Thursday, December 31, 2009

Final Rants of 2009

So many rants, too little time.

According to today's Rasmussen report, 58% of Americans approve of waterboarding to secure information from the Christmas Day Pantie Bomber. Yet, President O's Administration refuses to waterboard. An interesting aside, two of the Pantie Bomber's Yemeni Al Quaeda collaborators were released from Guantanamo to Saudi Arabia to attend art school. Mark Stein refers to this new terrorism policy as going from waterboarding to watercoloring. Now that's progress.

In the opening days of Constitutional Guardian I wrote of Davy Crockett's speech on the floor of the House during his first term. Congress was considering a $10,000 relief bill to aid the widow of a naval officer. The bill was expected to pass unanimously. Crockett stood in stern opposition to the bill and said the following: "...We have the right as individuals, to give away as much of our own money as we please in charity; but as members of Congress we have no right to appropriate a dollar of the public money."Where are the Davy Crockett kind of leaders now?

Again from Rasmussen (yesterday) 58% of Americans now oppose the health care bill, 78% believe the bill will cost more than projected. My bet, as soon as Americans understand what is IN this bill, disapproval will rise to close to 70%. The question is will the leftist ideologues care?

The federal government has bailed out GMAC to the tune of $16.3 billion and 56% ownership. The problem? Bad mortgages. At the risk of beating a dead horse...the government "encouraged" lenders to make those loans, how is government ownership and board seats going to prevent problems in the future? They did such a good job with Freddie and Fannie, don't you think?


Deficit rising exponentially each day...

Those who are watching have noticed that Ford (who refused government subsidies) recently posted a profit while General Motors is still inhaling cash.

Weak dollar...

H1N1 virus--where is the pandemic? And where is the vaccine?

"The system worked."

I guess it depends on what the meaning of "worked" is.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Lead by Playing Golf--Another Obama First

I don't want to be distracted from the health care crime the Senate committed against the American people on Christmas Eve, yet the Christmas day terrorist attack in the skies over Michigan deserves our attention. Because, in essence, it is part of the same problem.

Irresponsible leadership.

President Obama continued on with his Hawaiian golf vacation for almost three full days before he took the time to inform the nation that Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab was “an isolated extremist.” Except the problem is, he wasn't. He is a self confessed, Al-Quada-connected terrorist. And to make matters worse, while the President was enjoying the links, his Administration was busy circulating the Sunday news programs saying things like: "the system worked." That from Homeland Security Secretary, Janet Napolitano, earning her the nickname: Janet Incompetano. I hate to draw an obvious comparison but does Janet Reno and Waco ring a bell?

And, may I ask where the critics are that assailed President Bush during Katrina? Demanding he end his vacation and return to the helm? Rest assured, they are still with us, still peddling their form of editorial journalism at places like The Washington Post, which declared Obama's un-response to the terrorist attack: "low key." Below is an excerpt from the Post's, December 27th report:

"President Obama has performed a difficult but familiar balancing act over the past few days: ordering new security measures in the wake of an attempted airliner attack without excessively alarming the public -- or triggering an outcry from civil liberties advocates.

He has done so almost entirely out of sight. On vacation in Hawaii, tucked away in a lush neighborhood where his family is renting a waterfront home, Obama dispatched surrogates back in Washington -- chiefly Homeland Security Secretary Janet A. Napolitano and press secretary Robert Gibbs, who appeared on the Sunday talk shows -- to reassure the public and explain his approach.

Yet even as the president avoided cameras and played golf and basketball over the weekend, his aides were quick to explain how fully Obama minded the aftermath of the Detroit case."

No longer can we call this editorial journalism. This pathetic pablum can only be called one thing: Propaganda. No where is the word "terrorism" or "terrorist" used. No where is the President's delayed response challenged. No where is the Homeland Secretary's absurd statement: "the system worked" denounced or even thoughtfully examined. There is no outrage over his "lush" waterfront home or the fact that he amused himself with golf and basketball instead of addressing the American people in the aftermath of the terrorism.

The standards traditionally used to measure not just President Bush, but all former presidents no longer seem to apply. Ignore terrorists, ignore the airline security of Americans, ignore the cold-blooded shooting of our soldiers at Fort Hood, ignore the unemployed, ignore the Constitution, public opinion, common sense economic policies and most importantly, the truth and you will be hailed as "historic."

The question is: historic what?

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

The Fiddler-in-Chief

"Our ignorance of history causes us to slander our own times."--Gustave Flaubert

Don't get me wrong.

I am not happy, nor ignorant or naive about what is going on in Washington. If not for my Faith I would be a decidedly bitter creature this Christmas. So allow me to illumine a small ray of hope.

This drunk-on-power cabal we call our representatives, these men and women so obviously impressed by their own words and grandiosity will be a collective, nameless speck--a sideshow --when our history is written. Our president, on the other hand, will be front and center.
Recall: In AD 64 the great fire that broke out in Rome. Much of the city was destroyed and most of its inhabitants were left homeless. Scholars conclude the fire was set by Nero to destroy the unappealing buildings in Rome making way for the construction of marble palaces and monuments to himself. Historians of the time claim Emperor Nero was observed watching the fire, enjoying the spectacle he had created as he looked out over the city. From that the phrase, "Nero fiddled while Rome burned."
His self-possessed calm in the face of the devastation of so many lives seems remarkably cold-hearted to us. Yet, to him, the fire and destruction were part of a grander plan he had for glorifying his own name and carving a hallowed place in history for himself. Monuments to Nero. At the expense of the people.
But the citizens were mad. Hopping mad at the thought of their leader intentionally causing them harm. Incensed to the point of revolution, Nero needed a scapegoat and he needed one fast. Enter: The Christians. Nero blamed the Christians and the population, I supposed relieved to direct their anger away from the emperor were willing to believe that the Christians had done this horrible thing and so the unspeakable persecution of thousands began.
Where is the optimism and hope in all of this you are no doubt wondering?
Stay with me for a moment. When the truth regarding this health care monstrosity becomes known, when we begin to see the details of the depth and breadth of the tax increases, when the results of terrorist trials on our soil become evident, the sheer magnitude of the economic destruction and fear these policies create, will result in the need for a scapegoat.
But, those of who are informed by history (and good sense) will be wary of a leader who points fingers and places blame. A leader who seeks out private citizens to blame: companies that employ our neighbors, CEO's who manage global businesses to a budget each and every year, town hall attendees who object to a socialist experiment with our health care system, those who "cling to guns and religion." We will be wiser, calmer, better informed and we will hold our leaders accountable at the ballot box.
We won't fall for acrimonious and accusatory treachery. Instead when the fire is extinguished and the smoke clears, we will put our heads down and remove the rubble as we begin to rebuild our historical, and I believe God-given, government. It won't be easy. Never is. But we will do it because the stakes are too high to do otherwise.
So enjoy a Blessed Christmas with your families. Relax, rejuvenate. The fight will be long and harsh. We may lose our way from time to time in the wilderness of wily accusations and distortions. Yet, determined and united we will prevail, as those before us have done.
May God bless you richly as we celebrate the birth of His Son. Our Savior. And our true hope.
( of Nero)

Monday, December 21, 2009

"If the federal government should overpass the just bounds of its authority..."

