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  • THAT AWKWARD TIME

    Posted by Subotai Bahadur on July 11th, 2017 (All posts by )

    You know the one I mean. When you can see what is coming at you head on, and yet it is considered very poor form in the proper circles to admit the truth.

    This is written on July 10, 2017. Tomorrow Congress returns from its VERY long weekend for the 4th of July. Note that they refer to it in official documents as the “4th of July” recess, for them the date is more important than the Independence of our country.

    By whatever name, it is the calendar that is of import. Remember, from tomorrow, our worthless, ambulatory violations of Article I, Section 9, Clause 8 of the Constitution take their next vacation after barely a fortnight and 3 days after returning. And they will take the end of July, all of August, and the first part of September off. Technically, there are 12 working days before that respite. Technically. But Congress cannot be troubled, regardless of supposed party, to actually work 5 days a week. Mondays and Fridays are part of the congressional weekend and are not to be profaned by the work of the public.

    So, what of that work remains to be done, and under what strictures?

    It is 6 months since the inauguration of President Trump. The inauguration means a changeover in the makeup of the cabinet and sub-cabinet. Right now, while the President Trump’s cabinet has been confirmed, there are I am told today 133 sub-cabinet positions still being held by Obama’s appointees because a Republican Senate cannot bring itself to actually cast up and down votes on their replacements. Which means that Obama’s policies are still being carried out.

    After 7 years of repeated promises by every Republican national level candidate and policy making institution to “Repeal and Replace Obamacare” at the first chance; it turns out that a Republican House, a Republican Senate, with finally a Republican President is incapable of seriously starting. 7 years, and neither House made the slightest plans or preparation to “Repeal and Replace”. Speaker of the House Paul Ryan only allowed a vote on his own plan, which left every aspect of Obamacare, every destruction of the American Health Care system, firmly in place but under Republican control.

    The Senate Majority Leader, Mitch McConnell, puts forth his own plan that tweaks matters a little, but leaves every aspect of Health Care in the control of the government, bureaucrats, and out of the hands of those who use and pay for it. And even that watered down disaster probably will not pass because not only is there unanimous Democrat opposition, the usual Republican Senators who can be depended upon to support Democrats say they will vote with them.

    It is clear that the Republican Party and Republicans in Congress never had any intention of ever saving us from Obamacare.

    Then there is the matter of the Federal Budget. According to the Constitution, the budget and spending authorization bills have to be drawn up for each government department. The votes on each item are public record, so that the people can see if the politicians are doing as they promised. The budget and spending bills are required by the Constitution to start in the House of Representatives.

    We have not had a Federal Budget in accordance with the Constitution of the United States since the election of Buraq Hussein Obama as president. Instead they have passed “Continuing Resolutions” where no member of Congress’s stand and vote on any issue can be determined. It is all or nothing. From 2008-2010 the Democrats has both Houses of Congress, and there was no recourse. But in 2010, the Republicans took control of the House. All it takes is an order from the Speaker of the House, and Regular budget order is restored. But promises aside, no Republican Speaker dared offend the Democrats by upholding the Constitutional order.

    In 2014, the Republicans regained the Senate. It does not matter who the President is; the budget, the power of the purse is the province of Congress alone. And still, there was no budget, and there were Continuing Resolutions. And after Paul Ryan became the Republican Speaker, he gave Obama even MORE money than he had demanded, with no resistance.

    Almost as much as they promised the end of Obamacare, the Republicans promised a return to budgeting.

    Do you see any sign of a budget emerging from a Republican Congress? No. We are going to have yet another Continuing Resolution, and probably it will be just more money for Obama’s priorities and contempt for the majority of the country.

    IF Congress works every possible day between now and the end of the Fiscal Year [and if there is not Budget or Continuing Resolution by start of the new Fiscal Year on October 1, the government shuts down] they have 33 days to write the bills, hold hearings, and pass a budget through both Houses. However, the one key point that the Republicans in Congress have stood firm for, without flinching, is that they are going to take every possible day off that they can. So take Mondays and Fridays out of that 33 days.

