random campaign comments
07 Oct 1992
There is a case before the Supreme Court trying to overturn
lower court rulings setting limits on how close 'Operation
Rescue' people can be to abortion clinics. The reason for the
appeal is, among other things, some First Amendment arguments.
The administration is arguing the OR side (via the solicitor
general). This is outrageously hypocritical because in the
interest of making abortions harder to obtain, Bush is willing
to take an very expansive view of the First Amendment (that it
permits trespass) while when it comes to the purely political
speech of flag burning, he does not care a whit for free speech.
Speaking of abortion and censorship, this is the same Bush who
supported the gag rule on doctors in abortion clinics. He
vetoed the bill that tried to change this. The veto was
sustained. Now, we come to cable TV, where Bush momentarily
comes to his senses and vetoes a regulation bill which congress
overrides! I just cannot believe that congress is so screwed
up that it won't let federally funded doctors mention that
abortion is legal but it gets a dander up about cable TV and
then does the wrong thing anyhow.
Then we have the laughable spectacle of Bush saying that he
vetoed the cable TV bill as a matter of principle. Where was
his principle (presumably of less regulation) when it came to
the 'Americans with Disabilities Act', the 'Civil Rights
Restoration Act', or the 'Clean Air Act'(1)? Is this the same man
of principle who decried pandering, regulation, & industrial
policy only to decide to rebuild Homestead air force base,
alter EPA auto regulations to suit the corn farmers, and to
trumpet his slightly less onerous version of the Family Leave
Act as a good thing in its own right and not merely a
Having bashed on him for those things, at least, he was on
the right side of the issue for the four Acts just mentioned,
to the extent of wanting to make them less burdensome, though
only slightly so.
I suppose Clinton is less of a hypocrit. The tradeoff is that
he seems to always be wrong (at least on those things that make
the news). I just saw that on his health care reform proposal
was the following 'if these measures fail, price controls will
be necessary'. The other measures are silly things like
re-pooling insured persons and 'voluntary cost confinement', uh
huh. Get in line now for the doctor's office. Bush is way
ahead on this one.
Speaking of getting in line, I read today that October 31st is
the last day you can buy freon(2) (I'm not sure what all of the
details are). Recharge you auto air conditioners now!
Some quibbling before I get beat up on these things.
(1) There are some good aspects to the Clean Air Act but the
bulk of it is the usual bureaucratic red tape nonsense. For
instance, part of it discusses tax penalties for companies
that cannot make a certain percentage of their work force
stop driving regardless of the availability of alternate
transport, the nature of the company, or what it costs to
achieve this change. Overall, it's a bad bill.
(2) It seems likeley that freon is a culprit and needs to be
used less, but completely banning it is ridiculous. Just tax
it sufficiently to discourage as much use as needed. People
that really need freon can still get it. People with old cars
can refill them again (and be encouraged to stop the leaks
because the freon would be so expensive). I'm dreading the
thought of having to get a whole new air conditioner for an old
car because I cannot buy freon. It would also encourage people
to be careful to recover freon, when that is more efficient
than switching to alternate refrigerants. There are some
replacements available (chloro-flouro carbons + some extra
hydrogens) but they are also bad for the ozone. They just have
not been specifically named in legislative acts yet.