Internet Used To Keep House Of Reps. Broadcasting After Closure

from the don't-stop-us-now dept

If you watch the way Congress acts some of the time, you could easily mistake them for kindergartners at times, with the way they have petty grievances and blow attacks on each other totally out of proportion. Both parties engage in these silly petty spats from time to time, so this is hardly a partisan thing -- though, fans of each party tend to highlight it when the other party acts this way, and ignore it or brush it off when their own party does. Belonging to neither party, and not liking either party, I have no horse in this race, but do find what happened on Friday in the House interesting. For the sake of keeping this from being a partisan post, I'll leave out the party names, though I'm sure in the comments partisans of either side will be sure to make it clear how evil the other one is.

Anyway, one party wanted to discuss some new energy legislation and the other did not. The party that did not, decided to adjourn and shut down the House for summer "vacation" (which is usually more like "go back to my district and campaign to be re-elected" time). Some members of the other party, though, chose to stick around, even though the lights and microphones were turned off and the C-SPAN broadcast was turned off. Not only that, but they continued making speeches about the energy bill and "broadcasting" what was going on using social media tools like Twitter and Qik. Much of this campaign was led by noted early adopter Rep. John Culberson, who has been fighting hard to make such tools acceptable in the House (though, all too often in a highly partisan manner).

Either way, no matter which party you support (or if you support neither), it is cool to see Representatives learning to make use of these tools to better connect with constituents and (sometimes) to route around some of the petty rules used to shut down debate. Now, if we could just figure out a way to get each side to stop playing silly games, while then getting each side to stop automatically blaming the other for shutting off debate (when they would do the exact same thing if roles were reversed), we might actually get somewhere. Unfortunately, I know of no such technology that's likely to do that any time soon.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    Chuck Norris' Enemy (deceased), Aug 4th, 2008 @ 11:20am

    Business as usual

    Working in the dark is normal for our reps. This way lobbyists can walk up to them and stuff the money in their coats and give them back massages. OK, I just RTFA and I guess they had video but it may have been dark enough for lurking lobbyists. I am also surprised it was the Repubs and not the Demos. Of course, since the Demos run the House they would be the ones shutting down ops. Let the partisan bashing begin!

     

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  2.  
    identicon
    Dan, Aug 4th, 2008 @ 11:29am

    Oh Man!!

    Is this the legislation proposal for drilling off the coast and in ANWAR that could be potentially disastrous and not even affect gas prices for five years anyway?

    As a democrat, even I feel like they mishandled this situation. Why are our representatives so damn immature?

     

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  3.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 4th, 2008 @ 11:31am

    Some of the representatives must have return to their branded communities and campaign more.

     

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  4.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 4th, 2008 @ 11:55am

    "Now, if we could just figure out a way to get each side to stop playing silly games, while then getting each side to stop automatically blaming the other for shutting off debate (when they would do the exact same thing if roles were reversed), we might actually get somewhere. Unfortunately, I know of no such technology that's likely to do that any time soon."

    I know of one, they call it Revolution.

     

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  5.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 4th, 2008 @ 11:59am

    Re: Oh Man!!

    I think it is Sweden and Russia who found some oil out in the water somewhere (I heard it on the radio). They are doing a joint venture and claim that they will be pumping in 10mo. Why will it take the U.S. 7+ years to do the same thing?

    Even if it did take 7+ years to see any of that oil hit the market, it will hit. In 7yrs we will benefit. If we never start because it may take X years, we will never see any help. Alternative energy is going to take quite a while too don't forget.

    Working on both oil/gas exploration and pursuing alternative energy is the best way to go. We are covered either way. Besides, oil is used for a lot more things than just gasoline/diesel fuel. We will still have need of those things. This shouldn't be a partisan issue.

     

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  6.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 4th, 2008 @ 11:59am

    Re:

    Here here! Time will be.

     

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  7.  
    identicon
    bobbknight, Aug 4th, 2008 @ 12:09pm

    So Lets do it NOW?

    Is this the legislation proposal for drilling off the coast and in ANWAR that could be potentially disastrous and not even affect gas prices for five years anyway?

    Imagine if the energy policy of 2001 had been passed that included the above. Just where we would be today?

    So Dan you are saying we should never drill the 2 above areas?

    I'm gona try to keep the current car I have for 5 more years, it would be nice to fill it from ANWR (as it's properly referenced)gas in five years.

     

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  8.  
    identicon
    Mr JD Smith, Aug 4th, 2008 @ 12:16pm

    Re:

    This IP has been logged.

     

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  9.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 4th, 2008 @ 12:17pm

    Re: So Lets do it NOW?

    I don't see why people can't see that there's more at stake than just gas prices. People can't see anything but the bottom line anymore. Its not just about money. That's not the only variable in this equation and too many short-sighted folks see it that way.

