Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Time of "Hope" becomes Time of "Nope."

I live four blocks from the Capitol (yes, that Capitol), so it's very difficult to avoid lots and lots of political blather. But I do my best.

This year it's particularly hard. I am a Democrat (what are the odds of that?), and remain very disappointed in the party's performance. Others more qualified than I can examine and dissect all the monumental things which have gone wrong with the President's agenda, a matter which he will probably address in his first State of the Union Address tonight.

Health Care Reform seems dead in the water, which distresses me on the personal level. I don't know if the current bills would even have eased any of my difficulties, nobody can really explain all the details clearly to me. I am persuaded that Obama's sincere desire to allow the legislature to handle this gargantuan issue was naivete on his part. As has been pointed out by others, the guy should have come up with his own plan, then submitted it to congress for review and passage. Instead, well, everybody knows what happened next.

My health insurance ends in June, after which I'll have to come up with exorbitant COBRA payments until I re-qualify through my union's plan, a process which can sometimes take a year or more. I'd like another option, please.

Anyway, today, in the midst of a very busy week (rehearsals for my next project have begun, an important audition has reared its head, and there is still much prep to be done regarding the annual group audition I help run next week), I received the following alert from the District of Columbia.

Remember, I live four blocks from the Capitol.

Street Closures for President’s State of the Union Address.

(Washington, D.C.)

The United States Capitol Police have provided the following information regarding security restrictions for the President’s State of the Union Address on Wednesday, January 27, 2010.

The Capitol Square will be restricted to authorized pedestrians only beginning at 6 pm on January 27.

In addition, Capitol Police will be closing the following streets surrounding the Capitol on Wednesday at 7:30 pm until the event has concluded:

D Street between 2nd Street, NE & Louisiana Avenue, NW

C Street between 2nd Street, NE & Louisiana Avenue, NW

Constitution Avenue between 2nd Street, NE & Louisiana Avenue, NW

Delaware Avenue between Columbus Circle & Constitution Avenue, NE

New Jersey Avenue between Louisiana Avenue, NW & D Street, NW

Pennsylvania Avenue between 1st Street, NW & 3rd Street, NW

East Capitol Street between 2nd Street & 1st Street

1st Street between Columbus Circle, NE & C Street, SE

1st Street between Louisiana Avenue, NW and Washington Avenue, SW

Maryland Avenue between 1st Street, SW & 3rd Street, SW

Independence Avenue between 2nd Street, SE & Washington Avenue, SW

C Street between 1st Street, SE & Washington Avenue, SW

Delaware Avenue between Washington Avenue, SW & C Street, SW

New Jersey Avenue between Independence Avenue, SE & D Street, SE

South Capitol Street between Independence Avenue & D Street

Now I know that, constitutionally, the president must report on the state of the union annually to the public, via the legislature. But the habit of his coming to the Capitol is old fashioned, a tradition set back when there was no other way for his message to be presented. Why must he disrupt my very busy week with his visit to the Capitol, just to deliver a speech?

Hasn't this guy ever heard of Skype?