Showing posts with label Congressman Conyers. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Congressman Conyers. Show all posts

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Congress Has Become an Institution of the Useless -- Doug Patton

April 5, 2010

President John Adams once said, "I have come to the conclusion that one useless man is a disgrace, two are a law firm, and three or more become a Congress." With the approval rating of the current congressional gaggle hovering somewhere in the single digits, one has to ask: Can't we do better than this for $174,000 a year and the best benefits package in America?

I do not contend that all members of Congress are useless. I'm not even prepared to stipulate that all congressional Democrats are useless (although no names in the current body come to mind at the moment). There are a few good people in the House and a few more in the Senate. I know because I have worked for some of them.

However, it takes one's breath away to see the blatant disregard so many of our senators and representatives have for the very Constitution they have sworn to defend. Take, for example, House Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers, who made the following statement recently concerning the health care bill: "I love these members [of Congress], they get up and say, 'Read the bill!' What good is reading the bill if it’s a thousand pages long and you don't have two days and two lawyers to find out what it means after you read the bill?"

This man is a lifelong lawyer and a 22-term Democrat. Do you think he cares about what is constitutional and what is not? (Oh, and by the way, congressman, this bill was not a thousand pages; it was twenty-four hundred pages.)

Last fall, when House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was asked by a reporter to cite the provisions in the Constitution granting Congress the authority to pass a health care bill, she answered with an incredulous, "Are you serious?"

Are you, Madame Speaker?

Montana Senator Max Baucus, one of the authors of this monstrosity, said that the legislation would address the "maldistribution of income in America."

Remember Joe the Plumber?

President Obama has mocked the concerns of congressional Republicans about many provisions in the bill. At the White House dog-and-pony show dressed up to look like a health care summit, the president informed Senator John McCain, "The campaign is over, John."

You could have fooled me, Mr. President. You've been doing nothing else since taking office.

When House Minority Whip Eric Cantor confronted Obama at that same "summit" by reading from the massive piece of legislation (which looked like four New York City phone books piled on top of each other), the president responded with this: "You know, when we do props like this, and you stack it up, and you repeat 'twenty-four hundred pages,' etcetera, you know, the truth of the matter is that health care is very complicated. And we can try to pretend that it's not, but it is…These are the kind of political things that we do that prevent us from having a conversation."

As if he ever wanted to have one.

Now comes news that Illinois Congressman Phil Hare has finally let the cat completely out of the bag by revealing the constitutional ignorance of almost every Democrat and far too many Republicans. Hare was confronted by a concerned citizen with a video camera. The man asked what part of the Constitution gave him and the Congress the authority to pass these health care mandates, to which the congressman replied, "I don't worry about the Constitution on this…What I care more about, I care more about people dying every day who don't have health care."

When pressed, Hare continued, "I believe it says we have the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness." When another bystander pointed out that those words are to be found not in the Constitution but rather in the Declaration of Independence, Hare replied, "Doesn't matter to me. Either one."

Now that their socialist health care bill has passed, these people have no compunction about admitting their true beliefs. With just a handful of exceptions, Congress has become an institution of useless men and women.
© 2010 by Doug Patton
Doug Patton is a former speechwriter and public policy advisor who now works as a freelance writer. His weekly columns appear in newspapers across the country and on various Internet websites, including Human Events Online and, where he is a senior writer and state editor. Readers can e-mail him at

Friday, February 5, 2010

Please Mr. Nelson

In our 'We Get Mail' category we've received one of our daily diatribes from our good friends at who want us to contact Judas Senator Ben Nelson to ask him to sign on to the constitutional amendment to prevent those ugly businesses from running issue ads after that radical U.S. Supreme Court went bananas with their recent decision.

Somehow, we don't thing that either the House or the U.S. Senate will find the votes to pass such an amendment, let alone get 38 state legislatures to vote for it, but letting the liberal congress debate this rather than health care is probably a good distraction.

Here's what the Moveon folks want us to do:

"In one of the worst decisions in U.S. history, the Supreme Court recently ruled that big corporations have the same First Amendment rights as people. This decision has opened the floodgates to unlimited political spending by big corporations.

To fully undo the damage, Congress must pass a constitutional amendment overturning this terrible decision.

So, we're aiming to send thousands of faxes to members of Congress urging them to close the floodgates of unlimited corporate cash. Can you send a free fax to Senator Ben Nelson today?

