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Tag Archive: Government language

Quarters doubled in odd years, halved again in evens

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This always makes me thing of Lewis Carroll every time I see it. A PAC tells the FEC it's going to file quarterly reports rather than monthly reports. The FEC approves the request, and writes back:

The Commission has received notification of your request, dated 1/30/2009, to change from a monthly filer to a quarterly filer of receipts and disbursements. Please note that during years that have no scheduled federal election, quarterly filers are required only to file semi-annually.

As for the practical effects: Well, we can be glad that Washington mostly takes odds year off, so ...

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Congressional ethics committees: What’s past is prolog

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Glenn Reynolds notes that the two congressional ethics committees are off to a less than rapid start and observes, "It's like it's not meant to actually do anything."

This is a longstanding tradition in American politics, going all the way back to Mark Twain's day (Twain, of course, famously observed that America has no distinctly criminal class, except Congress. He and Gilded Age co-author Charles Dudley Warner didn't think much of the ethics committee process of their day either: "Why does the Senate still stick to this pompous word, Investigation?' One does not blindfold one's ...

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Disabled adult children

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This morning, while reading a release linked from Recovery.gov, I ran across one of those government terms that make no sense. As part of the stimulus efforts, the Railroad Retirement Board, an independent agency that manages federal benefits for railroad retirees and their dependents (more details on why this board exists here) will send additional checks of $250 to most of its beneficiaries, "including disabled adult children."

A disabled adult child is a dependent of a railroad pensioner--or Social Security beneficiary--who, because of his disability, is eligible to continue receiving his benefits based on his parent's or ...

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The Gilded Age on congressional investigations

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How little things change. In The Gilded Age, by Mark Twain and Charles Dudley Warner, a member of the Senate, Abner Dilworthy, is caught bribing a state legislator to ensure his reelection. Dilworthy knows how to respond:

Yes, the nation was excited, but Senator Dilworthy was calm--what was left of him after the explosion of the shell. Calm, and up and doing. What did he do first? What would you do first, after you had tomahawked your mother at the breakfast table for putting too much sugar in your coffee? You would "ask for a suspension of public opinion." That ...

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