Stupid Government Tricks

It’s hard to know where to begin.

Yesterday, Joe Biden announced the White House’s attempt to slam the barn door after the horse is gone. Or rather, “try again” to end tax cuts for the rich. Mr. Obama already had that opportunity: it’s called a veto.

Let’s not forget Joe LIEberman and the so-called “Internet Kill Switch” that has been getting a lot of press coverage lately — especially since it turns out Egypt can and did turn of the Internet this week. Senator LIEberman of course denies that his bill contains any such provision, but with bills being multi-hundred page monstrosities often partly written by corporate interests, who can tell. Of course the truth is that this is old news, recycled for the new year (how very environmentally friendly). More truth, it would be difficult to implement in the United States, to say nothing of probably unconstitutional. Not that this matters to the current crew in Washington.

Speaking of “who cares about whether it’s constitutional,” the PATRIOT Act is up for renewal. Further, it looks very much like it’s going to be quietly rubber-stamped while everybody is busy arguing about gun control, the National Debt, Social Security, austerity, and tweaks to last year’s health insurance “reform” bill. If you think that sucks scissors, click here and voice your objections. Look everybody from MoveOn to the Cato Institute thinks it stinks; let’s get rid of it.

Once we’re done with the PATRIOT Act, perhaps we can have some meaningful reform (or abolition) of the TSA, who decided this week that they aren’t going to let any airport exercise their legal right to opt out of having TSA grope their passengers. This despite the fact that “”Nearly every positive security innovation since the beginning of TSA has come from the contractor screening program….”

While we’re on the topic of unilateral decisions by government agencies that fly in the face of public opinion, the USDA has decided that not only can farmers plant genetically engineered alfalfa, it won’t even keep track of how much is out there or where it is. Since alfalfa is bee-pollinated, the genetic material from these plants cannot help but to spread wildly. This means, in the words of Alternet, that “you can now kiss organic beef, dairy, and many vegetables goodbye.” It also puts every farmer at risk of owing Monsanto a royalty for foolishly allowing bees to deposit proprietary genes on their land. (Yes, it has been a long time since I quoted Alternet).

But back to Congress. Is there anybody here who thinks it’s a good idea for girls 10, 12, or 14 years old to be having babies? Anybody? Bueller? Well, John Boehner and 173 co-sponsors think that’s just fine. At least, they don’t want any of their precious tax dollars or even your dollars in your own tax-exempt Health Savings Account to be used for an abortion if it turns out your daughter is molested. They have proposed that “rape” be redefined as “forcible.” So, drugged at a party and wake up with no underwear and find out you’re pregnant a couple months later? Pony up your own abortion funds or live with the “consequences”, sweetie. Your sister who was left quadriplegic in a car crash and was subsequently molested by somebody at the rehab hospital? Hope you’ve got cash. But clearly, I’m just being “emotional.”

Maybe John Boner is one of the few people to whom I should ascribe a special nickname. He’d be in rarefied company with Joe LIEberman, Pat “Go f*** yourself” Leahy, and That Asshat Michael Chertoff.

In closing: at this rate we’re on target for another record year of bank closures (and even bigger “too big to fail” institutions); too young not to work, too old to get a job; compare and contrast; HealthSouth; more VW; and 8 wacky jobs at great companies. Sorry, these positions are all filled.