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Mr. Smith goes to...Florida?

Day 683, 22:57 Published in USA USA by Bradley Reala

My first week in Congress

How to begin? I've so little to say and so much time to say it in...wait. Reverse that.

To be honest, I've felt a bit like Mr. Smith, though in the good way, not the bad. If you're an old movie buff like me, you might think I'm insulting Congress by saying that, but trust me, I'm not. Congress has been great, it's a very non-partisan community and the people are willing to listen even if you're not the most experienced member. I feel like Mr. Smith because, like him, I think I was a bit naive going into Congress. Oh sure, I had an idea of what went on, but there's nothing that prepares you for all the things you'll encounter as a Congressman, and I'm only in my first week! It's been a great experience, but like everything, it's a learning experience. I've been very lucky to have some very awesome people who have been willing to help me, and I'm sure I've pestered a few of them out of their minds.

So what has the first week had for me?

I'll begin by putting my voting record up, just because I noticed that Dodgercatcher said that putting a voting record in an article separates the active senators from the in-actives.

9/26/09 Donation: Did not vote
9/27/09 MPP with Romania: Did not vote
9/27/09 Issue Money: Yes
9/28/09 New Citizen Message: Yes
9/28/09 Donation: Yes
9/29/09 Donation: Yes
9/30/09 Donation: Yes
10/1/09 Donation: Yes
10/1/09 Finland Peace Treaty: Yes
10/2/09 Donation: Yes
10/3/09 Donation: Yes
10/4/09 Minimum Wage Change: No
10/4/09 New Citizen Fee Change: No
10/4/09 Donate: Yes

(I stole your list, Dodger, hope you don't mind.) I'll admit, I was somewhat overwhelmed at first, and so the first two votes caught me a bit off guard. Had I been a bit less overwhelmed, I would have voted yes to it. All the votes so far have been very routine and non-controversial. For an little bit more information on the 28th and 29th's votes, you can read here, but because Astra hasn't had the time (she's very busy, and total props to her for her most recent article) I'll take the liberty of doing my own little commentary in her style.

Proposal: Donate
Proposed by: DisDick
Description: Do you agree to transfer 99999 USD from the country accounts to Congressional Budget Office?
Voting Choice: Yes
Result: 44 Yes, 0 No
Details: Basically a very routine proposal, not controversial in the least.

Proposal: Donate
Proposed by: Aaron S
Description: Do you agree to transfer 7915 FRF from the country accounts to Congressional Budget Office?
Voting Choice: Yes
Result: 43 Yes, 0 No
Details: Same as above, we do these to turn the unusable currency into usable gold for the eUS.

Proposal: Peace Proposal
Proposed by: avec
Description: The President of Finland demanded a sum of demand 0 from your National Treasury in return to a peace treaty with USA.
Voting Choice: Yes
Result: 24 Yes, 0 No
Details: Just tying up a loose end from the the Scandinavian Region swaps.

Proposal: Donate
Proposed by: 2000max
Description: Do you agree to transfer 3318 COP from the country accounts to Congressional Budget Office?
Voting Choice: Yes
Result: 40 Yes, 0 No
Details: A quick note on these, for those not "in the know." The outcomes of these are basically known from the start. They're very routine, and are good things for younger Senators to volunteer to do to learn the lawmaking process because of this. I haven't done one yet, but I plan to do at least one unless my two proposals are needed elsewhere.

Proposal: Donate
Proposed by: Serendipitous
Description: Do you agree to transfer 6486 PTE from the country accounts to Congressional Budget Office?
Voting Choice: Yes
Result: 45 Yes, 0 No
Details: I'm running out of details for these things...ah the life of a Senator.

Proposal: Minimum Wage
Proposed by: Muljo Gobet
Description: Minimum wage change from 1 USD to 1.01 USD
Voting Choice: No
Result: 0 Yes, 33 No (so far...)
Details: This was somewhat an unfortunate proposal, because it marked the loss of Muljo as a Senator. His army duties got in the way of his Senatorial duties, and so as a parting gift he proposed these so all we Senators could gain 2 exp from the pair of votes that we cast on this and the next proposal.

