Tuesday, November 09, 2010

White House Press Secretary Now Creating (bad) News


In what can only be described as supreme arrogance and hubris, White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs got into a very heated, and somewhat physical, altercation with Indian security officials during President Obama’s state visit.

It started when Indian security officials decided to limit the number of reporters from India and America allowed in the room to five each, down from eight.

This threw Gibbs into a highly public rage. He even used his foot to prevent Indian guards from closing the door to the room where President Obama was meeting with Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. Gibbs angrily inquired, “You gonna break my foot, now?”

Several times, Gibbs threatened to pull Obama out of the meeting if the Indian officials did not acquiesce to his demand for eight reporters. Rather than call his bluff or disrupt the official meeting, the Indian officials relented and admitted all eight U.S. reporters.

Gibbs is to be faulted on two very serious counts. First, he created an unnecessary international incident embarrassing the President and the United States. The image of an enraged American White House official yelling at Indian security officials can only transmit a negative image of America as an arrogant power to the people of India – and around the world. The photo accompanying this post is now the face of America – more so than any smiling poses of the President. Think about that.

Even worse is the fact that Gibbs appeared both willing and able to disrupt a meeting of two heads of state by ordering … yes ordering … the President of the United States to withdraw over a tiff that had nothing to do with the President or the serious business of the meeting. By this threat, Gibbs makes the President seem like nothing more than the figurehead of a cabal of all-powerful advisors.

I do not believe there is anything that Obama can do, short of firing Gibbs, that can undo the harm the Press Secretary has done to the image of America and the President’s own credibility as the man in charge. If the President does not send Gibbs packing for home immediately, he leaves himself vulnerable to critics who see an increasingly impotent president. Gibbs’ poor behavior will overshadow the rest of the trip – and maybe the rest of Obama’s presidency.

Monday, November 08, 2010

Labor Blew a Billion


While the Democrats whine, and the press reports, about excessive corporate expenditures and secret funding, it is the spreading around of big bucks by big labor that should be of concern.

This year, it is said that the major unions spent more than one billion dollars in this election cycle. Certainly the amount of money is noteworthy, but it is the source that is most troubling.

Business tends to give to both Republican and Democrats. The unions give virtually all their money to Democrats. The union bosses are not trying to influence the Democrat party, they are trying to own it – and they already seem to have a long-term lease on it.

In addition to the distribution of the money, there is a serious problem with the source.

Virtually all corporate money is given voluntary. Union money is taken from members regardless of their desire to give, or their party/candidate preferences. In some elections, more than half the union members vote for Republican candidates, yet 99 percent of the money confiscated by the union “no choice” rules goes to Democrats.

It is encouraging that the American people are not so easily fooled or influenced by big labor’s big bucks. What did these labor bosses get for that billion-dollar donation this year? A crushing defeat that goes well beyond the obvious humiliation.

They lost real prestige and real power. They lost control of the U.S. House. They lost influence in the Senate. They lost key governorships and state legislatures in this all-important redistricting year. They lost the chance to pass any of their top-priority legislative agendas.

I would dare say that they even lost the unconditional support of the President. Seeing these election results, I suspect Obama will move away from the labor camp in setting his priorities. In fact, his post-election press conference contained a ringing endorsement of business and free markets, and nothing about organized labor. He talked about the need for small business job creation, very little of which is unionized.

Coming into this election, labor wanted to be the 800-pound gorilla, but instead, it turned out to be a paper tiger.

Image © BusinessandMedia.org

Things look better already. A GOP Victory Dividend?


One of the immediate economic benefits of the Republican resurgence is the shift from pessimism to optimism –- or at least less pessimism. Consumer and business optimism is, to some extent, a self-fulfilling prophesy. Purchasing, investing, hiring, producing are all risk-based decisions – relying heavily on the perception of the future.

With Republicans in a position to – at minimum – block the most egregious, growth-retarding policies, both consumers and producers will open their wallets – the former to spend and the latter to produce.

The rate and level of economic recovery will take a little more than first impressions, however. If this were a poker game, I would say that the American public matched the bet on the first round of seven-card stud. Now they want to see more of the faced up cards.

Right now, the game is to the advantage of the Republicans. They will argue, with some legitimacy, that any economic improvements coming down the pike were due to their being put into the game. They will claim that without the GOP resurgence, the Obama administration would have continued down the path of economic devastation.

Obama and the Democrats will argue that all future improvements were due to their policies and the results just happened to be delivered after the Republicans arrived in town. That is a much harder argument to make convincingly.

Speaker Pelosi – Arrogant or Stupid?


When I suggest that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi might be stupid in the headline, I do not mean a lack of common intelligence – maybe more a lack of common sense. I am referring to the kind of stupidity which results in very intelligent people not seeming to see reality very clearly.

Pelosi was one of the key ingredients in the toxin that poisoned the political atmosphere for the Democrats. She may well be the most unpopular American woman since Jane Fonda traveled to Vietnam to play patty cake with the Viet Cong a couple generations ago.

There are two moments that define the obscenity of this woman. The first is when she marched through the crowd of Tea Party ralliers with the oversized gavel flanked by Black legislators. There is no doubt it was done in the hope that some renegade demonstrator would say or do something outrageous so that Pelosi could tar all Tea Party participants with racial and/or violent epitaphs. I am sure this was her intention because that

was not the normal way legislators enter the building, especially if there are demonstrators at the main entrances. In fact, she usually rides to the Capitol Building in the underground railway. It backfired because none of the thousands of demonstrators took the bait.

The second defining moment was when she said at a press conference, in response to criticism for not allowing time to read the healthcare bill before taking a vote, “we have to pass it to find out what is in it.” Such arrogance is beyond comprehension.

So, it appears that the GOP’s luck has not yet run out. If Pelosi were to ask me what she could do to further help the Republican Party, without hesitation, I would advise her to stay on as the leader of the House Democrats. Let her dismal 8 percent popularity be the face of the Democrats in the House for the next two years.

The fact that the surviving Democrat members would elect her would signal to the American public that they have not yet heard the voices of America, and that they may need yet another political “time out” in 2012 before they get it.

This also means that the reviled Obama, Reid and Pelosi troika is still in place. In a previous

blog, I suggested that Senate President Harry Reid will now be an albatross around the neck of the President. Should Pelosi succeed in her quest to maintain leadership over the House Dems, the President has a second albatross.

This is also where the liberal Democrat bias of the newsrooms becomes a benefit. They will undoubtedly afford Pelosi much more coverage than they did Republican minority leadership. She will be in the press a lot – pressing her unpopular left wing agenda -- and nothing could be better for the Republicans.

