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Monday, January 1st, 2024
Baton Rouge, Louisiana
WHY NOTHING IS GETTING DONE IN WASHINGTON!
Poor ole’ Joe Biden. The current president really has his hands full. Some think the world is going to hell in a hand basket, and the Biden team is enmeshed in pouring billions to other countries. The President has just approved a $105 billion military aid package to Israel, as the Israel-Hamas war is on the verge of spiraling into a wider regional conflict. Russia’s war with Ukraine seems more and more like a Russian war with America as the US has poured $80 billion in this struggle. Our Southern border is overflowing with a surge of immigrants with no plan to stop the flow. The president is up for election in just 10 months. And his favorable popularity has dipped to below 35%.
So how does he handle the crisis? You would think he would be staying up late at night seven days a week dealing with a whole host of difficult issues, especially since he has such a short time left in the White House. Here’s his solution. Take a weeklong vacation. Fly to the tropical island of St. Croix. He has the rest of his life to take long vacations, and his whole future is on the line. So he flies to Caribbean.
Work product of the U.S. Congress is not any better. Back in 1948, President Harry, Truman coined the term “Do nothing Congress,” because the legislative body only passed 511 bills that were signed into law. In the 2023 congressional term, a grand total of 27 bills were actually signed in the law. Two of the laws renamed medical centers, and another one created a commemorative coin.
“The House hasn’t done its job. It’s been playing games. It’s what people don’t like about this town,” said Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio. “All year the House didn’t choose its speakers, they’ve been fighting with each other. Their egos are out of control. They’re acting like kids and they’re not doing their job.”
The U.S. Supreme Court could be the worst of the three branches in getting any work done or even showing up for work. If you look at poll numbers, it’s becoming obvious that the American public are losing confidence in the Supremes. In a Gallop poll released recently, only 40% of citizens approve of the job that has been done by the High Court. And it’s not just one party or the other. “At this point, less than a majority of Republicans, Democrats and independents approve of the job the court is doing,” said Gallup, which has been tracking the trend since 2000.
Justices on the nation’s highest court complain about their low salary. But the plain truth is that the court as a whole just does not work very hard. Some 10,000 petitions are filed in the Supreme Court each year, and almost all of them are turned aside. This year, the court might consider some 60 cases. They never worked too hard in the past, but at least up until some 15 years ago, the normal load was 125 cases or more. But no longer. The Supremes need more time for other pursuits.
Come summertime, there are no thoughts of carrying out the constitutional responsibility of considering cases of those who feel they are aggrieved. No, it’s time to head off for speaking junkets and lucrative teaching posts far and beyond. Justice Samuel Alito prefers the beaches and teachers in Malibu California at Pepperdine University at its Oceanside campus. And Chief Justice John Roberts was paid to teach a one week course in Vienna in recent years.
Justices also benefit from the ethically troubling practice of regularly taking all expense paid junkets, often financed by private interests with business before this very court. Many are labeled as “educational seminars” with large honorariums being received for a lecture. The Court has soiled its reputation by accepting such freebies, and it is obvious the members are incapable of effective self-policing.
Every four years, we hear campaign promises from candidates who say they will go to the nation’s capital and get to work. But things never seem to change. What’s the song by the musical group The Who? “Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.”
Peace and Justice
Jim Brown’s syndicated column appears each week in numerous newspapers throughout the nation and on websites worldwide. You can read all his past columns and see continuing updates at http://www.jimbrownusa.com.