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Musings from the lawn chair

Fri, Aug 1st, 2008
Posted in Commentary

I don't like my federal government - the Administration, Congress, the whole shooting match - they just don't seem to share my values. The larger the resources available to them to play with, the less I trust them with how they'll use them. Three trillion dollars [budget] is a lot of Benjamins [$100 bills] and plenty of reason not to trust them spending it.

The federal government taxes the money I earn and spends it on a lot of things I don't approve of, like war and pork barrel projects and bailouts for the big guys - from banks to airlines to Fannie Maes and Freddie Macs. And every tax credit for the ultra rich means that a larger proportion of my money will go to pay for things I don't approve of. They say it is for the common good, but I still don't have to like it.

• Using Pat Robertson-speak, is the dismal economy God's way of telling us that He doesn't like how we're running our country?

• When you spend $10 billion a month on a war we never should have been in in the first place it is easy to see why there is a deficit and the dollar isn't worth spit against the Euro, or ah, [cue up the embarrassment] the Canadian Dollar. Oh, and how about that deficit, expected at $450 billion, good old Georgie's gonna leave our kids. You're doing a hellava job, Dubya.

• Who's the angry white guy running for president? I kind of like John McCain but, please, someone tell him to smile. Based on his ads, it seems his campaign motto is "Four more years of war." And whether the surge is working is irrelevant, it's the after-surge that is important. Besides Al Quaida has moved to Kabul. Oh, and tell McCain to remember the 1992 election slogan - "it's the economy, stupid."

• T. Boone Pickens, entrepreneur billionaire and political conservative who funded the Swift Boat campaign attack on Carey, says the U.S. can't drill it's way out of our oil addiction (sorry, McCain). He agrees with Al Gore that we need an energy revolution in this country that moves toward renewables and fuel efficient transportation.

• The state government never seems to want to spend enough of their money on things I want them to, like roads and bridges and education and other government services. How about Highway 52 from Fountain to Rochester? I saw a pothole the other day that was the beginning of an entire new cave system. Maybe if we name things after politicians - like the Tim Pawlenty Highway 52 Cave State Park, or the Carol Mulnau Highway 52 Memorial Sinkhole - our leaders would be shamed into doing something.

• Would someone please tell the ethanol haulers to consider a different route than Hwy. 16 along the scenic Root River. How about from Preston north to I-90? By my count, there have been at least four ethanol transport accidents since POET [Pro-Corn] started producing ethanol. All of them speed related. How do these trucking companies manage to get insurance? We're tired of all that corn juice ending up in the river!

• The Supreme Court recently ruled that the District of Columbia cannot regulate gun control in Washington, D.C. because the 2nd Amendment of the Constitution gives Americans the right to bear arms. I agree, but then I think D.C. ought to be able to restrict the firearm of choice to muskets - you know the single-shot kind with the shot ball, ramrod, and gun powder - just like our Founding Fathers intended. And make it a law that when you shoot at somebody you have to go down on one knee in the revolutionary firing position.

• What if we paid school districts the real amount of money it would take to ensure that no child is left behind? What if they turned those nickels into quarters or even, my God, can I say it, British Pounds?

• Fox News is America's equivalent to Pravda - the cold war Russian news agency and Xinhua, the Chinese news service, all of whom spew the government line with such fictional aptitude.

• And finally, for all those revisionists out there who think George Bush has Truman-esque virtues for playing tough in Iraq in the face of adversity - to quote the man, himself, "you're drunk."

All this thinking is tiring. It's time for some more sun screen and another lemonade. Turn up U2 - It's a Beautiful Day ...now, where did I put that spritzer? Go Twins.

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