Thursday, July 31, 2014
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

2013 likely to continue near-failure of system

By
From page A8 | January 01, 2013 |

Americans are mostly an optimistic lot, but as they enter the New Year they have reason to see the glass half empty rather than half full when it comes to the management of their government and its ability to deal with myriad issues the nation’s leaders have been unwilling to tackle in the past 12 months.

The faith in the country’s institutions is approaching an all-time low and even if you normally don’t believe the number 13 is unlucky, you may change your mind before it’s over and nothing has been done to meet the economic challenges, settle the immigration questions, reform the entitlement programs that will bleed us into poverty, make some headway in protecting our young from gun violence, responsibly reducing our spending, safely concluding our debilitating entanglement in Afghanistan, and bringing some peace to the Middle East.

That is just a short list of the needs that neither the White House nor the divided Congress, with its near all-time low approval rating of 18 percent, have been able to meet for reasons that baffle most of us and leave us almost bereft of hope that the future will be much better, that those we have chosen for high office will somehow act like adults instead of squabbling brats. I’m sorry, but that depressing outlook seems clearly justified by the near failure of the system.

The new Congress and the second term chief executive will be sworn into office in the next few weeks in an atmosphere of incivility hardly seen since the Civil War. The political parties seem incapable of reaching détente on much of anything and their CEOs on Capitol Hill and down the avenue to the presidential mansion have displayed a weakness that ranks them among the historic worst. For Pete’s sake, who is in charge?

What a record the last Congress and Barack Obama have left us. The last year saw campaign spending reach a horrific combined total of more than $2 billion for the presidential campaign alone. Measured against an unemployment rate still in the high 7 percentile after 44 months of above 8 percent, deplorable is not too harsh a description.

Under democracy’s “crumbling“ dome on their sprawling campus, the legislature is unable to adopt the smallest measures. No one seems to remember when the Senate last adopted a budget or when a full complement of appropriations bills were passed. Or remedies for the simplest of problems didn’t face a filibuster.

Meanwhile on Pennsylvania Avenue, the president – who spent two years adopting health care reform that most Americans didn’t want, glorying in claims of having saved the American auto industry, finding and eliminating Osama bin Laden, all while ignoring the politically dangerous ground of gun reform and the growth of entitlement programs and dealing with the real culprit of recession, the home mortgage disaster – is making noises like he now wants to truly lead us.

He had better hurry because he has about two years before it will dawn on those who would take his place that he is headed for the barn and has very little clout left. After that, nothing will get done until after the next presidential election when the empty cycle will begin all over again.

So chances appear slim that 2013 will be much better than 2010, 2011 and 2012. The House remains sufficiently Republican to block most things and the Senate, while a tad heavier with Democrats, still has a GOP minority strong enough to require 60 votes, the number needed to shut down a filibuster, on anything beyond a simple housekeeping measure.

The first months of the new Congress will pick up where the last one left off – fighting over the increase in the debt limit and other fiscal cliff challenges. The president pledges to push to limit our children’s exposure to the threat of battlefield weapons in schools and elsewhere at home, and to adopt a coherent and lasting policy on immigration. Interestingly, his predecessor tried unsuccessfully to solve that problem.

We always have been able to muddle through and hopefully history will repeat as it usually does. In the meantime, it could be a painful year.

Email Dan K. Thomasson, former editor of the Scripps Howard News Service, at thomassondan@aol.com.

Dan K. Thomasson

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | 1 comment

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

  • Rich GiddensJanuary 01, 2013 - 1:04 pm

    First of all, were not a ''democracy''. Calling a Constitutional Republic a democracy was what the communist leader Vladimir Lenin encouraged to fool the people. What a disgusting failed ridiculous government of corruption we have now. The results and outcome prove it. Yet the dumbed down masses on welfare, social security and food stamps like it and so do their equally moronic offspring. The president is a disloyal Anti-American communist muslim with no bona fides and is a horrible creation from central casting. He does the opposite of what he promised the masses and he is never to blame for anything. Everything out of his mouth is ''me, my and I'' like some new horrible noveau version of Hitler or Mussolini. Then there's the rubber stamp congress, their endless over-spending and the unlivable states like New York and California. Weve been at war for 11 years and yet no official can be held accountable for losing the war. Any progress thats made in energy independence is immediately attacked by the leaders. We have a welfare state and a police state---each cancelling the other out.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
.

