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Posts Tagged ‘homeland security’

In the morning, I will be voting for Barack Obama.

I won’t go over all the specific policies and reasons why, if you read this blog you already know them.

But there are two things I’d like to bring up. This won’t be a particularly well written piece because its late and I’m tired, but I want to toss it out there before the polls open.

First, the issue of foreign policy and civil liberties. This is where I think the strongest case against Obama can be made, and so I’d like to take a brief second to refute it somewhat. Obama’s record in this area has been dismal, but I do not think this is a reason to vote against him. Mitt Romney would be far, far worse.

Obama’s policy towards Iran has been about as measured and calm as can be expected. Were Mitt Romney president right now, I don’t think it’s a stretch to say that we would be in a full scale war with Iran.

While he has not held anyone accountable for the US torture regime, Barack Obama has ended it. Mitt Romney would not only re-instate it, but expand it! When asked if he considered water boarding torture, he indicated that he did not, and that he would seek to increase the list of techniques used by interrogators. Barack Obama attempted to close Guantanamo Bay and hold actual trials for detainees, but was stymied by congress. Mitt Romney wants to double Guantanamo. You may not like Obama’s record on these issues, but Mitt Romney would be so much worse. If you truly think there is no difference between them on these issues, you’re fooling yourself.

Secondly, and more importantly, I will be voting for Barack Obama because we absolutely must take a stand against the GOP of the past four years. If they win, it will be an affirmation of their tactics. It will show that the public is accepting of putting party before country. It will vindicate the strategy of rank, baseless obstructionism. The GOP has not been even remotely interested in actual governing, except where they see an opportunity to score partisan points. From day one, their primary goal has been to make Barack Obama a one term president. If Mitt Romney wins, they will have been proven right. We will be telling them that their irresponsible, reprehensible strategy was correct, effective, and acceptable.

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As I approached a TSA security checkpoint in the airport this weekend, a very helpful airport employee informed me that the line to her right was for first class passengers, and to her left was for those flying coach. Predictably, the coach line was long and the first class line had no one in it. The TSA screeners at the coach checkpoint were hard at work while those at the first class checkpoint were doing nothing, waiting for the next passenger to show up.

Having a security line dedicated to first class is a nice perk. No more waiting at the checkpoint. It’s a great selling point for the airlines, and I’m sure they get some added business out of it. But for taxpayers, its a raw deal. We are paying screeners to do nothing so that USAir can offer a sweet perk to people willing to pay. In the grand scheme of the federal budget,or even homeland security’s budget, this probably isn’t even a rounding error. But on principle, why are we subsidizing first class perks?

I’m totally fine with airlines offering this perk. But they should have to cover the cost of added screeners, equipment, etc.

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