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Discussion Starter #1
I'm so glad the people of Nevada returned this ********* to office.

And I hope BO meant what he said. Earmarks are one of the ugly things that so badly screwed up the health care bill and are a perfect example of what is wrong with congress.

If we're all equal under law, how come residents of some states should be entitled to more than others?


Reid to Obama on earmarks: 'Back off'


Dismissing President Barack Obama's opposition to earmarks as "an applause line," Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid told NBC News on Wednesday that the president should "back off" and let lawmakers continue to direct spending to their home districts.

Asked during a one-on-one interview with NBC whether Obama was wrong to promise a veto on any bill that contains earmarks, Reid quickly replied, "of course."

"This is an applause line," Reid said. "It's an effort by the White House to get more power. They've got enough power as it is."

Reid, along with other lawmakers who support earmarking, argues that eliminating the practice simply puts more discretion in the hands of executive branch officials who have authority to fund projects. "I have a Constitutional obligation to do congressionally directed spending," he said. "I know much more about what should be done in Elko [or] Las Vegas, Nevada, than some bureaucrat does back here."

Reid said voters should recognize that eliminating congressional earmarks does not, in itself, reduce spending but changes how the same money is spent.

"I think it's absolutely wrong and the public should understand that the president has enough power; he should back off and let us do what we do."

Suggesting almost dismissively that the president is playing to the crowd, he added that Obama may win "in the short term" with conservatives and those in the public who think that the practice should be nixed.

"The president thinks this will help him a little bit. You know, more power to him," he said. "But it's just wrong."

Despite this strong disagreement, Reid says the fight over earmarks will not cause a long-term rift with Obama.

"He's been around awhile. I've been around a while," he noted. "Just because he's wrong on this, [it] doesn't mean he's not right on almost everything else."
 

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If the GOP had fielded an even marginally rational opponent, Reid would likely be long gone. The practice of earmarks is loathsome on many levels, it needs to go.
 

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If we're all equal under law, how come residents of some states should be entitled to more than others?
Your question should be: why do voters continue to elect/reelect members of Congress who use earmarks?

Reid said voters should recognize that eliminating congressional earmarks does not, in itself, reduce spending but changes how the same money is spent.
That’s true.

"I think it's absolutely wrong and the public should understand that the president has enough power; he should back off and let us do what we do."
Also true, the Executive may veto any bill he considers lacking.

Congress will never reform itself, that’s the voters’ responsibility.
 

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I have to agree on this one. The thing that troubles me the most is how much it illustrates how the Constitutional role of the Senate has become bastardized. The original intent of The Framers was that all legislation would originate in the House, and that the Senate was to be merely a body of "wise men" who would merely pass judgement on the House's work in order to make sure we had a mechanism to "cool the passions of the mob", because in essence, that is what the House is: the representatives of "the mob" and it's passions. The Framers, perhaps somewhat naively, designed so each state legislature would choose the two "wisest men" in the state, and send them to D.C., and that these wise men would have the duty of "advice and consent" - a term we use for presidential appointments, but it is also a term the framers intended to be the definition of just what the Senate was supposed to do. It did not work out that way, as some states became controlled by corrupt political machines, and instead, the two biggest crooks in the state got sent to D.C.

In an effort to mitigate that, the 17th Amendment, which instituted the direct election of Senators by the people, was passed, and turned it all on it's head. Now senators are merely "super-representatives" who are as beholden to the mob (and the mob's demand for pork) as anyone else is. Add to this all the parliamentary shenanigans that Congress has gimmicked into their rules that allow the Senate to essentially originate legistlation in violation of the COTUS, and the anti-constitution filibuster rule which essentially allows any senator to block legislation (and essentially make elections null and void) unfavorable to the special interests that are paying him bribes (aka "campaign contributions"), and we can see we are getting to the heart of what is wrong with this country. IMO, we have two choices, neither of which will ever make it to the national agenda because the entrenched interests of corporate fascism will prevent it, which is to repeal the 17th Amendment, or abolish the Senate as Britain has done with their equally wretched House of Lords. Why pick on just Reid? The whole fucking thing is corrupt, and all Senators are doing this shit. Is anyone here going to claim that Republicans aren't as enamored of earmarks as the Democrats? Earmarks are the grease that oils this utterly profligate machine for everyone, its the ROI for those who are really running this country - the corporations.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I'm picking on Reid because he's speaking out about it loudly and favorably. Did I say anything about Dems? Anyone paying attention knows I can't stand either of the entrenched parties, and the entrenchment is one of those reasons. Earmarks and riders are a symptom of a larger disease, but they cause their own illness and should be eliminated.

But in short, Reid was simply revealing his assogance, which resulted in a news item, which resulted in the post.
 

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Earmarks and riders are a symptom of a larger disease, but they cause their own illness and should be eliminated.
And who is gong to eliminate them? Congress won’t do it.
 
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