Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Bell Ringer Hit

This week, outside a Phoenix Arizona a woman became actively engaged in the “war on Christmas” and firming affirming her faith by confronting a bell ringer who wished her a “Happy Holidays.” The woman confronted the bell ringer by asking, “Do you believe in God,” and then stating, “You’re suppose to say Merry Christmas.” The irate woman may well have felt that “Happy Holidays” was a threat to her faith and Christmas itself, so much so that she stood up for her faith with both her words and actions for she then proceeded to stress her point home by hitting the bell ringer in the arm, and the walking away possibly comforted by the thought she had born witness for her faith, and the child of peace.

Opposition vs. Loyal Opposition

Years spend observing both the American and Canadian political systems I’ve noticed that there is a concept that is not as firmly embraced in the American system as it is in Canada…the concept of loyal opposition.

In Canada the parties who do not form the government are not just in opposition, but they are the loyal opposition.  In my civics courses in junior high and in high school we were taught that the loyal opposition is not to oppose legislation for the sake of opposing the government. Rather they hold the government accountable and via balanced critiquing advocate for strengthening legislation for overall sake of the nation. The loyal opposition may well strongly oppose one measure while at other times somewhat supporting another while advocating for amendments. The opposition is to serve the government through its opposition. The daily question and answer periods where members of the loyal opposition can arise to directly ask questions of the government ministers and Prime Minister (or Premier) is a critical component of being part of the loyal opposition.

Being in loyal opposition is not a game whereby an opposing party using techniques and maneuvers to win a victory or opposes an idea just because it is advocated by the other party. Nor should the party in power use maneuvers to dismiss ideas from the opposition or worse, to marginalize the opposition, is contrary to the loyal opposition concept.

In America Congress is held in low esteem. I would say that the major power brokers, the major lobbyists, should be held in the same low esteem. There is good reason to hold Congress and lobbyists in low regard when the nation sees time and time legislation and ideas rejected, opposed and dismissed as horrible when only months to a few years before, the criticizing party and individual first proposed the idea and they are now rejecting it because the idea is now supported by the other party. That is not governing. That is game playing. Trying to win a game for the sake of the party, versus trying to serve the people and bring about the best possible legislation possible for the nation as a whole.

What would Congress look like, and how would they act if the loyal concept was integral to the process? I wonder what damaged has been done by the concept not being part of the governing process.

Monday, December 16, 2013

A Two Party Political System and Extremism

There are a host of structural differences between the American and Canadian political systems due to the difference structures, America being republican with the direct election of the chief executive official and Canada being parliamentary with the indirect election of the chief executive.  Beyond the structural and resulting differences thereby created by the different structures, one of the differences, not created by the founding structure but which has evolved and become well settled is that in the United States there is two party system. In the United States, while a third party is theoretically possible both regionally and nationally, due to the entrenchment of the two party system with rules designed to hinder the formation of a statewide or regional third party, the rise of a third party is functionally impossible short of a split taking place in one of the two current parties.

By contrast, in Canada, and in Great Britain and Australia, multiple parties with regional and national appeal are not only possible but are common. Three or four options is such a common occurrence in Canada that having candidates on the ballet from three major parties is taken for granted by Canadians. While it is theoretically possible for Canada to have dozens of parties with wide national or provincial appeal, having more than three or four nation-wide or provincial-wide parties having broad appeal is rare for when a party becomes too small its effective voice for impacting change is so minimal that the party thereby ceases to be viewed as a viable option.  

A common argument for two having only to parties is that it ensures the winning candidate and party has the support of the majority of the citizenry. Such reasoning is based upon math, but we it does not mean the victorious candidate or party has a mandate. We should not fool ourselves into thinking this way for as evidenced in the current political environment few winning candidates truly has the support of the majority. The 2013 gubernatorial election in Virginia is an example of where many voters vote not for the candidate but against the other candidate and for lesser of two poor choices.

This dynamic of voting for the lesser of two evils or poor candidates is more than rarity in America politics due to the extremes having strong sway and/or those with deep money yielding a victor in the local primaries who the general public cannot support. Well motivated organized extremes can readily have significant impact in a primary given that only a limited number of centrist voters become engaged in the primary process. Hence, a small group, a hundred or so, which are well organized and solidly funded, can color the results far beyond what their numbers would at face value indicate.

