Playing Politics and Disrupting Lives: Thoughts After The Government Shutdown


Image courtesy of The Washington Post.

On October 16, 2013, Congress finally reached a deal to re-open the government and extend the debt ceiling.  This deal provides funding for the government through January 15, 2014 and extends the debt ceiling through February 7, 2014.

The political shenanigans lasted for 16 days, leaving hundreds of thousands of government workers furloughed.  According to Standard & Poor’s, the economy took an estimated $24 billion hit as a result of the shutdown.  As reported by Eliana Dockterman for, small businesses were impacted by “frozen government contracts and stalled business loans. Tourism suffered from closed national parks, and military families had to cope without childcare and other services.”  Under the deal, federal workers will receive back pay.  However, federal contractors may not be able to recoup their lost wages.

The shutdown was an unnecessary political showdown that disrupted the livelihood of many people.  The actions (or inaction) of our political officials proved just how out of touch they are with the people they represent.  They will stop at nothing when they have an agenda to push through.  They will railroad, lambast, blaspheme, lie, you name it…  And in this case, all because they wanted to repeal the Affordable Care Act.

How sad, disgraceful, and upsetting it was to see our representatives acting like spoiled children…  Pointing fingers, passing blame, throwing temper tantrums because they couldn’t (or didn’t) get their way.  I guess the lessons of working through your differences, owning up to your shortcomings, and standing together to achieve common goals and solutions for the greater the good have been forgotten.

Though the shutdown has ended, one can only imagine how long its after effects will persist.  I hope everyone is awake.  I hope everyone can see our elected officials truly for who they are.  And I hope everyone remembers this when it’s time to vote in 2014 and 2016.  If our officials haven’t learned anything and we end up in the same predicament in 2014 and again in subsequent years, then it’s time for us to teach them a lesson.  Take our government, our people, and our nation for granted, and watch us vote you out of office.

Does The GOP Really Want Your Vote? – Latest on MUSED

Image courtesy of MUSED.

A 100-page “autopsy” report by the Republican National Committee (RNC) confirmed that the GOP has an outreach problem.  Judging from the audience at the 2012 Republican National Convention, it was quite clear the GOP has been unable to connect with the youth and minorities for some time.  Looks like this is soon going to change.  Raffi Williams, son of journalist and Fox News political analyst Juan Williams, has been tapped as the Deputy Press Secretary of the RNC.  He will work to create initiatives to outreach to the youth and African Americans.  To learn more, read “Does the GOP Really Want Your Vote?” on MUSED.
MUSED Magazine Online is a pioneering “digital destination for lifestyle, entertainment & culture for modern black gay men.  MUSED serves as a collective of experiences and issues we care about” (see About MUSED).  Its mission is to raise the level of consciousness for our community and provide reliable, relevant, interactive, and engaging content for its readers.  MUSED is the only weekly online magazine for black gay men.

Major thanks and props to Drew-Shane Daniels and the MUSED family for featuring the article! 

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Peace, Love, and Many Blessings!

~ BuddahDesmond

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Day 14: From Beauty to Ugliness

Welcome to the Blizzard of 2010!  It’s winter in the DC Metro Area and it’s a big mess.  After over 20 inches of snow, people are losing or have lost their minds, patience, and humanity (practically). People were fighting in the grocery stores over food.  Driving like bats out of hell on the roads.  And expecting cleaning crews to do magic tricks to get things back in order.  With this much snow, normalcy will be a dream not achieved for some time.  Many of our neighborhoods still have yet to be plowed, many of us don’t have power, and have no way of getting around (if you’re depending on public transportation).

My fiance’ & I have been without power and heat since last Friday night (when the storm hit).  You could see your breath in front of your face in our place.  It was just that cold.  We couldn’t spend another night at home so we decided to try to get a hotel room.  Because the roads were so bad we couldn’t get to the strip where most of the hotels were in our area (Rockville/Bethesda), so we ended up heading to my mom & granny’s house.  What was usually a one-hour trip took almost two hours.  It was a scary trip.  Many of the street lights were out.  Only the left and right lanes were clear.  The center lanes were full of ice and compacted snow.  We were on edge the whole way.  But we made it safely (thank god).

Since the roads are still terrible – we’re staying put (working from mom & granny’s until further notice).  I typically take public transportation to and from work everyday so you know that’s out of the question.  The underground stations are the only stations being serviced.  Bus and Marc train service is limited. You’d be out of your mind to even think about a taxi.

There’s really not much we can do besides hoping and praying for the best.  The really sad part of it all is that this area never seems to be prepared for any major emergency.  And I think for it to be the DC Metro Area that it’s totally unacceptable.  People are freezing in their homes, looking for their next meals… They can’t even get off their streets to go to the store let alone to work.  Pepco can’t get to the affected areas without power because plows have yet to clear many streets (especially in Montgomery County).  Had this been technological or biological warfare it would be every man, woman, and child for themselves.  I can’t bare to imagine what it would be in either of these situations…  The meteorologists are predicting that we may get another foot or more of snow between Tuesday and Wednesday…

Snow…  It’s so beautiful and peaceful when it snows.  So quiet, so Edenic, so pure…  But in the aftermath – snow loses it’s beauty and brings out the ugliness in people, the process for clean-up, and the issues that arise when government fails to have a plan in place in the event of a snow emergency.  Yes, welcome to the Blizzard of 2010!