Don’t worry the title of this post doesn’t mean that you’re back at school again. This ‘term talk’ in the title refers to politics and politicians.
President Obama takes a lot of stick because of his headstrong insistence in implementing his Obamacare legislation. As I’ve said before, it’s a laudable goal, but the country can’t afford it. But on he goes anyway.
Love him or hate him, or neither, he’s limited to two terms of four years in office, then he has to go and make way for the next person who wants the job.
To begin with that’s a stupid system because the main thrust of the first Presidency about half way or so in office isn’t governing the country but instead trying to ensure election for a second term and wasting billions of dollars doing it.
It doesn’t take a genius to work out that the present system sucks. Nor do you have to be a professor of politics to suggest an alternative – for example a single term of five or six years, which still leaves plenty of time to settle into the job and implement whatever policies you have promised the electorate.
So that’s the first problem solved.
However, there is another term problem that infests American politics (and many other countries too).
What about the rest of the elected politicians?
Well, why not introduce the same system for them? Elected for a five or six year term after which they have to start to earn a living again?
Sounds good to me.
According to Wikipedia John Dingell has managed 58 years in the House and still going. John Conyers has been there for 49 years. Coincidentally both these politicians are Democrats and both represent Michigan, so another problem that these ‘lifers’ cause is that there is no incentive for new blood to enter politics when they have little or no chance of being selected for election.
I’m not picking on these guys in particular. They just happen to be the two longest serving examples. There were others of similar longevity but they had the good grace to eventually retire, or die after half a century or so. Amazingly more than one hundred members of Congress have been allowed to serve for at least 36 years.
When I say “serve” I am just using the normal expression for these jobs. Whether they realize it or not, career politicians are nothing more than parasites living a cozy life off the money provided by the rest of us through our taxes. When an elected representative is entrenched in his or her position for a very long period of time they are not serving their people, they are simply relying on their people to provide them with a good living, premier health care and generous pension benefits (assuming they retire eventually!).
“Ah,” I hear someone say. “But what about the ‘experience’ that these long serving members bring?”
“Oh,” I reply. “What about it? Have we not seen in recent years and months that whatever experience they bring is not worth a hell of a lot. Just look at the mess the country is in and tell me if fresh faces could do any worse.”
So the solution to the two worst political problems that face America are easily solved.
The next question is will they be solved?
And the answer to that is probably ‘NO’. And it is probably ‘NO’ because the people who have the power to change the law are the very people that that law would affect.
They say turkeys wouldn’t vote for Thanksgiving or Christmas.
Asses and elephants probably wouldn’t vote for this idea either.
A short Sunday Sermon on Wednesday – yes things are that confused!
If it were a scene from the movie Blazing Saddles, like the one above, it would be funny.
But it’s a scene from Washington DC, the capital of the most powerful nation on earth – and it is pathetic!
Yet again we have seen ‘democracy’ at work.
Yet again we have seen people thrown out of work as a result of the imbeciles in Washington DC.
Yet again the Senate and the House are in gridlock over the paper exercise of raising the debt ceiling so that America can continue to spend money it does not have on things it does not need.
The Republicans are focused on just one of the things America can’t afford and that’s Obamacare.
The President and the Democrats have dug their heels in and won’t compromise in any way shape or form. They are calling the Republicans stubborn.
The Republicans have a completely different argument. They are calling the President and the Democrats stubborn.
The Democrats claim that the Republicans are destroying the nation and don’t care about the sick and needy.
The Republicans claim that the Democrats have no fiscal responsibility and don’t understand anything about the budget.
House Republicans voted in favor of an amendment to the spending bill that would delay ObamaCare’s individual mandate for one year. The vote was 228-201.
The Senate then promptly rejected the House bill and sent it back.
My Dad is better than your Dad.
No he isn’t.
Yes he is.
No he isn’t.
Yes he…… and on and on it goes!
A couple of kids in the playground might be excused for such behavior. Elected representatives cannot.
For the first time in seventeen years Federal agencies have been ordered to “execute plans for an orderly shutdown,” meaning around 800,000 federal workers will be furloughed immediately and another million or so, including Border Patrol agents and air traffic controllers, will be asked to work without pay.
America has held a gun to its own head and made itself a laughing stock throughout the rest of the world.
Harsh words perhaps, but true.
But there are always positives in everything, if one looks hard enough.
What this latest debacle has raised is the very important question of whether or not America really needs a government and bureaucracy as big as the one it currently has?
If you have any sympathy at all with the theme of this blog, the “Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy” both of which have been highlighted during the past few days, then your answer to that question should be NO!
Some people have asked me why, when I am so scathing about politicians, I still have an interest in politics.
It is a good question because one thing is for sure, I do have little or no time for the politicians who in general I consider to be stupid, self-serving, untruthful, devious party-before-country hacks seldom, if ever, working for the best interests of the people they are suppose to represent. The exceptions to that statement are VERY rare!
But that’s my assessment of the politicians.
Politics as a subject is important because it sets the rules and standards that we all have to live by.
