I love a lot about technology, but every once in a while, I'm faced with something that has gotten lost. For example, most people don't own dictionaries any more, instead using web dictionaries. (That's NOT a condemnation about those who've given up dead tree editions.) But the following is lost on the younger generation "I've seen your picture in the dictionary, it's next to the word "idiot."" In this case "I've seen your picture in the dictionary, Congress, it's next to the word "gridlock.""
Yes, kids, Congress is back again tomorrow. The Senate will see a big change as Roland Burris is replaced with the swearing in of Mark Kirk. I'll miss Senator Burris (potentially not for long, as while HE is still considering, his supporters filed papers for hm to run for Mayor of Chicago). While a lot of people only think of him as a Blago flunky, his voting record was stellar, and he stood in every way for progressive principles.
It will be a good week for Maxine Waters, whose hearing in front of the House Ethics Committee has been delayed. We'll see how Charlie Rangel fares. While the Ethics Committee voted to censure, for that to happen the full House needs to vote, and the censure will only carry with a 2/3 vote. Censure would involve him standing on the floor of the House and the Speaker saying ugly things to him. I hope when people vote, they remember that his voting record for the past 40 years was exemplary, and prior to that he fought for civil rights and was a decorated war hero.
As an aside, there are jail cells in the bowels of the Capitol. Yes really, they were used from 1795 to 1821 to compel citizens to testify at Congressional hearings. Then, the Supremes turned such things over the the Justice Department. And here's the thing that rankles me: Charlie Rangel didn't pay his taxes, nor his parking tickets, and he's got three too many rent-controlled apartments. After a lifetime of public service, he will be shamed. To a lot of us of a certain age, "shame" means something. And yet, people like Baby Bush, Dick Cheney, Don Rumsfeld, Paul Wolfowitz and their brethren, with the full complicity of lots of Senators and House members did HORRIBLE things to us, the American people. And to others throughout the world. Here, they eviscerated the Constitution, went around the FISA court, put in place economic policies that destroyed our economy, dithered on policies related to the environment that may well kill the earth as we know it for our kids and grandkids and yet they walk free. They invaded a sovereign nation for no reason other than Shrub hated Saddam, killed tens of thousands, and walked away feeling okay about the whole thing.
How is it that these people get off with book deals and no prosecution, and Charlie Rangel gets shamed for not paying taxes? Does anyone else feel the outrage that I do? The House and Senate, should, this week, be looking at extending unemployment benefits, repealing DADT, getting a budget in place, avoiding a government shutdown, taking action to prevent newbie Republicans who campaigned on a repeal-healthcare platform to be denied ANY coverage paid for with tax dollars, giving support to DOT in getting their money back from governors who won't build the transportation projects for which the money was intended, etc., etc., etc., and instead, they'll gridlock on everything but censuring Charlie Rangel.
SHAME. And not on Charlie.