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On To The New Year

English: President Barack Obama discusses his ...
English: President Barack Obama discusses his jobs plan, the American Jobs Act, in a speech delivered to a joint session of the 112th United States Congress on September 8, 2011. Vice President Joe Biden and House Speaker John Boehner are seated behind the President. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Now that the pleasant distraction of Christmas has passed, the full attention of millions of Americans will turn to some of the important issues facing us in the near term, such as the fiscal cliff and gun control to curb the insanity of mass-killings that seem to be escalating. Hopefully, we can leave some of the other social issues on the back burner and deal with what is critical and right in front of us.

President Obama is cutting his Christmas vacation short and is returning to Washington to deal with this looming 'fiscal cliff' that has everybody in a panic. Conservatives (mainly of the GOP) are frustrated and angry with John Boehner for offering to sell out his alleged conservative principles and cave on the issue of a tax hike. Moreover, his seeming willingness to give in on the upcoming debt ceiling debate makes no sense from a 'leverage' perspective, either. Had he done so, there is no telling where this would all wind up. In many respects, I agree with Democrats. But I also have gained a sense of responsibility and 'reasonableness' as I have aged that shows me how we cannot sustain this path of 'spend and borrow and spend some more' that we are on. it is for that reason that I was one of those "Democrats for Romney" in this past presidential election. As much as I like President Obama and agree with many of his philosophies (I voted for him in 2008), this spending problem is mushrooming and I see no tangible plan to curb it being offered by either him or the democratically-controlled Senate. I would note that some newspapers who endorsed him in 2008 went for Romney this time, including my own hometown Norwich Bulletin and the popular, well-known New York Daily News. There were also other surprise endorsements from prominent news media outlets. More and more people are aware that there are problems that must be attended to quickly to avert catastrophic events within our economy from occurring.

So many Republicans (John Boehner, in particular) fear they will be blamed if we go over this manufactured 'cliff' that has a real potential of greatly damaging a fragile economy. No doubt he is correct about that. I wish they would all worry less about their parties and more about the American people so something can get done now! To the Democrats I ask: Where are the meaningful spending cuts we are supposed to see? Time to stop governing from emotion and start using the mind. To the Republicans the question I pose is: Why do you work so hard at protecting rich people at the expense of the average American through compromise?  Moreover, why do you try to impose your socially conservative base's morals on the rest of us, which is only corrupting the small government Republican 'brand' and destroying your party?

The issue of gun control that has gained the focus of more Americans in the wake of the recent, unbelievably horrific tragedy in Newtown, CT, is demanding attention to as we seek to bolster the safety of our children and the public at large. I don't think for a minute that gun control is going to stop all these acts of evil from happening, but I do understand why people think that it might help by reducing the number of deaths and injuries that result -- and, in some cases, may deter some from happening at all. It is far too easy to kill a lot of people quickly with some of these assault rifles. However, history does not support the belief that banning assault weapons will lower murder rates. It does, however you feel about it, take away yet more of our personal liberty. I must admit that I'm not sure why Wal-Mart needs to be selling such things as AR-15 semi-automatic assault rifles to the general public. I don't believe it's a violation of our second amendment for states to offer legislation to prevent that. And, if it does, maybe we need to adjust our constitution's content to reflect the needs of the times we're living in? I'm sure that question, if picked up by some of my more conservative friends and readers, will stir up some controversy. I'd like to know your thoughts on the subject, pro or con.

One of my favorite magazines is Time. The new issue addresses the Person Of The Year, Barack Obama, and some runner-ups that I'm sure are controversial. I'm sure that I'll have some things to say after I read the articles. Stay tuned!

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