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Great news about Congress!

Old 03-20-06, 11:50 AM
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Great news about Congress!

At least you can count on one good thing in an election year.

I can also count on getting a "newsletter" in the mail from my representative that single time every two years. This year's was a classic from Lynn Woolsey. Makes me wish I had a more reasonable representative, like Nancy Pelosi.

Lawmakers get out of the House
By Kathy Kiely
USA TODAY

WASHINGTON — The House of Representatives is on track this year to be in session for fewer days than the Congress Harry Truman labeled as “do-nothing” during his 1948 re-election campaign.

Members of Congress are taking an entire week off for St. Patrick's Day. It's the latest scheduling innovation to give members more time to meet with constituents.

Through Friday, the House was in session for 19 days, compared with 33 for the Senate. If they stick to their current schedule — including two weeks off in April, a week in May and July, plus all of August — House members will spend 97 days in Washington this year.

The House was in session 108 days in 1948, according to the chamber's archives, compared with 141 days last year.

“This is an election year and people want to see more of their constituents,” says House Majority Leader John Boehner, R-Ohio.

During the first two months of the year, House members logged a total of 47 hours in the Capitol. They took off almost the entire month of January , while the Senate confirmed Samuel Alito to the Supreme Court.

For both chambers, workweeks have become short in recent years. Roll call votes are seldom scheduled for Mondays or Fridays. In the House, they are often postponed until late Tuesday.

As a result, it's difficult to schedule committee meetings. Some panels meet when Congress is not in session, but not often.

When in Washington, lawmakers do a lot of multitasking. Last week, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Arlen Specter, R-Pa., struggled to ready an immigration bill for the full Senate, as panel members drifted in and out of the room. They were juggling a floor debate on the budget and other meetings.

Critics contend Congress needs time to discuss important issues. “The Tuesday-to-Thursday work schedule is a detriment,” says Rep. Dan Lungren, R-Calif., who served five terms in the House during the 1980s and returned last year.

Some experts think an absentee Congress is not bad. “I don't think there's anything wrong with them being out of Washington,” says John Samples of the Cato Institute, a think tank that favors limited government. “They might be better representatives.”

Lawmakers will make $165,200 this year. Leaders earn more.

http://www.usatoday.com/printedition...trip20.art.htm
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Old 03-20-06, 12:00 PM
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Why so negative, <b>X</b>? At least in 2005 Rep. Woolsey got a 33% rating from the CoC, up from her 0% in 2004.
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Old 03-20-06, 12:01 PM
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I wish they'd spend LESS time in Washington. There's a reason our framers put the Capitol in a hot, swamp land. (Damn air conditioning!)

They knew the more they were there, the more damage they could reek.

Cut their pay, give them 180 days off, and send em back to work in the REAL world.
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Old 03-20-06, 12:11 PM
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Originally Posted by wendersfan
Why so negative, <b>X</b>? At least in 2005 Rep. Woolsey got a 33% rating from the CoC, up from her 0% in 2004.
It's pitiful.

Check out the current poll question on her website.
Do you think that Congress should cut $60 billion of unused Cold War Era weapons systems from the Pentagon's Budget to pay for under-funded priorities like Homeland Security and deficit reduction?
What are "unused Cold War Era weapons systems"? Nuclear bombs?

Look how frequently we hear from her...
http://woolsey.house.gov/lynnsnewsletter.asp
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Old 03-20-06, 12:16 PM
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Originally Posted by mosquitobite
I wish they'd spend LESS time in Washington. There's a reason our framers put the Capitol in a hot, swamp land. (Damn air conditioning!)

They knew the more they were there, the more damage they could reek.

Cut their pay, give them 180 days off, and send em back to work in the REAL world.
puerile
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Old 03-20-06, 12:24 PM
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Originally Posted by X
Look how frequently we hear from her...
http://woolsey.house.gov/lynnsnewsletter.asp
Well, when constituents like you yell at her in the parking lot of grocery stores, can you blame her for not writing more often?

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Old 03-20-06, 12:36 PM
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Quite a memory you've got there.

I can't wait to see her again!
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Old 03-20-06, 12:36 PM
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Originally Posted by mosquitobite
I wish they'd spend LESS time in Washington. There's a reason our framers put the Capitol in a hot, swamp land. (Damn air conditioning!)

