Video: Congress figures out way to assure the public they’ve read the bills they’re voting on

posted at 7:28 pm on May 21, 2009 by Allahpundit

Cute, but the Standard’s right. All they’re doing is laughing at their own dysfunction, demonstrated most memorably and grotesquely when they passed a $787 billion stimulus bill without bothering to read it. Behold the most ethical Congress evah — the same one that pushed through TARP funding without adequate oversight mechanisms to keep it from turning into a slush fund, the same one that rejected a call to investigate what Pelosi really knew about waterboarding earlier this afternoon. There’s transparency for you.

Don’t reserve your contempt for them. The One’s promise of transparency on stimulus funds was a big fat lie, too.

Update: Linked in Headlines earlier but worth adding here: CREW lists the 16 most corrupt members of Congress, 12 of whom are Democrats.


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Oh, I’m sorry, I forgot that everyone here loves the free markets

ckoeber on May 21, 2009 at 7:46 PM

How’s your wife?

I dunno. Compared to what?

Tuco on May 21, 2009 at 9:17 PM

nstead of making snarking noises why don’t you come up with an alternative to getting us off of oil?

ckoeber on May 21, 2009 at 7:46 PM

Are you ok with nuclear energy?

Johan Klaus on May 21, 2009 at 9:17 PM

nstead of making snarking noises why don’t you come up with an alternative to getting us off of oil?

ckoeber on May 21, 2009 at 7:46 PM

How about coal?

Johan Klaus on May 21, 2009 at 9:18 PM

Oh, I’m sorry, I forgot that everyone here loves the free markets

ckoeber on May 21, 2009 at 7:46 PM

So, you are ok with communism?

Johan Klaus on May 21, 2009 at 9:12 PM

He Johan, what’s the problem with communism?? heck, Uncle joe only starved 7 million of my ukranian relatives to death.. You have a problem with that?? He also cleaned up the other side of my family at the Katyn Forest when he massacred about 10k of the Polish leadership… What’s a few thousand bullets in the back of the old head between friends eh???

I mean, those little Ukranian kids dying of starvation right next to wharehouses full of grain had it coming because their parents wouldn’t give up their farms quickly enough. Yep, communism is wonderful

/sarc tag for the sarcasm impaired

bullseye on May 21, 2009 at 9:21 PM

The point is that you don’t need to waste time reading a bill after you have fully debated the bill and the said bill is available for viewing by all parties involved.

Just like you wouldn’t expect your mechanic to go over every possible detail regarding the vehicle repair AFTER you already understand and agreed to everything.

ckoeber on May 21, 2009 at 8:31 PM

How many people even “read” let alone “fully debated” any major bill?

Start with just one…say the “Stimulus” bill. How many of our representatives read it?

How much debate has there been on “cap ‘n trade”..”Co2 is a toxic gas”..etc?

You seem to be implying that all the bills that are voted on are fully read and debated by our representatives. Is this a correct representation of your claim?

Itchee Dryback on May 21, 2009 at 9:40 PM

BTW, what’s up with the clown costume? That is what this guy picked out to wear for his day at Congress. I think the “speed reader” holds those fools in more contempt than I do.

progressoverpeace on May 21, 2009 at 9:45 PM

Just like you wouldn’t expect your mechanic to go over every possible detail regarding the vehicle repair AFTER you already understand and agreed to everything.

ckoeber on May 21, 2009 at 8:31 PM

That analogy really makes little sense.

What if the mechanic just bobs his/her head in a feigned understanding of what was involved…but in reality had no clue what was involved and botched the job.
Would you pay him/her or make snarky sounds?

Itchee Dryback on May 21, 2009 at 9:48 PM

Itchee Dryback on May 21, 2009 at 9:48 PM

That’s easy.

ckoeber would tax you to pay the mechanic. Then, when his car didn’t work, ckoeber would just confiscate yours.

progressoverpeace on May 21, 2009 at 9:53 PM

Waxman: “That’s a lot of energy for one job.”

Stimulus: That’s a lot of MONEY for (negative) jobs.

IrishEyes on May 21, 2009 at 10:53 PM

But…but…The One PROMISED that there would be accountability. Or is that another one of those PROMISES that got thrown under the bus? I’ve lost track.

GarandFan on May 22, 2009 at 12:16 AM

How about having their aides read it and report back with synopses of what was in it?

Or…they divide it up and read it themselves and each congressman reports to the others on their section. Not too different from what most of them had to do in many college courses.

