CONGRE$$: MOST MEMBERS ARE MILLIONAIRE$

Congressman Caricature

For the first time in history, most members of Congress are millionaires, according to a new analysis of personal financial disclosure data by the Center for Responsive Politics.

I guess those dedicated, hard-working, elected representatives of “we the people” deserve to be rewarded for all their efforts. After all, they had to work 126 days in 2013, with only 239 days off. Of course they got a surprise 2-week break during the Fall, with full pay, thanks to the Government shutdown. However, not to worry, they will get a break this year because Rep. Eric Cantor released the 2014 calendar and they are only scheduled to work 113 days this year (252 days off if you’re counting).

REALLY?  I MEAN REALLY?

Ponder this: Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) is the richest member of Congress with a net worth of $464 Million in 2012. Now do you think he “can feel our pain?” Do you think he can relate to ordinary people, much less the needy and downtrodden? Do you think he knows what it’s like to be hungry? Homeless? Destitute? Jobless? Do you think he really cares? Hell no he doesn’t! Yet he keeps getting elected (been in Congress since 2001).

So, how would you like to work 126 days per year; with full pay; full benefits; paid vacation (239 days); do an amazingly lousy job; and still keep your job! Sign me up…

Seriously, this is disgusting. How can they possibly say they represent us and our best interests? Our country is in dire straits; people are suffering; corporations are running everything; etc., etc., etc.

Our country is hurting, yet our totally dysfunctional Congress does nothing to help. I wonder what they could do if they actually worked full-time? It seems the only thing they “can do” is get rich!!

[ Source: OpenSecrets.org | Center for Responsive Politics ]

What Happened to My America

Statue of LibertyGive me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me. I lift my lamp beside the golden door.

“We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”

I am lucky enough to have grown up in America in a time when it was truly the model for the rest of the world of what a freedom-based, democratic country was all about. A country where everyone had the opportunity to live a good life; everyone was provided a good public education; a society that cared about its citizens; health care was available to all; your home was your castle; your privacy and rights were golden and protected; church was what Sunday was all about, where you could go to practice your religion of choice; people were civil to one another; we welcomed freedom-seeking immigrants from other countries with open arms; we had an environment where you felt safe and secure; and we had a government that represented the people and protected all of these freedoms for us. What happened to my America?

Statue of Liberty CryingFast-forward to today. America is no longer the model that the world wants to emulate. We have become a country that is divided into two classes: the “haves” and the “have nots”; public education is in shambles (not because of the teachers); higher education costs are putting students into long-term debt; our society is morphing into a “you’re on your own” mentality”; health care has become capitalistic and almost unattainable for most; our rights and privacy have been totally eroded – all in the name of security; religious fanaticism and intolerance has gone rampant; civility and proper societal behavior is gone; immigrants are now just fodder for cheap labor and abuse; being safe and secure is evolving into a “Police-State”; and our Government has become totally corrupted by big-money and controlled by corporations. What happened to my America?

What Happend to My America pic - 555x365How did “we the people” let this happen? How did we let our government turn into such a totally dysfunctional entity that does not hide the fact that it favors the rich and corporations over the needs of “we the people”? How did we let our rights and our privacy be taken away so easily? How did we get so enamored with guns and the rights to carry them openly in society? How did we let religion transition from worship, prayer and all things good into being an apparatus for politicians and fanatical ideologists to manipulate? How did we let our television, radio, and newspapers become propaganda and misinformation tools? Obviously, this list could probably go on-and-on, enough to fill a book. What happened to my America?

The point is that all these changes have happened in small, incremental bits over time. Until you can stop and take the time to look back to see how far, and how much, things have changed, you won’t see the big picture and really understand. Analogy: what if you hadn’t looked in a mirror in thirty years; then one day you take the time to stop, and look into one. The first reaction would be…who is that? Then…that can’t be me. Then…I couldn’t have changed that much…Then…how did I let this happen to me?

Sheeple Image“We the people” have become gullible, submissive, and intellectually lazy.  Everyone is running so hard and fast just to survive, they don’t have time to pay attention to what’s going on around them. We have become a populace of sheep, such that we just follow along, don’t ask questions, and do whatever we’re told to do by the talking heads on television and radio. Case in point: Teabaggers and their followers.

Consider this: the next generation, today’s young adults and children, are not going to know anything different. They are growing up in today’s society and will only have this time as their “point of reference” when looking back in the future. Today will be their “good old days”…

This is my first in a series of blogs on this topic. I really want to hear your comments on this blog and the topic.

What do you think about the status of our country and the direction it’s going?

[ All images used in this blog can be found in the public domain ]

Melding of the State with Corporations

This blog covers everything I have been planning on writing on this topic. People need to wake up to what’s happening around them that impacts their lives.

okieprogressive

A great discussion dealing with abortion restrictions on Melissa Harris-Perry’s show on MSNBC this morning. It included the lady who recently did a piece about Oklahoma’s restrictive abortion law. Amazingly she reported that a lot of the Republican legislators she interviewed for her piece personally wasn’t against women having abortions but instead of voting their consciences (assuming they actually have one) they voted lock step with what their party espouses which is no abortions are to be allowed. Their interests lies in getting re-elected over doing what is right or even in doing what they personally believe is right.

We are seeing more and more elected officials (and not always just in the GOP) who vote lock step and refuse to stand up and vote for what they believe. That was evident in the recent shut down of the government when Republican house members actually went on camera decrying the…

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