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Good Enough for Government

In Good Enough For Government, Matt on September 17, 2010 by Two Barbers Tagged: , , , , , ,

Hodge-podge

Things that have happened in the world of the federal government this week:

  1. The Senate’s special Impeachment Trial Committee, headed by Claire McKaskill and Orrin Hatch tried New Orleans District Judge Thomas Porteous for impeachment from Monday-Thursday.
  2. Obama commented on the upcoming legislation regarding taxes, specifically the repeal of what is most commonly refered to, with heavy-handed classist staccato, “the Bush tax cuts for the wealthiest 1%” on Wednesday in the Rose Garden.
  3. Senate Budget Committee hearing on Jacob Lew to replace Peter Orzag as the Director Office of Budget and Management on Thursday.
  4. Arlen Spector spearheaded a hearing on Wednesday to discuss how rape is reported throughout the nation, the answer to which, apparently, is- Not well.
  5. Treasury Secretary Tim Geitner testified before the Senate Banking Committee and the House Ways and Means Committee on the question of possible currency manipulation by China of its yuan on Thursday.
  6. On Thursday, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, led by John Kerry, approved a treaty with Russia called New START (New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty) 14-4 to go to a vote, which will probably be in November.
  7. Also on Thursday, the Senate passed the Small Business Jobs Act 61-38.
  8. Lots of other stuff too.

Read like that, condensed and stacked, this all feels, low in the gut, explosive and sexy. It’s easy to forget that its a compression of a time frame pulsing around 50 hours, filled with papers passed back and forth and shuffled around, tedious mulling over language and typos, exchanges of formalities, awkward pauses, pleasantries, weird, breathy, non-contagious laughter at un-funny things.

It’s a struggle to not forget. That it extends much farther than hours into history, months and years. The wheels to the Judge Porteous impeachment put to motion on March 11th this year. His appointment by Clinton in ’96. The 2008 burst and subsequent recession. The Cold War. Obviously the Constitution. To even more general aspects of human nature in society, like corruption and rape.

The scope widens. Spaces in the woven semi-circle on top of the microphone. Silence between the phlegmy breaths clearing a senator’s throat.

This week’s highlight is a hearing held by the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, and Homeland Security, led by Rep. Bobby Scott, in which sex trafficking of minors was discussed in prologue to an upcoming bill, H.R. 5575, the Domestic Minor Sex Trafficking Deterrence and Victims Support Act, which will be meant to change terminology, allocate funding for special police training and care services for victims, and improve data collection, and to focus on domestic incidents.

Some facts stated during the hearing:

  1. This year 8 people were indicted in Brooklyn for forcing girls as young as 15 into prostitution.
  2. The sex trafficking industry garners $10 billion a year.
  3. The State Department estimates 400,000 children are abducted by sex traffickers every year.
  4. Craigs List shut down its Adult’s Page site because it was being used often to sollicit under-age prostitutes.
  5. The 1st Anti-sex traffic task force was established in NY in 2001; and there are 42 today.

The social goal, brought up often throughout the hearing, is to push the issue of domestic sex trafficking into the consciousness of the national public in general.

-Matt

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