There are over 50 million Americans with absolutely no healthcare insurance, out of these, 9 million are children. We are in the fourth year of a war in Iraq that has so far cost over 2,500 soldiers lives, in the area of 100,000 Iraqi lives and 1 trillion dollars of taxpayer money. This war was started with faulty if not outright fabricated assumptions, with a severely flawed strategy of Panglossian assumptions that everything would go just fine, with absolutely no 'plan B' and with absolutely no end or exit strategy in sight. We are in the fifth year of an occupation in Afghanistan, that is beginning to look like Iraq looked 2 years ago when the insurgency was taking it's first baby steps. Additionally, there are many important diplomatic challenges facing us: Iran, North Korea, Israel/Palestine and now East Timor. Added to this, the still brewing genocide in Darfur.
The Federal government has been running large annual budget deficits for 6 years and the total treasury debt is now $8.37 trillion, That's about $28,000 for every man, woman and child. If you're the type of person like me who prefers to live as debt free as possible, then you might be a little pissed that if you're the average taxpayer, out of the total that you paid in Federal tax last year, you paid $1,394.00 in interest on the Federal debt. The United States economy has been growing at a good rate for the last 2 years, but the wealthy have been the primary, if not only beneficiaries of this growth. There has been job creation, but the majority of these jobs have been created by the government - this government being run by supposedly 'small government' Republicans. The remainder of these jobs are low paying service sector jobs. Compared to the millions of jobs created in the high-tech, well paying employment boom of the 1990's, these jobs are pathetic.
There is an AIDs epidemic in Africa. Avian flu has the potential to become a global pandemic that could cost tens of millions of lives and millions in this country and there is almost no preparations being made. Despite the deliberate attempts of the energy industry and their Republican lapdogs to cloud the argument, Global Warming is a potentially catastrophic problem for future generations. It is becoming harder and harder to deny that we need to take serious measures to reduce and eventually eliminate greenhouse gas emissions NOW.
This is a laundry list of serious issues involving the health and livelihood of ALL citizens today and even the survival of future generations, that need to be dealt with as soon as possible. With this backdrop, the Republican controlled Senate and the Republican president will be debating and discussing two issues over the next couple of weeks that they think are important: anti-gay marriage and anti-flag burning Constitutional amendments. Yes, it's election time again in the Fall so it's time to trot out all the well-worn wedge issues to fire up their Christian right base (which is neither Christian nor right, by the way).
After all, these people have no reason to be concerned about the real problems in the first three paragraphs, because god will eventually come down from his cloud and fix all that other stuff for us. As long as we don't piss him off by letting gay people get married, that is. So the rest of us intelligent, reasoning and logical people who use our brains (that they believe god gave us in the first place) to actually THINK, will have to sit and wait, while the political equivalent of trying to fly to Hawaii by flapping your arms goes on. By the way, since marriage is a religious institution, an anti-gay marriage amendment would directly contradict the anti-establishment of religion clause in the first amendment. Not that this is a surprise. These are the same people who have been ignoring the entire Bill of Rights for the last 5 years anyway.
It's so bad that even Joe Biden on Meet the Press this past Sunday, actually dropped his finely groomed political facade for a lot of the interview and seemed as pissed off as I am and everyone else should be. It was quite refreshing. For a second, I thought he was going to break down and cry.
What can we do? Call Bill Frist, Senate majority leader at (202-224-3344) or send him a message by clicking this link. Also, Arlen Spector, Chairman of the Senate Judiciary committee at (202) 224-4254 or send him a message here. If you live in Tennessee (Frist) or Pennsylvania (Spector), even better because you can threaten to vote them out.
Tell them to pack away their fiddles and get to work.