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Blog of Mass Destruction

Why Congress Sucks

By The Reverend Published: January 14, 2013

I see the NRA is promising that Congress will not pass a new assault weapons ban. The NRA should know. The NRA owns Congress. After all, the NRA has spent many, many millions to get to the place where they can state with confidence that they own the U.S. Congress (or enough of it), and that Congress won't be passing anything that the NRA doesn't want passed.

That describes America's form of governance perfectly. Huge corporate lobbying groups, in this case gun manufacturers, paying for the congressional representatives they want in Congress....and then, those congressional representatives doing the will of those corporate lobbying groups. Think of any industry....oil, banking, telco, agri-business, weapons manufacturers....it always works the same way. We have the best Congress the top 1% can buy.

Worse, congressional members simply do not have the time to deal with real-voter concerns...or even find out what those real-voter concerns are. Why? Because congressional members are just too damn busy raising money from their corporate owners.....

....the DCCC’s (Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee) recommended schedule for House members includes four hours spent on the phone begging rich people for money and one hour spent begging a rich person for money in person. This is the daily schedule.

Five hours, each day....raising money from wealthy sponsors....for the purpose of getting re-elected. Every single day.

Because "our" representatives spend five hours EACH DAY raising money for the next election....they don't have enough time to study and evaluate policies. So, then, this gets reported....

One member of Congress said that the fundraising takes up so much time that members don’t even have time to become experts on bills they sponsor. “One thing that’s always been striking to me is even the members playing a leading role on specific issues actually could not talk about the issues,” said the member, who didn’t want to be quoted by name. “They didn’t have enough knowledge on their own issues to talk about them at length. I’m probably guilty of that.” He recalled one meeting early in his career, where he brought several members together to try to hash out a compromise, just as he had done earlier as a state legislator.

“Staff members were all twitching at the discussion, because their principals were saying things that were just flat-wrong or uninformed or wondering aloud about what the industry practices really were,” he recalled. “The staff members of course had a pretty good idea. … The members were sitting around the table having a remarkably uninformed and unproductive discussion.”

The blind leading the blind...comes to mind.

If congressional representatives don't have time to understand policy issues because they spend five hours every day raising money from corporate sponsors....who, then, educates these congressional figures before they vote?

“.....there are fewer House staff and fewer legislative support agency personnel now than at any time in the recent past, with data going back to 1979,” according to a 2010 analysis by the Sunlight Foundation.

Which leaves.....

“Lobbyists play a very useful role. They are experts, and they are present when you need them,” said Kelly. “But I think the question is we need to broaden the information playing field.” Lobbyists argue that they are simply defending their first-amendment rights and provide a valuable service to legislators by lending their subject-matter expertise. But those from lucrative industries have more resources to make their case before Congress, paying for outside studies and assigning teams of lawyers to pour over complex legislation, for instance.

Full circle. Elected officials spend five hours every day raising money from wealthy sponsors for the sole purpose of getting re-elected. Raising re-election money for over a half of every day doesn't leave enough time for elected officials to familiarize themselves with policy. Corporate sponsors then rush to fill this need by providing the information busy elected officials need...."They are experts, and they are present when you need them."

Total package. Turnkey operation. Corporate and wealthy sponsors are in charge from start to finish.

There is no need to root around in ideological treatises to figure out why America's government is hopelessly dysfunctional. No need to talk about right and left, Democrats or Republicans.

Simply apply the golden rule. He who has the gold, rules. Everything else is window-dressing.

The only cure for this national malignant tumor is public campaign financing of all federal campaigns.

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