Wednesday, July 2, 2008

A Very Congress January

Dick Morris has a new book out. He certainly didn't want to leave anything out of the title, so he called it "Fleeced: How Washington Insiders, Foreign Lobbyists, Subprime Lenders, Credit Card Companies, Iraq Reconstruction Contractors, and Clinton Cronies Are Picking Our Pockets... and What to Do About It." Got all that? Good. Next!

There's a chapter in it that details what Congress did for an entire month. The month "documented" was January, 2008. Now, remember, this is Congress. They're "working" for YOU. Your tax dollars hard at work here. (Granted, your tax dollars do go for things that are more inane at times. Ridiculous scientific studies, narrowly focused research projects, etc. But while those things eat up your tax dollars by the millions per minute, those folks aren't necessarily working for "you" (definitely not as much as they are satisfying their own personal agendas most of the time).
  • The session began January 3, 2008 at 12:00pm. The session adjourned at 12:02pm. Wait. What? (Not yet, not yet, NOT YET! I've just started.)
  • After those strenuous 120 seconds, they took a week off.

  • They came back on January 11, 2008 and passed a resolution mourning the death of President Ford. (We need a resolution for that? We can't mourn resolutionless? How come?)

  • All of that mourning resolution passing must have been exhausting for them, so they took four days off and came back on the 15th of January.

  • On January 15, 2008, the Quorum call was at 7:31am. At precisely 7:53am, a grueling 22 minutes later, they were done.

  • On the 16th of January, woo-boy, they were on fire! First, they commended the University of Florida Gators for winning the Bowl Championships. (Yes, that's what I envision our Congressional Representatives doing with their time. Commending college football teams.) They observed Martin Luther King, Jr.'s birthday. AND they commended the Boise State University Broncos football team (See? Just like I had envisioned!).

  • On the 17th, still in full honoring mode, they honored Muhammed Ali.

  • On the18th, they congratulated the Grand Valley State University Lakers for winning the Division II football championship. (I see a trend.)

  • After that, they were just beat (Hey! They just "worked" four whole days in a row and commended three separate college teams! Doesn't that sound just exhausting to you? It doesn't? Hmmm...something may be amiss throughout the halls of Congress.), so they took four days off.

  • On the 22nd, returning all rested up and feeling just fresh as daisies, Congress used that new found energy to rename a post office in Roanoke, Virginia.

  • On the 23rd, not content with all of these things that just last one day, they passed National Stalking Awareness Month for January. A whole month! (Isn't a month to be "aware" of "stalking" a little pointless? I mean, in order to KNOW that we're being "stalked" in the first place, we have to be "aware" of it, thus rendering the designation of an entire month for the awareness of all the stalking a bit unnecessary.)

  • Well, you know they had to have been winded after that one. (I mean, they just got done passing that month long awareness thing. It sounds positively exhausting.) So they took five days off.

  • Returning on the 28th, right on the heels of their post office renaming stint from the week before, they renamed another post office (hey, they felt like they were getting good at it!), this time on the opposite coast in the state of California. And they didn't feel the need to stop there. Renaming buildings? They're CONGRESS! So they renamed a Federal building in Washington state. Then they extended their well-practiced and often invoked commendations to commend the West Virginia University Mountaineer football team (no word on what the commendation was for, but I'm assuming they won something). They figured that since they're so good at commending things, perhaps they should branch out and perhaps try their hands at a little bit of honoring. So they honored the Texas Water Development Board (TWDB) and then renamed another post office, this time in the Rocky Mountain High state of Colorado.

  • And that's January.

Wait for Wait. What? WTF?

Let's see. We have them commending FOUR university football teams. We have them renaming THREE post offices. We have them honoring TWO individuals. We have a day of mourning, a nod to the TWDB, and a month of stalking awareness (Stalking awareness. Like celery? How much do I have to be aware of it? It's green. It's leafy. Is there more?). Say, how many days did YOU work during the month of January? If you were a Congressman or Congresswoman, you worked a total of NINE days. And one of those days lasted TWO minutes! It's taken me longer than TWO minutes to type this.

While I might not be fully aware of ALL of the duties and responsibilities that a Congressional Representative may have, I'm pretty sure that it involves more than a bunch of commending and honoring and renaming things. I'll tell you, I've watched a lot of Schoolhouse Rock in my time. I'm quite aware of how a bill becomes a law. I'm also aware of how the other branches of our government are supposed to work. I don't recall anything like this ever popping up on Schoolhouse Rock. There were NO college football teams commended EVER on Schoolhouse Rock. (Sure that Franklin guy ran the wrong way on the football field when the game was tied at seven all, but that was about interjections, not commendations, so it's really not the same.)

I had no idea it took an act of Congress to rename a post office. I'd really like to know if there has ever been an objection to a proposed renaming of a post office. What could they possibly object to? Not very mail-y? What? Why do they need to vote? Just do it already.

This is ridiculous. And here's the real kicker: Those in Congress are there because the people ASKED them to be (a la voting for them). Now it's time for the people to TELL them to leave (a la by not voting for them). Things are a mess and it doesn't look like they're going to change any time soon. Thus, I sadly don't have a lot of faith that the majority of voters will educate themselves on the current Congressional representatives and then vote for someone else. Why do I feel that way? Do you mean, why do I feel that way aside from Dick Morris's summary of how Congress spends their time and our money? I can sum up my hopeless disposition with three words.

Senator Robert Byrd.

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