Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Beware the DA

For John, BLUFGood idea, needs to be thought through.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

On City Life this morning there was a discussion of fighting crime and one of the issues was getting the District Attorneys to actually fight to put convicted criminals in jail.  This issue has evolved over the last few weeks, from what the police are doing to what are the judges are doing to, finally, what the DAs are doing.

That is the real locus of the problem.  The District Attorneys make the decisions to make the deals.  They often view these things through the lens of what is good for their office.  At the same time we find that with the continuing proliferation of laws we have truly become a "Ham Sandwich Nation", a nation in which Federal and Local Government Attorneys can indict just about anybody for this or that infraction of some obscure law.

Back to City Life, the suggestion was made that since other efforts are not getting the attention of the DAs, we need to talk to our Representatives on Beacon Hill and have them cut budgets.  At the end of the day money talks and mere rhetoric walks.  I think this is an excellent proposal, but we really do need to talk seriously with our Representatives, because often we just get MOTS, more of the same.

I would add a note of caution.  Way out in Texas the Governor, Rick Perry, used his line item veto to deal with a DA who had become a fairly notorious public drunk, Travis County District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg.  For that Governor Perry has been indicted on two felony counts of abuse of power.

Regards  —  Cliff

US Rep Debate, MA 3rd CD

For John, BLUFWe are getting a second debate, helping to explicate issues for the voters.  Good.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

There will be at least one more debate between our US Representative, Niki Tsongas, and her challenger, Ann Wofford.  This debate has been set up by The [Lowell] Sun (thank you Sun editors).

The date and time is Tuesday, the 28th, at 10:00 AM.

The venue is the Conference Center on Fort Devens.

31 Andrews Parkway
Devens, MA 01434

More details when I get them.

Regards  —  Cliff

Taxing the Internet By the Ignorant

For John, BLUFTaxes should be used to encourage new economic areas, not to freeload off them.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Over at the blog site Samizdata blogger Perry de Havilland wants to know, "How do you say “astounding stupidity” in Hungarian?".  The cause of Mr de Havilland's outrage is the fact that the Hungarian Parliament has just voted to put a tax on the transfer of data on the Internet.

As the blog post points out, this is a way of stifling high tech industry and the creation of new ideas.  But, Hungary is drifting away from the ideal of a Liberal Democracy (not a Progressive Government, but a Liberal Democracy).

The reality is that taxes create social policy.  They can encourage or discourage economic growth in certain areas.  Taxes must be thoughtfully applied.  And, of course, they should not be so complex the rules and rulings take up a bookshelf of space in some lawyer's or accountant's office.

Yes, we absolutely need taxes, to pay for our government's actions, but we need to think about the impact of our taxes.

Hat tip to Samizdata.

Regards  —  Cliff

It Isn't Just the Koch Brothers

For John, BLUFIt isn't the amount you contribute, it is if you agree with my politics.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

This last weekend's New York Times Magazine had an article on big money in politics.  In this case about billionaire being willing to drop $50 million in the current election.  The title is "How Billionaire Oligarchs Are Becoming Their Own Political Parties".  The author is Mr Jim Rutenbergoct.
In August, Tom Steyer and seven campaign advisers sat in a small conference room in Coral Gables, Fla., trying to figure out how to save the world.  Steyer, who is 57, has a fortune of roughly $1.5 billion, and his advisers were among the most talented political operatives in the United States.  Steyer is especially concerned about climate change, and his immediate goal, the object of discussion that day, was to replace the sitting governor of Florida, Rick Scott, a Republican who has questioned the very existence of anthropogenic climate change, with Charlie Crist, the previous governor, whose environmental views hew more closely to Steyer’s.
Think of the outrage if Mr Steyer was supporting Governor Scott.

Regards  —  Cliff

Europe as Exemplar

For John, BLUFAlways beware of using Europe as a model.  That said, here Europe has the via media.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From the Instapundit I found this link to an item at the On-line Presence The College Fix.  The Instapundit framed it:
IF YOU SUPPORT BROAD ABORTION RIGHTS, you probably don’t want to suggest that America should become “more European.”
I do believe there is a reflexive response that Europe is more progressive than the United States.  It turns out that the European operationalization of human rights are not always the same as our own.

To save you have having to read the linked article, a number of European nations, Western European nations, let the "right to an abortion" turn on viability of the fetus.  But, then they had the Holocaust and the rounding up of people for the gas chambers on their own turf.

Regards  —  Cliff

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

The Next Two Years

For John, BLUFWhen it comes to leadership, the US President is never a lame duck.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Here we have some leadership advice from President Clinton's former chief of staff, Mr Thomas F. “Mack” McLarty, in The Wall Street Journal.
How Obama Can Salvage His Last Two Years

The president faces complex crises, including Ebola and Islamic State.

They require clear U.S. leadership.

Regards  —  Cliff

Boomers to Blame

For John, BLUFYes, John, folks of your generation.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

This headline from Salon says it all:
Baby boomers ruined America:  Why blaming millennials is misguided — and annoying
Regards  —  Cliff