Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Hi-Ho, Hi-Ho...

Day 1 of our New Deal. It began with overnight road work on Pennsylvania Avenue, as crews replaced, bolted, re-wired, and re-timed the stoplights that had been removed from medians for yesterday's inaugural parade in Washington, DC. By dawn's early light, 300 city workers in DC were picking up 100 tons of paper, plastic water bottles, newspapers, food wrappers and hundreds of tiny American flags left in the path of yesterday's revelers. By 9 am, our late-night, ball-attending president and his wife were sitting in a pew at the National Cathedral for a prayer service with the country's Right/Most/Very/Primate Reverend community (just check out the titles in that program!). The day will likely end with Senate confirmation of several cabinet members...including Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State. We may even be thanking Senator John McCain for that. He showed up for work this morning in Senate Chambers saying, "Let the popular president get to work." And so should we all. Party's over - it's time to get to work. Time to tighten our belts, turn up our thermostats, tutor our children, trade in our gas guzzlers. Time to speak peace, share the wealth, stand firm by principles of liberty and justice for all. Time to put aside party politics, self-righteousness, racial prejudice. Time to offer grace and compassion to a world in dire need. Time to be the good Americans our new president needs us to be. It wouldn't hurt to pay some attention to what's going on on Capitol Hill, either. This is no time to step away from the newspaper and let the world in Washington DC turn without our involvement. In two short weeks in session, the 111th Congress has introduced over 500 bills in the House and 200 in the Senate. Here are a few: H.R. 15 creates a nationalized system of free health care. H.R. 346 repeals the automatic payraises Congress receives. H.R. 390 addresses "college football playoff games." H.R. 187 says let Cubans play American baseball. H.R. 227 states that human life begins at fertilization. H.R. 87 says "Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is," and invites those who like to pay taxes to voluntarily pay extra taxes. :-) S. 213 would create an Airline Passenger Bill of Rights. S. 147 would require the closure of the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and limit the use of certain interrogation techniques It's important for each of us to stay informed (www.congress.org), and for each of us to let our elected representatives know we are awake and aware. This, my friends, is now the WE in "Yes We Can!" Peace.

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