Archive for April, 2011

A Healthy Dose of Sunlight

Sunlight is the best disinfectant.” – U.S. Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis

The Left is atwitter at the White House’s capitulation- their word, not mine- to demands that President Obama release his long form birth certificate. The sounds of frantic incredulance could be heard throughout the Leftdom, followed by the knee-jerk assertion that nothing else would follow. The line in the sand may have been broken, but a new line was quickly in place.

Watching this reaction has been interesting, but not surprising. The Left’s vanguard of intellectual midgets all got the memo: this was racism, pure and simple. Pundit after pundit on the Left has thrown the race card, calling questions of Obama’s eligibility to be nothing but an inherent racist undertone to the United States of America. Even some of the more sane liberal bloggers are regurgitating the meme:

But there is a sad downside to this capitulation. The most powerful man in the world today was reduced to saying essentially, “Yes Massa, I really is an American. I gots the papers to prove it.” Not since the dark days of the 19th century where blacks had to identify themselves as free or slave has a man’s identity been so disgustingly challenged.Rutherford Lawson

Of course, this was not Rutherford’s (in the interest of full disclosure, he is black) first ply into calling those who question the secrecy of Obama’s birth certificate racists. Prior to his cries of capitulation, Rutherford defined birthers (the Left’s term for those who question Obama’s secrecy) as such:

[T]he birther thing is the single signpost of a person who:

1) is a racist OR
2) has no grasp of policy so he reaches for straws OR
3) is your generic conspiracy nut

Reaching for straws? This from a man who just labeled every single person questioning Obama’s secrecy as racist. I would normally say something witty and pithy like, ‘hello pot, meet kettle,’ or maybe, ’when you stare into the abyss, the abyss stares back,’ but alas, I am frankly at a loss of words to describe the fundamental hypocrisy and lack of perspective. While I am not going to dwell on these particular issues, there are several sound questions that deserve, at the very least, some answers. Like the question of whether or not Obama was adopted by his step-father? How, and if, has the apparent name change from Obama to Soetoro and back to Obama been documented? Was he ever an Indonesian citizen, and if so, when did he become a U.S. citizen again? One can lament the question, one can even question the motives of the person asking the question, but what the Left consistently refuses to do is actually answer the question.

Old Rutherford even felt necessary to bring me to task in his ‘cry of capitulation’. He said, “One of my fellow bloggers whom I shall not identify because he should be ashamed of himself, recently said that he wished the birther conspiracy to be proven true so that Obama could be run out of office.  There is no depth to which enemies of this President will not stoop to see him undone.” Well, what I actually said was this:

We’ve had this chat before- can you explain why he refuses to release the document?

There are really only two answers to this:

A) The document doesn’t exist and thus he has no way of confirming his natural birth

Or

B) He intends to use the “birther conspiracy” as a political weapon against political opponents.

I lean towards B, but pray A is the answer. Why? Because it would be, by far, the best way to absolve this nation of the sins Obama has committed. Every piece of legislation that he signed would be null and void. His Administration would be tossed out almost immediately and, more importantly, the Dems would suffer a fatal blow. The political devastation that would follow against the Dems would be without equal.

Messier Rutherford thinks I should be ashamed of my whimsical hope that the ‘birther’ movement was accurate, of which, by the way, they have not yet been fully refuted. I could not disagree with him more. I think the hope (after all, is Rutherford now bemoaning Hope?) that the sins of this Administration could be erased in a single fell swoop are not too much to ask. I do not think he disagrees with me either, whether he would be willing to admit it or not, as he alludes to my point, “The long form is published. Now where are the jobs? When are the foreclosures going to stop? When are our sons and daughters going to stop dying in fruitless wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Libya? How the hell did today’s developments move our country forward?” Exactly. Where are they? We have been told since the day Barack Obama came into office that he is the smartest man alive, that he is gifted and smart and articulate and intelligent, and- did I mention articulate-and, and, and… He is regularly portrayed with halos, as his chin is cast high, while his eyes view the lowly masses. At some point, someone was bound to stand up and say, ‘hey, why ain’t none of this fixed?

Which brings us to Rutherford’s- and the Left’s writ large- real fear: “If Obama did not see independents (upon whom his reelection depends) slowly being drawn into this stupidity, he would never have capitulated.” Hmmmm, an interesting observation, inaccurate, but interesting nonetheless. You see, it was not this that drove independents away from the White House. No, no, that had begun many, many  months ago. No, the trending on independent approval of the President began slipping in May of 2009 and has been persistently at current levels of ~40%, per Gallop, since May of last year, coincidentally (or not) around the same time that Obamacare was dishonestly forced through Congress. 

