Congratulations are in order to the United States Congress. In a bold move of understanding, it stripped a needless provision from the port security bill it passed over the weekend:
Congress is patting itself on the back for passing the Port Security Act last Saturday. But the day before, a House-Senate conference committee stripped out a provision that would have barred serious felons from working in sensitive dock security jobs. Port security isn’t just about checking the contents of cargo containers, it also means checking the background of the 400,000 workers on our docks.
Felons will not be barred from crucial jobs where a reasonable person not using the wonderfully intuitive powers of deductions granted to our smartest leaders might believe that to be a Bad Idea™. But leadership involves understanding the full picture of society, those “unintended consequences,” if you will. When viewed together with this provision of the port security deal, the good senators (Sen. Frist, in particular) understood that we wouldn’t want to exclude a significant portion of American adults.
House and Senate negotiators reached agreement last night on legislation to tighten maritime and port security regulations and, in a last-minute move, added an unrelated measure that seeks to ban Internet gambling.
The port security and Internet gambling legislation was approved 409 to 2 in the House and on a voice vote in the Senate early today, as lawmakers rushed to leave Washington for their fall reelection campaigns. Senate Republican and Democratic leaders announced it would be passed by voice vote after the House’s late-night vote.
You see, foresight! The Congress knew that many Americans could now become felons for
operating a financial institution that offers customers a service they want violating Rep. Bob Goodlatte’s morality funding drugs and terrorism¹! That’s bad, and they should pay the price, but we still need secure ports. We don’t want no stinkin’ foreigners handling that job.
¹ From the Washington Post’s article:
Proponents of the crackdown said the industry, which is mostly based overseas, provides a front for money laundering, some of it by drug sellers and terrorist groups, while preying on children and gambling addicts. Americans bet an estimated $6 billion per year online, accounting for half the worldwide market, according to analysis by the Congressional Research Service.
Am I going too far out on a limb to request that the reporter investigate this claim rather than accepting spoon-fed horseshit from some political hack? I don’t think so.