    There is no way they are going to pass a Budget. There is no way that they are going to “Repeal and Replace” Obamacare, or even reduce its mandates. And from the look of it, it will be a year or more before President Trump gets a Republican Senate to confirm his appointees.

    Before you say that it is only the first year of this session of Congress; absolutely NOTHING gets done in the second year of a Congress because every pendulant Richard is concentrating on fundraising, politics, and being re-elected. The public interest and their duties totally disappear from the minds of Congress.

    It is awkward. It is considered to be uncouth. But we have to admit if we are honest that as far as changes in policy, and what the government actually does to us; there is minimal difference between a Republican Congress and a Democrat Congress. Republicans will not oppose Democrats when Republicans are in power. And they will not oppose them when they are out of power. We have a Congress and bureaucracy controlled by the Left under two labels, and an Executive that while technically Republican is actually closer to being Nationalist and is hated by Congress and the Bureaucracy for it.

    So, at the end of the Fiscal Year, and on into the political process that begins immediately afterwards, is there any reason for anyone who loves country and Constitution to support the collection of fools, miscreants, maladroits, and mendacious unindicted co-conspirators running as Republicans?

    Or while we have time to think about it, maybe consideration of an amalgamation of TEA Party Patriots, Deplorables, and people who are tired of being lied to consistently as being more worth of our loyalty and efforts would be more rewarding?

    At this point, every Establishment Republican will be screaming, “If you don’t support us, the Democrats will win!”.

    That could be a fair point, but in return they should have to answer, “At a time when the Democrats have made the rule of law moot, where they declare any election that they do not win as illegitimate, where they openly attack people on the streets and have attempted mass political assassination to overturn Congressional elections we gave the Republican Party control of both Houses of Congress and the Presidency. What have you done differently from the Democrats, and who have you fought harder, the Democrats or your own President and your own voters? Deeds, not just words.

     

    14 Responses to “THAT AWKWARD TIME”

    1. dearieme Says:

      It should mostly be a cause of celebration when a legislature is not sitting.

    2. dearieme Says:

      In particular, if Congressional Democrats are traitors and Republicans are poltroons, wouldn’t it be better if they never repaired to Washington in the first place?

    3. Joe Wooten Says:

      Nuke the swamp from orbit. it’s the only way to be sure it’s destroyed.

    4. DirtyJobsGuy Says:

      There is no mention of POTUS in this lamentation, which is perhaps the fundamental cause. The WH (meaning Trump and his extended family) have failed to nominate sub-cabinet positions in many cases and has taken no leadership role on budgets, health care (except to tweet), or taxation. The Chief executive if failing as a leader and administrator. Perhaps that is because he never was one and doesn’t know how. A man who never had a boss except his father doesn’t know how to deal with co-equals. A man who’s claimed negotiating skills were primarily to extract himself from self-inflicted disasters doesn’t know how to keep silent or to encourage as required. A man who’s leadership skills prompted Burt Reynolds (one of Trumps associates in the USFL) to say don’t ever let Donald do to the USA what he did to the USFL has no long term plan except for himself.

      NO REAL LEADER BLAMES HIS PARTNERS OR SUBORDINATES.

    5. Anonymous Says:

      DJG: Coincidentally enough, this editorial just yesterday appeared in the WSJ, regarding executive nominations and Senate consent:

      https://www.wsj.com/articles/running-the-schumer-blockade-1499728159

    6. Subotai Bahadur Says:

      As an UPDATE this morning, Dante’s conception of the 9th Circle of Hell just came true. It is frozen over completely.

      Mitch McConnell, Chief Senate Collaborator with the Democrats [but McCain is working hard to catch up] just announced that the Senate will stay in session through the first two weeks of August. There is no guarantee that anything will be done, and I expect them to take compensatory time off later.

      DJG: I myself wish that President Trump would take a more active role in backhanding the Republicans in Congress. Because nothing but coercion is going to change their actions or lack thereof. The problem is that 1) the Republicans in Congress hate Trump and those who voted for him as much as the Democrats do. They have no intention of fulfilling their campaign promises. In fact they have every intention of being Democrat Mini-Me’s.

