Writing

Piece 65 – Congresses Stunning Apathy By. Raimondo Graziano

Congresses Stunning Apathy

By. Raimondo Graziano

     As of the writing of this piece, Congress has allowed nearly a week to elapse since federal unemployment assistance ended. This has thrown many millions of Americans into a precarious situation in which they are faced with the prospect of economic uncertainty – meaning an inability to pay for bills, rent, and essential expenses for living and caring for ones family. The apathy of Congress directed at the American people is appalling. Putting aside for a moment that the Senate decided toward the end of May to take a nearly two month recess, and is again preparing to do so – both the House & the Senate had more than enough time to come together to work on the details of a short-term measure to address two things, both of which the White House backed – extending unemployment benefits and direct stimulus payments to the American people. While many Republicans were willing to back this, Democrats pushed back arguing for the need for a complete recovery package. The political games being played out in Washington must stop as they are coming at the expense of the American people.

     The assertion that two bills whose difference in funding measures nearly two trillion dollars, could be negotiated within a weeks time upon the return of the Senate is not wishful thinking – it is pure political opportunism. While the Democrats attempt to make the Republicans seem like uncaring and detached elites, the Democrats act no better by employing moral and legislative purism through their refusal to even consider a short term bill aimed at only helping the American people. If the Democrats wanted to help the American people, they would take the opportunity to hammer out a deal which addresses the most immediate and impactful needs of the public. The people of this country need direct aid now. While the Republican bill falls far short of what is needed regarding the broad strokes of a proper recovery, a proper negotiation can be had once the needs of the American people are directly addressed – that means money in the pockets of the people now.

     It truly baffles the mind that such a moment has been allowed to occur by our elected officials. There was ample time, the House Democrats passed a bill in May regarding recovery. That showed the due diligence of the House’s response to the crisis. That Republicans took nearly two months to propose a counter is a stunning display of governmental negligence. Two months of potential negotiations between the House, the Senate and the White House were lost because of the Senates choice to take a ridiculous and unprecedented recess during the height of a crisis we have experienced in nearly ninety years. Two months, tens of thousands of lives lost, and millions facing eviction and an inability to provide for their family, and thus slowing the economic recovery in the long term all because the Senate took a recess and refused to work with House Democrats on a counter-proposal which could have landed on the Presidents desk.

     And here we are. At this unprecedented moment in American history. There will be hell to pay for the inaction of the Senate Republicans in the afterward of the passing of the HEROES Act. Just as there will be hell to pay for the grandstanding of the House Democrats in their refusal to consider a short-term recovery bill. The cavern between the House & Senate proposals is wide and deep, and politically fueled – what’s not is the needs of the American people; cash in hand to survive in the immediate. Make no mistake – there will be hell to pay for the apathy displayed by 116th Congress, perhaps one of the most consequential, morally bankrupt and politically motivated Congresses in the history of our country. The road forward is clear – enough negotiations. Put forward the plan for extended unemployment benefits, direct stimulus payments and cancel all further recesses of Congress until a comprehensive reform and recovery package is brokered by the House and Senate.

Old Howard Union

75 – A United States of Europe? A Potentially Strong Ally In The Making

I have said many times throughout the history of this podcast that our strongest and most important ally, are the nations of Europe. We share a collective history, and a shared interest in the flourishing of democracy and the liberalization of nations. This century has been marked by conflict and a shift back towards Great Power Politics. The Western institutions built after the 2nd World War are under attack. We can only preserve and reform the West & its institutions with the aid of a willing, strong and united Europe. They would not be a threat to us. They would be an indispensable ally.

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Show Notes

  1. A Step Towards A United States of Europe – https://www.npr.org/sections/money/2012/06/29/155973136/a-baby-step-toward-a-united-states-of-europe
  2. German Push for United States of Europe I – https://www.politico.eu/article/spds-martin-schulz-wants-united-states-of-europe-by-2025/
  3. German Push for United States of Europe II – https://www.ksl.com/article/46214841/german-fm-united-states-of-europe-wouldnt-negate-nations
  4. Europe Coming Together – https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/global-opinions/is-europe-finally-facing-its-debt/2020/07/26/08738a2e-cdc1-11ea-bc6a-6841b28d9093_story.html
  5. A European Army I – https://www.politico.eu/article/angela-merkel-emmanuel-macron-eu-army-to-complement-nato/
  6. A European Army II – https://www.politico.eu/article/trump-fights-macrons-european-army-over-words-not-weapons-nato/
 

