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

- attributed to NY State Judge Gideon Tucker

Friday, January 22, 2010

Liberal Democratic Sour Grapes

In the wake of Scott Brown's election to the Senate from Massachusetts on Tuesday, Glenn Beck played two extremely troubling, revealing audio and video clips on his program.

One, from last week, uncovered by a third party, quoted Massachusetts Democrat Representative Barney Frank solemnly declaring that the Senate's 60 vote majority rule had to be changed to a simple majority of 51. His party having lost the ability to now pass legislation on party votes alone, he now finds the traditional Senate rule undemocratic.

Frank went on to accuse small state Senators of blocking the wishes of Senators from large states, implying some sort of 'one-man one-vote' violation.

Mind you, Frank is a Representative, not a Senator. So it's noteworthy that he's so interested in a chamber which he has not personally seen fit to try to join.

The second troubling quote was in a video of Wonderboy's chief of staff, Rahm Emmanuel. His statement was about the First Amendment. Rahm declared that the amendment was "overrated," suggesting the administration doesn't see any problem with violating it.

Considering that Wonderboy's new communications director has renewed the administration's declaration of war on Fox News, this is very troubling, indeed.

So it seems that, having had their hand slapped by voters in Massachusetts, Democrats in Congress and the administration are contemplating simply changing some rules, and ignoring others, in order to get their way.

Regardless of what voters or the Constitution dictate.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Glenn Beck's Prediction Re: Progressives In The Wake of Scott Brown's Win

Yesterday, in advance of Scott Brown's election to the US Senate from Massachusetts, as a Republican, Glenn Beck made a few dire predictions.

Dire, but, sadly, probably true.

At this point, with Brown's election as the 41st non-Democratic Senator, and a strong chance that no further health care bills written exclusively by Democrats, can pass in the Senate, the Democrats' options are fewer, and more bizarre than they were just a few days ago.

The several commonly acknowledge options are:

-The House Democratic leaders dragoon their members into passing the Senate bill, as is, by a party-line, or nearly so, vote. This action obviates a conference to sort out differences in the House's and Senate's version of the Democrat-written bills.

-The Senate strips their bill down to simple budgetary proposals and passes it with only 51 votes. The House, again, has to pass the same bill.

-The Congresssional Democrats conference on the different health care bills, pass the House version by some thin margin, and attempt to pick off a liberal Republican, e.g., Olympia Snowe or Susan Collins, to attain their desired 60 votes for passage.

But Glenn Beck was thinking much, much larger scale.

He quoted Saul Alinsky, Wonderboy's tactics hero, as saying that when times get tough, you need to accelerate change.

Thus, Beck believes that Scott Brown's election, by putting health care and any other large-scale change legislation, in jeapordy in the Senate, will trigger the administration's and Congressional leaders' move to force their own party's members to join their Progressive movement, or be driven out of the Democratic Party.

It's directly in opposition to yesterday's Wall Street Journal editorial by Lanny Davis, the former Clinton advisor. Davis, coming from the centrist Democratic tradition, believes Wonderboy should move right, to the center, in the face of the Massachusetts rebuke of Democrat policies.

Beck, however, sees things more clearly. He doesn't believe Wonderboy wants or cares about an intact Democratic party. The party is simply a useful tool with which to, temporarily, achieve Progressive aims. Frisco Nan and Harry Reid appear to be his kindred spirits in this matter.

As Beck sees it, this trio, and their allies, have infected the Democratic Party as a virus inhabits a host. They are now about ready to burst out of their Democratic shell, use harder hardball tactics, and ram whatever they can through Congress, never mind next November's voter punishment.

Beck went on at length about this on Tuesday evening, ending with a thinly-veiled prediction that there will be two parties emerging from the fight by Democrats to save their party: Progressives, and the other party which remains. Call the latter sort of a Constitutionalists' Party.

It's a bold call. Time will tell. And maybe not much. Scott Brown's seating will be telling, as will the First Rookie's State of the Union address next week.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Wasting Money Through Aid To Haiti

Bret Stephens wrote a terrific editorial in yesterday's Wall Street Journal discussing the futility of dumping so much aid on Haiti in the wake of last week's earthquake. Several of his sentiments were echoed in a discussion I had on Sunday morning over coffee with a friend.

Why, I asked, is it that Haiti has failed to form a civilized society that can quell thugs and gangs, protect its citizens, and be trusted to advance its own welfare? Even in the context of digging out from a devastating natural disaster?

