When I Found Out How Members Of Congress Really Spend Their Time, I Just About Threw Up

Did you know that many members of Congress spend three or four hours a day “dialing for dollars” in cramped call centers that both parties have set up in Washington?  I promised that I would keep all of you updated on what I am learning as I run for Congress, and what I learned the other day just about had me losing my lunch.  I always imagined members of Congress spending long hours in their offices working on legislation and other important matters, but the truth is that most members of Congress are little more than glorified telemarketers at this point.  Winning the next election is everything for most of these Congress critters, and so they spend far more time making cold calls to potential donors than doing anything else.

Have you ever had a politician call you up in the middle of the day begging for money?  It is an absolutely disgraceful thing to do, but the truth is that money is the number one factor in determining election outcomes, and so our professional politicians have an endless appetite for it.

Every two years, more than a billion dollars is spent on congressional elections, and those that are masters at raising money just keep winning over and over again.  Something desperately needs to be done to fix our fundamentally flawed system, but neither party seems to have any desire to take the money out of politics.

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote an article about the fact that the U.S. House of Representatives will only be in session for 147 days this year.  But even on those days, members of Congress are not exactly spending much time doing what they were elected to do.

During an interview with 60 Minutes, U.S. Representative Rick Nolan told Norah O’Donnell that members of Congress are expected to spend about 30 hours a week “dialing for dollars” in their respective call centers…

Rep. Rick Nolan: Well, both parties have told newly elected members of the Congress that they should spend 30 hours a week in the Republican and Democratic call centers across the street from the Congress, dialing for dollars.

Norah O’Donnell: Thirty hours a week?

Rep. Rick Nolan: Thirty hours is what they tell you you should spend. And it’s discouraging good people from running for public office. I could give you names of people who’ve said, “You know, I’d like to go to Washington and help fix problems, but I don’t want to go to Washington and become a mid-level telemarketer, dialing for dollars, for crying out loud.”

This is utterly shameful, and if I end up getting elected I will never do it.  In fact, I will push legislation to ban this practice.

Former U.S. Representative David Jolly was also interviewed by O’Donnell, and he admitted to her that Republican members of Congress are actually given a telemarketing script to use while making these calls…

Simply by calling people, cold-calling a list that fundraisers put in front of you, you’re presented with their biography. So please call John. He’s married to Sally. His daughter, Emma, just graduated from high school. They gave $18,000 last year to different candidates. They can give you $1,000 too if you ask them to. And they put you on the phone. And it’s a script.

In 2013, new Democratic members of Congress were given a “model schedule” for how they should be spending their time.  On that model schedule, two hours a day were allocated for “committee/floor”, and four hours a day were allocated for “call time”.  In other words, those members of Congress were expected to only devote two hours a day to doing the jobs they were elected to do and four hours a day to making telemarketing calls.

If we ever want to end this disgraceful system we need to take matters into our own hands.

Shortly after I announced that I was running for Congress, I was given a list of thousands of names in my district.  It is the same list that other politicians are getting too.  Even at this moment, people are having their dinners interrupted by desperate politicians that are “dialing for dollars”.

If this ever happens to you, write the name of that politician down and never vote for that individual again.

I have pledged not to participate in this shameful system, and if I get the chance I will work to abolish it.  Yes, every campaign needs funding, but making telemarketing cold calls to people at home is not the way to do it.

In fact, these politicians are actually trained to interrupt you during lunch and dinner because those are apparently some of the best times for raising money.

And these call centers in D.C. are as bad as you are probably imagining.  The following is more from former Representative David Jolly

It is a cult-like boiler room on Capitol Hill where sitting members of Congress, frankly I believe, are compromising the dignity of the office they hold by sitting in these sweatshop phone booths calling people asking them for money. And their only goal is to get $500 or $1,000 or $2,000 out of the person on the other end of the line. It’s shameful. It’s beneath the dignity of the office that our voters in our communities entrust us to serve.

Jolly is precisely correct.

Any politician that makes these sorts of calls is acting in a completely shameful manner.