You have to wonder if Pelosi got the go-ahead from Obama. If she did and he did, then the President is as out of touch as Pelosi. I try to keep this blog on the highest ground, but honestly, doofus Reid and cackling Pelosi always bring to my mind images of the Scarecrow and the Wicked Witch from the Wizard of Oz.

To use comedian Jackie Gleason’s line, “How sweeeet it is!”

Friday, November 05, 2010

What can Obama do with a lame duck?


Obama’s moment of truth will come at the calling of the special “lame duck” session of Congress. This is when we see what meaning there is to all the mea culpas and all the pretty words in the President’s post-election news conference.

The House under the new Republican conservative orthodoxy has promised to reverse the tide of big government, or, none-dare-call-it, socialism, in the face of the election night rant of Harry Reid, promising to fight for as much of the old Obama, Pelosi, Reid progressive agenda as possible – even as the reins of power are slipping from their politically cold dead hands.

Where is the President in all this?

The telltale issue may well be the extension of the Bush tax cuts. Obama, Reid and Pelosi have hitherto been adamant that they will only be extended to those with incomes under $250,000. The party-of-no says “no” to any tax increases at all – and the failure to extend even a portion of this IS, by definition, a tax increase on those left out.

This is a very key issue, because Congress MUST pass one version of the extension or the other. They cannot afford to do nothing. In his press conference, the President talks of an extension for the “middle class.” These are the buzz words for the $250,000 break point.

Unless Reid and Pelosi have gotten religion, or a private message from the Oval Office, they are likely to pursue the old plan in the “lame duck” session.

The current Democrat strategy is to demand the passage of the OPR version, daring the Republicans to filibuster it – essentially killing the extension and raising everyone’s taxes. With no choice, the Republicans might have to capitulate.

But it would be a Pyrrhic victory for the Democrats.

Should the President take the hard line, he will have effectively rendered his press conference conciliatory rhetoric meaningless. The new Congress will convene as a war party because the President will have fired the first shot of strident partisanship. Reid and House Speaker John Boehner will be two generals leading their forces into a two-year series of philosophic battles.

On the other hand, if Obama surrenders on the Bush tax issue, he will lose what remains of his core left-wing support and signal his willingness to let the Republican House set the agenda for the next two years. The President already has the progressives crazed with his press conference endorsement of capitalism, free-markets and corporate America.

What the President does in advance of the new Congress may well determine the last two years of his first term, or the last to years of his presidency.

*Image © Eric Allie*

Thursday, November 04, 2010

Lame Ducks and Dead Ducks


We all know that a “lame duck president,” or now, a “lame duck Congress,” refers to that period between the election of the “new” and the inauguration of the “new.” It is that period in which the “old” still govern, but from a much weaker or “lame” position. The upcoming special session of Congress is, therefore, a “lame duck” session.

Recently, I coined a term to describe the Chief Executive of the United States as a “dead duck” President, defining a President whose party suffers such a horrendous defeat in the mid-term election that they lose an enormous power such that the President is mortally weakened and potentially unelectable for a second term. By my appellation, Barack Obama is now a “dead duck” President. (You can see the actual term and definition at the online Urban Dictionary, if you like.)

GOP Tidal Wave


I watched as former Democrat vice presidential candidate Geraldine Ferrarro opined that the Republican victory was not the big wave that had been predicted. WHAT?

This was about as huge of a repudiation and annihilation that a party can suffer. The Democrats lost control of the house with one of the biggest political party gainsin modern American history. Not only were the crop of new recruits that got the Dems the House in 2006 decimated, but a lot of “old bulls” and powerful chairmen were knocked off as well.

Also, keep in mind that it is the House from which all budget and appropriation bills must originate, and while Nancy Pelosi was re-elected, she is effectively gone. I would even go so far as to say that she ranks below an incoming freshman in terms of influence, even in her own party.

While the GOP did not take control of the Senate due to the fact that only one-third of its members had to face this year’s angry electorate, when you consider that the GOP already held some of those seats and some were beyond hope for a takeover, the Republicans had to win 10 out of 12 – a daunting task.

Picking up more than half a dozen seats, however, is very significant since it shifts the center of gravity in the Senate and makes stopping filibusters impossible. Not taking the Senate also means that Obama cannot run against the Congress as Harry Truman did in 1948.

The Democrat loss of governorships across the board – especially the big states like Michigan, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Florida, Ohio – have huge ramifications for the redistricting year. The Republicans are poised to redistrict themselves into an even greater majority in the U.S. House and the various state legislatures.

Also, having a friendly governor in a state is an important asset for any presidential campaign. The advantage now leans toward to the GOP in key states – imperiling Obama’s second term.

The Tea Party, which is now bonded to the GOP, was a huge factor – not only in their own winning candidates, but the grassroots energy they generated throughout the nation. Some pundits see the defeats of Christine O’Donnell and Sharron Angle as some sort of indication of Tea Party weakness. No one should have expected that all Tea Party candidates would win, and the weaker ones did lose. To fully judge the Tea Party impact, you need to see their wins in the Republican primaries, their wins in the general election and their undoubted influence as the foundation for the broad range of GOP victories.

Ironically, I see the victory of Harry Reid, in Nevada, as the gift that keeps on giving. Had he lost, New York’s Chuck Schumer or Illinois’ Dick Durbin would be taking the helm in the Senate. They would not have the same negative national image and propensity to say stupid things as does Reid. Reid’s pugnacious victory speech gives the American people the personification of their angst against Washington, and is an albatross around the neck of the President.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

I THINK … Blago wins big, but only temporarily.

I will now indulge in a moment of “I told you so.” While most pundits and joe blows were calling Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich a nut cake for his high visibility public antics, I suggested that he might just be the shrewdest of the shrewd.

Most folks, and virtually all lawyers, think he should have kept his mouth shut – let his calm and cool attorneys handle public inquires. That’s what all those other indicted politicians did. Oh wait! All those other indicted politicians eventually got convicted and went to jail. Rod dodged 23 bullets and his brother, Robert, all four of the charges against him.

I proffered the opinion that as humiliating some of his pants dropping shticks were, they just might give him a few jurors – at least one – who will hold out for a guy they have come to know “more personally.” As of yet, I have not heard why that one juror was a hold out, but she kept Blago and brother from looking at some serious hard time – at least for the moment.

Trying to influence the jury pool is not invented genius. Former Governor George Ryan tried the same thing with his release of the death row prisoners – which got him a couple of Nobel Peace Prize nominations while he was awaiting trial. Apparently neither the Nobel jury nor the Federal Court jury was impressed. He did not get the Nobel Prize, but he did get six years in the slammer. Ryan was also hoping to get a friendly African-American on the panel since almost all the commuted prisoners were black.

