Rolling Stone contributing editor, Matt Taibbi, confirms what most Americans decry, namely the 109th Congress is ¡§the worst ever.¡¨ He describes our lawmakers (or law breakers) as a ¡§stable of thieves, . . . did their best to turn the mighty American empire into a debt-laden, despotic backwater.¡¨ Matt backups up his denunciation of Congress with compelling statistics.
« The House ¡¥worked¡¦ 218 days, including nine ¡¥short¡¦ eleven minute days. The Senate had three days where they ¡¥worked¡¦ less than 1 minute, qualifying it as the laziest Congress on record.
« Drastically reduced the number of ¡§open rules¡¨ effectively stifling debate and amendments.
« Conference committees have been reduced to a total sham. Democrats are invited for a photo-op, then asked to leave after which the Republicans conduct the real meeting at an undisclosed location. Democrats are compelled to waste time knocking on doors to determine the meeting venues. There have been several instances were Republicans have hid behind doors to avoid detection resembling the antics of elementary school children.
« Denied Democrats advanced notices of meetings to subvert any real debate. At one such meeting, the committee chairman, James Sensenbrenner of Wisconsin, adjourned the meeting abruptly, turned off the microphones and lights leaving the startled Democrats in total darkness.
« Amendments (earmarks) are tacked on to bills as favors to select members to ensure their reelection prospects and as rewards to corporate donors.