Point of View Columns

Weekend Edition – May 17, 2013

All over the country budget cuts and reduction in the size of government has seriously impacted upon this country’s education system at just the wrong time. Meanwhile, as sequestration continues the slow strangulation of the federal government and the national economy the Teapublicans are calling for a slew of new FBI investigations. Wait! There aren’t any FBI agents available! And finally, the Teapublicans seem to have decided change their name to the Impeachicans. Clearly it is time to add another ring to the circus.

Burning Down the House

Some of the impact of the budget cuts and reductions in the size of government are pretty easy to see – the flight delays caused by the furloughing of air traffic controllers come to mind. Other damage is not as obvious but is certainly more serious.

While air traffic delays make the headlines, the unconscionable delays experienced by veterans at VA hospitals don’t seem to warrant much attention at all. And that is a shame.
It is also a shame that the slow evisceration of this country’s educational system by reducing funding available for education is not in the headlines. At a time when the children of this country need to be prepared to be globally competitive school systems are reducing academic programs and Teapublicans pursue lunatic education agendas like creationism.

Reducing spending for education in order to address budget and deficit issues is like burning down the furniture and tearing down the house to keep the furnace going. At some point there will simply be no house to worry about.

“The Jerk – The Sequel”

In the Steve Martin movie “The Jerk”, the lead character at one point decides to leave home and leave everything behind. And then he starts making exceptions for – his teddy bear, his banjo, his favorite slippers—–by the time he finishes with making exceptions for the things he doesn’t want to leave behind he is dragging an armload of stuff with him.

The scene is reminiscent of the Teapublicans who want to shrink the size of government except — for the air traffic controller, except for staff to keep the White House open for tours, except, except, you get the idea. And now get ready for another exception, the FBI.

The Teapublicans are howling for FBI investigations regarding the Boston Marathon bombing, the IRS targeting of right wing not for profit groups (more on that in a moment) and the Justice Department monitoring the phone records of the Associated Press. And there will be more. But wait!

The FBI is furloughing agents under the terms of the idiotic sequestration vise that is gripping the federal government. So there simply aren’t enough federal agents available to pursue all the ghosts and goblins that the Teapublicans see in every corner.

So get ready for another sequestration exception. You can be sure that it won’t be the last one.

The Impeachicans

As soon as Barack Obama was inaugurated as president in 2009 the Republicans (soon to be Teapublicans) declared a sacred mission to make him a one term president. That mission was not accomplished.

Now that President Obama has been reelected it seems that the Teapublican mission is to make sure that his second term will be viewed as an historical disaster. The sequestration helps this mission immeasurably.

With the disclosure that the Internal Revenue Service has been scrutinizing the tax exemption applications of obviously right wing organizations the Teapublicans are not only howling like scalded cats, they already have declared a new mission – the impeachment of President Obama.

It clearly doesn’t matter that a number of these scrutinized organizations have had direct linkages to the Teapublican political apparatus and that many of them are not “social welfare” organizations – they are fronts for highly partisan, political activity. When the dust settles it will be clear that the IRS was doing what it should do – make sure that tax exempt status is not used fraudulently.

In the meantime the Teapublicans, now the Impeachicans, will add impeaching President Obama to the list of doomed missions.

Have a great weekend!

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