"A wise and frugal government...shall restrain men from injuring one another, 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."
Thomas Jefferson, First Inaugural Address, March 4, 1801

The party of Jefferson has come to this: the most reckless, cavalier spendthrifts in the history of the United States. With no regard for public opinion nor for the debt burden they hoist onto future generations, this Congress and this Administration march determinedly toward a Marxist, Socialist agenda.

In America. The land of the free.

Alexander Hamilton anticipated a federal government run amok. In Federalist 33 he wrote: "If the federal government should overpass the just bounds of its authority and make a tyrannical use of its powers, the people, whose creature it is, must appeal to the standard they have formed, and take such measures to redress the injury done to the Constitution as the exigency may suggest and prudence justify. "

Government is our "creature." And, it is time to redress.

Patricia Hampl, in her 1999 memoir, A Romantic Education, wrote of her generation--the first of the Baby Boomers: "Perhaps no American generation--certainly not our parents who were young during the Depression--had a childhood as long as ours. The war (Vietnam is the war she is referring to) kept us young. We stayed in school, endlessly, it seemed, and our protest kept us in the child's position: we alternately "rebelled" against and pestered the grownups for what we wanted..." (7).

And now they are in charge. And they will have their way. They are still rebelling but no longer against the government. Now they rebel against us because they now find they love and must have the very power they rejected in their youth. Ironic to be sure. The Democratic party of the people is now the party AGAINST the people. The party that opposed big business, now IS big business. The government being the biggest, most inefficient business in the land. This generation of babies that wailed for their rights are now usurping ours.


Unlike those who wring their hands and say it is too late, I cannot accept their fatalism. If it be too late, then I will fight in vain. I still believe in the power of our Constitution, no matter how "injured" and I believe enough in our history to feel the fight itself is noble and necessary, no matter the result.

"If the federal government should overpass the just bounds of its authority...take such measures to redress the injury done to the Constitution..."

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Welcome to the Servile State

Well they did it. Though I, for one, am not surprised. Abuse of power is addicting and Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi (to name but a few) don't care one whit for the Constitution or the wishes of the people they serve. They care about consolidation of power. And they are determined to have it. One way or another.

So, Harry Reid finally succeeded in buying his sixty Democrat votes for the Health Care bill that a majority of Americans do not support. According to Rasmussen: "Fifty-six percent (56%) of voters are now against the health care plan working its way through Congress, while just 40% support it. Perhaps more significantly, 46% now Strongly Oppose the plan, compared to 19% who Strongly Favor it." We don't want it but they are going to establish it anyway. Why? Certainly not even they believe care will improve or premiums will come down. If they did they would implement the bill immediately instead of waiting till well after the next Presidential election. No, if history is any guide it is more likely because they simply don't like us having all that freedom and indpendence. Government's power increases the greater the monopoly it has over our lives.

In his 1913 book, The Servile State, Hilaire Belloc writes, "...the effect of Socialist doctrine on Capitalist society is to produce a third thing different from either of its two begetters--to wit, the Servile State." (xiv)

Welcome to the Servile State courtesy of Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi and Barack Obama. The new United States of America where health care is a right to be managed and dictated by a strong centralized government. Everything our Founders sought to avoid. Everything our soldiers since the Revolutionary War have fought to oppose.

F.A. Hayek penned the definitive treatise on political philosophy and economics in England in the spring of 1944, The Road to Serfdom. Hayek believed that the collectivist ideas of his peers to empower government, increasing its economic control would not lead to utopia as promised by the proponents rather, inevitably would lead to totalitarian regimes like Nazi Germany. As a witness to the tyranny of the Nazi's (Hayek was Austrian and did not return to Austria after the Anschluss), Hayek saw the effects of collectivism first hand.

In 1956 writing of the socialist government established six years before in England (his new home), he wrote: "...the most important change which extensive government control produces is a psychological change, an alteration in the character of the people." He goes on to explain that the change is slow--perhaps two generations before the alteration in character is noted. But, he emphasizes, the erosion will take place if government control is not tempered.

"The important point is that the political ideals of a people and its attitude toward authority are as much the effect as the cause of the political institutions under which it lives. This means, among other things, that even a strong tradition of political liberty is no safeguard if the danger is precisely that new institutions and policies will gradually undermine and destroy that spirit (emphasis mine)." (xxxix)

Hayek argues that the change need not be permanent if the people will throw out the party enslaving them and reverse course. So there is hope for us, too. If we rise to the challenge. If we regain our footing. If we remember what we are all about. If we value our unique place in history and teach the next generation the joy and empowerment of liberty, there is hope.

As Hayek reminds us, "Nobody saw more clearly than De Toqueville that democracy as an essentially individualist institution stood in an irreconcilable conflict with socialism" (29). And he quotes De Tocqueville on the subject of individual freedom: "Democracy extends the sphere of individual freedom, socialism restrict it. Democracy attaches all possible value to each man; socialism makes each man a mere agent, a mere member. Democracy and socialism have nothing in common but one word: equality. But notice the difference: while democracy seeks equality in liberty, socialism seeks equality in restraint and servitude." (emphasis mine)
So let us throw out the party of tyranny and collectivism. Let us stand for the individual and our strong tradition of individual liberty. Let us not allow them destroy our spirit or the America our Founders gave us. Not slip into the Servile State this Administration is so diligently pursuing.
In short, let us throw the bums out; and their Servile State along with them.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Words Mean Something

Dear Senator Blanche Lincoln of Arkansas,

Recently you were asked by a CNS reporter, “What part of the Constitution do you think gives Congress the authority to mandate that individuals have to purchase health insurance?”

And you answered, “Well, I just think the Constitution charges Congress with the health and well-being of the people.” As CNS rightly reports: The words “health” and “well-being” do not appear anywhere in the Constitution.
Senator Lincoln, words mean something.

Dear President Obama,
You have repeatedly told the American people your health care bill will not ration care.
According to an editorial written by Senator Tom Coburn in today's Wall Street Journal, "the Reid bill (in sections 3403 and 2021) explicitly empowers Medicare to deny treatment based on cost. An Independent Medicare Advisory Board created by the bill—composed of permanent, unelected and, therefore, unaccountable members—will greatly expand the rationing practices that already occur in the program. Medicare, for example, has limited cancer patients' access to Epogen, a costly but vital drug that stimulates red blood cell production. It has limited the use of virtual, and safer, colonoscopies due to cost concerns. And Medicare refuses medical claims at twice the rate of the largest private insurers."
President Obama, words mean something.

