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The New Congress Immediately Becomes Transparent

January 7, 2011

The  new Republican-dominated Congress convened today and started a New Era of  Openness and  Transparency.

First, they read the entire US Constitution, which the GOP and their Tea Party faction claim to revere as infallible, word-for-word divinely inspired gospel. Well….actually not the entire Constitution. That might have been  very  embarrassing. With the consent of the Democrats, they reportedly agreed to skip certain parts, such as:

Article I, Section 2, Clause 3–the “federal provision” counting black slaves as 3/5 of a person for census purposes and representation in Congress. Before the Civil War this gave the Southern slave states as many as thrity  (30) extra seats in Congress and as many extra votes in the Electoral College.  Or,

Article I, Section 9, Clause 1–forbidding any restriction ont he  African Slave Trade for at least 20 years, until 1808.  Or,

Article II, Section I, Clause 8–where the President’s “oath or affirmation” of office does not require him to swear an oath nor does it  include the words  “so help me God” or any other religious reference (emphasis mine).

Article II,  Section 2, Clause 1–which makes it clear the President is  “Commander-in-Chief” only of active duty members of the armed forces. Civilians have no Commander-in-Chief. Or,

Article IV, Section 2, Clause 3–where a fugitive slave law built into the Constitution  requird escaped slaves to be ‘”delivered up” to their owners upon demand. Or,

Article VI–where the phrase “no religious test of office” forbids religioous affiliation or non-affilliation from being considered in any officeholder’s eligibility. Or,

Article V-which forbids any constitutional amendment affecting the protection of the  African Slave Trade  for at least the next twenty years.

The point, of  course, is not the US Constitution is “no good” but that it always has been an imperfect  scheme invented–through political horse-trading and compromise– by dedicated, intelligent,  well-intentioned and  gifted but fallible human beings  and has needed to be  re-interpreted countless times, and formally amended  twenty-seven (27) times over the years.

Having finished the reading, the  “fiscal conservatives” and “deficit hawks”  got right down to business, announcing they would devote themselves to repealing  health care reform,  after the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office estimated that repeal would add another $230 billion to the national debt, on top of the new $900 billion addition  caused by the tax-cuts-for-the-rich package the Republicans enthusiastically devoted themselves to just  last month.

And the GOP Transparency Hawks & Tea Partiers  voted, every last one of them, against having to reveal whether they were taking advantage of the taxpayer-financed  Federal Employees Health Benefits Program, one of the most comprehensive health care plans in existence. They decided to hide their  government health care package while pledging to repeal health care for their constituents.  A really principled stance. don’t  you think?

Oh, by the way, Blue Shield of California just announced their intent to raise their health insurance premiums by 59% this year.  Free enterprise, it’s the solution to everything!

Of course, we won’t mention (because they won’t mention)  that all these anti-government types  have the benefit of  the government-guaranteed and government-regulated Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS), too.  A better retirement plan than you’ve got, I’ll bet–if you even have one.

Well, it all is pretty transparent what’s really going on,  isn’t it?
















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