They knew the more they were there, the more damage they could reek.
Actually, the location of the federal capital was a source of great rancor and debate among the framers of our Constitution, due to the rapidly-expanding tensions between the North and the South. The idea of a Federal City located exactly between the North and the South came as a result of a compromise reached over dinner between Jefferson, Hamilton and Madison, which resulted in the Residence Bill of 1790. That bill stipulated that the sitting President, George Washington, select a 10 mile plot somewhere within the Potomac region, acquire the land and commission the building of the Capitol.

The rest of the history is pretty interesting:
In October 1790, President Washington took up his role of agent. He inspected many Potomac sites--from Conococheague, about 80 miles above the present city, to Oxon Hill, several miles below; and in January 1791 he made his decision, choosing the land in Maryland which is now the District of Colombia, and a smaller section across the Potomac in Virginia territory, including the town of Alexandria. In the same month he appointed Daniel Carroll, Thomas Johnson, and David Stuart as commissioners to superintend the building of the Federal City. Washington was also ready to employ L'Enfant to lay out the city and another surveyor, Andrew Ellicott, to survey the bounds of the Federal tract, 10 miles square. Ellicott came in February and L'Enfant in March. During the latter month Washington met the local landowners at Suter's Tavern in Georgetown, and persuaded them to sell at $66.00 and acre any land the Nation might need as sites or grounds for public buildings, and to permit the remainder of the proposed city area to be divided into lots and sold, the proceeds from every other lot to go to the Government. It was further agreed that no charge should be made for the land needed for highways.

All seemed well. But, as L'Enfant proceeded with his planning, the landowners began to open their eyes in amazement. Streets 100 to 110 feet wide, avenues 160 feet wide, one grand avenue 400 feet wide and a mile long! This crazy Frenchman was literally throwing away land that should come into the market as city lots. But, they still had time to curb his extravagant use of what rightly was still half theirs. They might even get back the whole, for they had not yet signed away their titles to the land. Trouble was brewing for the President, resting at Mount Vernon, and he was doubtless aware of it.

However, he let L'Enfant go on. This the latter did, oblivious to all private considerations. He had been given one fundamental, the President's house, to work from; but, having placed that, the planner was allowed free scope to create something worthy of the great nation of the future. In the distance, eastward, was a commanding rise--Jenkins Hill. Upon this eminence L'Enfant set the President's House (i.e., the Capitol) ; and to connect this with the President's House he planned a highway 160 feet wide, later designated the Avenue of Pennsylvania. He was practical enough to see that the Capital City's nourishment, unlike that of other cities, would come out of its public buildings rather than out of its trade centers. So L'Enfant made his highway plans subordinate to these features. "Thus," he concluded, "in every way advantageously situated, the Federal City would grow of itself and spread as the branches of a tree does toward where they meet with most nourishment." Alas, he was but the planner; he could not control the growth. A decade later it was apparent that each of the many landowners had striven to divert to his own land the development that should have grown steadily and compactly out from the center. Hence Washington for 50 years seemed to be little more than a number of straggling villages more or less remote from the public buildings.

In June 1791 President Washington faced his most difficult task, that of securing from the disgruntled landowners title deeds for the land required. L'Enfant's first draft of the city plan, which he now had to show them, confirmed their earlier forebodings. Of their 6,111 acres within the plan, 3,606 would be required for highways. The land to be purchased by the Government for public building sites and grounds or "reservations" amounted to 541 acres. the remaining 1,964 acres to be divided into city lots (20,272 in all) and sold for the equal benefit of Government and landowners--the former paying for the public building sites and grounds from its half of the proceeds. But unpromising as it appeared upon first glance, the arrangement was in truth an excellent one for the landowners, as their share in the city lots was estimated to yield about 10 times what the original acreage could be sold for as plantation land. The deeds were signed.

Although supposedly subordinate to the commissioners, L'Enfant was allowed to proceed unhampered for a while. In September 1791 the commissioners instructed him to number and letter his streets according to the simple system which has remained in effect ever since. They also asked for a copy of his plan, to be used in connection with a public sale of the city lots. L'Enfant indignantly refused to comply with this latter request. He would do nothing to aid "speculators to purchase the best locations in his vistas and architectural squares and raise huddles of shanties which would permanently disfigure" his creation. The sale of lots was a failure, and the commissioners blamed L'Enfant for this; but the President did not reprimand him.

