Happy Thanksgiving to All!
I hope we all get together today and share with our friends and family the things we are thankful for. And because I cannot help it:
What a silly pants. Why she was so adamant about it I don’t know. It’s integral that our leaders make lots of green. Forget Joe the Plumber. What about Joe the Bidden? Ranked as one of the poorest members of Congress, he brings home a measly $165,000 a year.
People like the one who called into CSPAN this morning (for the sake of argument lets call her “Justice”), just don’t seem to understand that money is integral to healthy politics. Take the 2008 election for example. Without having spent over $860,000,000, how could Obama & McCain have convinced us they wanted to spend our money wisely?
Justice’s ideas represents a vague kind of unsubstantiated suspicion that money is as important as qualifications in politics. She couldn’t be further from the truth. Only 25% of Representatives and 33% of Senators are millionaires
The reality is, our American Democracy works best when people with lots of cash and resources promise they will help others maintain and grow their cash and resources, in exchange for cash and resource donations to their campaign. Then, to reward their election success, it is imperative that we provide these leaders with more cash and resources (like great health care and guaranteed pensions after 5 years). This will ensure their loyalty is to the people.
In this way, we can be sure that cash and resources are equitably distributed amongst all Americans. The idea that Congressional leaders would somehow be more in touch with the average American if they made $6.55/hr, is childish and would be counterproductive.
If members of Congress only brought home $13,624 a year and had to juggle housing, fuel, and health care, how would they be able to concentrate on their jobs? How would they be able to live?
Sometimes I just wish Justice and her naive ideals would go away.
Filed under: Satire | Tagged: American Democracy, Barack Obama, congress, CSPAN, election finance, health care, Joe Bidden, joe the plumber, John McCain, justice, millionaires, minimum wage, pension | 6 Comments »
“The only thing we have to fear, is fear itself”– FDR
I was thinking about this phrase the other day, because I believe now, more than ever it is true. The election of Obama is a historic event, and we must take this opportunity to uphold hope over fear. Fear has brought us the Salem witch trials, lynching, the holocaust, the Japanese internment camps, the Cold War, the Cuban embargo, hate crimes, Guantanamo, the Patriot Act….the list goes on.
In October, the fear that had gripped the American people was the economy: newspapers, the TV, the radio; everywhere fear abounded. The world was going to end, the stock market was going to crash, and the Great Depression would eventually prove to have been a vacation. It was out of this climate of fear, that the United States Congress chose to grant the Treasury Department virtually unchecked power.
When I came out against the bailout many people criticized me- they pretty much regurgitated what the media had been saying: the economy would fail, the stock market would crash, and now was no time to try to punish the bad guys, because the little guy would suffer.
What worried me most at the time was not that the proposal that would give tremendous amounts of money to the people who had created the mess, but that we would grant near limitless power to a former wall street banker, to do what he would with taxpayer dollars. The attempt to push through the legislation in the span of a week, spurred by a 3 page proposal appalled me, and I called out for people to slow down, and think the things through.
Eventually the congress caved, and despite thousands of angry phone calls & letters from the American people, Secretary Treasurer Henry Paulson was essentially given a blank check. Now, just last week Henry Paulson came out and said he was going to do something completely different with the money, than what he had asked for. Not only did Paulson completely change what he intends to use the money for, but he flaunted his power to do as he wished “I will never apologize for changing a strategy or an approach if the facts change“.
That’s a scary proposition. Translation: “Congress, even if I come to you asking for billions of tax payer dollars to do “X”, and you give it to me, if I change my mind after the fact and decide to “Y”, I will do it. And I won’t be challenged“. (Read the article here)
The things we are willing to sacrifice due our fear is frightening, and Henry Paulson’s comments last week are really what got me thinking.
So what’s my point? That the economy isn’t failing? No. I do not challenge the fact that we are facing tough times, and decisive action is needed. That Paulson is making the wrong move? No. The wrong move was made by Congress last month when they gave into fear and granted Paulson virtually limitless authority. Once the government starts granting this much power to one man because they are fearful of the future, we head down a dangerous road.
