This post is about a post, or to put it another way, I’m writing a post about a post.
Right now, we new a new post for a new mailbox in front of this house. And this post is about that. Actually, the post for the mailbox will enable the Postal person to put packages sent by the Post Office into the box, so there’s a lot of posting going on.
I opened up the computer this afternoon in hopes of seeing more information posted about the Mueller report, only to find more agitation about what we don’t know. As a long time viewer of courtroom and cop dramas, I “get” the whole difference between knowing a guy is guilty and having the cold, hard evidence on which to convict him. We have never convicted a sitting president and current bylaws for our Attorney General decline to so do — even if we actually HAD the evidence, which apparently we don’t.
It’s doesn’t mean Trump is exonerated (the report clearly points out that this is not the case), nor does the evidence indicate that this is an innocent guy. What it does indicate is even if there were evidence that might convict him, given his status and power in our government, it would probably not be enough to “get the job done.”
We got off “cheap” because Nixon resigned rather than embarrass his party.
Trump doesn’t give a rat’s ass about his party or for that matter, his country or how we stand in the world.
I have to say I never expected a different result from this. I hoped it would be a stronger evidentiary case, but I was pretty sure that given one thing and another, it wouldn’t be enough to see the Bad Guys led away in cuffs. That was never going to happen, no matter how much we wished it would.
So it’s back to the election in 2020. It was always about the election in 2020. Anyone who knows anything about our history — American history — knew we were going to have to vote our way out of this disaster. We are going to have to strap on a national pair of brass ones, get down to business, stay on track, and put a better president in the White House. Otherwise, we will live another four years with this nightmare.
It is up to us and it was always up to us. As a nation, we got ourselves into this soup and we are going to have to get ourselves out of it, too. If we succeed in doing that, we will be a much stronger country. If we don’t, we’ll be a blip in the history books.
Do we have the National Balls to fight this battle or are we going to wimp out, whine, and complain to each other about how we got tricked? Garry still thinks it’s going to go the way of Al Capone; that in the end, we’ll get him (post-presidency) on money-laundering or tax evasion or something like that. You can’t always prove The Big Charge … but you can usually nail them on “smaller” ones. There are a lot of cases still pending and the New York FBI is a powerful organization … and so are the courts.
Meanwhile, it will cost about $20 to buy a new post for the post box so we can get our post from the post office. And this post is free of charge.
I keep reading the same crap. Why is this so hard to understand?
So you believe term-limits will solve our political problems. Why would you think that? Are “old timers” in Congress the big problem — as opposed to the bloated egos and narrow minds of the Tea Party, Trumpocrats, and racists? All of whom were recently elected and have no understanding of how the government works? And worse, who care nothing for the American people?
Look how much they’ve fixed everything. Yeah, that’s going well.
Exactly what problem do you think you solve by making terms shorter? Will it attract a better quality of candidates for office? Will it convince people to vote for better candidates?
Doesn’t the past presidential election prove that people will vote for a bad candidate even when all logic and reason should tell them he has no interest in serving their interests?
So you believe we will get better government if no one in congress gets to hang around awhile? Why would inexperience produce a better government? Aren’t we already suffering from a monumental amount of inexperience and incompetence?
Would you choose an inexperienced surgeon? A barber who has never cut hair or gone to barber school? In what other area do we prefer untrained, raw recruits to veterans?
Oh, right. The presidency. How’s that working for you?
Why do you want amateurs making your laws?
Our founding fathers specifically excluded term limits.
Their experience under the Articles of Confederation (the document that preceded the Constitution) proved to them the best people are not interested in temporary government jobs for lousy pay in a distant city. Many of the people originally elected under the Articles of Confederation walked away from their positions or never took them up in the first place.
There was no future in it.
When the Constitution was drawn, its authors wanted to tempt the best and the brightest to government service. They wanted candidates who would make it a career. They weren’t interested in amateurs and parvenus. The business of governing a nation has a learning curve. It takes years to get the hang of how things work, how a law gets written. How to reach across the aisle and get the opposition to participate.
