Thursday, November 04, 2010


Political Mayhem Thursday: After the election, what?

Like everyone else, I have politics on my mind. If you get the Dallas Morning News, please be sure to look for my Op-Ed (in the "Points" section) this Sunday.

Four brief observations on the mid-term elections, then a few questions for you:

1) I like divided government. It tempers the rash impulses of both sides.
2) On Tuesday, some of the wheat got thrown out with the chaff, however.
3) One big winner: The Noze Brotherhood at Baylor, creators of the Aqua Buddha.
4) Shrinking government is worthwhile, but very, very hard in a bad economy.

And now, two questions for you to ponder:

a) What is the big story of this election?
b) Will this make Obama a better or worse President?

What happens next? Obama loses in 2012!
(a) The big story? Tea-had.

(b) Probably better. It worked for Reagan and Clinton.

That said, I want to say this to the Republican elect: congratulations. The American people have placed their trust in you, and unlike you, I do not wish for you to fail simply because we disagree. In fact, I hope you succeed.

That said, I feel like it is my duty as the loyal opposition to suggest that perhaps you should stick to your ideals. If you are serious about balancing the budget, I have some ideas for cuts in spending and to shrink the size of government.

First, let's do away with these costly foreign occupations and military actions. In fact, a wholesale cut in the defense budget will do nicely. Second, George W. Bush, a Republican President, increased the size of government by creating a whole new federal department with sweeping powers. We should immediately abolish the Department of Homeland Security.

To deal with the loss of their duties, we should immediately defund the costly and ineffective war on drugs. The DEA, ATF, CBP and FBI will be greatly relieved that they no longer have to deal with invading the personal liberties of citizens to enforce costly and ineffective laws.

Next, we should repeal the broad powers given to the government by the USA PATRIOT Act.

In addition, since Republicans are the champions of liberty and freedom, it is time for oppressive policies like Don't Ask, Don't Tell, and the denial of marriage equality, to end. What business does the government have telling me who I can and can't marry?

Next, there are too many laws that are restrictive of a woman's right to an abortion at a federal level. Typical overreaching big government. Let's do away with that.

Since most Americans are making cutbacks in their budget, including some of us not getting our expected cost-of-living adjustments to our salaries, I only think it is fair that we reduce the salaries of all federal employees, including Representatives and Senators, by a significant margin. Cuts must be made.

And it is time to end entitlement programs: all of them. This means Medicare and Medicaid, Social Security, federal unemployment assistance, and subsidies to businesses and agri-business have to end. It is high time these people learned to pull themselves up by their bootstraps.

And finally, I hope that there are significant reductions in tax for all tax brackets, not just inheritance, capital gains, and corporate taxes. I hope that we encourage a robust free-market economy by providing incentives for companies to invest in America by hiring American workers and building up infrastructure in America instead of Mexico and Southeast Asia.

Since Republicans campaigned on the issues of small government, fiscal responsibility, and personal liberty, I expect that all of these reforms are well within your capability and mandate, given America's choice. You have two years, the same as you gave the Democrats, to enact this agenda.

And if you do, I will, for the first time in my life, vote for a Republican for legislative office.
Lane ~ sometimes your comments are just priceless*!
Toby Walker from the Waco Tea Party just made a fool of herself on NPR. She went on and on about shrinking the federal government, then complained that they hadn't widened I-35! Then she complained about the stimulus. The host pointed out that lots of the stimulus went towards road building, and she said something like "not MY road."

Lane apparently wants to...

-cut spending
-wholesale eliminate Federal agencies
-cut Federal employee's salaries
-end Medicare
-end Medicaid
-end Social Security
-end business subsidies
-cut taxes for everybody

I'm not sure, but I think me and Lane agree about everything. I think Lane is a conservative. I'm even on board with repealing DADT, marriage equality, and getting the Federal government out of the abortion business.

RRL & Lane 2012!!
And while we've got the hatchet out, let's axe the military (all branches) the judiciary, law enforcement, federal and state governments (the legislative chambers would make nifty museums)and the postal service. Did I miss something? (I am publishing as anonymous cuz I can't get my password to work).

Alan Bean
Great! 4 years of you two arguing with each other. Talk about gridlock. though I imagine cabinet meetings would resemble the prime minister meeting with the house of commons in England, which would be fun to watch on CSPAN.

I would be willing to bargain away the death penalty as long as Lane agreed to outlaw abortion. That way the government is out of the business of killing anyone. And would agree to most everything else laid out so far.

Also, Lane forgets that conservatives are just fine with the big government when it comes to keeping people from doing "bad" things, just not when it comes to the government touching our money....there is a difference after all!
No deal, Aggieman. Death penalty is ok to me.

