Friday, April 07, 2006

Bring On The Reformation!

How the mighty have fallen. The Hammer is throwing in the towel, and Top Gun and Dishonest Abe are both headed for the big house.

Since master lobbyist Jack Abramoff’s seemingly immeasurable tentacles were revealed to be wrapped firmly around Congress, lawmakers have been scrambling to revise their lobbyist rules, or at least to give the impression that they’re keen to do so.

“Reform” is a word much loved by politicians, who use it in an almost politically correct, euphemistic way. It implies the desire to make things right, even if their actions are very wrong. See “tax reform” (aka “giving to the rich”) and “tort reform” (same) for examples.

The Republicant-run House Ethics Committee, which undoubtedly saw some indictments for its representatives coming down the pike, tried to change its rules to accommodate its ethically challenged members, but when Democrats cried foul the committee was forced to relent.

That does not mean they felt compelled to do their jobs, though. Unable to give bigwigs like Tom DeLay a "Get Out Of Jail Free" pass, they simply chose to go missing.

Of late this has been the modus operandi for the Republicant party, who have stood with their hands in their pockets as leaders have repeatedly broken the law and/or ethics rules. See "George W. Bush" and "Bill Frist" for examples.

Congress is only taking a stand now that there has been a public outcry.
Members should have been policing themselves all along; that is the meaning of integrity.

There are competing bills in the House and Senate designed to curtail the influence of lobbyists in the Legislative branch. But some are charging that Republicants keep trying to water down the rules; as the party in power, they have the most to lose from stricter regulations.

I expect these bills to be debated and rewritten until most real reform has been squeezed from them. When the story of the day changes to something else, lawmakers will feel the heat subside a bit, and will pass a token bill just so, come reelection time, they can say they "led the way" on reform on Capitol Hill.

32 comments:

Ben said...

Dinosaurs.

They're playing old games following old rules and methinks some of them are quite surprised that it does not work quite as well as it used to. So they will try again. And again.

So it is good that posts like yours are published. It is about highlighting the mechanisms until they cannot be ignored anymore.

And:

For a while - as you predict - they'll succeed in preventing change. We will possibly see even more drama but not a lot of truth, and it will all be portrayed to us in tasty TV-fragments.

But more of the dinosaurs will stumble. And at the same time more people will say:

This cannot go on.

And then - once again just my personal opinion but I am stubbornly sticking to it - the scale will tip.

Even if there are worse things to come - and they might - why not consider them inmportant and NECESSARY catalysts? Why not see them as wake up calls that WILL work?

Pete Bogs said...

ben - how apt, referring to our oil-industry-slave representatives as dinosaurs!

Ben said...

Yeah, they are slaves, aren't they? Power-slaves. And they think they rule while T-Rex and his ilk laugh about them in top office floors along High street. But Enron and other examples show: Those brutes will die out, too.

Pete Bogs said...

like Sting wrote, we're "Walking In Your Footsteps"

all empires fall, and corporations are the modern-day equivalent... greed and hubris brings down the mighty eventually...

ffff said...

"Ethically challenged" is a delicious phrase....so neat and no swearing needed.
I too hope the balance tips but I don't know how long we all have to wait and what destruction is being done in the meantime? Will any of it be able to be redressed? Why is it taking so long for history to show how shallow and dangerous the neo-cons attitude and plans are?

Glad you are keeping on top of it Pete.
Cheers

K9 said...

/bark bark bark

Off topic.

you have posted that you were alarmed by the wiretapping by W's adminstration. spying. gathering information with out full disclosure?

imagine my surprise when i clicked on the little rubiks cube below to discover my operaing system, lat and long, IP address, etc listed along with the frequency and length of my visits! I could also see all the other bloggers info too. including you, where you post from and from what department.

i'm speechless bogs

/grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr

Pete Bogs said...

k9 - I got Site Meter to tell me how many people are visiting this site... apart from profile views, and the odd comments, I couldn't tell if one person or a hundred people a day are reading it... the other info is a unintended side-effect that I have no use for, with the exception of finding that people on like five or six continents have visited my site, which is kind of cool! I am not data mining... whereas, W is conducting true surveillance, just to see who his friends and peace-loving, vegan-eating enemies are...

fatty ~ said...

keep your friends close and your enemies closer.

Pete Bogs said...

fatty - I hope that means, since you are on the other side of the globe, that we are friends...

;-)

Aunty Belle said...

