Congress Confused About Meaning of Work

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A week or so ago we had a guest on the program: a Republican congressman from Georgia who was arguing that the Democrats' plan to make members of Congress show up for work five days a week was wrongheaded and a hardship.

I tried to argue to him that people already thought the last Congress was a do-nothing Congress and arguing to work fewer days wouldn't help much. But he went on and on about seeing constituents back home and getting a feel for the district and all that.

I said: Congressman, you've been showing up for your job on Tuesday afternoon and leaving on Thursday afternoon. People just aren't going to think that is what we call working. He said: I work when I'm home in the district, visiting schools, etc.

Now comes a report in the Pioneer Press up Minneapolis/St. Paul way by a reporter named David Hanners. Hanners did us all a favor by counting up what the last Congress actually did. It's a shocker.

One-quarter of all actions by the 109th Congress were nothing more than voting on the name for a building... actually many buildings. Hanners counted up the days in session and has confirmed that the 109th Congress set a record for fewest days actually working where they work, at the U.S. Capitol.

This Congress got the post office in Dennison, Minnesota, population 166, named the Albert H. Quie Post Office. So never mind Social Security reform. If ever in Dennison you'll know the post office by the name Albert H. Quie.

The 109th also named buildings after Ronald Reagan, Bob Hope, Cesar Chavez, Walt Disney and Dizzy Dean. They named the post office in Hoboken, New Jersey after its most famous resident: Frank Sinatra.

By the way, Mr. Quie was a former governor of Minnesota.

So this is what the 109th was doing when we thought they were wrestling with homeland security or funding the troops. They were going home early and spending one-quarter of their time naming post offices in far-flung America.

Is it any wonder the Republicans lost? They should have lost. This is shameful and the only thing worse is any Republican who has the cojones to stand up and defend it. Whoever does such a thing simply does not have an understanding of how much or how hard people in America work.

We'd all love to have a job naming post offices, but we certainly wouldn't expect to be paid $165,000 a year for it.

That's My Word.

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