If we don’t get the money out of politics, we are just going to end up with a bunch of sleazebags in Washington that spend most of their time on the phone bugging people for money.

Is that what we want?

Do we really want our laws to be made by those that can prove that they are the best telemarketers?

Nobody is supposed to talk about these things, and I suppose that this is yet another article that is going to get me into trouble.

But I don’t care.  Our system is deeply broken and it needs to be fixed.  Hopefully by shedding some light on these issues I have moved the ball in the right direction.

One Of The Main Reasons Congress Is Getting So Little Done Is Because They Will Have 218 Days Off In 2017

Would you like to have a job that gave you 218 days off a year?  According to the official calendar put out by House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, the House of Representatives will only be in session for 147 days in 2017.  And that is actually an increase from last year.  In 2016, there were only 131 legislative days for the House.  So if you are wondering why Congress never seems to get anything done, this is one of the biggest reasons.  The sad truth is that members of Congress simply do not spend a lot of time doing what they were elected to do.

If you are an average American worker with a full-time job, you probably put in around 240 working days a year.  If you have to work that hard, why can’t Congress?

And actually things used to be even worse.  The New York Times looked back at 2013 once it was done, and they found that the House was only in session for 942 hours for the entire year.  When you break that down, it comes to about 18 hours a week.

If you go all the way back to 2006, there were just 104 legislative days in the House.  It is almost as if they just decided to take pretty much that whole year off.

This is what I am talking about when I say that we need to “flush the toilet”.  Those that are fortunate enough to be chosen to represent us in Washington should be some of the hardest working people in the entire country, and unfortunately we are getting just the exact opposite.

In the past there have been efforts to make members of Congress work full work weeks, but those efforts have always ended up failing

Some attempts have been made to force members of Congress to work full weeks. In 2015, for example, a Republican lawmaker from Florida, Rep. David Jolly, introduced legislation that would have required the House to be in session 40 hours a week when members of the House were in Washington, D.C.”A work week in Washington should be no different than a work week in every other town across the nation,” Jolly said at the time. Jolly’s measure failed to gain traction.

Congress gets especially lazy during the summer months.  Many Americans don’t realize that every year Congress takes the entire month of August off.  And actually, the House will be on vacation from July 29th all the way to September 4th in 2017.

Wouldn’t it be nice if you had the entire month of August off every year?

This year, U.S. Senator David Perdue is proposing that the August vacation be canceled because there is so much for Congress to do.  According to Senator Perdue, there are five major tasks that need to be accomplished by September 30th

First, we have to complete the work on the first phase of repealing Obamacare and fixing our health care system.

Second, we have to pass a budget resolution that will work within the reconciliation process for changing the tax code.

Third, we have to use the appropriations process to fund the federal government by the end of the fiscal year on Sept. 30.

Fourth, we have to deal with our debt limit. The Treasury Department has used extraordinary measures to buy time since the national debt hit its limit of $19.8 trillion in March.

Fifth, we have to finally act on our once-in-a-generation opportunity to change our archaic tax code, but we will only be able to do so if we achieve the first four priorities.

If those things don’t get done in time, members of Congress should not expect the voting public to have any sympathy for them.

Of course there are many that would argue that members of Congress actually work very hard and that they need all of that time off to “serve their constituents”.  The following comes from Snopes

Members of Congress have two jobs: represent their constituents and govern. These responsibilities do not always go hand in hand. Representing constituents means speaking with them in person, holding town hall meetings, organizing rallies, attending to casework, and otherwise being present in the district or state they represent. This is not easily done from a Washington office. Supporting or opposing legislation is an important part of a member’s’ job. However, it does not come close to capturing members’’ range of responsibilities. This is why even when Congress is out of session, members are at work. Most members of Congress work a five-to-six-day week. The representative aspect of Congress’’s job is almost completely ignored in these statistics.

Yes, without a doubt it is important for members of Congress to go back and interact with those that elected them.

But at the end of the day their main job is to do the work that they were elected to do.

And even when they are in Washington, many of these Congress critters are spending much of their time on activities that have nothing to do with legislation.  For example, in his new book entitled “Giant Of The Senate”, Senator Al Franken admits that he often spends much of his day on the phone raising money…

“It’s not uncommon to have three straight hours of call time scheduled as part of your day. … It’s brutal.”