Bawgs?? Youse spyin' on your fella bloggers? Ain't hospitable a'tall. If youse collectin' IPs...well now...that is violation of the spirit of bloggin' ain't it?

When dat quiet thwock thwock thwock is heard outside yore balcony it'll be the heli sying on you, too.But'cha reap what'cha sow.

Pete Bogs said...

Aunt B - I wouldn't know what to do with an IP address if it bit me on the nose... you give me too much credit... it's a visit counter for me, that's all...

is there a mutiny at hand? is the trust gone?

Aunty Belle said...

Ojh, and about oil...looky, it ain't jes' the oil, mah pets...c'mon, jes' please puhleeeeese look at the map o' this orb.

See? Lawdy, ya'll what's wrong wif yore sniffers, smell the coffee.

Here it is plain: Youse can be dominated by China or youse can be loosley "dominated" by the USA...and if hairdo-harry kerry had been elected, NOTHIN' would be different on the matter of Iraq other than the spin to the left, but the actions would be ditto--gotta be, ain't no choices iffin' yose plannin' on having an old age.

Aunty Belle said...

Bawgs, it cain't bite'cha on yore nose--they's a drink in fronnt o' it.

Bird said...

hmmm..k9's revelation - and bogs -your reponse

yeah, you're not data mining,but it does remove a certain amount of privacy and cloaking for lurkers, folks who may comment, but who also cycle back to reread, etc. it's a little disconcerting, to say the least.

anyway to track # of visitors without catologuing their activiy?

native said...

hey Bogs,

this is a fascinating turn in the post! I just looked at my stats on your rubiks cube page to find my IP routes through a little town 45 miles south of me.
I also discovered the previous poster, the bird, is in Newark CA, runs WinXP, and uses IE 6. The map IS cool, i clicked on all the dots to see what cities your readers are in, and looked also at which other bloggers sent you the most referrals. its interesting,

I am more of a lurker here, so i cannot speak to the mutiny or loss of trust since i haven't told you much about me, but i can see how it would be a little weird for the regulars.

i would tell the aunty, K9 and bird that the IP's are those of your service providers and not your actual computer address. however some nefarious hacker type might be able to mine that info to send out some kind of spybots...who knows? this is a topic worthy of further discussion and i look forward to coming back and seeing how this all shakes out.

Ben said...

Hello, gone native.

It is most interesting. I have posted about it and because of that, you are now on my link-list, Pete.

Pete Bogs said...

I'm not trying to defer "blame," if there is any, but here's how this whole got started... after a few months of posting here, I was really, really curious to know if my daily efforts were worth continuing... as I said about, the profile views counter and the odd comments (I get more now) were the only indication... I actually solicited help on this blog, asking if anyone knew how to get one of those site counter thingys... I got a few responses that were helpful... SM looked like the easiest to install, so I did that... the stats page (# of visitors today, this week, etc.) was just what the doctor ordered... I monitored the "visits" stat page for a while, then wondered what all those other links on the other side of the page were... world map - cool! people from all over are reading my humble little blog... I clicked another link, and it had all this duration of visit, location, OS, etc. info... more than I bargained for, but I figured this site meter thing was pretty standard on the web - other blogs and other sites in general have them, as sure as they have nav bars...

I didn't realise this would cause such a stir... maybe a disclaimer is needed? I am writer, and as I said, I wouldn't know what to do with an IP address to hack your system if I wanted to... however, as some have pointed out, that doesn't mean that some deceitful person might not... it was never my intention to compromise any visitor's info, or even to gawk at it myself...

I don't if there is a SM option to view numbers without that other info... as I said, I just did a basic install... I'll look into it...

or perhaps I'll resign to "spend more time with my family," as the disgraced say...

Pete Bogs said...

fyi, yes I HAVE now changed the SM counter to where only I can see it... that doesn't solve the original issue, but I am looking into that...

Hellpig said...

If only liberals were half as angry at the people who flew planes into our skyscrapers as they are with Tom DeLay, we might have two patriotic parties in this country.

Any Republicans who didn't ferociously defend Tom DeLay — which is to say, almost all Republicans in Congress, the president, and alleged conservative writers trying to impress the editorial board of The New York Times — better hope liberals never come after them. The only proven method for a Republican to avoid having his name turned into a liberal malediction is to be completely ineffective. You'll notice there's no "Stop Lamar Alexander Before It's Too Late" Web site.

