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October 07, 2009

Silly Taxpayer: 40-Hour Work Weeks are for the Little People

Remember when Congress promised to work four or five days a week when the Dems took over in 2006? They were going to really work hard and earn their pay from us. Well, the more things change, the more they stay the same:

Like most Americans, members of the House are expected to report promptly — no excuses — when summoned by their bosses for the start of another workweek. One difference: For lawmakers, starting time doesn’t come until about 6:30 Tuesday evening.

After taking control of the House in 2006 — and again when President Barack Obama was elected president in 2008 — Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) boasted that lawmakers would work four or five days a week to bring change to America.

But midway through Obama’s first year in office, Hoyer’s House has settled into a more leisurely routine. Members usually arrive for the first vote of the week as the sun sets on Tuesdays, and they’re usually headed back home before it goes down again on Thursdays.

Since the House returned for its fall session on Sept. 8, it has stuck around to vote on a Friday just once: to approve a 5.8 percent increase in Congress’s own budget.

Read more here.

An aide defended the schedule by claiming it's silly to keep representatives in Washington for four or five days if they can get the work done in a shorter amount of time.

Ah, I see - the House is efficient! So efficient that they've all had time to read the enormous health care "reform" bill we've heard so much about, right?


That's what I thought.

Of course, on the bright side, the less time they spend in Washington, the less time they have to screw things up. See? There's always a silver lining.

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Posted by Pam Meister at 02:33 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0) | D.C. Follies

June 24, 2008

Rich Lowry on Dodd, Conrad and the Countrywide VIP Program

National Review editor Rich Lowry reminds us that while times may be tough for the average American, U.S. Senators have it much worse:

Connecticut Sen. Chris Dodd and North Dakota Sen. Kent Conrad, both Democrats, fell victim to the machinations of Countrywide Financial, which gave them breaks on mortgages as part of the “Friends of Angelo” program; the “Angelo” in question is Countrywide CEO Angelo Mozilo.

Most alleged victims of Countrywide were gulled into taking loans with onerous interest rates and excessive fees. But they don’t know the agony of life as a U.S. senator, when at any moment a powerful, well-heeled interest might take advantage of you with cut-rate loans.

Read the whole thing here. And keep a hanky handy for the tears you are sure to shed over the plight of these hapless senators, who obviously were taken advantage of by that nasty old mortgage company. As Lowry says, "Shame on these unscrupulous people!"

Dodd is up for reelection in 2010. Will the press bring this incident into the election year limelight? Will his Republican opponent use it during the campaign? Will the people of Connecticut remember? Or will it be considered a "distraction," like so many other inconvenient truths when certain politicians are running for office?

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Posted by Pam Meister at 09:17 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0) | D.C. Follies

December 23, 2005

Senate Lacks Holiday Cheer

Aw gee, the Senate is grumpy because there's legislating to be done on the eve of their Christmas (oops, "holiday") recess. Here's why:

Weighty policy matters hang in limbo on the eve of a midterm election year. A spending bill containing money for the military and Gulf Coast hurricane recovery also now includes a provision to allow Arctic oil drilling - a recent addition by Sen. Ted Stevens, R-Alaska, that has infuriated senators of both parties. The move would force lawmakers to vote for the package or be accused of withholding support for U.S. troops and storm victims.

Do you mean they might have to work during the week between Christmas and New Year's like most of the rest of us? Earning the salaries we pay them with our taxes? I'm hardly crying here.

Pretty sneaky of Senator Stevens to slip the Arctic drilling measure in a package of cash for the military and Gulf relief. Good! This ANWR drilling issue has gone on long enough. Those who cry that we need to be less dependent upon Middle East oil but won't let us drill in Alaska need the holes drilled in their heads filled. Until a viable alternative for fossil fuels is found, the more domestic oil we can supply ourselves, the better.

Merry Christmas, senators!

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Posted by Pam Meister at 07:02 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0) | D.C. Follies

November 09, 2005

The Plame Game: Was Fitzgerald Thorough?

Newsmax raises the question on special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald's thoroughness in questioning witnesses in his investigation of "Plamegate":

Was the identity of Joseph Wilson's wife Valerie Plame really a deep dark secret before she was "outed" by columnist Robert Novak in July 2003?

The number of witnesses now saying "No" has climbed to four - and none of them have apparently been interviewed by Fitzgerald's investigators.

It may not seem like a big deal that only four people are saying nay--but if Fitzgerald is ignoring their potential testimony, why?

A lot of credence is being given to the two or so neighbors who say they didn't know about Plame's employment status. Be honest, though: how many of you know what all of your neighbors do? I myself am only friendly with a couple of my neighbors, and couldn't tell you what the rest of them did for a living if my life depended on it. Unlike times gone by, most Americans don't get to know their neighbors beyond the friendly wave as we drive by on our way elsewhere.

Just a little food for thought.


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Posted by Pam Meister at 08:32 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0) | D.C. Follies

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