Soon, however, another incident occurred which Washington felt he could not condone. The manorial lord of Duddington, Daniel Carroll, the largest landowner of the Federal region, had begun to build a new manor house. Unfortunately, it obstructed one of L'Enfant vistas, and the indignant planner ordered the squire to demolish it. He would not, so L'Enfant did. The commissioners complained to the President. The planner was peremptorily dismissed (in January 1792), and Ellicott was asked to complete his work. For his services in planning the Federal City, L'Enfant was offered $2,500 and a lot near the White House, both of which he refused. He died, impoverished and broken-spirited, in 1825. Eighty-four years later his body was removed from an obscure grave in Prince Georges County, Maryland, and given the belated honor of military burial in Arlington Cemetery.

A few days later a young man, sent by the George Washington himself, came into the commissioners' office. He was "of good repute" and "of much money" -- a young Bostonian related to Vice President Adams. "If," concludes the President's letter to the commissioners,"you can find it consistent with your duty to the public to attach Mr. Greenleaf, he will be a valuable acquisition." The commissioners found it quite consistent; and within a few days they had sold James Greenleaf 3,000 city lots, at $80 each. But, no money changed hands; payment was to be spread over a period of 7 years without interest! Two months later a greater figure came into the realty picture--Robert Morris, the Philadelphia financier. He would purchase 3,000 of the lots, and would now stand openly as partner of Greenleaf in the local venture. The commissioners we quite willing to cancel Greenleaf's first purchase, inasmuch as the two now made a joint purchase of 6,000 lots at $80 each. Under the new agreement, however, the buyers could secure title even before they paid for the lots; and there were other conditions that hopelessly confused the situation.

Within a year or two, these speculators held such a monopoly of local realty and wee asking such prohibitive prices that sales entirely ceased. Worse trouble followed, and in 1797 the commissioners realized that the building fund would have to be replenished from other sources than the sale of city lots. They borrowed $100,000 from the State of Maryland, and Congress was induced to make an appropriation of a like amount. By the end of 1798, the exterior of the President's House was completed, the Senate wing of the Capitol was under roof, and a contract placed for the first departmental building--the Treasury. The new activity in public building brought a return of courage to investors, and much private construction was carried through.
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Old 03-20-06, 12:40 PM
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Originally Posted by classicman2
puerile
I learned a new word today - thanks.


I'm sure they are spending all of that extra time away from the District w/ their constituents.

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Old 03-21-06, 07:40 AM
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Originally Posted by mosquitobite
I wish they'd spend LESS time in Washington. There's a reason our framers put the Capitol in a hot, swamp land. (Damn air conditioning!)

They knew the more they were there, the more damage they could reek.

Cut their pay, give them 180 days off, and send em back to work in the REAL world.
I think they should be in session for one week every two years, and they should be paid $1,000 for that week.
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Old 03-21-06, 07:50 AM
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Originally Posted by grundle
I think they should be in session for one week every two years, and they should be paid $1,000 for that week.
You continue to amaze me with your simplistic thinking about government.

You don't seem to have a clue as to how complex the running of the government of this country is.

This ain't 1789.
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Old 03-21-06, 07:53 AM
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Originally Posted by X
It's pitiful.

Check out the current poll question on her website.
What are "unused Cold War Era weapons systems"? Nuclear bombs?

Look how frequently we hear from her...
http://woolsey.house.gov/lynnsnewsletter.asp
Maybe they're "16 next generation weapons" like in season 2 of Alias:



In other words, young children being trained as sleeper agents.
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Old 03-21-06, 08:00 AM
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Originally Posted by classicman2
You continue to amaze me with your simplistic thinking about government.

You don't seem to have a clue as to how complex the running of the government of this country is.

This ain't 1789.
I do know how complex it is.

I want to simplify it.

http://www.policyreview.org/spring95/moorth.html

In 1800, when the nation's capital was moved from Philadelphia to Washington, D.C., all of the paperwork and records of the United States government were tightly packed into 12 boxes, and then transported the 150 miles to Washington on a horse and buggy. That was truly an era of lean and efficient government.