TheArticles of Confederation contained exactly the ideas people are promulgating today. They failed. Miserably. How many times do we need to relearn the same lesson?
The absence of term limits in the Constitution is not an oversight. The writers of the Constitution thought long and hard about this problem.
A little more history
Under the Articles of Confederation, our country fell apart. Elected representatives came to the capital (New York), hung around awhile, then went home. Why stay? The job had no future and their salaries didn’t pay enough to cover their costs or support their families.
Term limits were soundly rejected at the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia. They were right. The Constitution aims to get professionals into government.
Term limits remove any hope of building a career in government.
It becomes a rough temp job without a future.
Myth Busting 101: Congress isn’t overpaid
Maybe they are paid more than you and me but compared to what they could be earning elsewhere, not so much.
What you cry? How can that be?
Most members of Congress are lawyers. The 2011-2012 salary for rank-and-file congressional members was $174,000 per year. A third-year associate at a good law firm will do that well and after six to twelve years (1 – 2 senate terms), a competent attorney in a good market makes much more.
Senators and representatives have to maintain two residences, one in their native state, the other in DC. If you think $174,000 will support two houses and send their kids to college, you are living in a fantasy world. Which is why many members of Congress have other income streams.
Curiously, our Founding Fathers expected congressmen, especially senators, to be men of means. They felt only wealthy people would be able to afford government service. They would be less susceptible to bribery.
On the whole, they were right. What they didn’t foresee was how greed would become the foundation of our national government and that’s another issue. Or how many kinds of corruption would be easily available.
Bribery is the least of our problems.
Skill and experience count
Writing a law that can stand up to scrutiny by the courts and other members of Congress takes years. You don’t waltz in from Anywhere, USA and start writing laws. Moreover, great legislators are rare in any generation. A sane electorate doesn’t throw them away.
We are not suffering from an entrenched group of old-time pols stopping the legislative process. We are suffering a dearth of the old guard, folks who understood how to work with the opposition. Knew how to make the process work. It’s the recently elected morons who are stopping progress.
Sadly, our experienced old-timers got old, retired, or died. They have been replaced by imbeciles.
Above and beyond the skill it takes to write legislation, it takes even longer to gain seniority and respect. Frank Capra notwithstanding, Mr. Smith doesn’t go to Washington and accomplish miracles. Newly elected congresspeople hope to build a career in politics. With luck, one or two of them will become a great legislator, a Tip O’Neill, Lyndon Baines Johnson, Bob Dole, Ted Kennedy et al.
Anyone you name connected to the passage of major legislation was a multi-term, Representative or Senator.
Term limits eliminate all chance of having great legislators
Term limits guarantee a bunch of amateurs — or worse — fumbling their way around Congress. If any of them figure out where the toilets are and actually get good at their jobs (I know, hard to imagine at the moment), they’ll be gone.
Does that make sense? Really?
If you think your congressman or senator is doing a crappy job, replace him or her with someone you believe will do better.
If you don’t elect them, they won’t be in Congress
We have term limits. These are called elections. Throw the bums out. Vote for the other guy. Term limits were an awful idea in 1788 and they haven’t improved with time. You only have to watch the news once or twice to see how our wonderful, government is doing.
If that doesn’t argue against the treasured (but stupid) belief that what Washington DC needs are outsiders, I don’t know what will convince you. Assuming we survive 45s reign, we will desperately need intelligent, knowledgeable people to set America back on course.
We don’t need term limits. We need better candidates, better representatives.
We need men and women willing to learn the craft, who have ideas and can work with each other and other nations to get America’s business done. Our government does not rest on the Presidency. It rests on Congress.
The president doesn’t run the country
He’s not our “CEO.” Congress writes legislation and votes it into law. Ultimately, it’s you, me, our friends and neighbors who choose the people who make the laws, pass budgets, approve cabinet members and Supreme Court justices.
