Recently in Congress Category

No journey is ever begun until hope fills the first steps for reaching the destination.

The American people want a capable government, able to bring back a robust economy, and healthy future for all American's benefit. Poll after poll reflects an approval rating of Congress in the teens or low 20 percent range. It is a gross distraction under any president's administration to accuse the president of being responsible for the incompetence and ineptitude of Congress. Our Constitution stipulates that Congress legislates and our President executes what Congress legislates.
The alleged sexual crimes committed against children at Penn State have been called sexual abuse and scandal. They are in fact, alleged crimes and torture of children. They are heinous, if the allegations are true. Outside an institution with a reputation and integrity to protect, almost any witness to such crime would call the police. Inside institutions of repute, however, too many such crimes against women, men, and children, go unreported, and covered up. Are our institutions more important than the innocent people harassed, abused, or even tortured, within them? So far, the answer seems to be, yes.

There is a simple formula for our politicians to follow to end deficits and pay down debt. If followed, this 5 rule budget process will reap political advantage for the Party that subscribes to it. It is common sense. Most middle class families in control of their monthly bills and income will recognize it right away. Let's take a look at these short and simple, common sense budget rules.
 

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Broken Capital, Courtesy: Center for Public Integrity

Last night, with less than an hour to go before shutting down the U.S. Federal government, an agreement of intent was reached to avoid the shutdown. If one can call such brinkmanship up to the edge of the precipice, a working system, then our American system worked. The problem with Russian Roulette is that eventually, the chamber actually has a bullet in it when the trigger is pulled.

Homophobes Lose It

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Obama For LGBT Rights

Image by VJnet via Flickr

Pres. Obama made good on another of his campaign promises, in signing into law the end of the Don't Ask, Don't Tell policy in our military. No doubt, homophobes will contemplate how to reverse the new law, as the believers that only the wealthier should be able to afford health care, press to reverse that new legislation, as well. As hard as it is these days to pass a law, repealing them is even harder. Which feeds right into the belief system of conservatives who fear costly programs can never be repealed.
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President Obama's bipartisan National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform is better known as the Debt Reduction Committee. It is made up of 18 members, Republican and Democrat, elected officials and some non-elected. They released their report yesterday. Member's comments on the report and process were aired on TV. Despite all the backslapping and mutual admiration comments, the report will definitely not receive a unanimous vote tomorrow. It will quite possibly be dead, on arrival of the vote.

boxers.jpgCongress is back in session. Oh, how the speeches are flowing on C-Span 1 and 2. Some of it sounds wonderful. All of it sounds as deeply partisan as the Grand Canyon. But, there are clues that what is to come of it all, may have some real benefit for the American people and their future. Here are some positive things I am hearing in all that 'speechifying'.

Sen. John Cornyn Smiling.jpgDear Sen. Cornyn,

In your reply to my petition regarding the Citizen's United case, you said:

"I agree with the Supreme Court's decision to strike down a law that violates the intent of the First Amendment, which reads: "Congress shall make no law...abridging the Freedom of Speech, or of the Press."

money in ballot boxThe Disclose Act bill will require full disclosure by corporations and labor unions who exercise their new found right to control American elections by buying up the media channels and campaigning for, or against, individual candidates. This right was defined by our activist conservative Supreme Court in the case of "Citizens United v FEC" a few months ago. The Disclose Act does not go near far enough to prevent corporations and labor unions from owning election outcomes. It is however, an important first step in the right direction.

One Congressman says worriedly to another, walking briskly down to the House Floor, "Is my face red? I spent the whole morning in session with our Chinese lobbyist. Great deal. But, God, I hope it doesn't show."

National Journal reports in an article entitled, Under The Influence, that during the year of the Health Care Reform debate 2009, "The Chamber [of Commerce] spent $123.3 million on all lobbying activities, compared to $62.3 million in 2008, according to lobbying disclosure forms."

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