Category Archives: Congressman Beechly

Screenshot 2014-08-14 at 8.23.40 PM

Give Me A “K”!

Today’s post comes from Congressman Loomis Beechly, representing Minnesota’s 9th District – all the water surface area in the state.

Greetings, Constituents!

For everyone who has complained to me during the past 20 years or so that ‘Congress can’t get anything done!”, I’m delighted to bring you this latest bit of news: the scientists at Harvard have developed a simple robot that is better at co-operation than any elected representative you are likely to meet – and it is also just about as dumb!

Not quite, but nearly.

Researchers have dubbed their new minions “kilobots”, and in a report coming out today we learn that one thousand of these tiny stiff-legged automatons can, by following simple commands, co-operate themselves into any shape..

For purposes of experimentation, they limited it to three options – a wrench, a five-pointed star, and the letter “K”.

I find it utterly amazing that so many tiny minds can easily work together to realize an outcome that is larger than themselves, and the programming is so simple, no one robot needs to know or understand what the result is supposed to be.

They just follow instructions! Here’s a video of the Harvard Kilobots at work:

The moment I saw this, I realized that if the American people really want a Congress that gets things done, they can have it. But for your elected representatives, this is quite troubling news because it means we are in serious jeopardy of being replaced by kilobots!

So to head off the inevitable call for a programmable Congress of repro-bots, I sent out an e-mail blast to my 435 colleagues suggesting that we need to prove ASAP that we are capable of some basic acts of cooperation.

I proposed that we assemble outside on the Capitol steps to form a letter “K”. I figured if we could do it more quickly and more colorfully than Harvard’s tiny machines, that would be a point in our favor.

But I did not realize how complicated this request was. Here are the responses I got:

  • 95 members of Congress did not answer.
  • 89 demanded to know how this demonstration would be funded.
  • 62 insisted on having a position on the outside edge of the “K”.
  • 50 disagreed that anything worthwhile happened at Harvard.
  • 43 wanted final say over who they would be standing next to.
  • 40 were unaware know the Capitol had steps outside.
  • 21 asked for a different letter that is part of their state’s name.
  • 17 wanted to know exactly what the “K” stood for.
  • 12 condemned me for trying to spell “Kommunist”.
  • 6 would only consent if this somehow repealed Obama Care.

The idea proved to be so contentious, we had to abandon it for the time being. Though I am hopeful that once Congress returns from recess, we can re-boot and form something less controversial than a letter, like a popular shape.

A boot would be good, or perhaps a dollar sign?

In the meantime, please remember that I am still your humble servant, and while I may not be able to finish tasks or share duties like a robot, I still have more in common with you than a simple machine does.

For now.

Your (human) Representative,
Loomis Beechly

What would it take for a robot to replace you? 

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Names For Success!

Today’s post comes from Congressman Loomis Beechly, representing all the water surface area in the state of Minnesota.

Greetings, Constituents!

I’m ramping up my re-election campaign, doing everything I can to build on the momentum created my audacious and highly comment-able plan to design, build, launch and set fire to a coal-powered American Sun that will finally challenge the existing and highly suspect terrorist-sympathizing star at the center of our solar system that insists on shooting deadly rays at us!

Everyone else seems to think we are stuck orbiting it forever, but I say nonsense! America is all about competition. So let’s get our own dog into this fight may the best sun win!

And since America is all about winning, I want our children to be able to out-compete everyone – even each other – by having every possible advantage. That’s why I was shocked to read that many of our youth are already suffering from an economic malaise that comes with being given less-than-prosperous names.

According to the article, upon hearing someone’s name for the first time, we instantly set in motion a rapid sequence of biased judgments that profoundly influence how we feel about that person. Thus the cultural cues embedded in your name can determine your educational, romantic and job prospects for a lifetime.

This is a travesty!

That’s why I’ve introduced the Prosperous Names Act of 2014, although in keeping with the theory behind the Prosperous Names Act, I actually call it The Civil Rights Act of 2014. That’s because The Civil Rights Act of 1964 was an incredibly successful piece of legislation that is still being celebrated today!

