As the year comes to close, the Democrats are working extra hard to ram through a gaggle of bills before they lose their majority in the House come January. Despite the fact that lame duck sessions are usually,well, lame, the Democrats have had quite a successful run so far.
Don't ask, Don't tell was successfully repealed; and a joyous Nancy Pelosi gloated like a drunken Caesar after another country fell to the power of Rome. The bill itself was just a tad bit confusing from the start, but now that it's gone I have to wonder what the point was in the first place. The only instance in which I can see this being an issue is if in the coming months, soldiers now openly serving find themselves the victims of assault or god forbid, murder. If such incidents arise, we can all point at Nancy Pelosi and laugh, otherwise, a quick golf clap for a job well done and we move on.
The next contestant on the "bill is passed" is the START treaty. This is a new arms control treaty with Russia, that for some reason the president was just itching to pass. I don't even know why. Anyone else think that Russia is such a major threat that we should try and get them to reduce the size of their nuclear arsenal? With the exception of a couple of small incidents in the Eastern Bloc, all of Russia's problems have been internal and nothing anyone should care about.
We do have Iran, North Korea, Saudi Arabia, Palestine, a string of Dictatorships in Africa,the list goes on and on. None of these countries are major super powers, but it's not for lack of trying. North Korea and Iran both have nuclear ambitions, and seem quite intent on using them on their neighbors. If Russia was a threat, we would already have seen quite a few of those Cyrillic branded missiles in the hands of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, or Kim Jong Il.
Congress was able to pass a bill updating the FDA's powers and authorities. I'm confident this bill will allow the FDA to continue to approve death inducing pharmaceuticals that they deem safe, only to ban a few years later. Continue their push to ignore any product on the market that didn't come from Pfizer, or another laboratory willing to throw billions of dollars at them. They will also continue to warn us(along with the DEA) about any substance that people find to be 'fun' or 'beneficial'. They will do 'studies' that deem the product unsafe, despite six studies to the contrary, all the while managing to allowing medications whose side-effects are things that we have already released drugs to treat, thus insuring we will be medicated to death so pharma's can continue to get rich.
We finally saw some health care for the 9/11 first responders. Many of whom have been suffering and dying due to the toxic cocktail of chemicals they inhaled while saving lives so almost 10 years later our government can deny that we are fighting Islamic Extremists, and the liberal nut jobs can smear their good name by spewing ridiculous conspiracy theories and ignoring the facts all for the sake of making George Bush look bad. I am not going to go on any long tirade here, I am glad that this bill got passed. The Republicans who were trying to block this need to be booted out of office as badly as the ones who side with the Democrats on the issues that Conservatives feel most strongly against.
Everyone has heard already about the passage of the Bush Tax cut extension coupled with more unemployment relief. There are many critics of this bill, I for one found it to be a win/win situation. Keeping taxes low will help the economy recover, whereas the tax hikes we are facing will slow economic growth to a halt. The unemployment extension, I feel was a necessary evil. I lost my job with a major defense contractor in February, and I just now at the end of December will be returning to work..at a lower rate of pay, and with a larger workload than my previous job. Hey guys, I''m one of you!, by blocking unemployment, you f***ed me too!
On a happier note, the DREAM act was rejected. Since it is near impossible for an American citizen to travel across borders, or even board a plane without being sexually assaulted, I feel that passing this bill sends the signal that obeying the law will be punished, but breaking it will get you a scooby snack. I have no problem with immigrants, I do however have a problem with criminals, drunks, and violent, drug selling gang members invading this country on a daily basis and our government refusing to stop it, and actually encouraging it by trying to pass laws that vindicate the law breakers.
As the new year approaches I have a mixed reaction to what I am expecting to see in 2011. I am disillusioned by the Republicans, the Democrats, and even the Libertarians. No one seems to be getting anything of any use done, and we continue to allow our Republic to crumble all for the sake of a fake sense of progress. If we can not reconcile our differences and get this country back on track, pretty soon all the 'Tea Parties' in the world won't be able to right this sinking ship. Did I mention the ship is filled with rats, and some of them are carrying diseases?