Is It Just Me or Is the News Off-the-Hook Depressing These Days?

I’m a news junkie, political junkie — the works. I feel incomplete if I don’t get a full dose of the news everyday. But I have to admit, the debt ceiling negotiations pretty much did me in — I started tuning out, I just couldn’t take it any more.

So now the debt ceiling fight is over and we can get on with “normal” news coverage of “normal” news, right? So why is it that last night was so bad I turned off Anderson Cooper. Today I went back to the DVR of last night’s show and fast forwarded through it — making notes. Here, ladies and gentleman, is the news of the world (well, for the US really) for August 3, 2011:

  1. Congress has bailed and gone on vacation leaving 70,000  FAA employees out of work, and costing the US $200/m a week in tax revenues paid by the airlines — over $1B by the time Congress comes back from vacation,
  2. Hosni Mubarak in court on a gurney in a cage,
  3. Videos have surfaced of the Jaycee Dugard kidnappers luring a 10 year girl old into a van, coaxing her to do splits – shot for her husbands’ gratification,
  4. African Famine is expanding beyond Somalia
  5. In the Warren Jeffs case, the Prosecution closed its case playing a 30 minute audio tape of Warren Jeffs haveing sex with a 12 year old — her “Training Sessions as a Heavenly Wife”
  6. Casey Anthony has been excused from returning to Orlando for probation due to threats to her security,
  7. Dolly Parton apologizes because someone wearing a t-shirt with LGBT slogan promoting gay marriage was forced to turn her t-shirt inside out to enter the park
I don’t know … I’m trying to figure out what really depresses me the most.  We all know there are creeps and perverts out there so I’m not going to go with the Dugard kidnappers, Warren Jeffs, or Casey Anthony.  They’re a trifecta of sickos to be sure – but they’re just individual sickos.  No …..the one that gets under my skin the most is the thought of Congress sailing out of town for 5 weeks without dealing with the FAA situation. Folks, this is the debt ceiling all over again. They’ve routinely passed the necessary deals over the last 10 years to keep FAA going …. but not this time.  No, this time you’ve got the same kind of deadlock we just saw in the debt ceiling talks–just as mean-spirited and ludicrous.
It’s mind-numbing.  America is ungovernable.  I never knew that our system could be hijacked like this.  I thought there was a certain ingenuity in what the Founding Fathers put together that would preclude this kind of insanity from ruling the day.  But the truth is, our system is vulnerable to “political terrorist” tactics.  If a substantial minority — in this case, the Tea Party — are willing to forego the niceties of following their party leadership on tough votes, and are willing to go completely to the wall on every ivote that comes along, then it gets beyond the kind of “partisan gridlock” that we have become accustomed to.  I don’t know what to call it — this is more like meltdown than gridlock.
Thank God for Jon Stewart and Steven Colbert.  That’s the only news I can take right about now.

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