consultants are sandburs

Tuesday, August 04, 2015

At least it was not Emmer. It could have been, but either unlike others he is busy at the real job, or he has more self awareness and self resraint: (I never thought I would be saying that about Emmer.) Bear in mind for this session of Congress, so far, the number is 364 and not (yet) 666.

Not a self apparent headline? Well, it relates to a WaPo item (with a hat tip to the good friend who sent the link); the item beginning:

364 bills that have been introduced in Congress, ranked by acronym quality
By Philip Bump August 3 at 10:12 AM

On Friday, in the grand tradition of politicians seeking to capitalize on a cultural moment, Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) introduced a bill aimed at reducing the number of "trophy killings" of African wildlife. This, of course, was in response to last week's news that a Minnesota dentist had killed a lion in Zimbabwe after it was lured out of its habitat -- the killing that launched a million thinkpieces.

Menendez cobbled together an apt acronym for his measure. The bill is titled, "Conserving Ecosystems by Ceasing the Importation of Large Animal Trophies Act." Or, the CECIL Act.

Ouch. What, shoot the staffer who did that to the Senator, stuff and hang his head on an office wall as a trophy? Or as a warning to other staffers, "Don't get carried away?"

CECIL bill titling is stupid. No two ways about that.

Surely the bill is well-intended, but isn't it reaching to have Obama signing a CECIL Act? What if they'd named the lion Rumpelstiltskin? If that, pity the poor officer of the Senate who has to read bill titles into the record before the start of floor debate. He could get winded half way through. And once there is the Senator's CECIL bill open on the floor for amendment, can you imagine amendment acronyms from allegedly over-worked people?

Moreover, as a hypothetical there could even be an offered and debated "Ivory Sales Market Yields Noble Animals' Merciless Execution" (or IsMyName) amendment proposed to a Rumpelstiltskin bill, were the beast named that instead of Cecil.

It invites scorn. Indeed, it earns scorn.

Continuing, more from the WaPo item [italics in original]:

Politicians love acronyms. Love them. [...] So far in this Congress, still less than a year old, there have been over 350 acronym-bills introduced in the House and Senate.

And we know this, because we ranked them all by quality.

[... omitting WaPo's "quality" judgment criteria, and then sampling from the countdown-to-number-one listing, consider]

349. STOP Identity Theft Act of 2015 - Stopping Tax Offenders and Prosecuting Identity Theft Act of 2015. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.)

[...] 336. ACCTION Act of 2015 - Advanced Clean Coal Technology Investment in Our Nation Act of 2015. Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.)

[...] 302. TALENT Act - To Aid Gifted and High-Ability Learners by Empowering the Nation's Teachers Act. Rep. Jared Polis (D-Colo.)


42. DRIVE Act of 2015 - Developing Roadway Infrastructure for a Vibrant Economy Act of 2015. Rep. Thomas Massie (R-Ky.)

41. REDEEM Act - Record Expungement Designed to Enhance Employment Act of 2015. Rep. Chaka Fattah (D-Pa.)


9. SPEAK FREE Act of 2015 - Securing Participation, Engagement, and Knowledge Freedom by Reducing Egregious Efforts Act of 2015. Rep. Blake Farenthold (R-Tex.)

"Egregious" is pretty forced. But otherwise, nice work from the young representative from Texas.

8. STREAM Act - Supporting Transparent Regulatory and Environmental Actions in Mining Act. Rep. Alex Mooney (R-W.Va.)

Clever, topical, unforced.

7. JAWS Act - Justice Attributed to Wounded Sharks Act. Rep. Blake Farenthold (R-Tex.)


And yes, you need to check WaPo for the final countdown and to be positioned to argue overall ordering.

The only question, one not touching our delegates in DC, is it worth the time?

With such a multitude of willing self-congratulating authors of acronym premised bills, to add clarity presumably; you gotta wonder - with TPP, TPA, TAA, TTIP, what is it those dudes in both parties wish to obscure? If anything? Is it just a failure of creativity with big stakes, not having it to want the last buzzer-beating shot or the at bat, two out in the ninth, bases loaded, down three runs: but comfortably okay with a JAWS bill about sharks; or is it - just perhaps - something sinister and enamored of "Nothing to see here, let's move along folks, clear a path now"?

Only asking. I cannot read minds. I can only marvel at when-they-want-to and when-they-appear-to-not juxtaposed, a conundrum for someone more astute than me to reconstruct and rationalize.

Absent that, the buggers pure and simple have something to hide in TPP, TPA, TAA, TTIP, usage. That is as good a premise as any other. Prove me wrong.

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