Whatever is wrong with Congress, it’s OUR fault
The members of Congress are chosen by us and if you don’t like one, don’t vote for him or her. If someone gets re-elected over and over, you have to figure that a lot of people vote for that candidate. You may not like him, but other people do. That’s what elections are about.
It doesn’t necessarily work out the way you want, but changing the rules won’t solve the problems. Make the job more — not less — attractive so better people will want to go into government. Otherwise, you’re creating a job no one will want.
It’s close to that already. Mention going into politics to an ambitious young person. Watch him or her recoil in horror.
Ultimately, it’s all about America. Partisanship, special interests, regional issues, party politics, and personal agendas need to take a back seat to the good of the nation … and we need to agree what that means, at least in broad strokes. Term limits won’t fix the problem, because that’s not what’s broken.
You want term limits? Vote the morons out of office
We didn’t vote ALL the morons out of office, but we did pretty well and considering there are still a few senatorial elections being recounted, we may do even better. Moreover, we had the highest voter turnout ever. That’s amazing, wonderful, and gives me hope.
Vote for people who believe the good of the country is more important than their personal agenda. Vote for intelligent people who understand about compromise, who have a grip on law, justice, and the constitution.
Elisabeth Kubler Ross defined the five stages of grief. They are Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, and Acceptance.
The tragedy that is this current administration and Republicans, in general, have created a completely different five stages of grief. Shock, Denial, Anger, Rage and finally,
I never really thought about disgust as an emotion. Usually, you’re only disgusted when you see, smell or eat something really gross.
It first hit me during the Kavanagh hearings.
Remember them? It was a long, time ago. About a month.
I watched pathetic old white Republican Senators sitting behind a woman because they were too cowardly to ask questions to another woman accusing the Supreme Court nominee of sexual harassment.
It was disgusting.
Then the next day this same nominee came out yelling and screaming about how everybody was picking on him. He threatened “payback” for Democrats who asked him mean questions. He treated the female Democratic Senators on the committee with stunning disrespect.
I was disgusted.
Then all the male Republicans on the committee proceeded to scream with phony rage about how this poor man is being treated.
I was beyond disgusted.
Since then, long ago (last month), things have gotten more and more disgusting.
The Fear-Monger-In-Chief has been crisscrossing the country trying to convince his moronic minions that a few thousand desperate refugees — mostly women, and children — fleeing their home countries and walking more than 2000 miles to come to America. Based on the very slim hope of being granted asylum, Trump claims they are really a raging mob of barbarians, criminals, and terrorists coming here to
He also says he can change the Constitution ON HIS OWN. He — alone and without an amendment or even a conversation with Congress — can deny citizenship to children born in the United States if they’re babies he doesn’t like.
This Idiot-in-Chief and every Republican running are claiming that they are only ones protecting pre-existing conditions for our health care. Even though they’ve all voted to abolish the Affordable Care Act more than 60 times and are planning on doing it again.
They claim Democrats are trying to abolish Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid. If they are elected the entire country will become an apocalyptic dystopian nightmare of crime and violence.
Racist attacks on African-American candidates that have gone from racial dog whistle code words to obscene robocalls from Nazis who don’t even live in the state in which the candidates are running.
In one week, a white racist, living in a van covered with alt-right pro-Trump memes sends 17 pipe bombs to two living Presidents and other Democratic leaders.
Then another white racist, who after listening to the President telling crowds that Jews like George Soros is supporting the invading horde of refugees over 800 miles away decides to take an AR-15 and slaughter 11 Jews in a Temple. On Shabbat no less.
And what does the President say? It wasn’t his fault and it wasn’t fair to blame him for it. Then goes to a rally that very night and says the exact same thing!
I could go on, but I’m too disgusted.
I’m writing this on the day before the mid-term elections. If you’re reading this before the election, use your rage, your disgust.
Go out and vote.
If you’re reading after the election and you didn’t vote?
