R Reagan - 186% G HW Bush - 54% B Clinton - 41% G W Bush - 72% B Obama - 23% Source: Congressional Budget Office
With all the hourly updates, edge of your seats news graphics, crawls, and theme music, and legislators like Boehner using words like "Get your asses in line" - one really could easily think the sky is falling.
Sky, of course, being the devastating duo of words: debt ceiling.
It would be easy to get all caught up in the posturing, scare tactics, and hubris from all sides. Easy if you don't do any research. Don't know any history.
Alas, that covers the lion's share of this nation's citizens.
We are, sadly, a country of Chicken Littles, frightened into pooping our metaphorical pants again (think Bailouts) by those whose aim is truly only political gain - not proper, protective, proactive governance.
We are less than 18 months from another election, so what better time than now for those who want power to begin pointing every finger they have at the current occupants of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.
Not that finger pointing has suddenly struck them as a new idea. Quite frankly, since Janury 20, 2009, I'm surprised there aren't legions of GOP, Teabaggers, and other pants-in-a-wad right wing conservatives on disability with crippling cases of carpal tunnel.
This latest "debt ceiling crisis" is just another in a blatant (if you have your eyes open and actually educate yourself) attempt to make everything this administration does or faces seem new! History making! Catastrophic!
Here's a fun fact I would wager the majority of this country does not know: The debt ceiling - yes, that same thing being Octagon-battled over now - has been raised SEVENTY FIVE TIMES SINCE THE 60s.
75 TIMES. Hmmm, seems to me that span would encompass BOTH RepublicanANDDemocratic presidents, would it not?
Saint Ronnie - the poster child in the GOP's fantasmagorical game of revisionist history - raised it 18 TIMES! (Not to mention tripling the debt.)
These are HIS words to the Senate:
The full consequences of a default or even the serious prospect of default by the United States are impossible to predict and awesome to contemplate. [...] The risks, the cost, the disruptions, and the incalculable damage lead me to but one conclusion: the Senate must pass this legislation before the Congress adjourns. I want to thank you for your immediate attention to this urgent problem and for your assistance in passing an extension of the debt ceiling.
And during the Bush scera, he signed SEVEN debt ceiling increases into law (along with doubling the national debt, but who's counting?) So what is the difference now?
Here's a sweet graphic to put all this into perspective, from a posturing standpoint, at least:
Hmmm, a little curious, huh?
Seems raising the debt ceiling was okey dokey, SOP, hell, practically en vogue, until President Obama took office.
There is absolutely no argument that this country wastes a lot of money and resources. We do. It's part of our bred in the bone American pigtriotism. We consume, we squander, we waste with not much on the balance sheets to show we realize there are eventual consequences.
We need to analyze every penny taken in, and weigh every penny going out. Changes need to be made, departments combined, and the Pentagon needs to start shopping at Home Depot for its hammers and toilet seats.
But right now, defaulting - although a common practice these days by our citizens who have been pushed to the brink of financial ruin without any debt ceiling increase being floated as an option for them - is not something to be toyed with.
And quite frankly, neither are our citizens.
But until those in power actually begin dealing in truth, honesty, and true governance of, by, and for the people - we are nothing more than what they treat us like: A nation of ignorant Chicken Littles.
Hi everyone - sorry it has been rather quiet, just enjoying the summer with my girls. A few updates...
~ Ken is on her way back to the States from her adventure in Italy - one made slightly surreal when she and my sister ran into a soccer family we have known for 4 years at the Colosseum! Can't wait to see those pictures. My sister said it was crazy - all of the sudden Kendall and this woman were screaming and running towards one another! Even though they lost a day on the way out of the country, my sister was able to extend everything by a day so they still had the original amount of time.
~ My mom and dad had their consultation with the neurosurgeon two weeks ago. Unfortunately. her aneurysm is not a candidate for the less invasive coiling procedure - it is larger and the neck of it is wider than usual. They have been referred to a neurosurgeon who specializes in the cranial surgery and will meet with him next week. For now we still hold our breath and wait.
~ Soccer begins again in earnest this coming weekend (not that Carson has sat around at all. She is at CATZ every day at 8am working out.) Her training camp kicks off Saturday night and then we begin the preseason plunge into scrimmages and away tournaments. Her team is slated to take a run at qualifying for a higher division sometime in August. Fingers crossed!
Hmmm, what else?????
~ Yes, Carson and I are still vegan...
~ Culley and Zeus are still sickeningly adorable and happy...
~ Both C&K have less than a month till they are both at college to start the Fall 2011 term.
