Government


The True Nature of Senators

They are assholes

With few exceptions, US Senators are assholes. They are as pompous as they are ignorant, which is not surprising, since they are as powerful as they are unaccountable.

Well, there probably are not any exceptions; not in the senate and not in the house.
Both the above writer and Richard Posner whom he quotes at length miss a key supporting point: all these folks pretend they have some meaningful authority to tell the rest of us how we should live our lives.
They have none. The very fact that they choose to pursue and occupy these offices is all the reason we need to give them no respect.

Oh yea, anyone who thinks these congress critters are anything about representing the people in their states or districts is as foolish as the critters are arrogant.


The Mass of Government

Now that we are 4 months into the current administration’s tenure it is fairly clear that it will adhere to the basic nature of governmentium:

Governmentium has a normal half-life of 2 to 6 years. It does not decay, but instead undergoes a reorganization in which a portion of the assistant neutrons and deputy neutrons exchange places. In fact, Governmentium’ s mass will actually increase over time, since each reorganization will cause more morons to become neutrons, forming isodopes.

Thanks to the eldest modulator child for bringing this back to our attention!

Back in 2005 governmentium showed up in our humor category and was certainly created both as a little bit of truth about government and a lot of truth about the bush administration.


Your Legislators Would Never Lie to You

Or would they?

But a professor at Oxford University in England has done a compelling series of studies trying to get at why big public-works projects such as bridges, tunnels and light-rail systems almost always turn out to be far more costly than estimated.
“It cannot be explained by error,” sums up one of his* papers, matter-of-factly. “It is best explained by strategic misrepresentation — that is, lying.”

Don’t think for a minute that this problem is limited to large public-works projects.
It permeates every branch of government and every political party.
It’s not just that they don’t know what they are doing:

It’s not technical challenges or complexity or bad luck, he asserts. If that were so, you’d get more variation in how it all turns out. He concludes the backers of these projects suffer from two main maladies.
One is “delusional optimism” — they want it so badly, they can’t see its flaws. I know about this firsthand from when I supported the monorail.
The second is worse: They knowingly are lying to the public.

Large public-works projects are small compared to wars and massive social programs and the same maladies apply.

*The person referred to is Bent Flyvbjerg. See here and here for more detailed information