Bill Clinton was on the daily show tonight, and among other things, he lamented that congresspeople often have a very taxing schedule. they have to fly between where ever they live/represent and DC often. time they spend in DC is time spent away from their constituents and inside the beltway.
i believe this is a legit issue. and its incredibly stupid.
back in the day, it was necessary for congress to actually meet together in one place. the only alternative was correspondence my mail, and that would obviously never work.
but this is the age of the fucking information superhighway (thanks in no small part to al gore). i can go into any damn conference room in my office building and have people from london, tokyo, or both on the phone in moments. with a little bit of setup, i can have them on video. congress is so obviously begging for this.... its literally the ideal use case for videoconferencing.
for gods sake, install some webcams and lets get 98 video feeds into the capitol (someone should be there in person, just for kicks). theres no reason a senator should miss a session just because he has to be home campaigning.
this is incredibly stupid, there should have been a push for this 5 years ago. even if "all" it does is save our lawmakers some sleep, well, our lawmakers a group of people i want, by and large, to be in the best frame of mind they possibly can be. so they should be getting rest whenever possible. plus, *gasp*,they'll be closer and more in touch with the people they actually represent! in fact the only people this hurts are the big interest lobbying groups, since now they'll have to be the ones flying people around! good god its almost too good to be true!
there is no downside. congresspeople can still fly into DC whenever an occasion arises that merits the trip. er, well, there shouldn't be any downside, though if this administration has its way, it could tap the wires for some democratic anti-war committee without a fucking warrant because they're giving "comfort" to the enemy (by even considering a withdrawal)... but once we get this crazy neocons out in '08, there wont be any downside.