~ Carson is excited for school to start and to no longer be a "fish." She has promised to be benevolent to the incoming freshmen.
~ And Debbie will be here in just over a week. :O) Being dragged from one field to another.
~ oh, and here's some more proof I actually WAS on that Germany trip! I was behind the camera a lot, but another Mom snapped me here and there...
Beginning today through Thursday, Lauren will be taking the Texas Bar Exam, the culmination of years and years of brain bending study and dedication. Please join me in sending that amazing DGMS energy her way! Go Lauren!
So another talented, yet seriously screwed up artist bites the dust.
I was sitting under a tree at the soccer fields today when Carson pulled up her Facebook and saw the headline:
Amy Winehouse Found Dead
Sad? Sure. She obviously had people in her life who loved her. She was someone's child, someone's friend. Tragic? Yes, in that same way that all gone-too-soon stories are tragic.
But what struck me as funny (not funny HA HA, but funny ODD) was that we all sat there going, "Are you serious?!?" "No way!"
Like it should come as any shock to anyone with even a cursory knowledge of pop culture that she finally ate it.
Perhaps that's the veil of immortality under which we allow ourselves to cloak celebrities. We view them as a class apart, untouchable, somehow more impervious to peril than we mere mortals.
But the reality is they are made of the same vulnerable flesh, same gossamer, same hope, dreams, breaths in, breaths out.
And a human being, regardless of notoriety, success, or money can only sustain so much self inflicted abuse.
For almost as long as she has been on the music scene, so has been the word "heroin." In fact, since her hit Rehab years back, she has mainly stayed in the spotlight by constantly screwing up in the spotlight. Bad concerts, overdoses, etc.
Watching the postings on Facebook today, there are the predictable, "Oh, how sad"s and there are also the predictable, "She deserved it"s.
I find it sad for those who truly knew her, raised her, struggled to get her on some path in life that would somehow break her out of the destructive, addictive cycle in which she threw herself.
But I also believe she brought it on herself.
Life is full of choices. Choices to take that first puff, inject that first needle, heat up that first rock.
Those choices were hers. And like we mere mortals know, for every choice in this life, there ARE consequences.
Too bad hers was the ultimate consequence. I'd like to think that even someone as screwed up as Amy, if given the chance to do it over, armed with the knowledge of what would happen, would turn away and finally say, "No, no, no."
As some of you know, Kendall left on Tuesday to head to Phoenix to meet up with my sister for their flight out to Rome on Wednesday.
Well, the best laid plans are often screwed six ways from Sunday when they hit the tarmac.
They made it as far as Charlotte, North Carolina where they were to board their connecting flight to Leonardo Da Vinci airport.
They encountered a two hour delay. No big deal.
Then another 2 hour delay was added. OK, slight chafing of the mental underwear.
Then they canceled the flight altogether.
Talk about melting a person's gelatto.
Well, the reason for all the delays was mechanical, so as much as they (and we by extension) were unhappy to have their trip interrupted, it is better to err on the side of caution than fling a questionable aircraft across the Atlantic just to keep to a schedule.
So they were set up with different flights today and sent to a hotel for the night. They are back at the airport in Charlotte ready to board their flight to Philly where they will sit for roughly five hours before getting on a plane to Rome.
In order to help them pass the time, I have challenged them to sightsee the Philly airport, creep those who bring attention to themselves, and entertain me long distance via pictures. I shall assist in passing the time by captioning the pictures they send to me.
Here is the first one, along with my caption. I will add pictures throughout the day as I receive them - feel free to add your captions as well!
Jeez, if the Captain looks this bad, I can only imagine Tennille is guarding the river Styx...
Hey Guy Fieri, does the restaurant at the airport qualify as a diner, drive-in or dive? ~ submitted by Marsha
You know you're bored when you start trolling the airport bathroom for wide stancers...
Mens Room??? I didn't see any men!! - submitted by Diane
Having killed all the other passengers in the airport, Kendall was free to shop unmolested.
Push, Mrs. Schwartz! I can see the head! Oh, and your nails look lovely!
Jesus, Kendall - lay off the food court. How long has this layover been anyway?!?!?
MIldred, I told you our children were all cheap bastards! This IS not Shady Acres. It's the ^%$#! airport gift shop.
Janice proudly escorts her husband Phil through the airport to bid him adieu and good luck as his gig as keynote speaker at the annual Pepto Bismal Convention.
Mrs. Claus on her way to a hot and heavy rendezvous with Santa on the Island of Misfit Toys.