them...irresponsible. Call them...unreliable.
Throw in...undependable, too.
it's undeniably true: The Congress of the United
States makes Bart Simpson look like Averell Harriman.
grownups have left the building. Good grief, what
a horror show.
to David Chen of The New York Times for catching
one little horror that might have gone unnoticed:
"Senate Rejects Plea for Extra Year of Filing
for 9-11 Awards."
60 percent of the families who suffered losses
on 9-11 have so far filed for compensation, presumably
because of the notorious confusion and difficulty
surrounding the process, with massive amounts
of paperwork required.
deadline is Dec. 22, and administrators of the
Victim Compensation Fund have been scrambling
for weeks to encourage families to apply -- language
difficulties and in some cases lack of citizenship
make it even more complicated and frightening
Frank Lautenberg of New Jersey tried a classic
tactic just before adjournment -- going to the
Senate floor and asking for unanimous consent.
Couldn't get it. Republican leaders opposed.
an immortal quote from F. James Sensenbrenner
Jr., R-Wis., chairman of the House Judiciary Committee:
"The chairman views the extension as unnecessary
and has concerns that it would provide a disincentive
for people to file." Uh-huh.
you may be wondering, given the condemnations
of the Medicare "reform" bill from both left and
right, which side actually won. It's so fabulous
-- they both lost.
Wall Street Journal, which is furious about the
bill, is right. So is The Nation, and it's right,
too! Hooray! A bill so awful absolutely that everyone
it is a huge new entitlement costing $400 billion
over 10 years. No, it will not help many senior
citizens. It's the silliest bill you ever saw
-- it has a hole in the middle of it just like
a doughnut, and it will be used to destroy Medicare.
It uses taxpayer money to help drug companies,
and insurance companies and HMOs, all the while
running up debt, debt, debt.
did they win ugly. The Medicare bill went down
in the House -- it lost. And then the Republicans
held the vote open for three hours, from 3 to
6 a.m., until Tom DeLay could bludgeon some sleep-deprived
members into changing their votes.
guys think nothing of changing the rules in the
middle of the game. For that matter, they think
nothing of rules.
same morons who wrote this bill also passed, again
this year, for the third year in a row, more tax
cuts for corporations, so that regular people
will have to pay more and we have even less money
with which to do anything useful.
that they let that stop them -- they were in there
just appropriating pork like there's no tomorrow.
Whee, what a giveaway -- Santa has nothing on
them. All you had to do was be a big special-interest
donor to the Republican Party, and it was whoopee
time at the Capitol.
so maddening is that we have nothing to show for
all this spending. Our education hasn't been improved,
our health care system is still falling apart,
the air is getting dirtier, and we're killing
the oceans, lakes and rivers.
no planning, no investment, no thought for the
future. They're throwing away the seed corn, and
we're sittin' here watching it happen. It's not
just the money they're throwing away -- it's democratic
traditions: bipartisanship, compromise, sound
has been apparent for some time that much of the
corporate elite in this country is blinded by
greed, not just to long-term interests but to
simple honesty. I think the same thing is starting
to happen to our political leaders.
Ivins writes for Creators Syndicate. 5777 W. Century
Blvd., Suite 700, Los Angeles, CA 90045
Posted: December 5, 2003