Of course the underlying problem is that the government is run by lawyers and these bills are ridiculously steeped in legalese and double talk (can you imagine if these same guys wrote the Declaration of Independence or the Constitution today? Hardly anybody would be able to read them.) The second issue is that those who dreamed these up don’t really want them to be read anyway.

Dr. ZhivBlago on May 22, 2009 at 5:20 AM

How about having their aides read it and report back with synopses of what was in it?

Dr. ZhivBlago on May 22, 2009 at 5:20 AM

How about not wrting bills that are so large and cumbersome that you are not going to laugh at us for assuming that you bothered to read it?

If Congress is voting on something that is 782 pages, I think that is a major problem. That leaves all sorts of room for the lobbyists. It leaves room for the loophole that says the things on page 482 are null and void but we’ll leave them in there so nobody complains. It leaves far too much room for the feds to get more and more engaged in our individual lives.

myrenovations on May 22, 2009 at 7:41 AM

Once again…I repeat…those planes hit the wrong building.

mr1216 on May 22, 2009 at 9:07 AM

But you morons don’t want alternative energy, you want to kill growth and cripple the West.

progressoverpeace on May 21, 2009 at 7:52 PM

Sorry I’m late to this party, but I have to give kudos for such pure and unadulterated truth. Amen.

SKYFOX on May 22, 2009 at 9:18 AM

Our congress is a joke. There is no way these slow minded congressmen are going to comprehend anything in this bill.

These lazy career politicians should be impeached for gross incompetence.

ironmonk on May 22, 2009 at 9:30 AM

Again, disingenuous criticism.

The bill can be accessed directly online by anyone. Here is a link for you.

The reason why a speedreader is needed is because of stupid stalling tactics that waste time in the hopes of shooting down this bill.

[As it should be shot down because we expect our representatives to read what they are debating BEFORE they debate about it. And we expect them to listen to their constituents BEFORE they vote on a bill. The fact that Mr. Barton made a point of getting them to read the bill aloud merely makes the point that it is filled with gibberish, is too long and confusing for most folks to read the legalese surrounding the important clauses, and makes it too difficult for us and our representatives to stop stupid pieces of legislation (as this bill most emphatically is) from taking more money out of our wallets to fund someone else’s stupid ideas. Especially ideas we don’t agree with.]

Instead of making snarking noises why don’t you come up with an alternative to getting us off of oil?

[Coal exists in abundant supply in the US. Why are you against its use? Nuclear power has a long and well established safety record here in the US. Why are you against its use?]

Oh, I’m sorry, I forgot that everyone here loves the free markets and how they raise prices of basic commodities through the roof to profit off of the backs of the “Joe Sixpacks” of America.

ckoeber on May 21, 2009 at 7:46 PM

[Name one commodity which has, over time, increased in cost based on inflation beyond the cost of our government programs. Oil, coal, natural gas, food and water have all decreased in commodity cost compared to the costs associated with them in the 1970s and earlier. The cost of oil today is far less per gallon than a gallon of milk. The cost of gasoline is still less than the cost of a gallon of milk. Even the cost of water per gallon is commensurate with the cost of gas. The costs of Social Security, WIC, Medicaid and HealthCare and Legal bills associated with stupid government programs? Not so much value added per dollar. I’d say the free markets have done a better job than our government has, and our government has done a better job than Communism and Socialism has, any day, at keeping costs down.]

So, let me get this straight. The bill can be accessed by anyone at anytime yet you need someone to read the bill out loud.

[No it can’t be accessed anytime by anyone. Our citizens have little time to download, print and read 900 pages of legal boilerplate and mindless, unsupported by fact, drivel over the effects of CO2 (which comes from volcanoes, breathing by live animals and humans, and combustion which drives the very physics of Life) on our environment. CO2 has nothing to do with global warming, and if it did, it can only be counteracted by increased photosynthesis in plants, or killing off people. Which path do you support?]

Let me put a little free-market/small government philosophy here for you; why would you have government funds wasted for someone to publicly read over a bill when you can pull it up and read it yourself if need be?

[Why should we waste government funds on an unsupported theory which is only designed to create a new industry (green energy) which liberals have positioned themselves to make money off of. Since they can’t make money be buying and selling commodities that people can actually use (like common sense), they insist on using the federal government to make a new program they can manipulate to cheat the American public out of their tax dollars. And it is transparent to anyone with a background in physics and engineering this is so.]

If anything you should be celebrating. The speedreader is trying to save you money.

ckoeber on May 21, 2009 at 8:00 PM

Sure, let’s set up our dependence on a commodity that is constantly diminishing everyday.

