Push poll blues
It's been quite a while since I've been selected to respond to a serious-looking push poll from the dodgy weasels at Congressional Monitor. It's been even longer since I actually responded, in fact, I have never responded to one...except here. But it's interesting, and to me a bit sad, that these minions of the plutocrats lead on well-meaning fellow citizens with this stuff. Let's see what they're up to (the inconsistent capitalization and punctuation of the original are faithfully preserved here).
PLEASE IDENTIFY ONE ANSWER TO EACH QUESTION BELOW BY USING #2 PENCIL, BLUE OR BLACK INK TO FILL IN THE OVAL COMPLETELY. PLEASE DO NOT MAKE STRAY MARKS ON THE ANSWER SHEET.
1. Which of the four items below do you feel is the most important issue for Congress to act on at this time?
(A) Deficit reduction
(B) Veterans' Healthcare
(C) Economic Recovery
(D) Securing our National Borders, Immigration Reform
Ah, well, hmm. We're already off to a bad start. The most important issue for Congress to act on at this time is the institutional brutality of our society toward its weakest members. The awful combination of bad healthcare for the non-rich, shoot-first law enforcement, shameful and even hateful treatment of the mentally ill, lack of proper resources for drug treatment, and inadequate affordable housing makes the U.S. one of the least compassionate rich societies of modern times.
But if I had to single out one issue, I would say Congress should take up the problem of equality of education. I grew up in a country where a decent public school student could earn a place at a good university and have good prospects for their career. Those days are long gone, and Congress is making the problem worse.
Krugman: "What has been cut? It’s a complex picture, but the most obvious cuts have been in education, infrastructure, research, and conservation. While the Recovery Act (the Obama stimulus) was in effect, the federal government provided significant aid to state and local education. Then the aid went away, and local governments began letting go of hundreds of thousands of teachers."
2. Are you in favor of raising the eligibility age for Medicare?
No, I would prefer if you reduced it to zero.
3. How pleased are you with the present course of the current administration?
(A) Very Satisfied
(D) Very Dissatisfied
I could not be more pleased with our President's management of the challenges presented by you meretricious and avaricious jackals.
4. What is the best solution for reducing the national deficit?
(A) Cut discretionary spending
(B) Reduce Farm subsidies
(C) Reduce Defense Spending
(D) Enact the recommendations of the Bowles-Simpson Plan.
The best strategy would be to grow the economy such that the national debt shrinks in proportion to our ability to repay it, while avoiding policies likely to tip the economy back into recession. This strategy would require that you abandon your German theory that the patient will breathe better if you strangle him. There are a lot of German theories you should give up on, but that one should be a priority.
5. What is the best course for immigration reform?
(A) Add the National Guard to supplement Border Patrol efforts.
(B) Return unaccompanied minors to their home countries.
(C) Legislate that the FAA allow drones to monitor the border.
(D) All of the above.
I would say (D). Let's have the National Guard use drones to return unaccompanied minors to their home countries.
6. In light of the recent televised gun violence do you think Congress should:
(A) Increase mental health care and treatment of mental illness
(B) Ban high capacity magazines
(C) Let the states and communities decide what action is best
(D) Do nothing
In all seriousness, (A) would do a lot of good. Why does it never happen?
7. Do you agree with the Administration's request for housing expenses for illegal underage immigrants?
You guys are scum.
8. Do you feel Congress should continue efforts to make changes to the 2nd Amendment?
Don't bother me with this stuff, just have Scalia put something together for you.
9. Do you favor tax incentives for small oil and gas companies to expand domestic drilling?
No, with Chevron committing 105% of operating cash flows to capex over the past four quarters, and other major operators making similar commitments, I think oil and gas industry capacity is a solved problem. People of goodwill can disagree, but I view the 60% fall in the price of oil since June as a possible sign that the market may have more gas and oil than it actually wants.
10. Do you think Congress should adopt a National Energy Policy?
If this were 1979 I'd say yes, but at this point I think you'd better get to work on how you're going to run Saudi Arabia, because that problem is not going to take care of itself.
Oh, and my phone number? Just get it from the NSA, you fuckwits, what are you paying them for?