MiniRants: Taco Bell, Marion Jones and CAFTA

Taco Bell is opening a store in Monterey, Mexico with the slogan, “Taco Bell is something else.” Some are skeptical that it will succeed. I was in the Taco Bell in Neosho, Missouri last week and of 4 tables of customers, two of them were conversing in Spanish. I think they’ll do fine. The idea that all Mexicans want to eat is traditional Mexican food is just one more example of the condescending attitude that George Bush refers to as the “soft bigotry of low expectations.” Norteamericanos like to eat a variety of foods, but all Mexicans want to eat is Mexican food. Yeah.

Marion Jones thought she was pumping up with legal natural supplements and she was really pumping up with synthetic hormones. Seems like a difference of degree. Lying about it when she found out the truth seems like a normal, panic reaction. She is still an incredible athlete who worked extremely hard to achieve what she did. She’s given up her Olympic medals and retired from her sport. Sending her to prison for the ought-not-be-a-crime of lying to investigators while not under oath about a noncrime would be overkill. Worried about the message her actions send to kids? I’m more worried that punishing her so harshly will send kids the message that the rewards for hard work can be snatched away on a whim.

Costa Rica appears to have approved DR-CAFTA, finishing up the ratification of the free trade pact. Free trade agreements have been the quiet major achievement of the Bush administration that possibly even more than the successes in the War on Terror will be the lasting legacy of the administration. Central Americans get just how important free trade is. Even Daniel Ortega gets how important free trade is. 59% of Republicans, on the other hand, have fallen for the populist, mercantilist garbage of Pat Buchanan, Lou Dobbs and company. Liberal trade policy has produced massive economic growth for the US and our trading partners. It’s an essential element in creating the indisputably wealthiest society in the history of mankind and these dimwits think it’s a problem. Don’t be surprised when they add soak the rich taxes to their populist prescriptions.


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