Dear Kathleen Sebelius,
After the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force advised women under 50 to forgo their annual mammogram screening you announced the recommendation was merely that and did not carry the force of law.

Yet, as Senator Coburn writes, "...the Reid bill itself contradicts them in section 2713. The bill explicitly states, on page 17, that health insurance plans "shall provide coverage for" services approved by the task force. This chilling provision represents the government stepping between doctors and patients. When the government asserts the power to provide care, it also asserts the power to deny care."
Ms. Sebelius, words mean something.


Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Imagine for a moment, a Utopian land. One where the leaders of the government require their subjects to remit only ten percent of earnings for the maintenance of peace and order. Where the supreme ruler is bound by the responsibility to prudently steward those funds, to not abuse the right to tax his subjects. A land where abuse by the leader would result in sanctioned rebellion by the people because the leader (in breaking the bargain) lost his divine mandate to rule.

"Not possible!" you quickly reply. "No such land has or ever will exist."

But it did my friends. Established by Confucius, Chinese tax wisdom established the ideal tax at 10% and required the ruler to maintain this Mandate to maintain his rule. The Mandate was considered a divine contract that, if broken, would result in rebellion--"The Change in Heavenly Orders." The system lasted over 2000 years.

Confucius studied the previous centuries of tax abuse and determined that emperors should not have a free hand in tax policy. 10% was considered the just amount of tax. Confucius was followed by Mencius, the Second Sage. According to Charles Adams in For Good and Evil,

"Mencius wrote for the Chinese the doctrine of the sacred right of insurrection against bad government, as Thomas Jefferson did for the United States. Mencius regarded all government as coming from Heaven, which meant that all rulers were responsible to God and the people. The aim of government was to promote the happiness and well-being of the people. A heavy tax would not do that. And any ruler that left his subjects in misery deserved to be deposed. People were the most important element of a nation; after them came government workers, and finally last of all, came the emperor (48).

Look how far we've come. With unemployment hovering at 10%, our government will raise the national debt ceiling by $2 trillion to $14 trillion this week. According to the Wall Street Journal, that increase will last one year before another will be required. Since the democrats took over Congress in 2007 the debt ceiling has been raised by 39%. This next increase will add another 15%. More frightening, the federal budget has increased 50% since Obama has been in office. A bad combination: rising spending and increasing debt.

According to White House projections (which lean toward optimism), this year's debt will reach 61% of GDP and will rise to 68% in 2010. Consider your own balance sheet. How long could you sustain a debt to income ratio so large and so quickly rising? Remember, next year's 68% debt to GDP is before the Health Care and Cap and Trade bills, each requiring trillions of dollars of spending. There is only one solution to the problem if our representatives refuse to stop spending--more income. In this case more income means higher taxes on an already burdened citizenry.

Our founders considered the imposition of taxes without consent a reason to rebel, to declare "unalienable Rights" to Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness. Yet, we may have to put those pursuits on hold for a bit. Our friends in Washington are digging a big ole hole and we are going to have to work hard--for generations, perhaps--to find our way out of it.

Aah for one Confucius in Congress.

(image courtesy of: )

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Government derives its power from the governed--A serious question about Obamacare

This past weekend I had the privilege of attending "America's game." The Army Navy Football Game in Philadelphia. (Go Navy! Beat Army!) It is an experience unlike any other. Despite the cold, despite the fact that our seats were in the top row of the top section of Lincoln Field, despite the fact that the game wasn't particularly spectacular, the atmosphere was remarkable. Never have I experienced such enthusiastic camaraderie and jubilance. And at the end of the hard fought game, winner and loser stood shoulder to shoulder in the tradition of the closing ceremony.

It was, in short, inspirational.

I also had the privilege of visiting Independence Hall. 9 a.m. in the cold drizzle of a grey Sunday morning, an articulate, well-informed tour guide took us through the two modest rooms (on the first floor) recounting the solemn and magnificent history of our founding. We stood in the room where the Declaration of Independence was conceived, looked at the thirteen tables, quill pens at the ready, Washington's rising sun chair facing the tables, as our guide told of the debates of the Constitutional Congress, the determination of our founders to develop a superior framework of government--the greatest government the world had yet to see.

We wandered over to the Liberty Bell and looking at the lovely, simple architectural, the grandeur of the 200 plus year old Independence Hall (90% of the original bricks still standing) I thought of the parallel between the building and the documents conceived there. Simple, yet grand. Lovely to look at yet, solid and unyielding.

The phrase: Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed...rolled over and over in my mind. The rest of the day. On the flight home. Government derives power from the consent of the governed.

Why is it then that despite the fact that according to Monday's Rasmussen Report 56% of Americans oppose Obamacare, the Congress still plows ahead determinedly as though pursuing a mandate of the people. When the numbers are considered more closely we see that 46% of Americans STRONGLY oppose the bill, yet only 19% STRONGLY support it. These numbers seem the most relevant to me. Perhaps because I assume that those with strong opinions are usually those who are the most informed. That assumption may or may not be correct but no matter because any way you cut the numbers Americans don't want this plan. The polls are all remarkably consistent: The majority of Americans do not favor this bill. Yet, our elected officials don't care. They have said as much. Nancy Pelosi told reporters according to a story in Politico, "We would do almost anything if it meant we would pass health care for all Americans (by) the Christmas holidays."

Deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.

"We would do almost anything."

And what of the Constitutionality of the bill? That doesn't seem to matter either. Heritage Foundation, in a piece posted Thursday, December 10th reported the following interchange between Ms. Pelosi and a reporter: "Madam Speaker, where specifically does the Constitution grant Congress the authority to enact an individual health insurance mandate?" Speaker Pelosi shook her head and before moving on to another question replied: "Are you serious? Are you serious?"
I believe there is nothing more serious than that question. Because I believe that "Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed..."
As our Founders did.
(Go Navy! photo courtesy of Pat Craner.)

Friday, December 11, 2009

God is a Conservative

Many years ago my mother called me and breathlessly exclaimed, "God is a conservative." How do you know this, Mom, I asked? She quickly replied, "Read Ecclesiastes 10:2. "

A wise man's heart directs him toward the right, but the foolish man's heart directs him toward the left.

I had to agree she had a point. And if God's word isn't enough we now have living proof that fools do indeed turn to the left.

I don't like using the word fool. Especially in print. And I have racked my brain, scoured my Thesaurus to come up with a more genteel word for those who would make us slaves to the state. But in my 50 plus years I have learned one thing, sometimes you have to get into the mire, sometimes you simply have to call a spade a spade. And those on the left are fools.

Only fools would pretend that human beings have the capability to meaningfully or permanently alter the temperature of God's earth. There is no scientific proof that this is the case and now we know that whatever "science" was being peddled as proof by the global warming kooks has been fudged and altered to support their theory. We know this because their emails have been exposed by a Russian hacker. Those of us who knew it intuitively, now have confirmation. In print. Global warming, climate change, by whatever name is a hoax.

