A Clueless Congress blocks progress

While our President remains imperfect, several good things have happened on his watch, some with his impetus and some where he is given more credit than the office of the President is warranted. The economy has largely recovered, but more work is needed to make it be felt more equitably. The Affordable Care Act is actually working reasonably well and most Americans want it improved upon, but not replaced. And, he is at least taking some strides on addressing climate change. He is also showing judicious restraint working with Mideast and other countries to combat terrorists. Yet, we greatly need better governance over the NSA spying and use of drones and he could be more LBJ like in getting things done with Congress.

On the flip side, we have a Congress that is building off two years of being labeled as one of the most ineffective ones in our history. The current Congress has not shown any indication of changing that downward trend in effectiveness. In fact, the Department of Defense has rated our Congress’ lack of governance as a threat to national security. And, the Wall Street Journal has noted how horribly this current Congress has started out, even before the fiasco of last week’s inability to fund Homeland Security beyond one week. We will have more of the same dysfunction this week, plus it will be compounded by bypassing the White House to have a foreign leader come to speak to Congress on Tuesday. This is poor form.

The big tiff over the Homeland Security is around the President’s executive orders to improve our immigration problems. This is mainly due to the ire over the President acting when the House decided to punt after eighteen months of no action. The Senate passed a bipartisan bill that was formulated by one of the GOP presidential candidates, but it was not good enough for the extreme members of that party. And, that is representative of the problem. We must start governing from the middle where the more rational, collaborative heads reside and not placate extremists. That is why they are called extremists as their vision of America is narrow-minded and exclusive.

Until which time the Speaker wises up and starts looking to pass legislation that has a snowball’s chance, he is wasting American’s time and energy. Yes, he will tick off those extremists in his party, but that is OK. He held a vote so that we could have new people vote to repeal Obamacare. Americans have said they do not want that. And, as noted above, it is working reasonably well and that is from a variety of measures. The additional irony it is based on a Republican idea that was advocated by the Tea Party leadership before it was passed (Google Senator Jim DeMint and Romneycare and read until your heart’s content).

I would also suggest we start working off real facts and not someone’s version of the facts dressed up and misused on pseudo-news sources. When we start governing again off the real information and not campaign rhetoric, we stand a better chance of getting to better solutions for our country. Climate change is real and man-influenced; solar energy jobs are growing rapidly along with the decline in solar costs; Obamacare is actually growing in receptivity while the number of uninsured decline and cost increases are dampened; and our infrastructure needs are significant and jobs will come with those investments to improve them.

Congress we need for you to gain a clue. The President, while imperfect, at least has one. Help make what he proposes better and start doing your job. Otherwise, the best jobs plan would be to get rid of all of you blockers under the Capital dome. You deserve the poor ratings you are getting.

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24 thoughts on “A Clueless Congress blocks progress

  1. I love this post. The facts are so hard to actually see behind the smoke and mirrors of the hard right – and yes, the hard left as well. Until we all stand up and say “no more kowtowing to the extremist psychos” we are all going to suffer. I love the new health bill – at least now I have insurance, unlike before when I simply couldn’t afford it under any circumstances. Thank you for your insight and solid, thoughtful writing. Cheers, Leiah

    • Thanks Leiah. The new law is working for many and could help so many more in those remaining states who have not expanded Medicaid. The pseudo news sources stoke the fires of disagreement, when we actually agree on many things. Congress needs to recognize this and play to the middle.

      • Exactly – unfortunately, the “news” isn’t “news” any longer, rather an expansion of the old “if it bleeds, it leads” thought process….. pretty bad when the only news I really trust is BBC and Al Jazerra.

  2. I believe we’ve passed the point where Congress even cares what we think. They’ve had low ratings for a few years now, and have done nothing to change that, haven’t even spoken about it. Their silence speaks volumes, and we’re naive to believe that it matters to them.

    • I couldn’t agree more. They listen only t those who can provide them with the finances they need to get reelected. The folks they “represent” don’t count at all.

      • As I’ve written many times, you can tell a politician is lying if he says anything about the “American people.”

