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August 1, 2011

Mulch Ado About Nothing

WHAT? No social security check for my 94-year-old aunt???

— Like many Americans, I have watched for weeks the political wrangling over the nation’s debt and predictions of what will happen when/if after 222 mostly prosperous years, these United States – the most powerful nation on the face of the Earth – turns into a deadbeat on Aug. 3.

I don’t like it one bit that my 94–year–old aunt, like millions of other senior citzens whose only income is a small social security check, won’t have money to live on.

I don’t like it one bit that our elected representatives and senators and, yes, even our president, care more for their personal agendas than they do for their constituents.

It seems no one in Washington, D.C., can remember they were Americans first before they ever cast their lots with the GOP, Democratic Party, Tea Party or any other special interest gang.

So I’ve watched and I’ve pondered. And I have a bit of advice to all those who engage in finger pointing and political posturing – it’s time to shut up, pony up and meet this country’s financial obligations.

I don’t have the answers to get us out of this pickle. But I do have a solution that’s tried and true. It’s worked for centuries in the Catholic Church and I see no reason it wouldn’t work as well for less Godly organizations.

Here are the basics: when a pope dies, the church’s Cardinals gather behind closed doors in the Sistine Chapel to select a new pope. Well, actually, the doors aren’t just closed. They’re locked.

And they remain locked with the Cardinals inside for however long it takes to get the job done.

There are no sound bites from this Cardinal or that on the nightly news or name calling on venues like CNN or Fox News. The princes of the Church are locked away with one another, their consciences and, presumably, God. They know going in that there’s no getting out until they send white smoke up the chimney which is the signal to the world that there’s a new pope and it’s ok to unlock the doors.

I believe it’s time for a conclave of sorts in Washington, D.C.

Put Congress and the President together in a big room and lock the door behind them. But not before you take away any weapons, their salaries, their staffs, their perks, and all the microphones, computers, Blackberrys, iPhones and other pda’s in their possession. Turn off the ac – the Founding Fathers got along without it just fine.

Give them water to drink, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for breakfast, bologna sandwiches for supper. No need for variety, dairy products, fresh fruits and vegetables or additional meals or snacks during the day. Let them live hand–to–mouth for a time. Millions of their constituents do.

If they can’t reach an agreement in one week, take away the peanut butter and jelly. Still deadlocked after two weeks? Remove bologna from the menu.

I really don’t think it will take that long to see white smoke.

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