Government Reform

Congress: Now With More Ethics!

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The House just passed a "sweeping" ethics bill, and the Senate plans to do the same this week. (Question: Why are ethics bills always "sweeping"? Is there something about ethics that brings to mine pre-vacuum housekeeping in particular?) Dems say the bill was aimed at "repairing Congress' corruption-sullied image." The bill requires disclosure of "bundled contributions," where lobbyists raise and take credit for many individual contributions that are currently reported separately. It also requires disclosure for earmarks, ending the practice of congressman adding pork without attaching their names.

Apparently, almost everyone wants more ethics:

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., all but dared Republicans to try to block the proposal when it comes to a vote as early as Thursday. "With that resounding vote in the House, 411-8, I think people ought to be concerned about voting against it," he said.

The unethical eight:

Democratic Reps. Lacy Clay (Mo.), Allen Boyd (Fla.), John Tanner (Tenn.), Emanuel Cleaver (Mo.), Neil Abercrombie (Hawaii) and John Murtha (Pa.) opposed the measure. GOP Reps. Jeff Flake (Ariz.) and Joe Barton (Texas) also voted against the bill. Murtha, who has gotten into ethical scrapes with one lawmaker this year, routinely has opposed ethics changes.

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  1. I’m sure this will solve all of their ethics problems.

    What? I should at least be applauding them for making an effort? Oh, ok…clap.

  2. The unethical eight is a great name for a band, wrestling heel stable, or group of comic book villains

  3. Jack,

    I prefer “Womby Vaultages”.

  4. Every time I see the term “sweeping ethics reform,” I read it as “sweeping ethics reform under the rug.”

  5. So…Reason complains about unethical behavior in Congress, especially regarding pork projects. Then, Congress tries to stem unethical behavior regarding pork projects, and so of course Reason complains about that.

  6. I believe that a rational actor might, just might, be cynical about yet another empty set of promises to behave from Congress and its womby vaultages.

  7. Yes, but are they free of trans fats?

    And what about olestra? (that would explain the discharge on most of their legislation)

    YES, Dan! see it’s all about keeping the complaining up. We emerge from our womby vaultages to heap scorn and calumny, only to disappear in the dank, dark recesses over the transom of reality into the pleasant illusion of one too many dreams.

    (As you know, this is the Gusenbauer Lemma)

  8. YES, Dan! see it’s all about keeping the complaining up. We emerge from our womby vaultages to heap scorn and calumny, only to disappear in the dank, dark recesses over the transom of reality into the pleasant illusion of one too many dreams.

    Yes, I guess once a religion identifies its devil, it’s accepted out of hand that the devil cannot be up to anything but evil…

  9. Nice!

    (although I should have thrown in the phrase, “darkness visible”)

    And combine your statement with Verbal’s words from the usual suspects, “the greatest accomplishment of the devil was to convince man he didn’t exist”

    DEMAND KURV!

  10. Good morning. I’m from the government, and I’m here to help you.

  11. BROOKS!

    GO TO YOUR ROOM.

    YOU WERE NOT THAT SCHNEAKY.

  12. Religion? I daresay that Congress has earned more abuse that we heap upon it. As has the rest of the government.

    This is like you telling me that an alien spaceship landed on your lawn. I’d love to believe you, but extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. And the idea that Congress is doing anything of substance to clean up its act is quite the extraordinary claim.

  13. And combine your statement with Verbal’s words from the usual suspects, “the greatest accomplishment of the devil was to convince man he didn’t exist”

    But if you were all convinced that the government didn’t exist, who would you blame all your problems on?

  14. But if you were all convinced that the government didn’t exist, who would you blame all your problems on?

    Trolls. And people who reject Ayn Rand.

  15. This is like you telling me that an alien spaceship landed on your lawn. I’d love to believe you, but extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. And the idea that Congress is doing anything of substance to clean up its act is quite the extraordinary claim.

    But at the same time, there is no evidence that you’d accept of either alien spaceships or government reform.

    Just like how the religious will not accept any evidence that counters their beliefs.

  16. Trolls. And people who reject Ayn Rand.

    Wrong answer…you’d blame the government for not existing.

