Tuesday, September 20, 2005

The American Taliban, part unknown

The Washington Post ran an article today about the FBI's diversion of agents from cases to join an obscenity squad, which is tackling legal pornography now, not just child porn.
While child porn is absolutely wrong, and should be prosecuted, the Supreme Court has recognized the right of legal adult porn to exist and be distributed. Porn is a family issue, a church issue, but not a government issue, not when it comes to a legal business.

Outside of child pornography, the Supreme Court has struck down virtually every attempt to regulate the Internet or the adult pornography business. This is a waste of our time. Osama bin Laden and buddies are on the loose, and Speedy has gone off and pushed John "Cover that boob!" Ashcroft's plan of taking FBI agents and trying to arrest people doing legal things. Perhaps we should follow this up by arresting bloggers for bashing Bush. I mean, hell, obviously there's not enough illegal things for the FBI to be pursuing, so let's just ignore the law and arrest anyone we don't like.

And let's keep in mind that FBI agents themselves think this is stupid. Read the article. Once again, they know better than their political superiors what the real threats are. September 10, 2001. Ashcroft refuses to fund the antiterror programs the FBI have requested be implemented. We all know what happened the next morning. Can we keep that in mind before we go off ignoring the law of the land because some stick-in-the-ass feels like preaching?

Monday, September 19, 2005

The MBA president? What happened to all that business sense?

I don't know the answer to that, unless he never had it in the first place. A "C" average at Harvard Business School doesn't say much about you, necessarily, and the handling of our federal budgets hasn't demonstrated a capacity to run a surplus, and I'm tired of the war excuse. 9/11 is now four years in the past, and if we have all this economic recovery, then why is it that the deficits are growing? Why is it that this president doesn't veto projects like the $250 million bridge to nowhere, Alaska? Is he that desperate to keep party support that he can't show a shred of fiscal responsibility?

Even now, we are talking about cutting MORE tax revenue, with a Gulf Coast in ruins and ANOTHER storm possibly headed its way. Our nation must all bear this burden together, and those who have more should bear more of the burden. The Kennedy family had a great saying back when Joe and Rose Kennedy were shepherding their children into the adult world. "For whom much is given, much is expected." Instead of repealing the tax cuts that apply to those who make over, say, $500,000 a year, they are talking about passing the estate tax repeal. Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) is reportedly looking for people that died in Katrina's wake who had estates so as to use them as poster children for this repeal. People with large estates have been given much, and so we should expect more from them in times of crisis.

If we look at the last thirty years of economic growth, we had a large recession from Jerry Ford to Jimmy Carter (1975-1980), a shrinking recession in Reagan's first term, followed by a boom in the second term, a recession under Bush 41, an unparalled boom under Clinton, and a recession under Bush 43. Allegedly we are recovering now, but if we are, it is under a massive deficit that will crush our future growth.

So, who was most fiscally responsible during these thirty years? Carter tried to introduce conservation, but picked a bad time to do it. It's kind of hard to get people to not use when a lot of them don't have anything to use. Reagan had both a keen mind and a naivete about economics, and did alright. Bush 41 seemed out of touch at times, but he had a good businessman's mind, and did the right thing by agreeing to the Congress' raising of taxes. He paid a bitter price for it, but he was a statesman first, politician second, and he did his best to do the right thing.

Clinton did best of all. He was shrewd, and he had some brilliant advisers in Robert Reich and Bob Rubin to guide his flight path, and our economy boomed like none other. And then we come to Bush 43, who has shown no ability to compromise with reality. The situation demands that we increase our revenue sources and bring the deficit down, and we can't do that if we continue to give away revenue sources. This is the time for some bold moves.

First, initiate a crash program like the Apollo program to make hybrid vehicles or alternative-fuel vehicles the standard type here in America. Secondly, increase the CAFE standards for vehicles. I refuse to believe that there is no way to make SUV's more fuel-efficient. Third, rollback those tax cuts for those making $500,000 or more a year. Trust me, they're not starving.

Fourth, take McCain's advice and veto the earmarks in the highway bill. There's enough pork there to give half the country a heart attack. Lawmakers need to start remembering what's in the best interest of this nation, and representing their district means more than just funnelling back money to it that will be spent poorly. You swear an oath to the nation and the Constitution, and that means more than your silly little bridge to a 50-person island in Alaska,

11 years of a Republican House, nine years of a Republican Senate, and five years of a Republican president, and we have spending worse than any "tax and spend liberal" boogeyman they could dream up. What happened to the deficit hawks in your party? What happened to restraint? Does that only apply when you're not in power? Right now, I'm looking for patriots, representatives and senators who will put nation above party and pork, and will declare to fight the pork, fight the senseless tax breaks to people who don't need it, and fight the drift our nation is falling under. It is indeed time for a change, and I want the best leaders in 2006, regardless of party.