The Prosperous Names Act requires Americans to learn the lessons of the past. Since no child should be saddled with a name that inhibits their advancement, the PNA requires that by age 5 they assume a nom de guerre modeled after Americans who have already demonstrated an aptitude for success.

For example, let’s take two names that are not proven “winners” in the marketplace of identities.

“Loomis” and “Beechly” come to mind immediately.

There’s nothing fundamentally wrong with my names, though I have had to fight against the odd weight of them my entire life. Has it made me stronger? Perhaps. But if, at age 4, I had taken on a more obviously successful three name combination that spoke of wealth and achievement to people of my generation – something like “Mark Twain Rockefeller”, I would probably be a Senator now rather than a mere shadow Congressman.

Think about today’s children.

What if they showed up for that first day of school with name tags that read “Oprah Musk Buffett”, “Walton Koch Murdoch” or “Barack Beyonce Bezos” – names that speak of accomplishment in the arts, industry, science, and politics. But mostly, in accumulating money. Wouldn’t their roads be easier?

I think so, and I should know! Or my name isn’t Denzel Gates Zuckerberg!

Your Congressman,
(see above)

What would you choose for your “nom de guerre”?

Angry_sun

Here Comes The Sun

Today’s post comes from Congressman Loomis Beechly, representing Minnesota’s 9th District – all the water surface area in the state.

Greetings, Constituents,

I’m deeply alarmed, as I’m sure you are, about news of the latest unprovoked and senseless attack to be launched in such a careless way it could have had serious repercussions for a great many people.

No, I’m not talking about any of the missiles flying back and forth between Israel and Gaza, although of course those are very bad too.

I’m talking about a brazen attempt by our own Sun to take us out .

Information just released by NASA reveals that this sneak attack was so clandestine we’re just figuring out that it happened two summers ago. Fortunately this reckless “solar storm” was poorly timed and flew past planet Earth a week too late – otherwise it would have played havoc with our power grid and destroyed our electrical devices to the tune of 2 trillion dollars.

And as you know, our electrical devices are our very soul.  Not to mention 98% of our memories!

Because I have been in Congress for a while, I know that my colleagues will not let this stand, especially in an election year. I also know that no legislation can pass without an aggressive, vindictive edge.  No doubt within days there will be calls for our weakling President to fire back at the Sun so it doesn’t get the idea that it can wantonly eject supercharged particles in our direction.

I’ve decided this situation calls for an “if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em” strategy. It is essential that we respond to this attack – otherwise the Sun will see us as weak and ineffective.

To paraphrase Wayne LaPierre of the National Rifle Association, “The only thing that stops a bad ray from the sun is a good guy with another, different, American sun.”

And because I believe I will lose in November if I don’t paraphrase Wayne LaPierre, I propose we embark on a crash program right now – a Kennedy-style moon-shot challenge – to build our own version of the Sun that can shoot back at the terrorist orb we orbit.

Expensive? Of course. Security is always pricey, but maybe it will cost more to do nothing. Let’s say it will!

Fortunately, America has a lot of coal that is increasingly controversial right now because burning it in our power plants fouls the air. My “American Sun” bill will lift that coal into space, where we can burn it outside the atmosphere and use it to fuel our own, better, friendlier version of this legendary “Chariot of Fire” that has so recently been converted into a terrorist threat.

No doubt there are so-called “scientists” who will say defeatist things like “you can’t burn coal in space” and will claim that the sun is an inanimate object that can’t be intimidated.

But I say “find a way to make it work.” Because even if the sun does not back down, there will be economic benefits. With so many nations turning to solar power (I’m looking at you, Germany!), having an American sun in space will put us on top as a global energy supplier. We can position our sun on the dark side of planet, giving us half of every day to get the rest of Earth hooked on American coal powered light.

But how will we pay?

Again, I have taken a hard look at the votes in Congress and I see that there is little support for taking the money from anywhere except poor people and undocumented immigrant children.

