Wednesday, March 16, 2005

 

ProfessorBainbridge: The Politics of the Ownership Society

ProfessorBainbridge.com: The Politics of the Ownership Society The professor points to a very interesting evaluation of voters in the last presidential election.

Interestingly, Zogby claims that the investor/non-investor dichotomy is far more explanatory of voting behavior than race, income, religion, or marital status. Indeed, eyeballing his data, the only thing I can think of that might come close as a predictor of voting behavior is regularity of church attendance

A very good point. Voters across many demographics - the investors - may be the key to another major re-alignment of voters. Zogby observes:

This stunning realignment is possible by virtue of a new class of American voters--the self-identified "investor class"--which is itself a coalition across a broad spectrum of demographic groups. In their compelling book, "The Emerging Democratic Majority," Ruy Texeira and John Judis outlined a short-term path for Democratic Party success. Their study revealed that key demographic groups that traditionally vote Democratic in national and state elections are indeed among the fastest growing demographics in American society: African Americans, Hispanics, women, singles, creatives, Muslims, and South Asians.
It seems as if social politics are coming in second to the desire of the individual to live - and thrive - independent of government programs. Many of these same citizens may truly feel that the government should be there for the down and out in society. However, it appears a growing sentiment is that most people feel they don't NEED the government and that they may actually do better without the government intervening in their own investment. Sounds very much like compassionate conservatism. My question is, how do the democrats, with their strategy to block personal retirement accounts at all costs and mantra that there is nothing wrong with social security, think they are going to tap into the new 'investor class'? The answer likely is, they can't and won't. Why? Because the democrats have once again (similar to their position on Iraq and terrorism) painted themselves into a corner on social security. With their obstructionist politics and 'oppose Bush at every turn' mentality - they are forced to argue against people 'owning' their social security retirement accounts and are forced to defend the notion that social security is just fine. Both postitions will have long term consequences for the dems. If social security reform does not pass, and get's tabled until the crisis reaches unfixable proportions, there will be plenty of us around to remind the government, the press and the voters, just who derailed the attempt to fix social security back in 2005.

Monday, March 14, 2005

 

Congress raises stakes over baseball subpoenas -threatens contempt - AND WASTES TAXPAYERS MONEY AND TIME

Why in the world is this stupidity going on. Prominent members of congress have seen fit to ignore the war in Iraq, terrorists planning attacks on schools and movie theaters, Swiss cheese for a southern boarder, social security reform and the economy to hold hearings on steroids in baseball. What's next, hearings about ecstasy use at raves?

Congress has stepped way out of bounds with this investigation. The House and Senate should hold hearings which are designed to investigate anything threatening the basic framework of our democratic government and our capitalist economy. Such things might include national security, military issues, voter fraud issues, anti-trust or monopoly issues and basic human rights issues. To somehow think that the fate of the nation or it's security is being jeopardized by a few baseball players on steroids is ridiculous. This investigation is nothing but a few congressmen trying to get some attention by stepping into the MLB spotlight. This sham of an investigation is clearly diverting attention away from the real issues of the day.

Don't get me wrong. I'm not defending steroid use by these players. However, as a physician, I know they are only destroying their own bodies. Testosterone-like substances (aka anabolic steroids) do wonders to bulk up a person. They also have deleterious effects on the gonads, liver, kidneys and central nervous system. And don't forget this: use of anabolic steroids is ALREADY ILLEGAL. So congress is having hearings to investigate the use of illegal toxic substance. I'm sure their report will ultimately make astute conclusions such as: steroid use is a problem, it is harmful to individual health, and should be illegal.

I've never heard of democrat Paul Kanjorski before but I could not agree more.

Critics have accused the committee of grandstanding, and one lawmaker on the panel has questioned whether issuing subpoenas was more of a publicity stunt than a serious exercise in oversight.

"To spend our time calling seven baseball players -- maybe I've missed something, but is this the most important issue in the United States today?" Rep. Paul Kanjorski, D-Pa., told the Philadelphia Inquirer last week. "It doesn't warrant even a committee hearing, no less the issuing of subpoenas."


To make things more ridiculous, the committee has invoked the "c" word: CRISIS. If this is a health crisis I wonder how they categorize smoking, diabetes, heart diseaes, obesity, cancer and aids.

"It is a public health crisis, and our testimony from medical experts is going to show this," Davis said. "We have the parents of kids who have used steroids and committed suicide. Over a half a million youth are using steroids and these major-league players are their idols."
(Maybe congress should investigate parents who were so univolved or blinded by athletic success that they didn't know their kids were on steroids - just a thought.)

The players union and the league directly challenged the congress' ability to subpoena players for their investigation:

Representatives of the league and the players union infuriated lawmakers last week when they challenged Congress' authority to issue subpoenas, saying that the committee has no jurisdiction over the steroid issue and that the subpoenas infringe on the privacy of both the players and the league.


The players should have challenged the ability of congress to waste this much time and money.

If you have a congressman ignoring your district, your state and your country, please call or email them to get on with the business of running the country.

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