The King Brothers strode through the luxurious lobby of the grand Wilford Washington Hotel. It is a stately old hotel with all the modern amenities. Only the richest of the rich can stay at the Wilford, and the King Brothers were among the one percent that controlled most of the nation’s wealth. It was a particularly joyous night for the highly successful businessmen as they again used their business skills and wealth to get what they wanted.
Although they were knowledgeable and successful businessmen, Chauncey and Derrick King owed most of their wealth to inheritance. Their father discovered a new way of making energy. It was not the most environmentally responsible method, but it sure made a lot of money.
When old Farley King passed on, Chauncey and Derrick aced out two other brothers to grab control of the largest privately held corporation in the nation. Now they had their sights set on power. They wanted the sort of power that would assure continued success to their business as well as that of their friends. This meant no environmental controls that would limit their production.
The boys were all smiles as they moved to the elevators, one of which would take them to an exclusive penthouse party to celebrate victory. It was election night in the nation and everything was falling into place. Despite the massive price tag of their efforts, they were pleased with what their investment had purchased.
When the doors of the elevator opened, the King brothers found family, friends and a few carefully selected politicians on hand. They all had the opportunity to partake in the best drinks and hors d’oeuvre money could buy. Chauncey was partial to a particular wine from France, Pierre Jouet Champagne, at a mere $6,500 per bottle. The hotel secured a case of it just for the event.
Cal Rhodes came up to the boys with the latest good news. “We have won another one. Just one more and we will control the Senate as well as the House. There are victory celebrations in just about every one of the party campaign headquarters across the country.”
For all the money the brothers dumped into attack ads and digging up dirt on the other party, they felt they ought to win most of the battles. And win them they did, all night long.
The party went well past midnight as they all kept a careful eye on the western states. The laughing and joking and storytelling of the earlier hours had given way to watching election results. Giant screen televisions around the room had been playing FIX News all night, but now they turned up the sound so everyone could hear. The audience hung on the words of the political reporters they knew and loved.
Elections in Oregon and Idaho were unexpectedly close. While Oregon was supposed to be a battle, Idaho was considered “a lock” for the brothers prior to election night.
“What the hell is going on in Idaho?” Chauncey shouted at Cal.
“I’ll check it out,” was all Cal could say as he went back to working the phones, a task he normally relished. It would not be good for Cal or any of the architects of the Senate strategy if they did not pick up one of the remaining states.
The numbers on the election boards were moving agonizingly slowly. Derrick said to no one in particular, “No one lives in Idaho, how long can it take to count a few votes?” At just past one in the morning, Eastern time, the crowded roomful of conservatives heard the news they’d been waiting for.
“With 93 percent of the precincts reporting, FIX News projects the incumbent Senator from the state of Idaho has held off an unexpected challenge and will retain his seat.”
With that announcement, Chauncey ordered another bottle of his favorite champagne. “Give everyone a glass. Let’s toast this hard-fought, hard-bought victory.” They toasted until the wine was gone and the guests headed home or back to their rooms in the warm, friendly Wilford Washington Hotel.
Derrick went to Cal with hardiest congratulations.
“You know, Cal, it’s time we set our agenda for the next two years. We need to start working on it immediately. But let’s get a good night’s sleep first. We’ve all earned it.” With that, Cal got a big hug from both King brothers before heading downstairs to his room.
On the very next day, with the House and Senate in hand, the King brothers discussed who should be the candidate for the highest post in the land two years hence. Whoever they picked would become their anointed one, their monarch and would serve the brothers well.
They would send him off to live in a big white house. Congress would pass all the Kings’ proclamations and the brothers would live happily ever after.
I had to look it up. I actually didn’t know who else was running for governor. Shame on me.
Shame on us!
We were watching the millionth advertisement for Charlie Baker, our current governor. He’s a Republican, but not the kind you find in Washington D.C. Massachusetts’ spawns very liberal Republicans. They are so liberal, it’s can be hard to figure out to what party they belong.
