“No Man’s life liberty or property is safe while the legislature is in session”.

- attributed to NY State Judge Gideon Tucker

Saturday, January 24, 2009

The Gitmo Song and Dance

The First Rookie has already begun his seductive shuffle on Gitmo and the War on Terror.

Of course, the 'close Gitmo' line was always just that- a campaign line. Predictably, once elected, he's shuffled his feet and tossed the whole mess to 'a commission.'

Yeah, right.

Today's Wall Street Journal pointed out that even the Wonderboy's liberal 'helpers' have opined on the idea of a special court for terrorists. Turns out, when you read their details, they have recreated Bush's and Congress' current rules and procedures for the military tribunals.

In the process, Wonderboy apparently declared the War on Terror over. Global applause to follow.

Huh? And just how did this victory suddenly come about? Or is the First Rookie just trying to get everyone to forget about that messy, icky thing called war? And that Muslims are trying to kill as many Americans as they can?

Personally, I still believe that wrong actions result in errors and bad consequences.

Despite so many people swearing they love the guy and 'want him to succeed,' it isn't going to happen. He's already demonstrating a sort of cotton-candy view of the world, with only good things, and no bad men.

Boy, is he going to pay a fearsome price when the safety which his predecessor maintained for seven years is blown away in some terrorist act.

Then Gitmo and the war on terror will seem like things he should have left alone.

Friday, January 23, 2009

So This, Too, Is Change?

Larry Kudlow had a priceless response to Tim Geithner's hearings for appointment as incoming Treasury Secretary.

After pointing out the lack of credibility Geithner will always have for being a tax cheat and scofflaw, even to the point of fencing with and dancing around a direct answer to a US Senator, John Kyle (R-AZ), Kudlow bore in on a more glaring weakness.

Time and again, when quizzed on what he will actually do differently, i.e., what 'change' he will bring, to addressing problems in the financial services sector, Geithner basically said, 'we're working on it.'

Kudlow blew up and observed, to paraphrase him,

'Working on it? C'mon, Geithner's had months to figure this out and come up with a detailed plan. What's he been doing all this time, playing dress up in front of a mirror for the inaugural ball?'

Larry makes an excellent point. Wonderboy's team of new 'change' mavens was supposed to be ready to fix all American problems on day one. So what's Geithner's excuse?

Maybe he was, ah, writing checks for back taxes to the IRS, and didn't have time to come up with a plan to fix the financial sector?

Honestly, one can go further in criticizing Geithner. He was part of the current 'solution,' hip deep in the decisions regarding Bear Stearns, Lehman, AIG, et. al. And, really, beyond that, Geithner has never been accused of being a 'big idea' man.

Rather, he is sort of an operations guy. He's head of the NY Fed, but doesn't command the sort of awe that his predecessors, Corcoran and Volcker did.

Finally, I listened to part of Volcker's opening remarks on Geithner's nomination. I confess to having trouble believing, in a nation of over 300 million people, that only Tim Geithner can be Treasury Secretary. There's nobody else with sufficient experience, judgment and without Geithner's tax problems?

This is just hard to swallow. Even from Tall Paul.

As I noted in this post, I'm leery of men on horseback, and Geithner seems to become more like one with each passing day.

He'd damn well better be worth it.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

The "Dead" Kennedys

It's a wonderful week for conservatives, where the Kennedys are concerned.

Only minutes after being interviewed at the post-inaugural lunch in the Capitol, everyone's favorite corpulent, unindicted murderer, the Tedster, a/k/a Teddy Kennedy, collapsed with a seizure.

Is he dead yet? Sadly, no. But hopefully getting much, much closer.

Some would say I'm being callous, insensitive and mean. I disagree (obviously). Rather, I think too many Republicans and conservatives extend unnecessary courtesy and tiptoe around Kennedy's damaging liberalism, not to mention his lack of intellect and habit of simply lying when it suits him.

The GOP has been far too easy on Kennedy for too long. Let's be honest. Only death will remove him from the Senate.

Question. Would you want a person who has experienced this many brain seizures, and has brain cancer, to be your Senator?

