Legislative Bratwurst

Thursday, November 29, 2007

For those of you who have never experienced representative democracy first-hand, I have a suggestion for you;

Don't. Ever.

Smitty and I had the distinct pleasure this morning of sitting through a 2-hour committee debate/discussion of municipal bonding for retiree health care costs. It's hard to describe in words, but picture a combination of:


Think of committee like a one-room schoolhouse. Everyone, kindergarten through 12th grade, is in the same class. Some committee members are well versed in the topic of the day, and some are just struggling to not wet themselves before nap time. Therefore, the experts who testify must explain every tiny detail, from the complex (rate structure vs. debt servicing) to the bare-ass obvious ("Health care is when someone gives mommy money if she gets sick...").

There's an old saying that dictates that there two things you never want to see made; laws and sausages. I used to think that was because both turn out pretty well, but the process used to make them is messy and unappetizing. More and more I'm beginning to think that, as with the sausage grinder, you just don't want to know what low-grade refuse is used as filler to create the final product. Sure, most of the flavoring is done by the people who know what they're doing, but you don't get to the final mass without a little bit of hoof and snout.

Bon Apetit.


Rickey Henderson 4:09 PM  

Just like there's a tiny little bit of pig anus in every sausage, there's also small drop of Larry Craig's semen on all legislation.

Ok, Rickey's done being gross.

Smitty 4:24 PM  

Most of what was said in today's hearing is well beyond normal comprehension. Granted, I should have actually showed up to my econ classes in college but I had other priorities.

In fact, I suspect this is true of most of the Reps on the committee. They all know the body language signs for showing someone you are interested in what they are saying and indeed are grasping it. And to the last one, they each displayed those signs with enthusiasm. I suspect, however, that they comprehended the conversations as well as I did. This is to say that to me, and I suspect to them, much of what was said by Bonding Experts and Bonding Attorneys seemed to be random words in a string. For example:

"Mr. Blackstone, what are your recommendations for a ceiling on the latest a municipality can choose to bond?"(Smitty actually understood the question)

"Good question, Representative. What I suggest is phonebook desk sippycup tar, tempered by radio snowing flat tire bleach doorway. You could also consider stocking cap blue coffemaker lunch line, but be careful of bookcase legal pad frog mustard basement steps.

Now nod your head up and down, and put a concerned-but-listening deeply look on your face, and you are a lobbyist or a legislator!

Sopor 8:36 PM  

I would never make it in politics, that would get blocked out by my spam filter...

B Mac 10:25 PM  

But do not forget purple monkey dishwasher.

Bob "Chief Beer Brewing Extravaganza Advocate" 1:15 AM  

And these bills were almost assigned to me....thank god Treasury has people who understand this shit. I dodged a bullet.

Smitty 9:07 AM  

Ah yes. Purple monkey dishwasher. Excellent suggestion, b mac.

B Mac 10:05 AM  

Good News!

In reading a couple of the local Lansing insider rags, it appears that the media understood the issue even less clearly than we did.

"However, an employee of the city of Dearborn testified that the bills were a good idea, for some reason. It involved debt and basis points somehow. I have no f-ing clue."

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