The fax says: "I urge you to pass a constitutional amendment to stop unlimited corporate political spending and to support legislation for public financing of congressional campaigns."

It's not every day that folks call for an amendment to the U.S. Constitution. But this Supreme Court decision puts our very democracy up for sale. Even tea party activists are saying that the Court has gone too far.

That's why our friends at Public Citizen, People for the American Way, and leaders in Congress like John Kerry, John Conyers, and Donna Edwards are calling for a constitutional amendment to overturn the Citizens United decision.

However, because it can take a while to pass a constitutional amendment, we'll keep pushing Congress to immediately pass public financing legislation, so that grassroots candidates can compete while relying on small donors from their district.

It could be now or never. If we let the big corporations unleash their unlimited campaign cash for even one election, it could be impossible to get our democracy back.

Please send a free fax to the office of Sen. Nelson to close the floodgates of unlimited corporate cash. Click here to send a free fax now:"

Sunday, January 3, 2010

2010, Our Most Dangerous Year Ever - Doug Patton

January 4, 2010

Official and unofficial calls for the firing of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, following the Christmas Day attempted terrorist attack aboard a Detroit-bound airliner, miss the point. Napolitano is merely a symptom of a far greater problem. Barack Obama himself got it right when he interrupted his golf game in Hawaii to tell us that the failures that led to this fiasco are “systemic.” They certainly are, because from top to bottom this administration is filled with people deceiving themselves about the nature of evil in our time. Obama also said that the failure to preempt the attack was “completely unacceptable.” No kidding. When did you have that revelation, Mr. President?

The system is dysfunctional because both Barack Obama and those working for him seem to have no clue that we are at war. Instead of calling the war on Islamic extremism by its proper name, this administration calls Iraq and Afghanistan “overseas contingency operations.” Obama himself has told us he doesn’t feel comfortable with the word “victory.” Can you imagine Franklin Roosevelt and Harry Truman telling Americans they didn’t feel comfortable with the word victory? They would have been impeached, and rightly so.

But since House Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers will not even commit to an investigation of the corrupt community organizing group ACORN — a scandal that Iowa Congressman Steve King, a member of Conyer’s own committee, has called “worse than Watergate” — formal impeachment proceedings against Obama are about as likely as Al Gore admitting the truth to the world that global warming is a hoax. And, of course, we all remember from the trial of the felon-in-chief a decade ago the difficulty of getting Democrats to impeach one of their own.

This year is potentially the most dangerous one we have faced since the hottest days of the Cold War. The second year of Barack Obama’s reign is fraught with risk from enemies the world over who have learned, to their delight, that Obama has neither the experience nor the will to protect America and her people.

The Communist Chinese hold our economic future in their blood-soaked hands. North Korea builds and tests its nuclear weapons while its people starve to death. Russia deals in weapons to terrorist states. Iran thumbs its nose at the West as it continues unabated on its march toward nuclear capability. Al Qaida plots our demise in every corner of the world.

Meanwhile, we are supposed to feel secure as Barack Obama and his attorney general go merrily along with their plans to close the Guantanamo Bay prison and bring known al Qaida terrorists into a civilian court in Manhattan, assign them lawyers and try them like purse snatchers arrested on the streets of New York. (By the way, they will be held in a prison in Illinois while being tried in New York. Has anyone calculated the cost of transportation and security involved in that endeavor? But, hey, we’re creating jobs! Right?)

Like Alice in Wonderland, Americans now find themselves locked in a terrifying psychedelic nightmare from which we cannot seem to awaken — a death march to Crazyville led by an alien president leading us off a cliff and into an abyss.

From the plains of Fort Hood, Texas, where an Islamist Army officer waged jihad against his own troops, to the skies over Detroit, where a Yemeni terrorist tried to blow a plane full of innocent people to bits; from violent attacks on our troops abroad to the soon-to-be-not-so-idle threats of a suicide state bent on the destruction of the West, the Obama administration has shown itself incapable of or unwilling to wage war on Islamic extremism in all its forms.

But he’s going to make sure everyone has health care. We’re going to need it when the emergency rooms are filled with victims from the next terrorist attack.


© 2010 by Doug Patton

Doug Patton is a former speechwriter and public policy advisor who now works as a freelance writer. His weekly columns appear in newspapers across the country and on various Internet websites, including Human Events Online and, where is a senior writer and state editor. Readers can e-mail him at