In no particular order, here's a run down on some interesting stuff you may have missed, but I didn't:
Gun Ban Overturned
The Supreme Court ruled that the total hand gun ban in a Chicago suburb violated the 2nd Amendment right of citizens to regulate a militia, or something like that. Good, I say. The outright abolition of private gun ownership seems to me to be a form of extremism; however, allowing the sale of assault weapons at gun shows with a mere cursory check of the buyer's background, and then a failure to maintain those records seems to me to be equally extreme, in the opposite direction.
In a related story by Dan Eggen, I read this little nugget buried below the fold on page 3 of The Washington Post recently:
"House Democrats reached a compromise that would exempt the National Rifle Association and other large organizations from proposed campaign finance disclosure rules aimed primarily at large corporations, sources said Monday." The NRA would be excluded from disclosure rules when sponsoring political ads because they are "more than 10 years ago, have at least 1 million members, and receive 15% or less of their funding from corporations."
Lobbying is bad; Advocacy is good. The only difference I see between these 2 concepts is the spelling. Wake me up when the Tea Party decides to denounce this behavior and lack of transparency.
In one more related story, I direct you to The Onion:
France Raises Retirement Age
Thomas Jefferson wrote a bumper sticker once that said, "When the people fear their government, there is tyranny; when the government fears the people, there is liberty." Well, the French government really fears the people now. Riots broke out when the French government announced that the age for retirement benefits is raising from 60 to 62. Pardon me, but with the average life expectancy about 77 years for a man in France, I think a 15 year subsidized retirement is pretty darn good. By the way, with worker shortages predicted in the coming decade because of the declining birth rate (among other reasons), we're going to need some of those 61 year old Frenchmen in the global workforce.
I find it important to remind people, particularly those who love to idolize Jefferson as some 18th Century Reagan, that his political thinking was influenced heavily by French culture, and its' philosophy of equality for all.
Romney Starting to Piss Me Off
Here's a quote from an email sent to me from Romney's PAC, Free and Strong America (whatever that means):
"Here we go again. Rather than providing much needed leadership on the oil spill crisis, President Obama and the liberals in Congress instead are trying to use it as an excuse to push through a cap and trade program -- yet another big government initiative that will do nothing to stem the millions of gallons of oil spilling into the ocean, and which will have a negative impact on hard-working American families and the economy as a whole."
I have some problems with Mitt's message above. First, quit pretending you're Reagan with the dyed black hair and the "Here we go again" quote. Reagan used that quote in the 1980 campaign, and it worked. You just sound like a copy cat without any signature phrase, or principle, of your own. Second, the 2008 McCain-Palin Republican platform SUPPORTED cap and trade as a reasonable, free market-based solution. That was a short 20 months ago, and the only thing that's changed is that there is a Democrat in the White House who supports a plank from the GOP PLATFORM!!! Third, are you suggesting, Mitt, that Obama and Congress work to pass legislation to close the Gulf well? Is it that easy? Fourth, if cap and trade raises the cost of energy, the market forces that you espouse would dictate that demand would go down. Isn't that the goal? Lower demand?
Mitt, you are embarrassing yourself. You're better off setting up a Twitter account and blaming the media for your ignorance. Looks to be the quickest path to the nomination.
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