Friday, August 28, 2009

Speed-Read HR3200

I read a good portion of HR3200. I'm an relatively intelligent individual so I understood the words, but not the meanings of most of the words in the way that they were put together. I think that was the intent. It is entirely too complex and intentionally vague. Further, it continually referred back to other legislation that I didn't have on hand to read. (I wonder how long the bill would have been if those sections had been inserted rather than referred to! SHEESH!)

Conservatives, such as myself, are more than appalled that anyone would vote on any legislation that they had not read for themselves. Actually, it's the most asinine thing that a legislator can do. I would be willing to bet that the only sections of this bill or the other iterations of it that these people in the House and Senate are familiar with is the portion that pertains to their particular interests.

When called to account, some of our representatives and senators have said that they had someone else read the bill. Well, I guess that's alright, but I'll bet they didn't understand it either. Lawyers are even having a hard time understanding it. I actually heard a legislator say that they had speed readers read the bill. Take a look at this:

I've taken a speed reading course. There's no way that a significant depth of understanding of the content can be gleaned from reading a bill in this manner prior to voting.

So... if this is the way the speed readers read the bill, then there's no wonder when asked at the townhall meetings the representatives and senators couldn't say what was actually in the bill or what wasn't. In fact, almost without exception, the townhallers had a better understanding than the legislators and could quote section and page numbers in most cases.

As the bill was mentioned, the senators said there was no bill... true, enough because there hasn't be one come together in the senate. But that was a "play dumb" strategy that hasn't proven to bode well for them, because the Senate bill will be based primarily upon the HR3200, unless they completely start from scratch. When questioned on specifics of the HR3200 bill, House members were often clueless... or chose politician-speak (many words that talk around an issue without addressing it), or completely dismissed the question and moved on. It was pretty clear who had cared enough to even glance at the HR3200 bill.

Now as for the legislators actually reading the bill, if speed reading is to be the way these absurdly lengthy and highly incoherent bills are going to be handled for the legislators, I'd like to suggest a comprehension test be given to the speed readers that are on the payrolls of these elected officials. And if they don't understand 90% or better of the content and can't explain it on a junior high school level to the legislator (and that is probably over-rating the intellect of some of them!) , then the legislator should be not be allowed to cast a vote on it. Of course, my preference would be that the legislators would be considerate enough of their constituents to actually read what's in it... not just for the benefit of their states, but to protect their states from portions that might actually be detrimental to their state's interests.

But really! Who in Washington, DC cares about those folks back at home? Really!

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