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Wednesday, August 10, 2011


[As it originally appeared in the Acoustic Americana Music Guide NEWS FEATURES, August 4 edition at]
    by Larry Wines
    A good compromise is a bit like an average. A man with his foot in boiling water and his hand in a block of ice should be comfortable, on average. A bad compromise is even worse: you're scalded on one end and frozen on the other with nothing in between. Time to do something before it happens again.
    After “the deal,” Americans have registered an-all time record low opinion of our Congress. A whopping 84% of us disapprove of the job they're doing. Only 14% approve. That's the latest CNN poll. Three days after the deal, the stock market predictably fell over 400 points in one day as the meaning sunk in, before recovering slightly – but not enough to erase all its gains of 2011 to date. But you can't get those people in Congress to be embarrassed, no matter how much they need to be. And it'll still be tough to get them to do anything that most of us want.
    Proof? They just went on vacation until September and left over 74,000 FAA workers dangling with no paychecks. That includes inspectors who protect the safety of the flying public. It's coupled to Congress' failure to reauthorize the tax on the airlines that pays for inspectors and more. So we, the people, are deprived of $25+ million A DAY in lost revenues - $200 million lost EACH WEEK until something is done – because Congress just went on vacation and didn't do its job. We need to end this lunacy and get back to responsive and responsible government. We humbly offer a way.
    STEPHEN COLBERT, one of TV's top political comics, recently won a license from the Federal Elections Commission to establish and operate a PAC – Political Action Committee – and collect an unlimited amount of money for whatever nominally political purpose he wishes.
    We have a suggestion for you, Stephen. Start a movement. Not a fake populist thing like the KOCH BROTHERS-funded fakery of the Tea Party. That was just thinly-veiled zealotry to stop health care reform at all costs, even if that means, as we've just seen, bankrupting the entire government. No, we're talking about a real, genuine, grassroots movement that would catch fire and be popularly supported. And we have one that everybody, across the diminishing spectrum of non-nutjob American politics, can support. Call it “Everybody Out of the Pool.”
    Everybody, all of 'em who were part of the endless dithering and all-consuming, all-diverting brinksmanship in Washington – all those creators of the child-with-an-uncapped-bottle-of-Drano crisis – all of 'em, out. While attention to massive joblessness is ignored; while Syria is about to implode and take the entire Arab Spring with it; while people are still dying, perhaps in vain, in Afghanistan; while tens of millions of US taxpayer-supplied dollars are leaving that country and Iraq in suitcases to finance God-knows-what activities that will ultimately come back to bite us; while millions of working-age Americans are wondering if they will ever go back to work in career positions that will allow them to retire before they die; while millions of young people wonder if it's worth going into personal debt earning some degree that may never get them a job; while all of us wonder how much decline and decay await us, your kid with the Drano threatened to pour it on us, and Mr. & Ms. Elected Representative, you made sure his bottle was full and the cap was off.
    Stephen, use your PAC money. Expose throwers of rhetorical bombs who fund political insurgency and want only to exacerbate America's economic problems, like the Koch Brothers and the rest of the new breed of Robber Barons who would bring back the opulent decadence of the Gilded Age. The rest of the “Everybody Out of the Pool” movement would fund itself after you get the ball rolling. It's ready to roll, and it won't take much of a shove.
    Stephen, imagine a summertime snowball, cooling and delighting as it increases its size exponentially, building speed like a juggernaut across all 50 states.
    Best thing is, you wouldn't need to take time from your TV career to lead anything. Getting in front of it is not a place any sane person would want to be, since we're talking about an enormous rolling snowball. Being the one behind it, the one who gives it that first big shove, is the place for you. JON STEWART and BILL MAHER could run along beside it. LENO and LETTERMAN would be there to comment on the whoosh as it goes by. SNL would be jealous and bring back TINA FEY to repeat some insipid remark that SARAH PALIN makes about it, or something that MARCUS or MICHELLE BACHMAN, the indoor Palins (as Maher calls them), blurt out about it. Plenty of new material there for you. Everybody wins, Stephen.
