My friend Claude commented on my extended take on the last-minute CRomnibus bill which passed in the US Senate on December 13.
Claude Todoroff It was business as usual for the Congress. Waiting until the last second to pass a bill and one so big that nobody knows what's in it. Most of Congress is composed of lawyers and lawyers always tell you to read the contract before you sign so it amazes me that time after time they vote before they have read the thing. Naturally reading these gigantic bills is not enough you also have to understand what you are voting on. We saw with Obamacare that nobody in Congress had read the bill and it came back to biting the Democraps in the tushie.
While I share his frustration with the lack of transparency in Washington, what has changed significantly in the last four years is that Congressional representatives are having a harder time hiding their backroom deals. Social media, and instant internet coverage, plus cheaper means for communicating with representatives and constituents have forced legislators to pay attention, or else.
I hope that once the GOP takes control of the Senate in about 3 weeks these omnibus spending bills will be a thing of the past. Perhaps Boehner, McConnell and their lieutenants will get a spine transplant over the next 3 weeks. I suspect the only way we will ever get a Congress that does the will of the people is to take the special interest (K-Street) money out of politics and go to a system of taxpayer funding of all candidates and elections. Let's face it the candidate you contributed your heart earned donation to of anywhere from $5 to thousands of dollars will not return your phone call. However, when bundlers like Jon Corzine call Senator X or a Fortune 500 firms calls they will get your Senator's or Representative's ear. Joe taxpayer is just plain S.O.L.
William Bloomfield Jr. outspent Congressman Henry Waxman four-to-one in 2012 to win the new 33rd Congressional District, and lost by six points during a President election year. Democrats outspent Republicans in key battleground US Senate races in 2014, and still lost. The force of ideas and voter resentment are stronger than mass blitz advertising. Of course, money is crucial for getting one's message out, but money alone will not by voter's consent. Virginia economics professor David Brat had one-tenth the funding of his primary incumbent challenger Eric Cantor, yet Cantor lost the primary by ten points.
Taxpayer funded campaigning will only assist big government incumbents and make it next-to-impossible to get rid of them. Why would we want to muzzle freedom of speech for individual Americans and concerned interest groups in our country? There is too much government in our daily lives, and we should not invite it into regulating how much money is spent on elections.
Then we listen to our politicians and reporters telling us how corrupt Mexico or Afghanistan is. Insider trading is legal for Congress and taking millions of campaign contributions from corporate America and we have the audacity and nerve to call other countries corrupt? Get a clue America. We the people get sold down the river to crony-capitalism and we don't let their be consequences on election day.
Citizens United was the first "getting a clue", and individuals can spend as much money as they please in elections, but not directly to candidates. Prof. Bradley Smith explains here that corporations contribute a fraction of PAC spending. Individual donations are increasing. Despite the corruption of President Obama, the United States of America is a haven of open governance and accountability compared to kleptocracy Mexico and mob-terrorist Afghanistan. Why else would so many individuals from these and other countries seek to live in the USA?
Mark Levin wrote a book last year about having the states call a congress of the states to propose amendments like the balanced budget Amendment, term limits etc. Has any state house acted on that idea? Not that I am aware of and after the Nov. election the GOP controls almost 2/3 of those state houses. What are they waiting for?
I could not agree more. Where do I sign up, or how do the states initiate the convention process?
The Founding Fathers envisioned the 3 branches of government protecting their turf. The only branch that seems to be doing that is the executive branch. Congress knows that what Obama is doing is unconstitutional but nobody in Congress wants to give future presidents a message by impeaching Obama. Nixon left the White House because he knew he had lost the support of too many GOP Senators. Obama doesn't have to worry because the Democrats are happy to be toothless in the face of his usurpation of power.
Nixon resigned when Republicans, members of his own party still in the Congressional minority, bailed on him and pressured him to step down. Unfortunately, the GOP brand was too tarnished at that point. For impeachment to be viable, sixty-seven senators have to vote for conviction, or it's a waste of time. If enough Democrats fear for their seats and their party's future, then impeachment should be the next step.
Have a Merry Christmas and ask yourself how many more Christmases can we keep going with a corrupt political system and a president who acts like Caesar. Does Obama have to cross the Potomac and make the speech "Veni, Vedi, Vici" after his next state of the union message?
Dankeshoen für das Lesen und Ihre Gedanken teilen, mon cher Allemand.