Our Republican governors run on everybody’s money — Democrat and Republican — because he manages to be nice to everyone, or at least nice enough to keep them on his side, more or less.
Charlie Baker is not a bad governor or a bad guy. He has basically followed the path of previous governors, except he has been more parsimonious. He hasn’t done anything very different from other governors or “Republicanized” our laws. He briefly waved at supporting Trump and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts came down on him like a mountain.
He backed off faster than a speeding bullet. This is the bluest state in the U.S. and a really red Republican was not going to do well here.
Since then, he has streamlined the budget until we now have a billion dollar surplus in the state treasury. Golly! That’s a fair bit of change. I have nothing against dealing wisely with finances. But where is the money coming from?
On the surface, a billion buck surplus sounds great, right?
Except in order to accumulate that billion dollars, he simply stopped doing stuff which urgently needs doing. The roads have gone unpaved. The rails are downright unsafe. Bridges are crumbling.
We are short 13,000 nurses statewide and many hospitals have closed. There are large areas without any local hospitals and barely any doctors.
The University of Massachusetts is as expensive as many private universities — and that is for people who are Massachusetts residents. The curriculum has been cut, too.
Meanwhile, our public schools are not improving. In another effort to financially cut back, MassHealth, our state’s version Medicaid has been slashed. A lot of people who have no other medical insurance now are forced to pay some dollar amount monthly.
It usually isn’t a lot in gross amounts but it can seem an awful lot to a family who depends on it. Still, compared to other American states, it’s about as good as American medical care gets. It even includes some care for eyes and teeth! It used to have more, but each year there’s less.
So then, I asked Garry which Democrat is running against Charlie Baker? He said “Someone with a Spanish last name,” but he couldn’t remember the actual name. Jay Gonzalez hasn’t had any television ads — or at least we haven’t seen them. None.
Basically, we have a choice of voting for Charlie Baker or someone about whom we know nothing because he apparently has no war chest for getting out the vote.
This bothers me.
I should at least know who else is running. It shouldn’t be that one guy has all the money, all the advertisements, all the endorsements, so naturally, we all vote for him. That’s not how it’s supposed to be.
The thing is, with all the advertisements about the great things Charlie Baker has done, he hasn’t done anything in this part of the state. The bridges are as bad as ever. The roads are worse. The schools are mediocre, ranging to pathetic.
All public schools teach is how to pass required tests. Students learn nothing. They memorize what teachers expect to find on the exams. Good memorizers get good grades. Not such good memorizers do poorly.
Bad teachers, not enough teachers, huge classes. A lot of kids fall by the wayside.
When money goes to “help” schools, it always goes to some “charter school” in Boston or suburban Boston where the leaves are green and so is the money. And, because the population in Worcester county doesn’t come close to Boston or any of the areas near it, we can vote our hearts out, but unless it’s a local representative, we don’t have much effect on the election. Essentially, unless it’s a very local representative, our votes don’t count. Not nationally or regionally.
Areas with very with small populations don’t get much say in American politics.
So I’m voting for the other guy.
Because when I look at Charlie Baker’s slick advertising? What I I see is Boston. I see him cutting the bottom out of our upper and lower educational systems, failing to help improve our medical facilities, not helping the nursing schools engage students or helping hospitals pay for more nurses. I’m sure we can get him to pass a law about it, but that won’t solve the problem and will probably make it worse because the rest of the issue is that we need nurses and the money to pay them. And a law isn’t going to make that happen. Laws need funding and enforcement and some concept of the potential side effects of the law.
We have a habit in this state and this country of passing laws and then trying to figure out how to make it work. On a national level, sometimes this works, but mostly, it doesn’t work anywhere. Passing laws is not a single-layer job.
Even though I’m voting “no” on mandatory nursing ratios, it’s not because I don’t believe our nurses deserve a better deal but because I live in an area where there are very few decent hospitals. If mandatory nursing ratios force another 200 hospitals to close and any of them is in Worcester County, it’s going to be hard to get into a hospital. I’d rather have overworked nurses than no place able to care for me.
