Below is Rick Perry's Felony Indictment with a few corrections and comments.
Rick Perry used his line item veto to keep this drunk-driving district attorney from judging the ethics of state officials in Texas. She retaliated by indicting Perry for a felony. Must-watch video of her DWI arrest.
There are approximately 1.9 zillion stories online about how much President Obama goes on vacation. The ravings about this topic boil down to two simple complaints: (1) if he’s out of town, he’s not doing his job; and (2) traveling with the president’s security detail and entourage is too expensive. Both of these complaints are wrongheaded. Let’s start by talking about the idea that the president has to be in Washington to do his job.
First off, US Presidents – Obama or Bush or whoever – do not set up an out-of-office reply email and forget about the world while they are out of the White House. They take the Oval Office with them. Much of what the president does is over the phone anyway, so it makes little difference whether he makes those calls from Martha’s Vineyard or the Oval Office or Timbuktu.
Secondly, the president is a top level executive who mostly tells the people around him what to do, and those people actually carry it out. That’s why guys like William Randolph Hearst could run many large businesses from their remote mansions, even before the days of IM and email.
Third, during the summer, Congress is out of session, so the decision makers on Capitol Hill are out of town fundraising and drumming up votes. The face-to-face relationships the president should no doubt cultivate with members of Congress are impossible during the summer months anyway.
This notion that the President should report to his office for work in the morning seems to come from the worldview of an nineteenth-century factory foreman. Back when many Americans worked on an assembly line, the best way to keep workers accountable and productive was to have them report to their workstation by 8:00AM and stay there until 5:00PM with a lunch break in between. If you work in a factory, a machine shop, on a construction site, at a restaurant, or in a retail store, this philosophy of labor management is still somewhat defensible. But, especially for high-level creative work and strategic planning, it is probably better to accommodate the workers own style, hours, and work location and judge him solely by the product of his labor, rather than how long he sits at his desk. And if we are going to so accommodate just one worker in America, shouldn’t that worker be the president of the United States?
Instead of focusing on the president’s input we should be focusing on his output. The nineteenth century Italian economist Wifredo Pareto famously observed that 20% of inputs are responsible for 80% of outputs. This means that most of the things a person does with his day are pretty useless. Think about the meeting-packed work days you had last week. Now, tell me you would not have gotten as much done with your week if you had two or three hours per day of focused work from home (or your favorite resort destination).
Next, let’s very briefly address the second complaint about the president’s travel; that is, how much money it costs. First, the amount of money is a ridiculously miniscule part of the federal budget. If it were reduced or cut entirely it would make virtually no difference in our fiscal situation (see Pareto above).
Second, the president is our chief executive, but he is not like Britain’s prime minister. The president is for his years in office, our figure head as well – like the queen. He is the leader of a rich, powerful nation. He should wear the best clothes, take in the best entertainment, eat the best food, and yes, travel to the most wonderful destinations. I don’t support inappropriate government spending, but giving the president of the United States a lavish lifestyle is not inappropriate. It sends a vital diplomatic message: this man is the leader of a wonderful, important place, where one man’s good fortune is a blessing to everyone else. I know, I know. The president did not win this level of wealth on the open market. But he represents a nation of people who have. He is our representative. He should symbolize the majesty of America.
Look, I don’t think the president has done a very good job. I don’t like his political ideology, and even those who do should see that he hasn’t done a very competent job of governing. But I don’t believe his performance would have improved if he had stayed bolted to his desk in the Oval Office. As nerdy as that golf outfit is, no one but the fashion police should be complaining about it.
The Mexican government announced last week that it plans to (1) ban most advertising for soda and junk food on Mexican broadcast and cable TV and (2) raise a junk food tax they’ve already had for a few years. Strangely, there seems to be almost no serious opposition to the measure in the Mexican or Chicano press. Why would Americans become hysterical over Mayor Bloomberg’s Big Gulp ban in New York City but Mexicans don’t seem to care that their federal government is mommying them into making appropriate dietary choices?
One possible explanation might be that Mexico has an extraordinary health problem. A few years ago Mexicans did the impossible: they became fatter than Americans. It is now the fattest nation on earth, with 70% of adults and 30% of kids overweight or obese. But does that explain the difference between the attitudes of us Americans and our southern neighbors? For many years America was the fattest country on earth, and we are still number two. In other words, Mexico and the US both have a big, fat health problem. Also, countries like Britain and Norway have passed similar measures and they have nothing like the obesity rates of Mexico. But if he size of the problem doesn’t seem to account for the difference, what does?
Here’s one real difference: until yesterday, Americans were generally responsible for their own healthcare. Yes, we had Medicare, Medicaid, the VA, and charity care. But our society has generally assumed that adults should be responsible for providing healthcare for themselves and their children. Americans like to say that people should be able to do whatever they want as long as it doesn’t hurt anybody else. Most of the consequences of scarfing down potato chips and candy bars have traditionally come down on the person doing the scarfing. So, Americans generally feel that what you eat – and even feed your children – should be your own choice. In Mexico, not so much.
Mexico has a state-run healthcare system, which boast shabby, taxpayer-supported healthcare for all. This means that generally Mexicans do not have to pay the price for their own, individual healthcare costs. So, a drunken drug-addict who subsists on Cheetos and Fanta will have to pay no more for medical care that a teetotaling, vegan yoga instructor. These taxes and restrictions, therefore, are not seen so much as an intrusion into private decisions but rather as an effort to encourage wiser decisions in a sphere that is already the governments concern. After all, fat people cost more to treat that healthy people do. The government is paying for treatment. That makes fatness the government’s legitimate concern. Every bad decision chubby, little gordito makes is harming somebody else – the taxpayer.
As I said, Americans of both parties are very fond of saying that people should be able to do whatever they want as long as it doesn’t hurt anybody else. But one of our two parties wants to expand the role of government so much that practically no decision you make will fall into that category. Everything you do could potentially hurt someone else: the taxpayer.
Unless otherwise stated, these are the opinions of RT Vaden.