Common Sense: Shutting down

The effort to assign blame to who is responsible for the federal shutdown is both silly and counterproductive.

A failure to reach an agreement usually rests to some degree with all groups involved in the discussion. In this case, two thirds of those bodies – the U.S. Senate and White House – are controlled by Democrats. So if I was strictly in the game of blame, I would say most of the blame rests with the Democrats. However, blame should not be what this shutdown is about.

The federal government has, under both Democrats and Republicans, become a tax dollar eating machine. The federal debt is almost beyond imagination. And policies up until recently –mostly changing as a result of the sequester — were only making things worse real fast.

This shutdown following the sequester will hopefully be the last straw that brings everyone together. That would be Tea Party, social conservatives, liberals, moderates and just simple pragmatists. And since the issue is out-of-control spending, I would have to believe the end result of what some would consider the “nuclear option” will be a change in polices that benefit the taxpayer.

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In as much as Joe Hynes was always going to be on the Republican and Conservative ballot lines in November, I always considered him to be running. And I reflected my thoughts in this very paper. So I was not particularly surprised to hear that he would be campaigning actively.

Joe Hynes has been an excellent district attorney. On the other hand, Ken Thompson would essentially be going through on-the job-training in as much as his background includes little prosecutorial or managerial experience. And Thompson is opposed to stop, ask and frisk and in support of other changes strongly opposed by police.

Primaries are waged in a limited market with a narrowly defined electorate. The general election involves Brooklyn’s full population which includes close to a million voters. It will still be an uphill battle, but Hynes is confident that as he gets his message out to the broader Brooklyn electorate, they will recognize the need to keep the seasoned crime-fighter in place.

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Based on the extent of the videos available, the police should be able to hunt down many of the motorcycle drivers involved in the gang-like attack on the motorist and his family. The bike riders who set out to do no good need to be made examples with no pleas accepted and actual jail time demanded.

Apparently, at least according to published reports, some for the riders met in a park along the Belt Parkway in Gravesend to begin their journey to link up with others. This park I am told is a favorite for motorcycle groups to gather. This should also be a park that the police heavily monitor.

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Do you remember when there was talk that the nearly $4 per gallon price at the pump was temporary and that prices should move down to a “more reasonable” price after a few months. Well, the price of a barrel of crude has been on or about $100 with no obvious drop in sight.

Who is to blame? Probably U.S. energy policy which makes building refineries near impossible. The many moratoriums on drilling in all sorts of places have also hurt the overall supply and kept the price up.

The many taxes that start when the crude is still in the ground and pile on right until the gas is in your tank create a high base regardless of the price of a barrel. And the oil companies have a right to their gigantic profits, but in turn it does not make it right.

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