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(Huffington Post)   A day of work in the life of a member of Congress: 4 hours of fundraising "call time", 1 hour of "strategic outreach" (fundraising), 1 hour "recharge time", and 3 hours of actual Congressional work   (huffingtonpost.com) divider line 56
    More: Fail, congresses, D-Iowa, Strom Thurmond, Republican challenger, Ryan Grim, fundraising, Raul Grijalva, Dodd  
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1156 clicks; posted to Politics » on 02 Feb 2013 at 1:58 PM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-02-02 11:35:54 AM  
*Work may be defined as repealing Obamacare or shutting down Planned Parenthood for the 39th time. Offer not valid in districts that give a damn. Limit one per customer.
 
2013-02-02 11:46:36 AM  
Did you think they spent their days at the quarry?
 
2013-02-02 12:10:13 PM  
onwardstate.com
 
2013-02-02 12:26:22 PM  
3.bp.blogspot.com
Congresspeople are whores
 
ZAZ [TotalFark]
2013-02-02 12:40:58 PM  
The less "work" the better. I want 90 day sessions and single subject bills, like some states have.
 
2013-02-02 02:06:47 PM  
I'm surprised at the claim of three hours a day of actual work. That's higher than I expected.
 
2013-02-02 02:18:03 PM  
So eight hours of work.  And this is an outrage how?
 
2013-02-02 02:23:21 PM  

ZAZ: The less "work" the better. I want 90 day sessions and single subject bills, like some states have.


^This.  People who wake up thinking "what law can I pass today" just aren't right in the head.
 
2013-02-02 02:23:54 PM  

apoptotic: I'm surprised at the claim of three hours a day of actual work. That's higher than I expected.


That's what I was thinking - I think the FAIL tag is for that.


Unless by "actual Congressional work" they mean shmoozing with lobbyists

I need to take a fact finding mission to investigate this - I just need to figure out if I should investigate in Thailand or Amsterdam
 
2013-02-02 02:33:55 PM  

ZAZ: The less "work" the better. I want 90 day sessions and single subject bills, like some states have.


No, you don't.  The federal government deals with lots of very big, very important, and very complicated things. When the media reports, "immigration bill", they don't just take one off the shelf and pass it. There's a lot of negotiation and work going into every passage of a bill that will probably wind up around 300 pages long. Now, if you don't intend to pass much in the way of legislation, or if your issues are simple and unimportant, you can do that. States often take model legislation from some central (often partisan) source and either pass it straight up or tweak it slightly. Saves a lot of time, but the US Congress doesn't get to do that. Well, they can and do introduce bills and proposals from lobbyists, but the complexity of the problems and the diversity of viewpoints between everybody involved in the process means that it gets modified quite a bit before hitting the floor.

Can we please stop pretending that legislating for a nation with 300 million people is a simple job? For that matter, can we stop electing dumbasses who don't know anything about the job they're running for or the work they'll be doing, and don't understand why it's important to do?
 
2013-02-02 02:36:06 PM  

ZAZ: The less "work" the better. I want 90 day sessions and single subject bills, like some states have.


Last Congress produced less work than any other Congress in history and it's pretty much universally agreed to have been an unmitigated disaster. They couldn't even pass simple, routine maintenance bills. The Violence Against Women Act. The farm bill. A budget. Wanna try again?
 
2013-02-02 02:40:22 PM  

cchris_39: ZAZ: The less "work" the better. I want 90 day sessions and single subject bills, like some states have.

^This.  People who wake up thinking "what law can I pass today" just aren't right in the head.


You realize that a lot of it is modifying existing laws, right? And that quite a bit is fixing things that have gone wrong with old legal structures and institutions? When your regulatory scheme has, through changing economic conditions, suddenly turned into something that encourages dumping chemicals into rivers, you kind of want to change that. When it's becoming more and more obvious that your transportation policy is killing the planet as well as killing people, maybe you need to rethink that.

Most, but not all, people who work in congress are waking up and saying, "how can the federal government make people's lives better today". If you think there's a problem with that, something isn't right with YOUR head.
 
2013-02-02 02:42:17 PM  
I'd feel bad for having done less work than that today, but then I remember, today's Saturday, so members of Congress still probably did less work than me today.
 
2013-02-02 02:42:47 PM  
A former US Senator told me that the job required raising $18,000 every day - making fundraising calls and averaging $18K / 365.

