In 2006 the U.S. House of Representatives is scheduled to be in session just 97 days an average of less than two days per week. The last time the Congress met so infrequently was 1948, when President Harry Truman dubbed it the Do Nothing Congress. This year, the Do-Little Congress is scheduled to meet even less. Congress schedule is set by its Republican Majority. House members earn $165,200 per year, with oversight responsibilities for a $3 trillion federal budget, the war in Iraq, NSA spying, emergency response, lobbying reform, veterans aftercare, entitlement reform, tax policy and countless other areas. While the federal government is the largest its ever been, Congress now meets less frequently than at any time in modern history. It holds 60 percent fewer committee hearings than it did in the 1960s and 70s, and folds most legislation into huge omnibus packages with procedural rules used to limit amendments and restrict floor debate. The Republican majority in the House will stop at nothing to get their way without scrutiny or challenge. A part time Congress means non-existent oversight, bad public policy and endangers our system of checks and balances. Look no further than the record budget deficits, unprecedented secrecy, widening healthcare crisis, growing corruption, shameful response to Hurricane Katrina, the under-equipping of our military, and the absence of anything resembling a plan in Iraq. We need a new Congress that spends less time attending fundraisers and golf outings, and more time doing the work of the American people.Charles BrownDemocratic Candidate for Californias 4th Congressional Seat
There have been several articles regarding road rage, which was defined by a Highway Patrol officer out of Truckee. What he failed to state what causes road rage: In your face driving.Case in point: Robert Ash drives his Aston Martin on Highway 89 and cuts Timothy Brooks off because he can. Why, because hes driving a vehicle that costs over $125,000 and is capable of going 175 mph (as per Aston Martin). Now Ash is dead and if he had not cut off Brooks with his ego vehicle and if he had not gotten into a confrontation outside the cafe and if he had apologized, perhaps he would still be alive.Think of the lives Ash destroyed that day by his in-your-face driving. He is dead and leaves behind a wife, family and friends. Brooks is now on trial for murder and if convicted, will leave behind a wife, family and friends.The news suggests Ash was arrogant and belligerent I suspect so as my 20 years with the LAPD in Los Angeles saw a tremendous amount of road rage with subsequent killings as a result of attitudes. Gary PesseltGrass Valley
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