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Hurricane Sandy Relief, Fiscal Cliff, Debt Ceiling, and a Failing Congress


In a recent column on the fiscal cliff debate, I suggested with all seriousness that the current US Congress should be replaced by monkeys in congress monkeystuxedos and bears on bicycles.  I also predicted they would do little or nothing to deal with the very real budgetary mess in Washington.  We are supposed to be grateful that they came to an after-the-last-minute compromise on taxes, while once again procrastinating on dealing with the debt ceiling and government spending priorities along with Hurricane Sandy relief, a stagnant economy, gun control, homeless starving citizens with no health care, and every other problem we would not have with even a barely competent government.

We should not replace them with animals from the zoo; we should feed them to animals from the zoo.  Lions and tiger and bears, oh yeah.

Nero fiddling while Rome burns, and a spoiled child who threatens to “hold my breath until I turn blue”.  These images can now replace the familiar but outdated donkey and elephant as symbols of our failed 2 party system.  This week a CBS news poll put the approval rating of the US Congress at 18%, an improvement over the recent all-time low of 17%. Aside from their mothers and paid flunkeys, how do they get 1% approval? 

Who in their right mind thinks our government is doing anything at all in the public interest?  Even the few Republicans who caved in on taxing the richest among us to keep Bush era tax cuts for the middle class did so to avoid political blame, instead of doing it because it was the right thing to do.  There is not a spoonful of decency and honor among all the members of the 113th  Congress put together. Or brains, in my opinion.

How did so many of these worthless halfwits get elected, and in most cases re-elected? The answer is...$$$$$$$. Looking at last year's Pennsylvania election results, the winning candidate was almost without exception the one who raised the most money. Tea Party Tom Smith was one of very few well funded losers, a small hopeful sign that the common man still has some common sense. But in general, the candidate with the most money wins, like the public offices are up for auction. There is no reason to think the other 49 states are any more enlightened.  

Politicians of both parties have been giving lip service to campaign reform forever, but it will likely come about after a million or so of us march on the capitol with pitchforks and flaming torches.  Which I do not advocate, at least not today.

I am not a fan of the European parliamentary model, with coalition goverments being formed and disolved like celebrity couples at a drunken orgy. But if there was ever a time for a vote of no confidence; this is it.

Assuming there is not a revolution or palace coup in the next few weeks, here is what we have to look forward to.  Our fearless leaders say they will get around to helping the victims of the natural disaster at the Jersey shore in about 2 weeks. A stop gap measure proving additional flood insurance was only passed after New York and New Jersey were outraged by congressional inaction.  The rest of the disaster relief package the last congress failed to act on will have to wait.  It has already been more than 2 months since homes and businesses were swept out to sea, but what's the rush?  

About the only commendable action I've seen in this whole sorry episode is the unbelievably odd couple, President Obama and Governor Christie, forgetting their political differences and uniting to try to help Americans dealing with this tragedy.  In 2 months the same bickering clowns who could not compromise on the debt ceiling and a realistic spending plan with have another go at it, with nothing at stake but the US economy. 

Expect the same tired arguments, failure to do any real work, and a national nightmare for rich and poor alike.

Gun control.....safe schools.... the preservation of Social Security....health care?

The Eagles will win the Superbowl first. ( I will never stop hoping.)  I for one am glad I didn't quit drinking for a New Years resolution, though I am trying to quit swearing.  I may have to quit watching the news to keep that one.

In the meantime, I suggest this catchy slogan for the next 3 or 4 election cycles:


Congress Monkeys photo from icanhas.cheesburger.com

 Contact Darryl Mars at darrylmars@comcast.net

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