Saturday, April 9, 2011

Stop and go

Well, we averted a government shutdown. Feel free to go to a National Park and celebrate. Better do it in the next five days because that's only as long as this stop gap bill lasts. In that time, politicians are expected to really "dig in" and read all the fine print, written behind closed doors in the caverns of the White House at the eleventh hour. They are to vote on the bill this Wednesday to fund the government for the rest of the fiscal year in September.
This marks the seventh stop gap decision by the rival House and Senate. Basically the stop gap means that it delays real decision making further. It's like procrastinating on your homework until the day before finals when you realize you don't even remember what fucking class it is that you're taking. But imagine that your decisions on that final affected 300 million Americans. Pretty fucked huh?
That's what politicians are saying. But of course, instead of criticizing their own side, they cast blame on the "other side," saying the Democrats aren't realistic about spending cuts, and Democrats claiming that Republicans are on an ideological rampage, slicing and dicing according to their far right ideals and not based on possible economic growth. In the end, Republicans let go of their demand for no government funding for Planned Parenthood (except in DC where they got that thru) and the effective castration of the EPA. Meanwhile Democrats gave way on pretty much everything else from medicaire and medicaid to education, infrastructure and oh by the way, tax cuts for the wealthy once again got in there...funny how that keeps popping up. I wonder how that'll help the Lewis Black said, the Republicans are a party of bad ideas and the Democrats are a party of no ideas.
Succinct and painfully true.
Think about it: SEVEN stop gaps to bring us to this - this limbo? We haven't even gotten anywhere and they're up on the hill congratulating their friends on being able to go to the fucking Washington Monument. Obama held a press conference in the Blue Room of the White House, a glorified living room - why? Because it has a great view of the Monument - he waxed poetic on the meaning and the symbolism, something he's always been good at. What he has trouble with is turning his utopian poetry into tangible prose.
The Washington Post remarked that this is the "first battle" between the Republican run House and the Democrat held Senate, and both parties seemed determined to stand their ground, meanwhile Obama attempting to be the "calm mediator." Biden lost his cool during the talks, can't say I blame him, exasperated with the non stop back and forth, saying "Well fine, let the American people decide this issue." Well Joe, that's probably not a bad idea. Since it seems that you guys over there in DC can't tell Obama's ass from Palin's elbow, maybe you should hand it to the people it really effects.
Particularly considering this is only the "first battle" in what will no doubt be a long line of bullshit arguments that end up costing more time, more money, resulting in, at best, a mediocre solution for a behemoth issue.
Listening to NPR this morning, Republicans and Democrats alike said in interviews that they're not sure they're going to vote for this bill, saying that they really need to read it carefully and make sure it reflects the interests of their party.
Ummmmm....your party? Fuck your party dick stick, it's the people you should be reading for. This isn't a fucking pissing contest over women's vaginas and tree huggers, this is about billions of dollars that go to running our country, well, at least in theory. Due to this stop and go bullshit, many government agencies and programs have been warily working their day-to-day, not sure if they're gonna have work tomorrow. It's not just about avoiding a shutdown, it's about reaching a fucking final decision so that people can work, get paid, get their due benefits and services without constant sputtering from the powers-that-be.
Let the people deal with the issue...wouldn't it be nice? In reality, you guys up there on the hill are supposed to be the people - in that perfect utopian paradise Obama's speeches spend so much time in. This bill was written behind closed doors and now it's being opened to the "public." In the past half hour of a google search, I can't seem to find any information on where citizens might be allowed a glance. The cycle continues: our apathy feeds their secrecy and back door dealings, loopholes and fine print which further builds the monster that is our privatized government which fuels the helpless notions of an economically battered, dumbed down people which in turn breeds apathy.
Unfortunately, they're not gonna change. If this seventh stop gap is any indication, we are in for a long haul of back and forth bullshit banter from two sides equally entrenched in figurehead politics spearheaded by the top 1% of this country. So, once again, it falls on us to do something. It falls on us to do our own homework and expect no consult with the people who govern us. I hate to rip the sugar coating off, I know it hurts, but they legitimately don't give a rats ass.
So, to enter into the poetic musings likened to our president, grab your flag and head out to a National Park, gloriously still open after the hard fought battles of our fearless leaders. Go and sit on a federal park bench and bemuse the dealings of the elite, ponder the events past and to come, written in your name...and then do me a favor, ask yourself if that's what you want? If that's what you expect in a "free" country, a developed, educated nation...and then when you arrive at your conclusion...Do Something.

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