Blago did not fall for any of that. He understood that winning the bleeding hearts of European liberals and the small cadre of domestic capital punishment opponents was not good enough. Maybe he knew that blacks tend to make tough jurors, and if the gambit didn’t work for a pompous white Republican politician, it was not likely to work just because he was a pompous white Democrat politician.

No. No. No. Blago knew that his best chance was to appeal to the Jerry Springer fans. Methinks, Donald Trump did not recognize Blago’s abilities when he booted him off the Assistant show much too soon.

Now, I know the ex-Governor did get convicted on one-half of one count – lying to the FBI – and is now officially a felon. But, after the feds threw everything they had at him and ginned up 24 real criminal counts with hundreds of years of jail time, you have to give the victory to Blago and his equally outrageous father and son defense team for staving off twenty-three and a half counts.

His only conviction was for fibbing to the FBI, not on any of the really serious criminal offenses. Personally, I think that is a pretty cheesy charge, and a five year penalty is a bit extreme. It is what they hung Dick Cheney’s guy, Scooter Libby and Martha Stewart after they could not convict them on the larger charges.

Since anyone under extensive interrogation from the FBI is likely to spin, fib a bit or simply misstate the truth, it is almost impossible not to be convicted. It is a “crime” that never would have been committed if the person was not indicted on real criminal charges.

It seems the prosecutors are determined to re-try the Blagojevich brothers. Why? Because they can. The deck is stacked against defendants to such an extent that convictions are almost unavoidable. THAT is what is so impressive about the jury action. The Blagojevich brothers beat some incredibly long odds – but unfortunately for them, the game is not over. If nothing else, the re-trial will provide some more great politics-as-entertainment for the reality television viewers.

My guess is that the re-trial will make Blago a bit of a folk hero. I know he was not acquitted on any of the charges. But, some seem to feel that enough is enough. The feds used their unlimited resources, but could not convince all 12 members of the jury. In the process they have destroyed the lives and reputations of two people. The humiliated the then Governor by arresting him in front of his family in order to stop what they allege was a rampant crime spree – which apparently the jury did not see. They got Blago booted from office without any presumption of innocence. They have bankrupted two families with children. In our system, prosecution IS punishment.

Okay. So much for the sympathy. I think Blago is as guilty as sin – and I think it is not likely he will pull the same rabbit out of the hat a second time. He may get off on some charges, but I am betting he gets found guilty on at least half. Blago has only survived to fight another day.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

I THINK … the Ground Zero is the wrong place for the mosque, and Obama has failed to show leadership.

Many times, public policy is not as complicated as the political leadership would have you believe. The proposed mosque within a stone’s throw from Ground Zero – which many now consider hallowed ground.

There are two important consideration on the side of the decision-making scale that favors the proposed masque site.

First: It would be wrong to suggest that the attack on the World Trade Towers by Muslim extremists indicts all Muslims and justifies the suspension of their Constitutional rights. We have to always guard against diminishing the power of the Constitution over a narrow or momentary issue.

The second thing that supports the advocates of the project is the law, it would seem. There is nothing in the plans for the project that runs counter to legal requirements.

Just because the law is on their side, however, does not mean the mosque should be built so close to Ground Zero (see ariel view). In fact, these two seemingly formidable arguments are outweighed by obvioius wrongness of the plan. The problem stems from the fact that the overwhelming reasons NOT to build on that site are emotional and moral, while the arguments in favor or technical and legal.

The most disturbing part of the public debate is that the Muslim community, under the leadership of Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, knows full well that the location is contentious. They know that it is an unnecessarily painful tribute to those who lost loved ones, and the millions more who sympathize with the bereaved.

In recent days, it was announced that Imam Rauf will be travelling as a goodwill ambassador of the United States to the Middle East courtesy of our own State Department. According to Department spokespersons, the Imam is a voice bridging any schism between Muslims and non-Muslims.

At the same time, others report some of Imam’s more provocative rhetoric and allege that he is a supporter or at least sympathizer of radical Muslimism. His supporters say that the Imam must maintain a balance in order to be effective. This is nonsense. If he cannot speak out against the wrongness of the murderous terrorists in every instance, he served no benefit as a conciliator. Rather, he only serves as an apologist for our enemies.

There is also the history of Muslims building mosques at the sites of great victories. So, is the determination to build this house of worship in the missing shadow of the Trade Towers an opportunity for conciliation and understanding – a bridge, if you will -- or is it some cultural celebration and symbol of victory to be telegraphed to the Muslim world.

The fact that the motivation is controversial suggest that the project should be relocated. Failure to do so gives credence to the more sinister motivation. If the local Muslims want to produce goodwill, it is obvious that respectfully changing the site would have the most positive impact. If they persist in pursuing the Ground Zero site despite the public reaction, it is obvious that they are not seeking to establish goodwill but to force their own will for their own parochial purposes.

I am at a loss to understand why New York Michael Bloomberg gave the mosque his full support and endorsement. Governor David Paterson was more correct in proposing an alternative site, which he would help to secure.

But what about the President.

Obama stuck with the technical legal position in saying the Muslims have a right to build the mosque at the chosen site. He deferred in expressing any opinion on the wisdom or morality of the decision. In ducking the most important issue, the President missed an opportunity for leadership. If he can call in a cop and a professor to the White House to settle a minor confrontation, certainly he could have called in the Imam and expressed his presidential displeasure with the current plan. He could have cancelled the Imam’s taxpayer paid trip to Mecca.

Obama’s call for tolerance and understanding for the Imam and his mosque begs the questions why the American president chose to side with international Muslimism over the suffering of the American victims, their families and the majority of the President’s constituents.

If Obama, Paterson and Bloomberg had joined together to negotiate an alternative site, I feel quite confident that the issue would have been resolved early on. Why they didn’t is the lingering question. Minimally, it is a shortsighted lack of leadership. More disturbingly, it was the obvious new found influence the Muslim world enjoys with the Obama administration.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

I THINK … WikiLeaks and its founder need to be shut down.

It is reported that WikiLeaks is about to release another 15,000 top secret government documents to undermine the American war effort in Afghanistan and Iraq. Of course the White House is chagrinned, calling the action “irresponsible.”

My son not doing his chores before going to the beach – that is irresponsible. Giving out military secrets in war time, to aid the enemy and cause the deaths of American combatants and undercover operatives, is waaaay beyond “irresponsible.” It is treachery. It is treason.

