The C-town Blues

incompetence

Another season has come and gone for the Cleveland Browns.  Depression and loathing again permeate the landscape.  Another Browns vs Steelers weekend is meaningless, and the result is sure to be disgusting and embarrassing.  Another Sunday will be wasted nonetheless.  But, why?  Will it ever change?

No matter the season, football, baseball or basketball, Clevelanders always fall for the hook.  We believe the hype. We listen to the latest regime and eat it up.  “Sustainability” is the latest fodder fed to us.  Why not start with putting a team on the field that we would want to sustain?  A .500 season might be something to shoot for next season.

Instead, it is back to the drawing board again.  Let the draft talk begin.  It is after all the best part of a Browns fan’s season over the last 15 years.  Let’s just hope the front office can top the last draft! What a joke that was.  Yet, we will all be watching in April.  The Draft has become a Clevelander’s Super Bowl.  What a sad state of affairs.

I am not sure how or why we do it.  We are a special breed.  I for one have not lived in Cleveland in over 20 years and could have jumped ship numerous times.  Yet, I keep rooting for the Cleveland Browns.  Heckled by neighbors and even friends, yet I keep on, a stranger in a strange land keeping the faith.  Flying that flag should be a sense of pride, but it has become a symbol of futility.

The lone bright spot to this season finally coming to an end is at least the depression will subside.

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Leadership PACs – Built for Corruption

I try to stay away from discussing politics, but recently, I have been bothered by something that is not a party issue, but a congressional issue.  For years, I have heard the term “leadership PAC” and had no idea what it meant.  I knew it was related to campaign financing, and I assumed that it was regulated much the same. I was wrong. These leadership PACs (Political Action Committees) are, in layman’s terms, slush funds and bribery clearing houses for our congressmen and women.

Friends, supporters and lobbyists are able to donate money to these PACs, which are not regulated as normal campaign funds would be.  This means the money in the PAC can be used for almost anything. This includes travel to 5 star golf resorts as long as the trip can be justified (which is not hard) as being related to the PAC.  Other members of Congress have even used this money to purchase luxury suites at football stadiums (you have to hold meetings somewhere!).  Many people donating to these PACS are unaware of this fact.  They are blindly giving money hoping that it will help with the politicians campaigning.

Unfortunately, there is an obvious problem with allowing these political action committees.  There is money involved!  And, we all know things can get dicey when it comes down to money.  Congressman can be bribed to try and sway a vote by lobbyists or individuals donating to these leadership PACs.  They are even used to strong-arm money from donors.  Donors can be told that a vote will not come up until the next session of Congress unless they donate more money to the PAC.  This money can then be used to donate/bribe other congressman to help get the vote in on time.

A leadership PAC to those with common sense is a bad idea in many ways.  The problem is the only way to get rid of them would be for Congress to pass a law to ban them, and we know that is not going to happen.  So, if you plan on bribing a politician make sure you send the check to the leadership PAC not the normal campaign fund.