I generally avoid overt partisan politics on this blog. It isn't that I lack strong convictions in that respect, or that I'm shy about voicing those convictions. It's that my primary interest in this blog is locally target urban design and quality of life issues, and polarizing the discussion of those issues in advance wouldn't serve very much purpose. Besides, there are many good sites on the web and in the blogosphere which carry on partisan political banter really effectively, whether on the Left or Right.
That being said, I think a knowledge of the legislative process is a necessity for being an informed and active citizen, so I was very interested when I heard about the Fantasy Congress game. Below is the announcement I sent out, and I invite any and all of my readers, whatever your political persuasion to join my league and participate:
For my fellow pathologically hard core political junkies I've set up a
league on the Fantasy Congress website. To those of you who either lack
exposure to Fantasy Baseball (and other sports) or don't really care that
the last bill successfully passed and signed into law by the 109th Congress
was entitled "To reauthorize the Livestock Mandatory Reporting Act of 1999
and to amend the swine reporting provisions of that Act." this may seem like
a really weird pastime.
The basic point of the game is to guess which legislators will submit the
most successful legislation. There isn't really any ideological or moral
value judgement on the results. So if you pick a congressman who
successfully submits legislation to tax elderly widows to provide tax breaks
for Exxon and Halliburton, you'll pick up points. Alternatively if one of
your chosen legislators shepherds a bill through mandating marijuana use,
you'll rack up the points also.
I'm really looking forward to making guesses as to which members of Congress
and the Senate will be most successful in passing legislation. And I view
this as a very good educational tool in how the process of producing
legislative sausage actually works.
I'm going to hold off activating the league until January 1st. The 110th
Congress opens January 3rd, but anyone interested in exploring this can log
on, read the rules, join my league, and create a roster of legislators at
Here are the steps for joining
1) Go to the Fantasy Congress website (click here to enter that site)
2) Sign up
3) There'll be a link called something to the effect of "Join a League"
4) My league is called Political_JunkiesGA
5) When you're asked for a league password you should enter ftmaglte
which stands for "Follow the Money and good luck to everyone"
The main value I see in this is providing education as to what Congress
actually does on a week to week basis.