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This just in from CNN: The Senate and House are working together to fast-track legislation to end the mandatory furloughing of FAA traffic controllers.  It's being hailed as something of a legislative miracle!  But it isn't.

What's happening is, for the first time since the GOP got their post-Bush era budget & austerity religion, the public is having to suffer some swift and visible pain due to their policies.  Oh, not the public that's already been suffering due to medical bankruptcies, draconian drug policies, capricious wars or poverty, but the folks doing well enough to be flying in the first place.  Oh, not the kind of slow, steadily ratcheted-up pain that robs you of privacy, a livable wage and affordable medical care, this is the kind of pain lots of people will notice because of its sudden in-your-face inconvenience.  

These are not the people we want suffering, and this is not the way we want them suffering, because that's a lot more likely to influence their choice in the voting booth.  Hell, they might even remember it a year-and-a-half later!  And so swift action is the mode of the day, calling together the House and Senate, Democrats and Republicans, the lion and lamb, to lay down together in solidarity to solve a very visible consequence of their actions.  

This was a (sadly) effective strategy for managing public opinion for the Iraq war: Keep the public from incurring any painful cost to remind them of the country's situation.  No draft.  No tax increases.  As long as the public can drive their SUVs anywhere and pick up a latte whenever it suits them, things can't really be that bad, right?

I'm an occasional flier myself, and I hate the inconveniences of canceled flights as much as the next guy, but I'm thankful the public was finally hit with a pain point which seems to be, as Michael Palin put it,

"... the only way to get the jaded, video-sated public off their f%$king asses ...".
Which is all the reason in the world for congress to whip themselves out of dysfunction just long enough to bring on the novocaine and vicodin.

Here's hoping that instead we stay awake and aware long enough this time for it to derail this policy train.

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Comment Preferences

  •  We always talk about fraud, waste, and abuse when (0+ / 0-)

    it comes to controlling spending. Sequester presents an opportunity to put some substance behind the oft hollow vocalizations echoed by both sides.

    "If the past sits in judgment on the present, the future will be lost." Winston Churchill

    by Kvetchnrelease on Fri Apr 26, 2013 at 07:18:48 AM PDT

  •  Inconveniencing the 'wrong people' is the issue. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Darque, Joieau, wonmug, Batya the Toon

    The Republicans have no problem pissing all over poor people, students, immigrants, minorities of all kinds, labor, people with vaginas.....

    But the instant a corporate titan has to sit in his Gulfstream IV, fuming as it's waiting on the runway because there aren't enough open air traffic control centers working.....

    All hands on deck! Battle stations! It's a catastrophe!

    Worker safety? Exploding fertilizer plants?

    ....back to our regularly scheduled inertia and sabotage.

  •  Actually, this is the second time (0+ / 0-)

    They also quickly got meat inspection off the sequester chopping block.

    The Senate on Wednesday approved an amendment to avoid meat inspector furloughs that were slated to occur under the current across-the-board budget cuts, known as the sequester.

    Introduced by Sens. Mark Pryor (D-AR) and Roy Blunt (R-MO), the measure would redirect $55 million from other areas of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s budget to the Food Safety and Inspection Service, essentially reinstating the funds cut under sequestration.

    “Texas is a so-called red state, but you’ve got 10 million Democrats here in Texas. And …, there are a whole lot of people here in Texas who need us, and who need us to fight for them.” President Obama

    by Catte Nappe on Fri Apr 26, 2013 at 08:37:23 AM PDT

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