[So how come it hasn’t run out yet, and the reserves we KNOW are in the ground in the US have not been tapped to alleviate that shortage? (ANWR and the Offshore Continental Shelf of the US) far from diminishing, it continues to replenish itself, even in locations where it was tapped out completely before. Dry wells are capped all the time and several years later found to contain more oil which seeped back into the reservoir from unknown sources. Oil doesn’t come from dinosaur crap but from an unknown and unexplained to date physical and chemical process inside the Earth which we have yet to understand. Something else is at work here. While we may be using it up faster than the Earth regenerates it, the verdict on when it will run out is still out.]

Seriously, if you think that the emissions from your vehicle is so harmless then why don’t you just take a hose and breath directly from the exhaust pipe?

[Because there is no oxygen left in the exhaust, combustion produces acids and gasses which are harmful to human consumption in large volumes and the heat burns the tissues of your mouth and lungs. And you’d cough if you had to breathe your own farts and only your own farts too. If you think that the benefits of hydrogen and sunlight are so great why don’t you breathe hydrogen and walk into the sun at the beach all day naked without sunscreen for weeks on end? Same answers, I’ll wager. Except I probably look better naked than you do.]

But as for the accusation of wanting to kill growth, I think that’s very funny. Because all of the wonderful growth we’ve seen is rising profits for oil companies and rising energy costs for everyone else.

[See my comment on commodity costs and how much of your paycheck you have to spend on gas and electricity. By the way, electricity is more expensive because of the regulations required to clean out the SOX and NOX emissions from coal and oil combustion thanks to Dhimmicrats. And we’ve done that to eliminate the acid rain you folks were so worried about in the past 40 yrs. So the cost of electricity is higher because of your requirements to be “cleaner” than we need to be, but as clean as we want to be. That has a cost which you don’t consider.]

But I know, it’s OK for oil companies to win and everyone else to lose.

ckoeber on May 21, 2009 at 8:11 PM

[How have you lost when you use gasoline that costs less than milk to get you where you go every day to make the money you obviously have to buy the computer you use to spout inaccuracies of physics and economics on blogs. It has given your pitiful life meaning and has advanced your ability to make even more money rather than less by actually going to work for a living and not living off Mom and Dad for the rest of their miserable wretched lives. As for oil companies winning, if they are winning, how come cutbacks and recessions affect them as much, if not more than any other business in the US? Just because they saved their money, didn’t borrow it to build what they build, and used their money to more wisely position themselves to weather storms like this recession doesn’t make them evil. It makes them smarter than Government Motors and the unions which ruined their ability to make a profit under the best of economic circumstances.]

Since when is the speedreading of a bill after the debate is over blocking “thoughtful debate”?

[Since when is passing a bill without having read it, good government?]

Also, let me get this straight. You want to pay socialist tax dollars for a clerk to slowly read over a bill that you can access directly online?

Please confirm.

ckoeber on May 21, 2009 at 8:15 PM

1). The oil companies are robbing you blind.

2). People put forth proposals to lessen your dependence on said oil companies so that you pay less money for your energy.

[No, we will pay MORE for our energy under these proposals because they cost more than oil and coal. The point of liberal thought is to make oil and gas and coal AS EXPENSIVE AS wind and solar, so the Dhimmicrats in charge of those industries can profit on a plane with the oil companies, and at their expense. Cap and Trade proposals will make electricity usage costs double to allow the government to subsidize wind and solar energy projects. This does not lower energy costs for anyone, only raises oil and coal taxes to pay for wind and solar costs. It is all a liberal con game to make money for their causes.]

3). The people who put forth said proposals are crazy.

[No, they are merely liars and crooks who want to make money on an elaborate con game, and use the government to mandate the game.]

4). Oil companies continue to rob you blind.

ckoeber on May 21, 2009 at 8:21 PM

That isn’t just the free markets.

“Socialisticyish” government agencies like the FDA play a part in keeping the cost of food low.

ckoeber on May 21, 2009 at 8:28 PM

[The only value to free markets the FDA has added is in keeping the products we buy cleaner and less likely to be diseased. They have added not one dime to the productivity of food processing and production, and are only drags on the amount of food produced in this country for consumption. They add value only in the quality of food produced, not the quantity. Therefore the cost of food is higher than if we didn’t have the FDA, but it is safer. (I believe the government entity you wish to cite as lowering the cost of food would be the US Dept of Agriculture, as they assist farmers and ranchers in being more productive in producing food for us. But they also pay them NOT to bring their products to market and pay subsidies which raise the price of crops, not lower them. So they, too, do not lower the cost of food, only increase the productivity of farmers and ranchers). Given these facts, it would appear you don’t understand physics or economics. And since you can’t spell either, I would guess English major is out of the question. What exactly do you do for a living?]

