Comments on life, the universe and everything from an aging Sixties survivor.

Location: Massachusetts, United States

Ummm, isn't "about me" part of the point of the blog?

Friday, December 18, 2009

Three Stooges Redux

This week it's a little hard to decide which clown circus is worse: the US Congress or the attendees at the Copenhagen climate conference. However, it is Congress—specifically, the US Senate—that yields up our three stooges.

We have, of course, the stooge's stooge, Joe Lieberman. A lot of sources have been speculating on Lieberman's narcissism, which may be a valid point. What they don't dwell on is the prominent role the insurance industry plays in the economy of his state, Connecticut.

Next we have Nebraska's finest, Ben Nelson. His agenda is not hidden, exactly: he's a Johnny one-note on the subject of abortion, and is currently prepared to scupper health care reform for a generation if it so much as breathes a word about abortion reimbursement. Not your call, mon: especially if the bill continues the way it has, as a Romney-like indemnification programme for insurance companies (who still oppose it).

Late news. They say everyone has his price, and apparently they've found Nelson's. Whether there is any reform left in the reform after getting the 60th vote is another matter. I console myself with Ben Franklin's remarks in the play 1776 about avoiding slavery in the Declaration of Independence:

First things first, John. Independence; America. If we don't secure that, what difference will the rest make?

I hope we don't have to pay as drastic a price for this compromise as for that one.

The preceding two are merely DINOs (we skip lightly over Lieberman's supposed independent status). For our third stooge, we come to a genuine dinosaur, Oklahoma's Republican Senator James Inhofe. For his 15 minutes of fame, he's planning to scupper any climate change treaty that comes before the Senate. He goes beyond disagreeing with the evidence to call the entire thing a hoax. This pronouncement is a little premature, since the likelihood of a climate accord coming out of Copenhagen is something between nil and none. It's too bad we can't use urine as fuel, because the Copenhagen pissing contests are supplying the world with plenty. Oh, and in case you forgot, the oil industry plays as large a role in Oklahoma as insurance does in Connecticut. No, larger. It is nice to consider that Oklahoma will be among the first states to dry up and blow away when the diehards realise this is not politics, but for real.

More late news: Copenhagen has given us noise but no treaty. Sorry, Sen. Inhofe: you'll have to put off your moment in the footlights.

So here we are, just like the turn of the last century, with public policy being dictated by Senators bought and paid for by special interests of one sort or another. Isn't progress wonderful?


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