2007-06-21 / View From the Middle

View From The Middle

By Charles Rogers

By Charles Rogers Congress' Approval Rating Down To 23%. Here's Why...

From our first civics lessons, we're taught that government service, as a vocation, is a calling we all should aspire to.

Then we grow older and find out just what the words distrust, fraud, insincerity and, indeed, cynicism mean!

Yes, I'm speaking about our seats of government, respectively (if I may use that word), federal, state, city and even so-called "watchdog" activist agencies.

Space restricts me from using more than a few recent instances that bring me to that conclusion, although you'll get the comparative gist of it in other cases as well.

Having received a news advisory from the activist organization Citizen Action of New York last Monday, June 12, I read with interest the announcement of their sponsorship of a public forum to be held two days hence at Brooklyn Borough Hall. The announcement said they, along with Borough President Marty Markowitz and five Brooklyn assemblymembers were sponsoring the meeting, the title of which was: Public Forum on Campaign Finance Reform and Full Public Financing.

How impressive!

It was soooo nice for them to let the public know so those interested could prepare themselves well enough ahead of time for such an important issue. It's always nice to alert people so they can attend a public forum, at which government lawmakers and executives will call for legislative action on a subject regarding money.

The notice of the forum began with the phrase…"With only one week left in the legislative session in Albany….," then a quote from Pam Bennett, NYC Regional Director of Citizen Action: "We are joining with elected officials who are committed to changing the current system of financing campaigns in New York. The power of money in politics impacts everyone by undermining the ability of average citizens to have their voices heard in government." Then Borough President Markowitz said, "We want to be sure that voters and community residents come first in Albany."

Okay. Let's get back to those cynical, disingenuous, distrust factors: Whom do these people think they're kidding? Yes, it is an important issue. So why do they announce it two days before the forum? When the time comes to vote or discuss or have a "hearing" on the subject later, they'll be the first ones to say, "Well, we invited the public to talk about it in a forum. Where was the public?"

They know what they're doing. Don't kid yourself.

More cynicism, etc.:

It's an entirely different subject, but it shows you just how the government is duping you (me too!) all over the place.

Last week, thanks to the excellent reporting of Brian Ross of ABC News, we heard of the boondoggle and waste of taxpayers' money ($63 million, for starters) on an experimental aircraft that the Pentagon has repeatedly rejected since its first experiment in 1986, which they turned down because it was technically flawed. Analysts said at the time the project was "not worth pursuing…for any amount of money." Remember, this was 21 years ago. TWENTY-ONE YEARS AGO!

But Congress continued to pour money into the project. Ross reported that Anthony DuPont of DuPont Aerospace (not part of the chemical company) had been giving campaign contributions to two congressmen from his area, San Diego, where the plane was being built and experimented on. Mr. DuPont says his contributions are not connected to the support he has received for the plane. An unconfirmed report says he has permission from the Navy to continue testing the craft and "will do so soon."

This is how government is run. This is what your children should aspire to.

Oh, yeah. Want another example? Take a look at the latest announcement from the U.S. Senate on reviving the Immigration Bill, where Harry Reid, the Democratic majority leader, said that, in order to see the bill through, they'll work "through the weekend and into the (recess) period - the 4th of July - to accomplish our goals."


Maybe Harry will work overtime - even though he isn't getting paid on the holiday clock - but he's going to have a helluva time getting his fellow senators into that big, round hall at that time. Besides, the immigration measure then has to go to the House, where they're going to fight and fight and fight about it. And what about the 22 amendments that are supposed to be tacked onto it in the Senate version? I mean, we're talking about TWENTY TWO AMENDMENTS. And Reid says he hopes the bill gets through the Senate within a week???

Last November, Congress was changed from a Republican majority to Democratic. BOTH houses. The public figured that, by voting out those big, bad GOP guys and bringing in the Dems, things would change.

Relative to that, we see stats on President Bush's approval rating sinking to 29%

Meanwhile, do you know what Congress' approval rating is?

23 %.

No wonder people are cynical.

Still want your kids to grow up to be in government?

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