Solano News

Cities dealing with state drought rules

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Muralist helps locals ready for some painted wall history

By Susan Winlow | From Page: A1 | Gallery

It’s ‘camping for 30′ at the Solano fair

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Rejection makes us each stronger

By Angela Borchert | From Page: A2

 
Highway 12 crash sends 2 to hospital

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A3 | Gallery

 
Police release name of Vallejo homicide victim

By Glen Faison | From Page: A4 | Gallery

 
Mall to host Ultimate Army Throw Down

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A4

Price will seek re-election as Fairfield mayor

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A4

 
Fairfield police log: July 29, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

Suisun City police log: July 29, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

 
.

US / World

Peace Corps evacuates over Ebola as 2 isolated

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

 
Pipe break that flooded UCLA dumps 20M gallons

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4 | Gallery

Obama takes tougher line against Gaza casualties

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
AP Analysis: Amid war, endgames in Gaza emerge

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

2 women survive ordeal along Indiana rail bridge

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Ex-IRS official called conservatives ‘crazies

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

Dissent quieted with most Israelis behind Gaza war

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Deadly Israeli strikes hit UN school, market area

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5 | Gallery

Crews work to keep Yosemite fire from sequoias

By The Associated Press | From Page: A12

 
Sanctions will damage Russia if not lifted quickly

By The Associated Press | From Page: A12

Clashes prevent experts from reaching bodies

By The Associated Press | From Page: A12

 
Suing Obama: GOP-led House gives the go-ahead

By The Associated Press | From Page: A12

Congress cooperates – and fights – as recess nears

By The Associated Press | From Page: A12

 
Powell maybe not told early about CIA techniques

By The Associated Press | From Page: A12

.

Opinion

Editorial Cartoons: July 31, 2014

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A11

 
What happened to the US?

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A11, 9 Comments

Am I blaming victims?

By Kelvin Wade | From Page: A11

 
Why ‘compassionate conservatism’ is still dead

By Ramesh Ponnuru | From Page: A11

 
Cruz gets border crisis wrong

By Ruben Navarrette | From Page: A11

.

Living

Today in History for July 31, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Community Calendar: July 31, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

Horoscopes for July 31, 2014

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: A9

 
I want to change my daughters last name to my maiden name

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: A9

.

Entertainment

TVGrid

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Commentary: ‘Orphan Black,’ Emmy snubs and questions of identity

By Los Angeles Times | From Page: A6 | Gallery

Allison Williams headed skyward as NBC’s Peter Pan

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

 
Contract dispute delays ‘Big Bang’ production

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

.

Sports

Lloyd’s film watching impresses 49ers teammates

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
SF benefits from Pirates’ blunder, ends skid at 6

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Complete game shutout lifts Expos to State Tournament win

By Marcus Lomtong | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Hammel fails again for Athletics in loss to Astros

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Ray Guy’s long wait for Hall of Fame comes to end

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Raiders owner confirms talks with San Antonio

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

Stanford star Ty Montgomery rehabbing shoulder

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

 
Greg Ives to crew chief Earnhardt in 2015

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3 | Gallery

Riley speaks out, insists Heat will be competitive

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

 
Nadal out of 2 tournaments because of right wrist

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

Pipe break that flooded UCLA dumps 20M gallons

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

 
Steelers to retire Hall of Famer Greene’s No. 75

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

Fairfield-Suisun 6U Bobby Sox win titles

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B4

 
Usain Bolt in controversy at Commonwealth Games

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

Indians trade pitcher Masterson to Cardinals

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

 
.

Business

US judge slaps $1.3B fine on Bank of America

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5, 1 Comment

 
A more vigorous US economy appears to be emerging

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

Overhaul approved for troubled California refinery

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

 
Judge says Crystal CEO should testify in lawsuit

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7, 1 Comment

.

Obituaries

Louise Scholten

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

 
Ronald Witt Escue Sr.

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

Scott Allen Shaver

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

 
Clifford C. Hemler

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4, 1 Comment

.

Comics

Zits

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Peanuts

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Blondie

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Wizard of Id

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Get Fuzzy

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Garfield

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Sally Forth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Dilbert

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Baldo

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Pickles

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Baby Blues

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Beetle Bailey

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Rose is Rose

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Frank and Ernest

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

B.C.

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
For Better or Worse

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Word Sleuth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

 
Crossword

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

Sudoku

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

 
Bridge

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

Cryptoquote

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9