The New Rules

Well, yesterday was the first actual day of business for the House of Representatives, after their week of game-playing and juvenile tactics.  I spent many years of my career in management positions and while I always tried to be fair, I didn’t put up with any b.s. and expected staff members to work as a team to get the job done, whatever it took.  Today, we are all in management positions in a sense of the word … our elected officials are our staff … we pay their salaries with our hard-earned tax dollars, we are their employers and they serve at our will, and are expected to do the best job possible on our behalf.  So, let’s take a peek in at what they accomplished on their first day on the job.

The main thing they ‘accomplished’ yesterday was to pass a new set of rules for the House for the coming two years.

It really isn’t any wonder, is it, that the House Republicans want to eliminate the Office of Congressional Ethics (OCE) … I mean, ethics?  They aren’t quite sure what the word means, but they know that they have none, so why do they need an agency for something they don’t have?  They couldn’t quite just eliminate the office altogether, so they chose to hamstring it instead.  They set term limits of eight years for all members, and any sitting members of the OCE who have already been there for eight years are out as of now.  This effectively removes all but one Democrat from the OCE.  Coincidence?  Of course … such honest people wouldn’t attempt to pad such an important office, now, would they?  I’m certain it is merely coincidence that the OCE was preparing to open an inquiry into certain Republican congressmen over their conduct related to the January 6th attack on the Capitol.

As expected, the new rules package includes a rule that permits a single lawmaker to force a vote to “vacate the chair,” allowing a snap vote to remove the speaker.  This is gamesmanship and nothing I really care about, beyond the fact that it has McCarthy by the short hairs and pretty much assures he will give in to the whims of the radical right branch of the Republicans rather than follow his … um … conscience?  Oh yeah … sorry about that … I sometimes forget that he has no conscience … he sold it long ago.  The only reason I do care somewhat is that it will lead to instability and I strongly suspect McCarthy won’t last as Speaker until the end of the calendar year.

In 1979, the House passed a rule called the Gephardt rule after then Representative Dick Gephardt, that automatically raised the debt ceiling when a budget was passed.  It prevented passing legislation but not funding it, a trick that had been used more than a few times.  Yesterday, however, the House eliminated the Gephardt rule … a move that will almost certainly lead to chaos by mid-summer when the national debt reaches its current ceiling.  Now, the Republicans either don’t understand the debt ceiling, or they know their constituents don’t understand it and therefore they can play their usual games and pull their rabbits out of the hat to fool some of the people all of the time!  The latter is my guess.  I will no doubt be writing more in-depth about the debt ceiling soon, for it is possibly one of the most pressing issues, or will become so, of this Congress.  The consequences of failing to raise the debt ceiling are potentially lethal.  I wonder, though, how the Republicans will sell it back in their districts when elderly people are being evicted from their homes and cancer patients are dying?

They also included a rule that will make it harder to raise taxes, as any bill that would raise taxes would require a 60% majority to pass.  Gee, you don’t think they did this because Democrats have said they plan to raise taxes on the wealthiest people and corporations, do you?  Nah, surely not!  Well, if you want to fund a government, you need income as well as outflow, and right now, the wealthiest in the nation do not pay their fair share … percentage-wise, they likely pay less than you or I do!  But they have something you and I don’t have … they own the congressional Republicans.  We the People cannot afford to give millions of dollars to political candidates, and thus they favour the wealthy 1% over the rest of us.

Passing this rules package was likely the only thing the House of Representatives will actually accomplish this year, for the focus of the majority party in the House is not governance, but rather obstruction.  As their employers, I am going to be suggesting that we continually monitor their activities and call/email/write when we are displeased with what they have done or are doing.  The things the Republicans have said they will do border on fascism, my friends.  It’s easier to nip it in the bud than to oust it once it has taken root.  We will also need to take any and every opportunity to educate those who don’t understand, who fall for the lies and rhetoric of the Republicans, and who are easily distracted by the shiny objects such as all these ‘investigations’ they are threatening to conduct that will come to naught, but will be excitement for their followers.