Joe McCarthy, Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan, Ed Meese, Oliver North, Clarence Pendleton, Newt Gingrich, Karl Rove, Tom DeLay — all these men saw their names used as curse words.

Only one of them was ever indicted. To wit, the comical indictment of DeLay recently brought by political hack Ronnie Earle. To finally get some grand jury to hand up an indictment, Earle had to empanel six grand juries in Austin, Texas, which is like the Upper West Side with more attractive people. In addition, DeLay knows Republican and gambling lobbyist Jack Abramoff and his associates, who have recently pleaded guilty to various other incomprehensible charges.

Liberals spit out all these names with more venom than they've ever been able to muster for names like "Saddam Hussein" and "Abu Musab al-Zarqawi."

Even proud American corporations find their names being turned into curse words by liberals, such as "Halliburton," which is currently losing money in Iraq in order to supply food to our troops — you know, the same troops liberals pretend to love (but don't lose money feeding).

I spent a couple of hours listening to liberal hate radio this week to try to figure out what crime against God and man Tom DeLay is even alleged to have committed. But all I heard was the name "Tom DeLay" and "PRISON!" mentioned in the same sentence over and over again.

Back when Newt Gingrich still scared liberals, the House Ethics Committee spent years probing various charges against him, focusing on the charge that a college class he taught was ... partisan! Meanwhile, they're teaching Marxism in comp lit classes, Islamic terrorism in Indian experience classes, and Druidism in divinity classes. As we speak, freshmen in English 101 classes all over the country are rushing to complete their term papers on how all heterosexual sex is rape. Over a million dollars later, the committee realized: Wait a second. This is a college class!

But at the urging of the Democrats, the Internal Revenue Service spent 3 1/2 years investigating Gingrich's college course. After all the hullabaloo, the result was: No crime. The classes "were not biased toward particular politicians or a particular party" — thus distinguishing Gingrich's class from every other college course in America.

To the contrary, Gingrich's college class spent more time praising FDR and JFK than praising Reagan. (Did you know that FDR's radio broadcast after Pearl Harbor included an eight-minute prayer? You would have learned that in Newt's course.)

But the mere mention of the name "Newt Gingrich" was proof of criminal conduct in the '90s.

When Democrats are accused of wrongdoing, it's usually something more like what most people think of as a crime, say, punching a Capitol Hill policeman.

Or perhaps by being captured on tape in hotel rooms stuffing wads of cash into their pockets from Arab sheiks — as Democrats were during the Abscam investigation. This was back when Democrats controlled Congress. Consequently, Congress responded to this shocking proof of criminality by their colleagues by ... investigating the FBI for investigating members of Congress.

The "rule of law" means something entirely different for Republicans and Democrats. Consider the case of a prosecutor faced with the same possible wrongdoing by a Republican office-holder and a Democrat office-holder at the same time.

In the midst of Ronnie Earle's witch hunt of Republican Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison for allegedly using her office for campaign purposes — begun days after she was elected to the U.S. Senate by a 2-1 margin — employees in former Democratic Gov. Ann Richards' office admitted that they destroyed almost three years' worth of long-distance billing records that were supposed to be preserved — to ensure the office wasn't being used for campaign purposes, among other things.

According to the Austin American-Statesman, Earle promptly "cleared (Richards) and her staff of wrongdoing, saying there was no evidence of criminal intent."

Conservatives live under a jurisprudence of laws, but they get prosecuted under liberals' jurisprudence of epithets.

Anonymous said...

/bark bark bark

bogs! are you forgetting my mission statement which is SPARRING k9? you know full well that i trust you and have praised your economy as a writer within the content of my posts.

what i was attempting to do was draw a paralell between wire tapping and site stats. about how certain things are okay if the "right" people" do it and not okay if the "wrong people" do it.

kinda like free speech is great until a lib doesnt like what you say then its "hate" Do you know what i am trying to say here? Helly knows what i am talking about.

it is not a discussion about individuals but an examination of the inequality of disdain.

by the way, as an experiment, i am here under a cloaking device. i would love to know how it defines me on the meter. would you tell me? the cloaking device will not allow me to see the site meter. sorry bogs.

/grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr

Aunty Belle said...

HAil-pig! Now sweet baby shoat, thas' jes' an awesome rebuttal.

