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To call it "bizarre" is simply an understatement. Congress voted by a landslide to slash it's own pay & benefits for its irresponsibility and past misdeeds leading to the sorry state of the nation today. This comes just days after the Congress voting to cut funds/defund ACORN because of lapses by a handful of its employees. Apparently, a condition called "RATTLING CONSCIENCE SYNROME"(RCS) is sweeping an otherwise dysfunctional, out-of-touch Congress. And it seems lots of the Congresscritters had trouble sleeping at night after the ACORN vote because of the heavy rattling due to the disproportionate punishing of ACORN. Congress will work for 1$ a day and give up health benefits. More details are awaited on the cuts.

There were spirited speeches from both sides of the aisle and competition in listing their own misdeeds/lapses/dereliction of duty and the after-effects in defense of the defunding.

Key highlights :

- Failure to stop Iraq war resulting in huge loss of lives and a total  price tag of 3 Trillion - a huge cost to taxpayers.

- Failure to hold  defense contractors for their violations/misbehavior.

- Failure to be the Watch dog of Wall street  and becoming a lapdog instead which eventually lead to the 8 trillion $ meltdown in US and 15 trillion$ meltdown worldwide.

- Failure to catch the predatory lending practices of banks and swooning over the genius of Greenspan, Bernanke etc. Whereas ACORN had warned of the practice , as early as in 2007.

- Failure to stop foreclosures caused by the Wall street welfare kings who were bailed out , while punishing ACORN which has been fighting foreclosures.

- Failure to stop/punish companies for their offshore tax havens while punishing ACORN because 2 employees seem to give advise on tax evasion.

- Failure to reign in health insurance companies leading to the death of 45000 people a year due to lack of access to healthcare, while enjoying gold plated healthcare coverage at taxpayers' expense. Hence the vote to give up healthcare.

- And last but not least, Congress admitted its own members are no strangers to prostitutes, and it was unfair to punish ACORN.

There were more surprises. While Congress refused to give up vacation and work on healthcare reform in August, this vote happened last Saturday. And to save time, this was done in a joint session of both chambers. This highlights the severity of the RCS.

President Obama is also a victim apparently, even though he stayed out of the ACORN controversy other than condemning the misdeeds of the employees. While he has done a lot more already than his predecessor did in his 8 years at the office, the president acknowledged he has been lax on dealing with the key issues like healthcare reform, foreclosures etc. He admitted he was wrong in trying to save the for-profit insurance industry jobs, while ruthlessly cutting the auto industry jobs (whose workers were one of the few making real things) and not even trying to stop the remaining from being out-sourced. He vowed to push for Single payer healthcare and challenged Congress to get on board. He also apologised for not fighting passionately for mortgage modifications, bonus claw-backs etc as he did to push for Wall street welfare (a.k.a bail-out) and Afghan war funding. He vowed not to lecture Americans against protectionism while trying to protect the obscene profits of Big Pharma. And not to play nanny to corporations while  treating public servants like teachers etc like corporate employees (merit pay blah,blah).

Other highlights:

-Widening of social safety net for the poor and the needy, the lack of which forces organisations like ACORN to fill in the gaps. The President thundered that any cut in future funding to organisations like ACORN will be matched by increase in government involvement in social services. Republicans sighed but didn't object.

- automatic voter registration on the day when a citizen reaches voting age and on the day of citizenship for new citizens . This will eliminate the need for ACORN etc to be involved in registration drive. Once again, the Republicans seemed resigned.

Rumor says the epidemic could spread over to the even more out-of-touch Wall street corporations through their K Street lobbyists and friends in Congress. The president will sign the bill tomorrow. Rep Michelle Bachmann, Sen David Vitter will be present at the ceremony besides democrats. Not sure if Wall street folks will be there at the signing to apologise for the meltdown and the resulting job losses, foreclosures etc .If not, their representatives Turbo Tax Timmy (Geithner, who is no stranger to tax issues himself), Larry Summers and Hellacopta Ben (the man who used socialism to save capitalism) will be present anyways.

In other development, the democrats are seriously considering spinal transplant to avoid such drama in the future - by standing upto Republicans and their bullying tactics. And this will be done at their own cost, so that they will never ever forget what it is like to be spineless. The author is wondering if this could be considered as a pre-existing condition and could prove more costly.

Originally posted to Funkygal on Tue Sep 22, 2009 at 03:28 PM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (8+ / 0-)

    Nov 2, 2010: Voters to Obama: "Yes, we did. We looked forward, not backward".

    by Funkygal on Tue Sep 22, 2009 at 03:28:33 PM PDT

  •  If only... (n/t) (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    carpunder, 1BQ, rossl

    Don't take the world to seriously. -

    by real satire on Tue Sep 22, 2009 at 03:41:31 PM PDT

  •  give congress credit (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    where due why doncha'?  They successfully bankrupted the United States of America and inflicted financial hardship and suffering on millions upon millions of their citizenry.  Horrific legislation that passed easily for decades with zero sense of good or bad because lobbyists wrote it.  Great Job Congress, something even Al Quaeda (doesn't exist) couldn't do but you did.

    Hope for American workers isn't Wall Street's agenda.

    by FreeTradeIsYourEpitaph on Tue Sep 22, 2009 at 04:14:55 PM PDT

  •  Satire is good...laughing better than bile...but (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    that seems a pretty fine line here, heh...

