Politics

There Oughtta Be…a New Congressman

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Stupid ideas never die…

Congressmen Peter J. Roskam (R-IL) today unveiled his "There Oughta Be a Law" initiative at a press conference in Bloomingdale. Roskam was joined by State Senator Dan Cronin, State Senator Kirk Dillard, State Senator Christine Radogno, State Senator Carol Pankau, State Representative Randy Ramey, State Representative Sandy Pihos, Bloomingdale Mayor Bob Iden and Erickson Elementary School Principal Dr. John Markgraf. Roskam released the following statement:

"As a new member of Congress, I have learned first-hand what most 6th District residents already know, Washington is broken. Partisan politics have hamstrung Congress' ability to find solutions to the most pressing problems our nation faces.

"The constituents I represent are reasonable folks with sound ideas – and it's time to send a little more 6th District solutions to Washington.

"Therefore, I am proud to give my constituents the unique opportunity to have their legislative idea introduced in Congress. The very best way to restore faith in our nation's government is to empower individuals. This is the ultimate definition of representative government.

"Working together, we will send more common sense to Washington and Springfield."

Results of prior "there oughtta be a law" competitions: drug testing for welfare recipients, and seat belts for dogs.

NEXT: Mahler's Symphony of Stupidity

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  1. If they had one of these where I was, I think it would be fun to have a competition where people tried to get as many dirty words in the form of acrostics into the law as possible.

  2. Results of prior “there oughtta be a law” competitions: drug testing for welfare recipients, and seat belts for dogs.

    I served six years in the military, Does that make me patriotic? How many years did Cheney serve?

  3. “Monorail!”

  4. I fucking *love* monorails.

    But that defeats their “mono-ness”, being all pluralized like that.

    Ah, crap.

  5. There oughtta be a law against introducing stupid legislation for novelty’s sake- in other words, there oughtta be a law against saying “there oughtta be a law.”

  6. Partisan politics have hamstrung Congress’ ability to find solutions to the most pressing problems our nation faces.

    He says that like its a bad thing.

  7. Two year term limits for idiots like Peter J. Roskam. Or involuntary sterization of them and their progeny.

  8. How about a “there oughtn’t be a law” contest to suggest the law that most desperately needs to be repealed. May I nominate ethanol subsidies?

    …seriously, literally taking food from starving babies in order to enrich wealthy donors at taxpayer expense. What layer of hell does that get you into?

  9. …seriously, literally taking food from starving babies in order to enrich wealthy donors at taxpayer expense. What layer of hell does that get you into?

    Washington.

  10. Results of prior “there oughtta be a law” competitions: drug testing for welfare recipients, and seat belts for dogs.

    When will Congress finally wake up and pass legislation prohibiting dogs on welfare from driving while intoxicated without wearing their seat belts?

  11. Here’s hoping they ignore all the suggestions and instead listen to the silent…majority?

  12. my idea: There outta be a law that creates term limits at the end of which the legislator must commit seppuku.

  13. Our State Senator, Joseph Simitian, runs basically the same competition every year. You can see the results (avoiding any prejudice or snarky libertarian comment on my part) at Simitian’s official “district” website:

    http://www.senatorsimitian.com/main/category/C572

  14. Here is a law:
    The next Congressman to propose a law must be taken out and shot.

  15. How about ending this stupid idea and just bringing back the stupid comic?

  16. How about a “there oughtn’t be a law” contest to suggest the law that most desperately needs to be repealed.

    I like that idea much better.

    I nominate drug laws.

  17. Sen. Simititian has some howlers, but some good ones as well, showing the possibillity of limited-govt folks working such contests:

    Michael Breslin and Roxane Baxter (Los Altos)
    Would reduce the fee charged by the Secretary of State for certifying adoption-related documents.
    Introduced as SB 799. . . .

    Jill Meryl Levy (Campbell)
    Would allow self-employed individuals and small businesses the option to pay their annual sales tax through quarterly estimates while doing the paperwork once a year.
    Introduced as SB 801.

