A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from March 24, 2019
“Congress is good at only two things—doing nothing and overreacting”

"The things Congress does best are nothing and overreacting” was credited to Washington, DC lobbyist and Republican consultant Tom C. Korologos in the book Great Political Wit: Laughing (Almost) All the Way to the White House (1998) by Bob Dole. “In the sage words of longtime lobbyist Tom Korologos: ‘The things Congress does best are nothing and overreacting’” was printed in the book A Treasury of Humor (2000) by Lowell D. Streiker. It’s not known when Korologos first said this.

“Congress does two things well: nothing and overreacting” was printed in the Wall Street Journal (New York, NY) on March 9, 2016, spoken by Mike Oxley, a Republican Congressman from Ohio from 2001 to 2007.

“Congress is good at two things: doing nothing and overreacting. We’re getting ready to overreact so just take that as a shot across the bow, warning to you. #ZuckerbergHearing” was posted on Twitter by U.S. Rep. Billy Long on April 11, 2018. U.S. Representative Billy Long (R-MO) said this at a Congressional hearing on this date regarding Facebook‘s Mark Zuckerberg.


Wikipedia: Tom C. Korologos
Tom Chris Korologos (born April 6, 1933) is a former United States Ambassador to Belgium.
(...)
He was co-founder of Timmons & Company, a Washington, DC consulting firm. He has been involved in more than 300 U.S. Senate confirmations including assisting Vice President Nelson Rockefeller, Vice President Gerald Ford, Supreme Court Justices: William Rehnquist, Antonin Scalia, and nominee Robert Bork, as well as several cabinet secretaries, including: Henry Kissinger, Alexander Haig, and Donald Rumsfeld.

Korologos has had a wide and varied Washington, D.C. experience. He has served as a senior staff member in the U.S. Congress, as an assistant to two Presidents in the White House, was a prominent businessman, and most recently was a senior counselor with the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA) in Baghdad.

11 October 1998, St. Louis (MO) Post-Dispatch, “Dole may be getting last laugh with book of political witticisms” by Repps Hudson, pg. C6, col. 2: 
(A book review of Great Political Wit: Laughing (Almost) All the Way to the White House by Bob Dole.—ed.)
Some of (Bob—ed.) Dole’s gems are relevant nowadays. This, from Tom Korologos, a former Nixon White House aide and veteran lobbyist and insider: “Washington is like Salem. If we’re not lynching somebody twenty-four hours a day in this wretched town, we’re not happy.”

And this, too from Korologos: “The things Congress does best are nothing and overreacting.”

Google Books
A Treasury of Humor:
Thousands of humorous stories, jokes, anecdotes and one-liners, up-to-date and categorized for ease of use

By Lowell D. Streiker
Peabody, MA: Hendrickson
2000
Pg. 110:
In the sage words of longtime lobbyist Tom Korologos: “The things Congress does best are nothing and overreacting.”

17 October 2003, Boston (MA) Globe, “Senate votes to force Iraq to repay half of rebuilding package,” pg. A4, col. 5:
“Congress does two things best: nothing and overreacting. Tonight, they overreacted,” Korogolos said.
(Tom Korogolos, senior counsel for L. Paul Bremer III, head of the Coalition Provisional Authority in Iraq.—ed.)

Google Books
The Politics of Attention:
How Government Prioritizes Problems

By Bryan D. Jones and Frank R. Baumgartner
Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press
2005
Pg. 87:
Republican lobbyist Tom Korologos provided the organizational extension of Mandelbrot’s insight when he quipped, “The things Congress does best are nothing and overreacting” (Dole 2000). This is an apt description of government more generally.

9 March 2006, Wall Street Journal (New York, NY), “Vote in Congress Boosts Opponents Of U.S. Ports Deal; Bush Faces Limited Options As House Panel Moves, 62-2, To Reverse Dubai Takeover” by Greg Hitt and Greg Jaffee, pg. A1:
In an interview, Rep. Oxley said he’s working on an evolving amendment to preserve the deal with changes. He also expressed frustration at what he portrayed as a rush to judgment. “Congress does two things well: nothing and overreacting,” he said. “We’re into phase two.”

Google Groups: Political Waves
the Wobble—“whistling by the graveyard”
Planet Waves Moderator
3/10/06
(...)
ear and loathing set in among Republican foot soldiers
MARC COOPER
Wednesday, March 8, 2006
http://www.laweekly.com/features/12828/weekend-warriors/
(...)
Congress does two things well: overreacting and doing nothing.

11 August 2008, Home Channel News (New York, NY), “Congress to the rescue?” by Ken Clark, pg. 12:
Will Rogers had a great line about Congress. They’re very good at two things:

1.) Doing nothing and
2.) Overreacting.

Google Groups: alt.fan.rush-limbaugh
A Free-Market Fix
MFOgilvie
9/24/08
A Free-Market Fix
Ed Feulner
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
(...)
As a rule, Congress is good at two things: 1) doing nothing at all. 2) overreacting.

Lawmakers appear ready to prove that rule with a massive overreaction. They would be better off letting free-market principles guide any rescue package. Otherwise, who’s going to bail out taxpayers?

Google Books
Lobbying and Policy Change:
Who Wins, Who Loses, and Why

By Frank R. Baumgartner
Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press
2009
Pg. 38:
They quote long-time Washington lobbyist Tom Korologos who quipped that “the things Congress does best are nothing and overreacting.”

Google Books
When Free Markets Fail:
Saving the Market When It Can’t Save Itself

By Scott McCleskey
Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
2010
Pg. 100:
Congress does two things well ... nothing, and overreacting.
Rep. Mike Oxley, co-author of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act.

Twitter
Alger V. Boswell ™
@algerboswell
“Congress is very good at two things, Doing Nothing, and Overreacting!”—Unknown
10:48 AM - 24 Feb 2010

11 April 2018, CNN Wire Services (Atlanta, GA), “Congress isn’t doing its job—or anything close to it” by Chris Cillizza:
“Congress is good at two things: Doing nothing and overreacting,” remarked Missouri Republican Rep. Billy Long during the Zuckerberg hearing on Wednesday.

Twitter
Don Dodge
@DonDodge
My new hero! @USRepLong Billy Long from Missouri is the most articulate Rep or Sen in these hearings. He said “Congress is good at two things; Doing nothing, or Overreacting. We have done nothing for a decade, and we are about to overreact. My advice is to go back and fix this”
1:22 PM - 11 Apr 2018

Twitter
U.S. Rep. Billy Long
@USRepLong
Congress is good at two things: doing nothing and overreacting. We’re getting ready to overreact so just take that as a shot across the bow, warning to you. #ZuckerbergHearing
2:07 PM - 11 Apr 2018

Twitter
Allen Gainer
@againer12
“Congress does 2 things well: nothing at all and overreacting.”
Michael Oxley
10:48 AM - 19 May 2018

Deseret News (Salt Lake City, UT)
Pignanelli and Webb: Political triage on mayoral race, senators vs. Trump and legislative politics
By Frank Pignanelli & LaVarr Webb
Published: March 24, 2019 9:00 am
(...)
The old saying is true: Congress is good at only two things — doing nothing and overreacting.

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityGovernment/Law/Politics/Military • Sunday, March 24, 2019 • Permalink