Tag Archives: congress

The Shutdown vs. the Real World

I know that some out there are blaming President Obama for the shutdown, and saying that if only he’d negotiated more (i.e. capitulated to unreasonable demands and terrorist-style hostage-taking measures) Congress could have averted this.


For those of you still confused, let me offer an analogy that I think hits pretty close to accurate and that you may understand better:

Imagine that you work for a big company that has had a plan in the works for a couple years to change the health insurance plan. There was some major debate and contention over it, but ultimately, management and employees agreed on the plan.

Still, a few people who really hated it wasted the company’s time with dozens of meetings trying to get the plan changed back to the old, shittier system. Their efforts failed.

So, a few days before people are supposed to start signing up with the new health insurance plan, the minority of people dead-set against it threaten to shut down the company.

And, indeed, in an alliance between the human resources department, the accounts payable department and a few executives, that small number of people block the entrances to the company, shut down the IT department, refuse to release paychecks to much of the company and refuse to pay a lot of the bills. They declare that they are perfectly willing to let people not get paid, ruin the reputation of the company and possibly fundamentally damage the ability of the business itself to recover.

A few dozen people.

Shutting down your company and cutting off paychecks to you and/or people close to you.

Willing to let the company metaphorically burn to the ground, affecting your future livelihood.

All over a healthcare plan they don’t like but that the majority gave the green light to.

So, if you’re still supporting the people in Congress who’ve ensured this shutdown because they want to shut down the Affordable Care Act, I guess you’re not one of the rank and file workers in the company.

You must be one of the collaborators who’s happy to see chaos because you didn’t get your way.

In other words, you’re a petulant child.

I’ve put up with a lot of useless and damaging crap, like the failure-ridden No Child Left Behind Act and the civil liberties-taking USA Patriot Act that President Bush put into place, and I never would have supported a government shutdown to de-fund or delay either one of them.

That’s because I’m a damn adult, and I accept I can’t always get my way.

It’s high time for a lot of other people to grow up, too.


Keystone Congress

I’m not saying President Barack Obama is doing the best job ever of any recent president in office; however, considering what he inherited, he’s done pretty well, and even in his worst moments he’s more competent by far than George W. Bush administratively and in terms of foreign policy. Point is that I have my beefs at times with the Oval Office, even if one might assume from my liberal leanings that I worship at the altar of Obama.

Still, even when I’m not happy at the direction the president is going (or even the Supreme Court in a lot of recent decisions), the bulk of my ill-will is aimed squarely at the U.S. Congress. This is a body (both houses) that has become bloated, inefficient, corrupt, out of touch and deranged to extremes that I never could have imagined when I started voting back around 1986. To give you a taste of how I feel, how about some of these tweets from me over the past few days:

In other celebrity news, Fiscal Cliff and Debt Ceiling are going to have a child out of wedlock and also have a sex video coming out…

There aren’t enough video games these days that allow you to destroy nations or worlds. Time for a new MMPORPG called “U.S. Congress!”

I don’t have faith in U.S. Congress to pass a healthy turd anymore, much less any meaningful or useful legislation, budgets or anything else

31 Dec

Politicians elected to *serve*. Y’all get benefits most can only dream of. I give not 2 fucks if ya have to give up New Year’s & family time

This is a representative democracy; I’m a bit tired of Congress not actually representing most of its constituency while fellating top few %

Do I have this right? …Senate worked late and hard, and the House said, “Fuck y’all; we’re going to sleep & look at your shit in morning”

…nowwwwwwwwww, you might think I’m a bit cynical, jaded, fed-up, disillusioned and maybe even royally pissed off with the cock-up that is our federal legislature. Nothing could be farther from the…oh, wait, you’d be correct.

And yes, I level most of the blame in the past four years (well, 12, really, but we’ll focus on the worst third of that period) to the Republicans and their “We won’t support anything that could be seen as a victory for Obama, even if it’s actually kind of in our favor and even in line with our party’s philosophy” approach to governing. They’ve been whining, childish bastards willing to play games with the economy and people’s lives just to reclaim the White House and deep-throat corporate America and the uber-rich, and it sickens me. However, that said, the Democrats are just about as much in bed with corporate America as the Republicans, they can’t band together to save their lives, and they seem more than a bit aimless these days.

Basically, the U.S. Congress is kind of like the Keystone Cops from those old black-and-white silent films, where they tripped over each other and bungled everything. Only the Keystone Cops still seem to have it together more than our Keystone Congress does.

So, what do we do about it?