WikiLeaks founder, Julian Assange (pictured), has made himself an “enemy operative” – a terrorist by proxy. His actions will result in unnecessary allied deaths. No doubt about it.

As readers may know, I am not a fan of capital punishment. I am one of those seamless cloth pro-life types. However … my conscience does not ache over deaths of evil people that result from acts of self defense, whether it is stopping a home invader or in defense of the nation.

With that being said, we should declare Assange and his organization an active enemy and take him out. He is no more a journalist than Tokyo Rose was a legitimate news analyst. Shooting him is not my first choice, of course, but not off the list of possibilities. How about arrested. Kidnapped. Sent to CIA obedience school. If eliminating enemies is not a “responsible” role for our military or CIA, I am not sure what they are supposed to be doing.

One of the problems with NOT taking Assange out of action is that it gives license to others. I think if Assange and his cohorts were to be brought to justice, or even suddenly “disappear,” we would have a lot fewer copycats.

The “professional left” as White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs dubs them, will be outraged at my suggestion. Since they are nothing more than the cheering squad for American failure in the Middle East (and anywhere else on earth), I could care less. The sooner we render the radical left … oh, I mean the professional left … irrelevant to American policy, the sooner we can again become a great nation.

For those who wince at my suggestion, let me hear what you would do in this situation. I hope it is more than wagging a scolding finger as if Assange’s actions are nothing more serious than a high school prank. He is not an irresponsible bad boy. He is a dangerous anti-American operative.

I am not sure exactly when the media secured the expanded “right” to reveal American secrets. There is a distinct difference between a legitimate whistleblower uncovering wrong doing on the part of government officials and a traitor. Whistle blowing is quite different from stealing and revealing top secret strategic and tactical information that can harm our position in world affairs, undermine our ability to wage war and literally take the lives of those who serve this nation with honor and courage.

I THINK … Robert Gibbs reveals the truth about White House ambitions, perhaps unwittingly.

White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs has stepped into the political doo-doo if you follow the reports of the mostly leftish press.

What most of my political colleagues call the “radical left,” Gibbs more politely calls the “professional left.” I actually like his term better. “Radical left” is a tautology – meaning that the adjective is unnecessary because both words mean pretty much the same thing. Now, “professional left” expands the understanding. Not only are the lefties “radical” America bashers, but they are “professional” – it is the self employed occupation -- or should I say preoccupation – that drives them rise up in opposition to America .

Gibbs went on to say that these professional lefties would never be satisfied unless kooky anti-war Congressman Dennis Kucinich was made Secretary of Defense and the White House imposed a Canadian-style health system. In his lament, Gibbs, perhaps inadvertently, mocks the anti war movement and all but confesses that the Canadian health system is not suitable for free market Americans. Further, he slaps down the folks who thought Barack Obama was their guy – the radical left or progressives, as they euphemistically call themselves.

The pundits on the left argue that Gibbs is tone deaf for attacking the President’s base. This is how out of touch they really are. The professional left (I like the sound of that) is no more Obama’s base than the John Birch Society is the base of the GOP. The radical left, loud as they may be, is still the fringe.

Entirely too much public debate centers around the level of Obama’s socialism – or fascism, as I prefer. This diverts attention from the real issue – the real concern. The Obama forces are “autonomatrons” – and by that I mean they seek autonomous power. They lean left, because that is the more traditional road to the consolidation of power. What the Obama White House is seeking is the rigging of the structure to ensure permanent empowerment by the liberal wing of the Democrat Party – or, to put it another way, themselves.

Never forget that Washington is now being ruled with Chicago style governance. If Chicago was a nation, it would be a fascist banana republic. The government model is not dissimilar to that of China, where one party rules with leaders chosen by an elite bureaucracy.

The Chicago crowd has the White House, with Obama as the figure head. The power behind the throne rests with a troika of David Axelrod, Rahm Emmanuel and Valerie Jarrett. All three of them (and I have known them all personally to some degree) see the acquisition of power as the primary rule of politics.

Over in the Senate, you have the significant influence of another take-no-prisoners partisan Democrat right out of the Chicago Machine – Senator Dick Durbin. If Senate President Harry Reid is defeated and the Dems hold onto the Senate majority, Durbin will likely take over that extremely powerful position.

If Nancy Pelosi retains the speakership, two branches of government will be in the hands of those who think – to paraphrase Civil War General Philip Sheridan -- the only good Republican is a dead Republican. Though not from Chicago, she comes out of a similar power-based political environment.

The point is that ideology and philosophy are not what drives these folks. They manipulate for power. What the Gibbs’ comments reflect is the White House’s recognition that the loony left is not only not their base, but largely irrelevant to their ambitions.

Under the marquee of liberal doctrine, the Chicago folks are carefully crafting policies of permanent empowerment. The White House programs should not be measured and debated on the liberal/conservative scale, but on the individual freedom/oppression gauge.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

I THINK … our government is getting scary with seizure of children based on politics

Here is the situation. There is an illiterate couple in New Jersey who had the poor judgment to give their kids, ages 4, 3 and 2, offensive Nazi names. When the oldest turned 4, they went to a local bakery to get a decorated cake … “Happy Birthday Hitler.” The bakery refused and the story spread across the Internet and news media. Adolf eventually was provided a birthday cake, but just before the nannies of government removed him and his siblings from the family home.

Now, the government has announced that they will not return the kids to the parents, but rather are putting them in foster care – almost guaranteeing them severe trauma and lifelong “issues.” Of course, being named Adolf Hitler Campbell, Joycelynn Aryan Nation Campbell and Honzlynn Hinler Jeannie Campbell could also create “issues” for them. So, it seems, the kids will have “issues” one way or the other.

I think the biggest problem is the birthday boy, A. H. Campbell. He gets the full name of the Antichrist. Apart from a formal name change (which seems inevitable for these kids), maybe he can soften it by not using the middle name (a common practice), or by becoming Al Campbell. Joycelynn can simply not use the middle names, which makes Joycelynn Campbell a rather fetching name. If you are unfamiliar with the Nazi-esque Honzlynn Hinler, you are not alone. Some think it is an off-the-mark reference to Heinrich Luitpold Himmler. That would be akin to my parents naming me Larry Patrick as a reference to a Chinese dynasty. But after Adolf Hitler and Arian Nation, you can see the basis for the assumption.

As stupid, offensive and inconsiderate as the names may be, does that justify making them wards of the state? Given this Hobson’s Choice, I still think taking the kids is the worse of two bad options. If I were in the middle of this, I would give the kids back to their parents and maybe counsel them into changing the names for the benefit of the kids. I think that is doable.

