They still don’t read the bleeping bills!


**Posted by Phineas

You would think after being embarrassed in front of the nation during the ObamaCare debates by the public revelation that many members don’t read the bills they’re voting on, or aren’t given the time to read them, that Congress might actually start taking the time to read at least major legislation.

You would be very, very foolish:

After blasting the Senate last week for passing a 600-page bill no one had time to read, Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) introduced legislation that would force the Senate to give its members one day to read bills for every 20 pages they contain.

“For goodness sakes, this is a 600-page bill. I got it this morning,” Paul said Friday, just before the Senate approved a massive bill extending highway funding, federal flood insurance and low student loans rates.

“Not one member of the Senate will read this bill before we vote on it,” he added.
Paul also introduced related legislation Friday, S. 3359, that would prohibit the inclusion of more than one subject in a single bill.

The highway-flood-student loan bill came up just one day before authorization for highway spending was set to expire, and two days before the interest rate on loans was set to double to 6.8 percent. But Paul said that is no excuse for rushing a bill to the floor without giving senators a chance to learn what’s in it.

He also noted that Senate rules require bills to be held for 48 hours before they receive a vote so members can read them, but said the Senate failed to follow even that minimal rule.

“At the very least, we ought to adhere to our own rules,” he said. “Forty-eight hours is still a challenge to find out everything in here.”

And yet these are the people who write our laws and increasingly govern the minutest details of our lives. 

What was it a sage once said about how one learns what’s in a bill? Oh, yeah…

Along with Senator Paul’s suggestion, I’ve thought all bills, save in an emergency or a national security matter, should be posted for three days on the Internet for public comment. Regardless, I find myself siding with Rand Paul more and more. I may not agree with him much on foreign affairs, but on domestic matters, it’s getting to be “not just yes, but hell, yes!”

via Reason, which has video.

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)

(video) #ObamaCare and the Roberts ruling: a needed pep-talk


**Posted by Phineas

Discouraging, wasn’t it? Last week, when the Supreme Court’s exercise in pretzel logic ruling in Sebelius came out and shocked everyone (pro or anti-ObamaCare), my blog-buddy ST took to calling me an optimist, because I was telling anyone who would listen that the fight wasn’t over, that we could still win, that the fight had only just started.

And yet it’s hard not to be discouraged in the face of a Congress that rams a horrible bill down our throats via anti-constitutional means, and then has it saved by a Justice –supposedly one of ours– who rewrites the statute in order to save it, effectively telling the rest of us that our opinions on what is constitutional — what is plainly right— don’t matter.

So, late at night, empty martini glass in hand, even I felt the pangs of despair.

Enter Coach Whittle, who isn’t having any of it:

Let’s turn 2012 into such a landslide, the Democrats look back on the Great Shellacking of 2010 as a golden age.

Game on.

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)

Youth vote not as starry-eyed for Obama as they were in 2008


The NYT reports on the continued troubles the Obama campaign is having with re-energizing the youth vote for the November elections:

In the four years since President Obama swept into office in large part with the support of a vast army of young people, a new corps of men and women have come of voting age with views shaped largely by the recession. And unlike their counterparts in the millennial generation who showed high levels of enthusiasm for Mr. Obama at this point in 2008, the nation’s first-time voters are less enthusiastic about him, are significantly more likely to identify as conservative and cite a growing lack of faith in government in general, according to interviews, experts and recent polls.

Polls show that Americans under 30 are still inclined to support Mr. Obama by a wide margin. But the president may face a particular challenge among voters ages 18 to 24. In that group, his lead over Mitt Romney — 12 points — is about half of what it is among 25- to 29-year-olds, according to an online survey this spring by the Harvard Institute of Politics.  And among whites in the younger group, Mr. Obama’s lead vanishes altogether.

Among all 18- to 29-year-olds, the poll found a high level of undecided voters; 30 percent indicated that they had not yet made up their mind. And turnout among this group is expected to be significantly lower than for older voters.

“The concern for Obama, and the opportunity for Romney, is in the 18- to 24-year-olds who don’t have the historical or direct connection to the campaign or the movement of four years ago,” said John Della Volpe, director of polling at the Harvard Institute of Politics. “We’re also seeing that these younger members of this generation are beginning to show some more conservative traits. It doesn’t mean they are Republican. It means Republicans have an opportunity.”

Experts say the impact of the recession and the slow recovery should not be underestimated. The newest potential voters — some 17 million people — have been shaped more by harsh economic times in their formative years than by anything else, and that force does not tend to be galvanizing in a positive way.

For 18- and 19-year-olds, the unemployment rate as of May was 23.5 percent, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. For those ages 20 to 24, the rate falls to 12.9 percent, compared with the national unemployment rate of 8.2 percent for all ages. The impact of the recession on the young has created a disillusionment about politics in general, several experts suggested.

Aww. What a shame.

As I’ve written before, all it would take in a few of the battleground states (like NC) is a peeling off of a few percentage points of any given Democrat voter bloc to make Obama’s re-election prospects that much harder. The Obama campaign knows this, which is why they are throwing out “freebies” to Hispanics (DREAM Act pandering), the youth vote (student loan forgiveness), and are making grand overtures to women (“War On Women”).

It’s an election year, and we have a President and party desperate to re-capture the enthusiasm of the Hope and Change days back in 2008 by buying votes and demagoguing the heck out of the opposition. It’s an “any means necessary” approach that may prove to turn off the very voters who were turned on to Barack Obama by his seemingly (but not really) “positive” “hopeful” campaign (remember “we choose hope over fear”?) from 2008, where he drew people in, in part, on the basis of his mythical “messiah-like” abilities to “perform miracles” for America – miracles that, as we all know, have not been realized on his watch. The ballot box in November will, of course, be the ultimate indicator as to whether or not he’s able to fool a majority of the masses once again.

As they say, stay tuned.