Friday, December 19, 2014

Welcome To Cuba And Farewell To The Colbert Report

Friday, December 19th, 2014

My Dear America:

At a time of the year when normally nothing of any substance seems to happen, in December of 2014 all Hell seems to be breaking loose.  

First of all, Congress once again played Chicken with the U.S. Government's budget and very nearly shut down the Government again.  Ted Cruz, the Arrogant Egomaniac Senator from Texas once again grandstanding, pushed the discussion past where Republicans thought that it should have gone and in so doing produced an extra Saturday Session in which Democrats in the Senate pushed not only the budget through, but also pushed through a number of Barack Obama appointees including a new Surgeon General, after not having one in over a year.  Republicans were furious with Cruz while Democrats thanked Ted for his service on their behalf.

Also this month JEB Bush announced that he was exploring the possibility of his running for President in 2016, which, in essence, means that he is already running and actively fund raising for the prospect of his Campaign.  While in another era JEB Bush running for President would infuriate me (He is, after all, the prime mover in his brother George Bush's despicably flawed Florida "Victory" along with the Supreme Court in 2000") considering the other Republican Clowns gathering on Deck to run, suddenly the prospect of JEB in the mix is more acceptable than it has a right to be.  I will certainly never vote for him but the prospect of Clinton versus Bush is far more preferable than Clinton Versus Marco Rubio, Rand Paul or (God Forbid) Ted Cruz.

Another rather earth shattering incident that happened this month is the cancellation of the release of the controversial Seth Rogan and James Franco comedy movie, "The Interview."  The release of the movie was cancelled after devastating cyber attacks on Sony Pictures Studio in which hackers stole pretty much everything they could find on Sony's computer system.  The hackers, which by this time have pretty much been identified as North Korean Government Nerds, left messages on Sony Executives computers threatening 9/11 style attacks against theaters showing "The Interview," which is a fictional comedy about a plot to kill North Korean Leader, Kim Jon Un.  Clearly the North Korean leader did not see the humor in this premise.  The end result of all of this was the apparent disappearance of "The Interview." into the world of movie oblivion.  It was canceled by the studio from opening this weekend after nearly every movie chain in the country canceled it from playing on their screens.  Sony, at this point, has no plans to release it on video and the North Korean hackers have notified Sony That they have done the "Wise" thing.

President Barack Obama has condemned the North Korean Hacking and has indicated disappointment with Sony's abandoning the movie and, indeed, it is a disturbing precedent.  The American President has indicated that there may be a response to the North Korean outrage but has not said what it will be.

The truth is, however, that President Obama has more than North Korea to worry about these days.  Even though Key ISIS leaders have been killed recently, ISIS remains a threat to human decency in the Middle East and the rest of the world.  ISIS apparently was a motivator for a murderous terrorist incident in Sydney, Australia, of all places.

Obama is on a roll, however, these days.  After announcing a blistering indictment of Republican inactivity in the area of immigration, the President courageously set out to do what he could under the law without the help, or more likely hinderance, of Congress.

Even more courageous, however, is the fact that following contacts and encouragement by Pope Francis with both President Obama and Cuban President Raoul Castro, President Obama has announced the normalization of relations with the Island Nation of Cuba after more than 50 years of poor or no relations at all with the island.  Although there is much to dislike about Cuba it is about time that we establish relations with them.  Certainly when we have established positive relationships with Russia, China and Vietnam, it makes very little sense to continue to maintain hostile relations with Cuba. He will undoubtedly take considerable heat on the subject but his actions on Cuba are warranted and, in fact, long overdue 

President Obama is not taking the actions he is taking without commenting on them.  He has recently been interviewed by nearly everyone willing to have him on their Radio or TV Show or in their Publication.  Clearly President Obama is not going to be a shrinking violet in these last two years of his Presidency.  He is kicking butt and taking names and after six years of Republican obstruction of every effort he has made to do anything, clearly his days of trying to compromise with no positive response from the other side are over. Clearly the President realizes at this point in his Presidency that whatever he does or doesn't do he will be castigated by the Republicans.  So knowing that, he is clearly choosing to do whatever he can to get done what he believes he can and should do. 

One of the recent Television shows that President Obama appeared on was "The Colbert Report" on Comedy Central.  When President Obama was Stephen Colbert's guest recently President Obama seemingly took over the show from Stephen for the evening.  It was not the first or last time that Stephen Colbert would engineer something outrageously funny.  Last night, however, was the last time that Stephen Colbert would play his incredibly funny outrageously conservative fool of a character on his Comedy Central Show.  

As the last "Colbert Report" drew to a close Stephen Started singing "We'll meet again, Don't know where, Don't Know when" and suddenly the stage was filled with well known individuals from all walks of life standing on the stage with him in tribute to his remarkable talent.  Although Colbert will be missed by a lot of people for awhile at 11:30 in the evening, he will not be gone forever. He will be back sometime in 2015 when, after David Letterman retires, Stephen Colbert will take Letterman's spot on CBS and will no doubt do a great job.

Well, as we count down to the end of 2014 it might be a good time to repeat what Charles Dickens Tiny Tim said so long ago.

"God Bless Us, Every One".

Surely we need it.

Sincerely Yours

Jerry Gallagher