EppsNet Archive: Congress

In Politics, An Honest Man Does Not Get Rich

I have been unable to save much money in my life. I have been in politics, and in politics an honest man does not get rich. — Sam Rayburn That’s not true, there are LOTS of rich politicians. Oh wait . . . [Sam Rayburn was one of the most powerful American politicians of the 20th century. He served as the Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives for 17 years, the longest tenure in U.S. history. His savings at his death totaled $ 15,000.] Read more →

Why Gun Control Can’t Be Solved

On average, Democrats use guns for shooting the innocent. We call that crime. On average, Republicans use guns for sporting purposes and self-defense. . . . So it seems to me that gun control can’t be solved because Democrats are using guns to kill each other – and want it to stop – whereas Republicans are using guns to defend against Democrats. . . . Democrats are unlikely to talk Republicans out of gun ownership because it comes off as “Put down your gun so I can shoot you.” — Scott Adams   Good points. The NRA gets a bad rap in some circles but you never hear of an NRA member going out and shooting random people. Meanwhile, Democratic constituencies are shooting each other like the Olympic Games of murder, which for some reason leads their representatives in Congress to insist that Republicans should have to give up on… Read more →

God Asks a Question

Following the Orlando shootings, a Connecticut congressman says this: The Moments of Silence in the House have become an abomination. God will ask you, “How did you keep my children safe”? Silence. — Jim Himes (@jahimes) June 13, 2016 I fire the question right back at God: “You’re God. What did you do?” Now he may say that he gives us tools to help ourselves, and failing to use them defies his wisdom. But he’s God. He knows when he gives us the tools that we’re not going to use them. And then he tries to pin the blame on us? No, there’s no wriggling out of it, in my view . . . Read more →

Feb. 5, 1917: Immigration Act Passed Over Wilson’s Veto

On this date in 1917, Congress overrode President Woodrow Wilson’s veto of the previous week and passed the Immigration Act of 1917, which, among other provisions, introduced a period of near complete exclusion of Asian immigration to the United States. Not that life was a bed of roses for Asian immigrants before 1917. Asian laborers were sought out for demanding and dangerous railroad jobs involving explosives. The phrase “Chinaman’s chance,” meaning little to no chance at all, dates from this period. Asians were not allowed American citizenship and were frequent victims of hostility and violence with no legal recourse. For example, in 1854, George W. Hall was convicted of murdering a Chinese man. On appeal to the State Supreme Court the decision was overturned because all of the evidence against him was from Chinese individuals. According to the Supreme Court ruling, the Chinese “recogniz[ed] no laws … except through necessity,… Read more →

Darth Vader for President

People are so fed up with the gridlock and dysfunction in Washington. Congress is unfortunately unable to even agree on the most obvious kinds of things. I think Darth Vader looks pretty good to a lot of people. — Former secretary of state Hillary Clinton, on CNN, responding to poll results showing voters say they prefer Darth Vader, the fictional villain in the Star Wars films, for president over her and several other potential candidates. Are people fed up with gridlock? I’m not. I love gridlock. It’s when those meddling idiots actually do something that life gets worse for everyone. Jokes aside, I think Darth Vader would be an exceptionally good president in some respects. Imagine him, for example, in an Israel-Hamas negotiating session: “Whose trachea do I have to crush with my mind to get some peace around here?” Read more →

Another Smoking Gun on “Keep Your Coverage”

The conversation below took place more than four years ago — June 23, 2009 — at a congressional hearing on Obamacare. The topic was the keep-your-coverage promise, and the participants were Christina Romer, then chair of the Council of Economic Advisers, and Rep. Tom Price, who is also a doctor. The conversation plays out like one of those word puzzles where you start out with one word and change one letter at a time to get a completely different word. Watch Romer’s responses on keeping your coverage go from “Absolutely” to a stammering “I’d have to look at the specifics.” It’s also yet another reminder of what a pig in a poke Obamacare was. Even the people advocating for it had no idea what was in it. REP. PRICE: You also mentioned, as other folks have, that the president’s goal — and it’s reiterated over and over and over —… Read more →

Mad Libs

President Barack Obama’s speeches have a familiar ring these days — no matter if it’s guns, immigration or the budget. Tout what he’s already done. Say the public’s in his corner. Demand Congress do something. Lament Washington dysfunction. Lay out his own plan. Avoid details. Urge voters to keep up the pressure. Warn it won’t be easy. Bask in the applause. It’s the fill-in-the-blank approach to selling a presidential agenda: same template, just adjusted for the topic. — President Obama’s fill-in-the-blank sales pitch – Carrie Budoff Brown – POLITICO.com Read more →

Thomas Jefferson on Why Your Health Insurance Premium is Going Up

Health insurance companies across the country are seeking and winning double-digit increases in premiums for some customers, even though one of the biggest objectives of the Obama administration’s health care law was to stem the rapid rise in insurance costs for consumers. — Despite New Health Law, Some See Sharp Rise in Premiums – NYTimes.com That headline should not read “DESPITE new health law,” it should read “BECAUSE OF new health law.” But we were going to get things for free! We were promised better things at a lower cost! In my day, most of the citizens were farmers or merchants or tradesmen. They lived by their hands and their wits. They had horse sense and they knew when they were being sold a bill of goods. Of course, that was before television. Americans today are unfortunately rather stupid. Most of them don’t know anything about economics, science, history, government… Read more →

Thomas Jefferson on the General Welfare Clause

[Thomas Jefferson] then considered the general phrase of the Constitution that identified the purpose of the taxing power as “to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States.” Congress, he said, was to levy taxes only for these purposes, not for any purpose they pleased. “In like manner they are not to do anything they please to provide for the general welfare, but only to lay taxes for that purpose.” To interpret this provision in any other way would reduce the Constitution to “a single phrase, that of instituting a Congress with power to do whatever would be for the good of the U.S. and as they would be the sole judges of good or evil, it would also be a power to do whatever evil they pleased.” — Noble E. Cunningham, Jr., In Pursuit of Reason: The Life of Thomas Jefferson Read more →

3 Rules of Politics

When you control Congress but not the White House, blame the White House. When you control the White House but not Congress, blame Congress. When you control the White House and Congress, blame your predecessor. Read more →