We definitely live in a time when even the most dedicated of cynics has a hard time keeping up. Charles Pierce's piece in Esquire, published this morning, strikes a chord for me:

We have elected a national legislature in which Louie Gohmert and Michele Bachmann have more power than does the Speaker of the House of Representatives, who has been made a piteous spectacle in the eyes of the country and doesn't seem to mind that at all. We have elected a national legislature in which the true power resides in a cabal of vandals, a nihilistic brigade...
He looks back where the blame belongs:
The true hell of it, though, is that you could see this coming down through the years, all the way from Ronald Reagan's First Inaugural Address in which government "was" the problem, through Bill Clinton's ameliorative nonsense about the era of big government being "over," through the attempts to make a charlatan like Newt Gingrich into a scholar and an ambitious hack like Paul Ryan into a budget genius, and through all the endless attempts to find "common ground" and a "Third Way." Ultimately, as we all wrapped ourselves in good intentions, a prion disease was eating away at the country's higher functions. One of the ways you can acquire a prion disease is to eat right out of its skull the brains of an infected monkey. We are now seeing the country reeling and jabbering from the effects of the prion disease, but it was during the time of Reagan that the country ate the monkey brains.

There was a diary on this article earlier today, but it only got a dozen or so recs, 5 comments. It deserves wider attention, so I decided to reiterate.

The most obvious fix I can see is a system like in Australia where there are fines for not voting. That probably has less chance of passing than, say, a Medicare-for-all single payer health care system. Pierce notes:

There can be no reward for this behavior. I am less sanguine than are many people that this whole thing will redound to the credit of the Democratic party. For that to happen, the country would have to make a nuanced judgment over who is to blame that, I believe, will be discouraged by the courtier press of the Beltway and that, in any case, the country has not shown itself capable of making.
One does suspect that "the courtier press of the Beltway" is always motivated, at least partly, by the desire to keep those dinner invitations coming.

Meanwhile, the following appeared in a FaceBook comment. WTF? I guess corporations are only people some of the time.

I read that there are 12 national parks that are being drilled on by corporations for oil/gas and these activities continue..if they are considered "people" why are they allowed on the public lands that regular "people" are not allowed to be on? The Drilling goes on, but we are being denied access? Something very wrong with that picture.
Like I said to start: It's hard for even a dedicated cynic to keep up.

Originally posted to Land of Enchantment on Tue Oct 01, 2013 at 08:29 PM PDT.

Also republished by National Parks and Wildlife Refuges and Headwaters.

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