Fix Congress before fixing Wall Street
In the midst of one of the worst recessions since the Great Depression, financial reform has been near the peak of President Barack Obama's agenda. The reform needs to happen to government first, before any real solutions can be made in the financial industry.
You want to talk about an industry in need of some regulations? Look no further than the business of lobbying.
You want to increase transparency in securities markets? Let's increase it in government, so "we, the people" can see these bills and talk with our representatives.
Never miss a local story.
You think there should be a limit to the salaries of CEOs? Let's institute some term limits in Washington so they are voting in our interest and not the self-interest of re-election.
You sick and tired of Wall Street corruption? Let's re-examine the legality of earmarks so a flawed bill, without enough initial votes, won't pass because they threw in a few million bucks to a senator's hometown, knowing if they voted against it, it would be used against them in their next local election.
You want to punish those greedy, immoral bankers? Let's punish these power-hungry politicians loaded with ethics violations.
Only when we truly "change the way Washington works," can we see real, meaningful, long-term and fair reforms to the financial industry. Unfortunately, at this time, that's not "change I can believe in." Until then, it's going to be politics as usual in Washington.
Repeal this bill
Sens. Mitch McConnell and Jim Bunning rightfully voted against the financial reform bill, and I thank them both.
This new law still gives funds to corporations that mismanage their businesses, giving them no incentive to be fiscally responsible. The government will bail them out if they blow it. So why act responsibly?
Bunning noted on his Web site that the bill is very weak in holding the Federal Reserve accountable by requiring only a one-time audit.
If Wall Street firms were submitted to only one audit in a lifetime, even supporters for this bill would cry foul.
Meltdown by Thomas E. Woods Jr. explains how the Federal Reserve is responsible for the booms and busts in our economy and how it truly needs to be held accountable.
Most of us are tired of the "good guy, bad guy" routines many bureaucrats play with regard to regulations.
Just like the health care act, here again is a regulation portrayed as one "to protect American consumers and the economy" when it is just a means for the industry to get richer and for politicians to get more campaign funds from these corporations.
And just like the health care act, here is another piece of legislation we need to repeal.
Urge Congress to repeal this 2,000-page-plus fiasco and to pass real reform such as Rep. Ron Paul's bill to audit the Federal Reserve, and measures that really put the brakes on the derivatives market.
Just passing something is irresponsible and does not automatically mean its good.
Just show the game
I tuned into ESPN June 29 to watch the University of South Carolina play UCLA in the finals of the College Baseball World Series. What I saw was the Patrick/Hershiser/Ventura Sports Talk Show. The focus was on them, not the game.
From the beginning, they made it clear UCLA was going to win. South Carolina's growing control of the game was ignored as they belittled its offense and pitching.
They talked incessantly about things, often personal, tangential to the game. They continued this inane patter even during play on the field. They made it clear they knew more about baseball and every play than the coaches and players.
With so many channels of television available, can't we have one that will just show us the game? The current format is a disservice to our fine college athletes and those who would like to see them as the focus and not the pendants.
The July 1 "CentrePointeless" story quoted two sides saying opposite things and both claiming to speak the truth.
First, Billy Van Pelt, design review officer for the Courthouse Area Design Review Board, said the plan for the development shows it to be in compliance with the Courthouse Area Design standards.
Then, Julie Good, executive director for the Bluegrass Trust for Historic Preservation, said not only is that not true but it also does not meet the Downtown Master Plan guidelines.
Please publish these rules, guidelines, standards or whatever should be followed when tearing up the city, and let us establish who the liar really is.
Paul's no Republican
Rand Paul claims to be a Republican. I don't believe it.
I am 62 years old and a lifelong Republican. I have voted for a Democrat on very rare occasions. This election will be one of those occasions.
Paul's statements regarding businesses' right to refuse service are very strange. With demographics in the U.S. rapidly changing, I expect Paul would look forward to being denied service by the majority of service providers.
He advocates that the unemployed take lower-paying jobs. Does he also advocate lower Medicare payments for the very well off like himself?
Exactly why Paul won the primary is well beyond my meager comprehension. Most of his positions are either strange or vague.
There are some general statements he makes that I would agree with, except I don't know what they would be were they specific.
Border double standard
Mexico has joined the Obama administration's lawsuit against Arizona's immigration law. Can this be serious?
Have you read Mexico's immigration laws? If you are twice caught illegally in the country, you go to jail. Illegal immigrants are entitled to no government assistance such as welfare or medical care. They cannot own any prime real estate; it is reserved for Mexican citizens, and there are other laws we should have implemented a long time ago.
So that tells you that Mexico thinks its citizens have the right to come to our country illegally and drain resources that are supposed to be for our citizens.
The sad part is, our government feels the same way. It has no intention to secure the border to prevent such immigration and wants to refer to them as undocumented immigrants. That's like calling a drug dealer an unlicensed pharmacist. I don't think either side has a remedy for this problem.
With the flow of immigrants over our borders at will, how can Homeland Security tell us that we are safe from terrorists? We aren't.
We may have our airports covered, but terrorists who want to enter our country need only to book a flight to Mexico and travel north with the rest of the people crossing our borders daily.
Then they can sign up at the closest welfare office and live happily ever after until deciding to blow something up or kill us.
Thanks, Washington for making me and my family feel so insecure in our own country.