Congress Less Trustworthy Than Dirt

How low can they go?

A recent survey rated American’s belief in the honesty and integrity of people in a number of professions…

Congress came out next to dead last.

 

Good thing they didn’t include Pimps and Drug Dealers in the survey.

 

Tired of Obama Caving…

Been saying this for a long time. Obama’s fixation with bringing Rethuglys on board is a failure.

 

Orange Jumpsuit Politician – Jesse Jackson, Jr.

This one goes under the heading of… What was he thinking?

 

Jesse L. Jackson Jr. sentenced to 30 months in prison

Jesse L. Jackson Jr., the namesake of the famed civil rights leader and once-promising Illinois congressman, was sentenced to 21 / 2 years in prison Wednesday for stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars in campaign money to fund an extravagant lifestyle over many years.

In an emotional hearing in federal court in the District, Jackson said he failed to separate his personal life from his political activities and “could not have been more wrong.”

Jackson, 48, and his wife, Sandra Stevens Jackson, pleaded guilty in February to using about $750,000 in campaign funds to pay for high-end items, such as fur wraps and a gold-plated Rolex watch, in addition to private-school tuition and trips to Costco.

“I misled the American people, I misled the House of Representatives,” Jackson said as he dabbed his eyes with a pile of tissues. “I was wrong and I do not fault anyone.”

He asked to serve his term in Alabama, “far away from everybody for awhile.”

U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson (no relation) said the former congressman and his wife used his campaign funds as a “personal piggy bank.”

“There may be blurred lines for Congress to follow when their lives are political, this case did not come near those areas,” she said after a more than three-hour hearing. “This was a knowing, organized joint misconduct that was repeated over many years.”

The judge also ordered Jackson to perform 500 hours of community service that is unrelated to politics. She sentenced Sandra Jackson to one year in prison.

Prosecutors said in court papers that Jesse Jackson Jr. was driven by “greed and entitlement,” and they asked the judge to sentence him to a prison term of four years, which falls on the lower end of federal guidelines.

In court Wednesday, Assistant U.S. Attorney Matthew Graves called Jackson’s crimes “staggering,” in part because the couple had sufficient independent financial resources, earning nearly $350,000 in 2011.

“These were extreme abuses that strike at the integrity of the campaign finance system,” Graves said.

The defense team asked for a term of less than four years, saying that a shorter term is critical to Jackson’s mental health and that a lengthy sentence would be “devastating” to the couple’s two children – ages 13 and 9…

In the spirit of bipartisanship…

Perhaps his new room mate will be Va. Governor Bob McDonnell, or AG Ken Cuccinelli…

Harry Reid – Yellowback Donkey Award of the Year

Once again the Democrats fold and run…

Assault weapons ban dropped from gun bill

Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid on Tuesday declared politically dead the effort to ban military-style assault weapons, a setback for President Obama and gun-control advocates who are pushing the Senate to move quickly on bills to limit gun violence.

Reid (D-Nev.) is preparing to move ahead with debate on a series of gun-control proposals when the Senate returns from a two-week Easter recess in early April. Although he has vowed to hold votes on measures introduced after the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre in Newtown, Conn., in December, Reid told reporters Tuesday that the proposed assault-weapons ban isn’t holding up against Senate rules that require at least 60 votes to end debate and move to final passage.

The proposed ban, “using the most optimistic numbers, has less than 40 votes. That’s not 60,” Reid said.

Still up for consideration are three other bills approved last week by the Senate Judiciary Committee: bipartisan legislation to make gun trafficking a federal crime, a bipartisan measure to expand a Justice Department grant program that provides funding for school security, and a Democratic proposal to expand the nation’s gun background check program.

Step right on up, Harry – and get your “Yellowback Donkey Award” for legislative cowardice.

Buckdance!

For readers not familiar with the terminology – a buckdance in black American vernacular  is a dance done by slaves for money or the approval of their white masters. The African American variation of which derived from the West Indies. The term has since been absorbed into the lexicon to mean a style of dancing, wherein a male dances by himself to show his skills. Clogging, a style of dance which derived from dance styles in Scotland and Ireland, which is performed to Bluegrass or Country style music has a variant where a man dances alone, typically using a sheet of plywood as a soundboard for his steps. It is an art style, and to be well done requires considerable skill.

