Tuesday, June 30, 2009

A Rose By Any Other Name...

I just ran across another good name for the "Crap and Trade" bill. The bill is often called the Waxman-Markey bill after its two main sponsors. One website has dubbed it the "Wacky-Malarkey" bill. Kinda has a certain ring to it, doesn't it?


The Bipartisanship Trap

The Wall Street Journal reported recently that White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emmanuel recently invited a small number of House Republicans to a White House ‘tea’ of sorts, to encourage their participation in the takeover of America’s Health Care system. Even Democrats can do the math though. Not one Republican vote is required to pass any legislation –no matter how liberal - in the US House. The Senate is very nearly filibuster proof.

So why the real interest in ‘bipartisanship?’ Democrats aren’t just being nice. Democrats are in totally new territory now as they are able to govern without GOP influence or contribution. Total control however, means total responsibility. Democrats love to hold others accountable for undesirable consequences but run like roaches from a light when they have caused the problems. With nearly complete liberal control of government, there isn’t anyone around to blame should something go wrong. The dome light has come on in the liberal limousines; now, Democrats are vulnerable because they are completely responsible for their own disasters and even CNN won’t be able to cover for them.

Most House Democrats seem to reject the idea of bipartisanship. Believing like Hugo Chavez that George W. Bush was in fact the devil and that Dick Cheney should be imprisoned for protecting the US homeland, Democrats are pushing a hard left agenda using the recession as proof of conservatism’s failure. This will only work until their policies bring the inevitable double-digit inflation and interest rates when Stimulus spending begins in 2010. Some of the more insightful lefties on Capitol Hill understand this and also understand they will be held completely accountable.

What happens in 2010 could be doubly entertaining. Liberals have no problem throwing an ally under the bus should that ally lose her usefulness. Nancy Pelosi should be (figuratively speaking of course) seeing the underside of a people-mover fairly soon. She is now a distraction and an embarrassment. Should – as even Barack Obama himself has foreseen- elevated inflation and interest rates occur as the result of Stimulus spending, Democrats will need someone besides themselves (as a group) to hold accountable. Perhaps it will be Barack Obama himself, but more likely it will be an individual like Pelosi, Reid, or Bawney Fwank.

A fratricidal, inner-party war would doom Democrat ambitions to take over the country for good. Accordingly, Democrats believe this must be avoided and the best way to avoid dissention is to bring some gullible Republicans into the mix. Since Arlen Specter sold out, there aren’t any remaining Republicans in the Senate –possibly excepting the two Senators from Maine - foolish enough to fall for this tactic, but there may be some in the House. Being able to say to the public “but he voted for it too” is a childish but proven Democrat tactic for avoiding responsibility at election time.

Democrats are madly fishing about for political cover on several key issues and are seeking bipartisanship to protect their re-election prospects in several areas- including the following Top Ten issues:

10. Health Care – the most talked about policy of recent weeks, the Obama takeover of the US Health Care industry would be handled in the same fashion as the Guantanamo closure or the Auto Industry takeover. Democrats saw how early these issues blew up on them and are seeking some Republican participation. A few GOPers in the pool would help distribute blame. Perhaps the leftists should just roll out Hillary for another round of verbal flogging about health care.

9. Energy – Cap and Trade are sure to drive prices up. Republicans should say to Democrats, go ahead, we’ll figure out a way to repeal it once you all lose the next election. The GOP must stay out of this and keep saying ‘no’ to energy tax increases. Democrats need Republicans on board to blame them when prices for home heating oil exceed consumers’ ability to pay. Lefties should plan to have Obama can journey to Vermont each weekend net winter to help cut firewood.

8. Spending – The Stimulus bill culled out a few Republicans who were hiding in the weeds when Obama proposed his outrageous spending bill. Arlen Specter heard the outrage and quickly defected to the Democrats. Snowe and Collins remain the only two Republicans in DC to support the bill. When Obama and the US Treasury are unable to reasonably borrow this much money, inflation will rise, spurring a significant voter backlash. Inflation will be the Democrat’s middle class tax increase. The GOP must say ‘no’ to more spending and must keep hammering the message about inflation being the Democrats tax increase. Democrats may find it difficult to add Republicans to additional spending bills as conservatives up for re election have begun working hard against the likes of Specter, Dodd and others. On the positive side, Specter has proven himself a superb fund raiser – for Republicans.

7. Education Reform – The abysmal state of public education is crying out for reform – not money. Now that Dems are in complete control, one should expect educational performance to improve. Of course under control of the Teachers Unions, performance will continue to decline. Without GOP approval, school failure and dropout rates will become the Democrat’s albatross. Bipartisanship here only gets the GOP blamed for existing failures. It won’t get ‘em invited to Prom.