For some of us, this is a life or death set of issues in this election and I’ve decided I want to live.
As did many others, I thought a few people might develop a conscience and a spine and not put Kavanagh on the Court. We thought someone might use their head for something other than a hat rack and realize jailing children was immoral. We thought they might hear the kids who had not been shot at their own school, hear their voices.
They didn’t do any of these things.
So we have an immoral drunkard Supreme Court Justice, babies in jail, lots of dead kids, and jailed babies many of whom may never find a home.
It didn’t happen. No spines, no consciences.
There’s only one thing left. Vote.
Please vote. Make sure all the people you know who can vote and have their heads outside their asses vote too. Drive people who need a lift to the voting place.
To put it simply, this is it. We’re out of time. The world has a dozen year to repair itself before we can’t stop the descent of Earth into…? I don’t even know what we will be if we can’t stop the planet’s destruction, but sometimes, being old has some advantages. I won’t live to see the end.
We can’t fix everything, but we can give it our best shot. We can do our best to try to talk to people who are still able to listen — and there aren’t many of them left. Everyone is dug into position. I don’t think there are a lot of minds we can change. If nothing else, these past two years have ossified the minds of everybody. We all need to unfreeze our minds. A lot of things need changing — fast — and we have to forget there is a box and think in new and different ways.
To all my younger friends, everyone does the best they can with the world they inherit. No generation gets a map showing you how to fix things. For each of us, the world is a different place with unique issues. What worked for us probably wouldn’t work today. Moreover, even when you get it right, your “right” isn’t permanent. You can pass the “right” laws and un-pass them before your not-yet-born kid makes it to kindergarten. There is no forever.
Governments and countries are not forever. There is no Roman Empire, though it lasted a long time. FYI, the Roman Empire began with the crowning of Gaius Octavian Thurinus in 31 B.C. and fell to the German Goths in A.D. 476, for a total of 507 years. The Byzantine Empire, Rome’s eastern half, did not fall until the Ottoman Turks conquered Constantinople in 1453.
What happened to the Assyrians and the Babylonians? How about the Philistines or the Greeks? Or, for that matter, the British? Empires and governments come and go and this country is very young. If we were to end right now, we wouldn’t even make the historical timeline. We haven’t been around long enough.
Nothing is permanent. Not governments, politics, religion, or morality. Not culture or society. We reinvent ourselves over and over. Good times, bad times. That’s just how it goes.
My generation can’t fix it. I’ll vote as I have always voted: liberal and democratic. But after that, it’s up to other people. If they don’t vote, we will lose. History happens. Each of us is part of it, like it or not. Be a good part of history. Do the right thing. Vote. We have a planet to fix.
And don’t forget to think before you vote!
I’ve been waiting to find intelligent life on earth. I’m still waiting.
I’m sure California could make its own case as “the bluest state” but I think Massachusetts has a real grip on the whole “blue” thing.
We had our primaries last Tuesday. Since a lot of Democrats run unopposed, getting elected in the primaries is pretty much getting elected. The Republicans run national candidates, but locally, they often don’t bother.
Especially because our Democrats aren’t always particularly liberal. Some of them are clearly old-fashioned conservatives, but because they live in this state, they are registered as Democrats. I’ll bet this works the same way in traditionally Republican states.
Why fight with color? You are what you are, no matter what your banner might say.
Finally, this year we’ve been seeing some young or at least younger local people running. And winning. For many local offices, we had some young people — late thirties, early forties campaigners — running for office.
Finally! Some of the candidates, we just didn’t know enough about to make a judgment, but in the race for Secretary of State, there was a clear choice between Bill Galvin who has been holding that office since before I moved to the state in 1987.
Galvin is, was, will always be, an old-fashioned conservative. Anywhere else, he’d be a Republican. In Massachusetts, it’s simpler to hold to your personal opinions but run as a Democrat or Independent.