    And there's plenty in it for the entire “reality news” media. They'd love it for all they would get: an unlimited supply of angry-man-in-the-street-turned-activist interviews and on-camera actualities. Imagine all the goofy hats and superhero capes and Statue of Liberty torches made from toilet plungers. (A natural reaction to Supercongress.) Imagine a gathering of all of us who are angry: there's no hope now of a WPA-like jobs program, or of arts funding and arts and music education in the public schools. We'll be chanting “Everybody Out of the Pool!” alongside those who are angry there's no hope for a real space program anymore, those angry because their deadbeat six-year kids (who won't work) won't have food stamps, those angry because we can't even expand Amtrak, much less get high-speed rail, or replace our collapsing bridges, or fix our roads, or have enough TSA agents to feel us up at the airport without waiting even longer for our turn at the magic fingers.
    On behalf of all of us, Congress has voted a Washington-inflicted wound on America in the form of what Congressman Emanuel Cleaver (D-MO) called a “Satan Sandwich.” Dana Carvey's Church Lady aside, that's “the deal” that averted a default. But at what cost?
    History tells us of The Square Deal and The New Deal. This one, being called “the deal” in the media, deserves its own distinct label: “The Bad Deal.”
    No nation, anywhere in the world, at any time in history, has ever climbed out of a recession by cutting government spending. NO examples are extant. Simple economic multipliers have always proven the key role of public sector spending in rebuilding a shattered economy, particularly for enduring infrastructure improvements and public works projects. (And their accompanying arts components, including statues in parks of prominent Americans – hint, hint, Stephen! – Your portrait in the Smithsonian is old news now.)
    Lots of asses need kicking up around the shoulder blades. Seems the president forgot he was once interested in “learning whose ass to kick,” as he said then. After Congress finally passed it's version of “something” – The Bad Deal that continues the free ride for the rich and multinational corporations, on the backs of the hopelessly unemployed, while cutting programs Americans need – the President was still talking about the need for “more compromise.” What?
    Obama wants MORE compromise? Congressman Gary Ackerman (D-NY) observed, “The Republicans invited the President to a game of strip poker and he showed up half naked.”
    Maybe the Congressman can answer the age-old question, boxers or briefs? Or maybe the Great Compromiser wears boxer-briefs, one leg blue, the other red, with a big white star on each cheek. Stick to that kind of compromise, Mr. Obama. Instead, the “compromise” was hostage-taking and we were all hostages. Senator Tom Coburn (R-OK) said, “I think the politicians won and America lost in this deal.” Yeah, and I want my shirt and shoes back.
    Congressman Jim Moran (D-VA) said, “The Tea Party put us in a strait jacket but the Democrats tied the knot.” Maybe that was to keep Obama from peeling it off us before the first strip-poker hand was dealt.
    Uhh, aren't ALL of you there to be stewards of the public trust and the public good, not belatedly earning your Merit Badges for Knot Tying? And isn't the President supposed to lead?
    Everybody Out of the Pool, including the Compromiser in Chief.
    One of our readers called Obama the first President to negotiate with terrorists. That's not as far afield as it sounds: Bin Laden's goal in destroying the World Trade Center's Twin Towers was to bring down the American economy. Those who demand an end to a functional government would do the same thing. (All while MIKE HUCKABEE profiteers off 9/11, selling his stacked-deck cartoon version of 9/11 on DVD for $9.95 each, for personal profit.)
    Does that mean we think GOP frontrunner Mitt Romney is the man? Hardly. Politico called his lack of involvement, “The Mitness Protection Program.” If Boehner thinks dealing with the current White House is “like dealing with jello,” Romney presents an empty jello mold.
    Prominent Republican economist David Stockman, who served as President Reagan's Budget Director, said, “I agree with the progressives, we need tax increases, and the wealthy should be the first place we turn to.” Stockman compared things to the situation in 1982, when Reagan, in the midst of a recession, raised both the debt ceiling and taxes so the government could spend money to expand the economy. When asked if it had worked, Stockman replied, “We created three million jobs that year and another 11 million jobs in the next three years.”
    Along with the CNN poll we already cited, there was one the previous day: 77% of the American people say that Congress has been behaving like spoiled children. The other choice in the poll? Only 17% believe Congress behaved like responsible adults.
    In the House vote, the Democrats split 95-95 while 174 Republicans voted for The Bad Deal. That night, House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) told the CBS cameras that he “got 98%” of what he wanted. Compromise? Nobody's ever had a batting average like that, not Babe Ruth, not Hank Aaron, not the steroid crowd. The Senate passed The Bad Deal 74-26.
