The Holy season is a time for thought and reflection, and there sure has been a lot of interesting political news to reflect on. But not all of it is in keeping with the spirit of the season, the Constitution, the Ten Commandments or our grandchildren’s future.
I almost fell off my treadmill when I read that the Pope was far more interested in global warming than he is in condoms and gays. Two thousand years of nosiness about other people’s bedrooms, out the window. What next, women in all their pulpits?
Speaking of global warming, could anything be more important than saving the planet we live on for future generations? Agreement was reached by 195 nations, including ours, on conditions to slow climate change. The Congressional response was to introduce legislation to strip the Environmental Protection Agency of its ability to cut heat-trapping carbon emissions from existing coal-fired plants. One step forward, two steps backward. Wonder where our great-grandchildren will live?
Congress again demonstrated its priorities had more to do with ideology and less to do with actual governing. Apparently, education, environment, older workers, social security or transportation don’t have the same level of importance as telling others how to live.
Some Republicans wanted to put pressure on new House Speaker Paul Ryan to tie Planned Parenthood and refugees to the spending bill that keeps the government running. They were willing to risk shutting down the government to defund Planned Parenthood and keep out refugees?
Presidential candidate Donald Trump renewed his call to keep Muslims out of the country, while in contrast Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau met Syrian refugees at the airport to welcome them. Which one looks more like a world leader? Which one can other world leaders trust?
Even though the war on terrorism continues, Republicans and Democrats seem to be debating different parts of it. Republicans are debating immigration, closed borders and keeping Muslims out. Democrats are debating gun control and the Constitution.
Just to show their difference, Democrats in Congress introduced legislation to deny guns to those on the federal “no fly” list, which is intended to keep terrorists from entering the country. Republicans get so upset about guns, they voted no. They would allow people who want to enter our country, and who might actually get in despite being on the federal “no fly” list, to have access to guns while they are here? Interesting way to fight terrorism.
For several years, the National Rifle Association has successfully fought off any attempts to limit access to guns. Their mantra is, “more people would be safer if more people carried guns.” Well, more people are carrying guns, and the idea isn’t working.
Innocent people keep getting murdered in ugly sickening massacres by people who shouldn’t have guns. One interpretation of stupidity is to keep doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. The National Rifle Association’s way isn’t working. Maybe it’s time to try something new, like taking gun control seriously. Why is it that other countries don’t seem to have the same problems we do?
In our state capital, much of the talk for the upcoming session has been on trying to impeach state Auditor Troy Kelley. Kelley has been charged, but not convicted of any crime. Think about what happens if the Legislature can start impeaching other officials who have not been convicted of anything, just because they “might” be guilty. Remember McCarthyism?
And a little closer to home — Czar columnist Matthew Jarvis suggested a public vote on financing and budget for the new Performing Arts and Event Center. The city attorney ruled it out. But to avoid future problems, maybe the mayor and council should discuss a resolution that provides a limit above which a public vote would be required on public projects.
Federal Way resident Bob Roegner is a former mayor of Auburn. Contact him firstname.lastname@example.org.