Mann and Ornstein in the LAT
on what they call The Broken Branch of government:
* Congress met fewer than 100 days this year.
* More than 25 of those days were really half- or quarter-days
* "The typical workweek in Congress (when there is a week spent in Washington) starts
late Tuesday evening and finishes by noon Thursday."
" The output of the 109th is pathetic measured against its predecessors "
"As of Tuesday, there were three must-pass pieces of legislation pending: defense and homeland security appropriations and the annual Department of Defense authorization. ...
House Speaker J. Dennis ... Hastert says he will kill the [defense] bill, doing damage to the Department of Defense and conceivably to troops in the field..."
Hastert wants to use the defense bill to create an olio of repressive judicial measures, including a narrowing of habeas corpus [your right not to be held indefinitely]"
This is what Republicans want us to be impressed with: members who work a couple days a week, don't do their jobs of watchdogging the Executive and writing thoughtful legislation, and instead produce porkfests to buy elections and legislation that makes the US increasingly resemble the USSR.