After all, one can see how giving children unpopular names can damage them for life -- limit their potential. (Why did the name Barack Hussein Obama suddenly jump into my head?)

Now the plot thickens.

Authorities now claim they are not returning the kids because of family violence. They refer to a letter the mother gave a friend in which she accused her husband of being a dangerous person. She has since recanted the accusations, and now claims Mr. Campbell is quite the ideal hubby and daddy.

The fact that the government rationale came AFTER the authorities took the kids is chilling. They exceeded their authority, both legal and moral, in the first place. Instead of issuing an apology, the authorities are trying to belatedly justify their actions. That is a classic abuse of government. Does it strike you as ironic that in revulsion to the children’s names, the New Jersey authorities are acting like … oh … Gestapo?

In my modest investigation, I could not find any previous problems with the parents or the kids. The latter seem rather healthy and happy – obviously too young to know their names are time bombs set to go off in the high school years. (Imagine some young Jewish princess announcing to her parents that she is going to the prom with Adolf Hitler.)

When you see how many truly endangered kids are NOT taken away by the state – often with tragic and fatal results – it is hard to imagine the justification for the removal of the Campbell kids. Show me kids in serious danger, and I will be the first to take them away from the parents, but not over matters of political opinion or stupidity – whichever defines the Campbell situation.

I say, give the kids back to the parents.

Footnote: This idea that kids should be removed from parents for political reasons is not new. You will recall the case of Elian Gonzalez, the young Cuban boy that created a national controversy when Florida relatives wanted him to stay in American even though he had a father, his only parent, in Cuba. After a lot of debate, we did the right thing. We sent the boy home to be with his father. A lot of my conservative friends got cranky because I joined the side of Elian’s dad. As a father, I have a very strong belief that family ties trump politics – even offensive politics.

I THINK ... the death of Dan Rostenkowski takes away one of the great political characters.

With the death of Dan Rostenkowski, or Rosty, as many of us knew him, a giant of a man has left the political stage. That can be said both figuratively and literally. The six foot, four inch former chairman of the powerful Ways and Means Committee towered over most members of congress in stature and in power. He was known around the congressional campus only as “Mr. Chairman” of “THE Chairman.” Even though there are scores of members of Congress with that title, anyone who was anyone knew who “Mr. Chairman” was. That’s power.

I have known Rosty long before he was called by title only. But even in his pre-Ways and Means chairmanship days, he was a formidable member of congress. Lots of congressmen get into fights over legislation, but Rosty was one of the few that could step in and settle them.

He was an old style Chicago Machine politician, as was his father. He had a gruff ward heeler demeaner at home, but could hold his own with any President or head-of-state passing through Washington. He was a laborite, but with scores of CEO buddies.

Thought more than a 40 year association with him, there are two periods that stand out.

In the early 1980s, as Executive Director of the City Club of Chicago, I was leading a long and seemingly hopeless effort to save the Chicago Theatre from the wrecking ball. On the eve of the successful conclusion of that fight, things when off track. The developers, led by attorney and political insider, Marshall Holleb, needed an Urban Development Action Grant (UDAG). These were being held up by the Reagan Administration, specifically by then-Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Sam Pierce.

Since he was already a supporter of my effort – politically and financially -- I traveled to Washington to seek Rosty’s help with the UDAG, After I explained the situation, Rosty asked his secretary to get Vice President George Bush on the line. Rosty made the case for the UDAG, then closed with this memorable line: “And tell the President, if he can’t give me this piddley UDAG to save the Chicago Theatre, he’ll have one pissed off chairman during the next round of tax reforms.”

The UDAG was granted, the Chicago Theatre was saved – and as a bonus I got the Vice President Bush as the headliner for my next City Club annual dinner.

A decade later, I was on opposite side of the partisan divide from Rosty, handling the congressional campaign of little-known Michael Flanagan. Mike was the David taking on the political Goliath. Even though Rosty was hammered by a serious of indictments for misusing public funds and public employees, he was considered a shoo-in. On the eve of the election, Associated Press lead off with a headline that Rosty was in a “cake walk” election. I told former WLS-TV political reporter Andy Shaw that we would take it by 10 points. No one took me serious. Flanagan won by ten.

Rosty’s defeat also exposed a bit of the unholy bipartisan central power structure in Illinois. On the morning after the election, Governor Jim Edgar hosted is traditional Republican victors breakfast. With Flanagan behind him on the stage, the Guv lamented the defeat of his “good friend” Dan Rostenkowski. But why not? Edgar was openly supporting Rosty throughout the campaign. Edgar would eventually aid and abet the return of that seat to the Democrats in the person of Rod Blagojevich, followed by Rahm Emmanual.

To the surprise of many, even after his election defeat, Rosty was as friendly to me as ever. That would seem impossible in today’s politics-as-blood-sport culture. In those days, partisanship was more like a boxing match. You were expected to fight hard to win partisan battles, but when the bell rang, the dukes were dropped and civility resumed. Rosty understand that culture, and he lived it.

For good or bad, Rostenkowski was the personification of the Chicago Machine. He was partisan. He loved “pork.” He was tough. He didn’t always play by the rules.

No matter if you were working with him, or against him, you had to love the guy. He will be missed.

Saturday, August 07, 2010

I THINK … killing people because of alleged racism is … racism.

If you believe the spin, Omar Thornton killed 8 white co-workers at a beer distributorship in California because he was subjected to prolonged racism from his employer and colleagues. He left a recorded message to that effect, but failed to cite examples – just random ranting.

In fact, the most heinous act of racism was perpetrated by Thornton, himself. He killed 8 people because of their race … period. There were pattern of racism evident in the company, and no complaints from his African-American co-workers.

Oh! And what led to his termination? Video recordings and other evidence that he was stealing beer and reselling it privately. I suppose that was his way to bring justice to a honky society.

Balderdash!

You can argue that Thornton was insane, or you can argue that he was a malicious mass killer. What is beyond debate in a civilized society is that he is the guiltiest of all. His excuses, and those offered up by his girl friend and family, should not be taken seriously.

Black, white or green, Thornton was a killer, a psychopath and ablight on society. His only modicum of decency was to serve as judge, jury and executioner in ending his own life – saving society the trouble and expense of prosecution.

On the larger scale, it is about time that the Jesse Jacksons and Al Sharptons of the world stop placing their need for publicity above common sense and common decency. They enlarge the racism by pandering to paranoid sentiment and give post mortem license to the actions of people like Thornon. To give credence to Thornton’s excuse, they widen the racial divide the purport to rue.

