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Poll: Should there be requirements to serve on congressional committees?
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Should there be requirements to serve on congressional committees?

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Old 05-04-2013, 11:07 PM   #1
houghtam
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Default Should member of Congressional committees be required to meet certain criteria?

So we all know about Todd "the rape guy...no, not that one, the other one...no, not that one...HERE, JUST LET ME SHOW YOU!" Akin seved on the Committee for Science, Space and Technology.

As some of you may know, Paul Broun (R - Georgia) currently serves on this committee, despite professing that he believes “All that stuff I was taught about evolution and embryology and the Big Bang Theory, all that is lies straight from the pit of Hell.”

I'm sure there are Democrats who may not be qualified for their particular committee positions, as well...but that is not the point.

The point is simply this:

Should we as a nation require positions on committees to be filled by people who meet certain requirements? Why or why not? If so, what sort of requirements should there be? For example, should the Science, Space and Technology committee only be filled by people who believe the earth is more than 9000 years old? Should members of the Armed Services Committee be required to have served in the Armed Forces?

I'm most curious to hear the reasoning from anyone who believes that we should not have requirements...these are people that are a driving force in the creation of policy..IMO if policy is being determined from the wrong initial conclusions, bad policy is bound to come from that ignorance.

So what does everyone say...should we or should we not require members of congressional committees to meet certain obligations before being assigned? What should the requirements for those committees be? And of course, results will be public.

Last edited by houghtam; 05-04-2013 at 11:10 PM..
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Old 05-05-2013, 07:43 AM   #2
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What politicians choose to believe in front of one audience could be the opposite of what they believe the next day. If they can alter their beliefs to get elected, then they can do whatever it takes to get on committees. Bad policy doesn't come from ignorance anyway. It comes from greed and corruption.
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Old 05-05-2013, 12:41 PM   #3
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The term certain obligations is far to broad to give an answer. They do meet certain obligations to get elected. What you mean is to not include people who disagree with you.
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Old 05-05-2013, 01:09 PM   #4
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What politicians choose to believe in front of one audience could be the opposite of what they believe the next day. If they can alter their beliefs to get elected, then they can do whatever it takes to get on committees. Bad policy doesn't come from ignorance anyway. It comes from greed and corruption.
Bad policy doesn't come from ignorance? Since when?
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Old 05-05-2013, 01:46 PM   #5
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The term certain obligations is far to broad to give an answer. They do meet certain obligations to get elected. What you mean is to not include people who disagree with you.
No, I'm talking about legitimate experience in a relevant field. For example, why should we allow someone who believes that the female body can prevent pregnancy from a rape to serve one the science committee? Should we allow someone who believes the earth is 9000 years old on the science committee? If there is a Democrat serving on a committee who has no background in that subject, I want them out too...not out of public office, just out of committee.

Think about it, if you were to create an Orangemane Committee on Tailgate Planning, who would you want on it? Would you want someone who has never been to a football game before?
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Old 05-05-2013, 01:59 PM   #6
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We could create a presidential task force on "gun safety" and "common sense reforms," and have it headed by a guy who recommends illegally brandishing and randomly discharging firearms when threatened.
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Old 05-05-2013, 03:06 PM   #7
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Hey cut, can I be in your band?

I don't read music.
I don't play any instruments.
I don't sing.
I don't listen to music.
I have no rhythm.
I don't dance.
I have no background in music.
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Old 05-05-2013, 05:50 PM   #8
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I've thought a lot about this too, especially at state level politics. I mean, who the **** puts someone who was born and raised in a city on the agriculture committee when they haven't even planed a ****ing seed in their life?
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Old 05-05-2013, 06:29 PM   #9
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I think you should have to pass a test just to run for Congress or President. Just like a wonderlic test of some sort. If you thnk only stupid repubs make it in you haven't spent time listening to house democrats.
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Old 05-05-2013, 06:34 PM   #10
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So Houghtam do you think the liberals on committees who passed healthcare law have enough experience in health care to sit on those panels?
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Old 05-05-2013, 06:39 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by houghtam View Post
Hey cut, can I be in your band?

I don't read music.
I don't play any instruments.
I don't sing.
I don't listen to music.
I have no rhythm.
I don't dance.
I have no background in music.
So in other words you are the same as about half the people who call themselves musicians?