While in any system a drive to an extreme can occur, a two party system is particularly prone so such a drift. The extremes on the both left and right push their parties to away from being more centrist, and thereby leaving voters voting against a candidate than for a candidate, the lesser of two evils rather than embracing a candidate who reflects for the most part the views of the major of their constituents.  I like other’s too often find myself voting for a candidate that is not close to where I stand. And there are times when I’ve voted against someone who is closer to my economic and social views but cannot support that candidate because the party at large has become too far removed from my position. Hence, in a two party system, the choice sometimes comes down to going o the devil you least dislike.  

Unfortunately, when elected the individual and party come into power they think they have a mandate to do some more extreme things when no such a mandate exists except within the fringe that gave them the primary victory.

An ongoing via third party tends be a brake against extremes heavily influencing the other two parties for if the left of one party takes their party too far to the left while the right of the second party takes the second in the opposite direction, it is highly likely they will discover that they have ceded power to the more centrist party. For a party to remain on the extreme too long invites ongoing marginalization or even extinction as the majority of the voters will look to the party or party that is towards the center. For a party’s survival, the pragmatic center will ultimately pull their party away from the extreme.  Voters will more frequently be voting for a candidate they can affirm rather than choosing between the lesser of three evils.   

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Public Housing Rules

I recently read an interesting letter to the editor commenting upon those in public housing obeying the rules. The letter reflects a general strongly held viewpoint that is having a strong sway in American politics, a sway that has greater influence than their raw numbers would indicate.

The letter entitled, “Public Housing Must Have Rules That Are Obeyed” reads, “Of course, ‘these people will smoke, drink, and do whatever they want in subsisted housing,’ if they don’t have a manager to enforce rules and regulations.

 “It seems that people in public housing think, ‘Well, I pay rent, I can party, smoke, drink and do what I want to.’ What happened to the rules and regulations? Yes, stop smoking in public housing, really everywhere. Think of the lives that could be saved – lung disease and other things that smoking causes.

 “They should get better managers to enforce all rules and regulations. You go into public housing knowing they must be obeyed.

 “I would think anyone who pays $55 a carton would want to quit for themselves as well as everybody else’s health.”

Many comments and observations could be drawn from this short letter regarding the author’s views regarding law and human rights. Following are a few comments upon the letter.

The letter’s author views those in public housing as being unemployed, lazy and generally unproductive citizens. Unfortunately such dangerous stereotyping is held by a significant portion of our communities. Yes, there are people in public housing who reflect the picture, but they are not the norm as I’ve discovered in working with and assisting people who live in public housing. While there are exceptions while there are those who are unemployed, including the disabled, in public housing there are far more productive citizens who are employed, but employed in low waged jobs. They are those who are drive our children to school on school buses, our receptionists, clean our offices, cook and serve our lunches, who look after our children in day care, are sales staff at discount stores, etc.  

I wish that we could all agree that the cost of housing in many areas is out of reach for those earning a low hourly wage, and that because we are not willing to pay 10 to 15% higher costs for a TV bought at a discount box store or 15% to 20 more for our fast food meal, public housing is a necessary burden we carry.  What we save on fast food and in discount stores becomes a larger burden on our taxes for public housing to help support these low wage workers that serve us every day. We pay one way or the other, and as a society we want low cost products from retailers who keep their overhead low by paying a very low wage.   

The letter clearly states that the lays the problem of smoking, drinking and holding parties in public housing to the lack of rules enforcement. The thought that such rules as being unjust or improper escapes the letter's writer. Evidently he is comfortable with the government limiting and denying American citizens rights held by other citizens, and that those rights should be denied to them solely because they live in public housing. In other words, if you enter public housing, you become a second class citizen. What should we then deny these citizens next? The right to travel? The right to watch television or own a car? The right to vote?  I would disagree with any rule in public housing which limits or denies legal behavior in the privacy of one’s home the rights allowed other citizens to the same behavior. This is supposed to be a nation where all citizens are treated equally. Since America is a nation that prides itself on personal liberty, we must be slow to limit those liberties.

The author of the letter reflects the all too common tendency of holding that as one has experienced life or religion in a particular manner, or reasons in a particular fashion, that too should others think in the and experience the world, event or religious experience in the same way. And if you don’t have the same experience, then you are deficient at some point and you need to correct yourself. It is a version of my view is better and more righteous than yours. Since humanity and life is not so simple, measuring/judging others primarily upon one’s own experience is a most dangerous enterprise.