The Jackson/Sharpton brand of racism was seen in the aftermath of the wrong verdict on O.J. Simpson, the controversy surrounding the Tawana Brawley “rape” case (pictured with Sharpton), the defense of racist Reverend Jeremiah Wright, and their statements in support of the provocative behavior of Harvard Professor Louis Gates, Jr. that led to his arrest. These two “ministers” will find and promote racism whenever there is personal advantage.

We will know when we have arrived at a post-racial America when the likes of Jackson and Sharpton have no more appeal and no more relevancy -- and I believe we are closer to that day than the fawning media yet knows.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

I THINK … Elmwood Park, Illinois is taking a page from the Communist manifesto.

Sometimes the largely unnoticed issues are the most telling. Take the recent events in the middle American Chicago suburb of Elmwood Park (where my parents lived out the last years of their lives).

As a preface, you need to recall how public criticism of the old Soviet and pre-Nixon China was treated. Expressions of displeasure with the government would result in arrest or commitment to mental institutions. Anyone speaking out against the “wise leaders” -- even for the most modest of reasons – was punished as a malcontent, a nut or a criminal.

Now consider this.

An Elmwood Park city council committee chairman, Stephen Hipskind, recently ejected Darlene Heslop because she “rolled her eyes” in as a sign of disgust over the hiring of a $30,000 lobbyist. Ponder this for a moment … getting kicked out of a public meeting for a disparaging facial expression.

Such enforced “respect’ is opposed to everything America is about. We are a nation that protests our leaders, when we disagree. We yell out pejoratives, and scream out opposition. This is the American way. This is what personal freedom is about. This is what the First Amendment of the Constitution guarantees.

But wait! There is more.

Elmwood Park’s city attorney has been directed draft an ordinance to make it illegal to “disrupt” a government meeting with non verbal facial expressions or body language. Will this include frowning, shaking your head in a negative gesture, looking shocked, glaring, folding your arms across your chest or maybe just falling asleep? Where is the borderline of disrespectful or contemptible appearance? You can only imagine what would become of people who boo, hiss or groan. On the other hand, you can bet that clapping, cheers and attaboys would not be considered disruptive. I am not sure even the old Communists in Moscow and Beijing ever went that far.

This is just another example of how our populist republic is slowly evolving into elitist statism.

Disclaimer: The photo is for illustration purposes and not from the Elmwood Park meeting.

I THINK … I think a minor overreaction by a person should not cause a major overreaction by government.

Francis Hajosy (pictured left) is a 54-year-old high school teacher in Stafford, Connecticut. He threatened an unruly female student with taking her over his knee for an old fashion spanking for refusing to take her feet of the desk and sit properly. She raised the ante by taking a can of spray glue and defiantly shooting it to the air. When he grabbed her, she starting kicking at him. There was a bit of a scuffle, but Hajosy apparently managed to get her over his knee at least long enough to apply three or four slaps on her butt.

I think we could all agree that his handling of the situation was a bit extreme … things escalated. Minimally, he needed to be sent to the principal’s office, as they say. Assuming that this was an exceptional situation in an otherwise exemplary teaching career, I see this as something to be handled by school administrators, with apologies and punishment all around.

There are still a lot of well educated people alive today who can remember corporal punishment as a routine part of school discipline – especially in the Catholic school system I attended. The criminalization of academic corporal punishment and the decline of quality education are pretty much similar chronological charts. I am not sure that this is an unrelated coincidence. Lack of classroom discipline is a major factor in failed educational systems. However, I will leave that argument for others.

Instead of some administrative discipline, Hajosy was arrested and charged with second-degree breach of the peace (whatever in Hell that is) and fourth-degree sexual assault. A judge issued a protective order against Hajosy. He was suspended from his job indefinitely. Out on $5000 bond, he faces years in jail and a life of a registered sex offender – not to mention thousands of dollars in legal fees from criminal charges and a possible civil suit. Right or wrong, win or lose, this case can screw up his life for years to come.

Frankly, I don’t see sexual motivation in his actions. This is just another example of the neo-puritanical component of political correctness that runs in conflict with the flagrantly liberalized sexual mores of our times. Without further evidence, his motivation seemed to be punishment, and his flaw was an anger that blew away his common sense and good judgment at the moment. Happens to us all, at times.

I know all the anal retentive, politically correct libs are going to be outraged over my opinion on this matter. They will produce a litany of “what ifs.” They will wax on about some imaginary psychological scar that will doom this young lady to a life of therapy. They will elevate her humiliation to the level of trauma when, in fact, punishment and humiliation are Siamese twins. You cannot have one without the other. The strident left-wing feminists will call Hajosy’s actions a form of rape (which is a cruel disservice to anyone who really has been raped), and declare both Hajosy and me as insensitive male pigs.

Let me stress, I am not endorsing his actions, but think the punishment should fit the crime – or in my opinion the non-crime, in this case.

What we really have here is another small example of an overreaching government. Every problem in our lawyer-ruled society must be handled by the lawyer-run legislative, juridical or enforcement communities. I wonder if we will close the loop with a civil suit filed by parents against Hajosy, the school, the local board of education and whoever else some opportunistic attorney wishes to put on the list -- and on behalf of parents who are more motivated by money than justice.

With a sex component, Hajosy may well be placed into some government sex counseling program – which is intended to bring his thinking around to what he most likely already knows and embraces. These thought adjustment programs scare me. While seeming innocent enough at first glance, they smack of the thought control agencies depicted in futuristic sci-fi movies and novels and, for real, in the old Cold War Communist regimes in Russia and China.

When we are not allowed to settle difference between ourselves, or with minimal civic involvement, we are succumbing, inch by inch, to the oppression of a police state. One of the common retorts of yore was, “don’t make a federal case out of it.” In other words, don’t make it more than it is. Today, we seem to see government involvement as the first and only option.

As a parent, what would I do if this had happened to my daughter? First, I would want to know what behavior on her part caused the confrontation in the first place. I would want to know why she was unruly, disobedient and disruptive. I would talk to Hajosy and the principal in private to have them explain the behavior. I would demand an apology, BUT without absolving my daughter’s culpability.

In other words, I would have both Hajosy and my daughter sitting in the corner with the proverbial dunce cap. My fear is that Hajosy will be made a perverted criminal, and the girl’s bad behavior is not dealt with. I can almost see the smug look on her face. That would not be a good outcome for anyone.

Monday, July 26, 2010

I THINK … California should serves as a BAD example.

I did not mind that we followed California’s lead into elements of the sexual revolution. I did not mind following the casual dress code for business. I was okay with the pseudo healthy life style. I was not okay with avocados and pineapple slices on what they call “pizza,” however. But, that is off my point.

