Saturday, July 26, 2014


Government activity has slowed to an impressive level of inefficiency. Progressively greater polarization has crippled congress and the nation. Government spending produces less benefit. The influence of corporate power and wealth now far exceeds that of the citizenry.  

A common citizen's voice is irrelevant; no individual apart from the mega-financed world of political lobbying has a voice in governmental activity, relevance in the discussions of oversight, or power to affect decisions of importance.   

The president didn't do any of that.

Wailing on Obama for such things is perhaps less thoughtful than one would hope

Disappointingly little help is available from
the common media.
Offering trivialities in venues that can't be described or understood in less than 100 or so pages; well, that's not intellect at work.

Armchair quarter-thinking ...

As I was reminded by a friend, we know enough to understand that we should be honoring those who serve and praying for them. Obama and the others find themselves in a world of power players, money grabbers, and the most wicked of mankind.  If they attempt to serve, it's a noble sacrifice; they could use our prayers.

Like them or not, agree with them or not, that's the way it is.  We could participate like many do these days by being whining complainers.  Not recommended.

NOTE:  among the issues for which the parties at large are responsible, we find the following - 

Redistricting Voters approved Maryland’s congressional redistricting plan in 2012, despite widespread criticism that the new map was a brazen power play by the state’s Democratic leadership to squeeze out one of the state’s two Republicans in Washington. Similar measures were on the ballot in Ohio, which proposed establishing a citizens’ committee to redraw state and federal lines by 2014, and in California, where state Senate boundaries were challenged.

In Maryland, critics said the plan, devised last year by state Democratic leaders to create a seventh Democratic seat and defeat U.S. Rep. Roscoe Bartlett (R), would divide communities and dilute the influence of minorities. It did and it does.

Redistricting is one of the likely fail-points for fair representation. It's the once-a-decade event in each state is where politicians pick their voters for the next 10 years. The winner? Partisan politics. The losers? The citizens of each state.

The problem: when it comes to drawing the lines, politicians hold out for their party virtually every time, perhaps because they're not required to do otherwise. Redistricting, by and large, falls off our list of cares. It's a slow rot over many decades.

Given this predicament, several states have experimented with reform. Last year the governor of Virginia created an Independent Bipartisan Advisory Commission to gather citizen input and propose a map, while leaving the ultimate decision in the hands of the state legislature. Other states have gone further. Colorado, California, and Idaho all now have independent citizen commissions with final responsibility for drawing the lines.

Elsewhere, it remains one of the many legal ways to cheat in a representative government.


Congressional polarization is at an all-time high, and productivity is the lowest since 1947. After fifty years of collaboration between parties, congress is now divided along party lines, and the result is little of benefit or wisdom. Much of the media is similarly polarized, perhaps because both are strongly influenced by the same corporate voices.


Obama thoughtfully opened discussion on the widening gap between rich and poor in America in 2013, intending to focus on the issue for the remainder of his presidency. In describing the “relentless decades-long trend” of a “dangerous and growing inequality and lack of upward mobility,” Obama acknowledged that his administration has not arrested two stubborn trends: widening income inequality and declining mobility, where lower-income people have a harder time finding a path to the middle class.  The initiative disappeared from the agenda when both parties shut him down.

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- 2016 -- In the U.S., 13% approve of the job Congress is doing.
 The rating is just four percentage points above the national record low of 9% in 2013.
An office holder like the president is affected much like the rest of us; we're effectively constrained within an artificially limited political world.

As an issue of conscience, many today can no longer affiliate with the available political parties. None serves the issues, their candidates, or their constituencies as well as one might hope.

Update: 01/10/2016 - the political climate is unchanged.  Polarization remains at an all time high.  Congressional performance approval continues at a record low.  Presidential candidates offer no resolution of critical concerns and exaggerate the polarization by avoiding any appearance of agreement with candidates of either party.

Update: 11/11/2016 - the election results suggest the citizenry is dissatisfied with the status quo.  Here's hoping for good change.