    . . . Charles Williams (Cupertino)
    Provides that drivers with disabilities will not be in violation of State law when their rear license plate is obscured by a wheelchair lift if they display a replica of the license on the rear window.
    Introduced as AB 1303.
    Signed into law.

  18. “The next Congressman to propose a law must be taken out and shot.”

    Some say that the Locrians, in ancient Greece, had a rule that anyone offering a new law had to wear a cord around his neck, so that if his proposal was rejected he would be instantly killed with the cord.

    That wouldn’t work here, because the courts would simply fill the gaps with creative interpretation.

  19. Here’s my idea for a new law: every year, there should a statewide vote on “stupidest new bill (co-)sponsored by a member of my legislative delegation”. Whichever bill wins, the sponsor is automatically removed from office and given a five-year prison sentence.

  20. Make it a competition to repeal existing laws, and then you’d have a good idea.

  21. Color me un-libertarian, but I find both of those proposed laws perfectly reasonable.

  22. Greg N. – So colored.

  23. I can actually see how this can be beneficial, proposing laws against punishing certain acts etc. Of course it depends on people knowing that their problems are caused by too many laws instead of not enough. You guys are all just too cynical.

    Also, I was too young to pay attention at the time, but I believe Jesse Ventura did propose some sort of law repealing session. The fact that no one else seems to have heard of it suggests maybe it didn’t go so well. Or that you don’t care about Minnesota. Our Independence Party is pretty cool, right? Anybody?

  24. Why would libertarians be against drug testing welfare recipients? I’m as anti-drug-war as the next guy, but if someone is going to be sucking on the welfare-state’s teat, they should be treated like a child.

    If you want to be treated like an adult, act like one.

  25. “The constituents I represent are reasonable folks with sound ideas – and it’s time to send a little more 6th District solutions to Washington.

    This Einstein can’t even get through a brief press release without a basic grammar error. When discussing discrete solution use “few” not “little” before “more.”

    I hate to be a pedant but that sentence sounds like nails on blackboard.

    Also, this Congressman sounds like a tyrant.

    I hope his wife kicks him in the balls and then his children gather to laugh and vomit on him.

  26. {Sorry for typo/accidental tag above}

    “The constituents I represent are reasonable folks with sound ideas – and it’s time to send a little more 6th District solutions to Washington.

    This Einstein can’t even get through a brief press release without a basic grammar error. When discussing discrete solution(s) use “few” not “little” before “more.”

    I hate to be a pedant but that sentence sounds like nails on blackboard.

    Also, this Congressman sounds like a tyrant.

    I hope his wife kicks him in the balls and then his children gather to laugh and vomit on him.

  27. Our State Senator, Joseph Simitian,

    Just a typo away from “Senator Simian”.

    A coincidence? I think not.

  28. Tangentially, you probably SHOULD seatbelt your dog when it’s in the car. (Or crate it). Not really for the dog’s safety, but more so the driver isn’t distracted by a free-roaming dog and — in case of accident — so the dog doesn’t turn into a high-velocity projectile.

    I just use one of those harnesses with a place for the seat belt to go through.

    Not that I’m advocatign for a law — it’s just common sense.

    Now, dogs running free in the back of a moving pick-up truck — I can’t even grasp how anyone would do that to a pet.

  29. Morat: As a kid, I was allowed to run free in the back of a moving pick-up truck. A dog that can’t lay down and avoid injury is in serious need of Darwinification.

  30. Could there be any more burning issue than seatbelts for dogs? Next thing they won’t let Fido talk on a cellphone while driving to a tobacco shop to get cigs.

  31. “There ought to be a law” that there should be fewer laws and that lawmakers don’t demagogue. You can’t live a single day in a major city without breaking some law that was passed by lawmakers who think that every facet of life needs to be regulated.

