Ross Ulbricht, aka the Dread Pirate Roberts, founded an online crime syndicate using the Tor network. Drugs, human trafficking, guns, and even possibly murder for hire were traded in the network. He was caught, and he got life in prison.

These are the threats, not monitoring terrorists.

The Obama administration is acting against mergers even when there’s no harm in them, making unreasonable demands in a move closer to planned economy. These are the threats, not monitoring terrorists.

Government regulating the Internet. This is a real threat, affecting real Americans, not monitoring terrorists.

You know who’s the real threat to American privacy? Not NSA. FBI is. And yet [mc_name name=’Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY)’ chamber=’senate’ mcid=’P000603′ ] is fixated on NSA in his Presidential campaign grandstanding.

Enough [mc_name name=’Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY)’ chamber=’senate’ mcid=’P000603′ ]. We’ve apparently got another fight on sales taxes coming up. Last year the Walmarts of America overreached badly in their attempt to get the Congress to pick winners and losers. They pushed for a very aggressive bill that would have placed huge burdens on people, and given a lot of trouble to people in non-sales-tax states. In addition, the rhetoric from folks like Mike Enzi was pretty bad, and clearly not designed to appeal to conservatives.

Basically, I felt like the whole campaign was forgetting that it would have to pass the House. Which it didn’t. My hope was that this time there would be a more modest, more federalist bill, one that reached out to folks like [mc_name name=’Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX)’ chamber=’senate’ mcid=’C001098′ ] and House conservatives.

Well, sadly, Enzi is trying again with the same bad bill. But the good news is, the House is moving, too. You see, Democrats are fine with just imposing new and higher taxes as sales tax revenues fall, or just being like California and insisting on imposing interstate ‘use tax’ anyway. But Republicans would like not to do that, so they’d like some sort of legal, Constitutional compromise that keeps states from having to raise or impose new taxes.

One option we’re seeing is by Goodlatte, which would effectively change the structure of sales tax in this country, by moving from a buyer-pays to a seller-pays system. The effect on prices it the same. However Goodlatte’s idea would have some key effects. It would cause people to effectively pay other states’ sales taxes. It would potentially cause double taxation, from buyers in buyer-pays states with ‘use taxes’ buying from sellers in seller-pays states. And in the long run it would put pressure on states (possibly unfairly) to rework their whole tax schemes, which is what a bill is meant to be avoiding here. I’d still prefer it to the Enzi bill, though.

Another option is by [mc_name name=’Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT)’ chamber=’house’ mcid=’C001076′ ], though. This would start putting tough limitations on a bill of the type Enzi is putting up. If we start doing things like preventing foreign states from imposting audits or other unfair burdens on retailers doing interstate commerce, that’s a really good thing. After all, removing those kinds of burdens on interstate commerce was one of the principal reasons we passed the Constitution to begin with!

So, with multiple bills, it’s going to be interesting to see what happens.