Do Nothing GOP Congress

June 13, 2013

Poorly-attended hearing of Congressional Joint Economic Committee hearing on jobs, 2013

“Do Nothing Congress?” How about “Missing in Inaction Congress?” Photo and caption from National Journal: When the Joint Economic Committee’s hearing on fixing the nation’s long-term unemployment problem kicked off on April 24, only one lawmaker was in attendance: Sen. Amy Klobuchar, the committee’s vice chair who was holding the hearing. (Niraj Chokshi)

National Journal’s article fairly damns Congress and especially the House for doing very little this year about jobs.

Probably more damning is this little fact:  In a period of time that historically might see 50 or 100 laws passed, Congress has passed into law only 13 measures.  The “Do Nothing” 80th Congress Truman campaigned against passed nearly 900 laws.  The current Congress is on track to pass 52.  Most important, probably, are the authorization and appropriations bills for the different departments of the federal government, much more important than the non-binding budget resolutions conservatives whine about.  Republicans have successfully blocked almost all authorization and appropriations action.  Appropriations bills, of course, must originate in the GOP-shackled House of Representatives.

In the six months and four days since the 113th Congress began, it has passed 13 laws. And, despite lawmakers constantly beating the drum on boosting jobs, none of the new measures have been focused on employment. Here’s a list of what the 113th Congress has passed in its first six months:

  1. H.R.41: To temporarily increase the borrowing authority of the Federal Emergency Management Agency for carrying out the National Flood Insurance Program.
    Sponsor: Rep Garrett, Scott [NJ-5] (introduced 1/3/2013) Cosponsors (44)
  2. H.R.152: Disaster Relief Appropriations Act, 2013
    Sponsor: Rep Rogers, Harold [KY-5] (introduced 1/4/2013) Cosponsors (None)
  3. H.R.325: No Budget, No Pay Act of 2013
    Sponsor: Rep Camp, Dave [MI-4] (introduced 1/21/2013) Cosponsors (1)
  4. S.47: Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013
    Sponsor: Sen Leahy, Patrick J. [VT] (introduced 1/22/2013) Cosponsors (61)
  5. H.R.307: Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness Reauthorization Act of 2013
    Sponsor: Rep Rogers, Mike J. [MI-8] (introduced 1/18/2013) Cosponsors (5)
  6. H.R.933: Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act, 2013
    Sponsor: Rep Rogers, Harold [KY-5] (introduced 3/4/2013) Cosponsors (None)
  7. S.716: A bill to modify the requirements under the STOCK Act regarding online access to certain financial disclosure statements and related forms.
    Sponsor: Sen Reid, Harry [NV] (introduced 4/11/2013) Cosponsors (None)
  8. H.R.1246: District of Columbia Chief Financial Officer Vacancy Act
    Sponsor: Rep Norton, Eleanor Holmes [DC] (introduced 3/19/2013) Cosponsors (None)
  9. H.R.1765: Reducing Flight Delays Act of 2013
    Sponsor: Rep Latham, Tom [IA-3] (introduced 4/26/2013) Cosponsors (None)
  10. H.R.1071: To specify the size of the precious-metal blanks that will be used in the production of the National Baseball Hall of Fame commemorative coins.
    Sponsor: Rep Hanna, Richard L. [NY-22] (introduced 3/12/2013) Cosponsors (2)
  11. H.R.360: To award posthumously a Congressional Gold Medal to Addie Mae Collins, Denise McNair, Carole Robertson, and Cynthia Wesley to commemorate the lives they lost 50 years ago in the bombing of the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church, where these 4 little Black girls’ ultimate sacrifice served as a catalyst for the Civil Rights Movement.
    Sponsor: Rep Sewell, Terri A. [AL-7] (introduced 1/23/2013) Cosponsors (301)
  12. H.R.258: Stolen Valor Act of 2013
    Sponsor: Rep Heck, Joseph J. [NV-3] (introduced 1/15/2013) Cosponsors (127)
  13. S.982: Freedom to Fish Act
    Sponsor: Sen Alexander, Lamar [TN] (introduced 5/16/2013) Cosponsors (3)

Freedom to Fish Act?  No doubt it is important to someone.  But even that someone, or those somebodies, would benefit from a jobs bill, more than from the Freedom to Fish Act.

When I worked for Lamar Alexander, I found him to be among the more fair and forward thinking of elected politicians.  It’s good to see he can still move a bill.

It’s tragic he’s been unable to push the GOP to move on more important matters.

The “Do-Nothing Congress” Harry Truman successfully indicted in 1948 looks like Wilma Rudolph streaking over the finish line in the 1960 Rome Olympics, by comparison.

I recall sitting up to get the news out to Utah, and anyone else interested in the nation, when Congress would pass 13 laws in a night.  At no point did it occur to me to think “these are the good old days of America,” then.

More:

taken by yours truly during 2007 hof induction...

Baseball Hall of Fame on Induction Weekend, 2007, crowded with people who now need jobs.  Congress passed a bill dealing with the Baseball Hall of Fame.  Ironic, no? All inductees in Cooperstown got there by doing something, doing it with hustle, and doing a lot, a sharp contrast to the 2013-2014 U.S. Congress.  Wikipedia image


Time lapse at Everest – Elia Saikaly

June 13, 2013

English: Mount Everest North Face as seen from...

Mount Everest North Face as seen from the path to the base camp, Tibet. Wikipedia image

A pick from the staff at Vimeo.

It’s astonishing how many people ascend Mt. Everest in our time.  Look at the tent city.

Everest’s beauty is stunning, always has been, but is now revealed by high-definition image capture unavailable just 10 years ago, now distributed by the internet.

These photos are mostly from about 25,000 feet in elevation — about where much domestic U.S. air travel occurs.  The weather up there is spectacular, if you’re not in it. It’s spectactular if you’re in it, too — but I’m viewing it from Dallas, where we’re above 90 degrees in the day, now, just 800 feet above sea level.

As these climbers risk their lives in adventure (10% of all people who attempt to summit, die), the Himalayas suffer from effects of global climate change.  Pakistan suffers from flooding today from premature and quick melting of glaciers.

What a great planet we have.  Can we keep it?

Notes from the film maker, Elia Saikaly:

eliasaikaly.com
Experience the beauty of Mt. Everest at night in time-lapse.

While most climbers slept, I attempted to capture some of the magic that the Himalayan skies have to offer while climbing to the top of the world.

Here’s a bit of what I endured at the end to make this possible: eliasaikaly.com/2013/05/into-the-death-zone/

One of the most rewarding parts of the journey was being able to share it with thousands of students on epals.com/everest

This time lapse video is comprised of thousands of photographs, processed and assembled on Mt. Everest.

Shot on a Canon 5D Mark II
-Canon 2.8 16-35mm
-Canon 2.8 24-70mm
-Canon 2.8 70-200mm (which was way to heavy to carry beyond 6400M)
-TL Remote was purchased off eBay

Edited in Final Cut Pro
Processed in Adobe LightRoom
Movies compiled in Quicktime

Music: A Heartbeat away purchased on goo.gl/AJZcM

I hope you enjoy it. If you do, please leave a comment and let me know what you think.

My stock footage, professional and charitable work can be see on my website at eliasaikaly.com
And on FB: facebook.com/elia.saikaly.adventurer

More:

2004 photo mosaic the Himalayas with Makalu an...

2004 photo mosaic the Himalayas with Makalu and Mount Everest from the International Space Station, Expedition 8. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


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