The Declarer (Floyd McWilliams' Blog)

Wednesday, April 02, 2003

Instapundit and Hit and Run have both linked to the news that a federal prosecutor is siccing the Patriot Act on PayPal for its support of transactions between Americans and offshore gambling companies.

As James Donald said, you need only hear the name of the Patriot Act to know that it is an abomination. I support what Bush is doing outside America's borders, but everything he has done domestically irritates and alienates me. Everything Bush has done expands the spending and power of the federal government. I support tax cuts, but they are best used as a device to force Congress to cut back on spending. Bush has never seen a spending measure he didn't like, so what is the point of his tax relief except to run up huge deficits?

I started wondering if things would get better if Bush were ousted in 2004. Given the scorn I have for Democrats, it's a pretty drastic thought for me. But any ease I might have obtained from this scenario was dispelled when I happened upon hard-core Democratic blog The Daily Kos. The Kos echoed the line that helpless little California -- whose sweet milquetoast governor has never shaken anyone down without a handshake and a smile -- was looted by energy companies. Here are some of the comments from the enthusiastic chorus:

If the Democrats were a true opposition party, they would now be advertising a couple of programs to put their enemies on the defensive:

1) Jail terms and confiscation of assets of energy firms that overbilled consumers and states and serious corruption investigation of state and federal officials who let it happen on their watches.

2) Breaking up media monopoly of the airwaves. The TV media broadcasts sleaze on _our_ airwaves, technology allows more choices with spectrum division and low power radio. Let's abolish the media monopoly.

3) Confiscation of assets obtained by bribery. Any federal give-aways that can be shown to be promoted by multi-million dollar lobbying should be returned to the people and put in a fund for Medicare.

As it stands, the big corporations that pay for politics have no incentive to invest in the Dems - and the carrot and stick of the Repubs is working to close off alternatives. Clinton showed them that there was no penalty to betting on the right. The Harry&Luise ads should have caused a simplified national insurance proposal. What you want is for people who run ClearChannel to have to at least think about what would happen to ClearChannel if a Democrat came into office in the teeth of their opposition.

Did the money stay in California - or did it get shifted to Texas? There are multiple money leaks from the blue states to the red ones. Blue states pay more taxes but red states recieve more benefits. Remember the savings and loan debacle? More money than Carl Sagen had numbers for got shifted to crooks in red states. They take our money and give the Republican Party a cut.

RICO anyone?

So the Evil Party calls any unapproved transaction "money laundering," and moves toward a world where you will need a videocamera pointed at your wallet whenever you open it to prove that you are not doing anything illegal. Meanwhile the Stupid Party, when it is not concocting bizarre conspiracy theories, wants to loot any company that has the audacity to take advantage of its legislators' economic illiteracy. (Not to mention creating a new Alien and Sedition Act to punish the press of its political opponents.) What a future I have to look forward to.

(Just to kill off any remaining hope you may have of civil liberties relief at the hands of Democrats: The most prominent anti-gambling scolds -- Minnesota Attorney General Hubert H Humphrey III and New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer -- are both Democrats.)



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