  17. Silly person, that’s not true at all. It’s possible for the government to reform. I just won’t believe it until evidence to the contrary compels me to do so. I’ll remind you that the evidence of corruption is so overwhelming as to make your faith a womby vaultage.

  18. Silly person, that’s not true at all. It’s possible for the government to reform. I just won’t believe it until evidence to the contrary compels me to do so. I’ll remind you that the evidence of corruption is so overwhelming as to make your faith a womby vaultage.

    Well, how exactly is the institution of new ethics rules not at least a step in the right direction?

  19. But at the same time, there is no evidence that you’d accept of either alien spaceships or government reform.

    Just like how the religious will not accept any evidence that counters their beliefs.

    Right! Disbelief in alien spaceships is a religion!

  20. * sniffs, closes door*

  21. Right! Disbelief in alien spaceships is a religion!

    It is analagous to a religious belief – the claim of knowing something that has not been proven.

  22. Dan –

    I’d reallocate the time I spend complaining about the government back into BATIN….

    but that’s just my preference 😉

  23. Dan T.,

    I take it you believe in the tooth fairy, Santa Claus, sock gnomes, and The Urkobold&trade as well?

    I mean, there’s no evidence to contradict their existence…right?

  24. I wanna hear more about how this weakens disclosure of earmarks. It says that they have to have a name attached, but Jeff Flake voted against it. Now I’m confused, becasue Flake hates earmarks.

  25. So…Reason complains about unethical behavior in Congress, especially regarding pork projects. Then, Congress tries to stem unethical behavior regarding pork projects, and so of course Reason complains about that.

    And, besides, I didn’t see any complaining per se, more like appropriate cynicism at most.

  26. “Silly person, that’s not true at all. It’s possible for the government to reform. I just won’t believe it until evidence to the contrary compels me to do so. I’ll remind you that the evidence of corruption is so overwhelming as to make your faith a womby vaultage.”

    Right, and when you consider all the fun we’ve had with McCain-Feingold campaign reform, well, call me a skeptic.

  27. “Question: Why are ethics bills always “sweeping”? Is there something about ethics that brings to mine pre-vacuum housekeeping in particular?)”

    No… but implying that vacuums are used means that it’s a sucking change…

  28. VM, Pro Liberate, Dan R., Jimmydageek, Sixstring:

    You are trollfeeders and I hate you.

  29. I guess we’re not going to be invited on the pony ride at SP’s next birthday.

    *sob*

    *sniffle*

    maybe… maybe it’s cuz you don’t know us well enough? We could have a slumber party. And tell ghost stories. And get out the ouija board. And do each other’s hair. and.. and… and….

  30. SP,

    Troll feeders? Nay. I’m only here to say, over and over again, for no apparent or rational reason, “womby vaultages”.

  31. Well, how exactly is the institution of new ethics rules not at least a step in the right direction?

    Rules could be bogus and this is a band-aid meant to deflect critics.

    “Curruption in DC?? Oh yeah we fixed that problem.”

    Jeez Dan, it is almost as if you are not skeptical of politicians and government.

  32. Congressman Flake: Earmark Reform Not Adequate
    Lobbying Reform Bill Without Meaningful Earmark Reform is Not Serious Reform

    Washington, D.C., Jul 31 – Republican Congressman Jeff Flake, who represents Arizona’s Sixth District, today expressed disappointment that Congress has squandered an opportunity to enact meaningful earmark reform.

    “Until Congress concedes that our own practices contributed to recent scandals as much as the actions of corrupt lobbyists, lobbying reform will not be truly effective,” said Flake.

    “Earmarks have been the currency of corruption and, unfortunately, this lobbying reform bill does not adequately address that problem.”

    In addition to the lack of meaningful earmark reform, the bill ignores several positive earmark-related provisions added during consideration of the House lobbying reform bill. A provision closing a loophole that exempts public lobbyists from the House gift ban was ignored, as was language requiring lobbyists to report which earmarks they lobby on behalf of.

    http://flake.house.gov/News/DocumentSingle.aspx?DocumentID=70450

  33. I’m weak on this whole “Congressional Ethics” thing.

    What are they supposed to do if they FIND any?

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