    Politicians on both sides of the aisle will brag they overcame the demand by the Tea Party's flock of neophyte congressmen – aka, anti-government insurgents – that a Constitutional Amendment requiring a balanced budget be passed by both houses of Congress, signed by the President, and sent to the states before they would allow the nation to pay its overdue bills and prevent our first-ever default. Try that at your bank when your loan payment is due.
    Just like the Senate filibuster that's now become a requirement for a 60-out-of-100-vote supermajority even to discuss anything, the goofy debt ceiling/debt limit is a uniquely American invention, anyway. (Denmark has one, but it's kept so high that it's never been a factor there.) Unlike our nation's budget, our debt limit is NOT a series of line-item allocations for how much we are committing to spend on each thing we have decided to do. The debt limit is simply paying the bill when it arrives, after we added the crème brule dessert to the steak and lobster we watched the fat cats eat, while we had budgeted for the hamburgers and fries we ate.
    At least the current administration ended the Bush people's irresponsible game of keeping two wars and the Medicare prescription drug plan off the books. That, and a far-too-small Economic Stimulus (for bankers and fat cats only) inherited from the outgoing Republican administration made Obama's spending look like a drunken sailor. Those debts were a continuation of ones already there, but hidden. Curiously hidden, since Bush's Vice President, Dick Cheney, had said, “Deficits don't matter.” Nobody seemed to want to mention that.
    The Democrats, in general, need to hire somebody to teach them how to argue their case – or maybe to remember what they say they believe in. They sure didn't do much of a job of it, particularly when it came to a focus on finding a job for everyone else who needs one and protecting grandma's Social Security and Medicare. Maybe everybody thought grandma had already been killed last year by Iowa Senator Chuck Grassle's Death Panel fantasy.
    The Debt Limit had always been raised routinely with one-page legislation, as needed, in good or bad economic times. Until now. Suddenly, it was the excuse for creating a man-made apocalypse and the permanently higher interest rates it would have brought to all of us.
    We've had ten years of temporary Bush tax cuts for the rich and actual payouts of subsidies from taxpayers to multinational corporations – including Big Oil and chemically altered Big Ag. Loads of taxpayer-paid breaks for ALL the supposed job creators! So, where are the jobs? Instead, we continue to see the modus operandi of the rich: cutting American jobs and creating jobs only in China. Even cans and jars at the supermarket increasingly come from China.
    It's cost us plenty. A full 75% of corporate profits in the last ten years have come solely from cutting jobs, downsizing, shipping jobs offshore, reducing the future viability of manufacturing in America, and eliminating career-level employment in this country. Manufacturing jobs here vanish, particularly in unionized industries. They are replaced by non-career, low-paying “service sector” jobs. That happens as we're told the post-manufacturing economy transitions from a services economy to an information economy, in which we exchange information at unprecedented high speeds. Information about all the things we don't make here anymore?
    When American corporations do hire, they increasingly seek only temps, to avoid paying benefits that go with full-time career employment. And they lay-off their top-of-the-pay-scale longtime employees, replacing them with bonuses for themselves and cheap, enthusiastic and exploitable young temps who lack experience-based knowledge, and ultimately, lack loyalty to the enterprise. (One wonders what such an acculturation into a disposable work world does to the psychology of idealistic young workers.)
    It's insidious. Short-term profit-taking has replaced long-term viability. Make all you can for yourself and get out before the crash. It's all come down to, “I've got mine, f___ you.” The American components of multinational corporations (and they are all multinationals now) fail to build a sustainable presence here for the long haul, choosing not to invest in a future in this country, either for their business ventures or for American workers. They take the money – often taxpayer money – and pocket it, or run overseas with it. Job creators? Hardly. Congress passed laws to help them do it.
    As for the high unemployment that directly results from this? For starters, it brings higher, ongoing, direct costs. Unemployment compensation insurance funds are expended and require Federal subsidies to replenish them in each state. The unemployed bring even bigger costs in losses to tax bases – if you aren't earning, there's nothing for government (local, state or Federal) to tax. Hence, revenues go down at a time when the need for spending is driven up. (That, alone, belies the argument for a Balanced Budget Amendment.)
    And we haven't even gotten to the ongoing role government must play in finally catching-up on long deferred, now crucially needed, repair of decaying infrastructure, like crumbling bridges, highways, air traffic control systems, passenger rail lines, levees, water mains, sewers, and more. Or providing for the future with new engineering, right-of-way acquisition, and construction where needed to enable economic expansion. Congress forgot an economic truism: Business needs publicly-supplied infrastructure before it will do anything.
