Harry Truman was known to complain when his fellow Democrats caved in and acted like Republicans: “In an election between a Republican and a Republican, a Republican is going to win.” In other words, what’s the point of voting for a Democrat if they’re just going to vote like a Republican? Now the flip side. CQ Daily Monitor says that House Republican ‘sponsors of a Medicare drug benefit bill plan to introduce the measure today and expect to mark it up on Thursday, a GOP aide said. In the meantime, Ways and Means and Energy and Commerce committee chairmen Bill Thomas, R-Calif., and Billy Tauzin, R-La., continue their “education campaign” to solidify GOP support for the legislation. A Dear Colleague letter is being drafted to explain the impact of a package of Medicare payment increases…
The Senate voted 68-29 to add $450 billion to the federal debt ceiling — just enough to push off insolvency past election day. I’m sure that date is pure coincidence. Or happenstance. Or on purpose.
Today’s CQ Daily Monitor has House Speaker Dennis Hastert announcing at the end of the week a plan to push through the House a bill that would create a homeland security department. The goal, which Dick Armey thinks is realistic, is to create the department by the first anniversary of 9/11. Call me crazy, but I can think of several better ways to honor the victims of the terrorist attack than the creation of a new 170,000 person bureaucracy.
The government of North Korea is evil. Pure evil.
The Bush Administration is considering privatizing the nation’s air traffic control system. Predictably, the union representing government employed air traffic controllers are unhappy. However, as airline schedules return to their pre-9/11 levels, our congested skies need help. This problem has been pretty much solved in Canada through privatization, and it will work even better here.
Oenophiles are a homeland security risk! The Rochester Democrat and Chronicle reports that the Rochester airport was cleared after security screeners lost track of a woman with a corkscrew in her carryon. Of course, corkscrews can be found in airplane galleys all across the country, where they are used to open bottles of wine (in first class). The woman had taken it from the restaurant in the hotel she had checked out of that morning.
Instapundit makes a very simple and obvious point — that nearly everyone seems to have missed. As the administration demands more funds, more power, and more agencies to gain the information necessary to fight terror… we learn that the real problem isn’t a lack of information at all. The FBI and CIA had all the information they could ever have needed. The failure is in data analysis, not data collection. The CIA and FBI either didn’t know what to do with the information they had, or couldn’t do anything with it. How bizarre to think they need to snoop around for more data.
“Homeland security.” Am I the only one that gets the heebie-jeebies from this phrase? I keep hearing “Rheinland” in place of Homeland (use best German accent). I’m not making a Hitler analogy here, but the language is frightening. We must protect the Homeland! (What was the purpose of the Defense Department before??) To mix my metaphors, it’s positively Orwellian. At least Kausfiles is calling for a better name. I tend to think the name is right on, precisely because it’s so evocative of scary things.
Bush says not to blame past government agency errors that failed to prevent 9/11. No, we just need a new agency! With lots of money! Of course, growing the government will not solve anything. More security at airports = long waits and crowded security lines = perfect terrorist target. So, we have to check everyone entering the airport = long lines to get into the airport itself = perfect terrorist target. The only way to stop terrorism is end a foreign policy whose unintended consequences are the opposite of our goals and whose primary result is to oppress people who then want to blow us up.
Random and useless facts: The most beer available to the public in a single place exists each July in Leipzig, Germany (the 2nd largest city in the former East Germany; pop. 560,000). Several miles of beer tables and stands turn the area in front of the V