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.