The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
- The Fourth Amendment to the US Constitution
The documents were carefully selected for their ability to illustrate the problem without being sensational or personal. The exit strategy led to Hong Kong, with a long tradition of free speech but under the control of the US’ one serious non-friend, China. The leak was given to the Guardian, a non-US publication with a history of defending speech and privacy. All of this is the work of a methodical mind turning himself over completely to what he believes is simply the right thing to do.
Edward Snowden is a hero, and a very smart one at that. A petition has already started for a Presidential pardon, and I hope you will sign it.
The year was 1930. The greatest depression in US history closed around the nation like a dark shadow. Congress was desperate to do something that put the nation to work again. What could do it? Rep. Willis Hawley (R-OR) and Sen. Reed Smoot (R-UT) had a plan – close down imports and make Americans buy products made in America. Their plan, the Smoot-Hawley Tariff, raised import taxes on over 20,000 items to about the highest level they had ever been. Nations around the world responded with their own tariffs, starting with Canada, slashing all trade in and out of the US in half. Nearly everyone agrees that this made the Great Depression much worse everywhere.
Flash forward to 2013. Japan returns the Liberal Democratic Party to power on the promise to put the nation to work again. Their plan? Not to shut down trade, but to increase it – goosing exports by lowering the value of their currency and making their stuff cheaper.
The situations and the plans are very similar, but the underlying assumption is completely different. The world has passed from Nationalism to Globalism as the basic driving force. And that difference is worth thinking through.
If you listen carefully in Washington, you can hear the tiny whooshing sound that dice make when they are up in the air. The difference is that when politicians throw them you hear a lot more bluster and babbling.
Sen Mitch McConnell (R-KY) is up for re-election in 2014, and he knows just how the next 18 months are going to go for his re-election plans. It’s a steady diet of scandals and a call to repeal “Obamacare”. He told the Washington Post, “I was in favor of repealing Obamacare long before the IRS scandal,” he said. “It’s the single worst piece of legislation in a long time.” McConnell added that the health-care law “has an overwhelming likelihood of being the most important issue of fall of 2014 campaign.”
We’ve already discussed how ridiculous the scandal-mongering is, but what if Obamacare actually works? That’s not an idle question, either, because there is considerable evidence that it will work – for very conservative, Republican reasons. And at least one key Republican has admitted as much.
Benghazi. IRS. Boston Marathon “False Flags”. AP. These are a few of the “scandals” that get a tremendous amount of airplay and, judging from opinion polls, mostly yawns. Why do they get so much coverage? It’s only because of the push behind them, not the relative truth or fiction within.
They are, indeed, a matter of policy. The Heritage Foundation, lobbying arm of the supposedly non-partisan Heritage Foundation, circulated a letter to House Republicans stating “… it would be imprudent to do anything that shifts the focus from the Obama administration to the ideological differences within the House Republican Conference. … Legislation such as the Internet sales tax or the FARRM Act which contains nearly $800 billion in food stamp spending, would give the press a reason to shift their attention away from the failures of the Obama administration to write another ‘circular firing squad’ article.”
While the constant barrage of scandals is draining, it’s best to not confront it too directly. Here’s what progressives and other Americans interesting in getting things done need to concentrate on.
“Too Big To Fail” (TBTF) is the standard for socialized risk and privatized profits. The biggest banks enjoy an implied bailout under Dodd-Frank regulations that give them a tremendous advantage over smaller banks. The complex weave of financial innovations that are their signature is impossible for anyone to understand, making the risk we have taken on as taxpayers almost impossible to quantify.
What can be done about it? Try TBTF – the “Terminating Bailouts for Taxpayer Fairness” Act of 2013.
This legislation, introduced by Sherrod Brown, an Ohio Democrat, and David Vitter, a Louisiana Republican, cuts through the complexity, levels the playing field among banks, and ends “Too Big To Fail” once and for all. What chance does it have? Actually, a very good one because of some terrific politics.