Proposal: New Citizen Fee
Proposed by: Muljo Gobet
Description: Citizen fee change from 5 USD to 5.01 USD
Voting Choice: No
Result: 0 Yes, 33 No (so far...)
Details: Quick insight: These are what we usually call "lulz" proposals, and are usually used at the end of the term to gain a bit of extra exp and get rid of the left over proposals. Unfortunately, due to a number so great Senators being elected this term, we had four to six of these get proposed at the beginning of the term. *Annoyance*

Proposal: Donate
Proposed by: Rheinlander von Phalz
Description: Do you agree to transfer 1704 CAD from the country accounts to Congressional Budget Office?
Voting Choice: Yes
Result: 26 Yes, 0 No (so far...)
Details:The last three of the proposals have not finished voting yet, but they've all passed the point where it's certain of their outcome. We have one Senator from each state, and at the time of the election we only had 47 states (instead of our current 49) it only takes 24 votes to pass a proposal. Once it passes that threshold, even if every other Senator votes no, it will still pass. The same goes for it being rejected.

So that, in a nut shell, is my voting record, and what the congress as a whole is doing. Stepping away from the votes, though, I was named to the Government Oversight Committee, and we've begun working already. A few other things that are a bit more mundane than the donations have gone on, as well as a few more interesting debates (about infrastructure mostly, but also about Peru). All in all, after the initial shock of being a Senator wore off, I've been very happy to be working with the 22nd Congress. This is a great bunch of people.

This is not an endorsement

I've seen a few Senators announce their endorsements of a particular candidate for President. I'm not going to do that, because honestly I feel that it's not my place. I just don't like the idea of endorsing a candidate officially. I'm sure most of you know how I'll be voting, because I have announced which candidate I like more, but I won't be giving an official endorsement (it's not like my word carries too much weight anyway. XD) That said, I've made it a point to subscribe to the top two contender's newspapers (and subsequently their VP pick's newspapers too) and I suggest you do too. It is only by reading their newspapers that you can really get a feel for which candidate suits you best. In no particular order:

You can find Gaius Julius' newspaper here: The Federalist Papers
You can find Woxan's newspaper here: The Smoke-Filled Room
You can find Cerb's newspaper here: The Mythic Tribune
And you can find Jewitt's newspaper here: The Jewitt Report

And just because I like him, here's Emerick's Paper as well: Free Corea


Subscribe to these papers, read them, educate yourselves. The two Presidential Candidates are both excellent, and they both deserve the time it takes to click on each of their newspapers. If you'd like a good, and non-biased look at their platforms, coupled with a mostly unbiased commentary on them, check here. Astra did a great job of summing up their platforms (though, since this was published, Gaius Julius has put out an article detailing his domestic plans, and you ought to read those for yourselves).

Well, that's really all I have to say. I hope you all enjoyed this, but now I'm going to return to my tea, and nursing a minor bronchial infection. Thanks for your time, America.


Michael Porter
Michael Porter Day 683, 23:12

good article. Tennessee gave us a good representative.

Dik-in-a-Box LLC
Dik-in-a-Box LLC Day 683, 23:15

Mr. Smith Goes to Washington was a fantastic movie, FTW

Bradley Reala
Bradley Reala Day 683, 23:28

Thank you Michael.

Yeah, D-i-a-B, and trust me, you'll see a lot of older movies being referenced by me. Of my favorite movies, Casablanca, 1776, Gone With the Wind, and The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance are in the top five alongside Mr. Smith goes to Washington. The Longest Day, The Maltese Falcon, and To Kill a Mockingbird, among others, rank up there too. (I'm a huge fan of John Wayne, Humphrey Bogart, Clarke Gable, and Gregory Peck)...I could go on and on about great movies...

Astra Kat G
Astra Kat G Day 684, 10:55

Great, Bradley. 😃 I also don't do endorsements, for the same reason.

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