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Congress is scheduled to receive an automatic pay raise in january 2009, adding an average of $4,700 to each Congresscritter's paycheck. Is there anyone more deserving of a pay raise than Congress ? Yeah, probably almost everyone is more deserving. Record deficits, record debt, the economy in the tank, Congressional ethics problems galore......
Since it probably isn't workable to give Congress the year off so they can't do any more damage to our country than they already have, they should at least skip the pay raise this year.
Every time I hear about how Bernie Madoff ran a $50 billion ponzi scheme and bilked his investors out of all their money, I think of the biggest ponzi scheme of them all, the legal one we call Social Security. I think President-elect Obama should bring in Madoff as an advisor on how to fix SS. The guy knows ponzi.
On a related note, SEC Chairman Christopher Cox said there were numerous suspicions about Madoff going back a decade, but nothing "actionable." Uh, ever heard of an audit, Mr. Cox ? An investigation ? Unbelievable. Remember when John McCain caught all the grief for saying Cox should be fired ? Our glorious stupid media made McCain out to be unstable and reactionary for that. Looks like Johnny Mac was right on the money.
Secretary Of State Condi Rice made her 20th appearance on Meet The Press yesterday (I thought the Bush administration was supposed to be secretive ???). One of the things I've always admired about Ms. Rice is that when I hear her speak, I don't hear a politician, I hear a statesman. Here's an example from yesterday as Rice speaks of her greatest regret:
SEC'Y RICE: The horrible lives that the people of Darfur are living, the horrible tragedy that is unfolding there. Now, it’s true, we’ve been able to do a lot about the humanitarian situation. We’ve even been able to support getting some peacekeepers onto the ground; and where there are peacekeepers, there’s less violence. But we could’ve done so much more had there...
MR. GREGORY: Why didn’t we act unilaterally?
SEC’Y RICE: Well, because acting unilaterally in an Arab country or in a Muslim country that is that complex, that far away, really did not seem to be an option. The president considered it. He thought about it. He thought about what we could do unilaterally. But in fact, instead, we’ve tried to mobilize the international community and international opinion. And frankly, given that, just a couple of years ago at the UN, the leaders of the world stood up and said, “We have a responsibility to protect, if a government will not protect its own people.” And then we’ve had trouble getting anybody to do anything about it.
MR. GREGORY: Mm-hmm.
SEC’Y RICE: The United States has, by the way, imposed unilateral sanctions in Sudan. We have been the country that’s been the most active in resisting calls to interfere with the international criminal court investigation of the leadership there, despite the fact that we’re not members of the international court. So I think we’ve done a lot unilaterally, but we could’ve done a lot more if the international community were better mobilized.
I've always found it interesting that the people who were so outraged by unilateral U.S. action against the mass murderer Saddam Hussein (if a 30+ country coalition can be called "unilateral") are many of the same people who called for unilateral U.S. action against mass murderers in Africa. Secretary Rice gives voice to the problem with building wide international agreement prior to acting....It usually results in nothing happening at all. If the United Nations is a monument to anything, it is a monument to inaction. The U.N. issues resolutions, but then usually does nothing to back them up. If something ever is done, guess who usually has to do it ? The U.S.A.
Darth Vader, better known as Vice President Dick Cheney, was also on the tube yesterday, making an appearance on Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace. Ooooh, the shadow government himself comes out of his lair. Spooky. I better make that a separate post rather than a quick observation.