6. Legal Reform – Everyone hates lawyers. But lawyers own a good chunk of the Democrat party. The only way to control growth in health care and other business costs is to reform the legal system so that lawyers don’t fund their entire retirements on another’s misfortune. The GOP again must resist any call for bipartisanship in legal or health care reform and let the disaster come to rest on the liberal’s stoop.

5. Card Check or “Employee Free Choice” – Driving business overseas has been hung on Republicans for years. Now, with no appreciable Republican presence, Democrats will be exposed as the ones driving manufacturing out of the country. Republicans need to stay out of the lefties’ spotlight and shine their own on how many jobs the UAW and House Democrats have driven to China. China will then use their profits to purchase US T-Bills. Giving the country away, dollar by dollar is a Democrat specialty.

4. Foreign Policy – Jimmy Carter proved to be an embarrassment to his Party as well as his country. Obama will probably be the same. Trusting his words, Democrats will be stunned when Europe and Islam turn out to dislike the US just as they did under the Bush presidency. Europe will continue to allow Obama to house all Guantanamo prisoners and provide all troops for Afghanistan. (It is probably just as well that the US is doing the Afghan fighting – it would be difficult to fly in enough beer for the Germans to be effective.)

3. Court Appointees – People hate lawyers (a recurring theme). People also object to courts making laws. Democrats will get their way with at least one Supreme Court nominee. However, that nominee will replace another sullen, leftist Supreme Court Justice and won’t impact the court very much. The new Justice will be a poster child for liberalism. Republicans should object where they can, but need to avoid any appearance of support for a liberal appointee. Republicans got zero support from Democrats prior to John McCain and the gang of traitors bartering away the futures of several good conservative jurists. Conservatives must let the liberal jurists embarrass themselves and use their decisions as campaign fodder.

2. Defense Cuts – Too serious to be funny, cutting defense in an age of increased threat is ludicrous. Unfortunately for all Americans, the Obama administration has endangered US security by restricting intelligence gathering and declining to fund development of the F-22 aircraft. Carter made his mark on the military by cutting the B-1 and the cruise missile program. Fortunately Reagan restored these programs – both of which are mainstays of the US defense capability. Bill Clinton appreciated these weapons systems when he took time out of the late nights in the Oval Office to review actions against the former Yugoslavia.

1. Courting Radical Regimes – President Obama believes that talking solves problems. Occasionally He is correct. The naïve view that countries will help the US combat terrorism if they liked us more is childish and dangerous. Nations – like people- act in their self interest regardless of what nations they like. Iran and other despotic regimes are counting on Obama to want to talk with them. The longer they talk, the more time they have to build their nuclear arsenal. Talking with the US may also prevent an Israeli military strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities. In the end, Obama believes the US has been an international bully. The President is quite happy to hand that role over to the Iranians.


ACES Up Her Sleeve

Well before Barack Obama brought hope to the White House, Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi was adamant that something new and different and wonderful had arrived. In 2006, the incoming Speaker pledged that hers would be the "most honest, most open, and most ethical Congress in history."

At the time, we were skeptical -- to say the least. Our refusal to accept her rhetoric was roundly vindicated last week. That was when Madam-Speaker used every dirty trick at her disposal to coldly ram a 1,500 page global warming bill through the House of Representatives.

The Speaker chose to stifle the usual observances of deliberative democracy because open, honest debate would have attracted unwelcome scrutiny to her massive new energy tax.

Pelosi's legislation, the American Clean Energy and Security (ACES) Act, would raise the price of hydrocarbon energy sources like coal and oil thought to cause global warming, but which power 85 percent -- 85 percent! -- of the economic production in America.

A large energy tax during a deep recession is a political cyanide pill that 44 of Pelosi's Democratic colleagues refused to swallow. That almost doomed the bill and in fact would have killed it outright Friday night if eight Republicans hadn't voted with the majority of Democrats. (The final vote was 219 to 212.)

Likely there would have been many more Democratic "no" votes if Madame-Speaker and Energy & Commerce chairman Henry Waxman didn't find creative ways to shorten or skip every step of that "How a Bill Becomes a Law" song.

When fighting between the Energy & Commerce and Agriculture committees over the bill grew too intense, the farm lobby was bought off as were a lot of other Democrats. In exchange for votes, Pelosi and Waxman wrote countless paybacks, favors, and concessions into the legislation -- all without serious debate.

Indeed, House leadership crafted much of the ACES Act in secret behind closed doors. In the week before the final vote, it grew by a whopping 600 pages. Even that figure doesn't stress the urgent, secretive nature of the process. At 3:09 Friday morning, Waxman et al. introduced a 309-page "manager's amendment" to the legislation that was set for a vote later in the day.

