Technology-savvy parents of technology-obsessed adolescents have probably considered installing parental control software on their children’s devices. Programs are available to do everything from turning your teen’s cellphone into a GPS tracking device to monitoring his or her instant messaging. In light of recent events, it strikes me that this technology could be easily adapted for an equally urgent use — tracking members of Congress.
Herewith, my pitch, to congressional chiefs of staff, for “congressional control software.” Motto: “Know with certitude what your member’s up to.”
Dear Congressional Chief of Staff,
parents congressional staffers these days, you may be concerned about your child’s lawmaker’s inappropriate use of technology. Relax. With the help of Congressional Control Software©, you can help save your congressman or senator from him- (or, in the unlikely event, her-) self.
You may be worried about invading your lawmaker’s privacy. Remember: You are not there to be his friend. Your primary job as a
parent chief of staff is to protect your child member of Congress. Adolescence Election to office is a time of testing boundaries and exploring new powers.
This is to be expected, but the proliferation of modern technology makes that exploration more dangerous than in the old days, when a lawmaker’s indiscretions remained private unless he was driving at 2 a.m. with a stripper who jumped into the Tidal Basin. With BlackBerrys now permitted on the House floor, the opportunities for inappropriate behavior are limitless.
As you become more confident of your lawmaker’s maturity and judgment, Congressional Control Software© allows you to adjust the controls accordingly.
Download Congressional Control Software© onto member’s laptop. Click “File,” “Tools” and “Enable Congressional Controls.”
From the pop-up screen, click to enable the available options:
■ Track-a-Member©. Not sure your lawmaker is going where he tells you? Keep tabs on his whereabouts with GPS-type software on his smartphone. Program the system to send you an alert if he visits a particular location or if he is not in his office at a time when he is supposed to be there.
■ Call-a-Vote©. This feature works well in conjunction with Track-a-Member©. Think your lawmaker is somewhere he shouldn’t be and want to get him back to the office? Simply activate Call-a-Vote© and he will be summoned back to the Capitol. You can explain later that the vote was canceled.
■ Foley Filter© with Lee-Weiner Option©. Lets you monitor chats, IMs and tweets. Foley Filter©, updated every congressional session, alerts you if your lawmaker communicates with congressional pages or goes within 100 feet of page dormitory. Lee-Weiner Option© employs the latest in advanced scanning technology to block incoming or outgoing transmission of shirtless/pantless photos.
Those who are particularly concerned about their lawmaker’s behavior may consider upgrading to Congressional Control Premium©, which uses nanny-cam technology to provide real-time and video monitoring of lawmakers’ offices and hideaways.
Instead of a video camera in a stuffed teddy bar, Congressional Control Premium© installs the camera in a tasteful bronze replica of the Capitol Dome. Remember: It’s for his own good.