Regardless of her other duties, she had to keep up that pace.

That was 20 years ago..
 
ZAZ [TotalFark]
2013-02-02 02:49:25 PM  
They couldn't even pass simple, routine maintenance bills. The Violence Against Women Act. The farm bill. A budget. Wanna try again?

If Congress has time to even think about anything called "Violence Against Women Act" Congress has too much time on its hands.
We have a federal system. Congress does not need to set an individual agenda for each of 300 million people's lives. That's the state's jobs, or the people's (10th amendment).
 
2013-02-02 02:50:47 PM  

cptjeff: ZAZ: The less "work" the better. I want 90 day sessions and single subject bills, like some states have.

No, you don't.  The federal government deals with lots of very big, very important, and very complicated things. When the media reports, "immigration bill", they don't just take one off the shelf and pass it. There's a lot of negotiation and work going into every passage of a bill that will probably wind up around 300 pages long. Now, if you don't intend to pass much in the way of legislation, or if your issues are simple and unimportant, you can do that. States often take model legislation from some central (often partisan) source and either pass it straight up or tweak it slightly. Saves a lot of time, but the US Congress doesn't get to do that. Well, they can and do introduce bills and proposals from lobbyists, but the complexity of the problems and the diversity of viewpoints between everybody involved in the process means that it gets modified quite a bit before hitting the floor.

Can we please stop pretending that legislating for a nation with 300 million people is a simple job? For that matter, can we stop electing dumbasses who don't know anything about the job they're running for or the work they'll be doing, and don't understand why it's important to do?


If they have 3 hours a day to do the "actual work of being a member of Congress ", how can they actually focus on any of the "very big, very important, and very complicated things"? Can we please stop pretending that these jackasses who get elected have anything other than their own self interests in mind?
 
2013-02-02 02:54:21 PM  

ZAZ: If Congress has time to even think about anything called "Violence Against Women Act" Congress has too much time on its hands.
We have a federal system. Congress does not need to set an individual agenda for each of 300 million people's lives.


Cuz passing one law for is exacty like concocting 300 million separate laws for every individual agenda.
 
2013-02-02 03:03:14 PM  

cptjeff: Most, but not all, people who work in congress are waking up and saying, "how can the federal government make people's lives better today". If you think there's a problem with that, something isn't right with YOUR head.


People waking up thinking that is the most terrifying thought of all.  What have they done to make your life better lately?

I'm thinking of running.  My slogan will be "vote for cchris_39, he'll leave you alone!".  My only work would be to block people who took it upon themselves to make your life "better".
 
2013-02-02 03:09:35 PM  

cchris_39: cptjeff: Most, but not all, people who work in congress are waking up and saying, "how can the federal government make people's lives better today". If you think there's a problem with that, something isn't right with YOUR head.

People waking up thinking that is the most terrifying thought of all.  What have they done to make your life better lately?

I'm thinking of running.  My slogan will be "vote for cchris_39, he'll leave you alone!".  My only work would be to block people who took it upon themselves to make your life "better".


Um, why would you try to get a job you don't want to do, and why should the taxpayers pay you for not doing that job?
 
2013-02-02 03:12:14 PM  

cchris_39: I'm thinking of running. My slogan will be "vote for cchris_39, he'll leave you alone!". My only work would be to block people who took it upon themselves to make your life "better".


So you'd filibuster every piece of legislation that came down the pike too? You'd fit right in with Congress.
 
2013-02-02 03:12:28 PM  
In before anyone mentions Obama and golf.
 
2013-02-02 03:13:35 PM  

burnvictim: If they have 3 hours a day to do the "actual work of being a member of Congress ", how can they actually focus on any of the "very big, very important, and very complicated things"?


That's the problem that TFA is trying to point out. They can't do their jobs nearly as well as they could, becuase of the loads of time they have to waste dealing with the bullcrap of fundraising.

As for how it gets done, there are a few ways- one, think tanks. A lot of the work in coming up with new policy solutions that Members of Congress used to do in meetings with each other is now done by those outside groups. Since they're often staffed by a lot of smart people, you can get some pretty good stuff out of a think tank. Trouble is, they're not good at drawing attention to their proposals. They're academics who publish something, and expect the people who need to be reading it to seek it out.  Two, lobbyists. If you're working on an issue and somebody from the industry walks into your office with a list of 20 different policy proposals and walk you through how each might help solve the problem, you're not necessarily going to do your homework in investigating all the alternatives. Three, they have paid staff. Four, the Committees have people with technical expertise in their jurisdiction on staff.

