Let me get this straight….

This is not a political column but sometimes we need to shine a light on this topic.

Our government is shut down because our leadership can no longer communicate with one another.  A bit of a groundhog day moment, don’t you think?  Haven’t we seen this dance before?  Well, for all of the folks in Washington, here is a headline for you – Get out!  One thing you have excelled at is incompetency.  Incompetency is not an attribute we look for in our employees.  Do you think you would have a job if you worked for anyone else? The answer is no!

How is it that 800,000 hard working Americans can be laid off from their positions because of your inability to lead, but you, our leaders, continue to get paid?  How does that work?  Let’s peel the onion back another layer and look at yet another perk of yours that has not been shut down.  The Members Only Congressional Gym remains open as it was deemed essential. Really?

Head Start programs have been shuttered, small businesses can’t get loans and hundreds of thousands of federal government employees are furloughed. But the exclusive members-only Congressional gyms have remained open throughout the shutdown.

A House aide confirmed that the House member’s gym is open. The House gym features a swimming pool, basketball courts, paddleball courts, a sauna, a steam room and flat screen TVs. While towel service is unavailable, taxpayers remain on the hook for cleaning and maintenance, which has been performed daily throughout the shutdown. There are also costs associated with the power required to heat the pools and keep the lights on.

According to the aide, the decision to keep the gym open — even while other critical government services were shelved — came directly from Speaker Boehner’s office. Meanwhile, the staff gym available to Congressional staff has been closed.  It appears that the members gym in the Senate remains open on similar terms. Yesterday, Sen. Lindsay Graham (R-SC) complained to a reporter from the Omaha World-Herald that the members gym was getting “rank.”

The daily operating cost of the House and Senate gyms remains shrouded in secrecy. The Architect of the Capitol, which oversees both gyms, has previously refused to provide information about the gyms for “security reasons.” A call to the Architect of the Capitol for this story was not immediately returned.

And here is another one from my friend Armand that is sure to tweak you a bit (Not twerk you 🙂 )

The US has entered into a contract with a real estate firm to sell 56 buildings that currently house U.S. Post Offices. The government has decided it no longer needs these buildings, most of which are located on prime land in towns and cities across the country. The sale of these properties will fetch about $19 billion.  A regular real estate commission will be paid to the company that was given the exclusive listing for handling the sales. That company is CRI and it belongs to a man named Richard Blum.  Richard Blum is the husband of Senator Dianne Feinstein. (Most voters and many of the government people who approved the deal have not made the connection between the two because they have different last names).

Senator Feinstein and her husband stand to make a fortune (est at between $950 million and $1.1 billion!!) from these transactions. His company is the sole real estate on the sale. CRI will be making a minimum of 3% and as much as 6% commission on each and every sale.

So our leaders get to work out while our government employees deemed non-essential get to sit home and not get paid.  And then one of our Senators gets right because her husband is awarded an exclusive agreement to sell $19 billion dollars worth of government owned real estate.  And we wonder why we have little or no faith in leadership.


5 thoughts on “Let me get this straight….

  1. Can you say organized chaos? Now which RUSH song fits the bill here? How about a triple-Shot 🙂 Might as well go in chronological order.

    Cities full of hatred, fear and lies
    Withered hearts and cruel, tormented eyes
    Scheming demons dressed in kingly guise
    Beating down the multitude and
    Scoffing at the wise

    The hypocrites are slandering
    The sacred halls of Truth
    Ancient nobles showering their bitterness on youth
    Can’t we find the minds that made us strong
    Oh, can’t we learn to feel what’s right
    And what’s wrong
    — RUSH, A Farewell To Kings, A Farewell To Kings (1977)

    Plus ça change
    Plus c’est la même chose
    The more that things change
    The more they stay the same
    — RUSH, Hemispheres, Circumstances (1978)

    Big money goes around the world
    Big money underground
    Big money got a mighty voice
    Big money make no sound
    Big money pull a million strings
    Big money hold the prize
    Big money weave a mighty web
    Big money draw the flies
    — RUSH, Power Windows, The Big Money (1985)


  2. I’m starting a grass roots movement – Operation Clean House! I believe that not a single member of the House or Senate should be re-elected to their current position regardless of political affiliation. I realize that it would take 6 years to get them all out, but something needs to be done. We need a fresh start.


    1. The nails-on-a-chalkboard nonsense in Washington, D.C., is happening partly because in most states, redistricting after the 2000 and then 2010 Census counts was designed by the parties in power to ensure that no House incumbent can ever be defeated. Zip-code analysis of voting patterns has given way to block-by-block computer analysis, generating gimmick gerrymandering that would have embarrassed Boss Tweed. Senate races cannot be gerrymandered, which is why the Senate recently has been more stable regardless of which party has the majority. In House redistricting, hanky-panky is unlimited.

      The Cook Political Report calculates that in 1998 the House had 148 Republican safe seats, 123 Democratic safe seats and 164 contested seats. Two redistrictings later, for the 2012 election there were 190 Republican safe seats, 146 Democratic safe seats and 99 contested seats. That means today, only 23 percent of members of the House need to perform well to be re-elected. The other 77 percent, on both sides of the aisle, can devote their time and energy to grandstanding. That’s a formula for the mess in Washington.

      From Gregg Easterbrook’s TMQ article here:


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