Posts Tagged 'Debt ceiling'

A lesson unlearned

I felt that this July 15 letter written by John F. McBride of Seattle, Washington sums things up a lot better than I can.

“The men who served in my infantry company in 1969 – 1970 came from all over the United States, very much as do those who serve in our Congress. They came from all walks of life, from those who had graduated West Point and been commissioned, to Blacks from riot torn neighbors, to men from a still rascist South, to farm boys and college boys and war resisters.

We didn’t necessarily agree, men fought on occasion, there were those who were tireless and those who were plum worn down and worn out. But in the field, together, we were always brothers. We never, ever abandoned each other and we made happen what needed to happen even when it was enormously difficult for us to do it.

Over the fourteen months I spent in our now vanishingly distant war 12 of the men I served with died and 60 or more were wounded. I should know because as the company RTO I called in the wounded and I called in the killed. The dead I can still name. But not all of the wounded.

We’re still friends, most of us. The officers from West Point who we didn’t necessarily agree with then, but love, and the men we fought with and carried to safety and those we didn’t understand. We’ve all had to abandon positions we swore then we never would and had to get over conversations that seemed oh so gawd almighty important at the time.

As one who bent myself to my officers regardless, I find it peculiar that so many Republicans can detest the President to such a degree that they cannot bend themselves to the compromise of doing what is best for their “band of brothers,” their nation. I think those in my company who are Republicans, pushed to it in a conversation, would agree with me on this point. One would think their Senators and Representatives would, too.

Today, Bastille Day, marks the day one of our dead was killed in a tragic friendly fire incident. I think about him every year when this day rolls around and days in between. Unfortunate, isn’t it? In our Congress friendly fire is completely intentional.”

Still a good idea…apparently

A couple of years ago I told you about the movie Night Shift.  That’s where Henry Winkler manages the after dark goings-on at the local morgue.  His buddy is Michael Keaton, a loveable neer-do-well who has nothing better to do than hang out with Henry and his quiet companions, and conjure up money-making ideas that come well short of Einstein’s theory of relativity.  One night Michael says “Ya know, we spend far too much time squishing mayonnaise into a can of tuna.  It’s tough, hard work.  We could save time by simply feeding the mayonnaise to the tuna before we bash its brains out.”

I was reminded of that clever idea when the Huffington Post  published a summary of Senator McConnell’s proposal to solve the debt limit conundrum.  If I’ve got it right, Mitch wants to cede responsibility for raising the limit to Obama so long as the Prez also proposes expense reductions equal to the debt increase.  Congress (i.e. Republicans) could vote against the debt increase, but Obama could veto the negative vote thereby becoming solely responsible for further indebting the country.  Independently, Congress (again, i.e. Republicans) could vote against the expense reductions and Obama could veto the negative vote, thereby being solely responsible for taking food out of the mouths of the hungry, healthcare from the sick and guns from the troops.

Good idea, says Mitch.  “That way we can say we Republicans didn’t want the debt limit increased.  And we sure as hell didn’t want to cheat grandma out of her visits to Dr. Kildare.  Obama did it, so elect Michelle.”

Playing the Henry Winkler role, the Prez said that Mitch (playing Michael Keaton as though he were vying for an Oscar) had an interesting idea.  But that maybe it was better to address the problem head-on even if it cost Mitch a trip down the red carpet in November.

Supporting the Prez by pooh-poohing Mitch and, in the process continuing her insatiable quest for the Judy Holliday  Zany Brainie award of the year, was Michelle Bachmann.  Disputing the very idea that the government’s credit standing might be tarnished and that checks would surely continue to be mailed to her government subsidized husband, she said…“I’m a ‘no’ on raising the debt ceiling right now because I have been here long enough that I have seen a lot of smoke and mirrors in the time I have been here…”   Who’s to argue with that?

John Boehner, tearing himself away from coddling the Tea Party members of the House, offered praise for Mitch’s idea on Fox News…“I think everybody believes there needs to be a backup plan if we are unable to come to an agreement, and frankly I think Mitch has done good work.”   Deftly playing both sides of the street he added…“I don’t think such a proposal could pass the House in any way, shape or form…”  So there.

Well, I suppose the good news is that they are still talking.  And I wouldn’t be surprised if they eventually come up with a thought as eloquent as this snippet from Night Shift that focuses on the use of the movie morgue as a house of prostitution.

Henry: (disgustedly)  As we sit here and idly chat, there are women, female human beings, rolling around in strange beds with strange men, and we are making money from that.

Michael: Is this a great country, or what?



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