Friday, August 1, 2014

What's Wrong With Congress? from Collier's Weekly, 1933 (read by Tom O'Bedlam)

The essential problem is the same. The issues are different. - but that hardly matters. The problem isn't how we avoid falling off the Fiscal Cliff - it is why we delayed action until we stood at the very edge of the precipice. 

Joseph Gurney Cannon was speaker of the House of Representatives from 1903 to 1911, and "historians consider him to be the most dominant Speaker in United States history with such control over the House that he could often control debate."

Thomas Bracket Reed, Speaker of the House of Representatives 1889-1891 and 1895-1899, was 6ft 3 ins tall and weighed nearly 300 lbs. He was by no means a lightweight, and not a man to be dismissed lightly.

Nelson Wilmarth Aldrich was leader of the Republican Party in the Senate, where he served from 1881 to 1911. "He was referred to by the press and public alike as the General Manager of the Nation, dominating all tariff and monetary policies in the first decade of the 20th century."

The Napoleonic Code forbids privilege based on birth, allows freedom of religion, and specifies that government jobs should go to the most qualified.