Thursday, December 12, 2013

Wishes And Hopes

While it may not seem like it, it's reached that time of the year when everyone's beginning to rush.

While packages and letters are flooding the postal system, some organizations are ringing the bells and looking at their coffers with concern, while others are making last-minute substitutions. Some are even beginning to lose their patience, as they desperately search for that last minute item they desperately need for the 2014 election cycle.

What - Did you think we were talking about holiday shopping?

If you did, we understand your confusion. Our own staff members are also rushing around the office, attempting to get everything ready for the holidays and the new year - including a new addition to our "Staff Children" roster, expected in early 2014.

With all the tasks we're each trying to accomplish, before we take a break for the holidays, the fact that 2014 is an election year occasionally drifts out of our primary field of focus. Not surprisingly, the 2014 election seems to be the only thing politicians in DC and around the country can think of, even now.

Before anyone in Congress gets too far ahead of themselves, they might want to think about the proposed Ryan-Murray Budget, and how easily it could fail.

After all, Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell has already come out against the bill. Tea Party senators Rand Paul & Mike Crapo have also said they'll vote against the budget deal. More than a few Democrats, most noting the lack of extension for unemployment benefits, have also quietly acknowledged they're holding back support from the budget proposal.

Of course, if the proposed budget bill is voted down, the probablilty that the government will shut down again just a couple of weeks into the new year is high. That's a "gift" no politician really wants to open at the start of an election year.

For what it's worth, neither major party looks fantastic going into the 2014 election race.

The GOP is in open civil war, with the extremists on the far, far right giving hell to those that are just on the far right. Congressional job approval is at another all-time low, even as President Obama's numbers have begun to recover, thanks to the growing success of Obamacare. Mitch McConnell and the Senate Republicans are also looking more petty than usual, even as the House GOP continues to look ridiculous.

All that confusion and incompetence from Republicans might make you think Democrats have the 2014 elections in the bag. Yet, in a very blue, Democratic-leaning metro area like Omaha, Nebraska, Democrats can't even find - or retain - a single candidate to run against a completely incompetent, long-term back-bencher like Rep. Lee Terry.

If there was one thing we could ask Santa to deliver this holiday season, it would be a large dose of sanity back into our political system in America on all levels, and in all political parties.

Somehow, no matter how magical he is, we don't think even Santa can pull that one off.

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