No, if Rutherford and his fellow Liberals want to see the independent metrics change, they are going to have to answer Rutherford’s list of queries: Where are the jobs? When are the foreclosures going to stop? What are the foreign policy answers? Our Gross Domestic Product grew at 1.8% in the first quarter of this year. 1.8%! To call that dismal is a gross understatement. Unemployment is barely under 10%, with underemployment somewhere around 25%. Our national debt is at 14.4 trillion dollars, 4 trillion of which came from Obama’s budgets alone (in the face of Obama’s promise to cut the deficit in half within four years), and we continue to have no viable solution to the inevitable collapse of Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. And why is Libya a part of our foreign policy lexicon right now? We have no defined mission there, nor has anyone from the Administration bothered to inform the U.S. public as to what our interests are in the first place. Those resources flowing into Libya are desperately needed in Afghanistan, and beside the point, they would not be used to support an ally with demonstrated al-Qaida connections.

The crux of the matter is this: the façade is wearing off. Nobody believes him anymore. His election was an anomaly, not because he is black, but because he was believed to be a breath of fresh air. No one knew anything about him, but he was saying all the right things, and frankly, the U.S. public in 2008 was desperate and scared. We got conned; sold a bill of goods; he lied. What promises has he kept? What issues has he fixed? How many things can we point to that have gotten worse? The American people are going through buyer’s remorse. ‘Hope and Change’ has turned into ‘Fraud and Deceit’. 

While hundreds in the South are dying from the worst rash of tornadoes since the early 70’s, Obama is having “fun day’s” raising money for 2012. Rutherford would call it optics, most of us call it priorities, as in his priorities and those of the American people rarely, ever meet. Obama cares about one thing: Barack Obama. He will throw anyone under the bus if he thinks it will garner him power. The only deviance to this is when the end-state matches Obama’s radical ideological bent. Questioning, or exposing those ideological undertones that make up the core beliefs of Obama is not a racist endeavor. Period. The Left does the issue of race relations no service by so frequently playing the race card. Are there racists out there, sure, but they exist in every skin color and every ideology.

Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. We will not be fooled again. 

Disrespecting the Founders

The indispensable necessity of complete authority at the seat of government, carries its own evidence with it. It is a power exercised by every legislature of the Union, I might say of the world, by virtue of its general supremacy. Without it, not only the public authority might be insulted and its proceedings interrupted with impunity; but a dependence of the members of the general government on the State comprehending the seat of the government, for protection in the exercise of their duty, might bring on the national councils an imputation of awe or influence, equally dishonorable to the government and dissatisfactory to the other members of the Confederacy. This consideration has the more weight, as the gradual accumulation of public improvements at the stationary residence of the government would be both too great a public pledge to be left in the hands of a single State, and would create so many obstacles to a removal of the government, as still further to abridge its necessary independence. The extent of this federal district is sufficiently circumscribed to satisfy every jealousy of an opposite nature. And as it is to be appropriated to this use with the consent of the State ceding it; as the State will no doubt provide in the compact for the rights and the consent of the citizens inhabiting it; as the inhabitants will find sufficient inducements of interest to become willing parties to the cession; as they will have had their voice in the election of the government which is to exercise authority over them; as a municipal legislature for local purposes, derived from their own suffrages, will of course be allowed them; and as the authority of the legislature of the State, and of the inhabitants of the ceded part of it, to concur in the cession, will be derived from the whole people of the State in their adoption of the Constitution, every imaginable objection seems to be obviated.” – Publius (James Madison), Federalist #43

It would seem that it is necessary to delve into the history and purpose of Washington, D.C. Recently, D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray was arrested, along with 40 other imbeciles, in a faux-spontaneous protest to the Federal government’s restrictions on what Mayor Gray calls D.C.’s “self-rule”. A number of other City officials were arrested, to include City Coucnil Chair Kwame Brown- who should be arrested for other reasons…

The issue is that these folks believe that D.C. should have the rights and freedoms as any other state, except that D.C. is not a state, nor was it ever intended to have such rights or freedoms.

