“I’m so bored. I hate my life.” - Britney Spears

Das Langweilige ist interessant geworden, weil das Interessante angefangen hat langweilig zu werden. – Thomas Mann

"Never for money/always for love" - The Talking Heads

Thursday, August 04, 2005

A block party!

We considered making this yet another Iraq post. But we like to think of ourselves as America’s blog. We like to think that we love kids, dogs, and yes, sometimes we like to watch American Idol, like you all do. And we Americans don’t want to have bloody bits of soldiers rubbed in our faces. We are too busy and too caring. The message is: we care. We are a great nation, shopping for great deals at world class malls. In the world, America is famous for our freedom, which is why they hate us. So instead, we are linking to this article about our world class legislators in D.C. God bless em. Some of the hardest working Christians you would ever want to see. But even Christians can let their hair down, occasionally.

The article details the way lobbyists are able to show their appreciation for the service to the country shown by these fine men and women. They are in the line of fire every day. Many of them are making financial sacrifice by serving in Congress, and will only be able to make it up by accepting top flight jobs from the corporations that bribed them to pass those bills that so gaily loot the Treasury after their patriotic service is over. As journalist Carl Hulse notes, the recent scandals around Tom Delay and “Duke” Cunningham was notable only for the notable stupidity displayed by the two outstanding Christians, since getting around ethics rules has been designed to be user friendly, and could be performed, if necessary, by a retarded rabbit.

For those who think that the Democrats aren’t sufficiently Christian – well here’s a nice surprise for you all:

“During the past five years, members of Congress have received $18.3 million worth of travel at the expense of private organizations, according to PoliticalMoneyLine, a nonpartisan research service. That includes 628 lawmakers who made 6,242 trips, 57 percent of which were taken by Democrats.

The most popular destinations were vacation spots, according to a study by the Medill News Service and American Public Media, which produces programs for public radio stations. From January 2000 to mid-2004, No. 1 was Florida with more than 500 trips, followed by California with nearly 400 trips and New York with more than 300. West Virginia, home to the Greenbrier resort, was the fourth most popular destination, with more than 200 trips. These were permitted because they were connected to "official duties" -- one of the requirements that the ethics rules impose on privately paid trips.”

Seeing the awesome, divinely created majesty of the ski slopes, or the beauty of a Las Vegas floor show, is the best way of instilling that respect for Credit Card companies, oil companies, and, most of all, our brave Defense corporations, which naturally results in votes that are good for the country. Those who criticize the Congress show a lack of understanding about what makes this whole faith based mechanism work – which is why we have to try extra hard to spread our way of life around the world. Although they died for so many reasons, among the reasons 1800 Americans have given their lives for the Islamic Republic of Iraq is to make sure that our legislatures can continue to live free, unfettered lives.

I’m not saying that we should take away the sacred right to expression from the critics who will always dog our way of life, bitter deadender leftists, but I am saying that jail time, under the Patriot Act provisions that Justice Roberts will thoughtfully construe in the spirit in which they are intended, might be one answer to anti-American slanderers and fifth columnists in our own country.

“…barely a week passes when at least one out-of-town fundraising event doesn't entice contributors with golf, a boat excursion or skiing. The House Republicans' event list between mid-July and mid-August advertises 12 golf outings, four baseball games, a musical show and a night of "champagne and caviar."
The competition for donors is so intense that lawmakers try to outdo each other with innovative fundraising come-ons. Four members of the House Ways and Means Committee held what they called a "block party" to make it easier for lobbyists to drop off checks. The lawmakers, who live on the same block on Capitol Hill, each offered a different alcoholic beverage to donors as they stopped by on the same evening this spring.

"There are 20 to 40 fundraisers a day that people have a chance to go to, and they can't make them all," said Rep. Mark Foley (R-Fla.), who conceived and benefited from the block party. "You want to make sure yours stands out and that people say, 'That's fun!' "

P.S. LI does like to imitate the small town touches that used to make Paul Harvey's radio broadcasts such a delight. Harvey was always looking for the little, telling story: the one that focused on what was right and good in this country. In that spirit, we couldn't help noticing that the LAT story about the deaths of those marines yesterday was nestled next to a box with today's top emailed stories. Rightfully, Americans rejected pointless bad news from Iraq. Why clutter the mind? No, it take a resilient people to lose 44 soldiers in the past couple days and make this the most popular headline of the day: "20 of the most delicious deals you'll find around town."

Say what you like, this country has its eyes on the prize. No wonder we've been voted most moral 200 years running!


Brian Miller said...

I am beginning to wonder if this endemic corruption can really be eliminated, or even really fought.

Maybe the one libertarian proposal that I saw: let 'em rip, but publish repeatedly all the details of the contributions, might be more realistic?? I don't know. The sheer brazenness of this is amusing.

roger said...

Brian, when empires get big and sloppy, placeholders in the old institutions start to cash in.

That's not something one can eliminate. But periodic spasms of righteousness are the usual solution.

Lately I've been thinking that one of the great mistakes of the progressive side was to abandon, completely, the Republicans. There isn't a Rockerfeller republican left, this side of Senator Chafee. That's a huge problem. I'd rather see Santorum replaced by a reformist Republican -- someone with Theodore Roosevelt's notions about the malefactors of great wealth -- than another minority Dem. But I'd be as likely to see a pink elephant take office -- nobody fought against the reactionaries when they started taking over Republican parties on the local level. We are all paying for that now.

Deleted said...

The softer liberals tend to give up when fundies and authority scam wingnuts target something. They go for appeasement. That leaves the people willing to fight them looking like extremists. The soft liberals, a classic example, use this perception-managed extremism to temporarily cement their own market share. That always backfires. Conservatives who might be inclined towards pragamtism find the self-serving, and ultimately ineffectual, appeasement more disgusting than the fundies and authority freaks. It's only when the fundies and freaks overreach and turn on their fellows that they start to resist. By then, it's often too late and the democracy game is rigged but good.

What you can do on local level politics is attempt to isolate the more savage wingnuts by supporting the more libertarian minded conservatives on select issues, especially civil rights. They're not bad people and much better company than the appeasement opportunists.

roger said...

Harry, you are such a warrior, man!
I play one on LI, and sometimes anger drives me over the edge, but really I'm a "why can't we all get along" type of guy. I think a nice liberal Republican -- a nice boy, with good table manners -- would be just the thing for Snatchtorum's seat. Hemming, hawing, his portfolio stuffed with Granddad's blue chip stocks, the kind of guy who might feel a tad guilty about sending soldiers to kill people for God knows what reason, and to be killed in return. Kinda guy who might say, Gee whiz, don't those credit card companies have enough power as it is? And what's all this about extending intellectual property rights for entertainment and pill companies? That is the kind of guy I'm envisioning. A loafers guy. The good boss. The relationship with the wife and the mistress going back twenty five, thirty years. Fidelity...
In an earlier carnation, before the carnivores ate the lobes

Deleted said...

I was scappy at one point. No longer! I'm looking for other ways to fend off dystopia. Let the the wingnuts and their appeasers play bugger my neighbor with each other. It's fitting, God knows.

You may deprecate yourself all you like, Roger, but I know a man who belongs on the vigilance committee when I read his blog.