     

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  10.  
    identicon
    Matt Bennett, Aug 4th, 2008 @ 12:23pm

    Re: Oh Man!!

    God, I am tired of that point. That's kinda like refusing to plant corn in the spring cuz "we won't see a kernel of corn harvested until the fall." We're in this mess because people weren't willing to drill 5 years ago.

    Besides, as others have pointed out, the fact that new drilling will considerably drop the futures price on a barrel of oil, which is essentially a hedged bet on what the future price will be. If new production is guaranteed to be added, it pays to bet lower.

     

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  11.  
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    medbob, Aug 4th, 2008 @ 12:34pm

    I like it when...

    ... congress is not in session. I think that we should have a three month term for congress in the summer. That means that whatever is important will be taken up and acted upon during the summer. That would either cut out the horse-hockey, or nothing would get done. Either way the taxpayer/citizen wins...

     

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  12.  
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    Matt Bennett, Aug 4th, 2008 @ 12:57pm

    Re: I like it when...

    here, here

     

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  13.  
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    Dewy, Aug 4th, 2008 @ 1:10pm

    idiocy

    Only about 8 million of 43 million leased acres were producing oil in 2006. Nearly 80% of the oil estimated to be producible is within limits.

    But they want to make the Debate about where they are not allowed to drill, not what they are refusing to drill.

    I'd think before we make a big deal about areas that are under protection, lets make the most of what we have in place, which can hit the market quickly. Any money or effort beyond that need to be concentrated on getting us less dependent on oil, not drilling the last few areas that exist.

    As for congress, fire them all.

     

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  14.  
    identicon
    Anonymous of Course, Aug 4th, 2008 @ 1:11pm

    Technology to the rescue

    "Unfortunately, I know of no such technology that's likely to do that any time soon."

    Electric shock collars installed on all the politicians
    and operated via public access web page would be a good
    start.

     

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  15.  
    identicon
    Dan, Aug 4th, 2008 @ 1:12pm

    Re: So Lets do it NOW?

     

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  16.  
    identicon
    Dan, Aug 4th, 2008 @ 1:24pm

    Re: Re: So Lets do it NOW?

    Whoops.

    Anyway, what about when the Carter administration started the Synthetic Fuels Corporation to develop alternative energy back in 1980, only to have it shut down by the Reagan administration just five years later? We could be completely energy independent now, if not for past shortsightedness, which drilling in ANWR and off the coast is. We don't need oil, we need alternatives.

     

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  17.  
    identicon
    Yakko Warner, Aug 4th, 2008 @ 1:24pm

    Re: Technology to the rescue

    Are you serious? Trusting the public of the internet with the ability to shock congressmen? Not only do I doubt our electric grid would be able to handle it, but it would be completely cruel and unusual punishment! No one would be willing to serve! Congress as we know it would cease to exist!

    Oh. Huh. You know, maybe it's not such a bad idea after all...

     

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  18.  
    identicon
    Matt Bennett, Aug 4th, 2008 @ 1:48pm

    Re: idiocy

    That's another complete red herring. The oil companies lease the land largely blind, not knowing for sure if they will have oil. They lease the land, and then start prospecting on it extensively. If there's oil, they drill, if there's not, they don't. These leases are for like 6 or 11 years (I forget which), if there's no oil they choose not to renew.

    That's why all the talk by dems about "use it or lose it" a few weeks ago was so silly. That's ALREADY the state of affairs.

    More generally, it's never really not in the oil companies interest to NOT drill for oil if it can be brought up cheaper than it can be sold. US oil companies only account for a small percentage of world supply, so it's not as if they themselves can create artificial scarcity.

     

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  19.  
    identicon
    Matt Bennett, Aug 4th, 2008 @ 1:59pm

    Re: Re: Re: So Lets do it NOW?

    I don't think very many people are saying DON'T pursue alternative energy sources. But don't you think it's a little silly oppose drilling "because it won't affect fuel prices for 5 years" (not true), but at the same time support throwing all our weight behind alternative energy? The going on that has been pretty rough, so you can figure however long it takes, it's going to be a lot more than 5 years.

    The answer, of course, is we should pursue BOTH. In fact, in comparison, drilling is the short term solution.

    If you want to be really pragmatic, we should have been using a lot more nuclear the whole time. The environmental impact is lower than anything else on the table.

     

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  20.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 4th, 2008 @ 2:03pm

    Re: Technology to the rescue

    I'm all for the shock collars. They just need to add the feature I saw in a movie once where, once they were out of control you could just push a buttom and blow their heads off.

     

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  21.  
    identicon
    Tony, Aug 4th, 2008 @ 2:32pm

    Re: Re: Re: So Lets do it NOW?