But i can agree with you to some point. I just think you would not be happy with the result if you made it an intelligence test to be in govt. The only people qualified to be on the armed services committee would be serving in the military and probably being an officer? For finance committe only people with a degree in finance should sit right? For judiciary only lawyers and former judges, maybe cops? See where I am going with this. You want exclude people from science if they disagree with any science? That would be a slippery slope but one i would find interesting to say the least.
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Old 05-05-2013, 06:40 PM   #12
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So Houghtam do you think the liberals on committees who passed healthcare law have enough experience in health care to sit on those panels?
No! And that's my point!

I am seriously not being partisan about this. I don't think you should have to pass a wonderlic or whatever to hold office, regardless of party. People should be able to elec whomever they want to public office. But to serve on a committee should be a merit-and-experience-based process. At the moment committee seats are used as rewards for loyalty and electoral success.

Like Req said, if you haven't planted a seed in your life, why should you be decided policy for agriculture?
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Old 05-05-2013, 06:41 PM   #13
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To be on the energy and natural resources board what qualifications would you desire Houghtam? To not have any feelings that say went against what a geologist would say? Just curious.
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Old 05-05-2013, 06:43 PM   #14
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To be on the energy and natural resources board what qualifications would you desire Houghtam? To not have any feelings that say went against what a geologist would say? Just curious.
I honestly don't know enough about energy to even venture a guess. But I would say thinking something as wholly absurd as the earth is 9000 years old would be an automatic disqualifier.
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Old 05-05-2013, 06:44 PM   #15
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I can see why you would not want a wonderlic type test to run for office. About half the stupid liberals in Congress would fail it. Also we would all be shocked to see how utterly stupid half the politicians we like are. My dad was a great EE and sent things into space working for JPL, Corning, Perkin Elmer and others in a long career.

he always told me the smartest and best our country has to offer go into the private sector. The dumb ones who can't cut it in their field go into politics.
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Old 05-05-2013, 06:47 PM   #16
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I honestly don't know enough about energy to even venture a guess. But I would say thinking something as wholly absurd as the earth is 9000 years old would be an automatic disqualifier.
See how you gravitate towards an issue that is partisan though? Under your theory anyone religious should be excluded if they believe god created us and not evolution right? That would be religious persecution in govt.

The best way to do it would be a wonderlic test. You don't run unless you are among the most intelligent among us.
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Old 05-05-2013, 07:12 PM   #17
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One criteria should be that they actually read the bills they sign.

Every copy should come with an affidavit stating that the undersigned has read and fully understands the attached bill.

That should slow down the pork.
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Old 05-05-2013, 07:50 PM   #18
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But then they couldn't pass it to see whats in it Denverbrit. Think about it they passed the single biggest piece of legislation since the new deal without reading and understanding it. How can Obama be a success like that? That bill is doomed to be picked apart and fail at so many levels. I hear already the money for making insurance cover pre existing conditions is going to make people go broke at the exchanges. Obamacare exemptions will be the new back room deal in DC moving forward.
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Old 05-05-2013, 08:07 PM   #19
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To be on the energy and natural resources board what qualifications would you desire Houghtam? To not have any feelings that say went against what a geologist would say? Just curious.
Most people who work in natural resource management and deal with aspects regarding resources and sustainability for government have some sort of soil science degree that is highly similar to geology. In fact, most of them have to take a lot of geology coursework. I work with these guys every day and they are damn smart. (I do G.I.S. work, so my stuff is a little bit different, but a lot of them use the work that I do to go out and do theres.)

There are going to be people in the same field, who do the same job and have same backgrounds that disagree, especially on cost-benefit analysis regarding the work they do. I see it every day and it is amazing to see how different everyone is with their opinions on the issues we deal with. It is cool to that though, because those voices and wide ranges of input help us be successful.

With the conservation service, you have geologists, soil scientists, anthropologists, political scientists, engineers, economists, etc. to all make it run effectively. A lot of these guys destroyed it in the private sector, but the wages here are good, benefits are awesome and they get a lot of perks. It isn't what you had stated. It is one of the reasons why they have done so well being under budget and not having to go through furlough and get rid of workers because they realize what it takes to make things run efficiently. Easily one of the most efficient departments there is, IMHO -- the diversity there helps.

These are the people that should be having a voice on committees, but most of them never desire to get into politics because they see how corrupt things are on a first-level basis every time they step into the office or go out into the field. They just do their part at what they can do at an individual and local level, because one man ain't ever gonna change what is done at the top.