I don’t know. But I’ll tell you what. I’ll copy-paste an email forwarded to me by a family friend recently, because maybe it’s a good start for thinking about answers (no, I don’t know who it originates with, and it’s not my work nor have I even edited any part of what’s below):

Subject: Fw: Warren Buffet – please read…takes 1 minute

Warren Buffett, in a recent interview with CNBC, offers one of the best

quotes about the debt ceiling:

“I could end the deficit in 5 minutes,” he told CNBC. “You just
pass a law that says that anytime there is a deficit of more
than 3% of GDP, all sitting members of Congress are ineligible
for re-election.

The 26th amendment (granting the right to vote for 18 year-olds)
took only 3 months & 8 days to be ratified! Why? Simple!
The people demanded it. That was in 1971 – before computers, e-mail,
cell phones, etc.

Of the 27 amendments to the Constitution, seven (7) took one (1) year
or less to become the law of the land – all because of public pressure.

Warren Buffet is asking each addressee to forward this email to
a minimum of twenty people on their address list; in turn ask
each of those to do likewise.

In three days, most people in The United States of America will
have the message. This is one idea that really should be passed

Congressional Reform Act of 2012

1. No Tenure / No Pension.

A Congressman/woman collects a salary while in office and receives no
pay when they’re out of office.

2. Congress (past, present & future) participates in Social

All funds in the Congressional retirement fund move to the
Social Security system immediately. All future funds flow into
the Social Security system, and Congress participates with the
American people. It may not be used for any other purpose.

3. Congress can purchase their own retirement plan, just as all
Americans do.

4. Congress will no longer vote themselves a pay raise.
Congressional pay will rise by the lower of CPI or 3%.

5. Congress loses their current health care system and
participates in the same health care system as the American people.

6. Congress must equally abide by all laws they impose on the
American people.

7. All contracts with past and present Congressmen/women are void
effective 12/31/12. The American people did not make this
contract with Congressmen/women.

Congress made all these contracts for themselves. Serving in
Congress is an honor, not a career. The Founding Fathers
envisioned citizen legislators, so ours should serve their
term(s), then go home and back to work.

If each person contacts a minimum of twenty people then it will
only take three days for most people (in the U.S. ) to receive
the message. Don’t you think it’s time?


If you agree, pass it on. If not, delete.
You are one of my 20+ – Please keep it going, and thanks

Toward a Neo-Fuedal State

I’d just like to take a moment to thank the U.S. Congress and the White House for such careful, measured and sane deliberation over the debt ceiling, debt crisis and all that.

I must say that I love seeing a group of politicians act like terrorists and hold an entire nation hostage to their increasingly ridiculous demands as they do everything possible to thwart the president from…well, thwart him from doing ANYTHING at all, good or bad, because they want the uppity Negro out of office and want to jumpstart their Christian spin on Sharia law.

I also love watching a president in whom I had decent hopes (and sometimes high ones) continue to negotiate with crazy people as if they are level-headed and help not only create a pile of dogshit masquerading as responsible legislation and budgeting but also try to spin it as a victory for progressives.

But most of all, thank you, everyone in power in Washington, D.C. for forgetting that you were elected by common people, struggling people and working people…and thank you for having the wisdom to once again steal from those most in need to give to those who keep getting more and more and paying less and less ever since Ronald Reagan convinced the nation of the myth that is trickle-down economics.

Screw all y’all…

Two Years of Hell to Pay?

…maybe even more years than that.

I think this bit of commentary is telling, not simply because of the horrific outcomes it predicts (which are entirely likely), but because even I…a person who is left-leaning and largely votes Democratic…didn’t know some of this stuff (like, oh, the fact the budget deficit that the Republicans were bitching about was actually less than George W. Bush’s budget deficit).

As has become usual, the Democrats manage to get stuff done for the American people, and fail to effectively tell them they did it. Instead, they let the right-wing set the media agenda and stir the American populace into a frenzy over GOP and Tea Party fantasies that have little to do with reality.

After two years of being in the minority and managing to grind much of the political process to a slow crawl, now the GOP is set to bring it to a dead halt in a mission of destruction. And right now, they have the support of many working-class/middle-class/poor Americans who haven’t yet clued into the fact that the only thing they’ve accomplished in the mid-term elections is to make everything worse.

Beginning with their own well-being, their own future, their own livelihoods.

We’re so screwed. I hope Bob Cesca is wrong in that commentary I linked to above. I really do. But after two years of saying “no” to President Obama even on issues the GOP supported in the recent past, does anyone with any kind of critical thinking believe they are going to be level-headed NOW?

A looming zombie apocalypse a la “The Walking Dead” would almost be a relief at this point, given the specter of an America with a bunch of ass-hats holding the majority in the House and wreaking havoc simply because they hate the President…and for no good reason.

And if the GOP manages to turn our slow economic recovery into a decline by trying to bring back the policies that caused the economic meltdown in the first place, who do you think they’ll blame?

Yeah, the black guy. And all those “socialists” and “fascists” (aka, just about anyone who’s a Democrat)

God help us all.