More specifically, I wonder how far the rest of America will follow California’s go-for-broke financial schemes. In some cases, I guess pretty far. Here in Illinois we embrace it completely – which explains why we are heading into financial ruin, ourselves.

Because the tax raising Democrats and the cost cutting Republicans in the state legislature cannot agree, California is not only without any money, they still cannot produce the obligatory state budget to distribute the money they do not have.

The failure to create the budget has lead Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger to order all state employees, except union members, to be paid only at the minimum wage of $7.25 per hour. The State Comtroller refused to obey the Governor. The Governor went to court. The legal battle rages atop the legislative fight.

There is no doubt that Schwarzenegger’s will create a hardship for thousands of employees, and, if prolonged, could result in repo’d cars, house foreclosures and mounting bills. Consequently there is a lot of anger being directed at Governor Steroids. But, he is not the culprit. The anger should be cast at the Democrats, at all levels of state and municipal government, who spent California into bankruptcy.

They have followed the Keynesian, socialist economic model for years. Maybe that is even unfair to Kenyes and the socialist. Maybe it is merely the Democrats nature to buy political support with taxpayer money without much consideration to economic theories or realities.

Keep in mind the budgetary deadlock in California is between the tax-increase Democrats and the cost-cutting Republicans – and this is mirrored all over America, especially in Washington, D.C. Even before we fight over cutting taxes, which is exactly what we need to do to get the economy growing, we need to resolve the money debate of the moment. Do we increases taxes (or borrow even more of our children’s future) to cover and continue the spending frenzy, or do we place a moratorium on increased government spending and figure out how to cut it in real dollars.

Remember, the Democrats will never stop spending, taxing and borrowing. It is there nature. They are a political party that depends on people being dependent on them.

While I feel sorry for those who will suffer if the $7.25 wage is imposed, it is sadly true that California has earned its economic punishment. Rather than follow the California example, we should be running from it. Personally, I prefer the Indiana example – maybe more about that another time.

I THINK ... we need to resurrect our historic concept of treason.

It is reported in Politics Daily that Wikileaks has released to publications all over the world more than 90,000 top secret documents relating to the military and diplomatic situation in Afghanistan -- and this is not the first time.

The sole purpose of the leak is to undermine our war effort … pure and simple. It will embolden our enemies, weaken our allies and cost the lives of untold numbers of military and intelligence personnel. Perhaps we cannot yet put an exact number on the latter, but additional loss of life is inevitable.

The White House, through National Security Advisor James Jones, strongly condemned the action and complained that Wikileaks did not contact them first.

Condemn the action? This is what you get from liberal governance … words. I can only imagine what our reaction would be if Ronald Reagan were President at this time.

We are in war, and giving out military secrets is treason. It is about time we enforce the laws against treason without sympathy. The First Amendment rights and the tradition of a free press do not entitle individuals or organizations to release and publish secret documents. There are no nuances.

Unless President Obama enforces the treason laws and brings to swift justice all those who now flaunt them, he will again prove that his left wing global philosophy trumps the traditions and laws of the United States of America, and the Constitution which he has sworn to uphold.

When you couple this with his refusal to secure our southern border for political purposes and his willingness to enter into international pacts detrimental to the power and wealth of the United States, it is no wonder that a significant percentage of the public consider him the first un-American President.

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

I THINK … it’s time to lay the blame for America’s poor quality urban education where it belongs – on the education industry, the unions and the polit

I have been a consultant to the Chicago and Detroit Boards of Education during brief times of reform. I have even traveled to Lithuania to consult on the then new, post-Community school system. I was the founder of the first school choice coalition in Illinois, etc. etc.

I say this just to establish that I know something about American education. The situation is not so complicated. Our public schools are failing … ah … have failed … because of politics. This is not accident. In most major cities, tens of thousands of blossoming minds are trampled down for political and financial gain.

Kids are kept prisoners in substandard schools with inferior education because they are the currency that provides the education unions with members, money and political power. The political value of each kid can be calculated through wages, dues and pension funds.

Why has so much money produced so little good? If you think the “good” is the education of our young people, you are wrong. No wonder you are confused. For most urban school systems, the “good” is the money for the teachers, the unions, the suppliers, the contractors, the support services … and oh yeah … the politicians. As long as these folks are rich, fat and happy, the education machine is running properly – to hell with the kids.

There is no good reason that we cannot give our kids the best education in the world. It is done all the time. It is done in the Catholic Schools. It is done in private schools. It is done charter schools. It is even done in hundreds, maybe thousands, of suburban and rural public school systems.

The big urban school systems do not fail because they cannot teach kids, or because kids come from poor families and single-parent homes. They do not fail because of classroom size. They do not fail because of drugs. They do not fail for lack of money. They fail because the politician and the union officials want them to fail.

How can I say something so outrageous? All you have to do is look at the many examples of quality education, and you know that the failure of the urban government run schools is no accident, no inevitable fate, and no force major. It is the simply the unholy trade off for money and power that dooms the children of the cities.

You want proof that inner city kids can be educated. There are many examples – way back when Marva Collins ran Chicago’s Westside Prep in the heart of the ghetto (and you can download the resulting Hollywood movie).

Maybe it is not a movie yet, but check out Chicago’s Urban Prep Academy. The Class of 2010 will be sending 100% of the graduates to four-year colleges. That’s right. The entire senior class is going to college.

Urban Prep is not some fancy school in an upscale neighborhood that accepts a few promising inner city kids out of noblis oblige. This is a totally minority school in the heart of Chicago’s black ghetto. The kids now graduating were previously on the path of joblessness, gang membership and menial jobs or crime.

The point is … if there is a sincere effort to educate kids, we can do it. If we do not do it, it is because we don’t want to – or, I should say, they don’t want to.

It’s time we stop giving the urban school industry the benefit of the doubt. They are in the business of destroying the kids’ education for political and financial gain. Until that ends, no amount of money will fix the problem – maybe make it worse.

Saturday, July 03, 2010

I THINK ... GOP National Chairman Michael Steele should resign.

I was all in favor of Michael Steele becoming the head of the Republican National Committee. In fact, I made a number of calls in support of his candidacy. I could think of nothing better than a conservative African American to be one of the key voices in opposition to President Barack Obama’s far left agenda.

I got what I asked for, but I did not think to ask that the person be intelligent and skilled.

Steele has a history of foot-in-mouth statements, but none can compare to his remarks about the Afghan War made to a crowd of donors. Maybe he thought the insider session was off the record, but even that does not excuse the ineptitude of his remarks. Basically, he said the Afghan War was started by Obama, and that it is unwinnable.

