Tuesday, December 24, 2013

The Last Laugh Of The Year

As we've been saying over the past few days, our annual winter holiday break is finally here, and this is our last full edition for 2013. As usual, there will be brand new Paul Fell Cartoons published over the next week and a half, including the annual Paul Fell Holiday Card, a New Year's cartoon, and the Paul Fell Prediction cartoon before the Gator Bowl.

As the year draws to a close, the end of 2013 looks oddly much like the beginning. Republicans in Congress are still screwing the unemployed, and according to George Zornick, who's filling in over at Greg Sargent's Plum Line, Republicans also look like they're going to cave on the debt ceiling in early 2014, much as they did last February.

Just like at the beginning of the 2013, extremist Republicans are still pointing and laughing at Democrats, saying that Obamacare is falling apart and won't hold up because it goes too far. Not surprisingly though, as Jamelle Bouie pointed out in a CNN poll yesterday, the majority of Americans actually think the Affordable Care Act doesn't go far enough - so the facts also continue to trump the lies from the right.

Over the last thirty years, economic inequality has become one of the biggest problems facing Americans. This year, finally, the American media took serious note of this fact, even as both the Dow and S&P hit record highs. Those record highs from Monday, by the way, are thanks in large part to the fact that Apple will soon be able to sell iPhones to 763 million new customers in China.

While President Obama and Secretary of State Kerry finally began to officially re-open communication between America and Iran this year, a group of corporatist Democrats, beholden to the military industry, now seem insistent on pushing for more sanctions which could blow up the entire peace agreement.

For the 113th Congress, that self-inflicted wound somehow seems fitting, since this Congress has done less than any previous Congress in history - thanks largely to the far-right extremists in the teabag wing of the Republican Party. Even so, the world has continued to move at a blistering pace.

Our annual countdown of important numbers includes nearly 17,000 news, opinion, and commentary stories that our staff members read this year, not including the stack of great books we plowed through. As of today's edition, we've also published 240 issues this year of The Daily Felltoon, and Paul has drawn over 300 new cartoons this year, just for this publication. That doesn't even include the nearly 100 previous editions of Paul's cartoons that were republished or updated.

Moreso than last year, we're looking at 2014 with a positive and even hopeful attitude. After all, Congress did pass a two-year budget - albeit one that sucks, but at least it's a weapon Republicans in Congress can't use to hold the nation hostage next year. After Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid went "nuclear" on Republicans, there really isn't a whole lot more low-hanging damage the obstructionists in Congress can do in 2014. What's more, both House and Senate members have to go home and campaign for their jobs next year - and thanks to those same extremist tea-type Republicans, House members have next to nothing to show their constituents.

On a personal note, there look to be some new professional opportunities both for our work here, and for our staff members individually in 2014. We're also expecting a brand new member to join our staff early next year, a new baby for our editor Amy and her family.

In short, our staff members have a positive outlook, and the year ahead looks to be filled with progress and opportunity for all of us. We can't help but look ahead and laugh, and hope.

May 2014 look equally hopeful for you.
Happy holidays from all of us at The Daily Felltoon.

We'll return to our regular publication schedule January 3, 2014.

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