News and Tribune

February 4, 2013

CUMMINS: How’s your 2013 going?

Local columnist

— Instead of making resolutions for a full year, I make them one month at a time. After January in this year of our Lord and Congress, you should not plan too far ahead.  Whereas our Lord sits shaking his head as he passes judgment on us, Congress thinks they are a lord, too — maybe not the Lord, but a savior no less. They think they saved us when preventing our nation from plunging over a fiscal cliff. They didn’t actually save us, only prolonged the suffering. Therefore, I resolve to make it through the month of February, and take March if, and when it comes. 

If you haven’t been keeping up with the news, don’t. It’s not good for you. However, you need to be aware of what’s going on around you such as a series of crises including cliffs below you, ceilings above you and no safe place to go. Remember when you rung in 2013?  You were partying and perhaps making a fool of yourself, but your party wasn’t the only one. The Democrats and Republicans were partying together, too, while under the influence of a mysterious strong potion, maybe a witches’ brew. What they did that wee-into-the-New-Year’s night was stagger up to a fiscal cliff and vote to prevent us from falling over it. Then after briefly backing away from that abyss, they butted their heads up against another debt ceiling.  

Maybe you live under a similar ceiling with no money to pay your taxes. Follow your government and do as they do. Call them and ask for a loan until your house is in order. The House on the Potomac, however, is so disorderly it’s worse than one of ill repute. What’s come over them, prostituting themselves the way they do? Do not watch the news. You won’t believe some of the idiotic things you’ll hear from Washington. Would counseling help them? Yes, but psychoanalysts are costly, and then we’d have to extend the debt ceiling again. In school, a 69 is an F. What does a 9 percent favorability rating say about Congress? Lawmakers now play the game children play. They kicked the $16-trillion debt can down the road by raising the debt ceiling for three more months. Our economic policy makes no sense. It’s like the “cents” policy, which takes nearly two cents to mint a penny and costs a dime to mint a nickel.  

Bigger news, the National Rifle Association is fearful the newly ordained “tyrannical king” — as Sen. Rand Paul calls the president — wants to control your guns. The NRA has about four million members who buy Congress. More than 300 million Americans are not members of the NRA, and only a few of them buy Congress. At any rate, guns don’t kill children, evil people with mental illnesses do. If we strap a gun on every teacher, will it help teach Johnny to read the manual on how to shoot a gun?

Where did common sense go? What are the limits on weapons and ammunition? Was it common sense to prohibit machine guns in the 1930s? Was it common sense for the world to agree to control nuclear weapons? The issue is a volatile and fearful one. After the holidays, I went to a large sporting-goods store. It was a slow day with a few clerks standing around, however a customer had to stand in line to talk to one of the six clerks behind the gun-display counter. There’s nearly one gun in circulation for every American, as it was during the Wild-West days. There must be some way to “civilize” America without arming us all for a final shootout.  

In other sad news,  Secretary of State Hillary Clinton resigned. She’s been out of town to improve foreign-relations, and get away from Bill. Having visited 111 countries, nine during one 12-day trip, she wants to go home, and look for an easier job, like maybe president in 2016. 

The good news is that man is curious and that’s why Curiosity, the Mars rover, is digging into that surface 353 million miles away. We’ll look anywhere for signs of the existence of life forms, except forget digging into Congress, which is 354 million miles away. 

Did you miss the first lady, who is now wearing bangs, while other select American ladies adorn stylish combat uniforms. Since January was a month of combat, let’s celebrate February, which is the month of candy and flowers when Cupid takes aim. 

— Contact Terry Cummins at