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Originally, the bill was loaded down with pork, and even the version that passed had millions of dollars for Amtrak upgrades, FBI salaries and road projects in states other than those hit by the storm.
It's typical Washington to put a bunch of pork in a bill that it looks really bad to vote against and then chastise those who voted against helping the destitute.
Another reason the majority of Republicans voted against the relief bill is that there were not spending cuts to offset the increased spending. Congress is not going to reduce the deficit if every time someone wants money Congress approves it and sends it along. If Congress wants to send money to the people who were harmed by Sandy then Congress needs to cut spending somewhere else, like other organizations would have to do.
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The mainstream media are so knee jerk that they should be embarrassed. One person says: OK, if you can't ban guns because of the Constitution, ban bullets. Why does anyone need more than a handful of bullets?
It's like saying that golfers need only one golf ball, tennis players only need one tennis ball or a baseball team only needs one baseball and one bat.
In other words, it's absurd. If you want the people who own guns to know how to use them then they have to practice. Guns, as even the mainstream media should know, are extremely dangerous pieces of equipment. Those who are interested in gun safety would be wiser to require that everyone who owns a gun shoot a minimum number of rounds every year. Most police officers never fire their guns except on the practice range, but most police departments require their officers to qualify every year to prove that they can still shoot accurately.
Someone said you don't need to shoot 10 rounds to kill a deer. That may or may not be true. But it is certainly true that if you want to kill a deer you better shoot far more than 10 rounds with whatever gun you're using so that you are familiar with it and comfortable shooting it.
People act like guns are what they see on television, where the good guy never misses the bad guy. Shooting a gun accurately on the range is difficult; in a real life situation, it is, I am told, a hundred or a thousand times more difficult.
I have never shot a gun except at inanimate targets, but I did catch a man a few years ago who had broken into our building. When I saw him I immediately tried to call the police. I had my phone in my hands and I remember staring at it trying to remember how to make it work. I had used that phone thousands of times, but in an emergency I couldn't remember how to make it call the police. The burglar didn't wait for me to figure out how to use my phone and jumped in his truck and drove away.
I can only imagine if the situation had been dangerous and I had been trying to remember where the safety was on a gun.
I don't want people running around with guns who don't know how to use them, and the only way to know how to use them is to use them.
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I always wonder how much good these celebrities do at disasters. Do they do any good?
According to The New York Times, former President Bill Clinton, who was impeached during his second term as president, was pretty worthless in Haiti. The New York Times loves Clinton, but even it couldn't find much good to say about his relief efforts there. The paper did find someone to say nice things about him. But, after all, he is Bill Clinton. In Haiti, Clinton was involved in spending a lot of money, but they didn't accomplish much of anything useful.
But what does Clinton know how to do? Campaigning really isn't going to help anything in Haiti, and neither is holding a bunch of big meetings. Clinton knows how to have sexual relations with young female interns, but that really wasn't a skill that was needed in Haiti. What they needed in Haiti were people who could get to the bottom of a huge mess and get things done.
One member of Clinton's commission described it as a being "like in a play – the facade of a reconstruction project."
There are two very telling facts about Clinton's commission. One is that it operated out of an air-conditioned tent on the grounds of the US Embassy. Before the earthquake, having air-conditioning in Haiti was an enormous luxury, far out of the reach of the vast majority of the population. It was also out of the reach of the presidential palace, judging by the fact that before the quake the palace windows were kept open; I can't imagine why you would open a window in 90 plus degree heat if you had air-conditioning. After the earthquake hundreds of thousands of people were living in tents with no electricity or running water. But the commission that was going to help them had to have air-conditioning for what, according to reports, was a mostly empty tent.
The second most telling fact about Clinton's commission is that when they thought it was dangerous in Haiti they met at a luxury hotel in the Dominican Republic. How can a disaster relief commission help people if it is too frightened to get within hundreds of miles of them?
Clinton's commission was dissolved by the Haitian government.
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I have a challenge for our new governor, Pat McCrory, and I'll include North Carolina Department of Transportation board member Mike Fox: During my lifetime I would like for them to make it possible for me to drive from Greensboro to Charlotte and back during normal business hours without hitting stop-and-go traffic. The state has finally fixed the bridge over the Yadkin River, something that should have been done 20 years ago, but what buffoon decided that just outside of Charlotte there needed to be a two lane bottleneck. I-85 links Charlotte, the state's largest city, with Greensboro, the state's third largest, and Raleigh, the state's second largest. Don't you think it might make sense to make it bigger than the road linking Candor, Biscoe and Star?
It is ridiculous that one of the most important roads for commerce in the state is not in better shape. There is simply no excuse. The state has made a huge effort to pave every little country byway and lane in this state for some obscure reason, but fails to take care of the state's most important highways.
The Republicans now in control have a lot to do, and fixing highway spending should be at the top of the list.
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