Representatives would have had all of nine hours to study the text, assuming they went without sleep. The manager's amendment made even that impossible, because you had roughly 1,200 pages of text -- containing, at last count, 397 new government regulations and 1,090 new economic mandates -- followed by over 300 pages of text with no index that amended the previous legislation on paragraph by paragraph basis.

It would take a team of lawyers several days to sort out a mess like that.

We have to hand it to Oregon Republican Greg Waldren for his superb sense of understatement when he said he couldn't "imagine that anyone on this floor has read every word" of the ACES Act. That was the whole point of introducing the legislation under an extremely limited rule and only allowing three hours for debate on something that may take a good bite out of every American's pocketbook.

Pelosi and company had complained, rightly, that Republicans rushed some legislation through Congress. But her approach has been even less open to any kind of dissent than former Majority Leader Tom DeLay.

The "open" Congress that Pelosi promised back in 2006 would have allowed members of the House to voice their ideas about how to improve legislation. Fat chance. House leadership discarded all but one -- that's right, one -- of the 220 amendments submitted by House Republicans on the ACES Act, and allowed next to no time for debate. Georgia's Phil Gingrey complained on the House floor, "The Speaker and the Rules Committee have silenced the opposition."

They certainly tried to. If there's any silver lining to this, it's that congressional Republicans were incensed and unlikely to forget, or shut up about it. John Boehner used his privilege as Minority Leader to insist, over the befuddled objection of Waxman, on going past normal debate time limits and reading large chunks of the 11th hour amendment on the House floor.

And afterward, when Waxman requested unanimous consent to say a few celebratory words about his historic bill's passage, some Republican uttered those two magical words: "I object."


Crap and Trade Tax Passes House Vote

By now you already know that the Waxman-Malarkey Bill passed 219-212.

This bill, a 1,300 page abomination which I call "Crap and Trade", but has also been known by other names, some of which are not printable on my family-friendly (usually) blog, is a bill which will add taxes and hike energy prices. The net result is that everything that requires energy to be manufactured and/or transported to market (which is a long way of saying "EVERYTHING") will be more expensive to the consumer. American jobs will be lost (or "created or saved" if you are in the White House), and many jobs will be exported to China and other nations.

This, in the middle of a deep recession with the unemployment percentage approaching double digits.

Eight Republicans voted in favor of the bill. They should be voted out of office during the next election cycle.

There were also 44 Democrats who crossed party lines and voted against the bill. I've read some blogs this morning who were congratulating these Dems for being "sane" and for voting for their conscience. I suspect something else. This bill will not be popular with the American people. 219 votes is the exact number they needed for this thing to pass. I suspect the 44 Dems were given "permission" by Pelosi to vote against the bill in order to prevent them from being ousted in their districts. This wasn't about conscience. This was about politics.

Add to this debacle, the Generational Theft Act of 2009, and we have a recipe for significant inflation on the horizon. Every political and economic analyst that I respect seems to be predicting this, along with a "secondary" recession coming soon.

EDIT: I received an e-mail suggesting that I may have a misspelling in my headline. I can't seem to find it.


The Racially Biased Media

We all sort of knew that this would be coming. While watching television interviews of African American celebrities who discussed the passing of Michael, I noticed a certain …..ummm…defensiveness whenever they were asked about Michael’s use of prescription drugs, the allegations of pedophilia that were brought against him, or his ever lightening skin complexion.

There is no doubt that Michael Jackson was a very talented artist and like most artists: Van Gogh, Elvis Presley, Picasso, Woody Allen, Mr. Jackson led a very colorful or colorless life depending on how you look at him. Michael had some issues (you know he did) and I see nothing wrong with the media bringing up those controversial issues during interviews. There is nothing racist about it. Michael’s iconic status is not only about his musical gifts and tremendous dancing ability, it also encompasses our memories of him as a person- a human being who was indisputably talented but like all of us, not without sin or mistakes.

During the BET Awards....

(side note: BET means Black Entertainment Television. My TV doesn't get a "White Entertainment Television Station. Doesn't that say something?)

... Sean P Diddy Puff Daddy Combs and Jamie Foxx railed at the media charging that coverage of Jackson is racially biased against him and his legacy. Fox News commentator Dr. Lamont Hill charged monday on the O'Reilly Factor that white deceased entertainers are treated differently and with more respect than black entertainers.

Excuse me?

I guess the media has never mentioned that Elvis was an over eating, self indulgent drug abuser prior to his premature death in 1977.

