Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Last Call For Do-Nothing Congress

We've reached the point where in 2014, incumbents in Congress and especially the House are actively running on not introducing legislation at all.

This House is on track to produce the lowest number of legislative proposals since the Clinton administration. Through mid-May, representatives introduced 18 percent fewer bills compared with the same point in the previous Congress. That’s the largest drop between Congresses in the period beginning in 1995, when Republicans overturned decades of Democratic rule in the House. The number of lawmakers who have introduced at least 25 proposals has fallen by nearly two-thirds compared with the previous Congress. The number who have produced five or fewer pieces of legislation has jumped 81 percent.

The representatives who have introduced little or no legislation come from both parties and are veterans and newcomers alike. Brad Sherman, a Democrat from California, has introduced two bills this Congress. In the previous six years he was responsible for 42. John Mica, a Florida Republican and a high-ranking member of committees with jurisdiction over transportation and government oversight, also has proposed two bills (and two amendments), none since last year. That’s down from 27 bills in the previous Congress.

I can sort of understand Democrats choosing not to introduce legislation that will never get a vote under the House GOP that controls the chamber, but at this point even Republicans no longer give a damn.

The legislative pullback has few starker examples than Jeb Hensarling, a Texas Republican and chairman of the House Financial Services Committee.

The Financial Services committee — which oversees banking, the Federal Reserve and mortgage lending, among other areas — has held hearings and considered bills drafted by others. And Mr. Hensarling has been active in proposing bills that, in particular, address the government-sponsored entities Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. But he has not proposed any legislation of his own since the 113th Congress began in January 2013, whether related to the financial industry or his Dallas-area district (he has added his name as a co-sponsor of other legislation at least 105 times).

And why should he have to do the hard work when ALEC and Club For Growth and Heritage Foundation will introduce legislation for him?  He's a manager who delegates, baby.

You're a sucker if you think Republicans want to make government work for anyone but themselves.

Not Evolving At All

Gallup's latest poll on Americans and Creationism find that, as it has been for the last 32 years, a healthy chunk of Americans do not believe in evolution.

More than four in 10 Americans continue to believe that God created humans in their present form 10,000 years ago, a view that has changed little over the past three decades. Half of Americans believe humans evolved, with the majority of these saying God guided the evolutionary process. However, the percentage who say God was not involved is rising.

Trend: Which of the following statements comes closest to your views on the origin and development of human beings?

The chart makes it pretty clear that this is not a new phenomenon.  But the older, less educated, and more often you go to church, the more likely you are to believe in creationism.  However, that too has been the case since the 80's.

It means enough Americans are taught Creationism to replace those that are aging.  Today, 46% of 30-49 year olds believe in Creationism.  That's going to help keep these numbers stable for some time.

Only 1% of people who attend church weekly believe humanity evolved without God guiding the process.

One percent.

There's some small hope, though.  The number of people who believe that God has nothing to do with evolution has doubled since 2000.  We'll see.

Post-Racial America Update

Sure am glad Chief Justice Roberts declared racism over, so we can all breathe easier now knowing that there's no need for civil rights laws.

A cotton gin in Memphis, Tennessee is facing a federal discrimination complaint after one of its supervisors was caught on a cell phone recording making racist remarks to black employees.

African-American workers at the Atkinson Cotton Warehouse this week described to WREG treatment that evoked cotton’s historic connections to racism and slavery.

According to Antonio Harris and Marrio Mangrum, their boss at the cotton gin longed for the days of Jim Crow, when white men could “hang” black men for drinking from the wrong water fountain.

“He would be like, ‘You need to think like a white man,’” Mangrum recalled.

“He pulled his pants down in front of us and told us to kiss his white tail,” Harris explained.

Sure am glad that's taken care of.

After enduring months of racist comments, Harris decided to use his cell phone to record an attempt to drink from a water fountain in the warehouse.

I need to put a sign here that says ‘white people only,’” the supervisor says in the recording.

When Harris tries to use the microwave, the boss tells him he is not allowed to use it because “you are not white.”

“As a white man, we don’t even let Larry use it,” the boss notes in reference to a black employee who had worked at the cotton gin for over 10 years

The supervisor goes on to lament that that blacks and whites are no longer kept separate in the United States through segregation.

“Back then, nobody thought anything about it,” he opines. “Now everybody is made to where to think it’s bad.”

“Put your sign on the wall then, because I am feeling to drink it,” Harris asks. “What would they do when they catch me drinking your water?”

“That’s when we hang you,” the supervisor warns

Yep.  No reason at all for civil rights legislation in 2014.


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