Merry Christmas From Caffeinated Politics! (Be Back Jan. 1, 2018)

It is that time of year which I so very much love.  Being with my James, family, and friends makes the Christmas Season perfect.  As has been our practice for the past decade we observe the holiday in an old Victorian house with dark wood and large windows–which is similar in ways to one of the videos in this greeting to my readers.    We have no insulation other than what was customary at the time of construction so we are fans of sweaters!  But I can tell you the charm of the kitchen with dinner in the oven is one of the nicest experiences on any winter day!

Our home was built in 1892 and there is no way to not think of how Christmases of the past were celebrated here.  I always think of the kids that would have lived here and awakened on Christmas morning in high spirits.  Perhaps if I listen just hard enough their laughter can still be heard.  I wonder how large the Christmas trees were in this house, and if one ever actually touched the high ceilings.

While I grew up in the country and know the joy of snow on the barn roof  (as sung in another video in this greeting)  I also know the pleasure of Christmas in the city.  While there are wonderful old traditions that remain from my childhood days in Hancock, Wisconsin, there is also pleasure in creating new ones in Madison.  James and I work so our home has a more Victorian feel each passing Christmas.  I am reminded that old-time memories are not only the ones I knew personally as a youngster, but the ones we are now re-creating from the past in this home.  It is in that way the country and city Christmases become one.

The best of both worlds.

To all my readers from around the state, country, and the daily readers in Poland, Jordan (Lord, I would love to meet you!) and Australia, thank you. May each and every one of you have a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!



President Trump Is A ‘Winner’ At Being Unfavorable!

Let it be also known that over the last thirty days, President Trump has set or tied a record low in job approval with every major polling firm (except Rasmussen).

And it is easy to see why.  As Paul Krugman noted in the newspaper, “step back and look at what’s happening both on taxes and on the Trump coverup: one of our two major political parties, currently running the government, is suffering an intellectual and moral implosion.

And Trump is infectious while the GOP congress has stood too close to Patient Zero.  Mid-terms will be the national antidote.


Presidential Approval Rating Dec Of First Year

Bush, 2001 86%

Kennedy, 1961 77%

Bush, 1989 71%

Eisenhower, 1953 69%

Nixon, 1969 59%

Carter, 1977 57%

Obama, 2009 54%

Clinton, 1993 54%

Reagan, 1981 49%

Trump, now 35%

Young Caroline Kennedy Loving A Christmas Tree

Childhood delight!

How Much Will The Rich Gain Under 2017 GOP Tax Bill?

Steve Rattner is always allowing economics to be better understood.

Most importantly, the legislation – which will almost certainly be passed this week by both houses of Congress – would benefit those further up the income scale more than those closer to the bottom. Americans with incomes above $100,000 a year will see their after-tax incomes rise by more than 3%, with those who take in between $500,000 and $1 million a year receiving boosts of more than 5%. For those further down the income scale – making less than $40,000 – the benefits will be modest at best: increases in after-tax incomes of less than 2%.

GOP Did Not Think Through Tax Cut For Rich

Michael Bloomberg nailed it in his column regarding the soon to-be-passed tax cut bill for the wealthy in the nation.

Corporations are sitting on a record amount of cash reserves: nearly $2.3 trillion. That figure has been climbing steadily since the recession ended in 2009, and it’s now double what it was in 2001. The reason CEOs aren’t investing more of their liquid assets has little to do with the tax rate.

CEOs aren’t waiting on a tax cut to “jump-start the economy” — a favorite phrase of politicians who have never run a company — or to hand out raises. It’s pure fantasy to think that the tax bill will lead to significantly higher wages and growth, as Republicans have promised. Had Congress actually listened to executives, or economists who study these issues carefully, it might have realized that.


To what end? To hand corporations big tax cuts they don’t need, while lowering the tax rate paid by those of us in the top bracket, and allowing the wealthy to shelter more of their estates.