    I just wish people would more explicitly distinguish between Blue Dogs and "teh Democrats", and quit slagging Obama for being held hostage, along with the Progressive Caucus, by the Blue Dog/Republican cabal.

    Obama, and the Progressives, are not perfect, and fall far short of my hopes, in many regards...

    But they are still sooo much better than McCain, freakin' Palin.

    Not better "enough", not different "enough", maybe, yet...but they are still outnumbered by the right, in Congress, which is the real problem, forcing them to make onerous compromises to get anything whatsoever accomplished, and avoid complete reversal on everything accomplished in the past.

    Democrats, especially the Progressive Caucus, who represent the real core values of the party, are NOT "the same" as the Republicans, as you seem to imply here, which is not helpful, in terms of rallying the electorate to turn out in 2010 and 2012, to purge the Blue Dogs, and what remains of the Republicans, for a Progressive Caucus super-majority in Congress, which is the only thing that will correct the present situ and allow us to really move forward.

    Like, what is your intention here?  Are you looking to simply demoralize the party, in order to peel off people for some jive electoral boycott line, or guaranteed loser "alternative" party?

    Why not more specifically target the real enemy, the right?

    "...a printing press is worth 10,000 rifles..." Ho Chi Minh

    by Radical def on Tue Sep 22, 2009 at 04:20:23 PM PDT

    •  I think democrats have not performed (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Radical def

      upto their potential, and let themselves be bullied by repugs.Obama is no exception.  Democrats should have chanelled the public anger and pushed a populist agenda with Obama's popularity against a thoroughly discredited, unpopular  repug party & Wall street.  But they are squandering a valuable chance. Consider me as one of those bitter, disillusioned lefties.

      •  "They" are the Blue Dogs, NOT "teh Dems" (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        "Disillusioned" lefties, are the ones who have handed power to the Republicans, these many years, by refusing to vote for the "lesser evil", thus condemning millions to the "greater evil"...which I am convinced has been due to COINTELPRO-style infiltration by "radicals" promulgating the boycott and splitting lines.

        I know, nobody likes to be called a pig or a dupe...but if it's any consolation, I was sucked into that mindset for a time, as well.

        Believe me, I feel your pain (no, wait...that phrase has bad connotations, heh)

        I know where you're coming from...but picture McCain croaking of a heart attack, from looking at Palin's ass, and Palin and Joel's Army being a heart beat away from the glad we didn't go there.

        The "valuable chance" was never the present situation, where the left remains hostage to a majority Blue Dog/Republican right wing plurality in the Congress, remnants of a 30 year legacy of monopoly corporate fascist dictatorship...despite the new Progressive Caucus majority within a Democratic Majority.

        The really "valuable chance" is going into 2010 and 2012, which will be the absolutely critical moment for consolidating and expanding upon the present PARTIAL, preliminary victory...toward achieving a Progressive Caucus super-majority, which will, indeed, be a genuinely valuable chance for some real hope, for a change.

        After 30 years of revolutionary struggle among the masses, we have changed public opinion in this country, such that racism, sexism, eco-rape, murderous corporate rip off, and imperialist warmongering profiteering, are no longer politically correct in this country.

        The right is dead meat, politically, socially, culturally...but they will never surrender the power, or submit to the popular democratic will voluntarily.

        They must be suppressed, democratically, electorally.

        They must be purged from all levers of power, to the very greatest extent possible.

        100 million people refused to vote last time, even for Obama, due primarily to disgust with the Blue Dogs, and the contrived perception of "no difference" between the parties.  We need to turn that around.  

        We can do this...but it requires down and dirty grassroots organizing.

        Gather your friends, and get down to your local Democratic Party headquarters and take it over, by being those who show up and do the work...

        In my county, an officer of the main local environmental defense litigation group is now the Chairman of the Democratic Party Central Committee...and we just replaced a Republican Congressman with a Progressive, last time.

        Whether it's your local party, or city council, the state legislature, or the Congress, though, just having a "voice", or a "seat at the table", or even a simple majority isn't going to cut it.  

        You need to have the juice, to be the ones who hire the local police chief, development officer, city attorney, etc., locally, and similarly, "up" the ladders of power.

        As long as the Chamber of Commerce is in charge, the people are screwed.

        You need a super-majority, to cut off the right wing reactionary conservative fundamentalist monopoly corporate fascist "debate" and sabotage at the knees, and surge forward.

        We don't have that yet, in the Congress, but if we can get the "left" to call off their boycott and splitting rhetoric, and to help mobilize the electorate, it's a real potential, and our only really "valuable chance".

        Seize the Time!

        All Out for 2010 and 2012!

        Seize the Power!

        All Power to the People!

        "...a printing press is worth 10,000 rifles..." Ho Chi Minh

        by Radical def on Tue Sep 22, 2009 at 05:26:59 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Sounds to me like they were bragging, in code, (0+ / 0-)
    about which lobby they got enough money from to settle for $1 a day pay, and no insurance.  The latter obviously meaning they get free insurance form the big Ins. Cos. for favors done.

    Efectus nihil profundus sub pensus est

    by Riddlebaugh on Tue Sep 22, 2009 at 04:51:14 PM PDT

  •  Dream on. Seriously. eom (0+ / 0-)

    The frog jumped/ Into the old pond--/ Plop! (Basho)

    by Wolf10 on Tue Sep 22, 2009 at 05:02:40 PM PDT

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