 

Old Howard Union

74 – A Defense of Our Monuments, Excluding the Confederacy

Our nations monuments are under assault – both physical and figuratively. This speaks to a broader backlash towards our nation history, and some of the ills of our founding, that in many ways and to many people, has yet to be rectified. We cannot erase our history, nor can we tear it down and thrust it into the depths. We must wrestle and reconcile with its meaning. Jefferson, and Washington are one thing – though the monuments to the treasonous Confederacy are entirely different matter. Our history is complicated, but the ways in which many voices are arguing we should deal with it are even more so. 

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  1. No Show Notes Tonight.
 

 

Writing

Piece 65 – In Pursuit of a More Perfect Union, An Argument for Further Federal Involvement By. Raimondo Graziano

In Pursuit of a More Perfect Union,

                                       An Argument for Further Federal Involvement

By. Raimondo Graziano

The United States is run woefully ineffectively. This is clear to many policy makers from both sides of the political aisle. The current crisis we find ourselves in has only made this all the more clear. The national response has been an utter disaster, and we have left it up to the states, of which there are fifty different ones with differing sets of codes, laws, regulations and governing styles, to deal with a crisis that in reality called for a unified national response.

It is pitiful and frankly pathetic. From the mixed messaging of the federal government to denialism across swaths of the country from public officials. While the rest of the world seems to be getting a handle of things, we lead the world in pure ineffective governance. It seems like this crisis has worsened and hastened our wholly avoidable decline. While the American people suffer, Congress cannot even reasonably get their act together to pass meaningful stimulus and economic relief – as always leaving matters of grave importance to the very last minute.

One would think that this is an argument for less government involvement. Quite the contrary. We need an overwhelming display of federal oversight. This here is a great lesson for would be statesman of the years to come. If the United States is ever to step into it’s true potential we from time to time must engage the full force of government to tackle threats and circumstances that cannot be managed effectively by essentially fifty different governing bodies.

We have seen glimmers of an executive branch unhinged and exercising the immense powers afforded to it – whether through lack of congressional oversight or the very ceding of power from Congress to the Presidency. We have seen the extraordinary powers of our central bank to bring stability and direction to a faltering economy. We have seen shadows of power used only when the elites of the nation are in peril. We must use these strengths to carry out the will of the people. We must restore decency to Washington and push an agenda to uplift the people, and root out corruption and dereliction of duty wherever it hides. We cannot use the full force, the might of the federal government until we restore decency to Washington. If we are to remain a strong and united country, we must increase the reach of the federal government to answer the increasing frequency or crises.

Old Howard Union

73 – An Analysis of The HEALS Act; Introduced by Senate Republicans

There is a war going on in Congress right now. Some may say too little, too late. The war is the push and pull between Senate Republicans & House Democrats on the issue of continued aid to the American people, and the states with the ongoing crisis that is COVID-19. The American public is reeling from the ramifications of the crisis and all that has come from it – mass unemployment, a grinding halt to economic productivity, and the revealing of structural issues that were here long before the crisis, which the crisis has only shone a light on. Today, we are going to discuss the HEALS Act, the Senate Republicans response to the growing need to answer the moment that is now. 

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  1. Summary of the HEALS  Act – https://www.forbes.com/sites/ryanderousseau/2020/07/27/republicans-release-stimulus-bill-proposal-titled-heals-act-1200-checks-cuts-to-unemployment-payments/#7ab7caa05fa4https://www.cnet.com/personal-finance/heals-act-senate-stimulus-bill-offers-1200-check-and-other-benefits-how-they-could-help-monday/
  2. Analysis of the HEALS Act –https://www.cnet.com/personal-finance/heals-act-senate-stimulus-bill-offers-1200-check-and-other-benefits-how-they-could-help-monday/
  3. Virus Stimulus: How the GOP and Democratic Plans Compare https://www.wsj.com/articles/coronavirus-relief-how-the-republican-and-democratic-plans-compare-11595934002
  4. Summary of provisions within the HEALS Act – https://www.acenet.edu/Documents/HEALS-Act-Short-Summary.pdf