Congress at the Trough

Can 100 Senators and 435 Congressmen represent the people of the United States better than, say, 100 Senators and 51 Congressmen? The composition of the Senate is fixed at two (2) Senators per State, but the constitution, in Article I, Section 2 specifies that each State shall have at least one (1) Congressman; and no more than one (1) Congressmen per 30,000 people. Why is it that we have to accept the upper limit rather than the lower one? Would be be better off with only the constitutionally mandated minimum?

As the people of the United States transition to the Internet age with over 56% of the population having access (and those without access not voting or caring anyway), the ability to fairly and accurately access the the wishes of the People should be fairly easy to engineer. With a little technical and staff support, which by the way, exists now, a single State representative should be able to generate a precis of the will of the people and still have time to be wined and dined by the special interest groups.

Fifty-one people are easier to perform overwatch on than several hundred. The annual savings on salaries alone would be $63.4MM not counting the franking priviledge costs, the research and staff costs, and all those other perks. Although the Constitution establishes the House as a body constituted proportionate to the population, the same effect could be obtained by allocating votes proportionately with each State Member casting them. A State having twenty representatives now would have one representative with twenty votes. The State legislature perhaps could establish that the votes had to be cast, in terms of Ayes and Nays, in accordance with some mechanism such as Internet polls. [More likely — the representative would cast all twenty votes in accordance with his or his current sponsor’s desires.]

Now granted, the lobbyists would have a harder time of it. They would have to perform some serious time management in order to present their case to the Member from Minnesota (No – not the member hanging out in the men’s room!) before he left on his junket. On the other hand, the net result might be that the legislation passed would be less complicated and less prone to obfuscation. After all with only one representative per State, that one Congressman might have to actually read the laws that are written.

Chuck Norris has a point here. If you want to stop the pork, you don’t make rules on how to fill the trough; and you don’t make a smaller trough — you reduce the number of pigs.

So deep is the hate-juice among some conservatives for John McCain that they favor an opponent over the possible (likely?—in this crazy campaign, I’m not going to say that) nominee of their own party. Jimmie Dobson has been rumbling again, for instance, and Limbaugh has been working himself into a faux-frothing-at-the-mouth fury. This more or less reminds me of the hard-core Green Party Nader voters of 2000. It’s a long standing theme in American politics going back decades when a party splits into its component factions. But nothing tops this little gem:

Of course, it’s been making the rounds and chances are good you’ve seen it already, though if you haven’t, watching Colmes’ reaction to Ann is damn funny. No, if there’s anything new to this, it’s Ann’s little line on John McCain “he has led the fight against torture at Guantanamo” about a minute in. Has “torture” been turned into a one-word talking point? WTF?

Mind-twisting quasi-logic of the John Yoo variety I understand (he is a law professor after all), but Ann goes out of her way to correct Hannity when he uses the term “interrogations”. Props for being honest, I guess, but… whoa. Chuck Norris in the movies might do that, but I’m not sure where the Chuckster stands on it in real life, and Chuck does know the difference, though evidently some conservative commentators don’t understand that ’24’ is a TV show. (Anyone know?)


WordPress divider

ObFascism Tag: Can’t you just see Ann as one of Josef Goebbels’ girlfriends in a different life?

As someone who grew up in Wisconsin, I have a hard time taking Iowa seriously. Naturally we had lots of Iowa jokes, many of which do not bear repeating but the most memorable involved finding backronyms for Iowa: Idiots Out Wandering Around, I Owe the World an Apology, etc. Of course, this is the narcissism of small differences talking. You would be hard-pressed to tell the area of Iowa closest to my hometown apart. But at least we could comfort ourselves with the fact that we had a once-great football team, a never-great baseball team, cheese curds and beef sticks (on the interstate, not really elsewhere), and, most importantly, cheap, shitty industrial beer, made in Milwaukee! All Iowa had was corn, corn, and more corn and the Iowa Tests.

But once every four years, it forces itself into the national consciousness in a long standing tradition (since 1972, even).

It’s mouseness roars on Jan. 3, 2008.

Soon, someone’s going to take home the Iowa Caucuses Brass Ring (well, one for each party). Sure, the brass ring came out of a bull’s nose several decades back, when they still had bulls on farms rather than the much safer but less… satisfying and profoundly unnatural modern option. And its predictive ability of who wins the nomination is not all that great, but it does have a certain theatrical je ne sais quoi? Remember, Pat Robertson shot to the national consciousness due to his showing in the Iowa Caucuses in 1988 and Howard Dean famously melted down in the Iowa Caucuses of 2004. Some questions:

  • Is Huckabee going to win? How can he miss with Chuck Norris’ endorsement?
  • Obama set to upset HRC?
  • Who’s going to get the hook exit stage right by Iowa?
  • Any juicy meltdowns?

Time to make your predictions. (Note: Iowa does have the honor of bringing us a good source of information which you may find useful.)

WordPress divider

ObFascism Tag: Iowa is 96% white. If that’s not fascist, I don’t know what is…. 😉

The Power Behind Every Throne
Chuck Norris does not vote for president of the United States. He gives the voting machine a swift roundhouse kick and Mike Huckabee wins.

Joke from Fox News

Well, it would seem that Mike Huckabee has picked up the definitive endorsement. So should we even bother to have an election or simply prepare now for the smooth transition of power. I mean, after all, if someone opposes Huckabee now, I’m pretty sure that Chuck Norris wouldn’t like it, which would mean you’d be crossing Chuck Norris.

And we all know that nobody crosses Chuck Norris and lives.

So shouldn’t we save all the bloodshed and suffering and simply agree that Huckabee has found the ultimate loophole? Unless Hillary comes back within the hour with an endorsement by God, or at least Elvis, shouldn’t she concede the election?

By bringing Chuck Norris on board, hasn’t Gov. Huckabee already won the most important territory of all, our imagination?

Discuss amongst yourselves.