Congress At Work. Well, Maybe Not

Okay. To say that this country is a mess right now is certainly an understatement.

Our economy brings back bad memories of the Great Depression.

Millions are unemployed and may never return to their original job if they happen to depend on one of the thousands of businesses that have been forced to close and might not reopen.

Tens of thousands of Americans have died from the Trump Virus, with the number increasing each day by as many as one death every 80 seconds.

And we are about to reopen schools during a pandemic, putting millions of students (and their families), teachers, administrators and support staff at risk.

Gee. You would think that this is a time that would demand common sense — and leadership.

But alas, both are in shorter supply than toilet paper.

It’s really no fun any more writing about Trump and his ineptitude. If nothing else, POTUS defines the Peter Principle. Sad.

But what about Congress?

Certainly we should be able to rely on leadership during this crisis from the men and women who we send to Washington to act in the public interest.

Well, no.

Clearly, people throughout the nation need enhanced unemployment and income protections, health care insurance, limits on being evicted from their houses or apartments and yada, yada, yada. Bernie: Where are you when we need you? I digress.

Well, while the nation burns, members of Congress can’t do much more than fiddle.

Here’s from CNN:

Washington (CNN)Don’t expect a another stimulus check anytime soon.

While there’s bipartisan support for a second round of direct payments, negotiators have walked away from talks without a deal, and most lawmakers have now returned to their home states.Congress let three key coronavirus relief programs created in March — enhanced unemployment benefits, eviction protection and a small business loan program — expire during the past two weeks.
In the meantime, the economy is showing few signs of recovering from the pandemic. Thirty million people are collecting unemployment, consumer spending is down 8% from January and the number of open small businesses has fallen 18%. The unemployment rate remains higher than at any time during the Great Recession.

I’m not sure what relief members of Congress should focus on. But you would think that something needs to be done. And sooner rather than later.

So what has created the logjam?

A simple explanation:


Or another:


I’ll admit that I am becoming fairly discouraged by the inaction that we see every day from our elected representatives in Congress and in the White House.

Come November, it might be a good time for us to vote in a way that advances the agenda of the American people.

And those who are thrown out of office as a result can always find a new gig as a lobbyist or as a talking head on Fox News or MSNBC.

The Virus And Beer Festivals

Okay. It’s time to admit defeat and concede that the Trump virus is going to alter life as we know if for months (at a minimum) to come.

I tried to remain optimistic after a scheduled trip to Hilton Head was cancelled in March.

And I kind of just shrugged my shoulders in resignation as the virus sunk my planned European river cruise in early June.

But now shit has gotten real. One of my favorite events every summer is the Breckenridge Summer Beer Fest, set this year for July 11. As I’ve written previously on these pages, it’s hard to top an event that combines a scenic mountain venue, blue skies and sunshine, with the best tasting craft beer from around the state.

Here’s my post from when I attended the festival two years ago.


Beer And Happy Places

I spent a delightful day last Saturday, July 7, at Breckenridge, attending that community’s annual beer festival. Breckenridge is one of the happiest places I’ve been fortunate enough to visit. And since it’s only about a two hour drive from my home in Woodland Park, Breckenridge is a neat little mountain ski town that serves as a delightful venue for a short get-out-of-town vacation.

And sampling craft beer from about 50 vendors from Colorado and other parts of the United States, while being surrounded by mountains at more than 9,000 feet and with music pumping in the background, certainly adds to the experience.

Since moving to Colorado from Ohio I find I am more inclined to go to these kind of events. I guess it has something to do with the near perfect weather, long stretches of blue sky and sunlight, and low humidity.

Also, the mindset of people living in and visiting Colorado is different. Given the excuse to get outside, they appear all too pleased to take it. Me included.

And when you add beer to the mix, well, it’s a pretty happy place.


Admittedly, it’s hard to hold a beer festival while at the same time asking people to social distance and wear a face mask. Although it doesn’t appear that the protesters — peaceful or otherwise — who have taken to the streets throughout the country are bound by similar restraints or concerns. I digress.

So I guess it should be no surprise that I learned today that this year’s event has been cancelled.

From the organizers:

Hello Friends!
We have come to the very difficult decision to cancel the Breckenridge Summer Beer Fest 2020. I know that we all wanted this event to happen so bad, but for the sake of all of our partners and the health of the community we are going to cancel this year’s event. We will plan to have the event next year. Please enjoy a beer in the sunshine on July 11th and send us a picture of yourselves drinking it!