RRL, you bring these points up at the next meeting. But that sounds awfully anarchist of us, and quite frankly, I don't think our ideas will fly with the party establishment. Something tells me there is a gap between what politicians say they care about.

Still, we'll lead as two kings.
Most important issue that RRL left unaddressed:

John Boehner smoking like a chimney.
Big Story:

We live in a center-right country. The President misread his mandate. Americans let him know about it.

Will the President change?

I keep hoping. I am less sure than I once was that he will. But I am still cautiously optimistic about his ability to make the most of this golden opportunity.

What Next?

I will support the RRL-Lane ticket. I keep wanting to write an essay entitled, "What the British Revolution has to teach America." In short, if Cameron and Clegg can do it, surely two American politicians can come together for just long enough to plot a common-sense course through these turbulent times.
Lane -

I share your dream - unfortunately, these are the same ilk that brought us Shrub and his actions. The names have changed, but not the priorities.

Once again, logic and reason go out the window hand in hand...

Oh, well, we can dream.


PS If you and RRL run together, can I design the campaign fliers? They would be sooo very fun to do.
Two kings has not, nor ever will, work effectively. Besides, in our cost cutting plan, it's pointless to have 2 kings, and one must be removed. Redundancy is something we have to eliminate to save money.

The question then becomes: how do we decide who stays and who goes?

rock, paper, scissors? cage match? Halo Wars tournament? Bet on the next Baylor/UT game?
Cage match.
And Waco Farmer (hmmm, that is very close to "framer") is wrong. It is a center-left country. People want services from the government, like the Tea Party Waco person described above. They don't want to pay for them. That does not make them right-wing. It makes them irresponsible.
Anon 2:59 and WF are both wrong. Americans want their spinach to taste like ice cream.

except when they want their ice cream to be healthy like spinach.
I agree with IPLG (this may be a first). People like the good stuff government does, and they like the rule of law and regulations and oversight. But they don't like that these things sometimes act as impediments to Americans' self-centered "me, me, me" attitude.

A healthy balance can be struck, but somewhere between 1996 and 2002 we lost the ability to find the balance between the power of the state and the freedom of the individual. That narrative must end; the State is the servant of the people, and democracy our goad. Instead, we believe the State is the enemy of the people, the admonishing parent that wags his finger and never lets us have fun. We are like spoiled kids who want ice cream for dinner and complain about not getting it.
Baylor reigns supreme in bar results!
If nothing else, I think this election proves that simply holding a majority in Congress (one house or both) does not demonstrate that a particular party is more fit to govern than the other. Two years ago, when Democrats solidified huge majorities in Congress and took the WH, they claimed their cause had finally been recognized and proven superior. Just two years later, we have Republicans claiming that America is waking up to realize that their policies are truly better.

The truth is that we have become so vulnerable to demagoguery and rhetoric that we don't know what to believe--other than that we are thoroughly dissatisfied with our government. Yes, we want our dessert for dinner, and we don't want to pay for it! But why not!? Both parties have been telling us for years that we will have prosperity if only we vote for them.

Sure, we have proven ourselves to be a bit gullible, but government and those who govern have proven themselves thoroughly untrustworthy. As this is the case, I have no idea why people invest so much allegiance in a particular party. As far as I'm concerned, my allegiance is to human dignity, the Constitution, and my own beliefs; and my vote goes to the man or woman who best espouses those values.

Still, I think diversity in government is better than single party control. But like Prof. Osler said, some wheat invariable gets thrown out with the chaff.
Hopefully Canby gets a WENDY's. At least that is where I am putting my bribery money to Brian Hodson
As I sit here studying for my last law school final ever (hopefully!), I am harshly reminded of an issue that I have wanted the government to address for a long time:

It is 2010, and yet the best system we have for approaching trains to give warning is a giant horn that can be heard for miles and blasts at all hours of the day and night. We can take soil samples on Mars, and yet we can't figure out a better notification system for trains that just "GIANT LOUD HORN BLASTING ENDLESSLY?" Seriously, a train is thousands of tons of metal chugging along a fixed route at a low to medium rate of speed. If you can't avoid a train without the horn, you weren't going to be able to avoid it with the horn.

I will vote for whomever fixes this issue for me.
Eric Cantor on the new Republican House agenda.

See, this just stinks of growing government. How is government supposed to function with all this oversight and bureaucratic red tape to crawl through? Government would be much more efficient if it didn't try to regulate itself and let natural forces control its shape and growth. The invisible hand and all that.

Next thing you know, Republicans will want to appoint regulators to regulate the regulators of the regulators.
Re: Train horns

My dad was an RR engineer. People drive around the signal arms, ignore the flashing lights, and have their boom (or boob) boxes up so loud in their cars they would miss the second coming.

Personally, I regard the resulting mess as the much-needed chlorine in the gene pool, but the poor engineer has to live with killing someone, even if he did it all right.

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