Congressional Indecency

Submitted by Bill St. Clair on Fri, 12 Mar 2004 13:00:00 GMT
# The Mighty and Egregious Charles at GeekWithA.45 - Guest Post - a good letter to Charles Schumer, explaining to anyone with a brain and who wants to understand reality why it's a really bad idea to take military weapons out of the hands of the people. [geekwitha.45]

# Radley Balko at Fox News - America Mired in Morass of Laws and Regulations - proposes a constitutional amendment that would sunset every federal law in five years, forcing it to be renewed. Very good idea. And there's at least some justice in the world. The members of Congress who created and voted for the Incumbent Protection Act are now having to learn to obey it. [geekwitha.45]

Consider, for example, the position Congress found itself in last year after passing the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act (search), that Rube Goldberg-ian hunk of legislation that was supposed to flush the corruption out of politics:

Although Congress generally exempts itself from most of the laws it passes, this law applies specifically to Congress. The same congressmen who voted for the bill were now required to abide by it. Faced themselves with the burden of complying with the complex, inches-thick laws they pass for others, both parties were forced to hold education sessions with specialty lawyers explaining to them what they could and couldn't do under the new law. A lawyer who taught the Democrats told The New York Times that his seminars elicited "a sort of slack-jawed amazement at how far this thing reached." A lawyer who taught the Republicans said: "There's an initial stage where the reaction is, 'This can't be true.' And then there's the actual anger stage." Democratic Rep. Henry Matsui, who championed the bill, told the Times, "I didn't realize all that was in it."

That's how much careful consideration Congress gave a bill it passed that applied to itself. Now imagine how little thought and care goes into bills it passes that apply to everyone else.

The answer, of course, is none.

# Ron Paul at - An Indecent Attack on the First Amendment - why Congress should defeat the "Broadcast Indecency Act of 2004". I believe he's talking about H.R. 3717, the "Broadcast Decency Enforcement Act of 2004" or "FCC Indecency Penalties bill", which passed the House yesterday at 1pm. According to Roll Call 55, Dr. Paul was the only Republican to oppose the bill, along with 21 Democrats. 391 representatives voted to further curtail the first amendment. [lew]

Rush Limbaugh has it right (at least on this one), and correctly fears the speech police. He states: "I'm in the free speech business," as he defends Howard Stern and criticizes any government effort to curtail speech on the airways, while recognizing the media companies' authority and responsibility to self-regulate.

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