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Sat Apr 27, 2013, 05:04 AM

How We Ended Up with the Worst Congress Money Can Buy

http://www.alternet.org/news-amp-politics/how-we-ended-worst-congress-money-can-buy



***SNIP


How else to explain a Congress that still adamantly refuses to do anything, despite some 90 percent of the American public being in favor of background checks for gun purchases and a healthy majority favoring other gun control measures? Last week, they ignored the pleas of Newtown families and the siege of violence in Boston and yielded once again to the fanatical rants of Wayne LaPierre and the National Rifle Association. In just the first three months of this year, as it shoved back against the renewed push for controls, the NRA spent a record $800,000 keeping congressional members in line.

And how else to explain why corporate tax breaks have more than doubled in the last 25 years? Or why the Senate and House recently gutted the STOCK Act requiring disclosure of financial transactions by White House staff and members of Congress and their staffs and prohibiting them from insider trading? It was passed into law and signed by President Obama last year – an election year – with great self-congratulation from all involved. But fears allegedly arose that there might be security risks for some in the executive branch if their financial business was known. That concern was examined by the Columbia Journalism Review, which “consulted four cybersecurity experts from leading think tanks and private security consultancies. Each came to the same conclusion: that Congress’s rationale for scrapping the financial disclosure rules was bogus.” Nonetheless, the House and Senate leapt at the opportunity to eviscerate key sections of the STOCK Act when almost no one was watching. And the president signed it.

Then there’s the fertilizer plant in West, Texas, where last week, fire and explosion killed at least 15 — 11 of them first responders — and injured more than 200. The Reuters news service reported that the factory “had last year been storing 1,350 times the amount of ammonium nitrate that would normally trigger safety oversight by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.” Why wasn’t Homeland Security on top of this? For one thing, the company was required to tell the department — and didn’t. For another, budget cuts demanded by Congress mean there aren’t enough personnel available for spot inspections.

Same goes for the Occupational Safety and Health Administration – OSHA. The plant hadn’t been inspected in nearly thirty years, and there are so few OSHA inspectors in Texas that it would take 98 years for them to take a look at each workplace in the state once. According to the non-partisan reform group Public Campaign, “Already only able to conduct 40,000 workplace inspections a year in a country with seven million worksites, OSHA will see its budget cut by an additional 8.2 percent this year on account of the sequester.”


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Reply How We Ended Up with the Worst Congress Money Can Buy (Original post)
xchrom Apr 2013 OP
graham4anything Apr 2013 #1

Response to xchrom (Original post)

Sat Apr 27, 2013, 06:28 AM

1. Billy Beane was an interesting concept but in the real world don't work

 

One dollar more for good causes to stop the bad causes.

It really is quite simple.

It is why the NY Yankees always win and the NY Mets always lose.
Winners use their money better.
More money=More winners.
We need to have more people like in the fight against guns- Mike Bloomberg to make $$$good money$$$ defeat bad $$$


MORE $$$ not less

Until Hillary is President and a new court is in place (6 to 3 with many more Sonia Sotomayers, we have to play with the game plan in place.
Naive to think one can snap their fingers and it can all instantly change.

Work with the system to change it, not burn it down and wonder why that didn't work.

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