One of those standards that we have chosen to live by is the principle of ‘democracy’.
I used to think that I knew what that meant.
I used to think that in a ‘democracy’ the adult population got a chance to vote for candidates and policies that, based on the arguments and evidence provided, they thought were most in line with their own thinking and therefore best for the country as a whole.
I used to think that when a candidate said something during an election campaign he or she would stick by those pledges once elected.
I even used to think that ‘democracy’ meant that the country would be governed by the policies that the majority of people voted for.
I don’t think like that any more. Indeed I haven’t thought that way for some considerable time.
And I don’t think that way any more because the ‘democracy’ that we once knew has long since disappeared.
Nowadays ‘democracy’ is no longer a matter of principle, but rather a matter of political expediency. Nowadays ‘democracy’ means pandering to the vested interests of those who can donate millions to the obscene amounts spent on political campaigns. Nowadays politicians will say whatever they have to say to get elected and forget every promise they have made the minute the polls close.
President Obama was elected by a ‘democratic’ vote.
President Obama is a member of the ‘Democratic’ Party.
Yet President Obama is and will continue to try to ride roughshod over that ‘democracy’ by starting another war, or wars, that the vast majority of the American people do not want and did not vote for.
Wars that will eventually cost the lives of yet more young brave Americans in a foreign land – no matter how Obama and his minions like failed Presidential candidate Kerry try to spin it (i.e. lie about it).
It may even cost the lives of those within America itself should these foolhardy misadventures spawn retaliatory terrorist attacks on the homeland.
Sadly, people have short memories.
Politicians rely on that.
None more so at the moment than President Obama and his sidekick Joe Biden.
Hardly anyone remembers that during the presidential election last year Biden attacked Mitt Romney for being “ready to go to war” in Syria. (York, Pennsylvania, Sept. 2, 2012)
In the previous campaign Biden also said that the nation could only be taken to military action with the approval of Congress, except where it was necessary to stop an “imminent attack” on the United States itself.
He was supported in this ‘principle’ by the then ‘Senator’ Obama, who said that the President does not have power under the Constitution to unilaterally authorize a military attack in a situation that does not involve stopping an actual or imminent threat to the nation.
“The Constitution is clear”, Biden declared. “And so am I.”
I wonder where all that ‘clarity’ has gone today?
Maybe it’s in a White House cupboard somewhere, on a shelf along with ‘democracy’.
I did a short series a few months back about some of the stupid laws stupid politicians had made. They were quite funny and most of them dated back many years, they just hadn’t been taken off the statute books.
That excused the old laws, maybe.
But they are still at it even today!
I know that you shouldn’t expect too much when a group of uninformed and irresponsible people go out and vote to elect a smaller group of uninformed and irresponsible politicians, while most people stay at home. But we call that democracy these days. And in what passes for normal times you can get away with it.
But these are not normal times we are living in. America, and most of the western world, is in desperate trouble economically. We need help from our politicians.
Help to stimulate economic growth; help to make it easier to do business in and from the US; help to protect us from cheap inferior crap being imported that has destroyed local jobs and industries; help for entrepreneurs to establish new wealth generating businesses; and help from the socialist bureaucratic nightmare that is completely out of hand.
As regard the stupid laws, these days most of them center around ways that bankrupt governments, whether national or local, can think up to extract more and more from the people who elected them.
Currently US bureaucrats are frantically trying to think up another way to tax the internet. Previous attempts failed because of public outcry, but sooner or later they will do it and who will it help? Everybody who isn’t in business in America and the EU probably, because it won’t apply anywhere else!
The mantra of these idiot bureaucrats is to make America more productive and prosperous by making America less competitive and poorer. It sits nicely with their other mantra of solving economic woes by extracting more and more tax from less and less income. Neither works and never will.
What prompted this rant?
Well only the unbelievable fact that the idiot politicians in Maryland have decided to tax rain.
Yes, you read it right, the idiot politicians in Maryland have decided to tax rain.
They call it by a fancy name, of course, the “Impervious Surfaces tax”, or ”storm water management fee”, but what it in effect does is to charge Maryland residents for rainwater that falls on their property.
Naturally, the bureaucrats are dressing up this latest money grab with the lie that it is for the benefit of the people. It’s bit like a pick pocket excusing his theft by saying he was relieving you of the burden of carrying your wallet around in your coat pocket. And it makes just as much sense!
Thankfully, however, there seems to be a few with a working brain left in local government. Anne Arundel County Executive Laura Neuman, for example, vetoed the tax proposal which unfortunately won’t kill it, but will give a little bit of breathing space.
But if the residents of Maryland are “chicken” enough to fall in line with this new tax – and so far it seems most of them have been dumb enough not to even notice it at all – then it won’t be the end of it.
Democratic Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley, who guided the passage of the storm water tax earlier this month, despite efforts from Republicans to dismantle the bill, has already been responsible for implementing 37 other taxes and fees since taking office — at a cost to residents estimated at somewhere in the region of $3.1 billion annually.
