Monday, December 9, 2013


Just google “worst Congress ever” [and see references below] to review the state of our nation as the 113th Congress ends and a New Year approaches.  Its remarkable how combative and obstructionist our lawmakers have become, since a black man became President of the United States.   It has passed the least amount of laws, and filibustered the most times, in U. S. history.   Corporate carpetbaggers are upon us.
…Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell said in an October 2010 interview that "single most important thing" he needed to achieve was making Obama a one-term president…  The voters have spoken in re-electing President Obama in 2012, but the powerful in Congress, and their unchastened-by-the-crash financial industry backers will not listen.  The people want healthcare and jobs, but these obstructionists want a dead-in-the-water president unable to make any legislation that would spend money on people’s needs.  

The President is forced to ride a Congressional horse with a broken leg.  The opposition party did not concede it lost in 2008, has given no support to a winning president’s agenda, but instead kicked up like a loco bronco, fighting him on every measure, into a spasm of increasing gridlocks.  They appear to have no concept of loyal opposition, the basic concept of a functioning democracy.  Differences are put aside somewhat between the four year election cycles, so the winners gets to put their program, promised to the people that elected them, in place.  This Congress should go back and read its high school civics books.
The current controversy over the Democrats having used a “nuclear option” to change long standing filibuster rules that preserve some opposition party clout, must be put in context.   Filibuster bombs of mass destruction had already been launched by Republican obstructionists.   Of President Obama’s executive appointments, 79 have been blocked by the opposition thus far, compared to a total of 68 during all other presidencies in the history of our republic.

The current obstruction and manipulation of and by Congress, in league with powerful corporate interests, is unprecedented.   Its being “worst” is guaranteed by its being the “best” Congress money can buy.   The infamous “Citizen’s United” Supreme Court ruling could now be joined by a “McCutcheon’s”decision, which gives further weight to unfettered private/corporate monies controlling our elections process.   Democrats and Republicans have both become commodities.
Racism appears to have upped the ante in the politics game.  Many operators have decided that a black president shall not be allowed to succeed – at anything.   The issues of how our government spends its money have been the same for at least a hundred years.  The government has never seriously threatened to choke off its own supply by self-defaulting, until this activist Congress took the throttle.

ne of the few laws put in place, the Affordable Care Act, has been challenged with repeal votes 40 times since 2010.  Insult to injury—it was Congress’ intentional failure to provide enough funds to implement the ACA that was in good part responsible for the dismal roll-out of the ACA sign-ups and website, so roundly criticized by Congress and the media.   Short memory—the implementers actually had to go begging for contributions, to the health companies themselves, community and church groups, many of whom were certainly less than enthusiastic.
This hubris is causing suffering here at home and round the world.  My Catholic Republican father has always maintained that “you get what you pay for.”  Right now we’re getting nothing – just a cloud of sequestrations and budget default threats.   The common good is not being served—only the 1% are represented by this Congress.

Is this really racism, or just plain greed?  I would argue that the two are devilishly intertwined.
Pope Francis warns us in his recently proclaimed The Joy of the Gospel.  {EVANGELII GAUDIUM}  “Just as goodness tends to spread, the toleration of evil, which is injustice, tends to expand its baneful influence and quietly to undermine any political and social system.”  “The worship of the ancient golden calf has returned in a new and ruthless guise.”   He urges us—we can return to the merciful love of Jesus.  “No one can strip us of the dignity bestowed upon us by this boundless and unfailing love. With a tenderness which never disappoints, but is always capable of restoring our joy, he makes it possible for us to lift up our heads and to start anew.”

He ends his letter with a prayer to Mary, and these words: “Mary let herself be guided by the Holy Spirit on a journey of faith towards a destiny of service and fruitfulness. Today we look to her and ask her to help us proclaim the message of salvation to all and to enable new disciples to become evangelizers in turn.”  Good to be mindful of these, Congress and the rest of us, today when we celebrate the feast of her Immaculate Conception.  To be born without sin, as she, is for most of us, beyond comprehension.

Please spend some time reading for yourself --


 Jesus Chases Out the Money Changers - by El Greco

 Illumination by Kathy Brahney

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