Alice Waters, a leading light in the movement for nutritious, organic, and local food, was interviewed in the Washington Post this week.One quote would be a good meditation for all who are concerned about the human condition in America, as we approach the 2014 midterm elections.
“I’m in this very political place right now and feel like we have to collaborate in different ways to make a big impression, to change the way that we are living our lives, which is destroying our health and the planet. I certainly want to feel like I have tried to take care of this planet for the kids of this world. I really have to do something.”
Please focus your attention on the word “collaborate.”
Both sides now have reason to dig in and refuse to budge. Both sides think they’re on the verge of achieving a cherished goal, if only they hang tough.
For President Obama, the Affordable Care Act is taking effect even as we speak, despite the so-called “partial” government shutdown. Health care for all has been a Democratic goal for 60 years or more. Obama has a passed bill, a signed law with his name on it. The president and Democrats believe that once Obamacare is implemented, people will decide they love it — just like Social Security and Medicare — and will refuse to give it up.
The Republicans are dead set against Obamacare, just as they were against Social Security and Medicare. Continue reading →
“Boston Tea Party.” Rare Book and Special Collections Division, Library of Congress (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
My working title for this post was “Non-Shooting Civil War In America.” I thought that might be over the top, if only by a little.
I don’t see immediate danger of violent civil war in America, but I think today’s U.S. government shutdown is collapseby premeditated sabotage by political failure. In other words, our regular political process for resolving differences has failed. Moreover, the failure is not accidental; it’s intentional. Congress, especially, has failed big time.
“Sequestration” went into effect in America this week, reducing U.S. government spending by $85 billion.
What does it mean? It means that the United States has accepted “Austerity.”
It’s not the end of the world. The vast majority of U.S. government spending will continue as usual. The government will not grind to a halt, at least not because of sequestration. It’s still possible that Congress could force a shut-down of government sometime in the future, but not likely this year.
Failure of Government Decision-making
Most interestingly, Austerity was NOT imposed by the normal processes of legislative or executive action.Continue reading →
“If democracy deadlocks here, we raise doubts about democracy everywhere.”
Sen. John Kerry made that sobering comment during his farewell address to the U.S. Senate this week. He’s leaving the Senate to become the new U.S. secretary of state, America’s ambassador to the world.
I don’t know about the whole wide world, but I think we have good reason to be concerned about the state of democracy here in America. Continue reading →
What a bizarre spectacle of irresponsible brinkmanship! The ultimate House and Senate votes may have narrowly averted immediate fiscal crisis and tax increases, but they do not restore one iota of confidence in the legislative branch of American government.
President Barack Obama, after failing to exert the leadership the American people hoped for, immediately boarded Air Force One to resume a Hawaiian vacation with his family. What can he be thinking?
“I will find a way or make one.” — Admiral Robert E. Peary, American explorer
“As between two possible interpretations of a statute, by one of which it would be unconstitutional and by the other valid, our plain duty is to adopt that which will save the act.” — Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes
By all accounts, Chief Justice John Roberts believes that the Supreme Court of the U.S. should try to find a way to uphold a law enacted by Congress, rather than declare it unconstitutional. In other words, declare a Congressional act unconstitutional only if it really is unconstitutional.