Saturday, April 5, 2008

Roll Call Highlights - April 4

Here are some of the highlights of things our "leaders" have been up to:

(HOUSE) HIV/AIDS, MALARIA, TB: Voting 308 for and 116 against, the House on April 2 passed a bill (HR 5501) authorizing $50 billion over five years for U.S. support of global programs to combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis, mainly in
sub-Saharan Africa and the Caribbean. The bill earmarks 80 percent of its funds
for HIV/AIDS programs such as the distribution of anti-viral drugs. The bill
discontinues a mandate that one-third of AIDS spending be allocated to
abstinence programs.

I'm sorry, I didn't realize our country was doing so well that we could give away $50 billion. I thought we were in a recession ... (1) We can't afford to spend $50 billion, (2) We shouldn't be spending $50 billion on any other country and (3) We shouldn't be spending $50 billion when the people we're trying to "help" refuse to stop behavior that spreads disease.

If we have to send some cash, can't we say $50 million instead? That's still a nice chunk of money, and it's a lot more realistic. It's almost as if there's some weird obligation being pushed down our throats in regard to Africa. ... It's a fact that when HIV+ people there receive medicine, they feel better; they then go out and have unprotected sex with numerous people and spread the disease further because they can't comprehend "disease." ... Newsweek ran a story a few years back about it ... the people take the medicine, feel better, and figure that means they're OK. The doctors tell them, 'No, you're sick, stop having sex,' but they just don't get it. It's not my problem ... perhaps if that's how dense they are, then they're not supposed to survive the plague, you know?

Oh, and for the folks who actually pay attention to what our "representatives" do ... they (Larson, Courtney, DeLauro, Shays, Murphy) all voted yes, including the "Republican" Chris Shays ... and he and the rest also voted no to cutting the above $50 billion down to $30 billion. Remember that next time Shays wants to be re-elected. HE just pissed away $20 billion of YOUR money that he didn't have to ....

(SENATE) MORTGAGE COUNSELING: Voting 44 for and 40 against, the Senate on April 3 failed to reach 60 votes needed to double funding in HR 3221 (above) for mortgage counseling by non- profit agencies. The amendment sought to increase the outlay from $100 million to $200 million in order to extend counseling to an additional 250,000 holders of problem mortgages.

Wow. Both Chris Dodd, a Democrat, and Joe Lieberman, and Independent (Democrat) voted against increasing the money. I'm pleasantly surprised.

Call me crazy, but I have limited sympathy for anyone who buys something they know damn well they can't afford. They know better than anyone how much money they have. It's a simple comparison of 2 numbers: How much you can spend, and what something costs. If the second number is higher than the first, don't buy it!

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