No Ordinary Princess

...anything but ordinary...

Monday, October 02, 2006

Several Good Reasons to be Depressed

As if there's not enough bringing me down recently, the news over the past weekend is enough to send me scurrying for the nearest cave.

Florida Congressman Mark Foley was outed for his unconscionable behavior with teenaged congressional pages after transcripts of e-mail and IM communications with the teenagers were made public on Friday. (The previous link to ABC News contains some of the most graphic details I've seen yet of the correspondence between Foley and the young pages...not intended for those with heart conditions or weak stomachs.) It's all over the blogosphere, of course. What disturbs me is that I've already heard the "G" word bandied about with regard to Foley, even among the left-leaning or progressive blogosphere.

Let's make one thing abundantly clear. The actions described all over the media since Friday do not suggest Foley is gay. These actions are consistent with someone with a penchant for pederasty or pedophilia. These are not the actions of a gay man interested in healthy relationships with other gay men. These are the actions of a man who is willing to abuse the power entrusted in him by his constituents to take sexual advantage of teenaged boys in subordinate positions. Abuse does not equal homosexuality.

Let's see what else we have to be thankful for from DC recently...

My Philadelphia Inquirer ran a couple of AP stories over the weekend detailing what has and has not been accomplished by 109th Congress.

On the "done" list:
  • Handed Bush his torture bill wrapped up in a neat, little package. Even the senior senator from my state of PA and chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee caved in and voted yea in the end, despite having described the bill as, "patently unconstitutional on its face." The logic behind Arlen Specter's vote? "If we didn't pass the bill, there would be a mess on how we handled these war-crimes tribunals. Congress could have done it right and didn't, but the next line of defense is the court. And I think the court will clean it up." Are we talking about the same Supreme Court which boasts the likes of Thomas, Scalia and Alito among its ranks with Roberts at the helm? So, we will let some of the most crucial human rights legislation of our time rest in the laps of this dangerous gang of nine?
  • Congress managed to approve $448 billion in defense spending, including the allocation of $70 billion for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
  • They managed to approve the homeland security spending bill, including the provision of $1.2 billion for "increased border fencing." A separate measure authorizes the construction of 700 miles of new fencing along our border with Mexico.
  • Confirmed Mary Peters to succeed Norman Mineta as transportation secretary. Peters is reportedly an advocate of privatizing the nation's highways.
  • The House passed a bill making it easier for landowners to challenge environmental and safety regulations which affect the value of their property. I suppose we're talking about those pesky little endangered species and the negative impact they have on developers' ability to bulldoze wetlands, old-growth forests and such.
Now for a peek at what the 109th Congress was not able to get accomplished before their campaign break:
  • The White House will be able to proceed apace in its domestic warrantless wiretapping activities since neither house of Congress was able to put together a coherent thought on the subject. More work will be expected in the post-election season.
  • They couldn't seem to get much else funded beside the military and border fences, including funding for planned increases in veteran's health care.
  • Did not renew tax breaks which expired in 2005 covering such items as tuition, teachers' classroom expenses and payment of state and local taxes.
  • The two houses of Congress left for break without legislation on immigration, offshore drilling and congressional ethics standards.
But, wait. Is that a bright light I see? Oh, my mistake. It must have been the glare from the bonfire that is our Constitution...the opening bell was yesterday for the first full session of the new Roberts Supreme Court. On the docket for the 2006-2007 season? The death penalty. Abortion rights. Global warming. Voluntary diversity programs in public schools.

Is it any wonder I'm depressed?

tags: abuse / law / pederasty / pedophilia / scandal / sex / sexual abuse / US politics / US Supreme Court / world politics


Blogger Refugee from Reason said...

I am beginning to believe that so-called "Big Pharma," though heavy contributors to the GOP has unleashed this torrent of perfectly horrible news to depress us and therefore boost sales of psychotropics.

But that's just my view. Foley certainly should be out of the Congress, Hastert should be examined, etc. etc. etc., as Yul Brynner once said. These issues are important, and go to the very heart of the party of family values. On the other hand, there's a far more macro issue: That which has perverted our electoral process to one in which issues are only superficially debated, if at all. There was a time....

At the end of the day, even if the Democrats take one or both houses, as I've said before, it will just be more of the same as there seem to be few, if any candidates running who are true legislators, or have the best interest of the nation at heart.

It seems that contemporary politics is one of hitting, rather than building consensus or solving problems. Remember, there is always a majority in the Legislative Branch and over the history of our nation both parties have developed and passed great legislation...I fear we are many years from seeing a cycle like that again.

Incidentally, I also think we probably deserve what we've got. Again, I've said it before, if the major issue is Iraq, where are the massive demonstrations we say in the 60s? You won't seem 'em, as we've also become quite a self-absorbed nation and while we really don't like the war, there's no draft, so we'll just holler about it.

3/10/06 1:58 AM  
Blogger Cheryl said...

Oh, I've got to believe that it can get better...and soon. Otherwise, life would be too greuling to continue. Please don't burst my bubble, RfR!?

It does feel as if we have been so collectively battered down that there is no impetus to protest the horror. We're like one, giant abuse victim, waiting for the next blow to fall.

If the Democrats do take back one or both houses of Congress, there had better be changes made or we'll be right back in Republican control two years hence.

Oh, now I'm really depressed!

3/10/06 12:19 PM  

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