Podcast 269

Torture. Budget. Washington struggles with the release of a damning Senate Intelligence Committee Report on Enhanced Interrogation Techniques, and democrats appear to be willing to shut the government down over language in the budget bill concerning Dodd/Frank. These issues show how the contours of ‘partisanship’ and the causes of ‘gridlock’ will change after the new congress is sworn in, in January 2015. The Senate Intelligence Committee investigation and report was conducted and written wholly by democrats, offers no suggestions on what to do about what it called torture in the future, or for curtailing the CIA when it runs amok, and none of the accused parties were interviewed for have had the chance to defend themselves. As former Democrat Senator and Senate Intelligence Committee member Bob Kerry suggests, this does not bode well for the objectivity of the report or win any friends at the CIA. Even President Obama has been put in a difficult situation, since current CIA Director Brennan is furious that the report paints a one sided picture of what happened at the agency after 9/11. Maybe it is a good thing this information is released now, maybe not. One thing is for sure, neither party has come up with a foreign policy that addresses asymmetric warfare going forward. Libertarian, Interventionist, Neoconservative, Neoliberal, or whatever you want to call them, these policies aren’t going to be effective in future conflicts where it is likely potential state enemies of the US will use asymmetric methods because they strike at our weaknesses. On the budget front, Democrat Senator Elizabeth Warren threatens to block passage of the budget bill because of changes it makes in Dodd/Frank regarding how derivatives are regulated. Which party is ‘obstructionist’ now? What will the minority party do after Republicans take over the majority in Congress? Expect a return to ideas like increasing gas taxes and ‘rebuilding’ America’s ‘crumbling infrastructure’, and to the idea that – since we can’t prove ‘inequality’ hurts the economy – we now have to deal with the ’empathy gap’. This is the idea that the working poor are just unfortunate and that we have to have laws to make the economic system ‘fair’, since hard work and brains have nothing to do with success. The founding documents talk about being created equal and having unalienable rights to life and liberty … not a ‘fair’ economic system. What you do with your liberty is your choice, rich or poor. The good news? All of these stories will be swept from television screens because of the storm-of-the-century in California. Finally, out of nowhere a movement we can all get behind, or in front of. “Free The Nipple”. Sponsored by Baklund R&D

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