This is why we need federal term limits.  If members of Congress were not so busy constantly raising money for their next elections maybe they would have time to actually get something done in Washington.

In November the American people gave the Republicans control of the White House, the Senate and the House of Representatives.  Enormous amounts of time, money and energy went into those campaigns, and now we want to see some results.

Instead of flying off for a month-long vacation in August, Congress should stay in town and get to work.  The Republicans have already wasted much of the first half of 2017, and the mid-term elections are right around the corner.

It is time to change the way that Washington works, because right now we have a system that is deeply broken.

Has Kathy Griffin Produced A Defining Moment That Will Cause America To Reject The Hate-Filled Ideology Of The Radical Left?

The image of Kathy Griffin holding up a bloody mock ‘decapitated’ head of Donald Trump will be burned into our memories forever, and she may have just produced the single most destructive moment for the radical left that this country has seen in decades.  It is perfectly fine to disagree with President Trump and his policies, but to hold up his ‘decapitated head’ like an ISIS executioner would goes far beyond anything that would ever be acceptable in a civilized society.  This is a moment that absolutely screams “too far”, and I believe that it will be this moment that causes many Americans to finally realize that the hate-filled ideology of the radical left is entirely bankrupt.

At this point the radical left doesn’t have any sort of positive message to offer the American people.  They hate that wealthy people have so much money and so they want to raise taxes.  They hate capitalism and use every opportunity that they can to try to destroy it.  They hate conservative Christians and so they mock Jesus and the Christian faith every chance they get.  They pander for money and votes by pitting one racial group against another.  They are all about killing liberty, killing freedom, killing babies, and killing the values that this nation was founded upon.  And they have demonstrated over and over again that they are willing to use violence to achieve their goals.

What Kathy Griffin was attempting to communicate was so horrible and so over the top that even CNN has decided to fire her

“CNN has terminated our agreement with Kathy Griffin to appear on our New Year’s Eve program,” spokesman Shimrit Sheetrit confirmed to USA TODAY in a statement Wednesday.

The network used even stronger language a day earlier: “We found what she did disgusting and offensive,” read a statement sent to USA TODAY Tuesday night by Sheetrit. “We are pleased to see she has apologized and asked that the photos be taken down.”

And even her old buddy Anderson Cooper denounced her on Twitter

For the record, I am appalled by the photo shoot Kathy Griffin took part in. It is clearly disgusting and completely inappropriate.

It is hard to imagine that Kathy Griffin will have much of a career left after all of this, so hopefully she has been saving her money.  In fact, she has already lost a major endorsement deal

Squatty Potty, a Utah-based business that creates and sells bathroom products — including a popular toilet stool made famous by one of the company’s well-known viral videos — has decided to pull down a new ad that Griffin stars in.

“We were shocked and disappointed to learn about the image Ms. Griffin shared today,” Squatty Potty CEO Bobby Edwards said in a statement issued to Faithwire. “It was deeply inappropriate and runs contrary to the core values our company stands for.”

I don’t know what she thought would happen.  If a conservative had done the same thing to Obama, we would probably be talking about prison time right about now.  Griffin went so far over the line that even the Church of Satan has disavowed her.

And of course this isn’t the first time that she has done something like this.  During a 2007 awards show, she openly mocked the name of Jesus.  What she said was so horrible that I do not want to repeat it.

Surprisingly, not everyone on the left is turning their backs on Griffin.  In fact, Democratic Senator Al Franken says that he is not going to cancel an appearance with Griffin that is scheduled for July.

Al Franken will be up for re-election in 2020, and I think that it is time for the people of Minnesota to find a new senator.

Of course I think that things are going to be very difficult for most liberal Democrats moving forward.  If anger and hate are the core of your message, and if you survive by constantly pitting one group against another, eventually the American people are going to see through the games and will start choosing another direction.