The Waxman-Markey bill also known as cap and trade that was passed by the House (my, they have been prodigiously busy little creatures these past months) attempts to "control global temperatures by creating a “cap” on greenhouse gas emissions," according to the Heritage Foundation. The taxes applied to energy at every level of production if the bill is enacted into law, will cost the average American household (of four) $3,000 per year. It is also estimated the bill will cost 2.5 million American jobs by 2035 and "produce a cumulative gross domestic product (GDP) loss of $9.4 trillion between 2012 and 2035" again according to Heritage.

But here is my favorite part: "according to estimates based on IPCC data (the authors of the hacked emails/fudged data are associated with the IPCC, it should be noted), the Waxman-Markey bill would only impact global temperatures by .044 degrees C (about .09 degrees F) by 2050." (Heritage) All of this spending and job loss and economic contraction according to the experts will reduce the earth's temperature by only 1/10 of one degree over the next 40 years.

Only a fool would fall for that.

(Picture of Bobby enjoying the snow in the California foothills is courtesy of my private collection of Global Warming Snapshots)

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Morning Bell: The Definition of Economic Insanity


In January 2008, the United States economy employed 138.1 million people and the unemployment rate stood at 4.9%. But the powers in Washington thought deficit spending could boost a slowing economy, so Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) passed and President George Bush signed a $168 billion economic stimulus bill made up of temporary tax cuts and increased mortgage grantees for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. By January 2009 that economic stimulus worked so well that the U.S. economy had lost 3.5 million jobs and the unemployment rate stood at 7.6%. Again the powers in Washington thought deficit spending was the answer, so Speaker Nancy Pelosi and newly minted President Barack Obama dialed up $787 billion in temporary tax cuts and permanent spending increases. Ten months later, the U.S. economy has now shed another 3.59 million jobs and the unemployment rate stand at 10%.

Undeterred by the complete failure of their past job creation efforts, leading leftist luminaries are again calling on the liberal majorities in Congress and President Obama to approve billions more in government spending for a third stimulus. Yesterday, President Obama hosted a “jobs summit” where academics, union leaders, and select big business leaders made their pitch for government largess. Among the ideas reported: Teamsters leader James Hoffa called for higher barriers to trade, President Obama insisted that all future aid to states go to preserving government jobs and not tax cuts, and others pushed to bring the “success” of Cash for Clunkers to a new Cash for Caulkers program.

These “new” ideas will fail for the same reason the past two government stimulus plans failed: governments do not create jobs. Only the private sector in pursuit of opportunity can create jobs on net. The best we can hope from government is that it keeps to a minimum the jobs it prevents and the income and wealth it destroys. President Obama does not understand this. At yesterday’s summit, Obama lamented the lack of job creation: “There’s a lot of money on the sidelines in the private sector. They are still nervous about whether they want to go ahead and take the risks that are inherent in a free market system.”

Wrong. Businesses aren’t nervous about “the risks that are inherent in a free market system,” they are nervous about the risks inherent in a government regulation dominated economy. Fred P. Lampropoulos, founder and chief of Merit Medical Systems Inc., told the President that businesses were uncertain about investment because “there’s such an aggressive legislative agenda that businesspeople don’t really know what they ought to do.” That uncertainty, he added, “is really what’s holding back the jobs.”

Uncertainty like health care legislation and cap and trade.

All Men Are Created Equal, But They Don't Perform Equally

All of a sudden we are living in a lowest common denominator world. We are being told everyone is entitled to health care, mortgages, whatever they lack. These are rights we hear. It was inevitable I suppose. A woman's "right" to abortion, to privacy (ironic in light of current health care proposals) started the snowball. But the fact is, we aren't entitled to any such thing. None of the above. Allow me to illustrate with a personal story.

During high school, women's gymnastics was the rage. Olga Korbut, Nadia Comenici these were my idols. Gymnastics was one of the few sports women could participate in then so I saved my money, bought a leotard and joined the team. What I didn't have by way of talent I made up for with guts and determination. I flew fearlessly over the vault, learned to master the forward roll on the beam (hold your laughter please) and despite the fact that I had little to no upper body strength, I hoisted myself onto the bars to complete the compulsory routine. To this day, I alone hold my high school's record on the uneven parallel bars: the only competitor to receive a complimentary one from a threesome of snickering judges (now you may laugh). But it was the floor routine I desired to master. I watched the girls who could do aerial cartwheels and back flip flops and believed that if I wanted it bad enough I, too, could perform the stunts. So one, day I closed my eyes, pointed my toes, lifted my arms in the traditional gymnastic salute and threw myself backward...onto my head. Crumbled in a heap on the floor. My humiliation was made complete by the coach who threatened to throw me off the team for trying a stunt without spotting, especially given my level of talent. "Some people are not meant to be gymnasts!" she hollered. "No matter how badly you want it."

Those words echo even now. No matter how bad I wanted to be a gymnast, I didn't have what it took. The judges didn't score on desire, they scored on talent. I was created equal to the other girls but my talent wasn't.

Some men, too, are not meant to be President of the United States.

It is one thing to campaign in the opposition, point out mistakes, make promises. It is another thing to execute. As you have undoubtedly heard by now this president's approval ratings are the lowest of any modern president at this point in his administration. The promises Obama made, as hollow as they appeared to many of us, convinced the majority during the campaign who now see otherwise.

I have been silent for a few days trying to compile a list of the atrocities we have witnessed in ten short months. I know I have missed a great deal--there is so much material. So, please write to add to the list. The pace has been dizzying for sure, but here is my best attempt:

  • Obama's must-have $787billion stimulus upon election;unemployment has risen from 7.6% at the time of passage to 10.0% at the end of November.

  • Eric Holder, Attorney General and king of the criminal pardon (Marc Rich) announced that the United States will try self-confessed, 9/11 terrorists in civilian courts, with the rights granted by the Constitution to CITIZENS.

  • Obama is so unable/unwilling/uncertain how to create jobs (though he is qualified to run the free world) he held a "Jobs Summit" and demanded the business people in attendance make recommendations to him on how to stimulate hiring.

  • The cold blooded shootings at Fort Hood by Major Hassan elicited an other-worldly response from the President as he went to the microphone to announce the tragedy but first greeted fellow Democrats attending the event and gave a "shout-out" to some one who wasn't even there. So bizarre, so utterly disrespectful to the dead and their families. Then after days of media coverage the investigation was dropped and we have heard almost nothing of Major Hassan and the politically correct culpability of our leadership.

  • Obama using the office of the President during one of the most severe recessions in modern history flew to Copenhagen to make a personal appeal for the Olympics (and lost). Talk about political paybacks...

  • Under Obama's stewardship, the annual deficit has risen from $422 billion at the end of January to $1.42 trillion at the end of October. This is before Cap and Trade and Health Care.

