January 24, 2012

Midnight Riders.

   “A job?  But how would I make any money?” ~Hunter Thompson   

“Sneak" legislation has become Washington's most effective instrument of duplicity. To be specific, a "sneak" bill is an almost invisible addendum-no more than a few sentences long-tucked into an obscure part of some multibillion-dollar omnibus legislation. Although "sneak" bills have been around since Congress first began to pull the wool over our eyes, in the early nineteenth century, it has achieved a level of refinement with those embedded in the staggering multi trillion budget bill passed in the last gasp of 2011 (the enacted 2011 budget called for $2.314 trillion in receipts and $3.630 trillion in outlays, according to the September 1, 2011 Mid-Session Review) by the most lackluster Congress since the one Harry Truman ran against for reelection back in 1948.
Some of the not so long ago (1980’s) sleazier special-interest deals, and by 2011 standards just “chicken feet”, cut at the last minute that have come to light. In one, a Representative of Alabama, who took trips on an Army Corps of Engineers jet, managed to "sneak" into the budget a rider that blocked the sale of that aircraft, despite the fact that the Army Audit Agency had strongly recommended it. Then, there's the infamous "sneak" manipulated by a Senator, Democrat of Massachusetts, a man with a reputation for fixing matters-and for getting even. He folded in an almost invisible "billette" that the FCC must not bend its rules and permit a publisher virtually unlimited time to sell its newspaper and television interests in New York and Boston, including a rag that criticized him.
Admiring the striking success of these publicized "sneak" bills, I thought of a few deals I'd make-like passing immediate legislation to change the election process. Then I began to dream of what other "sneak" legislation I'd hatch if only I could.

An appropriation to the arts-amounting to, say, a paltry $1,000,000,000.
Every luxury hut- say, those costing over 10 million bucks- will be taxed 5 percent. Proceeds will go toward permanent housing for the homeless.
Vacations are to become tax deductible. The longer and more lavish they are, the bigger the deductions. 
A landing fee of $1,675,500,416 for every alien aircraft, which should prod the FAA to gear up its technology.
A defense budget equal to the square root of .000018 percent of the monthly dining bill of the ondehundred top lobbyists in the military-industrial complex.
A chicken in every microwave
An American car in every garage
The transfer to Nebraska of all federal funds allotted to New York until Wall   Street states (under oath) what really happened in 2008
Tax penalties up to 101 percent for every forthcoming politician or CEO who wishes to write his or her memoirs (especially those "as told to")
One trip to London, Paris, Brussels, Amsterdam, Dublin, Vienna, Zurich, Montreal, Melbourne, Hamilton, Moscow, Stockholm, or Mexico City per year    for each U.S. citizen. Free, on those Army Corps of Engineers jets. Round-trip.
Five years' mandatory military service to anybody in politics who gets caught either fibbing or with someone else (overnight) other than his or her spouse, which ought to take care of the draft-and the defense budget, too.
Rain only at night
Snow in designated areas
The wind at the back of every citizen
From now on, no "sneak" legislation will be allowed to pass without a thirty-day public airing


Bill (SM) said...

A blogger that speaks her mind no matter how rotten the subject. Kuddos.

from Los Angeles too said...

Political corruption begins with every voter who votes his pocketbook instead of for what's good for the country. There is little difference between the selling of his vote by an elected official and the selling of his vote by a voter, to whatever candidate promises him some benefit.

Anja said...

Abuse always expands to fill the limits of resistance to it.

frenchtoast said...

But a REPUBLIC has its rules and it must not tolerate any abuse of them. -Jean-Pierre Raffarin

a citizen said...

Since politicians and officials have become adept at thwarting any efforts at reform via established channels, any effective action will have to be achieved through direct action by private citizens. How do we accomplish this? By making the individuals who legislate, implement and decide the legality of laws, regulations and government activities individually accountable to the Constitution, and ultimately to us citizens ...

Charles said...

Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch.
Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote. –Benjamin Franklin

well to remember

Ms. Edna (squared) said...

Touche Charles

Cliff Dan Diego said...

It's not crap government that's the problem (though when it comes to crap government we can of course compete with the best of them).
It's the economy, stupid.
More precisely, it's the fact that we've prostituted our economy to a corpulent finance sector adept at lining its own pockets, obsessed with short term profit and without care for long term investment or long term consequence.
This is free market capitalism in all its glory. America and Britain were its greatest proponents, and that's why America and Britain are now its biggest failures.

Anonymous said...

...and so we go, yesterday, today, and tommorrow.

in Los Angeles too said...

I Googled “ineffective Government Programs and a impressive list cam up. From this list surely even a stupid Washington Good Old Boy can find a place to cut. Realize that once a government program begins there is simply no end because the bureaucracy created to administer the program finds ways to keep their jobs forever and ever. Amen.

Snappy Andy (not Los Angeles) said...

Well you have really hit the jackpot with this one. What we need to do is get this post out where people can send it to their representatives. Maybe we need to put this info on Facebook it seems Congress is really paying attention to Facebook.

in California too said...

Ineffective Government Programs

About 14,100,000 results (0.45 seconds)

bless you google

pissed too said...

Oh, Ms. Edna your abuses are so modest; one of the biggest and most wasteful pork filled slush programs is the $30 billion annual farm subsidies program. And one of the biggest porkers for this program just happens to be Rep. Frank Lucas (R Iowa). So guess who the Republican leadership has appointed as chair of the House Agriculture Committee. One more Good Old Boy Washington Thief in position where he can really get his hands in the tax payers pockets. Every time I look over the credentials of another committee appointment I find another shake and bake porker! So what are we tax payers to expect from this Congress that toutes be different from the last?
I am beginning to think that only a meteor making a direct hit on Washington DC will save our nation.

asterix said...

Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose. N'est-ce pas?

a tangential comment said...

Every now and then I am blindsided by my perhaps willful ignorance. Years of expensive private education hasn't saved me from myself yet occasionally I find brilliance in the oddest places. Like on Ms. Edna’s blogs.
I rarely know what's coming, but it's always entertaining, occasionally thought provoking, and generally pretty funny.

Rocher said...

Je suis d'accord avec votre point.
I more or less follow American politics one thing I can say, I’m often astonished by its ways. And I dread many of the men and women involved.