    "We don't need oil, we need alternatives."

    And what, exactly, do you propose we do while we're waiting on those alternatives?

    Or is someone going to wave a magic wand and suddenly we'll have alternative energy?

     

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  22.  
    identicon
    colforbs, Aug 4th, 2008 @ 2:39pm

    Re: Re: Oh Man!!

    Not only will the oil located in all of ANWAR take between 5-10 years from full discovery to production to refinement to reach the market, none of that resource will given priority to the US. The entire resource would only provide a 6 month supply, based on current demand trends, who know what that means in 2015 terms.

     

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  23.  
    identicon
    Dan, Aug 4th, 2008 @ 2:56pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: So Lets do it NOW?

    Obviously, we do need to rely on oil for now, but instead of concentrating on expanding our oil reserves which wont come to market for years, we need to focus on alternatives. If, in five years, all manufactures have stopped relying on oil as a fuel source for their cars, for example, then our oil dependence will begin and continue to go down from then on. We may need oil in the meantime, but there's no reason on extending that dependency longer than necessary.

     

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  24.  
    identicon
    Mischief, Aug 4th, 2008 @ 3:03pm

    Throw them all out

    "Now, if we could just figure out a way to get each side to stop playing silly games, while then getting each side to stop automatically blaming the other for shutting off debate (when they would do the exact same thing if roles were reversed), we might actually get somewhere."

    That's easy throw their asses out of office and remove all recognition of political parties from the ballots, and try our best to remove them from our media and thinking habits.

    If we force our representives to run on their own merits and ideas our country would be much better. Right now the only motivation our leaders have is to get as many of their party-mates into office at any cost, so they themselves can remain in power.

     

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  25.  
    identicon
    F.I.B, Aug 4th, 2008 @ 5:09pm

    Re: JD Smith

    Screw you! you can't do anything about him. we have an amendment for that. not to mention that an I.P. address would not be sufficient to do anything to him. Viva la Revolution!!!

     

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  26.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 4th, 2008 @ 8:37pm

    Re: idiocy

    I dont understand ...if the case is that more oil drilling wont drop the price one bit then why not allow it. Also, if there is oil that already exists that is not being exploited then why to the oil companies want Anwar? Can anyone think of a worse place to try and get people to work to drill oil than that God forsaken tundra where trees wont even grow in the permafrost? Finally, if drilling more oil will drop the price..and the republicans are supposedly in the pockets of the oil companies then why do the republicans want to drill more oil? Wont this drop the price and therefore cost the oil companies their profits? It seems to me the Dems are happy that the price is so high...they just are upset that an American company is enjoying record profits...it should be a foreign company that they cannot tax! Even if they are paying 2 dollars in tax for every dollar in profit ..the Dems are happiest when large companies like GM are struggling and have no solutions for them because they dont have any money to give the govt.

     

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  27.  
    identicon
    AJ, Aug 5th, 2008 @ 5:06am

    Re: Oh Man!!

    I *LOVE* the notion that drilling will "not even affect gas prices for five years anyway". WAKE UP dummy! Oil prices fell 10% the day the restrictions were lifted by the President and have fallen to six month lows in the weeks following the announcement. Five years? How about less that five DAYS???

     

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  28.  
    identicon
    AJ, Aug 5th, 2008 @ 5:11am

    Re: Re: Re: Oh Man!!

    Yeah, better to let China, Cuba and Russia drill in the Gulf of Mexico (which they recently announced) and take the oil, rather than to have that horrible provider Exxon drill for it. That way, they can sell it back to us and then use the money we spend on energy to buy our banks and beer companies. Good logic there!

     

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  29.  
    identicon
    Brandon, Aug 5th, 2008 @ 1:00pm

    Re: Re: Oh Man!!

    Actually, the price of gas was $1 cheaper per gallon 6 months ago than it is now. Unless you're talking about the price of barrels which I'm not sure of, though last week I heard it was at a 7-week low.

     

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  30.  
    identicon
    Bob, Aug 5th, 2008 @ 6:51pm

    Re: Re: Oh Man!!

    Why will it take so long? Easy.. every Sierra CLub eco-nut and bunnyhugger will come out of their hole to file lawsuits, and the Democrats will do nothing to help the process along.

    Years ago the Democrats were crowing about how Brazil became less dependent on foreign oil... guess how Brazil did that?

    By opening up their shorelines and streamlining the process. Just like we should do.

     

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  31.  
    identicon
    jackjill, Feb 3rd, 2009 @ 8:56pm

    about techdirt articles

    hi, to every body of the forum members
    this is jack
    actually techdirt articles are in general rare and it is not upto its marking
    ============================
    jackjill

    Flat Fee MLS

     

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