Friday, November 29, 2013

Editorial Bias of Newspapers

Claims by newspaper editors and editorial boards that they seek to be politically balanced needs to be taken with grain of salt. Sometimes the nature and degree of a paper’s political bias is evident after reading a half-dozen or so editorials whereas for others whose editorials are nuanced it may take as many as three dozen editorials to detect their political bias. Bias is also reflected in the editorials but also in the columnists they publish over the course of a week.

Having lived in various places over the years in reading a diversity of editorial pages, I’ve noticed that the paper tends to reflect the nature of the community in which it is published and their primary audience. The more nuanced papers tend to be in communities that tend to be more centrist where they sometimes elect a person leaning more towards the political left and other times a person who leans more towards the political right.

Why do so many have a clear bias which their community’s voting pattern rather the balanced approach they claim?  Options:  A) The paper’s editorial bias permeates the community to the degree that its opinion shapes the electoral outcomes. This view cannot be sustained as I’m not aware of any paper held in such high regard that people follow its thinking.  B) The community’s political posture and views are what shapes the editorial page’s content. I can’t agree with this view for it leaves the paper and its editor merely pandering to the community and not helping shaping its opinion.   C)  The paper’s owner hires editors whose viewpoints are akin with the nature of community and/or primary audience. I believe that this is the more likely option. Newspapers are sales driven and it is not wise to be alienated from those who consume your product.

Hence it’s not that the paper and its editor lack a defined opinion, or think through issues as would be suggested by option “b”. Rather the owner hires editors with biases that reflect the community, ensuring that the starting point for the editorials will tend to align with those of the given community.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

You Know You're From Northern Virginia If...

I recently received an email entitled, “You Know You’re From Northern Virginia If…” There were fifty-two items on the list I received which I’ve distilled down to the more significant thirty before adding two. Enjoy.

You’re from Northern Virginia if,

1.           You know two teens who have no idea what their parents do because whatever they do its “top secret” government work.

2.           You never tell someone that you are from “Virginia” without putting “northern” in front of it.

3.           Despite Virginia having succeeded from the Union and fought for the Confederacy, not under ANY circumstance are you a “southerner.”

4.          When people from other states or countries ask where you are from you’re from, you tell them Washington DC because it’s simpler to explain.

5.          You know that no matter where you walk, shop or drive, a good part of your journey is recorded across a range of governmental and private surveillance cameras.  

6.          Speed limits are taken as just suggestions.

7.         You measure trips to shop, visit friends or work not by distance traveled, but by travel time.

8.          It frequently takes you 30 minutes to drive five miles during non-rush hours.

9.          You dread going to the DMV and when you do so, you take the day as a personal or vacation day.

10.       It’s not actually tailgating unless your bumper is touching the car in front of you.

11.       You actually know what the black boxes at stoplights are for.

12.       Someone in your family drives 30 miles or more each way to work.

13.       When you’re driving on the beltway or interstate highway at 2:00 a.m. on a Tuesday you still expect traffic.

14.       A slow driver is someone who is not going at least 10 mph over the speed limit.

15.       You not only know what is a Smart Tag but either you or someone in your family has one.

16.       At least 50% of your graduating class went to either Mason, JMU, UVA or Tech.

17.       Your local news is part of the national news.

18.       You do a good part of your Christmas shopping online because the shopping malls are like parking lots.

19.       You know that each high school in the region has its own corresponding McDonald’s.

20.       You know at least three people who drive a Mercedes, BMW, Lexus, Audi, etc.

21.       The values of the cars in the local high school’s student parking lot are worth three times those in the teacher’s parking lot.

22.       You are amused by friends and family who are actually excited to see Washington DC.

23.       There are at least 6 Starbucks within two miles of your house and work.

24.       When you get an inch of snow, you miss three days of work.

25.       When you book a flight you have choice of three airports.

26.       You call something “ghetto” even though that thing in most of the rest of the country it would be viewed as high class.

27.       You understand the meaning of “If you don’t get it, you don’t get it.”

28.       Subway is a fast food place. The public transportation system is known as Metro, and only Metro.

29.       If you can easily name more than twelve law enforcement agencies, excluding the various Sheriff’s departments, operating within twelve miles of the White House.

30.       Military helicopters, F-15s and other military aircraft flying over your neighborhood are common occurrences.

31.       For the cost of your home you could buy a small town in Iowa.

32.       You are amazed when you travel out of town and the people at McDonalds speak English.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Washington's NFL Football Team

This year Washington’s NFL football team has been the focal point over its name, “Redskins”.  Daniel Snyder the team’s owner has not only remains adamant that the team’s historic name should remain, but he is firm that it will never change as long as he owns the team. He states that it is a cherished historic name and one that honors Native Americans.

