Thursday, October 20, 2005

More needless spending

Here's the latest: Federal welfare money for buying new digital TV boxes. Apparently there are some folks who'll be left in the dark next year when TV begins to go digital, so the Feds (along with broadcasters and other corporate sponsors) want to subsidize the purchase of these boxes for lower income folks. Just what we need, Medicaid for impoverished TV viewers! I wonder what the income test for these folks will be; and if minors, seniors and pregnant women would be expent from them?

I'm not sure about this, but if you can't afford to buy the new TV or decoder box, then you probably shouldn't be sitting at home watching TV or expecting the government to pay for one so you can watch Oprah in HDTV. I've got another solution: go get a job or two. This solves both issues: you can pay for your own TV box and its a sure fired money-making scheme! and who knows, you might be able to afford other things in life, like food and shelter w/o public assistance. What a shocking thought!

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Finally, some common sense advice

Finally, there's a common sense medical opinion regarding the bird flu hysteria that's sweeping the world. At least one memner of the medical and scientific community has the sense to say what many think and the MSM ignores: that there's little threat to humans from the bird flu!

The only pandemic that the flu is responsible for is the media frenzy in covering it and the mass uneeded slaughter of fowl around the world. Here's the best way to control it: wash your hands, bathe regularly, use high-quality feed and don't live in a chicken coop 24 hours a day.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Here come the unfunded mandates.

Once again, we find ourselves heading down the road paved with good intentions, and only now are seeing the flames that surround it. Yes, I'm talking about feel-good, politically charged entitlement programs which do nothing but break the bank and get foisted upon the states as an unfunded mandate when its discovered that there's no money to pay for them. Yes, I'm talking about the Medicare prescription drug fiasco and how the states are reacting to it.

Thanks to this year's hurricane season, the folks on the Hill are spending money faster than drunken sailors on a 48-hour liberty (my apologies to the drunken sailors). However, unlike the sailors, they don't stop when the money runs out; instead thet keep spending until they're satisfied and the budget is broken. Well, at some point all these expenitures are going to collide in a fiscal train wreck. Combine these three programs: Medicare Prescription, FY 2006 Highway Funding and hurricane relief, and what do you get? A mess of extreme magnitude that we can't afford.

And, of course, suddenly the Beltway folks are having a fiscally conservative revelation that they're spending too much so they're going to try and carve off some fat, and this leads to statements that our government is operating more efficiently than in the poast and that there's no more to cut. Huh??? Obviously these folks never took or passed any basic economics course in their educational careers since they can't even do basic math!

Instead, what they've (both the administration and the Congress) done is to unleash a tidal wave of socialist style programs that will make FDR & LBJ look like small potatoes when its all done. And to pay for all this, they're going to change many of them into unfunded mandates to the states so that the states have to pay for everything out of their own pockets. This will push the states even futher into the abyss, since most states are constitutionally required to balance their budgets annually. Because of this, many states are protesting the Medicare program since its the most visible and will have the biggest impact on thier budgets starting next year. Unfortunately, this is all falling on deaf ears in Congress and the White House since they're more concerned about making 30-second sound-bites and looking like heroes than actually adhereing to the fiscally conservative values that they were elected on.

And to top this all off, they haven't passed the FY 2006 Federal budget yet, so they're operating on a continuing resolution until they figure out how to fund all this! They can't even fund the operating budgets of such things as the military and Congress because they're trying to figure out how to fund all these new socialist entitlement & welfare programs.

My view on these matters is this: states should be allowed to keep thier road money for thier own use; run and fund their own medical subsidy programs if they wish; and private industry should determine how to rebuild the hurricane disaster areas with minimal state and no federal intervention. Unfortunately, the DC folks are too busy spending our money to grab the spotlight and look like the good guys.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Harriet who?

I've been away for the past month, busy with a job search and just overwhelmed about the disasters in the South and in DC, where FDR seems to have been resurrected, the House GOP leader indicted on ethics issues and money laundering charges, and croneyism rules the day. I haven't posted since, in my opinion, there wasn't anything new for me to post regarding these events other than to say that I'm highly critical of FEMA, DHS, Congress, POTUS, and the entire Louisiana governmental establishment and that the only thing they know how to do is play the blame game to try and save their own sorry rears.

But now that we're into October, fall is in the air and the winds of change are sweeping through our nation. Except for inside the Beltway, where business as usual continues. POTUS, after the successful installation of Cheif Justice Roberts to the bench, has in his hand the power to shape the SCOTUS for the next generation by appointing a true strict-constructionist and conservative justice, not as a swing vote, but as a way to rebalance the court and start leading our country back into the realm of balanced power and proper interpretation of the law from the bench. Unfortunately, POTUS has decided that his historical legacy should be one of mediocrity, political spinelessness and inappropriate political awards, so he's nominated his chief council, Harriet Miers.

I don't mean any dispariagement toward Ms. Miers; she's obviously more intelligent than I am at the legal and political game since she's in a position to be nominated. But a better choice shoe could not be further from. She has no judical track record to speak of and little is known about her ideological leanings. Granted, the media is trying to dig up some dirt such as old contributions to the Gore 1988 campaign, but there's very little on her to begin with, so that might be a moot point. Rather, this is a reward for Ms. Miers' enduring loyalty to President Bush and that seems to be the primary reason for the nomination.

I think that I can speak for many when I say that croneyism is not a sound qualifier for an appointment or nomination, especially for an associate justice slot. We've seen how poitical appointees based on repaying favors and loyalty have helped muck up the works in the halls of power over the past six weeks, so why use it as a basis for an appointment that will last at least 20-30 years and have immense influence over the legal evolution of our country? And, to add insult to injury, the Republican controlled Congress seems poised to let her in without even a minimal fight lest they anger President Bush and his team in the White House. Be afraid, be very afraid of what Ms. Miers might morph into over the span of her term.

We had a chance to set the tone of the SCOTUS for the next generation, and we've blown it. Once again, the GOP has managed to wrest defeat from the hands of victory, and the battle was all ours to lose. I don't know what happened to the party of Lincoln and Reagan, but it certainly sounds and smells more like the party of Johnson and Carter.