    The new promo for MSNBC's “Rachel Maddow Show” has her posed with Hoover Dam behind her. She says, “I feel like we have kind of an amazing inheritance in the form of the infrastructure that our parents and our grandparents knew they would pass down to us. They knew it would be here and would make a difference. They knew it. What are WE doing?”
    Sadly, we're watching a dithering Congress take a five-week vacation to raise funds for their reelection campaigns – after being, by far, the least productive Congress in U.S. history.
    And they went on vacation without fixing at least two critical problems. The supposed compromise still didn't address those 74,000+ furloughed FAA employees and workers on FAA construction projects. Those FAA jobs are essential, and in limbo. Regulations require inspection and certification. But now there's no way to pay the FAA's 4,000 certified inspectors. Nonetheless, some of the furloughed inspectors, who may or may not ever be FAA employees again, are buying their own tickets and continuing to work for no pay, inspecting airports so runways can stay open with assurances of safety. It's a clear case of the workers being more dedicated and caring more than their (former) employer's bosses. Their families lost health care along with paychecks when their employment was gone, and yet some of them are still going to work for no pay – while Congress goes on vacation. Congress, your internal battle to destroy union rights is endangering everybody. You're done: Everybody Out of the Pool.
    And what about that $25 million a day that's being lost? Congress failed to renew airline taxes and fees that pay for the safety inspections. What if, God forbid, two loaded 747s collide on a runway because a ground warning system isn't functioning properly and no one was there to discover it in time? That's not some wild alarmist speculation. Inspections happen so accidents won't. And the consumer is getting screwed by airlines who raised their ticket prices by the same amount the industry is saving since the taxes expired.
    Another proof that cutting taxes raises corporate profits but does not create jobs. It does exactly the opposite.
    Of course, unemployment is orders of magnitude bigger than the 74,000 lost FAA jobs.
    Florida just furloughed 9,400 construction workers from unfinished public works projects, including high-speed rail. But, incredibly, the same Florida legislature took $2.5 million dollars in federal money that they will spend on proven-useless “abstinence-only” sex education.
    In this abyss of deep recession / borderline depression, the official unemployment numbers don't even include the millions of jobless Americans who have exhausted their unemployment insurance claims. They are no longer “unemployed” because they are beyond collecting unemployment. They are now “discouraged workers” and their numbers are not tallied. It's how unemployment statistics have been reported – and not been reported – for decades.
    It's dishonest and fails to help the economy create jobs for anyone. And for two crucial months and counting, it's received no attention from our elected officials while they immersed themselves arguing about what brand of strings to use so they could fiddle while Rome burned. Amazing and disgraceful.
    So that's it, Congress. We're tired of paying for your towel valets and poolside booze while you goose each other underwater and let the air out of each others' floaties. Some of you have no business wearing swimsuits anyway. Ugh. Everybody Out of the Pool! And put on a robe. That's one cover-up we want.
    Of course, that's not enough. This isn't just a train wreck like another Charlie Sheen we can't stop watching. More than ever, all of us must watch the current crowd once they come back from their undeserved five-week vacation. That's when Supercongress convenes, all twelve of them – three per party, per house of Congress – who will effectively determine everything that is and isn't in the new, upcoming Federal budget. The Bad Deal guarantees more massive cuts and a renewed fight over whether there is any offsetting new revenue, whether there will be an end to the temporary tax cuts for the rich or elimination of tax dollar subsidies for Big Oil and Big Corn, or, instead, flattening the tax rate so we will pay more and the fat cats pay even less.
    Supercongress will be Fort Apache for preserving anything that has to do with the future. It may become the Alamo for funding accessible arts – or a real space program, or infrastructure renewal, or any kind of jobs program, or Head Start, or educational benefits for military veterans, or money for broke cities to keep their cops and firemen, or anything and everything else we expect and take for granted but that soon may be gone. This time, SAM HOUSTON isn't building an army to win after the Alamo falls. RICK PERRY's political prayer tent is blocking the road.
    Or, maybe we'll finally see the end of massive subsidies for Iowa corn agribusiness in a state that produces more grain than all of Canada. That's why your soda and processed food all contain massive quantities of health-endangering high fructose corn syrup instead of real sugar. They're paid handsomely, with subsidies, to apply corn syrup to all processed foods.