The concept of a independent, national capital was derived from the Pennsylvania Mutiny of 1783. It basically boiled down to protecting the federal government from the whims and pressures of the States. It was argued that if the capital resided in any one state, then that state would have undue benefit against other States as well as undue pressure against the federal government. Therefore, it was deemed that the nation’s capital needed to be an independent territory under the control of Congress. It was not until 1973 that D.C. was allowed “Home Rule”, which allowed the city limited self-governance with a City Council and Mayor. However, all legislation and executive actions are subject to Congressional oversight and approval.

Now, some might argue that this is oppressive to the resident of the city. After all, they have a single Representative in the House who only has voting privileges in Committee. D.C. has no voice in the Senate and can only vote for President in national elections. Their mantra is Taxation Without Representation.

Congress even sent a Constitutional Amendment to the States for ratification granting D.C. Senate, House and Electoral college representation as if it were a state. Only 16 States ratified the amendment in the 7 year window granted for review.

However, one needs spend about three minutes thinking about D.C., and the wise words of the founders, to recognize that this is all well and good.

Washington D.C. complains about not having Congressional representation. Nonesense, it has more representatives than anyone else. 535 to be exact. Every Senator and Representative provides support to Washington D.C. Billions of dollars flow into the local population and D.C.’s proximity to national leaders ensures that it has a constant, reliable voice in the national agenda. To say D.C. has no representation is a blanket denial of reality.

No, but this is not the point of the argument. D.C. is a blue city, just by its very nature. A city dependent on government largess and excess is not going to support small-government conservatism. So the reliability of the city to consistently vote Dem drives the Lefts efforts to expand the rights of the city- even at the expense of the Constitution and the Founding Fathers.

Article 1, Section 2, Clause 1 of the Constitution states:

The House of Representatives shall be composed of Members chosen every second Year by the People of the several States, and the Electors in each State shall have the Qualifications requisite for Electors of the most numerous Branch of the State Legislature.

 Article 1, Section 3, Clause 1 of the Constitution states:

 The Senate of the United States shall be composed of two Senators from each State, chosen by the Legislature thereof, for six Years; and each Senator shall have one Vote. [This was later amended to general elections for the selection of Senators]

 Efforts to grant D.C. equal representation to the States without Constitutional amendment is, frankly, unconstitutional. There is a reason the States have the representation that they do in the federal system we have- Sovereignty. D.C. has no sovereignty, nor was it ever intended to have sovereignty. In fact, sovereignty is the antithesis to the premise of D.C.- a federal seat of power independent from the states.

This also runs counter to the Tenth Amendment, which states:

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

D.C. is based purely on the Federal government. However loud Mayor Gray, et al, may bawl, this is the single greatest bit to consider, Article 1, Section 8:

To exercise exclusive Legislation in all Cases whatsoever, over such District (not exceeding ten Miles square) as may, by Cession of particular States, and the Acceptance of Congress, become the Seat of the Government of the United States, and to exercise like Authority over all Places purchased by the Consent of the Legislature of the State in which the Same shall be, for the Erection of Forts, Magazines, Arsenals, dock-Yards, and other needful Buildings;

D.C. was, and is, to be treated no differently than any other federal property. Yes, it is the seat of power for the National government, and by its role it inherently demands more prestige and privileges than your typical fort of magazine, however, it is an execution of the powers of the federal government.

The people who live in D.C. are comparable to folks living in a Wal-Mart, or ship yard. First and foremost, it is a place of business. It is not a city, it is a district, a federal territory dedicated to national governance. It is no different than a fort, or magazine, defending the interests of the nation and arming the nation with sound policies geared towards advancement and betterment for society. While the politics of D.C. have utterly failed at dealing with our interests or providing sound policies, that does not change the premise of what the city is in the first place.

D.C. has one of the highest murder rates in the nation. It has over a half billion dollar deficit and has been forced into federal financial management before because of outrageous debt. D.C. has a felon on the city council in Marion Barry, and pending felon in council chair Kwame Brown and a mayor who is under investigation. All in a typical day for D.C., which raises serious questions for why the District deserves home rule, let alone to be held in equal to States. Of course, this should all be beside the point since the Constitution provides no current vehicle for D.C.’s desires. We have a process in this nation for Constitutional Amendment, go through the process and respect the laws, the Constitution and the will of the Founding Fathers. 

