Monday, August 29, 2011
A Compelling Weekend
Hurricane Irene dominated the weekend news, but it's it was also a good time to sit back and reflect. It was a huge hurricane but did New York and the eastern seaboard go a little overboard in its coverage? I'm not downplaying any major storm or its affect but Hurricane Katrina was much more powerful, but the response didn't match what we saw this weekend. I know the politicians didn't want to be Katrinasized, so they took the extra precaution. I understand that a category 2 hurricane can cause a lot of havoc in a populous area like the northeast in contrast to the open spaces along the Gulf Coast. Especially, after an earthquake.
The earthquake and hurricane situation were used by Congressmen Eric Cantor and Ron Paul to make a stand on their principles. Erick Cantor said an equal amount of cuts would have to be made to pay for the relief efforts in his district and state. Ron Paul used this opportunity to downplay the importance of FEMA. Ron Paul said, "FEMA is not a good friend of most people in Texas because they only come in and tell you what you can and can't do," Paul said.Paul's statements came before Hurricane Irene made landfall in North Carolina then pummeled the East Coast through the weekend, leaving millions without power and leaving at least 20 dead. “He also told Chris Wallace that we can't afford FEMA because it's full of bureaucracy and our country is broke. Ron Paul voted against Hurricane IKE relief for his constituents in Galveston. Was that a stand on principle or did he know his colleagues would vote for the relief? I think it's the latter but Ron Paul is trying to use the Katrina response to bolster his argument, but that doesn't hold any water because Bill Clinton's FEMA director, James Lee Witt, did a tremendous job. President Bush put his inexperienced cronies at the head of that important agency, and we got what we paid for. Rick Perry got FEMA aid and wanted more. Ron Paul said that we could pull our troops from other countries or reduced foreign aid to pay for FEMA. That's the same line that he uses for Social Security, Medicare, and any other government program. Ron Paul is pretty consistent, "pull yourself up by your bootstraps, yourself up by your bootstraps and if you don't have bootstraps, you've done something wrong to get yourself in that situation." It's the philosophy of Ayn Rand.
The talk shows were lacking this weekend due to the coverage of Hurricane Irene, but the topic was centered pretty much over the Republican front runners Rick Perry and Mitt Romney. They pointed out the lack of foreign policy credentials will not be a factor in the next election. It's Ron Paul making all the foreign policy news because of his nonintervention views. Mr. Paul said Al qaida may now be in Libya. He's taking a small point and exaggerating it. Some of the rebels who took part in the overthrow of the Libyan government did enlist in the fighting in Iraq against us, but they weren't really members of Al qaida. There were more like adventurous mercenaries out for the weekend thrill. We just killed Al Qaida’s number two, Omar Qaddafi has been overthrown, and so forth, or we just around the corner or just running in place? I don't know, but it calls for a serious discussion, not one driven by politics.
The role of government is a conversation that we should have. We shouldn't have this discussion in the middle of a storm because the outcome would be lopsided in favor of FEMA. Congressman Ron Paul, Eric Cantor, Paul Ryan, and Grover Norquist are all on the same page on taxes and a goal of making government small enough where you can drown it in a bath tub. I imagine that those people cringe every time FEMA is applauded for helping people in dire need. It doesn’t help their cause when 67% of the people think that the top two should get taxed more in an effort not to put most of the burden on the old, disabled, elderly, and middle class. There is a lot a waste at all levels of government but that's no cause to throw the baby out with the bath water. I get a kick out of our locals arguing our tax rate in Victoria, especially when they try to impress without knowing the difference between a marginal tax rate and an effective tax rate. I still think those people are just trying to muddy the waters because they hate taxes and government.
I know that Michelle Bachmann is behind the frontrunners but I just can't get over how people will use God in politics. She said"“I don't know how much God has to do to get the attention of the politicians,” Bachmann said to supporters. “We've had an earthquake; we’ve had a hurricane. He said, 'Are you going to start listening to me here? Listen to the American people because the American people are roaring right now. They know government is on a morbid obesity diet and we've got to rein in the spending.' ”.... Do they know I stupid this sounds? I imagine Ed Rollins (Bachmann's campaign manager) put the fear of God in her , because now she is saying that she was just kidding. If we believe that God is the lone creator, why would God put so much emphasis on United States(~310 million people) over the other six billion people? Pat Robertson said the crack the Washington monument received from earthquake was a sign.
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