      • Agreed. Nine out of ten American people think you (Congress) are doing a lousy job. That is the message that needs to be heard.

      • As I wrote to Hugh, the rating have been lousy for several years now. The plain truth is they really don’t care. If they did, they’d have done something about it by now.

      • If you get chance, watch Sen. Imhofe speak with the snowball on the floor of the chamber the other day using it as a prop that climate change cannot be real. Check out the face of the staffer sitting behind him while he is talking. To me, her expression says it all.

      • If you follow the New Millennium on WP, he has a pic of Imhofe holding a ham sandwich, to prove there is no world hunger. I’ll look for the clip. Thx

      • I honestly think it will take a major calamity to get most folks away from their television sets and interested in anything that is not in their immediate range of vision.

  3. Note to Readers: Great comments. I think we need to start with the political leaders, using that term with some caveat, asking them to not disagree with the view of the opposing party just because you feel obligated. That is childish and serves no one. The President is not perfect, but to say you disagree with every idea he has is asinine. That is why the Obamacare positioning is so incredulous as it is built off a Republican idea that was advocated. The opposite holds true, as well.

    The second is we have to insist our political leaders to stop pandering to the idiot fringe in their own parties. Two standard deviations captures 95% of both parties. Let’s listen to the 5%, but not govern from that vantage point. Note to the GOP, as an Independent voter who is a former Democrat and Republican, this presumes a normal distribution. While both sides have their idiot fringes, due to the pervasiveness of Fox News which as the mouthpiece of the GOP is at best pseudo-news, this is not a normal distribution as there are more in the extreme category on the right side. So pandering to the GOP extremes brings some interesting views into the equation which are less grounded on facts. Obama does not love America, he is not an American, he is not a Christian, he is not one of us…….This brings inanity to the debate and more credible candidates need to chastise those who say BS like this. Otherwise, their silence seemingly condones the BS.

    The other two keys that need to be addressed are as follows. We need to get rid of gerrymandering. This has helped the GOP win lately, but the Democrats have used it in the past. It actually is harmful to our nation as it allows general elections to be won in the primaries, letting more of the idiot fringe into office. We have been seeing the difficulties up close for the GOP the past few years, but especially since 1/1.

    The other is the money. We must amend our constitution to address the two horrible decisions made by the Supreme Court. Money does not equate to free speech and corporations are not people. This latter part will be harder, but it is crucial for maintaining our democracy.

  4. Note to Readers: To emphasize the world clueless, I submit further evidence of Senator James Inhofe, head of the Environmental committee out of Oklahoma. To show that global warming is a hoax, he decided to bring in a snowball to the chamber as prima facie evidence. Here is what he said: http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/sen-jim-inhofe-throws-snowball-senate-floor-attempt/story?id=29255635

    Please check out the face his staffer behind him who knows how out of touch he is with reality on this issue. A scientist took point by point to rebut these comments. I remind people it is summer in the Southern Hemisphere and this year is again one of the warmest on record. The millenials are mad at the older adults like Inhofe who have had since the 1988 warning in front of Congress that this was going to happen. It is not ironic that Oklahoma is home to a large fossil fuel industry. Mr. Inhofe, we need serious people to discuss serious issues. It is two months into your tenure as Chair – please resign and let someone less funded by the fossil fuel industry have the reins.

  5. Note to Readers: I am truly saddened and appalled by a group of senators writing a letter to the government of Iran regarding how they view the nuclear negotiations and the short term nature of such a deal in their view. This is an unheard of precedent and actually makes our position in the world more precarious, not better. By showing our sausage making process to the world, the savvy world leaders know they can divide and conquer. The President’s power has been usurped. I truly have grown weary of this we/ they bullshit that is going on by our so-called leaders. I refuse to call them leaders, as many of these elected officials could not lead people out of a crowded room. We have to be united in our positioning to the world. It is more than OK to argue and debate, but we cannot show our division to the world. These senators deserve every bit of criticism they are getting as they have endangered Americans and others. I do not care what political party they are from – wrong is wrong.

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