Wayne LaPierre has it right, the solution to gun violence is to put armed guards in every U.S. school. This, of course, includes charter schools and, as last week demonstrated, in home school environments.
This would be an expensive proposition but the NRA is correct that it is the only truly effective way to provide for the safety of our citizens.
Therefore, I propose the following tax structure to pay for these guards:
$10,000 sales tax on every firearm sold.
$1,000 annual property tax on each firearm owned.
$50 sales tax on every bullet and cartridge sold.
$5 use tax on every bullet or cartridge fired. (this fee waived if it was fired in the defense of another, but only upon provision of proof that the taxpayer hit the appropriate target).
Simple system. And it truly will curb gun violence.
Much has been made of Mitt Romney's call to let the auto industry go bankrupt. At the recent debates he has tried to twist that into saying that he was calling for loan guarantees rather than a bailout. Politely, that is a bald-faced lie. Even if it were true, it completely disregards the fact that the credit market was completely dry and there is no indication that guarantees would have loosened up credit for Chrysler and GM (look at what happened to housing for relevant evidence).
But all of this misses the greater point of stupidity in Mr. Romney's screed where he called upon the slashing of labor payrolls and stealing already earned benefits, but failed to even acknowledge out-of-control executive pay:
First, their huge disadvantage in costs relative to foreign brands must be eliminated. That means new labor agreements to align pay and benefits to match those of workers at competitors like BMW, Honda, Nissan and Toyota. Furthermore, retiree benefits must be reduced so that the total burden per auto for domestic makers is not higher than that of foreign producers.
It is incredible to me that someone who considers himself a financial genius does not understand that the $2000 burden per car that he refers to is a result of the fact that the United States lacks a universal health care program like Japan and Germany, and that the U.S. retirement system pales in comparison to its German and Japanese counterparts.
It is the failure of our country to fully utilize the economy of scale under some 1950's premise of the Red Scare that leads to these runaway costs for businesses. And why not? When companies can hold a benefit for their employees that can be wiped away and stolen from the people who have dedicated their lives to these companies exactly as Mr. Romney would have them, then why would you make the investment? And in the end, who ends up picking up the tab anyway? John Q. Public, out of funds that are capped as a tax on 100% of the average American's income but only a percent or two of Mr. Romney's.
Mr. Romney consistently espouses expanding the policies that directly led to the problems that the nation is facing. So is he truly an idiot, or is it just about what's in it for him?
Allow me to break the etiquette of TDK for a moment to whore for a television show. If you have not yet seen Newsroom, a new series on HBO, then you should. The first episode was provided by HBO on YouTube for free and I was hooked (brilliant marketing by HBO by the way, I'm sure I'm not the only one to subscribe after watching it). Jeff Daniels' monolog near the beginning of the series, which sets the stage for the whole premise of the show, is an absolute must. It summarizes the state of our country with absolute precision, and I'm sure I'm not the only one to suspect that their thoughts had been stolen by Aaron Sorkin (except that the writing is clearer, more concise, and more compelling than anything my noggin has been able to assemble).
The show eviscerates mainstream journalism by showing what network news should be/could be like using real world stories as a plot device. It speaks the truth that the networks are either too scared or too bought out to tell. The only fault in the show is that it is on HBO and thus doesn't reach the audiences that so desperately need to see it. Here's to early syndication, so that a broader audience can see it while it is still relevant.
Kudos and thanks to Aaron Sorkin and HBO. Finally something on T.V. worth watching that doesn't involve zombies or meth dealers.
Firemen/women. Policemen/women. Soldiers. Sailors. Airmen/women. Marines. Guardsmen/women.
What do they all have in common? They are all government employees that the Teabaggers and the Wingnuts hate so much, except for when they can exploit them as props in faux-patriotic political pieces. The 10th Anniversary of 9/11, if nothing else, has clearly demonstrated to me just how soulless the Republican party truly is. It is disconcerting to me just how many of the above employee groups consider themselves members of a party that loathes them so much.
Finger pointing, blame-gaming, attacks on character, catch phrases like "socialist agenda" and "party of the rich" are not going to fix the economy. This administration has not engaged in compromise so much as prostitution over the last 2 years. Harsh, but true. We need some bold initiatives that appeal to both sides of the isle to get us out of this economic funk, backed by leadership with spinal fortitude and the willingness to eat a few shit-sandwiches while making the feast.
The sad part is that it isn't really that damned hard, if partisan politics could be put aside for a while. Here is one neophyte's proposal that I believe could gain broad bi-partisan support and actually do something about improving our economic outlook, without throwing any particular class under the bus.
The tragedy in Tucson today has everyone pointing fingers. A fake Facebook page was hastily put up, apparently by right-wing operatives or advocates, to imply that the assailant was a liberal Obama supporter. Posts on You Tube and MySpace that appear much more likely to be genuine resolve a person that is not of any particular political disposition other than that of the now populist anti-government variety. They also cast definition on someone who is significantly mentally unstable. But the question that everyone seems to be focusing on is, "Was this person a Republican, a Democrat or a Tea-Partier?" My question is, does it matter?
There has been a lot of complaining about the complaining going on in liberal circles lately. Those of us who unabashedly call ourselves "liberal" are feeling pretty sour about how most of the last two years have gone, and we have been voicing our displeasure about it more and more. The typical response to this is