“Somebody’s Watching Me” should be the ringtone for every person elected, appointed, delegated, nominated, or even thinking about being in a position to spend other people’s money or represent others in any fashion. They can get it here.
The United States Postal Service (USPS) can’t make their appointed rounds – Saturday delivery isn’t cost-effective – but the USPS administration can take in an expensive weekend round of golf.
Members of Congress can’t be present – 800 times in fact – when often essential votes concerning the economy, for example, are being taken but they can be found far across the country raising – and raking in – cash for their next campaign over gastronomically-high prices charged crab and cocktails.
Seattle lawmakers make Washington news – the other Washington – saying they can’t explain how they could have possibly overlooked a section of a bill that they themselves wrote, or upon which they signed-off, giving law enforcement authority to enter homes and check for proper weapons storage.
The Infernal Revenue Service (IRS) can’t use ‘em, didn’t need ‘em, nor were the items even likely approved – BlackBerrys and wireless modem aircards – but that didn’t prevent them from spending $1.1 million to have the latest and greatest.
What these officials playing this hide-and-seek charade evidently don’t realize is that apple juice better be made from apples because when squeezed by public watch-dog pressure, the stuff we’re drinking better not be all water and flavor as turned out to be the case in a Beech-Nut exposé some years back that showed the company’s “‘100% Pure Apple Juice’ was a 100% fake.”
It used to be that “neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds,” was commonly associated with the USPS, but it isn’t anymore. It now rather goes something like this: ‘Our appointed rounds no longer includes Saturdays as we can’t afford that expense, but neither shall our administration be kept from rounds of golf, or dinner, or dance, or $300/night accommodations and spending more than $2 million to do so.’
And doing so in style.
The USPS is promoting itself as “on the cutting edge of functional fashion,” with Rain Heat & Snow apparel and accessories using technology to create ‘smart apparel’ — also known as ‘wearable electronics’” whatever that is. “Putting the ‘pun’ back in punditry,” Alexandra Petri has a blog entitled “ComPost” in which she writes, “nothing says fashion like ‘Nearly-Broke Federal Agency.’ First-class designs at third-class prices! With a stamp of authenticity!” Petri has a USPS designer-wear sneak preview on her site.
So no mail on Saturday’s and no votes – 800 no-votes as in 800 no-shows – by members of Congress, AWOL 800 times out raising cash instead of casting votes. One of them being Rep. Jackie Speier, California Democrat, who missed voting three times – 11 percent altogether – on military and veterans issues being addressed by her own Homeland Security Committee because Speier was hosting the very day of the vote a “‘San Francisco Treat’ campaign fundraiser at which donors dined on $1,000-a-plate crab and Ghirardelli chocolates.”
No mail, no votes and no explanation by “Democrat bill sponsors, facing widespread outcry, (who) told “The Seattle Times” (as reported in “The Washington Times”) they didn’t fully vet the eight-page bill before introducing it last week and that the home-inspection allowance was a simple oversight.”
No explanation other than “‘I made a mistake,’ Sen. Adam Kline said. ‘I frankly should have vetted this more closely.’
“And main bill sponsor, Sen. Ed Murray, said: ‘I have to admit that shouldn’t be in there.’”
No mail, no votes, no explanation and no need as, in the case of IRS employees – caught in government audit out picking BlackBerrys – they did so“without adequately ensuring a business need exists.”
Maybe all of this is why the movie “Dave” was so popular when it came out in 1993.
Given he was a spittin’ image of the President and the powers-that-be needed a stand-in to prevent the public from knowing what was going on behind the columns of the nation’s capital where the Commander in Chief was incapacitated, it turned out that Dave’s simple-village-peasant, street-level, hot-dog stand philosophy was just what the country needed, Dave’s déclassé enabling him to not only cut the mustard but at the same time expose the haute cuisine Grey Poupon of the Bourgeois.
With enthusiastic naiveté, the President-in-disguise cut $650 million from the budget in order to save the wife-of-the-real-President’s beloved homeless shelter. Plus announced plans to find a job for everyone who wanted work. Plus won the hand and heart of the wife of the President who was himself out of commission via an affair.
How hard can running the government be after all?
Take U.S. Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky, for example, a modern-day and real-life Dave. In a news conference this February 20, Paul announced “he is returning $600,000 to the U.S. Treasury, money he said he saved through frugally operating his Senate office over the last year.
“In promoting his thriftiness, Paul said the savings were realized by ‘watching every purchase,’ including keeping close tabs on expenditures for ‘computers, paper, ink cartridges. Everything we buy.’
“‘We are frugal from top to bottom,’ Paul said, adding that he believes the savings is true to a campaign pledge he made to cut federal spending. ‘It’s not an enormous savings,’ he said, but the savings would add up, if purse strings were so closely watched throughout government.’”
From paper clips to plane fares, iPhones to Bose headphones, all under scrutiny. Out of duty. Because, after all, it’s not their money. Is it. And there’s a responsibility to the electorate. Isn’t there.
Rep. Justin Amash, Michigan Republican, thinks so. At 32 Amash “personifies the five current House members who never missed a vote, largely a crop of new lawmakers fresh with enthusiasm for the job.
Like Dave. And Paul.
“‘Representing my constituents means showing up for work every day and never missing a vote. But a perfect vote record isn’t sufficient: The people I represent expect me to review every bill carefully and to explain every vote I take,’” Amash said.
Makes you wonder if Dave and Paul and Amash have “Somebody’s Watching Me” as a ringtone on their Blackberry. For everyone else apparently we need a bill to become law requiring that ringtone reminder for every legislator. That way you could have your representative on speed dial and not have to leave a message. The ringtone would be message enough.