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The Asylum

Welcome to the Asylum. This is a site devoted to politics and current events in America, and around the globe. The THREE lunatics posting here are unabashed conservatives that go after the liberal lies and deceit prevalent in the debate of the day. We'd like to add that the views expressed here do not reflect the views of other inmates, nor were any inmates harmed in the creation of this site.

Location: Mesa, Arizona, United States

Who are we? We're a married couple who has a passion for politics and current events. That's what this site is about. If you read us, you know what we stand for.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Color Us Not Surprised, Anmd Most Unimpressed

Shock me, shock me, shock me:

House Democrats are suddenly balking at the tough lobbying reforms they touted to voters last fall as a reason for putting them in charge of Congress.

Now that they are running things, many Democrats want to keep the big campaign donations and lavish parties that lobbyists put together for them. They're also having second thoughts about having to wait an extra year before they can become high-paid lobbyists themselves should they retire or be defeated at the polls.

The growing resistance to several proposed reforms now threatens passage of a bill that once seemed on track to fulfill Democrats' campaign promise of cleaner fundraising and lobbying practices.

"The longer we wait, the weaker the bill seems to get," said Craig Holman of Public Citizen, which has pushed for the changes. "The sense of urgency is fading," he said, in part because scandals such as those involving disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff and former Rep. Duke Cunningham, R-Calif., have given way to other news.

The situation concerns some Democrats, who note their party campaigned against a "culture of corruption" in 2006, when voters ended a long run of Republican control of Congress. Several high-profile issues remained in doubt Friday, five days before the House Judiciary Committee is to take up the legislation.

They include proposals to:

Require lobbyists to disclose details about large donations they arrange for politicians.

Make former lawmakers wait two years, instead of one, before lobbying Congress.

Bar lobbyists from throwing large parties for lawmakers at national political conventions.

All appeared headed for adoption in January when the Senate, with much fanfare, included them in a lobby-reform bill that passed easily. But the provisions, plus many others in the bill, cannot become law unless the House concurs and that's where feet are dragging.

The issues are in danger of being dropped from the House version, a Democratic member close to the negotiations said Thursday, speaking on condition of anonymity because sensitive discussions were continuing.

Are we supposed to be surprised with this news? After all, the Democrats can point to things like Jack Abramoff and Duke Cunningham, but the Democrats have their fair share of problems with corruption. William Jefferson still has his seat inthe House despite being under investigation by the FBI for accepting bribes. There is also Harry Reid's connection to Abramoff; a point that the MSM has conveniently decided to overlook.

Of course there are no names listed in the ABC report, but rumors are that Speaker Pelosi is behind much of the foot dragging, believing that the Senate's provisions in their version of the bill are simply to heavy-handed. The Senate's version invokes a two-year period after a member of Congress leaves before they can begin lobbying. The House's offers only one. The Senate's has a longer provision before retired Congressional personnel can contact former colleagues, and the House has a shorter duration. There is also no earmark reform in the House's version, whereas the Seante's calls for more open transparency.

By the sounds of it, Speaker Pelosi cannot seem to keep her team on the same page, and the idea of a more transparent Congress is not on the House's agenda. But, are we really surprised by this. The House is acting like a heroin addict trying to kick their habit; unwilling to take the necessary steps. Now, couple this story from ABC with this one from the Guardian:

People think the Democratic-led Congress is doing just as dreary a job as President Bush, following four months of bitter political standoffs that have seen little progress on Iraq and a host of domestic issues.

An AP-Ipsos poll also found that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is a more popular figure than the president and her colleagues on Capitol Hill, though she faces a gender gap in which significantly more women than men support her.

The survey found only 35 percent approve of how Congress is handling its job, down 5 percentage points in a month. That gives lawmakers the same bleak approval rating as Bush, who has been mired at about that level since last fall, including his dip to a record low for the AP-Ipsos poll of 32 percent last January.

Those spoken to in the piece calim that the numbers come from the situation in Iraq, though they do not say why. They do not say if the numbers reflect the public's view of how the Democrats are purposefully playing games with the money for the troops, or if this is simply war weariness. This nation has been in a number of wars, and even during World War One and Two, this nationstarted to grow tired of those conflicts after a certain amount of time. (Less so for the "Great War, and due to the limited involvement we had in the conflict.)

But the point is made by Representative Tom Cole in the piece, that the public looks at both sides with a level of disdain regardless of their affiliation. This should be the lesson that Congress learns, and it has yet to get the memo. Americans are sick of the partisanship in Congress, and tired of the pettiness. Does the party in power right now in Congress think that the public wants to see investigations and hearings into things that simply do not matter right now?

Hearings on the Iraq intelligence? Please. The president has admitted there were failures, and the Democrats are giddy with glee that he has. But they cannot escape their complicity in it as they accepted the same intellignece presented by President Bush as they did from President Clinton in 1998. To say President Bush was wrong, or that he knowingly lied would imply the same of President Clinton; an irony that I think is lost on no one.

Then there is the musings of a few on the Democrat side of beginning impeachment proceedings against President Bush. Jack Murtha believes we can do that just to force his hand over Iraq like impeachment is a part of the system of checks and balances. What Represenative Murtha fails to understand is that impeachment is punishment for a crime, not a bargaining tool. And I would add that to date the Democrats can present no crime that has been committed by the president. The "Bush lied, people died" meme is three-and-a-half years old, and still carries no water.

If those in Congress wish to maintain their seats, we suggest they actually start working, and keeping their promises. If not, 2008 will present another shift in power. In 2006, Democrats chided the GOP for squandering their power in twelve years. Will the Democrats be ready to face similar derision for piddling their power away in two years?



Blogger Vigilante said...

Shooter wants to do it again!

As acting president he has already manipulated America into an illegal invasion of a country not threatening us. Now - yesterday - still as acting president, he is trying to commit the USA - that's US! - to attacking another country not threatening us! He continues to validate Article III of Kucinich's Impeachment bill H Res. 333! The S.O.B. is a serial war criminal and ought to have been impeached already! Call your Representative today. (202) 225-3121 and tell him how Shooter is driving without a license or registration.

8:16 AM  

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