Saturday, August 6, 2011

Where do we go now?

As much as I love quoting Axl Rose, it is an unfortunately serious question - I mean, really, what the fuck?!

According to a breaking news poll by CNN, 82% of Americans disapprove of how Congress is handling its job. That's horse-shit. Only 82%? I guess the other 18% is too busy talking to collectors on the phone to answer a damn poll wondering if they know who to blame.
It makes the point, as other have, that this is in fact the point. It is much more difficult to follow the intricacies of government when you are trying to survive. Congressional incompetency is not one of the fundamentals of human survival - although, lately you'd think so.
However, there is a breaking point. There comes a time when the flip is immediate. When things get to the threshold where the effects are such that the causes must be dealt with. When the people are too pissed off and too betrayed to let it go. When trying to survive is enveloped by the fight against why you are trying so hard to survive. Back in the olden days, it made no sense to curse the deer if you didn't shoot it. But you could sharpen your arrows and practice your aim. Cause and effect.
For the time being, our country is solely focused on effects. It appears that we stand in a giant shit heap, with continuous mounds being dumped daily, out of some chute somewhere. At the moment, we're too preoccupied with the shit, or even worse, ignoring it, pretending that we're standing in a bed of roses. All it takes, is for us to dare to look up, see where it's coming from and Do Something.
Sounds so elementary, but in reality, that's all it is. Wouldn't you agree? How far away would you say that threshold is? How much more shit are we going to take? How much more banter, more corporatized, partisan, extremist crap will we allow to settle on our day-to-day before we take action? 82% think Congress it's up it's own ass. And with good reason!

The fiasco that ultimately led to our AA+ rating with S&P was by far the most embarrassing display of pointless posturing I've seen since guys comparing dick size in grade school. A deal that petty, that insignificant could have been drawn up in about 15 minutes, 5 months ago.
S&P warned Congress long ago that unless the $4 trillion was agreed upon, the US rating would be at stake. Well, here we are! And what does our sub-par debt deal do?
It does nothing but push back important decisions until after the 2012 presidential election and sets aside valuable time and resources in order to form a "super" congressional committee to deal with the issues that congress can't deal with.
Sound retarded? Well, if the shoe fits.
Critics are already pointing out the obvious: if each party gets to choose who sits on that parties respective 6 seats - what are the chances that it will essentially turn out to be a microcosm of the larger congressional body? Republicans will assign hard line hawks and Democrats will most likely assign right leaning lefties to do what Democrats do best - sit down and shut up.
Meanwhile, the key issues feeding off our feeble economy remain untouched. The deal does not close loopholes, it does not discuss new taxes or raised taxes, it does not seek to reform government spending via sensible solutions - it merely throws things like health care and education on the table and suggests, "Cut 'em." It does not take issue with the hemorrhaging of funds via foreign "conflicts" and wars, or address the irony that although the Pentagon receives $100 billion more each year since before 9/11, our forces are getting older, smaller (in numbers, not in stature...I think) and less equipped and trained to do their jobs.
Take the news that came in today, of Marines in Afghanistan losing their lives due to insurgent attacks. Well, what the fuck are they doing over there? I can smell the scent of back-pedaling. Not to change the subject too abruptly, but I'm willing to bet this could prompt a renegotiation of the troop withdrawal from Afghanistan. Oh Obama - we had such hopes for you.
Granted, I don't envy his position. But this country needs a president with enough of a spine to stand up for forward movement, not play both sides and claim to stand in the middle. I'm not even going to continue harping on Congress. This blog could end up a book.
I will simply close with this thought - the US indeed does need a president with resolve, and the politicians under him must show the same resolve while upholding and respecting the tenets NOT of their party but of this country, of the republic for which it stands, ONE nation, not two dip stick colonies fighting over Wall Street's spoils.
At the same time however, the people going to elect these officials, the citizens of this country, must show the same resolve. I'd love to just blame Congress and call it a day. But that 82% approval rating is a reflection of our report card as well. We are not taking care of this country. As Ben Franklin said to a woman asking what type of government America would have, he replied, "A republic madam, if you can keep it." That may be a myth, but the message isn't. We are not keeping it, we are not tending to it. As we head down this steep decline, it is not outward blame we should be casting, but inward reflection. From there, Think. React. Do Something.

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