You know, before tossing around grand ideas about how to reform Congress, it might behoove you to actually learn how it farking works.
 
2013-02-02 03:17:33 PM  

cchris_39: cptjeff: Most, but not all, people who work in congress are waking up and saying, "how can the federal government make people's lives better today". If you think there's a problem with that, something isn't right with YOUR head.

People waking up thinking that is the most terrifying thought of all.  What have they done to make your life better lately?

I'm thinking of running.  My slogan will be "vote for cchris_39, he'll leave you alone!".  My only work would be to block people who took it upon themselves to make your life "better".


Well, that food safety stuff is good. I also kind of like having health insurance while at a point in my life where I can't afford to buy my own plan. The water coming out of my faucet is clean, my country isn't being invaded. But you know, if you want the government to stay out of your life, I hear Somalia is lovely this time of year.
 
2013-02-02 03:18:23 PM  

burnvictim: If they have 3 hours a day to do the "actual work of being a member of Congress ", how can they actually focus on any of the "very big, very important, and very complicated things"? Can we please stop pretending that these jackasses who get elected have anything other than their own self interests in mind?


It's called delegating to your staff. The Congresscritter sets goals and makes decisions and the staff figures out how to best do that stuff.

Simple/imprecise legislative language just ends up having the effect of the courts making a mishmash of contradictory rulings or the bureaucracy deciding what should happen. And the people complaining about government bureaucrats having too much power are usually the ones arguing for policies that inadvertently ensure they will.
 
2013-02-02 03:18:34 PM  
WANKERS
 
2013-02-02 03:21:08 PM  

cptjeff: Well, that food safety stuff is good. I also kind of like having health insurance while at a point in my life where I can't afford to buy my own plan. The water coming out of my faucet is clean, my country isn't being invaded. But you know, if you want the government to stay out of your life, I hear Somalia is lovely this time of year.


Oh, don't get him wrong, he still wants all the stuff that benefits *him*. But all that other stuff the government does that doesn't directly benefit him is wasteful welfare for deadbeats, unlike him who's pulled himself by his bootstraps his whole life. Why, when he was on food stamps, did anyone help him? No. So DIAF big government hippies. He needs to get back to defending marriage from the homosexuals.
 
2013-02-02 03:34:28 PM  

Aexia: Why, when he was on food stamps, did anyone help him? No.


Craig is that you?
 
2013-02-02 03:36:48 PM  
Perhaps it's time to have political campaigns publicly (not privately) funded, and the campaign itself limited to a few weeks...
 
2013-02-02 03:42:59 PM  

Forbidden Doughnut: Perhaps it's time to have political campaigns publicly (not privately) funded, and the campaign itself limited to a few weeks...


You mean set it up so our elected officials don't need to constantly beg for money to fight the ever-escalating arms race of campaigning, and can then focus more on serving the needs of their constituents instead of pandering to their donors? Leveling the playing field so you don't need sponsorship to have a fighting chance in an election?

That's so stupid it's might actually work!
=Smidge=
 
2013-02-02 03:44:01 PM  

Forbidden Doughnut: Perhaps it's time to have political campaigns publicly (not privately) funded, and the campaign itself limited to a few weeks...


Why do you hate America?
 
2013-02-02 03:49:11 PM  
Well term limits would certainly help with this.
 
2013-02-02 03:54:56 PM  

Girion47: Well term limits would certainly help with this.


How?
 
2013-02-02 03:58:04 PM  

Girion47: Well term limits would certainly help with this.


And tax cuts. Don't you forget tax cuts.
 
2013-02-02 04:00:30 PM  

Girion47: Well term limits would certainly help with this.


Term limits only address a symptom and actually makes it worse in the long-run. Good policy takes years of commitment and expertise. Every state that has term limits at the legislative level is run by lobbyists and staffers because they're only people with any institutional knowledge. You end up with idiots with no incentive to get anything constructive done. You might think the current situation is bad but take a look at how dysfunctional California's legislature is.

Campaign finance and redistricting reform fixes the actual problem.
 
2013-02-02 04:01:29 PM  

Aexia: Girion47: Well term limits would certainly help with this.

