Covering the Front and Back Pages of the Newspaper
September 21, 2005
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*Instapundit thinks spending federal funds and law enforcement resources battling adult (i.e., not child) pornography is a waste of resources. I agree. Porn is a classic example of the sort of thing that, even if you are going to crack down on it, ought to be left to the local level; as the Supreme Court recognized decades ago, what counts as obscene in one community may be acceptable in another. And it's awfully difficult to argue that pornography has any truly national impact, except by making arguments under which any bad thing has a national impact.
*Unless I remember incorrectly, this represents the first indictment of a Bush Administration official. That's a marked difference from the record of prosecutions in the Clinton Administration (or the Reagan or Carter Administrations, for that matter). If the history of two-term presidencies is any indicator, this will not be the last.
*Now, Tom DeLay says, "There are programs all over the federal budget that are bloated or wasteful or inefficiently using the funds we provide them, and I'm very interested in identifying them." How long has DeLay been in Congress?
Some are arguing that it's time for divided government - that Democrats in Congress would at least produce some pork-killing gridlock. I mean to get to this point in more detail when it's time to discuss the McCain 2008 campaign, but while fighting pork is a good thing, the real battle is to change the structure of the budget process and rein in entitlements - neither of which would ever be helped even one little bit by electing more Democrats. But I'm not that optimistic that we're getting anywhere on that front under the GOP, either.
*Rafael Palmeiro is being investigated by Congress for perjury. Which serves him right, but if we're on the subject of waste of taxpayer money, this is a rather conspicuous example.