To be clear: I’m in favor of reducing the 35 percent corporate tax rate as part of a revenue-neutral tax reform effort. Right now, the corporate code is so convoluted, and rates so high relative to other nations (thereby creating an incentive to keep profits offshore), that the real rates companies pay can be wildly divergent. This is neither fair nor efficient. Eliminating loopholes and reining in the offshoring of profits can and should be done in a revenue-neutral overhaul of the tax code.

The tax bill is an economically indefensible blunder that will harm our future. The Republicans in Congress who must surely know it — and who have bucked party leaders before — should vote no.

Best Line From Morning Newspapers

Love it!

“Any of these people from New York with dreams of being in the White House would do themselves a favor if they understood that there is a lot of distance between Times Square and the state fair in Iowa,” said Alice Stewart, a Republican political strategist and veteran of past presidential campaigns.

Wasilla Hillbillies Christmas Present To Nation: Sarah Palin’s Son Attacks Todd Palin, Domestic Violence With A Gun And Booze Chaser

It has been a while since Sarah Palin made copy for this blog.  But her family is punching their way back into the headlines.  When last we talked about this little nuclear family of dysfunction it seemed money grubbing was slowing down as Sarah had ended her political action committee.

We have not had her antics to laugh at this year, and we miss her family for the white trash humor they provided the nation.   She was not in the news gulping big soft drinks or doing her cat-walk and winking at old needy men at political events.  Who does not miss the type of things she might say as the old geezers drool at her.  “Is that a side-winder missile in your pants fella, or are you just happy to be this close to the Republican version of the Titanic?”

Yes, there was a missing link in the news without her performances.  So just in time for Christmas Palin and her family have a present for the nation!

Former vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin’s son, Track, was arrested Saturday night after he allegedly beat his father at his parents’ home, according to court documents obtained by the Los Angeles Times.

The confrontation started when Track Palin, 28, allegedly said he was coming over to the Palin residence in Wasilla, Alaska, to pick up a truck.

His father, Todd Palin, told him to stay away because Track Palin had been drinking and taking pain medication, the newspaper reported. However, Track Palin showed up anyway.

When he arrived, Todd Palin allegedly confronted Track Palin at the front door with a pistol. Track Palin then broke a window, entered the house and began beating his father, the newspaper reported.

Sarah Palin called police at about 8:30 p.m. local time. When authorities arrived, Todd Palin and Sarah Palin were driving away in separate cars, with Todd Palin bleeding from his face.

Process Matters–Senator McCain Knows

There are themes which continue to be the foundations to this blog.  Newspapers and reporters are held in the most high regard.  Gun control is essential.  Radio is the most intimate medium.  Elvis is still the ultimate entertainer.

And the process of governing is the glue to our republic.

As this nation sends prayers to Senator John McCain as he rests at his Arizona home I reflected today on what he can be most proud of over his lifetime.  Many will say his military service followed by his terms in the senate.   But what he did while elected–and HOW he did them–will stand the test of time and be a most towering part of his legacy.

When McCain fought alongside Wisconsin Senator Russ Feingold for stemming the amounts of campaign cash he proved that the process of elections is connected to the types of legislation that winning candidates craft.  Not sexy stuff but so very important to our nation.

Earlier this year I was very pleased–as I am old-fashioned enough to know regular order matters–that McCain was also holding firm to his determined resolve to not allow the Graham-Cassidy health care overhaul bill to pass.  Sure, I was opposed to the bill on policy grounds.   But I was also totally opposed to the process which had allowed a measure onto the floor that had not been dealt with through the process of regular order.

Over the years I have blogged here–(yes, this is my third blog!) about McCain over 230 times.  Sometimes we agreed on policy and other times I very much opposed his ideas.  But when it came to the process of governing I was never more proud than to call him a kindred spirit.

America needs him to find the strength to return in 2018 to the Hill and again place his determined nature on the path that guides legislation.   To few grasp the wisdom as to why process matters at all levels of government.