In the early years of the Republic, government bore no resemblance to the colossal empire it has evolved into today. In 1800, the federal government employed 3,000 people and had a budget of less than $1 million ($100 million in today's dollars). That's a far cry from today's federal budget of $1.6 trillion and workforce of 3 million.

The original budget of the U.S. government closely reflected the founder's vision. The very first appropriations bill passed by Congress consisted of 111 words--not pages, mind you, words.
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Old 03-21-06, 08:07 AM
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I just told you - it ain't 1789. It's 2006. Things change. People, believe it or not, have changed.

You can't seem to comprehend that; or you can't bring to yourself to comprehend that; or you're just pulling our chains. There are no other options.

Last edited by classicman2; 03-21-06 at 08:11 AM.
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Old 03-21-06, 08:08 AM
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what exactly is the point? most nations had small governments early in their lives and than grew as the nation grew and matured. If you look at the budget 90% of the spending is social programs and defense. All the other departments like the EPA, Commerce, Energy, etc use very little money and even take in quite a lot of cash as revenues.

and what is the big deal about congress only being in session 97 days? This is the age of email, blackberries and cell phones. Most work can be done anywhere. going into session is just for official things like testimony and voting.

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Old 03-21-06, 09:58 AM
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Originally Posted by grundle
In 1800, when the nation's capital was moved from Philadelphia to Washington, D.C., all of the paperwork and records of the United States government were tightly packed into 12 boxes, and then transported the 150 miles to Washington on a horse and buggy. That was truly an era of lean and efficient government.
Electricity was also cheaper back then; as were plane flights.
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Old 03-21-06, 10:38 AM
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Originally Posted by grundle
In 1800, when the nation's capital was moved from Philadelphia to Washington, D.C., all of the paperwork and records of the United States government were tightly packed into 12 boxes, and then transported the 150 miles to Washington on a horse and buggy. That was truly an era of lean and efficient government.
Do you think your employer has more paperwork now than it did in 1800, or 8 years after the company was founded? Compare General Electric 1898 to General Electric 2006, and you'll see a lot more paperwork and records. Does that mean GE isn't lean and efficient?
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Old 03-21-06, 11:48 AM
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now that i think about it, the constitution is too restrictive. we should just go back to the articles of confederation and break up into 50 countries.
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Old 03-21-06, 12:08 PM
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Originally Posted by JasonF
Do you think your employer has more paperwork now than it did in 1800, or 8 years after the company was founded? Compare General Electric 1898 to General Electric 2006, and you'll see a lot more paperwork and records. Does that mean GE isn't lean and efficient?
But surely all that extra paperwork is caused by government regulation.
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Old 03-21-06, 01:46 PM
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Originally Posted by classicman2
I just told you - it ain't 1789. It's 2006. Things change. People, believe it or not, have changed.

You can't seem to comprehend that; or you can't bring to yourself to comprehend that; or you're just pulling our chains. There are no other options.
C'mon, C-man, don't be so hard on him. I'm sure grundle is aware of the differences between the United States of 1800 and the United States of 2006, and he'd be willing to compromise to allow, say, 20 boxes, and two buggies and a mule.
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Old 03-21-06, 03:39 PM
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Originally Posted by JasonF
Do you think your employer has more paperwork now than it did in 1800, or 8 years after the company was founded? Compare General Electric 1898 to General Electric 2006, and you'll see a lot more paperwork and records. Does that mean GE isn't lean and efficient?
More now.

That's a good point.
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Old 03-21-06, 11:13 PM
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Originally Posted by grundle
I think they should be in session for one week every two years, and they should be paid $1,000 for that week.
I'd be willing to pay them $1,000,000 a year if they'd do nothing. But first they'd have to repeal about 150 years of shit they've saddled us with (not everything in the last 150 years is shit; we should keep things like the abolition of slavery, of course).

Last edited by movielib; 03-21-06 at 11:15 PM.
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Old 03-22-06, 06:34 AM
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Originally Posted by movielib
I'd be willing to pay them $1,000,000 a year if they'd do nothing. But first they'd have to repeal about 150 years of shit they've saddled us with (not everything in the last 150 years is shit; we should keep things like the abolition of slavery, of course).
puerile

A typical libertarian comment.
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Old 03-22-06, 07:16 AM
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Originally Posted by classicman2
puerile

A typical libertarian comment.
Exactly the response I was eliciting (well, that or Hogwash!).
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