December 11, 2006

Cry Me A River

I always dug the standards, even when I was young. The entitled song was written in 1953 & sung by Julie London in the 1956 movie The Girl Can't Help It. It's been recorded by a whole mess of artists but the version I find most interesting is one done by Harry Connick Jr. Unfortunately I can't find a linkable version of Connick's cover in its entirety but if you look here or here you can get a 30 second sample. I do have a bit of a treat for you if you're into the more seasoned artists. I found a version featuring Ella Fitzgerald & Joe Pass (ya gotta love a biographical page that has "Early life & drug addiction" as its first chapter). Here's the vid. & here's a short film featuring Julie London's version of the tune. & here are the lyrics.

The song is about a jilted lover who is less than appreciative of the jilter's attestations of remorse & promised fidelity when said jilter wants said jiltee back in the jilters life. It's a classier yet more bitter version of the "Here's a quarter..." idea. While I don't really agree with that approach or attitude in personal relationships I really couldn't think of a more apt title to introduce the following:

"They lost their House and Senate seats, in some cases after keeping them warm for three decades. Others up and left on their own. But do not feel too sorry for some of these soon-to-be former lawmakers."

Okay. I'll somehow restrain myself even though it's hard to keep from welling up.

To be fair though the headline of the article is:

Future bright for ex-members of Congress

& how correct that is.

Here's a page explaining some of the benefits of congressmen. The rank & file congressman gets $165,200 per year. 1.3% of that goes into the Federal Employees' Retirement System (their privatized social security in other words). After 5 years he is covered by the same retirement & health benefits available to any other federal employee, but he must be 50 years old with 20 years of service under his belt to receive a congressional pension, or after 25 years of service despite their age or at age 62 despite their years of service. To get to the chase in 2003 the average pension drawn by a retired member of congress was $3,909 a month. That's an average & not all former congressmen were at that time eligible for their pensions.

Also from that webpage I should point out:

"During the Constitutional Convention, Benjamin Franklin considered proposing that elected government officials not be paid for their service. Other Founding Fathers, however, decided otherwise."

They should have listened to Ben. Other than that whole "daylight savings time" thing he was usually spot on.

I can only think of a handful of congresscritters that didn't deserve to get tossed out on their backsides. Then again I can only think of a handful that don't deserve to be part of a TF&P kit (Tar, Feather & Politician - some assembly required). So I won't feel bad for them, no matter how much my heart strings string tugs at me or how loud that subatomic violin is playing. I'll be brave. I'll be strong. They'll never see the tears I cry for them late at night when I'm wondering how they're going to get used to being almost like one of us. They'll never know that I feel their pain. That's the least I can do for them considering how much they've done to for me. (Now that that's out of my system I feel loads better, in a Captain Jack Sparrow "I think we've all arrived at a very special place - spiritually, ecumenically, grammatically..." kinda way.) :)

& to the Republicans specifically they should have damn well listened to their base. But I guaran-damn-teeya that by 2008 they'll be much ass kissing directed towards those smaller government folks. Some of GOP will swear they’re sorry & that they’ve learned their lesson & that they've seen (through the horror of what the Democrats have done so far) how wrong they were. Then again others will claim it's because the base abandoned them that the Democrats made such a mess of things. Either approach will likely be followed by “please please re-elect us because we’re your only hope”. Since I'm not a Republican I'll probably not have much of either argument directed at me but I know I'll overhear both versions of persuasion enough to feel like I'm in a bad "B" movie stuck on repeat.

& yes; Republicans are usually better than Democrats in a general sense but this last time around they didn’t seem to be acting too differently. You can point to a few things here & there & some of them are important things but overall they acted more like quasi-conservative Democrats than conservative Republicans which is very likely why they lost a few very close races.

I don't think the Republican Party will learn its lesson by '08. I mean hell; they're still talking up McCain & Guiliani for the presidential bid. So whatever tactic they choose to use on you ask them to go down to Arizona. They could use a river or two down there.

Posted by Publicola at December 11, 2006 04:55 AM | TrackBack
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