Does anyone really think this guy has whatever mental faculties he may once have possessed? Granted, they were never very formidable, but even the mundane ones he had must now be suspect.

But, that's not all.

Caroline Kennedy, Tedster's niece, and pretender to a Senate appointment for the vacant New York seat, announced that she is 'dropping out' of consideration. Funny how she tried to beat New York's governor to the punch, as he announced that she's out of the running.

It's somewhat hilarious that Caroline claimed her withdrawal is because of her ailing uncle Teddy.

Precious, but totally unbelievable.

There are, however, two silver linings. First, it seems that Americans, New Yorkers, and even the state's governor, realized how shameful Caroline's naked grab for power, based solely on her last name, and her father, was simply too much.

Second, as a result of the first, we may finally see a Kennedy-free Senate within the year.

Who said it's a totally dark time for conservatives?

My Inaugural Day

I successfully avoided seeing any of the official swearing in of the new President on Tuesday.

Instead, I tuned in to see George Bush's last moments prior to heading back to Texas. It was very emotional for me.

The pain and shock of seeing a stalwart, effective President leave office, to be replaced by a totally inexperienced charlatan, made it a very depressing day.

Seeing Bush board the helicopter and, then, enter the hangar at Andrews AFB, and, again, his plane home, was very moving.

Something that Democrats, and the First Rookie, never really understood, is that Bush didn't lose the election.

The new President may have fooled his own party and many voters, but the truth is, he didn't run against George Bush. He ran against an inept campaigner, John McCain.

Bush was relieved and happy at the inaugural on Tuesday because he knew he was leaving on that day, no matter who won.

Back in 2004, Bush joined a very select group of men. Only a third of our Presidents have won two terms (or more). Something the Illinois Rookie is extremely unlikely to do.

That is, I believe, part of the reason why Bush has been so magnanimous with his successor. The Rookie doesn't fully comprehend this yet.

He will.

The Missing Libby Pardon

I remain perplexed as to why George Bush, so concerned about his legacy that he folded on the US auto maker bailout, ignored the repercussions of not pardoning Lewis Libby.

I won't recite all the details of the flawed pursuit of injustice by US special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald. Suffice to say that the Democrat knew all along who "leaked," if you could ever call it that, Valerie Plame's CIA employment- it was a Colin Powell lieutenant at State.

Still, Fitzgerald pretended he didn't know, and proceeded to bully and browbeat anyone he chose in the alleged pursuit of the leaker.

Lewis Libby defended his President's war effort, and paid an unfair price by being made a political scapegoat, albeit via the courts.

Why didn't the President pardon him before leaving town yesterday? I'm not sure we'll ever know. It's seems so odd to me that a President who so clearly felt empathy with the families of many war casualties couldn't seem to find the depth of compassion for his own administration's staff, when unfairly hounded by opposition and the media.

The entire Plame affair was a joke. Plame's husband attempted to mislead the administration. Plame herself was already known to be a CIA employee well before Novack's column.

In the end, many journalistic reputations were tarnished. And the case against Libby boiled down to a difference of memories about some by then distant conversation between two people.

I'm just amazed that President Bush did not fully pardon Libby. It seemed like such an obvious case in which one of his team took an undeserved fall for acts which were, at the time, clearly in Bush's interests, and not at all illegal.

This missed opportunity for a pardon is, as the Wall Street Journal's Daniel Henninger wrote last week, a dangerous signal for future potential Washington aides, their spouses and families. It clearly shows how a single, tangential act by one person can bring them ruin, even though the act wasn't illegal or material.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Our Fickle Democrats

Isn't it strange how Congressional Democrats, and even their Presidents, call for unity and common purpose only when they have total control?

For example, during the past eight years, Congressional Democrats consistently carped at every detail of the Bush administration's programs. Opposition was the name of the game for Democrats.

I can even recall, during the Reagan years, then-majority Congressional Democrats declaring budget after budget sent up from the President as "dead on arrival."

When a Republican is in the Oval Office, and/or they have majorities in Congress, then Democrats forget all about Americans wanting Washington to work together, get things done, solve our problems, etc.

