Wow, writing this post’s heading, I’ve just realized that this will be the last OpinionList of 2013. I better make it good. But, it’s the holidays! I better keep it short.


Worst Congress: NPR reports, “We’re only at halftime for the 113th Congress, but if current trends hold, it’s well on track to being the least productive lawmaking effort in the nation’s history.” NPR’s main metric is the number of bills that have become law (58), but then goes on to explain how the government shutdown and the bottleneck on major legislation regarding immigration, climate change,  and others are contributing to this poor performance. In my opinion, this Congress’ poor performance is due to the GOP’s decision to block President Obama regardless of the consequences. Conservatives’ political posturing, en-masse obstruction and irresponsible behavior sum up to political malpractice and this will be the worst Congress in the history of our nation, even if it manages to squeak by a few laws that numerically will place it in 2nd worst.


Don’t Eat McDonald’s: Especially if you’re a McDonald’s employee. ThinkProgress reports, “McDonald’s employees should steer clear of fast food, the website warns, because meal consisting of burger, fries, and a soda cause weight gain.” Then again McDonald’s doesn’t pay its employees enough money to be able to afford healthy food. In fact this wise advise to stay clear of junk food is probably more about keeping the company’s healthcare costs down (if they offer healthcare) than about caring for its employees. “The McResource Line is now infamous for advising low-income fast food workers to sell Christmas presents for cash and to live on food stamps. The corporation stands firm against wages, despite facing embarrassment whenever McDonald’s discusses its $7.81 hourly wage workforce. On these wages, even McDonald’s admitted it is nearly for workers to afford basic expenses from healthy food to heating to transportation.” Welcome to corporate greed.


Splitting Spitzers: Former New York Governor Eliot Spitzer and his wife, Silda, are splitting up. This is not at all surprising considering his past very expensive extra-marital activities. What is surprising is that it took so long. But maybe not, it seems that Silda was sticking around until the results of the race for New York comptroller came in (and showed that he lost). Who would trust the guy who spent $80,000 on prostitutes to manage the city’s budget? Anyway, the Spitzer marriage is the second casualty of the three politicians who got caught with their pants down and the subject of my post The Post-Apocalyptic Dating Game: Schwarzenegger, Spitzer, Weiner. If you haven’t played it yet, you should.

Christmas Spirit: Driving back and forth to the stores before Christmas day I saw a homeless man holding up a sign “Merry Christmas, I’m hungry” at a red light. I gave him some money and watched as others did the same. His answer was always the same, a smile and a “God bless you.” This is not the first Christmas nor the first time that I have this encounter. But as I watched a driver in a Porsche put up his window as he passed him, I wondered why is it that someone who has nothing can be so generous with his words and one who has so much give nothing? We should all imagine what it would be like to be on the street hungry, dirty, and alone. Then it would be impossible not to catch the Christmas spirit of giving, not only to those we love but to those we don’t even know.


Note: Original publication date: 12-27-13. Date has been changed for display purposes only.