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Blog Bullets: Reader, ACORN, and appointed senators

Posted in Politics and Public Affairs

Hi again, dear friends.

I’ve been using Google Reader a lot lately. The decision was forced upon me when NewsGator, maker of my preferred newsreader, NetNewswire, went and killed off its own feed-syncing service in favor of a connection to Google Reader. I can understand why they did it, but, like most people, I hate change when it affects me.

I found my old Google Reader account, cleaned it out, and synced it to my NNW stuff. In the process, I discovered the fun of sharing news stories with friends, via the Reader Web page. I still read a lot in NNW, which has yet to add Google Reader sharing or liking to its toolbox. That would be my preferred way of reading news.

I’m reading more feeds, and sharing items with a few people. You wanna share with me? I’d love that. As a result of all this sharing, here are a few things I’ve been thinking about:

  • When all the ACORN defunding stuff broke out last week, I wondered how it was that Congress could strip this organization, which has contracts with a number of government agencies, of its funding, but take no action against military and state department contractors who have been either negligent or downright evil. I mean, seriously! One contractor allowed our soldiers to be electrocuted in their showers in Iraq. Another opened fire on civilians there, killing a whole bunch of them. A third failed to discipline its employees who partied on the job as embassy guards in Afghanistan. And we’re all cheesed off about some dumb ACORN employees? Sure. Fire ACORN, or put them on long-term time-out. Fine with me. But let’s have some perspective here, people. By the way, a Congressman is attempting to push the notion that the ACORN actions constitute a “bill of attainder” and are therefore unconditional. A bill of attainder is one that is designed to punish or reward one specific person or group. And you can’t do that. Honestly, I think a whole lot of the earmark process falls squarely under that prohibition, or should.
  • I want Massachusetts to have a new senator,and I want that person to start work quickly. But this whole revising the revised law to make that possible gives me the willies. It will come back to bite the Dems, I promise. The whole issue of governors appointing senators has become kind of nuts. Did you know that five senators have ben appointed in the past year? Here’s my idea: when citizens elect a senator, they should also choose an alternate. “If for some reason senator Blowhard is unable to fulfill his or her obligations, Alternate A will take his or her place.” Madame or Mr. Alternate could serve in the elected senator’s office, learning the ropes and meeting all the lobbyists constituents when they come to town. Succession, should it become necessary, would be a breeze. On the other hand, sitting senators would need more bodyguards, wouldn’t they?

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