Well, Kati, what with Christmas, New Year’s Eve and all, we have scarcely had time for even a quiet chat. Happily all of that is over, at least for another year. Reflecting back now it certainly was a difficult year for us and the country also.
We managed to get through a whole year without Linda, our strong “house post” for so many years. I wasn’t sure just how we would manage without her, but we did. I now know how to do many things I could never do before: manage the washer/dryer, scrub the floors, use the dishwasher, pay the bills, vacuum floors, even make the bed (my least favorite task). Even worse, are the problems with having to deal with the computer, printer, and phone without Linda’s help. I know, Kati, this doesn’t sound like much, but when you are 80 years of age and unfamiliar with such domestic tasks it’s not as easy as you might think. I can now appreciate how it is that Linda could do in an hour what it takes me a day to do. Better, however, my cooking has improved immeasurably and I have resisted the temptation to take the easy way out, frozen dinners, pizza, and all that. There is, I have learned, an inordinate amount of waste involved when cooking for one person, but it is still worth it. As an aside, Kati, and I don’t want to upset you, but I notice you are getting heavier and losing your beautiful, lithe, shapely cat figure (like me). Perhaps this is an inevitable part of the aging process.
I guess it is fair to say that we had a pretty good year. But you can’t say the same thing for the nation, what with the government shutdown, the constant squabbling over everything, the dysfunctional Congress, the basically racially based opposition to anything President Obama has tried to do to ease unemployment, create jobs, deal with guns and immigration, infrastructure, and avoid a completely wrongheaded war with Iran. While I don’t approve of his drone warfare, his support of Wall Street and Israel, and his failure to prosecute our known war criminals, if he can manage to keep Israel and the Saudis from leading us into another war in the Middle East, he will have accomplished a basically Herculean task. If he could manage to solve the Israeli/Palestinian problem he would have accomplished the impossible, but, of course, this is not going to happen as long as Israel is In charge of our Middle East policy and our Congresspersons seem to think the slow Israeli genocide of the Palestinians is somehow “God’s will.”
There are signs that things may be about to change. The shameful inequalities of wealth seems to have only recently been noted, there are increasing numbers of strikes, the minimum wage is now seriously on the agenda, more and more people will have health insurance (not the best but better than before), the economy seems to be picking up, the deficit is going down, the filibuster is not so easy to abuse as it has been, and maybe, just maybe, some progress might be made on gun control and immigration. But Kati, you know you cannot count on anything happening for sure. Some say, for example, the Republicans may capture control of the Senate, keep control of the House, the full catastrophe. Personally, I fail to understand why anyone, except for a few racist rednecks, would ever vote Republican after their shameful performances of the last five or more years. But, Kati, no one ever accused the electorate of sagacity and they do have a record of voting against their own best interests. Sometimes, my little grey bundle of joy, mischief, and appetite, I wish I was a cat.
The French, God Bless ‘em, may be a nation of romantics, but they are also very practical minded. They are going to tax people who make too much money at 75%. We should do the same, but make it 90%.
If it looks like a Joe McCarthy, talks like a Joe McCarthy, and acts like a Joe McCarthy, is it a real Joe McCarthy, or just a fake?