Denial

“Government is not reason; it is not eloquence. It is force. And force, like fire, is a dangerous servant and a fearful master.” George Washington

Robert Samuelson mad this comment in a recent article discussing the politics of dealing with the debt:

We won’t make much progress until (a) Democrats concede that spending control requires genuine cuts in Social Security and Medicare, which now total $1.3 trillion annually and represent 35 percent of federal outlays; and (b) Republicans acknowledge that, even after significant spending cuts, tax increases will be needed to balance the budget. Last week, there was little sign of either. President Obama rebuffed Social Security and Medicare cuts. Most Republicans held fast on taxes.

Well, he’s right, sort of. The issue is clearly about getting spending under control, but it is indeed critical that revenue gets addressed. These are not mutually exclusive issues and it really shouldn’t be so hard to get the concept of living within our means. Alas, it is, and it is for a very simple reason: Political Corruption. To most politicians living in Washington- and most government workers at all levels- there is no connection with the People’s money. It is funny money; an arbitrary figure tossed around on spreadsheets and used by mid level managers all the up to Cabinet Secretaries to measure the size of their… ah… fiefdom. If you were to ask any one of them what the difference was between a million dollars and a billion dollars, you’d get two answers: 1) one has an M and the other has a B, and 2) the size of my new office space. It is sad and it exists in ALL government institutions.

What is worse is the fact that most government employees do not appreciate government dollars for that they are- the People’s money. This simple concept is vastly out of reach for so many. To them, it belongs to their institution and they can spend it as they wish, apparently with no limits. The simple connection to the premise that the money does not belong to them or their institution is missed. The concept that the money is a financial grant based on the trust of the People towards those who have been elected to represent the interests of the People never materializes. And government does nothing to correct this misnomer. There are no awards for government shops that succeed in fulfilling their mission AND returning unused funds back to the general fund. No, no. From July through August of every year, the government goes into a spending binge, dumping billions of dollars into last minute expenses. Why? Because the prevailing premise is that if I do not use all of my funds, then next year I will get less money because the perception will be I didn’t need it.

Stupid. Absolutely stupid.

But that is not the worst of it. There has always been a cadre of souls in this world who thrive by preying on the ignorance of the masses. A stupid electorate a is a great electorate because they’ll buy whatever snake oil the political carpetbagger is selling that day, never thinking that these promises of Hope and Change may be nothing more than sweet smelling castor oil. These carpetbaggers don’t contain general government employees. No, no, these snake oil salesmen are made up exclusively by elected officials and political appointees. The worst of the worst thrive in an environment where they promise a step up, yet create conditions that repeatedly keep the People down.

This does not happen by accident. The Left in general, and Democrats in particular, have spent the last 50 plus years focused on an intense strategy of public dependency. And frankly, they are succeeding. The fact that there are now more people receiving government payments than there are people paying taxes should scare the Devil out of every able bodied person in this country, especially the young. The entitlement mind-set promulgated by the Left has expanded the size of the dreaded culture of dependency. There is only one reason to do this- power. When you control every function of life from cradle to grave, you control people, and that has always been the end state for the Left.

Which brings us back to the debt. To think that there has ever been a serious effort on the part of the White House to address it, well, psychiatric care may be needed. The National Debt has gone from nine trillion dollars in 2007 to 14.3 trillion dollars today. That is all Democrat, all the time. The Dems took control of the House in 2006 and had control of the Senate, so they controlled the purse strings of the country. And Obama is going to be the first president in U.S. history to have trillion dollar deficits EVERY YEAR of his term. The Dems failure to pass a 2011 budget was a horribly executed scheme to hide the volume of spending from the electorate in the face of what was predicted, and eventually turned out to be, a landslide victory for the GOP.

And this recent kerfluffle over the House GOP’s passed budget for 2012 drafted by House Budget Committee Chair Paul Ryan is quite telling. Ryan’s plan cuts spending by 4 trillion dollars in 10 years. He also does what Obama has never done- provide details. Obama’s speech (which is as close to a plan as you get) last week where he essentially spent an hour heavily engaged in demagoguery, distortion and outright lying failed to present a single detail on how his plan would reduce 4 trillion dollars in 12 years. But we are use to that by now. Obama does not do details.

S&P’s downgrading of the ratings outlook for the U.S. to negative should be a huge wake up call. Remember when Obama called our long term debt situation “unsustainable”? Well that was before we saw three consecutive Obama budgets of one trillion dollars or more of deficit spending. It is hard to imagine anyone can trust a single word uttered from his lips at this point. Remember when Obama promised to cut the deficit in half in four years? It is starting to sound like, ‘you can keep your doctor.’ What’s more, Obama even attempted to pressure the S&P to not lower the rating, but S&P decided that the arguments from the Obama Administration that the debt was manageable and that the Administration had a plan to address the debt was lacking.

