Home | About | Donate

The Awesome Life of an American Congressman


#1

The Awesome Life of an American Congressman

Michael Winship

We could go on about the inherent contradiction of “Downton Abbey” as the biggest hit on public television – that a series about a fading, genteel (and Gentile) British aristocracy and its servants dominates the schedule of a broadcasting service mandated to promote diversity and give a voice to the underrepresented. And sometime soon, we will talk about precisely that and more.


#2

The median value for congresscreature wealth is less interesting and less important, because there are as many under that value as over it, than the modal value(s), the value(s) (rounded, say, to the nearest 250K or 500K) that appear(s) most frequently.

What would be most informative is a bar chart that captures mode(s), median, and distribution. Any chance of getting that?


#3

Move over Paul Ryan, there's a new poster boy for Reagan; Schock was even conceived under Ronnie's watchful eye.


#4

Sociopaths R Us


#5

And megalomaniacs ...


#7

Most congress people have over a million in assets, ditto Senate. You're playing a little game of statistical minutiae in order to cover the FACT that most in a position to allegedly represent The People, either are part of the 1% or act as its well-paid loyal enablers. THAT is pertinent since policies in America are a Western more covert version of that same Austerity (a/k/a Shock Doctrine) being done unto Greece and other E.U. lands.

Another smirking Scott Walker clone... they're a dime a dozen as republican "rising stars" in that they're photogenic before a camera and can smile while speaking the mantra that eagerly cuts basic necessities from society's most vulnerable. They don't even blink at the thought, let alone act of taking the cane away from Grandma as she crosses the busy street.

Sooner or later, most of these clowns are exposed for some kind of extra-curricular unorthodox sexual behavior.

Hope Aaraon's photographer catches that ONE, too!


#8

Another blanket assumption that takes what's true for mostly Mars-ruled Anglo-saxon males (and/or those willing to utilize any aggressive or coercive means possible) and generalizes it to arguably fit ALL OTHER members of the human tribal family.

No. Sociopaths are Scott Walker, Rick Scott, Chris Christie, Paul Ryan and other white male shit heads who don't give a flying fig about anything but their own cocksure egos.

Yeah. A few women have joined the Mars-ruled race to the moral basement of depravity in recent years, but that HARDLY makes up for centuries of gender-based oppression, much of it still ongoing.

Ditto for the use of Black Tokens... just because Obama and Condi Rice and Eric Holder do the elites' bidding hardly means that ALL Blacks feel, think, act or would act THAT way.

The dominant example is what is held up... it is NOT a true portrait of the whole.


#9

Wrong!

The problem is not what the alleged sheeple allegedly prefer.

It's what is propped up AS choice.

And choice, across a huge nation requires visibility; and visibility in a world of commercially privatized TV, radio, and newsprint means Big Money.

Big Money runs the show.

Big Money funds the candidates.

Big Money decides who can be viable.

Big Money slurs enough crap until it sticks... at people who stand outside of its system and
represent a threat to it (along with its elaborate controls).

No. It's not that people choose poorly; it's that choice itself reflects a limited choice pool.

Sad that Disqus may have shifted, but once again, the posters are back that act as a chorus to consistently turn every evidence of Power Abuse into the ruse that "The People are responsible."

Actually, for all the emphasis on Personal Responsibility so beloved by authoritarians far and wide, how about letting actual responsible persons OWN what they did and do!


#10

It is a thing of continual befuddlement that phucks like this can go day-tripping all over the globe and come back in one piece, or at all. But, raised on the imaginary world of American entertainment we all know that the "bad guys" are terrible shots. So only aid workers and journalists get kidnapped and executed by "our enemies." Wait - what?


#11

Susan, I'm not trying to cover up anything. You don't see the usefulness of the modal value(s)?

The mean is biased by outliers. If you have 9 people earning 10K each p.a., and 1 getting 100K, the mean will be 19K, making it seem as though everyone is doing better than they really are.

The median ignores gaps. If you have 10 people surviving on 10K p.a., 1 getting 90K, and 10 getting 100K, that 90K is the median, hiding the unfairness.

The mode is the highest-frequency value(s). The 10 earning 10k, 1 getting 90k, and 10 getting 100k would be bimodal, with modes of 10 and 100. The unfairness is much more visible.


