I was encouraged to post this past article of mine while having a discussion with my blogging friend, LA. You should check out her blog – just click on the link.
And to put that article in context with today’s Congress, I remember reading about how the House of Representatives, of this 116th Congress, had passed over 400 pieces of legislation, but also about how the Senate leadership refused to bring any of that legislation before the Senate for a vote, to draft a compromise bill, or even draft an alternative bill to address those same issues. It seems the Senate was too busy packing the Courts to consider legislation that might actually help the people.
Not a very efficient group. The Senate. Where most of the power lies in Congress.
This, of course, partially explains why the US approval rating for Congress is only at 15 percent. And studies have shown that Congress (both Chambers) only pass legislation that the people actually want about a third of the time. (Watch the Video – it’s not partisan) The rest of the time they are . . . well, what the hell are they doing???
Continue reading Prelude to a Postmortem – Politics as Usual
You might wish to read the Prelude to this post. Below is a reprint of an article I wrote back in 1997. It was originally titled by me as “Politics as Usual? It was published by the Columbia Missourian on January 16, 1997, under the title, “Our Busy Congress.”
It’s hard not to notice the political feuds in Congress these days. On one hand we have President Bill Clinton, the highest-ranking Democrat in the country, immersed in a scandal over accepting illegal campaign contributions. On the other hand, we have Newt Gingrich, re-elected Speaker of the House, and one of the highest-ranking Republicans in the country, immersed in a scandal over illegal use of legally donated campaign funds.
For those of you who have managed to remain totally news-free, or in a padded cell for the past two months, it seems the President accepted large contributions (in excess of $2 million) from overseas interests in Asia, and Newt funneled domestic campaign contributions through tax-exempt GOP organizations to sponsor his own politically-oriented college classes. Clinton returned the money, or so that’s the official position, and Newt followed up his digressions by lying to a Congressional Subcommittee. So now that money is back in Asia, and Newt has admitted to his lies, many people feel everything is just wonderful again.
Such is politics.
Continue reading A Postmortem of the 103rd Congress
One of the things I like about Word Press is that our posts can generate some great discussion. Unlike many other social media pages where, on occasion (ok, all too frequently) I see many hateful exchanges.
A couple of days ago a post of mine generated some great discussion on how governments and local communities attempt to shape social behavior. The idea behind this is to favor what is usually considered the betterment of the whole community or the country at large.
Of course, this begs the questions, “Who gets to decide what’s best for everybody?” And “Just because it’s best for everybody (if it really is), why should I be compelled to do it.”
It’s a balancing of interests.
Continue reading Conversations – Selflessness versus Selfishness