Wednesday, June 21, 2006

"The House of Representatives is filled with insane jackasses."

America got treated to a double helping of "Fuck You" today by Congressional Republicans. First up, the Senate failed to pass legislation increasing the national minimum wage. Seriously, could their priorities be any more out of whack? Rich people get tax cuts, even after they're dead. Corporations, looking to protect their bottom line, make campaign contributions to corrupt politicians, then lobby Congress to keep the minimum wage low and to give the rich and big business tax cuts in a fucked up form of quid pro quo. So, the working poor not only have to shoulder a larger percentage of the tax burden, but they have to do so off stagnated wages? Keep in mind, this vote comes mere days after Congress voted itself a huge pay raise. I feel like my head is going to explode from the sheer hypocrisy. Americans need not only an increase in the minimum wage, but it needs to be indexed to inflation so the poor don't see their purchasing power decline for ten years until Congress can be goaded into handing them a few more crumbs.

Next up, Representatives from Southern states, go figure, have tabled legislation extending the Voting Rights Act, ostensibly because of provisions that affect those Southern states more than other states. In other words, it singles out the nine states who have the longest history of racially-biased voter discrimination. And here I thought Republicans approved of profiling. Maybe Camille Cosby was right.

For dessert, we get congressional hearings on video game violence featuring, in its best moments, Representatives who were merely 30 years out of touch, and, at its worst, idiotic latent racism.

But, you may ask, what IS on the Congressional fast track? A constitutional amendment to ban flag burning. Because, apparently, the root cause of global warming is the intense heat generated from all the millions of dissidents burning flags. No? Maybe because the gay-marriage ban didn't quite get the same play this time around as it did in 2004. The funny thing is, as evidenced by the AP photo at the top of post, President Bush was caught on film desecrating the flag by signing flags presented to him at a speech he made today in Vienna, Austria. Writing your name on the flag is defacement according to the US Code. Even if you're the President. Personally, I think the President should be able to autograph the flag. But, then, I think political dissidents should be able to burn it too. Free speech is arguably the most precious right enumerated in the Bill of Rights. And if there are forms of political expression that are not allowed in a free society, then we are not a free society.

Today, Congressional Republicans showed they are against the interests of poor people, they are against guaranteeing fair and free elections, and they are against protecting the First Amendment. Jon Stewart hit the nail on the head tonight when he said Congress "is filled with insane jackasses." Let's clean the House in November.

Tips: Arkansas Times "Arkansas Blog" and America Blog.

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