Off to a Bad Start

K.E. Campbell
Less than a month has passed since the mid-term elections and the early signs emanating from Washington don't bode well for the future of our freedom. The ruling class is still firmly entrenched and is seemingly oblivious to the message sent by the people on November 2. Corrupted by power, the two parties comprising the ruling class apparently still differ only in "the rates at which they are willing to usurp additional power."

Yesterday, fifteen Republican senators joined every Democrat in voting for passage of S. 510, the "FDA Food Safety Modernization Act", described on these pages as a "power grab" of a bill that "reaches too far and too wide and embraces too much with a one-size-fits-all worldview." Sen. Tom Coburn, M.D. (R-OK) said the bill:

"will grow the government, increase food prices, and drive small producers out of business without making our food any safer. America has the safest food supply in the world - and it has been getting safer - because the free market and consumers have held bad actors accountable. This bill destroys that balance and replaces common sense with the heavy hand of government."

On another front, yesterday eight Republican senators "broke with their leadership" and voted against a GOP-proposed mandatory ban on earmarks. The proposal was defeated by a 56-39 vote. Seven Democrats voted to ban these lawmaker-directed funds. Supposedly, this issue is likely to be revisited by the Senate in the new session in 2011 and "might even arise again during this lame-duck session during debate over pending spending bills." I'm not holding my breath, at least with respect to a different outcome. The GOP's voluntary earmark ban, while admirable, hardly merits any mention here as just days after it was announced Sen. Jon Kyl (R-AZ) added a $200 million earmark "for an Indian tribe in his state into a bill designed to settle legal complaints against the Department of Agriculture by black farmers."

House whip Rep. Eric Cantor (R-VA) spent the latter part of the day on Tuesday backing away from reports that he favored preserving certain provisions of ObamaCare. The gist of his clarified position is he currently favors full repeal of ObamaCare and replacing it with a GOP alternative, one American Spectator describes as being "not very ambitious" and "not a true free market alternative." Last night, Cantor reportedly told a college audience

"We too don't want to accept any insurance company's denial of someone and coverage for that person because he or she might have a pre-existing condition."

Call it whatever you want, but what Rep. Cantor describes is not insurance in any traditional use of the word.

Lastly, commenting on Congressional leaders' meeting yesterday with President Obama regarding the Bush-era tax rates set to expire in January, Mark Levin said it well on his radio program last evening:

...[the meeting] was a mistake and I'll tell you why...Is there compromise or negotiations over the EPA's efforts to impose "cap and trade" on this nation? [No.] Is there compromise or negotiation over the ObamaCare legislation going on today? No. How about over the progressive income tax, which is [straight] out of the Communist Manifesto? No, no discussion on that. How about the elimination of a single federal agency or department? No. [Instead] we're negotiating on tax increases...but what's to negotiate?...We have already allowed the statists to set the priorities. Why are we negotiating with a defeated president and a defeated party, defeated in a massive landslide, a historic election? Why of we negotiating on their terms on our issues...rather than on our terms?...

The newly elected Senators and Representatives can't be seated soon enough. But whether it will make any meaningful difference remains to be seen. 
Less than a month has passed since the mid-term elections and the early signs emanating from Washington don't bode well for the future of our freedom. The ruling class is still firmly entrenched and is seemingly oblivious to the message sent by the people on November 2. Corrupted by power, the two parties comprising the ruling class apparently still differ only in "the rates at which they are willing to usurp additional power."

Yesterday, fifteen Republican senators joined every Democrat in voting for passage of S. 510, the "FDA Food Safety Modernization Act", described on these pages as a "power grab" of a bill that "reaches too far and too wide and embraces too much with a one-size-fits-all worldview." Sen. Tom Coburn, M.D. (R-OK) said the bill:

"will grow the government, increase food prices, and drive small producers out of business without making our food any safer. America has the safest food supply in the world - and it has been getting safer - because the free market and consumers have held bad actors accountable. This bill destroys that balance and replaces common sense with the heavy hand of government."

On another front, yesterday eight Republican senators "broke with their leadership" and voted against a GOP-proposed mandatory ban on earmarks. The proposal was defeated by a 56-39 vote. Seven Democrats voted to ban these lawmaker-directed funds. Supposedly, this issue is likely to be revisited by the Senate in the new session in 2011 and "might even arise again during this lame-duck session during debate over pending spending bills." I'm not holding my breath, at least with respect to a different outcome. The GOP's voluntary earmark ban, while admirable, hardly merits any mention here as just days after it was announced Sen. Jon Kyl (R-AZ) added a $200 million earmark "for an Indian tribe in his state into a bill designed to settle legal complaints against the Department of Agriculture by black farmers."

House whip Rep. Eric Cantor (R-VA) spent the latter part of the day on Tuesday backing away from reports that he favored preserving certain provisions of ObamaCare. The gist of his clarified position is he currently favors full repeal of ObamaCare and replacing it with a GOP alternative, one American Spectator describes as being "not very ambitious" and "not a true free market alternative." Last night, Cantor reportedly told a college audience

"We too don't want to accept any insurance company's denial of someone and coverage for that person because he or she might have a pre-existing condition."

Call it whatever you want, but what Rep. Cantor describes is not insurance in any traditional use of the word.

Lastly, commenting on Congressional leaders' meeting yesterday with President Obama regarding the Bush-era tax rates set to expire in January, Mark Levin said it well on his radio program last evening:

...[the meeting] was a mistake and I'll tell you why...Is there compromise or negotiations over the EPA's efforts to impose "cap and trade" on this nation? [No.] Is there compromise or negotiation over the ObamaCare legislation going on today? No. How about over the progressive income tax, which is [straight] out of the Communist Manifesto? No, no discussion on that. How about the elimination of a single federal agency or department? No. [Instead] we're negotiating on tax increases...but what's to negotiate?...We have already allowed the statists to set the priorities. Why are we negotiating with a defeated president and a defeated party, defeated in a massive landslide, a historic election? Why of we negotiating on their terms on our issues...rather than on our terms?...

The newly elected Senators and Representatives can't be seated soon enough. But whether it will make any meaningful difference remains to be seen.