By Chrissy the Hyphenated
In 1794, someone introduced a bill in Congress to add two stars to the flag for the new states of Vermont and Kentucky. Many members of the House were annoyed at being asked to consider such “a trifling business which ought not to engross the attention of the House, when it was their duty to discuss matters of infinitely greater importance.”
In the end, the bill was passed simply to be rid of it.
More recent Congresses have enjoyed wasting their time (on our dime) honoring things like the 50th anniversary of the recording of a jazz record and the birthday of an Italian Renaissance architect.
Until about 1980, commemorative legislation never topped 10 percent of all public laws passed by Congress. But under the 96th-103rd sessions, commemoratives jumped to 30 percent of all public laws the president signed.
Oh surprise, surprise. Not. Democrats controlled the House throughout this period.
For a quick look at the makeup of each Congress from 1993 to the present, go to Chrissy’s Site Bites “Civics Lessons” album @ http://community.webshots.com/album/579941589tHqklm.
When Republicans took over control of the House in 1995, they put a stop to this time-wasting, fluff legislation by banning bills that created special days, weeks or months, which comprised 75% of the hot air. They also established strict criteria for commemoratives to make them harder to do. And they made these types of acts into simple resolutions that didn’t require approval from both chambers and the president’s signature.
The Senate has no binding rules on this type of thing, but guidelines dictate that resolutions can’t commemorate commercial enterprises, products or living people.
But, as we know, Democrats only care about rules when Republicans break them.
The Democrat-majority Senate adopted a resolution commemorating Sen. Robert Byrd BEFORE he was actually dead while the House, once Democrats got in charge again, pumped their fluff legislation numbers to above 30% of their total work again.
In 2010, their 250+ commemorative resolutions accounted for 36 percent of all the bills the House passed!
And remember that silly Republican rule banning bills that create special days, weeks or months? They ignored it. In September, we all got to commemorate three different diseases and be all up on “child awareness.” Oy vey.
So where’s the irony?
See, back when “right wingnuts” (aka, the Founding Fathers) were in charge, they didn’t think the U.S. flag was all that big a deal.
But the 111th Congress … that one where the folks in charge were best buds of Barack Obama, who refused to salute the flag or wear a flag pin on his lapel after 9/11 and whose “just-a-neighbor” Bill Ayers “honored” 9/11 by having a major publication take his picture standing on the flag … guess what they passed?
Resolution 1429: Celebrating the symbol of the United States flag and supporting the goals and ideals of Flag Day.
It passed with 418 Ayes, 0 Nays, and 14 Present/Not Voting.
Here’s the full text. And remember, some federal shrub got paid to research and write this stupid thing, then lots of other federal shrubs got paid to record it and shove it around to the committees, then debate and vote on it and print umpteen copies of it and upload it to the internet. All of which time was NOT spent on boring, pesky things like the federal budget.
H. Res. 1429
In the House of Representatives, U. S.,
June 17, 2010.
Whereas Flag Day is celebrated annually on June 14, the anniversary of the official adoption of the American flag by the Continental Congress in 1777;
Whereas, on June 14, 1777, in order to establish an official flag for the new Nation, the Continental Congress passed the first Flag Act, which stated, ‘Resolved, That the flag of the United States be made of thirteen stripes, alternate red and white; that the union be thirteen stars, white in a blue field, representing a new Constellation’;
Whereas the second Flag Act, signed January 13, 1794, provided for 15 stripes and 15 stars after May 1795;
Whereas the Act of April 4, 1818, which provided for 13 stripes and one star for each State, to be added to the flag on July 4 following the admission of each new State, was signed by President James Monroe;
Whereas in an Executive order dated June 24, 1912, President William Howard Taft established the proportions of the flag and provided for arrangement of the stars in 6 horizontal rows of 8 each, a single point of each star to be upward.
Whereas in an Executive order dated January 3, 1959, President Dwight D. Eisenhower provided for the arrangement of the stars in 9 rows staggered horizontally and 11 rows of stars staggered vertically;
Whereas the first celebration of the American flag is believed to have been introduced by Bernard Cigrand, a Wisconsin school teacher, who arranged for his pupils at Stony Hill School in Waubeka to celebrate June 14 as ‘Flag Birthday’ in 1885;
Whereas, on June 14, 1894, the Governor of New York ordered that the American flag be displayed at all public buildings in the State, prompting many State and local governments to begin observing Flag Day;
Whereas President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed the first nationwide Flag Day in 1916.
Whereas in 1947, President Harry S. Truman signed legislation requesting National Flag Day be observed annually;
Whereas the United States flag is a symbol of our great Nation and its ideals;
Whereas in times of national crisis, Americans look to the United States flag as a symbol of hope, courage, and freedom;
Whereas the United States flag is universally honored;
Whereas the United States flag honors the men and women of the Armed Forces who have given their life in the defense of the United States;
Whereas the United States flag serves as a treasured symbol of the loss of loved ones to the countless families of those who died in defense of our Nation; and
Whereas June 14, 2010, is recognized as Flag Day: Now, therefore, be it
Resolved, That the House of Representatives celebrates the United States flag and supports the goals and ideals of Flag Day.
Apart from all the Whereasses, it kinda reads like a really boring elementary school report about the history of Flag Day. And don’t you just love how all those Democrats … the ones who sneer at the “mostly Republicans” who go to Fourth of July parades, for example … voted YEA to the flag as a universally honored symbol of our great Nation and its ideals? ::snort::
Thank God, Republicans are now in charge again and have reinstated the “no stupid legislation” rule. Naturally, Democrats are back to doing what they do best … pissing and moaning about how mean Republicans are.
Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.) has proposed five pieces of hot air legislation so far this year, including ones honoring National HIV Testing Day, Multiple Sclerosis Awareness Week and Professional Social Work Month.
(Remember the 1995 rule the House adopted, banning bills that created special days, weeks or months?)
Poor Babsy. The mean ol’ Republicans running the House won’t
blow up her ducky bring her hot air up for a vote.
“To me, that is just outright wrong,” she says.
I wonder if she and her whiney friends are at all grateful to us voters for putting them all back into the back seat so they can spend all their time texting their friends about how stooooooooopid the grown-ups are.