July 10, 2007

300 (and Counting...)

Hatched by Dafydd

(No, nothing to do with Spartans. Far from.)

I can't stand being shown up by anyone. But by Michael Medved, of all people... oy!

I started writing this post Friday, but the press of other business (specifically, loafing) caused me to leave it to languish in the "unpublished" bit bucket. But then today, in the first moments of his show, Medved brings the story up and undercuts all my thunder.

Well, if he surpasses us in celerity, perhaps we can at least outclass in wit.

With Congress's approval rating sinking even faster than that of President Bush (Mr. 30% being overseen by Messrs. 25%), it's amusing to note that the only major piece of legislation they have managed to pass is an increase in the minimum wage... and that came as a rider to a bill that caved to Bush on Iraq war funding.

But of course, it's not that the Democrats have been slacking off; they've been beavering away at vital business of the people:

"They've launched over 300 investigations, had over 350 requests for documents and interviews and they have had over 600 oversight hearings in just about 100 days," [Administration spokesman Scott] Stanzel said.

Democrats were dubious of the figures but did not offer their own.

"His numbers are as faulty as the intelligence they used to make their case for war," said Jim Manley, a spokesman for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev. [Jim Manley is the spokesman for the forceful and muscular Reid; don't giggle.]

Ooh, snap! Of course, it's undercut a bit by the fact that the Democrats don't even know how many investigations they have initiated.

Let's have some fun with numbers. In their first 100 days of operation, the Democrats have averaged:

  • Launching three new investigations a day, every day;
  • Making 3.5 requests for documents and interviews per day, every day;
  • Holding six "oversight hearings" per day. Every day.

Assuming Congress works a generous 8 hours a day (heh), that's one new investigation initiated every two hours 40 minutes, another subpoena filed every two hours 17 minutes, and an "oversight hearing" exploding every hour-twenty... all day, every day.

Thank God Majority Leader Harry "Pinky" Reid (D-Caesar's Palace, 90%) and Squeaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Haight-Ashbury, 95%) are fulfilling the traditional Democratic role of looking out for the little guy!

This was charming, no doubt; but they shortly found out
That the Captain they trusted so well
Had only one notion for crossing the ocean,
And that was to tingle his bell.
-- "Lewis Carroll," the Hunting of the Snark: an Agony in Eight Fits, fit the second.

But even more amusing than the rash of rash investigations is how the 110th Congress characterizes the 107th - 109th Congresses:

"In the last six years, all they've had is a rubber-stamp Congress. Since January, Democrats have demanded accountability, a change of course and transparency," Manley said.

Let's see; as we recall, the last three "rubber-stamp Congresses" enacted the top Bush priorities of:

  • Partial privatization of Social Security;
  • MediCare reform;
  • The Dubai Ports World deal;
  • The confirmation of Justice Harriet Miers;
  • Passing the "Byrd rule" to prevent filibusters of judicial nominees;
  • Immigration reform;
  • Tort reform;
  • Spending restraint;
  • Drilling in the Gulf of Mexico, off the coasts, and in ANWR;
  • Cutting the red tape that prevents the building of new, modern nuclear power plants;
  • And making permanent the Bush tax cuts.

A stunning record of achievement! (For the irony impaired... this is irony.)

They also sent to the president the McCain Detainee Amendment, which ties the hands of CIA and military interrogators at Guantanamo Bay and elsewhere. The president loved that so much, he issued one of his infamous signing statements.

It appears that if Congress gives Bush even a few of his priorities -- then rejects the rest -- that constitutes a rubber stamp for the president. Does that mean that the post Gingrich revolution 104th Congress was a rubber stamp for President Clinton because it gave him the Telecommunications Act of 1996, welfare reform, and a line-item veto (struck down by the courts), each of which Clinton eagerly signed?

Personally, I'm pleased with the 110th Congress: I would much rather they twitted their time away "investigating" the Bush administration than spend it more destructively, such as raising taxes or trying to surrender. In fact, if Bush could persuade them to extend their annual summer recess and clambake through November 2008, I would be as happy as a doornail!

Hatched by Dafydd on this day, July 10, 2007, at the time of 2:03 PM

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