The point is that you don’t need to waste time reading a bill after you have fully debated the bill and the said bill is available for viewing by all parties involved.

[The point is the bill should be read by our representatives or their staff BEFORE debate, and not voted on until they hear from the public over how we feel about it too AFTER we have read it.]

Just like you wouldn’t expect your mechanic to go over every possible detail regarding the vehicle repair AFTER you already understand and agreed to everything.

ckoeber on May 21, 2009 at 8:31 PM

[Agreed. I would expect him to explain every cost and activity BEFORE he corrected it without asking me, and that he took my wishes and finances into account before he charges me an arm and a leg for something he thinks I need, but which I, most assuredly, know I do not need.]

……………

My meager comments are in brackets. I trust we shan’t be bothered by your “logic” again, doofus. Perhaps you should take a college course on logic or something. Physics…. even better.

Subsunk

Subsunk on May 22, 2009 at 9:36 AM

This new Obama trend of voting for bills before they are read is really really irresponsible to say the least.

saiga on May 22, 2009 at 10:15 AM

Instead of making snarking noises why don’t you come up with an alternative to getting us off of oil?

ckoeber on May 21, 2009 at 7:46 PM

Why would I want to “get us off oil?” It’s a great source of energy when you balance it against what is required to get it to the marketplace. What I want to know is why can’t the U.S. be a net exporter of oil? When did natural resources stop being “resources?”

Would someone explain to union workers how many of them could be emplyed if the government would get out of the way of drilling? Rig hands, pipeliners, steelworkers, equipment operators could all be heading to new jobs soon if the Sierra Club hadn’t started running the democrat party. Yet, unions continue to support the party that is killing them with a thousand cuts.

TugboatPhil on May 22, 2009 at 10:19 AM

More evidence that only (R) or conservatives have a sense of humor and can laugh, even at themselves. Libs would have declared a ‘Point of Order’ and had the entire testimony stricken from the record.

MSGTAS on May 22, 2009 at 10:40 AM

Update: Linked in Headlines earlier but worth adding here: CREW lists the 16 most corrupt members of Congress, 12 of whom are Democrats.

That’s an absolute lie.

If you actually bothered to read the link you included, you would see that the title is “CREW RELEASES LIST OF CONGRESSIONAL MEMBERS CURRENTLY UNDER INVESTIGATION”. Note: that is not saying that they are corrupt; it’s saying they’re under ongoing investigations.

You could then click on the report. And then under each Congressional Member’s summary, there is a link to their individual CREW page on the crewsmostcorrupt.org site.

If you just go to the crewsmostcorrupt site, you see on the front page a list of the 20 most corrupt members of Congress.

If you count them, you will notice there are 14 Republicans and 6 Democrats. The Dishonorable Mentions adds 3 Republicans and 1 Democrat.

So if you want to know which party has the most Congress members that CREW has determined to be corrupt, the answer is Republicans – by nearly a 3-to-1 ratio.

Please stop lying about CREW’s reports. Thanks.

orange on May 22, 2009 at 11:29 AM

Since CREWs website still has Tom Delay on it (who hasn’t been in Congress since 2006), it is pretty hard to surmise that the Republicans in Congress are currently the dirtiest ones. Especially since Jefferson, Stevens, and Coleman are listed on the front page and they aren’t in Congress at the moment. CREW’s front page hasn’t been updated since 2007, and if you had read the links you’d have noted that the press release does in fact say that 12 out of the 16 under investigation ARE Dhimmicrats.

Look before you slander, bud.

Subsunk

Subsunk on May 22, 2009 at 12:43 PM

If they really want to cut greenhouse gases, just shut off the electricity whenever American Idol or Survivor or some other stupid programs on that people are more interested in and know more about than this legislation that’ll bankrupt the country and put millions out of work. Maybe then you’d get their attention.

TrickyDick on May 22, 2009 at 1:46 PM

if you had read the links you’d have noted that the press release does in fact say that 12 out of the 16 under investigation ARE Dhimmicrats.

Subsunk on May 22, 2009 at 12:43 PM

Do you not understand that there’s a difference between “most corrupt” and “under investigation”? It’s pretty simple.

orange on May 22, 2009 at 6:25 PM

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