Nobody every mentioned that Anna Nicole Smith was a gold digging, drug abusing whore. That slipped right past the media pundits who painted her as Mother Theresa.

You'd have to dig really deep to find that Jerry Garcia complicated his uncontrolled diabetes with a heroin addiction which ultimately cost him his life.

We live in the age of the first black POTUS. The memo says we are officially living in post-racial America. Yet I have seen more phony racism / faux discrimination claims on the part of the black .... er, I mean, the African American community than ever before. Everyone is a racist now. If you are against affirmative action, because you feel that reverse discrimination is wrong (or just plain discrimination, really), you are a racist. If you mention child molestation charges that Michael Jackson faced, you are being a racist. (Don't forget, Jackson admitted to having children share a bed with him).

And by the way, according to Jamie Foxx, Michael Jackson belongs to black people, anyway.

What is going on should actually alarm people who really care about race relations. Phony charges of racism and phony racist outrage, such as what is going on surrounding the Jackson coverage, dilutes efforts to combat real racism.

Ideally, this should be a watershed year in race relations; an opportunity for healthy and balanced discussion. Instead we get faux outrage and gratuitous accusations.

Yesterday, the Supreme Court ruling on the Ricci case sent liberals scurrying and whining that our civil rights are being eroded because the court ruled (5 to 4) that white fire fighters were treated unjustly because the city of New Haven threw out test results simply because the results did not FAVOR minorities.

We live in a day when black ...er... African Americans can lift their heads with pride. When people of any race can say to their children that they can grow up to become anything they want to be, including the President of the United States. It's well past time for the African American community to grow up and take responsibility for their own problems and issues.


Monday, June 29, 2009

A German's Point of View on Islam

A man whose family was German aristocracy prior to World War II owned a number of large industries and estates. When asked how many German people were true Nazis, the answer he gave can guide our attitude toward fanaticism.

'Very few people were true Nazis 'he said,' but many enjoyed the return of German pride, and many more were too busy to care. I was one of those who just thought the Nazis were a bunch of fools. So, the majority just sat back and let it all happen. Then, before we knew it, they owned us, and we had lost control, and the end of the world had come. My family lost everything. I ended up in a concentration camp and the Allies destroyed my factories.'

We are told again and again by 'experts' and 'talking heads' that Islam is the religion of peace, and that the vast majority of Muslims just want to live in peace. Although this unqualified assertion may be true, it is entirely irrelevant. It is meaningless fluff, meant to make us feel better, and meant to somehow diminish the spectra of fanatics rampaging across the globe in the name of Islam. The fact is that the fanatics rule Islam at this moment in history.

It is the fanatics who march. It is the fanatics who wage any one of 50 shooting wars worldwide. It is the fanatics who systematically slaughter Christian or tribal groups throughout Africa and are gradually taking over the entire continent in an Islamic wave. It is the fanatics who bomb, behead, murder, or honor kill. It is the fanatics who take over mosque after mosque. It is the fanatics who zealously spread the stoning and hanging of rape victims and homosexuals. The hard quantifiable fact is that the 'peaceful majority', the 'silent majority', is cowed and extraneous.

Communist Russia was comprised of Russians who just wanted to live in peace, yet the Russian Communists were responsible for the murder of about 20 million people. The peaceful majority were irrelevant. China's huge population was peaceful as well, but Chinese Communists managed to kill a staggering 70 million people.

The average Japanese individual prior to World War II was not a warmongering sadist. Yet, Japan murdered and slaughtered its way across South East Asia in an orgy of killing that included the systematic murder of 12 million Chinese civilians; most killed by sword, shovel, and bayonet.

And, who can forget Rwanda, which collapsed into butchery. Could it not be said that the majority of Rwandans were 'peace loving'?

History lessons are often incredibly simple and blunt, yet for all our powers of reason we often miss the most basic and uncomplicated of points:

Peace-loving Muslims have been made irrelevant by their silence. Peace-loving Muslims will become our enemy if they don't speak up, because like my friend from Germany, they will awaken one day and find that the fanatics own them, and the end of their world will have begun. Peace-loving Germans, Japanese, Chinese, Russians, Rwandans, Serbs, Afghanis, Iraqis, Palestinians, Somalis, Nigerians, Algerians, and many others have died because the peaceful majority did not speak up until it was too late.

As for us who watch it all unfold, we must pay attention to the only group that counts; the fanatics who threaten our way of life.


About This Blog

This blog is about my opinions and world view.  I am a conservative, evangelical Christian.  Generally speaking, if you post a comment, I'll allow you to express your view.  However, if you say something hateful, untruthful, or just generally something I don't like, I may remove it.

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