Lesson of the day: when the government cries the sky is falling, beware of their solutions. Fear puts a blinder on our rationale that must be consciously removed if we are to see clearly and act sensibly.
Perhaps Jon Stewart best expressed the power of fear, in his clever comparison of Bush on Iraq & the economy.
Today is Veterans Day, and I wish to personally extend appreciation to our troops. While I often decry the United States military for its imperialistic and clumsy foreign policy, I have to acknowledge that American’s serve our country out of a sense of duty, to obtain college degrees, and generally not because of malice in their hearts. Since the founding of our country, troops have served us, and fought to preserve our liberties & freedoms. As often as I like to talk about peace, I am reminded of a quote:
“Peaceful men can sleep in their beds at night because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf”
I by no means endorse disproportionate force, or war in general, but I have to acknowledge the debt that I, and all Americans owe to soldiers who personally sacrifice for us. Instead of superfluous ceremonies, and flag waving, the United States Government ought to invest heavily in the futures of soldiers- guaranteed higher education, health care, and retirement. To date, over 4,000 troops have died in Iraq. Let’s truly honor our troops and their families by removing them from unnecessary danger.
Now that the dust is beginning to settle, lets take a look at who the real winners and losers are following this campaign season:
After decrying her critics as “jerks”, Palin remains the party’s favorite for a 2012 run for President.
Joe-six-pack, Joe-the-pumber, and yes, bob-the-builder have been in the spotlight for the past few months. And why not? They are apparently the only people in the country who matter. I can’t think of a single reference to the “lower class” during the debates, or election cycle in general.
Alaska, that pesky state that curiously sits somewhere in the south pacific in all our maps, has risen to a level of national prominence not seen since it first became a state 50 years ago. Alaska’s love for loyalty has become unrivalved across America, as Senator Ted Stevens, recently convicted on 7 felony counts, has likely been re-elected to the Senate. If so, he’ll become the first felon elected to the Senate in history.
Hours long waiting lines, malfunctioning equipment, voter intimidation, voter fraud, varying voting requirements, a confusing electoral college- America’s outmoded election system has shown its flaws over the last few elections. Out with the old, in with a new federalized system.
An excellent orator & a thoughtful intellectual, Barack Obama garnered 52% of the popular vote- the highest of all time for any non-incumbent Democrat. Obama has united and excited the nation in a way not seen before, and is poised to become a great president.
In this election, Republicans lost at least 20 seats in the house (50 since the 2006 elections), and so far- 6 seats in the senate. For the first time in decades, Democrats control the presidency, the senate, and the house. Many noteworthy republicans snubbed the party in endorsing Obama for President, and some are even predicting a split of the republicans into two parties- the republicans, and the conservatives.
In the span of three short minutes, McCain managed to gain my respect for a tasteful & appropriate concession speech. A cancer survivor at the age of of 72, McCain can gracefully retire after the completion of his senate term.
Following Barak Obama’s election, gun sales have soared. Many gun shops report sales rising by 30% or more, as people fear a Barakdown on gun ownership
After becoming the historic President Elect, Barack Obama has just inherited a whole lotta trouble: the economy, two wars, the housing market, crumbling infrastructure, a broken health care system, a staggering national debt…
Although the McCain/Palin campaign attempted to paint Obama as a dangerous Socialist in the closing weeks of the campaign, Socialism, has actually been doing quite well. The United States Government is now in the business of nationalizing banks to the tune of $700 billion, and following $25 billion in loans to the auto industry earlier this year, Democratic leaders are now urging a bailout for struggling automakers.
Sarah Palin, who came within a few million votes of becoming the first female vice-president. To add insult to injury, the Repulican National Committe is taking back all the clothes they bought her. Finally, her credibility has sunken so low, that she has been forced to deny allegations that she didn’t know whether Africa was a country or continent.
They just got Barack & Co