Archive for the 'Sequester' Category

The Sequester is Over

Thank goodness our elected representatives pay attention to their constituents.

Members of Congress took it upon themselves today to ease their own discomfort and at the same time quiet the wrath that came down upon them by the flying public.  Air controller furloughs have ended and all is well in the nation’s airports…for folks with money.

Airport passengers, having had their fill of overpriced bottled water, hard-shell seats designed for alien beings and delays that cut into their work and play schedules, took over public address systems and announced that they were mad as hell and wouldn’t take it anymore.  Prominently heard above the din were rants that focused on the sequester, a Rube Goldberg plan that had been designed and implemented by folks who never thought it would affect them.

Ah yes, there is joy in Mudville again.  Senators and Congressmen can get back to what they know best, raising money from rich people who, they have been bluntly reminded, are not to be trifled with.

A nearly unanimous Senate and ninety percent of the House said with nary a whimper “oops, my bad.”  They can surely be excused from not anticipating the consequences of their actions since they only had a year to think about it after they adopted the poison pill, hara-kiri approach to running the nation’s affairs.

Now that five percent of the public can get back to their Boeing 727 seats and reach their destinations with a minimum of discomfort, perhaps those who are less fortunate than the flying public can learn something from that experience.

For example, seniors who will, as a result of the sequester, have their Meals on Wheels delicacies reduced to bare subsistence levels might think about taking a bus to Washington, invading the Senate cafeteria, and, like John Belushi did in Animal House, start a food fight.

Children who can no longer participate in Head Start programs might consider a field trip to Dulles Airport where they can plant their cute bodies in the middle of a runway and teach themselves the true meaning of representative government.

But some good might come of all this.  Piece by piece the sequestered funds will be restored.  Today, air controllers. Tomorrow, seniors and little kids.  Next week food inspectors and potholes. Congress can act like the tooth fairly.  Leave a broken life on the Capitol steps at night and get a wonderful surprise in the morning.

No need for our elected representatives to think.  They can just wait for the next body to be presented to them.  And vote accordingly.

Animal-House-21

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Too little, too late

I love the smell of urine in the morning.

OK, so I’ve mangled Robert Duvall’s famous line in Apocalypse Now. It seemed appropriate given the recent, but thankfully abating, attention focused by CNN, MSNBC, ABC, CBS and the Jewish Daily Forward on that smelly Carnival Cruise Line floating toilet called the Triumph.

You’d have thought that the disabled ship was overrun by zombies devouring guests one by one as they emerged unfulfilled from their attempt to gorge themselves at the midnight buffet. But let’s look at the bright side…at least they were saved from those repetitive, overpriced, dockside shopping sprees in any number of overrated ports of call.

And if your week wasn’t satisfying enough, you were treated to a soliloquy of brain farts emanating from the newest stand-in for our sorely missed Majesty of the Ludicrous, Sarah Palin. Yes, Texas junior Senator Ted Cruz, darling of the musket wielding Tea Party, has cleverly gained the frontrunner position for the Republican 2016 presidential nomination by accusing that poor shlep, Chuck Hagel, of consorting with any number of America’s enemies including the North Koreans, Iranians and others who broadly support Sponge Bob and the Kardashian sisters. For those who yearn for the glory days of Joe McCarthy, your wish has been granted.

But things are now back to normal…nine days before Sequester. The Sequester, another manufactured opportunity for our elected representatives to once more save us from the Fiscal Cliff. An opportunity for them to recklessly do what they’ve had over a year to address in a less maniacal way. Another potential feather in their caps as they save us from a cataclysm manufactured by them and abetted by those of us who elected Ted Cruz, Rand Paul and any number of self-appointed patriots who choose to wave the flag while the rest of us go down with the ship.

I have no idea where the term Sequester came from to describe the ham-handed approach embodied in the legislation that Congress and the President so gleefully adopted more than a year ago. So I looked it up in my now defunct Funk and Wagnalls…to put somebody in an isolated or lonely place away from other people, the pressures of everyday life, or possible disturbances.

Perfect. An apt description of the legislation and of those entrusted with mismanaging our affairs of state. Whodathunk it? When they conjured up the Sequester they laughed all the way to the Capitol cafeteria and said “No one in their right mind would let this go on to its ultimate conclusion. No one could be so crass to think we won’t do our public duty. No one would think we’d risk igniting a new recession. No one would think we’d…or would they?”

Maybe it’s all for the best. Maybe Rand Paul and his look-alikes are right when they say damn the torpedoes. Full speed ahead. Slash and burn. Lookee here, they say…”Why it’s what every American family has to do when their income doesn’t meet their outgo. They cut back, don’t they?” Well, Mr. Paul, you’re right. They do cut back. But they sit down around the kitchen table, look at their alternatives and make decisions based on what’s important. They look at the consequences. Then they do what’s in the best interests of their family.

But this time things have reached a zenith of contempt for the public. At least for the 47% despised by Mr. Romney and his cohorts. Republicans will have taken the next big step in dismantling government. They will be praised for the continuing demise of public education. They will be showered with plaudits for their mantra that insists that poor people have no one to blame but themselves. They will be congratulated for protecting the rich at the expense of those whose jobs will be eliminated. They will be praised for their refusal to compromise, for their insistence that even more needs to be done, for their proclamation that sacrificing the parents now saves the children later.

I’m no big fan of Louisiana governor Bobby Jindal who will go down in history for his recent plea to his fellow Republicans “let’s stop being the stupid party.” Alas, Bobby. Too little, too late, too many fanatics who thrive on defeat.

To Ted Cruz, Rand Paul, Bobby Jindal…it’s too late to wake up and smell the roses. If the electorate has half a brain, you’d better get used to urine in the morning.

Sequesterhands


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