For two of my favorite categories: “there ought to be a law” and “how can we get some mo' money for the federal treasury.”
The congressional confirmation hearing process. I propose that this process be developed into a reality game show as a means to raise revenue for the United States Government. A starting framework of 10 suggestions is as follows:
1. All congressional hearings for federal post candidates shall be broadcast in prime time and shall initially be two hours in length, with eight (8) commercial interruptions of one minute each. All broadcast rights for hearings shall be awarded by sealed bid to the highest bidder from among one of the major media networks. The bid winner agrees to pay the amount of their bid per hour of televised time.
2. All proceeds from revenue from the hearing process shall go directly to the United States Treasury.
3. In any congressional “hearing” to confirm a candidate for a federal post, each questioner shall have, at the outset, fifteen seconds of introduction and “expression of gratitude.” Immediately thereafter, no congressperson shall at any subsequent time speak in a declarative sentence. Like Jeopardy, all congressional inquisitors shall speak only in question. Any declarative statement immediately disqualifies the questioner from the process and this condition shall also immediately disqualify the questioner from federal office and shall immediately trigger the process for special election in the questioner’s home state to replace said questioner . Each questioner shall have, at the outset, the right to ask three (3,) and only three, questions of each candidate.
4. No question shall contain more than six (6) commas or more than one semi-colon, and no question shall exceed a duration of fifteen (15) seconds as posed by the questioner. A violation results in disqualification of the questioner. A violation of this condition shall also immediately disqualify the questioner from federal office and shall immediately trigger the process for special election in the questioner’s home state to replace said questioner.
5. For each question that can be answered by a simple “yes” or “no,” the questioner shall be awarded an additional bonus of fifteen (15) seconds for an additional question.
6. For each simple “yes” or “no” answer, the candidate shall be awarded one (1) bonus point. An accumulation of one hundred (100) bonus points IMMEDIATELY qualifies the candidate for the position without further vote of congress.
7. At no time shall any questioner speak the name of any other questioner. A violation of this condition shall immediately disqualify the questioner from federal office and shall immediately trigger the process for special election in the questioner’s home state to replace said questioner.
8. Ten judges shall be selected to oversee and judge the hearing process. The judges panel shall consist of 1) the Chief Justice of the United State Supreme Court (de facto chair of the judging panel,) 2) one person selected at random from the current panel of all judges employed as judges on “American Idol,” 3) an additional two of the US Supreme Court judges chosen at random, 4) the chairman of the National Rifle Association, 5) the chairman of the National Abortion Rights Action League, 6) Climatologist Dr. Roy Spencer, Ph.D., 7) one of the two persons randomly selected as the current past winner of the Best Actress or Actor Oscars, 8) and finally two taxpayers, one man and one woman, chosen at random in a national pool.
9. Each judge shall have a buzzer at their disposal. At any time the judge may sound their buzzer and exclaim in a loud voice, “That’s Bullshit.” (The second syllable of “bullshit” shall be bleeped for broadcast.) When this happens ten times the candidate is automatically disqualified and a backup candidate is placed into the witness chair. The number of backup candidates has no limit.
10. In the highly likely event that there is no automatic qualification of the candidate, the process continues until the two hours are over and at that time the committee votes on the surviving candidate. In the event that no candidates survive, the event may be held over on subsequent nights until a winner is chosen.