Really? Is this what the American political election process has become? “I know he’s had other things on his car…”, Obama’s reference to Romney carrying his family pet dog in a carrier on top of his car during a family vacation. Or, “the next thing you know, they’ll accuse Romney of eating a dog…” Reince Priebus, RNC chairman referring to Obama’s autobiographical account in “Dreams From My Father.”
So much for not “making a big election about small things…” when they don’t have a record to run on. Well, these two candidates seem to have one record in common: the broken record about innuendo and accusation, and clever “bon mot’s.” When are we going to hear substantive debate about the real issues to which they are only paying paltry lip service? An occasional mention of how each intends to make life better for “the middle class,” while skirting the real meat and potatoes problems all Americans are encountering in this dismal economy is an insult to us all. What do they think, that the electorate are so ignorant that we will put one of them (back) in the White House for more of the same? I don’t know if they are each only playing to the press or if the press is simply trumping up the rhetoric, but enough is enough.
As the saying goes: put up or shut up. Neither Barack Obama nor Mitt Romney have made any sort of improvement on “the same old Washington politics as usual.” Their words and their behavior continue to insult the collective intellect of the American voting public and bring nothing new or productive to the table. We should all just not show up on election day and see what the electoral college or (shudder) the House of Representatives do to solve the conundrum, as set forth by the 12th and 20th Amendments. Speaker Boehner, are you listening?
* * *
There have been two , maybe three recent landmark heat-waves in the history of man-make global warming. The first was in 1988, when then as now the eastern two-thirds of the US was broiling while relentless drought parched soil and withered crops across the Midwest. In Washington, the problem was being named for the first time. On June 23 1988, NASA scientist, James Hansen testified to the senate that man-make warming had begun. Newspapers and news broadcast spead the word around the world and by the end of the year, ‘Global Warming’ become a common phrase in news bureaus, government ministries and living rooms around the world.
The second landmark heat wave occurred in 2003 which escaped most Americans notice because it happened in Europe where the people suffered the worse heat wave on record. By Aug 2003, bodies were piling up outside morgues in Paris. Early estimates suggested a death toll of 15,000 people, but the comprehensive study by the European Union later concluded that, the death toll was in excess of 71,449. David King, the science adviser to the British government called climate change the most severe problem facing the world today. A breakthrough was made in 2003. For the first time, scientists were able to attribute a carbon fingerprint to a specific weather event.
We could be living through the third heat wave right now. The summer of 2012 has broken many records. By mid-July, the death toll had reach 100. As in 2003, many heat-wave victims are traceable only well after the fact.
The U.S. is suffering the worse drought in 50 years. The Department of Agriculture has declared more than 1,000 counties or one in three in the nation a natural disaster zones. Reverberations will be global and may include violence. Corn and Soybeans prices have surged to record highs in July surpassing the peaks of 2007-08 crisis that sparked food riots in more than 30 countries. (Finanical Times and The Nation).
A shift in public awareness and political response is required to determine how this crisis should be handled. At the moment neither of the presidential candidates are providing any leadership of how they will handle this crisis. Nobody expects any environmental recognition of climate change from Mitt Romney, who sings the Tea Party tune on climate science and only claims he isn’t a denier now that he faces the general electorate. President Obama has been a disappointment since he had promised to make climate change a campaign issue – yet we have seen a continuation of permits handed out to the major oil, coal, and gas companies to continue their business as usual and create more jobs.
In another topic, the author and sponsors of H.R. 1505 want to give the U.S. Department of Homeland Security unprecedented power to build roads, fences, buildings or even watchtowers on public land administered by the departments of Interior and Agriculture.
Law enforcement can then run roughshod over national park lands, national forest lands, Indian reservations and on and on and on. Under H.R. 1505, the Dept. of Homeland Security will have control of all lands within 100 miles of both the Northern and Southern borders.
One more thing; if Congress does not chart a different fiscal path, federal programs will see across-the-board cuts – known as sequestration – of approximately 8 percent starting January 2013. In addition to defense programs, a wide range of domestic programs – from Head Start to special education and worker retraining – will see drastic cuts in their budgets starting next year. However, these cuts can be avoided if Congress can come together and find a balanced approach to deficit reduction.
Story filed under: West Texas Talk