The disaster's in the details.
You didn't have to read every word of the recent so-called stimulus bill to know it was bad legislation. But one would at least have hoped that the people voting on the bill would have read it through at least once before making their decision on whether to support it. However, such hopes are in vain, according to Liberator Online:
The massive $787 billion 2009 "stimulus" bill -- possibly the largest spending bill in U.S. history -- was received by all Congressional members at 11 p.m. Thursday evening, February 12.
The gigantic bill was 1,073 pages long, with an additional 421 page Explanatory Statement. Further, portions of the bill consisted of hand-written last-minute insertions.
As the small-government lobbying group Downsize DC notes, the bill is filled with:
* Hand-written copy-editing;
* Insertions scrawled in the margins;
* Typographical deletions of whole paragraphs;
* And "a variety of curious hash marks and other annotations."
Yet a mere 15 hours later, around 4 pm, the U.S. House passed it -- appropriately enough, on Friday 13th.
The Senate passed it just 3 hours and 5 minutes later.
Yes, that's right. Congress passed this complex, far-reaching, revolutionary bill in a matter of hours, without taking enough time to even learn what was in it, let alone read it, or even read most of it.
The conservative Heritage Foundation declared: "[N]ever have we seen a bill more cloaked in secrecy or more withdrawn from open public exposure and honest debate."
This happened despite:
* President Obama's repeated campaign promises of transparency in government, including a pledge not to sign bills that aren't posted online for the public to read for at least five days before the final vote is cast.
* Speaker Nancy Pelosi's promise that the final version of the stimulus bill would be posted online for at least 48 hours before the vote.
Somehow we've got to find a way to bring this madness to a stop!
The Vanished Past
A person you wish you knew, but who is far too good for you, sent me this picture of children on the playground of The World Famous Thomas M. Balliet Elementary School, along with the following note:
(click photo to enlarge)
My mom found this old photo. I'm pretty sure my brother David had it all these years. It was taken on June 19th, 1964 and is of Mr. Johnson's 6th grade class. As I recall, Mr. Johnson was in Room 12 and preceded Mr. Goodermote. He was much nicer too. At any rate, my brother David was the happy looking kid in the third row, on the the left, who is looking towards your house. My next door neighbor Janice Trombley is the girl in the back row, on the far right. The girl who is 3rd from the right in the back row is Theresa McGuire. The guy in the front row on the far right is Ricky Montagna, who lived at 63 Seymour. I wonder if this photo would embarrass the living crap out of him. I hope so. The girl in the last row with the white skirt looks familiar, but I'm clueless as to who she is. Despite the lack of enthusiasm of most of the subjects, I'm happy that David was thrilled to pieces on that particular day.
45 years ago.
Justin Kreutzman, son of Bill the Drummer, is a respected avant-garde filmmaker. Here's a little something he made about Dad and his band.