Tag Archives: senate

A Dream Job

How would you like to have this job?

The particulars are these: Full time pay, but part time work and you are not even required to show up for much of that part time bit; you get to set your own pay; you cannot be fired until your contract runs out and even then, since you held the job, that contract has an excellent chance of being renewed indefinitely; you can lie about your qualifications and what you would accomplish during your tenure and nobody will hold you accountable for your lies; you will be able to foist the the most onerous parts of your job onto others; you will have a virtually unlimited expense account; your insurance will be the best, even better than most of the people you work for could obtain.
Sound good to you? You can have that job simply by getting elected to congress. Let’s take a look at those points.

Once elected you will have the privilege of having at approximately one half of each year as paid time off so you can campaign for re-election. You can even attend a few fund raisers to help out. If you listen to older and more experienced capital hill denizens, you can even figure out how to pocket some of that. Even during the time the congress is in session you will not be required to actually be on Capital Hill. Go to lunch, play golf or whatever rather than deal with the humdrum parts of the job like listening to what other are saying about the issues before your particular body instead of them listening to your much more cogent utterances.

Think you are not being paid enough for the job? Just vote for another pay raise for yourself. Get caught in a lie or other minor faux pas? Don’t worry, you cannot be fired unless you are proven guilty of actually committing a crime.

One of the big perks is not having to actually having to do the job your friends elected you to do. Want to avoid a controversy? Just fob of the onerous stuff on the regulatory agencies. Sure they violate the constitution, but that is just a few words on an old piece of paper that few pay any attention to anymore. So technically it makes you a law breaker, a criminal, but no one is going to say a word. If you ever do get round to passing a law that you would not like to follow, no problem. You just make it a law you are exempt from. It is done all of the time.

Get caught speeding or DUI or even assaulting another citizen while congress is in session? Again, no problem. You cannot be charged or arrested for such minor trivialities while the congress is in session and you are in D.C.

Would you like to see gay Paris or visit Rio during Carnival? Take an all expense paid “junket”. Your friends an neighbors will pay for it out of the taxes you forced on them. You may have to spend a few hours of your all expense paid vacation in meetings, but then there has to be some reason for that trip.
I guess we should let you in on the pay for this part time job. As of 2015, the base salary for all rank-and-file members of the U.S. House and Senate is $174,000 per year, plus benefits.  Now if you are lucky enough to voted in as a leader you salary goes up.

SENATE LEADERSHIP – Majority Party Leader – $193,400, Minority Party Leader – $193,400

HOUSE LEADERSHIP – Speaker of the House – $223,500, Majority Leader – $193,400, Minority Leader – $193,400

There are some popular, but false myths about congressional remuneration:
1.) They do indeed pay into social security.
2.) They must serve a minimum of three years to be eligible for their pensions and then it goes on a sliding scale determined by the number of years served. It is not an automatic 100% of their salaries at retirement.
3.) They don’t begin collecting until age 62 or 65.
4.) They do not necessarily vote for a pay increase every year. They haven’t done that since 2008. They do receive a “cost of living” increase on January 1 of each year. Some members do refuse this. Not many, but some.

Care to learn more about this? Try this link: Congressional Salaries

The Stupidity of the Impeach Now Movement

The Stupidity of the Impeach Now Movement

Why I have maintained that attempting to impeach the man in the White House is down right stupid is really simple; however, the explanation takes a little time as it involves education. Try to remember that a failure to convict on the articles of impeachment will render it impossible to do so at a later date., for any reason.

Impeachment is not a finding, it is an indictment. After the indictment comes the trail. Impeaching BOH would be easy. The house presents a Articles of Impeachemnt, the votes are counted and he is impeached. Then comes the problem. The trial. That is conducted in the Senate only and the judge is the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court as mandated in our constitution. Even Dirty Harry cannot refuse to hold that trial and the president can’t use an executive order to make it go away. He must be tried if the house impeaches, BUT, and it is a big but, as things stand now the senate would never vote to convict. So we wait. Thank goodness some of the politicians are being smart. Not too many I agree, but there are some.

If we can take control of the senate with just a few votes over a simple majority there MIGHT be a chance. Here is the full process and some comments on that process:

In the Senate

  • The Articles of Impeachment are received from the House.

  • The Senate formulates rules and procedures for holding a trial.

  • A trial will be held. The President will be represented by his lawyers. A select group of House members will serve as “prosecutors.” The Chief Justice of the Supreme Court (currently John G. Roberts) will preside with all 100 Senators acting as the jury.

  • The Senate will meet in private session to debate a verdict.

  • The Senate, in open session, will vote on a verdict. A 2/3 vote of the Senate will result in a conviction. (note: 67 senators have to vote for conviction)

  • The Senate will vote to remove the President from office.

  • The Senate may also vote (by a simple majority) to prohibit the President from holding any public office in the future.

Impeachable Offenses

Article II, Section 4 of the Constitution says, “The President, Vice President and all civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.” In his report, Independent Counsel, Starr accuses President Clinton of committing eleven acts for which he could be removed from office by impeachment. Are any of those acts “Treason, Bribery, or other High Crimes and Misdemeanors?” Well, that’s up to the members of the House of Representatives. According to constitutional lawyers, “High Crimes and Misdemeanors” are (1) real criminality — breaking a law; (2) abuses of power; (3) “violation of public trust” as defined by Alexander Hamilton in the Federalist Papers. In 1970, then Representative Gerald R. Ford defined impeachable offenses as “whatever a majority of the House of Representatives considers it to be at a given moment in history.” An excellent definition, Mr. Former President. In the past, Congress has issued Articles of Impeachment for acts in three general categories:

  • Behavior grossly incompatible with the proper function and purpose of the office.

  • Employing the power of the office for an improper purpose or for personal gain.

There are obvious land mines in this process. One of those is when the senate retires to consider it’s verdict. The prosecuting attorneys are excluded because they are not senators. How about the defense attorneys? Any defense attorney, selected by the president remember, that is a member of the senate is going to be part of that closed session. Just one reason it has never resulted in conviction. Then there is the seeming fact that one of the things a person serving a full term in the senate seems to misplace is his, or her, conscience. It just seems to get lost, somehow.

So what do we need to impeach and convict this usurper? It appears that we need about 56 conservatives to be elected to the senate. I don’t see that happening, do you? However let is be positive. The next session of congress is convened and Dirty Harry is relegated to senate minority leader. The conservatives and the swell of grass roots conservatism convinces a few more liberals that their interest in power is best served by getting BOH out of the White House. Just might happen. Sure can’t happen as things stand now.