Thursday, October 30, 2014

The Hangover IV, or Bluto's Last Stand

It's like the hangover that just won't go away.  The GOP once again threatens to take control of the Senate, judging from the latest polls, which can only mean total chaos.  Even Punch-Drunk Mitch, who at one point was given up as roadkill, has surged in the polls and looks like he may very well be Senate Majority Leader if the Republicans can steal 6 seats from the Democrats.

What's worse is that we never have been able to shake off the Bush years, with things looking very much the same in Iraq as they did 6 years ago.  Sure, the economy has improved, but there is the malingering scent of recession that leaves most Americans feeling just as nauseous now as they were back in 2008, according to the infamous polls anyway.

America has become a nation of polls.  There seems to be a poll for everything, including ranking conspiracy theories.  We just can't seem to get over our fears no matter how hard we try.  This is due in large part to the barrage of attack ads launched by the Republicans blaming everything that is wrong in current society on the presidential administration, pushing the president's approval ratings to an all-time low.

So, with five days left before elections, Democrats have gone into panic mode, even calling on the President to stump for some candidates in embattled Blue states where he still might have some appeal.   It seems that after a long summer of allowing the Republicans to tarnish the administration's record, some Democrats are actually standing by his record, which has seen economic growth and an ever-decreasing unemployment rate since it's peak of 10.2% in the summer of 2009, defying the Republicans' worst characterizations.

Not to worry, Donald Trump says the real unemployment rate is as much as 20 per cent, calling the official unemployment rate "totally phony."  While, Mitt Romney calls the Obama administration "terrible!" repeating the same caustic laments we've heard so many times before.

It has gotten so tiresome that most voters will most likely sit home.  Even if the Democrats were somehow able to hang onto the Senate, with Joe Biden possibly providing the deciding vote, nothing would be accomplished in Congress, as the Republicans would still rule the House.  This after a record $4 billion has been spent on this year's midterms.

Staggering, isn't it?  No country in the world throws so much money away on political ads each election cycle, and, like our health care system, we don't get any more for all this profligate spending.  We still get the same petty politicians fighting for control of Congress, where they seem to make out like bandits.

Just look at Mitch McConnell, a 30-year Congressional veteran, who has an estimated average wealth of $23 million.  Not bad for a guy who officially makes no more than $193,000 a year.  He must have a pretty good financial adviser, as even if he had saved every penny since 1984 it would have been pretty hard to amass that sum of money on a Congressional salary.

Of course, he's not alone.  Half of all Congresspersons are millionaires, most of them becoming so while in office.  Sure, there are the books and other opportunities to profit on their experiences, but you have to wonder how these guys and gals get so rich so fast.  You can sort through their financial disclosure forms and find mysterious relatives and other sources of income to help explain the sudden boost in assets, but there still appears to be gaping accounting holes.

It's all part of the game, which is why so many persons want in.  You think those Teabaggers came there to save Washington from itself?  Louie Gohmert may be one of the "poorest" men in Congress, but it seems Open Secrets hasn't revised his profile in four years.  Give him time and he will be in the millionaires' club too.

Fortunately, our country seems able to withstand these elections.  I suppose all that campaign spending actually boosts the GDP in the same way a hurricane or other natural disaster does, but it would be nice if we could move beyond all the vicious mudslinging and actually talk about what would actually make things work better in government.  Unfortunately, that would only happen if you could get both parties to agree on a basic set of economic and social data, but alas neither side is going to let facts stand in the way of a good argument.


  1. Here's why the RePUKEblicans threaten to take the Senate:

    ''The Republicans’ Profane Attack on the Sacred Right to Vote''


    "There is a database housed in Arkansas with your name in it ... that is, if you live in one of the 28 states participating in the Interstate Voter Registration Crosscheck Program. It’s one of the growing components of an aggressive drive across the U.S. by Republicans to stop many Americans from voting.

    Early voting has already begun in many states in the 2014 U.S. midterm elections. Control of the U.S. Senate hangs in the balance, as do many crucial governorships, congressional races and ballot initiatives. One question looming over this election is just how significant will be the impact of the wholesale, organized disenfranchisement of eligible voters."

    40,000 vote registrations mysteriously disappear:

    Several states are reporting lost or incorrect voter registrations. Almost all of which are of minority voters.

    Bush's invasion of Iraq supposedly was to promote democratization - too bad he didn't try to insure democratization here.

  2. It seems someone forgot to register the Sunnis in Iraq too.