I’ve Been Hearing This Since…

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…that fifth grade essay I had to write for a State Standards exam. You know the type – Write a five hundred word essay on the importance of voting. It is therefore easy to imagine just one of the reasons why I cringe every time I hear something like this:

Mrs. Obama also told her audience that turnout was a large part of her husband’s victories, especially “women and minorities and young people.” Republicans, she explained, counted on “folks like us” to stay away from the polls.

And I don’t know if you remember, but people were shocked when Barack won — they’re still shocked — (laughter and applause) — because they were counting on folks like us to stay home.  See, but then we proved them wrong.  Barack won because OF record numbers of women and minorities and young people who showed up and voted.

But the Fifth Grade was way back in the past. And Adulthood is left with the basic premise that your husband, Mrs. Obama, was initially elected based not on the content of his character; Isn’t that what the vetting process used to do? No, Barack was elected because a majority of the sleepy electorate were like, dude, he’s black and that’s enough for my vote.

In grown up terms, Michelle, he was elected based on the color of his skin. And the irony is that you and the Black Caucus are spitting on MLK Jr and all the good the old Civil Rights Movement represented and accomplished.

But then again I’m white. So what do I know about any of this.

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And We Should Care What Mitt Said Because…?

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Buyer’s remorse? Another morsel of proof that Romney was perhaps the better choice? An aha! towards the naysayers?

A yes to any or all of those questions. And more to questions I don’t care to bother to think up. Big deal about Romney’s quip during the final presidential debate last year that proves he was right about what is now happening in Mali.

Anyone with half a brain could have seen this coming. They could have seen everything that’s happened in the last decade. The last twenty years. The last near-century since we decided to prop up Near East dictators so we could have access to cheap oil. Bush’s War hasn’t helped the matter either. Colin Powell was right at least on this point – that if you break it you have to put it back together. Well, we broke Iraq and our wise politi-crats in Washington still have no idea how to put it back together. Personally speaking, unless Islam goes through a fundamental ideological change, or the region’s religion coverts to something else, nothing will change except for which of the strongest tribes wields power.

I have a hard time understanding how Bush 43 and his Circus Administration wholly ignored the balance of power between Saddam and Iran. But stupid is as stupid does and stupidity bequeathed to us yet another Imperialist president who likes to foment the hornet’s nest of the Near East. Romney may have correctly assessed the potential for upheaval in Mali but he fell short of the question which begged asking: Why are we in Mali? I dare say we might find the least of wisdom in taking a hard look at the Washington Administration. I propose closing down all Embassies. Perhaps in the future when we feel we have State issues with a foreign nation, we should send an entourage over with a clear and specific purpose. Doing so just might save us the headache of yet another American bureaucrat taken hostage and/or killed.

Perhaps Kerry Isn’t That Bad A Pick

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Well. He won three purple hearts.

And shortly he’ll be adding Secretary of State to that list.

If this was 1812 I’d be somewhat nervous that he was being groomed for the Presidency. But it looks like Obama has found a way to keep American foreign policy relevant for the 21st century. Okay, maybe not relevant, but what foreign head of state would want to continue talks when faced with Kerry’s droning tone?

Gosh, maybe if we send Kerry to China for a long enough period, they’ll forgive our debt so long as he’s recalled back to the U.S.

How About Some Humor?

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I thought a good way to get the blog going again would be to begin with the video below.

Gingrich The Misguided

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**Update: New information has come to light that the Qu’ran burning was done to prevent messages being sent between prisoners and those outside. It may also have to do with the fact that old, tattered copies of the book are required to be burned. Even with this new information, my argument still holds. It also has one added thought – U.S. military personnel should be smarter than to receive copies of the book from outside the base. The issue disappears if the U.S. provided copies of the book.**

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If there is one thing the U.S. has yet to grasp after two-hundred forty or so years it is an aptitude of basic foreign policy.

Once in a while, in the midst of overarching error, we get something right. I must extend a thank-you to Obama for apologizing to Hamid Karzai for the burning of copies of the Qu’ran on a military base in Afghanistan.

At the same time Ginrich’s reaction to Obama is nothing less than insolent pride, the all-too-familiar American vanity packaged within co-opted Conservatism’s City on a Hill exceptionalism. Whether there is a strain of radical Muslims fueling the protests is of rather little concern. The greater problem is that prior to 2001, Afghanistan, a very conservative culture, had next to no understanding of America other than hearsay of the power of our military. Since crossing their border to pursue the 21st century’s version of Pancho Villa, Afghans have much to justify their increasing dislike of America.

Gingrich, as well as Santorum and Romney, has a profound non-understanding of what Commander-in-Chief entails, Constitutionally speaking. As history currently stands, no American President has been given approval by the Congress to use the military since Truman. Some might cite the War Powers Act of 1973 but that legislation is wholly unconstitutional, granting power to the President that the Constitution expressly gives to the Congress alone. Thus, any would-be Commander-in-Chief who cites the War Powers Act as justification for intervention is guilty of high crimes and misdemeanors, punishable by impeachment. And, since no war since WWII has posed a real or feigned existential threat to the U.S., the President need not worry regarding ‘defending our borders’.

