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Tuesday, June 22, 2004

While the left complains about the electoral process (well, those that understand it, anyway), I feel compelled to become irate when this happens:

The U.S. Senate on Tuesday approved a measure to crack down on indecency on radio and television by sharply raising fines.

The Senate also took steps to rein in the growth of U.S. media companies by invalidating new, more relaxed ownership rules.

The provisions were attached to a bill to reauthorize defense programs and would need to get full congressional approval later this year.

After being flooded with complaints about nudity on broadcast television and explicit discussions about sex on radio, lawmakers voted 99-1 to raise the maximum fine that can be levied on a station from $32,500 to as much as $275,000 per incident and up to $3 million a day.

Now, everyone else seems to be upset about the free speech aspects of this legislation. Well, so am I. But what angers me more is the fact that they manage to pass this insane legislation by attaching it to a bill to reauthorize defense programs. This is one of the features of our legislative process that absolutely drives me nuts.

Can't we pass a &%$#@ bill without adding some irrelevant nonsense to it? No. We can't. And why? Because the idiots in Congress know that they cannot get half the crap they want through the process without hiding it inside an otherwise sensible package.

Think about it. Senator A votes against this bill because he/she cannot in good conscience take part in censorship. When Senator A runs for re-election, he/she is demonized in public. Why? Because he/she voted AGAINST reauthorization of defense programs. So now, like it or not, Senator A is weak on defense.

Unfortunately, this is how the system works, and this is why the line item veto was conceived. Someday, I hope the line item veto is implemented... and I don't care which party gets to use it.


.: posted by Dave 11:05 PM

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