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I can see why you would not want a wonderlic type test to run for office. About half the stupid liberals in Congress would fail it. Also we would all be shocked to see how utterly stupid half the politicians we like are. My dad was a great EE and sent things into space working for JPL, Corning, Perkin Elmer and others in a long career.

he always told me the smartest and best our country has to offer go into the private sector. The dumb ones who can't cut it in their field go into politics.
If there was a voter litmus test for Congress, I doubt that most of the liberals would fail. If you look at the degrees of the people in Congress, a majority of them are coming from backgrounds in law, political science and history. This is also true of professional legislatures (states like NY, etc.) as opposed to citizen-ran legislatures that you find in the Midwest. They know what politics is about and they understand the concepts regarding them. That doesn't mean they are smart in other areas, but when it comes to understanding civics from an educated standpoint, that isn't really an issue.

I think that having career politicians and people who strictly aspire to do that is a problem, but most average, run-of-the-mill people who have backgrounds in things like engineering, agriculture, etc. can't afford to pony up the dough and run for elected office. There are hardly, if any, middle-class people in Congress. There sure ain't **** any poor people. It takes money to get into that sort of thing, and unfortunately people don't have it.

I always thought my dad should have ran for something at some point in time. Over 30+ years as an engineer for the government, and five years prior in the private. Knows his stuff. Still haven't been able to replace him post-retirement. When Obama came into office, they had a suggestion to all federal workers on how they could improve things and make stuff more cost effective or efficient. If your suggestion was chosen, you'd get some sort of reward. My dad wrote an essay on energy-cost initiatives (with estimates based on SD offices alone) that would translate into millions in savings per year. It involved making it mandatory to have sensors in every federal building that monitored energy output and reduced levels and intake of electricity, etc. when buildings were either empty or vacant for the weekend. Also having **** in substations and generators that could reduce overall costs. Stuff my dad realized as an engineer that was being wasted every day and believed we could improve upon. That idea never got taken up, but they ended up giving it to some stupid person who wanted to improve communication and relation in the workplace. Kinda silly.

Hope my dad ends up writing a book on revamping the energy grid in America, because he did so much work with that **** the past three decades, I couldn't think of a better person to give policy ideas on it. He also knows a lot about wind turbines and renewable energy since he worked on installation and oversight with those too.
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Old 05-05-2013, 08:07 PM   #20
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One criteria should be that they actually read the bills they sign.

Every copy should come with an affidavit stating that the undersigned has read and fully understands the attached bill.

That should slow down the pork.
Yeah, that would be a start. Passing it off to staffers, who in legislative years are usually juniors or seniors in college getting internship credit who don't understand half that **** is a really poor idea.
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Old 05-05-2013, 08:37 PM   #21
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Yeah, that would be a start. Passing it off to staffers, who in legislative years are usually juniors or seniors in college getting internship credit who don't understand half that **** is a really poor idea.
The staffers and policy wonks are actually the ones writing the bills and know what's going on. The committee members are the ones with the least amount of knowledge on the issues.

But I agree with you, Brit, people should have to read the bill before signing it. The problem is that there is just so much crap that needs to be processed that the people who actually have to vote on the stuff have no idea what's in it. Even worse if they can't understand it, and even worse than that if they don't believe in it.
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Old 05-05-2013, 09:03 PM   #22
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Staffers and interns are usually smart, but not always. I just think it is really poor to have them go over everything, give the cliff notes to the real deals who don't put any **** of it and just argue based off of charts, powerpoints and tidbits passed off to them. I agree with Brit on the read before sign thing. A lot of the bills are just retardedly long too.
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Old 05-05-2013, 09:32 PM   #23
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I honestly don't know enough about energy to even venture a guess. But I would say thinking something as wholly absurd as the earth is 9000 years old would be an automatic disqualifier.
So what you are saying is that anyone who believes in the Bible should automatically be disqualified from serving in public office. I see where you are going with this but I think former president Carter would disagree.
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Old 05-05-2013, 09:52 PM   #24
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We could create a presidential task force on "gun safety" and "common sense reforms," and have it headed by a guy who recommends illegally brandishing and randomly discharging firearms when threatened.
...and while we're at it, let's put Mr. Fox in charge of Hen House legislation.
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Old 05-05-2013, 09:55 PM   #25
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If they required a "wonderlic" type test to make in onto a committee how fast do you think some liberal would point out it's racially, or gender biased?
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