The Wine Curmudgeon looks at the number of important issues facing the United States and laments that the House Judiciary Committee is wasting time on HR 5034:
The United States is coming out of its worst recession in more than 50 years, the unemployment rate is near 10 percent, and more Americans are living in poverty today than at any time since 1994. We’re fighting a war in Afghanistan, we have to clean up the BP oil spill mess in the Gulf of Mexico, and our infrastructure — roads, bridges and the like — is literally collapsing…The Congress has not yet passed a food safety bill, despite almost a decade of deaths and illnesses from contaminated green onions, spinach and most recently eggs.
His larger point is that HR 5034 is a bill that is designed to help an already rich and powerful lobby while doing none of the rest of us any good at all. My larger point is that this is an exercise in squeezing campaign contributions out of lobbyists, and that holding hearings right before the election is just the kind of payoff that keeps the checks coming in.
Ultimately the blame for this lies on all of us. Congress acts this way because we’re not paying attention.
So maybe we should let them know we’re paying attention.
If you’ve never called one of the politicians who works for you, you should give it a try. It’s really easy, and when you’re done I guarantee you’ll feel a little bit more like flying the flag outside your home. You’ll talk to an unfailingly polite junior staffer who reports up to the Representative or Senator about call volumes. A comparatively small number of calls can make a big impression, since everyone involved assumes that for everyone who bothers to pick up the phone, there are thousands of people out there grumbling about the same thing.
The House of Representatives and Senate both have handy guides to help you find contact information for your Representative or Senators. Or you can call the Congressional switchboard (202-224-3121) and ask for your Representative or Senator by name. Tell ‘em you’re paying attention, and that you’d rather they spent their time on matters that benefit all of us rather than just a wealthy few.
The lobbyists for the rich and powerful are there every day. We need to be, too.