Columns 2017

What we have is an embarrassment of riches

Writing a weekly column means always worrying about finding a topic for the next one. The horror of staring at a blank document on your computer screen while your mind remains as blank as that document is one of the scariest moments in a writer’s life. Which is why I have finally found something for which to be thankful to the current person pretending to be president (CPPP). As long as he remains in power, he provides an endless supply of topics that need to be addressed. In fact, some might say columnists nowadays are facing an embarrassment of riches. Between national and state politics, Alaska columnists have truly hit the jackpot.

But it’s hard to be happy about something that is causing so much pain across our nation. We have a national budget director saying we get no positive outcomes from feeding children and the elderly. We have a proposed health care bill that would mostly benefit the richest of the rich while screwing the poor, elderly and, to some extent, the middle class. There are those who suggest we should be used to this as this seems to be the theme of the current political powers in DC. They haven’t met a billionaire they don’t want to help and they haven’t met a poor person they do want to help.

Then we have the humiliating pictures of CPPP and Angela Merkel in which it is clear that she can’t believe she is sharing a press availability and photo shoot with him. The look on her face all but telegraphs the message, “Help. I’m being held prisoner by this idiot.” And before you send in those lovely emails, know that I am very aware that my statement is an insult to idiots everywhere.

What is most striking about the past two months is the number of weekends CPPP has taken off to play golf and eat dinner with his rich friends. What’s even more striking is how much this is costing us. And the cherry on the sundae is that since he goes to his own property, and since the entire government pretty much has to follow him there, every weekend he spends at Mar A Lago costs us more than the entire Meals on Wheels budget for a year. And who gets that money? Why he does since he owns the place.

Am I the only one who finds this beyond outrageous? Obama takes three vacations in a year and the Republicans accuse him of slacking off in office while the nation faces multiple crises. CPPP takes off every weekend at a cost to us that has already exceeded what the Obama’s cost us in a year for their breaks and not a peep from all those fiscal conservatives. They apparently find it acceptable to have CPPP bill us for his weekly vacations even while they kill programs that would feed children, assist the elderly and save the lives of sick people.

If you’re wondering what kind of mentality accepts this approach as a good thing for our country, it’s the kind of mentality that states that no good has come from feeding hungry children. It’s the kind of mentality that admits it’s been waiting since college to screw poor people on Medicaid. It’s the kind of mentality that says you can’t get government help unless you’re working without any plan to make jobs available. These people also block any increase in the minimum wage, thereby almost guaranteeing that many people working full time still need government welfare to feed and house their families.

Yep, we have an administration that wants to take people’s health care away while giving tax breaks to the richest of the rich in the health insurance business. We have an administration that sees no reason why hungry children should be fed or elderly people should be respected. We have a cabal in DC that is hell bent on destroying every civilized, merciful and caring law passed over the last hundred years.

I fully expect to see a new law introduced into this Congress, thanks to Ben Carson, that would require the descendants of slaves to pay back their masters for the cost of their travel from Africa to America. And I expect that bill to pass without a shred of embarrassment on the part of our current Congress.

We have fallen so low, we can no longer see where up is.