This Week's Rant - Congress!

Consider this week’s rant a continuation of last week’s rambling piece concerning our wonderful Congress wasting taxpayer money on the inevital passing of a new obscenity bill that will tear off a big piece of the First Amendment.
But the obscenity bill is just a small part of this week’s rant. I’ve got a lot to say about all of the members of both the House and Senate – and both Republicans and Democrats. None of them, including our state’s three elected officials, deserves their job. They should just give up now and become the highly paid lobbyists that is their destiny.
Let’s start with the obscenity bill. No, there is yet to be a vote on this bill. They’ve had more important subjects to decide. Yeah, right. Anyway, Kansas Senator Sam Brownback held a subcommittee meeting that was nothing more than a P.R. meeting for his controversial buddies. Only one other Senator, Russ Feingold, made it to this meeting, and he quickly escaped without offering any testimony.
Senator Brownback doesn’t appreciate any differing opinions, so he didn’t allow his opponents to attend. Many organizations, including the porn industry’s Free Speech Coalition, were told to stay home. Instead, only those whose hard-ons rise from the idea of prosecuting so-called “obscene materials” were present.
Brownback used his friendly environment to preach that the indecency bill should include a few other industries, including cable television, the internet, and even hotel rooms that offer pay-per-view adult movies…despite the fact that much of his campaign contributions came from these very industries.
Although he’s not a household name, Brownback is a very scary guy. He makes Rick Santorum seem like a liberal. He’s a member of The Fellowship, a very secret ultra-conservative group that follows the teachings of Opus Dei, an offshoot of the Catholic Church. This organization even subsidizes his housing in Washington – he, along with six other Congressmen, pays just nominal rent for a multi-million dollar townhouse just two blocks from the Capitol building.
Here’s what I don’t get about their calls for so-called family hours on every cable channel. There’s already a number of 24-hour family-oriented channels that I’m forced to pay for. Channels such as Pax, ABC-Family, the handful of religious channels, Nickleodeon, Disney – even HBO and Showtime have family channels. Why should Spike, MTV, Trio, and everybody else have to sugar-coat their programming for a token prime-time hour? Plus, nearly all cable boxes and televisions now have features that allow you to block any channel or program that you find offensive.
Enough on that topic. Let’s move on to the dog and pony show our representatives put on last Thursday. With steroids in the papers, it was time for Congress to act tough…or at least look like they were acting tough. So they called a handful of former and current baseball players to bombard them with idiotic questions about their personal use. The only thing that came out of this circus was that imbecile Jose Canseco sold a few more books.
Don’t get me wrong; many of these players, particularly Mark McGuire, looked like idiots. But why wasn’t Barry Bonds called? Most of the rumors involve him. And why just baseball? I would bet that a much larger percentage of football players take steroids, and we all know that track and field is full of needles. PTI’s Tony Kornheiser raises a good point as to why baseball was singled out. Until Major League Baseball picked D.C. as the new home of the Expos, Virginia was one of the leading candidates to host that team. This hearing was chaired by Virginia Congressman Tom Davis. Coincidence?
I believe it was this goofball that supplied my favorite quote. “We can commence hearings on any subject at any time”. Ok, that’s not word for word, but it raises a lot of questions. Why was it so hard to put on the 9/11 hearings? Where were the hearings after the California Energy Crisis? Why aren’t they focusing on gas prices, health care, Iraq, Abu Ghraib, and dozens of other issues? Oh yeah, as Oprah say it’s all about the children. Please. Steroid use probably will now increase due to the increased publicity.
As if this wasn’t enough, Congress made history again this weekend by ignoring local and state’s rights in the Terri Schiavo situation. Until last Friday, I had never heard of this woman. Now she’s replaced Michael Jackson and Martha Stewart as the never-ending story.
I’ll admit right now that I don’t know much about this case. My understanding is that after years and years of being in a vegetative state, the husband has wanted to pull the plug but her family disagrees. Every court, including the Supreme Court, has ruled in his favor, and court-appointed doctors have agreed that she’s brain-dead and will never recover. That video of her supposedly responding to her father is a short edit from over six hours of footage.
No matter which side you’re on, Congress had no right to step in. They first jumped in last week when they sent a subpoena for her to testify in a Congressional matter. Then they were called in last Sunday to vote on a law begging a Florida judge to look at the case once again. The Democrats are such a bunch of pussies that most of them, at least in the Senate, went along with this sham.
Is this a precedent? Will every individual case be appealed to their favorite Congressman and result in a law just for their case? I’ve got a few ideas. Maybe I’ll call Ms. Herseth. I’d like to see bans on Nascar, Oprah, Julia Roberts, reality shows, anybody named Simpson. And how about a law compelling Jenna Jameson to live in my home?
To ensure that I’m never in the situation of the Schiavo family, I am proclaiming right here to everybody listening that if I’m being kept alive by machines, please please please put on the Replacements Tim album, pull the plug, and take a big shot when Mr. Westerberg sings “I’ll drink a great big whiskey to you anyway”. Hell, why wait until then? Let’s just put me out of my misery right now.


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