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Cutting to the Core

Weiner's gone, let's get back to asking questions that matter

Weiner Weiner Weiner. My god, isn't there anything else to talk about?

I'm so thankful I don't have cable television. If I did, I'm sure I'd be back to smoking. I watch a lot of Faux News and MSNBC when I'm on the treadmill or elliptical at the gym and it seems like that's all that is talked about. But U.S. Congressman Anthony Weiner resigned yesterday, so to borrow a line from MSNBC's Dylan Ratigan, "it's time for Congress to get back to what they do...nothing."

But while they are doing nothing, I think there are a few questions Congress and the networks should focus on now that the Weiner question has been solved.

For one, what the heck are we still doing in NATO? I think it was probably a pretty good idea when Communist Russia was a threat, but since that whole thing ended in the early 90s, why does the alliance still exist? And why do we fund most of it?

Libya isn't our problem. Syria isn't our problem. Israel isn't our problem. It's Europe's problem. I'm not cold-hearted; I think the United States has a duty to help everyone when it can. After all, we are the best country in the world, just ask any Republican.

But we're broke. That's what both sides are claiming. So why are we wasting money on NATO?

Speaking of wasting money. Isn't it time we take care of ourselves? Why must we give billions of dollars in aid to countries every year? As we debate whether to raise taxes or cut entitlements, there are billions of dollars we could save just by not giving billions to, oh, let's say Israel, Egypt, Colombia, Jordan, Pakistan, Peru, Indonesia, Kenya, Bolivia, Ukraine, India, Haiti, Russia (Russia?), Ethiopia, West Bank/Gaza, Liberia, Bangladesh and Bosnia.

This list is according to the website Vaughns-1-pagers.com. This website also claims that one-third of U.S. aid goes to Israel and Egypt, and these countries use most of it for military hardware.

According to the Heritage Foundation, since 2000, 95 percent of all U.N. member states that receive aid from the U.S. have voted against us most of the time on non-consensus votes. I don't pretend to know what that means, but it still makes me angry.

With our national debt now at $14.3 trillion, can we afford to give aid to anyone but ourselves? I think not. Maybe one day when our national debt is back to ZERO, but until then, I think it's time to turn off the spigot.

Speaking of spigots, would it be so bad if the U.S. government ran its own oil company? Would it be so bad if the U.S. government said, "hey, were going into Alaska, the Midwest and the Gulf of Mexico to drill for oil and it will only be used for American purposes?

Even if the government (we the people) sold the oil to ourselves at current prices, at least we'd be paying the money to ourselves and not terrorists. Am I the only one bothered that countries that support terrorism are getting rich on our petro-dollars?

I read on the Huffington Post the other day that Saudi Arabia wanted to increase oil output, but was receiving pressure not to by such countries as Iran (not surprising), Venezuela (not surprising) and Iraq (WHAT?).

That's right, Iraq. I can understand the other two, but Iraq? Didn't we just give them their freedom? Sure, there was a terrible cost the Iraqi people had to pay, but doesn't freedom always come with a cost?

I'd like Obama to man up and demand repayment for all the money we've given that country since 2003. The repayment should be in the form of oil. So let's say we've spent a trillion dollars in Iraq, we should get a trillion dollars worth of oil, at $25 a barrel. If not, well, I might get behind regime change this time.

You know how much I spent on gas in May? $300! I filled my tank five times. If gas was to go back to 2004 prices, which they should, I would have spent $100. Where would that extra $200 have gone? Rogaine, restaurants, a new pair of pants, the movie theater. Basically, it would have gone into the economy and not to terrorists.

And as Congress and the networks ponder these questions, here's two more. Why are we still in Iraq and Afghanistan? I think we've fulfilled our missions there. Bin Laden is dead and the Taliban is ineffective. Hussein is dead and the Iraqi now has a functional government. I think it's okay for Bush to now say, "Mission Accomplished." Even if it wasn't him that did it.

I could be wrong, it certainly wouldn't be the first, or last time, I was. But I think these are more important questions than whether Weiner will resign or why Newt has such an expensive account at Tiffany's.

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