Friday, June 23, 2006

Getting all political on your ass, then you're free for the weekend

Kim got me all pissed off.

On her blog today, she brought something up that I've been too busy to even think about... and that must be pretty common, because I haven't heard enough outrage from fellow Americans.

Last week, congress voted itself another pay increase. They now make almost $170,000 a year... for about 100 to 120 days of work.

Same week - congress denies (yet again) an increase in the minimum wage... something that has been stuck at $5.15 per hour since 1997. Nineteen-ninety-seven. Almost a decade. And the denial is done in a most unseemly manner, by attaching an anti-abortion amendment that is referred to as a "poison pill," which is designed to derail the original bill. Senator Bill "always thinking of myself first" Frist (R-TN) was solely responsible for taking any chance of a minimum wage increase off the table for another year. Well, that's not exactly true, politicians hunt in packs.

Why is it even possible to connect or attach unrelated amendments? It's an obvious attempt to kill the original bill, rather than to actually "show your cards" on the issues and have a real vote. The tactic is also used to introduce pork legislation that would have no chance of passing otherwise. I'm not clear how this procedure became commonplace, but it needs to stop.

These recent congressional pay increases (eight of them in 10 years, totalling more than 25 percent) are just another example of how this country has gone so severely off course politically, that we can start looking back at some of the huge crashes of empires throughout history for a peek at our fate. Truly. The greed, corruption and... gasp, should I say... even religious influence that has infiltrated our political system will be it's undoing.

Did you notice how congress convened an emergency session for one right-to-die case,(Schiavo, and it was all about mobilizing the religious right) put front-and-center the issues of gay marriage and flag burning, (which Americans aren't even concerned with) but still finds ways to avoid doing the REAL work, such as cleaning up the environment, (which will cost corporations money) dealing with health care issues (which will cost corporations money) and other things they've been conveniently ignoring? (most of which would cost corporations money and God knows we can't piss off our lobbyist friends)

I'm not a liberal. I'm not a conservative. I'm an independent thinker and have differing opinions based on the ISSUES, not political affiliation. I understand the need to keep corporate America solvent, I really do. It's vital to keep money flowing freely, to protect businesses who drive the economy and make us competitive with the international marketplace. I understand all of that. But come on.

Republicans have morphed into a barely recognizable version of a party that once truly repesented a good percentage of Americans. Democrats have lost all clout, backbone and initiative, barely providing the balance that defines our political system. And all are controlled by corrupt outside influences that can best be described as a dark underbelly OF the dark underbelly that is the District of Columbia. There are no brakes on this train.

I'm not predicting doomsday, but it's time for Americans to wake up and start caring about what is going on under their noses. It doesn't take that much time to stay informed.

And stop it with voting for career politicians like Bill Frist and Ted Kennedy. You are aiding in the mass production and distribution of corruption.


Lee Ann said...

I hear ya!
It is all a conspiracy!!!
No really, it is absurd and they would not hear of any of this happening if it came from anywhere else.
It truly makes you wonder what will have to happen to turn things around!

Eve said...

It's fucking embarrassing. Seriously.

And let me say for the record... I have pumped $107.00 into my effing MINIVAN this week?!

Can we discuss THAT issue as well, Dave??

Lightning Bug's Butt said...

I always had a motto when I was in high school: Minimum wage, minimum work.

If they're going to pay the minimum by law, then I'm going to do as little as I possibly can without getting fired.

Blogarita said...

I agree with Lightning Bug's Butt. This week, my daughter was "let go" from her barely-over-minimum wage job for "not being quick enough". She had mixed emotions over was a job, but did they really expect her to bust her ass for that rate of pay?

Violet said...

Good points.... My personal pet peeve is people who bitch and moan about politics but then don't get off their asses and vote on election day. I feel like people have no right to complain if they aren't willing to do the bare minimum to change it.

Kimmy said...

Bravo and Amen to ALL of the above! Ditto on Violet... Vote, Vote, Vote!!!

Dave, don't laugh. I am TOTALLY serious.
1.) Cut and paste your entry and send it to EVERY newspaper you can think of.
2.) Run. Not away. You, Dave must run for SOMETHING. City councilman, mayor, SOMETHING! I believe that your views represent a huge percentage of the population, and you are eloquent enough to formulate those thoughts for the rest of us.
Did I mention I am serious? Run, Run, Run! And Write, write, write!

I expect to see this editorial in the New York Times on Sunday.

Again, Bravo!!!

Fantastagirl said...

Ditto to everything above - and especially with Kimmy - you gotta do it! If you don't stand up for something - what is your daughter going to think?

and I'd love to make $107K for 120 days of work....

Whenever I hear someone complaining - I stop them mid-complaint and say - did you vote in the last election? if they say no - I tell them - to stop whinning, they have no right to whine, if they don't vote!

OldHorsetailSnake said...

I was in Texas recently, observed the Arkansas election. There, 14 PERCENT of the people voted in a runoff election.

How come 86 percent don't care? Pees me off.

Lee Ann said...

Dave, what would you do......

Weary Hag said...

It cannot be that only people who don't vote are complaining. It also isn't fact that all people who vote turn out happy with the results. How about we blame the assholes who backed the candidates and booted them up to the level they are already at by the time major voting takes place at all. Perhaps if there weren't any dolts in the running, there wouldn't end up being any dolts in office.

Minimum wage is an outrage and has been for way too long.

The salaries in Congress are an outrage and have been for way too long.

The salaries of baseball players are an outrage and have been for too long.

Oops. You didn't mention that last bit. Sorry.

Hope you enjoyed a peaceful and restful weekend away!

~The Goofy Ass Chick said...


I've always considered myself a Democrat only because of certain issues they believe in that the Republicans don't. That being said, I agree with you 110%!!

I'm sick to death of these pork filled bills. John "Porkchop" Boehner is from my area of Ohio and he's a freaking disgrace. Actually the biggest majority of them are a disgrace.

Yes, I do vote. And not just in major elections, but the mid-term ones too. I volunteer the best I can (I'm not allowed to do some things because I work for the government). I get upset when I hear that people don't use the one guaranteed privledge for living here. Some use the excuse they don't like either person so they choose not to vote at all. Bullshit. You may not like either one, but one is always a better candidate than the other.

I can't believe they didn't pass the minimum wage again. I can barely make it on my income and I'm over triple what these people make. How do they expect people to move up? They say go back to school so these people can become more educated... but the last time I enrolled in college (last year) I went for about six months and dropped another $5000 in student loan debt. These people are always going to be in debt up to their eyeballs. They're never going to have the beautiful things that others have. Hell, with gas prices they probably can't even afford to put gas in their cars. Like you, I understand the economic impact of such a thing passing. Besides what you mentioned, it also creates a domino effect to where the people already making say, $7.00 an hour want to be compensated too and bumped up as not to be even with the minimum wage people. You get my drift. Regardless of this, health care costs are souring totally out of control, gas prices are astronomical, the prices of the things we purchase have gone up, the cost of living has gone up including the high heating costs this winter--- but yet there are people still trying to make it and raise their young children on $5.15 an hour. Disgraceful. People complain about the welfare system (which certainly DOES have it's problems) but damn... it's a given that they're gonna have to be fed by the government in order to make it. It's called a never ending cycle.

Now you've gotten me all riled up Dave!!! You should publish an editorial. I've done it a couple times and each time you see something you've written smartly written for all to see-- damn it feels good. Do it Dave. Do it!

mckay said...

pay raises should be voted on by politicians' constituents. that'd be one way of getting them to focus on issues that benefit their home state instead of the lobbyists’ web of soul selling deals.

shutterbugger said...

:) bravo