Category Archives: the 2013 Congress and the American agenda

Besides the Economy…

There are a number of other important issues besides the budget coming up in Washington in the near future. It is not that I do not feel these issues are important because they are. I have a small hope, however, that there will be some bipartisan interest in passing laws in some of these areas. Immigration has inspired a lot of good ideas and it looks like we should be able to come up with an approach to making a pathway away from the fear of arrest and deportation for illegal immigrants in America, although it sounds as if the GOP will insist that some “punishment” accompany the journey. It also sounds like the best ideas we have heard so far will not be the ideas we adopt. It is a bit insulting to suggest that American workers and innovators are so weak that we need to import talent, but the notion of not letting talent slip through our fingers is a good one.

All of Dianne Feinsteins’s good work on gun control looks like it will be brushed aside in favor of inciting American paranoia about the government’s plot to overturn the Second Amendment. Let’s give the whole issue to the NRA and have them work on an excellent plan that will allow them to stockpile all the weapons of semi-mass destruction they wish while at the same time making weapons unavailable to those who are mentally ill or have criminal intentions. I believe they could, upon reflection, come up with a workable plan acceptable to all parties. If the NRA doesn’t oversee it, this one can’t be solved by Washington since the NRA is more powerful (or more strident)  than our government, including both houses of Congress.

We do need to continue to discuss the rules about the use of drones for warfare and the use of drones domestically. Saving the lives of our soldiers is very important to us, but we have also given the world a tool that could invade our air space someday and bring war to America. We have to remember that all technology can have good and bad applications and we have to decide how to counteract the bad while refining the good. We have to discuss the morality of using drones and how to eliminate collateral damage when using drones for warfare.
Foreign relations around the world are very troublesome right now. The world is like a garden waking up and expanding and growing, but a garden without a plan and a garden that contains a number of lethal or possibly lethal poisonous plants. Americans are not very popular right now. Totalitarian leaders around the world are happy to blame America for unrest. We are also the giver of sanctions that must be very vexing to world leaders who don’t want to play nice. The world is like a giant stir fry wok right now with ingredient after ingredient hopping into the hot oil and creating temporary chaos. I wish I thought all this jumping and crisping and blending would produce a tasty global dish, but it does not look good. Perhaps we have not found the properly compatible ingredients yet or we are missing a really great sauce.

The environment is always an important area of consideration and, although we know what we need to do, we hope we can change slowly. Do we have the time? It’s a gamble.

Gay marriage is being considered by the Supremes today, so in truth the jury is out on that. This is a civil right and America is a country that protects civil rights, often with surprising reluctance however. Let’s see what the top court decides.

So I am in waiting mode again. I don’t see much that I can do except to keep typing away and trying to make a dent on the hard-headed haters who appear to have the loudest voices right now. Will this Congress get off its high horse and accomplish any of the people’s business? Not right now; they are on a two week break.

This is the view from the cheap seats.