Term limits only address a symptom and actually makes it worse in the long-run. Good policy takes years of commitment and expertise. Every state that has term limits at the legislative level is run by lobbyists and staffers because they're only people with any institutional knowledge. You end up with idiots with no incentive to get anything constructive done. You might think the current situation is bad but take a look at how dysfunctional California's legislature is.

Campaign finance and redistricting reform fixes the actual problem.


My state keeps electing Mcconnell and California keeps electing Pelosi, clearly term limits are needed
 
2013-02-02 04:03:10 PM  

Girion47: My state keeps electing Mcconnell and California keeps electing Pelosi, clearly term limits are needed


And Pelosi is bad because...?
 
2013-02-02 04:05:07 PM  

jaytkay: Girion47: My state keeps electing Mcconnell and California keeps electing Pelosi, clearly term limits are needed

And Pelosi is bad because...?


Because she keeps getting elected.  Doesn't get more fascist than that.
 
2013-02-02 04:10:00 PM  

Hetfield: jaytkay: Girion47: My state keeps electing Mcconnell and California keeps electing Pelosi, clearly term limits are needed

And Pelosi is bad because...?

Because she keeps getting elected.  Doesn't get more fascist than that.


And giving her incentive to keep performing at her current job is way worse than ensuring that she'll have to spend time thinking about the next (lobbying) job she'll get.

/Yes, many do that anyway - but let's not make it the system default
 
2013-02-02 04:10:08 PM  

Forbidden Doughnut: Perhaps it's time to have political campaigns publicly (not privately) funded, and the campaign itself limited to a few weeks...


The only way to realistically do that is to break the regular cycle of elections and allow the legislators to call snap elections at any moment, like in Britain and Canada.
 
2013-02-02 04:19:35 PM  

cptjeff: burnvictim: If they have 3 hours a day to do the "actual work of being a member of Congress ", how can they actually focus on any of the "very big, very important, and very complicated things"?

That's the problem that TFA is trying to point out. They can't do their jobs nearly as well as they could, becuase of the loads of time they have to waste dealing with the bullcrap of fundraising.

As for how it gets done, there are a few ways- one, think tanks. A lot of the work in coming up with new policy solutions that Members of Congress used to do in meetings with each other is now done by those outside groups. Since they're often staffed by a lot of smart people, you can get some pretty good stuff out of a think tank. Trouble is, they're not good at drawing attention to their proposals. They're academics who publish something, and expect the people who need to be reading it to seek it out.  Two, lobbyists. If you're working on an issue and somebody from the industry walks into your office with a list of 20 different policy proposals and walk you through how each might help solve the problem, you're not necessarily going to do your homework in investigating all the alternatives. Three, they have paid staff. Four, the Committees have people with technical expertise in their jurisdiction on staff.

You know, before tossing around grand ideas about how to reform Congress, it might behoove you to actually learn how it farking works.


I don't recall tossing around any grand ideas with you. I was merely stating a fact that our current congress clearly only has their own reelection as their driving force.
 
2013-02-02 04:34:41 PM  

jaytkay: A former US Senator told me that the job required raising $18,000 every day - making fundraising calls and averaging $18K / 365.

Regardless of her other duties, she had to keep up that pace.

That was 20 years ago..



About 15 years ago, I remember hearing a story on the news about the difficulty both the Democratics and Republicans were having in trying to recruit good candidates for Congress.  All too often they'd find someone with near-perfect credentials to run for office only for the would-be candidate to refuse to run after finding out the cost and how much time would be taken up fund-raising.  Sadly, with Citizens United, it's only gotten worse.

Smidge204: Forbidden Doughnut: Perhaps it's time to have political campaigns publicly (not privately) funded, and the campaign itself limited to a few weeks...

You mean set it up so our elected officials don't need to constantly beg for money to fight the ever-escalating arms race of campaigning, and can then focus more on serving the needs of their constituents instead of pandering to their donors? Leveling the playing field so you don't need sponsorship to have a fighting chance in an election?

That's so stupid it's might actually work!
=Smidge=



Also, if campaign costs go down and there's no need for 24/7/365 fundraising, we might get a better quality of candidates than we have now.
 
2013-02-02 04:35:54 PM  
So, they actually work a full 8 hours?  I smell bullshiat.
 
2013-02-02 07:18:56 PM  

SN1987a goes boom: So, they actually work a full 8 hours?  I smell bullshiat.


I call BS too. If that were true, how does Boehner work in 6 hours of sleep and 13 hours of drinking every day?
 
