Reliable Answers - News and Commentary

Politics in the News

Whether you are a libertarian, conservative, NRA member or simply a citizen concerned with today's political climate, you will find news items of interest and relevance on Reliable Answers "Politics in the News."

What message are our legislators sending to voters, when they publicly admit they haven't done their job? How many bills are passed each year that policymakers haven't even bothered to read? This is disgraceful. This is called dereliction of duties and we must demand a stop to this practice.

 Title   Date   Author   Host 

TCS: Tech Central Station

by Ryan Sager

March 11, 2005

In September of 2000, less than two years before the passage of McCain-Feingold, the liberal magazine The American Prospect put out a special issue devoted to campaign-finance reform.

It was called, "Checkbook Democracy." And it was bought and paid for with a $132,000 check from the liberal Carnegie Corporation of New York, which has spent millions of dollars promoting laws to restrict political speech -- a fact the magazine never disclosed to its readers.

Los Angeles Times

by Evan Halper

March 10, 2005

A state audit of pet projects funded at the behest of various lawmakers found widespread misuse of the money, with investigators concluding that more than $1.1 million never went where it was supposed to go.

The report, which was released Wednesday by state Controller Steve Westly, cites museum projects that were paid for by taxpayers but never built, project directors who funneled state money into their personal accounts and a city that left the state on the hook for $700,000 after abandoning a sports complex project.

Tucson Citizen (AZ)

by Susan Carroll

March 3, 2005

Supremacists a border worry FBI, civilian group are concerned about racists joining border sweeps next month.

The Internet-driven recruiting effort for the Minuteman Project has almost 900 volunteers and last week alone generated more than 1 million hits on the project's Web site, organizers said. But the patrol also has drawn major interest on white supremacist Web sites and in their chat rooms. An Aryan Nation site links directly to the Minuteman Project home page with the words: "A call for action on part of ALL ARYAN SOLDIERS."


by Declan McCullagh

March 3, 2005

The coming crackdown on blogging | Federal Election Commissioner Bradley Smith says the freewheeling days of political expression on the Internet may be about to end.

In just a few months, he warns, bloggers and news organizations could risk the wrath of the federal government if they improperly link to a campaign's Web site. Even forwarding a political candidate's press release to a mailing list, depending on the details, could be punished by fines. Smith should know. He's one of the six commissioners at the Federal Election Commission, which is beginning the perilous process of extending a controversial 2002 campaign finance law to the Internet.


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March 3, 2005

Taxes to be Assessed Based on Miles Driven. A new, smarter than you gas pump will get all intimate with your odometer and tax you, standing right there with the pump still in your hand, for the miles driven.

Taxing by the Green Mile So. You bought some tin-can hybrid econotoy powered by a burble motor, greased with biodegradable, recycled chicken fat. Saving that gas. Doing your thing for the environment. Wearing your greenie baseball cap. Feeling all good about yourself. Traitor! In your typically short-sighted zeal, you may not have realized you were just bollixing everything for your state tax collectivists. Less gas, less tax. Less tax, less spend.

by Thomas Shapley

February 26, 2005

"We humbly apologize." Those are words no appointed state official wants to utter to the chairman of a key legislative committee after just three weeks on the job.

But Washington State Patrol Chief John Batiste had little choice in making that apology after a state legislator received a barrage of nasty, even threatening, e-mail messages apparently sent by troopers and their families. Batiste, who took the top WSP job earlier this month, offered the apology "as an individual and as a group," to House Transportation Chairman Ed Murray, D-Seattle, and Rep. Toby Nixon, R-Kirkland, at a committee hearing Wednesday evening. "I and the union representative want to apologize for the behavior of a few," he said.


by Michelle Malkin

February 16, 2005

Kofi Annan must have the world's thickest set of industrial-quality earplugs. How else can he block out the cries of Congolese girls raped by United Nations "peacekeepers" sent to protect the innocents from harm'

Fifty U.N. peacekeepers and U.N. civilian officers face an estimated 150 allegations of sexual exploitation and rape in the Congo alone. Last Friday, ABC's "20/20" program aired a devastating expose by investigative reporter Brian Ross highlighting some of the worst alleged crimes.

Stop The Drug War

February 11, 2005

In a 2006 federal budget proposal marked by hefty increases for the Pentagon and the State Department and belt-tightening for just about everyone else, even spending for police is on the chopping block.

The Bush administration has said the federal budget reflects its priorities, the document makes clear that those priorities are foreign war and homeland security. The Pentagon's already mammoth budget will increase from $400 billion to $419 billion, contributing to a whopping 41% increase in war spending since 2001. One of the biggest losers in the Bush budget is the Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) program. Initiated by then President Clinton as part of his vow to "make America safer" by putting 100,000 additional police officers on the street, the program was funded last year at $499 million dollars, but the Bush 2006 budget slashes COPS by a whopping 95% to only $22 million. Overall, Bush administration grants to state and local law enforcement will drop by nearly 50%, from $2.8 billion in 2005 to $1.5 billion in 2006.

by Rep. Ron Paul, Md

February 7, 2005

We've all heard the words democracy and freedom used countless times, especially in the context of our invasion of Iraq. They are used interchangeably in modern political discourse, yet their true meanings are very different.

George Orwell wrote about "meaningless words" that are endlessly repeated in the political arena.* Words like "freedom," "democracy," and "justice," Orwell explained, have been abused so long that their original meanings have been eviscerated. In Orwell's view, political words were "Often used in a consciously dishonest way." Without precise meanings behind words, politicians and elites can obscure reality and condition people to reflexively associate certain words with positive or negative perceptions. In other words, unpleasant facts can be hidden behind purposely meaningless language. As a result, Americans have been conditioned to accept the word "democracy" as a synonym for freedom, and thus to believe that democracy is unquestionably good. The problem is that democracy is not freedom. Democracy is simply majoritarianism, which is inherently incompatible with real freedom. Our founding fathers clearly understood this, as evidenced not only by our republican constitutional system, but also by their writings in the Federalist Papers and elsewhere. James Madison cautioned that under a democratic government, "There is nothing to check the inducement to sacrifice the weaker party or the obnoxious individual." John Adams argued that democracies merely grant revocable rights to citizens depending on the whims of the masses, while a republic exists to secure and protect pre-existing rights. Yet how many Americans know that the word "democracy" is found neither in the Constitution nor the Declaration of Independence, our very founding documents?

Stop The Drug War

January 14, 2005

For nearly 20 years, federal judges have been sentencing defendants to sentences beyond the statutory maximum based on findings of fact never considered by a jury.

Under sentencing laws adopted as "reforms" in the 1980s, judges could use a lower standard of proof than required to convict defendants to find that they had, for example, trafficked in a certain quantity of drugs or embezzled a certain amount of money, and use those findings to add years to their sentences. In part because of the federal sentencing guidelines scheme, in the intervening period federal prison populations have swollen dramatically, with a majority of those prisoners being drug offenders.

[RA-LegWatch] - the Reliable Answers sponsored Legislative Watch list

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