47 thoughts on “The New Rules

  1. We saw Republicans exchanging harsh words, we saw ‘unfriendly’ body language..
    The damage has been down, the wounds made:

    Idea time to quote:

    “The moving finger writes; and, having writ, moves on: nor all thy piety nor wit shall lure it back to cancel half a line, nor all thy tears wash out a word of it. — Omar Khayyam.

    And thus it follows:

    “Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and every city or house divided against itself shall not stand.” (that’s Matthew 12:25 for any unrepentant evangelicals passing by)

    And further more since there are a number of Republicans who view the US constitution as a disposable item, we can use the following as a warning for not paying attention to Uncle Sam

    “everyone who hears his words and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. Then he went on to say everyone who hears his words and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand” ) -Matthew 7:24-26.

    OK, they might sniff at some words from some old Iranian.
    But they want to take up their objections with the New Testament?

    I could go on about the Hypocrisy, Blasphemy (looking at you Lauren Boebert) and general ricketiness of the current Republican Party.
    But, there’ s enough evidence there

    Liked by 1 person

    • All fitting quotes, my friend. I think the one about the “house divided against itself …” is the most apt for the situation in the U.S. today, and it’s one I have used on occasion. We are a mess … I don’t know any better way to phrase it … this country is definitely NOT the “beacon of hope” or the “leader of the free world” … if, in fact, it ever was. Today, we are a bloody mess.

      Liked by 1 person

      • It bears repeating an old story in the pantheon of Nations, split apart as one group tries to seize or seize back its hold.
        Ties in with another one, which bears repeating. If Putin and his Court had not been isolated and vainglorious all they would have had to do was keeping on nudging the right useful idiots in the USA just be patient and they could have eased Ukraine back into the fold ‘brothers’ and a hopelessly divided USA could have done ‘jack’.
        As Churchill said “War (and you can bring politics into that equation) is mainly a catalogue of blunders.”
        Whoever makes the least mistakes wins.
        Right now neither USA, Russia and China an’t looking so rock-solid secure, jolly and shinny on their home fronts.
        Come to think of it.
        Who is?

        Liked by 1 person

          • The acts and the attitudes have not changed down the centuries, millennium. But there are a lot more of us, and with the aid of communications and social media hysteria and propaganda can spread quicker. And we have more efficient ways to conduct war .
            Bit of a problem, isn’t it?

            Liked by 1 person

            • Big problem. And I think you’re right that the Internet and social media have given a much larger view of the problems and given people the ability to create conspiratorial ‘alternative worlds’. Meanwhile, our education systems falter and fail to teach young people to be thinkers, instead only concerning themselves about preparing young people to do a job. Hope for a brighter future? It’s hard to find sometimes.

              Liked by 1 person

                • If I were just now coming of age, knowing what I know now, I would not have children. At this point, I think it’s cruel to bring a child into this messed up world, into a species that’s working hard at self-destruction. But, back in the ’70s I wasn’t as aware as I am now … I still thought the world was filled with goodness and hope, or pretty much so anyway.

                  Liked by 1 person

                  • January is ever a month for introspection and low moral.
                    Folk have used up all their joy, optimism and good-will in the run up to Christmas and The Christmas holidays; then they squeeze out the dregs for New Year’s Eve.
                    And find nothing has changed.
                    There can be an odd sort of comfort in that, if you look for it. It’s not you, it’s not even society as such. It is the place we got ourselves into.
                    Back to history again. The same patterns repeat. Optimism, Fatalism, Despair, Determination, Hope, all existing simultaneously, moving together in a continuation. What is, was before.
                    Now we can formulate something better out of that, or we can keep on repeating.
                    This is what the populists on Right and Left just don’t get. They are playing themes that are centuries old, and only go around in a circle. These do not work in politics, religion or economics.
                    The only way forward is by thinking ‘What can I do for Others?’ And that has to be universal.

                    Liked by 1 person

                    • True, but I would have told you the same in June … I’ve thought that I would not wish to bring another human into this world for many years now.

                      It seems to me that in order to have optimism or hope, we must DO something to improve those things that led us to fatalism and despair. People sit around on their bums waiting for the world to improve, but … it reminds me of Einstein’s definition of insanity — doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. We keep making the same mistakes and can’t figure out why the world isn’t improving. And how many ask, or even care, what they can do for others? Very damn few, it seems. Interestingly, it is the people who have very little, who don’t have the power or resources to do much for anybody, who are most likely to at least try. Those with resources to make huge differences in the lives of many … don’t care enough to lift a finger.

