I’ve always found C-SPAN interesting, but not engaging enough to sit down and watch most times. Occasionally they’ll have a good show on, but often they’ll just show live footage of the House or Senate which can be pretty slow.
Yesterday it occurred to me that I could stream it at work and listen while I worked, which I did all day. It was interesting, and worth doing again. Among the things I heard:
- One congresswoman reading from a Dr. Seuss book, and explaining how important reading is. It was the National Education Association’s Read Across America day.
- The White House Daily Briefing with Obama’s Press Secretary Robert Gibbs. This time was spent in part with him answering questions about recent comments from Jim Cramer (who said Obama has caused “the greatest wealth destruction I have seen by a president.”) and recent comments from Rush Limbaugh. There were also a number of questions which could be paraphrased as “Obama said [insert vague statement here] about the economy, what precisely [did he mean / will he do] about about that?” which were largely answered by some degree of clarification, and usually some promise about him releasing more details soon.
- There was a fairly lengthy debate about re-authorizing the “Civil War Battlefield Preservation Act” which from what I gathered is some spending bill regarding battlefields in the South.
- There was some discussion of the economy taking place, but I don’t know under what context (that is, I don’t know if the legislators were voting on something.) I was amazed at the lack of depth in discourse. People were just re-iterating soundbites such as “Socialism is great until you run out of other people’s money.” Not so much a debate as a battle of catchphrases.
I’m currently listening to a debate as to whether or not March should be considered “National Criminal Awareness Month”. And, I’m not joking, Rep Zoe Lofgren from California just said that it would help make Americans more aware of how harmful crime is.
It’s eye-opening to see how congress spends it’s time, and how they conduct themselves. I’m hoping that if I listen enough I’ll have a better understanding of how things work there. At present I cannot understand why someone would stand up and read from “Oh the places you’ll go.” I’m not trying to be critical, I genuinely don’t understand why.