Adrienne BoettingerTuesday,30 July 2013

The Snap:

Imagine you and everyone you know is on an airplane heading into a mountain. You see the plane is going to crash. The pilot and copilot are arguing over how to avoid the crash; one wants to veer right and one left. After explaining that the pilots won’t quit arguing, the flight attendants get into crash position. You sit, unmoving, watching the mountain coming closer and closer. This is the situation you’re about to be in; your House Representatives and Senators will be home for a month-plus recess starting at the end of this week. When they return to Washington after Labor Day, they’ll have nine days before the end of the fiscal year to legislate. Act now and tell them your priorities before we all crash into a damn mountain.

The Download:

Government inaction is maddening. For every tentative step forward, there are 5 backwards. Want to pass a Farm Bill? Only if you agree to cut Food Stamps, endangering the 50 million Americans who don’t have enough to eat (17 million of whom are children). Bipartisan attempts for gun control and immigration reform? Not yet.

And the most immediate showdown: to sequester or not to sequester, that is the question. Whether tis nobler to let the cuts continue so that neither side has choose what funding gets cut or tis nobler to stop trying to balance the budget on the backs of the poor. Still think sequestration isn’t bad? It may not have put deployed troops out of work but it has taken teachers and administrators out of schools where those deployed soldiers’ kids go. Disaster may have been averted in not causing lengthy lines at the airport but not when it comes to funding Meals on Wheels, federal firefighting, Head Start and other programs.

Now is the time for you to take matters into your own hands. You will have more than a month when your reps will be at home kissing babies and fundraising. Contact them. Frequently. Tell them what you think of their job performance and what you want them to do when they return to Washington. Don’t like the results? DON’T VOTE FOR THEM AGAIN.

To keep things interesting and to answer the call to arms Matt issued me on Sunday, I’ve come up with some new drinking rules. First, the previous rules stand in terms of references to “fiscal cliff,” “sequestration,” and “2016.” The new rule is that if you rant about which side is to blame for the mediocrity of this 113th Congress or the self-created financial crises approaching, you will buy a drink for someone with opposite political leanings (drink can be non-alcoholic for those who are against alcohol for whatever reason). If that is unpalatable, you may buy me a drink or better yet, donate or volunteer to help a group most impacted by sequestration: children, those making less than $30,000 per year, seniors, military families, and others. Sadly there are more than enough out there that need help.

Take Action!

Hat Tips:

Washington PostNew York TimesNPR,  SalonNBC NewsBloombergCNBCFiscal Times, Image Credit: Flickr

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