Friday, October 08, 2004

How big a geek am I?

I've been watching C-SPAN (it was this or find a girlfriend) all morning, off and on, and I've just seen something. Republican from Texas Pete Sessions offered an amendment

to establish a "zero tolerance" policy towards the unlawful importation, possession, or transfer of shoulder fired guided missiles (MANPADS), atomic weapons, dirty bombs, and variola (smallpox) virus
which is all well and good, but don't you think that is something that should have more than a 10-minute debate? The truth, as was pointed out by ranking Democrat in the Homeland Security subcommitte Jim Scott from Virginia that many of these harsher penalties already exist in the code, and that establishing mandatory minimums is actually costly and counterproductive, and that no less than Chief Justice Renquist thinks so. The even greater truth is that Sessions is partisan whipping boy and has offered this "Sessions Amendment" just so Democrats could vote against it (which they should) and Republicans could point that out. "Democrats don't care about your safety like President Bush does" or something like that. In fact, the whole legislative agenda is designed around making Democrats look bad for the upcoming elections. Things like the draft legislation and the FMA are brought to the floor so that Democrats become pariahs for voting against things people think they want or don't want. It's pathetic and it's a huge waste of taxpayer money and time when they should be, I don't know, acting on the 9/11 Commission's report on our huge intelligence failures. UPDATE: I feel that I need to clarify some of the earlier parts of this post. The "Sessions Amendment" is to HR 10, which is the House Intelligence Reorganization bill. I meant that Sessions and the Republican leadership in general, needed to quit wasting time and money on trying to get these ridiculous amendments into the bill, only to have to get rid of them in conference to reconcile with Collins-Lieberman, the Senate version which passed 96-2. I hope that clarifies things a bit.


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