Is it something endemic to the Haitian population? Something they learned about corruption and lack of civilized government from the French? I mean, what gives?

In the past week, I've read or heard several pieces, including Stephens,' warning that most aid to Haiti will merely wind up in the hands of street gangs within hours of its distribution.

Stephens wrote poignantly of the manner in which UN aid has destroyed the economies of several African countries. I recall one piece detailing how the distribution of free mosquito netting by the UN wiped out a small but booming, promising entrepeneurial local industry which had provided the same product, for a price.

Stephens enumerated several aspects of aid's lethality. They included corruption and graft among transporation laborers in the receiving countries, skimming of aid by corrupt government officials, further theft from the populace by gangs and, lastly, the longer term effects of driving out investment which cannot compete with freely-provided goods by the UN.

Stephens counsels leaving Haiti alone until it can figure out how to forge a society and government that attracts more investment. So long as aid vastly outstrips private investment, he contends, Haiti, or any other country like it, is doomed.

That's true, but may be unpalatable for the global society at large.

Perhaps a better, and certainly a viable alternative, way to help Haiti is by way of military government. Recall how the US helped to rebuild Japan and Germany in this fashion after the devastation of WWII?

Why could not the US armed forces maintain a modest, UN-approved garrison which provided protection of the civilian population from banditry, repaired or built basic infrastructure (electricity, water, sewage, roads), and supervised the creation of a stronger, better government?

Letting any sort of private contractors near Haiti to rebuild at the direction of a Haitian government is just inviting incredible corruption.

Far better to have relief dollars spent to offset the cost to the US of stationing the necessary, appropriate military resources to do that work.

While they are at it, such resource could, to be blunt, eliminate "the usual suspects" who would otherwise prey on the populace as goods and services begin to flow into Haiti and to its populace. Military government means we could dispense military justice, too. Goodbye local gangs. Hello district councils.

It's just a thought. Because nobody in their right mind believes for a second that any of this aid will make any lasting difference at all to the lives of average Haitians if all we do is spend it through the current local regime and society.

We have evidence from decades of prior efforts, cited in Mr. Stephens' piece, to prove this. What's needed now is some creative solutions for implementing Haitian aid so that a new, more responsible Haiti can actually enjoy and prosper from the fruits of that aid.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

The Irony Of Today's Massachusetts Senate Election

How ironic that Ted Kennedy's death may bring, not a groundswell of pity and sympathy in the form of his cherished socialized health care plan, but, instead, his replacement by a young, vibrant conversative Republican whose first act will be to block Senate passage of said bill.

You truly cannot make something like this up, can you? Who'd have believed it? Everyone thought the Kennedy patsy appointed in his stead would robotically cast a vote for whatever unworkable, expensive health care "reform" bill was shoved under his nose.

Now, the drama will likely move from Scott Brown's election to the date of his seating in the Senate.

As I mentioned a few days ago, in this post, I did donate money to Brown's campaign. As did a colleague of mine, upon my suggestion. The national stakes in this particular election are sufficiently great to merit support to a Senator in another state.

Let's hope the people of Massachusetts get out and vote Scott Brown into office today. They'll be doing themselves and the entire nation a tremendous service by doing so.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Where's Mitt Romney?

Funny, isn't it, that Mitt Romney is absent from the scene in the biggest Senate race in Massachusetts since Bill Weld challenged John Kerry?

Why do you suppose that is? Romney was a two-term governor of the Bay State, yet Scott Brown hasn't, to my knowledge, invited Mitt onto a podium with him.

Curt Schilling is obviously a welcome endorsement. But not the former Massachusetts governor and presidential candidate.

It's got to be due to Brown's salient issue, health care. Romney is responsible for having gullibly signed the current Massachusetts socialized health care bill into law. And what a mess it's become.

You have to believe that Brown doesn't want Romney to come near him this week. If anything, Brown might invite Romney to a rally and send him, instead, to one of Martha Coakley's.

The fact that a heretofore unknown Republican state senator is about to win a Senate seat in Massachusetts does seem to reflect the state's voters' anger with spending, their own health care, and, probably, as Bill Weld said recently, other local issues.

In any case, I find it odd that Romney has been so absent during this surprising campaign. He hasn't even appeared on the usual Fox News programs with Neil Cavuto or Sean Hannity.

Very telling, is it not?

I'd say this whole debacle also signals that you've seen the last of Mitt as a GOP presidential contender- ever.