Being retired definitely has its advantages. I can play video games any time I want….and in my pajamas! I can go days without shaving. I get ‘old fart’ discounts at restaurants. I can watch anything I want on television, anytime I want. Vacations aren’t a problem…we can go whenever and wherever we please. We just need to make a withdrawal from the grandkids college funds. Voila! We’re sailing in the Caribbean!
But, alas, there are some disadvantages. For instance, If Grandma P and I did not have doctors appointments, we would not have a social life. In that regard, it sucks to get old. Another disadvantage is that Grandma P knows she can shame me into doing any repair work around the house, any time it needs to be done. In her eyes, I am a ‘handy man’ available 24/7. Change that light bulb. Mow that yard. Paint those faded lawn ornaments. You get the drift.
But there is one really, really big disadvantage about being retired. As I am doing the fun things I want to do, usually in my office, usually with the television on, I get to watch all the political machinations that are taking place in Washington, D.C. I get to watch the daily press briefings. I get to watch any congressional fact finding commissions or panels. And, as a result, I have noticed two things. Firstly, how stupid most of the reporters are at the press briefings and how stupid most of our elected officials really are. Secondly, it is obvious that most politicians are not concerned about what is best for our country. They are far more concerned about pandering to their political base (whatever that is!) and getting reelected.
As I am writing this blog, the government is approaching its third day of shutdown. A very unnecessary, dangerous shutdown. As a former business owner, there were times, because of the economic environment, when I had to expand or contract my work force. It is logical that I would want to hire the best most productive people possible. It is also logical that in times of contraction, I would release the least productive people. So, how is it that the people, in this case the Congress of the United States, that are responsible for this shutdown are the only people exempt from the ramifications of the shutdown? I think their paychecks should be the first casualties of a shutdown! Just sayin’.
Our country is currently facing many challenges. The war in Afghanistan. The federal budget. North Korea has not gone away. The wall. Dreamers. Illegal immigration. And now, we have a government shutdown.
My frustration grows…..
A couple of weeks ago, much media attention was given to Donald Trump allegedly referring to Haiti as a ‘shithole.’ Many people attending this meeting said that the POTUS did not say this. The POTUS stated he did not say it. The one person who got the press was Senator Dick Durbin (D) from Illinois. (Nothing is sacred or secret in our government if the slightest tinge of political gain can be gotten.) So this issue became a political hot potato. It got better. There was a Senate Judicial Hearing concerning Homeland Security. You know these Homeland Security people, they are responsible for everything about public security in the U.S., including TSA, Immigration, border security, cyber security, the Secret Service, etc. During this hearing with the Secretary of Homeland Security, Kirstjen Neilsen; Senator Cory Booker (D) New Jersey, decided that rather than asking pertinent questions about the public security of our country, he would go into a tirade about how he cried when he heard the purported remarks the POTUS made about Haiti from Dick Durbin. He passed up his opportunity to better our country to pander to his constituents. After all, Cory Booker has never met a television camera he did not like. (This is not an uncommon trait among senators!)
I have to admit, when this story first broke about what the POTUS said, I was a little perplexed. But then I had to fall back on common sense. I had to consider the source. In this case, this was the same Dick Durbin that was quoted as saying we need to cease using the term, ‘chain immigration’ because it reminds the black race that their ancestors came to America in chains. Say what? Are you kidding me? If that is the case, then there should be marching and burning in protest to the term, ‘ minority whip.’ That is the person from the minority party in the House of Representatives that is tasked with keeping the party members in line with the party platform by supporting the platform with their vote. In this case, the minority whip would be a Democrat. I digress. (Dick Durbin’s analogy is absolutely stupid.)
I wish that the POTUS would not use the term ‘shithole’ when referring to a third world shithole like Haiti. It upsets people and creates liberal press fodder, even though it is a spot-on descriptive. Haiti has had billions of dollars poured into it, without any benefit to the common people. Where did the money go? I don’t really care if Trump said it or not, as I know that Haiti is a shithole because it is the only country in the Caribbean that Grandma P and I have not visited in our 20 cruises throughout the area. If it were anything else, it would be a port of call. (We have been to the Dominican Republic numerous times at the other end of Hispaniola. It is beautiful!) What concerns me is that a US senator turned a serious Senate Judicial hearing into a carnival sideshow. All of this because another US senator decided to mow political hay with the purported description used by Trump.
Frustration building….. (1. Take a deep breath. 2. Paint some faded lawn ornaments!)
How about the political circus surrounding the government shutdown itself? 95% of the Republicans voted for the funding measure to fund the government, effectively ending the shutdown. 95% of the Democrats voted against the funding measure and initiated a filibuster to halt the vote in the senate. The Democrats want the funding of our nations military and security apparatuses to go unpaid while they are wanting a full amnesty for the ‘dreamers.’ You know who the ‘dreamers’ are. They are the children brought into the US by their illegal immigrant parents. But the Democrats want to take it further. They want citizenship for the ‘dreamers’ as well as their parents who illegally entered this country. But, with the assistance of an all-too-willing liberal media, the Democrats are blaming the POTUS and the Republicans for the shutdown. Hopefully, most people in America are smart enough to see through this.
Speaking of the media, you should have watched the news conference about the president’s health. The examining doctor was kept on the podium for over an hour because of some of the dumbest questions you would ever want to hear. How can you say he is physically fit? How can you say he is mentally acute? How can you say he is physically fit when he eats cheeseburgers? (As do 300 million other Americans!) Apparently these people are of the belief that if you ask the same question four times, the answer may change. Not likely. Many press briefings follow this same, repetitive scenario.
(Where is the President’s doctor when I need him! Blood pressure..up! Heart rate..rising! OMG! I ate a cheeseburger last week! I’m a goner!)
Did you know that five representatives are not attending the State of the Union Address because they claim that Trump is a racist. Is that how you want your representative to represent you? What kind of respect and cooperation can these five people expect in Congress, when they don’t show any respect for others. These people may be loud, and brash, and get reelected, but they will not get much legislation passed that will benefit your legislative area as other Congressmen will not show respect and cooperation for them.
So I have a challenge for my retired friends. Please take time to observe a weeks worth of White House press briefings. Observe the stupidity of the press corps and their questions. You will be astonished. For those still working, I am sure you can tape these briefings and watch at night. They do provide some of the best entertainment on television.
My second challenge is for everyone to make an attempt at observing your federally elected officials at work. There is no question that some of these people are brilliant and have the best interest of our country at heart. There is also no question that some of them are egocentric, stupid, and are more concerned about reelection than results. I have pointed out a couple, but you can make your own judgement.
I get so upset about the maneuvering that is taking place to create shutdowns, belittle the President’s physical condition, belittle the President’s mental condition, and basically ‘stonewalling’ anything that is positive for this country that I have to turn off my television. Are these the people you want to represent you? Observe your politicians at work. You may be surprised how they represent you.
(Shut off the television. Heart rate…declining. Blood pressure…normal.)
Well, its rainy and dreary outside. Time for a nap. Ah. yes. The advantages of being retired.