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Comment Rescue: What the OC Community Has Been Saying About Bills, Legislators and Votes

April 1, 2011 - by Donny Shaw

Every couple weeks, we go through all of the recent comments posted to OpenCongress and pick out a handful of particularly popular, insightful and timely ones to bump up to the OpenCongress Blog. OpenCongress users leave hundreds — sometimes thousands — of comments each week, creating a treasure trove of political thought from around the country and across the ideological spectrum that reflects the moods and topics of the day. The idea of these posts is to highlight comments that have been voted up by users and provide valuable insights to legislation and politics at large. Get involved by commenting on bills, articles, senators and representatives, and rate other users’ comments, to influence what gets highlighted here.

fakk2 has the top-rated comment on a very good thread regarding cutting pay to Congress during government shutdowns.

That is very true reporting. Very true indeed. Although, since we’re blaming parties in this post, it is the Democrats’ fault it’s gotten this far. As has been said before, if they had done their job last year and passed a full budget, instead of trying to make the freshmen Republicans pass 1.5 budgets, then we wouldn’t be in this mess to begin with. That doesn’t negate the Republicans’ accountability in not passing this bill, but it does balance the argument of: “If A didn’t happen, B wouldn’t have happened and C didn’t need to happen”.

suzieqs wonders how Speaker Rep. John Boehner’s [R, OH-8] bill to provide private-school scholarships to DC residents is any different from an earmark:

This is only for DC residents, what happened to the GOP saying they were against earmarks, looks like an earmark to me..

bdg333 defends the Fair Tax Act:

23% is not thrown on everything, please read the bill! income Tax, payroll tax, social security tax, death tax, corporate tax, estate tax, capital gains tax and many more are eliminated, and all that would be left is the Fair Tax. Also, for many products, 23% or higher of the cost is embedded taxes anyway, so the Fair tax would lower the prices of many consumer goods. The middle class would have NO TAXES ANYMORE (along with everyone else) except for taxes they pay in NEW products. If you buy a used car, NO TAX!!! Buy a used home? NO TAX!!! Buy a used anything? NO TAX!!! The Rich do not often buy used things. They buy the newest, costy homes with new costy cars, all new, all taxed! If they buy it now, why wouldn’t they buy it later?

Austin_S says President Obama should face impeachment for ordering the U.S. military into Libya without seeking approval from Congress first:

My question to this is, “Where are the articles of impeachment?” It is resoundingly clear that Obama has blatantly violated the Constitution, the War Powers Act, and his Oath of office. Why isn’t Congress jumping up and down ordering an immediate stand-down of our military and pursuing charges of treason against this President? Congress is required, BY LAW, to press charges in this situation by Title 18 U.S.C. § 4 and U.S. Code Sec. 2381 unless they too are to be held accountable! Yes, I am writing my representatives to that end.

oorelisysoo says the SAFETY Act, which has yet to reappear in the new Congress, would be impossible to implement:

Not only is this bill ridiculously Orwellian, it’s technologically impractical. Do these Representatives have any idea how much data is involved in recording the access to a public Access Point for two years? Is the government going to pay for the hard drives necessary to store this information? Do they expect average business owners and households will be able to figure out how to even record this information?

Is this information going to be encrypted? Are there any mandates that this information be protected from easy access by any barely tech-savvy individual?

As well, because DHCP information includes a device’s MAC address (a globally unique identifier that every network device has) the government (or a hacker) could literally track the movements of anyone they wanted to, and it would not be difficult.

How long before the next bill requires this information be routinely collected by the NSA?

dkurczewski says the Republicans’ welfare reform bill includes an attack on unions"

The proposed ineligibility for food stamps for striking able body workers has one clear purpose: to prevent pple from striking. This basic right to withdraw one’s labor and suspend the employment contract has been the only effective weapon for the workers during the age of industrial revolution that allowed them to obtain rights and privileges that made the US the great nation it is now. Pls do not turn the clock back. Unemployment compensation and health insurance are in a different category—food stamps feed workers’ children.

wasmiddleclass says the Democrats should have tried a paid-for Tier V bill when they still had control of Congress:

I have a couple HUGE questions these days…

Why didn’t the Democrats try to come up with a way to pay for it when they controlled both houses of Congress, and before the elections when it would have gained them countless votes from the 99ers.

Why would they not even bring it to the floor for an up or down vote?

And why would the Democratic leaders not push for it, or even allow it to be included in the tax cut deal when the rich overwhelmingly benefited from that deal while taxes on the poor were increased?

Now the conversation in DC is all about how much more is going to be cut in help to the poor we are supposed to think they are finally going to actually try to help the 99ers?

I say BS! The Dems had every chance in the world already to help us and they did nothing! They left us to freeze and die on the streets!

And everyone knows the Republicans have no intention of helping us besides talking more about their phantom job creation BS.

fakk2 suggests boycotting companies that refuse to rehire long-term unemployed:

Now, to apply your situation to the bigger picture. Why aren’t we seeing boycotts of employers refusing to rehire employees they let go 2 years ago? That would be interesting, put pressure on the companies, and create a strong dialogue b/w the pros and cons of another tier of unemployment. Even if 99ers are homeless, I’m sure someone could gather them up to boycott employers in their home state, and as soon as the media takes hold of it, then the dialogue happens.

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