Yeah, same here. It's more money than I expect to ever see in my lifetime, I can tell you that much (barring that lottery win that may or may not be looming in my future). Believe it not, though - there are people who feel that an amount such as that is, and I quote, "a drop in the bucket". What genius has expressed that completely-out-of-touch-with-the-sensibilities-of-middle-America view, you ask? Senator John Kerry, that's who. And what prompted those pearls of wisdom to drip from his honeyed lips? A statement from Senator Lindsey Graham regarding the exorbitant amount of earmarks asked for from members of congress this past year. While discussing the failings of our government during a recent appearance by both Kerry and Graham on Special Report with Brit Hume, Graham made mention of John McCain's mission to stop the rapacious earmarking practices that have become the norm rather than the exception in congress since the mid '90s. When Senator Kerry categorized that stance as simple "demagoguery" (his word), Graham pointed out that in the last year, 18 billion dollars had been asked for in earmarks by members of congress. To which Kerry responded by saying something along the lines of curtailing earmarks wouldn't fix the problems. In fact, according to Kerry, 18 billion dollars is "just a drop in the bucket". Well dadgom. Wonder if I could get a piece of that bucket? You know, I'm not sure how much that bucket can hold, but if 18 billion is a mere "drop" of its contents, I'm thinking we may need to downsize our bucket. Regardless of the size of the bucket or the drop itself, however, I feel compelled to point out that whatever it is that fills any bucket, it always consists of drops of something. And if you want to control what goes into your bucket, you'd damn well better start paying attention to the drops you allow to go into it.
In that same appearance, Brit Hume asked Graham about his own history of asking for earmarks. I almost dropped a skillet on my foot when I heard his answer. Graham said, "I've been a part of the problem. I want to be part of the solution". Senator Graham went on to say that he had this change of heart because John McCain convinced him that it is the right thing to do for America. Okay. In the first place, I don't know when I've ever heard a politician say he was a part of the problem. They're usually screaming about how the other guy is the problem. Secondly, I don't know how long Graham will remain in this frame of mind - if it's a real change of heart, a change contingent upon the election of John McCain, or even if he'll hold up to any pressures from home regarding this stance in the future. What I do know is this: that view, that statement, that vision gave me a ray of hope for our future. What if all of Washington could admit to their failures and stop with the finger pointing and the blame game? What if all our elected officials decided to work for us and our country, instead of for each other and their political party? What if???
P.S. I know I'm probably being entirely too political these days and if that makes any of you uncomfortable, I'm sorry. Remember, I'm always open to hearing views "from the other side". I'm sure it's obvious that I'm a Republican and a John McCain supporter. Like Senator McCain, I too have issues at times with the Republican party. I affiliate with them because of our common views. I question them because I don't believe all their positions are the right way to go. Hearing other views is interesting and sometimes even illuminating.
Oh, and are you asking why I've gone into politics so thoroughly lately? IT'S BECAUSE I DON'T HAVE A FLIPPIN' CAR RIGHT NOW SO I'M STUCK AT HOME WATCHING ALL THE POLITICAL NEWS AND READING POLITICAL VIEWS ONLINE. We got one wrecked car out of the shop Friday and put the other one in Monday morning. As I've mentioned before, since our cars were damaged by people who had no insurance and we didn't have Uninsured Motorist coverage, that means NO RENTAL CAR while ours are being repaired. So...the gist of this is, if you don't want me writing political stuff, take up a collection and GET ME OUT OF THIS HOUSE during the day!!!! (she said, laughing maniacally with the tv remote control clutched tightly in her fist)