Initially I was ambivalent when the debate first started, not taking a position either way. The advocates for the name change argue “Redskins” was a racial and derogatory name, akin the racial slurs used to speak negatively of Italians, African Americans, Mexicans, Germans, Chinese, Japanese, etc.  Though the name doesn’t carry the same racial overtones as in the mid 1800s to early 1900s, the overtones are a part of the name regardless how we wish to deny it coupled with claims that the name honors the Native Americans.

Racism is not as blatant as it was in the past, but it continues into the present in more refined and subtle tones. While we must not quickly put honest disagreements and mistakes through a racial filter, we must not be quick to dismiss it when it arises in its subtle and not so subtle forms. I hope that one day the team will change its name. Hopefully that day will come in the next year or two rather than a decade or more.

I will no longer use the team name, or purchase any merchandise or wear any item with the team name on it.  I will be referring to the team as either “Washington” or “the Washington Football Team.”

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Vancouver Bans Doorknobs!

Vancouver British Columbia has banned doorknobs and the round water facets. New construction and renovations are to have leavers on doors and facets, with public space progressively switching to levers in the coming years and businesses being encouraged to do so too.

My libertarian side decries such legislation as both an unnecessary governmental overreach, and an unnecessary expense forced upon businesses and the public. That’s my reactionary self focused side coming to the fore as in my every day life such ergonomic friendly devices provide me little value to my life, do not give me any greater freedom and mobility. That’s me being centered upon my own life, my current needs and protecting my pocketbook without giving any thought to how such handicap and senior friendly levers provide the elderly and those with physical handicaps with a greater level of mobility and independence.

When I think of my parents and mother-in-law, the value of levers becomes increasingly apparent. When I think of the minor touches of arthritis I feel on damp days may well become more serious out twenty years, the levers become more attractive.

My short-term self interest and that quieter bent against governmental interference argues that if I need such levers, then I should be free to install them in my home but I should not regulate their installation elsewhere. Then pausing I realize that my argument against such a law is arguing against my future self-interest. While my home could have levers, if they are not commonly found elsewhere then I start to become a prisoner in my own home, for while I could move readily around my own private space, going into the public space to move visit government facilities, medical facilities, churches, businesses and friends would be another matter. If I lacked the muscle dexterity required to turn a doorknob I could not open doors and thereby my mobility and independence is undermined. So functionally places with round knobs would not be places I could readily visit.

So when my community minded side pushes to the fore, my less self-centered side, I start to think about the overall value to the community, to my aging parents and for my ultimate self-interest, I view of Vancouver’s law more warmly. When I note that the dexterity and mobility of myself and friends will be far less in two decades, I wish other jurisdictions would take similar steps for our overall collective good. The cost differential between the traditional knob system and a lever system is minimal. Vancouver’s law is not unwarranted government intrusion. Rather it is a proactive law helping the community to become more senior and handicap friendly.           

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Drum Corps 2013 Season, Scores

Today DCI's Southeast Regional Championship takes place in Atlanta. As normal, with two more weeks to go in the season, the placements of how 21 of the Corps will finish is playing out more or less as expected. They are falling in line with the predictions that took place prior to the first performances of the season.

The Southwestern Championship again solidifies wha will be the final placements. A few Corps may improve their placement by a placement or two, but for the most part where Corps finish at the Championship will mirror what occurs in Indianapolis three weeks later. Atlanta and Allentown will set up the drama and hint of the drama the judges have in store for the semi-finals and finals.

Baring a surprise in Atlanta the judges set a week ago the twelve finalists. Unlike most years, in 2013 there will not be the normal battle for 12th coming out of the Eastern Championship. The Blue Stars will return to the finals, and likely be in 11th. The placements within the top 15 are set.

The only questions outstanding are,
      - will the judges concede that Blue Devils do not have a championship calibre show as do Carolina Crown and the Cadets. Will the judges allow Crown to win? Expect DCI officiating to use Allentown to hint of the finals night drama. Do not expect BD to be third or even fourth, politically that cannot happen. The DCI script is designed for Crown to overtake BD on finals night to win their first championship, leaving Cadets third and with Vanguards on their heals in 4th.
      - will the judges move the Cavaliers who have their third poor show in a row, allow this G7 Corps to finish below 7th? They should be 9th or 10th but politically a predestined G7 cannot fall that low without is undermining the claims and plans of the powerful G7 to have their special tour and events.
      - will Boston Crusaders or Blue Knights be 9th leaving the 10th to the other.