  32. People who say “There ough to be a law” should be outlawed.

  33. 1. Mullets
    2. People who complain they can’t afford school uniforms at Walmart
    3. People [actors] who have their chest hairs waxed off to represent the pain of Rain Forest deforestation.
    4. Religion (will lead to less wars as a great side benefit)
    5. Tree Huggers
    6. Hoaxes for money / power (Global Warming, Aids “Epidemic”, Nationalized Healthcare, etc.)

  34. There ought to be a law that prevents congress from voting themselves a payraise. Not to mention there should be term limits…

  35. I have a 2 sentence Bill for you.

    It is illegal for any law passed by congress to be written in language beyond the comprehension of a 12 year old.

    Once above law is passed.

    A bill submited stating It is illegal to be a lawyer.

  36. Oh, I like Rob’s idea.
    And I’d also like someone with a stopwatch to note the amount of time it would take for congress to rid itself of such an idea.

  37. While I imagine that this sort of thing breeds a lot of stupid ideas, why not? A few good ideas can be worth wading through a lot of crap. It certainly beats having to buy a congressman to listen to you.
    Unfortunately, Congress views its job as passing laws; so if they are going to be at it, why not get input from regular people? Just reading the site on it, it does appear that the ideas are being passed through some sort of filter so I doubt that we would see anything too atrocious.
    Also, keep in mind that the way to repeal one law is to pass another, as silly as that seems. Instead of sniping at a congress person actually asking for input from his constituents, why not enter an idea into the contest to repeal the Controlled Substances Act of 1970? Probably be DOA, but with enough repetition, the War on Liberty Drugs might finally falter.

  38. Lets see now. . seatbelts for pets so they don’t end up in your lap causing you to have an accident is a “bad” idea? And if they are taking my money as a welfare check, they should have to face the same drug test I have to take, to earn that money!

  39. There is a law. Congress doesn’t follow it. The Constitution of the United States specifies the limited things the Congress can do, as follows:

    Section 8. The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes, duties, imposts and excises, to pay the debts and provide for the common defense and general welfare of the United States; but all duties, imposts and excises shall be uniform throughout the United States;

    To borrow money on the credit of the United States;

    To regulate commerce with foreign nations, and among the several states, and with the Indian tribes;

    To establish a uniform rule of naturalization, and uniform laws on the subject of bankruptcies throughout the United States;

    To coin money, regulate the value thereof, and of foreign coin, and fix the standard of weights and measures;

    To provide for the punishment of counterfeiting the securities and current coin of the United States;

    To establish post offices and post roads;

    To promote the progress of science and useful arts, by securing for limited times to authors and inventors the exclusive right to their respective writings and discoveries;

    To constitute tribunals inferior to the Supreme Court;

    To define and punish piracies and felonies committed on the high seas, and offenses against the law of nations;

    To declare war, grant letters of marque and reprisal, and make rules concerning captures on land and water;

    To raise and support armies, but no appropriation of money to that use shall be for a longer term than two years;

    To provide and maintain a navy;

    To make rules for the government and regulation of the land and naval forces;

    To provide for calling forth the militia to execute the laws of the union, suppress insurrections and repel invasions;

    To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining, the militia, and for governing such part of them as may be employed in the service of the United States, reserving to the states respectively, the appointment of the officers, and the authority of training the militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress;

    To exercise exclusive legislation in all cases whatsoever, over such District (not exceeding ten miles square) as may, by cession of particular states, and the acceptance of Congress, become the seat of the government of the United States, and to exercise like authority over all places purchased by the consent of the legislature of the state in which the same shall be, for the erection of forts, magazines, arsenals, dockyards, and other needful buildings;–And

    To make all laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into execution the foregoing powers, and all other powers vested by this Constitution in the government of the United States, or in any department or officer thereof.

  40. Does this idiot think he’s sent to Congress to MAKE NEW LAWS? If they’re so hellbent on further interference in our lives by having to sign new legislation, here’s one:

    1. For each new law added to the books, 2 older laws (related or not) will be removed.

    Hint: It’s against the law to tie your Giraffe to a street pole in GA.

  41. I have a sure-fire idea.

    Institute a two term limit for politiicians:

    One term in office.
    One term in prison.

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