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • The difficulty Jill is getting a focus on The Whole, The Panorama because of the need to take into account History, Current Day Perspectives, Gauging Local, Regional, World responses. Taking in all the evidence, sifting, evaluating and concluding.
                      Taking in one example being The Environment, judging the attitudes of a century and a century of a half ago there is more awareness of not just the damage done locally to populations but now to the environment as a whole.
                      Socially whereas say even 70 years ago minorities just had to accept the discrimination and the jokes as part of life, now there is more awareness.
                      Of course there will always be the kick-backs from the Ignorant, The Ethically Privileged, The Twisted Forms of Religion, The Insecure Males and The Greedy, to name but a few.
                      And as always folk will be so caught up in their own lives and overwhelmed by the whole business will hope someone else will sort it out..
                      I do not write this as optimism, simply as a belief there is a kick back going on against an order which has been in place for several thousand years.
                      We would all like it to move faster. We would all like those corrosive forces taken down never to rise again. They always lurk though, it is part of the flaw we need to evolve from.
                      And folk will always have children, because they wish to, because they want to. Whereas some will chose not to for all manner of reasons. And Life goes.
                      As for those with vast amounts of capital. They will always be there. It would be a useful tool to have global wide water-tight taxation laws based on what they own or use and not what their accounts can magic up, but…..
                      In the meantime we do what we can.
                      Sometimes it’s all we have.

                      Liked by 1 person

    • Well it doesn’t fully open..so here is the crux of the article that caught my eye..Greg Olear..I follow him daily

      The scariest part of McCarthy (finally) taking the Speaker’s gavel is that a full-blown traitor, a vain and feckless cipher devoid of even trace amounts of honor, is now second in line to the presidency. Pennywise is two heartbeats away from the Oval Office.

      The scenario is less crazy than it seems at first glance. There is now tremendous incentive for the MAGA Republicans to remove Joe Biden and Kamala Harris from office. Those IMPEACH BIDEN bumper stickers adorning rusted-out pick-ups all across the country now represent a plan of action, if Jim Jordan’s public musings can be taken at face value. Impeachment will fail (although the classified documents story that broke yesterday gives Republicans something potentially real to ding him with). But do we really trust the Congressional crew that was in cahoots with the Capitol besiegers not to take more aggressive action to achieve the desired result? These are fascists, after all, and violence is a hallmark of fascism.

      Joe Biden doesn’t trust his Secret Service detail.
      Like the FBI and state and local law enforcement across the country, the Secret Service is honeycombed with fervent Trump supporters. Per the Independent, a forthcoming book by Chris Whipple reports that Biden doesn’t speak freely in front of his detail, and suspects that the agent who claimed to be bitten by his dog, Major, lied about it. Would MAGA Secret Service guys really take a bullet for a POTUS they don’t like? Let’s hope we don’t have to find out.

      Kamala Harris has already been the indirect target of assassination—twice.
      She was at the Capitol as VP-elect on January 6, and was certainly one of the targets of the besiegers. (What do we think Ashli Babbitt would have done if she saw Harris in the hallway? Taken a selfie?) Kamala was also at the DNC when the pipe bomb was still live and ticking outside the building. Two years later, the FBI still has no fucking clue who planted those pipe bombs, which means a bomb-wielding would-be assassin remains on the loose.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Definitely worth pondering, Mary … thank you!!! I’ve read Greg Olear before, but not regularly. There are several things here that I was not aware of, such as that Kamala Harris had been the target of assassination plots. Thanks again, Mary …

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: The New Rules | Ned Hamson's Second Line View of the News

      • In that way you are different from Canada. Our Senate is just a rubber stamp, an old folk’s home for retired politicians and other party hacks. It cannot create legislation, only debate the finer points.
        If our Parluament ever gets a Conservative majority again, in these ridiculous times, only stipid laws will be passed. And public health care may be the first thing to go.
        The Prime Minister can do NOTHING without the support of Parliament. Better in some ways, worse in others.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. And that, is, exactly, what a, corrupted political party does, twisting and, bending those, original set in-place-laws, because those laws are, against their benefits. They think that they can, dictate over the lives of, we the people, that they will always, have the, support, of, those who, blindly, followed, their, leads, and the voters of the U.S., is, in need of a, serious, rude, awakening, that’s for, sure!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Actually, the House Rules get changed in some ways every two years, especially when the party that was previously the minority becomes the majority. Much of it is posturing and won’t have a noticeable effect. We do, however, need to keep an eye on their behaviour for they do NOT have the interests of this nation or the people in mind!