  • Obama's cadre of Czar's is unprecedented and the scandals surrounding not only the Czars but many in his cabinet are staggering. Remember Van Jones (self confessed communist), Anita Dunn (Mao worshiper), Geitner, Daschle and various other tax cheats.

  • Acorn. Acorn. Acorn. Despite the scandal, Eric Holder recently told an interviewer that the Administration believes they can continue to fund Acorn despite Congress' vote to cut funding. Huh?

  • Health care reform will not change your current coverage. Will not fund abortion. Presidential promises. You decide.

  • Corporate salaries limited, confiscated and determined by Obama's Pay Czar. Remind me where the authority is in the Constitution?

  • Obama bowing to the Saudi King, Emperor of Japan and Chinese premier. But not Queen Elizabeth. That he bowed at all is ridiculous of course. But do we see a pattern?

  • The gate crashers at the state 'tent' dinner. The possibility that his administration is as incompetent as it seems by that omission is too frightening to consider.

  • Finally, and sadly, the circus surrounding troop allocations for Afghanistan. This president's politicization of the troop surge has and will cost lives and is utterly despicable. I cannot say more except the irony and timing of the award of the Nobel Peace Prize is literary.

There's more I know. But I am exhausted from his performance. The Man-Who-Would-Be- President-But-Can't would do us all a favor if he found some community to organize and did so. But as a president? Suffice to say, I give him a complimentary one for that performance.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Because I said so!

Because we said so.
That's right. You just sit back and put your faith in us. Face it, we're smarter than you. We know what's good for you. We got it covered. We're smooth, cool, funny. Well groomed. Trust us.
Don't worry about those pesky Founding Fathers. They were a morally superior, suspicious of power, self-righteous lot. They trusted in God because they didn't have Ivy League trained public sector bureaucrats like us to depend upon. Listen, there are simply times when government must expand. When we must throw that ole Constitution out the window and modify the rules.
Don't believe us? Well, the great FDR did it. Economic crisis of epic proportions and "poof" new government powers. Rahm Emanuel reminded of FDR's brilliance us when we took control, we mean, when our Administration began to serve you, the American people. See him above thumbing his nose? He was explaining how we could use the economic crisis (that Bush caused) and magnify the severity so we could fleece, we mean, solve the problems of you, the American people.
When we stormed the capital, we mean, began our service to you, the American people, we inherited a mess. That George Bush was something wasn't he? Single-handedly, he destroyed the economy, destroyed our reputation among the socialist intellectuals in Europe and destroyed the housing market for a decade. Don't worry. We've got it covered. He left a big mess, but The President has a mop and though Ms. Pelosi refuses to mop herself, she barks orders like a Teamster (and her language is even more colorful!). And Rahm Deadfish Emanuel is a clever strategist. So far he has figured out how to keep funding Acorn despite Congress's decision to turn off the spigot so we can win elections even though you, the American people, aren't sure you want us to. Trust us, you'll change your mind. And what Acorn can't accomplish through voter fraud, we mean, voter registration, Rahmy boy will fix with the Census data, now that it is under his purview.
Don't you worry. You'll get used to us. You haven't had a chance to see Nancy's soft side. Seriously, she is as harmless as a bunny. And she loves flowers just as much. No, we mean it. She just spent $3,000 of your money on flowers in just a few short months. If that doesn't prove her love for beautiful things, we don't know what will. And that DC-10 she commands the Air Force to make ready for her flights back and forth to San Francisco is what you would expect for a public sector CEO. Unlike the private sector CEO's she's on important business. She is spending your money and she needs to be omnipresent to ensure it gets delivered to the people on our side, we mean, on the side of the American people. You'll learn to love her, we're sure.
Why? Because we said so.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Starve the Beast (you know who I mean)

There is much to think about. And to fret about. What with the President's Exit Without Victory speech last night in front of the pained, captive cadets of the United States Military Academy at Westpoint. We can wring our hands over the foolish and, frankly, reckless comments made by MSNBC (does anyone actually watch that network any more?) clown Chris Matthews that the president was making his speech in "enemy camp." Our esteemed military academy "enemy camp" for the Commander in Chief? Cut the microphone cord someone. Please.

Many have talked of the speech and the incoherent strategy being offered by the president after many, many, many months of ignoring the commanding general's request while President Obama consulted military geniuses like John Kerry, the final meeting including the president's budget director. We wouldn't want to get all out of control on the spending now would we?

We are sending 30, 000 troops so we can turn around and bring them home in eighteen months (Did you hear that Taliban leaders? Eighteen months and you have free rein.) Why not seventeen months some of you may ask. Why not nineteen months? I don't know, I guess because eighteen months coincides so nicely with Obama's run for re-election. And if I weren't so sick about the shameless politicizing of our troops (I have one of my own at the illustrious United States Naval Academy, Annapolis) this would make a fabulous Saturday Night Live skit.

So, honestly friends I need a distraction. And thank goodness Nancy Pelosi provided one.

$2993 of taxpayer money for flowers. Not for the whole year mind you. She spent, let's call it $3,000 shall we, just between June and October.

If this isn't fresh evidence we need to starve the beast and get behind her newly announced opponent I don't know what is.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

The Culture of Spending

In 1991, James Payne wrote a book entitled The Culture of Spending. In the front jacket of the book he inscribed for me a quote from the French author and psychologist, Gustave Le Bon: "In politics, the name of things are more important than what they are." I found the quote as I flipped through the book searching for a particular passage I remembered from my original reading of the book.

The original passage commented on the oft repeated view of those on the left that a dollar spent by the government is as good as a dollar spent by the private sector. Those of us on the right side of the argument understand intuitively and empirically that a dollar spent by the private sector generates growth (read: more jobs) while the same dollar spent by government creates a black hole of stagnation.

In a discussion with a staff member of the Senate Budget Committee on the question of redistribution of wealth, Payne was told: "It evens out. Everybody pays for everyone else's goods." That kind of thinking pervaded the Congress then and what followed was a mass redistribution of the Democrats in the House. We can only hope that kind of thinking today will result in the same redistribution in 2010. Payne explores that view below.

"Unfortunately, this is culture-of-spending ideology, not sound economics. When the government purchases what people can buy for themselves, two additional costs are introduced (emphasis mine): the cost of taxation, including the distortion of incentives governing production; and the cost of administration, including the distortion of incentives governing consumption. Calculating these costs is quite difficult but preliminary estimates suggest that for each dollar the federal government recycles through the taxation-subsidy system it wastes more than one additional dollar."

He goes on to explore the source and precise amount of this waste citing research studies on the taxation side of the equation (cost is about 60 cents for every dollar collected) and the disbursement side (50 cents for each dollar spent). The "bureaucratic rule of two." Government production of a typical good or service in 1991 cost twice as much as the same items produced in the private sector.

