Friday, June 14, 2013

Something To Count On

Once again, the weekend is almost here, and as some of our staff members have already hit the road, those who remain should be zipping around, trying to get things done - not paging through the latest work of folks like Sergio Aragon├ęs and Tom Richmond in Mad magazine's new "Superman" issue, or watching the season finale of "Game of Thrones."

We're not worried though, as we have the utmost confidence that our staff members will get today's edition compiled, published, and out the door in good time because they're professionals - and also because they're not members of Congress.

Indeed, another poll from Gallup focusing on Congress came out Thursday afternoon, and it was similar to the PPP poll we featured back in January of this year. The January poll focused on Congress' approval rating, which - as far we know - still remains lower than root canals, traffic jams, or even cockroaches.

This week's poll was slightly different though, focusing on the level of confidence Americans have in their Congress. After looking at the poll results from Gallup, it should surprise absolutely no one that the top reason Americans are fed up with Congress is gridlock. As Josh Barro of Business Insider noted on Twitter, "Who the hell are these 30 million Americans who still have confidence in Congress?" The only positive thing we can say about Congress right now is that they're consistently bad - four years at the bottom of the list! Looks like we may have finally found the one thing everyone in Congress is good at.

In all seriousness, we can understand why Americans both don't like and don't feel they can count on their Congress to get anything meaningful done right now.

Six months after the Newtown massacre, no new federal gun safety laws are anywhere near passage. Seven months after Republicans got stomped at the polls -- in part for treating women and minorities like second-class citizens -- Congressional Republicans seem to have re-opened their war against women, and are continuing their longstanding fight against immigrants. As Steve Benen noted, it looks like that GOP rebranding project has failed spectacularly.

Instead of continuing to drag you down, however, since it's Friday we'll give you the good news: Some members of Congress are continuing to try to get important legislation passed, on issues like gun safety, workplace equality, and immigration reform. Some politicians are also still working on implementing laws Congress has already passed, like the Affordable Care Act.

The even better news is that it appears Congress might actually get a few more things done later this year. After all, we haven't even reached the MLB All-Star Break - though Congress did have its annual Congressional Baseball Game last night. As the best former sportswriter on Capitol Hill - Roll Call's Meredith Shiner - wrote about the contest, the Democrats "dominated the game," blanking the Republicans 22-0.

There are always reasons you could look at the world negatively: For example, the EF 0 tornado that hit the northwest suburbs of DC yesterday, the new committment to support the rebels in the ongoing civil war in Syria, and the continuing controversy over the NSA's spying programs are just a few examples.

What keeps us focused on the positive, however, is that we have the confidence that comes from having great and trustworthy friends, family, and coworkers - and we realize that's more than many people have.

As the old advice says, count your blessings not your curses.

We think that's some great advice for all of us this weekend.

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