You know, it's not all health care in Washington nowadays.
In tracking down the goings-on of your local congressional reps, I found that they've also been wrestling over everything from higher credit-card rates for you to higher salaries for themselves.
Nobel Prize and campaign foolishness aplenty.
So let's get started.
Big pay daze
Years ago, the cowards in Congress took a yellow-bellied approach to increasing their own pay. They voted to give themselves automatic raises every year — regardless of the economy or whether they had earned it.
They're now up to earning $174,000 a year.
Fortunately, there's a growing movement to stop the automatic raises: a bipartisan bill whose local co-sponsors include Democrat Suzanne Kosmas and Republicans Bill Posey and Cliff Stearns.
Kosmas signed onto the bill on her first day in office. And Posey put his money where his mouth was just last week, donating this year's $4,700 raise back to the Treasury, saying: "Congress should not have raised their own pay as hard times started to fall on many Americans."
The bill has 116 co-sponsors so far. Winter Park Republican John Mica, who has voted against pay raises in the past, said Tuesday he hopes to be No. 117.
Good. If these folks want to give themselves more money each year, they should at least be man and woman enough to vote to do so every year — and then face voters back home.
A one-woman fringe festival?
I've praised Brooksville Republican Ginny Brown-Waite in the past for her renegade and maverick stands on issues such as importing prescription drugs, pay raises and stem-cell research.
But she seems to be steadily drifting away from the mainstream and into the fringe-stream.
It started back when "Freedom fries" and France-bashing was all the rage. Brown-Waite actually suggested digging up the bodies of American soldiers in French cemeteries, shipping the corpses back to the U.S. and re-burying them in "patriotic soil."
Now she's back in the fringe-light, teaming up with Ron Paul and Cliff Stearns to demand that President Barack Obama ask permission from Congress before accepting the Nobel Prize.
Brown-Waite says she'd grant Obama permission to accept the award. She just wants him to ask first, because the three think they've spied a passage in the Constitution that requires it.
The award was over the top. Even the president called himself undeserving. But really, don't you guys have anything better to do?
Besides, what kind of Freedom-fry-and-American-soil-loving patriot tries to tarnish her own country's Nobel Prize?
Look at what else Congress is up to . . .
We've upgraded our reader commenting system. Learn more about the new features.
The Baltimore Sun encourages civil dialogue related to our stories; you must register and log-in to our site in order to participate. We reserve the right to remove any user and to delete comments that violate our Terms of Service. By commenting, you agree to these terms. Please flag inappropriate comments.