Week in Review: July 26, 2013
I was listening to Slate’s Political Gabfest podcast during this mornings commute. While everyone was agreeing that they disliked talking about it and giving it any attention Emily Bazelon made a comment that caught my attention. In her asking why he should be elected as NY mayor, she commented on Weiner’s lack of legislative record alluding (probably accurately) that Weiner’s only interest in politics is self interest. This spurned a thought we talked about at the office on many occasions that we believe more harm than good is accomplished when our politicians keep trying to fix things by enacting new legislation.
Enter segue to
Political Cock Block
This new thinking requires, collusion of two lawmakers to work as a team. Ideally this relationship should be partisan, one Democrat, one Republican. They have to be independent thinkers, cannot be tied to the idiocy that permeates and infests our political system today. One’s sole purpose to prevent any new legislation; period. This is temporary until the second one identifies at minimum ten laws to repeal and wipe from the books for every new legislation introduced. They should be similar in nature, they should focus on those laws whose unintended consequences have caused known problems in their enforcement, they should target laws that are used overtly or otherwise to drive a religious agenda (picking on Utah, naturally).
Example: Alcohol has been under attack for as long as I can remember in Utah. In 1991 (and probably every year prior and since) our legislatures thought it so dangerous that they prohibited the selling of alcohol in containers larger than two liters. i.e., no party ball, no keg of any sort. While this was obviously targeted solely at kegs and party balls, there is no limit placed on the quantity of alcohol allowed to be purchased in a single transaction. Ergo, the lack of thinking through the unintended consequences essentially neuters this bill. Instead of buying a pony keg (8 gallons of beer), one would pick up 3 cases, 1 six pack + 2 .12 oz. beers. Since that’s a hassle carrying, just round up to 4 cases and now you’ve just purchased more than was prohibited in a single container.
32A-12-206. Unlawful sale or supply of beer.
(1) A person may not sell, offer to sell, or otherwise furnish or supply beer to the general public in containers larger than two liters. This does not preclude licensed beer wholesalers from selling, offering to sell, or otherwise furnishing or supplying beer in containers larger than two liters to beer retailers authorized by this title to dispense beer on draft for consumption on the beer retailer’s licensed premises.
(2) A person may not purchase or possess beer in containers larger than two liters unless the person is a beer retailer authorized by this title to dispense beer on draft for consumption on the beer retailer’s licensed premises.
Amended by Chapter 132, 1991 General Session
Admittedly we will have to start at the local level and filter this thinking upward. It won’t be popular. It will be fought and minimized by the press, the lobbyists, and every currently compromised politician and wannabe compromised sitting in the shadows. I think the timing is nearing right. We are as broken politically as we have ever been in my lifetime and no end in sight.
Spy vs. Spy
Read this in Washington Post and nearly spit perfectly good gin on my laptop’s screen.
Snippet that almost made me spit it:
Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. has told a Russian official that the United States will not seek the death penalty for Edward Snowden, the former National Security Agency contractor who released classified documents to reporters about U.S. surveillance and who has been holed up at a Moscow airport.
In a bid to prevent Snowden from being granted asylum by Russia, Holder wrote a letter to the Russian justice minister, saying that although Snowden has been charged with theft and espionage, he will not face the death penalty if returned to the United States.
Holder also told Konovalov that Snowden would not be tortured if he returns to the United States …
Inferring that Snowden will be tortured if apprehended through other means.
<sarcasm> Go USA! </sarcasm>
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