We cannot even begin to hope to address the National Debt or the annual deficit if we are not serious about cutting spending. Period. The fat must be cut. The load must be lightened. The economy, and more importantly the People, can no longer support the bribes of political carpetbaggers selling a culture of dependency with the People’s money. Which brings us back to Samuelson. Yes, he’s obviously correct in our need to cut spending, but he’s wrong on the tax issue in the sense that we need to raise taxes. No. We desperately need to simplify the tax code, which is years behind, and we need to cut the taxes that inhibit business. Every single time taxes have been cut, the government has seen an increase in revenue. Every single time. When Obama was running for office, this was pointed out to him, but his reply was that he would raise taxes anyway in order to be “fair”.

What’s more is that the argument about raising taxes on the rich is specious at best. The rich don’t have rooms full of cash just lying around in their 40,000 square foot mansions. They have assets, and those assets don’t get taxed for being, only when they move. So when the government raises the Capital Gains on investments the rich simply sit on those investments instead of selling, and when the taxes go down, then they sell at the lower rate. The point is that the rich have options in places to put their money that is outside of the tax structure. However, the Middle Class do not have those same options. The Wall Street Journal had an excellent article explaining this, and the fallacy of Obama’s tax-the-rich strategy. The bottom line is that any tax increases will not just affect the super rich, but will invariably touch the Middle Class.

In the noble words of Thomas Jefferson:

A wise and frugal government, which shall restrain men from injuring one another, which shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned. This is the sum of good government, and this is necessary to close the circle of our felicity.” – Thomas Jefferson, First Inaugural Address.

Shooting from the hip…

Usually, I sit down and outline a post and write it in a fairly methodical fashion. This is one of the reason’s that I don’t post as often as I’d like.

However, this morning I’m just going to jump on a couple things I’ve seen of late, and throw a bomb or two. So here it goes:

78% of Dems want more wealth redistribution: Frankly, this isn’t all that surprising except to reinforce the fact that Dems believe that what’s yours is theirs, and what’s theirs is theirs. If the Left is that concerned about the plight of the poor as compared to the rich, well, then the rich Left should throw some of their own cash at the problem. Ahhhh, but that’s the problem. There’s no problem that other people’s money can’t solve for a liberal.

Top Dem Signs on to GOP Plan to Repeal Obamacare: My, my, my, how the worm turns. Rep. Allyson Schwartz of Pennsylvania is joining a GOP bill to repeal Obamacare’s Independent Payment Advisory Board. This thing is going to get dismantled piece by piece, at least until its Unconstitutional ruling is held up by the Supreme Court, at which point the house of cards will come tumbling down. The 2010 election results were in large part a popular statement against Obamacare, and 2012 will probably carry some of that water as well. Don’t be surprised when you see hard-pressed Dems throwing it, and the White House, under the bus as we get closer and closer to election day.

Obama predicts, “American People will feel that I deserve a second term”: Now, I realize that this is nothing more that campaign rhetoric. Of course he’s going to say that, however much it runs in the face of reality. Every poll for about the last year has said otherwise, and for good measure. There is no reason to think that this man deserves a second term. I can’t even get die hard liberals to defend his policies, so what exactly is he going to run on?

Obama, “I have very different views than the Tea Party”: We know. What’s ironic is that the Tea Party is a direct reflection of Obama. It wouldn’t exist without him. Yet, the majority of the nation, according to CNN, thinks that the Tea Party is good for the nation and a body of polls show that the majority of the nation are more likely to believe in the same things as the Tea Party as opposed to their own Congressional representation. He would do well to remember these things when he starts to disparage the Tea Party- and he will- because he’ll be disparaging the majority of the nation who he hopes will lose their mind again and vote for him.

Did I mention that Obama is at all time approval lows and disapproval highs, per Gallop?

Poll- Trump leading entire GOP field by 9 points: It’s way to early to take these kind of things serious, however, I will make a couple comments. I believe that one of the reasons Trump is out front is because he’s going after Obama. People are tired of the kiddie gloves approach and want Obama held to account for the damage he has done this nation. I don’t think Trump will win anything, but I think that he’ll make some interesting political viewing.

The Economy: There’s more truth to this than the left will ever admit.