Does anyone really think an idiot like this is going to let the people have air and sunshine for free???
The election is looming. Just about a month to go in fact.
Despite his numerous gaffs, after the first televised debate Romney has pulled slightly ahead in the polls and according to news reports, is “hardening his lead”, mainly on the back of a lackluster performance by Obama.
The VP debate last week didn’t produce a clear leader either – just created a frenzy among viewers to find out who was under the desk tickling Biden’s feet.
Last evening’s bout at Hofstra University, in Hempstead, New York didn’t produce a clear winner for me either, although some media polls put Obama ahead. His performance was certainly way better than in debate one, but you could easily have written the totally predictable moron media’s “Obama fights back” headlines without even watching it.
What this all means is that it’s still all to play for and far too close to call. In the end the committed supporters on each side will largely cancel each other out and the king-makers (or president-makers in this case) will be the 5 to 10 percent so far undecided.
Does it really matter who wins? After all, when it’s all done and dusted, the same types of people will hold the same offices as before. They will do the same things as before. And the mess we are all in will be as big as before – or bigger. I hope you have noticed that there has been a distinct failure by BOTH candidates to address the economic crisis in any meaningful and specific terms.
But there are two other questions we need to address.
First, there is an obscenity here that no one is talking very much about. Call it the elephant and the donkey in the room if you like. It is an obscenity that has been around for far too long, but today in our current dire economic circumstances, it has been elevated to the level of gross indecency.
What am I ranting on about this time?
Well, if you hadn’t guessed already, the obscenity I am referring to is the scandalous amount of money that BOTH presidential candidates are wasting trying to get themselves elected.
We all know Romney is a multi-millionaire, with equally rich chums or better, so it maybe isn’t such a surprise that he is able to raise hundreds of millions of dollars for his campaign war chest.
What is more surprising is Obama. His war chest is actually bigger than Romney’s and, quite unbelievably, is about to hit and probably surpass the $1 billion mark. It may already have by the time you read this.
I know a billion dollars isn’t what it used to be in terms of purchasing power, but it can still buy a lot of stuff. If you are having any difficulty visualizing how much a billion dollars is, think of it this way. The median income in the United States is around $29,000, meaning half the wage earners make less and half make more. If you make $29,000 a year, and don’t spend a single penny of it, it will still take you 34,482 years to save a billion dollars.
Now you are probably having trouble visualizing what it would be like to wait 34,482 years – if you are, it’s over 400 lifetimes!
Put another way, their combined waste of money could provide almost 150,000 surgical procedures, or more than 500 million meals for the poor and homeless, either of them money a lot better spent.
That anyone, Obama, Romney or A. N. Other can squander this amount of money for no return other than to aggrandize themselves with the title of President shows a deal of contempt for the ordinary people of the country, particularly those who are presently struggling to survive thanks to the financial mismanagement that these same politicians have presided over.
You can be sure that whoever gets into the big seat in the White House he will drown us in hypocrisy. We will get lectures about sacrifice and austerity measures, how deficits need to be cut, how taxes need to be raised, how you will have to tighten your belt for the sake of the country (whether you can still afford a belt or not) and so forth. Where was the belt tightening during the election campaign, boyz???
Of course, we are told that the bulk of the money in the politicians’ war chests is made up of the small $5, $10, $25 or $50 donated by ordinary folks. That may be true. But there are two types of dollars donated for election campaigns – ‘gifted’ dollars and ‘investment’ dollars. Most of the dollars donated by big corporations, super rich individuals and bankers fall into the latter category. Those people will be expecting, and will get, a return on that ‘investment’.
Thus the system – which is now so corrupt that rich executives ride roughshod over the law at will, and without fear of being punished no matter who is president – will remain largely as is.
This is a recipe for disaster. If history has taught us nothing else, it has taught us that a nation, caught between a broken political system and a populist movement of those who feel increasingly disenfranchised and undervalued, will at some stage experience rebellion against that corruption.
If you think not, think again. In fact, think tea parties in Boston and how and why the United States came into being in the first place.
Of course the solution to this particular obscenity is quick and easy. Put a ceiling on the amount of money a politician can legally collect and spend on his campaign. That would create a level playing field for all. Rich or poor, large party or small party, would have an equal chance of marketing their wears.
The only problem is that it is the same politicians who will have to make that law, and last reports still say that turkeys are very reluctant to vote for Thanksgiving and Christmas.
So that gets us to the second question in the title of this post, namely “Who is responsible?” In fact it is a two-fold question.
Are the politicians responsible because they lie to the people and promise one thing before an election and do another afterwards?
Or are the people responsible because they know fine well that the politicians are lying to them and won’t deliver on their promises, but still go out and vote for them anyway?
Let’s phrase these two questions another way.
Are the politicians responsible because they know that if they did not lie, not enough people would vote for them?
Or are the people responsible because they don’t really want to hear the hard truth and would not vote for a politician who told it how it is?
Everyone has to answer that dilemma themselves. Personally I wouldn’t vote for someone I know is lying to me, no matter what party they belonged to.