The seedy side of politics is ugly. Always has been. Always will be. What today has ensured for me is that I will never, ever vote for Bill Frist for anything. In fact, I will campaign vigorously against him.
Rep. Jim Leach (R-IA) has a great deal of sway over the Republican caucus that will help launch a potential 2008 GOP nominee. Rep. Jim Leach wanted an internet gambling bill passed this session. Sen. Bill Frist (R-TN) made this happen. Sen. Bill Frist will be running for the 2008 GOP presidential nomination. Quid pro quo is alive and well.
The Port Security Act is a long overdue piece of legislation that's designed to make this nation safer. It took Congress five years after 9/11 to finally make this happen, and in its haste to get it done before a mid-term elections, this Congress "didn't have time" to also protect our mass transit. They did, however, "have time" to add a new bill designed to curb internet gambling.
What this Congress is saying, then, is that it is more important to attack the scourge of online gaming than it is to make sure our buses and trains do not blow up. This is the Congress we elected. This is the Congress we have to get rid of.
By an overwhelming margin of 409-2, the House moments ago passed the Port Security Act. The Senate will soon vote where it will pass by a similar overwhelming margin.
On the bill itself, let's remember that it doesn't make onling gambling illegal. Online gambling is already illegal in most cases. Instead, it makes it much more difficult for existing online gambling sites to do business with Americans. It makes it harder for Americans to perform any financial transactions with online gaming sites.
However, just because it makes it harder doesn't mean it makes it impossible. I have a tremendous amount of faith in the international business community to outsmart this bill. After all, when we're ranking the collective intelligence of different groups, the U.S. Congress ranks just ahead of lobotomy patients and just behind slightly retarded monkeys.