Congress may be ready to get down to business on finding some way to avoid default. But this being the new Congress, first they have to debate a useless balanced budget amendment. In Washington, nothing necessary ever gets done unless it’s preceded by a lot of extremely unnecessary stuff. The balanced budget amendment being proposed has nothing to do with balancing the budget. It’s a desperate attempt to balance the factions within the Republican Party, and a sop to the Tea Party nuts. Everyone has to salute the “Don’t Tread on Me” flag before we can get to work. The balanced budget amendment being proposed would require a 2/3 majority in both Houses of Congress to enact any tax increase. That sounds pretty un-balanced to me. There are two ways to balance a budget—decrease spending, and increase revenue. All this “balanced budget” amendment does is to take away one of those methods. All this amendment would do is to tie the hands of the federal government. Of course, if your ultimate plan is to drown it in the bathtub, that’s not such a bad idea.
On Sunday, Rebekah Brooks, the head of News International for News Corp was arrested for her part in the phone hacking scandal. I wonder if the cops let her make a phone call after her arrest. Brooks resigned from News Corp on Friday and was arrested on Sunday. Let’s hope the timeline for Rupert Murdoch himself moves as fast. If Rupert Murdoch looks like the stereotypical villain, Rebekah Brooks looks like the stereotypical evil step-sister. I hope police searched her home for poisoned apples. It’s hard to convey how big this is in Britain. If this were happening in the United States… oh wait, it IS happening in the United States. Well if you want to appreciate how big it is in Britain, just be patient. It’ll be just as big here before long.
Of course, you have no idea how big it is anywhere if you’re a viewer of Fox News. Yeah, Fox News was all over this story, like indigo on rice. This weekend Fox News did address the scandal to a small degree. Some of the time they blamed it on Fox’s competitors, sometimes they blamed it on the left, and sometimes they blamed it on an agenda at the White House. So it’s good to know there is a variety of opinion there at Fox.