Imagine the cost differential now.

According to RealClearPolitics, through 11/30/09, 58% of Americans say the United States is on the wrong track. 38% believe the country is on the right track. Americans understand intuitively that the culture of spending being proposed in Washington is wreckless. It will only lead to disaster. And they feel this most acutely when it comes to their health care. A recent compilation of the polling data from Laffer Associates shows the trend of opposition to health care reform rose from less than 20% in January to over 50% by the end of November. According to Rasmussen the opposition to the health care bill is at 53% with 41% supporting it. 56% understand, though, that the bill instead of reducing health care costs as suggested, will drive prices higher.

The bureaucratic rule of two. Everyone but Congress seems to get it.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

When the people's representatives betray them.

Saturday mornings are precious to me. While it is still dark I rise and brew a stern cup of coffee then retreat to my study. In the winter, I start the fire and bury myself under a down comforter to read. Slowly and carefully I have been working my way through The Federalist Papers.

Here is what I read this morning in Federalist 28: "...the whole power of the proposed government is to be in the hands of the representatives of the people. This is the essential...efficacious security for the rights and privileges of the people, which is attainable in civil society." I believe that in my core. Don't you? Yet, it is clear our representatives, for the most part, don't.

Read on: "If the representatives of the people betray (emphasis mine) their constituents, there is then no resource left but in the exertion of that original right of self-defence which is paramount to all positive forms of government, and which against the usurpations of the national rulers, may be exerted with infinitely better prospect of success than against those of the rulers of an individual state. "

The original intention of the Founders was for State governments to "in all possible contingencies, afford complete security against invasions of the public liberty by the national authority." Another check against abuse of power acknowledged and put in place by these men who understood the nature of man to impose his will on others. A nod to notion that absolute power corrupts absolutely.

Yet, here we sit in California, a gerry-mandered, bankrupt state that continues to pursue failed policies of excessive spending and ever higher taxes and I ask myself, where is the redress for the invasion of my liberties? Of our liberties.
Follow me: When Mr. Obama took office, he promised: "Washington will have to tighten its belt and put of fspending," and he pledged to go through the federal budget, line by line. When he took office, the federal deficit for 2009 stood at $422B. By the end of October it was $1.42T. That is just the annual deficit. Think: we earned (taxes paid) minus we spent (total outlays) = annual deficit. The accumulated debt (money we owe other nations, our own citizens, all the holders of our debt--principal and interest) has soared from $6.3T when Obama took office to $7.5T ten short months later. (Wall Street Journal, Karl Rove) Meanwhile, despite public opinion to the contrary, our representatives continue to spend: health care, cap and trade.
If we want to see where this is going we only have to look at California. 12.5% unemployment rate (2.3% above the national average), a $12.5B tax increase last February to stem the deficit tide, yet it still grows. In 2007 (latest time period for which data is available) 260,000 Californians moved to states with "more opportunity." The state with one of the brightest business and innovation histories in the nation is now ranked the third worse among states for business climate by the nonpartisan Tax Foundation. I don't know if Sacramento understands that it is business that employs the taxpayers that pay their salaries, but it is time for a crash course.
Ahhh shucks, perhaps the concept is simply too complicated for the single-minded bureaucrats in Sacramento to comprehend.
In their prescient wisdom, the Founders got it deep in their core. Quoting from Federalist 28 again: "If their rights are invaded by either, (state or federal government) they can make use of the other as the instrument of redress."
That is, "...provided the citizens understand their rights and are disposed to defend them."
If you don't have a copy of The Federalist Papers rent a the John Adams DVD series and watch it with your family. You cannot help but be inspired by the passion of the men who Founded this Great Experiment. It is time for us to rekindle the flame. To defend our rights.
It is time to take our government--state and federal--back and return it to the hands of patriotic citizens with respect for the Constitution and the rights and liberties of average American citizens.
We owe it those who spent or lost their lives in pursuit of the ideals of this great country.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

President Lincoln's Thanksgiving Proclamation

From the Heritage Foundation this morning. (Note: unlike the Washington Proclamation sent out yesterday Lincoln's is not in old English. The "f's" are really "f's" not "s's." Some were confused by the old type. Enjoy!) To you and yours: A Blessed Thanksgiving.

Thanksgiving was not formally made a federal holiday until 1941. However, it has been celebrated on the fourth Thursday in November annually since President Abraham Lincoln delivered the address below in 1863. Happy Thanksgiving from all of us at The Heritage Foundation.

The year that is drawing toward its close has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies. To these bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the source from which they come, others have been added which are of so extraordinary a nature that they can not fail to penetrate and soften even the heart which is habitually insensible to the ever-watchful providence of Almighty God.

In the midst of a civil war of unequaled magnitude and severity, which has sometimes seemed to foreign states to invite and to provoke their aggression, peace has been preserved with all nations, order has been maintained, the laws have been respected and obeyed, and harmony has prevailed everywhere, except in the theater of military conflict, while that theater has been greatly contracted by the advancing armies and navies of the Union.

Needful diversions of wealth and of strength from the fields of peaceful industry to the national defense have not arrested the plow, the shuttle, or the ship; the ax has enlarged the borders of our settlements, and the mines, as well as the iron and coal as of our precious metals, have yielded even more abundantly than heretofore. Population has steadily increased notwithstanding the waste that has been made in the camp, the siege, and the battlefield, and the country, rejoicing in the consciousness of augmented strength and vigor, is permitted to expect continuance of years with large increase of freedom.

No human counsel hath devised nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great things. They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God, who, while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy.

It has seemed to me fit and proper that they should be solemnly, reverently, and gratefully acknowledged, as with one heart and one voice, by the whole American people. I do therefore invite my fellow-citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next as a day of thanksgiving and praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the heavens. And I recommend to them that while offering up the ascriptions justly due to Him for such singular deliverances and blessings they do also, with humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience, commend to His tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners, or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife in which we are unavoidably engaged, and fervently implore the imposition of the Almighty hand to heal the wounds of the nation and to restore it, as soon as may be consistent with the divine purpose, to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquility, and union.

In testimony whereof I have hereunto set my hand and caused the seal of the United States to be affixed.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

General Thanksgiving--A Proclamation

Dear Friends,

Below is the first Thanksgiving proclamation given by President George Washington, on November 26, 1789. Please read and enjoy. Wishing you a Blessed Thanksgiving.