I know we are sending these kids back across the border as fast as we can, but can’t we empty their pockets first? Someday they will thank us if we can use their pocket change to build a Counter-Sun to prevent the destruction of the computers and video games these wanna-be Americans hope to someday be able to play secretly at the desk jobs they dream of stealing from people who were born on our soil!

In short, my plan is our only hope. It is expensive, audacious, militaristic, and unscientific (in a good way!). I believe it has the votes to pass. And just to be sure that it does – it also repeals Obamacare!

Aggressively,
Your Congressman,
Loomis Beechly

What would you do if no electrical devices worked. For a year?

beechly-speech

Ice Out!

Today’s post comes from Congressman Loomis Beechly, representing Minnesota’s 9th District – all the water surface area in the state.

Greetings 9th Districters!

Finally, we are in the season when things in the fabled 9th have literally become more fluid as the ice has been declared “out” over almost the entire district, give or take a few of the far, far northern lakes where pond hockey continues almost to the 4th of July.

This relative warmth relaxes and releases things.

As your elected representative I have been frozen, just like you, through most of the winter. I see that I have only produced three formal press statements since last November!

Critics say this has to do with my management style – namely that my staff hates working for me and they’re frustrated over constantly shifting positions and policy decisions. But I prefer to think of my office as a high-expectations environment where my demanding standards can surprise some under-prepared and off-balance assistants.

Yes, there is a lot of turnover in my office. But that creates opportunity for fresh-faced young people to learn first-hand how disheartening the world of work can really be! So if you know any youth who need such a lesson, have them contact me ASAP, since I’m doing pretty much everything on my own right now!

I’m not complaining. As many highly driven, financially successful business leaders like Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling will tell you, spare-time pursuits like self-reflection and second-thoughting are highly overrated. If you have something to say, why not just get it out there, unfiltered?

Accordingly, here’s the big news – with the softening terrain there will be an influx of visitors from exotic distant locales like Chicago and Denver. And with them come jobs! It would be wrong for me to take personal credit for the seasonal uptick in employment, but job numbers are looking better nationwide, as long as you don’t look at the other numbers that aren’t as encouraging.

That’s welcome news that might not have happened if there was a different person representing you in Washington. How so? Previous staffers have discouraged me from “going public” with this line of reasoning, but my logic has been upheld in literally dozens of time-travel scenarios. Changing one historic detail puts everything else in flux, so consider these items linked – I am in office and tourist dollars are on the way. End of story!

And with those visitors comes an increase in work all across the 9th district to guide, feed, lodge, entertain and clean up after our guests! And by “we”, I mean “you”, since I don’t deal personally with tourists even though I am a people person! Most of the people I schmooze are funders and power brokers – folks just like me who happen to have things that I need, like money or a vote. So of course I love them and we get along famously!

Ordinary tourists are more like demanding constituents who have many urgent needs and not a lot to offer in exchange. I realize that may not sound so good, so disregard it if you’re starting to feel mad. We’re a little short staffed right now, and having to handle your tirade will not make things any easier down at the office.

Besides, I could use the relief. It’s spring!

That’s all for now. God Bless America and so forth!

Your Congressman,
Loomis Beechly

Does it help things to speak freely?

Congressman Beechly's State of the Shanty Adddress

Money Storm!

Today’s post is a fundraising letter from Congressman Loomis Beechly, representing Minnesota’s 9th District – all the water surface area in the state.

Greetings Constituents,

Yes, the forecast is alarming.

But I want to assure you that I am fully aware that a deluge is headed this way, and I have taken every possible step to prepare for the coming storm.

The expected onslaught will yield unprecedented piles and prodigious accumulations – exactly the type of crisis I have dreamed of facing from the moment I was sworn into this office.

And now, thanks to the Supreme Court, it is coming true. The country’s richest people are finally free to dump boatloads of money on me!

The court’s ruling in the McCutcheon case means individual Americans are no longer limited in the number of politicians they can support with direct contributions. While they will still have a $2600 ceiling per candidate per election, the overall election cycle restriction of $48,600 for Federal office seekers has been removed.

