Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Summertime and the Dodging is Easy

While almost all of America took one day off from work to remember our fallen heroes, the folks in Congress took a full week. While most of us hurried Friday to make sure that we would be caught up before our holiday weekend, Congress just walked away from a pile of unfinished business. And while most of us stayed home and had our vacation in the backyard to save a little money, Congress took off for pretty much everywhere and mostly on our dime.

They are supposed to be back on June 7. I don't know which is better anymore. Them being away on vacation and therefore not making things worse with their amazingly lazy and self serving vacations that leave important business undone or them being at work, messing things up even more with their endless game playing.

For the record, one of the only things they do in a totally bipartisan way is to adjourn for these vacations. In effect the only thing those 531 clowns agree on is their desire to avoid work.

Let's look at what they left undone:

Financial Reform. This was urgent and needed immediately according to the leadership of both parties in both houses. It currently is in that limbo state where the House passed version A and the Senate version B. And there it sits. Waiting for the ever unimpressive Barney Frank to appoint the House half of the conference committee. Apparently this is so urgent, Frank had to wait until after the week long Monday holiday to even consider appointees. No mention of this urgency in the quiet adjournment on Friday.

Iraq and Afghanistan War Funding. Left nowhere while the Congress took off on their vacation. Our men and women in uniform will just have to wait while Pelosi and Boehner and Reid and McConnell get their tans in order. Note that not one Republican had a peep about this. Nor any Democrats. Nor anyone in the Executive branch. Hmmm. Fund the troops or get away for some vacation time? Obviously Congress has their priorities in order - themselves first and everyone else second. Forget that these troops are in harm's way protecting us. Forget their needs. Congress has campaigns to finance.

Extending Unemployment Benefits. This is a difficult and fairly controversial measure and one that needs immediate attention with so many out of work. I am not saying that they should extend the benefits. Actually, I am not really sure if they should be extended again, but I am saying that they should debate and take action. It must be really easy to ignore those that have no income while cashing a bloated Congressional paycheck. For the record, the current benefits will expire tomorrow, 6/2, while the Congress is happily sleeping in and ordering room service on our dime.

The Gulf Oil Spill. After multiple hearings and speeches, condemnations and demands, the Senate passed a weak relief bill, tossed it to the House and left town so fast all you saw was a trail of lobbyists in their wake. The House, much like a Miami Dolphin wide receiver chose to not even bother to catch this ball and took off in hot pursuit of campaign contributions. Oh sure, a lot of members of Congress will pass through Louisiana during their vacation for the mandatory photo opportunity and press release. But there will be no real action taken. Wonder why Gulf Coast residents feel ignored? Well, here is the answer. The largest oil spill in US history with the possibility of massive economic and environmental implications and Congress reacts by taking a vacation. No time to deal with the issues coming out of this one, including the amazing mismanagement of the drilling and the crisis by the administration. There are lobbyist sponsored events to get to.

Ben Nelson of Nebraska lamented to the Miami Herald that, "They think all we do here is play games." There is that word again. Games. And that is exactly what they do. Play a huge game with our futures and our well being. The game has now extended to our troops who are bravely fighting for freedom along with every other facet of our nation's business.

To the troops this is no game. It is real life and death every day. To the unemployed families, this is no game. It is a matter of food and shelter. For those on the Gulf Coast, this is no game. It is real and getting worse by the hour. For Wall Street, the regulation bill is no game. It will determine how they shape their businesses (employing literally millions and affecting all of us) going forward.

Lest the administration take solace in Congress' epic low 13 percent approval rating, take note that not one peep from Obama and company about this. Not one call for immediate action on any of these items. Not a single gripe that Congress has again gone walkabout. I heard nothing demanding that out troops get their funding. Nothing demanding that the Gulf Coast get some economic relief. In fact, what we heard was mostly nothing.

If Congress really wants time off, I suggest we give them all permanent vacation starting November 2. Vote them all out. They work for us and their performance is beyond unsatisfactory. In a real job, these clowns would have been fired long ago. We have the power in November to do just that. Reward them appropriately for their poor job performance and send them home once and for all.

To drive home that message, I am offering T-Shirts with this message:

As a capitalist and a free market person, I am selling them for both profit and with the intent of donating to those candidates that are willing to step outside the parties and declare a concern for the Constitution and the people.

You can order them here: http://www.itisnotagame.spreadshirt.com

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