2013-02-02 07:36:19 PM  

cptjeff: ZAZ: The less "work" the better. I want 90 day sessions and single subject bills, like some states have.

No, you don't.  The federal government deals with lots of very big, very important, and very complicated things. When the media reports, "immigration bill", they don't just take one off the shelf and pass it. There's a lot of negotiation and work going into every passage of a bill that will probably wind up around 300 pages long. Now, if you don't intend to pass much in the way of legislation, or if your issues are simple and unimportant, you can do that. States often take model legislation from some central (often partisan) source and either pass it straight up or tweak it slightly. Saves a lot of time, but the US Congress doesn't get to do that. Well, they can and do introduce bills and proposals from lobbyists, but the complexity of the problems and the diversity of viewpoints between everybody involved in the process means that it gets modified quite a bit before hitting the floor.

Can we please stop pretending that legislating for a nation with 300 million people is a simple job? For that matter, can we stop electing dumbasses who don't know anything about the job they're running for or the work they'll be doing, and don't understand why it's important to do?


Have you seen some of the idiots in congress? Seriously how difficult can it be?
 
2013-02-02 07:57:20 PM  

OhioUGrad: Have you seen some of the idiots in congress? Seriously how difficult can it be?


And those members suck at their jobs.
 
2013-02-02 08:08:15 PM  

cptjeff: OhioUGrad: Have you seen some of the idiots in congress? Seriously how difficult can it be?

And those members suck at their jobs.


True, most of them never introduce bills or the ones they do are a joke, but hey it's nice work if ya can get it.
 
2013-02-02 08:38:53 PM  

Gosling: Forbidden Doughnut: Perhaps it's time to have political campaigns publicly (not privately) funded, and the campaign itself limited to a few weeks...

The only way to realistically do that is to break the regular cycle of elections and allow the legislators to call snap elections at any moment, like in Britain and Canada.


Um, hardly at any moment. There are requirements for calling an election. This is actually the only non trivial function of the GG.
 
2013-02-02 11:49:39 PM  

cptjeff: cchris_39: ZAZ: The less "work" the better. I want 90 day sessions and single subject bills, like some states have.

^This.  People who wake up thinking "what law can I pass today" just aren't right in the head.

You realize that a lot of it is modifying existing laws, right? And that quite a bit is fixing things that have gone wrong with old legal structures and institutions? When your regulatory scheme has, through changing economic conditions, suddenly turned into something that encourages dumping chemicals into rivers, you kind of want to change that. When it's becoming more and more obvious that your transportation policy is killing the planet as well as killing people, maybe you need to rethink that.

Most, but not all, people who work in congress are waking up and saying, "how can the federal government make people's lives better today". If you think there's a problem with that, something isn't right with YOUR head.


The government isn't SUPPOSED to be trying to make your life better. I am a free citizen not a peasant waiting on a king to save me from a bad life.

Sure government has its role but making my life better is not one of them. I decide that. I invest in that.

Americans need to grow up and stop being peasants.
 
2013-02-02 11:51:03 PM  

cptjeff: cchris_39: cptjeff: Most, but not all, people who work in congress are waking up and saying, "how can the federal government make people's lives better today". If you think there's a problem with that, something isn't right with YOUR head.

People waking up thinking that is the most terrifying thought of all.  What have they done to make your life better lately?

I'm thinking of running.  My slogan will be "vote for cchris_39, he'll leave you alone!".  My only work would be to block people who took it upon themselves to make your life "better".

Well, that food safety stuff is good. I also kind of like having health insurance while at a point in my life where I can't afford to buy my own plan. The water coming out of my faucet is clean, my country isn't being invaded. But you know, if you want the government to stay out of your life, I hear Somalia is lovely this time of year.


The government isn't SUPPOSED to be trying to make your life better. I am a free citizen not a peasant waiting on a king to save me from a bad life.

Sure government has its role but making my life better is not one of them. I decide that. I invest in that.

Americans need to grow up and stop being peasants.
 
2013-02-02 11:54:55 PM  
Water, parks, transportation, even roads have all been taken care of by the private sector. Our government is too dad gum big. The reason Somalia sucks is because there isn't enough free enterprise.

In one city I lived in our water was run by a private company. When the mayor tried to get the cityprivate to take it over, he was voted out. Now he is a Republican senator. Ha ha!
 
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