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The Congressional Reform Act of 2009 2010 2011

I received an email today from a dear friend and fellow progressive, someone I esteem and admire deeply.

This email referred to "The Congressional Reform Act of 2011." In it, my friend stated that paralysis prevented action on seemingly insurmountable problems, but that this was an opportunity to take action. The email further went on to recommend forwarding it to 20 or more friends, writing to my state's congressional delegation, etc.

I read the terms of this "act," and I didn't actually agree with most of it. At best I thought a few of the items were okay with me, but others were silly, based on half truths and misconceptions, or just antithetical to what I consider to be progressive thought.

I responded to my friend with a few comments about each of the provisions, and followed up with some research.

First, I found references to this act, also sometimes identified as the proposed 28th amendment to the Constitution, going back to December 2009. I found it on conservative blogs such as the Free Republic (or as I prefer to call it, the Free Repugnant -- and I refuse to link to it), endorsed by the Colorado Springs Gazette, a highly conservative newspaper serving one of the most conservative communities in the nation), and on a blog called (which again I won't link to) that identifies itself as a "Conservative Christian Political Blog."

Eventually, I came to the article on snopes.com that debunks this whole thing.

What's the lesson in this? As my friend said when I pointed this out, "I am glad that some of my friends, like you, love me enough to set me straight when my mind goes too poetic!" Sick as we may be about the outcome of the last election, disgusted as we are with the hypocrisy of the repugnants in Congress who are attempting to repeal the health care law while saying, out of the other sides of their mouths, that they're committed to reducing the deficit, we can't jump at straws in attempting to make things right.

I share with friends links to thoughtful articles and editorials (such as this brilliant piece by Paul Krugman from yesterday's NY Times). I blog about it. And maybe someone reads my blog.

In the past I've participated in campaigns to support candidates I believed in, and I'll continue to do that.

And I love my friends enough to tell them the truth, hopeful that they'll still love me back.


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