There are multiple types of mental illness; some more serious than others. For most of us actually witnessing the actions of those inflicted with conditions affecting conscious thought is rare; or at least it was until the 112th Congress was sworn in. We continued to watch demonstrations of mental illness in the 113th Congress, and the 114th is promising as well with early actions indicating they may surpass the previous two.
If untreated, mental illness results in reduced production in the workplace. The necessity to focus on a single task, or failing to recognize the futility of actions, which are guaranteed to fail, limits the time individuals spend performing constructive effort. The American people have been allowed to watch first hand as insane actions have been repeated for six years. But this couldn’t have happened without a leader who no longer has any grasp of reality; and for that he deserves our appreciation.
A couple of days ago the House of Representatives voted for the 56th time to repeal the Affordable Care Act. They decided to take the vote although it has little chance of passing in the Senate, and President Obama has promised to veto the bill. Yes, this is your first observation of insanity; “doing the same thing over and over and achieving the same predictable results.” Another example if irrational thinking is ignoring the facts. The Affordable Care Act has not cost taxpayers billions of dollars and is successful; giving nearly 10 million formerly uninsured Americans health care.
Another example of erratic thinking is demonstrated by the failure of Congress to offer intelligent ideas to modify the law, and improve it for the benefit of all Americans. Instead the House simply wants the entire measure repealed, although it is beneficial for millions of our nation’s less affluent citizens. You ask why this insane action is repeated over and over again; for that we must thank the Republican controlled House and its leader, Speaker John Boehner.
In January the Republican Party gained control of both houses of Congress. Although their campaign promises proclaimed that because the Republican Party would be the majority in the Congress and the Senate after the 2014 midterms our government would work harder and pass legislation regarding the important issues, nothing is being accomplished. Instead they continue attempts to repeal effective legislation, or waste the American people’s time and money passing bills which have absolutely no chance of becoming law.
The Keystone XL pipeline, which would carry tar sands crude from Canada to the gulf coast, has been a contentious issue for years. Republicans are in favor of its construction; most Democrats and all Environmentalists oppose it. The most important person involved in the issue and the final decision is President Obama, who has promised to veto the measure. He has the ultimate power over the decision because the pipeline would be built across international borders.
The House and Senate wasted weeks working on legislation which had no chance of succeeding.
The Congressmen who voted in favor of the Keystone pipeline claim that it would create jobs, and poses little or no environmental danger. Both are blatant lies. The only jobs would be temporary involving the construction of the pipeline. Tar sands crude is more vile and destructive than sweet crude, and must be pumped through the pipeline under extreme heat and pressure, increasing the possibility of a break.
The bottom line is that the Keystone pipeline’s only benefactors would be the oil companies and the politicians who receive campaign contributions from them.
Commentary by James Turnage