The Cliffhanger, March 11

Ever since the language of the ???fiscal cliff??? was appropriated to describe the political battle over a tax increase, it???s become increasingly clear that every issue is a ???cliff??? now.  Here are today???s snapshots from the edge???

** Korean War formally resumes: According to reports from North Korean “news” services relayed through CNN and the Washington PostNorth Korea has “completely scrapped” the armistice which ended hostilities in 1953.  This is something they’ve threatened to do over the past few weeks, and have threatened before, but they’ve never actually gone through with it.  Of course, if it’s all just part of a high-octane mix of bluster and malarkey used by baby dictator Kim Jong Un to keep his slave-citizens in line, and he wants to back down from it a few days from now, the international community will politely agree to ignore it, just like they politely ignore most of his other antics.  The Norks have also stopped answering their hotline from South Korea, possibly because Lil’ Kim is busy dispensing what the Washington Post describes as “particularly fiery” rhetoric, some of which portrays the annual military exercises between South Korea and the United States as an act of war.  South Korea says the North cannot unilaterally end the cease fire, although on this particular point the psychotic heavily-armed Communist state is probably more correct, and may well prove it by unilaterally murdering some people in the very near future.

** Iran and al-Qaeda are besties: Remember all the “expert” who used to insist that Iran and al-Qaeda would never, ever work together, due to sectarian religious differences?  Well, the dirtbag son-in-law of Osama bin Laden, about to begin a multi-year run of near-Broadway performances in a New York City courtroom, was living in Iran for years before making the ill-fated trip to Turkey that got him captured and extradited.  A number of other top al-Qaeda operatives and members of the bin Laden inner circle have likewise been guests of the Iranian government (technically under “house arrest” in Tehran, but it’s the kind of arrest that includes “visits to swimming pools and shopping trips,” similar to what happens when Lindsey Lohan gets arrested.)  Other al-Qaeda thugs have been living large on the shores of the Caspian Sea.  It turns out the Navy SEALs were planning to drop in and surprise them back in 2002, but the operation was scuttled because the precise location of the targets could not be pinned down.  The “experts” are still “puzzled” by this Axis of Evil friendship.  Just think how puzzled they’ll be when Iran gets its nuclear bombs working and hands one off to its unruly houseguests.

** Noted gun-control advocate buys himself an “assault rifle”: Mark Kelly, husband of former Rep. Gabby Giffords, swung through an Arizona gun store and purchased not just a pistol, but also one of those hellish AR-15 “assault weapons” that harbor so much demonic power within their fearsome black plastic attachments.  Not only that, but he threw in some “high capacity magazines” while he was at it.  Once the purchases were made public, fully three days after the ink on the receipt was dry, Kelly raced to his Facebook page to claim this was all part of an effort to demonstrate that “even to buy an assault weapon, the background check only takes a matter of minutes.”  In other words, he bought that evil gun to make a devastating point about how the system… works exactly the way it’s supposed to?  He says he plans to hand the weapon over to the authorities when it’s delivered, and promptly sought absolution by attending a gun control rally, so it’s all good.

In other gun-control lunacy, the marathon gun-control debate in Colorado this weekend became a volcano of stupidity, with Democrats asserting that military veterans cannot be trusted to own firearms because “some have mental health problems,” while another admitted her gun-control legislation wound neither “increase or reduce violent crime” but should be imposed anyway; House Democrat leader Jan Schakoswky (D-IL) confirmed that the NRA caricature of gun-grabbing Democrats is absolutely correct by happily chirping that her party intends to use an assault-weapons ban as the first step toward greater (total?) firearms confiscation; and a Republican state senator in Maryland, J.B. Jennings, felt moved to introduce a bill that would prevent school officials from suspending students who chew Pop-Tarts into the shape of a gun, because that just happened.  Maybe we should issue paper bags to the gun-control zealots, so they could hyperventilate for a while and calm down before they get innocent people killed.

** Starbucks launches venti double latte rebellion against Nurse Bloomberg: The famed coffee chain has declared that it will partially defy the incredibly complex set of soft-drink rules imposed by the city’s neurotic mayor, Michael Bloomberg, by continuing to offer demon rum no matter what the Volstead Act says… er, excuse me, I was just catching up on some episodes of Boardwalk Empire.  Starbucks is going to offer demon coffee in those hellforged 20-ounce venti cups.  Bloomberg says their defiance is “ridiculous” because “Starbucks knows how to market things, knows how to package things… they can change instantly when it’s in their interest to do so.” Such as when a madcap tyrant tells them to.  Whimsical political domination requires a certain degree of, shall we say, flexibility on the part of private enterprise.  Dunkin Donuts is distributing brochures “explaining the complex rules surrounding coffee,” a beverage the dazed residents of New York are not accustomed to treating like a biohazard.  There are rules based on how much milk finds its way into a beverage, and whether the customers decide to add their own sugar after drinks have been dispensed into commissar-approved containers.  “I definitely believe it’s going to hurt my business,” complained a pizza shop owner who just threw out $1,000 worth of containers she is now legally prohibited from using.  Well, ObamaCare hurt your business too, and you didn’t have anything to say about that either.  Get used to it, serfs.

** Progress toward a “balanced approach” to deficit reduction: Remember how Obama lied and lied and lied during the campaign about how he’d propose $3 in spending cuts for every $1 in tax increases to reduce the deficit?  Well, stop bringing that up, because it’s really starting to annoy him.  Once safely back in the Oval Office, Obama’s “balanced approach” promptly became $0 in spending cuts for ever $4 trillion in tax increases.  But his plan to inflict punishing hardships on Americans in the name of the tiny reduction in spending increases known as “sequestration,” and blame these horrors on his political opponents, hasn’t worked out very well, so it was back to the drawing board.  (The drawing board is apparently located somewhere between the 15th and 16th holes on a golf course.)  Now it’s time for Balanced Approach v6.35, which will give us… $6 billion in spending cuts plus $2.6 trillion in tax hikes.  Yes, six billion in spending cuts, over 10 years.  How in the world could this ratio of two cents in spending reduction for each dollar of tax increases be peddled as “balanced?”  Simple: Obama describes some of the tax increases as if they were spending reduction.  It’s not much, but it’s progress.  Baby steps are the only way to toddle clear of a heroin-junkie spending addiction.