Monday, May 29, 2006

How gays, Mexicans, and flag burning affect your wallet

They don't, of course. But with all of the issues facing the country, the GOP-led Congress thinks constitutional amendments on marriage and flag burning, putting a fence and National Guard troops on the border, and ending the real estate tax are the big priorities.

So forget high gas prices, a massive national debt, the war in Iraq, continuing Katrina recovery, the approaching hurricane season for which FEMA is not prepared, warrantless surveillance, and global warming. What you really have to worry about is men kissing each other, Mexicans, and a form of political protest that almost never happens. What a country!

The Louisiana Purchase

Thoughts on the controversy surrounding Rep. William Jefferson (D-Louisiana):

The Democrats have screwed this one up royally. If Dollar Bill did what he is accused of doing, this is serious stuff, but dumb-ass Dems like Nancy Pelosi have played right into the Repugnantcans hands by standing side-by-side with them to complain about separation of powers issues. By drawing attention to the issue, they are reminding the public of the corruption problem and because the rep in question is a Dem, giving the appearance that corruption in Congress is a bi-partisan problem, even though it's a Republican problem about 80% of the time.

Second, no one is above the law, and a Congressional office should not be a lawless zone. Two of the three branches of government approved the search. That's called checks-and-balances. Oh, wait, that's right, this Congress doesn't understand the concept of checks-and-balances (see: NSA warrantless surveillance, NSA data-mining, Patriot Act).

For five years, Congress couldn't care less about separation of powers as it was a lapdog to this corrupt administration. And now, suddenly, when one of their own is in the fire, they care about an overreaching executive branch. Are they serious? As the New York Times said:
They talk angrily about the separation of powers and the implications of having an executive branch agency make a foray into a lawmaker's official space. Our first question is where all these concerned constitutionalists have been for the last five years.

Time and time again, Congress has played dead when the executive branch refused to provide it with information, answer questions or follow laws that the legislative branch has passed. Currently, the Senate Judiciary Committee, which has not been the worst offender, is tinkering dangerously with the laws covering domestic wiretapping by the National Security Agency. It could end up endorsing a program that the White House won't even fully describe to a vast majority of lawmakers.

Compared with the enormous issues at hand, the matter of Representative William Jefferson is small potatoes.

NY Times editorial: One man's constitutional crisis