Transparency Sucks Ass

There are two things that I don’t get aboot politics, a) why it’s too much to expect our elected officials to read the bills before they sign them, and b) what’s wrong aboot – in the name of transparency (you know, like how Dear Leader promised during the campaign) – voters can’t have time to read the bills themselves. Of course, I know the answers to both questions, but still.

After listening to liberal after liberal complain aboot how the Patriot Act was rushed through and no one read it (something I agreed with them on), to see them use the same politics of fear to scare people into supporting the crap sandwich known as the stimulus bill – just so the bill can sit on Dear Leader’s desk for four days so he could enjoy a weekend getaway with the Mrs. and wait for the perfect photo op to sign it – was maddening.

So here we go again trying to force another crap sandwich though, this time with ObamaCare. However this time, theirs is a bi-partisan push to give ALL legislation a seventy-two hour window. Their success so far is aboot as much as you would expect…

Although Barack Obama campaigned last year for transparency and openness in government, their idea has languished in committee since June. It has 67 Republican and 31 Democratic co-sponsors—a rare show of bipartisanship. Normally, bills can’t be considered for a floor vote until House leadership schedules them. That’s why Messrs. Baird and Walden filed a discharge petition to dislodge their bill from committee this week. If a majority of members (218) sign it, their proposal can be voted on over the objections of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. But the notion of a 72-hour waiting period is anathema to Democrats who fear that they are running out of time to pass a sweeping health-care bill. This week, White House Budget Director Peter Orszag told Bloomberg News that “the goal” is to finish the entire health-care debate “over the next six weeks or so, maybe sooner.” The six-week deadline is critical because it would mean a health-care bill would pass into law just before voters in Virginia and New Jersey go to the polls on Nov. 3 to elect a governor and state legislators. Right now, the GOP leads in both states and nervous Democrats see that as a measure of their stalled health-care reform plans.

So it appears Democratic leaders in both houses of Congress have decided to ram a bill through as quickly as possible. On Wednesday, the Senate Finance Committee voted 12 to 11 to reject a proposal to require a 72-hour waiting period and a full scoring of the bill by the Congressional Budget Office before the committee casts any final vote. Only one Democrat, Blanche Lincoln of Arkansas, voted for the waiting period. Chairman Max Baucus said the idea would delay a vote on the final bill for two weeks and he didn’t want to waste another moment. On the House side, Mrs. Pelosi has told reporters that members will have “a period of time that is sufficient” to consider the final health-care language. But she clearly doesn’t want her hands tied. House leadership aides were stationed on the House floor where members must go to sign the 72-hour discharge petition. Mr. Baird acknowledged that leadership aides were strongly discouraging his fellow Democrats from signing. As of yesterday, 173 members had affixed their names, but they included only five of the 31 Democratic co-sponsors.

Make sure you read the article in it’s entirety for a full recap of the legislation, plus the name’s of who’s on board and which of the President’s allies are getting in the way.

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