In any case, the rationale with which Bush 43 took us to war has been rendered moot with the killing of Osama Bin Laden last year. It is therefore high time not only to bring the troops home, but some of our guns could stand to be turned into plowshares.

The Tea Party Debt Ceiling Vote

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How effective is the Tea Party in Washington DC?

If we measure the answer in terms of debate, no more so than the typical Conservative movement. View it in terms of stymieing legislation and the Party has some success, though the establishment eventually gets its way. But in terms of real change in the status quo the Tea Party only appears to be a sizable minority spewing hot air.

I’ve put together a table (below right) of both House and Senate members who were elected riding the Tea Party fervor during the 2010 mid-term elections. As a guest mentioned on one of the top talk radio shows late last week, Republicans only control one-half of one branch of the Federal Government. Had all ten Senators, elected via Tea Party support voted against the bill, the Senate still would have passed the measure by a 70-30 margin. Therefore since the Senate is still largely controlled by Marxist Democrats, the focus of my analysis will be upon the House of Representatives.

The numbers don’t lie. In total, those members caucusing with Bachmann’s Tea Party along with incumbents and Freshman members, the Tea Party passed the Bill 60.2% to 39.7%. The numbers held roughly the same for the 2010 mid-term elected Freshman members, 65.3% to 34.6% in favor. Ironically, those members caucusing with the House Tea Party, which is comprised mainly of incumbents but also includes around a dozen Freshman members, the vote was much closer, 52.4% to 47.5% in favor.

In the picture at large the debt ceiling vote cast light on what was heretofore difficult to see – that the Legislative and Executive branches have lost all Constitutional manner and understanding of proper protocol and procedure. The net results and consequences for the future are rather scary.

Obviously, the government is now allowed to borrow yet more money that they seem intent on never paying back, leaving future generations the worry of the immediate consequences of today’s gluttony, vice, and national self-gratification.

Second, the separation of powers blurred even further, with Obama dictating what legislation should be written and passed, forcing the Legislative branch to do so not only through demagoguery and childish acts [leaving the table because he didn’t like what he heard] but also manipulating the electorate to bombard Congressional phone lines demanding a deal. Rome is naught but mob rule and Obama is the master Emperor of mob manipulation.

Third, the debate over raising the debt ceiling an unprecedented $2.4 trillion was, despite what all media outlets said, rather swift. Rather than the bill originating in the Lower House, passing to the Upper House and then given to the President, all three groups decided to work on the bill together.  Rather than allowing wisdom and prudence to rule as a result of lengthy debate, especially in the Senate where lengthy debate is supposed to be standard op, foolishness won out because Washington thought that something had to be made law.

Perhaps the scariest result of this new debt bill is the transference of corporate Legislative power into a tiny faction, comprised of a Committee, to determine where and what to cut in the future in order to ‘reign in spending’. Like the Department of Homeland Security and the invention of the TSA last decade, thanks to you George W. Bush, how draconian in the future will this new Committee become? To what extent will it hold the Legislative branch hostage in determining what bills actually pass and what is contained in them? How factious will the Committee become in the next five, ten, etc years in terms of Republican/Democrat membership?

So what do we conclude? Should the Tea Party continue as it did in passing the debt ceiling Bill, then it is simply another faction. The public outcry of 2009 and 2010 will have been for nothing.

I’ve always thought the Tea Party rallies were misguided expenditures of time, money, and energy. Washington tends to listen not only when the Mall is packed by crowds who refuse to leave until the government cedes them their wishes, but also when there is literal rioting and anarchy in America’s streets. Those identifying themselves as Tea Party folk should educate themselves on the plight of World War I vets demanding what Washington promised them. The Tea Party to me seems to be nothing more than citizens who may actually care about the direction of the country, but appear content to only listen to just words, just speeches of their favorite Populist personalities while waving little American flags made in China and holding up clever but utterly useless signage.

What a shame. The Tea Party and its House caucus could have actually begun to change things these last few weeks.

Tea Party Debt Ceiling Vote.wps

Links:
House Vote Record
Senate Vote Record

China & U.S. Debt, Briefly

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I’ve taken a break from talk radio the past few months since the only thing being discussed is “Obama did this” and “Obama did that”. Enough already. I haven’t heard anything new about the man’s fault since he began his presidential campaign. He’s evil incarnate, I think we understand that now.

However, when I do tune in, the other topic of interest to me is the ballooning national debt and China’s ownership of one trillion dollars of that debt. I will step out on a limb and venture to say that no matter what one’s political bent, everyone would agree U.S. debt is out of control. I like to imagine that even Alexander Hamilton is dumbstruck.

I love the question talk radio throws around: What happens when or if China calls in the debt?

As bad as things are, that is the wrong question to ask. What we should asking instead is: What are the strings China’s attached us to? Because the rest of Conservative wisdom is right, that being so heavily in debt is a threat to national security like no other. Being tied down economically is the quickest way to render a nation enslaved in everything they might wish to do.

Think of how the World Bank dictates to its borrows how they must behave in order to receive or continue receiving loans. To me, the fear is the same – that the U.S. will never be able to repay what it has borrowed. That may be the true sum of all America’s fears. We fought a war of Independence so as to rule ourselves as we wish. If we do not repay in kind, we may as well be the dragon puppet on the hand of China, who can use us to do as they like on the international scene.

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