Congress out of touch? Absolutely.

You mean this isn't Afghanistan?

We all lament how Congress is out of touch with the concerns of regular Americans. It's as if the American people have some ideas what we want, and how to accomplish it, then Congress will do the exact-damned-opposite. And, in the rare cases when they do get off their asses, the sausages they tend to crank out have ridiculously long implementation times, they sunset or terminate, and -usually- only half ass the job.

 Member of Congress listening to his constituents' concerns....

It's one of the many reasons why I've supported a basic Common Sense test for prospective members of congress:
  • How much is a gallon of milk
  • What is minimum wage
  • How much is a gallon of gas
  • What's the difference between ground round and ground chuck
  • Name two fast food restaurants with a dollar menu
  • What is the name of your community public school (magnets not included)
  • Is it cheaper to buy a whole chicken or cornish hens
  • What's the best commercial barbecue sauce
  • If you don't bake, what kind of bread do you use
  • How many miles is it to your public library
  • Does your neighborhood have a used book store
  • What is the internet

The Candidate's inability to answer  of any of these questions automatically disqualifies him/her from representing "the people"...

 Can't we just form a committee to investigate these troubling issues?

However, we didn't know how pitifully, painfully out of touch these knuckleheads were until the Senate began debating a cap on fees for ATM transactions. As anyone in America with a bank account knows, if you go to get cash from another institution's ATM machine you are charged $2-3 bucks for a $.36 transaction...on top of what your own bank charges you. 

Are you sitting down? Please, I hope so, because this is what  United States' Senators had to say about ATMs. Per the Omaha World Herald

Sen. Mike Johanns, R-Neb., who said he has used ATMs five or fewer times in his life, likened the Harkin proposal to government price controls -- and he opposes it. “I just worry about that kind of entry into the private sector,” said Johanns, a member of the Senate Banking Committee.
“I've never used an ATM, so I don't know what the fees are,” Nelson said, adding that he gets his cash from bank tellers, just not automatic ones. “It's true, I don't know how to use one.
“But I could learn how to do it just like I've . . . I swipe to get my own gas, buy groceries. I know about the holograms.”
Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, said he hadn't thoroughly reviewed the proposal. Asked outside the Senate chamber whether he uses an ATM card, he said, “I've got a credit card, but I don't use it for cash.”

 Pictured: Senator Ben Nelson's version of grocery stores...

So, there you have it. One Senator doesn't know the difference between a fucking credit card and an ATM/debit card; another one (on the Banking Committee no less) has used an ATM card less than five times in his life; and, yet another thinks bar codes are holograms...and, more damning, is going to vote on ATM fees, when he's never used an ATM card, and has no idea what these fees are. 

It's definitely time to wipe the slate clean folks.



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