      Like

  4. I can always count on you to give a good summary of what is going on in our crazy world. I haven’t taken a dive into the new rules yet, and I am scared of what I might read. That fear usually drives me to make some noise though 😁 I’ve been watching the weather and getting life ready for the next semester. Christmas was prosperous for making my room a comfy place to do my work. Thanks for always keeping us informed, Sis! Hugs and loves!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Not much, really, in the new rules as compared to some of the other crap they are proposing, such as impeaching a variety of people, cutting Social Security & Medicare, and more. The good news is that with Democrats in control of the Senate and Executive branch, there is likely little of substance that this House will manage to do, so don’t worry overly-much. Speaking of the weather … I hope you haven’t been affected too much by the wild storms, mudslides and more? Have you fully recovered from your surgery now? Have you started the next semester yet? Take good care, my friend … love you, Sis! ❤

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yeah, I would be much more worried if they controlled the Senate. I will have to keep an eye on their measures. I get a double dose of checking since McCarthy is my district’s assemblymember 🤢

        The weather has been super wet, but the mudslides and power outages has not been a factor for me (thank goodness). In the valley we are just getting flooding a bit. I have been trying not to complain since we had been in drought conditions for so long.

        I still have some numbness in my elbow, and I mostly have pain in my hand when I press down on a hard surface. It takes about a year for both of them to heal fully, but I feel better than before the surgery.

        My next semester starts on January 17, and I have five (rather than six) classes. It’s going to have me on campus until after 10 PM PST, so I worry about that a little bit. I am going to have to carry some pepper spray. It’s not a bad area, but people have been known to have problems late at night on campus. I haven’t been out passed 10 PM since Vegas LOL!

        Big hugs and loves Sis! I love you too! 🤗

        Liked by 1 person

        • Ooohhhh … I didn’t realize you were in K-Mac’s district! Poor you … but then again, when you correspond with him, it will be taken more seriously, for you have the power of the ballot that the rest of us don’t, in this case!

          Patience, grasshopper … I don’t know why it should take a year, but if that’s what the docs say, then just relax and give it the healing time it needs.

          Well, only five classes … that’s still a LOT! Especially given the nature of the classes you’re taking, most of which will require much in the way of research and reading. But, the goal is in sight! Yes, by all means get a can or two of pepper spray and try to walk to your car with a group, or at least one other person.

          Hugs and much love, Sis! Hang in there!

          Liked by 1 person

          • Yep…unfortunately the redistricting did that…and I was so disappointed. This district is very Pro-Trump and conservative. I stick out like a sore thumb 👽😆

            Thanks Sis! I was a good girl and got my relax mode going when classes ended for Fall. I think that helped a ton, and despite the torn fascia in my foot…it is supposed to heal better than it was before. I will just lose my arch and not have to have surgery yay

            Part of me thinks I bite off more than I can chew, but no one can say I am not motivated to succeed haha!

            My sister got me this light with one of those really loud alarms on it to go on my keychain. I think that gadget, along with the alarm, will do well. I am hoping after the first week that I will know the best place to park to walk out with everyone.

            Hugs and much love to you, Sis! ❣

            Like

            • I think I’d have to move! Or no, wait … I’d stay and be a constant thorn in his side! And I’d put a big yard sign in my yard for his opponent in 2024!!!

              No, dear Sis, nobody can EVER say you aren’t motivated AND working your arse off to succeed! And succeed you WILL!

              Oooohhhh … I like that idea of the light with loud alarms! You just be careful … the world needs you!

              💖💖💖

              Liked by 1 person

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