WHEREAS it is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly to implore His protection and favour; and Whereas both Houfes of Congress have, by their joint committee, requefted me "to recommend to the people of the United States a DAY OF PUBLICK THANSGIVING and PRAYER, to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many and signal favors of Almighty God, especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to eftablifh a form of government for their safety and happiness:"

NOW THEREFORE, I do recommend and affign THURSDAY, the TWENTY-SIXTH DAY of NOVEMBER next, to be devoted by the people of thefe States to the fervice of that great and glorious Being who is the beneficent author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be; that we may then all unite in rendering unto Him our fincere and humble thanksfor His kind care and protection of the people of this country previous to their becoming a nation; for the fignal and manifold mercies and the favorable interpofitions of His providence in the courfe and conclufion of the late war; for the great degree of tranquility, union, and plenty which we have fince enjoyed;-- for the peaceable and rational manner in which we have been enable to eftablish Conftitutions of government for our fafety and happinefs, and particularly the national one now lately instituted;-- for the civil and religious liberty with which we are bleffed, and the means we have of acquiring and diffufing useful knowledge;-- and, in general, for all the great and various favours which He has been pleafed to confer upon us.

And also, that we may then unite in moft humbly offering our prayers and fupplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations and befeech Him to pardon our national and other tranfgreffions;-- to enable us all, whether in publick or private ftations, to perform our feveral and relative duties properly and punctually; to render our National Government a bleffing to all the people by conftantly being a Government of wife, juft, and conftitutional laws, difcreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed; to protect and guide all fovereigns and nations (especially fuch as have shewn kindnefs unto us); and to blefs them with good governments, peace, and concord; to promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and the increafe of fcience among them and us; and, generally to grant unto all mankind fuch a degree of temporal profperity as he alone knows to be beft.

GIVEN under my hand, at the city of New-York, the third day of October, in the year of our Lord, one thousand feven hundred and eighty-nine.

(signed) G. Washington
Source: The Massachusetts Centinel, Wednesday, October 14, 1789

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Welcome to the United States of the Banana Republic

Last week, on the eve of the Senate health care bill vote, the United States Preventative Services Task Force (I will publish the task force member names separately) released new guidelines for mammograms. The recommendations of this task force, (which I am told and the list seems to verify, includes no practicing oncologists or OB-GYN's, rather it is comprised of professors and heads of university departments, you know INTELLECTUALS, the kind that propose theoretical policy they are never stuck implementing themselves) offer new guidelines that propose women in their 40's no longer receive routine mammogram screening, rather the tests should be given to women ages 50-74 and no longer ever year but every other. Additionally, the task force recommended that women no longer be encouraged to conduct Breast Self Examination (BSE) since there is no indication the examination produces results.

Creepy? Hold on, it is about to get creepier.

No where in the recommendation does the task force cite compelling evidence to support their recommendation. The paragraph below is pulled directly from the recommendation.

Estimates of the sensitivity of mammography vary with the methods used to calculate it. In a good quality systematic review, the first round of mammography detected 77 percent to 95 percent of cancers diagnosed over the following year, (emphasis mine) but only 56 percent to 86 percent of cancers diagnosed over the next 2 years. Sensitivity is lower among women who are younger than 50, have denser breasts, or are taking hormone replacement therapy. In screening trials, the false-positive rate of the initial round of mammography was 3 percent to 6 percent (i.e., specificity 94 percent to 97 percent)

The task force does not quantify the term "sensitivity is lower among women who are younger." How much lower? Yet, I have to admit I don't care. If the success in identifying women with breast cancer in their 40's is greater than 1% I am for it. Our society should be too. I have a feeling 100% of the children of women in their 40's would vote YES to preventative treatment for their mothers and since theses children will be paying the bills...

Creepiest? The big risk to continuing the annual test?

The consequences of false-positive mammograms (recall--3-5% of initial mammograms) are uncertain. Most, but not all, studies report increased anxiety (emphasis mine) from an abnormal mammogram. At the same time, some studies report that women in the United States may be willing to accept a relatively high number of false-positive results in the population in return for the benefits of mammography. Studies do not indicate that false-positive results diminish adherence to subsequent screening.

Now, we can't have that. Increased anxiety over false positives that does not diminish the woman's adherence to subsequent screenings, nor, according to the study cited, is an unacceptable risk to the women screened. It seems it is unacceptable to the PelosiReidObama care plan though.

After the outrage from the report, most health care organizations, Medicare and our Secretary for Health and Human Services, Kathleen Sebelius, (you remember Ms. Sebelius, the government official who gallantly showed us how to cough in our sleeves in the face of the H1N1 virus--just in case you can't get your hands on the vaccine...) all claimed they would ignore the recommendations.

But here is where Joe Wilson comes in. Ms. Sebelius can't make that claim. She misleads, over commits, obfuscates, she, well, lies.

According to the Heritage Morning Bell: "Both the House and Senate versions of Obamacare create detailed new federal regulations that micromanage all health insurance decisions. Specifically, Section 2713 of the Senate Health Bill would give the recommendations of the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force the force of law by requiring all health insurance plans to provide coverage (with no patient co-pays) for “items or services that have in effect a rating of “A” or “B” [recommended] in the current recommendations of the United States Preventive Services Task Force.”

Conversely, under Obamacare, last week’s Task Force decision to give annual mammograms a “C” rating (not recommended) will henceforth be viewed by insurers and employers as a justification for discontinuing coverage."

IN OTHER WORDS: While Kathleen Sebelius might ignore the recommendations of the task force, the bureaucrats that will doling out your health care, won't.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Time to turn on the lights and scatter the cockroaches.

Well they did it. Not out in the open, of course. Under cover of a Saturday night "procedural vote." After the $100 million according to the press, $300 million according to her ("I am not going to be defensive. And it's not a $100 million fix. It is a $300 million fix,") Louisiana Purchase of Senator Mary Landrieu. Hundreds of millions of OUR dollars used to pay off the wavering Louisiana Senator in order to secure her vote. I don't have words for this. None that won't get me in trouble.

I worked with a guy who once said to me, "What did you expect? You turned the lights on and the cockroaches are scattering." I thought of that this morning after sleeping off the news that the Senate passed along party lines the "procedural" vote to begin debate of the $1.2-2.4 trillion (I believe the latter number since it came from The Heritage Foundation), gigantic tax- increasing, abortion funding, health care monstrosity. It's time to turn on the lights and scatter the cockroaches.

Trillions of dollars to fund the 12 million people who actually need and cannot afford health care. The polar opposite of President Lincoln's a rising tide lifts all boats, rather, this is a dike-breaking disaster that will flood and destroy our current health care system in a New York nano second.

Reading in the Federalist Papers recently I came across the following passages. Bear with me for a moment. There is great wisdom in these dense commentaries.

  • Federalist 25: "For it is a truth, which the experience of ages has attested, that the people are always most in danger when the means of injuring their rights are in the possession of those of whom they entertain the least suspicion. "

  • Federalist 26: "...we may travel from one chimerical project to another; we may try change after change; but we shall never be likely to make any material change for the better."

