Posted in broken government, The Political Process, tagged Congress, constitutional amendment, democrats, earmarks, pelosi, republicans, Senate, seventeenth amendment on May 16, 2009|
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I have had enough with the Congress, both Democrat and Republican – the lies and half truths by Dodd, Rangel, Pelosi, and Frank, feigned indignation from Republican leadership, and on and on. Take a good look and you will see that the snake oil salesmen and women of the world have determined that Congress is the best gig in town. Yes there are a few patriots in Congress, but the majority only care about staying in Congress and retiring rich.
I have had enough from the Bush and Obama administrations – each administration with its own gross degree of hypocrisy. Does anyone really think we can spend our way out of debt? Does anyone really think that the push for cap and trade is not a tax? Does anyone really think that either administration really cared or cares about the future of the American people – we know they cared or care about the future of their ideology, but what about the future of the American people? Main stream America is an afterthought to these parties. I don’t mean sending stimulus checks – I do mean the overall health of this nation. All we seem to believe in is short term appeasement of the voter in exchange for votes. We use earmarks to gain campaign funds – how wrong is that? Main stream America has been ignored by both parties, in favor of both right and left wing zealots and the progressives from both parties – oh and let’s not forget those very uber rich who are now buying our Congress and perhaps the presidency – you know – the George Soros types through tentacled organizations, with their own agenda. Who do we blame? Us, that’s who – not the U.S., but the people who are simply not engaged with their government. Our government is no longer of the people and by the people. It is now of the fringe and by the fringe – the 12% on each side. Too many Americans are just interested in what is in it for them. Too many Americans know who was thrown off American Idol, but not who the Speaker of the House is – yet they vote.
Unless and until we begin to care enough about our own future and how much the government should play in that future, we will continue down the path of letting the fringe of America – from each party – be in charge. The Federal Government is out of control and has been out of control for nearly a dozen years. In fact, we could say the Federal Government has been out of control since the seventeenth amendment – that was when the states abdicated their constitutional role of watchdog of the federal government. Look it up.
Had enough? If so, then do something about it. Start by finding good people running for state office or in state office and get behind them. Likely they have not been corrupted and if you find really good patriots to support, likely they will not be corrupted. Push for the states to take back the watchdog role of the federal government. Push for the states to control the federal government. Sit on your hands and you will get what you deserve – a non-functioning nanny state, run by the fringe in power. Soon they will tell you how to eat, drink, rear your children, and how to live, or are they already doing that? They can’t help themselves because they believe they are much smarter than you.
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Posted in Congress, tagged "democratic party", broken congress, Congress, congressional terms, constitutional amendment, constitutional convention, corruption, democrats, earmarks, Election, federal government, House, pelosi, republicans, Senate, seventeenth amendment, states' rights, states' sovereignty, term limits, WP Political Blogger Alliance on March 28, 2009|
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Professional Congressmen – Why? Today there are 251 members of the House of Representatives serving for more than ten years or five terms. This is nearly 58% of the House of Representatives. Remember the House is the people’s house and the representatives serving in this house were intended by our founding fathers to be of the people and from the people. When representatives serve in the House for more than two terms they become insolated from the people. They begin to work the system for their own benefit and not for the benefit of their constituents. Mostly this is caused by the treatment they receive from lobbyists and the personal wealth they begin to obtain. The more time in the House, the more power they can build and the more they can build an organization that will keep them being reelected, by making contribution connections – contributions most often originating out of their district. This means that they are now representing contributors of other districts and not the people of their district. The old adage that “power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely” is simply how our Congress works.
The numbers about tenure become more frightening as you look at the more senior members of the House. Today there are 42 Democrats and 20 Republicans serving for more than twenty years. Nineteen representatives, fifteen Democrats and four Republicans, are now serving for more than thirty years or an unconscionable fifteen terms. Two Democratic representatives are serving for more than forty years. The number and dollar amount of earmarks is almost in a direct ratio with the time in Congress and the power achieved. As a Congressman delivers more earmarks, they build a contribution base and name recognition to aid them in reelection. Remember that many of these earmarks are payback to political contributors and are not in the best interest of the district, the state, or the country.
Still not convinced that this professional Congress needs to change? Consider that these people represent old thinking, with little recent real world experience or real world business or management skills, and a heavy dose of cronyism. Most committee chairs are based on longevity and have the power and connections to kill bills or fast track bills on their own.
The Senate, the upper house with longer six years terms, suffers it own brand of professional legislator. Ten Democrats and zero Republicans are now serving for more than twenty-four years or four terms in the senate (update – 9 with the loss of Senator Kennedy). Of this group, three members are serving for five terms or thirty years and three are serving for more than thirty-six years or six terms.
Only fifty-four members of the House are freshman representatives (32 Democrats and 22 Republicans). This group represents little more than 12% of the House. In reality, there are enough members of the House of Representatives serving longer than most members of the Senate that determining which body is the upper house or the lower house is difficult. Statistics indicate that voters (that’s us) return their Congressman and Senator to Congress at an alarming repeat rate of over 90%. Does this absurd unrealistic return rate represent a love affair of the voter with his or her representation or does it reflect a broken system where power makes it nearly impossible for an incumbent to lose and allows little opportunity for new blood?
When did serving in Congress become an occupation? When did it stop being a noble calling of fellow citizens who put real careers on hold to serve their country for a limited time?
If we are to have a country of the people, by the people, and for the people, then we must make changes. Congress will not change on its own. We need term limits applied to both the House and the Senate. We need to limit both Congressional Representatives and Senators to no more than two consecutive terms – but how? We need a constitutional convention called by the states with two goals. The first is to limit congressional terms and the second is to make changes to reinstate state’s rights over a massive out of control incompetent federal government. Return this country to the vision of the founding fathers.
Contact your representative to your state’s legislature (not your U.S. representative) and push for your state to call for a constitutional convention to achieve these two goals.
Listed below are the twenty year plus Congressmen and women who have been in power far too long and need to move on to a real job, if they are able. They are grouped by state with party affiliation and district following the name. Those with 30 and 40 years in Congress are so indicated. Click on the name and see a summary of the rereprsentative’s background and congressional status, including committee assignments.
If you wish to breakdown your Congress by other attributes than term go to Contacting the Congress: Power Search.
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