There are a few political goings on that I can’t keep from commenting on.
First, I see John Thune voted for and Tim Johnson voted against an amendment to the defense authorization act that would “strip captured ‘enemy combatants’ at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, of the principal legal tool given to them last year by the Supreme Court when it allowed them to challenge their detentions in United States courts.” (Registration required…or BugMeNot). Although not directly applicable because we’re not talking about the bill of rights, I can’t help but think of and modify a joke from Discourse.Net:
What’s the difference between an onion and the Bill of Rights?John Thune cries when he cuts into an onion.
To get back to the serious aspect of this action, I recommend Marty Lederman’s overview at SCOTUSblog.
On the other topic, it is refreshing to see that at least some House Republicans have the courage to stand up and say no to the Bush Administration’s insistence on balancing the budget on the backs of those who can least afford it. (Again, registration required…or BugMeNot). I remain stunned that the extensive spending over the last few years — contributed to in large part by the Iraq war and the bipartisan pork-filled transportation bill — is to come at the expense of those who need food stamps, medical care or student loans.
As one who got through all my years of college because of federal student loans, I cannot understand why you would make reductions in a program that actually allows someone to do what the GOP wants — pull themselves up by their bootstraps to a greater economic status. If the GOP truly believes in a balanced budget (which you have to doubt given the last several years), maybe it’s time to realize that the costs of the war, Katrina and the like cannot and should not be paid for only by those who can least afford it. Let’s roll back some of the tax cuts that benefited the richest one percent of the country and let those who of us in society who can afford to pay help out. (And along these lines, I would be remiss not to note Clean Cut Kid’s post on attempting to reconcile the GOP’s stance with the principles supposedly espoused by its Christian right base.)
When I give food to the poor they call me a saint. When I ask why the poor have no food they call me a communist.
Dom Helder Camara (Archbishop of Recife, Brazil)