Well! Have you had enough of the debt-ceiling fiasco? I won’t annoy you further by giving my opinion now. Okay, maybe by the use of the word “fiasco” I’ve already tipped my hand. But whether you think the debt ceiling result was wonderful or the worst thing ever
to come out of Congress, or you’re anywhere in between those points, I think it safe to say that we can all agree that the very process was a fiasco. Just consider it for a moment. With time running out as the clock ticked down to its Tuesday at midnight deadline and a default time-bomb awaiting the country, I felt like Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz as the last sands ran out of the hour glass to seal her fate at the hands of the Wicked Witch. In those frantic few hours before the end, the future of the country and the fate of trillions of dollars in public funds were dispatched. No hearings. No impact studies. No amendments. Congressmen and Senators were herded into votes with no opportunity to digest the ever changing horse-trading. Now I ask you, friends and foes, is this any way to run a country?
We’re proud of this issue of CS2. We’re rounding back into the form that made us so well received in our first go-round. We hope you feel the same way . One editor’s note: We promised our round table discussion on a third party in this issue. That will have to be postponed until the September issue. I got so caught up with the zaniness of the debt-ceiling negotiations that I didn’t leave enough time do do that discussion justice. Thanks for understanding. Now let’s get on to this issue.
I didn’t know it was Medicare’s birthday, but Ron and Rosie did. And when they ask: Will it be the Last?, the point is well-taken. Right-wingers have been dreaming of the day that they could dismantle the New Deal and the social safety net ever since the 1930s & 40s. And they sense that the modern moderate Democrat can be easy to steamroll in negotiations. Barack Obama famously said that tax cuts are the Republicans’ Holy Grail. True enough. But the real question is: What’s the Democrats’ Holy Grail, and do they even have one?
On Saturday, August 6, St. Barnabas Church of Kutztown premieres its Public Forum series. We have put together a distinguished panel of progressives to tackle our first topic: To Frack or Not to Frack – That is the Question. The event begins at 7:00pm and is emceed by your editor. It promises to be a fun evening. Please try and make it.
The Governor’s Advisory Commission has issued its Drilling Recommendations for Fracking in Pennsylvania. We have the President of Gas Truth of Berks County, Karen Feridun, here to give you the “skinny” on all this.
As many of our readers know, Lynn Petrovich recently broke her leg. Here she takes you through the ordeal right up to and including the hospital’s insane billing system. Check out Sticker Shock: How Non-Profit Hospitals Bankrupt the Sick.
John Morgan, who runs the successful political blog – The Pennsylvania Progressive – is here with a no-holds-barred reaction to the debt-ceiling debacle titled The Great Capitulation. I don’t think you’ll have any difficulty discerning where John stands on this issue.
Our resident book reviewer James Patrick is here with a must read for all fans of Patti Smith. Here he reviews two titles about her: Patti Smith by Patti Smith and Patti Smith 1969 – 1976 by Judy Linn. Check it out!
We live in an era of crazy politicians. It’s hard to get people to have a reaction to the ever expanding roles of loons in public service. But Walter Brasch has found one that stands out even among the nutcases. Check out his profile of Judge Roy S. Moore.
Jack Lindeman’s series on literary and cultural criticism is one of the best things we publish in CS2. This month’s entry is no exception. Not In Vain is a must read.
Manan Trivedi made an unsuccessful run for U.S. Congress in 2010 in an attempt to unseat Jim Gerlach in the 6th Congressional District of Pennsylvania. In a party that specializes in “stand for nothing campaigns”, Manan reached new lows in meaninglessness. Now he wants to run again. Find out what I think of that in An Open Letter to Manan Trivedi.
Are you ponying up an extra 3% when you use your credit cards so that bankers can pay one another undeserved bonuses? Rudy Avizius thinks you are. See why in Are You Willingly Paying a 3% Tax?
Have you ever gotten a letter from a politician in reply to your letter that makes you wonder if the politician even read your letter? Karen Feridun has. This months Frackchecker letter is from Governor Tom Corbett. Remember, when reading, that Karen’s remarks about what the Governor wrote are in red.
Erika Schreiber of Cornell University makes her CS2 debut with a meticulously researched and footnoted essay titled Hazards Associated with Fluids used in Hydraulic Fracturing. This is a must read for those who are interested in learning the truth as opposed to the pap the fracturing companies routinely put out.
Most of us were elated and filled with hope when Barack Obama was elected. We felt that change was in the air. Finally, here was a man who would fight for us boldly. Walter Brasch felt that same hope. Now he laments that Our Hope for Change is Still not Fulfilled.
We hope that you are all planning to stand up to the Dirty Gas Drillers on Sept. 7. Karen Feridun will be there ready to stand tall. So will I. How about you?
Tom Littleton believes that CS2 has been too narrow in its focus and too wrong-headed in its politics. Check out Is That It? and see if you agree.
Ever notice how the local and regional stations’ news programs are packed with stabbings, rapes, fires and murders? Walter Brasch has. He examines this in Blood On The Lens.
Dorothy Reilly quotes John Conyers in stating the undebatable fact that in the recent debt-ceiling debate, it was Barack Obama who put social security on the table– not the Republicans. You know the old story: Kill the messenger! Expect Dorothy to be attacked by party stooges for making public this quote that MSNBC has tried to censor.
Well that’s it for this month.
Keep on keepin’ on.