Nemo me impune lacessit

No one provokes me with impunity

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No Title of Nobility shall be granted by the United States: And no Person holding any Office of Profit or Trust under them, shall, without the Consent of the Congress, accept of any present, Emolument, Office, or Title, of any kind whatever, from any King, Prince, or foreign State.

Article 1, Section 9, Constitution of the United States

If this is the law of the land...why in a republic (little r) and as republicans, do we allow mere POLITICIANS to the right to use a "title of office" for the rest of their lives as if it were de facto a patent of nobility. Because, as republicans, this should NOT be the case...just saying...

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Tuesday, June 08, 2010

The Earmark Transparency Act of 2010

In his State of the Union address in January, Barack Obama, urged Congress to pass legislation that publishes all earmarks prior to being passed by Congress "publish all earmark requests on a single Web site before there's a vote so that the American people can see how their money is being spent." Finally, a bill has been introduced that would force Congress to do just that.  The Earmark Transparency Act of 2010 would do just that. 
the ETA would require Congress to do just what Obama suggested by establishing a publicly available database with key details about all proposed earmarks, including the congressional sponsor, the sponsor's letter requesting the earmark and all supporting documents, identity of the recipient, the amount proposed, the purpose of the earmark, the amount approved in committee and the final amount approved by Congress.


Personally, I think that a better act would be one that prohibits earmarks at all.  Earmarks are a corrupt version of reverse political bribery in which Senators and Congressmen give money to constituents outside of the normal budgetary process.  They also have the end result of producing "campaign contributions" or other financial kickbacks.  The Congressman from West Virginia who recenlty lost his primary election and his father made their family very wealthy through this process...as have many, many others over the years.  Senator Tom Coburn of Oklahoma, 
who has long called earmarks the "gateway drug to federal spending addiction," says the ETA is an essential reform because Americans "want the practice of trading votes for earmarks to end and they want the process of trading campaign dollars for earmarks to end. From Bridges to Nowhere to the Cornhusker Kickback, Americans are tired of Washington using hard-earned taxpayer funding on items that fall short of urgent national priorities, and they want to lift the shroud of secrecy over how spending decisions are made."

It's time to end this game now, not just make it public.  Congress should amend this act to ban the process completely.

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