[In the] poison arrow sutra, a person asks the teacher about reincarnation. The teacher replies that it is like a man being hit with a poison arrow who asks all about the arrow, how it was made, the type of feathers and poison used, etc. What he fails to do is get the arrow out. Zen is about getting the arrow out while you can. [ source ]
The US pols arguing about the "frills" in the stimulus package are like a man hit with a poison arrow who starts paring down the feathers and changing the wood in the shaft, whilst the poison seeps deeper into his bloodstream. Good thing they have an Aloha Zen president! I wish him the best of luck in convincing those pols to get the arrow out whilst they still can.
Another analogy would be "fiddling about whilst the global economy burns"
This just in from Mike Allen's Politico Playbook Daily Update:
TOP STORY -- Politico's Jonathan Martin finds a re-energized President Obama 'sounding like the candidate he was a few months ago, passionately and unmistakably chastising Republicans and reminding Americans of the policies they so soundly rejected on Election Day. In a fired-up, mostly impromptu speech to House Democrats in Williamsburg, Va., Thursday night, Obama accused his Republican critics of wanting to return to 'the same policies that for the last eight years doubled the national debt and threw our economy into a tailspin.' 'I don't care whether you're driving a hybrid or an SUV,' he said. 'If you're headed for a cliff, you have to change direction. That's what the American people called for in November, and that's what we intend to deliver.'
'It was new rhetoric delivered with a more insistent tone – one reminiscent of the final days of the campaign - and it offers a preview of the emphatic final argument Obama will make in the week before his self-imposed deadline to get the bill passed. And, fittingly, it comes as Obama takes his case for the stimulus on the road. The president is scheduled to hold his first White House news conference Monday in prime time, and will then leave Washington early next week to hold campaign-style events centered on getting the recovery measure passed ... Sixteen days into his administration, Obama's language and tone reflected a new urgency.'