He handles a lot of money issues and has done a good job of keeping our tax money in the treasury. Basically, he has done this by letting everything fall apart. The roads are giant potholes. You could lose a tank in some of those holes. The bridges are crumbling, too and around here, where we are completely surrounded by rivers, it’s getting a bit perilous to drive anywhere.
I think we will hear more from Josh Zakim. Especially after one more year of crumbling infrastructure.
We have a billion dollar positive balance in our bank, but the infrastructure explains why that is. The trains are an ongoing disaster. Every year, they appoint a new transportation secretary and fire him or her in the spring, which is right after winter when those old, damaged rails stop functioning. We lack most of the safety features newer trains use.
It would help if they actually appointed someone who knew something about trains — but the real problem is that Massachusetts doesn’t want to spend the money to fix the railroads on which so many people depend. Daily. We have an underground and a lot of other, surface trains that are “supposed” to be fast, but barely gasp their way into the station. Places like Uxbridge don’t even have trains anymore.
We thought the young guy, Josh Zakim (34 years old) had a chance, but Galvin took him down two to one in the primary. Garry and I hoped for someone not quite so stodgy and old. You can’t win them all.
We did get a few young ones and a couple for whom I hold high hope. We got our very first Black woman elected to the U.S. House of Representative from Massachusetts, Ayana Pressley.
It’s the same seat Tip O’Neill and Teddy Kennedy held, so she certainly has an honorable place to start her fight. The guy she defeated, U.S. Congressman Michael E. Capuano had held the seat for ten years — was warmly gracious about her win and his loss.
Imagine that! Graciousness in politics! Who could have imagined such a shocking event in 2018?
Ayana Pressley is running unopposed in November, so she is set to become the first African-American woman elected to Congress from this Commonwealth. Many people compare Ayana Pressley’s win to that of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is a 28-year-old an educator and political activist who, on June 26, 2018, won the Democratic primary in New York’s 14th congressional district — considered a significant upset and I wish her all the best.
Even though Massachusetts is the “bluest” state in the country, our “blues” range from highly conservative (in the old-fashioned sense of the word) to very far left and straight-out socialist. I’ve lived under Socialism and rumors to the contrary notwithstanding, it’s a pretty decent system. It has flaws too, but overall, it works. Rather better than our government is working, but that wouldn’t be difficult.
Charlie Baker, our guv, is the most left-wing Republican on the map. Massachusetts’ always elects liberal Republican governors. It’s a thing. Maybe some kind of balance?
Our senate and house are Democrats, but the governor is usually a Republican. After a brief flurry of Conservative speeches when he takes office, he quickly realized that he isn’t going to accomplish anything unless he works with all those Democrats in Congress. So, he buckles down and does what they all do. Governors work with the House to try and get something accomplished.
Remarkably, what gets done is rarely what everyone was hoping for — like rebuilding the damned bridges before they fall into the rivers. And making the trains run, even when it snows. And preventing them from derailing and crashing.
I miss Tip O’Neill and Ted Kennedy. I miss the savvy guys who knew how to write legislation, then reach across the aisle and turn it into functional policy that helped people. Nationally, our legislators are stuck like a fly to flypaper. Lots of buzzing followed by death.
I have no idea how all the other primaries have gone. Primaries from states not part of New England are not covered by the news here, so I’m just hoping that at least in a few places, younger, more open people are running for office.
There was a comedienne on Colbert last night who commented that our government is quite simply too old. The reason why Drumpf thinks coal mining is a cool idea is that he’s old. Really old. No one younger than 70 would think for a minute coal mining is “the way to go” and how we’ll find “new jobs.”
That isn’t a new job. It’s a terrible, awful, poorly paid, dead-end job no one but a few people who grew up in the mines thinks is a good idea. Yeah. Let’s save 200 jobs and trash a few million. Way to go, U.S.A.
I love some of our older senators and representatives. There are some smart, savvy guys and gals there. But we need some new life too. We need them to stop sleeping at their desks and find ideas for the next 100 or so years.
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