Is there no limit to what we the people will withstand? If there were levels of dysfunction and gradations of the malfeasance that is Capitol Hill and the White House clearly we have entered yet a new level only Dante could have envisioned.
In what insiders like to call a “must pass” piece of legislation, in this case funding for the government to continue to operate after, oh…today, a 1,600-page bill was passed by the House (barely) after no public scrutiny and written literally in secrecy. The Senate will perform its requisite public bitch and moan dance and then pass the damn thing. read the horrid details
To say that this is a helluva way to run a railroad is so disrespectful to the railroads.
We just had an election. All right, few showed up and gerrymandering has all but predetermined most outcomes but poll after poll indicates that we are fed up with the shenanigans that pass as leadership in D.C. Supposedly it is exactly this, which we say we won’t stand for anymore. Whether one voted Democrat, Republican or Independent in the election hat we said we wanted was no more of…THIS.
Budgets which are $1.1 trillion of our money within bills so large no one can read it all, assuming they actually had it before consideration. The proverbial christmas tree of unrelated dreck comprised mostly of favors to already well heeled and well protected special interests that likely couldn’t survive the disinfectant of daylight. The brinksmanship and bold faced ideological hostage taking which both underfunds essential services or actually ends funding (i.e. Homeland Security) after 10 weeks (so the R’s can mark their territory) and sets it all up to do again with another continuing resolution at the 12th hour.
Like the see-no-evil torture supporters we seem to simply not want to know how bad it is. While understandable as self-preservation and to prevent a daily drug induced anesthetizing, we can’t have it both ways. Walmart sells organic products because their shoppers made it clear they want to buy it. We must keep our eyes open, watch, learn and say never again – by firing (not reelecting) all those who partake.
How bad is it? Really bad, though unfortunately not terribly unique. At the same time it could certainly be argued that they are doing this simply because they can. In that paltry election we just had, the reelection rate was 96%. There’s a pretty good chance that many, in both parties though the Republicans seem especially brazen and trite given that they know they will own congress in January, of those who were just rehired contributed to the very negligent acts which just occurred (and will occur in the Senate).
A brief parade of horribles:
1) As it’s more and more clear that the influence of money in electoral politics is beyond corruptive to now be the very grease that keeps the machine “working”, the bill increases almost 10 fold the amount of money a donor can give to the Parties. The new $770,600 limit will allow the already fat cats to buy even more influence. Both McCain-Feingold and the Watergate reforms to the proliferation of “soft money” corruption will essentially be over.
2) Congress has done little in the last 10 years to address the cannibalizing of our electoral system, but even less to stunt the rapacious hunger and greed of Wall Street. As we watch the barely meaningful McCain-Feingold wither away so do we witness the lame excuse for financial regulation, Dodd-Frank, take its last breadths. A rider on the bill (sort of like a leech on its host) will allow FDIC insured institutions to trade “custom swaps”.
3) The bill will attempt to overturn a recently passed ballot measure and thwart the will of the people of the District of Columbia (passed in November by 70%) by providing no funding for implementation of legalized marijuana use.
4) Perhaps the most egregious, in an admittedly new low even for Congress is the allowance of the Export-Import Bank to fund coal fired power plants abroad. As we surpass the point of no-return scientists have warned us about (2 degrees Celsius of warming) the unmitigated goal of Congress to actually assist in increasing emissions is reprehensible. It also marks the U.S. as the hypocrites we are when asking other countries to take bold actions to stem climate change. We get what we vote for
It is important to note that while the Republicans are especially craven and almost foaming at the mouth in anticipation of total domination of Congress, so they can conduct more multi-million dollar “investigations” against a President they have pledged to help fail, deny climate change and defund as many regulatory efforts as possible, it is also the Democrats who are helping make this perversion happen. They want more money to be able to come to their Party. They want access to more potential funders on Wall Street. See a pattern here?
With all the public displays of angst and woe is me they have done since their trouncing on Election Day, when the lights are off and the microphones quiet many of them are the exact caricatures of politicians the public believes them to be.
When will it stop? Never, unless and until our actions speak louder, or at least when they match our words.