      2) The problem is also in large part that the budget, the legislation, Obamacare, etc. are given by the Constitution to Congress as their sphere. If Trump pushes McConnell and Ryan, they will get up on their high horse and be joined by the Democrats and the media.

      If I had my druthers, which I don’t necessarily, the GOPe would be facing a distinct prospect of actually living under the laws they have helped the Democrats make. Further, I would love it if President Trump would call for the formation of an “American”, “Nationalist”, “Patriot”, or “Deplorable” Party as an alternative to the Republicans who have betrayed us. It would be nice to have a real opposition party.

    7. Mike K Says:

      I have been complaining about the lack of “Regular Order” since 2014, here and elsewhere.

      On the matter of the Trump appointments, I have two comments.

      One, Trump did not have a “government in waiting” as other GOP and Democrat presidents have had to choose from. I’m OK with that.

      They used to say in Vietnam, “If it’s not worth doing, it’s not worth doing well.”

      Many of those office are better left empty. I do agree they should not be occupied by Obama appointees but I think that is largely over.

      A man who’s claimed negotiating skills were primarily to extract himself from self-inflicted disasters doesn’t know how to keep silent or to encourage as required. <

      Two, That is pure GOPe tendentious. I disagree and will keep that comment in mind when evaluating your other comments,.

    8. Anonymous Says:

      Regarding a return to Regular Order, it’s been eight years since Congress operated under these rules. Given the turnover on congressional staffs, I doubt there are many left who actually know how to make this happen anymore. Furthermore, I believe this long-term institutional damage was intentional. Thanks, Obama!

    9. freddie Says:

      Personally, I’m expecting the fun to begin on Oct 1. Doesn’t the President have to approve the CR? And, what happens if he doesn’t? DC shuts down because “Congress can’t do their job.” Let’s see them fight their way out of that trap.

      As far as the open positions — yes, toss the Obama staffers, but do all of those positions need to be filled?

    10. Anonymous Says:

      To me the upshot of all this is that the only things that are getting done are being done by exercise of the executive power. And that is necessarily little domestically and not much internationally (given the degradation of our national power).

      Unless the cycle of tweet/email/un-named source leaks damage control can be greatly minimized, this isn’t looking good for Trump’s major goals and 2018 could be “difficult”.

      I think it about time that Trump got McConnell and Ryan into a small, secure room and explained to them how this is going to go down. If he can’t get them under control, then it “ain’t going no wares, no how.” As we sometimes say down here on the ranch.

      Death6

    11. Rumaggi Says:

      These protracted summer recesses, may have made sense, when the British gave their diplomats there hardship pay, but a long time ago air conditioning put an end to that. Congress and their superfluous staff can easily perform their duties through the year.

    12. Brian Says:

      Congress needs to meet remotely, via video conferencing, etc., so that they can live at home among their constituents, not in the distant capital city.

      They should take more recesses, not fewer.

      But the main government scheduling change that the last several years have made clear must happen is that the lame duck period for both legislative and executive branches must be ended.

    13. Anonymous Says:

      Very good point on getting with it. Since they don’t even have to be present in the chamber when in session, the four day weekend makes even less sense. What a racket.

      Death6

    14. Mrs. Davis Says:

      Forgive my redundancy if I have delivered this rant at this venue previously.

      The original plan at the Constitutional Convention was for the House to have 1 member per 30,000 citizens. It is now in excess of one representative per 700,000 citizens. (There were less than 4 million people in the entire country in the 1790 census. Only one state, Virginia, had over 700,000 people.) I do not know why the number of representatives should be held constant at 435 and the citizen:rep ratio allowed to fluctuate.

      If we returned to 30,000:1 or at worst 60,000:1 we would have a House of 5 to 10,000 representatives. Too many to bribe or effectively lobby. Lower campaign costs. End TV ads for House. Closer to voters. Lower pay dramatically. End pensions and health care so that they have to keep their job. More like service in the Reserves. Less legislation. They would have to do business as Brian suggests.

      Change Constitution so there would be only one two year budget per congress to run in the second year of current congress and first year of subsequent congress.

      Never happen because corruption is now too ingrained.