) Individuals who earn more than $400,000 and couples who make more than $450,000 will see income tax rates increase from 35% to 39.6% For people at those income levels, tax rates on capital gains and dividends are expected to rise to 20%, up from15%. In addition to the capital gain and dividend rates, health care reform will levy a new surtax of 3.8% on capital gains for wealthy Americans, pushing up the top capital gains rate to 23.8%.

    3) Estate tax rates are poised to rise from 35% to 40% for estates valued at more $5 million.

    4) Creation of a permanent inflation “patch” that would shield millions of middle class taxpayers from the AMT (Alternative Minimum Tax that is supposed to guarantee that wealthy taxpayers pay a minimum amount of federal income tax, regardless of deductions, credits or exemptions. In essence, it is a flat tax with two brackets — 26% and 28%)

    4) Extended Measures/Programs:
    – Unemployment extended for one year, preserving benefits for 2 million Americans who were at risk for losing benefits at year’s end.
    – The Child Tax Credit, Earned Income Tax Credit and Obama Opportunity Tax Credit (college tuition credits) will all be extended for five more years.
    – One-year extension of the Research and Experimentation Tax Credit and Production Tax Credit, Alternative Energy Credits, along with an extension of the 50 percent Bonus Depreciation for businesses’ capital expenditures.
    – One-year extension of the DocFix current Medicare reimbursement rates, shielding participating doctors from a potential 27% cut in reimbursements.

    AND…It would also temporarily delay the sequester — i.e., billions of dollars in across-the-board spending cuts — for another two months….when the debt ceiling debate will be a full force.

    It will pass the Senate in a bipartisan vote and Boehner is going to have accept Democratic support in the House (which will weaken him). Not Bad.

  6. Democrats and Republicans fudged or patched the worse cases that needed immediate attention but America is still on the side of the cliff with two tires sideways in the air. Markets went up yesterday so that will be good for my pension but Democrats won’t be attacking the deficit without tax reform and government social justice program reductions ( don’t like entitlements as these have been fought for) Markets may react starting on Wednesday as deficit reduction has not been part of the grand design.I don’t know how Obama won’t allow Republicans to leverage future negotiations with the debt ceiling so I will trust him on that. I am encouraged that things will get done but it’s the scratching and screaming along the way that get’s me anxious

  7. The Republicans in the House still hasn’t dealt with the bill yet and we all know just how powerful a small group of people are in that part of the Congress, everyone else in the party just jumps whenever they hollered jump; the Tea Party Caucus.

    Thing is, things are different this time around, come this new congress. The Tea Party may still hold some sway but any Republican with any sense in their heads knows that the American public in general, wants them to compromise and raise taxes on the wealthy, they had better heed that call.

    Along with that, the old game of using wedge issues, such as gay rights and illegal immigration, just do not work for them anymore. A majority of Americans now supports gay rights and gay marriage and Hispanics are becoming the largest voting block and holds a great deal more clout than any group of bigots and idiots called the Tea Party.

    This says the GOP had better change or face annihilation.

  8. Dear Mario: Be well friend. Spring and baseball season will be coming up soon enough. What a wonderful website. Rich B.

  9. On Twitter, the RWers are demanding to fire Boehner and replace with Alan West. Hilarious. They are slipping into even crazier.


  10. There are no eligibility rules for becoming Speaker of the House. It is more a matter of custom that a member of the House majority party is chosen. According to a 2011 report by the Congressional Research Service, Speakers of the House: Elections, 1913-2011, two votes were cast for people who were not members of the House:

    In five of the seven elections since 1997 (105th, 107th-109th, and 112th Congresses), however, some members voted for members of their own party other than the party nominees. Also, some members in 1997 voted for candidates who were not then members of the House. Although the Constitution does not so require, the Speaker has always been a member. Further, in 2001, a member affiliated with one major party voted for the nominee of the other. Until then, House practice had long taken for granted that voting for Speaker was demonstrative of party affiliation in the House.

    One of those candidates was Robert H. Michel of Illinois, who retired from the House in 1995, and Robert Smith Walker of Pennsylvania, whose term in the House had just ended in January of 1997. So it would be possible for Allen West to be elected Speaker.

  11. Diana, I have some bad news and some good news (and some more bad news) for you. The bad news is that two votes were, in fact, cast for Allen West. The good news is that he fell 216 votes short of what he needed to win. The other bad news is that Boehner is still speaker. The Daily Beast reported it this way:

    After a rough two years as House speaker, Rep. John Boehner is saddling up for two more. Despite some rumblings that, following displeasure with his fiscal-cliff negotiations, he faced some uncertainty, Boehner was handily reelected Thursday with 220 votes. Nancy Pelosi received a total of 192 votes, Eric Cantor received three, Allen West won two votes, and, despite not being a member of Congress, Colin Powell had a vote cast for him by Democratic Rep. Jim Cooper.

    Note that Colin Powell received a vote, which is the first time of which I am aware that a vote for speaker was cast for someone who not only was never a member of Congress but also never has held elected office.

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