Change. Not for me, thank you. I'll stick with our Constitution. And as the bumper sticker wisdom goes: They can keep the CHANGE.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

To: President Obama--You Won. Stop Campaigning and Start Governing

In the old days, when I was a kid, we used to put on our patent leather shoes, chiffon and tulle dresses and walk to the neighbor kid's birthday party carrying a wrapped Mr. Potato Head, or Barbie Doll. We were willing to suffer the indignation of dressing up on a Saturday for a slice of thick, homemade cake and a collection of prizes like a Pez dispenser or a ring-whistle or a wooden paddle ball awarded to the winner of each game. Pin the Tail on the Donkey, Musical Chairs and, my favorite, the treasure hunt. Our hostess would give us a list of items to collect from unwitting neighbors working in their yards or relaxing in front of the TV.

The items were obscure and the game was timed. We scrambled without a plan from door to door, wildly crisscrossing the street, helter-skelter. Completely out of control looking for old buttons or a threaded needle, a kazoo, a burnt out TV tube.

I thought of that game this morning as I read about the President's latest plan for Afghanistan: Retreat.

In a matter of months President Obama has jumped from one strategy to another, without a plan, helter-skelter. First, he extolled the conflict in Afghanistan as the "good war." In May after a serious and comprehensive strategy review, he installed his hand-picked commander, General McChrystal. He asked the General for a recommendation, received said recommendation on August 30th--a request for 40,000 more troops--then ignored the request until the report was leaked to the press. Defended his decision to do nothing with the proposal by arguing the decision was complex and required further study. Dispatched John Kerry to Afghanistan. Took counsel from the local Ambassador while the general on the ground cooled his heels. Meanwhile October was the bloodiest month for our troops on record in the theatre and troop morale is at an all time low. The proposal is still just that. No troops have been sent. And now an exit plan.

Back and forth and back and forth. Except the stakes are not Pez dispensers and wooden paddle ball games. These are lives we are talking about. The lives of our bravest and finest.

Back and forth, back and forth. "I will," "I promise," "I guarantee." Campaign promises. Empty promises.

Dangerous and reckless behavior characterizes just about every aspect of this Administration. Advice is sought and not heeded. Public opinion is ignored. The Hasan/Fort Hood probe is halted. But self-confessed terrorists are being granted Constitutional rights and offered a very public trial where our intelligence and military secrets will be paraded before a Kangaroo court and the world. Our president assures us the terrorists will be found guilty...can he do that? Of course not. It's a smoke screen, another promise he can't keep.

Back and forth, back and forth. Perhaps, he hopes we will get tired or confused, that we will give up. Not me, I am holding on for dear life. And this time it's not for an elusive prize or a piece of cake. It's for my liberty and the liberty of my children and grandchildren. And yours, too.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Deconstructing Our Country at Mach Two

A number of years ago I was in the unfortunate predicament of having to be in two places at almost the same time: Zurich and San Francisco. There was no solution it seemed until someone suggested I take the Concorde. I could think of nothing more appealing or more practical considering what was at stake. So I made the two-day trip: San Francisco to Chicago to Zurich, Zurich to London where I would board the Concorde to fly to New York and then home.

Flying the Concorde was like booking a first class cabin on the Queen Mary I was told. You will be pampered beyond anything you have experienced. And whatever you do, don't miss the food! When i de-planed in London, a personal guide was waiting for me to walk me through the maze of Heathrow and deposit me in the Concorde Lounge where I took a steam shower and enjoyed a glass of champagne. We boarded from our private lounge and took our seats. The aerodynamic construct of the plane meant the seats were small and cramped but not to worry, the food was the main thing! Takeoff and we were rocket shot into the sky, speed accelerating until we reached Mach One then our cruising speed of Mach Two. The experience was heady, dizzying and then just like that I fell asleep, missed the entire service and woke with a crick in my neck when the plane landed in New York.

Reminds me of the Obama Administration. Scandal and fraud, deconstruction of the Constitution, spending, spending and more spending--all at warp speed. And if you nod off for even a moment you will miss another "historical" debacle. One thing is for sure, if half of this agenda is enacted you will end up with a colossal crick in the neck.

So grab an espresso and strap in. We are going for a ride:

  • Spending: During the first nine months, the Obama Administration has spent more than the Clinton Administration spent in eight years. From today: "Yesterday at 3:00 p.m. ET, the Treasury Department updated its calculation of the U.S. National Debt to: $12,031,299,186,290.07. That $12 trillion record high comes just eight months after it hit $11 trillion and is only expected to rise faster considering the federal deficit for 2009 was over $1.4 trillion."

  • Fort Hood: After an inauspicious start to the crisis (see YouTube video address below), President Obama vowed to pursue a full probe in his weekly address to the nation on November 7th. This morning he announced a halt to the probe.

  • Job Creation: The rate of unemployment is ticking up by the day. The October unemployment rate came in at 10.2% up from 7.6% in January, even after the $800 million stimulus bill passed for the express purpose of ensuring unemployment would not rise above 8%. Not to worry: the government reports they are creating/saving jobs all over the place. Even in places that don't exist--like Arizona's 15th district. ...oh well. Oopsie. My favorite? Five of the jobs reported as 'created' in Nebraska, are the five jobs required to count all the other new jobs in Nebraska. All of this should be resolved during Obama's Jobs Summit, though. Right?

  • Health Care: Suddenly, on the eve of PelosiReedObamaCare being crammed down our throats we learn--after decades of being told otherwise--that it turns out women don't need annual mammograms and don't even need to start the test until the age of 50. Why? To lower the risks, of course. Risks of all those false positives from the test that somehow seem to be more prevalent in your 40's than in your 50's. And we don't want to risk false positives simply to save women from the very treatable breast cancer. Make sense? And listen, don't you worry about all that nonsense of the government rationing care, they won't monkey around with rationing, they'll just deem the care unneccessary.Oh yes, and has anyone seen an H1N1 vaccine now that the government is on the job?

  • Foreign Policy: I want to compliment the president on his handling of foreign policy. Obama is doing an excellent job of bowing to foreign heads of state like the Saudi King and the Emperor of Japan. Wait a second, though. Did he bow to Queen Elizabeth--one of our staunchest allies? Ah well two out of three isn't bad.

  • Terrorists on Trial: Constitutional rights conveyed to enemy combatants, now if that isn't turning justice on its head. If only Eric Holder had been on the job during the Second World War, think of all the barbarians that would be roaming the streets of New York. Eric Holder has a long and dubious history of representing thugs and most notably obtaining a pardon for the likes of Marc Rich . According to Time's Most Notorious Pardons: "In 1983, financier Rich was indicted for evading more than $48 million in taxes, and charged with 51 counts of tax fraud, as well as running illegal oil deals with Iran during the 1979-1980 hostage crisis. During his last week in office, President Bill Clinton pardoned Rich, who had fled the U.S. during his prosecution and was residing in Switzerland." Thanks to the diligent work of Eric Holder. There is so much wrong with this decision, we'll dig in deeper soon.

Until then, hold on tight.

( and if this address fails go to YouTube and type in Obama's priorities.)