I'm not enamored by DCI scoring, haven't been for many years. It is too predicable and is therefore suspect. If DCI's scoring was the stock market, the market would more or less be flat every day for a decade. DCI leadership and the top Corps claim that scoring is strictly objective and their objectivity negates subjectivity that creates score fluctuations. Ah, but either explanation overlooks that humans are not machines that do much the same again and again and again. Inconsistency of human behavior is a factor that by its nature creates randomness. The human element does not lead to predictability and provides a significant degree of randomness that is not evidenced in DCI scores.

Sports teams and other musical groups do not perform consistently night to night. Because of the human variable a top team can be beaten by a bottom team. I cannot agree that every Corps is on every night in the same manner as the scores would suggest. One night a stronger Corps could be less focused and another who is a lower very sharp, meaning the one should drop, and the other rise, but this is not evidenced in the scoring. Also, where one judge focuses on a given night will be the same as a judge the next night viewing the same element and Corps.  One will see some mistakes or issues that another does not...again causing a higher or lower evaluation than another judge. As what they noticed varies from judge to judge, and night to night, this would add to some score fluctuations and placements. Lack of such placement fluctuations is highly suspect.

That little placement and scoring fluctuations undermines DCI's claims of impartiality and objectivity. They are arguing against in the real world human experience, where human consistency does not occur in their scoring suggests every year. To put it another way, the predictability of DCI scoring is like watching a pitcher who averages a strike out per inning getting from the umpires exactly that, a strikeout every single inning, and a batter who hits .250, always get a hit every 4 times at bat.

DCI is not unlike the state of world figure skating of the 70s through the 90s, an enjoyable entertaining activity to watch, but as the scoring is too political, to scripted, and has to be ignored.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Review of Collapsable Water Hoses

After 14 years of use, by RV hose was starting to show the burden of years of service. It was relegated to deep storage as a backup as I purchased a set of collapsable water hoses. These are the hoses that when the water is turned off shrink to a fraction of their size. For RVs where storage is limited and folding 25ft stiff hoses can be bothersome, I thought these collapsible hoses are just the thing for RVs to use to connect to city water systems. After my experience using the hose, I cannot recommend them. They are not a good investment.

The hose connected nicely enough. It expanded when filed with water. It collapsed as promised when the water was turned off. It fold up nicely for storage, taking little storage space. The issue is durability. Simply put this hose didn't last long...it is a 100 meter sprinter that does not have the endurance to run even a kilometer.

Our recent RV trip last nine days over three different campgrounds. We deployed the hose in three campgrounds. On the eighth day the hose leaked in multiple places across a three foot section at such a rate the no water was coming out the other end. At most the hose was in service for 152 hours before its lining ruptured.

Utilization in an RV, it does not hold up to the demands. While it may last a little longer in a house deployment where you water the garden and lawn for a few hours at a time several times a week, 200 hours would mean it may last two season, and possibly part of a third.

I'm sticking to the standard rubber and plastic hoses.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Driving a Hybrid

For three weeks I’ve been enjoying driving a Toyota Camry Hybrid that has the right plates. By the right plates I mean, that it has the Virginia’s “Clean Special Plates” which qualify me to drive in the I-66 HOV lanes without the second person. Being able to drive I-66 inside the beltway during the morning and afternoon is commuting my drive to and from the office by a third to a half. The other day it took me 19 minutes to get to the office.

I love how far it stretches a gallon of gas. So far the mileage is just over 38 mpg to just under 40, which gives me a driving range of about 530 miles. One of my goals is to achieve an average of 40.2 mpg over at least 400 miles. By watching the data feedback I suspect that I may well achieve that goal, as well has surpassing the 550 mile driving range.

The first thought many people have about a hybrid is that it lacks power. For every day driving I have not lacked the power I’ve needed. The pick-up is a little slower, but not unduly so, particularly when one is already at cruising speed. If the vehicle was well loaded with passengers or heavy boxes and it was going up a steep hill, I could have a different view of its power at that moment. Due to the batteries the trunk is clearly small, but that is not a significant concern for me.

