Midnight Rantings

Tired rantings in a tired world.

Tuesday, January 20, 2004

President Bush's State of the Union

Here are a few interesting tidbits with my tired rant:

1. The American economy is growing stronger. The tax relief you passed is working.
Exactly. We pay way too much in taxes. Do not forget, we pay taxes in other
in other ways than income tax.
2. Giving our senior citizens prescription drug coverage under Medicare.
Yep. We gave the richest segment of the population an entitlement. Good job.
3. We must continue to give homeland security and law enforcement
every tool they need to defend us. And one of those essential tools is the
Patriot Act.

Many claim that this act does more than protect us from terrorism (which is
impossible). It may infringe on our rights under the Bill of Rights.
4. For years, we have used similar provisions to catch embezzlers and drug
traffickers. If these methods are good for hunting criminals, they are even more
important for hunting terrorists. Key provisions of the Patriot Act are set to
expire next year. The terrorist threat will not expire on that schedule. Our law
enforcement needs this vital legislation to protect our citizens you need to
renew the Patriot Act.

How is the "War on Drugs" going? Infringing on our rights and freedoms of
choice has not stopped the influx of drugs. Do we have to have these
provisions made permanent?
5. Had we failed to act, the dictator's weapons of mass destruction programs
would continue to this day.

What weapons? I have mixed feelings about the war. Weapons of mass
destruction was never a good reason for war. As time marches on, this
argument may bite him in the posterior.
6. For all who love freedom and peace, the world without Saddam Hussein's regime
is a better and safer place.

This is a better reason to send troops than WMDs.
7. I believe that God has planted in every heart the desire to live in freedom.
On the surface this is correct. History has something completely different to say
about Islam. Christianity's bedrock is choice. We choose Jesus. Islam has no
choice.
8. Younger workers should have the opportunity to build a nest egg by saving
part of their Social Security taxes in a personal retirement account.

Right on! I've heard alot of talk. I have yet to see any progress. I'll believe it
when I see it.
9. By keeping costs under control, expanding access, and helping more Americans
afford coverage, we will preserve the system of private medicine that makes
America's health care the best in the world.

See "HillaryCare." The government controlling healthcare cannot help things.
Do a Google and search TennCare.
10.Drug testing in our schools has proven to be an effective part of this effort.
What about the right not to have the government intrude into our lives. See
above.
11. If judges insist on forcing their arbitrary will upon the people, the only
alternative left to the people would be the constitutional process.

Although in the context of the defense of marriage, Congress could reverse
these unelected martinettes. Unfortunately, Congress has deserted its
responsibility.

Overall, the speech was ok. I did not get to hear the speech, but I read the transcript. President Bush has become a pretty good orator. Unfortunately, I am living in fear of what the future holds for the national debt. Our grandchildren will be paying for it. Later, we'll look at the Democratic response.

We're From the Government; We're Here to Help II

Does anyone remember MCI? MCI (or Worldcom) was the company that had, let's say, interesting accounting practices. Worldcom collapsed in 2002, when they had $11 billion in interesting accounting practices. The company will be monitored by the government:
As the General Services Administration closely monitors MCI for a three-year period, the company will be required to provide extra reporting on their conduct in order to bid for federal contracts, according to GSA official David Drabkin.
The agency lifted a bar imposed in July .
Meanwhile, the justice department is still investigating in misdoings.

So, let me get this straight. One department of the executive branch can do business with a company while another department investigates it. What is wrong with this picture? What about the $11 billion? At least one Senator with an "R" got it half right: Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine), who as chairman of the Senate Governmental Affairs committee examined MCI's government contracts, was skeptical about the timing of the decision.
Collins questioned "whether GSA made the right decision in reinstating MCI when allegations involving the company remain under investigation by federal authorities."
"Until those issues are resolved it is difficult to assess MCI's suitability for federal contracts," she said.
I cannot see how it is difficult to "assess MCI's suitability." Why is the Federal government doing business with an entitiy that may have broken laws? If the Justice Department investigation turns up nothing, then fine. We will see how things pan out. MCI appears to be rewarded, since it is able to resume governmental contracts. The government is MCI's biggest customer. Could this be a form of corporate welfare?

I fail to see how the government is helping we, the people. Doing business with a fraudulent, financially shaky company is not in the government's interests. Another example of why I am for a smaller government.

(thanks to cagw)