Every week, the Senate routinely passes legislation that is never voted on, never debated, and rarely, if ever, read by the full Senate. Now surely, you say, this process is reserved for non-controversial bills like renaming post offices or honoring the Super Bowl champions, right?The US Senate, too lazy to debate. Fuck!
Wrong. The “World’s Greatest Deliberative Body” regularly passes major legislation that creates new programs and authorizes billions in new spending without you knowing until after the fact.
The game works this way: the leaders of both parties send an email and recorded phone message to each Senate office notifying them they would like to pass certain bills sometime that day by unanimous consent. If no senator calls his or her party leader to object, it usually passes at the close of business that day without a recorded vote. Sometimes, I am given just a few minutes to read lengthy bills, and unless I pick up the phone to object (“hold”), it is considered passed by the US Senate.
I would be willing to bet that few senators even take the time to read the request, let alone the bill. Worse, the decision is usually left to an unelected staff member.
And they expect you to find out by noting the bill’s passage in the congressional record on the day after passage.
They call this process “unanimous consent” when in reality it is consent by default.
20 November 2009
19 November 2009
In the comments of this story about Republican primary challenges by Texas TEA Party protesters,
To which I reply:
I run into many ‘conservatives, but . . . ’, who are actually better described as ‘right libertarians’. I’m not sure why there’s a resistance to proclaiming oneself libertarian; my guess is it’s mostly from skewed press over the years.
To which I reply:
Because Left-Libertarians, Minarchists, Anarchists, and Libertines give the whole Libertarian stream of thought a black name amongst Nationalists or Culturalists of any stripe.
Libertarian's hostility to the concept of the State, of standing armies and military spending, the seeming inability of Libertarianism to find any grounds from which to condemn infanticide, hostility to America's Christian identity, the studied refusal to recognize vital national interests, the rejection of preemptive national defense, Libertarian paeans to unrestricted immigration and hostility to border security and labor market restrictions, Libertarian praise for Jefferson Davis and condemnation of Lincoln...
These are why Conservatives are uncomfortable with Libertarianism. Liberty implies Duty; but Libertarianism tends to call Duty Slavery.
Yes, Libertarianism is a wide stream, as this blog indicates, but after having canceled my 'Liberty' subscription and stopped reading 'Reason' [out of disgust] I have come to point of saying, 'if this is Libertarianism, then I am a Statist and be damned'.