For some reason, the passing of only a few days requires that Republicans, now bereft of a reliable Presidential veto on the worst of the loony Democrat spending and legislative initiatives, must now be in agreement with all of the First Rookie's requests.

Now, we are told, all Americans must come together. But twelve months ago?

Not on your life!

No, unity and harmony are only to be called for when Democrats call the tune. Otherwise, 'open debate,' filibusters and sitting on judicial appointments is the rule of the day.

Fortunately, it seems that GOP Senate leader Mitch McConnell and even House Republican leader Boehner, braced by younger, more passionate leadership members, will be measured and effective in their choices of grounds on which to fight the always-profligate Democrats.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Today's Inaugural Irony: Freedom Lost

Today's inauguration of the First Rookie carries a heavily ironic message.

Many seem to feel this is some sort of "historic" inauguration. Apparently, they feel that there is some sort of meaning as the first non-Caucasian takes the oath of office.

No, wait. That would be non-racist.

These people feel it's special that a black person is taking that oath. Unspoken, but present, is the implication that a black becoming President somehow provides a lesson about freedom, because once, in this country, as in many others, there was slavery. Most recently, of blacks.

Of course, this President-elect is not, we were first told, actually fully of black descent. No, he campaigned by notably emphasizing his white grandparents, though alleging the grandmother was racist. No matter, apparently. When it suits the First Rookie to be black, he's black. When partly-Caucasian, evidently, he's that, too. How omni-racial.

Isn't it ironic, then, that as many celebrate what they feel is some sense of freedom, that a person whose race mostly came to America's shores as slaves, is being inaugurated as President, that person embodies the strongest desire to take all of our freedoms of any President since his Democratic predecessor, LBJ.

Wonderboy's stated desire to spend a trillion dollars of our money to ease everybody's presumed unfair suffering, pay lower-income workers more 'just because,' nationalize healthcare, and arrogantly claim that he can personally create millions of 'green' jobs, signify the greatest loss of personal freedoms Americans will face in a generation.

Truly, it is a sad day for American liberty and freedom. The rights for which our forefathers fought the Revolution.

In only two and a half hours, America plunges into the darkness of encroaching socialism, thanks to Democratic majorities in the House and Senate, combined with the loss of departing, steadfast President Bush's veto over the worst of the socialistic programs.

It's going to be a long four years until we are once again led by someone who truly understands freedom and liberty, rather than the desire to burden us all with the yoke of socialism.

But in only two years, we might see one or both Houses of Congress break free, out of disgust with what is going to be a rocky and ill-fated Presidency, beginning in just a few hours.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Who Creates "Value?"

Have you seen that stupid sound bite of the New Messiah where he opines that we have to do something for those who "create" the wealth?

Honestly, it's a line right out of Ayn Rand's "Atlas Shrugged."

By alleging that various and sundry line workers, clock-punchers and other production workers 'create' wealth, while all other functions, including capital providers and owners, do not, Wonderboy is basically telling us that market-determined prices for labor are all hooey. And wrong.

So he's going to change them.

Last time I looked, having government meddle in setting the prices for various labor types was not called free market capitalism, or even a mixed-market economy.

It's socialism, slouching toward communism.

Essentially, the First Rookie is saying that supply and demand don't create the 'right,' market-clearing price for labor. He knows better.

Nevermind that, in the long run, people are paid based upon the value they generate. Thus, highly-skilled designers and engineers frequently make quite a bit of money, compared to laborers who just have to operate production line machinery.

Part of the price differential is the ease with which they can be replaced. Recruiting the next iPod's design team is a lot more complicated then replacing the swing shift at your local factory.

As it is, American production workers are paid more, comparatively, than many foreign workers because they are more productive. And some of that productivity is provided by....the owners.

But our newly-elected First Rookie refuses to acknowledge this. In his mind, if the end value of a product is large, then the 'workers' who were last to touch it must have created all or most of that value. Therefore, in his addled way of thinking, they deserve the highest pay.

Maybe it is time to follow John Galt and head for the hills for the next four years.