#12

As if I need an education in how the "law of averages" operates. As a lawyer I once dated put it, "Statistics lie and liars use statistics." I think the fundamental issue is that Congress, as well as the Senate are primarily composed of persons who have LOTS of money. The FACT that you wish to down play this by tweaking statistics is the telling item. But then, few are the occasions when you stand with anything other than Status Quo Powers and the System that's bred it.


#13

People who revere bling like to exhibit theirs. It takes money... Need I say more? That voters go for that stuff is incomprehensible until one looks at their interest in the likes of, well, any one who has bling-money. Very weird to admire the vulture who is eating your liver.


#14

Mairead,

Very good points.

But unfortunately, based on her response, it looks your basic and elementary descriptive statistics lesson went entirely over Ms. Rose's head.


#15

I wasn't trying to explain the "law of averages", which is something else, namely the incorrect idea that, e.g., 10 tosses of a coin should come heads 5 times if the coin is fair. It's a misunderstanding of the real law that says random outcomes always pile up evenly, i.e. neatly on the mean, but only over an infinite series.

As to the value of statistics, you're too young to remember it, but back in the day we used statistics to prove that women were getting stiffed in matters of hiring, pay, working conditions, promotion, and retention. That's where the EEO laws came from. You must have been dating a corporate lawyer.


#16

And Real Estate holdings are not counted as part of their wealth????? WOW, to everone I know, any, if any, real estate would be the most desired and valuable assets to own.


#17

Yes, that is a lacuna in the data. Unimportant, of course. smiling_imp


#18

Would appear that his name is missing an L. In reality he is no better or worse than any of this new flock of corporate dilettantes that have been foisted upon a gullible electorate. Perhaps we should be pleased that he is enjoying his new job since he can't do much damage from Patagonian Mountain tops.
A check with Wikipedia will show him to be an energetic and up and coming party faithful and, if he can manage his excesses, will be a factor on capitol Hill for a long time.


#19

The greatest irony is that people count on getting screwed by representative government's rich politicians but resist changing an easily corrupted system by getting rid of politicians. This system was invented by our oligarch forefathers to stay in power and could be changed with a people's website.

Do we need politicians to make our laws when we can make our laws democratically online with encryption?

This massive Stockholm Syndrome that makes us depend on politicians, this fear driven opposition to direct democracy is instilled early by schooling and media conditioning. Until we break this frame, people will find themselves helping Schock and Co. in this monumental public screwing.


#20

This subject is a story in myopia. The problem in Congress and in politics in general is not the individuals in office. While many or most are indeed detestable, they are no better or worse than the general population. The problem is the SYSTEM. Almost anybody who has to raise obscene amounts of money to get and stay elected, who become servants of special interests, who profit by gerrymandering and perpetuate it, and who fall victim to greed and are not subject to term limits will be corrupted regardless of their innate morality or idealism. DON'T TREAT THE SYMPTOMS OF THIS SOCIAL AND POLITICAL DISEASE, TREAT THE DISEASE--THE SYSTEM!


#21

Belatedly, but I feel I must comment.
As it stands, under the present gerrymandering process, "safe" congressional districts exist as a fact of political life in the US of A.
Aspirants, telegenic, articulate folks who likely would be economic failures in any other profession, seek corporate sponsorship, get vetted as players and their campaigns get funded--a joke, as the election is theirs to lose should they commit an extreme faux pas while on the campaign trail.
Their handlers concoct an image and a clever slogan or two and its off to the races. Name recognition is really the name of the game so that when the voter enters the booth he "chooses" between his party's candidate or the other party's candidate, as opposed to the bleakly underfunded third party candidates whom the voter sees for the first time.
Some campaigns cost more than others. Sponsors count the votes they will need from a particular party on a particular issue/worldview, and fund accordingly knowing ahead of time they have backed a "winner"---much like a fixed horserace, which is the way the MSM "covers" elections nowadays. No surprises there. Please read Hellinger and Judd's The Democratic Façade.
Aaron Schock is just another link in the chain of our "inverted totalitarianism."
Unless we seriously back and campaign on behalf of grassroots candidates, run for office ourselves, and/or reform our current campaign finance laws, we will continue to witness the relentlessly depressing elections of these "world's-oldest-profession"-type politicians...
Be well.