The US Senate has utterly rejected, by an 82-15 vote, the Coburn Amendment, which would have stopped the pork-barrel spending of hundreds of millions of tax dollars on unneeded bridges in Alaska, and applied the money to rebuilding Louisiana bridges and highways destroyed by Katrina. The US Senate ought to be ashamed.
Both Tom Coburn of Oklahoma, the amendment's sponsor, and Ted Stevens, the high-seniority Alaska senator playing sugar daddy to his state with other people's tax money, are Republicans. The Coburn Amendment was unusual in that it attracted strong support from both conservatives and liberals. Except in Congress.
Sigh. We need a new Congress. We got one in 1995, Newt's 'Contract with America' group, who balanced the budget for the first time in a generation. Some of them are still in office. Tom Coburn, notably, was a member of that group. Some are gone. Some have gone native and become corrupt Washington wheeler-dealers like the establishment politicians they once replaced. Sleazy lobbyist Jack Abramoff, currently under investigation, was closely tied to the members and politics of the 1994 House group.
I know that every Democrat on my flist (that's 99% of you, I would guess... ^^;;) is thinking, "Yeah, get rid of the pork-barreling Republicans, vote in some fiscally responsible Democrats!" Not so fast. It was the corrupt and self-dealing Democrats who were thrown out, little more than a decade ago, by Newt's boys. No, I'm not going to believe the Democratic establishment has changed its stripes in a decade. Note that of the 15 who voted for the Coburn Amendment, only four were Democrats. Only four Democrats out of 44 could even bring themselves to vote against the widely-ridiculed pork-barrel project of a Republican! Holy cow.
I don't know what the answer is. The Democrats talk fiscal responsibility, but don't vote that way, and have a dubious history in this area. The Gingrich Class of 1994 has largely been absorbed into the political sponge that is Washington D.C. The current president doesn't know what the meaning of 'veto' is.
A new party? The way the American political system is set up, it is almost impossible for a third-party to make any inroads. And I give any third party a maximum of fifteen years before it becomes as corrupt and addicted to pork as the Republicans and Democrats.
Maybe what we need is a Federal Base Closing Commission (BRAC) for the budget. Domestic military bases are notorious pork-barrel havens, were almost impossible to close, despite many being unnecessary wastes of money, until the BRAC was established in 1988. Although local politicians still fight base closures, BRAC has had some success. It is, at least, better than what we had before 1988, when no military base, however useless, could ever be closed, because of local political pressure.
焦熱地獄 == shounetsujigoku
== (noun) burning hell, inferno
|Both right and left radicals are radical forms of 'dog' (犬). Center radical is 'words/speak' (言). This character originally referred to a verbal dispute (i.e., people barking at each other like dogs!), then came to mean litigation, and from there came to mean the criminal justice system and prisons. Henshall suggests as a mnemonic: 'Words in dog fight lead to litigation and prison.'|