For folks that wonder why pro-civil rights folks do not trust Democrats, Joe Biden is a near perfect case study. He knows next to nothing about guns, but feels qualified to propose legislation for the entire country.
He recently suggested that a shotgun is as good as an AR-15 for self defense purposes. He went so far as to suggest that you shoot a shotgun through a door at suspected assailants.
Aside from the fact that shotguns kick far more than an AR, the primary problem in the above is that it will buy you a ticket to court for reckless handling of a firearm.
Another problem with the above is....surprise....shotguns are used far more often to commit crimes than assault rifles. The only weapon class used more often is an ordinary revolver.
These folks know nothing about guns yet feel qualified to legislate our lives. Incredible.
So you own a building. You rent office space to businesses.
One of those businesses makes a $37 pot sale to an undercover state trooper.
And the DEA decides to seize your building.
Tar and feather were invented for such moments.
I was listening to an NPR report on John Boehner a couple days ago. The reporter was insinuating that Mr. Boehner's leadership was lacking because he could not compel the GOP caucus in the House to support bills that his office was bringing to the House floor. The example used was the recent continuation of the Violence Against Women Act.
The final bill passed in the House by a vote of 286 - 138. Only 87 Republicans voted for this version of the bill. Other Republicans had issues with the bill that ranged from questions of Constitutionality with regards to expanding tribal law enforcement authority beyond tribal members to ideological issues with providing abortion services to rape victims.
For the record, I think the Constitution matters. Questions regarding Constitutionality matter. I do not know if their concerns were fully legitimate as I have not studied the issue with any depth.
Also for the record, the GOP needs to get off the anti-abortion wagon.
Back to the issue of Mr. Boehner's leadership, I find it curious that he is being criticized for bringing a bill to the floor that passed the House and was signed into law as this is being typed. He is the Speaker of the House. He is not the Speaker of the GOP in the House. Mr. Boehner's position exists to serve every American.
So he brought a bill with bi-partisan support to the floor for a vote. That is is job.
Isn't bi-partisanship something we want? Or does bi-partisanship only count when the GOP is caving to a Democratic initiative?
In case you missed it, researchers at the US Holocaust Memorial Museum recently released updated information on the Holocaust.
Everyone....at least those in the reality based community...agrees that the Holocaust was massive tragedy. What they don't know, is that was worse than anyone realized.
Go and read. I can't do it justice.
I've observed this elsewhere, so it may as well go here, too.
When we had the so-called "fiscal cliff", we had roughly US$85billion in tax increases. With the "sequester", we have had roughly US$85billion in spending cuts. To be sure, those cuts are poorly focused. If only we could get the Democrats to be responsible partners in passing a federal budget.
While I support an 80/20 ratio of cuts to tax increases, I also think that the above is "balanced". Or at least, the perception of "balance" is a good test between a reasonable observer and a ideologue or a partisan.
It is hard to know exactly what the problem is with the Democrats in the Congress as well as our President. I suspect that they see government spending as a means of power and control. Anything that diminishes that power is something they oppose.
I also suspect that they may also suffer from a sense of denial. Like every other person that has taken a real world look at our budgetary problems, they understand that the driving force behind our out of control spending is the unrestrained and unsustainable growth in social programs. But because their "base" has been sold on the relative merit of those programs, they do not dare act as responsible legislators and begin limiting spending in that area.
Instead, we continue on an inexorable course towards national fiscal insolvency with plenty of pain for people that will find themselves dependent on government programs.
One disappointment is the lack of Presidential leadership on the issue. Mr. Obama has said that we need to cut wasteful spending. I have heard him issue such pronouncements in the past.
Yet he has not seen fit to demonstrate any leadership on the issue. The White House has yet to issue a detailed list of programs to be cut. Rather than work face to face with the Republicans to develop cuts that make sense, Mr. Obama has returned....again, and again...to the campaign trail.
The Democrats in the Senate are worse. They haven't passed a budget for almost four years. They won't pass their own budget. They voted against Mr. Obama's budget in significant numbers. And they refuse to bring any budget passed by the House to the floor of the Senate.
They are doing little more than closing their eyes and hoping that are nation's fiscal issues will somehow disappear.
Their eyes are closed.
Ours are not.
From John Cox....
Plenty of other great art to see while you are visiting his site.