Friday, February 1, 2008

Cull Day, After a Long Time

My web browser's running slow, possibly due to all the news articles I've been holding onto the past few days. Let's get rid of some of those, shall we?

First, Hillary Clinton. The last couple days Hillary has been singing John Edwards' praises, but it's worth remembering that the Clinton campaign ran negative robo-calls the day of the South Carolina primaries. Granted, I agree with the content of the calls: I'm glad as hell John "Got Rich on Malpractice Suits Using Junk Science" Edwards is out of the race. But the transcript of these calls shows more and more what kind of people the Clintons are: burn your bridges now, mend them later after the battle's won. I'm hoping that Obama represents a bridge too far...

The rump FEC commission rules that two people pooling their money to attend a political convention or do anything else constitute a PAC... and thus must file with the FEC and abide by spending and donation limits and reporting. Thank God the Democrats are blocking four replacement members of the FEC against Bush's board-packing scheme, otherwise this piece of garbage would actually act as law. As it is, this ruling would quite effectively prevent any new or small groups from getting anywhere in the political arena, while old established PACs and the two big political parties can keep trundling on. Anyone who thinks the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act was a good idea and that "public funding" of elections is a better one, beware... this is what your policies result in- the silencing of individual free speech.

You've probably heard this one again and again... Bush Administration Lied Nearly 1,000 Times About Iraq. My response: no shit, Sherlock.

Ezra Klien debunks Republican claims that the Bush years have been good for the economy. In truth, Dubya, who claims an economic record "other Presidents would envy", only beats out his father. All other Presidents back to JFK had greater economic growth in their Presidencies... even Jimmy Carter. (Shocker: Carter had the same rate of economic growth in his Presidency- four years- that Reagan had in his Presidency- eight years.)

The day after the State of the Union, the Bush administration kills the largest clean-coal experimental project. Apparent reason: the FutureGen project had chosen a site in Illinois for construction... rather than any of several proposed sites in Texas. Irony: this was done the day after Bush said, on worldwide television, that America needed to invest in new, experimental clean-coal technology. Apparently not unless those investments benefit Bush's buddies, huh?

Well, that seems to have sped up my browser. Let's look through a few of the O-L-D news bookmarks from last year and see if there's anything I can dispose of, hm?

From May of last year: Jim MacDonald writes about how the FBI and CIA actually creates domestic terror cells. Specifically, he talks about how agents act as provaceteurs and encourage nitwits to become terrorists for the promise of money. As soon as the nitwits begin botching together a plan- usually with the help of those undercover FBI agents- the Feds bust them, then brag about how they're protecting us from those evil horrible Islamo-fascists. And this helps us remain secure... how?

As was mentioned by Hillary Clinton last night- so this is still current eight months after this was written- the Pentagon has drawn up no contingency plans for leaving Iraq. They have contingency plans to invade Canada, in the event that a communist beaver regime takes over in Ottawa, but they're not even considering getting out of a nation which, more and more, is expressing its wish to be shed of us.

Jack Markowitz writes that we already have socialized medicine on the state level: the wasteful bureaucratic morass that is Medicaid. Although a ton of people are technically eligible, the paperwork requirement to prove you qualify is enormous... and yet the states, in particular Texas, have funded and expanded the program until it constitutes between a quarter and a third of all state budgets. All, according to Markowitz, in order to get votes and Federal matching funds. There may be an argument in favor of national health care, but Medicaid certainly isn't it.

One of the bad laws that passed the Texas legislature last year: now, if fifteen or more students request a bible study class, your local school district must provide it. Don't know if Perry signed it, but I don't see him not signing it, to be honest. There's no guarantee that the "religious studies" classes won't be used for Christian prosletyzing... and considering my home state, every reason to expect they WILL be used that way.

And finally... some of the richest people in the new Internet economy got that way by cyber-squatting. Have you ever typed in a URL and got, instead of what you expected, a page full of spam ads? These are the guys responsible. The leader, Kevin Ham, makes no bones about his plans: he wants to be one of a handful of people to control the Internet. It's time to drop a heavy boot on cybersquatting and misleading URLs and reopen domain name registry to the common man.

That's plenty of trouble for now...

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