Here are, in my view, interesting, noteworthy columns and articles from the past week that I highly recommend (You will note that on occasion, I do not endorse the opinions of the author and may point that out. Despite my disagreements, I still feel the piece is worth a read).
Time to think the unthinkable: A Democratic primary challenge to Obama’s re-election
“It is time for Progressives to stop ‘whining’ and arguing among themselves about whether President Obama will or will not do this or that. Obama is no different than any other President, nominated by his national party. He was elected with the hard work and 24/7 commitment of persons who believed and enlisted in his campaign for ‘Hope’ and ‘Change.’
You don’t have to be a rocket scientist nor have a PhD in political science and sociology to see clearly that Obama has abandoned much of the base that elected him. He has done this because he no longer respects, fears or believes those persons who elected him have any alternative, but to accept what he does, whether they like it or not.”
What to cut
“Congress should enact government-wide spending caps that gradually return spending to 20 percent or less of GDP. After a $727 billion spending increase since 2007, there is no shortage of programs to cut to meet that 20 percent target. The 112th Congress should target programs based on their economic impact, their cost, and the feasibility of reforming them. It should build credibility with the public by including cuts in the federal government’s spending on itself, unpopular earmarks, and even traditional conservative spending programs. Conservatives could begin with the following twelve projects…”
A nude awakening-TSA screening and privacy
“The TSA continues to advocate a model of security based upon overreaction. Ineffectual peripheral threats relating to liquid explosives, shoe bombs or printer cartridges coincide with rapid changes to the terrorist alert level (as if the risk of terrorism increases after a failed plot!) and reactionary modifications to security protocol, resulting in the loss of millions in governmental revenue, inconvenience for passengers and the abatement of fundamental liberty.
The fundamental problem is that terrorism is innovative while TSA policy is reactive. The TSA modifies its protocol on the basis of terrorist plots that have already happened, while an intelligent terrorist knows not to duplicate the failed efforts of past terrorists.”
Last state budget bill contained $39.2 million in earmarks
“With all the talk about banning earmarks in the new Congress, it’s easy to focus on the national and forget the local, but it turns out the porksters in Madison have been wallowing in the earmark mud just as much as those in Washington have been.
In fact, even as the state battled an approximately $6 billion shortfall going into the last budget cycle, lawmakers managed to successfully insert $39.2 million in earmarks in the 2009-11 state budget bill.
Among the goodies passed out by the Democratic majority – and left in the final budget act by outgoing Democratic Gov. Jim Doyle – was $500,000 for an upgrade of the Oshkosh Opera House, $5 million for the Bradley Sports Center in Milwaukee, $250,000 for the Madison Children’s Museum, another half-million dollars for the Aldo Leopold climate change laboratory, $100,000 to restore a stone barn in the town of Chase, not to mention recycling bins for the town of Wrightstown and $50,000 for a public shooting range in Eau Claire.
Even OneidaCounty got a little taste of pork, just enough perhaps to whet the appetite – $10,000 for a trail crossing.”
Locked and loaded
“’A look into the minds of the gun-toters among us.”
“I swore to myself I was not going to be defenseless ever again.”
Texting ban won’t make us safer
“In a country where we regularly affix ‘caution, hot!’ warnings to cups of coffee, is it really conceivable that government safety czars would agree that two, 3,000-pound hunks of metal could safely be maneuvered past one another on a two-lane country road in the rain by two 16-year-olds jamming out radio Top 40?)
But as it is, driving in America is inescapable, dangerous by nature, and often so mind-numbingly routine that we look for other diversions of the eye, ear and hands. Because of this, it’s unlikely bans on texting while driving will make much of a dent in the crash numbers.”