Shocking Awe! (Photo credit: The Opus)
I am not referring to our national government in Washington, DC; I am referring to the desire of some of the majority to change the leadership of the opposition here in the US when it comes to black/white relations. If you can’t or won’t engage in a dialogue about race in the US, what do you do? Do you launch a campaign of Shock and Awe against the leadership of the other side, or do you try to starve the opposition into surrender as the Israelis are doing to the Palestinians in Gaza? If I were a member of a minority here in the US, I would insist on choosing my own leaders. If you didn’t like my choice, that’s your problem. Deal with it. I would be unwilling to trust any leader foisted upon me by the other side.
I am saying that we must deal with the world and its leaders as we find them. Dialogue may eventually result in concrete results and may at some point lead one or both sides to new leadership, new leadership suitable to living together in harmony, rather living apart in hostility and suspicion.
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Washington, DC‘s original airport was named Hoover Field and operated from 1925 to June, 1941. It was replaced by Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport. The Pentagon is sited where Hoover Field once was.
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Rick Santorum claims that the main, perhaps sole, reason that he is running is to repeal Obamacare. He was a Congressman from 1991 to 1995 and a US Senator from 1995 to 2007, during which time his healthcare coverage was provided by the US government. Since that time he has been employed by a conservative think tank, the Ethics and Public Policy Center in Washington, DC. Presumably his employer has provided healthcare insurance for Rick and his wife and seven children. I think that it is safe to assume that Santorum is a member in good standing of the 1%. He advocates repealing Obamacare, but what does he want to replace it?
I would suggest to Rick that he try walking in the shoes of many of the 99%, particularly the unemployed, for a change of view. If he were unemployed, he would continue to have all the daily and monthly expenses of daily life plus COBRA healthcare insurance for his family of nine would exceed $2500 per month until it expired after 18 months or until his ability to pay ran out, whichever happened first. I calculate that if he were unemployed and managed to find employment at a minimum wage job as many of the recently created jobs are probably at or near the minimum wage and offer little or no health care insurance, he would be forced to continue with the COBRA coverage. I also calculate that it would take all nine members of his family, husband, wife and all seven children, working fulltime at the minimum wage to meet their household expenses. Just an educated guess on my part since I have no idea how much their mortgage is or how many cars they own. Putting all those children to work should make Newt Gingrich happy, but my point is he has NO IDEA what life is like for many Americans.
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Capitol Punishment, The Hard Truth About Washington Corruption from America’s Most Notorious Lobbyist by Jack Abramoff is his life’s story to date. If you want all the seamy details about how lobbyists operate in the Washington, DC, of our time, this is as good a primer as you will find. At times, the details of how lobbyists, operate are overwhelming. At the end of the book, there is a short chapter on Jack’s suggested solutions to the problem of Washington corruption. I agree with some and am not sure about others.
Jack is a conservative Republican and his central suggestion is a smaller federal government. So much power and money is concentrated in Washington that widespread corruption is inevitable. Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely is at the core of his argument. Less power and less money would mean fewer temptations for corruption. I am undecided whether or not I can buy his argument. If we reduce the power of our federal government to reduce corruption, we also reduce government’s power to do good. Similar to throwing the baby out with the bath water.
I do not agree that the solution to any and all problems is privatization and the free market. I would have greater faith in the apostles of small government if they advanced ideas about how to solve the nation’s problems and showed more compassion for their less fortunate fellow citizens at the same time advocating smaller government.
This is Robert Reich’s take on the subject.
Please see Washington corruption | Kabuki Democracy | Newt Gingrich
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According to Jack Abramoff, the sure way to gain influence with a member of Congress is to offer the Congressman/woman’s chief of staff a high paying job after the chief of staff leaves government employ. The only way I see to stop this is a lifetime ban on former government employees working as or for lobbying firms. It would be OK for a lobbyist to work for the government, but he/she could never return to the lobbying profession. It would be a one-way street. If someone really wants to serve in government, he/she would be required to sacrifice substantial future income to do so.
Please see Kabuki Democracy