"It makes a difference
whose ox is gored." I thought that was a good old American saying,
but according to Bartlett's Quotations Martin Luther said it first.
I have no idea what he was referring to, but today it would be the
United States Senate. Dr. Luther probably would have nailed a paper
saying "Danger" on the Senate door and run for his life.
is a great spectator sport. The recent switch in the balance of power
in the Senate is funny if you can keep from crying. Some of
those guys are turning around so fast they are getting dizzy. Well,
Dubya kept talking about bi-partisanship and compassionate conservatism.
He got elected - well, sort of -- and forgot all about bi-partisanship,
although he remembered the conservative part. Then the tables got
turned in the Senate, and in just a little over three months it's
his ox that is bleeding.
Lott, the ex-majority leader wins the Oscar for dialogue. Just last
week as he suddenly found himself out of a job he said in speaking of those
hated Dems, "Their effective control of the Senate lacks the moral
authority of a mandate. We must begin to wage the war today for the
election in 2002." He accused Senator James M. Jeffords of Vermont,
departure from the Republican Party shifted control of
the Senate, of "a coup of one."
a week later he spun 180 degrees. "I pledge to you my
support and cooperation," he said in his honeyed baritone to his successor,
Tom Daschle. "It's not really important what role we serve in. What's important
is what we do for the American people." Yeah!
that Dubya can't be sure of Senate backing, the stories are changing a
is the science fiction one. Dubya came on strong for the "Son of
Star Wars" missile defense system and the scrapping of the 1972 Anti-Ballistic
Missile Treaty. An editorial in the Denver Post summed it up.
"The United States is about to abrogate a treaty that has helped defend
this country for 29 years so that we can build a missile defense system
that we know doesn't work to deter a threat that doesn't yet exist while
exacerbating existing threats." This week the President is heading
for Europe full of conciliatory double talk. We only hope he can
remember his lines.
then there is global warming. Early in his administration,
Dubya pulled away from the Kyoto treaty, on the stated grounds of "the
incomplete state of scientific knowledge. Perhaps he had been
listening to Rush Limbaugh whom I heard comment one day that the
solution to global warming is for each of us to inhale more than we exhale.
In any case, it infuriated our European allies and most Americans.
Now he is trying to convince the Europeans that "he takes the issue very
eight years Clinton haters in the Senate bottled up Clinton appointments
to judgeships. Now the Republicans are furiously trying to trade
cooperation for assurance that Bush appointments will be heard promptly
by the open Senate. They have even reversed themselves and
agreed to let the American Bar Association vet the candidates for ability,
as they have been doing for many years. Now whose ox is gored?
sheer entertainment we can't ignore the new tax bill -- unless you happen
to be an accountant or tax lawyer and then it isn't funny.
Most of the relief comes at the end of 10 years-- and the year after that
the whole thing disappears, restoring in 2011 the same tax laws that were
in force last April 15. Married couples who expect elimination
of the marriage penalty should know that it won't start until 2005, or
bring full relief until 2009. Then you will lose it all in 2010.
And the very rich have an interesting problem in estate planning.
The estate tax won't be fully repealed until 2009 and then will be restored
in 2011. So if you want to
leave your whole estate to your kids, 2010 is the year
I have to decide whether to take my $300 gift from Dubya and give it to
charity, put it in the bank, or buy a new car.