So if you have ever said to me, “Really, you’re the next Congressman I’d write a check to if I hadn’t already hit the limit!”, the McCutcheon decision means that excuse is gone and now is the time to pony up.

And yes, I realize that $2,600 would buy a very nice pony indeed, but as I’ve said at hundreds of chicken dinner fundraisers over the past ten years, “Why waste that kind of cash on such an extravagant gift for your daughter when I’ll be more grateful and I’ll actually listen when you call to offer your sage advice!”

Don’t expect others to take care of this. I don’t have any illusions about this making much difference to the average residential contributor in the waterlogged 9th district. After all, most people who live on the lake have boats, and boats consume dollars faster than horses eat oats. Ordinary people would be much better off giving their money to some worthy non-profit, like your local community radio station!

But major, major, bottomless-bank-account political funders coast to coast – you’ve got the resources and you know who you are. You now have it within your reach to make a maximum offering to every member of Congress! And what hobbyist hasn’t dreamed of collecting the complete set?

Trust me, the complete set has dreamed of being collected by you!

Mega-donors, your phone is about to start ringing. Yes, there will be pleading, cajoling, and some begging. The clamoring voices of Congressmen may all begin to sound the same to you, but if, in the background, you hear the call of a loon, that will be me!

Seriously,
Congressman Loomis Beechly
Minnesota’s 9th

Ever been strong-armed?

nobel-peace-prize

Possibly As Qualified As Anyone

Today’s post comes from Congressman Loomis Beechly, representing Minnesota’s 9th District – all the water surface area in the state.

Congressman Beechly's State of the Shanty Adddress
Congressman Beechly’s State of the Shanty Adddress

Greetings Constituents,

You may have noticed the 9th District is getting mentioned in the news lately but if you haven’t been paying close attention I want to assure you that nothing is probably wrong. That blurry film clip of a young man losing his footing and falling out of the frame could have been caused by anything, and the suggestion that I intended for it to happen is only that – guesswork.

But then that’s the news business for you – you don’t have to literally do anything to get talked about these days. There are any number of mysterious reasons why the press might turn its spotlight on you.

For instance, they keep the contender’s names secret for 50 years after the voting ends, so there’s no way to know for sure if I have or haven’t been nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize. But since it came out yesterday that Russian President Vladimir Putin is on this year’s list, I figure there’s hope for everyone – including me!

One of the greatest things about the NPP is that you don’t have to be a particularly peaceful person personally to win it – you only have to have done something to advance the cause. This is very encouraging for me because, as my staff will tell you, sometimes I can be rather short tempered! For example, I do admit to reacting passionately the other day when a junior aide failed to proofread my talking points and sent me out in front of the world’s press to denounce the Russian invasion of “Crimeany”.

Bryan, that wasn’t a “shove”. I was giving the reporters a physical demonstration of a valid defensive strategy against aggression. Actively and vigorously seeking arms-length distance from an unbalanced opponent is much more of a pacifist response than sending in unmarked troops or even bombs. The fact that you didn’t do anything to attack me doesn’t negate the usefulness of that relatively peaceful approach. And your concussion really says more about how unforgiving gravity can be rather than any kind of harsh attitude towards subordinates or overall lack of impulse control on my part.

And like I say, how you act on a personal level isn’t the point – winning the Nobel Peace Prize is all about the effect you have on the world. And to my knowledge I haven’t started any wars, which is something not everyone can say!

We won’t hear the name of this year’s winner for quite some time, but I’m content to wait knowing I have not been officially eliminated … yet. In the meantime, let’s keep the chatter down. Gossip is fun, but we have important work to do!

Your Congressman,
Loomis Beechly

What promotes peace?

handshake

Illegal Use of Hands

Today’s post comes from Congressman Loomis Beechly, representing all water surface area in the state of Minnesota.

Beechly Ice shark copy

Greetings Constituents,

I am alarmed to see the tussle that has emerged from President Obama’s brief handshake with Cuban strongman Raul Castro. How our president could be so careless is beyond a mystery to me. I have been in politics for a relatively short while but I learned early on that it is very bad policy to shake hands with people.