Ain't no body better say nuthin' bad about Kay Bailey Hutchinson..she done saved this nation from the the Wildlands fiasco--along wif the Cattleman's Association of America--unsung heroes. She kept the UN noose offa our necks for a spell--so whisper reverently when yer mention her name, pets.

And Bawgs, thanks for settin' the site to be a Bawgs eyes only gig...jes' doan want nobody to figger out that they's been bloggin' wif Kahnd OLeeza Basmati.

Pete Bogs said...

hell and Aunt B - the so-called criminalization of politics is complete bullshit... don't let the fact that few indictments have ever happened influence - DeLay's was a miracle in a sea of corruption... Nixon was only not indicted because he quite first... Reagan should been impeached for Iran-Contra, but the Congress was apparently braindead at the time... I can't explain that... there's also the factor of how the law and the legislative are unconscionably deferential to the head honchos,to the point where they'll look the other way at their crimes... we've all heard of the "Do you know how fast you were driving, sir? Mr. Mayor? Oh, sorry. You have a good night, sir." that kind of thing... and then there's being part of a party whose leaders have fucked it and their country up almost beyond repair, and desperately trying hold onto the majority at any cost... what do you do? you become Pat Roberts or Arlen Specter? "nope, I don't see anything wrong here..."

k9 - I see a comparison, but a very thin one... Bush is a liar, I am not... often there is no distinction made between those who do things intentionally/maliciously, and those who do not... but I do make a distinction...

I have seen some Unknown Country (?) listings... maybe that's what happens... what city/state are you in, and I can tell you if it's showing up?

Ben said...

I can but echo your thoughts, Pete. THNX for stopping by from... oh, haven't even checked.

In fact: Once one finds out that one can get all that info, you go "Oh, shit!" and then "Wow!"

So for couple of days you're fascinated and then - can't do anything with it anyway - you stop looking at the details and get back to what you always wanted to know: "How many?" (oh, not more?) and "Where are they from?" (wow, a guy from Russia and someone from China).

Dont' think there's an option to reduce the info you get. And why should you, Pete?

Disclaimer might be an idea.

Hellpig said...

Bogs said and then there's being part of a party whose leaders have fucked it and their country up almost beyond repair, and desperately trying hold onto the majority at any cost.

This is the Dems during and after the clinton admin.And is still ongoing,it's what slows this great nation down,and puts the people in this country at risk,the reason we are even at WAR is because Clinton could not due his damn job.And we would still have the Twin Towers to boot.

My new term
"Liberalism = Hippocrates"

Hellpig said...

"DO" not DUE

Jack K. said...

According to a passage in the Messiah's Handbook in Richard Bach's Illusions, "Live your life in such a way, that no matter what you do could be written up and published in any newspaper, even if it is a lie." I will have to go back to that passage to get it word for word, but this is a pretty good para-phrase. So keep getting the data and do with it what you will. I have everything to hide. Even if it is a lie.

Anonymous said...

/bark bark bark

i am posting from atlanta at 8:24 am sunday
cloaked.

/grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr

Pete Bogs said...

hell - in that case, I will take the Hippocratic Oath...

jack - your "info" is safe with me...

k9 - what I see is a visitor from East Ellijay, at around that time... not Atlanta, and not that time... but I can see all the usual info...

infinitesimal said...

Does nobody actully read the bitch blog? I tried to tell you.
You think Bogs is a dick? Try thinking that this is the tip of the iceberg.

EVERY website you go to has the same info and similar counter.

The pay as you go site meters probably offer up your mother's maiden name and bra size....

Bogs uses the free sitemeter, and the pay one is used by companies.

You can trust Bogs WAY more than you can trust porn sites or knitting sites with your info.

Read the bitch blog, there is NOWHERE TO HIDE.

Hi Bogs, I do not think you are a dick.....

Hellpig said...

Fair enough,just dont go crossing your fingers behind your back

Pete Bogs said...

thanks, Contessa... it wasn't smart of me not to notice the SM privacy option, so no one else can see the info... I still can see it, but am not intentionally trying to invade anyone's privacy... I don't know what else to say...

hey, you have a bitch blog, maybe I can start a "dick" blog?

Hellpig said...

No worries Bogs,I have a friend who can track anyone anywhere at anytime,does not matter if you have the IP masked or not he could find you as long as your PC left an IP anywhere on the net.I know the basics like how to track and so on, but I am clueless on how to utilize the info.Not that I would use it if I knew how.In fact I have a Ping program that will allow access to any Vulnerable PC on the net.