Buckdancing in this post is the African American version – which is a racial pejorative synonymous with Uncle Tom.

Our first buckdancer up for our entertainment is Herman (“Where the white wimmin at”) Cain -

Obviously Herman is buckdancing for white conservative ears, as he now has a new Radio show taking over for Neal Boortz. The fact that Herman is a sick, women molesting trick, who cheated on his wife for 20 years or more isn’t a problem for evangelical white conservatives ready to forgive his sins as long as he continues to put a black face on their racism.

Our second buckdancer is Al Sharpton – making excuses for the Democrat Party’s failure in the recent recall election in Wisconsin -

Buck up Al – The Republicans didn’t win by cheating – they won by the Democrats failure to invest money in the election, AND, most importantly, their failure to make the case that Walker should be removed for unpopular politics – well short of any proven (to this point) criminal malfeasance. The donors apparently figured this out early – as did the DNC – and were noticeably absent in pouring money to counter the Republicans 7-1 spending advantage in the state.

This was not the stolen Florida Presidential Election of 2000 – they beat the Dems by 5 points – not 5 votes. Dems lost…Period. Guess what Al, black folks are so thin on the ground in Wisconsin, if you got 100% turnout… They (Walker) still won.

You can blame Citizen’s United – you can blame the Koch brothers…

But what they did was legal.

As to Walker – with his former top adviser turning State’s evidence – he will be indicted in the John Doe fiasco in the next 30 days and out of office by the Presidential elections. So the Dems win anyway. Its the good citizens of the state who lost.

How Do You Make Our Schools Smarter… By Dumbing Down Our Elected Officials?

A favorite Republican whipping post is our “failing” educational system”…

The problem being that many of the Republicans who most vociferously shout about American Educational shortcomings…

Have benefited so little from their experience  in a learning environment.

I mean, if the first step to building a strong house is to dig a good foundation…

Then you best better hire a builder with more than a passing familiarity with a shovel.

Didn’t do so great on that last vocabulary test? That’s OK, there’s a place in Congress for you. The current class of congressmembers speaks at a 10.6 grade level—down almost a full grade from 2005’s 11.5 grade level on the Flesch-Kincaid scale. According to a political scientist at the Sunlight Foundation, the open government group that ran the numbers, one reason for the decline is the influx of new members who were elected in 2010, many of them with Tea Party support. “Particularly among the newest members of Congress, as you move out from the center and toward either end of the political spectrum, the grade level goes down, and that pattern is particularly pronounced on the right,” he says. In easier-to-understand terms: All of the 10 members who speak at the lowest grade levels are Republicans, and nearly all are freshmen.

Sophomoric? Members Of Congress Talk Like 10th-Graders, Analysis Shows

It turns out that the sophistication of congressional speech-making is on the decline, according to the open government group the Sunlight Foundation. Since 2005, the average grade level at which members of Congress speak has fallen by almost a full grade.

Making The Grade

The Sunlight Foundation analyzed the Congressional Record and found that Congress’ ranking on the Flesch-Kincaid scale — which evaluates readability — has dropped a grade level in recent years.

Average grade level of Congressional speeches

Every word members of Congress say on the floor of the House or Senate is documented in the Congressional Record. The Sunlight Foundation took the entire Congressional Record dating back to the 1990s and plugged it into a searchable database.

Lee Drutman, a political scientist at Sunlight, took all those speeches and ran them through an algorithm to determine the grade level of congressional discourse.

“We just kind of did it for fun, and I was kind of shocked when I plotted that data and I saw that, oh my God, there’s been a real drop-off in the last several years,” he says.

In 2005, Congress spoke at an 11.5 grade level on the Flesch-Kincaid scale. Now, it’s 10.6. In other words, Congress dropped from talking like juniors to talking like sophomores.

Of the 10 members speaking at the lowest grade level, all but two are freshmen, and every one is a Republican. For the record, though, Drutman isn’t passing judgment about whether speaking at a lower grade level is a good thing or a bad thing.

South Carolina Republican Rep. Mick Mulvaney ranks the very lowest, with a grade level of 7.94. Continue reading

Corey Booker’s Walk Back

Corey Booker quickly walked back his criticism of the Obama campaign hammering Willard Romney for his role in Bain Capital destroying jobs…

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