    That's your tax dollars at work, manipulating the marketplace. Which raises the question, why we don't we subsidize green vegetables – make that all fruits and vegetables grown to be eaten as fresh food? If we subsidize those, they'll be so cheap that even school lunches can have them instead of ketchup as a vegetable. Oh, socialism! But our subsidizing partially-hydrogenated, high-fat, high-fructose-corn-syrup-immersed unhealthy processed food is not?
    Years of what Will Rogers called “the finest Congress money can buy” have brought us here. We now have not just a Congress whose members are owned by big corporate contributions, bought with buckets of money that's now unlimited since the Supreme Court decision in the ironically named Citizens United case. It's not simply a divided government, but a dysfunctional one. And it's curiously consumed with posturing – while, in fact, it's thoroughly paralyzed. We're represented by department store manikins whose poses are contrived for the Emperor's New Clothes they are told to wear.
    A better metaphor may be the pseudo space program that never leaves orbit and simply goes around and around and around – though our stuck-in-the-mud-bog government proved unable even to sustain going that high anymore, since the return of the last Space Shuttle. We need vision. We need to go meet the future. We need development of high speed rail and green energy and going to Mars and getting a myriad of economic multipliers like Apollo gave us from going to the moon. We need a place at the table for the arts and for artists. This crowd's not giving us hope of any of that. We need one that will. Everybody Out of the Pool!
    Well, okay, Everybody Out of the Pool except Arizona Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords. She's the only one who wasn't part of making things worse. And she's the only one who did anything courageous, just by going there to vote after taking a bullet through her brain in January in a massacre that killed a Federal judge and innocent citizens, including a little girl who came to learn about her government. It doesn't even matter which way Gabby voted on The Bad Deal. No one else exhibited anything approaching her commitment to public service in any of this. Her vote imparted the sole example of across-the-aisle joy and humanity and gravitas in what was otherwise a Roman circus. She, alone, deserves everyone's respect.
    So, other than Gabby Giffords, Everybody Out. A gang of rank amateurs couldn't do worse. And if they do, we can fire them.
    There you are, Stephen. A legitimate, populist cause for your shiny new PAC. The ultimate bipartisan point of unity. The Butterball timer has popped-up on DC's turkeys. Everybody Out of the Pool!
Your FEEDBACK and COMMENTS are below...
This originally ran in the Acoustic Americana Music Guide's News Features edition for August 4, 2011, available in its complete original form at
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Entire contents copyright (c) 2011, Lawrence Wines & Tied to the Tracks. All rights reserved.  
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Want to know what's going to happen in America from now through the 2012 election? Watch Wisconsin Tuesday.

My Polish Republican parents live there. Every time I call them, the recall is all they'll talk about. They're voting to recall their state senator – a Republican, one of 6 being recalled. They're voting for the Democrat and I think that's a first in their lives.

They are disgusted with fools who have these petty small agendas and would bring down everything else, like Repub. Tea Party Gov. Scott Walker who wants to kill all unions in Wisconsin. It will take all 6 Repubs getting recalled to put the Dems in charge of the statehouse, but that's not really what matters.

It's about taking down the ones who are bought off by rich interests who are afraid of any body getting organized. The ones in charge don't want people to be represented or have hope that their jobs can bring them a decent living. This is real power to the people.

I never thought I would see my parents carrying a 'Solidarity' sign like the one in the picture of Lech Walensa in Poland. I grew up with that picture on the wall. I always wondered about that picture. I never could figure how my parents could support a radical movement---even if it was worker's rights in the face of a communist iron fist---and be so conventional. I guess after all these years they've been radicalized now because they care. Thanks, Lech, and Go Packers!
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Read Alan Blinder. Direct government hiring. That's the way out of this. No profiteering by the same rich who always make more. Just put people back to work on things that need to be done & get the government (that's we, the people) the best value for our (everyone's) money. Have you read him? You're onto the same thing when you talk about bringing back the WPA & CCC. Jobs now, creating things that leave a legacy for future generations. YES!!!
- Kathy
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Since you posted, the FAA people miraculously got rehired. Obama lost a chance to call congress back from their vacations like he should have to look like a leader instead of the guy always trying to make a deal the other side will like.