Whether she intended it or not, Kathy Griffin is now the poster child for the radical left in this country, and she just did Trump and the Republican Party a huge favor by showing the true face of her movement.  I really like how Mike Adams made this point…

There’s no other way to say it: Kathy Griffin and the deranged, lunatic Left are mentally ill and pose a very real danger to society. This wretched, terrorist-style beheading video posted by Griffin encourages deadly violence against Trump supporters and sends a message that murdering political opponents of the intolerant Left is a normal, acceptable activity.

That’s what the deranged Left already believes, of course. Fanned into flames by a wildly dishonest, discredited fakestream media, Trump Derangement Syndrome has now escalated into a left-wing murderous rage that now celebrates gruesome images of beheadings that were once the sole domain of fanatical terrorists. What’s even more disturbing about all this is that Kathy Griffin apparently thought posting a video showing a bloodied, decapitated Trump head in her fist would somehow be hilarious or inspiring in some twisted way.

So how should we respond to all of this?

Instead of responding to this kind of hate with even more hate, I propose that we respond with lots of love.

Let’s show the American people that there is a fundamental difference between the right and the left.  Let’s show them that true conservatives are all about loving everyone and doing everything that we can to promote life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.  Let’s show them that we believe in a positive, united future for our country based on the values and principles that are enshrined in the United States Constitution.

We don’t have to attack Kathy Griffin because she has already destroyed herself and done an immense amount of permanent damage to her political movement.

The American people are going to be looking elsewhere for inspiration, and we should be ready to supply it.  If we can clearly communicate a positive, uplifting message, we can start to clear out the cesspool that Washington D.C. has become and begin to build a brighter future for all Americans.

It’s Time To Flush The Toilet

Is it fair to compare Congress to a toilet?  If there is one institution that embodies the corruption that permeates Washington D.C., it is the United States Congress.  Dominated by extremely selfish career politicians that are primarily interested in raising enough money to win the next election, Congress has become a cesspool of filth, fraud and malfeasance.  The American people are absolutely sick of this, and that is why approval ratings for Congress are consistently much lower than for any other political institution.  In fact, at this moment Congress has an average approval rating of just 18.3 percent according to Real Clear Politics.  Donald Trump captured the imagination of tens of millions of American voters when he pledged to “drain the swamp” during the last election, but I say that it is time to “flush the toilet” because the only way that we will ever be able to turn the federal government in a positive direction is by clearing out as many of these Congress critters as possible.

Getting Donald Trump into the White House was the biggest political miracle in American history, but now his agenda is almost completely stalled and it is Congress that is to blame.

For example, Trump repeatedly pledged that he was going to build a “big, beautiful wall” along the southern border to combat illegal immigration, but at this point funding for that wall is being completely blocked.

What is the problem?

Congress.

Trump also pledged that Obamacare would be repealed very rapidly once he became president, but that obviously has not happened.

What is the problem?

Congress.

In fact, it is looking quite doubtful that a bill to repeal Obamacare will ever get through the U.S. Senate…

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) is tempering expectations that the Senate will pass an overhaul of the nation’s healthcare system, promising his colleagues a vote but not success.

McConnell in his public comments and private conversations about the ObamaCare repeal and replace bill is painting a more sober picture than Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), who in March guaranteed passage through the House.

McConnell is stopping well short of any grand pronouncement.

Trump also promised all of us that our taxes would be going way down, but even though the Republicans control both houses of Congress this also seems to be going nowhere fast.  The following comes from the Wall Street Journal

The GOP’s dreams have collided with interest-group lobbying and the tax system’s reality. Politicians all profess to hate the tax code, but they don’t agree on exactly what they hate. Voters gripe about complexity but are wary of losing cherished breaks that are woven into the economy.

“Eventually you run out of ways to pay for your promises,” said Alan Cole, an economist at the Tax Foundation, which favors a simpler code with lower rates. “There aren’t any free obvious sources of money where you can just do the thing and nobody gets mad.”

I could bring up a whole bunch of other issues such as the national debt, trade with China, unconstitutional government surveillance, etc. but I think that you get the point.

