Government Shut Down, Veterans unable to get medical care, food inspectors on furlough, national parks closed and getting rundown, the poor and hungry unable to get food stamps to eat? With all of this who needs this damn Congress?
If you are like me then we all join the more than 251 million Americans who have a “disapproval rating” for the US Congress. Perhaps the worst in modern American history certainly the sleaziest, most corrupt, incompetent coming close to a racketeering criminal enterprise of all Western democracies.
This Congress like all previous congresses since Watergate simply failed to represent us as “we the people”. It represents donors not voters; it put our lives and tax dollars at risk through its wars on terror, wars that are terrorize us at home and abroad. It failed to represent us and protect our constitutional rights to privacy and associations by giving the NSA free hands to do what it wants. It failed to represent our interests as taxpayers by failing to rein the financial terrorists on Wall Streets, failing us and our future to decent life and secure future and it turned our dreams to nightmares. Robbing us of our home ownership and retirements. Allowed if not encourage detention without charges and allowed torture to go on as business as usual. Is this the Congress that the Founding Fathers expected when they wrote the Constitution? Is this the America we all want fought and died for? I do not think so and like millions this Congress is not our representative.
In published rating, the Economist, the Associated Press, Gallup, Fox News, CNN/Opinion Research, CBS/NYT give Congress approval rating not exceeding 14% for CBS/NYT and a disapproval rating ranging from 76% for the Associated Press to 83% for Gallup. Ah well these figures do not speak well for the world’s leading democracy? If any thing, such figures are not only an insult to America but also an insult to all 251 millions of us.
The event of the last couple of weeks if any thing, shows that the American Congress does not in fact represent the “we the people” the last thing on the mind of this Congress and many previous Congress since Water Gate scandal is the American people, their interests, and their priorities.
Considering that Congress has an annual operating budget of $ 4.4 Billions (according to Center for Responsive Politics) the American people are not getting their money’s worth out of this Congress and other previous Congress.
For the amount of $ 4.4 Billions, broken down to $8.2 millions for each of members of Congress House and Senate according to a Huffington Post report dated 2/25/2009. This Congress that is holding the nation hostage, passed only 15 bills, which was sent to the President to sign and when you think of the kind of bills passed you will be angry and for good reasons. Not sure whether the list will make you laugh, angry, cry or shout, it should energies you to get these SOB’s and throw them out office, all of them without exception.
Consider some of these bills and what they represent to the American people:
– HR 258 Stolen Valor Act of 2013 a new version against those who try to cheat claiming they are Veterans.
– HR 325 No budget, No Pay Act of 2013
– HR 475 to amend the IRS Code of 1986 to include vaccine against seasonal influenza within the definition of taxable vaccines.
– HR 1246 District of Columbia Chief Financial Officer Vacancy Act.
– HR 1765: Reducing Flight Delays Act of 2013 (allowing government to put back air controller to work during the shutdown)…. Wow we are very impressed or should we?
– HR 307 Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness Reauthorization Act of 2013
– S 622 Animal Drug and Animal Generic Drug User Free Reauthorization Act of 2013.
Now we all should wonder what about us the people? What about the jobs we need, the student loans for our kids, the tax breaks we need in these difficult times, the help much needed for the millions that continue to be shut out of their homes under foreclosures and those who needed affordable housings? What about bills for education, for health care, for public transportation, for paved streets to fix all the “pot holes”, what about getting back our lost pension funds and 401Ks that we all lost due to criminal recklessness of Wall Streets and collusion by Congress?
When the war criminals Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, Feith, Perl and all those who took us to war based what they knew to be lies and fraud, Congress did not hesitate to vote to take us to war. Very few had the courage to speak out, the majority were cowards to ask and raise issues before they sent our men and women to war and engage us in wars that killed tens of thousands of our finest and killed millions in Iraq, Afghanistan, and the Middle East.
Very few members of Congress stood up and dared to challenge the Bush/Cheney administration on its lies, and very few even bothered to consider the human and the financial costs of wars, wars that according to a Washington Post report of March 28, 2013 which and based on Harvard research, the costs of the Wars is estimated at $4-$6 trillions “taking into consideration the costs of medical care of wounded veterans and expensive repairs to a force depleted by more than a decades of fighting’s” and we continue to vote into office the same stupid ignorant corrupt sleazy Congress that took us to war.
Our illustrious Congress did not hesitate to vote with a majority to bail out all the crooks and the criminals of Wall Street to the tune of $ 13.87 trillion “Maximum at Risk” and $1.54 trillions actual costs covering funding from Treasury, FDIC and the Feds.
With so much money, recklessly spent, the Congress finally woke up, perhaps with substantial number recovering from hangover, to discover that our nation is in dept up to its ears and is drowning and that we gave away our financial independence and put the nation at risk and now these drunks are holding us hostage!
Of course, we all should wonder how is it that the majority of members of Congress 90% of them are returned to office? The secrete word is “Gerrymandering” the art of carving out each Congressional district every 10 years based on US senses with the majority party doing the tailoring and carving.
If you want to get a kick out of this and see how crazy looking some of these district consider the top ten most Gerrymandered districts to include; North Carolina -12, Florida-20, Pennsylvania -12, North Carolina -6, Florida – 3, Illinois -17, Arizona -22, Maryland -3 and last but not least Illinois – 4. One has to be drunk to draw up such districts.
According to different published reports US Congressional elections for each cycle costs an average of $1.5 billions with some senate going for as high as $25 millions with average at $8.3 millions. House seats go for $1.2 millions, requiring each members of Congress to spend not less than 3-4 days week raising money for the next election. And we wonder why they are not doing their job?
Since money is every thing, it is even more important that your vote and mine, the business sector spends the most money on elections averaging 72% of the all contributions with ideological groups, labor and other special interests making up the rest.
My wife who is an international mediators traveling all over the world raised very important question when she asked me, since the US is sending mediators all over the world to mediate local issues, why we America do not invite and accept foreign mediation in our national affairs as is the case now in Washington. Perhaps Bibi Netanyahu is the only one with clout over Congress and the White House who can “order” and whip inline both parties to reach an agreement on the budget.
Of course I could not end this essay without mentioning AIPAC with an annual budget of $200 millions, and its impact on Congress and the undue if not toxic influence it exercise over Congress. For a mere $25,000 contribution to each members of the House and an average of $100,000 senator, AIPAC is able to purchase and mortgage the political life of members of Congress, their mothers, their wives, mistresses, boyfriends, voting almost $5 billions annually to Israel only on a voice vote with little or no debate.
In this coming election cycle don’t let these 30 seconds sound bites ads mostly misinformation fool you or make your decision. In the end, though it is their money but it is our votes and without our votes, these SOB’s will never get back into office.
Sami, a Palestinian-American and a US Army Veteran (66-68), recipient of the “soldier of the month award and leadership award from the 6th Army NCO Academy, is an international legal and business consultant with over 40 years of international experience, in construction, hospitality services, conservation, and defense, in the Middle East, Europe, and North Africa. Sami is a holder of BA, MPA in Public and Environmental Affairs, Jurist Doctor from Indiana University. While at IU he was elected class president, student government president and chairman of the Indiana Students Association,
Active in peace movement as a co-author of the pre-amble for the One State for All of its people and voluntary service program SalamNation. A frequent contributor on national and international affairs. He resides in the United States.