With a standard 21st century vehicle, when we start the car we rarely have our foot on the gas and therefore we do not feel the engine start. But for a hybrid on feels the engine starting as one moves from running on battery alone to gas. As the engine shuts down whenever one comes to a stop, such as at lights, stop signs, in traffic, one frequently feels the engine start and while at times it feels like the engine is hesitating and about to stall, it is not about to stall. For some feeling the engine start could be unnerving, but I do not find it so.

Today I learned another little thing about my hybrid, is to make sure that the gas cap is tightly closed. On the last fill I did not turn the cap fully closed. Apparently if it is not tightly closed the pressure in the tank is lost which will impact mileage and the check engine light will glare. Fortunately the Toyota dealer did not charge me for the lesson.

Overall, I love driving the hybrid and would buy one.

Monday, April 01, 2013

An Underlying Difference Between Portman and Salmon on Gay Marriage

While both Senator Rob Portman and Representative Matt Salmon have a gay son, each takes a different posture on the right of gays to marry. Understanding how each man’s view the issue and their sons differently helps one to understand why they differ.

In listening to his son and observing the son's life, Portman has concluded that his son is not emotionally ill and that the son is not socially dysfunctional or rebellious. He recognizes that as with many out of the closet gays, his son has and will endure ridicule and attacks, be shunned, looked down upon and ostracized, not something an emotionally balanced person one would seek to endure. Hence, he has concluded that his son is gay not by choice but by nature. One can well understand that right of gays to marry is a logical extension for Portman once he concluded that his son is gay by nature, that his son cannot help be attracted to and love with a person of the same gender.  

By contrast Salmon's position is simple and shaped by his religious beliefs. Though he loves his son, he cannot accept or approve of his son having sex with a man. For Solomon, being gay is a deliberate choice. Salmon holds that as God is just and that Scripture views gay sex as evil, a person cannot under any condition be viewed as gay by nature, for it would mean that God unjustly created a person with a nature for which he condemns them. While Salmon loves his son, for him the son’s sexual activity is a chosen yet unacceptable behavior, not part of the son’s nature. Tens of thousands of parents each year are faced with an adult child engaged in unacceptable non-criminal activities, such as, habitual lying, habitual and constant laziness, being irreligious, etc., but they like Salmon continue to love the child without accepting the sin. While not explicitly saying so, one can read between the lines, that for Salmon to embrace his son's lifestyle would be an act of denying what he professes as being his Christian faith.


Sunday, March 24, 2013

A Guide Dog For a Blind Dog

Eddie the lab and Milo the terrier are buddies and a whole lot more. About a year ago, Angie Baker-Stedham of Wales, human companion of the pair, noticed that Eddie began bumping into things. Within a very short time, he became completely blind. With no coaxing or training, Milo became Eddie's constant companion. He somehow sensed that his friend needed his help and has been his guide dog ever since. The two are inseparable. Eddie's dependence on Milo was evident recently when Milo became very ill. Baker-Stedham said: 'We didn't realise how much Eddie depends on Milo to get around the house, he was walking into doors and furniture and I had to constantly call him while we were out on walks so he knew where I was and which way I was going.' Thankfully, Milo made a full recovery and the two are happily back together. (This story was taken from an email I received from Lucky Pets Pet Tags)
Read more and see pictures of Milo and Eddie, go to the Daily Mail website.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

And Congress Wonders Why They Are Not Trusted

For decades used car sales people were commonly viewed as the least trusted professions in the United States. Used car sales people have lost their position to members of Congress. Over the last decades trust of politicians has declined in direct portion to the rating of Congress.

Constantly the general public sees Congressmen saying one thing during an election but going a different direction during an election. People expect their politicians to take their opinions into account, and for the most part reflect the wishes of their constituents, but do they do so? Today a Senate bill that died illustrates that Congressmen will ignore their constituents and adhere to the wishes of those who threaten to heavily bankroll a primary challenge. Even when over 90% of the general public support a particular bill, Congressmen will vote against the bill and go with the well healed minority. No wonder trust and credibility continues to fall. Politicians may say, the general public are increasingly thinking that Congress is dancing to the tune that people with money and power-brokers are playing for them.  

As a further indication of the state of Congress is the story of a scandal ridden Congressmen being propped up by his insider friends, and are helping him to build a deep war chest to win his primary. This is they type of story which fuels the skeptical views of Congress. It seems as long as you vote correctly and issue the right statements that personal morality and upright conduct means little to one’s peers. Regardless what the Congressman may do, it matters little as long the Congressman claims the right thing and votes the right way.