- ernest d
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The stock market has lost a lot more. Of course. The same guys we bailed out are now cutting and running like rats deserting the sinking ship. I wish they'd of bailed me out instead. I'd still have my repoed car and my parents would still have their foreclosed house. Their old house still sits empty and the yards died. It hurts them to drive by so I walked there and couldn't tell them. Would break their hearts. I wrote a song, “Of, By and For the Rich.” I'll send it when we record it.
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Throw the [expletives deleted] out, all of them. Not that it will do any good but it will make us all feel better and we could sure use that. Yes, Everybody Out of the Pool!!!
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Rick Perry wanted Texas to leave the union. Now does he want to pray it out of the union? Better idea: California should secede instead (now that the governator is gone). Colbert could move here and use his PAC to set up the new Republic of Californica government beneath the new green leaf flag and maybe we could get it right this time. This is a real opportunity. Come, on Stephen. Don't be afraid that maybe California is too liberal for you. We've produced 2 presidents, both Republicans, including your hero Reagan. You remember Reagan? He was the one who raised taxes and we've got Beverly Hills and Brentwood to tax. They have lots of money since Bush didn't tax them for 8 years.
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I was into politics long enough to see my mistake supporting Nader in 2000 - and to get tempted by Ron Paul then get angry at Kerry for running a miserable bad campaign in 2004 - and to get Barack Obama elected in 2008. I'm done. They aren't worth it. None of them. I hope the teaparty chokes on their tea leaves. You can celebrate now Republicans, because I'm not voting anymore. I don't believe in The Promise Of America anymore so you've won. You and your wealthy friends are just going to [expletive deleted] us in the [expletive deleted] anyway so why should I get myself all worked up over some Change We Can Believe In when it isn't going to happen. There won't be any social security or any of that stuff for me and my generation and we won't get health care unless we go to Mexico or someplace and try to buy it cheap. The rich cheat on their taxes or maybe they don't haf to now because they don't haf to pay anyway thanks to Bush and now nobody will fix anything. I should cheat on my taxes and try to get out of paying social security since I won't get it. If nobody wants to keep things going for me why shoud I pay, so I will just try to keep mine for me and take care of my friends too and play my guitar until they decide they don't like what I sing and they take it away from me.
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I know it needed to be funny so people would read it and I laughed too. But now is time to get really serious. Oklahoma, where I live, just made it official. We have had the highest average temperatures anywheres in one year in US History. Crops failed and more will. Water sources have dried up. Electricity is becoming unreliable and if old people and little kids can't stay cool they'll just die. People who need to work outside are passing out and they don't recover as well next time. We're in trouble. Lots of folks are. It's going to get worse. A lot worse. I never thought I'd be the one begging for a goverment handout. I remember what everone said [when] we got together to help tornado victims in Missouri this year. Same thing everone said when we helped New Orleans and Mis'sippi after Katrina: We're all in this together. Now I wonder will be anything left for us to be in it together with the rest of our country when we are the ones on the needy end and the country hasn't got anything for us. Not just Oklahoma, either. Lots of record heat across the country. Lots wrong. The rich don't even have to pay taxes enough to help out. I know how Woody felt but I can't write like him. Good luck in California and I hope you don't have a earthquake there. Anybody have the number for the Chinese Red Cross?
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RE: Calling Stephen Colbert...
Come on, Stephen. You know you'll blow your PAC on a beer party in some dorm or frat house. Grow a set and spend it on this instead.
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You want Colbert to rescue us? The cure is worse than the disease.
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I read both things you wrote and most of the comments to the first one. I am SO into your call for a new WPA and CCC! With all the things that need fixing, they should be able to employ a million people in the first week and employ us artists to make what they build into objects of pride for us and future generations. But they won't. They won't employ anybody. They'll just argue and cut our unemployment benefits, and big business will keep getting its tax breaks and only employ the Chinese to make stuff to send here where nobody can afford to buy it.
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At least the Air Traffic Controllers got to go back to work. Maybe it will be safe to fly again, except nobody has any money to go anywhere.
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So the ratings were lowered by S & P which stands for Standard and Poor's. Am I the only one who sees the irony that the new “Standard” is we're “Poor” and it's like we didn't know until they told us?
- Jane R.
