Feet on the ground – head in the clouds.

Going silent on non-issues, earmark moratorium tells a better story

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I’ve decided to only allow myself 24-hours to react to what the modern media calls “news”. This includes the syntax and semantics arguments, surrogate attacks and guilty-by-association campaigns. I’ve already over-covered the Obama “bitter” remarks, as has most of the news. We push out stories of the struggling economy, the global (a word you’d think meant ‘unamerican’) food crisis, the endless war in Iraq and actual legitimate issue debate for this kind of crap. For my own sanity and health, I’ve got to stop caring so much about what people think about what people say. Does that make sense?

Jason Linkins at the Huffington Post has a short but great piece with two videos as Sen. Clinton and Sen. Obama address the same crowd on Obama’s remarks about rural America. The response was telling: people don’t care about that crap. We don’t need the candidates to run a popularity contest just because the mainstream media wants to make this election into one.

The more I look into each of the candidates, the more I realize they are all a giant leap forward from the current administration. My remaining concerns are economic, and I see no great option here. McCain’s choices for supporting cast will be a major tell, although a preliminary look tells me there are far too many Bush administration cronies in the bunch. On the Republican side, Mitt Romney had a far greater economic bearing. Then I remind myself that unless it is working to get your friends no-bid contracts, a VP really has no major role in shaping economic policy.

This earmark moratorium introduced by Jim DeMint of South Carolina would have been a great win for the taxpayer. The names of four co-sponsors names caught my eye. Jon Kyl is among the most fiscally responsible in the Senate, and someone I trust highly with my tax dollar. John McCain, Kyl’s colleague from Arizona is also a co-sponsor, as well as both Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. The moratorium would ban any earmarks in legislation for the 2009 fiscal year.

Earmarks are requests for money by a specific legislator, usually for his constituency, added onto often unrelated government spending bills.

The problem with earmarks, he said, is that “we don’t know if [the projects] are valuable or not.”

In rare occasions the earmarks are for semi-worthy job-creating projects. Most are not so worthy. This moratorium failed 29-71. We really do need a sea change in Washington.

All three candidates are more for the people than the Bush administration, which is a high priority for me. The strength of this country is our freedom to disagree, not just as individuals but on a state-by-state and city-by-city basis. It’s the basic idea of federalism. Those in California and those in Oklahoma should not have the same exact laws. That’s why our federal government should always remain very small. If my loud noise bothers my neighbor, my city can pass an ordinance. We don’t need a Constitutional amendment preventing loud noises everywhere.


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