Mind and Destiny

“I make no pretension to patriotism. So long as my voice can be heard ... I will hold up America to the lightning scorn of moral indignation. In doing this, I shall feel myself discharging the duty of a true patriot; for he is a lover of his country who rebukes and does not excuse its sins. It is righteousness that exalteth a nation while sin is a reproach to any people.”- Frederick Douglass

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Location: Delhi, N.Y., United States

The author and his webmaster, summer of 1965.

Friday, April 29, 2016

Speaker Paul Ryan


The following excerpt is from an article written by David Dayen entitled: “The Speaker of the House is casting his predecessor's tenure in a new light.”

“Two months ago, the Obama Administration requested $1.8 billion to fight Zika. This has gone unfulfilled, to the extent that the White House shifted $600 million from combatting the Ebola virus into anti-Zika efforts.  In other words, the administration had to raid money appropriated at a time when Congress still did its job to combat public health emergencies.  This not only risks a resumption of Ebola cases, it still leaves insufficient funds to deal with Zika.

“Ryan’s House has also failed to act on emergency funding for Flint, six months after the revelations of lead-tainted drinking water received widespread attention.  Meanwhile, it’s possible that the House will get around to voting on bills to deal with the opioid epidemic, but it’s been more than a month since the Senate passed a similar package 94-1, and the House is only now turning to it.  And since the bill includes grant programs for state and local governments, and the Freedom Caucus won’t tolerate additional funding for anything, the ultimate path forward is murky.

“These bills are crashing because Ryan won’t do what made Boehner so unpopular among the Republican House caucus: cut deals with Democrats to pass legislation that Republican factions oppose.  Boehner’s 2015 House actually found success through that kind of deal-making, with agreements on Medicare funding, highways, and education, to name a few.  But Ryan isn’t forging coalitions for bills that have the support of the majority of the House, because doing so would anger the vocal minority on the right.  Far from ‘making Congress work,’ he’s decided to make it stall.

“Congress was always going to be fairly invisible in 2016 anyway; it’s an election-year tradition. But the thing about emergencies and catastrophes is that they don’t check the electoral calendar before striking.  Millions of American citizens at risk of fiscal ruin, disease, poisoning, or addiction cannot wait for another government to provide them aid.  Ryan is failing the most basic test of governance because he’s afraid that hardcore, anti-government conservatives won’t like him for doing so.  It’s enough to make you long for the stable functionality of Boehner’s tenure.”

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