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We won't be able to get credit without paying even more for it now. Thanks, Tea Party. I guess you're really the rich in disguise. Rich guys will loan you all the money you want if you can prove you don't need it. If you need it, you'll pay plenty. If the Tea Party threatens not to let you repay it, you'll pay even more. Like now.
Chris P.
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So what's with Obama arguing with S&P over the lowered rating? He should have said just one thing to the nation and the world: “I told you so.” That would have made him look strong. Instead he argues with the obvious and looks weak. What happened to the guy I voted for?
Al G.
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As a degreed political scientist I could offer a dozen reasons why term limits are always a bad idea. All those reasons are valid, but they're no longer compelling. The behavior of the U.S. Congress in bringing the nation to the first downgrade of our credit rating in our history is what is now the most compelling. So, even though the proposed “Congressional Reform Act of 2011” is not well written and has problems that need to be fixed, I agree with Jim Jones and endorse it in principle. This is not something I do lightly. I've always been concerned that term limits could bring legislation by amateurs, motivated and probably written by special interests, and I've always believed that generous congressional pensions are the best way to prevent lawmakers from being tempted by bribes. I always thought that term limits were anti-democracy, since they keep the people from electing who they want to represent them. But we've been doing things that way, and the politicians have ruined it for everyone, us and themselves. What did it for me, got me to change on this, is the following statement that goes with the proposed Constitutional Amendment - “Serving in Congress is an honor, not a career. The Founding Fathers envisioned citizen legislators, so ours should serve their term(s), then go home and back to work.”
- Mike R. Hanson
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Jim Jones sounds like he's for Everyone Out of the Pool! That's at least two of us! (Maybe two or three million)!
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From: Jim Jones []
I almost never use my email list to promote anything political but I decided to make an exception in this case because I feel like this is so critical to all the citizens of our great country. I really don’t think it’s a conservative vs. liberal issue which is why I’m passing it along. It has to do with setting some form of term limits to assist our noble congressmen in focusing on finding solutions to the multitude of problems we face as a nation rather than focusing entirely on getting elected and then getting re-elected. If you’re not interested, read no further and please forgive me for this one departure from my otherwise iron-clad policy of keeping politics out of my music bidness. Thanks, Jim
No matter which side of the fence you are on, this is something everyone should get behind.
Congressional Reform Act of 2011
The 26th amendment (granting the right to vote for 18 year-olds) took only 3 months & 8 days to be ratified! Why? Simple! The people demanded it. That was in 1971...before computers, before e-mail, before cell phones, etc.
Of the 27 amendments to the Constitution, seven (7) took 1 year or less to become the law of the land...all because of public pressure.
I'm asking each addressee to forward this email to a minimum of twenty people on their Address list; in turn ask each of those to do likewise.
In three days, most people in The United States of America will have the message. This is one idea that really should be passed around.
Congressional Reform Act of 2011
1. Term Limits.
12 years only, one of the possible options below..
A. Two Six-year Senate terms
B. Six Two-year House terms
C. One Six-year Senate term and three Two-Year House terms
2. ;No Tenure / No Pension.
A Congressman collects a salary while in office and receives no pay when they are out of office.
3. Congress (past, present & future) participates in Social Security.
All funds in the Congressional retirement fund move to the Social Security system immediately. All future funds flow into the Social Security system, and Congress participates with the American people.
4. Congress can purchase their own retirement plan, just as all Americans do.
5. Congress will no longer vote themselves a pay raise. Congressional pay will rise by the lower of CPI or 3%.
6. Congress loses their current health care system and participates in the same health care system as the American people.
7. Congress must equally abide by all laws they impose on the American people.
8. All contracts with past and present Congressmen are void effective 1/1/12.
The American people did not make this contract with Congressmen. Congressmen made all these contracts for themselves.
Serving in Congress is an honor, not a career. The Founding Fathers envisioned citizen legislators, so ours should serve their term(s), then go home and back to work.
If each person contacts a minimum of twenty people then it will only take three days for most people (in the U.S. ) to receive the message. Maybe it is time.
THIS IS HOW YOU FIX CONGRESS!!!!! If you agree with the above, pass it on.
Received via hotmail...
Man you went after the Koch brothers!!! That's g—damned dangerous. They come after people. Good for you!!!
Received via hotmail...
Calling Stephen Colbert! Why not? He only ACTS like a pompous ass. The ones in Washington ARE pompous asses.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Well said, Larry!