Ted Cruz by Gage Skidmore
Senator Ted Cruz, R. Texas
As I watched and listened to a video of Bolivian President Evo Morales address this past week before the U.N. General Assembly I came away heartened the Bolivian people at least had a leader who had their interests at heart and was working diligently to that end.
Here in the U.S. we have almost complete governmental dysfunction as evidenced by the people's "representatives" where the recent vaudeville act, best exemplified by Senator Ted Cruz, R. Texas 23 hour grandstand act on the senate floor threatening to shut down the government (again) shows he and his tea party brethrens' interests lie elsewhere in some self imposed "nether land" they inhabit and have nothing to do with the people who unfortunately are merely foils to give the illusion the people's interests are being looked after by their government's lawmakers.
Though Cruz was making a buffoon of himself in this latest instance of Congressional tomfoolery, and while the Senate Democrats appeared choir boy virtuous and innocent in light of his nonsensical act, Congressional dysfunction doesn't reside solely with the Republicans and their tea party extremists. No that's a bi-partisan phenomenon as overall Congressional approval ratings stand just above single digits.
But this latest threat to shutter the government primarily over the new health care law about to take effect on Tuesday by not funding the government with the new fiscal year beginning that day is a ploy by the hard right tea party crowd that is apoplectic over anything associated with Obama.
Not that his "Affordable Care Act" is anywhere near perfect; it isn't. It's hardly health care transformation which a single payer, Medicare type health care plan would provide, cover everyone, substantially reduce health care costs and cripple the non competitive, inefficient private health care industry and its grossly overpaid executives (which stand to gain substantially from implementation of the new law), but the shutdown would hurt people directly, furlough innocent government workers, shut down federal offices, national parks and hurt nearby businesses.
Yet conspicuously, this latest shutdown wouldn't curtail all federal government related operations.
Though the Pentagon would have to furlough some 400,00 civilian workers, funding for its wars, the CIA, NSA, the thousand overseas military bases or the bloated billions in defense contracts certainly won't be effected by the shutdown, another clear indication of the "constituents" our "lawmakers" really represent.
Wall Street and the financial industry could care less as the FEDS almost interest free loans to the big banks won't be interrupted. As for the big oil, gas, coal industries, and fracturing operations and exploitation on federally leased lands; they won't be curtailed by the government shutdown.
No this shutdown is merely a wholly grown Congressional extravaganza by the "best" sycophants big money can buy.
They function to distract, distort, dissemble, give photo ops, 30 second sound bites, attend fund raising events, make calls to generate and fill their reelection campaign coffers, grandstand before the corporate media's cameras or harrumph over "this or that" nonsensical issue which are the "true" activities of our "representatives". What else is new.