That’s why I don’t do it! Not only is it unsanitary, it’s bad politics.

Those of you who have met me at campaign rallies know that I’m a back slapper. I will enthusiastically slap the back of anyone who is willing to stand near me, but I won’t hug you or leave my arm lying across your shoulders and I won’t shake hands because I could pick up germs or worse, political cooties!

Here’s the honest truth – when I’m introduced to people, I have no idea who they are or what they have done. Or what they WILL do. Unfortunately, a photograph of me with any person found later to have committed a heinous act could spell the end of my political career. And if that happens, we ALL lose!

So in self defense, I will slap you on your back. Why? Because in the moment it feels chummy, but in photographs it looks like I could be pushing you away. If it turns out later that you abuse kittens or run a meth lab, that’s the spin I’ll put on our encounter. I say this to be completely transparent and honest with you. While some constituents have complained about this habit of mine, most who have heard the explanation come to understand it is simply good common sense.

And it works both ways – as protection for you, too! I don’t have to tell you Congress is highly unpopular right now. And you never know what I’ll do! But I think we can all agree, I’m probably smarter than the president! On this issue, anyway.

So look for me in the district this winter. I won’t make you take your gloves off to greet me – it’s far too cold for that. We’ll just share a mutual pounding between the shoulder blades. It’s just one of the many ways I continue to look out for your interests, and mine.

Your Congressman,
Loomis Beechly

I told Congressman Beechly there’s another good reason not to shake hands at 9th district political events – so many of the participants have just had their fingers in a cup of worms! Of course whenever I think of handshakes, this song comes to mind!

Are you a glad hander or a back slapper?

beechly-speech

Could Have Been Worse

Today’s post is a House of Representatives newsletter from Congressman Loomis Beechly, representing Minnesota’s 9th District – all the water surface area in the state.

Beechly Announces He's Not Going Anywhere At All.
Beechly Announces He’s Not Going Anywhere At All.

Greetings, Constituents!

I’m glad to report that the crisis is over and our government is open for business again! Hooray!

I got all your letters and calls, and though I didn’t exactly answer every single one I did read parts of most of them, so I know the past few weeks were very difficult for you. Thanks for your very graphic suggestions about where I could put things, and how I might atone (personally) for the behavior of some other members of Congress.

In spite of some very direct invitations that you sent me about moving to another district, state or country, I want you to know that I’m staying put and I’m equally certain that we all still think the USA is the greatest country on Earth!

And now comes the really important work – Forgetting Everything That Just Happened. Fortunately, this shouldn’t be hard since our research shows most people are bored by political tiffs and when all is said and done they have no memory of who started it and who got sucker punched. An old mentor of mine once said “You’ll never lose an election by overestimating the ability of a typical voter to totally disregard the most important details.”

And no, I don’t remember who it was that said that.

I guess the lesson here is the same one any craftsman learns – know what your tools can do.

When I was a small child I decided I could get my mother to buy me ice cream by holding my breath. The first few times I tried, it didn’t work. Then one summer day we were down at the lakeshore and there was an ice cream vendor there, and I asked if I could have a cone and she said “No” so I held my breath so long that I actually did black out a little bit, got kind of dizzy, stumbled, and almost fell in the water.

That’s when I found out that while I couldn’t use breath-holding to get ice cream, I COULD use it to make my mother super mad. That was a good lesson – and i realized it was not a very useful tool since I had lots of other ways to make the very same thing happen.

And just like the voters, over time she forgot my ridiculous behavior and kept a fierce love for me deep in her heart. Actually, the voters probably won’t do that, but mothers can be trusted to set aside the silly stuff. Eventually.

I guess my real point is that as bad as this whole episode was, and although it suggests our political system is broken and in spite of the way it left a strong impression that some of our elected officials are spoiled children, at least we don’t have to put up with giant hornets that kill people indiscriminately.

And that’s why the USA is a much better place to live than China!

God Bless America!

