Saturday, January 12, 2013

Why We're Broke in Washington

Amusing . . . and a perfect illustration of why we're broke in Washington
The guy that sent me this said he would add "knee to the nuts" as another thing he likes better than Congress. It takes no genius to realize that when a populace feels like this about the people who govern them, the society is on shaky ground. Already there 's substantial chatter about the next looming disaster we face: the debt ceiling debate. Let me point out something that you know, but probably tend to forget amidst all the hand-wringing and hoopla going on--and oh, how the lamestream media love it! Another contest! Another game of winners and losers! Another thing to distract them from any serious discussion of the real issues--anyway, you're apt to forget that these so-called "crises" we're facing are completely self-imposed by the very idiots we elect to make sure stuff like this doesn't happen. Self-imposed. Boehner cannot keep his Tea Party crazies on the reservation, so we've all got a problem. Congress passed legislation creating the so-called "fiscal cliff" and we've all got the problem. What's wrong with this picture, folks? Why do we keep putting these same clowns back in office?

And then there's the Senate. This bunch is so hidebound by their rules that they've been willing partners with that collection of clowns in the House. Since when did a "majority" of 100 people get to be defined as 60 people and not 51 people. Why when the Senate decided that a filibuster, which can only be shut down by a cloture vote--and that's two-thirds of a hundred--no longer has to actually be a filibuster. Now it can be a cell phone call by some senator saying he or she is going to filibuster a bill. That's all it takes. Guy doesn't have to get up and talk anymore.

I got the following in email from one Colin Holtz of Rebuild the Dream Innovation Fund. It's instructive. And it's why the Senate is paralyzed to do anything except give TV interviews. I tell you, brothers and sisters, we're the idiots to put up with this stuff.

Nine Reasons the Filibuster Is Completely Broken and We Should Fix it

9. Because nothing says democracy like one dude blocking progress for 315 million people.

8. A modern-day "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington" remake would be about 15 minutes long, and feature the senator placing a silent filibuster and then skipping town.

7. Requiring a super-majority to pass anything at all is really just a terrible, horrible, no good very bad way to run a country.

6. Lyndon "Master of the Senate" Johnson wouldn't have had such a cool nickname if he'd had to overcome 386 filibusters. Harry Reid's faced 386 filibusters. How many filibusters did LBJ face? One.

5. It allows far-right senators to stonewall any bills or nominations that they object to. Or which mildly annoy them. Or just because they feel like it. This is stupid.

4. If government never does anything to help (because of a messed up Senate rule) people start thinking the government CAN'T do anything to help. Which hurts everyone.

3. Fixing the filibuster only requires a majority vote. Kinda ironic, right?

2. If you singlehandedly block proposals that would help millions of people including your own constituents, is it really too much to ask for you to stand up and explain yourself?

1. Because undocumented youth who have never done anything wrong should have a shot at citizenship, women should make the same amount as their male peers, stronger unions would mean a stronger middle class, & there's too much money in our politics... but bills tackling all of these problems passed the House but were killed by silent filibuster in the Senate.


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