His facts are so provably wrong that it is impossible to understand how he could not know better. Is he that ill-informed … or does he think he can heap blame on Obama with his own version of the facts? Does he think his audience is that stupid?

In addition to his case based on ignorance or malicious misinformation, Steele also joined the extreme left wing in suggesting we should pull out immediately – the consequences be damned. If there is any unifying issue in America these days, it is the broad belief that we must win in Afghanistan. Only the crazies think America can walk away – and apparently Michael Steele.

The GOP has a good and important message to convey to the American people in this election year. It should not be diminished or demeaned by the foolish and counterproductive rhetoric of those who prattle.

As National Chairman, Steel possesses one of the most important Republican megaphones. Despite his next day public apology and position reversal, it is time for him to pass that amplifier to someone with the knowledge and skills to convincingly articulate the GOP message. Political insider stuff aside, I would give the job to Newt Gingrich. Far and away, he is the best spokesperson the GOP has. In any event, Michael Steele needs to go -- sooner than later.

Friday, July 02, 2010

I THINK ... Mayor Daley should be made to to write the Second Amendment on a blackboard 100 times, so he gets it.

Chicago Mayor Richard Daley is again showing that the “Chicago Way” is his way only. He will not be dissuaded from the imposition of his edicts by the law, the Supreme Court, the will of the people, American traditions, the U.S. Constitution or common sense.

Following the rejection of the Chicago gun ban on Constitutional grounds, Daley has forced the passage of a series of Draconian regulations that effectively make gun ownership in Chicago a meaningless right. In all probability, most of the new law will be stricken again by the Supreme Court, but only after years of meandering through lower court decisions.

In what can only be described as a fit of civic petulance worthy of any despot, Daley will cause Chicago to endure years of uncertainty, and millions of dollars in legal fees – which the Mayor will gladly dole out to his lawyer friends. In fact, this law is just another form of creative patronage.

It is also another example of Daley’s willingness to add more needless costs on the already reeling city. It should not go without notice that Hizzoner does not mind spending lavishly in pursuit of his personal agenda, even as funding for critical services is evaporating.

And to the central issue, what has all his gun control efforts accomplished? The gang bangers and the crooks remain immune to the Mayor’s laws, killing hundreds of his constituents each year. Virtually ever week some teenager is gunned down by “accident” – the victim of misidentification or a stray round.

In the name of public safety, Daley disarms the innocent for the benefit of the criminals. Perhaps crime control should have priority over gun control. Just maybe, with an armed public, we would have more dead crooks than vulnerable victims.

If a man breaks into a home to rape a woman, and she blows him to his eternal judgment, it seems to me society is the beneficiary. At least it takes some pressure of the judicial docket. I am all for making crime a high risk business.

The Mayor creates criminals out of people who are not – and in the process he sends the innocent to jail while those who commit real crimes roam the streets.

Of course, this makes no difference to the rubber stamp Chicago City Council, which passed his hand scribbled ordinance without so much as a public hearing. In a move a unfathomable hypocrisy, the good alderpersons of Chicago continue to exempt themselves from Daley’s gun restrictions. As part of the government elite, their safety is paramount – and how could Daley get their votes if he did not accede to the worthiness of their exception.

Maybe there was time that the experiment in gun control was warranted as an untested theory. But, after the generational failure of feel good gun laws, Daley loses the benefit of the doubt. He is just wrong in this.

I THINK ... there is no economic recovery with Obama-nomics.

It appears that the “recovery” recently proffered by President Obama and his Democrat cohorts is now falling into relapse -- at least that is the latest report from the economic wunderkind. We should not be surprised.

First: There has been no recovery. Oh sure, the stock market had some gains, foreclosures abated a bit and the rate of new joblessness started to level off. Don’t those things suggest recovery? Nope!

First of all, the stock market tends to respond to corporate profitability. Profits go up. Stocks go up. The reason, however, is not good. Corporate America’s bottom line starting looking better because of cost cutting, not increased sales – and cost cutting was largely in the workforce. That is why the stock market rose and unemployment did not go down.

Second: The Obama stimulus package was largely a waste of money. It was more like a pain killer that makes the pain lessen until it wears off. Now that the stimulus money passed through the financial system, the same old economic headache has returned. This is what happens when we treat only the symptoms and ignore the disease.

Finally: Obama did very little to fix the real problems. His attempts to have the government produce growth by financing work projects is a loser. Never worked, and never will. Remember, every time Obama says the federal money will create spending, and therefore jobs, he does not want you to understand that he took away the money, through taxes, from people who would have spent it, themselves.

His age-old scheme simply redistributes wealth from those who oppose him to those who support him. Obama is using the economic downturn as cover to impost his big government agenda on the United States. He is operating more like a looter who uses a disaster as a cover for his actions. It may be good Machiavellian politics, but certainly not good economics.

You might counter by noting that a lot of the money being spent by Obama is not from taxes, but from borrowing or simply printing more money. Borrowing only insures that we will have a much larger financial crisis in the future. He is literally stealing out children’s and grandchildren’s … and by this time maybe eve our great grandchildren’s ... money. This means a lower standard of living for future generations. This is not only bad economics, but immoral.

Printing money is another short term solution that will bring hyper inflation to a nation that will be, by then, reeling on the brink of economic chaos. They call it “stagflation.” Keep in mind that inflation can feel good because wages go up. This is not economic growth, as Obama and the Keynesians would have you believe. When you go to spend your wages at the store, you will find that your “buying power” will be no better, or even worse, as prices soar.

Government spending is often compared to a narcotic, since there is a certain short term good feeling followed by an inevitable crash – and people and institution do get “hooked” on government money.

Brace yourself for a rocky economic ride for the foreseeable future. For real relief, we should be looking at 2014 – two years after we toss out Obama and the Democrat leadership. If we do not, the long term outlook is grim.

Thursday, July 01, 2010

I THINK ... the post office is like any government agency.

Every now and then, when a person is inclined to think government can do something ... anything … right, you are gifted with reality – sometimes with the most modest of examples.

Not long ago I received a letter from the United States Post Office. They explained that they were returning the contents of an envelope that they could neither deliver to the “unknown” addressee nor return it without opening the envelope. They returned my enclosed check and the accompanying brief note – finding my name printed on the check and apparently doing some sort of search to secure my address. I mean, if the Post Office cannot find your address, who can?

On the surface, it seems like pretty good service. However, you may change your mind when you learn that the check was made out to and mailed to … Ready for this? … the United States Post Office. That’s right. Apparently, they could not find their own address.

Sort of reminds me about the time I tried to call the phone store, only discover that they had an unlisted number.