Your Congressman,
Loomis Beechly

If you had to live in another country, which one would you choose?

Chicken_2

Game of Chicken

Today’s post comes from Congressman Loomis Beechly of Minnesota’s 9th district, representing all the water surface area in the state.

Beechly faces down an  onrushing boat.
Beechly faces down an onrushing boat.

Greetings Constituents,

I’m delighted to be able to report that we in Congress are busy doing the work you sent us here to do – spirited fighting among ourselves. Obviously we (and you) are in a state of deep disagreement over which of our fears is most compelling.

We’ve heard your musings about the failings of government and by having two parties refuse to budge in a legislative game of chicken, we’ve made them come true! Now only one thing is certain: fear-based, blame-the-enemy, take-no-prisoners legislating is going to lead us to a federal government shutdown this week. That, and we have the most-hyphenated government in the world.

You’re welcome!

Chicken_2

I’d like to apologize to all chickens, by the way. It’s unfortunate that their name is attached to this kind of destructive strategy. I’ve known chickens and worked with chickens and have been served chickens in the past, and my fellow Representatives are no chickens! Chickens can be knuckleheads but I’ve never seen them be quite as stubborn as some Members of Congress. In fact, I’m fairly sure if we sent actual chickens to Washington, we would not be having a Game of Chicken over shutting down the government.

But I know you are wondering what a government shutdown would mean for my office and our relationship. Let me assure you that even when scores of federal workers are furloughed, I will continue to work as hard for you as I always have and will be as accessible to you as ever.

And by that I mean this – leave a message on my machine and someone will get back to you.

I mean it.

Your Faithful Representative,
Loomis Beechly

Have you ever been involved in a game of chicken? Who blinked first?

Beechly Officiates While Couple Canoedles.

Of Two Minds

Today’s post comes from Congressman Loomis Beechly, representing Minnesota’s 9th District – all the water surface area in the state.

beechly-speech

Greetings Constituents!

I had a wonderful time in the 9th district during my extended August break, floating around Lac du Loon on my executive inner tube. But now I’m back in our nation’s capital for what will be, I’m certain, a very exciting September. I am already starting to adjust my way of thinking. 

As an unaffiliated and unacknowledged member of the House of Representatives, I’ll have some serious choices to make over the next few weeks.

  1. Should I stand with the president on striking at Syria in some meaningful, attention-getting, but non-invasive way?
  2. Should I hold the line on the budget by refusing to raise the debt ceiling, thereby risking a default?
  3. Should I give a hoot about passing laws, or do I just want to UNpass some?
  4. Should Congress act to take control of Miley Cyrus’ career before she spirals completely out of control and winds up in Lindsay Lohan territory?

These are the pressing issues of the day, and I wish I had quick, easy answers.

But I don’t! As a member of Congress, I’m usually too busy talking about various things to be able to take the time necessary to know anything about them. So on the mysterious questions listed above, I’ve decided to use the zig-zag voting strategy. That’s where I alternate votes to keep my opponents guessing and to give the Law of Averages a chance to make me right sometimes.

So I’ll vote “Yes” “No” “Yes” “No.” In that order.

And I do this fully aware that the public will not love me for it.   Americans’ approval rating for Congress is remarkably low. The irony is stunning. Every two years we run so hard in our districts to try to get everyone to love us. And for our success, the reward is to be stuck in a job where we are routinely and robustly despised.

I know this, and yet I don’t know it, because I’ve concluded that in order to make a decent life in public service, you need to have two brains where each one does not quite know what the other one is up to. One brain can stay convinced that you are brilliant, charming and good, while the other brain absorbs criticism and says all the things that are necessary to raise campaign funds.

And of course with two brains, you always have deniability. Though sometimes it helps to have three in case the first two start comparing notes. By now I might be up to as many as five – I’m not entirely sure. But no matter how minds I have running at any one time, I’m proud to say that at least one of my them faithfully represents Minnesota’s fabled 9th District!

And the other one is, of course, thoroughly appalled.

Your Congressman,
Loomis Beechly

How many minds do you have?