Trump’s presidency is going to be mostly wasted if we do not get him some help.  And I am not just talking about clearing out more Democrats.  Right now the Republicans control the Senate and the House, but the problem is that most of them are “establishment Republicans”.  Career politicians from both parties have sold their souls to the special interests and big donors that fund their campaigns, and this is why such a dramatic political revolution is necessary.

Sadly, most Americans don’t realize just how deep the corruption goes in Washington these days.  To illustrate this, I would like to share just a few quotes from “The Confessions of Congressman X”.  It claims to have been written by an anonymous Democratic member of the House of Representatives, and the following quotes very much ring true to those of us that understand how things in D.C. really work in our day and age…

-“Most of my colleagues are dishonest career politicians who revel in the power and special-interest money that’s lavished upon them.”

-“My main job is to keep my job, to get reelected. It takes precedence over everything.”

-“Voters are incredibly ignorant and know little about our form of government and how it works.”

-“It’s far easier than you think to manipulate a nation of naive, self-absorbed sheep who crave instant gratification.”

-“Fundraising is so time consuming I seldom read any bills I vote on. Like many of my colleagues, I don’t know how the legislation will be implemented, or what it’ll cost.”

-“We spend money we don’t have and blithely mortgage the future with a wink and a nod. Screw the next generation. It’s about getting credit now, lookin’ good for the upcoming election.”

And it isn’t just political corruption that is the problem.  When you start peeling back the onion, you find some of the most disturbing things imaginable in political circles.  For example, just consider what police just uncovered in New York City

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio is hiring! There’s a vacancy in his administration for a computer programmer analyst, in the Department of Design and Construction. That’s because Jacob Schwartz, 29, a DNC staffer and former analyst, has been arrested and charged with being in possession of “kiddie porn” involving children as young as 6 months old.

Schwartz is also the president of the Manhattan Young Democrats and the downstate region vice president of the New York State Young Democrats. In other words, he was a “made” Democrat, part of the inner circle of budding influential NYC politicians, who was even friends with Hillary Clinton’s campaign manager, Robbie Mook.

Schwartz was caught with 3,000 child pornography images and 89 videos on his laptop after he downloaded them from the Internet. He surrendered his laptop to police, signed a release granting them permission to do a search of his hard drive, and was subsequently arrested. He has since posted $7,500 bail.

Of course stories such as this are just the tip of the iceberg.  There is so much more out there, but we aren’t really supposed to talk about those things.

So what can be done?

Well, we can sit back and keep on complaining as our country deteriorates right in front of our eyes, or we can do something about it.

On Memorial Day back in 1982, President Ronald Reagan delivered a stirring address at Arlington National Cemetery.  The following is an excerpt from that address

I have no illusions about what little I can add now to the silent testimony of those who gave their lives willingly for their country. Words are even more feeble on this Memorial Day, for the sight before us is that of a strong and good nation that stands in silence and remembers those who were loved and who, in return, loved their countrymen enough to die for them.

Yet, we must try to honor them—not for their sakes alone, but for our own. And if words cannot repay the debt we owe these men, surely with our actions we must strive to keep faith with them and with the vision that led them to battle and to final sacrifice.

Our first obligation to them and ourselves is plain enough: The United States and the freedom for which it stands, the freedom for which they died, must endure and prosper. Their lives remind us that freedom is not bought cheaply. It has a cost; it imposes a burden. And just as they whom we commemorate were willing to sacrifice, so too must we—in a less final, less heroic way—be willing to give of ourselves.

There is no war for us to fight, but let there be no doubt that we are in the midst of a great battle for the soul of our nation.

If this generation of Americans does not stand up and defend liberty and freedom, the forces that seek to destroy our country will win by default.

For years, many of us have been trying to persuade our leaders to do the right things, but by now it has become exceedingly clear that they simply are not listening.

So if we want the direction of our country to change, we have got to vote them out and replace them with others that will listen to the will of the people.

I am under no illusion that this will be easy.  The special interests and the big donors have a tremendous amount of money, and the mainstream media is very closely allied with the establishment.

But the election of Donald Trump showed us that anything is possible, and I choose to believe that it is possible for us to take our government back.

We just have to be willing to try.

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