Yesterday's Light

Images in Space and Time

Politicians 1, People 0

Mammatus Clouds, Webster, NY

It may be true that you can’t fool all the people all the time, but you can fool enough of them to rule a large country.

                                                                                                                                                                                       Will Durant

So here we are at the end of the great “Debt Ceiling” debate in the U. S. congress.  Catastrophe averted.  We can continue to borrow money to pay our bills.  And we’ve cut over 2 trillion dollars in spending.

At least that’s what they say.  The first part is true – the debt ceiling has been bumped.  That was imperative.  But the second part?  Basically, just political theater.  Nothing has been done that can’t be changed, and even if nothing is changed, little will happen for about a year and a half.  In 2012, only about $21 billion will actually not be spent.  Most of the “savings” don’t occur until much later in the decade.

So we’ve basically been scammed again.

To be honest, much of that doesn’t bother me.  Being a card – carrying Medicare recipient and a collector of Social Security, I’d rather not see serious cuts in those programs.  But I would certainly like to see the tax code changed (even if it negatively affects me) and I would like to see defense spending reduced.  Not to mention getting rid of the nonsensical Bush tax cuts.

But I don’t think much of that is ever going to happen.  It’s the old Washington 2 – step going on here, and pretty much all of us are victims.

On a much more interesting (and pleasant) note, I saw these Mammatus clouds yesterday morning at sunrise.  They’re the bubbly looking things near the top of the image.  I’m fairly sure that I’ve never seen these things in our area before – they’re relatively rare.  Most of the time, they form in sinking air, usually after a thunderstorm has passed.  Within a few minutes, they’d disappeared from view.

Not for nothing, but maybe Mammatus clouds and politicians actually have something in common.  You know, light, airy, not very substantial entities.  And then they fade from view.


8 Responses to “Politicians 1, People 0”

  1. ken bello

    I missed this yesterday, but we are surrounded by trees and we miss a lot of cloud action. Nice capture! I have to disagree about the similarity between the clouds and politicians – the politicians don’t fade away fast enough. They just linger on.

    • Paul Maxim

      Thanks, Ken. We have a very good view of both east and west horizons, so all I have to do is keep looking out the window from time to time. You’re right, of course. The damn politicians just seem to “linger” forever.

  2. Don Cooper

    I also have Medicare and Social Security and get disgusted with the games they play, luckily I have a decent pension and benefits but without increases and then seeing costs rise it gets very depressing, our governments from the town, city,villages, county, state and Federal all need an overhaul and downsizing.

    On a local level “shared services”.

    • Paul Maxim

      In general, I agree Don. I’m not sure how you’re defining “downsizing”, but it could be difficult and a bit dangerous at the federal level. It’s certainly somewhat bloated and could use some reform, but I wouldn’t hack it to pieces (as some of the Tea Partiers want to do).

  3. Earl

    Paul, striking clouds — those at the top are very unusual from my experience as well.

    This whole debt crisis was manufactured and we got to see the very worst of our political system played out before he world. As you said nothing was really accomplished except now there’s less confidence then every in our nation and our abilities — we may all yet pay dearly for Washington’s recent incompetence. I would like to think some of the politicians will also pay dearly come re-election but I lack confidence in that as well. As for future changes and getting the national budget under control — hard choices are coming and we’ll need better House and Senate leadership then we currently have to deal with it. I agree the Bush Tax cuts must go and the very rich and those companies who enjoy the privileges of our nation must pay a fair share…not more than…just a fair share.

    • Paul Maxim

      Thanks, Earl. Right now, we seem to be between the proverbial rock and hard place. Like you, I don’t see the current crop of political idiots solving things anytime soon. Eventually, though, they’ll have to adopt some version of what the Simpson Bowles commission recommended. Again, it’s just math. Sooner or later, they have to do it.


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