Thursday, January 15, 2009

Before the Party (and after): The Governing

Amid the construction, road closures and ever-increasing inaugural buzz, there is other work going on in Washington. Many of us are planning for out of town guests, and making runs on grocery stores while planning our routes to the festivities amid the madding throngs we're told to expect and the logistics involved. Folks coming to the city from Virginia and other points south and west will find 395N and 66E closed, with some pedestrian traffic allowed on some bridges. (Don't even think of hopping on your boyrfriend's friend's boat share and setting sail from Alexandria!) To me, this means Fort Washington and other areas south east in P.G. county, close to the Woodrow Wilson Bridge crossing to Virginia, will have an increase of tourists driving around clutching MapQuest printouts and looking panicked, and well as possibly Bethesda and Rockville in Montgomery Country, presuming the detour from 395 N will be to the Beltway, points east and west. I don't mind the extraordinary precautions. DC's never handled the crowds anticipated; I doubt any U.S. city has; probably the closest would be New Year's Eve at Times Square. Given the numbers, the space, and the security required for the President-Elect, as well as the masses, I am happy to see all the restrictions. It's evident some one's THINKING on a large scale,(or at all, in the White House) for a change. Local residents called The Kojo Nnamdi Show yesterday with questions and complaints to Metro officials and others about getting to and from inaugural activities. One caller was "fired up and NOT ready to go to the Inauguration", making salient points about the security restrictions effects to the elderly, disabled and families with small children. Barring strollers and coolers guarantees that lots of families with tykes will stay home. It would have been nice perhaps, if there were designated areas and tickets specifically for the physically challenged or otherwise encumbered. Regrettably, I guess you can't think of everything.

Meanwhile, among the work that has been going on in Washington, Sen. Hillary Clinton was confirmed as Secretary of State after a few verbal smooches with Sen. John Kerry. Secretary of Treasury-designate, Geithner, is said to have mistakenly not paid $34,000.00 in self-employment taxes several years back, as well as Social Security taxes for a housekeeper. At the start of the Clinton administration, shenanigans such as these were dubbed Nannygate, and killed the nomination of some Clinton appointees. I find the current case particularly egregious. This guy is being nominated to LEAD the agency responsible for collecting income taxes, for goodness sake! I think Stephen Colbert said it best.
Democrats in The House have unveiled an $825 billion stimulus package, with more spending than Obama had proposed and fewer tax cuts. The bill is expected to pass the house in late January with the Senate to take it up the first week of February. It's due to Obama February 13. It's apparent that the economy needs immediate drastic attention. Given the job losses here and less US spending overall, factory closings and layoffs are increasing in China, imported cars are stacking up undelivered on Long Beach harbors, car dealerships are closing...it's a vicious cycle. Seems just about anything would be better than what those dunderheads did with the "bailout funds" they so desperately had to have. Thankfully, in a few short days, we'll be rid of the frat boy who became President --twice-- under questionable circumstances to some, who, we, apparently, as he suggested, "misunderestimated". Who would have thought he could leave THIS big a mess!

For other sad and funny Bush misstatements, (Bushisms) check out ElectionIssuesToday.com

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